Soup topped with Pepitas

If you’re making a pot of this, please invite me over.

Supporting Writers

from Chris Pavesic

My sister-in-law Breen loves to cook and occasionally works her magic in my kitchen. Just the other day she prepared one of our family favorites. We thoroughly enjoy a bowl or two during winter as lunch or dinner. For me the pepitas make this dish a hit. I love scooping them out one at a time with a spoonful of soup!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

4 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-in. cubes

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 onion, roughly chopped

8 cups chicken broth

1 tsp. dried thyme

Pepitas (Shelled pumpkin seeds)

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Place squash on baking sheets; avoid overcrowding. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté until translucent…

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Friday Feature Romance Writing

A look at why we love #romance novels.

C.D. Hersh

Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Learning about romance


Anne Montgomery

Once, after reading one of my manuscripts, my agent said, “I really like the historical part of the story. Why don’t you write it as a stand-alone romance?”

I winced. A romance novel? Me?

I have a pretty good idea about where this book is going, don’t you?

I’ll admit here that I’ve been a bit of a snob in regard to that particular genre, which I was surprised to discover is the number one book-selling category on the planet. Not sure why I’ve often scoffed at romance novels. Perhaps it’s the covers: the swooning women with their heaving breasts, the muscular men, all sixpacks and flowing hair. Those books just never sang to me and I never understood why other people wanted to read them.

So, in an effort to learn, I contacted some of my lovely romance-writing…

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A Productivity Tip That Ended My Writing Slump

Thanks to this video I have now ended my writing slump and written two mornings in a row!

The phone winks at me, then whispers that there could be a monumental notice I’m ignoring, but I know I’ll get past that.

I’m recommending this video to everyone. If you’re not a writer, you can still do _________ first and become more productive.

Thanks to Becca Syme for the help. I truly needed and appreciate it.

Thanks for reading and watching. Let me know if you’re as inspired as I was by this video.


P.S. – if you’re not already subscribed to my newsletter, you can fix that right now by registering here.

Friday Feature Excerpts of Interest

Great paranormal romance series. Crossing my fingers for a fifth book

C.D. Hersh

Friday Features

Sharing Excerpts from our series

The Turning Stone Chronicles

Often we are asked what is our favorite book or author. As writers there is another favorite that we have and that is certain sections of the books we have written. These favorite sections or excerpts become the lines shared to promote interest in the book. Today we thought we’d share some of our favorite lines from our paranormal romance series, The Turning Stone Chronicles Series.

Each of these books is a standalone in that there is a HEA in each. However, you will understand the continuing characters and their relationships if you start with the first book in the series.

With that said we will start our excerpts with the first book, The Promised One.

Tucking his gift under her arm, she started to leave.

“Hey.” He pointed at the other gifts. “Aren’t you going to…

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A Date Night Dinner

Who doesn’t enjoy a quick one at least once in awhile!

Supporting Writers

Sloane Taylor says –

This quick recipe is ideal for those days you are too busy to fuss. Add a salad and a loaf of crusty bread to round out dinner. After you assemble all the ingredients on your counter pop open a bottle of Soave white wine from the Veneto region in Italy to enjoy while you cook. It’s perfect for this meal.

Photo by Jakub Kapusnak on Unsplash

Linguine with Artichokes and Leeks

2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only
2 12-ounce jars marinated artichoke hearts in oil
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
3 tsp, kosher salt less will not disturb the flavors
1 tsp, freshly ground black pepper
1 pound linguine
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan

Halve the leeks lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces. Wash well to remove any sand grains.

Cut the artichokes lengthwise if large.

Heat the olive oil…

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Blog views and other obsessions – two great tools for your blog

New toys or old favorites?

Book Club Mom

Like everyone else, despite the tough year we’ve all had, I learned a lot of new things in 2020. Today I’m sharing two great tools that are great for blogging.


You’ll feel like a graphic artist once you get familiar with how Canva works. It’s a graphic design platform with thousands of templates to use on your blog (like my new banner and this blog’s graphic) on social media and for other print items. The free version has loads of options. I had to learn how to use it for work and I’ve started using it more for my blog. What I like best about it is that the images you create are custom-sized for posts on a blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. so you don’t have to worry if you have the dimensions right. And I also like how they suggest color schemes based on any images you…

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Wednesday Special Spotlight recipe for Mock Champagne

Getting ready for New Year’s Eve.

C.D. Hersh

Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On our

Mock Champagne Recipe

Mock Champagne Cranberry Sangria by the glass
(original recipe by C.D. Hersh)

For each 8-ounce champagne glass you will need:

    Cork Shot Out From a Bottle of Champagne

    1/4 cup brewed Hibiscus Watermelon tea (we use Republic of Tea brand)

    1/8 cup brewed Chamomile honey and vanilla tea (we use Twinings brand)

    Sparking apple cider

    1 rounded TBS jellied cranberry sauce (smooth or whole berry)

    Fresh fruits (grapes, whole cranberries, pineapple chunks, peeled sliced star fruit, or peeled kiwi—or fruits of your choice)

    Short skewer or sizzle stick


Thread fruits on a skewer or swizzle stick and set aside.

Place teas and cranberry sauce in the glass. Mix until sauce dissolves. Fill glass with sparkling apple cider. Enjoy!

In an 8-ounce champagne flute, place ¼ cup white grape juice and 1/8 cup Chamomile tea. Fill glass with regular or diet ginger ale. To give the drink a…

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Give The Gift Of Reiki Sessions, Guided Meditations and Workshops

When I’m not writing romance, I’m a Reiki Master Practitioner/Teacher.


Reiki Session

Gift Certificates can be redeemed within one year.

60 minutes of relaxing Reiki. Your recipient chooses between a virtual session or a phone session.

You will be contacted by email to complete details when payment is confirmed.


Click here to purchase.


Guided Meditation Gift Certificate

Guided Meditations are one hour long, with fifteen minutes of discussion following the meditation.

Available virtually through Messenger Video or Zoom.

You will be contacted by email to complete details when payment is confirmed.

Gift Certificates can be redeemed within one year.


Click here to purchase.


Reiki Workshop Gift Certificate

Choose from a variety of workshops:

Reiki For Couples, Families, & Groups (Level II & Up)

Reiki Divination (Level I & Up)
Animal Reiki (Level II & Up)

Chakra Balancing (Level I & Up)

The Reiki Bracelet (Level 1 & Up)

Available virtually through Messenger Video or Zoom.

You will be…

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Wednesday Special Spotlight Kale and Butternut Squash Minestrone #Soup by @ChrisPavesic

Soup weather is coming to Dallas soon!

C.D. Hersh

Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

Our special guest Chris Pavesicwho brings us a recipe and a good book to love.

This recipe is hearty, delicious, and healthy. Hard to beat a trio like that. Add a crusty roll, salad, and your favorite beverage to create a superb lunch or dinner.

Kale and Butternut Squash Minestrone
1 tbsp. olive oil
¾ cup diced onion
½ cup thinly sliced celery
2 cups butternut squash, peeled (reserve rest of squash for another time) and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
3 cups water
¾ tsp. dried rosemary
¼ tsp. salt or to taste
⅛ tsp. black pepper or to taste
2 cups coarsely chopped kale leaves (lightly packed) stems removed
4 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in soup pot/Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; cook and…

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You Can Call Me Jenna…

Leigh Goff

The mystery guest interview today is with Jenna Ashby, a self-described cool eco-warrior from Koush Hollow.

Unknown-10What’s your full name?

Technically it’s Jennifer Ashby, but don’t call me Jennifer. Rayna, my mother, calls me that. I prefer Jenna (most of the time) and my middle name is Crossland, which is my mother’s maiden name, however, I have a feeling that’s not really what it’s supposed to be…

Tell us about your parents.

They divorced when I was little and I moved with my dad from Koush Hollow outside of New Orleans to Atlanta. I was fifteen when my dad died tragically last year, and I had to move back to live with Rayna. She’s rich, ambitious, and she pretty much has my whole life planned out for me, which is so not going to happen. One day she wants me to take over her exclusive social club, the Diamonds &…

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