May 30, 2016
The Taylor Family
from Sharon Ledwith
With two published books under my belt in The Last Timekeepers YA time travel series—Book #1 and the prequel—I’m looking forward to the release of Book #2: The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret later this year. It’s been a long bumpy road to publication, but sooo worth the ride! As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I always include a scene where my characters sit down for a meal or share some food together. I try to make it fun, and food scenes seem to give the reader a needed break to digest (pun intended) what has taken place in the story so far.
The encroaching summer season in the northern hemisphere is filled with long weekends, vacations, and family get-togethers. In the Ledwith house, we have a sure-fire recipe that is guaranteed to fill your guests and family members’ bellies when they come a-calling during their holidays. We’ve used this recipe time and time again, and it has never disappointed even the fussiest eater. I hope you share this wonderful feast with your family, no matter what season it is!
Note: Although the prep time is 5-10 minutes, the total time takes 6 hours and 35 minutes which includes marinating the pork tenderloin. This recipe serves 4, but we always double up, especially when we have a lot of mouths to feed!
Honey-Soy Glazed Pork Tenderloin
2 tbsp. Asian Sesame Dressing (we use Kraft® brand dressings)
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger root
1 pork tenderloin (1 lb./450 g)
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Mix all ingredients except meat in a small bowl. Lay meat in a shallow dish (we put the pork in a sealed plastic bag). Pour the marinade over the meat and then turn to evenly coat the tenderloin.
Refrigerate for 6 hours to marinate. We find marinating the longer the better, so if you prefer, mix the marinade the night before.
Remove meat from marinade. Place pork in a shallow dish. Discard the marinade.
Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until meat is done (160ºF). We always use a meat thermometer.
Serve with mashed potatoes, pork gravy, and mixed vegetables.
That’s it! Easy-peasy, right? Now what will you do with all that time on your hands while the pork tenderloin is marinating in the fridge? How about indulging in one of my books from The Last Timekeepers series?
Here’s an excerpt from The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis:
Amanda Sault silently studied the words she just scrawled: May 1st, 1214—Games and songs and revelry, act as the cloak of devilry. So that an English legend may give to the poor, we must travel to Nottingham to even the score.
She frowned. She was the Scribe. Amanda knew that meant she was supposed to understand what this riddle meant. But she didn’t have a clue. All she knew was that she, her four annoying classmates, and two offbeat adults were standing in what was left of the lost continent of Atlantis and they were supposed to be the Timekeepers, the legendary time travelers handpicked by destiny to keep Earth’s history safe from evil. But no one had told them how they were supposed to do it.
Their problem: no matter what happened—good or bad—they weren’t supposed to mess with the past. Period. Dot. End of story. Amanda felt hot liquid build in her throat. Her thumb traced the words of the arcane riddle. Their first Timekeeper mission. Amanda knew this wasn’t the end of the story.
This was just the beginning.
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.
BONUS: Download the free PDF short story The Terrible, Mighty Crystal HERE.
Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, available through Mirror World 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, 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.
Check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.
by Janis Lane
Some of you know my day job deals with plants in all sorts of ways from wedding flowers to church bouquets to perennials and annuals. I call it playing in the greenhouses. Mostly I have not given any of my characters, either historical or contemporary, permission to dialog about gardening.
With the release of Whispers of Danger and Love, I am exposing my love of plants through the personality of Cheryl Esterbrook, a landscape designer. She has other things to think besides the hunky detective who lives next door. Cheryl is stuck with a mobster who hired her to design a complete landscape in two weeks and a creepy former boyfriend who will not stop annoying her.
This new book is a romance, an adventure, a mystery, and a glimpse into the world of plants. Did I love writing it? You bet I did! Hope you enjoy reading. My favorite plant? Crocosmia. For more info on this lovely plant, please click here. If you like humming birds crocosmia, also known as falling stars and coppertips, is a plus for your perennial garden.
Here’s a little more from my new release. 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 about 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.
Now don’t wrinkle your nose if you’ve never tried curry and have convinced yourself it’s too spicy. My friend, multi published author, Vonnie Hughes is here to change your mind. The kitchen is all yours, Vonnie!
This a tried and true very successful recipe for about 8 people. Enjoy! It is very tasty and is virtually mistake-proof.
2½ lbs of cubed cheap steak (it will be simmered for ages so cheap steak is fine)
|Photo by Nujalee|
2 finely chopped onions
1 chopped apple
2 chopped carrots
2 tablespoons of ordinary flour
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 tbsp. golden syrup (light treacle)(corn syrup)
1 dessertspoon mild curry powder
1 medium tin tomato soup
1 small tin pineapple pieces with juice
Place the steak in a large pot. Add the onions, apple and carrots.
In a bowl mix the flour, lemon juice, golden syrup, curry powder and a little of the pineapple juice. Stir this flavored thickening and add to the meat in the pot.
Add the tomato soup and pineapple pieces.
Cook on a very low heat for two hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. (A little extra liquid may be needed. Water is fine).
Best served with rice and a tossed green salad.
Now while you have that 2 hour wait, how about a step back in time with an intro to my latest Regency novel?
“We’ve all heard about convenient marriages. But Verity and Matthew’s marriage is anything but convenient. It’s downright frustrating and pulsating and invigorating…”
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.
Join Dominique Eastwick as she celebrates her new Wiccan Haus release with a Rafflecopter Giveaway!
The babies are coming… the Wiccan Haus will never be the same.
Things are not as calm at the Wiccan Haus as they usually are. The impending birth of Dana and Rekkus’ cubs has everyone on edge. The last thing anyone wants or expects is a series of uninvited guests.
Ashlynn Stone hasn’t spoken to her sister Dana since she left for the Wiccan Haus over a year earlier. But when a fluke accident on the fashion runway forces her to seek the healing of the Wiccan Haus, she has no choice but to pack her bags and take the ferry to the island with her family in tow.
Shadedor has been sent to the Wiccan Haus to assess the situation. But he soon finds more than he expected. His soul mate in need of healing. Can he negotiate the issues of the Wiccan Haus and overcome the walls Ashlynn has built to protect herself.
As the Haus prepares for the biggest event since it opened, can the siblings find harmony and manage to do what they do best, heal those in need? Or is it too much for them to take?
Welcome back to the Wiccan Haus.
He walked. This morning, he had been right next to her, and there had been constant contact. Now they would appear to anyone passing to be complete strangers. “You want to tell me what is going on?”
“We are attempting to remove all stress from your life in hopes of easing the headaches.”
“No, with you. If you would prefer to be elsewhere, I can go back to my room and lie down.”
He stopped. “There is nowhere I would rather be.”
“Then why are you acting like I have the plague? Was it the kiss earlier?”
“I overstepped my boundaries this morning. I should not have done so.”
“Do you regret it?”
“I am assisting the staff here in your healing. It is inappropriate for me to come on to you.”
“Are you on staff here?”
“That settles it.” She smiled. Closing the distance between them, she wrapped her arms around his neck. “I do not know what is going on, but I do know my pain and fears ease when you are near. I don’t claim to understand how you discern all you do, but I am starting to see things here aren’t always black and white, and sometimes I have to have faith and trust.”
After a brief second of him standing as still as a statue and her wondering if she read too much into this morning’s embrace, he relaxed. His arms snaked around her, pulling her against his hard body. His mouth came down on hers begging her to open for him, demanding she submit to his kiss. She might have started this dance, but he would damned well be leading it.
RAFFLECOPTER through May 26th
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Award-Winning author Dominique Eastwick currently calls North Carolina home with her husband, two children, one crazy lab and one lazy cat. Dominique spent much of her early life moving from state to state as a Navy Brat. Because of that, traveling is one of her favorite pasttimes. When not writing you can find Dominique with her second love…her camera.
Sorry for the inconvenience, but my blog is down for construction. New posts will resume May 9.
Have a great weekend!
by Carol Browne
As authors go, I consider myself to be fairly ignorant when it comes to the mechanics of my craft. I’m like someone who drives but hasn’t a clue how the engine works and can’t tell one make of car from another. I find myself perplexed at times by the multitude of genres and their crossovers. Similarly, the many structures and formats one is supposed to adhere to are tiresome. Perhaps I don’t like rules and regulations, or it could be I’m too lazy to learn them.
Recently, when I finished my latest work, a novella called Reality Check, I decided to address my ignorance of basic literary structures by finding out exactly what constitutes a novella.
The novella (Italian,‘new’) started to develop as a literary genre during the Renaissance (notably in 1348 with the The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio), and in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries the genre acquired various rules and structural requirements.
With a word count of between 17,500 and 40,000, the novella tends to be more complex than a short story but has far fewer conflicts than a novel. Frequently a novella is designed to be read at a single sitting.
Chapter divisions, subplots, different points of view, and changes in genre are not features commonly found in the novella. It turns its back on the wider world to focus instead on personal development. It’s like taking a short story then embellishing it with descriptive passages, expanding on the characterisation, and exploring the conflicts in greater depth.
You’d be surprised to know how many great literary works are novellas—Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Grey, to name but a few.
I’m surprised to find that Reality Check meets the requirements, albeit by accident! Out of interest I also note that German writers see the novella as a narrative of any length that focuses on one suspenseful situation or conflict, with a decisive turning point that leads to a reasonable but surprising conclusion. Reality Check has ticked all the boxes there too. All I need now is a publisher!
Carol Browne regards Crewe, Cheshire, as her home town and graduated from Nottingham University in 1976 with an honors degree in English Language and Literature. Carol writes speculative fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is also a ghost blog writer, proofreader, copy editor, and copywriter. Along with a passion for gardening, Carol is an avid animal lover.
Carol lives in the Cambridgeshire countryside with her dog, Harry, and cockatiel, Sparky.Pagan and vegan, Carol believes it is time for a paradigm shift in our attitude to Mother Nature and hopes the days of speciesism are numbered.
Alicia Joseph is here with a delicious pasta bake that is not only easy to prepare, but freezes great and reheats perfectly.
Rotelle pasta resembles little wheels with spikes. If you don’t have rotelle, as I didn’t when I wanted to cook this recipe, try campanelle which is another curved pasta and it worked great for me.
The kitchen is all yours, Alicia!
Rotelle Ricotta Bake
1 (16oz) pkg. rotelle (corkscrew) pasta
1 (8oz) pkg. sliced part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (15 1/2 oz) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
1 (14 oz) jar marinara sauce
⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese or Romano cheese
1 tsp. salt to taste
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. basil, optional
½ tsp. garlic powder, optional
Heat oven to 375°F.
Cook rotelle according to package directions. Drain.
Butter a 13 X 9 inch baking pan.
Cut mozzarella into ¾ inch strips.
Lay spinach in a colander and press out as much liquid as possible.
Lightly beat eggs in a large bowl, stir in ricotta cheese, marinara sauce, Parmesan or Romano cheese, salt, black pepper, spinach, rotelle and half of the mozzarella.
Spoon into prepared pan. Cover with foil.
Bake until hot, about 15 minutes.
Arrange reserved mozzarella strips diagonally in rows over rotelle about 1½ inches apart.
Bake until cheese melts, 5 – 10 minutes more.
While dinner is baking, how about a teaser from one of Alicia’s novellas?
Madison Andrews has spent her entire life ~unsuccessfully~ searching for love. She begins having vivid dreams of the same woman every night, and soon, Madison believes this woman is the love she has been searching for. Madison’s dreams become more intense and she realizes the dreams she’s having recreate moments taken from actual events from her life ~~ and this woman is there for all of it. Madison searches for her, but how can she find a woman she knows everything about… and yet nothing? She doesn’t even know her name.
To read more of HER NAME, please click onto Amazon.
Alicia Joseph grew up in Westchester, Illinois. Her first novella, Her Name, was published by Musa Publishing in 2014. Her Name is a sweet, romantic story about a woman who believes the beautiful woman she dreams about is the real love of her life.
Loving Again is her second published novella. Alicia is currently working on a new novel called A Penny on the Tracks, a coming of age story about love and friendship. Alicia has many works-in-progress that she hopes to finish soon.
When she is not writing, the author enjoys volunteering with animals, rooting for her favorite sports teams, and playing “awesome aunt” to her nine nieces and nephews.
My guest today is Susan Lodge, noted Regency romance author. Susan appears to have guest with her. Who do you have here, Susan?
I have brought along Hetty Avebury who is the heroine of Only a Hero Will Do. She wishes to share some advice about travelling at sea in the nineteenth century. Hetty unfortunately found herself trapped on a naval ship, uninvited and…
Excuse me, Susan. If I am not mistaken, you did say I could do this blog – after all I am the person who experienced the stressful, but enlightening, voyage and I don’t want you to say anything indelicate. Perhaps you can go and arrange the refreshments. I will look after the visitors. Oh! Where are my guests precisely?
Okay, Hetty, you carry on. Trust me, they are out there listening, just talk – you’re good at that. But don’t give away too much of the plot before I come back.
Good! She has gone. Good day – are you there? Well I shall continue even though I fear my author has become quite addle brained. Did you know, dear guests, Susan’s ambition is to travel into space. Ha! What a strange thought. A coach that takes flight into the sky- without horses!
I hope she brings back some scones as I have a weakness for scones. In fact I have a few weaknesses. Gambling is one – luckily I am very good at it. My scheming family do not realize that I am able to gain funds this way. Therefore you might say it is also a strength.
Another weakness is books. I do love books! I can never get enough of the exciting informative kind (if you understand my meaning). The attendant at the library back home always examined my choices, so they were limited to the mundane. However, whilst I was at sea, Dr Withington lent me some books which were very informative.
But I must return our attentions to the purpose of this blog, where I will share some useful tips about sea travel.
So here are eight things a Regency lady needs to know about travelling (uninvited) on a naval ship in hostile waters.
1. Make sure you know which is the leeward side (the sheltered side) of the ship. It is important to know which way the wind is blowing when you are prone to seasickness. It was a shame about Doctor Withington’s coat-but luckily it was only his second best.
2. Do not stray from the quarterdeck. The stern end is the civilized end of the ship. Although it is a lot more colourful down the pointed end.
3. Prepare for your sleep to be interrupted. The ringing of the ship’s bell and the beating of drums occur at regular and unsociable times.
4. Do not complain of boredom, believe me that is a good sign. If you see a French ship approaching things will get very unpleasant, and you will soon wish to be bored again.
5. If you have a chance to pack for the journey (which I did not) include warm clothing. Also a supply of lemon juice is useful to bathe freckles, which multiply like a plague of insects across your skin once exposed to the sea air.
6. Prepare to be stoic. You will witness the misery and sacrifice of war. Even If you are lucky enough to avoid battle, deaths on board from injury and disease occur frequently.
7. Do remember to knock the weevils from the ships biscuits, and do not try to cut biscuits into delicate pieces; they resist all attempts.
8. If there is a tall, sombre physician around, whose job it is to keep you out of trouble, and looks at you with eyes … Oh, no – she is coming back with the tea – but alas no scones.
There is much more to tell, and if you feel like indulging in a romantic adventure and discovering what happened during and after my unscheduled voyage, please take a look at Only a Hero Will Do. (I haven’t even begun to tell you about Doctor Withington and you need to know about him.)
Marriage to a cruel dandy is not how Hetty Avebury envisions spending the rest of her life. Determined to avoid the match, she raises funds the only way she knows how – gambling. Her plans go astray and she finds herself on board a man-of-war under the care of its high handed physician. But Hetty soon realizes that Doctor Withington is not quite the stuffed shirt she had first imagined.
If it wasn’t bad enough declaring one of the pressed men as a woman, Robert has been tasked with the tiresome job of returning her safely back to her dysfunctional family. It was ten years ago when his father gambled away his inheritance, home, and any chance of marrying the woman he loved. So when Robert discovers Hetty gambling he takes drastic action to cure her of the habit.
Susan Lodge’s first publication was a story for a UK national woman’s magazine. Heady with this breakthrough, she went on to write her first novel. She loves writing contemporary and historical romance, usually with a large dose of humour. Susan believes the romance genre lends itself superbly to funny moments, as love can make people act very oddly.
Susan has a science degree and always wanted to be an astronaut, but instead spent most of her career in the Civil Service. She would love to secure a seat on Richard Branson’s space flight. However, to find the funds she needs to either write a best seller or win the lottery.
After working in several cities including London and Bristol, she and her husband moved down to the Hampshire coast to raise their family.
Beef is a favorite with Studs and most men. Beef on bones is like mana from heaven to them. Must be something carried over from caveman days. Here’s an easy recipe that will satisfy the beefaholic in your life.
Braised Beef Short Ribs
2-3 pounds beef short ribs cut into 2-inch pieces
Freshly ground pepper to taste¼ tsp. thyme
½ cup flour
2 tbsp. lard or solid shortening
2 medium onions, chopped
½ cup carrot, chopped
1 tbsp. garlic, pressed
¼ tsp. dried thyme
1 cup beef stock
2 small bay leaves
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Pat ribs dry. Grind pepper over the meat. Pour flour into a paper bag. Add 2 – 4 ribs at a time. Shake bag gently to coat the meat. Remove the ribs and set on a large plate. Continue until all the ribs are coated.
Melt the lard or shortening in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Carefully add ribs and brown them on all sides. Don’t crowd the pan. You’re better off to brown the meat in batches. Return ribs to the plate. Lower heat to medium.
Add onions and carrots to the same pot. Sauté until onions are soft and transparent. Add garlic. Cook for 45 – 60 seconds.
Stir in the stock. Bring to a boil over high heat. Scrape in any brown bits clinging to the bottom and sides of the pan.
Reduce heat to medium. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
Nestle ribs in the pan and bring to a boil. Cover and then place in the oven. Braise the ribs for 1 ½ hours or until the meat shows no resistance when pierced with a fork.
Arrange ribs on a clean platter and tent with foil to keep them warm.
Strain the braising liquid through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Press down hard on the vegetables to extract the juices. Discard vegetable. Skim off the surface fat.
Bring the pan to a hard boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes to intensify the flavor.
Pour the sauce into a gravy boat and serve alongside the ribs.
Have a great weekend!
Sign up for the latest news from Sloane and access to free reads.
This is a quarterly newsletter with a members only contest. No chatter, so no clogging your inboxes.