Potato Soup by Erzabet Bishop

From Christina: Growing up, I lived with my grandfather, and one of the things I most enjoyed was coming home from school to find a pot of his German Potato Soup simmering on the stove. It was always such a treat.  I’ve never found another potato soup recipe quite like his — and sad to say, over the years, it’s been misplaced.  I do love potato soup, and I’m always happy when someone is willing to share their special recipe.  I was delighted with Erzabeth Bishop offered this one.  Enjoy!

Potato Soup

by Erzabet Bishop

1 5lb bag potatoes
potato soup3 cups hot water
3 TB Better Than Bouillon Chicken
1 8 ounce cream cheese
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
Pinch garlic powder
Pinch onion powder
Milk (pour until desired thickness)

Peel potatoes and place in crock pot. Blend three cups of hot water with three tablespoons of Better Than Bouillon Chicken flavor. Some of the potatoes will not be covered in liquid. Add spices.
Cook in crock pot on high for 6 hours. Take out half of the potatoes and chop them up into bite size pieces. Take a kitchen hand mixer and blend the broth, block of cream cheese and remainder of the potatoes into a thick soup base.

Add milk to suit. Return chunks of potatoes to soup and heat on low for an hour.
**add bacon and cheese for a delicious meal!


Erzabet Bishop has been crafting stories since she could pound keys on her parents’ old typewriter. She has only just learned that it is a whole lot more fun writing naughty books. She is a contributing author to the Silk Words website with her Fetish Fair choose your own romantic adventure stories, A Christmas To Remember, Club Rook: The Series, Sweat, When the Clock Strikes Thirteen, Unbound Box, Milk & Cookies & Handcuffs, Holidays in Hell, Corset Magazine: Sex Around the World Issue and Man vs. Machine: The Sex Toy Issue, Smut by the Sea Volume 2, Hell Whore Volume 2, Can’t Get Enough (upcoming, Cleis), Slave Girls, Forbidden Fruit, The Big Book of Submission (upcoming Cleis), Hungry for More (upcoming Cleis), Gratis II, Anything She Wants, Dirty Little Numbers, Kink-E magazine, Eternal Haunted Summer, Coming Together: Girl on Girl, Shifters and Coming Together: Hungry for Love among others. She is the author of Lipstick (upcoming), Dinner Date, Tethered, Sigil Fire, The Erotic Pagan Series: Beltane Fires, Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies. When she isn’t writing, she loves to review music and books.

Follow her reviews and posts on Twitter @erzabetbishop.

 

 

Summertime by Vicki Batman

From Christina: I’m pleased to have Vicki Batman here today to share a few thoughts about summertime.  It’s always a pleasure to visit with her.

 

Summertime

by Vicki Batman

Summertime–fun days!

When my kids began school, I would count the days like this:

  • Labor Day
  • Halloween
  • Thanksgiving
  • Holiday break
  • Presidents Day
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Spring Break
  • School is out.

Then…

Summer Pic

 

As a little girl, my family went on some great vacations–Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Island, Florida, California. And I wanted those experiences for my children, too. Trips to visit family members, Washington D.C., New York City, and Colorado.

Sometimes, we moms don’t know what things we’ve taught our kids will stick. I took mine to the art museums. I loved going and only had a one opportunity when I was a child. I determined that wouldn’t happen to mine.

Statue of LibertySo we were on vacation in New York City. We’d planned age appropriate Broadway shows, a trip to the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island, the exhibition Art of the Motorcycle at the Guggenheim.

But I had to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and if I really wanted to go, I had to take the boys. I’d mapped out that visit so they wouldn’t be bored. First, the arms and Armaments; then, the Egyptian stuff; finally, we passed though to another area and skimmed by the Impressionist exhibit.

Money PicThat’s when I heard, “Look, Mom, a…”

 

 

 

I had to stop and take that in. Wow, they remembered.

Time marches on. The kids are grown, and we don’t have the same kind of vacations. Whenever I’m vacationing in NYC, I go to the Met by myself, pass through the Impressionists and think, “Look, Mom, a Monet.”

Maybe I’ve done my mom job well.

 

About Vicki:

Vicki BatmanLike some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm–the list is endless.

 Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to TRUE LOVE, TRUE ROMANCE, TRUE CONFESSIONS, NOBLE ROMANCE PUBLISHING, LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, MUSEITUP PUBLISHING, and THE WILD ROSE PRESS.

She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.

 Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking “What if??”

 

Debut Author: Mia Epsilon

From Christina: Today I’d like to welcome Mia Epsilon to Time for Love. She’s recently released Wedding Belle Blues, a delicious romance novel.  She’s here today to talk a bit about writing and becoming a published author.

AS ESSENTIAL AS BREATHING

 

Writing is as essential to me as breathing. Sometimes it’s easy and I don’t have to think about it. Sometimes it’s like having broncritis and every word, like every breath, is a struggle. Being a published writer is a long held dream come true. And it’s a long road.

nanowrimo_calendar___2013_by_spooneh21-d6ooljkFor Wedding Belle Blues, several friends on Face Book gently (read that as ‘you do this or we’re coming after you’) encouraged me to participate in NaNo. If you’ve never heard of this, it’s a group to encourage writers to complete at least 50,000 words in a month, usually in November. I’ve tried NaNo before and failed miserably with dozens of excuses and reasons, some of them valid. 2013 NaNo was different though: I receive a newsletter from Breathless Press and they offered a 5 page critique of your NaNo efforts. So the FB friends and I made each other post every day how many words we wrote, what the plot was, etc I decided to send in my first five pages for the critique and less than a day later received it back. The BP editor made some wonderfully valid points, gave encouraging comments, and asked to see the entire manuscript once finished. So I had another reason to keep writing the novel.

Anna and Robin whole heartedly jumped on the wild thirty day NaNo ride with me. They told me their story, what they said, what they did, and all I had to do was type it in the computer. That’s all. Every night after ‘real’ work I dutifully typed. When November ended, I had 58,000 words to send to the BP editor. But… It was Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s and winter so the finished manuscript simply sat patiently on my hard drive. My husband asked me one day why I waited. With sweat, prayers and shaking fingers, I sent Anna and Robin off to hopefully charm the BP editor named Jen Bradlee. This was late February, a Saturday. Jen sent back an email five days later saying she loved it and BP wanted to publish it. Yes, that was me the world heard jumping up and down screaming. Hubby and I reviewed the contract word by word, I signed four days later, and began the edit rounds.

Let me say Editors have a hard job. They get blamed for being tough and not knowing ‘good’ stuff. But a good editor makes the writer better. I got blessed with an extremely good editor. Not only does she help me improve my writing, she pushes me to go beyond what I think I can do and how I can write. Take, for example, how she highlighted the word ‘she’ in a paragraph (I used it eight times), told me to change some of them, and not just to Anna’s name. I struggled with that paragraph for three hours. When I returned it, with only two ‘she’ in it, all the sentences were stronger. The paragraph was stronger and so was the chapter. She made me better by challenging me. Sure, I muttered some probably not nice things but I’m so glad she pushes me. She believes in me. That’s the best thing any writer can ask for in an Editor.

Then came Cover Art requests and more edits and line edits and promo and a whirlwind of helping find readers for Anna and Robin’s story who will love them almost as much as I do. Oh, and Jen’s request for more submissions and setting up Good Reads, Amazon, Face Book, Twitter, all the things to get Wedding Belle Blues out there to be read. Breathless Press is amazing to work for; everyone is eager to help in the ‘business end’ of writing.

Because writing IS a business; we writers sometimes forget it’s a job like any other, easy at times, hard at others and always, always subjective. Not everyone will like your work; not everyone has to like it. Writing is as essential to me as breathing.

 * * * *

Mia Epsilon lives with her enduring soul mate hubby in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, USA. She’s an avid reader of almost anything but particularly romance, a never-miss-an-episode viewer of Doctor Who and Sherlock, and happily suffers a coffee and chocolate addiction. She can most often be found at her computer, spinning new stories, or in a quiet padded nook with her e reader. Look for more stories in the ‘Weddings by C & C’ line including ‘That Night’ featuring more of Anna & Robin and ‘Take a Chance on Me’, Christine and Charlie’s story.

Going to Glacier National Park by E. M. Bannock

From Christina: When E. M. Bannock posted a few of her vacation pictures on Facebook, I quickly messaged her to ask if she would share her trip — and her gorgeous photographs — with readers at Time for Love. I’m so glad she did! Enjoy her scenic look at Glacier National Park.

 

Going to Glacier National Park

by E. M. Bannock

 

We made the five hour drive from Clark, WY to Malta, MT without event. Malta is a small, rural town named in the late 1800’s when a railroad official spun a globe and put his finger down landing on the tiny island country of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. I had always wanted to go there since my father was born in the ‘real’ Malta and my mother was the first generation out. I’m proud to say that I am a purebred, 100% Maltese.

The fascination for the little town faded when as we realized the train was going to be late, eight hours late to be exact. Our daytime train ride ended up being a very uncomfortable, long, nighttime trip. We had planned on enjoying the view from the upper deck of the Amtrak train as it skirted along the south end of Glacier to our final destination of Whitefish, Montana. As it turned out, it was a nighttime trip and we saw nothing.

Glacier 1This was not a good way to start our mini-vacation. The next day we spent getting caught up on our sleep. Thankfully we had a hotel suite so the kids camped out in the living room while Papa and I made ourselves comfortable in the bedroom. My grandson and his school pal, who came along, took it all in stride and by early afternoon the kids were ready to hit the pool. The next day was GlacierNational Park day. I was really excited. This was to be my highlight of the trip.

Glacier 2After we got a good night sleep and had breakfast we hit the road in our rented car. As we approached the Park we marveled at the wonders of the surrounding area. Kalispell, Whitefish, and the cities around the Park are not exactly what you would call ‘big city’ but it seemed like they had every convenience as well as natural beauty. It was definitely geared for the outdoorsman; white water rafting, fishing, hiking, and other activities.

As we came close to the Park it got noticeably more forested and less populated. My anticipation grew. To my delight I was old enough to qualify for a senior pass. I hate the idea of being old but I am finding that it has its perks; discounted train tickets, discounted meals, and discounted park entrance fees.

Bible RockThis was going to be a quick trip through Glacier National Park. It was only June and the Driving to the Sun road was only opened part way. It had been a very snowy winter and a cool spring. There was still too much snow on the road for the plows to get through. The road was closed 14 miles in but in those few miles I saw many wondrous things. We started with a quick stop at the Park store where our nine year old grandson and his school buddy, who accompanied us on the trip, quickly picked out a stuffed animal to be their trip souvenir. I picked out several postcards and a refrigerator magnet to add to my collection of places I’ve been. Then we were off.

Glacier 5Although I was clearly enjoying the magnificent views of snow covered mountains, lush forested land and raging glacial steams, Papa and the boys were not impressed. The complaining started almost immediately. Papa could not see the attraction. We live close to Yellowstone and I think they were expecting some of the same attractions. There were no geysers at every turn, no hot springs, no buffalo or elk crossing the road and holding up traffic. But there was a whole lot of unspoiled, natural beauty; Flowing, brilliant blue glacier steams that had carved out a path through the mountains making its way to crystal clear glacier lakes.

We stopped briefly at Lake McDonald. Its picturesque beauty was breathtaking. Its stillness reflected the mountains on the other side like a mirror. I found it spiritual and inspiring. It’s tranquility soothing my tensions and stress as I pondered the view from its bank. Although the boys found it boring and mundane I shamed them into stopping anywhere a road pull-out appeared. They sat quietly, but uncomfortably, as I jumped out to enjoy and snap pictures. At one stop, I followed a narrow trail that wound down to a viewing point of rushing waters and mountainous canyons. There were two men on the landing taking pictures of each other obviously enjoying the view as much as I was. “What a perfect place for a picture,” I thought wishing one of my guys were there to take a picture of me.

“Would you like us to take a picture of you?” one of the men asked me.

“Oh, yes!” I answered enthusiastically.

Glacier 3

Although I have many beautiful pictures of the Park, there is only one picture with me in it. It is a lovely reminder of my Glacier National Park trip.



 

E. M. Bannock is the author of Totally Devoted, a spicy romance.

She was born in 1950 and grew up in the Detroit suburbs. She is the second child of seven and eldest daughter of a working class family. Her mother was always at home to care for her children, which instilled Marie with deep rooted family ties. Her parents had traditional, old style, European ideals which clashed with her modern, adventurous personality. The daughters were not encouraged to attend college. Instead they were expected to get married, have children, and be homemakers.Her love for writing began during high school where she excelled in writing short stories and poetry. During her junior and senior year, she wrote and sold short stories that other students turned in for homework assignments.Born with the wanderlust, she found herself in Los Angeles. LA was an exciting place to be in the early 70’s and E.M. experienced all that it had to offer. It was here she met her husband. The two have a son.

E.M. and her family have lived in California, Oregon, Alaska, Florida, and Wyoming, where she now lives with her husband, son, grandson and a menagerie of cats, dogs, chickens, and horses.

She has made her living as an office manager, computer programmer/analysts, and project manager. Throughout it all, she never lost her love for writing. Although never published, she has a small collection of the short stories and poems that have been written throughout the years.

Until 1999, she had never attempted to write a novel. Then, while descending into Detroit on a business trip, she had the inspiration for her first novel, Totally Devoted.

After completing the book she submitted it to several literary houses only to be rejected. Life became complicated and her book sat in the memory of her computer for 15 years. At her husband’s urging, she “brushed” it off, added more dimension to the characters, and more spice to the romance. The result is a gripping, erotic tale of modern romance and rugged western adventure that exposes the struggles of life with raw human emotion, lust, love, devotion, and danger.

She believes that writers should write what they know about and draws inspiration for her characters and locations from her varied and unique life. She writes about the places she has lived or visited because she feels correct geographical details are an important ingredient in a story to give the reader the full experience.



More from E. M. Bannock

Winter Morning in Clark

Journeys – Part 1 by Devika Fernando

 

 

 

 

Sri Lanka

 

Journeys – Part 1

by Devika Fernando

I live near Kandy, a historically important city with a population of about 125,000 that lies smack in the middle of the island. It’s the capital of the Central Province and part of the Sri Lankan up-country filled with hills and mountains and picturesque villages. Colombo couldn’t be more different. I should know, I lived in one of its suburbs for 3 years, and I don’t ever want to go back. As the capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo boasts around 4.5 million inhabitants and is a metropolis right at the coast, part of the Western Province. If you’re looking for anything official and important, for entertainment and for modern high-rise buildings with luxury apartments, you’ll find it there. If you’re looking for teeming slums, smog, dirty politics and overcrowded roads, you’ll find those there, too.

Express Train

The unimaginably slow, so-called intercity express train

To travel from where we live to the capital city, it takes us 5 hours by car each way, which means a whole day needs to be sacrificed. The physical distance is about 130 km, but it feels like a trip to the other end of the world. Most of the journey takes you through villages and towns, up and down mountains, around hairpin-bends and through stretches of beautiful emptiness. You can’t drive faster than 40 km/h for the better part of the trip, and you need to constantly be on your toes unless you want some frustrated, maniacal driver to hit your vehicle. Taking the train isn’t much better. The vista is stunning, but the train crawls at (less than) walking speed, the noise is unbearable and the roughly 20 tunnels make reading a difficult task. I shouldn’t complain, though, because until the British colonized the island and drilled through the rock, a trip from Kandy to Colombo took several arduous days involving bullock carts, jungles and accidents galore.

Bible Rock

View of Bible Rock from Kadugannawa

All the stress aside, travelling from Kandy to Colombo has an exotic flair to it that gets my writer brain whirring. What fascinates me most – apart from the idyllic views of towering peaks, misty mountains ranges, oddly shaped rocky outcrops, impossibly green paddy fields and weed-choked lakes – is the hustle and bustle of life we pass by. You see a zillion shops, houses, schools, banks, restaurants and religious buildings, encroaching on the main road, much too numerous and close for comfort. There are constant traffic blocks, police check-points and crowds monopolizing the road. What adds to the fascinating flair is the fact that specific things are sold at intervals along the way:

Rambutan

Rambutan, mangosteen and durian

• When you wind your way down towards Colombo, you find inflatable toys and balls and boats and what-not lining both sides of the road in splashes of colour (don’t forget, going to Colombo means getting close to the beach).
• There is an aptly named town called Pilimathalawa where people specialize in arts and craft, or rather, in stone or plaster statues (pilima) of all kinds. Some of them are breathtakingly beautiful, others make me cringe with their kitsch and exaggeration.
• The crafty goodness goes on because not much later there’s a town dedicated to furniture and accessories woven from wood. The offers range from simple baskets over cupboards or tables and chairs to lampshades and statues made out of intricate wood weave.
• Up next are places where an array of vases, pots and decoration items made out of clay is on display. Pottery has always been important in this country.
• Following that comes a long stretch around the town of Kadugannawa where vendors sell steamed, salted corn on the cob and spicy snacks to brace yourself for the strenuous journey yet to come.
• Next you are met with girls and women clad in red-coloured traditional clothes who sell cashew nuts, roasted and unroasted. Cashews are available in supermarkets for an ungodly prize, but a little cheaper along the Colombo-Kandy road.
• Hold on tight, exotic fruits are last! It starts with durian, jackfruit, rambutan and mangosteens. Closer to the low-country regions, you can grab pineapples at bargain price.

With such highlights that never fail to interest me and will probably find their way into my book “Saved in Sri Lanka” (it’s in its draft stages at the moment), the negativity fades away a little.

If you have enjoyed reading about one of my journeys, stay tuned for Part 2, where I talk about the real and internal journeys the protagonists of my books face.

 



 

More from Devika Fernando

Nature Photography

About Devika

devikaAlmost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a German web content writer and as a translator. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing. Her debut romance novel, When I See Your Face, is now available at Amazon. 

 

Daddy by Summer Ross

From Christina: You probably know Summer Ross  through her alter ego, Decadent Kane. Today she’s here not to write about elven troubles or other mystical dilemmas, but to pay tribute to a very important man in her life.

Daddy

by Summer Ross

There is a little bit of a hero and a villain in all of us. That’s what my daddy taught me without realizing it. He’s not my biological father, but he is and always will be my daddy. I met him when I was eight years old I think it was, and I didn’t call him daddy then. No he earned that title. If there is one thing I could say without a doubt in my mind, I have no clue what hell hole I might be in if he never would have showed up in our lives.

It takes a hell of a man to walk into a broken family and put them back together while loving children that he didn’t make.

Steve BeadleI’m not going to say all of it was easy, or that he never did anything wrong. Because no matter how much of a hero he was, he was also still a man with flaws. But I learned to see the better part of people because of him. I learned that love could move past arguments, throwing shoes at each other, even mixing two separate families together. The real love, the kind that I have come to see as true love, is the kind of love that doesn’t give up when things get bad.

Looking back, I can see how I searched for a partner who would be, at least in part, the kind of man he was. The kind of person that could see past faults, work through problems, and stick with it until the end. And he did that, every day with me, my little brother, my step sister, my step brother, and my alcoholic mother. He was there, always. And that’s the kind of man I want in my life.

There is one line he always said to us kids whenever something went bad, or we were hurt. “I’ve had worse cuts on my lip and never stopped whistling.” And one of these days a character in my books will say that line.

My daddy’s favorite actor was John Wayne, the old western guy. He’s a bit of a hero and has some villain in him too. I’ve never put much stock in John Wayne, never really asked him why he liked that man so much. I’ve seen a couple of his films. I’ve seen him be a drunk and be a good guy. I’ve seen him be a down right jerk, saying all the wrong things, and still save the girl or the kid. I can appreciate my daddy’s liking of him and if there was ever anything I wanted to tell my daddy, it would be that he’d always be my John Wayne, the one that didn’t just do what he had to do. He stepped up, went above and beyond, and I have the life I have right now because when I was eight years old, a man who sometimes drank too much and sometimes said things that broke my heart walked into my life and changed the world as I knew it in all the best ways.

His name was Steve Beadle.



Look for Decadent Kane at Amazon and other online booksellers. 

 

Decadent Kane

You can also visit her blog.

Decadent Kane – Blogspot



MORE FROM DECADENT KANE

“My Winter Deuce”

 

Remembering Dad by Kathleen Ann Gallagher

From Christina: When I first learned that Kathleen Ann Gallagher’s father was a professional magician…well, I know envy is wrong, but, yep, I was a tad bit envious. I’ve always loved magic shows, and the thought of having a magical father makes me a bit giddy.  I asked Kathleen if she’d share him with  us for Father’s Day.  I’m so glad she accepted the invitation.

Remembering Dad

~ By Kathleen Ann Gallagher ~

Magical FatherMy father was a wonderful man and an inspiration to me. He was a talented and unique individual, and he taught me to pursue the things I wanted in life with passion. Dad was a professional magician, a hypnotist, and a tap dancer. His goal was to help people forget about their troubles and escape into the fascinating world of magic. On occasion he’d let me help out in the show. My favorite part of the act was when he made a woman float in mid-air. Once I got to be his assistant, and it was awesome. Most of the time I helped set up the stage and assisted in the care of his beautiful white doves. Obstacles didn’t discourage him. He’d come up with a plan and always see the bright side of things. His positive outlook on life was contagious, and I try to remember his fighting spirit during times of stress. Dad’s kindness and generosity showed in everything he did. If someone needed a shoulder to lean on, he’d be there for them. I remember the day a friend confined in him about his fear of having dental work. My dad accompanied the man to the dentist and offered support in his time of need. He used hypnosis and positive affirmations to help him relax. Father’s Day is a time to pay tribute to the many giving and loving fathers in our lives. Even though my dad is no longer with me, I’ll never forget his smile and the sound of his laughter. His zest for life and desire to entertain will forever live on in my heart, and it helps remind me to never give up on my dreams. Thank you, Dad!



KathleenKathleen lives in New Jersey with her husband and their two dogs. She’s a registered nurse who works in an emergency room. Writing has been her passion since she was a young girl. Contemporary and paranormal romance are her favorites. She has three adult children and three lovable grandsons. Her favorite romantic getaway is Cape May, New Jersey. You might find Kathleen on a beach down the Jersey Shore, sipping iced tea, dreaming up her next romance novel.

Find Kathleen online at: Kathleen’s Place to Reflect



More from Kathleen Ann Gallagher

A Time for Renewal

Things Happen for a Reason

New Release: Savannah’s Journey by Kathleen Ann Gallagher