October is National Cookbook Month | 5 Ways To Celebrate

National Cookbook Month is an annual designation observed in October.

cookbook (noun): a book containing recipes and other information about the preparation and cooking of food. - Oxford Dictionaries

5 Ways To Celebrate National Cookbook Month

1. Pull out a cookbook and try out a new recipe.

2. Revisit one of your old favorite recipes.

3. Share a favorite cookbook on social media using #NationalCookbookMonth or #CookbookMonth.

4. Create your own personal recipe book or cookbook.

5. Write a cookbook review.

Join Kathleen at SMS NONFICTION BOOK REVIEWS in The Cookbook Challenge during the month of October.

The challenge is easy - write a cookbook review and link it up at SMS NONFICTION BOOK REVIEWS

Drop enter for a chance to win the Help For Making Dinner Giveaway ($60.25 RV). The prize includes two cookbooks.


Read an Excerpt of Astraeus by @haley_cavanagh | Book Tour and $25 Amazon Card #Giveaway | Silver Dagger Tours Presents #SciFi #Romance

Astraeus by Haley Cavanagh is on virtual book tour. The science fiction romance stops at Readeropolis with an author guest post. 

Be sure to enter for a chance to win the giveaway for a $25 Amazon GC and follow the Silver Dagger book tour (for other dates see the link at the bottom of the post).

by Haley Cavanagh
Genre: SciFi Romance

One pre-apocalyptic Earth. One desperate space mission to find a solution. One unexpected alien. 
When Dr. Sakota Thorell signed onto the mission to scout out a new, habitable planet, she knew discovering extraterrestrial life was always a possibility. But she never expected to find an alien adrift in space, nor for that alien to be so intriguing. Sakota feels an instant and undeniable attraction to Astraeus, but he represents a million possibilities, and just as many threats.

There are others hunting Astraeus, and his rescue may cost Earth its last hope. 

Haley Cavanagh is a military veteran, wife, and mother. She is an alumna of Columbia College, a musical theater nut, and she loves to dive into any book that crosses her path. Haley resides with her family in the United States and enjoys spending time with her husband and children when she's not writing. She loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media. She also writes under the name Roxanne D. Howard.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!

“What are you called? What’s your name?”

He opened his mouth, and she moved closer, eager for his first words. Instead, he focused on her lips with obvious fascination. His intriguing eyes caught the light. Despite her disappointment that he couldn’t speak, a rush went through her. Alien or not, he was the most handsome man she’d ever laid eyes on, with the kind of ethereal elegance some upper-class, privileged men on Earth spent fortunes on plastic surgery trying to achieve.
“It’s okay if you don’t want to talk, or if you can’t. We’ll get there. Now, I’m going to check you.” She kept her voice gentle, as she might use with a child. She pressed the button to disengage the protective bubble over the med bed and shone the retinal scanner in her own eye to demonstrate. “I just need to look at your eyes with this.” She motioned with the scope to him. “It won’t hurt. I promise.”

Warm puffs of his breath blew on her neck as she leaned in. She paused, noting the remarkable eight-pointed star-shape of his pupils. The mutation was his one physical difference, and only if one looked closely. The pupils dilated when hit by the scope’s light. She’d never seen eyes as remarkable.

“You’re doing great,” she soothed. Her head burst with countless questions.Where are you from? How did you get here? What do you want?

He appeared to like the cadence of her voice. His posture relaxed, and his breath against her was steady. How long had she been staring into his eyes? Should she push her luck and try to examine his mouth?

Before she could try, his finger stroked her inner arm. He was still restrained at the wrists, but he could reach her.

She allowed it. He stroked a featherlight finger along her forearm. As he did so, his gaze never left hers. She offered a kind smile. “That’s right. Friend. Sakota. Sa-ko-ta.”

He opened his mouth and let out a chicken-like squawk. “-Ota,” he said in a throaty, deep voice.

She raised her eyebrows. “Good. Very good.”

He tilted his head, watching her lips. “Gooood.”

Excited, she lowered the retinal light. “Can you understand me?”
He looked confused. “Me…”

“Okay. That’s a no. Then let me take this opportunity to say, in no uncertain terms, you, my friend, are the stuff of dreams and legends. I’ve waited my whole life for this. Are you getting this, Alistair?” she called out.

He came in over the speakers. “I am. Amazing. I’ll get to work on a linguistics program. Our friend seems to want to communicate.”

She moved to pull away, but the man’s fingers closed over her wrist.

“Let me go.” She jerked her arm, but he wouldn’t release his grip. She gave him a cautionary look, and he loosened his fingers, though he still held her. Warning bells went off.What if he’s not here in peace?But his eyes sparkled impishly. He seemed to enjoy her skin pressed against his. Maybe he hadn’t been touched in a while. Or maybe he had a crush. Who knew.
Before she could extricate herself, the intercom chimed. “Sakota, are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. He’s just being friendly—”

The man’s forefinger trailed along her arm again. She sucked in a breath and shut her eyes as a series of images flashed through her mind.A high wall made of stacked stones. A hand spread out to touch the tips of tall, golden wheat of a field. Multihued buildings in the distance under a purple sky. Children’s laughter and then screams. She jerked when the images changed.Strange rain, like metal. Black ships attacking from the sky, horrible screams which rent the air, death.A gentle brush against her hand again. She inhaled and opened her eyes. The man searched her, calm and patient. She struggled to see straight, but her mind spun.

“W-was that your—”

The isolation walls shot up. Rutledge burst into the room and advanced like an angry bear, brutish, immaculate, and combat ready in his black Oceanstone fatigues. “Let her go,” he snarled.

Rutledge yanked the man’s hand off her and pushed her aside. She fell to the floor on her back in a dizzy haze, reeling from the vision. She turned her head. The man bellowed and tore loose from his restraints. His and Rutledge’s images faded into one as they collided and fought. Rutledge’s weapon whirred as he strained to activate it. The rifle propelled over her head and hit the wall.

“Stop.” Her pleas fell on deaf ears. She closed her eyes.

The men barged into the room with heavy footfalls and angry shouts. She opened her eyes, but her vision swirled. The blurred image of the alien lifted Rutledge’s lieutenant like a kitchen chair and catapulted him in the same direction as the weapon. “Stop,” she hollered to the men. “Don’t shoot him. He wasn’t attacking me.”

Another soldier fell to the floor with a sick thud, holding his stomach. “Yeah? Well, he’s attackingme.”

The alien pounced over her, crouching low. He caged her with his body and made a guttural rumble in his throat, a warning to the men. She turned her head to the marines, who zeroed their weapons in on them.

Author Q&A ft @zaidamusic | THE LAST NOTE by Zaida Alfaro + Kindle Copy #Giveaway | GREAT ESCAPES TOURS #CozyMystery

THE LAST NOTE: A Miami Music Mystery by Zaida Alfaro is on virtual book tour with Great Escapes Book Tours. The cozy mystery stops at Readeropolis with an author interview.

Author Interview

How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

As a singer-songwriter, the most important note in a song, for me that is, is the last note the song ends with.  It can be the most impactful note. That is the reason I titled my novel, The Last Note. A Miami Music Mystery was my publisher’s idea.  I am from Miami, Florida. The novel is based in Miami, and it’s about music. I thought it was a genius series title.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image?

My publisher’s art department designed the cover.  It is my first book being published, so when I received 8 mock covers, I was in heaven!  The cover that I selected fit my style the most. The neon colors, it being ‘art deco,’ and the microphone completely won over my decision.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

My favorite character from my book is Alexia.  At first, Alexia was not going to have such a big role in my book, but the more I wrote her, the more I fell in love with her character.  The character is based off my older sister, and a lot of the bantering, communication, and the closeness that Vy and Alexia have in the book, portrays my actual relationship with my older sister.

Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?

In high school, I had to take two years of a foreign language.  I speak Spanish, and I don’t have the accent to speak French, so I decided to take Sign Language.  I enjoyed it so much so, that I took three years of Sign Language in high school. My intent was to become an interpreter, so I minored in Sign Language, and majored in English.  Needleless to say, I didn’t become an interpreter, but I do know how to sign. And, I am a comic book nerd, so I have a great collection of comic books!

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

I am all over social media.  You can visit the following websites to find out more about my books:

FaceBook:  @zaidaauthor
Instagram: zaidamusic   
Twitter: @zaidamusic

What can we expect from you in the future?

My goal is to write two more books for this cozy series. I love the cozy genre.  It is lighthearted, and I feel like you can relate to the characters, at least in the cozy mysteries that I have read.  I want to bring that feeling of ease, relating to, and laughter in my future cozy books. I believe I did it with The Last Note, so you can expect that I am going to aim for that in the next two books.

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

The best advice I can give is to not give up.  I received so many rejection letters, that I was on the verge of not sending out any more query letters.  Then I attended a book signing for one of my favorite authors. Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for her, I was the only person that attended the signing.  I was able to sit with her for an hour and talk about my novel and the hardships. She said to me, “give yourself a deadline of a year before you resort to self-publishing. Do not give up just yet.”  So, when I left that signing, I calendared a year from that date. In six months, my book was picked up! So, do not give up. Give yourself a deadline and send out as many query letters as you can. There will be one publisher that will believe in your work, but make sure that you believe in your work first.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Thank you, reader and/or reviewer, for taking the time to read my book.  I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Welcome to my crazy world!

About the Book
The Last Note: A Miami Music Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Cozy Cat Press (January 24, 2018)
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-10: 1946063487
ISBN-13: 978-1946063489
Digital ASIN: B079T5H45S

Killer songs and a killer voice, but a killer at her gig?

Vy has always found herself at the center of attention as the lead singer for one of Miami's top cover bands, but when she finds herself at the center of a murder investigation, while performing at the Steel Horse Bar, that changes the tune of the night. Someone believes that Vy knows the truth behind the murder of the bar owner Ricky, and now that person is after her. Vy better figure out quickly who wanted Ricky dead, who is threatening her with her favorite band’s song lyrics, and why she’s falling for the handsome Detective Houston, before she too sings her last note. With a mixture of mystery, mayhem and comedy, you will find yourself immersed in Vy's musical and murderous world.

About the Author
The Last Note’s main backdrop, the amazing city of Miami, Florida, is beloved and well-known to me. I was born and raised in Miami, and like the novel’s main character Vy, I am a singer/songwriter, as well as the lead singer to a self-proclaimed cover band. All things relating to music or literature are my passion. I keep a journal, and I am constantly writing poems, stories, and any thought that comes to mind. I have a fascination for black and white films, that have the element of mystery. As I have been told by many, I have a very creative imagination.

 Author Links:
Website -

Purchase Links: Amazon   Books2Read

October 22 – Varietats – SPOTLIGHT
October 22 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 23 – Valerie's Musings - REVIEW
October 23 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
October 24 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
October 24 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 25 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW
October 25 – Mysteries with Character – SPOTLIGHT
October 26 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
October 26 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 27 – The Layaway Dragon – REVIEW
October 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
October 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
October 28 – The Book's the Thing – SPOTLIGHT

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Read an Excerpt of The Black Trillium by @simonm223 | Book Tour and $25 Amazon Gift Card #Giveaway | Silver Dagger Tours Presents Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy

The Black Trillium by Simon McNeil is on virtual book tour. The post-apocalyptic fantasy stops at Readeropolis with an excerpt. 

Be sure to enter for a chance to win the giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card and follow the Silver Dagger book tour (for other dates see the link at the bottom of the post).

The Black Trillium
by Simon McNeil
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy

Confederation rules in Trana—so says the king.

But Fredericton is a long way from the shores of Lake Ontario, and schemes for power will bring together three extraordinary young warriors.

A desert girl who came to Trana looking for refuge but has never found a home

A privileged city boy dreaming of rebellion and hardened by cruelty

The disgraced heir to the throne desperate to win back his place in his father's heart

Sworn enemies or reluctant allies, they all have one thing in common: an incomplete half of the legendary fighting skill known as the Triumvirate sword art. They fight for glory, for power, for the monsters lurking beneath the streets, and for the mysterious society moving in the shadows of Trana—the Black Trillium.

Simon McNeil is the author of The Black Trillium, a story of revolution and martial arts set in the ruins of Toronto. This novel is published by Brain Lag Publishing.

He is an online marketing communications specialist with a major educational institution when not wandering the world looking for trouble. He is a life-long martial artist, has published several articles in Kung Fu Magazine and he’s probably a little bit too fond of kung fu movies.

He lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife who has happily laid out rules to prevent the sword-through-glass-lampshade incident from ever happening again. The Black Trillium is his first novel.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Later that day I was tending the fire in the kitchen hearth. Uncle Stephen came back in from his deck. His lips were almost blue from the cold but whatever he’d been speaking to his friend about had been clearly more important than his comfort.
“Kieran, I’ve spoken to Jean. He told me what happened, with Sawchuk.”
“You aren’t mad, are you?”
“No, I understand.”
“Well good, because I didn’t mean to attract his attention, it’s just…”
“He suspects me. And not entirely without reason; surely you have suspected.”
I gave my uncle a skeptical look.
“You know the stories about the fall of Quebec and the freedom fighters who opposed MacMillan’s father.”
“The Black Trillium,” I said.
“And I’m sure you have heard that some of them survived. Well…” He paused and he looked at me steadily. “Jean and I both fight for the Black Trillium. We have since we were young. In Jean’s case he was at the fall of Quebec.”
The fall of Quebec. It was one of those moments of infamy you heard about in hushed rumour, almost legend already, though not yet in the distant past. That Mr. Chamblais might have actually been there was shocking. I sat still for a moment, trying to control my surprise and awe before I spoke.
“And now something has happened.”
“In Broken Tower. The lordling there killed a Confederation minister as an offering to us, seeking allegiance. We turned him down. We weren’t ready to free Trana and he’s forced our hand. Things are going to be very hard in the next year. War is coming to Trana. So you have a choice to make.”
“A choice…” I could hardly believe what he was telling me. It made sense. My uncle’s strange friends, his opposition to Confederation, Sawchuk’s suspicions, all these things fit the pattern of a rebel in hiding.
“Yes, you can fight with us. If you do you will have to do… terrible things. War is always terrible. But you can. Or Jean can bring you to safety somewhere nearby.”
“What about you?”
“I have to stay here. It’s my home. I’ll fight to defend it.”
“So will I,” I said.
“Be careful Kieran, I never wanted to draw you into a war.”
“No. But if I start running now, when will I stop?”
“If you are sure,” he said.
And I was.
“Yes,” I said, and I looked up at uncle Stephen burning with fierce pride.
“So why were you fighting with Argus Sawchuk?”
“I was talking with Teddy Li about the situation, you know, down in Broken Tower and he came around, accused me of treason.”
“The situation is fragile, we must be careful not to alert the wrong people clashing with lumps like Sawchuk.”
The stranger slipped into the room then and said, “The situation is beyond fragile. It is devolving and there will be war soon.”
Uncle Stephen seemed to deflate a little, his shoulders sagging. He took a deep breath. “I know that, Jean. But I’d prefer it didn’t start on my doorstep.”
“The truth is that we must deal with Sawchuk.”
I had a fantasy of drumming the bully out of Kensington, tarring him and feathering him, anything to see him gone.
“Let’s go now!”
“You’ll stay put today.” Uncle Stephen sounded firm.
“No, your uncle is right. Sawchuk won’t readily forget you were the reason he was beaten today. He’ll be on the lookout for you as soon as he recovers and the chances are good he won’t be alone. You stay put, for today. Tomorrow we will see to your education.”
“Yes, sir,” I said. “I understand.” I thought calling him sir would be appropriately respectful, but he just chuckled at me.
“Mr. Chamblais will suffice,” he said.
“If you don’t mind me asking, Mr. Chamblais, what do you mean you’ll see to my education? I already know my numbers and letters.”
“There is much a rebel must know beyond reading and writing. I don’t suppose you know how to handle a sword.”
I’d never thought of it that way. I’d played at swords with my friends when I was a kid but Kensington was a peaceful place. I hadn’t ever learned to fight.
“But first you must be initiated.”
“Initiated,” I said. “Some sort of ceremony?”
“Something like that.”
The rest of the day passed slowly. I stayed inside while uncle Stephen and Mr. Chamblais “dealt with the Sawchuk problem” and the weather was miserable in any case. I felt almost resentful, like I wasn’t getting to join a romantic brotherhood of freedom fighters, but was instead being made a prisoner in my own home by a strange raggedy man.
I went to sleep reluctantly, my head buzzing with thoughts of heroism and rebellion, excited and terrified about what lay before me.