Friday, December 23, 2016 | By: Taffy

Holiday recipe ~ Prime Rib

We LOVE prime rib for our Christmas Eve dinner, now that we know how simple it is to make and way cheaper than a restaurant. Tammy Merryweather introduced me to the easy version.

The link to the actual recipe is HERE.



Delicious, right??


would assume you could order a USDA Choice piece of meat from the super­mar­ket if you talked to the meat counter man­ager, and I have always been able to find USDA Choice meats at Costco. It runs about $9–11 per pound, where a select cut from the super­mar­ket will be about $6–8. It’s worth the extra price for USDA Choice if you’re going to go to the trou­ble to cook a Prime Rib, which really isn’t all that much trouble.…you just don’t want to adver­tise Prime Rib on your menu and then serve your guests semi-yukky beef!
This is a sec­tion of USDA Choice prime rib. See the beau­ti­ful mar­bling? That equals YUM! Most prime rib roasts run about 13–15 pounds. This one was 15 pounds and wouldn’t fit into my roaster, so I cut it to fit. A 15 pound prime rib will feed about 25 peo­ple with a 1/2 inch cut each. Big­ger “prime-size” cuts will serve about 12.
 I sea­son my prime rib with a rub made from chopped, fresh rose­mary, thyme, gar­lic, and olive oil. There’s also kosher salt and ground black pep­per. It’s about 1/4 cup chopped up rose­mary and thyme com­bined, 10 cloves of gar­lic, 2–3 table­spoons kosher salt, 1 table­spoon black pep­per, and enough olive oil to make a paste when com­bined. Pulse the herbs, gar­lic, and salt and pep­per in a food proces­sor, and then add the oil.
 Instead of using my roast­ing rack, I lay down a bed of aro­mat­ics: car­rots, cel­ery, onions, and the stems left from the rose­mary and thyme. This lifts the roast up off the bot­tom of the roaster, and adds great fla­vor to the drip­pings. You don’t need to peel the carrots.
 Cover the prime rib with the rub, start­ing on the under­side, then plac­ing it on the bed of aro­mat­ics, and then con­tin­u­ing cov­er­ing the remain­ing surface.
If you are strapped for time, you can cook the prime rib for 25 min­utes at 400 degrees F., and then turn­ing down to 225–250 degrees F. for the remain­ing time. If you have the time though, just roast it at 225 degrees F. the entire time. The lower and slower you roast, the juicer and more ten­der the prime rib will end up. It’s worth the extra time.
Tent the prime rib with foil for the first hour and 30 min­utes, uncov­er­ing for the remain­der of the time.
Start check­ing the tem­per­a­ture after 2–2 1/2 hours. You’re look­ing for about 130 degrees in the cen­ter of the roast. You will need a reli­able meat ther­mome­ter to check the temp. I cal­i­brate mine reg­u­larly to make sure it’s behav­ing. The prime rib will rise a few degrees after you remove it from the oven, and 130–135 is a medium-rare tem­per­a­ture. This is the tem­per­a­ture that suits the cut of meat the best. Still very juicy, and red­dish in the cen­ter. An over-cooked prime rib defeats the pur­pose of the extra spe­cial cut of meat.
The ends of the roast will be cooked a lit­tle fur­ther along than the cen­ter, for those guests who insist on a more well-cooked slice.
Let the prime rib rest for 15–20 min­utes to allow the juices to dis­trib­ute through the roast.
Slice and serve with horse­rad­ish sauce and aus jus.

 Here is my prime rib rest­ing. See the beau­ti­ful crust that forms from the rub? Drool-worthy!! This roast will serve about 12–16 peo­ple depend­ing on how thick it’s cut. I like a nice 1″ slice myself!
 Prime Rib is fab­u­lous with a sour cream/horseradish sauce. I usu­ally use 1 part horse­rad­ish to 3 parts sour cream. Some of you might like it stronger, some creamier. Use your own judgement.
The aus jus is made using the drip­pings from the prime rib mixed with a lit­tle water and thick­ened slightly  (not like a gravy, just a lit­tler thicker than broth) with a cornstarch/cold water slurry. You will need to adjust the taste of your aus jus depend­ing on how strong your drip­pings end up being. You might add more water than me, you might need to add a lit­tle beef base to bump up the fla­vor, just be care­ful to watch the salt content.
**As a response to some com­ments from below, I want to add that you may pre­pare your prime rib with the bed of aro­mat­ics and the rub ahead of time to save time. Just be sure to pull the prime rib out of the refrig­er­a­tor at least a half-hour before plac­ing it into the oven to roast. Let­ting it sit at room tem­per­a­ture that long or even a lit­tle bit longer (as much as 1–2 hours) won’t be a food safety hazard. **

 

Monday, December 12, 2016 | By: Taffy

Holiday Recipe ~ Cranberry Salsa

This is one of my favorite holiday appetizer recipes!  Sweet and sassy with a kick of holiday tastiness.

What's your favorite holiday appetizer?
 
 
Cranberry Salsa with Cream Cheese
 
Serves: 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar (add more to taste)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped coarsely (leave the seeds in if you like it spicy)
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 4 green onions
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 (8 ounce) blocks of cream cheese

Monday, December 5, 2016 | By: Taffy

A few of my favorite Christmas things...book edition.

Do you have a book you like to read every season? Do you read one aloud to your family? Do you have one you like to read at night, by yourself?

I love A Christmas Carol. Really, I love any Charles Dickens book. One of the first books I feel for was A Tale of Two Cities. Even though his writing is slow in our day, I appreciate his descriptions and characters. I may not read the book every Christmas, I do watch one or two or three different movie versions of the book (the Jim Carey on freaks me out a little bit).

Charles began to write the story in September of 1843 and finished it in SIX weeks. The book was published in December of the same year. He and his publisher disagreed on the price and the color of the book. The book was finally book was bound in red cloth with gilt-edged pages, just a two days before publication.






















 Here are a few of my favorite book covers of The Christmas Carol:




I like the robust Spirit of Christmas Past.




I like the scene of the town with Scrooge in the middle with his light.
















I kinda love this one. It's different and creepy.




Isn't this one kinda pretty in it's starkness? Black and grey and ivory.
















Okay. I had to add this one because it looks more like a book cover for a horror novel, not a Christmas book. I guess this really is a ghost story...
















Scrooge, walking the streets all alone in the cold. I think the cover very telling. 




This cover reminds me of the books I read in elementary school. I loved to read but biographies mostly caught my attention.














I like this one. Looking through the window at the family eating dinner gives this story a different viewpoint.



I love this one! An illustrated Christmas Carol!





















An annotated book of a Christmas Carol? Yes, please!




















Oops!
hahaha!
How did that get there?
Thursday, December 1, 2016 | By: Taffy

Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms #1) by Erin Summerill

Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.



I. Cant. Even.
I love this book.

Opening line:
"To survive these woods, a man has to be as strong as the trees, Papa had said."

More review later. After my heart has settled down.

Here goes:

This was a fun-can't-put-the-book-down read. So many great characters, fantastic worlds and thoughtful prose.

Britta is the main character. She's a hunter and tracker, trained by her father along with his apprentice, Cohen and disliked by the town folk. Her father is killed. Cohen runs away (after she tells him she's in love with him). Britta is left alone and basically kicked out of her home. She's determined to find her father's murderer, who just might be Cohen, and she's not afraid to go on her own because she's tough and stubborn. And the secrets she finds out along the way! Gah!
There are so many characters that add to this story!
The world that Britta lives in is alive and bright thanks to the writing of Ms. Summerill.  The colors, the smells, the magic made me  want a forest like the one in the book in my backyard.

A great debut novel by a talented writer!

Thanks for the early read, net galley!





Erin Summerill was born in England. After spending years bouncing between Air Force bases in Hawaii, England, and California, her family settled in Utah, where Erin graduated with a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University. She had aspirations to write the next great American novel, but writing proved tougher than she first thought. So she grabbed a Nikon and became a professional photographer while crafting manuscript after manuscript. The scenic detour of shooting weddings across the United States, as well as internationally, provided world-building inspiration. It gave her the vision to draft her debut YA fantasy, EVER THE HUNTED. Now when she isn’t writing, or shooting a wedding, she’s chasing her four kids, two dogs, one cat, and five chickens. This could be why she downs massive amounts of Coke Zero and Hot tamales.

You can follower her on twitter: @erinsummerill
Friday, November 25, 2016 | By: Taffy

A Country Christmas (A Timeless Regency Collection) by Josi Kilpack, Carla Kelly, and Jennifer Moore

From the publisher of the USA TODAY bestselling & #1 Amazon bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology series in Clean Romance, comes A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS.

Three brand new Regency Romance novellas by Josi S. Kilpack, Carla Kelly, and Jennifer Moore.



Ready for Christmas stories? How about three romantic ones? Get started on your Christmas reading with these regency stories.

Saints and Sinners by Josi Kilpack
Opening line:
"Neville Franklin was inspecting the small village pub that smelled like yeast and grease— as it should— when his companion spoke from the other side of the small, rough-hewn table."

The Christmas Angle by Carla Kelly
Opening line:
"Sailing Master Able Six never minded a little walk."

The Perfect Christmas by Jennifer Moore
Opening line:
"“I propose a Christmas at Waverly House.” Archibald Montague Clawson, Lord Symons, stood on the plush rug of the drawing room, letting his gaze travel over his companions as he awaited their reactions.""
Thursday, November 3, 2016 | By: Taffy

Creating Character ARCS by K.M. Weiland


Powerful Character Arcs Create Powerful Stories

Have you written a story with an exciting concept and interesting characters—but it just isn’t grabbing the attention of readers or agents? It’s time to look deeper into the story beats that create realistic and compelling character arcs. Internationally published, award-winning novelist K.M. Weiland shares her acclaimed method for achieving memorable and moving character arcs in every book you write.

By applying the foundation of the Three-Act Story Structure and then delving even deeper into the psychology of realistic and dynamic human change, Weiland offers a beat-by-beat checklist of character arc guidelines that flexes to fit any type of story.

This comprehensive book will teach you:
How to determine which arc—positive, negative, or flat—is right for your character.
Why you should NEVER pit plot against character. Instead, learn how to blend story structure and character development.
How to recognize and avoid the worst pitfalls of writing novels without character arcs.
How to hack the secret to using overarching character arcs to create amazing trilogies and series.
And much more!
Gaining an understanding of how to write character arcs is a game-changing moment in any author’s pursuit of the craft.




Opening line: "What if there were a sure-fire secret to creating stunning character arcs?"


I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend to any writer, beginner or published.

Ms. Weiland discusses three basic arcs:
The positive Change Arc
The Flat Arc
 The Negative Change Arc

She goes into detail on each and what to write at each crucial points, like the midpoint. Each chapter was easy to read and understandable. And what I really liked was how she used examples from books and movies to explain her points. This is one I'm going to keep around and read with each new story I write.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 | By: Taffy

You've Got This: How to Look Up When Life has You Down

  
Life is tough, but so are you! Learn how to work through life's trials with advice from popular youth speakers, including Hank Smith and Al Carraway, who have endured a few challenges of their own. This encouraging book will help you see trials as essential stepping-stones to becoming who you're destined to be.



I read this book in one short sitting. I'm excited to pass it along to my teenagers. There are quite of a few of their favorite speakers in this book.

This would be an excellent Christmas gift (or birthday or Easter or Daylight Savings)!

From Hank Smith's gripping retelling of Joseph (I cried) to the humor of Zandra Vranes (I snorted), there is a great collection of stories and wisdom on to look up when life has you down. The stories are short enough to read quickly but written well enough to move the reader.

I totally enjoyed every story and thoughts!





Elise Babbel Hahl is a nonfiction writer and editor. Her titles include Do Not Attempt in Heels: Mission Stories and Advice from Sisters Who've Been There and Choosing Motherhood: Stories of Successful Women Who Put Family First. Elise lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, Oliver, and their five (crazy) children.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016 | By: Taffy

Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England's grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England's most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family's secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi's brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?


Opening line:
She heard the motorbike first, then the galloping horse--two distant points of noise in the darkness, converging on her as she ran."

Oh. My. Word.
This is a debut book? How long did it take Ms. James to write it? And how did she keep everything from settings to caste systems to characters straight in her head? le sigh.

GILDED CAGE is set in an alternate, dark, dystopian England where the where the aristocracy has special magical powers called Skill and everyone else is forced to give up ten years of their lives in serving the rich. They mostly work in terrible work camps with terrible conditions. A few serve in the homes as servants.
But the world and the magic and the intrigue and the twists! I was hooked from the beginning. I had a hard time putting this story down and craved time to pick it up and read it again.
Like other reviewers said, there isn't much romance but that just builds up the possiblities for the next book, right?
When I finished I was ready to read it again. When will the next book come out??

Just to warn you this is a dark story and it's hard to read about how people treat each other, which shows the great writing skill from Ms. James, right?

L: No
S: No
L: a little

Thanks to netgalley for the early read!
Friday, September 30, 2016 | By: Taffy

Reading Banned Books 2016



Last election season in our town was ugly. Neighbors against neighbors, ugly words and voices bantered around social media, friends taking a swipe at each other turned our little town crazy and divided.
One person said, "It's only politics. When the elections are over, we will all be friends again." I was shocked at this sentiment from a certain group (I can do a whole other blog post on why it's okay for adults to be cyber bullies but we teach our children not to be). They had no idea how destructive and degrading their words and comments were. Words have a lasting effect, for good or bad.

Aren't books the same?


There are a few banned books I've read or even been assigned in school. Some I can't figure out why in the world they would be banned; some make sense. But I choose if I will read those books. I find it ironic how many of the banned books I was assigned to read in school.

I appreciate parents who are concerned with the books assigned to their children or that show up in the school libraries. To me it shows they are involved with their children. Just this week, a parent at one of my children's schools brought up a concern about MONSTER, the graphic book. Her child is black and adopted. She was concerned about what the book taught and wanted it banned from the library. A team was formed of parents, PTA, SCC and teachers to read the book and give their insight.

The only issue with these kind of teams is that we are all different people with different tastes in books and stories. Someone won't like it, someone will love it. At the same time, this is a good thing. I think the process is a good one and actually works.

 Last year during the election season a parent came in concerned about the R rated movies in the library and wanted them banned. Then she went down the slippery slope of asking for the librarians, or a group of concerned citizens, to read all the books in the library and getting rid of the "bad" ones. The director immediately said no. There wasn't enough time or people to handle such a request.

Is it censorship if we ask a library to take a certain book or movie out of the public library? Is it censorship if I ask an English teacher to assign a different book to my child because the one she's being graded on is offensive to me?

 I want my children to read. I want them to understand the world outside of our home and their skin. At the same time, I want to protect them. My non-reader devoured the entire TWILIGHT series in a week. I wasn't about to stop her.  Then she read the HUNGER GAMES series shortly after that. And guess what? We were able to talk about boyfriends, healthy relationships and violence. I'm not saying I want her to read FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY, but I'm willing to be there for her to talk to about tough subjects. My mom wasn't emotionally available to talk about the birds and the bees or really anything sensitive. I learned a lot from books. I don't want that for my children. I want to be the one they come to ask questions.

The review group hasn't got back together yet so I'm not sure what will happen. I think the book is okay to stay in the library. We will see what others say. I do understand the mom's concern though. I hope she was able to take the time to talk to her child about the book and the questions s/he had. In this world our children need us. They need an advocate. Someone in their corner, listening to them, encouraging them, cheering them on. I want my children to know they can count on me, their mom.



What do you think?

What banned books have you read?

Do you think it should be banned?

Are there any books you'd rather not have your children read?











Wednesday, September 7, 2016 | By: Taffy

How to title every book you ever write

I ran across this post last week and had to share it. It's hilarious! And actually might be a good idea. I tried out their ideas and came up with a few titles for my books.

Here's the link to the article:

How to title every book you ever write.

Here's the first example:

The Promising Debut Novel
Title: (Scent of your deodorant or shampoo) on (street you grew up on)
Example: Almonds on High Street

(If neither your deodorant or shampoo have a named scent, substitute the word “Mornings.”)
Now on to the second novel. Hailed as a new literary talent and tired of being asked if your first book’s main character was based on yourself, you’ll set your next book very slightly in the past (like the ’80s or ’90s, don’t get carried away) and it will center around a family secret. You have two title options, depending on whether your protagonist is male or female.


The Disappointing Sophomore Effort
Female
Title: The (your father’s profession)’s Daughter
Example: The Locksmith’s Daughter
 

Male
Title: Get out your favorite album. Rank the tracks in order of how much you like them. Take the fourth song. Print out the lyrics to that song and black out any that are well known. From the remaining lyrics, choose either the first or second half of a complete thought. Note: It must be meaningless and out of context.
Example: Funny How It Never Felt So Good


The Legacy-Building Important Literary Novel
Title: The (your first job title)s
Example: The Carhops
(If your first job title isn’t that evocative, like “event planner” or “clerk,” add the county in which you live. Example: The Event Planners of Cook County.)


Another Literary Novel to Prove the Last One Wasn’t a Fluke
Title: (your birth month)(third most populous city in the first foreign country you ever visited)
Example: December in Marseille


Your Agent Pointed Out That You Could Make Some Money Without Writing Anything New
Title: You’ll need a purse or briefcase or, if you don’t have either, open your messiest desk drawer. Close your eyes, reach in and grab whatever is in the very bottom or back. Add “The Wisdom of” before that item.
Example: The Wisdom of Eyeglasses


Here are my book titles taken from the above helps/examples:


Summerberries on California Street

Mornings on California Street

The Teacher's Daughter

And the Tables Turn

Santa's Helper

August in Taipei

The Wisdom of the Tiny Notebook

hahaha! These are great! Some sound a little racy. Maybe I'll write more romance. 

What about you? What were some of your titles?




Tuesday, September 6, 2016 | By: Taffy

What have you read this summer? 5 of my favorites

I can't believe the leaves are turning red, orange and yellow. I'm not ready! The air is cooler, the house is cooler and I threw on a cardigan today. I love layering in the fall but I'm still not ready!

So, I'm going to talk about the books I read over the summer.


First off, I didn't get as much reading done as I thought. And I was like:















Ok. Not really. I just liked the gif.


I started the Stormlight series by Brandon Sanderson. How is it possible that I want to be a strange and more courageous person because of some writer's characters? But I did.  That's impressive to me.
I choose to listen to the first book because I'm not sure my arms are strong enough to lug around his books. ;)

  THE WAY OF KINGS (Stormlight Archives #1)

Speak again the ancient oaths,
Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.
The Knights Radiant must stand again.

Roshar is a world of stone swept by tempests that shape ecology and civilization. Animals and plants retract; cities are built in shelter. In centuries since ten orders of Knights fell, their Shardblade swords and Shardplate armor still transform men into near-invincible warriors. Wars are fought for them, and won by them.
In one such war on ruined Shattered Plains, slave Kaladin struggles to save his men and fathom leaders who deem them expendable, in senseless wars where ten armies fight separately against one foe.
Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Fascinated by ancient text The Way of Kings, troubled by visions of ancient times, he doubts his sanity.
Across the ocean, Shallan trains under eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece Jasnah. Though Shallan genuinely loves learning, she plans a daring theft. Her research hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.



I got HAG-SEED from netgalley and wasn't sure about what I was getting myself into. Wow! I was surprised how much I liked it. It's a retelling of The Tempest by Shakespeare. I can't remember when  the last time was I read that play? This retelling actually helped me understand The Tempest better.
If you like Shakespeare, Margaret Atwood and literary readings, I think you'll like this book. One of my favorite parts? The swearing! It's not what you think...


HAG-SEED by Margaret Atwood

Hag-Seed is a re-visiting of Shakespeare’s play of magic and illusion, The Tempest, and will be the fourth novel in the Hogarth Shakespeare series.
The Tempest is set on a remote island full of strange noises and creatures. Here, Prospero, the deposed Duke of Milan, plots to restore the fortunes of his daughter Miranda by using magic and illusion -- starting with a storm that will bring Antonio, his treacherous brother, to him. All Prospero, the great sorcerer, needs to do is watch as the action he has set in train unfolds.
In Margaret Atwood’s ‘novel take’ on Shakespeare’s original, theatre director Felix has been unceremoniously ousted from his role as Artistic Director of the Makeshiweg Festival. When he lands a job teaching theatre in a prison, the possibility of revenge presents itself – and his cast find themselves taking part in an interactive and illusion-ridden version of The Tempest that will change their lives forever.
There’s a lot of Shakespearean swearing in this new Tempest adventure…but also a mischief, curiosity and vigour that’s entirely Atwood and is sure to delight her fans.




This is a debut author and I think she has a bright future in writing! This is a book about a pirate who is a girl and the captain of her ship. It's a great read. I'm just going to leave my favorite quote for you all to read.

He finally turns toward me at the contact. "How do you know so much? How are you...you?"

"I am me because I choose to be me. I am what I want. Some people say you have to find yourself. Not I. I believe we create ourselves to be what we want. Any aspect of ourselves that we don not like can be altered if we make an effort."


 DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING by Tricia Levenseller

 A 17-year-old pirate captain intentionally allows herself to get captured by enemy pirates in this thrilling YA adventure.

If you want something done right . . .

When the ruthless pirate king learns of a legendary treasure map hidden on an enemy ship, his daughter, Alosa, knows there's only one pirate for the job—herself. Leaving behind her beloved ship and crew, Alosa deliberately facilitates her own kidnapping to ensure her passage on the ship, confident in her ability to overcome any obstacle. After all, who's going to suspect a seventeen-year-old girl locked in a cell? Then she meets the (surprisingly perceptive and unfairly attractive) first mate, Riden, who is charged with finding out all her secrets. Now it's down to a battle of wits and will . . . . Can Alosa find the map and escape before Riden figures out her plan?

Debut author Tricia Levenseller blends action, adventure, romance, and a little bit of magic into a thrilling YA pirate tale.



 I love a well-written book with multiple points of view that all have to converge, or crash, into one another. Finley Montgomery can see and hear ghosts and ghostly things. But this isn't necassarily a ghost story. It's more a psychological thriller with some paranormal. 

INK AND BONES by Lisa Unger

Twenty-year-old Finley Montgomery is rarely alone. Visited by people whom others can’t see and haunted by prophetic dreams, she has never been able to control or understand the things that happen to her. When Finley’s abilities start to become too strong for her to handle – and even the roar of her motorcycle or another dazzling tattoo can’t drown out the voices – she turns to the only person she knows who can help her: her grandmother Eloise Montgomery, a renowned psychic living in The Hollows, New York.

Merri Gleason is a woman at the end of her tether after a ten-month-long search for her missing daughter, Abbey. With almost every hope exhausted, she resorts to hiring Jones Cooper, a detective who sometimes works with psychic Eloise Montgomery. Merri’s not a believer, but she’s just desperate enough to go down that road, praying that she’s not too late. Time, she knows, is running out.

As a harsh white winter moves into The Hollows, Finley and Eloise are drawn into the investigation, which proves to have much more at stake than even the fate of a missing girl. As Finley digs deeper into the town and its endless layers, she is forced to examine the past, even as she tries to look into the future. Only one thing is clear: The Hollows gets what it wants, no matter what.



I really, really love anthologies. If you ever get a chance to read one from this group, do it!  



From the publisher of the #1 Amazon bestselling A Timeless Romance Anthology series in Clean Romance.

Join three bestselling Regency Romance authors, Regina Scott, Donna Hatch, and Sarah M. Eden, for three new novellas in SUMMER HOUSE PARTY.

Other books in the Timeless Regency Collections:
AUTUMN MASQUERADE
A MIDWINTER BALL
SPRING IN HYDE PARK
A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS (Coming October 2016)

 
Saturday, August 13, 2016 | By: Taffy

Accidentally Me by Kim Karras BLOG TOUR!











WANTED: Pretend stalker. No experience required. Tall, dark, and quirky preferred. Sabrina is desperate to go to her dream college, but her parents want her to stay close to home. If she wants to maintain her perfect child image, Sabrina must break rules that even her rebel sister keeps . .






About the author:
Kim Karras writes contemporary fiction for adults and teens. Follow her at kimkarras.blogspot.com for notes on life, writing, and motherhood..




Find reviews, interviews and other blogs on the tour here:

 Accidentally Me” blog tour schedule:
August 10: Singing Librarian Books | Literary Time Out
August 11: Inklings and Notions | Geo Librarian
August 12: Write, Writing, Written
August 13: Live to Read
August 14:
August 15: My Book a Day
August 16: Emily King | Getting Your Read On
August 17: Katie’s Clean Book Collection | Robyn Echols
August 18: Nicki Elson
August 19: Min Reads and Reviews | Mel’s Shelves
August 20: Writing Worm
August 21:
August 22: Novel-ties | My Little Sunshines
August 23: Emmy Mom | Wishful Endings
August 24: The Nice Thing About Strangers
August 25: Lisa Swinton
August 26: Mylissa’s Reviews and Book Thoughts
August 27: Blooming with Books
August 28:
August 29: Perfecting the Craft | Bookworm Lisa
August 30: Heidi Reads
August 31: Rockin’ Book Reviews | Totally Obsessed
Saturday, August 6, 2016 | By: Taffy

5 summer reads to get you to the first day of school

I have to admit I'm getting a little excited for school to be back in session. Almost always this time of year I'm ready to be back on a schedule. But this summer has been nice and relaxing and yet busy and full of activities. I'm not sure where the days have gone! I can always find time to read though...



A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir


 I read the first book of this series (An Ember in the Ashes) and couldn't wait for the next!

A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.

In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead.



Sweet & Sassy Anthology: Sand and Kisses


I'm coming to enjoy anthologies more and more and this is another I'd add to my list.
 
Open for Love by Elana Johnson
Sabrina Arnold loves running her family's Bed & Breakfast in sunny New Orleans. What she doesn't love is the new establishment going up right next door.

Secrets in the Sand by Cindy M. Hogan
Sometimes staying hidden, even for a spy, is nearly impossible.

Christy Hadden, spy extraordinaire, thinks she’s created the perfect getaway in beautiful South Beach, Florida.

Life’s a Beach by Jo Noelle
Jenna Brennan doesn’t believe in love. She doesn’t believe in marriage, and she’s learned to only count on herself.

The Upgrade by Candice Toone
Moving on after college can be tough. Especially when former sorority president and dance team captain, Amanda Ford, takes a job at her alma mater. 

Surfboards and Star Trek by Donna Lee Weaver
When Anna meets much-younger-looking Derek while on vacation at the beach-it’s not exactly love at first sight.



Slave Queen by H.B Moore

Slave Queen

Opening line:
"Baris Uzuner turned the bolt in the lock for the second time, double-checking that the front door was secure."

I forgot how much I LOVE the Omar Zagouri series! SLAVE QUEEN is another great addition to the series.


Special Agent Omar Zagouri’s latest case is his most dangerous—and his most personal yet. The discovery of secret sixteenth-century letters unveils a plot between the sultan Suleyman and his chief wife, Roxelane, to change the course of the Ottoman Empire. A descendent of Roxelane, Zagouri learns he has an enemy whose revenge has been centuries in the making.


Resist by Ilima Todd



 Opening line:
"The world fell apart when she left."

What I love about this book is what you think it might be but it’s not.


Having been rescued, Remade, and returned to Freedom, Theron must now face a life without Nine. Though he’s chosen to be a healer, he uses all the vices Freedom affords to try and dull the pain of losing Nine. But he can’t find the peace he so desperately needs. Until he meets Catcher, a man who shows him the dark truths behind Freedom’s Batcher program. From him, Theron learns what it means to be a leader and a father. When he falls in love with a captured rebel named Pua, Theron must choose: Freedom and its easy pleasures, or a life that is truly free but full of hardships and decisions.


The Earl's Betrothal by Karen Tuft

 I'm reading this one right now but I feel good about recommending it so far!


Out of the war and into another, Captain Lord Anthony Hargreaves finds the politics of romance to be as uninviting a battle as the one that nearly cost him his life in Badajoz, Spain.

Wounded both mentally and physically from the Peninsular War in 1812, Anthony returns home to find that his older brother has died, placing Anthony next in line to inherit the estate. But he’s not ready for such responsibilities. And when Anthony’s dying father pleads with him to marry and produce an heir to preserve the family title, it nearly sends Anthony over the edge; nevertheless he dutifully faces a long line of hopeful young ladies who await him. No one grabs his attention, though, like Amelia Clarke, his mother’s stunning companion, who is off-limits for the earl. But when Anthony unwittingly puts Amelia in a compromising situation, he dedicates himself to protecting her reputation.

But the horrors Anthony faced while away from home have left him feeling broken and tormented. And Anthony finds himself drawn to Miss Clarke, the only one who can chase away his demons, but he must overcome the hostility of a society driven by class, a jealous duke bent on revenge, and himself—for could Amelia ever really love a haunted man?