Thursday, November 27, 2014

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I don't expect a lot of people to visit us here at Naughty Author Chicks today, with it being Thanksgiving and all. There are potatoes to mash, turkeys to roast, and most important of all, people to see.


The idea of having seasoned bread shoved up his butt doesn't seem to bother this guy in my driveway. Definitely not as much as it bothered Stud to have a wild turkey sitting on his car.






It is a small gathering of fourteen at my house today. For the first time ever, three of my kids aren't home for Thanksgiving. I have to admit, that feels strange. It didn't really sink in until last weekend, when I was figuring out how much turkey and potatoes I'd need, and whether to go with prime rib or lamb as an extra. The latter tradition started with one of my older boys who didn't like turkey. He's one of the kids who couldn't come home this year, but the idea of breaking with tradition made it feel more permanent. We're having lamb. :)




That's not to say I'm against adding new things, even if I leave the old traditions in place. I've made turducken twice, and come to the conclusion that it is not worth the effort. This year, I'm making a couple of Paleo sides for me, and anyone else who wants it. I know myself; if I don't make things like a Paleo stuffing, I'll dip my fork into that forbidden delight. Repeatedly.


In the name of tradition, if you are reading this, I hope you have, are having, or have had a wonderful meal with family and/or friends. Gluttony on all fronts is absolutely allowed!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cheesy Chicken Chili


It's that time of year - cold weather that begs for hot, tasty chili. This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a book signing with several other authors from the Southeast US. Anita Musgrove with Great American Publishers was sharing her book of recipes from locally owned Alabama restaurants. She sent me her favorite recipes. Hope you enjoy them!

Southern Smiles,
Casey Crow

Cheesy Chicken Chili

1 pound Cooked Chicken-shredded
2 cans pinto beans
2 cans chili beans
2 cans kidney beans
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
chili powder to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste

Put all in crockpot. Cook for 7 hours on low. Add the next ingredients and let cook for 1 more hour.

1 pint whipping cream
2 cups pepper jack cheese
1 (16 ounce) container of sour cream



Crustless Egg Custard Pie

4 eggs-beaten
1 3/4 cups of sugar
1 1/3 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
4 tablespoons of melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla


Mix wet ingredients the add flour and sugar.  Pour in greased pie pan and cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Come Fly with Me -- a New's Year Eve Adventure High Up in the Sky with The Sexiest Man Alive!

http://amzn.to/11A7wai
 
UPDATED: Chris Hemsworth was voted the sexiest man alive -- just like my hero in "Come Fly with Me" -- as a bonus, I've added the moment when my heroine, Kacie Bennett, finds out the man who bought her a first class airline ticket home to save her little sister from marrying the wrong man, has just been named the sexiest man alive by a British tabloid:
 
“The Daily Sneek dubbed him the sexiest man alive. His picture is splashed all over the front page.” ...She winked and handed her the scandal sheet.

Kacie’s eyes popped. It was him all right. There, sprawled on the cover of the glossy gossip sheet was the gorgeous hottie who bought her a ticket home. The man’s charisma grabbed her, as bold and sexy on paper as he was in person. The paparazzi had caught his hard, muscled body in a candid shot somewhere on a white, sandy beach. Shoulders so broad they spilled off the page, his naked chest glistening with sea spray, his abs tighter than a clamshell.

And a come-hither grin that would have any woman crawling on her knees to get close to him. His brooding black eyes stared straight into the camera as if daring the photographer to take the shot.

============

Does Kacie take the ticket to fly home? The flight is booked solid, it's New Year's Eve, and the clock is ticking...would you fly home with "the sexiest man alive?"
 

 
Come Fly With Me is what happens when a bad boy billionaire offers a lonely good girl a free airline ticket home to save her sister...in first class...next to him!!

This is my just released, sexy contemp novella that takes place entirely in the airport and in an airbus on New Year's Eve.

I've always enjoyed the films that take place on an airplane...who can forget Harrison Ford in Air Force One or Liam Neeson in the recent Non-Stop...but instead of bad guys taking over the plane, our bad boy is a handsome billionaire...the only thing he wants is the heroine...

Let me know what you think...this is a novella that sets up the Bennett Sisters who run a B&B called "The 3 Bees" in a Shangri-La-like small town in Northern California.

Happy Flying!

~Jina

Come Fly With Me is available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited
 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

WTF Moment of the Week

Sometimes, you see something out of the corner of your eye that defies description.

Sometimes, there is no explanation to be found on the internet.

Sometimes, you're lucky enough to snap a picture or three, and have one of them come out. This is one of those times.


Swear to God, I saw this on 95N before the 128S/95S holy-shit-how-can-I-be-headed-in-opposite-directions split. I somehow managed to snap these shots without, er, cutting anyone off.

Here are the other 2 pics, though they aren't as clear:




















I do realize that the name is spelled differently, Bobbet instead of Bobbitt. But seriously, there's only one message you could be giving by having that plastered on the sides of your car. If that's the person's real name and they own a business? Unless it's for knife sharpening, they're not likely to drum up business this way. Besides, it was only the name. No contact info, no website, nothing.

If anyone has any kind of explanation for this, please, share it with us! All I can think is that someone shrink-wrapped an ex's car while they slept?

Friday, November 7, 2014

How do you Christmas Shop?

Why is it that even before Halloween Target has the Christmas stuff out? Ok, I admit, my highlight of Halloween is that the Hallmark Channel starts its Countdown to Christmas movies. Yes. Hello, my name is Casey and I'm a Hallmark addict.

So by default, I merrily swing into the holiday season, thankful that Nov. 27 means we are one day away from the official start of shopping season. I'm not one to brave the early morn on Black Friday. It's the whole getting up at the butt crack of dawn, scrounging the aisles, and fighting the crowds in search of the best bargains that turns me off, but if you're one of those brave souls...Khudos to you. Could you pick my son up an XBox 360 while you're out? 

I do, however, love me some online in the comfort of my jammies because, alas, I am not one of those annoyingly organized people who has all her shopping already done. And in my defense that is because my kids have yet to pick out their three Santa items. (In my house, Baby Jesus got three gifts, you get three gifts. I love it even if Grandma has never gotten the memo and spoils the kiddos beyond belief.)

I'm an online shopper, followed by a Toys r Us run after Black Friday since most of the stuff I need is out of stock online. Did you notice I said "need" as in my son's NEEDS more legos. 

I'm think I might brave the crowds this years just to see what all the whoopla is about on Black Friday. Any suggestions?  I might chicken out, though, when I see the number of cars in the parking lot and I can promise I won't be getting up at 6 or even 7 so is it still worth it to straggle in about 10 or 11? Um, yeah, Casey is not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. 

I do like to stroll the mall at some point before Christmas, maybe picking up that last item or just browsing. I like to see the decorations and hear the carols blasting through the speakers. It just puts you in the spirit, you know?

How do you shop? Do you spend the extra twenty at Toys r Us or the mall next week when the crowds aren't so crazy? Do you wait till the last minute like my dad (seriously - like Christmas Eve last minute)?

Well, whatever kind of shopper you are, I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving and make a point to be thankful for something everyday this month!

Southern Smiles,
Casey Crow

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ever seen a Christmas Piano Tree?




I asked myself that question when I was looking for ideas for a cover for my holiday romance, A Christmas Piano Tree. 

You can’t stick a picture of a Christmas tree on a piano…and the story is a romance. Got to have gorgeous hero and pretty heroine on the cover…but where to start?

That’s when I decided to take a cover class from Andris Bear www.andrisbear.com and Lily Smith http://www.coversbylily.com through the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers.

http://heartofcarolina.org

Andris and Lily critiqued and gave suggestions to my cover until I got it right. Thank you, ladies!! I highly recommend their class if you want to do your own covers. Lily and Andris are awesome!

I love www.Dreamstime.com for stock photos, and since I have somewhat of an art background, I enjoy the process of cover design (once upon another life I studied design for the theatre). Here is a Spanish-theme sketch I did for a Vegas-type extravaganza.

Jina Bacarr's photo.
 
I’ve always had a love for design since I was a kid and I drew pictures in my dad’s encyclopedias (remember those?).

Here's a sketch for a dress design I did at age 11. Somehow it has survived numerous moves around the country and overseas…



What kind of covers do you enjoy for Christmas books?

I totally enjoyed putting the cover together for “The Christmas Piano Tree,” the story of a pretty young war widow who re-discovers the magic of the holiday season with the help of a homeless vet and an old piano. I hope you like it.

Best,
Jina

Check out my Christmas Piano Tree Pinterest board!
 
 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hello, November!


It's been a weird year for me, and this month tops all the rest in spades. I had TWO new stories come out over the Halloween weekend. One is The Cat’s Meow, a short freebie, done with the Here be Magic group under the pen name Hera B. Magic. These quirky little Halloween cat stories are a FREE download from Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/489242



And Mr. November: Thankful for You is here from Decadent Publishing! Check out how two imperfect people can be perfect for each other! http://www.decadentpublishing.com/product_info.php?products_id=1005&osCsid=qlu88du7hrac6hoons077h9r44

AND I just got word that my full-length merman-shifter novel Sea Change will be released from Ellora’s Cave on Nov. 26, the day before Thanksgiving and 5 days after my son’s wedding. 
 
So November is a busy month for me. Always, with two family birthdays in October, one in November and one in December, plus Halloween teardown, Thanksgiving to deal with and Christmas prep. So of course the kids decide to get married in November, amking this one about the craziest yet, not even counting three book releases! Weddings are always crazy, and since most of her family is out of town, I'm running point on this one. AND I have a book due to Carina Press January 1. AND a short story due in early 2014 for an anthology...AND I can't forget to vote tomorrow. AND we still haven't finished unpacking for the move--and the in-laws will be here for the wedding!

Anyway, everyone have a great month full of great reads! You probably won't see me online as much as usual, and if you do, I'll be tearing my hair out.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween 2014

Halloween 2014 went pretty well. We tried a few new things and need to make a few adjustments, but overall, it was a crowd-pleaser. I'll post the pics first, and a quick video at the end to put it all together in order. It's really hard to get good pics of pumpkins in the dark!

Started at the end of the long driveway with pumpkins for a dead musician graveyard. We had Elvis (didn't turn out so great), Bob Marley, Michael Jackson from Thriller, Curt Cobain, and Jim Morrison. 
Had John Lennon, but the pumpkin itself was a dud. Learned a lesson about choosing pumpkins this year, and maybe why they're cheaper at Wal-Mart.
Stud built me a scaffold for the hanging heads. I had wanted to have skeletons with tattered clothes hanging down, but ran out of time. Next year. 












My fave is the "Head Cheerleader."









Here's a bit of what was on both sides of the walkway up to the porch.












Including a video game section. 

The big one on the left is supposed to be Master Chief from Halo. He didn't light up very well. :(

The other two are from Gears of War and Call of Duty. There's also a little one with a Minecraft Creeper that didn't show up in the pic.

















If the kids weren't too scared to make it to the porch, there was Frozen for the little kids. We had quite a few Elsa's and Anna's come through, and they were thrilled.



Wreck-It-Ralph





Mocking Jay
(Hunger Games)








On up to the movie for the dads. They loved "Jaws". I was going to do the Hangover Baby, but ran out of time. 



 That's a hairy version of Stud (no green face mask this year), and our new toy that you can see at the end of the video.



Overall, it was a great night. It was freakin' cold, but not the worst its been. It snowed on Sunday, so we were lucky indeed!





Until next year, I leave you with the video: