Thursday, March 4, 2021

Bewitching Book Blitz Shifting Silence by Laura Bickle

Shifting Silence 
Mane Shift
Book One
Laura Bickle 

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Fantasy


Publisher: Syrenka Publishing LLC

Publication Date: February 21, 2021

Book Description:

This witch takes in strays. Stray animals, not stray ex-boyfriends, magical cultists, or shifters.

At least, that used to be the rule…

Luna Summerwood has always taken in strays. As a witch who runs a veterinary clinic, she’s healed creatures that fly, swim, and crawl. She’s not the most powerful Summerwood witch; her only magic is the ability to communicate with animals. But when an exotic maned wolf is brought to her in the dead of night, Luna is plunged into the shadowy underground world of shifter trafficking.

With the help of her ex-boyfriend—who also happens to be a local deputy and someone who pushes all her buttons—she investigates a series of occult crimesinvolving missing farm animals. After her ex is nearly killed, Luna discovers thatthe Casimir, a cult of magical collectors, plans to steal the maned wolf.

This beautiful maned wolf is more than he seems—he’s a shapeshifting man named Renan.He was once captured by the Casimir and forced to do their dark bidding. Luna is his last chance at finding sanctuary…and perhaps love.

But the Casimir want more than just Renan. Centuries ago, the Summerwoods warred with the Casimir. Now, these sorcerers will stop at nothing to possess the Summerwood land and theburied magic of the witches themselves.


Excerpt 3

            “Hello,” I whispered to anyone who might be listening. “I need your help.”

            That whisper rolled through the field and into the forest, over the creek, and settled down into the earth. Animals with much better hearing than I possessed would hear me. I reached out with my mind, envisioning the shadowy creatures who moved in the dark and the bright ones who fluttered in the day. I needed them. I didn’t know who was out there, but I needed help. I didn’t have any messages in bottles, but I didn’t need them with the animals.

            The earth stirred. The forest seethed, and the grasses churned. At first, I thought that might have been some of Celeste’s wind witchery, but this was not that. Shadows roiled and glowing eyes approached, fixed on me.

            Hair stood up on the back of my neck as the eyes circled me: deer, coyotes, snakes, mice, opossums, raccoons. A fox wove in the underbrush, while a family of skunks approached. A great horned owl lit on a branch to stare down at me. Bats fluttered overhead, exiting from the top of the barn to swirl above me in a thick, moonlight-dappled cloud.

             I exhaled, feeling the animals sighing with me, across this land. I was used to thinking of this land as belonging to the Summerwoods, but it really didn’t; it belonged to the creatures who had been here, who had always been here and who always would.

            “Evil people are coming,” I said. “They came here before, centuries before. Their ancestors are buried here, in this field.”

            A stag approached, his dark eyes seeming to take me in. Stories of those people have been passed down, whispered in the memory of the forest. Those men smelled like blood.

            I nodded, mouth dry at his magnificence. “They would use the magic here for harm. They are coming, and the Summerwoods will fight them. But we are afraid that might not be enough.”

            A fox peered at me through grasses. What do you ask of us?

            I licked my lips. “I ask you to be vigilant. To warn us if strangers come to this land. If they approach, we need to know to be prepared. Can you…can you do that for us?”

            The possum crept forward. You leave me cat food. I will watch.

            The stag lowered his head. You do not hunt my family. I will watch, too.

            The bats squeaked overhead. You give us shelter. We will watch.

            The snake slid over my shoe. You do not kill me when you see me. I will watch.

            The bobcat crept at the edge of the woods. You give me untouched land to roam. I will watch, too.

            The owl futtered its wings. You leave water for us when the creek is frozen. I will keep watch.

            One by one, the animals agreed. All but the skeptical fox. He sat before me, staring up at me with reflective eyes, before demanding: Why should I help you?

            I crouched down to look at him. I might be able to talk to animals, but I never wanted to compromise their free will. “I don’t know you. But I mean you no harm. Go in peace, and I hope that we may someday be friends.”

            A tongue lolled from the fox’s mouth, and he seemed to consider me with less skepticism than before. And that is what you have given us on this land. Peace. Your neighbors allow their children to chase us, while the adults poison and try to kill us. This place is a place of peace, and it should remain so. I will watch.

            Tears stung my eyes. I had never thought of what this place meant to the animals who lived here, that it was an oasis for them. I knew how the animals in the barn and the clinic felt, but it was difficult to know what the wild ones perceived. But I knew they loved this place as much as I did.

            “I will do everything I can to defend this place,” I vowed. “Thank you.”

            The animals faded into the grass and slipped behind the trees. A feeling of serenity swept over me. I had faith in the creatures of the earth who had promised to warn us of danger. Nothing would escape their gazes.

            I turned to find Renan watching me from a respectful distance. I walked back to him, and he took my hand.

            “You are powerful,” he said. “Powerful and magnificent.”

            A blush crept up my cheeks, and I began to protest, but Renan placed his finger on my lips. “No. You have brought the beasts of the forests and the fields together. You summoned all of them. This is your land, and you are queen of it.”


About the Author:

Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs and sometimes reads them to her cats. Her books have earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus. Laura’s work has also been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016. The latest updates on her work can be found at




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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Trials of a Witch by Maghen Connolly #Fantasy

Trials of a Witch
The Gifted Series 
Book Two
Maghen Connolly

Genre: Fantasy
Date of Publication: July 31st 2021
ISBN: 979-8670985482
Number of pages: 471
Word Count: 125,955
Cover Artist: Michael Weick

Book Description: 

She needed answers, in the town of East Brooke Maine, she got them. 

Now the question is no longer who she is, but what will she become? Can she be the savior they all need, or will her own fears and darkness that is beginning to brew take over?

Follow Kyra on her continued journey of magic and mayhem. She left East Brooke to keep the ones she loves safe, but in her exit, she opens a door for terror, blood, and vengeance to enter her home, her family, and her very life. 

It turns out being a witch is even more dangerous than she thought; soon she will face a foe older and stronger than she has ever faced before. Trials of a Witch, let’s see if she survives them.

About the Author:

Maghen Connolly is a writer from New York born and raised in Manhattan’s West Village with her mother, father, and a very cute cat.

She has always been an avid reader. She loves to read anything she can get her hands on, but her favorite genre is mystery. She’s also a huge horror fan having grown up on all the classics. The love of the scare has helped her create some of her most interesting and complex characters over the years.

She now lives in Queens with her fiancĂ© and 2 rescue cats, Shadow and Shade.  She spends her days writing, over analyzing, watching horror movies, spending time with family, and eating some of the best food New York City has to offer.




Amazon Author



Friday, February 26, 2021

Cursed by Athena Floras #PNR #YA #Giveaway


Dark Kindred Spirits 
Book 2
Athena Floras

Genre: YA PNR
Date of Publication: January 4th, 2021
Number of pages: 104
Word Count: 25 299
Cover Artist: Nicholas Mallet

Tagline: Happiness and true love can come from sacrifice and the deepest sorrow.

Book Description:

All hail the Misfits and the Cursed…

There is a sanctuary for anyone who needs refuge. It’s called Beyond the Horizon. When a group of teens are invited to spend their summer vacation at the sanctuary, they think they just got lucky. But little do they know that things are too good to be true. Not everyone is who they seem to be at Beyond the Horizon. There are enemies amongst them waiting for the perfect time to strike.

For her entire life, Brianna Meadows has been misunderstood. Everything she does and says is wrong. She’s a klutz and always getting in people’s way. All she ever wished for is to be accepted, liked, and normal. When she gets an invitation to spend her summer vacation at Beyond the Horizon, she thinks her wish may come true. But she must be very careful what she wishes for, because it can turn into her worst nightmare.

Chase Hamell doesn’t have much time left. The family curse has started to take its toll on him. The first-born male in the Hamell clan will turn into a monster when he turns eighteen, which is just months away. When he hears that the sanctuary is owned by witches who can undo the curse, he seeks them out. But to break the curse involves making a huge sacrifice, one that Chase might not be able to commit to, because in order to end the curse, someone he loves must die.

Can Brianna and Chase find what they both need and desire before their enemies succeed in snuffing them out?



The blood moon set high in the sky was the Earth’s guardian angel tonight. It stood watch while all the Earth’s blessed and damned creatures roamed freely. It guided them to their redemption or eternal damnation.

The enchantress took a deep, channeling breath while she absorbed the magic and the energy this night brought forth. It was the perfect time to seek the answers she’d long sought.

If the omnipotent transcendental powers would not reveal them to her tonight, then all hope was lost.

She perched the silver chalice engraved with defined runes on the altar in the garden. She poured the spellbinding liquid into it and began to chant the spell she’d memorized.

At first, nothing happened, but like everything else in life, she needed to be patient and persistent. She continued on with the ritual until the potion started to twirl, then churn. It soon glowed a celestial blue.

Peering into the aquatic abyss, she asked, “Reveal to me the means to restore the harmony. The balance must be brought back to the line.”

An image gradually morphed in the chalice. It appeared to be a tall, thin girl with unruly shoulder length red hair who knelt on the floor. She seemed to have fallen and had scraped her knees because blood trickled onto the uneven concrete.

The enchantress cocked a brow while she curiously observed the scene. Why was the Voyeur Chalice showing her this teenager? The girl was no older than seventeen. How did she fit into the whole scheme?

Knowing that she wouldn’t get more answers until she performed the next part of the ritual, the enchantress raised the chalice and languidly sipped the elixir. The bitterness made her shudder until a transcendent voice spoke to her in her mind.

The enchantress’s eyes glazed over and she remained perfectly still paying acute attention to what was said.

Once the answer and all its details were divulged to her, she lit the candle ending the liturgy.

With leaden legs, she walked back into the building. The ritual had taken its toll on her. She’d need to rest to fully recover. But before she could, she had to send a message.

The kindle needed to be laid down so that the catalyst could catch fire and set off the next chain of events.

Unprecedented things would soon begin to happen.


* * * *


Brianna Meadows thought that this would be her lucky day. She’d felt it the moment she’d awoken this morning. The uplifting energy surrounded her and urged her on. She could move mountains if the feat were physically possible.

So when her mother had asked her to pick up her facial cream at the department store, Brianna had jumped at the chance to go.

She’d been planning to apply for the stock clerk’s job she’d seen posted on the store’s door earlier this week.

She made sure to hold her head high and strut with confidence as she walked up to the customer service counter. A cashier standing there, wearing a white and red striped uniform, greeted her with a smile.

“Good morning. How can I help you?”

Brianna cleared her voice. “Umm, yeah. I’m here to apply for the stock clerk’s job you have posted on the door.”

The cashier frowned. “Hmm, they didn’t get rid of that yet?” Her expression switched into an apologetic one. “I’m so sorry, but the job has already been filled.”

“Oh.” Brianna spun on the heel of her ballerina shoes, ready to head toward the cosmetics aisle when the cashier asked, “Did you bring your CV with you?”

“Yes, I did.” Brianna held up the manilla envelope she carried it in.

“Why don’t you give it to me. I’ll give it to the manager. Maybe he’ll keep you in mind when another job opening comes up.” She smiled brightly.

“That’s very kind of you. Thanks.” Brianna slid it to her on the sloping counter.

As she walked away, she felt her heart stir. The cashier didn’t have to go out of her way to accommodate Brianna like she did. Brianna was touched by her kind gesture even though she had a strong hunch the store manager would most probably chuck her CV into the recycling bin.

Casting her discouraging thoughts out of her mind, she moseyed over to get her mom’s cream. Her mother had given her a fifty-dollar bill and told her to buy herself something with the change.

The cream cost only twenty-three dollars and thirty-nine cents, which left her with twenty-five dollars and sixty-one cents to splurge on herself. She pressed the tips of her wild curls between her index finger and thumb. She wished she could tame them somewhat so it didn’t look like she’d just been electrocuted.

She glided her hand along the edge of the shelf, perusing the selection of hair conditioners that would straighten her hair when she accidentally tipped a plastic bottle that rested close to the edge. Multiple bottles toppled to the floor.

Laughter burst out behind her. She spun around to find Cynthia Doyle and Seraphina Peck, two of the popular girls in her school, covering their mouths, trying to muffle their chuckles.

Cynthia leaned in to whisper something into Seraphina’s ear, which made her bend over in hysterics.

They obviously were making fun of Brianna. What else was new? Brianna had been the object of their ridicule all of the school year. Why would they stop now even though the school year had ended and summer had begun? Ignoring their cruel behavior, she crouched to gather the fallen bottles. One by one, she placed them back where they belonged.

The sound of stiletto heels clicking on the tiled floor reverberated in Brianna’s ears. She cursed under her breath. She knew who approached. It was Seraphina. She had a unique rhythm to her gait. What did she want? Hadn’t she tormented her enough in school?

“Is there something you’re looking for?” Seraphina asked as she came to stand next to her.

“I was just looking?” she mumbled.

“It was hard not to notice you after you made everything fall. If you’re looking for a special conditioner, maybe I can help you search, so you won’t make anything else fall.”

Brianna wished the jab had just slid off of her, instead of cutting deep.

Glancing at the shelf, she replied, “I was looking for something that could straighten my curls.”

Seraphina snorted. “Well, you’re looking in the wrong place for that. There isn’t any over the counter product to tame your wild hair. You need super concentrated industrial products. You should go to a professional hairdresser who uses strong chemicals to straighten it. She would be your only hope.”

“Yeah, right,” Brianna grumbled as she walked away.

She huffed, trying to rein in her frustrations and anger. Sometimes bad news was good news. The fact the job had already been filled was a blessing in disguise. She wouldn’t have been able to work in the same store those two bullies worked. She wouldn’t have survived more than a day in that toxic environment.

She made a mental note to avoid this department store from now on. Her mother would have to come herself to get her facial cream.

As she reached the exit, she rested her left foot awkwardly on the cracked concrete and she fell hard forward. Her knees adsorbed the full brunt of the forceful hit as they made contact with the concrete.

Pain shot through her legs and she gasped, trying to resist the discomfort.

She’d been completely wrong about this day. It hadn’t been her lucky day. It was the unluckiest one she’d had in a while. It couldn’t possibly get worse, she thought.

But she was so very wrong, because from twenty feet away, she heard giggling. Cynthia and Seraphina were at it again.


About the Author: 

Athena Floras is a wife and proud mother of three who loves to read and write suspenseful and romantic stories. When she isn't busy being a mom, she spends her spare time in her den, totally immersing herself into the whimsical, fantastical world of fiction. She hopes the stories and characters she creates will bring readers as much pleasure and entertainment as they have her.




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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Poetry Corner with Stephanie Hansen #ReleaseDayBlitz #SciFi #PoetryCorner

Hurt and Damaged

I set a brick on top of another
Building a wall to protect
But it always inevitably
Crumples to a pile of rubble

A seed is planted in rich soil
Water and sun show their love
Fertilizer dances ballerina steps
And a baby plant arrives

Then weeds infiltrate the area
Blocking the light with shadow
And cutting off many roots
Dehydration sets in killing

Nail polish runs smooth as silk
Leaving a coat of perfection
Hiding imperfections easily
And decorating a hand in jewelry

Before drying smudges appear
Rough ridges tarnish layers
Setting in forever and elsewhere
Breakout the remover start again

It's not just the surface though
It penetrates beyond the fingers
Through the stem to the core
Deeply embedded and tattooed

On my heart

Oh how to let go of the pain
The betrayal the judgement
The dismantling of my belief
In the ability to fly in the clouds

Wings swoop in
Lifting up
Hot air balloon of


Replaced Part
Transformed Nexus 
Book One
Stephanie Hansen

Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publisher: Fire and Ice YA and Tantor Audio
Date of Publication: 02/23/21
ISBN: 9781953735027
Number of pages: 232
Word Count: 67,770
Cover Artist: Caroline Andrus

Tagline: When a clopil named Vex warns you of danger…Listen!

Book Description:

In the year 2163 a corrupt World Government controls everything on our planet and beyond. 

Sixteen year-old Sierra has been so caught up in her own world of saving animal test subjects and her father’s disappearance, she hasn’t paid much attention. When she finally finds his location, she and her friend set off on a covert interplanetary mission to rescue him, she begins to see the corruption first hand. 

Discovering that her father has been on the front lines secretly trying to save human test subjects inspires her to join a revolution. But she is afraid of the collateral damage of hurting the people she loves. Will she find the strength to make a deal with the mad scientist Cromwell to save not just her friends and family but everyone?

Book Trailer:

Amazon      BN     Kobo


To make a smoke bomb all you need is potassium nitrate, sugar, water and a fuse. Programming holograph messaging to be ‘smoke screen projection only’ is much more difficult. It’s a digital version of invisible ink and completely security cam resistant. I pull up Yesha’s incoming call. The smoke allows her image to take shape and it almost feels like she’s in the room with me.

“I can’t believe you talked me into this, you little gomer.”

Yesha frequently begins conversations in the middle, no introduction or formal interrogation into my life. I think that’s why I like her.

“It didn’t take much to convince you.”

“Did you receive the package?”

I hold up the box addressed to me, Sierra, but I’ve removed the contents.

“Yep, right here, see.”

Yesha’s laugh is like a chorus of toads with hiccups. Her image vibrates on the smoke.

“That’s only the box, you drone bug!”

“I know.”

I hold up the syringes that had been inside the box.

“Be careful with those. Check the labels.”

I roll a syringe in my hands like Kitchen, one of our home bots, does with pretzel dough.

“One says healing serum, which I asked for. Why does the other say anti?”

“Backup. You always need an emergency abort mission option.”

“All right. Thanks!”

Yesha interrupts before I collapse the projection.

“Just be sure not to give the anti if you haven’t given the original serum.”

After she’s gone, I look at my subject.

I shouldn’t be doing this, but I find the koala’s eyes drawing me in like a poli-magno crash about to happen. It’s impossible to turn away.

The Science Olympiad team’s going to put me on probation again, which stinks since they’re the only local, human friends I have.

Following protocol gets us nowhere, however.

Mom’s going to be agitated because this isn’t the first time I’ve broken the rules.

I guide the koala out of the cage, leaving her brothers inside. I have to shake off feelings of jealousy. I don’t have any siblings.

“Why ya look so sad?”

Uplifting experiments have given us animals who speak. “Why do you look so sad, Eucarpo?”

The koala glances back at her brothers and then her eyes look up at me past her round, stub nose, and adorable ears. The sensation of an infant wrapping tiny fingers around mine envelops me. I can’t let them endure more unethical testing just so we can have the best DNA combination. I was okay with the testing when the purpose was to help those that were sick and it was beneficial to the koala species, but I can’t stomach testing these sweet things just for superficial reasons.

“Hate leaving ‘em behind.”

“They’re going after you if this works.”

“What ya mean, if?”

“Healing adaptation experiments have just begun.”

“But ya aced the test?”

“Well, yeah, but that was just practice. This is the first time I’ve used it on a living being. Don’t worry, it should all go as planned. I’m just being paranoid.”

It would be nice if I could stop blabbering when I’m nervous. Sometimes you just have to go for it and see where the cards fall. That was something my dad used to say. Before he disappeared, he used to tell me lots of things. He’s been gone almost a decade, but I might as well as have “Missing Dad” tattooed on my forehead.

“Ya paranoid?Ne’er!”

As she raises the fur above her eyes, I scratch behind her ear, and she leans into it like a bear scratching its back on a tree trunk. Her fur is soft as manufactured silk charmeuse.

“Ah yeah, right dere.”

“You sure you’re ready for this?”

“It gets us closer to freedom, so I been ready a long time.”

She takes another glance at her brothers, and I pick up the syringe with self-healing serum. I begin the sedation process as no one wants to be awake when artery lining fortifies, muscles pull with new agility, and brain tissue encases itself with a biting, thin metal sheet. Another reason I’m jealous of Eucarpo is that she responds to sedation, and I don’t.

As Eucarpo drifts into a peaceful sleep, I look out the school windows and see only the steel and glass of surrounding buildings. Their reflections mirror the sky. Today the unending blue gives the impression of being in the middle of the sea. On gray days, it’s as if I’ve been swallowed by thunderclouds. I can only imagine how green fields would look. People used to love the smell of fresh-cut grass. That was before an asteroid broke through the atmosphere damaging our ecosystem and killing all plants, causing our world to work together to save Earth and its remaining, limited vegetation. The only vegetation left is kept in guarded areas and labs.

I think I can hear the machines used to keep the atmosphere from collapsing but the sound isn’t right. Instead of a hum, I hear iron clanging. The serum glides through the syringe into Eucarpo and her breathing intensifies as the cells within her body multiply. No, that isn’t the machines. It’s locker doors slamming, followed by footsteps of someone coming down the hall. No one should be here now. They should all be at the assembly that I’m skipping. I must finish before anyone else arrives. I look at the oxygen and pulse readings, cringing with every spike. It feels like an hour passes as I look at the screens, but I know it’s only been seconds. I count breaths and clock ticks, staring at Eucarpo’s oxygen and platelet numbers rising.

“Come on, the science minds keep refreshments in here.”

I think I recognize the voice coming down the hall. Every muscle in my body wants to stiffen, but I can’t freeze now.

Luckily, the serum is fast acting and Eucarpo’s readings are settling. I inject the awakening treatment and then I throw the syringes and all remaining evidence into the incinerator. The burning and sanitizing process will turn these things into energy or something else useful. Eucarpo stirs a little when I hear the door sensor click.

As the voltball captain and visual arts queen walk in, I step in front of Eucarpo.

“Look, we found someone avoiding the assembly,” Milcah says as she nudges Danver in the ribs with her elbow.


About the Author:

Stephanie Hansen is a PenCraft Award Winning Author. Her novella series, Altered Helix, released 2020. Her short story, Break Time, and poetry has been featured in Mind's Eye literary magazine. The Kansas Writers Association published her short story, Existing Forces, appointing her as a noted author. She has held a deep passion for writing since early childhood, but a brush with death caused her to allow it to grow. She's part of an SCBWI critique group in Lawrence, KS and two local book clubs. She attends many writers' conferences including the Writing Day Workshops, New York Pitch, Penned Con, New Letters, All Write Now, Show Me Writers Master Class, BEA, and Nebraska Writers Guild conference as well as Book Fairs and Comic-Cons. 

She is a member of the deaf and hard of hearing community.

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Join the Live Release Day Celebration for Replaced Parts by Stephanie Hansen at 10am EST on Facebook with special guest USA Today bestselling author Scarlett Kol.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Join Us TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021 AT 10 AM EST – 12 PM EST for a Live Facebook Event with Author Stephanie Nelson

 Join Us Tomorrow! 


Release Day Celebration for Replaced Parts by Stephanie Hansen

Replaced Part
Transformed Nexus 
Book One
Stephanie Hansen

Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publisher: Fire and Ice YA and Tantor Audio
Date of Publication: 02/23/21
ISBN: 9781953735027
Number of pages: 232
Word Count: 67,770
Cover Artist: Caroline Andrus

Tagline: When a clopil named Vex warns you of danger…Listen!

Book Description:

In the year 2163 a corrupt World Government controls everything on our planet and beyond. 

Sixteen year-old Sierra has been so caught up in her own world of saving animal test subjects and her father’s disappearance, she hasn’t paid much attention. When she finally finds his location, she and her friend set off on a covert interplanetary mission to rescue him, she begins to see the corruption first hand. 

Discovering that her father has been on the front lines secretly trying to save human test subjects inspires her to join a revolution. But she is afraid of the collateral damage of hurting the people she loves. Will she find the strength to make a deal with the mad scientist Cromwell to save not just her friends and family but everyone?

Book Trailer:

Amazon      BN     Kobo

Little Ellie Isabellie Elephant Day at the Pool by Tracy Hartley #ChildrensBook #PictureBook

Little Ellie Isabellie Elephant
Day at the Pool
Tracy Hartley

Genre: Childrens/Juvenile
Publisher: Writers Republic
Date of Publication: February 26, 2020
ISBN: Paperback 9781646201440
ISBN eBook 9781646201457
Number of pages: 32
Word Count:  1085
Cover Artist:  Linda Solomon

Book Description: 

Little Ellie Isabellie is a baby elephant who is already figuring out the world around her. She has made many friends, and it makes her very happy when she is with them playing. 

One day, when her friends decided to play in a pool, Little Ellie Isabellie suddenly felt left out. Because she was small, Little Ellie Isabellie could not join her friends in the pool. But oh how badly she wanted to play in the pool with her friends. She thought of ways how to appear bigger than she is so she could be with them. But nothing worked. She was losing hope until she decided to seek help from her mother. 

Her mother understood Little Ellie Isabellie and offered to help. She thought of a solution that would work. Along the process, she made sure Little Ellie Isabellie understood that when all her solutions seem to not work, it is always a good idea to seek help.And when Little Ellie Isabellie’s mama gave her something that would allow her to join her friends, Little Ellie Isabellie was off to a great adventure. 

Find out what it was that Little Ellie Isabellie got from her mom in Little Ellie Isabellie Elephant: Day at the Pool.

Amazon      BN     Writers Republic

Short Excerpt: 

         "I may be little, ohhhh yes,
         But I can do it, ohhhh yes,
         When I face a problem, ohhhh my,
         I can face it, YOU BET!" 
         Ellie sang as she twirled around.

About the Author:

Author Tracy Hartley is a grandmother to a precious granddaughter who was born premature, weighing in only at two pounds twelve ounces. But because of abundance of love and proper nurture, her granddaughter is way on her way growing strong and doing well. Tracy and her husband of thirty years, Bill, have two grown sons—the oldest is a pilot (and the father of her granddaughter) and the youngest serves in the army.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2021

In the Kitchen with N.A. Triptow Recipe for Brigadeiros #Brigadeiros #Recipe #InTheKitchen

Baden Correia (pronounced Co-hay-ya) is the loyal and handsome best friend and assistant curator of the Dartwood family’s museum in my novel. He’s one of the main characters and love interests in the story. 

Baden is a Brazilian man whose family moved to America when he was only nine years old, very similar to my own mother who was born in Brazil to two Italian fashion designers and moved to America when she was 14. 

Because of that, I thought I’d share one of my favorite Brazilian desserts: Brigadeiros.

This dessert is basically bite-sized chocolate balls of goodness, perfect for any occasion! You can shape them into little balls and put them in mini paper baking cups or simply fill up tiny plastic dessert cups and add a little spoon. I’ve made them both ways and either is equally delicious and adorably appetizing. This recipe is super fast and easy. The hardest part is waiting for it to cool!


1 tablespoon of butter

3 tablespoons of sweetened Nesquik (or unsweetened cocoa powder if you want less sugar—though it definitely won’t be as sweet if you don’t use Nesquik)

1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk

Chocolate sprinkles


In one medium-sized saucepan. Combine all three ingredients—butter, chocolate powder, and condensed milk—in the pan and heat until the solution has thickened. You know it’s thick enough once you can see the bottom of the pan. Make sure to stir throughout. It should take about ten minutes. Pour the solution into a greased pan. Then just wait for it to cool and choose how you want to serve it (in paper baking cups or plastic dessert cups), add sprinkles, and enjoy!

If you choose to use the paper baking cups and you find that you are having a difficult time forming the chocolate solution into balls, there’s something you can do to help. Try putting butter on your hands and then shape the chocolate. Even if you can’t get them quite perfect, it doesn’t matter. You can always just plot them into little cups and eat them with a good, old-fashioned spoon. 

I hope you all love this dessert as much as I do! 

It’s a family favorite that we have at every big family get-together, from birthday parties to Christmas. 

Give it a try. Who knows? Maybe it will turn out to be a new staple in your family’s culinary tradition like it is in mine. 

The Secret of Dartwood Manor
The Witchling Trilogy 
Book One
N. A. Triptow

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy, 
Young Adult, Romance, Mystery
Publisher: Wishing Well Publishing
Date of Publication: January 18, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-7363844-0-4
Number of pages: 382 pages
Word Count: 103,825 words
Cover Artist: Nicole Triptow

Tagline: A spellbinding reimagining of Jane Austen’s beloved classic, Sense and Sensibility.

Book Description: 

Witches. Ghosts. An ancient secret. Enter a world of myth and magic through this contemporary fantasy reimagining of Jane Austen’s beloved classic, Sense and Sensibility.

The small New England town of Tarryville, Maine is steeped in history, having been settled by the Dartwood and Farris families who fled Salem during the witch trials. The Dartwood sisters, Eden, Mariah, and Melissa, unexpectedly return home after their parents are found murdered. Upon their arrival, the girls are plagued by dreams in which dark spectral beings haunt them. 

When the hellish creatures seem to be more than just nightmares, another mystery begins to unravel as they discover that the circumstances around the murder of their parents may be far more menacing than they appear. Frantic for answers, they must untangle the mystery of their parents’ murders and reconstruct the pieces of an ancient secret. 

With the help of the young assistant curator of their family museum, Baden Correia, and an estranged friend from their past, Evan Farris, the orphaned Dartwood sisters must uncover the truth before the darkness haunting their family descends upon them as well.


Excerpt 2:

“If they’re not going to let me see my parents, then the least they can do is let me in my house,” Mariah growled. “Pull over.”

“Riah, this is illegal,” Baden shot her a warning glance. He had found her walking down the road away from the museum and had offered to give her a ride.

“I said pull over, Baden.”

“Maybe you didn’t hear me,” he said, pulling over nonetheless. “It’s illegal.”

“Fine,” she opened the door, “you don’t have to come with me.” She slammed it closed and headed straight for the front door of the Dartwood manor.

“Nossa,” he muttered under his breath. Turning the engine off in one brisk movement, he followed after her.

“Riah, this is crazy!” he whispered, searching the area for any onlookers.

“No crazier than waking up with a ghost above your head in your creepy neighbor’s house.”

“Fair point,” he nodded shrugging his shoulders. “But you need to slow down and listen to me.”

“I am, and I appreciate your concern.” She smiled. “It’s cute. Really, point taken. I just don’t care.”

As she lifted the crime scene tape, he grabbed her hand and pulled her back. Two girls around their age were between them and the front door. A brunette sat impatiently on the steps while a blonde paced back and forth in front of the door as if she were guarding its entrance. He couldn’t believe he hadn’t noticed them before. They were clad in 16th century attire, the brunette in plum and the blonde in burnt orange. Hard to miss. “Look,” he motioned toward them. Once he had, both women turned to face him. A dark grin spread across the lips of the brunette as she made eye contact with him, while a sense of dread emanated from the blonde.

“Look at what?” Mariah questioned.

“Is that a joke?” he turned to face her. “What do you mean—?” his words trailed off as he glanced back at the now vacant front yard. Wondering first how they’d run off so quickly, he realized they must have disappeared like the cloaked woman. “I think I’m losing it,” he mumbled to himself. There was no way he had seen two girls straight out of a Colonial reenactment hanging around a crime scene.

“Mariah, I’m trying to help you. This is against the law. I’ve never seen you so keen on breaking the law before.” Looking up at him she could see the fear in his eyes.

“Baden,” she lay her hand on his shoulder. “I love you. You’re my best friend, but this is my parents we’re talking about. I couldn’t care less that it’s illegal.”

Baden met her gaze and knew that there was nothing he could say that was going to change her mind. “Fine, then I’m going first.”

Grinning, she stepped back and opened her hand wide toward the door. “Ladies first.”

He met her remark with an unimpressed glare.

“What? Wrong clichĂ©?” she bit back a laugh. “Sorry, I meant, my knight in shining armor.”

About the Author:

N. A. Triptow graduated from The University of Utah with a Bachelor of Arts in English Teaching with minors in History Teaching, Theatre, and British Studies. She teaches high school English and Film Studies. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Strategic Communication and Advertising from Purdue University. In her free time, you can find her reading, watching and analyzing movies and television shows, attending the theatre, going on walks or hikes, and playing board or video games with family and friends. She lives in Utah.

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