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Archive for August, 2015

Meet Those Military Men

I’m thrilled to announce that books 2 & 3 in my Military Men series are now available at Amazon.

Soldier with Benefits is Louie’s story.

Soldier with Benefits

Soldier With Benefits

And Safeguarding Sorrel is Jake’s story.

Safeguarding Sorrel

Safeguarding Sorrel

Grab your copy today.

Breakfast on the Run Loaf

This is a recipe from New Zealander, Jo Seagar’s cooking book, A Bit of What You Fancy. I’ve made it twice now with great results, and it’s a recipe I’ll make again and again. Easy and tasty. My kind of recipe!

Breakfast Loaf

Ingredients:

4 crushed WeetBix (Weetabix in America or you could use something like crushed bran flakes – 1 1/2 cups)

1 cup raw sugar

1 cup chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup walnuts

300ml milk

1 egg

1 3/4 cup self-raising flour

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 360F

2. Grease or line a loaf tin with baking paper.

3. Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat the egg and milk together and mix with the dry ingredients.

4. Place in the loaf tin and bake for 40 – 45 minutes until golden and brown.

5. Cool on a wire rack.

Shelley’s Notes:

1. I didn’t have raw sugar and used white sugar once and brown sugar another time. Either worked well, although I found that 1 cup made the loaf too sweet for my taste. I reduced the sugar to half a cup.

2. I’ve used other fruit instead of apricots. I used apple and berry, which was frozen when I added it. You could also use cranberries. As long as the fruit isn’t too “wet” it will work.

3. I didn’t have any self-raising four so I used 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1 3/4 cups of standard flour.

4. This loaf is good fresh or toasted and keeps for one week. It also freezes well.

Breakfast Loaf Slices

This is a delicious loaf, and one I will make again and again.

The Alpha’s Heart Series by Bella Jewel

Hard to Forget

Alpha Males, Heroines with Unusual Occupations…Romances by Bella Jewel!

I’m thrilled to showcase Bella Jewel’s latest cover. I loved the first book in this series, Hard to Fight, which is currently available. Hard to Fight reminded me of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, but with hot love scenes.

HARD TO FORGET

An Alpha’s Heart Novel

By Bella Jewel

St. Martin’s Press Paperbacks

On Sale: December 15, 2015

eBook: $3.99

ABOUT THE BOOK

The third book in the sexy Alpha’s Heart series by USA Today bestseller Bella Jewel.

Delaney, a professional bodyguard, has spent years trying to prove herself in a male dominated industry.  Now she’s facing her greatest challenge yet.

Bad boy billionaire Jax Shields has made plenty of enemies on his climb to the top, but being in the wrong place at the wrong time has put his life at risk. Now he’s putting his life in the hands of Delaney and her team. He demands the best in everything, and he doesn’t think she has what it takes to protect him. He’s also made it clear he’d rather have her on her back then covering his. Will Delaney be able to prove herself to the most arrogant-and devastatingly handsome-man she’s ever met?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bella Jewel is a USA Today bestselling author. She lives in North Queensland where she’s working on her next novel.

Website: http://bellajewelbooks.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBellaJewel

ON SALE NOW!

Hard to FightHARD TO FIGHT – $3.99

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1UUducd

B&N: http://bit.ly/1RujI0D

Google Play: http://bit.ly/1OOLpzr

iBooks: http://apple.co/1G6BbKC

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1Imy54s

 

 

 

PREORDER YOUR COPY NOW!

Hard to BreakHARD TO BREAK – $3.99 – Available October 13th

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1HXjQ0Z

B&N: http://bit.ly/1LYse8j

Google Play: http://bit.ly/1MURkBP

iBooks: http://apple.co/1OC7Ln2

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1SgKxJC

 

 

 

Hard to ForgetHARD TO FORGET – $3.99 – Available December 15th

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1TXYgk2

B&N: http://bit.ly/HardToForgetBN

Google Play: http://bit.ly/HardToForgetGoogle

iBooks: http://bit.ly/HardToForgetiBooks

Kobo: http://bit.ly/HardToForgetKobo

 

 

 

I’m certainly looking forward to reading books 2 and 3 in this series. If you enjoy reading romances with alpha heroes and heroines in unusual occupations then give this series a try.

Sirocco: The Kakapo Ambassador

New Zealand has some fascinating birds, some of which are rare these days due to man encroaching on their habitats and predators killing chicks or eating the birds’ eggs.

While I’ve been privileged to see many of our rare birds, I’ve never seen a kakapo. When hubby and I had an opportunity to see one, we grabbed it and flew to Wellington to visit Sirocco.

So, what is a kakapo? It’s a large, flightless parrot—the largest in the world—that is native to New Zealand. Not so long ago, there were only 18 left. A disaster, since kakapo do not breed every year. Breeding depends on whether there is sufficient food, and in the kakapo’s case this is the fruit of the rimu tree.

The kakapo were taken to predator-free off-shore islands where they were monitored and given supplementary feeding.

Sirocco hatched in 1997. As a chick, he suffered respiratory problems and it was decided to hand feed him and treat his breathing problems. Sirocco responded well to the treatments, but when it came time for him to return to the wild and the other kakapo, he refused. He’d imprinted on humans and didn’t recognize his species. The rangers attempted various ways to get him to stay with his own kind. One night, a ranger carried him to the other side of the island sanctuary, several miles away and left him before returning to the rangers’ hut. Sirroco was there to greet him on his return.

Sirocco became world famous when he jumped on wildlife photographer Mark Carwardine’s head and attempted to mate with him. The video appeared on YouTube and Sirocco became an overnight sensation.

These days, Sirocco is the ambassador for conservation. Although he spends much of his time in the wild, he also visits different parts of New Zealand to help raise awareness of the kakapo species.

Hubby and I visited Sirocco at Zealandia in Wellington. We watched a film about kakapo and Sirocco, then walked through the sanctuary to visit Sirocco and his handler.

At 18 years of age, Sirocco weighs 2.5kg and is the size of medium-sized cat. He’s very friendly and loves people. He was so cute – I wanted to steal him. I told hubby and one of the guides overheard me. She threatened to frisk me on the way out.

Sirocco is in a special enclosure with perspex windows. It made photos difficult due to reflections, but I liked this one of me and Sirocco.

Sirocco and Shelley

Sirocco with Shelley (reflection in the window)

IMG_1415

Sirocco, the VIP (Very Important Parrot)

Sirocco has the cutest face with green and brown feathers. We spent about twenty minutes with him, and it went so quickly. It was a privilege to see Sirocco in person, and I’m so glad we made the effort to visit.

PS – The kakapo numbers now stand at 125.

Ancient Libraries: Library of Celsus

As a booklover, I adore libraries, and I spend many happy hours working and researching in my local library.

Libraries have been around since ancient times, and today I thought I’d highlight the Library of Celsus at Ephesus in Turkey. This is one of the best preserved ancient libraries, and it was built to commemorate Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus.

Over the centuries the library was damaged by earthquakes and locals plundered the materials to build their homes and other buildings. While some of the facade has been rebuilt, the Library is still very impressive. The first glimpse a visitor receives is down a long avenue.

Ephesus, Turkey 

This is the avenue leading down to the Library of Celsus. This is a very popular tourist attraction and it’s very busy with people year around.

Library of Celsus

Library of Celsus

Close up views of the Library of Celsus. (Click on photos to see a larger view) The facade is decorated with reliefs – the same fashions in use in Rome at the time. The building was both a library and a mausoleum for Celsus who is buried in a stone sarcophagus below the library.

A bit different from my local library but definitely fascinating.