Tag Archives: Burst Books

Author Olga Godim Visits An Author’s Desk

Olga Godim is my guest today at An Author’s Desk. She is a debut author at Burst, Champagne Book  Group’s scifi/fantasy imprint. Olga will tell about her herself and her writing, and her first published book with Burst/Champagne.

I have 2 novels published. My first novel, Lost and Found in Russia, was published in Feb 2013 by Eternal Press, is women’s fiction, a story of mothers and daughters. It’s the only non-fantasy novel I’ve written. My second novel, Almost Adept, is a high fantasy adventure. It was released on Jan 6, 2014 by Burst/Champagne. It’s my first novel with Burst but I hope it won’t be my last. I’m predominantly a fantasy writer. My second fantasy novel, also with Burst, is scheduled for release in May 2014.
Olga Godim is my pen name for fiction. In my real life, I write for a local newspaper, and my articles have a different byline. Before I started writing anything, I was a computer programmer. I began submitting fantasy stories to magazines while still working at my computer job and I felt slightly embarrassed by my fantastic tales. Women of my age and profession didn’t make up stories of sword and magic. Or so I thought. So I decided to use a pseudonym. Olga is my first name, and Godim was my father’s first name. He died before I published my first piece, before I even started thinking about writing, but I wanted him to be a part of my writing life, so I chose his name as my nom de plume. Now, he’s always with me, a witness to my successes and failures as a writer.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI write at home because I need a quiet environment to write – so no music or other audio diversions. I drink coffee, so making coffee for myself is a legitimate distraction, as is checking my email several times a day and reading the blogs I follow.
Like any writer, I often have a few projects on the go. Right now, I’m almost done with the first draft of a fantasy a novel—a sequel to Almost Adept. It’s about the same protagonist, a young woman magician Eriale, visiting a kingdom where female magic is anathema. Only male servants of the local god are allowed to practice magic there. She has quite a ride ahead of her if she wants to complete her assignment for a client and help the local persecuted female witches at the same time.
My other project is a collection of short stories, all urban fantasy with a pinch of humor, united by the same characters—a young witch Darya and her familiar, squirrel Beatrice. I want to self-publish this collection as ebook only. So far, there are 8 stories already written, but I’d like to write at least one more.

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Almost Adept started developing in my head long ago, after I read Mercedes Lackey’s Magic Price. In the end of the book, the hero dies, heroically, of course. I dislike such endings, so I started fantasizing: what if he didn’t die? What if… One thing led to another, until my adopted hero transformed into someone else entirely, relocated to my imaginary country of Varelia, and acquired a wife and a daughter. Considering that in Lackey’s book he was gay, such a transformation was really drastic. He changed his name, and his daughter became my heroine, Eriale.
Strangely, when I started thinking about Eriale’s adventures, they came to me backwards. First, I wrote a story about her, when she was about 30 years old. This story exists on my computer as the first draft of a novel. I’m going to revise it soon. Then I wanted to see how she started on her magic path – and Almost Adept got written.
I also have a couple of short stories about Eriale, both happening before Almost Adept. Both stories are available as freebies on my website.

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Almost Adept

AlmostAdept-EBOOK_smallFor the seventeen-year-old mage Eriale, magic is a source of joy, and she often uses her magic to solve problems. Unfortunately, such solutions sometimes get out of hand. Her latest magical caper was a disaster, so she has to leave home in a hurry but she decides to turn her shameful fleeing into a quest to prove her Adept potential. She expects a glittering foreign escapade but ends up in Grumesh, the land rife with treachery and violence. A local courier Kealan becomes her only friend and ally. Together, they survive an explosion, a treacherous incarceration, and a daring escape. Sparks of interest ignite between them, but before Eriale can explore her attraction to Kealan, she discovers blood magic ruining amok in the city. Her priorities must change. As an aspiring Adept, she is duty-bound to find and eliminate the blood mage of Grumesh. She can’t allow her budding romance to distract her, or the blood magic will taint the entire land. No matter the cost—her life or her heart—she can’t let the vile mage win.

Buy Links for Almost Adept: BURST / AMAZON
Follow/Contact Olga: WEBPAGE/EMAIL

Thank you for visiting Olga and best wishes for success for Almost Adept. Rita Bay

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An Author’s Desk: Graeme Brown

My guest author today at An Author’s Desk is Graeme Brown. Graeme is an author of epic fantasy whose debut novella, The Pact, was published recently by Burst Books, the scifi/fantasy imprint of Champagne Book Group. Graeme is also a fellow author in the group blog, Worlds of the Imagination, a scifi/fantasy blog for authors and readers of the genre. Check out Grame’s bio, writing area, books (with link), book blurb, and contact info.

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Graeme_3 I write epic fantasy, but also have explored science fiction and have a series I’d like to write when I’m done the fantasy arc I have planned out. I am also a junior editor for Champagne Books. Aside from being a lover of epic fantasy (George R. R. Martin, Robert Jordan, to name my favorites), I am a math lover. I have been given the opportunity to being some research while still an undergraduate, thanks to one of my former professors who took me under his wing, so I spend my days wandering between the worlds of modular arithmetic and various fantasy universes.

When I’m in this (normal) world, I enjoy yoga, running, coffee-shop-hopping, and playing the piano. I also have a background in web design and SEO, which I did for several years before returning to the world of academia and publishing.
I like to make a mess when I write. Small pages and little booklets are great, because the more I can spread out, the better. I’m in the process of playing around with Scrivener, but, from experience working on computer versus working by hand, I find marrying digital with tactical is still my style of preference, especially since I do a lot of diagramming with maps and sigils and settings.
I prefer to write every day, just a little, because it keeps me connected to the story, blends in the rumination process with the writing process. I also only write one draft.

This works because I don’t write front to back. I develop the draft as I go advancing the word count by a couple hundred words every day (crossing a thousand on the great days), but spend a lot of the writing time pushing other relevant sections to their edge. I find this process not only provides the right inspiration to get into the story (and eliminated writer’s block), but also allows me to tie in elements from earlier.

A standard writing session for me involves first sitting down, opening my black box (which has my miniature profile and outline sheets), spreading out my pages before me – outline on the left, characters on the right, settings, maps, and world-building tracking sheets out of the way but ready for access. I work at the computer, usually with a coffee. Before I start writing, I spend anywhere from ten to twenty minutes going over my outlines and character profiles. I’ll open the manuscript document on the computer, read a bit from the day before, jump around to other sections – whatever the particular session calls for – and once I start feeling the story’s voice sediment, I begin. A writing session is usually about an hour, though I prefer two or more; I most often end them by choice because I know I have my other ten or so tasks for the day awaiting me.

I can work anywhere, so long as I have the space and I’m not distracted, especially by email. I’ve written in bed (with the bed made!), at the kitchen table, on the futon, at my favorite lounge at the university, in many a Starbucks or Second Cup. In that picture, I am writing at my partner’s mother’s house, one of my favorite studies where I usually do Saturday writing (his old bedroom, soon to turn into a spa room, so I’m getting my fix while I can!).

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The Pact is a short tale that will whisk you away to the castle wonderland of Will Lesterall, a boy who’s grown up safe and secure but who will soon find himself at the center of a secret plot hatched between fallen gods and wicked women. For intrigue and tension lurk behind the proud tapestries of Fort Lesterall, and a night that begins with wine and feasting soon will end with blood and the budding of an old prophecy’s seeds. The crossed daggers of House Lesterall have been its sigil since its founding, but their meaning a mystery – until this night, when Will discovers the power of his bloodline and the deeper fire within him.

the_pact_coverThe Stablehouse climbed three stories, a narrow building just twenty feet shy from touching the top of the double outer wall that surrounded the castle’s north flank. Lights shone in the top floor windows and a few others at ground level, where the horses were kept. Will hurried across the dark stones. The soft tap of his shoes against the cobbles echoed in the empty Square. In the middle, where the ground sloped down toward the sewer drains, the statue of Amarr the Barbarian cast a long shadow. Will passed into it and stopped. He heard voices.
Two men spoke in hushed tones, but their words carried when the wind wasn’t gusting.
“It’s that hag, I tell ya,” came one voice. “She’s roundin’ them up, preparing one of her big spells, she is. I heards there’s a sacrifice comin’, and she means to raise the dead.”
“Don’t be stupid, Roth.” Will recognized the raspy tone at once. It belonged to Mern, the whitesmith, whose half-slashed throat had never fully healed. Will squinted, but couldn’t see where the voices came from, other than realizing they drifted over from the dark, walled yard outside Hellistead’s Tavern.
“I’ll not have ya callin’ me stupid. Oh no. I know what this is about an’hoo. You’re just afraids, justs protectin’ yurself. Ya know whatcha got in it, ands I don’t blame you for bitin’ your tongue.”
“Quiet, you hay-brained crofter,” Mern spat. “Tonight’s not a night to whisper about such treacheries. The Lord Ham will cut your tongue out, and the world’ll be a better place for it if he does.”
“Old Cren will put it back, if he do, but I says he’d best act quick, or he’ll be lacking for the parts as fits him proper. The night’s black, Mern, and it’s gettin’ blacker yet.”
There was a hollow clatter, then sharp hisses. The man who spoke improperly cursed in words that would have made Grandma Mae gasp then Will heard quick footsteps and a series of clunks. He looked back to the castle, to where father gathered his fighters, then the other way, to the Stablehouse. If father’s in trouble, I have to warn him. Will knew his words wouldn’t be taken seriously, though.
He began to run across the stone expanse. Fort Lesterall won’t fall. Mern’s a wicked man, and whoever that other one is, he’s got no wits. Cren’s just an old woman who lives in the woods. She probably doesn’t even exist.
The side door to the Stablehouse opened as Will arrived, revealing a long labyrinth of stalls lit by rows of hanging lanterns. Jak peeked from behind the door, and Will slipped inside. When the older boy closed it, the dangerous night seemed far away. They were alone, Jak peering at Will, a curry comb still clasped in his hand. He was broad-limbed and of average height, with tousled hair the color of wet earth and eyes like onyx. As usual, he smelled of straw and horse manure, but that only made him all the more inviting.
Jak grinned. “I thought you’d hurry over after the feast proper. Too many clouds tonight, though. I’m afraid we won’t be spying Hell’s Cap, but I’ve another surprise for you. Found it myself, last night.”
“We won’t be going to the groves, Jak.” Will lowered his voice. “The Unborns are going to attack. Alter Dun showed the Red Token. That means the Unborns have challenged us. The Pact is broken. Even as we speak, my father’s gathering an army.”
“Of course he is.” Will turned toward the metal spiral stair. Barrik, a wiry man with salt-and-pepper hair and a bushy moustache, bent his impressive height as he descended from the second floor serving quarters. “I’ve a hundred retainers to see to and that’s lots of horseshit, my little prince. A good thing they’ve taken to the barracks. I’m full, and there’s a thousand more coming, twenty companies marching under you uncle’s banner knight, Telliken. If we hold the night, then there will be others, and we’ll feed the Unborns hell like they haven’t seen in centuries. But if what I’ve heard’s true, then they have hell to feed us first, before we can draw breath.”
Will gaped at the Master of Stables then shook his head fiercely. “Fort Lesterall cannot fall.”
Barrik grunted, though it sounded like a laugh. He picked up a pail and carried it to a nearby stall. “I wish I believed that, lad, but this world’s not run on luck, I’m afraid. A man forges his own blade then learns to use it, or he gets cut by everyone around him. This world’s a fierce battlefield, a bitch with a thousand teeth.”
“We can fight with them,” Jak insisted. “I’ve practiced with the sword you gave me lots of times in the groves. I’m not bad.”
“You would be with armor on.” Barrik came out of the stall with a pail full of black dung. He looked at Will, at Jak, his expression grave. “No, you boys have another errand…

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You can follow/contact Graeme at   Webpage *  Twitter * Email          Thank you, Graeme, for visiting and sharing.  Rita Bay

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An Author’s Desk: Elizabeth Fountain

Elizabeth Fountain is the guest author at today’s An Author’s Desk. Liz writes science fiction and fantasy. Her debut novel, An Alien’s Guide to World Domination, is a new release from BURST! Books, the scifi/fantasy imprint of Champagne Book Group. Elizabeth left a demanding job as a university administrator in Seattle to move to the small town of Ellensburg, Washington, and pursue her dream of writing novels. Her first book was five years in the making, and offered lots of opportunities to give up along the way; that might be why it’s a tale of people, aliens, and dogs who face the impossible, and do it anyway.

Liz has three more novels in progress. She takes breaks from writing to teach university courses, spend time with family and friends, and take long walks while leaning into the diabolical Kittitas valley wind. She holds degrees in philosophy, psychology, and leadership, which contribute to a gently humorous view of humanity well suited to tales of aliens and angels, love and death, friendship and dogs. Let’s check out Liz’s desk.

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FountainAuthorsDesk2Moving from a house in Seattle to a small apartment in Ellensburg, Washington – a town of about 20, 000 people in the heart of the state – presented some challenges in terms of creating a space for writing. Fortunately, my apartment is just one block away from the Ellensburg Public Library. The library has semi-private carrels, plugs for my laptop, free wireless connections, comfy chairs when I need them, and, of course, books. It’s wonderful to write surrounded by so many of the best books ever written. I feel inspiration leaking out of their covers and sometimes, if it’s very quiet, it seems I can almost hear them whispering their best lines to me.

The Ellensburg Public Library, like public libraries all over this country, provides a free, clean, warm-in-winter, cool-in-summer, friendly place to work, read, or just be. I couldn’t resist the chance to sing the praises of public libraries and to thank the folks at mine for all they contribute to our communities. I also write at home, usually in bed, with my laptop propped on a pillow, and some good music on my iPod (or a baseball game on the radio).

I am a binge writer – I write in waves rather than routines. A few days will go by with very little writing at all; then I start, and soon enough I’m lost in the world of story creation for hours at a time. I’ve tried writing first thing in the morning when my mind is fresh, and writing at the end of the day after I’ve taken care of all the other demands on my time. Either can work just fine if the inspiration is there. I keep thinking I need to be more disciplined and establish a real writing regimen; maybe one day I’ll get there. In the meantime I adore riding the waves of creativity as far as they will go.

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An Alien’s Guide to World Domination

Click to read excerpt/buyLouise Armstrong Holliday is the last person on Earth you’d expect to save the human race. But when she uncovers proof that her boss is an alien the color of lime Jell-O ™ gone horribly wrong, and is at the center of a plot to destroy humanity, Louie decides to do exactly that. She begins a journey from her company’s suburban Seattle office park to the old cities and castles of Eastern Europe. Along the way, Louie is attacked by flying books, overly-sensitive bat-crow monsters, and her own self-doubts. She must learn the truth about her closest friend, stand up to her boss, confront her oldest enemy, and make peace with her Aunt Emma, who annoys her in the way only true family can. She also has to rely on Buddy, the little blind mini-Schnauzer who saves her life twice – and really is from Mars.

Liz’s Note: I like to say this book is for anyone who’s ever looked at her boss and thought: you must be from another planet. In other words, everyone. Maybe that’s why, in its first month of release, I’ve had so many readers contact me claiming to know who the characters “really” are – because we all know what it’s like to feel surrounded by aliens, or to feel we are the ones who are lost in a strange world. One of my favorite reader responses appeared in a review of the book on Amazon.com: “By the end of the story, you are thinking ‘perhaps _____ is an alien, too.’” I love it!

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Thank you, Liz, for visiting. Check out Liz’s buy links and contact info:

To buy or read an excerpt of An Alien’s Guide to World Domination at BURST! Books, click the book cover or HERE  OR to buy from AMAZON.

Contact author Elizabeth Fountain at:  WEBPAGE * FACEBOOK * EMAIL

Tomorrow: More of Aphrodite.   Rita Bay

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Welcome Guest Author Celia Breslin

Author Celia Breslin visits today to share her debut romantic urban fantasy, along with a family recipe for some seriously addictive caramels. HAVEN will be released in July, 2013 by Burst Books, a division of Champagne Book Group. Vampires, mayhem, and love, what more could you ask for? Check out the blurb to learn more, but first, Celia presents her grandmother’s caramel candy recipe. Warning: these caramels are so good you’ll want to make them year round.

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The Best Ever Holiday Caramel Candy, aka Grandma Eddie’s Caramels

1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk   2 cups white sugar

2 cups white Karo Syrup                                            1 stick of butter (1/4 lb.)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix together the first three ingredients (milk, sugar, syrup) in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a large heavy kettle, pour in the mixture and bring to a boil. Stir continuously while mixture boils until it reaches the temperature of 245 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer (can take up to 25 minutes). Note: If mixture overcooks, candy gets too hard. Once the 245 degree temperature is reached, remove kettle from stove. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, then pour mixture onto a large buttered cookie sheet or flat pan. Allow to cool.  When cool, cut candy into squares and wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper. (And try not to eat them all before you do! J – Makes a delicious holiday gift).

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HAVEN

Chosen by Destiny. Bonded by Blood.  San Francisco nightclub owner Carina Tranquilli works hard, plays hard, and never allows the death of her parents and her twelve-year memory gap to get her down. But her life takes a left turn when a witch attacks her on her twenty-fifth birthday.
Three hauntingly familiar vampires emerge to reveal she possesses a latent power. To protect her from their enemies, they admit to wiping her memories clean and abandoning her as a child, but now they need her help. As she struggles to evade her new protectors and even newer enemies, she meets Alexander, an enigmatic, undead musician. Insta-lust flares, leaving her wanting more.
With evil’s minions hounding her every move, and everything she thought she knew turned on its head, Carina must harness her burgeoning power, unravel her vampire family’s web of deceit, and fight to have a love life…without getting killed in the process.

Visit Celia’s Web site, http://celiabreslin.wordpress.com/ , to learn more about Celia and her writing.

Tomorrow, Jane Toombs

 

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Welcome Author Ronald Hore

Today’s guest is Ronald J. Hore, an author published with Burst Books, an imprint of the Champagne Book Group. Ron, who writes as R.J. Hore, shares a warm family Christmas story and a favorite recipe. Check out the cover of his debut novel with Burst, the excerpt from his latest novel, housetrap, and the cover from Knight’s Bridge which is due out in March, 2013.

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A Family Christmas Story

Our family has a tradition, sometimes difficult to maintain, of gathering everyone together for the opening of Christmas presents in the morning, and dinner later in the afternoon. With the children getting married and scattering across the country from the Pacific coast to the Arctic, this becomes more difficult year-by-year.

When the baby of the family, our youngest daughter Christine married, she moved to Fort Frances Ontario with her husband Angelo, a banker with a position away from home. Fort Frances is about five and a half to six hours away, in good weather. The town was named after Lady Frances Simpson, wife of the Hudson Bay Company Governor, George Simpson.

Early on that Christmas morning my wife received a telephone call from Christine to wish us a Merry Christmas. She was very sorry, but they had told us a few days earlier that they wouldn’t be able to join us for Christmas, Angelo had to work as he was the only one of the management team without children. Being an ex- banker, I was not too surprised. Fort Frances is located in a remote corner of Ontario, and reached either through narrow roads winding through endless forests on the Canadian side, or a slightly shorter route through an almost equally deserted section of northern Minnesota. Not the greatest of roads in the winter, either way.

My wife Barbara was extremely disappointed, as you can well imagine. The family gathered at the home of Barb’s parents later that morning. We were just opening the presents, and happened to glance out of the front window. You guessed it, Christine and Angelo pulled into the driveway. Barbara burst into tears. Needless to say, Christine’s parents were very happy, once they got through giving her a lecture about teasing the old folks.

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 Another of our Christmas Traditions: Barbara’s Rum Balls

2 cups Graham Wafer Crumbs    1 cup finely chopped nuts

1 cup icing sugar                             2 tbsp cocoa powder and a pinch of salt

Combine and pour in 1/3 cup rum and 1/3 cup corn syrup

Knead well, shape into 1” balls and roll in granulated sugar. Store in a closed container.

My personal comment:  The darker the rum and the longer they are stored, the stronger the taste.

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 HOUSETRAP

Click to Buy from Burst Books

I don’t like Elves, never have. I sat tilting back in my chair counting the stains on the ceiling when she walked through the open door of my inner office unannounced. Unannounced because I’d just given Bertha the afternoon off to visit her sick brother. Bertha’s half Banshee, thin as a lamppost with long straight dark hair and big brown eyes. She’s always got a relative down with the Black Death or some obscure curse; I think she has twelve brothers, but I digress.

The Elf arrived in my office wrapped in a full-length gold lame coat with a large hood covering her head and hiding most of her features, but I could tell she was pure Elf. Those yellow eyes are a dead giveaway even if you can’t spot the pointed ears. I’m a student of nature, have to be; the breed often determines character, or motive, or veracity. In my business you have to stay two jumps ahead or you’re squashed like a scarab. I’m a Mongrel myself. You can never tell about Mongrels, and there are more of us around now ever since the Goldilocks affair. Now there was a real witch, not the kind with just a warty nose, but she married that Wolf  back in the days before they gave femmes the vote. Then they went overboard and made it all legal in the Intermarriage Act of 1812, and everything has tumbled Jack over Jill downhill ever since.

The Elf glanced about the room nervously, then in a single fluid motion crossed her long legs and slid into the battered chair opposite me like maple syrup poured from a mason jar. I sighed deep inside, rocked forward to rest my elbows on the scratched oak desk, painted a smile across my ugly mug and waited. I had all day; it had been two weeks since my last case. She fidgeted for a minute and I matched her, stare for stare, until my eyeballs screamed for mercy. The Elf had the kind of face you see perched high on a mantelpiece, thin bone china, pale, delicate, and carved by a master.

Check out his webpage at www.ronaldhore.com or www.facebook.com/RonaldJHore.

Tomorrow, Guest Author Linda Rettstat

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Guest Author, Audra Middleton

Author Audra Middleton is visiting to share her debut fantasy novel and a to-die-for holiday recipe. Watcher,  will be released in January, 2013 by Burst Books, a division of Champagne Book Group. Burst/CBG is known for outstanding covers, but they outdid themselves with this one. Check it out when you read the blurb. First, though, Audra offers up her recipe for Peaches & Cream Cheesecake.

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Peaches & Cream Cheesecake

¾ C. flour                                         ½ tsp. salt
1 egg                                                   3 Tbsp. soft butter
1 small pkg non-instant vanilla pudding
½ C. milk                                         1 Qt. drained peaches
1- 8 oz. pkg soft cream cheese      ½ C. sugar
3 Tbsp. peach juice                         sugar & cinnamon

1. Mix first 7 ingredients in a bowl and beat for 2 minutes.
2. Pour mixture into large greased pie plate.
3. Place drained peach slices on top of mixture.
4. Combine cream cheese, ½ C. sugar, and 3 Tbsp. peach juice. Beat for 2 minutes.
5. Spoon cream cheese mixture over peaches and batter, leaving ¼ of an inch space before the edge of the plate.
6. Sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Best if eaten warm.

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WATCHER

An orphan girl seeks the oblivion of the forest while darkness lures the Chosen Son of prophecy, yet they find each other, and their budding love could destroy the very world Goran, the tormented prophet, is trying to save. War threatens to destroy the world of Anthelion unless the holy man, Goran, can solve his prophecy riddle. For every clue he finds, another obstacle surfaces. An orphan girl, Watcher, becomes his responsibility. As if parenthood itself  isn’t daunting enough, she keeps a bear for a pet and transforms into her forest surroundings to avoid socialization. Hope momentarily emerges when Goran finds Benaiah, the Chosen Son of the prophecy. Only he soon discovers Benaiah is a social pariah on the verge of embracing darkness. When Benaiah and Watcher unexpectedly meet, the two outsiders find in each other a sense of  belonging they’ve never known. Now their emerging love promises to bring about the same war Goran is struggling to prevent.

Visit Audra at audramiddleton.weebly.com to read more about her writing and books. Watcher with that gorgeous cover will be released in early January. I’ll feature the release with a large pic of that cover.  Tomorrow and Saturday, stop by and check out a couple of high-end Christmas gifts that’s sure to please if you have the bucks.  Rita

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Guest & Giveaways: Welcome, Author J. A. Garland

Please welcome today’s guest author, J.A. Garland. J.A. is a writer of urban fantasy. She’s also a giver of swag for one lucky commenter. Her latest book, Instinct, is published by BURST Books.

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Apple Pie Oatmeal

Do the holidays leave you out of breath and scrambling for time to eat something, anything? Well, fear not, this slow cooker oatmeal recipe allows you to pre-assemble delicious ingredients, and have a nutritious meal ready when you’re ready! Which might even give you enough time to curl up with a good urban fantasy book…

1 cup of steel cut oats                                          4 cups of water

2 peeled and chopped apples (Granny Smith if you like tart, apple pie taste)

3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed (I like the blueberry flavored variety from Trader Joe’s)

1.5 teaspoons of ground cinnamon                  1 teaspoon of nutmeg

2 tablespoons of your favorite sweetener (I like honey powder)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 cup of walnuts (optional, but yummy if you aren’t allergic)

Spray the inside of your slow cooker with non-stick spray (like Pam). Add all the above to your cooker, stir, put on the lid and set to Low. Allow to cook for 4-6 hours. (Four if you like firm, six if you like mushy).

Don’t forget the milk and fresh fruit when it’s done cooking

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INSTINCT

“When war erupts among the Shadow creatures, can enemies become allies?”

JA_Garland_Instinct_500x750Lone wolf, Rory Archer, never failed a single mission. Now the hunted instead of the hunter, Rory unwinds a twisted trail leading back to Amber Arlington, a spirited Halfling tied to a world of Shadows. Bound to vows initially forged out of necessity, Rory and Amber’s relationship surges into more than either of them had bargained on. Scrambling to identify their attacker before joining the casualty list, Rory is forced to do the unthinkable, or watch Amber become a slave for his species.

Remember, one random commenter will receive a package of Lula’s peppermint bark and a signed copy of Instinct. Visit J.A.’s webpage (http://jagarland.blogspot.com/) to read more about J.A. and her stories.  Tomorrow, Author Audra Middleton visits.

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