Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cooking with the Wenches: Holly Trent's Meatroll.

Fellow wench, Holly Trent, shares her Tex-Mex Meatloaf. Yum! Take it away, Holly.

This meatloaf spin-off has ground up tortilla chips. Its airier texture is due to rolling the meat rather than patting it into shape. This dish is a perfect substitution for pickier eaters, and the cheese in the middle adds a little something for the kiddos.

Holley’s Tex-Mex Meatroll

2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. mustard powder
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (can substitute Pepper Jack)
3 cups crushed corn tortilla chips
¼ cup mild salsa

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix meat, egg, and seasoning in a bowl. On waxed or parchment paper, pat the meat mixture into a rectangle as wide as your loaf pan or slightly less wide than the width of your paper if you're baking on a cookie sheet.

Cover the surface of the beef with the tortilla chips. Just eyeball it. You don't need to use the full three cups - just make sure you have good coverage. Spread the cheese over the top. Pretend you're building a pizza.

Take one end of the paper and roll the meat as if it were sushi, but don’t catch the paper in the roll. Gently tease the roll to the end and carefully transfer to a greased pan. Pat the ends so they're rounded and the ingredients inside don’t fall out.

Brush the top of the loaf with salsa. Water it down a bit if doing so makes it easier to spread. Cover with foil. Mold it against the roll a bit to provide structure to the meat holds its shape as it cooks.

About 45 minutes in—when the roll has firmed but not completely cooked—remove foil. Apply another brushing of salsa.

Bake until a thermometer reads 160°F. Let the meatroll rest for at least ten minutes before cutting.

While your dinner is baking, check out Holly's fun FREE READ Boughs of Halle only at Musa Publishing and recapture the joy of Christmas.

Ex-hipster Erin Posey is too cool for Christmas. But, when her mother announces she’s driving up to North Carolina to visit her prodigal daughter, Erin engages in a last-minute scramble to deck the halls of her bungalow.

In a night rife with frustrations, a tree salesman named Halle takes pity on the frazzled school photographer and helps her get into the holiday spirit. When the tree’s twinkle lights turn on, the magic Erin feels doesn’t have a thing to do with the joyous season. She knows she needs to mend her strained relationship with her mother, so once all the tinsel has gone on, she sends Halle on his way.

The handsome stranger has got quirky Erin pegged better than anyone she’s ever met. She wants him to return, but is her charm like mistletoe? Does the magic exist only when she’s up close, or will thoughts of her be enough to draw Halle back for a New Year’s kiss, too?

To claim your free copy of Boughs of Halle please click HERE.

Nancy here again. I really enjoyed Boughs of Halle. It's one of those stories that makes you believe in hope when life seems determined to make you miserable.

Holley Trent is the author of Executive Decision, Mrs. Roth’s Merry Christmas, and Her Resident Jester – all available now from Musa Publishing's Calliope Romance Line.

To see all of Holley Musa Publishing books, please click HERE.

Learn more about Holley Trent on her blog and follow her on Twitter.

Monday, January 13, 2014

2013 Roundup

2013 was a bit of a bear for me. I'm glad to see it in the rear view mirror. But before I bid 2013 a joyous farewell, indulge me one last look peak through the looking glass.

So how did I do on my 2013 goals? Some hits and some misses.

Of the three books I wanted to finish and submit, two crossed the finish line and are at publishers (Baen and Musa). Fingers crossed, and hopefully announcements soon. I had to slow down on writing the third novel to do a bit more research and try that outline thing with it. My new goal for Schrodinger Effect is to have the first draft done by the end of the first quarter 2014 (March 30, 2014), and have a final product by ThrillerFest in July. Unexpectedly, Musa Publishing included me in their cookbook of recipes in November, 2013.

I'm a few weeks away from my law firm's first anniversary. Being a solo practitioner has been an experience.  I'll blog more about this in the next week or so.

Not everything was sunshine and happiness in 2013. In fact, the second half of the year was marked with loss. Cancer took my second mom, Phyllis Hussey, in June. Three of our four cats moved on. I was down for two weeks with a nasty stomach virus. My Dad had another stroke and his Lewy Body Dementia has been getting worse.

On the, can't anything go right? page, was the call I received from my bank on Black Friday letting me know of suspicious activity on my debit card. Needless to say, I wasn't the person buying 5K worth of Apple products, $350 at Radio Shack, Facebook credits, a membership and pizza at Papa John's. I think I'm most offended by the fact the hacker bought pizza and dating with my money. Match refunded the money immediately. Radio Shack took about two weeks to refund $299.99 (I guess they didn't credit the shipping). I'm still waiting for Apple to do something. Needless to say, the unexpected drain on my finances changed our holiday plans a bit.

The upshot is 2013 is over, and I have a brand new year to look forward to.

What's on the horizon for 2014?

I'm waiting to hear back on the two novels I've submitted. I'll definitely have at least one new book out in 2014!

I've been accepted as a co-author on Sandra Yancey and the EWomen Network's new project. When I saw the proposed title, I felt it fairly aptly summarized my life. Succeeding Through Doubt, Fear & Crisis will be a cutting-edge multimedia book with embedded audio and video (available on iPad  and other digital platforms) and traditional print book. The expected publication date is August, 2014 for the annual meeting. I'll keep you updated on the progress.

My conference schedule is pretty full.

I'm getting ready for Superstars Writing Seminar in Colorado Springs. I've written a lot about Superstars on this blog. Since I'm 'sure your tired of hearing me rave about it, let me direct you to Brad Torgersen's and Nathan Barra's fabulous posts on how Superstars changed, well, everything, with their writing careers. Really, folks, this is a must attend seminar.


April will bring the American Bankruptcy Institute annual conference in DC. (Yes, I know, that's the boring lawyer stuff. But since the conference lasts 3 days, I figured it deserved a mention). Balticon in May (Memorial Weekend) is on the list. I'm hoping to attend ThrillerFest in July. August will see me at the EWomen Network conference and book launch for Succeeding Through Doubt, Fear & Crisis DragonCon in September (Labor Day Weekend) is a possibility. World Fantasy is in DC in October and I already have my tickets.

We've started on some necessary home repairs, and have some family time planned. Overall, I'm looking forward to 2014.

What's my number 1 goal for 2014?

In the words of James Artimus Owen - My goal is to be the kind of person who makes things happen.

Draw out those dragons!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Warm up for winter

Hopefully, all of you are safe and warm as winter storms ravage the U.S. To help pass those cold winter nights, please check out: 
Enter daily to win one of 17 promotional paperbacks  
Outlaws by William Weldy
Only A Hero Will Do by Susan Lodge
First Frost by Liz DeJesus
Glass Frost by Liz DeJesus
Trusting Sydney by Helen Hardt
Taming Angelina by Helen Hardt
Treasuring Amber by Helen Hardt
2012: The Rising by Joanne Hirase
Typical Day by Gary K. Wolf
Obsession by JoAnne Keltner
Stained Glass byMindy Hardwick
Grape Bubblegum by Beth Bowland

Dragon Drop by Jerry Ackerman
New Girl by Joan B. Flood
The Fox's Mask by Anna Frost
Unforgettable You by Marci Boudreaux
Storm’s Fury by Nya Rayne
And one of 30 e-books:
3.99 by Richard Satterlie
100,000 Midnights by Aaron Smith
A Company of Thieves by David Pilling
A Place to Call Their Own by L. Dean Pace-Frech
A Reason To Stay by L.S. Murphy
A Sense of the Ridiculous by Heather King
A Willing Spirit by Cindi Myers
Alaska Heat by Vella Munn
An Incident on MSR Tampa by SS Hampton, Sr
Apple of My Eye by Elizabeth Botts
Baiting The Hook by Mary S. Palmer & David Wilton
Between by Clarissa Johal
Black Widow by Lena Austin
Bring Me To Life by Scarlett Parrish
Captain Westwood's Inheritance by Lynda Dunwell
Contingency Plan by Anita Ensal
Crazy Greta by David Hardy
Daughter of the Earth and Sky by Kaitlin Bevis
Deep Into The Night by Tracie Ingersoll Loy
Dragon Revealed by Nulli Para Ora
Enchanted Realms by Eleni Konstantine
Forget the Misteltoe by Lizzie T. Leaf
Her Goblin Prince by Thalia Frost
High Stakes by Chad Strong
ICE blue by Susan Rae
Identity Thief by Milo James Fowler
Keeper of Directions by L.K. Mitchell
Kojiki by Keith Yatsuhashi
Little Bird by Liza Gaines
Looney Dunes by Anne Skalitza
Masquerade by Sloane Taylor
All entrants are eligible for Grand Prize Drawing January 31

Grand Prize 
Warm Up for Winter Basket
Snuggly Blanket
$20.00 Musa Gift Certificate 
Starbucks Coffee
Coffee Mug
Specialty Chocolates

 PLUS  5 paperback books: 
Marissa's Choice by Kadee McDonald
The Dominus Runes by Peter Lukes
Walking the Dog by Linda Benson
Love Lies Bleeding by Laini Giles
For his Love by Nya Rayne

a Rafflecopter giveaway