Monday, December 9, 2019

The Eidola Project by Robert Herold



The Eidola Project

An Eidola Project Novel

Book One

Robert Herold


Genre:  Horror

Publisher:  Wild Rose Press (Black Rose Imprint)

Date of Publication: November 18, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5092-2406-7 Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-5092-2407-4 Digital

Number of pages:  290
Word Count: 69870

Cover Artist:  Debbie Taylor

Tagline:  The Eidola Project is recruiting. Dare to join them?

Book Description:

It's 1885 and a drunk and rage-filled Nigel Pickford breaks up a phony medium's séance. A strange twist of fate soon finds him part of a team investigating the afterlife.

The Eidola Project is an intrepid group of explorers dedicated to bringing the light of science to that which has been feared, misunderstood, and often manipulated by charlatans. They are a psychology professor, his assistant, an African-American physicist, a sideshow medium, and now a derelict, each possessing unique strengths and weaknesses.

Called to the brooding Hutchinson Estate to investigate rumored hauntings, they encounter deadly supernatural forces and a young woman driven to the brink of madness.

Will any of them survive?





          Excerpt:
            Sarah retrieved the lamp and twisted the peg. The outhouse door swung open on its own, and she gasped.
            “Momma?” Sarah asked as she held out her lantern. No. A ruined version of Molly stood in the doorway.
            Before her disappearance, people often commented on the sixteen-year-old’s beauty, but in the last twenty-eight days birds pecked out her pretty blue eyes, and maggots now swam in the sockets. Molly’s head hung to the left at an odd angle. Her skin looked mottled with patches of gray, blue, and black. A beetle crawled out of Molly’s half-opened mouth and darted back in.
            Sarah’s heart leaped to her throat, and she jumped back. She lost her footing, fell onto the outhouse seat, and dropped the lantern to the floor. She bent to retrieve it; thankful the glass globe did not break. Sarah looked up and saw an empty doorway.
            Impossible, she told herself. Must’ve dozed off, had a nightmare, and woke up when I dropped the lamp. Her heart still pounded in her chest, and Sarah took a deep breath to calm herself.
            Holding the lamp before her once more, she crept out…


About the Author:


The supernatural always had the allure of forbidden fruit, ever since Robert Herold’s mother refused to allow him, as a boy, to watch creature features on late night TV. She caved in. (Well, not literally.)
                 
As a child, fresh snow provided him the opportunity to walk out onto neighbors’ lawns halfway and then make paw prints with his fingers as far as he could stretch. He would retrace the paw and boot prints, then fetch the neighbor kids and point out that someone turned into a werewolf on their front lawn. (They were skeptical.)

He has pursued many interests over the years (among them being a history teacher and a musician), but the supernatural always called to him. You could say he was haunted. Finally, following the siren’s call, he wrote The Eidola Project, based on a germ of an idea he had as a teenager.

Ultimately, he hopes the book gives you the creeps, and he means that in the best way possible.









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Celia’s Holiday Caramel Candy


Celia’s Holiday Caramel Candy

I love to share this recipe every year for the December holidays. We have my Grandma Eddie to thank for this classic treat. Enjoy!

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! Makes a delicious holiday gift!




HAVEN
Tranquilli Bloodline
Book One
Celia Breslin

Genre:  urban fantasy, paranormal romance

Publisher: Champagne Book Group

Date of Publication:  July 2, 2013

ISBN: 9781927454862
ASIN: B07XTDGHRZ 

Number of pages:  372
Word Count: 174K

Cover Artist: Melody Pond

Tagline: Chosen by destiny. Bonded by blood.

Book Description:

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-attraction 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 keep the love of her life...without getting killed in the process.

Amazon US       Amazon UK      Amazon CA

BN      Apple Books       Kobo        Champagne      GoodReads

Excerpt Haven:


Alexander plastered me against the side of his car and slanted his lips over mine. Time stopped. My fucking heart stopped, then thundered so loud in my ears I thought the world exploded around us. This is what I’d missed, what I craved. This man, these lips. I groaned. His tongue swept over my lips demanding entrance and I caved, allowing him in. He growled, a hungry, sexy as sin growl as his tongue plundered my mouth, taking, tasting, demanding ownership all over again. I let him, taking all he had to give.

DESTINY
Tranquilli Bloodline
Book Two
Celia Breslin

Genre:  urban fantasy, paranormal romance

Publisher: Champagne Book Group

Date of Publication:  November 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-77155-164-9
ASIN: B00O6A77FG

Number of pages:  234
Word Count: 74K

Cover Artist: Melody Pond

Tagline:  Blackmailed. Betrayed. Sometimes destiny sucks.

Book Description:

In HAVEN, San Francisco nightclub owner Carina Tranquilli survives a vicious attack by her vampire family’s longtime archenemies. Several weeks later, as she struggles with PTSD and survivor’s guilt, supervillain Dixon resurfaces and kidnaps two of her best friends. To save them, Carina must comply with the evil bastard’s unusual demands. The kicker? She must tell no one what she is up to.

Meanwhile, she has a new dance club to open for the preternatural community, a fated soul mate acting secretive and distant, and a sexy, new, undead friend who’d love to take Alexander’s place in her heart and bed.

Blackmailed, betrayed, tempted…sometimes destiny has a wicked sense of humor.

Amazon US        Amazon UK      Amazon CA

BN        Champagne Books       Apple Books


Excerpt Destiny:


Alexander plastered me against the side of his car and slanted his lips over mine. Time stopped. My fucking heart stopped, then thundered so loud in my ears I thought the world exploded around us. This is what I’d missed, what I craved. This man, these lips. I groaned. His tongue swept over my lips demanding entrance and I caved, allowing him in. He growled, a hungry, sexy as sin growl as his tongue plundered my mouth, taking, tasting, demanding ownership all over again. I let him, taking all he had to give.
  
ORIGINS
Tranquilli Bloodline
Book 3
Celia Breslin

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Champagne Book Group

Date of Publication: September 22, 2019

Number of pages: 250
Word Count: 94,000

ASIN: B07Y8R94Z5

Cover Artist: Melody Pond

Tagline: The Chosen One is home. Bad little vampires beware…

Book Description:

In HAVEN and DESTINY, San Francisco nightclub owner Carina Tranquilli finds love and fights her vampire family’s enemies. Now, in ORIGINS…

En route to reunite with her estranged father in Italy, Carina is kidnapped by a human organization intent on vampire genocide. Beaten, starved, and forced to fight fellow captives, she finally manages to escape. Along the way, she encounters the group’s leaders—their identities shock her to the core.

Once home, Carina warns her family of this new threat, but dear old dad is missing. In his absence, the Tribunal, the governing body for all vampirekind, lies in disarray, with an old enemy making a bid for her father’s throne. What’s worse? The usurper wants her for his queen…and slave.

With a human-vampire war looming on one side and a vampire-vampire battle brewing on the other, Carina will have to rally her troops, take back the throne, and fulfill her destiny as the Chosen One. If not, her whole world will fall, taking everyone she loves with it.

Kobo       Amazon      Champagne

Excerpt Origins:

The car stopped. I couldn’t convince myself to step out. What if this was a freaking, injection-induced hallucination? What if I was still back in the damn prison?
Besnik helped me out.
The mansion’s mammoth double doors eased open. The man illuminated in the doorway chased away the numbness, pumped my heart so hard it might pound right out of my chest. He opened his arms wide, calling me. My lips curled upward in the first true smile I’d cracked since the last time he’d held me in his arms. That man, my man, loved me more than any other on this whole damn planet.
“Alexander.”
I ran to him.
Alexander’s arms closed around me, his hold so tight I could barely catch a breath. Tremors ran through his hard body, again and again.
“Carina,” he croaked, voice sandpaper rough. “Carina.”
Nuzzling his neck, I planted fevered kisses along his tan, heated skin. He’d fed recently to be this warm under my lips. Temptation had me licking his pounding pulse, nipping at the vein. Couldn’t resist it. My fangs slid home.
Energy exploded between us, our mate bond bursting to life and tearing away whatever magical wall had separated us for far too long. My bite, the catalyst, his blood the cure. Awash in the force of our reunion, Alexander staggered then clutched me closer while I pulled out of his neck and laved the rapidly healing holes.
As our power continued to bubble and stitch us back together, he whisked us into the grand entryway, planted my ass on an ornate, antique cabinet, and devoured my mouth like a starving man. His hands roamed everywhere, searching, cataloguing, as if to reassure himself this wasn’t a hallucination, that I was really here, in his arms, relatively unharmed.
The more he kissed me, the more those wonderful, golden threads of our connection resurrected inside me, around me, between us, and I felt like freaking Sleeping Beauty awakened from her magical slumber by a kiss from her fated handsome prince. The silly thought made me giggle against Alexander’s seeking mouth, and then I was crying while my love cupped my face between his hands, wiped away my tears with his thumbs, and pressed tender kisses to my forehead, my cheeks, the tip of my nose…
“Alexander.” I fisted his shirt tight. Please, God, let him be real. “I… I don’t want to wake up.” Please, don’t let this end.
His smoky blue eyes bored into mine, his brown hair spiked in every direction, a bit longer than in my memory. It’s not a dream, baby. You’re here. You’re home.
Oh my God, I can hear you. I swiped some willful bits of hair away from his forehead, touched his full lips, ran my fingers along his strong jaw, taking in the whole handsome, bad-boy package. You’re back in my head. I’d never been happier to have someone inside my mind. Silence was seriously overrated.
And back in your arms.

About the Author:

Celia lives in California with her husband, daughter, and two feisty cats. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and has a particular fondness for werewolves, vampires, and the Fae. Her stories are action-packed and typically include one of the many varieties of romantic entanglements: fated mates, second chance, rescue romance, opposites attract, friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, and more.

When not writing, you’ll find Celia exercising, reading a good book, hanging with her family, or indulging her addiction to Joss Whedon’s TV shows and movies, as well as everything in the Marvel Universe franchise. Of course!
                                        
Web site: http://www.celiabreslin.com/    







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Saturday, December 7, 2019

In the Kitchen with S. K. Gregory - Simple Soup Recipe


I am not very good at cooking and I have a very restricted diet, so I always look for simple recipes that don’t take a long time to make. Recently I created my own chicken pasta soup which only takes ten minutes to cook and less than five to prepare!

Ingredients:

·       Soup veg – carrots, leeks, onions and celery

·       Cooked chicken (shredded)

·       Pasta – I use fusilli

·       2 Oxo cubes – chicken flavour

·       Brown sauce

Add the soup veg to a pot of boiling water, along with a handful of pasta. Add the shredded chicken and allow to cook for a few minutes.

Crumble the Oxo cubes into the pot and add some brown sauce and stir through. Let it cook for the remainder of the time, then eat.


It is very simple, but it tastes delicious and is very filling.

Watcher Academy
League of Watchers
Book 1
S. K. Gregory

Genre: Supernatural suspense/urban fantasy

Publisher: SKGregory

Date of Publication:  Nov 30th 2019

ASIN: B07ZLMDL4Q

Number of pages: 200
Word Count: 50k

Cover Artist: RMGraphX

Tagline: A Watcher is supposed to keep evil at bay, but what happens when it walks among them?

Book Description:

Adeline 'Dell' Grimm has been in training to join the Watcher Academy her whole life. A legacy, her grandfather, Edward was one of the Academy's most respected members and Dell is determined to follow in his footsteps.

An impulsive decision could destroy her new life...

Left alone one night, Dell cannot resist a quick look at the recent delivery of artefacts. Artefacts which the Watchers are duty bound to keep hidden away from the world, for they possess supernatural magic, magic that could prove deadly in the wrong hands. Which doesn't bode well for Dell when she accidentally drops one of them.

A Watcher is supposed to keep evil at bay, but what happens when it walks among them?

Soon Dell finds herself missing time and when a fellow Watcher is found murdered, she wonders if she is somehow responsible.

Turning to her fellow Watchers, Spencer and Max, Dell must figure out the truth before someone else dies.

Excerpt:

“You can do this, Dell. Your whole life has been leading up to this moment. Don’t blow it,” I muttered to myself.
Squaring my shoulders, I took a deep breath, plastered on a smile and opened the door to the prestigious Watcher Academy.
Stepping over the threshold, I heard a snap and I stumbled. Catching myself on the wall, I looked down to find that the heel on my boot was broken.
I groaned in frustration. Why did this crap always happen to me? I considered returning to my room on campus to fix it, but then I would be late for my induction.
Maybe someone has glue or tape that I can use to fix it.
Walking on the ball of my foot, I made my way down the short hallway to a second door. This one needed a key card to open it.
Knocking loudly, I waited, trying to keep my balance. Nothing was going to ruin this experience for me. I just wished that Grandpa lived long enough to see this.
There was a beeping noise and the door opened. A man with dark hair stuck his head out. “Adeline Grimm?”
“Yes, but I go by Dell.”
He pushed the door open wider and stepped back. “Follow me.”
I resisted the urge to squeal. This was it.
Limping after the man, I followed him into the Watcher Academy.
“Oh my God,” I whispered.
We entered a huge round room, filled with other Watchers bustling about. A huge oak table sat in the middle of the room, behind which stood a stone fireplace. To my left, lay an alcove leading to an office. Above me, were the stacks. I turned slowly on the spot, taking in row after row of books.
Breathing deeply, I inhaled the scent of the musty tomes. It was exactly as Grandpa described.
“Miss Grimm?” a woman said.
“Yes, sorry.” I tore my gaze from the room and turned to face her.
“Chelsea Dean. I run things around here. This is Antoine,” she said, motioning to the man who showed me in. I was shocked at how young she was. Barely older than me. Blonde, with blue eyes, she stood several inches taller than me. She wore a black blazer over a white blouse and carried a clipboard.
“Nice to meet you,” I said. “I’m so happy to be here, I’ve wanted to see the inside of this place since I was a child.”
I realized I was babbling and quickly closed my mouth. Chelsea made a note on her clipboard, while Antoine hovered nearby. Everyone looked so professional looking and here I was, holding my boot heel.
“I need to check some details,” Chelsea said. “Adeline Jane Grimm, twenty-four. Granddaughter of Edward Grimm. He was one of the best. Hope you don’t ruin his legacy.”
My cheeks burned. Grandpa spent over forty years as a Watcher, I would never tarnish his reputation.
“You studied history and anthropology in college, then a year gaining practical experience. Which means we’re missing a year.”
“I took a gap year early on. I went with Grandpa, uh, Edward, to South America on a dig.”
Chelsea made a noncommittal noise and continued scribbling away on the clipboard, while I stood awkwardly, trying not to fall over. She seemed determined to do this standing.
“And you live on the college campus?” Chelsea asked.
“Yeah, there was actually some kind of mix up and I got stuck with a student roommate,” I said. The Watcher Academy was located on the ** college campus. No one outside the Watchers knew what went on in here. As far as they were concerned, this was some kind of historical society.
“Follow me and we’ll start your induction,” Chelsea said.
“Um, would you have…” I trailed off when I realized she wasn’t listening, she had already crossed the room and opened a door. I hurried after her.
The door led to a small office where a video monitor was set up. Chelsea motioned for me to sit in the only chair in the room. Grabbing a remote control, she switched on the monitor.
“I’ll be back when this is over,” she said.
Confused, I focused on the screen. After a few seconds, a man appeared on the screen, standing in a lavish office. I recognized him instantly as Charles Landry. One of the highest-ranking members of the League of Watchers.
“Welcome to the Watcher Academy. Today you begin a journey to become a fully fledged Watcher.”
Oh my God, it’s a training video like they give employees.
I resisted the urge to laugh that they would have something so normal.
“The League of Watchers was formed in 1869 to protect the world from the supernatural and ensure magical objects do not end up in the hands of civilians.”
Grandpa always spoke of the Watchers with such reverence. He was in charge of artefact retrieval, a job I wanted more than anything.
“Watchers dedicate their lives to keeping the world safe. You may even face the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Know that it will be a great honor and you will be remembered for your bravery.”
Translation – as a Watcher, there’s a good chance you will die on the job. I knew the risks, I also know that I was taught by the best.
The video ended and Chelsea returned. “Any questions?”
“No,” I said. “Oh actually…” I held up my heel but she had already left the room.
I ran after her.
“There are currently twelve Watchers situated here, along with our support team. You can learn their names in your own time, but I will introduce you to the two main people you will be working with.”
She led me to a desk under the stacks, covered in wires and computer equipment. A man with light brown hair sat behind it. He was around my age, wearing a red t-shirt with some band logo on it. Definitely not a Watcher or he would be dressed like the others.
“This is Spencer, tech support and research.”
Spencer stood up to shake my hand. “Nice to meet you. If you need anything, just let me know.”
“Thanks.” He was cute. Not that I was here to meet a guy. I would never let anything interfere with my training. Besides, I doubt Chelsea would take too kindly to any of us dating each other.
Spencer noticed the heel in my hand. “I have some tape, it that’s any use?”
“Yeah, thanks, I’ll give it a go.”
As he handed me the tape, Chelsea was on the move again. She approached a man standing in the alcove by the office. He was slightly older, maybe early thirties, with dark hair. He wore a pale blue shirt over black slacks.
“Adeline, this is Max Burrows. He is our resident expert on ancient cultures and curses.”
“Hi, I usually go by Dell,” I said.
He gave me a nod. “Has the latest shipment arrived yet?” he asked Chelsea.
“It should be here within the hour.”
He turned and went back into his office.
Nice guy.
“There are forms for you to fill out, then we can work out where to assign you,” Chelsea said, carrying on. I guessed his behavior was normal.
“I’d really like to follow in Edward’s footsteps and work in artefact archiving.”
Chelsea pursed her lips. “Miss Grimm, as a trainee Watcher, you do not get to choose your assignment. You go where we put you.”
“Of course,” I said, forcing a smile.
Chelsea took a step toward me and lowered her voice.
“Look, you may come from good stock, but you need to earn your place here, just like everyone else.”
“I understand,” I said, feeling my face heat up.
“Good, because if you screw up, I won’t hesitate to kick your ass out of here and I will see to it personally that you never get within ten feet of the Watcher Academy again.”



About the Author:

S. K. Gregory is the author of several urban fantasy, paranormal romance and young adult novels. She runs a blog that supports indie authors by offering book reviews and promotions.

She is an editor and proofreader with JEA Press.




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Friday, December 6, 2019

Recipes for Ombre Punch and Chocolate Chex Trees - A Cowboy Christmas by Shanna Hatfield





A Cowboy Christmas    
Shanna Hatfield

Genre:  Non-fiction, Holiday, Cooking, Ranch Life

Publisher: TwoDot



Date of Publication:  September 17, 2019

ISBN: 1493042343
ASIN:  B07V718QRB

Number of pages:  304

Tagline:  The jangle of spurs mingles with the jingle of sleigh bells in this celebration of Christmas—cowboy style!

Book Description:

Welcome home to an amazing western holiday with A Cowboy Christmas. A collection of unique holiday décor, traditions, recipes, and guides for entertaining with ease make this your go-to resource for an amazing western Christmas.

Filled with stories of real-life ranch families and rodeo cowboys, get a glimpse into their traditions, try their family recipes, and experience their lifestyles. From preserving memories of the past to tips for wrapping presents, discover the special touches incorporated throughout this book that make it a holiday keepsake you’ll cherish for years to come.

Brimming with holiday cheer, recipes with full-color photographs, and one-of-a-kind ideas, this book is a wonderful celebration of the holidays that will help make your Christmas unforgettable.

Amazon     BN     BaM     Apple      Kobo     IndieBound


Ombré Punch


When you need a beverage you can serve to all ages that will bring a little “Wow!” to your table, try this easy to make punch. The trick is to not stir it!


We like it best with orange juice as the base, but you can also use grapefruit juice for a different flavor.

Makes Six Servings.

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups orange juice, chilled
Grenadine syrup
Ice

DIRECTIONS:

Place ice in the bottom of the glasses. Add ½ cup of juice to each glass then carefully pour one teaspoon of grenadine syrup in each glass. That’s it! Told you it was easy. Just make sure you do not stir the drink or it will lose the lovely ombré design.

If you prefer grapefruit juice to orange juice, substitute it and add a splash of Sprite or 7-Up to each glass before you add the grenadine syrup.



Chocolate Chex Trees



These yummy and adorable trees are so simple to make and a great project if you have kids at home who need something to do. Set them on a disposable plate, foil-wrapped piece of cardboard, or a large sugar cookie wrapped in cellophane for gift-giving!

Ingredients:

3 cups Chex Chocolate cereal
6 pretzel sticks (the thick kind, made for dipping)
½ cup peanut butter
¼ cup Nutella
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

Mix the peanut but­ter, Nutella, but­ter, and pow­dered sugar in a bowl.

On whatever you plan to use for a base, mold the peanut butter mixture around the pretzel stick until it stands upright and forms a slight cone shape.

Hold it steady by using the tip of the pret­zel as a han­dle and begin insert­ing pieces of cereal into the peanut but­ter mix­ture in a sym­met­ri­cal pat­tern around the stick.
You can tip the cereal pieces up or down, depending on your personal preference.

Add more cereal pieces, stag­ger­ing them as you move upward, until you get near the top.

For the top of the tree, use broken pieces or cut them in half to get the smaller scale of branches near the top.

Use two pieces of cereal back to back to form the top.

Dust with powdered sugar.

Makes 6 trees


About the Author:


USA Today bestselling author Shanna Hatfield is a farm girl who loves to write. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances are filled with sarcasm, humor, hope, and hunky heroes. When Shanna isn’t dreaming up unforgettable characters, twisting plots, or covertly seeking dark, decadent chocolate, she hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.









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