Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Shifter's Wish: Ghost Shifters Book One by R.A. Boyd #PNR

A woman haunted.
Two fallen with sleeping beasts.
The age of the Ghost Shifters is ending.



The Shifter's Wish
Ghost Shifters
Book One
R.A. Boyd

Widow Cass Stephens wants to mourn in peace. A freak snowstorm, and the fear of no snacks, drives her out into the cold and into the arms of two sexy shifters who may or may not want to rob her of her can opener.

Jax and Damon have been cursed. They need Cass to complete their Alpha Triad and awaken the dormant beasts within them. And they really need that can opener.

Acceptance from their Clan is enough stress, but Cass’s presence brings unease to the surrounding packs and they’re willing to start a war to stop the Triad from forming. Cass will either prove she’s strong enough to be part of the most powerful Triad the shifter world has ever known or die at the hands of those who are afraid to find out.

Content warning: This book is for grown-ups. They do grown-up stuff. Explicit love scenes, threesomes, cursing, and violence. Oh, and sexy shifter fun. If this isn’t your thing, please skip this book. But if you love M/F, M/M/F, fun times, and men who lurv their woman then hop on in!

BBW Paranormal Shape Shifter Romance

#BBWRomance #PNR #Shifters #MMF #explicitPNR #hotPNR #paranormalromance #shapeshifterromance #BBWPNR #ghostshifters #raboyd

Perennials and Patience: Flower Gardening on a Budget with Stacie Sultrie


The snow is melting, and I am anxiously awaiting the planting season as I notice patches of muddy grass begin to peek through. I have a huge garden and seven large flowerbeds, so needless to say I invest a ton of time playing in the dirt. Most people assume that I’ve spent a fat wad of cash, too. However, I’ve done almost everything on a budget, and I’d love to share some of my money saving tips with you!

               Big blooming bushes at your local greenhouse can cost upwards of $50, and let's face it, that’s a lot of money for one plant. I recommend taking that $50 and buying 10-15 small perennials. Don’t go overboard and over budget by wasting your cash on mature plants that only yield an advantage in the first summer. By year two, your premature perennials will look just as gorgeous as those outrageously priced, boutique-worthy blossoms, and you can enjoy them knowing that you didn’t break the bank. Let’s say you really want a rose bush but buying just one will take up most of your flower budget for the year. Well, take a peek at Menards or Home Depot in midsummer, and you can usually get a small shrub on sale. These stores typically have a money-back guarantee, so if your clearance-sale rosebush doesn’t come up the next year, dig it up, grab your receipt, and go get a new one at no cost! I have ten rosebushes, and I haven’t paid more than eight dollars for a single one. I wouldn’t say they were showstoppers the first year, in fact, they looked like sickly sticks, but by the second summer, I had roses fit for royalty.

I recommend perennials not only because they come up every year, but many also spread. If you plant one lonely Lily or a baby bleeding heart, in a few years you can split them in half and put them in other areas. You can also trade small pieces of your overgrown shrubberies with family, friends, and even neighbors for flowers you don’t have. If you’re just starting out but have friends or family with gorgeous gardens, try saying something like, “Those are the most beautiful peonies I’ve ever seen! I would love to have a little chunk of that so that every time I see it, I’ll think of you.” (This works exceptionally well with parents.) However, if you still want a big beautiful plant but can’t afford to splurge, ask your loved ones for a gift. Every Mother’s Day, (rather than giving me an expensive bouquet that will die in a week) my wonderful husband buys me a new fruit tree. It’s not only a special tradition, but it’s also a memorable gift that keeps us healthy and lasts a lifetime!

Once your garden is growing, you may be looking for some interesting decorations. 

You can spend a small fortune on sculptures and giant solar lights, or you can visit secondhand stores and yard sales. With just a bit of spray paint, tall lamps can be a great way to add personality to your flowerbeds. Simply spray on your favorite color, securely bury the base, and add a cheap solar light where you would normally screw in a bulb. Dollar stores and big box stores often have small solar lights for a dollar or two, and you’ll have a one-of-a-kind conversation piece that makes your yard unique!

Though vintage floor lamps are my personal favorite find, there’s no end to the possibilities with a little creativity. Old knick-knacks and small figurines look great in potted plants or smaller flowerbeds. Painting inexpensive ceramic statues with young children can be a great bonding experience. I’ve even painted the metal legs of an old table to create a distinctive piece that holds four solar lights. No matter what you do, remember to be patient and have fun making your yard as beautiful as you are! 


While My Soulmate Slumbers
The Lost Lunason Series
Book One
Stacie Sultrie



Genre: Reverse Harem Fantasy Romance



Date of Publication: October 20, 2018

ASIN: B07JLGV9P8

Number of pages: 96
Word Count: 41,746

Book Description:

When the love of her life sacrifices himself to protect her from the ultimate evil, Cassia Lunason plunges herself into an enchanted slumber. After two hundred years of blissful dreaming, Cas wakes up to discover that the world has become a very different place. Cars zoom down the streets, lights come on with the flip of a switch, and enchantresses take more than one mate.

Not only does the powerful enchantress need to learn how to navigate the new world, Cassia soon realizes one very important thing - her soulmate is still alive. With the help of her familiar, a majestic white wolf with the ability to speak telepathically, Cassia struggles to reach her lost love. Along the way, Cas is distracted by a handsome man who will stop at nothing to help her get her beloved back.

Will Cassia reach her lost love in time?

Is the evil her soulmate sacrificed himself for truly destroyed?

Can her newly kindled friendship stand up to the scrutiny of her familiar?

Turn the page to see how Cas deals with the multiple men in her life while struggling to get the one man she has always loved back.

**This is a slow-burn reverse harem romance. The action slowly builds throughout the series, and the main character has more than one love interest. Though book one is relatively mild, the following books in this series include explicit language, graphic scenes, and some BDSM action. F/M, F/MM, F/MMM and some MM kissing/touching. This series is not recommended for readers under 18 and may be a trigger for some.


Get it Free April 11-15

Amazon


Excerpt Book One:

Excited and curious, Cassia made her way down a well-worn path in the heart of the woods. Though unable to see anything through her blindfold, the smell of jasmine and honeysuckle tickled her senses, and the sound of distant rushing water alerted her to the fact they were heading toward her favorite place. The waterfall she loved and visited often was a hidden treasure on her parent's land, and she regularly spent her free time there. Cassia gripped her beloved's hand a bit tighter when she stumbled on a jagged stone protruding from the rough earth. He sensed her misstep and slowed their pace, but he continued to guide her carefully down the trail. When they finally stopped, he let go of her hand and commanded in his deep voice, "Don't move.” She sensed her love making his way behind her, and Cassia’s pulse kicked up a notch when she felt his warm breath shiver across her neck. Smooth fingertips feathered across her arm before he whispered, "Are you excited, my love?"
 "Of course," she breathed, "this is torture." Cas was quivering from the sensation of his breath in her ear, and goosebumps prickled her skin where his long fingers continued their exploration of her body. Cassia anxiously waited for him to remove the scarf from her eyes, enthusiastic to see her surprise as she felt his hands leave her arms. She let out a gasp of disbelief when his fingers didn't reach for the blindfold, but instead arrived at the place where the high lace of her dress met the front of her neck.
 He chuckled and wrapped his sizable fingers around the nape of her neck. Her beloved’s other hand seized her waist, and suddenly, Cassia was pulled backward against the hard planes of his body. "I told you to be patient. Perhaps I should torment you a bit longer. Hmm?"
 "No, please don't," she whimpered, feeling the first touch of his tongue on her ear. He gradually licked his way down her neck and lightly nipped at the sensitive skin. His hand on her waist feathered up the middle of Cassia’s chest leaving tingles in its wake. Soon his fingers brushed her hardened nipple, and he began tracing slow circles around the pebbled skin. Her entire body grew warm and moisture began to gather in her underclothes. Momentarily sidetracked, Cassia relaxed against her beloved's chest and enjoyed the feeling of his hard length pushing against her back. Cas let out a low moan, but she loved surprises and could barely contain her excitement any longer. “I've been such a good girl, I need to see it now," she whimpered.
His deep laugh rumbled powerfully, and she could feel his muscular form shaking in amusement. The sensual moment broken, he reached up to untie the delicate blue silk scarf that covered her eyes. "Happy early birthday, My Love."
Cassia looked around the clearing in wonderment. A soft blanket covered the oversized rock near the base of the waterfall. Colorful petals from her favorite flowers were scattered about, and the small fire a few feet away cast a soft orange glow on the area. She noticed a small chocolate cake with a single blue candle placed perfectly in the center of the quilt. Other large candles lined the path and surrounded the blanket, lending the moon a hand in creating a romantic atmosphere. She looked up at her soulmate and smiled at his adoring gaze. He led her to the blanket and lit the single candle with a twig from the fire. "Make a wish, Cas," he said, presenting the cake to her.
She closed her eyes and thought of the only thing she truly wanted - to see the flame burn blue at their ceremony. Cassia didn’t need any assurance that he was her soulmate, but she wanted the world to know that their love was eternal, and the blue flame would leave no question. She opened her eyes and smiled at her beloved thinking, "I wish for blue fame," as she blew out the candle. 
Cassia's eyes suddenly surged open, "He's awake," she gasped, and stood from her bed for the first time in two centuries.



Chasing Cas
Lost Lunason Series
Book 2
Stacie Sultrie

Genre: Reverse Harem Fantasy Romance

Date of Publication: 11/17/18

ASIN: B07K16FHTW

Number of pages: 168
Word Count: 50,035

Book Description:

Follow Cas and her three powerful protectors in this exciting paranormal tale of magic, shifters, and soulmates.

Cassia, the most powerful enchantress born in centuries, is so busy living her happy new life that she doesn't realize people are searching for her. While Cas spends her time bonding with the boy next door, the soulmate she doesn't remember exhausts every option on his hunt to find her.
Unfortunately, he isn't the only one hunting...

An evil from her past is back with a vengeance and will do everything imaginable to destroy Cassia and her mates - including feasting on unsuspecting humans and tormenting the other enchanted.

Can Cassia's true love find her before evil destroys them all?

Will Braxton finally risk everything and reveal his secret?

Book 2 of The Lost Lunason Series really heats up and will leave you begging for more!

This is not a standalone and should be read after "While My Soulmate Slumbers."


On Sale for .99 April 11-18

Amazon


Excerpt Book Two:
Vita licked the last bit of blood from his empty eye socket, then dropped the fresh corpse and approached the cell full of humans. She had about twenty left, all of them dirty and disgusting, rotting away behind bars. ”You,” she pointed to the healthiest looking male, “you’re next.” She waved her hand releasing her magic and pulled the man through the enchanted bars. Vita reached for the pair of heavy cuffs hanging from a hook in the ceiling and locked them around his wrists. She yanked on the shackles until his toes were barely touching the floor then secured the chains so he would remain in that position.
The man was probably 6’3” and had a muscular physique. His sturdy build, dark hair, and blue eyes reminded her of Ari, and Vita couldn’t wait to take her aggression out on the revolting creature. Vita reached for the bolt cutters on her table and approached the man hanging by his wrists. “Don’t move,” she commanded, but imbued a bit of magic into her words so that the man would remain frozen in place. Calling a chair to her side, Vita stood on the seat and snipped the first of the human’s fingertips from his hand. Blood spurted from the wound, and Vita joyfully opened her mouth, allowing the spewing liquid to coat her tongue and face. She knew that by elevating his hands, the blood flow would slow and ensure that he wouldn’t die immediately. Vita repeated the process on each of his fingers and giggled like a school child as she stood under the dripping appendages. She felt as if she were taking a shower in the man’s blood, and to Vita, it was one of the best feelings in the world.
She understood that she was wasting some of the precious liquid, but at this point, she couldn’t find it in her to care. Vita had taken all she needed from these wretched pests hours ago, and now she was just having fun. It was the perfect opportunity to alleviate her anger at Ari. With blood covering her face, Vita bent down and stuck her tongue into the mouth of the human, enjoying the taste of his fetid breath. “I could take you if I wanted to,” she told him, and cackled like a loon. “There would be absolutely nothing you could do about it, Ari,” she stepped off of the chair.
Vita reached for her favorite branding iron and walked toward the fire. She could have heated it with her magic, but Vita took pleasure going in doing some things slowly. As the end of the metal became a dazzling orange color, she pulled the iron from the fire and sashayed back toward her captive. Vita rammed the metal into his skin, memorized by his sizzling flesh and relishing the scent of burning skin. She removed the metal from his chest and was delighted by the way his tender skin turned black and bloated. She stared at the beauty of her name burned over his heart. “Perfect,” she said, dropping the steel and clapping her hands.
“You behave so well, Ari, you haven’t made a peep!” She giggled again and kissed his blistered flesh.

Claiming Cassia
Lost Lunason Series
Book 3
Stacie Sultrie

Genre: Reverse Harem Fantasy Romance

Date of Publication: 1/18/19

ASIN: B07KBGLNMN

Number of pages: 107
Word Count: 51,977

Book Description:

Just when she thinks it’s safe to concentrate on her relationships, Cassia’s world is turned upside down once again.

The most dangerous enemy of the enchanted is on the loose and nobody is safe.
Celestia has made the ultimate sacrifice for her sister; unfortunately, this is the worst time for her to be so vulnerable.

Secrets are revealed that leave Cas wanting more than just answers, and her three muscular mates hope to give her everything she desires.

If you thought Chasing Cas was hot, you won’t believe the action in book three!


On Sale for .99 April 11-18

Amazon



 Excerpt Book Three:
Cassia looked as though she’d been struck, and Vita used the momentary shock to her advantage. Like a viper, she lunged at Ari and sunk her fangs into his neck. For the first time since she’d laid her eyes on the sexy Mr. Shoren, Vita finally got to taste him. His blood poured into her mouth, and she greedily sucked it down, enjoying the refreshing taste of his untainted magic. Ari was stronger than even Vita had realized, and she was thrilled at the taste of unfiltered power flowing through his veins. Knowing it wouldn’t be long before someone reacted and attempted to stop her, Vita regrettably released her prey’s throat. She winked at Cas and licked her lips, then called on her magic and began to disappear. Vita was going to finally take Ari to her bed. She easily could have killed Cas, but the thought of leaving the pathetic witch to wallow in her misery was better than the idea of her death.
Cassia watched in shock as Vita sunk her fangs into Ari’s neck, but as they started to shimmer and disappear, Cas burst into action. She ran full speed toward them and jumped onto Vita’s back. The unexpected interruption must have worked to disrupt Vita’s concentration, and the transportation spell backfired.
As soon as she released Ari, Cas used her power to propel Vita across the room, smashing her into the opposite marble wall. “You stupid bitch,” Vita roared, “Ari is mine!”
“I’ll never be yours, Vita!” Ari sent a powerful blast of fire toward the woman, but she effortlessly dodged the flame. Cas grew anxious when she realized that Vita didn’t appear even the slightest bit affected by anything they did to her. Even the force of hitting the white stone didn’t seem to slow her down. She ran at Ari and slid across the marble floor at the last second, sticking her feet out and hitting him in the knees. Cas heard bone crack seconds before Ari howled in pain and toppled to the floor.
Cas was unsure how she did it, but immediately after contacting with Ari’s body, Vita shot to her feet and bounded over a nearby couch. “You like this one better?” Vita snickered and lunged at Jordan, clutching his throat and digging her nails into his neck. Cas was horrified as Jordan’s skin began to turn black - she’d never seen anything like it. Green mist surrounded Cassia’s lover, and a powerful blast of water shot from his fingertips, forcing Vita to lose her grip and stumble backward.
Cas used the opportunity to try and get Vita as far away from them as she could. She called on her most powerful element and thrust a gust of wind toward the crazed enchantress. Vita went crashing into an end table, and the force of her body shattered not only the pristine white lamp but also the white oak of the stand. Ari sent more fire at her, but Vita didn’t stay down long and quickly cast a shielding spell. “You idiots,” she screamed, “you are not powerful enough to destroy me! I will kill you, Cassia Lunason, and your tattooed party boy!”


Portal of Power
Lost Lunason Series
Book 4
Stacie Sultrie

Genre: Reverse Harem Fantasy Romance

Date of Publication: 4/16/19

ASIN:  B07MTVN998

Number of pages: 117
Word Count: 52,000

Book Description:

The happily ever after you've been waiting for! Or is it?

The bonding of multiple mates, a group of true soulmates, will unlock the ultimate power...

That was the prophecy that changed the way the enchanted mated, the prophecy that gave way to enchantresses taking more than one mate.

When Cas and her men finally complete their bonding ceremony, they are shocked to discover that they've opened a portal to another world. They didn't know that their love would open the door to another dimension, but they are also clueless about what's on the other side.

Will monsters flow through the newly opened gate, or is this the world they were destined to live in?

Though the quartet has no idea what to expect, they certainly didn't think that the portal would draw the evil from their own dimension to their doorstep.

Can Cas and her mates finally defeat Vita?

Who is the mysterious Addie and why did the portal call to her?

Did Cassia and her mates finally find their happy ending, or will new problems threaten the happiness they've worked so hard for?

Find out these answers and more in this thrilling conclusion of The Lost Lunason Series!


Excerpt Book Four:
The guys had been silent during her exchange with Vita, but Jordan soon exclaimed, “Where the fuck did she go? We need to find that bitch before she does something crazy.”
“She could have gone anywhere,” Brax responded. “We could try to follow her transportation trail.” He stepped closer to the area Vita had recently vacated.
Ari shook his head and looked back at the portal, “We can’t, Brax. We have no idea what this,” he motioned to the still glowing circle, “even is. I think it appeared to us for a reason, and I don’t think we should ignore it. Vita will come back. She always comes back.”
 “Ari’s right,” Cas agreed, “she always comes back.” Cas sighed and looked into the portal, briefly wondering if the trees really were made out of gold. She couldn’t believe that only a few hours ago she swore her life to her men, she’d experienced the joy of joining with them and the intense emotions that had flowed through the bond when they made love for the first time. It was the happiest night of her life, and she shouldn’t have been surprised that Vita attempted to ruin it. She didn’t know what the portal was exactly, but it appeared to them for a reason, and she would protect it until they could learn more. If they went chasing after Vita, the portal could close, or people from the other side could enter their world. There was no telling who or what could come through, and there was no way that Cas could unleash more monsters on this world. Vita was wicked enough. “Now that she knows where we are, I have no doubt that it won’t take long for her to try and destroy us.”                
"No, I don’t think it will take long at all,” Vita laughed from directly behind Ari, “did you miss me, lover? I know I missed you,” Vita proclaimed before plunging her fangs into Ari’s neck.
Cassia was furious that this woman dared touch her mate.  “How dare you touch my mate?!” Her enraged yell seemed to tear everyone from their stunned immobility, and Jordan and Brax rushed toward Ari.
Cassia was closer, however, and she felt Ari’s fire flowing through her veins. She snagged Vita’s floor-length red hair and watched in shock and horror as the strands engulfed into flames. Cas new she was angry, knew she could feel the power flowing through her, but she didn’t even intend to use the magic. She quickly realized that she needed to learn how to control the power now surging through her before she harmed someone that didn’t deserve it.
Vita screamed in agony as she released Ari from her death bite, and the guys swiftly pulled him from her reach. Cas called on her most powerful element and sent a blast of air at the flaming vampire. The fire died quickly, and though Cassia wanted Vita to meet her end, she couldn’t stand by and watch while someone burned to death.


About the Author:

Stacie Sultrie was born and raised in the United States and currently lives in a tiny Midwestern town. She has a loving and supportive husband who always encourages her to follow her dreams. Stacie has an amazingly athletic son that habitually hauls the family around the Midwest for sporting events. She also has two darling dogs that stay up late with her while she works on her books. Stacie is a stay-at-home mom, has earned her bachelor's degree in psychology, and plans to continue writing while pursuing a master's degree. She enjoys watching her son play sports, is an avid reader, and has a myriad of artistic hobbies. Stacie has always appreciated horror, paranormal, and romance books, but after reading her first reverse harem, was hooked on the genre. She hopes to publish a book every two or three months, and is grateful to everyone that supports her!



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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Review of Paint Alchemy by Eva Marie Magill-Oliver

My Review of Paint Alchemy


I love seeing how artists create. Everyone has such a unique style. The artist uses techniques that would push many out of their comfort zones...but isn't that what art is about?

I try to learn wherever I can. Even if this isn't my style of painting I can still learn from the processes and use the inspiration to expand on my own style.

This book was very informative and inspiring. It'll be something I keep on my shelf and refer to when I need some out the box ideas or simply a little splash of color to wake up me up and get me in a different frame of mind for creativity.


Paint Alchemy
Exploring Process-Driven Techniques through Design, Pattern, Color, Abstraction, Acrylic and Mixed Media
Eva Marie Magill-Oliver

About the Book:
Paint Alchemy combines introductory techniques with a process-oriented philosophy that focuses on creativity and staying in the moment.
Experience wonder and excitement as you mindfully take your painting technique to the next level: It's Paint Alchemy. Part of the new Alchemy series, Paint Alchemy explores how to build a painting practice. Whether you're a novice or an experienced painter, you'll learn how to create freely by combining a foundation in solid techniques and design principles with an open approach that stays focused on the moment, rather than the end result. 
You will learn how to prepare your art space, work with intention, and move between action and observation, responding to the work along the way. 
Paint Alchemy will help you cultivate a full perspective on the process: from developing ideas in a sketchbook to crystalizing your vision. As you work through the exercises, you'll gain a better understanding of color theory, mark making, representational form, abstraction, and composition. 
Mindfulness, experimentation, and reflection will give way to wonder as your paintings develop.










About the Author:
Eva Magill-Oliver is a multi-media artist living and working in Alpharetta, Georgia. The natural world is an ever-present theme in her work, which transitions with the landscape that surrounds her. Nature inspires her color palettes, the way she creates patterns, and influences the organic shapes and silhouettes prevalent in her work. “I love to explore the movements, patterns, and connections found in the natural world. I am in awe of nature's subtle variations and how they flow and influence one another.” After working exclusively on paper for several years, she has expanded her work to include oil and acrylic abstract paintings on canvas. The work is organic, representing the dynamic evolution that is the natural world. Eva is represented by a number of galleries across the United States. Her work is featured in several online boutiques and publications.

New Release: Tudor Rose by W.H. Doyle #YAhistoricalfantasy

***** She who controls the crown, controls her destiny *****



Tudor Rose
W.H. Doyle

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Publisher: Month9Books

Date of Publication: April 9th, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946700-67-4
ASIN: 1946700673

Number of pages: 257

Cover Artist: AM Design Studios

Book Description:

In 16th-century England, two teenage best friends find themselves on an exciting journey from the country to the Queen’s court in the hope of being named ladies-in-waiting. But Sybille and Rose soon discover they aren’t the only girls who have their sights set on attending Her Majesty.  The girls must compete against worldly and cunning opponents, among them mean-girl Avis and her entourage of back-stabbing co-horts, tipping the balance in their already-tenuous friendship.

Soon, the grand hall is more like the hallway of a prestigious finishing school, with girls fighting for the attention of a dashing, young earl, amid parties fueled by drinking and indiscriminate dalliances. As the tension between Sybille and Avis heats up, the focus on Rose wanes, allowing her to turn her attention to more important matters – like getting close enough to the Queen to learn her secrets.

But being close to the Queen is not without its challenges. And when rumors of Rose’s influence make their way around the castle, no one, not even the Queen, will be safe.



#Books #BookWorm #GreatReads #bookboost  #MustRead #WhatToRead #eBook #BookBuzz #AuthorRT  #YA #historical #tudor #tudorrose #Month9Books #fantasy #historicalfantasy

In the Kitchen with Desdemona Wren #inthekitchen #CroqueMonsieur


I was gonna do something Marjorie-specific, but I just realized the only time anyone cooks in the book are enchiladas and I have no idea how to make enchiladas. Well, I have a vague idea of how to make them, but none of my own personal recipes, sooo.

Here’s my super secret awesome recipe for Croque Monsieur (Aka: The greatest grilled cheese/ham sandwich you will ever eat)

Ingredients:

Béchamel

½ stick of unsalted European butter
¼ cup of all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole milk
2 tbs Dijon mustard
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg 
Kosher salt, to taste
1 bay leaf 

Sandwich

8 slices of pain de mie (or thick country-style bread)
6 oz. Paris ham
2 cups. Gruyère cheese, grated
½ cup grated parmesan 
1 tsp herbes de province 

Preparation:

Béchamel

Make a roux by melting butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it’s foamy, then add the flour. Stir until the flour smells cooked or the mixture is pale and foamy. This should take roughly 3-4 minutes. 

When the flour is cooked, turn the heat down and gradually add the milk ½ cup at a time while stirring continuously. You want the sauce to be smooth so be sure to flatten out all those chunks. 

Then turn the heat back up a little, add the bay leaf. and let the sauce thicken up, stirring occasionally until it is elastic and has a sauce-like texture. This should take 4-5 minutes. 

Add a half cup of Gruyère cheese to the béchamel and stir it in until it is melted and sauce is smooth. 

Once finished, remove from heat, pluck out the bay leaf and whisk in the mustard and season with salt. 

Be sure to taste the sauce before putting it on the bread to ensure there was enough salt used. 

Béchamel is also the perfect base for cheese sauces, alfredo sauce, macaroni and cheese, and pretty much anything you want to melt cheese for. 

Sandwiches

Preheat oven to 425° and grab a cookie sheet. Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 

Spread béchamel evenly over 4 slices of bread then place them on the cookie sheet, béchamel side up. Top with ham and half of the Gruyère. Then place the other four slices of bread on top, spread béchamel over those bad boys and top with Gruyère, parmesan, and a sprinkle of herbes de province.

Traditionally, you wouldn’t use parmesan, but I think it gives it a nice little crunch.

Bake until cheese is brown and bubbling. So about 10-15 minutes depending on your oven. 

Bon appétit! 


Oh, pro-tip: if you’re looking for something to pair with this to make it a full meal, a light side salad with a vinaigrette is key. The sandwiches are so heavy you won’t be able to eat anything else.  

Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Ancestral Politics and Foul Play
Marjorie Diaz Series  
Book Two
Desdemona Wren

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: AntlerDoe Media

Date of Publication: 4/2/2019

ASIN: B07P86KDNM

Number of pages: 332
Word Count: 70,290

Cover Artist: Ariel LeAnn Cat’s Paw Media

Tagline: Marjorie Diaz is being hunted by a powerful magical family
that will stop at nothing to kill her.

Book Description:

Marjorie Diaz has been marked for death.

After her relationship with Patrick Watkins ends, Marjorie discovers that everyone in her life has been lying to her. Even her best friend, Lucian Maravalle.

Now, Marjorie is being hunted by a powerful magical family who will stop at nothing to kill her.

Lucian and her family have sworn to protect Marjorie from these nightmarish beasts, but Marjorie isn’t sure she can trust them. They keep secret after secret and, even after Marjorie has begged for them to tell her everything, they continue to keep her in the dark.

Marjorie struggles with her own mortality as she embarks on a futile journey to remain alive and reason with the beings that are hunting her.

She finds out the hard way that humans don't matter on the other side of the veil. Unless Marjorie has something of use to offer, she's better off dead.

Book 2 in the Marjorie Diaz Series.

CONTENT WARNING: Gore, Body Horror, Major Character Death


Excerpt:

Marjorie sucked in a breath, sitting up so quickly her head spun.
“Oh, my God,” she gasped, clawing at her throat and chest. “Oh, my God.”
The room around her was pitch black. She couldn’t see anything beyond her face, which was disorienting. She raised her hands, waving them around to try and focus on something in the inky blackness. She could just barely see them moving in the dark. So she wasn’t blind, at least. That was good to know.
She looked around the room; the sigils no longer shone around her. There was no eerie green glow to light her way through the room. She turned on the bed, nearly teetering over the edge when the mattress was no longer as large as she remembered.
“Wha?!” she exclaimed, catching herself and straightening up. Her back hit the edge of something soft and she turned around, blinking at it. She pressed her hands against what she thought were large pillows, only to realize she wasn’t in a bed at all. This was a couch.
She stood up immediately.
“Marjorie?” a familiar voice asked, a light flipping on overhead.
Marjorie whirled around, finding Angeli in the doorway to his bedroom. He was shirtless and dressed in loose sleep sweats. He scratched his head and yawned.
“Welcome back to the land of the living,” he said with a lopsided grin.
Marjorie narrowed her eyes.
“I’m still here?” she asked.
“You’re still here, darlin’” he responded, flashing her a grin. “You passed out for a few days. I was actually worried you were dead for a little while there.”
“I...never left?” Marjorie asked, confused. “I’ve been here? Passed out? For days?”
Angeli gave her a weird look. “That’s what I said,” he informed her, speaking slowly. “You okay there, baby girl?”
Marjorie had no idea if she was okay. The pain she’d felt in those dreams...returning to her apartment to find Lucian and Emmanuel there...how had that all been the same dream?
She groaned. It was too early in the morning for her to even be worried about this. Or late at night? She didn’t know. Her head throbbed.
“Marjorie?” Angeli asked, drawing her attention back to him. “You okay?”
“I have no idea,” Marjorie said honestly. “I...just...I feel weird. Like, weirder than usual. I think it’s safe to say that I am definitely not into whatever the hell that was.”
Angeli laughed. “That’s probably normal,” he said, shrugging.
Marjorie glowered at him. “I don’t have time for this,” she griped. “I need to go home.” She scrubbed her hands over her face. “I need to sleep in my own bed and I definitely need to shower.”
“Why not just shower here?” Angeli asked, tense. “Before you wander out into the streets of New York? You’ve been passed out for two days.”
Marjorie shot him a look. “I would rather shower in my own apartment, thanks,” she snapped. “Who in their right mind would shower before braving the streets anyway? I’d much rather rinse the filth of the city off and change into some nice pajamas, then never leave again. Ever.”
“I’m not sure it’s safe for you to wander around Brooklyn at 3am,” Angeli said. “That’s all.”
Marjorie checked the clock on the wall. “That clock says 5am,” Marjorie countered. “I think I’ll be fine with the morning commuter crowd.”
“That clock is wrong,” Angeli said quickly, edging toward the door.
He was acting weird. All his normal nicknames and sickly charm were gone. It was like there was something he wasn’t telling her.
Alarm bells went off in her head.
“I need you to let me go,” Marjorie said, watching him warily.
“I’m not keeping you here,” he responded as he moved himself between her and the door and squared his shoulders. He looked like he was getting ready for a fight.
“What do you mean you’re not keeping me here?” Marjorie asked, jaw clenched.
“Exactly like I said, I’m not keeping you here,” Angeli repeated, crossing his arms.
“If not you, then who is?” Marjorie pressed, eyes narrowed.
Angeli’s lips cracked open in a slow, sinister smile.
A shiver ran down Marjorie’s spine. That couldn’t be good.
“I thought you’d never ask,” another voice said from behind her. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end and it took all the strength in her body to keep her knees from buckling.
The source of the voice moved forward, his footfalls soft on the rough gray carpeting of Angeli’s apartment. When he stood behind her, Marjorie could feel the heat coming from his body and her stomach flipped and gurgled.
“Hello, Marjorie Diaz,” he said. “I believe we have a lot to talk about.”
Marjorie turned her head slowly, her skin erupting in goosebumps and frightened tears prickling in her eyes.
“Patrick,” she gasped.

About the Author:

Desdemona Wren is an urban fantasy and science fiction author who writes gay fiction with monsters, witches, and fantastical plots. She's from Seattle, WA, but currently resides in the mystical land of Northern California. Where everybody wears coats all the time, nobody says 'brah', 'bruh', 'bro' or any variation of that word, and absolutely nobody surfs.

She has two cats named Oliver and Ophelia who have traveled the world. From The Great Smoky Mountains, to the tallest peaks of The Cascades, and even to the Grand Canyon; they've been everywhere.

She has written two full-length novels: Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society and Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Ancestral Politics & Foul Play; one novella: Bloom: A Monster Love Novella (Book 1); and one short story featured in a Cinderella Anthology: Call Me Eli.














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