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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Highlights

A cookbook that is FREE as a gift from us to you for use during this time. Be sure to get your copy today!

While we’re staying home and looking for things to do how about cooking?

How about some relief from the stress and pressure of figuring out what to serve your hungry family at home with you?

Cue a holiday-inspired cookbook written by the following thirteen busy authors, of various ages and genres:

Carol Browne
HL Carpenter
Sara Daniel
Dominique Eastwick
Leigh Goff
C.D. Hersh
Vonnie Hughes
Alicia Joseph
Emma Lane
Sharon Ledwith
Anne Montgomery
Chris Pavesic
Sloane Taylor

These wonderful writers have created recipes that will make your life easy and simple when it comes time to prepare tantalizing appetizers, tasty beverages, mouth-watering cookies, and decadent desserts.

The ABCDs of Cooking with Writers is your go-to recipe book for something special time and then when we get back to entertaining over the holiday seasons, hosting events, or celebrating that special day. Compiled by Sloane Taylor—a gourmet cook in her own right—and designed by mother-daughter duo HL Carpenter, the included recipes have been tested and approved of by the most finicky family members. Oh, and did I mention that it is FREE?

So why not have your cake and eat it too? Yes, pun intended. You’ve got nothing to lose, and time to gain when you download The ABCDs of Cooking with Writers. There’s a recipe for every holiday, celebration, or event in your life. Give yourself a gift with a cookbook from thirteen writers who share their favorite recipes and tips to help relieve the stress in your life.

Download your FREE E-Pub cookbook at Smashwords.

Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

Naming Characters – Things to Consider

By Lucy Mitchell


Naming fictional characters is one of those writing activities a non-writer might view as…simple to do. *Sigh* They probably think we pluck a random name out of thin air, sit down to write and bring that newly named fictional person to life.

Ha! If only naming a fictional character was that simple.

This activity is not simple to do. It can take ages to come up with a name that fits your character, their era and the story.

Also, there’s no guarantee you . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

BlondeWriteMore blog

Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Water Recipes for health

by

Leigh Goff

These 4 Lemon Detox Water Recipes make it easy to increase your water intake, lose weight, and support your immune system. They take only minutes to make and taste amazing! Look and feel great by adding detox water to your routine. The recipes come from Joyful Healthy Eats. Be sure to go to the website. Enjoy!

Lemon Mint Water
• 3–4 slices of lemon
• 3 sprigs of mint
• 8 oz. of purified water

Add fresh lemons slices, mint, and water to a large glass. Muddle the mint a little if you’d like to really taste the flavor. Chill and drink.

Image courtesy of  Distillata Healthy Living 

Lemon Blueberry Water
• 3–4 slices of lemon
• 10 fresh blueberries
• 8 oz. purified water

Add fresh lemons slices, blueberries, and water to a large glass. Chill and drink.

Cucumber Lemon Water
• 3–4 slices of lemon
• 4 slices of cucumber
• 8 oz. purified water

Add fresh lemons slices, cucumber, and water to a large glass. Chill and drink.

Lemon Ginger Water
• 3–4 slices of lemon
• 3 slices of fresh ginger root (1/4″ slices with skin on)
• 8 oz. purified water

Add fresh lemons slices, ginger slices, and water to a large glass. Chill and drink.

Please allow me to share a sneak peek of my Coming Soon Southern Gothic book while you enjoy your refreshing drink.

Koush Hollow:
Where bayou magic abounds and all that glitters…is deadly.

After her father’s untimely death, Jenna Ashby moves to Koush Hollow, a bayou town outside of New Orleans, dreading life with her wealthy mother.

As the sixteen-year-old eco-warrior is introduced to the Diamonds & Pearls, her mother’s exclusive social club, she comes to the troubling realization that secrets are a way of life in Koush Hollow.

 How do the Diamonds & Pearls look so young, where does their money come from, and why is life along the bayou disappearing?

As Jenna is drawn into their seductive world, her curiosity and concerns beg her to uncover the truth. However, in this town where mysticism abounds and secrets are deadly, the truth is not what Jenna could have ever imagined.



Leigh Goff writes young adult fiction. She is a graduate from the University of Maryland and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI).

Born and raised on the East Coast, she now lives in Maryland where she enjoys the area’s great history and culture.

Her third young adult novel, Koush Hollow, a Southern gothic set in New Orleans, will release on September 1, 2020 from The Parliament House.

Learn more about Leigh Goff on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

The ever-engaging Joanne Guidoccio who brings us her latest books on sale. Be sure to get your copies today!

People want to believe in the magic of mermaids.

When the television channel Animal Planet aired Mermaids: The Body Found in 2012, over 3.5 million viewers watched as scientists discussed the existence of these aquatic creatures. The interviews and phone-camera footage were so convincing that many of the viewers were disappointed when a brief disclaimer flashed in the end credits noting that the “documentary” was a work of fiction. Later, producer Charlie Foley revealed the “scientists” were really paid actors. He did, however, admit to believing in possibilities and the power of the imagination, concluding that we haven’t found everything out there yet.

So, it is not surprising that young girls (and older ones) are fascinated by the original Hans Christian Andersen mermaid tale and the Disney version. Often dismissed as fluff, the fairy tale and the movie contain valuable life lessons.

Prepare to Take Action

While Ariel enjoyed many privileges in her father’s kingdom, she craved more excitement and adventure. Whenever she had any free time, she would swim up to the surface and collect human artefacts. She would often dream about living among the “barbaric humans” her father detested. When she finally met Eric, she was ready to leave the kingdom.

We don’t have to wait for a prince or the right circumstances. If we feel any stirrings or restlessness, we need to take action, any action, however small that will move us closer to what we truly desire. And it doesn’t have to be dramatic or life changing. We can start by reading and journaling about the life we desire, taking courses, or approaching possible mentors.

Guard Your Voice

Ariel had to learn this lesson the hard way. From the start, we know that she has the most beautiful voice in the kingdom. When she rescued Eric from drowning, her voice is what he heard first, even before opening his eyes. But Ariel takes that wonderful gift for granted and does not hesitate to exchange it for human legs.

This lesson can be interpreted on several levels. We need to use our voices to express our emotions and our desires, and sometimes, we may need to raise our voices to be heard. Also, we should not ignore or dismiss inner beauty and focus entirely on outer looks.

Swim in the Deep End

In the opening scenes, Ariel is fearless as she skilfully navigates the deep waters of the kingdom. Intent on surfacing and interacting with humans, she swims boldly and effortlessly while avoiding encounters with sharks.

It is advisable to take baby steps when trying out a new venture, but it is important not to stay small for too long. At some point, it is necessary to take risks and go beyond our comfort zones. Avoiding challenging situations will not ensure our safety. Annoying and troublesome creatures can be found at all water levels.

Don’t Be Afraid to Change the Script

In the original fairy tale, the mute ex-mermaid could only smile when the handsome prince married someone else. Knowing that the prince’s wedding would only bring heartache and seal her fate as “foam on the crest of waves” saddened many readers who wanted a happily-ever-after ending for the little mermaid and the prince.

When Walt Disney Productions decided to produce an animated film based on The Little Mermaid, they also decided to change the ending. There was some backlash but the executives were not deterred. The worldwide response was an overwhelming one. Since 1989, the film has grossed over $200 million worldwide and has been credited with beginning the Disney Renaissance, an era that breathed life back into the animated feature film genre.

Blurb – Between Land and Sea
After giving up her tail for an international banker, Isabella of the Mediterranean kingdom is aged, weathered, and abandoned on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England. She faces her human journey as a plain and practically destitute fifty-three-year-old woman.

With the help of a magic tablet and online mermaid support, she reinvents herself as a career counselor, motivational speaker, and writer of self-help books. Along the way, she encounters a cast of unforgettable characters, among them former mermaids, supportive and not-so-supportive women, deserving and undeserving men, and several New Agers. As Isabella evolves into Barbara Davies, she embraces her middle-aged body, heals her bruised heart, and learns to love again.

This contemporary version of The Little Mermaid offers hope and inspiration to anyone who has been dumped, deceived, or demoted. It will also appeal to mermaid enthusiasts.

On sale for 99 cents

Amazon (US) – https://www.amazon.com/Between-Land-Sea-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B00F9U5Q50

Amazon (UK) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Between-Land-Sea-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B00F9U5Q50

 

 

Blurb – The Coming of Arabella
On the day of her engagement party, an ex-mermaid’s life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of another mermaid—a sister she has never known. Under normal circumstances, Barbara Davies would be overjoyed, but her special day is already wrought with tension. While Barbara is not the first mermaid from the Mediterranean kingdom to settle in small town Ontario, she has yet to reveal her origins to her fiancé. So, when Arabella, the gorgeous sister whose disturbing black eyes banished her to the island of Crete, saunters into her life, clutching the arm of Barbara’s discarded lover, a powder keg of emotion is released.

Relationships falter and careers stall as envy stirs in the hearts of the sisters. On the verge of meltdown after her fiancé leaves Canada for a teaching job in Vermont, Barbara flees to Arizona hoping for a reprieve. There, she finds solace at a retreat for ex-mermaids and a second chance at love with a charismatic preacher. As she contemplates a new life in the desert paradise of Sedona, shocking secrets emerge and tragedy strikes. A stronger and wiser Barbara rises up to face these new challenges and embrace the best parts of her mermaid heritage.

On sale for 99 cents

Amazon (US) – https://www.amazon.com/Coming-Arabella-Mediterrean-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B0147VXEPU
Amazon (UK) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coming-Arabella-Mediterranean-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B0147VXEPU/

 

Bio
A member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime, Joanne Guidoccio writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Websitehttps://joanneguidoccio.com

Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/Joanne-Guidoccio/e/B00FAWJGCG/

Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

Fun With Old Friends

By M. L. Buchman

Okay, I have a real problem with old friends…they cost me an immense amount of time.
Maybe not as much as new friends.
But…sheesh!

Let me give you an example from yesterday.

There I was, happily working along, building a new collection of short stories. Actually, three of them but two aren’t out yet.

So, there I was looking over fifteen different stories . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Romancing the Genres blog

Friday Features’

Guest talks about

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

by

Yasmine Phoenix

Photo coutesy of Vinay Tadepalli Unsplash

For years I got up, showered, dressed, drove the kids to school, and then joined the masses riding the electric train to Chicago to work. Sweltering summers and below zero wind chill I walked to my office. Of course, I enjoyed city events during lunch time being in downtown Chicago was great. Then at the end of the day reverse commute back on the train, pick up kids, and then home to cook dinner. Friday was family pizza night.

Now I work from home, I don’t have to get all dressed up and drive in the insane Atlantic traffic. And my kids are grown. I’m also an author so sometimes I go to a local café or Starbucks. It’s an opportunity to get out of my four walls and interact on a somewhat personal level with people. In other words, listen in on random conversations.

Technology. ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’ to paraphrase Captain Kirk in Star Trek, Wrath of Khan who stole it from Charles Dickens. Writers are introverts and today’s technology is for us the best of times and the worst of times. We don’t have to leave our homes – almost ever. Everything we need is an App away from our finger. We can live our total existence – At. Home.

Want to move? You can sell your home online, buy another one online, and have a service pack and deliver your possessions to the new home. Online, folks.

We write, research, submit, publish, and promote our books from our desks. Gone are the days of submitting via snail mail, traipsing to the post office to mail synopsis, first three chapters, and query. We submit everything online.

It gets even better. Think about everything you can do from the comfort of your home, your bed, your car. Shopping malls are having a difficult time competing with online shopping and many stores are closing. When in Chicago, I go to Water Tower, sit, drink Starbucks, and watch shoppers, mostly young people, tourists, or city residents’ shop. I ride the CTA. Everyone is praying, their heads bowed, nope they’re staring down at their phones. It’s not just the young, older riders are playing games or are on Facebook.

How about attending a basketball or football game? Tickets are sky high, You have to be searched to get in. And it’s damn cold. Why not watch with friends? At. Home. The line to the bathroom is shorter. And of course – order food to be delivered. There’s Apps for that.

Hungry? Grocery shop? I hate walking down every aisle often impulse buying. Now I put together my Kroger grocery list, pay, and schedule a pick up day and time. And I don’t have to get out of my car. Whole Foods, Instacart deliver groceries as well. If I still lived in Chicago, I’d surely take advantage of this in the winter. At. Home.

Order out? Pick up or delivery. Restaurants, including McDonald’s, Taco Bell deliver. And we once believed the drive-thru was awesome. Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Jenny Craig, online meal services that setup meals according to your dietary requirements and then delivered to your home. Even comes with cooking directions. Kroger and Publix have started meal service programs. Grub Hub, Door Dash are utilized by restaurants to deliver from a variety of restaurants. You can order Chinese, Thai, American, whatever and have it all delivered. Wait sixty minutes for a table? Late from work? Your family’s dinner can be timed to meet you at the front door. At. Home. And once we thought pizza delivery was a big thing.

Need a doctor? You can arrange – with an App a consultation with a physician via your smartphone. Your medication can be delivered. At. Home.

Need a car? In case you want to venture out of your home. There’s an App. When I lived in Chicago, I used Zipcar. I’d set up a location, day and time for a car. Car came with a gas card and a special parking space. I drove the Prius across the street from where I lived. I had a choice of vehicles luxury, compact. I test drove different makes in case I wanted to buy a car. Did you know you can purchase a car online and have it delivered? At. Home.

Don’t need a car? Lyft and Uber. I used both when I first moved to Atlanta because I had no idea where the hell anything was. Still don’t know, but being driven around gave me the opportunity to learn where places were and sightsee at the same time.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Let’s not forget Amazon. Believe me I’ve tried. The bane of my existence and yours too, admit it. I’d probably ball up in a fetal position if it disappeared. From books, to toilet tissue, toys, small appliances, clothing, food, handbags (yeah I know), items you didn’t even know you needed/wanted can be found and delivered – free (Prime) to your front door. I’ve found myself staring at the Amazon delivery app following the delivery route as they make their way to my front door. I think that would be called stalking if I weren’t paying for the goods. It’s amazing how many empty Amazon boxes I see on a weekly basis in the recycle bin. Prime. When I needed a particular type of bandage after my knee surgery, I couldn’t find it at any nearby drug store. I looked it up on Amazon and in two days it was delivered.

When my daughter’s orders are delivered – I’m not saying she shops a lot on Amazon, but she shops a lot on Amazon. At first, I was concerned but I understand why. She’s a busy professional with an active child and little free time. Having it delivered she saves precious time. As a writer the same applies. Need notebooks, goody bags, and of course copies of your book. There’s Amazon self-publishing.

Alexa. She’s in a lot of homes. Yeah, mine too. Echo show. I tolerate her. Don’t trust her. My eight-year-old granddaughter has Alexa and damn if mine doesn’t respond quicker to her. Netflix and Prime Video. Replacing traditional networks. You can subscribe to individual networks. More innovative and interesting series – no commercials. Plus note only can you watch at home – wait for it – also on your phone, iPad, or Tablet.

Hotspots. Remember when we made fun of the name ‘iPad’ when first introduced by Apple? I just binged Good Omens on Prime. I’m a Terry Pratchett fan. Networks run the same programs over and over and over again. Boring. On Prime Video I can watch the entire Farscape and any other beloved series without commercial interruption. At. Home.

Have you experienced or watched someone when the Internet goes down? Panic, heart palpations, loss of appetite, loss of mind. The world coming to an end? You’re trapped in your home, you’re all alone, isolated you’ll never receive another email again – and that’s just the first ten minutes.

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

Physical proximity is no longer necessary. We have to make time to be out with friends. The smartphone, smarter than us. Tethered to this little beast that weighs four to six ounces. We text each other even if we’re in the same building. Attending a workshop and a friend is sitting on the other side of the room? Text them. We conduct our lives on the phone and sometimes it plays out like a soap opera with no filter. Who hasn’t heard conversations that belonged behind closed doors? We write on our phones, save the document, send via email, and edit. Or play Candy Crush.

Face it we’re trapped in our homes, and its paradise. Need to clean? Roomba.

Next time you’re out with friends, count how many phones are on the table. One of my Sophisticated Ladies makes me put my phone away when we are together. It must be in my purse. So far, she hasn’t slapped my iWatch on my wrist. I FaceTime my cousin. At. Home. All from our personal space – no pants required.

For my call center job, we have meetings in an online meeting room. Easy way to get one hundred agents from all over the country together. One day we’ll have dinner with friends, each of us in our home, chatting away to holograms of each other.

You can hire fitness trainers to come to your home. Or…. I just saw a commercial for a fitness program called Mirror. It’s an interactive exercise program. No more going to the gym when you can work out in front of a six-foot mirror with others, in front of their Mirror, in real time classes or take one of the videotaped classes and then log in and post your results. No social interaction? If your friends have Mirror it’ll be just like going to the gym. Except you’ll be At. Home. In my sci-fi novel, my protagonist tries to avoid her fitness coach who appears in her home via hologram to remind her that she’s missed classes. The future is now people.

Not to be morbid but the old tradition of viewing the deceased in their home could return. Never. Leave. Home.

Like I said, it’s the best of times, we should embrace the goodies, especially now in these scary worst of times. When life is better and the bans are lifted, put on clothes, get out, enjoy the arts, look at real people, eat food in a real restaurant, and enjoy the world. Besides your Amazon order will be waiting when you arrive home.

If fantasy and futuristic romance are your thing then Book Two in my Witches Brew series, a stand alone novel, is a perfect read while you’re at home. Here’s a peek.

When love stalls, who are you going to call? Red a mystical and magical red dress created to help women discover love and recognize their self-worth.

Delphine Richards is the founder and CEO of Plum Events a successful party planning company in Chicago. The holidays are the busiest and Valentine’s Day is the last one of the season. Her employees work hard to create spectacular parties and stay out of Delphine’s way. She hates this day for lovers.

Kevin Poe, her fiancé, broke up with her a year ago on Valentine’s Day. Since then she’s dedicated her life to growing her business. Love won’t destroy her again.

Kevin Poe loves Delphine but her constant interference in his teaching career drove a wedge between them. When one of Kevin’s students needed him, Delphine neglected to tell him. That was the final straw. If Delphine couldn’t stop trying to change him, then they shouldn’t be together.

Enter Red, a mystical and magical red dress sent to help Delphine rediscover love and realize she can’t control everyone and everything – including herself.

Yasmine ‘Yas’ Phoenix was born and raised in Virginia but calls Chicago home. She loves tennis, professional and amateur and plays in local leagues. Her writing block is the four major Grand Slams, Indian Wells, and other tournaments. No, she can’t tape then watch. Yas loves to read, especially murder mysteries. She is a Terry Pratchett, Discworld fan, and scans the news for potential plot ideas. Melding romance and paranormal in her stories is her goal. Yas always asks the question, “What if?” She is a sucker for old black and white movies like Casablanca on one hand, and Deadpool on the other. She believes her family is her greatest gift and support.

Learn more about Yasmine Phoenix on her website. Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

World Building: Air

By Cindy Tomamichel

The air we breathe is not something we think a lot about until something goes wrong. Gas, dust, particulates, and the balance of gases all affect both our breathing – or lack thereof! – and also play a big factor in . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Cindy Tomamichel’s blog