One of the interesting habits I have kept from the old country is hanging out the laundry. In Europe, hanging out the laundry is common place...here...not so much. Up north, there is nothing like the smell of sheets that had hung outside in the fall. I can still see my mom hanging laundry in the dead of winter with her hand knitted beanie on and gloves.
Here, in Florida, I think our clothes bake rather than flap in the cool breeze!!
Recently, my neighbor asked if I had a dryer!!! Chuckle...yes, I do...
Beer is officially considered a food in Bavaria.
There are over 300 kinds of bread in Germany. I love a good crummy bread!! I can't stand when you get a hoagie on a glorified hot dog bun!!!! Ick!!!
There are also bread museums. Can you imagine the gift shop???
Munich is further north than any major US city (excluding Alaska).
While it is called Oktoberfest, it actually starts in September.
The first Oktoberfest was a wedding celebration for Prince Ludwig of Bavaria.
Germany has over 400 zoos, the most in the world.
There are over 60 beer gardens in Munich.
Albert Einstein, the most recognized scientist in the world, was German and born in Ulm. He married his cousin.
There’s more soccer fan clubs in Germany than anywhere else in the world. Being at a game is amazing. I first saw Juergen Klinsmann play in Germany!
Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovered the X-rays in 1895.
Other notable German inventions include: the telephone, diesel engine, aspirin, fluorescent lamp, and the pregnancy test!!!
There are over 1,000 kinds of sausages in Germany. Seriously...1000...
Thank you so much for having me here today! I’m really excited to share my new release. This story is special to me because I have loved Greek Myths since I was a child. My mom used to read them to me at bedtime, before I had even learned to read. I’ve always wondered what those times must have been like in reality – the truth behind the myth. On the other hand, I was just as fascinated by the fantasy part of it – a world where gods really do walk the earth. In my story, I’ve created a world that’s as authentic as possible, but still holds onto all the fantasy. So it’s a bit of historical fiction mixed with fantasy, and with a whole lot of naughtiness sprinkled in. I mean, the myths do leave all the “fun” details out, so I made sure to put them all back in, just as they were meant to be ;)
There are lots of funky happenings going on here, and it’s part of Evernight’s exclusive multiple-author series “Naughty Fairytales”. Andromeda is a curvaceous princess, and Perseus is the son of Zeus. Which, of course, explains his god-like body! I’m also pleased to share that this story was an “Editor’s Pick”.
Andromeda’s world comes crashing down when the Gods proclaim that she is to be chained to a rock and offered as a sacrifice to the sea monster that has been ravaging her lands. Terrified, she has no choice but to obey, though the tentacled creature is her worst nightmare come to life, and he has ominous plans for her. Perseus witnesses her plight and comes to her rescue, but liberating Andromeda requires more than just skill with his sword. Will his love be enough to save her not only from the monster, but from her dark past that conspires to never let her go?
A sneak peek...
When I was a little girl, a snake bit me on the ankle. My mother told the story of how I barely survived, how I had gone in and out of consciousness, flushed with fever, eyes glazed. When I dreamed, I called out about falling into a pit of vipers.
And now before me, my nightmare came to life. Tentacles surged out of the water, but they far more resembled teeming snakes. Unlike octopus arms, they had no suction cups, and ended in blunt tips. Glistening and sinuous, they blindly explored the harsh rock, covering its entire surface, exploring each crevice, and inevitably coming closer and closer to me.
I dug my heels into the rock behind me and curled my toes in. I turned my head and would have shut my eyes, but I couldn’t force myself to stop staring at the monstrosity. Tugging at the shackles did no good and only made the panic surge to a higher pitch until I felt like a wild animal about to become prey.
Only a foot from my toes now, the snake appendages roamed over the rock, some thick and large, like a man’s thigh, and some thin like my little finger. One, about the thickness of my arm, separated itself from the others and moved higher up the rock, coming toward me. I gasped and pulled away from it as far as the chains would allow.
It slithered audibly over the rocky surface and nudged at my toes. I did shut my eyes then, and turned my head into my arm.
It slipped over my foot and wrapped itself about my ankle. I raised my leg and tried to shake it off, but it only coiled tighter about me, digging into my flesh as though to warn me. It wrapped more and more around my lower leg and then began to slowly travel upward, twisting over and over, over my knee and then over my thigh.
I clamped my legs together to halt its progress, but it was far stronger. It wormed its way between my limbs and under my skirt. Slowly it came ever closer to the apex of my thighs, and when it finally reached it, and brushed against my sex, I jumped. The strong muscle rubbed against my clit as it continued to flow upward, along my torso, slowly winding its way. The friction of it rubbing at me terrified and excited me at once. My eyes still closed, I only felt it when other snake limbs joined this one. Another one twined around my other leg, and still others wrapped themselves about my arms.
“My bride,” a rough voice whispered, loud as a thunderclap and yet so quiet I was sure I only heard it in my mind. It carried the same implacable weight of power as the words of the Oracle.
My eyes flew open, and I came face to face with Cetus.
About Ela Stein:
Reading was my entertainment and salvation as a child, and it transferred into a passion for writing. I am still very much a reader, and love many different genres, from erotic romance, to fantasy (dark, dark fantasy!), to historical fiction, and that love is reflected in my own writing as well (I don't do contemporary very often). If you'd like to learn more about me, or chat about books and life, you can find me all over the web:
Dh and I live on the edge of a Scottish forest, and rattle around in a house much too big for us.
Our kids have grown up and flown the nest, but roll back up when they want to take a deep breath and smell the daisies so to speak.
I write in my study, which overlooks the garden and the lane. I'm often seen procrastinating, by checking out the wild life, looking—only looking—at the ironing basket and assuring tourists that indeed, I'm not the bed and breakfast. That would mean cooking fried eggs without breaking the yolks, and disturbing the dust bunnies as they procreate under the beds. Not to be thought of.
Being able to do what I love, and knowing people get pleasure from my writing is fantastic. Long may it last.
It's funny how my characters tell me very firmly who they are, what they are and insist I write just that. No trying to change them. It just won't work.
By trial and error, I've now accepted that.
Nina and Dominic were no exception. In fact I wondered at times if they would ever get together, they were so blooming stubborn.
However they had fun trying to show each other whom they were and want they wanted.
I just wrote what they told me to—as you do.
This is the result...
Nina Mack is no sub. So why then do all her senses scream at her to submit to the enigmatic Dominic Christopher?
When the two meet at her friend's hen party at Dommissimma, sparks fly. Their attraction is immediate and explosive, but how can Nina ever allow herself to enter into a relationship with a Dom?
Dominic has lost interest in BDSM since the death of his wife, so the insistent tug of awareness toward the volatile and decidedly bratty Nina is a welcome surprise.
With his inner Dom firmly awakened can he convince Nina to give their relationship a try?
Time will tell if these two can find their own Dom/sub relationship and reclaim happiness.
A wee tease for you…
Nic held out his hand for the keys, and after a brief startled glance, Nina passed them to him. He locked the door and handed them back. She tucked them inside her handbag.
"Why did you do that?" Nina asked once she was inside the car with him. "Lock my door? I've been doing it for years."
"Good." Nic checked the flow of traffic and overtook a bus. "And when we're together I'll do it for you."
"But why?" Nina asked again. "Why not just let me lock up?"
There's that word again.
"I swear the first word you ever spoke was why," Nic said as he turned the car into the street where Dommissimma was situated. "And I bet it will be your last. I agree that to question things you don't understand is a good thing, but by heck, Nina, you'd even question why I asked for dark chocolate not milk."
"No, I wouldn't then," she said in a triumphant tone. "Because dark chocolate helps to control the sub drop a sub might get after a scene. Or a Dom for that matter." She didn't add so there, but Nic could hear it inferred in her voice.
"Good. I've found one action you won't question. I wonder if there's any more?" He stopped the car in the half empty car park and switched of the engine. "Not too busy, but it looks like there'll be enough going on so you'll be able to gauge your reactions. Let me come ‘round and help you out. And before you say anything, that, plus locking your door are just some of those common courtesies we spoke of over the phone. To me I don't do it as a Dom, I do it as a man."
"I might question it, the chocolate. I'd wonder who it was for." Nina said as they approached the nondescript door to Dommissimma. "Seeing as we're not scening."
"Not at the moment." Nic agreed with her. "But who knows when we might need it." He looked at her pale face. "Are you sure you're okay with this? I don't want you passing out or anything." Her pallor worried him. He hoped she wasn't anemic.
"What?" She sounded surprised. "I'm fine, why?" "You're as white as a sheet." "I usually am," Nina said. "But in this case I think it's hunger, worry I might let you down rather than natural Celtic pale skin, and oh sh—oot, I recognize that car." Nina waved toward a dark saloon in the corner of the car park. "Beware of nosy Doms. That's Edan's, and if he's here it’s a shoe in Athol will be as well."
"Why are you hungry?" Nic honed in on her first reason.
"Running late, apprehension, forgot to buy bread, take your pick. And now a crowing Athol."
Nic grinned and kissed her nose. She wrinkled it. "That tickles."
"It'll be directed at me as well as you, anima mia. I've only been around when needed these last few years. And there's no need to be apprehensive. We're not scening, and you said nothing frightened you, just that it wasn't your thing, so why worry?"
"I didn't say it was logical," Nina said. "I can't explain it, there's no logical explanation, in fact no explanation at all. It makes no sense, but it’s how I feel." She bit her lip and gave a deprecating smile. "Stupid or what?"
Nic tugged her to one side of the door. "Not stupid. But I'm going to do my damnedest to change how you feel. Nina, love, nothing you can say or do will let me down." Unless it's let's get out of here, or I don't want to see you again, Nic. "Remember you can safe word me over anything. And a nip just here," he put her thumb and forefinger on the back of his hand, "will alert me if something is bothering you and we need to move away and talk. Yes?"
"Yes." "Then are you ready?" Nina blinked and squared her shoulders. "Yes, Sir, I'm ready."
He could see her mindset changing as she spoke. "Then let's go in."
In his stories, the great novelist Boccaccio clearly describes the correlation between passion and marzipan. In those days, marzipan was topped with gold leaf to crown the sweet temptation. Today you can find it in grocery stores everywhere, shaped like fruit, around the holidays.
Marzipan is simply a mixture of sugar and almond paste!!! Heavenly
Typically, german children get a marzipan piggy with a gold coin in it's mouth for a good luck treat around the new year. There is a Cafe in Bielefeld, that has a wall of marzipan, shaped into sweet little figures to suit the old and young. To this day, I have to go there and pick out a few memory laden treats. They NEVER make it home, in some cases...not even out of the cafe! Visit Knigge online to see the wall of marzipan. You can even order some online!!!
The first Europeans to indulge in marzipan rich peeps. It has been reported that Queen Elizabeth I of England, who lived from 1533 to 1603, was addicted to all things sweet...especially marzipan!
Later, at the French ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV’s sumptuous feasts, huge tables laden with marzipan were the order of the day. Marzipan reproductions of all sorts of fruits, poultry and game were created – anything you desired could be made.
Marzipan is particularly popular and prized in Lübeck. It's considered marzipan central. I have an aunt that lives there and she knows to bring copious amounts of marzipan when she comes to visit. The difference marzipan from there to the stuff from an grocery store here is the ratio of sugar to almond paste. The German stuff is about 90% almond paste to 10% sugar. The grocery store variety is about a 50/50 blend. Too sweet!!!! Yuckola
Keep your eyes peeled around the holidays this year and taste some passion!!!
How many of you can’t remember your wedding anniversary or your kids’ birthdates for that matter, but can recite just about every fact, player, or rule there is to know when it comes to your favorite football team?
I’m talking about soccer in case you’re thinking about the Steelers, the Redskins, or the Packers. The true and only football!
Football lovers, we are some of the most dedicated, hard-core, and fanatic fans there are on the planet — so what better way to celebrate your love of the game than along the German Football Route, or Deutsche Fußballroute as it’s called in German? Notice I said...WE!!!
One thing you must know before you take off on a tour through North Rhine-Westphalia, it’s not a driving route. The entire route (all 15 towns of it) is meant to be enjoyed on bicycle and by the power of your own two feeties. Yup...these boots are made for walkin'!
The signage of the German Football Route is in both German and English, so don't let not knowing the language slow you down.
Anyway, each town on the route has a number of sites throughout, and all include a stadium of some sort where the best game on the freakin' planet is played.
German Roulades are thin slices of beef often rolled sour pickle and mustard, onion and bacon. Browned, then braised, they take inexpensive cuts of beef and make them worthy of being served on the holidays. It was a staple for our family on Christmas!!! Start practicing now!!!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
2 lb. brisket or rump, beef, sliced thin
2 T. mustard
1 dill pickle
2 slices bacon
1/2 T. butter
1/2 T. oil
1-2 stalks celery
1/2 c. dry red wine
Salt and pepper
Fresh parsley for garnish
Lay beef out flat.
Cut pickle lengthwise into strips, dice onion and bacon very fine.
Spread each slice with mustard, fill one end with 1 - 2 tablespoons of onion, 2 slices of pickle and some diced bacon.
Roll up from the filled end and tie with string.
Melt the butter and oil in a saucepan or Dutch oven and brown the outside of the roulade in it.
Meanwhile, dice the carrot and celery.
Remove the roulades to a plate, and place the vegetables in the pan. Place the beef rolls back on top of the vegetables, add a half cup of red wine and a little water, to make about 1/2 inch of liquid in the pan.
Add the bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon of salt (depends on how salty the bacon is) and some grinds of pepper, cover and braise over low heat for two hours, or until beef is tender.
Remove beef roulades and keep warm. Thicken the sauce with a little flour. Season to taste with more salt and pepper as needed. Place roulades back in sauce until serving time.
Lilith was bursting with excitement the other day sharing her new book with me!
"I am very excited for “We Wander Far From Home”! It’s my first full length novel, and I’m very proud of the way it combines a nuanced love story with an old fashioned western adventure. I started this story in 2009 with the intention of submitting it to an anthology call, but the deadline flew by before I figured out how to finish it. I stuck it in a folder and forgot about it for a little over a year. Then I started taking it out every few months, writing another chapter here, doing some edits there and putting it away again. It didn’t really come together until January this year and I’m thrilled to see it published by Evernight!"
Here's a tidbit to wet your whistle...
A crack shot best gal, a former criminal lover, a sudden ejection from everything he's ever known, and the faintest taste of freedom. That's what drives Will Kearny out of the comfort of a normal life and out into the Nebraska wilderness. Soon, the sweet, quiet dairy farmer from Minnesota is robbing stage coaches, knocking over banks and running off into the mountains to celebrate in Henry Fitzpatrick's arms. But winter's coming on, the stage coach routes are drying up, and the law is onto them. Life on the edge is the only way Will and Henry can be together, but life on the edge is short. Can forbidden love survive in a harsh world?
My husband hates our love seat. He says it hurts his back. Quite frankly, it has the perfect butt rut for me...and I do some of my best writing there! Anyway, we go shopping for a new one.
Right off, we are accosted by a salesperson and so I drift away to the leather couches. He gives the salesperson his demands and we are off ! First one we sat on...too short for my husband. The second one was gorgeous, brown leather, console, and long enough for him. I love it. He gets up and I hear him say, "my wife cuddles into me every night and we have huge cat that lays on the arm of our love seat and snuggles in, so we can't have a console and so the arm needs to be a wide cushy arm. Oh yeah, and sometimes he lays between us...".
At this point the salesperson excuses himself, and I just look at my husband full of overwhelming love.
I still don't think we need a new love seat!
(Yes, we are both in the love seat right now...with our giant cat on the arm of the love seat!)
Gotta go make Sunday breakfast for the fam!
The main female character in my current obsession has an addiction...to two things actually...one is Bullet Proof coffee!!!
Try it! See why she's hooked!!!
1 cup of hot freshly brewed coffee...it even works with coffee bags!!!
1 Tablespoon of grass-fed butter
1 Tablespoon of coconut oil
Optional: raw honey, cinnamon, vanilla. Anything you like actually...even pumpkin purée!!!
Put it in the blender for a few seconds and into your favorite mug!
You will love the creaminess as much as she does!!!
If you want to drive someone nuts...pander to their basic need for food!! The aroma alone will evoke a myriad of memories that will translate to their taste buds!!!
Try this Ricotta Pound Cake...it stirs up some great emotions!!!!
You will need:
1/4 cup room temp salted butter
1 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta...room temp
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I also have used almond extract for that marzipan flavor)
Shaved dark chocolate (you can't use chips...they sink!!!)
Zest of one orange
Preheat oven to 350*. Butter mini pans loaf pans. The mini ones worked for me so that I could give each person their own love baked loaf. I use lovely cardboard mini pans I had discovered on my travels this year.
Okay...sift together flour, baking powder in a medium bowl.
Beat together butter, ricotta, sugar, olive oil, zest, and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
Marry the wet and the dry and continue to beat for about 2 minutes.
Add in one egg at a time, beating after each egg.
Then fold in shaved chocolate...
See how easy that is????
Pour into mini pans and bake for about 40 minutes. After 40 minutes check if a toothpick comes out clean. Don't over bake...you want the center to be heavy and MOIST!
Cool and devour warm!!!
It's like a warm hug for your soul!
I dance between several WIP but one in particular has been screaming at me. A reunion story...now they are stuck in a cabin, snow is falling, power is out, and they have nothing but butter in the fridge.
They try and walk to the road but the snow is too deep. Having seen a kayak in the garage, he ties a rope to the kayak and pulls her through the snow. All the while she is yelling, "Go faster!"