March 22, 2023 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

 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 microwave.

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 as Janis Lane.

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.

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 Lane, 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.

Add A Comment


March 20, 2023 | Author Friend Promo

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 14th 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 novel, 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.

Add A Comment


March 15, 2023 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

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.

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


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.

Add A Comment


March 13, 2023 | Author Friend Promo

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 offer you a glimpse at my latest women’s fiction novel for you 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, archaeologists uncovered a tomb at the Northern Arizona site called Ridge Ruin. The man, bedecked in fine turquoise jewelry and intricate beadwork, 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 archaeological looting where black market sales of antiquities can lead to murder.


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.


Add A Comment

Sure and Begorrah!

March 8, 2023 | Uncategorized

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.

Add A Comment

The First Timekeepers

March 6, 2023 | Author Friend Promo

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.”
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.

Add A Comment

A Taste of Home

March 1, 2023 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

From Stella May

Here is a healthy and vibrant salad that is a traditional recipe for New Year’s celebration we made every year in Armenia when I was a girl. Now we like to eat it any time throughout the year, especially the next day after all the flavors have been absorbed. This classic festive ruby-colored salad is a favorite with my family. I hope yours likes it too.

Mom’s Vinegret Salad

3 medium beets

2 medium potatoes, peeled

2 medium carrots, scraped, or several snack-size carrots

½ lg. onion

1 cup sauerkraut, drained

2-3 pickled cucumbers

1 tbsp. wine vinegar

3 tbsp. sunflower oil, you can use light olive oil

1 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped

salt/ pepper to taste

Boil the vegetables and let them cool completely.

Dice all veggies evenly.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Add dill, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Here is a peek at one of Stella’s time travel romance novels for your reading pleasure.

One key unlocks the love of a lifetime…but could also break her heart.

Nika Morris’s sixth sense has helped build a successful business, lovingly restoring and reselling historic homes on Florida’s Amelia Island. But there’s one forlorn, neglected relic that’s pulled at her from the moment she saw it. The century-old Coleman house.

Quite unexpectedly, the house is handed to her on a silver platter—along with a mysterious letter, postmarked 1909, yet addressed personally to Nika. Its cryptic message: Find the key. You know where it is. Hurry, for goodness’ sake!

The message triggers an irresistible drive to find that key. When she does, one twist in an old grandfather clock throws her back in time, straight into the arms of deliciously, devilishly handsome Elijah Coleman.

Swept up in a journey of a lifetime, Nika finds herself falling in love with Eli—and with the family and friends that inhabit a time not even her vivid imagination could have conjured. But in one desperate moment of homesickness, she makes a decision that will not only alter the course of more than one life but break her heart.

’Til Time Do Us Part is available in Kindle and Paperback at AMAZON.

Stella May is the penname for Marina Sardarova who has a fascinating history you should read on her website.

Stella writes fantasy romance as well as time travel romance. She is the author of ‘Till Time Do Us Part, Book 1 in her Upon a Time series, and the stand-alone book Rhapsody in Dreams. Love and family are two cornerstones of her stories and life. Stella’s books are available in e-book and paperback through all major vendors.

When not writing, Stella enjoys classical music, reading, and long walks along the ocean with her husband. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband Leo of 25 years and their son George. They are her two best friends and are all partners in their family business.

Follow Stella on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Add A Comment

Take Time to Unplug

February 27, 2023 | Author Friend Promo

by Catherine Castle

Statistics I found on the internet suggest that on the average people pick up their cell phones about 58 times in a single day. The top 20 percent of users spend more than 4.5 hours on their phone just on a weekday.  Although many of those pick-up times might only be, at a minimum, only a couple of minutes to check email or delete scam calls or texts, they add up.

I don’t know how many times  a day I pick up my smartphone, but if I’m being honest, I’d say I look at it a lot. Whenever an unknown-caller rings me, I pick up the phone after it stops plinking and delete the number so I don’t accidently hit redial the next time I remove the phone from my pocket. I do the same with spammy texts and emails. I check and answer my email several times a day. I text my daughter and best friend several times a day, and answer when people I know call me. I go the “Fount of all knowledge”, aka the internet, anytime hubby and I have a conversation and I wonder about a word, or have a question, or when I’m writing something and I need to answer a research question.  Sometimes I peruse Pinterest while watching television. Most of the time I keep the phone in my pocket, a habit I got into when I was home alone and wanted to have the phone close by because I’m a klutz  who falls a lot. The phone on my hip or in my pocket was my “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” security blanket. The one thing I don’t do, however, is look at it during a dinner conversation lull while eating with friends or family ocasions. I also spend as little time as possible on social media and that’s all related to my job as an author.

Hubby and I are just back from a lake retreat where we were unplugged from social media. Our mornings at home at the breakfast table often include our cellphones while we check our emails, blogs, and social media stuff before we begin the rest of our day.

While we can look out at our hillside garden and hear muffled bird calls as they land on the porch railings and trees outside, we are essentially cut off from nature’s sounds and sensations. Here’s the view at our house from the breakfast nook.

The garden view from the breakfast nook


Our long, lingering breakfast on the screened porch at the lake looked like this.

Breakfast at the lake

Trilling bird songs entertained us all day long, the breeze blowing through the screens ruffled our hair, kissed our cheeks and cooled us as the sun crept into the porch, and the lapping of the water against the docks soothed our souls. I wish my blog had the ability to show videos, because I recorded at least 2 minutes of birdsong to play when I came home. I loved listening to the birds!

Our phones may have been sitting beside us, but the scene in front of us and the songs of the birds overwhelmed any urge to bury our heads in the tyranny of social media. Instead, we sat back and only used the phone to record the birdsong and photograph the beautiful, serene lake in front of us. The only screens we spent time on at the lake were our computer screens as we were working on our WIPs. The uninterrupted time was fruitful, too, as plot problems were ironed out and manuscripts reworked.

My peaceful time on the lake porch reminded me of my youth when I’d take an armload of library books onto the front porch of my home and read all day long while the breeze rustled the leaves of the trees shading my summer reading nook. Back then, there was no internet, no computers, and no cell phones. If you wanted to communicate with someone you visited them or called on the landline telephone. If you lived too far away to visit or call without incurring long-distance phone charges, you sat down and wrote a letter. We did have a landline, but we didn’t even have an extension phone, just a long cord on our only phone. I would drag the phone into another room so my parents and sisters couldn’t hear my conversations. There wasn’t even call waiting, so Mom would often yell, “It’s time to hang up! You’ve been on that call too long now! Someone might be trying to call us.”

Yep, our six days at the lake were a bit of heaven for more than one reason.

Then we came home.

I have a mountain of emails on my smart phone. Honestly, I’m dreading slogging through the list. However, I will dig into the emails and do what must be done.

But I have to tell you, I can’t wait to unplug again!

What about you? Have you unplugged recently? Do you want to do it again?

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 @AuthorCCastle, FB or her blog.

Check out Catherine’s romantic comedy A Groom for Mama available on Amazon and  Barnes and Noble in Ebook or Print.

What readers are saying about the book:

Four stars Dec 03, 2017 Cyrene Olson rated it really liked it

Uncaged Review: Allison’s mother is very ill but in order for her to try out more tests, to find a cure – Allison must find a husband. As fate would have it her ex-boyfriend Jack runs an online dating service, but finding a groom won’t be that easy as Allison first thought.

I really enjoyed this book and even if the subject matter is a little sad. It is still a very romantic story. I loved Allison as a character as I felt I could identify will her and what she was going through, due to similar circumstances. I hope to read more by this author in the future. Reviewed by Jennifer (less)

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.

Add A Comment

A Visit with Rhys Temple

February 22, 2023 | Author Friend Promo

Hero of The Turning Stone Chronicles

By C.D. Hersh

Moderator: Today we are talking with Rhys Temple, the hero in The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles)
Rhys: Hello.

Moderator: Are you ready to answer some questions?

Rhys: Fire away.

1. Moderator: Was it difficult working with Alexi Jordan while falling in love with her?

Rhys: Difficult? No, I wouldn’t say it was difficult, especially with the way she looks and moves. Working with her was easy as we seemed to fit together very well, and as our love grew, going to work got easier each day. Things only became difficult when I found out about her secret and the Turning Stone Society.

2. Moderator: Did you suspect that Alexi had feelings for you?

Rhys: There were some signs, hints you might say, over the years. Alexi has a very intense way of looking and reacting when she is interested in something. I could see that appear in her when the other women in the office made any overtures toward me. Gladys said Alexi really went at a couple of the women when they were deciding who was baking my birthday cake. Glad I wasn’t in the squad-room for that.

3. Moderator: Were the consequences of admitting your love worth the risk?

Rhys: Yes. But the risks just keep coming with loving Alexi. Each book brings more and more risks to our relationship and our lives in the shifter world. I have to say though; if you don’t take a risk on love then I’m sure you are going to miss out on a lot. Took me some time to understand that.

4. Moderator: How long have you known you loved Alexi?

Rhys: Ha! Everyone seems to ask that question. Of course, she looked great from the beginning, so I was attracted. But it was her drive, determination and, I think, dedication to the police work that really drew me in. If I have to pick a specific point that would be about a year after we started working together. There was a murder case, about a dock-worker, where she didn’t wait for me to get to her location before she charged in. For some reason something told me to go around to the back side of the warehouse to enter. That put me behind the guys who had tied Alexi up and were going to use her as a hostage. I was able to take one of them down but the other one almost stabbed me in the back. Even tied up, Alexi was able to block the knife, but she got sliced on her arm. From that point on I realized I loved her.

5. Moderator: What’s next for the two of you?

Rhys: At this point we’re just trying to keep the family together and the rogue shifters from taking over the world. To say more would give away too many spoilers.

Moderator: Okay, now that Rhys has answered some questions from us, what question would you like to ask him?

In the first book of the series, THE PROMISED ONE, the partnership between Rhys and Alexi has been described as extremely powerful and one that hits you immediately from the beginning of the book. So here is a brief excerpt that shows that partnership.

Tucking his gift under her arm, she started to leave.

“Hey.” He pointed at the other gifts. “Aren’t you going to add yours?”

“Nope. I’ll give it to you later, when we’re alone.”

“Ooh. Something special. Mineral or animal?” His right eyebrow raised, his smile growing.

Alexi laughed. “Just embarrassing.”

“For you or for me?”

“I’m not telling.”

Sidling close to her, he backed her against the wall. “Come on. Just a hint,” he said, a purr in his tone as he placed his hand on the wall next to her shoulder and moved into her personal space with the ease of a lover. One of his famous melt-the-girl looks smoldered in his gaze. The golden flecks in his green eyes lit up like fireworks. Hot fireworks.

Enjoying his closeness and the raw sensuality emanating from him, she lingered for a minute, then slowly moved away. Standing this close she could get burned, and she wasn’t ready to play with fire . . . not yet. She shook her head. “Not a chance.”

He crossed his arms, obviously irked that she hadn’t succumbed. “My irresistible charms work on everyone else. Why not you?”

Oh, if you only knew. She had to fight to resist him. She flashed him a smile. “Because I’m special. And I’m your partner. Keeping your back safe is more important than getting you on your back.”

He laughed, a deep, throaty, and utterly sexy sound.

She locked her knees to keep from melting into a puddle.

“I like the sound of that.”

Of course you would. She felt her face flame.

Comments from the author’s:
The series is a paranormal romance about folks who use magic to shape shift, and it is not the ordinary animal shape shifting. We think readers will be surprised. Amazon reviewers have called the story line “totally unique,” and “a book that keeps you turning the pages to the end.”

InDtale Magazine review said “The Promised One” takes paranormal and turns it on its ear, taking shape-shifting to a whole other level. The bad guy perspective is particularly unique and fun, and the characters three-dimensional. . .”

The series is to be five books with the first four already out on Amazon. Here is a little more about the series, each book and links to them.

TITLE: The Turning Stone Chronicles

GENRE: Urban fantasy, Paranormal, Romance


Three ancient Celtic families. A magical Bloodstone that enables the wearers to shape shift. A charge to use the stone’s power to benefit mankind, and a battle, that is going on even today, to control the world. Can the Secret Society of shape shifters called the Turning Stone Society heal itself and bring peace to our world?

Find out in The Series The Turning Stone Chronicles

Book one of the chronicles titled “The Promised One” available on Amazon
In the wrong hands, the Turning Stone ring is a powerful weapon for evil. So, when homicide detective Alexi Jordan discovers her secret society mentor has been murdered and his magic ring stolen, she is forced to use her shape-shifting powers to catch the killer. By doing so, she risks the two most important things in her life—her badge and the man she loves.

Rhys Temple always knew his fiery cop partner and would-be-girlfriend, Alexi Jordan, had a few secrets. He considers that part of her charm. But when she changes into a man, he doesn’t find that as charming. He’ll keep her secret to keep her safe, but he’s not certain he can keep up a relationship—professional or personal.

Danny Shaw needs cash for the elaborate wedding his fiancée has planned, so he goes on a mugging spree. But when he kills a member of the secret society of Turning Stones and steals a magic ring that gives him the power to shape shift, Shaw gets more than he bargained for.

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

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

Book three of The Turning Stone Chronicles titled “Son of the Moonless Night” currently available on Amazon.
Owen Todd Jordan Riley has a secret. He’s a shape shifter who has been hunting and killing his own kind. To him the only good shifter is a dead shifter. Revenge for the death of a friend motivates him, and nothing stands in his way . . . except Katrina Romanovski, the woman he is falling in love with.

Deputy coroner Katrina Romanovski has a secret, too. She hunts and kills paranormal beings like Owen. At least she did. When she rescues Owen from an attack by a werebear she is thrust back into the world she thought she’d left. Determined to find out what Owen knows about the bear, she begins a relationship meant to collect information. What she gets is something quite different love with a man she suspects of murder. Can she reconcile his deception and murderous revenge spree and find a way to redeem him? Or will she condemn him for the same things she has done and walk away from love?

Book four of The Turning Stone Chronicles titled “The Mercenary & the Shifters” available on Amazon.
A desperate call from an ex-military buddy lands a mercenary soldier in the middle of a double kidnapping, caught in an ancient shape shifter war, and ensnared between two female shape shifters after the same thing … him.

Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to the husband and wife co-authors whose pen name is C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s while co-authoring a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. As high school sweethearts, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after. Which is why they write it!

The first four books of their paranormal romance series entitled
The Turning Stone Chronicles Series page are available on Amazon. Their standalone novella, Can’t Stop The Music, is in the Soul Mate Tree collection with twelve other authors from various genres.

When they aren’t collaborating on a book, they enjoy reading; singing; theatre and drama; traveling; remodeling houses (Donald has remodeled something in every home they’ve owned); and antiquing. Catherine, who loves gardening, has recently drawn Donald into her world as a day laborer. Catherine is an award-winning gardener — you can see some of her garden on their website.

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

You can see excerpts of their books, connect with, and follow C.D. Hersh at:



Amazon Author Page


Add A Comment


February 20, 2023 | Author Friend Promo

From Linda Lee Greene Author/Artist

When the venue is appropriate to do so, I often open my author and artist biographies with the following: “As a child on the farm of my maternal grandparents in Southern Ohio, and while carted around on the shoulders of my teenage uncles, or on the broad tall backs of our horses, my view of life began atop those high places. From those lofty vantage points, the fairytale landscape and the storybook yarns spun by the hill people there impressed my mind’s eye and ear so indelibly that they emerged over the years as images in my artwork, and as the bedrocks of my last three books.”

Looking up to it from the main highway far below, the farmhouse, shielded in white clapboards and silver metal roof, seemed to float high on dewy air, harbored in make-believe. Arrive down its long and winding lane, and sit on its creaky front porch swing, only then did you see the source of its magic, for it hovered on the southern rim of the star-wound crater in which the world-famous Great Serpent Mound lies, a mythical place, whose stories reach back millennia, and can never be known by mortal beings. A place like that weaves into a person’s soul and doesn’t let go. It becomes the soul’s very fabric, textured by its plant life, its animals, and its people. Near and not quite so near, fabled persons populated comparable, as well as varied, Ohio backdrops, individuals such as inventors Thomas Edison and Orville and Wilbur Wright; astronauts Neil Armstrong and John Glenn; actors Roy Rogers, Clark Gable, Doris Day, Dean Martin, Paul Newman; singers Nancy Wilson and John Legend to name a few—and oh yes, more presidents of the United States than from any other state in the union—and lest I forget, sharp- and exhibition-shooter Annie Oakley.

In addition to our both being Ohio-girls, Annie and I were born on the same day of the same month, although she preceded me by well over three quarters of a century. Farm-life shaped both of us, me to a far less degree than it did Annie, because my everyday tenure on the farm was interrupted in my toddlerhood when my parents and I moved to Columbus. Thereafter, weekends and summer vacations found me back on the farm, decidedly citified and a bit awkward in my former sanctuary.

Annie’s was a back-and-forth girlhood, too, but as dissimilar to mine as it could be. The sixth-born of her parent’s nine children, she and her family were thrust into deep poverty upon her father’s death when she was six years old. By the age of seven, Annie was trapping, and by eight, shooting and hunting, and bringing food to the table of her siblings and widowed mother. She was a budding entrepreneur even at that young age, for she sold her excess kills to nearby locals and shopkeepers, one of whom shipped it to hotel kitchens in Cincinnati and other cities. Not to be outdone, she undertook to sell her game personally to regional restaurants and hotels. Her “sharpshooter” days had begun.

 Having been too impoverished even to attend school, three years after the death of her father, Annie was admitted to the care of the superintendent and his wife of the Darke County Infirmary, where she learned to sew and decorate. At a later date, she was “bound out” to a local family to care for their infant son, a position whose promise of fifty cents per week in wages and an education never materialized. Her two-years of near slavery to them comprised cruel physical and mental abuse. At age 12, she ran away, found herself a much more benign situation, and by age 15 was back living with her mother again. Despite having married for a third time, apparently her mother was never able to outgrow her dependency on Annie, an obligation Annie shouldered willingly. By the age of 15, Annie was able to pay off the mortgage on her mother’s house with the money she earned by way of her unparalleled skill at shooting guns. By then she had won shooting contests and met traveling show marksman Frank E. Butler, the man who became her husband, partner, manager, and mentor for the rest of her life.

Remaining childless, together Annie and Frank, accompanied by their adopted dog, became headliners. Five-foot-tall and comely, Annie as America’s first female star, appeared in such venues as “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show,” and in Europe at the “Paris Exposition of 1889.” She was received in the United Kingdom by Queen Victoria and crowned heads of state in Italy and France. Supposedly, upon his request, she shot the ash off a cigarette held in the mouth of Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II, a feat she regularly performed with her husband in their shows.

Ill health as a result of a train accident, and then again, a car accident in later years, Annie slowed the pace and the face of her career, appearing on stage in shows written for her. Legal battles against libelous lies about her took up much of her time and energy as time passed, but she continued to perform and to set shooting records well into her sixties, nearly to the very date of her death on November 3, 1926. By then Frank and Annie had been together for just over 50 years. So grieved by her death was he that Frank stopped eating and died 18 days later. It was discovered that throughout her life, Annie had donated all her fortune to her family and various charities.

“Aim at the high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally, you’ll hit the bull’s-eye of success.” Annie Oakley, scribed at the exhibit at the “National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas.”

From the porch swing of our family’s farmhouse, I often saluted Annie Oakley. It was as if her spirit hung high in the air above our Appalachian hills that formed the backdrop of our enormous Serpent Mound Crater, a spirit urging me on, willing me, a fellow Ohioan, to never give up.

Guardians and Other Angels, multi-award-winning author Linda Lee Greene’s novel, chronicles the story of two heroic families played out against the bad and the good of the early to mid-twentieth century, years of worldwide economic depression and war, as well as the spawning of the “Greatest Generation.” Firsthand accounts of the times in authentic letters written by members of the families are peppered throughout the book.


Available in paperback and eBook on Amazon

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.


Add A Comment