Monday, 22 July 2019

Book Tour: Shelf Life by Rob Gregson...

Welcome to the Virtual Book Tour for Shelf Life!


About the Book:

Young bookseller Cathy Finn is having a bad day. First, there's the assassin's bullet. Then comes the realisation that she's been living in a work of fiction. Worse, she wasn't even the main character.

Cathy's quiet, bit-part life may be over, but her troubles are only beginning. Her last day on Earth is also her first as a citizen of New Tybet. For over four hundred years, its people have been rescuing those destined to die in other narratives, but now the system is faltering. A saboteur is at work and Cathy will have to stop him if she’s ever going to find a way home. Failure could maroon her forever and spark a revolution that sets all the worlds of literature ablaze.


Book Details:

Print Length: 338 pages
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing; 1 edition (http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com)
Publication Date: July 17, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07SNGW2Z7

Genre(s): Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Literary Mashup, Parallel Worlds, Comedy

Exclusive Excerpt:

Hitch had been fitter once. In his younger days he could tear about and scurry up trees with the best of them. Now, too much booze and too much fast food meant that eight flights of concrete steps could very nearly kill him. By level four, his lungs were tight, his calves were cramping and his eyes were stinging with sweat. By level six, his heart was hammering on his ribs like an angry neighbour and his mind was beginning to fixate on all the many inventive horrors he might one day inflict upon the building's maintenance manager. He completed the final ascent without actually vomiting but by the time he reached the door of room 801, he was far from the living embodiment of youthful vim.
He retained just enough wit and energy to pause and look about him. A thin, disdainful-looking cat regarded him from the flickering light of the passage. Hitch stared back at it for a long moment and, after an exchange of dark looks, concluded he could probably take it in a fair fight. The cat seemed to agree. After an ostentatious stretch, it turned and padded away.
Breathing hard, but feeling that he'd made his point, Hitch watched it go - its slow retreat revealed in zoetrope motion by the irregular winking of the lights. It wasn't nice here. The passage smelled damp. The wallpaper curled at the corners like pencil shavings. Lacking only a taped outline of a human figure upon the floor, it looked the kind of place where forensic scientists might spend a lot of time.
Shaking his head, he inhaled deeply, turned to the door and rapped out the three-two-four tattoo that announced him as a friend.
Footsteps. A second or two later, the peephole flickered.
"Oh God. It's you." It was a woman's voice. It lacked joy.
Hands thrust deep in his coat pockets, Hitch gazed at the unblinking circle of glass and said nothing. Gusting sheets of rain lashed the stairwell windows behind him - a fitting fanfare - but only silence and inactivity ensued.
Several uneventful moments later, he began to wonder about his tactics. He'd hoped that standing there rock-still might make him look a little bit cool or mysterious, but now the thought occurred to him that she might just have walked away. Cats were one thing, but he wasn't sure how long he could keep trying to outstare a door.
At last, however, there came a series of metallic scrapes and scratchings, the squeal of unoiled hinges and a widening rectangle of orange light.
A cheerless face looked back at him. "I suppose you want to come in."
"Hallie?" He followed her into an atmosphere that was ripe with cheese, garlic, and resentment. "I thought it was you. What are you doing in a dung-hole like this?"
"Shut the door."
Hitch bolted it shut and reset the small electronic jammer pressed against the frame. "Nice to see you, too." He turned to find her glaring at him, her arms folded tightly across her chest. He tried to remember what he might have done to deserve such a greeting and conceded that, whatever it was, it would only be the tip of a very ugly iceberg. As such, it was undoubtedly one of those problems best addressed through a policy of careful and continued avoidance.
He nodded to her couch and a box of half-finished pizza. "You got any spare?"
She blinked slowly. "I'm saving it for the dog."
Hitch glanced around. The apartment was tiny. The living area afforded just enough room for a TV, a shabby rug, and the couch itself, which looked like it had been lifted from the set of a fire safety commercial. The windows were partly veiled by broken plastic blinds and, to one side, three sheets of laminated plywood masqueraded as a breakfast bar. Beyond them stood a selection of firetrap appliances and a rusting sink.
He looked back at her. "You don't have a dog."

"I might get one."

Order Links:

Mirror World Publishing

Amazon US

Amazon CA

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Learn More About Shelf Life:

Goodreads

Follow the Tour to Read Exclusive Excerpts, Guest Posts, and Reviews:

https://saphsbooks.blogspot.com/2019/07/virtual-book-tour-schedule-shelf-life.html


Meet the Author:



Rob Gregson spent much of his youth reading fantasy novels, immersing himself in role playing games and generally doing everything possible to avoid the real world. In his defence, we're talking about the late 1980s - a time when ridiculous hair, hateful pop music and soaring unemployment were all very popular - so it wasn't altogether a bad decision. However, had he abandoned the realms of wizardry at an earlier age, he might have developed one or two useful life skills and he would almost certainly have found it easier to get a girlfriend. Rob lives in Lancashire and has two children, although he has absolutely no idea why anyone should find that interesting.

Connect with the Author:


Amazon

Enter the Giveaway:


Monday, 15 July 2019

Peeling Back the Layers in your Summer Garden by Janis Lane...

Onion, i.e, Allium, is a large family which includes onion, scallion, garlic leek, shallot and chives (onion and garlic types). Blossoms are pretty in purple, yellow, white, and sometimes pink. I grew up not far from a small town known as Vidalia (locally pronounced Vy day lia, emphasis on the Vi. I won’t try to describe how to put a southern twang to the rest of the word.), Georgia. Sweet, sweet onions grow there with a patented name for the brand. The soil in the fields around the small town is very low in sulfur which puts the sting in your eyes when you peel a not-Vidalia type. Great for eating raw, but their keeper value is low.

It takes a specialized taste bud to enjoy raw onions, but professional chefs swear by the value of an onion flavoring a good stew. This writer considers an onion almost essential in the kitchen. Most are yellow, some white or purple with various degrees of the sulfur bite. Such a large family serves almost all individual preferences. Health benefits of consuming edible members of the onion family are numerous. High in nutrients and low in calories, they are also delicious.


Chives, useful herb, can be grown on your sunny window sill, but will excel outside, attracting bees with their fragrance blooms. Chives are delicious in soups, salads, and as a garnish. It’s a perennial plant hardy to zone 2-3, but the seed resents amateur saving. Tiny bulbs are easily pulled apart for transplant. Garlic chives bloom fragrant white in late summer and are delicious when a mild garlic flavor is desired. Purple blooms from chives make tasty and attractive herbed vinegar.

When I mow the lawn in summer, I plant peppermint several places in the lawn. I love the fragrance when the grass cutter nips their tops, but in one corner of the lawn, I recognize the volunteered wild onions. The smell is unmistakable; not a bit fragrant, but I think if I need to forage someday, I know where to find the edible alliums. It has a pink blossom and resembles nothing like an onion, but I know.

Decorative alliums are available in numerous varieties and most are fairly inexpensive. (Not good for eating.) Once I planted a garden in the back meadow before I finally gave over to the marauding deer population. They ate everything but these alliums, which over the years have multiplied. I use them for great cut flowers and enjoy the sweet fragrance of the blooms. Curiously they do not have the telltale onion odor when cut, but the deer seem to know and give them a wide berth anyway. After blooming, the foliage dies disappearing until the following spring. The plant spreads slowly by reseeding.

Whispers of Danger and Love is a contemporary novel which sports a lovely heroine named Cheryl, who loves her career as a landscape designer. This warm tale is a must for gardeners while waiting for the chance to get outside to commune with nature. A bonus is the handsome detective, a childhood friend, who moves next door.

Here's a little more from my cozy mystery. I hope you enjoy it.

When Cheryl realizes her new next-door neighbor is someone she loved as a young girl, she immediately puts the brakes on her emotions. Never again would she allow the gorgeous hunk of a man to break her heart.

Ruggedly handsome Detective David Larkin isn’t used to pretty ladies giving him a firm no. He persists, even as Cheryl fights her own temptations. The two struggle to appreciate each other as adults, even as they admit to deep feelings from their childhood.

Read more of the cozy mysteries by Janis Lane on Amazon

Janis Lane is the pen-name 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.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Book Tour: King of Malorn by Annie Douglass Lima...



Thanks for stopping by! Take a look at this brand-new fantasy adventure story with a hint of romance by author Annie Douglass Lima. 
You can download a copy of the ebook for free between July 9th and 11th!

Book Description:
    Life as the king’s younger sister should be exciting.
   Not for Princess Kalendria. She’s sick of the dissent and of constantly having her family undermined by those who think they could rule Malorn better than King Korram.
   Hoping to lighten the mood in the palace, Kalendria plans a ball to celebrate her seventeenth birthday. It doesn’t hurt that their handsome Alasian ally King Jaymin has promised to attend, and she’s been waiting for him to notice her for as long as she can remember.
   But unfriendly forces have their own party plans. When Kalendria, Korram, and Jaymin barely survive an assassination attempt, their only recourse is to flee into the wilderness. Tracked by unknown assassins, they must figure out whom they can trust and who is behind the plot. Can Kalendria help her brother reclaim his throne – oh, and catch Jaymin’s attention while she’s at it – before they are all killed and war destroys both kingdoms?


Click here to download your copy of King of Malorn on Amazon now! 

Click here to see King of Malorn on Goodreads.

Series Information:


King of Malorn is book 5 in the Annals of Alasia. But don't worry if you haven't read the others; it will still make sense on its own. 

Each of the first four books can stand on its own as well. They each deal with events surrounding the same major political incident: the invasion of the kingdom of Alasia by the neighboring kingdom of Malorn. 

Prince of Alasia begins on the night of the Invasion and describes what happens to twelve-year-old Prince Jaymin after he is forced to flee for his life. 
In the Enemy’s Service features a girl as the protagonist and tells the story of those who were not able to escape from the Alasian palace when the enemy invaded. 
Prince of Malorn begins several months earlier and focuses on the Malornian perspective of the events leading up to the Invasion. 
The Nameless Soldier shows how a young Alasian soldier lives through the Invasion but then has to survive and make a name for himself in enemy-occupied Alasia. 

In each of the books, main characters from the others make brief appearances and interact with each other at the point where the timeframes and settings overlap. 

I also have a short ebook of “interviews” that I conducted with the characters in the other three books. Annals of Alasia: The Collected Interviews is not available on Amazon, but I send a free copy to anyone who signs up for my mailing list (to receive updates when I release new books or occasionally offer them for free).

Author Biography:

Annie Douglass Lima considers herself fortunate to have traveled in twenty different countries and lived in four of them. A fifth-grade teacher in her “other” life, she loves reading to her students and sparking their imaginations. Her books include science fiction, fantasy, YA action and adventure novels, a puppet script, anthologies of her students’ poetry, and Bible verse coloring and activity books. When she isn’t teaching or writing, Annie can often be found sipping spiced chai or pomegranate green tea in exotic locations, some of which exist in this world.

Author Contact Info:

Blog: http://anniedouglasslima.blogspot.com





Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/anniedouglasslima




Monday, 8 July 2019

Bring on the Summer with a Cool Fruit Smoothie and Fantasy YA Reads by Chris Pavesic...

While working hard on edits and other aspects of publishing, I'm making a lot of smoothies instead of full meals. (A lot of indy authors can probably relate!) The fact that fresh fruit is in season makes this a lot easier!

Maple Blue Smoothie

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup blueberry yogurt
  • 3/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
Materials:
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Blender
Directions:
1. In a blender, combine the yogurt, milk, syrup and cinnamon. Add blueberries and blend until smooth. Garnish with fruit.

While you enjoy your smoothie, why not check out one of my novels? Available on Amazon in ebook, print, and audible. They make great summer reads!

In Starter Zone Cami kept herself and her younger sister Alby alive in a post-apocalyptic world, facing starvation, violence, and death on a daily basis. Caught by the military and forcefully inscribed, Cami manages to scam the system and they enter the Realms, a Virtual Reality world, as privileged Players rather than slaves. They experience a world of safety, plenty, and magical adventure.

In the Traveler's Zone magic, combat, gear scores, quests, and dungeons are all puzzles to be solved as Cami continues her epic quest to navigate the Realms and build a better life for her family. But an intrusion from her old life threatens everything she has gained and imperils the entire virtual world.
 
Time to play the game.

Above the tree line floats an airship close to three hundred feet long with a slightly rounded wooden hull. Ropes attach the lower portion of the ship to an inflated balloon-like aspect, bright white in color with an identification symbol, a red bird with white-tipped feathers extended in flight, inside a round yellow circle in the center of the canvas. The deck is manned with archers and swordsmen. There are two sets of fore and aft catapults.

What I don’t see are cannons or any other type of a gun large enough to account for the sound of the explosion.

The ship pivots in the air, coming around to point directly at what looks like an oncoming flock of five large birds. Or creatures. They are too big and too strange looking to be birds. They drift closer, flapping their wings.

A moment passes before I realize that they are not creatures either. They are some sort of gliders. A person hangs below each set of the feathered wings, which flap and move with mechanical precision in a sky washed out by the morning sun.

The archers nock their arrows and aim at the flock.

The gliders draw in their wings and dive toward the deck, covering the distance in a few heartbeats. Most of the arrows fly uselessly past the attack force and fall like black rain from the sky. The archers aimed and released the volley too late.

The forward catapult releases a torrent of small rocks at the lead glider. It is a scatter-shot approach that proves effective. There are so many missiles that it is impossible to dodge them all.

But at the moment the stones strike, the other four let loose with fireballs. Spheres of crackling flame spring from their hands, glowing faintly at first and then with increasing brightness. The balls of fire shoot from their hands like bullets from a gun and fly toward the ship, exploding. Pieces bounce off the hull and fall to the ground, throwing hissing, burning globs of magic-fueled fire in all directions, setting everything they touch aflame.

Want to learn more about The Revelation Chronicles? Click HERE for updates on this and the other series by Chris. Watch the video on YouTube. 4eee6-chris2bpavesic2bauthor2bphoto

Chris Pavesic is a fantasy author who lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, steampunk, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends. 

Learn more about Chris on her website and blog.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon Author Page.

Monday, 1 July 2019

Celebrate the Magic of Maple Syrup this Summer…


By the beginning of March, when nights are still cold, daytime warmth intensifies, and icicles start to drip, the residents of Fairy Falls know this can mean only one thing—it’s ‘sugar time’! And as long as Mother Nature and the weather cooperate, the sap starts to run, flowing through the maple trees to feed them. So when you see the smoke rising from Gertie Ellis’ sugar shack well into the night, you just know that spring is here.

Making maple syrup is a part of our North American heritage. Maple trees grow in many parts of the world but maple syrup is only made in certain parts of Canada and the United States. It was the native people who first began making maple syrup as a source of sweetening; they introduced it to the first settlers, who came to rely on it as a sweetener as well, until refined sugar became available. The secret of making maple syrup is to remove the water until the sugar content is about 66 percent. If one wants maple sugar, more water must be removed.

We’ve come a long way from tapping trees with hand-carved wooden spiles and boiling sap in large cast-iron pots suspended from tripods. Nowadays, larger operations have stainless steel evaporators, large holding tanks, and sap collection systems utilizing food-grade plastic tubing attached to plastic spiles, drawing sap from each tree and carrying it to holding tanks. If the slope of the land allows, gravity might be sufficient to transport the sap to the evaporator, but other devices such as pumps or a vertical system of tubing called a ‘sap ladder’, can supplement it. Wood is still used to fuel fires; perhaps as much as one cord of wood is needed to produce one gallon of syrup. It’s no wonder this golden nectar is so expensive!

Quality is the goal of the conscientious producer. Not all maple syrup is the same. There are several grades of syrup—the lightest being the syrup produced earliest in the season. As the season progresses, the syrup becomes darker in color and the flavor becomes stronger. Choosing a grade is a matter of personal preference.

Some would say, it is the quintessential comfort food. It’s not just for pancakes—try pouring it over bran muffins, hot from the oven, split and dripping with melting butter, or drizzled on ice cream, rice pudding or oatmeal porridge. Once you start enjoying this delicacy, the possibilities are endless. And, a bottle of maple syrup is a great gift—a delight to the palate and a delicious taste of Fairy Falls. So if you get a chance, stop by Gertie Ellis’ booth at the Fairy Falls’ Farmers Market and celebrate cottage country, sweetly!

Here's a taste of Blackflies and Blueberries, the second installment of Mysterious Tales from Falls teen psychic mystery series…

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

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

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

Through Hart’s psychic power, Diana gains hope for justice. Their investigation leads them into the corrupt world threatening Fairy Falls. To secure the town’s future, Hart and Diana must join forces to uncover the shocking truth, or they risk losing the true essence of Fairy Falls forever.
Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mystery Series:
Lost and Found, Book One Buy Links:
Blackflies and Blueberries, Book Two Buy Links:

Monday, 24 June 2019

Recipe and Read of the Month: Gina Briganti's Cheesy Green Chili Cornbread and Fantasy Romance...

First rule of making this recipe: make a big pan to meet the demand. First rule of guest blogging, thank your host for inviting you into their virtual kitchen. Thank you, Sharon! I appreciate the chance to show off my cornbread recipe because it is that good!

This recipe is my secret weapon when I'm writing a first draft. I use Candace Haven's Fast Draft technique and that means I don't cook for at least a week - all of my energy goes into my next book. A big pan of this cornbread gets me and the family through that week without feeling deprived. We pair squares of the cornbread with soup (made ahead and frozen for drafting week) and/or salad. It depends on how hungry we are.

Do you love the scent and taste of fresh cornbread? Then here's the recipe.

CHEESY GREEN CHILI CORNBREAD

Photo credit Nina Lackey
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup gluten-free flour
1 tsp. baking powder
⅓ tsp. salt
½ cup non-dairy butter, melted (I use Earth Balance or Miyokos)
2 tbsp. non-dairy milk (I use almond in this recipe)
2 eggs, beaten
1½ cups water
1 cup non-dairy cheese (I use Daiya cheddar), grated
½ cup Ortega chiles

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE cornmeal, gluten-free flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk until fully combined. Add butter, eggs, water, half the cheese, and Ortega chiles. Stir until smooth.

GREASE an 8x8 pan with butter. Spread batter evenly. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup grated cheese on top. Bake 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

COOL for fifteen minutes before serving. If you can wait that long. We usually have our first piece as soon as we can touch the cornbread.

Please share if you make this cornbread. I'd love to see how it turned out for you!

Here is a little from my latest fantasy romance. I hope you enjoy it.

  Elena Zucchero has lived and lost in reality. Now she fills her heart through her work as a hypnotherapist by helping her patients improve their lives. But when a nightmare plagues her sleep, she learns her friends have gone missing in an addictive alternate plane. And the only way to save them may require feeding the demons of her handsome new client…

Draper Montgomery painfully resists the call of the Dreaming. But despite his dangerous cravings, he senses his enchanting therapist has a wound he can help heal. And to satisfy his heart's desire, he may just have to risk the very foundation of his mind…

As Elena and Draper discover a deeper soul connection, the therapist struggles to keep her distance in the hunt for her friends. If the people she loves even want to be saved…

Will the perilous hunt to rescue her friends lose them their lives and their souls?

AMAZON BUY LINK

Gina Briganti writes paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi romance in north Texas. Her constant companion is a special soul who masquerades as a dog.

Visit her website and blog for book trailers, newsletter sign up, and whatever else she thinks up.

Stay connected on Facebook, Gina's Amazon Author Page, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Cover Reveal: Shelf Life by Rob Gregson...

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for Shelf Life!


About the Book:

Young bookseller Cathy Finn is having a bad day. First, there's the assassin's bullet. Then comes the realisation that she's been living in a work of fiction. Worse, she wasn't even the main character.

Cathy's quiet, bit-part life may be over, but her troubles are only beginning. Her last day on Earth is also her first as a citizen of New Tybet. For over four hundred years, its people have been rescuing those destined to die in other narratives, but now the system is faltering. A saboteur is at work and Cathy will have to stop him if she’s ever going to find a way home. Failure could maroon her forever and spark a revolution that sets all the worlds of literature ablaze.

Book Details:

Print Length: 338 pages
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing; 1 edition (http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com)
Publication Date: July 17, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07SNGW2Z7

Genre(s): Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Literary Mashup, Parallel Worlds, Comedy

The Cover:



Pre-Order Links:

Mirror World Publishing

Amazon US

Amazon CA

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Learn More About Shelf Life:

Goodreads

Meet the Author:



Rob Gregson spent much of his youth reading fantasy novels, immersing himself in role playing games and generally doing everything possible to avoid the real world. In his defence, we're talking about the late 1980s - a time when ridiculous hair, hateful pop music and soaring unemployment were all very popular - so it wasn't altogether a bad decision. However, had he abandoned the realms of wizardry at an earlier age, he might have developed one or two useful life skills and he would almost certainly have found it easier to get a girlfriend. Rob lives in Lancashire and has two children, although he has absolutely no idea why anyone should find that interesting.

Connect with the Author: