Monday, 22 May 2017

Celebrate Victoria Day with this Fun Appetizer for Family, and Sweet Romance for You by Sara Daniel...

Bacon-Wrapped Wienies
1 package bacon
2 packages wienies/ lil smokies
1½ sticks butter, melted
1½ cups brown sugar

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

CUT bacon into ¼ inch – ½ inch pieces. Wrap bacon around each wienie. Secure with a toothpick and place in a single layer in 9 X 13 inch pan.

COMBINE butter with brown sugar. Pour over wienies.

BAKE for 20 minutes. Turn up heat to 400 and cook for 5 minutes longer to make bacon crispy.

Here's a little teaser from my contemporary romance for your reading pleasure.

Love is his enemy…and her answer. 

A nationally televised bombshell revealing a secret son turns marriage therapist Caleb Paden’s life upside down. While others focus on the public relations disaster for his company, he can only think of rescuing his baby and providing the stable home dictated by his marriage theories—one devoid of love and emotions. 

Olivia Wells might not be the baby’s biological mother, but she loves him as much as any parent could. Letting him go will break her heart. Letting him go to a man who doesn’t believe in love will tear her apart.

As she helps Caleb bond with his child, Olivia finds herself falling for the man behind the stuffy therapist persona. However, he wants nothing to do with her love and emotions, and those are the only things she has to give. If she can’t convince him love is the answer, not the enemy, she will lose both the baby she loves and her heart.

EXCERPT

“Scones?” He recoiled as if she’d announced the kitchen teemed with roaches.

“You don’t like them?” She set the tin on the side table and arranged the dishes of butter and strawberry preserves.

“No.”

She bit her tongue over the urge to tell him how much she detested his books. “I use a recipe my grandmother brought over from Scotland. I serve plain scones along with two other flavors of the day.”

“Coffee will suffice.” He picked up his cup. “Thank you, Olivia, for your hospitality. I’m in need of a room tonight for myself and my, uh, son. A suite would be best, if possible. I’ll pay the going rate, naturally.”

He had no idea what “going rate” she offered to misguided marriage therapists. Not that it mattered. Whether he paid for his stay or not, he had to sleep under her roof. The storm didn’t leave either of them a choice. And she had plenty of rooms. Her other scheduled guests for the week had cancelled due to the weather. “Of course you need to stay. But Liam already has his own room and he’s currently asleep there.”

“From now on, he’ll stay with me.”

Her heart fell to the pit of her stomach. “Dr. Paden, you’re chilled and must have had a terrible drive. Why don’t you relax and worry about yourself this evening. Liam is on a schedule where he goes to sleep before dinner and sleeps through to the early morning. I’ll introduce you to him then.”

He set down his coffee cup with an ominous clank. “I didn’t come here for coffee and scones. I came for my son. Take me to him now.”

She clasped her shaking hands behind her back. She had no legal claim to Liam. But how could she give up the child she loved to such an overbearing, pompous ass?

BUY LINKS: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Kobo - iBooks - GooglePlay

Sara Daniel writes what she loves to read—irresistible romance, from sweet to erotic and everything in between. She battles a serious NASCAR addiction, was once a landlord of two uninvited squirrels, and loses her car keys several times a day.

Learn more about Sara on her website and blog. Subscribe to Sara’s newsletter.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Guest Post: Let's Talk Formatting by Marci Clark...

As an editor/designer, I see manuscripts come at me with all kinds of crazy, wonky, how-the-hell-did-you-do-that formatting. Be kind to your editor/designer, peeps. Clean up your mess a little before submitting it.

Some houses provide a style guide. Double check for any submission rules before sending your book and risking a default rejection. If the house is relaxed on their formatting, that doesn't mean you shouldn't bother cleaning up the formatting any less than you'd bother cleaning up the content.

If they don't have a style for submissions, a pretty basic format is appreciated. Centered chapter headings, .3 to .5 indent on new paragraphs, 1.5 spaced lines, all black text in a basic font/typeface (making it "pretty" won't impress your editor), and no all capped or underlined words (use italics for emphasis).
Here are a few shortcuts when it comes to cleaning up your manuscript. Note: I have a PC, so I don't know if these translate to a Mac.

Extra Spaces: We are no longer a society of the double space after ending a sentence. One space. One. But if you have a habit of adding two, no problem. There's a quick fix. Open up your find/replace option. In the find box, hit the space bar twice. In the replace box, hit the space bar once. Then select replace all. Do that until the find/replace reaches zero.

Tabs: No. Just no. Do not use the tab button when indenting. Go to the top of the document, select the page layout tab an set your indent for the document there. Sometimes hitting the tab is natural. You can fix that as well. In the find/replace option, find ^t and replace with nothing. Leave the replace box blank. Replace all. Then select all on your document and set your tab as indicated above-through the page layout option.

Spaces Before or After Paragraphs: These hidden spaces may seem innocent enough, but if you are self publishing, these extra spaces can cause the designer a lot of stress depending on which program they use to convert your document. Remove extra spaces by again using the find/replace option. Find: space bar^p, and replace with ^p. Replace all. Do the same, but with the space on the other side of the paragraph break. ^pspacebar, replace with ^p. This will give you clean returns throughout.

Soft Returns: These also are pain when formatting. Find/replace ^l with ^p.

As for the document, please, please, PLEASE do not hit the enter button multiple times to start a new chapter. Nooo!!! Use a solid page break. Ctrl+Enter will break the page and give you (and your designer) a clean start on the next chapter. The problem with hitting enter over and over is that while it may push the chapter heading to a new page on your computer screen, it doesn't always work out that way on your editor's screen. If not, your chapter headings end up in all kinds of crazy places. Just do a page break, and nobody has to wonder WTH.

There are a dozens of little things that could also be done, but this really hits the big ones. Follow these tips, and your editor/designer will love you just a little more.

Marci Clark is a freelance editor, book/cover art/promo materials designer, published author, and all around publishing nerd. She's worked for Kensington Publishing since 2014, as well as several indie houses over the years. She is proficient in self-publishing and would love to help you with all your publishing needs, including premade or custom cover art.

Reach out to her at marci.clark.editing@gmail.com if you'd like to discuss your project with her.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Cover Reveal: Lost and Found, Book One; Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls by Sharon Ledwith...


Fairy Falls was bores-ville from the get-go. Then the animals started talking... 

Sharon Ledwith has a brand new series coming in June 2017 and today I am revealing the cover to you!

Here is some information about the book:

Kindle File Size: 667 KB
Print Length: 203 pages
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing; 1 edition
Publication Date: June 17, 2017
ASIN: B0713S1DCR

Read the blurb:

The Fairy Falls Animal Shelter is in trouble. Money trouble. It’s up to an old calico cat named Whiskey—a shelter cat who has mastered the skill of observation—to find a new human pack leader so that their home will be saved. With the help of Nobel, the leader of the shelter dogs, the animals set out to use the ancient skill of telepathy to contact any human who bothers to listen to them. Unfortunately for fifteen-year-old Meagan Walsh, she hears them, loud and clear. 

Forced to live with her Aunt Izzy in the safe and quiet town of Fairy Falls, Meagan is caught stealing and is sentenced to do community hours at the animal shelter where her aunt works. Realizing Meagan can hear her, Whiskey realizes that Meagan just might have the pack leader qualities necessary to save the animals. Avoiding Whiskey and the rest of shelter animals becomes impossible for Meagan, so she finally gives in and promises to help them. Meagan, along with her newfound friends, Reid Robertson and Natalie Knight, discover that someone in Fairy Falls is not only out to destroy the shelter, but the animals as well. Can Meagan convince her aunt and co-workers that the animals are in danger? If she fails, then all the animals’ voices will be silenced forever.

Are You Ready for the Cover?


You Can Pre-Order the Book, Too!!

Mirror World Publishing:

Paperback:
https://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/collections/poetry/products/lost-and-found-paperback

Ebook:
https://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/collections/poetry/products/lost-and-found-ebook

Other Retailers:

Amazon US:
http://amzn.to/2q2Alfv

Amazon CA:
https://www.amazon.ca/Found-Mysterious-Tales-Fairy-Falls-ebook/dp/B0713S1DCR/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1493565088&sr=1-1&keywords=Lost+and+Found+Sharon+Ledwith

Kobo:
https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/lost-and-found-175

Barnes & Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lost-and-found-sharon-ledwith/1126287196?ean=9781987976281

Meet the Author:

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Look up her AMAZON AUTHOR page for a list of current books. Stay connected on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, GOOGLE+, and GOODREADS.

Author Tagline:

Escape to the past and have a blast.

Connect with Sharon Ledwith:

Sharon’s Website:
www.sharonledwith.com

Sharon’s Blog: 
http://sharonledwith.blogspot.com/

Sharon’s Facebook Page: 
http://www.facebook.com/#!/seledwith

Sharon’s Author Facebook Page: 
https://twitter.com/sharonledwith

Goodreads Author Page: 
http://amzn.to/2p9rync

Amazon Author U.K. Page: 


Thursday, 4 May 2017

Book Tour: The Sun God's Heir, Rebirth: Book Two by Elliott Baker...

Welcome to the Book Tour for The Sun God's Heir: Rebirth, Book 2 in Elliott Baker's new series!


Book Information:

Title: The Sun God's Heir: Rebirth, Book 2

Author Name: Elliott Baker

Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Release Date: April 18, 2017

Grab Your Copy from Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2lEnUke

Visit the Tour Hosts:


About The Sun God's Heir: Rebirth, Book 2:

The Count of Monte Cristo meets ancient Egypt in this riveting sequel to The Sun God’s Heir: Return.

Set during the wave tossed years of white slavery and Barbary pirates, this is the epic story of René Gilbert, a journey that defies time as he must draw on a larger awareness earned in previous lifetimes.

The plague’s dark fingers curl around Bordeaux. René must return home to save those he loves. But first he has to escape a Moroccan sultan’s clutches. In Bordeaux, an enemy waits, filled with a hatred three thousand years old. Only René can defeat this dark power, and only if he reclaims his own ancient past. In this arena, death is but the least of failure’s penalties.
Excerpt
The medina of Casablanca was a warren of narrow winding streets filled with stalls of all shapes and sizes. René followed Akeefa and Abdul-Karim as they entered through a constricted archway and left behind the blinding sunlight. René stopped to take it all in. A thousand sights and sounds assaulted him at once. An intense level of energy and human striving filled the air. The sounds and smells were strident, immediate. A cacophony reverberated from the walls as metalworkers hammered on copper and brass and iron. Jewelers, leather workers, and weaponsmiths all contributed to the din of men and animals pursuing their desires. The enticing smells of food and coffee pervaded the space. Booth after booth of delicacies was on display along with the occasional goat carcass that hung from the canopy poles waiting for the butcher’s cleaver.
“This is overwhelming.” René sucked in a deep breath. “Something smells good. Perhaps we might sit and have a coffee while I try to make sense of this incredible place.”
“That is an excellent idea.” Abdul-Karim grinned. “I know just the place and ’tis not far from here.”
“More food,” Akeefa said with some exasperation. “You promised I would be able to shop and you know I cannot go off on my own. Some stupid man would say or do something and after I had killed him, we would spend the morning yelling or fighting or both. With you two, I will at least have some measure of freedom.”
René gazed sideways at Akeefa. He knew her well enough not to doubt the possibility of her statement, but he hoped she spoke in jest.
Abdul-Karim grimaced like he had bitten into a lemon. He turned to René. “You must trust my experience in this. Given the amount of walking and waiting we face, you will definitely need nourishment.”
René laughed. “Perhaps we might feed Abdul-Karim so we may better attack this shopping from a position of strength.”
“Oh, all right.” Akeefa rolled her eyes. “My master taught me when to make a strategic retreat and this is clearly one of those times. I will want, however, to see that stamina later. Understood?” She glared at Abdul-Karim.
Her effort was wasted on her older brother. Abdul-Karim’s demeanor changed to one of joyful expectation. “I know just the place. Best pastries in Morocco. This way.”
René glanced around. Even over the din and chaotic movement of the medina, he had the sensation they were being watched. The fact that he was a Frenchman was immaterial. There were many different nationalities present within the medina. Non, he, René Gilbert, was being observed.
 “Do you believe they will attack again so soon?” asked René.
“The Hashashin that attacked us on the quay in Larache were paid by the sultan’s younger brother Ismail. I do not sense that level of organization. There are many bands of robbers and slavers within Morocco. It can be a difficult place to live,” said Abdul-Karim. “And there are those in Rabat who will not allow our victory over their brethren go unrevenged, regardless of the sultan’s orders.”
Both men loosened their blades while Akeefa huffed at the conventions that prevented her from carrying a sword. Still, an attacker would find her armed.
“Let us sit at that tavern.” Abdul-Karim pointed across the lane. “It has good sight lines and there are avenues of escape if necessary.”
Once seated, Abdul-Karim ordered coffee and an assortment of cakes.
Akeefa pursed her lips.
“What? We might as well eat something while we wait.”
The square had grown quieter as people found their business called them elsewhere. Men collected in small groups. So far, the numbers of their enemies were not overwhelming and René was content to wait. He glanced at Abdul-Karim. The smile on his face evidenced a gleeful anticipation at the prospect of combat. His friend genuinely liked to fight.
“It appears someone is willing to invest a great deal of money in our removal. As much as I would like to engage in this contest—” Abdul-Karim glanced over at his sister. “And we have them outmanned, father would advise us to retreat and gather reinforcements.”
Abdul-Karim inclined his head. They stood as groups of men moved to block the exits.
“We may not be offered that opportunity.” Akeefa slipped her hand beneath her burka.
“Let us make our way toward the medina’s entrance. If we reach the confines of the arch, we gain a slight advantage in the number of our enemy able to come against us.” René’s rapier was in his hand.
The scimitar Abdul-Karim pulled from his sash reflected sunlight along its razor sharp edge. A wicked looking dagger appeared in Akeefa’s hand. René eased left of Akeefa leaving a sword length between them as Abdul-Karim stepped to her right.
The square was now empty except for the growing number of armed men drawing their swords. René studied the upper stories of the souk. No musket barrels protruded from those windows.
René counted thirty men circling them and moving closer. “Akeefa, move to the front and make first contact. A moment’s confusion having you walk before us will be useful. It is not that unusual for a woman to carry a dagger. Perhaps you might hold it a little less respectfully.”
“I will do my clumsy best.” Akeefa managed to move to the front, intentionally tripping on her burka.
The number of men waiting before the medina’s arch had increased to ten. Smug smiles played on their faces. Apparently they found humor in two men so cowardly as to hope a woman would protect them. One eager young mercenary swaggered out to meet Akeefa.
“Throw down your weapons and your deaths will be easier,” said the man as he waved his scimitar toward Akeefa. He ignored the dagger that shook in her trembling hand.
“D…do you intend to kill us all?” Akeefa stuttered in a high-pitched voice.
The fool preened, sticking his chest out. “Drop your weapons.”
In the briefest space of time, Akeefa moved to within striking distance and slit his throat, relieving him of his weapon before his body crumpled into the dust. The others froze at the speed and skill with which she had dispatched one of their own. In that timeless moment of inaction, René and Abdul-Karim each killed two men of the nine left standing before the arch.
René looked up. More armed men ran toward the arch. He paused and settled within, allowing his training to govern his actions. He sensed more than saw Akeefa adjust her clothing.
She ripped the scarf from her face and stood in as wide a stance as the burka allowed. She reversed the scimitar and jammed it between her legs, slicing the thin material to the ground. Thus unencumbered, she returned to the fight.
 René nodded and on cue they formed a circle, defending each other as well as dispatching those who came against them. They narrowed the access lanes which caused their attackers to fight each other to get at them.
“Move toward the arch,” said René.
There were too many swords slashing at them. Their progress was slow. These men were not the highly trained Hashashin, but they were experienced enough that their numbers would eventually prevail.
Although René had no desire to kill, this fight did not grant him that moral luxury. He picked up a second sword and wielded both with withering accuracy. The attackers who faced Akeefa died with an expression of bewilderment.
Still, too many swords. Every moment reduced their chances.

Meet the Author:


Award winning novelist and international playwright Elliott Baker grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. With four musicals and one play published and produced in the United States, New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada, Elliott is pleased to release his first novels. The Sun God’s Heir: Return, book one of the trilogy, was released this past January, and book two, Rebirth will come out on April 18th, followed in July by the third and final book of the series, Redemption. A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his wife Sally Ann.

Grab Book 1, The Sun God’s Heir: Return, Book 1 on Amazon:
(P.S. - Book 1 is Free!)

  http://amzn.to/2mklqLB 

Book One, Return https://books.pronoun.com/the-sun-gods-heir-return/ 

Book Two, Rebirth https://books.pronoun.com/the-sun-gods-heir-rebirth/


You can find Elliott at the following places:





Monday, 1 May 2017

Celebrate the month of May with my Annual Goodreads Giveaway…


Last week’s post marked a day of remembering the Holocaust victims during World War Two. You can read it HERE if you missed it. In that post, my friend and fellow author, Carol Browne and I wrote a poignant piece about two people we chose who had survived the terrible Holocaust, and went on to make a difference to the world in their own way.

I picked the latest book in The Last Timekeepers young adult time travel series, The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret for my annual May Goodreads Giveaway because the story touches on the lives of people who not only endured World War Two, but fought the Nazis on their own ground. I touch briefly on the Jewish round-ups, the injustices, and what my characters experienced on their time travel mission in Amsterdam during 1942. If you think you’d be interested in going back in time and fighting the Nazis with my time traveling crew, then I urge you to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy.

There’s plenty of time to enter the giveaway, as it runs from May 1st to May 22nd, (that’s Victoria Day for us Canadians!). All shares and tweets would be most appreciated! Did I mention I’m throwing in a signed postcard to sweeten the pot? BTW—this giveaway is international so all Goodreads readers have a chance to win!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Cheers, and good luck!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret by Sharon Ledwith

The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret

by Sharon Ledwith

Giveaway ends May 22, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway