Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The blog has moved!

Hey all!

The Super Lucky #1 Fun Blog has moved premises. I'm switching to Tumblr, as I've found I prefer the format—perfect for sharing visual tidbits and all the other muse-y bric-a-brac that gets me excited each day, plus excerpts and quotes and video nonsense. I made sure to get a theme with a comments hack, so I'll still be able to participate in Six Sentence Sunday fun. And now any old day will potentially be thrusty, not just Thursdays. Though I'm still keeping it PG13.

I'll keep this blog locale as an archive for the foreseeable future, of course, but I hope to see you in the Tumblrsphere!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday #24

Welcome once again, Sixers! Got my shiny new ARCs of the print version of my romance The Reluctant Nude in the mail this week, which got me thinking about those characters again… (FYI, Max is French, hence his slightly odd dialogue.)

“When I touch you—” Max reached out his hands again, inching them forward until he touched her elbows “—you are like fireworks.” He slid his palms up, slipping them inside her T-shirt sleeves and cupping her smooth shoulders, that skin, as petal-soft as a cliché. “You are like those little sticks dipped in magnesium, that children use?”

“Sparklers,” she said, breath short.

“Your hands felt like sparklers, running up and down my body.”

“That sounds very painful," she said, faking flippancy rather poorly, in Max’s opinion.

Thanks for reading! Now head here to check out all the other Six Sentence Sunday excerpts this week!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday #23

Happy Superb Owl XLVI, sixers! I couldn't think of any football-themed snippets to share, but I've got plenty of New England-related ones—go Pats! So here are six sentences from one of my evil conjoined erotica-writing twin Cara McKenna's earlier novellas, Willing Victim, which features the towniest Boston hero we've yet written. (Note: if you're tempted by the writing, please read the book's content advisory before purchasing.)

She sat at the edge of the chair and soaked a wad of toilet paper with peroxide, tilting his head up to swab his latest cuts. She smeared Bactine over the deep ones, studied his eyes under the guise of scrutinizing his injuries.

“I like when you…you know, fuss over me.”

Laurel wasn’t sure what to do with this information—it was tough to write things off with Flynn as he so rarely made sentimental proclamations, and the ones he did couldn’t be blamed on alcohol. She finished swabbing the scrape, blotted his skin until none of the tiny lines offered any fresh blood.

“You’re a strange man, Michael Flynn.”

Thanks for reading! Now head here to check out all the other Six Sentence Sunday excerpts this week!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Recipe: Savory Scones

Encouraged by how easy the lemon scones were to make, I adapted the recipe so I could try savory ones (a bakery favorite of my manfriend.) They're super fatty, and equally delicious.

You'll need:
3 rashers bacon
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup onion, minced
2⅔ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
few shakes red pepper flakes
1 stick butter, frozen
4 oz. cheddar cheese
1 cup broccoli florets, finely chopped
¾ cup sour cream
1 egg
few tablespoons chicken or veggie stock

1. Fry the bacon until very crispy, then blot with a paper towel. Use the bacon fat to sautée the garlic and onion, and drain away the excess grease. Set all this aside.

2. Preheat oven to 375° and move the rack to the lower middle position.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper flakes, and stir. Grate frozen butter and cheese into the mixture with a box grater, using the largest holes. Add chopped broccoli. Blend using your hands, until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

4. In a separate bowl, beat together sour cream and egg. Crumble or cut the crispy bacon into tiny bits.

5. With a fork, stir the liquid mixture, bacon crumbles, and garlic and onion into dry mixture until large clumps form. With your hands, knead dough until there's no extra floury stuff at the bottom of the bowl. Add stock as needed, one tablespoon at a time, if mixture is too dry to form dough.

6. Divide the dough into two equal balls, and flatten to ¾-inch rounds. Divide each ball into 6 wedges. You can bake them all now, or freeze any unneeded wedges for another day.

7. Place dough wedges on a cookie sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 15–20 minutes. Let cool. These are best while they're still warm and steamy, and they pair nicely with tomato soup. Nom. You can imagine all the variations—chopped spinach instead of broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, basil… Nom nom nom.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

In Lieu of Thrusting

No manjectification today. The thing that's got me the most smitten this week is a documentary—the most engaging film I've seen since Hanna. It knocked my socks off. I'm not even going to tell you what it's about or post a trailer. I'll just say it's called Marwencol, and that you should go find it on DVD, rent or buy it off iTunes, or view it on Netflix Instant Watcher. Go. Now.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday #22

Welcome once again, sixers! One more snippet from my manuscript Badger: A Strange Tale of Love, Sex, and Vigilante Justice, and we'll move on to something else next week. This is from the same scene as last week's six, a couple pages onward. (If it's your first visit, the heroine is a recovering Vicodin addict and the anti-hero is a vigilante cyclist with a grab-bag of psychological disorders.)

I sat cross-legged on the bed, leaving a few inches between our thighs.

In the dim light of my reading lamp, I could make out a tidy ribbon of raised lines along the outside of his left arm, like he was the most OCD, perfectionist self-mutilator in the world. Clean and uniform, an inch wide and as perfectly parallel as corduroy. As though he’d held a comb to his skin and drawn a razor between the teeth. It made me feel close to him, this proof that he, like me, sometimes did stupid shit to himself in the privacy of some lonely room, somewhere. It reminded me of my art, the obsessive strokes of my X-Acto blade cleaving paper, and the calm it brought me to get lost in the slices, the ritual, the repetition.

If you want to check out the other Badger excerpts, you can do so by clicking here.

Thanks for reading! Now head here to check out all the other Six Sentence Sunday excerpts this week!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thrusty Thursday: A Bunch of Hot Pilots

In honor of my current Blaze revisions—a mantage of foxy pilots!

For the curious, from left-to-right, top-to-bottom: Alan Tudyk as Wash in Firefly, Parker Hurley styled as a pilot from some photo shoot, Harrison Ford as Han Solo from Star Wars, Tahmoh Penikett as Helo from Battlestar Galactica, Laurence Fishburne as Hannibal Lee from The Tuskegee Airmen, Gregory Peck as Frank Savage from Twelve O'Clock High, Will Smith as Steven Hiller from Independence Day, and Christian Bale as Dieter Dengler from Rescue Dawn.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Recipe: Lemon Scones

I can't believe I'd never made scones before! They're so easy and fast. I adapted this recipe from one for plain scones I found on allrecipes.com. I also plugged my version into my nutrition app, and can report that one scone (one-eighth of the recipe) is 274 calories and has about 15 grams of fat…but luckily they're as delicious as they are unhealthful.

Not a suggested serving size! Is teh fattehz!!
You'll need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, frozen
zest from 1 lemon
½ cup sour cream
1 egg
juice from ½ lemon

1. Preheat oven to 375° and move the rack to the lower middle position.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and stir. Grate frozen butter into the mixture with a box grater, using the largest holes. Grate lemon zest into the mixture using the grater's smallest holes, and blend using your hands, until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

3. In a separate bowl, beat together sour cream, egg, and lemon juice.

4. With a fork, stir the liquid mixture into dry mixture until large clumps form. With your hands, knead dough until there's no extra floury stuff at the bottom of the bowl.

5. You have a couple options, now. To use all the dough at once, make a big ball, flour it lightly, and flatten to a 7–8-inch circle, about ¾-inch thick. Or, divide the dough in half, freezing one portion and flouring and pressing the other half into a smaller, 4-inch round, still ¾-inch thick. Divide the dough into wedges with a knife; 8 wedges if you're using all the dough, 4 if you're using half.

6. Place dough wedges on a cookie sheet. You can line the sheet with parchment if you like, but don't use waxed paper like I did, or your oven will fill with smoke. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool before serving. They're best enjoyed the same day they're baked.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Recipe: Chicken Soup for Sickly Souls

Sickly souls like me! Between bouts of sniffling and shivering today, I made myself some chicken soup. Here's my favorite recipe.

You'll need:
3 boneless chicken thighs (cage-free organic if you want to go to heaven) cut into small bites
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
2 quarts water
1 tsp. olive oil
½ large white onion, minced
3 stalks celery, minced
2 large carrots, chopped, or sliced into thin medallions
1 cup brown rice (or use any kind of noodles—just wait until the carrots have softened to add them)
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. red pepper or paprika
½ lemon
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. cornstarch
salt to taste

1. Combine the following in a large pot: chicken, stock, water, olive oil, onion, celery, carrots, rice (unless you choose to use noodles instead), garlic powder, and peppers. Turn the burner to medium high heat.

2. Squeeze the lemon juice into a cup and pick out the seeds. Add both the juice and the rind to the soup.

3. When the chicken has cooked through, turn the soup to low and cover to simmer.

4. Once the carrots and rice are soft, add the soy sauce, sprinkle and stir in the corn starch, and add salt to taste (probably a lot). If you wanted to use noodles instead of rice, add them now and cook until soft. Remove lemon rind before serving. Leftovers freeze like a dream.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday #21

Welcome, sixers! Yet more this week from Badger: A Strange Tale of Love, Sex, and Vigilante Justice. The anti-hero has just turned up at the heroine's apartment, bleeding from a bicycle accident.

I loitered in the threshold as he soaped and rinsed his hands, dried blood washing away to reveal injuries slightly less gross than I’d feared. But they needed wrapping. Once he’d splashed his scrapes with alcohol, I devised the world’s most ghetto Ace bandaging, duct-taping folded paper towels to Badger’s palms. It looked profoundly pathetic—nearly as pathetic as the zing I felt, touching him. Helping him, as homely as my nursing efforts were. Again, a flash of that dopey romanticism, as if my tending to his wounds would endear me, imprint me on his scabby black heart, the way he was stamped on my soft, bruised one.

If you want to check out the other Badger excerpts, you can do so by clicking here.

Thanks for swinging by! Now head here to check out all the other Six Sentence Sunday excerpts this week.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thrusty Thursday Vintage: Gregory Peck

I trust this week's thrustee needs no introduction.

Wanting more of that patented Gregory Peck cocked eyebrow action? Watch Roman Holiday. I swear he doesn't set the thing down once the entire movie. Here's its gay-and-giddy fifties-tastic original trailer:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday #20

Welcome, sixers! More this week from Badger: A Strange Tale of Love, Sex, and Vigilante Justice. Here's the title character, the Badger, talking to the heroine about his grab-bag of mental disorders (a semi-continuation of last week's six).

“I have a really nasty temper, and no restraint. I’ve basically got no impulse control, so I do whatever I feel like, the second I feel it. I’m also into really fucked up sex.”


“Plus, since I got no impulse control, I tell girls I just met that I’m into really fucked up sex.”

“You don’t say.”

If you want to check out the other Badger excerpts, you can do so by clicking here.

Thanks for swinging by! Now head here to check out all the other Six Sentence Sunday excerpts this week.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Driven to Tears

I'm in Maine at the moment, visiting my parents and also taking a few days away from my usual routines so I can tackle a couple sets of revisions with fresh eyes and a relaxed noggin, in a different space than I normally do. The drive from Boston takes about two hours, and I bet I spent at least half that time crying.

Before you worry, I wasn't sobbing, my vision wasn't impaired, I wasn't having a mental breakdown. I wasn't even upset. I blame the music… Though I must say, I was overdue for a good cry. Felt damn good.

Me crying to music isn't a phenomenon. I can't sing along to a single track on Joni Mitchell's "Blue" album without my voice cracking and my eyes watering, but that's Joni fault. Have you listened to Little Green or A Case of You? I defy you not to sob. Same with Martin Sexton's My Maria. Then again, I lose it over Tom Waits' Jersey Girl, so it may be me.

But the music in question from today's crying jag came from a CD I'd just burned for my mom, for her birthday. It was a compilation of a bunch of our shared favorites from my childhood, plus a couple numbers from my teenage and adult years, and it was pretty much all pop. So why the sobbing? I blame some kind of nostalgia allergy.

I started crying on track one, Judy Garland's Sweet Sixteen, which isn't sad in any way. Then the Carpenters' Top of the World, a ridiculously cheerful song, and similarly the Monkees' Daydream Believer. The next track, Bread's It Don't Matter to Me… Yeah, okay, I brought that on myself. And John Denver's Calypso, yup, balled through it, too. The Bee Gees—yeah, still crying, ditto Olivia Newton John. (I was born in 1979, so I grew up on a healthy dose of my mom's lingering disco records and early eighties' pop, and happily so. I blame my present-day Kylie Minogue habit on it.) I really lost it during James Taylor's Mexico, but I can't actually sing through any James Taylor song without crying for some reason…except Mockingbird. That one's safe. Anyhow, the list goes on, all the way north to Kennebunk. But then I let the CD flip over and started crying again when Bread cropped up a second time. Thank goodness the theme from the film version of The Goodbye Girl wasn't available on iTunes when I'd been putting the CD together. I'd probably have wrecked the car.

What is up with this? Most of these songs aren't sad, and they only trigger happy memories from my childhood…like dancing around to The Pointer Sisters' Jump in my childhood living room. Yet this happens to me regularly. It's almost like the songs are set to some weird wavelength that short-circuits the memory center of my brain. It's as potent as a scent-triggered memory, and a smell's never made me cry. Not that I remember, anyhow.

The singing has something to do with it, too. I don't cry just listening to James Taylor's Walking Man, but if I sing even a bar of it, my voice cracks and my eyes well. Is it just me? Does anybody else burst into tears, singing along with the songs from their formative years? Or am I just a sentimental weirdo?

I hope it's universal. Can't wait to imprint my future kid's brain with latent emotional triggers wired to Elvis Costello and Neko Case.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thrusty Thursday: Parker Hurley

Ruthie Knox is one of my favorite people—an impressive feat considering I've never actually been in the same room with her. Yet. She's my friend, fellow romance novelist, critique partner, blog cohort, and future suitemate for the 2012 Romantic Times Booklovers' Convention. So it was highly gratifying last week when I was able to give her the gift of Parker Hurley. With a wonder tangible even in tweet form, she promptly declared him "her Gandy" and I happily relinquished all my digital lusting rights so that she might enjoy primacy. And naturally, I had to let her curate his moment as Thrusty Thursday honoree. Here are her top pics…but seriously, Google him, too. For the love of God, Google him. Or stalk him on his Tumblr.

And since it's my blog, after all, a bonus shot for me, fight-perv that I am. (Tip: if you squint you can pretend his shorts' logo is a silver fern and cast him in pervy New Zealander fantasies. Worked for me, anyhow.)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday #19

Happy Sunday, everyone! Well, my weird-ass work-in-progress is no longer a work-in-progress, so I should really just start referring to it as Badger. It's pretty much done, barring some final edits, nearly ready to be foisted upon unsuspecting literary agents.

Here's the Badger, a cut-rate bicycle vigilante, explaining to the heroine what drives him to assault litterers and bad drivers with a paintball gun.

“When I see something that pisses me off, it’s like…” His gaze jumped all over, as if the words he wanted might be scrawled on the walls or windows. “It’s like hell opens up inside my head. Then I chase, and I do something to even the score, and cold, blue water fills my skull, and all the anger goes hissss.” He closed his eyes as though meditating, wriggling fingers miming dispersion. “Just steam, and I can breathe again.”

Thanks for swinging by, everyone! Now head here to check out all the other Six Sentence Sunday excerpts this week.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thrusty Thursday: Dolvett Quince

If you don't watch The Biggest Loser, you'll be saying, "Huh? Who?" If you do watch The Biggest Loser, you'll be biting your lip and squirming in your seat and imagining Atlanta-born fox Dolvett Quince in a sleeveless shirt screaming at you to sweat more. His arms are as big as most people's thighs and his smile is like BLAM! and he talks all smooth and calm (when he's not screaming). He is shapely. He gives me feelings.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday #18

Happy New Year, sixers!

Another sampling from Headstrong (aka the New Zealand love-triangle book) which came out this past week from Samhain. The basic deal: Libby has an unrequited crush on Reece; Reece's brother Colin has an unrequited crush on Libby. Libby (who's just slightly crazy and rather persuasive) has fast-talked Reece into acting as her supposedly platonic kissing instructor, as a teenage trauma has left her skittish around men. Reece doesn't know she's actually nuts about him, and that he's the first man she's wanted to be sexual with in over a decade.

She knew this mouth well now—knew it with more fondness and intimacy than any other mouth on the planet, and it was the only one she wanted to know. This kiss was different than the ones they’d been practicing all week. Reece was kissing her with a different motive now, aiming to give her pleasure, not instruction.

Libby hadn’t known a kiss could do this. It made her feel that blush again, between her legs, the way seeing him helplessly turned on a half hour earlier had. She let herself surrender to it, let her mouth do whatever it wanted right back, let her hands roam wherever they wished.

Thanks for swinging by, everyone! Now head here to check out all the other Six Sentence Sunday excerpts this week.