Sunday 31 December 2023

Update in My Author Life…


Ah, a new year, and new plans. So much hope, and so much faith in new beginnings. A clean slate, a fresh start. As I went through my business plan and goals for 2023, I was pleased to find that I managed to complete them all, save for nabbing a foreign rights agent. But, I realized that goal was totally out of my control, with the exception of sending out queries. Among my other lofty goals were creating a writing resource PDF I called, Tips, Tools & Tricks for the Tenacious Writer and putting it up on my website as a free download, connecting with the local libraries to see if they’d purchase and carry my books, and finish writing the third installment of Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls called Sticks and Stones. Done. Done. Done. Well, the libraries never got back to me, so I assume it’s a flat no. Sigh.

I guess authors nowadays have to try many possible avenues to get their books out there. Shows. Events. Ads. Giveaways. Bribes. Begging. Sorry, got carried away. LOL! Actually, I was lucky enough to attend a couple of events in the fall of 2023. One at our town’s bookstore, River Bookshop, who hosted a Local Author Book Fair, and another with my publisher, Mirror World Publishing at a Local Author Christmas Book Show. I love events that only allow authors and publishers, as opposed to anything-goes craft shows, because you get actual readers wandering the aisles instead of people looking aimlessly around at the different tables. Plus, we get to network with other authors, and learn what book promotion strategies work for them, and what doesn’t. A win-win in my eyes.

I also bought a program that helps authors create ads instantly. If you’ve never heard of BookGraphix, I
urge you to check it out if you like doing your own ads to share on your social media accounts. The program allows authors to place their book or books (up to three) in images that are appropriate for your audience, create content, and download them to your computer. They also have holiday inspired ads as well, and you can do trailers, cover reveals, and other creative stuff. For the last three and a half years, I’ve been steadily running Facebook ads for ten days, and rolling over a new ad when one finishes. This strategy has garnered me a reach of over a million people for many campaigns that I’ve run, and about two to five thousand clicks on the links I provide. I use my Amazon Author link with all my books, and my website books page for those links. It’s certainly been an investment for sure. The trick is to get those link clickers to buy one of my books instead of click and go. It’s a patience game for sure!

As for my plans for 2024, I’ll be revising and editing Sticks and Stones so it’s ready for publication either late this fall or in 2025. Yup. That’s how the publishing game works! Slow, but sure. I’m going to continue to query foreign rights agents seasonally until I attract the best one for me (fingers crossed), as well as run my ten day Facebook ads to extend my reach and hopefully connect with readers throughout the world. It’s also my intention to start gathering research and plotting the story for the next installment of The Last Timekeepers time travel adventure series, which will be in Treena Mui’s point-of-view. Should be a blast!

On a personal note, my hubby and I got e-bikes from Santa for Christmas in 2022, and have been riding our butts off all spring, summer and fall, in an effort to put a lot of mileage on them. Best. Presents. Ever. Plus, it’s great exercise and gets us outside in nature. For more current news, please check my blog, as I periodically give updates to what’s going on in my author life. So how about you? Do you have any big or small plans, goals, desires you want to make manifest in 2024? Dream big, life is short. Would love to read your comments. Cheers and Happy New Year! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate you!

Sunday 24 December 2023

Author in the Kitchen: A Festive Cake Fit for a King and a Romantic Comedy Read by Catherine Castle...

Two years ago in late December, I discovered almond paste and went down a cake rabbit hole. My family celebrates Christmas on New Year’s Day most years, but that year we were celebrating after January 6, which is Epiphany. Epiphany is the traditional date the Wise Men visited the Christ Child, and to celebrate the event a special cake, with a plastic baby or bean hidden in the cake, is served. The Epiphany cake, often referred to as a King cake or the Three Kings cake, has many forms, flavors, and even many trinkets hidden in it. It is also a tradition in many countries, especially those with a Catholic background. 

I’d never heard of a King cake, except in reference to Louisiana Mardi Gras celebrations. After some research, I decided to come up with my own version of an Epiphany King cake using almond paste. It took several tries to create something that showed off the frangipane I’d made with almond paste. On my first attempt, using a yellow cake recipe, the frangipane melted into the cake batter and didn’t give me the definition I wanted.   

So I began experimenting. I decided I’d make a chocolate spice cake with a frangipane layer. That worked. I’m calling it Epiphany Frangipane Chocolate Spice Cake. If you don’t want to make it an Epiphany cake, complete with trinkets, just call it Frangipane Chocolate Spice Cake. Here’s a tip I learned the hard way - be sure to make the frangipane first! 

Also, you may want to consider adding the following: 

·       1 bean, or 1 plastic small baby figurine, or several small trinkets. Be sure to tell your guests these items are hidden in the cake!

·       Chopped maraschino cherries or chopped candied fruit for decorating the cake. You can add the chopped candied fruits to the baking pan before you add the batter, scattering them evenly around the pan, or you can reserve them and scatter them over the top of the baked cake adhering them to the cake with a bit of confectioner sugar glaze. 

Frangipane Chocolate Spice Cake 
2½ cups sifted cake flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
3 tbsp. cocoa
1 cup shortening
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, divided
4 eggs, room temperature 

Preheat oven to 350° F.  

Combine flour with spices and cocoa in a large bowl. 

In another bowl, cream shortening until fluffy. Add 1 cup sugar and mix again, then add 1 cup flour and spices. Mix and beat until combined, adding vanilla and ¾ cup buttermilk, ¼ cup at a time, as needed to make batter mixable. 

Add remaining flour, sugar, and buttermilk until combined. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Keep batter scraped down from sides and bottom on bowl while beating. 

Add eggs and remaining buttermilk. Beat 2 more minutes on medium. 

In a lightly buttered, easy-release Bundt pan, gently pour 2 cups of batter into cake pan, smoothing out until batter is level if necessary. 

Almond Cream Frangipane
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
¾ cup almond flour
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract 

Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Combine ingredients on medium, then on high until fully combined. Refrigerate frangipane until cake batter is ready. 

Drop frangipane by teaspoonfuls onto batter, taking care to center in in batter. Or alternately you could pipe frangipane onto batter. 

Gently cover frangipane with 1½ cups batter, leveling out if necessary. 

Add another layer of frangipane in same manner as before. 

Cover with 1½ cups cake batter. 

Put upper rack in the lower third of oven. Bake cake for 60-65 minutes or until wooden skewer inserted in cake comes out clean. You need a long skewer, not just a toothpick to test for doneness. 

Cool pan upright for 5-10 minutes. Invert onto a wire cooling rack, Cool cake completely on wire rack. 

Note: You will have extra batter and frangipane with this recipe. To use remaining mixes, make cupcakes. 

Spoon ⅛ cup batter into a cupcake line. Top with 1 teaspoon frangipane, centering it in batter.

Cover frangipane with another scant ⅛ cup batter. Bake at 375° F for 35 minutes or until

toothpick inserted in cupcake comes out clean. 

I hope you’ll enjoy my cake. While it’s baking check out my romantic comedy with a touch of drama, A Groom for Mama. There’s cake in this book, too. Wedding cake. 

Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes, she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom for Mama.

Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Multi-award winning author Catherine Castle loves writing. Before beginning her career as a romance writer, she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. She also lays claim to over 300 internet articles written on a variety of subjects and several hundred poems.

In addition to writing, she loves reading, traveling, singing, theatre, quilting, and gardening. She’s a passionate gardener whose garden won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club. She writes sweet and inspirational romances. You can find her award-winning Soul Mate books The Nun and the Narc and A Groom for Mama, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Follow her on Twitter, FB, or her blog.

Sunday 17 December 2023

My Author Life’s Year-End Assessment…

When the year starts to wind down, I usually do an evaluation of what I’ve accomplished, and what I’m still working on. Augh. Some of my goals for 2023 came to fruition, others fell flat, and still others were not in my control to begin with. Augh, again. I did manage to finish the third installment of Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls series, entitled Sticks and Stones, but fell short of my deadline for spring. Instead, I completed my manuscript just before our Canadian Thanksgiving in early October. How fitting, since the novel ends during our Thanksgiving. Divine timing, it seems, is everything. My goal was to get the novel ready for my publisher’s 2024 publication roster. Um, no. Fell a little short. But I got into the 2025 for sure, unless something unforeseen happens and a space opens up. Such is the complexity of the publishing industry. Sigh.

That said, I feel very blessed to have a publisher like Mirror World Publishing, who literally has their authors’ backs, and are so supportive and understanding. Another goal I did manage to get launched was compiling a writing resource ebook called Tips, Tools & Tricks for the Tenacious Writer, and offering it for free on my website as a downloadable PDF. It was actually ten years in the making, as I took helpful articles from my blog to share my publishing journey with wannabe writers or authors who might just glean some useful material from it. I managed to get the freebie up last March, so a win-win for me! *Pats back vigorously*

A smaller goal was to try to get my books into the local libraries of the Southern Ontario region I live in. Talk about red tape and politics. Triple augh! I contacted the right people in the right positions, explained that I wanted my books to share shelf space with the numerous books they had on hand, and of course told them I was a local author. I was informed that their budgets would only allow so many books to be purchased (most likely famous authors or bestsellers), but that I could drop off my books at the closest libraries in my location. So I did. I chose the first books in my two young adult series, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, and Lost and Found from Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls. I wrote a cover letter and packaged my book babies up, and sent them on their way. I also mentioned in the letter that if they decided against purchasing my books, then please accept these titles as a donation. Sigh. Never even got a thank you or a charitable slip for tax purposes. *Shakes fist vehemently*

My HUGE goal (this one is NOT in my control) was to acquire a literary agent to handle foreign and subsidiary rights for both my young adult series. Yeah, I know it’s a pipe dream, but I truly believe in myself as a writer, and do want to bring more light into the world through my books. I began this endeavor in November 2022, crafting a query tailored to my goals, and researched prospective literary agents. Shoot me now. I really hate Query Tracker because the format is geared to one manuscript. So, I got creative, cut and pasted my query and sent it along. I did hit pay dirt in July with a UK agent who requested my PDFs! My elation was short-lived, as she explained that her heart had to be all in, and she didn’t feel she was the right fit for representation. Hey, I wouldn’t have expected anything else. That said, I know that the query letter I wrote did its job, and captured the eye of an agent. At least now I know there’s a chance of landing the perfect agent for me. *Crossing fingers and toes*

Of course, I had many other mini goals throughout 2023, as I continued to chip away and plod through my author life. How about you? If you’re an author, did you reach many of your goals? If you’re a reader, did you realize what an author’s life entails? Would love to read your comments. Wishing you, and your loved ones, a safe and happy holiday season. Cheers!

Wednesday 13 December 2023

Book Tour: YA Graphic Novel DELUGE by Mike Dubisch and Carolyn Watson-Dubisch...


Sapphyria's Book Promotions presents the 1-Week Virtual Book Tour for Deluge by Mike Dubisch and Carolyn Watson-Dubisch - YA Graphic Novel (December 11-15, 2023)

About Deluge:

About the Book:

12 year old Laura was just a normal girl from Seattle when her mother decided to move to a mysterious town in the midwest. The moment they arrive in their new home hundreds of frogs rain from the sky. Her quirky new neighbor has a house full of knick knacks and odd tiny creatures beckoning from the shadows, and there's a terrible curse on the town that makes every summer storm a life threatening event. Welcome to the town of Deluge.

Book Details:

Genres: YA Graphic Novel

Page Count: 50

Add to Goodreads:

Purchase from Amazon:

Follow the Book Tour:

Meet the Authors:

Mike and Carolyn Dubisch began collaborating artistically at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. They married soon after graduating and began working together. Their first major project was designing rides on the Turn of the Century Carousel that was displayed in Grand Central Station in New York, The L.A. Auto Show in California, Also in Washington D.C., and New Orleans. Their comic book adaptation of the Japanese fable Urishima Taro, initially created for a fundraiser for the tsunami victims in Japan, was licensed by FOX in 2013.

Mike Dubisch is well known for his fantasy art and comics, including art for Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons and Aliens vs Predator. Carolyn Watson-Dubisch is a multiple award winning author and illustrator of 18 children’s books, working with multiple publishers and authors. Her work has appeared in Highlights for Children Magazine, Hopscotch Magazine and she designed and illustrated a regular feature in Whimsy Magazine for 5 years. Their most ambitious project, the all-ages graphic novel series “The People That Melt in The Rain”, is the product of over 10 years of development.

Social Media Links:






Sunday 10 December 2023

A Holiday Recipe and Read: Craisin-Walnut Dressing and A Regency Christmas Collection by Emma Lane...

This year seems to have zipped by much too fast. Our family is already hinting for me to cook their favorite dishes for Christmas dinner. One wants a ham with gravy from drippings. Another is pleading for green bean casserole, while another wants fresh asparagus spears and dinner rolls. Me, I have a sweet tooth and am looking forward to a home baked apple pie, of course ala mode, for dessert. 😊 One thing the entire family is looking forward to is my special dressing. Here’s the recipe for you.


1 bag seasoned breadcrumbs, or mixed breadcrumbs
1½ cup chicken stock, just enough to moisten breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. butter1 onion, chopped
¼ cup celery, chopped
⅓ cup dried craisons, dried cranberries or raisins
¼ cup chopped walnuts
Salt & pepper to taste 

Preheat oven 350° F. 

Soak craisins, or raisins, in warm water to soften for fifteen minutes. 

Melt butter in a frying pan. Sauté celery and onion until opaque, about 7 minutes.

Drain craisins. Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl, then season with salt and pepper.  Pour chicken stock to moisten ingredients and mix lightly.

Grease an oven safe pan them scoop in mixture.

Bake 25 – 30 minutes.

Merry Christmas,


Here's a peek at my Christmas collection. I hope you enjoy it.

Winter storms swirling snow and unexpected guests on the eve of Christmas, the pungent fragrance of fresh pine boughs, springs of mistletoe hung with red ribbons, and a stolen kiss underneath the kissing ball comprise scenes of Christmas in the country. Ice skating anyone? Have a cup of wassail and toast your toes in front of a warm fire while you enjoy four short stories of sweet Regency Christmas romances. 

Amazon Link


Emma Lane is a gifted author who writes cozy mysteries as Janis Lane, Regency as Emma, and spice as Sunny Lane. 

She lives in Western New York where winter is snowy, spring arrives with rave reviews, summer days are long and velvet, and fall leaves are riotous in color. At long last she enjoys the perfect bow window for her desk where she is treated to a year-round panoramic view of nature. Her computer opens up a fourth fascinating window to the world. Her patient husband is always available to help with a plot twist and encourage Emma to never quit. Her day job is working with flowers at Herbtique and Plant Nursery, the nursery she and her son own. 

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

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out the things that make Emma smile on Pinterest.

Sunday 3 December 2023

Book Tour: It Hurts Every Time by L.P. Mills...

Mirror World Publishing and Sapphyria's Book Promotions present the 1-week virtual book tour for

It Hurts Every Time by L.P. Mills

About It Hurts Every Time:

“Death is not the end, sir,

No, sir, not the end of the line,

Just remember what I say to you;

It hurts, baby,

It hurts every time.”

Pluto Garcia is a lieutenant in the Community Militia of Morrisette, a post-communist city-state where a miracle drug has advanced enough to allow the dying a second chance at life by launching them into the nearest available universe in which they are still alive.

In his latest incarnation, Pluto is tasked with investigating the death of Krishna Klein, a brilliant but troubled philanthropist who has been found with a bullet in his head following a week-long bender. With the aid of his assigned partner, Esther Dupont, Pluto uncovers a techno-fascistic plot to plunge the flawed Utopia of Morrissette into authoritarian control once and for all.

Follow the Book Tour:

Release Date:

LP Mills is an author, game designer, journalist, and beard owner. He currently lives in front of a computer screen in Nottingham, UK, where he feverishly tells stories in an attempt to ignore his day-to-day responsibilities. His dog, Jack Daniels, has yet to compliment him on his writing.

Find L.P. Online:


Author Website:

Publisher Website:

Sunday 26 November 2023

A Recipe and Read: A Taste of Mexico and an Inspirational Romantic Suspense from Catherine Castle...

The other day I wanted a quick easy meal, so I peeked into the pantry to see what I had on hand. I found cans of chicken, green chiles, corn, black beans and cream of chicken soup, and some tortillas, so I set out to create something. Here's what I came up with. We liked it, and I hope you will too.

Quick Oven Quesadilla

2-12.5-oz canned chicken, drained and broken up
1-4-oz can diced green chilies
1-2.5-oz can sliced black olives, drained
1-15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1-11-oz can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
¼ or less cup water, start with a smaller amount. You only need enough water to mix soup other ingredients.
1 cup finely shredded Mexican style cheese.   
1 to 1½ tsp. taco seasoning, or to taste if you like it spicier.
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 high-fiber large tortillas (or corn tortillas) or enough to fit a straight sided cake pan, or 2 high-fiber street tacos to make individual servings in a smaller pan.

Preheat oven to 350° F

In a skillet over medium high heat brown the tortillas on both sides.

While tortillas are browning, mix chicken, corn, beans, chilies, olives, soup, cheddar cheese and water. Heat the mix in a large saucepan stirring until well mixed and beginning to bubble.

Lightly spray the bottom of a cake pan or baking sheet. Lay one tortilla in the pan, top with about ¼ cup mix (for a large tortilla, less for smaller tortillas) onto top of browned tortilla, spreading mix almost to the edge. Top with ¼ cup of finely shredded Mexican cheese. Repeat with other tortilla and 3/4 cup mix. Save left over mix for another day’s use, or you can double the tortillas and make a bigger meal the first time.

Bake about 10-15 minutes or until cheese on top has melted and you can see filling bubbling. (I’ve also baked this for a shorter time at a higher temp when was in a hurry.) Turn off oven and switch to the high broil setting on the oven and broil until cheese on top begins to brown.

Remove from oven. Cut and serve with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, onions, guacamole, salsa or other Mexican side toppings.

If you want to make several stacks at a time lay the base tortillas on a baking sheet and assemble as many as your ingredients allow. Number will depend on the size of your tortillas.

If you only make one stack, or 2 smaller individual servings, the first time you can use the remainder of the filling for a second quesadilla meal or as filling for enchiladas. It will make about 4-6 enchiladas depending on the size of your tortilla. Warm your ingredients before assembling the stacks or enchiladas to cut down on heating time in oven. Make a cheese sauce, or other Mexican sauce to cover the enchiladas and top with shredded cheese. Heat in a 350° oven until cheese has melted and is beginning to brown.

While your dinner is cooking, check out Catherine’s multi-award-winning Inspirational Romantic Suspense The Nun and the Narc. Partially set in Mexico, the heroine, Sister Margaret Mary, an adventurous novice, dines on some unusual marketplace snacks. 

Where novice Sister Margaret Mary goes, trouble follows. When she barges into a drug deal the local Mexican drug lord captures her. To escape she must depend on undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Jed’s attitude toward her is exasperating, but when she finds herself inexplicably attracted to him, he becomes more dangerous than the men who have captured them by making her doubt her decision to take her final vows. Escape back to the nunnery is imperative, but life at the convent, if she can still take her final vows, will never be the same.

Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor—at least that’s what Jed Bond thinks. She hampers his escape plans with her compulsiveness and compassion, and in the process makes Jed question his own beliefs. After years of walling up his emotions in an attempt to become the best agent possible, Sister Margaret is crumbling Jed’s defenses and opening his heart. To lure her away from the church would be unforgivable—to lose her unbearable.

Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. A former freelance writer, she has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit (under her real name) in the Christian and secular market. Now she writes sweet and inspirational romance. Her debut inspirational romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing, has garnered multiple contests finals and wins.

Catherine loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

Learn more about Catherine Castle on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out Catherine’s Amazon author page and her Goodreads page. You can also find Catherine on Stitches Thru Time and the SMP authors blog site. thors blog site.

Sunday 19 November 2023

Guest Post: Abundance Fills the Open Mind by Author and Artist Linda Lee Greene...

Outside the kitchen window of our home on Long Island, New York, it was a cold and windswept November morning of 1970. Thanksgiving Day was approaching, and I missed my family back in Ohio sorely. Oh, how I wished I could be with them; but it wasn’t to be. I needed a distraction and decided the best way to accomplish it was to lose myself in a painting. I gathered fall deco items I had placed around the house and set them up on my kitchen table in a composition I deemed worthy of a still life. A sheet of watercolor paper taped to my board, and with my simple little pads of watercolor paints, a couple of brushes, and a stick of charcoal to rough in the initial shapes, I got to work. 

The charcoal shapes came together easily. As is typical of the way I tackle most jobs, I touched my paint-loaded brush to the item on the paper that I thought would be the most difficult to render—which was the stem of the pumpkin. My first attempt was a total bust, as was my second and my third. By then, my heart was galloping in my chest with utter fury at myself. I pushed away from the table and paced the floor—across the length of the kitchen, into the hallway, into the living room, and back again and again…pace, pace, pace…and then a voice sounded ‘round my ears. “Empty your mind of what you ‘think’ a pumpkin stem looks like and paint only what you actually see!” I had heard the instruction from my teacher in a painting class I had taken years before, but obviously it had failed to register in my brain. I returned to the table, emptied my mind, and painted only what I saw with my eyes. Voila! In no time at all, the still life painted in a primitive style I had hoped to execute appeared with what seemed very little further effort on my part. It was almost like magic. 

I learned a big lesson that day, not only related to the art of painting, but also to the art of living. Our preconceived notions (opinions, prejudices, attitudes, and so many other absolute doctrines we hold in mind) blind us to the truth of things.

With my humble painting titled, CORNUCOPIA, I wish all of you an open-minded, a clear-eyed, and a very happy holiday season.

Linda Lee

Here’s a peek at multi-award-winning author and artist Linda Lee Greene’s latest book, Garden of the Spirits of the Pots, A Spiritual Odyssey. It is a blend of visionary and inspirational fiction with a touch of romance. The story unfolds as ex-pat American Nicholas Plato journeys into parts unknown, both within himself and his adopted home of Sydney, Australia. In the end, the odyssey reveals to him his true purpose for living. The novella is available in eBook and paperback.

Driven by a deathly thirst, he stops. A strange little brown man materializes out of nowhere and introduces himself merely as ‘Potter,’ and welcomes Nicholas to his ‘Garden of the Spirits of the Pots.’ Although Nicholas has never laid eyes on Potter, the man seems to have expected Nicholas at his bizarre habitation and displays knowledge about him that nobody has any right to possess. Just who is this mysterious Aboriginal potter? 

Although they are as mismatched as two persons can be, a strangely inevitable friendship takes hold between them. It is a relationship that can only be directed by an unseen hand bent on setting Nicholas on a mystifying voyage of self-discovery and Potter on revelations of universal certainties. 

A blend of visionary and inspirational fiction, and a touch of romance, this is a tale of Nicholas’ journey into parts unknown, both within his adopted home and himself, a quest that in the end leads him to his true purpose for living. 


Multi-award-winning author and artist Linda Lee Greene describes her life as a telescope that when trained on her past reveals how each piece of it, whether good or bad or in-between, was necessary in the unfoldment of her fine art and literary paths.
Greene moved from farm-girl to city-girl; dance instructor to wife, mother, and homemaker; divorcee to single-working-mom and adult-college-student; and interior designer to multi-award-winning artist and author, essayist, and blogger. It was decades of challenging life experiences and debilitating, chronic illness that gave birth to her dormant flair for art and writing. Greene was three days shy of her fifty-seventh birthday when her creative spirit took a hold of her.

She found her way to her lonely easel soon thereafter. Since then Greene has accepted commissions and displayed her artwork in shows and galleries in and around the USA. She is also a member of artist and writer associations.

Visit Linda on her blog and join her on Facebook. Linda loves to hear from readers so feel free to email her.

Garden of the Spirits of the Pots is available in eBook and/or paperback on Amazon.

Pastels and acrylics painting, “Coppers” by Linda Lee Greene

Sunday 12 November 2023

This November, Get Stuffed with a Classic Recipe and a Young Adult Read...

Ready for an easy take on a classic recipe? Then let’s get stuffed! Of course, I’m talking about gorging on my Savory Stuffed Peppers. The bell pepper is an excellent vessel for stuffing meat, rice, and, of course, cheese. It's strong enough to hold its shape in the oven, and the flavor is subtle enough to go well with just about anything. This perfect comfort food will fill you up, and keep you satiated for hours. Plus, it’s a great recipe to cook in your home, cottage, or camper any time of the year. With a prep time of 15 minutes tops, and total time of 1 hour, 20 minutes, these tasty mega-morsels will serve 6 of your famish family members or friends. Serve with a salad of your choice and a glass of your favorite red or white wine. Cheers!

Savory Stuffed Peppers

½ cup uncooked rice
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp. tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. (454 gram) ground beef (or swap out for ground pork, chicken or turkey)
1-14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1½ tsp. dried oregano
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 large bell peppers, tops and cores removed
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
If you desire, add a spicy kick to your stuffed pepper with a few splashes of hot sauce. 

Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C). 

In a small saucepan, prepare rice according to package instructions.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Cook onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add ground beef and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon until no longer pink, 6 minutes. Drain fat.

Return beef mixture to skillet, then stir in cooked rice and diced tomatoes. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Let simmer until liquid has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes.

Place peppers cut side-up in a 9” x 13” baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Spoon beef mixture into each pepper and top with Monterey Jack cheese, then cover baking dish with foil.

Bake until peppers are tender, about 35 minutes. Uncover and bake until cheese is bubbly, 10 minutes more.

Garnish with parsley before serving.

While you’re digesting your stuffed peppers and finishing off the last sips of your wine, 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, either series will transport you to another time and place, leaving the busyness of life far behind.

Here's a glimpse of the premises for both my young adult series

The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventures…

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers—legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial—five classmates are sent into the past to restore balance, and bring order back into the world, one mission at a time.

Children are the keys to our future. And now, children are the only hope for our past.

Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mysteries…

Imagine a teenager possessing a psychic ability and struggling to cope with its freakish power. There’s no hope for a normal life, and no one who understands. Now, imagine being uprooted and forced to live in a small tourist town where nothing much ever happens. It’s bores-ville from the get-go…until mysterious things start to happen.

Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expect the unexpected.

The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventure Series:

The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave, Book #3


The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, Book #2 Buy Links:


The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, Book #1 Buy Links:


Legend of the Timekeepers, prequel Buy Links:


Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mystery Series:

Lost and Found, Book One Buy Links:


Blackflies and Blueberries, Book Two Buy Links:


Sunday 5 November 2023

Guest Post: November is National Caregivers' Month by Author Anne Montgomery...

Forty-eight million Americans serve as caregivers for friends and family members in need.

I have always considered myself strong and quite capable of taking care of myself, but life has a way of swatting our perceptions away. I came to this conclusion when I was stricken with Covid-19—despite being fully vaccinated— a broken leg that rendered me unable to walk for two months, and an eye infection that affected my vision. (No, I never do anything halfway.)

I admit that I rarely thought of caregivers before, but as I stared up from my bed—broken and sick— at the face of my masked sweetie pie, I was struck by my utter helplessness. In the beginning, I was too sick to consider how much work I’d become. Nor did it register that I wasn’t the only person in Ryan’s care. His prime caretaking responsibility is his 85-year-old mom who is losing her eyesight and suffers from dementia.  

So, Ry was now faced with two of us. When the Covid started to ease, I jokingly called Ryan Ethan Frome, the title character in the 1911 novel by American author Edith Wharton. For those who are unfamiliar with the story, poor Ethan, who has a disabled shrew of a wife, falls in love with a pretty young woman. Then, with no way out, they decide to commit suicide together, however the plan goes awry. They both live, but the woman becomes disabled, so Ethan now has two sickly people to care for.

Ryan, as my caregiver, had to do everything when I was sick and broken.

According to the AARP, “Every day, some 48 million Americans help parents, spouses and other loved ones with medical care, meals, bathing, dressing, chores and much more. They do it out of love, not for pay.”

When I was well enough to notice, I realized the enormous pressure Ryan faced. He had to feed his mother, monitor her medications, and tend to grocery shopping and medical appointments, as well as weather her constant confusion and memory issues. Then he had to come to my house and care for all my needs, as well.  

As you can imagine, caregivers are suffering. “Family caregivers now encompass more than one in five Americans,” says the research series Caregiving in the US.  “The study also reveals that family caregivers are in worse health compared to five years ago.” Caregivers spend a whopping 13 days each month “on tasks such as shopping, food preparation, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, and giving medication.”

These constant demands force caregivers to push their own lives and needs aside, often causing burnout. Between 40 to 70% of caregivers are said to suffer from depression, with those attending to patients with cognitive decline being the most likely to be affected. Also, chronic illnesses like diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, and immune system disorders can worsen.

Ryan stepped up and became a caregiver when I needed him. I will always be grateful.

What can caregivers do? First, ask for help, if you’re feeling overwhelmed. There are agencies all over the country that offer services to caregivers that can help lighten the load, so check the Internet and your insurance company to see what’s available. Do the best you can but forgive yourself when days don’t go as planned. And carve out some time out for yourself.

Every Tuesday, Ryan goes to lunch with his long-time buddies. The gathering is his one time of respite during the week when most of his efforts revolve around me and his mom. He always seems more energized when he returns from these get-togethers and happily tells me what’s new with the boys.

November is National Family Caregivers Month, so I’d like to give a big shoutout to those who shoulder the responsibilities for others. Caregiving is an exhausting, often overlooked effort. So, thank you to all the folks who support those of us in need.

And, of course, I’m especially grateful for Ryan who jumped in with both feet when my health failed, never getting angry, and doing his best to cheer me up when I was down.

Thank you, Ry. I love you!

Here is a look at one of my thrillers for your reading pleasure.

Ancient ruins, haunted memories, and a ruthless criminal combine with a touch of mystic presence in this taut mystery about a crime we all must address. Maggie, a National Park Ranger of Native American descent, is back at The Castle—an ancient pueblo carved into a limestone cliff in Arizona’s Verde Valley.

Maggie, who suffers from depression, has been through several traumas: the gang rape she suffered while in the Coast Guard, the sudden death of her ten-year-old son, and a suicide attempt. 

One evening, she chases a young Native American boy through the park and gasps as he climbs the face of The Castle cliff and disappears into the pueblo. When searchers find no child, Maggie’s friends believe she’s suffering from depression-induced hallucinations. 

Maggie has several men in her life. The baker, newcomer Jim Casey, who always greets her with a warm smile and pink boxes filled with sweet delicacies. Brett Collins, a scuba diver who is doing scientific studies in Montezuma Well, a dangerous cylindrical depression that houses strange creatures found nowhere else on Earth. Dave, an amiable waiter with whom she’s had a one-night stand, and her new boss Glen. 

One of these men is a serial rapist and Maggie is his next target. In a thrilling and terrifying denouement, Maggie faces her rapist and conquers her worst fears once and for all. 

Available at Amazon and all major vendors.

Anne Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. She worked at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter, and ASPN-TV as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery has been a freelance and staff writer for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces.

When she can, Anne indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, football refereeing, and playing her guitar.

Learn more about Anne Montgomery on her website and Wikipedia. Stay connected on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.