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Paranormal Romance Author

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Pick of the week

I am honoured that my new release Abigail Cottage has been named Pick of the week by thriller writer Lorrie Struiff

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Abigail Cottage

When Abigail falls in love with Justin she can’t begin to know the world of hurt she is heading into. Gorgeous, kind, rich – he’s the man we all dream to meet. BUT, all is not what it seems because Justin is a true demon from hell, disguised as a mortal being. He wants her and will do, kill or maim anyone who tries to stop him. Namely Shaun the real hero, who wants Abigail more! So what does a mortal man do against a demon? He enlists the help of a gypsy of course. But not any old gypsy. Rosa knows Justin very well and has the powers of the spirit world on her side to fight him. Using crystals as a powerful weapon, the light of the spirit world to lead them, they embark on a battle with the whole of the underworld. Many loved ones will lose their lives. This isn’t a book where everyone survives. In real life, bad things happen. In Abigail Cottage, terrible tragedies occur too. Believe... not every story can have a happy ending.

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Thursday, 9 December 2010

Christmas with Maryann Miller

Christmas Cheer

I have mulled wine on the table, a slice of my homemade Christmas cake. The log fire is roaring and Maryann and I are sitting in a comfy armchair, talking about what a hectic year this has been. Here is a few of the things that’s kept Maryann busy

As a journalist and author, Maryann Miller amassed credits for feature articles and short fiction in numerous national and regional publications. The Rosen Publishing Group in New York published nine of her non-fiction books including the award-winning, Coping With Weapons and Violence in School and On Your Streets, which is in its third printing. Play It Again, Sam, a woman's novel and One Small Victory, a suspense novel, are electronic books available on Kindle, Nook, and other e-book reading devices. One Small Victory was originally published in hardback. A mystery, Open Season, is a new release in hardback from Five Star Cengage Gale. A young adult novel, Friends Forever, is her first book for BWL Publishing Partners. She has also written several screenplays and stage plays and is the Theatre Director at the Winnsboro Center for the Arts.

I thought before we discussed our favorite recepies, I’d show you a few of her wonderful covers. Click here to have a look at her website. It’s pretty fabulous!

While I sit here and tuck in I’ll leave you Maryann’s capable hands.

An Italian Christmas

Good Morning Everyone. At the Miller household we started a tradition many years ago of having our big dinner on Christmas Eve, and the kids voted to have lasagna instead of the traditional holiday fare. That suited me just fine as lasagna is much easier to prepare than turkey, ham, dressing, sides, etc. Plus it's a one-pan cleanup.

I actually started this new approach after the first Christmas we spent in Texas, away from extended family. On Christmas, I was in the kitchen most of the day cooking and cleaning up, while the rest of the family was having fun playing with new toys. Normally, I do not begrudge the family some fun, and I really do love to cook holiday meals and see how much they are enjoyed, but for some reason that inequity really bugged me that year.

Plus, I'm always looking for a good excuse to play, so I decided that was the last Christmas I would spend in the kitchen.

When I proposed the change to my husband and the kids, they were all for it. They liked the idea of a relaxed day and a much happier mother. Instead of the standard holiday dinner fare on Christmas Day, we had sliced ham with fresh fruits and veggies to munch on, as well as the usual Christmas cookies and breads. Somehow I always ended up with lots of leftover fruits and vegetables, but why is that not a huge surprise?

As the years piled up, we really started looking forward to the Christmas Eve dinner more and more until it became almost sacred family time. In fact, even to this day with the kids grown and a bit scattered, we try to hold to this tradition as best we can. Christmas Eve just would not be the same without the lasagna.

Lasagna Recipe
From Maryann Miller

All good lasagna starts with the sauce. For a meat sauce:

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic chopped (or pressed)
1 green bell pepper chopped fine

2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1/2 cup water

4 tblsp white sugar
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil leaves
1 tsp red pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Brown the meats with the onion, pepper and garlic. Pour off excess fat, then add tomatoes, water and seasonings. Simmer at least an hour. This recipe can be made days in advance and just gets better with age. There is more than enough sauce for the lasagna so the rest can be frozen for use later.

To prepare the lasagna:
Soak 12 lasagna noodles in hot tap water for 15 minutes. While they are soaking, you can prepare the cheese filling:
23 ounces ricotta cheese.
1 egg
4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp parsley

Mix all ingredients well. When noodles are ready, take them out of the water and shake off excess water. Then start making layers. Put a cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9X12 pan and add a layer of noodles. Then add a layer of the cheese mixture, topped with some shredded mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan cheese. Alternate layers, ending up with sauce on top. Sprinkle more Parmesan on the top layer.

Cover with foil
Bake in preheated oven at 350 F for 25 minutes
Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 25 minutes.

I’m off to try this..really…I am. I love lasagna. But maybe not at Christmas. I think my hubby would have me committed as insane.


  1. Love Lasagne, but not for xmas lol Browsed your site while I was here, Maryanne. Very Nice.

  2. mmmm I'm a veggie. Maybe a vegetarian one for christmas will make a chance from nut loaf!!
    I like the first book cover, I'm off to have a blurb read.

  3. Who doesn't like Lasagne? And this recipe sounds yummy.

    But, I'm lucky. Now my daughter and her family have taken over most of the Christmas cooking. We all lend a hand, of course. I make the ham,slice, and take it to her house.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Peggy, glad you liked my Web site. It was designed by my daughter when she was taking a Web design class in college.

    Skyla, hope you enjoy the blurb and sample of One Small Victory. If you like suspense novels, you will like this story.

    You are lucky, Lorrie, to have someone else take over most of the cooking. I am about ready to turn that over, too.

  5. This sounds wonderful Maryann! I'm going to borrow your recipe. YUMMY! Love your site too! Might just have to post our traditions on here.

    Dana DiGirolamo

  6. Thanks for stopping by, Dana. Margaret plans to have other authors share holiday traditions and recipes and I am looking forward to the rest of the series. And you don't have to borrow the recipe. You can take it and keep it forever and ever. LOL

  7. Christmas eve celebration, what a lovely idea, but on second thoughts I don't think so, no half day spent in an over heated kitchen, no lovely aromas,no sense of acheivenment when it all comes together on the table, with compliments about a dinner well cooked, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without all that. But I do love the sound of your lasagne. Visited your web site, which was really well presented and your books look really interesting.

  8. Hi Maryann,
    What a great lasagne recipe, I will pass it on to hubby, he loves cooking.
    I like your Christmas eve celebration, I am going to seriously consider it for my family. Christmas day is just getting too hectic, dashing from one place to the next.



  9. You are so right, Margaret. When the day starts to become too hectic it loses the magic. Now that my kids are raising kids, they have adopted the same relaxed approach to the day they grew up with and all have fun playing with the new toys.

    I agree with you about the pleasure of cooking a meal and having it all come together, Country Queen, but I reserve that for Thanksgiving and other occasions when we gather. Maybe I am too much of a kid at heart and prefer to play on Christmas. Especially when the younger grandchildren are around with real toys to play with.

  10. Where's the bay leaf[ves]?
    The sauce just isn't the same without bay leaves!

    For all you readers- the unspoken Miller tradition - whoever gets the first bay leaf has to do dishes!



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