MJ Monday: MJ’s Music-Saffire


A co-worker introduced me to a band called Saffire–The Uppity Blues Women. They were a short-lived group, but I do like their music. There’s something freeing about women singing true things. The gritty things. Smashing out of stereotypes.

These were women, singing about being women, and celebrating who they were..and who some of us are.



MJ Monday: MJ’s Movies-The Little Shop of Horrors

Many years ago, when I was working in local TV, my general manager called me into his office and said, “I have a kitchen set for you. I’ve hired a host. Here’s your budget. Make me a TV show where guests hosts come on and cook while watching movies.”

I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Bad movies. Bad horror movies. The black-and-white motion pictures I grew up loving. I don’t like what passes for horror movies these. I prefer the absurd. 

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Little Shop of Horrors. No, not the campy musical version with Steve Martin, but the original Roger Corman film from 1960.  It’s a terrifically funny movie, which is probably why Frank Oz remade it as a musical in the 1980s.

The original contains a  dreadful, blaring jazzy sound track. Jack Nicholson appears in one of his earliest motion picture performances.  The film is the source of one of my favorite quotes: “Feed me. I’m hungry.” And when it came time to create the opening graphics for the show, I insisted this line be included. What better for a cooking show?

I never realized the movie is now considered a cult classic until recently. It’s been redefined as a black comedy. That’s fair. I never knew Roger Corman had a following until I was much older, and even then, I didn’t realize Little Shop was one of his.

Apparently I have very good instincts.


MJ Monday-Meals: Mojito Salad

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day–an all-green fruit salad. Day Job had a pot luck with green food last year for St. Patrick’s Day. I try to eat healthy when I can, so I surfed the net until I found something simple and healthy.

Now, normally, I’m not a melon fan. Water melon in small amounts sums up my usual participation. This recipe called for honeydew, and I was pleasantly surprised.

  • 1 Honeydew Melon, balled
  • green seedless grapes, stemmed
  • 5 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples
  • 2 Anjou Pears
  • 2 limes
  • 1 bunch mint.

Mix the melon, kiwi, and grapes together the night before.

Squeeze the juice of two limes into a glass jar or bowl. Add the finely chopped mint and let marinate overnight.

The next day, cut up the pears and apples (do NOT peel them) and add to the other fruit, then drizzle the lime-mint mixture over it all and mix well.

Easy, healthy, and green.

Note: the acid in the lime juice prevents the apple and pear from turning brown, so the salad will last for a couple of days.

It’s wonderfully cooling, and would be great to bring to a summer picnic, too.

MJ Monday: MJ’s Manuscript: BETRAYED BY THE MOON

Book 1 of the Service for Sanctuary Series, Betrayed by the Moon has a tentative publication date of June 26, 2019. I am super excited. I love the characters and their story.

Here’s an excerpt:

Chapter One

Ethan sat in his bright red truck—not the most unobtrusive vehicle for surveillance—and tried to stay awake. Not only had he been forced to volunteer for the mission, he’d been exiled to Minnesota to do so. Pro-lycan factions considered Congressman Bryant Peters a crucial swing vote on the treaties between the werewolves and the United States. His vote, rumor claimed, was on the fence. Ethan’s job was to convince him favoring the treaties was in his best interest.

Ethan wasn’t sure how to approach the mission. He’d researched the congressman’s itinerary, ending with him outside a regional office in Warwick, Minnesota trying to decide what to do next. Worry about bungling the mission played havoc with his body and his senses. He couldn’t blame being in a strange city. Too many years on the road with Toke Lobo and the Pack taught him every night was a new adventure.

A lot of people entered and emerged from the professional building. The congressman wasn’t the only person who rented offices at the address.

Something smelled . . . unusual. Out of place.

One woman stomped out the door. Ethan straightened in his seat, gaze riveted on her. She was clothed in the same black every other woman wore. Her neat pant suit gave her a professional appearance. Long brown hair was caught at her nape with a barrette, exposing her mating spot.

Her mating spot. The place Ethan would use his teeth to mark her when he claimed her. His penis swelled.

Ancient Ones, he was in Warwick to meet his mate. No wonder his heart raced. He wasn’t suffering from anxiety. Mating fever caused his agitation.

He gripped the steering wheel to keep from bolting from the truck, sprinting across the street, and tossing the female over his shoulder. He didn’t want human witnesses who wouldn’t comprehend the urgency quickening in his blood.

He had a mate. No longer single. No longer stuck on a senseless mission. He could mark her, take her back to Colorado, and let some other lobo deal with Congressman Peters.

A tall thin man followed her out of the building. The female kept walking. The man grabbed her arm to stop her.

The shock of the woman’s reaction pierced Ethan like a spike.

Her response was all he needed. He leapt from his truck and crossed the street before his heart could beat twice.

“Let go of her,” he snarled at the tall man.

“Mind your own business,” the man snapped.

“She is my business.”

“Selena, who is this guy?”

Selena. His mate’s name meant moon.

Her eyes, a brindle color not unlike a doe’s pelt, widened. Her nostrils flared. “He’s my . . . intended.”

Ethan hoped the other guy didn’t catch the bewilderment in Selena’s tone. Then her words registered. She’d recognized him the same way he’d known her. She was lycan. Not human. “Her fiancé.” He used a word the human mates in the pack used before they’d been marked.

The man dropped Selena’s arm. “Well, he puts a different spin on your—”

“He changes nothing,” Selena said.

The man’s blue eyes narrowed. Ethan had the impression he was peering through the man’s skull into the sky on the other side of his head.

Ethan cupped Selena’s elbow, and a shock of genetic recognition latched on to his bones. “Are you finished?”

She tensed beneath his touch. “Yeah”

“Come on.” Ethan steered her toward his truck.

“Tell your father I’ll be paying attention,” she called to the man on the sidewalk.

Ethan helped her climb into the cab of his truck before he took his place behind the wheel.

“Your arrival is inconvenient,” she said once he’d closed his door.

“Ethan Calhoun is the name. Welcome to my life.”

“Please tell me you aren’t here for me.” Desperation edged her words. Not the good kind of desperation, as in she couldn’t wait for him to claim her. “What are you doing in Varulv territory? Where are you from?”

One thing at a time. “Loup Garou, Colorado.”

“You’re not in Warwick to find me. Right?”

“I did not come to Warwick to find you, but seeing how we’ve met—”

“No.” She stared straight ahead, her gaze as rigid as the rest of her body. “You’ve found no one.”

Ethan sniffed. He hadn’t mistaken the earthy, spicy scent of werewolf. “My mating instinct says different,” he said.

“And mating instinct is never wrong,” she said in a low voice, as if reciting by rote. “Except I have no intention of mating. Nothing personal.”

MJ Monday: MJ’s Music-Il Volo

I’m not sure when I first heard this “boy band”–maybe on PBS–but I was enthralled.

When Piero Barone (in the glasses) opens his mouth, I am always amazed at the voice that comes out. They are very young in this first video.

But my amazement at Piero’s voice,  Ignazio Boschetto’s dimples (even after he lost weight), and Gianluca  Ginoble’s brooding presence never end.

I can put their album We Are Love on my mp3 player and be transported to a place of relaxation.

You can read about them here.