JUST IN TIME FOR SUMMER
New from Toque & Dagger Publishing an exciting cookbook filled with recipes perfect for your grill and stove. Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco, Book 2 in the Meals to Make Together series, is now available in e-book and paperback.
Starry summer nights are ripe for romance and dining al fresco. Enhance the mood with Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco, candles, wine, and your favorite music. Fire up your grill and share a romantic dinner with your someone special. Then let the night take you away.
Create 45 delicious and complete meals for two that can be cooked on your grill or stove. No exotic or expensive ingredients needed to prepare these 103 recipes. They use everyday products already in your kitchen cabinets. Increasing the dinners is a snap for those fun nights friends or family join you.
Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco, Book 2 in the Meals to Make Together series, is an ideal gift for a hostess, bridal shower, anniversary, or the couple who craves a fresh flavor in their lives.
In our fast food world, it’s nice to have a cookbook designed for you and your significant other to open a bottle of wine and enjoy each other’s company. You can turn to any page in this simple yet elegant book of tasty recipes and not be disappointed!
–Paul Kutka, Private Executive Fine Dining Chef
Packed with mouth-watering recipes, easy-to-follow instructions, and helpful suggestions, Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco is perfect for any cook who loves to serve succulent dishes on their secluded patio or candlelit living room. Perfect for busy couples wanting to spice up their relationships, this fabulous cookbook screams, “Bring on Summer!”
–Sharon Ledwith, YA Paranormal Fantasy and Time Travel Author
Whether you’re a novice or an experienced chef, Sloane Taylor takes you on a gourmet journey adding flavour and panache to your meals. This collection is inventive with clear, easy-to-follow instructions. These recipes will become your favourites – I’d happily cook them every night!
–Joy Wood, Award-winning Romance and Women’s Fiction Author
Sloane Taylor hits the nail on the culinary head with Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco, dishes, as she points out, to be made together. I especially like the International fare, because food should also be about adventure. Start cooking with someone special and make your meals memorable. Taylor shows you the way.
–Anne Montgomery, Award-winning Women’s Fiction and Young Adult Author
Delicious food prepared from elegant recipes to impress anyone! Romantic Meals to Dine al Fresco is my new favorite collection of no-miss recipes. And I love the cooking tips section in the back!
–Suzanne G. Rogers, Victorian Romance Author
Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.
Taylor currently has seven romance novellas released by Toque & Dagger Publishing. Her first solo venture into non-fiction was a Couples Cookbook with eighty of her favorite recipes, DATE NIGHT DINNERS, Meals to Make Together for a Romantic Evening.
“I asked what’er ya doin’ on me property?”
Her tone was gruff, her manner, urgent. Hart didn’t want to argue with the old woman. Especially since she was wielding that axe around his head. He smiled weakly, and said, “I’m lost, I…I think.”
The woman was taken back. She stepped off of Hart’s hand. “What do ya mean ya think y’ur lost? Ya either are, or y’ur not. Which one is it, boy?”
Hart licked his dry lips. No use arguing with a backwoods hillbilly from Fairy Falls. He cleared his throat, and said, “I guess I’m lost. I’m looking for Gertie Ellis’ place. Do you know where she lives?”
The woman screwed up her face, which made her look even scarier than before, and then rubbed her bristly chin, as if she was actually contemplating beheading him. After a few seconds of silence, the old lady grunted. “Then I guess y’ur not lost, boy. Y’ur looking at her.”
Hart’s mouth fell open. His heartbeat accelerated. No way. She can’t be. Not her. Not this crazy, ancient biddy from the woods. He felt his face burn. This wasn’t who he expected. This whole freaking place wasn’t what he expected. Before Hart could reply, a sudden nudge under his right elbow begged for his attention. The dog, with a stick in its jaws and his tail wagging, wanted to play. It dropped the slobbery branch in Hart’s lap, then sniffed his bloodied ear and licked it. Hart winced as a gob of doggy drool dripped off his lobe. Gertie Ellis giggled, sounding suddenly like a little girl. He tipped his head to the side. Maybe there’s more to her than her backwoods charm?
“I see Skoka likes ya,” she said in a syrupy voice.
Hart smiled, then carefully patted the dog’s big, solid head. He sniffed Hart’s face and tried to lick his mouth. Hart ducked in time. “I think Skoka likes granola bars more.”
Gertie laughed again. “Ya got that right. So what do ya want with me, boy?”
Using Skoka as a brace, Hart lifted himself off the leafy forest floor, and turned to face Gertie Ellis. He was right about her height—five foot nothing—and noticed she brought the axe up across her stocky body, as if getting ready to defend herself. Hart shook his head.
He stuck out his hand. “My name’s Hart. Hart Stewart.”
She relaxed, grabbed his hand, and shook it firmly. Hart winced.
“So, Hart, what can I do fer ya, then?”
He frowned. “You don’t know who I am?”
She shrugged. “Should I?”
Hart bit his bottom lip. “Does the name Catherine Stewart mean anything to you?”
Gertie balked. “Catherine? Me niece Catherine?” She was silent for a moment, as if downloading old memories. Gertie scratched the bridge of her bulbous nose. “Hmm, yeah. Looked after her a spell when her mom passed. Then one day she just up and left me and Pete. No warning, no note. I only heard from her once in all the years.” She paused, as if letting the past catch up, and then looked up at Hart. “So, what of her, boy? Where’s she at now?”
A facial tick attacked Hart’s left cheek, then moved down to his mouth. Doesn’t she know about my mom? Hasn’t anyone contacted her? Hart wiped his face roughly to halt the twitching. “She’s, uh…she’s six feet under. She was murdered, a year ago today.”
Gertie’s leathery face clouded over, as if a shroud had covered her soul. She swooned and dropped her axe. Hart moved his foot before the axe’s head embedded itself into the earth. As Gertie fell back, Hart was there in seconds, holding her up, shaking her. She grasped his arm and pulled herself up. He could feel her warm breath on his skin, sense the shaky, unsureness in her touch. Shock, Hart assumed, and he suddenly wished he had informed Gertie of his mother’s death in a different way.
“M-murdered,” Gertie mumbled.
“It’s okay, Aunt Gertie, take a deep breath,” Hart said, encouragingly.
Gertie jerked. “A-aunt?”
“Oh, sorry. Great-aunt.”
Her face darkened. “What do ya mean? I got no family left. Me Pete’s been dead since last winter and now ya tell me Catherine’s gone.”
“You got me,” Hart whispered.
Her face reddened and she pushed Hart away. “And just who are ya?”
“Catherine’s son,” Hart replied.
Gertie reached down to seize the axe. It made a slow, sucking noise when she yanked it out of the ground. Hart’s great-aunt clenched the handle, her knuckles whitening under the pressure. “Liar! Catherine had no kid. She would’ha told me! Y’ur just a scoundrel after me fortune!”
by Chris Pavesic
These tasty treats combine the rich flavors of chocolate with a thick layer of marshmallow crème.
Total Eclipse Moon Pies
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
⅓ tsp. salt
½ cup sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
1 large egg white
½ cup 1% milk
¾ cup marshmallow crème
Preheat oven to 425° F.
Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in medium-sized bowl. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add egg white and beat until fluffy with an electric mixer on medium speed, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour mixture, then milk, until just blended.
Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto large, ungreased baking sheets 2-3 inches apart to make 18-20 cookies (Make sure to make an even number of cookies). Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched, about 5 minutes.
Cool completely. Spoon 2 teaspoons of marshmallow crème on bottoms of half the cookies made. Top with remaining cookies.
Get comfy while you snack on your Moon Pie and indulge yourself with a good book. May I suggest one of the books from my LitRPG series The Revelation Chronicles? ?
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.
Above the tree line floats an airship close to three hundred feet long with a slightly rounded wooden hull. Ropes attach the lower portion of the ship to an inflated balloon-like aspect, bright white in color with an identification symbol, a red bird with white-tipped feathers extended in flight, inside a round yellow circle in the center of the canvas. The deck is manned with archers and swordsmen. There are two sets of fore and aft catapults.
What I don’t see are cannons or any other type of a gun large enough to account for the sound of the explosion.
The ship pivots in the air, coming around to point directly at what looks like an oncoming flock of five large birds. Or creatures. They are too big and too strange looking to be birds. They drift closer, flapping their wings.
A moment passes before I realize that they are not creatures either. They are some sort of gliders. A person hangs below each set of the feathered wings, which flap and move with mechanical precision in a sky washed out by the morning sun.
The archers nock their arrows and aim at the flock.
The gliders draw in their wings and dive toward the deck, covering the distance in a few heartbeats. Most of the arrows fly uselessly past the attack force and fall like black rain from the sky. The archers aimed and released the volley too late.
The forward catapult releases a torrent of small rocks at the lead glider. It is a scatter-shot approach that proves effective. There are so many missiles that it is impossible to dodge them all.
But at the moment the stones strike, the other four let loose with fireballs. Spheres of crackling flame spring from their hands, glowing faintly at first and then with increasing brightness. The balls of fire shoot from their hands like bullets from a gun and fly toward the ship, exploding. Pieces bounce off the hull and fall to the ground, throwing hissing, burning globs of magic-fueled fire in all directions, setting everything they touch aflame.
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.
by Catherine Castle
Do you ever feel like this? I know I do. I’m a bibliophile and my house is full of books and magazines. Many of them I’ve opened for reference at one time or another. Many of them I’ve read cover to cover. Most of them I have not read at all, but I hope to one day. They had begun to run me out of my office and then we bought Kindles. Ah, the joy of endless storage. I can go through a twenty-five dollar gift certificate in no time flat.
Here’s the thing about my book habit … it knows no genre limitations. I have fiction books of almost all genres, non-fiction books, books for research, writing craft books, books about historical eras, quote books, half a dozen or more dictionaries, including two rhyming dictionaries, a flip dictionary and several thesauruses.
I keep thinking I’ll cull the herd, especially the dictionaries. After all how many versions of a dictionary does one person need? But I can’t bear to part with a single book. After all, who knows when I might need a synonym?
I did the other day when I was writing a poem that referenced heaven and Word’s thesaurus only had paradise, bliss, ecstasy, dreamland, cloud nine and rapture as alternative options. None of those words fit what I needed. So, I hauled out the thesauruses, the rhyming dictionary, and the Merriam Webster in search of the right word. I found it. So, yes, I do need all those books.
I counted the non-fiction books before starting this blog. I have about 300 non-fiction (writing or research related) books. Just saying that sounds ridiculous and actually embarrasses me. Especially since that doesn’t include my gardening book collection, quilting books, cook books, health-related books, fiction books, or the books in my husband’s office.
With the internet you’d wonder why I would need so many print books in my personal library. But perhaps that’s just why I need them. Because it is my personal library. There’s something about a collection of books that makes me feel richer and smarter. Even if I haven’t read all 300, or maybe I should say 600, from cover to cover.
One thing’s for certain … I’ll never run out of bathroom reading material, even if I live to be 150. Now if I could only keep from putting those ebook on my Kindle and my phone, I might make some headway in the battle against bibliophilia, and afford some new clothes.
Can you relate to my bibliophilia? If so please comment. I’d like to know I’m not alone in this. How about a peek at my latest sweet romance while you decide?
One date for every medical test—that’s the deal. Allison, however, gets more than she bargains for. She gets a Groom for Mama.
Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.
The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.
A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.
With a sweep of his hand, Jack spread the photos out on the table in front of Allison and Beverly. “Here’s a few I just grabbed from the database. Any of them interesting?” He studied Allison’s reaction. She didn’t bat an eyelash as she scanned the men’s pictures. Then, without warning, she scooped them up and shoved them at him.
“I told Mama I wasn’t going to do this. It’s a stupid idea.”
“I’ll admit it’s not the ‘some enchanted evening, see a stranger across the room’ romantic way to find a husband, but it’s not totally unacceptable. Several of the couples my company has brought together have married.”
“And lived happily ever after?” she retorted.
“It’s a new company, Allison. I don’t have the stats yet.” He pushed the photos across the table. “Just take a peek. What harm can it do?”
Beverly grabbed the photo of a particularly handsome man. “How about this one? His coloring complements yours. You’d have beautiful children.”
Mama!” Allison snatched the photo away. “We’re not going to discuss my possible, yet unlikely, progeny in front of Jack.”
A flash of Allison kissing this guy flew through his head. He grabbed the photo from her. “He’s not your type anyway.”
“And just how do you know?” she asked.
“I dated you, remember? You ditched me for some suave, corporate hotshot. At least it’s what you said.”
“Allison!” Beverly exclaimed. “You never told me that.”
Allison shot him a fierce scowl. “I’m not comfortable discussing my love life with you, Mama. Besides, what’s done and over with should be buried . . . in the past.” She picked up another photo. “What about him? Or him and him?” She pointed to two nerdy-looking fellows. “They seem corporate.”
Mama leaned over and checked out the pictures Allison had indicated. “Too ugly,” she said. “He’s got to be handsome. Like Jack. I want to know my grandbabies will be as beautiful as you two.”
He grinned. “Thanks for the compliment, but I know I’m not your daughter’s type.” He laid a sheet of paper on the counter. “Fill this out. Then I can get a better idea of what you want in a husband.”
“I don’t want—”
“I know,” he interjected. “But, for your mom’s sake, just pretend you do.”
Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. A former freelance writer, she has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit (under her real name) in the Christian and secular market. Now she writes sweet and inspirational romance. Her debut inspirational romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing, has garnered multiple contests finals and wins.
Catherine loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.
Learn more about Catherine Castle on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out Catherine’s Amazon author page and her Goodreads page. You can also find Catherine on Stitches Thru Time and the SMP authors blog site.
Be a Champion for the Underdog or Cat… (Lost and Found)
Everyone is emotionally touched by an animal at some point in their lives. For me, having a dog in the house since the day I was born forever cemented canines in my heart, and later in my early twenties I got my first cat—a calico who lived to be twenty. In Lost and Found, the first book in Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls series, the main character, Meagan Walsh is forced to do community service hours in the local animal shelter. I, myself have worked in an animal shelter, so this story is near and dear to my heart. For those of you thinking about expanding your family to include a furry friend, here are some things I’ve observed in my short stint as an animal care attendant…
Overbreeding and interbreeding have caused so many genetic defects in dogs and cats that the ‘art’ of breeding has gotten to the point today that some breeders are obsessed by the conformation of their breeding stock while ignoring their personalities. Now certainly not all breeders are bad and not all purebred pets are defective. But the fact is that the common mutt is likely to live a longer, healthier life. Let’s hear it for the underdog…and cat! Some of the best pets can be saved from certain death and obtained rather inexpensively from a local animal shelter.
Now, before you head over to the closest animal shelter, there are a couple of precautions about adopting a shelter pet. First, you never know the background of the animal. Was it abused? Was it well nourished? For young animals these are important questions because the social behavior of dogs and cats depends on how they were treated as youngsters. Major aberrations in the socialization of a young animal may affect it for life no matter what you do to correct the problems. Severe, early malnutrition can cause physical problems for the life of a pet.
For those considering adopting an older pet from a shelter, a key question is, “Why was the pet discarded?” I’ve heard many excuses from people dropping off pets with the most common being financial, to moving to an apartment, and my least favorite—I didn’t realize the work involved in owning a dog. Um, really? Many pets are brought to a shelter because of behavioral issues, though that’s not what they tell the shelter personnel, so they make up some other excuse. The good news is that many ‘behavioral’ problems are due to the pet owner and not the pet.
Another concern when adopting a pet from a shelter is the health of the animal. Many pets at the shelter have not been raised in favorable conditions. The shelter staff do their best to get every animal vaccinated and their needs taken care of promptly upon arrival. The most common mistake people make when adopting a pet is that they feel sorry for a sickly animal. As pitiful as the sickly, runt of the litter may look, I wouldn’t recommend it for a pet unless you have unlimited financial and emotional resources. And believe me, I’ve seen some wonderful Good Samaritans with these resources adopt just to give that sick animal a good, loving home for the rest of its life.
It’s so important to do your research when shopping around for a pet, and make sure you have the time, energy, and necessary funds to invest in the animal for as long as it lives. If you’re thinking about getting a dog or cat to add to your family, then I urge you to adopt a pet from your local animal shelter. You’ll not only help an animal in need, you’ll receive something we ALL need—unconditional love.
Meet the Author:
Escape to the past
and have a blast.
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, PINTEREST, LINKEDIN, INSTAGRAM, and GOODREADS. Check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.
Connect with Sharon Ledwith:
Sharon’s Website: www.sharonledwith.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Sharon-Ledwith-210150205690477/
Timekeepers Series Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-Last-Timekeepers-Time-Travel-Series/373953795955372
Amazon Author U.S.
Amazon Author U.K.
Café Press Shop: http://www.cafepress.ca/sharonledwith2
The books are only on sale through Mirror World Publishing, however, they can be purchase on other platforms:
Barnes and Noble