Sunday 25 October 2020

The Perfect Pairing for Halloween: A Chocolate Recipe and Children's Read by Tina Ruiz...

Morning or afternoon, everyone. I want to share this chocolate hummus dip/spread recipe with you. The photo is stock because I kind of made a mess in my kitchen and the picture I took doesn't look as appealing as this one. Maybe because I couldn't stop taking spoonfuls out and shoving this mixture into my mouth. LOL! Anyway, while I've made hummus before, I've never made a chocolate version. Already I think it's fabulous on the chocolate chip pancakes I also made this morning. Next, I’ll try it on toast for lunch today.

On A Side Note - I am a girl who likes to freeze things, and pancakes are no exception. Package them in twos, or enough for one serving, with a parchment sheet in between them. This makes it easier when you want to separate them later. To reheat, pull them apart, and either throw them in a frying pan, or on a plate and slide them into the microwave oven for 2 minutes. Easy peasy.

Back to the hummus. Here's the recipe for the healthy version I make.

Chocolate Hummus

15 oz. can of chickpeas
2 tbsp. aquafaba (chickpea water)
½ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup maple syrup
½ cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt

Open a can of chickpeas and save 2 tablespoons of the water, also known as aquafaba, then drain the can.

Add chickpeas, aquafaba, and the remaining ingredients to a food processor. Blend until smooth.

Since I have your attention, I'd like to announce my latest Halloween children's book - A Haunting Birthday Party available on Amazon. This is the second children's book I've written with a Halloween theme. A Halloween Party was book one.

As I promised my grandchildren, and others who truly enjoyed the first Halloween Children's Book, this one also contains silly character names. Example: Harry Pitts (harry arm pitts) is the narrator in this book, and the birthday party is for Peppa Roni and her twin brother, Reece A. Roni. It takes place at the Ray Zen (raisin) Restaurant, where people like Judge Mental and his wife, Judy, are enjoying a lovely meal. Kitti Letter (kitty litter) is the waitress for that side of the room, and her job is to give all the kids a spooktacular evening. Walter Melon (water melon) is the magician, Eve Ning (evening) is the cashier, Miss Turi (mystery) is another waitress, and Mr. I. Ball (eyeball) is the manager of the restaurant.

As you can see, this is a fun treat for young and old alike. I'm excited for the world to see my second Halloween children's book.


The story is about Peppa Roni and her twin brother, Reece A. Roni and Reece are having their 9th birthday party in the neighborhood restaurant.

The storyline is quite charming, and because you will try to figure out the double meaning of the fun names while you read, this is bound to become your child’s favorite book.

This delightful paperback book is another wonderful collaboration from writer Tina Nykulak Ruiz and illustrator Ishika Sharma. This creative duo knows how to put life and fun into children's books to encourage young people to read. As with all of Tina's children's stories, there's a moral at the end.

Tina Ruiz was born in Germany, but her family moved to Canada when she was in grammar school. She began writing children's stories when her own were little. Through the years Ruiz wrote twenty-seven books. Most of those stories went into readers for the Canada Board of Education. Two did not. Mayor Shadoe Markley is a story about a ten-year-old girl who becomes Mayor for a Day through a contest at school. 

Little did Ruiz know that story would “change the world.” The book came out at early January 1988. By the end of that same month, everyone was calling the mayor's office at City Hall, trying to get the forms to fill out so their children could participate in the contest. Thirty years later that same contest is still runs at full speed. And not only in Calgary, but all across Canada. The Mayor's Youth Council is now in charge of the celebrated contest and invites Ruiz to attend and meet the lucky winner. It's usually followed by a hand-written thank you card from the mayor himself. Recently Ruiz was invited to be part of the Grand Opening of Calgary's New Library where the mayor shook her hand and introduced her to the attendees.

Tina has worked in television and radio as well as being a professional clown at the Children's Hospital. She lives in Calgary with her husband who encourages her to write her passion be it high-quality children's books or intriguing romance.

Stay connected with Tina Ruiz on her Facebook group Tina Speaks Out.

Wednesday 21 October 2020

Book Tour: Mirror's Despair by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred...

Mirena’s back to claim what’s hers; this time, Tendro is ready for her. 

Welcome to the 1-week book release tour for 
Mirror's Despair
Mirror Worlds, Book 4
Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred

About Mirror's Despair:

Following ten tense years of absence, Mirena Calanais suddenly resurfaces as the Avatar of the Destroyer. With Abraxas’ dark army at her back, she’s determined to reclaim what she feels is her due; control over the lands the Panarch’im once ruled.

His political career and his marriage both drying up, Tendro Seynor long suspected this day would come, but what he isn’t prepared for is Mirena’s return to his personal life. There’s more to Mirena than her persona as the Dark Avatar; she’s the mother of the son Tendro hasn’t seen since the day he was born. As her presence in his life grows, Mirena confides in Tendro that she’s being haunted by someone who should be dead. As this vengeful presence closes in on her and the Destroyer’s hand thouches the world once more, they begin to realize their son may be at the center of it all and his innocence hangs in the balance.

Can Tendro and Mirena put aside their rivalry for the sake of their families, or will the bad blood between them finally escalate to the point where it has the power to tear the entire world apart?

Guest Post: Writing as an Escape

By Justine Alley Dowsett

I write what I like to call ‘Escapism fiction.’ Simply put, I like to write stories that transport my readers to far away lands and distant futures; to show them an alternate vision of what life could be. Ultimately, my goal is to provide readers with a vivid world they can escape into for a while, but I’ve found that writing such stories can be a kind of escape for me as well. 

Most of my books are co-written with my sister, Murandy. The two of us invent a world and a host of characters and then we retreat into our writing room to live in our imaginations for the duration of the writing project, which is usually two to three nights a week for anywhere from three to six months at a time. 

Mirror’s Despair was no different in this regard. We started writing the first book in the Mirror Worlds series, Mirror’s Hope, back in 2013 and back then we were both going through some difficult times. Without going into details, at that time in our lives it was a wonderful gift to be able to go into our writing room and shut the door on the real world for a little while each night. It allowed us to focus on something else, feel productive and have something to show for it while spending time together doing what we both love.

And worldbuilding is a big part of that. The setting of this series, the Mirror Worlds, are two realms that exist in a precarious balance. One side worships the Creator and the other fears the return of the Destroyer and in each realm a copy of each person exists, called a ‘Mirror’. Across the four books, the story of a pair of Mirrors are told (one pair chosen by the Creator, and other by the Destroyer) following each of them as they cross back and forth discovering the true nature of their balanced worlds and what threatens it, essentially playing out a massive game of chess at the hands of two primal forces. Oh, and did I mention it’s also a romance story?

Sitting down to work on each book was like travelling to that world and joining the cast of characters on their journey. After a time, the people in the story became like friends to us, and we knew the world we lived in about as well as we know our own. It was hard to say goodbye, but also cathartic to have the story finally come to the conclusion it had been building to for so long. 

In fact, writing this series was such a great escape for us, we’re now working on building another world now that our epic dark fantasy romance is complete. We’re not sure what form it will ultimately take yet, but that’s part of the fun. 

The current state of the world has been a great stress on all of us and Murandy and I are no different. Even if writing is not your thing, I would definitely recommend taking up a project either with someone else, or solo; one that allows you to escape into a world of your own for a time. It can be highly therapeutic and a whole lot of fun besides. 

Book Details:

Page count: 242
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing
Publish Date: October 17, 2020

Purchase Links:

Mirror World Publishing


Meet the Authors:

Justine Alley Dowsett is the author of nine novels and counting, and one of the founders of Mirror World Publishing. Her books, which she often co-writes with her sister, Murandy Damodred, range from young adult science fiction to dark fantasy/romance. She earned a BA in Drama from the University of Windsor, honed her skills as an entrepreneur by tackling video game production, and now she dedicates her time to writing, publishing, and occasionally role-playing with her friends. 

With a background in Drama and Communications from the University of Windsor, Murandy Damodred enjoys fantasy fiction with strong romantic subplots. She is an avid role-player and is happiest when living vicariously through her characters. Though she'd rather think of herself as the heroine of her next novel, in the real world she is a new mom living in Windsor, Ontario, training to become a nurse. 

Connect with: 

Author Pages: 

Justine's Amazon Page: 

Giveaway Information:

ONE entrant will be selected randomly using the Rafflecopter platform to receive choice of 1 of the books from the Mirror Worlds series located here It is the entrant's responsibility to read about the books and make their selections. Sapphyria's Book Promotions shall be held harmless if winner does not like the content of the book selected as a prize.

This giveaway is open to all U.S. entrants with US mailing addresses/Kindle accounts and who are 18 years of age or older. The giveaway is scheduled for October 16, 2020 through November 20, 2020 and winner will be selected via Rafflecopter. There is no other way to enter this giveaway. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the winner notification email from Sapphyria's Book Promotions to claim their prize or a new winner will be selected. Void where prohibited and no purchases are necessary to enter this giveaway. See Rafflectopter for entry options. Sapphyria's Book Promotions reserves the right to not award any books if entrants do not follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter form or the information in the Giveaway Information section.

Sunday 18 October 2020

Celebrate Halloween Early with Leigh Goff's Southern Gothic Paranormal Tale, Koush Hollow...

This is the book you've been waiting for! Leigh Goff has written another fabulous story that grabs you and doesn't let go. Koush Hollow is a definite read for all ages. Be sure to grab your copy today.

Koush Hollow: Where bayou magic abounds and all that glitters…is deadly.

After her father’s untimely death, Jenna Ashby moves to Koush Hollow, a bayou town outside of New Orleans, dreading life with her wealthy mother.

As the sixteen-year-old eco-warrior is introduced to the Diamonds & Pearls, her mother’s exclusive social club, she comes to the troubling realization that secrets are a way of life in Koush Hollow.
How do the Diamonds & Pearls look so young, where does their money come from, and why is life along the bayou disappearing?

As Jenna is drawn into their seductive world, her curiosity and concerns beg her to uncover the truth. However, in this town where mysticism abounds and secrets are deadly, the truth is not what Jenna could have ever imagined.


This excerpt is from Chapter 1 of Koush Hollow. The sixteen-year-old main character, Jenna, seems to have a waking nightmare where an interesting creature appears, but only to her. Is it real or is it a dream?

Tap, tap.

My eyes flashed wide. A curvy, gray-haired lady tapped on my passenger side window. Jenna, snap out of it, I thought to myself. I breathed and remembered how to roll the window down.

“You okay, hon’?” She stared at my hands. “You’re shaking like you drank ten café lattes.”

“I’m j-just a little on edge. I mean, I thought I hit that…that woman.”

She jolted upright and looked around. “What are you talking about?”

My gaze flitted all around her. “She w-was r-right there—the painted woman,” I stuttered and pointed. “Where did she go?” My knees finally stopped knocking, allowing me to slide out of the car.

“You didn’t hit anyone. Are you on something?”

I stumbled to the front and bent over searching underneath the car. Nothing. No one. I stood up and scanned the sidewalks, but I didn’t see the mysterious woman anywhere.

“Maybe you shouldn’t be driving, hon’.”

Maybe I shouldn’t be.

“Is there someone I can call?” she asked.

I wiped my sopping wet forehead with the back of my hand. It had to be stress affecting me. It had been a tough few months and maybe it was catching up with me. I turned to the kind woman. “I’m only a few minutes from my mother’s house.” I’d get the Diet Cokes and vitamins later. “I’ll be fine. Thank you.”

We both returned to our cars. She waited for me to move. With trembling fingers, I managed to shift into drive. I pumped the brakes to see if they worked. They worked fine. The rattling sound in the engine was gone, too. I could hardly think straight. Was that Voodoo woman real or a figment of my imagination? I shoved aside the bad feeling, inhaled a calming breath, and decided to apply logic, which suggested the whole thing was a brain-glitch from stress. However, no matter how logical I tried to be, the uneasy feeling remained.


Leigh Goff writes young adult fiction. She is a graduate from the University of Maryland and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI).

Born and raised on the East Coast, she now lives in Maryland where she enjoys the area's great history and culture.

Her third young adult novel, Koush Hollow, a Southern gothic set in New Orleans, will release on September 1, 2020 from The Parliament House.

Learn more about Leigh Goff on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.


Sunday 11 October 2020

A Perfect Thanksgiving Day Alternative Dish and a Teen Psychic Mystery to Whet Your Literary Appetite...

Weekends at our house are reserved for old stand-by meals that are perfect for any family members who happen to ‘drop in’ unexpectedly. You know who I mean. Those adult kiddos who were in the neighborhood checking out garage sales or friends who pop by just to see what project you’ve been working on lately. Yeah, them. One dish that everyone seems to magically appear for is our scrumptious shepherd’s pie. Easy to prepare, and makes 6 servings, I guarantee your guests won’t go home hungry. Add a tossed green salad on the side, and a chilled bottle of beer or glass of wine, and they just may overstay their welcome.

Scrumptious Shepherd’s Pie

1 lb. (454 g) ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1¼ cup frozen peas and carrots, cooked and drained
1 package brown gravy mix (0.88 ounces/25 g)
1 cup water 1 egg, beaten
3 cups, mashed potatoes

Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C).

Fry ground beef and onion over medium-high heat until beef is browned. Drain fat. Add seasoned salt, peas and carrots. Mix well.

Prepare gravy mix with water according to package directions. Add some gravy to beaten egg. Gradually add egg-gravy mixture to gravy, stirring constantly. Combine gravy with meat.

Pour meat mixture into a shallow, ovenproof dish. Spoon potatoes in mounds over meat then use the back of a large spoon to blend the mounds. Sprinkle top with paprika.

Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until heated. 

While you’re waiting for your slice of mouth-watering, meaty shepherd’s pie to digest why not put your feet up and relax on the couch with a good book? May I suggest a visit to Fairy Falls, or if you’re feeling really adventurous, a trip back in time with The Last Timekeepers? Whichever you choose, I assure you that either series will take you on a journey far away from weekend chores and dirty laundry.  
Here's a glimpse into one of the books from Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, my 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:


Sunday 4 October 2020

Book Tour: Libby The Lobivia Jajoiana by Regan W.H. Macaulay and Kevin Risk, Illustrated by Gordon Bagshaw...

About Libby the Lobivia Jajoiana:

Libby is a lonely cactus plant who has trouble believing in herself. However, when lovely, confident Violet moves in next to her on the windowsill, Libby learns that the things that make her different also make her special.

Paperback : 48 pages
ISBN-10 : 1987976746
ISBN-13 : 978-1987976748
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing
Publish Date: October 1, 2020

Genres/tags: Children’s picture book. Fantasy, self-esteem, friendship, beauty, confidence

Purchase Links:

Mirror World Publishing 

Barnes & Noble;jsessionid=6D18B94670383B577081CB39ABAA408B.prodny_store01-atgap13?ean=9781987976748

Meet the Authors:

Regan W. H. Macaulay

Regan W. H. Macaulay writes novels, short stories, children’s literature, and scripts. Writing is her passion, but she’s also a producer and director of theatre, film, and television. She is an animal-enthusiast as well, which led her to become a Certified Canine and Feline Massage Therapist. Other picture storybooks include Sloth the Lazy Dragon, Tamara Turtle’s Life So Far, Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast, Merry Myrrh the Christmas Bat, and Beverlee Beaz the Brown Burmese. She is also the author of The Trilogy of Horrifically Half-baked Ham, which includes Space Zombies! (based on her film, Space Zombies: 13 Months of Brain-Spinning Mayhem!—available on iTunes and on DVD), They Suck, and Horror at Terror Creek.




Amazon Author Page:

Author Website:

Kevin Risk:

Kevin Risk has had a varied history. He began in theatre, briefly transitioned into teaching ESL, then settled in library science. He currently works as a media librarian and spends much of his time preoccupied with metadata. When he’s not at work or at home, he can often be spotted running on Toronto’s Martin Goodman Trail.

Meet the Artist:

Gordon Bagshaw, a stay-at-home dog parent of two beautiful shelties, is also a Canadian author and freelance illustrator. He loves to work with digital art, CG model texture painting, vector drawing, and bitmap painting. He is the creator of the online comic strip, Frodo the Sheltie, including three book galleries and illustrator of the children’s book, Sleepy Time For Mammals, which garnered 1 of 3 L.M. Montgomery Literature for Children Awards in 2014. Gordon has resided in São Paulo, Brazil since 2008 with his lovely wife, where he teaches English for business, travel, and continued education.

Amazon Author Page: