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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Diane's Krause's The Dinner Creations Cookbook Virtual Book Tour

Author Bio:

Diane Krause is a Southern girl who began cooking and baking at a very young age. She’s the former owner-operator of Dinner Creations, and still enjoys sharing Jalapeno-Stuffed Chicken and King Ranch Chicken with those she loves. Diane currently works as a freelance writer and editor. She’s the author of a short inspirational book for writers, 25 Ways to Create Classic Characters Readers Will Love, and is currently at work on her second cookbook.

Author and book links:

Twitter: @DianeKrause2

Genre: Cookbooks
Publisher: Southern Road Press
Release Date: 2nd edition released 7/14/13; Original release September 2009
Purchase link (Amazon): http://tinyurl.com/nxhuco6

Book Description:
The Dinner Creations Cookbook is a collection of more than 130 delicious freezer-friendly recipes.

Dinner Creations was a meal assembly business that operated in Friendswood, Texas from 2004 to 2008. With this cookbook, you can enjoy the Dinner Creations favorites in your own home. Among those favorites are:

  • King Ranch Chicken
  • and Dumplings
  • Jalapeno-Stuffed Chicken
  • Baked Salmon in Puff Pastry
  • Herb Crusted Flank Steak
  • Guiltless Brownies
  • ....and many more!

Each recipe includes freezer preparation instructions, and as an added bonus, printable freezer labels – complete with thawing and cooking instructions – are available at www.dinnercreationscookbook.com


Dinner Creations operated in Friendswood, Texas, from 2004 to 2008 and was one of the first meal assembly businesses in the Houston area.

Through the business of Dinner Creations, we gained a whole new family. We shared life stories, celebrated weddings, and rejoiced over the addition of new little ones to families. We watched people provide care and comfort to others through the gift of food and considered it a blessing to be a part of that caring. We made new friends, and we had a very good time doing the business of Dinner Creations.

This book is a collection of the recipes from Dinner Creations. Perhaps these recipes will enrich your family, and maybe even help you extend a bit of care to those around you.

From all of us who have been a part of Dinner Creations, thank you for letting us have a place around your dinner table.

---Diane Krause
Owner, Dinner Creations



Serves 6-8
1 lb. ground beef
1 1/4 cups prepared marinara sauce
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
9 ounces angel hair pasta (cappellini)
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Cook ground beef in a large skillet until beef is cooked through and no longer pink, breaking up any large pieces. Drain the meat, then return it to the skillet and stir in the marinara sauce and sugar. Set aside.
Cook angel hair pasta according to package directions; drain pasta and rinse with cool water.
To assemble, spread 2 cups meat sauce over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the cooked pasta, then sprinkle over 1/2 cup cheddar and 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese. Top with 2 cups meat sauce, the remaining pasta, and another 1/2 cup cheddar and 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese. Cover with the remaining 2 cups meat sauce, then sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes.
FREEZER PREPARATION: Prepare casserole as directed, omitting the cheese topping. Measure last 1/4 cup of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses into a plastic sandwich bag; seal. Lay a sheet of deli paper or waxed paper over casserole, then place bag of cheese on top. Seal entire pan well and label.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Woolzies Dryer Balls Review


I was given the opportunity to try these Eco-friendly dryer balls. It was  stated that they were guaranteed to last at least 1,000 loads. I have used these to dry clothes in my dryer quite a few times and the last load I did was  just like the first load. I was very happy to read that they were hypoallergenic because I have allergies as do some of my other family members.

Just think about the convenience of not having to buy softener and dryer sheets. They will save a lot of money and time. They are made of 100% wool and are very rugged. They are definitely something that consumers should buy if they want to save money and time.  These are also on twitter and facebook and it would be something that you should definitely check out.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

The River Valley Series by Tess Thompson Book Review

River Valley Series RIVERSONG, RIVERBEND, RIVERSTAR By: Tess Thompson Blurb

Riversong (The River Valley Collection #1) When Lee Tucker's husband commits suicide, he leaves her pregnant and one million dollars in debt to a loan shark. Out of options, she escapes to her deceased mother's dilapidated house located in a small Oregon town that, like her, is financially ruined, heartbroken and in desperate need of a fresh start. Lee's resilience leads to a plan for a destination restaurant named Riversong, to new chances for passion and love, and to danger from her dead husband's debt as her business blooms. A surprising mix of romance, humor, friendship, intrigue and gourmet food - Riversong entertains while reminding you of life's greatest gifts.

Riverbend (The River Valley Collection #2) "Tag. I found you." Just as Annie Bell's reputation as one of the best chefs in the Pacific Northwest grows to new heights, she receives a threatening phone call from her abusive ex-boyfriend. Marco is out on parole and hungry for revenge, blaming her for his ten-year imprisonment. Fearing for her life and that of her young son, Annie reluctantly accepts help from Drake Webber, a cold and wealthy recluse hiding a dark history of his own. Supported by the gang of misfits from their restaurant Riversong, Annie forges ahead despite her growing terror that Marco will appear at any moment and make good on his threats. Author Tess Thompson (formerly known as Tess Hardwick) reunites the colorful cast of endearing small-town characters from her bestselling novel Riversong and takes you on a journey that will renew your faith in love, friendship and the power of community - even in the face of seemingly insurmountable grief and fear. You'll find yourself once again cheering for the residents of River Valley, especially the big-hearted and compassionate Annie Bell.

Riverstar (The River Valley Collection #3) After ending an affair with a married movie producer, feisty Hollywood makeup artist Bella Webber finds herself back in the quaint Oregon town of River Valley, the location of a famous director’s latest film. Despite trying to distract herself with work, Bella is unnerved by the proximity of Benjamin Fleck – a man who once so expertly made love to her she’d temporarily forgotten everything painful about her life. But now Ben sees her as nothing more than a heartbreak waiting to happen. When an actress is found murdered after she’s seen leaving the restaurant Riversong with Ben, he is accused of the crime and arrested. Convinced of his innocence, the River Valley ‘gang of misfits’ band together to find the real killer, and Bella must face her biggest fear to ensure the truth is revealed. Link to Follow the Tour: Buy Links Riversong - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo Riverbend - Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes and Noble Riverstar - Amazon (other links won't be available until release) Author Info Tess Thompson is a novelist and playwright with a BFA in Drama from the University of Southern California. In 2011, she released her first novel, Riversong, which subsequently became a bestseller. Like the characters in the River Valley collection, Tess is from a small town in Oregon. She currently lives in a suburb of Seattle, Washington with her two young daughters, Emerson and Ella. She is inspired daily by the view of the Cascade Mountains from her home office window. Tess is working on her next novel and regularly blogs about the  her journey as a mother, author and friend at www.tesswrites.com.  

Author Links www.tesswrites.com @tesswrites

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorTessThompson? http://pinterest.com/tesswrites/

My review,  This is a heartwarming series about the power of being a friend, and power of love and hope. The River Valley Series is one of the best collection of stories that I have read in a long time. It is comforting to read a story that brings back some of the earlier characters that you fell in love with in earlier books. I usually do not like books that seem to be a continuation of another book, but, these three books could very easily be read alone. . I love the way the author is able to make me feel as if I know these characters and they are my friends. While reading each story you are happy, sad, scared  all at the same time. I give these books a 5/5.  I was given these books for the purpose of a review and all opinions are my own.

Rafflecopter Giveaway ($10.00 Amazon or B&N Gift Card and Digital Copy of CARAMEL AND MAGNOLIAS)

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Benjamin McTish and the Door Through the Grandfather Tree by June M. Pace Bookshelf Tour

Tour Banner - Benjamin McTish

The Tour Schedule

August 12, 2013
Hywela Lyn – Romance That’s ‘Out Of This ‘world’ {Guest Post with Giveaway}
Rose & Beps Blog {Guest Post with Giveaway)
August 13, 2013
Mom With A Kindle {Author Interview with Giveaway}
August 14, 2013
Crossroads {Guest Post with Giveaway}
August 16, 2013
Nancy’s Novels – Welcome to she said, he said {Character Interview with Giveaway}
August 19, 2013
Romance Me {Guest Post with Giveaway}
August 20, 2013
Just One More Chapter {Author Interview with Giveaway}
August 23, 2013
Inside the mind of a Bibliophile {Guest Post & Review with Giveaway}
You Gotta Read Reviews {Character Interview}
August 25, 2013
Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews {Author Interview with BTB Giveaway}
August 26, 2013
Sexy Between the Covers – Melissa Keir {Guest Post with Giveaway}
August 29, 2013
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! {Guest Post with Giveaway}
August 31, 20113
M.J. Schiller, Author {Character Interview with Giveaway}
September 2, 2013
My Devotional Thoughts {Guest Post with Giveaway}
September 13, 2013
Brooke Blogs {Guest Post & Review with Giveaway}
September 16, 2013
Epic YA Reads {Guest Post & Review with Giveaway}
September 21, 2013
Deal Sharing Aunt {Guest Post with Giveaway}
September 23, 2013
Authors’ Cafe {Guest Post with Giveaway}

About June M. Pace

June Pace - Author PictureJune lives with her soon to be husband and best friend Ray, his youngest son and their two dogs, seven chickens and two ducks, in Santa Cruz Ca. Ray’s two older kids live respectively in LA and San Francisco.
June spends her days writing and sometimes painting her well known series of Rock n Roll icons.This series of work, the McTish characters, are a part of June in every sense of the word. “This work brings a deep sense of joy and passion for me in a very profound way, like nothing else that I do.”    
                                                 Guest Post
My characters have become so much a part of my writing experience they are crystal clear in my mind. Their personalities are so formed that the dialog just flows without effort. It didn’t start out this way.

It takes time to round out a character...a story, at least in my experience. I didn’t have all the details of the world I was creating, or the direction it was headed. I just knew a few of the particulars....and hoped the rest would come, which it eventually did of course. And now I have the next several books in the series already outlined in my thoughts and anxious to put down in print.

The two sisters in the story, Annabel and Mathilda Wickcliff, for example.
I could carry on a dialog between them without interruption, they are so precisely who they are to me, I hear their little voices in my brain, and more importantly, I can see their mannerisms as well, they are very real to me. This makes for an easy flow of conversation that the reader can relate to and understand. They speak like young girls born in the US of A. (if you are following the tour, there will be a character interview on the 29th that features them...you can get a little of their back and forth.).

They are typical American girls, fourteen and eleven, who have been exposed to the fast paced culture of celebrity, consumerism and the internet. Mathilda, the youngest, is all things theatrical and entertaining. She revels in the idea of being a famous singer when she grows up and practices all the time, while wearing her favorite Rock Icon tee shirts, usually paired up with her colorful tutu’s, and her favorite green high top converse with the sparkly purple laces. She’s not shy about anything and views the world from an up front honest observation. She says what she thinks, regardless of the consequences, and has a clever way of interpreting everything. She thinks outside of the box. She enjoys using different language whenever possible, it makes her feel worldly...for instance, a favorite of hers, plotz...which is a yiddish word meaning to faint, that she learned from the nice Ms. Levinsky, who lives down the road a bit. But she will never use the term, “oh my god!”, she skirts around it and uses every other form you can imagine, however, she feels it’s been used to death and it seems somewhat disrespectful to her. “You know Bellie, he’s everyone’s god, not just mine!” She’s what is known as precocious.

Her older sister, Annabel, is the complete opposite. She is more pragmatic and responsible. She’s much more introspective, she tends to keep things more close to the cuff. She likes to read and devours anything that will not only entertain her, but will teach her something. She loves puzzles and mysteries, and she lives to keep lists. Lists are big with Annabel. She’s very organized and tidy...and ridiculously smart. She has a sense of wonder about the workings of the world and ponders the possibilities, while Mathilda grabs on with both hands and let’s the possibilities take her for a ride. And she’s usually pulling Annabel right along behind her.

They call each other Bellie and Tildie, or Sissy when it’s more personal. Their love of one another is all encompassing, and genuine. It’s capital letter L, Love. As a matter of fact, why don’t I just introduce you to them now.

Hi, I’m Mathilda, this is my big sister Annabel. We came from Boston to live here in Grandlochcheshire where our daddy grew up. It’s really nice here.”
Yeah, Da was really excited to bring us here so we could learn more about the way he was raised. It’s totally cool here. Although I do miss some of my friends back in Boston.”
Well what about Benjamin Bellie? He’s our friend, the bestest friend ever! I mean we are the three Muskydeers ain’t we?”
Of course goof ball, just cause I miss my old friends doesn’t mean Benjamin isn’t a good friend. I was just sayin is all.”
Well I always thought Melissa was kinda snoot snoot snooty if you ask me. Who could miss that?”
Well I don’t miss...”
I mean really if you think about it, you couldn’t even almost think of anyone who is better than Benjamin as a friend. Especially when he does his ESP stuff...now that’s pretty amazing if you ask me!”
Yeah...it’s really not ESP so much as it’s more like a sixth sense Tildie.”
A sick sense, what the heck is a sick sense?”
Not a sick sense, a six-th sense. It means he can feel things and maybe see things other people can’t.”
You mean he can see dead people? Holy socks! Are you kidding me?”
No Tildie, he doesn’t see dead people. You know we’re really getting off the subject here. We were supposed to introduce ourselves.”
Well what the heck do you think I did? I said here’s me and here’s you...I’m not a plank you know! I know what introduce means”
I know Tildie. I just meant we’re far off track so let’s just bring it back to what we were supposed to do in the first place. That’s all.”
Blast, now what should I do?”
Just say good bye to these nice people and let’s go watch a movie.”
Good bye nice people. So what movie are we going to watch Sissy?”
I don’t know, maybe we should watch the Sixth Sense so you get a clue.”
But he’s supposed to see dead people in that movie! I thought you said sixth sense people only know things.”

About Benjamin McTish and the Door Through the Grandfather Tree

Benjamin McTish CoverIt’s Harry Potter meets the Celestine Prophecy in this magical and thrilling ride! The McTish Series is an explosive adventure through a dimensional Gateway into another world, a world of beauty and magic, Coranim…a land of insight, thought and possibilities, that sits beneath the enchanted Gilley Forest.
There is local legend in the small town of Grandlochcheshire that has been passed down for a 100 years about the mysterious disappearance of the Chickering family, that trails on the coat tails of the equally shocking abduction of the Skeffington Union Rails heirs, Connor and Shelbe. The circumstances that follow this notorious tale enter into the modern world of Benjamin and his two best mates.
One day Benjamin watches from behind the Rhododendron as a mysterious little woman steps out of a taxi in front of the cream colored house with the forest green trim next door and in one synchronistic moment their eyes lock and a series of visual snippets of unfamiliar events unfold in his mind’s vision. His razor sharp sixth sense allows him the freedom to explore the extrasensory messages coming at him in a frenzied speed, like a derailed freight train.
And when Benjamin finds a peculiar old relic of a key in his grandmother’s garden shed, he could never know his world was about to change forever.
Annabel and Mathilda, two sisters who have moved to Grandlochcheshire from America, have become more than mere friends to Benjamin, they have all become the three Muskydeers (Mathilda’s mispronounced version of Musketeers, which was a huge laugh and of course it stuck), as they are plunged head first into this curious journey.
In the Gilley Forest they discover that the path they have chosen is inundated with many obstacles as well as intrigue. Alliances are made with the Forest clan of Gnomes known as the Set, and with the aid of the Vila sisters, Sethina and Morel, as well as some surprising and unexpected allegiances, the three friends take on the test that is the Grandfather Tree. They must stay on the pre ordained Path of prophecy, portended by the ancient seer Pajah Set, whose ancestry comes from the home of the oldest living beings on the planet, the Elves of the Darmon However, this is no easy task for the Muskydeers as they have the foulest of sorcery hunting their every move, the powerful dark beauty known to all as Tar Vigorn.
This ruthless Queen is not without humor however, and loves a good game of cat and mouse, as long as she’s the cat. With her biting sense of sarcasm and calculated taunting, she knows just how to unnerve the young Benjamin. Her phantom army known as the Blunt are searching for a way into the Grand Tree and will stop at nothing to infiltrate the pristine world beneath his giant roots.
Once in Coranim the children make the acquaintance of the greatest Medicine Elder alive, Esmerelda Fet. A most powerful Light Sorceress with a brazen in your face attitude and a thick Irish brogue, who guides the trio on their Path of destiny. “All tings be possible ya wee chil’ren, if’en ya put yer mind to it! Thar be nothin ya can’t accomplish. Ya just need ta be placin all yer carage inta tha middle of yer core whar yer Spirit shines…an ya can do anythin! Ha!”
Filled with many wonders, and home to the Fet clan of Gnomes, Coranim is a magical world of art, sound, thought, invention and discovery….and home to the World Library of Identity, with none other than Dunston Tibbitts at the helm.
Every being on the planet has a book dedicated to the entirety of their lives. Dunston reports to Benjamin, “according to what I see here now, this very minute, whatever it is that you are seeking will show itself today and change your Path immediately. It will put you into a whole new dynamic as they say.”
What could alter the overpowering trajectory Benjamin has followed to Coranim? How will it change his life?
Find out as our three heroes delve into the mystic, as well as their own inner character, as you watch from the edge of your seat.
Book Two, Benjamin Mctish and the Wizards of Coranim, coming 2013

The Excerpt

Well, that’s very odd, thought Benjamin.  He had never noticed the peculiar looking key, hanging from a very worn and tattered green ribbon, on the rusted nail in the garden shed before. The garden shed was not a traditional shed in the least.  Even though the walls were constructed from very old worn out wood, the interesting element was the solid glass roof.  It was a very unusual version of a greenhouse, and the permanent home of the most rare and beautiful of begonias, grown by his grandmother Emmagene. It also doubled as Benjamin’s secret hideaway.
The design was one of a kind, built by his grandfather, Owen McTish, way back before Benjamin was even born.  The wood came from an old abandoned farm on the outskirts of town.  The remnants from the farm had sat in the big fields on the edge of the Gilley Forest for close to a hundred years or more now.   The property was part of a long forgotten estate that had iron clad deeds and legalities making it impossible to tear down.  Save for some wood that was sold off at auction, (which was now the main body of structure to the McTish garden shed), along with some rusted antique barnyard  equipment, nothing had been touched in all these long years.  The passed down rumors of the mysteries surrounding the Chickering farm was still local legend with all the residents, but especially with the children, in the small town of Grandlochcheshire.
And here he was now, sitting in the garden shed built of the same wood that had housed the infamous Chickerings all those long years ago, staring at a mysterious key.
Benjamin sat upright from his perch on top of the pile of burlap bags that covered the mound of hay his grandmother stored in the shed for new seedling cover and stared up in utter disbelief at the mysterious key.
His grandmother enjoyed the smell of fresh hay, as it reminded her of her youth on her family’s horse ranch.  This resulted in her always keeping much more hay than she truly needed under the burlap, making this a particularly cozy little spot for Benjamin to lounge about.  As an added attraction, it also happened to be in direct sight of the door and most of the surroundings, and proved to be the perfect lookout for any uninvited guests.
Benjamin whipped his head around quickly and scanned the shed for any movement.  Nothing out of the ordinary, no one else around, no sounds of any kind, he thought.  He sat still and stared into the air before him, going into his deeper mind to hunt down an answer.  After a moment he continued his search around the room.
The light coming in from the glass ceiling was soft and dark grey as it was about to rain.  This added a touch of anxiety to the moment, as Benjamin’s all too familiar feeling of questioning arose.  Everything appeared to look the same as it did every other day that he could remember…except for that confounding and peculiar key!  The hairs on Benjamin’s arms stood straight up and a flush washed over his entire body and he knew something big was about to happen.
Benjamin had the ability to know things that other people never realized.   He knew secrets about people, their inner workings, even before they knew about it themselves.  It wasn’t like he could see dead people, or tell you what you had hidden in your pocket, or anything like this.  It was more about sensing things.   He had gut feelings, but in a bigger more expanded way.  He was rather good at telling you when your Aunt Gertie was going to show up at your door, or where to look for the lost cat. However, he was really good at knowing if something was significant or not, if something needed a further or deeper exploration.
It had always been this way for Benjamin.  When something was about to occur he always had a warning it was coming.  The hair on his arms stood up and an extremely powerful tingling from the bottom of his toes would rush up over his body.  His heart would pound and a little sweat would instantly gather on his face and neck.  His breathing would speed up and his eyes would widen in anxious search of the source of his alertness.  Many times these sensations came with lightning rapid visions and sounds.  And always attached to these pictures was a deeply felt emotion clinging along for the ride.
Benjamin hesitantly turned back around slowly, like he was moving through thick syrup and stared at the hanging piece of tarnished metal.  He had a very uneasy feeling about this key.  In all his years of living with his grandparents he had never seen the key dangling in the shed.  Nor, in fact, had he seen its equal or anything remotely close to this anywhere in the whole of the household.
He estimated the key was somewhere around nine inches in length and looked as old as the hills…Or the Gilley Forest, came the distant thought to Benjamin for an unexplained instant.  It was intricately designed with marks that Benjamin couldn’t make out from where he was sitting.
An impending alarm flooded Benjamin’s mind as he began his slow concise descent off the mound of burlap covered hay.  He inched his way toward the foreign old relic of a key.  The key with a worn out tattered green ribbon to match, that hung from an equally rusted old nail pounded soundly into the beam of the garden shed, that was home to Benjamin McTish and all that he knew.
As Benjamin approached the key he couldn’t take his eyes off of it.  It was like a magnetic beam was pulling him closer and closer to his target.  Benjamin reached up on his toes and removed the key from its mysterious home on the old nail.  The weight of the key surprised Benjamin, he hadn’t expected it to be as heavy as it was.  He turned it around and around in his hands, studying every line of the design.  When suddenly, by accident, he noticed that at a certain angle when he looked at it almost sideways there appeared to be…words!
Words and symbols in some kind of extraordinary language that Benjamin had never seen before.  Benjamin’s heart started racing and his breathing grew louder.  His eyes widened and he quickly took the key over to the potting bench in the middle of the shed.  The bench stood immediately under the huge expanse of window ceiling and in between two other tables that were filled with pots and dirt.  He laid the key on the top near the corner, in the strong growing light of the imminent storm.
The eerie cast that the light makes when it is so bright, yet dark at the same time, gave illumination to the key on the table’s edge.  The table was a perfect height for Benjamin to scrunch on down with his hands on his knees at eye level with the key.  He marched back and forth, squatting and repositioning himself for every possible discoverable view of this curious relic without actually touching it.  This small, yet significant, distance gave solace to Benjamin as he went deep into dissecting thought.
Just as he was about to pick up the key to examine it closer for details, the door of the shed flew open.  A burst of exuberant and animated voices came at him so fiercely that he jumped from the sudden fright, scratching his shoulder on the edge of the table behind him.
“Blast it!” he groaned.
Quickly recognizing the voices of his two best mates, Annabel and Mathilda, he grabbed the key with stealth speed and put it in his back pocket.  He pulled his jumper over the protruding end of the key to hide it and turned around to see what the commotion was about.
There was Annabel in her familiar flower-printed rubber cowboy boots and her younger sister Mathilda in her ever more familiar lavender tutu, with today’s addition of a yellow, red and green plaid rain slicker and hat.  All her wild orange curls were peeking out everywhere around her face and she held something tightly in her closed up fist.  The girls were in the middle of a heavy debate.
“….and it always does,” Mathilda was saying in mid sentence.
“That’s not true,” Annabel defended vehemently, “Where do you get these ideas from anyway, you’re just too weird for words Tildie.  I mean it.  You really are starting to bug me.  I just wish you would find some friends your own age already, as if anyone would be friends with you, and leave me alone!” shouted Annabel with force as she kept walking towards Benjamin.
With this, Mathilda stopped dead in her tracks and looked up as her sister walked away from her.  Her eyes began to instantly fill with huge blinding hot tears.  Benjamin could see Mathilda beginning to lose it completely and he could also see the rage in Annabel’s trudge towards him.  He made a small gesture with his eyes for Annabel to turn around.  However, before Annabel could understand what Benjamin’s coded expression meant, Mathilda’s sweet little round face was rapidly contorting.  With this her little shoulders were bouncing up and down from the weight of her silent wailing.
This was the kind of crying that one makes when the hurt is so sudden that your brain can’t react as fast as your body.  Instantly your eyes fill up and closed all at once.
Unprompted, Mathilda’s clenched fist opened and the three gum balls that had been held prisoner, loosened their stickiness in slow motion and fell to the ground, leaving dots of candy flavored red, green and white imprints on her sweaty palm.  She held her stiff sticky little rainbow colored hand open like it was something defective and unattached to her.  Her rain hat was falling down over her forehead from the jiggling of her bouncing shoulders.   And then with all the force of her tiny little person…it came.  A huge pile of hurt rushing out of her mouth and filling the room, instantly covering Annabel in shame.
When Annabel finally turned around and saw the incredible anguish of her words, her heart practically popped out of her body.  She ran with urgency back to her sister and fell to her knees.
Wrapping her arms around Mathilda she urged, “Oh Tildie, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean it…really, I didn’t mean it.  Please Tildie, you know I love you.  Please stop crying.”
Benjamin stood behind Annabel and attempted to help the situation by reassuring Mathilda that she was indeed his best mate, equal only to her sister Annabel, and he couldn’t imagine one without the other.
“Blimey Tildie, we’re the THREE Muskydeers ein’t we?” offered Benjamin.
Finally the gentle coaxing of love from her sister began to slow Mathilda’s seemingly relentless sobbing.  Now she had hiccups mixed in with gentle sobs and loads of snot.  Annabel took her own sweater sleeve, spit on it a little, picked up Mathilda’s sticky hand and wiped it. Mathilda whimpered through a very runny nose and all the wetness of tears and snot caused a big slobber bubble when she spoke, making the word gum balls come out gum bowls instead.
“I di.dent know…B.Bellie…I just…oh no! I dr..dropped the gum bowls…I’m s..sorry Bellie…”
Attempting not to giggle, Annabel assured her baby sister with a small smile, “Ssshh Tildie, it’s okay, we can just wipe them off, it will be fine.”
Benjamin nodded in reassurance from his end.
Annabel wiped her sister’s tears and her profoundly running nose with the back of her sweater sleeve and propped her rain hat back up on her head.   Then the sisters leaned in, resting their foreheads against each other, they looked deeply into one another’s eyes for a very long moment. Slowly a small smile started to grow between them.  With this Mathilda threw her arms around Annabel’s neck and Benjamin exhaled a deep breath of relief.
The Wickcliff girls were the most truest and best mates that Benjamin ever had, without exception.  It had been almost a year since he sat in his bedroom window and watched in curious amusement as the moving van unloaded the entirety of the Wickcliff belongings into the two story cream house with the forest green trim  next door to his grandparents.

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Keeper of the Reign by Emma Richt Blog Tour

Keeper of Reign copy
  keeperKeeper of Reign Books written in blood. Most are lost, their Keepers with them. A curse that befell a people. A Kingdom with no King. Life couldn’t get more harrowing for the Elfies, a blend of Elves and Fairies. Or for sixteen-year-old Jules Blaze. Or could it? For Jules, the heir of a Keeper, no less, suspects his family hides a forgotten secret. It was bad enough that his people, the Elfies of Reign, triggered a curse which reduced the entire inhabitants to a mere inch centuries ago. All because of one Keeper who failed his purpose. Even the King’s Ancient Books, did not help ward off that anathema. Now, Gehzurolle, the evil lord, and his armies of Scorpents, seem bent on destroying Jules and his family. Why? Gehzurolle’s agents hunt for Jules as he journeys into enemy land to find the truth. Truth that could save him and his family, and possibly even reverse the age-long curse. Provided Jules doesn't get himself killed first.  
    emmaAuthor Emma Right Emma Right is a happy wife and homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast of the USA. Besides running a busy home, and looking after their five pets, which includes two cats, two bunnies and a Long-haired dachshund, she also writes stories for her children. She loves the Lord and His Word deeply, and when she doesn't have her nose in a book, she is telling her kids to get theirs in one. Right worked as a copywriter for two major advertising agencies and won several awards, including the prestigious Clio Award for her ads, before she settled down to have children.
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Herstory Fiction Honoring Women's History Month By: Various Authors


Fiction Honoring Women’s History Month

By: Various Authors


In ancient times, women were regarded as sacred. They were thought to hold the mystical power of creation—responsible for the continuation of our species. With the rise of Science and Religion, these myths were dispelled and their plight began.

HerStory: Fiction Honoring Women’s History Month is a collection of Flash Fiction and Short Stories from today’s top authors featuring female characters that exemplify strong strength of mind, body, and character. Some of these tales are based on real people while others are purely fictional. However, all are standing up for themselves and what they believe in.

Grab yourself a glass of wine or favorite hot beverage and get comfortable as you read about the lives of women who will light the fire in your soul.

This anthology features stories by Alexandra Chauran, Angelique Mroczka, Dahlia DeWinters, Danielle Villano, Dianne Hartsock, Dorothy L. Abrams, Gina Tonnis, Mary Terrani, Jodie Baptie, Justine Dee, Laura DeLuca, Lisa A. Adams, Lisa Cerezo, Lisa J. Yarde, Lori Beth Johnson, Lorraine Nelson, Marie Antonia Parsons, Megan D. Martin, Michelle Cornwell-Jordan, Mirella Patzer, Morgan Summerfield, Becca Diane, Lacey Wolfe, Sarah Cass, Shelli Rosewarne, Tara Chevrestt, and Toni Rakestraw.

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From A Pit Story by Shelli Rosewarne

Who has authorization on-site at the moment then?”

One of the foremen shifted uncomfortably.

We have two first-aiders underground, but we don’t know if they might be injured too.”

Maud shook her head. “If they’re badly injured, they can go into shock when they get moved. They need a shot first.”

He glanced away. “There’s no one who can do it,” he said simply.

Before she realized what she was saying, Maud replied, “There’s me.”

The yard almost turned as one to stare at her.

The foreman coughed. “Er, ma’am, you know that’s not possible. Women aren’t allowed underground.”

She glared. “Are you prepared to let people die because of that? Robbie Stanham, I knew your mother and God bless her soul, she would be ashamed.”

He flushed under the layer of coal dust and looked away.

It ain’t safe, ma’am,” he muttered, but she knew he was only saying it for show.

She paused—was she really going to do this? Not only was it dangerous, but even if she made it out again safely, she would be in world of trouble … maybe even lose her job. Harry might be down there … or Danny. Even if they’re not, it’s someone’s husband, someone’s son … you owe it to them.

She squared her shoulders. “Someone get me a helmet.”

By the time she was decked-out in overalls three sizes too big for her with an overlarge helmet weighing down her head, she doubted her sanity. This was crazy—she’d never been underground before. While she supposed she might have been a little curious, both the rules and a well-placed sense of self-preservation had kept it at just curiosity.

She carefully checked her pack—that was the main thing, getting the first-aid supplies down to those who couldn’t be moved safely without them. Focus, Maud. Lives are at stake here … this is what your job is about, remember? She stepped gingerly toward the entrance, where half a dozen waited to go with her. She was grateful, knowing they could be risking discipline as well simply by helping her.

Lord, it looks dark. She peered into the gaping hole in the earth. As though he read her thoughts, one of the men stepped forward and gently flicked on the light on top of her helmet. She smiled a little sheepishly at him and muttered her thanks. The small bulb gave a pale watery glow, only seeming to deepen the shadows. You volunteered for this. No backing out now. She shook herself and stepped into the blackness.

It was like stepping into another world. The darkness was so thick she could barely see a few steps in front of her. The lights from their helmets and the lantern one of the men carried reflected off the gray walls. As they moved away from the entrance, the passages became narrower, the roof lower. Maud could almost feel the dirt and stone pressing in on her. The light of the day didn’t penetrate here and she could feel the cold and damp seeping through the heavy overalls. She tried to take deep breaths, but that just seemed to fill her lungs with dust and she found herself coughing.

The man ahead of her turned back. “Are you okay?”

She forced herself to nod and he smiled briefly at her.

Always bad your first time down. Turn your collar up and take shallow breaths.”

She did as he suggested and although it helped a little with the dust, she felt the cold settling into her bones. She tried to concentrate on the broad back of the man in front of her.

Lord, she couldn’t imagine doing this every day!

She focused on the monotony, the stepping forward, the lamps set at intervals down the passageway, the stamping of their footsteps and the constant grayness around them. She didn’t even notice the man in front of her had stopped until she nearly ran into the back of him. He turned to her and gestured to a slumped form on the ground. Maud carefully stepped round him, gesturing for the man with the lamp to come forward, as she crouched down beside the fallen miner. The warm glow of the lamp glinted on his blood-stained form and the white shine of bone poking through his shin. She gently touched his shoulder and he turned pain-filled eyes her way.

Am I dead?” he whispered.

She tried to smile reassuringly. “No, pet. The angels are a great deal prettier than me.”

Disemblance by Shanae Branham $50 Giveaway!!!!!

  DiSemblance Jason Tanner’s life has always been different from the ordinary citizen’s. It started when he was an infant and his parents were only teenagers. A computer science prodigy, Lloyd attended MIT but left a pariah in the eyes of the school’s dean—but a computer physics genius in the eyes of his primary investor. Then his theories and ideas created a holographic machine and their world shrunk as contact with the outside world became less and less frequent. A computer prodigy now himself, Jason is about to learn that the world never waits for you if you have the ability to change it: it will come for you. Detective Bruce Durante has been handed the case of the Comfort Killer, a serial killer so named because he appears to abduct terminally ill patients before returning their corpses to their families in refrigerated coffins. When he picks up the trail, it leads straight to the home of Lloyd Tanner. Jason has been living life through the world of Lloyd’s invention and wishing he could carry on a relationship with Boston, the beautiful girl next door. When his father is murdered and framed as the Comfort Killer, he is brought back to reality in a hurry. He is forced to destroy all of the planted evidence—and finds he is being targeted as the killer’s new fall guy. But the secrets of his father’s invention run deep and Jason, his brother Isaac,Boston, the Comfort Killer, and Detective Durante hurtle towards one another on a deadly collision course that leaves everyone’s life hanging in the balance.
  Author Shanae Branham I am a professional writer with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a minor in grammar. I have also attended several years of classes and workshops in screenplay writing at the Los Angeles Screenplay writer’s Expo. I love suspense thrillers and am a master at plot and character development. I enjoy stories with happy endings. I promise all my readers that when they put one of my books down or walk away from one of my movies, they will be enthused with excitement and joy. This does not mean there will not be some sad parts, because you have to feel the bitter in order to understand the sweet. In fact, I have struggled with Dyslexia my whole life, so you can imagine how overjoyed I was when DiSemblance won a Silver metal in the fantasy/science fiction category at the eLit awards in 2012.  
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  BookBlast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 9/13/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Expected by Sarah England

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About Sarah England

S. E. England Author PictureSarah originally trained as a nurse in Sheffield (UK) and then went on to work as a medical representative for nearly 20 years, specialising in mental health.
She had always wanted to write fiction, but did not begin until around 8 years ago, prompted by a house move and relocation to the South coast. Since then she has had around 140 short stories published, mostly in national magazines and various anthologies; and most recently a 3 part detective serial in Woman’s Weekly.
3 am and Wide Awake was released in May 2013 by Alife Dog Fiction – a collection of 25 thrillers, many supernatural or medically based – two of her predominant themes.
Expected is Sarah’s first novel – a comedy launched by Crooked Cat Publishing on 28th June, 2013. She lives in Dorset with her husband, Don, and spaniel, Harry.

About Expected

Expected CoverRed Alert.
Sam Sweet is terrified of giving birth.
Only, she doesn’t dare tell anyone. Especially her grandchild-obsessed mother, or her fiancĂ©, Simon – top surgeon by day, mind-game expert by night.
Repressed by the expectations of others, Sam feels trapped. All she ever wanted was a career and a crack at independence, but as a catastrophically failed psychiatric nurse who now injects fillers into the crinkled faces of unhappy women, a career is proving tricky. There’s something wrong with the product and now clients are suing.
Nasty work colleagues stir up scandalous gossip, and soon Sam hits rock bottom, consoling herself with button-popping chocolate binges and terrifying spending sprees.
Sam is going to have to find her voice if she ever wants to be herself, fall in love, and follow her dreams.
Alas, the wedding date is set…

The Excerpt

I have a needle stuck in Mrs. Devine’s face.
“Is it working, Sam?” she asks.
“Oh, um, definitely. Yes.”
Truthfully? Nothing is coming out of the syringe, and the harder I press the plunger the more my hand shakes and the needle bends. This is what is going to happen next—the needle snaps off before speeding along the venous highway like a tiny dart toward Mrs. Devine’s heart. Either that, or the whole thing suddenly gives way, and I rip a hole through her head. Sweat surfaces all over my body. I must have the flu or a nasty virus. Might even faint while still holding a syringe with a client attached to it.
Damn. Cellafiller is supposed to be the best thing since Collagen, but really, it’s nearly impossible to squeeze this stuff out, let alone artfully sculpt it beneath tissue-thin skin. I don’t remember it being so difficult during training, but now I’m on my own, well . . . let’s just say it isn’t a happy situation being in a back-street beauty salon with a bunch of women expecting great things.
Mrs. Devine, my model, and something big in local amateur dramatics, is lying on the clinic couch in full make-up, coral lips stretched into her performance smile as I try in vain to fill the ravine between her eyebrows. She doesn’t have a frown line through her glabella muscle so much as a grand canyon.
The small crowd of potential customers straining for a glimpse of this miraculous demonstration is visibly shrinking back. You can almost hear the hissing recoil. I don’t need to glance up to see the sharp downturn of glossed lips and the widening of black-rimmed eyes. Mrs. Devine’s grand canyon is oozing fresh blood. I’ve got the needle fully inserted now, retracting the syringe oh-so-slowly the way I’ve been taught, while my furiously vibrating thumb tries in vain to inject treacle-thick product. Should have taken minutes, and then ta-da! But the harder the plunger is depressed, the more blood oozes out, lying darkly now in a swelling puddle of glistening, ruby red.
Hot nausea tides over me. I feel terrible, by the way, just in case you’re wondering; this poor woman had a long, squiggly frown line, and now she’s got what looks like a botched lobotomy. All eyes focus on my trembling hands as I withdraw the syringe, mop up the debris, and declare the job done. I’ve seen less blood-soaked gauze following open-heart surgery.
“There we are,” I trill, as lightly as if I just served up a plate of lasagna. “And in a couple of days, the line will be gone.”
Ignoring the horrified faces, particularly mine in the mirror opposite—so white against my red hair I look like Elizabeth the First after a nasty shock—I snap off my latex gloves, and return to its box the still full syringe with its severely weakened, bent needle. I cannot look at Mrs. Devine as she hops off the couch with blood pouring from her head. To be honest, I could cry. Mrs. Devine owns the clinic and had it gone well, there would have been a list of new clients for our new product. Instead, it’s a major screw-up. Another one. In time, she will have a scar, and that will no doubt take her mind off the ravine. But long before that, there will be that call—the one about having spoken to her lawyer.
My name is Sam Sweet, and I’m in total control; just because every decision I have never made was made by someone else does not mean I am not in control of my life now. Of course I am. Oh, God. Look, I’m doing my best. What else could I have done back there? Oh, God.

  • Sarah’s Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
  • Expected on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Crooked Cat Books
  • Publisher: Crooked Cat Publishing
  • Book Trailer
  • Publication Date: June 28, 2013
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