Monday, June 29, 2015

Recipe In Progress: Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

I saw a recipe for cheese steak stuffed peppers on Facebook and I had to try them.

This is really a recipe in progress because the creator had a great idea, but it does't come out quite the way you'd like it to.

Ingredients
9 oz. Steakumms

8 slices provolone or swiss or american cheese for purists.

2 large green bell peppers

1 medium sweet onion, sliced

6 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced ( used a whole box of sliced 'Shrooms)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Slice green peppers and clean out seeds. Add a slice of cheese in the bottom


Caramelized the onions and then add the mushrooms.

Cook until mushrooms are browned and soft.
Add Steakumms and cook until they are done.

Stuff peppers with meat and mushroom mixture.
Top with cheese
Bake at 400 for about 20 - 30 minutes

I suggest after making these to roast the peppers while you're making the meat mixture because if you follow the recipe as is, those peppers will be quite crunchy!

So with a few changes, this recipe is a total winner.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Political Rant

I'm so sick of everyone saying that Obama has destroyed this country in his two  terms in office. That's basically depends on whose side you are on.

No president is perfect because no person is perfect, but I really hate that everything gets blamed on him, especially after the last bozo who held office.

If we really want to talk about who destroyed this country, let's talk about Sarah Palin and her tea party cronies. If it weren't for McCain's lack of vetting when it came to his VP candidate, she could have gone quietly away.

Instead we have this whack job who divided the republican party and then joined them making them ultra conservative and ultra Christian and ultra hate filled.

Before the tea party the two parties could sometimes work together. I'm not saying they were best buddies, but it was possible for them to work together, which is something that hasn't happened at all since Sarah's tea party loonies came to bed.

There has been more hatred and division in the last few years than ever before and the blame seems to be misguidedly placed.

Now if only we could deport Sarah to Russia, which she can apparently see from her house.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Top 10 Shows Of My Childhood

I've been feeling really nostalgic lately. Maybe it is because of my impending move. There's something about leaving the house you've live in for 41 years that makes you think of the past.


10. The Monkees: I discovered this show and the band long before Mtv brought them back in the mid-80s. Like most young girls from the 60s, I had a huge crush on Davy Jones, and I still haven't quite gotten over his death.


9. Red Dwarf; I picked up on this show between high school and college. I even have an mp3 of the Tongue Tied song, sung by Cat, Rimmer and Lister from Parallel Universe. It's smegging brilliant.



8. Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiago: I was hopelessly addicted to this PBS kids show, when I was probably too old to be watching stuff like this. The show started airing when I was a junior in high school. It was a geographical game show. And Rockapella were in it, and thus came my crush on Scott Leonard!


7. Wishbone: Another PBS favorite of mine. I even have a plush Wishbone. I just loved this show. It combined my love of books with my love of cute animals.

6. Solid Gold: Before there was Mtv there was Solid Gold an their slutty dancers bringing music into my world



5. Mama's Family: How can anyone not love this show? I don't know why it didn't last longer than it did. Vicki Lawrence and Carol Burnett...oh and Betty White too! Such a fun show!


4. Alf: How can you not love Alf? I've had a thing for aliens for along time it seems. I could never keep Alf around these days though, since he likes to eat cats!


3. The Facts Of Life: What girl didn't want to go to school with Jo, Blair, Tootie and Natalie at Eastland? I know I did!



2. The Jeffersons: A spin off of All In The Family, the Jeffersons was one of my favorite shows from the 70s and 80s. I still love watching reruns today.

1. Full House: I was totally in love with Danny Tanner from the time this show started until it ended. I have to admit I liked the earlier years before Jesse and Becky got married

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Taco Skillet

Taco Skillet

This is one of my favorite easy recipes. I usually make it according to the recipe that you can find on the Campbell's website.


1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion (I like the frozen kind)
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Tomato Soup (Regular or Healthy Request®)
1(16 ounce) jar Pace® Picante Sauce  water
1 jar green chilis
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained.
6 each flour tortillas, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup shredded Mexican Cheese

Directions


Cook the beef in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, stirring often to separate meat. Pour off any fat. 2Stir the soup, picante sauce, water, chilis, beans and tortillas in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir the beef mixture. Top with the cheese.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Top 10 Songs By The Monkees

Dave Swanson did a semi impressive list @ Ultimate Classic Rock but I think it could be improved on.

First of all, lets all agree that there are three songs that are synonymous with The Monkees and must be on this list.

1. I'm A Believer - which is a pure Neil Diamond classic. If you think of The Monkees, this is one song that likely will pop into your mind.

2. The Last Train To Clarksville - Boyce and Hart at their finest.

3. Daydream Believer - Davy's best song for the band hand's down and he had quiet a few great songs

4. Papa Gene's Blues - Papa Nez wrote the best songs.

5. The Door Into Summer - Another one by Papa Nez, country with a touch of psychedelia.

6. Randy Scouse Get - Another summer of love tune.

7. Shades Of Gray - And we don't mean 50 shades either. This song gives Peter a chance to shine, which he was seldom able to do.

8. Pleasant Valley Sunday - This is probably the most relevant song by the band. "Rows of houses that are all the same, and no one seems to care...."

9. The Porpoise Song - There was a lot of brilliant music on the soundtrack for the film, Head, but this song was by far the best of the bunch.

10. Someday Man - Not a huge single and often a forgotten track, this is another gem of Davy's that shouldn't be missed.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mmm Egg Salad

You get bored with the same old same old recipes sometimes.

Granted I'm all for the tried and true, eggs, mayo, and dijion mustard version, but I had a lot of hard cooked eggs and I wanted to try something different.

I want to thank Taste of Home for this great recipe that I only modified slightly.


Ingredients

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise (1/3 of a cup worked better for me)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped green or sweet red pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (I omitted the parsley and added about 1 Tbsp of Dijon mustard)
8 hard-cooked eggs, chopped



Directions
In a bowl, mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, salt and pepper until smooth. Stir in green pepper, celery, relish and parsley. Fold in eggs. Refrigerate, covered, until serving. Yield: 3 cups.

I usually like my egg salad on a nice roll or bun, but I had melba round crackers from Aldi and it was yummy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Super Book Blast: The Likelihood Of Lucy


THE LIKELIHOOD OF LUCY
by Jenny Holiday

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

BLURB:

London, 1815
Trevor Bailey is on the cusp of opening the greatest hotel in London. His days as a gutter snipe are behind him, as he enjoys a life of wealth, society, and clandestine assignments as a spy in the service of His Majesty. Until one tumultuous night churns up the past he'd long left behind...

Turned out by her employer for her radical beliefs, Lucy Greenleaf reaches out to the man who was once her most beloved friend. She never expected that the once-mischievous Trevor would be so handsome and gentleman-like and neither can deny the instant attraction.

But Lucy's reformer ways pose a threat to the hotel's future and his duties as a spy. Now Trevor must choose between his new life and the woman he's always loved…

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


Excerpt :

Who was this man? He was the Trevor of her youth, yet he was not. The boy would not have touched her like that. Would not even have noticed her face long enough to bother with a dab of pudding gone awry. The boy had reserved that sort of intense scrutiny for lock picking and cake filching.

The man, by contrast, was causing her stomach to feel like little wings were fluttering inside it.

It was almost as if she wasn’t in the room, which was ridiculous because of course she was. It was her lip he caressed. But he stared so intently at her mouth that the encounter seemed somehow to be unfolding between him and it without her presence mattering at all.

She lifted herself onto tiptoes, and the tiny birds inside her took off, a great flapping flock of them. They were propelling her toward him, and she wasn’t in charge anymore. She pressed her lips against the spot of chocolate near the corner of his mouth. If she’d thought the chocolate
tasted sinful before, she’d been naive. The tang of his skin magnified it, made it magnetic.

“Lucy,” he rasped, his lips moving against her skin as he spoke her name. She waited for more, for him to cry halt. He did not. So she remained where she was, her lips pressed against the corner of his mouth but not moving, the roar of blood in her ears a rushing waterfall.

Beneath her mouth, his jaw clenched, became hard like iron, and his breath, already short, took on a ragged quality. Warmth pooled low in her belly like that chocolate, liquefied and hot. Every second they stood there, unmoving, something coiled more tightly inside her. It was almost painful, but it was impossible to imagine stepping away.

He moved only an inch. Less than an inch. His lips grazed hers, and though they barely touched hers, the warmth in her belly became fire. How was that possible? They weren’t even kissing, not really, and yet she felt as if she were at the gates of Bedlam.

A thought crept in. She tried to push it away, but it persisted. This is why Mary had fallen victim to her bouts of suicidal behavior. This—this unnamable compulsion—would grow and grow until it took over, displacing everything else, everything that made her herself. Unlike Mary, she
wasn’t capable of producing great works of philosophy with the potential to change the world, but she did have a life. A hard-won life she’d made for herself through sheer force of will. Trevor was helping her—she’d had no choice but to permit it given his logical argument that their arrangement would benefit them both. But she needed to remember why she had agreed to stay only for six months. Because men were dangerous—even him. Even Trevor. Perhaps especially him.

So she stepped away.




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

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jenny Holiday started writing in fourth grade, when her awesome hippie teacher, between sessions of Pete Seeger singing and anti-nuclear power plant letter writing, gave the kids notebooks and told them to write stories. Most of Jenny's featured poltergeist, alien invasions, or serial killers who managed to murder everyone except her and her mom. She showed early promise as a romance writer, though, because nearly every story had a happy ending: fictional Jenny woke up to find that the story had been a dream, and that her best friend, father, and sister had not, in fact, been axe-murdered. From then on, she was always writing, often in her diary, where she liked to decorate her declarations of existential angst with nail polish teardrops. Eventually she channelled her penchant for scribbling into a more useful format. After picking up a PhD in urban geography, she became a professional writer, and has spent many years promoting research at a major university, which allows her to become an armchair astronomer/historian/particle physicist, depending on the day. Eventually, she decided to try her hand again at happy endings--minus the bloodbaths. You can follow her twitter accounts @jennyholi and @TropeHeroine or visit her on the web at jennyholiday.com.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennyholidaybooks
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/jennyholiday   

BUY Links:



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



The author will award a randomly drawn commenter a $25 Amazon gift card.

Please use the following Rafflecopter code:



Sunday, May 24, 2015

Southwestern Pasta Salad

The Memorial Day holiday always means a nice pasta salad.

This year I took the lazy girls way out and used a Suddenly Salad mix and jazzed it up.

I looked at the recipe for the Southwest Salad on the Betty Crocker site and it was a little too much. So I kept what I liked and changed a few things and I have to say the result is quite nice.

I'm going to add a package of Southwest Chicken to the salad before serving, but it is honestly yummy just the way it is.

Ingredients

1 box of Classic Suddenly Salad
1/2 cup italian dressing
Hot sauce
1 1/2 tsp cum
1 can green giant mexicorn
1 can tomatoes and green chilis drained
1 can black beans drained
1 cup grated mexican cheese


Direction

Prepare pasta according to package directions
In a medium bowl combine, seasoning packet, dressing, about 5 splashes of hot sauce and cumin and mix well
Add pasta and remaining ingredients and combine
Cover and chill for an hour before serving to get the optimum flavor!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Pretty In Pink Cake

If you are looking for a quick and easy dessert that's really no muss, no fuss, look no further than the Pretty In Pink Cake.

It has a few simple ingredients

1 box of white cake mix
1 can of cherry pie filler
3 eggs
1 tsp of Almond extract

Preheat your oven to 350

Combine all 4 ingredients and mix well.

Pour into a prepared 9 x 13 pan and bake according to the package directions. Usually 30 - 35 minutes.

This cake is delicious with powdered sugar on top, plain or with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.

It can also be made with Devil's Food cake for an awesome chocolate cherry cake.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Farewell David Letterman

I have to admit, I was never a big Letterman fan. I always leaned toward The Tonight Show, but for some reason, knowing that he has signed off as really made me thing about things.

His name has been synonymous with Late Night tv for most of my life.

He was always the more odd ball of the hosts, and I think that's why I didn't gravitate to him much, tough I do remember some of the highlights that they showed this week, particularly the Sonny and Cher reunion.

Ah and the Madonna thing and you can't forget about Oprah.

The one thing you can say about Letterman, he always shook things up.

Now that he's retired, the late night talk shows are all new. There are now tried and true hosts. It is young blood.

It's going to take some getting used to.

I'll leave you with my favorite Letterman memory from the recent shows

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Movie Review: Wreckers

Synopsis: 

A married couple moves back to his childhood village to start a family but a surprise visit from the husband's brother ignites sibling rivalry and exposes the lies embedded in the couple's relationship.

Review:  This is one movie that I totally regret watching. I adore Benedict Cumberbatch, but even he couldn't save this boring, confusing piece of cinema.

Maybe the film is too deep for me but very little about it made any sense. If it weren't for the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch is so darn pretty and he is shirtless quite a bit in this film, I think I might have fallen asleep.

The premise is a good one. Nick comes across as a great mentally unstable soldier with PTSD and David slowly starts looking menacing, but nothing really feels like it is pieced together.

The scenes are choppy and though you see Dawn and Nick's relationship changing, when things REALLY change it didn't seem right. The other thing that bothered me was that though they told you a bit about David and Nick's past, you never really felt like you knew them or what were really like. There definitely was something unnatural about them that was really creepy.

I never quite understood Dawn's (Claire Foy) silence. She never asks questions of her husband. The other thing I couldn't quite wrap my head around was why they never painted the rooms in the house when both David and Dawn seemed to have decent jobs. Why couldn't they afford a coat of paint?

This was really a bad movie in my eyes, even if the actors were wonderful. It is an hour and a half of my life I'll never get back.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Goddess Fish Promotions Super Book Blast & Book Review: Summer's Family Affair




Summer's Family Affair


by Cynthia Gail


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

Jenny Cohen defines successful independence: she put herself through college, couldn’t ask for

better friends, owns a consulting firm, wears designer clothes, and just moved into her dream

home . . . But she’s alone, except for her ailing mother whom she supports in a nursing home.

As the marketing consultant for Chester, Dorsey & Tanner, she’s surrounded by male attention.

Too bad it’s the overly-protective big-brother type.

Architect, Craig Stone, hasn’t looked at another woman since his wife passed away four years

ago. His time is taken—building a career while trying to be both mother and father to his eight-

year-old son. But when his appointment with the largest development firm in Nashville is double-

booked with a black-haired beauty, he finds himself reaching for new possibilities.

The attraction sets off more fireworks than the Fourth of July. Yet, their relationship is riddled

with issues neither one of them expected. Somewhere in the middle they must find a way to

compromise or let go of a chance for love they may never find again.

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

EXCERPT :

All thought froze, as a beautiful voice cut through the near-silence of the room. Craig stared at the portfolio for just a second more before turning his attention to the front desk. He couldn’t see far enough around the corner to get a good view. What he did see . . . a pair of black strappy stilettos.

“Better you than me. He’s in an awful mood. Jeffry was out for just three days and his temp messed up the entire week’s schedule.”

Craig quietly moved down the row of chairs. Though his line of sight was much improved, he still couldn’t see the face behind the voice.

“You know it’s only going to get worse. It’s just Monday. How bad is it, really?”

She must be leaning over the desk, because her voice was now a faint whisper and the scene that greeted him was a firm derriere and a pair of runner’s legs that made his heart skip a beat.

“I’m not sure. I do know that you’re double-booked with the gentleman sitting across the room. Don’t look now.” Someone cleared their throat. “He’s a new architect Nick’s consulting with on the expansion designs. Too expensive to reschedule. Sorry.”

“Oh.”

“Brandon’s supposed to be part of their meeting and the temp had it on his calendar for noon tomorrow, instead of nine today.”

“I guess I can take second place. Only because it puts Brandon at my mercy. Tell Jeffry to come to the lobby and we’ll work it out. I’m always flexible, especially when it gives me an edge.”

The women laughed, a beautiful melody that rang through his entire being. Craig watched as she straightened and he could now see long, wavy black hair, falling against a ruby-red silk blouse. She reminded him of a Victoria Secrets model—long and lean, with a hint of curve.

“That’s why I like you so much. It’ll be a few minutes, if you’d like to have a seat.”

Craig shifted his attention back to the contract in his hand and purposefully read the title five more times. Slowly. He listened as her shoes clicked across the hardwood floor, waiting until the sound stopped before turning in her direction. She’d taken the chair he’d previously occupied and was sliding her phone into a black designer clutch.

Then she greeted him with a smile that still held a spark of amusement. He took a deep breath and swallowed. She had a hint of summer tan that made her skin glow, a touch of sheer gloss on her lips, and chocolate-brown eyes that instantly warmed him to the core.


His throat went suddenly dry and his mind raced for something to say. He stared silently, feeling like a teenage boy who’d never spoken to a girl before. Somehow, he found his footing and stood, then walked over to the chair next to hers. “Craig Stone.”

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


Review: Summer's Family Affair is a wonderful read for romance lovers.

Cynthia Gail has created characters that are real and who you can really related to.

I really like that Jenny was the strong single woman and Craig is the widower with a young son. Both are pretty ok, with being single, but both need something more.

Jenny and Craig are both career minded and each has family responsibilities of different varieties, but the two of them definitely have a great chemistry. They also have some road blocks on their way to true happiness.

I liked the heat level which was relatively low in this book. It is hotter than sweet romance which gives a nice balance, which really is perfect for the characters and their situations.

This is a great quick read for a sunny summer afternoon, especially if you are at a beach. Highly recommended!

Rating: 5 stars



My husband and I live in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee with our three dogs. When I'm not

working or writing, I can be found with family and friends. I love to bake in the winter, grill in the

summer, and on occasion, I sneak away from everyone and curl up with a good book.

Website:  http://cynthiagail.com/ 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CynthiaGailRomance 

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CynthiaGailBook 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6564818.Cynthia_Gail

Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-

Gail/e/B009WQTTQE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1426743860&sr=8-1

Amazon buy link:  http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-

Gail/e/B009WQTTQE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1426743860&sr=8-1 

Winter’s Magic   http://amzn.to/1Gsi6OM

Spring’s Surprise   http://amzn.to/1Np002k 

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

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Cynthia Gail will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter

during the tour, and a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host.


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If you cannot embed the code, please use this HTML link:

href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f1019">Enter to win a $15 Amazon/BN

GC - a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Goddess Fish Promotions Book Blast: Dream Girl


DREAM GIRL
by S.J. Lomas

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

BLURB:

For Christine, dreams have never meant much. Until she meets Gabriel. Everyone thinks Christine should stay away from her new coworker at the library-thanks to his bad reputation-but when her dreams grow more vivid and she becomes entangled in a dangerous dream world with Gabriel every night, she can't stay away. Soon it's clear there is far more to dreams than Christine ever imagined, and now she's on the path to making the biggest, and strangest, decision of her life.

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



Excerpt :

I walked down a moonlit street. It smelled like smoldering autumn leaves but there was no chill in the air. Wind slowly blew through the trees and made their leaves whisper. Everything else was quiet.

The wind curled around me, but this time it brought a few drops of rain with it. Glancing at the sky, I noticed clouds gathering over the moon. It dawned on me that I should get back home and go to bed. I looked around and, for the first time, realized I wasn’t in my neighborhood. This neighborhood resembled a set from a musical rather than a real street. The houses were big and imposing, like something from My Fair Lady. At any moment, I expected to see Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn strolling toward me. The thought of wandering through an old movie scene, alone, at night caused cold goose bumps to rise on my arms. Keep it together, Christine. I tried to stay reasonable.

Was it safer to go back the way I’d come or keep going into unknown territory? I didn’t remember going for a walk anyway. Basically, turning back was no different than continuing on. I took another quick scan of the street to see if anyone else was out. Nothing stirred. Even the wind had deserted me.

I tried to grab hold of my courage. There had to be a logical explanation for this and it wasn’t like I could have wandered too far from home. I decided my best bet was to turn around and go the way I’d apparently come. Maybe something would look familiar eventually and I’d be snuggled in my bed soon.

I turned and the wind rushed past my ears. “Christine,” it sighed, producing the effect of ice water dripping down my spine. The voice was soft, but I had not imagined it.





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



AUTHOR Bio and Links:



S.J. Lomas is a cheerful Michigan native who writes strange and somewhat dark stories. She is a wife, mother, librarian, and definitely a dreamer.

Readers can visit S.J. at her website: www.sjlomas.com

Twitter: @SJLomasAuthor



Personalized copies available from Blue Frogs Books : http://www.bluefrogbooksandmore.com/book/9780985956295

Amazon:

Barnes and Noble:

Buy direct from the publisher:


REVIEW QUOTES:

“Told in very short chapters with alternating points-of-view, Dream Girl tells an enticing story of friendship, adventure, and determining one’s path in life.”
- Randy-Lynne Wach
Review for San Francisco Book Review

“This part-adventure/part-romance will keep readers on the edge of their seats while trying to figure out where it all will end. This will appeal to fans of the Abandon series by Meg Cabot.”
-Deborah L. Dubois
Voice of Youth Advocates, (VOYA)

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






Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Goddess Fish Promotions Book Blast: Mocassin Trace




Moccasin Trace
by Hawk MacKinney

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

BLURB:

… it was about the land…a tale of love and loss and hope…


“The most engaging and brilliantly crafted historical work since Margaret Mitchell’s great classic.”
Barbara Casey
Author, The Gospel According to Prissy

Hamilton Ingram looked out across the fertile Georgia bottomlands that were Moccasin Hollows, seeing holdings it had taken generations of Ingrams to build.  No drop of slave sweat ever shed in its creation.  It was about the land…his trust, his duty to preserve it for the generation of Ingrams to come…

It is July of 1859, a month of sweltering dog days and feverish emotional bombast.  Life is good for widower Rundell Ingram and his Hazel-eyed, roan-haired son, Hamilton.  Between the two of them, they take care of Moccasin Hollows, their rustic dogtrot ancestral home, a sprawling non-slave plantation in the rolling farming country outside Queensborough Towne in east Georgia.  Adjoining Ingram lands is Wisteria Bend, the vast slave-holding plantation of Andrew and Corinthia Greer, their daughter Sarah, and son Benjamin.

Both families share generations of long-accepted traditions, and childhood playmates are no longer children.  The rangy, even-tempered Norman-Scottish young Hamilton is smitten with Sarah, who has become an enticing capricious beauty—the young lovers more in love with each passing day, and only pleasant times ahead of them.

But a blood tide of war is sweeping across the South, a tide that might be impossible to stand before.

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





Excerpt :

He took special care to have quiet times for Sarah, 'specially since night before last. He got real excited when she told him she might be with child again.  She hadn't been sleeping well, often wanted him to rub her aching back.  Now he knew why.
           
Threadbare clothes and unshorn hair gave Hamilton Bothington Graeme Ingram the look of a run-down, unkempt derelict instead of heir to one of the largest non-slave plantations in Saint George Parish.  He ducked under what was left of the split-rail fence with its crooked corner post.  Rails and most posts had long gone up in the smoke of hoards of campfires.
           
"Step wide."  He reached back to help her through.  "I don't want the mother of our children to step on a canebrake rattler catchin' sun on this fine day."
           
"Lord have mercy."  Sarah clutched her bonnet in her hand so as not to get it snagged in the coiled tangle of wire.  "I suppose it's up to me to get used to your hoverin' over me again."
           
"Yep," he grinned.  "Reckon my favorite sweetheart will have to do just that."
           
"Your favorite sweetheart?"  She giggled, wrinkled her nose at him.  "Just listen to you and your Ingram fiddle-faddled talk."
           
He grinned as she brushed back strands of the golden hair Hamilton loved to run his fingers through.  She gathered her mended skirt, slipped her hand into his, and quickly stepped wide over the fallen post.
           
"C'mon..."  Her voice lilted soft, and she squeezed her grip on his hand.  "Let's hurry."
           
Her singular tenderness refused to let the devastation around them blight their few alone-times.  In the spoliation around them, such times when they managed to make it just the two of them held a more-than-special meaning.



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

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

With postgraduate degrees and faculty appointments in several medical universities, Hawk MacKinney has taught graduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem. In addition to professional articles and texts on chordate neuroembryology, Hawk has authored several works of fiction.

Hawk began writing mysteries for his school newspaper. His works of fiction, historical love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers are not genre-centered, but plot-character driven, and reflect his southwest upbringing in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his serial protagonist in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series… murder and mayhem with a touch of romance. Vault of Secrets, the first book in the Ingram series, was followed by Nymrod Resurrection, Blood and Gold, and The Lady of Corpsewood Manor. All have received national attention.  Hawk’s latest release in the Ingram series is due out this fall with another mystery-thriller work out in 2014. The Bleikovat Event, the first volume in The Cairns of Sainctuarie science fiction series, was released in 2012.

"Without question, Hawk is one of the most gifted and imaginative writers I have had the pleasure to represent. His reading fans have something special to look forward to in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series. Intrigue, murder, deception and conspiracy--these are the things that take Hawk's main character, Navy ex-SEAL/part-time private investigator Craige Ingram, from his South Carolina ancestral home of Moccasin Hollow to the dirty backrooms of the nation's capital and across Europe and the Middle East."

Barbara Casey, President
Barbara Casey Literary Agency








Saturday, April 25, 2015

Today's Earworm

I blame James Corden for this one.

If you haven't heard Andy Grammer's Honey I'm Good, you really are missing out on some fun pop music.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour: Diary Of A Gutsy Teen


SECRETS, DIARY OF A GUTSY TEEN
by Barbara Becker Holstein

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BLURB:

Following in the footsteps of The Truth, Secrets: Diary of a Gutsy Teen begins as the thirteen-year-old protagonist makes a move with her family to a new town. She has grown up a lot over the past year—and has made a list of everything that’s important to her now that she doesn’t want to forget when she gets older. But now, as she enters her early teen years, she begins to write down the secrets she wants to keep—and the ones she has no one to tell about. From new school experiences to a new baby in the family to a new crush, this new teen finally feels empowered on making her own decisions with confidence and keeping those secrets she holds dearest for herself.

In a positive and supportive diary-entry format, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein encourages tween and early teen girls to carry the most precious parts of themselves into adulthood. A great book for mothers and daughters to read together, Secrets is aimed to improve communication, understanding, and self-esteem for young girls as they enter the rocky road of teenager-dom.

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EXCERPT: 

Date: December 2
Dear Diary,

I have a secret and it’s been eating me up inside, so I have to tell you. I lied to Angela. I told her I had a terrible sore throat and couldn’t come for the weekend. She said she was sorry and that she would invite me again.

I felt terrible, and then my throat really began to hurt. But I just couldn’t go to Springport for a whole weekend_even though I miss being around Angela.

Now that I have best friends here, I don’t feel the same way I used to about going back to visit. And I didn’t know how to tell Angela that. I could tell when we talked on the phone that she really wanted me to come. And she sent me a new selfie, holding a sign that reads I Miss You! She even told me that she doesn’t have a new best friend since I left. She really misses me. She also told me that Paul is in lots of her classes and he asks if she’s talked to me. How could I tell her I’m in love with Rob and don’t care about Paul anymore? How could I tell her that I have new best friends and want to stay here with them?

I did go to Sally’s instead, and we had the best time. Her mother ordered pizza for us and we drank Coke. We watched television and made popcorn and did each other’s hair with all of Sally’s older sister’s hair products we found in the bathroom. I look silly with curly hair. We kept laughing and falling on the floor and giggling, and we played this fun game that Jackie learned in camp last summer. We all lay down on the floor and we each put our head on someone else’s belly. Someone says, “Ha-ha,” and then the next person says, “Haha-ha,” until everyone is laughing. Then you can’t stop laughing because the belly you are on is bouncing all around under your head.

Sally’s mom got really angry at all the noise we were making, and we had to turn off the lights and pretend to go to sleep. I hardly slept a wink, though. I was so excited and having so much fun with my new friends. I was tired the next morning and really did have a sore throat when I went home, but I didn’t care. It was worth it to have so much fun.



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GUEST POST: 

The Girl writes in her diary:
"I thought of another poem:
Love, it comes and goes
But the fire still burns
Deep inside me, it never cools.
How hot will the winds blow
Before I have peace of mind?
I think maybe I’ll be a poet when I grow up. Poems just seem to keep coming out of me from somewhere. I don’t know where. It’s weird."

The girl in Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen is surprised to discover that she has the capacity to create poems. I find that a lot of us have talents that can surprise us at one time or another.  In fact, I remember as a teenager waking up in the middle of the night with a poem flowing through my head.  I actually had to find a pen and paper and jot it down.  I was totally amazed.  And my parents were also the next day.

One of the great things about growing up is coming in touch with our talents.  Sometimes they try to tell us they are there and we ignore them.  That is a shame because you never know how a talent can come in handy.  I certainly think my writing ability has behind it a variety of talents, including spontaneous thoughts in the middle of the night that sometimes rhyme!

So stay alert to your talents and those of your kids.  Who knows what great potential lurks in the corners of our brains! 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I have been a positive psychologist in private practice for the past thirty years. In the course of working with my clients, I originated the idea of THE ENCHANTED SELF(R), a positive psychology therapy where I teach people how to recognize and utilize their strengths, talents, skills and even lost potential. I have developed a number of methods, including using our memories to rediscover what is right about ourselves and our lives, rather than what went wrong, helping people to overcome adversity, experience positive emotions and live the good life!

Since developing this concept, I've been able to use many tools to bring the Enchanted Self to everyone, particularly women and girls. I've written many books, starting with THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy, and then Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU!  My books for girls are very popular, as they are great fictional reads and also help deal with many of the questions that trouble kids as they move into the tween and teen years.  The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween and Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen are the first two books in this series.

I really love to teach and educate about happiness and how to benefit from positive psychology in ways that let us lead lives of meaning and happiness. You can find me all over the place on the web.








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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Goddess Fish Promotions Book Blast: The Reluctant Prince



NOTE: This book is on sale for $0.99 until April 30!

BLURB:

Seventeen year old Ryleigh Donnovan is certain her life is cursed. Nothing ever goes smoothly, and her first job interview is no exception. An earthquake rocks the building, sending Ryleigh on a frantic search for her younger sister, a search which lands her in the hospital. Terrified they’ll push her for answers she can’t afford to give, Ryleigh flees with a mysterious stranger.

Jackson Maynard is about to be ordained as a Death Dealer, a warrior for the Kingdom of Cymmera, but first he must pass one more test. When he fails to acquire the human girl the prophet has chosen, he’s forced to stand trial for treason. Banished from his realm, he seeks out the girl from the vision, Ryleigh Donnovan, and together they embark on a journey to save his dying kingdom.

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Excerpt: 

Ryleigh stood. This couldn’t be happening. With only a few months left until graduation, she didn’t want to be forced to drop out, but what else could she do? “Look, Mr. Jacobs, can’t you just—” Vertigo assailed her. The room rocked, and she grabbed the desk.

Mr. Jacobs grabbed the back of his chair. His eyes mirrored her panic. Books flew from the shelves. Glass shattered.

She had to get to Mia.

She turned to run. The building bucked, and she toppled, slamming her knee into the hard wood floor. Pain shot up her leg. She grabbed the chair to pull herself up, but the next wave threw her back down. She tried to regain her footing, but someone yanked her to the ground.

“Stay down.” Mr. Jacobs shoved her forward. He crawled beside her, half pushing, half dragging her toward the door.

Debris pelted her back, shoulders, and head. How could she have left Mia? Tears blurred her vision.

“If it’s an earthquake, it should stop any minute. Just keep crawling toward the door.”

Desperately wishing she could cover her ears to block the screaming, she clawed forward. Her knee dragged behind her, pain pulsing with each movement. Falling apart wouldn’t help matters. She had to get to Mia.

Ryleigh crawled through the doorway, into utter chaos. People trying to push through the mess, others huddled in corners shielding their heads. An injured woman cried as she rocked back and forth clutching her arm. A man crouched over her.

Fear and disorientation held Ryleigh immobile.




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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Dani-Lyn Alexander lives on Long Island with her husband, three kids and three dogs. She loves spending time with her family, at the beach, the playground, or just about anywhere. In her spare time, which is rare, she enjoys reading and shopping—especially in book stores. Some of her favorite things include; Bernese Mountain Dogs, musicals, bubble baths and soft blankets. She’s an incurable insomniac and has an addiction to chocolate.

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Buy Links:







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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Dani-Lyn Alexander will award a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter.