…At Your Fingertips

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Welcome to At Your Fingertips

Posted by tamelaquijas on May 20, 2011

I’m a romance author that loves to write– paranormal to contemporary romance, and an occasional cookbook.  My blog site highlights my work and that of my fellow authors, but my site isn’t only about the latest paranormal/supernatural romance novels on the market.  Stay for a while and you’ll find my reviews on a variety of great books and movies, fantastic author interviews, sneak peeks into upcoming book releases, recipes, as well as being granted a private look into my world.

In the page tabs above, you’ll find exclusive sneak peeks into my books.  Excerpts of my novels are included, as well as reviews that have been posted by so many of my wonderful readers and fans.  For further information on my work, please join me at the dark side of the moon (http://tamelaquijas.webs.com)

In the side columns, you can connect with fantastic publishers and visit intriguing author and blog sites that fascinate me!

Are you interested in an author interview, a book review, or would you like me to showcase your latest release?  Contact me in the comments section of this post and I’ll set up at date for you!  Remember, I’m open to all genres!

If you care to follow me, you can find me all over the web by my name–tamela quijas.  I’m on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and Goodreads–just search for me by my name.

Feel free to explore what might interest you and do come back often, dear friend!

Find my books at:

Amazon (United States, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and the UK) 

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Food Friday and let’s have Nachos!

Posted by tamelaquijas on June 22, 2012

English: Nachos as served on a Circle Line Sig...

English: Nachos as served on a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise in New York, New York, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This seems to be a must at all parties held in the Southwest.  For some reason, if this cheese sauce is not available, the party seems to be lacking.When I was a teenager in the 70’s (oops), I had always assumed Chile con Queso meant the chili beans you put on a hot dog with some cheese sauce.  I learned years later that chili meant beans with meat and chile meant exactly that—spicy peppers.

To all you Texans–no, I’m not from New York City

1 (32 ounce) block of a Processed Pasteurized Cheese, (again, it does not have to be name brand).


1 small onion, peeled and finely diced

1 small tomato, washed and finely diced

5 Jalapeño peppers or a similarly spicy pepper


Stem and wash the chile peppers, then finely dice the peppers.  Finely dice the onion and the tomato and add to the Jalapeño peppers.

Chop the Processed Pasteurized cheese into 1×1 inch squares.  Place the cheese into a crock-pot, which has been set to low heat.  Add approximately 1 cup of milk to the cheese.  Stir and cover the crock-pot.

In a heavy skillet on low heat, melt a tablespoon of butter.  Add the finely diced Jalapeño peppers, the tomato, and the onion.  Lightly sauté until the onion becomes transparent and the Jalapeño peppers (if you use those) become a dull olive green.  Pour the ingredients of the skillet, with the butter, into the crock-pot.  Stir until well mixed and cover.

Check on the cheese sauce roughly every 1/2 hour, stirring, until the cheese is melted and creamy.  Keep the cheese on warm until serving time, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.  Keep an eye on the cheese sauce because it will burn around the edges of the pot.

All depending on how you like your cheese sauce, you may add more milk to taste.  Stir before serving.  Serve hot with tostadas or corn chips.

This should feed a small army and you can always make a bowl without the peppers for the kids.

This is another simple family recipe from Gather Around My Table, available at:  http://www.amazon.com/Gather-Around-My-Table-ebook/dp/B007XY8J8Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339445379&sr=8-1&keywords=gather+around+my+table

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Bruce, far more terrifying than any zombie

Posted by tamelaquijas on June 20, 2012

Cover of "Jaws (30th Anniversary Edition)...

Cover of Jaws (30th Anniversary Edition)

Today, our children are focused on thoughts of a zombie apocalypse.  I laugh at the idea of slow-moving, rotting limb creatures trudging down our roadways, intent on sucking the brain matter from our teens, and thoughts of Shawn of the Dead darts through my thoughts.  When I was their age, my nightmares were centered around more believable fears, living things that exist in our world and just beyond our reach.  Attacking when least expected, those fears were ones that we couldn’t escape…During the summer of 1975, I remember the sweltering heat, and the sunburn that freckled my shoulders for life.  I remember the year being one of the hottest of my teen life, and my friends and I longed for the cooling spray and lapping waves of the ocean, anything to escape the heat…

That was before Steven Spielberg decided to strike terror into millions of people, and we found the beach, the very ocean, a thing of nightmares.

Using the same skill, the same finesse of the famed Hitchcock in his fabulous film that made women afraid to travel to a seedy motel off the beaten track, Spielberg’s epic scene of the young woman bobbing not once, but three times, while a great white shreds her body beneath the water, terrified the world.  Every one of us sat in the theater with our knees pulled to our chin, eyes wide with terror, as rows of sinister teeth flashed across the screen.  Gasping, frightened out of our minds, we had nightmares for weeks.

All of our dreams involved on skillfully designed mechanical shark, Bruce as the film crew affectionately called him, and our outlook of escaping to the beach was changed forever.

On this day in 1975, Steven Spielberg catapulted to Hollywood fame with his imaginative tale of a great white shark that terrorized Amity, and Jaws became the creature of our nightmares…

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Remembering the King of the Western Frontier

Posted by tamelaquijas on June 13, 2012

It’s Wednesday morning out here and the sky is beautiful and overcast.  I’m not certain yet if it’s the threat of rain or the remnants of smoke slipping down from the Ruidoso fires, but I won’t complain.  In fact, I welcome anything that covers the sun, especially when the weather forecast calls for 101 today.  It’s a perfect day to slip out to the movies, enjoying the beautiful refrigerated air and basking in a bit of action-filled imagination…

As I’ve let many of you know, my daughter (sometimes) is very disappointed that I don’t have a thing for what I derisively call ‘chick-flicks”.  My sister-in-law is amazed that I’ve never, ever watched Dirty Dancing, Grease, The Last Song, and the likes.  My film tastes run more along the lines of Indiana Jones (The reason why I’ve always wanted to be a history teacher), Star Wars, Blade, Iron Eagle, Band of Brothers, Planet of the Apes, The Sands of Iwo Jima, Ben Hur, and any western released since the 1940s.

Why do I have this fascination?

When my Dad was home from Military maneuvers, his idea of quality time with me was either teaching me to play poker or a trip to the movies.  Since Mom frowned on the entire idea of her only daughter learning how to deal cards, the movies were the thing.  Just to spend time with him, this precious man who will always be my hero, I would watch whatever he wanted to watch.  Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, and the immortal John Wayne were my film favorites and my brothers and I anxiously awaited their latest release.

To say I adored these actors would be an understatement.  They were the epitome of the man’s man…vibrant personalities that swaggered onto the screen with a self-assurance I can’t find in any actors nowadays.  My all time favorite was John Wayne, from his troubled portrayal of a haunted boxer who escapes to the rolling green fields of Ireland and finds love with the fiery Maureen O’Hara in The Quiet Man, to his gutsy image of the patient big brother in The Sons of Katie Elder.  To this day, I will drop everything to watch a John Wayne film, just to hear him say “Well, good luck, Pilgrim”, or watch him amble across a dusty road as he did in Rio Bravo.

John Wayne was of Presbyterian Scots-Irish or ...

John Wayne was of Presbyterian Scots-Irish or Ulster-Scots descent. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wayne was a simple man with big dreams.  Born Marion Mitchell Morrison, he was from Iowa, who found work at a local film studio after losing his football scholarship at USC because of a bodysurfing accident.  John Ford saw something in his rugged masculinity, his clean-cut handsomeness, height (6’4”), and smooth voice, which made him cast the young man in his blockbuster film Stagecoach in 1939.

As they say, the rest is history.

This week in history, the world lost that unforgettable man.  I still have the newspaper clippings from his death, and remember how devastated my dad and I were when the king of the western’s slipped away.  We mourned, as did the majority of men in the United States, our hero of the western having moved on to that frontier in heaven.

On June 11, 1979, after over ten years of battling cancer, John Wayne passed away.

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The Long Term Effects of a ‘Required Reading List’.

Posted by tamelaquijas on June 7, 2012

Something Wicked This Way Comes (film)

Something Wicked This Way Comes (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was in high school (more decades ago than I care to admit), required reading and essays on books we were “forced” to read were the must-do assignments from many of my English teachers.  I can honestly tell you, I learned to hate a lot of the classics because of the mandatory reading issue, and I cringe when I look at The Red Badge of Courage, The Great Gatsby, Johnny Tremaine, Huckleberry Finn, and Fahrenheit 451.Honestly, I don’t know why I developed this hatred.  Perhaps it’s the over-analyzing of works that my mind might have found truly remarkable, if I hadn’t endured the incessant question of what the author meant when he wrote this or that.  The one question that will always stand out in my memories is:

Tell me, class, why did Mr. Fitzgerald decide the women in his novel had to wear white?

She didn’t want to hear the truth of what I thought.  All she wanted to hear was F. Scott was attempting to portray their purity, their innocence, to the reader through symbolism.

Symbolism?  Really?

Lady, the women were wearing white because it was summer in the 1920s!  My God, didn’t she ever research the fashion magazines of the 1920s and know that white was the haute couture color of that particular season, cool under the blazing summer sun, and it was all the rage to wear?  Obviously not—everything we read has symbolism (supposedly) from Huck Finn’s discussions and the way he held his head, to the color of the blood that is described in The Red Badge of Courage.

Yes, my 7th grade English teacher ruined a ton of books for me.  I can’t remember her name any more, but I can remember her face, and how she would argue that we (as students) didn’t appreciate a book’s symbolism.

No, we didn’t and I still don’t.  I read for pleasure.  I’m not analyzing what’s going on in the authors’ mind when he wrote this or that.  Seriously, I hope he or she simply wrote their story because of the need and love to write.

I can tell you this, though.  As much as I developed a distaste for those authors because of that particular teacher’s class assignments, I’ve never forgotten the authors or the context of their stories.  That’s a terrible thing to remember, an author that you can’t stand until you find another story whose front pages are missing and end up thoroughly enjoying the book.

Something Wicked This Way Come scared the daylights out of me when I picked up the tattered, torn copy from a second-hand bookstore—cover pages missing–for a dime.  I loved it!  In my lifetime, I’ve never missed any Walt Disney film released, and in 1983, I was off to the theater.  Jonathan Pryce’s powerful portrayal of Mr. Dark to Jason Robards’ Charles Halloway made me sit on the edge of my seat, the battle of the proverbial light and dark as so intensely portrayed.  The tale of Will and Jim, rambunctious boys off to a carnival that holds more secrets than most, made my skin crawl.

When the end credits came through, I had to laugh.

Photo of Ray Bradbury.

Photo of Ray Bradbury. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of those dreaded authors on my never-to-be-read-list-ever-again, Ray Bradbury, had snuck past my radar.

I developed a new sense of respect for the man, taking him off my banned lists of reading, I loved his dark novels, and The Halloween Tree became a favorite right there with Something Wicked.  However, admittedly, I still won’t ever pick up another copy of Fahrenheit 451 without frowning and feeling sick to my stomach.

The writing world lost a truly gifted man earlier this week, when Ray Bradbury passed away at the age of 91.

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A Day to Remember

Posted by tamelaquijas on June 6, 2012

Robert Capa, Normandy, Omaha Beach, June 6th, 1944Nearly 30 years ago, I began researching my family history.  Some of you might find the subject boring, but I find it’s fascinating.  Our families did a lot to get where they are in the world today, and many have become forgotten over the years, their struggles and sacrifices having become lost with their passing.

Among those many people I have in my family tree, military service was a rite of passage.  A person did what they could for their newly adopted country, and they served right alongside many others that shaped our lives.  From the Revolutionary War to the war we fight nowadays, their sacrifices are something that should never be forgotten.

Unfortunately, many of our youth has forgotten.

Today, of all days, was a significant part of World War II that our children don’t recall.

I remember the critical points of this day, due to the tales that were told by my great-uncles and my grandfather.  When I lived in Germany, my father took us to this beach and explained the importance of that simple tract of land.  It’s an isolated beach and, when I went, shadowed by dark storm clouds and buffeted by a gray expanse of freezing ocean.  At that time, I couldn’t imagine so many young men doing the unthinkable, putting their lives on the line in a strange county, for an operation that didn’t quite go as planned.

Not being able to share the same experience with my children, I’ve pulled out the old, faded photographs to share with them.  We’ve watched the struggles of the young soldiers that changed the course of the war in such tear-jerking films as Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, and I’ve told them the stories of my uncles, all gone now to their eternal resting place…

Today, on June 6, 1944, the Allied forces crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of Normandy, France.  Their bravery and heroism became a turning point to World War II.  This strategic invasion became known as D-Day.

My heartfelt thanks and utmost respect goes out to the servicemen involved in that operation and their families.

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It’s a day worthy of gentlemen that truly are stars in my book….

Posted by tamelaquijas on May 1, 2012

General Douglas MacArthur meeting Navajo, Pima...

General Douglas MacArthur meeting Navajo, Pima, Pawnee and other Native American troops. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Normally, my Tuesday’s are dedicated for the wonders that occurred in Hollywood, that glamorous icon that shines brightly on the West Coast.  Today, though, I had to push my favorite place aside for an event that is far more important than any symbol.In 1942, the United States was involved in an ugly war that tore the very foundations of the world, as we know it apart.  Communication was a vital part of the war, as it is in any battle, and World War II brought the need for contact to an all time high.  From every military and naval unit, brave men had to stay in touch to know when an attack was going to occur, or when to admit defeat and fall back.  Numerous times, at a great cost of life, so many heroic men were lost because of the ease in which the enemy interpreted vital codes.

On this day, the first “Code Talkers”, brave men of the Navajo Indian tribes, were recruited by the marines to serve in the war effort.  Using their language, one that history had attempted to prevent them from using in the past, the Code Talkers provided an unbreakable radio transmission code that turned about events in the war.

Unfortunately, these brave men didn’t receive any recognition for their valiant efforts until 1968, when their operation became officially declassified.  It took Public Law 106-554, 114 Statute 2763 to award any of their numbers from receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor for their services.  Even then, the actual ceremony didn’t occur until July 2001.

These men were the true heroes, serving their country with pride and without recognition until nearly 56 years after the end of the war.

To find out more about these brave individuals, please visit:  http://www.navajocodetalkers.org/

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It’s Food Friday! Greek Style Hamburgers for the grill

Posted by tamelaquijas on April 27, 2012

The weather here is beautiful and I think it’s time this weekend to barbecue.  There’s nothing better to place on the grill than my favorite, Greek style hamburgers!


1 lb of lean ground beef

1 lb ground lamb

1 finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 cup of unseasoned bread crumbs

1-teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1-teaspoon ground coriander

1-teaspoon salt

1-teaspoon pepper

1-teaspoon ground cumin

It’s very simple!  Turn on the outside grill and preheat until the grates take on that ashy gray color!

In large bowl, mix ground beef, lamb, onion, spices, and breadcrumbs.  Combine well.  Shape into patties.

Grill until done!

Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, and thinly sliced purple onions in pita bread.  A great topper is a little sauce called Tzatziki–which is simple to make.  I simply toss 2 peeled and chopped cucumbers into my food processor and add a container of sour cream.  Pulse on low for a few seconds, season with salt and pepper, and use the sauce as a dressing for the burgers.

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