Wednesday, 15 September 2021

AudioBook Tour: Koush Hollow by Leigh Goff...

Author: Leigh Goff

Narrator: Erin Seidel

Length: 8 hours 7 minutes

Publisher: The Parliament House

Released: July 14, 2021

Genre: Horror


   

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Delilah’s Downhome Orleans Gumbo and Sneak Peek at the Next Installment of The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventure Series...


In my latest time travel adventure, The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave, a character named Delilah is owned by the Taylor Plantation, and takes care of all the cooking at the big house. In one scene, my protagonist Drake Bailey helps Delilah prepare her coveted Orleans Gumbo soup for the Taylor family and their special guests (a.k.a. the Timekeepers). Since this Timekeeper mission takes place in antebellum Georgia during 1855, not all these ingredients would have been available for Delilah, so I’m sure she did her best to improvise with the foods and herbs available during that time period. I thought it would be fun to share a gumbo dish, and looked up several recipes to get the right concoction to re-create Delilah’s tasty brew. Though, as you can imagine, I didn’t include a certain ingredient that Delilah added for fear of being hexed or turned into a zombie.

What You Need:

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup uncooked converted rice

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½ inch cubes

½ pound smoked kielbasa or Polish sausage, cut into ½ inch slices

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon pepper

2 bay leaves

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

¼ cup cold water

1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 large green pepper, chopped

¼ cup minced fresh parsley

What You Do:

IN a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Stir in the rice, celery, onion, and garlic. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

MEANWHILE, in a Dutch oven, combine the tomatoes, chicken, kielbasa, thyme, pepper, bay leaves, and cayenne. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

COMBINE flour and water until smooth; gradually stir into chicken mixture. Stir in shrimp and green pepper. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 4-6 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and gumbo is thickened. Discard leaves.

REMOVE rice from heat and let stand for 5 minutes; stir in parsley. Serve with gumbo.

With a prep time of 25 minutes, and cook time of 20 minutes, this spicy dish serves 8 of your closest, and bravest, family and friends. Remember to have plenty of water, wine, or beer at the table to cool your palate between bites. Bon Appetit!

Here’s a taste of what to expect in the third installment of The Last Timekeepers available for purchase on all your online bookstores September 17th, 2021…


True freedom happens only when you choose to be free.

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

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

 Amazon Buy Link 

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Off to a Good Start this Upcoming Fall Season With a Plant-Based Diet by Author Alicia Joseph...

Today is the first day of eating nothing but plant-based food for thirty days. I’ve been a vegetarian for about eight years, and then turned to veganism not too long ago. So, although I eat a lot of fruit and veggies, I am sure that I indulged way too much in my favorite vegan junk food. I’m looking straight at you Beyond Meat! Though I had always tried to balance the number of processed foods I ate with more healthy foods, I no doubt overdid it with the delicious brands of everything vegan – ice cream, pizzas, burgers, sausages, corndogs, chicken nuggets…I think you get the idea.

In 2006, I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, a neuromuscular disorder that leads to weakness of the skeletal muscles. The first seven years were pretty hard, but the last eight years have been quite bearable without any serious flareups, until recently. I believe food is the medicine that keeps our bodies in optimal health. I hope the negative effects I feel from my disease will motivate me to stay on course and eat strictly 1 plant-based diet. I didn’t weigh myself before I started. This change is more about feeling better than losing weight, but yeah, I’m hoping for that too.

I have a pre-planned list of recipes I jotted down from a plant-based cookbook written by Dr. John McDougall, The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook, that should cover me for a couple of weeks. My fridge is stocked with all the healthy deliciousness of natural and unprocessed foods. The key is staying organized and having a meal plan.

Today’s meal was a simple carrot, celery, kale, and noodle soup followed by black bean sloppy joes over roasted potatoes.










One day down. Twenty-nine to go. Easy peasy.


Here is a glimpse into one of my books. I hope you enjoy it. 

“When a train runs over a penny, the penny changes form, but it can still be a penny if I want it to be. Or, I can make it be something else.”

Lyssa and her best friend Abbey discover a hideout near the train tracks and spend the summer before sixth grade hanging out and finding freedom from issues at home. Their childhood innocence shatters when the hideout becomes the scene of a tragic death.

As they’re about to graduate from high school, Abbey’s family life spirals out of control while Lyssa is feeling guilty for deceiving Abbey about her sexuality.

After another tragic loss, Lyssa finds out that a penny on the track is sometimes a huge price to pay for the truth.

AMAZON BUY LINKS



Alicia Joseph grew up in Westchester, Illinois. She has many works-in-progress that she hopes to finish soon. Life permitting.

When she is not writing, Alicia enjoys volunteering with animals, rooting for her favorite sports teams, and playing “awesome aunt” to her nine nieces and nephews.

Learn more about Alicia Joseph on her blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, 29 August 2021

Wind Down the Summer with this Labor Day Feast and Weekend Read...

An Italian dish full of sausage and veggies that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face, and a napkin on your lap. The preparation takes about half an hour, with a bake time of 25 minutes, a setting time of 10 minutes, and serves ten of your hungriest family or friends. This hearty meal is ideal for those weekend warriors set to do some renovations at their home or cottage. Serve with a side salad, garlic bread, and your choice of wine, and you’ve got the makings of a trip to Italy without leaving the comforts of your home.

Potluck Penne and Sausage Casserole
16 ounces penne pasta
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1½ tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
6 garlic cloves, minced
15 oz. tomato sauce14 oz. pasta sauce with meat
2 cups shredded part-skimmed mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente; drain and transfer to greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

Fry sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until no longer pink, about 6-8 minutes, breaking into crumbles. Drain and remove from pan.

In same skillet, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes and stir frequently. Add zucchini, mushroom and garlic. Cook 6 – 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Be sure to stir often.

Add tomato sauce, pasta sauce, and sausage. Pour the mixture over pasta. Sprinkle with cheese.

Cover casserole with foil coated with cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes. Uncover. Bake until golden brown and cheese is melted, 15-20 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Once dinner is done, and you’ve had your last sip of wine, I’m sure you’ll be ready to escape into your living room for some much-needed quiet time. Why not make a cup of tea, then relax with one of my books? May I suggest a nostalgic visit to Fairy Falls or perhaps go back in time with The Last Timekeepers? Just remember to breathe once in a while as you’re being led on a bumpy, unpredictable ride along with my characters.

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.




Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter, Goodreads, and Smashwords. Look up her Amazon Author page for a list of current books. Be sure to check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.

Sunday, 22 August 2021

Guest Post: Beyond the Simple Bio by Young Adult Author Leigh Goff...


I am a young adult author with type 1 diabetes. Why is that little fact important? Maybe it isn’t, but it has shaped me as a writer, a mother, and a person, whether I wanted it to or not. I didn’t by the way. I have never shared this publicly as I am a very private person. However, this is important because I’m not the only person dealing with type 1. You see, my younger brother had been diagnosed at the age of fifteen with the same disease. I watched how it ravaged his body over a short period of time. I saw firsthand how it attacks—one tiny blood vessel at a time until there’s nothing you can do to reverse the damage. I also remember quite clearly my mother being afraid to help him. He was on his own and terrified.

Eight years after his passing, I was thirty-one, active, slender and continuing to lose weight even though my weekly running had slowed. I had developed an unquenchable, burning thirst, my fairly good vision was growing blurry, and my strong legs were cramping in the middle of the night. I knew in my heart what it was. I’d seen the symptoms in my brother a decade earlier. After three months of denial, I went to the hospital where I was diagnosed with what the doctors’ thought was type 2 diabetes. They explained I was too old to have type 1.

However, I was running twenty miles a week. I kept asking myself, “How could it be type 2?” My husband told me he could see how thin I’d gotten and was concerned the doctors were wrong. They insisted and put me on an oral medication that clearly wasn’t going to work. It didn’t. The antibody test came back positive and the fact was, my immune system had turned on me. The insulin producing cells in my pancreas were destroyed and would never return.

It was a death sentence as far as I knew. I, too, was terrified. I had a husband and two young children. I had a life I wanted to live for as long as I could. I knew the chronic disease would kill me, if I let it. If I let it. So, I committed to not let it destroy me like it had with my brother. I’m not kidding. I was scared to death, but the disease that had taken him wasn’t going to take me.

I went to my medical appointments, feeling so desperately alone. I also went to support meetings at my local hospital, which were actually the opposite of support. There I met with fellow type 1 patients who had refused to accept the disease and its mighty power and that scared the hell out of me. They hadn’t seen what the monster could do. After two meetings, I never went back. They seemed to be in denial and denial was not an option for me. If I encountered another type 1 at a social event, I latched onto them like they were a life raft, but none of them seemed to be on the same path as myself. I acknowledge that everyone with the disease has to come to terms with it on their own and figure out their own plan.

My plan was to respect the monster, and in return my diligence would keep the monster at bay so as to allow me to live as normally as possible. Day by day. Some days great. Some not so great. But good health was and continues to be my goal.

I started my healthcare regimen with old-fashioned syringes and vials, moved on to insulin pens, and finally graduated to wearing top-notch medical equipment in the form of an insulin pump and a CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) in one of arms (I switch it to the other arm every ten days). After almost twenty years, the last ten with tubes and gadgets attached to me, I’m pleased to say I have no blood vessel damage to my eyes or kidneys. This is my life. For the rest of my life, but I’m thankful to have the technology to maintain my good health and I’m most thankful for the years my brother didn’t have.

Am I scared? Every single day I wake up summoning courage to face the day. Type 1 is truly a monster that never quits. I’ve dealt with other beasts in my life, some of them in my own family, but this monster is a killer waiting to snatch another victim. However, like in a fairytale the point of a monster is that it is meant to instill fear and test the hero. Will the hero face her fear and defeat the it? In my own story, I have faced my fear, my greatest fear, but until they find a cure for type 1 diabetes, I won’t be able to defeat it. In the meantime, I will continue to battle it every single day with strength and steadfastness.  

As far as writing, I’d love to craft a story that features a character with type 1. In the meantime, I am inspired by caffeine, enchanted spells, and unforgettable, star-crossed fates. Although I'm terrible at casting any magic of my own, I am descended from an accused witch, Elizabeth Duncan of Virginia, who went to trial in 1695 for charges including bewitching livestock and causing birds to fall from the sky. That’s pretty cool, right?

I am currently taking a charcoal drawing class and golf lessons to bring some new experiences to my writing. We'll see how that goes! I have three published young adult novels, I am a member of SCBWI, and I graduated from the University of Maryland.

At present, I am working on a manuscript about a teen witch, Abigail, fighting for her right to practice witchcraft in a conservative southern town with a history of burning witches. As she finds herself irresistibly drawn to the tale of the Silver Moon Witch, trouble begins to find Abigail who's discovering the witch's story has dangerous parallels to her own life, especially when someone is watching, waiting to toss a match.

THE CHEESIEST SPINACH CASSEROLE

This is a healthy, low carb casserole that I enjoy making and it doesn’t raise my blood sugar levels!

20 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into small cubes
1½ cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
6 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
4 large eggs, beaten
¼ cup butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine.

Spread mixture into an 8x8 baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the edges are golden and the center is set.

Serve immediately.

Recipe from THAT LOW CARB LIFE

Here's a brief intro to Leigh's latest novel. Hope you enjoy it. 

Koush Hollow
Where bayou magic abounds and all that glitters... is deadly.

After her father’s untimely death, Jenna Ashby moves to Koush Hollow, a bayou town outside of New Orleans, dreading life with her wealthy mother.

As the sixteen-year-old eco-warrior is introduced to the Diamonds & Pearls, her mother’s exclusive social club, she comes to the troubling realization that secrets are a way of life in Koush Hollow.

 How do the Diamonds & Pearls look so young, where does their money come from, and why is life along the bayou disappearing?

As Jenna is drawn into their seductive world, her curiosity and concerns beg her to uncover the truth. However, in this town where mysticism abounds and secrets are deadly, the truth is not what Jenna could have ever imagined.

Leigh Goff is a young adult author with type 1 diabetes who is inspired by caffeine, enchanted spells, and unforgettable, star-crossed fates.

 Although she’s terrible at casting any magic of her own, she is descended from the accused witch, Elizabeth Duncan of Virginia, who went to trial in 1695 for charges including bewitching livestock and causing birds to fall from the sky. 

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

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Children's Picture Book Tour: Tabitha Won't Sleep by David McLain and Felix Eddy...

Mirror World Publishing and Sapphyria's Book Promotions Present
the 1-week virtual book tour for Tabitha Won't Sleep.


About Tabitha Won't Sleep:

It’s eight bells, and Tabitha Winter doesn’t want to go to sleep.

“Well, it’s time to go to bed,” Mama Kitty says. “Come on, let’s put your pajamas on. Dad will read you a story.”

Tabitha Won’t Sleep is a beautifully illustrated picture book about a young kitten whose parents encourage her to believe that she can do anything she wants to, as long as she goes to sleep first. Children will love exploring the wonderful adventures Tabitha has in mind as she tries to avoid bedtime, and adults will love that in the end, everyone goes to sleep. Seriously, it's past eight-thirty. Lay down your head and close your eyes.


Writing a Children’s Book: The Illustrator is the One with the Talent

Every so often, especially if I’m sitting in a hotel room somewhere, I will turn on a morning talk show, and they will talk to some actor or actress who tells a self-deprecating story, and then casually mentions that they have a new children’s book that has just been published. The host will usually get a little more excited about this than they should, and then hold the book up, as if two middle-aged people reading a bedtime story together is the sort of thing that people do every day. There are usually a lot of warm smiles all around, and if you pay attention to these things, you’ll see that the book will usually end up on the list of best-selling children’s books for a week or two.

This is a con job.

I have written a children’s book. It’s a wonderful book, and I’m very proud of it. I wrote it for my daughter, who at this point has had it read to her literally hundreds of times.  That being said, I can tell you that interviewing a children’s book author about their new picture book is roughly the equivalent of getting the reunited Beatles on your television show and asking Ringo all the questions. You see, I wrote the first draft of Tabitha Won’t Sleep in roughly two hours while watching the movie Hello Dolly! My wife, who did the pictures, worked on it off and on for three years.

After I finished, and after Barbara Streisand had ended up married to Walter Mathau, I emailed the text to my wife. She and my daughter had gone out of town for the weekend, and I was left behind. My daughter was three months old, and impossibly small. She had been born almost two months premature and had spent the first six weeks of her life in an incubator, with tubes coming out of her in multiple places. Once the tubes come out, the hospital staff made sure we knew how to change a diaper, and then they handed us a child the size of a Guinea Pig and wished us the best of luck. My wife wasn’t OK. Neither was I. Nonetheless we came home with Tabitha and started a new chapter in our lives.

So, while my wife was out of town, I wrote a story. A nice story about putting Tabitha to bed, a story where we showed Tabitha that she could do anything that she wants in life, provided that she goes to sleep first. I anticipated (correctly) that my daughter would look at bedtime as the end of the world, and might need to know that there would be a wonderful new day full of adventures tomorrow. In the book, Tabitha would be about three years old, and would be a cat. (My wife and my daughter both believe that the cat version of anything is better than the regular version of the same thing.)

I got a response to my email about three hours later. “Your story made me cry” my wife said. After that, she got to work.

The drawings started coming quickly. This part is fun to watch. Most writers will probably never get to see their work come to life quite like that, and my wife, inspired by the idea that our daughter would get to read this, did some great sketches with a lot of life in them. After that, she went to ink the drawings. Here we had a small disaster, as one of our real cats knocked over a bottle of ink onto a picture. (Our daughter ended up using it as a coloring page.) After that she started working on coloring. I could see that the book was going to be beautiful. Our book has a lot of fun settings that made for good imagery, like Egyptian Pyramids, and the moon. (It also features a lot of pictures of my daughter’s actual bedroom, which has a steampunk theme and is painted in red and yellow stripes and made a bit of a splash on the internet before she was born.) Weeks, and then months and then years rolled by. I made matters worse by adding a couple of pages to fill out the book. There were lots of times that I thought she would never be done, which was frustrating, because we were so close. Tabitha learned to walk and got out of diapers. Then one day she was done. I brought my daughter downstairs to my computer and read the book to her.

I learned a few things from the social experiment of writing a book about my daughter. For one thing, Tabitha always understood that the book was about her, even though in the book she’s a cat. For another, anything that was even slightly different about the way her room was depicted in the book had to be fixed in the real world. This led to an awkward conversation where my daughter suggested we buy the toy castle pictured in the book, causing my wife to explain “That castle isn’t real, it’s just a picture I drew.” To which my daughter replied, “It comes with a pony.”

Since then, we have read Tabitha Won’t Sleep a lot. I have been in the unique position of reading my book to the main character in the book while sitting in the room that book takes place in and having the person that I am reading to fall asleep at the same time as she does in the book.


I can tell you I worked as hard as Jamie Leigh Curtis worked on any of her children’s books, which is not very hard at all. My wife, the lovely and talented Felix Eddy, did most of the work, and she did an amazing job. I can tell you that I did have a wonderful time working on the book. If you decide to write one, I hope you do too.

David McLain

David McLain is the author of Tabitha Won’t Sleep, a new children’s book, available from MirrorWorld Publishing. It was illustrated by his wife, the lovely and talented Felix Eddy. It can be purchased {Insert like that I don’t have because the book is not actually out yet} here.  You can follow him on twitter @mclaindave. 



Release Date: August 17, 2021
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing

Meet the Author:

David McLain is the author of the novels The Life of Thief, Dragonbait, and The Time Travellers Resort and Museum. His stories and poems have appeared in over two dozen magazines, including Harvard’s Dudley Review. He is an occasional contributor to the podcasts The History of England, and Geek Salad. He graduated from Purchase College, where he directed a production of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. He lives in upstate New York.

Meet the Illustrator:

Felix Eddy graduated Magna Cum Laude from Alfred University. She has illustrated over two dozen books for children and young adults, including The Big Red Purse, Dinosaur Boogie, Barks Mulberry Socks*, K-9 Merlin-Police Dog Extraordinaire*, and The Bestiary Alphabet, which she also wrote. You can find out more about her art and embroidery at her website www.felixeddy.com. (* Bark's Mulberry Socks and K-9 Merlyn are both 2020 TAZ award winners.)

Connect with the Author and Illustrator:



David McLain's Amazon Profile: https://amzn.to/3hEFuTs




Monday, 16 August 2021

Cover Reveal: The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave by Sharon Ledwith...



Welcome to the Cover Reveal for The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave
The Last Timekeepers, Book 3
by Sharon Ledwith



About the Book:

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

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

Book Details:

Genres: Young Adult, Time Travel, Fantasy  

Release Date is September 17, 2021

Author Tagline:

Escape to the past and have a blast.

Meet the Author:

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the award-winning teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her spoiled hubby, and a moody calico cat.

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

Publisher Website:

Mirror World Publishing