Apr 06

Featured Author: Jamallah Bergman – The Lady of Gladstone Manor

Another new release and we’ve got it here!  Author Jamallah Bergman has a new one out called “The Lady of Gladstone Manor”.  The cover is so elegant!

Title:  The Lady of Gladstone Manor

Author:  Jamallah Bergman

Genre: Romance

Length: 111 pages

Blurb:

Jackson Belle, the son of a prominent family of landscapers and architects whose work has been the “Showcase of the South”, goes to take what he thinks is a routine job for his father who is soon in bed after a fall. He soon finds himself going to Gladstone Manor, a home well known in town as a house that once would host grand balls and parties for the town. But is nothing more than a shell of its former glorious self. Soon Jackson finds himself diving deep within the mystery of Gladstone Manor and its owner Brooke Langley.

Brooke Langley’s life at Gladstone Manor at one time was wonderful and she enjoyed the many memories she had as a child, watching the many people coming to the parties and balls that her parents would give. But a tragic accident leaves Brooke in seclusion, afraid of what the world outside of the Manor would think of her now. It isn’t until Jackson Belle comes into her life and shows her that someone does care that slowly starts to come out to the world and soon finds true love as well.

Excerpt: 

“Let me ask you this, do you remember Mr. Langley’s daughter?”

“You mean, Brooke,” Jackson’s mother interjected as she came in with a tray holding Howard’s lunch.

“Brooke, that’s her name, right?”

“Oh yes, I remember Brooke, she was such a sweet child. Always smiling and making everybody around her laugh. Such a beautiful child with so much life in her until that evil woman of a stepmother messed her up. I remember Walter was so heartbroken by what happened. He knew they didn’t get along because they were like oil and water, they just didn’t mix well. She hated Brooke because she was the apple of Walter’s eye and a constant reminder of her late mother. She got more of his attention and her stepmother hated her with a passion because of that. When she had the accident, her father had her going to all kinds of doctors and surgeons, even sent her to Europe to see a specialist who dealt with people in her situation. After Walter died, she stayed in Europe for the longest time. Some people thought that she had passed away but then one day, word got out that groceries and other things were being delivered to the Manor.” She stared at the photo of Brooke by the fountain.

That entire day while at his father’s, they both worked on the plans for the garden. He would go from his father’s work area to his father’s bedroom to see what he thought of the plans so far.

“Sweetheart, you have a phone call. I think it’s from the Manor,” Nancy said, popping her head in the room while Jackson drew on the blueprint.

Picking up the phone, Jackson said, “Hello.”

“Hello, Mr. Belle, this is Brooke Langley calling,” a soft, mellow voice said on the other end.

“Hello, Ms. Langley, it’s nice to finally hear from you. How are you?”

“Fine, thank you, I talked with Nora and I just wanted to see what your point of view on the condition of the garden.”

“Well, I will tell you that it needs plenty of work but it’s a job that I look forward to starting. I am always up for a challenge. I told Nora I wanted you to make a list of things you might want to see in your garden. Have you started yet?”

“Yes, I have. I was trying to go by memory, but there’s plenty I want to add. I have to say I’m pretty excited that this is being done. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the garden the way it was before.”

Her voice entranced Jackson. “I can come get the list from you if you want. That way, I can show you what I have so far.” Jackson replied, hoping she would agree to meet in person.

At first, he heard nothing and thought that maybe she hung up the phone. “Hello? Are you there, Ms. Langley?”

“Yes, I’m still here. I don’t think it would be a good idea to meet just yet. I can have Nora give you the list when you get here, if that’s all right?”

“That would be just fine, Ms. Langley. But I do hope to get the chance to actually see you one of these days, face to face.”

“Take care, Mr. Belle.” She hung up.

The conversation left Jackson with a sense of accomplishment in what he’d done so far. Also, he felt curious, wondering who the woman behind the voice was.

Buy links:
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VPPXAD8
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00VPPXAD8…
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/…/e…/the-lady-of-gladstone-manor

Connect with Jamallah:
Facebook Author Page
Twitter
Amazon Author Page
Barnes and Noble Author Page

Apr 01

#ListMission: Today’s Playlist – April 1

I’ve embarked on a new project – making lists.  It’s a fun way to fill the time between more lengthy blog posts and it gives me the chance to pause a little and do a little digital scrap booking.  Keep an eye on this space!

 

April1-Playlist

Mar 27

Five Fierce Women of March – Entertainment Edition

March is a huge birthday month in my house.  Two of my three children were born in March, I’m at the end of March, and many of my favorite women (and men) were born in March.  Since March is a focus on Women’s History, let’s take a look at five of them.

Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan!

From Wikipedia:  Chaka Khan was born Yvette Marie Stevens on March 23, 1953 into an artistic, bohemian household in Chicago, Illinois. She was the eldest of five children to Charles Stevens and Sandra Coleman, and has described her father Charles as a beatnik and her mother as ‘able to do anything’ (bolding mine)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QUwDBF53bc]

 Gloria Swanson

Gloria Swanson

From Wikipedia:   an American actress, singer, and producer perhaps best known for her role as Norma Desmond, a reclusive silent film star, in the critically acclaimed 1950 film, Sunset Boulevard. She was one of the most prominent stars during the silent film era as both an actress and a fashion icon, especially under the direction of Cecil B. DeMille.

 Diana Ross

Diana Ross

From Wikipedia:   an American singer, actress, record producer and an occasional songwriter. Born and raised in Detroit, she rose to fame as a founding member and lead singer of the vocal group the Supremes, which, during the 1960s, became Motown’s most successful act and is to this day America’s most successful vocal group as well as one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time. As part of the Supremes, Ross most notably rivaled the career of the Beatles in worldwide popularity…(bolding mine)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOH6SzDX3l4]

Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford

From Wikipedia:   a noted, Oscar-winning American film and television actress who started as a dancer and stage chorine.

She also, reportedly, disliked wire hangers……(not from Wikipedia)

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

Can’t leave out the Queen of Soul!  Always imitated, never duplicated, her voice soars above the rest.  Don’t believe me?  Listen to her version of Dr. Feelgood and if you’re not throwing your hands up for #church by the end of the song, then you are dead inside and might want to be checked for zombie-itis.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-2I1JKwIzo]

Go….be inspired!

Dahlia

Mar 26

Featured Author: Eden Royce – Open All Hours (Carnival Magic 2)

This is fresh off the press, new release this very day!  I have had the distinct pleasure of beta reading this author’s work and I am eager to read her newest story.  Yes, I have tendency to prattle on and on, but I’m going to – barely – restrain myself and let the work speak for itself.

Title:  Open All Hours (Carnival Magic 2)

Author:  Eden Royce

Publisher:  Changeling Press

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Theme: Interracial/MultiCultural, Shapeshifters (Other), Magic, Big Beautiful Women

Series: Carnival Magic (#2)

Length: Novella

Page Count: 72

Blurb: Leesa Cobb has been cursed to shift form into a black cat. Can Vol, the owner of a nearby diner and a grizzly bear shifter himself, help her reverse the spell?

If not, can he convince Leesa that he wants her — no matter what her species?

Excerpt: 

“Aw, darlin’, how’d you get in here?”

The small black cat let Vol reach down and slide his huge hand under her fuzzy belly. Once he made contact, it seemed to startle her into movement.

“No, you don’t.” He caught her mid-leap and brought her to his massive chest. “I’m not going to hurt you, little one.”

The cat trembled in his grip and looked down, then back up, giving a forlorn cry. He rubbed under its furry neck and was rewarded with a short rumbling purr. No collar, and while its body was light, it was sleek and muscular. So, it wasn’t a stray. He’d keep an eye out for whoever the little beauty belonged to. There was no way he was going to leave it to the October night. The temperature was plummeting and people had a suspicion of black cats. He knew as well as anyone that people tend to destroy what they didn’t understand. As he looked into the kitten’s frightened eyes and gently loosened her tiny claws from his T-shirt, he knew he wouldn’t let that happen to her.

Her? He hadn’t checked the little cat to find out her gender, but something just felt right to refer to her as a female. What was he going to do about keeping her until he could find her a home? He lived over the diner and health inspectors tended to drop in at any moment. Vol felt a tremor in the cat’s hollow belly and gave a chuckle. “Well, at least I can find you something to eat. The special’s tuna.”

Inside the restaurant was warm and well lit, the décor a fifties theme, complete with turquoise vinyl bar stools and a functioning jukebox. Earth Angel played from the speakers, the classic song covered quite well by a modern band. The wait staff was also modern in their choice to mix tattoos and piercings with biker and rockabilly clothing. A server came by with a full face of pinup girl makeup and a bald, tattooed skull. The low hum of chatter mixed with the sizzle from the flat-top grill, and the scent of seared meat made the kitten wail again.

“Two Tone!” Vol yelled from the back doorway.

A black man turned from the grill at the sound of his name. A large irregularly shaped mark covered one side of his cheek and descended to part of his neck in pale, white skin. “Yo, Vol. You been out there sleeping or something?” Tone looked around the wall that separated the kitchen from the back door.

“No, man. Something else entirely.” He pulled the struggling kitten closer to his chest. “We got any more tuna?”

The cat hissed, pushing away from the Vol’s chest with its front paws.

“Yeah, we got some.” He gestured toward the animal. “But I don’t think he’s cool with fish.”

“She,” Vol corrected, unsure of why he did so.

Buy links:  Open All Hours – Buy Now!

*Will be updated when other buy links come out – right now it’s exclusive to Changeling Press!

Mar 11

Recipe Wednesday – One Bowl Brownies

bROWNIESI had to make a decision between another recipe and this one, and decided on this one because, well, chocolate.  This is an easy, one bowl mix that I was able to mix up in less than fifteen minutes.  Depending on the type of chocolate you use, this recipe can be a rich semi-sweet fudgy brownie, or a sweeter, more milk chocolate taste.

Whatever chocolate you want to use, enjoy these quick brownies.

wpid-2015-03-05-12.24.44.jpg.jpeg

Ingredients

9 ounces of chocolate  – (the darker the chocolate, the richer the taste) I used semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 ounces of salted butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs and 1 yolk
1 tsp vanilla

 

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Grease a 8 x 8 inch pan.  (Or line it with parchment paper

3.  Using a glass bowl (microwave safe), melt th butter and chocolate in 30 second shifts.  I find that if I cut the butter into tablespoons and use chocolate chips, I only need to do 2-30 second rounds with a stir in-between.  When the bowl comes out for the second time, stir, stir, stir….the residual heat will melt the chocolate.

4.  Add sugar and stir, stir, stir.  Add eggs, yolk and then your flour.  Stir the mixture until it is just combine.  Do not over mix your batter.

5.  Pour this lovely, chocolate-laden batter into your greased pan and back for 25-30 minutes.

6.  Remove from oven and let the brownies cool for at least 30 min, then cut as desired.

I promise, you will love these!!!

wpid-2015-03-05-12.28.30.jpg.jpeg

Dahlia

 

 

 

Mar 03

Movie Quotes of the Seventies – My Picks

You all know that I go on kicks, and right now is the movie quote kick.  So, in order not to leave you out of my musings, here’s some seventies movie quotes that are near and dear to me.  Of course, feel free to use them, share them, tweet them or simply read them and laugh, then go find the movie they’re from, cuz some of those movies were pretty good.

Either way, enjoy!

The Godfather – The best thing about this line is not only was it practical, it was also improvised.  Why go through all the trouble of buy cannoli, then leave it in the car with a dead man?

Godfather - Cannoli

 

Superman – Christopher Reeve, the one, the only Superman.  And when he catches Lois Lane?  She’s not all calm, cool and collected…who would be?  This man is ….flying!!!

Superman

 

Anyone who has been following me the past couple of years, knows that the Dirty Harry movies are some of my favorite movies to watch.  Clint Eastwood ain’t too hard on the eyes either. This is quite a long quote, but I know it by heart.

Dirty Harry

 

I was introduced to Animal House by my husband, late in life, but I must say…it’s a pretty funny movie. Add that to a young Kevin Bacon getting paddled and you’ve got a hit.

Animal House

 

And finally, if you have not seen Network, you are missing out on a gem of a film.  It’s not a fun film, it’ll make you think, but it’s interesting to see a movie made so long ago that actually speaks to the nature of television today.

Network

 

I hope you enjoyed this little stroll down memory lane!

Dahlia

Feb 03

Giving Tuesday: To Authors and Writers and other Recipients of Vicious Reviews

Bad Review…or How I learned to stop worrying about the noise around me and just write….

If you are on Facebook or Twitter or a member of any number of groups that involve readers and writers, you’ve seen it or heard it.

“I got a bad review.”

“I got a bad review…can you vote it down for me?”

“I got a bad review, can I get it removed?”

“Rant rant rant against bad reviews……”

“These people who write bad reviews don’t understand how much it takes to create….to write….to imagine…to dream…”

I’ll tell ya, honey, to this last one – no, they don’t, nor do they care.

Now, I’ve written before how people who write reviews should be kind and constructive and all that jazz.  Real nice, right?  All kum ba ya and nice-nice, yakity yak.

Today, I’m totally putting my thing down, flipping it and reversing it.

Go read some of the review of some of the most popular writers.  You think your review is bad?  Come on now.  Your review writers are amateurs.

They.Are.Vicious.  (And well-deserved, some of them, if you ask me,)

 

Your review writers are amateurs compared to these gems:

“This is easily one of the worst books I’ve ever read. And bear in mind that I’ve read John Grisham.”(This only made me laugh because….I’m not John Grisham, who has to wipe his tears with thousand dollar bills….)

 

Point is authors, writers, creators….you are going to be criticized and critized in the following ways:

1.  Viciously

2.  Nastily

3.  Unfairly

4.  Constructively

5.  Cruelly

6.  Harshly

7.  Heartlessly

8.  Callously

Check out that list again.  Now read it again.  Again.

Hurts, don’t it?

It’s going to happen.  This, I can promise you. And, more than once.

The one thing you have to consider – are you going to let it stop you?  Are you going to waste your time lamenting to your author friends how you’re so misunderstood?  How you wish this evil review writer would try to write a book and see how hard it is?  Look up quotes saying it’s easy to criticize but hard to create?

I did it.  Until I realized:

1.  What a phenomenal waste of time it is

2.  How much power it gives the person who wrote the thing in the first place

3.  What a phenomenal waste of time it is

4.  How it cripples your creative mojo

5.  Did I mention how much of a waste of time it is? Yes?  Well, mark it down again.

Critics

 

So the next time you wander over a particularly nasty review of your book, take heart that it doesn’t say this:

“Heed my warning. This is the worst book ever written.”

I promise you, this is a quote from an Amazon review.  To add insult to injury, the writer took the time to make NOTES and tick off every single thing they  found wrong in the book.  Just wow.  On top of that, over 90 percent of people who encountered the review found it helpful.  Yikes!

How about this:

“XXXX isn’t just a bad author, he’s a vile one.”

So the next time you want to gnash your teeth, weep and/or tear your hair out over a bad review, skip the drama and keep on keeping on.
Dahlia

 

Jan 30

Dahlia's Favorite Movie Quotes – Part I

5 famous movie quotesUnlike Hollywood, I’m letting you know right up front that there will be more of my favorite movie quotes in the future.  As you all know by now, I totally geek out about a lot of things, new gadgets, anything quotes, movies, trivia, etc. etc.

Today, I’m bringing the movie geekette out for a bit to lighten up your Friday with a five of my favorite movie quotation from…

5 Most Famous Movie Quotes

This is taken from a survey  conducted by Entertainment Magazine and references films up to 1998.  But don’t worry, later on the series, I will explore famous movie quotes from specific decades….I know, y’all can’t wait.

So, let’s go! And if a particular quote moves you, I’ve created a tidy little picture that you can feel free to share!

Casablanca

Whisky

You Talking to me

James Bond

Mae West Movie Quote

 

Out of these, which one is your favorite?  Leave it in the comments!

Dahlia

Jan 29

Recipe Wednesday – Chicken Kiev

From time to time, I do get a little industrious in the kitchen and I’ve found this is one of my favorite recipes to dust off.  I hope you’ll like it as much as my family does.

 

INGREDIENTS:

Butter Mixture:
1/2  cup butter
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
For Chicken:
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts – cut in half
2 eggs
3 tbs water
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
toothpicks

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Combine 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. On a 6×6 inch piece of aluminum foil, spread mixture to about 2×3 inches. Freeze until firm.
2.  Take the chicken breast halves, place each between two pieces of waxed paper and pound it with a mallet until about 1/4 inch in thickness.  Season  with salt, pepper and garlic powder
3.  When butter mixture is firm, remove from freezer and cut into 6 equal pieces. Place one piece of butter on each chicken breast. Fold in edges of chicken and then roll to encase the butter completely. Jab toothpicks in to keep ’em rolled up.4.  Beat the eggs with cold water. Dip the chicken bundles into the egg mix, then into the seasoned bread crumbs.  Place on oiled baking tray.
5.  Bake the chicken rolls for about 20 minutes or until the middle is no longer pink.  Serve immediately!

Jan 23

5 Fandom Friday: Five Songs that Changed my Life

Hey, it’s Fandom Friday again!  Let me to a shout out to fellow geek bloggers Super Space Chick and The Nerdy Girle for organizing this, as always.  It certainly helps me stay on the blogging bandwagon.

 

fandom.5.friday

 

Any posts that have something to do with music, I’m there.

 

5 Songs That  Changed my life

Let’s get to it, shall we? Five songs that changed my life.

 

1.  Roxanne – The Police

Where can I start with this?  The spare, stripped musical arrangement?  The high, plaintive tenor of Sting?  Or the fact that this was a love song to “a lady of the night”.  I never knew what “red light district” meant before this song. i have every Police album.  Love them!

Video

2.  In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel

I had never heard of Peter Gabriel until his album “So”.  What remarkable album!  From the soulful Superstition-esque Sledgehammer to the slow, dreamy melodies of Mercy Street, it was a great listen.  But In Your Eyes was the cherry on that music cake.  I still love the song to this day, and I’ve never seen Say Anything.

Video

3.  Flashlight

I first heard this at a party in college, and just wow.  Nothing like George Clinton and the Funkadelics!

Video

4.  Mc Lyte – Cha Cha Cha

Yeah, there’s Salt n Pepa, Queen Latifah, Yo-Yo, Roxanne Shante, but Mc Lyte is the “dopest female you’ve heard thus far’.

Video

5.  Sweet Dreams – Eurythmics

How I love Annie Lennox’s hair and her androgynous look.  And her voice, a lovely alto that has lasted through the years.

Video

 

I hope you enjoyed!

 

Dahlia
@bohowriterchick

 

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