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Archive for the ‘Guest author’ Category

Friday Features’

Guest talks about

how life is confusing

by

Anne Montgomery

The older I get the more things confuse me.

I looked up again at the crane. “What if some of the screws are missing?” I felt an irrational desire to flee. “What if they didn’t put the parts back together correctly.”

Then, I got my car insurance bill. “Hey! How come I’m paying so much more? Did your bill go up too?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“I’ll call Vickie and ask,” he said.

Ryan returned from his chat with our insurance lady. “You’re old.”

“Pardon me?” I raised both eyebrows.

“Vicky said your rates went up because you’re an older woman.”

“But I haven’t had a ticket in almost thirty years,” I sputtered. “And, in my life, I’ve had one fender bender.”

Ryan shrugged. “That’s what she said. You’re in an age group that causes more accidents.”

I looked into the issue and found that as people age their vision, cognitive abilities, and reflexes tend to dull. I also learned that old people increasingly die in car crashes because they’re “frail”. Frail! No one has ever accused me of being frail.

Eieee!

Then, I got a letter telling me that the high blood pressure drug I’ve been taking for years might … gosh … cause cancer. “But don’t stop taking it!” the message emphatically stated.

Wait!

You want me to keep taking a drug that could give me cancer?

Recently, I went to a high school football game. I arrived early, since I was serving as the referee. I had contacted the school ahead of time, as I always do, identifying myself and my crew mates and the time they could expect us to arrive. I was escorted to the officials dressing room where I faced a sign that was prominently displayed on the door. No Females Permitted in the Locker Room after 4:00 PM. No Exceptions.

I paused. It was 5 o’clock.

The older I get the more things confuse me. But one thing that isn’t confusing is my novel. I hope you’ll take a moment to peek into it.

Two Arizona teens find their fates intertwined. Are there any adults they can trust? Can they even trust each other?

Rose Madsen will do anything to keep from being married off to one of the men in her Fundamentalist Mormon (FLDS) community, even endure the continued beatings and abuse of her mother. But when her mentally handicapped baby sister is forced to strangle the bird she loves at the behest of the Prophet, Rose frees the bird and runs away.

Adan Reyes will do anything to escape the abusive foster care system in Phoenix, even leaving his good friends and successful high school athletic career behind him. Ill-prepared for surviving the desert, Adan hits the road only to suffer heat stroke. Found by a local handyman, he catches a glimpse of a mysterious girl—Rose—running through town, and follows her into the mountains where they are both tracked and discovered by the men of the FLDS community.

With their fates now intertwined, can Rose and Adan escape the systems locking them into lives of abuse? Will Rose be forced to marry the Prophet, a man her father’s age, and be one of dozens of wives, perpetually pregnant, with no hope for an education? Will Adan be returned to the foster home where bullying and cruelty are common? Is everyone they meet determined to keep them right where they belong or are some adults worthy of their trust?

BUY LINKS

Anne Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. She worked at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter, and ASPN-TV as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery has been a freelance and staff writer for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces.

When she can, Anne indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, football refereeing, and playing her guitar.

Learn more about Anne Montgomery on her website and Wikipedia. Stay connected on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

A book you do not want to miss. YA paranormal at its finest with this exciting new release from renown Sharon Ledwith. Book 2 in the Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls series is destined to be a Best Seller.

The only witness left to testify against an unsolved crime in Fairy Falls isn’t a person…

City born and bred, Hart Stewart possesses the gift of psychometry—the psychic ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. Since his mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Hart has endured homelessness, and has learned ways to keep his illiteracy under wraps. He eventually learns of a great-aunt living in Fairy Falls, and decides to leave the only life he’s ever known for an uncertain future.

Diana MacGregor lives in Fairy Falls. Her mother was a victim of a senseless murder. Only Diana’s unanswered questions and her grief keeps her going, until Hart finds her mother’s lost ring and becomes a witness to her murder.

Through Hart’s psychic power, Diana gains hope for justice. Their investigation leads them into the corrupt world threatening Fairy Falls. To secure the town’s future, Hart and Diana must join forces to uncover the shocking truth, or they risk losing the true essence of Fairy Falls forever.


Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter, Goodreads, and Smashwords. Look up her Amazon Author page for a list of current books. Be sure to check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.

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Friday Features’

Guest shares a recipe for

Total Eclipse Moon Pies

by

Chris Pavesic

These tasty treats combine the rich flavors of chocolate with a thick layer of marshmallow crème.

Total Eclipse Moon Pies
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
⅓ tsp. salt
½ cup sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
1 large egg white
½ cup 1% milk
¾ cup marshmallow crème

Preheat oven to 425° F.

Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in medium-sized bowl. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add egg white and beat until fluffy with an electric mixer on medium speed, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour mixture, then milk, until just blended.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto large, ungreased baking sheets 2-3 inches apart to make 18-20 cookies (Make sure to make an even number of cookies). Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched, about 5 minutes.

Cool completely. Spoon 2 teaspoons of marshmallow crème on bottoms of half the cookies made. Top with remaining cookies.

Get comfy while you snack on your Moon Pie and indulge yourself with a good book. May I suggest one of the books from my LitRPG series The Revelation Chronicles? ?

In Starter Zone Cami kept herself and her younger sister Alby alive in a post-apocalyptic world, facing starvation, violence, and death on a daily basis. Caught by the military and forcefully inscribed, Cami manages to scam the system and they enter the Realms, a Virtual Reality world, as privileged Players rather than slaves. They experience a world of safety, plenty, and magical adventure.

In the Traveler’s Zone magic, combat, gear scores, quests, and dungeons are all puzzles to be solved as Cami continues her epic quest to navigate the Realms and build a better life for her family. But an intrusion from her old life threatens everything she has gained and imperils the entire virtual world.

Time to play the game.

Above the tree line floats an airship close to three hundred feet long with a slightly rounded wooden hull. Ropes attach the lower portion of the ship to an inflated balloon-like aspect, bright white in color with an identification symbol, a red bird with white-tipped feathers extended in flight, inside a round yellow circle in the center of the canvas. The deck is manned with archers and swordsmen. There are two sets of fore and aft catapults.

What I don’t see are cannons or any other type of a gun large enough to account for the sound of the explosion.

The ship pivots in the air, coming around to point directly at what looks like an oncoming flock of five large birds. Or creatures. They are too big and too strange looking to be birds. They drift closer, flapping their wings.

A moment passes before I realize that they are not creatures either. They are some sort of gliders. A person hangs below each set of the feathered wings, which flap and move with mechanical precision in a sky washed out by the morning sun.

The archers nock their arrows and aim at the flock.

The gliders draw in their wings and dive toward the deck, covering the distance in a few heartbeats. Most of the arrows fly uselessly past the attack force and fall like black rain from the sky. The archers aimed and released the volley too late.

The forward catapult releases a torrent of small rocks at the lead glider. It is a scatter-shot approach that proves effective. There are so many missiles that it is impossible to dodge them all.

But at the moment the stones strike, the other four let loose with fireballs. Spheres of crackling flame spring from their hands, glowing faintly at first and then with increasing brightness. The balls of fire shoot from their hands like bullets from a gun and fly toward the ship, exploding. Pieces bounce off the hull and fall to the ground, throwing hissing, burning globs of magic-fueled fire in all directions, setting everything they touch aflame.

Want to learn more about The Revelation Chronicles? Click HERE for updates on this and the other series by Chris. Watch the video on YouTube.

4eee6-chris2bpavesic2bauthor2bphotoChris Pavesic is a fantasy author who lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, steampunk, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends.

Learn more about Chris on her website and blog.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon Author Page.

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

Cook extraordinaire Sloane Taylor who brings us her latest appetizing menu for breakfast from her kitchen. Be sure to get a copy of her cookbook today!

Some people claim breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I believe that’s true, but it doesn’t mean you have to stuff yourself with mountains of borderline healthy food. This menu is satisfying, delicious and won’t cause a coronary. For a more festive morning or brunch add Mimosas. The recipes are gauged for two people so you need to adjust the amounts if you are serving more.

Serve with Fresh Fruit Salad, Croissants or Fresh Rolls, Jam or Jelly, Orange Juice, and Coffee, Tea, or Milk

Scrambled Eggs with Feta and Chives
4 large eggs
2 tbsp. feta cheese, crumbled
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tbsp. butter, you may need a little more
2 tbsp. fresh chives or 1 tbsp. dried

Crack eggs into a medium-sized bowl. Scramble well with a fork.

Stir in the feta and pepper.

Add butter to a medium-sized frying pan. Melt over medium heat. Pour in egg mixture and then carefully scramble. Be sure to flip the eggs so the cheese melts.

Sprinkle on the chives. Heat through and then serve.

Fresh Fruit Salad
1 apple, cored and sliced
1 pear, sliced
1 banana, peeled and sliced
Lemon juice
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
10 seedless red grapes, cut in half
Small handful blueberries
Small handful raspberries

In a glass serving bowl, combine the apple, pear, and banana. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent the fruit from turning brown. Gently stir. Add in the remaining fruit.

Cover with plastic wrap then set in the refrigerator to chill until time to serve.

May you enjoy all the days of your life filled with laughter and seated around a well laden table!

COMING SOON
to a kitchen near you

Book 2 in the

Meals to Make Together series


Starry summer nights are ripe for romance and dining al fresco. Enhance the mood with Romantic Meals to dine al Fresco, candles, wine, and your favorite music. Fire up your grill and share a romantic dinner with your someone special. Then let the night take you away.

Create 45 delicious and complete meals for two that can be cooked on your grill or stove. No exotic or expensive ingredients needed. These 103 recipes use everyday products already in your kitchen cabinets. Increasing the dinners is a snap for those fun nights friends or family join you.

Romantic Meals to dine al Fresco, Book 2 in the Meals to Make Together series, is an ideal gift for a hostess, bridal shower, anniversary, or the couple who crave a fresh flavor in their lives.


Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor currently has seven romance novellas released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Her first solo venture into non-fiction is a Couples Cookbook with eighty of her favorite recipes, DATE NIGHT DINNERS, Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening.

Excerpts from her books and free reads can be found on her website, blog, and her Amazon Author Page.
Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.

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Friday Features’

Guest share

Improving your website

by

HL Carpenter

Image Courtesy of Dreamstime Free Photos

“I regret I am the bearer of bad news.” Stalwart Code hoped Bizzy Author was not the fainting type. “Your website is not responsive.”

“Not responsive?” Bizzy peered at the computer screen, without a vapour in sight. “What does that mean?”

Impressed by her calm demeanor, Code said, “It means readers who visit using smart phones, tablets, and gaming devices cannot properly see your content.”

“Ah! That explains the death of my book sales, does it not?”

“In part.” Code drew a breath. Sometimes he hated his job. “I am afraid I must impart more bad news. Your site is also the victim of Neglect.”

Bizzy gasped. “Not that diabolical criminal!”

“Unfortunately, yes. Neglect is a sneaky rascal, but he leaves clues.” Code pointed to the copyright at the bottom of Bizzy’s home page. “Here is one. That date is two years old.”

“This is far worse than I believed.” Bizzy clutched Code’s muscular arm. “Please! I beg of you. Help me set this right.”

“Are you certain?” Code asked. “I am happy to be of service, yet you must be aware the trek will be long and perilous. You will need much bravery and determination to carry you safely through the hazards of the Land of Website Updating.”

Bizzy fluttered her eyelashes. “If you consent to be my guide, I will go boldly forth.”

“Your request and my desire are one.” He smiled. “Let us begin.”

They stopped first at the Bank of Goals, a fortress guarding the gateway to the Land of Website Updating. Bizzy withdrew three goals: Build Your Presence, Spread the Word, and Sell Books.

“Excellent choices.” Code took her hand. “Next stop, the Design Studio.”

Once in the Studio, Bizzy debated the merits of a nice-but-not-so-easily-changed traditional website or a content management platform called WordPress.

“The matter is one of personal preference.” Code winked. “Are you a conventionalist or a do-it-now gal?”

“No waiting around for me.”

Bizzy grabbed a WordPress ready-made theme off the shelf, and added colors, fonts, and images. She tossed plug-ins, widgets, and extensions into her bag too, when Code said they were the simplest way to add audio and video as well as social media links to her re-designed website.

“Thank you for the tip.” She grinned. “A woman never knows where the road through the Land of Website Updating will lead. Mayhap I shall establish my own shopping cart one day.”

“You are indeed fearless.” Code took the bag and held the door open. “Let us proceed to the Content Factory.”

“No need. I shall create my own content. I maintain a running account at the Idea Store.”

“Fearless and talented.” He ran his fingers along her back. “Shall we begin the real journey now, my dear Bizzy?”

“I thought you would never ask, darling Code.”

She leaned against him and they contemplated the adventures ahead.

Logo Valley awaited, a maze of false starts and dead-end canyons from which they would mine a brand. After navigating the valley, they would brave the rapids of Cascading Style Sheets, ride the powerful Search Engine Optimization train to the wild frontier town of Marketing, create a Child Theme, and endure the unrelenting toil of Recurring Maintenance and the perils of Email Marketing. Their tale would be faithfully chronicled on the pages of the virtual home they would build together.

After all, what is a website but the happy marriage of Bizzy Author and Stalwart Code?

And on that happy ending, we invite you to enjoy an excerpt from our mystery, Murder by the Books.

A letter from beyond the grave brings accountant Fae Childers face to face with murder, embezzlement, romance, and a hidden family legacy.

Then the fortune-telling grandmother Fae never knew existed, whose name and psychic abilities she now learns are also hers, issues a challenge from beyond the grave—a challenge that brings Fae face to face with murder, embezzlement, romance, and a hidden family legacy.
When the mystery of Fae’s past collides with the troubles of her present, the situation veers out of control. Her very life is threatened. Who can she trust? The man she’s falling in love with? The former fiancé who has already betrayed her once? Or only herself?

With justice, romance, and her future at stake, Fae must overcome personal and professional obstacles to save herself and those she loves. And she’s going to have to do it fast, before someone else dies.

Mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter write family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, they enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity.

Visit their website to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.

Stay connected on Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, GoodReads, and their Amazon Author Page.

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

Victorian Historical Romance at its finest is what you get with every Suzanne G. Rogers book. My Fair Guardian, Rogers newest release, is perfect for everyone from teens to seasoned readers. Her writing carries you back to a gentler era, but make no mistake, Ms. Rogers’ heroines are strong women who know exactly what they want in life and how to achieve it.

Can she polish him up enough to fit into society…without falling in love?

When Bethany is saddled with an unwanted, unrefined, and decidedly common guardian, she must polish him up before he’s fit for good society. As for Willoughby Winter, all that stands between him and his inheritance is to marry Bethany off. Can he succeed in his efforts before his past becomes known or will she manage to distract him from his goal—by hook or by crook?


Suzanne G. Rogers lives with her husband and son in romantic Savannah, Georgia, on an island populated by deer, exotic birds, and the occasional gator. She’s owned by two Sphynx cats, Houdini and Nikita. Movies, books, and writing are her passions.

Learn more about Suzanne G. Rogers on her historical romance blog and her fantasy blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

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Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Onions, their benefits and flavor.

by

Janis Lane

Onion, i.e, Allium, is a large family which includes onion, scallion, garlic leek, shallot and chives (onion and garlic types). Blossoms are pretty in purple, yellow, white, and sometimes pink. I grew up not far from a small town known as Vidalia (locally pronounced Vy day lia, emphasis on the Vi. I won’t try to describe how to put a southern twang to the rest of the word.), Georgia. Sweet, sweet onions grow there with a patented name for the brand. The soil in the fields around the small town is very low in sulfur which puts the sting in your eyes when you peel a not-Vidalia type. Great for eating raw, but their keeper value is low.

It takes a specialized taste bud to enjoy raw onions, but professional chefs swear by the value of an onion flavoring a good stew. This writer considers an onion almost essential in the kitchen. Most are yellow, some white or purple with various degrees of the sulfur bite. Such a large family serves almost all individual preferences. Health benefits of consuming edible members of the onion family are numerous. High in nutrients and low in calories, they are also delicious.

Chives, useful herb, can be grown on your sunny window sill, but will excel outside, attracting bees with their fragrance blooms. Chives are delicious in soups, salads, and as a garnish. It’s a perennial plant hardy to zone 2-3, but the seed resents amateur saving. Tiny bulbs are easily pulled apart for transplant. Garlic chives bloom fragrant white in late summer and are delicious when a mild garlic flavor is desired. Purple blooms from chives make tasty and attractive herbed vinegar.

When I mow the lawn in summer, I plant peppermint several places in the lawn. I love the fragrance when the grass cutter nips their tops, but in one corner of the lawn, I recognize the volunteered wild onions. The smell is unmistakable; not a bit fragrant, but I think if I need to forage someday, I know where to find the edible alliums. It has a pink blossom and resembles nothing like an onion, but I know.

Decorative alliums are available in numerous varieties and most are fairly inexpensive. (Not good for eating.) Once I planted a garden in the back meadow before I finally gave over to the marauding deer population. They ate everything but these alliums, which over the years have multiplied. I use them for great cut flowers and enjoy the sweet fragrance of the blooms. Curiously they do not have the telltale onion odor when cut, but the deer seem to know and give them a wide berth anyway. After blooming, the foliage dies disappearing until the following spring. The plant spreads slowly by reseeding.

Whispers of Danger and Love is a contemporary novel which sports a lovely heroine named Cheryl, who loves her career as a landscape designer. This warm tale is a must for gardeners while waiting for the chance to get outside to commune with nature. A bonus is the handsome detective, a childhood friend, who moves next door.

Here’s a little more from my cozy mystery. I hope you enjoy it.

When Cheryl realizes her new next-door neighbor is someone she loved as a young girl, she immediately puts the brakes on her emotions. Never again would she allow the gorgeous hunk of a man to break her heart.

Ruggedly handsome Detective David Larkin isn’t used to pretty ladies giving him a firm no. He persists, even as Cheryl fights her own temptations. The two struggle to appreciate each other as adults, even as they admit to deep feelings from their childhood.

Read more of the cozy mysteries by Janis Lane on Amazon

Janis Lane is the pen-name for gifted author Emma Lane who writes cozy mysteries as Janis, Regency as Emma, and spice as Sunny Lane.

She lives in Western New York where winter is snowy, spring arrives with rave reviews, summer days are long and velvet, and fall leaves are riotous in color. At long last she enjoys the perfect bow window for her desk where she is treated to a year-round panoramic view of nature. Her computer opens up a fourth fascinating window to the world. Her patient husband is always available to help with a plot twist and encourage Emma to never quit. Her day job is working with flowers at Herbtique and Plant Nursery, the nursery she and her son own.

Look for information about writing and plants on Emma’s new website. Leave a comment or a gardening question and put a smile on Emma’s face.

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out the things that make Emma smile on Pinterest.

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