Friday, April 29, 2011

Price increase as of May 2, 2011 - $2.99

I debated on this for quite some time, as I've loved the $.99 attention, and the wonderful sales by readers. Most readers aren't aware that at $.99 authors make only about $.35, which, of course, means it takes a lot of sales to even cover the costs of advertising, cover art and editors. Free advertising by many e-reader sites helps, and gives us a boost. I had planned on doing the $.99 for only six months, but have stretched that to almost a year. As of May 2, 2011 the price on The Jacody Ives Mysteries will revert to $2.99.

However, don't feel you have to rush out and buy a copy right now, as I will do specials in the future, as well as my normal once a month "gimme" contest. So thank you to all the readers who have made this one of my best months ever. And I hope to share many other novels with you in the future, as well as some free short stories.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Amazon Kindle Mysteries and Thrillers - Top 25

I typed in Mysteries and Thrillers on Amazon Kindle and these are the top 25 as of 4/26/11. Prices range from $.49 through $9.00. If you're interested in checking one out, click on the book picture and it will take you to the Amazon book page where you can download a sample or read a chapter before you buy. Happy Reading!

Featured Author - Faith Mortimer - New Release The Assassins' Village

Bound and gagged, the shocked and terrified victim recognises his assailant. Days later, another body is discovered. How many assassins stalk the village?

In a picturesque Cypriot village an expatriate theatrical group gather to discuss their next play; but when the curtain rises it'll be murder.
A blackmailer stalks the cast - a group riven with jealousies, rivalry, sexual tension and illicit affairs.

Unbeknownst to each other they all attempt to find solutions to their problems. Some believe it lies in murder. Can they find the blackmailer? And can they find that all important 'little black book' - the chronicle of their misdeeds.

When a body is discovered, Diana, a cast member, turns detective to draw up a suspects list. After the police get involved one of the suspects is found hanged - another murder or the suicide of a guilty person?

A visit to a villager's home uncovers an ancient assassin's weapon. Could this be the murder weapon? Is it possible that an assassin lives at the heart of this formerly peaceful and idyllic village?

Love, hate, murder and high drama all feature in this classic historical detective story. With a long list of suspects, some dramatic twists and the odd red herring, the reader is left guessing until the final curtain falls.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Reviews - The Jacody Ives Mysteries - Words that Make Me Want to Keep Writing

When seeking a professional review an author always has moments of fear and anticipation. What if they hated it? And there are a million "what ifs" that follow that one. Most if not all authors write because we have stories to tell, and we want to share those stories with readers who would enjoy them. Reviews, especially "non-biased" professional reviews are essential in many ways. Ms. Heptinstall also reviews for Midwest Book Review. Her comments make me proud to be an author, and truly make me want to keep writing.

The Gifts, A Jacody Ives Mystery
Linda S Prather
Echelon Press Publishing
9735 Country Meadows Lane,
Laurel, MD 20723
288 pages

If you love a good mystery mixed with the supernatural, and suspense, then this is the book for you. It is a thriller that has you thinking one way, and then within the next few pages you are on a journey that will keep you going until the end. It is like being on a roller coaster. You slowly make your way up to the top, all the time watching how high you are going. Then as you reach the top you say to yourself, “What was I thinking?” Yet it is too late to get off. This book is like a roller coaster.

Once you start reading it, there is no turning back. The book will drawl you into the story and the characters. I thought I had it figured out half way through the book, and then sure as shoot I found out I was lost.
This is a great read.

I rate this book PG 13 for language and violence

“Sacred Secrets, A Jacody Ives Mystery”
Linda S. Prather
Create Space
7290 Investment Drive,
North Charleston, SC 29418
Paperback $14.98 -- Digital $.99
384 pages
Sandra S. Heptinstall

This is one of the most fascinating books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. After reading the author’s first book “The Gifts, A Jacody Ives Mystery,” I did not feel like the next book could top it. But what I found was Ms. Prather is one of the most gifted writers of our times.

In the second installment of the “Jacody Ives Mystery,” the author takes us deeper into the depths of Jacody and Gavin. One person, with two different personalities.

I am so glad that the author has included some of the characters from the first book that I liked. The new ones are just as engaging. The elements of the supernatural, add to the suspense of this story.

I would also like to commend Charles W. Prather, Jr. for the poetry he has written in this book. He shows great promise as well.

rated pg for violence

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Top 100 Kindle Psychological Thrillers for Under $3.00 on 4/23/11

All the books below are only $2.99 or less and as of 4/23/11 were on the Amazon Kindle Top 100 Psychological Thrillers. If you're interested in checking one out, click on the book picture and it will take you to the Amazon book page where you can download a sample or read a chapter before you buy. Happy Reading!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Homemade Candy--Cooking with Millie Crawford and Carl Jackson from The Jacody Ives Mysteries

I decided today that I was really in the mood for homemade candy, so I thought I'd invite two of my favorite Jacody Ives characters into the kitchen. Welcome, if you would, Millie Crawford and Carl Jackson. Two very old friends with lots of secrets, but you'll have to read the book to find those out. Of course, I had forgotten how cantankerous these two could get when placed in close proximity. I may live to regret my decision.

"Have you two decided on a recipe yet?"

Millie smiled at me sweetly, her grey eyes twinkling. "We're going to make Turtles for little Nikki, and the babies."

"Turtles!" Carl rolled his eyes toward the ceiling. "I ain't making no da..."


"You watch your language Carl Jackson. Little Nikki is in the other room."

Millie gave him a stern look, unconcerned by the darkening of the deep brown eyes. "We're making Turtles."

"Carl, why don't you take a cigarette break while Millie and I gather all the supplies?" I gently moved him toward the back door. "By the time you get back we'll be all set."

"Humph," Millie snorted behind me, "old coot needs to quit smoking 'fore they kill him."

Taking a deep breath I closed the door quickly, shutting off Carl's not so nice retort. "Now, Millie, you know Carl. He'll come around. We just have to make it look like we're having fun."

"Humph, be a lot more fun without him." Millie growled, opening cabinet doors and pulling out bowls. "Old coot needs to learn a little respect for his elders."

I stifled the giggle bubbling up inside my chest. Millie was only a month older than Carl, but she used that trump card every time she could. "Why don't you make him some of your special coffee. Nothing mellows Carl like a good cup of your coffee."

Millie reached for the pot a mischievous smile playing around her lips. "I was just thinking the same thing myself. Why the poor dear must be starving for a good cup of coffee after drinking that rotgut Miss Charity serves."

Uh, oh. Now that was a subject I truly did not want the two of them getting into. "Hand me the recipe and I'll start putting everything together."
Millie handed me a set of handwritten instructions. "Carl wrote them out, so I hope you can read it."

The back door opened and Carl strode back in. "Of course she can read it. Ain't like that chicken scratching of yours. Here give me that list."

"Millie's making you some fresh coffee, Carl. You know, the kind you like."

A slow grin spread over the wrinkled face. "With the good stuff in it?"
Millie nodded, reaching for her purse. "Best money can buy."

"Now you're talking." Carl turned back to me, list in hand. "You ready, girl?"

"Lead on."

Carl scowled at the list. "Need a cup and a half of flour, a half a teaspoon of soda, a fourth a teaspoon of salt, a half a cup of butter, an egg, a half a cup of brown sugar,. .."

"Firmly packed." Millie reminded him gently, as she poured a sizeable helping of bourbon into the coffee cup and topped it off with fresh brewed coffee. "And you need to slow down. She ain't got half the stuff you read off yet."

I could tell Carl really wanted to make some smart retort, but the delicious smell drifting his way kept his mouth closed. He wasn't going to take a chance on Millie not passing over that cup of coffee.

"Now, you drink this and Linda and I will finish getting things ready."

Taking the cup of coffee Carl breathed in the aroma and sighed. "You girls go right ahead."

Millie grabbed the list and quickly pulled all the ingredients together. I was beginning to think my presence wasn't really needed when Millie stopped in mid-stride and reached for another cup. "You look a little pale, honey. Let me fix you a cup of coffee."

"Uh, thanks, Millie, but just coffee, okay?"

"Humph, need more than that to put color in them cheeks."

Millie handed me the coffee. "Drink up. Loosen you up a little. You're way to uptight."

Uptight. That was an understatement. Sniffing the coffee I took a small sip. Just as I suspected Millie had poured in a generous dose of Kentucky Bourbon. It was good, though. I took another sip, savoring the taste. I really could start to like this. Problem was I couldn't hold my liquor. One stout drink and I'd start giggling like a school girl. Only two sips and I could already feel it.

"So, guys, are we gonna make candy?"

Carl sat back in his seat, reaching for a cigarette. "Cheaper to buy it at the store if you ask me."

I giggled. Uh, oh. "Yeah, but not as much fun. Come on, Carl, we can make the turtles."

"Told you, I ain't making no da…I ain't making no turtles. A man don't make turtles."

"Humph," Millie grumbled pouring herself a cup of fresh coffee and adding her special elixir. "A real man don't have to worry about such things. Why if Clarence was here he'd be right in there fixing them turtle shells."

I saw the smug smile on Millie's face out the corner of my eye, as I watched Carl sputter and stutter. Smart woman.

"Hand me them pecans. Anything that old codger can do I can do better."

I really couldn't resist. The song just sprang into my mind. "I can do anything better than you."

Carl raised an eyebrow and looked at my cup. Which surprisingly was empty. "Millie, how much bourbon did you put in that cup?"

Millie glanced up from her mixing. "Oh, dear. She drank it all already?"

"Yep, every last sip." Carl stated, taking the empty cup from my hand. "Don't think you need any more of this, honey. Why don't you just sit there quietly and we'll let you lick the frosting spoon."

*Hiccup*. "Okie, dokie."

Carl took the baking pan, greased it up good and grabbed the bag of pecans. "Rounded side up, right?"

Millie smiled at him. "One for the head, two for the back legs."

I sat, giggling occasionally as Carl lined up the pecans. "Don't look like a turtle to me. Have you got a picture of that? I bet it don't look like that."
Millie came to the table carrying a bowl of dough balls and bowl of egg whites. "Now you shush up. Carl, I think you done a great job, honey. Now all we have to do is form the bodies."

"Oh, goodie," I squeaked, popping a dough ball into my mouth. Which wasn't nearly as good as I'd thought it would be. Millie immediately moved the bowl out of my reach.

I figured I'd better be good or they wouldn't let me have any turtles. Sitting quietly except for an occasional giggle I watched as they dipped the balls into egg whites and pressed them into the nuts forming perfect little turtle bodies. "They're so cute."

Millie and Carl exchanged glances as Millie picked up the pan and headed for the oven. "Carl, why don't you pour Linda a cup of plain coffee."

"Only if I can make myself one that ain't plain." Carl joined her at the counter. "You think we can sober her up before the story closes out?"

Millie glanced my way and I gave her a big smile with a thumbs up. Shaking her head she turned back to the counter. "Don't look that way."

Carl placed the cup of coffee in front of me. "Drink up, honey. Otherwise I get to write the ending here, and you know how you hate it when I write the story."

Three cups of coffee later the turtles were cooling on a rack and Carl handed me the frosting spoon. "Here you go, honey. Just like I promised."

Unfortunately the smell didn't have quite the effect either of us had expected. Or maybe not the effect I had expected. "I don't feel so good. Would you two excuse me." I headed quickly for the bathroom.

"Works every time." Carl smiled at Millie, licking the spoon. "That sure is good, Mille. Don't nobody make chocolate frosting like you."

Millie smiled back. "Another cup of coffee?"

"Might as well. I don't think she's coming back."

Carl sipped his coffee watching as Millie coated each little turtle with chocolate. "They are kind of cute."

"Humph," Millie grunted. "Thought real men didn't make turtles?"

"Hush woman," Carl growled. "I'm thinking. I gotta close this thing out."

"Ain't no brainer there. Just tell them what you learned."

Carl looked around the room. "You ever wonder where they are, Millie?"

Millie licked chocolate from her finger and shook her head. "Everybody loves a good book. They're everywhere."

Taking a deep breath Carl stood up. "Well, ladies and gentlemen, there you have it. Today we learned two things." Laughing he took a sip of coffee. "First, Linda can't hold her liquor."

Taking another sip of coffee he tightened his jaw muscles, brown eyes turning charcoal. "And real men make turtles."

Draining the cup he headed for the counter. "And I think it's time a real man got to sample the fruits of his labor."

"Carl Jackson don't you touch my turtles."

"Your turtles! Dammit, woman, I made them turtles."



1 1/2 cup sifted flour 1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp. soda 1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. maple flavoring
1/2 cup butter or margarine pecan halves
1 egg 1 egg white
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Mix flour, soda and salt. Cream butter; gradually add sugar and cream well. Add egg and egg yolk; beat well. Blend in flavoring. Add dry ingredients gradually and mix thoroughly. Arrange pecan halves rounded side up in groups of three on greased baking sheet to resemble head and hind legs of turtles . Mold dough into balls by using rounded teaspoon of dough to each. Dip bottom into egg white and press into nuts. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Chocolate Frosting for Turtles:

2 (2 oz.) squares chocolate 1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/4 cup milk 1 cup confectioners' sugar

Combine chocolate, milk and butter in top of double broiler. Heat over boiling water until chocolate melts; blend until smooth. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and glossy. Frost turtles when cool.


Chocolate Caramels

2 cups sugar 1 cup nuts (optional)
2 cups whipping cream 1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 squares semi-sweet chocolate

Keep back 1 cup of cream. Boil all other ingredients till firm ball stage. Slowly add 1 cup cream and boil again till very firm ball is formed in cold water. Boil at least 25 minutes. Grease large cookie sheet and pour. Cut when cool.

Peanut Butter Fudge

1/2 cup margarine 3/4 cup peanut butter
1 lb. light brown sugar 1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup milk 1 lb. confectioners' sugar

In medium saucepan melt margarine, stir in brown sugar and milk. Bring to a boil and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Mix in confectioners' sugar; beat with mixer until smooth. Spread into buttered 9 x 13 pan. Chill.

Peanut Brittle

2 cups sugar 1 Tbsp. butter
1 cup white corn syrup 1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup water 2 tsp. soda
1 lb. unsalted peanuts

Boil sugar, syrup and water until mixture spins a thread in cold water. About 11 minutes. Add peanuts and cook until mixture is caramelized - about 10 minutes. Stir in butter and vanilla. Add soda and stir quickly. Spread candy on large buttered cookie sheet. When cook break into pieces.

Butterscotch Balls

1 box powered sugar 1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans 2 sticks margarine, melted
1/2 cup peanut butter 1-6oz pkg. butterscotch chips
1 tsp. vanilla 1/2 bar paraffin wax

Combine first 6 ingredients. Add margarine. Shape into balls. Melt butterscotch chips and paraffin. Dip balls into butterscotch mixture. Drop onto waxed paper.

Mocha Fudge

3/4 cup evaporated milk 1/4 cup oleo
3 Tbsp. instant coffee 1 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
2 1/2 cups sugar 1 tsp. vanilla
1 - 7 oz. jar marshmallow cream

In a 3-qt. saucepan, heat milk and stir in coffee to dissolve. Stir in sugar, marshmallow cream and butter. Bring to a boil stirring constantly and boil GENTLY over medium heat for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and beat in chocolate and vanilla until well blended. Pour into greased 8-in square pan. When cool, cut into 1 or 2 inch squares.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bargain Bin Indie Ebooks - $.99

All the books below are only $.99. If you're interested in checking one out, click on the book picture and it will take you to the Amazon book page where you can download a sample or read a chapter before you buy. Happy Reading!

Featured Author - Valerie Maarten - Indie Spring Fling

Let me introduce myself...

I have been writing ever since I discovered that letters made sounds and a combination of letters made words. It wasn't until recently that I decided to share my work with the public at large.

It's true what people say about writers, "they don't write for fame, fortune and glory...they write for the love of writing and sharing." I'm sure most of my fellow writers know what I'm talking about. I know I'm not the only one that invested in rubbermaid storage bins to store your earlier, written work (before the laptop), just in case you decided to go public.

The only thing I love more than writing, besides the obvious (God, family, life and country), is reading. As you will soon learn, I have an eclectic taste in what I read. There isn't a romance genre that I will pass up. I've recently began reading suspense and paranormal romance and have dabbled in the vampire series, once in a while.

But one day, I'm going to reach in my storage bin and dust off that masterpiece I've been working on.

Until then...

What Readers Are Saying!

What a great story! I bought/read it over the weekend, (wept) and thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Maarten's writing.

It is a deeply romantic story, every element of that definition exists, and those elements are very well played.

Wow wonderful, sad sweet and gave me goose bumps. Love the message of the book, what a guy Gabe is and Joy strong I think personally. Some books when you read you feel no emotional attachment to it and some they will always be at the back of your mind. I say get a copy read it and see what you think and feel about the book.



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Featured Author - Karen Cantwell and Bargain Bin Books - 99 cents

My first novel, TAKE THE MONKEYS AND RUN, is a comedy-mystery, inspired, to some degree by a true monkey sighting in my own neighborhood. Because I love to laugh as well as make other people laugh, I have great fun writing the characters Barbara Marr, her friends and her adversaries. When I set out to write this book, I knew I wanted to write something that readers would say, "Now that was FUN." I HOPE I have achieved that goal. And if I did, please feel free to drop me a line at and let me know! I love to hear from readers. (especially if they LIKE the book!)

I've recently released a new book called FOXY'S TALE, co-written with my friend LB Gschwandtner. This is the first in a planned chick-lit series. And yes, I'm working on a second Barbara Marr novel, CITIZEN INSANE. You can find out more about these upcoming books at my website, I hope you'll stop by!

All the books below are only $.99. If you're interested in checking one out, click on the book picture and it will take you to the Amazon book page where you can download a sample or read a chapter before you buy. Happy Reading!

Spring Fling and Featured Author Elita Daniels - plz rt

Everyone loves a nice SPRING FLING. Love the bargains, the colors, the excitement. Indie Authors Unite is having a great Spring Fling. Love books? Love to browse for your favorite covers and genres? Stop by and check it out. You'll get some great bargains.


And here's just one of our Spring Fling Specials - Only $.99


Wrath, vengeance, hatred, cannot breathe the same atmosphere as love. And so it was that love began to wither and withdraw...

Among the ageless quietude of the elves, Deacon, a mortal, suffers the inescapable awareness of mortality. He lived in what many deemed perfection, but a dark uncertainty plagued him that there lay treachery in it all.

When secrets of his mysterious heritage are revealed, the young mage is thrown into a revolt of confusion, and in an unwholesome vent of misery, travels a path of unforgivable deeds. One of the few left of his kind - a race whose magical energies are vigorously interwoven with their lifeforce - Deacon is drawn into a world that turns into an involution of evil and death.


I'd like to start this review by stating I'm not particularly a Fantasy genre fan, and really didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. Ha! Fooled me.

If you are looking for a story brimming with romance, mystery and adventure, you must read "The Tree of Life" by Elita Daniels.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Featured Author - Mark Adair

Mark Adair spent over twenty-five years in the Information Technology world designing and developing complex software systems for clients such as the US Navy, Disney, and Lockheed Martin. One evening, after the latest 14 hour workday in a string of many, he struggled to wind down. Looking for a place to escape, he grabbed his trusty laptop and began writing a suspense story about a guy named John Truman. Several months later he had completed the first draft of his first novel, and realized that he would never be the same.

Recently, he debuted his suspense novel, "The Father's Child", on the Kindle platform.

After living in Southern California, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, and Colorado, he now makes his home in lovely Northern California. In addition to writing, he enjoys swimming, wine, Oklahoma football, the ocean, friends, and his family...not necessarily in that order.
John Truman, a bright, introverted, college student belongs to the New Dawn...he just doesn't know it yet. The plans of the 300-year-old, Oxford-based, secret society revolve around him, the final piece in their puzzle. He struggles with almost everything - the girl he loves, the extroverted uber-social best friend, his estranged father, and the recurring visions that compromise his ability to interact with others. All John wants is to get through today; all they want is to rule the world.

Suspense, intrigue, mystery, and romance all woven together into one thrilling tapestry. Enter a world where nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted. Are you ready?

From the Author
When I first began "The Father's Child" I had only the idea of a socially-challenged college guy named John Truman who had some interesting friends. Not knowing where the story or the characters might be going, I slowly churned out a chapter here and there. A few chapters and a couple months into it the idea for the New Dawn, a secret Oxford society, formed. Like the proverbial light bulb going on I understood the characters and their mission in life. Everything fit together.

I wrote the first draft in about ten months. After feedback from critique friends and my inner-critiquer, I reworked and rewrote 5 or 6 more times before I thought it was acceptable. A few more rewrites and I started thinking "this is pretty darn good." I still remember the time I read through the last several chapters without slowing down. Obviously, I knew the plot and the characters intimately. Evenso I found myself caught up in the story and the lives of those involved.



The Father's Child is one of those books that's hard to put down.

Mark Adair's 'The Father's Child' is a roller coaster, bungee jump, and treasure hunt all rolled into one!

This story is indeed a thriller.

It is easy to suspend belief and enter into the realm of the story.

Buy Now!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Featured Author - Seb Kirby - Take No More

I was raised with books - my grandfather ran a mobile library in Birmingham and my parents inherited a random selection of the books. They weren't much interested in them; the books were piled up in a box room, gathering dust. I would disappear in there and resurrect much used classics - Zane Gray 'Riders of the Purple Sage', H G Wells 'The Invisible Man', Charles Dickens 'A Tale of Two Cities' and more obscure stuff that I don't now recall. I was hooked.

There was gap, a long gap, until I was lucky enough to find an inspirational school teacher. He donated his own books to make a lending library in a stock cupboard off the classroom. Kids queued to borrow the books. Except these were the classics - Franz Kafka 'Metamorphosis' and 'The Trial', George Orwell '1984' and 'Animal Farm', Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn 'One Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich', Ray Bradbury 'Fahrenheit 451', Boris Pasternak 'Dr Zhivago', Arthur Koestler 'Darkness At Noon', Vladimir Nabokov 'Pale Fire', Ken Kesey 'One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest', Aldous Huxley 'Brave New World'.............

I've been an avid reader ever since.


Writing. Jazz (Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, their modern day musical descendents). Writing about jazz. Science. Travel. Favorite places (in no particular order): Venice, Florence, San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, New York, London, The English Lake District, Lisbon, Crete.
My name is James Blake.

A single act turns my life upside down. I come home to find my wife, Julia, shot and bleeding. She dies in my arms.

The police are no help. I'm sure they're trying to fit me up for the murder.

I check Julia's messages and find just one. It says 'help me'. It comes with a strange, old-looking image of a woman being seduced. It's all I have to go on. That and the fact that someone is trying to kill me.

But I will find Julia's killers, no matter what it takes.

5 star reviews:

'It hooked me from the first chapter and keeps the pace going throughout…..'

'One of the best thrillers I have read in the past year…..'

'A thriller that grips you from page one……'

'Take No More' is fast-paced, 69,000 words, about 260 print pages.

An ordinary person is thrust into extraordinary circumstances and must develop the skills to overcome them. In this case, a husband tries to investigate his wife's unexplained death, and in doing so, finds himself thrust into the world of art restoration, priceless works of art, and a powerful Italian family with all sorts of secrets. Most of it is set in the city of Florence, and the author has clearly done his homework -- reading the novel is like taking a trip to Italy.

Check out these great reads:

#samplesunday Delicious recipe for Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Dip & read novel extracts by @TaniaLT uq

#Samplesunday Exerpt from Newly Released" The Kincaid Way" guest #poet #ebook @betcar1

#Samplesunday delicious recipe South African Babootie and 'The Crossing' excerpt from@Faithmortimer

I have two one highlighting Alex and one for me.

#samplesundaycookoff this week I'm highlighting wonderful writer Alex Knight and a Lobster Bisque #recipe PLZ RT.

#samplesundaycookoff Death by Chocolate #recipe and a #thriller. What a fab combo. #kindle PLZ RT

#samplesunday Take No More A great new sample from this thriller #reading #thriller #art #kindle

An excerpt of a ghostly tale from Whispers, by @kj_author being released in May #ghost #paranormal #samplesunday

#samplesunday A King in a Court of Fools – FREE serialized adventures of a young Tom Ryan.New post-The Caswell Gang RT

Cakes and grief. Child of the Portal. by @UKSarahBarnard #samplesunday #samplesundaycookoff #recipe

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Excerpt and some homemade fruit, veggie and chip dips

Introducing two of my favorite characters - Billy Dawson and Charity Froste. Hope you enjoy the excerpt and some really great cookout dips to try.

“And so it begins.” Billy Dawson flipped over the tarot card, placing it on top of the first card.

Charity Froste sighed, poured two cups of coffee and took a seat across the table from him.

“Jacody soon be on his way,” she stated, sipping the thick hot liquid. She rolled her eyes, noticing the cards. New fangled toys was what they was. She touched the medicine bag lying between her two huge breasts. Now there was real magic.

Billy didn’t look up. He didn’t need to. He could feel her disapproval. “Tools, Miss Charity. The cards, the stones, the bones, they’re all just tools.”

“Dem’ bones don’t lie,” Charity chastised him.

Billy swallowed the laugh on his lips as the wind carried the sound to their ears. A lonesome sound. A sound of pain. A sound of heartache. The sound of a lost soul.

Billy turned over the next card. The Hanged Man.

Perhaps the sound of destiny.

Tonight a soul would pass into the netherworld. The white wolf would howl its mournful song. The elder would dance and sing his prayers to God. The dreamers would dream.

“Told you dem’ bones don’t lie.” Charity eyed him suspiciously. “You called the wolf, didn’t you?”

Billy shuffled the cards, ignoring the question. She knew the answer. “We can’t be interfering, Miss Charity.”

“He’s a good man.”

“Yes, ma’am, I reckon he is.”

“Ain’t right.” Charity clutched the cup tightly. Time was running out. Night would come all too soon. A dark night.

“No, ma’am.” Billy continued to shuffle, mindful to be respectful and listen. Answering her, although it probably wasn’t necessary.

Charity studied her reflection in the coffee cup. Lost in thought. “He didn’t choose the path he’s on.”

“No, ma’am. I don’t reckon he did.” Billy pulled another card. Miss Charity was losing her accent.

“Somebody chose it for him before he was even born. It just isn’t right, I tell you. And I can’t just sit here and do nothing. I can’t just watch him die. I’m not going to do that, Billy Dawson. You can’t ask me to do that.”

Billy reached for the last card, avoiding her searching eyes. He knew what she wanted. What she needed. She was waiting for him to say something. Answer the question she hadn’t asked. Condone her interference, or condemn her actions not yet taken. He could neither condone nor condemn. He’d already interfered. Now there was nothing to do but wait.

Billy turned the last card over. The Devil grinned up at him. A male chained to his left, a female to his right. His smile a mockery of everything Billy believed in.

Lifting his head he met her gaze. There was nothing he could say to ease her pain. “I’m sorry, Miss Charity.”

Cheese Dip

2 lb. Mexican Velveeta Cheese
1 lb. sausage
1 - 15 oz. can stewed tomatoes

Brown sausage and drain. Melt cheese on low heat. Stir in sausage and stewed tomatoes. Do not drain. (for those with a love of "hot" stir in some jalapeno peppers).

Bagel Dip

8 oz. package cream cheese
2 - 3 oz. Buddig beef packages
1 bunch green onions, chopped
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of garlic powder

Mix all together and chill.

Onion and Bacon Dip

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
6 slices bacon, fried crisp & crumbled
Dash of salt
1 medium onion, chopped fine
Miracle Whip

Mix first four ingredients together and add enough Miracle Whip to make smooth and of dip consistency.

Mexican Dip

1 - 8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 - 8 oz. carton sour cream
1 can refried beans
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
20 drops Tabasco sauce
3 green onions chopped

Mix all together. Spread in casserole dish. Cover with shredded cheese (about 1 cup). Bake at 350 for about 25 to 30 minutes until hot throughout. Serve with nacho chips.

Artichoke Dip

1 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 can artichokes
1 cup mayonnaise

Stir ingredients together. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Veggie Dill Dip

1 pint sour cream
1 cup Hellman's mayonnaise
6 tsp. dill weed
6 tsp. minced onion
4 tsp. parsley flakes
2 tsp. Lawry's Seasoned Salt

Mix all together, chill; serve. Good with veggies or chips.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pixel of Ink's Bargain Book Of The Day

Bargain Kindle Book] The Gifts, A Jacody Ives Mystery
Tagged as: Mystery, Suspense, UK

in Under $1 [Bargain Bin]

The Gifts, A Jacody Ives Mystery has a perfect 5.0 customer review rating from 10 reviews! If you are a Mystery fan – this is a must read – so be sure to grab it while it’s only 99 cents! !

* * *

The Gifts, A Jacody Ives Mystery by Linda S. Prather (5.0 out of 5 stars) is currently only 99 Cents for the Kindle Edition!

Tortured… raped…executed…

No matter how much he drank, Gavin McAllister couldn’t get the headline out of his head. Just words. He was a writer, made his living with words. The impact of the words directly correlated to the emotions of the reader. Words could be twisted, knives to open up wounds long hidden. Maneuvered to evoke buried nightmares. Bare the soul, expose the wound, and you had a best seller. Make them laugh. Make them cry. Above all, make them feel something. He was an expert at manipulating words for emotion.

But he’d seen the body.

It wasn’t a story this time. This time it was personal. The demon of his nightmares had no name, but now he knew where to look for him. Glade Springs had secrets. And no one uncovered secrets better than Jacody ives.

DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY NOW: The Gifts, A Jacody Ives Mystery

Also available in the UK Kindle Store for only £0.70!

Love free or bargain books--check out Pixel of Ink at:

Pixel of Ink

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Featured Author - Mary McDonald

This book had everything that I always look for in a book, well developed characters that were beleivable and made you care about what happened to them, a captivating story that had me glued to my kindle to the end, a little action, a little romance, and that paranormal element that often atracts me to a book. The only thing I was disappointed in was the length....I didn't want the book to end.

I'll never judge a book again by whether the author is published by a publishing house or on e-books. I'm sure there are many other good indie authors out there and I'm looking forward to discovering them. I'm also looking forward to more books by Mary McDonald and hope there's a new one out soon.

Available on Amazon Kindle for $.99

Featured Author - L. C. Evans

A tale of love, family, and one woman's redemption as she tries to take back control over her own life - by taking a "Time out" from her free-loading family. As they move into her home, one by one, - her sis and baby and a dog, her son and his girlfriend, and her bossy mother, Susan ends up with four adults, (thought her son and his girl eventually leave) one baby, and three dogs to contend with and take care of. The situation is enough to to drive anyone out of their mind in the same situation. Then to top it all off, an old flame returns to town and she must put her family first - as always - and cannot pursue a relationship with him. Her bossy mom keeps telling Susan she simply cannot quit her present job to take on another one as a ghost tour leader. Who will take care of us? Follow along as one incident piles on top another and we, the reader, end up tearing our own hair out by the roots!

Highly recommended for fun and a thrill ride as Susan tries to save her own life!

Also available on Amazon Kindle for $.99
Buy Now!

Featured Author - Mel Comley

The villain is developed so well, as absolutely the worst/best created, that I felt incredible anger and rage where he is involved. He is sheer evil in human form and reminds me of Hannibal Lecter in his egomaniacal behavior. DI Lorne Simpkins took me through the full gamut of emotions due to the turmoil created by this monster. It is great having a strong female lead who isn't the all-knowing, super heroine, kick butt sort, who knows exactly what steps to take next.

Buy Now!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Featured Author - Elizabeth Reyes

These characters stayed with me long after I first read Forever Mine. I have to remind myself they are characters in a book, but I still can't get them out of my head. This was the first time in my (long) life that I ever finished reading a book and immediately went to page one and began reading it all over again.

And with each subsequent reading (I blame this on the magnetic characters drawing me back to the page time after time) I find myself yelling at Sara or Angel and getting angry because they repeat the same mistakes as the first time I read the story. The story doesn't change and neither do the characters, yet I read it over and over expecting something different.

Reyes captures teenage angst well. Their behavior is what it is, she does not hide the teenage drinking, or their private activities, nor does she dwell on it. It's the story of these teen-aged star-crossed lovers, after all. It's what happens after that electric touch, that magic moment of knowing it's not only their first love, but their only love, knowing that from Sara and Angel's first meeting that they are meant to be together and that life and a little white lie will get in the way to complicate everything. The sparks between them, and the sparks of the world, if you will, that's what draws me into the story, and draws be back to read it again.

A delightful story, well-told.

Buy Now!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

An Easy Dieter's Tip that won't cost you any money.

Now that I've shared delicious recipes that will add the weight to your body, I thought I'd share an easy tip to help you take it off with little to no effort, and basically no cost at all.

Those who know me best know I drink tons of coffee. I don't add sugar, and now I'm not adding cream so I've always believed that I wasn't adding to my weight problem. Wrong!

According to a recent issue of Prevention Magazine the body has what's called a Fat-Burning "Thermic" Response. In other words, certain foods and things we do cause the body to work harder and thus burn more calories. Woot! Wouldn't that be great. And here's the tip: Ice water.

I know, I know, you've heard for years that you needed to drink 8 glasses of water a day to be healthy. Even when I do that I don't lose weight. Perhaps because I'm not drinking ice cold water. And perhaps because I'm flooding my system with hot drinks like coffee and tea. If I buy into the Fat-Burning Thermic response, it makes total sense to me. It takes my body longer to "heat" the ice drinks, and therefore my system has to work harder and thus burns off more calories.

I'm going to give this a try. In the next four weeks I'm not really going to diet/diet, but instead I'm going to give it a heave-ho effort to cut down on the amount of hot drinks I'm consuming, and incorporate at least 5 to 8 glasses of "ice" water into my daily routine. In the past no matter how much I dieted or even drinking 8 glasses of water my weight loss has been nomimal at best, depressing me to the point of eating that piece of chocolate cake I had so long denied myself.

Summer is upon us, and I for one need to lose a little of that winter pudge (a five year winter pudge in my case) and if drinking cold drinks will give me a little boost--then I'm all for it.

Hope you have a great day, and grab a glass of ice water and keep it on your desk.

Heavenly Salads - What cookout is complete without one?

As summer approaches and I start to think about those neighborhood and family cookouts I've been dragging out my personal recipes and looking for favorites that are basically quick and easy.

Frozen Cherry Salad

1 can cherry pie filling
1 can crushed pineapple
1 can Eagle Brand Milk
1 cup chopped nuts
1 large Cool Whip

Mix all ingredients together and freeze. Cut into squares and serve.

Frozen Fruit Salad

1 cup sour cream
1/2 of a 4 1/2 oz carton frozen Cool Whip
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
13 oz. can drained crushed pineapple
2 medium bananas, cut in chunks
1/2 cup red cherries, sliced
1/2 cup green cherries, sliced
1/2 cup walnuts

Cream sour cream and Cool Whip. Add sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and mix well. Add fruit and freeze.

Pretzel Salad

2 cups crushed pretzels (about an 18 oz. bag)
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks margarine melted
2 cups Cool Whip
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese--softened
2 3 oz. pkgs. strawberry gelatin
2 cups hot pineapple juice
2 10 oz. pkgs. frozen strawberries and their juice

Melt margarine. Crush pretzels and add to melted margarine along with 1/4 cup sugar. Spread pretzel mix in 9 x 13 pan greased. Bake at 350F for 8 minutes. Remove and let cool. Heat pineapple juice and dissolve Jell-O in it. Add strawberries and juice. Allow to set partially in refrigerator. Mix cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and Cool Whip together. Spread over pretzel mixture. Let chill while Jell-O is setting. Spread gelatin mixture on top and refrigerate.

Cornbread Salad

1 large green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 - 1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups mayonnaise
2 tomatoes diced
salt and pepper to taste
12 corn muffins or 1 skillet baked cornbread crumbled

Mix all ingredients together and chill before serving.

Sour Cream Potato Salad

6 cups potatoes, cooked and diced
1/4 cup melted butter
1 bunch green onions
4 hard boiled eggs, separated
1 cup celery, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. pepper (or to taste)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. prepared mustard
2 Tbsp. sugar

Toss potatoes lightly in butter. Chop onions reserving a small amount of tops. Add onions to potatoes along with chopped egg whites. Add celery, salt and pepper and toss lightly. Mash egg yolks; add to sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard and sugar. Mix well. Pour over potato mixture and toss. Garnish with reserved onion tops and radish roses or strips of pimento.

Fix it, store it and serve it. Your friends and family will love you.

Thursday's Tease--Just $.99

Lt. Samantha (Sam) Collins, a firefighter, vanishes after a warehouse fire the week before she was to testify at her estranged husband’s trial for drug charges. The only clue to her disappearance is a firefighter helmet that was left behind at the scene.
Rachel Scott founded Florida Omni Search after her own daughter disappeared when she was four. She has worked with law enforcement agencies all over the United States in locating missing people. Sam’s mother calls Rachel for assistance in locating her daughter. However, the search for Sam takes her on a journey that she never expected.
As she digs deeper into Sam’s past, she finds out more about the marijuana operation that her husband Ken, a former police officer, was involved with.
In her desperate, terrifying search for Sam, Rachel also discovers clues about her own missing daughter, Mallory.
Will she locate Samantha in time and also find out what happened to her own daughter?

I have this one on my TBR list, and having read several excerpts I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it. Check out a sample or buy now!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Recipes - Some Great Sauces- Homemade Salsa

As summer approaches so do the thoughts of good food, outdoor fun, and reading on my Kindle. Thought I'd share some homemade sauces today. Have a great one!

Pizza Sauce

8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 1/4 tsp. sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp. minced onion
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. sweet basil
1/4 tsp. oregano

Mix together and spread on homemade crust.

Home Salsa

3 - 15 - oz. cans diced tomatoes with chiles
1 large green pepper
2 medium yellow onions or 1 large Vidalia onion
2 jalapeno peppers
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cili powder
2 Tbsp. vinegar

Dice peppers, onions, and jalapenos in food processor until finely chopped. Add the three cans of tomatoes and all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Let chill overnight.

Hot Dog Sauce

8 tsp. chili powder
3 lb. hamburger
1 can tomatoe sauce
1 cup cornflakes
3 tsp. salt
3 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 can beer

Brown meat. Add beer, tomato sauce and salt. Simmer on low heat for 40 minutes. Mash with masher. Add remaining ingredients and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

White Sauce for Grilling Chicken

1 cup oil
1 egg
3 Tbsp. poultry seasoning
1 Tbsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups apple cider vinegar

Combine oil and egg in blender to thick consistency. Add spices and vinegar. Baste chicken often. Cook about 20 minutes each side or until juices flow clear.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tell Me A Story - A tribute to Poet Robert Penn Warren

As an author I truly appreciate the beauty of words. If you've read any of my poetry you've probably gathered that I'm not that great a poet. Occasionally something clicks for me and those moments are precious. Words are about passion, and poetry many times is passion at its best. Like the words of a beautiful love song they inspire us to greater heights. I, as an author, use words to weave stories. Stories of love, hate, fear, good and evil. My words aren't always subtle like the poets. And that perhaps is why I have always loved poetry.

Kentucky has had many great poets, and possibly some in the making right now. Robert Penn Warren caught my eye early on with the subtle messages weaved into his words. And if you've ever been to a poetry reading--they're amazing. To have someone read those lines of verse grasping the passion beneath the words.

I combined poetry and story in my second book because of my love of the art, and the passion in those short verses that say so much. Take the poem below, one of my favorites by Mr. Warren. As an author I immediately have a vision of this young man as he stands in the road. His passion to see the world, experience life as yet unknown. To write his story. Perhaps he is a young man in his early teens wanting to spread his wings. He knows there's a world out there. He can't see it, but he's heard about it. And his heart beats to fly into the adult world. Or perhaps he's a young man and war is going on, and he aches to join the fight. Either way you can feel the passion of this young man, standing on a dark country road, hearing the sounds of life in motion, and seasons changing. Or perhaps it is simply the opposite. A time when the Elderberry blooms. Mid-summer. Perhaps he was seeing the days slip by, moving much too fast toward the end of summer.

The ability for the reader to feel the passion, and place upon it their own feelings and emotions is part of the true beauty of these subtly written words.

Robert Penn Warren 1905 - 1989

Tell Me a Story

Long ago, in Kentucky, I, a boy, stood
By a dirt road, in first dark, and heard
The great geese hoot northward.

I could not see them, there being no moon
And the stars sparse.I heard them.

I did not know what was happening in my heart.

It was the season before the elderberry blooms,
Therefore they were going north.

The sound was passing northward.

I hope you enjoyed my tribute to Robert Penn Warren. Look up his poetry, see what passion it inspires in you. Enjoy for this is National Poetry Month.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Guest Blogger Thea Atkinson - Spirit of Evidence

For the month of April, fellow author, Thea Atkinson is streaking through 30 blogs and flashing us a piece of fiction. I generously offered her a space today so she could expose a piece. My blog will be back to normal tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy and follow the links at the end to see who she flashed yesterday and who she will flash tomorrow. Feel free to leave a comment to let me know if you enjoyed the streak, and you are welcome to tweet it or share it on Facebook. You can also follow the chain through twitter with the hashtag #blogstreak

Spirit of Evidence
By Thea Atkinson

If he didn't know for certain that his wife was long-murdered, he'd speak to the woman in his kitchen. As it was, he ignored her.

He reached into the cupboard to pick out a box of corn flakes, and she, in a tattered housecoat and ratty slippers, knelt purposefully on the linoleum in front of him. He could see the cotton flaps spann out from the corner of his eye, the slippers show their soles, then as if kicked or pulled, one took to the air. It landed on his foot.

"You're not there," he mumbled, shuffling over to the fridge.

Sour milk smells came at him when he pulled at the door, and something else -- some sort of rancid fat stink.

"S’Ok anyway. I don't need no milk," he said. "I’ll just eat them dry." He stuck his fingers in the box, rattling the flakes like gambling chips. Then he picked one out -- the largest -- and laid it on his tongue.

A sound came from where the woman was lying now, flat on her back, one leg straight, the other splayed open. He had a horrible urge to pull her housecoat down; she looked obscene lying there, granny panties -- how he hated those things -- showing. She should close her legs, pull her clothes more discreetly over her body. Nobody wanted to look at an old woman or her crepe-skin thighs, the sagging stomach with a butt-crack of an operation scar running down the center. Or the breasts, once large and exciting, now hanging to her navel, nipples tucked neatly beneath so that you'd never know they were there unless you felt for them. Late at night when the need came in dreams of pert-skinned women rubbed lotion on themselves and on each other and on him. Yes, late at night when all that was there was her flaccid skin so much like an impotent member that you felt sick in the morning when you remember touching it. Sick when the skin showed through her 50-year-old robe. Sicker still when you remember trying, wanting, that even the tissue paper flesh would have been enough for just that one moment. Just once.

And now look at her. Lying there. Head to the side -- the other side -- not looking at you. Not blaming. Looking away as she always did, without words saying, "it's OK, baby. It's OK."

Well it wasn't OK. And that woman lying there on the floor not looking at him, not blaming him, was not her.

She was just some figment of his dreams or wishes or secret desires. Kept impotent within; please God, let them have been impotent.

April 1 Susie Kline (any genre)

april 2 Linda Prather (mystery)

april 3 Sarah Barnard (fantasy)