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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year! Time for Dessert!

My dessert offering tonight isn't a family recipe, nor does it really have a lot to do with any of my books. But oddly, it does have a lot to do with my a rather convoluted way...

You see, I don't cook well. In fact, I roasted a turkey for the first time last year. I have a handful of meals my mom and grandma taught me. Oddly, I'm a pretty good baker. But anyhow, I don't cook, but my daughter does. She's a chef, and a pretty elevated chef at that. She feeds the rich and famous, as well as the rich, powerful and less famous. She's kind of a someone in her field and dang. I had nothing to do with her skills. But when I pick up something in the kitchen, I pick it up really, really well. Which really bugs her. ;)

It takes courage to try something out of your comfort zone, and a few years ago, I was fresh off a pressure-filled year of writing and just decided to try making a cheesecake. I'd never made one but I knew my daughter makes a pretty mean dessert and I just wanted to know if I could do it. So when my family was out of town for a weekend, I tried. It was a pumpkin cheesecake and it was...okay. Not that impressive, but eat-worthy. Next I tried a chocolate cheesecake. My sister was taste-testing and absolutely loved it. Next up was the ultimate cheesecake: New York, plain and simple.

I experimented with recipes and finally concocted one I liked, and dang. It was gooooodddd. So I tested it on my youngest daughter, and she was in love. She asked if I'd make enough to do a fund-raiser for her dental hygiene class. (No. Sorry) So I was feeling pretty proud of myself till my oldest showed up for New Years. I urged her to try it and she refused. The next day I offered it again. And again and again, till she finally caved and took a sliver. And I mean a sliver. It was transparent.

She sat, ate it and then just sat there in her chair. She eventually got up, went to the kitchen and came back into the living room with a big, fat slice and quietly ate it. Then she looked at me and said, "Goddamnit, Mom...that's the second thing you make better than me!" (the other is a bread recipe.) I nearly got up and danced! LOL! At that moment, I felt as good as I did with my first ever five star review!

Anyhow, I'm not a good cook but I make a pretty darned good cheesecake and maybe for the New Year, lets all try something out of our comfort zone. :)

So here it is. My personal, private cheesecake recipe. I'm sure its out there in various permutations, but this is how I make it. 

Now the thing with cheesecake is how you bake it. Slow and low. Put a pan of water in the oven to keep it moist. And don't overcook!

Belinda's New York Cheesecake
Your favorite graham cracker crust or:
1/2 cup butter, melted
2s cup cinnamon graham cracker crumbs

3 1/3 packages (8 oz. packages) room temperature cream cheese
1 4 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
(Not evaporated milk!)
2 eggs 
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
1tsp lime juice and/or lemon/lime or orange zest to taste
(this isn't a citrus cheesecake, but the juice and/or zest really plays up the tart edge of the creme cheese)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; press evenly on bottom of 2 small springform pans. Bake for about 10 minutes, or till crust starts to brown slightly. Take out of oven to cool.

2. In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk, beating until smooth.

3. Add vanilla, juice, zest and eggs, mix well. Pour into prepared pie pans.

4. Lower heat to 300. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, turn off oven but leave cheesecakes in oven with door propped slightly open for an additional hour. Turn off the heat as soon as the center of the cake is solid, but still jiggly. Take it out and let it cool before chilling.

5. Refrigerate at least 6 hours until firm. I suggest you serve with lemon curd, blackberry jam or another tart topping. And whipped cream. Or just serve it naked. 

Variations I've tried:

Substitute juice and zest, using 2 tsps of vanilla
Juice and zest of an orange  
1 tbsp of Amaretto plus 1 tsp almond extract

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Prince of Faith: Cover Art Contest!

I'm finally home! Its been a whirlwind these past few months, traveling all around the country to various conventions, dog shows and gatherings. I wish I'd had time to do posts about the highlights of each one. Its been a great, but ultimately tiring experience. So now its November, and I'm taking a few days to catch my breath before getting ready for the holidays.

I mean...Thanksgiving? Already? Yeesh.

So for new updates, as you know, I have a new release. Also, I have a new member of the family. Please meet

(AKA "Shot Through the Heart")

Eros is a 13 week old Saluki, which is an ancient sighthound breed that originated in the middle east. He's a big change from my Siberians, but is fitting into my home really well. He's a complete delight and we're all totally in love with him. :) You will undoubtedly be seeing a lot of him here and on my Facebook page. LOL! Yes, I'm a proud dog-mom.

Cover Art Contest

So for the contest portion of the blog...I'm giving away cover art posters from An Uncommon Whore 3: Prince of Faith. I'm fortunate to have another beautiful Bishonen style cover by PL Nunn. As an author, its so special to get a one of a kind, hand created cover!

 As always, my contest rules are simple, just leave a comment on this thread. If you live outside the US, I'll substitute a copy of the e-book (or a book from my backlist) to save on shipping. This contest is open till Sunday, November 16. I'll give away 3 posters. (or e-books, as the case may be)

What Reviewers Are Saying About Prince of Faith:

The feedback on Prince of Faith has been truly humbling. Its a Recommended Read at the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, where Jessie says, "What I love about this book is that it's unpredictable. I didn't know what the characters would choose to say or do — it was so refreshing." 

Over at Rainbow Romances, Serena Yates says "What a stunning book! It is so intense it almost killed me, but I loved it!" and here's her review:

You might notice that many of the reviews are enthusiastic, but a little tight-lipped. Why? Because there's a spoiler in the book that no one wants to reveal. I thank all the reviewers for sitting tight and not spoiling the surprise!

Have you purchased your copy yet? If not, the buy links are at the end of this post. If you buy the book, please take a moment to review it. Those honest reviews help other readers on their purchasing decisions.

Its wonderful to be back and I still have quite a bit to catch up on, both in my home and online. Please be well and if you live in a region affected by the polar vortex, stay warm!

Buy Links:

Loose Id
All Romance E-Books:
Barnes and Noble:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Now Available! An Uncommon Whore 3: Prince of Faith!

Now available at Loose Id, Amazon and All Romance E-Books!

An Uncommon Whore 3: Prince of Faith!

Also be sure to check out the blog tour for a chance to win prizes!

Prince of Faith is available at the following locations:

Coming soon to other locations!

If you read the book, please share a review! It really helps. :) 

Happy Tails!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Sunday Blog On Monday: Soap!

I'm just in from RWA and while I'd love to give a rundown of the event, (which was really rewarding) I'm kind of shot for the day. However, I have new soap up on my Etsy page! So if you're in the mood for a little early holiday shopping, swing on by. Quantities are limited but now that I've got my soaping mojo back, I'm making larger bars in bigger batches. Next month I'll be doing more florals, a nice mint and we shall see what else comes out of the kitchen!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Share My Cover and Win!

It's a live! From now to Sunday, July 20 , I'll be running a contest for my cover reveal! How do you enter? Easy...simply share the new cover to Uncommon Whore 3: Prince of Faith. Every share is an entry, whether its on Facebook, Twitter, on your blog or on your forehead. Simply leave a message here on my blog and every share is an entry. I'll draw winners on July 20!

What can you win? How about e-books, signed paperbacks, some cool swag or a signed poster of my new PL Nunn art? I need your help to share this image and let people know that the next book in this award-winning series is on its way!

Check it out! Then grab it and share!

And thank you SO MUCH! I want this book to fly, and with your help it will. :) 

If you'd like to join the official event page, you'll find it here:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

New Soap, Coming Soon!

If you didn't know already, I kinda have an obsessive hobby: soapmaking. I make a LOT of soap. In fact, my family tends to get irate with me because soaping takes a substantial amount of equipment and they get tired of all the clutter when I take over the kitchen. Not to mention trays of curing soap sitting around the house. LOL! Anyhow, I finally opened an Etsy page so I can get some of this stuff out of my house. It also allows me to buy more supplies...

Anyhow, here's what I've been working on the past week. They aren't cured yet, but so pretty I just have to share!

These are all cold process/oven process soaps, made primarily with olive, coconut, and palm oils, with other fine oils added to make them gentle and moisturizing.

1. Nag Champa: Smoky and sexy...just wonderful! This started as white soap with copper and brown streaks, but because of the nature of the fragrance oil, it morphed to this wonderful tan color with purple and dark pink streaks. Check out the copper streaks peeking out on top!

 2. "Mr. Darcy" is a wonderful soap fragranced with a blend of tobacco leaf, bay leaf and other warm, musky scents. This is my personal favorite!

3. Black Raspberry and Vanilla. This pour turned out amazing! The fragrance is warm fruity and sweet.

4. Blacque/Bleu: Wow. This is stormy, moody and gorgeous. The scent is Blackberry/Sage, and just perfect for the title characters.

5. Carnation: Not really the pour I intended, but still very pretty. :) Its floral and spicy, just like a bouquet of carnations. This soap was fun, it started yellow, then cured back to white.

While these aren't ready to go up for sale yet, here's my Etsy URL:

Sunday, May 4, 2014

What it Means to Hurt

Another convention has come and gone. :) This one took a little consideration and cogitation, letting it all sink into my brain and bubble around...
Yup. Bondage Expo. Not your ordinary convention.

This was hosted in the Crowne Plaza in Dallas Texas, and the hotel was conveniently located near Tiff's Treats, home of the world’s most wonderful cookies, available by delivery. :)

I arrived on Thursday, which gave me plenty of time to wander, explore the area and obviously, find the best bakery around. Once my roommate arrived (the fabulous J.A. Rock) we were off and running, attending workshops, a short signing, a play party and of course, the free range roping area. Being Texas, there were subs running around being lassoed and hogtied...just like a scene from Doms of Dark Haven!

I didn't get to attend all the workshops I wanted to, largely because of the book signing, but there were three that were outstanding for various reasons. Because of a situation I'm wrangling with in a manuscript (Destiny, anyone?) I decided to gird up my loins and attend those that focused primarily on pain.



The workshops were "Because it Hurts," "Pain and Fear Play" and "Semenawa: The Beauty of Suffering."

Every workshop approached the giving and managing of pain via different perspectives. In "Because it Hurts" the presenter showed us pressure points that could be manipulated with rope and knots. His focus was on shifting the sub between the endorphin rush created by pain, and the adrenaline that negates the pain dulling properties of the endorphins.

In "Pain and Fear Play," the approach was similar, but the intent was more to keep the sub on an adrenaline high which is created not only by fear, but by the anticipation of fear. The presenter bound his partner to a chair and throughout the presentation, occasionally tipped the chair, keeping her on the rise and fall of fear.

The third presentation was the most difficult for me personally. The presenter took elements of Japanese tortures and adapted them to an erotic, BDSM environment. Like the others, he was manipulating the pain and fear of his partner, but on a higher level, as the methods were indeed derived from torture. He bound his partner in painful and difficult positions, suspended her, taunted her by simply sitting and watching her hurt. He also brought in breath play, which is frightening on so many levels. His intent was to keep the sub in a pain/fear state, leading to a state of hopelessness and surrender. This was play on a different level, and while I admire both the Dom and his volunteer, he scared me on a visceral level.

All three were of immense value to me as a writer, giving me insight to some of what my characters see, experience and crave. The workshops I attended were all hands-on, so I not only had the opportunity to watch the presenter, but the attendees as well.

Hopefully, I'll get the chance to attend again next year. In the meantime, Destiny is about to show her Dom the meaning of pain...

Happy tails! And happy May! I'll be on the convention trail for several weeks; hopefully I'll get a chance to post from the road.


Monday, March 17, 2014

The Bacchi Wins an EPIC!

I'm so proud to announce that The Bacchi is the winner of this year's EPIC competition, in the Science Fiction Romance category!
To celebrate, Loose Id has put a big discount on the book, so head on over and grab it now! Check out their other daily specials while you're there. Do you have a Kindle or a Nook? You can get any format you need right there at the Loose Id homepage. Happy Tails, and have a great week!

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Heartache Cowboy by ZA Maxfield!

My Heartache Cowboy
(Cowboy Series, Bk #2) By Z.A. Maxfield
Can love conquer all? Jimmy Rafferty and Eddie Molina go way back at the J-Bar ranch. They’ve worked together, bunked together, camped out, and drank together. So how has Jimmy failed to notice that Eddie is gay? Eddie has not failed to notice that his friend has a serious drinking problem, and he’s determined to help Jimmy kick the booze cold turkey. Taking him up to a snowbound cabin to detox, Eddie is confronted with Jimmy’s fierce denial. But the pains of withdrawal are nothing for Jimmy compared with the heartache of denying his true feelings and his deep longing…for the one man who cares for him more than anyone else on earth.
Available for purchase at
When I woke, I was alone and the truck wasn’t moving. Who the hell did Eddie think he was, leaving me asleep by myself in a truck outside in the freezing cold? My pa and my older brother, Jonas, used to do that. We’d be on the road, and when I fell asleep, they’d leave me in the parking lot of some dive bar or motel—just leave me asleep outside in the dark. I’d wake up with no clue where I was, no idea if they were coming back or if I should go in and try to find them. My first useful thought was to look for the keys, because I hadn’t forgotten what Eddie said. I hadn’t forgotten the plans him and boss Malloy made for me behind my back. It would serve them right if I up and hightailed it back to the J-Bar with Eddie’s truck and no Eddie. No keys. Not like that was going to stop me. Where the hell did Eddie get the idea I’d go quietly? I slid over and tore the wiring out from under the dash. Found what I needed without hardly even looking. I hated waking up alone like that. Unwanted. Abandoned. One twist. Two. Touch the wires together and the engine should . . . Fuck. Nothing. What the hell? I checked I got the proper color-coated strands and tried again. I was frowning down at the mess of tangled wire when someone tapped on the window behind me. I glanced up and saw Eddie frowning down, no doubt pissed at what I’d done to his truck. Serves you right for leaving me like that, you prick. “You need a working engine for that,” he told me as he opened the door. “One that has a battery.” “Fuck you.” I spilled out of the car ready for a fistfight. “What?” Eddie jumped back. “Why did you have to leave me like that? What did I ever do to you?” Eddie shook his head at me. “I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. You were sound asleep and I thought maybe you needed it.” I took a swing at him. “I hate waking up alone in a car like that.” Ed plucked my fist from the air and peered at me like he was trying to see through my skin. “I didn’t know.” “I hate that. Left behind in the car like a damn dog. Like a fucking duffel bag. You can’t be bothered to even wake me up and take me in out of the fucking snow.” Now Eddie frowned like he was thinking about it. Now, after the fact. “I’m sorry, Jimmy. I didn’t think how you’d feel waking up alone like that. I won’t do it again.” “Would have served you right if I took your truck and left you up here to walk back to civilization, wherever the hell that is. Would have served you right if I’d died out here.” “All right, all right. Simmer down now.” I glared at him. “Fuck you.” “It’s pretty civilized inside. How about you come in with me.” “How about you suck my fucking—” “That’s enough.” He turned and headed toward the cabin’s welcoming front door. “I almost didn’t bother to disable the damn thing, but I thought on the off chance you knew what you were doing and could—” “Which I did,” I pointed out. “Come inside.” He jerked his chin toward the cabin like I was a dog and I was supposed to just follow along and yip around at his heels. I debated making a run at him, but frankly, Eddie was a tough buzzard. He wasn’t too much older than me, just forty-two compared to my thirty-eight. But I was a lover, not a fighter, or at least that’s how I thought of myself. Back there on the road, Eddie had proved he wasn’t above using violence to get his way in this, so I went along. You’re going to have to sleep sometime. Eddie led me into a rustic-looking cabin that seemed awful nice for the middle of nowhere. There was a place for us to hang our hats just inside the door, over a table with a passel of pictures on it. There were old time black-and-whites of families and framed pictures of a good-looking man, a pretty woman, and some kids. There were some of the kids alone, and holy cow, there were probably a dozen pictures of Ed. He looked so young in a couple of them, they must have been from before we met. One of Ed and the unknown man caught my eye. Something about the difference in height, the casual way they leaned together, the way they looked at each other, made me think this was Ed’s friend from the road, Don. Even though they’d both aged some since it was taken, I was almost sure of it. No knobby hands, no weathered angel, this Don was good looking, without a doubt. He was lanky and chiseled. He had an intelligent face and a smile that drew the eye. He seemed sure of himself and charming. Whatever I’d seen in the darkness outside the car had to be a trick of the light. Ed looked so young and earnest next to him it took my breath away. Brawny and tan, he wore a yoked Western shirt with the sleeves rolled up past well-muscled forearms and he eyed Don like he would follow him anywhere. And that Don, he looked like he could appreciate a guy like Ed, as well. Hadn’t I seen firsthand how much he did appreciate him?
About the Author
Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back. Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. Three things reverberate throughout all her stories: Unconditional love, redemption, and the belief that miracles happen when we least expect them.If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four can find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”
You can find ZA Maxfield at
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"If you tip over, you hang on..."

I know an awful lot of us have been affected by cancer, either as a patient or as a survivor of a loved one. Back in 2005 I got a an email from my best friend, she had just been diagnosed with multiple myloma. A few weeks later, on "Think Pink" day my beloved aunt received the news that her breast cancer had returned.  Mere days after that, my uncle died of a very aggressive cancer. And then another friend.

They are all gone now.

"If you tip over, you hang on."

Those are the words of a world class athlete and cancer survivor named Lance. No, not that Lance...the other one. The one you probably don't know about, unless you follow the Iditarod Race in Alaska. Lance Mackey is a 4 time winner of the race, and has also won the Yukon Quest 4 times. He's not glamorous or rich, nor does he hang out with the Hollywood set. He's a guy who does what he does because he loves it.

Lance isn't racing this year. 

No, his cancer hasn't returned, but its still making his life miserable. Because of the radiation treatment, his jaw has weaked and he's lost all his teeth. The treatment and surgery to fix his jaws and give him implants is very, very expensive, and Lance doesn't have dental insurance. He's in too bad of condition to race, and if he can't race, he can't pay his bills.

A fundraiser has been set up to help Lance Mackey with his bills and while donors have been generous, there's still a long way to go. So take a look at this video and if you have a few extra dollars, go donate. We live in a world where sometimes we have to take care of each other and hope that when we are in need, someone will be there to give us a hand. :)

Here's the URL for the Lance Mackey Medical Fund: