Blog

May 27, 2024 | Holidays

Can you find it in your heart?

As your day advances into fun-filled activities with family and friends,

please take one moment to remember the men and women who served.

They gave more than any of us can ever imagine.

Thank you,
Sloane

Add A Comment

Word Witches & Magic Snacks

May 20, 2024 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

From Leigh Goff

Writing can be a deliciously creative endeavor. We all know that food fuels the mind, so why not indulge in a few tasty treats to keep your energy levels high and your inspiration flowing? Whether you’re tackling a daunting deadline or embarking on a brainstorming session, here are a few fun snacks that are sure to satisfy your cravings and fuel your writing process.

Let’s start with the magical combo of chocolate and coffee. The velvety goodness of dark chocolate pairs perfectly with a steaming cup of coffee, creating a harmonious blend of flavors that can give you that extra boost of creativity. The caffeine provides a jolt of energy, while the sweetness of chocolate adds a touch of decadence to your writing ritual. Take a break from your keyboard, savor a moment of bliss with this duo, and let your imagination run wild.

If you’re looking for something a little more spellbinding, tap into your inner child with a plate of colorful, bite-sized snacks. Think mini sandwiches, fruit skewers, or a bowl of mixed nuts and popcorn (see fun recipe below!). Not only are these treats fun to eat, but they also offer a variety of flavors and textures to keep your taste buds entertained.

By incorporating fun snacks into your writing routine, you can indulge your taste buds and invigorate your mind. Whether you opt for the enchanting chocolate and coffee combo or explore a whimsical array of bite-sized treats, these snacks will add an extra sprinkle of enjoyment to your writing sessions. So, grab a snack, sit back, and let the magic happen as you embark on your next writing adventure.

Sweet & Salty Marshmallow Popcorn
8 cups popped popcorn, we use air popped popcorn
1½ cups pretzels
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
12 big marshmallows
½ tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. sea salt
1 cup M&M’s

Lay popcorn and pretzels on a large baking sheet that has been lined with a Silpat baking mat. Parchment paper will work, too. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and corn syrup. Cook until melted and combined. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.

Evenly pour the marshmallow caramel mixture over the popcorn and pretzels. Gently stir until the popcorn and pretzels are well coated. It will be sticky! Stir in the M&M’s. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired. Store in an airtight container for up to one week. The popcorn will stay sticky and soft!

Note – if you need the recipe to be gluten-free, make sure you use gluten-free pretzels. You can also use peanut M&M’s or stir in peanuts!

Leigh Goff writes young adult fiction. She is a graduate from the University of Maryland and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI).

Born and raised on the East Coast, she now lives in Maryland where she and her husband enjoy the area’s great history and culture.

Learn more about Leigh Goff on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Photo and recipe from Two Pease & Their Pod Marshmallow Popcorn Recipe

Add A Comment

HARLEY-DAVIDSON and WRITING

May 13, 2024 | Author Friend Promo

From Sharon Ledwith

Harley-Davidson logo
Brand building. It’s the backbone of any company or person. It’s how consumers identify with you. Know you. Want you. Need you. What does this have to do with Harley-Davidson? Plenty.
 
Recently, hubby and I watched a three-part movie about how the Harley-Davidson company was born on the Discovery channel. Boy did I learn a lot about running a business and branding just by watching that movie! The story focused on three partners: William (Bill) Harley (the engineer/creator), Arthur Davidson (the salesman/marketer), and Walter Davidson (the risk-taker, promoter). Together, these entrepreneurs gave the world of motorcycling an experience that felt like ‘an explosion between your legs’. Bill Harley’s words, not mine! LOL!
 
Here are six things I learned from Harley-Davidson…
 
Create buzz.
To build excitement and promote their product (think about this in terms of your book/books) Harley-Davidson sponsored a racing team named ‘The Wrecking Crew’ whose seat-in-their-pants racing style got the press the company needed to get
on the map and stimulate sales. Okay, writers don’t need a Wrecking Crew. But what about a Street Team, or a legion of super fans waiting in the wings for your next book? Use your website, blog or email list to create the buzz your book(s) need to get them flying off the shelves.
 
1907 Harley-Davidson
Find your tribe.
Arthur Davidson worked hard to generate sales. He started bike clubs, opened free beer tents at events to loyal customers, and had special offers/incentives to returning buyers. He was a trail-blazer of social media one hundred years before social media was even born. He engaged first, then sold. That’s what writers should be doing on social media—connect and engage with their target market first. If they trust you enough, they’ll ask about your book.
 
Look outside of the box.
Always looking for ways to market his motorcycles, Arthur Davidson approached the U.S. Postal Service and convinced them to trade their bicycles for Harley-Davidsons. He followed through with the Fire and Police Departments and eventually won them over. When the three partners met with the military during WW1, Arthur 
suggested that they send mechanics (for FREE) to teach the soldiers how to fix
their motorbikes in case they broke down while they were overseas. This strategy worked, and they shared the contract 50/50 with
Indian Motorcycle, the number one motorcycle company at the time. BTW—Indian went bankrupt in 1953. Writers need
to look outside the box too. There’s plenty of opportunity around, even if you have to offer your first book (or a short story) for free.
 
Focus on those little extras.
Walter Davidson recognized the allure of the motorcycle look and culture, so he launched a campaign to sell Harley-Davidson accessories and clothing which remains a major part of the company’s success to this day. Writers can open a ‘store page’ on their website (you have a website, right?) and sell items that are connected to their books, like T-shirts, coffee mugs or water bottles imprinted with their book cover, or even jewelry.
 
Re-brand or face-lift when the unexpected happens.
The stock market crash of 1929 hit Harley-Davidson hard. There was no disposable income, and barely any sales. Bill
Harley decided to give his motorcycles a much needed face-lift during the Depression. He redesigned their block-letter logo, and added a stylized eagle. The company also started offering their motorbikes in an array of different color schemes too. So when book sales are down, this gives writers an opportunity to redesign their book covers, or pull books off the virtual shelves and re-edit them. After all, Harley-Davidson built their company on a quality product, so shouldn’t you?
 
Continue to develop.
By the late 1930s, Bill Harley developed a new model that ended up being a breakthrough for the company. Sales soared with this bigger, badder, and more powerful machine. By the time WW2 began, Harley-Davidson had gained the respect of the military, and were asked to ship over 90,000 military-style motorbikes overseas to be used by the Allies. When the war ended, people returned to motorcycle riding with a deep respect and trust for the Harley-Davidson brand. So, while you may have one or more books out there for sale, it’s best to work on the next one, and continue to develop your brand and author platform. You never know. Your next book may be your ‘breakthrough’ book!
 
Is there a company out there that you’ve learned some tricks and techniques from to help build your writing career? How are you building your brand? Please leave a comment and share what you’ve learned. Cheers for reading my blog, I truly appreciate it!
 
Here’s a glimpse into one of the books from Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, my teen psychic mystery series.

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


City born and bred, Hart Stewart possesses the gift of psychometry—the psychic ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. Since his mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Hart has endured homelessness, and has learned ways to keep his illiteracy under wraps. He eventually learns of a great-aunt living in Fairy Falls and decides to leave the only life he’s ever known for an uncertain future.
Diana MacGregor lives in Fairy Falls. Her mother was a victim of a senseless murder. Only Diana’s unanswered questions and her grief keeps her going, until Hart finds her mother’s lost ring and becomes a witness to her murder.
Through Hart’s psychic power, Diana gains hope for justice. Their investigation leads them into the corrupt world threatening Fairy Falls. To secure the town’s future, Hart and Diana must join forces to uncover the shocking truth, or they risk losing the true essence of Fairy Falls forever.

 

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

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

Add A Comment

FROM MY KITCHEN TO YOURS

May 6, 2024 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

From Stella May

Beef Stroganoff was invented in Russia in the early 1800’s. Count Stroganoff was a dignitary in the court of Alexander III. Count Stroganoff’s chef, who was likely French, created the dish and named it after Stroganoff. The earliest known recorded recipe was in Elena Molokhovets’s A Gift to Young Housewives, published in 1871. There have been many versions of the recipe over the centuries, but this is the closest to the original one. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I do.

BEEF STROGANOFF

1 lb. top sirloin steak cut into thin strips

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 small onion, chopped fine

½ lb. shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 cup beef broth

¾ cup heavy whipping cream

¼ cup sour cream

½ tsp of Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

4 green onions, chopped include a good portion of green

Place a large deep pan over medium-high heat. Add two tablespoons oil. Once oil is very hot, add beef strips in a single layer. Cook until just browned and no longer red. Sear beef in two batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Remove beef to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Add butter, onion, and mushrooms. Sauté 6 – 8 minutes or until liquid has evaporated and veggies are soft and lightly browned.

Add 1 minced garlic clove and sauté 1 minute until fragrant. Add flour and sauté another minute, stirring constantly.

Carefully stir in beef broth, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan. Whisk in whipping cream and simmer another 1 – 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Blend two or three tablespoons of the sauce into the sour cream to warm it so it doesn’t curdle.   add it to the pan while stirring constantly.

Stir in Dijon mustard, season with salt and pepper. Continue simmering until sauce is creamy.

Add beef along with any accumulated juices back into the pan. Bring just to a simmer and cook until beef is heated through.

Garnish with green onions and serve over any noodles.

Bon appetite!

Here is a peek at my new series, the Rostoff Family Saga. New Dawn is book one soon to be followed by New Hope, New Life, and New Horizon.

Love wasn’t part of their agreement. Neither was being caught in a brutal web of lies.

International playboy and owner of a jewelry empire that spreads across three continents, Dmitry Rostoff holds a memory close to this heart that not even his best friend Vlad Albrecht knows. When Dmitry learns the Russian ballerina, he had a passionate affair with died in childbirth, bitterness and hate overrule all other emotions.

Taking the baby out of Russia is an impossible snarl of red tape, but Dmitry gets his way, even if he leaves a trail of chaos in his wake.

Natasha Sokolova planned to turn over the baby to Dmitry then walk away. Instead, she is on a plane to San Francisco with the baby and a cold, emotionless man who makes her heart pound with scorching attraction.

The family matriarch and evil to her core Elizabeth Rostoff plots to gain control of the baby, no matter what it costs or who it hurts, and will do anything to make that happen. She blackmails Marie Dubois, the manager of their elite Paris store, to seduce Dmitry. But Marie reneges on the deal when former Special Forces officer Vlad Albrecht storms into her life.

Once in America, Natasha finds herself entangled in a sticky web of lies created by the brutally calculating family matriarch. A web that forces Natasha to make a heartbreaking deal with the devil to protect the children—and man—she’s come to love.

AMAZON BUY LINK and OTHER SUPPLIERS

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

The Sweet Life on a Tiny Budget

April 29, 2024 | Author Friend Promo

from Leigh Goff

While we may not all have the bank accounts of the wealthy like the Diamonds & Pearls, the Southern socialites in my novel Koush Hollow, it’s still possible to infuse a touch of luxury into our lives without breaking the bank (or adding corporate corruption to your resume). Here are some tips to help you live like the rich, even if you’re not.

Create an environment around you that exudes elegance and refinement. Declutter your space, invest in quality over quantity, and curate a collection of timeless and sophisticated items that bring you joy.

Dress impeccably, even if your wardrobe consists of affordable pieces. Maintain cleanliness and tidiness in your living space. A well-presented appearance and environment can elevate your experience and create an aura of luxury.

Look for opportunities to indulge in luxurious experiences at a fraction of the cost. Keep an eye out for discounted spa treatments, sample sales, or off-peak travel deals. Enjoy a gourmet meal at home by trying new recipes or hosting a themed dinner party. Luxury can be found in the little details and experiences.

Rich living encompasses more than material possessions. Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. Incorporate simple wellness practices into your daily routine, such as meditation, exercise, or journaling. Nurturing your well-being is a priceless investment in yourself.

Fill your surroundings with items that inspire and uplift you. Seek out affordable artwork, decorative pieces, or fresh flowers to add a touch of beauty to your space. Pay attention to lighting and ambiance to create an atmosphere of luxury and tranquility.

Expand your knowledge and engage in cultural experiences. Visit museums on free or discounted days, explore public libraries for a wealth of books, or attend lectures and workshops. Enriching your mind with knowledge and culture adds depth and sophistication to your life.

Living like the rich, as the corrupt Rayna from Koush Hollow would say, is about experiences, mindset, and attention to detail, and it doesn’t have to be about the price tags. Embrace the art of elegance, seek out affordable luxury, prioritize self-care, and surround yourself with beauty. By incorporating these practices into your life, you can live a life that feels luxurious, regardless of your financial status.

Leigh Goff writes young adult fiction. She is a graduate from the University of Maryland and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI).

Born and raised on the East Coast, she now lives in Maryland where she and her husband enjoy the area’s great history and culture.

Learn more about Leigh Goff on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

 

1 Comment

TWO for ONE

April 22, 2024 | Author Friend Promo

by Emma Lane

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon Buy Link

And a little from my cozy mystery.

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

 

Amazon Buy Link

 

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

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

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter.

Add A Comment

First Books. . .First Loves

April 15, 2024 | Author Friend Promo

from the C in C.D. Hersh

While rummaging through some file cabinets the other day I came across a worn notebook containing my first novel, written when I was in high school. As one might suspect, it is a romance—an angst-ridden story about a young girl who falls in love, marries, and lives happily ever after with the movie star teen idol she adores. Compared to my books today this is a poorly written book, but, hey, I was a teenager. It’s so bad, in fact, I won’t let anyone read it.

As I looked through that book I began thinking about the other stories I had written in my youth and the subjects I had chosen for school papers. The ones that stood out in my memory were the romance novel, which I kept; a short story called Bloody Buttons, about a witch; an outer space story featuring aliens; and a school paper on an Aztec myth about a magical feather.

Notice a theme here? Romance, supernatural elements, magic, and fantasy—the backbone of paranormal romances which my husband and I write. Wondering if my discovery about my basic writing affinities held true for my husband, too, I questioned him about his teenage manuscripts. His reply was as a teen he was too busy with sports to write, but he did have some old school papers, mostly about running and sports.

Since he hadn’t written much as a teen I asked, “So what did you read when you were younger?”

He pointed at the bookshelves on his wall displaying his childhood reading collections of Tom Swift (science fiction/fantasy), The Hardy Boy mystery series and Sherlock Holmes. Not exactly in the paranormal realm but science fiction could be considered in the ball park, and there’s usually a mystery of some sort to be unraveled in our books. A quick scan of his bookshelves revealed another set of fantasy/alternate-world series, written more for men, but definitely in the paranormal genre. If I could see his current e-library I know it would show scads of romance and paranormal romance. The books he has penned as an adult include a Sherlock Holmes story and a time travel adventure—both still within the realm of his early reading interests.

I found it remarkable that over the years our taste in home furnishings has changed. We started out Colonial and Country and ended up Southwest. My taste in jewelry went from gold to silver and turquoise. We used to window shop in the malls, and buy at Goodwill. Now we go antiquing. Rock and Roll gave way to Country music. Jeeps and sports cars moved over for more luxurious vehicles, although Donald is still longing for a Corvette. Apartments gave way to houses, and patios lined with flowerpots grew into a huge garden.

We have continually evolved in almost every aspect of our lives, sometimes even making 180 degree turns. But one thing hasn’t changed. We still love books, and we still love the genres we cut our reading and writing teeth on. Romance, fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction claim a big part of the bookshelves in our home, both paper and ebooks.

I guess what they say is true—write what you know … and what you love.

What’s the earliest book you remember writing and reading? Are you still writing and reading in that genre? Let us know in the comments.

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

The first four books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available in e-book format on Amazon. Can’t Stop The Music, their standalone romance novella currently out of print, won the 2018 Uncaged Book Reviews Contemporary Music Raven Award.

Ghosts and Gardenias, the first book in their time slip romance series Ghosts of Garnoa Road, will come out in the spring of 2024.

In addition to writing Catherine and Donald love antiquing, traveling, singing, and going to the theatre. Catherine is also an avid gardener and has drawn Donald into her garden as a day laborer. They figure the couple who plays together and works together, stays together—and that’s just what they aim to do.

Amazon buy links:

The Turning Stone Chronicles series page

The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 1) eBook

Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 2): eBook

Son of the Moonless Night (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 3) eBook

The Mercenary and the Shifters (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 4) eBook

Learn more about C.D. Hersh on their Website, Soul Mate Publishing, Amazon Author Page. Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads. Be sure to follow their Blog.

Add A Comment

PIZZERIA PERFECT

April 8, 2024 | Cooking

from Sloane Taylor

This easy recipe is perfect for busy weekends when all you want is a tasty meal and a cold beverage. I use sausage, but don’t let that stop you. Add on whatever toppings suit you right after the meat. The cooking time remains the same. The secret to making this pizza extra good is the grated Parmesan cheese. Our grandson, Dakota, works at an Italian restaurant and offered this suggestion. GREAT addition.

MENU

Quick & Easy Pizza

Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing

Dry White Wine – Pinto Grigio or Cold Peroni Beer

 

Quick & Easy Pizza
1 lb. Italian sausage, preferably bulk type

1 tube refrigerated pizza dough

2 oz. tomato paste, freeze remainder to use in other recipes

Chicken stock, not broth

1 tbsp. garlic powder, not salt

1 tbsp. oregano1 tbsp. basil

1 tsp. sugar

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese, grated

Olive oil to drizzle

1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 425°.

Place sausage in cold frying pan set over medium heat. Break into small chunks as you sauté it until no longer pink, about 15 minutes. Adjust heat so as not to burn sausage. If you use link sausage then squeeze it from the casing before frying.

Scoop tomato paste into a measuring cup. Stir in enough chicken stock to bring the blend to just under two-thirds cup. Mix in garlic, oregano, basil, sugar, and pepper until well blended. You may need a little more stock to make the mixture more sauce like. Don’t add too much or your crust will soggy.

If you use a pizza pan then sprinkle just a little cornmeal or flour on. This helps absorb the moisture while baking to maintain a crisp crust. It isn’t necessary with a pizza stone.

Spread out the dough on the pan/stone. Smear sauce on top and spread to the edges. Grate a healthy amount of Parmesan over the dough.

Cascade sausage and your other toppings onto the pie. Drizzle with oil. Bake 12 minutes.

Remove pan/stone from oven. Scatter mozzarella across the top. Turn off the oven then set the pizza inside. Allow pizza to remain until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Cut into squares and enjoy!

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

Sloane

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning romance author with a passion that consumes her day and night. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

To learn more about Taylor go to her website. Stay in touch on Blogger, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Taylor’s cookbooks, Hot Men Wear Aprons, Date Night Dinners, Date Night Dinners Italian Style, Sizzling Summer, and Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire are released by Toque & Dagger Publishing and available on Amazon.

Add A Comment

C.D. Hersh Cover Reveal

April 1, 2024 | Author Friend Promo

from C.D. Hersh

Ghosts and Gardenias!

 

Where we live, in Southwestern Ohio, one of the most haunted cities in the area is Cincinnati, Ohio. Here’s a sampling of some haunted spots in that fair city.

Music Hall, in downtown Cincinnati, built on top of a pauper’s grave, is rumored to be haunted and was selected as one of the Travel Channel’s Most Terrifying Places in America.

Union Terminal
photo by Donald Hersh

Union Terminal, or the Cincinnati Museum Center as it’s known now, is said to be haunted by the ghost of a security guard named Shirley, who was murdered there.

At the Cincinnati Art Museum a seven-foot specter rises from a mummy sarcophagus.

Kings Island Amusement Park employees have reported sightings of a little girl in a period 1900s blue dress believed to come from the graveyard adjacent to the park.

Mother of Mercy High School has a nun, Sister Mary Carlos, who haunts the auditorium, which is named after her. The Sister interferes with performances unless she is asked for permission to use the space and is invited to the performance.

At the Cincinnati Zoo not all the animals are caged. A ghostly lioness prowls the park at night.

We haven’t seen any of these apparitions, and don’t plan on going ghost hunting to find them.

Now that we’ve thoroughly frightened ourselves by writing about all this spooky stuff at night, we think we’ll go double check the dead bolts, flip on all the lights, and look up some paranormal ghost busters … just in case.

Happy Haunting!

Have you ever had any spooky, paranormal encounters?

While you think about that here’s the blurb from the first book in our Haunting of Garnoa Road Series.

Susan Trowbridge is the victim of mistaken identity, trapped in the past by a ghost and a haunted wedding gown. To return home she must discover the identity of the ghost’s murderer. Can Susan stop the murder, or will history repeat itself, with her as the victim this time? And if she does stop the murder, must she return home and leave the man she has come to love?

Duncan Hawthorn is a man battling his own demons. But when Susan falls into his life, Duncan finds himself inexplicably attracted to a woman he thought he hated. Should he believe she is in danger? Should he believe her irrational claims that she is from the future? Either way, he realizes he will lose the woman who has become his salvation and his true love.

Amazon pre-sale link Ghosts and Gardenias

When your “goose bumps” disappear perhaps you might be interested in the links for our other paranormal books on our Amazon Author Page.

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

Their paranormal series titled The Turning Stone Chronicles can be found on Amazon.

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.

Social Media Info:

Website

Soul Mate Publishing

Facebook

Amazon Author Page

Twitter

Add A Comment

Spy on Your Competition to Succeed

March 25, 2024 | Author Friend Promo

by Sharon Ledwith

Spying is a catchy way of saying “do your research and stay tuned in.” Regardless of what you call it, it’s a mandatory part of being successful. It’s also a great way to build connections. There’s an old saying that to be successful you have to stop obsessing about the competition. I agree with that to a certain degree, but to be unaware of what other authors in your genre are doing is never a smart idea.

Regardless of what you write you need to be dialed into the competitive landscape. Knowing what others in your target market are doing, writing about, and promoting can be key to your success as well. Not that I would ever encourage copying, but being in tune with your genre and market can be a fantastic idea generator, not to mention it gives you the ability to stay ahead of certain trends that haven’t even surfaced at the consumer level yet.

First rule of spying: study your target market, the books as well as other authors in the industry. It helps you to also differentiate yourself from them in products, services, and pricing. Again, you don’t want to copy, you just want to be aware. Another lesser known reason for doing this is that if you’re struggling with your social media (like me)—both from the aspect of what platform to be on to what to say to drive more engagement—keeping these authors on your radar will greatly increase your marketing ideas. Living in a vacuum never made anyone successful.

Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, you want to know who else is writing on your topic or in your genre. Google search is a great place to start. The results will not just turn up names and book titles but also show you the best ways to interact with your reader.

Google is packed with names of authors who write about your topic or genre. As you begin to compile your list, I want you to do one thing: ignore big brands because it’s likely that they can do anything they want and still be successful. If you’re a middle grade writer, names like Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull come to mind. These authors are big, powerful brands. You want the smaller names—the people you may not immediately recognize. Why? Because they have to try harder. If tomorrow Riordan or Mull decided to put out a book on poetry, while their fans might be surprised, they would likely still buy it. But if a lesser-known author did that they’d look like they have writer-ADD. Not good.

So start putting your list together, as you do sign up for their mailing lists, and follow them on Twitter and any other social media site they use. That’s what I do. Aside from the obvious reasons why you want to do this, I’m a big fan of supporting other authors in my market. Share their Facebook updates, retweet their great Twitter posts, and like their Instagram images.

One of the hidden gems of this research is it will also show you what social media sites to be on. If you’ve been struggling to figure out where your market resides, this strategy should really clear that up for you. Why? Because if you’re plucking names off of the first page of Google you know one thing: whatever they are doing to show up in search, they’re doing it right. Google has made so many changes to their search algorithms that you simply can’t “trick” the system anymore to get onto page one. Look at their updates. What are they sharing and why? How often do they blog? Are they on LinkedIn instead of Facebook? Is there much going on for them on Pinterest or Instagram? Really spend some time with this. Not only will it help you tune into your market but it will cut your learning curve by half, if not more.

Successful authors leave clues. Are you following their bread crumbs?

Here’s a glimpse into one of the books from Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, my teen psychic mystery series.

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

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

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

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

AMAZON BUY LINK

 

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

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

Add A Comment