Friday, December 9, 2016

New Cover for Brenda Corey Dunne's DEPENDANT!


I LOVE this new cover for the re-release of Brenda's novel DEPENDANT!

Blurb
When forty-five year old Ellen Michaels looses her husband to a tragic military accident, she is left in a world of grey. For twenty-five years her life has been dictated by the ubiquitous They—the military establishment that has stolen her hopes, dreams, and innocence and now in mere months will take away her home. She is left with nothing to hold on to but memories and guilt and an awful secret that has held her in its grip since she was nineteen. Written with honesty and grace, Dependent deals head on with real-life issues facing women in military communities today: loss, loneliness, frequent moves, the culture of rank and the specter of sexual assault. It presents a heartfelt view of the sacrifice and strength of the often invisible support behind the uniform.

Available here
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

About the Author
Brenda Corey Dunne grew up in rural New Brunswick, Canada. She originally trained as a physiotherapist and worked several years as an officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force before meeting her Air Force pilot husband and taking her release. She has two other published novels, SKIN (2016) and TREASURE IN THE FLAME (2012). Brenda is represented by Frances Black of Literary Counsel. She currently resides in the Washington, DC area, but home is wherever the RCAF sends her hubby. When not writing, working or taxiing her three children she can be found either in the garden or on the beach with a book in one hand and a very, very large coffee in the other. Find her at Brendacoreydunne.blogspot.ca or @overdunne on Twitter.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Shadows of Valor and Perils of Wrath on hold pending publisher


Today I received my rights back for my first published novel, Shadows of Valor, and for my second novel, Perils of Wrath, that was close to publication when Jolly Fish Press (JFP) announced its closure.

Yesterday, JFP shared through social media, their business closure due to lack of funding. The authors and editors found out at the same time as the rest of the world, so it came as quite a shock to everyone. However, that same day, other information soon surfaced about possible investors coming in to save the company. Whiplash! For me, however, the damage had been done to my faith and trust, and with careful thought and consideration, I decided to take back my rights, leaving Jolly Fish on friendly terms (for I certainly still like the people who work there).

I'll move forward and seek another publisher to take my stories, and although JFP, whose future is still uncertain and being worked out, isn't directing the affairs of my books any longer, Shadows of Valor is still currently available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble (and possibly other sites) as they still have copies in stock that they are allowed to sell at their discretion.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Shortbread Plays Roll in Upcoming Novel, PERILS OF WRATH


My second medieval novel, PERILS OF WRATH (a PG-rated action-romance and spin-off of my first novel, SHADOWS OF VALOR, also a PG-rated medieval action-romance) is due out May 2018 through Amberjack Publishing! I'm so excited!

In PERILS OF WRATH my heroine loves sugary foods, especially shortbread, a sweet cookie/biscuit which also happens to be a favorite of mine. That's the fun of writing my own novels. I can put a little piece of myself (or anyone else) into each story. Well, the shortbread ends up getting my heroine into a bit of trouble in her unconventional position as squire to a stern (but handsome) knight who has banned her from eating sweet treats. The ensuing situation leads to some comical moments between the knight and his female squire.

I won't say more and spoil what happens, but in honor of shortbread, I'm posting a fun, modern take on the little cookie with a recipe I found on the Cooking Classy site. So here it is:

Photo Credit - Cooking Classy
Funfetti Shortbread Bites
Yield: About 335 bites

1 cup (226g) salted butter, cold and diced into 1 Tbsp pieces*
2/3 cup (142g) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/4 cups (318g) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 Tbsp (30g) nonpareils sprinkles (any color), then about 1/2 Tbsp more for tops if desired

Butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and line with 2 sheets of parchment paper (one horizontally and one vertically. I also like to butter between parchment sheets so they stick) leaving a 1-inch over hang on all sides, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream together butter and sugar until well combined. Mix in almond extract. With mixer set on low speed slowly add in flour and mix until combined (it will take a while and will appear dry and sandy at first but it will start to come together). Mix and fold in sprinkles. Press dough into an even layer in prepared pan (I did it with my hands first then used the bottom of a flat measuring cup to help smooth it out). Chill dough in refrigerator 20 - 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lift dough from pan using parchment overhang on all sides. Cut into 1/2-inch squares using a large sharp knife (it works best to just cut long rows). Sprinkle more sprinkles over the top if desired and gently press into dough. Transfer about 1/3 of the cookies to an unbuttered baking sheet (also do not line pan with parchment or silicone liners) and scatter cookies out spacing cookies 1/2-inch apart. Bake in preheated oven 8 - 12 minutes (keep remaining that aren't currently baking refrigerated). Repeat process with remaining bites, adding them to a cool baking sheet. Cool completely then transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature.
*Unsalted butter will work great too. Simply whisk in 1/2 tsp salt with the flour before adding if using unsalted butter.
Recipe source: inspired by Land O Lakes

Monday, July 18, 2016

Purple Mashed Potatoes!!!


I made a baked chicken dinner for my husband's birthday, and my 10-year-old daughter wanted to mash up our homegrown purple potatoes as a side. So we did. Turned out so fun! Yes, that is their actual color even after salt, milk, sour cream and butter added. Purple potatoes taste just like russets, but have 4 times the antioxidants!

They are so easy to grow, too. I bought the seed (starter) potatoes from our Walmart garden center in the spring and planted them in my garden boxes. Watered them every other night (every night when it got really hot) and when the plants that grew above ground dried out and died away, my girls and I dug all the potatoes up. Cured them for 10 days in a dark, dry area in our basement and then stored them until use. We'll be growing them again next year!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cover Reveal: SNOW FRIGHT by Amie & Bethanie Borst


The final installment of the Scarily Ever Laughter MG (middle grade) series is almost here!
October 4th, 2016, is the big debut!

Snow Fright book Blurb:
Sarah White is gorgeous even if she is a little bit rotten. A mirror arrives on her twelfth birthday and she thinks it’s the perfect gift. But when an innocent game of laser tag gets out of hand, the mirror swallows her whole! Sarah finds herself dead center of the Underworld. As if repeated run-ins with Mr. Death weren’t bad enough, Sarah now has to deal with her decaying flesh and sudden craving for brains. Not to mention she keeps having brain freezes, all due to the seven worms living in her head. Of corpse, by the time Sarah escapes the Underworld, she finds her new zombie life less than appetizing. Even worse, she needs to return to the Underworld to save her friends, Cindy and Scarlet. With a poisoned apple, a crow named Raven, and a glowing necklace, Sarah’s pretty sure that if she doesn’t rescue her friends, she’ll be a brain craving zombie forever. And that’s more dead-ication than she’s willing to accept.

Add SNOW FRIGHT to your Goodreads account or pre-order your copy at Amazon or Indiebound

Be sure to check out the first two books in the series, Cinderskella and Little Dead Riding Hood!

Amie Borst loves glitter, unicorns, and chocolate. But not at the same time. That would be weird. She’s a PAL member of the SCBWI as well as a founding and contributing member of The Mixed-Up Files…of Middle-Grade Authors, a group blog dedicated to middle-grade books. Amie lives in Virginia with her three beautiful daughters, her handsome husband, and two cute dogs named Lily and Maggie. She wishes she could travel the country in a hot pink elevator but for now, her minivan will have to do.

Bethanie Borst is 16 and the author of three books but she was only 10 years old when she wrote her first one. She enjoys reading, writing, and archery. She’s also interested in paleontology and astronomy. Bethanie is fluent in both sarcasm and humor and is prepared for the zombie apocalypse and/or spontaneous combustion of the world. Because, let’s face it, both of those things are totally realistic.

Authors' website: www.amieandbethanieborst.com 

Rachael Caringella is an artist, illustrator, intuitive reader, and healer. And deep down, she is just like you; a rebel and truth seeker. Her days are spent in a little cabin as she paints, dances, sips delicious coffee, reads tarot cards, and, of course, illustrates! When she’s not in her studio, she can often be found wandering the woods, honoring her wild nature in the great outdoors searching for beauty adventure and inspiration.

Illustrator Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/treetalkerart 
Illustrator website: http://treetalkerart.com/

Friday, June 3, 2016

Barnes and Noble Teen Book Festival! June 10-11, 2016!


JUNE 10th & 11th! Looks what's coming up at many Barnes and Nobles across the country! The TEEN BOOK FESTIVAL!

I'll be signing books at the one in ST. GEORGE, UTAH (1720 East Red Cliffs Dr) from 4-6pm on both days. Share if you know anyone in the area who would be interested. Author presentations and panels begin Friday at 2pm and Saturday at 11am.

Come see me, Berk Washburn, Johnny Worthen, Dan Allen, and Nicole Hymas Conner.

I’m honored and delighted to be counted among such wonderful people at this event.

Here’s the Barnes and Noble (Red Cliffs Mall) event page: https://stores.barnesandnoble.com/store/2331

Monday, May 16, 2016

SHADOWS OF VALOR featured on Jolly Fish Press Front Page!

Model: Paulina Baykova. Photo: Yelena Baykova. Design: Jolly Fish Press 

OH COOL! SHADOWS OF VALOR is featured on Jolly Fish Press' front page (just scroll down a little from the top): http://www.jollyfishpress.com

"From May 8 through May 31, we invite all lovers of historical romance to embark on Elsie Park's outlandish and sweeping medieval tale of love and intrigue. For a limited time only, you can now buy and download Shadows of Valor at irresistible prices. PRINT COPIES ARE NOW ON SALE FOR $7.99 EACH, AND EBOOK COPIES ARE ONLY $3.99."

"When a mysterious man shows up under the King's command to uncover the scandals that are tainting the kingdom, Elsbeth Rawley, Lord Shaufton's niece, discovers that nothing is what it seems. There are secrets within the walls of Graywall, and Elsbeth must stand strong and tread carefully to avoid getting caught in the danger that looms ahead. What entails is a glorious tale full of deceit, greed, inner struggles, betrayal, and, most of all, love."

"This sale is only available via [Jolly Fish Press] shopping cart. Simply click the blue BUY NOW button on the book's title page or the link below to purchase."
https://jollyfishpress.bookstore.ipgbook.com/shadows-of-valor-products-9781939967077.php?page_id=21


Model: Brady Knighton. Photo: Yelena Baykova. Design: Jolly Fish Press.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Cynicism in Law Enforcement - Relating it to SHADOWS OF VALOR.


Sir Calan (aka: The Shadow), my knight in SHADOWS OF VALOR, is a spy/law enforcer working for King Edward I. His view of people has become cynical through his long years of dealing with society at its worst (criminals), to the point where he doesn’t trust anyone. He thinks everyone has something to hide, even seemingly innocent people.

This view stems from my personal experience as a law enforcement officer. Police officers are trained to be aware that anyone and anything can be a potential threat to their lives and the lives of others. This is essential in order to be ready should an assault occur. This tactic has kept officers, not only on the police force but in the military as well, alive, safe and able to serve another day.

Seeing everyone as a potential suspect carries into an officer’s everyday activities, even off duty. This is normal and not a bad thing, as it has saved the lives of their own family members and countless citizens throughout history. But if an officer isn’t careful, this view of life can easily turn his/her heart and mind to dark thoughts of revenge, justice, and even more common, to depression. This can, and often does, lead to the abuse of alcohol and other drugs in an attempt to “deal” with the negativity. To avoid this destructive course, it helps to have a strong support system with friends and family, but even beyond that, an officer must remain strong and true to his/her moral convictions of what’s right and wrong.

My supportive family, good friends and religious Christian views have kept my thoughts well balanced between justice and mercy. Though I am no longer an officer of the law, as a mother of four little children and a wife to a hardworking husband, I retain an alert eye to my surroundings in order to keep them and my friends safe from those seeking to hurt or take advantage of them. I do not apologize for my view, but use it to my benefit, being careful not to overstep the bounds of diehard cynicism, but truly judge a situation with an intelligent eye and act accordingly to keep my loved ones safe.

And so the question remains: Does Sir Calan’s hardcore cynicism destroy his soul, sending him into a dark place where none can rescue, or does he find that necessary balance between serving justice and finding mercy? Find out in SHADOWS OF VALOR, on sale now through May 31, 2016.

Paperback $7.99 ONLY on my publisher’s site (Jolly Fish Press) HERE:
Ebook $3.99 on Jolly Fish Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indigo

Watch the 1:30 minute BOOK TRAILER on Youtube HERE!


Monday, May 2, 2016

SHADOWS OF VALOR BOOK SALE - MAY 8-31, 2016


For individuals (and especially book groups who want the book group package)! Anyone who has been waiting to purchase SHADOWS OF VALOR on SALE, now’s your chance! Since much of the medieval story takes place during the months of May and June, the sale will run May 8th through 31st. Go to my publisher’s site at the address below and click on the blue “BUY NOW” button under my book. It is only on Jolly Fish Press’ site that the paperback will be available for $7.99 (that’s 50% off!). The ebook will be $3.99 on JFP, as well as on Amazon, Barnes &Noble, and Indigo. Please share with those who would be interested. HAPPY READING! http://www.jollyfishpress.com/titles/shadows-of-valor.html

SHADOWS OF VALOR Overview:
Something dark stirs within the peaceful walls of the prosperous city of Graywall, something only the mysterious vigilante known as The Shadow-a man torn between a sense of justice and the desire for revenge-can overcome. In reality the nobleman Sir Calan, The Shadow is sent to hunt down smugglers who have run rampant after the levying of a harsh tax by King Edward. When he learns of a plot against the just ruler of the city, Lord Shaufton, on his mission, he must enter a pseudo courtship with Shaufton's daughter under his guise of Sir Calan, even as he wrestles with emotions stirred by the lovely Elsbeth, Lord Shaufton's niece. Elsbeth may be the only person who can heal Calan's troubled soul, but she has secrets of her own. Rife with deceit, greed, inner struggles, betrayal, and love, this page-turner will grip readers from the opening lines.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Three-Ingredient Cookies - SO EASY!

These have become my favorite speedy cookies!

Photo by Elsie Park

Three-Ingredient Cookies

1 box dry cake mix, ANY flavor (chocolate, white, yellow, red velvet, strawberry, spice, confetti)
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
Optional additions if desired:  ½ to 1 cup chocolate chips, other flavored chips, nuts, etc.

Mix all together in bowl. Shape into 1-inch balls with hands and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet(s) (I sometimes roll the dough balls in sugar, a sugar/cinnamon mixture or powdered sugar before placing them on the pan). Bake in oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes or until bottoms start to turn golden. Remove from oven and let sit for 1-2 minutes before removing cookies to cooling rack.

These cookies are fast, easy and tasty! Enjoy!

Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Bites - Heavenly!

Photo from Buzzfeed
A friend posted this recipe on Facebook from the Buzzfeed sight. They look divinely sinful!
http://buzzfeedrecipes.com/chocolate-covered-cheesecake-bites/

INGREDIENTS
Makes 30-40

10 graham cracker sheets
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 stick melted butter
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups chocolate chips, melted

PREPARATION
In a plastic bag, crush the graham crackers finely with the back of a large pot or pan.
In a large bowl, combine graham crackers, combine confectioner’s sugar, salt, and melted butter, stirring until the mixture is the texture of wet sand. Dump the graham cracker mixture into a 9×9 baking dish lined with parchment paper. Press the mixture down with your hands to create an even layer. Freeze for ten minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly on top of the graham cracker crust. Freeze for one hour.

Transfer the frozen cheesecake onto a cutting board, peeling away the parchment paper. Slice one centimeter strips horizontally, then vertically, creating little cheesecake cubes.

In a medium bowl, microwave the chocolate in 20-second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Dip the cheesecake cubes in the chocolate, dripping off excess, and set them on a tray lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining cubes. Freeze for 15 minutes, then serve!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Ahh yeah, Root Beer Slow-Cooker Chicken!


Photo Credit - Pillsbury
Oh boy! My favorite soda coupled with my favorite protein is a match made in heaven! Put it on a sweet Hawaiian bun and you've got one delicious sandwich. Serving it alongside juicy watermelon chunks and a green salad would make a tasty meal.

Root Beer Slow-Cooker Chicken (from Pillsbury)

2 ½ lb boneless skinless chicken breast
Salt and pepper
1 ½ cups barbecue sauce
1 cup root beer

Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper, and place inside slow cooker. Pour in barbecue sauce and root beer; spread around. Cover and cook on High heat setting 2 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker, and use two forks to shred. Place chicken back in slow cooker on Warm heat setting; simmer 30 minutes. Serve on burger buns, as desired.

Photo Credit - Pillsbury
Photo Credit - Pillsbury

Monday, April 4, 2016

1,300 Pine Cones!

Photo by Elsie Park
Make sure when you tell your kids that you'll pay them a penny for each pine cone they pick up off the lawn that you have the correct change in your wallet. My three girls ended up gathering about 1,300 pine cones (yes, they counted every one of them in front of me), equating to $13. Well, I looked in my purse for their promised payment and found that I didn't have any one dollar bills, only fives. I ended up paying each of them $5 and it cleaned me out. They're now richer than I am! Oh well, it was worth a good lesson in working hard to earn their money, and it was a good reminder for me to take a better look at the amount of pine cones lying around before putting a price on them.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

One Brave Knight

Brady Knighton, cover model for Shadows of Valor, portraying Sir Calan Beaumont/The Shadow
I revamped my ballad, One Brave Knight, that I wrote for Shadows of Valor. I got a new music program and was able to put in some fun instruments, making it sound a lot better than my old version from my digital piano. One person commented that it was like a renaissance techno, a new genre in music. I liked that *big smile*. Here it is on Youtube with pictures of my characters (portrayed by Paulina Baykova and Brady Knighton) and other medieval scenes. I know it's not professional, but I had fun making it. Have fun watching it. And be sure to turn up the bass.

Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCrxPeanidM
Shadows of Valor bookmark, design by Jolly Fish Press, cover photos by Yelena Baykova

Paulina Baykova, cover model for Shadows of Valor, portraying Lady Elsbeth Rawley (Photo by Yelena Baykova)

Brady Knighton, cover model for Shadows of Valor, portraying Sir Calan Beaumont/The Shadow (Photo by Yelena Baykova)

Knight at a medieval fair in Marriott-Slaterville, Utah (Photo by Elsie Park)

Knight jousting at a medieval fair in Marriott-Slaterville, Utah (Photo by Elsie Park)