Sunday 21 April 2024

Authors: Do We Really Need to Go All In With Our Book Marketing Strategy…

Book Marketing is a Gamble for Many Authors
Fed up with doing Facebook ads that at one time gave me great reach and amazing clicks, but no buys, I decided that these kinds of ads didn’t serve me anymore. So, in March (2024), I asked for feedback from my fellow authors on what they did that works for them in their book marketing and promotional world. I received quite a lot of responses—especially from my Facebook groups—and decided to put together a list of their responses. To give you the gist, here’s the original call to action I put out on my social media accounts:

I’m searching for other ways to market and promote my books, since Facebook ads don’t seem to be playing nice, and don’t serve my purposes anymore. So, I thought I’d ask my fellow authors what you do to get your books out there and into the hands of your readers, beyond the usual social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn I see throughout my feeds.

For example, do you pay for ads on Twitter or LinkedIn? If so, do they work for you? Have you ever hired a promotional specialist or company (which can get quite pricey) to do your book marketing? If so, what was the experience, and were they worth it? Or do you do your own marketing, scheduling your posts ahead of time? I’d really like some solid advice, and frankly I’m tired of being approached by these so-called ‘marketing specialists’ on all my social media accounts.

Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions you can share. I appreciate it!

The response was immediate. My feeds filled up with helpful advice, and other authors waiting in the wings to know what magic-marketing-bullet would be best for them. Turns out this book biz is NOT a one-book-fits-all kind of marketing strategy. I knew all along that it wasn’t. I was just interested in seeing what other authors do out there, so I could make a conscious and rational decision on what’s best for ME. That said, below is most of the feedback I received. Much of these ideas I’ve done, but there are some that I haven’t, and may give them a go. In the long run, you must decide what’s best for YOU…

·         Start an email list and newsletter. If you have done so, continue to build it.

·         Don’t pay for subscribers—instead, engage with readers in genuine ways.

·         Get out there in person. Meet other writers, go to events and conferences, especially events that include both authors and readers. Always bring a signup sheet or QR code for your newsletter signup.

·         Shop at Indie bookstores. Be a part of the literary conversation.

·        Consider doing Amazon ads. Apparently, Bryan Cohen offers free Amazon ad courses that usually happen quarterly. Check out when the next course is available here:

·         Other advertising ventures are BookBub Feature Deals (which can get quite pricey) and BookBub ads. Apparently, most authors said to stay away from Twitter or LinkedIn ads.

·        Promotional and review sites such as NetGalley, Fussy Librarian, Written Word Media, Bargain Booksy, FreeBooksy, BookFunnel, and Hello Books just to name a few. Price points vary, so do your research.

·         In-person events such as craft shows, fairs, markets, and special events like holidays.

·        Podcast interviews. An author friend pays $15 a month and gets two lists of ten podcasters weekly who are looking for guests. Here’s the link:

·        YouTube appearances or having your own show. Depending on your personality, helpful content, and author guests, this may be the way to go for you.

·         Guest blogging or working with book bloggers for reviews.

·        Speaking engagements based on your genre. So, if you write for children or teens, schools would be a good place to start.

·         Getting books into your local library network.

·        Book signings at your local bookstore, grocery stores, fundraisers, or anywhere else that’s connected with the setting, content, and genre of your books. Think outside the box for this. Does your book have a shelter animals slant? How about at a local pet supply store? Cozy mystery with a baker as the main character? Check out coffee shops or local bakery stores in your area. The possibilities are endless.

·         Garnishing paid book reviews through Booklist, BookPage, ForeWord, Kirkus, Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, and Shelf Awareness to name a few.

·         Promotional specialists or companies. A word of warning on this: if these people approach you, they’re most likely crossing a boundary or invading your virtual space. You’re the one who should be contacting them.

·         Paying a publicist. This one can get expensive, with prices ranging from $1250 to over— are you sitting down—$10,000 for a four to five-month campaign. Yikes! But, depending on the book, and if it’s worth your time and investment, then go for it!

·         Last, but not least, the tried and true method: Word of Mouth. Works. All. The. Time.    

Hmm. So many ideas, so little time to actually write those books to market. What a conundrum! With all this wealth of information listed above, I bet you’re wondering what marketing strategies I’ll be using moving forward. First, an admission – I don’t have an email list. I’ve resisted having one for so long because frankly, I didn’t want to do the extra work involved with sending out a newsletter with barely anything to say. Book marketing expert Sandra Beckwith advises to start and build an email list for the simple reason that if your pet social platform disappears or crashes, you lose everything. But not your email list. You own that sucker. Plus, it’s an excellent way to get to know your readers and have genuine conversations with them. Makes sense, but to be honest, I don’t feel this is the best use of my book marketing time.

However, If you’re interested in starting an email list or building your existing list, writing coach and speaker, Colleen M. Story has a couple of great articles to whet your book marketing appetite with HERE and HERE. Check them out when time permits.

So what am I going to do? Nothing. At least for now. I’ve decided to take a break, take a breather, and take myself out of the game of feeding all those book marketing ploys manipulating authors out of their hard-earned money. My former publisher used to say, Money flows to, not away, from the author. Wouldn’t that be nice if that was the norm? The best advice I received was from author Vonnie Hughes, a dear friend from New Zealand, who offered, What about just writing because you can't help it and not writing to be published but just writing for YOU?” In a perfect world, wouldn’t that be amazing? I may just heed her sage advice. As a life-long learner, I strive to do better when I can, and hope what I learn, I can pass along to others. At least, that is my wish.

Does the thought of marketing or promoting your books make you cringe? Do you have an email list? Are you tired and overwhelmed with all the marketing strategies out there, that you chose to do the bare minimum or nothing? Is the continual expense of doing book promotions sucking the joy out of being a writer for you? If so, I totally understand, and would love to read your comments. Cheers and thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate you! 

Sunday 14 April 2024

Recipe and a Read: Cream Cheese Mini-Cakes and a Time Travel Romance by Author Stella May...

These little taste treats are my own creation. It is an easy and skinny version of individual cheesecakes, yet still packed with plenty of flavor. This recipe makes one dozen little cakes. Dress them up with a bit of fruit on top after baking and you're good to go. Sorry, there's no picture. Those two rascals I live with ate them too fast.

Cream Cheese Mini-Cakes

1 package farmer’s cheese
1 package Philadelphia cream cheese
2 eggs
½ cup sour cream
⅓ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup almond flour
½ tsp. baking powder 

Remove cheeses from refrigerator 2 hours before making this recipe. They both need to be at room temperature to cream properly. 

Place cheeses in a large bowl. Mix on a low speed with an electric mixer until creamed. 

Add eggs, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Increase mixer speed to blend well. Pour in almond flour and baking powder. Combine well. 

Pour mixture into muffin tins lined with cupcake papers or do like me and use a silicone form for cupcakes. You’ll need to lightly oil it. 

Pre-heat oven to 350° F. 

Very important: put a medium-sized bowl filled with water on the bottom of your oven. 

Bake 35-40 min, or until golden brown.

Here is a peek at Stella’s time travel romance novel for your reading pleasure. 

One key unlocks the love of a lifetime…but could also break her heart. 

Nika Morris’s sixth sense has helped build a successful business, lovingly restoring and reselling historic homes on Florida’s Amelia Island. But there’s one forlorn, neglected relic that’s pulled at her from the moment she saw it. The century-old Coleman house.  

Quite unexpectedly, the house is handed to her on a silver platter—along with a mysterious letter, postmarked 1909, yet addressed personally to Nika. Its cryptic message: Find the key. You know where it is. Hurry, for goodness sake! 

The message triggers an irresistible drive to find that key. When she does, one twist in an old grandfather clock throws her back in time, straight into the arms of deliciously, devilishly handsome Elijah Coleman. 

Swept up in a journey of a lifetime, Nika finds herself falling in love with Eli—and with the family and friends that inhabit a time not even her vivid imagination could have conjured. But in one desperate moment of homesickness, she makes a decision that will not only alter the course of more than one life, but break her heart. 

’Til Time Do Us Part is available in Kindle and Paperback at AMAZON

Talented author Stella May is the penname for Marina Sardarova who has a fascinating history you should read on her website

Stella writes fantasy romance as well as time travel romance. She is the author of 'Till Time Do Us Part, Book 1 in her Upon a Time series, and the stand-alone book Rhapsody in Dreams. Love and family are two cornerstones of her stories and life. Stella’s books are available in e-book and paperback through all major vendors.

When not writing, Stella enjoys classical music, reading, and long walks along the ocean. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband Leo of 35 years and their son George. They are her two best friends and are all partners in their family business.

Follow Stella on her website and blog Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Sunday 7 April 2024

Guest Post: A Writer's Imagination by Paranormal Romance Author C.D. Hersh...


People frequently ask how and where we got our ideas to write one story let alone a series. Honestly, sometimes it's not easy, almost like ramming your head into a huge cement abutment. Yet thankfully storylines and scenes magically appear in our minds. Sometimes more than we want.

Every book demands who, what, where, and why. The plotline. From time to time that necessity confuses those images into a gnarled mess. But we work through it. 

So how do we find ideas that allow our imaginations to run rampant? Magazines and old telephone books are marvelous for coming up with character names. Be sure to follow the mix and match theory. That means do not use the full name of any one person or you might find you have a lawsuit in the making.

We love to travel and often our imaginations are sparked by a billboard or other people on the road, even pit stops offer fodder for a new story. Those diners and rest stops are a wealth of fodder too an author.

The grocery store is another great place to gain ideas. For example – the next time you’re in the store take a good look at the lady scanning your purchases or maybe it’s the bagger who draws your attention. Maybe on this trip you notice something different about one or the other. Maybe something different in her dark brown eyes as if they’re hiding a secret. Of course, you can’t ask, so you allow your imagination to take over. What if she’s a crime stopper by night? After a hard day on her feet, she shrugs out of her sweat filled uniform then into black jeans, a black turtleneck, and low-heeled boots. She shakes out her chocolate brown hair from its topknot and it cascades to her shoulders…You get the idea.

As writing partners, we bounce ideas off each other with the C in C.D. Hersh writing explicit notes. After a few days or we revisit C's list and start the occasionally wonderful, but more often heart wrenching, practice of elimination. After all, what writer doesn’t love his/her words? We do our best not to judge or tick off each other too much since we're married. Besides, I love my wife. Seeing her happy makes me happy. 

Here is a little about our shapeshifter series on Amazon. We hope you enjoy reading about them as much as we did writing them.

TITLE: The Turning Stone Chronicles

GENRE: Urban fantasy, Paranormal, Romance


Three ancient Celtic families. A magical Bloodstone that enables the wearers to shape shift. A charge to use the stone’s power to benefit mankind, and a battle, that is going on even today, to control the world. Can the Secret Society of shape shifters called the Turning Stone Society heal itself and bring peace to our world?

Find out in The Series The Turning Stone Chronicles

Book one of the chronicles titled “The Promised One” available on Amazon
In the wrong hands, the Turning Stone ring is a powerful weapon for evil. So, when homicide detective Alexi Jordan discovers her secret society mentor has been murdered and his magic ring stolen, she is forced to use her shape-shifting powers to catch the killer. By doing so, she risks the two most important things in her life—her badge and the man she loves.

Rhys Temple always knew his fiery cop partner and would-be-girlfriend, Alexi Jordan, had a few secrets. He considers that part of her charm. But when she changes into a man, he doesn’t find that as charming. He’ll keep her secret to keep her safe, but he’s not certain he can keep up a relationship—professional or personal.

Danny Shaw needs cash for the elaborate wedding his fiancée has planned, so he goes on a mugging spree. But when he kills a member of the secret society of Turning Stones and steals a magic ring that gives him the power to shape shift, Shaw gets more than he bargained for.

Book two of The Turning Stone Chronicles titled “Blood Brothers” available on Amazon.
When Delaney Ramsey is enlisted to help train two of the most powerful shape shifters the Turning Stone Society has seen in thousands of years, she suspects one of them is responsible for the disappearance of her daughter. To complicate matters, the man has a secret that could destroy them all. Bound by honor to protect the suspect, Delaney must prove his guilt without losing her life to his terrible powers or revealing to the police captain she’s falling for that she’s a shape shifter with more than one agenda.

The minute Captain Williams lays eyes on Delaney Ramsey, he knows she’s trouble. Uncooperative, secretive, and sexy, he can’t get her out of his mind. When he discovers she has a personal agenda for sifting through all the criminal records in his precinct, and secretly investigating his best detective, he can’t let her out of his sight. He must find out what she’s looking for before she does something illegal. If she steps over the line, he’s not certain he can look the other way for the sake of love.

Book three of The Turning Stone Chronicles titled “Son of the Moonless Night” currently available on Amazon.
Owen Todd Jordan Riley has a secret. He’s a shape shifter who has been hunting and killing his own kind. To him the only good shifter is a dead shifter. Revenge for the death of a friend motivates him, and nothing stands in his way . . . except Katrina Romanovski, the woman he is falling in love with.

Deputy coroner Katrina Romanovski has a secret, too. She hunts and kills paranormal beings like Owen. At least she did. When she rescues Owen from an attack by a werebear she is thrust back into the world she thought she’d left. Determined to find out what Owen knows about the bear, she begins a relationship meant to collect information. What she gets is something quite different love with a man she suspects of murder. Can she reconcile his deception and murderous revenge spree and find a way to redeem him? Or will she condemn him for the same things she has done and walk away from love?

Book four of The Turning Stone Chronicles titled “The Mercenary & the Shifters” available on Amazon.
A desperate call from an ex-military buddy lands a mercenary soldier in the middle of a double kidnapping, caught in an ancient shape shifter war, and ensnared between two female shape shifters after the same thing ... him.

The first four books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles Series page are available on Amazon. Their standalone novella, Can’t Stop The Music, is in the Soul Mate Tree collection with twelve other authors from various genres.

Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to the husband and wife co-authors whose pen name is C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s while co-authoring a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. As high school sweethearts, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after. Which is why they write it!

When they aren’t collaborating on a book, they enjoy reading; singing; theatre and drama; traveling; remodeling houses (Donald has remodeled something in every home they’ve owned); and antiquing. Catherine, who loves gardening, has recently drawn Donald into her world as a day laborer. Catherine is an award-winning gardener — you can see some of her garden on their website.

They are looking forward to many years of co-authoring and book sales, and a lifetime of happily-ever-after endings on the page and in real life.

You can see excerpts of their books, connect with, and follow C.D. Hersh at:



Amazon Author Page


Sunday 31 March 2024

Home-Style Dinner in a Bowl and a Taste of Two Young Adult Fantasy Adventure Series by Sharon Ledwith...

This one-pot Ham and Split Pea Soup is tremendously heart-warming and comforting, and absolutely ideal to make with that leftover holiday ham. Healthy and delicious this hearty soup is loaded with tender split peas, tasty ham, and lots of veggies for lunch or dinner! Soak the split peas the night before for a total of 10 hours before you begin. With a prep time of 15 minutes and a cook time of 2 hours, 5 minutes, this mouth-watering ‘meal in a bowl’ serves 6 of your closest pod members and freezes easily. Perfect for those looking to shed those pounds and want to eat healthier. I’d say that’s a win-win, wouldn’t you?

Home-Style Ham and Split Pea Soup 

2 cups dried split peas, green or yellow
2 tsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth, low sodium or no sodium added
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
½ tsp. dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1½ pounds meaty ham bone or ham shanks

Soak the split peas. Add the split peas to a pot and cover with 2 quarts of cold water. Soak overnight.

Sauté vegetables. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes until the vegetables soften and the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds or until aromatic.

Add remaining ingredients. Pour in the chicken broth, water, and stir. Add the split peas, bay leaf, dried thyme, and ham bone. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 1 ½ hours.

Finish the soup. Carefully remove the bone from the soup, cut off the meat, and dice it. Return the meat back to the soup. Cook on low for another 30 minutes or until soup has thickened. Discard bay leaf and serve.


Always rinse your peas thoroughly before soaking or cooking to remove any dirt particles.

If it looks like your soup is too watery, remember the longer it cooks, the thicker it gets.

Add a little smoked paprika to the soup to enhance the smokiness of the ham.

If you don’t have enough ham, add some cooked bacon to amp up the flavor.

This soup can be kept refrigerated for about a week, or frozen for up to 3 months.

While you’re waiting on your soup to cook, how about taking a break by delving into one of my books? May I suggest a visit to Fairy Falls, or if you’re feeling really adventurous, a trip back in time with The Last Timekeepers? Whichever you choose, either series will entertain and engage, pulling you into another time and a different place.

Here’s a glimpse of the premises of both my young adult series:

The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventures…

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers—legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial—five classmates are sent into the past to restore balance, and bring order back into the world, one mission at a time.

Children are the keys to our future. And now, children are the only hope for our past.

Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mysteries…

Imagine a teenager possessing a psychic ability and struggling to cope with its freakish power. There’s no hope for a normal life, and no one who understands. Now, imagine being uprooted and forced to live in a small tourist town where nothing much ever happens. It’s bores-ville from the get-go…until mysterious things start to happen.

Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expect the unexpected.

The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventure Series:

The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave, Book #3


The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, Book #2 Buy Links:


The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, Book #1 Buy Links:


Legend of the Timekeepers, prequel Buy Links:


Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mystery Series:

Lost and Found, Book One Buy Links:


Blackflies and Blueberries, Book Two Buy Links:


Sunday 24 March 2024

Guest Post: Some Teens Should Try a Gap Year by Women's Fiction Author Anne Montgomery...

Young people need to have an idea of what they want to do in the future before going to college.

It's almost time for the graduation season, and, in that regard, I want to mention an idea with which I wholeheartedly agree. And yet, just a few years ago I would have been completely against the idea.

In Abby Fawk’s USA Today Article “College can wait, but finding your life purpose can’t,” Fawk opines that American teens facing that jump to a postsecondary education are often unsure what they want their future to look like, so heading straight to college is a mistake.

As a former high school teacher of 20 years, I know Fawk is correct. I have faced hundreds of children across my desk, and when I asked what they thought their lives might look like in ten years, I was—more often than not— faced with blank stares. I would then go into my, What do you want to be when you grow up? spiel. I’d ask: What do you like to do? What are you good at? What will someone pay you to do? And again, I often received no reply.

Then the children graduated, most without any idea regarding what might make them happy in their business lives. We teachers have hammered into them that the next stop must be college. (Note that when I say college, I’m referring to any form of post-high school education.  Wanting to be a carpenter, an electrician, or an airplane mechanic are equally fine choices as wanting to be a doctor or a neurophysicist.)

What isn’t fine is having no idea what you want to study and then plowing ahead to your college of choice.

That college education is expensive, so before you go, have a plan. 

“College is the single biggest investment we can make in a young person’s life,” Hawk said. “Four years at a flagship state school can now cost $100,000 and private college can run three to four times that figure. Yet the vast majority of students arrive unprepared to make the most of the experience.”

Fawk believes that it’s time for students to revisit the idea of a gap year. As I said earlier, I did my best to dissuade kids who wanted to take a year off before getting additional education, because statistics showed that once young people start earning money, they are less likely to give up that cash flow and return to school.

But Fawk explained that a gap year, if done right, is not about losing forward momentum and can be a rewarding launch pad to a bright future.

“It’s to gather experiences and insights that inform everything that comes next,” she said.

Fawk is the founder and CEO of Global Citizen Year, a program devoted to giving young people the chance to immerse themselves in other cultures, to stretch their comfort zones, and to forge relationships with people who are different than they are. If this sounds a bit like the Peace Corps, it is. The idea is to take the year following high school graduation and expand one’s horizons. To learn more about yourself by living alongside others in a completely different environment.

A gap year can include volunteer activities such as working with Habitat for Humanity.

But the GCY project is not the only way students can accomplish these goals. A stint in the military, the Peace Corps, or volunteering can also help young people find out who they are and what they want in life.

Studies show that American teens are growing up more slowly than the generations that proceeded them. Young people struggle with basic skills like time management, problem-solving, and navigating relationships. Why then do we shoehorn them into making decisions that will impact the rest of their lives when many are clearly not ready?

The idea is to give new high school graduates a little breathing room before they make that leap. A well-thought-out gap year just might be the answer.

Please allow me to give you a brief intro to my latest women's fiction novel for your reading pleasure.

The past and present collide when a tenacious reporter seeks information on an eleventh century magician…and uncovers more than she bargained for.

In 1939, archeologists uncovered a tomb at the Northern Arizona site called Ridge Ruin. The man, bedecked in fine turquoise jewelry and intricate bead work, was surrounded by wooden swords with handles carved into animal hooves and human hands. The Hopi workers stepped back from the grave, knowing what the Moochiwimi sticks meant. This man, buried nine hundred years earlier, was a magician.

Former television journalist Kate Butler hangs on to her investigative reporting career by writing freelance magazine articles. Her research on The Magician shows he bore some European facial characteristics and physical qualities that made him different from the people who buried him. Her quest to discover The Magician’s origin carries her back to a time when the high desert world was shattered by the birth of a volcano and into the present-day dangers of archeological looting where black market sales of antiquities can lead to murder.

Former television journalist Kate Butler hangs on to her investigative reporting career by writing freelance magazine articles. Her research on The Magician shows he bore some European facial characteristics and physical qualities that made him different from the people who buried him. Her quest to discover The Magician’s origin carries her back to a time when the high desert world was shattered by the birth of a volcano and into the present-day dangers of archaeological looting where black market sales of antiquities can lead to murder.

Amazon Buy Link

Anne Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. She worked at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter, and ASPN-TV as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery has been a freelance and staff writer for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces.

When she can, Anne indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, football refereeing, and playing her guitar.

Learn more about Anne Montgomery on her website and Wikipedia. Stay connected on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

Thursday 21 March 2024

Book Tour: The Pheeworker's Oath by Adam Gaylord...

Welcome to the -Week Virtual Book Tour Schedule for The Pheeworker’s Oath by Adam Gaylord - SciFi, Speculative Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery 
March 17-22, 2024)

About The Pheeworker’s Oath:

Humans don’t belong on this world. The refugees who crash-landed on the Atipok homeworld can’t see or touch phee, the elemental power which flows through rock and stone like living rivers of light. From the moment of his hatching, healer Takey has manipulated phee to heal, bending strands to his will to mend muscle and bone for both human and Atipok alike.

But when the Atipok queen is murdered and her death blamed on an orphaned human child capable of pheework, the first of her kind, a rift is torn between the two races that could spell the end of humanity. Anti-human factions seize power and the Atipok army is on the march. Can Takey survive long enough to unravel the strands of conspiracy, protect the child, and broker a peace to avoid genocide without betraying his own people or himself?


SciFi, Speculative Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery

Book Tour Schedule:


From Aimee Ogden, Nebula Finalist:

A compellingly alien protagonist, who also has the deeply-held and familiar belief that a better world is possible. 

In THE PHEEWORKER'S OATH, neither compassion nor cruelty are traits limited to humankind. There are no easy answers to the complexities of human refugees building a new home for themselves on a different world--but it is easy to care about the compellingly alien Takey, and about his deeply-held and familiar belief that a better world is possible. 

From Rachael Jones, WFA Finalist & Tiptree Award honoree:

The Pheeworker's Oath is a timely science fiction tale about a stranded human colony dependent upon the Atipok, aliens with near-mystical abilities that allow them to control their environment and their very bodies. It is a fascinating examination of how manipulative leaders harness fear of the other to gain power, and how the only way to break that power is to find kinship with the very beings you've been told to fear. This adventure story showcases timeless themes and intriguing worldbuilding. Come for the cool alien powers, stay for the lizardlike Atipok--but don't you dare call them Lizards!

Purchase Links:



Meet the Author:

Adam Gaylord (he/him) lives in Colorado with a wife that is smarter than him, their two monster children, and a very handsome dog. When not at work as an ecologist, he’s usually writing, baking, drawing comics, or some combination thereof. Look him up on GoodReads or find him on Twitter/BlueSky @AuthorGaylord.

Connect with Adam Gaylord :


Goodreads Author Page: 

Sunday 17 March 2024

Author in the Kitchen: A Quick and Easy Easter Dinner Served by Cozy Mystery Author Emma Lane...

Easter will be here soon, so I took the liberty of inviting Bestselling Author Emma Lane, who also writes under the pen names Janis Lane and Sunny Lane, into my virtual kitchen to celebrate the upcoming holiday with me and my readers. So, let's dole out the chocolate bunnies, and get this Easter celebration started! The stove is on, and the oven is preheating. Get that apron on, and do your thing, Ms. Emma...

My goal is to serve food with as little fuss as possible while still producing an attractive, delicious, and healthy meal for my family and guests. Hopefully this plan will give me more time to enjoy everyone.  I encourage you to add your own favorites. 

Baked Ham
Raisin Sauce
Candied Carrots
Dinner Rolls
Peaches al la Mode


Hams are already cooked you merely want to warm it through. Follow the package directions so as not to dry out the meat.

Raisin Sauce
1 ½ cups water
¾ cup raisins
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
1 pinch salt
1 tsp. cornstarch

     Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in raisins, then boil until raisins are very tender, 5 minutes. 

Whisk in brown sugar and salt, then gradually whisk in cornstarch to avoid lumps forming. Simmer over low heat until glaze has thickened, 10 minutes.

Serve in a gravy boat for your family and friends to spoon onto their ham.

Candied Carrots

Are always a favorite. This recipe works great in your

5 – 8 baby or mini carrots per person
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. brown sugar
Dash of maple syrup ¼ cup water
Parsley for garnish, optional

Cut carrots in half or thirds into long pieces.

Mix remaining ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Stir in carrots. Nuke until carrots are fork tender. Careful not to overcook. Spoon sauce over carrots before serving.


I have mentioned before I am originally from the south of the U.S. Oranges and coconut mixed together is Ambrosia in South Georgia. Use a pretty glass bowl if you have one. I use my mother’s cranberry bowl and love the contrast of the bright orange colors. This is a messy recipe to prep as you must remove the orange membrane. Do prepare the dish the day before and refrigerate to really blend the flavors.

1 orange per person if small, ½ if large
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
¼ cup orange juice
1 small can crushed pineapple

Stir all ingredients together then scoop into a serving bowl.  

Canned biscuits or Crescent Rolls

Follow the recipe on the package.

Peaches a la Mode
1 can sliced peaches in light syrup
Vanilla ice cream
Granola, optional
Maraschino cherries
Cherry juice

Spoon 3 – 5 peach slices in individual dessert dishes. Add a generous double scoop of vanilla ice cream. Top with a maraschino cherry and a sprinkling of granola. Drizzle sparingly with cherry juice.

Other fruits are also tasty prepared this way.

Here is a brief intro to the cozy mystery series Emma writes.

sees the demise of a man no one likes, a romance, and plans for a wedding as Detective Fowler and his friends keep their small-town America free from danger.

Detective Kevin Fowler is furious that low life has targeted his town where people live in blissful safety. Brenda Bryant is out junkn’ for good things when she stumbles over the grotesque body of a man beloved by no one. Suspense heats up when large sums of money are found in two different places. Drug money is suspected and Brenda targeted by someone who wants the money returned. Detective Fowler faces surprise after surprise as he peels back the surface of Hubbard, New York and deals with its shocking underbelly. Meanwhile romance infiltrates the group of friends with a wedding in the making.


Emma Lane is a gifted author who writes cozy mysteries as Janis Lane, 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.

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