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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 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.

Links for our books are on our book page or under the menu at the top of the page.

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Special Feature

Heroine from

Can’t Stop the Music

by

C.D. Hersh

The 50th anniversary of the musical festival Woodstock is today August 15th through the 18th. We thought our heroine Rose would like to talk about her book, Can’t Stop the Music, which begins at the famous Woodstock Festival August 1969.

 


 

Hi, I’m Rose.
I can’t imagine why my authors would want me to talk about what you can read. It’s true, I attended Woodstock in 1969. While there I came across a flautist playing Minuet in G. So I joined in and played a flute accompaniment with her. That’s something you can read about in the book but, you can’t hear. Now there is a recording I can share. Hope you enjoy the song.

Thanks for listening,
Rose.

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

The importance of flowers in our award winning book, Can’t Stop the Music. Written about a time when flowers were the rage.

With the 50th anniversary of the musical festival Woodstock coming up this August 15-18, we thought it would be a great time to talk about our book, Can’t Stop the Music, which begins at the famous Woodstock Festival August 1969. What better subject to talk about than flowers and flower children, since both were a big part of Woodstock.

Experts say, “Write what you know.” For us that advice often means flowers enter the stories we create. In our award winning book, Can’t Stop the Music, we tell the story of a flower child who encounters a magic tree while at the iconic Woodstock Musical Festival. The tree promises her the soul mate of her life.

In one of the scenes, the hero brings a bouquet of flowers to the heroine, Rose, similar to the one pictured above. The bouquet contains a red rose, daises, lilies, and a sprig of rosemary, because Rose’s full name is Rosemary.

Flowers have played an important part in our relationship. Catherine loves flowers and has a garden full of them, and Donald has always given flowers to her. Sometimes they arrive for birthdays and anniversaries and Sweetest Day. Sometimes she’s gifted posies for absolutely no reason at all.

He’s presented flowers to her a single bloom at a time, brought to the table by different restaurant servers. They’ve arrived at hotel lobbies while they’ve been out of town. He even made his fellow construction workers stop by the roadside while he cut boughs of forsythia (one of Catherine’s favorite spring-flowering bushes) to bring home to her. Catherine loves this story as she envisions the other manly construction workers giving her husband a hard time for being so romantic. The best part is Donald didn’t care one bit. He knew the armful of yellow blooms would melt his wife’s heart. Gotta love a guy like that!

With a flower history like ours, we just had to put a romantic nosegay in our nostalgic romance book, Can’t Stop the Music, where a flower child of the 60s gets her own beautiful bouquet.

Can’t Stop the Music is book number 2 in the Soul Mate Tree collection. The collection has 12 books, each written by a different Soul Mate Publishing author. The sensual to steamy romance books, which span a range of genres and settings, revolve around an ancient, magical tree that grants needy persons the soul of their lives.

 

The Soul Mate Legend says:

It’s 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.

For college senior and hippie wannabe Rosemary—Rose for short—a teaching job is within her grasp, but she wants more. She wants love, the kind of love that has bound her parents for so many years. When she’s dumped by her current boyfriend because her morals can’t bring her to give in to free love, she finds herself at Woodstock in the middle of the biggest free-love, music festival of the Sixties. Alone, again. Until a magical tree grants her wish and she finds the man of her dreams—and loses him before she really knows who he is.

Dakota meets the girl of his dreams at Woodstock, but a jealous wannabe girlfriend drives them apart before he can discover Rose’s last name and where she comes from. After he sees a disappearing tree that promises him true love, a frantic search to find Rose comes up empty-handed.

Short Excerpt:

In his hand he held a bouquet of mixed flowers containing a single red rose, some white daisies, a couple of lilies, and a spike of pungent rosemary.

He held them out to her. “You weren’t wearing flowers in your hair at Woodstock, so I wasn’t sure what kind you liked. I hope these are okay.”

“They’re beautiful.” Waving him inside, she took the blooms from him. “How sweet of you.”

“I thought flowers for my flower child, Rose, were appropriate.”

His footsteps behind her stopped, and she turned. He stood staring at her Woodstock collage.

“This takes me back.” He tapped the glass over the Woodstock ticket. “This ought to be worth money someday.”

“Too many memories attached to sell those mementos.”

He closed the gap between them and embraced her, holding her close. “Remember when I held you in my arms at Woodstock?”

She giggled. “Technically, one arm. You held up your guitar case with the other as we slid down the hill.”

“I didn’t tell you then, but holding you felt right. Still does.”

She lowered her head. He tipped her chin up until she gazed at him.

“This date has been a long time coming, Rosemary.” Then he kissed her.

For a second she didn’t move. Then as his kiss deepened, she fell victim to its power. Her arms wrapped around his neck, the fragrance of rose, lily, and rosemary swirled around them as the bouquet rested against his back. After what seemed an eternity, he released her.

“I should get these flowers in water before the heat of passion wilts them.” And me.

Want to read more? Can’t Stop the Music is available on Amazon.

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Friday Features

We talk about

Woodstock wasn’t really at Woodstock

Woodstock 1969 is an iconic music festival that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this August 15-18. So, since our book, Can’t Stop the Music, begins at the famous Woodstock Festival August 1969, we’re taking some extra time to talk about Woodstock and our book.

In Can’t Stop the Music we mention that the heroine, Rose, has a festival flyer and her tickets hanging on the wall of her home. We thought it would be fun to show some of the various posters that were printed for the music festival.

 

We’re fond of the center poster because we think it would help Rose remember the handsome, guitar playing hippie she met at Woodstock—the one she’s believes the magic Soul Mate Tree led her to.

Notice the posters have different locations for the festival. That’s because the Woodstock organizers, had some issues with the locations they choice. Originally they wanted the venue to be near take place in Woodstock, NY. After residents opposed them, they thought they’d found a second location in Saugerties, NY. That, too, fell through. Another search brought them to the town of Wallkill, NY. But then the town board passed a law that required a permit for an assembly of more than 5,000 people. The estimated attendance the organizers were tell authorities was about 5,000, but in reality they expected 150,000 to show up. The organizers of the concert applied for the permit but ended up being turned down because the number of portable toilets were deemed to be inadequate. A dairy farmer, named Max Yasgur, heard about the festival and the problems the organizers were encountering and he offered his dairy farm, in the town of Bethel, near White Lake, NY, as an alternative site.

The concert was fraught with problems, ranging from an unexpected, massive attendance (500,000 music loving hippies showed up); running out of food; traffic jams that delayed the performers; and a weekend of rain that turned the entire field into a giant mud puddle. Even with all those problems Woodstock was a peaceful concert, which according to historic reports, has not been duplicated since.

For our heroine Rose and the handsome, guitar-playing hippie she falls for, Woodstock was an event they would never forget—thanks to the promise-making Soul Mate Tree.

Here’s an excerpt from Can’t Stop the Music that we hope will make you want to join Rose and Dakota at Woodstock.

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.

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.

Want to read more? Can’t Stop the Music is available on Amazon.

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