Monday, December 11, 2017

Holiday Nut Mix ~ #recipes Homemade Gift idea #Christmas

I am not a crafty person.  I'm creative, in terms of dreaming up plot twists and developing characters, but the closest I usually get to designing gorgeous gifts or beautiful centerpieces is adding pictures I love with instructions I know I can't follow to my Pinterest boards.  I'm in awe of people who have that kind of talent.

But I *can* follow simple recipes, and a few years ago, my sister-in-law, who always hosts Christmas with a dazzling display of gourmet food and stunning displays, served a nut mix that I just couldn't get enough of.  And hey, it's nuts--a good for you food, packed with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.  Even with the seasoning, it's a better choice than baked goods filled with refined flour and sugar.

So I asked her for the recipe, and now, around the holidays, I make huge batches to send to friends and family.  It's both spicy and sweet, and--warning--highly addictive.  I buy cute jars with chalkboard labels to package them in, and I send them out to the people I won't be able to see over the holidays and to the people I want to thank for making my life easier throughout the year.  Here's her recipe, in case you want to try it:

Love these cute
chalkboard jars!


2 1/2 cups of assorted unsalted nuts - I used cashews, almonds, walnuts, and pecans

2 T fresh coarsely chopped rosemary - luckily, I have a rosemary plant on my patio!

1/2 t cayenne pepper - use less or leave out if you're adverse to spicy

2 t dark brown sugar

2 t sea salt

1 T melted (unsalted) butter

Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Mix the remaining ingredients.  Toss the nuts with the mixture in a large bowl.

Yes, that easy!  Enjoy :)


And remember - reading is the ultimate stress-reliever, so if you need a good book to help de-stress during the holiday rush, try one of my romance/ghost mystery mixes...many of them have been #1 Kindle Bestsellers, and they offer hours of page-turning relaxation and entertainment.  Gull Harbor is everyone's favorite--arriving in Cape Cod, psychic medium Claire Linden is ready to try to rid her temporary home of a dangerous poltergeist...but she's stunned to find her ex-boyfriend, the man who once promised to love her forever, hiding out in the same small town.


A #1 Bestseller, a Top 10 Read at MyShelf Reviews, a Reader's Crown Finalist

Claire was such a popular character, she returns for a cameo in Haunted Souls, my most recent release...but the main characters have their own story that revolves around a soldier returning from combat to discover he has a son, and a desperate single mom trying to make things right as she confronts a haunting mystery.  


A #1 Bestseller, a Reader's Crown Finalist, an Amazon Encore selection

Silver Lake brings a group of former friends back together to try to solve the mystery of their friend's disappearance, after they begin to suspect she's trying to communicate from beyond the grave.  What really happened to Brandy?  (Read for free if you're a Kindle Unlimited member!)

And if you enjoy Young Adult novels and/or more traditional paranormal romance, try Divine Fall, a story about the world's last Nephilim...as an outcast from both worlds, he'll risk his life to seek his revenge...but will he risk hers?  Relive first love and lose yourself in supernatural secrets and suspense! (Only 99c on Kindle!)


Winner of the Reader's Choice Award in Young Adult and a Reader's Crown Finalist


Look for the "Give as
a Gift" button on the left!
If you have readers on your list, you can also send an e-book as a thoughtful holiday gift for less than a card!  Happy reading and happy holidays!






Friday, December 8, 2017

Signing #Books in #Mashpee! Holiday Fair - Open House #CapeCod #Fitness Co.

As promised earlier in the week in my post on my local events, I'm doing a quick update on the Holiday Vendor Fair and Open House we're doing tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. the 9th, at the gym where I work (my day job, lol) - Fitness Company for Women on Rt. 130 in Mashpee.  While it's a women's gym, this event is open to ALL, men shopping for gifts, non-members, etc., so come on by if you're in the area!

I'll have my book table set up, and I can sign and personalize copies of any of my novels--a great and thoughtful gift, for yourself (we all deserve to de-stress during the holidays, and what better way that shutting the outside world down, putting your feet up, and getting lost in a page-turning story?) or for the readers on your list.  In particular, two of my romance/ghost stories are set on Cape Cod (GULL HARBOR is set in the Wellfleet area, HAUNTED SOULS in Barnstable Village), which is a nice local tie-in.  A little steamy and a little spooky...there's something for everyone!

Ahhh....bliss!  The best thing about reading is that you can't
think about anything else while you're doing it!  The only
multi-tasking needed is putting up your feet and sipping a beverage!

And if you're shopping for a younger reader, I do have one Young Adult book, DIVINE FALL...a traditional paranormal romance filled with forbidden love and supernatural secrets, appropriate for ages 13 and up.

Oak Blush
Another one of our gym employees also has another business (Cape Cod Nail Company) and she'll be setting up a table as well, raffling off packages and offering specials.  Her company is unique in that she will travel to YOU for group events (bridal parties, ladies night out, etc.).  And she recently started her own line of nail polish, which makes a perfect stocking stuffer!  The logo on the bottle features the familiar outline of the Cape, and the names are plays on our local spots and sayings ("Oak Blush" instead of Oak Bluffs, "We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat", a nod to Jaws being filmed here on Martha's Vineyard as well as the recent influx of great white sharks in our waters!) 

We'll have other vendors as well, food and drink, membership specials, salon and massage specials, gift certificates, and raffles, with proceeds going to Toy for Tots.  



11:00 - 3:00 at The Fitness Company!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Signing #Books in #Falmouth! Holiday Shopping, Bingo, Raffles #CapeCod Cape Cod

I have a couple of events coming up this week...Wednesday the 6th, I'll be in Falmouth, at a Bingo Night and Holiday Shopping Event.  This is always a good time!  The suggested donation is $20 (proceeds this month go to West Falmouth Preschool), and that gets you 20 games (wear red and green or something holiday-themed for a bonus card!). Complimentary light appetizers and a cash bar and buffet too!

The entire room is lined with vendor and artist tables, and in December,
the shopping will extend to other rooms as well!

Where do I fit in to this event?  There are a whole bunch of local artists and vendors setting up for shopping before and in between the games, and we've all donated to the cause as well as offered prizes for raffles. The complete list of vendors is below, so if you're in the area, please consider stopping by!  


Wednesday, December 6th
5:00 at the Holiday Inn Cape Cod
291 Jones Road Falmouth


Enjoy a fun night out for a great cause ~ Play bingo and shop for the holidays with local vendors and artists, with a portion of the proceeds going to West Falmouth Preschool!  *Complimentary light appetizers, CASH bar and food buffet available!* Hundreds of Dollars in vendors' products will be won...play 20 games for the suggested donation of JUST $20!

Shop with our vendors and artisans throughout the night before and in between Bingo games! 

Doors open at 5:00 pm & BINGO begins @ 6:30 SHARP!

Join Us Early and Shop from our Amazing Vendors:

PartyLite ~ Christina McMenamy & Michael Murphy; LuLaRoe by Brooke ~ Brooke Wood; Thirty One ~ Diane Leal; The Pampered Chef ~ Kelly Washburn; Paparazzi Jewelry ~ Annabelle Morrison; Younique ~ Leah Lutke & Aimee Cheney; Ruby Ribbon ~ Amy Levitt; Reine's Creations ~ Tariesa J. Reine; Nanny's Knits ~ Tariesa A. Reine; Limelight by Alcone ~ Kerry Houde; LuLaRoe by Heather ~ Heather Hurley; Tupperware ~ Michelle Brown; Dragonfly Dreams ~ Jodi Thompson; Mary Kay ~ Mary Pollard; Usborne Books ~ Melissa Zawadskido; TERRA ~ Jennifer Glydon; Athenas ~ Meaghan Mort; Avon ~ Kim Dawson; K.G. Bodyworks ~ Kate Grant; Kathryn Knight Books ~ Kathryn Knight; Painted Fancies ~ Susan Hawley; Designs by Priscilla ~ Priscilla Alden; Rodan + Fields ~ Katy Lankford; Stampin' Up! ~ Ginger Rabesa; Nerium International ~ Linda O' Neill & Sharon Ghelfi Adams; Beachbody ~ Jenna Horne; Katie Frey Photography ~ Katie Frey; Park Lane ~ Tiffaney Dieter; It Works! ~ Nicky Fountain; Silpada ~ Barbara Surrette; Cape Cod Comfort Therapy Bags ~ Lisa Houde; LulaRoe with Kayla and Jo ~ Jody Coyman; Origami Owl ~ Ellie Russo; Wreaths by Holly ~ Holly O'Keefe; Premier Designs Jewelry ~ Lisa Morris; Traveling Vineyard ~ Kim Aliczi; The Pirate's Treasure & Cindy's Creations ~ Cindy Gould; Sylvia Clan Studio ~ Kathleen Sylvia

***Receive a 'Bonus Bingo Card' when wear red & green or your favorite festive attire!  All participants must be at least 18 year of age​​​.

On Saturday, I'll be participating at an Open House and Holiday Shopping Event at the gym where I work, The Fitness Company on Rt. 130 in Mashpee.  It's open to the public, and we're offering raffles, prizes, and gym specials in addition to the holiday shopping tables and healthy treats!  11:00 - 3:00.

I'm also DETERMINED to finish my 5th manuscript this month, and my first audio book, Haunted Souls, will be coming to me for review before it goes up on Audible for purchase.  I'm also gearing up for a new joint venture with 11 other authors...stay tuned!  Somehow, during all this, I'll have to get my own family ready for the holidays!  Wish me luck, and hope to see you at the events if you're in the area.

Haunted Souls will be available on Audible in 2018!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

A #Free #Book of "Hacks" for the Holidays! #Recipes #Christmas #Lifehacks

Every year, my publisher offers a free recipe book, as a gift to our readers, filled with contributions from the authors of The Wild Rose Press.  We vote on different themes each year, and we've offered Garden Gourmet collections featuring easy meals and snacks, international recipes, cookies and cocktails, and healthy recipes in the past...these books are still available, for free, on our website!  This year, we did something a little different...our "recipes" for Garden Gourmet 2017 are actually "hacks" - shortcuts or tricks to make tasks more simple, whether they involve cooking, cleaning, or just life in general.

So grab you free ebook here: A Holiday of Hacks, and discover some new ways to save time and effort!  You can easily check out on our website via Amazon, and we offer downloads for Kindle (mobi), Nook (epub), and for your laptop (pdf).

Here are the previous years' recipe books as well...Enjoy!  Happy Holidays!


2016 Holiday Garden Gourmet ~ Comfort Foods

2015 Holiday Garden Gourmet ~ Cookies and Cocktails

2014 Holiday Garden Gourmet ~ Quick and Easy

2013 Holiday Garden Gourmet ~ International

Also, if you're looking for simple recipes for goodies that can serve as edible gifts, check out my go-to: Rosemary Nut Mix.  

Monday, November 27, 2017

Visiting #Newport #RI ~ #CliffWalk Mansions #Travel #RhodeIsland

My best friend and I have many adventures (or misadventures?) together, and this past weekend was no different.  Although we live 8 states apart, we manage to see each other several times a year.  We've been friends since freshman year of high school, and we've had countless crazy adventures together...seems there's always some sort of bizarre mishap when we're together, too (see the Zip Line fiasco), and our mini-vacation in Newport was no exception.

My friend used some airline miles to book a ticket into Providence, Rhode Island, and I used some of our Marriott points to get us an overnight stay at their Newport hotel right on the water.  Since it was a Thursday night, we asked for--and were given--an upgrade to a harbor view, and it was so breathtakingly beautiful from our balcony, we set an alarm to ensure we actually left the room to experience some of the Newport restaurants and bars!

The view of the marina from our balcony...we could have sat there all night!

It was Restaurant Week, too, but instead of taking advantage of one large meal at one location, we instead ate small plates and had a drink at several places so we could see more.  We went to The Mooring, The Speakeasy, and Buskers before calling it a night.

Even more stunning in the daylight!

The view was no less beautiful in the morning.  But we had things to do before a cold front came in, so we started our day walking over to the popular breakfast spot, The Corner Cafe, before heading over to the famous Cliff Walk.  If you've never been, it's truly something to see...as its name suggests, it is in fact a walk along a cliff, but it's so much more. 


The back of The Breakers, Italian Renaissance style, built 1895 for
Central Railroad President Cornelius Vanderbilt.  138,00 square feet. 

This 3.5 mile National Recreation Trail winds its way along the eastern shore of Newport, offering breathtaking views of the ocean.  But along the other side, built to take advantage of these stunning views, are the backs of mansions built for extremely wealthy families during America's Gilded Age (late 19th century), for use during the summer months.  They were actually referred to as "cottages", but they are anything but...one of the mansions, The Breakers, built for the Vanderbilt family, boasts 70 rooms, 27 fireplaces, and bathtubs with fresh and salt water faucets.  Another mansion, Rosecliff, built for a silver heiress, has been used to film a number of movies, including The Great Gatsby, True Lies, and Amistad.


The start of the walk...I have the map!  ^^

All of this information came from a map I'd purchased in the past, and I was extremely proud I'd remembered it, as it had an informational blurb on each mansion along the walk.  I not only remembered to bring the map on the trip itself, I also remembered to bring it along with us that morning.  I was all set to educate us on each magnificent property along the way.

But, of course, we stopped to take a picture, and I set the map down on the stone wall preventing people from tumbling down into the ocean.  And then the wind blew the map off the wall and into the brush below.  It was somewhat funny, but also disappointing...we'd just started the walk!


The mysterious broken ladder that leads
nowhere...maybe inspiration for a new novel?
As we leaned over the wall to see if there was any way to retrieve it, we noticed a broken wooden ladder, propped up against the ocean side of the wall.  Why was it there?  There was absolutely nothing down there but a small shelf off rocks and brush that quickly dissolved to cliffs and water.  

But...it was there.  It seemed like a sign, even though one side was broken at the top and it looked a bit weathered and worse for the wear.  So, after some discussion about what we would do if it did not hold my weight and I couldn't get back up (not sure if we came to a conclusion on that), I hung off the top of the wall until my feet found the first rung, climbed down successfully, secured the map, and made it back up without breaking any rungs or bones.  Victory!  Was it a good idea?  Definitely not.  But I often do things that are ill-advised (see Exploring an Abandoned TB Hospital for example).  Anyway, it made a good story and we were able to continue our walk with our trusty map.  


I got a few looks from passersby...



Got it!
It was only later that we noticed a new installation...plaques with those square bar codes had been placed along the way, so walkers can scan it with their phone to get more information.  Oh well.  We had a lot of laughs both during and after the great map retrieval event, so there's that!

After completing the cliff walk, we walked around the front of the mansions and then back to the hotel, then ventured back out for lunch and shopping.  Overall, we logged in an incredible amount of steps--over 11 miles--in just a few hours, and we had a blast doing it.  We had to leave around 3:00 for the nearly 2 hour drive back to the Cape, because I don't like to drive in the dark.  When it comes to risky behavior, I only like to climb down cliff walls via mysterious rickety ladders to retrieve $3.00 maps, apparently ;)

Have you ever been to Newport?  Share your stories!  And if you haven't, it's a must-see!


The Forty Steps, one of the major landmarks along the Cliff Walk...
Originally built in 1830 out of wood and used by the Irish staff from
the mansions as a gathering spot
to play music and dance during their time off.





Saturday, November 25, 2017

Signed #Books for #SmallBusinessSaturday! #ShopSmall #SaturdayMorning Give the Gift of a Page-Turning Read!

A dangerous ghost
& an ex-boyfriend
await Claire in
Gull Harbor...
The holiday shopping season is upon us, and today is Small Business Saturday.  So I wanted to do a quick post to remind people that I will gladly send out signed and personalized books to give to readers as gifts!  It’s a thoughtful and unique gift that supports small business, and my books have something for everyone—steamy romance, spooky suspense, haunting mysteries, second chances, and the page-turning unraveling of secrets from the past.  Both SILVER LAKE and GULL HARBOR have been #1 Amazon Bestsellers on several occasions, and my Young Adult novel, DIVINE FALL (appropriate for teens), is an award-winning RomCon Reader-Rated pick.  My latest novel, HAUNTED SOULS, combines a military romance with a ghost story in a Cape Cod setting, and it was voted one of the Top 3 Reads of 2016 at Read Free.ly.



A haunting, an old flame, and secrets from the past...


I ship for FREE within the US, so if you are interested in purchasing a book, or books, as a gift, please contact me via the form on the tab above.  Payments are arranged via PayPal or Square.  


Click the orange "Give as a Gift"
button to send an ebook for
less than the price of a card!


If you'd like to give someone an ebook, it makes a great gift and all you need is an email address!  You may as well pick up one for yourself, too, while you're at it...put your feet up and get lost in a page-turning read!


Monday, November 20, 2017

De-stress w/ a new read for #Thanksgiving! #Ghosts #Romance #Books #Kindle

My happy place!
The holidays are upon us! Thanksgiving is almost here, and whether you're traveling or cooking, you need to find some time to relax during what can be a hectic month.  My favorite stress-reliever is reading, and right now I'm caught up in a page-turning Psychological Suspense that I can't put down...which is a bit of a problem, since I'm hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the very first time, and my guests begin arriving tomorrow!  If you'd like an entertaining escape, try one of my #1 Kindle Bestsellers, full of steamy romance and spooky suspense.  Load up your Kindle or Nook now, and then while you're traveling, waiting in lines, or trying to carve out a few moments for yourself, you can transport yourself to Cape Cod's Gull Harbor, where a dangerous ghost and an ex-boyfriend await psychic medium Claire Linden.  Links and blurb below!  Happy Thanksgiving :)



GULL HARBOR
A #1 Kindle Bestseller




Want to see the story board?  Check out the pictures I used for inspiration on Pinterest!

When Claire Linden’s job sends her to the sleepy town of Gull Harbor, she never expects to encounter her ex-boyfriend. As a medium, the prospect of tackling a haunted house is less daunting than seeing Max Baron again. Throughout their passionate college relationship, he promised to love her forever. Then, without explanation, he abandoned her on graduation day.

Max never intended to break Claire's heart—a cruel ultimatum forced him to disappear from her life. While he's shocked to find her in Gull Harbor, he isn't surprised by the bitter resentment she feels for him...or the fiery attraction that remains between them.

Claire is determined to rid her temporary home of its aggressive ghost, but Max soon realizes she's facing a danger beyond the paranormal. When Claire risks everything to help a desperate spirit, Max must race to save her—before another tragedy tears them apart forever.

Gull Harbor tends to be a quick read, since it's exciting and fast-paced.  If you enjoy it and need some more new reads, try #1 Kindle Bestseller SILVER LAKE (A haunting, an old flame, and secrets from the past...) or my latest release, HAUNTED SOULS (Claire Linden from Gull Harbor makes a guest appearance in this novel, voted one of the Top 3 Reads of 2016 at Read Free.ly!) 

A few quotes from editorial reviews of Haunted Souls