Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Hobnobbing with Life After the Undead by Pembroke Sinclair

Life After the Undead continues to hobnob with The Walking Dead but now, Pembroke's book and cover artist, Jerrod, have brought R.L. Stine into the fold. Here are some photos and a report by Jerrod on his experiences at The Spooky Empire.


The show was held at a new location this year at 'The Hilton Orlando'. It was much better than previous years and more spacious. A tremendous improvement. I had all intentions of spending the full 3 days there and returning Monday. However, I was pretty much wrapped up on photos, meet and greets, friends, etc. by the end of the night on Saturday. So, I decided to skip Sunday and get back to Jax earlier. It was a fantastic time for me, because I wasn't stuck behind a vendor table for 3 solid days and had freedom to roam.

On Friday night, I had two priorities. R.L. Stine and the professional photo op with Hodder, Englund and Kane. 

R.L. Stine - He only had a one hour window scheduled for all three days for autographs (just 3 hours the entire weekend). I'm not really interested in autographs, I just wanted a photo with LATU. I made it a point to be there an hour early to beat the crowd and get the shot. While standing in line, I was thinking "He's not going to want to take a photo with another authors book, but what's the worst that could happen, he'll just say no". The man is known worldwide and I thought this would be my toughest one to get… so knock it out Friday night.  He showed up exactly on time (8:00pm) and I was the first person up… I told him you were the author of LATU and wanted him to have a copy as a gift and also wrote him a letter. I presented both to him on behalf of you and to my surprise he said "Hey, ya want to take a picture of me holding it up as proof that I got it?" Holy crap! My worries were over, we both laughed and he took the shot!  He was very friendly, soft spoken and thanked you very much for the gift!  Unbelievably, I was eating breakfast at the Hilton the following morning and he sat at the table across from me.  Upon leaving, I went over and shook his hand, and not until that point did I mention I did the cover art work on the book I had given him. He said and I quote "You're a very talented artist and please thank her again for me. I'll read it the first opportunity I get". We shook hands again and I left.

Tyler, Englund, Hodder - My photo shoot time was 9:00pm (one hour after R.L. Stine), so I immediately went to the photo room.  As soon as I got in the room, I gave each of them a copy of Slasher and told them the shoot was for the author in Wyoming.  It was a very quick paced shoot and very little time… they took the shot. Generally there is only one shoot per customer… but as luck would have it, Robert Englund said to the other two "I want to take another one with me reading the open book".  So really the second shot was pure luck and a bonus!  After your photo shoot I was scheduled for my own (with them).

Saturday: More crowded, longer lines and more pics to take.  I was taking photos for myself, as well as getting your shots in, so I had priorities.  I still had your two Slasher books for Hodder and Englund (with letters). But, I couldn't present them properly at Friday nights photo shoot, so I wanted to hit them up separately. Plus I didn't want Tyler Mane to feel left out.

Kane Hodder - I've been to several shows in the past with Kane and I already knew he was 'very' fan friendly, also one of the nicest guys you could ever meet.  Same goes here!  I presented Slasher to him, along with your letter and he loved it!  I told him about you and that you wanted him to have a copy. He said "Please thank Jessica for me and make sure she gets this photo O.K." (He signed a picture for you).

Steve Dash - I really didn't know very much about Steve, other than he was the actor under the Sack Mask in Friday the 13th 2. I also really didn't even voluntarily approach him. I was talking with Patty Mullen (Frankenhooker) next to his table and he called me over. He said… "Can I see a copy of that book Kane was looking at?" I said "of course you can!" I then proceeded to tell him about you, the book and that I also did some art work on some of your other novels. He asked for my information and business card. We talked a lot about art and painting. He really took an interest in Slasher and I gave him an extra copy I had brought along 'just in case'. I'm glad I did!  He was really happy to get it!  I brought along my Amazon copy for back-up and it turned out I needed it. I would have to say, Steve seemed to take the most interest in the book than all the celebrities over the weekend. When I left this table… he started flipping through the pages and reading.

Robert Englund - He always has the biggest fan draw and the longest lines. So methodically, I waited till he was not at his table (He was tied up in a Q & A session with the cast of 'Nightmare 4') When he got back, I was about the 20th person in line of about 200 people. He remembered the previous nights photo shoot' and I told him I wanted meet with him separately so I could present the book (and letter) to him.  He said "you want to take another picture of me reading it?"  He liked doing the reading pose!  He said "Thank Jessica very much and I really appreciate it"… without hesitation, he started signing a photo to you. After he signed the photo, he shook my hand and again said "Please thank Jessica!"

Heather Langenkamp - I didn't have a copy of Slasher to give her, so I simply just asked her if she could hold my personal copy up for a photo. She was sitting at the next table over from Robert Englund. Not only did she oblige, but she wanted to thank Jessica with a signed photo. She was very nice and cordial.

Tom Savini - When I approached Tom, I told him that you were a good friend of mine and the author of 'Slasher'.  I asked him if he would mind taking a photo with the book. He flipped through the pages and said "Only if I'm in it!"  He went to the back of the book and found his name in the index. When he did, his face lit up (as if surprised) and said "Wow… you must be a really good friend to do this!" He held the book up, I took the shot. I said 'Thank you so much!' Then he said (while smiling) "Please thank her for putting me in there!" We shook hands.

Iron Singleton
IronE Singleton - He was a real 'cut-up' with his fans. Lots of laughing, hugging and photo fun with everybody.  I told him I did the cover of LATU and would like to take a photo with him holding it.  He was more than happy to take the shot and then said "Let's take one of us holding it together".  The copy I had for this photo op was an extra I brought along, so I told him… Please keep it, Pembroke would love for you to have a copy. He thanked us both and we shook hands.

Travis Charpentier
Kevin Galbraith and Travis Charpentier (both zombies from the 'Walking Dead') were actually in the "Vendor' room and not in the 'Actor' room with everybody else. They were there to promote the video store 'Movie Stop' and were at the 'Movie Stop' booth. Both of these guys were from Atlanta where 'The Walking Dead' is filmed. I asked them both if they would mind taking the shot with LATU and they wanted to. I told them about you, the book and my involvement. They were both more than happy to pose with anything 'Zombie'.

I was 'really happy and surprised' that I pulled it off and got all the target shots (both yours and mine). It was a different world for me, because I was free to roam, take my time and not stuck behind a table for 3 days. I guess that's why I finished early, because I was still in the vendor (artist) mind set. It was so relaxing not worrying about sales and just enjoying myself. I also got to spend some quality time with friends. I did bring with me a few paintings and prints for delivery, but that was in no way a hindrance. 

Kevin Galbraith
Most (nearly all) the actors 'sell' their autographed photos for $20.00 each or more… but, I've learned that if you give them something (… a gift, book, print of your art, etc.) They will sometimes give you a freebie in return. I never seek autographs, but if they offer it, I'll take it.  So, that's why some of them gave you a free autographed photo. I think it's really cool of them when they do!  For me personally, the photos mean more than the autographs.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

REVIEW: The Ketchikan Man by Ciara Lake

Praise for The Ketchikan Man by Ciara Lake, Brides and Dark Secrets Series from Tanya from Joyfully Reviewed

The Ketchikan Man is a wild Alaska tale featuring a hunky man/grizzly shifter and sweet and smart Oklahoma woman. Ms. Lake who I am used to reading sci-fi from does a fine job in creating two lovable characters in The Ketchikan Man. I enjoyed this tale and think you will too.

Ketchikan Man

Brides and Dark Secrets Series
Ciara Lake
eTreasures Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 74, Novella
Price: $1.49
Leea, a young woman from Oklahoma, engages in a heated sexting relationship with a man from Alaska. Lucan, on a hunt for his mate, advertised for a mail order bride. Leea, aware of the risks, is still drawn to the Ketchikan man and his nightly naughty texts. She believes she’s behaved shockingly via text, now she’s embarrassed by the explicitness she shared with this virtual stranger. When she arrives in Alaska, she encounters an absolutely gorgeous male. Overwhelmed, she’s suddenly inhibited by timidity. However, Lucan is patient and determined to reveal Leea’s inner siren. His unique instincts tell him that she's his.

Lucan is a local artist, a talented man. He’s part Native American with an extra component in his genes.  Unknown to Leea, his honored ancestor passed a special gift to him.

Will Leea and Lucan’s passion survive the wilds of Alaska?

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Submission Call - Wild Wild West

Wild, Wild West...
Set amid the untamed beauty of the American west, as well as Canadian cowboys, these stories feature characters from the history pages. Cowboys, stage drivers, saloon girls, gunslingers, all strove to tame a land as untamed and harsh as the elements. The West was a land of opportunity, a time and place where a man could vanish into the setting sun and rebuild his life no matter what his past.

These stories will feature believable characters, well developed plots, and historical accuracy. Set before the turn of the 19th century, each story does need a Happily Ever After (HEA) for the main characters.

*Should be between 10k and 50k. If the story is longer, be prepared to edit it down to meet the word count requirements.

* Have well-developed, believable characters including an alpha hero/heroine who faces the challenge of taming the Wild West with skill, bravado, and sheer guts.

* Heat rating: eTreasures Publishing is not an erotic publisher. We want stories that focus on the romance, the emotional connection, and ask that stories within this line are sweet to sensual. NO EROTIC romances. Please see our guidelines in regards to more details.

* No Fan Fiction - All works must be original, not before published

* Complete manuscripts only please.

Please send to Acquisitions Editor with "Wild Wild West" in the subject line as well as the story title. Example: Wild Wild West
_The Outlwa and the Lady

This will be an ongoing call with the first release set for Spring of 2013.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Releases

Take a look at these most recent releases. Thrills and chills just in time for fall. Enjoy!

When beautiful heiress Connie Straker wakes from a drugged sleep, she has no idea why she is at the bottom of a dry well. 
Connie anticipates freedom when her prison floods, but is dismayed to find she remains a captive.  If she is going to escape, she must out think two violent brothers with a grudge against her family, overcome wild animals and find a way through the cage barring her way. 
Connie’s best chance of freedom might lie with the college nerd who has had a crush on her for years.  But Julian is a creep who Connie despises and she has to decide whether to trust him.  Can he overcome his fear of the brothers and help her escape?  Or will her captors put a violent end to Julian’s efforts?  Will Julian take advantage of her desperation and make Connie’s life-or-death situation even worse?
Genre: Horror

Drunk womanizer Duke, spends his life selfishly taking care of himself and screw the rest of the world. After one particular black-out alcoholic binge, he wakes to find the world changed--the dead are rising from their graves.

Lonely, guilt-ridden Hank is someone who minds his own business, and sympathetic but strong-willed Lana is on the receiving end of harassment from other students.

Forced together for survival, the three misfits must confront their world gone strange. God has said the people of Earth would be punished for their sins, and so the end has come. Duke, Hank, and Lana must walk their own paths to salvation, but they also must depend on each other.

Will their salvation lie in Finding Eden?

Genre(s): Inspirational, Zombie

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Friday, August 10, 2012

About a month ago, I posted about one of our authors, Pembroke Sinclair, having a fantastic experience with Hollywood. Well, she’s done it again.

Her eTreasures book, Life After the Undead continues to find its way onto Hollywood sets and mixes with celebrities!

Horror artist extraordinaire, Jerrod Brown shares how it happened:

I frequently do Art shows, galleries and conventions to support my work (Horror Art). Most shows are scheduled months in advance and the promotion cycle begins. In this particular case, I was booked to do a solo show on Wednesday July 25th at the upscale 'Aloft Tapestry Park' Hotel in Jacksonville, FL. It just so happens that the Saturday just prior to my show, the city of Jacksonville was having a 'Zombie Walk' (Where hundreds of people dress up as Zombies and march all over town). A close friend of mine (Jenifer Michal) is the organizer of the Walk, as well as the web site 

Jenifer secured Michael Koske (a character actor from 'The Walking Dead'. 'The Crazies', etc.) to come down from his home town in Atlanta, GA. (five hours north of Jax) to lead the horde of Zombies through the city. I'm personally not involved in the 'Zombie Walk' events, however there is usually a tie-in at the end of the walk (Club get togethers, Art shows, Social gatherings, etc). So, at the tail end of 'this' function... I told Michael Koske about my Horror Art show, gave him my card and discussed a possible photo op with Pembroke Sinclair's book Life after the Undead.

The Promoters ('Le Refuse' Art Collective) were excited about my show and Michael's photo op had been confirmed a few days prior to 'Le Ruse presents: an evening with Horror Artist Jerrod Brown'. The day of the show, I handed him the book (mailed to me in advance), which had been signed 'to him' by Pembroke. He was pleasantly surprised to receive it, and I told him about my connection with the author, the painting for the cover, and a brief synopsis of the story itself. 

Michael was a truly nice guy, and told me to thank her VERY MUCH for the gifted novel. In return he signed a color 8x10 photo of himself (from 'The Walking Dead') to Pembroke, to thank her personally.

I think, by the time she and Jerrod, are done, they might get connected to the entire The Walking Dead cast!

Way to go, Pembroke and Jerrod!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

ATTENTION AUTHORS! EPIC's eBook Competition Deadline 7/15/12

Note this fast approaching Deadline 7/15!  

Below are the basic rules but for more details and categories check this link.
Eligibility and Rules

1. Entries for EPIC's eBook Competition™ will be accepted from 12:01 AM Central Time US (CST) June 1, 2012 to 10:00 PM CST July 15, 2012.

2. Entries must be published in English and released for sale between June 1, 2011 through May 31, 2012. They must include a publication date and must be submitted as the product sells. Self-published books are eligible.

    A buy link must be provided, which shows the book is for sale. Please provide a link which goes directly to the book, not the publisher's or author's homepage.
    Electronic versions of books previously released in print format may be entered if eBook version meets entry requirements.
    Word-count requirements

Short Story     maximum 10,000 words
Novella     maximum 30,000 words
Anthology     maximum 200,000 words for entire collection
Non-Fiction; all Fiction; all Romance     minimum 30,000 words
Children's; Poetry; Graphic Novel     no minimum

3. Short stories and Novellas may be entered only if they have been offered for sale as a stand-alone work.

4. Entrants are not limited to the number of titles they may enter, however, the same work may not be entered in more than one category.

5. Works portraying pedophilia, bestiality (this does not apply in respect to Paranormal shape-shifters or aliens descended from cats, dragons,etc.), necrophilia, and/or snuff as acceptable sexual practices will be disqualified without notification or refund.

6. The entry form must be completed with all required information entered accurately. Contact the Competitions Chair at if you have any questions, before completing the entry form.

    Entry may be completed by either the author or publisher, except anthologies.
        Multi-author anthologies must be entered by either the editor or publisher. The editor should be listed as the "entrant," with the editor's shipping information.
        Single-author anthologies may be entered by the author as for any other entry.

    Publishers, when entering on behalf of authors, must complete a separate form for each author.
    In the case of co-authors, the entry form information and shipping address should be the "primary" entrant and shipping address.
        The upload form must reflect the information for the author(s) of the book(s) uploaded on that form.

7. No category changes will occur during any stage of the competition due to entrant error. Once a book is accepted into the competition, it cannot be withdrawn.

8. Entries must be submitted in non-DRM PDF format.

9. The entry file name must be in the following format: Category code-Title.pdf.

    For works which are part of a series, only the unique title should be used, not the series title. For example, a Historical work (category F05) which carries the title, Book V of the High Fliers of the Wild Circus: Trapeze Boys, would be entered as F05-TrapezeBoys.pdf.
    For guidance on renaming your files, refer to the eBook FAQs.

10. Non-compliance with these rules will result in disqualification without refund.
Entry Fee: $25 for EPIC members, $35 for non members.

Payments will be made electronically as part of the entry

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Friday, July 06, 2012

Life After the Undead and The Walking Dead

Recently, one of our authors, Pembroke Sinclair, had a fantastic experience with Hollywood.

Her eTreasures book, ‘Life After the Undead’ now mixes with celebrities! When I learned about this, I knew I had to share their story with you, our dear readers, so I went to Pembroke and horror artist extraordinaire, Jerrod Brown, to get the details and their reactions. Read on!

From Jerrod:  I do Gallery Shows, Clubs and Conventions to promote my art work. Usually I'll set up a booth, selling my original paintings and prints.  I'm always aware of what celebrities are going to be there, prior to the event. So, I prepare accordingly.  In this particular case...the 'Lintz' Family would be at the show. 

Kelly Lintz (Mom) - The Hunger Games, The Mist
Mackenzie Lintz (Daughter) - The Hunger Games
Madison Lintz (Daughter) - The Walking Dead
Matt Lintz (Son) - Halloween II, The Crazies, Piranha 3DD

I thought what a better way to promote Pembroke’s book and my cover painting of 'Life After the Undead', than to have a cast member of 'The Walking Dead' actually holding it. Madison Lintz plays 'Sophia Peletier' in the mega hit series.

I asked her mom (Kelly) if would be O.K. to take a photo of Madison with the book, explaining to her what it was about and that I had painted the cover art work. She was very nice and allowed me the opportunity. Madison was very sweet and wanted to make sure she looked good in the shot. I could tell her mom was very proud of her daughter's celebrity status, and the entire family was very fan friendly.
Now, Pembroke’s response when I asked her about her reaction: “Well, I knew Jerrod had contact with a lot of famous people. He has several photographs of himself with celebrities and pictures he's painted. I have to say, I was shocked and humbled when he sent me this photo. I mean, an actress from ‘The Walking Dead’? Are you kidding me?  I watch that show. I know *exactly* who she is. And look! SHE'S HOLDING MY BOOK!  It was freaking awesome! It was one of the most awesome and coolest moments ever!

It makes me very happy to know that I'm associated with such wonderful and talented people who are willing to go out of their way to help out a friend.  Jerrod is an awesome artist, and I hope with the two of us teamed up together, we can take our respective arts far!”

Congrats, Pembroke and Jerrod on making it to the set!

Look for Pembroke here:

You can find Jerrod and his work at these links:

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Taxes and the Writer

Ellen Spain, Ph.D. is a retired Federal Investigator, educator, Secretary for the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition (EPIC), Acquisitions Editor-eTreasures Publishing, researcher, published author and much more The tax information presented is summarized from a lecture I conducted with Martha Eskuchen on March 16, 2012, at EPIC's annual conference in San Antonio, Texas. It should be considered "food for thought" if you consider yourself a professional writer.


Your first step is to determine whether or not your writing career can be called a trade or business. If you write without pursuit of getting published and making an income, you're not in the trade or business of writing for profit but have a hobby

The Internal Revenue Code of 1986 provides, "gross income to mean all income from whatever source derived, including (but not limited to) . . . royalties". I.R.C. § 61(a)(6).

"Writer" is defined in the Internal Revenue Code (in the section exempting free-lance authors from the requirement of capitalizing expenses associated with producing property): The term "writer" means any individual if the personal efforts of such individual create (or may reasonably be expected to create) a literary manuscript . . . I.R.C. § 263A(h)(3)(A). When an author writes a book, the literary ideas embodied in the manuscript are property.

When the author sells it in exchange for royalties, her interest in the contract by which the royalties are paid is also property. See Reece v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 24 T.C. 187 (1955), affd. 233 F.2d 30 (1st Cir. 1956). Royalties paid on the commercial exploitation of a book are taxable to its author.

 "Taxable income" means gross income minus the deductions allowed by the Internal Revenue Code. I.R.C. § 63(a) version IRS 1986.

 If you receive any amount of income from your writing, you are profiting from your writing business and must report it on a Schedule C form.

PROFIT: The IRS considers the following factors in determining your profit motive:

  1. The IRS looks at the manner in which you operate. Do you conduct your writing activity in a "businesslike manner", keep accurate records, and operate your writing business in ways similar to profitable businesses. If you need help, consult a professional tax preparer or a tax attorney.
  2. The IRS considers how much Time and effort you expend on your writing.
  3. The IRS looks at your success in carrying on other similar or dissimilar activities and audits the taxpayers' history of income or losses with respect to the activity.
  4. You will need to determine the elements of your personal pleasure in writing to determine if your writing is a hobby or a business. Remember, you can enjoy your work and get bored with a hobby.

RECORD KEEPING    The key to record keeping is to do it on a regular basis. Don’t let it pile up. I use a credit card to track my expenses and always obtain receipts. Here’s how I do my Quicken. I set up a category titled “Writing Expenses” and include the following subcategories:

Conference Fees; Contest Fees; Education/Seminars; Professional Dues; Subscriptions; Gifts/Donations; Meals & Entertainment; Office Equipment; Office Supplies; Postage; Website/Business Cards; Advertising & book Promo; Research; Books related to writing and to the specific research for a story; Hotel; Meals; Airfare; auto mileage; Misc. expenses.

Keeping records:
1.     Post your expenses where they make sense to you.  Keep accurate records, in a neat, orderly manner.
2.     Do not write off anything that isn’t directly related to your writing. If writing is mainly for your enjoyment, don’t deduct your writing expenses. That is not saying that you can't enjoy writing but it must be profit motivated.
3.     Keep a log to document how much time you spend writing.
4.     Do NOT throw away rejection letters or unpublished manuscripts as your work shows a profit motive.
5.     Operate your writing business like a traditional small business.
6.     BE HONEST AND BE ACCURATE:    When in doubt, check it out! Taxpayers hearing claims from preparers offering larger refunds than other preparers are encouraged to check it out with a trusted tax professional or the IRS before getting involved.

ESTIMATING YOUR TAXES:    If you are self-employed, you will need to make the payments every quarter:  Use their online workshop to calculate your estimated tax. The dates to pay in estimated payments are: 1st Qtr. – Due April 17, 2012: 2nd Qtr. – Due June 15, 2012: 3rd Qtr. – Due September 17, 2012: 4th Qtr. – Due January 15, 2013

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

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Congrat's to Ellen Spain

Congratulations to Ellen Spain for once again becoming published in The Penn Writer May/June 2012 Issue:  "Becoming an Active Reader"
Click here to read the complete article.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

A Time for Scones and a Time to Write

The students sat chatting, drinking coffee and eating stale scones in the Gilley Cafeteria's annex. The rain and thunder roared outside.

“I can’t believe I missed seeing Martha Stewart here on campus,” Morgan Walker replied.

“Martha owns a place nearby in Northeast Harbor and likes to boat out to Gull Island whenever she is off set,” Peter Dugua said. He gulped some coffee. “Martha knows Sieur de Cadillac's President, so that is probably why her production people did a TV program about our Bar Harbor college campus.”

Roland Donovan nodded. “Morgan, if I would have known you wanted to meet Martha Stewart, I could have arranged for you to be with our group.”

“Sure looks like a Nor'easter is hitting Bar Harbor today,” Danny Fennchar said, biting into a scone while staring out the large window. “Not too bad for something baked yesterday.”

“Well, I make the best scones in Maine,” Morgan replied. “I have been following Martha Stewart's recipes since I started watching her cooking programs on TV.”

Peter raised his eyes. “You can bake scones?” He shook his head. “My mom gave up trying to bake scones. But I love them.”

Morgan smiled. “Scones aren't that hard to make. Just follow the recipe and be certain to preheat the oven.”

“I always wondered what went into these little things,” Peter said pointing to the few scones on their plate.

“Do you really want to know,” Morgan asked.

Peter nodded. “Yes. What are those magic ingredients?”

“Flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, baking soda, vanilla, heavy cream, fresh blueberries, and eggs.” Morgan took out her tablet and wrote the ingredients. “Oh yes, after they cool, spread some softly whipped cream cheese on the top for a real treat.”

“When blueberry season comes, will you bake some scones for us,” Danny asked. “I bet your scones are much better than what the college cafeteria makes.” He held out the last piece, and then popped it into his mouth. “Hum!”

They all chuckled and drank some more coffee.

“Get me an audience with Martha Stewart, and I'll bake you all scones every week,” Morgan replied. She looked at the clock. “Right now we better get moving. Class starts in a few minutes.”

Morgan, Peter, Danny, and Roland are a few of the characters featured in Secrets in the Fog: The Invisibility Project and Danny's First Love by Ellen Spain and published by eTreasures Publishing.


Martha Stewart’s Blueberry Scone Recipe
used by Morgan Walker in Secrets in the Fog: The Invisibility Project

2 cups all-purpose pre-sifted white flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces the size of peas
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing tops
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in center.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Stir in the blueberries and zest.
Whisk the heavy cream and egg in a large glass measuring cup.
Press your thumb in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the cream mixture. Stir lightly with fork until the dough holds together.
Gently pour the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to mix well.
Pat dough into a 6-inch square baking pan about 1 1/4 inches thick and cut into four 3-inch squares. Then cut squares in half on the diagonal to form eight triangles. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
Brush tops with cream.
Bake until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer scones to wire racks to cool.
Enjoy with whipped cream cheese.

Interview with the author: Ellen Spain: the Secret Scone Recipe

I like to bake and learned some great techniques from my late mother. But with the time constraints as a novelist, as eTp's Acquisitions Editor, as an educator, and as a caring wife,  I found my baking time now started around midnight, when I couldn't focus anymore hours on my computer screen and everyone else was asleep.  I still love the taste of scones, but now I have to drive pretty far to buy a scone at Starbucks.

“Wait a minute, Ellen,” I muttered. “Do your research. This is the twenty-first century. Scone making has to be easier than those Martha Stewart recipes.”
I was correct.              Now I have a sure-fired way to make scones the easy way.  I checked out the local department stores and gourmet grocery, and ended up finding everything I needed to bake great scones at But you can find the following where-ever you wish.

Here is my secret scone recipe:
1.  Bake in a Nordic Ware Scone pan (I also have a cast iron scone pan but I prefer the cast-aluminum surface because it is easier to clean). Do not wash these pans in your dishwasher. Always spray the scone pan before you add the scone mix.

2.  Use Krusteaz Scone Mix. I tried all the brands and prefer this one because it is really fool-proof. I use 2% milk and if the mix is too lumpy, I add an additional tablespoon.

3.  I like to add cinnamon chips to the dry ingredients. Use the expensive brand for a fantastic taste however, I find the Hershey brand is okay and much cheaper in price.

4.  If I want cherries or blueberries, I use the dried ones mixing about a half of a cup into the dry ingredients first. Beware: fresh berries cause the dry ingredients to absorb the fruit flavor and the end scone has the consistency of a soft muffin rather than a heavy scone with a hint of fruit taste. You can also use raisins with the cinnamon chips.  I like to prepare other foods using dried fruit, so I purchase a four-pound box at Amazon since it is a lot cheaper than buying the dried fruit in my local grocery store.

“Good job, Ellen.” And people still think I slave away at the over baking yummy things for breakfast rather than pounding away on my keyboard all day. But having that great cup of coffee and a scone in the morning while checking my email in my PJ's is a novelist's dream job. Oh yes, one problem: scone crumbs jam up the buttons on my keyboard.  Enjoy the scones fellow authors.


Ellen Spain is a retired Federal Investigator, now turned author, editor, researcher, and educator. Ellen is active with EPIC, PennWriters, RWA, SCBWI, and the Pittsburgh East Writers.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Congratulations to Pembroke Sinclair and Life After the Undead! Top Ten P&E Awards!

Congratulations to Pembroke Sinclair for taking 9th in the Young Adult category for Life After the Undead, a zombie story. Also, the cover art for Life After the Undead placed 10th in the Cover Art poll (cover art by Jerrod Brown).

Each year, competition is fierce in this annual contest run by Preditors and Editors. The Preditors & Editors™ Readers' Poll honors print & electronic publications published during the year.

Way to go, Pembroke! We are thrilled!
Pembroke and her Contest Winning Book
You can find Life After the Undead here.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Get Ready to Solve a Mystery at EPICON 2012 Coming Up March 15-17

Join us at EPICon 2012 in San Antonio!

If you plan on attending EPICon 2012 in San Antonio, Texas March 15-17 at the historic (and haunted) Menger Hotel, but haven’t already, please register now. REGISTRATION CLOSES 2/29/12. Please visit for details.

This year’s theme is Mystery at the Menger. Conference attendees will take part in a murder mystery party in the hotel. The first person to guess the villain wins an e-reader!

There will be a slate of informative workshops for publishers, editors, authors, and readers, plus an eFiesta – a celebration of the e-revolution in publishing. The schedule is now published.

You can reach out to conference attendees by advertising in the main program as well as the eFiesta program. If you are interested, please contact Marci Baun at You can also find new readers by providing gift certificates as prizes for the conference and Friday’s eFiesta readers’ event. Contact Marci Baun at for details.

For more information on the conference or how you can participate, please contact Kim Wollenburg at, Marci Baun at or Lorna Collins at They are all working very hard to make the sponsorship program successful and help you spread your name recognition.

eTreasures is participating in the Publisher panel and Martha and author Ellen Spain are leading a business workshop on taxes.
See you in March!

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Upcoming Radio Guest spot

Please join one of our author's Cindy Cromer, author of Desperate Measures, for a guest spot on an internet Blog Radio Show.

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