Monday, February 24, 2014

Places to Hide Healthy Sh*t

For the first year or so that Arizona and I were together, he worked in Brooklyn, NY. So we would spend the weekends together at my place in southeastern CT, a couple of days together in Brooklyn, and a few days apart each week. In Brooklyn, he rented a room from a friend and didn’t have much kitchen access, which meant we ate most of our meals out. One of our favorite places was this little hole-in-the-wall taco place that sold fat burritos, rice and beans for five bucks a plate. Sounds great, right? Well, it was, except for one thing.

The succotash.

I believe I have mentioned before that our marriage is the home to very few and select vegetables—mainly salad in a bag, tomatoes, cilantro, and the occasional pepper. So it was a mystery to us why these burritos contained peas and carrots in addition to their normal burrito-like components, and we would root through and evict the intruders whilst eating our meals.

More recently, though, as I get on a kick of finding some healthier alternatives for our usual pizza-and-burgers fare, I’ve been trying to sneak some good stuff onto the menu. Chili is always a winner, made with pork and no beans, and since I stick the peppers in a blender, I can usually sneak in some extra veggies that way. Chicken soup, though, is broth and noodles, and pizza is cheese or pepperoni.

Just this past weekend, with family visiting (which means a lot of meals out), I overheard him bemoaning the way a certain other family member insists on trying to sneak healthy stuff into the family salsa (*gasp* corn! yegad!) and other foodstuff. Whereupon I decided not to tell him that the brownies he was in the process of scarfing down had been made with applesauce rather than oil. (Heh, heh, heh.)

So how about you? Where do you hide healthy stuff when you cook? It’s all fair game as far as I'm concerned!

Monday, February 17, 2014

His skin carried the mingled scents of male musk, gun oil and piracy ...

Since I've been in the writing trenches for a while now, I'm very aware when I'm reading along in someone else's book and I get to the moment when I'm pretty sure the author thought to herself: Ruh-roh, I need to involve all five senses, and I've mostly been doing sight and sound, with some texture thrown in here and there. Okay, quick--what does the love interest smell like? What do his kisses taste like? And then you get Romance Math. Which goes like this:

2A + B = sensory detail, where A is an actual smell or taste and B is a concept that one wouldn't usually associated with a smell or taste, the more unrelated, the better. 

For example:

She tasted like strawberries, coffee and sunshine.

His scent was an unsettling mix of alcohol, breath mints and desperation.

Obviously, the two give us very different impressions about the characters, but ... are they really good writing? I guess we can argue that sunshine has a smell--we could walk outside on a spring day with our eyes closed and know it was sunny. But that's not really the sun we're smelling, is it? The scents we're getting are given off by the irises and crocuses (or should that be irides and croci?), mown grass, and sun-warmed earth. As for desperation ... yeah. Not sure what that smells like. SPAM, maybe? 

As for the gun oil thing, which we see in a whole lot of romantic suspense, I once, in a moment of extreme gotta-sneeze, grabbed a rag off the nightstand on Arizona's side of the bed, and got a snootful of bike-chain lube. So I can tell you this from experience--snorting oil is Not Sexy.

Which isn't to say that I've never performed Romance Math. I'm as guilty as the next girl, though these days I try to keep it down to a dull roar. But at the same time, it can be fun to play with. 

Like right now, I'm carrying the scents of decaf tea, protein bar and unbridled optimism for the week ahead. Arizona, on the other hand, smells of Coke Zero, Monday morning and sexy bedhead. And Pixel, who is currently purring in my lap, smells of kibble, contentment, and adorable sloth.

See? Smell plus smell plus something random, and you're a writer. So what's your romance math for today? 

Monday, February 10, 2014

It's Name-A-Hero Day!

Howdy readerfriends!

First off, way to go, you! Thanks to the combined efforts of my Facebook page and newsletter sign-up, helping to spread the word about my new release, we donated $100 to Beech Brook Farm Equine Rescue last week! Please do a long-arm and pat yourself on the back. Now, let's keep it up! To donate more (up to $500), please do one or more of the following ($1 goes to BBFER for each): 

Become a fan of DocJess on Facebook (or get a friend to).

Sign up for my newsletter (or get a friend to).

Tweet a pimp for Winter at Mustang Ridge, tagging @JesseHayworth. Either make up your own, or here's a suggested Tweet: 
It's release week for ! Go get a copy of her newest romance, WINTER AT MUSTANG RIDGE. Amazing!

Mention WINTER AT MUSTANG RIDGE by Jesse Hayworth on Facebook, and either tag me ( or let me know here that you did it.

And .... GO! The horses, minis, and donkeys thank you!

Meanwhile, we need to talk about naming a hero. Well, naming two of them, actually, as I'm working on a set of interconnected novellas that will tie in to the Mustang Ridge books (and then I'll begin working on a new Jessica Andersen paranormal for next year!! but I digress).

Here are the deets: The Ramsay brothers are tight (except when they're scrapping), loyal to a fault, stubborn, and very much a trio of men's men. The family business, Ramsay & Sons Construction, has mostly been run by their father, but a recent heart attack has left him needing to slow down. So it's up to the guys to work together (ha!), handle the big jobs they've already got on the books (like renovating the Three Ridges Library), and conspire with their mother to keep their dad in check. Which means they don't have time for any distractions ... and the women they meet in Three Ridges definitely count as distractions!

So ... The middle brother is Max. I need names for the older and younger brothers. I would give you more info about them, but they haven't checked in with me yet beyond a "hey" wave and lots of muscles and sexy tool belts. So that's all I've got. I need two names: _____ Ramsay and ______ Ramsay. 

Put 'em in the comments trail, and if I use one of your names, I'll credit you in the acknowledgements of his story!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Manuscript due! New book out tomorrow! Bonus *awwww* video!

I don't know about you but this is a busy week for me already! There are good things and bad things to say about having a manuscript due the same week an new book launches. On the good side, I haven't had the luxury of hunching over the computer and refreshing my Amazon numbers every thirty seconds or so. On the bad side, I've had to cram some of my publicity stuff into odd hours of the night ... so, warning, some of the guest blogs and interviews that'll be coming out in the next few days might have moments of fatigue-induced weirdness or general TMI.

But, happily, I turned the fourth Mustang Ridge book in last night! (Yay, me! *confetti* *streamers* *Muppet flail*) And now I have a whole day to attack the post-deadline crusties in my house, stalk my Amazon numbers, and write a newsletter for tomorrow's big book release.


So I'll keep this short and sweet ... but in the spirit of Superbowl ad hits (Budweiser puppy!) and misses, here's one of my favorite Youtubes, a go-to when I need a pick-me-up or a sniffle. It's long (7-ish minutes) but worth it, plus worth having the music on. Because, Vangelis.


Have a wonderful day, and if you haven't signed up for my newsletter, do eeeet! You won't want to miss out on the typo roundup ;)