Clarissa Johal: July 2016

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Happy Summer!

I'll be taking time off from blogging & writing to spend with my family. See you on September 5th!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Thank You, Readers! - July Royalties have Been Donated to @SafeHaven4Cats #shelter #cats #nonprofit

Thank you to all who bought my books during the month of July! 
I've donated 100% of my July royalties to SAFE Haven for Cats, a non-profit, no-kill cat shelter & spay/neuter clinic. I decided to sponsor a cat. 
It was hard to choose, but as soon as I saw Vancouver, I knew he was the one. I'm crossing my fingers he gets adopted soon.

If you want to throw some good out into the world, consider donating your time, pet supplies or a monetary gift to your local shelter. Every little bit helps.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wishlist Wednesday - Pippa's Real Tea - Not Your Grandmother's Tea Room @PippasRealTea

I'm trying to get into the swing of things, but it's been difficult. My family had a great summer vacation...and then, my daughter came down with the coughing crud once we got home. Ugh, airplanes.  Forgive me if I'm in-and-out for the next few weeks because she's still sick.

While vacationing around Seattle, we'd planned to do a ferry hop to Victoria, B.C. Unfortunately, my husband was unable to renew his passport in time to make the trek. I lived in Victoria for several years as a child, and really wanted to show our daughters around. So, as crappy as the situation was, we decided to part ways for the day.

My husband is British--I swear he can smell tea from miles away. He ended up at Pippa's Real Tea located in Port Townsend, Washington. If you haven't visited Port Townsend, I highly recommend that you do. It's a charming, little harbor town founded in 1851 approximately 40 miles northwest of Seattle. They have all sorts of shops to visit and several excellent cafes.

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm an avid coffee lover. Gevalia French Roast is my favorite. I'll drink herbal tea from time-to-time, but only if it's licorice, and only before bed. My husband bought me a bag of Pippa's Licorice Love. It's so good, I had to share. I'll definitely be ordering this tea online and I'm willing to bet their other teas are just as good. I may have to experiment.

Pippa's Real Tea 
636 Water Street, Port Townsend

Twitter @PippasRealTea

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Guest Author - Pirate Summer by HL Carpenter #YA #newrelease

Traveling through time
by HL Carpenter
Image source: davitydave from San Francisco, CA, USA
(Wedding Cake  Uploaded by Mindmatrix) CC BY 2.0
via Wikimedia Commons

Time travel is possible. We know, because all it takes is an old song, picture, or book, and we're right back where we were when we first sang along, or snapped the image, or began reading.

The hero of our young adult novel, Pirate Summer, also learns that time travel is possible. Josey's journey is not a flight of fancy, triggered by memory and imagination, and it's not a journey she's anxious to make. But there's no other way to save her brother — and she's not going to leave him two hundred years in the past.

Would you travel through time to save a family member? We look forward to reading your comments.


Pirate Summer

Fifteen year old Josey is a liar. She’d like to stop. But after Mom left, the lies started popping out, like the time Josey left her little brother at the library and told Dad he’d run away.

Then Josey meets a boy who tells bigger whoppers than she does. He says he’s the son of a privateer who’s been dead two centuries. He’s so convincing Josey’s brother believes every word and sets off to find the privateer’s hidden treasure.

When her brother disappears, Josey is sure she knows where he's gone. But everyone thinks she's lying again. Everyone, that is, except the so-called privateer’s son. He knows she’s telling the truth because jeweled riches are only part of his tale. There’s also the snooperscope, a device that makes time leaps possible, like the one that brought him to the present.

The story is fantastical...and yet Josey will do anything to save her brother—including traveling back in time two hundred years with a boy she can’t trust.

Pirate Summer Buy Link - Amazon

Author Bio - HL Carpenter

Florida-based mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter writes sweet, clean fiction that is suitable for everyone in your family. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.

Connect with HL Carpenter
Our home on the web is We’re also on Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, and we have an author page on Amazon.

Monday, July 25, 2016

#MeatlessMonday - Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting #dessert

I made these for my birthday last Wednesday. My teens liked them better without icing. Enjoy!

Spice Cupcakes 


1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°

1) In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
2) Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
3) In another bowl, whisk, flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt.
4) Add ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.
5) Beat egg whites on medium speed until stiff. Fold into batter.

Fill lined cupcake tins 3/4 way full.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

#99cent #sale & #newrelease - STRUCK and POPPY by Clarissa Johal #paranormal #excerpt

Download your copy of Struck now for 99 cents! 

While you're at it, check out my new release & spin-off novel Poppy  

Struck by lightning...claimed by shadows.

Caught in a terrible storm, Gwynneth is struck by lightning. She wakes in the hospital with a vague memory of a mysterious stranger. Following her release, the stranger visits her at will and offers Gwynneth a gift—one that will stay the hands of death. She is uncertain whether Julian is a savior or something sinister... for as he shares more of this gift, his price becomes deadly.

Excerpt from Struck:

     “I saw one of them in here, Julian. Those shadow things. I saw it. It went into Seth’s bedroom.”
     A frown creased his smooth brow. “You must have been imagining things, Gwynneth. Are you positive?”
     “Yes.” She stared at him uncertainly. “You have to keep those things out of here.”
     “You are asking for my help, then?”
     Gwynneth hesitated. The question seemed to imply much more than she wanted to admit.
     “I need something from you in return,” Julian said quietly. He took her arms. “Just a small token. You won’t miss it.”
     She covered her face with her hands. “I must be going crazy. You’re a figment of my imagination. Forget it, Julian. Just go away.”
     “Is that what you think I am?” He gently removed her hands from her face. “I’m not a figment of your imagination, Gwynneth. I assure you.”
     She looked up at him. His face was so beautiful. Mesmerizing. She felt herself lean toward him without thinking.
     “A small token.” His gloved thumb stroked her cheek hypnotically. “I can offer you so much in return. Let me show you.”
     His storm-filled eyes made her feel like she was drowning. Before she could reply, Gwynneth was pulled into blackness.
     Folding. Everything was folding in on them. The weight of the air pressed against her skin, crushing her. Something evil hovered around them. Waiting. She could feel it. Poised to strike, it was ready to yank her from Julian’s grasp. She clung to Julian in fear, the blood pounding in her ears.
     The weight was suddenly lifted, and they stood in the empty reception room of Homestead. “What was that?” she began. ”Why are we here?”
     “Trust me.” Julian held her as she gained her bearings again. “I will show you what it can be.”
     “Nobody will die?”
     “If you trust me.”
     Perplexed, she allowed him to lead her down the hallway. They arrived at room 102. Mr. Allen’s room, Gwynneth thought. Everyone liked the elderly gentleman, even his children visited several times a week. She hated that Mr. Allen’s medication made him forget things from time to time, but most of the residents were on medication of some kind.
Mr. Allen sat in bed, doing crosswords puzzles. She wasn’t surprised to see him awake. Most of the elderly kept odd hours and experienced insomnia.
     “He can’t see us either?” she whispered.
     “No.” Julian stood behind her. His slid his hands up her arms, and nudged her forward. “Watch, Gwynneth.”
     She watched, trepidation pricking at her insides. Something peeled itself from the wall and occupied space in the room. Something dark and filled with need.
     “What is that?” she breathed. “Julian, you promised.” In a blink, it was beside Mr. Allen. The figure jerked and flickered humanlike, but wrong. Its arms and legs were moving backwards against their joints, and its face morphed but wouldn’t settle. It reached out with lightning speed and grabbed Mr. Allen by the shoulders.
     “No!” she screamed.
     Julian stopped her from lunging forward. His fingers dug painfully into her skin. “Tell it to go away, Gwynneth.” He pulled her against his chest. “Stop it from taking his life. You can, you know.”
     Her heart raced. Gwynneth felt like the air was being sucked from the room. Mr. Allen fell backwards onto his bed. The figure crawled over him like an insect.
     She lunged against Julian’s viselike grip. “Stop!”
     The black figure immediately pulled away. In a blink, it was on them, and they fell backwards onto the floor. Icy cold washed over Gwynneth as the creature enveloped her body like a second skin.


A red-headed, pink-loving mortician who speaks to the dead.
A moody, unsociable funeral director.
Poppy and Dante from Struck are back.

Something is lingering around Skyview Funeral Home—and it's stealing souls of the dead.
With Dante in tow, Poppy is determined to put a stop to it.
Can she protect those who are trying to cross over, or will her soul be next?

Excerpt from Poppy:

The root cellar was a small space with a low ceiling. At one point, it probably smelled of apples and potatoes, but now, there was nothing but the scent of lawn mower gas, dirt, and cold stone. Poppy reached into the darkness, searching for the light bulb string. Her fingers connected, and she pulled it on with a click.
Weak light illuminated the usual garden-equipment clutter. Rakes and shovels were piled against a stone wall. Several cans of gasoline sat next to an old lawn mower. Bags of fertilizer and garden fungicide sat beside them. Gladys was nowhere in sight.
A rustle sounded from a darkened corner. Fully expecting to see a rat or trapped bird, she held the bulb in such a way to throw light on it. The door slammed shut behind her.
“Geez!” Poppy lost her grip on the light. The swinging bulb cast rising and falling shadows on the walls. She made a move to push the door open when the lightbulb suddenly shattered, leaving her in darkness.
“Gladys?” Poppy kicked herself for not waiting until morning, when Dante could have accompanied her. The grating sound started up from the corner of the room. It ran slowly along the ground until it stopped in front of her. That’s not Gladys. You walked right into this one.
She clutched the jar to her chest, her heart thumping. “I have the locket, if that’s what you want.”
The answering silence lay across the cellar like a shroud.
“I’ll make you a deal. You leave my dead alone, and I’ll leave the locket right here.” Her voice sounded against the close confines. “Good luck with the sea salt, if that matters.” Poppy inwardly cringed as she felt a trickle of blood from her nose. Dammit. She attempted to put up her barriers, but it was too late.
A heaviness descended upon her shoulders like a mantle. Something lashed out and scratched the skin of her throat.