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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

Alicia Joseph who shares with us her pie recipe. A perfect treat to show your special someone that you care by baking them something good.

PEANUT BUTTER PIE
CRUST
1 ¼ cup chocolate cookie crumbs. (20 cookies)
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven 375°F.

Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Press into a 9-inch pie plate.

Bake 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

FILLING
1 (8 oz) pkg. softened cream cheese
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in whipped cream.

Gently spoon into crust. Garnish with grated chocolate, chocolate cookie crumbs, or fresh raspberries.

Refrigerate and enjoy!


“When a train runs over a penny, the penny changes form, but it can still be a penny if I want it to be. Or, I can make it be something else.”

Lyssa and her best friend Abbey discover a hideout near the train tracks and spend the summer before sixth grade hanging out and finding freedom from issues at home. Their childhood innocence shatters when the hideout becomes the scene of a tragic death.

As they’re about to graduate from high school, Abbey’s family life spirals out of control while Lyssa is feeling guilty for deceiving Abbey about her sexuality. After another tragic loss, Lyssa finds out that a penny on the track is sometimes a huge price to pay for the truth.

Prologue
1993

I was jerked from my sleep while the phone was still buzzing its first high-piercing ring. I glanced at the clock on the nightstand beside my bed. It read 4:17 a.m. I knew something was wrong.

The second ring was abruptly broken up and my mother’s muffled voice carried into my room. I was already sitting upright in my bed when my bedroom door squeaked open. My mother’s slight figure appeared as a shadow near my door.

“Lyssa? You up?” she asked.

“What’s wrong?” My voice was no louder than a whisper.

I watched my mother slowly make her way into the dark room. I couldn’t make out the expression on her face, but the stiff movement of the outline of her body was hesitant.

She turned on the lamp and sat down beside me. Her face was pale. She let out short, shallow breaths. It seemed difficult for her to look me in the eyes.

“What is it?” I asked. “What’s happened?”

Finally, my mother looked at me with pain in her eyes. “Lyssa . . .” She smoothed her hand gently across my arm. “Abbey’s dead.”

I took in her words without an ounce of denial. The reality of what my mother had told me was instant.

My best friend was dead.

Alicia Joseph grew up in Westchester, Illinois. Her first novella, Her Name, was published by Musa Publishing in 2014. Her Name is a sweet, romantic story about a woman who believes the beautiful woman she dreams about is the real love of her life.

Loving Again is her second published novella. Alicia is currently working on a new novel called A Penny on the Tracks, a coming of age story about love and friendship. Alicia has many works-in-progress that she hopes to finish soon.

When she is not writing, Alicia enjoys volunteering with animals, rooting for her favorite sports teams, and playing “awesome aunt” to her nine nieces and nephews.

Learn more about Alicia Joseph on her blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

Love in the kitchen with the Free Cookbook
Sweets & Treats for Someone Special.

We are a part of this cookbook that you can get free.

Remember the old adage, ‘The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’? There may be some truth to that, though I would update the phrase to say, ‘The way to a person’s heart is through their stomach’. After all, food is an intimate experience. Good food creates memories, forges friendships, makes the heart grow fonder, and makes for good dinner table conversations. And food is one of the ways you can show someone that you care for them.

If the thought of cooking a romantic meal or baking a sweet treat for your true love makes you tingly all over, then have I got a gift for you! Cue a romantically-inspired cookbook written by the following fourteen proficient and prolific authors, of various ages and genres: Marci Boudreaux, Carol Browne, HL Carpenter, Sara Daniel, C.D. Hersh, Vonnie Hughes, Alicia Joseph, Emma Lane, Lizzie T. Leaf, Sharon Ledwith, Susan Lodge, Anne Montgomery, Chris Pavesic, and Sloane Taylor. These wonderful writers have created an array of tantalizing recipes that will make your loved ones beg for more, and even offer to wash those dirty dishes.

Sweets & Treats for Someone Special is your go-to recipe book for entertaining on Valentine’s Day, hosting bridal showers and engagement parties, or celebrating that special event with your true love. Compiled by Sloane Taylor—a gourmet cook in her own right—and designed by mother-daughter duo HL Carpenter, the included recipes offer a wide variety of mouth-watering treats, indulgences, and meals to satisfy your loved ones’ cravings and insatiable hunger.

Oh, and did I mention that it is FREE?

So why not have your just desserts? Literally. You’ve got nothing to lose and sultry memories to gain when you download Sweets & Treats for Someone Special. There’s a recipe for even the fussiest lover in your life. Give yourself a gift during the season of love with a sensual cookbook from fourteen writers who would love nothing more than to share their favorite recipes, and fulfill your deepest desires.

Get your FREE copy, in all formats, at Smashwords.

Bon Appetit!

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

Chris Pavesic who brings us her Cream of Celery Soup and the first book of her new YA/LitRPG series, The Revelation Chronicles, now available on Audible.

This is a wonderfully creamy soup to serve on a cold fall or winter day.

Cream of Celery Soup

¼ cup butter
1 small yellow onion (about 1 cup) finely chopped
2 cups celery, very finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
⅓ cup flour
1½ cup chicken broth
1½ cup whole milk
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. sugar
⅛ tsp. freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic. Cook until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.

Stir in flour and cook for another minute. Flour may brown a little but that is okay.

Whisk the mixture as broth and milk are slowly added to prevent clumps from forming. Increase the heat and bring to a simmer.

Reduce heat to medium, add the salt, sugar, and pepper. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Enjoy!

While you enjoy your meal, why not listen to a good book? Starter Zone, the first book of my new YA/LitRPG series, The Revelation Chronicles, is now available on Audible!

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When hydrologists inscribe the consciousness of a human mind onto a single drop of water, a Revelation sweeps the land. The wealthy race to upload their minds into self-contained virtual realities nicknamed Aquariums. In these containers people achieve every hope, dream, and desire. But governments wage war for control of the technology. Terrorist attacks cause massive destruction. The Aquariums fail. Inscribed human minds leech into the water cycle, wreaking havoc.

Street gangs rule the cities in the three years since the fall of civilization. Sixteen-year-old Cami and her younger sister Alby struggle to survive. Every drop of untreated water puts their lives in peril. Caught and imprisoned by soldiers who plan to sell them into slavery, Cami will do anything to escape and rescue her sister. Even if it means leaving the real word for a life in the realms, a new game-like reality created by the hydrologists for the chosen few.

But life in the realms isn’t as simple as it seems. Magic, combat, gear scores, quests, and dungeons are all puzzles to be solved as the sisters navigate their new surroundings. And they encounter more dangerous enemies than any they faced in the real world.

Time to play the game.

Available Now At:
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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 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

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Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls by Sharon Ledwith . She brings us her new teen psychic mystery series.

When you think of a small, northern tourist town, what emotional cord does it strike? Vacationing with the family when you were young? Visiting your grandparents at their cottage? Camping in the backwoods with your friends? Whatever vision you conjure, I’m sure you have plenty of happy memories of that special place. That’s the basis of my new series, Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls. I wanted to give this teen psychic mystery series a nostalgic feeling coupled with a sense of adventure and…wait for it…the supernatural. Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expected the unexpected.

One of the mainstays of cottage and camping life is soup on those rainy, damp days. Soup not only warms you through, but fills you up. So I thought I’d share a favorite family recipe with you, that will hopefully bring out those good-old-days feelings inside you again. This hearty, easy one dish meal cooks itself while you’re out and about. Prep time is approximately 30 minutes, with a cook time of 10 hours, this soup serves around 8-10 of your hungriest minions.

Best Beef-Barley Soup Ever
2 lbs beef round steak or 2 lbs beef chuck, diced
2 cups chopped carrots
1 stalk celery, diced
½ green pepper, diced (we prefer to use a red pepper)
1 large onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can of tomatoes, cut up (we prefer stewed tomatoes)
½ cup frozen corn
½ cup frozen green beans
⅔ cup barely
1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tbsp. beef bouillon granules or 2 beef bouillon cubes
2 tsp. salt
¾ tsp. dried basil
5 cups water

Brown beef in a skillet over medium heat.

Lay carrot, celery, green pepper, onion, corn, and green beans in crock pot.

Place meat on top.

Combine tomatoes, barley, parsley, bouillon, salt, and basil in a bowl. Pour over meat.

Add water.

DO NOT STIR.

Cover and cook on LOW for 10-12 hours.

The secret to this soup is in the layering. Serve with salad and bread, and your favorite wine or beverage.

So while the soup is cooking, I’ll let you in on another secret from Lost and Found, Book #1 of Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls.

Fairy Falls was bores-ville from the get-go. Then the animals started talking…

The Fairy Falls Animal Shelter is in trouble. Money trouble. It’s up to an old calico cat named Whiskey—a shelter cat who has mastered the skill of observation—to find a new human pack leader so that their home will be saved. With the help of Nobel, the leader of the shelter dogs, the animals set out to use the ancient skill of telepathy to contact any human who bothers to listen to them. Unfortunately for fifteen-year-old Meagan Walsh, she hears them, loud and clear.

Forced to live with her Aunt Izzy in the safe and quiet town of Fairy Falls, Meagan is caught stealing and is sentenced to do community hours at the animal shelter where her aunt works. Realizing Meagan can hear her, Whiskey realizes that Meagan just might have the pack leader qualities necessary to save the animals. Avoiding Whiskey and the rest of shelter animals becomes impossible for Meagan, so she finally gives in and promises to help them. Meagan, along with her newfound friends, Reid Robertson and Natalie Knight, discover that someone in Fairy Falls is not only out to destroy the shelter, but the animals as well. Can Meagan convince her aunt and co-workers that the animals are in danger? If she fails, then all the animals’ voices will be silenced forever.

BUY LINKS
Amazon KindleAmazon PaperbackBarnes & NobleMirror World Publishing ebookMirror World Publishing Paperback

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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Wednesday Special Spotlight

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A breakfast sandwich by HL Carpenter that makes you want to wake up in the morning.

Cheese sandwiches for breakfast anyone? Oh yes—and this simple-to-make chewy and crunchy cheese melt combo is the sandwich of choice. Chewy mozzarella, crunchy fresh green peppers and onions, spicy pepperoni, and Italian seasonings deliciously stacked on buttery English muffin rounds make breaking your night’s fast a pleasure.

Melted Cheese Sandwich
6 English muffins, store-bought or hand-baked
1 tbsp. butter, softened
12 slices (1-oz each) mozzarella cheese
1 sweet onion
1 large green pepper
6 oz. sliced pepperoni
Garlic salt
Italian seasoning

Split each muffin and lightly butter the outer side. Place one-half of each muffin buttered-side down in frying pan.

Top each muffin half with 1 slice of mozzarella, 1 sweet onion ring, 1 green pepper ring, and 1 ounce of pepperoni. Season to taste with garlic salt and Italian seasoning. Add another layer of mozzarella. Place remaining half of muffin on top, buttered-side up.

Fry sandwiches in covered skillet, turning once, until cheese melts and sandwich is heated through. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

While you’re devouring your delicious breakfast, we invite you to enjoy an excerpt from our allegorical short story.

Who killed Fyne Literature? The Fictional Book Investigation Agency is on the case—and the lead investigator is closer to the culprit than he realizes.

Ivy League walked into my office as I cracked the spine on an old murder book. I identified her immediately, courtesy of my mythical detecting skills. Well, those and her cute little uptilted nose, which I recognized from news reports about a recent gruesome killing.

She said, “I want you to find out who’s behind the demise of Fyne Literature.”

“I thought the cops already closed the book on his demise.” I slapped shut the hardcover in my hand to punctuate my sentence.

She jumped.

I said, “Word is, your lover was done in by an explosion of serial killer potboilers.”

“He was – he is – the love of my life, not my lover.” She perched on the edge of the chair opposite my bargain-priced government surplus desk, and looked at the painting on the wall behind me. “You’re no angel.”

Apparently I wasn’t the only one possessed of mythical detecting skills. The picture depicts a kneeling, white-winged warrior, weary yet steadfast as another day rises—or sets, depending on your point of view—on a ravaged city. You only need to glance at him once to know he did not weep, to know he would not, even in the midst of destruction and defeat; to know he understands war, in the way true warriors do. He knows the creed as well, the one limned by the glowing-eyed cat at his side: Show no weakness.

A grateful and talented character created the picture after I pulled her from the shadowy world where illusions take corporeal form and people merely think they can see. I can tell you horror stories, like the one depicted in that drawing, with entire civilizations reduced to smoldering ruins.

I’ll spare you, and myself as well. I meet my shadow every time I plunge into the murk of those battles, and the reality is too gruesome for me to revisit, at least in the daylight hours when I have a choice.

Ed the glowing-eyed cat would say the same, if you understood his language. I’m not the angel in the painting, though my features vaguely resemble his, but Ed’s real, as real as I am.

I said, “Fortunately you need a detective, not an angel.”

“Yes,” Ivy said. “And you meet both criteria.”

I’ve always been a sucker for a woman who can properly pluralize ancient Greek.

* * *

Contact us to get a coupon code for a FREE download of the complete audio version of The Demise of Fyne Literature. Limited time offer good only until available codes are gone.

* * *
Amazon Buy Link eBook and Audio

Florida-based mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter write sweet, clean fiction that is suitable for everyone in your family. The Carpenters write 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 Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, and their Amazon Author Page.

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

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FINDING FAITH

by

April A. Luna

THE LEGEND OF THE SOUL MATE TREE:

I am old, I am ancient, my purpose is clear
To give those who are needy a treasure so dear.
They who come to my roots, touch my bark, stroke my leaves
Find the soul of their lives if they but believe.
When I call and you listen, your prize will be great
If your heart remains open and you don’t hesitate.
Do you yearn? Be you lonely? Is your time yet at hand?
Reach for me and I’ll give to you. I’m yours to command.
For your trust, for your faith, keep my secrets untold
And I’ll gift you forever, to have and to hold.

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.

FINDING FAITH
By
April A. Luna

 Faith Kometo cleans out the church coffers of a quaint village, flees on foot from pitchfork-wielding townsfolk, and ends up entangled in the veil between parallel worlds by a primordial spirit with Hayden Cox, an elite scout with the Order of Hunters, hot on her trail.

It’s taken Hayden two years and three timelines to trap his gargouille prey—a member of the Kometo clan. Now that he has his target in hand, he’ll stop at nothing to unearth the truth behind the order, genocide, and love’s pull.

Buy Link Finding Faith

Book Trailer for The Soul Mate Tree Series:

Bio:

April A. Luna (also writes as Michelle L. De La Garza) is an American freelance writer and poet, who lives with her husband and children in Texas. She has an extensive background as an operational training specialist writing corporate curriculum and facilitating training sessions, which brings a realistic quality to the human emotions and personality characteristics in the fiction stories she breathes life into.

Find April at:

Author Page

Twitter – @AprilALunaWrite

Other blogs/info on The Soul Mate Tree books:

Soul Mate Tree Page

Book One: Realm of the Dragon, by CiCi Cordelia, Blog post

Book Two: Can’t Stop the Music, by C.D. Hersh, Blog post

Book Three: Between Venus and Mars, by S.C. Mitchell, Blog post

Book Four: The Trail to Love, by Tina Susedik, Blog post

Book Five: Make Me a Match, by Mackenzie Lucas, Blog post

Book Six: A Promise Remembered, by Erin Riley, Blog post

Book Seven: Never Give Up On Love, by Maggie Mundy, Blog post

Book Eight: Once Upon a Lady, by Addie Jo Ryleigh, Blog post

Book Nine: Sweet Sacrifice, by L.D. Rose, Blog post

Book Ten: Soul Song, by Mikea Howard, Blog post

Book Eleven: The Storm Within, by Cerian Hebert, Blog post

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

Dominique Eastwick in the kitchen whipping up a batch of mouthwatering cookies. Take it away, Dom!

ITALIAN ANISETTE COOKIES

COOKIE DOUGH
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 cup granulated white sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
½ cup milk
1 tbsp. anise extract
2 eggs

ICING
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsp. hot water
1 tsp. anise extract
sprinkles, optional

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Combine flour, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add oil, milk, extract, and eggs. Mix together until dough is sticky.

Oil fingers and pinch off dough in 1-inch pieces. Roll into a ball and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet, 1 inch apart, flatten top slightly.

Bake 8 minutes.

Blend anise extract and enough hot water to confectioner’s sugar to form a smooth icing. Drizzle or spread across the cooled cookie tops. Add sprinkles for a festive touch.

Brew yourself a nice cup of tea to go with your delicious fresh cookies and then snuggle up with a good book.

When Kalista’s father suffers a stroke just hours before making an important payment on a loan, she rushes to Greece to make amends before the billionaire tycoon swoops in to take the family business. She is convinced if she gives him the check in person, all will be fine and she can return to help her father on his long road to recovery. She did not anticipate Leonidas Karatasos.

This is not the first time Mr. Vidal has missed a payment, but it would be the last. Leonidas would let no one take advantage of him or his family, but when he steps off the boat on his family’s island, his mate is waiting for him check in hand. Kalista Vidal is everything he wanted and nothing he expected.

With the moon rising into the reign of Leo, Leonidas has one month to woo and bond with Kalista, or he must wait until the next Leo cycle. But with the world’s prides convening on the island for the month, he must deal with dangers his mate could never imagine. All the while figuring out how to let his lion out of the bag.

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 website, 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 Facebook Twitter, Tublr, and Pinterest.

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