Amazing Stories

Dianne Gardner 1-me painting2

Dianne Gardner

Hi all!

Our good friend Dianne Gardner wrote a wonderful article for Amazing Stories about judging books.  As a reader, what’s important to you?  Are you really worried about a misplaced coma or a tiny misspelling?  Probably not if you are hooked heart and soul into the story.  Ok, so as not to spoil the point of this article, read what Dianne has to say:


Some of Dianne’s latest works

You can find all about Dianne, and see some of her amazing artwork on her website:

Happy reading everyone!!

K.R. and T.L.

International link for Fateful Night –

International link for Darkest Day –






Broken Crayons Still Colour


Some beautiful words of wisdom from my dear friend Denise!

Originally posted on ♣.•* DENISE KENNEDY (Author) ❀:

Broken Crayons Still Colour



by Denise Kennedy

For the past few days this phrase has rolled in and out of my thoughts…a lot.

And every time it hushes me into contemplation.

So today, surrounded by lemons and cough bottle, the morning sun beaming through my window, and a softly flickering fire in my hearth, I write to you…to speak softly yet directly to your heart.

I could write lots on this four-worded title, quite easily and elaborately, indeed until the cows come home…but that is not entirely what my intentions are; instead I want to share something of a gem with you that will shine hope and inspiration, and determination into that backbone of yours.

When I ponder over the word broken it brings to mind many images. A person can feel broken from disappointment, unemployment, divorce, loss, disillusionment, sadness or grief.  A season…

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Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring Blog Hop!!

Blog Hop

Click here to visit other blogs connected to this hop!!

Click the link below to enter for your chance to win a $70.00 Amazon or B&N Gift Card!

Now, that’s a great way to start Spring!

Hi all!!

What better way to bid Winter farewell, than to usher in Spring with a picture of a beautiful rose! 


Marilyn was a big fan of flowers and she loved the outdoors.  There, she found peace and was able to renew her spirit.  We too feel the same way.  Nothing brings feelings of peace, wellbeing, and clarity better than Spring.  The other seasons have their pluses too; but nothing really beats Spring for refreshing the spirit and giving new hope.

To celebrate this excellent season, we are counting down the 9 top reasons Spring ROCKS!!  Pay close attention to this list for your chance to win an ebook copy of Fateful Night, Book One in the What She Knew Trilogy.  (


 Marilyn flower

Flowers!! (One of our favorite pics of Marilyn)


dream book




Family time in the park! (T.L.’s Son and family)


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Movies in the park! (Fateful Night on the big screen)


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Spending time in the sun with furry friends! (T.L.’s Digby and K.R.’s Elli)


 USA. New York. Long Island. US actress Marilyn MONROE. 1955.

Reading outside, Marilyn style!

(K.R. and I LOVE being on the porch swing and reading)



Book signings!! (K.R. and T.L.)


Sheldon in pink hat

Travel! (Sheldon, T.L.’s grandlove)

one And of course, number one would have to be……

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Writing with the bestie!! 

(K.R. on the left and T.L. on the right. We do some of our best creating

walking in nature discussing a new scene or sitting outside and writing)

Ok, here’s how you can win an ebook copy of Fateful Night.  ~~~~What is the name of T.L.’s grandlove?~~~~ Just type it in the comments below!  We will randomly pick a winner.  Who knows, with Spring in the air, we may pick two!!  (If you already have the book, we’ll work something out, lol.)

Blessings!! Remember to enjoy your time in nature and enter for your chance to win the grand prize at the rafflecopter and to visit other great blogs for other wonderful prizes!!

Click here to visit other blogs connected to this hop!! Some great reading

and great prizes being given away too!

flower picture

Click the link below to enter for your chance to win a $70.00 Gift Card!

Now, that’s a great way to start Spring!

Contest is from March 20th – 23rd and you get to choose either Amazon or B&N for your gift card.

K.R. and T.L.

International link for Fateful Night –

International link for Darkest Day –






Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

St pat

Hi all!!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!!  Thought we would include a recipe in this post for Corned Beef and Cabbage!  Yummy!! 

corned beef

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage
3 lb Corned Beef with seasoning packet
10 small red potatoes, washed and left whole
2 med onions, peeled and sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
5 or 6 carrots, peeles and cut into 1″ pieces
1 large head of cabbage, cut into small wedges
  1. Place corned beef in large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Add the spice packet that came with the corned beef. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer approximately 50 minutes per pound or until tender.
  2. Add whole potatoes, onion, garlic and carrots, and cook until the vegetables are almost tender. Add cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove meat and let rest 15 minutes.
  3. Place vegetables in a bowl and cover. Add as much broth (cooking liquid reserved in the Dutch oven or large pot) as you want. Slice meat across the grain.
  4. If you enjoy a little sweet with your meat, then mix 1/4 cup mustard with 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar together and spread over the meat. Place meat on a cookie sheet and glaze the meat under the broiler for 5 minutes or so.  Then slice and serve.
  5. Some like a spicy sauce with their Corned Beef.

Horseradish Sauce:

3/4 cup mayonnaise

3/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons jarred grated horseradish (with liquid)

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

St Patrick

K.R and T.L.

International link for Fateful Night –

International link for Darkest Day –






Happy International Womens Day!

Hi all!!

What better way to celebrate women than to thank one of the pioneers, Marilyn Monroe!  Here are a few facts you may not know about her and how she helped to pave the way for women in the business world.


Marilyn was a voracious reader.  She may have played the role of a ditzy blonde in many films, but she was actually quite the bookworm whose reading preferences included books by James Joyce and Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Once married to playwright Arthur Miller, Monroe stocked about 400 books on her shelves, many of which were later catalogued and auctioned off by Christie’s in New York City.

Library Thing has made a list of 261 titles that were a part of Monroe’s personal library. Books on the list include: Out Of My Later Years by Albert Einstein; Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert; The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner; as well as poetry collections from Robert Frost, John Milton, and Edgar Allan Poe, among others.

In our books, we showcase the very intelligent Marilyn Monroe, still sexy and beautiful, but uses her brains.

Marilyn in Korea

Marilyn Monroe performed for the troops in Feb 1954, while on her honeymoon with Joe DiMaggio in Japan.  He has business to attend too, and she flew to Korea and over the course of 4 days, performed 10 shows.  Here’s a link of a wonderful article and pictures of the trip.

marilyn and ella

Apparently in the 50s, a popular nightclub, Mocambo would not book Ella Fitzgerald because she was black.

Fortunately for Ella, she had a powerful and unlikely ally in Marilyn.

I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt…it was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the ’50s. She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him – and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status – that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman – a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it.” – Ella Fitzgerald

Thanks for joining us today and celebrate the women in your life!!


K.R. and T.L.

International link for Fateful Night –

International link for Darkest Day –






Cassandra’s Castle is Heading to TV!!

Dianne Gardner 1-me painting2

Dianne Gardner (Artist Extraordinaire)

Hi all!!

Dianne Gardner, one of our dearest and most talented friends, has stopped by to share some exciting news with us!!  She and her ever devoted team, are working hard to make Cassandra’s Castle into a TV series.  She has an IndieGoGo campaign all set up to help make this dream a reality.  Here’s the link: 

For a donation, and remember there’s no such thing as too small a donation, you will get anything from your name in lights (ok, maybe not in lights, but you will be listed in the production) to “Crown the King” which includes their very own costume designer making you a custom made costume for your generous donation, in addition to the following perks: an autographed movie poster, a digital copy of Cassandra’s Castle, a screen credit on website and trailer invitation to premiere AND Your limited edition hard copy of Cassandra’s Castle will be illustrated with behind the scenes photographs from the film and signed by cast. Woot!!  How exciting is that? 

We personally can’t wait for this to become a reality.  We’ve read Dianne’s books and seen her paintings, and let us just say, SHE ROCKS!! 

Our question to Dianne was this:  How did all this begin?


Portrait by Dianne Gardner

Talk about a romance?

I first began research for Cassandra’s Castle the same time a friend and I began a genealogy research for her grandfather. It was said her grandpa was related to Portuguese royalty. He was also a Catholic Priest. Of course, he and her grandmother had never been photographed together.

Touched by their forbidden love, and the heartache they must have experienced (they presumably had three children together and the woman had to raise them as an unwed mother in an era that threw a blanket of shame over that behavior) I felt compelled to paint a portrait of the two together. It was a very emotional experience for me.

In the midst of imagining their pain, I also uncovered the tragic events in Portugal that occurred, events this man had escaped by swimming across a river and exiling himself to a foreign country.

Near him, a young 18 year old boy witnessed his father and brother suddenly murdered in a public square. Overnight he became the ruler of a nation in the midst of a rebellion. With no real training, he was forced to make critical decisions that would shape his country. For three years he tried with his mother’s assistance and then the castle was bombed and he was exiled to England for the rest of his short life.


The story of Manuel II, the last king of Portugal is a heartbreaking story. Just as I felt the need to paint my friend’s grandparents in a memorial portrait which sealed them together, I felt the need to paint history over again for this young king.

Having already been writing an outline for book V of the Ian’s Realm Saga, I outlined a historical fantasy into Cassandra’s Castle.

The story is what has drawn our cast and crew. As you listen to Karolyn Grimes speak, you’ll understand the pull. We know we have a fan base for this series and we’ve done as much work as we can without money. Time has come to ask for financial support.

Please read the synopsis and about the work we’ve been doing on our website

Personal Interview of Karolyn Zuzu Grimes:


Dianne, thank you so much for sharing your exciting news with us!!  We will keep everyone apprised on the progress and look forward to seeing Cassandra’s Castle on TV soon!!  And everyone, please note, funding for this project needs to be in by April 1st, 2015.


K.R. and T.L.

Happy Valentine’s? Marilyn’s Men


As Valentine’s Day once again approaches, we wanted to share this article on the ‘what if’ and ‘maybe’ of Marilyn’s Feb 14ths.

Originally posted on :

It’s Valentine’s Day! Love is in the air, and cards are delivered – hopefully! We at BB HQ get our fair share of course, but we wonder how many ultimate bombshell Marilyn Monroe got on February 14 each year?

Marilyn was certainly never short of admirers, and even years after her death, she’s still the ultimate woman for many men. But who were the men lucky enough to get close to Ms Monroe?

All sorts of rumours abound about who her lovers were; the most famous rumoured love being President of the USA, John F Kennedy. His alleged relationship with her, and possibly that of his brother, Senator Bobby Kennedy too, has been the subject of much debate over the years – did they or didn’t they, and in a more sinister vein, were the Kennedy’s directly involved in Monroe’s untimely death? Certainly her performance of Happy Birthday Mr President…

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