Sunday 25 June 2023

A Healthy Dessert and Paranormal Romance Read for the Summer by C. D. Hersh...

I (Catherine) have recently discovered avocado puddings. Never heard of them? Apparently, they are full of good fats, loads of fiber, have a low glycemic index (which is important for those watching their carbs, and they can be made without dairy products, if you are vegan or lactose intolerant). They have the creaminess of instant puddings without the unnatural ingredients that comes in that box. The extra bonus of avocado puddings--they taste good. The kiddos will never know they are eating something good for them. So far, I’ve experimented with chocolate, which was super chocolatey and not as sweet as it could have been since I skipped a lot of the sugar. I like to see how low-sugar I can possibly go.

I love pumpkin. Donald not so much. The other day I got a pumpkin craving, so I decided to play with avocadoes and pumpkin. This newest culinary invention is a Ginger Pumpkin pudding. I liked it, so I decided to share the recipe. Now I won’t guarantee this recipe that makes 4 servings is low calorie, but there is quite a bit of fiber in it to help offset some of the carbs.

Avocado Ginger Pumpkin Pudding

    • 1 ripe avocado
    • ¾ cup canned pumpkin
    • 1 ½ - 2 cups vanilla flavored yogurt, divided
    • ½ tsp. lemon juice
    • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
    • 8 small gingerbread cookies, crushed, with 4 tsp. reserved
    • Canned whipped cream or make your own
  •          4 tbsp. shaved chocolate from a candy bar

Cut avocado in half, discarding pit and skin. Put flesh in a food processer and blend until smooth.

Add pumpkin, and ½ of yogurt, lemon juice and spices to avocado and blend until well mixed.

Spoon remaining yogurt into small glass dessert cups, filling cups about ½ full. Spread evenly in cup.

Spoon pumpkin mixture over the yogurt, spreading evenly.

Cover dishes with plastic wrap, gently pressing the wrap onto the top of the pudding.


When ready to serve, top the pudding with the crushed gingerbread cookies, sprinkling evenly on top of pudding.

Add a dollop of whipped cream to top of pudding. Sprinkle reserved cookies and shaved chocolate on whipped cream.


While you’re waiting for the dessert to chill, check out The Promised One, the first book in our Turning Stone Chronicle series.

When month and day are the age that is the time
When day and month are the time that is the age
When time and age agree, trinity becomes unity

If a mark didn’t come out of the bar soon, he’d have to change his hunting spot.

Danny Shaw glanced at his watch. In the past hour, only two men—too big for him to handle—had staggered out of the Dew Drop Inn Bar and Grill. He needed someone rich and easy to take down. And soon. If he arrived late again, he’d get canned. And if he lost one more job, he’d lose Lulu.

The door opened, spilling crowd noise and blue haze onto the dimly lit street. He moved back into the shadow of the building. Waiting.

A slender woman walked by, her legs wobbling on spiked heels as the hem of her blue slinky dress swished around her thighs. Whiskey and perfume wafted on the air. As she reached to smooth back her blond hair, a prism flashed on her ring finger.

As his gut tightened, adrenalin pumped through him. Perfect. Tipsy and a rock too. A big haul could make this his last job this week, allowing him more time to spend with Lulu.

He pulled his ski mask down then took his gun from his coat.

Withdrawing a silencer from his left pocket, he screwed it onto the barrel, and stepped out. The woman didn’t notice him, so he scanned the street for witnesses. No one around. Closing the gap, he made his move.

Shaw jammed the gun barrel in her back and hooked her arm. “Don’t scream,” he whispered, “and I might let you live.”

Under his hold, she stiffened. Her high heels tapped rapidly on the pavement as he steered her into the dark, littered alley. When they were well into the shadows, hidden from passersby, he shoved her against the graffiti-covered building. “Gimme your purse and jewelry.”

The woman raised perfectly manicured hands above her head, her shoulder angling toward him as she started to twist around.

“Keep your face to the wall,” he ordered.

She mumbled something into the bricks and then lowered her left hand, dangling a bejeweled handbag behind her head.

“Now the jewelry.” He snatched the purse.

She unhooked her necklace, slipped off her watch and diamond ring, then held them out.

He stuffed them into his pocket. “The other ring, too.”

“That ring has no value. It’s costume jewelry my niece gave me.”

“Take it off.”

“You’ve got my cash and credit cards, and my diamond. Isn’t that enough?”

Damn. He hated when they resisted. “Give me the ring.”

She gave an almost imperceptible shake of her head. “No.”

He jerked her around to face him. “Dammit, woman. Give me the freaking ring or I’ll blow your head off.” He yanked on the band.

Without warning, she swung her hand up, connecting with his jaw. Stunned, he stumbled backward, still clutching the hand with the ring. They fell to the pavement. Her hands clawed at his, and her feet kicked his shins, scrabbling their legs together.

Fighting for control. Fighting for the gun.

Wrapping his legs around hers, he rolled her over and pinned her beneath him with his body. Freeing his hand from her grasp, he slammed her skull on the ground. Her head rolled to the side and she lay still.

Certain he’d knocked her out, he tried to remove the ring from her finger. Suddenly she bolted up, head-banged him, and grabbed his gun hand.

As he struggled to keep control of the weapon, the barrel twisted toward him. Heart pounding, he watched his life flash in front of him.

Abusive childhood. Lousy job. Lulu. The elaborate wedding plans she’d made. He didn’t want to die. Not now.

He wrenched the gun toward the woman. The metallic pfft startled him. Round-eyed shock reflected in the woman’s face.

Shaw’s heart stopped racing as she relaxed in his grip, then amped back up, pounding against his ribs. Shit. Assault, battery, and now . . . murder. Quick and easy money to pay for the wedding. That’s all he’d been after. They’ll put me away for life if I get caught. Lulu’s gonna be pissed if I screw up her wedding plans.

Pushing into a squat, he stared at the dark stain spreading across the dress front. He removed the ring from the woman’s finger. She should have just given it to him.

The woman stared at him, blood seeping from the corner of her mouth. “Return the ring, or you’ll be sorry.”

With a short laugh he stood. “Big words for someone bleeding to death.” After dropping the ring into his pocket, he gathered the scattered contents of her purse, and started to leave.

“Wait.” The words sounded thick and slurred . . . two octaves deeper . . . with a Scottish lilt.

Shaw frowned and spun back toward her. The pounding in his chest increased. On the ground, where the woman had fallen, lay a man.

He wore the same slinky blue dress she had—the seams ripped, the dress top collapsed over hard chest muscles, instead of smoothed over soft, rounded curves. The hem skimmed across a pair of hairy, thick thighs. Muscled male thighs. Spiked heels hung at an odd angle, toes jutting through the shoe straps. The same shoes she’d been wearing.

The alley tipped. Shaw leaned against the dumpster to steady himself. He shook his head to clear the vision, then slowly moved his gaze over the body.

A pair of steel-blue eyes stared out of a chiseled face edged with a trim salt-and-pepper beard. Shaw whirled around scanning the alley.

Where was the woman? And who the hell was this guy?

Terrified, Shaw fled.

The dying man called out, “You’re cursed. Forever.”


C.D. Hersh–Two hearts creating everlasting love stories.

Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts, and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

Their paranormal series is titled The Turning Stone Chronicles.

They are looking forward to many years of co-authoring and book sales, and a lifetime of happily-ever-after endings on the page and in real life.

Learn more about C.D. Hersh on their Website and their other social media pages, Soul Mate Publishing, Facebook, Amazon Author Page, and Twitter.

Sunday 18 June 2023

Book Tour: Mirror World Publishing's From Here to There, Volume 2...


Mirror World Publishing and Sapphyria's Book Promotions present the

~ Virtual Book Tour for ~

From Here to There, Volume 2

About From Here to There, Volume 2:

Seven journeys across time, space, and the imagination.

Journeys, space travel, time travel, quests, spaces in between, portals…

In this second volume in the Far, Far Away series, we’ve gathered together the words of seven authors who’ve had the courage to explore the furthest reaches of reality.

Slip between the layers of space and time to discover what lives in the pockets. Find love in the most unexpected of ways and watch it thrive across the tapestry of history. March with the soldiers of a forgotten kingdom as they travel on foot and question the value of life and the hereafter. Then meet the gods and journey with them to correct the timeline of the mortal realm.

In this collection, you’ll get stuck in a time loop you won’t want to leave, experience the revival of an impossible connection between man and machine, and meet the aliens who will make portal-hopping possible in the near future.

So pack your bags for an epic journey and enjoy the trip… From Here to There

Included in the Anthology:

“Embedding” by Elana Gomel
“The Impossible Man” by Kelly D. Holmes
“The Repositioning March” by Buddy Young
“Industrial Honey” by Rhiannon Lotze
“Night Music” by Jane Lupino
“From Above” by Roy Sarkar
“The Harajuku Crevasse” by Taylor Calder.

Exclusive Excerpt from Embedding by Elana Gomel

I sit with Michael again in the evening, but I can see he doesn’t want me here. He is fidgeting, pulling on his blanket so hard that a seam rips. I catch his hot little hand – who knows when and whether there will be more blankets in the Box, and winter is coming – but he pushes me away fretfully. I finally give up and leave him alone, only to realize it is still early. The sun has slid behind the Wall, but the sky is of that pearly transparent pink that separates full light and darkness like a long indrawn breath. I promise myself not to send Michael to bed so early in the future. He is not a baby anymore. To make up for what might seem like a punishment to him, I go into the kitchen and set up a plate of cookies and a jam jar on the table, so he can have a treat first thing in the morning.

I step into the shadowy garden against my better judgement, breathing in the cool, earthy evening air. The berry bushes have been cemented into a tangled mass by the dimming light. The gnarly apple and plum trees stand out in spiky silhouettes against the sky. The twilight is full of unspoken menace, waiting for me to turn my back so the monsters can crawl out of their hidey-holes and spring at me.

The monsters are real, but haven’t they always been? Haven’t people always been afraid of the dark?

I lock the door, go back into the kitchen, make myself a cup of tea, and sit at the table, staring at the fading rectangle of the window. I know I need to draw the curtains, but I procrastinate, challenging the night.

Are Ruth and Melissa right? Are we in Purgatory, being punished for our sins by some perverse deity?

No, I won’t accept this. Every beat of my heart tells me I am alive. Locked up in some unfathomable prison, beset by invisible monsters, fed and watered like an animal in a zoo – but alive.

For how long?

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Sunday 11 June 2023

A Recipe and a Read: Tasty Banana Coconut Muffins and a Time Travel Romance Romp by Author Stella May...

This is a wonderful recipe my family enjoys with breakfast or as a snack. Not only are the muffins nutritious, but they're also easy to prepare, taste great, and freeze beautifully. I hope you enjoy these oven gems as much as we do. 

Banana Coconut Muffins
2 ripe bananas
2 large eggs, or 3 small
⅓ cup sugar⅓ cup oil (I use sunflower oil)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups almond flour
1 cup chocolate chips, optional
1 cup chopped nuts (any type), optional

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Mix eggs with sugar, then add all ingrediencies through baking powder.

Stir in almond flour. The mixture is supposed to be a consistency of sour cream. Add chocolate chips and nuts if you choose to use them.

Prepare a cookie sheet with lightly oiled baking cups. Spoon mixture into cups.

Bake 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven. Muffins are ready when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. You can also use this recipe in a loaf pan to make Banana Coconut Bread. Bake at the same temperature for approximately 55 – 60 minutes. Either way, cool completely then enjoy.

Here's a little to intrigue you on Stella May's latest time travel romance.

After months of working like a woman possessed, Nika Morris kept her promise. Coleman House is finished. It’s gorgeous. Spectacular. Brilliant.

It’s breaking her heart.

Because once the new owners move in, she’ll be cut off from the time portal to 1909, where she met and fell in love with Eli Coleman. Now stranded in her own time, she’s waited months for the key to reappear in its hiding place. Only it hasn’t. Which means Eli must have believed the terrible things she was accused of.

Back in 1909, Eli is stunned at his best friend’s deathbed confession of a shocking betrayal. Nika—his Daisy, his time-traveling wonder—was innocent. Once he finds the key, he wastes no time stepping through the portal, determined to make things right.

But the moment Eli stumbles into her shiny, noisy, confusing future, he realizes reconciliation won’t be simple. There is more than one emotional bridge to rebuild before he and Nika can return to the time their love was born—and live their destiny out to the fullest.

Amazon Buy Link

Talented author Stella May is the penname for Marina Sardarova who has a fascinating history you should read on her website

Stella writes fantasy romance as well as time travel romance. She is the author of 'Till Time Do Us Part, Book 1 in her Upon a Time series, and the stand-alone book Rhapsody in Dreams. Love and family are two cornerstones of her stories and life. Stella’s books are available in e-book and paperback through all major vendors.

When not writing, Stella enjoys classical music, reading, and long walks along the ocean. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband Leo of 35 years and their son George. They are her two best friends and are all partners in their family business.

Follow Stella on her website and blog Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Sunday 4 June 2023

This Summer, Take Time to Unplug by Sweet Romance Author Catherine Castle...

Statistics I found on the internet suggest that on the average people pick up their cell phones about 58 times in a single day. The top 20 percent of users spend more than 4.5 hours on their phone just on a weekday.  Although many of those pick-up times might only be, at a minimum, only a couple of minutes to check email or delete scam calls or texts, they add up.

I don’t know how many times  a day I pick up my smartphone, but if I’m being honest, I’d say I look at it a lot. Whenever an unknown-caller rings me, I pick up the phone after it stops plinking and delete the number so I don’t accidently hit redial the next time I remove the phone from my pocket. I do the same with spammy texts and emails. I check and answer my email several times a day. I text my daughter and best friend several times a day, and answer when people I know call me. I go the “Fount of all knowledge”, aka the internet, anytime hubby and I have a conversation and I wonder about a word, or have a question, or when I’m writing something and I need to answer a research question.  Sometimes I peruse Pinterest while watching television. Most of the time I keep the phone in my pocket, a habit I got into when I was home alone and wanted to have the phone close by because I’m a klutz  who falls a lot. The phone on my hip or in my pocket was my “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” security blanket. The one thing I don’t do, however, is look at it during a dinner conversation lull while eating with friends or family ocasions. I also spend as little time as possible on social media and that’s all related to my job as an author.

Hubby and I are just back from a lake retreat where we were unplugged from social media. Our mornings at home at the breakfast table often include our cellphones while we check our emails, blogs, and social media stuff before we begin the rest of our day.  

While we can look out at our hillside garden and hear muffled bird calls as they land on the porch railings and trees outside, we are essentially cut off from nature’s sounds and sensations. Here’s the view at our house from the breakfast nook.

The garden view from the breakfast nook

Our long, lingering breakfast on the screened porch at the lake looked like this.

Breakfast at the lake

Trilling bird songs entertained us all day long, the breeze blowing through the screens ruffled our hair, kissed our cheeks and cooled us as the sun crept into the porch, and the lapping of the water against the docks soothed our souls. I wish my blog had the ability to show videos, because I recorded at least 2 minutes of birdsong to play when I came home. I loved listening to the birds!

Our phones may have been sitting beside us, but the scene in front of us and the songs of the birds overwhelmed any urge to bury our heads in the tyranny of social media. Instead, we sat back and only used the phone to record the birdsong and photograph the beautiful, serene lake in front of us. The only screens we spent time on at the lake were our computer screens as we were working on our WIPs. The uninterrupted time was fruitful, too, as plot problems were ironed out and manuscripts reworked.  

My peaceful time on the lake porch reminded me of my youth when I’d take an armload of library books onto the front porch of my home and read all day long while the breeze rustled the leaves of the trees shading my summer reading nook. Back then, there was no internet, no computers, and no cell phones. If you wanted to communicate with someone you visited them or called on the landline telephone. If you lived too far away to visit or call without incurring long-distance phone charges, you sat down and wrote a letter. We did have a landline, but we didn’t even have an extension phone, just a long cord on our only phone. I would drag the phone into another room so my parents and sisters couldn’t hear my conversations. There wasn’t even call waiting, so Mom would often yell, “It’s time to hang up! You’ve been on that call too long now! Someone might be trying to call us.”

Yep, our six days at the lake were a bit of heaven for more than one reason.

Then we came home.

I have a mountain of emails on my smart phone. Honestly, I’m dreading slogging through the list. However, I will dig into the emails and do what must be done.

But I have to tell you, I can’t wait to unplug again!

What about you? Have you unplugged recently? Do you want to do it again?

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 @AuthorCCastle, FB or her blog.

Check out Catherine’s romantic comedy A Groom for Mama available on Amazon and  Barnes and Noble in Ebook or Print.

What readers are saying about the book:

Four stars Dec 03, 2017 Cyrene Olson rated it really liked it

Uncaged Review: Allison’s mother is very ill but in order for her to try out more tests, to find a cure - Allison must find a husband. As fate would have it her ex-boyfriend Jack runs an online dating service, but finding a groom won’t be that easy as Allison first thought.

I really enjoyed this book and even if the subject matter is a little sad. It is still a very romantic story. I loved Allison as a character as I felt I could identify will her and what she was going through, due to similar c Uncaged Review: Allison’s mother is very ill but in order for her to try out more tests, to find a cure - Allison must find a husband. As fate would have it her ex-boyfriend Jack runs an online dating service, but finding a groom won’t be that easy as Allison first thought.

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.