Monday, September 28, 2015

Adventures of a Bookish Foodie: Cooking for Paranormals is Bloody Hard Business

Several months ago, six authors decided to put together a stew (or is it a roux?) of new paranormal noir novelettes—the spirit of film noir with a paranormal twist. The name of the collection? Dark Secrets.


What does that have to do with food? Well, hey, even faeries have to eat. So here is a three-course meal from some of the authors, paranormal noir style. (Wait, you might say—is that two soup courses? Just roll with it, okay?)

The Appetizer: Faerie Gumbo, by Suzanne Johnson
In my paranormal noir novelette The Consort, the Faerie Winter Princess Tamara and faery-in-hiding Liandra are in New Orleans. The appetizer served in their French Quarter restaurant is gumbo.

Gumbo is all about the roux. Butter, flour, and water, browned to a dark burnt siena color. Cook it too short a time and it’s bland; cook it too long and it’s bitter. Faeries like their roux just right. Lazy people like the author like the slow-cooker version.

1/2 cup vegetable oil or butter
1/2 cup flour
1 c chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
1 pound andouille (or smoked sausage), sliced
1 Tbsp minced garlic
3 cups okra, sliced
½ tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp black pepper
1/2 fryer, cut into pieces, or six chicken thighs, skinned and salted
5 cups chicken broth
1 15-oz can stewed tomatoes
1/3 cup shallots, chopped

Heat oil to high temperature in a large skillet; add flour and whisk until it turns dark brown (if using butter, note that this happens pretty quickly—don’t overcook). Add onion, celery, green pepper and andouille and cook until vegetables are soft. Add garlic, okra, thyme, bay leaves, cayenne and black pepper and stir another five minutes. Place in a slow-cooker. Top with the chicken pieces, broth, and stewed tomatoes, and cook for 5-6 hours on low. Stir in green onions and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve alone or over steamed rice. Serves 6.

Main Course: Djinn Stew, by Mina Khan

My story in the DARK SECRETS Anthology is The Djinn in the Mirror, which is a paranormal Cinderella story with a young witch as the heroine and a wicked sexy djinn instead of a fairy godmother.
The heroine Dahlia, step-daughter of a power hungry wizard, works as a free housekeeper and cook for her step-father’s commune.  She is used to cooking meals that stretch, and stews are definitely part of her repertoire. Once the story is done with, Dahlia reclaims the house as her rightful inheritance and works with her heroic djinn Ashmael to turn it back into a working ranch and farm. Since she has a soft spot for Ash, it’s a given that she’d make a special stew for him reminiscent of his childhood. I’d imagine Moroccan flavors and spices would be pretty close to what he grew up eating.
Of course, Dahlia wouldn’t use frozen meatballs, but for myself and for most modern readers, I think convenience is a big plus. Additionally, my kids will eat anything with meatballs.
Personally I love this stew because the house smells amazing while it’s cooking and in the end you have a warm and comforting meal. As a food writer (my official day job), I try to come up with recipes which are healthy, interesting, and satisfying. I hope y’all enjoy the stew as much as my family does!

Mina’s Moroccan-Inspired Meatball Stew
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
5 cardamom pods, cracked
5 cloves
6 black peppercorns
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups diced potatoes
1 cup baby carrots
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups beef broth
Frozen meatballs (as many as you want)
1 jalapeno, de-seeded and minced (optional)
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 15.5-ounce canned garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drained
1 cup whole green or black olives
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1 5-ounce package baby spinach leaves
Salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus additional for garnish
1/4 cup thinly sliced chives or green onions

Serve over Brown Rice or Couscous with fresh chopped Cilantro and Lemon wedges to squeeze.

Directions:
1. Heat oil in a large pot or a dutch oven.
2. Add whole spices (cinnamon to peppercorns) and cook for about 2 minutes.
3. Add chopped onions, potatoes and carrots and cook until onions are softened.
4. Add in ground spices (turmeric to cumin), cook using bits of broth to keep the spices from sticking (but don't too much liquid at a time because you want to cook the rawness out of the spices)
5. When the spices look cooked, add in remaining broth, meatballs, jalapeno, tomatoes and chickpeas or garbanzos and apricots. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. (Potatoes and carrots should be tender by the end of it)
6. Add in olives and spinach, stir, Add salt to taste. Take off heat and top with fresh cilantro and green onions. Stir before serving over rice or couscous.

Dessert: Megan Hart’s Sweet as Sin Chocolate Muffins
From her paranormal noir novella, Dance with the Devil….because the devil loves him some chocolate!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

Mix dry ingredients: flour, sugar, 3/4 cup chocolate chips, cocoa powder and baking soda. Beat egg, yogurt, milk, and vegetable oil separately until smooth. Combine with chocolate mixture and stir until batter is just blended. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips.

Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

And there you have it—a perfectly paranormal noir meal just in time for fall!

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Dark Secrets:

A Paranormal Noir Anthology
Rachel Caine, Cynthia Eden,
Megan Hart, Suzanne Johnson, Jeffe Kennedy, Mina Khan

Genre: Paranormal Noir,
Romance, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication:  September 29, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-942840-05-3
ASIN: B0147D7JTU

Number of pages: Approx. 350
Word Count: Approx. 150,000

Cover Artist: Robin Ludwig Design

Book Description:

Six award-winning authors bring you this spellbinding collection of stories about dark desires, mysterious worlds, and danger that lurks in the shadows of the night. Where nothing is black and white; where things might not be as they seem; where magic and mayhem rule.

MARION, MISSING by Rachel Caine

Valentine is a detective with two major problems: he's been offered a kidnapping case that will probably get him killed, and his partner won't let him turn it down. He owes her that much … since his partner's a ghost, and he's the one who killed her. A dark, haunting noir mystery of love, hate and loss.

FEMME FATALE by Cynthia Eden

PI Mick Swayne has seen it all—his clients have included liars, thieves, and even killers. He thinks he can handle anything and anyone. Then she walks into his office. Savannah Moreau is beautiful, seductive, and…a vampire? The gorgeous vamp hires Mick to help her track down a killer who is hunting in Chicago, but as Mick slips deeper into Savannah’s paranormal world, he wonders if he can really trust his new client…

DANCE WITH THE DEVIL by Megan Hart

When the devil starts the music, you'd better get ready to dance.

Kathleen Murphy has sold her soul to the devil. Fame, fortune, success...everything she's ever dreamed of is hers, and all she has to do is the devil's bidding. When love comes knocking, the last thing in the world she wants to do is involve Jake in her twisted world, but the devil's started up the jukebox and Kathleen has no choice but to learn the steps.

THE CONSORT by Suzanne Johnson

Faulkner Hearne, the captain of the ruthless Fae Hunters, finds his duty at odds with his heart when he’s ordered to capture the consort of Faerie’s cruel Prince of Summer when she flees across the veil into modern New Orleans. Can Faulk turn Liandra over to a certain death at the hands of the prince, or will he risk a war with Faerie in order to save her? An all-new novella set in the Sentinels of New Orleans multiverse.

HEART’S BLOOD by Jeffe Kennedy, a Twelve Kingdoms novella

A dark fairytale retelling of a princess robbed of rank, husband and even her name.
Nix is nothing. The Princess Natilde—her former waiting woman—attacked her on the journey to wed Prince Cavan, stripping her of everything and taking her place. With no serving skills, Nix becomes a goose girl. Perhaps if Nix keeps her promise never to reveal who she really is, Natilde won’t carry out her vile threats. Prince Cavan entered his arranged marriage determined to have a congenial, if not loving relationship with his future queen—for the sake of both their kingdoms. But, his wife repels him more each day and he finds himself absurdly drawn to the lovely Nix....With broken vows, anguish and dark secrets between them, Cavan and Nix struggle to find the magic to restore what’s gone terribly wrong... if it ever can be.

THE DJINN IN THE MIRROR by Mina Khan, a Djinn World novella

A paranormal Cinderella story with a young witch as the heroine and a wicked, sexy djinn instead of a fairy godmother....Dahlia, the step-daughter of a power hungry wizard, promises to free a djinn trapped in a mirror if he rescues her from impending death. But Ashmael the djinn has his own agenda: to trick & seduce his way to freedom. The only problem is he ends up falling for Dahlia. Can he win his freedom and save the girl?



About the Authors:

Rachel Caine is the New York Times, USA Today, and #1 internationally bestselling author of more than 45 novels that span the categories of horror, suspense, urban fantasy, science fiction, media tie-in, historical, and young adult. She’s also the author of more than 100 short stories.


Twitter: @rachelcaine



Award-winning author Cynthia Eden writes dark tales of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. She is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller. Cynthia is also a three-time finalist for the prestigious RITA® award. Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over fifty novels and novellas.


Twitter: @cynthiaeden



Megan Hart is a USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and New York Times bestselling author who writes in many genres including mainstream fiction, erotic fiction, science fiction, romance, fantasy and horror.


Twitter: @megan_hart



Suzanne Johnson is the author of the award-winning Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series. Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is author of the award-winning Penton Legacy paranormal romance series as well as The Collectors romantic suspense series, including Lovely, Dark, and Deep, winner of the 2015 Holt Medallion and the 2015 Booksellers Best Award winner for romantic suspense. Her new Wildlife Wardens romantic suspense series begins in 2016 with Wild Man’s Bluff.


Twitter: @suzanne_johnson



Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, an erotic  contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera, the fantasy series The Twelve Kingdoms, and the erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under. The first of the Twelve Kingdoms books, The Mark of the Tala, has been nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose, has been nominated for best fantasy romance of the year. Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.


Twitter: @jeffekennedy



Award-winning author Mina Khan grew up in Bangladesh on stories of djinns, ghosts and monsters. These childhood fancies now color her fiction. She daydreams of hunky paranormal heroes, magic, mayhem and mischief and writes them down as stories. She is the author of the Djinn World Chronicles, including The Djinn’s Dilemma and A Tale of Two Djinns, as well as Wildfire, a paranormal mystery with cowboys and dragons.


Twitter: @SpiceBites


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Meet K.C Sprayberry: This Week's Treasured & Tipsy Timeslip Traveller

Travel and make-believe go hand in hand. Whether we're in the present or the past, in a haunted castle, an enchanted forest or a broken down building, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and traveling the world can bring the imagination to life.


mcmillaninn.com
It may only be September but as a true lover of Halloween I feel it's never too early for things to go bump in the night. With that being said, lets head to the Peach State. It may be known for southern hospitality and gorgeous historic sites but its also home to a ghost or two. Grab some popcorn, turn down the lights and let's follow this weeks guest K.C Sprayberry as she leads us on a ghost tour of Landry, Georgia where her latest novel Ghostes: Trouble to the Max takes place. This small town is located in the Northwest Georgia mountains, not far from Dalton and Chattanooga. Get ready for this hotbed of ghostly activity!

#Travel #AuthorInterview #TreasuredTipsyTimeslip #RachaelStapleton #Georgia #Landry #Spooky #Spookyplaces #Ghostes #KCSprayberry #SolsticePublishing

KC’s Top 5 Spooky Places in Landry Georgia

Landry, Georgia:

A typical Southern town, except for the extraordinary number of hauntings. Well… there has been a dry spell for the Ghosties. They long for adventure and dive into it headlong once they hear of a ghostly teller giving away free samples at the local bank. Their euphoria at defeating that ghost is soon deflated once they discover this is only the beginning.



Blogger Insert: Want to visit more of Georgia's most haunted places. Check out this website for a map to all the spooktacular places to go. 
http://www.hauntedplaces.org/state/Georgia

And if you’re ever traveling to Savannah, be sure to experience the Ghosts and Gravestones Haunted Tour. You can  explore the treacherous grounds with a guide and group. Here's a few teasers from their website.

http://ghosttoursinsavannah.com

The Olde Pink House, Savannah

A Georgian-style mansion built in 1771, the Olde Pink House is an elegant restaurant located in Savannah’s historic district on Reynolds Square. Originally the home of Joseph Habersham Jr., who built the house and lived in it until he died in 1802, today the Olde Pink House is known for its Southern-style cuisine with a modern twist. Yet it is its resident ghosts that draw the attention of ghost enthusiasts from around the country. The most often seen apparition is that of Habersham himself, who is said to appear mostly between October and March. Others have been spooked by the sight of a man dressed in Revolutionary-style clothing sitting at the end of the bar, only to disappear when people turn their back on him. The ghosts of slave children are perhaps the most disturbing sight for many folks; these mischievous apparitions are said to have locked patrons in the downstairs bathroom. Waitresses at the restaurant encourage guests to use the upstairs restroom.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta

Originally called the City Burial Place, Oakland Cemetery is the final resting place of close to 70,000 people, including governors, generals, clergyman and several famous Georgia residents. Within the sprawling, naturally beautiful 40 acres, the cemetery has many unknown buried and according to paranormal experts, numerous spirits, both angry and friendly. The most well known supernatural occurrence is that of the roll call of the dead. It is said that on the Confederate side of the burial grounds, people have heard names being called out in a military-like roll call. Responses to the names being called have also been heard. Other disturbing sightings include visitors seeing a Union soldier being hung from a tree and the sight of Jasper Newton Smith rising out of his statue in the middle of the night to watch over the cemetery. Legends, myths or truths? Visit the Oakland Cemetery to find out the truth.

Now back to our guest host K.C Sprayberry


First Baptist Church:


One wouldn’t think the biggest church in town would be haunted, but this one is, and that ghost has the screechiest voice ever conceived. He returns, along with Hailey’s sworn enemy, giving her shudders and leaves her confused as to what is going on.



The Old High School:


It takes massive research for Hailey and the Ghosties to learn that their problems lie within the walls of the building where their seventh grade classes are being held. The middle school is under renovation and they are lucky, or unlucky if you look at it from another perspective, to figure out a special type of ghost, fire demons, once infested the buildings where they’re currently going every day. Can Hailey and her crew get to the bottom of this problem before everything is ash?

The Police Station:

It’s safe at the police station. Right? Of course it is… or maybe it’s not so safe. Hailey believes she’s stopped the fire demons but then discovers 3 of them escaped and are about to unleash their wrath in the one place in town she thought safe. Can she, her usual crew, and their three new recruits stop those demons in time? Will crossing the streams work this time?



The Lake:

Celebration turns to fear. Everything is wet. The Ghosties thought they’d have a great summer, a time for fun and relaxing, until the Memorial Day barbecue/birthday party celebration for two of their recruits turns into a race against time. Will their action be the end of the Ghosties?




Ghostes: Trouble to the Max takes place in Landry, Georgia. This small town is located in the Northwest Georgia mountains, not far from Dalton and Chattanooga. Landry is a hotbed of ghostly activity, which keeps Hailey and her crew busy. She, Tink, Sly, Annie, and Freddie have always managed to control their ghosts but something new is happening. They have no clue how to handle ghosts that won’t talk to them. Even worse, Hailey can’t shake the feeling that something truly awful is on the horizon!











Monday, September 21, 2015

Adventures of a Bookish Foodie: Steak Pie, a Benefit of Being British by Marriage

Well, it was a beautiful hot week here in Ontario but it will officially be Autumn in two days. My flip flops aren't quite tucked away thanks to this Indian summer but my sweaters are near at hand and as with every change of the season, the end of summer means a change to how we eat. Thankfully there is something so comforting about cold weather food and I'm not the only one who thinks so. This weeks cozy chef, Christy Carlyle agrees and she says being married to a Scotsman means she gets to sample yummy cold weather British cuisine at home. Her husband doesn’t cook a lot, but he treats her to delicious UK staples when he does. One of the dishes she asks for most often is steak pie. His family favored a simple recipe that involves stewed meat in brown gravy covered by rolled puff pastry painted with a light egg wash.

#ChristyCarlyle #Adventuresofabookishfoodie‬
#ScottishstyleSteakPie #Britophile #OneScandalousKiss #fallrecipes  #Cozyrecipes ‬

I like to tease my Scottish husband that by marrying him, I became British by marriage. He’s not convinced. The truth is that I’m a longtime Britophile. My grandma’s father was from Cornwall, and though I never got to meet my great grandfather, Grandma talked about him often and her Michigan home was full of framed images of his Cornish village. Every once in a while she’d receive letters from her “English cousins,” and we’d read and re-read those letters as if they were precious treasures.


I studied history and English in college and always leaned toward British literature and history. The first time I ever travelled outside of the United States, it was to go on a university study trip to London. I haven’t been back to the UK for many years, but these days I get my fix by watching British costume dramas like Poldark. And, of course, I also write historical romance set in Britain. One Scandalous Kiss, the first in my Accidental Heirs series from Avon Impulse, is set in late Victorian era England. 

Scottish-style Steak Pie

1 lb. (at least) of stew meat

Water to cover meat

1 sheet of puff pastry

1-2 Oxo cubes (can be found online or at any shop that carries British foods)

1 egg yolk

Oil to coat stewing pan


Brown chunks of beef and then cover with water to stew for half an hour. Add 1-2 Oxo cubes to make a thin gravy among the beef. Once beef is tender and the gravy is savory to taste, add it to a small-ish casserole tin or dish.

Preheat your over to 350-400, depending on the type of dish you use.
Roll puff pastry large enough to cover the sides of the dish and gently lay it over the dish, allowing some pastry to hang down around the edges. Lightly brush egg yolk across the top of the pastry in order to encourage a firm, shiny crust. Bake until the pastry is cooked through and browned on top, about 20 minutes in a 350-400 preheated oven.
It’s a simple recipe, but it’s scrumptious! We usually make mashed potatoes and peas to accompany the steak pie. I have to admit that when I try to make it, the pastry usually sinks into the gravy, but it still tastes just as good.



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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Meet Rose Shababy: This Week's Treasured & Tipsy Timeslip Traveller

Travel and make-believe go hand in hand. Whether we're in the present or the past, in a haunted castle, an enchanted forest or a broken down building, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and traveling the world can bring the imagination to life.

When I think of Seattle, I think of rain, grunge, and hippies but today's guest is going to show us it's more than just a cool city filled with coffee shops where musicians and artists bleed their truth. Although that doesn't sound too bad. Please join this week's guest, Author Rose Shababy​, a savvy woman who can hang in a museum in the morning and take in a live, local band at night. As an author, she was told to write what she knew. She didn't know a lot of places, but she did know Seattle. Let's tour with her, shall we?  #Travel #AuthorInterview #TreasuredTipsyTimeslip #RachaelStapleton #Seattle #PikePlaceMarket #BethsCafe #Bainbridge #Bewitchingbooktours

I’ve lived in the inland northwest my entire life. The stunning landscape ranges from majestic mountains, to amber waves of grain, to lush rain forests as you get closer to the Pacific Northwest. Many come here, and stay, because of the natural beauty all around them.
I spent most of my youth in the wilderness of north Idaho and I love it, but the truth is I’m kind of a city girl. I love the amalgam of people, the culture, the food, the low hum of humanity at night when you think all is quiet. I like being able to find an open restaurant at two a.m., or going to a concert without driving 200 miles, having an art community of artists, actors, filmmakers, writers. It seemed like a pretty good idea to stick to the landscape I know, so I set my novel, The Blue Effect in Seattle, a city I’ve become more and more acquainted with as the years go by.
The Blue Effect is an urban sci-fi superhero novel with a hint of romance and a dash of Noir styling, which fits well, as most Noir fiction takes place in the dirty city.
But just because there are dark and dirty corners of every city, doesn’t mean there aren’t amazing things to see and/or do.

1.       Pike Place Market 






So, a lot of folks will tell you that Pike place Market is just a tourist attraction, but don’t let them scare you away. It’s been open for over 100 years, and from one end to the other is filled with locally grown produce, fresh fish, fresh flowers, crafters, artists, musicians and the list goes on.
Right under the Public Market sign, you’ll find Pike Place Fish Market, where you can buy everything from cod to lobster to oysters, and the fishmongers toss huge fish back and forth.


A few feet away you can take a narrow staircase down to Post Alley and check out the fascinating, albeit disgusting, gum wall and make your own donation.

Walk down the main plaza and you’ll find rows and rows of fresh, seasonal flowers, a beautiful and colorful sight.
You can buy produce from local farmers, some items you’ve never even heard of.
You’ll find a gourmet Italian food store, a comic book and novelty shop, a tea shop, a candy store, and dozens more.

And you can sit in one of the little restaurants, order up some crab cakes and chowder, and watch as the most eclectic group of people walk by. You’ll see men in suits, new age kids with dreadlocks, women in stilettos carrying dogs in purses, old hippies in cotton smocks, punk rockers, homeless people, black, white, Asian, Indian, Native American, you name it, you’ll see it, and they all come together to coexist in one marvelous, fantastic place.

2.       Beth’s Café

Whenever I go to Seattle, I have to stop for breakfast at Beth’s. The café looks like a biker bar, and the staff matches the exterior, but it has a certain charm. They’re open 24/7, so go anytime, although if you want breakfast on the weekend, you’ll probably have to wait a while (it’s worth it, I promise) because they don’t take reservations.



One of the most interesting things about Beth’s is that the walls are covered in drawings from the customers. From silly to interesting to strange and disturbing, at every skill level, you’ll spend as much time studying the walls as you will eating and talking to your companions. And every time you go in, it’s different.


Oh, and did I mention it’s the home of the 12 egg omelet?  My favorite, The Triple Bypass, which contains bacon, sausage, ham, double Swiss cheese and double American cheese. It comes with unlimited hash browns, and they serve the behemoth on a pizza platter. Beth’s has been featured on a variety of TV shows, including Man vs. Food. He lost, by the way.



3.       The Troll Under the Bridge

If you’re looking for a fun photo op, you have to go check out the Troll Under the Bridge, also known as the Fremont Troll, under the north end of the Aurora Bridge. As legend has it, he likes to snack cars, as evidenced by the Volkswagen firmly grasped in one hand. He’s an interactive art piece, so it’s alright to climb all over him. And, if you’re like me, when you’re ready for that picture, you can stick your head up his nose and pretend you’re a booger.




4.       Teatro ZinZanni


Teatro ZinZanni is a dinner theater/cabaret/vaudeville show in across from the Seattle Center. With only one other location in the world (San Francisco), it’s truly unique to the Northwest.

The building is a European cabaret tent, known as spiegeltents (mirror tents), consists of over 4000 pieces, and can be broken down by three or four people in a single day. Of course, this theater has been in one place for years.


They have singers, acrobatics, comedy, dancing/singing wait staff, you name it. They serve a delicious 5 course meal while you enjoy the show, and sometimes if you’re lucky, or unlucky depending on your perspective, they pull an audience member up on stage to participate. The tickets are a little pricey, but if you can swing it, it’s worth every penny.

5.       The Ferry to Bainbridge



Taking a ferry is kind of a must when visiting Seattle, and there’s no better place to ferry to than Bainbridge Island. Beautiful, lush, and with so much to see, it’s worth a day trip. The island is a great place for biker’s and you can travel along roads that hug the coastline. From one end of the island to the other, you’ll find charming homes, restaurants, pubs, boating, rain forests, parks, beaches, and on and on and on.
And finally, when you head back to Seattle on the last ferry of the night, make sure to go out on deck and check out the skyline as the lights wink on one by one. The beauty of the city truly takes my breath away. Dirty city? Maybe.
But not through my lens.




The Blue Effect
Renegade Heroes
Rose Shababy

Genre: Adult Urban Sci-fi/Fantasy

Now a 3 Part Serial

Blue Brennan is as intelligent as she is beautiful, but she knows when people look at her, all they see is a pretty face. With no family or friends, she also knows she’s alone in the world. She tells herself she’s fine with that, after all, the only person you can trust is yourself.
Then she meets Kasey, an unusual and oddly appealing man who sees right through all the barriers she’s erected. He reveals himself as much more than an ordinary man through a strange vision, and introduces her to his equally extraordinary friends.
Kasey insists that Blue is one of them, but she resists, too scared to let herself become part of something.
Going back to her lonely existence, she finds herself more alone than ever. When her emotions take over in one terrible moment, the powers she denied rage out of control, and she realizes the only person who can help her is Kasey.
But finding him means finding herself. Is Blue ready to face the truth about who, and what, she is?

Episode 1: Paper Dolls
Free at Amazon    BN    iTunes    Kobo
Episode 2: The Revelation
Amazon    BN    iTunes    Kobo
Episode 3: The Last Dance
Amazon    BN    iTunes    Kobo
Excerpt:
“How do you do that?” I asked, finding my voice. I looked around the dance floor, at all the people frozen like 3D photographs. It didn’t make sense that I wasn’t scared by the situation at hand, but fear didn’t factor into my emotional state at all. I also wondered what it would be like to walk through the crowd and note all their bodily contortions and facial expressions, but I held back. At the moment I was more interested in hearing what this man had to say. “How did you make everything stop?”
“As to how I do what I do, I can only tell you that I do it. I know someone that can explain the how better than I. As to this,” he waggled a finger toward the still figures in the room, “this is all you. I can only help you … amplify what you had inside you to begin with.”
It was my turn to laugh, but it was humorless and harsh. “What are you talking about?”
“You have felt different all your life, no?”
“Sure. But doesn’t everybody?” I answered with an eye roll and looked around the room again. “Look at these morons. They’re all playing dress up, hiding their real selves from each other. But the truth is they’re desperate to find someone to love them. Hoping they’ll be important to someone, anyone, because they sure as hell don’t feel important to themselves. Hoping they’ll actually matter. Hoping that someone can take away the emptiness they feel every time they look in the mirror.”
He shook his head. “You are talking about yourself, not them. And they are not all like that. They are not the lifeless paper dolls you think they are, not even the ones trying so hard to stand out. And neither are you.”
His words confused me, and I felt myself growing angry. “Who are you?” I didn’t like the things he made me feel anymore, and I longed for the simplicity of the liquored-up daze I’d enjoyed earlier. I wanted to run away from him, but in the same moment I realized that nothing could have made me turn away from this strange man.
“My name is Kasimir Korsak. My friends call my Kasey. I would very much like to include you in that group.”
I shook my head. “If you know so much about me, you would know that I don’t have friends.” I put as much disdain into the last word as I could. I might want to find out more about the things that were happening, but that didn’t mean I trusted him. “Besides, what possible reason do I have to believe anything you say?”
His eyes were still steady on mine when he spoke. “You already trust me, Blue. You do not want to admit it because I am a stranger, but deep down you believe me because you hear truth in my words. You look around the room and see truth. You are different. Special.” He held out his hands, palms up in a gesture of openness. “You are like me, only you have not learned how to use your abilities yet.”
Abilities? I gaped at him. What the hell does that mean?
We stood in the strange, echoless silence, neither of us taking our eyes off the other. I wanted his words to be true. I wanted the differentness I’d always felt to be something special, wanted it with an urgency that pierced through the numbness. In the few moments I’d spent with this man I’d felt more emotions than I’d felt in years.
The realization finally brought forth fear, but it also brought excitement, and I wanted more. If his words were true, and he and I were alike, maybe that meant I actually belonged somewhere.
“I can show you if you let me.” He smiled again and as we stared at one another, thoughts that weren’t mine raced through my head.
Give me a chance to show you. There are others like us. You do not have to be alone anymore.
“Why should I?”
“What are your options?” He smiled. “Someone once said, ‘I may never be what I want to be, what I ought to be, but how will I know unless I try?’ That is all I am asking you to do, try.”
“Who said that?”
He grinned wider. “A superhero.”
I rolled my eyes. “You’re kidding, right? This isn’t a fucking comic book.”





About the Author:

Rose Shababy and her family reside in eastern Washington State. Rose grew up in the Northwest but swears she’s going to move to warmer climates someday. She’s claimed this for over 20 years, however, and has yet to move more than 75 miles away from her mother.

Rose has a deep love of all things Star Trek and yearns to travel the heavens, as well as an intense desire to be bitten by a radioactive spider.

Unfortunately she sucks at science and math so she hasn’t been able bring her dreams to life, instead living vicariously through books, comics, television and film. She hopes to someday make a million dollars so she can afford to buy her way to the international space station, but she’d settle for being able to fly around the world and leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Rose also loves to cook and worked for years in a gourmet Italian grocery and deli where she learned to hone her skills. She prepares culinary masterpieces for her family, but fervently wishes the dishes would wash themselves. Especially now that her dishwashers/children are nearly grown and only one still lives at home.
Rose likes to use her free time wisely. For instance, she likes to daydream, will often read for hours until she falls asleep on the couch with an electric blanket and a warm tabby cat curled up on her hip, as well as spending cozy weekend days watching Syfy movies like Sharknado and Mega Piranha with her husband.

If Rose were a cartoon animal, she’d prefer to be a wise old owl or a sleek and sexy jaguar, but in reality she’d probably be a myopic mole with coke-bottle glasses.







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