Monday, 29 January 2018

Not-Your-Usual-Caramel Corn...

Presentation suggestion
This version of caramel corn is truly the easiest, and most foolproof recipe you’ll ever find. Package this treat for gifts to friends and neighbors during the holiday season, and you’ll be the most popular person on the street. Perfect for stocking stuffers, giving to your special Valentine or hostess gifts too! Tie a bag of caramel corn to a bottle of wine, or fill a decorated mason jar for party favors. The gift-giving possibilities are endless!

What You Need:

7 quarts plain popped popcorn
2 cups dry roasted peanuts or cashews or your favorite nuts, optional
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1 cup margarine
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract

What You Do:

PREHEAT oven to 250° F (120° C).

PLACE popped popcorn into two shallow greased baking/roasting pans. Add the peanuts or your choice of nuts (mix’em up if you wish) to the popcorn. Set aside.

COMBINE brown sugar, corn syrup, margarine, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring enough to blend. Boil for 5 minutes. Stir constantly.

REMOVE from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will be light and foamy. Immediately pour over the popcorn in the pans, and stir to coat. Don’t worry too much at this point about getting all of the popcorn coated.

BAKE for 1 hour, removing the pans and giving them a good stir every 15 minutes. Line the counter top with waxed paper. Dump the popcorn out onto the waxed paper and separate the pieces.

ALLOW to cool completely, then store in airtight containers or resealable bags.

So while the corn is cooling, and maybe you're doing a few taste tests, 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...

Monday, 22 January 2018

YA Book Tour: Shadow Walker, Book 1 in the Shadow Walker Trilogy by Tiffany Shand...

Shadow Walker
Shadow Walker Trilogy, Book 1
Tiffany Shand

About Shadow Walker:

After her enforcer teammates are killed in a bust gone wrong, Denai witch Charlie McCray struggles to carry on working the job without them. Using her gift of communicating with the dead, she's determined to get justice and find those responsible no matter what. But her only clue to go on is a mysterious orb with a deadly reputation that everyone wants to get their hands on.

The only one who may be able to help her figure out their deaths, and the connection to the orb is the dark and sexy demon from her past. Convinced she's his life mate, to her denial, Charlie isn't happy to see him again. Can they really work together as partners to track down the truth whilst ignoring the ever-growing attraction between them?

Genres: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Length: 111 pgs.

Excerpt #4:
Someone grabbed her, pulling her backwards, clamping a hand over her mouth and wrenching her arms behind her. Her phone clattered onto the pavement. I don’t need this today! He pulled her gun from its holster, out of her reach. She tried to yank her arms free, but his grip proved too strong for her.
A flash of Nat’s smiling face then the burst of blue light ran through her mind. Charlie threw her head back, knocking into his jaw, then slammed her boot down on his foot. The man grunted but didn’t loosen his grip.
Charlie drew in a breath, reached for magic. Light shimmered over her as she fazed out of his grasp. She hit the ground hard as her body became solid and rolled away as her attacker made another grab for her.
“Come here, witch!”
Charlie took another breath, vanishing into the concrete beneath her. A world of grey swallowed her up, she could see every inch of dirt and cement surrounded her like tiny molecules of darkness. Her heart thundered inside her ears as panic took over. Light flashed, the roar of the bomb going off.

Add to Your Shelf on Goodreads

Purchase Your Copy from Amazon

Meet the Author:

Tiffany Shand started writing short stories when she was a child. She has always done writing in one form or another and started writing novels in her early teens.

Tiffany loves to read books and discovered her love for fantasy and paranormal romance. She writes both non-fiction and fiction, and love helping writers to build their author platforms.

After doing a creative writing course in her early 20s, she is now a freelance writer and professional editor.

Tiffany lives in Essex with her family and two very spoiled cats.

Find Tiffany Online:

Tiffany’s Website

Tiffany’s blog




Monday, 15 January 2018

The Power of Stories of Hope by Dianna Gunn...

The world today is awash in grim dark fantasy and dystopian science fiction, and we're sure to see an even bigger surge in both genres now that we've entered the era of Trump and Brexit. I personally know half a dozen authors who have been inspired to write new dystopian stories, including myself 

Keeper of the Dawn, my debut YA fantasy novella, is a different kind of story. It is a story of hope. There are many struggles along the way, even periods of hopelessness, but in the end hope always returns.

I don't believe that the timing of my publication is a coincidence. Hope is incredibly precious, and stories of hope are more important now than they have ever been. It is so easy to feel hopeless about everything going on in the world, with governments and corporations working together to destroy our planet and steal our rights. Stories of hope, even fictional ones, help us imagine a brighter future for ourselves.

My wish is that Keeper of the Dawn will remind you there is always hope, even after devastating failures.

All Lai has ever wanted is to become a priestess, like her mother and grandmother before her, in service to her beloved goddess. That's before the unthinkable happens, and Lai fails the trials she's trained for her entire life. She makes the only choice she believes she can: she runs away.

From her isolated desert homeland, Lai rides north to the colder, stranger kingdom of Alanum – a land where magic, and female warriors, are not commonplace.

Here, she hears tales about a mountain city of women guardians and steel forgers, worshipping goddesses who sound very similar to Lai's own. Determined to learn more about these women, these Keepers of the Dawn, Lai travels onward to find their temple. She is determined to make up for her past failure, and will do whatever it takes to join the sacred order.

Falling in love with another initiate wasn't part of the plan.

Keeper of the Dawn is a story of new beginnings, second chances, and the endurance of hope.


Lai practiced until well after dark, ignoring the call for supper. She tore a massive hole into one of the dummies with a training sword in her rage, but it didn’t make her feel better. She had spent most of her life training for this day, and Kaiden ruined it with a few words about their father.

Eventually she gave up and collapsed in a heap on the ground, pulling her knees up to her chest so she could rest her chin on them. She forced herself to breathe deeply, using all her willpower to push the rage into the ground. Bit by bit it drained into the soil around her, dispersing harmlessly.

She sat like that in the clearing until clouds engulfed the stars and rain started pouring, one of the last rains before the dry weeks of summer. Lifting the hood of her robes to cover her head, she rose and hurried towards the temple.

Her left foot caught on something and Lai flew through the air, losing her grip on her sword and landing face first in a puddle. Her nose shattered when it smashed into the tough ground, and when she grabbed it to feel the damage her hand came away covered in equal parts mud and blood. Her stomach churned as she picked herself back up, her whole body aching.

Something sharp pierced her back, tearing into her skin and muscles like sharp fire. She screamed and fell face first to the ground. She caught herself on her forearms, avoiding bashing her head against the rocky path.

Lai's attacker pulled the knife out of her shoulder. She screamed as warm blood flowed freely down her back, mixing with the rain. Fiery agony filled her body, blurring her vision. She gritted her teeth and flipped over to face her attacker.

She froze at the familiar sight of white robes with golden cuffs. Another initiate. Her hood hid her face completely.

Lai gathered her strength with a deep, ragged breath and reached for her training sword. The initiate kicked Lai in the back then stomped on her wrist, grinding bone under her boot, sending sharp waves of pain up Lai’s arm.

“You understand, it has to be me.”

Lai knew that voice, but she couldn’t focus on it through the pain, couldn’t remember who it was. 

The initiate seized a clump of Lai’s hair and yanked her head backwards. She knelt and raised her knife towards Lai’s exposed throat.

Something knocked the initiate into Lai’s back. Black spots appeared at the edges of her vision as agony surged outward from her wound. The other initiate didn’t move, suffocating Lai with her weight. Lai tried to lift herself up with her elbows, but a fresh wave of pain knocked the wind out of her. She col¬lapsed onto her stomach and closed her eyes, willing her body to die quickly.

Dianna L. Gunn is a young Canadian author who just release her debut novella Keeper of the Dawn. Passionate, hopeful, magical Keeper of the Dawn is a story of new beginnings, second chances, and the endurance of hope.

Dianna L. Gunn is a freelance writer by day and a fantasy author by night. She had known she wanted to be a writer since she was eight years old. Dianna wrote her first novel for Nanowrimo at the age of eleven years old, but quickly discovered that writing books is not an easy way to make a living. So she decided to broaden her horizons, seeking another career that still allowed her to work with words.

Her freelance writing career started when she became a marketing intern at Musa Publishing(now defunct) in September 2011 and quickly became a staff writer in charge of multiple imprint blogs. Since then she has worked with a variety of small businesses and non-profits to improve their online brands and create long term marketing strategies. Some of her most notable work has been for the tech education non-profit STEAMLabs and natural dog care company ProPooch. She is dedicated to helping her clients build successful brands and making their dreams come true.

Need help creating awesome content for your business? Send an email to explaining what your needs are, and she will help you.

When she isn’t helping her clients bring their dreams to life, Dianna can be found working on her own dream of being a successful fantasy author.

Dianna blogs about writing, creativity, and books at The Dabbler. Learn more about Dianna on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Monday, 8 January 2018

If you Could Talk to the Animals…

If you had the ability to talk to your pet, would you? Most people would probably jump on board and say YES! Some maybe not so on board. It all depends on the person and their relationship with animals. In Lost and Found, the first book of my teen psychic mystery series, Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, I introduce Meagan Walsh, a fifteen-year-old rebel without a cause. She has the ability to communicate with animals telepathically. However, she’d buried this psychic gift after her mother died tragically in an auto accident, and was only stirred to use it when confronted with a crusty shelter cat named Whiskey.

Apparently, psychic animal communication is natural—everyone can talk with animals! Say what? I guess like Meagan Walsh, most of us have simply forgotten how to channel our inner Doctor Doolittle. Yet the universal language of telepathy allows us to use our natural intuition and abilities to communicate with other species. So how does it work? The animal communicator uses energetic preparation and intentional connection with the animal. Information is then received in the form of thoughts, ideas, words, images, sensations in the body, sounds in the mind, emotions, and sudden knowings. Communication occurs regardless of the physical proximity on the conversing parties, and is a form of remote or distant communication that does not require being in each other’s presence.

What I found interesting while researching animal communication was that past issues affect animals when stored energies (such as memories or traumas) result in tensions that cause the animal to alter its authentic behavior and be in a distressed state. Unaddressed, that state of distress can manifest into symptoms and/or disease. Animals relaying descriptions of their symptoms, feelings, and pains (as location, quality, and frequency) can be helpful to veterinary health professionals in their diagnostic process. Depression and grief can manifest in emotional and physical health problems, and addressing these underlying issues appropriately can improve balance and well-being. Specific behavior problems can be investigated and understood through telepathic communication, and training techniques can be improved with the animal’s cooperation. Even assisting animals with transitions and environment changes (think about all those pet allergies nowadays) helps prevent anxiety and abandonment fears.

Somehow, I think we humans have become so far removed from nature, especially in the last few centuries, that we’ve disconnected from our telepathic abilities to commune with other species. And it’s truly a shame. Imagine how much good a psychic ability like animal communication could be beneficial at an animal shelter, a farm, zoo, veterinarian’s office, or even in a home? With this increased awareness, you can create more loving and joy-filled relationships with your animal friends and indeed all of nature. And it sure opened a new door for Meagan Walsh, Whiskey, and the rest of the furry residents at the Fairy Falls Animal Shelter that won’t close any time too soon.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Authors: Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail…

Happy New Year! Usually, I start off the beginning of a new year blogging about my upcoming plans and projects. Lots has happened over the course of 2017, and I seem to be on course when it comes to my writing career. I have a lot of people to thank for that! My publisher, Mirror World Publishing. My family. My friends. My author colleagues. My community and local businesses. And especially my readers and followers! So yay to all of you, and give yourselves a pat on the back for helping me make my goals and dreams a realty. Thank you!

That said, no author is an island, and we must realize our books possess not only pieces of our souls, but the collective souls of everyone who have helped us along in the process of writing and publishing our books. The best advice I can give any writer striving to publish their work someday, or an author with a backlist of books is to make a PLAN, and STICK with it. Every December, I go over my Master Business and Life Plan to check off what I’ve accomplished, tweak what still needs to be done, add other tasks, and see what worked and what didn’t for me. I’m still not where I want to be when it comes to book sales (I know I’m not alone there!), but one day I will be IF I stick with the plan.

One of my main goals every year is to publish a book and write a book. This works for me. I know other authors who pump out words like there’s no tomorrow, and write about two to four books a year. That’s not me. It will never be me. And I’m good with that. Comparing myself to other authors is a creativity killer. And I won’t do that to myself. Know what you can handle and do that, despite what your other writing friends are doing. We all get to where we need to be on our own steam, in our own way. So cut yourself some slack and enjoy the ride. That’s not to say I don’t have authors who are my pacesetters (where I’d like to be in the future). These are the successful writers I learn from, watch from afar, and listen to their advice. Remember: success always leaves clues!

Book marketing and promotion seems to be an enigma for me. And I’m sure I’m not alone. One writer’s way of scoring big money and fame from their book sales may not work for another author. I find I’m very successful with Goodreads Giveaways. I get many entries when I host a giveaway for one of my books. I do this about three to four times a year, and receive as many as 4000 to 5000 readers who enter. Not bad numbers! However, I wish these stats would translate into sales! Wink. I also try to do a few book signings throughout the year at craft shows, book fairs, charities or businesses, but that’s more about exposure and meeting readers.

I really do believe that the biggest thing an author can do for his or her career is to build their backlist. More books. More exposure. Different genres. Different readers. Multiple book series. Multiple audience reach. This way you create an emotional bond with your readers, and they in turn trust your work and tell their reader friends about you! Now that’s a win-win in my book!

So, what can you expect from Sharon Ledwith this year? Glad you stuck around! I’m so happy to share with you that, Blackflies and Blueberries, the second book in Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls teen psychic mystery series will be published this year through Mirror World Publishing. The publication date has yet to be discussed, but I’m so looking forward to seeing this book series grow! I’ll also be the guest of honor at the Twisted Apron in Windsor, Ontario, on January 15th as part of ‘A Taste of Literacy’. This is a fundraiser for the Windsor International Writers Conference, and the idea is that the restaurant’s chef prepares a five course meal based on the setting of an author’s book. In my case, Lost and Found, Book One of Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls will be featured. Cottage cuisine anyone? I’ll also be working on the next installment of The Last Timekeepers series entitled, The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave throughout 2018, and this book should be ready for publication in 2019. Seems like I’ve got my work cut out for me already!

I’m sure there’ll be more add-ons to my plan during the course of the year, so the best way to know what’s going on in my writing world is to follow this blog for the latest news or check out my website to find out what books I presently have published. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter, and post a lot of helpful articles for all you writers out there. I’d like to wish you and your family all the best in 2018, and as always thank you for reading my post! I truly appreciate it! Cheers!