Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cupid’s Culinary Couple

My Love and I have many things in common, and food and cooking are two of them. We enjoy cooking dishes for one another and cooking together. I’m trying to lose weight, and have been, so it’s all been about portion control and exercise (bike riding and walking) with me. If I had to count calories for all of these dishes, I’d stop cooking altogether…and my love wouldn’t want that to happen.

The first of our foods I’d like to share is my Love’s homemade bread. I have to admit, Germany has awesome bread, but my Love’s homemade bread tops them all. This is rye sourdough bread topped with sunflower seeds.

Germany doesn’t sell sausage patties (at least we haven't found any), so my Love found a recipe and started making them himself. These are turkey sage sausage patties. He makes a big batch and then we freeze them and use when needed. 

The first week that I moved to Germany, my Love made a dish from our crock-pot. This was a recipe from a skinny slow cooker magazine. The dish is Quinoa with Sausage and Pepper.

When I was a kid, I never liked chicken noodle soup, but now I love it. I’m in charge of the chicken noodle soup because I make it the best out of the two of us. I remember a few ingredients my mother used in hers and then add a little of my own flavor.

Yesterday, my Love and I decided to make some homemade pot pies. We already made these before, but this time we doubled the recipe to freeze some for later. This dish is from two different recipes. The filling is from one recipe, and we add additional vegetables such as white asparagus, and the crust is from another recipe. I’m posting two pictures; one is of the pot pie before I broke the crust, and one to show the filling.

We’re having company over, so I’m making a spicy bourbon roast with salad, dinner rolls, white asparagus and long grain rice. My Love likes baking and made the below cheesecake for today. I’m not quite sure how many people he thought we were having over for dinner, but some of it is going home with our company.

I hope you enjoyed our foods. Bon App├ętit!

Homemade and Love,

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Featured Celebrity Author – Gary Markwick

We have a celebrity and a different featured author with us today, and I’m excited to introduce him to you. Gary Markwick is a mind, body & spiritual author, who is an international professional Palmist & Psychic, and has been sharing his talents for twenty years. 

Although it really goes back to his childhood—his family were well known in the 1950`s for performing acts with the BBC and topping the bill at theatres throughout the UK with mind reading, escapology, illusionists and Palmistry. Gary has read the hands of thousands of people from around the world.
In addition, Gary is a Usui & Karuna Reiki Master—teacher and spiritual healer. He is also a qualified clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP, Past Life Regressionist and runs his own workshops in the law of attraction.                                                          

Gary has appeared on Sky TV "Your Destiny" channel and BBC Radio four with a studio audience hosted by Marcus Brigstocke of “Have I got news for you", while reading the hands of Phil Jupitus of "Never mind the Buzzcocks and QI" UK TV series. 
Gary has also had write-ups in newspapers and magazines. He was asked by a national newspaper to read the hand of a celebrity unknown to him at the time, which was Barack Obama before becoming President of the United States of America.     

Gary has just written & completed his first book, which is available to order in paperback from Waterstones, WH Smiths and all other good book stores throughout the UK, also available as an eBook on worldwide.

Now it Begins Synopsis

Now It Begins is a comprehensive self-help book that draws upon personal testimony, professional guidance and the best of New Age thinking to empower people to fully take control of their lives.

Split into 10 distinct "phases" it systematically tackles some of life's biggest and most personal questions about identity and inter-connectivity, love and fear, and choice and destiny.

Arguing that most of us are trapped in a harmful illusionary world of our own subconscious creation, Gary urges readers to break the mental chains holding them back and by exercising the gift of choice take responsibility for their own future happiness.

The author is there every step of the way to provide a clear and accessible path through the clutter of negative thoughts and day-to-day distractions on to the end goal of self-realisation.

At the heart the title is the simple assertion that once you can let go of illusion and draw upon a more fundamental, universal source of motivation, then you will reconnect with your true purpose on earth.

Illustrated throughout with ancient learning and pithy stories that gently bring home the important points being made, Now It Begins will consistently inspire and encourage people on their exciting journey to freedom and fulfillment.

The world is now on the verge of a great spiritual awakening and everybody owes it to themselves, and their neighbours, to tap into the limitless energy of the moment and bring about a lasting change for the better.

How he came to write Now it Begins

Throughout Gary’s life, he has always felt a deep desire within to be able to help others in some way. For many years he was confused, searching and often leaving the path from his original thoughts as to where his true soul purpose may lie. Gary travelled around the world, had various jobs, started businesses and lost everything in a materialistic way many times over. He was also a singer and songwriter…still something was missing from within. Later Gary became interested in healing and other therapies, finally finding a way that he could build his life around without the need for trying.

He has always wanted to write a book for many years. Now it Begins has been written from his heart and includes short stories, life experiences, illustrated, researched, and the greatest thing of all, able to share this knowledge of self awareness to the world in these changing times. As everything comes to us at the right time and that time is now... so, Now it Begins! Gary is in the process of writing his second book. 

Why an Indie Publisher?

He had sent out letters with a synopsis and chapters to many publishers, which were also sent through Palamedes Pr Company. Gary received replies with more or less the same answers showing a standard letter. After some months, he decided to go for self-publishing, but through a known contact of his, a small publisher was introduced to him. The publisher is i2i Publishing, based in Manchester UK.

When did he start writing?

Gary had always been inspired to write from a very early age, writing short stories and quotes to writing songs and stories of his travels. Even though his book has been a life long journey, it really all began around 2010 when he was in India. It was there where Gary wrote a law of attraction course so that he could teach it when he returned home. After that, he continued to write, which included practical and spiritual knowledge for the completion of his book.

Links to purchase book
Amazon Paperback:
Amazon Kindle:

Author Websites:
I want to thank Gary for stopping by and sharing his life’s journey with us. It was an honor to have him on my blog and participate in Pay It Forward. Please let the world know about Gary Markwick and his talents by sharing this link –

Psychic and Self-Awareness,

Monday, September 24, 2012

Featured Suspense Author – Steven Nedelton

I’d like to introduce you to the next featured suspense author, Steven Nedelton. It was Mark Twain who lured him into reading, but it was the challenge of his friends that started him writing.  

Steven was introduced to reading Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn by one of his aunts, otherwise known as a Twain fanatic. Initially, there was a fairly weak bond between him and anything bookish at best - partly because his Aunt was not his favorite one and, most probably, because of his loathing for anything ‘grammatical’.  It wasn’t until he was around thirteen and his friends were starting to write that it became a matter of personal pride, so he joined in. These few facts nailed ‘the old lid to his coffin’—Steven became addicted to books and writing.

He started his first serious writing with the Crossroads novel, while employed in Arizona. There was a thought-provoking article in a major newspaper about the use of psychics in international espionage and Steven saw his first green light. Nowadays, he writes novels with crime, mystery, paranormal and noir. His published titles are, Crossroads, The Raven Affair, Fear!, and Coma Sins/The Madness of Ben Bluman co-authored with Joe Parente. Three of these novels were evaluated by the Midwest Book Review, The U.S. Review of Books and Apex Reviews and were rated 'Five Stars.’. His current book, Tunnel/The Lost Diary is available now.

The Tunnel/The Lost Diary Synopsis

It all began in an abandoned coal mine tunnel at the end of World War II... Bendiks (Ben) Kalninsh, a teenage boy, spends his summer afternoons spying on soldiers who gather at the old coal mine tunnel entrance.  His persistence is finally rewarded one afternoon when he sees an officer and two soldiers carry two suitcases into the tunnel.  When the three men depart, he enters the cold and musty darkness hoping to find stolen guns the soldiers left in there. But– he is not alone in the tunnel. What happens next will change the life of his family – though not yet and not in the country of his birth.

Many years later, two older men are viciously murdered in the small community of Forks, Minnesota. The boy, now a man and an up and coming sports star, discovers his life is at risk and his father one of the murder victims. What was in those suitcases that would suddenly put so many lives at risk? And then, all of a sudden, those investigating these incidents are told to cease their activities, even threatened and blackmailed with lies. Or, they simply disappear.  Is one of Hoover's top men in the FBI involved? War, stolen gold, a secret diary, murder! Did it really happen?

The Start of Tunnel/The Lost Diary

Tunnel/The Lost Diary is a fiction novel. Steven wanted to write suspense with a lot of action and espionage. He used a friend’s recollections and the various characters were mostly composites of individuals he had met in his life or read about. He assumes the idea about starting the novel with a young boy came from Tom Sawyer. The main theme in the book evolved as he wrote the novel. 

Why Self-Publish?

It took him a while to get published with his first book, Crossroads. He got in with Publish America, and a year later, Steven was able to get the same book republished by Asylett Press, Inc. When Asylett Press went out of business, he decided to go on his own. It was then that the self-publishing became doable in e-books and in print.

When did you get the writing bug?

Steven started writing fairly early—in his high school days. It was mostly short stories. The serious desire to write a novel came much later, sometime in 2000. A lot of it had to do with his work. Being an engineer, Steven didn’t have the time to write.

Links for purchasing Tunnel/The Lost Diary: (Paperback and Kindle)

Author Website:

Tunnel/The Lost Diary Book Trailer:

I want to thank Steven Nedelton for taking the time to share his story with us and participating in Pay It Forward. Much luck and success with your book and writing. Please spread the word about Steven Nedelton –

Mark Twain and Writing,

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Featured Author – Jeri Walker-Bickett

Our next featured author, Jeri Walker-Bickett, piqued my interest with her book, Popular Poe Stories in Plain English. First, I must confess that I haven’t read Poe, not even in college. Second, I always loved Shakespeare but people have complained about not understanding the writing. The thing is, I have always unraveled Shakespeare in my head and matched it to today’s English, and in a sense this is what Jeri has done with Poe.

Jeri Walker-Bickett was born and raised in Wallace, Idaho, a rough and tumble mining town with a checkered past. The storytelling urge struck at a young age, but an undergraduate degree in writing led to a graduate degree in English education. Between living the scholarship-laden life of an academic bum, she did seasonal work in national parks. Jeri met her future husband in Yellowstone and they later married in Las Vegas. This phase in their lives sparked an obsession with food and travel. Fate has intervened to allow her to take time off from the classroom. Her forthcoming novel, Lost Girl Road, is a ghost story that takes place in the woods of northwest Montana. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and their pets.

Popular Poe Stories in Plain English Synopsis

Five of Edgar Allan Poe's most popular short stories have been rewritten in a plain English version that is more accessible to today's readers. The content has not been shortened or simplified. Modernized paraphrases of the following stories are inlcuded: "The Cask of Amontillado," "The Masque of the Red Death," "The Oval Portrait," "The Pit and the Pendulum," and "The Tell-Tale Heart."

Since I was curious as to how Jeri rewrote the stories, I purchased Popular Poe Stories in Plain English yesterday and I’m halfway through. The cover matches the book beautifully—coinciding with the story, The Masque of the Red Death. If you’re not familiar with Poe and would like to read his short stories but are too intimated, then I suggest you get yourself a copy of this book. You will not be disappointed.

Here’s an excerpt from The Masque of the Red Death:

For a long time a deadly plague known as the Red Death had spread over the land. No virus had ever killed so many or been considered so dreadful. A sure-sign was all the disgusting blood involved. It announced its presence with light headedness, followed by bleeding from the surface of the skin, and inevitably death from all the blood loss. The mess that leaked from the sick person, specifically the blood oozing from the face, made it impossible for anybody to help the victim. The course of the disease from start to finish took only thirty minutes.

How did the idea come about?

Writing this book provided a way for Jeri to overcome severe writer's block and it also got her back into a regular writing routine. As a teacher, many of her students always struggled with grasping Poe's language. This is her way of bringing Poe to those who might feel his writing style is too old-fashioned.

Why Self-Publish?

Jeri decided to self-publish to make up for the valuable writing time she lost to teaching. Indeed, Kindle's popularity helped bring back her desire to write. Her motto has always been "slow and steady wins the race," and she has taken the past year to learn the ropes of being an indie author. Jeri’s Poe eBook provided the chance to learn how to format a cover as well as gain experience formatting text for a successful upload to Kindle. Jeri still plans to query agents once she finishes drafting Lost Girl Road, but in the meantime, she will also self-publish the novel.

Link to Amazon Purchase:
Author Blog and Website: 
Facebook Page:

I want to thank Jeri Walker-Bickett for giving me the opportunity to enjoy Edgar Allan Poe’s stories. For those self-published authors out there looking for a hired critique, proofreader or copy editor, I also suggest you start with Jeri’s editing services (knowledge in MLA, APA, and CMS guidelines). Not only is she a writer, but an editor as well. I know I’ll be hiring her for my next novel. Thanks Jeri for being a featured author and participating in Pay It Forward. Now spread the word about Jeri Walker-Bickett and her Popular Poe Stories in Plain English - There might even be a student in your life that could use a little help with Poe.

Classics and Interpretation,