Monday, September 18, 2017

NEW RELEASE FOR LEIGH GOFF

Hot off the press is Leigh Goff's exciting YA Fantasy release by Mirror World Publishing. Wizards and witches prevail in this can't-put-down novel. A must read for everyone, no matter your age, who loves to curl up with a captivating book.

Hannah, the thirteenth great-granddaughter of the Wizard Earl Fitzgerald, has always known she was descended from a troubled legacy of alchemy and dark magic. Although a stranger to her coven in Annapolis, she is no stranger to grief and denial; however, when an ancient prophecy reveals the rise of a young, powerful witch and the impending death of another, she realizes she can no longer afford to suppress the magic that has taken away so much. She seeks out the frighteningly scarred, yet mysterious W who is destined to change her life, but even he cannot prepare her for the secrets she must unlock – including one that reveals the location of an unimaginably powerful elixir.

Enemies will hurt her. Loved ones will make her vulnerable. And the impending prophecy that drives her to unleash her magic will cause her to unearth the sins of the past and doubt any promise of a future. Without knowing whom her true rival is, Hannah isn’t certain she’ll survive the game Fate is playing, and if she loses, she may lose everything, including the ones she loves.

EXCERPT

The imposing entrance segued into the main part of the old family chapel. Shadows flickered across the white walls as candlelight streamed down from an ornate iron chandelier cradling clear-colored hurricanes. Angelic sculptures hung between the arched windows and beneath the cloud-painted ceiling that Michelangelo himself would have envied, four wooden pews graced each side of the aisle.

I tiptoed farther in and spotted another black-lined white envelope on the altar. I was definitely in the right place.

My fingers trembled as I traced the letters that formed my name. This was way beyond ordinary, but why and—more importantly—who?

“W?”

A hint of the Shadow’s amber and woods scent mixed with the faint candle smoke of the chapel. “No. Way.” I spun around ready to stomp right out of there.

In that moment, a heavy gaze fell on me and the air felt charged with electricity. I searched right and left, seeing no one. “W? Whoever you are, show yourself.”

“This will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done.” His potent voice reverberated off the walls and seemed to come from everywhere, including the inside of my head.

I locked my wandering gaze on the loft above the entrance where I spotted his silhouette. “Was leaving me in a burning wreck the hardest thing you ever had to do? Was it?” I raised my volume. “Who are you? Why did you leave me for dead?”

His intake of breath was audible. “I would never. I mean. I didn’t want to do that. I don’t.”

“Oh, lucky me.” I stuck my hands on my hips and tapped an impatient foot on the floor. “If you don’t want to finish me off, then you lured me here to do what, exactly?”

“To help you. I want to help you.”

“Ha!” The sarcastic laugh burst out before I could stop it. “You’ve done a bang up job inspiring my confidence and trust in that department.”

He simmered in silence for a moment. “What do I have to do to inspire you to follow my directions?”

Following someone else’s directions was definitely not my strength. I grimaced, but curiosity got the better of me. “What do you want?”

“You read the note.”

His desire to remain in the shadows was increasingly irritating. “I consider myself a very smart girl, so when a guy who left me in a burning car tells me he wants to help me take on a different deadly problem, I have to wonder if he’s not setting me up to fend for myself again. What’s your motive?”

I dropped my eyes to the envelope, turning it to and fro.

“Emme Blackstone is a mutual enemy and means us both harm.” A tinge of anger laced his tone.

The anger, I understood. After all, we were talking about Emme, but there was also a hint of sadness that intrigued me further. “Why do you think Emme means you harm?”
“It’s inevitable—because of what I am.”

What was he besides completely contemptible?

“It’s in her blood and I believe it’s in her destiny to wreak havoc, especially against someone who can challenge her in talent like you can.”

I dropped my hands to my sides, still clasping the enveloping. “Whoa. Like me? You don’t know me. You don’t know anything about me. How could you? I’ve been gone for the last year.”

A chortle caught in his throat. “What’s a year when you come from a bloodline with hundreds of years of history? A history that’s written down and available to certain people with the right—pedigree.”

Confused, I creased my brow as I continued to stare at his silhouette. “Have you been cyber-stalking me on Ancestry.com or something?”

“Hardly.” There was disdain in his voice as if he considered cyber-stalking to be worse than leaving a girl to die.

“Look, whatever you think you know about my family, I’m not like them. I’m not talented, and I don’t want to challenge Emme. I just want to live a normal life. Normal.” My voice escalated. “Do you hear me all the way up there?”

He huffed. “Normal? You don’t get to pretend to be normal when you’re not. It doesn’t work like that. Not in Annapolis. Someone always knows. Someone always unravels your secrets.”

I thought of the Witch’s Grave. I pictured the women’s slender figures dangling from sturdy, gnarled branches. Their tragic endings proved what I already knew. Magic only brought suffering and death. “You make it sound like I don’t have a choice. I’m telling you I do, and I won’t be a part of this.” I stomped my foot hard on the floor.

He shifted from the shadows into a dim ray of light, seething. “You read the note and you know Emme won’t stop. You need my help.”

I glared, trying desperately to make out the details of his face. “I don’t need anything from you.”

“You don’t have to like it, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are a part of this. You know you are or you wouldn’t have come here. However, if that’s how you feel then you should leave.” The cold in his voice crystallized.

My pulse escalated. “Yup. That’s how I feel. And I’m only leaving because that’s what I want to do, not because you suggested it. Bye.” I marched to the door and wrapped my hand around the knob. I yanked it open. From the moment I’d first laid eyes on him, he’d been nothing but trouble. Horrible, awful trouble. However, as much as I hated to think it, he knew about me and the other witches in town. He was full of answers—answers I needed. I shut the door and turned back around. “How do you know all this about Emme and me?”

AMAZON BUY LINK


Leigh Goff loves writing young adult fiction with elements of magic and romance because it's also what she liked to read. Born and raised on the East Coast, she now lives in Maryland where she enjoys the area's great history and culture.

Leigh is a graduate of the University of Maryland, University College and a member of the Maryland Writers' Association and Romance Writers of America. She is also an approved artist with the Maryland State Arts Council. Her debut novel, Disenchanted, was inspired by the Wethersfield witches of Connecticut and was released by Mirror World Publishing. Leigh is currently working on her next novel, The Witch's Ring which is set in Annapolis.

Learn more about Leigh Goff on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

FRESH FROM THE RIVER

As a woman of a certain age I’ve finally come to enjoy fish. This was no easy transition, believe me. We’re talking years of cringing or clamping my nose. The years passed and now I find it a wonderful challenge to create easy recipes for the various types. I hope you enjoy this menu.

Pan-Fried Catfish
Snazzy Sliced Tomatoes
Remoulade Sauce
French Fries
Dry White Wine or Cold Beer


Pan-Fried Catfish
⅓ cup all-purpose flour, might need a little more
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp. water
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
¼ cup cornmeal
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
⅛ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. dried sage
½ tsp. dried thyme
4 catfish fillets, cut into serving pieces
2 tbsp. lard, solid shortening, or vegetable oil
1 tbsp. butter

Combine flour and pepper in a zip-top plastic bag or paper bag. Mix well water and eggs in a shallow dish large enough to hold a fillet. Blend breadcrumbs, cornmeal, and remaining dry ingredients in a different shallow dish.

Place one fish in the bag and shake gently to coat. Remove and dip it in egg mixture. Dredge in breadcrumbs mixture. Lay on a plate. Do the same with the other pieces. Do not stack or overlap the fish. Set in the refrigerator for 20 – 30 minutes. This dries the breading a little and helps it adhere better while frying.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil and butter to pan. Swirl pan to melt butter. Be careful not to burn it. Add fillets to pan. Cook 5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Remoulade Sauce
⅓ cup green onion, sliced
¼ cup celery, chopped fine
1large glove garlic, chopped fine
1 ½ tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. capers, drained, chopped
½ tbsp. horseradish
1 ½ tbsp. whole grain mustard
½ tbsp prepared mustard
1 tbsp. ketchup
½ tbsp. Worchester sauce
1 tsp. Frank’s hot sauce or ¼ tsp. Tabasco sauce
½ tbsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. paprika
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup mayonnaise

Place all ingredients except mayonnaise in a food processor. Process until semi-smooth. Scrape down the sides. Continue to process until smooth, about 30 seconds to 45 seconds in all.

Add mayonnaise. Blend well.

Pour sauce into a serving dish, cover, and refrigerate until dinner.

Snazzy Sliced Tomatoes
2 Romaine lettuce leaves per person
1 tomato per two people
Red wine vinegar
Olive oil
Garlic powder not garlic salt
Chives, fresh snipped fine or dried
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Prepare this dish at least an hour before serving.

Place lettuce on each salad plate. Slice tomatoes ½” thick and arrange atop lettuce.

Drizzle vinegar over the tomatoes, then lightly lace with olive oil. Dust with garlic. Add pepper. Sprinkle plenty of chives across the top.

Set on the counter away from sun or heat to flavor through.

French Fries
I’m a fan of Ore-Ida brand fries. Not only are they easy, they taste great!

May you enjoy all the days of your life around a well laden table!

Sloane Taylor
Twitter
Amazon Author Page

Monday, September 11, 2017

It’s Finally Here! A Groom for Mama has Released!

Hi! It’s Catherine Castle here, and I’m excited this week because my sweet romantic comedy, with a touch of drama, has been released! Our book babies never get old, do they?

Sloane gave her readers a peek at the cover and the blurb in August, and now I’m going to give you an excerpt and bit of background on this story.

The book originally started as a radio play that my husband and I wrote for a contest. The play was filled with lots of fast, quick dialogue, and humorous date situations. The judges thought it was funny, and the play made the finals, but didn’t win. So we put it aside as an exercise in playwriting. We were doing a bit of that at the time because we were involved in a drama group at our church.

Well, fast forward a few years—quite a few in fact, because I was busy co-authoring with my hubby. I was looking for something to work on after I finished my multi-award-winning inspirational romantic suspense book, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing. The inspirational romantic suspense had finaled in several contests: ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2014 EPIC finalist, and the Carolyn Reader awards, and then it won the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award and the 2014 RONE Award. A number of readers who reviewed The Nun and the Narc thought there was a lot of comic relief humor in the book, so I’d thought I’d try my hand at a romantic comedy. Remembering our radio play, I asked my husband if he’d mind if I used the basic premise for a new book. He graciously agreed, and A Groom for Mama was born.

In A Groom for Mama readers will find a feisty mother who is determined to marry her daughter off before she dies, and, much to the pair’s chagrin, Mama’s even picked the groom. Here’s a peek at some of the fun.

One date for every medical test—that’s the deal. Allison, however, gets more than she bargains for. She gets a Groom for Mama.

Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.

EXCERPT
With a sweep of his hand, Jack spread the photos out on the table in front of Allison and Beverly. “Here’s a few I just grabbed from the database. Any of them interesting?” He studied Allison’s reaction. She didn’t bat an eyelash as she scanned the men’s pictures. Then, without warning, she scooped them up and shoved them at him.

“I told Mama I wasn’t going to do this. It’s a stupid idea.”

“I’ll admit it’s not the ‘some enchanted evening, see a stranger across the room’ romantic way to find a husband, but it’s not totally unacceptable. Several of the couples my company has brought together have married.”

“And lived happily ever after?” she retorted.

“It’s a new company, Allison. I don’t have the stats yet.” He pushed the photos across the table. “Just take a peek. What harm can it do?”

Beverly grabbed the photo of a particularly handsome man. “How about this one? His coloring complements yours. You’d have beautiful children.”

Mama!” Allison snatched the photo away. “We’re not going to discuss my possible, yet unlikely, progeny in front of Jack.”

A flash of Allison kissing this guy flew through his head. He grabbed the photo from her. “He’s not your type anyway.”

“And just how do you know?” she asked.

“I dated you, remember? You ditched me for some suave, corporate hotshot. At least it’s what you said.”
“Allison!” Beverly exclaimed. “You never told me that.”

Allison shot him a fierce scowl. “I’m not comfortable discussing my love life with you, Mama. Besides, what’s done and over with should be buried . . . in the past.” She picked up another photo. “What about him? Or him and him?” She pointed to two nerdy-looking fellows. “They seem corporate.”

Mama leaned over and checked out the pictures Allison had indicated. “Too ugly,” she said. “He’s got to be handsome. Like Jack. I want to know my grandbabies will be as beautiful as you two.”

He grinned. “Thanks for the compliment, but I know I’m not your daughter’s type.” He laid a sheet of paper on the counter. “Fill this out. Then I can get a better idea of what you want in a husband.”

“I don’t want—”

“I know,” he interjected. “But, for your mom’s sake, just pretend you do.”

Amazon Buy Link

Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. A former freelance writer, she has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit (under her real name) in the Christian and secular market. Now she writes sweet and inspirational romance. Her debut inspirational romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, published in 2013 from Soul Mate Publishing, has garnered multiple contests finals and wins, including:
2014 Beverly Hills Book Award Winner for Inspirational Romance
2014 RONE WINNER for Inspirational romance
2014 EPIC finalist for Action/adventure romance
2014 Carolyn Readers Choice Award finalist

Learn more about Catherine Castle on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out Catherine’s Amazon author page and her Goodreads page. You can also find Catherine on Stitches Thru Time and the SMP authors blog site.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

FRESH FROM THE OVEN

from Chris Pavesic

This is one of my family favorites for breakfast. Served with fresh fruit, it can even be considered a somewhat healthy weekend breakfast treat.

COFFEECAKE
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar, packed
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ cup butter or margarine
1 cup milk
1 egg

TOPPING
⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp. butter or margarine, softened
¼ tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. All-purpose flour
¼ cup walnuts, chopped fine*
Extra butter/margarine and flour to coat the pan
Powdered sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter a 10-inch Bundt pan and then lightly coat it with flour.

Add flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon into a large bowl and stir well to blend.

Mix or whisk butter/margarine, milk, and egg into the flour mixture until it forms a batter.

Pour in the batter into the prepared pan.

In a small bowl combine the sugar, walnuts, butter/margarine, and cinnamon. Mix until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly on top of the batter.

Bake 35 - 65 minutes until a sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.

Serve warm.

Makes 9-12 servings.

*If you use a food processor to chop the nuts, process them until they are a coarse powder but do not let them form a paste.


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.