Friday, March 22, 2013

Gluten Free Doesn't mean DIET!


I'm excited to have author Sibel Hodge to the blog! She has a fabulous new gluten free cook book out!


Amazon
Hello! A big Soup Opera welcome to you…

For those who don’t know me, let me tell you a little bit about how this book was born. Well, for starters, I’ve been cooking since I was about ten years old. Under the watchful eye of my nan, who was a fabulous chef, I developed a love of food that has lasted…let’s see…ahem, at least eleven years (yes, I can still be twenty-one in my head), and she taught me how to make mouth-watering meals from scratch. Now I want to pass that knowledge on to you.
I’m the author of thirteen other fiction and non-fiction books for adults and children, and in my spare time, I’m Wonder Woman. When I’m not writing or saving the world from dastardly demons, you can find me in the kitchen, cooking up a storm.
Being half Turkish Cypriot and half British, I was introduced to exciting culinary delights from an early age. When the rest of my mates were eating plain meat-and-two-veg dinners, I was tucking into Mediterranean delights of mousaka, meze, and pilavs.
Turkish people love to eat, therefore they love to cook! In the first cookbook in my gluten free/wheat free series, A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey, I combine my knowledge of tasty, easy-to-cook recipes with nutritious and scrummy Turkish food.
My love of Mediterranean food and the healthy Mediterranean Diet went on to spark my interest into a vast wealth of international dishes. Increasing your recipe bank means you can travel all over the world, and sample all kinds of cuisine, without ever needing your passport!
I’m also a qualified health and fitness professional, with a special interest in nutrition. We all live busy lives these days, don’t we? But that doesn’t mean we have to swap healthy, easy-to-cook, delicious meals for junky fast food. We are what we eat, and if we put rubbish in, it won’t be long before we’re feeling rubbish, too. I firmly believe that our ever-increasing health problems, diseases, and allergies are due to the chemicals, pesticides, and hormones that are pumped into our food and environment. I want to show you that healthy meals can taste great and be easily prepared.
I’ve been cooking gluten/wheat free since I met my hubby over a decade ago. When he first told me he was coeliac, I had a panic attack. I’d never heard the word before, and my first thought was that it meant he had some peculiar sexual quirk that I wasn’t going to like very much. When I finally discovered it meant he couldn’t eat gluten, which is found in barley, oats, wheat, and rye, I had an even bigger panic attack. Trying to find something in the supermarkets back then that didn’t include those ingredients was a nightmare. As well as being blatantly advertised, it’s often cunningly disguised as “thickener”, “stabilizing agent”, “shortening”, and “Ricin”. OK, I made the last one up, but gluten can have severe side effects for people who are coeliac or intolerant/allergic to it.
Maybe now would be a good time to let you into my little secret (stands up and coughs)… I have a serious soup fetish! There, I confessed! Whether it’s summer, winter, or spring, you’ll find me eating the stuff (sometimes in secret). I’m a regular soup-a-holic, and I know that I’m not alone in this little culinary foible. I mean, how can you not love a little bowl of goodness that’s so versatile? Whether you’re looking for a simple starter, a light lunch, or a hearty dinner, soup is the perfect dish every time.
So will you need any specialist ingredients or equipment for this recipe book? No! There’s nothing worse than buying a cookbook, reading through the recipes, and then banging your head against the kitchen worktop because you’ve discovered you need a particular blend of this, or an obscure jar of that, and you just can’t get hold of it. You’ll probably find most of the ingredients used in this cookbook already lurking in your store cupboard or, failing that, your local supermarket. Unlike when I first started cooking gluten free all those years ago, you can now find so much choice in gluten/wheat free products in the shops that you shouldn’t have any trouble getting hold of everything you need to create my tasty, international delights. The only thing you may need to pick up (if you don’t already have one) is a hand blender, and these are both easily available and cheap.


If you’re not coeliac, or sensitive to gluten/wheat, should you eat a gluten free diet? Well, many people are turning to a gluten free/wheat free diet because it can have many health benefits, including an increase in energy, better digestion and elimination, improving cholesterol levels and auto-immune disorders, controlling weight and bloating, and making you super attractive to the opposite sex (yes, I made the last one up again – just checking you were still awake). Whereas twenty years ago, a gluten free diet would be bland and boring, today it can be eclectic, vibrant, and delicious, and these are the dishes that I wanted to share with you in A Gluten Free Soup Opera.

The recipes included in this book should be used as a guideline because you know your taste buds better than anyone else does. If you want to substitute one ingredient for another that you like more, then go for it. This is how great recipes are born, and it’s all about making the food work for you. Wherever you can, please try to use organic ingredients. It’s kinder to the environment and animals, and it’s healthier for you.
The most important thing in cooking is to have fun with it, so experiment, eat, and enjoy!

Sibel XX


Recipe from A Gluten Free Soup Opera
Moroccan Sweet and Sour Soup


This recipe does exactly what is says on the tin – it’s sweet, it’s spicy, it’s sour, and it’s fun! Moroccan food is all about flavour and colour, and this dish is an explosion of both.

I’m using dried apricots here, and whenever possible try and get apricots that are naturally air dried, rather than those dried using sulphur or sulphur dioxide, which can cause allergies in some people. They will probably be darker in colour than the usual apricots, but the taste is the same and they’re healthier for you.

Did you know that as well has being a great source of dietary fibre and protein, chickpeas are also rich in folate, calcium, and manganese, plus they’re also low in fat, which is always a bonus! But if you don’t like chickpeas, substitute them for a can of beans like cannellini, borlotti, kidney, or black-eyed.

Ingredients:

·     1 onion – chopped
·     1 carrot – diced
·     1 red pepper – diced
·     1 green pepper – diced
·     8 – 10 dried apricots – chopped
·     4 cloves of garlic – crushed and chopped
·     2 inch piece of fresh root ginger – peeled and chopped finely
·     400 gr can of chopped tomatoes
·     400 gr can of chickpeas – drained and rinsed
·     Juice of half a lemon
·     2 – 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
·     1 pint (approx. 2 ½ cups) of chicken stock/vegetable stock/water
·     ¼ teaspoon of dried cinnamon
·     1 tablespoon of ground coriander
·     1 teaspoon of ground cumin
·     ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
·     1 tablespoon of tumeric
·     1 tablespoon of paprika
·     ¼ – ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
·     ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
·     Salt to taste
·     Olive oil for frying

Method:

1.   Fry the onions and peppers until soft.
2.   Add the other ingredients, except for the fresh coriander, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 35 – 45 minutes.
3.   Stir in the fresh coriander and serve.

Serves 4 – 6

* Vegetarian/Vegan Options – Use vegetable stock
* Dairy Free

Be sure to check out Sibel's website for links to purchase all of her books!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March Mayhem Days!! .99 Novels TWO DAY SALE!


For two days only some very talented authors have come together to offer you great deals on ebooks for your Amazon Kindle.  All of the below Kindle books have been marked down to $0.99 for March 19 and March 20.
The Tech Guy ~ Lia Fairchild ~ Emma Barton is a workaholic. Nothing is more important than becoming managing editor of the magazine she works for. And she has the perfect plan to achieve that goal. Then Guy Walker enters her office. Sexy, sweet, and super popular, the new tech guy takes the office by storm. Will he derail every strategy Emma has in place? If he discovers her secret, it could ruin Emma’s career and turn her life upside down.
Taking Love in Stride ~ Donna Fasano ~ Track coach Andrea O'Connor is fuming at the audacity of Ian Powers, the very attractive father of one of her students. He offered to buy school equipment only if Andrea agreed to train him for a half-marathon. Well, train him, she would. And not just in running. As a widower with a high-powered job, Ian needed some instruction in being a father to an active teenage daughter. Yet as this overbearing man opened up, Andrea found herself learning lessons--in loving. Ian knew that Andrea, with her assertive attitude and her penchant for stilettos, was some woman! But her vulnerable heart was on the run, so he'd have to prove that his love, unlike his running, had limitless endurance--and once he caught this swift beauty, he'd never let her go. 
Harvest ~ Faith Mortimer ~ Billy returns home and marries his love, while Richard has to make a decision between the two beautiful women in his life. Richard discovers he is torn between love and duty. In Sorrel he finds what he believes is his soul-mate, whereas sexy Miranda keeps Richard guessing. When Richard discovers an old war-torn photograph of a woman and two children he is shaken to the core. What was it his father did & never divulged to his wife and family?
The Baby Trap ~ Sibel Hodge ~ When Gina turns thirty-three her body clock unexpectedly begins clanging in her ear with annoying persistence. The only problem is, having a baby isn't as easy as she thought. Whether she's feng shui-ing the house to death with fertility symbols, throwing out her husband's tight boxers in favour of baggies, swapping wine and chocolate for green tea and yams, popping fertility drugs like M&M's, or having sex so precision-timed it makes international warfare manoeuvres look unorganized, her life is turned upside down. And when nothing seems to be working, her quest for the B-word turns into an obsession. Can Gina stay sane, get pregnant, and keep her marriage together? Or will her baby trail become a baby trap?
Abigail ~ Heather Marie Adkins ~ When Abigail's supposedly immortal faery mother is found murdered, her human father sells her in to slavery. Bought by a young and wealthy landowner named William, she is whisked away to a Grecian island to play caretaker for his baby sister. However, the island has a deadly secret connected to Abigail's past. Her budding romance with William is shattered by Abigail's intimate, unwanted connection with the island's faery prince. Meanwhile, the Faery King is planning revenge upon the family. Abigail must join forces with the very race she's sought to deny, to save the humans she has learned to love.
Carpe Bead'em ~ Tonya Kappes ~ Orphaned at a young age, Hallie Mediate was raised by her (slightly) crazy Great Aunt Grace on the wrong side of the tracks in Cincinnati. Hallie dreamed of escaping her hometown and never looking back. After putting herself through college, landing her dream job in Chicago, and starting a romance with her handsome running partner Bo Pompillio, life is finally exactly as she wants it. That is, until she’s transferred back to the hometown. Not wanting her past to cross paths with her future, Hallie puts her relationship with Bo on hold.
Cold Case Morphs ~ Barbara Silkstone ~ A wacky novella with a squirt of BEETLEJUICE, a squish of GHOSTBUSTERS, and a twist of the infamous. The newest detective agency in Asheville, North Carolina takes on their first case. The Cold Case Morphs enter the world of noir comedy as they rush to the aid of a lonely Victorian ghost. Warning… this is a soft-boiled detective romance with a Beetlejuice paranormal side.
The Time Contessa ~ Georgina Young-Ellis ~ The Time Contessa is an adventure to Siena, Italy, 500 years into the past and 100 years into the future. Something has gone wrong with an historical timeline, causing a famous painting to disappear from the world’s conscious memory, surfacing only in people’s dreams. Two members of MIT’s Chronology team, Dr. Cassandra Reilly and her colleague Jake, must go to Renaissance Siena to repair the timeline so the artist who painted the portrait of a beautiful woman known as Giuliana will ultimately live to complete it. However, the past holds many pitfalls, both dangerous and romantic.
Jealousy's Rage ~ Melissa A Smith ~ Forget everything you think you know about the Gods of Olympus and Atlantis. Both are real, and both are hidden in plain sight. Finally taking his long awaited vacation, Declan finds the one person who just might let him grow old. Although Ellie just might feel the same spark, she’s been mistreated one too many times in the past to trust. Seeing this challenge as one he knows he can win, Declan dives in head first.
But as in all things, his job gets in the way. It steals away his future and any hope at love.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Reader Monday: Kindle Helped Find New Authors!

I'm so excited to have Street Team member and friend, Sue Lopp on my blog for READER MONDAY! I am amazed at how owning a Kindle has changed reader's buying and reading habits. 

I love to read.  As long as i can remember books have always been a part of my life. I am an only child and  I can remember spending summers with Trixie Beldon... Nancy Drew ( who i wished i was. I always wanted a best friend named , George ).. Encyclopedia Brown. Those were some of the best summers ever.. wondering what adventure i was going to go on next.   As I got older that didn't change I always had a book with me, never knew if you were going to be stopped by a loooong train or stuck in a traffic jam..I was ready...

Some people cannot wait until Friday  to get here, not me Tuesdays were my favorite day.  NEW RELEASE DAY. I would be at Costco or Sams club to get my hands on the new releases especially the hard backs. I was particular which books I purchased in hardback I bought. ( I have collection of some of my favorite authors books in hardback  they look nice on my bookshelves  ). I had my list for the month. Then I would head over to Barnes and Noble and check out all the new paperbacks, leaving there with an arm load..  then all then all things changed. I bought my first Kindle.=. I WAS IN BOOK HEAVEN. One click here and one click there and as of today I have over 1300 books. Hi my name is Sue and I am a bookaholic (in all honesty I really didn't know if I was going to like reading on the Kindle I thought for sure I would miss holding a book.. NOPE..LOL ) 

Since I have had my Kindle my reading habits have changed.  I don't read as many as the same authors as I did I still will buy Stephen Kings book in hardback the day it is released, but also for my kindle. I have one clicked a lot of new authors for me and I have to say that I don't think  I would have bought them at the bookstore. I love that some authors give there books either free or very low priced to give us readers a chance to sample there work. There are a lot of series that I have become hooked on based on these authors kindness, and once I like an author I have to read all that they have written ( that is just the way I am ).

 I also belong a few street teams which I enjoy very much.  I enjoy telling people about new books that I am reading or have read. I  am friends with authors on facebook ( I know that they have so many "friends " that they don't know boo about me... however having them respond to something that I comment on is really great I know that if I was to meet them in person I would only be saying glub glub glub ).  I have been to a few virtual book release parties.. now those are fun...

and where else but on Facebook can I join in on a big brother party with fellow street team members ... Come on June 26th .... ( Tonya Kappes street team has a great  bunch of friendly members.. ) 
If anyone has any books suggestions for me.. would love to hear them...   :)

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Remember my first annual SPRING BOOK FLING is coming up on Thursday on my STREET TEAM!! I'd love for you to join us.
Join the Street Team HERE!!

AND

Don't forget to pick up the newly released novel in the Magical Cures Mystery Series, A CHARMING WISH.
AMAZON
BARNES AND NOBLE

It soared to the bestsellers list in one day!! AND it's 9 FIVE STARS!!!

So. . .what books can you recommend for Sue Lopp??

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

RELEASE DAY AND BLOG TOUR for A CHARMING WISH

It's here!! It's a couple of days early. . .but I don't mind!


Amazon
Barnes and Noble

"Tonya Kappes' A Magical Cure Series, charmed me until the end!" ~ Cozy Mystery Book Reviews

Bubble, Bubble. . .

It seems shop owner and newly appointed Whispering Falls Village President June Heal has it all: Beauty, wits, bewitching powers...Sheriff Oscar Park. Life is good. Because life in Whispering Falls is magical.

Cures and Trouble. . .

But when a member of the community is found dead on the steps of A Charming Cure, June's homeopathic cure shop, and her fingerprints show up at the scenes of local robberies, she is kicked off the village council and her powers fall under scrutiny. Until it's uncovered who is wreaking havoc on the town...June's magic is suspended.

Magic Stirs. . .

With the help of a rather obnoxious genie and Mr. Prince Charming, June's Fairy-God cat, June is determined to figure out who is framing her. Time is of the essence when it becomes clear that the true villain is trying to get rid of her...permanently!

And Trouble Doubles. . .

Oscar Park will do anything to protect June even if that means giving up all of his magical powers. . .or worse, his life.

My blog tour starts tomorrow and I hope you join me! There are prizes and fun to be had!


March 17, 2013
A Charming Wish Book Tour stops at Cozy up with Kathy
March 14, 2013
A Charming Wish Book Tour stops at Mochas, Mysteries & More
March 15, 2013
A Charming Wish Book Tour stops at Cozy Mystery Book Review
March 16, 2013
A Charming Wish Book Tour stops at Omnimystery
March 17, 2013
A Charming Wish Book Tour stops at Shelley Reads & Reviews
March 19, 2013
A Charming Wish Book Tour stops at Musings & Ramblings
March 20, 2013
A Charming Wish Book Tour stops at A Blue Million Books
March 21, 2013
A Charming Wish Book Tour stops at A Chick Who Reads
March 28, 2013
A Charming Wish Book Tour stops at Melina's Book Blog
April 3, 3013
A Charming Wish Book tour stops at Read Your Writes 
April 12, 2013
A Charming Wish Book tour stops at Dru's Book Musing
Be sure to spread the word about this series. Don't forget to join my STREET TEAM so you can join in on the launch fun at my SPRING FLING PARTY where over fifty authors have donated a copy of their novels!


Monday, March 11, 2013

Reader Monday with author Kari Lee Townsend

Happy Reader Monday!!! Today is an exciting day since our guest reader is author Kari Lee Townsend! I met Kari a few years ago on line and we have kept in touch every since. Kari started out writing young adult and quickly ventured into the cozy mystery genre when she realized she had a real talent killing people and solving crimes! The second novel in her Fortune Teller Mystery Series comes out this month, TROUBLE IN THE TAROT. Her hero and heroine are a hoot to read about and I just had to have Kari on today to give you the scoop! I hope you pick up TROUBLE IN THE TAROT!




Detective Mitch Stone & Psychic Sunny Meadows Top 10 Things That Irritate Them The Most

Detective Stone
·         10 ~ Liars, cheaters, disloyal people, and bullies
·         9 ~ Downtime, relaxation, doing nothing
·         8 ~ Forced time off by his captain
·         7 ~ Wasting his time on a wild goose chase
·         6 ~ Anyone getting the jump on him
·         5 ~ Suspects who think they’re smarter than him
·         4 ~ Troll like mayors who abuse their power because they feel inferior
·         3 ~ Working with a partner when he’s a lone wolf kind of guy
·         2 ~ Creepy cats that stare him down and make him jumpy
·         1 ~ Bubbly psychic quacks who won’t listen and put themselves in danger

Sunny Meadows
·         10 ~ Liars, cheaters, disloyal people, and bullies
·         9 ~ People who are constantly on the go who refuse to slow down and relax
·         8 ~ People who think they know her but don’t really have a clue
·         7 ~ Parents who refuse to let her stand on her own
·         6 ~ People who break the law and think they can get away with it
·         5 ~ People who aren’t open to thinking outside of the box and trying new leads
·         4 ~ People who think she’s too small and incapable of handling herself in tough situations
·         3 ~ People who aren’t’ open to at least trying to believe in her ability
·         2 ~ People who don’t like her cat
·         1 ~ Cynical grumpy detectives who refuse her help when they clearly need it

TROUBLE IN THE TAROT (book 3 of the Fortune Teller Mysteries – March 5, 2013)
For psychic Sunshine Meadows, sometimes fortunes can be deceiving…

Lately Sunny has been experiencing a period of big opportunity: her business in Divinity, New York, is thriving, and Detective Mitch Stone has finally agreed to take Sunny on a date. But thanks to her clairvoyant abilities, Sunny knows better than anyone that life deals out bad cards along with the good.

When Sunny agrees to read tarot cards at the annual summer Solstice Carnival, she meets her Granny Gert’s “arch nemesis” Fiona Atwater, and is overcome by a vision of Fiona in a violent argument. Sunny knows trouble is brewing when Granny and Fiona start having squabbles all over town. But the fighting comes to a head when a local baker gets run over by a big white Cadillac—and Granny and Fiona are found at the crime scene.

Sunny knows she should step aside and let Mitch handle the investigating, but she’s not about to ignore her visions and leave her granny’s life in fate’s hands…





Kari Lee Townsend lives in central New York with her understanding husband, her three busy boys, and her oh-so-dramatic daughter :-) She is the National Bestselling Author, Agatha & RT Reviewer's Choice Award nominee for her Fortune Teller Mystery series. Kari also writes romance under the name Kari Lee Harmon. Small towns, mystical elements, quirky characters and a few chuckles along the way are what her books are all about. To find out more about Kari and all of her books, check out her websites at: www.karileetownsend.com & www.karileeharmon.com

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CONGRATULATIONS MICKC for winning the ARC of A CHARMING WISH!!! Be sure to contact me from the contact tab so I can get the ARC to you! You have one week to claim your prize!



Sunday, March 10, 2013

Happy Birthday Prizes!!

As most of you know. . .today is my birthday!! I actually love my birthday and celebrate an entire week! This year is a little different; we moved into a new house so I got a lot of NEW stuff that I consider a birthday present.

I'm also hosting a giveaway on my STREET TEAM, which you have to be on Facebook to join. Click here to the STREET TEAM page. I'm giving away the first two novels in Heather Webber Blake's Witch Crafter Mystery Series. The third one will be out in April! AND they are signed by my good friend, Heather!


AND. . .

This birthday week is the THIRD release of A Magical Cure Series novel, A CHARMING WISH, on March 14th!

In honor of the release, A CHARMING CRIME, the first in the series is .99 this week! I'm so happy to say that A CHARMING CRIME made it to #12 on Amazon's Movers and Shaker's list! WOW! WOW! WOW! That in itself was a great birthday present.

But I have to show you what my guys did for my birthday. . .
They created a bathroom for ME! It has a cool waterfall shower and marble sink! PLUS, I love Hunter Rain Boots and RED. A gal in a houseful of guys needs her own bathroom!! Needless to say, I'm a super happy gal this birthday WEEK!!


Today I'm going to be giving away an pdf ARC of  A CHARMING WISH  to one lucky comment! Tell me what your favorite birthday gift you have ever gotten! I will post the winner under tomorrow's post. YOU have one week to claim your prize.
Please go back through last week's posts to see who won the giveaways from last week!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Interview with Indie Chick Karin Cox!

I'm very excited to welcome Karin Cox! She is a fellow Indie Chick with a new release! Be sure to check out our interview after the blurb of her new release, CRUXIM. AND be sure to leave a comment to win an ebook copy of CRUXIM!!



What is Cruxim?
Amedeo is Cruxim, a mysterious, immortal fallen angel. Destined to seek redemption as a vampire hunter, he quenches his insatiable hunger on vampire blood. But when the object of his passion, the novice nun Joslyn, is turned into a vampire and enters a vampire coven, Amedeo's worlds collide. Shattered by the loss of his beloved, he vows to rid the world of vampires once and for all, even if it means destroying Josyln in the process.

A Paranormal Game of Cat and Mouse
Joining Amedeo on his quest to rid the world of the undead is Sabine. Half-woman, half-lioness, she is a Sphinx, a Guardian who has protected humans from vampires since the dawn of time. Yet Sabine comes to this fight pursued by her own enemies. An evil scientist, Dr. Claus Gandler, knows the secret of Sabine's mythological past, vowing to torment her for eternity or destroy her forever.

Immortal Ever After
Captured by the evil doctor, Amedeo and Sabine are paraded as sideshow freaks in the Circus of Curiosities. Only vampire Joslyn has the power to intercede. Will she prove Amedeo's redemption, or his destruction?


What attracted you to writing in the first place?
I’ve been a writer as long as I can remember. My earliest memory of writing is winning a poetry contest when I was in about fourth grade, so I was probably about eight or nine. With my (enormous) earnings, I bought a kite and I thought, Now this is a gig I could get used to. I still make about the same amount of money per annum. J
English was always my favorite subject at school, but when I applied for university, I listened to all the naysayers who said, “You’ll never get a job if you do an Arts degree.” So I enrolled in a Science degree in the hope of becoming a zoologist. Big mistake.
Within a year, I’d transferred to a Bachelor of Arts to study English Literature, Communication Studies and Myth and Ancient Literature, which led to my career in editing and to my job as an inhouse author for an Australian publisher, rather ironically writing books about ... zoology and natural history! Writing has always been a natural state for me. I’m one of those people who jolts awake in the wee hours to scribble ideas in a notepad by my bed or to put them in “notes” on my iPhone. It’s cathartic, a necessary process of working through my own tumultuous thoughts and emotions.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
I haven’t yet settled into one genre, and I’m not sure that I will. Currently, I have literary fiction, paranormal romance, young adult dystopian, young adult fantasy, romance, a thriller novel, children’s fiction, and a heap of poetry all sitting in various stages of completion on my hard-drive. I also write non-fiction across many genres: social history, natural history, travel and children’s non-fiction. New Holland Publishers in Australia are just releasing two of my social history books for kids—Gold Rush and Settlement—this month, and another two will follow in April and two more in 2014. So it is anyone’s guess whether I will eventually pick one genre or whether I’ll keep sticking my fingers in a lot of pies (and potentially getting burned by some).
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
My dad was always a writer, and my sister, too, so I think it is fair to say that writing runs in my family. They have always supported me and encouraged me to follow my dreams. I think that is the best gift parents can offer a child: belief in their dreams

Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from?
Mostly, they just come to me. Usually at two in the morning when I’m trying to sleep—I am an insomniac. But I think every author weaves some of their own experiences or interests into their novels. Cruxim was such pure fantasy that it doesn’t have a great deal of the real “me” in there. I’ve never been a vampire, or in a freakshow (thank goodness), but I have been in a situation where I’ve felt like I was in love with two people before (and neither of them even knew about it), so I can relate to the feelings Amedeo experiences.

Do you have any writing rituals or listen to “mood music” when you write? Where is your favorite place to write?
I get very absorbed in my world, so I prefer to write late at night, from 9 pm to 2 am. I like the silence then, when my kid and my partner are asleep and my imagination can run away with itself. The biggest writing ritual I have at present is a program called Write or Die. I’ve spent so many years editing that it can be hard for me to let go and just hammer out a first draft. Very hard. And I am a terrible procrastinator, so if I have to fact-check, I’ll spend an hour googling a place or an object for historical reference, even if it only appears for one line in the novel! I set Write or Die to kamikaze, which means it will start eating my words if I linger for too long, and I force myself to do 1000 words in an hour. Then, I later edit, research, fact-check and rewrite the heck out of it. It works for me.
I write in a recliner in my living room, or on my deck overlooking the pool.
What’s your favorite place in the entire world?
My bed. Good stuff happens there ... like sleep, and dreams. It smells and feels like home. J
Fame or fortune, which would you prefer?
Fortune, hands down. I’m not remotely interested in fame. It seems like fame would come with too many downsides, particularly the kind of life-changing attention authors like Stephanie Meyer or JK Rowling have found. With fortune, I can spend my days writing, reading and learning, and I can use that money to help others. I don’t believe in being filthy mega rich. I think we would all like to be comfortable, but by world standards, I already feel very lucky. I live in Australia, I have food in my belly, I have a wonderful family, a roof over my head, a job. I am already blessed. If my writing could make me enough that my partner didn’t have to do the daily grind of working in construction and I could pay our mortgage and put food on the table with my words alone, that would make me a very happy girl indeed.
What was your favorite part of this book to write? Which part was the hardest?
My favorite parts to write were the love scenes, or what I see to be love scenes: when Joslyn’s love for Amedeo first becomes clear with the passionfruit scene; Amedeo and Danette, and what happens to her; and the scene where he tries to save Sabine from the burning tent.
The hardest part was definitely writing the ending. I worried that some readers would be annoyed about what happened to some of the characters. But much more is explained in the sequel, which I am currently writing and which explains why things turned out that way. Amedeo might just discover that his upbringing isn’t as typical for a Cruxim as he thought it was. 
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I wanted to be the woman in the pink spangled tutu who did handstands on the back of horses in the circus. Despite some time devoted to practicing this on the back of my childhood Shetland pony, Mr. Ed, it appears I never quite got good enough. But there’s still time.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
Probably still an editor. I’ve worked as an editor for fifteen years, and I still love it; however, I really want to focus on writing my own books for a little while now.

If you could live inside the world of a book would you choose?
It would be Mary Renault’s The Bull from the Sea and The King Must Die. Ancient Greece. Cretan Bull Ring. Amazon women. But I’d also be pretty happy in Rivendell or Hobbiton.

Give your fans three fun facts that they may not already know about you.
I have two elbow creases on each arm, which sounds weirder than it looks (thankfully).
I can ride a horse like a maniac when I get the chance, and I pretty much grew up on horseback.
I adore cats. They can be cruel and selfish and self-absorbed, but they’re so darn cute and funny and deeply self-conscious at times. I can’t help it

Chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry?
Vanilla. I like the versatility. Add peaches. Add Milo. Add macadamia nuts. Add whatever topping you like. What’s not to like?

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?
Jimi Hendrix, Mary Renault, Dorothy Parker, CS Lewis, Lord Byron.

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
My Kindle (loaded with books). My family. Water (It is a desert island, right? If it’s just a deserted island and it has a spring, replace water with wine)
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Because it will make you think, and hurt, and understand that we all make mistakes and that things are often not how they first appear.

So what’s next for you as an author? Any last words?
Next is the sequel to Cruxim, which I know many of my early readers are eagerly anticipating. I’m hoping to have it out by Easter, and it is tentatively titled Creche. It provides a lot more background into Amedeo’s past—background that even he was unaware of, and also into Sphinxes and the mythology surrounding them. So it explains a few incidents in the first book and why they panned out the way they did.
I’m also working on several other projects, some non-fiction, some fiction and some for children, and running my website for indie authors to find reviews, Indie Review Tracker. I’m always busy. If I only had a few more hours in each day (about twelve more a day would be great!) I could get a few more books out this year too. My book of short stories, Cage Life, is doing really well at present too, so I’d like to take some more time to do a few more shorts in 2013 as well. As for sleep, well ...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Stay at Home Mom on READER MONDAY!

Happy FIRST READER MONDAY of March!! I'm excited to have Jaime Smith here today! She's is an avid reader and an amazing Goodreads player! She is awesome at promoting her favorite authors. Jaime is here to talk about how a stay at home mom can sneak in a little reading time with a couple little ones around the house. IT'S NOT AS EASY AS IT SEEMS!




So you would think being a stay at home mom would be a readers dream.

But not always the case! I am a stay at home mom to two little girls aged 1 & 4. I get up to to feed two little girls breakfast and find something for them to do that is entertaining. I pick up my book then and start to read. Ten minutes into the book there is the 4 year old yelling from the potty to come help her. After that is typically the demand to watch a movie. 

Great you think! 

Pop in the movie go back to book then baby comes wanting to crawl all over you and play. Ok that is always fun anyways. So before you know it it's lunch time and you make them & yourself lunch. Of course you got to feed the littler one in between your own bites. After lunch they start to get sleepy. 

YES! Just what you needed for a reading break. 

So you lay them down and once more dive into your book till the four year old eyeing you looks really sad and says, mommy read to me one of my books. So you go and grab a pile because after all my 4 year old can enjoy story time for an hour easily. All though I'm bummed about not getting to read my book, I'm over the moon that my little girl is following my footsteps in love of books! Also reading children books to your children is really such a precious thing that I secretly really enjoy. So the little ones then fall asleep on me finally during story time. 

I don't dare move them in fear of waking up. I can read now I think except my book it just a little bit out of hands reach now with two children sleeping on me. After about a hour and half the angels wake and are up and playing.

I usually can get in 30 minutes to an hour here. Then it's snack time & more entertaining them. Before you know it it's evening and the hubby is on his way home! THANK GOD! 

I'm one very lucky girl to have a great husband who knows how important reading is to me so when he get's home he takes over the kids duty and I get to read a good hour to two before supper! Then we work on putting the kids to sleep and having some alone time for just the two of us. Then it's off to bed where I presume will be major reading time now, only I'm so tired that I literally fall asleep with a book on my face. 

To add to this all I have extreme health issues with my heart so that makes everything twice as hard and causes me to be tired often. So basically my main serious reading time is the weekends when husband is home from work. 

I love reading so much and leaving reviews to help authors and other readers but I never can seem to keep up with the piles and piles of books but you know what I DON'T MIND! That is what it is to be a reader who is in love with books! Besides it's only 4 1/2 more years before both kids are in school and then I know I will have more reading time! 

Also as my girl's get older I hope that they will also continue their love of books and we will all be curled up on the sofa reading together! Family is all about love as well as books. You got to really appreciate both and how they can come in hand if your willing to make it all work.

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WOW! Jaime! You are a busy gal during they day. And I thought I was busy with three teenagers running around! Jaime is very talented! She didn't mention she makes amazing book marks! I'm sure she's taking orders! Just leave a comment to win a copy of my novel, STRUNG OUT TO DIE and one of Jaime's cool bookmarks!
(I will post the winner on Friday and you have one week to come back to claim your prize!)