Getting to know #romance #author Nancy Holland #fantasy #magic #fiction #amwriting #amreading

Today I’m kicking off a series of author interviews to share some new authors and their books with you all. Please welcome Nancy Holland to the interview hot seat.

First, here’s a bit about her and then we’ll begin.

About Nancy Holland:

A college professor with over thirty years of teaching experience, Nancy Holland recently began to live her dream as a full-time writer. After being a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart© contest and publishing two short contemporary romances, she is thrilled to return to her first love and write fantasy romance for Tule Publishing.  

Despite dark pasts, heart-breaking betrayal, and a future that is always at risk, her fantasy heroes and heroines accomplish amazing feats of valor and magic to create a better world for everyone. More importantly, her characters refuse to give up on themselves, struggle to improve their lives, and learn to trust each other.

After years spent studying and writing about words written long ago and far away, she loves to travel with her husband to explore the cities where she can feel the lived experience behind the words.

You can connect with her at www.nancyhollandwriter.com, on Facebook or find her on Twitter @nancyholland5.

Betty: How many books have you written and published?

Nancy: Four published, three more in the pipeline, including the last book in the Witch King trilogy.

Betty: What genre(s) do you write in and why?

Nancy: Short contemporary romance, because that’s how I came into romance, and romantic fantasy, because I grew up on classic (and not so classic) fantasy books and always wanted more, better romance.

Betty: What themes or motifs did you use in your recent release and why were they important to your story?

Nancy: One common theme in all my books is trust (my tagline is “Always trust in love”), but Felyn’s Curse is also about the negative effects of toxic masculinity on men as they grow up and the positive and negative impact of family ties.

Can love and sacrifice conquer a curse?

When Felyn was a young, defenseless witch, she was cursed to live as a shape shifter—a deadly panther. She might have been rescued and raised by a noble and powerful leader, but she lives in fear she will hurt those she loves in her animal form so each full moon she hides deep in the forest. But how can she refuse her adoptive father’s plea for an arranged marriage with a new ally? After all, it’s temporary and in name only… 

Varz agrees to an arranged marriage reluctantly because he needs the military and diplomatic alliance. He has secrets and a growing power struggle back home. He’s relieved he need only marry the young witch for a year until he meets his bride. Felyn is beautiful and intelligent and not easy to ignore, but Varz is a man of his word. His vow to leave his bride untouched will be the hardest one he has had to keep.

Amazon US    Barnes & Noble     Apple     Kobo     Google Play     Amazon UK

Betty: Do you have a specific place that you write? Revise?

Nancy: I’ve been moving my workspace around the house lately from an ergonomically bad location to a crowded one and now to one I hope I can stick with. I also sometimes write or revise in a large recliner that is technically my husband’s.

Betty: Do you have any writing rituals while you write? Did you have a special drink, or music, or time of day that you gravitated toward?

Nancy: I do my best writing in the morning, while I drink my coffee, although I can write at other times given the opportunity and enough motivation. I do have rituals, but wish I had fewer because they easily become time sucks (e.g., social media).

Betty: What helped you move from unpublished to published? A mentor or organization or something else?

Nancy: Basically, RWA in several dimensions — my local chapter (Midwest Fiction Writers) and the critique groups that grew out of it helped me hone my craft, RWA chapter contests gradually convinced me I could do this, and finaling in the Golden Heart was a big boost. And, of course my agent, Scott Eagen of the Grayhaus Agency.

Betty: What do you think is your greatest strength in your writing?

Nancy: Envisioning an intriguing world and situation that others want to learn more about.

Betty: What comes first when you’re brainstorming a new story: setting, situation, characters?

Nancy: Always situation first, then sometimes character (usually the contemporaries), sometimes plot (the romantic fantasy books).

Betty: Do you have a structured time to write or is more fluid/flexible? Do you have to write between family obligations or do you set aside a block of time?

Nancy: Now that I’m retired I can write pretty much whenever I like, but I’ve stuck with early morning from when I had to rush off to work afterwards. I do need at least an hour at a time of more or less focused time to accomplish much.

Betty: What is one recent struggle you’ve experienced in your writing?

Nancy: My constant struggle is between keeping readers in the dark too long about things and telling them too much too early.

Betty: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo? Why or why not?

Nancy: I did in 2017 and won in less than the full month, which was cool (although the book never sold). Before that it just wasn’t feasible with the day job. 2018 was not a good year for me, so I sat it out. Whether I’ll participate this year depends on my health and where I am in my writing.

Betty: What are you reading right now?

Nancy: I read more than one thing at a time these days. Right now it’s The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin and An Unlikely Match, a duet of two short romances by Marion Lennox, plus two scifi/post-apocalyptic books I’ve gotten stuck in and a very long classic I’ve lost my enthusiasm for.

Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?

Nancy: Contemporary romance

Betty: What are your keeper books? How often might you reread them?

Nancy: I don’t reread very much anymore because I find great new authors. My keeper shelf is heavily tilted toward friends and chapter-mates, books I shared with my late mother and other old favorites, and recent books from AOC like Beverly Jenkins, Alyssa Cole, and Sherry Thomas.

Betty: When you’re writing, do you read in the same genre as your work in progress or something else?

Nancy: I generally don’t choose books that way unless a particular book is having a clear effect on my writing “voice,” in which case I’ll set it aside for a while.

Betty: Do you have a “day job” or do you write full time?

Nancy: I wrote with a day job for over twenty years, but am retired now.

Betty: What do you wish readers knew about the publishing industry?

Nancy: It’s not as much of a meritocracy as they probably think, and most published authors are neither rich nor famous (but it’s still a great thing to achieve).

Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?

Nancy: If you write romance, join RWA; if you write mystery, join Sisters in Crime; and read extensively, but not exclusively in your genre.

Betty: Any hints of what you’re next writing project might be?

Nancy: I have two contemporary Christmas-themed romances in the pipeline at Tule publishing.

Betty: What kind of writing would you like to experiment with? Or what’s a different genre you’ve considered writing but haven’t yet?

Nancy: I have ideas for a romantic suspense and maybe a women’s fiction, but I don’t have the plotting skills for romantic suspense and I don’t think my voice is right for WF.

Betty: Thanks so much for stopping by, Nancy!

I hope you all enjoyed meeting Nancy as much as I enjoyed having her visit today. Happy reading, everyone!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

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

Discovering Huntsville, AL in 1819 #amwriting #histfic #supernatural #books #Alabama200

I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last blog post. I’ve been trying to figure out a theme for a new series of posts, and finally struck upon one near and dear to my heart. I’ve been very busy the last couple of months researching and writing. I’ve written the first draft of the first book in my new Cassie Fairhope supernatural historical fiction series, which I call Cassie Fairhope and the Haunted Inn. I’m planning to release this book in October, so stay tuned for more info as it becomes available.

The series is set in north Alabama in the year 1821, three years after statehood. So I’ve been digging into the history of the state, including visiting a local living museum from the 1800s, visiting the Heritage Room at the local public library, and reading. Lots and lots of reading!

So I thought in honor of Alabama’s Bicentennial celebration this year, I’ll share tidbits of the research I’ve done and how that informs my storyline (characters, setting, etc.).

To kick off this new series, let’s talk about what Huntsville, Alabama, looked like when the Alabama Territory became a state in November 1819.

The journalist Anne Royall described the city in her Letters from Alabama as consisting of 260 brick houses, a bank, courthouse, and market house. She claims there were twelve stores that faced the square. She also notes with a sense of surprise that there wasn’t a church, but services were held in the courthouse.

Image from a brochure I found in the Heritage Room map archives of Madison County, Alabama published by the Huntsville Historical Society in the 1970s

In Alabama: The History of a Deep South State the authors describe the city as a “bustling community of cotton planters” and that while the big planters who had migrated largely from Georgia dominated all the social and financial aspects, most of the landowners in Madison County, where Huntsville is located, were in fact “small famers from Tennessee.”

In my story, the Fury Falls Inn is located on the Winchester Road which connects Huntsville to Winchester, Tennessee and runs along the foothills of the lower Appalachian Mountains. My characters visit the city upon occasion and have customers that stop in for a meal on their way to wherever they’re headed. So knowing what the kinds of businesses and the layout of the town in the early years helps me ensure I have representative ventures and opportunities for my characters. Since I’m writing fiction instead of a history of the town, I’m free to include some made-up locations to suit the needs of my story. With that in mind, though, I still strive to keep to facts as much as I can when I create a new business, like the livery that is mentioned in Cassie Fairhope and the Haunted Inn.

Huntsville has grown up quite a lot from its early days, with a thriving and diverse population, high-tech industries and arts and culture for all to enjoy. It’s still growing and the leaders have said the city will be the largest in the state within the next 5 years. I believe they must be right on that point.

I’ve much more to share with you all and look forward to your questions and comments as I work through the many interesting facts I’ve unearthed about the state where I live. Until next time!

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 Avery Coleman from Her Snow White Christmas by #romance #author Cara Marsi #Christmas #magic #snowglobe

I have a special treat for the last Fun Friday post! Author Cara Marsi has allowed Avery Coleman from Her Snow White Christmas to stop by for a visit. Without further ado, here’s Avery…

Hi, I’m Avery Coleman. I write a style blog and sell Christmas trees for fun. The blog is fun. Selling trees in Vermont, not so much.

I grew up on a farm in Vermont. My parents, to make ends meet, ran a Christmas tree lot every year. My sister and I worked at the lot. Growing up, through the Christmas holidays I smelled like pine and couldn’t get all the sap off my hands until February.

I dreamt of escaping the small-town life for the big city. I imagined myself as an editor of a high fashion magazine. After college, I moved to Manhattan to work for a top magazine, but not as editor, as the assistant to the editor, a wicked witch of a boss. Writing my blog keeps me sane while I try to convince my boss to let me write a column or two.

Overworked and healing from a bad breakup, I agreed to help my sister at the Christmas tree lot so my parents could go on a cruise they’d won. Surprisingly, my boss gave me the time off. Sorry to leave Manhattan, which is magical at Christmastime, I trekked to Vermont, planning to work on my blog when I wasn’t selling trees. After all, nothing exciting happens in Vermont, right? Fate didn’t agree.

Mix Christmas trees, a hunky Santa, a very pregnant sister, seven extremely short male cousins, and a whimsical snow globe that may or may not be magic, and you just might believe in fairy tales.

I want to thank Betty Bolte for having me today and allowing me to tell you about my life-changing Christmas story. I also want to say I love Vermont. It’s a beautiful state.

WINNER 2016 EPPIE Award for Best Short Work.

A Christmas snow globe from a mysterious stranger swirls holiday magic for a sophisticated New York woman with a broken heart and a handsome Iraq War vet with a secret.

As a child, Avery Coleman loved Snow White and dreamed of Prince Charming. The adult Avery no longer believes in fairy tales. She’d settle for a handsome prince as ambitious for success as she is. Then an eccentric woman gives Avery a Christmas snow globe, advising her that princes come in many disguises. But when family obligations call Avery from Manhattan back to her small hometown in Vermont, she finds there aren’t many princes to be found in the forest of her family’s Christmas tree lot. At least it’s a vacation from her wicked witch of a boss.

Iraq War veteran Josh Huntsman always did what was expected of him. Believing there had to be more to life than chasing money and prestige, he’d left the corporate world for life in the Army. But his stint in the military cost him more than expected. Back from Iraq, Josh hides his past, volunteering at the homeless shelter and working at a Christmas tree lot. He isn’t ready to rejoin the rat race, and definitely has no use for a bright-lights-big-city girl like the ambitious fiancée who dumped him.

Leaving New York to spend the holidays selling Christmas trees in Vermont might sound magical to some, but for Avery, it’s a return to the place she worked hard to escape. But it’s Christmas and magic swirls in the air like glitter in a snow globe. And a single kiss might awaken a lifetime of happily ever after.

Her Frog Prince Holiday (Snow Globe Magic Book 2), is now available.
Her Red Riding Hood Valentine (Snow Globe Magic Book 3) is now available.
2015 Finalist Oklahoma Romance Writers International Digital Awards
2016 EPPIE finalist (under original title Snow Globe Tales–Avery)

Buy Her Snow White Christmas (Snow Globe Magic Book 1) here:

https://books2read.com/u/38g1O6

An award-winning and eclectic author, Cara Marsi is published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. She loves a good love story, and believes that everyone deserves a second chance at love. Sexy, sweet, thrilling, or magical, Cara’s stories are first and foremost about the love. Treat yourself today, with a taste of romance.

When not traveling or dreaming of traveling, Cara and her husband live on the East Coast of the United States in a house ruled by two spoiled cats who compete for attention.

Connect with Cara at:

www.facebook.com/authorcaramarsi

www.pinterest.com/caramarsi/

www.instagram.com/carolyn2829

Sign up for her newsletter and read about all her books at www.caramarsi.com

I love a good Christmas romance, especially one with a touch of magic! I hope everyone had a magical holiday season and is looking forward to a prosperous and happy New Year!

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 Cara di Montessori from The Devil to Pay by #romance #author K.C. Bateman #Italy #medieval #arrangedmarriage

Today we’re traveling back in time to medieval Italy to find out how Cara di Montessori from The Devil to Pay by romance author K.C. Bateman has fun! Take it away, Kate!

Hello everyone and thanks to Betty for hosting! Today I’m going to imagine what the hero and heroine of my #1 medieval romp The Devil to Pay do for fun…

The Devil to Pay is set in the early 1400s in Renaissance Italy, a time of feuding city states, uneasy political alliances, and a huge wealth of artistic creativity. Think the Borgias, Leonardo Da Vinci, and the Medici.

Heiress Cara di Montessori is quite the tomboy. Educated at the monastery near her home, she loathes doing all the things a “proper” chatelaine of a castle should do, like sewing and cooking, and instead likes to dabble in alchemical experiments, especially those which contain gunpowder! Some have been less than successful; she’s infamous throughout Italy as “the girl who blew up the monastery.” In her defense, only the east wing was actually reduced to rubble…!

Cara’s determined to prove herself capable of running her own keep without a husband by her side, and she’ll do anything to gain the advantage over the sinfully sexy (but downright irritating) Alessandro del Sarto. She might need the handsome mercenary’s help to remove her murderous uncle from her childhood home, but that doesn’t mean she has to like it. We’ll probably find her in the bailey, learning hand-to-hand combat—so she can knock del Sarto on his far-too-attractive posterior.

Alessandro del Sarto, on the other hand, is a cynical, hardened mercenary. Now retired (thanks to a shoulder injury) and incredibly wealthy, he hates the political maneuvering he has to put up with at court. He’d much rather be spurring his trusty horse Saraceno into battle than dealing with the petty disputes of his subjects or fending off the not-so-subtle flirtations from the women. He longs for a challenge to relieve his boredom. Impetuous Cara di Montessori, the daughter of his old mentor, is the one woman he’s never been able to forget. She’s also the one woman in Italy guaranteed to drive him crazy.

Cara’s disobedience is utterly frustrating, but Alessandro loves thinking up ways of making her lose her temper. He finds her passion and ferocity both amusing and completely irresistible. He’s already thinking up ways he can maneuver her into a kiss…!

The Devil to Pay is a sexy, witty, romantic adventure set in Renaissance Italy.

A ruthless mercenary skilled in the art of conquest. 

An heiress who refuses to be tamed. 

The Devil’s own bargain . . . 

Cara di Montessori has a price upon her head. Her traitorous uncle has murdered her father and seized her home. Her only hope of survival, and of regaining her birthright, is an alliance with her childhood nemesis, the infamous mercenary Il Diavolo. The most irritating—and seductive—man Cara’s ever met.

Battle hardened and world-weary, Alessandro del Sarto has earned the sobriquet Il Diavolo. He needs a politically expedient marriage to secure the lasting peace he craves, but the simpering ladies of court hold little interest. More than anything, he longs for a challenge.

Headstrong beauty Cara has always been Il Diavolo’s only weakness, the one woman he’s never been able to forget. When she appears at his door begging for help, the two strike a devil’s bargain. In return for his assistance, for two weeks Cara must entertain his guests, relieve his boredom—and warm his bed. 

Cara has no intention of succumbing to del Sarto’s studied seduction, but the passion that simmers between them is more potent than her paper twists of gunpowder. Surrounded by danger and intrigue, she must choose between what she’s always thought of as her destiny, and what could be the greatest prize of all—her heart’s desire.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2AMGKSn
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2vGOq2z
Apple: https://apple.co/2vpck3l
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2Oe9kxK
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2OhLp0B

Kate Bateman, (writing as K. C. Bateman), is the #1 bestselling author of Regency, Victorian, and Renaissance historical romances. All her books feature her favorite feisty, intelligent heroines (badasses in bodices!), wickedly inappropriate banter, and sexy, snarky heroes you want to strangle and kiss. 

Kate wrote her first historical romance in response to a $1 bet with her husband who rashly claimed she’d “never finish the thing.” She gleefully proved him wrong. When not traveling to exotic locations “for research,” she leads a not-so-secret double life as a fine art appraiser and on-screen antiques expert for several TV shows in the UK, each of which has up to 2.5 million viewers. She splits her time between Illinois and her native England, and writes despite three inexhaustible children/monsters and a number-loving husband who still owes her that dollar.

Author Website: http://kcbateman.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kcbatemanauthor/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/katebateman

Amazon Author Page: http://goo.gl/i3Rhyq

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/k-c-bateman

Goodreads Author Page: bit.ly/2v89wpk

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kc_bateman/

A marriage of convenience story that sounds intriguing and loving all wrapped up together for the holidays… Thanks for sharing, Kate!

And to everyone, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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.

2018 Reader Survey Report

I always find the results of this reader survey enlightening and interesting. Enjoy!

A Writer of History

This year’s survey report is now available. It’s taken me quite some time to compile the results because … as you know I spent the last five weeks recovering from a plane crash.

The survey attracted 2418 participants from around the world – 84% female and 16% male.

A few highlights to whet your appetite.

  • AS IN PRIOR YEARS, THE SURVEY ATTRACTED HIGH VOLUME READERS– 72% read more than 20 books a year; 55% read more than 30
  • 49% of participants USE SOCIAL MEDIA REGULARLY TO SUPPORT THEIR READING 
  • GENDER MAKES A DIFFERENCE– among the differences—women read more than men and use social media more regularly in support of reading; men and women prefer different types of stories and different non-fiction
  • PRINT BOOKS REMAIN POPULAR– Of 2418 participants, 75% frequently or exclusively use print books
  • Not surprisingly, ENTERTAINMENT IS THE DOMINANT REASON FOR READING…

View original post 181 more words

Tasty Tuesday: Bajan Rum Punch by #historical #romance #author Sandra Masters #beverage #recipe #books #fiction

Tasty Tuesday brings you all a tempting rum punch recipe to sip in the shade on a hot summer’s afternoon while you enjoy a good book! Sandra Masters writes historical romance and enjoys sharing historical recipes much like I do. Welcome, Sandra!


We’re sure that by now you must be aware of the fact that rum has been a favorite of Barbados since the days of the British settlers. To this date, rum is still very much a favorite with both locals and visitors to the island as it is continually held in high esteem as the strongest and smoothest rum in the world.

While the modern version of this punch is best served over ice, in the 1800’s, ice was not available. However, this drink was the favorite of Thorn Wick, the hero of THE DUKE’S MAGNIFICENT BASTARD, Book Four, THE DUKE SERIES. He favored drinking it straight in a tankard or metal cup. He particularly liked the bite of straight rum, but also drank it with lime and nutmeg. Heavy on the rum. For island parties, the punch was a favorite of the men. Thorn Wick was a man who could hold his liquor and did not over-imbibe since malicious islanders could waylay a careless half-breed.

Glass of Rum PUnchBajan Rum Punch Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup of freshly squeezed West Indian green lime

2 cups bland sugar or syrup (equal portions of white sugar and water, heated until sugar dissolves)

3 cups strong, aged rum (preferably good ole Barbados rum)

4 cups water

A few dashes of bitters

A few sprinkles of grated nutmeg

Instructions
Combine the lime juice, syrup, rum, water, and bitters, and stir well in a tall pitcher. Pour into glasses with grated nutmeg to garnish and don’t forget to tell the world that the best rum punch can be found only in Barbados.

THE DUKE’S MAGNIFICENT BASTARD — A Regency Romance with an Element of Suspense

DMB-CoverDuke_resize !After three years in England, Thorn Wick, the duke’s bastard son, perfectly flawed, still fights for acceptance in his father’s world as a renowned Argamak Turk  horse trainer. Just when he starts to believe in fairy tales, another obstacle looms to thwart his plans: on a dangerous mission to Barbados, Thorn is stunned when secrets are revealed about his mother. Will he exact revenge for the foul deed?

Alicia Montgomery, ward of the duke, is in love with Thorn. Strong willed and adventurous, she determines she can convince him to admit his feelings. But the reality of loving Thorn too much almost destroys her.

Can Alicia quell Thorn’s demons and prove love can pave the way to their happiness to fulfill their destiny?

http://amzn.to/2doCr2P   Amazon US

http://bit.ly/2eYiNsK     Wild Rose Press

http://amzn.to/2d8YbhF  UK

http://bit.ly/2ozMQNc    Barnes and Noble

Of course, there’s the 15,000-word teaser prequel to Book Four, 99 cents, which depicts Thorn’s life on the island of Barbados as the half-breed until the rock-hauling malice boys suffered the fury of the young lad and gave him a wide birth.

THORN, SON OF A DUKE, BOOK THREE

http://amzn.to/2sur7tr      US

http://amzn.to/2lnzwe4   UK

http://bit.ly/2eJKwPl     Wild Rose Press

http://amzn.to/2lnzwe4     Canada

SANDRA REDONEFrom 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 boardrooms for 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.

I grew up as an only child where both my parents worked. In those days, it was acceptable to have your child come home from school and wait for you to return. After doing homework, I would go to the bookcase. My reading material included the book “Heidi,” and the Encyclopedia Britannica, which my mother purchased from a door-to-door salesman. You can imagine how dry it was to read the Encyclopedia. At least, it had some graphics.

Fast forward to 2015, after five years of studying the craft of writing and networking with organizations of like-minded people fevered me. In July 2015, when I was offered the first contract of my life with The Wild Rose Press, I was over the moon, danced on the ceiling, and scared my dogs with the whoops and hollers. Five books later and Book Six at my publishers, I’m still writing my fairy tales and loving every minute of it.

To me, writing is not a hobby. It is not a career. It is an obsession.

If you want to more about the themes of my novels, visit my website at  www.authorsandramasters.com. Subscribe to my newsletter which I try to publish quarterly. Read a book? Have a question or comment?  Email me at  sandramastersauthor@gmail.com.

I try to make myself available for book signings, presentations, video events, and local TV screenings.


Thanks, Sandra! That’s both tempting and easy to mix up for a refreshing adult beverage. Thanks so much for sharing both the recipe and the story!

Have you all been enjoying learning about the recipes/foods these authors’ fictional characters gravitate toward? What’s your favorite so far?

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.

Tasty Tuesday: What I learned about #colonial #cooking #recipes #American #history

Well, Tasty Tuesday fans, the adaptations have come to an end, so I thought I’d sum up a few lessons I learned about colonial cooking. But just because my adaptations are done doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on some new delicious recipes! I’ve invited some other authors to share a recipe from one of their stories, to introduce their characters to you. That will start next week. Today, I’d like to recap a few of the more interesting things I discovered in this adventure.

The_Touchstone_of_Raven_Hollow_600x900Before I do, I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, if you’re in America. It’s the perfect time to read my latest paranormal, The Touchstone of Raven Hollow, which happens during Thanksgiving week in the Cumberland Plateau of southeastern Tennessee. Tara and Grant have quite an adventure when they escape Roseville to take a day hike in the woods! See below for the description and links where you can buy your own copy. I hope you enjoy it!

So, let’s turn to, in bullet form, the lessons and observations I think are worth sharing:

  1. Ground mace is too strong for my taste buds, so I needed to substitute with ginger, or cloves, or nutmeg, or even herbs at times. I used my judgment based on our preferences.
  2. Adding chopped up oysters into fish sauce makes it taste really good!
  3. Adding diced mushrooms adds richness to sauces. Note that I hadn’t previously cooked with mushrooms except in ground beef stroganoff, so this was a revelation to me.
  4. Many of the meat recipes called for sauce, which we grew rather tired of after a while. They were fairly rich and heavy, so I ended up serving them on the side to add as desired.
  5. The “gravy” they used is more similar to what we call broth or bouillon. I recommend using one of those instead of making the gravy from the recipe, which proved time-consuming and rather expensive.
  6. The ingredients which seemed readily available to 18th-century cooks are now not quite as at hand and expensive when they are. Veal, chestnuts, and truffles and morels come to mind as examples.
  7. Cooking with lettuce was an entirely new concept to me! It never crossed my mind to use to thicken sauce.
  8. I was reminded that I shouldn’t try to fry! Ever.
  9. Meat recipes with gravy and/or force meat balls were too rich and heavy for our taste, even though they tasted good to begin with. Perhaps omitting the force meat balls would have made them a bit more palatable.
  10. One of the recipes called for fish liquor, so I bought some Fish Sauce in the oriental aisle of the grocery store. Used it twice, then discarded. The taste just hung on my tongue for way too long!
  11. Adding cut up oranges to salad really perks up the flavor.
  12. Sautéed spinach with garlic and olive oil is a tasty and healthy way to cook it. I’ve done that repeatedly since “discovering” that technique.
  13. Cake pans must have been huge back then. The quantity of flour, sugar, and eggs is at least twice what today’s cake recipes called for. I’m grateful to the ladies who wrote Revolutionary Cooking for adapting the pound cake recipe for me!
  14. Women must have been really strong and/or traded off the work of beating a cake batter literally by hand for an hour. Can’t imagine!

So there you have it! I hope you’ve enjoyed this little journey as much as I have. Here is the complete list of blogs and recipes in case you missed a few:

Veggies and cooking techniques https://wp.me/p6TEhM-rW
Stewed spinach and eggs http://wp.me/p6TEhM-sn
Potato pudding https://wp.me/p6TEhM-sU
Meats and cooking techniques https://wp.me/p6TEhM-ts
Brown gravy (Strong Broth for Soup/Gravy) http://wp.me/p6TEhM-u1
Oyster sauce http://wp.me/p6TEhM-vN
Force-meat balls http://wp.me/p6TEhM-we
Scotch collops http://wp.me/p6TEhM-wG
Beef collops http://wp.me/p6TEhM-xS
Lamb pie http://wp.me/p6TEhM-ys
Fish types and cooking techniques http://wp.me/p6TEhM-yX
Salmon – broiled, and baked http://wp.me/p6TEhM-zB
Fried Fish; Shrimp Sauce http://wp.me/p6TEhM-A5
To Dress A Crab http://wp.me/p6TEhM-Aw
Fowl and other birds http://wp.me/p6TEhM-AT
Brown Fricasey with chicken http://wp.me/p6TEhM-B3
Roast chicken with chestnuts http://wp.me/p6TEhM-Bs
Stewing chickens http://wp.me/p6TEhM-BN
Duck with green peas http://wp.me/p6TEhM-Cw
Collops and eggs http://wp.me/p6TEhM-Cb
Salmagundy https://wp.me/p6TEhM-D1
Apple pudding https://wp.me/p6TEhM-Dv
Stewed pears https://wp.me/p6TEhM-Er
Pound cake https://wp.me/p6TEhM-EK

Do you have a favorite recipe from the batch of adapted ones? Did you try any of them? Will you?

See you next week when we start the guest author recipes! See you then.

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.

The_Touchstone_of_Raven_Hollow_600x900He dug for the truth and found her magic.

Tara Golden has hidden her healing power all her life. But occasionally, she uses her abilities on people passing through town, sure they’d never figure out what saved them. Now a tall, sexy geologist is asking questions she doesn’t want to face, and he isn’t going to take no for an answer. There’s no way she would reveal her abilities and her gifted sisters for a fling.

The latest tests divulge geologist’s Grant Markel’s fatal condition is cured, but the scientist within him won’t accept it’s a miracle. When he meets the sexy, mystical witch who may hold the answer to his quest, he’s determined to prove she’s full of smoke and mirrors despite their mutual attraction.

When they are trapped in an enchanted valley, Tara must choose between her magical truth or his scientific beliefs. Can she step from the shadows to claim her true powers before it’s too late?

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