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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Time for Word on the Street



If you're in the Halifax, Nova Scotia area or in the Toronto, Ontario area this Sunday, it's a great time to drop by the Word on the Street festival and meet up with members of the romance writing community.

This will be the second year for my writers' group at Word on the Street. We had such a great time last year.




We had a rotating schedule of both unpublished writers and published authors representing the Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada, which will be the case again this Sunday. Our membership is a diverse mix of people, from those who have only just self-identified as a writer, to NYT bestselling multipublished authors.

We discovered a delighted public who had no idea that romance writers lived in their midst. Lots of laughter and lively conversation flowed at our table, as well as book giveaways -- all of which will take place again this Sunday, Sept. 21st. 




I believe the Toronto Romance Writers have been taking part in Word on the Street for a little longer than my group's two years. 

I hope to see you out and about this Sunday in my little harbour city.  I'll be at the table with the animated talkers and the book giveaways. Don't be shy! We just get a little enthusiastic, especially since our members haven't seen each other in two whole weeks.

~~

Have you ever been to a book festival before?


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Company's Coming - What to Cook?

From the writing desk of Christine Mazurk


Today, I'm going to focus on something different. Cooking a delicious meal for guests without the stress.

We all do it. Invite people over then stress about what to make. How do I balance creating a nice meal while still playing hostess? How do I time the meal so I can enjoy a cocktail and hors d'oeuvres with my friends?

I have several favorite recipes, but I've received accolades for this particular dish...

CHICKEN CUTLETS with FONTINA and FRESH BLUEBERRY SAUCE

Buttery fontina cheese and a sweet-savory blueberry sauce turn modest chicken breasts into an extraordinary dish friends and family will love!

1 tablespoon butter, divided
4 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 ounces shredded fontina cheese
3 tablespoons organic apple juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme

1. Melt 1 teaspoon of butter in a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet; cook for 4-5 minutes per side. Remove to oven proof dish. Place dish on center rack of pre-heated 300 degree oven. Continue with next step.

2. Combine apple juice, vinegar, and mustard in small bowl; whisk together. Add apple juice mixture to pan; simmer for one minute. Add blueberries and thyme; simmer 3 minutes. (Sauce will turn a beautiful purple color.) Stir in remaining 2 teaspoons of butter.

3. Sprinkle cheese over chicken breasts, turn off oven but let cheese melt in warm oven.

4. Serve by spooning blueberry sauce over each chicken breast.

This recipe is for four servings, duplicate for each additional 4 guests.

Any side goes well with this dish, but I like to serve it with:

GINGER-ROASTED GREEN BEANS

1 (12 ounce) package of fresh, trimmed green beans
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons grated, peeled, fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt (optional) (use your favorite spice in place if on a low-sodium diet)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2. Combine green beans, olive oil, and spice; toss well.

3. Line backing sheet with foil (I like nonstick foil), spread green beans in a single layer on the sheet.

4. Bake for 10 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Simple, quick, and delicious!!!

Do you have a favorite recipe you like to make for company? I'm always looking for new dishes to try, so please share yours.

And if you decide to try this with your family or friends, let me know what they think. Until next time - Hugs!

www.christinemazurk.com

www.facebook.com/christinemazurk

Twitter @christinemazurk

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lindy S. Hudis former Hollywood actress turned author talks about her writing and her life

LindyAuthorNew Q and A Round 2 with author Lindy S. Hudis. Lindy has written several books for Lachesis Publishing, including the mystery Weekends, a women's fiction with a dose of suspense City of Toys and the erotica series Devon and Desiree which includes two installments so far: The S and M Club and The Mile High Club.

What was your favourite book as a child and why?

The_Giving_TreeThe Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.  It moved me to tears, and still does. I read it to my children, and have a copy in their library in their bedroom. Such a moving and powerful story, even for a kid's book. He was a very creative and amazing author.

Who was your favourite teacher growing up and why?

My favorite teachers where my instructors when I was attending NYU. I studied drama at Tisch School of the Arts, and the professors were wonderful, so inspiring. They really helped free my inner artist within. I cherish my NYU days, they were really an amazing time in my life. NYU was a culture shock for a girl from Germantown, Tennessee, but I loved NYC and NYU!

WEEKENDS COVER 2When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Why?

I have always had fantasies about writing. I used to make up characters, write little plays and act them out for my family. I just wrote short stories and ghost stories for fun. Then when I became pregnant with my daughter, and had lots of spare time on my hands, I just started writing, and writing, then all of a sudden I had a completed manuscript on my hands. That manuscript evolved into my first romance/suspense novel, Weekends.

Who in the writing/publishing world do you admire and why?

I admire the small publishers, like Lachesis Publishing. They are willing to take a chance on a new author with a fresh voice. I know that it is a business, but at the same time, agents and large houses should not be so afraid to take a chance on an unknown author. There are so many fresh stories out there just waiting to be told, with fresh passion and vision. If a publisher can look beyond the money issue and see this, then they have my respect.

Tell us about your daily writing routine – what do you typically do every day?

Wake up, take kids to school, go to gym then do some writing. I have just completed the third installment of my erotic short story series called Backstage Pass about an '80s rocker groupie. I do have to write my erotica when the kids are at school, so I can have my privacy. I don't want them to burst into the room to see what Mommy is writing!

What is your favourite snack or guilty pleasure food that you (may or many not ;) indulge in when writing?

I'm a bit of a health nut, so raw carrots, celery and fresh fruits and vegetables for me. Sometimes I  sneak and have some of my kid's goldfish crackers, but not too often. I also have my liter of water beside me, too.
Mile-High-Club-1400x2100-500x724What does “writing voice” mean to you? Describe your own writing voice.

My writing voice is the path that my characters take me. My work is very character driven, I guess that comes from my acting background. I get very attached to my characters, and I let them lead me on the journey. Sometimes I feel such a deep connection with my characters that they actually seem like friends, people I care deeply for. If I start talking to them, then everybody will think I'm crazy!

What do you want to accomplish in the next five years in your writing career?

To keep on writing, keep on attracting new readers, and to give any advice to new and aspiring writers. I just want to keep on doing what I am doing, and if readers enjoy my creative artistic expression and my stories, all the better.

All of Lindy's books are 50% off for the month of September in celebration of Lachesis Publishing's 9th Anniversary!

Connect with Lindy on Facebook or Twitter.
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Monday, September 15, 2014

SNEAK PEEK MONDAY: More Than Charming by JoMarie DeGioia (Regency Historical Romance)

more-than-charming-500x724Today's sneak peek is from the Regency historical romance More Than Charming by JoMarie DeGioia. Book 4 in the Dashing Nobles series. Get it now at 50% off (Lachesis Publishing 9th Anniversary Sale)

What it's about:
James Bradford, Viscount Roberts, will never be a fool for love—falling in love only has disastrous results. James should know, since he almost lost his best friend Geoffrey Kane when he fell for Kane’s bride Rebecca. Looking back now, he can see clearly that it was just an infatuation but he vows he will never lose control of his emotions ever again. He’s quite satisfied charming all the ladies of London and sleeping with buxom barmaids.
Lady Catherine Talbot has always dreamed of having a loving marriage just like the one her dear brother Paul and his beautiful wife Michelle have, but she wonders if her chance at happiness may have passed her by. After all, she was jilted by her fiancé Lord Waltham, who left her and ran off with an heiress. A year has passed since that disaster. Catherine is older and wiser now, but a part of her still dreams.

When James sees Catherine at a society ball he is stunned by her beauty. Paul’s sweet little sister has become a breathtakingly beautiful woman. And Catherine is just as taken with the most charming bachelor in London.

But can a charming rogue and an innocent lady find their own loving truth in the face of jealousy and scandal-mongers threatening to tear them apart? And will it be too late when their very future is threatened by unspeakable danger?

EXCERPT:
James heard only half of what Elizabeth said to him, for over her shoulder he spied the most beautiful young woman he’d ever seen. Her glossy brown curls were upswept, several tendrils left free to fall about her shoulders and frame her face. She was dressed in a gown of deep blue, the color complementing her striking eyes. The cut of the gown accentuated her lovely figure; her full breasts and slender waist drew his appreciative glance. My God. Surely this beautiful creature couldn’t be Catherine Talbot!
James watched her approach, noting that she carried herself regally, her hips swaying gently. She no longer flitted about the room like her sister. He’d always thought her pretty, but the past year had matured her looks. She’d lost her girlish countenance, but it was replaced with breathtaking beauty. If Waltham’s betrayal had this effect on her, perhaps he should thank the man before he throttled him.
He glanced at Elizabeth, then back at Catherine. They were no longer twins.
Catherine came to a stop in front of him, a small smile on her face. “Lord Roberts,” she said softly, curtsying.
James blinked. Even her voice held a sultry note he’d never heard in it before.
He bowed to her. “Lady Catherine,” he said, using her formal address for the first time.
She cocked her head to the side and smiled widely, the effect startling him. The dimple in her cheek only added to her appeal.
James recovered himself and took her gloved hand in his. “You look very much the lady this evening, Catherine.”
She stared up at him for a moment, and when her pupils dilated, he felt it like a caress.
“Oh, Catherine,” Elizabeth gushed. “There you are.”
Catherine turned her head and smiled at her sister, and James released her hand with regret. Geoffrey and Becca soon joined them, and talk became quite animated. James returned his friends’ comments absently, his eyes continually settling on Catherine. What was the matter with him? She was his friend’s little sister, and he’d never thought of her in any other way. But she was a woman now. As desirable as any he’d ever known.
As they all took themselves into the supper room, he vowed to put her, and his troubling reaction to her, out of his mind.

Like what you've read? Get More Than Charming by JoMarie DeGioia.
JoMarie DeGioia is the author of the Dashing Nobles Series, which follows the love stories of four dashing gentlemen of the ton in Regency England.

Connect with JoMarie DeGioia online on her web site and on facebook and on twitter.
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Friday, September 12, 2014

A teenage girl is haunted by a ghostly couple at her aunt's light house

Secret Journals Posession 1400x2100In Today's Fun Friday book review Christina Holt reviews the The Possession, (YA paranormal) by J.D. Spikes

The Possession is a delightful YA novel. It is the story of two young teenagers, Daphne and Zach, and their destined relationship. It has the perfect combination of ghostly tales mixed with the story of first love, all centered around the tragic history of a forbidden couple that was ripped apart by the town’s racial differences.

I was intrigued with The Possession from the title and cover alone, and the story that followed did not disappoint. The first chapter started strong and held my interest up until the very last page.

The characters were likable and genuine, and the author paints a beautiful picture of the overall setting. Although I am not an expert in Native American culture or the paranormal, I feel the author did a wonderful job with the details from both aspects.

Please note: This book is not suitable for younger readers, as some references are of a sensual and romantic nature.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
Daphne Wentworth is almost seventeen, definitely a red head, and most likely the tallest girl in her class, which is awkward to say the least when it comes to dating boys in her school. But she doesn’t have to worry about school for the next two months since she’s spending the summer at her aunt Dwill’s lighthouse in Maine.

What she does have to worry about is seeing ghosts in the lighthouse cemetery, having strange dreams, and hearing the voices of star-crossed lovers who lived two-hundred years ago. And then there’s a local boy named Zach Philbrook who works for her aunt. He’s too gorgeous for his own good. He’s also very tall, with midnight black hair, and the most beautiful indigo blue eyes Daphne has ever seen.

Zach is treated like an outcast by the local teens in town. He’s Micmac and therefore not “one of the gang”. Daphne can’t help being drawn to his strength, especially considering that he’s had to live his entire life dealing with ignorance. But the local teens aren’t the only trouble-makers in town. As Zach and Daphne get closer, the lighthouse ghost lovers begin haunting them. When Daphne and Zach try to figure out how to fight them, the spirits get bolder and more dangerous.

So how do you protect yourself from something that isn’t really there?

You can purchase a copy of The Possession by J.D. Spikes at Lachesis Publishing at our special 9th anniversary price 50% off!
Connect with J.D. on her web site and on facebook
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