Book Trailer: Promise in a Dream

Book Trailer: Promise in a Dream

Introducing the book trailer for my second book “Promise in a Dream”.

Pick up a signed copy in my bookstore.

A small western town. A mother in need of refuge. And spirits that are invested in the lives of the living and the dead.

Discover Andrea’s love story in “Promise in a Dream” book two on the Creekside Dreams series from author Stella Jayne Phillips. Uncover how history dictates the future in this romantic story of lost love and new beginnings.

Nikki’s Recipe Book: Tiny Apple Tarts

Nikki’s Tiny Apple Tarts
Nikki Benton loves to offer a sweet with the coffee and tea available in the lobby of The Palace Hotel in
the afternoons. In honor of Valentine’s Day when love and sweet treats are everywhere, she adapted
her mother’s apple pie recipe into a tiny apple tart. Making the filling a day ahead means it’s a quick
trick to offer a freshly baked sweet that fills the lobby with the scents of apple and cinnamon.

Ingredients Pie crust (refrigerated or homemade) enough for a top and bottom of 9” pie 4 red apples washed, cored, sliced thickly and each slice cut into thirds 1 lemon, cut in half and seeds removed ¼ cup butter 1 tsp. cinnamon 2 tsp. brown sugar ¼ tsp nutmeg 1 tsp. brandy (apple juice can be substituted) Directions Day before or early in the day: Place apples in a bowl, squeeze lemon juice onto apples Mix cinnamon, brown sugar and nutmeg in a small bowl. Add mixture to apples and gently toss. Drizzle brandy over apple mixture and cover. Melt butter over low heat. Add apple mixture, stirring frequently until apples are soft but not mushy. Return cooked apple mixture to bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight or several hours. Next day or later in the day Heat oven to 350 degrees, line cookie sheet with parchment paper Roll out pie crust and cut into circles using glass or bowl Place well-rounded tsp. of filling (for 3 ½ “ circles) in center Brush water along edge, fold circle, seal with fork tines dipped in water pressed along edges Place on parchment paper, poke holes on tops with sharp knife Bake 10 – 15 min. until light brown, slide onto cooling racks When cool, store in covered container. May be frozen. Pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee, find a cozy spot and enjoy a little apple, delish!
Author Travel Guide: Creekside, Arizona

Author Travel Guide: Creekside, Arizona

Dreaming of a getaway destination with yummy food, a wide variety of entertainment, unique wine, boutique hotels, hiking trails, water sports, all encompassed in a small town feel? Creekside can make your dream come true.
Nestled beneath a mountain in Northern Arizona, Creekside boasts four distinct seasons, all of them mild. Surrounded by protected forests, family owned ranches and a vineyard the town is a throwback to another time while offering the amenities found in larger communities.

Top five must see and do when visiting Creekside Arizona – Home of Benevolent Spirits and Unlimited Opportunities.

Where to stay
Check in to The Palace Hotel by 4 o’clock. That will give you just enough time to drop your stuff in your room and return to the lobby bar, Victoria’s, for a pre-dinner libation and the inn’s famous snack mix. Popular with both hotel guests and locals, the bar offers a selection of beer and wine plus seasonal drinks- must try the raspberry sangria in summer and mulled wine or peppermint hot chocolate in winter. This intimate bar reminds me of an old fashioned private club, comfortable seating, outdoor patio in good weather and a library tucked next door complete with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and an electric fire. Do remember the hotel is haunted and, after a drink in the bar or dinner in town you may spot Victoria’s spirit keeping an eye on her hotel from behind the desk, beside or on the stairway or looking out at the community from the window of room 15.

Dinner on the Square
From The Palace it’s a five to 10 minute walk to an eclectic selection of restaurants for dinner. There’s pizza at Willies, Asian at The Happy Dragon, White table cloth at Wellington’s, steaks an seafood at The Station, and casual Italian at Rosa’s. Or if straight up American comfort food is your wish, check out the Bistro at The Hotel St. George or the Lone Star Café.

Night Time Entertainment
At 9 o’clock the Lone Star Café closes for a half hour while the staff moves the tables out of the middle of the floor and sets up for live entertainment and dancing. Suddenly it’s a country bar. Rather watch sports than dance? Check out Cody’s Pub, multiple TV’s, snack food specials, generous selections of drinks and a room full of sports enthusiasts – does it get better than this?

Picture Perfect Day Trip
After devouring the breakfast at The Palace, It’s time to:

Shop the art galleries and specialty shops around The S quare. The area boasts everything from paintings to glass art to sculpture to one-of-a-kind clothing. And of course there’s a tourist shop with a Creekside t-shirt and mug. Don’t miss Serendipity – Home of Fabulous Finds and Winter’s Gallery both located on Beatrix Street.

Hit the trail. Arrange a trail ride at Windsong Ranch. Perfect ride? The lunch ride, especially when the local police chief is leading the way.

Celebrate Happy Hour at the winery. Arranged in advance the happy hour pairing is worth the van ride out of town. Local wines are paired with international cheeses, meats, vegetables, fruits and chocolate. Yumm. Oh yeah, watch out for the old guy with twinkling eyes at the bar – he’s been dead about 70 years.

Outdoor Adventures
North Lake. A hidden gem nestled at the base of a mountain, North Lake Park is owned and operated by the town of Creekside. For an easy hike anytime, walk the lake’s perimeter. Like a little challenge? Take the sunrise or sunset hike up the mountain – the view is worth the trek and the hike is led by a park ranger. Into water sports? Rent a kyack or paddleboard at the concession stand. You can count on a special peace here as motors are prohibited.

Festival on the Square
Almost every weekend The Square hosts a festival – art, jazz, blues, antiques, literacy, all have a festival weekend dedicated. The Square fills with vendors selling everything and music. Some of the festivals include dancing in the evening. Dancing under the stars – Romance!

With so much to see and do 72 hours my not be enough!

Five favorite quotes about travel without planes, trains, boats, cars, or hiking boots

Trains, boat, planes, cars, feet, wings, and books all provide experiences in new places, broaden understanding of both our differences and similarities and invite us to relax, and recharge our energy.

This year I’ll be writing about places to travel through books, a chance to safely leave home and avoid long lines at the airport, wear and tear on the car, salt from the ocean drying out your skin, sun’s glare in your eyes, holes in your hiking boots and sleeping in strange rooms in strange beds. From your comfortable reading chair, accompanied by your favorite beverage and possibly a snack, you’ll visit new places, meet new people, ponder events both historical and futuristic. I’ll be asking other authors to share the places and times found in their books. Reading their descriptions you might find a new storyteller to add to your favorites or a new addition to your bucket list.

Books can take you anywhere. Here are five favorite quotes about travel without planes, trains, boats, cars, or hiking boots.

“I love the way that each book — any book — is its own journey. You open it, and off you go…”
Sharon Creech (Award winning children’s book author) Find Sharon’s books here

“Keep reading. It’s one of the most marvelous adventures that anyone can have.”
– Lloyd Alexander (Newberry Award winning author) Find Lloyd’s books  here

“In books I have traveled, not only to other worlds, but into my own.”
― Anna Quindlen, How Reading Changed My Life  Find Anna’s books here

“Reading… a vacation for the mind….”
― Dave Barry (American Humorist; Author) Find Dave’s books here

“Books and doors are the same thing. You open them, and you go through into another world.”
― Jeanette Winterson (English Author) Find Jeanette’s books here

Where did you want to visit last year while we stayed safe at home? What are you planning in the years to come?  I’d love to hear from you in comments!