Mask of the King

I have a new novella coming out on Tuesday (Feb 28)–Mask of the King.

Injured baseball player Tag Gentry and caterer Skye Schuyler are both lured to a Mardi Gras house party by false promises of work. Skye is waiting for her contract with the baseball team to be renewed, but the front office is giving her the runaround. No one knows how bad Tag’s leg injury really is, but speculation says it career ending. He’s not telling…and he hasn’t reported to spring training. He’s starting to wonder if there is life after baseball.

When Tag’s reporter ex-lover shows up in New Orleans, Tag pays extra attention to Skye, telling himself it’s only to deflect his ex’s attention. But his ex hopes the truth about his injury will be her next big story, and nothing is going to stop her, not even Tag’s involvement with another woman.

Skye realizes the promises that brought her and Tag to New Orleans are lies and wants to leave before things get any more complicated.

The only problem is they’re both targets for revenge, and Tag’s jealous ex may be part of the plot. Everyone is wearing mask, and not just for Mardi Gras. Tag and Skye don’t know who to trust—including each other.

Available from Loose-Id

National Cook a Sweet Potato Day

Yes, this really is such a thing.

And since my sweet potato dish is requested at all non-summer family events, I thought I would share the recipe here. I originally published most of it in November of 2014.

But here you go.

MJ’s Sweet Potato Side Dish

6 long, skinny sweet potatoes, scrubbed, then sliced.

I like to use a rippled mandolin.

1 large sweet onion, chopped.

mix the onion and sweet potato together with Wegmans Basting Oil (or other seasoned cooking oil) in a large oven-proof pan (I like my lasagna pan for this).

Bake at 425F for about 40 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.

One of the great things about this recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and reheated in the microwave, which makes it perfect for my family’s gathering.



Men and the Art of Carrying Things

For the first years of my marriage, I felt like a pack mule, especially when the children were young, and I had to haul their things, too. My husband was always asking me, “Do you have room in your purse for this?” It could have been a camera, a flyer he saw somewhere and wanted to further investigate, or his sun glasses. The assumption was, the wife carries.

Maybe this comes from the hunter/gatherer stage of human development, when women gathered the berries, nuts, roots and such that ensured survival of the species. Men carried their spears. We hauled everything else. They had to be ready to hunt or defend at a moments notice. We lugged the babies and provisions.

Or it may come from the fact that for many years, women’s clothes didn’t have pockets. Having pockets for our wallets and such would ruin our “profile”. (Men wouldn’t be able to ogle our bosoms and backsides.) So we needed bags for our house keys and sunglasses.

My children, however, are now grown. And I am wiser. When TV Stevie and I go out, I carry a tiny bag just large enough for my cell phone, a purse-pack of tissues, a house key, a credit card, my ID, and lip balm. I am now as unencumbered as he is. And I like it.

National Singles Awareness Day

It’s National Singles Awareness Day.

What does that mean to long-time married me? Well, I write romance. Which is primarily about single people.  And it’s hard to write about single people today when the world is so different than it was a couple of decades ago, when I was a single woman.  So I try to understand them.

I work with a lot of single people. Many are in long-term relationships, but they’re still legally single. Much of what I hear baffles me. It may be the business my current Day Job is in, which is vastly different from my former Day Job. The business itself requires a different kind of individual. (That is not a judgment, simply an observation. After all, I have spent time in both.)

I also have two single twenty-something children. My daughter’s co-workers are primarily single men. The stories she shares with me provide another perspective on being single in the 21st century.

A woman in my RWA chapter subscribed to Cosmopolitan for many years in order to stay abreast of what being a single woman in the USA entailed. (It was also a tax write-off: research for a romance author who wasn’t in the magazine’s targeted demo and who wasn’t single.)

So yes, I am aware of singles, but probably not in the way the organizers of this day meant.


Favorite Love Song

Valentine’s Day is coming up in a few days.

I was going to make a list of my Top 10 Favorite Love Songs, but I don’t have ten. Or maybe I can’t limit it to ten.

However, I do have a favorite. I consider it the best rock & roll love song ever written/recorded.

The Moody Blues, “Nights in White Satin”.