Monday, May 28, 2018

Book review: A Thousand Sleepless Nights by Teri Harman

A Thousand Sleepless Nights and author Teri Harman


My review of A Thousand Sleepless Nights by Teri Harman, author of the Moonlight trilogy (Blood Moon, Black Moon, & Storm Moon).

A Thousand Sleepless Nights, a clean romance with a touch of magic, had me from the first pages, gripping my interest from the conversation between Matilda (the main character) and her dying Aunt Jetty. The themes in this story are strong and heart-wrenching as the reader travels on a measured journey of tragedy, heartache, tears, confusion, and longing. That being said, the story (for me) had a satisfying ending as it is also infused with learning, growing, hope, and a little bit of magic brought on by the power of emotions (especially grief). Lines from the story explain this element: “We rarely realize how powerful our thoughts can be, how powerful our emotions are. There’s tremendous energy there, and if we let it that energy can build and build until it creates its own strength, its own will.”

Don’t expect a fast-moving action-adventure, or even your average romance with this one. This is a leisurely-paced love story like no other. And the events in this book can be understood both figuratively and realistically as the author adds in a touch of the supernatural. Can I just say that the scene where the typewriter first starts typing by itself literally gave me chills.

The importance of, and love for, books and writing are also beautifully illustrated throughout the story. Henry’s thoughts at one point echoed my own as an author: “Writers could control what happened, could change it. A magician toying with fate. If he wanted, there could always be a happy ending.”

Even though I love the main characters, Matilda and Henry, my favorite character has got to be Abby, a good woman who remains positive despite terrible tragedies in her past. She is a good mother-figure and a great example to Matilda and Henry who are learning to deal with their own tragedies. We are first introduced to Abby through these lines and one can’t help but immediately fall in love with her character:

“Abby, we don’t have any idea who this guy is,” Gill protested. “You can’t . . .”

“Oh, shut up, you old grump,” she shot back. “The boy needs help. And I can tell just lookin’ at him that he’s good through and through. Be a decent Christian for once in your miserable life.” She frowned reproachfully, but then turned a bright smile on Henry. “You a thief?”

Henry blanched, blinked. “No, Ma’am.”

“Ax murderer? Annoying salesman? Fugitive? Nail biter?” She smiled as she said the last one and the tension in Henry’s gut eased slightly.

“No ma’am.”

Abby nodded and reached for him. “Then you come in now, out of the icy night, and let’s see what we can do.”

A Thousand Sleepless Nights is a solid read, but don’t take my word for it . . . read it yourself.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Perils of Wrath releases tomorrow, MAY 22, 2018!



Welcome to knight boot camp! Check out PERILS OF WRATH, a medieval action-romance. Available May 22, 2018 where books and ebooks are sold. 


TO SHAPE THEIR DESTINY, THEY MUST GIVE UP CONTROL
Sir Roland Beaumont's investigation into his birth parents’ deaths leads him to Guildon Castle, domain of Lord Craven. Roland’s plans are complicated when the earl enlists him to tame his stepdaughter, Audrina Gibbons, by training her as a squire. Roland soon finds that Audrina—Audri—is much more than he imagined.
Unable to save her mother from Craven's physical abuse, Audri’s open hostility for her stepfather and his scheme pits her against her would-be trainer. Audri's provocation strains Roland’s composure, much as his merciless training regime tests her willpower.
Sir Roland’s quest for truth soon tests the resolve of both knight and squire as the dark secrets of Guildon Castle are unearthed—secrets never meant to be revealed . . . secrets that some would kill to keep.

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Trailer #1
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Elsie Park
I grew up in a small town outside Yosemite National Park, California, U.S.A. I enjoy soccer, piano, reading, writing, art and my family. Years ago I spent 18 months in Italy teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Seeing the castles and old Roman cities enhanced my fascination for ancient and medieval culture. In college I studied zoology, botany and criminal justice. I've worked as a wildland firefighter and a police officer, but I am currently a stay-at-home mom, spending time with my children and husband. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2017 and changed my diet and lifestyle to that of super healthy eating of fruits, veggies, grains, fish, Vitamin D, flax seed oil and exercise, and it seems to be keeping the disease at bay for the time being. I love thinking up new ideas for interesting stories and musical compositions to go with them. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Healthy Banana Nut Bread from my 9-year-old daughter

So my cute 9-year-old daughter loves to bake, and she likes to use multi-purpose baking mix as a base for some of her creations. JIFFY and BISQUICK have a good base with BISQUICK having a "heart smart" version that has no saturated fat. My daughter made banana nut bread from the back of the JIFFY box, substituting apple sauce for the shortening and 4 egg whites for the two whole eggs. The bread turned out SO GOOD! She now gets requests from family members to make it again and again. Here's the recipe as she makes it:
Healthy Banana Nut Bread or Muffins
(for use with “Jiffy” and “Bisquick Heart Smart” all-purpose baking mixes)

2 cups baking mix (Jiffy or Bisquick)
¾ cup granulated sugar (can use brown sugar)
¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce (instead of shortening)
4 egg whites (can use 2 whole eggs)
1 cup ripe banana, mashed
1/3 cup nuts, chopped (we like walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream sugar and apple sauce together. Add baking mix, eggs, banana and nuts. Mix until blended. Pour into prepared pan * , ** , ***. After baking and removing from pan, cool on wire rack before storing in plastic bag or other container for a few days . . . or freeze for later.

*For loaf: Lightly oil a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Pour all batter into pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool at least a half hour in pan before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
**For regular-sized muffins: Lightly oil muffin pan. Fill no more than ¾-full with batter. Bake for about 15-18 minutes.
*** For mini-muffins: Lightly oil mini-muffin pan. Fill no more than ¾-full with batter. Bake for about 12 minutes.



Thursday, May 10, 2018

PERILS OF WRATH Release Approaching Fast! May 22, 2018!


The long-awaited release of my second book, PERILS OF WRATH, sequel to SHADOWS OF VALOR is fast approaching: MAY 22, 2018!!! It will be available in paperback and ebook formats everywhere online and in select stores.

Tag lines:

"To shape their destiny, they must give up control!"

"Nothing frustrates a knight more than being shackled to an unruly squire with guarded secrets and a persistent sweet tooth."

Blurb:

Sir Roland Beaumont's investigation into his birth parents' deaths leads him to Guildon Castle, domain of Lord Craven. Roland's plans are complicated when the earl enlists him to tame his stepdaughter, Audrina Gibbons, by training her as a squire. Roland soon finds that Audrina (Audri) is much more than he imagined.

Unable to save her mother from Craven's physical abuse, Audri's open hostility for her stepfather and his scheme pits her against her would-be trainer. Audri's provocation strains Roland's composure, much as his merciless training regime tests her willpower.

Sir Roland's quest for truth soon tests the resolve of both knight and squire as the dark secrets of Guildon Castle are unearthed, secrets never meant to be revealed . . . secrets that some would kill to keep.

HAPPY READING!

Buy PERILS OF WRATH here:

Watch the teaser trailers on Youtube here: