Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Guest Post w/ Alyssa Alexander-- Oh...she's got a herd! And...has set butter...on fire?!

*waves* Morning yall!! We've got Alyssa Alexander joining us today. She's one of the new to me authors I'm totally stalking right now. I lurved! her newest release. She's got a fun post for yall today. Total herd babe cuteness and some :snort: worthy cooking disasters mixed in too. Give it a look-see and then be sure to leave Alyssa some comment love! ~Anna
When her husband is killed at Waterloo, Lilias Fairchild takes up his cavalry sword and boldly storms the front, earning herself the nickname Angel of Vengeance. But there is another angel on the battlefield who is just as single-minded, and just as ruthless…

Alistair Whitmore, the Marquess of Angelford, is a British spy. Code name: Angel. Still haunted by a first love felled by assassins, his mission draws him to Waterloo, where he is captivated by a beautiful and mysterious woman fighting amongst the men—a woman who becomes his most intoxicating memory of war.

Two years later, Lilias and Angelford lock eyes in a crowded ballroom and the memory returns in an exhilarating rush. The history they share, and hide from the world, is as impossible to ignore as the heat of their attraction. But it’s that very connection that spells doom for their scandalous affair. When someone from the shadows of their past proves a dire threat to their lives, passion might not be enough to save them.

Amazon | All Romance | Book Depository | BAM | Goodreads

There I was, thumb cramping as I scrolled through my Facebook news feed on my phone, when suddenly my jaw dropped. Someone created a blog just for me to follow! Why? Because I (1) have a herd and (2) burn soup. I also burn cookies. And chili. And fish. And a host of other things. Accordingly, I clicked ‘like’ on Facebook immediately, then came over here and read all sorts of fun things. Then Anna read my second book, IN BED WITH A SPY, liked and reviewed it (made me blush, even!) and now I get to visit here!

Therefore, in honor of herds and of soup, I thought I’d give you a rundown of my herd and my kitchen, in pictures and in words. 

Herd baby #1, Saki (see top step). She liked to suck on plastic bags (weaned too soon), stick her paws in water bowls, and yowl in the middle of the night when she couldn’t find us. She left us about a year ago, at the ripe old age of 16, though she is not forgotten. We still talk about her yowl and her love of playing in the water bowl. And Mr. Alexander, in particular, misses her. They shacked up together for about year before we were married, so she was very much his baby.
Food incident A: I made a chocolate mousse in a spring form pan. Never having used a spring form pan before, I didn’t know it would leak. It does. A lot. My mousse was very short, but quite tasty. However, it didn’t smell so great the next day when Mr. Alexander went to preheat the oven for dinner—the mousse scorched on the bottom of the oven and the smoke was thick. We had to have the windows and doors open for about an hour to get it all out! 

Herd baby #2, Boy. He used to have a name, but we sort of forgot it. He was like a dog with his constant desire for petting and his ability to love every human being who entered our house. He also peed on my kitchen counter (*shudder* and *bleach*) and shredded feather pillows. We miss this baby too, who left us after a tough battle with various troubles at the age of only 9. But oh, he was a good Boy!
Food incident B:  I decided to make homemade macaroni and cheese, but I failed to read the entire recipe and didn’t bake it. Poor Mr. Alexander tried so hard to shovel it in his mouth and shower me with platitudes, all without letting on it was disgusting. Unfortunately, he never even made it out of the kitchen before he was sick. Not my finest culinary moment. 
Herd baby #3, Puck. She joined our herd because Mr. Alexander plied me adult beverages and locked me in a room with three kittens. Naturally, I left the room with one of the aforementioned kittens. This particular baby—now 16 years old, stiff and quite cranky—once pushed the screen out of a sixth story window. I turned around just in time to see the screen plummet to the ground and the kitten twisting her body mid-air. I will never forget sticking my head out of the opening, looking down and discovering no flat cat, then looking to the right and seeing her stuck to the wall, six stories up, her claws scrabbling at the brick and mortar. Pretty sure I’m going to die 10 years younger now!
Food incident C: Mr. Alexander was on call for work and I decided to be a good little wife (for the first time ever) and light the grill to prepare dinner. Only I’d never used a gas grill before. I discovered the hard way that if you’re having trouble lighting the match, you should turn off the gas. If not, and you let it build, and build, and build while you try to light the match, eventually you will have a fireball that singes off all your arm hair, whooshes up your chest and face and sends you rushing to the bathroom to inspect your eyebrows. Luckily, mine were intact, if crispy. 
Herd Baby #4: Torrey. This herd baby was of the canine variety, abused in her early life, and then joined us around 6 months old. She wasn’t the easiest baby and her loss was fraught with conflict and troubles, but we had 11 good years with Torrey that included many snuggles and much love. She was named for the tornadoes that touched down near our house the first day we left her alone at home, and she had a tornado of a tail, too! What I remember most is she was always, ALWAYS, happy to see us. And monkey pox on the people who abused her!
Food incident D: Hm. So many to choose from at this point. I once put panko crumbs on tilapia and burned it so badly they smoked. I also spent 3 hours making chicken marsala, herbed rice and roasted vegetables, only to call Hungry Howie’s at 10pm so we could eat something decent. I broiled swordfish with fennel and sautéed tofu with curry powder—both dishes went in the garbage and we ordered pizza. I also caught butter on fire when I forgot I was melting it on the stove and rushed the flaming pot out of the house…Into the garage. Where we keep gasoline. *brilliant*
Now, lest you think I’m a bit of a danger to have in the kitchen, in truth, these incidents span about 15 years. Accordingly, I’m a bit better in the kitchen these days. Now, the flaming butter? Yeah. That was about 6 months ago. But all in all, I’m a lot better these days!

Herd Babies #5 & #6: Scatter and Ajax. They are, respectively, about 9 months and 6 months old. After having older herd babies the last few years, these young whipper-snappers are a trip! They almost never slow down, eat plants, chew cords, play with candle flames, climb Christmas trees and generally incite the best possible mayhem. 

There you go, the many herd babies I’ve loved and the food incidents that have peppered my culinary life. Now you see why Herding Cats and Burning Soup caught my eye? Burning food. A herd of cats. In fact, Puck and Scatter feature in the book trailer for my latest release, IN BED WITH A SPY (with a cameo by Ajax). No, there is nothing serious about this trailer. It’s meant to be fun only! 
Have a peek and tell me what you think! And, just because I had such a fun time putting the trailer together, one lucky commenter will win a signed copy of IN BED WITH A SPY! 

Find Alyssa online

Review--In Bed with a Spy

Alyssa is giving away one copy of In Bed with a Spy! Woots!
Winners Choice: ebook or print (print is US/Can only)
Just check out her post and trailer and leave her some comment love!

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