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Tuesday, December 14, 2021

JAsmine Moon's Holiday Spritz Cookies

 



Holiday Spritz Cookies

My family enjoys making cookies for the holidays. We like to do pizzelles, snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, thumb print, and last but definitely not least, spritz. They’re great with hot cocoa or a nice cup of tea. 

Here’s my mother’s recipe for spritz cookies…

3/4 cup regular sugar (some recipes call for “powdered”, but mom swears by regular)
1 cup margarine, or butter, or shortening (mom uses shortening; I use butter. Both are delicious.)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. In a bowl, mix together margarine (or butter or shortening), sugar, vanilla, and egg until fairly fluffy.
3. Stir in flour, salt, baking powder.
4. Optional: separate dough into bowls and add food color of your choosing. (Mom prefers liquid food coloring; my kiddo and I often use neon gel food colors).
5. Fill cookie press; press dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. (Our press includes a variety of patterned discs, and we switch shapes about every 6 cookies)
6. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes.
7. Remove from sheet and cool on cookie rack.
8. Store in holiday tins, or… Eat. All. The. Cookies! Bon appétit!




Jasmine Moon
Black Hills Wolves
Celia Breslin

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher:  Decadent Publishing
Date of Publication: June 3, 2016
ISBN:  9781683610458
ASIN:  B01GKB9WMO
Number of pages:  108
Word Count:  36,400
Cover Artist:  Fiona Jayde

Book Description:

Tech mogul and workaholic Wolf Evan Luparell has little time for distractions but takes a break for his brother’s wedding in South Dakota. When asked to escort another wedding attendee from the airport to Los Lobos, he agrees. Then he meets the curvy spitfire, and she ignores him.

Designer and Wolf Mina Carver didn’t mean to be rude to the handsome, glowering man claiming to be her ride, but she was busy working. Now she must endure a ride to the Black Hills with the cranky but sexy Dominant Wolf. Unexpected mating energy sparks between them, but still—should she dismiss, or kiss him?

Kisses win and they agree upon a no-strings fling. But with each wedding activity throwing them together, and their powerful chemistry and mate compatibility complicating matters, can two workaholics truly have their fun then walk away?

Amazon UK       Amazon US     BN     Bookstrand 

Google Play       iTunes     Kobo     Smashwords



Excerpt:

Evan tipped his head and eyed the ceiling. Prompt replies, punctual people. Striking deals and hitting deadlines. These items made his world tick. Not loitering around a miniscule airport pulling a Waiting for Godot moment on infinite repeat for a no-show, flakey designer from California.

God grant him patience and balls of steel when he showed up without the designer and the all-important wedding dress, because his future sister-in-law Darci would certainly be unhappy. […]

He took a deep fortifying breath and froze. Airport smells assailed his senses—the sharp tang of bleach and lemon-scented cleaners, […] coffee, donuts, fried fast food, and under it all, the distinct musk of wolf.

Female wolf.

She smelled damn good. His wolf perked up, and his legs propelled him toward the empty baggage claim, where one bright-pink suitcase covered in Hello Kitty stickers sat, unclaimed, on the unmoving L-shaped conveyor belt. Her scent, stronger here, socked his gut, and his gaze shot to the corner.

The chaos around the woman stunned him silent. Large, paper coffee cup, half-eaten banana, and a quarter of a powdered doughnut perched on a brown paper bag next to her. Crumbs splattered the linoleum and the woman’s long-sleeved blue blouse in a thick layer of white, sugary dust. On her other side, two pink garment bags lay like corpses, along with a bubblegum-pink unzipped duffel as long as her outstretched, denim-clad legs. Some of the bag’s contents—pads of drawing paper and large swaths of fabric—protruded over the opening, the fabric splaying over her legs in a rainbow-colored blanket. Her feet peeked out of the mess, encased in sparkling pink UGGs. Good grief, sequins? She smacked her shiny boots together in a poor imitation of Dorothy and bobbed her head from side to side in time to some music only she seemed to hear. Her shoulder-length red hair, the color of ripe dark cherries—his favorite fruit—gleamed under the harsh airport lighting and curtained most her face from his view, save a pert nose and small chin, both speckled with a generous amount of freckles.

He’d always liked freckles.                     

Clearing his throat, he stepped closer, but she didn’t flinch in surprise or look up. Her attention remained on the tablet on her lap, the stylus between her pale, freckled fingers swiping without hesitation over her screen. […]

He positioned himself right in front of her wiggly, booted feet. “Excuse me, J—”

“Sh.” She raised her arm and flicked her hand in the universal get lost gesture.

He gaped at her. “Excuse me?”

Another wave of her hand while her stylus streaked across her tablet screen with the other. “Not interested.”

Nice voice. Low and husky. Her attitude, on the other hand… “But—”

“Go away.” Her velvet voice carried a stubborn edge.

In other circumstances, he would’ve admired her strength. But he’d wasted copious amounts of time hunting for the clearly inconsiderate and irresponsible female. “Fine. Get your own damn ride to Los Lobos. Jasmine.”

 


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. When not writing, you’ll find Celia exercising, reading a good book, hanging with her family, or indulging her addiction to fantasy TV shows and movies.








Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/bxqwRL 








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Monday, December 13, 2021

The Adventures of Super Alert Dog Gail Morin

 



The Adventures of Super Alert Dog 
Gail Morin

Genre: Children's Book Ages 4-8
ASIN ‏: ‎ B099896R7L
Publisher: ‎ Xlibris US 
Publication date ‏: ‎ June 24, 2021
Print length: ‎ 54 pages

Book Description:

Super Alert dog magically appears when there is cyberbullying, as well as any online dangers and stranger danger. Super Alert dog saves the day on different adventures. He also wears a cape. He is a superhero dog when he gets alerted on his super alert tablet. When a child is in danger or experiences cyberbullying, or any online danger, Super Alert dog magically shows up to save the day and to teach good moral lessons. He offers advice on sharing, getting along, and spreading joy and peace. He teaches children about using manners too. As he becomes friends with the children, he has many different adventures. Super Alert dog is so fun to watch and to learn from.

Amazon      BN




About the Author:

Gail Morin is the author of The Adventures Of Super Alert Dog. Her writing is used to help kids learn very important moral lessons in a fun and exciting way. As a past educator herself she knows the importance of teaching kids at a young age on learning morals and good valuable lessons. Her book takes kids on adventures with the Super Alert Dog.










Thursday, December 9, 2021

Rogue Unbroken Legends and Shadows Saga Book Three Angie Day


Rogue Unbroken
Legends and Shadows Saga 
Book Three
Angie Day

Genre: Young adult, urban fantasy, YAUF
Publisher: Rahne Press
Date of Publication: Dec 10, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-7338144-6-1 (hardcover) 
ISBN: 978-1-7338144-7-8 (paper back)
Number of pages: 412
Word Count: 104,000
Cover Artist: Sarah Hansen from Okay Creations

Tagline: Energy blazed in my body, begging me to move, to use it. If you see her, kill her on sight.

Logline: Kate can’t touch anyone without causing pain. To save herself and her family, she must challenge Alec, who is ready to tear her life apart.

Book Description: 

Kate had survived. She had lived through pain and torment and now she was on the other side, where all the happiness was supposed to be. But with Alec’s vengeful punishment for escaping him, she can’t touch anyone without hurting them.

Alec still wants to create a Level Five and he’s dangerously close. That power under his control would mean unraveling the world as it stands. The world Kate has not yet started to enjoy. She won’t be able to rest until her body, her mind is fixed, and Alec won’t get his beloved power without her help.

The two warring sides of Rogues and Shadows will have to meet. Kate will have to confront Alec and his cruel ambition once again. But every moment with the Shadows is detrimental to those she loves, especially Kylan. So she must find a way to outsmart the person who taught her everything she knows, the most feared Shadow in the world.

Kate is strong. She survived once. But even the strongest people can break with the right pressure, and Alec is ready to tear her life apart.



Excerpt 1:

Alec lifted a hand to my face but lowered it again. “But then you came back to me. You fell for me again. I saw it. If you say you’re done with me, then why can’t you just do the honorable thing and stop loving me?”

Alec looked down at the floor and he never looked so sheepish and small.

A trick. It had to be a trick.

But he was so small and broken and careening in his own mind. I knew what that felt like, all too well.

“I want to.” I leaned back on the shelves again. “You’re despicable and psychotic. You hurt the people I care about. You tortured me, manipulated me—”

“And yet that’s not good enough for you to kill me. All you can do is leave, and I’m sitting here hoping I can somehow get you back.” Alec raised his arms like he didn’t know where to put them anymore. “Why?”

“I don’t know.”

“That’s not an answer. Why?” Alec moved closer to my face.

“Because you won’t let me.”

“Ha.” Alec grinned before his eyes turned dark again. “I wish I had that much control over your decisions. Try again.”

I shoved him away. “I don’t know, Alec.”

“Yes, you do,” he came right back. “Think, Mara.”

“Because you’re home to me!”

His mouth fell open and the pain created lines around his eyes. I just stared at him for a moment. I saw all the same years of complications that I felt in mine. We weren’t just similar. He and I were mirror images of each other.

“No matter what you do, no matter where I go. When I think back on my life, you are all I can see for centuries,” I said.

“I get it.” Alec backed off. I caught his arm.

“You don’t. You’re a terrible person. You’re the nightmare that just won’t go away.” I looked at the floor. “But you’re also a huge part of my life, whether I hate you or not.”




About the Author: 

Angie Day found her love of writing while in college where she studied psychology and eventually went on to a master’s degree. She noticed the need for romantic and fantastic adult stories that were still wholesome and clean. So, she took matters into her own hands. 

The Legends and Shadows Saga is her debut series. When she’s not devouring the next book, she is spending time outdoors with her husband.











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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Holiday Recipe - Crumb Cake

 



Holiday Recipe - Crumb Cake

Greetings! My name is Amy Winters-Voss and I write urban fantasy based on Japanese mythology. Being that the holiday season is a wonderful time to focus on family traditions and the things that bring us together, I'll be sharing one of my favorite recipes, passed down from my Aunt Phyllis—Crumb Cake.

This isn't a specific holiday recipe. But it's one of our most requested by the family for anytime we need to celebrate. This is the cake I always ask hubs to make on my birthday. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!



Crumb cake

Ingredients

Crumb mixture: (part of it goes in the cake)

2 c flour

1 c sugar

2/3 c shortening

Rest of the cake:

1 egg

1 t baking sode

1 t cinnamon

1 c milk

12 oz chocolate chips

Directions

Grease a 9x12 inch pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the Crumb mixture ingredients together until like cake crumbs. Save 1 c of this.

Add the rest of the crumb mixture to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix until smooth. Then add most of the chocolate chips and stir.

Pour into greased pan. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips and the crumb mixture you set aside.

Bake for 1/2 hour. (I often have to cook it a little longer. Test it with a toothpick to ensure it's done.)

What is your favorite recipe to celebrate with?

 





The Liminal Chronicles
Book One
Amy Winters-Voss

Genre: Urban fantasy and Asian mythology 
Publisher: Shy Red Fox Publishing
Date of Publication: April 30, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-7366720-0-6
ISBN: 978-1-7366720-1-3 
ASIN:B08WTK6XWP
Number of pages:312
Word Count: 97,000
Cover Artist: Odette.A.Bach

Tagline: A myth come to life may be worth far more than his freedom.

Book Description:

Will a former gangster dare to protect the elderly woman who antagonizes him? He must choose between breaking a promise to his parole officer or the old lady. Each choice carries a hefty price.

Umeji Tatsuya moves from Tokyo to a small town after leaving the yakuza, the Japanese mob. He knows all too well that his past can't stay buried.

‘Once Yakuza, always Yakuza. The tattoos mark you for life.’

Nakamura Hisako, the town’s beloved dowager, learns about Umeji’s past and tries to oust him, but Umeji just discovered her own long-held secret. If he keeps it for her, the cost is his recently regained freedom. If he doesn’t, Nakamura might have to leave her home, and he risks angering forces he barely understands… and barely believes in.

As the mundane and Spirit Realm intertwine, so do the modern-day and the Pre-Meiji eras. Centuries-old rivalries flare up again, and the past returns in the present. Umeji’s second chance is only the first step of his journey to discover myth, social redemption, and found family.

Rise is the first book in the Liminal Chronicles series.



Excerpt:

“To make things worse, yesterday I heard you’re covered in irezumi tattoos. Nonogawa may be in the sticks, but we all know what that means here.”

I blink. Why are little old ladies so rude?

“Well? Are you?” she presses.

While I deserve the disdain, I don’t want my boss to take heat for me. “Ma’am, the community respects Satou-san. I’ll do my best for his sake.”

She draws out the syllables. “You dodged.” As she crosses her arms, her sharp eyes shift to a predatory glint. “If you won’t answer, roll up your sleeve. I know yakuza ink when I see it.”

My head swivels. Satou, where are you? Make your vicious aunt heel. She’s really causing my hackles to raise, but I don’t want to do anything stupid. “Ma’am?”

In the Hiragi clan, I was good at remembering names, because the alternative could be costly. What did Satou say her name was? Oh yeah—Nakamura Hisako, the town’s beloved matriarch. When I was yakuza, I would have never let a little old lady corner me. But I’m caught flat-footed because I can’t use any of the in-your-face phrases that bubble up to get her to lay off. I haven’t done a damned thing to her. What gives?

So, I take a deep breath. No attitude. “Nakamura-sama, it’s becoming more common in the cities. People keep ‘em out of sight to avoid the stigma.”

As if I’ll tell this biddy the full truth. Later, I can scream rebellion in gokudou drawl all I want. But her outburst is the proverbial piano hanging overhead, threatening to crash down on the little hope I have in this town.

At twenty-four, I should have a high school diploma and a college degree or employment experience. This is my only chance. Suck it up, Umeji. So, I bow deep. “I apologize that my tattoos offend. If I could turn back time, I’d not have done it. How may I help you?”

Harrumphing, she turns on her heel with the grace of a ballerina, leaving me with some serious heartburn. Hiro, my big brother in the Hiragi clan, had taught me to ferret out everything that seemed out of place. How does an old lady move that fast?

When I finish stocking, I grab my baseball-style jacket with its embroidered fox on black and gold silk and beeline it to Satou. Just my luck, his aunt beats me there.

I wait behind her and examine my shoes. Faint reflections of fluorescent lights show on the tile floor.

“That tattooed punk is bad for business.” She points, doubtless aware of how rude she’s being. “He dares to flaunt his past wearing that rebel jacket, instead of considering this store’s reputation. I’ve heard all manner of rumors. Mark my words, Kazuo, people will stop shopping here.” Full-to-the-brim grocery bags strain her arthritic knuckles.

While Nakamura’s concern is understandable, does she care that this ‘rebel jacket’ is the only one I own? I was fortunate someone dropped it by the penitentiary after emptying my apartment. My fists clench, pulling on the stitches from yesterday’s wound. Why does this town love her, anyway?


About the Author:

Amy is a former programmer turned author after her first trip to Japan in 2017. Now she writes Japanese myth-based urban fantasy to reconnect with the country and culture that captured her heart. 

She lives in South Dakota with her supportive husband, two wonderful kids, a mellow old cat who adopted the family, and three wily and crazy ferrets.













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New Year's Day in Japan

 



Greetings! My name is Amy Winters-Voss and I write urban fantasy based on Japanese mythology. Today I get to share about the culture of one of the places I love most—Japan.

New Year's Day in Japan

The big winter holiday in Japan is New Years. It's an official government holiday and many businesses are closed from December 29th through January 4th. It's a hectic but fund time filled with New Years office parties, putting out special decorations such as a stack of rice cakes with an orange or a bundle of pine and bamboo tied with straw, the annual cleaning of the house from top to bottom, feasting on traditional foods, the temple bells ringing in the New Year, giving kids a red envelope with cash, surprise bags (where the contents aren't known before hand) purchased at retailers, fireworks displays, watching the first sunrise of the year, and visiting the local shrine or temple.

Why not the Lunar New Year?

Unlike much of Asia, Japan doesn't celebrate the Lunar New Year anymore. Though it used to. Many aspects of China's scholarship were imported to Japan about the 6th century—from the symbol based writing system to the lunar calendar. That changed in 1873 when the Meiji Era government, in its sweeping changes to modernize and be recognized by the West as a major power, adopted the Gregorian calendar. Events were shifted to match. Thus, Japan celebrates New Years on January 1st.

What about Christmas?

Japan doesn't celebrate Christmas like the west. It's not a time of family gatherings, gift giving, and big holiday feasts. Instead, Christmas Eve is considered a romantic day. It's not a government holiday. Though, you'll can see Christmas light displays. And through a clever marketing ploy, KFC became very popular on Christmas and Christmas Eve.

New Years Cards

One of the most popular traditions is sending New Years cards, called nengajo, to family and friends, expressing gratitude to those who have helped you during the year. The post office puts in extra effort to ensure that these special greetings are delivered early on the morning of January 1st.

Let's Make a New Years Card

Even though Japan doesn't follow the lunar calendar any more, they still enjoy reference the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac. 2022 will be Year of the Tiger, so it will be a popular theme for cards. Mt. Fuji is also a popular icon on cards.

I've collected a few designs from Freepik (one of my favorite graphics places) that you can download for free and print on cardstock.

https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/2022-year-tiger-new-years-card-template-decorated-with-japanese-vintage-patterns_16951334.htm

https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/2022-new-years-greeting-symbol-with-cartoonish-tiger-face-text-translation-tiger_16312693.htm

https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/year-tiger-mascot-decorated-with-japanese-lucky-charms-text-translation-tiger_16333580.htm

Here are some of the common greetings in kanji and kana (the Japanese writing system), a Romanized version so you can see how it's said, and an English translation.

  • 明けましておめでとうございます。[Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu.] - Happy New Year
  • 昨年はお世話になりました。[Sakunen wa osewa ni narimashita.] - Thank you for all your support last year.
  • 今年もよろしくお願いします。[Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.] - I'm looking forward to the goodness of our continued friendship/relationship. (for relationship here, think work or office).

If you are sending your card to Japan write 年賀 (Nenga) on it so the Japanese post office will know it should go with the new year's cards. Cards sent to Japan should get to the local post office by December 25th to be guaranteed to arrive on New Years Day.

What are your favorite New Year's traditions?



The Liminal Chronicles
Book One
Amy Winters-Voss

Genre: Urban fantasy and Asian mythology 
Publisher: Shy Red Fox Publishing
Date of Publication: April 30, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-7366720-0-6
ISBN: 978-1-7366720-1-3 
ASIN:B08WTK6XWP
Number of pages:312
Word Count: 97,000
Cover Artist: Odette.A.Bach

Tagline: A myth come to life may be worth far more than his freedom.

Book Description:

Will a former gangster dare to protect the elderly woman who antagonizes him? He must choose between breaking a promise to his parole officer or the old lady. Each choice carries a hefty price.

Umeji Tatsuya moves from Tokyo to a small town after leaving the yakuza, the Japanese mob. He knows all too well that his past can't stay buried.

‘Once Yakuza, always Yakuza. The tattoos mark you for life.

Nakamura Hisako, the town’s beloved dowager, learns about Umeji’s past and tries to oust him, but Umeji just discovered her own long-held secret. If he keeps it for her, the cost is his recently regained freedom. If he doesn’t, Nakamura might have to leave her home, and he risks angering forces he barely understands… and barely believes in.

As the mundane and Spirit Realm intertwine, so do the modern-day and the Pre-Meiji eras. Centuries-old rivalries flare up again, and the past returns in the present. Umeji’s second chance is only the first step of his journey to discover myth, social redemption, and found family.

Rise is the first book in the Liminal Chronicles series.



Excerpt:

“To make things worse, yesterday I heard you’re covered in irezumi tattoos. Nonogawa may be in the sticks, but we all know what that means here.”

I blink. Why are little old ladies so rude?

“Well? Are you?” she presses.

While I deserve the disdain, I don’t want my boss to take heat for me. “Ma’am, the community respects Satou-san. I’ll do my best for his sake.”

She draws out the syllables. “You dodged.” As she crosses her arms, her sharp eyes shift to a predatory glint. “If you won’t answer, roll up your sleeve. I know yakuza ink when I see it.”

My head swivels. Satou, where are you? Make your vicious aunt heel. She’s really causing my hackles to raise, but I don’t want to do anything stupid. “Ma’am?”

In the Hiragi clan, I was good at remembering names, because the alternative could be costly. What did Satou say her name was? Oh yeah—Nakamura Hisako, the town’s beloved matriarch. When I was yakuza, I would have never let a little old lady corner me. But I’m caught flat-footed because I can’t use any of the in-your-face phrases that bubble up to get her to lay off. I haven’t done a damned thing to her. What gives?

So, I take a deep breath. No attitude. “Nakamura-sama, it’s becoming more common in the cities. People keep ‘em out of sight to avoid the stigma.”

As if I’ll tell this biddy the full truth. Later, I can scream rebellion in gokudou drawl all I want. But her outburst is the proverbial piano hanging overhead, threatening to crash down on the little hope I have in this town.

At twenty-four, I should have a high school diploma and a college degree or employment experience. This is my only chance. Suck it up, Umeji. So, I bow deep. “I apologize that my tattoos offend. If I could turn back time, I’d not have done it. How may I help you?”

Harrumphing, she turns on her heel with the grace of a ballerina, leaving me with some serious heartburn. Hiro, my big brother in the Hiragi clan, had taught me to ferret out everything that seemed out of place. How does an old lady move that fast?

When I finish stocking, I grab my baseball-style jacket with its embroidered fox on black and gold silk and beeline it to Satou. Just my luck, his aunt beats me there.

I wait behind her and examine my shoes. Faint reflections of fluorescent lights show on the tile floor.

“That tattooed punk is bad for business.” She points, doubtless aware of how rude she’s being. “He dares to flaunt his past wearing that rebel jacket, instead of considering this store’s reputation. I’ve heard all manner of rumors. Mark my words, Kazuo, people will stop shopping here.” Full-to-the-brim grocery bags strain her arthritic knuckles.

While Nakamura’s concern is understandable, does she care that this ‘rebel jacket’ is the only one I own? I was fortunate someone dropped it by the penitentiary after emptying my apartment. My fists clench, pulling on the stitches from yesterday’s wound. Why does this town love her, anyway?


About the Author:

Amy is a former programmer turned author after her first trip to Japan in 2017. Now she writes Japanese myth-based urban fantasy to reconnect with the country and culture that captured her heart. 

She lives in South Dakota with her supportive husband, two wonderful kids, a mellow old cat who adopted the family, and three wily and crazy ferrets.













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Penumbra AngelSong Book One Kevin A. Davis

  Penumbra AngelSong  Book One Kevin A. Davis Genre: Urban Fantasy Publisher: Inkd Publishing LLC Date of Publication: 2/9/22  ISBN: 978-173...