Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A Welcome Break with Coffee Cake

from Sharon Ledwith

Face it, we all need breaks! A needed holiday a couple of times a year. A long weekend to unwind. A day off to recharge. Even when we’re working, we need to take at least fifteen minutes away from our jobs after we’ve been working non-stop for two or three hours. Hey, we’re not robots, and if our jobs require us to sit, stand, or walk around for any length of time, our bodies will eventually tire, and we lose our focus. And that could cause plenty of headaches for business owners, retail stores, and manufacturers.

Even when I’m writing a book, I make sure I include plenty of sequels between scenes. It’s kind of like a coffee break (or tea if you’re so inclined) for your reader. Scenes include plenty of activity and emotion, at times keeping readers on the edge of their seats. Sequels are devised to break the tension where there’s less activity, letting the readers’ emotions rest. I use this technique in both my young adult book series, The Last Timekeepers and Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls. This way, there’s a balance between the calm and chaos in every tale I write, and doesn’t leave my reader feeling exhausted at the end of the book.

Ready for a break? How about a slice of homemade coffee cake? It’s a twist on what you would think of as seasonal baking, and trust me, this cake is great for your anticipated time out, whether you’re at work or at home working on your next novel or artistic endeavor. With a prep time of 15 minutes and a total time of 1 hour, 25 minutes, this cake serves about 24 of your closest colleagues.

Gingerbread Coffee Cake
3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3 tbsp. (45 mL) cocoa powder, sifted
1 tbsp. (15 mL) ground ginger
2 tsp. (10 mL) ground cinnamon
2 tsp. (10 mL) baking powder
1 tsp. (5 mL) baking soda
½ tsp. (2 mL) each salt and ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. (1 mL) ground cloves
⅔ cup (150 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups (375 mL) sugar
3 eggs
½ cup (125 mL) molasses
1 tsp. (5 mL) vanilla extract
2 cups (500 mL) sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 °F (180°C).

Grease 9 or 10 inch (23 or 25 cm) Bundt pan. Dust with flour.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, with an electric mixer on medium speed. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in molasses and vanilla.

Set mixer on low speed. Alternately beat in flour mixture and sour cream, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of sour cream and scraping down side of bowl as necessary.

Scrape batter into prepared pan, smoothing top.

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center of cake, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Let cool completely in pan on wire rack. Invert onto serving plate. Prepare sauce to drizzle over cake.

Coffee Caramel Sauce
1½ cups (375 mL) firmly packed brown sugar
¼ cup (60 mL) brewed coffee (brew stronger than package directions)
¼ cup (60 mL) 35% whipping cream, at room temperature
2 tbsp. (30 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ tsp. (1 mL) salt

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine sugar and coffee. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until sugar is fully dissolved and mixture is foamy, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in cream, butter and salt. Drizzle over gingerbread cake. Slice and serve.

So, now that you’ve baked to your heart’s content, it’s time for your break! Leave those dirty dishes in the sink, pour yourself a cup of your favorite hot beverage, and go curl up on the couch with one of my books. May I suggest a visit to Fairy Falls? Just remember to pack lightly.

The only witness left to testify against an unsolved crime in Fairy Falls isn’t a person…

City born and bred, Hart Stewart possesses the gift of psychometry—the psychic ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. Since his mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Hart has endured homelessness, and has learned ways to keep his illiteracy under wraps. He eventually learns of a great-aunt living in Fairy Falls, and decides to leave the only life he’s ever known for an uncertain future.

Diana MacGregor lives in Fairy Falls. Her mother was a victim of a senseless murder. Only Diana’s unanswered questions and her grief keeps her going, until Hart finds her mother’s lost ring and becomes a witness to her murder.

Through Hart’s psychic power, Diana gains hope for justice. Their investigation leads them into the corrupt world threatening Fairy Falls. To secure the town’s future, Hart and Diana must join forces to uncover the shocking truth, or they risk losing the true essence of Fairy Falls forever.



Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Smashwords. Look up her Amazon Author page for a list of current books. Be sure to check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.

Monday, June 24, 2019

DISTURBED in a Positive Way

by Alicia Joseph

Not long ago I saw the band Disturbed play at a venue near me, and I won't soon forget the experience. The concert was powerful, and it was emotional. I've never been to a rock concert where so many people cried, or were trying not to cry.


Disturbed is a heavy metal/nu metal band, and they've written songs centered around suicide. One of the videos to these songs depicts a woman who hangs herself. The video is graphic and it comes with a PSA from the lead singer, David Draiman, pleading with people who are thinking about taking their own lives to seek help and to know there is another way. The National Suicide Helpline is displayed in the video, just as it was displayed on the big screen during the concert.

Draiman spoke eloquently and deeply to the audience. This is a man, and band, who create a deep connection with their fans. They refer to the crowd as their family, their blood.

In the middle of the set, the band moved from the main stage to a smaller stage in the center of the floor to be more intimate with the crowd. Draiman called for the house lights to come up and he asked for anyone who has dealt with substance addiction or depression, or knows someone who has, to raise their hands. With the lights on, I could see clearly throughout the venue, and more people than not had their hands raised. Draiman then asked for everyone to look around and see that they aren't alone.

Powerful moment right there.

This is when the band sang their inspiring songs about defeating one's thoughts of suicide. The house lights stayed on, making the moment all the more sober. A mother and son sitting beside me embraced while they cried. Tears gushed from the woman's eyes and down her face. Through cries they battled through the songs. A man beside the woman caressed her shoulders.

A few minutes later, she passed by me. I was sure the moment was too much for her. She needed a break. When she came back, I thought of giving her a quick hug, but I didn't know her and she didn't know me, and maybe that would have been unwanted by her.

While the songs played, I looked around. The woman and son weren't the only ones crying. There were many tearful eyes about me. So many strong-looking men stood with their arms crossed over their chest and stoic expressions on their faces and tears in their eyes. It was all so much I almost cried myself but held it back. The pain being suffered around me was palpable.

Before the show, at the meet and greet, a fan had given the band a letter. The lead singer called this fan to the stage and asked for his permission to read the letter aloud. The shocked young man stepped onto the stage and nodded Draiman his consent. The letter explain that this man had attempted four times to take his own life and was going to do it again until he heard the song "The Light" by Disturbed. The man stayed on stage as the band played the song marking one of the most powerful and emotional moments I've ever witnessed at a concert.

Disturbed, like other rock bands I've recently seen play, were very inclusive in their message. Draiman preached tolerance of all people, of all races and religions, and he even included gays and transsexuals, which I appreciated very much. Everyone around me cheered this message. I didn't hear any jeers or sneers.

The band ended the show with the lead singer telling everyone to take care of themselves and to take care of each other.

I went to bed that night feeling so empowered and appreciating my life. If you ever get the chance to see this band play live, please do. It's an experience like no other.

This post is to let people who need help it's there for you, not promote my books. But if you are interested please read on.

“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.

AMAZON BUY LINKS



Alicia Joseph grew up in Westchester, Illinois. She has many works-in-progress that she hopes to finish soon. Life permitting.

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.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Summertime and the Baking is Easy

from Chris Pavesic

Fresh peaches are always delicious. Bake them in a pie or bread and your home is filled with a beautiful aroma. Try my easy Peach Bread recipe for an anytime treat that goes great with coffee and tea, hot or iced.

Peach Bread
Photo courtesy of Anna Armburst Pixabay
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
6 oz. blueberry (peach) yogurt
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
1 cup peaches, chopped
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
¼ cup raw sugar

Preheat oven to 350ᵒ F.

In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, milk, oil, yogurt, egg, and extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour with baking powder and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.

In a small bowl, toss peaches with 1 tbsp. flour.

Fold floured fruit gently into batter.

Pour batter into a greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow bread to cool for 10 minutes before turning onto a rack to cool completely.

Slice off a piece of warm Peach Bread, pour your favorite beverage, and indulge yourself with a good book. May I suggest one of the books from my LitRPG series The Revelation Chronicles? ?

In Starter Zone Cami kept herself and her younger sister Alby alive in a post-apocalyptic world, facing starvation, violence, and death on a daily basis. Caught by the military and forcefully inscribed, Cami manages to scam the system and they enter the Realms, a Virtual Reality world, as privileged Players rather than slaves. They experience a world of safety, plenty, and magical adventure.

In the Traveler's Zone magic, combat, gear scores, quests, and dungeons are all puzzles to be solved as Cami continues her epic quest to navigate the Realms and build a better life for her family. But an intrusion from her old life threatens everything she has gained and imperils the entire virtual world.

Time to play the game.

Above the tree line floats an airship close to three hundred feet long with a slightly rounded wooden hull. Ropes attach the lower portion of the ship to an inflated balloon-like aspect, bright white in color with an identification symbol, a red bird with white-tipped feathers extended in flight, inside a round yellow circle in the center of the canvas. The deck is manned with archers and swordsmen. There are two sets of fore and aft catapults.

What I don’t see are cannons or any other type of a gun large enough to account for the sound of the explosion.

The ship pivots in the air, coming around to point directly at what looks like an oncoming flock of five large birds. Or creatures. They are too big and too strange looking to be birds. They drift closer, flapping their wings.

A moment passes before I realize that they are not creatures either. They are some sort of gliders. A person hangs below each set of the feathered wings, which flap and move with mechanical precision in a sky washed out by the morning sun.

The archers nock their arrows and aim at the flock.

The gliders draw in their wings and dive toward the deck, covering the distance in a few heartbeats. Most of the arrows fly uselessly past the attack force and fall like black rain from the sky. The archers aimed and released the volley too late.

The forward catapult releases a torrent of small rocks at the lead glider. It is a scatter-shot approach that proves effective. There are so many missiles that it is impossible to dodge them all.

But at the moment the stones strike, the other four let loose with fireballs. Spheres of crackling flame spring from their hands, glowing faintly at first and then with increasing brightness. The balls of fire shoot from their hands like bullets from a gun and fly toward the ship, exploding. Pieces bounce off the hull and fall to the ground, throwing hissing, burning globs of magic-fueled fire in all directions, setting everything they touch aflame.



Want to learn more about The Revelation Chronicles? Click HERE for updates on this and the other series by Chris. Watch the video on YouTube.

4eee6-chris2bpavesic2bauthor2bphotoChris 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.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Peek into the Fantasy World of Gina Briganti

IvyRose
IvyRose: The Evolution

When I started writing The Dreaming in 2009 I had no idea that IvyRose would become a beloved part of the Natural Gifts series. Journey back with me to when Dana was at a signing in New York and Ivy, pregnant with Rose, wore lavender essential oil to calm her nerves as she met one of her personal heroes. Dana felt connected to Ivy from the start and accepted Ivy's phone number when she offered it. Dana and Ivy met later on at Dana's house, which is when Ivy brought Dana her handmade lip gloss and shampoo. Ivy wistfully shared that she would love to market her body care someday. Dana saw a flash out of the corner of her eye and told Ivy that she had a feeling she would.

In Desert Sunrise, Dana and Lucy took a working trip to New York to meet with Ivy and the ever-adorable cherub Rose, to look at office space for the company they would call IvyRose. The friendship these women share, the vision, the hard work, and their drive to make the world a better place moves me so much it leaves me breathless.

When Life Force Holistic Health Center opened during No Yesterdays, it did so with a whole wall of IvyRose products. Top notch, eco-friendly, wonderful, and just plain fun.

You'll see more of IvyRose when you read Deep in the Dreaming. I'd tell you more, but, you know, spoilers.


Deep in the Dreaming Ad 1 (1)
A parallel world. A trapped soul. To save her friends, they'll battle addiction, magic, and eternity…

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

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

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

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

Deep in the Dreaming is the fourth standalone book in the captivating Natural Gifts paranormal romance series. If you like mysterious worlds, conflicted characters, and love that conquers all, then you’ll adore Gina Briganti’s enthralling tale.

Buy Deep in the Dreaming to slip into another world today!

AMAZON BUY LINK


Watch the YouTube video here.


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

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

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

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Spice Up Your Summer

by Emma Lane

This recipe is easily adapted to personal preferences. More beef? More cheese? More onion? More sauce? Dollop of sour cream? Scoop chips? Choose your own alterations.

Makes an easy party set up which allows guests to assemble their own plates. Serve with guacamole dip and more corn ships.

TACO SALAD
½ - l lb. ground beef, preferably chuck for flavor
1 med. onion, diced
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
¼ - ½ head lettuce, chopped to bitesize
1 8-10 oz. can diced tomato
2/3 bag corn chips, slightly crushed
Ortega Taco Sauce to taste (or your favorite brand)

Sauté beef and onion together until done (no pink left). Use fork to break lumps into small pieces. Cover pan and then set aside.

Prepare individual plates covering the bottom with corn chips. Add warm beef mixture.

Quickly scatter cheese to take advantage of the warmth.

Layer with lettuce, and then tomatoes. Drizzle with taco sauce to taste. Sprinkle a bit more cheese for garnish or substitute a piece or two of parsley.

Serves 4

Image by Monfocus from Pixabay
GUACAMOLE DIP
2 ripe avocados, halved with pits removed but saved
1 tbsp. lime juice, lemon works too
¼ cup onion, chopped fine
½ cup tomato, diced
¼ tsp. salt
½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 tbsp. cilantro leaves, chopped fine - optional
1 tbsp. mayo
Corn chips

Chunk avocados into a glass or ceramic bowl. Sprinkle with lime juice.

Gently stir in remaining ingredients except chips. Tuck pit deep into dip. This stops the avocado from turning dark.

Drop spoonfuls onto taco salad or use chips to dip.

Enjoy!

Here's a little more from my cozy mystery. I hope you enjoy it.

When Cheryl realizes her new next-door neighbor is someone she loved as a young girl, she immediately puts the brakes on her emotions. Never again would she allow the gorgeous hunk of a man to break her heart.

Ruggedly handsome Detective David Larkin isn’t used to pretty ladies giving him a firm no. He persists, even as Cheryl fights her own temptations. The two struggle to appreciate each other as adults, even as they admit to deep feelings from their childhood.





Read more of the cozy mysteries by Janis Lane on Amazon

Janis Lane is the pen-name for gifted author Emma Lane who writes cozy mysteries as Janis, Regency as Emma, and spice as Sunny Lane.

She lives in Western New York where winter is snowy, spring arrives with rave reviews, summer days are long and velvet, and fall leaves are riotous in color. At long last she enjoys the perfect bow window for her desk where she is treated to a year-round panoramic view of nature. Her computer opens up a fourth fascinating window to the world. Her patient husband is always available to help with a plot twist and encourage Emma to never quit. Her day job is working with flowers at Herbtique and Plant Nursery, the nursery she and her son own.

Look for information about writing and plants on Emma's new website. Leave a comment or a gardening question and put a smile on Emma's face.

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out the things that make Emma smile on Pinterest.

Monday, June 10, 2019

THANKS, DAD!

by Catherine Castle

Father’s Day is this month. With this holiday comes a rash of blogs about fathers and how they affected their children’s lives. I thought I’d add mine to the mix, but with a writer’s slant.

When I was growing up and working on a school assignment, I often wanted to use a word I didn’t know how to spell. You have to realize that this was way before the advent of computers where misspelled words are often automatically corrected by computer software programs. My available resources were a beat up dictionary and my parents, who didn’t have more than an eighth grade education. I’d usually ask my dad how to spell a word since Mom claimed she never knew. Every time I asked, Dad’s answer was always, “Go look it up in the dictionary.”

“How can I look it up, if I don’t know how to spell it?” I whined.

“Figure it out,” Dad said.

At the time, I thought Dad didn’t know how to spell and he was ashamed to tell me. So, I’d get the dictionary, look up the word using phonetics, and eventually I’d find the correct spelling.

Years later, when my own daughter would ask me how to spell a word, my answer to her was more often than not, “Go look it up.” And it was not because I couldn’t spell.

You see, after years of searching the dictionary for illusive words, somewhere along the way I became a great speller. Thanks to my father.

Today it doesn’t matter whether my father could spell or not. Today I see there was wisdom in my dad’s avoidance of handing me an answer. Instead of relying on someone to give me an answer, Dad taught me to go figure it out on my own. What a great lesson that was for a future writer.

Thanks, Dad.

Where novice Sister Margaret Mary goes, trouble follows. When she barges into a drug deal the local Mexican drug lord captures her. To escape she must depend on undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Jed’s attitude toward her is exasperating, but when she finds herself inexplicably attracted to him, he becomes more dangerous than the men who have captured them by making her doubt her decision to take her final vows. Escape back to the nunnery is imperative, but life at the convent, if she can still take her final vows, will never be the same.

Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor—at least that’s what Jed Bond thinks. She hampers his escape plans with her compulsiveness and compassion, and in the process makes Jed question his own beliefs. After years of walling up his emotions in an attempt to become the best agent possible, Sister Margaret is crumbling Jed’s defenses and opening his heart. To lure her away from the church would be unforgivable—to lose her unbearable.


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, from Soul Mate Publishing, has garnered multiple contests finals and wins.

Catherine loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

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, June 05, 2019

A Dinner Treat Any Time of the Year

Our friend Audrey Vasoli created this easy version of an age-old recipe that eliminates parboiling the peppers. Studs happily gives this dish 2 Thumbs Up. Don’t limit yourself to just green peppers. This recipe works great with every color pepper, including Hungarian peppers, and zucchini! Reduce the baking time by half if you do use zucchini.

A little pepper trivia – 4 bottom bumps are female peppers while 3 bottom bumps are male. So, when you’re shopping for the peppers, look for the ones with 4 bumps on the bottom. They are sweeter.

Image by Slymart35 from Pixabay
AUDREY’S STUFFED PEPPERS
6 lg. green peppers
2 lbs. ground beef
1 small onion, minced
Pepper to taste
6 cans condensed tomato soup
½ lb. American cheese, cubed
1 cup instant rice
4 soup cans of water

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cut tops off peppers and clean out seeds and ribs. Set aside.

Brown beef and onion in a medium-sized skillet. Drain off grease. Stir in pepper, 1½ cans soup (do not add water), cheese and rice. Set aside.

Combine remaining soup and water in a large bowl. Pour half this mixture into a 13 x 9-inch pan. Stuff the peppers, mounding the meat a bit. Fill the peppers, but don’t pack them or they won’t cook right.

Set peppers in prepared pan. Spoon remining sauce over peppers. Bake uncovered 1½ - 2 hours or until peppers are a pale green which means they are tender.

Enjoy!


Tuesday, June 04, 2019

JUST IN TIME FOR SUMMER

New from Toque & Dagger Publishing an exciting cookbook filled with recipes perfect for your grill and stove. Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco, Book 2 in the Meals to Make Together series, is now available in e-book and paperback.

Starry summer nights are ripe for romance and dining al fresco. Enhance the mood with Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco, candles, wine, and your favorite music. Fire up your grill and share a romantic dinner with your someone special. Then let the night take you away.

Create 45 delicious and complete meals for two that can be cooked on your grill or stove. No exotic or expensive ingredients needed to prepare these 103 recipes. They use everyday products already in your kitchen cabinets. Increasing the dinners is a snap for those fun nights friends or family join you.

Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco, Book 2 in the Meals to Make Together series, is an ideal gift for a hostess, bridal shower, anniversary, or the couple who craves a fresh flavor in their lives.


What People are Saying About Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco

In our fast food world, it’s nice to have a cookbook designed for you and your significant other to open a bottle of wine and enjoy each other’s company. You can turn to any page in this simple yet elegant book of tasty recipes and not be disappointed!
-Paul Kutka, Private Executive Fine Dining Chef

Packed with mouth-watering recipes, easy-to-follow instructions, and helpful suggestions, Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco is perfect for any cook who loves to serve succulent dishes on their secluded patio or candlelit living room. Perfect for busy couples wanting to spice up their relationships, this fabulous cookbook screams, “Bring on Summer!”
-Sharon Ledwith, YA Paranormal Fantasy and Time Travel Author

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced chef, Sloane Taylor takes you on a gourmet journey adding flavour and panache to your meals. This collection is inventive with clear, easy-to-follow instructions. These recipes will become your favourites – I’d happily cook them every night!
-Joy Wood, Award-winning Romance and Women’s Fiction Author

Sloane Taylor hits the nail on the culinary head with Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco, dishes, as she points out, to be made together. I especially like the International fare, because food should also be about adventure. Start cooking with someone special and make your meals memorable. Taylor shows you the way.
-Anne Montgomery, Award-winning Women’s Fiction and Young Adult Author

Delicious food prepared from elegant recipes to impress anyone! Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco is my new favorite collection of no-miss recipes. And I love the cooking tips section in the back!
-Suzanne G. Rogers, Victorian Romance Author




Monday, June 03, 2019

Planting Season is Here

Emma Lane, who writes cozy mysteries as Janis Lane, is an expert on plants, how to use them in our gardens, and what to do when a season ends. She is here today to share a little of her expertise.

When I moved to Western New York (a very long time ago), I bought a wildflower book to learn all the native plants, names, uses, colors. Although I’m now into the study of cultivated varieties, I still love the free offerings of nature found under rotting logs, beside a burbling stream.

This small white daisy-like blossom makes an appearance with its jagged leaf wrapped around the stem like an over-sized coat. Only when the temps warm does the leaf open to expose its precious blossom. Horrible nickname of Blood Root, real name Sanguinaria, it’s listed as a medicinal plant. (I didn’t spot any vampires.). Some may be allergic to the red sap. Rumor has it listed as a historical favorite of Native Americans for paint. The pretty yellow one is Celandine, which sports bright yellow sap with the same uses as its neighbor. (Marsh marigold family.)

Tips:
Annual gardens (only lives once, but makes seeds) are best for intense splashes of color. Perennials (comes back yearly) are more interesting with different foliage textures. The blooms last only 6 weeks or so; plant varieties that show at different time of the summer, such as:

Spring: Daffodils, Bleeding Heart

Summer: Delphinimum, Rudbeckia, Asiatic Lilies, Crocosmia

Fall: Butterfly Bush, Mums, Hibiscus.

Don’t forget to throw in a sunflower seed or two for the birds.

Happy planting!
~Emma



In the five years Detective Fowler has lived and worked in Hubbard, NY, never has he been forced to investigate a murder, until now. Meet the citizens of Hubbard, NY in MURDER in the NEIGHBORHOOD as they react to a criminal in their midst.







MURDER in the JUNKYARD sees the demise of a man no one likes, a romance, and plans for a wedding as Detective Fowler and his friends keep their small-town America free from danger.




THE GLASS CAT is a sweet story about an elderly lady, her friend and neighbor, and a wicked nephew. There’s a romance brewing as well. It’s a shorty, but I think you’ll finish it with a smile on your face.







Read more about the cozy mysteries by Janis Lane on Amazon.

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter.

Janis Lane is the pen-name for gifted author Emma Lane who writes cozy mysteries as Janis, Regency as Emma, and spice as Sunny Lane.

She lives in Western New York where winter is snowy, spring arrives with rave reviews, summer days are long and velvet, and fall leaves are riotous in color. At long last she enjoys the perfect bow window for her desk where she is treated to a year-round panoramic view of nature. Her computer opens up a fourth fascinating window to the world. Her patient husband is always available to help with a plot twist and encourage Emma to never quit. Her day job is working with flowers at Herbtique and Plant Nursery, the nursery she and her son own.

Look for information about writing and plants on Emma's new website. Leave a comment or a gardening question and put a smile on Emma's face.

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out the things that make Emma smile on Pinterest.