Friday, October 31, 2014

Winners Screaming ALL HALLOWS!

winners button

1. Marlin & Pecy Lifetime Subscriptions:
1. #6 Susan CW
2. # 14   Denise TD

2.  The Mason Jar- #58 Anita Y

3. Purex Crystals
1. #41 Linda K
2. #278 Pam
3. #121 Steven W

4. veggieTales- Beauty and the Beet- #99 LeighAnn B

5. God's Little Princess Bible- #16 Deseiree R

6. Funny Face Cranberries- #6 Latanya T

All winners have been notified by email.

Thanks to everyone who entered to win!

Did You Just See a Reindeer?

Scared you didn't I ?


Sorry to tell you but Christmas is FIFTY FIVE days away!

Best Halloween scare there is!

Now look at something that will make you go "awwwwwww"

If you are looking for a HAPPY, joyful, yet watchful way to get away from the 'no longer really a kids thing elf', these 2 happy fellows might just BE the answer you're looking for!

Now Santa's flying Reindeer 1 and 2 can keep an eye on your kids and how
they ACT together and for others, and report back to Santa!

Our bundles of cuteness will be back during November.
So keep an eye out for them and their adorable book!


Book Review and Giveaway: The Satyr's Curse: The Reckoning by Alexandrea Weiss

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from the author, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

And now for a book perfect for Halloween
(cause who doesn't need a dose of 'eye candy' and a hot paranormal romance?):

The Satyr's Curse: The Reckoning cover

Jazzmyn Livaudais is struggling to hold it together. With a continuously cranky baby, a rocky relationship with her fiancé, Kyle, and money getting tight at her restaurant, she’s having trouble staying focused. But when the strange nightmares begin, Jazzmyn knows it can only mean one thing: Julian Devereau is back. In order to protect her daughter and Kyle, Jazzmyn must keep Julian from his moment of reckoning. Will the satyr’s curse be lifted, or will Jazzmyn find the strength to destroy Julian Devereau once and for all? Some curses are never meant to be broken, and some desires are never meant to be undone. Beware The Satyr’s Curse.


This is the follow up to The Satyr's Curse (volume 1) and brings back everything you loved from the first book! Julian is back in his regal glory, driving Jazzmyn nuts and Kyle to distraction. New Orleans with all its good and evil is the perfect setting for the tale.Add in baby Jackie and more problems arise. Once again Jazzmyn can not walk away from Julian, yet it is up to her to make him disappear so she can get back her life. She walks in both worlds, as much as Julian. But can she end the curse? Or is the curse doomed for both of their families forever? I don't want to give anything away! The book is a quick read, and definitely for the over 18 crowd, and will light up your Halloween! Once you read one of Alex's book, you'll find yourself wanting to read more, so be prepared! 

About the Author:

Alex is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans.  Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets (including our blogging group mascot Rodney the Raccoon!) in New Orleans. Follow her on her WebsiteBlogFacebookor Twitter pages for more info!


One wonderful reader will win this review copy!

Thanks for reading this review and entering the giveaway!

Recipe Weekend: Halloween Bat Cake Will Make Your Halloween Party Rock Tonight!

And now for a great recipe, that will awe you Halloween party goers, 
courtesy of our favorite publishers, Parragon Books!

Serves 8 
 Prep time: 1 hr 10 mins, plus time to cool & chill ,
Cooking time: 1 hr 25 mins–1 hr 45 mins

Black cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 stick butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon black food coloring paste or gel

Spiced cake
1 2⁄3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ sticks butter, softened,
plus extra for greasing
½ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed
light brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon allspice

To decorate
1 quantity cream cheese frosting

You will also need
9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan
bat-shape cookie cutter

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan and line the bottom and two long sides with parchment paper.
  2. To make the black cake for the bats, put the fl our, baking powder, butter, sugar, and eggs into a large bowl and beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1–2 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Beat in the black food coloring.
  3. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and level the surface. Bake in the preheated oven for 30–40 minutes, or until risen, firm to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Turn off the oven. Clean the pan, then grease and line the bottom and two long sides with parchment paper.
  4. When the cake is completely cold, use a serrated knife to cut it into ten even slices. Arrange cut side down on a board and place in the freezer for about 25 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°F.
  6. To make the spiced cake, put all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat together with a handheld electric mixer for 1–2 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Spoon about half the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to angle the batter up one side of the pan.
  7. Use a bat-shape cookie cutter to stamp out ten bat shapes from the chilled black cake slices.
  8. Arrange the bat shapes along the length of batter in the cake pan, making sure the slices line up at the same angle and are as close together as possible.
  9. Spoon the remaining spiced cake batter into the pan, spooning it around and over the bat shapes to cover them completely. Gently level the surface.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 55 minutes– 1 hour 5 minutes, or until the cake is risen and golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  11. To decorate, use a spatula to spread the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cold cake.

Recipe from Love Food cookbook Hidden Surprise Cakes.! 

Book Excerpt and Giveaway: The Murders at Astaire Castle by Lauren Carr

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book excerpt and giveaway, free of charge, from Pump Up Your Book, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

We're happy to be hosting Lauren Carr and her THE MURDERS AT ASTAIRE CASTLE Book Blitz today!


Never tell Mac Faraday not to do something.

In The Murders at Astaire Castle, Spencer’s police chief, David O’Callaghan, learns this lesson the hard way when he orders Mac Faraday to stay away from the south end of Spencer’s mountaintop—even though he owns the property. It doesn’t take long for Mac to find out what lies on the other side of the stone wall and locked gate, on which hangs a sign warning visitors to Keep Out!

Topping the list of the ten most haunted places in America, Astaire Castle is associated with two suicides, three mysterious disappearances, and four murders since it was built almost a century ago—and Mac Faraday owns it! 

In spite of David’s warning, Mac can’t resist unlocking the gate to see the castle that supposedly hasn’t seen a living soul since his late mother had ordered it closed up after the double homicide and disappearance of Damian Wagner, a world-famous master of horror novels.

“Halloween has always been a fun time,” best- selling author Lauren Carr explains in a note at the beginning of her fifth Mac Faraday mystery. “It’s the time to break out and be someone else. As a child, I would pretend to be one of the Bobbsey Twins searching for clues to lead me to a secret treasure. If I was lucky, it was made up of chocolate. As a teenager, I was Nancy Drew. Always, when October rolled around, I craved mysteries with something extra added—something beyond the normal—something supernatural. As an author, I couldn’t resist taking this one Mac Faraday Mystery on a scary Halloween adventure.” 

In this latest installment of Carr’s hit series, what starts out as a quick tour of a dusty old castle turns into another Mac Faraday adventure when Astaire Castle becomes the scene of even more murders. Mac is going to need to put all of his investigative talents to work to sort out this case that involves the strangest characters he has run into yet—including a wolf man. No, we’re not talking about Gnarly.

Book Excerpt:

November 2002 – Astaire Castle, top of Spencer Mountain, Deep Creek Lake, Maryland

Shivering, Rafaela turned up the fan for the heater in her old Plymouth. The weather channel was calling for snow. With an eye on the storm clouds heading straight for Spencer Mountain, she picked up the speed a notch. Her car bumped along the worn road cut through the trees and rock to take her to Astaire Castle.

The notion of being trapped at the castle by a winter storm made her curse the day she had accepted the job as housekeeper at the Astaire estate. The young illegal immigrant thought her prayers had been answered by landing the job at the luxurious estate. Not only was it prestigious to work in a castle, but lucrative since Damian Wagner was paying almost twice her normal hourly wage.

What a gem to put on my housekeeping resume! To be hire by only one of the world’s most famous authors of horror books—even more famous than Robin Spencer—to clean an honest-to-goodness castle. So what if the Astaire Castle has a reputation of being haunted? I’ll be making a bundle for cleaning five days a week in the daylight. Besides, I don’t believe in no ghosts.

Rafaela regretted her decision the first time she walked into Astaire Castle.

At first, she dismissed her cleaning supplies moving from where she had left them as forgetfulness.  Then there was the time she kept hearing someone whispering her name. She had looked around, but never saw anyone. Same with doors closing or opening or footsteps coming up behind her, and the old-time music and party noises in empty rooms when no one was there—she tried to tell herself that it was all her imagination.

None of that was anything compared to the Wolf Man who she had seen in the dining room mirror while she was cleaning it.

She had heard all about the Wolf Man who lived in the woods surrounding Astaire Castle. The woman with two teenagers who lived in the apartment next to hers was quick to tell her about him. Rafaela had dismissed it all as ghost stories made up by her neighbor’s kids to scare her—until she had seen him with her own two eyes.

That day she ran out of the castle. She returned only after Genevieve, Damian Wagner’s daughter, had promised that her father finish his book and be moving out of the castle by the end of the year—at which time he would pay her a handsome bonus that would give her enough money to visit her family in Brazil for Christmas.

Rafaela caught her breath when her Plymouth entered through the gate at the end of the road to pull into the front courtyard and fountain.

The fountain was off. Damian Wagner had never bothered to turn it on. He wouldn’t notice if it was. He spent his time banging away on his computer in the study on the top floor. He wouldn’t eat if it weren’t for his daughter bringing food to him.

Then there was the editor—Mr. Jansen.

He reminded Rafaela of a bird with his bony frame, high cheekbones over a pointy chin, and thick eyeglasses with his blinking eyes magnified behind them. He sounded like a squawking bird with his high-pitched voice no matter what his mood or what he was saying. Ready to pounce in anticipation of any need from Damian Wagner, he was always lurking nearby.

Damian’s daughter, Genevieve, was as charming as beautiful. She often asked Rafaela about her family in Brazil and about her life in Deep Creek Lake.  For the new immigrant to America, Rafaela felt as if she was making a friend who would give her good references for more housekeeping jobs in the resort town of Spencer—more millionaire estates to clean—estates that weren’t haunted.

Rafaela pulled her car around the circular drive and parked at the bottom of the steep steps that led to the front door. When she got out of her car, the wind howled and whipped her long dark hair around her head. The wind actually seemed to want to rip her thin coat off her body. Grabbing her box of cleaning supplies, she squared her shoulders, and sucked up her nerve to go inside.

Need to make this quick. They don’t have enough money to make me stay here during that storm.

The wind yanked the heavy wooden door from her grasp to slam it against the side of the house.

“Stupid door!” Rafaela set the box inside the foyer and went outside to grab the door and pull it shut. “Mr. Wagner! Mr. Jansen! Genevieve! It’s me, Rafaela! Hope I’m not disturbing you.” She picked up the box and made her way through the foyer.

“Raf-aela ...”

She stopped. With wide eyes, she peered up the staircase to the second floor balcony. “Is that you, Mr. Wagner?” She paused to listen. “Genevieve?”

“Get out. Now.”

Has to be my imagination.</ i> She reassured herself. “There’s no such thing as ghosts. There’s no such thing as ghosts,” she muttered over and over to herself while hurrying to the back of the castle.

“I don’t suppose you had any trick-or-treaters last night, did you?” she called out to ease her nerves with the sound of her own voice. “Not up here I suppose.”

She waited for an answer. She heard footsteps on the floor up above.

The smell of burnt meat came to her nose. It smelled like steak that had been left on the grill for too long.

They must have grilled steaks last night.

“Lots of little children stopped by my apartment.” Feeling braver as she rattled on, Rafaela set the box of cleaning supplies on the kitchen table and gathered together her duster and furniture polish.

Best to start in the living room. The antiques, wood, and silver takes the longest.

Admiring the decades-old priceless china encased in the china closet, she went through the dining room. With her cleaning lady’s eye, she gauged what needed to be addressed on this visit that she may have missed before. She stopped when the blotch of red on the doorframe through the kitchen caught her eye.

What’s that? Catsup?

It wasn’t until she spotted a spot on the floor that she first considered that it wasn’t a condiment, but something much more sinister.  She spotted another. Bigger this time ... and another.

There was a red pool in front of the kitchen door that opened out onto the back patio and deck that projected out over the rocks to provide a massive view of the valley down below. All of the drops and splatters and pools led to the common source—the fire pit outside.

She saw the flames and smoke wafting in the wind whipping around her where she stood in the open doorway. She stared at the blackened objects in the pit. What at first appeared to be a burnt log projecting out of the flames took shape.

The hand and fingers reached out to her.

The index finger was pointing at her.

Through the rapid beating of her heart, Rafaela could hear the footsteps behind her coming closer.

“Get out!”

His image was reflected in the glass pane of the door. The wild hair. The crazed eyes.

It’s the Wolf Man!

Watch the Trailer!

About the Author:

Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Twelve to Murder is the seventh installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series. In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder. Lauren launched the Lovers in Crime (first introduced in Shades of Murder) mystery series in September 2012 with Dead on Ice 

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor,cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information. 

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes. She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. For More Information, visit Lauren Carr’s
website Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as Lauren’s blog.

Buy the book:

Purchase at AMAZON

Lauren is giving away one paperback copy, two ebook copies 
and three audiobooks of THE MURDERS AT ASTAIRE CASTLE


Terms & Conditions:
By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
Six winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
This giveaway begins October 6 and ends October 31.
Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, November 3.
Winner has 48 hours to reply.

    Good luck everyone!

    Great Deals for YOU!