Monthly Archives: January 2008

Nice Looking Thighs On Super Bowl Sunday

Chicken ThighsOn Super Bowl Sunday my husband will be glued to the TV from the first second of the pre-game show to the ending goal. He won’t hear a thing I say, or even know I’m alive, except for during half time. He’s usually not interested in the half-time show, he’s wanting to know what food I’ve got for him. What a guy. LOL

For some reason I can’t understand, I look forward to Super Bowl Sunday. I’ll probably only watch about fifteen minutes of the game and part of the half-time show, but I’m very excited about the menu I’m preparing for the day. It’s a celebration day I look forward to. My daughters, Alyssa and Delayne, who can hardly tell a football from a tennis ball, also look forward to Super Bowl Sunday.

So, what’s a girl to make???

This is where I get to the thighs. I know the title is a bit deceptive, but hey, some say I have a criminal mind. LOL Anyway, I found what is supposed to be the original Anchor Bar (located in Buffalo, NY) Baked Buffalo Wings recipe on the That’s My Home Recipe site. IMO, it’s even better made with chicken thighs (more meat).

Anchor Bar Buffalo Wings (The Original!!!) ***I’ve modified it a bit as noted***

Sauce 6 tablespoons Louisiana Hot Sauce (I make this to taste)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine – not butter
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon celery seed (I use 1/2 can of cream of celery soup)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce (I make this to taste)
Carrot and celery sticks
Marie’s Bleu Cheese Dressing

The Sauce: This makes enough for about 30 “wingettes” (I use 2 pkg cut up chicken thighs, about 10 thighs). Mix all the ingredients in a small sauce pan over low heat until the margarine is completely melted. Stir occasionally.

The Wings: Fry the wings (I use thighs) in a deep fryer set at 375 degrees F using vegetable or peanut oil (I’ve fried them in a skillet to reduce fat, or I’ve skipped the frying and just baked them crispy). Fry 15 wings (4 thighs) at a time for 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the wings (thighs) for a few minutes then put them in a bowl. After all the wings (thighs) have been fried, pour the sauce over them, cover the bowl, and shake to completely coat the wings.

They can be eaten now, or you can put them on a baking sheet and bake them for a few minutes to get an extra-crispy coating. When I skip the frying, I bake them, on a baking sheet heavily sprayed with pan spray at 350 for 50 minutes.

Serve with carrot and celery sticks and Marie’s Bleu Cheese Dressing and an iced beverage.

That’s My Recipe Source: Ladies Home Journal – August 1991 – This is supposed to be the REAL Buffalo Wing recipe from the Anchor Bar in Buffalo.

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The Well Dressed Capriciously Curvaceous Crime Fiction Writer

Dress, plus sizeHas anybody created a fashion blog that’s sensible? Is there a blog out there for larger size women that isn’t angry and holding men responsible for their plus size? Haven’t any Christians been called to minister to the fashion world by starting a clothing company that doesn’t make clothes that expose all the parts of my, shall we say, capriciously curvaceous body, that nobody wants to see exposed anyway; least of all me. And it’s not that I’m ashamed of my curves, I love them, but the whole world doesn’t have to see every single curve.

I know I haven’t been called there…to the fashion world, that is, even though I hold a two year degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in Fashion Buying and Merchandising. I won’t say that was completely a waste of two years, as it led me to jobs in public relations, which led to sharpening my writing skills. God had a plan for my writing way before I did. But it sure didn’t do much for organizational ability in my own closet. I’m having trouble deciding if I should buy yet another pair of black jeans. I think I should.

I’ve just done a search of, say 15 or more fashion blogs and have decided those mavens in the fashion world have to go a long way to convince me “the little black dress” is “important.”

There’s even an offensive site declaring “The Bible Makes Me Look Fat In This Dress.” I’m sure I don’t want to even know what that’s about.

It seems every one’s blogging their anger out, blaming everyone and everything for whatever fat they think they have. Hey, they should get a life! Ok, someone could have righteous anger about world-wide persecution of Christians, or starvation in Africa. Why is fashion important enough for all that anger anyway?

Yeah, sure I’d like to loose weight, am even trying to loose weight, and trying, and trying. But I’m OK as a child of God, a woman, and a person with my capriciously curvaceous bod. I’ve noticed people don’t tend to faint dead away on the street when I pass by.

Isn’t anyone having fun getting dressed? That’s why I spent two years at The Fashion Institute of Technology in the first place. I had this really naive idea that it would be really creative to get into expressing a woman’s (or a man’s) divine uniqueness in the way they dressed. That it could be exciting to see the human body as a palette on which to paint the individual’s personality in clothes. After graduating and spending a few years working in the fashion world, I found it was much more about creating anxiety in women (and men) regarding how they looked, and making them feel if they didn’t buy the latest trend out in the fashion mags, they’d feel hopelessly inadequate. I made a fast exit left.

Tall, short, fat, skinny, or somewhere in between; avantgarde or totally middle class…I think we should enjoy getting dressed. If a believer’s body is the Temple of the Living God, it certainly should be maintained as healthily as possible, but then I also think it should be dressed accordingly. The Temple in Jerusalem was decked out in royal purple and blue, after all.

Here’s to a New Year of me going out in style…my style. Here’s to a New Year of me decking the olde capriciously curvaceous Temple of the Living God out in a style to which He’s entitled.


USO NYC Newly Renovated Offices Near Me

NYC Metro USO in Pix
Today and Yesterday

Wow, I just found out one of the two New York State USO offices is located in Metro NYC, not far from my house. These newly renovated offices are in Bay Ridge Brooklyn, on the Ft. Hamilton Army Base.
So, I got on the horn and asked the nice gal who was staffing the phones that day (a soldier’s wife) what I have to do to become a volunteer. And it seemed as if overnight they sent me the info. So, now I’m seeing if my schedule fits their needs. I have two small children who have to be delivered and picked up from school, and homework to supervise. But I really do want to do my part.

In the meantime, they graciously put me on their email list and sent me the above photos of the USO Metro NYC which just tickled me and made me sigh with joy.


"A Soldier’s Promise" – Author Interview & Giveaway


“A Soldier’s Promise”
Author Interview & Book Giveaway
A Must Read for 2008!!!

I’m totally thrilled to be participating in Cheryl Wyatt’s blog tour for her debut novel, A Soldier’s Promise. What a classy Christian lady Cheryl (a/k/a Squril) is and what a writer!!! I finished reading the book last night and it’s great, I can assure everyone of that. I love her writer’s voice. Knowing her personally, I know the voice she writes with is authentic, pure 100% Cheryl Wyatt. What you see is what you get!!! And you get plenty when you read this book. You get a great story, a touching romance and a quite a few hilarious situations. When you get to the part where Uncle Dean doesn’t quite know what a DVD is, you’ll roll on the floor laughing.

Just leave a comment for the book giveaway (random drawing).



Author Interview:
Question 1. I love your cover. I thought, “Wow a strong man, a manly man, an incredibly trained military man showing his tender side to a vulnerable child.” Did you help chose the cover and are you pleased with it?
Cheryl’s Answer: I am very pleased with the cover. I think it is emotive and poignant. The hero’s face looks slightly different than I pictured my hero (who I fashioned after George Eades-“Nick”-from CSI) but I LOVE the cover nonetheless. We do not get to choose our covers but we DO get to input ideas for it. The vision team, which I think consists of my editors, art department and marketing decide on the cover and title. However, we do fill out a detailed art fact sheet. They also ask us for three different cover ideas, scenes from the book that we’d wish depicted on the cover. We also send in stock photos with landscape and still life images, as well as people pictures to give them an idea of the sort of look we’d like. We fill out details such as our characters’ physical description, etc. I would dearly love to know who the artist was because they picked my first choice. I was SO hoping for a picture of a soldier holding a little boy…and I got it!!! Grinning big here. Seeing your book cover is sort of like opening a surprise gift. It’s finished before you really see it for the most part. A really fascinating process and team effort. I had NO idea this much work went into a book. I also didn’t realize how many people it takes to get a book shelf-ready. Really made me admire and respect publishing professionals all the more.
Question 2: I know A Soldier’s Promise is the first book in a series on Air Force Parachute Jumpers. What first gave you the idea for this book? What made you go for doing a series?
Cheryl’s Answer: I love reading series, and I think most readers do, too. I love revisiting towns and characters from previous books. Especially if I’ve really connected with them. You know how sometimes you hate for a book to end and you’re a little sad because you’ll miss the characters, or wish the book would have continued longer? Series allows you to live with characters and settings longer. Since PJ (Pararescue Jumpers) teams generally have 7 members each, I plotted out seven stories. Not sure if they will all be contracted, but I’m glad at least three of them have, because I picture a “series” to be three books or more. What gave me the idea for the book is I LOVE to write about characters with very different and unique careers. Lots of military writers do series featuring SEALs. But I don’t know of anyone who has featured an entire team of PJs. Dee Henderson wrote about one in one of her Uncommon Heros books, but she also interspersed SEALs and other military guys in there. I thought it would be neat and different if I could do an entire series on PJs. There is a market out there in the ABA (secular industry) for military romance. And those readers are very loyal to their favorite authors, as I know I am. Authors such as Catherine Mann, Suzanne Brockmann, Gennita Low, Merline Lovelace and Lindsay MdKenna, etc. I hope there’s a market for it in Christian fiction too.
Question 3: I’m always intrigued by military heroes. How much research did you have to do to make Joel Montgomery come to life in an authentic way?
Cheryl’s Answer: Since I’m not in the military myself, it took several years of research to authenticate this series. And the research is ongoing as I flesh out the remaining books. As far as Joel coming to life, I spent a TON of time mulling over him and completing detailed character charts, as well as watched CSI episodes to get an idea of how George Eades (the character of Nick-whom I fashioned Joel after) talks, walks, and to be able to capture his mannerisms, body language, expressions and voice inflection. Then applying that to my action beats and to Joel’s dialogue took weeks. I have a list that I’ve composed for years about things that make a man heroic to me. At the top of the list are these things: Men who are unashamed to show open devotion to Jesus. Men who are spiritual leaders. Men who are humble but confident. Men who are kind to children. Men who are kind to the elderly. M en who are kind to animals. Etc. This list goes on for pages and I’m always adding to it….SO if any of you have ideas on what makes a man heroic…please e-mail me your ideas or post them here. Maybe it will help other writers. Joel is a strong Christian who is not ashamed of His devotion to Jesus. But he also is more of a foot-soldier than a mouth-soldier when sharing his faith. A strong Christian leader serves others. That’s Joel in a nutshell. He’s a giver and he had a heart for little Bradley and the orphans of India when his team was deployed in a rescue and humanitarian mission.
Question 4: I got all choked up reading the spectacular jump and landing Joel made into little Bradley’s life when he parachuted into the school yard. How did it feel to write that?
Cheryl’s Answer: I smiled when I imagined the scene but not until I read it in actual print did it strongly move me. I am a deeply emotional, sentimental person. BUT, for some reason, I am NOT moved by my own writing. I DO laugh at some scenes I write or have written, but rarely do they make me cry. So it is really hard for me to gauge whether a scene is going to evoke emotion. For instance, a friend, Camy Tang, called me to tell me something I’d written in the synopsis alone in this story made her tear-up. So that was a good indicator that the scenes would be poignant because Camy is pretty tough to please and she knows I crave her to be ruthless and brutal when she gives me feedback. She KNOWS good story structure and can tell an author when their scenes are emotionally evoking or lacking emotion. What seems like dead, flat emotion to me in my writing usually ends up touching people in profound ways…according to feedback and recent reader letters. I love to make people laugh, so I was humbled to know people are being moved to laughter and tears when reading my stuff. I credit God for that because writing emotion is a big challenge for me because of my inability to gauge it in my own writing.
Question 5: What do you like best about your heroine?
Cheryl’s Answer: I best like her because she looks like fellow Steeple Hill author Brenda Minton, reminds me of another Steeple Hill author, Margaret Daley, who spent years mentoring me, and because Amber (heroine) teaches special needs children as does Margaret. I also love that Amber has a heart for abandoned animals and orphans, because I do, too. If you want to see what Amber looks like…go to Brenda Minton’s Web site and look at her picture. Leave her a comment while you’re there because I don’t think she has any idea Amber was fashioned after her as far as appearance goes. LOL! We sold around the same time and were both active members of the eharlequin community and Steeple Hill’s message boards. http://www.steeplehill.com/http://www.eharlequin.com/http://www.brendaminton.com/http://www.margaretdaley.com/Question 5: What do you like best about your hero?
Cheryl’s Answer: I love all the stuff I mentioned about Joel earlier. I love that he is a man of integrity, also.
Question 6: You have a lovable little boy in the book who’s trying to beat cancer. How did you feel writing his character?
Cheryl’s Answer: It was hard at times to write about Bradley, because I’d had two friends lose daughters to leukemia who were around Bradley’s age when they died. I had so wished and prayed my guts and heart out for these girls’ families that their earthly stories would have had a happy ending. But it also reminded me of the strength in the hope of Heaven and that God is good all the time, all the time God is good..whether people live or die, whether our hopes are lost or found, He is constant. He never changes and He will sustain us through anything. And, He sent His son, Jesus, so we would be able to see our loved ones again if we believe in Him. He has made a way for assurance that, if we know Him before we kick off, for our families and friends left here to mourn and miss us, goodbye is never “goodbye forever,” just “goodbye for now” if they’ve made Him their God too.
Question 7: I know personally that you are generous with your time, helping others who want to break into writing in the Contemporary Christian Fiction genre, because I’ve been the recipient of your time and attention. What advice would you give to a budding novelist?
Cheryl’s Answer: Thank you for those kind words. I only got to this place because other authors helped me. Margaret Daley, Lena Nelson Dooley are two at the top of the list. There have been countless others who’ve encouraged me and answered my many questions. People like Ginny Aiken, Mae Nunn, Dana Corbit, Colleen Coble, Brenda Coulter, Janet Tronstad, Lenora Worth, Brandilynn Collins, Kathy Ide, Gail Martin, Kris Billerbeck, Randy Ingermanson and a whole slew of others. My advice for budding novelists is abundant. Keep God and your family first. Listen to Him. Seek help from those who are more advanced in the craft and knowledgeable about the industry. (Great resources include organizations such as ACFW, FHL, RWA and publisher websites such as Barbour and Steeple Hill’s message boards at eharlequin to name a few. Stay teachable. Pray a lot. Read a lot. Write a lot. Commit your works to God as worship. Ask what your part is then do it. Don’t give up but don’t try to do it all in your own strength because it’s downright hard. Sometimes the road to publication is paved with upside-down staples and you have to crawl on bare hands and knees to get there. And it may take longer than you anticipated. But the only reason we miss out on the dreams and promises God has for us is if we give up or get down too soon. Persevere. Be able to hear hard things about your writing. Be willing to do the grunt work of learning your craft. Be prepared to spend time and money learning your craft and networking. Stay as revisable as your stories because God will likely use the process to mold your character as you learn the process and mold your characters. Maintain integrity and aim for excellence in everything you do because God deserves it, and your future readers will love you for it.
Link To Purchase Cheryl’s Book:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0373874669Back Cover Blurb:
“My name is Bradley. I’m eight and have cancer. I want to meet a Special Forces soldier more than anything. Well, almost anything. Having a family would be nice.”
U.S. AirFocepararescue jumper Joel Montgomery promised to make a sick child’swidh come true. Well, not the family part-not with Joel’s past. And so despite vowing never to set foot back in Refuge, Illinois, Joel parachutedonto the boy’s school lawn to a huge smile. But another smile unexpectedly stole Joel’s heart: that of Bradley’s beautiful teacher, Amber Stanton, who was trying to adopt the boy. And trying to show Joel it was time for new vows.Author Bio:

Cheryl Wyatt’s closest friends would never dream the mayhem she plots during announcements at church. An RN-turned-SAHM, joyful chaos rules her home and she delights in the stealth moments God gives her to write. She stays active in her church and in her laundry room. She’s convinced that having been born on a Naval base on Valentine’s Day destined her to write military romance.
Prior to publication, Cheryl took courses through Christian Writers Guild. An active member of RWA, FHL and ACFW, she won numerous awards with multiple manuscripts. Visit her on the Web at http://www.cherylwyatt.com/. Sign up for her newsletter for news and chances to enter contests with great prizes. Hang with her on the web at http://www.scrollsquirrel.blogspot.com/. You can also find her skittering around Steeple Hill’s message boards as “Squirl” at http://www.steeplehill.com/.


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