Under a prickly, cynical surface Lou Harper is an incorrigible romantic. Her love affair with the written word started at a tender age. There was never a time when stories weren't romping around in her head. She is currently embroiled in a ruinous romance with adjectives. In her free time Lou stalks deviant words and feral narratives.

Lou's favorite animal is the hedgehog. She likes nature, books, movies, photography, and good food. She has a temper and mood swings.

Lou has misspent most of her life in parts of Europe and the US, but is now firmly settled in Los Angeles and worships the sun. However, she thinks the ocean smells funny. Lou is a loner, a misfit, and a happy drunk.

The Romance Reviews

Free Stuff!!
lou harper

Secrets and Ink is currently free on All Romance eBooks. Grab it while it's hot!

The next book in the series, Secrets and Charms is coming out next Tuesday. Lots of naughty boys to warm your Christmas stockings. :)

Vintage Monday: One Fine Dandy
lou harper

I considered posting something wintery or even holiday but in the end decided to keep up my resistance of the seasonal madness and picked this fine gentleman instead. Just look at him! He's the cat's meow and he knows it. I wonder how long it took him to get dressed and if he had help.

Wednesday Word: Pugnacious
lou harper

pugnacious |pəgˈnā sh əs|adjectiveeager or quick to argue, quarrel, or fight : the increasingly pugnacious demeanor of politicians.having the appearance of a willing fighter : the set of her pugnacious jaw.

pugnaciously adverb
pugnacity |ˌpəgˈnasətē| noun

ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin pugnax, pugnac-(from pugnare ‘to fight,’ from pugnus fist) + -ious .

Poor pugs, they are really not all that quarrelsome in general, but chihuahuanacious would be too much of a mouthful.

Vintage Tuesday--because I missed Monday
lou harper

Well, hello there, Mr. Blast from the Past. Is that a bear rug?

Holiday Demon
lou harper

Europeans might not have Thanksgiving but they make up for it with St. Nick's Day. You see, there Christmas used to be more about the Nativity and such. On the night of December 5th you left your boots on the windowsill. St. Nicholas stopped by during the night and if you were nice he left candy and fruit in your boots. But he didn't travel alone.

The jolly fat man's companion was a hair, horned demon, with cloven hooves and an obscenely long tongue. He beat the naughty kids with a willow switch—if they were lucky. Alternately, he stuffed them into his basket and took them to hell.

Lovely, isn't it? Men dressing up as Krampus and scaring the living daylight out of little children was a popular activity in the olden days, as this old photo illustrates:

Krampus fell out of favor sometimes after WWII. I guess people had bigger, scarier things in their lives. It's gaining popularity again, though.

Hungarians added an extra letter to the holiday demon's name, because they just like to complicate things. My holiday themed short story, Krampusz takes place in Budapest, and is available from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, All Romance eBooks, and Barnes & Noble.

Regrettably, it does NOT contain monster porn. But it's only my list. Right after tentacle sex. 

Creative Baking
lou harper

It's my belief that all human beings have a creative urge, and creativity can take many forms. One of mine is baking.

I had leftover homemade cranberry sauce and search the internet high and low for a recipe to use it up. When I couldn't find anything I liked, I made up my own:

Chocolate Cranberry Sauce Banana Bread

2 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
4 oz (one stick) of butter at room temperature
1 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 ripe banana smashed
3/4 cup cranberry sauce
4 oz dark chocolate
1 tbs blackstrap molasses (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
A bit of crystallized brown sugar or white sugar

  • Preheat oven at 350ºF.

  • Rub the insides of a loaf pan with butter. Drop in some sugar and shake it around to coat the bottom and sides. Shake out the access.

  • Melt the chocolate in a double boiler

  • Mix butter and brown sugar till smooth and creamy.

  • Mix in molasses.

  • Add eggs one by one and blend with electric mixer, fully incorporating each.

  • Add melted chocolate, mix it in.

  • In separate bowl mix flour and baking powder together.

  • Add flour mix to wet ingredients, incorporate fully.

  • Add banana, cranberry and vanilla. Mix.

  • Pour it all into the loaf pan and bake till a tooth pick or skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  • Let it cool for a bit. When cool enough turn it upside-down—it will smoothly slip out of the pan.

  • Eat plain or with jam, by itself or with coffee, tea.

Whatever Friday
lou harper

I'm not someone who rushes to the stores on Black Friday. I hate malls on a good day and bargain-mad crowds freak me out. Consequently, this is the day when I rather don't even leave the house. Perfect day for reading and sipping hot cocoa.

Fortunately for those of use suffering from chronic mob-aversion, nowadays you can shop in the safety and your privacy of your home, wearing pajamas and fuzzy slippers, and still not miss out on the deals. All Romance eBooks is having a HUGE sale. Two of my own books, Dead Man and the Restless Spirits and Dead in LA are FREE for the day.

Gobble, Gobble
lou harper

My plan for today is to make hot apple cider and cheese straws and go over to my friends' house later. I usually bring desert, but I suspect there will be pie overload, so I had to find alternatives.

To be honest, while I don't hate pumpkin pie, it's not on the top of my list of deserts. I have a pretty easy but delicious recipe for and apple-cranberry pie, which I probably got off from a can of cranberries or such.

Wednesday Word: Cantrip
lou harper

cantrip |ˈkantrip|noun Scottish, archaica mischievous or playful act; a trick.

ORIGIN late 16th cent. (also in the sense [witch's trick]): of unknown origin.

I came across this word recently in Mike Carey's novel, The Devil You Know. The book was a mixed experience--nice prose, but by Jove, the story moved like molasses. I was listening to the audiobook and my mind kept wandering off. That never happens when the story is interesting.

Vintage Monday: Football
lou harper

I know football season has started because it's Thanksgiving this week. Yeah, you can guess how much attention I pay to this sport. I once went to a Notre Dame game but left at half time because I was bored out of my skull. Honestly, rugby seems far more exciting. Men in short shorts tackling each other. Mmm....

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