Saturday, December 31, 2011

Special Thanks To

good mate, Amarinda Jones. What a special surprise. Thank you.
I met Amarinda in 2007 when we were first published by Elloras Cave. She offered me words of advice then, bosses me now when she feels its appropriate:), has guided me through the intricacies of the publishing world and even gave my blogs face lifts when they needed it. Thanks, Amarinda, for the surprise. Loved it.

And to Hywela Lyn. We met while I was virtual touring and found out we share a love of horses.
How thoughtful of you, Hywela. Thanks so much.

It's always special to get something from across the water.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Merry Christmas Oh Oh Oh

Christmas this year started with a bang and ended on the same note.
The 23rd I wrapped gifts, the 24th we put up the tree. My son arrived the 22nd and had no idea where to leave his gifts since there was no tree to put them under.
After posting recipes for a month, I decided to make some of the recipes for brunch Christmas morning. I planned on serving scrambled eggs with cheese, French waffles with peach topping, chocolate iced Cinnabuns and cheesy potato casserole.
Brunch was scheduled for 10:00. At 8:45 I took leisurely stock of my ingredients. It was at this point, I realized I didn't have any celery soup for the casserole. Did I stay calm, cool and collected? Of course, not. I immediately went into panic mode. I raced into the bathroom where my husband was just stepping into the shower and yelled, "You've got to go get some celery soup."
"Can I take my shower first?" he asks. Silly man.
"No!" I yelled even louder, then decided it would be quicker if I went myself, so I jumped in my Pony and like Santa's reindeer flew from closed store to closed store. At last, I found a can at a convenience store, only to discover it was outdated. By now its 9:15. The casserole takes 45 minutes to heat in the oven. I admit defeat and race home. I throw the casserole together, minus the soup. The hubby calls my son and bro and tells them not to come till 10:30. After baking the casserole for 20 minutes I decided to fry it like hash browns. At this point, I'm figuring out brunch isn't going to be a disaster and start relaxing.
The fam arrives, we eat and get down to the business of opening gifts.
Many years ago, my husband started the tradition of making everyone wear elf hats while we open our gifts. My son complains they're starting to smell like mildew. He has a point. I wore mine one year and after seeing what it did to my hair refused to wear it again. So to offset my refusal to wear the Christmas cap, the hubby got me a Christmas necklace that lights up. That I found acceptable.
We had a lovely morning and afternoon. Opened gifts, then played board games.
By late afternoon, I began to notice a twinge in my shoulder blade, but just thought it was my bra rubbing. By bedtime, I had a sinking feeling I was having muscle spasms. By the middle of the night there was no doubt. Have you ever had them? They remind me of water torture and/or child birth contractions, though not as intense. You just tense up waiting for the next one. After eighteen hours of spasms, I had the hubby take me to urgent care, where I got a shot (which didn't do any good) and scripts. I went home, took my meds and fell into a drug induced sleep. I lost two days, but returned to the living, minus spasms, just in time to discover the washing machine stuck on the fill cycle and flooded the basement.
It was a Merry Christmas at the Cox household, Oh Oh Oh.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Road Trip

Greetings, how is everyone? Did you have a wondrous Christmas?
The week before Christmas we headed for Southern Illinois and stayed in Metropolis, Superman's hometown. Unfortunately, other than statues there were no Superman sitings.
We stayed at Harrah's, where I lost ten dollars to the slot machines and ate at the buffet, courtesy of my aunt and uncle. Have you ever ate at Harrah's? OMG. They have huge buffets. All the meats and fish carnivores could want and plenty of veggies and salads for vegetarians. And all kinds of of desserts for those of us cursed with a sweet tooth. For some reason, this past summer I developed a craving for ice cream, which I indulged while we were there. The waiters scoop your ice cream and you do your own toppings. I swear they used eight oz ladles for the toppings. So I had some creamy vanilla ice cream with my hot fudge, which I managed to get halfway through before getting slightly sick.
This was the first time all the sibs have been together for a number of years. My bro from central IL told me he couldn't take off work to hook up with us, but called several times 'from work' while we were traveling. So imagine my surprise when I arrived at my aunt and uncle's to see him and his significant other setting on their couch. He'd been calling from his car:)
I've attached some pics that include some of the fam, Sandy my aunt and uncle's wonderful rescue dog, and a pic of the Smokies, and of course, that man of steel--Superman. I can't help wondering what he'd think of America today with his motto of 'Truth, Justice, and the American Way.'

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Recipe #18 Cream Cheese Ball

1 large package cream cheese
Roll into ball, place on platter
Top with Hot Pepper Jelly
Circle with Crackers

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Recipe #17 Holiday Punch

1/2 gallon raspberry sherbert
1 2 litter of 7 up

Place scoops of ice cream into bowl and pour 7 up over it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Recipe #16 French Waffles and Birthday Wishes


Frozen Waffles
Can of peaches


Beat your french toast mix as usual (2 eggs and 2/3 c milk should make approximately six servings)
Add a touch of cinnamon
Add tsp vanilla.

Dip frozen waffles in the mix and fry as you would french toast.
Pour can of peaches into saucepan and heat.
Add approx a Tbsp and a half of cornstarch
Add a dash of cinnamon
Stir about a minute

Serve waffles topped with peaches.


Happy Birthday, Wilma.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Out of Time

We're headed for Southern Illinois for a few days. Have I cleaned my house? Heck no. Am I writing? Uh, no. Have I wrapped gifts? Nope. Am I Packed? No. Have we put up the tree? No. Though, here I claim extenuating circumstances. I don't want to leave the cats unsupervised with the tree. A friend of mine will come in twice a day to check on them and feed them, but you pet owners out there know the kind of trouble they can get into meantime. So we'll be decorating the tree the 23rd. We have NEVER waited this long to put one up. I am so behind.(wringing hands and moaning). But we'll survive. In the meantime, y'all enjoy the festivities and the season. And for those of you traveling, be safe.
Anybody else in the same leaky boat I am?

Blogs of interest:
Amarinda Jones
Anny Cook
Julia Barrett
Shelley Munro

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Imajin Books Giveaway

From IMAJIN BOOKS comes...

25 Days of Christmas Giveaways

December 1-25, 2011

This Christmas, great things come in fours at Imajin Books! So we have four ways for booklovers to celebrate the Christmas season: an eBook Sale, eBook Giveaways, Basket o' Books Draw, and a Grand Prize Draw for the all-new Kindle Fire ereader.

1. eBook Sale - all our ebooks will be priced between $0.99 and $2.99.

The sale is on from December 1st to January 7th. To purchase ebooks from Smashwords (multiple file formats including ePub, PDF & more), visit our Winter Events page to view the special coupon codes to buy ebooks at our sale prices. Or buy from where the list prices have been changed to sale prices.

2. eBook Giveaways - 4 ebooks (winners' choice from our titles) will be given away daily.

Rules: To enter, leave a comment and your email address on our Winter Events post in our Contests & Events section. Comments without email addresses will not qualify. You can enter every day; 1 ebook per winner per day. You may format your email address like: myemailaddress (at) (or similar) if you'd like to; as long as we can read it, you'll be entered. No exchanges, no cash value. Ebook prizes will be awarded daily.

3. Basket o' Books Draw - paperback collection of winner's choice of 4 books

Rules: To enter, leave a comment and your email address on our Winter Events post in our Contests & Events section. Comments without email addresses will not qualify. You may format your email address like: myemailaddress (at) (or similar) if you'd like to; as long as we can read it, you'll be entered. No exchanges, no cash value. 1 entry per person. This draw will take place between December 25 and December 31. Winner will be announced on our website.

4. Grand Prize Draw for a Kindle Fire ereader - 1 winner

Rules: You will get one entry for any of the following:

1. Review any of our books from December 1-December 24th, 2011 on or and email us a link to your review. 1 entry per book title reviewed.

2. Tweet any of the following messages (1 entry per post per day; max. 3 entries/day):

Check out @imajinbooks 25 Days of Christmas Giveaways for prizes & win a #Kindle Fire

eBooks $2.99 or less - @imajinbooks 25 Days of Christmas Giveaways - prizes & win a Kindle Fire

25 Days of Christmas Giveaways @imajinbooks - eBook SALE, prizes & win a Kindle Fire

3. Post an announcement on your Facebook page to help us spread the news and email us with the link to your FB page (1 entry per post per day; max. 3 entries per day):

Enter the 25 Days of Christmas Giveaways for prizes & chance to win a #Kindle Fire

Ebooks $2.99 or less - 25 Days of Christmas Giveaways - prizes & chance to win a Kindle Fire

Want to win a Kindle Fire ereader? Check out the 25 Days of Christmas Giveaways at

4. Buy any of our ebooks or paperbacks between December 1-25th and forward us your receipt by email; receive 10 entries per title purchased.

When emailing us during this contest, please put "25 DAYS" in the subject line. Include your name and pertinent contest info.

Entries must be received by December 25th, midnight MT. Open to anyone 18+, anywhere. Void where prohibited. No cash value, no substitutions, no exchanges.

Basket o' Books and Kindle prize will be awarded by January 7, 2012. All prizes must be claimed by January 30, 2012 or they will be void.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Recipe #15: Turtle Brownies

Turtle Brownies

1/4 c melted margarine
1/3 c evaporated milk
1 bx German chocolate cake mix
14 oz package caramels
1/3 c evaporated milk
3/4 c chopped pecans
3/4 c semisweet chocolate chips
Melt margarine and allow to cool before combining with the first 1/3 cup of evaporated milk and cake mix. Mix well. Place 1/2 the batter in an ungreased 9x13 pan. Bake 5 to 7 minutes at 350.
Melt caramels and second 1/3 cup of milk in sauce pan. Blend well. Set aside.
Sprinkle pecans and chocolate chips over cake batter.
Drizzle caramel mixture over top

Spread remaining cake batter over top
Bake 15 - 20 minutes at 350

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Recipe # 14 Garden Vegetable Salad


Garden Vegetable Salad
1/4 head cauliflower florettes
1/4 cup sliced carrots
1/4 head broccoli florettes
1 cup sliced squash

1/4 red sliced onion

6 to 8 cherry tomatoes

2/3 cup Italian Dressing

Wash and drain vegetables

Separate the onion into rings

Mix ingredients--except tomatoes and onions--with dressing, marinate overnight
Drain excessive dressing
* Garnish with tomatoes and onion slices

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Her One Knight Prince

Her One-Night Prince

by Rebecca J. Clark


Her One-Night Prince is a Cinderella story about a woman’s dream to be something she’s not for just one night at her class reunion.

As all fairy tales go, however, happy endings don’t come easily.

Shy and sheltered Lydia St. Clair is uncomfortable around men, so she advertises for a gay man to be her date and revamp her style. Mitch Gannon answers Lydia’s ad and he’s perfect for the job--he’s handsome and, even more important, he’s charming.

Unbeknownst to Lydia, Mitch is straight and answered the ad as the unwitting victim of a practical joke. Before he can reveal the truth, Lydia is convinced he’s her fairy godmother, ready to transform her into the belle of the ball. And Mitch, prince that he is, doesn’t have the heart to set her straight.


With a firm hand against her upper back, Mitch propelled Lydia out of the bar and out the door. She peered back through the windows and could just make out that waitress standing behind the bar and staring out at them.

“She’s beautiful,” she said, turning back to Mitch. Something about that woman signaled a déjà vu of sorts in her mind, but she couldn’t quite put a finger on it.

“Who? Edwina?” He glanced into the pub. “Yeah, she is.”

Edwina’s showstopping figure and stunning looks caused Lydia to self-consciously smooth back her boring, pulled-tight-into-a-bun-as-usual hair. She couldn’t imagine a woman like Edwina ever advertising in the gay personals. She couldn’t imagine Edwina making a boob of herself by assuming Mitch worked at a gay bar.

With the heel of her palm, she bonked herself in the side of the head a few times. “Just shoot me, will you?”

Mitch pulled her hand away from her head. “You’re too hard on yourself, Lydia.”

For a moment she zeroed in on the feeling of his large, warm hand holding hers. It felt good, like it belonged there, which was a crazy thought. Reality returned, and she pulled her hand from his grasp.

“What in the world was I thinking?” she asked. Her skin burned from embarrassment, or the heat of summer, or his touch…or all the above.

“It’s understandable you’d assume I worked at a gay bar. I mean, you think I…er…”

She waved her hand back and forth. “No, no. That was just plain stupidity. What I meant was, I had this grand notion of you helping me out and transforming me into the belle of the ball. You know, Queer Eye my style or something.” She wrapped her arms around herself despite the warm air and strode down the alley. If a sinkhole opened up in front of her, she’d gladly fall into it.

He jogged up beside her as they reached the sidewalk. “I don’t know about the clothing and hair stuff,” he said, “but I could certainly give you advice on men.” He cleared his throat and coughed. “I mean, since I’m a, ah, man.”

“That’s okay. It was a dumb idea. Besides, I don’t want advice on men. It would be pointless.” She pulled black-framed sunglasses from her purse and exchanged them for her regular glasses to block the blinding glare off the sidewalk.

Mitch didn’t respond right away, so she knew he silently agreed with her. Finally, he asked, “Why would it be pointless?”

She had about a million reasons. “It just would be.”


Bookstrand -

Amazon -

Barnes & Noble -


Rebecca Clark has wanted to write romance novels since she read her first Harlequin Romance at age 11. When she’s not writing, she works as a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor, where she teaches Pilates, Turbokick®, Zumba®, and yoga. She makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of 24 years, two kids, a German Shepherd beast who thinks he’s a lap dog, two cats, two rats and a gecko. In her not-so-abundant free time, Rebecca enjoys reading, watching Criminal Minds reruns on TV, and doing absolutely nothing.!/

Twitter @rebeccajclark

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Recipe #13 Butterscotch Rolls, Grand Opening at BTS

Butterscotch Rolls

3/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c margarine
2 tbsp water

24 frozen yeast rolls
Walnuts optional

Whip margarine.
Blend in sugar and water.
Spread in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.

Place rolls on top of mixture.
Let raise until rolls have doubled in size (at least 3 hrs)
Bake 10-12 minutes at 350.

Turn upside down on serving plate.
Serve immediately.

If you have a moment, check out this link. It's a feel good story.
I think you'll enjoy it:)

Grand opening is the fifteenth. Lots of free prizes.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Forgetful Jones and Holiday Recipe #12

Remember Forgetful Jones on Sesame Street? I pulled a Forgetful at work.
Every year at this time, we donate to a charity of choice. We bring in canned goods or other necessary items. Donation boxes are set up in the different buildings culminating at the Christmas luncheon.
On the morning of the luncheon, I went looking for the bin in my building to put my donation in so I wouldn't have to worry about forgetting it. I was told by a friend, they'd already been picked up and taken to the building where the Christmas lunch was being held. She also mentioned she'd forgotten to get anything to donate.
I'd picked up two items so I gave her one to put in the donation box. I set the other on the edge of my desk, so I wouldn't forget to take it to the luncheon.
Of course, when I got to the luncheon, I realized it was still setting on the corner of my desk. While I did a mental groan that I'd forgotten, my main reaction was relief that I'd given one of the items to my friend to donate. At least something I'd picked up would make it to the bin.
When I saw her later that afternoon, I told her how happy I was she'd taken the other item to put in the donation bin because I'd forgotten mine.
She grimaced and said--yup you guessed it--"I forgot it."
Molded Strawberry Gelatin Salad
10 oz frozen strawberries
3 oz package strawberry gelatin

1 c hot water
7/8 c juice or cold water
Let berries partially thaw then drain. Save juice
Dissolve gelatin in hot water
Add juice or cold water, stir, then let it thicken slightly
Add drained strawberries
Pour into mold

Monday, December 12, 2011

I Almost Saw It....And Holiday Recipe #11

I didn't see the lunar eclipse Saturday morning. I blush to admit I didn't even realize there was going to be one. But what I did see was the most amazing sight. It was about ten p.m. Friday night and we were coming home from several concentrated hours of Christmas shopping. When I got out of the car, I looked at the moon, then looked again.
It was hazy but full. The night sky was ringed around it in a perfect dark circle and around the circle was an edging of opalescence mist. It was wondrous. Did anyone else see it?

Hawaiian Ambrosia
1 c seedless grapes
1 c pineapple chunks
1 c mandarin oranges
1 c miniature marshmallows
1 c coconut
1 c sour cream
Drain all fruit, then combine
Add coconut, marshmallows and sour cream
Mix and let set at least 1 hr in refrigerator

Blogs of interest:
Amarinda Jones
Anny Cook
Julia Barrett
Shelley Munro

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Holiday Recipe #10 Hello Dolly Bars


Hello Dolly Bars
1/4 c margarine
1 c graham cracker crumbs
1 1/3 c coconut
12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips (or 6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips and 6 oz butterscotch chips)
1 c chopped pecans or chopped walnuts
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Melt margarine in a 9 x 13 pan
Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs in pan and press lightly
Add coconut, chips, and nuts in layers
Drizzle milk over entire contents in pan
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes
I'm blogging today on The Mysterious Mau at Night Writers.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Farsighted Blog Tour


Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still "see" things others can't. When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider.

Alex Kosmitoras's life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.

Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival--an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to "see" the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.


“Did Dad tell you? A new tenant moved into the old pharmacy next door.”

“Really?” I ask, not letting on I already know. If I feign ignorance, Mom’ll divulge all the details. “What is it?”

“It’s a psychic shop,” Her voice crackles with excitement like a fire that’s just beginning to burn. “The All-Seeing Miss Teak. Isn’t that cute? Miss Teak, Mystic. Ha, I wonder if that’s her real name.”

I laugh. “That is funny. Never had a psychic in town before. What’s she like?”

“Oh, she’s very friendly. Why don’t you go over and say ‘hi.’ I’m sure she’d like to meet you.”

“Okay, I think I will.” I’m incredibly intrigued, because first off, it’s a psychic shop—how weird is that?—and second, its presence made Dad super uncomfortable—also very cool. I waste no time heading next door to check out the scene.

As I step cautiously into the new shop, a recording of soft, instrumental music greets me. I can make out chimes and a string instrument I don’t recognize but for some reason reminds me of snake charmers. The smell of incense fills my nostrils, which explains the burning I detected earlier.

“Hello?” I call out into the otherwise quiet room.

Nobody answers. I walk in deeper, sweeping my cane out in front of me in a metronome fashion. This place is new to me, so I need to be especially careful while moving around.

Thump! Despite my precautions, I stub my toe on something hard, big, and made of wood. Just my luck to stub the same toe twice in one day. I reach down to press my fingers into my throbbing foot to alleviate some of the pain. Something teeters before rolling off of the chest and across the floor; the sound it makes indicates a curved path. Suddenly, the object stops. Somebody’s stopped it.

“Hello?” I call again.

“Hello,” a deep, feminine voice responds, placing more emphasis on the first syllable than the second.

“I- I’m sorry I knocked that thing over. I didn’t mean to…” I hope she’s not angry. Probably not a good idea to get on a psychic’s bad side.

“That wasn’t just a thing, it’s a crystal ball,” she says as she walks over, sending my blood pulsing through my veins. I sense her looking at me for a moment before she places the ball back on top of the chest.

“Can it see the future?” I ask, allowing my curiosity to outweigh my uneasiness.

“No.” After a pause lasting several beats, she continues. “But I can see the future sometimes when I look into it.”

“Oh, okay.” I tighten my hand around my cane and turn to leave. It may not be the most polite thing to do, but all of this hocus-pocus stuff is freaking me out more than I would’ve guessed.

The psychic lady speaks again, stopping me cold. “Don’t run away, Alex Kosmitoras.” She must’ve spoken to Mom earlier today. That must be how she knows my name.

“I’m not running away,” I say meekly. “I’m just going back over to Sweet Blossoms.”

“Don’t run away,” she repeats—this time she speaks louder and with more energy. “Don’t run away from your abilities. They are gifts.”

“What?” I ask in confusion. What abilities is she talking about?

“You already know. Watch. Listen. Be open to your gifts.”

I turn to face Miss Teak, but find she’s already gone, returning to wherever she was before I got there.

Is it safe to leave? I trail my fingers across the wooden box I ran into earlier; a thick coat of dust clings to the tips as I pull away. If this shop just opened, why is it already so dirty? I wipe my hands over my shirt to get the gritty substance off. Shivers rock my whole body. Something about this place is wrong, and I’m not sticking around to figure out what. Tapping my cane along the floor, I’m able to find the exit without knocking into anything else.


Alex Kosmitoras might not have a magic wand or vampiric strength and speed, but he is a totally swoon-worthy hero that any mom would be proud to let her daughter date. -- Melissa Luznicky Garrett, author of Turning Point

You don't have to be psychic to know that Farsighted is going to take the world by storm. Vampires are so last year. -- Kimberly Kinrade, author of Forbidden Mind

An epic battle of good versus evil that moves at breakneck speed to a stunning and totally
unexpected conclusion. -- Terri Giuliano Long, author of In Leah's Wake

Is Alex blind? Yes. Bullied? Yes. A victim? Absolutely not! Emlyn Chand expertly tackles high school bullying, making Farsighted both an entertaining and an educational read. -- Kevin Carey-Infante, Author of Bani's Dilemma

There's nothing blurry about Farsighted. With keen insight, Emlyn Chand creates complex characters that pop off the page. -- Lauren Clark, author of Stay Tuned

Psychic or not, you'll never see the end for this one coming! Emlyn Chand is pioneering "the next big thing" for YA. -- Emily Reese, author of Second Death

*Winner of the Alternative Booker Award, 2011

*Winner of the WritersType First Chapter Competition, September 2011


Amazon -

B&N -

Smashwords -


Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she's not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb.

Visit for more info. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky!

For a chance to win a download of Farsighted just leave a comment and your email addie.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Holiday Recipe #9 Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Chocolate or White Bark
Wax Paper

Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Drop in 4 to 6 pretzels at a time. Stir carefully to coat. Lift one pretzel at a time with a fork. Tap the side of the pan gently so that the excess chocolate falls off. Gently place on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Recipe #8

Peanut Clusters

1 12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 12 oz. bag of either peanut butter chips or butterscotch chips
12 oz peanuts
Melt in a double boiler, add peanuts, stir. Drop by spoon on wax paper.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

An Innocent Murdered

With us today is Tom Mach to talk about his new book an Innocent Murdred and his character, Detective Matt Gunnison's view on religion:

In my murder mystery entitled An Innocent Murdered, Detective Matt Gunnison in working on a case involving the murder of a Catholic priest named Father O’Fallon. Gunnison does not consider himself a religious man, although his father was a Methodist and his mother a Catholic. He treats the murder of O’Fallon as he would any other person and has no inclination one way or another concerning the identity of the victim as a Catholic priest. However, he believes—as does virtually everyone else—that the priest was a child molester, although the novel later uncovers facts that absolve the priest of any wrongdoing. He is comfortable about dating a former nun named Susan, although there is an episode in the novel where he becomes sympathetic to her situation. That occurs in the scene where Susan tells him she has never had sex with a man.

While Matt is not a churchgoer, he goes to an empty church (he didn’t care what denomination it was) after discovering the sickening truth about a young girl who had been strangled 25 years ago….

Once he arrived at the church, he headed for the last pew. God, I’m afraid I’m not much for prayer Matt thought. At first, he felt a strange sort of tranquility here. He wasn’t sure if it was the unearthly quiet of the church or the long shadows that the light cast through the narrow stained glass windows facing east. But soon different memories swirled in his head… how Billy, when he was four, wanted Matt to push him even higher on a playground swing. (“I want to break the record,” he said)…how the other first graders at school helped celebrate his sixth birthday by singing to him in class…how, when he was eight, he somehow got the basketball to fall into the net over the garage door from a distance of twenty feet (“No, Dad, it was skill, not luck.”)…how the shocking news came to him at the university, where he taught classes in criminal justice, that his parents and his son were killed when a semi failed to stop at a highway intersection and plowed head-on into the car.

Matt dropped to his knees, grabbed the edge of the seat with both hands, and bent his head.

Excerpt: (Violent)

Still facing the wall, the priest began to sob. “Can’t we talk about this?”

She slipped the Smith & Wesson into her pocket and removed a knife from her bag. “There’s nothing to talk about, you son of a bitch.”

He dropped his hands for a moment. “Please let me at least say a prayer.”

“Go ahead and beg for God’s mercy, you pervert!”

He made the sign of the cross with his crucifix. “Oh my God,” he muttered, “I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee.”

As she slashed his throat he made a high-pitched squeal. His body slumped to the floor. She plunged the knife into his abdomen. He made a gagging sound from his throat as if he were drowning in his own blood. She plunged the knife into him again. And again. And again.


Tom Mach wrote two successful historical novels, Sissy! and All Parts Together, both of which have won rave reviews and were listed among the 150 best Kansas books in 2011.Sissy! won the J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award while All Parts Together was a viable entrant for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Award. He also wrote a collection of short stories entitled Stories To Enjoy which received positive reviews. Tom’s other novels include: An Innocent Murdered, Advent, and Homer the Roamer.

His poetry collection, The Uni Verse, won the Nelson Poetry Book Award. In addition to several awards for his poetry, Writer’s Digest awarded him ninth place in a field of 3,000 entrants. His website is: He also has a popular blog for writers of both prose and verse at

Book Blurb:

Father O'Fallon has been murdered, and police officer Jacinta Perez is arrested and charged. Detective Matt Gunnison, however, is not convinced and with the help of Susan, an ex-nun, he discovers a fascinating link between the priest's death and the death of a child 25 years ago. Will Matt be able to solve both murders? See video:

Contest alert: Tom will be giving away a $50 Amazon card to the person he feels leaves the best comment.


Tour dates can be found at:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday Recipe #7: Chocolate Covered Ritz Crackers

White-Chocolate Covered Ritz Crackers

Spread peanut butter between two Ritz Crackers. Make desired number.
Melt white chocolate bark in double boiler.
Dip the sandwiched Ritz Crackers in the white-chocolate with tongs.
Place on waxed paper to cool.

Got a recipe you'd like to share with this blog? Put holiday recipe in the subject line and send to

Monday, December 5, 2011

Seasons of Reading and Holiday Recipe #6

I'm taking part in Seasons of Reading at DowntownYA today. If you'd like to win a download of Vampire Bay and/or a copy of Grounded for your local library (if outside the United States, the copy will be donated in your name to Iredell County Library) just stop by and leave a comment with your email addie.
Holiday Recipe #6: Banana Nut Bread
Cream together in large bowl:
1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter then add and mix:
3 large ripe mashed bananas
2 tablespoons milk

2 eggs
Add dry ingredients:
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup walnuts
Bake at 350 for one hours. Makes two loaf pans.

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