Recipe Review – Spatzle From Date Night Dinners by Sloane Taylor

Date Night Dinners


I won’t keep you in suspense – this recipe is another winner! We gobbled it right up and left not one piece behind.

Watching, (okay binge-watching) cooking shows is one of my favorite hobbies so I’ve seen spatzle made many times by masters with special tools. While I’m sure those tools and practice make for more uniform pieces I doubt their recipes are better than the one I used.

I altered the recipe because I don’t tolerate wheat or dairy well, and it still came out perfect! Tantalizing. Tempting. We couldn’t wait to taste it and we wished I had made a whole lot more of it before it came out of the pan.

Spatzle made from a recipe in Date Night Dinners by Sloane Taylor. Photo credit: Gina Briganti

My modifications were easy – gluten-free flour in place of all-purpose flour and plain, unsweetened cashew milk in place of dairy milk. I know to let gluten-free dough rest for ten minutes before cooking or baking to absorb liquid, so I did that.

This was a first for me, making spatzle. I’ve eaten it a few times and liked it. I’m a sucker for noodles fried in dairy-free butter. Imagine how thrilled I was to make a delicious batch on my first try.

Date Night Dinners has clear directions which are essential for me when I’m making a new recipe. That’s why I was excited to try another new-for-me recipe from a different section of the book. I served Braised Pork Loin for Christmas dinner. It was scrumptiously successful, and I’m excited and confident about trying more.

The reasons I recommend Date Night Dinners are: the array of recipes which range from the familiar to the unique; the stories and informative introduction to each recipe which make me feel like I’m having a chat with the author; the conversion charts in the back which are worth the purchase price of the book by themselves, the cooking tips you can only learn from another experienced cook, the author’s obvious passion for food, and because the portions are perfect for my household.

There are a few versions of this book available. I have the paperback Black & White Date Night Edition. I bought the paperback because I want to hold the book in my hands as I’m cooking. I rarely buy Kindle versions of cookbooks. When I do it’s because they are discounted.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about making spatzle, if you’ve made recipes from this book, or whatever you have to say about recipes, cookbooks, and cooking.


8afc5-sloane2btaylor2bhead2bshotAbout Sloane Taylor

Award-Winning author Sloane Taylor is a sensual woman who believes humor and good food are healthy aspects of our everyday lives and carries that philosophy into her books. She writes spicy romance. Being a true romantic, all her stories have a happy ever after. Taylor is also an avid cook whose recipes are featured in Divine Magazine.

Sloane was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. She and her husband now live in a small home in Northwest Indiana and enjoy the change from city life.

Taylor currently has seven romance books, a Couples Coobook, and two free compiled cookbooks released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Excerpts from her books can be found on her website, blog, and all popular vendors.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

As always, thanks for reading with me!

Recommended Books – The Turning Stone Chronicles by C.D. Hersh

It’s pure pleasure to share this series with you! Wait, it gets better! The first book, The Promised One, is free from 10/14-10/16!

Book two, Blood Brothers, is on sale for .99 October 14-20!

Read on for more details.


The Turning Stone Chronicles


C.D. Hersh


Today we’re announcing that our series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles is being featured on Freebooksy. From October 14 -16, the first book in the series, The Promised One,will be offered free and the second book of the series, Blood Brothers, will be available for 99¢ October 14 – 20.

Now, while you think about that, we would like to share how our series came into existence and other interesting tidbits.

The catalyst for the series happened during a car trip, where we often plot stories to pass the time. We were reading road signs, brainstorming book ideas. We came up with several book ideas, but the one that caught our interest came from a road sign in New York State pointing to a place called Turning Stone. That idea just took off for us.

One question we’ve been asked is, if we were casting our stories with any movie star who would be our picks? Since our six-book series has three main characters that run through them all and a fourth character who is in most we would have to say that:

Alexi Temple – Angelina Jolie as she appears in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

Rhys Temple – Chris Pine as he appears as Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman 2017

Eli McCraigen – Sean Connery as he appears in Highlander II: The Quickening

Falhman – Pierce Brosnan as he appears in Urge


Currently, the first four books of the series are published. We’re writing book five now and plotting book six. There is a bit more world travel in book four, but the main action is once again taking place in and around Cleveland, Ohio. Each book introduces a new couple involved in the interweave of romance and evil they must overcome to reach their HEA. Evil still has a strong hand in the action and Falhman continues branching out with his plans for domination. Our heroes must work overtime to stop his plans and put things back in balance while protecting – to the best of their ability – family, friends, and the world.

This October 14th why not get started with the first books in the series, The Promised One and Blood Brothers, while we continue to work on the final two? You’ll experience action, romance, and shape shifting that reviewers describe as being “turned on its ear.”

Series Blurb:

Three ancient Celtic families. A magical Bloodstone that enables the wearers to shape shift. A charge to use the stone’s power to benefit mankind, and a battle, that is going on even today, to control the world. Can the Secret Society of shape shifters called the Turning Stone Society heal itself and bring peace to our world?

Find out in the paranormal romance series The Turning Stone Chronicles.

TITLE: The Turning Stone Chronicles

GENRE: Urban fantasy, Paranormal, Romance



Book one of the chronicles titled “The Promised One” available on Amazon in eBook: and paperback:

In the wrong hands, the Turning Stone ring is a powerful weapon for evil. So, when homicide detective Alexi Jordan discovers her secret society mentor has been murdered and his magic ring stolen, she is forced to use her shape-shifting powers to catch the killer. By doing so, she risks the two most important things in her life—her badge and the man she loves.

Rhys Temple always knew his fiery cop partner and would-be-girlfriend, Alexi Jordan, had a few secrets. He considers that part of her charm. But when she changes into a man, he doesn’t find that as charming. He’ll keep her secret to keep her safe, but he’s not certain he can keep up a relationship—professional or personal.

Danny Shaw needs cash for the elaborate wedding his fiancée has planned, so he goes on a mugging spree. But when he kills a member of the secret society of Turning Stones, and steals a magic ring that gives him the power to shape shift, Shaw gets more than he bargained for.


Book two of The Turning Stone Chronicles titled “Blood Brothers” available in eBook on Amazon at: and paperback:

When Delaney Ramsey is enlisted to help train two of the most powerful shape shifters the Turning Stone Society has seen in thousands of years, she suspects one of them is responsible for the disappearance of her daughter. To complicate matters, the man has a secret that could destroy them all. Bound by honor to protect the suspect, Delaney must prove his guilt without losing her life to his terrible powers or revealing to the police captain she’s falling for that she’s a shape shifter with more than one agenda.


The minute Captain Williams lays eyes on Delaney Ramsey, he knows she’s trouble. Uncooperative, secretive, and sexy, he can’t get her out of his mind. When he discovers she has a personal agenda for sifting through all the criminal records in his precinct, and secretly investigating his best detective, he can’t let her out of his sight. He must find out what she’s looking for before she does something illegal. If she steps over the line, he’s not certain he can look the other way for the sake of love.


Book three of The Turning Stone Chronicles titled “Son of the Moonless Night” available in eBook on Amazon at: and paperback:

Owen Todd Jordan Riley has a secret. He’s a shape shifter who has been hunting and killing his own kind. To him the only good shifter is a dead shifter. Revenge for the death of a friend motivates him, and nothing stands in his way . . . except Katrina Romanovski, the woman he is falling in love with.

Deputy coroner Katrina Romanovski has a secret, too. She hunts and kills paranormal beings like Owen. At least she did. When she rescues Owen from an attack by a werebear she is thrust back into the world she thought she’d left. Determined to find out what Owen knows about the bear, she begins a relationship meant to collect information. What she gets is something quite different-love with a man she suspects of murder. Can she reconcile his deception and murderous revenge spree and find a way to redeem him? Or will she condemn him for the same things she has done and walk away from love?


Book four of The Turning Stone Chronicles titled “The Mercenary and the Shifters” available in eBook on Amazon at: and paperback:

When mercenary soldier Michael Corritore answers a desperate call from an ex-military buddy, he finds himself in the middle of a double kidnapping, caught in an ancient war between two shape shifter factions, and ensnared between two female shape shifters after the same thing … him.

Shape shifter Fiona Kayler will do anything to keep the shipping company her father left her, including getting in bed with the enemy. But when she believes the man trying to steal her company is involved with kidnapping her nephew, she must choose between family, fortune, and love. The problem is … she wants all three.



Now to give you a flavor of the series and the two books available at a discount here is an excerpt from both books:

Excerpt from book one of the chronicles titled “The Promised One


I know it’s been years since you’ve heard from me, not since my brother’s murder, but Alexi’s time has come. I tried to shield her from the destiny, teaching her only the basics of the ring and waiting until she was an adult to start any training. I didn’t want to push her, but now she is developing skills I’ve not taught her. I need someone from the Council to come and assess her, and I can’t think of anyone I trust more than the man I fought beside in so many battles. After making such a mess of Sylvia, I don’t trust my judgment. I need an advocate on the Council and your advice. If you agree with my assessment, I want to present Alexi to the Council this coming Samhain. Please come as soon as possible…

The letter’s date and postmark indicated Baron had written the letter about two weeks prior to his death. Prickles crept over her arms. My time? Present me to the Council? Sylvia’s comment about the Promised One came back to her. Had Baron sent for Eli because of the great destiny he always insisted she had? Alexi closed the door and rested her forehead against the solid surface. Life was already too complicated. She didn’t need this.


Excerpt from book two of The Turning Stone Chronicles titled “Blood Brothers

Sylvia Jordan Riley winced as Falhman dug into her shoulder and extracted a bullet. He dropped the bullet into the trash and swabbed the wound. “You want to tell me how you got injured?” he asked as he reached for the needle to stitch the gaping hole.

“Chasing Promised Ones.” And the man who murdered my ex-husband.

“I hope it was worth this.”

“It was.” She’d torn Baron’s killer to shreds, but that wasn’t the best part of her news. “I’ve found someone who shifted with me by using the power from my ring.”

Falhman stopped stitching and stared intently at Sylvia, his eyes glittering with undisguised interest. “Is he a rogue shifter?”

“I don’t think he’s any kind of shifter. He seemed startled when the shift occurred.”

“A non-shifter who can use the ring without the incantation? What’s his name?”

“Temple. Rhys Temple. There’s only one problem.” Sylvia paused then continued, “He’s in love with Baron Jordan’s niece, Alexi.”

“I thought that whole family was dead.”

“She’s the last one left, and I think she’s on track as a Promised One.”

Falhman went back to stitching Sylvia’s skin with practiced ease. “Get rid of her and get him. If we can control someone with that kind of power, we can control the world.”

Sylvia looked at her superior. He made it sound simple. Kill Alexi Jordan and lure Rhys to the dark side. Piece of cake? Not if a Jordan was involved. From her recent dealings with Alexi, she knew there would be one heck of a fight if she tried to take her man.


Don’t forget that our series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles is being featured on Freebooksy. From October 14 -16, the first book in the series, The Promised One, will be offered free and the second book of the series, Blood Brothers, will be available for 99¢ October 14 – 20.

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

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

The first four books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon. They have a short Christmas story, Kissing Santa, in a Christmas anthology titled Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection, with seven authors. Also a standalone novella, Can’t Stop The Music, in a collection with thirteen other authors from various genres.

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

Amazon buy links for all books by C.D. Hersh:

The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 1)

Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 2)

Son of the Moonless Night (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 3)

The Mercenary and the Shifters (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 4)

Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection


Where you can find CD:


Soul Mate Publishing


Amazon Author Page



Many thanks to CD for sharing behind the scenes with their innovative, entertaining series!


And I thank you for the time we spend together! It means so much more to me when you’re here!



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Recommended Books: Starter Zone by Chris Pavesic

September 10, 2018

Starter Zone

LitRPG YA Fantasy is a new genre for me. A refreshing one. Reading Starter Zone (2017), the first book in the Revelation Chronicles, took me back to my family living room where my brothers, sister, parents, and I would compete for the best score on Asteriod and later, Super Mario Brothers. Much, much later we played quest games like the one written about in Starter Zone where competing fell by the wayside and we tapped into our collective skills to beat the game. Reading about Cami and Abby’ stats, quests, and trainers took me right back into a gaming world I once loved.

Starter Zone is my first book by Pavesic. Reading a new author is an exciting gamble that I’m betting I will win. That’s the result I got with her.

The best books make you forget that you are reading. Instead, they immerse you in a world brought to life by the author’s words. Pavesic did that. She also taught me that some of my short stories in progress fall into the speculative science fiction genre. The best stories entertain and inform at the same time.

Pavesic’s story is high concept and easy to relate to. Two young sisters are orphaned in a dystopian world. Cami is 17, Abby is 7. As unlikely as it seems, the starter zone of the title is marginally safer than the outside world. Especially because of Cami’s street smarts. There are no wasted characters or words in this story. It moves, moves, moves.

My recommendation to read this book is based on the fact that I couldn’t put it down and finished it in record time.

If I say more you will not get to taste the same adventure I did, and that would be selfish of me!

Starter Zone’s is followed by Traveler’s Zone, which released today. To follow the release tour, visit

Check out the trailer on the new book!



As always, thank you for the time we spend together!


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This is My Genre|Book Tag

Thanks to Callum McLaughlin for his ever insightful participation in book tags. They look like so much fun and I(!) can play this time!

What is your favorite genre:

Romance! I am that excited about my genre.

Who is your favorite author from that genre?

Nora Roberts is always going to top my list because she consistently publishes characters and stories that define what I think of as great romance.  The feels I get from her books are why I keep going back. I’ve read at least forty and I am excited to read more. She also writes as J.D. Robb and I’ve read at least forty-five of those (I count the novellas). The evolving relationship between Eve and Roarke is so sigh worthy!

Nora Roberts & I (2012)

 What is it about the genre that keeps pulling me back?

Romance offers never-ending variety. There’s paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, historical, western, sweet, urban fantasy, romantic suspense, thrillers, choose your own adventure, etc… But no matter what, there is always a love story.

What is the book that started your love for that genre?

I clearly remember reading Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume and the Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal. I’m a born romantic and these stories confirmed that I found my book love home early.

Some of the links in this post are my Amazon Affiliate links, which help support this site at no additional cost to you.

If you had to recommend at least one book from your favorite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading that genre, what book would you choose and why?

I usually recommend Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts, the first book in the Three Sisters Island trilogy, because the characters are so well drawn and the series is excellent overall. This was my first paranormal romance (PNR) series. I found all three books at a Friends of the Library sale and at first I thought I read the blurb wrong. Could this by a romance and a paranormal in the same book? You can have both in the same book?! My love for PNR was born that day.

I have reread this series too many times to count.

Why do I read?

I think I’m a book junkie. There are so many ways to rearrange the twenty-six letters of our English alphabet! I consider myself privileged to experience the endless variety of books and authors available to me. Losing myself in a story is one of the best feelings there is. The short answer is: I read because I love to read and I always have.

I loved that walk down memory lane!

Consider yourself tagged if you would like to be a part of this book tag, and please link your post to me so I can read your answers!

As always, thanks for reading!


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Have you Read the Shiva XIV Series by Lyra Shanti?

Lucky me, I have read most of the books in this series! Shanti a talented sci-fi/fantasy author, which is always a pleasure for a hungry reader like me. Check out the covers! Mama mia, there are some good ones.

The links on these book covers connect to my Amazon associate ID, which helps support this site without adding any cost to you.

Book 1 (2014) showed Shanti’s elegant writing style and a unique writing voice, which are great accomplishments for a debut novel. The world she built for this series is accessible, while being totally foreign to the world we live in.

The hero, Ayn, has serious tasks laid on his fourteen-year-old shoulders, like saving his people from extinction. That’s not a spoiler, there’s plenty I won’t tell you. This book is rich in originality, plot, characters, and adventure. If you can predict what happens in this book you should play lottery numbers because you are gifted.

At the end of Shiva XIV I was anxious to read the book 2, Shiva XIV: The Veil of Truth (2015). I knew there was a lot more story to tell, and I was invested in the characters.

The second book continues immediately where the first book ended. There are interesting new characters in The Veil of Truth, like Srah, who has lovely wings. I love characters with wings. There are a few of them in the series.

Shanti’s creativity spiked to the top of the charts with this book, showing us more parts of the world she built and more characters with interesting motives and twisty plots. Some of them are twisted, too.

I was so engrossed in The Veil of Truth that I didn’t realize I was close to the end and then, bam, it was over. I love to be swept away by a series like that!

Shiva XIV: The Riddle of the Gods (2016) is book 3 in the series. This book brought satisfying answers to questions I had about books one and two. There is a villain in this series, Yol Notama, who conflicted me more than any villain I can remember reading. If you’ve read the series I want to know if you went down the same topsy-turvy emotional path I did with him.

There are relationships between these characters that most authors can’t pull off, including an open-minded, naturally occurring non-traditional relationship forming that I find exciting.

Surprising love between two other characters is about to spawn a new race of beings. I didn’t say who, or what, so that’s not a spoiler, right?

I recommend reading the books as a series. They can stand on their own but there is so much more reward if you read all of them.

There are more books in the series for me to read, Yippee! These are on my TBR:


Ooh, look, there’s a box set of books 1-4!


Thank you for reading my review of the SHIVA XIV series!



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