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Cowgirls & Snowmen Giveaway!

Cowgirls and Snowmen GiveawayTo celebrate the paperback release of my romantic comedy, The Trouble with Snowmen, I’ve teamed up with two more Texans for a fun giveaway. One lucky winner will received a prize package worth over $80.00!

The Prize Package includes:

The Trouble with Snowmen by Dorlana VannA Signed paperback copy of The Trouble with Snowmen:

A case of mistaken identity sets the stage for opposites to attract in Dorlana Vann’s romantic comedy. It’s all about heartbreakers (snowmen), outrageous shenanigans, fashion, séances, downtown Houston, urban cowgirls, and a little bit of that kissy/kissy stuff.

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Book Tote by Studio 3B – Made with cotton and denim fabrics in bright blue and polka dots. Perfect to carry your books, laptop, e-reader, and more.  Measurements: 14″ x 14 3/4″, Straps 40″ Retail Value – $35.00

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Cowgirl Keychain Bag Charm by Studio 3B – This keyring charm/bag charm is made using light sage green pearl beads and cowgirl themed charms plus a snowman charm, of course!  This charm ring can be clipped outside the tote as charm jewelry or used as a keychain and clipped to the outside of the bag.  Retail Value – $12.00

You can visit Studio 3B’s online shop on Etsy at http://www.studio3b.etsy.com where you can find many unique purses, totes and accessories.

Studio 3B on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/studio3bcreations

snowmanbraceletfromlindsey

 

Cowgirl Bracelet by SAjolie – A gorgeous dangle bracelet featuring Texas and southwest themed charms and real turquoise. Retail value $24.95

SAJolie: An eclectic fusion of Bohemian, Spiritual, Cowgirl, and Charm. https://www.etsy.com/shop/SAjolie

SAjolie on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sa.jolie.boutique

 

 Enter the giveaway below, which is being held at GoodReads

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Trouble with Snowmen by Dorlana Vann

The Trouble with Snowmen

by Dorlana Vann

Giveaway ends July 13, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

The Trouble with Snowmen is available in Paperback

The Trouble with Snowmen by Dorlana VannLooky Looky Paperback —->

I’m thrilled to announce that my romantic comedy, The Trouble with Snowmen, is now available in paperback. This is the first book in my Trouble with Men series, which has fun, new dating terms and concepts, outrageous shenanigans, a touch of magical realism, twists and turns, broken hearts, chemistry, fashion, seduction, food, and of course romance.

Characters move in and out of a downtown Houston multiplex – a 1920s house (some say it’s haunted) that has been renovated into four separate apartments. And my favorite trope “opposites attract” is the theme that also ties these books together.

The books from the Trouble with Men series are published by Soul Mate Publishing. I’m having so much fun writing this series and am super excited to share the stories. I hope you will find them fun, flirty, and entertaining.

Soon, I will announce a giveaway of the paperback plus an awesome creation by the fabulous JFay of Studio 3B.

Here are some links to the books on Amazon in case you want to mosey on over there to check them out.🙂

The Trouble with Snowmen paperback

The Trouble with Snowmen eBook

Book 2: The Trouble with Scarecrows eBook

Love and Laughter,

Dorlana🙂

Tex-Mex Turkey Street Tacos (Food from “The Trouble with Scarecrows”)

I love tacos, and since I was born, raised, and stayed in Texas, I’ve had access to a huge variety of different kinds, but the ones from my childhood are the most memorable.

Growing up, my parents made taco meat from ground beef and a packaged spice mix. Taco night was always served family-style with all the toppings on the table and soft corn tortillas to wrap them up. I cooked tacos using my family’s method for a long time, and it wasn’t until I stopped eating beef –over ten years ago– that I started experimenting with recipes using ground turkey. (There was no way I was going to give up taco night.)

The inspiration for my Turkey Street Tacos is a combination of wanting a taco that was similar to the one from my childhood, Mexican restaurant’s beef tacos (especially Pappasito’s Cantina), and searching for fresher & healthier food alternatives for my family.

When my main character, Texan Neal Parker, (The Trouble with Scarecrows) needed to prepare a Tex-Mex meal, I thought it would be fun to have him make my tacos. Below is more or less the recipe that I used in the novel. And if you fix’em, I’d love to know how they turn out.

Love and Laughter (and yummy tacos),

Dorlana

 

Tex-Mex Turkey Street Tacos

Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes

 Turkey Tacos3 Tbsps. Olive Oil

¼ cup diced Red Onions

¼ cup diced White Onions

½ cup Cilantro Leaves, roughly chopped (divided into two ¼ cup portions)

½ of a Bell Pepper, chopped

1 lb. lean Ground Turkey Breast (but not ultra-lean)

1 large Lemon, outside washed, cut in half

2 Tbsps. Butter, plus more to butter tortilla shells

A dozen Soft Corn Tortilla Shells

Spices:

2 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Salt

½ tsp Cayenne pepper

½ tsp Paprika

½ tsp Ground Chipotle Pepper

Heat olive oil in a stainless steel pan for 15 seconds and then add red onions, white onions, half of the cilantro leaves, bell pepper, ground turkey, and all of the spices. Cook over med-high to high heat (adjusting to your stove), stirring frequently to break up the meat and to get all the ingredients mixed together. If it starts to stick, add a little more olive oil.

When the meat is about half-way browned, add the juice from ½ the lemon. Continue stirring. (You don’t want to add the lemon juice too early or it will keep the meat from browning – but you want to add it soon enough to where it will get distributed all through the ground turkey. I find that ground turkey really needs an acid to enhance the flavor.)

When the turkey meat is completely cooked and the bottom of the pan starts to brown, add the butter, the rest of the cilantro, and the juice from the other half of the lemon. Stir, scrapping the bottom of the pan. Toss one of the squeezed lemon halves in there, seeds removed, and then cover. Turn the burner off, letting it sit until tortillas are ready. Before serving, remove lemon and stir.

While the meat is resting, lightly butter a dozen corn tortillas. Heat for 7 seconds on each side in a non-stick pan. Placed warmed shells on a paper towel lined plate – using a paper towel between every four tortillas.

 

Toppings:

Chunky Avocado Guacamole/Pico (recipe follows)

Sour cream

Shredded Sharp Cheddar (I really recommend you grate your own – it is so worth it)

 

Chunky Avocado Pico

(Make this before cooking the meat and store in the refrigerator – Just don’t forget to add the lime juice or it will look ugly.)

Prep time 15 minutes

 

avacodo pico2 small-medium diced Tomatoes

¼ cup Cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

¼ cup diced Red Onion

3 Avocados, cut into bite-sized pieces

Optional heat addition: 1/2 fresh Jalapeño – (seeds removed) diced

The juice from one large Lime

Salt to taste

Gently mix ingredients together, careful not to mash the avocados. Refrigerate until ready to use. (Best if used the same day.)

Pour the meat into a serving bowl. Place everything on the table and have a nice family-style dinner. Dig in. Oh wait, don’t forget the margaritas!

Release Day! The Trouble with Scarecrows (Chapter 1 and giveaway)

Hi friends,

The Trouble with Scarecrows _3 Final (large) copyI’m very excited to share my latest contemporary romance, The Trouble with Scarecrows. I have posted the first chapter below. I would love to know what you think. And if you leave a comment, you’ll be in the drawing for a copy (Kindle or Pdf – winner’s choice).  I’ll post the winner  on Saturday – April 16, 2016.

Love and Laughter,

Dorlana

The Trouble with Scarecrows

 by Dorlana Vann

Chapter 1

 

Brenda Fisher hesitated at the door of the multiplex as if she stood at the entrance to hell. The long corridor was faintly lit by electric candelabras that hung between ordinary doors; the numbers One, Two, Three, Four were their only difference. “Who in their right mind would find this place quaint?” she grumbled as she forced herself to walk inside and shut the door.

The 1920’s brick home had been renovated into a four-apartment multiplex years before she’d bought it, and only one resident, Zadora Hart, lived there now. She had taken over the monthly payments from a previous tenant, and that lease was almost up. But Brenda had never intended on being a landlord and sure as hell wasn’t going to reside there permanently. Unfortunately, she did have to live there for a couple of weeks while her apartment was being remodeled and so she could get the old house ready to sell. She planned on staying in the former owner’s apartment, which was the largest of the four. More importantly, it held no personal scars . . . like Haley and Larry’s apartments did.

Brenda held her breath as she grabbed the glass doorknob and opened the apartment Haley Monroe, her former assistant, had lived in. Even though only a few pieces of generic furniture had been left behind, Brenda’s memories brought every miserable detail to life. This apartment had been the beginning of the end for her and Larry. She had outwardly kept it together the day she’d walked in and discovered that Haley and Larry had slept together. But on the inside, she’d had this sinking feeling that nothing would ever be the same again. She’d been right.

Brenda closed the door to Apartment Two and went across the hall to Larry’s old apartment. In that few seconds, her hurt transformed into anger, and she hated herself for buying the house for that ungrateful son-of-a-bitch in the first place. She nodded. “Good.” Resentment was exactly what she needed to open that door and to get on with her life. Facing the apartment was the next step in getting over Larry White. “I can do this,” she said as she eased the door open.

The apartment was arranged and decorated exactly the same as it had the day she’d surprised Larry with the expensively furnished writer’s retreat. But why did it look as if someone lived there now? Dishes had been left on the coffee table, shoes on the floor, the air-conditioner ran, and a lingering smell of bacon filled the air—all of which was strange because Larry had moved out months ago.

Her heart did a little flip. Perhaps not everything had gone the way Larry thought they’d go. Maybe he had left Haley and hadn’t had a chance to call or didn’t have the nerve to come crawling back. She’d told him he would come back. He always came back. A huge smile broke across her face. She would make him pay . . . but just for a little while. She still loved him, no matter what kind of jerk he’d been to her.

When she heard a noise coming from down the hall, she hurried toward it. “Larry? Larry, are you here?”

Brenda stood at Larry’s open bedroom door. Sure enough, clothes were everywhere. Larry had always been somewhat of a slob. Ever since college, she had to get after him to pick up his plate and to use a clothes hamper.

She heard the shower running and Larry whistling. She missed him so much. She wished she had done so many things differently. But everything would be okay now. Everything would go back to the way they had been. No, things would be better. Larry knew what she wanted now. He knew that she loved him and wanted a real relationship.

Forget about making him pay, she thought as she set her purse on the end of the unmade bed. She would give him a homecoming he would never forget. She removed her heels and then unzipped and slipped out of her dress. As she crossed the bedroom, she unfastened her bra and let it fall to the floor.

Brenda eased the bathroom door open, the steam from the shower blasting through the coldness of the bedroom, and walked inside. Her heart pounded with anticipation and excitement as she stood beside the shower and removed her last piece of clothing, her black panties. She gave her hair a quick tousle and struck a pose before pulling the curtain back with one swift yank.

“What the f—!”

A second of confusion past as Brenda realized he was not Larry. But he was a man all right: a muscled, tattooed, naked man. She sucked in a breath as tiny splashes of water sprayed her face and breasts, bringing her head up to speed with her eyes.

“Whoa.” The guy eyed her up and down.

She shielded her body the best she could, turned and ran. A few seconds later, she was in the hall, stopping just shy of the apartment she’d be staying in.

Brenda glanced down at herself. She had to go back in there! She forgot her clothes on the bedroom floor. She had more clothes, but she had left them out in the car. For a second, she actually considered going outside instead of back in there with that man.

She hurried back through the apartment to the bedroom and gathered her things. Her Chantelle bikini undies were in the bathroom . . . a $32.00 sacrifice.

Brenda heard the guy banging around before appearing at the bathroom doorway. She held her head high and trotted away.

“Hey! Hey, wait!” The guy chased after her.

She didn’t stop running until she reached Apartment One; thankfully the door was unlocked. Once inside, she stood there with her back against it, catching her breath.

Zadora Hart was supposed to be the only tenant in the house. Everyone else had moved out. So who was that guy? “What do I do?” Her heart thumped behind the retrieved items she held against her chest as her mind went crazy with thoughts. The guy could be an ax murderer. Zadora Hart might be all chopped up in little pieces and stashed somewhere in the house or buried in the yard. Or the guy could be some bum or a druggy who had found out that the house was practically empty. She had to call the police. She fumbled inside her purse until she found her phone.

Brenda pressed the nine and then let out a quiet sigh as she remembered the bum’s body. He sure didn’t look like someone who lived on the streets. More like someone who lived at the gym. His head was clean shaven, and he seemed to be around her age, thirty. He had huge, ripped, tanned arms and legs, a body-builder’s chest and stomach and . . . tattoos. He had a lot of tattoos.

“Wait a minute.” Was that Larry’s assistant? It had to be. She was sure of it. She’d met him at Larry’s book signing months back. The one she’d dropped everything to attend, and then Larry had dumped her right there in front of all his fans. What an ass.

She jumped when she heard a knock at the door.

“Hey naked lady, are you in there? I’m not complaining about seeing your boobies, but who are you?”

“Just go away,” Brenda shouted, heat rising to her face.

“This house belongs to a buddy of mine, and if you don’t open this door right now, I’ll be forced to call the cops.”

“What?” Brenda dropped her things to the floor. She stomped into her dress, heaved it up, and then swung the door open wide. “Call the cops on me? You’re the trespasser! I’m Brenda Fisher, and I own this house.”

“Oh, okay,” he said and turned to walk back down the hallway, wearing nothing but a towel.

“Excuse me, Mr. . . .?”

He stopped, turned around, and smiled, making him seem a bit less intimidating. “I’m Neal. Neal Parker.”

“Larry’s assistant.” She’d been correct. She rarely forgot a face or body like his.

Neal frowned. “Have we met?” He studied her for a second before his eyes widened. “Ooooh, I remember you. You cut your hair. You came to Larry’s book signing that day. You’re Larry’s friend, the ambulance chaser.”

“I’m a corporate—”

“So what was that?” Neal interrupted, pointing to his apartment and then back at Brenda, his finger and eyes then sweeping up and down her body before the devilish smirk appeared.

That’s when she realized she wasn’t wearing any underclothes, and her dress wasn’t zipped up in the back, but she wasn’t about to fidget with it.

He was saying, “It was a nice morning surprise. A bit unexpected. You should have called first.”

She folded her arms over her chest. “Mr. Parker, is it? I thought you were . . . I thought you were someone else. What were you doing in there, anyway?”

“You thought I was Larry.” Neal now folded his arms and seemed satisfied that he’d figured this obvious thing out. “And, by the way, I’m not his assistant anymore. His fiancée took over, so you know.”

The word fiancée didn’t play fair. It kicked her in the stomach, making her realize how utterly stupid she was for thinking Larry had left Haley and had come back to her. Her humiliation teeter-tottered between a scream and tears, and she fought to keep control with everything she had.

Neal whistled. “Wow. Hit a nerve.”

“You didn’t answer my question, Mr. Parker,” she spat. “What are you doing here?”

“Larry’s letting me stay in his apartment since he doesn’t need it anymore. Didn’t he tell you?”

“We’re not exactly on speaking terms.”

“I see. No talking.” He raised his eyebrows. “Only body language.”

She did not appreciate the way this man, this stranger, made a fool of her. “I haven’t received a rent check for his apartment. I do not have a signed lease, and I did not agree to a freeloader.”

He shrugged his shoulders, calling attention to the huge scorpion tattoo on his left pectoral. “Larry said it wouldn’t be a problem since he wasn’t paying anything anyways.”

“Well, Larry was wrong. You have two weeks to get out,” she said with pleasure, watching his smug expression transform into a one of confusion. “You’re lucky I’m giving you that long.”

“Why? Hey, I’m sorry I was in the shower instead of Larry. And I’m sorry I saw you naked. Okay, that last part not so much, but you walked in on me. I didn’t do anything!”

“It has nothing to do with earlier. I’m selling the house.”

“What? You can’t!”

“I can do what I want.”

Neal took a step forward.

Brenda put her hand up to indicate he’d better not take another step.

He stopped and frowned. “I’ve used everything I have to pay for culinary school,” his voice boomed, matching his physique. “If you sell this place, I’ll have to quit before I even get started. I’m barely scraping by as it is.”

“Not my problem. My penthouse is being redecorated, so I’m going to be staying here until then. So you have about two weeks before it goes on the market.”

“F—,” Neal said through his teeth. “You’re a real bitch, aren’t you?”

Brenda didn’t flinch. It was hardly the first time she’d been called that. “Is there anyone else living here that I don’t know about?”

“Just Zadora in Three. She’s a psychic, so she probably already knows you’re here to pull the rug out from underneath us. I don’t see why you couldn’t have given me some sort of warning, lady. It’s not right, you strutting in here all f—”

Brenda turned and marched back inside the apartment, slamming her door, shutting out his barking. “Warning? Ha! He doesn’t even belong here.”

She breathed a sigh of relief that at least she had turned the situation around to her favor. Nevertheless, the morning had shaken her up a quite a bit, and she didn’t rattle easily. But being here already had her on edge. Fiancée. Larry and Haley were engaged. “Whatever.” Brenda wiped her eyes and tucked her hair behind her ears. “It was a mistake to come here,” she whispered and then immediately shook her head. No. She refused to let Haley or Larry or even that caveman, Neal Parker, get the best of her. She listened now, seeing if he still stood out there. Thankfully, she didn’t hear anything.

Had Neal said culinary school? Wasn’t he a bit old to be a student? Very mature and very masculine. Too much testosterone for her taste. The way he’d stood there in the hallway, all confident, wearing only a towel, not even checking once to see if it was secure around his waist, told her exactly how full of himself he was. Plus, he was obviously a button pusher. A button pusher who would never let her live it down that she had stood naked by his shower. A button pusher who was friends with Larry and had probably already heard all kinds of lies about her that he would bring up in the future. She had to stay far away from him.

She took a couple of deep breaths and took in the apartment. She winced at the zebra striped chairs, the tribal and animal print pillows and lamps. The tall fake trees probably had more dust on them than real plants. And she had to carefully step around a dead animal skin on the floor. “Please don’t be real.”  She could almost hear drums and jungle sounds. “This is going to be a long two weeks.”

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