Twins for the Win + Giveaway

It’s been a busy few months on the farm. These are a few of my favorite things…

(Psssst! There’s also a giveaway at the bottom of the post. Don’t miss it.)

Meet one of seventeen new additions. This is Yellow Leader, the head of the Rebel Alliance (AKA our baby Pekin flock). She is the chosen one, and I am teaching her the ways of the force. She must bring balance and lead them all to victory against the Empire.

There’ve been phone calls, high school planning, and researching home school options for driver’s ed (Texas’ parent-taught drivers ed class). Here in the country, we don’t have the best reception, so I have to go outside to talk on the phone.

This is what making a phone call looks like at my house. Wherever they are, the turkeys come running. They find me. Every time. They also always seem to be in the middle of an argument with one another.


Common Scenario

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, can you repeat that? My tukeys seem to be arguing amongst themselves.”

CSR, with a chuckle: “I know kids can be a handful.”

Me: ….

CSR: ….

Me: “They sure can.”

Disapproving Turkey Demands Silence in His Yard

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The broilers are nearing their graduation day (borrowing the term from Justin Rhodes). This came this week. And this. You know what that means. Our survival rate had been good (only lost one so far) with only about one week left until processing day. Our boys feed them their organic feed, then move the chicken tractor to fresh pasture every morning. We’ve used garlic and apple cider vinegar in their water to help keep them healthy, and we’re ahead of the expected food needs on the Red Broilers from Ideal Poultry. We feed pumpkin occasionally for the anti-parasite properties in the pumpkin seeds with organic veggies and greens to round-out their diet. They’ll have their own post with numbers and information by the end of the month.

Over 300 pounds of food later, they’ve gone from this to this.


We’ve had a new set of twins. Look at those fuzzy feet! Goat kids are so adorable.

Meet Bifur.

And this one is Bofur. He likes to complain.

We’ve added an American Black Belly ram to our polyculture. Our oldest dubbed him Mountain Man. He gets along with our ewes, and we probably already have spring lambs on the way.

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It’s November. November always makes me want to spend time in the kitchen. This is in the oven, and this is in the crock pot, filling up the air with a million fabulous smells.

We had an unexpected, fall garden surprise.

Congratulations! It’s a zucchini!

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On a sadder note, we had a death in our permaculture family. We lost one of the September goat kids (we think to a snake bite). We knew we were due a loss, but it’s still disheartening.


But we’ve also had airplane rides and awards…

Birthday orchids…

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And family dentist appointments (I’ll spare you the pictures). (:

All in all, LIFE goes on, here on the farm.

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Congratulations! You made it to the end.

In honor of my short, Ishka’s Garden

(in A Fellowship of Fantasy Anthology: Fantastic Creatures),

I’m giving away a $5 Amazon gift card & a signed paperback.

Enter Below

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About Fantastic Creatures (Fellowship of Fantasy Book 1)

Here be dragons … and selkies and griffins and maybe even a mermaid or two.

Twenty fantasy authors band together to bring you a collection of thrilling tales and magical monsters. Do you like to slay dragons? Or befriend them? Do you prefer to meet cephalopods as gigantic kraken or adorable tree octopuses?

Each story focuses around a fantastic creature from folklore or mythology, and they range from light and playful tales for the whole family to darker stories that may make you wish to leave the lights on. These stories carry the Fellowship of Fantasy seal of approval. While our monsters may be horrifying, you won’t stumble into graphic sex and constant swearing.

Perfect for the fantasy lover who can’t get enough of mythical beasts.

 

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Fantastic Creature Anthology Release and Scavenger Hunt!

Happy Release Day to A Fellowship of Fantasy Anthology: Fantastic Creatures!!

In honor of this lovely book, the authors have banded together to create a scavenger hunt. Just visit each of the blog stops and hunt down the clues. You could win…. (Drumroll, please!)

fcsh-giveaway-graphic-2THE GRAND PRIZE:

a Kindle Fire, pre-loaded

with ebooks from many

of the anthology authors.


Enter Below

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Today, I’m happy to welcome Nicole Zoltack to my blog. She’s another outstanding author from A Fellowship of Fantasy Anthology: Fantastic Creatures. Take it away, Nicole!

What Makes an Adventurer?

  1. An adventurer doesn’t necessarily have to be brave, but he or she needs to be able to face adversity head on.
  2. A quest. Every adventurer needs a reason behind the adventure! Without one, he or she will just wander about aimlessly.
  3. Now curiosity isn’t always a good thing, but a healthy dose of it keeps things interesting, so long as the adventurer makes smart choices.
  4. Which leads to intelligence. Without a brain (and using that brain!), the adventurer might not survive their quest!
  5. A tragic past. This is not always necessary, but it often plays a role in his or her quest.
  6. The more prepared the adventurer is, the better his or her chance to obtain their goal or finish/complete their quest.
  7. Fitness/endurance. Most adventurers are out in the fields or woods or swamps. They have to be strong to face their foes.
  8. During their treks, they need to know how to best utilize the land and nature.

My story in the collection An Adventurer’s Heart features one such adventurer who exhibits all of these qualities or traits. She’s not one to be messed with, that’s for sure!

Sign up for my mailing list during this scavenger hunt and comment below letting me know if you have what it takes to be an adventurer, and I’ll enter you to win your choice of one of my ebooks.

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Nicole Zoltack loves to write in many genres, especially romance, whether fantasy, paranormal, time travels or regency. She’s also a freelance editor and a ghostwriter. Her works include the Magic Incarnate series, the Heroes of Falledge trilogy, and the Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy.

When she’s not writing about knights, superheroes, or witches, she enjoys spending time with her loving husband, three energetic young boys, and precious baby girl. She enjoys riding horses (pretending they’re unicorns, of course!) and going to the PA Renaissance Faire, dressed in garb. She’ll also read anything she can get her hands on. Her current favorite TV shows are The Walking Dead and Gotham.

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Check out the fabulous new book for clean fantasy lovers of all kinds!

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Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Scavenger Hunt Stops

Kandi J. Wyatt
A. R. Silverberry
Bokerah Brumley
H. L. Burke
Lea Doué
Morgan Smith
Jessica L. Elliott
Caren Rich
Julie C. Gilbert
Nicole Zoltack
D. G. Driver
Intisar Khanani

Since you scrolled ALL the way to end, you scored a bonus!

Here’s another giveaway.  (:

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Happy Release Day, Fantastic Creatures!

To celebrate the release of Fantastic Creatures, The Fellowship of Fantasy has planned a Release Extravaganza! Join our open house-style Facebook party today (Nov 17) from 3:30 – 7 pm to meet many of our anthology authors and get a peek at the fantastic creatures highlighted in our stories. There will be fun, games, and, of course, DRAGONS!

You can also join our Fantastic Creatures Scavenger Hunt from Nov 17-20th. Each of twelve stops will feature a post with exclusive content from one of our authors. Many will also include a mini-giveaway… Visit all the stops and collect the clues–a number featured in each post–and you could win a Kindle Fire plus a 12-book digital library! Make sure to scroll down to find the list of Scavenger Hunt stops and get started right away!

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Here be dragons … and selkies and griffins and maybe even a mermaid or two.

Twenty fantasy authors band together to bring you a collection of thrilling tales and magical monsters. Do you like to slay dragons? Or befriend them? Do you prefer to meet cephalopods as gigantic kraken or adorable tree octopuses?

Each story focuses around a fantastic creature from folklore or mythology, and they range from light and playful tales for the whole family to darker stories that may make you wish to leave the lights on. These stories carry the Fellowship of Fantasy seal of approval. While our monsters may be horrifying, you won’t stumble into graphic sex and constant swearing.

Perfect for the fantasy lover who can’t get enough of mythical beasts.

Get it on: Amazon | B&N (Nook) | Kobo | More!

And find out more at the Fellowship of Fantasy website.

fof-fantastical-creatures-scavenger-hunt-banner

The Fantastic Creatures Scavenger Hunt

Visit these authors’ blogs to find the numbers hidden in each post, discover exclusive content about the stories in our anthology, and find a few mini giveaways along the way! Each author is hosting a different author’s post, so be sure to visit them all. Once you’ve collected all the numbers, add them together and enter the total in the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a Kindle Fire and 12 book digital library!

Scavenger Hunt Stops

Kandi J. Wyatt
A. R. Silverberry
Bokerah Brumley
H. L. Burke
Lea Doué
Morgan Smith
Jessica L. Elliott
Caren Rich
Julie C. Gilbert
Nicole Zoltack
D. G. Driver
Intisar Khanani

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Farmgirl ISO Ladybug

Our garden isn’t exploding as quickly as I had hoped. The herbs are doing well, but the seedlings are struggling more.

(Of course, I imagine expansive food forests, foraging walk-abouts, and returning to the kitchen with my arms laden with produce. Don’t tell Farmer Bill. I think that dream is probably more like 4-5 years away. Perspective may be an issue for me.)

Researching organic ways to combat bad things, I came upon the idea for Ladybugs. I know, I know! No brainer. But, more often than not, on this Permaculture path, we find something that someone else does and immediately say, “Of course! Why didn’t I think of that?!” Sadly, we’ve all been trained to first reach for the chemicals rather than natural ways.

Later, I found Ladybugs on Amazon . I ordered them a few days after and immediately turned uber-excited. I love nothing better than adding a new component to our polyculture. I try to be cool, but it doesn’t quite work out that way. I think I clapped and danced on my toes when I found the package in our mailbox.

Per the instructions, they said to release them in the morning or the evening, watering first. The ladybugs would be thirsty, and water meant they could breed sooner, too.

The next morning, we prepped the beds.

All ready.

 

I opened the box. They were crawling all over inside their netted container.

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Time to set the ladybugs free.

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They’re already congregating beneath leaves and breeding, too. While they won’t fix all our garden ills, it never hurts to add Ladybugs, so that’s a win-win for our little farm.

Next up? Nematodes and a flock of Praying Mantises.

And worms. Definitely more worms.

I found this native guy in the garden yesterday.

It made me so happy, I decided he needed his own photoshoot.

Until next time.

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Cursed: The Beasts of Summer

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  amazon-KU-free-button
  ONLY #99CENTS ON KINDLE!  

8 tales of monsters lurking in the dark.

8 creatures stalking the hot summer nights.

8 beasts sliding through the shadows unseen.

8 new ways to be cursed.

Shade by T.K. Bradley
Wings Over New York by B. Brumley
A Generation of Vipers by Margo Bond Collins
Carolina Crypto: Case of the Lizard Man by Blaire Edens
Heart of Stone by S. K. Gregory
I’m Not Afraid of Wolves  by Erin Hayes
To End the Rapture  by Lori Parker
Crossfire by  Emma Stark

 

8 beasts sliding through the shadows unseen.  8 new ways to be cursed. 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Book

Cursed: The Beasts of Summer
by Various

Series
n/a; anthology

Genre
Paranormal Fantasy (NOT Classified As Romance)
Urban Fantasy

Publisher
Bathory Gate Press

Publication Date
August 1, 2016

df2b8-goodreads-button amazon-KU-free-button  <– ONLY #99CENTS ON KINDLE!

Shade by T.K. Bradley
All James has left in life is a small group of survivors, and his little sliver of shade. But there are worse things to fear than the scorching sunlight. In order to survive in this cruel world, James will have to live by two rules….

Hide from the light. Fear the night.

Wings Over New York by B. Brumley
Fallen angel Woe is settling into her wing-free life, and her biggest worry is meeting her new in-laws. When an old enemy resurfaces, Father Jason and Prince Arún join forces to hunt the hunter, vowing to keep Woe safe. As she is once again drawn into the midst of a supernatural tug-of-war, a new player emerges, risking the warrior Woe loves.

A Generation of Vipers by Margo Bond Collins
Capturing the killer who was stalking the shapeshifter community should have earned weresnake Lindi Parker and her new boyfriend, mongoose-shifter Kade Nevala, a vacation. Instead it earned them a basket of baby lamias and a whole heap of trouble. Someone in the shifter community doesn’t want those infants—or Lindi—to survive. Not knowing who or what they can trust, Kade and Lindi must use every skill they have to stop a killer—again.

Carolina Crypto: Case of the Lizard Man by Blaire Edens
Anthropologist Lucy Whittemore is on a quest to track down a killer. Spencer Watson’s dad has disappeared and the mythical Lizard Man might be the culprit. Tracking the beast through a steamy South Carolina swamp, the two find themselves up close and personal with a reality far scarier than they ever imagined.

Heart of Stone by S. K. Gregory
Cassidy Regan returns home after her father dies. She just wants to attend the funeral and put it behind her, but fate has other plans. Cassidy is next in line to protect a mysterious vault, and as she comes face to face with strange creatures and a world she never knew existed, Cassidy realizes she must accept her destiny or die.

I’m Not Afraid of Wolves  by Erin Hayes
After escaping an abusive marriage and leading a new mermaid troupe, Christine goes on a much-needed vacation with her sister Sara. Except she wasn’t told the real reason for the trip: Sara’s running away from werewolves. And they’ll stop at nothing to get their claws into Christine’s sister.

To End the Rapture  by Lori Parker
My name is Tyler. Yes, I’m a girl. And if you have a demon problem don’t call me, I’m retired.

Tyler is done with demons. Until Kade walks into her life and tempts her back into her old ways. It’s like he’s a sin.

Crossfire by  Emma Stark
Born into an ancient Order of demon hunters, Ethan Bailey is no stranger to a lonely life full of danger and lies. Tired of the secrets and nights spent alone, Ethan grows resentful of the Order. Little does he know, though, his latest assignment will lead him to exactly what—and who—he’s looking for.

This promotion is brought to you by Pure Textuality PR.

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September Surprises (I blame these cute twins)

We’ve had rain lately.

And a birthday for Farmer Bill. He’s older than he wants to be,

but I wouldn’t trade our history together for anything.

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The turkeys are almost bald now. They’re growing like weeds.

The kids are, too.

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We moved the sheep from one side of our property to the other and separated them from the goats. We’re working toward a rotational grazing plan that will utilize the sheep, the chickens, and the turkeys to build our soil as time marches forward (a variation of what Joe Salatin does at Polyface, Inc.). We have a long way to go on our infrastructure,

but we’re moving ahead bit-by-bit.

 

Our Nigerian Dwarf friends are happy on their new pasture, goating it up from one side to the other. Training them to an electric fence has been interesting.

At least they like the feedbucket.

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dsc_1377Not long ago, I noticed funny things going on in the back-half of one of our nannies. When they moved to our acres, we knew some of them were pregnant, but not much else. I had the boys catch her and collar her, in case she needed a midwife intervention.

A few days later, there were some new sounds at Heritage Homestead Harvest.

It’s twins! A boy and a girl that we call Fíli and Kíli.

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Introductions happened the next day. Diamond is in-love.

Mama Goat isn’t so sure.

The herb garden is coming along. We harvest from it regularly.

Basil loves it here.

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Farmer Bill finished the raised beds for our Fall Garden,

and he built me a flower bed out of found materials.

I can’t wait to see the pretties bloom.

We moved all our Autumn Harvest starts outside this week. And then it thunderstormed.

A few things won’t make it, but we’ll keep planting.

On Labor Day, we harvested in the wilds of West Texas. We came home with prickly pears and mesquite beans. We made too-thin jelly and too-thick jelly. I haven’t quite figured out the key to perfect jelly-making.

I’m determined to persevere until I add the skill to my permaculture toolbox.

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When we took a day to visit our friends, the Yorks,

he serenaded us with one of his latest songs.

It’s a great way to end our update,

so I’ll just leave this right here. Enjoy.

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Penelope Gilbert & the Children of Azure {Emily A. Steward}

I met Emily Steward during PitchWars 2015 (PitchSlam, PitMad, all the Twitter things). We’ve been in the Twitter pitch contests alongside one another.

Wait for it…

I’m SO happy to say that her first book released this week! Woot!

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Title: Penelope Gilbert and the Children of Azure

Author: Emily A. Steward

Back Cover Blurb: When 13 year-old Penelope Gilbert accidentally transforms into a stapler during math class, she’s sure she’s going crazy. But she’s not imagining the men in black suits now patrolling the halls at school, nor is she imagining the new substitute teacher who orders the class to take a special new test. A test that requires blood. Hunted for her powers, and torn from the life she knows, Penny is swept up into a world in the clouds where magic meets machine and pirates rule the sky.

Author Bio: Emily Steward spent the better part of her childhood dressed as a ninja and trying to convince others to call her ‘Ace.’ When she wasn’t saving the world from evil samurai, she could usually be found in the branches of a tree reading a good book. She now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three daughters, and dog Bentley. Though she seldom dresses as a ninja now, her adventurous spirit remains as does her love of tree climbing and reading good books.

 


 

Short Excerpt (199 words):

“Come on!” she yelled to Haldor who was wriggling out from under the spider corpse. She ran to the spot where she saw the creature enter as Haldor hurried to catch up. She scrambled through the brush until she came to a stream. There she saw the spider. He was across the water under a large tree.

Above him were several objects swinging in the breeze. It took her a moment to realize that they were rotting bodies strung up by their necks. Their unseeing eyes stared eerily into the darkness. Upon closer inspection, she saw that there were at least thirty of them. She wretched silently as she tried to think of a way for Crane to not become one of them. The spider was already trying to wrap a strand of webbing around his neck.

A thought occurred to her. An outrageous, outlandish thought. I can do this, she assured herself. She tried to picture every last detail of her slain foe—every creepy crawling, hairy, shiny detail. Penny could feel the energy pulsing through her. Her hands were no longer her own. Her teeth had become fangs, and her eyes were the eyes of a killer.

Longer excerpt (509 words): A six-foot-tall arachnid hovered over them. One of the creature’s razor-sharp metal legs was raised to attack. The scream seemed to confuse it. It wasn’t much of a window, but it was long enough. She rolled to the side just as the beast’s leg smashed into the ground, leaving a deep hole behind. Crane turned to see what was happening. He let out a cry and fell back into Haldor.

“Guard your necks!” Penny shouted. A web shot out from another spider just behind the first, catching Crane around the ankle. It pulled him in faster than he could react. Another web shot toward Penny. She managed to deflect it with her sword. She could hear Chip hooting wildly from somewhere above, as if cheering them on.

“Haldor, these guys are metal, can’t you do something?” she cried.

“I’m trying, but I have to get closer.”

“Help!” Crane yelled from where he hung upside down from the spider’s back. Haldor jumped to his feet and ran at them, swinging his spear around. He let out a gasp as a spindly leg knocked him to the ground. Another rose up to make the kill. Penny leapt forward and chopped the leg in two with her sword before it could connect.

The metal shrapnel scattered onto the ground. Haldor took that moment to drive his spear into the soft underbelly of the animal. It let out a horrible shriek but only seemed to be angered more. It came at him again, foam dripping from his fangs, his glass eyes gleaming red like a hundred tiny traffic lights. Haldor fell back, losing his grip on the spear. The spider lunged just as Penny attacked it from behind, stabbing her blade deep within his thorax. She then swung around, looking for the spider who held Crane. She could see it skittering toward the forest.

“Come on!” she yelled to Haldor who was wriggling out from under the spider corpse. She ran to the spot where she saw the creature enter as Haldor hurried to catch up. She scrambled through the brush until she came to a stream. There she saw the spider. He was across the water under a large tree.

Above him were several objects swinging in the breeze. It took her a moment to realize that they were rotting bodies strung up by their necks. Their unseeing eyes stared eerily into the darkness. Upon closer inspection, she saw that there were at least thirty of them. She wretched silently as she tried to think of a way for Crane to not become one of them. The spider was already trying to wrap a strand of webbing around his neck.

A thought occurred to her. An outrageous, outlandish thought. I can do this, she assured herself. She tried to picture every last detail of her slain foe—every creepy crawling, hairy, shiny detail. Penny could feel the energy pulsing through her. Her hands were no longer her own. Her teeth had become fangs, and her eyes were the eyes of a killer.

 Catch up with my friend, Emily! Seriously. You know you want to!

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