Saturday, February 23, 2008

Anna's in the kitchen

Hi everyone!

It's me again, Anna Romeo. I figured I'd stop by today since it's Saturday and I don't have to go to the library. Consequently, I'm not running late, like I usually am. Of course I can't stay forever because there's always something to do around this place but a few minutes? That'll work.

I just mean, a vineyard just doesn't run itself. And the house? It seems like I'm constantly picking up a pair -- or two or six -- of Tony's dirty socks. But I guess if a man's got to have a flaw, a penchant for dropping his dirty clothes as he strips isn't so bad...not as long as I get to watch, that is!

But I digress.

I saw that Elinor shared cornbread recipes (which I plan to try! Thanks, Elinor!) so I thought I'd share one of my recipes for grilled vegetables. We have a huge garden so grilled veggies are a staple at our house.

So here it is. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Buon appetito!

Grilled Vegetables

Bell Peppers
Garlic cloves, chopped
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil

You'll notice I haven't given any measurements for the ingredients. For a recipe like this one, just use whatever you've got at hand. Wash, dry and slice all the vegetables. Chop the herbs. Put it all in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and then get grilling. It's that simple! Tony and Nonno both like it when I make extra. They eat the leftovers in sandwiches using a crusty Italian loaf that I sometimes make. If I haven't made bread recently they'll use whatever's in the bread drawer.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Hi everyone! I'm here to share the first excerpt from the first Anna Romeo mystery, Vineyard Mambo. God, but I love the way that sounds! The first Anna Romeo mystery... Now that's something I could get used to.

But I'm, as usual, in a rush. Have got to whip together a school break reading program for next week. Kids are off school, you know. No day care, either, so the library's going to be packed starting Monday. A good thing, I think, but I've got to figure out some snappy ideas for stimulating young minds. Any ideas?

Oh, that's right! I'm here to share the excerpt, not solicit ideas for my library program. Oops! Mi dispiace.

Without further ado, an excerpt from Vineyard Mambo:

Anna heard a deep breath from the other end of the phone line, first pulled in slowly, and then let out in a whoosh. “Where have you been all day? How could you not already know?”

“I’ve been where I usually am, in the library. You know, my job? Remember?”

“It’s hard to believe you haven’t heard by now. Hasn’t anyone told you?”

Anna sighed, shaking her head. She walked over to the back door, unlocked it and pulled it open. A soft breeze fluttered a curl against her cheek as she stood before the old-fashioned screen door. “I haven’t seen anyone all day long. The place was silent as a tomb. Now—what are you talking about?”

“The Pilchards,” Diane answered. Her voice caught on the name, and Anna felt her gut twist. Whatever this was, it couldn’t be good.

“Marge and Sam?”

“That’s right. They were found this morning at their house. The newscaster on the radio said they suspect foul play. I don’t know; some sort of intruder or something. Sam is in Good Samaritan Hospital. No one knows yet if he’ll pull through.”

“And Marge?”

“Marge is dead.”

A sheen of perspiration broke out on Anna’s brow at the same instant she felt her body temperature drop. Funny how shock does that, makes a person feel an immediate chill just as sweat first appears.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Hi from Anna Romeo

Hi everyone!

I wanted to stop in and introduce myself. I figured early Monday morning, before I leave for the library and hopefully before all of you begin your day would be the best time to do it so here I am!

My name is Anna Romeo and I'm pleased to "meet" you. God, that sounds like I'm standing up at a Chocoholic's Anonymous meeting, doesn't it? Well, if you expect me to admit I've been on the chocolate wagon for two weeks, three days and four hours, forget it! I could sooner live without air than chocolate!

Okay, now you know two things about me and I haven't even begun this introduction--at least not officially. I've already let on that I'm a librarian and I love, love, love chocolate. Ugh...not the best way to make a good impression is it? You probably picture me with a big butt and tight bun, maybe glasses perched on the end of my nose. That's it, isn't it? That's what you think, don't you?

Rats. Maybe I'd better begin again--

Double rats. No time to begin again.

Like I always say, "When in doubt, jump right in!" so I'm going to jump. Tony, my perfectly fabulous, if slightly overprotective, husband reminds me constantly that the in-doubt-jumping motto is what usually lands me in hot water but hey, a woman can't have everything, can she? Sometimes a gal's just gotta jump, don't you think? I mean, if I looked both ways before I crossed every street---ahhh!

I'm going to be late if I don't wrap this up and dash.

To sum it up...I'm Anna, a librarian in Milton Falls, one of the smallest towns anywhere. My husband Tony is Italian, handsome and a hunk, a contractor by day and a love god by night! We live in a seen-better-days farmhouse on a small vineyard. My grandfather-in-law, Antonio, lives in the cottage at the edge of our property and together the three of us lead good, happy lives. Very all-American with a Tuscan twist! I garden, read (duh! of course I read, I spend my mornings surrounded by books!), and do all the usual housewifey stuff.

Oh! I almost forgot--I've got Merlot. Who's Merlot? She's just the best friend a woman could have. Most people would say she's a cat but I know better. Merlot is much, much more than a cat. She's a--ARRGGHH!!

I've got to run. Sorry! I'm late for my day job but that's not new. What is new is the fact that Vineyard Mambo, the first Anna Romeo mystery, is coming soon to a bookshelf near you. Now that's something to get excited over!

And as California's governor has been known to say..."I'll be back!"

Have a great day!