Friday, October 31, 2008

Recipe: Bread Machine Dinner Rolls (Puppy Paws)

Dante and I love making dinner rolls in the bread machine! Call us lazy, but making the dough in the bread machine saves us time and frustration.
We do divide the dough into the 15 balls, but then we divide each ball into three smaller balls. Then we pop three at a time into greased muffin cups.
Then you let rise and follow all the rest of the instructions. I do urge you to keep a close eye on the muffin tins the first time you make this.
Pay attention to the do ahead tips. These are very helpful for organizing your holiday for less stress.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lena's Thanksgiving Coming Right Up

Call me a sucker for the Norman Rockwell thang, but I love Thanksgiving. I'm the matriarch (naturally). My family may be back in Denver mostly, but I still have my mother, Dante, and DH at minimum.

While I'll post the best of the best in my collection, this is my menu for 2008:

Glazed Pecans
Ranch Crunchy Minglers
Chocolate Pleasers

Bread Machine Dinner Rolls

Bacon and Sage Butter Turkey (This is Dante's secret recipe, so I'll post my alternate)

Fauxtatoes Supreme
Oven Roasted Asparagus and Leeks
Praline Yams
Green Beans with Apple Cider
Stuffin' Muffins

Cranberry Sauce
Pan Gravy

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding

Sensational Double Layer Pumpkin Pie
Impossible Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Mincemeat Pie
Sweet Potato Pie

Peanut Butter Balls
Indian Corn

Egg Nog (We toast the beginning of the winter holiday season with this and Snowballs.)

Over the next month, I'll post all of these recipes plus a few more I've chosen not to use this year. My tables will groan enough as it is!


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Halloween is at The Third Infinity

As most everyone knows, I have another blog or two. One is for my dieting and one is for my pagan faith. Normally, I don't cross these borders, but Halloween is the exception. Please pop over to The Third Infinity to see tasty recipes and fun things to do for Halloween.
The recipe at left is but one small example of my weirdness. See you there!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Easy Gift for Winter-- Loopy Fleece Boa

I love this gift! Sure, the folding is challenging, but once you have that center sewn, it's an easy gift to make and so soft and warm. I can't wait to hand this one out.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Why I love Mondays

DH Randy came home early on Thursday, so I had a long weekend with him. Despite the constant masculine "Hey Baby! Have you seen X?" I finished the self-edits for a novel to AMP. (Yay, me!)

Saturday we went over to a rental property my mother owns to finish some roof and ceiling repairs left over from TS Fay. The house is very old, so this meant taking down a lovely plastered ceiling in the second bedroom. Broke our hearts, but the damage was too great to do otherwise. Fortunately, the tenant has been very patient with us now that the roof no longer leaks. That damage was repaired the same weekend she contacted us, but since then we've made an unholy mess in her spare bedroom every weekend while we repaired rafters, removed endless bags of rotten plaster and drywall, etc. It seems like the work is endless.

Yesterday was even busier. I'd promised the guys a meal fit for kings, and I produced one of my better efforts.

Creamy Squash Soup
Soy and Sesame Pork
Cauliflower Supreme
Green Beans with Basil Vinegar
Mocha Ricotta Crème with Coffee for dessert.

Yes, the guys made pigs of themselves. I tried to hoard a bit of the Cauliflower Supreme for my lunch today, but no such luck. Dante has a bloodhound's nose for his favorite dishes. (grumble)

Then we had guests come in the evening after dinner for coffee and a DVD. Dear friends, really. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. However, we forgot about the DVD! Oh, well. Good thing I drank decaf. I was sloshing by bedtime.

Thank goodness it's Monday.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Blue Rose has been handed in!

For well over two years, I've fiddled and worked whenever I could on a story near and dear to my heart I called Blue Rose. Here's the blurb I originally wrote:

The only one not lying is the demon…

Ever read Dante's Inferno? The old boy must have a new nickname-- Pinwheel-- for all the turning over in his grave he's doing. This time the tourists in Hell are a poisoned princess and her two suitor princes, both of whom have secrets of their own. Their guide is not a gentle philosopher-poet, but a sassy demon with his own reasons for being their escort through all nine levels. They have to find the blue rose in the deepest part of Hell and make it into an antidote before the next full moon or the princess dies. Things have changed a little --okay, a lot-- since old Dante made his visit. Hell is timeless, existing in all times simultaneously. Along the way they'll meet the Furies, a little thief named Dodger, a god or two, and step over Satan's chewing gum. They're getting quite an education. This is no morality tale.

Well, it's finally finished and turned in to Aspen Mountain Press. Aspen offered me several advantages I simply couldn't refuse:

1. They have a sterling reputation for treating their authors fairly and paying well.
2. They allowed me a lot of artistic freedom to do some very different interpretations on old myths
3. I got to write the sex when and where I felt it appropriate

Well, to say the least, I'm thrilled. I can't wait for December 12 when Blue Rose finally debuts.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

A New Review For Bad Fur Day

I am pleased to announce that Bitten By Books has reviewed Bad Fur Day!

Here's a snippet from Kate:

Austin and Richards have done it again. This novella continues the tale of their wild and wacky world of shifters of every shape and size...You can always count on Austin and Richards for some “get me some iced tea, I’m on fire” sensuality. I am putting this team of hot Changeling Press writers on my must buy list. Trademark humor abounds as well. I particularly liked this line “Staci wasn’t sure if she heard the carpet sizzle, or if that was her brain frying all its circuits.” Austin and Richards have a stellar comedic voice. 4 Tombstones from the cranky Southern Belle.

New Release: Spaceport: Time Bomb by Lena Austin

Spaceport: Time Bomb
by Lena Austin
Cover art by Zuri
ISBN (13): 978-1-59596-691-9
Genre(s): Futuristic, Sci-Fi
Theme(s): Ménage, Bisexual and More, Spaceport
Series: Spaceport Multi-Author
Length: Novella


Pepper and her cyborg ally, Kade Starke, scavenge space junk hoping to find that one-in-a-million hunk of rock that will make them rich. Then they find the sad wreck of an old shuttle, and a hunk inside named Dr. Logan MacDonald. Oh, and several billion credits worth of long-lost artifacts and art. Now everyone from pirates to Imperial forces want Logan and his treasure. To get the artifacts to where they can be shared by all humanity and not just a wealthy few, Logan and his scavenger friends may just have to turn the treasure ship into a literal time bomb.

This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.
Captain Pepper Corstorphine drummed her long fingers on the ship’s console and glanced listlessly at the running vid game she was playing with her partner and friend, Kade. As usual, he was winning. He beat her nine out of ten times, but playing games was better than sitting in her chair staring at the stars of space while they hunted space junk. “Why do I bother trying to beat a cyborg?”
Kade turned his sober and scarred face to look at her, but his hookup to the console kept the game running. His face, one of the few human things visible on him, was enough to scare small children, but laser blasts did that to you. The only things untouched by his former profession of Imperial soldier were his big brown eyes. “Because you’re bored out of your mind. However, it pays the bills to scour the sector for occasional hunks of debris and the rare metallic meteor worth hauling in for a few credits.”
Pepper knew that. Even their conversations had become an endless loop on replay. She sighed and stood. “Give me the damn helmet. I need some virtual exercise.”
“Shall we play naked and vulnerable?” Kade pretended to leer at her. They’d served as each other’s sexual release often, but diddling with a cyborg’s extensions wasn’t much of a turn on for her. “We haven’t gone without our armor in a few cycles.”
“You’re bored, too, aren’t you?”
Kade shrugged. “Tired of being half-man and half-machine. Half a life is what I call it. I’d welcome a bit of danger right now.”
Pepper reached for the virtual helmet, but the console proximity alarm beeped the warning sequence. Instantly, she was diverted. Either they had a collection to make, or they’d be arguing with another space junker for rights to the immediate sector. Either way, it was better than boredom. “Woohoo! What have we got?” Pepper hopped back into her chair, shut down the game, and called up extra power for grapplers or a boost to the engines of her ship, the Tor.
It may have looked like a patchwork of technology and corrosion, but the Tor was hers. Okay, it was the creditors’ until she achieved payoff. Her ship looked like the junk they collected, but that ugliness was deliberate. Even the corrosion was fake, but would pass casual scans.
“Metal, Pepper! A big hunk of it. Barest trace of an energy signature, and it’s not photon propulsion. It’s -- I don’t believe I’m saying this -- nuclear fission and fossil fuel.” Kade’s eyes lit up in greed and joy, even if the screen gave his face an eerie green cast. “I think we have a whole derelict, and it’s bigger than a satellite or probe. It may be a ship!”
Her heart raced, and Pepper dove to look for herself. Hope flared in her greedy heart. A whole ship could get them darn close to payoff and much closer to freedom than either had thought possible. She and Kade discussed endlessly what they’d do if they ever got to payoff without ever believing it could happen before they were too infirm to enjoy it. “Dollavera’s Nuts! Let’s get over there and confirm.”
The wedge-shaped hulk hove into view, beautifully framed by a nearby nebula. The white hull gleamed and winked, belying the pocked appearance of a hull that wasn’t meant for deep space. “What’s the inscription on the side there? I can’t read it, and I thought I was pretty good with the common trade tongues.”
Kade focused on the side of the ship and captured an image as well as deploying the grappling magnet. The magnet attached to the nose cone with ease, assuring their claim over the entire bulk. “Accessing the data. Hmm. It’s Old Earth French, Pepper. The name of a museum called the Louvre, but that’s odd. The registry number is for another ship called Enterprise. The Enterprise was supposedly destroyed during the reign of the dictator Amin in the early twenty-first century.”
“Louvre? Weird name. So is it the Enterprise or the Louvre?” Pepper leaned forward to study their prize. Their big, hulking ticket to freedom. She did a tiny jig behind Kade’s chair. While historical dating could place the ship and give them clues as to what types of saleable items it might contain, they could explore for themselves. It would just take longer, and longer meant more time for pirates to find them. A pulsing light caught her eye on Kade’s console. “What’s the energy readout blinking for?”
Kade’s extensions were busy and his voice absent. “Weak energy pulse. I haven’t identified the source yet. One question at a time, Captain Greedy.” Images flipped at rapid speed on his screen, slowed and stopped. An image of a ship identical to their prize stood against a pale blue sky. “That thing was never meant to be here in deep space, Pepper. It was called a shuttle, meant only for flights of short duration between nearby objects of a planet, like to orbiting space stations and back to the ground. Our prize was one of only twenty shuttles ever created, and all were presumed destroyed.” Kade gestured out the window. “What we have there isn’t supposed to exist.”
“So, no chance of knowing what’s on board. Delia’s tits. Okay, so we suit up and go look.” Pepper sighed. “Does the pulse come from the nuclear power? I don’t want a radiation leak contaminating my best power suit.”
“No leaks that I can find.” Kade clamped down his helmet, sealing his vulnerable face behind a smoky mask. His voice issued from the radio speaker on the console, and would until Pepper tuned in to his channel from her own suit. “I’ll go see to the jet packs while you primp.”
Pepper laughed and jumped into the bottom half of her suit. Since she wore a singlesuit coverall unless she was sucking up to some officious government type, primping like a sex slave was out of the question. Not that such action did her much good. Pepper fingered the scar that ran from her hairline over her eye to her jaw. No male would look at her without wincing, and that was the way she wanted it. She hit the button that lowered the top half of her suit and fitted herself inside.
By the time they jetted over to the ship, Kade had already located a hole in the hull large enough to let them enter, just behind the command module. He dove right in, and Pepper was seconds behind. They both fought with the odd wheel that opened the door to the next portion, labeled crudely “Cargo Bay.”
There was no sound in space, but Pepper could imagine the creaks and groans emitted by the old mechanism when it finally gave way and spun freely. The door opened into a darkened area where strange shapes floated in the zero gravity. All were packaged, some crudely, to protect them, and many showed signs of collision with other objects.
“I’m going to cut this one open.” Kade changed his left appendage from scanner to knife, and scored along the textile covering a very tall and long object. After several attempts, the wrapping fell away revealing a human female figure made of stone, starkly white in the darkness. “This looks familiar. Let me access the ship’s database.”
Pepper waited, pushing away the occasional object floating too near for her comfort. She’d seen statues before in pictures, mostly in newsvids of the richest homes. This statue was beautiful in a way Pepper could not describe. Pity its arms had been broken off, though they weren’t in evidence nearby.
“Holy Lextu! Pepper! Turn on your link. Take a look at this.” She’d never heard Kade’s voice have that tone of awe and excitement before.
Pepper tongue-switched on her access to the ship, and an exact picture of the statue appeared on the tiny screen in her hood. She listened carefully to the accompanying recording.

Last known picture of Venus de Milo statue, lost in 2015 during reign of dictator Amin. Presumed destroyed in his cultural purge, along with all contents of museums in major metropolitan areas of Europe, Asia, and parts of North America. Estimated value at time of destruction was incalculable…

Kade ended the transmission. “If this is the real thing…”

Welcome to my Blog!

Thanks for popping by! Don't sit on the whipping horse unless you want to find out how it's used. I speak my mind and annoy many people, but all of it is meant in good spirit. Feel free to argue with me. I like it.

Best way to reach me is by email: