Friday, October 9, 2015


My friend Sloane, whom I 'met' when we were both Musa authors, writes hot stuff. Much warmer than what I write, and she does it with gusto and finesse (the two are not mutually exclusive). Read a little something about Sloane below. You see, she's not just an author - she's a magnificent cook. Take a gander.

By Sloane Taylor


Don is the hero of my erotic short story French Twist. Don Hobbs knows exactly what he likes in the bedroom as well as the kitchen. This Chicago born and bred man is a true lover of fried chicken. The lady in his life, Claudette D’Laquois, has no clue how to turn on a stove, let alone fry this scrumptious dish. But what can you expect from an Interpol agent? To make Claudette's life easier, I gave her the recipe so she can keep her man happy while he oversees an orchard in Nice, France.


Sloane’s Down-home Fried Chicken

1 tbsp. salt

Tap water

6 chicken legs, or thighs or 4 breasts, skinless and boneless

1 cup flour

1tsp. thyme

½ tsp. marjoram

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 large egg

1½ tbsp. milk

½ cup solid shortening or lard, plus more as needed


Dissolve salt in a small amount of water. Add chicken pieces then cover with more water. Set this in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours.


Remove chicken from fridge 2 hours before you plan to cook. Drain and pat dry.


Combine flour and seasonings in a paper or plastic bag. Shake gently to combine ingredients. Mix egg and milk in a bowl. Set a clean plate or platter on the counter to hold the breaded chicken.


Place one chicken piece at a time in the bag, shake gently to thoroughly coat, then dip in egg mixture, then return the piece to the bag and gently shake again. Set chicken on the plate. Repeat the process until all pieces are coated. Set the uncovered plate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.


Heat the shortening in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Test to be sure shortening is hot enough by adding a small piece of bread. It should sizzle and toast quickly.


Carefully add the chicken pieces. Maintain the temperature, but adjust it so chicken doesn’t burn and grease doesn’t splatter everywhere.


Turning frequently, brown the chicken on all sides. Cover and cook 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife.


Lay pieces on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any oil. Transfer them to a clean platter and serve.


Here's a brief intro to Book Three of the Naughty Ladies of Nice series with Don and Claudette.


Spies and lies bring a deadly twist to the City of Lights:


Interpol agent Claudette D’Laquois is trapped in the hellhole of life and unable to trust anyone. Desperate to regain control, she flees to the safety of her uncle’s rundown chateau on the French Riviera. But Claudette soon learns the countryside has its own dangers when she finds herself alone with a sexy foreigner.


Uptight accountant Donald Hobbs ditches numbers for dirt to oversee his friend’s orchard for three weeks. His well deserved vacation is perfect until a seductive mademoiselle drags him into a dangerous world of intrigue and erotic fantasy.


Illegal drugs and Russian mobsters take a back seat to a lethal night of sinful pleasure for Claudette and Don.




Sloane Taylor’s books are set in Europe where the men are all male and the North American women they encounter are both feminine and strong. They also bring more than lust to their men’s lives.


Taylor was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. Studly, her mate for life, and Taylor, now live in a small home in Indiana and enjoy the change from city life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her http://sloanetaylor.blogspot.com every Wednesday.  The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.  

See what I mean? A woman of many talents. Leave her a comment. Make her day.



Thursday, August 20, 2015

How authors and moviemakers hold their readers' attention


By ‘what buttons to push’ I mean what buttons do authors use to manipulate (yep, being honest) their readers’ emotions, to get them on side with the characters in their books. For example, perhaps the author creates unlikeable, evil antagonists and emphasises the sterling qualities of his protagonists.


The most obvious ploy is the ticking clock. It not only lends urgency but it yanks the reader along at a rush, keeping him intrigued.


Then there’s characterisation. Of course in this dynamic world, what worked ten years ago may not have the same appeal in 2015. The innocent 1960s virgin, so prevalent in romances of that time, would drive a reader from 2015 to drink. We are much more cynical, well-informed and downright demanding than we were then. Historically though, some classics retain their appeal because they are much more than the sum of their characters’ emotions. To Kill A Mockingbird’s racial tensions are still not outmoded today, and that lazy description of the syrupy south’s inbred attitudes is not far from the truth in some out-of-the-way places. And that is why books like these are classics. They endure not just because of the characters in the books but because of the settings and historical attitudes. And Harper Lee manipulated the readers’ emotions. Think of the way she pushes Scout’s lack of desire to be a ‘lady’ so that the reader is on Scout’s side.


Perhaps today’s writers manipulate the readers in more subtle ways. What of Dick Francis’s heroes who are often of the working class up against a criminal upper class or just up against class bigotry where he is on the outside looking in? Dick Francis does that so well that even if the protagonist is not your usual Everyman, the reader is still very much on his side. That’s right. The modern protagonist need not be a perfect hero as he has been in novels and movies of the past. Some have patchy backgrounds and they’ve made mistakes.


There’s Lee Child’s Jack Reacher who thrums a string in every male heart. They all want to be Jack with his freedom and lack of possessions but with an innate sense of responsibility. And of course Jack has been in the military and knows how to handle himself in vicious situations. Every man’s dream. There are a lot of wannabe Jacks out there. And Lee knows how to manipulate those readers.


Tami Hoag’s heroines are believably imperfect. They make mistakes and have hang-ups that readers can empathise with and they frequently have to form alliances with people they don’t trust. There’s that little brush of reality that lends credence to the stories.


So…empathy and sympathy are the buttons. And the harder those buttons are pushed by authors and movie makers, the more a reader/viewer becomes invested in the characters. We need to see how the protagonists get themselves out of a bind, or if the evil antagonists get their come-uppance. And the best books of all are where you know darned well that the author is pushing your buttons, but you just don’t care. The book is so good!