Showing posts with label ghosts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ghosts. Show all posts

Monday, July 3, 2017

Ghost Hunting Diary Volume VI - T. M. Simmons, Author



Ghost Hunting Diary Volume VI Recipe

Aunt Belle and I stopped at a little café beneath a river bridge one day. We ordered the catfish basket and it came with really delicious cole slaw. The slaw dressing had sweet relish in it, the first time we had ever tasted anything like this. Since then, we always add sweet relish to our slaw dressing.

Easy Cole Slaw

I package cole slaw mix from deli
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sweet relish

Add salt and pepper to sugar, stir to blend
Blend salt/pepper/sugar mixture into mayonnaise
Stir in sweet relish

Pour over cabbage slaw mix and chill for an hour or so

Ghost Hunting Diary Volume VI - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Nearly every call I get pleading for help from a person distressed over a haunting begins with them insisting they have a demon in their home.  In thirty years of investigating the paranormal, I've only encountered what I believe were three actual demons.  Unfortunately for me, one of those infiltrated my own home and tried to abolish what I hold dear.  Have no doubt - demons are real, and they're the nastiest, most malicious entities on the face of the earth.  They have no conscious, and while they do know right from wrong, wrong and destruction of your life (both physically and emotionally) are what they wish on their human prey.  They have patience far beyond anything within our human ability and begin their destructive infiltration slowly, in a barely perceptive manner.  If not exposed early on and banished, they will weak havoc on your entire life.

I believe I've read everything written by Author T. M. Simmons and am never disappointed.  In Book VI we go through crossing overs, of those that didn't take advantage of the crossing when they died.  You'll learn about one of her favorite cemeteries 'Cottonwood Cemetery' as well as an old nursing home 'Calvert' where many have died and many are still hanging around.  But for the first time since I've been reading this Author's work, I've never heard her write about demons and after reading her experience with one that invaded her home, I'm glad to hear that they are seldom encountered.

You may not believe in ghosts, spirits, demons, nor other super-natural beings but I can assure you that if that is the case, after reading this book you'll at least start questioning your belief.  I personally feel that I've run into maybe 2 spirits in my life.  One was standing on the side of the road in front of a cemetery.  It was raining and when lightning flashed I saw him with a child standing there in the pouring rain.  After the flash, it was gone.  No there was no place for them to hide.  The area was open and even if they ran they wouldn't have been able to hide.  This little experience was what made me want to learn more about spirits.  Yes I said learn about the, not see any more of them.  The more I read and learn the more I want to stay 'unseeing.'

So, if you are in the least bit curious, this book, along with the whole series of Ghost Hunting Diary, are a must read.  I've surely enjoyed them.  This author also writes some really good mysteries involving some of her ghosts.  Check out Silent Prey and Northwood Prey for some enjoyable reading.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Southern Spirits (The Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries Book 1) - Angie Fox, Author



Coca Cola Cake
(It’s a staple in the South—and in Sugarland, Tennessee. This Coke cake recipe was contributed by Lee Avery Catts to "Atlanta Cooknotes" and was published by The Junior League of Atlanta.)

2 Cups sugar
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Cup Coca-Cola
1 ½ Cup small marshmallows
½ Cup butter or margarine
½ Cup vegetable oil
3 Tablespoons cocoa
1 Teaspoon baking soda
½ Cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
½ Cup butter
3 Tablespoons cocoa
6 Tablespoons Coca-Cola
1 box (16-ounces) confectioners' sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Cup chopped pecans

Preparation
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 15 min
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, sift the sugar and flour. Add marshmallows. In a saucepan, mix the butter, oil, cocoa and Coca-Cola. Bring to a boil and pour over dry ingredients; blend well. Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk just before adding to batter along with eggs and vanilla extract, mixing well. Pour into a well-greased 9- by-13-inch pan and bake 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and frost immediately.

Coca-Cola Cake Frosting
To make frosting, combine the 1/2 cup butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa and 6 tablespoons of Coca-Cola in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and pour over confectioners' sugar, blending well. Add vanilla extract and pecans. Spread over hot cake. When cool, cut into squares and serve.


Southern Spirits - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of; Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish


"You want to help?" I asked, making sure I reached clear of Lucy as I dumped the contents of the vase over Grandma's rosebushes.  She gave the little pile a sniff and sneezed.  "You said it."  The dirt was loose and dry, which I was glad to see. I'd heard that sort of things was good for the roots.  It certainly couldn't hurt.  When the last of the fine dust had settled out of the air, I hosed out the vase and poured the water on the roses.  

After clipping a rose from the bush, putting it in the vase and adding water, Verity returned to the home she had inherited from her grandmother.  What happened next takes her on a journey that could only traveled by a strong minded southern girl, which she was.

Verity had been engaged to one of the most eligible, prominent members of her hometown Sugarland, Tennessee.  The wedding was planned and she was ready to go through it living happily ever after.  What she learned the day before the actual wedding put a stop on the event and ended up costing her everything she owned.  She had already sold off everything within her grandmother's house, except the dented vase that no one seemed to want.  Unless she found a way to come up with another $20,000 she would also be selling the house which was breaking her heart.

This book is so full of humor!  I'll give you just one hint of what you're in store for when reading Southern Spirits - Lucy is a skunk!  She's had her glands removed so she's safe but so cute you would think her to be a dog or cat.  The problems and events that take place after Verity poured the dirt on the roses leads to even more humor.  Yes, there are ghosts, murder and attempted murder, bringing it all together to make this one of my favorite books.

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Edge of the Cemetery - Margaret Millmore, Author



The best salmon:

Serves 4 (large salmon steak or 4 - 6 ounce steaks)
450 temp for 15 minutes, allow 5 minutes to rest after removal from oven
2 tblsp. olive oil
2 tsp. basil
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt/pepper to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp lemon juice

The Edge of the Cemetery - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of:  Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

"The true prophecy states 'that the cambion, shall merge forever with his father and become one, upon which my ever faithful servant shall live once again'.  There is only one way to interpret this part of the prophecy... The demon will converge with the body and discard the body's mind and soul for the devil to deal with at his leisure."

On a typical day of ghost and demon eradication, George Sinclair worked with Billy Wilkinson.  The two made a perfect team due to the strength of their powers, which were virtually equal and stronger than most Ghost Killers.  This combined strength is going to come in handy as they deal with a demon from the past and his human as they work together to fulfill the prophecy of him converging into the boy's body and opening the sealed vault that contains demons that were imprisoned within its walls releasing them to do the work of the devil.

The Edge of the Cemetery is Book 2 of the Ghost Killer series.  Author Margaret Millmore has a way of writing that not only keeps the pages turning but also feeds me surprises around every corner.  About half way through the book I KNEW what was going to happen near the end.  Wrong.  The events that took place had never entered my mind!  This is the art of a truly good writer.

If you want a good ghostly mystery, don't miss this book, but I'll give you a little advice before reading.  Go back and read Book 1 What Haunts Me.  Both books stand alone but they also connect and will allow you to personally know the characters a bit better.  I've now read both and I highly recommend them.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What Haunts Me - Margaret Millmore, Author




Spinach and Artichoke Dip
(Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse but George likes it too)

Prep Time:
20 min
Inactive Prep Time:
--
Cook Time:
30 min
Level:
Easy
Serves:
6 to 8 servings
Ingredients
2 (10-ounce) packages fresh spinach, well rinsed and stems trimmed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup 1/2-inch cubes rindless Brie
1 cup grated Monterey Jack
1 (6 1/2-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
4 strips bacon, fried crisp, drained and chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Assorted chips for dipping (pita chips, tortilla chips, bagel chips)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round chafing dish and set aside.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the spinach in batches and cook until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and refresh under cold running water. Squeeze to remove all excess water and chop. Set aside. In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, to make a light roux, about 2 minutes. Add the milk and cream in a steady stream, and cook, stirring constantly, until thick and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cooked spinach and lemon juice, and stir to incorporate. Add the cubed and grated cheeses, artichoke hearts, and bacon, and stir well. Remove from the heat and pour into the prepared dish. Top with the Parmesan and bake until bubbly, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot with chips. 


What Haunts Me - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

“I noticed a woman of about thirty standing just off the sidewalk on the grass.  Her appearance was right out of the 1940's; her dress hung below her knees with padded shoulders and semi-tailored waste line, Mary Jane shoes, hair neatly done up in side rolls.  Yet, it wasn't the vintage apparel that stood out so much; it was that she was untouched by the light rain that was coating everything and everyone around her.  Of course, it was also the Harry Potter glasses that she wore, and the fact that she seemed to be intently focused on John.

For no other reason but instinct, I raised the umbrella and gently jabbed it at her as we walked past.  A look of horror filled her face, and then she swirled away into a grey mist, just like the ghost, or whatever he was, had done when I was a kid at Bobby's house.  Now that I remembered it all, it occurred to me that John didn't have a lisp...anymore.”

George is a normal young man in his 30's.  His mother had died when he was young, he was raised by his father, went to school, ended up becoming very successful in the real estate field and even bought himself a nice home on the top floor of a building that housed only one other person who was an elderly lady named Justine Wilkinson.

After getting over a bout of the flu George found his life changing before his eyes.  He was seeing 'ghosts' that were haunting people and making them ill.  He also discovered that he could poke them with a pencil and they would, for the lack of a better word 'die.'  Then came the memories of his childhood.  Apparently he was able to do this as a child but for some reason didn't remember it until now.  These memories and the events now taking place in his life are wreaking havoc on his life and he doesn't know how to make it stop.


George is a GK or ghost killer.  They come in all power stages and ranks with him being one of the best.  But he ends up with a mission that has to be handled before the bad ghosts take over.  This book is the perfect beginning for a TV series.  If you like the Walking Dead you'll really love What Haunts Me.  I'd love to see this picked up by a producer, yes it's that good.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Dead Medium - Peter John, Author


Margaret's Bakewells
(Her favorite!)

Pastry
300g plain flour
125g unsalted butter
30g sugar
1 egg

Filling
225g butter
225g sugar
225g ground almonds
3 eggs
The grated zest of 1 lemon
50g plain flour
jar cherry jam

Topping
200g Icing Sugar

Method
As my mother always told me, there's no need to flounce around the kitchen when it comes to making shortcrust pastry. Throw the flour, butter, sugar and egg into bowl and mix well. I use the big Kenwood mixer Alf brought me for my birthday last year but a bit of elbow grease will do the job just fine. If the mixture feels a little loose just add a smidgen of flour. If it's too tight, a dribble of water or milk will help. Once you're happy with your short crust, dust your counter with flour and tip the pastry on to it. Find a rolling pin, mine is usually in the top drawer next to the sink, and roll out the pastry to fit whatever tin you have to hand. I use a round tart tin. It's just a bit smaller that those old vinyl albums they used to sell down the high street years ago. I've still got a few. Everything's on those compact thin gummies now. People say they sound better but I prefer my Pat Boone with a little crackle. Anyhow, once your pastry is in the tin perforate the base with a fork as many times as you can fit and stick it in the oven, 20 minutes should do it. I usually preheat mine at 200c (Gas mark 6).

While that's baking you had best get on with the filling. Grab a bowl and beat the butter and sugar together until it's all fluffy. Throw in the ground almonds, then the eggs. I find it's best to do them one at a time, beating as I go. If the mixture begins to split, Don't panic, just add a smidgen of flour. This next bit is important, I got this wrong once and it was an awful mess. Stop with the beating and gently fold in the flour and lemon zest.

You should have taken your pastry out of the oven by now, let it cool before spreading cherry jam across the base. leave 2 cm gap around the edge. Grab your filling and spread it over the jam. Bung the tin back in the oven for another 20 minutes or until set and golden-brown, I turn mine down to 180 c for this bit. Once baked make sure it's completely cooled before doing the next bit.
For the icing tip the icing sugar into a bowl. Add a little water and keep stirring until you get a think fondant, adding water as needed. Pour the fondant over the cake and wait for it to set. If I'm feeling adventurous I pipe melted chocolate across the fondant while it's still loose and then drag a knife across it to form a marble pattern which looks rather effective but is not essential; it tastes just fine without it.



Dead Medium - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

George's hand on her shoulder silently comforted her.  She would have usually pulled away from him and given him the sharp end of her tongue but at that moment she didn't.  It wasn't fear that held her temper.  Even though she hated to admit it, his presence reassured her.  His touch anchored her, preventing her form drifting into the darkness above.  Had she been alone she might have reacted to the bewildering feeling that was overwhelming her.  The fear made her shy away from the darkness but also drew her toward it.  The temptation to let go felt familiar, it almost felt like a sense of belonging.  It was as if the darkness marked a path she was meant to travel, a passage home.  

May Elizabeth Trump spent her young years in a orphanage, her adult life being a recluse that saved every penny earned, and now she can speak to those who have passed as well as those who are still living.

Penny Saunders lives in the same town as May but has passed leaving her only child Chloe in a bad financial position.  Chloe must now pay for her college education as well as the upkeep on the family home that Penny has spent her life trying to hold on to.

Then comes the idea that will involve Margaret, May's only 'friend', and her Thursday Night Club, which is a group of 4 ladies who dabble in the 'psychic business.'  With May as the medium they can line up clients of ghosts who want to talk with those left behind and charge the living, allowing Chloe an income so she can continue with her education as well as keep the house.

One important piece of information that I haven't told you.  May is dead therefore being the Dead Medium.

This book is full of humor, ghosts, and some uncertain beings that are called the Soul Stalkers who May has been warned about by a ghost named George.  But... even though she never cared for a living soul when alive, for some reason May is drawn to Chloe and feels the need to help her in any way possible.  This story kept my finger busy as it turned page after page.  I couldn't wait to see what the next page and even sentence had to add.  And the ending - that was a total surprise.  It also left a very large opening for another chapter in the Dead Medium which I hope Author Peter John brings forth very soon.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Phantasms in the Infirmary - Ram and Julie Gulrajani, Authors


Spinach Pie

Wash the spinach after removing the thick white stalks.  Roll up the leaves and cut very fine, place in a bowl and add salt.  Pour sufficient boiling water to cover and then squeeze out the water.  Now take 3 bunches of spinach, 3 beaten eggs, two Tbsp. of grated cheese, salt, pepper, a little garlic and a little oil.  Line a deep Pyrex dish with a pie crust and fill with the spinach mixed with all the other ingredients.  Make two wells and drop 2 eggs very carefully.  Cover with more crust, brush over with milk and bake for 2 hrs.



Phantasms in the Infirmary - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Not so long ago I took a friend to the hospital for an endoscopy.  In the past this was done at one of the smaller facilities but my friend had changed doctors and he only did the procedure at the hospital.  As we boarded the elevator I noticed that the nurse pushed the button for us to go down, not up.  OK, there are a lot of floors that I've never been on in this hospital and with all the new construction we are probably just going to another above ground floor in the back.  As we stepped off the elevator and started walking down the hall I started feeling closed in.  I felt like I was walking into air that was really thick with something but I had no idea what.  I sat by my friend's bed as they prepared him for the procedure and since there was only a curtain between us and the next patient I could hear his conversation with one of the nurses.  He was telling her that he was born in this hospital 80 years ago.  She proceeded to tell him that we were in the oldest part of the hospital in the basement which at one time was actually the morgue.  I still didn't make the connection between my feelings and the location until I started reading Phantasms in the Infirmary.

Even though Authors Ram and Julie Gulrajani created a single hospital for the events to take place, they are still stories from several hospitals that have been passed on by hospital workers over the years.  Both Authors work in the medical field which brings them in contact with those who have experienced the events as well as those who have heard the stories.  Many of the hospitals have long histories of being everything from asylums, orphanages, workhouses, convents and monasteries in their past.  They also all have one thing in common - death.  Some even carried the ghosts of these deaths into the halls of the modern hospitals.

Is this what I was feeling while in the basement/old morgue of the hospital I was in?  After reading this book of ghosts from the past I'm pretty sure that was exactly what I felt.  Read Phantasms in the Infirmary for yourself and see if you agree.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Madonna Ghost - Linda Maria Frank, Author



FAMOUS APPLE BREAD
 

3/4 cup of oil
2 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. NACL
1 cup chopped apples
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a loaf pan.  Combine dry ingredients.  Beat together eggs, sugar and oil.  Stir in dry ingredients.  Stir in apples and nuts.  Bake 1 1/2 hrs.
 

The Madonna Ghost - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

"The story goes that the women lashed their small child to themselves with their shawls before they jumped overboard to swim ashore.  This action proved to be fatal for some of the children.  They couldn't struggle to the surface to breathe, and most of the mothers were not swimmers anyway.  They were at the mercy of the waves."... "Some could be revived, and this drove one woman in particular to wander up and down the beach, trying to find someone who could revive her baby.  When they saw that her child was dead, the good people from Bay Shore tried to comfort her.... She wandered the beach, her baby clutched to her, until she collapsed and died herself.  Her grave is in the old cemetery in Bay Shore... Even today, the Madonna Ghost, as she is called, is sighted by people on occasion."

Annie and her Aunt Jill are vacationing on a small island out from New York called Fire Island.  The island is small and Annie is really hoping that there will be at least a couple of people her own age.  She was in luck.  They were staying at the summer home of a friend of Jill's who just happened to have his nephew Ty staying with him.  Now the vacation was looking up and even more so when she learned there was a ghost on the island.  Maybe she would be able to see the Madonna Ghost for herself, making it a first for her.  And of course with Ty by her side, it would be fun.

What Annie and Ty soon learn is that there is more than a ghost on the island.  The men staying in the cottage next door seem a little strange.  And when Jill comes up missing, they are both sure the neighbors have something to do with it.

The suspense and mystery in this book had me rapidly turning the pages.  I read a lot of books and usually have them pegged at least halfway through.  Not this one.  It kept me guessing all the way to the end.  So much so that I've ordered the next two books by this author... Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys and Girl with Pencil , Drawings

Friday, September 19, 2014

Ghost Hunting Diary Volume IV - T. M. Simmons, Author




Simple Fried Green Tomatoes
(A T. M. Simmons Special)

In the south, we love our fried green tomatoes. There are several ways to enjoy this delicious dish. In fact, my husband and I each cook them differently. I like them prepared both ways, but here is mine:

1 egg
½ cup milk
Beat together by hand, then beat in:
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cornmeal
This should make a batter that looks similar to pancake batter.

Select 3 firm green tomatoes, wash and core them, then slice into 1/3" slices. Put salt and pepper on them, to taste.

Heat ½ inch of canola oil to about 350 degrees in either an iron or electric skillet. Dip tomatoes into batter and fry until golden brown on each side. Serve while hot. Yum!

You can also cheat and get the Whistle Stop Fried Green Tomato Batter Mix to use for your coating. It's also delicious!

My husband eats his fried green tomatoes on bread, but I love mine with just a fork.




Ghost Hunting Diary Volume IV - Review by Martha A Cheves, Author Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

St. James Jeepers Creepers - There are times during ghost hunts when I even scare myself silly...er...sillier.  In May, 1998, an occurrence at the captivating historical St. James Hotel, in Cimarron, New Mexico - a place with an extremely haunted reputation - turned into one of those incidents. Twenty-six deaths occurred in the St. James so when I saw a man that stood about 6 feet, with black hair and dressed in an 1800's style suit jacket the evening we checked into the hotel, I wasn't surprised.  I got the impression he was a gambler and I gaped when he winked at me.  This told me he was an intelligent haunting, one in which the entity can interact with our living dimension.  In other words, the recognition worked both ways.  Turns out he was one of the nice ones.  TJ is a different story.

Barney the Believer - Barney is my husband who doesn't believe in ghosts.  One day he came to my office, white as a ghost himself.  He wanted to know if we had a little girl ghost in our house.  We do so I ask how he knew.  His comment to me was "Because I've been watching TV and she just got up from the chair on the other side of the fireplace."  That was just the beginning of him becoming a believer.

These are just 2 of the stories in the author's diary and this is the 4th diary this author has published that I've had the pleasure of reading.  I've heard about ghosts and spirits my whole life.  I 'dreamed' one morning that my grandmother was standing at the foot of my bed telling me everything would be alright.  Apparently I was asleep with my eyes open because I could see her and the room I was in full color.  I once bought a house where I would get a glimmer of someone out of the corner of my eye and freeze when I sat in a certain area in my living room.  Turns out the previous owner, a woman who loved to cook, had passed in that special spot in the living room.  If we admit it, we've all probably had some kind of unexplained 'happenings' at some point in our lives and through reading T. M. Simmons' books, I truly believe that I've experienced a few ghosts of my own.

Oh yeah.  If you have a ghost/spirit in your home, this book will tell you what would be the best way to handle your type of ghost/spirit.  Yes there is more than one type and each is handled differently.  At this time, I have no ghosts/spirits in my home.  I have a friend who died in his home and the woman living there now has told me he comes back now and then to check on the items he left in the attic.  She has never removed anything from there so he seems ok, but she does hear him now and then rummaging around and many times he will forget to turn out the light.

This, like the others before it are extremely interesting.  I'm enjoying learning about the experiences the author and her Aunt Belle have gone through and can't wait to learn even more when I read Ghost Hunting Diary Volume V.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ghost Writer - Lorna Collins, Author



HELEN’S MULLIGATAWNY SOUP

1 medium onion, chopped
¼ cup butter or margarine
1 medium carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 bell pepper (green, red, or yellow), seeded and diced
1 medium apple (I like Granny Smith or Fuji), pared, cored, and diced
1 cup diced or shredded chicken or turkey (I love using left-over Thanksgiving turkey, just like Helen)
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon mace
2 whole cloves
1 sprig parsley, minced
2 cups stock (chicken or turkey)
1 cup cooked tomatoes (I use canned diced ones)
salt and pepper to taste


Sauté the onion in the ¼ cup butter or margarine. Add the carrot celery, bell pepper, apple, and chicken or turkey. Gradually stir in the flour, curry powder, mace, cloves, parsley, chicken or turkey stock, tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Simmer for half an hour or longer. Serve hot.

Ghost Writer - Review by Martha A Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

 "I don't believe in ghosts," I used to tell anyone who'd ask.  I'm a 'techie,' a computer programmer.  I deal with data and facts, not fiction and fantasy.  So how did I get mixed up with a temperamental, egotistical, rude, smart, funny, aggravating, self-centered, loveable... uh... spirit?  Okay, if you insist, ghost. 

Nanette (or Nan as most called her) Burton found herself caught up in the downfall of the mortgage industry only five years after graduating from college.  But that was just the beginning of her problems.  The building she lived in went into foreclosure, so she was also out of a place to live. Then her live-in boyfriend decided to bail out when she received an eviction notice.  Well, his leaving was actually a blessing because he didn't work, wasn't looking for work, and simply lived off Nan. So when her paycheck left, he found himself another victim to mooch from.  Final step, move back home with Mom and Dad until she could find a job and buy a car.  Oh yeah, her car died, too.

Living with Mom and Dad wouldn't have been so bad except they had turned her bedroom into Dad's study so she had to sleep on the sofa.  The Victorian sofa with all its wood and firm springs.

Then Nan's great-great-aunt Nanette Burton, whom she had been named after, passed away at the age of 104.  When Nan and her dad were called to the lawyer's office for the reading of the will, there seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel.  Nan would soon be living at her rich great-great-aunt's beach cottage.  Finally a place to live and a bed to sleep on.  But her living at the cottage came with a few things Nan didn't expect.  One being her aunt's dog, Mitzi, and the other being her aunt's famous author friend Maximilian Alexander Murdoch.  Max actually wrote women's fiction under the name of Maxine du Bois and had done extremely well.  But when Nan moved into the beach cottage, Max didn't take it too well.  This was his house and had been for years... before and after his death.  Yes, Max is a ghost, who ends up allowing Nan to live in 'his' house if she will help him finish his last book.
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I can never get enough of this writer's light reading.  She always grabs me right in the beginning and continues until the very last page.  She makes me laugh and she makes me feel sad now and then but she always delivers with a great book.  You can't help but love this book.


Loran's Bio:

Lorna Collins and her husband, Larry, helped build theUniversal Studios Japan theme park. Their memoir, 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park, was published in 2005. They have also written two mysteries: Murder… They Wrote and Murder in Paradise, and are currently working on more. They just completed The Memory Keeper, set in San Juan Capistrano.
Lorna co-wrote Snowflake Secrets, Seasons of Love, An Aspen Grove Christmas, The Art of Love, and Directions of Love, 2011 EPIC eBook Award winner. Her fantasy/mystery/romance, Ghost Writer, was published in 2012.

In addition, Lorna is a professional editor.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ghost Gone Wild - Carolyn Hart, Author


BAILEY RUTH'S OLD-FASHIONED OKLAHOMA CORN BREAD

1 c. yellow corn meal
2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
3/4 c. milk
1 egg
1 Tbsp oil

 Butter round baking pan. Cook at 425 degrees for 30 min.

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Ghost Gone Wild - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Excerpt from GHOST GONE WILD:  I was afraid I was beginning to understand.  The telegram from Wiggins had been counterfeit.  Nick's aunt Dee had nosed about the department and found my name.  Any thriller writer would consider it child's play to purloin information from Wiggins's old-fashioned paper files,  which were kept in accommodatingly unlocked wooden filing cabinets.  It was possible she sometimes served as an emissary.  However, Wiggins was always insistent that emissaries not contact family members who knew them... In any event, if she'd wanted to send help to Nick, obviously she would have hunted about in the files for someone connected to Adelaide, and so she had sent the spurious telegram and waylaid me as I was en route.

Bailey Ruth arrives in Adelaide, OK, to help out Nick, who became the target of a bullet within minutes after her arrival at his house.  Luckily Bailey Ruth was able to push him out of the way before the bullet struck him.  Bailey Ruth tries to convince him to call the police but his cell phone is missing.  And then people started appearing due to a text that was supposedly sent to them by Nick.  Jan, Nick's girl friend, showed up but wasn't thrilled to see that another woman was there.   After some fast thinking, Bailey Ruth was able to calm her down.  That is until Lisa showed up due to her text from Nick which invited her to come over.  And then the third person showed up... Lisa's husband demanding to know where she was.  All arrived 'after' the shot was taken at Nick.  Did the shooter want to implicate these three in the killing of Nick?  Well, thanks to Bailey Ruth saving him, the shooter's idea was spoiled and Bailey Ruth now had some possible suspects.

Author Carolyn Hart has done her usual in writing another fun-filled story of suspense, murder, humor and spirits.  Oh, did I forget to tell you that Bailey Ruth is a ghost?  From time to time she is allowed to descend upon earth to help a person in danger.  This is normally done through Wiggins but in this case the person, or should I say ghost, that  sent Bailey Ruth to earth is Dee, Nick's aunt who decides she has to keep an eye out and make sure Bailey Ruth does everything correctly to save her nephew.  Problem is, with Dee being the one to send Bailey to earth, she has no control over her abilities to appear and disappear, so once Bailey Ruth appeared, she was unable to disappear and with Wiggins not knowing of her descent, she became OF the earth and not ON the earth. 

This series is one that I keep an eye out for the next Bailey Ruth story to hit the shelves.  The characters are always so real, including Bailey Ruth, to the point that you actually feel that you know them as neighbors.  Now I "patiently" wait for the next volume to see what Bailey gets herself into next.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Convenient Marriage - Maggie Tideswell, Author


Mini Chocolate Kahlua Pots
(A Maggie Tideswell Special)

100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
150 ml single cream
2tablespoons Kahlua liqueur
4 glasses or ramekins


Place chocolate in a large bowl.
Heat cream just until it comes to the boil, then pour it over the chocolate and leave to stand.
Whisk until smooth, then add the Kahlua.
Spoon into the glasses/ramekins.
Leave in the fridge for 1 hour
Serve with crème fraiche and top with a coffee bean.


Convenient Marriage – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

‘Joshua skimmed down the page, not registering what he was reading, when a tiny advert squashed between Lost and Found and Obituaries jumped to his attention.  It simply read:

Husband needed.
Call Holly Turnbull 021 768 9223
No pranks please

Joshua read it a second time before he scrubbed both hands over his face, his elbows crumpling the newspaper on the table.  What was the world coming to, if women had to resort to dailies to get them a man?  he wondered.  Would this poor, misguided soul even want the kind of man who was like to respond to this silly ad?...  Surely this Holly woman didn’t think she was going to get a bona fide offer of marriage from this tiny advert, did she?... He waited for his laptop to boot up, then typed ‘Holly Turnbull’… Holly turned out to be a journalist and not bad to look at either.  He was impressed, even though it seemed odd that a woman like her would advertise for a husband.  Oh, well, each one to her own.  She would do nicely in his newly formed plan.’

Joshua Jordan has found a way to push Nicole, his fiancée of four years, into making the final commitment by scheduling a wedding.  He will give her an ultimatum of time and if she doesn’t find it within herself to meet the deadline, he will take this Holly woman up on her marriage proposal for just long enough to bring Nicole to her senses. 

Holly Turnbull didn’t actually place the ad for a husband in the daily paper, her three best friends and roommates did.  Holly’s ex-husband Donald has refused to allow her to see their two boys for long enough.  The girls believe that with a husband, Donald will have no excuses for not allowing her to see the boys.  The girls also believe Donald’s wife Gwen is the one that is really behind him not allowing Holly to see her kids.  So when the marriage proposal comes in from Joshua Jordan, Holly sees that this just might be the answers to her problems with Donald.  But with the proposal comes something that no one would have guessed... Moragh.  Moragh is a spirit from the past who starts sending Holly messages demanding that she ‘tell her story’ and to her surprise, the story starts at the very home belonging to Joshua.

This book has it all… murder, mystery, love, hate, ghosts, spells and the supernatural.  The tale is so twisted that you think you have it all figured out only to find that you’re wrong.  The characters are strong and if you believe in ghosts, very believable.  I really didn’t want this book to end but to just keep on going.  Convenient Marriage is a very entertaining book.  I loved it.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Ghostly Justice - Bev Irwin


Golden Peach Pork Chops Recipe
(Bev's favorite Slow Cooker Dish)
 

Ingredients
1 can (29 ounces) peach halves
5 bone-in pork loin chops (1 inch thick)
1 tablespoon canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar


Directions
Drain peaches, reserving 1/4 cup juice (discard remaining juice or save for another use); set fruit and juice aside. In a large skillet, brown pork chops on both sides in oil; transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Add the tomato sauce, vinegar and reserved peach juice. Pour over the chops. Arrange peach halves over the top. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the meat is tender.

 
Ghostly Justice - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
 

***I watched until they turned the corner at Colburn Street.  Then the energy vanished and a profound sadness filled me.  Even playing the piano held no joy that day.  I have to talk to her.  But how?  I gave up trying to contact the living years ago.  It became so tiresome – appearing in front of them, touching them, talking to them, yet never being noticed.  Until now.  Every day, I watch for her.  Every day, I try to make contact.  Every day I plead for her to look up at my window again.  Two weeks have passed now.  And every day, she hurries past; her gaze focused on the street ahead.  I must talk to her.  Daira is the first person I’ve been able to communicate with since the day I was murdered.***

 
Daria Brennan is your typical 15 year-old, or at least she thought she was until she discovered that she could see ghosts.  Her first sighting was of a young woman in the upstairs window of an old house she passed every day going to school.  At first she thought it might be her imagination since the house was empty.  The woman who lived there had fallen and been taken away to recuperate in a rehab center.  Maybe someone had broken into the house.  Whatever it was she knew that every time she walked past the house she felt a chill.. [1]  Then came the voices.  Someone calling her name when there was no one there.  This became more frequent after she and some friends broke into the house to have a place to be together. 

 
As the visits to the house grew more frequent, so did the voice in her head begging for her help.  The ghost she was seeing and talking to turned out to be Amanda the daughter of the old lady who owned the house.  She had died 40 years earlier and Amanda needed Daria’s help t her remember how and why.  As Daria researched Amanda’s death she found that the police had ruled it as a suicide.  But as Amanda’s memory started coming back she knew it wasn’t suicide but murder. Daria was the only one to help her prove it and to help her put the person responsible away.


Ghostly Justice was a really enjoyable mystery.  I had no problem coming up with who murdered Amanda but I had a problem guessing how he would be caught.  I also had a problem guessing why Daria and Amanda looked so much alike.  Daria was born 40 years after Amanda’s death but their birthdays were the same month and day.  Had to be a connection but what?  I really enjoyed this book and there are a couple cuss words, not really bad ones, but I can see this being an enjoyable read for ages teen to 90.  I loved it and hope to hear there will be other chapters in Daria’s life that will be put to words.
 
 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Ghost Hunting Diary Volume III - T. M. Simmons, Author




Southern Fried Chicken and Gravy
(One of T. M. Simmons' favorite dishes)

1 cut-up chicken
3 cups flour
2 tbls. corn starch
1 tbl. baking powder
½ cup canola oil
1 can condensed milk
Salt and pepper

Lay chicken in sink and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper to taste. (If you want, you can freeze the back for noodles later rather than cook it.)
Combine flour, corn starch and baking powder. Shift together.
Heat oil in large iron skillet to high heat.
When oil is ready, dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture and add to oil. (Save flour mixture for gravy.) Cook each side until nicely browned, then lower heat to medium low and finish cooking, turning often so chicken doesn't burn.
When done, remove chicken from skillet and drain on paper towels.
Pour off excess oil until there is only a thin layer in the bottom of the skillet, leaving in any small pieces of chicken or skin that came off during cooking.
Turn heat back up to medium high and sprinkle 3-4 tbls of flour mixture into oil.
Stir until flour begins to brown.
Turn heat down to medium and pour in one can of condensed milk, stirring as you add it. Add water if gravy is too thick.
When gravy is thickened, turn off heat and serve it with your fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Yum!


Ghost Hunting Diary Volume III – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

***Billy and Lucy York had been to Goshen Cemetery once previously with two other ghost hunters. From what they told me, I wanted to visit this historic graveyard myself.  I wasn’t deterred by the rumors and tales abounding about Goshen, nor by the fact invitations to a few other paranormal investigator friends to join us were turned down flat.  Word about evil entities and how dangerous Goshen could be had spread through the paranormal community for years.  Perhaps I should have been more forearmed, but hindsight is perfect vision.***
 
Reading this Author’s diaries has been quite fascinating to me and as soon as I finish one, I can’t wait to read the next.  Her experience in the Goshen Cemetery would have scared the heck out of me but what happened as they were leaving would have probably given me a heart attack. 
 
As her diary went on through other outings, I was drawn to wishful thinking when she told about her short chat with a Dr. Griffith who was examining her ‘horseless carriage’ one night while she was visiting a friend.  That’s one event I think I would have enjoyed after my heart rate slowed down just a bit. 
 
The Ghost Hunting Diaries all take you into what most of us can call the unknown.  For T. M. Simmons, it has become the purpose of her life to deal with those who haven’t passed over yet and to encourage them to make the decision to leave their ‘unlife’ for a peaceful one on the other side.  But all isn’t fun and games when it comes to ghosts.  Some are humorous and enjoy playing jokes while others are quite evil and enjoy wreaking havoc on those around them.  And some are simply demonic and quite dangerous.
 
This is the third Ghost Hunting Diary that I’ve had the pleasure of reading and as I said, I can’t wait to dig into Volume IV.  If you like a good ghost/sprit story, you won’t want to miss T. M. Simmons’ own personal accounts of being a paranormal investigator.  They have sparked my interest.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dead Man Talking - T. M. Simmons, Author

Boiled Live Crawfish
(A T.M. Simmons Speciality)
One sack live crawfish, 35-40 lbs.
A Dozen Medium Lemons, Halved
2-4 lbs. of Crawfish Boiling Spices
6 Large Onions, Peeled
5 lb. Red Potatoes
1 dozen ears frozen sweet corn
1 – 12 oz. container of squeeze butter or margarine
17 oz. container of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
3 - 4 gallons water
Outside propane fish cooker
Large cooler
It's best to use an outside propane fish cooker. If you cook crawfish in your kitchen, the spices will make you sneeze and can make it hard to breathe.  Wash crawfish off with a hose while still in the bag.   Pour crawfish into a metal tub or plastic swimming pool. Rewash.  Bring the water to boil over the propane flame.   Add spices, lemons, onions, and one half of potatoes, and corn.  Bring back to boil.  Fill fish basket with live crawfish. (Discard any dead ones, as they may have gone bad.)  Slowly lower into boiling water and cover with lid.  Bring back to boil and cook for 3-4 minutes. Pour crawfish from basket into cooler.  Remove corn, also, and put in cooler. Let potatoes cook longer.  Squeeze butter/margarine on crawfish and corn, then sprinkle with creole seasoning and stir with a metal scoop.  Keep cooking until all the crawfish are all cooked, adding corn with next batch and taking first batch of potatoes out when they are done. Add rest of potatoes and cook while finishing the crawfish. Continue squeezing butter and adding seasoning.  Give everyone a disposable plastic tray and enjoy! We cover a table with an oilcloth and newspaper to dump our shells on. Twist off head and suck out spices. Remove tail meat and eat.  You can dip the crawfish tails into your favorite seafood dip, if you wish. I like melted Brummel and Brown yogurt butter.
 
Dead Man Talking – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
 
A second later Katy continued with a resigned sigh, “He says his death was a murder, but not deliberate murder. That he can’t find eternal rest until the deed is exposed.” That got to me. The ghost must have known it would. How can you have an undeliberate murder? I never could ignore a murder mystery with a death riddle attached. “Interesting,” I mused. “Are you coming then? In the morning, not next week?” I chewed my lip and contemplated. “Ask Sir Gary why he doesn’t come over here and talk. I’ll leave a light on.” “I’ve already told him that,” she ground out. “Hell, I even got out a map and showed him where you live! But noooo. He insists you come here!” A stubborn ghost. He’d probably been that way in life, because Twila and I firmly believe a person’s living personality follows into death. One crotchety old man –
 
Alice was contacted by her cousin Katy to help her remove her resident ghost who calls himself ‘Sir Gary.’ Apparently he had died due to drowning but wasn’t quite sure that it wasn’t without help. He just couldn’t remember how nor who had murdered him and until he could resume that memory he simply couldn’t cross through the light into the other side. Sir Gary has taken to acting up around Katy demanding that she have Alice come to solve his mystery and help him end his half life existence. In his eyes, Alice is a paranormal writer and solves murders all day long through her writing making her perfect for the job. Alice, on the other hand, has a deadline to meet for her latest book and just can’t get away for a few days. That all changes when Katy and Sir Gary find a headless body floating in Katy’s pool giving her home yet another ghost to deal with. And this one is mad! He can’t find his head so he can’t see nor communicate leaving him nothing else to do but rant and rave until it’s found. Katy now has Alice’s attention and she is on her way, as are her aunt Twila, her ex-husband Jack and eventually her neighbor ‘Granny.’
 
I’ve now read all of T. M. Simmons’ Dead Man books – Dead Man Haunt, Dead Man Hand, and now Dead Man Talking. Each is equally as good as the other and each is filled with ghosts, murder, suspense and lots of laughter. When I read the part about the traffic jam and its cause I busted out laughing out loud. When Jack, who was a non-believer became a believer I laughed. When Jack and Alice go to a biker bar undercover, I laughed. This book, as well as all of the Dead Man books are filled with so much humor that it becomes a ‘fun filled suspense.’ And for the suspense, I never did guess who killed the man in the pool until I read it near the end.

 
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