HAPPY RELEASE DAY “LADY AT ARMS”!

FinalLadyAtArmsEbook (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Amazon Catalog, Smash)

Finally, at last, and most happily, the “clean read” rewrite of my 1994 Bantam Books bestseller, WARRIOR BRIDE, is ready to return to the world of readers with a new, beautiful cover. I don’t have to tell you I’m thrilled, but…I can’t help myself. When I sat down to rewrite the story in 2012, I expected it would be a fairly easy undertaking. However, in the 20 years since the book first released, I’ve learned quite a bit about the craft of writing that I didn’t know back then. As I worked my way through the rewrite, I groaned and cringed, especially over all the head hopping between characters which required more than the light editing anticipated. Though frequent changes in point of view were much more acceptable in the nineties, it makes for a bumpy read today. I hope you’ll take a look at LADY AT ARMS, my first published work and first rewrite, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks Store. Coming soon to Kobo Books.

HE WAS THE VILEST OF MEN

Lizanne Balmaine has spent years honing her skills at arms, determined she will never again be at the mercy of any man. When she comes face to face with the one who stole her future, she seizes the opportunity to exact revenge. Soon he is her prisoner, at her mercy. But something is different about him, something that makes her question her purpose. Is it possible a man can be so changed? More, can she right the wrong that could lay ruin to her family?

SHE WAS A QUESTION NEVER BEFORE ASKED OF HIM

Ranulf Wardieu does not seek a bride, nor a settling of scores when his mission for the king places him in the path of a beguiling, raven-haired maiden. But fascination turns to fury when she imprisons him. Accused of wrongdoing, the nature of which she refuses to reveal, he discovers the lady is as skilled at wielding a sword as she is at verbal sparring. When he bests her at her game and his jailer becomes his captive, he is determined to learn what wrong he has done her. However, as they engage in a battle of wits and wills and he glimpses her woman’s heart, he discovers Lizanne is a question never before asked of him—one his own jaded heart refuses to answer.

To read an excerpt, visit: www.tamaraleigh.com

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CHICKEN-BISCUIT BAKE

Wonderful winter fare! The bacon in this dish adds a nice note to the chicken, peas, and carrots, and who can resist biscuits (in this case, the ultra-convenient Pillsbury)? Thumbs up again 🙂

Chicken Bacon Bake

6 slices bacon, chopped

1 large red onion, chopped

1 cup chopped carrots

2 celery stalks, chopped

3 cups chopped deli-roasted chicken

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

6 tbsp butter

6 tbsp all-purpose flour

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup half-and-half

3 tbsp sherry (yes, I used cooking sherry)

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 can biscuits (I used Pillsbury 8-count Flaky Layers)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly grease large baking dish

2) In large skillet over medium-high, cook bacon 5-6 minutes until crispy; add onions, carrots, and celery and cook 5 minutes until veggies soften; remove from heat

3) Evenly spread chicken over bottom of baking dish, followed by cooked veggies and peas; set aside

4) In same large skillet over medium heat, melt butter; whisk in flour and cook 1 minute; gradually whisk in chicken broth and cook 4-5 minutes, whisking often, until sauce thickens; whisk in half-and-half and, whisking often, cook 3 minutes; whisk in sherry and nutmeg and remove from heat

5) Pour sauce over chicken-veggie mixture; separate biscuits horizontally into 2 layers and arrange on top of chicken-veggie mixture (I used 5 of the 8 biscuits and also halved them vertically); bake in oven 20 minutes until filling bubbles and biscuits are browned; remove from oven and serve; yum!

Servings: 6

PORK FRIED RICE

Pork Fried Rice–love it! Fortunately, it’s relatively easy and quick to put on the table. Although our family usually leans more toward chicken, there’s no beating juicy pork tenderloin in fried rice. All thumbs up!

Pork Fried Rice

3 tbsp hoisin sauce

3 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp honey

1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2″ dice

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

4 cups cooked white rice

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup peas

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1 tsp Asian sesame oil

1) In medium-sized bowl, mix hoisin sauce, honey, and soy sauce; stir in pork and marinate 10 minutes

2) Add oil to large skillet and heat over medium-high; add onion and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes; drain marinade from pork (reserving marinade) and add pork to skillet; cook, stirring often, 4 minutes; add carrots and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes; stir in rice and reserved marinade and cook 3-4 minutes

3) With large spoon, push rice mixture to sides of skillet, forming well in center; add beaten eggs to center and scramble; add peas, scallions, and sesame oil to skillet and, stirring continuously, cook 3 minutes until heated through; serve with additional soy sauce

Servings: 6 dinner-sized; 10 side-sized

GRILLED TURKEY-SWISS-ARTICHOKE SANDWICH

Like turkey. Adore Swiss cheese. Love marinated artichokes. And so a grilled sandwich featuring all and more. A fabulous hit with my guys–four thumbs up!
IMG_6936

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp chopped parsley

8 slices good quality sourdough bread

8 oz thinly sliced deli turkey

1 cup fresh baby spinach

8 slices Swiss cheese

1-12 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

4 Campari tomatoes, sliced thin

4 tbsp butter

1) In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, and parsley; spread mixture over four slices of bread

2) Assemble each of four sandwiches as follows, dividing ingredients evenly between them: top bottom slice of bread (with mayonnaise mixture) with turkey, spinach, Swiss cheese, artichokes, tomatoes, and top slice of bread

3) Add butter to large skillet (I used a grill pan) and heat over medium; add sandwiches and grill each side 4-5 minutes until cheese melts and sandwich is warmed through (you may have to do in two batches); serve

Servings: 4

LADY AT ARMS Back Cover Copy

Okay. Deep breath. Time to share the back cover copy for my upcoming release, LADY AT ARMS, a “clean read” rewrite of my 1994 bestselling Bantam release, WARRIOR BRIDE. So…whaddya think?

FinalLadyAtArmsEbook (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Amazon Catalog, Smash)

HE WAS THE VILEST OF MEN

Lizanne Balmaine has spent years honing her skills at arms, determined she will never again be at the mercy of any man. When she comes face to face with the one who stole her future, she seizes the opportunity to exact revenge. Soon he is her prisoner, at her mercy. But something is different about him, something that makes her question her purpose. Is it possible a man can be so changed? More, can she right the wrong that could lay ruin to her family?

SHE WAS A QUESTION NEVER BEFORE ASKED OF HIM

Ranulf Wardieu does not seek a bride, nor a settling of scores when his mission for the king places him in the path of a beguiling, raven-haired maiden. But fascination turns to fury when she imprisons him. Accused of wrongdoing, the nature of which she refuses to reveal, he discovers the lady is as skilled at wielding a sword as she is at verbal sparring. When he bests her at her game and his jailer becomes his captive, he is determined to learn what wrong he has done her. However, as they engage in a battle of wits and wills and he glimpses her woman’s heart, he discovers Lizanne is a question never before asked of him—one his own jaded heart refuses to answer.

To read an excerpt, visit: www.tamaraleigh.com

PUFF PASTRY SALMON WITH PARMESAN SAUCE

Oh, this salmon was good–fancy, too. And yet, not at all hard to make. Thumbs up again and again from my guys. Sorry, no seconds, but I will make it again.

IMG_6931

spray olive oil

1 tsp butter

4 green onions, sliced thin

1 tsp minced parsley

pinch sea salt

pinch ground black pepper

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed and cut into four squares

1 lb salmon fillets, skin removed and cut into 4 pieces

1/2 cup whipping cream

2 tbsp fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1-1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees; lightly spray baking sheet with olive oil

2) In small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter; add green onions, parsley, salt, and black pepper; cook, stirring often, 5 minutes; set aside

3) Place puff pastry squares on baking sheet 2-3″ apart and lightly spray with olive oil; spoon green onion mixture in center of each puff pastry square and top with a salmon fillet; bake in oven 15-20 minutes until salmon is cooked through and pastry is golden

4) 5 minutes before salmon is cooked through, add cream, Parmesan cheese, and Dijon mustard to small saucepan; heat over medium and, stirring constantly, cook 2-3 minutes until sauce is smooth; spoon over salmon and pastry and serve immediately (Optional: sprinkle with a bit of extra parsley)

Servings: 4