Friday, November 26, 2010

Whopper and Fries For Thanksgiving?!?!?!?

By the Jodie 1/2 of Lydia Dare

I’ll never forget Thanksgiving dinner 1983. Never.

No, we weren’t at my grandparents’ cozy house enjoying turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. No, those holiday dinners all tend to blend together, don’t they? And this particular dinner still stands out in my mind. Why, you ask? Because Thanksgiving 1983 we dined at a Burger King in the middle of nowhere, Indiana.

That’s right. Thanksgiving dinner at Burger King. And, no, they didn’t offer turkey, mashed potatoes, or pumpkin pie. Who even knew they were open on Thanksgiving, right? But it was a good thing they were.

You see, my family was in the process of moving from the Rocky Mountains to the Midwest. So there we were - four children and our parents in an ugly brown van with splashes of wild color on the sides (it was the 80s and at the time we thought it looked cool) driving across the country.

But I digress.

We were in a strange state we’d never been to before. We had no family (other than ourselves) and no friends to invite us over. No, we were on our own for Thanksgiving, and the prospects weren’t exactly promising. Oh, there were some nice restaurants open, but none that my father would stop at. I recall hearing repeatedly from the driver’s seat, “I’m not paying $20 a head for food.”

Never mind it wasn’t just food, it was Thanksgiving!! (And it was the 80s so $20 a head for food was a lot in those days. Especially if four of those heads were ten years old or younger.)

So we kept driving (and those who know me well will tell you I got my overly frugal ways from my father). And we kept driving. And it started getting dark, and off in the distance down the twisty, turny road we traveled – we saw a sign for Burger King.

It was like a beacon.

Not that we wanted to feast on whoppers or cheeseburgers for Thanksgiving, but it was food that wasn’t going to cost my father $20 a head. And by this time, we were really hungry. So we inhaled the burger and fries my parents put before us (and the cup of water, because no one was going to pay good money for a soda).

And in the back of my mind, I told myself that it wasn’t Thanksgiving. That it was just another night along the road and there was nothing special about it.

But that wasn’t really true.

Oh, it was most certainly a non-traditional holiday dinner, but we all had each other which is what Thanksgiving is really all about. And in the months that came after that night, we needed each other like we never had before. Leaving everyone you’ve ever known to embark on a life in a strange town, in a strange state, with people who aren’t remotely like you is a very difficult thing. Especially at that age. But we always did have each other, whether it was for Thanksgiving dinner at Burger King or at any other bump along the road.

Have you ever had a holiday dinner that was less than traditional? And is that why it sticks out in your mind?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Why Werewolves?

When we first starting writing Regency werewolf books, a number of our critique partners asked, “Why werewolves?” This was a valid question, as everything up to that point had been written without any sort of paranormal element. However, I asked them to keep an open mind and give our wolfish men a chance, and I am happy to report that since that time, they’ve all been converted into lovers of our historical wolves. So, if you’ve ever wondered, “Why werewolves?” we thought we’d give you the top ten reasons why wolfish heroes are the best, ala David Letterman…

10. You never have to worry about your teenager sneaking out in the middle of the night, since the beasts can hear everything.

9. There’s no excuse for not to get up with the baby at night, since he’ll hear the cry first.

8. Your bill for heating fuel will go down, since he’s a furnace all on his own.

7. You never have to worry about being lonely, since his pack will always be around.

6. You don't have to worry about leftovers, since they eat everything and then look for a snack.

5. You get to redecorate often since they’re tough on furniture.

4. A scratch behind the ears will excite them more than a season pass to see the Yankees play.

3. He can never complain about your PMS, since his is just as bad as the moon grows fuller.

2. Unlike most men, sit and stay are words in his vocabulary.

1. He will always come when called.

So what about you? Do you enjoy werewolf romance? And if so, what is your favorite reason?

Originally posted at Fresh Fiction 11/18/2010

Guest blogger: Lydia Dare

Today’s guest, and our sister blogger, Lydia Dare, writes historical romances with a wild streak. She is the paranormal historical writing team of Tammy Falkner and Jodie Pearson, two very funny and hardworking ladies. Both Tammy and Jodie are active members of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers and live near Raleigh, North Carolina. Lydia Dare’s latest release from Sourcebooks, The Taming of the Wolf, was released November 2nd, 2010.

Regency England has gone to the wolves!

Welcome Lydia. Tell us a little about The Taming of the Wolf, your fourth book from Sourcebooks.

Lydia/Jodie – The Taming of the Wolf picks up the same night the previous book – The Wolf Next Door – comes to an end. Werewolf Dashiel Thorpe, the Earl of Brimsworth, under the power of the full moon shares a heated kiss with a Scottish lass and bites her, “claiming” her as his mate. Unfortunately, the Scottish lass in question is a powerful witch who isn’t too keen on having been “claimed”.

Lydia/Tammy: Dashiel Thorpe has been raised to believe that he’s a monster, an anomaly, an abomination. He can’t help that his real father was a Lycan, that he never met him, or that his mother cuckolded the the Marquess of Eynsford, the man Dash has always considered to be his father. It’s not until he meets the Westfields that he realizes there are others of his kind. Unfortunately, Caitrin Macleod lands directly in his path and he claims her without even knowing it. Now he’s left with two options, to go and get training as a Lycan, or go after Caitrin who is Scotland-bound. Perhaps he can do both.

We are always fascinated by an authors writing process, and since there are two of you it must take some juggling. How does a typical writing week go for you two ladies?

Lydia/Jodie – There is no typical. It depends on the book and what else is going on. What revisions are due, what copy edits, that kind of thing. We like to get about 1500 words written a day and exchange the book back and forth for edits.

Lydia/Tammy – Our first three books each took two months to write. We find that it’s more difficult to keep that schedule up now, but we still aim for about five pages a day. When I get the pages from Jodie, I read what she wrote, make any edits I think are necessary, then write my five pages. Then it’s off to Jodie again!

What is your favorite form of procrastination, apart from getting lost in research?

Lydia/Jodie – For me, I’d have to say the internet or television. I’m a little addicted to Vampire Diaries.

Lydia/Tammy – Work is a terrible distraction! I also get bogged down in internet searches should I need to look something up. Even if it’s just looking up the spelling of a word, it gets me off track.

We know The Taming of the Wolf is about to be unleashed, but what are you working on now, and what was the last scene you wrote on the story?

Lydia/Jodie – What we just finished working on was book seven in this series, Never Been Bit. So the last scene was the epilogue, which is always one of my favorite scenes to write. I love seeing what has happened months or even years later to the couple in question and realizing that they still love each other as much as they did at the end of the final chapter.

Here’s our question for you – Have you ever had to tame anything? An unruly child? A pet? Your grandmother who likes to yell obscenities out the car window? Anything at all? If so, we’d love to hear about it. A copy of THE TAMING OF THE WOLF will be sent to one lucky commenter. Please include email addresses along with your comments so the winner can be contacted. **Available for only US and Canada residents.

The Lady Scribes would like to thank Lydia for allowing us to pimp her next fantastic romance novel today. Stop by her website at

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Advice for new writers

At least once a week we get asked, together or separately – what advice we would offer aspiring writers. Incredibly, we give the same answer – and if you knew how differently we are in real life, you would appreciate this rarity even more. So what IS the answer, you’re asking?

The best advice we give is to surround yourself with other creative people. Find a group or organization where you can meet other writers, preferably with members who share your interests. The reason we so adamantly spout this advice is that following this path not only led to publication for us, but it also led us to each other.

We live more than an hour away from each other, and even though we write together – we never see each other. Well, we DO see each other at our local RWA chapter – Heart of Carolina Romance Writers. And we DO see each other at various publicity events, but if we hadn’t met through HCRW, Lydia Dare would have never been born. Our paths would have never crossed.

Our local chapter currently has 140 members, but there’s usually 50 or so at any given meeting. And when you first join a chapter that has impressive NYT Bestselling authors, it can be a little intimidating, no matter how nice they really are. So, the newer members generally have a way of finding each other. And that is exactly what happened to us. We both joined the chapter within a few weeks of each other and introverts that we are - we tended to sit quietly in the back. Eventually we became friends and then later writing partners.

But two more different people you aren’t likely to find, which in our case is actually a benefit. We balance out each other’s strengths and weaknesses – or at least we hope we do. Tammy is very plot driven and Jodie is very character driven. Tammy tends to write a little spicier and Jodie focuses on the historical aspects. And hopefully, when we’re done, we have a well-rounded story that readers will fall in love with.

Because we rarely see each other, we don’t write in the same room or we’d never finish any projects. Instead, we converse through email and Skype on a regular basis. We have a goal of 1500 words or so a day. And the way that works for us is one will write the words then send the pages to the other, who then edits those pages and then starts writing where the first one left off. When we finish a chapter we post it to our online critique group and see what edits, revisions, suggestions those ladies offer. And we continue in this vein until we type “the end”.

When we first decided to embark on this journey together, neither thought we’d be sitting her two years later with four books on the shelves and six more on the way. We were fortunate to find each other at the right time.

Have you ever decided to collaborate with someone on a project? And if so, was the person similar to you? Or did you have a different way of seeing things?

Originally posted at Deb's Book Bag 11/16/2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A sit down with Còig witches...

Lydia Dare: I’d like to first thank everyone at Night Owl Romance for having all of us today. (Yes, there are several of us crowded in this blog right now) So before the sisterly bickering begins, I should introduce everyone to my coven of Scottish witches – the Còig, in case you haven’t met them yet. Actually, on second thought, ladies, why don’t you each introduce yourselves instead?

Sorcha: Honestly, Ms. Dare, no one really cares about any of us right now. Well, except for Cait that is. (The youngest witch rolls her eyes.)

Caitrin: Sorch! That’s no’ true. I’m sure everyone would love ta ken all about ye and the others.

Lydia Dare: Fine, fine. I’ll do the introductions. The Còig is made of up five talented witches, each with their own special abilities. Elspeth Westfield has the power to heal the sick. Sorcha Ferguson communes with plants. Blaire Lindsay can fight better than any warrior. Rhiannon Sinclair’s emotions control the weather. And Caitrin Macleod—

Sorcha: Caught a Lycan for herself after vowin’ that she couldn’t abide the beasts.

Elspeth coves her snort into a monogrammed handkerchief.

Blaire: Ye’re just jealous, Sorcha. Ye should let Ms. Dare have her say.

Sorcha: Of course I’m jealous. I’ve been dyin’ for a Lycan of my own ever since I learned about them. Playful. Loyal. Handsome. What’s no’ ta want?

Rhiannon: Flea bitten mutts. (All eyes turn to the normally quiet weather-witch who shrugs.) I’m only quotin’ Cait. How many times has she said that?

Elspeth: Among other unflatterin’ terms, usually directed at my husband.

Caitrin grins unrepentantly.

Sorcha: Exactly. And then she goes out and snares one for her very own. It’s just no’ fair.

Caitrin: I wouldna exactly use the word snare. I dinna mean ta catch Dash. In fact, I tried my hardest ta avoid the beast all together. (She smiles wistfully) He did grow on me, though.

Elspeth: Just be careful, Cait. The man has a sordid past. He’s dangerous.

Caitrin: I am well aware of his past.

Sorcha: I think he’s charmin’. (She sighs dreamily.)

Blaire: (under her breath) Ye doona think at all.

Sorcha: There’s no reason ta be bitter, Blaire.

Rhiannon: She’s not the one who sounds bitter, Sorch.

Sorcha: (scowls at her sister witches) I’m no’ bitter. I just want what Cait has – a handsome Lycan who adores her. That’s no’ so much ta want, is it?

Rhiannon: I think Cait is amazingly fortunate. No’ everyone finds a man who adores her the way Lord Brimsworth does. I doona even dare hope for such a thing myself.

Blaire: Me either.

Sorcha: (scoffs) Why no’? Goin’ after yer dreams doesna cost ye anythin’.

Caitrin: Sorcha’s right. And I can see happy endings for each of ye.

Lydia Dare: I suppose now would be the time to tell everyone out there that Caitrin’s special power is that of clairvoyance. Since you’ve all gotten a chance to meet the witches of the Coig, I’d like to open the floor up to all you. Do you have a question for any of these ladies?

Originally posted Night Owl Romance 11/10/2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tradition with a Twist

By: The Tammy Half of Lydia Dare

As you may or may not know, I live in a house over-run by members of the male species. I have a husband, sons, and the sons’ friends at any hour of the day or night. I even got a couple of girl dogs, just so that I could balance some of the estrogen and testosterone. It didn’t work, because both those dogs hate me and wouldn’t take a dog treat from me if I wrapped it in bacon. But they love the boys.

I used to be a believer that gender played some part in food consumption. Well, not in amounts, but in the way it’s consumed. Then I had my second child. And my two boys are as different as night and day. My youngest is six and he only eats peanut butter and jelly. And broccoli. Yes, broccoli. Odd, isn’t it? My oldest is fifteen and he eats everything that won’t eat him first. With him, the only thing you have to worry about when it comes to feeding him is how to keep yourself out of his way. The boy could take an arm off and you wouldn’t even see it coming.

Thanksgiving at our house is usually a free-for-all. My sister and I go to our parents’ house and the food is set up buffet style. I do some cooking, my mom does the ham and turkey, and my sister is a whiz at deviled eggs, which I have never, ever been able to make worth a darn. Even the dogs won’t eat them. But there’s an annual tradition that’s a little odd, which I started a few years ago. I don’t eat meat so my staple at Thanksgiving is eggplant parmesan. I know, there goes that odd thing again…

It has become somewhat of a tradition for me to make it and then hide it, because it just happens to be my sister’s favorite food on earth. MY eggplant parmesan, that is. She swears she can’t make it, although it’s fairly simple. So, every Thanksgiving, she calls me a few days before to remind me to buy the eggplant. And I always tell her I’m not bringing it, that the stores are out of eggplant. They’re not. But I kind of like the game we’ve set up. On Thanksgiving day, it’s the very first thing she looks for, then she sulks when she can’t find it, then she starts to search the house until she does. It’s kind of like an Easter egg hunt, only at the wrong time of year and with the wrong participants. Even my boys get into the act and send her to misleading places where they “think they saw it.”

My eggplant is nothing fancy, and is just an adaptation from the Moosewood Cookbook, the fattening one before they came out with the low-cal version. If you like veggies, I highly recommend it. So, in honor of Thanksgiving, and in hopes that my sister will read this blog and at least try to make her own damn eggplant parmesan, I’ll share it with you. (I kind of hope hers sucks, because I’d miss the game we play if she did come up with a decent version of her own.)
My six-year-old will be eating peanut butter and jelly, and my sister will be dodging my oldest lest he take off an arm. But you, you could be having eggplant parmesan right beside your turkey. (Lucky you!)

2-3 large eggplants, peeled and sliced into one inch layers
3 eggs
½ cup of milk
Italian bread crumbs
Olive oil
Cheeses of your choice (I like mixing cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan) (And I like LOTS of cheese.)
Tomato sauce
Garlic Powder
Rice to serve it over

Once you’ve salted your eggplants and left them to sit on paper towels for a few minutes (it makes them less bitter), rinse them well.

Beat the egg with the milk. Put it in a bowl right beside your bread crumbs. Dry your eggplant slices, dip them in the egg mixture, then in the breadcrumbs, then drop them into a hot pan of oil. Brown them on both sides on a medium heat until they’re crispy on the outside. Drain them on paper towels.

Layer the eggplant slices in a large baking dish, alternating between eggplant, a layer of cheese, enough tomato sauce to cover the layer, and sprinkle the tomato sauce with some garlic powder. Repeat until your pan is full. Top with lots of parmesan cheese. Bake until bubbly. Serve over rice. Hide well. Taunt your sister if she really likes this stuff. And your recipe is complete.

Do you have an odd recipe that has become a staple at family gatherings? If so, what is it?

Originally posted at 11/7/2010