A Very Merry Menage

Sometimes finding what you want is the easy part.

Caleb is a bionic soldier with little-to-no memory of his past. He's seeking the truth about himself and those missing memories.

Aldo's an undercover cop who just might have the answers to Caleb's questions. But if Caleb's the man Aldo thinks he is, how can he let him get away a second time?

Then there's Sally; she's an ER physician who used to be married to Aldo's late partner, Davis. Sally's not dealing with widowhood very well. In fact, it's getting harder, every day, just to find a reason to keep getting out of bed. If the truth about the men's shared past comes to light, she could lose them both. Along with her last, best reason to go on living.

This holiday season, chance will bring them together and give them an opportunity to help one another find what they each want most. But every gift comes with a price. And keeping what they've found once they've found it? Yeah, that's gonna be the hard part. 


When you think "Christmas" you probably don't automatically think cozy, sci-fi, distopian menage... yet. This Christmas, I'm hoping to change your mind about that with my new release, Finders Keepers, due out from Loose Id on December 11.

This is a story I literally dreamed up. The characters were so vivid and the relationship between the three of them was so clear that I woke afterwards and immediately thought, "Yeah. That could work! I could totally write that story." And so I did. In fact, I wrote it so fast I didn't even have time to grow tired of it or annoyed with my characters, which is surprising because they certainly managed to annoy the hell out of each other. Here's an excerpt:

“It’s pretty up here, isn’t it?”

Caleb turned as Sally came to join him at the railing. She was wearing a fuzzy sweater—mostly purple, but with bright bits of pink and gold and olive green mixed in that made her eyes look even bluer—over snug jeans and carrying a steaming mug of coffee. In the sunlight her hair looked almost iridescent. “Yeah, it is,” he said, smiling at her. “And it’s just gotten prettier.”

That got him a smile in return—one of those knowing, secretive smiles all women seemed to do so well, full of mystery and promise—and a softly spoken, “Thank you.”

“Thank you for letting me barge in on your vacation like this. I hope I’m not intruding?”

Amusement sparkled in Sally’s eyes, and another pretty blush climbed her cheeks. She took a sip of her coffee and then said, “Aldo didn’t tell you, did he?”

Uh-oh. “Tell me what?”

“I only agreed to come because he said you’d be here.”


Sally shrugged. “He’d been pestering me about it for weeks, but I guess I thought it would be too depressing. You know, just the two of us, sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves? I know he thinks he needs to take care of me, but he didn’t have to spend his holiday doing that.” She glanced at him and smiled. 
“But then he told me you were coming up here with him and…”

She trailed off, eyes gleaming, cheeks even pinker than before. Caleb felt his chest tighten in alarm. “I’m not with him,” he hurried to explain.

Sally ducked her head. “I know that. Or…at least I hoped that was the case. After you left the other night, I have to admit I wasn’t completely sure.”

Caleb sighed. “I know. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have run out on you the way I did.”

“Yeah.” She put her coffee down, leaned her forearms on the railing, and turned her head to look at him curiously. “About that. What happened there? I thought things were going pretty well and then…?”

“They were.” He placed his hand on hers. “You know they were. It’s just that I didn’t know about your husband at the time. And then when I saw your home…I guess I got it in my head that you had a boyfriend who was maybe out of town or, I dunno, maybe you two had had a fight or something, and I didn’t want to get in the middle of that. I mean, I couldn’t get in the middle of that. You know who I am, but it’s not supposed to be common knowledge. But then you kissed me, and I stopped caring about that. Until the phone rang and…” He broke off with a shrug. “I should have given you a chance to explain.”

Sally nodded sadly. “I know. You should have. And I should have told you about Davis. Aldo said the same thing.”

Aldo again. Caleb straightened away from her. “Sounds like you two are really close.” He couldn’t believe how much that fact bothered him.

Sally nodded. “We are. He’s my best friend.”

“And you met him through your husband?”

“Other way around. I’ve known Aldo since college. He’s the one who introduced me to Davis.”

“I see.” Aldo. Davis. Caleb suppressed a sigh. He loved the way her tongue caressed their names. He’d give anything to hear her say his name like that. “I guess I’m confused. I thought he was older than you.”

“He is. But only by a few years. He was in the military for a while. He went back to school after opting out.”

“Oh yeah? Where? What branch?”

“I don’t know.” Sally picked up her mug again and took another sip. “He might have mentioned it once. 

Probably he did, but I don’t remember and he never talks about it. Something happened to him there. I don’t know what other than that it left him disillusioned about pretty much everything—but don’t tell him I said that. Like I said, he hates talking about it.”

Her words barely registered. Caleb’s attention had gotten caught up in the way her tongue traced over her lips. The need to kiss her again had been building inside him ever since he’d left her apartment the other night. Now it all but overwhelmed him. He shifted closer. Her eyes widened in surprise when he took the mug from her hand and set it on the railing, then grew dark as heat and understanding took the place of surprise. Her lips curved upward, and that was all the invitation he needed.

He gently caged her face in his hands. As he bent his head, her mouth opened on a soft sigh. She tasted of coffee and cinnamon and woman, a lush, spicy flavor that went straight to both his heads. He groaned as he wrapped an arm around her back and pressed her close. He couldn’t get enough of her. From the way her hands clutched at him, crushing fistfuls of his jacket, he had the feeling maybe she felt the same. As she went up on her toes, her hips brushed along the length of his erection, stroking him through his jeans. Even that slight contact was enough. He sucked in a quick breath as desire knifed through him.

He cupped her butt in his hands, and then he lifted her against him, intent on grinding his hips into hers. A soft whimper left her lips as she slipped her arms around his neck and teased his tongue with hers. He had never been sorrier for all the layers of clothes that separated them. Despite the fact that they were outside in broad daylight and it was cold as hell, he’d have had them both undressed in an instant—if he could only figure out how to do it without breaking her hold on him or breaking their kiss, or without taking his hands off her for even a second.

It took the sound of a door slamming open and a loud voice announcing, “Hey, c’mon. Breakfast!” to shake Caleb back to his senses.

He lifted his head. His gaze immediately locked with Nash’s across the width of the deck. Nash stood just outside the cabin door. His hands were fisted at his sides, and an odd, angry-looking flush was on his face. There was a look in his eyes Caleb couldn’t decipher, even with his enhanced vision. What was that? Anguish? Longing? Jealousy? Need? It was gone before he could figure it out, if it had even been there at all.

Certainly Nash’s voice sounded nothing but jovial as he demanded, “Are you two at it already?” He spread his hands wide and arched one brow and looked pointedly at Sally until she giggled and hid her face in the front of Caleb’s jacket—for which reaction Caleb totally owed him. “I can’t leave you alone for a minute, can I?”

“Oh, sure you can,” Caleb replied, loosely folding his arms around Sally. “In fact, why don’t you just go back inside? Go back to doing whatever you were doing and let us get back to doing…whatever we were doing,” he added, consciously echoing Nash’s own words to him at the station the other day. He wasn’t ready to give this up yet. He was enjoying it all too much—the way Sally felt nestled against him, the way she fit so perfectly in his arms. This was why he could never give up women entirely—or part of the reason, anyway. It didn’t matter if a handsome man could turn his head from across a room or across a redwood deck. It didn’t matter that, right now, for example, the sight of Nash, with his thin navy pullover and well-worn jeans stretched taut over his muscular frame, made Caleb’s mouth dry, made his knees feel unacceptably shaky. Made him feel altogether too conflicted. Nash needed to leave. Now.

“Hey, if you want to stay out here all day, it’s your call,” Nash answered, those broad shoulders rising and falling in a small shrug that only served to focus Caleb’s attention even more firmly on them. “No business of mine. Just so you know, though, breakfast is ready, and I have a lot of other cooking to do between today and tomorrow, so if you don’t come in now, you’ll be eating it cold.”

“All right, you win.” Sally turned her head to smile at Nash over her shoulder. “We’ll be there in a minute.”

Caleb tightened his grip, loving the way her head felt pressed against his chest, loving the way her hair tickled his chin. “Better make that two minutes.”

Sally looked up at him and grinned. “Or better yet, three.”

Aldo rolled his eyes, shook his head, and went back inside, leaving Caleb to wonder when, in the last two minutes, “Nash” had become “Aldo” and why it was that the sight of him walking away should leave Caleb suddenly feeling…bereft? Why was he suddenly wanting to call him back, wanting to draw him into a three-way kiss?

“So,” Sally purred as soon as the cabin door closed and they were alone once more. “Where were we?”

Caleb glanced down at her and smiled, refocusing his attention. “Somewhere right around here, I think,” he said as he cupped his hand around the back of her neck. He loved the way she slipped her arms around his neck once again, loved the feel of her body against his as she rose up on her toes.

He sighed in contentment as he settled back into her kiss. He could be wrong, but he was pretty sure they were going to miss breakfast.


Thai Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup

Thai pumpkin curry is one of my all-time favorite dishes. It's so, so simple and so, so good.

A few weeks back, I posted a recipe for baked stuffed pumpkin. If you have some leftovers, this is a good way to use those up. It's also the best way to make this soup, IMO, because your pumpkin is already loaded with sweet-spicy goodness. However, if you have no leftovers, don't despair. And if you have no fresh pumpkin, don't despair about that either, because acorn squash or really any kind of winter squash, readily available at this time of year. will do quite nicely.

Thai Pumpkin Curry Soup


1 small pumpkin, or 2 acorn squash, etc
Olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 apple, sliced very thin
1 carton of cocomut milk (if you can't find it in a carton, cans will do)
1 package yellowThai curry paste
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt (or to taste)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Cut squash/pumpkin into pieces

Lay pieces on a baking sheet skin sides down, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg--whatever you want.

Roast until tender (approximately an hour).

Heat a little oil in a large pot and saute onion and apple until soft

When pumpkin/squash is cool enough to handle, remove skin and add to pot.

Add 2 cups of coconut milk and 1 tablespoon curry paste and bring to a simmer.

If desired, use hand blender to puree. I prefer some chunks.

Add more coconut milk depending on what consistency you prefer and add more curry paste to taste.

May be topped with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Please visit my fellow Tasty Tuesday authors ~ Changing the world one word and recipe at a time:


Pumpkin Martini

Most of my family is going to be away this Thanksgiving. In fact, my husband is leaving tomorrow night for a two-and-a-half-week business trip. So, it's just going to be me and my mother-in-law (the vegetarian) for Thanksgiving. And, no. Turkey Day or no Turkey Day I will not be cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving this year. I will likely be making pumpkin lasagna with roasted corn, red peppers and dried cranberries and it will probably be awesome. But my mother-in-law is suffering from dementia and in the event everything goes to hell come Thursday, here's my fall-back plan for dinner...and lunch...and breakfast...and whenever else the mood strikes. 

Pumpkin Martini

  • 1 can pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 ounce spiced rum
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

  1. Open the can of pumpkin pie filling and empty into a pan
  2. Add milk and maple syrup and cook until it's thickened and slightly reduced to the consistency of pancake batter. Mmm, pancakes...
  3. Remove pumpkin mixture from heat and allow to cool. (This makes enough for several martinis.)
  4. Combine sugar and spice in a saucer 
  5. Prepare your glass by moistening the rim and dipping in sugar and spice mixture.
  6. In a shaker combine vodka, rum and 2 ounces of the cooled pumpkin puree with ice. 
  7. Strain into glasses
  8. Decorate with a little sugar/spice sprinkled over the surface or, if desired, add a dollop of whipped cream and then decorate with sugar/spice.

Mmm. Is it too early to start drinking now? 

Please visit my fellow Tasty Tuesday authors ~ Changing the world one word and recipe at a time:

When you live forever, you’re bound to make a few mistakes.

1969 San Francisco. World-weary Conrad Quintano should have known better than to fall in love with a human—much less Suzanne Fischer, the barely legal, adventure-seeking hippie beauty known as Desert Rose. And the very last thing he should have agreed to do was to raise her babies and protect them with his life. But even twelve-hundred-year-old master vampires can find it hard to reject a deathbed request—especially when issues of love, guilt and blood are involved.
Present day. Raised in virtual isolation, twins Marc and Julie Fischer have always known they are vampires. But they never knew their parentage—or their unique status in the vampire world—until their “uncle” Damian comes to fetch them home. The family reunion, however, isn’t what they expect. They’re thrust into a world for which they’re totally unprepared. And the father they expected to see, Conrad, is missing.
How to find him…and whom to trust? Solving the mystery of betrayal and vampire family values will prove the Beatles had it right. All you need is love…and an occasional side of blood.

Product Warnings
While reading this book you may experience any of the following, an increased desire to wear flowers in your hair, dress in tie-dye or nap during the day. Other symptoms may include an intolerance to sunlight, an aversion to garlic-flavored tofu and a pronounced urge to bake…or get baked.


Thursday, November 28th, 1968
Thanksgiving Day
“All I’m saying is that the picnic in the park was a total blast and you missed out on a really great party today.”
Desert Rose was pouting. Arms crossed, her posture rigid, she glared sullenly at Conrad from one end of his couch. Lying comfortably against the cushions at the other end, he smiled back at her indulgently. He hadn’t been expecting to see her here this evening. Even though she’d taken to spending nearly every weekend with him, tonight was Thursday—definitely part of the week, as far as he was concerned. In her mind, however, the fact that it was Thanksgiving apparently made it the start of the weekend.
“I told you all about it when I was here last weekend. I was really hoping you’d show. You’d have liked it.”
“Yes, I’m sure I would have.” Enough talk now. Conrad reached for the girl and pulled her toward him. He rearranged her limbs until she was reclining against his chest with her head resting on his shoulder, her long, dark hair swept to one side. Unexpected, yes, he thought, as he began to lick lazily at her neck. But definitely not unwelcome. Three days was long enough to go without. He’d grown quite addicted to the taste of her over the course of the past month—which would have worried him, if he’d been planning on turning her. He wasn’t. “I’m sorry I missed your picnic today. It sounds like it was a…real happening scene.”
A strangled noise, emanating from the vicinity of the secretary desk on the other side of the room, greeted Conrad’s observation. He glanced up, his face breaking into a wide grin at the sight of Armand’s pained expression.
“A happening scene? Mon Dieu.”
“Well, it was,” Desert Rose insisted as she settled deeper into Conrad’s embrace, her eyes closed, her neck exposed. “With music and dancing and…just crowds of people. And more food than you’ve probably ever seen in your life.”
Armand’s eyes grew smoky as he gazed at the girl. His tongue danced lightly across the points of his teeth. He looked mesmerized, enchanted. He looked hungry.
Mine. Conrad stilled. It took a conscious effort to tamp down the unreasoning jealousy that was once again threatening to burn holes in his gut. Luckily, Armand seemed to collect himself before too much time had passed. A shaky sigh escaped his lips as he shook his head and went back to work, writing checks to pay the monthly bills. Conrad relaxed as well, and quietly sank his teeth into the girl’s waiting neck.
“Corn and beans and squash and cranberry sauce and those little pearl onions,” she continued her recital, in the slightly dreamy tone that indicated she was so relaxed she hadn’t even noticed Conrad’s feasting at her throat. “And mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, three kinds of pie, a big chocolate cake. Not to mention homemade bread and biscuits and pumpkin soup. Oh, and there was even an entire turkey made out of tofu.”
“It sounds delightful.” Conrad raised his head. “Armand?”
Qu’est-ce que c’est…toe-foo?”

Read the rest of the excerpt HERE


Pumpkin Spice Cake

Today's my husband's birthday. So, of course, I had to post a cake recipe even though, as I explained last week, this month is all about the pumpkin. But, you know what? That works too because pumpkin pie is his absolute favorite pie--one he'd gladly eat year round. 

Even better, as it happens, I have an excerpt or two to go with the cake (see below and in "this week's excerpt") since it's a combination I put together for one of my characters when she was having a very special birthday a few years back. Of course, for this recipe I left off the fancy decorations my character got--the fondant, the fake pearls, the sugar feathers, etc, but I'm sure it will taste just as good. ;)

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Caramel Filling
 and Brown Sugar Butter Cream Frosting 
(in the style of Oberon's Eternal Bliss Bakery)

·         1 1/2 sticks of butter
·         1 cup brown sugar
·         1 cup granulated sugar
·         3 eggs
·         1 cup pumpkin purée
·         1/2 cup buttermilk
·         1 teaspoon vanilla
·         2 cups flour
·         2 teaspoons baking powder
·         1 teaspoon baking soda
·         2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2.       Lightly coat three 8-inch cake pans with butter and flour and set aside
3.       Cream butter and sugars together until smooth
4.       Add eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is smooth and light
5.       In another bowl, combine the pumpkin, buttermilk, and vanilla
6.       In yet another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices
7.       Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the butter mixture, alternating a little of each until all ingredients are blended and smooth
8.       Pour batter into pans and bake for approximately 35 to 40 minutes.
9.       Allow cakes to cool in pans for thirty minutes before removing to racks and cooling completely.
10.   While cake is cooling, make caramel filling and buttercream frosting

Caramel Filling:

·         1 cup sugar
·         4 tbsp butter
·         1/4 cup heavy cream
·         pinch of salt
1.       Heat sugar in saucepan, until sugar melts
2.       Once  sugar turns a deep golden brown, take it off the heat and quickly stir in butter.
3.       Add salt
4.       Pour in cream and continue stirring until smooth.  Set aside to cool.

Brown Sugar Butter Cream:

·         4 egg whites
·         1 cup packed light-brown sugar
·         1/4 teaspoon salt
·         3 sticks butter

1.       Using either a double-boiler, or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, whisk together egg whites, brown sugar, and salt.
2.       Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved
3.       Remove from heat and beat on medium speed until fluffy. About 15 minutes.
4.       Increase speed and beat until stiff peaks form.
5.       Reduce speed again. Add butter, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, until fully incorporated.
6.       Assemble the cake: Place one layer on a cake plate and top with half the caramel cream.
7.       Repeat with the second layer and then top caramel with the third layer of cake.
8.       Frost entire cake with buttercream.

Now, here' s one of the excerpts from And Shadows Have Their Ending (Oberon, book 9) 

            “Ah, there’s the birthday girl,” Chenoa called out cheerily when Cara entered the bakery later that morning.  “I was wondering when you’d turn up.”

            “I’m not too early am I?” Cara asked as she approached the counter.

            “Not at all.”  Smiling brightly, Chenoa slid a cake onto the counter.  “So?  Whaddaya think?”

            Cara gasped in admiration. “It’s beautiful.”

            The round cake had been covered with a flawlessly smooth surface, just slightly shiny, pale blue flecked with brown, like a robin’s egg.  A string of pearls ran around the top edge and all along the side were feathers; soft plumes in shades of apricot, peach and white.

            “Are those real?” Cara asked reaching out gingerly to touch one.

            Chenoa grinned.  “Nope.  It’s all edible.  The feathers are made of spun sugar.  The pearls are white chocolate dusted with an iridescent baker’s food coloring powder that I–”  She broke off chuckling. “Probably more than you wanted to know, right?  Sorry.  I always tend to get carried away when I start talking shop.”

            Cara still couldn’t take her eyes from the cake.  “No, that’s okay.  It’s wonderful.”

            “Glad you like it.  There’s just one thing missing.”  Chenoa indicated the blank, ivory disk set into the top of the cake.  “You never told me what name you wanted on it.”

            “It’s Cara.”

            The voice came from behind her, Cara stiffened at the sound.  Liam.  She turned in time to see him rise from his place at one of the tables near the window––to the left of the door, where she hadn’t thought to look.

            “Her name’s Cara,” Liam repeated, smiling as he walked toward them.

To learn more about this series, click HERE

To buy this book on Amazon, click HERE


The Baked Pumpkin

I love pumpkin. I love it so much, I plan on devoting all of November to the tasty squash. Each week I'm going to post a different pumpkin recipes. Here's the first...

Baked Stuffed Pumpkin

  • 1 small pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 2 to 4 apples, quartered
  • 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries 
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice mix
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the top off the pumpkin--don't throw away. 
  3. Scoop out the seeds and pulp.
  4. Place pumpkin in deep baking dish. Add about an inch of water to the dish to surround the pumpkin.
  5. Melt butter in saucepan.
  6. Saute onions, apples and raisins, until onions begin to turn translucent. 
  7. Add maple syrup, spices, cider and zest.
  8. Cover and cook for about  5 or 10 minutes or until the apples begin to soften.
  9. Spoon apple mixture into the pumpkin. 
  10. Replace the top of the pumpkin and bake for approximately one hour or until pumpkin can be easily pierced with a fork.

To learn more about this series, click HERE

To buy this book on Amazon, click HERE


Dona Nobis Pacem

Dove of Peace 

Dove of Peace 

  Help send a message of peace around the world! The Dove of Peace flies from site to site, through as many countries as possible. It does not belong to ANY belief system. Please help make a line around the globe by taking it with you to your site, by giving it to someone for their site, by passing it on to another continent or to the conflict areas of the world. May trouble and strife be vanquished in its path.

Picture courtesy of NASA and the NSSDC