Thursday, November 24, 2011

Welcome, Dianne Hartsock

Quinn’s Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Come on in. You’re right on time. The Family’s just sitting down to dinner. I’m sorry Liam’s not here to greet you. Running late, as usual.

Pull up a chair. Wine? Hot cider? I wish I could offer you some of this fabulous meal, but that’s more Liam’s forte. I’m afraid my ghostly abilities are limited to creating blurry orbs that people assume are dust specks rather than auras caused by me.

Doesn’t that turkey look delicious! Oh, cranberry and apple relish, mashed potatoes and gravy. Wish I could smell the fresh bread. And I think there’s an apple pie baking for later.

Liam better hurry or we’ll miss the whole feast. He can take you right into the room. Being a specter has its limits on me. I’ll have to stay here on the fringes, though with Liam present the colors will be sharper. I’ll be able to smell everything and practically taste the golden turkey on my tongue. Oh, no. Margaret just took the last bite of the sweet potatoes. That’s my favorite!

Who’s Margaret? Guess I should introduce everyone. This is Liam’s family, by the way. My folks are all back east buried in ten feet of snow from the last storm. That’s Liam’s brother-in-law, Andrew, at the head of the table. Next to him is his wife Sarah, Liam’s oldest sister.

The greedy little girl is their daughter. Oh, she sees us! Hi, Margaret. She’s the most gifted one in this amazing family. The beautiful woman at the end of the table is Liam’s twin, Becca. But you probably guessed that. She has the same black silky hair and incredible blue eyes as Liam…so lovely. Liam’s parents died in a car accident about five years ago. Maybe that’s why he’s so reluctant to let me move on. I don’t mind. I’ll stay around until he can bring himself to let me go.

Well, why we’re waiting, here’s the recipe for the sweet potatoes. You should give them a try! Very yummy.

Cashew-Peach Sweet Potato Recipe
-taste of home

  • 6 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 can (15-1/4 ounces) sliced peaches, drained
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan or Dutch oven; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 30-45 minutes or just until tender. Drain and cool slightly; peel and cut into cubes.
  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cashews, salt and ginger. Place half of the sweet potatoes in an ungreased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish; top with half of the peaches and brown sugar mixture. Repeat layers; dot with butter.
  • Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until bubbly and heated through. Yield: 10 servings.

Oh, there’s Liam now. Hi, darling. What? You want everyone to sit at the table? Oh, the family can see you now! How wonderful. Don’t be surprised by their cheerful welcome. Liam’s always popping in with people. Nothing startles them any more

Well, I think I’ll take a walk while you all eat this delicious meal. Enjoy yourselves. Thanks for stopping by and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Trials of a Lonely Specter
MuseItUp Publishing:


There’s been an accident. Quinn believes he’s dead, though Liam insists otherwise. But if that is the case, why does Quinn see the two of them as ghosts? And why does Liam play along? Exposed to mediums and apparitions, Quinn has to make a decision: either accept his fate or risk everything to trust Liam one more time.

 Quinn frowned at the crumbling gate house of the manor, unsure of why Liam had brought him there. Then again, he shouldn’t be surprised by anything his partner did.
“Let’s go in.”
Quinn hushed the voice in his head. “I’m thinking.”
He jumped slightly when Liam materialized at his side. He tried to hold onto his annoyance but couldn’t stay mad for long when the other grinned in that attractive way. The man threw an arm across his shoulders, waving a languid hand at the decrepit building. “Can’t you make up your mind inside? It’s getting dark.”
Quinn glanced behind them at the lonely driveway. He shivered when he saw the shadows creeping from under the trees. Shrubs overran the flowerbeds and weeds grew between the closely fitted flagstones of the walkway. He couldn’t understand why Liam always had to choose the scariest places to haunt.
“It’ll be darker inside,” he hinted to the apparition.
Liam slid his arm from his shoulders and sauntered up to the wooden door sagging on its hinges. He wiggled his fingers and a bluish light filled the house, spilling out from between the slats of the broken shutters.
“Show-off,” Quinn muttered as he joined him at the front entrance. The door felt solid under his hands.  He gave it a nudge, testing its stability.
Watching him, Liam put his chin on his shoulder. “Give it a shove.”
“Why don’t you?”
He regretted the words instantly when Liam’s eyes flashed.
“I’m sorry. Don’t be mad,” he said, but Liam had glanced aside, hiding his expression. Quinn felt like a brute, knowing his friend’s manifestation had no substance. He took out his frustration on the door, putting a shoulder to it. He pushed, and stumbled across the threshold when the ancient latch unexpectedly gave way. Dust filled the air and he sneezed several times.
Liam swept passed him, his skin luminescent in the pulsing blue light he’d created. Quinn watched enviously as he crossed the hallway and glided up the swaying staircase. His own efforts to get an aura only resulted in dim blobs that people dismissed as figments of their imagination.
His friend’s glowing figure disappeared through the door at the top of the landing, and he hurried after him. His foot caught on a loose board as he entered the room and his dignity was bruised as he sprawled on his face. Liam’s amused laughter did nothing to help.
He climbed to his feet and stalked towards a mirror, the only item of furniture in the room propped against the wall.  He scowled at the mottled surface. “May I go home now?”
Liam appeared in the mirror and Quinn stared at the man’s reflection. The same old questions raced around in his head. They were hard to ask with Liam’s mocking eyes on him. He swallowed nervously. “Am I a vampire?”
The unique eyes blinked, and then a grin flashed over the attractive face watching him. “Why do you ask that?”
Quinn gestured to the mirror. “I don’t see my reflection next to yours. I never do.”
Liam shrugged indifferently. “Your point?”
“I…” Quinn bit his lip, knowing it was now or never. “Were we ever alive?”
“Damn it, Liam! Why don’t I have a reflection?”
“You do. You choose not to see it. Maybe you don’t believe you’re really dead.”

Dianne Hartsock


diannehartsock said...

Thanks for inviting us to dinner, Ginger!

Heather Haven said...

Glad to be around this Thanksgiving with Ginger and her guest, Dianne. Always makes the day more special!

Tiago Aleixo said...

i am a recent fashion blogger from Portugal :) i really loved your blog. i will really appreciate if you follow my blog

and of course i will folback!:D also, u can mention me anytime on twitter @the3rt if you want me to check out your latest post & leave a comment ^^,

i've just recommend your post to google!u can check it! that's what u got if you keep in touch with my blog too!! hope u will do the same ^^)


diannehartsock said...

Thanks for stopping by, Heather! Hope you had a good day.

Tiago, your blog sounds very interesting. Thanks for visiting!

Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Manic Readers

Manic Readers

She Writes

Historical Fiction Books

Readers and Writers of Distinctive Fiction