Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Super Spies Series and Easter Dinner

On this Easter Sunday, I've invited Teen Series writer, Lisa Orchard, for an after-church southern dish of Black Eyed Peas and Gumbo.

Lisa is going to tell us all about her newest release in her Super Spies series, Wow the cover and the title sounds fascinating. Give us a little run down about the book, Lisa.

The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer


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, or die trying…
 

It sounds like a winning book and a winning series. Go ahead and tell us about the first book in the series.
 

The Super Spies and the High School Bomber

 

 
This book opens in a small town in Michigan where Sarah and her sister Lacey are now living with their Aunt and Uncle. Still reeling from the fact her parents have disappeared, Sarah starts the school year with her new friend Jackie Jenkins. When Sarah learns the school has been bombed, she’s filled with dread. Uncle Walt is a teacher, and he was in the school when the bomb exploded. Taking matters into her own hands, Sarah decides to search for him. The rest of the Super Spies are right behind her. When a fireman chases them away from the school, Sarah becomes suspicious. She decides to investigate. The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job. Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?
 
 

 Now, here's a little bit about Lisa


Lisa Orchard grew up loving books. She was hooked on mysteries by the fifth grade and even wrote a few of her own. She knew she wanted to be a writer even then.  “The Super Spies and the High School Bomber” is the second book in the “Super Spies” series. Her first book was published in March of 2012 and it has received rave reviews.

  After graduating from Central Michigan University with a Marketing Degree she spent many years in the insurance industry, pining to express her creative side.  The decision to stay home with her children gave her the opportunity to follow her dream and become a writer. She currently resides in Rockford Michigan with her husband, Steve, and two wonderful boys. Currently, she’s working on the third novel that stars the same quirky teens. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, running, hiking, and reading.
 

Here's how you can get these books

 

For The Cat Lady Killer:

 

For The High School Bomber:

To contact Lisa

Twitter, Facebook, Website

 


Don't go away hungry folks. Here's that recipe for the gumbo and a little Easter treat.


                   

Black-Eyed Peas and Gumbo

Serves: 4+

Ingredients:

1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups tomato, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
1/2 pound cooked ham, cubed
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 okra, chopped
3/4 celery, chopped
4 cups water
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
1 can Glory Foods® Seasoned Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas

 Directions:

Heat 1/3 cup oil in medium saucepan over medium/low heat. Whisk in flour, whisking constantly 5 to 7 minutes. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in okra, onion, celery and garlic. Cook 10 minutes.
Thoroughly blend roux into vegetable mix.  Stir in water, tomatoes, parsley, salt, thyme, cayenne pepper, ground black pepper and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Mix in ham and continue cooking 15 minutes. Stir in Glory Foods® Seasoned Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas and continue cooking until heated through.

And for dessert: Peeps bunnies in Twinkie cars

I don't think you'll need the recipe for this one. It's pretty self explanatory. Twinkies dug out to accommodate the peeps bunnies. Pretzels for steering wheels, and marshmallows for wheels.



Oh no!  My great granddaughter, Kaidyn snuck in the back door and ate nearly all of them!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Water Moccasin, his Habitat, and a Recipe...

Today, I'd like to talk about the water moccasin.

The moccasin is mentioned in my book, The Legend of Ghost Dog Island. The main character, Nikki Landry, lives in the swampy bayous of Louisiana where these snakes like to live.

If you live in the deep south, you probably know to stay away from these critters that some people call cotton mouths or cotton mouth moccasins.



Which name is correct, water moccasin snake or cottonmouth? Let's see what the experts have to say.

Well, the name “water moccasin snake” is more or less a generic term used by rural
folks referring to any dark colored snake near the water. The name
“Cottonmouth” is the correct name accepted by herpetology. For the sake of
the rural folks.

Habitat
: One thing common among
most venomous snakes is that they
don’t enjoy the presence of people.
With that, most venomous snakes tend
to seek out places that have the least
amount of human contact as possible.
Well, this snake is no 
different, their optimal habitat consists
of marsh wet lands and other calm slow
moving streams, cypress swamps,
ponds and lakes. For the most part they stick to natural fixed bodies of water
with thick vegetation that provides an abundant source of food.


This range map, courtesy of USGS, shows the range of Cottonmouths.

 
You don't want to mess around with this full grown cottonmouth moccasin
 
 
 
 
Now just for fun, here's a recipe for the...
 
Water Moccasin
Cheers!
 
 
 
Add ice and ingredients in a shaker. Shake well until top becomes frosted. Then pour in a shot glass. Very smooth...
 
 

Credits:
Cotton Mouth information:  http://www.cottonmouthsnake.org/water-moccasin-snake/
Photos from: http://www.squidoo.com/cottonmouth-water-moccasin-photos

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Apollo Rising, by Nancy DiMauro, and Viking Bread

Okay, I'm a little late to prepare a good Sunday Dinner today. Had a lot of running around to do.

I've invited Nancy DiMauro over to tell us about her book, Apollo Rising.

In honor of this wonderful book, I've baked up some Viking Bread. I found it a little on the dry side. But I made some iced sweet tea to wash it down.
 
Tell us about your book, Nancy!

To restore Daphne to her nymph form, Apollo must bargain with treacherous Hades, but Death may demand too high a price.

Shot by a golden arrow, Apollo has only truly loved Daphne. He visits her each eclipse, and longs for reunion. He seeks the Fates’s advice and learns he may finally restore Daphne to her true water nymph form by enlisting other gods’ assistance.
If Apollo fails Daphne will be lost to him forever. To regain Daphne’s soul, Apollo must deal with the devil, King of the Underworld. Love-torn and treacherous, Hades would slay the pantheon to remain with his wife for the full year. Apollo’s quest might just give Hades the leverage he needs to do so.

Will Pheobus Apollo surrender the sun to try to reclaim love? Can he break Daphne’s curse or will his attempts destroy her forever? Will she still love him after millennia as a soulless tree? With the end of the quest see Apollo rising, or in sunset?
 

EXCERPT:

A soft glow beckoned from around a corner. While Hades pretended to be a traditionalist, he indulged in modern conveniences every chance he could. Ultra-violet panels, the ones mortals used to simulate sunlight, glowed from inside the walls. They brought day into the vaulted cavern. Hades had encrusted the ceiling with aquamarines since Apollo’s last visit. The light played off them simulating a summer sky. Another token of Hades’s love. Stalactites wider than a city bus hung from the ceiling. Others met stalagmites to form fluted columns reminiscent of the Pantheon. Stone draperies served as curtains, which separated Persphone’s chamber, and Hades’s media room from the main audience hall.

 Reaching the center of the room, Apollo dropped to one knee.

 “Lord Hades, I come to you as a supplicant.”

 Hades could have passed for one of the stalagmites with his sharp and jagged features. His skin held a bluish cast from lack of sunlight. Obsidian color hair hung loose to his shoulders. Flint hard eyes glared at Apollo.

 Persephone, on the other hand, reminded Apollo of a spring breeze. Sunshine colored hair swept away from olive skin, slightly pales in her time in the Underworld. Her bright ginger-colored tunic broke the unrelieved grays and blacks of the great hall.

 “What brings you here?” Hades’s voice reverberated through the chamber.

 Apollo raised an eyebrow. “I seek information, and possibly a trade.”

 “Rise.”

 The few times Apollo had needed something from Hades, he’d been treated as an honored guest. But not this time.

 Enraged to the point of incivility by Persephone’s upcoming desertion, Hades was likely to vent his temper on any target. Sadly, Apollo provided him with one that could give him a decent fight. Daphne’s soul might cost more than Apollo could pay.

 “What do you wish of me?” Hades asked.

“I wish to barter for Daphne’s soul.”

 “I never said I had her.”

They’d never been friends, but then, they hadn’t been enemies either. There really wasn’t any reason for Hades to oppose Apollo’s attempt to rescue Daphne.

 “Does that mean you are going to give her to me?” Apollo asked.

 “Give? Give? Now why would I do that?” Hades’s laugh grated in Apollo’s ears.

 “What do you want, Hades?”

 His gaze went hard. “A boon.”

 “What kind?”

 “Unlimited. To be provided when I demand.”

Apollo choked. If he agreed Hades could demand anything from him. Even the sun. The God of the Underworld had never been happy with his lot. Hades had helped his brothers, Zeus and Poseidon, wrestle the cosmos from Cronus. The brothers then drew lots for their domains. Zeus chose the sky, which is why Apollo as his son, was the Sun God. Poseidon chose the sea. But the brothers tricked Hades into becoming Death. In choosing the underworld, Hades lost the ability to walk comfortably in the sunlight. But if he took the sun from Apollo, Hades could remain above ground with Persphone.

 Could Phoebus Apollo lose the sun?

 Who would he be without it?
 
Sounds like a wonderful book, Nancy, now tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a mommy, writer, lawyer, and farmer. Wow, that’s a mouthful. My condo-raised husband agreed to move out to the country with me 12 years ago (almost to the day) because living on a horse farm was my dream. So, we have two horses in our front yard, and two dogs, three hermit crabs and four cats in the house. The Hubby has managed to resist the pleas for a partridge in a pear tree so far. But he doesn’t realize I planted a pear tree this last spring.

Anyway, I am lucky enough to have two boys (soon to be 14 and 12). I’ve been a practicing trial attorney since 1995, and in my free time, I write. Actually, I’m pretty regimented about when I write – between 9pm and 11pm 4-5 nights a week. After all, being a writer is one of my jobs.

 



Wow, Nancy, sounds like you're a very busy girl! And you have a peach of a husband to change his lifestyle to accommodate your love for animals. I hope you have time to write more books!!!






Okay, here's that Viking Bread recipe:
Slather on some butter and honey, it ain't all that bad.


Viking Bread

3 cups whole wheat flour or use another coarse flour
2 cups white flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups warm water
1 cup oats

Mix all dry ingredients saving out a 1/4 of cup of oats for the top. Stir in the 2 cups of water until it become hard to stir. At that point start to knead it to incorporate the rest of the flour until it become stiff. Make it into a circle and place on a baking stone. If using a cookie sheet it needs to be greased. Sprinkle the rest of the oats on top. Put the bread into a cold oven and turn on to 375 degrees. Bake for one hour.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The History of Morgan City, Louisiana

Today I'm featuring the city where I spent most of my childhood and teen years, which is also the setting for my middle grade novel, The Legend of Ghost Dog Island.

History of Morgan City, La.
(From the City of Morgan City web page)
     
lrftcenter_historyThe Attakapas Indians called it Atchafalaya or "long river". Stretching over 135 miles, the Atchafalaya river has been the life line affecting the history and tradition of Morgan City. From its first Attakapas residents to the present day shrimping and oil trade, the river has provided prosperity and opportunity coupled with difficult challenges to many generations. As the tide ebbs and flows along the river, so does Morgan City. The city is a "gumbo" of French, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, Native and African American heritages blended into a strong belief in faith, tradition and family that define the strength of the city today.

Originally known as Tigre Island because of the spotting of an unknown cat there by a group of U.S. surveyors, the area attracted the attention of Kentucky planter and surgeon Walter Brashear. Brashear's subsequent subdividing of his sugar cane plantation was the beginning of the first permanent settlement known as the town of Brashear.

Because of Morgan City's strategic marine location, the town of Brashear played a prominent role in the war between the states. Brashear was occupied by Federal troops for over three years. It was in Morgan City that the Union troops planned the destruction of the Avery Island salt mines, the cutting off of Rebel supply lines from Texas, the capture of Texas to restore her to the Union, and the annihilation of all Confederate resistance in southwest Louisiana. The remains of Fort Starr, a Union fort, are still visible.

Following the war, Charles Morgan, a steamship and railroad entrepreneur, successfully dredged the Atchafalaya Bay Channel and made Brashear his base of operations. As a result, Brashear became a bustling trade center for animal fur, cypress timber, and seafood. In 1876, the town was renamed Morgan City in his honor.

rightcenter_historyThe late 1800s and early 1900s was an era of growth and development. Many of the historic buildings such as Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, and Pharr Chapel Methodist as well as distinctive homes including Cotton Top, the Norman-Schreier House, and the Turn-of-the-Century House were constructed. Boat building, moss picking, and a shell crushing plant broadened Morgan City's economic base.

Substituting the jungles of Africa with the swamps of Morgan City, Hollywood made its mark in 1917 with the filming of the first Tarzan movie starring Elmo Lincoln. This would be the first of several films highlighting Morgan City's diverse landscape.

In 1937, Morgan City became known as the "jumbo" shrimp capitol of the world. A community strongly rooted in Catholicism and tradition, a "blessing of the fleet" was held to insure a safe return and a bountiful harvest. Following the blessing, the celebration traveled to Egle's Place for a fais-do-do, a Cajun dance. This was the inception of the Louisiana Shrimp Festival, the state's oldest chartered harvest festival.

A decade later, Morgan City made national headlines when Kerr-McGee Industries drilled the first successful offshore oil well out of sight of land. According to The Times Picayune, it was the most significant discovery to date. The "black gold rush" marked a new era in the city's prosperity. Because of its considerable importance to the economy, "petroleum" was added to the Louisiana Shrimp Festival. The present day Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival is held every Labor Day weekend in the historic district.

Morgan City's Main Street Program designation was officially recognized in 1997, and combined with the nine-block historic district, it now encompasses a 19- block area.

Just as the Atchafalaya River continually flows, so does Morgan City. Its ebbs have defined its character and have made us a stronger people. A relentless spirit of the people and a strong belief in family, faith, and tradition make Morgan City the place we call home.
 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Six Degrees of Lost and Sunday Breakfast Pancakes

Today my Sunday guest is Linda Benson. She's here to share her book for young adults, Six Degrees of Lost.

In honor of this wonderful book and Aunt Trudy's special talent, I'm serving up some home made pancakes.

I'll go chase that old peacock out of the yard, while you tell the folks all about Six Degrees...


Sometimes you have to take a journey to find out where you really belong.

Olive’s mother is headed to jail and her brother to join the Army, so thirteen-year-old Olive is uprooted from sunny California and dumped in Washington State like a stray. That's exactly what she feels like surrounded by her aunt’s collection of homeless dogs, cats, and horses.

Fourteen-year-old David’s future is already carved in stone. From a military family with two brothers serving overseas, he’s been pointed towards the Air Force Academy his entire life - but a rafting trip gone awry might ruin his chances.

When a runaway dog is almost hit by a car, the search for its owner leads Olive and David, two kids from entirely different backgrounds, to an unlikely bond. Will their growing attraction to each other be enough to keep Olive from a foolhardy journey to find her mother? Will David risk his family’s plans to save her?


My Review:

Today I'm reviewing Six Degrees of Lost by Linda Benson. This book moves so fast, I literally could not put it down.

Olive is a thirteen year old girl that has had a life of instability. By the time she lands on her Aunt Trudy's doorstep, she feels like one of the stray animals her aunt takes in. David is a fourteen year old boy that wants for nothing...except his father's acceptance for who he is and what he wants to do with his life, and his mother's love.

Ms. Benson smoothly switches from Olive's to David's intimate point of view in short paragraphs that propel you forward through their stories. You never lose sight of Olive's feelings of loss and abandonment, nor David's feelings of being chained to a future his father is choosing for him, as they cross paths. Together they help each other realize their true place.

The book is heartfelt and filled with animals of every shape and size. If you love animals, you'll love this book!

Go to Linda's website to purchase this book. http://www.lindabenson.net/

While you're there, be sure to check out her other books, The Girl Who Remembered Horses and Walking the Dog.



Now here's the recipe for some great homemade pancakes:
 
 1/2 cupsall-purpose flour

3 1/2 teaspoonsbaking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoonwhite sugar

1 1/4 cupsnonfat milk

2egg whites

2 tablespoonsbutter, melted




1. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in milk, egg whites, and melted butter; mix until smooth.

2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake, pour or scoop batter onto griddle. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Acadian (Cajun) Flag



Did you know the Acadians have their very own flag? Well, they do, and the following article explains how it came to be and what the symbols on it represent...

Acadian Flag

Thomas J. Arceneaux designed the Louisiana Acadian Flag to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Acadian exile into Louisiana and to remind us of other important influences on Acadians. Arceneaux, a native of Carencro, La., is a life-long supporter of English-French bilingual education in Louisiana Schools and was a charter member of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL). He is the former Dean of Agriculture (1941-1973) at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette and was one of the early leaders of the Louisiana French renaissance movement that revived interest and pride in the French-Acadian heritage.

Description of the Acadian flag:

Three silver fleurs de lis on a blue field represent the French origin of the Acadians. The fleurs de lis is a symbol of the kings of France.

When the Acadians arrived in Louisiana, it was under Spanish rule. Since the Acadians prospered in Louisiana after years of exile, a portion of the flag pays homage to Spain with a gold tower on a red field representing the Old Arms of Castille, a prosperous European Spanish kingdom.

The gold star on a white field represents "Our Lady of the Assumption", Patroness of the Acadians. When the first settlers departed France for the New World, the Virgin Mary was highly revered. It was a period of great devotion to the Virgin. The King of France, Louis XIII, and Pope Pius XI declared the Virgin Mary the patroness of the kingdom, (Patronne de Royaume) and Patroness Saint of all the Acadians in Canada, Louisiana and elsewhere. On August 15, 1638, France and her colonies were consecrated to Mary under the title "Our Lady of the Assumption".

The star also symbolizes the active participation of the Acadians in the American Revolution as soldiers under Spanish Governor Galvez. Shortly after the arrival of the displaced Acadians in the Spanish territory of Louisiana, the American colonies started their struggle for independence. Spain decided to champion the cause of the 13 American colonies in their revolution against the same English nation that had so cruelly exiled the Acadians. The Acadians chose to serve under Galvez, the Governor of Spanish Louisiana, and they actively participated in the battles of Manchac, Baton Rouge, Mobile and Pensacola, which were all very important and decisive victories that contributed to the successful conclusion of the American Revolution.

Since the Acadians were citizens of Spain at the time of the American Revolution, their star could not appear on the first American flag. Thus, the gold star on the Louisiana Acadian Flag serves as a reminder of Louisiana's participation in the American Revolution and the significant contributions of the Louisiana Acadians during the struggle for the beginning of a new nation.

 This article was borrowed from  http://lafayettetravel.com/essentials/culture/acadian-flag where you can learn more about Cajun country.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Time Travel Trip to the Bayou - and some Fried Tilapia


Being in the Louisiana bayous is like traveling to a different time. The atmosphere is hot and steamy and the pace is slower. The people there speak Cajun French, and their doors are always open for a good Sunday dinner.

Today we're having pan fried Tilapia, with a side of turnip greens and a hunk of southern cornbread.

Since my Cajun roots stem from Canada, I've invited Canadian author, Sharon Ledwith, to make the long journey to join me for dinner and to tell our visitors about her middle grade book...which is all about time travel. Take it away, Sharon, while I fry up this fish!

The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis

When Amanda Sault and her four classmates are caught in a major food fight at school, they are given the choice of suspension or yard duty. It was a no-brainer. A two-week crash course in landscaping leads the kids to discover a weathered stone arch buried in an overgrown backyard. Instead of a forgotten lawn ornament, it turns out to be an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis. Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers—legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from an evil force—the five children, along with two offbeat adults, are sent on the adventure of their lives to save the Earth from an uncertain future. The Timekeepers’ first mission lands them in England in 1214, where they must find an adolescent Robin Hood and his band of merry teens before history is turned upside-down.
 
About Sharon
 
After 21 years in the graphic trade biz, Sharon Ledwith swapped her drafting table for a computer, and entered the wonderful and whacky world of writing. She started pounding the keys until her fingers bled and skin hardened. Eleven years, and many drafts later, her middle-grade/young adult time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS was born.Sharon lives in the wilds of Muskoka in Central Ontario, with her hubby, a water-logged yellow Labrador and moody calico cat. She survives harsh Canadian winters on caffeine, comfort food, and occasional dram of scotch

While we eating our dinner, if you'd like to learn more about Sharon, or about the Last Timekeepers, you can peruse her website, or just go ahead and buy the book from her publisher,  Musa Publishing, or if you'd prefer, Amazon,  Barnes and Noble, or Smashwords.



Now, here's a recipe....
(found on Food.com)

Cajun Fried Tilapia

Ingredients:

Directions:


  1. blend the eggs with the lemon juice.
  2. blend the herbs spices and pancake mix with the bread crumbs
  3. dredge the fish in egg mixture.
  4. then coat with bread crumb mixture completely.
  5. heat enough oil in pan to fry in stainless steel pan.
  6. Fry for approx 3 minutes per side on medium high heat.
  7. you can play with the volume of bread to herb to flour/pancake ratio to get your desired favourite.

 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Finger Bones by Sara Stinson


Finger Bones is a middle grade book by Sara Stinson. I read the blurb and was hooked right away. I can't wait to read this book. Here's a little something about it.

Finger Bones has been sending ghosts to their next destination for years. Now it's Wendy's turn.

The Bridgeville Clipper announces Finger Bones is dead at 122-years of age. Wendy is not upset. He will be back. Finger Bones and Wendy have unfinished business in this small town.

When ten-year-old Wendy Dee Winkelmann needs to do some serious thinking she likes to chew bubblegum. While sitting on a bench reading, she becomes friends with an old man the townspeople call, Finger Bones. Some locals consider him odd and spread rumors about the ghastly man who lives up a dirt road in an ramshackle cabin. Yet Wendy soon discovers this old man, who walks to town with a burlap bag tied to a stick, has a special job. He sends ghosts to their next destination, and the stick and burlap bag he carries are magical.

Now Wendy chases the lingering spirits. Soon she finds herself caught up in a devious plan of a dark sinister power, and if it means hurting someone, or worse, it will do whatever is necessary to succeed. It’s all up to Wendy to save Bridgeville before the evil power takes over the town.


Excerpts from the book:

Every morning he walked to town wearing the same tattered clothes, overalls, and a black hat. His brown eyes looked gentle and his brown face, a grandpa face. The hair on top of his head spread downward into a full beard the color of every gray imaginable, Propped over his shoulder was a stick held by his dark, bony fingers. To the end of the stick a red, burlap sack was tied. No one ever saw him without it.

"Are you—a ghost, or—an angel?" Wendy asked. The initial shock was leaving her. Curiosity began to take its place.

---------

Review:

from authonomy.com by Harper Collins

"Sara, it's very easy to get completely absorbed in this book from the very beginning. It was such a smooth transition into the world of Finger Bones that I instantly forgot I was reading - which is exactly what a book should do. Finger Bones has the power of transportation. It has shades of Roald Dahl and the fairytale charm of timelessness."
Helen Laylock Author of Glass Dreams

-------------------

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara is the youngest child of three children. She grew up in a small town in Elba, Alabama. She grew up reading "The Nancy Drew" series. She also enjoyed reading over and over the "13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey" by Kathryn Tucker Windham and Margaret Gillis Figh.

After retiring from teaching, her children encouraged her to start writing, so "Finger Bones" (Volume 1) was written. She is currently working on (Volume 2) of "The Finger Bones Series".

Sara continues to substitute at nearby schools. She enjoys sharing her characters with her students. They have become her cheering squad along with her family.

You can contact Sara at: stinsonsara@aol.com

You can get your copy of Finger Bones today at:  Amazon.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Hot and Spicy on the bayou

Everyone knows we like things hot and spicy here on the bayou, and today we're serving up some Cajun Jambalaya. While my dish is steaming on the stove, my guests are keeping the room steaming with their latest books.

Today I have three ladies here that are part of my Wenches of Words writing group to give you a peek at what's hot in erotic romance. If you prefer hot and spicy in your food rather than your books, just scroll on down to the recipes where you can cook your own jambalaya. It's really good stuff!!!

Sara Daniel
Wyatt's Guilt


Nicole trusted Wyatt with her heart once. She won’t make the same mistake twice.Nicole DeMonde’s car breaks down the moment she returns to her hometown for her brother’s wedding. The cop who stops to help her is none other than local hottie Wyatt Truman, who slept with her then dumped her when they were teens. She has no choice but to accept his help. However, she knows better than to trust him with her heart twice.

Wyatt is determined to earn Nicole’s forgiveness and make amends for his callous past. Once he lays eyes on her, he can’t help wanting a lot more than forgiveness, despite his intention never to hurt her again.

Just as Wyatt starts thinking his best intentions are of the forever variety, Nicole decides to work Wyatt out of her system with a one night stand. Can either of them make peace with the past in a single weekend, let alone survive with their hearts intact?

Emilia Mancini
The Rebound

Still reeling from catching her husband in bed with his mistress, the last thing Casi Hanson is looking for is romance. When she meets brokenhearted Conner Bennet, she thinks she has found exactly what she needs.
Their mutual desire for a "no strings attached" relationship offers the opportunity to explore fantasies and fetishes their spouses denied them and the freedom to walk away when they are done.
The only fantasy too taboo is falling in love.



Sloane Taylor
Winter Games
Magnificent Men of Munich Book 2

As the games heat up, the stakes grow higher, and Lonnie must decide whether to play along or leave her heart out in the cold.

Lonnie Copley may be a genius, but not when it comes to her personal life or road maps. A series of wrong turns puts her far from reality and the German autobahn. The last thing she wants on the eve of a snowstorm is to be dangling at the edge of an Austrian mountain in need of rescue—especially by a leather-clad giant with Johnny Depp eyes. As luck would have it, Lonnie’s not the only one in need of rescue.

Wolfe Deider has spent his adult life recovering from the pain of childhood. He is too aware romance is unattainable for him. Try as he might to keep the troublesome American at arm’s length, her spunk is disarming, and forces open all his old wounds.

Lonnie loves Wolfe’s special brand of complications, but can she afford to indulge in his winter games?



Jambalaya Recipe

This is the closest to my mom's recipe I could find. I am seeing some recipes where they serve it OVER rice. The rice should be steamed WITH the ingredients (as shown) for best flavor. Bon appetit!

RAGIN' CAJUN JAMBALAYA

1 lg. onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 c. chopped celery
1 lg. bell pepper, finely chopped
1 1/2 lbs. sliced sausage (kielbasa or andouille)
2 lbs. cooked shrimp, chicken, crawfish, or any combination
2 tbsp. olive, vegetable oil, or bacon drippings
1 c. fresh, chopped tomatoes, optional
1 1/2 c. uncooked long grain rice
3 c. chicken or seafood stock
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. onion salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. thyme
1 tbsp. file
1 tsp. oregano
2 bay leaves
Tabasco or Louisiana hot sauce to taste
Whimps may use 1/2 teaspoon each of black, white and cayenne pepper; "Cajuns" may use 2 teaspoons each.In a large, heavy pot on medium to medium high temperature, saute sausage in oil until well browned; drain well. Add chopped onion, garlic, celery and bell pepper, saute until almost tender. Add seasonings and continue to saute for 1 minute. If desired add fresh, chopped tomatoes. If using chicken, add cooked chicken pieces to take up flavors. Add chicken or seafood stock and rice. Turn heat down to gentle simmer and cover for about 20 to 25 minutes. If using cooked shrimp or crawfish, add at the end of cooking time to prevent breaking down. Add hot sauce to individuals taste. Serve with favorite wine and french bread.