Steak Kabobs

One of the best things about summer is grilling out.

And I love how you can customize kabobs to suit any taste.

Got a picky younger brother? No problem. Just let him make his own.

This is seriously one of my favorite summer meals.

Steak Kabobs
Marinade Source: All Recipes

 Ingredients:


 
For the kabobs:
2 lbs of stew meat (or steak, cubed)
2 green bell peppers
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 yellow onion
Metal or wooden skewers

For the marinade:
1 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1 1/2 tsp coarsely cracked black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp meat tenderizer

Directions:

 

Whisk together all marinade ingredients.

Put the meat in a Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over it.

Refrigerate four to 24 hours, until ready to grill the kabobs.

Cut the peppers and onions into large chunks.

You could even use pineapple chunks and maraschino cherries if you want.

Assemble the kabobs with the veggies and meat.

Be sure you soak the skewers according to the package instructions so they don’t catch fire.

Then, load those bad boys up on the grill.

Cook ‘em until the meat is brown and the edges of the veggies have started to darken.

Doesn’t that look like the perfect summer meal?

Enjoy!

Waiting on Wednesday: Shadow Fall

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
 Yesterday, I spoke with Erin Kellison about her debut novel, Shadow Bound.
Today, I’m waiting on the next book in the series, Shadow Fall.
The back cover blurb is so intriguing:
Sacrifice
Custo Santovari accepted pain, blood, even death, to save his best friend. But a man with all his sins just isn’t cut out to be an angel.

Mystery
One moment he’s fleeing Heaven; the next, he’s waking up stark naked in Manhattan. In the middle of a war. Called there by a woman who’s desperately afraid of the dark.

Shadow
It gathers around Annabella as she performs, filled with fantastic images of another world, bringing both a golden hero and a nightmare lover.


Wolf
He pursues her relentlessly, twisting her desires even as she gives herself to the man she loves. Because each of us has a wild side, and Annabella is about to unleash the beast.
 I love that this story focuses on Custo! I’m really excited to see where his tale leads.
 
Also – don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a *signed* copy of Shadow Bound!Contest ends July 13.

What are you waiting on this week?

 

Fresh Fruit Salad

This fruit salad was a great side dish for our Fourth of July festivities.
It’s easy to make and *so* flavorful.
Sometimes, I feel guilty about taking something so healthy and pouring pure sugar on top of it. Then, I take a bite and I’m over it.
Fresh Fruit Salad
Ingredients:
2 red apples, diced
2 green apples, diced
1 package of strawberries, diced with tops cut off
1 small package of blackberries
2 cups seedless red grapes, sliced in half
1 cup sugar
Directions:
Throw fruit in a large (2 gallon) Ziploc bag.
Pour sugar into bag.
Remove air from the bag and zip it closed.
Shake bag, coating fruit with sugar.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
You could really use any fruit in this dish — mandarin oranges, cherries, blueberries…
The possibilities are endless.
Enjoy!

Author Interview: Erin Kellison

Today, I have the great honor of interviewing Erin Kellison, author of Shadow Bound, available now, and Shadow Fall, which will be released later this month.

Thanks, Erin, for agreeing to this interview!Erin has graciously agreed to send a *signed* copy of Shadow Bound to one of my readers! So be sure to read until the end to enter for your chance to win!

*****

How did you come to write Shadow Bound?

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a kid. All of my efforts have had some supernatural element to them. I’m a little nerdy myself that way. When I dug into Shadow Bound, my goal was to write a fast, dark paranormal romance. I needed a character that would introduce all sorts of world-building possibilities, and I found it in a banshee, the herald of Death. I put Talia at the brink of the mortal world and the fae Twilight, the realm all souls pass through on their way to the Hereafter. My hero, Adam, had to be someone that would have no problem embracing Death’s daughter. Why? Because Adam’s brother has turned into an immortal murderous monster, and only Death can kill him.


The book deals a lot with Death and the After-Life. What inspired the way it’s portrayed in the story?

 
Great question. I never intended Death, aka Shadowman, to appear in the story. I was trying to figure out how Talia, my banshee, came to be. My idea was that she would be a half-breed, the daughter of a mortal woman and Death, but I couldn’t quite imagine that union. I had to write it. That piece, my prologue, is excerpted in the link below. One of the key elements I wanted to convey is that regular human beings have tremendous power. Take Shadowman, a dark lord of the fae. His mythic role is awesome, and yet his appearance is dictated by how individual mortals conceive him. If you think Death is a friend, that is who he becomes. A nightmarish creature in a dark robe? He can be that, too. A lover? Well, you’d have to read the Prologue.


How do you relate to Talia?

 
While the paranormal aspects of Talia’s character are all her own, we do share a few characteristics. I started writing Shadow Bound soon after getting a masters degree in cultural anthropology; Talia is just finishing her PhD in the book. We are both introverted by nature, though she comes to be a bit more of a badass in the end. 

Your characters experience emotion very strongly in the story. How does that influence the story?


Emotion runs high because the stakes are high. Shadow Bound is about life and death from page one. The conflicts are personal, which makes the characters completely invested in every challenge and amps the pace so that the story runs fast and furious.


How would you describe your novel, in five words or less?


Dangerous, fast, dark, mythic, sensuous


Is there anything else you’d like to add?

 
The Shadow series continues with Shadow Fall, coming July 27!


Here’s the back cover blurb:

Sacrifice
Custo Santovari accepted pain, blood, even death, to save his best friend. But a man with all his sins just isn’t cut out to be an angel.

Mystery
One moment he’s fleeing Heaven; the next, he’s waking up stark naked in Manhattan. In the middle of a war. Called there by a woman who’s desperately afraid of the dark.

Shadow
It gathers around Annabella as she performs, filled with fantastic images of another world, bringing both a golden hero and a nightmare lover.


Wolf
He pursues her relentlessly, twisting her desires even as she gives herself to the man she loves. Because each of us has a wild side, and Annabella is about to unleash the beast.


Also, both books are part of Dorchester’s Publisher’s Pledge, which offers a money back guarantee if the books don’t meet the reader’s expectations.


Find out more about me at www.erinkellison.com. I’m running a contest for a nook on my website, so stop by and enter!


Link to excerpt: http://www.dorchesterpub.com/Dorch/SpecialFeatures.cfm? Special_ID=2824
 

 *****

Now, you have the chance to win a *signed* copy of Shadow Bound from Erin!


To enter, just fill out the form below. You must be a follower of my blog to win.


Be sure to include your email address and the physical address where you would like the book shipped.



Contest ends at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, July 13.

Good luck!


**Disclosure: A signed copy of Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison was provided by the author for this giveaway.**

 

Do humans have power over Death? Erin Kellison, author of Shadowbound, answers that very question in this author interview.

O Beautiful For Spacious Skies

I hope you all had a fun, safe Fourth of July holiday!
I know that we did.
On Sunday, we went to Big League Dreams in Mansfield, Texas with my family. 
 River had lots of fun playing in the baseball field until the fireworks show began.
(Oh, come on. You knew I had to sneak in a shot of my beautiful niece…)
 I was bound and determined to try my hand at taking photos of fireworks.
It took me a while to figure out the settings.
We were really close and my 85mm lens had trouble getting all of the fireworks in the frame.
A lot of the photos just looked like psychedelic strings. I imagine that’s what it would look like if I was high.
The fireworks show was really impressive.
Too bad my photos don’t really capture the beauty of it.
 
Oh, well. You live, you learn.
There’s always next year.
Thanks for looking!
We had the perfect seats to catch the Fourth of July fireworks this year.

Review: Shadow Bound

Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison is a fast-paced story of Life, Death and what comes after.
I was intrigued by this story when I first read the publisher’s description. And once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down.
From the publisher:
“Death: Some people will do anything to avoid it. Even trade their immortal souls for endless existence.
Wraiths: Secretly, inexorably, they are infiltrating our world, sucking the essence out of unsuspecting victims with their hideous parody of a kiss.
Segue: Adam Thorne founded the Institute to study and destroy his monster of a brother, but the key to its success is held in the pale, slender hand of a woman on the run. There is something hauntingly different about Talia O’Brien, her unknowing sensuality, her uncanny way of slipping into Shadow.
Twilight: This is the place between life and what comes after – a dark forest of fantasy, filled with beauty, peril, mystery. And Talia is about to open the door.”
This dark story has an interesting take on death, and centers around a supernatural character you don’t usually encounter. That sets it apart from the hordes of paranormal romance novels out there.
It has *hot* romance that is appropriate for mature audiences. Seriously, the chemistry between Adam and Talia is *intense* and it made me even more invested in these characters.
Talia is a strong character who grows and changes throughout the novel. I like that we get to see that transformation happen. The end result is a great moment.
Death permeates this novel, but the subject is approached in a way that makes it haunting and not disturbing.
The novel’s message about Life and Death will leave you thinking long after you’ve finished the last page.
Shadow Bound is available for purchase from Amazon here.
**Disclosure: Review copy provided by Dorchester Publishing.**Be sure to check back tomorrow for an interview with Erin Kellison, author of Shadow Bound and Shadow Fall, which will be released later this month. 


We’ll have an exciting announcement then, too, so please be sure to stop by!

Thanks for looking!

Not Me Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.
As for me, I did *not* have a crazy Twilight adventure when trying to see Eclipse at midnight. Not me. I am too mature to want to venture out with the teenie boppers and middle-aged women pining for Edward Cullen.
Speaking of sparkly vampires, I totally did *not* dream that my husband was a vampire last night. Not me. I am grounded in reality and know that could never, never happen. 
I did *not* pack up the whole car, Minions and all, and head to my parents’ house for the weekend, only to think 20 miles down the road, “Did I shut the garage door?” I was *not* so paranoid that I turned the car around and drove home, only to find the garage door securely closed. Not me. I am always observant and would never double the trip to ease my peace of mind.
Yesterday, I did *not* “take off” from blogging and refuse to write any posts. Not me. I would never be scrambling to post all of my stuff at 10:30 on Monday morning. Ahhh…vacation.
And finally, last night, I did *not* insist that we leave for the local fireworks show two hours early so we could get good seats. Not me. I would never force my hubby to go out of his way just so I could realize we were too close to get any awesome fireworks photos take some mediocre Fourth of July photos. Sigh.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and thanks for looking!

Independence Day!

Happy Fourth of July!
I’m taking the day off, but wanted to wish you all a happy holiday weekend!
I’m looking forward to grilling out, sparklers and fireworks!
Next week, I’ll (hopefully) have lots more fun photos to show you.
Until then, be safe and thanks for looking!

Team Edward!

Last week, the girls in my family got all dolled up and went to the movies.
The Twilight Trilogy was playing at our local theater, and we were so excited (at least I was!) to see the first two movies, along with the midnight premiere of Eclipse.
Let me just say, we were not disappointed!
Being the die-hard fans we are, we decided to make shirts.
I am Team Edward all the way.
Alex, my sister-in-law, is Team Jacob.
My mom went as Team Eh… Get it? I don’t think a lot of people did. But we thought it was funny!
One thing I learned that night: Twilight fans are *crazy.*
Let me set up the scene for you: We arrived at the theater an hour early.
I thought we’d have no trouble finding three seats together.
Yeah, we had no trouble, if we wanted to sit on the second row. Seriously?
Apparently, it is completely legitimate for one person to “save” seats on two rows for people who aren’t even at the theater yet.
Yes, you heard me right.
About half of the theater was empty, but we couldn’t sit in any of those seats because they were “saved.”
And the theater management did nothing about it.
So, Alex decided we were not going to stand for that.
She and my mom went and sat down in two of the seats that were “saved.” This lady, who was trying to save about eight seats on two rows, started screaming at them. She even went and got a manager.
She told the manager that the people she was saving the seats for were “at the concession stand.” We said that was fine, we’d move when they showed up. 
After the manager left, she called the rest of the people from their party and told them they needed to get to the theater because we were taking their seats. They weren’t even in the theater!
When two people from their group showed up, even though there were six empty seats by her, she told them to sit in our seats because they were theirs. They didn’t even have anything from the concession stand.
I was furious.
We talked to another manager, who offered to get some folding chairs and set them up for us in between the handicap seats on the bottom of the second level. Well, that was better than the second row.
But still, I can’t believe they let people save that many seats for people who hadn’t even gotten to the theater.
I can understand saving seats for people while they’re at the concession stand, but blatantly lying about it like that was wrong.
Ok, rant over. Sorry.
It was great to get to see all three movies again on the big screen. And back-to-back. 
And I *loved* Eclipse. It was *so* much better than the other movies.
And Jasper with a Texas accent? Yes, please!
I may have to change my allegiance to Team Jasper…
How about you? Have you seen Eclipse? What did you think?
Thanks for looking!


Halloween Projects