Monday 27 May 2019

Recipe and Read of the Month: Feelin' Saucy by HL Carpenter...

We like to hit the sauce at lunchtime—no, wait! That didn't sound right! What we meant to say is we like barbeque sauce for lunch! At least, that's our story, and we're sticking to it.

While we're not sauciers or even a saucier's apprentice, we do enjoy experimenting with flavors, because we are well aware that what's sauce for the goose may not be sauce for the chicken.

However, in the case of our Simply Saucy Crockpot Barbeque Chicken, we seldom think outside the box—the box being the carton brick of fresh, sun-ripened Italian tomatoes that is the base of this delicious recipe.

Tomatoes in a box? Yep. We highly recommend that you give your can the boot. Switching to the box will turn you into a superb saucy chef, and the effect on your condiments will be awesome sauce. Pretty soon you'll be hitting the sauce too! (The barbeque sauce, of course!)

Simply Saucy Crockpot Barbeque Chicken

1 box (26.4 oz) finely chopped tomatoes
⅓ cup Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp. sugar or honey
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp black pepper
2-3 cups shredded cooked chicken

Put tomatoes, cheese, sugar, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and black pepper in crockpot. Stir to mix.

Add chicken.

Cook on high setting for 2-3 hours; or low setting for 4-6 hours. Serve on rolls, or eat as a main dish with a side of chips.

While you're celebrating your sauciness, we invite you to enjoy an excerpt from our mystery, Murder by the Books.

A letter from beyond the grave brings accountant Fae Childers face to face with murder, embezzlement, romance, and a hidden family legacy.

Certified public accountant Fae Childers is not an embezzler, despite the belief of the accounting firm that fires her for stealing. But proving her innocence is harder than convincing an IRS agent to allow a deduction. She's lost her mother, her job, her fiancé, and her self-respect. She's running out of money and the lease is about to expire on her apartment.

Then the fortune-telling grandmother Fae never knew existed, whose name and psychic abilities she now learns are also hers, issues a challenge from beyond the grave—a challenge that brings Fae face to face with murder, embezzlement, romance, and a hidden family legacy.

When the mystery of Fae's past collides with the troubles of her present, the situation veers out of control. Her very life is threatened. Who can she trust? The man she's falling in love with? The former fiancé who has already betrayed her once? Or only herself?

With justice, romance, and her future at stake, Fae must overcome personal and professional obstacles to save herself and those she loves. And she's going to have to do it fast, before someone else dies.


The letter arrived on the last Thursday in April, two weeks to the day after I got fired from the accounting firm where I worked for the past decade. August Palmer, my landlord, hand-delivered the letter in person, saying, "The mail carrier stuck this in my box by mistake, Fae."
I took the envelope without bothering to look at it and glanced past Gus, at the patch of brilliant cloudless blue sky framing his shoulders.
Tampa, Florida on the cusp of summer, full of birdsong and the scent of warming pavement. "Beautiful morning," I said, as if I cared.
"Afternoon," Gus said, his voice a low rumbly growl, the product of too many cigarettes and whiskeys in his happily misspent youth. He stood outside the tiny apartment my mother and I rented from him for the past two years and eyed me.
"Still mopin', girl?"
He had shown up on my doorstep every day since the firing with the same question.
Adhering to our new routine, I answered the same way I always did, except this time I didn't bother pasting on a fake smile to accompany the words.
"Nope. Not my style."
"'Scuse me." His tone was as dry as the month he was named for. "Forgot you've been hidin' in the apartment, tap dancing with glee."
I met his gaze. "For hours at a time. Any complaints about the noise?"
He clicked a nicotine pellet against tobacco stained teeth and kept his silence. I regretted my sarcasm. In my forbidden childhood game of describing people in colors, I would have painted Gus early-morning-yellow, the shade of the summer sun before the friendly sheltering coolness of night gave way to the brutal heat of day.
The description would have horrified him.
"How are the treatments going?"
He grunted. "They tell me I ain't gonna croak this week."
"Glad to hear it. You might want to keep your distance from me, though. I'm jinxed."
Gus shook his head. "You gotta get over them fools, girl."
"That's no way to talk about my former bosses." Especially since I looked at the real fool in the mirror each morning. I had believed dedication, loyalty, and hard work were appreciated by the partners of Slezia + Fyne, CPA, PA.
Ha, ha.
"Anyway, I am over them. Way over."
"Yeah?" He was not convinced. "You over the suit, too?"
"Sure am." Once again, I stuck with our new routine and gave him the same answer I always did. "I have moved on."
Once again, the lie carried the bitter taste of betrayal. The suit was Scott Piper, former co-worker, fiancé, and man of my dreams. The suit dumped me the day of the firing.
Gus snorted. "Funny how much movin' on resembles standing around feeling sorry for yourself."
In my opinion, wallowing in self-pity was marginally more mature than throwing a temper tantrum. Even if it hadn't been, I didn't have the energy for a tantrum. I barely had the energy to maintain my half of the daily conversation with Gus. "Have you been watching that big bald guy on television again?"
He stuck out his chin. "Don't get smart. You know I'm right. You're mopin'."
"Only because I can't tap dance."
He was right. In the eight months since my mother's death, I had slogged through an ever-darkening morass of the malady Gus called moping, and what his favorite celebrity psychologist might consider the early stages of depression. The firing and the accompanying fallout shoved me even closer to the edge of a black abyss.
My moping was self-absorbed, given the burdens others faced, but what could I say? One woman's detour was another's stop sign.
"You ought to call your girl pal, that one you worked with. What's her name? Sarah? Have you heard from her?"
No. And I didn't want to hear from her, much less call her.
I shook my head.
"Your ma would have been annoyed with you."
A lump in my throat closed off my voice and I could only nod. He was right about that too. My irrepressible mother believed in taking the positive approach to life. To her, saying negative words or thinking negative thoughts was the same as asking them to come true. She had little patience for pity parties.
Focus on your strengths, Fae, and always keep moving.
My ability to follow her advice vanished with her death. I was slowly turning into the type of recluse the Japanese call hikikomori. Even the simple task of cleaning out Mom's bedroom was beyond me.
"So? You gonna open the letter?" Gus asked.
I turned over the envelope in my hand.
Heavy, officious, dirty white, and mildly threatening, the envelope shrieked of the intimidation perfected by lawyers and the Internal Revenue Service and jolted me right out of my apathy. My breath hitched in my throat.
Had Gary Slezia and Richard Fyne gone back on their word? Had they decided to forego their distaste for publicity and press charges against me?

Mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter write family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, they enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity.

Visit their website to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happeni ng in Carpenter Country.

Stay connected on Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, GoodReads, and their Amazon Author Page.

Monday 20 May 2019

Book Tour: Blackflies and Blueberries, Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, Book 2 by Sharon Ledwith...

Welcome to the 1-Week Virtual Book Tour for Blackflies and Blueberries (Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, #2) by Sharon Ledwith!

About Blackflies and Blueberries:

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.
Blackflies and Blueberries Cover:

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Publish Date: May 17, 2019

Excerpt :

Donovan jumped up for the keys, but it was no use. Hard work may have given him an athletic build, but fate hadn’t been kind in the height department. At five foot six, he had no chance against Bean’s six foot frame. Brook, however, seemed to have a better idea. She plowed her elbow into Brett’s rib cage, making him cave instantly, and she snatched the keys out of his hand.
“Isn’t that bad karma for a self-proclaimed witch, Freak?” Brett asked, rubbing his ribs.
“Bad only if I hurt you for selfish reasons, Beanie-brain,” Brook cracked, passing Donovan the keys. “Come on, hero, let’s go find us a ring to make our girl smile.” Brook pushed Donovan past Brett and down the hall.
“I wouldn’t trust Johnson with my ride,” Brett said in a raised voice. “The only four wheels he’s managed to master is his skateboard, and even then he has a hard time making the curves.”
A chorus of guffaws erupted behind Brett. Diana peered around him. It was Brett’s pit crew of car club jerkies, all sporting the same clothes, same attitudes, and same egos. Brett bent down close to Diana. She could smell cigarettes on his black leather coat and his white T-shirt reeked of strong cologne. She crinkled her nose and tried to step back, but couldn’t. Her locker blocked her exit. Bravely, she swallowed hard, tasting the remnants of her medication, and glanced up to look Brett in the eye. His coffee-brown eyes held hers for a split second. He raked his wavy brown hair off his pimply forehead and smiled, showing off his straight, perfect white teeth, his reward for a few years of torture wearing braces during the last grades of elementary school. Brett parted his wide lips. His tongue darted out to caress them a way a snake would. He moved closer to Diana and craned his head down to her ear to whisper, “Diana, I know it must be hard for you today of all days. I know what it’s like to lose a parent. It sucks. I can comfort you, make you forget.”
Diana’s eyes widened. Forget? That did it. Being a pompous jackass was one thing, but openly propositioning her while telling her to forget about her mother was quite another.
In the time it took for her to exhale, Diana planted both hands firmly on Brett’s expansive chest. Brook mentioned that Brett had a nipple pierced the same day she had her nose done. She braced herself. Then, not knowing which one of his nipples were pierced, she positioned first her left hand and, feeling nothing, seized Brett’s left nipple with her right hand and twisted. His face broke out in a sweat, contorting grotesquely with each tweak she delivered. In seconds, he was down on his knees in front of her, his breathing harsh, his skin pallid.
Slowly, Diana bent her head down to Brett’s ear, so that only he could hear her whisper, “Your father, unlike my mother, died of a heart attack while doing the nasty with his secretary. So, no, you don’t know how hard it is for me today. Nor could you, or anyone else,” She released her hold on Brett, and pushed him away.
Brett scrambled to his feet, cupping his chest as though he’d been shot or stabbed, or both. Anger exploded across his face. Diana’s eyes darted from the left to the right. There was a crowd around them, holding out their cell phones while waiting for Brett’s comeback.
Brett lunged to make his move, but one of his buddies grabbed his shoulder. “Brett, teacher’s coming.”
Diana looked down the hall. Ms. Fisk was headed their way. Cloaked in an oversized white lab coat, her frizzy brown hair bounced wildly off her thick, black glasses. It made her look more like a frazzled, mad doctor than Diana’s grade eleven science teacher. The crowd splintered off into groups; some went down stairs, others went up. The rest fanned out toward their lockers, leaving Diana and Brett alone for the moment. As Ms. Fisk passed by, she nodded a curt ‘hello’ before entering the classroom closest to Diana’s right.
A shadow engulfed Diana’s whole body. Brett, now inches away from her, slammed his hand against her locker, making her wince. Diana’s stomach hardened. Brett’s breathing was shallow, his breath stale. “You sure have the nerve, judging my father, when your mother was probably out screwing around, too. If you ask me, MacGregor, your mother got what she deserved.”

Publisher:  Mirror World Publishing

Follow the Tour:

About the Author:

Escape to the past and have a blast

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith at the following online places:

Sharon’s Website:

Sharon’s Facebook Page:!/seledwith

Twitter: @sharonledwith

Amazon Author U.K. Page:

Buy Blackflies and Blueberries:

Mirror World Publishing: 


Kobo (CA): 

Barnes & Noble: 

Apple Books: 

Enter the Giveaway:

Friday 17 May 2019

Celebrating Victoria Day Long Weekend in the Best Way with the Release of Blackflies and Blueberries, Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, Book 2…

A book launch is a BIG deal for an author. It’s the culmination of the blood, sweat, and tears needed to get his or her book into the hands of their readers. It’s no small feat either. So many people are involved in this process. At the start of any book launch, I include my dedication and acknowledgements to not only show my gratitude to those mentioned, but to reveal to all you readers out there that it takes a village to publish a book. So, without further ado, here are the people who have helped and inspired me to write Blackflies and Blueberries


For my brother, Gregg. Thank you for always supporting me and having my back throughout the journey of our lives. I truly appreciate you.


As always, life is a team effort and a cooperative venture. Nothing is done without the help and support of others. The following people are in some way connected to the fabric of this work, to which I am eternally grateful:

Thank you to the amazing owners and staff at Mirror World Publishing. To Justine Alley Dowsett, my kick-ass editor, and to her partner-in-life and words, as well as my line editor on this book, Robert Dowsett. Special thanks to Sabrina Wiese, who helps sell my reading wares at all those book fairs and events Mirror World Publishing attends throughout the year. I truly appreciate all your support, investment, and creative expertise during our journey together.

Thank you to my mother-in-law Alice ‘Toshy’ Ledwith, my inspiration for creating ‘Gertie Ellis’. I will always love you, and still miss you after all these years. A special thanks to Martin and Lynn Band, who supplied me with the photo of the tri-domed ‘Hobbit’ house on the cover, and to my first beta reader, Linda Toner Fisher, who offered some wonderful feedback to make this book better. And always, I’m so very grateful and blessed for my hubby Mike, my forever anchor.

A special shout out goes to Christine Hayton and Pamela Goldstein for whipping the tagline and blurb for this book into tip-top shape. Thank you for your expertise and camaraderie in this crazy writing business, ladies. A huge thank you goes out to my Authors Moving Forward group for their ongoing love and support, and especially to our fearless leader, Sloane Taylor who has kept this group going through her tireless passion and endless belief in all of us.
Last but not least, I want to thank all the women and men who volunteer as tutors at their local literacy counsels to help better the lives of others struggling with reading the most basic prose. You make this world a better place to live in through your kindness, generosity, dedication, and love of the written word.

Need some reading material for the long weekend? Here's a snippet of Blackflies and Blueberries, the second installment of Mysterious Tales from Falls teen psychic mystery series…

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.
Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mystery Series:
Lost and Found, Book One Buy Links:
Blackflies and Blueberries, Book Two Buy Links:

Enter the Giveaway:

Monday 13 May 2019

Guest Post: Stop the Plane and Order Me a Carriage by Regency Author Susan Lodge...

Wedged in the middle seat of the middle row of a 747 for upwards of twelve hours, my mind dwelt on the fact that bobbing along in a post chaise, or swinging in a hammock below decks, could not be much more agonizing then traveling economy on a long haul flight. I used to enjoy airplanes. I could happily gaze from the window seat marveling at anything that appeared through a chink in the clouds. But one flight to Australia was a test of both mind and body.

It all starts go wrong at check in. I cannot secure a window seat, the flight is delayed and when we finally get to board...

Gripe 1. The trek through business class to get to economy.

I openly salivate over the spacious seating in business class as we are herded down the isle to steerage. The occupants of those designer cubicles tantalizingly stretch their limbs and flex their toes as we pass. I avoid their apologetic eyes and pitying smiles.

Gripe 2. Hand baggage

This appears to have evolved in the last few years from modest shoulder bag to sturdy case complete with wheels. As they are being hoisted, with a great deal of grunting and thrusting into overhead lockers that are clearly not built to accommodate them, the boarding process reduces to snail pace. Why do they need that much hand baggage ? There's not room to swing a cat let alone unpack and utilize a case full of gear.

Gripe 3. Invasion of space.

The passengers sitting either side of me have claimed the hand rests rendering me straitjacketed in seat. Even worse a rogue foot is gradually edging its way into my allotted leg space. I try to stem the steam from my ears and reflect how lucky I was on my last flight when I sat next to the perfect passenger. He was totally besotted with his female companion and they seemed to merge together in one seat- thereby leaving me a nice lot of space. Not sure what he was trying to achieve in such a restricted area. But if they were fidgeting (so to speak) they were at least being quiet about it.

Gripe 4. Reclining seats

I have the desire to lop something heavy into the seat in front when it falls back into my already limited personal space. Batman Returns is now being viewed two inches from my face. I can't focus on the screen so switch it off, put my head back and try to relax.

Gripe 5. Touch screens attached to back of seats .

I don't begrudge the small person behind using their touch screen even though they have not quite mastered the art. The incessant tattooing vibrates on the back of my head. After fifteen minutes it is clear they can find nothing to amuse them on the TV or film menus. The assault stops and I hold my breath willing them to go to sleep - but alas they have become bored and proceed to drum their feet on back of my seat. My unscheduled full body massage is now complete.

Gripe 6.  Food.

I manipulate the multiple contents of tray carefully, arranging the most promising item in secure position. However as I unpack the plastic cutlery I decide to take Food off gripe list. Its arrival has caused the person in front to get their seat out of my face and the tattooing on the back of my head to stop.

There is, of course, an upside to this journey.

As the plane transports me to the other side of the world, my fellow passengers doze off. Ah bliss - I can now switch on my Kindle and in my forced confinement escape to my own private library.

Now, let's get back to the travel in Regency times. There was a particular coach journey that Esmie Elstone has nightmares about, whilst she endeavoured to escape the repercussions of an unfortunate wager.

Indulge in a bit of romantic intrigue with my latest release.

Esmie Elstone is thrown into panic when she hears of Captain Rockford’s return. But she is determined that the days of him interfering with her life are over. His ruthless meddling during his last visit had resulted in her being foisted on her aunt for a third pointless season in London.

To alleviate the boredom of society life, Esmie helps run a discreet betting enterprise under the guise of a sewing club. But there are some things you just shouldn’t wager on, and Esmie’s integrity is soon put to a dangerous test.

Richard Rockford had known Esmie almost all her life. As neighbours, her father, Admiral Elstone, had depended on Richard to keep an eye on his daughter when he was away at sea – a responsibility he had always taken on willingly. But her cruel and thoughtless actions, from the day he had left four years earlier, had shaken him. Now, he was back, and he wanted answers.

But when Esmie tumbles into a treacherous conspiracy, can he really turn his back on her?

Susan Lodge’s first publishing success was a story purchased by a major UK magazine followed by a drawer full of rejections. Finally a breakthrough gave her the confidence to seek and secure a publisher for her historical romance novels Only a Hero Will Do and Rebellious Cargo.

After working in several cities including London and Bristol, she and her husband moved down to the Hampshire coast to raise their family.

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

Monday 6 May 2019

Blueberry Breakfast Goodies by Author Chris Pavesic...

In anticipation for my upcoming release, Blackflies and Blueberries, Book 2 of Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls teen psychic mystery series this May, I’ve invited author friend, Chris Pavesic to invade my virtual kitchen and create her mouth-watering Blueberry Muffins for this special occasion. That said, Chris is a talented author in her own right (or write – LOL), so I’ve asked her to share her recent young adult fantasy LitRPG book with us today. Take it away, Chris, the kitchen is all yours…

When writing it is nice to have some quick & easy recipes to make for my family. Because of the fresh, local fruit and yogurt these muffins are healthier than most and go terrific with a cup of hot coffee.

The muffins are naturally sweetened with seasonal, local fruit (blueberries.) A touch of sugar is added to help cream the butter and is also sprinkled on top. You can eat them warm or prepare them the day before for a breakfast treat.

Chris Pavesic’s Quick & Easy Blueberry Muffins

½ cup butter, softened
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup vanilla yogurt
2½ cups fresh blueberries
1 tbsp. granulated sugar for topping extra butter for greasing the muffin pan

PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

GREASE muffin pan with butter.

MIX butter until creamy in a medium-size bowl. Add sugar and beat until pale and fluffy.

ADD eggs, beating well.

STIR in vanilla, baking powder, and salt.

WITH spoon, fold in half of flour then half of yogurt into batter; repeat. Fold in blueberries. There is no need to over-mix it.

SPOON into muffin cups and sprinkle sugar topping onto each muffin.

BAKE 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and springy to touch.

Enjoy a brief glimpse into my latest novel Travelers Zone , book two in The Revelation Chronicles series, while you delight in your muffins.

Above the tree line floats an airship close to three hundred feet long with a slightly rounded wooden hull. Ropes attach the lower portion of the ship to an inflated balloon-like aspect, bright white in color with an identification symbol, a red bird with white-tipped feathers extended in flight, inside a round yellow circle in the center of the canvas. The deck is manned with archers and swordsmen. There are two sets of fore and aft catapults.

What I don’t see are cannons or any other type of a gun large enough to account for the sound of the explosion.

The ship pivots in the air, coming around to point directly at what looks like an oncoming flock of five large birds. Or creatures. They are too big and too strange looking to be birds. They drift closer, flapping their wings.

A moment passes before I realize that they are not creatures either. They are some sort of gliders. A person hangs below each set of the feathered wings, which flap and move with mechanical precision in a sky washed out by the morning sun.

The archers nock their arrows and aim at the flock.

The gliders draw in their wings and dive toward the deck, covering the distance in a few heartbeats. Most of the arrows fly uselessly past the attack force and fall like black rain from the sky. The archers aimed and released the volley too late.

The forward catapult releases a torrent of small rocks at the lead glider. It is a scatter-shot approach that proves effective. There are so many missiles that it is impossible to dodge them all.

But at the moment the stones strike, the other four let loose with fireballs. Spheres of crackling flame spring from their hands, glowing faintly at first and then with increasing brightness. The balls of fire shoot from their hands like bullets from a gun and fly toward the ship, exploding. Pieces bounce off the hull and fall to the ground, throwing hissing, burning globs of magic-fueled fire in all directions, setting everything they touch aflame.

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-chris2bpavesic2bauthor2bphotoChris 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.