Monday, September 30, 2019

Moonshine in Michigan - the kind you drink

Measuring the moonshine for the "Cheers to Michigan" drink.
It’s fall and there’s a hint of it in the air.
“It’s definitely getting into the season where I like to think about fall flavors in my cocktails,” said Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings.
Among the bottles in front of her was one of moonshine.

"This is from Wise Men Distillery. They're just outside Grand Rapids and they make a variety of different products. What I'm using today is their Apple Pie Moonshine. It starts off with a base of their corn with a little bit of barley moonshine. That basically means it’s an unaged whiskey. Then they steep it with a whole bunch of spices and then some Michigan apple juice concentrate,” Tammy explained, adding, “To me it tastes like drinking an apple pie.”
Every year it seems as though there are more apple, cinnamon apple, and apple pie spirits on the grocer and liquor store shelves. It’s starting to be a lot like the trend of everything pumpkin spice in the fall. The question is whether those spirits are going to the same trouble of using real spices and apple juice.
Tammy says there’s a lot of variability in the market.  
“Some things, especially the apple whiskeys, are really just using flavoring and can to me have kind of an artificial taste. That’s not really something I want my glass. Then other people are taking more of an artisan approach. So, it's really kind of a buyer beware issue,” Tammy said.
She used the Apple Pie Moonshine in a drink based on the whiskey sour template.
“Our base spirit here is an ounce and a half of vodka. I also used the Wise Men distillery vodka. Then it's got three quarters of an ounce of their Apple Pie Moonshine and just half an ounce of lemon juice. Shake it up with ice. Strain it into a glass.
My experience with apple pie-like tasting is limited to a guy I knew who made it every Halloween. It was tasty, but a bit too sweet for my taste. It was popular and it was potent.
The Apple Pie of My Eye has more citrus notes than what I’d tasted in the past. It's not as cloyingly sweet as that drink was. To me, this mixture is more drinkable.
“I will say that that moonshine on its own is quite cloyingly sweet. It’s great for drizzling over ice cream or if you're a person who likes sweet drinks, sipping on it on its own over some ice would be great,” Tammy said, adding, “To me on its own it's a little too sweet, but that's why I really like it in this sour application called the flavor comes out without so much of the sweetness.”
Apple Pie of my Eye
The ingredients of Apple Pie of My Eye
1 1/2 oz vodka (Wise Men)
3/4 oz Wise Men Distillery apple pie moonshine
1/2 oz lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake and strain into
cocktail glass.

This article is from a Michigan Public Radio Broadcast.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

SciFi Sunday - Galactic Gladiators

Fighting for love, honor, and freedom on the galaxy's lawless outer rim...

I grew up reading sci-fi and stealing my mom's Harlequin romances. I saw the first Star Wars movie 7 times in the summer it came out and fantasized about Luke and Hans Solo (who didn't). I watched Battlestar Galactica every week. I still love a good galactic adventure with romance...or romance with a good galactic adventure. 
Author, Anna Hacket seems to have found a way into the stars and found new worlds with lots of adventure and romance. One certainly can fall fast for her hunky heroes! Her Gladiator series is a great read to curl up with. 
Here's a little Q&A I stole from Amazon...
Q & A with the Author
Q - How would you describe the Galactic Gladiators series?
A - Gladiators in space! The desert planet of Carthago is home to the Kor Magna Arena: it's a mix of low and high tech. Think the Colosseum of Ancient Rome with a touch of professional sports and a side of Las Vegas glitz and temptation. You'll see a lot of action-packed romance as women abducted from Earth clash with tough, gritty gladiators fighting for love, honor, and freedom.
Q - Why did you want to write the series?
A - It's no secret that I love action, adventure and romance. And I love science fiction romance and all the endless possibilities. Raiden, the gladiator hero of Gladiator, stormed into my head and wanted his story told. I saw this big, tough man covered in tattoos facing off with an equally tough female space marine from Earth. That's where it all began, and since then the planet of Carthago, the intrigues of the Kor Magna Arena, and an amazing band of gladiators came to life.
Q - What order should I read the books in?
A - All the Galactic Gladiator books will be stand-alone romances centered on the Kor Magna Arena, rescuing abducted humans, and making a life far from home. Here's the order I suggest:
- Gladiator
- Warrior
- Hero
- Protector
- Champion
- Barbarian
- Beast
- Rogue
- Guardian
- Cyborg
- Imperator
- Hunter
Join gladiator Raiden Tiago and the toughest gladiators of the House of Galen as they fight to protect the fierce women they love on the blood-soaked sands of the Kor Magna Arena.

Galactic Gladiators: Winner of Most Original Story Universe 2016 - Gravetells

Gladiator: Winner of Favorite Sci-Fi Romance 2016 - Gravetells and Under the Covers

The Galactic Gladiators Science Fiction Romance Series: Science Fiction Romance, Action Adventure Romance, Space Opera, Futuristic Romance, Fantasy Romance, Military Romance, Paranormal Romance

Anna Hackett is author who is passionate about action romance. She loves stories that combine the thrill of falling in love with the excitement of action, danger and adventure. Anna writes about people overcoming unbeatable odds and achieving seemingly impossible goals. She believes it's possible for all of us to do the same.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

#Thursday13 Foreplay Fundamentals

Now that I have your attention...I'm not going to waste any time here; I'll get right to my list.

1. Fruit. Sensual fruit such as strawberries, grapes, apple slices and bananas may be easily found in your kitchen and can be a lot of fun to tease with. Try dancing around your partner and feed him bits of fruit while teasing him with your body.
2. Sensual food. Whipping cream (see my 13 Things to Do with Whipping Cream). Chocolate and other sensual foods. (See my Sensual Food Post).
3. A nice beverage. Wine or a cocktail is always nice. Did you know a hot cup of coco or tea can be sensual in its own way especially in winter? Try a cup of spicy Masala Chai, or a tea containing yarrow, or better yet the aphrodisiac tea - Black Galingale.

4. Candles. Men have a tendency to prefer candles that smell like food – vanilla, orange spice, melon. Women may prefer floral scents for romance. Cluster candles on a reflective tray. I like to mix the scents – Lavender, vanilla or orange spice, Hawaiian flower, white tea & ginger. Visit a local candle shop and select candles together for a special evening.

5. Sensual music. What gets you in the mood? Soft jazz for a romantic evening of slow love making? Underground dance music for some creative adventuring? Hard rock for some fierce pounding?  I suggest picking out the music in advance and being flexible to your mood at the time. One night you might like soft jazz, the next you might choose something louder.

6. Lingerie. Silk boxers for him, g-string for her? Silk slip? Flannel pants and tight cotton tank? Whatever you feel sexy in is what you should choose. However, latest polls show men don’t like lots of lace and buttons/snaps.

7. Sheets. If you’re taking it to bed think of what feels good under you. Don’t always think silk sheets are the best… flannel sheets are very cozy, especially in the northern regions.
8. Blankets. If you visit my house, you’ll notice a variety of cozy, soft blankets on a blanket rack in the great room. They aren’t just for making kids’ forts. Ever try snuggling on a leather couch under a fleece blanket? Try it!

9. Lotions. Keep ones that sensually inspire your mind and ones that can be licked off.

10. Feather. Ever wonder why romance writers love writing plumes so much. Heh, heh. Next time you’re at the zoo, pick up an ostrich feather or visit you local sex shop for some top notch fun feathers.
11. Blindfold., silk scarves, hand cuffs. Need I say anything more?

12. Love coupons. Pick up a booklet of them or print them on the computer. Hide a coupon in a special place for your honey to find. A great teaser!
13. Romantic games. There’s a wide variety out there. A great way to add a little exploration into your love life. Always remember, laughing in bed can be a wonderful foreplay move.

What motivates you?

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Poetry Corner - I Close My Eyes

The 5th book in The Soul Series, Dark Soul, features the band Dark Cloud. My original songs are featured throughout the story. Alas, this is currently a work-in-progress so take this as a little tease.

"I Close My Eyes"
(This is a song that took 3rd place in a national song lyric competition.)

They say there is an emotion;
It exists but only for a few.

(chorus) It has no name,
No words can describe.
I close my eyes,
I am filled.

Stronger than love,
transcending time.
It knows not birth nor death,
only existence.


Felt in the touch of your hand,
Lost in the darkness of my soul.
Heard in the heartbeat,
against my cheek.


Memories of skin on skin may fade,
the emotion continues on.
Thriving in the confusion,
hidden in the emptiness inside.


Never to leave,
but a part of me for eternity.
Hungry for more,
I will remain content.

(repeat chorus 2X)
fade w/ repeated "I close my eyes".

Monday, September 2, 2019

A Special Visitor

The hero in Crow Magic is a Native American Crow Shifter. The storywas inspired by a series of tales told by a family friend, “Indian Dave”. Sitting around the bonfire as kids, he taught the spirituality side of the gifted animal shifters. Even today when I see an animal, I wonder if it is a shifter or not.

A couple days ago a young hawk took a tumble in the fog while hunting in our wood. He found a quiet perch to dry off and rest, allowing my son and I a rare opportunity for a friendly visit. We approached him carefully and spoke to him in Chippewa. His reaction surprised us as he calmed down and simply watched us. He gazed at us as if settling in for conversation. At one point he showed curiosity regarding my cell phone.

Hawks are considered messengers. I asked “Gekek” (Chippewa for Hawk) if he had a message for me. Words entered my mind. “You need to begin writing a Hawk Shifter story.”

I told him I would obligate his request. 

After several hours, he flew over my house with a call. What a blessing to have had him for the day!

At time of blog post publishing:
I currently have the first few chapters completed for Hawk's Honor.