Saturday, April 20, 2013

A 5* review from the Library at the End of the Universe!

Hello! Penelope Ann Bartotto is featuring my Jade O'Reilly series on her blog, The Library at the End of the Universe today and tomorrow. And if that wasn't spectacular enough, she gave a 5* review to the first novel of my Jade O'Reilly series! What a way to begin a weekend! Please drop Penelope's blog and see what she has to say: http://www.libraryattheendofuniverse.com/.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Birthday Cake Fiasco (Birthday Book Blast)

At the moment, I do not believe in purchasing store-bought birthday cake for my sons. Like other parenting beliefs that have changed for me (I once firmly believed I’d never let my sons watch television before a certain age, eat ice cream before breakfast, etc.), I’m sure my dedication to baking and decorating my sons’ cakes will flip-flop. Especially since the store-bought cakes always taste and appear so much better than the ones I fashion.

Take for instance my latest birthday cake-baking fiasco. My son was turning 4 and requested a cello birthday cake. We've been watching/listening to a lot of Piano Guys music. (Below is a video of his favorite song by the group. My favorite is Peponi.) My son - when the song comes on - he sticks up his finger and pretends it’s a bow and plays along to the song: classical musician-in-training.



Anyhow… back to the cello birthday cake. My plan was to make a dozen cello cupcakes. I could envision them perfectly in my mind. Brown cello-shaped chocolate icing on a white, creamy, vanilla background, with a piece of licorice for the fingerboard. While (this time) the cupcakes didn't burn – or stick to the paper cupcake wrappers (a first) – the chocolate icing ended up looking not so much like cellos but instead like brown blobs… the chocolate icing appeared more like the puppy droppings I've been busy scooping lately than musical instruments. (We ate the cupcakes anyway.)

One day, I’ll give up the tradition and purchase one of those tasty ice cream cakes, or fork over the cash for the fancy/pretty store-bought cakes. But for now, even if the cakes look frightful and sometimes don’t taste quite right, I still enjoy doing something for my boys. I can’t exactly explain why I feel compelled to make my own cakes. Maybe it has something to do with showing (either them or more likely myself) that my boys are worth my time, my effort. (?) Besides, spending an hour or two fashioning culinary disasters year after year is kind of fun, like conducting an awful science experiment.

So now about the Birthday Blast contest and authors! The prize is an $80 Visa gift card! Simply enter the contest using the Rafflecopter form below. The contest runs Friday-Sunday. Visit other authors' sites (also listed below). You can enter the contest on each author's site! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s the list of the fantastic authors, blogs, and books for sale as part of this event:


Anna Erishkigal
'Sword of the Gods:  The Chosen One' is available for FREE for all e-readers.  At the dawn of time, two ancient adversaries battled for control of Earth.  One man rose to stand at humanity's side.  A soldier whose name we still remember today.
Visit her blog listing all free ebook download links:  Happy Taxirthday.


Catie Rhodes
Debut novel, Forever Road, starring Peri Jean who owes a ghost a favor and must solve a murder to pay it off. $3.99 at Amazon
Blog: Time's Ticking Away

Gregory Carrico
Children of the Plague: Can teenage Lanni save her brother, and what’s left of mankind from plague infected mutants in post-apocalyptic Manhattan? $3.99 at Amazon
Blog: Missing Child in Gator Infested Swamp. Sort of.

Julie Day
'Don't Get Mad' is now available for $1.99 on Smashwords. Book 4 of Geraldine's Gems romance series. Sandra is sad about her failure of her marriage to control-freak husband, Jim. Until her aunt Geraldine arrives and tells her 'Don't Get Mad, Get Even'. So Sandra joins the local gym and meets hunk Troy, and gets fitter and healthier and falls in love. She also gets more confident, and finally stands up to Jim in pubic, and wins.
Blog: An Aspergirl and Birthday Celebrations, or not

Kassandra Lamb
An Unsaintly Season in St. Augustine, a new novella, is on sale for $.99 at Amazon. And, enjoy Family Fallacies and Celebrity Status for $2.99 at Amazon for a limited time only. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She writes the Kate Huntington mystery series.
Blog: Of Brothers, Birthdays, and Books!

Melinda VanLone
Debut urban fantasy, Stronger Than Magic, is just $2.99 on Amazon. Tarian Xannon fights demons, like the rest of us. This time, just happens to be real.
Blog: Birthdays: Looking Back? Or Looking Forward?

Patricia Sands
New release, The Promise of Provence: Is home exchange in the south of France a remedy for heartbreak? $3.99 at Amazon
Blog: Look Out! Here Comes Another One!

Stacy Green
Stacy's second novel, TIN GOD, is an Amazon Hot New Release at just $3.99. Black Market Adoption, Two Dead Women, and a Demented Killer. How far would you go to bring justice?
Blog: It's my birthday, and I'll cry if I want to!

And my book... I’m getting the word out about my new release, Hidden Betrayal. While the paperback will be released next month, the ebook is available on all platforms. Here’s the book info:


Hidden Betrayal
A Jade O'Reilly Mystery
by Tamara Ward

Who isn't hiding a secret? That’s what Private Investigator Jade O’Reilly wonders as she looks into the theft of an artifact destined for the local art museum. The artifact’s owner is a man so wealthy he could buy the county and who wouldn't mind also investing time into Jade. His advances don’t please Keith, Jade’s romantic interest. But that’s not the only source of conflict in the developing relationship. Why doesn't Keith want Jade applying to carry a concealed handgun? Will Keith convince Jade to scrap her application, or will Keith’s mind change as Jade’s investigation takes a deadly twist?

Hidden Betrayal is available for $3.99 at: AmazonB&NSmashwordsKobo


Do you have a favorite type of birthday cake (to make or eat) or cake story? Please share, remember to enter the contest (which runs Friday-Sunday), and good luck!