Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Free Book Alert!

8:30 AM 0 Comments

JUMPING SHIP An Introductory Novella (0.5) ~

When the pursuit of love trumps obligations 

 On the 3rd of June 1975 in New York, Edward and Pearl Riley receive the ultimate give of love - a newborn baby, wrapped in a blanket and stuffed in a burlap bag. The child's name, Sakkara, is written out on a torn sheet of paper, and immediately fills every void the married couple has ever had. Pregnant seamstress Petrina Dugal becomes a runaway at the age of twenty-six. She flees the claws of a brutish husband, despite her adoration for a well-loved South American country known as Guyana. At the heart of the rebellion resides an enigmatic lover named Michael Chen. The journey to escape their choices lead the couple through the Caribbean's treasure trove of islands: Trinidad & Tobago Grenada Barbados St. Lucia Martinique Antigua The journey of the young couple from Guyana to New York is chronicled in very specific clues, left with baby Sakkara. But as she comes of age and begins learning the truth of her abandonment, the Caribbean calls out to this love child. Sakkara is set to unravel the mystery of her true heritage, and hopefully reunite with her long-lost parents. Jumping Ship is the introductory novella to the Island Hopping series. This explosive collection boasts the rich culture of the West Indies, deep love, and a mystery unlike any other.

Get it on AMAZON for FREE

COMING SOON... Download an extended sample:

If you like what you've read here, please share it with others using these buttons:

Monday, April 23, 2018

Crockpot Monday: Seafood Alfredo

9:00 AM 0 Comments
This recipe is a household favorite! I mean, who doesn't love alfredo and shrimp? Okay, I know that some of you don't love them but that's okay. Everyone at my house does!

Seafood Alfredo:
1 stick butter
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon herbs de provence
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup shredded parmesan
3 smashed and chopped garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons flour
1 pound frozen, cooked shrimp


Pour the milk into your crockpot and then stir in the flour. Add your herbs and garlic, stirring them in. Add the stick of butter and all of the cheese.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Don’t panic when your butter separates from the milk and cheese. It will be okay, I promise.

Stir the mixture thoroughly and add your frozen shrimp. Cook pasta according to package directions. When its done, toss the alfredo sauce with your pasta and enjoy!

And...if I might suggest, while your pasta is cooking, why not toss some garlic bread into the oven and toss together a simple salad to go alongside your pasta? Yum, yum, yum!

If you like what you've read here, please share it with others using these buttons:

Friday, April 20, 2018

Book Review: Murder on New Year's Eve

9:30 AM 0 Comments
Ridgeway Rescue Mysteries can be read in 1-2 hours. Perfect for when you're waiting for an appointment or just want a fast read. Don't miss out on this quick, clean, cozy mystery that will keep you guessing until the end!

It's New Year’s Eve and 20-year-old Emma Wright has a date with her crush—well, not a real date, but she can dream! Colby Davidson, the K9 search and rescue deputy, is allowing her to accompany him while he’s on patrol at the Ridgeway Illumination Festival. Though they are just friends, she’s still hoping for a possible kiss at the end of the festivities.

When a stranger asks them to help take some pictures at the event, Emma and Colby are happy to oblige. But their assistance turns them into alibis for the man’s whereabouts while his girlfriend was killed. Most of the clues point to a robbery gone bad, but Emma doesn’t believe all of them point that way. Was it really a robbery or was it murder?

This is the first novella in the Ridgeway Rescue Mystery series. It introduces us to Colby, Emma, and Emma's dad as well as two very awesome dogs! After reading the others, I couldn't wait to jump into this one as well!

The Good: Emma is a bit...well, flighty...but she's a total sweetheart and far more observant than I will ever be! Colby is strong and responsible and you just know there's a backstory there that you want to dive into!

The Bad: I read this out of order so this was the last one that I read and I was sad to discover there were only three so far. I can't wait for more!

The Summary: This is a great series by a very talented author. Yes, they're short but that just makes you want them more! They're perfect for those days where you're stuck sitting around, waiting for something. Pick them up and enjoy!

If you like what you've read here, please share it with others using these buttons:

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wordsmith Wednesday : How to Write Short Stories And Use Them to Further Your Writing Career

9:30 AM 0 Comments
Wordsmith Wednesday - Katrina Roets - Short Story

Now, learn the master key for writing great short stories, and the strategies for using them to advance your writing career 

As most writers will tell you, the hardest fiction form to master is the short story. To be successful, a short story needs to have "emotional wallop," and in under 7,000 words.

Not easy to do.

In this book, #1 bestselling writing teacher James Scott Bell explains the essential ingredient for a successful short story, no matter the genre. He shows how any writer—whether planner or "pantser"—can use this key to unlock infinite story possibilities.

And turn readers into fans.

Which is part of the strategy for short story writing today. With the coming of the digital revolution in publishing, short fiction presents possibilities beyond a one-time sale to a literary journal. Writers can use stories to increase discoverability, grow as a writer, generate some side income, and get back in touch with the sheer joy of writing.

This book uses examples from the best stories by undisputed masters of the craft, including Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, John Cheever, Stephen King and Irwin Shaw.

In addition, five complete stories are included to show you the master key in action.

Once you've been through this book, even once, you'll be well on your way to crafting short stories that readers love—which will build your fan base and boost your long-term writing career.

If you've been around a while, you'll know that I used to write a lot of short stories. Then, Nick pulled me into working on The Tether and it's been a couple of years since I've written anything of my own. I thought that maybe short stories might be a good place to get back to my own work so I picked up this book.

The Good: There are some great tips about what makes a good short story and for those not familiar with Kindle Direct Publishing, there's a pretty decent walk through on how to get your books into e-book format and up on Amazon.

The Bad: Over half of this book is made up of short stories. When I bought the book, I was expecting a lot more information on actually writing stories. The author takes a bit of time to actually work up to what he considers the "key" is and then doesn't really expand a lot on it. The book feels like a series of one or two blog posts that a bunch of filler was added to so that it could be marketed and sold as a book.

The Summary: For $3.99, I really expected more out of this book. I will take the blame for not realizing just how much space 5 short stories do take up in a book of this size, but I also feel that when a book states that it's about writing short stories, more than 47% of the book should be about that topic. Did I get anything out of it? Yep. Did I get enough? That I'm just not sure of.

PS If you got this far, I'm going to give you a tip. If you'd like to know the "secret" to good short story writing, head over to Goodreads and read a few of the reviews. It will save you $3.99.

If you like what you've read here, please share it with others using these buttons:

Monday, April 16, 2018

Crockpot Monday: Paella

8:30 AM 0 Comments
I really shouldn't post these recipes when I'm hungry. By the time I finish, I'm drooling on my keyboard and starving. Of course, I never have the exact ingredients to make anything as delicious as this unless I've shopped for the week! I need to fix that.

2 spicy sausage, cut up
1.5 pounds of thick fish steak
1 each of a yellow, red, orange bell pepper, cut in chunks
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 head of cauliflower florets
2 Tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon saffron
1.5 cups chicken broth
1 cup brown rice


Dump the rice and chicken broth into the crockpot and stir. Stir in the saffron and the salt. Add the butter, and chopped onion, cauliflower, and bell pepper. Add the cut up sausage and the fish to the top.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3-4, or until rice has absorbed the liquid and is cooked and the fish is flaky. Be careful you don’t cook it too long or your rice will break down and nobody loves mushy rice!

Let me know what you think!

If you like what you've read here, please share it with others using these buttons:

Friday, April 13, 2018

Book Review: Murder on Valentine's Day

10:30 AM 0 Comments
Ridgeway Rescue Mysteries can be read in 1-2 hours. Perfect for when you're waiting for an appointment or just want a fast read. Don't miss out on this quick, clean, cozy mystery that will keep you guessing until the end!

It's Valentine's Day and 20-year-old Emma Wright just wants her crush to take notice of her. But Colby Davidson, the K9 search and rescue deputy only thinks of her as a kid sister. How will she get him to take her seriously?

When her veterinarian boss calls her to pick up a cat at a potential crime scene, she finds herself at the house of the richest woman in Ridgeway. Her father—the sheriff—and Colby are there. They both dismiss the untimely death as a heart attack, but Emma finds clues that it might be something more. Did the software billionaire die of natural causes, or was it murder?

If you've read my reviews of Pauline's writing before, you already know how much I enjoy her work. I kind of want to be her when I grow into my writer's shoes!

The Good: Another quick read that was perfect for a slightly chilly afternoon. I read this series out of order but it didn't matter. They all work great as standalones. The characters are engaging and the story keeps moving right along. I swear that Emma is the non-ocd version of Monk with her observation skills!

The Bad: Yep, still got nothing when it comes to this series.

The Summary: Another fantastic piece to this series! I love how you can read each one as a standalone or as part of the ongoing story arc. I honestly cannot recommend these more if you're looking for a cozy mystery to while away an hour or two.

If you like what you've read here, please share it with others using these buttons:

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Wordsmith Wednesday : How to Best Optimize Blog Posts For SEO

10:55 AM 0 Comments
How to Best Optimize Blog Posts for SEO - Life With Katie - SEO
Are you unsure how generate more traffic to your blog? Do you feel overwhelmed by all the SEO articles out there (or not even sure what the term means)? Do you wish someone could break it down for you in simple steps?

Then this is the book for you!

Rachel provides you her top 25 tips laid out in easy to understand language gleaned from her own ten years of successful blogging as well as optimizing and managing countless client blogs. Containing a wealth of information, these tips will help you increase traffic to your site!

Topics include:
· SEO terms defined
· Specific ways to increase traffic to your blog right now
· How to optimize each post for maximum exposure on Google
· Ways to connect with readers
· How to integrate your blog posts on the various social media sites

If SEO confuses you, this is a great beginner breakdown for any new blogger, writer, veteran author, and even small businesses.

Buy your copy NOW and start increasing your visibility!

In my ongoing efforts to learn about how to make this a better blog, I decided to tackle some beginner SEO. It's a topic that can be totally terrifying if you have no idea what SEO is or how to figure it out. I happened to see this author in a webinar and decided to check out her books. Imagine my delight when I found this for only 99c!

The Good:
Rachel writes as if you're sitting down with her at a table and walking you through everything, step by step. She links to quite a few handy (and free) tools to help you with improving on whatever SEO you currently have going. As if that isn't enough, all of her tips are specific so you're not spending hours trying to nail down generic information to something that you can use.

The Bad:
This book is very specifically for those using Wordpress. If that isn't your platform (and my site actually isn't), then you'll have to do some tweaking to make it work for you. Some things may not be possible to do but I've already found some that I can put into place. Also, the section of the book that actually pertains to this topic is only about 44% on Kindle with the rest going to an author bio and a sneak peek at her next book.

The Summary:
For 99c, you honestly cannot go wrong with this book. If only one of the 24 tips (the 25th is more of yay, you made it!) is something that you can apply to your blog, it's more than paid for itself. I know that this is one that I'm going to keep coming back to so I can continue to add to what I'm already doing.

If you like what you've read here, please share it with others using these buttons:

Follow Us @lifewithkatie