Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Vieux Carre Cocktail - a recipe

Vieux Carré Cocktail

If you’re a writer, don’t move to New Orleans and expect to pen the “Great American Novel.” You’ll probably wind up spending much of your time visiting the hundreds of bars, drinking wonderful cocktails, schmoozing with interesting locals and passing out in all your clothes before you ever keyboard a single word. A scene from my new book-in-progress, City of Spirits, takes place in the Carousel Lounge, located in the Monteleone Hotel on Royal Street, in the French Quarter. Here is a recipe for a drink supposedly invented there. Hey, I don’t write in New Orleans, but I’ve lost a few brain cells sitting at the revolving bar in the Carousel Lounge. And I loved every minute of it.


· ¾ oz Cognac
· ¾ oz rye whiskey
· ¾ oz sweet vermouth
· ¼ oz Benedictine
· dash Peychaud's Bitters
· dash Angostura Bitters


Stir and strain over rocks, lemon twist garnish


Oklahoma Toadstools Pic

Spring Toadstools in Oklahoma
Here's a pic I took earlier this spring of Toadstool Kingdom at the base of my cottonwood tree.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Arkansas Novel Free on Smashwords

An uncut diamond, a missing brother, and a mysterious village hidden deep in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas. Add in some unexplained murders, a little voodoo, and then get ready for a wild ride. A Gathering of Diamonds, free in all ebook formats on Smashwords.com.
A Gathering of Diamonds

Monday, May 23, 2011

Van Gundy Slams Oklahoma City on ESPN

Okay, this blog isn't about sports. Still, I'm an Oklahoman and I think this deserves reporting. Tonight, during the OKC Thunder and Dallas Mavericks Western Championship NBA game, ESPN announcer Van Gundy, when the OKC crowd booed yet another bad ref call, said, "There should be a technical against crowds that don't know anything about basketball." Yeah, well maybe there should be a technical against announcers that have an obvious, biased, agenda.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rules of Publishing are Changing

Quote from Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords.com. “Authors are the brand.” According to Coker, the ebook revolution has changed the dynamics of publishing. “Some day, published author will no longer mean published by a big NY publisher. Published will equal published on the author's terms, not NY's terms. The readers won't care. Publisher name is less important to them than the name of the author, and whether or not they trust that author to give them a good read. Authors are the brand.”



Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blue Norther is # 5 Free Short Story on Amazon

A philandering husband leaves his beautiful wife and nymphette daughter alone in the midst of a powerful winter storm. When a mysterious stranger appears at the door, he ignites the passions of both mother and daughter. An erotic short story thriller with a surprise ending, by the author of French Quarter murder mystery Big Easy, and Morning Mist of Blood.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Edmond Oklahoma Wild Life

At least two coyotes live near my Edmond, Oklahoma home. I’ve seen the white coyote on several occasions. Tonight, as I sat on my front porch, a red fox with bushy tail appeared to sample the food left by my cats. Yes, my cats are finicky eaters. Much later, around eleven, I returned to the front porch.

My Calico cat, Buttercup, reminds me a lot of Chani, another calico that lived nineteen years, until old age finally got her. Buttercup, unlike Chani, or her brother Buster, isn’t much of a talker. Like Chani, and not Buster, she will sit in your lap all day—as long as you stroke her and tell her how pretty she is. Tonight, as I was doing just that, Patch, my Australian cow dog began barking.

Marilyn and I have a porch light, one of those coiled thingies that don’t burn much energy. The one we have is very low wattage, so the light was dim. Still, I could see the young coyote in the shadows, hungry, but reticent to show himself, or herself (I couldn’t really tell). This animal was red, but a foot taller than the fox I’d seen earlier. The wild pup ran behind some shrubbery but was obviously still close because Patch’s barking never ceased. I decided to try something radical.

I whistled, and then called to the animal. “Come here, Red. I won’t hurt you.”

Soon, the curious animal appeared from behind the shrubbery. Even though I was in plain sight, a mere ten feet from the cat bowls, Red ate his (or her) fill, although keeping a close eye on me the entire time. He knew I was there because I talked to him (or her), keeping up a friendly banter until he (or she) finished eating, glanced at me as if to say thanks, and then disappeared, back into to the darkness.

It’s only May. I’ll keep my trusty digital camera ready. Maybe even get a shot of the elusive beast. Yes, Red is a coyote. Of that I have no doubt. Stay tuned. I may soon have a new family member.


Saturday, May 07, 2011

Big Billy's Grilled Catfish with Pineapple Salsa - a weekend recipe

Originally from Arkansas, Texas oil man Big Billy loved catfish and had a hundred different ways of preparing and cooking it. He also liked to grill outdoors, drinking beer and telling oil stories (all true, by the way) while he cooked. Here is one of his favorite—and simple—ways to grill and serve catfish. For some of his stories, you’ll have to check out his Little Texas Cookbook.

Ingredients (Catfish)

• 4 catfish fillets

• 2 tsp olive oil

• 1 tsp garlic salt

• ½ tsp black pepper, cracked

• ¼ tsp red pepper, ground

Ingredients (Pineapple Salsa)

• 1 c pineapple, fresh, peeled and diced

• ¼ cup red onion, diced

• 1 c red bell pepper, diced

• 2 Tbsp cilantro leaves, fresh, chopped

• 2 tsp jalapeno pepper, fresh, minced

• 2 Tbsp lime juice, fresh

• ½ tsp salt

• Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste


(Catfish) Rinse fillets and pat dry. Brush with olive oil, combine ingredients and sprinkle on rounded side. On a pre-heated grill, cook on high heat, rounded side down for 3 to 4 minutes, flip the fillets and continue cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

(Pineapple Salsa) Combine all ingredients and set aside until catfish is grilled, then spoon the salsa on the fillets and serve.


Friday, May 06, 2011

Mystery in Arkansas

I learned to read at an early age, and soon began enjoying books. We had a tiny, one-room town library in Vivian and Mrs. Files—I kid you not—was the librarian. The library had little or no budget but Mrs. Files always found an inexpensive way to keep our interest in reading high.

During the summer, she would mimeograph diagrams of the United States, or some such imaginative illustration. Whenever we read a book, she would give us a gold star for one of the states. The person with the most gold stars at the end of the summer got a five-dollar bill, which, I now feel sure, Mrs. Files contributed herself.

I liked mysteries from the time I was very young, books with heroes like Freddy the Pig and Miss Pickerel. As I grew older, I found I also liked a little adventure tossed in. I read everything I could find by Jules Verne, H. Rider Haggard and Edgar Rice Burroughs, so it was natural that when I began writing, I wrote stories that combined the two genres. If you have the need to label everything, I guess you could call them mys-ventures.

Growing up, I also loved history and have always wondered what happened to the ill-fated colony of Roanoke. It would seem with all our technology that we should be able to find the answer. Alas, this is not the case.

I have visited many wild and wooly places in my life but few as wild and remote as the deepest forests hidden in the ancient Ouachita Mountains of central Arkansas. I realized as much while working on my geological master’s thesis in Sevier County.

I remain entranced by the geologic mystery of the area and feel that central Arkansas is one of the top ten geologic wonders of the world. To me, it bears the same mystery and intrigue as Haggard’s vision of darkest Africa, or Burrough’s Pellucidar. Arkansas is also the only place in the United States with diamonds found at their source.

Not only are the Ouachita Mountains lush with mystery, intrigue and danger, their deep valleys and sharp peaks conceal limitless wealth in diamonds and many other valuable minerals. It seemed a perfect place for a mystery/adventure tale, and became the location for my novel A Gathering of Diamonds.

When I wrote A Gathering of Diamonds, I stole many ideas from masters such as Haggard, Burroughs, and yes-even Cussler. I also managed to solve the mystery of the disappearance of the Roanoke Colony, at least in my own fictional mind.

Many moons have passed since those days in Vivian’s little library. Mrs. Files is no longer around to read any of my books. If she were, I am sure that she would smile, pat me on the shoulder, and give me a gold star. That thought makes me very happy.


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Eric Wilder Ebook Bargains on Smashwords

Two ebook mini-mysteries, Prairie Thunder and Pontchartrain, are free on Smashwords.com.

Prairie Thunder: When a redneck sheriff jumps to a conclusion about who murdered an American Indian artist, Buck McDivit takes matters into his own hands to save an innocent man's life. A mini-mystery by Eric Wilder, author of the Buck McDivit murder mysteries, Ghost of a Chance and Morning Mist of Blood. About 3,100 words. FREE

Check out Prairie Thunder on Smashwords

Pontchartrain: Home of some of the best cooking in the world, New Orleans has a dirty little secret: The people of the venerable city love fried food as much gumbo. At a restaurant on Pontchartrain Lake, where Margaritas and fried catfish are the stars of the menu, someone is starting fires. Gumshoe Wyatt Thomas must find out who, or die trying. A New Orleans mini-mystery by Eric Wilder, author of the French Quarter murder mystery Big Easy. About 8,900 words. FREE