Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Nostalgia Time - Quick and Easy Soup

From Emma Lane

This is the fastest and tastiest soup you’ll ever throw together. Chicken with Rice soup and stewed tomatoes alone is tasty. For more tomato flavor, use a can of diced tomatoes, but careful. This tends to overbalance the tomato too much and obscures that lovely chicken rice childhood memory taste. Everything you add after that improves the mixture, or you can serve it just like that warmed. It is a tasty combination.  

You can, of course, make a much more complicated soup. I give you this recipe for the day when time is of the essence, and you are already tired.

Keep ready-made roles or biscuits in the refrigerator for just such an occasion and grab them to bake first. 

Tomato Chicken ’n Rice

1 can Campbell’s Chicken with Rice soup 
1 can stewed tomatoes 
1 med. onion, chopped 
½ stalk celery, chopped 
Dash salt to taste 
Dash dried oregano
1 small can corn kernels
1 small can green peas 

Optional Ingredients:

Any leftover veggies like green beans or asparagus, lima beans, cut small. Bits of leftover meat: pork, ground beef, and breakfast sausage, chicken. Whatever is left. 

Add water to desired consistency only at the beginning. 

Now put all your ingredients together and simmer until the onions and celery are opaque. Should be about ready when the roles are nice and brown. Serve with hot roles, biscuits and butter, and a lettuce salad with dressing. Garnish soup with grated cheese. Put a petite bouquet on the table and enjoy your lunch or light dinner. Plan for a renewing nap later. 

For dessert, two scopes of ice cream over half a banana drizzled with chocolate syrup. 

This luncheon can serve four to six medium bowls of soup for adults or a mob of small various sized children.

Here's a peek at my Cozy Mystery, Murder in the Neighborhood, a novel which introduces you to Detective Kevin Fowler and the intriguing murders which infect this small-town Americana. The series follows the detective, colleagues, friends, and lovers through a whirlwind of events, good and bad, over the next three novels.

A killer is attacking respectable citizens in picturesque Hubbard, NY, and leaving corpses on their front steps in the middle of the day. Detective Fowler isn’t certain who causes him to lose the most sleep, a certain sexy reporter with bouncing curls and sparkling black eyes, or the elusive psychopath creating panic in his small-town community. Together, the detective and the reporter race to find the monster in their midst and return the town to the desirable place where people come to raise their families in peace and contentment. Can they sort through their differences to find romance even as they search for a determined stalker with murder on his mind? The clock ticks down on a man in a rage with a deadly mission.

Amazon Buy Links Kindle - Paperback

Read more of the cozy mysteries by
Janis Lane on Amazon
Janis Lane is the penname 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, March 27, 2023

Celebrate Your Name

Even If You Change It
by Catherine Castle

March 7-13 was Celebrate Your Name week. Established in 1997 by American onomatology hobbyist Jerry Hill, Celebrate Your Name Week (CYNW) is a week for embracing and celebrating your name.

Before you say, “Why would I want to celebrate my name?” think about this--your name identifies you. It is the one thing that will be in your life now and forever. It can define your ethnicity, your heritage, how you look at yourself, and sometimes how others look at you. If you hate your name you can change it, but the original moniker will still be on your birth certificate. Your name will be used throughout your life to identify you in a myriad of ways: on your driver’s license, bank accounts, health accounts, mortgage deeds, insurance policies, social media accounts, professionally, and friends and family will say your name hundreds of thousands, or even millions of times, over the course of your life.

Think about your name or names if you have a middle one. Do you know what they mean? Do you know how you got them? Do you know how long it took your parents to decide on what to name you? How important was your name to those who named you? Have you ever wanted to change your name, and if so why? How did that change work out for you?

I know the answers to a few of those questions. My birth names mean pure and peace. I was named after both of my grandmothers, whose names at the time of my birth were very old-fashioned. My aunt Ella, on my father’s side, always addressed me by my first and my middle names. I suppose she didn’t want me to forget my paternal grandmother, whom I never met. I can still recall my aunt’s voice addressing me. She was the only one who ever called me by both names and somehow it became extra special to me.

I don’t know how long it took my parents to decide on my name or whether they had chosen it before I was born or after. Back then you had to have male and female options, since the gender was a surprise until the baby arrived.

I do know that it was very important to my mother that people called me Catherine, not Cathy. While in high school I shortened my name to Cathy and introduced myself that way at school. Catherine was too long to write on homework papers and very old-fashioned at the time. I wanted to be hipper back then. At church, and in front of my mother, I was always Catherine.

That dichotomy caused me a lot of problems. Although I cautioned any boy to whom I gave my home phone number to ask for Catherine—not Cathy, they invariably forgot. When Mom got to the phone before I did, which was often since she had a phone beside her easy chair, I’d hear, “Sorry, there’s no one here by that name.” Then she’d hang up the phone and glare at me. I lost a lot of potential boyfriends and dates that way. One icy answer from my mother and they never called back. I think they thought I’d given them the run-around with a wrong number. As the years went by, I grew out of my Cathy phase and now I have to correct people when they shorten my name. I still answer to Cathy at my high school reunions. Mom’s not around anymore to glare at me in disapproval and it’s just easier for those few hours to answer to the nickname.

My grandmother was called Cat by her brothers. I used to think that was a horrible nickname and cringed whenever I heard her addressed that way. When my nieces and nephews came along, Cat was easier to say than Catherine, so I adopted Grandma’s nickname. It shocked the heck out of my family when I gave those babies the okay to call me Cat.  Now I’m Aunt Cat to all of them. I now eschew the high school nickname I gave myself and love the birth name I once hated. Ain’t life funny?

When I began my fiction-writing career, I changed my name again. I kept my first name, because I like it a lot now. I’ve grown into it. I also thought keeping my first name would be less confusing at writing conferences. If someone called me Nancy, I might think they were talking to another person and unintentionally ignore them. That would be bad.  I did, however, choose a different last name—one that would fit easier on a book cover and had a nice alliteration to my first name. My pen name is Catherine Castle. With that name change I became an author of sweet and inspiration romance.

 I still remember the first time a stranger in a bookstore asked, “Are you Catherine Castle?”

Startled, I looked at her and said, “Yes, I am.” No one had ever recognized my author persona before and I wondered how she knew me.

She must have seen the question in my gaze because she said, “I recognize you from your picture on your website.”

I left the bookstore with a big grin on my face that lasted for several hours. A complete stranger knew who Catherine Castle, the author, was! 

Shakespeare wrote, in Romeo and Juliet, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…" This popular quote is often used to imply that it didn’t matter that Romeo’s name was associated with the house of Juliet’s family’s sworn enemy.

I suggest that your name does matter and that your name affects who you are. A boy named Sue will have a very different life than one named Chauncy. So if you love your name, or are just indifferent to it, embrace it. Take a few minutes this week to celebrate your name. Find out everything you can about your name. Dig into its history. You might be surprised as to why you are named what you are and how your name has made you who you are.

If you need to change your name for some reason, choose wisely. In the Bible, when a name change happened it often reflected some new aspect of one’s life, a thing that changed them and defined their new life paths. Your name can define you, too. So make your new name a good one.

Celebrate name week—Celebrate!

Catherine Castle is very picky about how she chooses the character names for her books. She once wrote an entire book inserting the name Mother 2 into the pages because she couldn’t think of the right name for that antagonist character. Her critique partners thought it was a real hoot, but when she finally came up with Mother 2’s name—Tiberia—they all agreed it fit her perfectly.

In her book A Groom for Mama, she named one of the characters in honor of a dear friend who battled cancer. Here’s a peek at the blurb. 

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.


Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle loves writing. Before beginning her career as a romance writer, she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. She also lays claim to over 300 internet articles written on a variety of subjects and several hundred poems. In addition to writing, she loves reading, traveling, singing, theatre, quilting and gardening. She’s a passionate gardener whose garden won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club. She writes sweet and inspirational romances. You can find her award-winning Soul Mate books The Nun and the Narc and A Groom for Mama, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Follow her on Twitter, FB, or her blog.


Wednesday, March 22, 2023


 from Emma Lane

My goal is to serve food with as little fuss as possible while still producing an attractive, delicious, and healthy meal for my family and guests. Hopefully this plan will give me more time to enjoy everyone.  I encourage you to add your own favorites. 

Baked Ham
Raisin Sauce
Candied Carrots
Dinner Rolls
Peaches al la Mode


Hams are already cooked you merely want to warm it through. Follow the package directions so as not to dry out the meat.

Raisin Sauce
1 ½ cups water
¾ cup raisins
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
1 pinch salt
1 tsp. cornstarch

     Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in raisins, then boil until raisins are very tender, 5 minutes. 

Whisk in brown sugar and salt, then gradually whisk in cornstarch to avoid lumps forming. Simmer over low heat until glaze has thickened, 10 minutes.

Serve in a gravy boat for your family and friends to spoon onto their ham.

Candied Carrots

Are always a favorite. This recipe works great in your

5 – 8 baby or mini carrots per person
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. brown sugar
Dash of maple syrup ¼ cup water
Parsley for garnish, optional

Cut carrots in half or thirds into long pieces.

Mix remaining ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Stir in carrots. Nuke until carrots are fork tender. Careful not to overcook. Spoon sauce over carrots before serving.


I have mentioned before I am originally from the south of the U.S. Oranges and coconut mixed together is Ambrosia in South Georgia. Use a pretty glass bowl if you have one. I use my mother’s cranberry bowl and love the contrast of the bright orange colors. This is a messy recipe to prep as you must remove the orange membrane. Do prepare the dish the day before and refrigerate to really blend the flavors.

1 orange per person if small, ½ if large
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
¼ cup orange juice
1 small can crushed pineapple

Stir all ingredients together then scoop into a serving bowl.  

Canned biscuits or Crescent Rolls

Follow the recipe on the package.

Peaches a la Mode
1 can sliced peaches in light syrup
Vanilla ice cream
Granola, optional
Maraschino cherries
Cherry juice

Spoon 3 – 5 peach slices in individual dessert dishes. Add a generous double scoop of vanilla ice cream. Top with a maraschino cherry and a sprinkling of granola. Drizzle sparingly with cherry juice.

Other fruits are also tasty prepared this way.

Here is a brief intro to the cozy mystery series Emma writes.

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.

Detective Kevin Fowler is furious that low life has targeted his town where people live in blissful safety. Brenda Bryant is out junkn’ for good things when she stumbles over the grotesque body of a man beloved by no one. Suspense heats up when large sums of money are found in two different places. Drug money is suspected and Brenda targeted by someone who wants the money returned. Detective Fowler faces surprise after surprise as he peels back the surface of Hubbard, New York and deals with its shocking underbelly. Meanwhile romance infiltrates the group of friends with a wedding in the making.


Emma Lane is a gifted author who writes cozy mysteries as Janis Lane, 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, March 20, 2023


From Linda Lee Greene

I am free and white and educated. I am retired from a long and satisfying career as an artist and a designer. I get to spend the bulk of my time writing. It is a dream come true. I own my own home, mortgage-free, and when I look out the windows of my condo, I am fortunate to see lush, old-growth trees, rolling green lawns, and the welcoming doorways of friendly neighbors who watch out for me as I do for them. Although I have to keep an eye on my budget, I am able to treat myself with this and that now and then. I am a born contemplative. I am a truth-seeker.

I am also spoiled!

I am spoiled, because when I am exhausted, I get to stretch out on my lovely, soft bed or my luxurious chaise longue and go to sleep, or point the remote to my smart TV, and chill-out to Robert Redford’s Sundance Kid or Pierce Brosnan’s 007, or an array of other yummy male specimens of movie-world. But I am not so spoiled that I am blind to my privileges.

I am not so spoiled that I am blind to how lucky I am that I live in the peaceful Midwest USA rather than in the Donbas region of Ukraine, that place where not a soul has the luxury of chilling out from the exhaustion of his/her war-torn days and nights. I am not so spoiled that I forget that I was born at a time when prisoners in Nazi concentration camps in areas of Europe got an immediate bullet to the head or a noose around the neck at the slightest falter in their step or swing of their pickax during their grueling, crushing workdays. I am not so spoiled that I am blind to the fact that authoritarianism is still alive and well in places over there and is rattling the gate to my peaceable kingdom here at this very moment. I am not so spoiled that I do not fret over the harsh double-standard that suffers the disadvantaged in every part of the world from time immemorial to this day.

“Linda, if you aren’t careful, you’ll make yourself sick taking on the worries of the world. After all, you are only human and there is only so much we humans can do,” I hear from the peanut gallery.

It is as if being human is the convenient off-ramp on the highway to paradise or is the excuse for plucking only the low-hanging fruit rather than reaching for the stars. Don’t get me wrong, I have had an on and off relationship with the “only human” mindset during large swaths of my life, including too often right now, to my chagrin. I find nothing pretty and nothing redeeming in it, but it is a hard one to shake. It is so hard to shake, because I am surrounded by it, swallowed up in it. Because it is the prevailing mindset of human society, escaping it is like swimming against a tidal wave.

The way I see it, species: Homo sapiens had best hurry up and evolve beyond such widespread mediocrity. We cannot go on authorizing the rightness of humans remaining stuck in a condition of “average Janes and Joes”. I am not indicting the whole human race. Throughout the ages and to this day shining examples of highly evolved human beings trod the Earth, and maybe in other galaxies, for all we know at this time. The present-day, prominent model who comes to mind is Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s leader. And people of his kind are scattered everywhere, famous as well as every-day people away from the limelight, some of whom might not know who they are until and unless they put themselves on the line or are forced through circumstances to step up to it. My point is that there aren’t enough of such individuals yet among the population to lead the laggers into their personal power—and for that reason, a critical mass of us must find and then nurture our inborn magnificence, our God-given magnificence if you like, and join the ranks of people like Zelenskyy in godly causes the world over. I use the word “magnificence” in its 14
th century origin, which is defined as: “great mindedness”, “courageous”, “greatness”, “nobility”. For only our magnificence will save us.


A collage of charcoal drawing overlaid with paper and fabric elements 

by Linda Lee Greene

Here’s a peek at multi-award-winning author and artist Linda Lee Greene’s latest book, Garden of the Spirits of the Pots, A Spiritual Odyssey. It is a blend of visionary and inspirational fiction with a touch of romance. The story unfolds as ex-pat American Nicholas Plato journeys into parts unknown, both within himself and his adopted home of Sydney, Australia. In the end, the odyssey reveals to him his true purpose for living. The novella is available in eBook and paperback.

Driven by a deathly thirst, he stops. A strange little brown man materializes out of nowhere and introduces himself merely as ‘Potter,’ and welcomes Nicholas to his ‘Garden of the Spirits of the Pots.’ Although Nicholas has never laid eyes on Potter, the man seems to have expected Nicholas at his bizarre habitation and displays knowledge about him that nobody has any right to possess. Just who is this mysterious Aboriginal potter? 

Although they are as mismatched as two persons can be, a strangely inevitable friendship takes hold between them. It is a relationship that can only be directed by an unseen hand bent on setting Nicholas on a mystifying voyage of self-discovery and Potter on revelations of universal certainties. 

A blend of visionary and inspirational fiction, and a touch of romance, this is a tale of Nicholas’ journey into parts unknown, both within his adopted home and himself, a quest that in the end leads him to his true purpose for living. 


Multi-award-winning author and artist Linda Lee Greene describes her life as a telescope that when trained on her past reveals how each piece of it, whether good or bad or in-between, was necessary in the unfoldment of her fine art and literary paths.
Greene moved from farm-girl to city-girl; dance instructor to wife, mother, and homemaker; divorcee to single-working-mom and adult-college-student; and interior designer to multi-award-winning artist and author, essayist, and blogger. It was decades of challenging life experiences and debilitating, chronic illness that gave birth to her dormant flair for art and writing. Greene was three days shy of her fifty-seventh birthday when her creative spirit took a hold of her.

She found her way to her lonely easel soon thereafter. Since then Greene has accepted commissions and displayed her artwork in shows and galleries in and around the USA. She is also a member of artist and writer associations.

Visit Linda on her blog and join her on Facebook. Linda loves to hear from readers so feel free to email her.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023


From Vonnie Hughes

It’s my pleasure to share a muffin recipe that will become a breakfast favorite with your family. Use room temperature ingredients for best results as they blend into the batter easily and produce amazing muffins and makes your life easier!

If you prefer not to use butter, then an equal amount of vegetable oil or applesauce works. You can also swap out sour cream for plain unsweetened Greek yogurt. Fresh strawberries are perfect in this recipe, but frozen berries can also be used. Thaw and drain the strawberries before adding them to the muffin mix. If your frozen strawberries are whole, dice them first.

Strawberry Sour Cream Muffins

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 ¼ cups fresh strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
2 lg. eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract¾ cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 375° F. 

Wash berries and remove stems. Dice the strawberries into bitesize pieces. 

Insert paper liners into a muffin pan or mist the pan with baking spray. 

Combine flour through salt in a medium size bowl. Fold in strawberries and set it aside.

In a different bowl, cream butter and sugar together using a hand or stand mixer. Once the mixture is light and fluffy, beat in eggs, vanilla, and sour cream. 

Thoroughly fold in the flour mixture to create a batter. 

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups to the top. 

Bake muffins 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. 

Cool for 5 minutes in the baking pan. Then remove them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Store your strawberry muffins in an airtight container. They will stay fresh at room temperature for 3 days and can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Here is a little from my romantic suspense set in New Zealand where a young woman who witnesses the aftermath of a crime is sent to a supposedly safe house.

Inching along the wall, Célie reached the window. She held on to the door jamb, a little island of security in a sea of fear. Then she stretched across and peered out. A featureless face stared back at her.

She screamed and jumped back, bashing her elbow on the laundry tub. 

Peaches lumbered to his feet, shaky and confused. 

The face was still there. No eyes. No mouth. No nose. 

Peaches staggered over to the door and snuffled. 

Mesmerized, Célie kept staring at that distorted face as she backed into a corner. 

Then the face moved, and a hand spread across the glass. The forefinger and thumb rubbed together. 

Flashes of memory seared her mind. 

She gasped, remembering that fearful morning when she’d discovered poor Occy’s disemboweled body. Stunned, struggling not to vomit, she’d been hovering over what was left of Occy when she sensed she was being watched. For a few precious seconds she had stared back at the creepy figure silhouetted in the early morning gloom watching her—just watching her. 

Then he’d rubbed his thumb and forefinger together covetously, as if he were contemplating the best way to eat her alive. 

And she’d bolted. 

And done her best to bury those memories. 

Vonnie Hughes is a multi-published author in both Regency books and contemporary suspense. She loves the intricacies of the social rules of the Regency period and the far-ranging consequences of the Napoleonic Code. And with suspense she has free rein to explore forensic matters and the strong convolutions of the human mind. Like many writers, some days she hates the whole process, but somehow she just cannot let it go.

Vonnie was born in New Zealand, but she and her husband now live happily in Australia. If you visit Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand be sure to stroll through the Japanese Garden. These is a bronze plaque engraved with a haiku describing the peacefulness of that environment. The poem was written by Vonnie.

All of Vonnie’s books are available at The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.

Learn more about Vonnie Hughes on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Goodreads.

Whoever that monster had been, he was outside the window right now. 


Monday, March 13, 2023


Women must be bold and share their accomplishments.

from Anne Montgomery 

When I was a high school teacher, I learned many young ladies were uncomfortable talking about their accomplishments. Part of my job was to encourage my students to think about the future. When it came to resume writing, I’d say, “What are you good at? What have you accomplished that you’re proud of?”

Often, I’d be met with blank stares, which was understandable because they were just kids. Still, I’d press on. “When you choose a career, it’s important to think about what you like to do, what you’re good at, and what someone will pay you to do.”

When the conversation stalled, I pointed out some of my own accomplishments. “When I was your age, I discovered I had a good speaking and singing voice, so I performed in a lot of plays. And I really enjoyed sports. I was an ice dancer and I loved swimming and skiing and watching ice hockey. Eventually, these things put me on a path to becoming a TV sportscaster.”

“Your bragging, Ms. Montgomery,” some child would blurt out. Others around the room—mostly girls—would nod their heads.

“So, you don’t think it’s right to talk about your accomplishments?”

“No!” a chorus of them would answer.

In the business world, the inability to discuss our successes is holding women back.

Then, I’d point at a boy who played sports. “How’d your game go? Which would lead the young man on a tangent about how well he’d preformed on the gridiron. Strangely, when I’d ask female athletes the same question, the response was rarely positive. “I could have done better,” one would say. “I missed an important free throw,” another might add.

Bragging, it turns out, is a habitat peopled mostly by males. A young man can walk into a job interview and wax on about his accomplishments, while women of all age groups seem to feel they must be demure, that identifying their skills and successes is unladylike and casts them in a bad light.

A perfect example is the way many women handle compliments. When someone says something nice about our appearance or a job well done, lots of us stare at the floor, or point out something we did wrong, or give credit to someone else in order to counter the accolade.  And this is a problem.

Just smile and say “Thank you!” when you receive a compliment.

I think denying our successes holds us back, especially in the business world where self-confidence and life experience say a lot about who we are and what we might be capable of in the future. Take participating in sports, for example. Business owners are delighted to hire those who’ve been on teams. They know athletes understand punctuality, working with others toward a common goal, following rules, and getting back up when you’ve been knocked down. (Note here that championships and won-loss records are not relevant. Just participating is all that’s important.) And let’s not forget those other “team players”: young people who’ve participated in choir, marching band, theater, debate, and other activities that are equally favored by many human resources departments. But those doing the hiring will not know about a person’s past if the applicant is unwilling to share the information, so it’s important that people speak up. That’s not bragging. It’s smart!

Today, I don’t hesitate to share stories about my past and the things I’ve experienced and exceeded at. And I’ve learned to accept compliments with a smile and hearty, “Thank you!” It was a bit uncomfortable at first, but now it feels great.

Don’t believe me, ladies? Just give it a try.

Please allow me to give you a brief intro to my latest women's fiction novel for your reading pleasure.

The past and present collide when a tenacious reporter seeks information on an eleventh century magician…and uncovers more than she bargained for.

In 1939, archeologists uncovered a tomb at the Northern Arizona site called Ridge Ruin. The man, bedecked in fine turquoise jewelry and intricate bead work, was surrounded by wooden swords with handles carved into animal hooves and human hands. The Hopi workers stepped back from the grave, knowing what the Moochiwimi sticks meant. This man, buried nine hundred years earlier, was a magician.

Former television journalist Kate Butler hangs on to her investigative reporting career by writing freelance magazine articles. Her research on The Magician shows he bore some European facial characteristics and physical qualities that made him different from the people who buried him. Her quest to discover The Magician’s origin carries her back to a time when the high desert world was shattered by the birth of a volcano and into the present-day dangers of archeological looting where black market sales of antiquities can lead to murder.

Former television journalist Kate Butler hangs on to her investigative reporting career by writing freelance magazine articles. Her research on The Magician shows he bore some European facial characteristics and physical qualities that made him different from the people who buried him. Her quest to discover The Magician’s origin carries her back to a time when the high desert world was shattered by the birth of a volcano and into the present-day dangers of archaeological looting where black market sales of antiquities can lead to murder.

Amazon Buy Link

Anne Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. She worked at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter, and ASPN-TV as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery has been a freelance and staff writer for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces.

When she can, Anne indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, football refereeing, and playing her guitar.

Learn more about Anne Montgomery on her website and Wikipedia. Stay connected on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.


Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Sure and Begorrah!

Presenting the traditional St. Patrick's Day meal most North Americans will enjoy with a cold Harp Lager, Guinness Stout, Killian's Irish Red Lager, or Smithwicks Ale. But here's a newsflash, Boyo, except for the beer you'll never find corned beef served anyway on the Old Sod. That's right. Our Irish brethren look at us in amazement, but that's never stopped us Yanks from creating traditions. So pour another wee dram and let's get cooking.

Corned Beef
Bakery Rye Bread
Horseradish Sauce
Irish Beer and plenty of it

Corned Beef
1 5lb. corned beef brisket*
2 med. onions, peeled and quartered
4 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
3 bottles of beer, not Lite
water to cover

Preheat oven to 300 F°.

Place beef in a Dutch oven. Add remaining ingredients, including spice packet that comes with the beef.

Bring to a boil on stovetop. Place in oven and roast for 3 hours or until meat is fork tender.

*Don't stint on the beef. It cooks down to approximately half. I learned this lesson the hard way.

Here's a tip from my butcher Raoul. Always buy corned beef flat cut. It has less fat than the point. Therefore you get more meat for your money.

6 med. red potatoes, peeled and quartered
6 carrots, scraped and cut into 2" pieces
1 celery stalk, cut into 2" pieces
1 med. green cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
1 cup corned beef cooking liquid

You can prep all the veggies and store in a large container covered by cold water until you're ready to cook them. Refrigerate so vegetables remain crisp.

Place veggies in a large pot. Stir in corned beef cooking liquid. Add water to cover vegetables by 2 inches. Cover pot. Set cooking temp at medium. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat so the pot doesn't cook over, but maintain a soft boil. Cook about 30 minutes or until veggies are fork tender.

Horseradish Sauce
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. prepared horseradish
1 tsp. fresh chives, snipped short

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir well.

Transfer to a serving dish, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Dea Ithe!


Monday, March 06, 2023

The First Timekeepers

from Sharon Ledwith
Here’s an eerie treat for my readers, straight out of the pages of Legend of the Timekeepers guaranteed to chill you to the bone:
 “W-Where are we?” She-Aba asked, crawling out of the plant.
“I-I’m not sure,” Lilith replied. Her nose flared. It smelled fresh, almost pure to her.
“Well, we’re not in the desert anymore,” Tau said, wiggling and huffing. “Could you two get me down?”
She-Aba smirked. “What’s the magic word?”
Tau stopped squirming between the branches. “Huh? Magic word? How would I know, I’m not a magus!”
"You’re not very bright, either,” She-Aba replied. “What word would you use if you want something?”
Tau snorted. “Now!”
Lilith rolled her eyes. She passed the record keeper to She-Aba, then stuck her foot into the closest, deepest crevice in the tree. She pulled herself up, found another crevice, and pulled herself up again. She looked down at She-Aba. “Go cut a vine for Tau to use to climb down.”
“What’s a vine?” She-Aba asked, frowning.
Lilith sighed. “Over there, hanging from that tree. It looks like a rope. Haven’t you ever seen one?”
“No. I live in the desert. In fact, I find it quite warm and damp here. Not the best place for my hair.”
“There is no place for your hair, fire-head,” Tau said, indignantly.
She-Aba grunted. She opened her satchel, slid the record keeper in, and pulled out the metal clipper she used to cut and style hair. Lilith hid an emerging smile as she observed her friend. Walking proved to be anything but easy for She-Aba, as the forest floor appeared to want to swallow her shoes. Reaching for a long, strong vine that crept around the base of a tree, as if it were a snake, She-Aba sliced through it with ease, untangled it, and hobbled back to Lilith and Tau.
A rancorous scream permeated through the forest. She-Aba froze in her tracks, the vine she cut hanging lifeless in her hand. “W-What was that?”
Lilith’s whole body prickled. No, it can’t be, can it? That would be impossible.
She turned to scan the area. Tau wouldn’t quit wiggling. She reached for his arm and squeezed. “Stop that, I’m trying to—”
Another scream, this time closer, rolled out through the leaves.
“Oh, Poseidon, it is,” Lilith said, feeling her heart start to race. “Quick, She-Aba, throw up the vine and go hide! Now!”
“What’s going on, Lilith?” Tau asked. “Why do you sound so frightened?”
Lilith looked around again. “Because a wyvern is hunting us.”
“A…what?” She-Aba asked.
“A wyvern. It looks like a huge snake with wings, feet like a hawk’s, and a tail like a white crawler.”
She-Aba huffed. “Excuse, me, Miss Bossy, but I think I proved that I can handle a snake just fine.”
“For once would you just do as you’re told, fire-head,” Tau said. “Throw up the vine!”
“You mean this vine, Tau?” She-Aba swung it in her hand.
“She-Aba, you don’t understand, wyverns aren’t like cobras,” Lilith explained. “You’ve never seen one before, so you have no idea what they’re capable of.”
“So enlighten me, then. How do you know so much about these snake-like creatures?”
Lilith scanned the area one more time, before she said, “They’re native to only one place on earth.”
“And where’s that?” Tau asked, grunting, as he gripped the tree branch.
Lilith licked her dry lips, and said, “Atlantis.”
Are you ready for a trip to Atlantis?

There is no moving forward without first going back.

Lilith was a young girl with dreams and a family before the final destruction of Atlantis shattered those dreams and tore her family apart. Now refugees, Lilith and her father make their home in the Black Land. This strange, new country has no place in Lilith’s heart until a beloved high priestess introduces Lilith to her life purpose—to be a Timekeeper and keep time safe.

Summoned through the seventh arch of Atlantis by the Children of the Law of One, Lilith and her newfound friends are sent into Atlantis’s past, and given a task that will ultimately test their courage and try their faith in each other. Can the Timekeepers stop the dark magus Belial before he changes the seers’ prophecy? If they fail, then their future and the earth’s fate will be altered forever.

Legend of the Timekeepers, prequel Buy Links:


If you haven’t already read Sharon Ledwith's novel, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, here’s the blurb…

When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they're given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn't a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers--legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial--Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don't, then history itself may be turned upside down.

The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, Book #1 Buy Links:


Check out The Last Timekeepers series Facebook Page.

Sharon Ledwith
is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, available through Musa Publishing, and is represented by Walden House (Books & Stuff) for her teen psychic series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, yoga, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a 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.