Fun Friday w/ the Duke of Wolferton from The Blue-Eyed Black-Hearted Duke by #romance #author Sandra Masters #histfic #regency #paranormal

Today I have a real treat for you for Fun Friday! How about a Regency paranormal romance? With a Duke who is into cultivating unique flowers! I’ll let Sandra Masters explain. Take it away, Sandra!


Hello, everyone! Hope this finds you in the best of health and that we all have a good year ahead of us.

My special thanks to Betty Bolte for allowing me to share my story with all of you. For me, it has been a year of awakenings and for that reason, I am thrilled to announce the November 5th release of Book Six in the Duke Series – THE BLUE-EYED BLACK-HEARTED DUKE.  This novel idea came to me in a dream of a red wolf aside Radolf, The Duke of Wolferton. In the background were images of a stained glass piece in a chapel featuring said red wolf and an archangel wielding a blazing lightning bolt sword. This book also represented a departure from my more traditional Regency stories in that the characters led me into the FANTASY world of Regency Paranormal. There are no vampires, werewolves, or shape shifters, but these are spiritual guardians of my beloved duke according to a Legend and the Prophecy in the prologue.

If you go to my website: https://www.authorsandramasters.com, and subscribe to it, you will receive a free download of the entire First Chapter. To entice you further, below is the blurb.

TheBlueEyedBlackHeartedDuke_w12389_750.jpgHow do you tempt a sinner?—Offer him a saint!

Dark, dangerous, brooding and in his eyes unredeemable, Radolf Wolferton, Duke of Wolferton, doesn’t fear death but welcomes it. Guilt-ridden because of his sinful past, the tormented hero of the Waterloo wars, honor-bound, believes he is undeserving of love and closely guards his black heart against love though the family prophecy predicts otherwise.

Powerfully drawn to him, Jaclyn Moreux, his ward, cannot deny his allure and the sizzling attraction that grows. Lured by his seductive pull, there are danger and passion in his embrace.

Can Jaclyn help Radolf conquer the internal demon who threatens their future and recognize that a higher supernatural power destines their love?

Can Radolf surrender to the supernatural power that speaks through the stained glass portrait of his red wolf persona and the archangel to fight for the woman he loves despite the pitfalls?

Available for pre-order now. Official world-wide release is on November 5th.

Amazon U.S.:  https://amzn.to/2QqJPug

The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/2ybd4ts

Amazon U.K.: https://amzn.to/2Rnb9e4

Amazon Australia: https://amzn.to/2NmHRsW

A unique fact about this character is that Radolf discovered in his ten years traveling the Ottoman Empire a unique flower. With a love of all things Turkish, he cultivated…

The Turkish Halfeti Black Rose

Halfeti RoseHalfeti Rose appeared to verify that Halfeti, Turkey, was the only place in the world where these unusual roses prospered. The pitch-black rose appeals to women because of its rarity and also its association with darkness. It depends on whether you seek the dark side of the rose in its morbidity or the light side in its magic.

We are told these roses appear black to the naked eye, and are grown only in small quantities in the village of Halfeti, Turkey, which our hero, Radolf, Duke of Tremayne, visited on occasion.  Water seeps in from the Euphrates River which has a unique pH level. On a first viewing, the rose is black unless one takes a magnifying glass to inspect it.

Black roses aren’t a natural variation that you can purchase from your local nursery; they’re much more elusive and EXPENSIVE than that.  Sometimes called Black roses, they are also known as the Turkish Halfeti Rose, Arab Bride or Arab Beauty, and bloom in small numbers.

Visit www.authorsandramasters.com and click on the dashboard BLOG, and you can scroll down to learn everything about this mysterious rose.

Here’s an excerpt for your enjoyment, entitled THE KISS:

Before he could think, fingertips skimmed each other. A smile opened slowly, her upper lips a single breath away, her tongue a slither of invitation one moment, stilled the next, only to venture closer again. Slippery, dazzling the senses, forbidden, but desirable in its implication, the thrill spiraled higher and higher into a mad vortex of lust, pure, and—simple. A sin so delightful, it spun around to make one unable to resist, to give everything for her touch—the infinite pleasure. She moved her mouth closer until there was no space left to hide—only to join in a kiss of blissful ecstasy. Ahh, he never believed it possible for him to feel such sensations again.

Sandra MastersFrom a humble beginning in Newark, NJ, a short stay at a convent in Morristown, NJ, to the boardrooms of NYC, and a fantastic career for a broadcasting company in Carlsbad, California, to the rural foothills of the Sierras of Yosemite National Park, Sandra Masters has always traveled with pen and notebook. It’s been the journey of ten thousand miles with a few steps left to go. She traded NYC boardrooms for Regency ballrooms, left her corporate world behind and never looked back. Nothing she expected, but everything she dreamed. She lists her occupation as Living The Dream.

She is a storyteller. Gather round her and allow yourself to become transported you to Regency England in the early 1800’s where the men were charmingly arrogant and the women were there to tame them.

She has more yesterdays than tomorrows and has known many things…content to look through the lens of make-believe to bring Regency Romance into your life.

Website: https://www.authorsandramasters.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/sandra.mMasters

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sandramasters10


Sounds like quite a fun story to both write and to read! I don’t think I’ve read any Regency paranormal stories. Cool idea, though! I’m developing a historical supernatural series myself, but a different time period than Regency. More on that to come! Happy reading, everyone!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

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Fun Friday with Camilla Fetherwell from Lipstick on the Strawberry by #author Margaret Ann Spence #mustread #womensfiction

Today’s Fun Friday includes a little lesson in photographic technique. Here is author Margaret Ann Spence to explain.


Thank you, Betty, for the opportunity to introduce your readers to Lipstick on the Strawberry, a book about food and family secrets.

A little salt, a little sugar and more than a dash of vinegar characterize caterer Camilla Fetherwell’s relationships with her family – and the men in her life. As for love, the main ingredient, will it be burned to a crisp, or served tender and delicious?

What Camilla loves to do for fun is to travel and sample the food of other countries! When the book starts, she’s already relocated “across the pond”, to Massachusetts. She may have gone from the frying pan to the fire as, newly divorced, she struggles to keep her business afloat. But experimenting with new dishes keeps her clientele happy and all her senses engaged.

Camilla is English. She chose her profession because she feels unable to live up to her family’s academic expectations in the storied, historic, university town of Cambridge, England. She feels excluded from the academy, and learned to cook in the kitchen of one of the university colleges, horrifying her snobby parents.

This photo of one of the famous university colleges shows how our Camilla feels about her home town. Not welcome!

Kings College

Camilla was cut off from her family for a youthful indiscretion. She’s always wondered why her teenage relationship with a boy who came to live with the family was so taboo, and escaped her family’s stifling respectability to live in Boston. Returning to England for her father’s funeral, she finds he had a secret that upends her assumptions and threatens her reunion with her first love. Her father is not the only one with a secret, however, and Camilla is the catalyst for their uncovering.

In family relationships, are things ever really what they seem?

That thought led me to my title. It’s a food photographer’s trick. Just as a freshen-up of lipstick can do wonders for a face (especially mine!) so a photographer can swipe a lovely red over an unripe strawberry to make it look perfect. What truths lie under a supposedly unblemished life?

One reviewer said, “This story moves along at a cracking pace. I found it hard to put down…We are led down some tantalizing paths, until the final resolution. Appropriately, food features a great deal in this book, in fact, the writing itself is quite luscious.”

I imagined Camilla when we lived in Cambridge for a year. While in England I discovered a surprise – British food has had a bad rap! Says Camilla, “We’re long past the stodge and school-dinner stereotype.” I started researching and cooking British specialties, and many of them appear in the book as Camilla’s adaptations from the originals, using American measurements.

In keeping with Camilla’s feeling like a “fish out of water,” here she introduces a Scottish fish soup with a funny name – Cullen Skink.

This mouth-watering chowder is from the fishing town of Cullen. The word “skink” means “shin” in the Scots dialect. How we got from shin, which implies meat, to smoked fish is a mystery. But the word also means soup. It’s a great dish for a cold winter’s night, which is exactly when its eaten in Lipstick on the Strawberry.

Camilla’s Cullen Skink

Ingredients

1½ pints whole rich milk, 1 oz. butter, 1 bay leaf, 1 lb undyed smoked haddock or any smoked white fish*, one large onion, diced finely, one leek, washed and thinly sliced, two large potatoes, diced into quarter inch by half inch cubes.

Method

Poach the fish and bay leaf in milk, very gently, until fish is cooked through, about five to ten minutes. Turn off the heat and remove fish with slotted spoon and reserve.

In a pan, melt the knob of butter and cook the onions and leeks gently until translucent, add potatoes and sauté till they are golden all over. Add the potatoes and onion to the milky fish stock. Poach the liquid mixture until potatoes are tender – this could take up to 40 minutes, because the milk should never boil.

In the meantime, as soon as the fish is cool, skin it (skin should lift right off), flake the fish meat, and chill in refrigerator until the rest of the soup is ready.

When potatoes and onions are tender, remove the bay leaf, replace fish into the soup, bring gently to the simmer, and pour into bowls, garnishing with parsley or chives.

Traditional cooks mash the potatoes to make the soup thick. I find chunks of potato poking out of the soup with the fish to be more interesting.  An option is to mash half the potato to thicken the soup and chunk the rest. This is the most delicious chowder with a wonderful smoky flavor. Serve with crusty bread and a salad for a complete meal.

*Smoked fish is hard to find in the U.S. I found a delicious compromise by using canned smoked trout I found at World Market together with a fillet of cod. Drain the trout of oil before using.

LipstickontheStrawberry_w11172_750Estranged from her English family, Camilla Fetherwell now lives in the United States and owns a successful catering business. Returning home for her father’s funeral, she reunites with her first love, Billy, whom she hasn’t seen since her father broke up their teenage romance. Billy seems eager to resume their love affair. But after one blissful night together, things take a turn.
Camilla suspects her father may have led a secret life, and when Billy reveals something he, too, has discovered, her apprehension grows. Billy holds her heart, but their relationship might be tainted by what her father hid. A reunion seems impossible.

Her life feels as splattered as her catering apron. As she watches her food stylist make a strawberry look luscious with a swipe of lipstick, Camilla wonders if a gloss has been put over a family secret? Can she and Billy survive what’s underneath?

Author photo- Margaret Ann SpenceAs a child, Margaret wanted to run an orphanage or be an author. Perhaps the Madeline books inspired both ideas. Debating whether to do good or have fun, she gave up studying to be a social worker and pursued a life around the written word. High heels, tight skirts and makeup won over sensible shoes, though publishing promised a permanently low salary. She worked as an editorial assistant for a major publishing house, for a magazine and for a university. She earned a master’s degree in journalism, wrote a slew of press releases as a publicist, and as a freelance writer when her children were small, published feature articles in newspapers and magazines.

In the past few years, she’s turned to writing fiction and essays. Her essay, The Dog Catcher of Jabiru, won the Tara L. Masih Intercultural Essay Prize in the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition in 2014.

Get to know her at www.margaretannspence.com.


I love to cook and to read, so reading about cooks and recipes is always a good fit for me. Thanks for sharing, Margaret!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Fun Friday with Rachel Thompson from The Rancher’s Redemption by #romance #author Melinda Curtis #cowgirl #quilter #singlemom #fiction

Today’s Fun Friday post features a very busy woman who is helping to run a ranch while fighting for a divorce and to remain close to her young daughter. But I’ll let Melinda Curtis introduce you to Rachel Thompson and all she’s up to!


Thanks for inviting me and my heroine Rachel Thompson to drop by for Friday coffee. Rachel is featured in The Rancher’s Redemption, Book #3 in the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series.

Rachel is a small town lawyer who’s trying to rebuild her life. Her divorce is final but she can’t get her ex to sign a final custody agreement regarding her baby. Her father died a few years ago and she’s helping her mother and grandmother run the Doubt T, which means she basically running the ranch with an elderly foreman who should really be retired. Five years ago, her family lost river water rights to the Blackwell Ranch and she’s brought a lawsuit against them to try and win back much-needed water.

TheRanchersRedemptionFinalEssentially, Rachel is like most single moms, sandwiched between caring for a child and parents/grandparents, struggling to juggle balls in the air. Rachel was raised to be a rancher’s princess by a father who doted on her. She knows how to ride and the fundamentals of roping, but she’s unsure of her skills. However, her horse, Utah, is awesome. The kind of horse a father would give a daughter because he knew that horse would take care of her. This may sound cliché, but she enjoys long rides on her ranch, often taking her daughter, Poppy, who rides on the saddle in front of her. Three generations of Rachel’s family are crafty. Quilting is another way Rachel slows down, stays in tune with her mother and grandmother, and feels connected to the family ranch, which the Thompsons have owned for generations.

Having raised three kids and juggled two careers – writing and being a marketing manager – Rachel and I really bonded. It’s challenging to figure out which hat you need to put on first or even the longest every day – mom, daughter, rancher, lawyer, individual. I enjoy long walks with my dogs and have a group of women friends at the gym, but like Rachel, I lean heavily on my man to keep me grounded and in touch with what’s important in life.

You can read an excerpt of The Rancher’s Redemption here:

http://www.melindacurtis.net/bookshelf/171-the-rancher-s-redemption

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2kRiymM

Harlequin: http://bit.ly/2kP7vuw

BN: http://bit.ly/2Jzwpwp

iBooks: https://apple.co/2JjmUhr

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2JvxPb2

KOBO: http://bit.ly/2LqyffZ

 

MelindaCurtis (574x640)Prior to writing romance, award-winning, USA Today bestseller Melinda Curtis was a junior manager for a Fortune 500 company, which meant when she flew on the private jet she was relegated to the jump seat—otherwise known as the potty. After grabbing her pen (and a parachute) she made the jump to full-time writer. Between writing sweet romance for Harlequin and indie-pubbed sweet romantic comedy, Melinda finds time to bond with her husband over home remodeling projects. She recently came to grips with the fact that she’s an empty nester and a grandma, concepts easier to grasp than jet-setting on a potty. You can sign up for Melinda’s mailing list and receive two free reads here.


Sounds like a pretty cool way for Rachel to relax with her daughter, out riding the range together. Not that I’ve ever been to a real ranch, just horse farms and such with my equestrian daughter. I cross-stitch and so does she, so we have that in common, too. Reading is also a shared love! Keeping in sync with my son is more of a challenge for me. I think I do that through Sunday dinners. I get to see him each week that way! How do you stay connected with your child? What challenges do you face with regard to maintaining the relationship?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Fun Friday with Becky Hollister from An Innocent Man by #romance #author Augustina Van Hoven #PNR #ghosts #journalist #fiction

Fun Friday is here again, this time bringing Augustina van Hoven and her investigative reporter Becky Hollister in An Innocent Man. I’ll let Augustina introduce her properly…


Thank you, Betty, for the opportunity to introduce my character, Becky Hollister from AN INNOCENT MAN.

Becky is an investigative reporter with the Idaho Statesman.  She is a close friend with time traveling Jessica in my first two books of the Love through Time series and appears in both books.  Due to a devastating heartbreak she experienced, Becky moves from Boise to Lewiston and starts working for a new newspaper, The Lewiston Tribune.  She rents a small house and that simple thing changes her life, forever.

For fun and relaxation, Becky loves to garden, but being on the go makes a backyard garden impractical.  She also loves to cook.  This gives her a great opportunity to enjoy both things by growing herbs and vegetables indoors in mason jars and a hydroponic grower.

LETTUCEHerbs are easy to grow in a well-lighted area in quart mason jars. You place a half inch of small stones in the bottom of the jar to help with drainage then add potting soil and a plant or seeds.  Fresh herbs really add to the flavor of any food dish.  And by growing them in the house, you are guaranteed fresh herbs year round.  A good hydroponic grower runs around $120.  You can grow lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, herbs or even flowers in them year round.

Becky keeps her herb jars on shelves in front of a southern facing window.  Her Aero hydroponic grower currently sits on her counter and she’s growing lettuce in it.  She can have a great salad by grabbing her scissors.

AugustinaVanHoven_AnInnocentMan_HRAfter being jilted at the altar, journalist Becky Hollister moves to a new city to try to put her life back together and ease the heartache.  She’s surprised to find her new home is already occupied by a man who died 20 years ago.  Will solving his murder help her to learn to love again?

Sheriff’s deputy, Mark Collins, is intrigued by the feisty reporter and her determination to unlock the truth behind a crime that happened when he was a kid.  But every time he tries to get closer to her, she runs away like a wounded animal.  If he can help her solve the cold case, can he also help heal her broken heart?

Amazon      Barnes & Noble     Apple     Kobo

Tina small - CopyAugustina Van Hoven was born in The Netherlands and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two dogs and three cats. She is an avid reader of romance, science fiction and fantasy. When she’s not writing she likes to work in her garden or in the winter months crochet and knit on her knitting machines. Get to know her at www.augustinavanhoven.com.

Twitter:  @augustinavhoven

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Augustina-Van-Hoven-Author/336028986575129

Pinterest: Augustina Van Hoven, Author


This one is right up my alley! I love a good ghost story! And fresh herbs in my cooking. I may have to try growing some—but then again, I do not have a green thumb. It’s probably safer for the plants if I buy what I need. How about you? Do you grow your own herbs or other plants? Without killing them, like me?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.