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Excerpt: Sweets & Treats, Festive Recipes for the Clean Chocolate Lover by Carrie A. Lombardi

Excerpt: Sweets & Treats, Festive Recipes for the Clean Chocolate Lover by Carrie A. Lombardi

Title: Sweets & Treats:  Festive Recipes for the Clean Chocolate Lover

Author: Carrie A. Lombardi 

Genre: Non-Fiction

Excerpt: Sweets & Treats, Festive Recipes for the Clean Chocolate Lover by Carrie A. Lombardi
About the Book:

This book contains 25 deliciously simple chocolate treats without all the stuff that will wreak havoc on your digestive system. The ingredients are less refined, as well as being dairy, gluten and soy-free.  Many are also grain-free, peanut-free, vegan, vegetarian, or Paleo (noted as such on each recipe). A dream come true for chocolate lovers who crave clean, yet decadent chocolate delights!


Excerpt: Sweets & Treats, Festive Recipes for the Clean Chocolate Lover by Carrie A. Lombardi

About the Author:

Excerpt: Sweets & Treats, Festive Recipes for the Clean Chocolate Lover by Carrie A. Lombardi
Carrie Lombardi is a Certified Health Coach, wife, and mom to three wonderful grown children. She loves chocolate! She strives to make her recipes tasty and tries to include ingredients which may be beneficial for the body. In addition to her recipes being gluten, dairy, and soy-free, she uses the healthiest ingredients possible that will maintain the integrity of the dish and will be fun, delicious to eat, and keep the belly happy and healthy!

Carrie struggled for many years with digestive issues. .A diagnosis of sensitivities to dairy, gluten, and soy set her on a journey to optimal health and wellness through food and adopting a healthy lifestyle. She decided to become a health coach to fulfill her passion of helping people with food sensitivities to improve their health and to feel their best. Carrie received her training at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She enjoys the challenge of creating recipes reminiscent of the old gluten and dairy-filled dishes she loved growing up and finding healthier ways to make sweets that are just as indulgent.Through her website,www.happyhealthybelly.info, Carrie helps educate people on finding balance in their life through nutrition and healthy lifestyle strategies. She offers fun tips and recipes for those wishing to follow a gluten, dairy, and soy-free diet.

www.happyhealthybelly.info | www.facebook.com/4HappyHealthyBelly| Follow Happy_Healthy_Belly on Instagram

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Excerpt: Sweets & Treats, Festive Recipes for the Clean Chocolate Lover by Carrie A. Lombardi

Some of the Best Places for Writing a Book: Find Your Inspiration

Some of the Best Places for Writing a Book: Find Your Inspiration, by Jessica Class

One of the key lessons writers can take from success stories of decorated writers such as Virginia Woolf and J K Rowling is the role of the writing environment as a source of inspiration. Every experienced writer knows that writing needs inspiration or space that motivates thought. Nothing quite compares to the feeling of finding that one place that allows your creativity and lets you do your thing. For some writers such a place can simply be a corner or a room in your house, or in a secluded office. For others, however, inspiration comes from an opportunity to interact with nature, people, coffee, or food. If you are ready to embark on a journey towards finding your inspirational writing environment, read on. Some of the places that have worked for writers in the past, and which could just be right for you include:

·  The Library
·  Cafes
·  Public park
·  Museum
·  Your Porch
·  Co-working space
·  Botanical gardens
·  Aquarium
·  Shopping Mall
·  Train

1. The Library
The library is one longstanding source of intellectual inspiration. Most experienced writers will tell you about the pleasure of being surrounded by endless shelves of intellectual inspiration. Furthermore, the quiet study rooms you will get in a library are priceless. An additional bonus for you is probably the fact that their Wi-Fi is often speedy which, combined with the plenty of resources and librarians on hand, will be instrumental in helping you in the event that you encounter tricky research. However, the downside is that libraries typically do not allow people to take call within their premises. Secondly, you will have to go elsewhere in the event that you need coffee or lunch. However, if you need a few hours of top productivity, then consider the library as a top option.

2. Cafes
Many experienced writers will tell you of the important role that cafes play in providing inspiration for their writing. A notable example here is J.K. Rowling, who, prior to her success as the renowned author of the Harry Potter spell books, worked in a humble role in the Chamber of Commerce in London. The writer did much of her initial writing in a café called The Elephant House. In general, writers prefer coffee shops for the facts that, besides the access the caffeine that allows alertness, there are also meals, snacks and juices that make sure writers stay full and productive. However, we advise that, when using a café, try to be mindful of other customers, and don’t overstay your welcome.

3. Public park
If you are looking to escape the restrictions of the library and the costs of working in a café, public parks offer serene and inspiring alternatives. It is important to reiterate that the process of inspiration is subconscious, though it requires conscious stimulation. In the same you need exercise to strengthen your muscles, you need to engage your brain to strengthen it. Public parks offer writers an avenue for engaging with nature as you work, with minimal distractions from technology. Consider carrying a chair or blanket to the park as the chairs at the park can be quite uncomfortable. 

4. Museum
The secret to success as a writer is hard work on one part and inspiration on the other. Some writers swear by museums as the source of their inspiration. Sitting on a bench near inspiring paintings or basking in natural history during your breaks may be just what you need to offer your brain a refresh.

5. Your Porch
The good news is that you do not have to travel far to get inspiration or quiet needed to work on your book. Why not get serenity from your own porch? However, you should look out for possibly distracting neighbours, who may be looking for a chat. Other than that, porches provide great convenience. When you get hungry, or thirsty you can always walk back inside the house.  

6. Co-working space
Another alternative is the increasingly popular co-working spaces with such names as “Hub” and “Spark”. Some of these places offer membership or pay-as-you-go alternatives for freelancers looking for office space. However, such spaces can be pricey when looked at cumulatively, with a designated space costing as much as $850 a month. However, the spaces offer certain perks like conference rooms, printing and other amenities.

7. Botanical gardens
Like public parks, botanical gardens offer you the chance to interact with nature, something that has been shown by research to enhance creativity. You get to smell flowers as you work. However, for those looking to escape cold winter weather, indoor gardens offer an aura of spring.

8. Aquarium
This one of the less explore alternatives. However, there is a reason doctors like having fish tanks in their offices. Watching fish swim through water can be quite calming, something that is welcome for the stressful nature of writing.

9. Shopping Mall
Alternatively, you could head down to your local mal with your laptop and write. The mall will likely give you a welcome change of scenery. In fact, there are malls that even offer free Wi-Fi.

10. Train or Bus
Ever tried working while on a train or bus? The inspiring landscape offered while on a train, coupled by the rhythm of the wheels may just be what you need. Hop onto a train or bus and let the ideas flow. 
In summary, here are presented some ideal places for inspiration and quiet as you work on your book or paper. However, you will still need to work on other elements of writing such as research and structure, which is why you need assistance from reliable companies like Okessay.co.uk

By Jessica Class

Interview with Elle Brookes

Interview with Elle Brookes @tymslyder @iReadBookTours

What genre do you write and why?
My first two books “Lust. Mechanics. Mini Cooper.” and “Sex. Coffee. Time Travel.” exploit a mix of several genres; suspense, historical, romance, contemporary, time travel, with a dash of "entertainment insider." I want to write books I would enjoy reading. I know I'm not writing great literature. I want my readers to have a good time. My beta-readers enjoyed them even though they are tough to categorize. They said I made the unbelievable, believable. Or as the main character (Lesley Meryn, a writer of adventure suspense novels featuring Saber and Steele) says "I make them want to believe." I worked for a television production company for several years, and I have based a lot of what happens to actor-character Jason Hambrey on real-life situations.

Interview with Elle Brookes @tymslyder @iReadBookTours
My most recent book, The Fabergé Entanglement, is a spy-fy-suspense-adventure, with two characters deeply attracted to each other (so a dash of romance, well…maybe more than a dash.) This novel is more easily definable, and I’ve kept to the conventions of the genre, but on my terms. Still, it's a bit off-kilter.

Who are your favourite authors?
I greatly admire the work of Adam Hall. His work is a great inspiration for me. When I was younger I enjoyed Robert Heinlein when I was going through my adolescent Science Fiction phase. Lately, in that genre I read Robert Charles Wilson, Octavia Butler, Sara King and Hannu Rajaniemi. I enjoy Tim Powers, and Taylor Stevens’ Vanessa Michael Munroe series. I savor Nordic Noir. The last book I read that blew me away was “Shantaram” by Gregory David Roberts.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
I love both Saber and Steele. Asking to choose one is like asking me to choose my favorite child. They are both more complex than they first appear. Both have had a hard time in life. Both are struggling, albeit in different ways with identity, intimacy, and loss.

Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?
It’s a fun book. Who doesn’t want an escape for a few hours or so? If you want to take it in layers, you can do that. It’s very densely written in that sense. There are some serious themes in the book, concerning both Saber and Steele. Saber has issues she has not acknowledged in her life. Steele is deeply conflicted about his work. He lies for a living. His betrayal of trust is more than second nature, for him it’s a matter of survival. And he kills people.

Who designed the cover?
Damonza, a studio in South Africa, designed the cover for The Fabergé Entanglement.

How do you research your books?
I have actually been to all of the locations mentioned in my books, and this informs the descriptions with an authenticity that informs the rest of the book. I research nearly constantly, drawing ideas and plot points from technology. The SonicStar is real. It’s just not been rolled out yet. I also use resources that decline to be named in the Acknowledgements.

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
I am very fond of my characters, Saber and Steele and want to write more about them and their unique chemistry. They are very different people; yet compliment each other so well. Right now, in progress, I have them appearing in Havana, Cuba, Tangiers, Morocco and Japan. The story concerns a very new, cutting edge, military technology that is very real and very dangerous. I have access to documents that are not classified but they are not widely available to the public.

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
I learned to read at a very early age. I consumed books shelf by shelf at my school library. I started to write my own stories to amuse myself. In college I worked on short stories and took every writing course I could find. I discovered the satisfaction there is in writing, and the power in self-expression. Once I unshackled myself from the idea that what I wrote had to be literature, I was off! I was even able to write a couple of papers as fictional stories. My professors weren’t sure they should accept this form, but they were happily entertained by the results. For a while I wrote spec (speculation) scripts (I lived in LA, that’s what people do there!)  Then, I thought I’d try long form. I haven’t looked back. I love the room long form gives me to build characters and situations and emotions.

What are you currently reading?
“The Spy Who Came in from the Cold” I’m enjoying it immensely. I’m re-reading it so I can read John le Carré’s latest. That man is incredible, still writing in his 80s. I’m so impressed with his writing.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I read. A lot. I work on language study. I’m usually planning a trip somewhere for a new adventure of my own. I just returned from Japan hiking parts of the Nakasendo Trail, from Kyoto to Tokyo. I love Japan! A friend wants to take a trip in a few months and so far it sounds like we’re heading to Peru.


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How to Be Your Own Editor: 5 Common Mistakes to Fix

How to Be Your Own Editor: 5 Common Mistakes to Fix, guest post by Farzana Doctor

Here are some common problems I see new writers make. When editing my own work, I use the following checklist:

1.  Overused words
        Examples: very, only, just, always, never, already, every, often, almost, got, feel, seem, started to, began to, tried to.
        We need to use these words sometimes. Double-check if they are necessary, or cluttering up your page.
        Here’s a link to a more comprehensive list: http://theadventurouswriter.com/blogwriting/51-over-used-adverbs-nouns-and-cliches-in-writing/

2. Repetitive words
        Repetitive words within the same page, when not used intentionally, can be annoying for a reader.
        Read aloud to catch your repetitive words.
        If you have a hunch you’ve used a unique word too many times (and we do this unconsciously, certain words becoming mind-worms), do a document search.
        Example: while editing my last novel, I wondered if I’d used the word “extraneous” too often. In a search, it came up 12 times. I reviewed each use and assessed whether a synonym might be appropriate. 

3.  Telling vs. Showing
        We need both of these narrative strategies, but look for places where you could show more and tell less.
        Ask yourself: do I get “dulled out” while reading? Do I feel like skipping ahead?
        An example of telling:
        Farzana gets nervous while teaching.
        A (silly) example of showing:
        “Okay, give me an example of, um, showing?” Farzana took a sip of coffee, then coughed, sputtering it onto her laptop. She scanned the room, wondering why that guy in the back was smirking at her.

4. Over-writing
        Most early drafts require cuts.
        Ask yourself:
        have I said the same thing twice?
        would ½ the description be more powerful?
        have I shown and told (unnecessarily) within the same passage?
        As above, look for places where you feel bored by your own writing.

5. Not getting feedback
        When I was a new writer, I didn’t show my work to others. I was nervous to expose myself to criticism.
        Now, I see feedback as a gift. My early readers find the mistakes I don’t. They offer solutions that make the work stronger.
        Learn the art of receiving feedback.
        Find other writers, or avid readers, and ask for feedback. Urge them to be honest, and remind them that they won’t hurt your feelings. Ask them to comment on your prose, characters, settings, plot etc.
        Thank them for their feedback. Do not get defensive. Listen and take notes. Ask clarifying questions only.
        Take a few days to process their ideas. You may decide to follow all or only some of their advice. Sometimes I find that feedback inspires brand new ideas.

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment on this checklist. I love feedback!

Farzana Doctor is the author of three novels: Stealing Nasreen, Six Metres of Pavement (which was a 2012 Lambda Literary Award and the 2017 One Book One Brampton winner) and the recently released All Inclusive which was a Kobo and National Post Best Book of the Year. Farzana was named one of CBC Books’ “Ten Canadian Women Writers You Need to Read Now”. She is also a Registered Social Worker with a part-time psychotherapy practice. She curates the Brockton Writers Series.

Twitter: @farzanadoctor
Instagram: @farzanadoctor

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How to Be Your Own Editor: 5 Common Mistakes to Fix, guest post by Farzana Doctor


Book Showcase: Ancients of Greater Bharat​ by M. Vizhakat​

Book Showcase: Ancients of Greater Bharat​ by M. Vizhakat​

​: Ancients of Greater Bharat​
​: M. Vizhakat​


Purchasing link

Book Showcase: Ancients of Greater Bharat​ by M. Vizhakat​
About the book: 

Profound wisdom regarding the origin of mankind lay hidden within ancient scriptures called Vedas, even while planet Prithvi is edging towards Pralay…

Long after Ramāyan and Mahābharat, but well before sages like Valmiki and Vyasa actually scripted them into epics, an ancient, dark and sinister entity threatens to subjugate the world, using mind as an effective weapon of war…

Who is this immortal nemesis from prehistoric times? Will spiritual warrior Haŕa be able to overcome his personal crisis and stand up against this grave threat to humanity? Will Hanumān help him wield Rama’s legendary kundalini weapon called Shārang? Will Uma be able to free herself from Mahisha’s clutches?

This fast-paced, action-packed mythological science fiction takes you through many exotic ancient civilisations, including a distant planet with milky-white oceans known as Vaikunth…

About the Author

Book Showcase: Ancients of Greater Bharat​ by M. Vizhakat​
M. Vizhakat is a decorated army veteran, who's field of interests include exploring the close connection between action, philosophy, science and spirituality.

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Excerpt: A Face to Die For by Andrea Kane

Excerpt: A Face to Die For by Andrea Kane

Title: A Face to Die For
Author: Andrea Kane

About the book:

Excerpt: A Face to Die For by Andrea Kane
Urban legend says that everyone has a double, or exact look-alike. Would you search for yours? And if you found them, would you risk your life for theirs?
When a chance encounter outside the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan results in mistaken identity, wedding planner Gia Russo is curious to find the person whose cell phone picture has been shown her—veterinarian Dr. Danielle Murano, her exact look-alike. A Facebook private message blossoms into a budding, long-distance friendship, and the two women agree to meet in New York and see the truth for their own eyes.
Shocked at the sight of one another, they quickly bond over drinks, childhood pictures and an uncanny feeling that they share more than just a visual resemblance. Together they decide to end the speculation and undergo DNA testing for siblingship. But when the tests confirm they’re identical twins, more questions are raised than answered.
And with good reason. The same mysterious forces that separated the sisters years ago are still at large, frantic to keep the two women apart. Their attempts to do so become more violent once it becomes clear that the two sisters have found each other. But when the danger escalates and the sisters fear for their lives, Gia turns to a former client of her wedding planning company, Marc Devereraux of Forensic Instincts, for help.
Despite being embroiled in another case, Forensic Instincts agrees to help Gia and Danielle discover who has been threatening them. And when Forensic Instincts discovers that this case is linked to the [Mafia, Organized Crime], they must dig up skeletons better left buried, and get at the frightening truth without destroying the sisters and the families they have grown to love.


Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York
March 1990
Anthony slid behind the wheel of his Ford Taurus and started it up, cranking up the heat the instant the engine turned over. It was friggin’ freezing outside. Even in the five minutes it had taken him to walk the babysitter to her front door, the temperature outside felt like it had dropped ten degrees, and his car was an icebox.
Shivering, he zipped his parka up as far as it would go and gripped the steering wheel, maneuvering the car away from the curb. He’d finally shared an evening out with his wife. It should have eased the knot in his gut. After all, it had been the first time that he and Carla had left their infants with a sitter since the babies had been born a month ago. And Judy was the perfect babysitter—a good girl from a good family, one who studied rather than doing drugs and screwing horny guys.
Still, dinner had been strained.
Anthony had only picked at his manicotti, his favorite dish at Raimo’s. His mind was far away, and acid kept building up in his stomach.
Carla couldn’t stop worrying and talking about the babies. She’d checked her watch a dozen times, intermittently giving Anthony puzzled looks and asking if he was okay.
Each time she asked, he’d assure her that he was fine, just exhausted from work and midnight feedings.
As if to contradict his words, some new waiter had dropped a tray of dishes on the floor, and Anthony had nearly jumped out of his skin at the crash.
Carla rose, asking him to order her another drink and to get one for himself to calm his nerves. Giving in to her new-mother concerns, she went to the pay phone in the back to call Judy for an update. So far, so good, Judy had reported. But that didn’t totally erase Carla’s fretting. She tried her best to be bright and chatty, but the truth was that, as this point, she was ready to go. She’d fiddled with her napkin and sipped at her drink, making small talk and glancing at the door.
Getting the hell out of there had worked for Anthony. He was more than ready to be home with his family and not out in the open. He’d use his fatigue as an excuse. He had to continue keeping the inevitable from Carla, until he had no choice but to tell her. He’d soften the blow as best he could. But the important thing was that his family would be protected at all costs.
Now, the heat in his car roared to life, warming his body but doing nothing to extinguish his inner chill. He knew the rules. No transgression went unpunished.
Why the hell had he been so preoccupied with new fatherhood that he’d forgotten to make his collections from the designated list of construction foremen these past two weeks? That in itself was a huge black mark against him—one he’d be punished for. But the outcome of his stupidity opened the door to a far more lethal punishment. Someone else had been sent to handle his route, and his money. They would have collected and turned over twice the amount he’d been handing over. And that meant he’d better be able to explain the discrepancy—assuming he’d even be asked before he was killed.
Please God, let him have that chance. He was just on the verge of buying that gas station he’d been single-mindedly building his bank account for, just about to provide for his family’s future.
And now this.
With shaking hands, Anthony switched on the radio, gritting his teeth as Madonna’s voice blasted off the windows, followed by Michael Jackson’s. He turned the dial until finally the soothing tones of Frank Sinatra’s voice filled the car. Sinatra. Perfect. The Chairman of the Board’s crooning was just the right medicine to ease his clawing anxiety.
He reached his street and turned down the line of small brick row houses, all identical in their flat lines, gated fronts, and tiny gardens. There was a certain comfort and peace about the sameness of it all; it made it feel like a neighborhood.
Would he ever feel that sense of comfort and peace again?
He pulled into his narrow driveway and spotted Carla standing at the front door with a broad smile, giving him a thumbs-up. That meant the infants had come through their first babysitting experience with flying colors.
He forced himself to smile back, but even as he did, his gaze swept the area around the house to see if he was alone. It appeared so. Quickly, he turned off the car and then made the frigid dash to his house.
He couldn’t shut and lock the door behind him fast enough.
The soothing warmth from the heating system enveloped him when he stepped inside. Comfort in yet another form. He was home. Carla and the babies were safe. And for the moment, so was he.
With a wave of relief—however temporary—he let the tension in his body ease. He shrugged out of his jacket and hung it on the coatrack.
“You look happy,” he teased Carla. “What’s the final report?”
Carla’s eyes twinkled. “They were perfect. Judy said they’d only woken up once for their bottles and a diaper change. Now they’re sleeping like little angels.”
“Good.” Anthony looped an arm around his wife’s shoulders and led her toward the living room. “How about a nightcap before bed—to celebrate the success of our first night out?”
“That sounds wonderful.” Carla walked beside him, making a left into their comfortable living room.
They’d barely taken half a dozen steps when a tall masked man dressed in black rose from behind the large armchair, his .22 caliber pistol raised.
“Hello, Anthony.”
Anthony knew that voice only too well, and it elicited the chilling knowledge that there was no way out. No threats. Just death. “Welcome home.”
Excerpt from A Face to Die For by Andrea Kane. Copyright © 2017 by Andrea Kane. Reproduced with permission from Bonnie Meadow Publishing LLC. All rights reserved.
Purchasing link: http://amzn.to/2xif8Rl
About the Author:

Excerpt: A Face to Die For by Andrea Kane
Andrea Kane is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-eight novels, including fourteen psychological thrillers and fourteen historical romantic suspense titles. With her signature style, Kane creates unforgettable characters and confronts them with life-threatening danger. As a master of suspense, she weaves them into exciting, carefully-researched stories, pushing them to the edge—and keeping her readers up all night.
Kane’s first contemporary suspense thriller, Run for Your Life, became an instant New York Times bestseller. She followed with a string of bestselling psychological thrillers including No Way Out, Twisted, and Drawn in Blood.
Her latest storytelling triumph, A Face To Die For, extends the Forensic Instincts legacy where a dynamic, eclectic team of maverick investigators continue to solve seemingly impossible cases while walking a fine line between assisting and enraging law enforcement. The first showcase of their talents came with the New York Times bestseller, The Girl Who Disappeared Twice, followed by The Line Between Here and Gone, The Stranger You Know, The Silence that Speaks and The Murder That Never Was.
Kane’s beloved historical romantic suspense novels include My Heart’s Desire, Samantha, The Last Duke, and Wishes in the Wind.
With a worldwide following of passionate readers, her books have been published in more than twenty languages.
Kane lives in New Jersey with her husband and family. She’s an avid crossword puzzle solver and a diehard Yankees fan. Otherwise, she’s either writing or playing with her Pomeranian, Mischief, who does his best to keep her from writing.

Catch Up With Andrea Kane On: Website 🔗Goodreads 🔗Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

Excerpt: A Face to Die For by Andrea Kane


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