Monday 25 December 2017

Rock the Holidays with a Free Cookbook: The ABCDs of Cooking with Writers…

The holidays are upon us heralding parties, celebrations, and family gatherings. If you love to cook, then have I got a gift for you! Cue a holiday-inspired cookbook written by the following thirteen busy authors, of various ages and genres: Carol BrowneHL CarpenterSara DanielDominique EastwickLeigh Goff, C.D. HershVonnie Hughes, Alicia JosephEmma LaneSharon LedwithAnne MontgomeryChris Pavesic, and Sloane TaylorThese wonderful writers have created recipes that will make your life easy and simple when it comes time to prepare tantalizing appetizers, tasty beverages, mouth-watering cookies, and decadent desserts.

The ABCDs of Cooking with Writers is your go-to recipe book for entertaining over the holiday seasons, hosting events, or celebrating that special day. Compiled by Sloane Taylor—a gourmet cook in her own right—and designed by mother-daughter duo HL Carpenter, the included recipes have been tested and approved of by the most finicky family members.

Oh, and did I mention that it is FREE?  

So why not have your cake and eat it too? Yes, pun intended. You’ve got nothing to lose, and time to gain when you download The ABCDs of Cooking with Writers. There’s a recipe for every holiday, celebration, or event in your life. Give yourself a gift this holiday season with a cookbook from thirteen writers who share their favorite recipes and tips to help relieve the stress in your busy life.

Head over to my Website which features all the major on-line store links to download for FREE or click on the Cookbook Cover featured on my blog’s sidebar to nab your copy! Cheers and wishing you and your loved ones all the best this holiday season! Be safe and Bon Appetit! 

Monday 18 December 2017

Be a Champion for the Underdog or Cat…

Everyone is emotionally touched by an animal at some point in their lives. For me, having a dog in the house since the day I was born forever cemented canines in my heart, and later in my early twenties I got my first cat—a calico who lived to be twenty. In Lost and Found, the first book in Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls series, the main character, Meagan Walsh is forced to do community service hours in the local animal shelter. I, myself have worked in an animal shelter, so this story is near and dear to my heart. For those of you thinking about expanding your family to include a furry friend (especially during the holidays), here are some things I’ve observed in my short stint as an animal care attendant…

Overbreeding and interbreeding have caused so many genetic defects in dogs and cats that the ‘art’ of breeding has gotten to the point today that some breeders are obsessed by the conformation of their breeding stock while ignoring their personalities. Now certainly not all breeders are bad and not all purebred pets are defective. But the fact is that the common mutt is likely to live a longer, healthier life. Let’s hear it for the underdog…and cat! Some of the best pets can be saved from certain death and obtained rather inexpensively from a local animal shelter.

Now, before you head over to the closest animal shelter, there are a couple of precautions about adopting a shelter pet. First, you never know the background of the animal. Was it abused? Was it well nourished? For young animals these are important questions because the social behavior of dogs and cats depends on how they were treated as youngsters. Major aberrations in the socialization of a young animal may affect it for life no matter what you do to correct the problems. Severe, early malnutrition can cause physical problems for the life of a pet.

For those considering adopting an older pet from a shelter, a key question is, “Why was the pet discarded?” I’ve heard many excuses from people dropping off pets with the most common being financial, to moving to an apartment, and my least favorite—I didn’t realize the work involved in owning a dog. Um, really? Many pets are brought to a shelter because of behavioral issues, though that’s not what they tell the shelter personnel, so they make up some other excuse. The good news is that many ‘behavioral’ problems are due to the pet owner and not the pet.

Another concern when adopting a pet from a shelter is the health of the animal. Many pets at the shelter have not been raised in favorable conditions. The shelter staff do their best to get every animal vaccinated and their needs taken care of promptly upon arrival. The most common mistake people make when adopting a pet is that they feel sorry for a sickly animal. As pitiful as the sickly, runt of the litter may look, I wouldn’t recommend it for a pet unless you have unlimited financial and emotional resources. And believe me, I’ve seen some wonderful Good Samaritans with these resources adopt just to give that sick animal a good, loving home for the rest of its life.

It’s so important to do your research when shopping around for a pet, and make sure you have the time, energy, and necessary funds to invest in the animal for as long as it lives. If you’re thinking about getting a dog or cat to add to your family, then I urge you to adopt a pet from your local animal shelter. You’ll not only help an animal in need, you’ll receive something we ALL need—unconditional love.

Monday 11 December 2017

Audio Book Review: Starter Zone; The Revelation Chronicles, Book 1 by Chris Pavesic…

I thought it would be fun to offer you something completely different: a review of Starter Zone, the first book of Chris Pavesic’s new YA/LitRPG series, The Revelation Chronicles. So what is LitRPG genre, you ask? Chris explained to me that it was Role Playing Game books. Wow, who knew there was such a thing? I’m not normally a video gamer, but that didn’t stop me from entering Pavesic’s dystopian world and playing along with her characters. What a treat to listen to the audio version of this fantastical series! The narrator, Natalie Heng, does a wonderful job throughout the story, bringing Pavesic’s characters to life through her whimsical, strong voice.

So what’s my take on this role-playing fantasy-dystopian story of two sisters fighting to survive in a watered down version of the world? This is what I posted on Amazon and Goodreads…

 A 4 Star Fast-Paced Fantasy from the Get-go

From the very beginning, Chris Pavesic reels you into the dystopian world she created, and it’s not pretty. Humans have decided to seek immortality by inscribing the human mind onto a single drop of water. Add a government takeover into the mix, and things go from bad to worse. This is not the fountain of youth type world humans were striving for, but more like a watered-down nightmare, especially for sixteen-year-old Cami, and her younger sister, Alby.

Fighting for their lives in an apocalyptic world, the sisters dodge vicious gangs and the dangerous inscribed rains before getting caught by an organization who plans on selling them into slavery to be part of the realms, a game-like reality created for the wealthy. Pavesic pulls you through the challenges her characters must face in order to move up on the role-playing chain. Wonderful world building and filled with twists, even if you’re not a gamer, you’ll love the journey this story takes you on! Narrator, Natalie Heng does an awesome job with all the character’s voices, as she leads you through this magical, dystopian tale. Game on!

About the Book:

When hydrologists inscribe the consciousness of a human mind onto a single drop of water, a Revelation sweeps the land. The wealthy race to upload their minds into self-contained virtual realities nicknamed Aquariums. In these containers people achieve every hope, dream, and desire. But governments wage war for control of the technology. Terrorist attacks cause massive destruction. The Aquariums fail.  Inscribed human minds leech into the water cycle, wreaking havoc.

Street gangs rule the cities in the three years since the fall of civilization. Sixteen-year-old Cami and her younger sister Alby struggle to survive. Every drop of untreated water puts their lives in peril. Caught and imprisoned by soldiers who plan to sell them into slavery, Cami will do anything to escape and rescue her sister. Even if it means leaving the real word for a life in the realms, a new game-like reality created by the hydrologists for the chosen few.

But life in the realms isn’t as simple as it seems. Magic, combat, gear scores, quests, and dungeons are all puzzles to be solved as the sisters navigate their new surroundings. And they encounter more dangerous enemies than any they faced in the real world.

Time to play the game.

Purchase Links:

Audible Audiobook:


Barnes and Noble

About the Author:

Chris Pavesic lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee 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. She blogs on Tweets @chrispavesic  Find Chris and her books on Goodreads.

Monday 4 December 2017

Cottage Country Cuisine...

When we lived in cottage country, we’d visit the local bakery in Baysville, a small, tourist town five minutes south of us. The smell of fresh baking does something to a body. Sometimes it takes you back to when life was simpler. Today, cottage and camping life have changed. Cell phones are getting better reception, and seeing satellite dishes on cottage roofs has become the norm. But sometimes it’s nice to just unplug, and let nature stir your soul.

In my new series, Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, I uproot a troubled teen with a complicated life—he or she also possesses a psychic ability—and place them in the serene setting of Fairy Falls. These kids then have to deal with the fact that they’re different, and try to fit in, which as you can imagine isn’t that easy. Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expect the unexpected.

The following moist and spicy recipe is geared to enjoy with coffee on the dock, snacks around the card table, or a hot cup of tea in a hammock. With a prep time of 15 minutes, and cook time of 50 minutes, this pumpkin bread actually tastes even better the day after it is baked, and the smell of it coming out of the oven may take you back to your favorite tourist bakery shop while vacationing with your family.

Lakeside Pumpkin Bread

1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
⅔ cup water
3 cups white sugar
3½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. salt 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. ground ginger

PREHEAT oven to 350° F (175° C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.

IN a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended.

WHISK together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger in a medium bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.

BAKE about 50 minutes. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

So while those loaves are baking, and filling your kitchen with the most amazing smells, why not relax on the couch, and visit the small, tourist town of Fairy Falls, starting with Lost and Found, Book #1 of Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls? Just don’t forget the bug spray.