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Monday, January 15, 2018

The Story Behind The Story of The Chef and the Ghost of Bartholomew Addison Jenkins


Ghosts: The Story Behind The Story

My husband and I had checked into the remote cottage overlooking the water just that afternoon.  It was in Nova Scotia, up a road bumpy enough that we worried about our car’s suspension—but the views were magnificent, the July evening balmy, and the lobsters we steamed for dinner delicious.  Coastal fog and a cool breeze swirled around our windows as we fell into a deep sleep…

…until just before 3 AM, when every smoke detector in the house went off, jolting us awake.  But there was no fire.  And when we managed to get the alarms turned off, on they came again.  Over the course of the next few days, we discovered that the life expectancy for light bulbs in that house was pretty short, too.  And our laptop computers didn’t seem to hold a charge very long,  Even the battery in the grill outside was dead…

We called the realtor, who smiled and made fixing motions, but Ken and I knew what was up.  At home, we live in a house that was built in 1740.  It has ghosts, too. We soon figured out the vacation cottage had belonged to a recently deceased artist whose family was now renting it out.  Betcha Mr. Ghost didn’t think too kindly of his paying guests—even though we admired his paintings.

I’ll admit we were relieved to move on to the next part of our vacation after that week was up.  Our at-home ghosts have only really kicked up their spectral heels once.  My husband’s a church musician, and he and I had just returned home from something people in his job dread: having to play the funeral of a friend.  We were grieved, and Ken went upstairs to nap with our two cats.  I fussed with my computer, not really writing.  Suddenly, the giant brass floor lamp in the room behind my study hit the floor with such force that it pulled the cover off the radiator next to it. No one was in the room and no traffic was on our street.  A few days later, it happened again.

A local ghost investigator visited after that, and discovered some of the older—and permanent—residents of our house.  One’s a broken-hearted gent in my husband’s office.  Poor chap doesn’t know he’s dead, and the ghost busters have told us it’s rude to inform him of that fact.  The ghost in the room with the lamp is a clean freak who mainly sweeps the floor.  Sadly, this has no effect on 21st century dust.  

So, yeah—ghosts.  As a little girl, I was fascinated by the Topper TV show.  And of course, I love Ghostbusters—both the original and the remake.  When I set out to write The Chef and the Ghost of Bartholomew Addison Jenkins, I wanted to write a ghost story that was funny as well as being scary—and just a little sexy! I was a chef when I was younger, so I thought throwing a little tasty food into the mix might be good, too.

Alrighty, then! What do YOU think happens if you have a one-nighter…with a ghost?

The Chef and the Ghost of
Bartholomew Addison Jenkins
Aletta Thorne

Genre: paranormal romance,
mainstream romance, holiday

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Date of Publication: October 26, 2017

ASIN: B076WJK63L

Number of pages: 158
Word Count: 51,000

Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Tagline: What happens if you have a one-nighter—with a ghost?

Book Description:

Autumn, 1982. MTV is new, poodle perms are the rage, and life just might be getting better for Alma Kobel.  Her ugly divorce is final at last. Her new job as chef at Bright Day School’s gorgeous old estate is actually fun.  But the place is haunted—and so is Alma’s apartment. Bartholomew Addison Jenkins’ ghost has been invisibly watching her for months. 

When he materializes one night, Alma discovers Bart—as he likes to be called—has talents she couldn’t have imagined…and a horrifying past. What happens if you have a one-nighter with a ghost?  And what happens if one night is all you want—and you end up ghosting him?  

Some spirits don’t like taking “no” for an answer.

Amazon      Evernight      BN
Excerpt:

A ghost. Of course he was a ghost—even though before that night, she’d never felt anything spooky at her place in the almost-year she’d lived in it. Alma still had the plate with the omelet on it in one hand. Ghosts didn’t eat, did they? She held it out to him anyway.
“Go ahead and have your supper,” he said. “I don’t need food. I take it you understand why.”
Alma nodded, not sure what to say. For a ghost, the man looked rather … dashing, she decided was the world. He must have been muscular in life. There were nicely rounded biceps under that loose shirt, and they showed when he moved his arms.  His knee knickers fit tightly over a flat belly, and his stockings made his calves look like they were made out of smooth, white marble. His eyes were a startling, luminous golden brown.
“Sadly, we are still perfectly able to smell a good meal cooking.”
“We?” Alma said.
The man nodded. “Your dead,” he said, solemnly.
“My dead?” she said.
“Well, you live here, don’t you? So, I’m your dead, now.” He stopped looking so serious then and as if guys in knee knickers and white stockings were born doing it, he opened her refrigerator and pulled out the bottle of Chablis. “Here, give me your glass,” he said, and topped it off. The glow from the refrigerator’s light made him even more luminous—and just the slightest bit translucent.
“Thanks,” she said, although it was her wine. She put her plate and glass down on a little enamel-topped kitchen table she’d bought at a local church thrift shop and pulled out one of the table’s funky old chairs for herself.
“Fork? Napkin?” he said, pulling those things out of the drawers next to Alma’s stove. Alma used cloth napkins from the restaurant supplier—big white ones.
“You know where my things are,” she said, spreading the napkin across her lap.
“That shouldn’t surprise you,” he said. “Eat your omelet while it’s hot. Go ahead.”
Alma took a bite. “Um, the pepper grinder on the stove?” she said. “Could you, please?”
“My lady.” He smiled and handed it to her with a little bow.
 She ground a little pepper over her plate and took another bite and sipped her wine. He sat down across from her, put his elbows on the table, and his chin in his hands.
“I enjoy watching you eat.”
“Okay, I guess. It’s not … weird?”
“No.”
 A ghost is watching me eat an omelet. “What’s your name?”
“Bartholomew Addison Jenkins,” he said. “These days, I just use Bart.”
“These days. But you’ve been here since you…”
“Since 1784,” he said.
“Which was when you died, I guess.”
“I must tell you, dear lady, saying that to one of us is considered rude. In better ghostly circles, that is. Some of us are not aware we are dead. Some of us do not like to be reminded of it.”





About the Author:

Aletta Thorne believes in ghosts.  In her non-writing life, she is a choral singer, a poet, a sometimes DJ, and a writer about things non-supernatural.  But she’s happiest in front of a glowing screen, giving voice to whoever it is that got her two cats all riled up at three AM.  Yes, her house is the oldest one on her street.  And of course, it’s quite seriously haunted (scared the ghost investigator who came to check it out).  She is named after a little girl in her family who died in the late nineteenth century, at the age of two. The Chef and the Ghost of Bartholomew Addison Jenkins is her first romance.



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Friday, January 12, 2018

Creating Vision Boards By Roxanne Rhoads


A wise man once told me, “Surround yourself with successful people, ditch the losers who aren’t going anywhere they’ll just drag you down with them.”

I think that’s one of the best pieces of advice I ever received because it was true.
Once I got rid of the toxic people in my life I started to be more successful.

But I had to do more than just surround myself with successful, positive people. I had to learn to think positively as well. Negativity brings everyone down and in hard times it can be difficult to see things in a positive light. But until you do, things will not change.

One of the ways I learned to focus my dreams and goals was through vision boards.

A vision board is a tool that uses the law of attraction to attain your goals.

The law of attraction means that “like attracts like”. If you focus on positive things, positive things will come to you. If you focus on the negative, then negative will come to you.

This sounds like a very new age thought but it’s been around a long time.

The New Thought philosophical movement developed in the United States in the 19th century, following the teachings of Phineas Quimby.

In 1887 Ralph Trine’s In Tune With The Infinite has this passage, “The law of attraction works universally on every plane of action, and we attract whatever we desire or expect. If we desire one thing and expect another, we become like houses divided against themselves, which are quickly brought to desolation. Determine resolutely to expect only what you desire, then you will attract only what you wish for.”

In The Master Key System published in 1912, Charles Haanel wrote “The law of attraction will certainly and unerringly bring to you the conditions, environment and experiences in life, corresponding with your habitual, characteristic, predominant mental attitude.”

Rhonda Byrne’s 2006 film and 2007 book, The Secret, put vision boards in the spotlight. She emphasized that you should not just think about what you want to obtain but also infuse the thought with the emotion associated with that wish. Combine thought and feeling to see the wish as reality. See your desire as though it was already real. This is what attracts the universe to make your vision manifest as reality.

You must use positivity to think, dream, desire and put those things out into the universe.

Thoughts are energy. Thoughts are things.

Study results published in Psychology Today found that “Mental imagery impacts many cognitive processes in the brain: motor control, attention, perception, planning, and memory. So the brain is getting trained for actual performance during visualization. It’s been found that mental practices can enhance motivation, increase confidence and self-efficacy, improve motor performance, prime your brain for success, and increase states of flow – all relevant to achieving your best life!”

Creating a vision board, or a manifestation board as they are often called, is a way to focus your energy and thoughts on the things you want. Take your desires and manifest them into reality.

A vision board is a representation is a concrete representation of your thoughts, desires, and goals.

Jack Canfield, the creator and bestselling author of The Chicken Soup for the Soul Series, believes in the power of visualization, “Creating a vision board is probably one of the most valuable visualization tools available to you.”

Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, said: “Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true.”

We can manifest what we want with the power of our minds. Thoughts can create reality.

If we put our thoughts and desires out in the universe in a meaningful way, in a way that makes us and the universe believe – this can help bring those things into our lives.

Vision boards put our thoughts and desires on something real, something concrete- taking our mental thoughts and putting them on something tangible. This is a way of manifesting them as reality. You can look at something real every day to remind you of what you want.

Critics of vision boards say they don’t work because you can sit and dream about something all day long and it isn’t going to make it real.

I tend to agree. You still have to work for what you want. Like Henry David Thoreau said in Walden, “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

To me, this means go ahead and dream big but work towards that goal. Figure out what you can do to make your dreams come true. Set goals. Create milestones.

You can work this into the creation of your vision board.

A manifestation board should be a collection of things you want to bring into your life. Choose things that you want that are reasonably achievable. If you are flat broke a mansion in Beverly Hills probably isn’t a realistic goal. However, a moderately larger house (or a house in general if you don’t already have one) can be achievable if you envision it realistically.

Be clear about your goals. New job, new body, a better relationship, nice car- be specific and envision exactly what you.

To create your own vision board start by creating a list of what you want- dreams, goals, wishes, desires - these can be items you desire like a new car, new house, places you want to go, achievements you want to reach, like a new job, a promotion, a book deal, etc.

I often create separate lists which will translate into individual boards for things. I have a physical/health board, a career board and I’m working on a vacation board and dream house board.

For example- on my career board I have images of a woman typing, an open book, a contract, money, more money and the images for bestseller statuses. So my manifestation board not only includes the end goal of what I want (money and being a bestseller) it also includes steps that will get me there.


For my body/weight loss board, I include body love mantras, images of my ideal weight/shape, and a focus on being healthy along with some dresses that are my end goal for a cosplay ball and a masquerade ball. By looking at this board I see where I want to get and know what I have to do to get there.

To me, this is the optimal way to plan and create a vision board. By focusing on not just what you want but how you’re going to get it.

Once you have your lists in place, start collecting images for your board(s). You can find images on the internet and print them out or cut out images from magazines.
I love to use images, words, and quotes.

Images give us a direct visual of what we wish to acquire. I love finding images that are a perfect fit for my vision boards. Photos of vacation spots, a fancy bed set I’d love to add to my bedroom, art to hang on my wall, the dress I want to fit into. Images are power, use them wisely.

Words are personal and can invoke feelings and experiences within us. As an author words hold much meaning for me so I choose carefully when adding them to my boards. I often use words that are written in bold colors and fancy fonts.

Quotes are one of my favorite things to put on a vision board. They can be from books, songs, movies, a favorite teacher, a grandma, or from history.

Most of us have a favorite quote that is filled with meaning for us. I have several that reach in and touch my soul. These are the ones I like to add to my boards, the ones filled with meaning that fit the situation and will motivate me towards a goal or invoke a sense of already being there.

You can also use self-affirmations. These are things you have written to self-sooth, to create a specific feeling within yourself. The best way to word self-affirmations that are in a positive light start with “I am…” I am worthy. I am brilliant. I am successful.

Other items you can add to your board are poems, postcards, souvenirs from places you have been and would like to go again, lists, stickers, bookmarks, feathers, beads, wine corks, anything that represents the things you want and the feeling of having them.

Above I have pictured digital vision boards I created with Pixlr’s collage feature. These are images I created for this article. My real boards are large physical creations.

It is very important that your vision boards are real tangible things you can feel and touch- and look at every day.

Cork boards are great for short term wants. You can switch them out with new desires and needs quite easily, just take that image down and pin up a new one.

You can create a vision board with a simple poster board from the dollar store and whatever craft supplies you have on hand.

Or you can create an elaborately framed board that looks like a work of art.

The most important thing about a vision board is what you do with it after you make it. Put it where you can see it every day- several times a day. Every time you look at it let it invoke feelings in you. Imagine how you will feel when you reach these goals when you have achieved or received the things on your board. Imagine yourself there- see yourself on that vacation in Hawaii, see yourself getting the promotion at work, see yourself signing the contract on that book deal. Feel it, experience it, make it real.

The power of intention is truly remarkable. Feel the universe sending your desires to you. Manifest the things you desire most.

Use your vision board as a daily reminder to feel your dreams and work towards your goals.

If you achieve a goal, remove it from your board and put up something new. Celebrate every milestone, be grateful for what you have and the things you acquire. I also recommend creating a new board every 6-12 months.

And remember positivity and the law of attraction are always in play.

By seeing yourself as successful and living a life of abundance more success and abundance will come your way. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Release Day Blitz Storm Crossed by Dani Harper



Storm Crossed
Grim Series
Book 4
Dani Harper

Release Date: January 9, 2018

Publisher: Montlake Romance

ISBN-10: 1503948943
ISBN-13: 978-1503948945

Book Description:

The latest stand-alone novel in Dani Harper’s Grim Series will delight old and new fans alike, transporting them to the ancient fae realm beneath the modern human world, where magic rules and menace abounds . . .

Heir to a noble fae house, Trahern is forced to watch helplessly as his twin brother is cruelly changed into a grim—a death dog—as punishment for falling in love with the wrong person. Trahern doesn’t believe love exists, but he will do anything to keep his brother alive—even join the Wild Hunt and ride the night skies of the human world.

Lissy Santiago-Callahan believes in love but has no time for it. She’s busy juggling her career as an academic and her home life as a single mom to a young son with Asperger’s. Her hectic life in sleepy Eastern Washington is made even more chaotic with the sudden arrival of a demanding fae and his unusual “dog.”

Mortal and immortal have nothing in common, and the attraction between Lissy and Trahern surprises them both. But when their desire places Lissy and her child in the path of a deadly faery feud, will the connection last, or will their separate worlds prove too great a divide?


About the Author:

Legend, lore, love, and magic. These are the hallmarks of Dani Harper’s transformational tales of faeries, shapeshifters, ghosts, and more, for a mature audience.

A former newspaper editor, Dani’s passion for all things supernatural led her to a second career writing fiction. There isn't anything she likes better than exploring myths and legends from many cultures, which serve to inspire her sizzling and suspenseful stories.

A longtime resident of the Canadian north and southeastern Alaska, she now lives in rural Washington with her retired mountain-man husband. Together they do battle with runaway garden gnomes, rampant fruit trees, and a roving herd of predatory chickens.

Dani Harper is the author of Storm Crossed, Storm Warned, Storm Bound, Storm Warrior (the Grim Series), as well as First Bite (Dark Wolf), for Montlake Romance. She is also the author of a Yuletide ghost story, The Holiday Spirit, plus a popular shapeshifter series, which includes Changeling Moon, Changeling Dream, and Changeling Dawn.

For more, visit her website at http://www.daniharper.com



Twitter - https://twitter.com/Dani_Harper  or @Dani_Harper



Wednesday, January 3, 2018

CrossTown by Loren Cooper




CrossTown
Loren W Cooper

Genre: Fantasy/SF

Publisher: Red Hen Books

Date of Publication: Nov 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1939096029

Number of pages: 340
Word Count: 95000

Cover Artist: Red Hen Staff Artist

Tagline: CrossTown is the crossroads of possibility.

Book Description:

Zethus is a sorcerer―a self-described spiritual thug for hire. He makes his living in CrossTown, a place where the manyworld hypothesis of modern physics manifests itself, where possibilities and probabilities overlap.

Caught up in a web of intrigue as he investigates the death of his master, Corvinus, and pursued by agents that want to erase all knowledge of Corvinus’ work, Zethus discovers that the key to his master’s murder lies in the last project he had pursued before his death. The roots of this project lie deep in the past, at the origin of CrossTown’s fractured reality.

Once he understands the stakes, Zethus must make the dangerous journey to the cradle of history. The price he must pay to find the answers he seeks will threaten everything he holds dear―including his own humanity.

“Beware the road outside your front door, for it is all at once old friend and passing stranger.” –CrossTown

“A sorcerer explores the frontier of theoretical physics.” Publisher’s Weekly

BN     Amazon     Thrift Books     Wal-Mart     Target

Excerpt:

Roads and streets run like veins and arteries through the beating heart of CrossTown.  Each runs through all manner of distant and not-so-distant possibilities. 
            There's a theory in modern physics that posits a universe for every decision we make.  Each time we choose, right or left, high or low, vanilla or chocolate, we split into separate universes.  A vanilla me here, a chocolate me there, a rocky road with pistachio me somewhere else, and some poor lactose intolerant me further down the line.  The dominant me is my subjective reality.  In CrossTown, the probable mes collapse into the dominant wave, but all those wandering Ways continually wash other alternate lives, lives meant to be lived in CrossTown, up on its jagged shores.
The names of roads are choices; the turning and branching of roads are choices; roads are physical manifestations of their builders’ decisions…
            Everywhere, every place and every time where man or something like him has lived, roads run into one another, branch, disappear here and reappear over there as if they were quantum tunneling.  They run, meet, part, cross again, and form a bewildering Mandelbrot set of linked probabilities.
            Beware the road outside your front door, for it is both old friend and passing stranger.
            All those choices, all hooked together, comprise a vast sea of possibility.  A knowledgeable traveler can ride the currents in that sea to unimagined destinations…

            CrossTown is the crossroads of probability.

About the Author:

Loren W Cooper is the author of four novels, one short story collection and one nonfiction work. He has won the NESFA in 1998 and the EPPIE for Best Anthology in 2001. He is married with two daughters. He currently lives in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Favorite authors include Zelazny, Hammet, Steakley, and Catton. Loren Currently works for Hewlett-Packard.




Tuesday, December 26, 2017

CrossTown Soundtrack


CrossTown Soundtrack

Enter Sandman, Metallica

Old Folk's Boogie, Little Feat

Twilight, The Band

Journey of the Sorcerer, Eagles

March of the Celts, Enya

Tommy Bhetty's Waltz, Altan

When the Circus Comes to Town, Los Lobos

Will the Wolf Survive, Los Lobos

Race With The Devil, Wolfstone

Ride On, AC\DC

Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Pink Floyd

Wherever I May Roam, Metallica

Strange Fruit, Billie Holiday

Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Bach

Run On For A Long Time, Blind Boys of Alabama

Best of Both Worlds, Van Halen


Feeling Good, Nina Simone 



CrossTown
Loren W Cooper

Genre: Fantasy/SF

Publisher: Red Hen Books

Date of Publication: Nov 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1939096029

Number of pages: 340
Word Count: 95000

Cover Artist: Red Hen Staff Artist

Tagline: CrossTown is the crossroads of possibility.

Book Description:

Zethus is a sorcerer―a self-described spiritual thug for hire. He makes his living in CrossTown, a place where the manyworld hypothesis of modern physics manifests itself, where possibilities and probabilities overlap.

Caught up in a web of intrigue as he investigates the death of his master, Corvinus, and pursued by agents that want to erase all knowledge of Corvinus’ work, Zethus discovers that the key to his master’s murder lies in the last project he had pursued before his death. The roots of this project lie deep in the past, at the origin of CrossTown’s fractured reality.

Once he understands the stakes, Zethus must make the dangerous journey to the cradle of history. The price he must pay to find the answers he seeks will threaten everything he holds dear―including his own humanity.

“Beware the road outside your front door, for it is all at once old friend and passing stranger.” –CrossTown

“A sorcerer explores the frontier of theoretical physics.” Publisher’s Weekly

BN     Amazon     Thrift Books     Wal-Mart     Target



About the Author:

Loren W Cooper is the author of four novels, one short story collection and one nonfiction work. He has won the NESFA in 1998 and the EPPIE for Best Anthology in 2001. He is married with two daughters. He currently lives in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Favorite authors include Zelazny, Hammet, Steakley, and Catton. Loren Currently works for Hewlett-Packard.




Friday, December 22, 2017

Holiday Salsa Recipe with Emily Mims




Emily’s Salsa in a Poem


Three big ripe tomatoes fresh off the vine,
Add a cup of red onion diced up quite fine.
A cup of cilantro leaves chopped from a bunch,
One minced jalapeno to give it some punch.
Blend all together, fridge an hour to chill,
Serve with big corn chips, a taste treat to thrill!

Happy Holidays, everyone.

A Note from Emily:

This salsa recipe is the one I've used for a long time, given to me years ago by San Antonio’s Taco Cabana head cook’s daughter.




Mistletoe
The Smokey Blues
Book 6
Emily Mims

Genre:  Romance

Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group

Date of Publication:  November 20th 2017

ISBN:  978-1-979474-24-5 – print book  
ISBN: 978-1-944262-99-0 - eBook

Number of pages:  227
Word Count: 65,450

Cover Artist: Boroughs Publishing Group

Tagline: Can the holiday season turn make-believe into real passion, love and romance?

Book Description: 

Aspiring songwriter Caitlyn Murphy is tired of sister’s hand-me-downs. From toys and bicycles to men, it seemed like everything in Caitlyn’s life first belonged to her late sister. Roped into doing Christmas for motherless nieces, and entering into a pretend romance with their dangerously attractive father, Caitlyn soon finds herself falling in love with the girls, and the enigmatic Tanner Dyson. She resists the temptation and Tanner’s insistence that they make their pretend relationship real. She wants her own family, not the one her sister had first.



About the Author:

Author of thirty-four romance novels, Emily Mims combined her writing career with a career in public education until leaving the classroom to write full time. The mother of two sons and six grandsons, she and her husband live in central Texas but frequently visit their grandchildren in Tennessee and Georgia. For relaxation, she plays four musical instruments: the piano, the ukulele, the organ and the dulcimer.




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