Tag Archives: Into The Lyons Den

Counting Down to New Year’s with Rita Bay

The countdown to the New Year is on and it’s my day for a Holiday Celebration. My paranormal novels are published by Champagne Book Group and my historicals by Siren BookStrand. Check out the blurb for my most recent shapeshifter novella with Champagne, Into the Lyons’ Den. But first, I’m sharing my recipe for Hoppin’ John. Many folks in the coastal South will be dining on Hoppin’ John this New Year’s Day.

Hoppin’ John is a rice and black-eyed peas dish that originated in West Africa. Tradition has it that Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day will bring you good luck throughout the year. Can’t say for sure if that’s true, but I certainly don’t intend to go without to find out. The recipe is flexible but mine ends up a tad gummy–don’t want no soupy Hoppin John. Topped with sharp cheddar cheese and sprinkled liberally with hot sauce, it’s hard to beat, unless you serve jalapeno & cheese cornbread on the side. BTW, this is one of those dishes that tastes better the next day, if there’s any left. Enjoy.

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HOPPIN’ JOHN

hoppinJohnIngredients
1 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas that have soaked overnight
8 cups water, divided 2 teaspoons salt
1 tsp black pepper 1 ham hock
5 slices of bacon 1 large onion, chopped
2 cups medium-grain white rice, uncooked
1 teaspoon garlic powder Sharp Cheddar cheese

Directions: Over medium heat, place the dried black-eyed peas, 6 cups of water, salt and ham hock in a large pot. Cook covered over medium heat until tender. While the peas are cooking, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon, crumble and set aside, reserving the bacon grease. Sauté chopped onion in the bacon grease until soft. In a large-sized pot with a tight-fitting lid (iron if you have it), add the rice, 2 cups of the pea liquid, 2 cups of water, 2 cups of the cooked black-eyed peas, sautéed onions, bacon grease, garlic powder and crumbled bacon. Cook covered over medium-low heat until rice is done. If needed add more pea liquid if rice gets too dry. Top with cheese and serve with hot sauce and a skillet of cornbread on the side. Enjoy.

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INTO THE LYONS’ DEN

CLICK TO BUY/READ EXCERPTINTO THE LYONS’ DEN (A Shapeshifter Paranormal, M/F, R)Wealthy recluse Anthony Lyons offers a mint to lure Marie Maxwell, Atlanta’s most sought-after event planner, to coordinate a wedding and reception for a “very special couple” on his isolated estate in the mountains of North Carolina. Despite her sophisticated veneer, Marie’s a tough street-smart orphan without a past. Adopted by the owners of the elegant Hotel Maxwell, she’s been raised in the business. Known for her uncanny ability to “make things go right,” Marie accepts the challenge of planning a wedding for 200 guests in 10 days.

Marie soon discovers that an absent bride and groom is the least of her problems. Her arrogant and exasperating employer displays far too much interest in her and her personal life, especially her lost years. Confronted with a mysterious stalker, two thwarted murder attempts, and dark shadows from her shrouded past, she finds an ally in an amorous feline of some unknown species. But who’s got it in for her? And what’s with Anthony and all the cats?

Click the BEAUTIFUL Book Cover to Buy or read excerpt.

Tomorrow, Author Mary McCall        Rita Bay

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RELEASE DAY for INTO THE LYONS’ DEN & a Freebie

INTO THE LYONS’ DEN was released by Champagne Books today (Click cover to buy). The story is a paranormal shapeshifter novella about an abandoned, street-smart cat who makes a home for herself at an elegant Atlanta hotel until she’s lured back to Lyons’ Den where her host discovers that his Kitten has grown claws. Check out the blurb and excerpt below:

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     Wealthy recluse Anthony Lyons offers a mint to lure Marie Maxwell, Atlanta’s most sought-after event planner, to coordinate a wedding and reception for a “very special couple” on his isolated estate in the mountains of North Carolina. 

     Despite her sophisticated veneer, Marie’s a tough street-smart orphan without a past.  Adopted by the owners of the elegant Hotel Maxwell, she’s been raised in the business.  Known for her uncanny ability to “make things go right,” Marie accepts the challenge of planning a wedding for 200 guests in 10 days.

     Marie soon discovers that an absent bride and groom is the least of her problems.  Her arrogant and exasperating employer displays far too much interest in her and her personal life, especially her lost years. Confronted with a mysterious stalker, two thwarted murder attempts, and dark shadows from her shrouded past, she finds an ally in an amorous feline of some unknown species.  But who’s got it in for her?  And what’s with Anthony and all the cats?

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     Marie Maxwell’s internal warning system went on high alert. Someone was stalking her. That was particularly offensive since she was used to being the predator, not the prey. She sniffed the air, then inhaled deeply. Something peculiar, yet familiar. Dangerous.

     “Good evening.”

      Damn! No one could get that close without me knowing it. She spun around to find herself nose to chest with the most gorgeous male she’d ever seen. He was golden, from his close-cut hair to those oh-so-inviting eyes and that luscious tan. Her own ash blonde hair and blue eyes paled in comparison.

     “Pardon me if I startled you.”

     His voice was liquid gold, a baritone for sure. The black Armani tux was a perfect fit, hinting at a kick-ass body. His chiseled features, down to that cleft chin, would be the envy of a male model. He held himself with the assurance that came with power and wealth. He could be thirty, or even forty. Usually, she would be drooling but something about him set off alarms. Best to put some distance between them.

     “I am Anthony Lyons.” He offered his hand. “And you are …?”

     “Hired help. If you will excuse me, sir, I am needed elsewhere.” She bolted from her observation post behind one of the hotel’s palms, then forced herself to a sedate stroll through the dining area surrounding the dance floor. Her elegant black suit and discreet ear-clip set her apart from the guests swirling around her in designer formals and glittering jewels.

     A shortcut behind some props took her to a service area where she could monitor the event’s progress undisturbed. The bride and groom were on their way to Hawaii and the reception was winding down. A popular DJ blasted dance music for the post-reception partying. The couple’s parents relaxed at a table with drinks in hand and smiles on their faces. She breathed a sigh of relief but something wasn’t quite right and that set her on edge.

Available from Champagne Books –  http://champagnebooks.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=593  ($2.99)

BTW, this afternoon I’m visiting the Book Brew at The Coffee Thoughts Blog at Coffee Time Romance. Books about Second Chances are our topic. I’ll offer up blurbs and excerpts of His Obsession & His Desire (Books 1 and 2 of The Montclair Chronicles from Siren BookStrand), share a bit of backstory, and give away a digital ebook of His Desire. Visit The Coffee Thoughts Blog at http://coffeetimeromance.com/CoffeeThoughts/ 

Next week, A Final Salute to the Olympics    Rita Bay

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Vindolanda: Roman Frontier Fort

 

It is my GREAT pleasure to announce the publication of  
Into the Lyon’s Den, a shapeshifter paranormal novella
by Champagne Books in August, 2012  Read an excerpt

Note:  Into the Lyon’s Den is NOT a book for children. Rita Bay 

Fort Vindolanda Site

     Vindolanda was a Roman fort on the northern edge of the Roman empire in Great Britain, located in what is now Northumbria.  It was first built around 85 AD after the Romans under the Governor Agricola defeated the northern tribes of what is now Scotland at Mons Graupius (more on that next week). The early forts were built of timber and rebuilt every decade or so.  When Hadrian’s Wall was built about forty years later, Vindolanda was rebuilt of stone and incorporated into Hadrian’s Wall as a wall fort. 

Reconstructed Wall

    When the Romans rebuilt the fort in stone, they first laid down a base of clay and turf over the remains of the wooden forts.  The base created anaerobic conditions (an oxygen free environment) that sealed the 2,000-year-old trash and treasures that laid below.  The remains of the wooden forts now lie 6’ -36’ below the surface.  Since excavations began, archaeologists discovered leather goods, textiles, and wooden and metal objects.  Most significant of all, were the wood slivers that served as paper for the ancient inhabitants.  Military documents, invitations between the ladies who lived in the fort, and personal communications were uncovered, all in excellent condition.     

Vindolanda Model Reconstruction

     Vindolanda was occupied by the Romans until they left Britain in the early 5th century AD.  The forts, manned by the locals, served as barriers to the wholesale invasion by the Picts and Scots from the north of Hadrian’s Wall for another two centuries. 

      The excavations could take over a century to complete.  Every year new discoveries further the knowledge of how Romans stationed on the frontier of Britain lived.  Last year, the skeleton of an 8-10 year old child was discovered under the boards of one of the Roman barracks.  The burial inside the city would have been absolutely forbidden, so foul play is suspected.  To follow the progress of the excavations and learn more about Vindolanda, check out this GREAT site:  http://www.vindolanda.com/index.html.

Tomorrow, a Mother’s Day surprise.    Rita Bay

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