Cover Reveal – The Ghost in the Gardens by HL Carpenter

This wonderful Middle Grade Paranormal written by HL Carpenter releases June 17, 2018 from Mirror World Publishing.

Until the first spooky visit, ten year old Chrysantha Howe doesn’t think about ghosts. She thinks about plants.

All.

The.

Time.

She has her future planned out, and that future includes plants. Chrys is going to be a plant scientist like her uncle and her favorite teacher, and she’s determined to find the very rare Coralroot orchid.

The ghost is not in the plan.

But when her teacher disappears and the police suspect her uncle was involved, Chrys has to figure out what the ghost is trying to tell her—before it’s too late.



Florida-based mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter write sweet, clean fiction that is suitable for everyone in your family. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, they enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit their website to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.

Stay connected on Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, and their Amazon Author Page.

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Elves – the Good, the Bad and the Awesome

My thanks go to author Sloane Taylor for hosting me on her blog this week –

http://sloanetaylor.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/elves-good-bad-and-awesome.html

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Donald Watson the Plant-Powered Pioneer

My thanks go the the London Vegans for having my article about the founding father of veganism on their website:

https://www.ldnvegans.com/donald-watson-plant-powered-pioneer/

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Emma Lane – Two Authors for the Price of One

TWO For ONE

by Emma Lane

The Digital Artist Pixabay.com

I confess I am a Gemini. That means I do not apologize for having two personalities, two serious interests and two distinct pen names. As Emma Lane (Historicals) or Janis Lane (Cozy Mysteries) I spin tales at my computer happily imagining characters and plots. I enjoy the interaction of readers and writers on-line forming firm friendships that endure. It’s a perfect way to spend short winter days and early evenings.

Ah! But in the mellow bath of the Spring sun, I emerge much like a daffodil and bloom with my favorite plants and gardens. March finds me in the greenhouses coaxing tiny plants to their full potential while the maple trees give up their sap for delicate syrup. May finds me happily breathing the fragrance of perky pansies.

June, ah, June. Who doesn’t love June with a surfeit of bouquets for the picking? July is for the necessary communication with the weeds, August is Sunflowers and September is a rainbow of mums. Late into Fall, we glory in the astounding blaze of fire from the trees. Never is the color blue so well represented as by the intensity of a cloudless Fall sky.

Winter approaches, plots have now inched forward; an interesting character speaks from the corners of my mind (that muse again!). A new story is born to share with readers.

I love to chat books, reading, or characters with my friends and colleagues both on line and off. Alternately I am eager and available for discussions regarding plants and gardening in all its forms. Is it Emma already enmeshed into 1800th century storytelling, or has Janis toddled off with Detective Fowler to solve a crime in peaceful Hubbard, NY?

Here’s a teaser from one of my Regency books.

What happens when a strong heroine meets an arrogant, but handsome hero? Sparks fly. It’s a Regency Romance Romp!

Miss Amabel Hawkins acknowledges her unusual upbringing, but she thinks James Langley, the Duke of Westerton, might be a tad unbalanced when he protests her efforts to right his badly managed properties. The duke, who has been away on the king’s business, demonstrates no respect for the beautiful but managing Miss Hawkins. Amabel has taken refuge at Westerton, fleeing from a forced marriage to a man who claims to be her relative in order to gain control of her young brother’s estate.

The Duke arrives home to find his estate under the firm control of a beautiful but managing female. His suspicions are fueled by his recent task of spy-hunting and he wonders if Amabel Hawkins is just who she seems. While a dastardly spy lurks, a wicked man poses as her cousin threatening to take over the guardianship of her young brother. Amabel might be falling in love, but she knows for certain the duke would never approve of a meddlesome woman, and she decides to flee his estate. Will the duke finally realize the true value of the woman he loves or will his prejudice ruin his chances forever?

Amazon Buy Link

And a little from my cozy mystery.

Detective Kevin Fowler is baffled by the wall of silence that greets him from the relatives of two septuagenarians whose bodies are discovered in a country cemetery called Blake Hill. Even more upsetting is the unusual rash of vandalism reported nightly by the citizens in his peaceful community. Have the teenagers declared an uprising? Night patrols reveal a totally unexpected and shocking situation. When a poignant secret is revealed, Beverly Hampton weeps over the sadness of a long ago tragedy, but soon wedding bells are heard for the home town princess and the popular detective. At the local diner the alluring fragrance of fresh-baked, cinnamon sticky buns continues to reign over the peaceful citizens of Hubbard, New York.

Emma Lane enjoys leaving her garden for a few hours to dip into the romance genre Regency era of history. Join her for a glimpse of a half selkie fairy as she teases a powerful duke and fights the curse of a lowly, evil warlock. Other Regency romances are available on Amazon and Wild Rose Press. As Janis Lane she writes a series of Cozy Mysteries for Soul Mate Publishing.

Look for information about writing and plants on her new website. Leave a comment or a gardening question and put a smile on Emma’s face.

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter.

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New Release for Author Chris Pavesic

Chris Pavesic is the author to read when you want spellbinding stories with top-notch characters. Pavesic’s latest collection is powerful and showcases the true talent of this award-winning author.

In this wide-ranging collection of steampunk, dystopian, and fantasy short fiction, award-winning author Chris Pavesic presents vibrant female characters in compelling narratives. This rich compendium includes previously published stories as well as new fiction.

Praise for “Going Home“:
“This is an excellent short story that is full of surprises for the reader. Martial law is about to be imposed in the colony. A secret room, trips on a train and a clandestine meeting are all part of this superb steampunk short story. Most highly recommended.”–Off Grid & Loving It

Praise for “The World in Front of Me“: “This reminded me a lot of the Lakeside community in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, but I won’t say anymore about that for fear of giving away spoilers. But fans of Gaiman should really enjoy this story. Fans of strong women who make tough choices should enjoy this as well.”–Karissa Sluss, Author.

Praise for “Heart & Mind“: “The author has managed to weave an intricate web about being true to yourself. One shouldn’t be guided or led by others. Above all, feel the magic in your own heart.”–Chief, USN Ret…VT Town

Chris Pavesic is a fantasy author who lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, steampunk, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends.

Learn more about Chris on her website and blog.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon Author Page.

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Animus – a New Release for Author Kindra Sowder

Title: Animus
Author: Kindra Sowder
Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy
Editor: Edd Sowder
Cover Designer: Rue Volley
Publisher: CHBB
Publication Date: April 10th, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb: General Quinn Ragnarok is a lot of things. Fierce. Dedicated. Intelligent. Skilled. And one of the only women to become a General within the Sentinel of Hydra, sworn to serve the Dominion of Archer’s State as a warrior against those who would dare rise against them. Her beloved dragon, Apep, is bonded to her not only in battle, but in their existence. A bond not taken lightly, for dragons from beyond the Long Realm of the Channel are among the most intelligent, extremely powerful, and do not bond easily with humans.
Betrayal is just around the corner, with the conspirator being one of her own, and war is imminent as proof of betrayal must be presented to the Council. She must rise to the Council’s wishes to fight against the Royals of Paderborn alongside her lifelong friend, Private Victor Shroud. Not only a soldier, but her trusted ally.
Will Quinn have the ability to lead her garrison to war, ensuring victory? Or will she fall to their sword?
Animus is a new high fantasy novella from award winning author, Kindra Sowder. Delve into this new tale and immerse yourself into a realm where war is coming, Halflings are controlling the forests with swords and arrows, and the skies are filled with dragons.

Kindra Sowder was born and raised in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA until the age of 12, when her family moved to Spartanburg, SC. She graduated from high school in 2006 with full honors and as a member of her high school Literary Club and the Spanish Honor Society. In January 2014, she graduated with her second degree in Criminal NeuroPsychology. She married her husband Edd Sowder in May 2014 and still lives in Spartanburg, SC where she is basing Burning Willow Press. Her works have earned multiple award nominations.
Author Links:
“Where is Apep? Have you seen her?”
“Not after she saved us. I felt that I needed to find you first, and from what I’ve seen, we are the only two that are unharmed,” he answered.
“I’m sure she is out here somewhere. She wouldn’t have taken off without us,” I said as I turned, attempting to locate her amongst the smoke and embers. Nothing. “Apep!” I cried. “Apep!”
I turned and settled on a direction to begin moving to find her. From what I could tell, this destruction went on in every direction for at least a quarter of a mile, the fires still burning in the distance and overtaking the forest around us. Her fire had created a massive clearing in the middle of the forest once she had unleashed it, obliterating everything except those who she loved. I walked past Victor, jerking my arm away from him when he tried to hold me there.
“Where are you going? There’s nothing else we can do here. We have to get back to Archer’s State and report this to the Sentinel’s Council.”
“Then go, Victor, but I’m not leaving without her.”
“This is crazy,” he said.
I had only made it a few paces before I turned back to him, rage filling me, and stalked toward him. He didn’t move or even flinch despite my anger.
“You can turn back and report this without me if you want, but I am not leaving without Apep. When she chose me, we made a vow that we would never leave one another, and I will not break it now. She trusts me.”
  

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Everything is Energy – Author Elliott Baker Talks Quantum Theory

ATTENTION

by Elliott Baker

I’m fascinated by quantum theory. Wait, don’t run. Won’t be any formulas. I write fiction, after all. So we live in a huge soup of informed energy. What? Matter is energy that has decided to act in one particular way. Who decided? Stay with me here. Remember I’m not a scientist, just someone who thinks the universe is a fascinating place. A place worth thought. So these keys that I’m pounding on aren’t really solid. They look solid to me. Well, from what I read, if you look closely, they end up being energy moving along defined tracks with a ton of space between the tracks. Kind of like looking out into space. Why doesn’t the Enterprise run into stuff if it’s traveling many times the speed of light? Because space wasn’t named space for nothing. (Just re-read this last sentence. I crack myself up.)

So in my macro world, the world of keyboards, I’m looking at the letters and numbers on the keyboard, and I can’t see any space between the electrons. But I can imagine it. Evidently in the world of quantum physics, energy can choose to be either a particle or a wave, matter or energy, or both at the same time. I find this interesting, but way more interesting to me is if we are energy beings, and the energy is invisible, what do we do with it? How do we get it? Do we take it from each other?

When you are hungry, you feel a certain discontent. When you are really hungry, it grows to a demand. The vehicle each of us rides in requires fuel which is turned into a form of energy that can be used by our cells, creating all kinds of power, motive, thought, emotion, etc. Plants take energy directly from the sun. Is it possible that we also take energy directly from the sun. We’ve evolved or maybe devolved so that we get our energy second or third hand. From the sun to plants, to animals, to us. Before the advent of science and its sensory enlarging tools, the best man could do was reason from effects to causes. For the writer of fiction, it’s still a pleasant trip. Plants thrive in sunlight or die if left in darkness, therefore, sunlight is crucial to the plant’s survival. What about humans. Is McDonald’s the only way we get energy? A better question might be: Is McDonald’s the only way we can get energy?

If you’ve ever watched a live comedian on stage really killing the room, the person almost seems to glow. They’re on a emotional high. What is happening? It’s a small comedic venue, only thirty or forty people in the audience, but these people are hyper-focused on the comedian. Anyone who has been on stage knows the high I speak of. You feel good, excited, full of energy. Are the people in the audience sending energy to those on stage? It’s temporary, but while the attention of an audience is on you, it’s glorious.

If energy is exchanged in a situation like that of performer/audience, what about two people having coffee? Do we exchange energy with each other all the time? James Redfield thinks so. The Celestine Prophesy came out twenty years ago. According to Mr. Redfield, not only do we exchange energy with each other, we forcibly take it. Who could imagine that? We’re such sweet little monkeys. We would never take something from anyone else. Redfield speaks of control dramas which we learn as children to defend ourselves from the energy vampires which surround us. Vampires. Now you’re talking. Ever wondered why the vampire is such an icon in our literature. Where could we have possible have gotten that idea?

In most martial arts, focus and concentration are key elements along with specific movements. The greater the focus and concentration, the greater the power behind the movement. Most of us live fragmented lives jumping from one thought to another. I don’t mean that in a negative way, just that we’re not trained Kung Fu masters able to meditate for a day on one blossom of a flower. The benefits of meditation are patently obvious, but not so easy to attain. In Aldous Huxley’s book Island a cynical journalist is shipwrecked on an island where trained Mynah birds continually say the word “Attention.” We don’t. Don’t pay attention. Not really. And that is the crux of the matter. If we exchange energy, and I think we do, we do it through the medium of attention. We (And I include myself. Oh, look a bird.) seem to wander around at the whim of our senses, switching our attention to the thought or impression of the moment. Flashlights instead of lasers. Like Redfield, I believe energy can be obtained from many different agencies, not just other people. And in unlimited amount.

In my book The Sun God’s Heir: Return Book One, which is currently FREE on Amazon the protagonist and antagonist were once brother disciples of the Pharoah Akhenaten. In that incarnation three thousand years ago they learned not only to control the energy that made up their physical envelopes, but to see and manipulate energy on different levels than the one customarily seen by humans. In The Sun God’s Heir trilogy, energy crosses time in the form of karma and if there is one universal law, it must be that of balance.

If there is discomfort in the universe it must in the form of imbalance. Since according to quantum physics, time appears to be merely a construct, the universal demand for balance does not seem to find our limited perception of time to be an obstruction. At least in my imagination it doesn’t.

The two ancient brothers, return to 17th century France, one in the normal way, birth, childhood, adulthood, and the other… Well the other has taken a darker route borrowing the body of a downstream incarnation. One remembers the powers taught at the feet of the pharaoh Akhenaten, the other must remember in order to survive and protect those he loves.

The Sun God’s Heir: Return should be shelved under Historical Fantasy for the time being. For a moment, imagine yourself in 1672 sitting and tasting the newest beverage, hot chocolate. Someone at the table speculates that there may be invisible waves that can carry sound and pictures. Just sayin’.

Award winning, international playwright Elliott B. Baker grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. With four musicals and one play published and done throughout the United States, New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada, Elliott is pleased to offer his first novel, Return, book one of The Sun God’s Heir trilogy.

A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his beautiful wife Sally Ann.

Learn more about Elliot Baker on his website. Stay connected on Twitter and Facebook. Like Elliott’s Author Page on Facebook to learn all his latest news.

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Captain Rockford’s Reckoning: a New Release for Author Susan Lodge

Coming April 4 from International Best Selling author Susan Lodge and Crooked Cat Books the brilliant historical romance Captain Rockford’s Reckoning. Yet another best seller for the creative Ms. Lodge. See for yourself.

Esmie Elstone is thrown into panic when she hears of Captain Rockford’s return. But she is determined that the days of him interfering with her life are over. Destroying her chances of a happy future on his last visit, had resulted in her being foisted on her Aunt for a third pointless season in London.

To alleviate the boredom of society life, Esmie helps run a discreet betting enterprise under the guise of a sewing club. But there are some things you just shouldn’t wager on, and Esmie’s integrity is soon put to a dangerous test.

Richard Rockford had known Esmie almost all her life. As neighbours, Admiral Elstone had depended on Richard to keep an eye on his daughter when he was away at sea. The responsibility he had always taken on willingly. But her cruel and thoughtless actions, from the day he had left four years ago, had shaken him. Now he was back and wanting answers.

But when Esmie tumbles into a treacherous conspiracy, can he really turn his back on her?

Now available for pre-order on Amazon.

Susan Lodge’s first publishing success was a story purchased by a major UK magazine followed by a drawer full of rejections. Finally a breakthrough gave her the confidence to seek and secure a publisher for her historical romance novels Only a Hero Will Do and Rebellious Cargo.

After working in several cities including London and Bristol, she and her husband moved down to the Hampshire coast to raise their family.

Learn more about Susan and her books on her website and blog. Stay connected on  Facebook, Twitter and her Amazon Author Page.

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Cover Reveal – Animus by Kindra Sowder

Title: Animus
Author: Kindra Sowder
Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy
Editor: Edd Sowder
Cover Designer: Rue Volley
Publisher: CHBB
Publication Date: April 10th, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb:
General Quinn Ragnarok is a lot of things. Fierce. Dedicated. Intelligent. Skilled. And one of the only women to become a General within the Sentinel of Hydra, sworn to serve the Dominion of Archer’s State as a warrior against those who would dare rise against them. Her beloved dragon, Apep, is bonded to her not only in battle, but in their existence. A bond not taken lightly, for dragons from beyond the Long Realm of the Channel are among the most intelligent, extremely powerful, and do not bond easily with humans.
Betrayal is just around the corner, with the conspirator being one of her own, and war is imminent as proof of betrayal must be presented to the Council. She must rise to the Council’s wishes to fight against the Royals of Paderborn alongside her lifelong friend, Private Victor Shroud. Not only a soldier, but her trusted ally.
Will Quinn have the ability to lead her garrison to war, ensuring victory? Or will she fall to their sword?
Animus is a new high fantasy novella from award winning author, Kindra Sowder. Delve into this new tale and immerse yourself into a realm where war is coming, Halflings are controlling the forests with swords and arrows, and the skies are filled with dragons.

Kindra Sowder was born and raised in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA until the age of 12, when her family moved to Spartanburg, SC. She graduated from high school in 2006 with full honors and as a member of her high school Literary Club and the Spanish Honor Society. In January 2014, she graduated with her second degree in Criminal NeuroPsychology. She married her husband Edd Sowder in May 2014 and still lives in Spartanburg, SC where she is basing Burning Willow Press. Her works have earned multiple award nominations.
Author Links:
“Where is Apep? Have you seen her?”
“Not after she saved us. I felt that I needed to find you first, and from what I’ve seen, we are the only two that are unharmed,” he answered.
“I’m sure she is out here somewhere. She wouldn’t have taken off without us,” I said as I turned, attempting to locate her amongst the smoke and embers. Nothing. “Apep!” I cried. “Apep!”
I turned and settled on a direction to begin moving to find her. From what I could tell, this destruction went on in every direction for at least a quarter of a mile, the fires still burning in the distance and overtaking the forest around us. Her fire had created a massive clearing in the middle of the forest once she had unleashed it, obliterating everything except those who she loved. I walked past Victor, jerking my arm away from him when he tried to hold me there.
“Where are you going? There’s nothing else we can do here. We have to get back to Archer’s State and report this to the Sentinel’s Council.”
“Then go, Victor, but I’m not leaving without her.”
“This is crazy,” he said.
I had only made it a few paces before I turned back to him, rage filling me, and stalked toward him. He didn’t move or even flinch despite my anger.
“You can turn back and report this without me if you want, but I am not leaving without Apep. When she chose me, we made a vow that we would never leave one another, and I will not break it now. She trusts me.”


  

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A Sweet Treat from Author CD Hersh

by C.D. Hersh

This easy and delicious candy recipe is one from Grandma Hersh’s secret cache. Fond memories abound whenever we indulge in her amazing fudge.

Photo by artur84

GOLDEN NUGGET FUDGE
⅔ cup evaporated milk
1⅔ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. salt
1½ cups (16 medium) marshmallows diced or small ones
1 pkg. (6 oz.) butterscotch chips
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup nuts

Mix milk, sugar, and salt in pan over low heat. Heat to boiling. Cook 5 minutes stirring constantly.

Remove from heat.

Add marshmallows, butterscotch chips, vanilla, and nuts. Stir 1 to 2 minutes until they are melted.

Pour into buttered pan. Cut when cool.

Here is a little from our book The Promised One for your reading pleasure.

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.

EXCERPT
The woman stared at him, blood seeping from the corner of her mouth. “Return the ring, or you’ll be sorry.”

With a short laugh he stood. “Big words for someone bleeding to death.” After dropping the ring into his pocket, he gathered the scattered contents of her purse, and started to leave.

“Wait.” The words sounded thick and slurred . . . two octaves deeper . . . with a Scottish lilt.

Shaw frowned and spun back toward her. The pounding in his chest increased. On the ground, where the woman had fallen, lay a man.

He wore the same slinky blue dress she had—the seams ripped, the dress top collapsed over hard chest muscles, instead of smoothed over soft, rounded curves. The hem skimmed across a pair of hairy, thick thighs. Muscled male thighs. Spiked heels hung at an odd angle, toes jutting through the shoe straps. The same shoes she’d been wearing.

The alley tipped. Shaw leaned against the dumpster to steady himself. He shook his head to clear the vision, then slowly moved his gaze over the body.

A pair of steel-blue eyes stared out of a chiseled face edged with a trim salt-and-pepper beard. Shaw whirled around scanning the alley.

Where was the woman? And who the hell was this guy?

Terrified, Shaw fled.

The dying man called out, “You’re cursed. Forever.”

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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 other authors. Also a novella, Can’t Stop The Music, with twelve other authors from various genres with a book coming out each month in 2017.

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 their Amazon Author Page.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

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