Buy a Friend a Book Day: August 31

Nancy Jill Thames:

What a lovely idea for anyone feeling magnanimous in the next few day.


~Nancy Jill

Originally posted on Booth Talks Books:

August 31 is “Buy a Friend a Book Day” and I am celebrating by sending three of 11817169_10153538802612792_925414110557647945_n my friends surprises in the mail. Okay, one already knows because I could not keep quiet but the other two have no clue. So, that is this day that I speak of? Hallmark doesn’t have any cards out about it and you won’t see any advertisements on the TV about it. But, to us who read and love “our” authors, it’s kind of a big deal.

Lisa A. Kelley , the hostess of this year’s world-wide event describes it.

“It’s simple. Buy a friend(s) a book today. Any book you want. Introduce your friend to a new author or series, or buy your friend a book that she / he has been wanting! It’s that easy. Just buy a friend a book!”

11866405_163560293976434_1197403518308644059_n Me getting the books ready for the post.


View original 164 more words

We’ve moved! But don’t worry – you can still read about your favorite authors in the recent posts.




Queen of Afternoon Tea Author, Nancy Jill Thatea partymes









Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Ceylon Black Tea and we’ll get started. Please help yourself to an egg and olive finger sandwich. We’re having Lemon Pound Cake for dessert. Readers may find your recipes at the end of the interview.
Thank you for having me, Nancy. I just love having afternoon tea. I’ve been looking forward to having a chance to sit down and talk with you.
Tell me about your tea set.
The tea set was my grandmother’s. This is a good example of how a genealogist confirms or discredits a family story.
The story that went with the tea set when my mother gave it to me was that it was the set given to my grandmother by her mother when she was married in 1914. I found a contemporary newspaper article which said that her mother had given her a teapot, and people had stuffed money in it for their wedding gift to her. That much was right. Then I checked the bottom of the teapot and traced its origin. The codings identified the pattern, its date of production and the place of production. The date ended up being 1945; therefore, it wasn’t the same pot. My great grandmother died in the 1920’s. She couldn’t have bought it for my grandmother.
At least that one I could solve. One I’ve yet to clarify is the family story about my great great aunt who either sang in New York City in the opera or burlesque, depending on which side of the family we consult. 

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in Leander, TX currently. I was born and raised in Central New York where I met my husband.
Our daughter graduated from the same school district as I did. Once she was off on her own, my
husband pursued his dream of becoming a school administrator, and I followed him to downstate New
York and later out to rural Eastern Oregon where lived for 13 years. During that time I wrote daily,
developing the novel series I am now publishing.
Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?
I am an Indie author.
What are your hobbies?
I’ve been an active gardener, traveler, and cook.My main hobby now is genealogy. For 47 years I have chased down information on ancestors, mainly
in New York and New England, but I have traveled as far afield as England, Scotland, Canada, Italy
and Barbados to research. I have put together an extensive family tree which I am now publishing
on a blog at It’s been a satisfying hobby, and I’ve been able to view history in
some sense through my ancestors’ eyes. I love their stories.Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?

My current book, Ysabet I: The Two-Edged Sword, is science fiction. I was inspired to write it because
of a fascination for the character of the empath, one who senses emotion. The first I ever heard the
term was in a Star Trek episode. A number of authors have treated the subject since. Ysabet is my own
interpretation of that psychic ability.

How did you become a writer? When did you start?

As a child I told stories and wrote poetry. I didn’t begin seriously trying to write a novel until long into
my adulthood. I remember thinking to myself… What would happen if…, and it flowed from there.
Once I started, I didn’t stop.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?

Years… It went through many, many rewrites, and sequels and other novels filled in between. As I
learned the craft of writing, I knew I wanted to share it with others.

Where do you like to write?

I have my own library/den where both the genealogical and novel writing take place. It’s quiet at
home with a minimum of distractions, and I have all my tools at hand.

Favorite author(s)?

In historical fiction, I have always loved Walter Edmonds. His most famous novel was Drums Along the
Mohawk. I watch for new books from mystery writers such as: Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s,
Michael McGarrity, James D. Doss, Lee Child and Janet Evanovich. Of authors’ of science fiction/
fantasy, I like Sharon Shinn, George R. R. Martin, Sarah Monette, Elizabeth Moon, and I’m currently
reading Michelle Sagara. I think it’s the idea of the series that attracts me to them. That’s why I like
your character, Jillian Bradley. We really get to know her over the course of the series.

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

In the Ysabet series I have completed five and am working on a 6th. I also have a fantasy completed,
and another science fiction.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

It’s available in paperback and the Kindle version on:

What about a link to your website?

You may also find the links at:

It has been such a pleasure to have you over for tea. Thank you so much for sharing about your new book. I wish you every success!
Nancy Lanni’s Recipes:
Hard boiled eggs diced   
Green olives, sliced
Mayonnaise for binding


Cream together:
2/3 cup solid shortening (if using butter, cut milk to ½ cup)
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon peel
1 tsp baking powder
1 ¼ tsp salt
Beat in:
2/3 cup milk
2 ¼ cups flour
3 eggs, one at a time
Place in buttered loaf pan. Bake 300° 1 ¼ hrs.





Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Lemon Lift tea and we’ll get started. Please help yourself to a chicken salad sandwich and a raspberry walnut scone. We have Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake for dessert.

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

 I live in Shreveport, Louisiana.  I am a mother of two beautiful children, a girl 11 and a boy 2.  I am married to my best friend, my illustrator, and my co-writer.  We love camping, anything outdoors with the kids, we love to go to the diamond mine (digging in the dirt).  I have always had the love of writing.  I love kids so it was easy to make my kids’ books.


Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I am self-published.  With low funds and year and a half of research what companies fit my budget, I decided to self-publish.


What are your hobbies?

 I love writing, photography (anything with butterflies or nature), face booking, and social networking.


Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration? 

My current book is “Searching for the Unknown”.  It is a story about a couple who moved to a small town after the husband was transferred for his job.  They bought a nice house they had to fix up.  They loved the property, the fishing, and everything but there was something they didn’t like, the other people who lived in the house.  They have passed and started haunting them. The inspiration for this story was some happenings that has happened to my husband and I.  And then our imaginations ran.


How did you become a writer? When did you start? 

I have always loved writing poetry.  When I was in high school and had a crush I would write.  I could not express my feelings aloud like I could on paper.  I am not a good talker.  So if I had a feeling deep within me I would write.  I divorced in 1999 and lost someone dear to me in the split, he was my stepson.  He had many difficult situations in his life that I wanted to write something positive for kids.  Now with my own two kids I write things that I would want them to read instead of all the fake stories out there.  These are based on our lives only where children can relate. 


How long did it take you to finish your first book? 

My first story did not take long at all.  It is a kid’s short story so not many pages.  For “Searching for the Unknown” it took a couple of months.  It is also a short story for teens to adults.


Where do you like to write?  

With two kids it is hard to find a nice quiet place to relax and write.  So I have to take time when my husband gets off from work and go to our room and write.  I either write when our two year old is taking a nap (like now), or late at night while he is sleeping.


Favorite author(s)? 

I can’t really say I have a favorite.  Every author out here is putting so much work together to strive for a good book.  The work an author does to research everything for their book to publishing, editing, etc. is very hard work.  Once published then you have to find your audience and then put a lot of time into social networking.  I respect every author out there.


How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more? 

I have written over 11 books.  I have put my Ted and Raymond Series together as 3 books in one.  The projects are coming, more Ted and Raymond Series books.  We have another paranormal book almost finished “The Spirits of ChesterVille General Store”.  They all will be great reads.


Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

Barnes and noble, books-a-million, amazon, CreateSpace, and many more sites.

What about a link to your website?

Rhonda, thank you so much for joining us and allowing us to get to know you better. May you continue to enjoy success in your writing endeavors.

Our winner for Micki Peluso’s book “And the Whippoorwill Sang” is Deirdre Tolhurst. Congratulations!









Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Earl Grey tea and we’ll get started. I have honey and lemon just for you! The open faced tuna with green olive sandwiches are to die for. Please help yourself. For dessert we have Cherry Cheesecake Tarts.

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born in North Carolina, moved as an infant to Texas, then to Easton, Pennsylvania where I grew up the suburbs. I married my high school sweetheart, Butch, eloped in a crazy double ceremony with my own mother and moved to Long Island, New York. I raised our six children there, while Butch worked long hours to support us. Having six children almost all a year apart was a wonderful, hectic time, but I was alone a lot with no one to talk to that was more than three feet tall. We moved west to Las Vegas in a camper resembling the “Beverly Hillbillies”, due to the drug situation in New York. Work was difficult to find for my restaurant manager husband, so we limped back east and settled in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, a safe place, we thought, to raise children. Time would quickly prove us wrong.


Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I was very lucky in that a fellow writer I knew vaguely was opening her own publishing company, LSPdigital, and offered to publish my first and only book. It was half finished due to a trauma that blocked out my memory, but Linda Daly, having heard about my story, consistently nudged me forward until the block resolved and the book could end. Without her, there would be no book. She also taught her authors the art of marketing and promotion which has been invaluable to us all.


What are your hobbies?

When my kids were growing up I wove braided rugs, taught myself to crochet by beginning with a bath mat. The mat grew to be six feet long and a foot wide, but I figured it could be a lap robe for the kids. I finally had to stuff it in a closet to stop it. Butch, impressed by the growth potential of the bath mat bought me a sewing machine; not the best present for someone who almost failed sewing in Home Economics in school.  I learned to sew the kids’ clothing and mine, plus a gorgeous suede shirt for my husband with the sleeves on backwards. Oddly he never wore it out of the house. Now I limit my hobbies to reading and doing professional book reviews, meditating and working crossword puzzles and mind games.


Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?

. . .And the Whippoorwill Sang is a deathbed promise I made to my lost child. When she was struck down by a drunk driver, her spinal cord severed, and left in a semi-coma for ten of the longest days of our lives, I told her I would make sure the world knew who and what she was; so that her death would not be in vain. As close as our large family was, when Noelle died, we all went our separate ways, unable to comfort each other. One of her sisters became bulimic and suicidal, a brother raced cars to tempt God to take him as well, her other brother had to be constantly pulled back from going after the repeated offender drunk driver who caused our world to dim without Noelle’s presence. Her oldest sister could not handle our great sorrow and stayed away on her own, while her youngest sister was plagued with anxiety and panic attacks at the age of eleven. Her father did not speak her name for five years and barely ever after that. As for me, I wrote. I could not speak or share so I wrote. The short story of the book was published by Victimology; an International Magazine. I wrote slice of life stories about her and all the kids for my new local daily newspaper, which led to a career in Journalism. I started the book about four years after her death, but life stepped in and I had to put it aside for years. When I was able to continue it, I realized the block when I came to the part before she died. My kids, many of whom also had memory loss, helped as we forced ourselves to remember—that and a deadline from my publisher finally got the book done.


How did you become a writer? When did you start?

I loved to write from the time I was five and crayoned my Raggedy Ann doll’s face—making some sort of statement, I suppose. I wrote my first poem in fifth grade and it had perfect meter. I loved writing book reports, essays and stories all through high school. I was writing ala “Erma Bombeck” style at the same time she was, except she got famous and I got honorariums. I put writing aside with so many kids, but I did keep journals and logs of our two trips out west. One was with a girlfriend and her little boy and one was when we moved out there. Butch was like the father in “Sound of Music” who whistled for the kids and made them toe the line like a General. Our “vacation” driving west was worth everything to see Butch struggle trying to make things go perfectly when “Murphy’s Law” was always one step ahead of him.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?

In actual writing time, I would guess perhaps a year, but from the idea to the published date took over 20 years. When my publisher deliberately honored Noelle by having the book printed on the day she died, a strange thing happened. The book went to print at the precise time of day that Noelle went Home to God.


Where do you like to write?

I write mostly in the wee small hours of the morning, before I go to sleep around 3 AM. It’s quiet then and I am not a morning person. I prefer to write in bed where I’m comfortable and cannot create without an erasable pen and a long yellow legal pad. Then I make corrections/additions as I type the copy into the computer. Strange things happen when I use a computer, but that’s another story.


Favorite author(s)?

I love the old greats, many who’ve passed on by now—Mitchner, Covell, Tolkien, Margaret Atwood, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Diana Gabalden, Nora Roberts, and the wonderful Jean Auel, just to name a few. I loved all the Harry Potter books and of course my favorite book of all is the Bible.


How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

This is my first book. I write mostly non-fiction, although I read fiction, but can only seem to write short fiction. At present, I’m working on putting together a collection of my short stories, slice of life, journalistic commentary and essays into a book called, “Heartbeats . . . Slices of Life”.

To win a free signed copy of Micki Peluso’s book

“And the Whippoorwill Sang”

Please leave a comment,

and your email

and follow “Queen of Afternoon Tea.”

Thank you! We’ll announce the winner on September 24th.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?


Amazon Central

Author’s Den

What about a link to your website?

Micki, thank you for joining us today and sharing your story. You’ve been an inspiration. Blessings on you, my friend.







Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Prince of Wales tea and we’ll get started. Please help yourself to my version of your Captain Harvey’s Steak Sub Sandwiches. I made sliders for tea! We also have the Turtle Chocolate Cake you like for dessert.

M.P. Thank you so very much for having me. I don’t believe I’ve ever been a “King of the Week” before, so I consider this an honor!

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Home, sweet home is currently Gilbert, Arizona – a growing suburb of the Phoenix area. I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland – youngest of two children.  I have been married to my wife, Bonnie, for 27-plus years. We’ve had three daughters – Emily, Lauren and Kimberly.

I’m an absolutely huge sports fan – especially, baseball and college football. I’m also a little bit of a movie geek.

I’m a fan of food as well. I love Maryland steamed crabs or crab soup! It they’re not readily accessible, a really good, back-home cheesesteak or cheeseburger sub with loads of hot peppers and grilled onions. Probably not the perfect compliment to tea, but they sure are yummy!

Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I’m very proud to say I am a self-published indie author! Given the current publishing and economic climate – any and all marketing efforts an indie author is performing on their own behalf is also going to be required by a traditional publisher. I’m a very hands-on person and would prefer to make the call on certain aspects of my book(s). At the end of the day if I have anyone to complain about – it’ll boil down to the fella I see in the mirror.

What are your hobbies?

I’m reasonably boring fella. I read, listen to audio books, try my hardest to work out, watch college football and write. Boy, after writing that I have to say – I’m not a reasonably boring fella. I’m a VERY BORING fella!

Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?

I’d be happy to. My Emily was released in late November/early December of last year.

My inspiration? My daughter – Emily.  The actual idea for the book came from a newspaper column I wrote almost 20 years prior.

Emily was born with Down syndrome and just two years later was diagnosed with leukemia.  I try to take the reader by the hand and walk them through our journey with our little one – from birth, diagnosis, treatment, her eventual passing and our efforts to move on without her.

I’ve been so very touched by the wonderful response to our story.  Numerous readers have shared notes containing such heartfelt words of encouragement as to how Emily’s story has affected them. It’s been truly humbling, considering many of these notes come from families with special needs children or those who are actually fighting the fight with cancer/leukemia. It’s been quite an emotional and gratifying time.

How did you become a writer? When did you start?

I have a background in journalism and marketing communications that totals some 20-plus years. I’ve written everything from straight news stories and columns to news releases and annual reports. Thing is, I really don’t believe I became a “writer” until I sat down and tried to write my first book. So, I have to say I have two answers – 1986 and 2010, but let’s go with the latter.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?

It would kill me to say 20 years, but I have to agree the timing was right for when it finally came to pass.  In actuality, it took me three to four months to write, edit, rewrite, edit, rewrite, edit and finally have friends say, “Let it go for crying out loud.”

Where do you like to write?

As funny as it may seem – I prefer to write at our public library here in Gilbert. It’s quiet. I have a large table to work from and I have any and all the comforts of home.

Favorite author?

This is an easy one – Mitch Albom.

He has such a simple and clean delivery to his work. He creates the perfect blend of humor, sensitivity and spirituality (without being preachy) that truly makes you laugh, cry and be inspired. I have to say I try to pattern my writing after his. When I grow up – I want to be Mitch Albom.

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

I have written one book – My Emily. Yes, I have two books on the horizon – one, which will be co-authored with my wife Bonnie and the second will be a book about how men deal with grief.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

The easiest link, offering the most options, is most likely on the My Emily website:

What about a link to your website?

I invite folks to stop by and visit and learn a little bit more about our little girl and our story.



Twitter: @myemily_thebook

Facebook: Matt Patterson, Author  &  My Emily 

Matt, thank you so much for sharing your journey with us – I’ve admired your courage and wonderful spirit from afar. So good to finally connect! 

This week’s winner of Matt Patterson’s book “My Emily” was won by Paulette Harper Johnson. CONGRATULATIONS PAULETTE!!








Welcome! Let me pour you a cup of Raspberry Royale tea and we’ll get started. Please help yourself to a Smoked Chicken Mushroom Tart and a finger sandwich. The tart is a recipe from Tea Party Girl, a cute site I’ve subscribed to recently. We’re having your wonderful Cherry Topped Cheesecake Pie for dessert. I’ve included the recipe at the end.

Where do you live? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a California girl. I’m not married and I have no children, although nephews and nieces, and great-nephews and nieces (yes I am that old) make up for it. I have a degree in Theatre Arts which greatly influenced my writing style of telling a story through the dialogue between my characters. My work experience is in the clerical field in a lot of different industries, which is convenient for plot lines. Long story short, I’m boring.

Are you a traditionally published or Indie author?

I’m an Indie author.

What are your hobbies?

Embroidery, knitting, and walking.

Tell us about your current book. What was your inspiration?

My most recent book is called “The Wrong Ghost.” The inspiration actually came from an assignment I had in a Spanish class. One assignment was to ask different people about the story of La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) a variation of “The White Lady” legend. What fascinated me was the number of variations I heard on the theme, no two stories were alike. Which fits into the plot line of “The Wrong Ghost.”

How did you become a writer? When did you start?

According to my mother I’ve been making up my own stories since before I could read. She said I would take sister’s comic books and sit under the kitchen table and make up the story to go with the picture. I thought Spiderman was the bad guy because he scared me. However I actually started writing in junior high when I got hooked on reading. However it wasn’t until I was in my forties that I actually sat down to the work of writing and try to put together an actual novel. Then it was a matter of trial and error.

How long did it take you to finish your first book?

My first book in the series “The Mystery of Hurtleberry House,” took about six months to complete.

Where do you like to write?

On my laptop computer in front of the TV. Not that I’m actually watching the show, but I do like the background noise for some reason.

Favorite author(s)?

Do I have to pick? I love so many. However, C.S. Lewis, John Bunyan, Arthur Conan Doyle, R. Austin Freeman…Oh man there are just too many!

How many books have you written, so far? Do you plan to write more?

So far I have written four in The Reboot Files Series, and yes I plan on more. How many? Well that’s up to God who has to give me the ending.

Would you like to share a link where we can purchase your books?

The Reboot Files #1 – The Mystery of Hurtleberry House

The Reboot Files #2 – The Island of Living Trees

The Reboot Files #3 – The Harbinger of Retribution

Reboot Files #4 – The Wrong Ghost:

What about a link to your website?

My blog, called Short Mysteries and Tall Tales is located at

Cindy, it’s been so much fun to have you come for tea. I’ve enjoyed reading the Reboot Files and wish you great success in all your upcoming endeavors. Thanks for sharing!

Congratulations to last week’s contest winner Linneann! She will be receiving a copy of  “Extraordinary Dreams of an Ireland Traveler” by Rosemary “Mamie” Adkins.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Cindy Ragsdale’s Reboot Files #1

“The Mystery of Hurtleberry House”:

1. Leave a comment with your e-mail address (so we can send a copy to you if you win).

2. Follow “Queen of Afternoon Tea.” (You must comment and Follow by Email to qualify for the drawing.)

Now here are the recipes!


1 8 oz pkg cream cheese (softened)

½ cup sugar

1 8 oz container thawed frozen whipped topping

1 9 inch unbaked graham cracker crust

1 21 oz can cherry pie filling

With electric beater combine cream cheese and sugar until integrated. Blend in cool whip.  Pour into graham cracker crust. Top with cherries. Chill before serving.

Smoked Chicken Mushroom Tarts


1/2 pkg. puff pastry dough, thawed
1 tsp. water
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 C. diced smoked chicken, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 pkg. Cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
12 Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped, divided
2 T. olive oil
1 T. finely chopped parsley, divided
1 egg
1 T. finely minced scallion stems, divided

Preheat oven to 450*. Roll out pastry dough and flatten seams. Cut
pastry sheet into 9 sections and place sections on a greased baking
sheet. In a large pan over medium high heat, saute’ sliced onions,
minced garlic and chopped mushrooms in olive oil until softened.
Remove from heat and let cool. In a small bowl, beat egg with
water. Brush the borders of the pastry with egg mixture. Spread
mushroom mixture into the center of each pastry section. Fold up
1/2″ of each pastry side, pinching the corners together to hold the
filling. Bake for 10 minutes.

Top each tart with smoked chicken, shredded Montery Jack cheese
and chopped olives. Return to oven for an additional 10 minutes,
until cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle each tart
with chopped parsley and scallions. Serve warm. Makes 9 servings.

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