Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ROASTED CHESTNUT STUFFING



Ingredients:
1 stick of butter
½ lb. pancetta
1 small onion
2 large carrots finely chopped
4 stalks celery hearts finely chopped
2 cups sliced Portobello mushrooms
3 tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup canned chicken broth
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 lb day old ciabatta bread
10 oven-roasted chestnuts, broken into medium-small pieces

Melt 3 tbsp butter in a heavy skillet on medium heat.  Sauté pancetta until golden brown.  Set aside in a large bowl.  Melt 3 tbsp butter in same pan.  Add carrots, celery, mushrooms, rosemary and garlic, adding onions last.  Cook until onions are tender.  Stir in chestnuts and parsley.  Heat for a few minutes.  Transfer to bowl with pancetta.  Add cubed ciabatta and Parmesan.  Mix ingredients together and add broth.  Coat well and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon into butter-coated 15 x 10 baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

 Roasting the Chestnuts
Cut across the round side of each chestnut to prevent exploding in oven. Arrange on a cookie sheet.  Roast them in a 425 degree oven until the skins have pulled back from the cuts and nut has softened (at least 15-20 minutes).  After they cool slightly, pinch to remove from skin and break into bite-sized pieces. May also add dried cranberries, or substitute pecans for the chestnuts.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Spooktacular Giveaway Winners!

CONGRATULATIONS!
List of Winners with their book choices:
Amanda Lynn, The Apothecary
Tonya Perish, For Sale Old Manor
Jessmond, The Apothecary
Drew Farber, The Dashwood Haunting
Amy P., Wicked Cool

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spooktacular Giveaway


FIVE WINNERS WILL EACH GET A $10 AMAZON GIFT CARD AND THEIR CHOICE OF ONE OF THE 
FOLLOWING BOOKS!


TO ENTER:
+1 ENTRY TO FOLLOW THIS BLOG
(You MUST follow this blog to qualify for prize)
+5 EXTRA ENTRIES TO JOIN 24/7 FB GROUP
(Click on the link below to join)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Guest Post with Samantha Bayarr




BECOMING AMISH

When I set out to write my first Amish romance, I wanted it to be out of the ordinary…one that would stand out in the crowd of Amish romance novels.

What I got was a re-write of my own history with a lot of imaginative twists!

Being my first Amish romance novel, I wanted to do what all the “experts” advised and write what I know…I came from a big family, and had spent a lot of time on my uncle’s farm as a young child, and I lived in Goshen, Indiana for several years and interacted with the Amish and observed their way of life, so I already had half the battle played out in my head.

Next came the romance portion…I always wondered what it would be like to be Amish, but never figured you could just walk into their group and say “Hi, I’m here. I want to join and become Amish”. It just doesn’t work that way. That’s where Jane, my main character, came into play. She had to be at just the right age to meet, and fall in love with “the Amish boy next door”.

Knowing that the chances of becoming Amish by marriage was a close impossibility as well, I decided to set the backdrop in the 1970’s, in a time of flower-power, hippies, and love, when that was the backdrop of America…so my end result is a story of a teenage hippie-chick falling in love with the teenage Amish boy next door.

The entire series started out as my own story, and how my life would have been if I’d married an Amish man, had a large family, and lived a great life doing so….but my life just wasn’t like that…so I threw in a bit of reality from my own life and mixed it with Jane’s to bring my readers the story of Little Wild Flower.

Book Four in this series deals with the reality that I lived through as a child of an alcoholic mother, but offers a happy ending filled with forgiveness and strong family bonds in the book (unfortunately not the true ending for me as a child), but I know that readers like a conclusion, where my conclusion and healing didn’t come until years later than it did for Jane, the imaginary me.

In the end, this series goes the direction I imagine my life would have gone if I’d married into an Amish family and experienced the strong bonds of love, faith, and loyalty that the Amish people represent as a whole.

My biggest hope for this series is that my readers enjoy reading them as much as I loved writing them.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

24/7 Book Cafe gets a Face Lift!


24/7 Book Cafe has changed its theme to reflect 
Alice in Wonderland, one of my favorite books as a child. I hope you will enjoy the new look...don't 
worry, nothing else has changed!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

And the winner is...


Congratulations to Lisa Richards!
She won a kindle copy of 
Grave Robbers
A Secret in the Attic
Raven Finch: The Curse of the Dead Woods

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back to School Blog Hop Giveaway!

One lucky winner will win all 3 Kindle books!

Grave Robbers
Twelve-year-old Charlie had no idea what she was getting herself into when she devised a plan to outwit her father, an experienced grave robber, and steal the jewels from the Widow Taylor’s casket just before burial. When the widow’s murderer comes looking for the jewels, Charlie must come up with a new plan to keep her and her father from becoming the murderer’s next victims. But what is it that has her so frightened?



A Secret in the Attic
Amy has two best friends. Emma is her best friend and rival, Jonathon is her childhood sweetheart.

But then she meets Jake, and everything changes.

When Amy finds an ancient book in an old steamer trunk in her grandmother’s attic, her world is turned upside down.

The book contains an old gypsy curse; a curse so powerful it’s called The Curse of the Widowed Bride.

Amy’s secrets could destroy all of them, but what’s a few secrets between friends?

Only one can break the curse.
Which one will walk down the aisle?
Find out in this urban fantasy 



Raven Finch: The Curse of the Dead Woods
What could be worse for 15 year old Raven Finch than being accused of being a witch by Ethan Noble, the annoying boy next door? Finding out he’s half warlock, half mortal, and he’s the only one who can help her when people start to disappear, and she fears she may be the next victim. Can this unlikely pair join forces against Agatha, the High Witch, who took Raven when she was born and has enslaved her at Castle Rock? Why are there similarities between Ethan and Raven, and why is it that all the peculiar things that are happening has her believing his accusations? Could it be that all the mixing of potions and reading of spell books to help Ethan is turning her into a witch? Or is her mind just playing tricks on her? 





Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer Giveaway Blog Hop


Enter for your chance to be the winner 
of all 4 Kindle books in this giveaway!
You MUST follow and "like" 
this blog to enter!

The Cain Letters
By Pierre Roustan

All legends have beginnings— some are worth remembering -- others are better left to darkness. 

When college student, Marcus Brennan, discovers an ancient book revealing the origin of vampirism, all hell breaks loose not just in his life but for the world around him. He is holding the ultimate weapon two master vampires desire more than blood. It is the weapon that will give them the power to rule not only the Vampire Nation but all mankind. 

It is up to Alexandra Glade, fierce and radiant vampire hunter, and her team, the Berith Lochem, to find and protect Marcus in order to prevent the unthinkable… 

… The awakening of Cain. 


Keeping Grace Alive
By Annie Lee

For the past five years, accomplished hit man Jessie Conners has been secretly in love with Gracie Talbot, stepdaughter of his boss, Rudy Talbot. Rudy is head of America’s largest crime ring and due to Gracie’s perceived meddling in Rudy’s business and political affairs, Rudy wants her dead. As usual, Rudy turns to his number one hit man, Jessie, to make the kill. 

Jessie and Gracie met during a chance encounter five years ago and Jessie has yet to tell Gracie he has feelings for her. Jessie is faced with the gut wrenching decision to either assassinate the woman he loves to keep himself and his crew in Rudy’s good graces or to attempt to save Gracie, thereby risking everything and ensuring that he, Gracie, and his crew would spend the rest of their lives running from Rudy and his mercenaries.


Consumption
By Greg Johnson

In the dying days of British Hong Kong, Sara Sexton, upon breaking up with a Greek lover, visits her old friend Martin Blake, a high-profile, high-dollar interior designer. This suspenseful story shows the effects of a lifetime friendship going toxic as modern life pulls the once quasi-siblings in opposite directions. As Sara embarks on a simpler life, Martin becomes increasingly complex and erratic. Eventually Sara is forced to a terrible choice in the name of self-preservation.

In its witty dissection of middle class ideals and aspirations, G. S. Johnston's CONSUMPTION is a heart-rending, provoking novel about the nature of long term friendships. With beautiful prose, arresting characters, and intriguing setting, Johnston evokes the cities of Hong Kong and Sydney and immerses the reader in a world that is as beautiful as it is painful.


A Secret in the Attic
By Samantha Jillian Bayarr

Amy has two best friends. Emma is her best friend and rival, Jonathon is her childhood sweetheart.
But then she meets Jake, and everything changes.
When Amy finds an ancient book in an old steamer trunk in her grandmother’s attic, her world is turned upside down.
The book contains an old gypsy curse; a curse so powerful it’s called The Curse of the Widowed Bride.
Amy’s secrets could destroy all of them, but what’s a few secrets between friends?
Only one can break the curse.
Which one will walk down the aisle?
Find out in this urban fantasy 


To Enter the Giveaway:
  1. "Like" this blog
  2. Follow this blog
  3. Leave a comment at the end of this post 
  4. Don't forget to leave your email address!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Confidence in your Imagination Guest Post with Bryan Cohen

Description of Ted Saves the World (Available for just $0.99)http://www.amazon.com/Ted-Saves-World-Novella-ebook/dp/B0058EUSCI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1312138902&sr=8-1
A possessed cheerleader. A cursed gang of criminals. Mysterious telekinetic powers. An angry ex-girlfriend in gym class? One second, sophomore in high school Ted endures his first breakup in his favorite place in town. The next, a mysterious blue light turns him into a worldwide superhero sensation for taking down a posse of grisly murderers. As his views on YouTube increase and his friend Dhiraj tries to capitalize on the marketing potential, his dangers increase as well when a presumed-dead cheerleader begins taking a personal interest. Can Ted survive his first week as a superhero in the public eye? This novella is the first taste in a series of full-length novels about the adventures of Ted Finley and Erica LaPlante. The book is also available on http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Ted-Saves-the-World/Bryan-Cohen/e/2940012806734">Barnes & Noble and http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/70092 ">Smashwords for $0.99.


Confidence in Your Imagination
By Bryan Cohen

Most people think that they need a degree or to have studied with some guru in order to become proficient at a particular subject. It's as if someone told them one day that anything that's worth its salt must have been passed down from generations and generations of learned brilliant people. This is one of those twisted viewpoints that comes from hundreds of years of formal education being praised as the pinnacle of all learning.

Unfortunately, I think that this diminishes the amount of confidence that people have in the power of their own imaginations. In one of the first fiction writing classes I ever had, the instructor told me that my style of writing was not conducive to fiction. At first, I believed him and concentrated my writing in other areas like film and play scripts. Years later, after getting into the self-publishing world, I realized that it didn't matter that I hadn't received my teacher's blessing. It mattered that I enjoyed writing and that other people might enjoy it as well.

There haven't been that many reviews yet for my first fiction book, http://www.amazon.com/Ted-Saves-World-Novella-ebook/dp/B0058EUSCI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1312138902&sr=8-1Ted Saves the World, but nobody has had the similar complaints that my teacher did. My work didn't go through a publishing company and get the blessing of their higher ups either. What I do have going for me is that I'm confident that those reading my book will get a kick out of it.

Just because we haven't been certified in something or if we haven't taken a course in a certain field, it doesn't mean that we can't be extremely successful at it. Plenty of people who haven't finished college have become mega-billionaires using the power of their imagination and confidence. Some writers have been rejected dozens of times and then have become huge sensations like J.K. Rowling and more recently, Amanda Hocking, because they kept at it. They believed in themselves.

The important thing is not the certification or the degree. What is most important is having confidence that you can put out a good product that people will use or enjoy. If you have that, it's only a matter of time before you succeed.

--

Giveaway:
Bryan Cohen is giving away four $25 Amazon gift cards, one for each week of his month long blog tour. To enter, simply comment with your e-mail address (feel free to substitute @ with (at) or other tricks to stop spammers from getting it). Bryan will draw the four names at the end of the tour, picking one entrant at random from each week’s set of blog posts. Entries will be counted through Monday, August 15th, 2011. Enter on as many sites as you want, follow the tour at http://www.build-creative-writing-ideas.com/blog-tour-for-ted.html;Build Creative Writing Ideas. If Ted reaches the Top 100 on Amazon at any point during the tour, a fifth $25 card will be added to the giveaway.

Biography:
Bryan Cohen is a writer, actor and comedian from Dresher, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 with degrees in English and Dramatic Art and a minor in Creative Writing. He has written seven books including http://www.amazon.com/000-Creative-Writing-Prompts-ebook/dp/B0044DEL7C;1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More. Contact Bryan through http://bryancohen.com">his Ted Saves the World blog, http://www.build-creative-writing-ideas.com">his Build Creative Writing Ideas site or http://www.twitter.com/bryancohenbooks">Twitter.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Livingston Hall Publishers: The Power of Forgiveness...

Livingston Hall Publishers: The Power of Forgiveness...: " Forgiveness: To pardon or excuse: no longer to blame or be angry with someone who has done you wrong. NIV Bible Dictionary Terms 2..."

Friday, July 8, 2011

And the winner is...

Congratulations to Sakira!
You have won a Kindle of of:
Ted Saves the World
Raven Finch: The Curse of the Dead Woods
Hedgeland

Winner chosen using Random.org
Thanks to all who entered.
See you August 1st, for the next blog hop giveaway!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Welcome to the Freedom Giveaway Hop!


One lucky winner will get a Kindle copy of all 3 books!

Ted Saves the World
A possessed cheerleader. A cursed gang of criminals. Mysterious telekinetic powers. An angry ex-girlfriend in gym class? One second, sophomore in high school Ted endures his first breakup in his favorite place in town. The next, a mysterious blue light turns him into a worldwide superhero sensation for taking down a posse of grisly murderers. As his views on YouTube increase and his friend Dhiraj tries to capitalize on the marketing potential, his dangers increase as well when a presumed-dead cheerleader begins taking a personal interest. Can Ted survive his first week as a superhero in the public eye? This novella is the first taste in a series of full-length novels about the adventures of Ted Finley and Erica LaPlante. 



Raven Finch: The Curse of the Dead Woods
Urban Fantasy

What could be worse for 15 year old Raven Finch than being accused of being a witch by Ethan Noble, the annoying boy next door? Finding out he’s half warlock, half mortal, and he’s the only one who can help her when people start to disappear, and she fears she may be the next victim. Can this unlikely pair join forces against Agatha, the High Witch, who took Raven when she was born and has enslaved her at Castle Rock? Why are there similarities between Ethan and Raven, and why is it that all the peculiar things that are happening has her believing his accusations? Could it be that all the mixing of potions and reading of spell books to help Ethan is turning her into a witch? Or is her mind just playing tricks on her? 

Hedgeland (Urban Fantasy)

Hedgeland, an urban fantasy of time travel. Dr April Neuland, a Professor of Ancient Languages turned non-fiction writer, has been plagued by dreams all her life, dreams of her past life in the Otherworld. Meanwhile, in a parallel dimension of April's past and Caridwen's future, Worthing, a Future History Professor, has allied with the Military to access Future Internet communications and use new technology to influence April to write an ebook novel revealing where she, in her past life as Caridwen, hid the Kiste, a device to travel through time and space. Hedgeland weaves all three time/space frames: Caridwen, Worthing, and April. Hedgeland is the first in the Hedgecraft Sequence, but is a fully self contained novel with no cliff hangers.

Author Dr Ann Nyland was on Faculty at the University of New England, Australia. She is a grammar pedant, ancient languages translator, and best selling non-fiction author of such books as The Complete Books of Enoch; Angels, Archangels and Angel Categories: What the Ancients Said; The Book of Jubilees; A Devil of a Job to Find Satan in the Bible, among others.

Giveaway Entry Requirements:
Enter giveaway in 3 easy steps!
  1. Follow this blog
  2. "Like" this blog
  3. Leave a comment with your email address at the end of this post 
It's that simple!

You MUST follow and "like" 
this Blog to enter!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Winners Have been chosen!


$10 Amazon Gift Card: Kelly F.
Hedgeland: Ericka T.
Raven Finch: Kah_Cherub


Winners are chosen by Random.org
Thanks to all who played!
See you next Hop!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Contest is closed. Thanks for playing.


Welcome to the Midsummer's Eve Blog Hop!

Giveaway # 1
$10 Amazon gift card!

Giveaway # 2
Kindle copy of Raven Finch: The Curse of the Dead Woods
By: Samantha Bayarr

Raven Finch: The Curse of the Dead Woods
What could be worse for 15 year old Raven Finch than being accused of being a witch by Ethan Noble, the annoying boy next door? Finding out he’s half warlock, half mortal, and he’s the only one who can help her when people start to disappear, and she fears she may be the next victim. Can this unlikely pair join forces against Agatha, the High Witch, who took Raven when she was born and has enslaved her at Castle Rock? Why are there similarities between Ethan and Raven, and why is it that all the peculiar things that are happening has her believing his accusations? Could it be that all the mixing of potions and reading of spell books to help Ethan is turning her into a witch? Or is her mind just playing tricks on her?

Giveaway # 3
Kindle copy of Hedgeland, by: Ann Nyland

Hedgeland

Hedgeland, an urban fantasy of time travel. Dr April Neuland, a Professor of Ancient Languages turned non-fiction writer, has been plagued by dreams all her life, dreams of her past life in the Otherworld. Meanwhile, in a parallel dimension of April's past and Caridwen's future, Worthing, a Future History Professor, has allied with the Military to access Future Internet communications and use new technology to influence April to write an ebook novel revealing where she, in her past life as Caridwen, hid the Kiste, a device to travel through time and space. Hedgeland weaves all three time/space frames: Caridwen, Worthing, and April. Hedgeland is the first in the Hedgecraft Sequence, but is a fully self contained novel with no cliff hangers. Author Dr Ann Nyland was on Faculty at the University of New England, Australia. She is a grammar pedant, ancient languages translator, and best selling non-fiction author of such books as The Complete Books of Enoch; Angels, Archangels and Angel Categories: What the Ancients Said; The Book of Jubilees; A Devil of a Job to Find Satan in the Bible, among others.
Giveaway Details:

To enter giveaway please FIRST follow this blog and enter using optional entries of your choice, then fill out the form below. 
Use the list below to link to the next blog:Last Day to Enter is 6/24/11

Optional Extra Entries:
+1 "Like" this Blog
+2 "Like" my Facebook Page
Bonus = Follow on Networkedblogs 
(include the word "bonus" in the enttry box along with the number of entries)
All entry options can be found on the right side of this blog.

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