Thursday 29 March 2018

Good Friday Salmon Feast by Authors Lizzie T. Leaf and Emma J. Lane...

Author Lizzie T. Leaf loves smoked salmon and enjoys the sides of thinly sliced red onions, sour cream, and capers usually served with them. She came up with the idea of having it for breakfast, but turning into a smear. After trying several different smoked salmons the one she enjoyed the most in the smear version was honey smoked.

Photo courtesy of  Piviso Pixabay

1 cup honey smoked salmon, flaked
¼ cup red onion, chopped
½ cup sour cream
2 tbsp. capers
Mini-bagels or slider buns
Honey mustard to taste (store bought is easier) 

MIX first four ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.

SPREAD a large dollop of Smear on one side of the bread of your choice. Bagels are chewier, but slider buns are softer.

DRIZZLE mustard over the Smear. Dress it up with green onion tops and then cover with other piece of roll and enjoy.

Here is a little from Lizzie T. Leaf's latest spicy romantic release...

Following the Powers directive to unite soul mates, a Scottish Cailleach's magic will have repercussions in several realms.

Mixed-blood author Ian McCabe, grandson of Fae and gods, tries to deny his powers while hiding his true origins from the human world. When he discovers mortal, Emma Grant unconscious at his front door, his world starts to change.

Tour director Emma Grant leads a group of senior ladies through Scotland. The breakdown of their bus on a rural Scottish backroad has her sloshing through the rain and mud on foot. Her efforts to seek help results in a fall that knocks her unconscious. She awakens to find the man of her dreams staring into her eyes.

Both feel an instant attraction, but will his secrets and her distrust of men keep them apart.

Read the first chapter on Amazon.

To read excerpts from other books by Lizzie T. Leaf please click onto Amazon.

Lizzie T. Leaf loved books since she opened her first one. Her dream was to write them herself. Lost in the hectic day to day world of family, job, laundry and housework, writing became a distant memory. When the twinkling ember did spark, it was usually doused by someone demanding their share of her time.

Lizzie's life went full circle. The desire to put the stories that continued to play in her head on paper emerged stronger than ever, and at a time when there was someone who encouraged. Now she lives her dream.

Learn more about Lizzie T. Leaf on her website and blog. Connect with Lizzie on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Author Emma J. Lane suggests the following meal may be served from ladies’ bridge to hefty dinner guests. Just increase the size of the proportions. Pop out this meal in a hurry and enjoy a cocktail with your company.

Red Salmon with Zesty Italian Dressing 
Succotash or substitute Broccoli or Asparagus 
Poached Pear Halves with Ricotta Cheese 
Green Salad 
Platter of Interesting Crackers 
Dinner roles with Jam and Butter 


1 can red salmon, depending upon number of guests
Zesty Italian Dressing for drizzling

CLEAN bones and skin from salmon retaining pieces intact as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while finishing prep.


Frozen lima beans 1 small can creamed corn
1 tbsp. butter

COOK beans until tender, 20 minutes from boil. Drain and mix in the corn and butter. Keep warm in a 210° F oven until ready to serve.


½ fresh pear per guest (Increase to two halves for a dinner)
1 – 3 drops almond flavoring per pear half
1 tbsp. ricotta cheese per per half
Sugar, optional

REMOVE core from pears. Turn flesh side down in two inches water in microwavable dish. Poach on high until tender, 2 – 3 minutes. Check for tenderness with a toothpick. Remove from oven, flip over and place in attractive dish, in custard cup, or on a bed of lettuce. Dribble almond flavoring on pears. Fill halves with cheese. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg. Sprinkle on sugar.


ARRANGE salmon on dinner plate and drizzle salad dressing lightly over fish. Add serving of succotash or other desired green vegetable. Garnish with lettuce or parsley. Offer a platter of interesting crackers. Serve poached pear halves on the side or scooped onto the plate. Pass basket of dinner roles and jars of jam.

Sounds like a lot of fuss, but it goes fast. The meal is light on calories so with guilt free conscience, serve a piece of your favorite pie or cake with ice cream or whipped cream. Some guests will decide poached pears suit them as a dessert.

Here's a teaser from one of  Emma J. Lane's Regency books while you wait for your guests to arrive.

What happens when a strong heroine meets an arrogant, but handsome hero? Sparks fly. It's a Regency Romance Romp! 

Miss Amabel Hawkins acknowledges her unusual upbringing, but she thinks James Langley, the Duke of Westerton, might be a tad unbalanced when he protests her efforts to right his badly managed properties. The duke, who has been away on the king's business, demonstrates no respect for the beautiful but managing Miss Hawkins. Amabel has taken refuge at Westerton, fleeing from a forced marriage to a man who claims to be her relative in order to gain control of her young brother's estate.

The Duke arrives home to find his estate under the firm control of a beautiful but managing female. His suspicions are fueled by his recent task of spy-hunting and he wonders if Amabel Hawkins is just who she seems. While a dastardly spy lurks, a wicked man poses as her cousin threatening to take over the guardianship of her young brother. Amabel might be falling in love, but she knows for certain the duke would never approve of a meddlesome woman, and she decides to flee his estate. Will the duke finally realize the true value of the woman he loves or will his prejudice ruin his chances forever?

Amazon Buy Link

Emma Lane enjoys leaving her garden for a few hours to dip into the romance genre Regency era of history. Join her for a glimpse of a half selkie fairy as she teases a powerful duke and fights the curse of a lowly, evil warlock. Other Regency romances are available on Amazon and Wild Rose Press. As Janis Lane she writes a series of Cozy Mysteries for Soul Mate Publishing.

Look for information about writing and plants on her new website. Leave a comment or a gardening question and put a smile on Emma's face.

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday 26 March 2018

Guest Post: The Lost Art of Writing Letters by C.D. Hersh...

 Before you think, “I know how to use letters,” you should know we are not talking about the “ABCDEFG” letters one uses to form words, but written letters sent through the mail, penned by hand, folded into envelopes with postage stamps and return addresses, and delivered by the postman. Yes, we realize the art of letter writing is disappearing, but it’s an art form worth saving in today’s world of instant email, twitter, and Facebook communication.
A while back, Donald was helping an aunt go through boxes of old letters written by his deceased uncle. The letters, written to his first wife and mother, covered the period of the couple’s early romance, his service as an Air Force pilot in WWII over Europe, and the time frame during the Korean War. In the missives, he wrote about his feelings and described what was going on in the war arenas. A huge amount of historical information, insight about this time frame, and personal tidbits about Donald’s uncle, was revealed in the two days spent reading these letters.

Those boxes of letters, posted seventy years ago, got us thinking about letter writing as a dying means of communication. With today’s instant communication methods of email, twitter, and Facebook, which are usually deleted as soon as they are read, there won’t be anything for our descendants to open seventy years from now to see how we lived and what we thought about the events of our daily lives. When you Google “Letter Writing” you will get about 195 million results, from free tips, advice, sample letters to help you write great letters, to letter writing rules for business letters, to letter styles, envelope formats and even how to fold a letter into an envelope. What you won’t get is the feel of old, fragile paper beneath your fingers as you carefully open a window to the past.

So, how can you use letter writing to enhance your books?

In our book The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles) and in the second book of the series, Blood Brothers, handwritten letters are the impetus for major story line turning points. Because of something two dead characters reveal (one whom the readers never meet), the lives of the heroines in both books are forever changed.

Here’s an excerpt from The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles) showing how we used a handwritten letter to reveal information.
Eli, I know it’s been years since you’ve heard from me, not since my brother’s murder, but Alexi’s time has come. I tried to shield her from the destiny, teaching her only the basics of the ring and waiting until she was an adult to start any training. I didn’t want to push her, but now she is developing skills I’ve not taught her. I need someone from the Council to come and assess her, and I can’t think of anyone I trust more than the man I fought beside in so many battles. After making such a mess of Sylvia, I don’t trust my judgment. I need an advocate on the Council and your advice. If you agree with my assessment, I want to present Alexi to the Council this coming Samhain. Please come as soon as possible…

The letter’s date and postmark indicated Baron had written the letter about two weeks prior to his death. Prickles crept over her arms. My time? Present me to the Council? Sylvia’s comment about the Promised One came back to her. Had Baron sent for Eli because of the great destiny he always insisted she had? She closed the door and rested her forehead against the solid surface. Life was already too complicated. She didn’t need this.
Had we used email to send this letter, the heroine Alexi might not have believed the letter came from her uncle. Anyone can type an email and claim it comes from an alleged sender. The specialty return label and her uncle’s loopy handwritten script on the envelope convinced Alexi the letter was real.

In our second book of the series, Blood Brothers, seeing her missing daughter’s handwriting, instead of a sterile email printout, impacted the heroine intensely and spurred her on to a life changing decision, which you’ll have to read the book to find out about.

You can also use the art of letter writing to discover new things about your characters by having them write letters to another character in the book. We did this exercise for our antagonist, Roc, in Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles) and discovered several things. For the sake of space in this blog, we can’t reveal what we learned here, but if you are interested, please click here to read the letter and see how it worked for us.

Here is a little more about The Promised One for your reading pleasure.

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.

Buy Links:
Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

The first four books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon. They have a short Christmas story, Kissing Santa, in a Christmas anthology titled Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection, with seven other authors. Also a novella, Can’t Stop The Music, with twelve other authors from various genres with a book coming out each month in 2017.

They look 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.

Learn more about C.D. Hersh on their website and their Amazon Author Page.
Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Monday 19 March 2018

Cover Reveal: Ghosts & Exiles by Sandra Unerman...

Spellhaven is no more, but its spirits remain.

About the Book:

Tilda Gray hates Spellhaven, the city where her husband was born, even though she has never set foot in the place, and she does not believe in the magic it’s supposed to have held. Now her husband is dead, she would rather avoid any mention of the city. But her sons, Nicholas and James, have befriended Hugo, a young boy threatened by forces none of them understand. When Hugo's uncle and guardian, Stephen Cole, visits the Gray family to ask for help, Tilda agrees against her better judgement. Between them, as they search for ways to banish or at least help Hugo cope with the ghosts that are driving him mad, they seek out the dubious aid of the exiles from Spellhaven. In doing so they must face new dangers and unknown magic, unlike anything Tilda could have believed possible.

Book Details:

Print Length: 300 pages
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing
Publication Date: April 17, 2018
Genre(s): Magical Realism, Historical Fantasy

Read a Short Excerpt:

Stephen Cole would never have asked for help on his own account, not from strangers and especially not from a woman and a couple of young boys. Since his slow recovery from his experiences in the trenches during the First World War, he had devoted himself to his work at the Bar and had spent little time in the company of women or children. But the help was for his nephew, Hugo, and by the time Stephen arrived at the Grays’ house in Highgate one Sunday morning in November 1933, he did not know where else to turn.

When he was shown into the drawing room, Stephen looked round to try and gain an impression of the family. He decided that the room had been decorated about ten years ago and hardly changed since then. The yellow and grey curtains had lost their bloom and the wooden feet on the armchairs were scuffed, but the parquet floor round the carpet was thoroughly polished, as were the tiles inset into the fireplace. Mrs. Gray must have had skilled and hardworking servants, not as easy to find as they would once have been. Botanical illustrations hung on the panelled walls. Stephen had no time to notice more before Mrs. Gray entered the room. 

Her appearance took Stephen aback. When he had been told she was a widow, somehow he had pictured a middle-aged woman, dumpy and depressed. Maybe he had been thinking of Queen Victoria, even though he had seen enough war widows in the early days of his practice to know they came in all shapes and styles. Matilda Gray was tall for a woman, with light eyes and a pointed chin. Her pale brown hair was bobbed and smooth. She wore a fawn twin-set and a brown skirt, not new or fashionable but shapely and trim.

‘Thank you for seeing me on a Sunday, Mrs. Gray,’ Stephen said. ‘It’s your son, Nicholas, I’d really like to talk to. He is home for the weekend, isn’t he?’

Hugo lived at school all term, and often in the holidays as well, but Stephen had been told that the Grays were weekly boarders. 

‘The boys are at breakfast, Mr. Cole.’ Mrs. Gray looked as wary of him as he was of her. 

‘I hope your maid gave you my apologies for disturbing you.’ 

‘It doesn’t matter, but you will have to explain what this is about before I decide whether Nicholas should be involved.’

Pre-Order from:

Read About the Book at Mirror World Publishing

Add to Your Shelf on Goodreads

Meet the Author:

Sandra Unerman lives in London in the UK. When she retired from a career as a Government lawyer, she undertook an MA in Creative Writing at Middlesex University, specialising in science fiction and fantasy, and graduated in 2013. Since then, she has had a number of short stories published. Her latest stories are in Sword and Sorcery magazine, June 2017, and Fall into Fantasy, an anthology from Cloaked Press. She writes reviews and articles for the British Science Fiction Association and the British Fantasy Society. She is a member of London Clockhouse writers and other writing groups. Her interests include history, folklore and medieval literature.

Connect with Sandra:

Sandra’s Website:

Sandra’s Author Page: 

Goodreads Author Page: 

Monday 12 March 2018

Guest Post: A Series in the Making by Marci Boudreaux...

Since I know a thing or two about writing and planning a series, I thought I'd invite friend and romance writer Marci Boudreaux to share her experience on creating a book series. Take it away Marci...

Never before have I felt the need to make a series bible. Maybe because I’ve only written one series before and had no idea what the hell I was doing!

On to series two…the title is still a work in progress, but I have some ideas that I’m just waiting for my editor to tell me are crap so I can start over. (She’d say it very nicely, though.)

This new series is about a detective agency run and operated by some pretty kick ass dames who don’t take crap from nobody—especially the men in their lives. This is also completely out of the norm for me, so we'll see what (if anything) happens to it.

Meet the ladies of the yet to be named agency that will be doing awesome to be determined kick ass things! Also known as Em's imaginary friends for the next year or so.

Problem is, unlike my last series, I’m dropping all the characters into book one. Most will be in the background so I don’t boggle anyone’s brain with a huge cast. But, even so, my brain gets boggled so I gotta keep all these people and their nuances straight in my head.

And, that right there, folks, is what that whole series bible thing is for.

I get it now.

Since I’ve never done this before, I’m totally winging it. Pinterst pages. Word docs. Notes in two different notebooks that will eventually all be put in one place. I have pictures. Descriptions. Quotes. All kinds of things that someday, I’ll look at and go “DAMN! I totally forgot she’s got blue eyes not green!”

I’m working on getting organized enough to have all this in one place. I’ll get there. I’m just a wee bit slow, but I am taking this whole thing very seriously, y’all.

I’d love to introduce you to the ladies, but book one is still with my editor and I don’t want to jinx this series before it is even out of diapers, but keep an eye out. I think you’ll be hearing about them soon!

Until then…any suggestions on how to keep all this stuff straight?

As a teen, Marci Boudreaux skipped over young adult books and jumped right into the world of romance novels. She's never left. Marci lives with her husband, two kiddos, and their numerous pets. Until recently, she was a freelance writer appearing monthly in a variety of local magazines. She now focuses on writing and her work as a content editor.

Romance is her preferred reading and writing genre because nothing feels better than falling in love with someone new and her husband doesn't like when she does that in real life.

Learn more about Marci Boudreaux on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday 8 March 2018

Book Tour: Unquiet Dead by Chris Pavesic...

About Unquiet Dead:

In Chiaroscuro it’s important to keep the faith.

When the Temples north of Chiaroscuro are burned and followers of the Sun Goddess are murdered, Catherine, a bard of the Ealdoth Temple, sets out to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. With only the help of a traveling group of minstrels and a retired fae investigator, Catherine must solve the mystery before more people are killed.

So saddle up your clockwork mount, buckle on your electro-dagger, and join Catherine as she finds herself pitted against members of her own Temple, rogues members of the Seelie Court, and a seemingly unstoppable army of undead.

Unquiet Dead
Chiaroscuro Chronicles, Book 1
Chris Pavesic

140 pages

Genres: Steampunk, Mystery, Dark Fantasy

Learn More About Unquiet Dead:




Follow the virtual tour and visit tours hosts sharing spotlights, excerpts, and reviews. Link to tour schedule:

Read an Excerpt:

“I’m glad to see you’re talking again.” Benedict glanced at her, his eyes kind. “Did you work out whatever was bothering you?”

Catherine gave him a wry smile. “No.”

“Want to talk about it? I can be a good listener.”

“No.” She stared down at her shoe as she tapped it against the smooth wooden footrest of the wagon. “Not now,” she added, to take some of the sting out of her reply. “I need to get my thoughts clear before I discuss them with another person. But I appreciate the offer.”

“Suit yourself.” He sighed and dragged a hand through his hair.

“We do not have to stop talking. Just…on a different subject.”

He smiled. “Lady’s choice.”

“Why did you undertake this job?”

“That’s direct. You don’t think it was for the money, then?”

“No, I don’t.”

“It’s an awful lot of money.”

“I don’t know you very well, but I have a feeling that you don’t do much only for the money.” She glanced at the horses, the reality in front of her. “Those animals are proof of that. Clean, well-fed, and happy. With little red ribbons in their hair. Most people would not be so kind.”

Benedict smiled at her comments and then his face grew sober. “A lot of the people who lived in those communities—they were friends. They were murdered, plain and simple, and no one seems to know who it was, who benefits from their deaths. It’s rare someone in my position would be able to do something about it.”

“You want to find the murderer or murderers and bring them to justice?”

His grip tightened inadvertently on the reins. “I want to find out who killed them and bring a reckoning.”

Meet the Author:

Chris Pavesic lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, fairy tales, 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.

Find Chris Pavesic Online:

Twitter Handle @chrispavesic

Monday 5 March 2018

The Story Behind the Story: The Boggart of Fairy Falls…

Black Dog by Christopher-Manuel

In the first book of my teen psychic mystery series entitled, Lost and Found: Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, I have a character named Boggart. I’ve even devoted an entire chapter to him. I describe him as a big, black dog who is part pit bull, part hound…and part insane. I don’t blame him really. After all, the poor dog was found at the dump, in the place where Boggart says “stinks, where there’s lots of ugly smells, and lots of birds.” Now before you start feeling sorry for this poor mutt, don’t. Boggart is a force to be reckoned with. And trust me, he should be. Although I named him after a type of Bogey hobgoblin in English folklore that has poltergeist habits, he also has the qualities of the terrifying spirit called Black Dog.

Like my fictional canine, a Boggart can be helpful and sociable with some people (like my main character Meagan Walsh), but most often Boggarts are mischievous, annoying, and frightening. Without making a visual appearance, the Boggart makes itself known by playing tricks on people, such as pulling off their bedclothes. Sometimes Boggart acts are accompanied by terrible noises or laughter. Boggarts can also be mean and nasty, and have been known to scratch, punch, and pinch people. Yikes! The friendly household Boggart, however, acts much like a brownie and will work hard washing, cleaning, and doing heavy farm work if treated well. Hmm…where can I get me one of these creatures? On the flipside, if upset, this spirit will destroy or displace everything in the house and farm buildings.

Black Dog (a.k.a. Black Hound or Black Shuck) is a type of fiend described as a shaggy-haired black dog about the size of a calf with enormous glowing, fiery red eyes. Some are reported to be malicious, and some can be quite benevolent at times. Black Dogs are usually encountered on lonely tracks, ancient roads and crossroads, bridges, and entrances—the places of transition in human lives. They are normally benign if left alone, however to meet Black Dog means death within a year. There are well known instances of Black Dogs appearing to lost travelers or frightened girls traveling alone and guiding them safely home. These creatures also have been known to protect those under attack. Now that sounds like a great guard dog to me!

When I found through my research that Boggarts inhibit a house, churchyard, or live in a body, such as that of a cat or dog, I had a lightbulb moment. I decided to create my own Boggart, making him resemble the Black Dog of English folklore, and added him to my cast of furry characters in Lost and Found. I have to say Boggart transformed into more of a guard dog, than a beast, knowing his job was to protect at all costs, and loyal to the end. But to be on the safe side, if you ever find yourself wandering on one of the back roads in Fairy Falls after dark, make sure you check over your shoulder now and then. Oh, and bring a flashlight. Boggarts abhor the light.