To prom or not to prom

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My husband’s youngest grandchild went to the prom last night. She wore a fairytale princess dress and looked absolutely lovely. I must admit, I’m envious. You see, I never went to my own prom. I was that nerdy girl with the glasses who spent time in a band uniform instead of a glamourous gown.

On my little island, the local Kiwanis has organized what they call a senior prom the past two years. Sadly, I haven’t gone to that either, although nowadays I do have a date. Maybe next year I’ll finally get to experience this event. In the meantime, I included a senior prom in the third book of my Calusa Town Tales, Island Dream.

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Did you go to your prom? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments.

 

 

Easter Monday sale

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If you haven’t read the third book in my Calusa Town Tales series, it is on sale today for 99 cents.  Some other clean romances are also on this after Easter sale at victoriapinder.com/category/blog.

I am a big fan of the Food channel, so I incorporated some of what I’ve watched into my novel, Island Dream. 

“Zumba teacher Isabella Ramos moved from Miami to quirky, small town Calusa to open a restaurant. Luc Girard arrives on the Florida island to become a painter, or so he says. The attraction is instant. But the secret he’s keeping threatens to deflate their relationship like a fallen soufflé. It takes the right mixture of ingredients for dreams to come true.”

Here is a recipe from Food Network’s Ingrid Hoffman that Isabella might make although to lighten it up, she might substitute ground turkey and use cooking spray instead of the olive oil. It makes about 6 cups.

Picadillo

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups)

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

1 pound ground beef or combination of beef chorizo, and pork

1/3 cup dry white wine or dry sherry

10 cherry tomatoes, chopped or 1 (8-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice

1/3 cup tomato paste

1/3 cup chopped pimento stuffed Spanish olives with 1 tablespoon brine from jar

1/3 cup raisins

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and bay leaves and saute until onion is soft, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add ground beef to skillet and cook until browned. Once the meat is browned, carefully away from the flame, tilt pan and remove excess fat with a large spoon.
  3. Add the white wine and stir for another minute. Then add the chopped cherry tomatoes, tomato paste, pimento stuffed Spanish olives, raisins, dried oregano, cumin and cayenne pepper. Simmer over low heat for another 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve warm:
  5. As a filling for empanadas or tacos
  6. Over white rice with fried plantains or black beans
  7. With a side salad and black beans
  8. To make Picadillo soupier for serving over rice, add additional wine, chicken or beef stock.

 

If you decide to buy my book, I’d be really grateful if you would post a review on Amazon or Goodreads.

Easter traditions

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Are you a Peeps fan? To me, Easter would not be complete without these little critters. I currently have a package in the freezer, so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat them ahead of time.

I didn’t hard boil any eggs this year, but I often pull these out for table decorations on Easter.

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The two on top in this basket are actual uncooked eggs with the insides blown out before decorating. The others are wooden. No, I did not make any of them myself. I am nowhere near skilled enough to achieve such an artform. These are known as pysanky. This is a Ukrainian custom using wax, similar to batik, to create the elaborate designs.

I’d love to hear about your traditions. In the comments, tell me how you celebrate this holiday.

 

 

Find some new authors

Have you ever bought a car and the started seeing the same model everywhere you went? I mentioned last week I wish I knew some authors of “seasoned romances” and then saw the announcement for this sale on Facebook. It’s probably too small to read here, so go to this link for a bigger display. The sale will be over, but I bet you can still get some good deals. Happy reading.

 

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Oldies but goodies

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Like many authors, I am a member of the Romance Writers of America. They have recently revamped their website and have separate “forums” where various topics can be addressed.

I just learned there is now a romance novel category called “seasoned.” No, this is not about stories set in restaurants. It features heroines and heroes who are, gasp, age 30 or more.

In a world where 60 is the new 40, or whatever the phrase is now, do we really consider 30 to be seasoned? I don’t know about you, but I was barely hitting my stride at age 30.

Have you read any books with “older” protagonists? I haven’t yet and would love some suggestions.