Do You Suffer From Bibliophilia? Guest Post By Catherine Castle

“When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.”— Desiderius Erasmus


Do you ever feel like this? I know I do. I’m a bibliophile and my house is full of books and magazines. Many of them I’ve opened for reference at one time or another. Many of them I’ve read cover to cover. Most of them I have not read at all, but I hope to one day. They had begun to run me out of my office and then we bought Kindles. Ah, the joy of endless storage. I can go through a twenty-five dollar gift certificate in no time flat.

Here’s the thing about my book habit … it knows no genre limitations. I have fiction books of almost all genres, non-fiction books, books for research, writing craft books, books about historical eras, quote books, half a dozen or more dictionaries, including two rhyming dictionaries, a flip dictionary and several thesauruses.

I keep thinking I’ll cull the herd, especially the dictionaries. After all how many versions of a dictionary does one person need? But I can’t bear to part with a single book. After all, who knows when I might need a synonym?

I did the other day when I was writing a poem that referenced heaven and Word’s thesaurus only had paradise, bliss, ecstasy, dreamland, cloud nine and rapture as alternative options. None of those words fit what I needed. So, I hauled out the thesauruses, the rhyming dictionary, and the Merriam Webster in search of the right word. I found it. So, yes, I do need all those books.

I counted the non-fiction books before starting this blog. I have about 300 non-fiction (writing or research related) books. Just saying that sounds ridiculous and actually embarrasses me. Especially since that doesn’t include my gardening book collection, quilting books, cook books, health-related books, fiction books, or the books in my husband’s office.

With the internet you’d wonder why I would need so many print books in my personal library. But perhaps that’s just why I need them. Because it is my personal library. There’s something about a collection of books that makes me feel richer and smarter. Even if I haven’t read all 300, or maybe I should say 600, from cover to cover.

One thing’s for certain … I’ll never run out of bathroom reading material, even if I live to be 150. Now if I could only keep from putting those ebooks on my Kindle and my phone, I might make some headway in the battle against bibliophilia, and afford some new clothes.

Can you relate to my bibliophilia? If so please comment. I’d like to know I’m not alone in this. How about a peek at my latest sweet romance while you decide?

One date for every medical test—that’s the deal. Allison, however, gets more than she bargains for. She gets a Groom for Mama.

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.

EXCERPT
With a sweep of his hand, Jack spread the photos out on the table in front of Allison and Beverly. “Here’s a few I just grabbed from the database. Any of them interesting?” He studied Allison’s reaction. She didn’t bat an eyelash as she scanned the men’s pictures. Then, without warning, she scooped them up and shoved them at him.

“I told Mama I wasn’t going to do this. It’s a stupid idea.”

“I’ll admit it’s not the ‘some enchanted evening, see a stranger across the room’ romantic way to find a husband, but it’s not totally unacceptable. Several of the couples my company has brought together have married.”

“And lived happily ever after?” she retorted.

“It’s a new company, Allison. I don’t have the stats yet.” He pushed the photos across the table. “Just take a peek. What harm can it do?”

Beverly grabbed the photo of a particularly handsome man. “How about this one? His coloring complements yours. You’d have beautiful children.”

Mama!” Allison snatched the photo away. “We’re not going to discuss my possible, yet unlikely, progeny in front of Jack.”

A flash of Allison kissing this guy flew through his head. He grabbed the photo from her. “He’s not your type anyway.”

“And just how do you know?” she asked.

“I dated you, remember? You ditched me for some suave, corporate hotshot. At least it’s what you said.”


“Allison!” Beverly exclaimed. “You never told me that.”

Allison shot him a fierce scowl. “I’m not comfortable discussing my love life with you, Mama. Besides, what’s done and over with should be buried . . . in the past.” She picked up another photo. “What about him? Or him and him?” She pointed to two nerdy-looking fellows. “They seem corporate.”

Mama leaned over and checked out the pictures Allison had indicated. “Too ugly,” she said. “He’s got to be handsome. Like Jack. I want to know my grandbabies will be as beautiful as you two.”

He grinned. “Thanks for the compliment, but I know I’m not your daughter’s type.” He laid a sheet of paper on the counter. “Fill this out. Then I can get a better idea of what you want in a husband.”

“I don’t want—”

“I know,” he interjected. “But, for your mom’s sake, just pretend you do.”

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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.


Thanks for reading,

Gina

Oatmeal Raisin Bread Recipe – Guest Post By Author Chris Pavesic

A tasty way to incorporate fiber-rich oatmeal into your diet.   

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 package (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Melted butter
  • Additional oats
  • Olive oil
  • Nonstick cooking oil
  • Plastic wrap

Materials:

  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Small bowl
  • Teapot
  • Thermometer
  • Loaf pan (8 x 4 x 2 inch)

Directions: 1.  In a large mixing bowl, combine boiling water and oats; let stand until warm (110°-115°).  In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water; let stand for 5-10 minutes. If the mixture foams up, the yeast mixture can be used and added to oat mixture.  If it does not foam, the yeast should be discarded and redo the step with dissolving yeast with sugar.  Next add honey, butter, salt and raisins beat until smooth.  Add 2 cups flour; beat until smooth.  Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.  

2.  Turned onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl (olive oil), turning once to grease top.  Cover with plastic wrap and place a damp cloth on top.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.  Punch the dough down.  Shape into a loaf; place in loaf pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Brush with melted butter.  Sprinkle with oats   

3.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.  Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown.  Yield 1 loaf.  

Here are three of Chris’s books:

Amazon

Audible

Smashwords

Thanks for reading,

Gina

Event Announcement, New Cover Art, And A Giveaway To Celebrate #fantasyromance

Elena and Draper’s book cover has been redesigned by Victoria Cooper Art!

Book 4 Of The Natural Gifts Series

A parallel world. A trapped soul. To save her friends, they’ll battle addiction, magic, and eternity…

Elena Zucchero has lived and lost in reality. Now she fills her heart through her work as a hypnotherapist by helping her patients improve their lives. But when a nightmare plagues her sleep, she learns her friends have gone missing in an addictive alternate plane. And the only way to save them may require feeding the demons of her handsome new client…

Draper Montgomery painfully resists the call of the Dreaming. But despite his dangerous cravings, he senses his enchanting therapist has a wound he can help heal. And to satisfy his heart’s desire, he may just have to risk the very foundation of his mind…

As Elena and Draper discover a deeper soul connection, the therapist struggles to keep her distance in the hunt for her friends. If the people she loves even want to be saved…

Will the perilous hunt to rescue her friends lose them their lives and their souls?

Deep in the Dreaming is the fourth standalone book in the captivating Natural Gifts paranormal romance series. If you like mysterious worlds, conflicted characters, and love that conquers all, then you’ll adore Gina Briganti’s enthralling tale.

Buy Deep in the Dreaming to slip into another world today!

Let’s celebrate Elena and Draper’s new look with an Amazon gift card giveaway!

Enter the giveaway here. Good luck!

Here are all the covers together.
July 1st, 7:00 p.m. CDT Via Zoom

Join me for Fresh Fiction’s Video Book Club Chat. More details are coming soon. I’d love to see you there.

Wishing you all a Happy Memorial Day!

Gina

Get your copy of Owl Vs. Animal Charmers here.

New Epic Fantasy Book Alert – Wryd’s End by Carol Browne

WYRD’S END, Book III in The Elwardain Chronicles series written by gifted epic fantasy author Carol Browne, is now live! The books in this trilogy may be read in order or at your choice. Whichever you choose, be sure to get your copy today!

Determined to spare Godwin the violent death shown to her in dreams, Elgiva uses the portal to cross over into his dimension.

Meanwhile, members of Godwin’s tribe seek sanctuary at the settlement. What has caused them to flee for their lives?

Disguises must be lifted and secrets revealed and wyrd will unfold as it should.

But time is running out…

For it is winter and the darkness is coming;

A darkness with teeth and claws.


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Born in Stafford in the UK, Carol Browne was raised in Crewe, Cheshire, which she thinks of as her home town. Interested in reading and writing at an early age, Carol pursued her passions at Nottingham University and was awarded an honours degree in English Language and Literature. Now living and working in the Cambridgeshire countryside, Carol usually writes fiction but has also taken a plunge into non-fiction with Being Krystyna. This story of a Holocaust survivor has been well received.

Stay connected with Carol on her website and blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Thanks for reading,

Gina

Golden in Death – What I got for Mother’s Day

Flowers I Got For Mother’s Day

I can hardly wait for the weekend so I can indulge my need to read. I’ve been waiting for this book and had it on my library requests, where it sat, stalled, with the note that it was being transferred to my local branch. Our libraries are remaining closed for the time being, so I cancelled the request and answered my daughter’s query about what I wanted for Mother’s Day with this book title. Of course, she knew who the author is. Everyone who will listen has heard me rave about the In Death series.

Did you also ask for a book/books for Mother’s Day? Did you give books as gifts for Mother’s Day?

Thanks for reading,

Gina

Play (Board) Games: Writing Advice From The Pros Featuring Author Duo C.D. Hersh

For many years folks played board games at night with their kids. This of course was before the widespread use of video game consoles and even TV. Imagine spending hours sitting around looking at a game board trying to figure out the next move to make. Sound boring? Or are you playing board games now?

As writers, don’t we sit at our desks trying to figure out our characters’ next moves? Bet that doesn’t sound boring, if you are a writer. Have you ever thought of using a board game in a novel? How about using a board game as a way to escape from prison?

Too fanciful you say? Well hold on a minute. The British secret service MI9 came up with a way for captured British airman to escape POW camps. They sent them the board game Monopoly. MI9 conspired with the British manufacture of the game to produce “special edition” Monopoly sets with a red dot on the Free Parking space. While that looked like a printing error the dot meant possible freedom. The Monopoly escape kits had compasses and files disguised as playing pieces. French, German, and Italian bank notes were hidden in among the Monopoly money. Maps, printed on silk, were concealed within the board itself. British historians believe the Monopoly games could have helped thousands of captured soldiers escape from their prison camps.

Though silk maps from that era exist in libraries, homes and museums around the world, none of the original rigged Monopoly sets still remain. You see the airmen were instructed to destroy the special game sets so they would not be discovered.

C.D. Hersh have published a number of excellent books. Check out their Amazon Author Page to see what books we have to offer.

Do you plan to have a game board in one of your books or have you already used the idea? Let us know.