Here are some great book deals for Black Friday (paperback sales with coupons) and Cyber Monday! My book, Calming the Storm, will be on sale for $1.00 beginning Cyber Monday through December 7th!
Kendra E. Ardnek
The Ankuluen: Cyber Monday
Saffron’s Big Plan and Other Stories: Cyber Monday
Do You Take This Quest?: Cyber Monday
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Learning Lessons from Furry Friends: Black Friday [SB14CP31 — 25%] and Cyber Monday
Family Reunion: Black Friday [YFY84GHU — 20%]
Ransomed: Black Friday [GNE6VUXY — 30%]
Blood Chain: Cyber Monday
Nadia’s Tears: Cyber Monday
Counted Worthy: Black Friday [K7CVNEER — 40%] and Cyber Monday
The Land of Calais: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Warmth of His Eyes: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Send Me, Lord Jesus: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Past Suspicion: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Frozen Footprints: Black Friday
Anon, Sir, Anon: Black Friday [9MTYHSX3 — 25%] and Cyber Monday
Journeys of Four: Cyber Monday
Grandmother’s Letters: Cyber Monday
A Year with the Potters: Cyber Monday
Jaye L. Knight
Resistance: Black Friday [Q45HN6G9 — 25%] and Cyber Monday
Melika Dannese Lux
City of Lights: Black Friday [FNB98MY6 — 35%] and Cyber Monday
Corcitura: Black Friday [GU46WHKT — 55%] and Cyber Monday
Last Heartbeat: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Life Gift: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Tina M. Neely
Diamond Hair Princess: Black Friday
Joel A. Parisi
Shadow Play: Cyber Monday
J. Grace Pennington
Radialloy: Black Friday [Y2XHGYDN — 25%] and Cyber Monday
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Machiavellian: Black Friday [UFXGUYMM — 25%] and Cyber Monday
Why Rodney Never Should’ve Gone to the NAPIC: Black Friday [F76DDR7S — 45%] and Cyber Monday
Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer
Touch My Tears: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Third Side of the Coin: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Haven: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Leviathan: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Champion: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Finding the Core of Your Story: Black Friday [NL4NJXWS — 30%]
Melanie D. Snitker
Calming the Storm: Cyber Monday
Rachel Starr Thomson
Reap the Whirlwind: Cyber Monday
Lady Moon: Cyber Monday
Angel in the Woods: Cyber Monday
It has been unseasonably cold here in West Texas. There may be a lot of things about cold weather that I don't care for. But there are also a lot of things I like - and being able to make lots of soups is one of them!
I prefer to use fresh ingredients whenever I can, but it's not always easy. Our family also camps a lot so I have been trying to put together some recipes that would be easy to make away from home.
Let me introduce you to my Spicy Western Soup! Nothing in this has to be refrigerated and so it would be easy to make a batch of this soup over a campfire. The clove of garlic can easily be substituted with garlic powder or garlic salt.
I'm including a picture of the two dehydrated ingredients I used along with the spices.
The result is a soup that is thick and hearty. Crumbled tortilla chips would be really good sprinkled over the top, too! With bread to go with it, this recipe will easily feed 4-5 adults.
Spicy Western Soup
6 cups water
1/3 cup dehydrated veggies
1 can of corn (drained)
1 can (or pint jar in our case) black beans (drained)
1 tbsp. tomato powder
1 clove of garlic - minced
Pepper to taste
2 tsp Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle
1/2 cup instant rice (dry)
2 - 5 oz. cans of chicken in water (or I use 2 1/4 cups diced chicken if I don't need it to be canned)
Note: For dietary reasons, we keep things light on the salt. Feel free to add salt to the recipe if you would like to.
Pour the water in a large pan and add the dried veggies. Bring to a boil and allow those veggies to simmer for at least 15 minutes.
Add the tomato powder, minced garlic, pepper, and Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle and simmer for another 5 or 10 minutes.
Add the corn, black beans, chicken, and rice. Boil for another 5-8 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the soup sit for about 10 minutes to allow the rice to cook.
Note: If you're in a hurry, you can add the corn, black beans, chicken, and rice at the same time as the tomato powder and spices.
If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! I would love to hear of any changes you might have made to the soup as well.
Stay warm out there!
An interview with The Originator, antagonist of the highly anticipated new novel, Aware, by Sara B. Gauldin!
Who are you?
I am sometimes called The Master of the Scourge, sometimes the Originator. You may have another name for me.
Where do you live?
I regret that I am unable to share that information. I can’t have that Guide, Terra dropping by and causing problems! It is better that she waste her time with underlings. So long as they are after her precious Liam she will stay out of my way!
Are you the hero of your own story?
I have power. That is all that is really important.
What is your problem in the story?
I have goals. Of course I am very motivated. Creating an army of followers is not an easy task. It turns out that humans are flawed. Once you find that common thread, corrupting them and using them to create mayhem in their little world is not so hard. At least it wasn’t until Terra showed up and started causing trouble.
Do you embrace conflict?
I can’t think of anything better. In fact conflict is what gives me my power!
How do your enemies see you?
Terra is my only real obstacle. The rest of the Guides don’t even realize I exist. I am taking over their charges right under their noses and they don’t have a clue!
Do you have a goal?
Spreading evil and corruption through the mortal world. Taking human bodies for an invasion of the Tweens. Total domination.
What do you regret?
I regret the untimely destruction of my son The Brazen One. He was useful. Now he is not.
Has anyone ever failed you?
Brazen, the fool thought he was indestructible.
Has anyone ever betrayed you?
How do you envision your future?
The recipient of unlimited evil power, the leader of a new and corrupted Earth and Tweens!
A kickoff of new holiday romances by Shanna Hatfield
and a fundraiser for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund
Meet Luke and Filly Granger of Hardman Holidays
Two key characters from Shanna Hatfield’s historical holiday series, Hardman Holidays visit us today. Set in the western town of Hardman, Oregon, this series of sweet romances highlights determined women and the men who fall for them in the 1890s.
Welcome Mr. and Mrs. Granger. Tell us a little about how you met.
Luke: Let’s just say Filly is the best bargain I’ve ever made.
Filly: (Blushes and squeezes Luke’s hand) My father imprisoned me on our farm from the time I was fourteen until Luke showed up one day to call in a debt long past due. In lieu of his payment, Luke ended up taking me. Chauncy Dodd, the pastor at the church and Luke’s dear friend, insisted we wed, so we did.
So you married a complete stranger?
Filly: I remembered Luke from when we were in school, although he was a few years ahead of me. All the girls had a thing for him. Even back then, he was so handsome and charming.
Luke: (Kisses Filly’s cheek) I vaguely recalled her from school, but hadn’t seen her for years. The day I brought her off the farm, she wore a dirt-colored dress and rag on her head. When Chauncy talked me into marrying her, I had no idea I was getting such a beautiful bride, both inside and out.
Tell us what it’s like living in Hardman. Don’t you have family in town nearby?
Luke: My sister, Ginny, and her husband, Blake, live in Hardman. He’s a magnificent wood craftsman and Ginny writes for the newspaper.
Filly: Don’t forget about Ginny’s artwork. She creates wonderful paintings and sketches, sometimes to accompany her articles for the paper.
Luke: And then there’s my folks. They just finished building a huge house in the middle of town. My mother vowed she’d never again live in Hardman the last time they left, but with the arrival of our baby, Maura, Dad and Mother decided to move back.
Filly: They’ll be arriving right before Christmas, along with Blake’s parents. They’re sailing over from England and will meet Mother and Dad in New York City before they all travel to Oregon.
What’s the most exciting thing going on in your town this Christmas?
(Filly glances at Luke and smiles)
Luke: Arlan Guthry, my friend and assistant at the bank I own, found a broken-down magic wagon on the side of the road a few months ago. The prestidigitator who performs phantasmagorical wonders didn’t have enough money to pay for the repairs so she accepted a temporary job as schoolteacher until Christmas.
Filly: Alex and her magic wagon have certainly livened things up in town.
Luke: Especially when it comes to Arlan. He’s head-over-heels in love with Alex the Amazing, but for some reason refuses to admit it.
Filly: (Gives Luke a saucy smile) It’s an affliction several men in town bear.
Thank you for joining us. Any parting words for our readers?
Luke: Thank you for hosting us today. If you enjoy sweet holiday romances set in the past, I hope you’ll consider reading our stories in The Christmas Bargain, The Christmas Token, and The Christmas Calamity.
Where to Find the Books
Travel back to a different time with the historic Hardman Holiday Series,
beginning with The Christmas Bargain.
You’re Invited to PARTY!
You’re invited to join in the online Cowboys & Christmas Facebook Party Thursday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PST). Drop in anytime during those four hours to enter to win great prizes, chat with guest authors, and more! Here’s the link to the party: http://tinyurl.com/cowboychristmasparty
The third book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series releases that day! The Christmas Calamity takes readers back to Hardman just in time for the holiday season. Preorders are available now for just $1.99 on Kindle. You can reserve your copy here: http://amzn.com/B00OGOO994
In addition, the first book in the Hardman Holidays series, The Christmas Bargain, will be available free that day, as well!
Enter to Win Prizes!
To enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, autographed books, chocolates, original western artwork, and more fun goodies, fill out this form.
Now through Dec. 24, Shanna will donate 10 percent of the net proceeds from all her book sales to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. The JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period.
About Shanna Hatfield
A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”
She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America.
The edits for Love's Compass - Finding Peace are going smoothly! I'm so excited about this book and I can't wait to be able to share it with you all.
For now, I'll have to be content with sharing an excerpt. Enjoy!
Laurie Blake shivered as the chill in the early night air seeped into her jacket. She reached for the door of her photography studio. Her hand stilled when it swung open a couple of inches before she had a chance to insert the key. Holding her breath, she nudged it open further with her foot. She squinted, trying to make out the shapes in the dark room.
Did I forget to lock the door?
Even as she entertained the idea, she knew that wasn’t the case. If anything, she would have double and triple checked that it was locked before she’d left earlier in the evening.
Hands shaking, she reached for the light switch. Feeling the plastic with the tip of a finger, she pushed it upward. She blinked as light illuminated her studio and stepped inside.
Swallowing hard, her gaze flickered from the desk against one wall to the stands supporting her backdrops. A man stepped away from one of the shadows in the back corner of the room.
Laurie jumped to the side, her arm bumping into a framed photograph hanging on the wall. It fell to the floor, glass shattering upon impact, as her heart thundered in her chest.
The man wore dark clothing. A ski mask hid everything but his eyes. He tightened his grip on the camera bag he was holding and grabbed a second one. There was no mistaking the intensity in his eyes.
He charged at her.
Laurie instinctively grasped a heavy vase. Retreating through the open door, she held the vase above her head, and launched it towards her pursuer. All she could think about was making sure he didn’t have a chance to get to her. God, help me!
I have a lot of recipes that I love when it comes to the Christmas season. I'll be sharing them regularly with you all as the next month and a half passes. But my favorite recipe is my Dad's baked ham - his favorite part of every Christmas meal.
As far back as I can remember, my dad baked a ham for Christmas. I remember helping him as a child, pushing the whole cloves into the surface of the ham. Then I helped him hang the pineapple rings off the cloves so that the whole ham was covered in them.
What I remember the most, however, is the smell that wafted from the oven. The ham would bake for hours as the scents of pineapple, cloves, and brown sugar danced through the house.
Periodically, my dad would take the ham out and baste it before carefully placing it back in to bake a little longer.
My dad passed away in November of 2011.
The smell of cloves, especially, will always remind me of him. Once my husband and I got married, I baked a ham every Christmas just like my dad taught me. Keeping that tradition is important to me.
Now our kids help me push those cloves into the ham and comment about how yummy the combination of pineapple juice and brown sugar smells. As we work together, I tell them about how I helped my daddy do this very thing when I was a little girl. "This always makes me think about your Grandpa."
I feel like this tradition helps bring a little of my dad into the Christmas celebration - a time of year that was always his favorite.
Dad's Baked Ham
Preheat the oven to 325'F
Ham (any size will work fine)
Whole, dried cloves
20 oz. can of pineapple slices/rings
3 tsp. brown sugar
Take your ham and place it in a roasting pan or glass dish that is large enough to hold it and the juice that will result from baking it.
Push the whole cloves into the ham, all over the visible surface.
Drain the pineapple juice from the can into a bowl. Stir in 3 tsp. brown sugar until the sugar has dissolved.
Place the pineapple rings on the ham, hanging them from the cloves.
Pour the pineapple juice and sugar mixture all over the ham. It will pool in the pan under the ham.
Bake for 20 minutes for every 1 pound of ham.
I usually try to take the ham out and baste it every hour or so until the ham is heated through.
Once the ham is done, remove the cloves and throw them away. Serve the ham with the pineapple slices.
I hope you enjoy this recipe.
I also hope that, whatever traditions you have during the holiday season, you'll continue to make memories memories with your family. Those memories are worth their weight in gold.
In anatomy, the kids are studying the cardiovascular system. To help them remember the four chambers of the heart and the main veins and arteries coming out of the heart, we decided to do a project that was suggested in the textbook we use.
We used graham crackers for the four chambers of the heart. Then I mixed up some frosting to help illustrate the oxygenated and deoxygenated blood. Marshmallows were used for the veins and arteries coming out of the heart.
Both of our kids had a lot of fun with the projected and it really helped them to remember facts about the heart that they might not have otherwise. Plus, it tasted pretty good, too!
We love homeschooling!
I crocheted a Nemo plush for our son last Christmas. He has loved the movie, Finding Nemo, for years and I thought it would be a fun addition to his stuffed animal collection (including crocheted jellyfish and turtles). He was thrilled. I originally was going to crochet a Dory to go with it, but couldn't get the pattern to work out. I eventually decided to just go with the Nemo.
The last couple of months, he's been asking me to crochet a Dory. The last time we went to the store, he asked for blue yarn for me to use. Yesterday, I took out my yarn stash and went to work. For hours, he stood nearby, jumping in excitement. He watched as the fish took shape, helped me stuff the body, and hovered as I made the fins. By evening, the cute blue tang you see in the picture above was ready.
Our son was so excited. He had the two fish swimming through the air, chasing after each other. Nemo and Dory got tucked into his bed with him last night. Seeing the light in his eyes was worth every stitch that went into that crocheted fish.