Tag Archives: Cocktails

Liquid Friday with author Isabella May

This week we are featuring author and co-founder of popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls Isabella May and her debut novel: Oh! What a Pavlova.

But before we dive ourselves in this mind boggling novel, we must hear from Isabella May about her favorite cocktail suggestion for tonight.

The Piña Colada. All too often it’s associated with Del Boy Trotter from Only Fools and Horses, but could a cocktail be more exotic whilst retaining its status as a classic? I’ve yet to come across a contender. 

A well-constructed Piña Colada (think the Waldorf Astoria’s cocktail bar in New York… or more recently, the offering I sampled at La Bulla Bar in Estepona, Spain), should do three things:

1) Harmoniously blend pineapple, Rum and coconut. Optimum balance is key.

2) Be served simply. Less is more… and a plethora of swizzle sticks, tinsel-coated straws, starfruit slices and umbrellas will not cover up poor mixology!

3) Transport me immediately to a lush Caribbean beach.

Oh, look! It’s time for elevenses…

 

And now without further delay lets dive into Oh! What a Pavlova:

 

Blurb:

Kate Clothier is leading a double life: a successful jet-setting businesswoman to the outside world, but behind closed doors, life with Daniel and his volcanic temper is anything but rosy. Some days – heck, make that EVERY day – cake is her only salvation.  Slowly but surely, the cities she visits – and the men she meets – help her to realise there IS a better future. And the ley lines of Glastonbury are certainly doing their best to impart their mystical wisdom… But will she escape before it’s too late?

 

Excerpt:

The Piano Bar was a tradition embedded firmly in the top ten of Corny Things to do in Bologna. Whilst the melange of confection and liquor was a feast for the senses (Steph was already cooing over the Zuccoto Semi-Fredo, mentally noting how she could re-create its perfection), the clientele were mainly tragic, brash or both. For a woman, it was a dodgy place to be. People were packed concertina-tight across the width of the bar, so that for someone as petite as me – and sadly we’re definitely only talking height – it could take several hours to wend your way through the maze of conversations. Bottom pinching wasn’t unheard of, pickpocketing either.

 

But for all that, there was something so compelling about gradually making your way up the stairs, drink in hand, to the famed lounge to feign sophistication whilst something wretched was being hammered out on the keys of the electronic organ, and an overenthusiastic, glitzy, blue-rinsed lady belted out a number from the golden ages, warbling pitifully whenever she hit anything higher than a top E.

As Henry handed me the umpteenth mixer of the evening, I turned a little too quickly, bashing straight into a tall middle-aged man.

“Hey watch it,” he said, flicking drips of liquid marmalade off his rugby shirt.

Oh, okay maybe he wasn’t quite middle-aged. I quickly decided that for a Silver Fox, he wasn’t all that bad looking either.

I felt a sharp tap on my back.

“It’s nearing midnight” said Daisy, as I turned to see my well-meaning colleague had started tapping at her watch as well. “We really ought to head back to the hotel. The morning only heralds Day Two, after all.”

Thanks, Daisy. That was close. I chanced to look over my shoulder, but thankfully he’d gone.

Steph and I followed the advice of our elder, ditched our glasses and turned to say our snappy farewells to the men, who were far too inebriated to understand what our plans were anyway.

“Ah choof off then, why don’tcha?” said Sebastian, at which point I don’t think I’d ever seen him look more like Eton Mess. “Talk about boring… it’s not even officially Thursday yet. Geez guys,” he pointed at Henry and Adrian, “you two really need to train your staff to last the distance.”

We snaked our way to the exit where Silver Fox stood, running his fingers through his hair whilst chatting with a group of men. Something told me – and my pulse – it would be impossible to slip past undetected.

“We meet again,” he said, as I chanced to unsuccessfully squeeze past him, my bust making more than ample contact with his shoulder.

“Hey, I’m so sorry about earlier,” I said with a giggle. “My boss will insist on topping me up every five minutes.” I was too merry to wonder whether that came across as a sexual double entendre.

Silver Fox, amused, seemed to have forgotten the soaking already. And I sensed that all too familiar book-fair-affair-twinge in my stomach as he studied me intently and his grin widened.

“So, I’m guessing you’re a P.B?”

I ignored yet another sharp tap on my back and gave him my ‘excuse me?’ face.

“A Publishing Babe,” he said, laughing cheekily.

Christ, how corny.

“Steph’s managed to hail us a cab, Kate. Time to say goodbye to your friend,” said Daisy, revealing my true identity.

“Well, that’s you told. See you around… Kate,” he said.

“Maybe you will,” I smiled, emphasizing my final word far longer than was necessary as Daisy tugged me out the doorway.

But the fresh air seemed to sober me immediately. As we sped back to the hotel, and Steph and Daisy pondered our four male colleagues’ likely actions over the encroaching hours, I lay my head against the taxi’s window, saddled with remorse.

You can’t keep doing this to him.

 

About Isabella:

Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing. As a Co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One). She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’! Oh! What a Pavlova is her debut novel… and her second novel, The Cocktail Bar, will be published 13th February 2018.

 

You can follow Isabella May on her website and social media here:

www.isabellamayauthor.com

Twitter – @IsabellaMayBks

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaMayAuthor/

Instagram – @isabella_may_author

 

Liquid Friday with J.T. Ellison

This week we are featuring J.T. Ellison, a New York Times bestselling author of psychological thrillers and her newest release: Lie to Me.

But before we indulge ourselves in this mind filling novel, we must, just must hear from J.T. Ellison about what is her favorite cocktail for tonight.

Whenever I have something to celebrate, and even
when I don’t, there’s nothing I love more than a
champagne cocktail. Simple, timeless, delicious. It’s
one of my go-to drinks, especially in steamy
summertime.

Champagne Cocktail
(makes 1 champagne flute)

Ingredients:
  • 1 Sugar Cube
  • Bitters
  • Brut Champagne
  • Maraschino Cherry,
    or a Twist
Directions:
  • Place the sugar cube in a chilled champagne flute.
  • (Angostura or Peychaud’s—I like mine soaked,
    YMMV).
  • Fill the glass with brut champagne or another
    bubbly (Cava or Prosecco make excellent CCs!), pop
    in a cherry or a lemon twist, and enjoy. Ching-ching!

So lets kick back and relax with this scrumptious cocktail in hand and finally check out Lie To Me.

Blurb:

Domestic noir at its best. Readers will devour this stunning page turner about the disintegration of a marriage as grief, jealousy, betrayal and murder destroy the facade of the perfect literary couple. New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison takes her exceptional writing to a new level with this breakout novel.

They built a life on lies.

Sutton and Ethan Montclair’s idyllic life is not as it appears. They seem made for each other, but the truth is ugly. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note saying not to look for her.

Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as friends, family and the media speculate on what really happened to Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel. Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him enough to kill the child she never wanted and then herself? The path to the answers is full of twists that will leave the reader breathless.

Excerpt:

PROLOGUE
IN WHICH INTRODUCTIONS ARE MADE
You aren’t going to like me very much. Oh, maybe in your weaker moments, you’ll feel sorry for me, and use those feelings of warmth and compassion and insightful understanding to excuse my actions. You’ll say to yourself, “Poor little girl. She couldn’t help herself.” Or, “Can you blame her? After all she’s been through?” Perhaps you’ll even think, “She was born to this. It is not her fault.”
Of course it’s my fault. I chose this path. Yes, I feel as if I have no choice, that I’m driven to do it, that there are voices in my head that push me to the dark side.
But I also know right from wrong. I know good from evil. I may be compelled to ruin the lives in front of me, but
I could walk away if I wanted.
Couldn’t I?
Never mind that. Back to you.
Truly, deep down, you are going to despise me. I am the rot that lives in the floorboards of your house. I am the spider that scuttles away when you shine light in my corner, ever watching, ever waiting. I am the shard of glass
that slits the skin of your bare foot. I am all the bad things that happen to you.
I steal things.
I kill things.
I leave a trail of destruction in my wake that is a sight to behold, wave after wave of hate that will overwhelm you until you sink to the bottom of my miserable little ocean, and once you’ve drowned I will feed on your flesh and turn your bones to dust.
You’re mine now. You are powerless against me. So don’t bother fighting it.
I hope you enjoy the show.

WE FIND A BODY
The body was in the woods off a meandering state road that led into a busy, charming historical downtown. It was completely obscured from view, deeply hidden, under several pine boughs and a thick layer of nature’s detritus. Synthetic clothing was melted to the flesh, making it difficult to tell the body’s race or gender at a glance. Closer investigation showed hair that was long and a curious shade: not blonde, not red, possibly chemically-treated. The left hand held evidence of rings, possibly a wedding set, and so the body was eventually determined as female.

The shroud of melt and bough had not stopped the forever daisy-chain progression of decay. Instar maggots and adult flies delighted in their found treat. A genus party started soon after. Diptera and Coleoptera were evident three days in, paving the way for the coming colonization of Calliphoridae. Though the body was burned beyond ready recognition, the insects didn’t seem to mind; it was simply a barbecue feast to them.

Outside of this natural progression, the body lay undisturbed for two days. Birds of prey flew in long, lazy circles overhead. Cars drove past less than fifty yards away, drivers unknowing, uncaring, that one of their own lay rotting nearby.

Three Days Gone, a stray but severe thunderstorm knocked free several of the funereal branches, allowing the body to be exposed, pelted by hail breaking through the leafy canopy. The heavy rains wet the ground and allowed the body to sink deeper into the muck, where it canted on its side.

Four Days Gone, the body was ravaged by a starving coyote, forty-two razor teeth shredding everything available.

Five Days Gone, the body disarticulated, the fire and the heat and the wet and the insects and the coyote and the natural progression of things breaking it down quickly and without thought to the effects this would have on the loved ones. The idea of a non-intact body was sometimes more than people could take.

Six Days Gone, they found her.

SOMETHING’S MISSING
Franklin, Tennessee
Now
Ethan found the note ten minutes after he rolled out of bed that Tuesday, the Tuesday that would change everything. He came downstairs yawning, scratching his chest, to… nothing. Empty space, devoid of wife.

Sutton always began her morning at the table with a bowl of cereal, a piece of fruit, and a cup of tea and read the paper, scoffing at the innumerable typos—the paper was going under, paying for decent copyediting was the least of their worries. A bowl full of cereal, a glass of milk and a spoon would be laid out for him, the sports page folded neatly by his seat. Always. Always.

But this morning, there was no evidence Sutton had been in the kitchen. No newspaper, no bowl. No wife.

He called for her. There was no answer. He searched through the house. Her bag was in her office, her cellphone, her laptop. Her license was stashed in her small wallet, all her credit cards present and accounted for, a twenty folded in half shoved behind them.

She must have gone for a run.
He felt a spark of pleasure at the thought. Sutton, once, had been a health nut. She’d run or walked or done yoga every day, something physical, something to keep her body moving and in shape. And what a shape—the woman was a knockout, willowy and lithe, strong legs and delicate ankles, tendons tight and gleaming like a thoroughbred. A body she sculpted to match his own, to fit with him.

Ethan Montclair couldn’t have a dog for a wife, no. He needed someone he could trot out at cocktail parties who looked smashing in a little black dress.

And not only looked good, but sounded good. He needed a partner on all levels—physical and intellectual. Maybe it was shallow of him, but he was a good looking man, drew a lot of
attention, and not only did he want his wife to be stunning, he wanted her to be smart, too. And Sutton fit the bill.

He knew they made a powerful, attractive couple. Looks and brains and success, so much success. That was their thing.

After Dashiell, she’d bounced back into shape like the champion racehorse she was, though later, when their world collapsed, she’d become tired and bloated and swollen with medications and depression, and she no longer took any interest in being beautiful and fit.

That she’d decided to start running again gave him hope. So much hope.

Spirits lifted, he went back to the sunny, happy kitchen and got his own bowl, his own milk. Made a pot of tea, whistling. Went for the stevia—no sugar for the healthconscious Montclairs, no, never.

That was when he saw it. Small. White. Lined. Torn from a spiral bound notebook, a Clairefontaine, Sutton’s favorite for the smooth, lovely paper.

This… thing… was incongruous with the rest of their spotless kitchen. Sutton was above all things a pathological neatnik. She’d never just leave something lying about.

All the happiness fled. He knew. He just knew. He’d been all wrong. She hadn’t gone running.

He picked up the note.

Dear Ethan,
I’m sorry to do this to you, but I need some time away. I’ve
been unhappy, you know that. This shouldn’t come as a big
surprise. Forgive me for being a coward. Forgive me, for so
many things.
Don’t look for me.
S

She was gone.
He felt something squeezing in his chest, a pain of sorts, and realized that his heart had just broken. He’d always thought that a stupid, silly term, but now he knew. It could happen, it was happening. He was being torn in two, torn to shreds. No wonder there were rites warning against this
What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

God was ripping him apart in punishment, and he deserved it. He deserved it all.

He didn’t cry. There were no tears left for either of them to shed.

He put the note down carefully, as if it were a bomb that might go off with the wrong touch. Went to their bedroom. Nothing seemed out of place. Her brush, her makeup case, her toothbrush, all lined up carefully on the marble. Her suitcase was in the closet.

He went back downstairs to her office, at the back of the house. Doubled checked.
Her laptop was on her desk.
Her cellphone was in the charger.
Her purse was on the floor next to her chair.
Her wallet inside, the smiling DMV photo that made her look like a model.
Like a zombie, he moved back to the kitchen. He opened the refrigerator and got out the milk. Poured cereal in the bowl. Dropped the stevia into his tea. Sat at the empty table, stared at the spot where his wife’s head should have been.

What was he supposed to do now? Where could she be? He ran through the possibilities, the places she loved, discarding one after another. Surely he was wrong in his thinking. Surely she’d simply run away, to one of her friends. That’s where she’d gone. Should he call Ivy and see if Sutton was camped in her kitchen, instead of his? Should he give her some time, and space, like she asked?

She left without her things, Ethan. Sutton’s lifelines are her laptop and phone. It’s her office, her world.

A dawning realization. Sutton hadn’t shaken the depression, not completely. She was still prone to fits of melancholy. She might have done something stupid, crazy. She’d tried once before, after… Oh, God. Her words. Perhaps she was telling him exactly what she’d done.
I’m a coward. Forgive me. Don’t look for me.
He threw the bowl of cereal across the room.
“Bloody fucking hell. You selfish, heartless bitch.”

About J.T. Ellison:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes standalone domestic noir and psychological thriller series, the latter starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the international thriller series “A Brit in the FBI” with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the EMMY Award-winning literary television show A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.
Follow J.T. online at Facebook.com/JTEllison14, on Twitter @thrillerchick, or on Instagram @jt_thrillerchick for more insight into her wicked imagination.

Praise
“[An] exceptional domestic thriller from bestseller Ellison… this standalone may be Ellison’s best work to date.”
—★ Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Wonderful … a one-more-chapter, don’t-eat-dinner, stay-up-late sensation.”
—Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of NO MIDDLE NAME

“Fans of GONE GIRL will gobble up this thriller about a marriage from hell, which moves at a blazing-fast pace and smoothly negotiates more twists and turns than the backroads of Tennessee. J.T. Ellison will keep you guessing every step of the way to the surprise ending!”
—Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author of ONE PERFECT LIE

“LIE TO ME twists you up, throws you into nail-biting action and unexpected revelations. Belt yourself in for this roller coaster ride.”
—Catherine Coulter, #1 New York Times bestselling author of ENIGMA

“LIE TO ME brilliantly combines a domestic noir thriller with a searing portrait of two writers trapped in a web of lies, betrayals, and murder. Sharply written and masterfully plotted, full of  hard truths about the creative life and modern marriage, Ellison has written her finest novel—a breakout page-turner certain to win her a wide audience.”
—Jeff Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of BLAME

“A wickedly good thriller about a picture-perfect marriage that is anything but, LIE TO ME has it all: murder, lies and betrayal. J.T. Ellison will have readers hanging onto the edge of their seats with her latest cunning tale.”
—Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of EVERY LAST LIE

“Secrets, secrets, who has more secrets? Writers or wives? With more surprises than a kitchen sink casserole, in LIE TO ME, J.T. Ellison lets us in on what goes on behind the closed doors of both.”
—Helen Ellis, New York Times bestselling author of AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE

“Ellison knows how to deliver gripping psychological suspense… Appearances can be deceiving, but Ellison’s writing is not.”
—Library Journal

“…An astonishing and satisfying ending that makes for a fantastic reading experience.”
—RT Book Reviews

“[An] immensely readable domestic thriller… lush prose.”
—Booklist

Liquid Friday with author Kyna Bryn

This week we are featuring author Kyna Bryn and her inspirational novel Broken Not Shattered.

But before we reach out for her new work of fiction let us find out what does Kyna suggest for our readers this Friday night?

My drink would be Fireball, straight up. I choose Fireball because it is strong and goes down smooth.

fireballThat is right, no recipe needed!  According to their website: “Fireball tastes great by itself, you could practically stick a straw in and drink right out of the bottle.”

So hey, why not?  All we got to do tonight is grab a glass of this hot sounding Whiskey and forget ourselves in the pages of Kyna’s book, Broken Not Shattered.

Synopsis:

Broken Not Shattered is a fiction, based on a true story. It is a brokennotshatteredstory about one woman’s journey through life. A story of horrendous obstacles and terrible injustices. Broken not Shattered reflects the molding of a true warrior of God. From the day she was born, Zara Banks was in a struggle for survival. After being exposed to abuse and neglect, as well as becoming a mother herself, Zara struggled to understand her purpose. She continued to question how God could let so many horrific things happen to her. In the end, it drove Zara away from Him but God had a plan for her all along.

     Zara went through trials that seemed to rival that of Job but, through every trial, she emerged stronger. Facing a millionaire who tried to take her only child, suffering from the abuse of her past and being a full-time employee and single mother, Zara became a stronger woman who overcame adversity worse than most of us can dream of. She emerged from the flaming depths of hell that continued to surround her in life. Broken not Shattered proves that you can come out of the darkness in life stronger, healed and with a greater relationship with God than you could ever imagine possible.

About the Author:

Born in Michigan, Kyna Bryn is a mother, aspiring author and woman who has done it all. From being a waitress, to owning her own kyna-brynbusiness, Kyna has become a self-made, educated woman who does not let anything hold her back. After overcoming many challenges in life, Kyna Bryn has now dedicated her life to inspiring others to know that their past does not define their future. Hurt or broken, used or abused, Kyna focuses on lifting others to know that they are not alone and have the power to be victorious and not victims.

 

 

 

Liquid Friday with Author Norah Bennett

This week we are featuring author Norah Bennett and her book Everything I’ve Dreamed Of.

But before we embrace this wonderful romance novel let’s find out what drink does Norah recommend for our readers.:

“So the drink I picked is called the Brandy Alexander. My main character bakes a lot, and what’s better than an alcoholic drink that tastes like chocolate to go with all the baked goods?! Plus brandy is always a good relaxing drink.”

INGREDIENTS

  • Ice
  • 1 1/2 ounces Cognac
  • 1 ounce white crème de cacao
  • 1 ounce heavy cream
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

INSTRUCTIONS

 

Fill a shaker halfway with ice cubes. Pour in the brandy, creme de brandy-alexandercacao, and the half-and-half. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Sprinkle the grated nutmeg over the top. Tip: grind a fresh, whole nutmeg over the top of the drink and it’ll have more flavor than ground nutmeg from a jar.

So lets kick back and relax with this scrumptious cocktail in hand and finally check out Everything I’ve Dreamed Of:

Blurb:

Kate Willowbrook dreams of a life filled with beauty –– a man who loves her, friends, and a home. At eighteen, Kate’s dreams are replaced by nightmares when she witnesses a crime. Kate runs, everrything-ive-dreamed-of-evernightpublishing-dec2016-finalimagenever settling down or trusting anyone. Ten years later Kate discovers the small town of Lakes Crossing and Noah Reed.

When Noah’s wife is killed in an accident, he buries himself in work and family obligations, believing he will never find love again until he meets Kate. The more he learns about her, the more he is drawn to her and his protective instincts kick into overdrive.

Noah is everything Kate has ever dreamed of, but his take-charge attitude is scaring up old demons she fought hard to bury. If they can’t find a way to strike a balance that satisfies both their deepest needs, they could lose their second chance at love.

Excerpt

Kate pierced him with her green eyes. “I’m certain there’s no shortage of women who would be happy to go out with you. Why me?”

Noah’s cocky grin faded into a soft smile that stole her breath. His eyes darkened as he focused on her. She could feel the heat creeping up her cheeks again, and she couldn’t believe she asked him that question. She didn’t even know why she did, except that she wanted to hear his answer. If she let herself fall for this beautiful man, with a killer smile and the softest brown eyes in the world, she’d fall hard everrything-ive-dreamed-of-evernightpublishing-dec2016-vistaprint-mugs_panoramic-wraparoundand fast. If she were just a toy to him, one that he got bored of and discarded after a while, she’d be devastated. She had lost so much already and survived, but Kate wasn’t sure she could survive his games. If she allowed herself to hope and dream of a life with Noah but then lost it all, she’d crumble, and no amount of superglue would put her back together.

Kate waited for his answer, her eyes locked with his and he didn’t let her down.

“Yes, I won’t deny that I’ve dated other women and there are those who wouldn’t turn me down for a date, but they’re not you.”

Noah reached for her hand, and she let him feel the tremble that ran through her as he engulfed her small hand in his. He raised her hand to his mouth and kissed her fingers, never taking his gaze off her.

“You say you’re not special to anyone, but that’s not true. see

dandelion on a blue background

something special, someone special. I know we don’t know each other very well, but if you give us a chance to change that, together, we may be something special. We won’t know unless we try.”

Kate’s breath hitched, and her heart squeezed. Jesus, the man had a way with words. How did he know what she needed to hear? Now she understood what Roberta Flack meant when she sang, Killing me Softly. He was clawing at the door to her heart, and she didn’t think she was strong enough to resist him, even knowing that she may get shredded if she let him in.

Kate dropped her gaze again as they began to fill. Her breathing was ragged, and her heart broke its confines and was on the run. Whether it wanted to be caught by Noah or not, Kate wasn’t certain.

Special. 

Kate had waited thirty-one years to hear someone call her special. She struggled to rein in her emotions and push back the tears that threatened to roll down her cheeks. She wanted to go out with Noah so badly it hurt. She wanted to get to know him and to be a part of eido-touchhis world, but she was terrified. Good visited her very few times in her life. The instant it arrived, she began preparing for its departure. Good was a temporary visitor and a fickle one at that.

“Come on, Kate. I can sense you’re afraid. I swear I’m a nice guy. I’ll do my damnedest not to disappoint or hurt you. Take a chance. Take a chance on me.”

Kate heard the vulnerability in Noah’s voice. She explored his handsome face, a face she was sure she would never tire of admiring. All traces of his earlier cockiness vanished. Instead, it was replaced by a rawness, an earnestness, a tenderness she’d never seen before. That was the look Kate would remember for a lifetime. Years from now, she would say that was the exact moment she knew, if Noah Reed asked her, she would be his for a lifetime.

Kate let out a slow breath and with a soft smile, she whispered, “Okay, Noah Reed. I’ll take a chance … a chance on you. I’ll go out with you.”

About the Author

Norah lives a double life. By day she is a suit-wearing, prim and image1-jpgproper, professor, administrator, researcher, and lecturer. By night she is a PJ wearing dreamer and writer of books that make people sigh, smile, cry, laugh, fall in love and believe in second chances.

Norah lives in Andover, New Jersey with her husband of thirty years, a cranky geriatric maltipoo, and an obnoxious cockatoo who runs the house and terrifies all its inhabitants.

Norah discovered the joy and escapism that comes from reading at the age of twelve and swears books saved her life and her sanity. Through reading, she has travelled the globe and learned all kinds of equally useful and useless skills such as the proper way to eat a pomegranate, carve a watermelon, or bathe an elephant. These are skills she has passed down to her two daughters who are incredibly supportive, but often wish she had a wider scope of hobbies.

Norah has a long publishing history in academia, but she started writing fiction recently. In July 2016 she published her first work of fiction, R.I.L.Y. Forever with Evernight Publishing and in January 2017 her second book, Everything I’ve Dreamed Of, was also published by Evernight Publishing. Currently, she is working on her third novel, Six Months. Digital and print copies of her books can be purchased at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/R-I-L-Y-Forever-Norah-Bennett-ebook/dp/B01IFH66CK/

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Liquid Friday with Author Joshua J. Valentin

This week we are featuring a Christian fiction romance author Joshua J. Valentin and his Inspirational romance novel John’s LOVE.

But before we unravel this “Love to Remember” work, let us find out what is the drink that J.J. Valentin recommends for us on a Friday night:

I don’t have a particular favorite drink, but when I go to the bar I always order a Stella with a shot of Jameson.
I like this combination because Stella is one of the stronger lagers and Jameson is, well, whiskey. But although they are strong, they are both very smooth to drink.

Ingredients

1 measure of Jameson Caskmates near or on the rocks.

beer

1 half pint of a cold Stella Artois.

Recipe:

Well this one does not need a genius to figure it out:  First take a sip of your whiskey and then a sip of your beer.

So let us kick back and relax, finding inspiration in this drink mixture, while embarking on the journey into John’s LOVE:

Blurb:

One thousand years have passed in the heavens, marking the beginning of the Trial period. For every one thousand years, two soul mates are chosen to be reborn in order to test their love and faith through the trials and tribulations of life’s false reality.

John and Sarah are chosen.

The rebirth of soul mates is to go as planned: not a single soul shall remember the other until fate, inevitably, pulls them together. But jjbookfrom the sound of Sarah’s laughter, as John walks past her one day after school, fate is suddenly placed into his hands, as his love for her is so strong it breaks all laws and reminds him of whom she is.

In-depth story explanation:  By reading the back cover of John’s LOVE it would appear that this is a story of romance and true love and, indeed, in many ways it is; however, there is a deeper love story embedded within: this is truly a story about God’s unconditional love and salvation for people who have hope and faith in HIM. John’s love for Sarah, in fact, is not so strong it breaks all laws and reminds him of whom she is; his memory of Sarah is given to him by God in order to test his faith and love in HIM. The trials and tribulations come into play when Satan torments John in his dreams and reality. In John’s dreams, Satan disguises himself as John’s own image and states he is his subconscious. He pleads with him to forget about Sarah and God, telling him that his visions are nothing more than a mental illness—“that what you can see and feel is the true and only reality.” Satan also manifests himself as Lucas: a handsome, charming man who will eventually influence Sarah and lead her down a path of self-destruction, causing John and Sarah’s destiny to unravel. In the end, John is forced to decide what is most important to him: his love for Sarah, which in turn holds his own destiny, or GOD.

Excerpt:

“A BLINDING LIGHT SHINES UPON JOHN AND SARAH as they stand amongst a crowd of countless souls. The time has come for them to fall back into life and forget all that they have experienced in the heavens.

John turns to Sarah, fighting back any signs of worry, grabs her hands and tries to comfort her with a smile. “I love you, sweetheart. Our love is unconditional and can never be forgotten. We shall rise out of love, through all.”

Sarah begins to tear, barely able to reply, “God has made you for me, and me for you. We will—we’ll forever be one.”

Aware of the possibilities of never reuniting, they desperately cling to one another; Sarah shakes, but John holds firm.

With their hands held tightly together, they are thrown down toward the earth. Never once does their eyes disconnect as they fall through the earth’s atmosphere and slowly fade away.

With one last breath, Sarah pleads, “Remember me! Remember me, Jo—”

*                    *                     *                     *                   *

spirit

*                    *                     *                     *                   *

“Hahaha!” Sarah laughs at her girlfriend’s joke as they stand outside on the steps behind their high school.

At that very moment, John and his friends are walking across the basketball courts when he hears Sarah’s loud, boisterous laugh. Somehow it seems familiar to him, so he looks to his left, and there she is with her long black hair, blowing in the wind, and her one-of-a-kind, genuine smile. His eyes and mind are locked on her as he is instantly reminded of whom she is and what she means to him: flashbacks of their past lives—in heaven and on Earth—flood his mind heavily. He tries to shake it off, thinking it might just be Déjà Vu, but he can’t; he’s stuck in this moment of love as if his life has just been pieced together. While his friends are talking, he hears nothing but her laugh, sees nothing but her smile, and is deeply in love with her goofy body movement as he watches her crack up in the distance. He doesn’t know where these thoughts and feelings are coming from, but it’s as if he’s known her all along. From a single glance at a girl he’s never met before, his soul cries desperately for love….”

 

You can get your own  copy in Paperback or Kindle  from Amazon by by clicking: Here

or from  Barnes & Noble in Paperback or on  Nook.

You can also visit the book page on Facebook.

About the author:

J.J. Valentin was born in Brooklyn, NY on February 11, 1989. He spent most of his childhood growing up in Wallington, NJ: a small jjvalentinsuburban town in Bergen County. At 17 years old, he moved to the Bronx, NY and attended college in Manhattan. In 2013, at the age of 24, he wrote John’s LOVE, which was then published in 2016.

Favorite Quote:
“When you see everything that happens in the world of science, and in the working of the universe, you cannot deny that there’s a captain on the bridge.” – Thomas Edison

Favorite book:
What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson

Liquid Friday with author Paula Scardamalia

This week we are featuring author, book coach and dream consultant for People Magazine Paula Scardamalia and her book: Weaving a Woman’s Life: Spiritual Lessons from the Loom.

But before we even dream of looking at her work, let us find out what is Paula’s favorite cocktail that she recommends for us this Friday evening.

Mojito with Citron Vodka

My favorite drink, especially in the summertime, is a mojito. I love the bright summery taste of fresh mint from our yard mixed with the tang of fresh lime juice. And unlike some mojito recipes that use mojitirum, I use citron vodka. The drink holds good memories of playing with friends in San Diego several summers ago at a hotel bar that had a special on mojitos. When I ordered one the bartender said she’d run out of rum but would use citron vodka and that I would like it. I did. And that’s the way I’ve fixed my mojitos ever since.

In large tumbler:
Put 12 large mint leaves with the juice from ¼ of a lime.
Bruise mint in lime juice, and then fill glass with crushed ice
Add 1 1/2 oz citron vodka (optional)
Fill glass with Mist Twist (old Sierra Mist) and stir.

Find a comfortable spot, put your feet up, take a sip, and relax. Ahhhh!  Time to check into the book.

Blurb

“The thoughtful and challenging spiritual lessons found here may indeed draw from ancient myths and the timeless activities of weaving-a-womans-life-195x300women of wisdom—but any man lucky enough to encounter them will learn as much about his own life textures as he will of the intricacies of female experience. This is a gentle and instructive book that reconnects all of us with some of the deepest fabric of our shared past and living present.” ~Joanna Bull, Founder of Gilda’s Club Worldwide

 

 

Excerpt from Lesson Five: Intention and Perspective—Creating the Vision

“Remember how many of our favorite fairy tales begin with a woman expressing her heart’s deepest desire? Often that desire, as in Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Thumbelina, and Rapunzel, is a woman longing to give birth to a child. The story does not really begin until the vision or intention is expressed. Then magic happens.

In order to wind a warp for the loom, I must first express or envision what I want to weave. The “story” of my weaving will not come to a happy ending if I wind a narrow warp of seven inches, put it on my loom, and then decide after the warp is threaded and tied on that I want to weave a shawl that is twenty-eight inches wide. I must then either unthread that warp, putting it aside, and wind on a new one that is the required width, or I can weave off the narrow warp first and then put on the wider warp for that shawl. Either option wastes time, effort, and perhaps even yarn. I will not be able to make up this loss later.

For our lives to unfold like the fairy tales of old, we must express the intention or vision for our lives—our heart’s deepest desires.”

Weaving a Woman’s Life: Spiritual Lessons from the Loom, won several awards, including a Bronze in the Self-Help category in Foreword Magazine’s 2006 Book of the Year Awards.

About the Author:

Paula Chaffee Scardamalia, dream consultant for PEOPLE Magazine (Country), is an author, book coach, and tarot and dream paulaintuitive. Since 1999, Paula’s shown writers how to use tarot, dreams, rituals and other intuitive tools to write stories from the deepest part of their imaginations. She’s presented workshops at small private events on the East Coast, and at both national and regional Romance Writers of America conferences and meetings, at the 2014 San Diego University Writers Conference, and the International Women’s Writing Guild summer conference. Paula publishes a weekly e-newsletter on writing, dreams, and tarot, and is the award-winning author of Weaving a Woman’s Life: Spiritual Lessons from the Loom.

You can learn more about Paula by following the link to her Divining The Muse website:

divining

Liquid Friday with author Aimée Marie Bejerano

This week we are featuring Christian YA author of inspirational, historical fiction and paranormal thriller/horror novels Aimée Marie Bejerano and her book Angelica: You Have Chosen Well.

But before we take upon the quest of learning about Aimee’s book, let us find out what is her favorite drink.

I’m a huge diet Coke lover. I started drinking it to help with chalky mouth DietCokefrom my medication, lol. Now, if you’re talking about an adult beverage, I don’t do social drinking or drink on a regular basis unless it’s according to

1 Timothy 5:23: “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” King James Version (KJV)

This basically means, if you have sickness in your stomach or other infirmities, to have a LITTLE wine to help. That’s precisely what I do. I have chronic digestion issues, diverticulitis and sour stomach. I also have chronic pain due to Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. So, according manishewitzto God’s word, I drink a little wine to help, not to get a buzz or to get drunk. The one wine that helps me the most, is chilled Manischewitz wine. I put a lot of ice into it, I know this sounds strange, but it’s a very sweet wine. I only need a tiny amount and just as the Bible says, it completely helps my stomach or my body.  I started drinking it probably over 10 years ago when my mother reminded me of the Bible verse and encouraged me to have a little to help. I’m thankful she did because it does help me quite a bit lol. 

So let us grab a little glass of Manishewitz wine or a Diet Coke (for those who would rather abstain for tonight, and dive right into the pages of Aimée Marie Bejerano‘s book  Angelica: You Have Chosen Well:

Blurb:

“There are crucial decisions Angelica must make regarding her life and purpose.”

angelica“Will she expire in a jail cell? Will she select death for the One she loves?”
“Aimee’s descriptions of the era are done so well that you will feel like you are right there with Angelica. At times I was bold with her and other times, well most of the time, I wished I was as courageous in the Lord as Angelica. Don’t miss out on this truly inspirational read, geared toward introducing a very personal relationship with Christ as well as encouraging one in their faith to stand up for him no matter what life may bring.”- Victoria Simcox

One prophetic night of birth, shakes and shapes history as we know it.

The life of a beautiful girl from Bethlehem, born that same prophetic night as Jesus, faces her final end when she is forced to decide either renounce Jesus and live or acknowledge Him and die.
Angelica was arrested and imprisoned, by Saul of Tarsus, for preaching on the narrow streets of Jerusalem. While awaiting a angelica2horrible death of stoning, she decides to write her life’s story which begins in Bethlehem when her father an inn keeper met a young couple one night. He had no room in the inn. All he had to offer them was a stable. Follow her on the journey of her life as she meets Bible characters and sees things her innocent eyes have never seen before.
Will Angelica’s life mission end in a prison cell…will she choose life or will she choose death for the One she loves?

This novel will make you walk away a believer and broken questioning the very core of your being. Are you brave enough to read it?

Excerpt:

Jesus has already suffered the ultimate crucifixion.  Rising again causes fear in the heart of the King, jealous of any arrival of a so-called “new king”.

Jerusalem is in utter mayhem, full of soldiers and stampeding horses, a complete panic. Those who believe in Jesus are arrested, imprisoned, and put to death by Saul of Tarsus.  He zealously persecutes the church, seizing men and women, called the ‘followers’ or ‘Christians’ for causing uproar.  The uproar, telling people about Jesus Christ, the One many speak of, Who was dead and His body stolen. The Christians however, faithful to Jesus, know better.

Early one dusky morning, a man saunters down a steep, stony staircase leading into a cold, underground prison where the walls seep of water.  A wretched, lingering scent reeks of death throughout the dark, damp and brisk prison.  Its walls hold the memory of those dying and having perished inside the grey and black encumbrance.

At the end of the stairs sits a wooden chair and a small, round table where a candle, dripping of wax, remains lit.  The only light illuminates throughout the darkened prison.  The man passes by the cells, to the right and left, holding men and women, who will be put to death for their crimes.  Their only crime is to preach Jesus Christ.  angelica youThe prisoners sing songs to the Lord, while many others pray, fearfully eyeing the man who passes their cell. Thoughts prick their mind, “Am I next?”  His armor clinks and his sandals sweep across the hard, stoned floor until he finally stops at the last cell of the prison.  Disdainfully, he looks down on one prisoner.

“Woman, I have what you sent for.”  Speaking abruptly and callously, there stands the prison guard, dressed in red and gold armor. He leers at the young woman through the cell bars.  She lies on a bed of hay, her legs tucked tightly to her bosom.  Her arms are crossed as she sleeps. Struggling to keep warm, her eyes barely open, from sheer exhaustion.

The woman of fair complexion snuggles, with a head wrap. She wears an off-white gown with a colored, striped sash.  In an unlit cell, lying in a puddle of putrid water, her hair shines like the sun, in long ringlets.  Her sky blue eyes distract from the obvious dirt and grime staining her body and clothing.

About Me

Reverend Aimée Marie Bejarano is a Christian YA Author of Aimeeinspirational, historical fiction and paranormal thriller/horror novels. She’s a country girl living in the great state of Texas. Aimée’s a musician and has worked with the youth for years. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, and gardening. Her inspiration comes from the Lord and delves into good books, movies and things of the supernatural and paranormal enlightening people to what God’s word says on the controversial subjects. On cool evenings, she loves taking leisure walks. Writing is not only a calling but a means to get away into the world of imagination. Aimée is an ordained Reverend and loves the youth, personal prayer and welcomes prayer requests.
Aimée began writing at the age of 16 when home schooled. A simple creative writing assignment turned into a book.