Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Today's my day for the Plotting Princesses New Year's Blog Hop!

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this post to be entered in the Grand Prize Drawing. Winner will be announced on January 12, 2013. The winner of the Grand Prize will receive either print and/or e-books from each of the ten (10) participating authors! So make sure to visit each of the sites and leave a comment. Individual prizes will be award at each site along the way. Plus, one person who leaves a comment on this post will receive an e-book of Desperate Choices or Second Chances – Winners Choice!

EXCERPT FROM SECOND CHANCES (my paranormal romance)

Rose stared at her sister, eyes widened in shock at the words she'd just heard. She thumped her glass of ice tea down onto the tabletop with enough force to rattle the carefully aligned silverware.

"You did not just say that!"

"Yes, I did." Kate stared back at her, not backing down from the angry glare Rose shot her. "Consider the facts."

"The fact is my husband is not having an affair!"

"Come on, sister, read between the lines here. He's moody, distant even. He's working late all the time. He never wants to spend time with any of his friends anymore. When he is home, well . . ." Kate's voice trailed off.

"He is not having an affair." Rose's voice ground out between clenched teeth, lowered to a whisper as she glared at her sister, who also happened to be her best friend. Taking a calming breath, she rubbed at the twinge of pain between her eyes, the beginnings of a headache starting to pound a tattooed rhythm beneath her skull.

"Ryan's grieving for his brother. It's been almost two years. His death just hit him so hard—it's as if he can't get past it." Tears welled up and threatened to spill from her eyes and she blinked rapidly, steeling herself not to cry.

"He won't admit it but I think he feels, I don't know, guilty maybe, because they wouldn't have been at Destiny's Desire Lodge, if we hadn't sent them on a honeymoon there. It's eating at him and I don't know what to do to help. I feel helpless, too, because I pushed really hard for that honeymoon. They wanted to wait until they could go to Greece, but I wanted them to at least have a long weekend away. It was their wedding night—they couldn't just stay home at their apartment. It didn't seem right."

Around and around she twisted the napkin she'd laid across her lap, creasing it, unable to keep her hands still as she continued.

"I'm torn between needing to wrap my arms around him and shield him from the world and wanting to grab him and shake him, tell him it's not his fault."

"Have you tried talking to him about it? Maybe suggest some counseling?"

Rose sighed. "Whenever I try to bring up Terry and Sharon, he changes the subject. It's getting worse, Kate. I'm not sure what to do."

"What does Jake think? Has he noticed a change in Ryan, too?"
Rose watched a faint pink blush come across her sister's cheeks when she mentioned Jake's name. They'd gone out a couple of times and Rose wished they'd made a go of it, but things never seemed to click for them. She knew Kate wanted more, but Jake had his own demons to deal with. He still wasn't ready for a serious relationship, and her sister was through with only being good enough for a booty call but never for the long term. They'd remained friends though, which made things easier since Jake was Ryan's best friend and Kate was her sister.

"Jake's been pretty mum about things, too, especially for the last few weeks. I know they talk, but he's not telling me anything. I can tell he's worried about Ryan though."

Kate reached across the table and squeezed Rose's hand. "You'll both get through this. It's this damn time of year.
Everything's so shiny and sparkly and people are supposed to be so freaking happy. Drives me nuts."

Rose laughed out loud at the scrunched up face her sister made. Kate didn't fool her one bit; she loved the holidays, went totally overboard shopping for and buying presents for everybody she knew. Rose was a homebody, preferring to hand-make things like cookies and cakes as gifts. Her sister—not so much—she was all about the shopping.

Kate's face got serious. "I miss them both too. Terry was the best, always laughing and joking with his patients. His colleagues all admired him. When he met Sharon, though, I don't know how to explain it—he just came alive. She was his world—his everything."

"I know." Rose's softly murmured agreement passed between them and she smiled, remembering how happy Terry had been. Sharon, too. She'd once told Rose one look was all it took for her to know Terry was her soul mate. Rose understood that, it was the same with her and Ryan. One look and it was like the world had been slightly off-kilter before and now everything clicked into place around her.

"I want that, you know. What they had. What you and Ryan have. I'm kinda jealous." Kate passed it off as a joke but Rose heard the underlying yearning behind the words. She wanted that for her sister, too.

"It'll happen when it's the right time. You'll find your special someone and you'll know."

"Yeah, yeah." Kate smiled at her sister. "You sure your husband's not cheating? Playing Mr. Happy Zipper?" Rose grabbed a roll out of the basket and tossed it at her sister's head, chuckling as Kate caught it out of the air and laid it on the bread plate beside her water glass.

"Okay, then, let's order. I'm starving."

RECIPE: Pistachio-stuffed, bacon wrapped dates

What you need:
12 to 15 large pitted dates
3/4 cup of shelled and chopped pistachios
1/2 lb bacon

Preheat oven to 375. While it's heating, spray a cookie sheet lightly with nonstick spray and set aside. Place the strips of bacon stacked on a cutting board and cut into thirds.

Take one date and using a spoon fill with the crushed pistachios. Wrap one slice of the cut bacon around the outside, fastening with a toothpick. Continue doing this until all the filled dates are wrapped. Place on the cookie sheet with the toothpick facing upward. Place in the oven and cook until the bacon is fully cooked and golden brown (approximately 25 minutes). Remove pan from oven and place dates on paper towels to drain. Then watch them disappear as they are simply delicious. Makes great party/finger food.

Thanks for stopping by today, and don't forget to leave a comment with your e-mail address to be eligible to receive a e-book and an entry into the drawing for the Grand Prize. The winner will be posted on the Plotting Princesses web site. And tomorrow, make sure to visit Princess Michelle's blog as the next step on the Princess Hop.


Geri said...

Kathy, SECOND CHANCES sounds very interesting. I'm anxious to dive into the story and stay for a while.

I wish you all the best for 2013 in your writing career. You certainly have the talent.


Kathy Ivan said...

Thanks so much, Geri. I hope you enjoy Second Chances. It was fun to write, although it really pulled at my emotions the whole time, which I think a story should do.

Wishing you the happiest 2013!

Unknown said...

Great tease of Second Chances. I am so sucked in already. Can't wait to read more.

drainbamaged.gyzmo at

Kathy Ivan said...

Hi Kathryn! Thanks, that was my evil plan, suck people into wanting to read more. LOL

Thanks for stopping by and wishing you a Happy New Year!

Alisha said...

Fantastic excerpt!! 2013 is going to be another great year for the princesses! Hugs!

Unknown said...

I used to make bacon wrapped dates for parties, but I never did the pistachio stuffing. I will have to try it! Congrats on the new release!

Kathy Ivan said...

Hi Alisha. The Princesses are rocking 2013!!!

Have a great New Year!

Kathy Ivan said...

Hi Georgie. I did the dates for a Christmas get together I had. I also do whole apricots stuffed with almonds wrapped with bacon, same concept, totally unique flavor. :-)

Thanks for stopping by my blog and hope your 2013 is fabulous.

Shawna Thomas said...

Pretty much, I like anything wrapped in bacon, but I've never eaten a date! Sounds interesting.

Second Chances also sounds very, very good!

Shawnathomas5 at att dot net

Kathy Ivan said...

Hi, Shawna!!!

I hadn't eaten dates before either, but decided to give them a try. They're pretty sweet tasting. But everything is better with BACON!

Thanks so much for dropping by. May your 2013 be extra special.

Michelle Miles said...

I posted a comment earlier but I guess it never worked. I dropped by to say HI! :) Great excerpt, Kathy!

Kathy Ivan said...

Well, Hi, Michelle.

Sorry that your comment didn't stick. Blogger can sometimes be a pain in the backside.

Thanks. Glad you liked the excerpt. Wishing you a fabulous 2013!!!

Kathy Ivan said...

Congratulations to Shawna Thomas. You're the winner of your choice of e-book, either Desperate Choices or Second Chances.

I'll be contacting you via e-mail.

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by and don't forget to check back on January 12th at the Plotting Princesses site to find out if you're the grand prize winner.