Monday 30 December 2019

2020: A New Decade. A New Perspective…

First Book Launch in 2012

Wow, that decade zoomed by! I honestly don’t know where those ten years went, but what I do know for sure (quoting Oprah) is that a lot has happened to me personally and professionally since 2010. I’ve lost some people (and pets) by death, and by choice (toxic relationships), worked with two publishing companies and one literary agency, had my hopes dashed only to realize that it was for my highest best anyway, and transitioned from living in cottage country to surviving in the suburbs of sultry, southern Ontario. I’ve had a total of five books published (Woohoo), done book readings without breaking out in a sweat or fainting, and though self-doubt creeps in from time to time, I’ve learned what self-love really means in this crazy, on demand world we are presently living in. Rather than go on and on, I thought I’d share my decade experiences by breaking it down for you in three categories:

What have I accomplished in the last 10 years?

So much! I started my blogging journey May 4th, 2011 before I even had a publishing deal—which BTW—I received in August of that same year with a new publishing company called Musa Publishing. This is where I earned my author chops, so to speak. What was expected of an author—which was pretty much everything from promoting to marketing to creating a social media presence to writing my next book, and what a publisher did for their authors. I went from zero experience on the internet to feeling quite comfortable navigating through cyber-space. I received a grant to help build a website to house my first book: The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis and the ones that followed, and celebrated the best book launch ever on May 19th, 2012 surrounded by friends and family who knew how hard I’d worked trying to get published for over fifteen years. I wrote the prequel to The Last Timekeepers series, and received another contract with Musa Publishing. Then…everything changed.

 A few Mirror World Publishing Authors
We moved from our house on the lake to a house in the suburbs in the summer of 2014. What I couldn’t have foreseen was Musa Publishing would close their doors in February 2015, leaving over 300 authors stranded, without contracts or support. Thankfully, I had attended a book expo in November 2014, and there I met my future publisher, Mirror World Publishing. In the last five years, we’ve worked together to bring two young adult book series out into the world, The Last Timekeepers time travel adventure series, and Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls teen psychic mystery series. And since then, I haven’t looked back.

Now that the fruits of my labors are realized, I know I need to continue on my path to write, promote, market, engage, and connect with people who are looking to escape into my fictional worlds. So, it is my hope to write books that will entertain, educate, and inspire both young and young-at-heart readers for generations to come.

What are the lessons I learned in those years?

Being an author isn’t for the faint of heart. I’m so not kidding. The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that no one is going to care more about your book than YOU do. Period. So do the tough stuff. Get your hands dirty. Experiment. Beg for book reviews. Share helpful content. Be kind to others going through the same thing. Always add value. Go the extra mile. Think of all these acts as your karma bank account, and it will compound by leaps and bounds.

Make a business plan. Remember, writing is a business. So treat it this way. I began writing my ‘Master Business and Life Plan’ on March 9, 2011, when I was researching how to start up a blog. This plan has evolved and grown throughout the last nine years, and will continue to do so. I’ll admit, not everything gets crossed off the plan, but it does give me an overview on where to adjust for the future, and where I’d like to be at the end of the year.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. At the beginning of this decade, the thought of standing up in front of an audience to read an excerpt or visit a school to share my writing journey with students made my teeth itch and want to hide among the shadows. But, I authored up. I faced my fears, and pushed myself enough to get over whatever it was that made me feel this way. Lack of self-confidence and self-esteem be damned. I learned to love who I’d become, what I’d accomplished, and where I’m heading these past ten years. And from where I stand, the future looks so bright, I’m gonna need shades!

The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventure Series (so far...)
What do I need to let go of, drop or release that doesn’t serve me?

This is a BIG one: Stop comparing myself to other successful authors. By all means, I should learn from them because success leaves clues, but my journey is not the same as their journey or experiences, so there’s really no comparison. I must drop this, put on a pair of blinders, and focus on MY path.

This is a HARD one: Approval from others. Since we were children, all we wanted was attention —first from our parents, then friends, later co-workers and bosses, and loved ones. We’re hard-wired for this. The truth is that the only person whose approval really matters is our own. That’s it. We need to have our own backs. Trust ourselves enough to stand in our truth. This will definitely be a work in progress for me.

This is an HONEST one: Releasing expectations. When I was a girl, I had a plaque hanging on my bedroom wall that said, ‘Blessed are those who do not expect, for they won’t be disappointed.’ Now that’s some sage advice! So, going back in time, as I love to do when writing my books, I realize having expectations gets in the way of what the Universe has planned for me. Adopting the mindset, ‘Everything happens for me, not to me’ has helped tremendously, and I know that by releasing expectations, I make room for more positive energy to come into my life.

Released in 2017 and 2019: Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls (so far...)
As this decade closes out, I encourage you to ask these three questions, and see how far you’ve come. You just might realize that ‘you’ve come a long way, baby’! Please share your findings if you feel obliged. Would love to read your comments. Cheers, and thank you for reading my blog. Happy New Year, and wishing you and your loved ones, health, happiness, wealth, and all the best in the next ten years ahead!

Monday 23 December 2019

A Holiday Feast Fit for a Family by Sloane Taylor...

Christmas Eve

December 24

My favorite day of the year! We celebrate with a houseful of friends and relatives by serving a sit-down dinner complete with crystal glasses, all the pretty dishes I’ve gathered over the years, and what I call my “good” flatware. Each year I try to create a memorable meal such as the one listed here.

This elegant dinner, with marvelous flavors, is easy to prepare. On a tight schedule? Most of the meal can be assembled in advanced. Look for the ** in the instructions for the stopping point. Continue cooking on Christmas Eve. I suggest you make extras and freeze them for future use. You’ll be glad you did.

Mock Chicken Legs
Roasted Potatoes
Snow Peas with Lettuce & Chives
Sautéed Mushrooms
White Wine – Chablis

Mock Chicken Legs
Use equal amounts of the three meats. If you are anti-veal, the beef and pork alone are still great. Increase their amounts to 1½ pounds (750g) each.

1 lb. (500g) beef eye of round or other high-quality roast, cut into 2 in. (5cm) cubes
1 lb. (500g) pork tenderloin, cut into 2 in. (5cm) cubes
1 lb. (500g) veal shoulder, cut into 2 in. (5cm) cubes
Skewers about 6 – 8 inches (15 – 20cm) long
3 eggs
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1½ cups (200g) seasoned bread crumbs, possibly more
Olive oil

Alternate the meat types as you skewer them. Set aside on waxed paper.

** Stop here if you plan to cook the legs another day. If you made extras, this is the time to freeze them.  Lay the skewers to cook on a cookie sheet. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate.

On the day of serving, cover a platter or cookie sheet with waxed paper. Combine eggs and pepper in a flat bowl. Pour breadcrumbs into another dish. Dip skewers, one at a time, into egg mixture. Roll in bread crumbs then set them back onto the waxed paper. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to set the coating.

Preheat oven to 350° F

Heat ½ inch
(1.25cm) olive oil in a frying pan set over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, carefully lay in a few skewers and brown well on all sides. As they cook set them into a baking dish, stacking the skewers is fine.

Cover the dish and bake for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until fork tender.

Do NOT add any liquid to the meat. This dish produces its own fantastic sauce.

Roasted Potatoes
These potatoes are definitely out of the norm, but they are great with any meat dish.

3 tbsp. (45ml) olive oil
3 tbsp. (45ml) cider vinegar
1 tbsp. (15ml) kosher salt
1 tsp. (5ml) dried thyme
1 red potato per person, quartered but not peeled

Preheat oven to 425° F (220°C).

In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegar, salt, and thyme.

Place potatoes in a large plastic bag. Pour mixture over them and gently shake bag to coat evenly.

Spread potatoes in an even layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle remaining mixture over them. Bake until potatoes are toothpick tender and slightly browned, 50 minutes.

Snow Peas with Lettuce & Chives
This recipe from France that serves two is one you will want to serve often. Simply increase the ingredient amounts proportionally when you prepare this dish for more people.

4 oz. (125g) snow peas
2 tbsp. (25g) butter
Pinch of sugar
½ Boston lettuce, shredded
1 tbsp. (15ml) chives, chopped fine, or 1½ tsp. (7.5ml) dried
2 green onions, sliced fine be sure to include the green stems

Trim ends off peas with a sharp knife. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Be careful not to let this burn.

When the foam subsides stir in peas. Stir in sugar. Cover and cook 5 minutes.

Add lettuce, chives, and onions. Gently toss until lettuce has wilted.

Scoop into a bowl and serve.

Sautéed Mushrooms recipe found under Veggie section in the Index.

Christmas Day

December 25

After we entertain Christmas Eve, we tear through the house cleaning up before all the kids and grands come for brunch Christmas Day. This meal is wonderful because so much can be prepared well in advance.

Breakfast Souffle
Hash Browns
Fresh Fruit Salad
Mini Croissants
Christmas Cookies & Leftover Desserts

Breakfast Soufflé
1 lb. (½kg) ham, bacon, or breakfast sausage
9 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups (750ml) milk
1 tsp. (5ml) dry mustard
Diced green, red, and/or yellow pepper to taste
½ lb. (57g) sharp cheddar cheese, grated
½ lb. (57g) Swiss or Gruyere cheese, or a combination of the two, grated
Diced onion to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 – 1 in. (2.54cm) slices Vienna or French bread, cubed

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Dice ham or bacon. If you use ham, set aside in the bowl you use for the eggs. Fry bacon to the crispness you prefer. Drain on paper towels. If you use breakfast sausage, fry meat until no longer pink. Be sure to break up any clumps. Drain meat in a colander while you continue to prepare the soufflé.

Add all ingredients, except the bread, to eggs. Stir well. Gently stir in bread.

Pour mixture into an ungreased 9 x 13-inch (33 x 22cm) glass baking dish. Bake 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center has no egg clinging to it.

This dish can be assembled one or two days ahead of time. On serving day allow the soufflé to sit on your counter 1 – 2 hours before you bake it.

Leftovers are excellent from the microwave.

Hash Browns
If you need to increase the hash browns recipe for a larger group of people, it’s best to sparingly add more garlic powder. As is this recipe serves 6. Leftovers reheat beautifully.

3 russet potatoes (about 1½ pounds), peeled
1½ tsp. (7.5ml) garlic powder, not salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil

Shred potatoes on the large holes of a box grater or use the coarse grater disk on a food processor. Transfer them to a bowl of cold water. Allow them to soak for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and then rinse under cold water. You do this to remove the starch that makes hash browns gummy.

Transfer shreds to a kitchen towel. Gather together ends of towel and twist over sink, squeezing firmly to wring out as much liquid as possible. This step creates crisp hash browns. Transfer potatoes to a medium bowl and toss with garlic powder and pepper. Be sure to evenly distribute the seasonings.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes, press down to form a thin layer and cook for a minute or two. Stir and then press down again. Cook until a dark golden crust forms, about 5 minutes.

Turn potatoes in sections. This is easier than trying to turn the food as a whole. Continue to fry until hash browns are crisp and browned all over, 5 minutes or so. Transfer to paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Fresh Fruit Salad
1 banana, peeled
1 pear, cored
1 tbsp. (15ml) lemon juice
¼ pineapple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
10 seedless red grapes, halved
10 blueberries
10 raspberries, optional

Slice banana into bitesize pieces. Scoop into a medium-sized bowl. Dice pear and add to bowl. Sprinkle lemon juice over fruit to stop it from turning brown and mix well.

Gently fold in remaining fruit.

Spoon into a glass bowl, cover with cling wrap, and chill until time to serve. Leftovers are still good the next day.

1 bottle sparking white wine or champagne, cold
1 carton orange juice, cold
Tall slender glasses

Fill glasses half full with wine. Tip the glass slightly as you pour to retain the fizz. Top off with orange juice. Don’t stir. That will destroy the bubbles.

May you spend all the holidays of your life filled with friends, laughter, and seated around a well laden table ~ Sloane

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning romance author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor's first solo venture into non-fiction was a Couples Cookbook with eighty of her favorite recipes, DATE NIGHT DINNERS, Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening. ROMANTIC MEALS TO DINE AL FRESCO is Taylor’s latest cookbook and contains 104 exciting recipes. 

Excerpts from her books and free reads can be found on her website, blog, and her Amazon Author Page.

Monday 16 December 2019

Nostalgic Christmas Treats and a Trip to Fairy Falls...

Here’s a new twist on an old favorite that will leave you longing for those good old days when family holiday get-togethers were spent hanging with your cousins, and playing with your new toys at your grandparents’ house. Not only perfect for the dessert table, these holiday-inspired muffins also make wonderful gifts. Fill a festive tin from the dollar store to create the perfect present for teachers, baby-sitters, hair-stylists, and neighbors.

Christmas Pudding Muffins

1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
½ cup milk
1¼ cups mincemeat
6 glace cherries, halved

PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

INSERT cupcake liners into a 12-cup muffin pan.

WHISK flour with sugar and baking powder in a large bowl.

WHISK eggs with butter and milk in another bowl, then stir into flour mixture.

STIR in mincemeat.

SPOON batter into prepared muffin tin.

BAKE until a skewer inserted in a muffin comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.

COOL completely in pan.


1 cup icing sugar, powdered sugar
2 tbsp. milk
Glace cherries

WHISK icing sugar with milk. Brush muffins with glaze and top with glace cherries.

While you’re waiting for your muffins to cool, take a seat in your favorite cozy chair and crack open one of my books. May I suggest a visit to Fairy Falls? I guarantee these books will take you on a journey far away from the busyness of the holiday season.

Fairy Falls was bores-ville from the get-go. Then the animals started talking...

The Fairy Falls Animal Shelter is in trouble. Money trouble. It’s up to an old calico cat named Whiskey—a shelter cat who has mastered the skill of observation—to find a new human pack leader so that their home will be saved. With the help of Nobel, the leader of the shelter dogs, the animals set out to use the ancient skill of telepathy to contact any human who bothers to listen to them. Unfortunately for fifteen-year-old Meagan Walsh, she hears them, loud and clear.

Forced to live with her Aunt Izzy in the safe and quiet town of Fairy Falls, Meagan is caught stealing and is sentenced to do community hours at the animal shelter where her aunt works. Realizing Meagan can hear her, Whiskey realizes that Meagan just might have the pack leader qualities necessary to save the animals. Avoiding Whiskey and the rest of shelter animals becomes impossible for Meagan, so she finally gives in and promises to help them. Meagan, along with her newfound friends, Reid Robertson and Natalie Knight, discover that someone in Fairy Falls is not only out to destroy the shelter, but the animals as well. Can Meagan convince her aunt and co-workers that the animals are in danger? If she fails, then all the animals’ voices will be silenced forever.


The only witness left to testify against an unsolved crime in Fairy Falls isn’t a person…

City born and bred, Hart Stewart possesses the gift of psychometry—the psychic ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. Since his mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Hart has endured homelessness, and has learned ways to keep his illiteracy under wraps. He eventually learns of a great-aunt living in Fairy Falls, and decides to leave the only life he’s ever known for an uncertain future.

Diana MacGregor lives in Fairy Falls. Her mother was a victim of a senseless murder. Only Diana’s unanswered questions and her grief keeps her going, until Hart finds her mother’s lost ring and becomes a witness to her murder.

Through Hart’s psychic power, Diana gains hope for justice. Their investigation leads them into the corrupt world threatening Fairy Falls. To secure the town’s future, Hart and Diana must join forces to uncover the shocking truth, or they risk losing the true essence of Fairy Falls forever.

Thursday 12 December 2019

Santa Arrived Early to Deliver Sloane Taylor's New Cookbook: Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire...

New from Toque & Dagger Publishing an exciting cookbook filled with recipes perfect for celebrating life. Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire, Book 3 in the Meals to Make Together series, is now available in e-book and paperback.

Liven up 2020 with this new cookbook. The 113 taste tempting recipes come together to celebrate 35 traditional, and far from typical, holidays with meals perfect for two or twenty. These complete menus are guaranteed to excite your taste buds and satisfy your most discriminating diner. Start a new tradition by inviting your family into the kitchen for holiday fun.

Entertain like royalty year-round on a working woman’s budget. No exotic or expensive products to buy. These delicious recipes use ingredients already on your kitchen shelves.

Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire is a fun gift for every holiday celebration, hostesses, bridal showers, or the couple who wants to enjoy quality time together.

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor's cookbooks, Date Night Dinners, Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco, and Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire are released by Toque & Dagger Publishing and available at all book vendors.

Excerpts from her books and free reads can be found on her website, blog, and her Amazon Author Page. Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday 9 December 2019

Let’s Get Your Holiday Cooking and Baking Started for FREE…

Who doesn’t love the holidays? You get to bond with family and friends, shop till you drop for that perfect gift, decorate the house to your heart’s desire, plan a meal worthy of gracing your table, and attend all those fabulous parties. Wait…hope I didn’t exhaust you already? Yes, we ALL love holidays and celebrations, no matter what time of year they fall, but it can get a little (okay, a lot) overwhelming when it comes time to prepare for those holiday meals and parties when you’re working a full-time job, and taking care of your family’s needs.

How about some relief from the stress and pressure of figuring out what to serve your hungry guests during holiday get-togethers, events, or celebrations?

Cue a holiday-inspired cookbook written by thirteen busy authors, of various ages and genres, who 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. 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.

Wait, there’s more!

Love is in the air…and kitchen! Sweets and Treats for Someone Special is your go-to recipe book for entertaining on Valentine’s Day, hosting bridal showers and engagement parties, or celebrating that special event with your true love. Written by fourteen proficient and prolific authors, of various ages and genres, the included recipes offer a wide variety of mouth-watering treats, indulgences, and meals to satisfy your loved ones’ cravings and desires. If the thought of cooking a romantic meal or baking a sweet treat for your true love makes you tingly all over, then have we have a gift for you.

So why not have your just desserts? Literally. You’ve got nothing to lose and sultry memories to gain when you download Sweets and Treats for Someone Special. There’s a recipe for even the fussiest lover in your life. Give yourself a gift during the season of love with a sensual cookbook from fourteen writers who would love nothing more than to share their favorite recipes, and fulfill your deepest desires. Bon Appetit!

Both cookbooks are 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, and offer a wide variety of mouth-watering treats, indulgences, and meals to satisfy your loved ones’ cravings and insatiable hunger.

Download your FREE The ABCDs of Cooking with Writers cookbook at Smashwords and Barns & Noble.

Download your FREE Sweets and Treats for Someone Special cookbook at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.

OR head over to my Website and click your choice of cookbook (or both) to download your FREE PDF! Cheers and wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Holiday Season and a Healthy, Happy, and Prosperous New Year!

Monday 2 December 2019

Authors: Are You Ready to Rock the Holiday Events…

Justine and I working the floor at the Christmas Market
In the late fall of 2018, I had the pleasure of attending a Christmas Market in the city of Windsor, Ontario with my publisher, Justine Alley Dowsett who owns Mirror World Publishing. This event was held on the first three Wednesdays of December starting at 4 pm and ending by 8 pm. I looked forward with anticipation to the throngs of new readers and holiday shoppers I would meet there. I had my bowl of candy good to go, and my trusty Santa hat washed and ready. I had my marker and giveaways at my disposal in preparation to hand out, or sign the copious amount of books I’d sell. And I had Justine, my amazing publisher by my side to help pimp our reading wares. Now, in the past five years of being contracted with Mirror World Publishing, I’ve found that Art Markets and Craft Shows are not for the faint of heart and may not be the best venue for authors. However, the three Wednesdays we worked during this holiday event proved to be worth it in the long run. I’d also like to remind all you hard-working authors that if you don’t get a sale at a particular show, fair or event, NEVER underestimate the power of connecting with future readers, and getting the word out about your books.

Below are 5 simple tips I’ve picked up from ‘working it’ at those Christmas Markets:

1. Usually potential customers (a.k.a. readers) are lured to tables when they see books. That’s a no-brainer. Make sure you have an eye-catching banner running across the length of your table and that your books are strategically placed on shelves or in stands (you can purchase these at any dollar store) and positioned together in the same genres.

2. Engage readers immediately and ask them what genre they like to read. Then, go for the sweet spot and ask them the names of their favorite authors. Since my publisher had an array of books and authors of different genres splashed across the table, we had a better chance at filling the readers’ literary needs. For example, some liked fantasy, others were avid young adult fans, so we steered them toward the appropriate section.

3. Have freebies on hand. Book marks, rack cards printed with your book covers and blurbs, and business cards are the staples. Last year, my publisher created mini sampler booklets of the first chapter of some of their books available to purchase, and stuffed them into Christmas stockings to hang off the table. Kids love taking these goodies home, and it gave the parents a chance to check out the book.

4. If children or teens are in tow, move to the front of the table and go for the candy. They’re already staring at bowl, so why not offer something that they love! Even adults love candy, so go with your gut and offer them a sweet temptation. NOTE: Make sure you ask the parent’s permission first.

5. Never ignore anyone, and always end conversations on a positive note whether they purchase a book or not. Hand them a business card, book mark, catalogue of your books, or a signed rack card if available, along with a smile. You never know. They might just buy your book after the holidays!

And so begins the Holiday Craft Shows this year!

BTW - Justine and I have decided to appear at the 2019 Christmas Market at the Windsor Crossings Outlet Mall the first three Wednesdays in December, 4 pm to 8 pm. So if you live in the Windsor-Essex area in Ontario, Canada, please stop by for a chat, peruse our books, and see if you can find that special gift for the reader in your family. At the very least, help yourself to a candy, and grab a book mark or booklet sampler. Happy Shopping!

If you’re an author who loves doing Christmas Bazaars, Art Markets or Craft Shows what tips can you add? If you’re a reader—what lures you to an author’s table at an event? Their book covers? The candy? The freebies? The amount of books offered? Would love to read your comments! Cheers, and thank you for reading my blog. Happy Holidays!

Monday 25 November 2019

Author Guest Post: Double Trouble by Suzanne G. Rogers...

Back in the era of black and white television, The Patty Duke Show reigned supreme. The premise revolved around a rambunctious American girl (Patty Lane) and her identical, sophisticated Scottish cousin (Cathy Lane), who comes to live with her extended American family. Although the two girls resemble one another, they are polar opposites in terms of their tastes and personalities, thus leading to conflict.

Perhaps my memories of The Patty Duke Show might have had a little to do with fashioning the premise for my Victorian novel, Rake & Romance. Inspiration comes from unlikely sources sometimes!

The cousins in Rake & Romance may resemble one another outwardly, but they could not be more different. Blackhearted Lord Gryphon is ungentlemanly in every respect whereas his cousin, Cody Gryphon, is everything worthy in a fellow–and a hero.

Like the first novel in the Beaucroft Girls series, a ruse is involved. Sweet and lovely Juliet isn’t quite as daring as her elder sister, however, and her efforts to create a creditable ruse don’t go quite as she plans.
Enjoy a sneak peek! ~ Suzanne

Juliet’s plans to wed Lord Elbourne come to naught when she discovers he’s obliged to wed an heiress instead. To salvage her dignity, she enters into a ruse with the heiress’s brother, whom she views as a rake. Unfortunately, he’s also the most attractive man she’s ever met.

Cody Gryphon will do anything to see his sister Stephanie wed to Lord Elbourne, including entering into a temporary engagement with her romantic rival. Although he intends to return to Texas as soon as his sister is wed, he finds it increasingly difficult to resist Juliet’s charms. Can a rake and a debutante find their happily ever after?


Cody looked dashing and sophisticated in his elegantly tailored clothes, and Juliet was seized with an attack of nerves. Nevertheless, she cleared her throat and gave him a direct glance meant to convey a businesslike demeanor rather than one of coquetry.
“I’d like you to ruin me.” Despite her best intentions, her words were immediately followed by a blush. Why couldn’t she be more dispassionate?
His eyebrows rose. “What?”
“Just a little ruination, mind you. Nothing that can’t be hushed up in a few months or so.”
“I’m sorry, but I’m not understanding you at all.”
“You’re aware, of course, of the arrangement between Lord Moregate and your father regarding Stephanie and Lord Elbourne.”
“Yes. My father is quite keen on the subject.”
“What you don’t know is that Augustus has been widely expected to propose to me.”
“Actually, I’d heard rumors to that effect.”
Juliet’s eyes widened. “I hope Stephanie hasn’t heard those rumors!”
“Not of which I’m aware.”
A sigh of relief. “Good.”
“I’m sorry for any injury this arrangement has done to you. I can tell you’re quite partial to Lord Elbourne.”
“I am partial to Augustus, and would have accepted his proposal if he’d asked. But after a careful examination of my feelings, I can truly say I’m not in love with him.”
“You’re not?” His eyebrows drew together. “If your feelings aren’t injured, then what’s this about?” “Once society learns Augustus has thrown me off, I’ll become an object of ridicule. I mean to publicly throw him off before anyone hears about his engagement to Stephanie. For that, I need you to ruin me…ever so slightly.”
He looked at her askance. “Won’t your reputation be forevermore tarnished?”
“I’d rather be a little tarnished than humiliated, Mr. Gryphon. An earl is about to pass me over for another woman. Do you really think my prospects will be improved by such a spectacular rejection?” She averted her eyes. “If I’m to be ruined anyway, I’d rather choose the method.”
“Have you no thought to my reputation?”
She waved her hands, dismissively. “Stephanie says you’re a rake, doesn’t she? Therefore, nobody will think less of you than they already do now. Amongst your male acquaintances, I daresay the rumor of a passing indiscretion would be well received. Besides which, you’re leaving for Texas before too long, so what does your reputation matter?”
“Of course.” He folded his arms over his chest. “For the sake of curiosity, what sort of ruination did you have in mind?

Amazon - Google Play - Paperback

Suzanne G. Rogers lives with her husband and son in romantic Savannah, Georgia, on an island populated by deer, exotic birds, and the occasional gator. She's owned by two Sphynx cats, Houdini and Nikita. Movies, books, and writing are her passions.

Learn more about Suzanne G. Rogers on her historical romance blog and her fantasy blog.

Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. Also, be sure to check out her website for the Sweet Romance written by Suzanne G. Rogers.

Monday 18 November 2019

Writers: Are You a Tortoise or a Hare…

We writers tend to fall into two categories. You’re either a tortoise or a hare. What do I mean by that? I guess what I’m trying to get across is that some writers write fast, and can crank out thousands of words in one sitting, while other writers are slower, and write at their own speed and pace to get their books done—even if it takes them years. I’m not talking about whether you’re a plotter or a pantser (writing by the seat of your pants), though you can find out more on that subject in this guest post HERE. I’m talking about whether a writer is prone to being a ‘hare’ (fast writer) or a ‘tortoise’ (slow writer). So, let’s get real, and be honest. Which one are you? A hare or a tortoise?

I must admit, I’m definitely a proud tortoise. Though I mentally (and emotionally) kick myself at times for being such a slow writer. A good day of writing (3-4 hours) consists of over five hundred words—a great day is over a thousand. I know a lot of my slow-downs happen when I need to do some research in the middle of a scene. It’s been suggested to me by the powers that be (my publisher) that I should just highlight the area where the research is needed, and continue on with my writing. Of course, boss-woman is correct, and what she advises makes a heck of a lot of sense. But…um, no. I want, correction need to KNOW what happens in that scene, and if I’m using the proper terms and things found in the time period I’m writing in to move the story forward. For me, finding the historically correct information is vital to finishing the scene. Sigh. I must be built that way.

At times I envy all you, hares out there, with your nimble fingers flying across the keyboard, and your devil-may-care attitudes. You’re the writers who get more than one book written in a year. I truly applaud you for that accomplishment. You’re also the writers who probably have a messy, mucky first draft, and need to go through many drafts to get your final story. Me? I usually have a clean first draft that’s closer to publication than the hare’s speedy attempt at a novel. My mantra in this crazy writing gig is, ‘Slow and steady progress assures success’. So I plod along like the tortoise, much like the one in Aesop’s fable, who ends up crossing the finish line to win the race against the confident, cocky hare. Perseverance, after all, will keep us writers going and going—like that pink Energizer Bunny. Or is it really a hare? Wink.

Confession time! Are you a tortoise or a hare? How has being either one effected the way you approach writing a novel? Do you love the process? Does writing energize you? Would love to read your input and comments. Thank you for spending time with me by reading my blog! Cheers, and have a great week!

For your reading pleasure, may I suggest a visit to Fairy Falls, or if you’re feeling really adventurous, a trip back in time with The Last Timekeepers? Just remember to pack lightly.

Monday 11 November 2019

Guest Post: Remembering the Importance of Trees by Carol Browne...

I’m a tree hugger and always have been. There’s something in my nature that draws me to them like old friends. How gratifying it is for me to see so many other people waking up to how important and precious trees are.

Photo by Studio Dekorasyon on Unsplash
Every oxygen-breathing organism on Earth benefits from the work done by these forest denizens. Their fallen leaves not only nourish the ground they stand in but also feed a network of fungi, plants and small critters essential to the circle of life. The trees hold the land in their roots, preventing soil erosion and landslides. They suck up water and protect the land from flooding. They provide shade, shelter and homes to countless animals, birds and insects. They give us fruit, nuts and medicine; wood for building and fuel. In the rainforests they even create their own weather.

Trees are amazing. And now we need them more than ever. Their ability to capture carbon from the air, to use and store it, while releasing life-affirming oxygen, is vital in the battle against climate change.

We must plant more trees. Anyone with a garden can do that. If you can’t, donate to an organization that will plant trees on your behalf and support campaigns to protect ancient woodland.

We have lost our connection with Nature, that fellowship experienced so profoundly by our ancestors. For far too long we have looked down upon primitive cultures that talked about nature spirits and the wisdom of trees. We dismissed the Druids for worshipping trees. It was all superstition. But we were wrong. The trees have been our allies all the time, even when we turned our backs on them. They remained the guardians of the planet and quietly went about the business of preserving its ecosystem. Now it is imperative we embrace them again as our friends and rediscover that lost connection, before it is too late.

There is a close relationship between trees and writers; don’t they provide us with the paper on which we write our stories? They can even give us the ink to write them with. Ink made from oak galls was favoured by scribes during the Middle Ages and Renaissance because of its permanence and resistance to water and it still enjoys a niche market today among artists.

Born in Stafford in the UK, Carol Browne was raised in Crewe, Cheshire, which she thinks of as her home town. Interested in reading and writing at an early age, Carol pursued her passions at Nottingham University and was awarded an honours degree in English Language and Literature. Now living and working in the Cambridgeshire countryside, Carol usually writes fiction, but dabbles in non-fiction and is a contracted author with Dilliebooks.

 Stay connected with Carol on her website and blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Being Krystyna; A story of survival in WWII

It’s 2012, the year of the London Olympics, and for young Polish immigrant Agnieszka, visiting fellow countrywoman Krystyna in a Peterborough care home is a simple act of kindness. However, the meeting proves to be the beginning of a life-changing experience.

Krystyna’s stories about the past are not memories of the good old days but recollections of war-ravaged Europe: The Warsaw Ghetto, Pawiak Prison, Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, and the death march to freedom.

The losses and ordeals Krystyna suffered and what she had to do to survive, these are horrors Agnieszka must confront when she volunteers to be Krystyna’s biographer.
Will Agnieszka find a way to accomplish her task, and, in this harrowing story of survival, what is the message for us today?

Buy Links Dilliebooks - Amazon UK - Amazon US