Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire by Sloane Taylor

JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!

New from Toque & Dagger Publishing – an exciting cookbook filled with recipes perfect for celebrating life. Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire, Book 3 in the Meals to Make Together series, is now available in e-book and paperback.

Liven up 2020 with this new cookbook. The 113 taste tempting recipes come together to celebrate 35 traditional, and far from typical, holidays with meals perfect for two or twenty. These complete menus are guaranteed to excite your taste buds and satisfy your most discriminating diner. Start a new tradition by inviting your family into the kitchen for holiday fun.

Entertain like royalty year-round on a working woman’s budget. No exotic or expensive products to buy. These delicious recipes use ingredients already on your kitchen shelves.

Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire is a fun gift for every holiday celebration, hostesses, bridal showers, or the couple who wants to enjoy quality time together.

I’m curious to see what the menu is for National Mustard Day and to check out ten different potato recipes. I’m a sucker for potatoes.

BUY LINKS
Amazon PaperbackAmazon e-bookKoboSmashwords

Secret Santa Day

I would love to see you on Secret Santa Day where me and 74 other authors will be handing out prizes to contest winners.

Here are the details:

Join the Dangerously Dark Darlings FB group, where the party will be happening.

Visit the group throughout the day on December 6th and comment on posts that interest you to enter the contest from that author.

Winners will be declared on the posts on December 7th and authors will pass out prizes to the winners.

Easy. Fun. I like how that’s done!

See you there and good luck!

Gina

No Yesterdays Cover Makeover & Giveaway

I’m celebrating the new No Yesterdays (Natural Gifts, book 3) cover with a giveaway. There are 10 days left to enter to win a Starbucks gift card. Click here to enter and get all the details

Thanks to Victoria Cooper for another gorgeous cover!

No Yesterdays

Soul mates are being drawn together in numbers we’ve never seen.Gifts are unlocking faster than racing hearts, adding eight new people to the soul group. The group is growing, their energy blending in ways they didn’t know could happen. The big question is why is the soul mate bond in a hurry?

Brittany has been pining for Carter for years now. She needs a push.

Jack is stubborn personified and close to having Darah walk away, keeping her secrets to herself. They need a shove.

Jason is having the time of his life in college. All those beautiful women. Ha. Not the plan. Angelina can handle him.

Rowan is convinced that his soul mate didn’t incarnate with him in this lifetime. Surprise! This psychic finds out exactly why the women in his family told him his arrogance was blinding.

There’s no looking back now.

There are No Yesterdays.

Buy No Yesterdays to join in on the fantasy and the romance today.

Available on Amazon.

Are you new to the series? Start with The Dreaming (Natural Gifts, book 1) for 0.99.

Thanks for reading and good luck!

Gina

A Glimpse Of Living With A Blonde – Guest Post

Today I welcome Donald Hersh, half of the talented husband and wife writing team behind The Turning Stone Chronicles, to share a fun behind-the-scenes story about their writing life.

Now before anyone gets upset, this was approved, reviewed, critiqued, and edited by the “C” of C.D. Hersh, Catherine, who happens to be my wife.

Oh, did I mention she is blonde? There are all kinds of blonde stories, some good some bad, but you always wonder if they are really true. Well, the one I’m about to relate is true and Catherine will confirm it, if asked.

First, a bit of background. Several years ago while we were writing Blood Brothers, the second book in our series, The Turning Stone Chronicles, we made a trip to Cleveland, Ohio for a conference and research. Our series is based in Cleveland, so we wanted to get a look at the location. We spent a day driving around the city. Noting where various important landmarks were and what was close by. All to make the book more authentic.

Now for the story. That year’s Christmas letter, which Catherine always writes and I proof read, gave me a big laugh. Catherine came running into my office wanting to know what I found that was so funny. I told her she had stated we had been to Cleveland three times that year doing research on our book.

She said, “Yesssss?”

Me, “We didn’t go to Cleveland three times.”

“Oh yes we did,” she replied. “Once we drove all over downtown, then we went to the restaurant district and then to the shipping area where we staged the fight scene.”

“We only did the drive all over downtown.” I replied. “The other time we went via Google street maps in my office.”

“Huh, no we didn’t. I got street names and restaurant names on the second trip and the third helped solidify what the buildings looked like in the area for the fight.”

“No, dear,” I calmly replied. “Those other trips we sat in my office with the dual screens, one facing your side of the desk. We did spend most of two days, but we didn’t leave the house.”

“But, but,” my blonde wife replied.

“Here, look at our travel log for the year. One trip to Cleveland.”

“Oh,” she replied, defeated. “I guess I’m being blonde.”

And that folks is what a glimpse of living with a blonde is like.

Here is a little about our paranormal series, The Turning Stone Chronicles.

We hope you enjoy it.

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 series, The Turning Stone Chronicles.

The Promised One, book one:

When homicide detective Alexi Jordan is forced to use her shape shifting powers to catch a paranormal killer, she risks the two most important things in her life—her badge and the man she loves.

Blood Brothers, book two:

Shape shifter Delaney Ramsey’s daughter is missing, and she is bound by honor to protect the man she suspects of the deed. To bring him to justice, she must go against her code, the leader of the secret shifter society, and the police captain she is falling for.

Son of the Moonless Night, book three:

Thrust back into the world of paranormal huntress, Deputy Coroner Katrina Romanovski must unravel a string of murders she believes are vampire attacks. When she discovers the shape shifter she’s in love with is the murderer, she must reconcile her feelings for him, examine her life of violence against paranormals, and justify deceiving him in order to bring him to justice.

The Mercenary and the Shifters, book four:

A desperate call from an ex-military buddy lands a mercenary soldier in the middle of a double kidnapping, caught in an ancient shape shifter war, and ensnared between two female shape shifters after the same thing … him.

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

They look 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.

Learn more about C.D. Hersh on their website and Amazon Author Page.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Thanks for reading,

Gina

What Should Sports Be Teaching Our Kids? Guest Post By Author Anne Montgomery

Please welcome Anne back to the blog for her illuminating post about kids playing sports. I am a great admirer of Ms. Montgomery’s opinions when it comes to most topics – especially sports; she advocates for the kids and for the games they play.

Thank you for all you do, Anne!

I’ve spent most of my life in the sports world. I ice skated, skied, and swam as a kid. I was a sports reporter for about 15 years. For the past four decades, I’ve officiated amateur sports: mostly football and baseball, but I’ve called basketball, ice hockey, and soccer games, as well.

So, I feel qualified to take a good hard look at the American sports scene. And what I see isn’t pretty, which is upsetting for someone who’s always believed that participation in sports makes us better people, endowing us with skills needed to be successful in both our personal and professional lives.

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I read a book recently that crystalized some of the issues affecting sports in the U.S.  In Norwich, a story detailing a tiny Vermont town that has produced an inordinate number of well-adjusted Olympic athletes, New York Times reporter Karen Crouse writes, “(T)he parents of Norwich learned through trial and error the best methods of nourishing happy athletes: by valuing participation and sportsmanship, and stressing fun, community, and self-improvement.”

Anyone who has attended a youth-level sports competition over the last two decades must surely know that idyllic communities like Norwich are about as common as unicorns. The “winning is everything” adage is on display in the behavior of parents, coaches, and fans even when children are in elementary school, a time when sports competition should focus on teamwork, building friendships, and learning to win and lose gracefully.

What has changed? Dollar signs. Parents see pro athletes in an 11-year-old Pop Warner football player or a Little League pitcher. The inevitable leap to specialization and year-round club teams all in the hope they will spawn the next major leaguer is both sad and disturbing.

I have spent the last 19 years teaching in an inner-city high school in Phoenix. Way too many of my students say they want to be professional athletes. I explain they should have a Plan B, since statistics clearly show most will never play organized sports after high school, and that, even if they receive that rare college-sports scholarship, the chance of ever getting a professional tryout is like winning the Powerball lottery.

Why do my students want to be pro athletes? They imagine that multimillion-dollar lifestyle. These kids – like the previously mentioned helicopter parents – seem to care only about the fame and financial riches to be gained. When I point out that pro careers are difficult, generally very short, and that the vast majority of athletes are not banking millions and living in mansions, they scoff.

According to Crouse, children in Norwich are not raised to believe that the raison d’être of sports participation is material gain. “(T)he social tapestry of Norwich represents a triumph of nurture over the natural order of the modern world, which has given us a wealth and acquisition model that favors autonomy over relationships and independence over community.”

The point in encouraging children to participate in sports has never been about money and fame. It’s about teaching them to be happy, well-adjusted adults. Competing in sports teaches discipline, respect for authority, persistence, teamwork, dedication, self-esteem, and, perhaps most importantly, how to cope with failure.

However, forcing a child into a single sport, in order to chase dreams of college scholarships and a pro career, ignores the possibility that they might excel in different areas if given the opportunity, and often produces injuries, burnout, and depression. This strategy differs greatly from that of the parents of Norwich who, “When in doubt, erred on the side of giving their children freedom. They were determined not to be like the parents who control their children’s choices for reasons having to do with their own egos or anxieties.”

Young people need to have the opportunity to try new things, which is the first step in determining what they might like to do in the future. While I encourage my students to compete in sports, I would be remiss if I stopped there. I want them to take art and music and drama and woodworking and culinary arts and any other subject that stirs their imagination. These experiences will help guide their decisions for the future, when they must consider what they like, what they’re good at, and what someone will pay them to do.

I am sometimes reminded of a moment I witnessed while refereeing a high school football game. At halftime, the marching band took the field. And there, in the horn section, was a football player — sans helmet and shoulder pads — playing the trumpet. I wanted to applaud him for branching out, and congratulate his coach for granting the player the opportunity to pursue music.

I wish I could say sights like this are common, but sadly they’re not. I only mention it because I think the people of Norwich would have been proud.

Mystery/Suspense

Blank Slate Press/Amphorae Publishing Group

286 Pages

Price: $16.95 Paperback, $9.99 eBook

http://www.midpointtrade.com/book_detail.php?book_id=261955

As a Vietnam veteran and former Special Forces sniper descends into the throes of mental illness, he latches onto a lonely pregnant teenager and a group of Pentecostal zealots – the Children of Light – who have been waiting over thirty years in the Arizona desert for Armageddon. When the Amtrak Sunset Limited, a passenger train en route to Los Angeles, is derailed in their midst in a deadly act of sabotage, their lives are thrown into turmoil. As the search for the saboteurs heats up, the authorities uncover more questions than answers. And then the girl vanishes. As the sniper struggles to maintain his sanity, a child is about to be born in the wilderness.

Thoughts?

Thanks for reading!

Gina

Tuesdays With Morrie By Mitch Albom – Recommended Book Review

I’m not usually pushy about book recommendations, but today I will be, because if you haven’t read this treasure of a book from 1997, you really, really, should.

My review is of the 1997 print version.

Reading this book bathed me in good feelings, and the awareness that Morrie Schwartz and I have solid life principles in common. What mattered most to Morrie in life are the same things that matter most to me – people, relationships, contentedness, and joy.

Tuesdays With Morrie was written by Morrie Schwartz’s student, Mitch Albom. Albom’s intent was to raise money to help with Schwartz’s medical bills. We learn this in the afterward, after we’ve been thoroughly steeped in how much Albom and others benefited from knowing Morrie Schwartz.

Morrie Schwartz taught far more than the classes listed on student’s schedules. He and other professors of their time used their position to better their student’s lives and inspired them to be good humans. He taught them the value of silence and illuminated how much we can learn from it.

If I’m even a percentage of the teacher he was, it’s in part because I read this book.

Click here to visit the books page of Mitch Albom’s website. He has interesting goodies over there.

This is an iconic book, so I’m betting at least some of you have read it. If so, please share your thoughts about it with me.

Thanks for reading!

Gina

Chicken Dumpling Soup – Guest Post By Author Chris Pavesic

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Cold weather, hot homemade soup, and a great read. We’re doing it Chris Pavesic style. Recipe included.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 cans (14-1/2 oz. each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper or to taste
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Dumplings:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley for parsley dumplings (optional)

Materials:

  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Large nonstick skillet/Dutch oven
  • Small bowl
  • Fork
  • Tablespoon

Directions:

1.  In a large nonstick skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, brown chicken.  Add the broth, water, vegetables and seasonings.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, for dumplings, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt (add dried parsley if desired) in a small bowl. With a fork cut in the margarine to resemble coarse crumbs.  Mix in the milk.  Set aside.

3.  Bring soup to a boil.  Drop dumplings by tablespoonfuls into the boiling soup.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in dumplings comes out clean (do not lift cover while simmering).

Serve immediately.

Starter Zone Image

Chris Pavesic continues the amazing story of Cami Malifux with Book 2 of the Revelation Chronicles.

Purchase at Amazon

Purchase at Smashwords 

Escape from a world of darkness into a magical realm of limitless adventure.

In Starter Zone Cami kept herself and her younger sister Alby alive in a post-apocalyptic world, facing starvation, violence, and death on a daily basis. Caught by the military and forcefully inscribed, Cami manages to scam the system and they enter the Realms, a Virtual Reality world, as privileged Players rather than slaves. They experience a world of safety, plenty, and magical adventure.

In the Traveler’s Zone magic, combat, gear scores, quests, and dungeons are all puzzles to be solved as Cami continues her epic quest to navigate the Realms and build a better life for her family. But an intrusion from her old life threatens everything she has gained and imperils the entire virtual world.

Time to play the game.

Amazon Author Page

Facebook Author Page

Many thanks to Chris for stopping by to feed us and show us the Revelation Chronicles!

What’s your favorite soup?

Thanks for reading!

Gina