Romantic Meals To Dine al Fresco by Sloane Taylor – Cookbook Review

Egg Drop Soup
Our first time making it at home, which is one of the reasons we love Taylor’s cookbooks; she makes it easy to try new recipes. This egg drop soup is less salty (much more pleasant) than any we’ve been served in a restaurant!
Photo credit: Nina Lackey
Oven-Fried Chicken
Lemon Garlic Broccoli
The chicken was tender and juicy with a delicious fried coating. We substituted gluten-free flour for the flour listed in the recipe and it was perfect!
The broccoli was tasty and easy for a weeknight dinner.
Photo credit: Gina Briganti
Oven-Fried Tempeh
Tempeh Salad
We eat mostly plant-based here and wanted to try the oven-fried recipe on one of our favorite proteins. The crunch was perfect and the recipe converted exactly as we would want it to, including the gluten-free adaptation.
We made tempeh salad with the leftover cubed tempeh by adding celery, chives, and mayonnaise.
We’ve made this a few more times and it’s on our family menu now.
Photo credits: Gina Briganti
Cheesy Cauliflower
Five-star flavor and so easy it amazed us! We subbed non-dairy ingredients and it was a one for one match. Taylor’s recipes are well researched and convert perfectly on the first try. No guesswork on our parts makes us very happy!
Photo credit: Nina Lackey
Sauteed Mushrooms
I had to snap a picture while they were in the pan because the aroma lured the family into the kitchen with forks in hand. Some made it into the serving dish. Next time we’ll make a triple batch.
Photo credit: Gina Briganti

We been enjoying our copy of the cookbook since it was released in June and have made a few recipes we didn’t take pictures of, but that we enjoyed and want to mention. The avocado salad is a nice blend of creamy and crunchy, with a light dressing. The fried shredded potato cake takes more steps than we usually spend on a potato dish but it was truly well worth the time and we will make it again.

Taylor has a secure place on our cookbook shelf and we’re anticipating her next book! We make more recipes from her books than any other cookbook author we have on our shelf or Kindle.

Click here to see my video review of Taylor’s cookbook, Date Night Dinners,

Which recipes interest you?

Thanks for reading,



Black Dagger Brotherhood By J.R. Ward! My TBR Countdown From #RWA19

The challenges faced by these characters are rivaled by my own – getting all the books my suitcases could hold home and now deciding which order to read them in.

I spent time with almost every author on this list at the Indie Author Signing. So much talent in that room and every one of them was gracious and fun to talk with. I’m more excited than ever to be a fantasy romance author.

There was so much inspiration at this conference that I can’t help but tap away at the final book in the Natural Gift series. It’s coming along very well. I have surprises for you!

One of the authors on my TBR won the RITA for best paranormal romance. This is shocking news, but I must admit I haven’t yet read J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I admit this with an embarrassed laugh and I’m going to fix that, pronto.

What’s on your TBR? I’d love to know. What are you reading? Let’s talk!

Thanks for watching and reading!


I’m Back And I Brought A Dragon Home With Me

I’ve been to New York city for #rwa19, where Amber Kell gifted conference attendees with a red dragon, who has not left my bedside since I met him.

Here are more highlights from my trip.

I had a remarkable meal with DARA members at The View restaurant, 48 stories above the city. This is a salad-lovers dream with marcona almonds, hearts of palm, and pomegranate seeds.

Of course I had a New York deli potato cake, so I wouldn’t have to hand back my status as a foodie. It was scrumptious. Junior’s was reasonably priced and fast!

You will be proud of my self-restraint, because I only brought home twenty physical books from the conference. I would have brought them all home, but the airline has rules or something. We won’t talk about how many cards I received from the lovely, generous romance authors with download codes on them…until later. I can’t wait to show you my haul!

The final leg of my vacation was to Bangor, Maine. Have you been to Bangor? I believe it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been. Their summer high temperature during my visit was our Texas low temperature. One night I needed a sweatshirt. They get buried in snow every winter or I might consider moving there.

Last time I was in Maine we drove by this bookstore and I wanted to check it out this time. If you’re in Bangor, stop in for a book lover’s dream. Reasonable prices, great owner, and stunning selection.

Maine brings out the history buff in me.

This apothecary’s table is fascinating. We still use some of those ingredients in homeopathic remedies. They have stood the test of time.

Toy and tea enthusiasts, check out this children’s tea set, circa mid 1800’s.

This board book and candies are also from the mid 1800’s! The book looks so modern to me! Being near this table was a major thrill.

Did you know that Maine is full of museums? I found out the good way, by visiting another one. Note that all of the machines at the logging museum are working machines. This is living history. You’ll have to visit on a Thursday when the buildings are open or during an event to see them in action.

This path is on the way to the settler’s area. It was pristine and serene. If they could make the scents and sounds I experienced here into a portable candle it would rob me of what it was like to be there. I will hear that bubbling brook and taste the sweet water we pumped after our walk for the rest of my days.

One of our last day trips was to Bar Harbor. There’s magic in that harbor, walking those cobblestone streets.

My souvenir is these sea glass earrings from Sherman’s. They are my reward for finishing the first draft of April 4th: World Reset Day. a.k.a. the fifth and final book in the Natural Gifts series.

Vacation ended this past weekend at the most fabulous writer’s retreat a romance author could ask for. This is what me and 13 of my chapter members did there.

What’s your favorite snapshot from my trip?

Thanks for reading!


Whiskey In A Teacup Video Book Review

A five-star book that feels like chatting with a friend, talking about life, kids, music, books, childhood, and recipes. I totally enjoyed it.

There is also a bit of Youtube channel news and a reveal at the end of the video.

The character from my Natural Gift series who I think would appreciate Whiskey In A Teacup the most is Brittany. Her book is No Yesterdays, where she (spoiler? I don’t think so.) and Carter finally get together. Brittany needs recipes to impress her chef boyfriend with, and these could do it.

Soul mates are being drawn together in numbers we’ve never seen. Gifts are unlocking faster than racing hearts, adding eight new people to the soul group. The group is growing, their energy blending in ways they didn’t know could happen. The big question is why is the soul mate bond in a hurry?

Brittany has been pining for Carter for years now. She needs a push.

Jack is stubborn personified and close to having Darah walk away, keeping her secrets to herself. They need a shove.

Jason is having the time of his life in college. All those beautiful women. Ha. Not the plan. Angelina can handle him.

Rowan is convinced that his soul mate didn’t incarnate with him in this lifetime. Surprise! This psychic finds out exactly why the women in his family told him his arrogance was blinding.

There’s no looking back now.

There are No Yesterdays.

Buy No Yesterdays to join in on the fantasy and the romance today


I will be travelling for the next few weeks. There won’t be any new posts here on the blog until August 12th. It’s possible that I’ll be on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram because that’s where we like to hang out so if we’re not already connected there you can find me under my name.

How do you feel about breaks? Do you take them?

Thanks for watching!


*This is not a sponsored post.

Should You Publish Under A Pen Name?

You’ll face many decisions in your author career, including which name to write under. Four experienced authors have teamed up to share their perspectives and offer you the opportunity to ask questions. We write in various genres, so hopefully you’ll see yours represented.

Read at your own pace. We’ve given you time to look through without rushing.

Here are bio’s and links for each of our authors.

Gina Briganti

Connect with Gina on her website, www.ginabriganti.comFacebook, Amazon Author Page, YouTube channel, Instagram ,Twitter, and Goodreads. There are exclusives and announcements that are shared only in her newsletter, which you can sign up for right here

Gina Briganti writes fantasy and sci-fi romance in north Texas. Real -life should be fantastic, too, which is why she also writes holistic health non-fiction.

Her constant companion is a special soul who masquerades as a dog.

Sharon Ledwith

The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventure Series:

The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, Book #1 Buy Links: MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, Book #2 Buy Links: MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

Legend of the Timekeepers, prequel Buy Links: MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mystery Series:


Blackflies and Blueberries, Book Two Buy Links: MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Look up her AMAZON AUTHOR page for a list of current books. Stay connected on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, LINKEDIN, INSTAGRAM, and GOODREADS. BONUS: Download the free PDF short story The Terrible, Mighty Crystal HERE.

HL Carpenter

HL Carpenter is a mother/daughter duo who write family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit Carpenter Country at

Tina Griffith

I was born in Germany, a little more than 60 years ago. My family came to Canada when I was of school age, and I’ve been here ever since. When my kids were little, I wrote 27 children’s books, worked in television and radio, and worked as a professional clown at the Children’s Hospital. After my husband of 25 years passed away, I began to write romance novels as a way to keep the love inside of my heart. I now have 11 romance novels for sale in the amazon bookstore, and while all of them have undertones of a love story, they have different genres; murder, mystery, whimsical, witches, ghosts, suspense, adventure, and my sister’s scary biography. ‘The Elusive Mr. Velucci’ is nothing short of a very romance love story, where nobody dies, but it will bring a lump to your throat as you continue to wish that Enrico and Sadie find each other again.

See Tina Griffith’s Amazon author page here.

See Tina Nykulak Ruiz’s amazon author page here:

Thanks for watching! We wish you all the best in your author career.

Let’s Play At RWA Conference 2019!

Do you want to meet our incredible authors and have a blast with them and raise money for literacy?

Check out this amazing list of authors who will be at the Literacy Autographing by clicking on this link.

Saturday, July 27
3:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET
New York Marriott Marquis

Proceeds from book sales benefit ProLiteracy Worldwide, Literacy Partners and Literacy Assistance Center.

We look forward to having you at our event! Here are some things to know before you arrive:

  • This event is open to the public and is free of charge to attend.
  • You do not need to register to attend this event as a fan.
  • Since this is a fundraiser event for literacy organizations, attendees will not be allowed to bring books from home into the event. Plan to purchase books on-site.
  • We accept cash and major credit cards. We do not accept Apple Pay or checks.

RWA2019 Literacy Autographing Signing Authors

I will not be at the signing, though I wish I was! I am starting my vacation in Maine and my flight leaves before the signing starts. I enthusiastically recommend going to the signing. I went to the 2012 literacy autographing in Anaheim, CA. It was one of the most thrilling moments of my life. I met amazing authors and I will always cherish those books and those memories.

I will be at the conference for the rest of it, so if you are also attending and want to meet up reach out and we’ll make sure to get together.

This is my first conference as an RWA member and I am so excited! It’s also my first time in New York.

Have you been to a conference this summer? Do you have one coming up? Tell me all about it!

Thanks for the time we spend together. It means so much more to share it with you!

Trader Joe’s Grocery Haul July 2019 *New Items* + Gluten-Free, Plant-Based Meal Ideas

Tasty new items in the store and a seasonal return, plus meal ideas that won’t keep you in front of a hot stove.

I love pairing a character from one of my Natural Gifts series with a food video. The character who would most like this shopping haul is Lucy from Desert Sunrise. She’s a career woman who doesn’t always have time to devote to healthy meals. Not to mention that she’s attracted the attention of the Sunny Skies Stables foreman and, shall we say, is spending as much time as she can with him? Wink.

Link to Desert Sunrise:

About Desert Sunrise:

Life is good for Lucy Shannon. Love will be too, when the man she knows is out there for her finally shows up. Until then she is going to enjoy herself. So what if her ex-fiancé tossed her heart into a blender? Years of therapy have put that in perspective. 

Stan Spellman doesn’t think like her. Not in the least. Sure, life is good. He does what he loves every day, spends a pleasurable night with a woman when he wants to. Love? Happily ever after? He’s seen the rare occurrence of it. That’s as far as his thinking on the subject goes. 

They’re both scheduled for a wake-up call that will change their lives forever, fulfilling dreams they never knew they had.

Lucy and Stan also made a recipe for dairy-free beer cheese soup, which you can find by clicking here.

Thank you for watching with me!