Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weekend Cooking: Nana's BBQ Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf with Roasted Baby Reds and Carrots

So Beth over at Beth Fish Reads hosts a weekend meme called Weekend Cooking. I haven't read a cookbook in a little bit, or a food related book, but for my first post I thought I would share one of my favorite recipes. I hope that this is something that you might try, and if you do I would love to hear what you think. Here it is:

This meatloaf has been a favorite in our house for many years. I remember the first time my Nana made it and how I wasn't sure if it would be as good as her "original". All these years later it is our go to meatloaf, I hope you enjoy it!


3 lbs. ground chuck
4 eggs
3-4 cups binder (I use a combination of breadcrumbs and cornmeal)
1 chopped onion
2 packages of Lipton Onion Soup
8 ozs. sharp cheddar cheese (or cheese you prefer)
1 bottle of BBQ sauce
3 lbs. baby red potatoes
1 small bag baby carrots


Combine the ground chuck, binder, eggs, soup mix and onion until well mixed. Separate the mixture in half and form one half into an oval in the bottom of a roasting pan. Sprinkle the top of the oval with the shredded cheese and cover with the remaining meat mixture, sealing the edges to contain the cheese. Pour bbq sauce over the top of the meatloaf, just to cover.

Wash and cube the baby red potatoes and sprinkle around the meatloaf. All you need to do with the carrots is sprinkle them over the potatoes.

Bake covered at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. Let the meatloaf stand for about 10 minutes so that when you cut it it doesn’t separate. The bbq sauce gives the potatoes and carrots a nice glaze.
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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Master of Plagues by D.B. Reynolds Book Feature

Master of Plagues

Mystical powers. Cosmic adventure. Universally dynamic forces. A gifted individual has been commissioned to take part in of all these phenomenal occurrences. Stuart Duffelmeyer is an NYU student who is targeted by eight of his egomaniacal college classmates once they learn he wants to find a beautiful date for the night. His classmates lure him to a sleazy motel where they play out a heinous prank. His night ends in utter disappointment after learning that his classmates only used him for their perverted entertainment purposes. Stuart suffered severely as a result of their callous behavior and feels he must get even with his tormentors. A chance encounter allows him to discover a magical Hebrew talisman with indescribable powers. Stuart is taken away from Earth and into the far regions of another galaxy once the talisman is consecrated. The spirit of his one-time chief advisor, Rabbi Irwin Wedemeyer, explains to him that the talisman will grant him miraculous powers over all the creatures and elements of the Earth. Rabbi Wedemeyer insists that Stuart not abuse the powers bestowed upon him. He returns to Earth and quickly seeks out his vengeance. Stuart’s absolute domination over Earthly creatures and elements brings plagues of unspeakable horrors into the lives of his one-time tormentors. He finds closure once his former college classmates return to offer their apologies to him. He also finds fulfillment by using his powers to intercept the transgressive acts inflicted by the immoral people of society. This stirring tale delivers the purest message of magic and morality.

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D. B. Reynolds is an author, screenwriter, computer expert, and a chartered member of the Writer’s Guild Association, the Writer’s Lab and the Writer’s Place. D. B. has published articles on various subjects in several literary magazines. In 2002, he made a guest appearance on the nationally-syndicated television show, The Sally Jessy Raphael Show, to talk about his experiences in foster care and the present state of foster care. His newly published fantasy novel, Master of Plagues, was written to enlighten readers about the powerful correlation between magic and morality. D. B. currently resides in his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri

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Interview with Andy Straka, author of Dragonflies: Shadow of Drones


Shamus-Award winning crime novelist Andy Straka breaks new ground with this near-future science fiction thriller in which a former pilot and the ex-infantryman who saved her life search for justice in a world where surveillance by micro-drones is fast becoming the reality. Former Army helicopter pilot Raina Sanchez is plagued by nightmares. She can't erase the memories of being shot down in Afghanistan, of losing her foot in the crash, and the death of her commanding officer. When asked by an ex-military contact to participate in a secret drone operation with ties to the war, she jumps at the chance to exorcise some of her demons. She joins Tye Palmer, the decorated ex-infantryman who rescued her from the flaming wreckage of her Kiowa chopper. As civilian private investigators, together they embark on a sensitive, risky effort: using cutting-edge micro air vehicle drones in an attempt to expose the son of media mogul Nathan Kurn as a campus date rapist. But as Raina and Tye come closer to the truth about Kurn and his powerful allies, Raina's loyalties take a potential detour when she begins to understand a chilling reality. In a world where surveillance devices as small as tiny insects are being piloted into places most would never imagine, public and private forces both large and small are maneuvering to control them with inevitable consequences. For Raina and Tye the danger didn’t end when they finished their military careers−the threat has just begun.
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The Interview

What is your favorite quality about yourself? 

A: Hmmm…I suppose it would be the willingness to continue to pursue and tell the truth, wherever that may lead. I try my best to do this.

What is your least favorite quality about yourself? 

A: This one’s easy. I wish I were better organized. My wife has been a big help and an influence on my in his regard. I’m far better organized than I used to be.

How long have you been writing? 

A: Seriously for 16+ years. Sporadically before that.

When did you first know you could be a writer? 

A: When my first short story--more of an essay--was picked up by a high-end regional magazine. It wasn’t much, but it was a start.

What made you want to be a writer? 

A: At heart I’m a storyteller. Every person walking the planet has a story. Every imagined character has a story. To me the most powerful form of communication is through narrative.

How did you come up with the title of the book?

A: I’m a licensed falconer, so naturally I started thinking about flyng when it came to drones. Dragonflies seemed like a natural and appropriate fit on many levels for microdrones.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? 

A: It’s a big story and a big topic that will take several books to unfold. Knowing when and how to cut things off and where to end this first book was a challenge and not everyone agrees with the way I chose to handle it. I’ve listened to readers and I’m attempting to make adjustments. Fortunately, there are many more books to come with potential future editions and combinations of different books, so I’m hopeful that this issue can be resolved to more readers’ satisfaction. The books will obviously have to play out a little differently than any screenplay or teleplay might.

Did you learn anything while writing your book? If so, what was it? 

A: Yes. As an established crime novelist I think I’ve seen both the upside and downside of jumping out and trying something new. On balance though, I’m glad I took the risk. The larger story is a blast to tell and I can’t wait to bring more of it to readers.



Publisher's Weekly has featured Andy Straka as one of a new crop of "rising stars in crime fiction." He writes the bestselling Frank Pavlicek novels starring an ex NYPD detective turned private eye and falconer (A WITNESS ABOVE, A KILLING SKY, COLD QUARRY, THE NIGHT FALCONER, FLIGHTFALL) and is the author of two widely-praised thrillers, RECORD OF WRONGS and THE BLUE HALLELUJAH. Andy retired early from a career in medical sales to pursue his passion for writing. A licensed falconer, he lives with his family in Virginia where he hunts, hikes, and rails against the powers that be. He has also managed to survive a longstanding stint as a stay-at-home Dad, which makes neurosurgery look like tiddlywinks. An admitted technogeek, he opens a new series in 2013 with the near-future Sci-Fi thriller DRAGONFLIES: SHADOW OF DRONES. Visit his blog "Prepare For Turbulence" at or stop by

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Bookish Conversation with Kristin Alexandre, author of 'Gem City Gypsy'

Kristin Alexandre was raised in Dayton, Ohio where she worked as a feature columnist for The Dayton Journal Herald and the Kettering Oakwood Times. She has written two previous books: Nuncio and the Gypsy Girl in the Gilded Age a graphic novel that was featured at the 2011 NY City Comic Con; and Find a Great Guy: Now and Forever.

Alexandre was a co-founder of Earth Day 1970 and worked on staff with House Beautiful Magazine and as a contributor to Town & Country Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor and The Daily News. Her celebrity luncheon series for the Chairman of Ammirati & Puris Advertising at The New York Yacht Club was acclaimed, and she has also worked as a co-host and producer of Enough Is Enough a syndicated talk show for WLIW-TV, a PBS affiliate in NYC. Alexandre has worked as a publicist for The Economic Development Association of Puerto Rico and Champion International U.S. Plywood. She is a NJ Board Member of The Humane Society of America and resides in Delray Beach, Fl. and Nantucket , Ma. with her husband DeWitt.

Her latest book is the new adult fiction, Gem City Gypsy.

You can visit Kristin’s website at:

About the Book:

When you read “Gem City Gypsy” you must conceptualize a whole world.
The Wright Brothers.
The KKK.
Industrialization leading to WWI.
So many vivid elements. The story is about a gypsy girl who must leap over bodies to survive the sinking Lusitania and escape murderous Germans who kill her mentor in Ireland. She later returns to her hometown, recreated as a wealthy woman trying to meld into the upper class.  Neci Star captures our imagination and heart as she claws her way out of one class and into the abyss of another.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON.

Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

 Biking is my passion and when my husband and I are in Nantucket I bike a 17 mile “loop” around the island. That’s when I dream up characters and plot lines. I also love to fix up houses and have renovated about 30 in the process.

When did you start writing?

When I was 15 I started writing for a local newspaper in Dayton and the column was called “The Young Slant.” Later I wrote for magazines and anything else I could manage.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

Writing this book—“Gem City Gypsy” was a pivotal time because I realized I could talk through my characters and maybe pass a message on.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

Nantucket. It’s just a mystical, epic place with fog, history and all kinds of people.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Work on turning my novel into a movie. I’d be contacting producers and directors.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet? 


Back to your present book, Gem City Gypsy, how did you publish it?

I found a person who loved the story and agreed to publish it along with her other
Suspense books.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research? 


Why was writing Gem City Gypsy so important to you? 

It’s like creating a world of people—The ultimate for someone like me who loves to micromanage.

Is the book always better than the movie? No. I love movies and if the film is great the characters can change your life.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is? From real life and history.

Any final words?

Watch people; listen to people.
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Friday, September 20, 2013

Guest Post from Peter Clenott, author of Devolution


Chiku Flynn wasn’t raised to be a human. Born in Maiko National Park in the Congolese rain forest, Chiku spent the first eleven years of her life as part of an experiment conducted by her parents.

Primatologists Seth Flynn and Samantha Burchill loved their daughter but had no difficulty releasing her into the wild to be studied alongside the chimpanzees of Pan-Dora Island. Impulsive and spontaneous, Chiku proved an apt student, ultimately surpassing her parents in her ability to mingle and communicate with the forest chimpanzees. Pan, the primary male. Scallion, Chiku’s birth mate. Scopes, the provocateur. She plays with them, fashions tools with them, sleeps in their nests, hunts and forages. For Chiku the aboriginal, the primitive, is normal. Then just after her eleventh birthday, everything changes. Chiku witnesses the horrifying death of her mother, pulled out of their boat by a Mamba River crocodile, and her father, Seth Flynn at last sends her ‘home’ to the United States and to a normal teenager’s life.

The problem is, Chiku can’t adapt. Five years and a dozen schools can’t bring her in line. Therapists and psychiatrists can’t figure her out. The pills, when she decides to take them, have no effect. She prefers rolling her own joints and risking life and limb on crazy urban stunts on her roller blades. She is the proverbial wild child, obstinate, defiant, and hopeless. There is a dark side to her past that no one can penetrate. Life is without direction or goal. It is simply experienced and often with catastrophic results. Then Seth Flynn disappears, the chimpanzees he has been studying begin acting crazily, and Chiku’s life is thrown onto a second life-altering course, only this time she is going back to Africa, back to the jungle, where she can put to profound use the one great skill she has: she can communicate with her father’s abandoned chimpanzees using sign language.

The rain forest is in turmoil when Chiku arrives with her older half-sister Cary, a journalist who does not like or trust her defiant sibling. Civil War has led to a massing of refugees on the outskirts of the national park. Poachers are hunting and killing chimpanzees for food or sale. Mining interests and timber companies want to displace the chimpanzees for their own profit. Chiku’s father may well have been a victim of their desires. With the human world threatening to destroy the rain forest and turn Seth Flynn’s chimpanzees into something they have never been, Chiku must step in and reclaim her life and that of the beings she grew up loving.

Pan-Dora Island is sixteen-year old Chiku Flynn’s line in the sand. She is na├»ve and fearless, guts and fists rather than charm and make-up, a tomboy growing fast into womanhood. The lives of the chimpanzees and the safety of the refugees depend upon her. The affections of three young men hang upon her adolescent desires. She is the focus of bispecies attention and the target of assassins intent on finishing their work. Bruised and jaded by life before she has tasted her first kiss, Chiku Flynn is not a girl to mess with. Yet, if anyone knows anything about love and true devotion, it is Chiku Flynn.  

Guest Post

For many years I aimed my writing at the adult audience. It wasn’t until I became a father and began reading to my three children that I took note of other books. My sixteen-year-old, Leah, is an avid reader. And purely from a marketing point of view, it made sense for me to reconsider what I was doing. After all, books aimed at young adults were doing extremely well. HARRY POTTER, TWILIGHT, PERCY JACKSON. My daughter’s personal favorite is the WARRIORS series with wild cats as the main characters, kind of WATERSHIP DOWN with felines. Since then I’ve written three young adult novels which I feel translate well to the adult audience, as well. In DEVOLUTION and THE HUNTED, I am tackling environmental issues. Writing, communicating ideas, is the most important thing that we humans do. While I recognize the obvious need to entertain, to turn out page-turners, I have always felt cheated unless I gave the reader something more, something to think about, to provoke debate and discussion. I like the thought that once the reader has finished my book, they’re not quite ready to jump to the next. They want to pause and reflect upon what they’ve read. The environmental issues our children face are daunting. Global warming. Absurd changes in weather patterns. Coastal flooding. We adults need to address these issues in a serious way. Hence the heroic Chiku Flynn of DEVOLUTION and Suyape Goncalves of THE HUNTED. It’s great to be able to make people laugh, to scare them or bring goosebumps to their flesh. But it’s even better if you can do all of those things while subtly teaching them something about the world they inhabit.


Peter Clenott is a graduate of Bowdoin College and hails from Portland, Maine. He is the author of the archaeological adventure Hunting the King and currently has three children and lives in Haverhill. Visit his website at: Twitter:  

Pump Up Your Book and Peter Clenott are teaming up to give you two chances to win a $25 Amazon/Kobo Gift Cards and more!

Here’s how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. If your blog isn’t set up to accept the form, we offer another way for you to participate by having people comment on your blog then directing them to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries. This promotion will run from August 5 – September 28. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on September 28, 2013. Each blogger who participates in the Devolution virtual book tour is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. If you would like to participate, email Tracee at tgleichner(at)  What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!


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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Interview with Dee Simon, author of 'Play Something Dancy'


Los Angeles-based comedian, radio DJ, and host of the Sick and Wrong Podcast, Dee Simon has written a collection of comical and gut-wrenching personal essays about his experience as a strip club DJ in San Francisco in the early 2000s. Most of the stories in the book concern sex, drugs, venereal disease, and diarrhea or a combination thereof. Therefore, if you lack a sense of humor or are easily offended, you should probably put this one down. Having the “wet dream” job of most adolescents, Simon offers a biting, realistic, and hilarious depiction of what goes on “behind the black velvet curtains” at a gentlemen’s club from the perspective of the guy upstairs with the cheesy voice spinning Def Leppard songs.

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How did you come up with the title of your book? 

The title (Play Something Dancy) refers to a quote I’d hear at least five or six times a night from the strippers who worked at the clubs. It irritated me to no end as it does all strip club DJs and I wrote a funny story explaining the significance of the title involving an implacable dancer, the music of Prince and regurgitated pasta.

What is your writing environment like?

I have a laptop that doesn’t crash too often, several Screamin Jay Hawkins records, and a decent bottle of rye whiskey.

What is your favorite quote? Why? 

I like the quote that a writer from Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket used to describe the book: "Raunchy, lewd, and explicit — this book could kill your average housewife’s Fifty Shades of Grey a couple of times, at least."

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? 

My father was a Rabbi and he really wanted me to be a professional cantor. I chose to become a radio DJ and strip club DJ instead. Though he was mildly disappointed, he was always very tolerant and supportive of all of my endeavors and strongly encouraged me to create my own path in life.

What inspires you to write?

My best friend passed away last year from a drug overdose and I dedicated this book to him. He cajoled me into going to a strip club for the first time using a horrible fake ID. I write about this coming-of-age experience in the book. My friend has always been and will continue to be an inspiration to me.

What do you consider the most challenging part about writing a novel, or about writing in general?

Not drinking too much rye whiskey. It’s good stuff but if you overdo it, you’re not going to accomplish much that night.

Did you learn anything while writing this book? If so, what was it?

I learned that writing a book and then self-publishing it is a grueling process. If you’re not a masochist, your time would be better spent watching “Breaking Bad” or “Mad Men,” adopting a puppy from a local rescue, or baking cupcakes for your sister.

What have you done to promote this book? 

I’ve promoted the book on my podcast and signed up for a book blog tour. Hopefully, one of those will help spread the word.

What are some of the best tools available today for writers?

A laptop, rye whiskey, and a thesaurus.

Is there anything else you would like to share? 

In addition to writing, I’m also a comedian and host of two podcasts. I’m the host and producer of one of the longer running comedy podcasts on iTunes: Sick and Wrong Podcast. I also host an internet television show in Los Angeles called The Obscenesters.


Dee Simon is a graduate of the University of Michigan. He lived in San Francisco where he hosted Rampage Radio, a metal and punk rock radio show on KUSF 90.3 FM. During that time, he also worked as a strip club DJ in gentlemen’s clubs located across the city. In 2006, he started up his own comedy podcast called Sick and Wrong Podcast which is recorded on a weekly basis. Currently, Dee lives in Los Angeles where he is pursuing a career as an author, comedian, and cruise ship magician. Play Something Dancy is Dee Simon’s first book. socialize  
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Monday, September 16, 2013

The Sotweed Smuggler by Barbara Andrews Book Blast - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


The Sotweed Smuggler, the 2010 historical fiction winner of the Houston Writer’s Guild, tells a story of suspense. Will Sherewell, the son of a prosperous merchant marine captain, learns when his father’s will is read, that he has inherited his ship. Living with his pious mother, he has little knowledge of sailing and anticipates a majestic vessel. Instead, he finds The Emperor’s Dictum aka The King’s Dick, notorious for smuggling sotweed and whiskey between Devonshire and Scotland.

Will yearns to be like his father and sails the Dick, enduring ridicule, fierce storms, pirate attacks, and curses of legendary fairies and ghosts, while finding companionship with his runaway brother and discovering the woman he wishes to marry. In spite of his father’s spying, treachery, murder, and Scottish border intrigue, Will learns he served Scotland with honor defeating the outlaw MacGregor Clan. With the new knowledge, he believes his father is their captive.

He receives a Scottish certificate with a handwritten notation “dead.” Did he at last find the truth? Will must choose to accept the veracity of the document, or launch a futile one-man attack on a MacGregor stronghold. Reluctantly accepting his father’s death, he sails home to his new wife at Mothercombe Bay.

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Barbara Andrews, a graduate of the University of Nebraska has extensive experience in adult education administration, sales management, and technical writing. She has previously published the book, Dear Mama, Love Sarah, and maintains an active interest in American history--particularly the lives of those who came and lived in America during the colonial period. She and her husband live in Richmond, Texas.  

Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins September 9 - September 20.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Saturday September 21, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


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book blast schedule
Monday, September 9
Tuesday, September 10
Wednesday, September 11
Thursday, September 12
Friday, September 13
Monday, September 16
Tuesday, September 17
Wednesday, September 18
Thursday, September 19
Friday, September 20

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Book Excerpt: The Controlled by Becky Komant

Title: The Controlled
Author: Becky Komant
Publisher: BK Press
Pages: 292
Language: English
ISBN-10: 099181150X
ISBN-13: 978-0991811502

Purchase at AMAZON

Sarah Ruiz thought she had it all – until someone entered her life who was hell-bent on destroying her.
Sarah Ruiz is a business owner, a fitness trainer and a mom.  Married to the ever-so-charming and wealthy Alex Ruiz, Sarah appears to have the perfect life.  But behind closed doors, he revealed a side of himself that destroyed her love for him.  With five beautiful children and unable to leave her situation, Sarah knows she must make changes.
Sarah’s journey to freedom take a turn when a man, Gabe Benoit, promises to help her.  Thus starts a whirlwind of romance, intrigue, seduction, blackmail and manipulation.  No matter which way Sarah turns, she is backed into a corner before she can even realize it.  When she finally has promise of a better future, she must use every ounce of her strength to work her way through the web of lies and find truth on her journey to independence.

Book Excerpt:
Sarah bit her lip to keep from moaning. As the elevator rose, the motion of Alex’s hand got faster and faster. As soon as the doors had closed, Sarah felt his hand slide underneath her skirt. The bellhop’s back was to them, and he didn’t notice as Alex cupped her from behind and let the tips of his fingers stroke her.

As soon as she saw The James Hotel, Sarah was overwhelmed with excitement of not only a fabulous New York holiday but also a lifetime of taking trips like this with her dashing husband. People treated him like royalty. Whether it was his striking Cuban good looks or the aura that surrounded him, he commanded attention, without having to say a word. Now, as he worked magic between her legs, she knew he had command over her, too.

When the elevator came to a halt at the top floor where The Presidential Suite awaited them, he removed his hand as quickly as he had inserted it, leaving her wet and ready to do anything and everything he wanted.
The bellhop left the luggage cart outside the door and tipped his cap to Alex, who handed him a folded bill. The door had a numbered lock, and Alex quickly punched in the code. Sarah was dying to have a peek inside.

“Wow!” she said softly as she looked around. In the center of the room, a large leather sofa faced a lit fireplace. A white shag throw rug sprawled on the floor in front of it. Large, red floor pillows beckoned her to come and stretch out in front of the flame.

A door to the left was slightly open, and Sarah guessed that was the way to the bedroom. To the right was a bar and kitchenette. She lay down in front of the fireplace on one of the pillows while Alex brought in the bags. He peeked briefly into the bedroom and then came and stood over her.

“Oh no you don’t. Come with me this way,” he said. He reached down, grabbed her hand and brought her to her feet.

“Can’t we lay in front of the fire?” Sarah asked. Despite her attraction to the plush carpet and warm blaze, she allowed him to lead her into the bedroom.

Sitting on top of the thick satin comforter was a woman in a see-through purple and black negligee. The lace didn’t quite cover the tops of her thighs, and her long, dark hair fell behind her on a pillow. Her legs were quite long. She had them extended and crossed at the ankle. She sat with her back against the headboard and casually sipped a glass of champagne.

A tray perched next to the bed held two more champagne glasses, a large bowl of raspberries, a dish of fresh whipped cream, and the most luscious chocolate mousse Sarah had ever seen.

Sarah glanced at it all, then looked back at the woman in their bed. Her bed. Shit! Sarah could see her pussy. What the hell is this? she wondered.

“Hello, Victoria,” Alex said.

Victoria smiled and raised her champagne glass in a toast. “Hi, Alex. Hi, Sarah,” she said.

“Who is this?” Sarah looked at Alex. Her confusion turned into a scowl on her beautiful face.
“This is your surprise,” Alex said with a Cheshire Cat grin.

“I’m not sure I understand.”

Alex turned to Sarah. He grabbed the front of her blouse and ripped it open. He put one hand behind her head and pulled her face to his. He kissed her hard.

Sarah, her desire for him already hot from the elevator ride, kissed him back. Then she pulled away.

“Wait. What is this?” she asked again.

“This,” Alex said eagerly as he removed his pants, “is going to be amazing.”
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Interview with Chuck Waldron, author of 'Lion's Head Deception'

Chuck Waldron’s latest novel, Lion's Head Deception, is a dystopian story about an investigative blogger who uncovers more than he ever imagines...and has no idea what to do with his discovery.

An investigative blogger uncovers a sinister conspiracy, a billionaire's plan backed by select government officials, designed to exterminate citizens who do not live up to a predetermined screening matrix; under the guise of rioting and a destabilized city, the plan is implemented and the blogger fights not only to discover and reveal the truth, but to survive.

"I grew up," Chuck said, "listening to my grandfather, an Ozark Mountain story teller, spinning tales of the caves on his farm, describing them as hiding places once used by the Jesse & Frank James' gang. It didn't matter if the stories were true or not. Those legends set fire to my imagination, creating images that emerged slowly over the years, finally igniting as my short stories and novels."

Now, thirty-plus short stories and three novels later, ideas keep coming, with more novels under development. Do they share anything in common? Each has its own unique voice and tale to tell, yet, at their heart, his stories tell about the human condition - the good, the bad and the ugly.

As Chuck tells it, "stored images that echo in my writing include train whistles in the night, Norman Rockwell childhood scenes, U.S. Army memories, blue collar jobs, university, a professional career, and finally retirement. Many of my images are drawn from this pool of memories: places visited, sights seen, and people met. The rest I fill in with my imagination: dreams of places yet to be visited, sights yet to be seen, and people yet to meet."

His literary roots were planted in the American Midwest and thrived when transplanted to the rich, cultural soil of Ontario. He and his wife, Suzanne, are now warmed by the sun on Florida’s Treasure Coast.

His latest book is Lion’s Head Deception.

Visit his website at  

1.     Could you please tell us a little about your book?
Lion’s Head Deception is the story about an investigative blogger who uncovers a sinister conspiracy, a billionaire’s plan backed by select government officials, designed to exterminate citizens who do not live up to a predetermined screening matrix; under the guise of rioting and a destabilized city, the plan is implemented and the blogger fights not only to discover and reveal the truth, but to survive.

2.     Who or what is the inspiration behind this book?
·        Emergency police force of over 10,000 uniformed officers from surrounding police.
·        Add 1,000 security officers and several military units.
·        Drawing lines on a map to outline an area with checkpoints to monitor who enters and leaves. People would be issued identity cards to determine who belonged.
·        More than a billion dollars would be spent to head off rioting and trouble makers
·        Police wearing black tape over their shields to prevent identification.
That couldn’t happen, you say, only to learn that the news story above described actual events that occurred in a major North American city? The G-20 Economic Conference place in a Canadian city in 2010 but might it happen in any city?
The seed for the story line of Lion’s Head Deception was planted as I read about the planning, the riots, and the follow-up of that event.

3.     Do you have any rituals you follow when finishing a piece of work?
It started with my first novel and continues with this fourth. I step back from the keyboard, sigh and ask my wife of 44 years out to dinner and a bottle of expensive wine.
4.     Who has influenced you throughout your career as a writer?
My first creative writing teacher set me on the path to the joy of writing stories. The memory of the late Henrietta Blake still is my influence, along with writing colleagues Lorne, Georges, John and many more. I have to add Brian Henry to the list, a great writing coach/teacher from Toronto.
5.     What are you currently working on?
I’ve started the sequel to Lion’s Head Deception and well on the way with the sequel to my third novel, Served Cold.
6.     Is there an author that inspired you to write?
That’s an easy question to answer, John Le Carre.
7.     What do you feel is your biggest strength?
Some say I lack perseverance and feign interest. In truth I am most interested in what happens around me and I have all the perseverance needed when it comes to writing.
8.     What do you feel sets this book apart from others in the same genre?
I think it’s the people, the characters. Matt Tremain isn’t a super hero. He’s like most of us, someone who has to look inside for the strength needed to do the right thing. His opposite is an evil man, but made more evil by his appearance. He is evil hiding behind a mask of normal.

Thanks for having me for this interview. I invite readers to check out my website at and to engage in some shameless self-promotion invite you all to buy my book at the usual online sources
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Natural Allergy Remedies for the Voice Professional, that do not effect the vocal mechanism by David Aaron Katz, author of Superior Vocal Health


What you can expect from this book:
 * Comprehensive A-Z list of healing herbs for the Voice Professional
 * What herbs to use when and how to prepare each herb for use
 * Specific Formulas for specific vocal issues such as tired and over used voice, mucus, sinus congestion, sore throat, and more...
 * What drugs negatively affect the voice and natural alternatives to those drugs
 * Foods to eat the affect the voice and vocal mechanism
 * Sinus Care with cleansing guide and herbs
 * What to do when natural solutions for the most pressing Performance and Presentation issues such as performance anxiety, clogged sinuses, chest congestion, mental clarity, and more Whether you are a professional singer, speaker, teacher, lawyer, DJ, clergy, auctioneer, tour guide or sales person, caring for your voice is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do in your life. This book is your complete and one stop guide to take care of your voice naturally without drugs.

Purchase Here


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Recently I was asked to be a guest on a podcast for singers and voice professionals. My role was to answer any questions about natural voice care from the callers. One of the most asked about issues, oddly enough, was allergies and how to deal with them naturally and safely without affecting the voice. As surprised as I was, the call prompted me to make this weeks post about dealing with allergies and singing.
Firstly, we must clarify what we are really focusing on. “Allergies” come in many forms shapes and sizes. My experience has been that most people I work with have, first and foremost, FOOD ALLERGIES! After a number of tests for food allergies, almost everyone discovers that what they have been eating is the problem. While this is not the case for all, it seems to be for most.
Eliminating white sugar, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, white flour, soda, gluten and alcohol from ones diet does wonders for overall health and vocal health. That being said, I am going to give you a number of herbs that can help when you may have allergies affecting your vocal mechanism. You may have some of these already in your cupboard so the cure may be closer than you think.
Chamomile has been used for ages as a treatment for allergies, in particular the German variety due to a chief compound within the chamomile called azulene. This compound when tested on guinea pigs has been shown to prevent allergic seizures for up to an hour after it was administered. It is also very useful when used to relieve hay fever. Drinking 3-4 cups a day during allergy season can dramatically help your allergies not to mention the calming, digestive and healing effects it has on your whole body.
You may also try inhaling chamomile as a steam for ten to fifteen minutes before going to sleep at night.
Fenugreek seed is particularly useful for hay fever attacks. Soak the seeds in some filtered water for four to five hours, then boil the soaked seed for 2-3 minutes and drink one cup a day during the allergy season. You may find you have very few allergic attacks as before.
As an added bonus Fenugreek is a wonderful healing herb.When used as a tea it is an excellent gargle for a sore throat and will also help expel mucus from the bronchial passages.
Honey has been found to have properties that help with allergies. One helpful procedure I found doesn’t cure hay fever and allergies but claims to drastically reduce them during allergy season. The person who gave me this remedy said you must follow the directions exactly as it only seems to work this way.
Start this procedure one month before allergy season starts.
Begin by taking one teaspoonful of honey after each meal. Then every other day get a small, waxy piece of actual honeycomb and chew on it for a couple of hours in between meals. It sounds easy, effective and inexpensive to me. You will also end up benefiting from all the other wonderful healing agents found in honey as well.
The following are two combinations of herbs that when mixed equally and brewed as a tea are an excellent remedy for helping allergies.
1. Black Cohosh, Blessed Thistle, Pleurisy Root, Skullcap
2. Comfrey, Fenugreek
I have known many colleagues, speakers, teachers and presenters who have used variations of all of the above mentioned remedies for allergies.
They are effective and also very helpful in overall body healing.
As always, consult a qualified herbal practitioner and your medical doctor if you are mixing herbs and medications. Use good judgement and moderation when trying new formulas or herbal remedies for your vocal health.

I wish you the best on your quest for Superior Vocal Health.


David Aaron Katz is a professional Opera singer, Cantor, Nutritional Consultant, Herbalist, Head of the Vocal Faculty for the Bronx Defenders Training Academy and CEO of Superior Vocal His life mission is to help Voice Professionals from around the world to learn how to heal, maintain and strengthen their voices naturally without chemical or drugs. To find out more visit him at

Pump Up Your Book and David Aaron Katz are teaming up to give you a chance to win a some great prizes!

Here’s how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. If your blog isn’t set up to accept the form, we offer another way for you to participate by having people comment on your blog then directing them to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries. This promotion will run from August 5 – October 31. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on November 1, 2013. Each blogger who participates in the Superior Vocal Health virtual book tour is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour.

 If you would like to participate, email Tracee at tgleichner(at)  What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!


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Maple Crossing by Edwin Rice Book Blast



Over a span of several years the highly intelligent and accomplished member of three families, the McDonalds, the Gortdons and the Summerfields meet, and as their lives become interwoven they become closely bonded. The present volume, Maple Crossing, is the seventh in a series of books that portrays with flash-backs the lives, the trials and the accomplishments of the three families. Ultimately the story culminates in a grand triumphant gathering of all the bonded members of the three families.

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Edwin G. Rice is a retired physician. He seved as a doctor in the Air Force then entered private practice in a large clinic in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. His current interests are writing, painting, running and playing classic piano. He has published six books.

Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins September 9 - September 20.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Saturday September 21, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
book blast schedule
Monday, September 9
Tuesday, September 10
Wednesday, September 11
Thursday, September 12
Friday, September 13
Monday, September 16
Tuesday, September 17
Wednesday, September 18
Thursday, September 19
Friday, September 20
Pump Up Your Book
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