Enough about me, let's eat

It's release day for Whistle Blower. Release days are very exciting since they are the first time I get a sense of how people feel about a book (so far people seem to be enjoying Whistle Blower), but they also entail a lot of me, me, me-ing (as in, hey check out my book, I'm over here and here and here). It's wonderful and affirming, but right now I'd rather talk about dinner. Okay, I'd always like to talk about dinner.

In Whistle Blower (you knew I couldn't go long without mentioning it again, didn't you?), there's a scene where Ben serves brisket, made from Manny's mother's recipe. In the old days, slow cooking brisket was a way to make cheap meat delicious. Lately brisket has become more popular and the price has gone up, but it's still yummy, yummy. A brisket is a big cut of meat, so we only serve it for special occasions when we've got a crowd coming. My sweetheart makes it and he gets asked for the recipe again and again. So here it is as my release day gift to you.

Photo by Maggie at Flickr Creative Commons

Photo by Maggie at Flickr Creative Commons

Salt the brisket on both sides and place it in pan or roaster with the fat side up. Martha Stewart would tell you to brown the meat, but it really isn't necessary. 

Add a few cups of water until the liquid comes half to a third of the way up the sides of the meat. Add some tomatoes, onions, and garlic before putting it in the oven, but don't let the level of the liquid come above half the thickness of the meat. 

Bake at 225 F for at least six hours until it is fork tender. The meat temperature will be at least 180 F and could be up to 190 F.  If you would like the bottom to be crisp you can turn the meat over in the last hour.

Let the meat cool, then slice it and put the slices back into the pan to warm before serving. At this point you can refrigerate until ready serve. And you can remove the fat that condenses when you refrigerate it. But the fat contains favor that you might not want to lose. We don't remove it. 

That's all. It takes a long time, but very little effort and it couldn't be better.


Oh, and you might enjoy Whistle Blower, too. It's available at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance and Kobo.

Coming soon!

Whistle Blower comes out from Dreamspinner 2/5/2016 (you can preorder here at: Dreamspinner, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance and Kobo)

I'll be around and about on the web with excepts and discussion about the book. Come find me at:

Thianna Durston (1/24 and 1/30/2016) Exclusive excerpts

Clare London (1/29/2016) Secondary characters

Between the Covers (2/2/2016) Interview

Gay Book Reviews (2/5/2016) Exclusive excerpt

Joyfully Jay (2/5/2016) Exclusive excerpt

Blogger Girls (2/5/2016) Love and Food

Sinfully Gay Romance (2/5/2016) Using the Bits

My Fiction Nook (2/6/2016) Exclusive excerpt

Love Bytes Reviews (2/6/2016) Older men

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words (2/9/2016) Rowing

The Novel Approach (2/10/2016) A Sense of Place

Whistle Blower

Soon I'll be talking about Whistle Blower all over the web. It will be out from Dreamspinner on 2/5/2016 (check here to preorder Whistle Blower). The cover reveal is coming right up (Wednesday 1/20/2016). 

In the meantime, here's what the book is about:

Money can’t buy happiness. Jacob Nussbaum knows this better than anyone. He's a corporate lawyer deep inside a huge New York firm, where he works overtime, sacrifices any chance at a personal life, and has been selling his soul for years. With a secretary as his only friend, he trudges on, until his whole world is blown apart by a manila envelope of photos—evidence that one of the firm’s partners is the dirtiest lawyer in one hell of a filthy business.

In search of the truth, Jacob travels to a small northern Wisconsin fishing resort. There he meets Ben Anderson, a brutally lonely man, who knocks him off his feet. Ben prompts Jacob to reevaluate his life. He’s a dozen years older than Jacob, still recovering from the death of his long time love, and doesn’t want to leave anyone a widower. But a jaded New Yorker on a soul-searching mission might be just the man to convince the grieving Ben that it's never too late to begin again.

A picture's worth... a lot

I love taking pictures, although I'm no great shakes as a photographer. That's not false modesty. I've seen what other people can do with a camera. So have you. Aren't those year end collections of the best photographs of the year wonderful? Here's one from 2015 that I love. Or how about this?

Even though I'll never rise to that level, it gives me a little thrill every time a cover artist uses one of my photos in the background. You'll need to wait until the 20th to see the new glorious cover that Catt Ford made for Whistle Blower (coming 2.5), but here's the photo of mine that she used. It's particularly appropriate for this book to have one of my pics on the cover since it's set not very far from where I live and this is of my favorite walking trail. I'll let you know more about the book next week. 

Small achievable goals

This morning I heard a phrase about New Years resolutions that really resonated with me. It was the suggestion that rather than setting ourselves up for failure by vowing to make huge changes, instead we could try for small achievable goals, things we might actually be able to do. 

I'm a huge fan of goal setting. There are few things more comforting than spending some quality time with a calendar plotting out how the year should go. Calms me right down. But sometimes looking back through the calendar for the year before to see how many of those goals I met, that's not so fun. I always overestimate what I can get done and underestimate the time it's going to take.

Last year I had lots and lots of plans but life got in the way. My dad died. My mom moved. It was one of those years. I'm hoping things go a little more smoothly in 2016. And so far the year is starting out with a bang. I've got a new novel coming out from Dreamspinner on February 5th. It's something of a city mouse, country mouse story and much of it is set up here in the northwoods of Wisconsin. I'll post the blurb soon. Look for the cover reveal later this month.

I also have a draft of my first ever mystery. I'm pretty excited about that and I hope to be able to share it with all of you later in the year. Might even turn into a mystery series with an international flare. Who knows.

And of course, in addition to all the books I'm going to write in the new year, I'll run a marathon, lose twenty pounds, become a stupendous friend/spouse/parent and perhaps achieve world peace. Or else I'll spend a few more minutes writing every day, exercise a little more, eat a few more vegetables and spend more time laughing - not as sexy as world peace but a tad more likely to happen.

In the meantime, here's to a wonderful 2016. May all your dreams, both small and large, come true. 

A sweet new year

It's Rosh Hashanna again. I love this time of year. Maybe because I spend so much time in academia, having the year start in the fall just makes emotional sense to me. Falling leaves somehow signify new beginnings for me.

It's a beautiful day up here in Northern Wisconsin - a little chilly, but still almost summer. I'm thinking about the years that have passed and the year to come and I'm wishing all of you a sweet, sweet new year.



New website

Hi All,

Sorry we were down for a few weeks. I've been transferring websites and relocating domains - all activities at the very tippy, tippy edge of my competence (and one might argue, given the delay, that some of it was beyond that edge). The new website is up and running now, though, and I'm loving the change. Hope you do too.

In Dev news, I'm plugging away at a new story set in the beautiful Wisconsin northwoods. In fact, many of the scenes occur about 20 miles up the road from my house. In particular, I've enjoyed spending imaginative time at the Boulder Beer Bar, a real place with a great oak bar and a nice beer selection. Too bad I can't quite work in the big bash they have for the annual Harley ride. Maybe another story for that....

Hope you're all having a great summer. I'd love to hear what's been going on.