Quote for the Week of September 1, 2014

Traveling on the Isle of Skye

Traveling on the Isle of Skye

“There are three things that spoil wisdom: ignorance, inaccurate knowledge, and forgetfulness.”

–ancient Irish saying

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San Francisco Caledonian Games ~ Book Signing!

If you don’t have any plans and long for the sound of bagpipes, good food, and fun, then come out to the San Francisco Caledonian Games this Labor Day weekend. I will be signing books both days (Aug 30 and 31) in the Scottish Treasures booth located in the “Young Calfornia” building. I’ve been attending these games for twenty years, and they’re always so much fun.  

Here is the link to find out more:

http://www.thescottishgames.com

And if you can’t make it, then I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Shortbread recipes. Have a safe and lovely weekend my friends! 

CHOCOLATE SHORTBREAD

1/2 cup butter at room temperature

1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup unsifted flour

Cream the butter. Mix in the powdered sugar, cocoa and the vanilla. Now work in the flour. Knead the dough on an unfloured board until smooth. If you are using a shortbread pan, spray it very lightly with a non-stick cooking spray and firmly press into the pan. Prick with fork over entire surface. 

For making this without the shortbread pan, roll the dough into a round disk and prick entire surface. Mark the circle into six triangles without slicing all the way through.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before cutting and then place on a wire rack to finish cooling.

Enjoy!

 

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Quote for the Week of August 25, 2014

Coventry Cathedral, England

Coventry Cathedral, England

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

–Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

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My Love for Animals…

Liezzel

Liezzel

One of the great joys when writing is including animals into the story. I could not imagine keeping them out. They can provide that added element–be it comedic or playing the hero.

They are just as important as any other “human” character in my stories.

This was our precious “little girl,” who has left us for the Rainbow Bridge years ago. Since I write stories based in medieval times, I cannot have a dachshund running around the castle. Yet, what about a deerhound?

Slouched down, next to Cormac’s chair was a Scottish deerhound. Every now and then, it would raise its large brown eyes, pleading for some scraps. Bending low, Brigid whispered, “If you’re good, perhaps one small treat when I’m finished.”

When my family read this, they laughed and said, “So you, Mary!” I often did the same to not only my own dogs, but to others, too. Spoiled them constantly.

My afternoon with Clyde

My afternoon with Clyde

And we all know that any medieval book would definitely have a horse, or two.

This was taken during an outing with my daughters. I could have stayed on the horse all day. Pure bliss!

 

 

Brandubh snickered, and Brigid had a feeling it was directed toward Duncan. She sidestepped past Duncan, proceeding to ignore him. Placing her hand gently on Brandubh’s muzzle, she spoke softly to him. He moved his head up and down as she continued to speak in soft words.
Duncan stood glaring at them both. How dare he—that traitorous beast! –excerpt, DRAGON KNIGHT’S SWORD

Max

Max

In early 2013, we had many jackrabbits staying in our neighborhood. This was the first to wander near our front door, and he became a familiar face each morning and early evening. I had a constant supply of carrots on hand to feed them all. I started to name the ones that stopped by daily. Sadly, in early December when the first major chill descended, most of them left and only a few remain.

When she opened her eyes, two dark brown ones stared back at her from the grass. A nut-brown hare sat munching on some grass, content to keep her company. –excerpt, DRAGON KNIGHT’S SWORD

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

 

If I could choose a power, it would be to fly like a bird! Falconry is on my “bucket” list of items to learn. They are so majestic in the air.

 

 

Sorcha flew overhead, and he watched as she flew down perching herself onto a branch not far from where he stood. Standing still, he kept his eyes transfixed on her. –excerpt, DRAGON KNIGHT’S SWORD

Therefore, my love of animals will always be a huge part in my books, so I hope you enjoyed reading about them in DRAGON KNIGHT’S SWORD.

Do you like animals in the books you read? 

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Quote for the Week of August 18, 2014

Tomb of William Longespee, 3rd Earl of Salisbury - Salisbury Cathedral, England

Tomb of William Longespee, 3rd Earl of Salisbury – Salisbury Cathedral, England

 

“We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving, and we all have the power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.” 

–Louisa May Alcott

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Quote for the Week of August 11, 2014

Dunnottar Castle facing the North Sea

Dunnottar Castle facing the North Sea

 

“Love of our neighbor is the only door out of the dungeon of self.”

–Scottish saying

 

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Busy in the Kitchen!

Mary's Garden

It’s that time of year when I’m in the kitchen cooking with items harvested from my garden. The tomatoes were abundant, along with herbs and peppers.

Cooking is my way of relaxing when I’ve spent hours editing or writing.   

I’ve made tomato and dill sandwiches, salsa, stuffed tomatoes, and one of our family favorites: fried green tomatoes.

Here are my classic ingredients for a super easy and delicious tomato sauce. At the last moment, I did add an onion, but I kept it simple. Then, there days when I’ve added sausage, green olives, and bell peppers.

My husband’s family (on his father’s side) came from Italy, so I’ve heard the stories of how his grandmother would make “out of this world” sauce and homemade pasta. I don’t think mine will be as famous as his grandmother’s, but he loves my variety of sauces and that makes me happy.

I planted small bush cucumbers and was able to make a small batch of Refrigerator Dills. Again, super easy to prepare.

I know my summer has been busy and rewarding, but what about yours? Do share!

 REFRIGERATOR DILLS

2 dill heads

3 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons mixed pickling spices

2 bay leaves

1 gallon pickling cucumbers 

1 cup white vinegar

8 cups water

1/4 cup pickling salt

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Place the dill, garlic, pickling spices, and bay leaves in the bottom of a gallon jar. Fill the jar with cucumbers, cut in halves or quarters if the are large. 

Combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil and set aside to cool. When the vinegar mixture has cooled, pour it over the cucumbers and refrigerate. 

After 3 days, the cucumbers and brine can be put into smaller jars. Keep refrigerated. 

Enjoy!  

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Quote for the Week of August 4, 2014

Rose Window, Notre Dame in Paris

Rose Window, Notre Dame in Paris

 

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.”

–Robert Louis Stevenson

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August Newsletter

Happy Lammas Day! My August Newsletter is up on my site. www.marymorganauthor.com

Sunflowers

Sunflowers

 

 

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Quote for the Week of July 28, 2014

Inside the Roman baths, Bath, England

Inside the Roman baths, Bath, England

 

“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”

–Margaret Mead

 

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