Tuesday, February 26, 2013

MY Clam Chowder recipe

Blurry pic of a baby crab inside one of my steamed clams.


2 lbs steamed clams with bottle of clam juice or 2 cans chopped clams in juice.
1/2 stick of butter
1 bunch scallions diced
1 stick of celery diced
1 large potato diced
1 Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch seasoning packet
Corn starch
Pinch of thyme
Black Pepper


In large cooking pot, saute potato, onions, and celery in butter over med/high heat. Add clam juice.
Let simmer for 10-20 minutes.
Add clams and 6-8 cups of milk.
Simmer until hot.
Season with thyme, parsley, paprika, pepper and ranch seasoning to taste.
Simmer 1 hour,
Thicken with cornstarch mixed in milk.
Add more milk or season to taste.   

Friday, February 22, 2013

How R.L. Stine inspired a a horrifying thought about my career.

Hey all, sorry it's been awhile. I've been busy with school and working on blog posts for my upcoming virtual tour.

This week has been exciting. First off, Publisher's Weekly reviewed BITE ME, YOUR GRACE! Other reviews are starting to come in as well.

And this is where R.L. Stine comes in. This morning, he tweeted this:

"#notmakingthisup This morning I read a review of an historical romance novel called: Bite Me, Your Grace."

For those unfortunates who do not know who R.L. Stine is, he is a magnificent author of children's and teen's Horror. He may have even invented it. I asked my husband if there were horror novels for kids in his day and he said no. Poor husband.

Anyway, R.L. Stine is awesome incarnate. He's one of my childhood heroes. I devoured more of his "Goosebumps" books than candy when I was a kid.

As a teen, I eagerly embraced his "Fear Street" books and found myself crying for a fictional cheerleader in a sucker-punch death scene. I HATED cheerleaders, that's why I picked up the book. I wanted to see bad things happen to them...Yet there I was, bawling like a little baby when one met one of the most gruesome, twisted ends I'd encountered outside of the Nightmare on Elm Street films. It was the ultimate inspiring lesson on making characters sympathetic.

Mr. Stine is magic.

Creepy Crack for Kids!


I was dizzy, gasping, and all "OMG" for hours before I could reply. I explained the ironic fact that the title was a joke I threw out on twitter, but people liked it so much it stuck. Then, as professionally as possible, (i.e. not squealing like an insane fangirl) I told him how much I loved his books.

Hours later he replied: "Yes, I knew it was supposed to be funny--and it is. A great title. Best of luck with it."

I told him I was honored. I hope he didn't think I was offended by his original tweet. Quite the opposite! I'm still swooning!

...But yeah, it got me thinking. 

From critiques to contests, to some early reviews, some people have disliked this book. It never bothered me, especially when their reasons were totally on-base and understandable. I've hated books other people loved. Art is a subjective business. Frankly, it would be disturbing and strange if everyone loved it.

...But what if one of my heroes hated my book? Stephen King reviews books all the time and doesn't pull punches. What if he talked about my book the way he did with a certain series he disliked? 

Or what if other heroes posted vitriol about my life's work?


Oh wait. No. I'd LIVE.

My mother-in-law read my book....which contains SEX SCENES! Okay, tame ones, but still... And when it comes out, my father will read those SEX SCENES!

My husband will never read any of my writing because he is anti-books, even when it comes to his wife.

If I can live through that, then I can live through the prospect of my idols disliking my work.

Besides, I have to live through it because that's a professional writer's job.

And R.L. Stine rocks!  

Monday, February 4, 2013

Author Carolyn Brown interviews Darla Jean from THE BLUE RIBBON JALAPENO SOCIETY!

Thank you for inviting me and Darla Jean from The Blue Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee (due to hit the book shelves March 5) to visit today. Darla Jean preaches at the church across the street from Miss Clawdy’s Cafe in The Blue Ribbon Jalapeon Society. And she’s graciously consented to let me interview her for Brooklyn’s blog today. She even offered to hold up her right hand and slap her left one down on the Bible to let us all know that she intended to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but I assured her that I trusted her not to lie. After all, she did her dead level best to keep everyone in the book going in the right direction and believe me that wasn’t easy with Agnes or Marty on most days.

Carolyn: Darla Jean, would you tell us a little about how you came to know the Andrews twins and Trixie?

Darla Jean: Marty and Cathy, that would be the twin sisters, and their friend, Trixie, decided to turn the old Andrews home into a café. Even though the house sits on a corner lot, there wasn’t nearly enough parking so I offered them the use of my church parking lot for their customers.

Carolyn: And I understand that they agreed to let you pop in and out the back door of the café and eat there in exchange for using their parking lot?

Darla Jean: Yes, they did and that sparked a really deep friendship between me and them as well as their friend, Jack, and Agnes.

Carolyn: The church across the street wasn’t always a church and you weren’t always a preacher, right?

Darla Jean: The church started off as a grocery store. When it folded my uncle bought the property and turned it into a convenience store/gas station. Then he died and left the property to me. I was at a crossroads in my twenty plus years of being a high paid escort. I’d thought about hiring some girls and putting in my own business but Mama always wanted me to be a preacher. So there I was torn betwixt the two and then I inherited the old gas station. It would make a pretty nice church and I could remodel the back of it for living quarters. The old grease pit made a wonderful baptismal with just a little bit of paint and water. But it would make a horrible brothel, so the decision was made. I became a preacher.

Carolyn: Wow, from hooker to preacher?

Darla Jean (with a smile on her face): Agnes never lets me forget it!

Carolyn: Okay, can you tell us a little bit about your friends, maybe starting with Trixie?

Darla Jean: Well, we didn’t see eye-to-eye about her messin’ around with her ex-husband. She’d left him because he cheated on her and there she was every Wednesday night going to bed with him. I kept telling her that God didn’t take too kindly to a woman screwing around with another’s woman’s man. Not even if the woman had been married to him and the “other” (she puts air quotes around the word) woman wasn’t married to him yet. But right up until Agnes blew a hole in the ceiling with a shotgun right outside Trixie’s bedroom door, she wouldn’t stop. Seems like that night kind of put the whole thing in a new perspective, though.

Carolyn: Whew! And Cathy?

Darla Jean (looking very serious): She’s the good twin (more air quotes). She’s sweet natured and soft spoken and engaged to Ethan Prescott. The wedding won’t ever take place because I believe Agnes would blow holes in that man with her shotgun before she’d see Cathy married to him. I worry about Cathy more than any of my friends because she lets people walk on her.

Carolyn: And Marty?

Darla Jean (shaking her head and giggling): Oh, honey, she’s Cathy’s opposite. She loves her cowboys and is very vocal. She’d go at a forest fire with a cup of water, fully well expecting it to back down from her. She and Agnes lock horns all the time because they are just alike.

Carolyn: You keep mentioning Agnes. Who is she?”

Darla Jean (pointing her finger at me): You know very well who she is. We’ve had to keep you two from going to battle more than once while you were writing this book.

Carolyn: But the folks here don’t know Agnes.

Darla Jean: Oh! Okay. Agnes is Marty and Cathy’s great aunt. She and Violet Prescott, the queen she-coon of Cadillac and the president of The Blue Ribbon Jalapeno Society hate, and I mean hate with a red hot passion, each other. They’ve had a feud going for more than forty years and it comes to a big head in a big way at the Jubilee. Lord, I didn’t think Cadillac would still be standing and then there was the wedding. Oh, my, I almost got calluses on my knees praying that my church wouldn’t blow plumb away when I agreed to have that wedding in it.

Carolyn: There you have it folks! Welcome to Cadillac, where the gossip is free and there’s plenty of it. Thanks again for letting me and Darla Jean stop by today and I’d just love to hear what you think of The Blue Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee. Drop me a line at ccbrown66@att.net

And if you liked visiting Cadillac, come back again for the chili cook-off next spring when The Red Hot Chili Cook-Off will hit the racks!

Darla Jean and I’ll be around most of the day so if you’ve got any more questions, feel free to ask either of us! We love to talk about The Blue Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee!

New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author and RITA® Finalist, Carolyn Brown, has published more than sixty books.
Brown's books have been translated into eleven foreign languages and fourteen have been reprinted in large print format. Her books have been reviewed in Library Journal, Booklist, Romantic Times, Romance Reviews Today, Publisher's Weekly, Cataromance, USA Today and Romance Reader At Heart. Two of her romances have been published as Japanese Manga books.
She and her husband have three grown children, enough grandchildren to keep them young and two tom cats that rule the back yard. 


KIRKUS: "Ruthless gossip, philandering husbands, flawless makeup, hunky bartenders and true friendship bring Cadillac, Texas, into vivid focus.
Brown (Just a Cowboy and his Baby, 2012, etc.) brings her cowboy-romance writing talents to bear on this hilarious tale of women in a gossipy small town. Fast-paced, the intertwined tales collide along a bumpy road toward a surprising calamity at the jalapeño jubilee.
A high-spirited, romantic page turner."

RT REVIEWS: "Humor and down-home charm make this a first-place prize winner. All the character quirks and small-town appeal are used to the fullest advantage. This is one book that you won’t want to put down for anything and wish would never end. (4 Stars)"

FRESH FICTION: "This is an excellent book. I loved every bit of it. The relationships that Cathy, Marty and Trixie have along with their friend Jack, are heartwarming. Each of the main characters go through a life altering time. Cathy breaking her engagement and then finding true love. Marty in letting go of Andy and coming to grips with her mother's Alzheimer's. Marty in revealing that she is the erotic romance author that both Cathy and Marty love to read. Aunt Agnes is a funny yet endearing minor character and I also loved the sub story of Pastor Darla Jean helping abused women. This is Ms. Brown's first book in the women's fiction genre and I for one can."