Friday, November 16, 2018

Louisiana Lagniappe: The Big Uneasy 3 by Pauline Baird Jones



A Reunion, a murder, and a wedding... What's next?

Becca Smith Poole should have known her forty-fifth high school reunion would be anything but normal - especially when a dead body turns up! Renowned for her problem-solving skills, Becca is determined to discover who the murderer is - and if her former high school crush is still as handsome as he was in their younger days. The first will take some time to solve, the second one took her breath away.

Retired detective Zach Baker has been lonely since the last of his Baker’s dozen moved out. When he sees Becca Smith’s picture in the “where are they now” brochure, he wonders if this might be a first chance for him with the gal he could never connect with in high school. But before he can ask her out, a murder breaks up the party.

Lucky for him, his son’s upcoming wedding is full of problems requiring Becca’s professional problem-solving touch. Can a retired cop and a mystery reading problem solver unmask a killer before the wedding? Even more challenging, can Zach convince Becca that there is no end date for falling in love?

Dive into the next installment of the Big Uneasy series that reviewers have said will “make the reader feel as if they’ve been plopped down right in the middle of the Big Easy.” Get Louisiana Lagniappe: The Big Uneasy 2.5 now!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Get a Look Into Montana Maverick by Debra Salonen

Do you enjoy reading books that feature older heroes and heroines? I do. There’s something to be said for life experience. For instance, in Montana Maverick, my heroine is on sabbatical from her teaching position to write a novel. She’s holed up in her mountain cabin through the holidays. She’s smart, well provisioned and prepared. Her years of experience comes in handy when the hero’s helicopter crashes on the mountain behind her on Christmas Eve.

Here's a little snippet written in the point of view of my hero's grandson:

JJ curled in a ball in the co-pilot seat, listening to the squeaks and moans and popping sounds as the helicopter settled into its death.
A lot noisier than Mom.
Her last sounds--the one time he snuck in to see her at the end--were low, ugly gasps that came from deep in her chest, like a trapped animal trying to crawl out. He would have done anything to make it stop, but everyone--the doctors, Grandpa, even, God--had given up trying to help her.
A few hours later she died.
Mom's death wasn't his fault, but this was.
He made a fist and pressed it to his gut to keep from throwing up.
He'd nearly killed them all.
Maybe I did.
They'd crash landed in the middle of nowhere in a freaking blizzard. They'd probably freeze to death before help arrived.
He leaned sideways to look into the back seat.
Bravo was strapped in his seat, crying. His nose a snotty mess, like usual. The kid cried more often than Annie, who was a girl.
JJ got to his knees so he could check on Mystic. He'd die if Mystic was dead. His mother gave her life for that baby. Mom had refused any sort of cancer treatment for fear it would hurt her baby. Mystic River Landry. Mom had the name picked out before the doctor confirmed the baby was a girl.
If Mystic died so soon after Mom, JJ would be glad to freeze to death. At least he wouldn't have to live with that guilt, too.
"You okay, buddy?" Hank asked in the pilot's seat beside him. Hank. To the little ones he was Grandpa, but JJ used his given name because that's how Mom always addressed her father.
JJ swallowed hard to keep from crying. He had to man up.
Be brave, my love. I'm counting on you to keep it together for the sake of the little ones, Mom said before she got bad.
"Yeah. I'm okay. But, your bird..." Hank always called the helicopter a bird. The thing even had a name, but JJ couldn't remember it. "I...I'm sorry."
Hank, who appeared to be concentrating hard on assessing their situation, gave JJ a questioning look. "Sorry for wha...? No," his grandfather said sternly, his deep voice going hard and serious. "This is not your fault, JJ. Something mechanical gave out. I heard a pop right before the rotor went wonky.
"Could have been from the cold, the snow, structural fatigue, who knows? But whatever the cause, you are not to blame. Are we clear on that?"
JJ wanted to believe him, but JJ had been the one holding the stick when the popping noise happened. Hank had given him the controls so he could reach behind them to keep Mystic from choking to death. Annie and Bravo had been crying so loudly JJ thought his ears would bleed. He'd held the stick with all his might and tried to pretend the whole thing was a video game.
But what happened next wasn't pretend. The helicopter lurched and bucked like a living beast. His hold slipped. The bird tilted sideways--only for a second until he got it straightened out again--but that's when the bad sound happened. The helo cried out as if he'd shot it. The moaning and groaning and vibration seemed to move through his body as they fell.
He'd never been more scared in his entire life. He'd prayed to God, his dead mother and the dead father he barely remembered. He prayed hard. And, it looked like his prayers were answered.
They were still alive, right?
A gust of wind hit the helicopter--Betsy, he thought, that was the bird's name--rocking it enough to release a fine white mist of snow inside their shelter.
He tried to see into the blackness beyond the frosty plastic window, but there was nothing. Just a black snowy void.
His prayers might have saved them, but for how long?

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Man for Mom by Linda Wisdom



Parenting a teenager was trouble enough, but when the teenager turned matchmaker, it added up to hormone overload. Chelsea Brennan was satisfied with her life as a single mom. Her days were spent in Hot Stuff, her shop of classy lingerie, and her nights...well, she liked sitcoms. Only the summer separated Chelsea's seventeen-year-old daughter from a college far from home. Three short months to set her mom up with Mr. Right. Enter Mark Harrison--via the back door at midnight. When he showed up on the doorstep with teen Colleen, Chelsea nearly blew a gasket. Of course this hunk was too old for her daughter, but was he the man for Mom?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Ultimate Motivated Employee!: 7 steps to a more productive workforce by Gary Bose

$7.99 or FREE for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers


Are your employees unmotivated and uninspired? Can you imagine how much better it would be if they were all on the same page as you are? After 25 years of real world trial and error, Gary Brose has identified the seven steps to a more productive workforce. Simple techniques business owners and managers can use to engage their employees and get them all pulling together. This isn't a theory. These are proven methods identified by comparing notes with other managers and through years of agonizing trial and error in the real world, in real time with real flesh and blood employees! You will learn how to make several small changes in the way you interact with your workers that will get them to care as you do. You will see dozens of examples with real life stories from other business owners who understand the same principles. Don't wait until it is too late. Start today with this easy to read, entertaining and thought provoking book about YOU and your management style!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Dead Spaces: The Big Uneasy 2.0 by Pauline Baird Jones



Be careful what you dig for…

A forensic surgeon in the New Orleans Coroner’s Office—and part of her dad’s Baker’s Dozen—Hannah Baker thought she knew where to dig, how and what to slice, and when to walk away.

But when her big brother gets her involved in the exhumation of a couple of old coffins, she realizes the past can’t be ignored. Not when its been simmering up a big pile of trouble for longer than Hannah’s born days.

Only New Orleans could produce a “Baked” gumbo of the mob, shadowy figures from the past, annoying figures from the present, murders, attempted murders, and a really cute detective who is technically off limits on account of he’s her big brother’s partner.

Good thing NOPD Detective Logan Ferris doesn’t know the meaning of “off limits,” cuz once more the Big Easy is getting mighty uneasy.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Thanksgiving is Still a Holiday by Debra Salonen

Thanksgiving is still a holiday

I was cleaning out a storage room the other day and ran across some long-ago writings from 1988, including a complaint that Christmas was putting the squeeze on Thanksgiving—the forgotten holiday. In my opinion, it’s only gotten worse since then, but Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.

This year, my son is hosting. I love passing the gauntlet to the next generation, and I can’t wait to try out some new recipes to go with our old favorites.

Here’s a snippet from my book BLACK HILLS NATIVE SON. It mentions a recipe I’m going to try this year:  CRANBERRIES JALEPEÑO. (But we’re still eating turkey, not venison. ;-) )

She opened the door.
“Happy Thanksgiving,” they shouted in far from perfect harmony. Between them rested a large ice chest and they each carried a grocery bag in one arm.
“We brought dinner,” Damien said, a mischievous grin on his handsome face.
Char felt so many conflicting emotions she couldn’t keep them straight. Shock, surprise, hope, love. And fear. She’d let herself believe in this possibility before.
“What’s going on?”
Eli set his bag on the cooler and removed his gloves. “I wanted to call, but I got voted down. It was three to one in favor of surprise.”
“We spent the night with Uncle Joseph and his girlfriend, Mae,” Damien explained.
“She lives near Sturgis, remember?” Eli asked. “I was headed there and wound up here.”
She remembered their first encounter all too well. She’d relived that wild, impulsive kiss about a thousand times in her mind.
“Okay. So…you were in Sturgis and suddenly decided to surprise me with a Thanksgiving dinner?” She pointed at the cooler. “If there’s a turkey in there, I hope one of you knows how to cook it.”
Damien juggled the bag in his arms. “Naw. It’s a venison roast. Already cooked. Joseph said it was bad manners for Lakota men to go visiting without bringing a gift of food—preferably meat. We got up at dawn to start the coals and do a little prayer ceremony. Wild, huh?”
“At least we didn’t have to kill and dress the deer,” Eli said. “My bow skills are a little rusty. Not to mention the fact that I don’t have a license,” he added. To Char he said, “Can we come inside. It’s cold out here.”
Char stepped back to let them in.
“Cool place,” Damien said. “I like the teepee.”
She was so overcome by emotion she had to clear her throat twice to be able to speak. “Thanks.”
“You’re not working, are you?” Eli asked. “We were going to drive around back when we noticed your lights on.”
She locked the door behind them. The aroma of roasted meat filled the air, making her mouth water. “I was on the Web cam with my Aunt Pam. She told me the strangest thing. I—”
Eli exchanged a quick look with Damien before breaking in. “Sorry to interrupt but Joe wrote out specific instructions about how to finish cooking everything. Can we talk while we take this stuff next door?”
She reached for the bag Eli carried. “Sure. Of course.” She spotted two bottles of wine wedged between several plastic containers and a loaf of bread.
“Awesome spears,” Damien exclaimed as they wound through the displays. “They could do some damage.”
Char stifled a grin. “I’ll introduce you to the artist who carves them. How’s your hand, by the way? No lingering problems with your fine motor skills?”
“I’m better than a hundred percent. In fact, I’m two hundred percent. Unfortunately, some people don’t believe that. Some people won’t let me drive until I get written clearance from a doctor. Can you believe it?”
The two men argued about law versus common sense and personal liberty the entire time it took to unpack the cooler and the bags. Char loved every minute of the quick-witted, good-natured exchange. She wondered if this was the way real families were supposed to act.
“So, Char,” Eli said, handing her the last of the cold stuff to put away while Damien slid the roast into the oven and closed the door. “We wanted to—”
“Wait. Are these cranberries?” she asked, cracking the lid on the small plastic container.
“Yes, but they’re made with chipotle peppers. Mae says the recipe is killer with venison.”
Char looked at Damien. “Interesting. Learn something new every day.”

Since I’m not a fan of chipotle, here’s my version of that recipe:

Cranberries Jalapeño

12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries (rinsed and sorted)
½ C cranberry juice
½ C sugar
1-2 fresh jalapeño peppers, depending on desire heat level (I cook it whole then pull out when soft to remove seeds and chop)
sea salt to taste

Place all ingredients in saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat until the cranberries begin to burst. Remove peppers. Let rest until cool enough to cut. Remove seeds, mince. Add back into the cranberries. Stir to mix. Add desired salt to taste.

Serve warm.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

You can purchase BLACK HILLS NATIVE SON from my online bookstore: HERE and save 50% off using this coupon code: K2IR2OH4NN

Happy reading.


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