Thursday, May 26, 2016

Goddess Fish Promotions Book Blast: The Trouble With Misbehaving



The Trouble with Misbehaving
by Victoria Hanlen

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GENRE: Historical Romance

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BLURB:


Love, Betrayal and Redemption

Calista ‘CC’ Collins is used to being the talk of the town. With her scandalous past she’s learnt the hard way that a woman needs to be strong to get what she wants in a man’s world. And what she wants is the infamous Captain Beauford Tollier—roguish son of an earl, notorious blockade-runner and all-round knave of the seas.

However, Captain Beau is not one to be cajoled—he is done with the dangerous sea life and ready to follow the life of the straight and narrow. But with many powerful forces circling around him, Beau doesn’t stand a chance…



~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Excerpt:

Clutching her elbow, he led her across the manicured lawn into a copse of trees.

What are you do—”

He swung them behind a tree and peered out. Whatever she wanted to talk about suddenly lost importance. The villains following him were the more immediate problem.

Tell me—”

Shhhh.” He pressed a finger to her lips.

Two men in top hats stepped off the gravel path and picked their way across the lawn.

Beau marched C.C. deeper into the grove around trees and shrubs. Then through an archway of fragrant vines to a fountain struggling to reflect hazy moonlight. They needed to stay quiet and hidden.

Before you drag me any further into the bushes—”

Didn’t the woman know the meaning of shhhh? She would give away their hiding place if he didn’t do something quick. He pulled her to him and covered her mouth with his. Mint and vanilla filled his senses.

Her sweet, almost maidenly response surprised him. No, she probably wasn’t a tart. Just a hasty stolen kiss, yet he couldn’t help appreciate the tantalizing fit of her supple lips under his and how her body softened against him. His heart stammered and launched into a faster beat. Lifting his head, he gazed about her bewildered, upturned countenance, breathlessly poised for a man’s kisses. Hmm, not entirely a maiden either.

Perhaps another quick kiss would clarify matters?



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Review:  I've read a lot of historical romances recently. This one was pretty good. I really like when you get a heroine that's really strong and in this case scandalous. I've been so excited about reading books both contemporary and historical with heroines that are kick butt. She's also very complex. Her personality is one I find hard to describe. I can only say, read the book to find out.

CC is definitely one of those characters. Her dialogue with Beau is entertaining and there romance though slow in coming is very passionate once it gets started. Set in London in 1864 and then traveling to NC while the Civil War wages. This book is full of drama and adventure and everything I like in a book.

Rating: 4 stars

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Award winning, historical romance author, VICTORIA HANLEN, has worked at a wide range of jobs, from fashion, to corporate business, to treading the boards of stage and professional opera. A lifelong writer, she once put her skills to use in PR and advertising. But her favorite form of writing is happily-ever-afters spiced with a dash of wit and a page-turning mystery. Victoria and her husband live in rural New England surrounded by a host of wildlife.
She enjoys hearing from readers at:
http://www.victoriahanlen.com
https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaHanlen
https://www.twitter.com/VictoriaHanlen

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Mills & Boon: https://www.millsandboon.co.uk/p46539/the-trouble-with-misbehaving.htm
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0175WV0AE
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Trouble-Misbehaving-Victoria-Hanlen-ebook/dp/B0175WV0AE
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BAM!: http://www.booksamillion.com/search?id=5529803929861&query=VICTORIA+HANLEN&where=eBooks




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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Goddess Fish Promotions Book Review Wicked Whispers





Wicked Whispers
by Tina Donahue

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GENRE: erotic historical

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BLURB:

Follow the heart through darkness…
As the Inquisition gains force, even the faintest rumor can brand one a heretic. In this world it is Sancha's gift--or curse--to be blessed with the gift of healing. But the villagers are in need of her arts more than ever, and she feels it is her duty to help them at the risk of losing her life. And at the sacrifice of her heart…
Enrique has never wanted a woman as he does Sancha. Determined to have her love, he woos her with exquisite passion, giving her refuge to pursue her healing in secret. But their very desire and escape from the ruthless forces of the world may be their undoing. And together, they must pit themselves against a jealous rival and archaic tradition to secure their place in a hopeful new dawn…

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Excerpt:

This wasn’t how he’d envisioned the most important moments of his life. He’d imagined music playing, candles dancing in a gentle breeze, him holding her hands as she waited breathlessly for his words.

Sancha, like Isabella, needed to learn how women behaved around men, accepting that males ruled, females obeyed, and everything was as God, nature, and men had always demanded.

He lifted one eyebrow. “I would ask if you enjoyed our kiss, but I sense you did.”

She opened her mouth then closed it.

Just as well. He wouldn’t have accepted her denial. “Since you did enjoy our kiss and moved into me for another that I found even more delightful, I believe you and I were meant for each other. Much as Isabella and Fernando have found perfection in their union. Therefore, I want you to know I intend to woo, win, wed, and bed you.”

Her face turned white.

He would have expected that reaction if he’d threatened her with death, not everlasting love or a blissfully happy marriage.

She stepped back. “No.”

No? He crossed his arms. “Is it your habit to kiss men as though you have deep feelings for them, then say no to their offers of marriage?”

Of course not. Only with you.”

What?”

She wrung her hands. “You, seƱor, are the first and the last man I ever intend to kiss.”
How comforting, at least when it came to her not wanting to be with another man. “Then what part of my offer are you saying no to?”

All of it.”


Review: First I have to comment on the cover. It is absolutely gorgeous. This was an absolutely great read. It is the second in a series, but I didn't feel lost at all while reading it, which is good.

Sancha is really an amazing character. She's a super strong woman for her time period. She is a healer which can cause problems in the time period this book is set in. You know witch craft has to be mentioned.

This book is a wonderful mixture of history and sexy romance. I loved Enrique and how he wooed Sancha.

If you are looking for something different in your historical romance this is a great book to start with.

Rating: 5 stars                                 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I’m an Amazon and international bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Kensington, Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Siren Publishing, Booktrope, Luminosity, Decadent, and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised my work. Three of my erotic novels (Adored; Deep, Dark, Delicious; Lush Velvet Nights) were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition. Sensual Stranger was chosen Book of the Year 2010 (erotic category) at the French review site, Blue Moon reviews. The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for my erotic romance Lush Velvet Nights. Deep, Dark, Delicious (erotic romance) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition. Take Me Away (erotic romance) captured second place in the NEC-RWA contest. And The Yearning (erotic paranormal) was honored with an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition. I’m featured in the 2012 Novel and Writer’s Market. Before my writing career, I was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company. Outside of being an admitted and unrepentant chocoholic, I’ve flown a single-engine plane, rewired an old house using an electricity for dummies book, and have been known to moan like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally whenever I’m eating anything Mexican or Italian.

You can check me out here.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DonahueTina1
FB Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/TinaDonahueBooks
Email: tinadonahuebooks@gmail.com
Website/blog: http://tinadonahuebooks.blogspot.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/146988.Tina_Donahue
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tinadonahue
Triberr: http://triberr.com/tinadonahue
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authortina/my-books/
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Tina-Donahue/e/B001IZPJXO
TRR Page: http://erotic.theromancereviews.com/mypageprofile.php?location=tinadonahue
EC Author Page: http://www.ellorascave.com/author/tina-donahue/
Samhain Author Page: https://www.samhainpublishing.com/author/1589/tina-donahue
Sweet ‘n Sexy Divas: http://sweetnsexydivas.blogspot.com/
Romance Books 4 US: http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/



BUY LINKS FOR WICKED WHISPERS:
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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE



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Monday, May 23, 2016

Goddess Fish Promotions Book Blast: Wanderlust


Wanderlust
by Bernadette Marie

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:


Gia Gallow has traveled the world. Her wanderlust landed her in Georgia where she has created a life for herself away from the petty differences of relatives and domineering ex-lovers. Having settled in America, she has a successful business and dear friends—and the attention of both Dane and Russell Walker. Due to her own family's dramas over dueling hearts, she might have to forget about her feelings for Dane to keep peace within the Walker family, but sometimes even running thousands of miles away can't keep a heart from going after what the heart wants. And Gia's heart wants Dane.



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Excerpt:

Dane awoke in his childhood bedroom with a start. As he sat there, a bead of sweat rolling
down his forehead, he realized it wasn't that he'd heard anything to wake him—in fact, it had been too quiet.

The sun was up and warm as it filtered through the window and onto his skin.

He wiped his brow with the back of his hand and then tucked it under his head. He closed his
eyes and thought about the room.

It was his and Gerald's room. Oh, if the walls could talk, he amused himself with the thought. They'd lived too far from town to have girls climbing in the windows, but they'd climbed out a few times. But once again, they'd lived too far from town to sneak out without being noticed.

They'd done things such as walk down to the river and fish by a full moon. There had been an
enormous tree outside the window and during a storm it could be menacing and scary. But on a
warm summer night, it was a refuge as the big branch came right to their window like a bridge to the outdoors.

There had always been two beds in the room. Sometimes they'd be pushed together for comfort, especially when that tree outside swayed in the wind. They'd also been the walls to some of the greatest forts ever built with blankets and sheets.

Long talks were had in that room. Some of those talks went well into early morning. They'd
debated over Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. There were some very serious discussions over Super Bowl XXXIII. Atlanta's new team had gone to the big game under the coaching of Dan Reeves, and they had to play his old team, the Denver Broncos. It seemed unfair to Gerald, but Dane thought it was just. He'd been a fan of John Elway his whole life. If he thought back hard enough, he was fairly sure that when he'd taunted Gerald with Elway's win, he'd gotten a black eye. The thought of it had him chuckling to himself in the quiet.

Talks about football and fishing soon gave to girls and talks about birds and bees. He was grateful that walls couldn't actually talk.

No longer were there posters and drawings on the walls. His mother had redesigned the room,
he knew, for future grandchildren. The room was clean of everything but a dresser and a rocking chair. The closet door, another menacing nightmare maker, was cracked open as the door was too warped to stay closed.

Some poor grandchild would be as afraid of the abyss of the closet as he and Gerald had been.

It wasn't long before the sound of the cattle caught his attention. He'd have to admit it was a
much better sound than early morning traffic. Then he heard the roaring of the first pickup truck engine. Surely he'd actually slept through the first. The sun was up after all, and he knew his father and brothers were up before the sun.

Dane rolled to his side and pulled the blanket up to his ear. This was why it was good to be
visiting. No one had awakened him and made him help out with the early morning chores. Suckers!



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Bernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends. Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter. At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years.

In 2007 – after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children –
Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published. That year she wrote 12
books. In 2009 she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born. In
2011 she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince
Publishing, and has released contemporary titles and has begun the process of taking on other
authors in other genres.

Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events. She is also an
accomplished martial artist, working her way to her second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.

An avid reader she loves to meet readers who enjoy reading contemporary romances and she always promises Happily Ever After.

Bernadete Marie



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Bernadette will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


Enter to win a $20 Amazon GC - a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Album Review: Keith Harkin - On Mercy Street

Keith Harkin is a name you might recognize from the band Celtic Thunder.

On Mercy Street is Keith's second solo outing.  This album is guaranteed to make everyone sit up and take notice. If you are expecting the type of music you'd hear on Celtic Thunder's records then you'll be disappointed, because On Mercy Street is pure Keith Harkin.  

If there was a recipe for this album it might read something like this:

1 part rock
2 parts folk
a dash of dreamy Irish vocals.
Mix together and serve with your favorite drink. (Maybe some Irish whiskey)

On Mercy Street shows how much Keith has grown since he released his self titled solo album in 2012. This album still has the polish that we've come to expect from Keith, but it has a bit more of a edge to it. This album is more Keith as most of the songs are written by him. There are less covers on On Mercy Street than on his debut solo album.

The rockers "Mercy" and  "Keep On Rolling" will get your toes tapping. "Keep On Rolling" has a country, sitting on the porch jamming with the gang sound. There's nothing more fun then guys from England or Ireland singing country flavored music..

These songs seem to reflect where Keith is at in life now. These songs are thought provoking, while still saying fun; emotional and yet with enough oomph to make you want to get up and move.  It is easy to see that these songs reflect a man on the move, especially "Along The Road." The bluesy "Wait On Me" is another song about a man whose wheels keep him on the move. This is song that is bound to tug at your heartstrings. If you can be moved to tears by a song, this one just might do it.

Though this album is more folksy with a bit of rock flair, Keith shows off his vocal range on songs like "First Time." His voice soars, even though this song definitely has a 60s pop chorus.  "Lauren and I" will be familiar to Celtic Thunder fans. This is one song that makes you wonder how a man can hit those high notes, just as it does when he sings "Take me to my Mona Lisa" on "Take Me Down."

"September Sessions" is song that is a piano-centric tune. It has a tinge of R & B and the blues. The piano sets it apart from the very guitar oriented songs that make up most of On Mercy Street.

"My Love Goes On" is the type of folk ballad that you might from the likes of Gordon Lightfoot. That's the type of songwriting you can expect from Keith Harkin. He doesn't create throwaway songs like you'd find on top 40 radio. Another ballad is "Risk The Fall." Keith creates a song that beautiful and heartfelt in its simplicity.

The album closes with "Auld Lang Syne" This seems an odd choice of songs, but when you see Keith as a man at a turning point in his life, this song couldn't be more appropriate.

On Mercy Street is a wonderful snapshot of where Keith Harkin is in his life. His music is changing and evolving. This isn't the same sweet Irish boy from Celtic Thunder. This is a man who has taken control of his music and his destiny, and On Mercy Street is definitely worth adding to your collection.

Rating; 5 stars

Listen: Mercy 




Saturday, May 21, 2016

Album Review: Duran Duran - Paper Gods

Paper Gods is a rather ambitious album for veteran pop gods, Duran Duran.

The album art will take you back to the 80s and 90s. You've got the lips from the Rio cover and the ice cream cone from the single "Perfect Day".

The album has a very old school vibe.  The album's opening track, which is also the title track would have been perfect if it were about 3 minutes shorter. It suffers from musical filler in the beginning that detracts from an otherwise great song. It is a great mixture of old Duran Duran with their more modern sound.

Some bands grow and evolve over the years, becoming better over the years or growing comfortable with their sound. Both are good. The problem with Duran Duran is that they actually have done both. They try to update their sound, and it usually falls flat, they tend to sound better when they go with what they do best. Its only when they add a little sumpthin' sumpthin that they ruin things. Case in point "Last Night In The City." This song is pure Duran Duran. Simon's in fine voice, and then Kiesza opens her mouth and wrecks the whole thing.  Who in the hell is Kiesza anyway? Please make her go away.

Next up is "You Kill Me With Silence."  This song really feels like two songs. The verses are dark and brooding, even a little spooky. The chorus is on the lighter side and feels more right.

"Pressure Off" is funky and very retro and more then a little bit cheesy. This song will remind you that these guys came from the 80s.  This song will be added to every 40 something female's workout playlist.

They stick with what they know best with "Face For Today." This is the kind of song that will remind you that Duran Duran were once a totally awesome band, and at times they still can be.

"Danceophobia" is the kind of song that makes you wonder what the hell they were thinking about. It is possibly a throwback from Red Carpet Massacre which was possibly the worst album they made in their long career. This is a song you listen to once, when you want to get the feel of the album, after that, you just skip right over it. It might be best to just skip over it the first time. Save your ears the pain.

Just when you think that all is lost, "What Are The Chances" comes up. This is one of the album's token slow songs.  Pretty is word that will best describe this song. The lyrics are almost thoughtful, or as thoughtful as anything Simon Le Bon  writes can be.

"Sunset Garage" reminds us that Simon doesn't write thoughtful lyrics all that often. This song makes no sense, but it is one that you'll like anyway. Duran Duran aren't noted for their thought provoking lyrics, after all.

Another song with a real retro vibe is "Change The Skyline." Most of the time when Duran Duran goes retro, that means they sound like Duran Duran circa 1984. This time, its the 80s but not the New Romantic sound that they are known for.

"Butterfly Girl" has a fantastic guitar solo, one that probably hasn't been heard since Andy Taylor was in the band the first time.

One of the best songs is saved for the end of the album. "Only In Dreams" is a funky, sexy song, the kind that we haven't heard from the guys this album. It has a line that can only be described as classic Duran Duran "There's a vampire in the limousine."  That's a line you can only expect to hear from Duran Duran.

The album ends with "The Universe Alone." Were Duran Duran trying to write a song for Doctor Who? It sure sounds like it. The backing vocals sound like the Ood singing the Doctor to a new regeneration.

The deluxe edition has three bonus tracks, "Planet Roaring," "Valentine Stones," and "Northern Lights." Usually Duran Duran delivers great bonus tracks. Of the three, the dreamy "Northern Lights" is the only one worth noting.

This is one of those albums that is middle of the road, but with Duran Duran, you learn to take the good with the bad, and as usual, you get both here.

Rating: 3 Stars

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Book Blast: Hand Over Fist



Hand Over Fist
by Michael Ross

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GENRE: Thriller

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BLURB:

When an old friend disappears, Martin learns nothing is what it seems…

Martin Russell can barely face the future. With dismal life prospects and an estranged family, he is at the end of his rope. When an old friend, Hannah, elbows her way back into his life, Martin’s luck begins to turn around.

Hidden within the shadows of evil, there must be some good…

Ex-policeman Bobby Tanner lost everything one rage-filled night. Now he runs a reading group for alcoholics where he meets a young drug dealer, Zack, who disturbs him in a way that’s hard to define. Bobby soon discovers the teenager is in over his head and has been dealing with a despicable individual known as The Chemist.

The roots of evil run deeper than we imagine…

Martin’s lucky streak begins to unravel when Hannah suddenly goes missing, and he turns to a friend of a friend, Bobby, for help. Thrust into an underworld empire of corruption and half-truths, he learns his friend may not be who he thought she was.

In a shadowed world of deception, stalkers, and despicable drug dealers, Bobby and Martin must uncover the truth, and fast…

Several lives depend on it.

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EXCERPT

Hannah asked questions quicker than she could find answers.

Why do things happen? Where do they start? Why hadn’t the cyclist seen that big pothole? Why had the van driver been so slow in reacting? Why did the police leave the diversion in force for three whole days after the accident? Why had she diverted down a side road when she could have stayed in the queue? Whatever made her look to the left when she did? Why had the car immediately caught her attention? Why did the sight of that car bother her all next day? Why had she faithfully retraced that convoluted route? Hadn’t she better things to do? Where had she found the time? Why had she stopped and got out of her car? How did she know it had to be his house? Why was she ringing the front door bell?

Martin.”

It came across as a question, a query, an exclamation of astonishment because it was him, yet nothing like him. He had never been good-looking, but his round face had always possessed an undercurrent of charm that flickered through his eyes. Today, he was wearing old fashioned Buddy Holly glasses that hid those eyes…

His chestnut hair used to be carefully groomed but now hung in limp curls bruised by swathes of grey. His face and body hung stringily around his slack frame, and the smart designer clothing of yesteryear had been replaced by second line charity shop wear. His appearance could be summed up by a single word: defeated.






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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

It was a strange and twisting road that led to the publication of my first novel. From my humble beginnings, as an office clerk, to ownership of a multi-million dollar business I always maintained my love for literature.

Born and raised in Bristol, England. I spent most of my life in business, my companies turning over in the region of $500 million. The majority of that time marketing cars, eventually owning the largest Saab specialist in the world, before a bitter divorce forced me rethink my priorities. Particularly between 2003 and 2005 when I had to accept that I was no longer a millionaire but literally penniless. I avoided bankruptcy by the skin of my teeth and slowly rebuilt my life.

This led me to the life changing decision to leave the bustling city and move to live halfway up a mountain in the Welsh valleys. At the same time I started a part time six year English Literature course at Bristol University, and attended creative writing classes at Cardiff University. I left school at sixteen and this was my first taste of further education and an immense challenge.

I eventually adjusted my thinking to the academic life, and on 30 June 2015 had confirmation of my 2.1(Hons) degree from Bristol University. At the same time I also won the prestigious Hopkins Prize for my essay on Virginia Woolf and the unsaid within her text. Now the university courses are finished it will, with any luck, gives me plenty of extra time that I can devote to my fiction writing.

Thanks to the university experiences, my interest in English literature has flourished over recent years. Hopefully I have evolved as a writer from my earlier work in short stories (over ninety of them.) Although interestingly my first three novels have all been developed from a long forgotten short story.

Life is, once again, very good, and I live very happily halfway up a mountain, in the Welsh Valleys, with my wonderful partner Mari, and our rescue dog Wolfie.

Facebook www.facebook.com/michaelross.writer
Twitter @mikerosswriter
Website www.michaelrosswriter.com
Blog http://mikerosswriter.wordpress.com.
Goodreads Mike Ross




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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Michael will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.




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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Honey Dijon Pork Chops

Ingredients
4 boneless pork loin chops (5 ounces each)
1 teaspoon salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Directions
Sprinkle pork chops with lemon pepper. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, heat oil over medium heat. Brown chops on both sides.
In a small bowl, whisk orange juice, mustard and honey until blended; pour over chops. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 5-8 minutes
Remove chops from pan; keep warm. Bring sauce to a boil; cook until mixture is reduced to 1/4 cup, stirring occasionally. Serve with chops.
Yield: 4 servings.

I found this recipe on Taste of Home's site I've been desperate to find lower sodium recipes for my mom. This one was definitely a winner, though mine had to have a little more sodium then this one, as my lemon pepper wasn't sodium free, so I just used less.

My mom enjoyed it, so that's one for the win column.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Goddess Fish Promotions Book Review: An Unfolding Trap



An Unfolding Trap
by Jo A. Hiestand

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GENRE: British mystery

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BLURB:

Since his infancy, Michael McLaren has been the target of his paternal grandfather’s anger. So when the patriarch sends an invitation to heal the rift, McLaren travels to Scotland, eager to meet and finally end the feud. But the welcome never happens. If Grandfather hadn’t invited him, who had?  And why?

In Edinburgh, a man standing beside McLaren in a bus queue is killed in a hit-and-run accident. After an attack leaves McLaren for dead on a wintry moor, he’s convinced someone from his past is trying to murder him.

As McLaren trails the hit-and-run driver from the medieval ‘underground city’ of Edinburgh to the Boar’s Rock the MacLaren Clan’s ancestral meeting place the assaults intensify, and he’s plunged into a very personal hunt for a World War II treasure. The puzzle is fascinating; he just has to stay alive to solve it.



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EXCERPT

The upper landing was dimly lit, so as not to spoil the theatricality of the underground scene. But tiny strips of lights shone from beneath the stair treads, defining the path to the bottom. His left hand slid slowly along the metal railing, gripping more firmly as he paused to find each successive step. He felt the small torch in his jacket pocket but didn’t remove it. He needed his eyes to acclimate to the darkness.

He came to the second landing and the railing snaked back on itself, yet still angled downward. McLaren could see a small pool of light at ground level, a dozen stairs below. It seemed to come from a small door to the right. He took a deep breath, steeling his nerves, and descended.

At the bottom of the spiraled staircase he stood for moment, letting his eyes become accustomed to the near darkness. The ceiling was not much more than head high and seemed to mock his fear of confinement. Ahead he heard a voice relating the Close’s history. The voice sounded thin, bouncing off the hard walls.

He took a few steps past the bottom landing and looked around. The gloom intimidated him, threatened to suffocate him. Ahead and to his right pinpricks of weak yellowish light displaced some of the gloom and defined the areas through the maze, but murkiness filled the majority of the expanse. He moved slowly, his feet gliding over the rough ground, his hand skating over the wall. His fingers touched the bumps and small protuberances, skimming over them as though he were reading Braille.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Review: I'm a sucker for British mysteries and I read one from the McLaren Mystery series awhile back and loved it, so I was anxious to read this one. I read Shadow in the Smoke back in December. Michael McLaren is a great private investigator.

In this book there's a potential family reconciliation, but things are never what they seem and that reconciliation doesn't really happen, because his grandfather insists that he wasn't invited. That's mystery number one.

Then there's a hit and run, with a man standing beside Mike in a bus queue. Mystery 2

This is a book that will keep you turning the pages to discover who dun it. 

This is book 5 in the series, but all books are stand alone novels and if the two I've read are any indictation, great reads!

Rating: 5 stars


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British. Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folk singing stint. This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Taylor & Graham mysteries and the McLaren cold case mystery series.

Jo’s insistence for accuracy, from police methods and location layout to the general feel of the area, has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research. These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.


In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English. She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.
Her cat Tennyson shares her St. Louis home.

LINKS:


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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Goddess Fish Promotions Book Review 2 Broads Abroad



2 Broads Abroad: Moms Fly the Coop
by Deborah Serra and Nancy Serra Greene

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GENRE: Nonfiction, Motherhood, Travel Memoir

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BLURB:

When sisters, Deborah & Nancy, discovered that motherhood was a temp job they decided to run away from home. After packing up that last kid for college, and facing the sad stillness of their suddenly quiet homes, they decided to leave the country. 2 BROADS ABROAD: MOMS FLY THE COOP is a funny, irreverent, occasionally poignant travel tale of their impulsive road trip around Ireland.

In this witty warm-hearted adventure, they experienced some of Ireland’s quirkier history while sharing universally relatable stories of maniacal school coaches, neurotic neighbors, and tiger moms. Having kicked that empty nest into their rearview mirror, the sisters took off careening down the wrong side of the road, making questionable choices, getting trapped in a medieval tower, sneaking Chinese take-out into a famous cooking school, drinking way too much, and gaining a changed perspective on their lives ahead.

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Excerpt:

Your youngest is leaving for college? Aw, empty nest?” Then, sappy eyes followed by a plaintive grin and, “What will you do?”

Before my sister and I decided to run away from home we were bothered by that question. There was something minimizing about it, minimizing and not completely untrue. Motherhood had been so deceptive, the greatest paradox in life: every single bleary-eyed day felt a month long, and the years went by in an instant. They flashed by like lightning and left a desiccated scorch mark wearing my clothes. It was disagreeable to imagine what life would be like childless: there would be the family tree, and there would be the mom who’s the center of the family tree, standing leafless, bare (and it has been a while since I looked good bare). There was some solace as I glanced around me to see my younger sister, Nancy, would be standing there bare as well. We were embarking on this progeny-shedding calamity simultaneously as both of our youngest daughters, Nicole and Olivia, were leaving for college the same week.
I knew that Nancy hadn’t really focused on it yet. And then, we met at Fashion Island in Newport Beach near her home to get a birthday gift for our mom. We ran into two of Nancy’s neighbors, Vicki and Susan.

Nancy,” Vicki asked, “doesn’t Nicole graduate from Corona Del Mar High School this June?”

Yes,” Nancy said. “She’s going to the University of Washington.”

Oh,” Susan lifted her eyebrows, “you must be devastated.”

What?” Nancy looked confused. “No, actually I was happy for her. She worked really hard. It was her first choice school.”

But so far away!” Susan added in that annoying singsong tone.

Nancy shifted her feet, a move I knew well as her sister. It was something she always did when she was being told something she did not like to hear.

It’s not that far.” Nancy said.

It’s a plane ride. You need an airplane to see your daughter.” Susan said loudly.

Yeah.” Nancy turned to me in an effort to change the subject. “You remember my sister, Deborah?”

Of course.” Vicki smiled. And we exchanged hellos. Vicki seemed normal, but I had an inkling that I might have to slap Susan.
Susan continued on with her one thought. “With your son gone already, and soon Nicole, well, Nancy, I guess you’re all alone now.”

Nancy shifted her feet again. “I’m still married, Susan.”

Sure. Sure. Right. So that’s better than nothing, huh?”

Nancy and I both froze. Did she just say that?

You know,” Vicki tried to cut off Susan, “when Terrie’s youngest left she bought a Chihuahua puppy. Cutest thing you’ve ever seen. And the Walkers gave a room to an exchange student from Sweden,” she explained happily.

Nancy nodded. “That sounds like a good plan.”

Susan opened her mouth to speak again and I wasn’t sure whether I should just smack her now and be done with it, or let her continue. I made the wrong choice.

Remember Pam Winthrop?” Susan leaned in. “When her son left she started eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every day until she put on 60 pounds. Sad, really, tragic. Even her kneecaps were fat.” Then Susan turned to me, “So, Deborah, isn’t your youngest graduating, too?”

I’m leaving the country,” I said.

Susan cocked her head. “What?”

I’m leaving the country,” I repeated matter-of-factly.

So am I,” Nancy said. I looked at her. I saw the decision in her eyes. “I’m going with Deborah. We’re taking a long trip together – a sisters trip.”

You are?” Susan sounded a little thwarted, which Nancy found gratifying.

Yup, in the planning stages.” Nancy smiled at Susan who was clearly disappointed that we were not miserable as anticipated. “Nice to see you though, Susan, Vicki. Got to go. In the middle of booking flights and stuff. So much to do!”

We turned away and strode with purpose toward the door.
I whispered, “Susan’s a real gem.”

She did me a favor.”

Yeah?”

I’ve been so busy I just wasn’t thinking about it.”

And I haven’t been able to think about anything else,” I said. “When I’m awake in the middle of the night it runs over and over in my mind.”

Nancy said, “When I heard that crap Susan was dealing, all of a sudden I realized, there’s no way am I plodding into that sunset with fat kneecaps carrying a Chihuahua.”



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Review: This book made me long for a sister that I'm close to. (I have a sister, but our relationship, not so close). They have the kind of relationship that is enviable.

All of their children are out of the nest, so its safe to say that this is a severe and severely funny case of empty nest syndrome.

If you don't get loads of laughs while reading this, well, you might need a cast on your broken funny bone.

I loved the sisters antics. It really had me smiling the whole way through.(And this is from a 40 something single woman without children)

This is definitely a must read

Rating: 5 stars

AUTHOR Bio and Links:



Deborah Serra has been a sought-after screenwriter for twenty-five years having written for NBC, CBS, Sony, Lifetime, Fox, and others. She was a recipient of the 2012 Hawthornden Literary Fellowship. Her first novel was a semi-finalist for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Award given by the Faulkner Society in New Orleans, LA.

Nancy is a graduate of San Diego State University. She worked in medical sales before stepping away to raise her two children, at which point she became: Team Mom, Snack Mom, PTA member, Assistance League Volunteer, and the list is never-ending. Nancy was the editor and publisher of the Buffalo Hills Echo newsletter with a circulation of 1400. She also designed and managed her community website.


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Twitter: https://twitter.com/2_BroadsAbroad


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