Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Roasted Pumpkin Soup & Pork Roast just Kidding

So, Stef is in Scotland for the weekend, and I have been cooking. Today it was pumpkin soup, but instead of boiling it, I roasted the pumpkin, along with five carrots and an onion. I ate one carrot when the veggies were done - I love roasted veggies - then I put the rest in the blender with some milk and cream, and used couscous spices: curry powder, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, cayenne, and paprika. Then I whipped it up until the soup was creamy and light - and had a bowl because it smelled so good and now I'm stuffed. Pumpkin is filling!

The Faux Pork Roast (Roast Pork, Just Kidding!)  comes from "Food Wars", a manga cartoon that has some incredible recipes. This one looked like fun, and I had all the ingredients, so I boiled my potatoes and mashed them, fried up onions and mushrooms and added them to the mash. Then I wrapped it in four large rashers of thick bacon and tied it like a roast. I baked it in a nice, hot oven (turning it once) until it was browned all over. Then I deglazed the onion/mushroom pan with port wine, added soy sauce and butter, and some herbes de Provence. I sliced the roast on a plate and poured the sauce over it. I had it for dinner last night, and at work today for lunch, and it was deliecious!

The good thing about recipes is that you can change them to accomodate what you have in the house. I didn't have red wine, but I had port wine, and that worked well with the soy sauce. I didn't have any sweet sake, but the port wine was sweet already, so it worked fine! I also substituted regular mushrooms for the oyster mushrooms and again - they were fine!

Tomorrow, Sunday, I will take Auguste for a walk along the riverside. The river is very high, and it is scary/fun watching the brown, swirling water as it flows by just inches from the bike path - instead of being several meters below it!


Monday, January 15, 2018

Sanctuary of Lies by Chad Bishop

Sanctuary of Lies
by Chad Bishop


~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GENRE: Thriller (domestic)
BLURB:

There are 4.7 billion searchable sites make up 10% of the web, the other 90% is dedicated to the "Dark web". Within that environment there is a thriving economy where everything is for sale: Sex, Armies and Code for hire. Well-known companies buy and sell for governments and NGO’s (non-governmental organizations). They appear as a benign legal boutique companies and consultants, but their true purpose is to be the middlemen/cyber lynchpin for these illicit goods and services.​

ISABELLA NUNEZ owns a computer firm in Brooklyn with her lover JACOB COSTA. Accepting her infertility they have a blue nose pit bull called Justice as their “child” and live simple lives as techy nerds. Isabella’s idyllic life is shattered when several days after her lover’s ex-wife, SIMONE JOHNS, reported death, Simone sends Jacob an email to come save their child, he didn’t know they had.

EXCERPT:

Come closer, you know, so I can kiss you better.” she teased.

He leaned in and Bella pulled him into a deep kiss. He felt her leaning her back, trying to pull him onto the bed. Jacob broke the kiss and smiled at her.

I’ve got work and no matter how big you think you are, the truth is I’m still bigger than you.”

Bella fell back on the bed. “ Fine, go I’ll go pick up our baby and meet you later.”

I don’t know how you can call a 60 lb bluenose pit bull a baby but, okay.” Jacob said as he shook his head. He looked at his watch, gave Bella another kiss and then left their condo.

The August morning was bright and the heat was already starting to rise. He stepped into his black car and pushed the engine start button. As the car started its system and the a/c began to cool the car Jacob pulled his phone out and went to his text he tapped Simone’s text:

Hello Jake,

I’ll get straight to the point. I’ve been murdered and I need you to protect our son.

Your response is required.

Jacob closed the text and re-holstered the phone.

Sending texts from the grave, that’s got to be one for the books."

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Being a child of divorce, I have experienced both sides of the American Family. I understand there is a loss to the family unit that no longer has a father in it. In the face of that loss, I discovered a woman can rise to the occasion and not replace a man but offer her own strength, moral compass and guidance. In this environment a child can grow up feeling loved, accepted and ultimately successful in life.

Those experiences in my formative years have made me more aware of the women around me and the daily feats of resourcefulness and ingenuity that goes unnoticed and unacknowledged by society. My stories highlight societal issues and the ever-changing challenges women face that I've observed during my life.

https://www.facebook.com/chadbishopauthor/

https://www.amazon.com/Chad-Bishop/e/B076XRXKQG/
Blog: Best Known Secrets https://www.bishopstories.com/blog-1

Website: https://www.bishopstories.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION:

Chad will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to 6 randomly drawn winners via a Rafflecopter giveaway during the tour!

Review:
I started reading this before I went to work - and I was nearly late at the office! Then I stayed up all night to finish it!
Chad Bishop has written a tightly plotted thriller, with multiple characters and multiple viewpoints - and it all meshes wonderfully. 
It starts off with a plane being hijacked from a distance - and the apparatus that hijacks the plane is up for bids.  And in a place called "Sanctuary", something deep and terrifying is going on.  People are being killed, and it doesn't seem like anyone is aware of what is going on, until almost too late.
The author plays the reader like a fish - casting out bits of storyline and reeling you in. I admit, I was hooked. I wasl also hooked because of the plausibility of the story, and because the author does a terrific job with pacing and character development. Kudos to Chad Bishop - I'll be looking for more of his work! 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A Mysterious Spring

I suppose there is a reason for it although I can't come up with anything logical. On Amazon my book covers are disappearing one by one, replaced by 'Image Not Available' signs that look sort of sad and empty.
Being a resourceful sort of person, (my hero, McGyver) I uploaded some new pictures so customers can see the cover. I also e-mailed Amazon, and if anyone has ever done that they know that it's like writing a letter, opening the window, and tossing it outside with the hopes that someone from Amazon who can actually Do something will pick it up off the ground.

A Mysterious Spring
Here is a photo of the Nymphorium near my house. It was built on the site of a sacred spring and stream. (The druids worshipped running water.) The Romans arrived, conquered Gaul, and made the sacred spring into a nymphorium - that is, a temple dedicated to the worship of a nymph. This temple datesd from about the year 100 AD.
Whenever I drive by it, my radio stops. It is impossible to get any station in this area. Very mysterious.
Another mystery is that no matter the weather, when you get to the spring, it seems sunny. Also, when you step inside, look at your watch. Time has a funny way of getting away from you in the temple. You stop to look at the stream, the statue, then your eye is caught by a flash of light, or perhaps it was just a large dragonfly - whatever it was, you were distracted. Look at your watch again - hours have gone by. Or perhaps just a minute, when it seemed much, much longer. Step out of the temple, and suddenly, the sun is setting. Where did the day go???

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Movie Magic by Michelle Garren Flye


Movie Magic
by Michelle Garren Flye

GENRE:   contemporary romance
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:  Lights…camera…magic!

Sabrina Parker has spent her professional life creating unbelievable stunts and magical effects for movies and stage magicians. Now she needs some special magic to help her bring her movie to life. Her search leads her to the very unlikely stage of Walt Bryson, host of a long-running children’s television show in Beaufort, North Carolina.

Walt isn’t terribly happy about taking Hollywood’s call. He’s never sought the same notoriety as his colleagues Ian Logan and Andre Hawke. But there’s something about the beautiful, levelheaded Ms. Parker, and when he reads her screenplay, he knows he wants to work with her. For the first time in years, he’s willing to put tragedy behind him and make real magic.

Can Walt and Sabrina use love as their guide or will their past mistakes haunt their future?

Excerpt :

“How long can you stay?”

He drew away and looked at her in amusement. “I’m here all night.”

“No, I mean this trip. How long is it?” 

“Just til day after tomorrow, why?”

She couldn’t hide her disappointment. “Oh. Okay.”

He sat up on his elbows, looking down at her. “Why do I get the feeling that’s not the answer you wanted from me?”

She shook her head, trying—too late—to reassure him. “No, it’s just that Dylan has this actor who’s looking at a part in the movie. The male lead. And it’s kind of a big thing for the movie, and if you were there, you could see if he would even be able to learn the tricks. You know. For the movie. But it’s not—”

“I can stay.” 

“What?” She looked at him incredulously.

“I can stay.” He brushed her hair back from her face with a gentle smoothing motion. “The show’s wrapped up, and I’ve got no plans for the rest of my life. What’s another couple of days?”

“Oh. Fantastic.” She relaxed into his arms. “That means there’ll be more time for this, then.”

“And that is the best news I’ve heard all day.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Michelle Garren Flye is an award-winning author of romance and women’s fiction. Reviewers have described her work as: “an engaging novel with charming and likable characters”, a story that “will make you believe in love and second chances”, and a “well-written and thought-provoking novel.”
Michelle placed third in the Hyperink Romance Writing Contest for her short story “Life After”. Her short stories have been published by the romance anthology Foreign Affairs, Opium.com, SmokelongQuarterly.com and Flashquake.com. She has served on the editorial staffs of Horror Library, Butcher Shop Quartet and Tattered Souls.
Michelle has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is the mother of three and lives in North Carolina with her husband and their rapidly growing collection of pets.

Links:
Blog: BREATHE: http://michellegflye.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michellegarrenflye/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/michellegflye
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Movie-Magic-Sleight-Hand-4/dp/1976147190

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION: Michelle Garren Flye will be awarding $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: 
Movie Magic is a very enjoyable romance. The main character, Sabrina, is not very likeable at the start, but at the same time, you want her to succeed. Her job is fascinating - who wouldn't want to work in the film business making special effects come to life? Sabrina's job is to find the people who can work that magic, and her quest leads her to a sleepy little town where Walt, a magician, works in a a local theater that also doubles as a television show.

Although Walt is immediately engaging as a character, he's harder to get to know. He is secretive and reclusive. The author did an amazing job bringing both characters to life. At first Sabrina is snobbish and shallow - but as she gets to know the town and the people, we discover new depths to her personality. Walt is mysterious and almost cold - but he too changes when he meets Sabrina. In fact, the book is less about the illusion of movie magic and more about the transformational magic of love!

 A sudden storm brings the characters together, and very much like the Shakespearean play, "The Tempest", the characters are introduced and the story unfolds against a background of nature, the elements, and magic. Movie Magic is a charming romance!


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Relatively Crazy by Ellen Dye

Relatively Crazy
by Ellen Dye

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GENRE: Women's Fiction/Romance

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
BLURB:

On her fortieth birthday housewife Wanda Jo Ashton is expecting her husband's standard gift of an E and E from T-that being Elegant and Expensive from Tiffany's. However, what she gets is the news that her formerly successful, dependable corporate attorney husband is leaving her to pursue the rich life of a kept man. Left with nothing she has no choice but to escape the San Francisco area, with her sixteen-year-old daughter in tow and head toward the mountains of West Virginia and the quirky family she left behind twenty years ago. Here Wanda Jo must carve out a future, complete with career and home in the midst of family feuds, computer phobias and the occasional homebrewing explosion before she finally figures out life can indeed being again at forty.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 Excerpt:


No sooner had I placed my half-empty mug on the counter than I heard a distantly familiar hissing sound. But before I could remember when I’d last heard it there was the unmistakable groan of old wood followed by an explosion loud enough to rival cannon fire and then the sound of splintering wood.

Olivia looked at me, eyes wide with shock. I looked at Sam. We both looked at Nettie, who sat with her eyes wide and one hand over her mouth. “Oops,” she squeeked.

Mama just sighed and kept washing dishes.

Sam and I hurried to the front door. He got there first and shoved it open with one massive shoulder. I stared out in stunned disbelief. The right side of the porch had been reduced to a pile of splintered boards, sprinkled here and there with, broken glass. One of the posts and collapsed and the other dangled from its gingerbread trim.

The usually fresh morning air reeked of fermenting apples.

A tad too much yeast.” Nettie tsked from somewhere near my elbow, before turning to toddle back toward the kitchen lost in thought.

Well, it was official. We were home and had just survived another of Aunt Nettie’s homebrewing explosions.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

At the age of nine Ellen Dye decided she was going to be a writer when she found her Aunt Nettie’s trunk of True Confessions magazines and spent untold hours reading the lot, a bag of Munchos potato chips and a frosty RC Cola at her side. Then, being nine, she promptly forgot all about it as she got lost in the pesky business of growing up, And then one very lucky day she spotted a confession magazine on the grocery store shelf and began to tap out her own stories which were a delight to see published. Now she spends her days tapping out her characters’ happily-ever-afters for The Wild Rose Press.

Visit anytime at www.ellendye.com

Ellen is always up for meeting new friends at Ellen Dye Author on Facebook

Amazon sale link
https://www.amazon.com/Relatively-Crazy-Ellen-Dye-ebook/dp/B076GNYR8X/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

Ellen Dye will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Historical Fiction writer Tom Williams

Today I'd like to introduce Tom Williams,  historical fiction & espionage writer! I first discovered his books and read "Burke in the Land of Silver", because it was set in one of my favorite countries, Argentina. Since I had spent much time there, I grabbed the book, and I'm glad I did.

"Burke in the Land of Silver" is a fantastic historical novel set mainly in Argentina during the
Napoleonic wars. Burke (James Burke!) is a spy for the English who doesn’t hesitate to work for what he feels is right against a background of war and greed, as gold and silver are used to fuel the huge war machines of the three great powers of the time: England, France, and Spain. “Burke in the Land of Silver” took me back to a country I love, Argentina, and I learned much that I didn’t know about its history. But mostly, I followed the fascinating adventures of a gentleman spy caught between three warring countries intent on sacrificing their young men in order to gain wealth and power. The book was wonderfully researched and fast-paced. I couldn’t put it down, and I’m eagerly looking forward to reading the next books in the series.

Welcome to my blog, Tom, and please tell us more about your books, and how you write them!



Tom:  Like Jennifer, I write historical novels that have quite a lot of historical fact in them. That means that for every word we write, we both have to read dozens to get some sort of idea of the history that we are writing about. Which used to mean weeks spent in libraries, but since the massive increase in the availability of books online, it now means spending weeks in front of screens. Compared to Jennifer, I'm really lucky because my books are mostly set in the 19th century and I can now read an enormous amount of contemporary material without ever leaving my desk.
Nice as my desk is, I do like to get out every now and then and research trips away are always fun – the more so as you can pretend that they are work.
Burke in the Land of Silver was the first book I wrote about James Burke and based very closely on the events of his life. The most important parts of the story are set in Buenos Aires and, as I've always liked Argentina, that was the perfect excuse for the greatest research trip I've had.

The buildings here haven’t changed much in two centuries
Buenos Aires is a huge modern city, but at the centre some streets that have changed very little in two hundred years. I spent days walking around them, taking photographs to remind myself what they look like and finding paintings in the local museums that showed them as they were then. I explored the remains of the old Spanish fort that now lie underneath the presidential palace and I admired the British flags captured during the two British attacks on the city.
I was lucky in that the porteños (the people of Buenos Aires) are fiercely proud of their country and the city is full of museums with fascinating material about their early history.

Pioneer wagon in a Buenos Aires museum
There is more to Argentina than Buenos Aires, though, and Burke did leave the city to explore the countryside. His adventures start with a visit to an estancia on the pampas where he rides out with the gauchos tending their cattle. We took a day trip to San Antonio, where there is a museum of rural Argentine life that features a farmhouse of the period, which became the model for the one Burke visits in the book. Of course, we could hardly ride out with the gauchos. No, that had to wait for another trip that featured an unforgettable morning galloping across the plain while real working cowboys lassoed the new-born calves to check their health.

Saddling up
Historical research can be such hard work.
Here is a list of Tom's books, and the dates they will be available. I thoroughly recomment starting with "Burke in the Land of Silver", but I believe you can read them in any order, and there is a stand alone book, "The White Rajah", that is on my TBR pile!

To buy links: 'Burke in the Land of Silver' is now available to buy on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Burke-Silver-Majestys-Confidential-Agent-ebook/dp/B078TGFSZT 'Burke and the Bedouin' is available to pre-order at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Burke-Bedouin-adventure-Napoleonic-Confidential-ebook/dp/B078PKKNBD

JAN 5: Burke in the Land of Silver

JAN 19: Burke and the Bedouin

FEB 2: Burke at Waterloo

FEB 16: The White Rajah

MAR 2: Cawnpore

MAR 16: Back Home






Roasted Pumpkin Soup & Pork Roast just Kidding

So, Stef is in Scotland for the weekend, and I have been cooking. Today it was pumpkin soup, but instead of boiling it, I roasted the pumpki...