Monday 25 March 2019

Jump into a Romantic Read this Spring with The Star-Crossed Seamstress by Suzanne G. Rogers...

Romance at its finest with this new release from the incomparable Suzanne G. Rogers. This beautifully written sure-to-be-bestseller is an historical romance that will touch your heart as it sweeps you away to an era long gone.

Skylar flees a family scandal in Boston, expecting assistance in society from her English relatives. Once her plans fall apart, however, she is obliged to earn money with her skills as a seamstress. Just when she’s given up on the notion of marriage, her path crosses that of a charming laborer who inexplicably sets her pulse racing.

When wealthy Joe Fiddick hits a patch of bad luck, he seizes the opportunity to do something meaningful by helping a neighbor and her pretty granddaughter with repairs to their cottage. As it turns out, he has more in common with the granddaughter than he realizes…and what they share spells disaster for their budding romance.

Will Joe and Skylar be star-crossed lovers or can the rift between them be mended?


“Let’s start with the window in your workroom,” Joe said. “It can’t open and close properly because the hinges are rusted?”

Skylar nodded. “Yes. I should dearly love to have fresh air, but I cannot seem to force it open.”

He recoiled. “Insupportable! You cannot perspire over a petticoat or suffocate over a seam!”

Skylar couldn’t suppress a giggle. “Or gasp over a gown.”

His eyes crinkled at the corners. “Or faint over a fichu.”

“Or swoon over a sash.” Joe chuckled.

“Or pant over a pantaloon.”

“Or…or…become clammy over a coat.” She wrinkled her nose. “I suppose that last one wasn’t very good.”

“On the contrary, I thought it was splendid. In addition, since I’d just exhausted my cleverness, you win the game.” He made a gesture of invitation. “Will you show me to the window in question?”

“Indeed, I shall. Follow me.”

As Skylar led him into the cottage and down the hall, she had a smile on her lips. Joe was only a laborer, perhaps, but obviously he was possessed of wit as well as good looks. Even though he was poor and lowborn, she imagined he must cause quite a stir in his neighborhood.

In the workroom, Joe unlatched the window, gave it an experimental push, and peered at the hinges. “I’m going to need to pop out the pins on these hinges and sand off the rust. After a drop or two of oil, the window will give you no reason to complain.”

“I hope you’re right.”

When she leaned in closer to examine the hinges, his physical proximity made the fine hair on her forearms stand on end. Her eyes met his and for several heartbeats it was if something unspoken passed between them.

She cleared her throat. “I see what you mean about the rust.”

The Star-Crossed Seamstress can be read alone or as part of The Mannequin Series.

The Mannequin (Book One) is available at your favorite bookstore here.
Grace Unmasked (Book Two) is available at your favorite bookstore here.

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 the website for the Sweet Romance written by Suzanne G. Rogers.

Monday 18 March 2019

Book Tour: The Gimmal Ring by Karen Koski...

She wants the ring and she wants it bad!

Book Details:

Title: The Gimmal Ring
Author: Karen Koski

Page Count: 124

Genres: Urban Fantasy, Adventure, Middle Grade

Publisher: Mirror World Books

About The Gimmal Ring:

Gwendolyn Gimmal desperately wants an invitation to the mysterious Gimmal Gala where her family’s coveted ring is bestowed upon new inductees. It’s not that she particularly likes bling, but because she knows it will unlock exciting secrets and reveal what she believes will be her true life’s path. Her younger brother, Gage, also wants to attend the party, but mostly for the food.

After finding her way into the hidden gala, Gwen learns that The Gimmal Ring is not only a piece of jewellery, but also a secret society of people. Things go awry when their parents are kidnapped from the Gala and held for ransom. Gwen and her brother must solve the clues and find the hidden formula the kidnappers have demanded by midnight, or they will never see their family members again. 

Their newly discovered enhanced abilities, while fun, are not completely reliable. Cracking newspaper codes, deciphering invisible maps, and playing a high stakes game of Enigma Machine Twister, are just some of the challenges they must overcome if they are to succeed in time. The adventure starts when they flush themselves in The Tele-Potti, a teleporting commode, and it all goes down the drain from there.

Read an Excerpt:

Gwen got ready to go to her aunt and uncle’s house, as she did every day after school.  Her dad usually got home late.  Her mom, like always, was gone. Gwen knew that her aunt would be baking up delicious treats for her mail order cookie and tea business. If she timed it right, she would get to sample the latest creations. She put on her shoes and tied them to just the right snugness.  Then she put on her backpack, adjusted the straps to distribute the staggering weight of her advanced textbooks so she wouldn’t topple over. She affixed a baseball cap over her unruly auburn hair at just the right angle to avoid sun exposure on her pale skin. Never too early to prevent wrinkles, she thought. She did a couple of calf raises and shrugged her shoulders, warming up her muscles for the journey. Leaving the outside light on, she exited the side door, locked it, took a deep breath, and set off in the direction of her aunt’s house.
Exactly twenty-two and a half steps later, Gwen let herself into the side entrance that led directly into the pantry. Like a snake shedding its skin, Gwen slithered out of her backpack and coat, and left them in a pile on the floor, where they would stay until she begged her Uncle Stan to give her a ride home.  The smell of cookies lured her into the kitchen. Through the smoke, she could make out the shape of her Aunt Gerri standing at the stove working her magic.

“Fire in the hole!” Aunt Gerri yelled.
Gwen ducked as a pot lid zipped by and narrowly missed her eyebrows that had just grown back. At least all that time practicing my ninja moves came in handy, somewhere,  she thought. She belly-crawled to the safety of the kitchen island and hid behind it until the sparks stopped flying.  Gwen never felt more at home than she did right here.  Even after the crushing disappointment of her brother discovering her hiding spot, again, and the dreadful day she had had at school, Gwen was comforted by the familiar smoke and flying objects in this kitchen.

Staring out the window, Gwen let her mind wander as she watched Gage balance on rocks while attempting to cross Coghill Creek. Their houses were located on sloping, treed lots with a creek that flowed past at the back of the properties. The stream emptied into Lake Erie at the southernmost part of Kingsville, the small town where generations of her family had always lived.  He wobbled once, twice, and then lost the battle as his sneaker-clad foot dunked into the water up to his ankle.  Gage owned rubber boots but he refused to wear them, saying “That was like admitting defeat before you even started”. So instead Gage had the largest, smelliest, wet shoe collection going. Usually watching her brother acting like an idiot was enough to distract her, but not today. Her mind kept replaying the humiliating events of the day. It had all started when Gwen got to school this morning.  It was raining, her hair frizzed and her glasses fogged.  Gwen attempted to navigate the busy hallways peering through her misty glasses. The bell rang and Gwen rushed to class. BIG mistake! Before she knew what was happening, she bounced off of something. Her books went flying and her shoes made a loud, moist squeak.  “I am sooo sor...” Gwen’s apology stopped short when she realized who she had run into. It was Nicole, the self- appointed leader of the popular girls.  Gwen dove onto the ground to retrieve her books.

Nicole glared. “Honestly Gwen, you shouldn’t break wind in public. It’s not very ladylike.”  Nicole watched Gwen’s horrified expression with pleasure. “Perhaps if you did something with that mess you call hair, you would be able to see where you were going.”

Gwen was too mortified to point out that it was her foggy glasses and not her hairdo that was to blame. She fled to the bathroom to scrape together what was left of her dignity. Not a great start to her day, and it only got worse.

Purchase Links:


MW paperback: 

MW Ebook: 


Meet the Author:

Karen Koski writes stories set in magical Windsor and Essex County, Ontario where she was born and raised. Karen’s love of a good mystery inspired her to become a licensed Private Investigator. She is intrigued by anything that is not what it appears to be.

Karen resides in Windsor, Ontario with her husband, two daughters and a Moose.

Enter the Giveaway:

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Monday 11 March 2019

This March Break, Balance the Calm and Chaos in your Life with a Sweet Treat and Relaxing Read...

Face it, we all need breaks! A needed holiday a couple of times a year. A long weekend to unwind. A day off to recharge. Even when we’re working, we need to take at least fifteen minutes away from our jobs after we’ve been working non-stop for two or three hours. Hey, we’re not robots, and if our jobs require us to sit, stand, or walk around for any length of time, our bodies will eventually tire, and we lose our focus. And that could cause plenty of headaches for business owners, retail stores, and manufacturers.
Even when I’m writing a book, I make sure I include plenty of sequels between scenes. It’s kind of like a coffee break (or tea if you’re so inclined) for your reader. Scenes include plenty of activity and emotion, at times keeping readers on the edge of their seats. Sequels are devised to break the tension where there’s less activity, letting the readers’ emotions rest. I use this technique in both my young adult book series, The Last Timekeepers and Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls. This way, there’s a balance between the calm and chaos in every tale I write, and doesn’t leave my reader feeling exhausted at the end of the book.

Ready for a break? How about a slice of Gingerbread Coffee Cake? It’s a twist on what you would think of as seasonal baking, and trust me, this cake is great for your anticipated time out, whether you’re at work or at home working on your next novel or artistic endeavor. With a prep time of 15 minutes and a total time of 1 hour, 25 minutes, this cake serves about 24 of your closest colleagues.

What You Need:

3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

3 tbsp (45 mL) cocoa powder, sifted
1 tbsp (15 mL) ground ginger
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cinnamon
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
½ tsp (2 mL) each salt and ground nutmeg
¼ tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
⅔ cup (150 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups (375 mL) sugar
3 eggs
½ (125 mL) molasses
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
2 cups (500 mL) sour cream

What You Do:

PREHEAT oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease 9 or 10 inch (23 or 25 cm) Bundt pan; dust with flour. In a bowl, whisk together 3 cups flour, cocoa, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cloves; set aside.

IN separate bowl, using electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in molasses and vanilla.

USING mixer on low speed, alternately beat in flour mixture and sour cream, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of sour cream and scraping down side of bowl as necessary.

SCRAPE batter into prepared pan, smoothing top. Bake until tester (toothpick) comes out clean when inserted into center of cake, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack. Invert onto serving plate. Prepare sauce (recipe below) to drizzle over cake.

Coffee Caramel Sauce

1 ½ cups (375 mL) firmly packed brown sugar
¼ cup (60 mL) brewed coffee (brew stronger than package directions)
¼ cup (60 mL) 35% whipping cream, at room temperature
2 tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt

IN medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine sugar and coffee. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until sugar is fully dissolved and mixture is foamy, about 12 to 15 minutes.

REMOVE from heat; stir in cream, butter and salt. Drizzle over gingerbread cake. Slice and serve.

So, now that you’ve baked to your heart’s content, it’s time for your break! Leave those dirty dishes in the sink, pour yourself a cup of your favorite hot beverage, and go curl up on the couch with one of my books. 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 4 March 2019

Enjoy March Break Madness with a Hearty Soup and Young Adult Audible Book by Chris Pavesic...

This soup creates a warm and cozy meal on a late winter or early spring day. As it simmers the house fills with enticing aromas that will have your family clamoring for dinner!

Meaty Barley Soup

2⅓ cups water
1 cup pearl barley
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 carrots, scraped and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
½ tsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
Pinch of salt and pepper
1½ lbs. stew beef cut into bitesize
1 bay leaf
64 oz. beef stock, low sodium works too
1 large can (about 28 oz.) diced tomatoes

RINSE barley in a bowl of water and drain with a sieve while you look for little pebbles or debris.

BRING water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add rinsed barley to the saucepan and return to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook on low heat about 45 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Set pan aside.

In a Dutch oven heat oil on medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook veggies until tender, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

MIX paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Pat meat dry with a paper towel and rub spices on both sides. Move veggies to the sides of the Dutch oven or remove if more room is needed. Brown meat, stirring so all sides of the meat are browned.

POUR broth into pot along with bay leaf. Bring to a slow boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook until meat is tender, about 30 minutes.

STIR in barley and tomatoes. Cook another 15 minutes or until heated through.

While you enjoy your soup, why not listen to a good book? Starter Zone, the first book of my new YA/LitRPG series, The Revelation Chronicles, is now available on Audible!

Audible Version Available
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.
Available Now At:
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Want to learn more about The Revelation Chronicles? Click HERE for updates on this and the other series by Chris. Watch the video on YouTube. 4eee6-chris2bpavesic2bauthor2bphoto

Chris Pavesic is a fantasy author who lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, steampunk, 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. 

Learn more about Chris on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon Author Page.