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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.

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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/

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

Our book Can’t Stop the Music that opens at Woodstock and is filled with musical references of the era and food.

Today we’re talking about love, food, and magic. Love was plentiful at Woodstock. Magic mushrooms were probably plentiful, also, but food not so much. The producers didn’t expect the overwhelming crowd that should up and the vendors ran out of food in a very short time.

But you don’t have to worry about that, because we’ve got a special treat for you today.

As writers, we know that love and food go together like romance and a happily-ever-after ending. Maybe that’s why in most of our novels the hero and heroine share a meal of some sort. There’s just something magical about a special dinner with the one you love. Don’t you remember that special dinner, or dinners, with your honey? On the first dinner Catherine made for Donald she accidently fed him a toothpick—which he unwittingly ate. Trust us, we remember that!

Like most humans, we like to eat, and food works its way into our stories. In Blood Brothers it was a steak dinner. In Son of the Moonless Night exotic fish was on the table. And in all of The Turning Stone Chronicles books the immortal Scottish Keeper of the Stone has an ever-present cup of tea and scones on the kitchen table.

In our book, Can’t Stop the Music (The Soul Mate Tree Book 2) the hero cooks an Italian meal for the heroine that is positively orgasmic. Can’t Stop the Music is a nostalgic romance set in Woodstock 1969 and contains a paranormal element. The paranormal involves a magic Soul Mate Tree that grants soul mates to deserving persons.

The Soul Mate tree is
An ancient legend spanning eras, continents, and worlds.
To some, it’s nothing more than a dream.
To others, a pretty fairy tale handed down through the generations.
For those in critical need of their own happy ending, a gift.

And our heroine and hero are in definitely in need of a happy ending.

Speaking of happy, who doesn’t love a delicious pasta dish? We do, but pasta is something we don’t eat a lot of anymore because of the high carb content. Recently, we’ve begun experimenting with ways to make high-carb pasta meals friendlier, because we do miss our pasta. In the process, we’ve discovered things like lentil and soybean pastas that are great substitutes for wheat pasta. They have a high fiber to carb ratio, which not only puts more fiber in the diet, but slows the release of sugars into the blood stream, both which are great boons to people with insulin resistance issues. The soybean pasta is fantastic and has become our go-to pasta for spaghetti.

Unfortunately, we haven’t found a soybean lasagna. So, Catherine got creative and made a meatless version of lasagna that uses a smaller amount of lasagna on the bottom of the dish and substitutes sliced zucchini for the pasta in the other layers. Putting a single layer of pasta on the bottom provides the traditional taste of lasagna and helps the servings come out of the dish better, without the added high-glycemic carbohydrates. We made this lasagna recipe meatless, but you could use a meat sauce if you prefer. Bon appétit!

Mushroom Zucchini Lasagna

Serves four

Ingredients:

  • 2 sheets oven-ready lasagna pasta
  • ½ jar (1 1/3 cups) spaghetti or marina sauce (any flavor you prefer)
  • 2-3 ounces fresh baby spinach (2-3 handfuls)
  • One 8-ounce box sliced mushrooms
  • 2 small zucchinis, sliced into scant 1/8 inch thick ribbons
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 12 tablespoons low-fat ricotta cheese

Directions:

  • Trim ends of zucchinis until they fit inside a square 1-1/2 quart baking dish. Then slice zucchinis into scant 1/8 inch thick ribbons. Place on a plate and salt liberally both sides. Let stand about an hour to draw out the excess moisture. Rinse off salt and pat slices dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
  • Rinse mushrooms and place in a skillet or large saucepan. Using 2 sharp-bladed spatulas, coarsely chop mushrooms in the pan. (Alternately, you could use a knife and cutting board, but Catherine found this method to be quicker.) Sauté mushrooms in a couple tablespoons of water until the mushrooms darken and excess water from the fungi has appeared in the pan. Drain and set aside.
  • Fit the 2 sheets of pasta in the bottom of a square, 1-1/2 quart baking dish, breaking edges off as necessary so the pasta lays flat in the bottom. Remove pasta and broken pieces from the dish.
  • Pour 1/3 cup pasta sauce in the bottom of the dish and lay the pasta sheets and broken pieces on top.
  • On top of this base, layer 1/3 cup pasta sauce, 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/3 cup mushrooms, a handful of spinach, torn into small pieces, and four tablespoons of ricotta cheese (dotted over the top of the spinach), and enough zucchini slices to cover the ingredients. Spread the ingredients so they are evenly layered. Repeat layers to the depth the dish allows, ending with a layer of zucchini, sauce, ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
  • Let stand and couple of minutes before cutting. Catherine found using a chef’s knife to cut the layers works best to cut through the zucchini without destroying the layers. Serve with a fresh salad and warm, Italian garlic bread.

Note: We went light on the cheeses, which gave each square of lasagna about 1 serving each of the cheeses. If you like a heavier cheese taste, add more cheese on each layer.

Serve the lasagna with a fresh green salad and some yummy Italian bread and you have a complete meal.

After the dishes are done and you’re ready to relax, download Can’t Stop the Music (The Soul Mate Tree Book 2) and take a trip back to Woodstock 1969 with our heroine Rose and her Italian stallion Dakota. To whet your appetite, here’s a peek at Rose and Dakota’s first meeting. Enjoy!

Can’t Stop the Music
By C.D. Hersh

As they made their way to the festival site, Rose and her friends grooved to the music coming from the stage.

When they reached the makeshift bridge over the road, someone yelled, “Hey beautiful! You with the red hair.”

She looked around to see if there was anyone else with red hair. Then she glanced up and spotted two guys, one blond and the other dark-haired, leaning over the side of the bridge.

“Yeah, you,” the blond called out as he caught her gaze.

Willow halted beside her. “He’s cute. How about him?”

Rose looked away, her gaze landing on the other guy.

He jabbed his companion in the ribs. “Quit trying to pick up every girl you see.” Then he leaned farther over the rail. “Don’t pay any attention to him. He’s high.”

“So she’s not beautiful?” Willow yelled to the hippie.

She poked her friend. “Stop it, Willow, you’re making a scene.” In spite of her protest, her gaze remained on the dark-haired guy.

He rested his elbows on the rail and stared back at her. The intensity of his expression shot heat into her belly.

“I didn’t say that, just that she shouldn’t pay attention to him.” He flapped a hand at his blond buddy, then tapped his own chest with his thumb several times as if to say, ‘Choose me!’

Does he want me to pay attention to him? Her heart thumped in rhythm to his jabbing thumb.

“Take that one,” Willow whispered. “He’s the real cutie.”

Before she could respond, the crowd pushed them forward. When they reached the other side of the bridge, she looked back, searching for the dark-haired hippie, but the spot where he’d stood was empty.

Just my luck. I see someone who’s intriguing and he disappears.

With a sigh, she continued the trek to the festival grounds.

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

Turkish family recipe from Eris Field who also shares her latest captivating book The Marital Bargain: Wife for Five Months.

My husband was Turkish and enjoyed it when I made meals from his mother’s recipes. This was one of his favorites, and mine too because it was easy and delicious. It’s also similar to one described in my latest book The Marital Bargain: Wife for Five Months.

ROAST LAMB LOIN
Use your favorite recipe to roast lamb until done but still pink on the inside.

RAS el HANUT YOGURT

    1 cup plain yogurt
    1 tsp. Ras El Hanout*

Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well. Keep refrigerated until you’re ready to serve.

Drizzle a small amount on the lamb at serving time.

*Ras el Hanout is a seasoning found in stores that sell Turkish or Arabic food. To make your own combine a small amount of coriander, allspice, fennel, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, anise seed, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, and turmeric in a bowl.

Photo courtesy of Akemy Mory Unsplash

PILAF – TURKISH RICE

    3 tbsp. butter
    1 small onion, chopped fine
    3 cups water
    1 tsp. salt
    1½ cups long grain rice (Riceland rice is a good choice)
    2 tbsp. butter, melted

Melt butter in a shallow pot that has a cover.

Add onion and sauté until translucent over low heat. Stir to prevent browning.

Stir in water and salt. Bring to boil.

Stir in rice. Cover pan and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook 20 to 25 minutes (Do not remove cover. Do not stir). When done, use a clean dish towel or a paper towel to replace the lid. Let stand 10 minutes.

Pour melted butter over rice. Let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve in a heated dish.

TURKISH GREEN BEAN SALAD

    1 lb. fresh green beans, cut into one-inch lengths
    3 Roma tomatoes, quartered
    1 medium onion, chopped
    3 tbsp. olive oil
    ½ tsp. salt
    ½ a lemon, juiced
    1 tbsp. dry mint leaves

Layer green beans first, onions second, and arrange tomatoes on top in a saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid. Add salt, lemon juice, and olive oil. Sprinkle with dried mint. Cover with lid and cook over low heat without stirring for 25 minutes. Let cool. The olive oil and lemon juice make a dressing for the salad. Garnish with a light dusting of grated lemon peel and serve at room temperature.

DESSERT
Grapes, pistachios in the shell (the best pistachios are from Antep or Siirt), pomegranate arils (seeds).

Here is a brief intro to my latest contemporary romance novel. I hope you enjoy it.

For Laury, growing up on American Naval Bases in the Middle East resulted in a fluency in languages and a wariness of men. Now, after completing a psychiatric nurse practitioner program, she faces a mountain of student loans. While waiting to learn if she’s been accepted for her dream job, she works as a private duty nurse caring for Roberta, an elderly matriarch living alone in a 30-room mansion on Billionaires’ Row. Roberta’s granddaughter had agreed to stay with her while she recovered from eye surgery, but she has disappeared along with Roberta’s money and credit cards.

Damon, Roberta’s grandson who is volunteering with Doctors Without Borders, requests emergency leave to fly home from Iraq. After his wife divorced him, Damon had vowed never to marry again, but with only days to find a way to safeguard his grandmother, he offers Laury a bargain—a five-month marriage. She will protect Roberta while he returns to perform reconstructive surgery for child refugees and he will pay off her student loans. What could go wrong?

Readers who like novels with characters who must find strengths within themselves to overcome their difficulties will enjoy this story. They’ll learn different cultures’ approaches to families, marriages, and finances, about the Kurds who fought beside Americans in Iraq, about refugees, and about abuse. They will also learn about the power of love.

Eris Field was born in the Green Mountains of Vermont—Jericho, Vermont to be precise—close by the home of Wilson Bentley (aka Snowflake Bentley), the first person in the world to photograph snowflakes. She learned from her Vermont neighbors that pursuit of one’s dream is a worthwhile life goal.

As a seventeen year old student nurse at Albany Hospital, Eris met a Turkish surgical intern who told her fascinating stories about the history of Turkey, the loss of the Ottoman Empire, and forced population exchanges. After they married and moved to Buffalo, Eris worked as a nurse at Children’s Hospital and at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

After taking time off to raise five children and amassing rejection letters for her short stories, Eris earned her master’s degree in Psychiatric Nursing at the University at Buffalo. Later, she taught psychiatric nursing at the University and wrote a textbook for psychiatric nurse practitioners—a wonderful rewarding but never to be repeated experience.

Eris now writes novels, usually international, contemporary romances. Her interest in history and her experience in psychiatry often play a part in her stories. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Western New York Romance Writers. In addition to writing, Eris’s interests include: Prevention of Psychiatric Disorders; Eradicating Honor Killings, supporting the Crossroads Springs Orphanage in Kenya for children orphaned by AIDS, and learning more about Turkey, Cyprus, and Kurdistan.

Learn more about Eris Field on her website. Stay connected on Facebook.

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

The cook extraordinaire Sloane Taylor who brings us her latest new dish to try. Here’s Sloane.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the enticing aroma from this easy recipe and the taste is superb. Studs and I have served this menu to skeptical guests and they fell in love with it.

Cook pasta prior to starting fish. Re-warm by running hot water over the just noodles before serving.

Serve with Whole Grain Spaghetti, Tossed Salad, Italian Bread,
and White Wine – Pinot Grigio

TANTALIZING COD

    1 tbsp. olive oil
    ½ med. onion, sliced thin
    2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
    ½ cup dry white wine
    5 lg. Roma tomatoes, chopped
    ½ cup black olives, sliced
    2 tbsp. parsley, chopped or 1 tbsp. dried
    1 tbsp. capers, drained and chopped
    ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
    4 cod fillets, about 6 oz. each
    ½ tbsp. fresh basil, chopped or 1 tsp. dried

Heat a large skillet on medium-high. Add oil. Heat until it shimmers. Add onion, stir until translucent and lightly browned. Stir in garlic, cook 30 seconds. Add wine, cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes with the juice, olives, parsley, capers and red pepper. Heat to boiling.

Lay cod fillets over tomato mixture. Lower heat to medium. Cover skillet and cook until cod turns opaque throughout and flakes, about 9 minutes.

Sprinkle basil across the top.

Serve over whole grain spaghetti.

Don’t prepare extra. Leftovers have a stale taste and tend to be tough.

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

Sloane

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.

Learn more about Taylor’s cookbooks, Date Night Dinners, Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco, and Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire on Amazon.

Excerpts from her romance 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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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

Makeup and skin care enthusiast Chris Pavesic who explains to us her accidental low buy year.

This is a difficult blog post to start writing. I’ve actually begun several times and scrapped the ideas because it didn’t seem right. I couldn’t get the correct words down on the screen. But here it goes. I hope it makes sense.

I’m a makeup and skin care enthusiast. I enjoy using products and comparing them. I enjoy researching ingredients and formulas. I enjoy reading about new products, watching YouTube videos about new releases, and talking about them with my friends. What I didn’t do last year was write about them very much.

It is true that I cut down the amount of posts I created in 2018. (I wrote a lot more in 2017). But that wasn’t the only reason. I didn’t write about makeup or skincare in 2018 because I simply didn’t buy much starting in March, 2018. (My birthday month.)

I was on a low-buy year without actually planning to be on one.

There were three reasons for this accidental low-buy year.

One: I purchased quite a few products in 2017 that I was excited to use. I had multiple products that filled the same purpose in my skincare and beauty regimen. So many that I started to feel uncomfortable with the number of items I owned.

It was a full year and, yeah, I still have items to get through. I had more than a year’s worth of “backups” for some products.

*Takes a deep breath.*

I had to let that sink in for a minute. A full year. I had too many. I’m not a minimalist, but I am striving to consume less. I did go through the KonMarie method for decluttering clothing, household items, and so forth. (If you followed her method: I still need to do sentimental items.) I even (gasp) got rid of some books. (Textbooks from my college days. They needed to go.) And I felt better having a more minimal wardrobe and less boxes of stuff stored in my spare bedroom and basement. I kept the items that “sparked joy” in those categories and haven’t looked back.

Two: Products don’t last forever. They expire. It’s a use-it-or-lose-it situation. I decided that I would use the products I had—ones that I was excited to use—before I purchased any more in that category. I did purchase a few items that I had panned (used up completely.) Lip balm made it into my cart because I have dry skin and live in the Midwest. (The struggle to have well-hydrated skin, especially on my lips, is real!) I also bought skin cleanser and shampoo because I developed an allergy to sodium lauryl sulfate and had switch to sulfate free versions.

Three: I didn’t purchase a lot of makeup products (eyeshadow, blush, highlighter) because I have ones that I enjoy. I have one face and can only use so many products in a day. If I bought something new in a category—an eyeshadow palette for instance—I would need to use it in place of something I already owned. And I enjoy the ones I own. The shadows are my favorite colors and formulas. Until I hit pan, or until the products go bad and I need to replace them, why buy something I might not like to replace an item that, in Marie Kondo’s terminology, “sparks joy” when I use it?

In case you are wondering: I currently have 8 eyeshadow palettes. I have tried more, but if something does not work well for me I pass it along to relatives. And in 2018 I didn’t buy any for myself. (I bought gifts for people. I don’t count those as purchases for me–although I keep the free samples that come with the orders.) Last year I completely panned one–the Too Faced Peppermint Mocha (pink) palette from the 2016 Christmas trio collection. It’s the one I used the most and it took me more than 2 years to get through it. Companies give you a lot of product in those palettes!

What did I really over-buy on in 2017? Face and body moisturizing creams, face products, and lipsticks. And I am using them up along with any samples I still have.

For the new I will continue my “low buy” project. I thought I would write about products that I have panned. Provide thorough reviews about products that are not new but may be undiscovered gems for my readers. Go through the large number of samples I have on hand and try items that way. Discuss new purchases when I eventually do make them and the reason why I switched from a tried-and-true product to something new. And discuss what the low buy year taught me along the way–and what I am (hopefully) still discovering.

I want to complete another low buy year and write about products mindfully.

I am interested if this topic is sustainable. If people will follow me on this journey. Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or thoughts on minimalism, low buys, or conscious consumerism. Let me know if you enjoy posts of this kind. Please help to continue the conversation.

Thank you so much for reading. I appreciate your time and attention.

Chris 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 is most often 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

The perfect comfort food to serve your family or friends in late fall or the dead of winter from Sharon Ledwith. These melt-in-your-mouth chops are the most tender—dare I (Sharon)say succulent pork chops—you’ve ever tasted. Food seems to be the source of comfort in all family matters, and I’ve found that meals bring us together to celebrate, cry or support each other in so many ways. Call me sentimental, but there’s something about those family chats at the dinner table after a long day or weekly family get-togethers on Sunday that you’ll hold in your heart for years to come.

Succulent Sour Cream Pork Chops

    6 pork chops
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Garlic powder to taste
    ½ cup all-purpose flour
    1 tbsp. (15ml) olive oil
    1 large onion, sliced ¼ inch thick
    2 cubes chicken bouillon
    2 cups boiling water
    2 tbsp. (30ml) flour
    1 8 oz. (250 g) container sour cream

Season pork with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Dredge in flour.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add oil. When the oil shimmers lightly brown chops.

Place chops in slow cooker, and top with onion slices. Dissolve bouillon in boiling water and pour over chops. Cover, and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 200° F (95° C).

After the chops have cooked, transfer them to the oven to keep war. Be careful, the chops are so tender they will fall apart.

In a small bowl, blend flour with sour cream. Stir into meat juices in slow cooker. Turn cooker to HIGH for 15 to 30 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened.

Spoon sauce on pork chops, and serve over rice or noodles.

With a prep time of 15 minutes and cook time of 8 ½ hours, there’s plenty of time to get some weekend reading done while you wait for your guests to arrive. May I suggest a visit to Fairy Falls, or if you’re feeling really adventurous, a trip back in time with The Last Timekeepers? Whichever you choose, I guarantee either series will take you on a journey far away from dirty dishes and messy pots.

Here’s a glimpse into one of the books from Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, my teen psychic mystery series.

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, Google+, 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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