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Friday, May 18, 2018

In the Kitchen with Jesse Miller- Recipe for Vegetarian Lentil Meatballs



Hi there, my name is Jesse Miller and I write novels. Today, however, I’d like to discuss how to make one of my favorite meals, vegetarian meatballs!  

One of the things I particularly don’t like about vegetarian cooking is the desire to create a vegetarian alternative which mimics the flavor and mouthfeel (Puking forever! Such a disgusting word that mouthfeel!) of the meat version.  

However, this one gets a pass with me; whether in pasta or on a hoagie roll with sauce and cheese, this recipe is a house favorite. 

Lentils hold a special meaning for me in my creative life.  For years, I had a huge bag of lentils on top of my computer screen as I worked on my novel ARK.  No pressure, but if you read the book, you’ll get why.  Then one day, when I had finished the book, I occurred to me that I should do something with the loitering lentils, which, as you may imagine, took on a kind of Eucharistic vibe.  Lentils have become a bit of staple in my diet since.

The recipe below takes a while to prep—it’s a lot of chopping and there’s some fiddling here and there, but it can be fun to cut up vegetables if you can get a helper.  You might play some music, why not play some music together? Open a bottle of Riojas, what?  I often play sous chef in the kitchen, but sometimes I’m the big baller/shot-caller, especially when I become the Nacho, Nacho Man.  Anyway, my wife found the recipe somewhere at some point online, so wherever this came from, you rock!  I’m transcribing her handwriting of the recipe card and appreciating what incredible handwriting she has as I type this.

Lentil Meatballs

Ingredients (so you can get your mise en place on):

2 cups lentils
¼ cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
1 large lemon (Hey!  Maybe play Zooropa!!)
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced (We usually go bonkers for garlic though)
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp tomato paste
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
3 large eggs
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ bread crumbs
¼ cup fresh parsley
¼ cup finely chopped walnuts (yeah, I know that seems weird)

OK, here are the steps to success:

1.    Cook the lentils.  Then drain and cool.  My wife thinks it’s pretty obvious when the lentils are cooked, so let that be your clock.

2.   SautĂ© the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme and salt in ¼ cup olive oil in a large frying pan for 10 minutes.  Then add the tomato paste and cook for 3 more minutes.  Add mushrooms and then transfer to a wok (is that right, let me check…ok, I’m being told that’s NOT correct); ok, scratch that wok transfer.   How did screw that up?  Hmmmm.  Ok, the idea here is to add the mushrooms and cook for another 15 minutes.  That handwriting thing from earlier is now suspect.

3.    Cool and add the cooked lentils.

4.    Add eggs, parmesan, bread crumbs, parsley, and walnuts.  Mix by hand and put in the fridge for 25 mins. 

5.    Preheat your oven to 400 F.  Drizzle olive oil on the pan.

6.    Roll the mixture in to golf ball-sized meatballs. 

7.    Roast for 30 minutes, and boom!  Baby, you got a stew goin’!  Or, at least some versatile meatless meatballs. And really, since ARK is such a drinking book, complete with many cocktail recipes, it would be good to pair it with some food!  Cheers!


This is one of my favorite recipes.  Maybe you have other vegetarian recipes to share?




ARK
Jesse Miller

Genre: Literary Fiction

Publisher: Common Deer Press

Date of Publication: May 15, 2018

ISBN: Hardcover ISBN: 978-988761-08-4
Paperback: ISBN: 978-1-988761-07-7
E-Book ISBN: 978-1-988761-09-1

Number of pages: 162
Word Count: 45k

Cover Artist: Ellie Sipila

Book Description:

Imagine the son of Cinderella and Noah. That's Alabaster Ash, professional window washer and amateur foot fetishist, thrall to his three physically fit, brutally aggressive stepsisters.

After polishing foot after foot of glass in the gingerbread city of Candyland and cleaning up after the “wicked stairmasters,” he haunts the bars and streets looking for love and appreciation -or a really nice pair of feet.

Like it or not, Alabaster finds himself reliving and reimagining his parents' lives as he roams from bar to bar, from thrill ride to stunt show in the linguistic funland that is ARK.

Excerpt:

Ground squirmed past the windows, shuffling racks of bones and skulls under the soptoil as clouds crept along the horizon. On the bus, all the windows let in cold air and hung like a racked row of ice cubes in a tray, but I barely cracked the bottle.
Out I poured when the doors opened, unable to feel my legs, unable to see the ocean, but I could smell the salty marsh marching wet blue harridans, swiping and batting the spit, pushing the blood and saltboxing up fatjuices into my sinuses.

Jammed a kwata in the belly box and engaged the line.

–Hello?
–I’ve arrived. I’m here.
–That’s great. I bet a little walk will feel like a little slice of heaven, eh?
–I suppose.
–Well, I’ll leave the light on for you, Buddy.

I slid on my gloves and tried not to flinch at the sudden mustering of prickly discs skipping to my face. I leaned in hard and clacked through town, blackened and boarded and unblinking, barely wicklit. Smatter rooms to let. Ingrown hairs. Offseason. Unseasoned in the savorless in and out drag of the tonguetide. I dashed through a carless parking lot and into an astralamped glass meadow jotting down quivering blue starlight ink- puddles into suckshifts of snowhunchbanks humpbacking the outermost stretch of tideland. To the left, a skit of cloven unguals stirred it seemed, crunchy, but I only got half an ear worth and couldn’t noctoscop the goings-on of could be caribou or elk or deer bowing their head, bowing their head before the almighty peering down hard and in, like the retractable Polton and Crane lamp in the dentist’s office that hangs my mouth open.
Inside the blackness, the stickiting, ricketing pickets of thickets wiggle on their dicot studs without me seeing, while they shot out the other side and stitched a black curtain against the edge of the rest of the world. I clacked another mile stretch as brine wafers tickled my ears and swizzled my nos- trils while Lawrence Welk drift popping jollyjawdropping orbs uncorked across my field of vichy.
Estrella’s was a lighthouse, though not the vertical variety. But it glowed.
Light hung out over the glass and flabbed fat, hotwhite dough out the sides as I took up her street. This was another gingerbread house, hundreds of miles from home, though this one in earshot of the beach. I rang and rang and rang and then just opened the door.

About the Author:

Jesse Miller is the author of Unwrap Your Candy and the forthcoming ARK, both available from Common Deer Press. He is a Visiting Assistant Lecturer in English at the University of New England.  He lives in the great city of Portland, Maine with his wife, two cats, and dog. Jesse roots for the Red Sox.



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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Cover Reveal Texting Prince Charming by Patty Carothers and Amy Brewer





TEXTING PRINCE CHARMING
PRINCE CHARMING Series
Book One
Patty Carothers and Amy Brewer

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Omnific (Simon and Schuster Partner)

Date of Publication: 05/29/2018

ISBN: 978-1-623422-62-2 (eBook)  
ISBN: 978-1-623422-61-5 (Print)
ASIN: B07CRQPSRB

Number of pages: 235
Word Count: 78,573

Cover Artist: Amy Brokaw

Tagline: Is this your Prince Charming?

Book Description:

After a tragic accident leaves Shelby Ryan permanently injured, she gives up all hope in happily-ever-afters. Shelby puts on a brave face while hiding her pain, but once she returns to school, everything changes. She starts receiving anonymous corny messages from a mysterious Prince Charming, and her nemesis, basketball star and bad boy, Sebastian, shows sudden interest in her.

Hilarity ensues as Shelby tries to uncover Prince Charming's real identity and come to terms with her true feelings for the last boy on Earth she ever thought she'd fall for: Sebastian Freaking Birch.
              
Will she be able to cope with the allure of the texting prince, or will Sebastian be the real-life prince in Shelby's fairytale?

About the Authors:


Patty Carothers has been in love with stories for as long as she can remember. She is a certified copy editor and an Oxford comma fangirl. Her adoration of all things comic book related and YA has morphed into her co-writing the Texting Prince Charming series. Engaging and realistic characters that bounce off the pages through witty and thought-provoking dialogue are a thrill for her to read. Although, most days the real question lies with a simple: Is she team Marvel or team D.C.?



Amy Brewer has been an avid reader and lover of literature her whole life. She is a graduate of Culver-Stockton College with a theater degree because drama, romance, and angst are her lifelong passions. She is the co-writer of the Texting Prince Charming series and continues to be enthralled with the art of writing.





Tuesday, May 15, 2018

In the Kitchen with Jess Bryant - Release Day Blitz Unbreakable Bond


If you ask anyone in my family, they’ll tell you that I don’t cook. As far as they know, most of my attempts at using my oven have resulted in smoke alarms sounding and firemen being called. They’re not wrong. I’ve never been a big fan of cooking and I will do almost anything to keep from having to bring dishes to family gatherings, even letting them believe I don’t know how to cook anything.

It’s not true mind you. I can cook. I just choose not to most of the time. So, instead of sharing some big fancy dish with you all, I’m going to share with you something that is easy to make and that goes over well at any gathering or party.

It’s called Neiman Marcus Dip (maybe because it’s rich? I don’t know. I just know it is super tasty and everyone seems to love it.)

Here’s what you’ll need:

5-6 green onions

8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

1 ½ cups mayonaise

1 jar Hormel Real Bacon Bits

1 pckg. slivered almonds

Here’s what you do:

Chop the onions.

Grate the cheese.

Dump in the bacon bits and almonds.

Stir in the mayonnaise

Then stick it in the refrigerator for a few hours so the flavors can blend together

Voila! You have an amazing dip that will be the hit of the party and the best part is, you didn’t have to cook a thing! 

Ritz crackers are recommended for dipping but personally I prefer to use Wheat Thins. 
They’re thicker and don’t break as easily. But to each their own. 

I hope you enjoy this fun little dip. Now, I’ve made myself hungry and I’m off to whip up a big bowl of dip just for me.

xoxo - Jess




Unbreakable Bond
Fated Mates Duet
BookOne
Jess Bryant

Genre: PNR - Shifter Romance



Date of Publication: 5/15/2018


Number of pages: 258
Word Count: 68,000

Cover Artist: K Creative Designs

Tagline: Fate has a plan all her own.

Book Description:

Sometimes fate gets it all wrong.

Zoey Kent has lived with that fact ever since she turned eighteen and learned that the man she loved could never be hers. He’s a born shifter, a wolf, and she’s a mere human. Fate doesn’t care if on paper they’re a perfect pair. She isn’t his fated mate and she’s resigned herself to the knowledge that someday, she’ll have to watch Michael mate with another. It’s never crossed her mind that there might be someone else out there for her, that she would be the one to mate another, to choose another over everything she’s ever known or wanted.

Sometimes fate gets it all right.

Rafe Hudson left his pack behind years ago. Physically and mentally scarred from an attack that left his parents and twin dead, he walked away from his responsibilities as Alpha. He never intended to return but lone wolf or not, he can’t leave Michael open to an attack he’s learned is coming for his only brother. What he didn’t know was that going home would mean scenting his mate, the one person in the world that could make him whole again, that could give him everything he thought he’d lost. His pack, his home and his family.

But fate always has a plan.

There’s no way Michael’s brother is her future, is there? Just like there’s no way that the girl his brother has loved since they were kids, was always meant to be his, right?

Only fate knows why they were brought together but there is one thing for sure, the sparks between Zoey and Rafe are undeniable. The bond between them is unbreakable. And together… they’ll change the face of the pack forever.

Excerpt 3

Ignoring the bite of pain, he reached through the bars and wound a hand in her hair. He tilted her face up and pressed his lips to hers. The silver burned his cheek where he couldn’t avoid the bars of his cell but it didn’t matter. Nothing did. Not when he finally, finally had the taste of his mate on his lips.
Sweet, so sweet. Her taste seeped inside of him and started a riot in his bloodstream. Her lips were soft and sweet and when they met his, it felt like a piece of the puzzle he’d always been missing slid into place.

How had he lived without this? All this time? All these years? And his mate had been right here, waiting for him. 

About the Author:

Jess Bryant is an avid indoorswoman. A city girl trapped in a country girl's life, her heart resides in Dallas but her soul and roots are in small town Oklahoma. She enjoys manicures, the color pink, and her completely impractical for country life stilettos. She believes that hair color is a legitimate form of therapy, as is reading and writing romance. She started writing as a little girl but her life changed forever when she stole a book from her aunt's Harlequin collection and she's been creating love stories with happily ever afters ever since.

Jess holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma and is a lifetime supporter of her school and athletic teams. And why not? They have a ton of National Championships! She may be a girlie girl but she knows her sports stats and isn't afraid to tell you that your school isn't as cool as hers... or that your sports romance got it all wrong.

For more information on Jess and upcoming releases follow her on her many social media accounts for news and shenanigans.





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Friday, May 11, 2018

Jessica Redmerski's Publishing Journey


I have been writing for as long as I can remember—OK, so maybe not that long, but I did start writing at a young age. I did write a lot of stuff before—diaries, poetry, song lyrics—but twelve or thirteen is when the first novel started. I knew it was what I was born to do, whether I would be good at it, or not. I didn’t care; I just knew I needed to write.

Do you believe that many novelists choose to selfpublish out of frustration with trying to publish traditionally?

When self‐publishing on Amazon first became a thing, I do think most of those going it on their own were doing it out of frustration. I was one of them! Even though I self‐published my first book a short time after it was becoming the thing to do, I totally did it because I tried for almost three years to land an agent, but to no avail. But now, I think more and more authors are doing it because they feel it’s the better route for them, and are bypassing the query‐reject method altogether. Personally, I like both!

How important is it to understand the basics of publishing before delving into selfpublishing?

Writers need to understand that self‐publishing is not easy. Sure, you can write a book and upload it and start selling, but there is so much more to it than that. If a writer chooses to self‐publish they must commit to some hardcore self‐promoting and spending a lot of their own money (professional editing, giveaways, review copies, cover art, advertisements, etc.). Bypassing all of this stuff can leave your book buried beneath the avalanche of millions of other books competing for the same exposure.

Can you provide a few selfpublishing best practices you believe brought you literary success?

Some of what I’ve already mentioned are good practices, but also, I’d like to point out two things that I believe contributed to my success: kindness and professionalism. I’ve read a lot of horror stories from book reviewers who were verbally attacked by authors because they turned away a review request or gave a bad review, and similar stories about authors and agents. Know in advance that no matter how hard you worked to write your book that it’s not the next bestseller (until it is), that it isn’t better than J.K. Rowling or Stephen King and that you have absolutely no right to make these statements out loud to anyone. Period. And lastly, no matter how much it hurts your feelings or angers you, never reply to a bad review. Ever. Not even if something the reviewer said was 100% wrong. Just don’t do it.


Over the course of about twenty-five years (holy cow, I didn’t realize it had taken that long!), I wrote 7 or 8 completed novels, (some that I’ve still never published), countless incomplete novels, and tons of fantasy world-building. It wasn’t until 2012 when I was working a full-time job that paid me more than I’d ever been paid hourly, that I made the risky decision to quit my job and write full-time. It wasn’t that I didn’t care that I had three young children to raise on my own and that I needed that job—it was only that I knew in my heart that I had to do it. I knew that if I continued to work more than 40 hours per week that I was always going to be too tired to do what I love—writing. And I believed in myself. It was key. It helped me make the decision; to break my fear of the decision and just do it.

Well, I did it. And a few weeks later, after publishing THE EDGE OF NEVER, my life changed in ways I never imagined.

I hit bestseller’s list (New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Amazon); I watched my sales in my Amazon dashboard skyrocket, and I couldn’t believe in only one day I made over $7,000! A welfare mom who lived in government housing, and was on food stamps all her life, seeing a sales total for $7,000 in a single day—I honestly didn’t believe it. I used to look forward to amounts like that at tax time when I filed EIC (I’m sure some of you know what I mean here!). And when those sales figures climbed higher every day, I really had to keep recounting the figures because I just knew I must’ve been counting it wrong.

I had accomplished my dream. God gave me the money I needed to finally buy my own home after struggling to pay rent all my life; He helped me pay for kids college and dental work, and pretty much all of the important things I wanted for my children.

But my dream is ongoing, and I’m still writing, and I hope to write until I shut my eyes and can thank Him personally.



The moral of my story is: Go after your dreams; don’t let fear stop you from doing what you want to do most in your life; never give up on yourself. 




Everything Under the Sun
Jessica Redmerski

Genre: Dystopian YA/NA Crossover

Date of Publication: August 28, 2017



ISBN: 1546413081
ASIN: B074W372G6

Number of pages: 657
Word Count: 203K

Cover Image by Perrywinkle Photography
Cover Design by Okay Creations

Tagline: Can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?

Book Description:

Thais Fenwick was eleven-years-old when civilization fell, devastated by a virus that killed off the majority of the world’s population. For seven years, Thais and her family lived in a community of survivors deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. But when her town is attacked by raiders, she and her blind sister are taken away to the East-Central Territory where she is destined to live the cruel and unjust kind of life her late mother warned her about.

Atticus Hunt is a troubled soldier in Lexington City who has spent the past seven years trying to conform to the vicious nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. He knows that in order to survive, he must abandon his morals and his conscience and become like those he is surrounded by. But when he meets Thais, morals and conscience win out over conformity, and he risks his rank and his life to help her. They escape the city and set out together on a long and perilous journey to find safety in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Struggling to survive in a world without electricity, food, shelter, and clean water, Atticus and Thais shed their fear of growing too close, and they fall hopelessly in love. But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?


Kindle     Paperback

  

Excerpt 1

“One more night,” I said, not looking at her. “Give me one more night and I’ll get you out of this city.” All I could see in front of me was the scenario: I’d wait until very late, after most of the city was sleeping, and then I’d dress her in my military clothes, make her pin up her hair underneath a cap, strap a rifle to her shoulder, a backpack full of goods on her back, and set her atop the mare waiting at the stables.
“But there’s nothing for me anymore,” Thais said, wiping away the lingering tears on her cheeks. “There’s nowhere for me to go, and no one waiting for me there if by some miracle I make it alive. My mother and father are dead. My sister”—she looked up at me, and although I didn’t meet her gaze, I could feel her eyes on me—“my whole family is dead, and this world is dead and my soul is dead and everything that was once good and beautiful and right, is dead.”
I looked at her then, her words stirring me.
“That’s not true,” I said, and got up from the chair and crouched in front of her. “You may be the only good thing left in this world, and I’ll be goddamned if I let your light fade.”
Tears tumbled down Thais’ cheeks.
I took the gun that had fallen from her hand, tucked it into the back of my pants.
“Promise me you won’t try anything,” I said as I went toward the door. “Promise me on your sister’s soul, that you’ll stay in this room and wait for me.”
“Where are you going?”
“To get your supplies.” I placed my hand on the doorknob. “Don’t open this door for anyone.” I opened it to blackness; the candles that had been lit in the hallway had burned down.
“Wait,” Thais called out, and I stopped.
She stood up on wobbly legs.
“You said to get my supplies—are you sending me away alone?”
I thought on it for a moment. I’d never had any intention of going with her. I couldn’t. Not if I was going to keep others from following her.
“No,” I finally said. “You’re not going alone. I’ll go with you, at least until I can get you somewhere safe.”
“Is there anywhere safe, Atticus?” Her voice was soft, hopeless, and hearing her say my name like that did something to my heart. “Do you know where you’re taking me?”
I sighed. And I looked at the wall.
“Yes,” I lied, and then stepped out into the hallway.
Just before I closed the door I added, “Promise me.”
Thais nodded.
“I promise,” she said. “I’ll wait for you.”

About the Author:

Jessica Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, international bestseller, and award winner, who juggles several different genres. She began self-publishing in 2012, and later with the success of THE EDGE OF NEVER, signed on with Grand Central Publishing/Forever Romance. Her works have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Jessica is a hybrid author who, in addition to working with a traditional publisher, also continues to self-publish. Her popular crime and suspense series, In the Company of Killers, has been optioned for television in the United States by actor and model William Levy, and a film exclusive to the Dominican Republic.

She also writes as J.A. Redmerski.



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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Blood Moon: Diary of a Highland Massacre by Christine Church



Blood Moon: Diary of a Highland Massacre
Fate of the True Vampires
Novella 3
Christine Church


Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Grey Horse Press

Date of Publication: February 2018

ISBN:  978-0692063095
ASIN: B07317PW2R

Number of pages:  74

Word Count: approx. 30,000

Cover Artist: Christine Church

Tagline:  Read the 17th century journals of Wolfe Amus MacDonald Stewart and discover the truth to an age-old mystery.

Book Description:

Scottish Highlands, 1692. Befell the tragedy of Mort Ghlinne Comhann, also known as the Murder at Glencoe.

Despite his own incongruous past, all Wolfe Stewart wants is a simple life, free from the persecutions of the Crown. And when he rescues a Child of the Mist from an “Asian man who disappears into the snow as if he were never there,” Wolfe has received his wish. However, mysteries still plague him. He gets no answers, but more questions when a familiar stranger arrives with his cousin and Regiment soldiers to take up the hospitality of the MacDonalds of Glencoe for a fortnight.

Little did the clan suspect what would soon befall them. After the massacre on 13 February, 1692, most MacDonalds lay dead, many exposed to the elements perished, homes burned. Wolfe and his friend Fergus are taken away for reasons unknown.

But why would Campbell and his men commit such a hideous and unholy crime? The truth will not be found in history books. The beast behind this tragic night holds nothing but greed within his heart, and using the Jacobite risings as his cover, he gets what he wants and leaves behind death and suffering.


Excerpt:

A dreary gray mist settled over the Glen, the distant peaks of the Three Sisters Mountains concealed beneath a deep fog that obscured the landscape. However, the weather never kept us young lads from a bonnie game of shot-put in the field. The chill air felt faint against my flesh, though I was donned only in my féileadh-beag, boots and a linen sark.
My shoulder ached from tossing more than my weight in large stones, yet still I was in the game. I lifted quite a bonnie rock, and ignoring the pull in my shoulder, I drew my arm back. Afore I could toss, however, a far-off eerie cry startled me. The boulder landed with a hard thud in the weeds, barely missing my toes.
“Mhac Na Galla!” I cursed, leaping out of its way.
The call sounded once more.
“Wha’ is that?” I asked, rubbing my shoulder and stretching my arm to take off the ache.
“I dinna ken,” said Ian, who stepped up beside me, listening.
“A wolf?” asked Fergus.
Colin weighed in. “An adventure!”


About the Author:

Writing has always been in Ms. Church's blood. At age 9, she wrote small picture books, taped them together (too young for staples??) and even gave them a publishing house name (Church Books; what else?). To this day, those ‘books’ sit in storage somewhere. In school, Church could be found in the back of the classroom, writing short stories (and still managing A's in English and Art).

Church's first book, House Cat (non-fiction) was published when an editor who rejected it left the publishing house and the new editor chose Church’s manuscript proposal from the previous editor’s pile of 200 rejected manuscript proposals, and saw it to publication (plus a Revised Edition 7 years later, which is still on the shelves). From there, Church received offers from Animal Planet (when it was still about animals) and more book assignments. Her book Indoor Cats won the 2001 Iams Responsible Cat Ownership Award.

After working for years honing her fiction skills, Ms. Church made the decision to write a novella, a brainstorm idea introducing a brand new, conceptual and innovative vampire series in a way never before done. As a no-name in fiction, this was a big, bold move. With no cash, no job (on disability), she put the book out all on her own; writing, editing, cover design, formatting, everything. Though far from perfect, this was a big step and a big dream.

Book One received a Finalist Medal in the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and Book Two received the 2017 Finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Award.

Web (free book with sign up): http://www.christinechurch.net




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