MJ Musing: SEP-It Had To Be You

The first of Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Chicago Stars books, It Had to be You is a fun romp through the world of professonal sports. I am not a football fan, but a reader doesn’t need to be fond of a sport to enjoy a well-told story.

The heroine wants everyone to believe she’s a sexy bimbo. Her camouflage works all too well. When she inherits her estranged father’s professional football team,  she needs all her assets–including her brain–to survive.

The hero is a sexist he-man trying to manage a team whose owner is a sex kitten with no interest or respect for the sport.

The author introduces us to football players as people, not merely oversized-thugs. The focus is on the team, not the game (thank goodness!) which makes this the first great sports romance.

 

MJ’S Monday-Meals: Mediterranean Buddha Bowl Salad

I recently needed to come up with a dish-to-pass for a family gathering. Since most others were bringing some sort of pasta slathered in mayo, I figured it was up to me to come up with something a little healthier. And thus the Mediterranean Buddha Bowl Salad was invented.

Start with quinoa. I boiled two bags.

I let it cool in the refrigerator over night.

The next morning I added:
torn baby spinach

three chopped cucumbers

some chopped red onion

halved Kalamata olives

about 1/2  of a 12-oz jar of deli-sliced roasted red peppers

crumbled feta cheese

 

I tossed it all together with a roasted red pepper vinaigrette.

And it was very, very good. No leftovers good.

 

 

MJ’s Musing: Road Rage

A few weeks ago I had a terrifying experience. I was driving to a critique partner’s house. Rush hour was over, but there was still significant traffic. I was in the single lane for a right hand turn, and when the green arrow came up, I made my right turn.

All of a sudden, there was a car on my left with an irate driver. He was beeping, flipping me the bird, and yelling at me. I have no idea where he came from. There was one lane for a right turn. I was in it, making my turn on the green arrow. All legal. He shot past, and went to the right of, still beeping, yelling, making obscene gestures.  I gestured to ask him if he wanted to get in front of me. He thought I was offering to fight him. “Come on!” he yelled. “I’ll take you on!” Then he reached over to his passenger seat, and I was terrified he was reaching for a gun. Instead he picked up a piece of…something and threw it at my car. It hit my car. He opened his car door, but then the light turned green and off we went.

This happened for several blocks. Finally, he vanished. Then I noticed a sheriff’s cruiser in the left lane, which may explain the disappearance.

While it was going on, I was trying to think of places I could go that would be “safe” should he decide to follow me. I knew people at several businesses. I did not want to lead this crazy young man to my friend’s house.

I later learned there is a sheriff substation just off the road I was on, but I didn’t know it at the time.

My guess is that the young man was on drugs.

MJ Monday: MJ’s Manuscript-Betrayed By Moon Cover Reveal

With their packs’ very existence at stake, can two fated mates find the courage to love?

For generations, werewolves have lived under the protection of service-for-sanctuary treaties with the government. Now amid growing unrest there is a movement to abolish those treaties, risking the survival of werewolves everywhere.

Werewolf Ethan Calhoun’s mission to save the treaties means winning a powerful congressman’s support. He never expected to meet his life mate—and to discover she’s engaged in a life or death battle with the same politician.

Despite knowing she and Ethan are fated to be together, Selena Wolfe believes she’s too damaged to ever be anyone’s mate.  As they fight to save her pack, Selena wrestles her need for Ethan while he struggles to win her trust.

Working together they must confront an evil Ethan never imagined and Selena can never forget. 


Betrayed by the Moon, on sale June 26, 2019.

MJ’s Musings: My Obsession with the Sky

I have been obsessed with sky nearly all my life. I blame my dad. When I was very young, he woke me up in the middle of the night, carried me outside and pointed to a light in the sky and told me it was Sputnik, a satellite. When I didn’t understand that, he explained it was like a big basketball in the sky.

Whenever a jet contrail appeared in the sky over the house, he would point it out to me and my sibs. It was years before I realized the contrails were a miracle to him, because they didn’t exist in his childhood. My own children looked at me oddly and said, “so what?” whenever I point out contrails to them.

Then there was a solar eclipse for which he made a “viewer” out of a cardboard box one wore over one’s head. There was a pin hole in the back that let in the light from the sun. One watched the eclipse projected on the front of the inside. He let all of the neighborhood kids take turns wearing the box so they could “see” the eclipse.

I once bought a child’s book on the constellations, allegedly for my children. I still use it for me.

One Labor Day weekend, there was a gorgeous full moon. I took my son’s toy telescope outside for a better look. A few hours later, a derecho blew through town, becoming one of those weather events that are legends in your area. I remember waking up in the middle of the night with lightning strobing like a rock concert of my youth. Foolishly,  I went out on my upstairs back porch to watch, not realizing it was a derecho and what that meant. People died that night.

Then the Internet came along, and I found a site that would tell me which star I was seeing every morning before my family and life descended on me. I used my link to that site for years.These days,  I can’t even remember the name.

Now I have an app on my phone: Sky View Lite. It’s an amazing app. The first time I used it on a writing retreat, while we were sitting around a fire pit, my fellow authors were blown away by the way we could “see” the constellations and stars, even through the cloud cover.  Several of them downloaded it then and there.

My obsession with the sky continues.