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Posts Tagged ‘C.D. Hersh’

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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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shares advice from Carol Browne about that first book signing and some wisdom learned.

If like me you are introverted and social phobic, a book signing will be a very scary proposition. In my case I also live in a rural area without access to transport so just getting to a book signing event is a challenge. I was an eBook author for the first couple of years of my career too and so I didn’t have a book to sign anyway. This year, I did my first book signing courtesy of my supportive boss and his wife who not only allowed me to use part of their establishment (the pub where I work) but provided coffee and cakes for the people who attended.

A writer’s life might appear to be very glamorous to outsiders, but it’s usually quite the opposite. I do a variety of jobs to keep from starving in a garret and they are mostly very menial: cleaning and washing up, for example. And when I attended this, my first real book signing, I didn’t roll up in a Porsche, I had to walk there dragging my paperbacks behind me in a shopping trolley. Even with wheels, that thing got damn heavy after the first fifteen minutes. I had nearly forty books in it—well, I had no idea how many to take.

Of course I was nervous but it turned out better than I expected. I sold twenty books and met some very interesting people. They all seemed so pleased to be there, and to be meeting me! Suddenly Cinderella had gone to the ball and she could forget about the washing up and the cleaning for a while.

It was Holocaust Memorial Day in Britain on the 27th of January and so I was specifically promoting my book Being Krystyna—A Story of Survival in WWII. I discovered when I spoke to people at the event just how many of them have interesting stories to tell, especially about the war. One woman said her mother was born in a Japanese POW camp and the other female prisoners pooled their resources to provide food and clothing for the baby. I found out that my boss’s grandfather had been a prisoner of the Japanese too for three years. There are so many stories we shall never know about, stories of heroism and endurance.

Here are some more things I learned at the event that it is useful to share with other authors yet to experience a book signing:

1. Take book swag—postcards, bookmarks, etc.—because people love to get a freebie and they might pass them on to someone else. While I was promoting my non-fiction book, I handed out postcards that publicised my fantasy novel.

2. Have change ready for people who pay cash, as most will. You certainly don’t want to be taking cheques and if you’re like me you won’t have credit card capabilities! (My book was £4.99 and I had a stash of pennies in anticipation of all the five pound notes I was going to get, and did.)

3. Practise your signature before the event unless you’re that lucky person who has a naturally lovely and easily written moniker. Mine is a disappointment and that was a worry to me—who wants a spider scrawl on the first page of their pristine new book? And make sure you have a decent pen (and a replacement), one that’s not going to run out halfway through your signature or spit gouts of ink onto the paper. (I’m pleased to say, I was surprised and gratified at how my signature worked out on the day!) Don’t know what to write? Ask the person who the book is for (make sure to get the correct spelling) and simply put ‘To …., Best Wishes’ and then your signature.

4. Don’t worry that you’ll run out of books. You can always take people’s names and addresses. (I took a book of receipts in case people paid up front but as it turned out I didn’t need them.) If you are involved in advertising the event beforehand, you can suggest people buy your book first and bring it with them to be signed.

5. Have business cards to hand out. This was something I didn’t get round to. I didn’t have flyers or attractive posters either. And what that taught me was that next time I will be better prepared, but that it doesn’t spell disaster because most people who want to come to a book signing are coming to see you, the author, not all the bells and whistles you have brought with you. (People were so delighted to be given a mere postcard, you’d think I was handing out bank notes!).

6. Most importantly, stop worrying about everything having to be perfect. You have a talent to be proud of and you have achieved something most people haven’t. Enjoy that feeling of being recognised as a creative individual but at the same time remember that you are still just a human being and you can only do your best and no more. Don’t be afraid of doing a book signing either. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

If I can do it, anyone can. The important thing is, just have fun!

Here is a brief introduction to my book. Thank you for reading it.

It’s 2012, the year of the London Olympics, and for young Polish immigrant Agnieszka, visiting fellow countrywoman Krystyna in a Peterborough care home is a simple act of kindness. However, the meeting proves to be the beginning of a life-changing experience.

Krystyna’s stories about the past are not memories of the good old days but recollections of war-ravaged Europe: The Warsaw Ghetto, Pawiak Prison, Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, and the death march to freedom.

The losses and ordeals Krystyna suffered and what she had to do to survive, these are horrors Agnieszka must confront when she volunteers to be Krystyna’s biographer.

Will Agnieszka find a way to accomplish her task, and, in this harrowing story of survival, what is the message for us today?

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Born in Stafford in the UK, Carol Browne was raised in Crewe, Cheshire, which she thinks of as her home town. Interested in reading and writing at an early age, Carol pursued her passions at Nottingham University and was awarded an honours degree in English Language and Literature. Now living and working in the Cambridgeshire countryside, Carol usually writes fiction and is a contracted author at Burning Willow Press. Being Krystyna, published by Dilliebooks on 11th November, 2016, is her first non-fiction book.

Stay connected with Carol on her website and blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Tell Again Tuesday

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

 


 

Lessons on story depth learned from a painting

By Ryan Jo Summers

Recently I was at a house, looking at a painting on the wall. It was a wooded scene with lots of trees, created to look like an autumn forest. What really caught my eye wasn’t the trees, but a tan smear cutting through the middle of the canvas. Beginning wider in the middle, or front, of the picture, it wound around the trees and narrowed at the back of the canvas. Except there was no front and back as this was a flat canvas.

How did a single ribbon of contrasting tan paint make the whole picture of trees look like a forest with a dirt trail leading away? That is the mystery of art. And it got me to thinking about how that pertains to writing. . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

SMP blog

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Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Cheesy Green Chili Cornbread

from

Gina Briganti

First rule of making this recipe: make a big pan to meet the demand. First rule of guest blogging, thank your host for inviting you into their virtual kitchen. Thank you, Sloane! I appreciate the chance to show off my cornbread recipe because it is that good!

This recipe is my secret weapon when I’m writing a first draft. I use Candace Haven’s Fast Draft technique and that means I don’t cook for at least a week – all of my energy goes into my next book. A big pan of this cornbread gets me and the family through that week without feeling deprived. We pair squares of the cornbread with soup (made ahead and frozen for drafting week) and/or salad. It depends on how hungry we are.

Do you love the scent and taste of fresh cornbread? Then here’s the recipe.

CHEESY GREEN CHILI CORNBREAD

Photo credit Nina Lackey

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup gluten-free flour
1 tsp. baking powder
⅓ tsp. salt
½ cup non-dairy butter, melted (I use Earth Balance or Miyokos)
2 tbsp. non-dairy milk (I use almond in this recipe)
2 eggs, beaten
1½ cups water
1 cup non-dairy cheese (I use Daiya cheddar), grated
½ cup Ortega chiles

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine cornmeal, gluten-free flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk until fully combined. Add butter, eggs, water, half the cheese, and Ortega chiles. Stir until smooth.

Grease an 8×8 pan with butter. Spread batter evenly. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup grated cheese on top. Bake 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool for fifteen minutes before serving. If you can wait that long. We usually have our first piece as soon as we can touch the cornbread.

Please share if you make this cornbread. I’d love to see how it turned out for you!

Here is a little from my latest fantasy romance. I hope you enjoy it.

Elena Zucchero has lived and lost in reality. Now she fills her heart through her work as a hypnotherapist by helping her patients improve their lives. But when a nightmare plagues her sleep, she learns her friends have gone missing in an addictive alternate plane. And the only way to save them may require feeding the demons of her handsome new client…

Draper Montgomery painfully resists the call of the Dreaming. But despite his dangerous cravings, he senses his enchanting therapist has a wound he can help heal. And to satisfy his heart’s desire, he may just have to risk the very foundation of his mind…

As Elena and Draper discover a deeper soul connection, the therapist struggles to keep her distance in the hunt for her friends. If the people she loves even want to be saved…

Will the perilous hunt to rescue her friends lose them their lives and their souls?

AMAZON BUY LINK


Gina Briganti writes paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi romance in north Texas. Her constant companion is a special soul who masquerades as a dog.

Visit her website and blog for book trailers, newsletter sign up, and whatever else she thinks up.

Stay connected on Facebook, Gina’s Amazon Author Page, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

A new book from Sharon Ledwith . Her latest captivating book in the YA paranormal series Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls.
Be sure to order your copy today!

 

Mirror World Publishing

is happy to reveal

the cover for Blackflies and Blueberries

by Sharon Ledwith!

This exciting Book 2 in the YA paranormal series

Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls,
releases May 17, 2019.

About Blackflies and Blueberries:

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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Tell Again Tuesday

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

 


 

In Praise of Quotes

By Joanne Guidoccio

In my late teens, I started a quote collection. I would underline sentences (and sometimes entire paragraphs) in books and jot down inspiring thoughts from other print media. I would then copy these words of wisdom into a journal. When I joined Pinterest, I set aside a page—Words I Love— where I recopied these words of wisdom. To date, I have accumulated over 400 quotes.

Maintaining a personal collection of quotes has helped me immensely. Here are some of the benefits I have discovered: . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

SMP blog

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Friday Features’

Guest talks about

APPITEASER?

by

Dominique Eastwick

Yes, that’s spelled right. I’m Dominique Eastwick here to share an easy and delicious dish for your next get-together.

DOM’S HAWT CHICKEN DIP APPITEASER

1 can (12 ozs.) chunk chicken breast
8 ozs. cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice or Real Lemon

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy.

Mix together mayo, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce then add it to the cream cheese. Blend in the chicken chunks.

Spread into a shallow 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Place in the oven 15 minutes before you are ready to serve. If you cook it too long it gets really greasy and starts to separate.

Serve on toast, bread, or crackers.

Enjoy!

Here’s a little from one of my fantasy romance books for your reading pleasure.

Can a lion be the mate a mousy librarian needs?

Guarding the pride’s queen is an honor Jaison is happy to take on. He spends hours preparing for every contingency. He is ready to lay down his life if the necessity arises. What he isn’t expecting and couldn’t have planned for was when his mate crosses his path in the form of human librarian Paighton Knight.

Paighton Knight believes love is the stuff of fairy tales and has no time for those kinds of stories. Raised to be the perfect librarian, she is unprepared for feelings she doesn’t believe are real to wash over her. The second she comes into contact with Jaison Karatasos her world begins to turn and her eyes see what they weren’t able to before.

With the moon rising into the reign of Leo, Jaison has one month to show Paighton that love does exist, or he must wait until the next Leo cycle. When his responsibilities to his pride clash with his needs for his mate, will he be able to merge the two worlds?

Buy Links


Award-Winning author Dominique Eastwick currently calls North Carolina home with her husband, two children, one crazy lab and one lazy cat. Dominique spent much of her early life moving from state to state as a Navy Brat. Because of that, traveling is one of her favorite pastimes. When not writing you can find Dominique with her second love…her camera.

Learn more about Dominique Eastwick on her blog, and Amazon author page. Be sure to join her Newsletter for up to the minute info on new releases, contests, and more.

Stay connected on Twitter, Tublr, and Pinterest.

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