Monday, April 30, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
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The last person Anna needs to fall in love with is a police officer, especially since she breaks the law every day. Running a speakeasy wasn’t her first choice, but making money is. With the price of hooch at an all-time premium, the money is more than enough to pay for her uncle’s expensive medication and the bills. She doubts Officer Paul Gordon will see things the same way.
Paul is enchanted with the chestnut-haired woman he runs into on a cold, Chicago street, and that enchantment quickly turns to more. If someone were to tell him she was a criminal, he’d never believe it. Then he sees it for himself. When Anna is arrested, he must make a decision—protect her or his badge.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
But, that’s not my only obsession. Nope. I’m also obsessed with books. I have all the books I owned as a child, teen, and adult. I basically own my very own library. When someone needs a book to read, they ask me. My kids and niece raid my bookshelves all the time. But there’s just something about a good book. I even reread some of my favorites once a year. The thing is, I’m glad I’ve kept them all it gives me the opportunity to share them with others and to talk about them.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
Astraea Press, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
(1) From Working Girl, 1988, 20th Century Fox
Friday, April 20, 2012
Written by Kendall Evans
I can write with or without music, but my preference is with…and lots of it. Sometimes, if I’m stuck in a scene, I’ll turn on music, and a song lyric can bump me right out of that rut. It gets me back on track. Someone else’s creativity never ceases to encourage mine. But I use music for so much more than just writing.
If I start to grumble or complain about things not going the exact way I want them to go, I’ll put on some music to distract me. If I feel like eating when I know I shouldn’t, I’ll turn up the tunes. My music library is filled with various genres of music, all of which I use at various times throughout the day. Whether it’s blood pumping music, soul-inspiring music, or just mellow, time to relax music, I love it all.
If you’re feeling down or like you just can’t accomplish everything you want to do in life, turn on some good music, some restoring music. There are many songs that can revitalize you and reignite the hope that lies within you. Here are some of my favorites:
Hero by Mariah Carey
I Believe I Can Fly by R. Kelly
What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw
We Shall Be Free by Garth Brooks
The Prayer by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli
Smile by Michael Jackson
How can you possibly feel gloomy when you’ve got music like this coming from your speakers? I know I can’t. Once I fill the room with beautiful lyrics, I soon find myself singing along, and before I know it, whatever was bothering me has taken a backseat to my off-key rendition.
I can get swept away by writing and reading, but music just fills my soul. It can keep me pounding on the keyboard, sweating to those oldies, rocking around the clock, and dancing in the streets. And it’s one of my greatest motivational tools.
I think Billy Joel said it best. “I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music.”
P.S. I’ve never told anyone this before, but I guess if you’re going to spill a secret, it’s best to do it to hundreds of your closest friends, right? Well, here goes. I used to write songs. No, I’m not talking about the feel-good songs like the ones indicated above.
I wrote the “where has my love gone, why won’t you return to me”, woeful stories of broken hearts, missed chances, and unrequited love. I hand wrote hundreds of sappy tunes (this was long before computers were being used) before I came to the unhappy realization that part of writing music is understanding poetry and being able to craft beautiful, rhythmic prose. Yeah, I can’t do that, but I can write books which still satisfies my muse.
The Korean War is tearing apart more than just the soil on which it’s fought.
Laura has loved Mark for as long as she can remember. She can’t imagine her life without him. Mark’s feelings for Laura are just as strong, but he has a secret—one that is bound to come between them. He’s shipping out to Korea in a week.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Written by Joselyn Vaughn
I’ve taken to following a blog of one of our local weathermen. He posts about upcoming weather predictions, current conditions and cool meteorological phenomena. Several of the blog followers are storm chasers or spotters who report conditions in their area. Someday I think it would be cool to take one of the classes for storm spotting. After watching the show Storm Chasers, I’m not sure I’d like to do the actual on the road tracking of a storm. Watching the windows smash out of a vehicle as it meets a tornado head on was scary enough. I wouldn’t want to be in the vehicle.
Several of the people who follow this blog must also watch the show. During the discussion of the last storm system, they were commenting about a member of one of the crews chasing storms in our area. Pictures of funnel clouds, wall clouds, etc. were posted on the crews Facebook page. Having seen the types of storms that these guys normally chase – and knowing that these storms rarely hit West Michigan, but that we’ve also had a very unusual winter and early spring – makes me a bit nervous.
When a storm system approaches, I bounce between this blog and the various looping radars on the National Weather Service website to see where the storm is tracking and whether it will hit our area. I’m not sure where my obsession with weather came from, but it certainly helped when writing about Elmer in The Warden’s Lantern. He is a former storm-chaser, meteorologist, and engineer, who evaluates storm damage. He has to use these skills to figure out what he and Barbara saw out in the woods.
Buy it here.
When lost love shows up on your doorstep, what do you do? Minnie Schultz slams the door in his face. She and Gordon Anderson have a history—close to ancient history, given the fifty years since their last encounter. After all that time, it might seem like water under the bridge. But the water pours from the plumbing in Minnie’s bed and breakfast, the Lilac Bower, uncovering all the secrets and heartache between them. With the help of some paranormal investigators, an Elvis impersonator and a couple of nosey friends, can Minnie and Gordon find the future they were meant to have?
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
|1lb (450g) shortcrust pastry||12oz (350g) chuck or stewing steak (diced)|
|4 medium potatoes||2oz (50g) butter|
|1 onion - peeled||1 egg - beaten (for glazing)|
|4oz (100g) swede||Salt and pepper to taste|
Roll out the pastry to ¼" (5mm) thick and cut into four 6"(15cm) circles ( larger if you want a man-sized pasty - you can use a dinner plate as a template). Cut the potato in small cubes or flakes directly on to the pastry. Next cover this with the swede (if you are American - rutabaga) then add some of the onion, diced up and the meat. Add a dot of butter and season well. Dampen the edges of the pastry and fold in half to form a semi-circle. Pinch and turn the edge over to make a rope like effect (this bit is quite thick - the tin miners used to use this bit as a kind of handle to eat the main part of the pasty without getting dirt on their food and they would throw that bit away). Some people jab a knife into the top to make a 'steam-hole'. Brush with beaten egg and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake, in a hot oven (425°F-Gas mark 7, for 10 minutes then lower the temperature setting to 350°F-Gas mark 4 for 30 minutes.
Eat, hot or cold.
Easter Holiday - Blurb
Cornish farmer, Noah Penwarren is sworn off city girls, especially deceitful ones. Posy Carmichael is a city girl through and through. When romantic sparks start to fly will Posy’s secret end their Easter romance before it’s even begun?
Excerpt from Easter Holiday
Posy flinched as she eased the car forward into the rut she’d been trying to avoid. Behind her, the tent poles and pegs clattered and rattled as she jolted along to the gap in the boundary. She placed the car in reverse and backed into the entrance of the field ready to turn around.
The rear wheels skidded on the muddy grass. Posy changed into first gear and hoped she would manage to get out ahead of the tractor she could hear approaching down the narrow track. To her dismay the wheels of the car span around as she revved the engine, failing to gain any purchase on the soft ground.
“Noooooo.” She moaned and gave the accelerator a last desperate nudge. A fine spray of mud shot from the back of the car to coat the back window.
The blue nose of a tractor chugged into view and stopped in front of her. Posy sucked in a breath. The way her day was headed she’d probably get told off now for trespassing. She lowered the window as the driver of the tractor dismounted from his cab and came over to her.
“I take it you’re stuck?” The man bent so his head was level with her window.
“I was trying to turn round.”
Posy had a glimpse of dark blue eyes and a rugged jaw before the owner of the tractor stood leaving her with a view of green farm overalls.
“I’ll pull you out with the tractor.” His voice sounded resigned as if he were used to tugging stranded motorists from the entrance to his fields every day of the week.
Posy opened the car door and went to get out. Her shoe sank in the soft earth, with a soft, squelching sound.
“Do you want me to help?” She wobbled on one leg trying to extricate her foot from the sticky gloop.
“You’re fine. Just stay in the car and put it in neutral with the handbrake off when I tell you.”
She slipped back into her seat and tried to scrape the mud from her shoe onto the car mat. The previously unsmiling lines of his mouth had now softened into the hint of a grin as he began to attach the rope to the front of her car. Clearly, he found her encounter with the mud amusing. If she hadn’t felt so mortified at being stupid enough to get both lost and stuck Posy might have considered her rescuer attractive.
(C) Nell Dixon 2012
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012
Written by: Lisa Orchard
Since I’m a chocolate lover (more of a chocolate addict!) this dessert is now a tradition at our family holidays. The combination of the chocolate with the whipped cream is “to die for.” I love taking it to functions because it’s always a hit, and people think you’re an awesome baker. Little do they know this is the only dessert I can make! Well, at least the only one I want to make. Some people have raised concerns about the raw eggs in this, but when you add the yolk to the hot chocolate, it actually cooks them. So, no worries! I hope you enjoy this dessert as much as my family and friends have. If you have any questions shoot me an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lorna Doone Dessert
1 package Lorna Doone cookies crushed
Add melted butter to cookies (this is the crust so add as much butter as you prefer; about ¼ to ½ of a stick)
1 7 oz Chocolate chips
2-1/2 T water
4 egg yolks
1 teas. Vanilla
4 egg whites
Crush Lorna Doone cookies and add melted butter for the crust. Put crust in 10” baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until crust starts to brown. Combine chocolate chips, sugar, and water in double boiler until blended. Remove from fire and add egg yolks, beat after each one. Add vanilla. Chill for a short time maybe 10 to 15 minutes or until the pan is cool to the touch on the bottom.
Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into chocolate mixture. Spread over cooled cookie crust and top with whipped cream.
**I usually double this and put it in a 9x13 dish.
This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission. The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police don’t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer.
Alarm bells rang in Sarah’s head—this has to be out of character for someone who never leaves their home. She turned back and whispered to the other girls. “Hey!”
Jackie poked her head out. “What?”
“The storm door’s open.”
“So…what do I do?”
“Duh…Ring the door bell.”
Sarah shrugged and pushed the doorbell. It let out an irritating buzz and she had the feeling it had been broken long ago and never fixed. She dashed down the stairs. The cats scattered, alarmed by the sudden activity. Reaching the shrubs, Sarah hid with her sister and Jackie.
Gasping for breath, Sarah waited for a reaction from the old woman. Her heart pummeled her ribs and she pressed her hand to her chest to calm it.
After a few minutes, Sarah started to pace. “Well…nothing’s happened.” She peeked out from behind the shrub and saw the screen door hanging ajar. “I bet she’s not even home. I’m going to try again.”
Jackie shrugged. “Be careful, remember she’s a witch.”
Sarah shook her head, and then peered out from behind the shrubs. Once again, she climbed the stairs. She was braver this time and it didn’t take her as long to make it to the door.
She looked inside, her heart lurching in her chest. She tiptoed to the picture window and peered through it. Gasping, she ran back to the entryway. Pulling it open, she lunged inside.
Sarah stared, unable to tear herself away. Shock ran through her body like an electrical current as she eyed the scene before her. The crumpled form of the Cat Lady lay on the living room floor, just inside the door. No life flickered in the old woman’s staring eyes. Her mouth gaped open in a silent scream and her hands were up around her head as if she were warding off blows. Turning away from the Cat Lady’s body, Sarah gagged as the coppery scent of blood assaulted her. There was blood splattered everywhere, on the wall, on the carpet and under the Cat Lady’s body.
Suddenly, Sarah’s throat constricted and she gasped for breath. Fearing she would faint, she stumbled back out the door and collided with Jackie and Lacey on the porch.
Jackie grabbed Sarah’s arm and shook her. “What are you doing? Are you crazy? I never said to go inside!”
Sarah didn’t speak—she just stared blankly at the porch.
Jackie shook her again. “Are you under the Cat Lady’s spell?”
Lacey whimpered. “Hey, Sarah….can you hear me? Sarah?”
“She’s under the Cat Lady’s spell,” Jackie said waving her hand in front of Sarah’s eyes.
“Oh my---,” Sarah moaned and clutched Jackie’s arm.
“What is it?” Jackie shook her again. “Speak…say something!”
“Th-th-the C-C-Cat Lady, sh-sh-she’s,” Sarah stuttered.
“She’s what?” Jackie demanded.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
It's new release day at Astraea Press. Check out the great releases we have for you today!