Monday, May 21, 2018

Go Deep, Young Writer, Go Deep

Improving Depth of Character in Your Writing
by C.D. Hersh

Photo from Microsoft Clip Art
Did you know that every year the month of April is celebrated as National Card and Letter Writing Month? We discovered this month, which is decreed official by USPS, while writing, Blood Brothers, the second book in our Turning Stone Chronicles. Over the years, historians have gleaned a lot of information from diaries and letters – things that might have been lost forever, except for the letters written by those who have gone before us. Since the art of letter writing is disappearing, thanks to text and emails, we decided we’d revive it by penning a letter from one of our book characters and see what interesting history turned up. We were amazed at some of the backstory tidbits our character revealed to us. We thought this made an interesting writing exercise, so we decided to share our character’s letter.

This letter is written by the antagonist in the second Turning Stone Chronicles book Blood Brothers.

My dearest Lila,

It seems like years since our last night together. My quest to become the “Promised One” has taken on a life of its own. I’ve been thinking a lot about the discussion the night of our engagement, and your request to put our rings aside and live normal lives. I wish now I had listened to you and done that. We would probably still be together.

I guess I was afraid of such a major change in my life at that point. Things were starting to come together with my quest, and I knew I would soon be apprenticed to the most important shifter in our community. There had been nothing in my life before you except my training to become “The Promised One” and, as much as I wanted you, I was not sure I could give that up for you. All my life my parents pushed me. Being the Turning Stone’s Promised One was my destiny. I was, they told me, the fulfillment of the prophesy. The one that would unite the warring shape shifters and rule the world.

My parents ensured I had the finest teachers, in magic matters and in things of the world. I was taught how to use everything to my advantage. What I couldn’t do on my own, Dad paid for, including donating heavily to Harvard on my behalf. I guess it worked for both of us since I got my degree, even though I might not have deserved it, and Dad got his name on a Harvard building. Money and power buy lots of things. But they aren’t very good at replacing you.

Remember that shifting thing we did when we were making love? I found out it means we are soul mates and only happens when making love and thinking about each other. Had I been aware of that then I would not have accused you of trying to steal my powers, and I would never have acted on that belief. I am truly sorry for what I did to you. I hope someday you can forgive me…that is if I can ever forgive myself. I love you, Lila, and I will never love anyone else the same way.

You are always in my thoughts.

Love, Roc


We discovered upon writing this letter that our villain wasn’t as smart as his brother, something we hadn’t considered before. Dad buying Roc’s degree with a building at Harvard was nowhere in this character’s back story. It’s a small thing, but when he and his brother are pitted against each other, every bit of smart counts. When this tidbit of information came out, Donald did some research on philanthropists who donated to Harvard, and Roc’s family suddenly became a lot richer than we ever imagined. His father’s character filled out, and even though he plays a background part in the story, we can see the monied attitude of Dad and how it will rub off on Roc, thereby deepening Roc’s character more than we anticipated. Roc, who thinks he deserves to be “The Promised One” will discover that money can’t buy everything, and it can’t buy the most important thing in life … true love.

Have you ever done this exercise with your characters? If so, what new thing did you discover?

Here’s a little more about Blood Brothers.

When Delaney Ramsey is enlisted to help train two of the most powerful shape shifters the Turning Stone Society has seen in thousands of years, she suspects one of them is responsible for the disappearance of her daughter. To complicate matters, the man has a secret that could destroy them all. Bound by honor to protect the suspect, Delaney must prove his guilt without losing her life to his terrible powers or revealing to the police captain she’s falling for that she’s a shape shifter with more than one agenda.

The minute Captain Williams lays eyes on Delaney Ramsey, he knows she’s trouble. Uncooperative, secretive, and sexy, he can’t get her out of his mind. When he discovers she has a personal agenda for sifting through all the criminal records in his precinct, and secretly investigating his best detective, he can’t let her out of his sight. He must find out what she’s looking for before she does something illegal. If she steps over the line, he’s not certain he can look the other way for the sake of love.

BUY LINKS
Blood Brothers Book 2 eBook - paperback

C.D. Hersh–Two hearts creating everlasting love stories.

Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

The books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon. They also have a short Christmas story, Kissing Santa, in a Christmas anthology titled Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection, with seven other authors. Also a standalone novella, Can’t Stop The Music, in a collection with thirteen other authors. 

They look forward to many years of co-authoring and book sales, and a lifetime of happily-ever-after endings on the page and in real life.

Learn more about C.D. Hersh on their website and their Amazon Author Page.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Score BIG with this Chocolate Treat

from Sharon Ledwith

If you love Skor® bars, then this is one of those must-make treats to cook for all the holidays and special events. The buttery toffee, rich chocolate, and crunchy nuts create a party-in-your-mouth experience, and will make you beg for a second (or third) piece. Perfect for family gatherings or holiday parties, you’ll score BIG with these treats nestled on your table, or wrapped as gifts.

Sharon's Score Big Bars
Photo by Elseneju Pixabay.com
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
¼ cup water
½ cup semisweet chocolate
½ cup chopped pecans
Candy thermometer

In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, and water. Set candy thermometer in place. Cook and stir over medium heat until the thermometer reaches 300° F (150° C).

Pour onto ungreased baking tray. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and spread with a knife when melted.
After one minute, pour chopped pecans over mixture. Let stand until set, about 1 hour.

Break into 2 inch pieces. Store in airtight container.

Add this tasty treat to gift baskets or wrap in see-through bags and place on dinner plates to be the hostess with the mostess.

Every cook should test their finished product before serving. Select a piece of candy, or two, then relax in your favorite chair and crack open the first book in my teen psychic mystery series, Lost and Found. You may just find yourself wanting to visit 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 Kindle - Amazon Paperback - Barnes & Noble - Mirror World Publishing ebook - Mirror 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.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


Welcome to the virtual book tour for Jojo Debrazza's new children's book, Dog Eared!

Follow the tour to read reviews, excerpts, and book spotlights:



Publication Date: April 10, 2018
ASIN: B07C47Z4V4
Length: 140 pages
Genres: Children's Fiction



About Dog Eared:

Dogs can’t read. Right?

When Sophie’s grandfather moves in to a retirement home, Sophie is delighted to take over responsibility for his super obedient dog, Lector. Her grandfather also gives her two journals for Lector and tells her how important they are. But listening isn’t one of Sophie’s strong points.

Sophie’s dream-come-true turns into a nightmare when the usually well behaved Lector turns super-bad overnight. After midnight on his first night with Sophie, Lector gets himself into all kinds of trouble and leads Sophie into a run-in with the local bully. Dogs in the town have been going missing too. Could there be a dog snatcher on the loose?

Sophie desperately needs Lector to return to his former obedient self, especially when her dad and step-mum-to-be announce, to Sophie’s horror, that they are having a baby.  Lector’s future with the family is in danger. If Sophie can’t retrain Lector before Sophie’s new half sibling is born, he’ll have to be rehomed.

Can Sophie discover the magical secret to training Lector, and keep him away from the dog snatcher, before it’s too late?

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT:

Grandpops winced as he eased himself down onto a padded chair. He rubbed his left knee which was badly bruised from his latest fall. “Who’s a menace to society?”

“Naz, the kid from the kebab shop is,” said Sophie.

She told Grandpops what had happened in the park while she made them both a cup of tea.

When Sophie had finished the story Grandpops said, “Naz is a bully but he probably has his own problems. Be careful how you treat him.”

“How I treat him?” Sophie threw her hands in the air. “He’s horrible. He would have stolen my money if I’d had any. And Lector was only barking to protect me.”

“I know,” said Grandpops. “But don’t forget, your father works for his father. Mr Best happens to be a very nice man. He gave your dad that job. And your dad needs to keep it.” Grandpops put down his tea. “Could I have a couple of sugars in this please?”

Sophie laughed. “It’s already got four in it!”

“Oh well, you better round it up to half a dozen then.” Grandpops pushed his mug towards her. “I’m making the most of decent cups of tea before I go into prison.”

Sophie laughed again. “You’re not going to prison. You’re going to the retirement home.”
“Same difference,” said Grandpops.

Sophie knew he was just kidding. Some of Grandpops’ friends were already at the Amity Gardens Retirement Home, including Mavis Honeyton who Grandpops talked about whenever he got the chance. Sophie even suspected he might be looking forward to moving in, so he could be around Mavis every day.

“Prison food has got to be better than the muck I’ve been given here. Your dad’s cooking has really gone downhill,” said Grandpops.

“Really?” said Sophie. Her dad was a great cook. He was a trained chef and had worked at a well-respected pub restaurant until the pub had closed a few months ago. She plonked two more sugar cubes in his tea and eyed a dirty bowl in the sink. The remains in the bowl were mainly pink and gloopy with patches of red and yellow. She brought the bowl up to her nose and sniffed. “Urgh!” Sophie screwed up her face as she swilled the bowl under the tap. “What is that?” she said, watching the gunk struggle to get through the plug hole.

Grandpops ignored her question. “Have you done your homework?”

Sophie rolled her eyes. “It’s the summer holidays.” She opened the fridge and found an empty carton of custard and a half-full tin of plum tomatoes. “You didn’t eat these did you Grandpops?”
He squinted at the packaging. “Tomatoes and custard? That’s disgusting.”

So was the stuff I just swilled down the sink, thought Sophie. She pulled a cling film wrapped sandwich from the fridge. “You were supposed to eat this. It’s still here.”

“What? Well, it wasn’t there earlier. Leave it on the side please, I’ll have it tonight.” said Grandpops.

Sophie knew it had been in the fridge all along. It was filled with leftover chicken from yesterday’s Sunday lunch and Sophie had seen her dad take the sandwich with him when he drove Grandpops home.

Grandpops tapped the table. “Now while we’re talking about me going to prison. I have something to tell you. It’s very important. You need to listen very carefully, okay?”

“Yep, I’m listening.” Sophie threw Lector’s koala. “Fetch.”

“It’s all been arranged that I’m going to move in this weekend,” said Grandpops.

“Good boy.” Sophie took the toy from Lector’s mouth and threw it again. “Really, that soon? But what about Lector? Have you found a new home for him already?”

Lector bounded after the koala, picked it up and plonked it in Sophie’s lap.

Grandpops straightened himself in his chair. “I have spoken to your dad and Emma and they have agreed that…”

Sophie stopped mid throw and looked at Grandpops.

Now that he had her full attention, he said, “Lector will come and live with you.”

Meet the Author:

Jojo is a writer from St Neots in Cambridgeshire, England—although she mostly lives in her head, a carefree happy place where everything is bright and fluffy. 

Her debut novella, The Charm, was published in 2014 and the sequel, Mind Games, in 2016.

Jojo likes to take photos of her dog and post them to Instagram and Twitter @jojodebrazza

More Jojo Debrazza stuff can be found on her facebook page, and her blog: https://jojodebrazza.com


Become a tour host for Sapphyria's Book Promotions

Monday, May 14, 2018

Elves - the Good, the Bad, and the Awesome

by Carol Browne

Photo Courtesy of Fun Photos Pixabay
When Elgiva, the protagonist of my fantasy novel The Exile of Elindel, is forced to seek the society of humans in order to survive the winter, she can only do this by adopting a disguise. Although mythology insists that elves are shapeshifters, I have Elgiva borrow magic instead so she can change her appearance. Why would she need to do this? In these modern times, we have friendly elves that help Santa; we have the innocuous Elf on the Shelf; we have glamorous immortal beings like the elves in "Lord of the Rings" that fascinate us with their pointed ears and otherworldly beauty. Why on earth would an elf feel compelled to hide their true nature?

Belief in elves as actual beings is as old as belief in the Norse gods. Indeed Freyr, one of the gods most widely and ardently venerated by the Norse and Germanic peoples, dwelled in Alfheim, the elves’ homeland. Germanic Mythology described three divine races: the Aesir, the Vanir and the Alfar (the elves). The origins of the Vanir and Alfar are cloaked in mystery and the relationship between the gods and the elves was ambiguous enough to permit a number of possible connections between Freyr and the elves.

Photo Courtesy of The Royalmen Pixabay
However, godlike or not, elves were often seen as mischievous and spiteful, if not downright dangerous, liable to lash out with magic if crossed. For example, the word 'stroke' for a sudden paralysing seizure is an abbreviation of 'fairy stroke' or 'elf stroke' and was supposed to come from being elf-shot, a blow which struck down an animal or human victim. Similarly, cramps were often the punishment for annoying the elven folk. The Anglo-Saxons recognized being elf-shot as a valid condition and thought it was caused by unseen elves firing invisible arrows at a person or animal, causing sudden shooting pains in a particular part of the body. And should a person’s hair become matted or knotted, he or she was said to be sporting elf-locks, that some unhelpful elf had tangled up. This was particularly said of the hair of sleeping children. And keep an eye on those children, for elves like to steal them!

Given their capricious and magical nature and supernatural origins, it is no wonder the Anglo-Saxons feared them. So Elgiva could not have strolled into a human settlement with impunity and was compelled to cloak herself in enchantment in order to pass as a human.

Scandinavian folklore boasts an abundance of elves, trolls and other mythological creatures. Most people in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden haven't taken any of them as fact since the 19th century, but it’s a different story in Iceland. Surveys taken there even in the present century revealed that more than half those surveyed believed in elves, while a number of major road construction projects have been halted, thanks to protestors concerned about the deleterious effects it would have on the habitat and culture of the resident elves.

Elves have been part of our folklore for a very long time. How we have interpreted them down the ages has varied tremendously. They originated as demi-gods, became malicious and belligerent, then friendly and industrious, and now they feature heavily in fiction and popular culture. They may be light elves. They may be dark elves. One thing is certain, good or bad, elves are always cool!

How about curling up with my epic fantasy while you contemplate the possibility of elves?

Elgiva, a young elf banished from Elvendom, must seek shelter among the Saxons as her only hope of surviving the coming winter.

Godwin, a Briton enslaved by the Saxons, is a man ignorant of his own inheritance and the secret of power he possesses.

A mysterious enemy, who will stop at nothing to wield absolute power over Elvendom, is about to make his move.

When destiny throws Elgiva and Godwin together, they embark upon the quest for the legendary Lorestone, the only thing that can save Elvendom from the evil that threatens to destroy it.

There is help to be found along the way from a petulant pony and a timid elf boy but, as the strength of their adversary grows, can Elgiva’s friends help her to find the Lorestone before it falls into the wrong hands?

EXCERPT
The night was waning when Elgiva woke, wondering where she was. The dark ceiling of Joskin’s cave hung above her, and everything had a reddish glow, cast by the embers of the fire. She slid from under the fur coverlet, her skin tightening at the loss of its warmth, and searched for her leather sandals.

Something had woken her, something that waited outside the cave. A runnel of dread ran down her spine.

She had an inexplicable sense of impending danger, but it was too insistent to ignore. An unnamed instinct stopped her from alerting her companions. She must face this menace alone.

She left the cave as quietly as she could. Her heart pounded in her throat as she peered between the rowan trees and searched the night. Whatever had awakened her, it beckoned. She held her breath and listened, but her ears detected nothing, save for a silence as dark and empty as an abandoned crypt.

It would soon be daybreak, but the sun had yet to rise, and the dark beyond the cave swarmed with potential horrors. She stepped out from among the rowans, relying on her acute senses to make out her surroundings. An unnatural calm gripped the night and as her sandals whispered against the cold grass, they sounded abnormally loud. She feared they would betray her presence.

After a while, she came to a stop and searched the trees. Thin strands of mist curled along the ground, cold and clammy, like an exhalation of sickness.

She hugged her shoulders, knotted her fingers in the cascade of her hair, and shivered in her ragged robe. All around her, the silence seemed to be drawing into focus.

“Who is it?” Her throat was too dry for her purpose. She swallowed and licked her lips. “Who’s there? I know you’re there. I can . . . I can feel you!”

Feel you.

A flash of silver sliced through the dark, and Elgiva gasped in fear. Her arms came up to shield her face as the beam struck a rock several yards ahead. It exploded with a whoosh and sent up thousands of splinters of light, which fell to the ground and sizzled in the mist.

A shape now stood upon the rock, its form concealed in a black, hooded cloak.

Elgiva clutched the amulet to her breast. Her hands were white with terror. “In the name of Faine, who are you? What sort of trick is this?”

A soft, sly voice spoke back to her. “Why should you fear magic?”

“What do you want?” she pleaded, her voice a croak of fear.

“To see for myself.”

“To see what?”

The dark shape sniggered, but made no answer. Instead, it swept its cloak aside, and a cloud of sparks flew out and covered the ground with beads of light.

Elgiva stepped back unsteadily, resolved to flee.

“Stay!” commanded the creature.

It raised a skeletal hand, and the forefinger swung towards Elgiva and pinned her against the darkness, holding her like a rivet of bone. No elf, no wilthkin, ever owned such a hand. Her legs threatened to buckle beneath her. This had to be a nightmare; she was still asleep in the cave. But no, it was all too real.

“Who are you? What do you want?” she cried. “I have . . . I have an amulet!”

The creature laughed derisively. “I am Death, and I have come for you.”

It began to radiate a sickly green light, enveloping itself in a caul of brilliance that pulsated with force. The light grew in size until the trees behind it were bathed in its angry glare. It reached for Elgiva, like a foul stench creeping along a breeze, and she was helpless. The creature’s power throbbed in the darkness.

Within the taut coils of her fear, her instincts screamed at her to run, but her limbs had turned to stone.

Siriol, Siriol, help me . . . help . . .

With a shriek of glee, the creature increased the throb of its power. Elgiva’s mind was suddenly invaded by an inexplicable force. She became divorced from herself and watched from a great distance, waiting for the horror to unfold.





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. Her non-fiction book is available at Dilliebooks.

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

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

A Touch of Italy - Easy and Delicious

from Susan Lodge

This recipe makes two generous portions. It’s nice served with a green salad and some crusty bread. A little red wine is a bonus.

Easy Tomato & Bacon Pasta Bake
Photo by Serge Bertasius Photography
4 rashers (slices) thick bacon, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
300gm (10oz) dried pasta shapes. Penne works well.
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
400gm (14oz) tin of plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
125 ml (4oz) red wine
Small bunch of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
110 gm (4oz) Parmesan cheese, grated, or mozzarella, sliced

Preheat oven to 180C or 350°F.

Fry bacon in a little oil and put aside.

Cook the pasta in boiling water for the prescribed time on the packet.

In a large pan gently fry the onion and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes until soft and transparent.

Add tomatoes, wine, cooked bacon pieces, and most of the chopped basil (retaining a little for garnish). Season well with salt and pepper.

Simmer gently for five to ten minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Combined the drained pasta and tomato mixture and turn in to an ovenproof dish.

Sprinkle with cheese and scatter the remaining basil on the top. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

Pour yourself a glass of wine, relax, and enjoy a peek at my latest Historical Romance while dinner is baking.

Esmie Elstone is thrown into panic when she hears of Captain Rockford's return. But she is determined that the days of him interfering with her life are over. Destroying her chances of a happy future on his last visit, had resulted in her being foisted on her Aunt for a third pointless season in London.

To alleviate the boredom of society life, Esmie helps run a discreet betting enterprise under the guise of a sewing club. But there are some things you just shouldn't wager on, and Esmie's integrity is soon put to a dangerous test.

Richard Rockford had known Esmie almost all her life. As neighbours, Admiral Elstone had depended on Richard to keep an eye on his daughter when he was away at sea. The responsibility he had always taken on willingly. But her cruel and thoughtless actions, from the day he had left four years ago, had shaken him. Now he was back and wanting answers.

But when Esmie tumbles into a treacherous conspiracy, can he really turn his back on her?



Susan Lodge’s first publishing success was a story purchased by a major UK magazine followed by a drawer full of rejections. Finally a breakthrough gave her the confidence to seek and secure a publisher for her historical romance novels Only a Hero Will Do and Rebellious Cargo.

After working in several cities including London and Bristol, she and her husband moved down to the Hampshire coast to raise their family.

Learn more about Susan and her books on her website and blog. Stay connected on  Facebook, Twitter and her Amazon Author Page.



Monday, May 07, 2018

TWO for ONE

by Emma Lane

The Digital Artist Pixabay.com
I confess I am a Gemini. That means I do not apologize for having two personalities, two serious interests and two distinct pen names. As Emma Lane (Historicals) or Janis Lane (Cozy Mysteries) I spin tales at my computer happily imagining characters and plots. I enjoy the interaction of readers and writers on-line forming firm friendships that endure. It’s a perfect way to spend short winter days and early evenings.

Ah! But in the mellow bath of the Spring sun, I emerge much like a daffodil and bloom with my favorite plants and gardens. March finds me in the greenhouses coaxing tiny plants to their full potential while the maple trees give up their sap for delicate syrup. May finds me happily breathing the fragrance of perky pansies.

June, ah, June. Who doesn’t love June with a surfeit of bouquets for the picking? July is for the necessary communication with the weeds, August is Sunflowers and September is a rainbow of mums. Late into Fall, we glory in the astounding blaze of fire from the trees. Never is the color blue so well represented as by the intensity of a cloudless Fall sky.

Winter approaches, plots have now inched forward; an interesting character speaks from the corners of my mind (that muse again!). A new story is born to share with readers.

I love to chat books, reading, or characters with my friends and colleagues both on line and off. Alternately I am eager and available for discussions regarding plants and gardening in all its forms. Is it Emma already enmeshed into 1800th century storytelling, or has Janis toddled off with Detective Fowler to solve a crime in peaceful Hubbard, NY?

Here's a teaser from one of my Regency books.

What happens when a strong heroine meets an arrogant, but handsome hero? Sparks fly. It's a Regency Romance Romp!

Miss Amabel Hawkins acknowledges her unusual upbringing, but she thinks James Langley, the Duke of Westerton, might be a tad unbalanced when he protests her efforts to right his badly managed properties. The duke, who has been away on the king's business, demonstrates no respect for the beautiful but managing Miss Hawkins. Amabel has taken refuge at Westerton, fleeing from a forced marriage to a man who claims to be her relative in order to gain control of her young brother's estate.

The Duke arrives home to find his estate under the firm control of a beautiful but managing female. His suspicions are fueled by his recent task of spy-hunting and he wonders if Amabel Hawkins is just who she seems. While a dastardly spy lurks, a wicked man poses as her cousin threatening to take over the guardianship of her young brother. Amabel might be falling in love, but she knows for certain the duke would never approve of a meddlesome woman, and she decides to flee his estate. Will the duke finally realize the true value of the woman he loves or will his prejudice ruin his chances forever?
Amazon Buy Link

And a little from my cozy mystery.



Detective Kevin Fowler is baffled by the wall of silence that greets him from the relatives of two septuagenarians whose bodies are discovered in a country cemetery called Blake Hill. Even more upsetting is the unusual rash of vandalism reported nightly by the citizens in his peaceful community. Have the teenagers declared an uprising? Night patrols reveal a totally unexpected and shocking situation. When a poignant secret is revealed, Beverly Hampton weeps over the sadness of a long ago tragedy, but soon wedding bells are heard for the home town princess and the popular detective. At the local diner the alluring fragrance of fresh-baked, cinnamon sticky buns continues to reign over the peaceful citizens of Hubbard, New York.




Emma Lane enjoys leaving her garden for a few hours to dip into the romance genre Regency era of history. Join her for a glimpse of a half selkie fairy as she teases a powerful duke and fights the curse of a lowly, evil warlock. Other Regency romances are available on Amazon and Wild Rose Press. As Janis Lane she writes a series of Cozy Mysteries for Soul Mate Publishing.

Look for information about writing and plants on her 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.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

DINNER IS NOW SERVED

A quick and tasty meal served over rice is perfect for those super busy days when you don’t want to spend a lot of time at the stove. Be sure to cook the rice first and keep warm in a 210° F oven while you make the chicken.

CHICKEN STIR-FRY
¼ cup olive oil
⅓cup honey
⅓cup soy sauce
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 gloves garlic, chopped fine
2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut in large chunks
1 medium onion, quartered
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped

Combine all ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl. Marinate for 4 to 8 hours in the refrigerator.

Remove from the fridge one hour before cooking to bring mixture to room temperature.

Drain chicken and vegetables in a colander. Do no reserve the marinade.

Heat a large frying pan on medium-high. It’s ready to use when a sprinkle of water dances across the surface.

Add the chicken and vegetables to the pan. Sauté for 10 to 13 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.

This dish can also be prepared as SHISH KABOBS on the grill.

Follow the recipe up to the cooking steps.

Soak the skewers in a dish of water for at least 30 minutes before threading the raw ingredients. This stops the skewer from catching on fire.

Preheat your gas grill on medium-high.

Thread the meat and vegetables onto wooden skewers chicken, onion, pepper. Repeat until all your ingredients are used. This recipe will make at least 6 skewers.

Grill 12 – 15 minutes. Be sure to turn often so they don’t burn.

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

Sloane