Monday 28 March 2016

Surviving Easter with YA authors HL Carpenter...

Stumped at what to do with those leftover Easter Eggs? Fear not! YA authors HL Carpenter suggests you try their easy spicy recipe for deviled eggs. BTW - Do you know why they’re called deviled eggs? You get to eat two if you know the answer.*

Deviled Eggs with Curry

Eggs (week-old or just-ready-to-expire eggs peel more easily)
1 tsp. salad dressing for each egg
Dash of curry powder
Dash of paprika

Hard-boil eggs using an egg cooker or a pot of cold water (cover eggs with water, bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover, and let stand 10-12 minutes). Drain; then place eggs in ice water until cool. Peel cooled eggs and cut in half lengthwise.

Slide egg yolks onto a plate and mash with a fork.

Stir in salad dressing until mixture is smooth and creamy.

Spoon yolk mixture back into egg whites, or use a disposable plastic baggie and an icing tip if you want ooh-la-la fancy deviled eggs.

Sprinkle with curry powder to taste. Dust with paprika for more color.

Arrange on a platter and serve warm or cold.

If you’re traveling to the potluck, carry this dish in an insulated cooler with ice.

*According to the Oxford Companion to Food, by Alan Davidson (1999), pp. 247-248, “devil” is a culinary term which first appeared as a noun in the 18th century, and then in the early 19th century as a verb meaning to cook something with fiery hot spices or condiments. The term was presumably adopted because of the connection between the devil and the excessive heat where the devil dwells.


A brief into for the top selling fantasy book by HL Carpenter.

Fourteen year old Tovi thinks finding a flying horse is fabulous luck—until a mysterious stranger says finders aren’t always keepers.

When fourteen year old Tovi Taggert moves to Honeysuckle Hollow to take care of her grandmother, she has a hard time fitting in. For one thing, she’s been tagged with the hated nickname Too-Tall Tovi. For another, everyone at Honeysuckle Hollow High believes Tovi played the Choking Game with someone else’s boyfriend and made out with him besides.

As if she doesn’t have enough problems, after the latest stand-off in the school hallway, Tovi finds a gorgeous speckled egg nestled in a feather lined nest.

She takes the egg home. Mysterious visitors begin appearing almost immediately. Even more worrisome, whatever is inside the egg starts chipping its way out.

When the egg hatches, revealing a winged horse, Tovi’s troubles multiply.

As she struggles to return the horse to the magical land where he belongs, Tovi must make a courageous decision—and accept what that decision will cost her.

To read more of The SkyHorse, please click a vendor's name Amazon - Amazon UK - Smashwords

HL Carpenter writes sweet, clean fiction suitable for your entire family. Visit their website for gift reads and the latest Carpenter Country news. 

Stay connected on Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, and their Amazon Author Page.

Monday 21 March 2016

Shredding what doesn’t Work for a Writer…

I’ve gotten into this purging habit. Around the middle of February, I clear out my filing cabinet, and shred any papers that are useless or I don’t need anymore. Bills, sales receipts, accounting documents, and manuscripts that should have never seen the light of day. This got me to thinking how I could apply shredding to my writing career. What am I doing that isn’t working anymore? What book marketing strategies need to be purged? What type of book promotions are a waste of time? Is blogging worth the effort?

Does any of these questions sound familiar?

March is the month I revise my business and life plan. So I thought, what better way to shred the old from my life (things that aren’t working), keep what’s working, and start up with new ideas. I love it when I’ve gone through the filing cabinet, cleaned out the files, then either shred any bills older than 2 years, or file the rest in a plastic container for a period of one year. The exception being our taxes, which I keep for the recommended seven years. The filing cabinet seems so much lighter after this task is done. And for some reason, so do I.

Sitting down to revise my business and life plan this year, I went through the document page by page, striking what I’ve accomplished under the WORKS IN PROGRESS subtitle (and feeling good about it), to eliminating what I thought were time wasters (blog hops, certain social media groups, dropping Tumblr) under AUTHOR BRAND AND PLATFORM. Blogging is time consuming, but I believe my name (BRAND) is getting enough weekly Google Alerts and views to continue creating posts. When it came to the subtitle PROMOTION AND MARKETING STRATEGY I added a few new ideas, and kept the old tried and true. Goodreads Giveaways and Book Blog Tours (only for new releases) seem to work well for me. I’ve recently joined Pinterest, so I’ll see how this pans out for me in the future, creating boards based on my characters, time travel historical settings, and personal interests. Wink.

I’m also very happy with the freedom I have with my new publishers, Mirror World Publishing, who have promised to keep a yearly slot open for my ongoing time travel series The Last Timekeepers. This year, I will have Book #2: The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret out sometime in the fall. I’ve already started gathering research for Book #3, and I'm looking forward to delving into a fresh story. I know the key is to focus on what I enjoy, and build for the long term. That’s what a lot of writers forget—they’re building a career, and careers take time.

So shred what’s not working for you, and lighten up your load. Remember: slowly but surely wins the race. Do you have a yearly shredding ritual? Have you removed what isn’t working for you in your life or career? Would love to hear your comments. Cheers and thank you for reading my blog!   

Monday 14 March 2016

Kiss Me, I'm Irish...

Actually, I’m one-quarter Irish thanks to my maternal grandmother, but that never stopped me from celebrating St. Patrick’s Day! FYI - in Book #6 of The Last Timekeepers series, I'm planning on setting my time travel sites on this beautiful country. So, sit down, take a load off, and pour yourself a pint of green ale. Aye, here’s to Saint Paddy, banisher of snakes, and founder of monasteries and churches. Now, while you’re waiting for your corn beef and cabbage dinner to boil, have a gander at these six amazing places to visit if you ever get a chance to venture over to the Emerald Isle, suggested to me by my author bud and paranormal romance queen, Dominique Eastwick.

Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland

Renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt, is the only World Heritage site in Northern Ireland. Resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, this is the focal point of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has attracted visitors for centuries.

Constructed over 5,000 years ago (about 3,200 B.C.), making it older than Stonehenge in England and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Newgrange was built during the Neolithic or New Stone Age by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands of the Boyne Valley. Archaeologists classified Newgrange as a passage tomb, however Newgrange is now recognized to be much more than a passage tomb. Ancient Temple is a more fitting classification, a place of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial importance, much as present day cathedrals are places of prestige and worship where dignitaries my be laid to rest.

Kilmainham Gaol Prison in Dublin

Built in 1792, it is Ireland's most famous disused prison. It held throughout the years many famous Nationalists and Republicans in members of the Society of United Irishmen (1798), Young Irelanders (c1840s), Fenians and Land agitators, Parnell, Davitt. The leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising were executed here. The prison was closed in 1924. This building gives a good insight into the history of Irish Republicanism.

Dublin Castle (doing Kilmainhaim Gaol first helps with the history) Originally built in the 13th century on a site previously settled by the Vikings it functioned as a military fortress, a prison, treasury, courts of law and the seat of English Administration in Ireland for 700 years. Rebuilt in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, Dublin Castle is now used for important State receptions and Presidential Inaugurations.

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland's top Visitor attractions and are a designated UNESCO Geo Park. The Cliffs are 214m high at the highest point and range for 8 kilometres over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare. O'Brien's Tower stands proudly on a headland of the majestic Cliffs. From the Cliffs one can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, as well as The Twelve Pins, the Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara and Loop Head to the South. The Cliffs of Moher take their name from a ruined promontory fort “Mothar” which was demolished during the Napoleonic wars to make room for a signal tower. And I saved the best for last…

Guinness Storehouse

The best view of the city and Ireland’s number one visitor attraction. Go figure! The home of the world famous GUINNESS® brand, this historical building is central to Dublin’s and Ireland’s heritage, and has been continually updated to create a blend of fascinating industrial tradition with a contemporary edge. Oh yeah, and you’re also invited to pour your own perfect pint. Cheers!

Now, before you go check on your corn beef and cabbage, please raise your frosty glass high to toast Saint Patrick and Ireland with me: May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, may good luck pursue you each morning and night. Slainte!

Wednesday 9 March 2016

YA Author Kai Strand's Finding Thor Anniversary Celebration...

Have you found your Thor? Kai Strand wants to help with that. Be sure to check out the giveaway below.

International intrigue hits small-town America.

Tragedy has left Cara Cassidy broken and the only thing keeping her from giving in completely is her guilt. Until Nik Rock.

Nik stirs up feelings in degrees she has never experienced, and causes her to do things that most assuredly give him the wrong impression – like kiss him before their first date. Somehow, he breaks down the walls around her emotions until she has no choice but to forgive herself and feel again.

But a mysterious, troubled past follows Nik, and Cara may prove to be his weakest link.

When a royal princess shows up looking for Nik, and an international gang arrives looking for missing jewels, Cara lands in mortal danger. Will she be able to save herself? What will happen to her newly repaired psyche if she loses Nik?

Romance, mystery, and high stakes – just another day in high school.


He nodded a polite, though cautious, greeting before walking toward the second break in the shrubs overlooking the beginning of the rapids.
Her heart pounding as fast as the sparrows flitting though the leafless shrubs, Cara faced the river again, not completely comfortable turning her back to him. She was pretty sure he was close to her age, so why did she feel so threatened?
Power. Strength. Assurance.
Even as enthralled with superheroes as she and Arac had always been, she’d never realized those words could be felt. Yet they poured off of him in waves. She glanced over her shoulder. He’d been shrouded by the hood, and she’d barely seen anything beyond his blazing gaze. He stood with his back to her, so she studied him.
His posture was impeccable, with his back straight, feet shoulder-width apart, hands still buried in his jacket pockets. He looked entirely alert and ready. Even though it seemed he watched the water tumble and trip down the rapids, she felt his fierce gaze was directed inward. Focused on memories or thoughts she would never see, though suddenly she wanted to. Mystery teased her curiosity. She sensed this stranger had a compelling story to tell. Or maybe she just hoped for a distraction from her own horror story.
As if he’d heard her reflection, and wanted to hear more, his head shifted slightly, angling toward her. Another shiver shuddered through her body. She had to remind herself that superpowers weren’t real, and still she wondered—hero or villain?

Finding Thor is available in print or electronic format from the following:
Amazon| Barnes & Noble| Whiskey Creek Press| All Romance| BookStrand|
Add Finding Thor to your to-read shelf on Goodreads

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website,

Swag alert! Looking for your Thor? Look no further, Kai’s got you covered. Enter to win a custom tote bag for all of those books you like to carry with you, and a Thor baseball cap. Easy entry for those in a hurry, or many other ways to earn more entries for contest junkies. The Finding Thor swag pack can only be shipped in the United States. If winner is International, an Amazon gift card will be substituted and another winner will be chosen.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday 7 March 2016

Goodreads Winners and Featured Book of the Month at Mirror World Publishing…

Just a short announcement to congratulate the winners of my month long February International Goodreads Giveaways. I’m so humbled and honored to have had so many entries for each book! The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis received over 3160 readers trying to score a signed copy. Congrats to Tabitha W of the USA for beating the odds!

The prequel to the series, Legend of the Timekeepers received just over 1750 readers entering to win a signed copy, which was a record! Congrats to Pamela L, also from the USA. I want to thank all those who participated in the giveaway, as well as all the shares and tweets I received from supportive and kind followers and friends! You all rock, and I appreciate each and every one of you!

Other great news is that Mirror World Publishing is featuring my time travel series during March! They’re offering sweet deals throughout the month on both my books, plus giving me a chance to flex my guest posting skills on their blog. So if you get an opportunity, please swing by and check out the posts and savings! There’s no time like the present to load your ereaders (or bookshelves) with stories that will take you away from the mundane and into another time!

Get ready to escape to the past and have a blast! Cheers and thank you for reading my blog!