Archive for the 'Author Friend Promo' Category

POPPAW’S JUG

September 26, 2022 | Author Friend Promo, Uncategorized

From Linda Lee Greene, Author/Artist

In light of so many unspeakable tragedies in an out-of-control world, to put hopeful words of any kind to paper touches on the grotesque. However, life’s troubles concurrently remind us of our courageous ancestors who sacrificed so much to pave the way for us. They would roll over in their graves if we give into helplessness and are thus struck silent. To be human is to contend with disaster and the grief it leaves in its wake. We must express our grief even as we attempt to master our despair. We have learned through our everyday living that grief can be transformed as something bearable through acts of love. To honor our traditions is an act of love that celebrates and validates our forebears. It is also a comfort-seeking pursuit for us as we carry on in their absence. The following is a true story. It recounts such an act of love on the part of my family:

“My maternal ancestors were faithful to their generational commitment to express their respect and gratitude to their deceased relatives and friends by visiting their graves on every holiday and change of seasons. Each visit involved decorating and maintaining the graves.

Back when my mother and her siblings were youngsters, their old car of the day being too small to accommodate their large brood, their mighty team of broad-backed workhorses, Roger and Smoky by name, pulled the heavy, buckboard wagon on their visits to the various graveyards in the area. Mommaw and Poppaw, taking a rare break from the demanding duties of their farm, were at the helm of the wagon. Dean, the baby of the family, sat between his parents on the high seat of the buckboard, a vantage point that overlooked the ample rumps of the horses. In the back, the seven other children, my mother among them before she was my mother, sat on bound bundles of hay perched vicariously on the gaping floorboards that formed the flat bed of the conveyance. The group of them, in perfect harmony and at the top of their lungs, accompanied by Uncle Bob and Uncle Bussy on their mandolins, sang the old song, “On Top of Old Smoky,” while the groaning wagon appeared in danger of imploding from the weight of its human cargo and the strain of the rough terrain that suffered its challenged wheels and chassis. Years later and as the first grandchildren born to the family, my brother and I also rode on that wagon on similar excursions, singing that old song in unison with our aunts and uncles at the top of our voices. My brother and I then got to ride between Mommaw and Poppaw on the high seat that overlooked the broad backs of Roger and Smoky. I was a grown woman and married, with children of my own when suddenly one day it dawned on me for the first time that the song was about the Great Smoky Mountains rather than a horse named Smoky.

I still can see in my mind’s eye the wobbly wheels of the buckboard and the iron-shod hooves of the horses kicking up clouds of dust on the deeply rutted, mud-caked lanes that lead to the remote cemeteries. One of my prized possessions is the old, earthenware jug that contained the grease Poppaw used to lubricate the screeching wheels of the buckboard. The interior of the jug’s fissured walls are coated to this day with black and slick remnants of the grease. During those journeys, every once in a while, Poppaw yelled, “Whoa, Roger…Whoa Smoky,” and the buckboard came to a grating halt. While the horses snorted from their huge nostrils and pawed the ground with their heavy hooves, their hot bodies steaming and making auras of their perspiration all around them, down from the high seat on his long legs Poppaw jumped, pulling the jug from beneath the seat, a stick jutting from its open top. The working end of the stick was wrapped in a grease-blackened cloth, and he smeared the axles of the wheels with it.

At the entrance to the road that loops the community of Cedar Fork where my parents spent their formative years, although several new homesteads have sprung up over the years, still it feels to me as if I’m entering an evolutionary backwater, a safe haven cut off from the rest of the world. These days I come to call in my car rather than on a buckboard. I take the right turn in the loop that leads past “Greene Acres,” the location of the fallen log cabin where my father and his family lived back in those days. I pull my car into the area, park, and then walk to the edge of the property, its border high above Cedar Fork Creek.

In the canyon below, sunlight filters through the trees, winking gaily upon the rushing water of the creek. I stretch my eyes to get a glimpse of the footbridge by the ancient, mountain spring that was the source of drinking and cooking water for my father’s large family long ago, and a bright ray of sun, as if switched on for my benefit by the Hand of God, isolates it and sets it aglow. I take it as a “token” message, a greeting from the spirit of my paternal grandmother, and I smile and wave at her as if she is actually standing there. Satisfied that my presence has been acknowledged and welcomed, I return to my car. Over the decades, the markers of my deceased, maternal relatives have accumulated in the graveyard in Cedar Fork, and I am shocked, as always, at the increased number of them, as beneath the tires of my car the gravel on the lane to the small, country cemetery loudly pops and crunches. There exists a legend that birds shun other neighboring trees, preferring to gather en masse instead among the leaves of an ancient pipal tree in a shimmering land across the sea, the pipal that is said to be a direct descendant of the holy tree the Buddha sat beneath while attaining enlightenment during his days of contemplation there. It might be my prolific imagination at work, but I swear a similar phenomenon occurs in a venerable oak tree that arches above the burial plot of my family, where, among Civil War and other war veterans, upper-crust titans, and lower-caste farmers of the area, Mommaw and Poppaw, my mother and father, my sister and most of my nearest, deceased maternal kin now lie.

And as if in testimony to my childhood memories of such a phenomenon, while its abutting trees appear to be empty, huddled within the gnarled branches of the wizened, oak tree, the gathered birds are perched. As I approach the graves, my presence sets in motion the flight of the birds, their overlapped and snapping black wings, for those brief moments in time, blotting out the sun.

I have read that birds are manifest angels on earth, but I am less wise about such things than when a child. Knowing it will not be confirmed to me until I complete my own earthly journey, I leave it to the humming wheel of the universe, and to my elders, all of whom on my mother’s side of my family, are already there in Cedar Fork Cemetery, and where someday my remains will mingle with theirs.”

 

 

The above essay is an adaptation of an excerpt of Guardians and Other Angels, my novel of historical fiction and true family lore. It is available in eBook and paperback 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.

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EASY DESSERT for EVERY OCCASSION

September 21, 2022 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

From Stella May

This recipe for a classic meringue desert is easy to prepare and wonderful to eat. My family loves these cookies as a sweet after a good dinner. If you choose to use vanilla extract, you’ll have a classic méringue desert called La Bise (kiss in French). Bon appetite!

Almond Meringue Cookies
4 egg whites, cold eggs right from the fridge
Pinch of salt
¾ or 1 cup of white sugar (I use organic raw cane sugar)
1 tbsp. almond or vanilla extract
12 whole almonds

Preheat oven to 200° F.

You need a hand or standing mixer. Mix egg whites and salt on high-speed to the consistency of dense foam.

Add sugar by small portions, mixing well. Try not to stop your mixer while adding sugar.
Add almond extract.

Cover cookie sheet with parchment. Spoon mixture into 12 cookies. You can use an ice-cream scoop. Place one whole almond on top of each cookie.

Bake for 1 hour. Lightly touch the cookie. It will have a firm crust and a soft center. That’s ideal. Turn off the oven and leave the cookies inside the oven for 1 hour.

Remove them from the oven to cool completely. Enjoy!

Here’s a little to intrigue you on Stell May’s latest time travel romance.

After months of working like a woman possessed, Nika Morris kept her promise. Coleman House is finished. It’s gorgeous. Spectacular. Brilliant.

It’s breaking her heart.

Because once the new owners move in, she’ll be cut off from the time portal to 1909, where she met and fell in love with Eli Coleman. Now stranded in her own time, she’s waited months for the key to reappear in its hiding place. Only it hasn’t. Which means Eli must have believed the terrible things she was accused of.

Back in 1909, Eli is stunned at his best friend’s deathbed confession of a shocking betrayal. Nika—his Daisy, his time-traveling wonder—was innocent. Once he finds the key, he wastes no time stepping through the portal, determined to make things right.

But the moment Eli stumbles into her shiny, noisy, confusing future, he realizes reconciliation won’t be simple. There is more than one emotional bridge to rebuild before he and Nika can return to the time their love was born—and live their destiny out to the fullest.

AMAZON BUY LINK

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 FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

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Southern Plantations’ Dark Legacy

September 19, 2022 | Author Friend Promo

from Sharon Ledwith

Antebellum-style Plantation House

Visions of Scarlett O’Hara’s Tara from the movie Gone with the Wind or the famous Oak Alley Plantation sweep through ones’ mind when conjuring up those antebellum period plantations of the deep south for some. However, for the black race and people of color, plantation life in the 1700s and 1800s was a constant struggle just to stay alive. In The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave, the third installment of The Last Timekeepers time travel adventure series, eleven-year-old protagonist Drake Bailey must confront not only his demons, but the terrible oppression and cruelty against his race in antebellum Georgia.

When I researched these grand Southern homes for my novel, I found a few myths in this mired past. In movies, plantations were often depicted as ‘mansions’ with fluted columns and a broad porch; massive trees with their drooping limbs lining circular driveways, and finely dressed men and women parading their wealth for all to see. Um, no. There were a few plantations which fit this description, but these were the exceptions. Most plantation owners lived modestly and some even poorly. The overwhelming majority of slaveholders held less than twenty slaves. Yet, even if a man only held one or two slaves, he had considerably more status in southern society than a man who held no slaves. Status was everything to the South’s white population, and the more slaves a man owned, the more respected he was.

The plantation was a world in itself. I created the fictional Taylor Plantation situated near Athens Georgia, close to where my time traveling characters would land. Trying to keep the grounds as authentic as I could, the plantation was comprised of the slave owner’s house (the Taylors) which was called the ‘big house’, the line of single-room cabins dubbed ‘slave row’ where slaves called ‘home’, and nearby loomed the overseer’s house. Scattered about this plantation were various barns and sheds where animals, tools, and the harvested crops were stored. Surrounding everything were cotton fields and woods and situated in the back of the property lurked the slave cemetery by a winding creek.

Interior of slave quarters

Curious on how plantations came to be? In the early 17th century, when the British colonized what would later become the United States of America, the crown offered large plots of land to settlers as an incentive for them to journey to a strange and harsh new world. Many settlers who took the deal combined their properties into larger settlements—in the South, these eventually became plantations. As these landowners needed immense manpower to maintain the plantations, they turned to slavery, importing captured peoples from Africa as forced laborers.

Plantations operated relatively unfettered in the American South for more than 250 years; the Northern states, however, had all abolished slavery by 1804. Despite Congress banning the African slave trade in 1808, the domestic slave trade in the South continued until the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865, which banned slavery outright.

During Reconstruction (post-Civil War years), the plantation system collapsed. While some plantations were destroyed, many were subdivided, with both black and white farmers leasing these smaller plots as sharecroppers (who would give a portion of their harvest to the landowner as ‘rent’) or tenant farmers (who paid rent). These farming practices continued through the mid-20th century until the Great Depression and advancements in farming technology got rid of traditional plantations for good.

Many people descended from African American slaves consider plantations to be the American version of Auschwitz. They’re
not wrong. Filled with echoes of death and despair, Southern plantations—many of which are in disrepair and decay—are places where slavery made the romanticized southern lifestyle possible and continue to carry their dark legacy to this day.

Here’s a snippet of what to expect in the third installment of The Last Timekeepers available for purchase on all
your online bookstores…

True freedom happens only when you choose to be free.

Eleven-year-old Drake Bailey is an analytical thinker and the genius of the Timekeeper crew. However, no logic or mathematical acumen can change the color of his skin or prepare him for this third Timekeeper mission in antebellum Georgia. To survive, Drake must learn to
play the role of a plantation slave and when confronted with the brutality, hatred, and racism of the deep south, he’ll have to strategically keep one move ahead of his sadistic captors to ensure his lineage continues.

In a dark world of Voodoo, zombies, and ritualistic sacrifice, the Timekeepers must ensure a royal bloodline survives. Can Drake remove both literal and figurative chains to save both
himself and a devout slave girl from a terrible fate? If he can’t summon the necessary courage, humanity could stand to lose one of its greatest leaders.

Amazon Buy Link

Here’s a glimpse of the premises of both my young adult series:

The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventures…

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers—legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial—five classmates are sent into the past to restore balance, and bring order back into the world, one mission at a time.

Children are the keys to our future. And now, children are the only hope for our past.

Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mysteries…

Imagine a teenager possessing a psychic ability and struggling to cope with its freakish power. There’s no hope for a normal life, and no one who understands. Now, imagine being uprooted and forced to live in a small tourist town where nothing much ever happens. It’s bores-ville from the get-go. Until mysterious things start to happen.

Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expect the unexpected.

The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventure Series:

The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave, Book #3

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE

The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, Book #2

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE

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

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE

Legend of the Timekeepers, prequel

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE

Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mystery Series:

Lost and Found, Book One

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE

Blackflies and Blueberries, Book Two

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the award-winning 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 spoiled hubby, and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Look up her AMAZON AUTHOR page for a list of current books. Stay connected on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, LINKEDIN, INSTAGRAM, and GOODREADS.

BONUS: Download the free PDF short story The Terrible, Mighty Crystal HERE

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GOOD FALL EATING

September 14, 2022 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

From Emma Lane

This is a favorite of mine to use when I have leftovers. Actually, I plan so I have the right ingredients, but don’t tell my secrets.

In late summer when veggies are in top form, the sparkling green of fat bell peppers has my mouth watering. Fry up a bit more summer sausage for breakfast than you need. Pull out of the freezer that small bit of ground beef you cooked up with onion. Add a bit of chopped green onion, a dash of garlic salt. Mix with tomato soup which is undiluted. Use a ½ can if you only make up two; a whole can for four peppers. Add 1½ cups of white or wild rice that you had left over and tucked into the freezer. Voila! You are ready to assemble. All ingredients are already cooked, so you are just baking the peppers, microwave or oven.

Now if you don’t have leftovers then this is the recipe, that serves 4, to follow.

STUFFED PEPPERS
4 green peppers, red or yellow are good too
½ cup summer sausage, cooked, drained
½ cup ground beef, cooked, drained
1½ cups cooked wild or white rice
1 can tomato soup, regular size
Dash of garlic powder
Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. chopped green onion
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Parsley garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cut the top off peppers and discard stems, chop tops into small sizes and leave in bowl. Remove seeds from peppers and arrange in baking dish.

Mix remaining ingredients in bowl with chopped tops and then spoon into peppers. Cook for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the parm. May be refrigerated and served next day. Warm in oven or microwave.

Late summer harvest presents many choices for salads and dessert. A side dish of fruit and a slice of cheese (so many excellent selections). Corn bread is also a great taste with the peppers.

Enjoy!

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.

AMAZON BUY LINK

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.

 

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INTRIGUE and ROMANCE

September 12, 2022 | Author Friend Promo

from Eris Perese

The most famous water ways in the world are the two beautiful Straits—the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. The Bosphorus connects the Black Sea, where Russia has ports such as Sevastopol, to the Marmar Sea. Each year approximately 50,000 ships pass through the Bosphorus. Grain, produce, and 3 million gallons of oil are transported through the Bosphorus each year. The Dardanelles connects the Marmara Sea to the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea and from there to the world’s shipping lanes. For hundreds of years, the Straits were under the control of the Ottoman Empire and when the Ottoman Empire became the Turkish Republic in 1923, the Straits became known as the Turkish Straits.

The Turkish Straits have long been the coveted entrance to the world for land-locked Russia. For over two hundred years, as her territory and population expanded, Russia has tried to secure warm water ports, year-round ports such as Odessa that do not freeze in the winter. Warm water ports would enable her to increase her trading capacity. In the early days, it was the Ottoman Empire that controlled the Straits, and the Ottoman Empire fought many wars to prevent Russia from capturing them and the Ottoman Empire’s capital city of Constantinople. Now it is the Republic of Turkey that controls the Straits and faces Russia’s renewed attempts to wrench control of the Straits from Turkey through invasion of the Ukraine, parts of which were once known as Crimea. Russia’s goal: capture of the port city of Odessa.

My historical novel– Lady Munevver: The Opium Merchant’s Daughter— is set in the Victorian period as England is preparing to enter the War in the East, the Crimean War, to support the Ottoman Empire that has been invaded by Russia. Russia’s 1853 invasion of Crimea results in three Empires—England, France, and the Ottoman Empire– declaring war on Russia. It precipitates a disastrous marriage for Lady Munevver. It changes the world with advances in ships and military weapons, the development of the telegraph with its ability to deliver war news almost instantly, and the creation of modern nursing in Scutari Hospital.

In Surrey, England, the merchant father of beautiful but handicapped Munevver is obsessed with gaining acceptance by the Ton. Refusing Munevver’s plea to marry her childhood love, William of Yorkshire, he arranges a marriage with James, the dissolute son of an impoverished, hard-handed Duke.

When England is drawn into the Crimean War, James joins the Light Brigade and sails to the Ottoman Empire to fight the invading Russians. After learning her husband has died in Scutari Hospital, an improvised hospital for English soldiers located across the Bosphorus from Constantinople, Munevver, terrified at what her father-in-law might do, flees England. Her destination: the ancient city of Aleppo in the eastern part of the Ottoman Empire where she hopes her uncle will shelter her in his vast trading compound.

Her escape ends in Constantinople when. the Sultan, irate at Queen Victoria’s command that he return the widow of one of her Lords, arranges a marriage for Munevver with Ari, a member of his court. Problem solved. Munevver is now the wife of an Ottoman citizen. She is invisible.

Banished to the ancient, primitive city of Ankara, the young couple struggles to survive political intrigue, intense cold, and lack of medical care. After Ari dies of tuberculosis, Munevver is desperate to return to Yorkshire, to her grandfather and to the man she loves, William. But how? Dare she accept the quid pro quo arrangement offered by the most powerful woman in the Ottoman Empire, the Sultan’s mother?

Available in e-book and paperback.

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Eris Field was born in the Green Mountains of Vermont—Jericho, Vermont to be precise—close by the home of Wilson Bentley (aka Snowflake Bentley), the first person in the world to photograph snowflakes. She learned from her Vermont neighbors that pursuit of one’s dream is a worthwhile life goal.

As a seventeen-year-old student nurse at Albany Hospital, Eris met a Turkish surgical intern who told her fascinating stories about the history of Turkey, the loss of the Ottoman Empire, and forced population exchanges. After they married and moved to Buffalo, Eris worked as a nurse at Children’s Hospital and at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

After taking time off to raise five children and amassing rejection letters for her short stories, Eris earned her master’s degree in Psychiatric Nursing at the University at Buffalo. Later, she taught psychiatric nursing at the University and wrote a textbook for psychiatric nurse practitioners—a wonderful rewarding but never to be repeated experience.

Eris now writes novels, usually international, contemporary romances. Her interest in history and her experience in psychiatry often play a part in her stories. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Western New York Romance Writers. In addition to writing, Eris’s interests include Prevention of Psychiatric Disorders; Eradicating Honor Killings, supporting the Crossroads Springs Orphanage in Kenya for children orphaned by AIDS, and learning more about Turkey, Cyprus, and Kurdistan.

Learn more about Eris Field on her website. Stay connected on Facebook.

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BUSY DAY DINNER

August 31, 2022 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

From Emma Lane

Busy days we look for easy but tasty quick main dishes. This is a family recipe that is sure to please both parents and kids (or grandchildren). The young ones will love the mac & cheese and barely notice they are eating veggies. Easy to add side dishes to round out the meal without much fussing. Serve ice cream for dessert.

Quick & Easy Mac and Cheese Casserole

1 small onion

1 small carrot, grated

⅓ cup frozen green peas

½ lb. ground beef

1 box mac & cheese

½ can cream of chicken soup

Melt butter in a frying pan. When the foam subsides, sauté onion, carrot, and peas until onion is translucent. Spoon mixture into a microwaveable dish.

Use the same pan to fry ground beef until browned. Be sure to break meat into small pieces. Drain fat.

Cook mac & cheese per package directions.

Combine meat, mac & cheese with vegetables. Stir soup gently into mixture. (Save other half of soup for eggs next morning.)

Warm casserole in microwave oven for two minutes or until steaming. Serve with green salad.

This casserole dish may be prepared the day before and refrigerated for easy warm-up.

Here are some tasty side options we enjoy with the casserole:

Pear Salad

Apple slices dotted with yogurt or sour cream

Apple sauce with cinnamon

Sliced melon

Green grapes

How about a peek at one of my cozy mysteries written under my pseudo name Janis Lane?

A blizzard blows in big-city crimes which spill into the peaceful small town of Hubbard, New York, catching the attention of Detective Kevin Fowler and staff. What unusual acts engage the Secret Service with the local cops? A young man is found badly beaten in the heated greenhouse of the Young Family Plant Nursery. Early spring melt reveals a sinister vehicle with a deadly cargo, even as the master of the greenhouse welcomes part-time alumni.

Romance swirls, tumbles, and produces surprising changes among the group of friends at Buddy and Rita’s diner. Beverly hires a young, ambitious reporter to work at the growing newspaper and starts a new adventure of her own, while Kevin watches over the townspeople of Hubbard. The mystery of a toxic skunk is finally routed by troublesome out-of-towners. An unexpected wedding shocks everyone but the Young Family. Spring has arrived and May is in full bloom in the Western New York small-town Americana, as another beautiful bride walks toward the flower-laded bower under the approving eyes of a group of fond friends.

AMAZON BUY LINK

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.

  

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AIR CONDITIONING

August 29, 2022 | Author Friend Promo

The invention we can’t live without!

from C.D. Hersh

What to you is the greatest invention in human history? The wheel? Sliced bread? Electricity (not exactly an invention)? The light bulb? The list is endless of the various inventions in human history, but only one that helps when the temperatures move beyond 90 degrees. Can there be any doubt that our most amazing piece of technology is the air conditioner?

In 1902 Willis Carrier created the Apparatus for Treating Air for a Brooklyn printing company—a break-through that, as it developed and spread over decades, changed the human condition. Today close to 87 percent of U.S. homes have AC, but we’re old enough to remember when it was a luxury.

During heat waves, people barely moved or did anything. You would sit in front of fans of all sorts to try to stay cool. Some even used tubs of ice in front of the fan to blow cooling air. Nights were a sleepless ordeal, with sweat pooling in various places of the body. Then morning came and you had to wash the damp sheets. Did we mention we lived through this? Carrier set us free from such torment with his invention. Why is he not honored with a special day on the calendar?

Air conditioning is not simply a comfort but has now become a part of modern life. Without it keeping people and computers working when the mercury climbs past 90 all activity would slow or even stop. Would computers even operate? Air conditioning has made it possible for millions of people to live in the Sun Belt states that nature intended for lizards, not humans. As the world warms, the demand for AC grows ever greater. Currently consuming 12 percent of U.S. home energy expenditures, some climate change warriors suggest we all wean ourselves from Carrier’s invention. They argue for a return to a more natural way of life. Been there, done that, not going back!

Sorry, we’d give up about everything else before we went back to living without conditioned air. If they come for our AC, as the saying goes, they’ll have to pry it out of our wonderfully cold, dead fingers.

Now, if your AC is working, settle into a comfy chair and check out some of our hot books on our website’s book page, or on our Amazon Author Page

C.D. Hersh–Two hearts creating everlasting love stories.
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.

Their paranormal series is titled The Turning Stone Chronicles.

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.

Learn more about C.D. Hersh on their Website and their other social media pages, Soul Mate Publishing, Facebook, Amazon Author Page, and Twitter.

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COMING IN ON FLIGHT 79

August 22, 2022 | Author Friend Promo

From Linda Lee Greene, Author/Artist

“You know what the trouble is, don’t you?” the man in the aisle seat in my row said to me. My head on its stiff neck cranked in his direction, an enquiring eyebrow lifted in irritation. It had been my habit over the years to avoid airplane conversations. I used such occasions to let loose full-bore my intrinsic reserve. “It’s all that heavy baggage stuffed top to bottom in the hold,” the man went on to explain. “You’d think that people would learn by now that if they want an easier takeoff and a smoother flight, they’d pack lighter than before. Seventy-nine of these flights and nobody seems to have learned that lesson—nobody but me that is. This is the extent of my gear,” he said as he placed a small leather pouch no larger than his open hand on the empty seat between us.

“Cheeky fellow,” I said to myself and then turned my face back to the window. All of a sudden, fuming, black clouds split open and barraged the airplane with a torrent of rain. The vessel rose and dropped, rose and dropped like a rollercoaster car. My knuckles white on the armrests, I nearly lost my breakfast. I stole a glance at my seat companion and was astonished at his utter composure. His hands folded softly in his lap and eyes closed, his chest expanded and contracted in gentle, easy breaths. It appeared that his experience of our journey was the opposite of mine.

Moments that seemed an eternity passed by, and the plane leveled and found its balance for a while. I thought it expedient to discover the source of the man’s serenity. “What’s your destination?” I inquired.

“As far as the plane will take me,” was his reply. “Further along than last year,” he added.

“I never seem to get very far at all from my starting point,” I admitted.  “There have been trips where I even went backwards.”

“Same here,” he confessed.

“What’s different this trip?” I asked.

“I had a dream. I take messages in dreams to heart. In the dream, a voice told me flat out that I had to lighten my load if I expect to ever get where I’m supposed to go, and especially to get off the ground for my very last trip, which the voice told me is still far in the future. So, I started unloading my enormous suitcase.”

“Unloading it of what?”

“The voice told me to begin by dumping outworn regrets and then pointless guilt; childish resentments and envies and jealousies and grudges; unspoken apologies; unattended amends, and pernicious unforgiveness. Getting rid of those things alone would lighten the load a whole lot. But that wasn’t enough—not nearly enough. There is this thing called ‘yearning,’ that wistful longing for things that will never be. Do you know what I mean?”

Pastel and acrylic painting, “Coppers” by Linda Lee Greene

“Do I ever!” I answered. I pushed back into my seat, closed my eyes and thought about all my companion had said. Without a doubt, unforgiveness would continue to stick to me like glue. And must I accept that I will never live in that villa-of-my-dreams in Tuscany; that I will never know if so-and-so really loved me; that I will never be sure that my children will be okay without me? Hardest of all will be to give up agonizing over those unfinished things: the paintings I will leave undone; the poems, essays, blog posts, and books I won’t complete.

If I rid myself of all those things, I guess my suitcase will be pretty empty—probably not entirely empty, because I’m quite sure nobody gets out completely clear and clean. But maybe I can get it down to a small pouch like my companion’s. If I keep chiseling away so that by the end of this spiritual journey known as ‘my life,’ maybe, just maybe I will be as weightless as a butterfly, and who knows how wonderful my final flight will be and where it will take me?

“Happy 79!” my companion said to me.

“How does he know I’m 79?” I asked myself. Just before I drifted off to sleep, I remembered that nobody boarded Flight 79 any other way. Outside the window, the storm raged again, and I was no longer afraid.

Linda

Readers were introduced to American Nicholas Plato in multi-award-winning author Linda Lee Greene’s A Chance at the Moon, which is available for purchase on Amazon. In Garden of the Spirits of the Pots, A Spiritual Odyssey, Nicholas boards a plane for Sydney, Australia with bags that are stuffed full of anger and heartbreak and other life-defeating issues. Little does he know that he is arriving at the time and place to empty his baggage, and to risk himself to love.

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

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

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

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

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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.

Garden of the Spirits of the Pots is available in eBook and/or paperback on Amazon.

 

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A STAR TREK LESSON WE NEED TO HEED

August 17, 2022 | Author Friend Promo

From Anne Montgomery

Fifty-five years ago, the original Star Trek TV series was launched. The show survived just three seasons, still that does nothing to diminish the impact the program had. If you don’t believe me, take a look at your cellphone. Then, glance at Captain James T. Kirk as he flips open his communicator. Looks familiar, doesn’t it?

Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise traveled the galaxy in the hope of doing good.

Kirk and his crew were tasked with exploring the universe. The opening voiceover still gives me chills. Space: the final frontier; These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before!

While I was just a kid at the time the series came out, I was enthralled by the situations the Enterprise crew endured. I know what you’re thinking. The show today looks cheesy, with sometimes silly special effects and actors routinely chewing scenery. But back in the mid-1960s it was mesmerizing. And often the stories had deep sociological meaning.

While there are several episodes dealing with planetary pandemics, I will skip those since I, at least, need some rest from that particular subject. Instead, the one that sticks in my head is “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.” The story centers around the planet Cheron whose people have been fighting a civil war for 50,000 years. Kirk and his crew attempt to negotiate a peace with two ambassadors who are so embittered by their hatred toward one another that no one on the Enterprise can get through to them.

Commander Spock and Captain Kirk struggled with the prejudice of the people on Cheron who’d been entangled in a race war for 50,000 years.

The ambassadors insist that their people are too different to get along. Finally, Spock—Kirk’s Vulcan second-in-command—points out, “The obvious visual evidence, Commissioner, is that he is of the same breed as yourself.” What Spock is alluding to is the fact that all the people of Cheron are black on one side and white on the other.

I was 14 when this episode aired in 1969. Race riots had plagued the US for several years, including those in Newark, New Jersey, not far from where I lived. The TV images of the anger and destruction were frightening. Though I will admit here that I was raised in a predominately white suburb, I camped every summer with girls of all kinds—black, white, brown. We spent our days together, slept in the same tents every night, and never gave it a second thought. So, the violence I watched on the news was confusing.

Kirk has no idea why the ambassadors of Cheron hate one another. Finally, in exasperation, he looks at them and says, “You’re black on one side and white on the other.”

One man puffs up his chest. “I am black on the right side.”

When I heard that line, something clicked in my brain. I now understood the idiocy of racism. And—don’t laugh—I truly believed that soon everyone would realize the stupidity of demeaning others because of what they looked like. In my misguided innocence, I thought that very soon racism would be relegated to the past and that we would all get along. Cue “Kumbaya”.

Of course, that didn’t happen. Today, at 65, I wonder what went wrong? How did so many people of my generation not get the message?

I’d like to think we can still repair the damage we’ve done to one another, but maybe we can’t. Perhaps, if we’re not careful, we’ll end up like the people of Cheron, who annihilated themselves and destroyed their planet because of their hate. My 14-year-old self found it hard to feel sorry for them. After all, they were the instrument of their own destruction.

We might be too.

Here’s hoping we come to our senses in time.

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.

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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.

 

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MY A-LIST OF AUTHORS

August 15, 2022 | Author Friend Promo

from Vonnie Hughes

Some authors produce quality books year after year and I have the utmost respect for them. They don’t churn out something quickly for the Christmas trade and other celebratory dates. Instead, they research and work, work and polish.

Here are a few of my favourites: 

Most books by Tami Hoag such as Down the Darkest Road and Live to Tell. I think my favourite is Still Waters. Why? Because her novels are so detailed, and the solution of the mysteries is never obvious. In fact, the character of the antagonists and protagonists holds the key to the solutions each time. For example, in A Thin Dark Line, it is the generations-old, warped solution of ways to protect a family that bubbles to the surface and the bloody mindedness of an ambitious female cop who stands up for her rights amongst male chauvinism that would chop most women off at the knees, that points the way to reasons for the crime and the discovery of the perpetrator(s).

Many books by Jayne Ann Krentz, not her very early ones where the hero was a dyed-in-the-wool MCP as was the fashion of the day, but her books from about 1998 onwards and also her historicals. Love the way her heroes say “huh.” It can mean so many things: they can be having a revelation, they may disagree with the heroine but they sure as hell are not going to say so, or it can be simply their version of a civil reply to modern discourse. My favourites are the Eclipse Bay series and her historicals written under the name of Amanda Quick such as Mistress (Regency) and The Third Circle (Victorian). Most of all, however, I enjoy her futuristic paranormals such as Siren’s Call set on Rainshadow Island and In Too Deep set in Scargill Cove. These appeal to me because of her light hand with the paranormal concepts and the quirkiness of the main characters. She creates otherworlds without belabouring the point. Sometimes writers create alternate worlds that require an immense investment on the part of the reader to learn the settings and morés of those worlds which can have the effect of having the reader skip pages and eventually put the book down. Not so JAK who, after many years of writing, knows just how far she can go to create a world not so very dissimilar to our own.

Obviously, I can’t go far without mentioning the greatest modern storyteller – Nora Roberts. I don’t like many of her earlier books which now seem dated, and I don’t feel that her paranormal ones are in the least bit convincing. However, I totally enjoy her recent single titles such as Tribute and Whiskey Beach. And I especially enjoy The Inn at Boonsborough series. I once saw a review where the reader criticised the Boonsborough ones because they had too much building detail in them. Now that’s the part I am intrigued with. I am not a purist romance reader, so I like a bit of meat with my coffee froth. I wait for each new release of Nora’s, as do thousands of others, not all of them women by a long way.

Stieg Larsson, in particular his series of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Anti-right-wing extremist and magazine editor-in-chief, what a shame most of his books were only found after his death in 2004. I suggest for those who want a touch of reality watered down with a little idealism, read Larsson. Whether you see the movies first or read the books first, I promise you will enjoy Lizbeth Salander, the toughest cyber-expert on the planet. 

Rick Mofina, a great suspense writer endorsed by the best suspense writers such as James Patterson, Dean Koontz, Sandra Brown, Tess Gerritsen etc. He is Canadian and so less inclined to use acronyms which can be a relief for a reader steeped in jargon which has to be researched. I thoroughly enjoyed Be Mine and my next choice is The Dying Hour. He writes about a crime reporter and unravelling detective in several of his novels, then switches to another team in his later books. If you like suspense and that ‘unable to put it down’ feeling, then choose Mofina.

Another one to keep an eye on: Going to read more by J.M. Gregson. Have just finished The Fox in the Forest about the murder of a well-liked town vicar. The murdered man is one of those rare characters whom everyone liked. Of course, the reader thinks “mistaken identity?” Gregson has an impressive writing record of both non-fiction and fiction. I enjoyed the British outlook to solving crime – stoic, authentic and painstaking – and the author’s writing experience showed by his excellent characterizations. No character was just a sketch. It was an in-depth exploration of people both likeable and unlikeable.

So, what authors do you enjoy? Have you stopped to ask yourself Why do you like their writing? 

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 on The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.

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

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