Archive for the 'Author Friend Promo' Category

GOOD EATING with ROOT VEGGIES

October 12, 2022 | Author Friend Promo, Cooking

from Emma Lane

One of the nicest things about root veggies is that they are almost always around ready for serving to your family. Stored in the bottom of the pantry or in a cool, dry place in the cellar, potatoes are a staple for meals. Carrots, onions, and both types of potatoes can be prepared fairly simply for easy cooking. Satisfying and healthy, these root vegetables can be presented many different delicious ways.

 BREAKFAST

Fried Sweet Potatoes

3 medium sized sweet potatoes

½ cup butter

Brown sugar to sprinkle

Wash, peel, and slice potatoes in ¼ inch thick rounds. Melt butter in skillet, place potato rounds in and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Brown sugar forms a syrup to pour over potatoes after cooking.

I suggest serving summer sausage patties, hot biscuits, raspberry jam, and orange juice.

Wash, peel, and slice potatoes in ¼ inch thick rounds. Melt butter in skillet, place potato rounds in and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Brown sugar forms a syrup to pour over potatoes after cooking.

I suggest serving summer sausage patties Hot biscuits, raspberry jam, and orange juice.

LUNCH

Mashed White Potato Patties

2½ cups leftover mashed potatoes

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

2 cups shredded mild cheese

1½ cups finely chopped green onion

Dash pepper

1 egg, beaten

1 cup breadcrumbs

1 – 2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Mix potatoes, cheese, flour, green onions, and a dash of pepper to taste together in a medium sized bowl. Form into thin 3 ½ inch patties.

Brush with beaten egg then cover with breadcrumbs, Turn gently with specula and cover with breadcrumbs other side.

Sauté in heated oil until browned and completely warmed through. Flip gently to brown both sides. Serve warm.

Great with scrambled eggs and bacon.

SUPPER (OR DINNER)
Carrot Casserole

1½ to 2 cups cooked and mashed carrots

1 small, sweet onion chopped

⅔ cup sharp grated cheese

½ tsp. yellow mustard

⅔ cup mayonnaise

1 tbsp. sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Ritz crackers, crushed

Preheat oven 350° F.

Combine mash carrots in a mixing bowl with all ingredients except crackers. Pour into casserole dish and top with crushed crackers.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes.

Suggested serving with browned pork chops topped with onion rings, mushroom soup and baked.  Fruit cups as salad.

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

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

Amazon Buy Links KindlePaperback
Read more cozy mysteries by Janis Lane on Amazon .
Janis Lane is the penname for gifted author Emma Lane who writes cozy mysteries as Janis, Regency as Emma, and spice as Sunny Lane.

She lives in Western New York where winter is snowy, spring arrives with rave reviews, summer days are long and velvet, and fall leaves are riotous in color. At long last she enjoys the perfect bow window for her desk where she is treated to a year-round panoramic view of nature. Her computer opens up a fourth fascinating window to the world. Her patient husband is always available to help with a plot twist and encourage Emma to never quit. Her day job is working with flowers at Herbtique and Plant Nursery, the nursery she and her son own.

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

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out the things that make Emma smile on Pinterest.

 

Add A Comment

A Shapeshifter Called Harper

October 10, 2022 | Author Friend Promo

from Carol Browne

You’re expecting to read about a shapeshifter called Harper now, I know, but it’s why this character is called Harper that is the reason for me writing this blog. The name was originally Tyler.

Tyler was the MC in a sci-fi novella entitled The Star Attraction, which I wrote in 2016. In May 2019, I was offered a contract for the book by my publisher. Said publisher closed down a few months later and that was that. Following this, I found myself dealing with a multitude of life problems, not to mention my other books and the demise of my third publisher. Hence, it was only in July 2022 that I found time to submit this book elsewhere (no verdict as yet!). Meanwhile, I am writing a sequel.

This week I saw a promo post on Facebook for a new release and, lo and behold, the male protagonist is a shapeshifter called Tyler. What are the odds? I might have been the first person to use this name in this way, but the other author got published so Tyler is damned and has morphed into Harper (which seems apt).

In this same week, a fellow author was distraught when she found that her latest manuscript, which she was about to send to her agent, has the same theme as another recently published book. I won’t reveal the theme, but it is such a novel, specific and original concept that it beggars belief that someone else came up with the very same idea. I hope she and her agent can find a way around this dilemma.

Last year I had an idea for a crime thriller, and I believed that the crime and the reason behind it was so outlandish and original that the chance of anyone else coming up with the idea was remote. More fool me. Yet another of those promo posts on Facebook was to show me the error of my ways as a concept I had deemed so unusual and unique was there for all to see in someone else’s stylish new book trailer. Meanwhile, as I toyed with the idea of an epic fantasy involving women with magic powers, I found that my story had already been given its marching orders by The Wheel of Time.

When there’s nothing new under the sun, it’s a challenge trying to create original concepts, and even more difficult to avoid accusations of plagiarism even though you had no idea that your ideas duplicated someone else’s. In the same way, it’s not possible to be aware of every book that has been, is being, or will be published. The fact that there’s no copyright on titles is a small crumb of comfort!

So, what is going on? Is it the Collective Unconscious that causes so many people to have the same ideas at the same time? How often does this happen to other authors and what do they do about it? Would any author reading this blog have changed Tyler to Harper or kept the original name? I’d love to know.

For now, my shapeshifter is called Harper. I lay claim to this in writing in the hope that there aren’t any other shapeshifters called Harper out there already! If there are and anyone has any objection to mine, speak now or forever hold your peace!

Once upon a time a little girl wrote a poem about a flower.
Impressed, her teacher pinned it to the wall and, in doing so, showed the child which path to follow.
Over the years poems and stories flowed from her pen like magic from a wizard’s wand.
She is much older now, a little wiser too, and she lives in rural Cambridgeshire, where there are many trees to hug.
But inside her still is that little girl who loved Nature and discovered the magic of words.
She hopes to live happily ever after.

Stay connected with Carol on her website and blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Fantasy author Carol Browne is a published author who is currently seeking an agent.

Add A Comment

HOW I GOT MY AGENT

October 5, 2022 | Author Friend Promo

by Leigh Goff

 Query Tracker was my go-to for the initial search for a literary agent that represented young adult fiction. I read through Lauren Bittrich’s information, visited her agency’s website, and did more research. With her editorial background and interest in YA, she seemed like a great fit for my new manuscript, WICKED SWEET. I sent her my query letter with the required first twenty-five pages attached. She replied two days later that she loved the sample pages and would be thrilled to read the full manuscript.

It’s easy to say I had a feeling she was the one, but I did. And fortunately for me, the stars were aligning. I immediately sent the full manuscript to her. Two days later, she sent another email requesting a meeting via Google Meet! I cried for ten crazy, happy minutes. After I composed myself, I did an internet search for what to do when you get the email for The Call.

Oh gosh, shouldn’t have done that. All of sudden there were posts and articles from other literary agents saying that just because an agent requests a meeting/phone call, it doesn’t mean she is going to make an offer. She might want the author to revise and resubmit. Was that really a possibility?

I deflated a bit, but my instincts kept telling me to get ready and I was optimistic. I wrote down a few questions I wanted to ask her and on the day of The Call, I had to calm my nerves. As the meeting started, my voice was a bit shaky answering her questions. But when the meeting neared the end, my nervousness had been replaced with excitement. She was fantastic and I wanted to work with her.

However, I still had other agents with my manuscript. I asked Lauren for ten days to get back to her and then I notified the other agents of the offer. After some back and forth with those ladies, I knew who I wanted to work with. It was Lauren. Day ten arrived. We emailed each other that morning and a few hours later, my representation was official.

For anyone interested, here is my query letter for Wicked Sweet.

Dear (Agent’s Name):

WICKED SWEET is a YA contemporary with magical elements that will appeal to fans of Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic and Heather Webber’s Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe. It is complete at 90,000 words.

New school. New town. New chance to fit in. There’s nothing to connect sixteen-year-old Abigail to her family’s witch history except Abigail, and in her remote Southern town where supernatural fears run high, an empathic talent and a girl-on-girl kiss are enough to let suspicions wreak havoc on her life.

As Abigail delves into a forbidden romance, she also finds herself irresistibly drawn to the local tale of a sixteen-year-old witch burned at the stake centuries earlier. Danger begins to find Abigail who’s discovering the witch’s story has dangerous parallels to her own, especially when an enemy is watching, waiting to toss a match. Together with her coven of diverse misfits who host wicked séances and haunted bonfires, they must overcome frenemies, small town fears, and uncover the deadly lies being hidden by a prominent anti-LGBT family in Whispering Point before history repeats itself.

I am the author of three YA novels, KOUSH HOLLOW (The Parliament House, 2020), BEWITCHING HANNAH (Mirror World Publishing, 2017), DISENCHANTED (Mirror World Publishing, 2015). I am a member of SCBWI and I have my bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland. I am also descended from an accused witch from seventeenth century Virginia.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Leigh Goff

(add your website)

Here’s a glimpse at my first three novels. I hope they intrigue you.

DISENCHANTED

Sixteen-year-old Sophie Goodchild from the wickedly wonderful town of Wethersfield, Connecticut struggles with her magic as she finds forbidden love along with a centuries-old true love curse. Here are a few spells, some spoken in Latin, from Disenchanted.

“Ictus.” Sophie hopes for a windstorm when she encounters a boy who should be her family enemy, but she’s love struck and only flower petals rain down on her and Alexavier.

“Verum.” Sophie casts this spell on the boy she thinks she must hate, but instead of him speaking the truth, a heart shape appears in the bark of a mulberry tree trunk behind him. The tree is significant in this story as it is in Pyramus and Thisbe. They are the ill-fated couple, like Romeo and Juliet, and they planned to meet under a mulberry tree.

Semper memoriam tui delebo Diamond”- She commands Judge Mather to forget about the rare red diamond used as a blood charm that has caused so much trouble.

BEWITCHING HANNAH

When an ancient prophecy reveals the rise of a young, powerful Chesapeake witch and the impending death of another, sixteen-year-old Hannah Fitzgerald realizes she can no longer repress the magic that has taken away so much. There’s also the Grey witch’s Arundell Curse plaguing Hannah and her mysterious love interest, W.

“By the power of fire, I do summon and churn, and call thee forth to blaze and burn.” Hannah casts this spell, needing heat from her hands to burn through a seatbelt when she’s trapped in a fiery wreck.

Her frenemy, Arora, demonstrates her dark magic when she captures an insect and kills it with this spell, “By my command and desire, your pesky little death I require.”

The nefarious Emme using magic to fight with Hannah says, “For the trouble you have inflicted on me, double shall I inflict on you.” She snaps Hannah’s icy doppleganger statue in half and Hannah doubles over in agony.

KOUSH HOLLOW

As Jenna Ashby, the sixteen-year-old eco-warrior, is introduced to the Diamonds & Pearls, her mother’s exclusive New Orleans social club, she comes to the troubling realization that secrets are a way of life in Koush Hollow. She’s also cursed with her cold, narcissistic mother, Rayna, who’s ambitions are limitless.

 

In the excerpt below, Jenna is drawn to Voodoo priestess, Mama Ismay. She watches her create a mystical potion using bayou magic, but then Jenna is left with more questions than answers when she sees what’s in the mysterious aquarium.

 

Amazon Buy Links

Koush Hollow

Bewitching Hannah

Disenchanted


Leigh Goff loves writing young adult fiction with elements of magic and romance because it’s also what she liked to read. Born and raised on the East Coast, she now lives in Maryland where she enjoys the area’s great history and culture.

Leigh is a graduate of the University of Maryland, University College and a member of the Maryland Writers’ Association and Romance Writers of America. She is also an approved artist with the Maryland State Arts Council. Her debut novel, Disenchanted, was inspired by the Wethersfield witches of Connecticut and was released by Mirror World Publishing. Leigh is currently working on her next novel, The Witch’s Ring which is set in Annapolis.

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

Add A Comment

The Secret Sauce in a Writer’s Tool Kit

October 2, 2022 | Author Friend Promo

From Sharon Ledwith

A while ago, I took a LinkedIn course that explained the secret sauce to a writer’s success. It was interesting, but this course seemed to be targeted toward journalism. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the course as my ‘free’ window expired. I believe that the course was called ‘Write like an Elite Writer’, but don’t hold me to it. The teacher was well-spoken and knew his stuff. I watched enough of his course to glean what I needed and pass along what I thought was helpful to my followers.

So, what’s this secret sauce to an elite writer?

Apparently, there are four ingredients. Simplicity. Clarity. Elegance. Evocativeness.

The teacher breaks down the ‘ingredients’ that make up the secret sauce in each module. Mostly I found his teachings loaded with common sense. It’s like in the book, The Secret, the author reveals that it’s ‘like attract like’ or the Law of Attraction that will help you manifest the life of your dreams. But we all know there’s more to that than meets the eye. You just don’t go sit on your couch and ask for a brand-new car to show up in your driveway. Though, that would be awesome! You must take action. Even if it’s baby steps. In the case of writing a book, that means putting in the sweat equity needed by showing up at your computer and getting the words down. Even if it’s only a paragraph a day, you’re still taking action.

Here are ten takeaways I reaped from this course:

    1 – Write with integrity. Never showoff or impress. Be true to yourself.
    2 – Simplify your writing by cutting out needless words.
    3 – Cultivate sensitivity to your readers.
    4 – Write for your readers.
    5 – Know your intent. Are you writing to inform? Persuade? Entertain? Inspire? Figure that out, and you’re halfway there.
    6 – Aspire for beauty. Get your ideas to flow more gracefully.
    7 – Balance the four ingredients like an artist. Don’t be obsessed with perfection and try to relax.
    8 – Simplicity calls for tight writing, so avoid flowery language.
    9 – Get rid of careless repetition. Don’t ramble. Share only what the reader needs to know. Writers are notorious for TMI (too much information).
    10 – Don’t be a lazy writer!

The last point is a no-brainer. The above information is nothing new. The teacher did give examples and solutions to make your writing cleaner and crisper. Still, many authors out there don’t heed the above advice, making their writing sloppy and unprofessional enough to let their readers down to the point of never buying another one of their books again. If you’re an author, don’t let this be you. If you’re a reader, share how you felt about the book (good or bad) through a review or even contacting the author personally. Trust me, we’d sure appreciate it!

I guess the takeaway from this course is that if you use the secret sauce (simplicity, clarity, elegance, and evocativeness) in your prose, you’ll raise yourself to the level of not just being an elite writer but feeling that you’re one too. And isn’t that what we writers strive for? To better our best? If you’re a writer, do you incorporate any of these ingredients in your writing? Readers, have you ever dropped an author because their book lacked sensitivity? Would love to read your comments. Cheers and thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate you!

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

Add A Comment

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.

Add A Comment

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.

Add A Comment

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

Add A Comment

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.

 

Add A Comment

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.

Amazon Buy Link

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.

Add A Comment

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.

  

Comments are off