Quote for the Week of August 30, 2015

Tintern Abbey, Wales

Tintern Abbey, Wales

“The future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented.”

–Dennis Gabor

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Friday Feast ~ Marie’s Molasses Cookies

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When trying to decide what type of recipe I was going to do for my post today, I remembered what kept popping into my head during the week…

First, on a bike ride, I could smell fresh-baked cookies. Then, my mom told me about a cookie recipe she saw on the show, The Chew.

Cookies were on the brain!

My husband’s mother made the best molasses cookies. No matter how many times I made a batch, mine never came out as good as hers. They are my husband’s favorite cookie. She’s long since passed from this realm, but I treasure this hand-written copy she gave me many years ago. And yes, that’s her in the picture holding my husband. Treasured memories and delicious cookies. Thank you, Marie.

MARIE’S MOLASSES COOKIES

¾ cup shortening

1 cup regular sugar (granulated)

¼ cup molasses (dark or light—your choice)

1 egg

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

Melt shortening over low heat; let cool. Add sugar, molasses, and egg—beat well. Sift together flour, baking soda, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and salt. Add to molasses mixture and mix well. Chill overnight or for at least eight hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove chilled cookie dough, and form into 1-inch balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place on greased cookie sheets (or parchment paper) 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Random Thoughts on Series…

99d9fd1cb3601667df2e214dc0a53aeeIn the past six months, I’ve had several comments and/or questions regarding my series. They’ve all been delightful, but recently I’ve been wondering about book series, including my own. When I first started this literary adventure, I wanted to have a total of seven siblings. Yes, seven! I knew I needed to narrow the list and at one point, I considered doing only three. The number three–or in other terms, trilogy, is often what you’ll find in a book series. I’ve often wondered the person responsible for indulging us with only three. Well, I have five in the Order of the Dragon Knights.

There are those that will wait until the entire series has been written before they even attempt to start the first book. Oh, my! Can you imagine waiting until the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon was finished? Not me, but that’s another story, and I digress…

Yet, there are those who are upset that the villain is not killed off in a first book. If it’s a series, surely it would make sense that the villain remain throughout the entire books, right? Perhaps, we (authors) should have a villain for each of the stories. But then, could we still call it a series? Another idea to ponder.

I believe we can weave the tale to fit the stories. It would be a dull world if we had to write within certain perimeters, right? As an author, I can create my own set of rules, and I did so with my own series. There are five books–one villain. Each book gets its own HEA (happily ever after) and the final book will see the demise of said villain.

What are your thoughts on series? Do you wait until the entire series is completed before you read the books? Would you rather only have three in a series, or does it really matter?

On a side note…I’ve found a wonderful new Celtic band called, Peatbog Faeries. They’re based on the Isle of Skye, and I’m loving their music.

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Quote for the Week of August 23, 2015

Faery night

“Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the sea fearing man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny.”

–Carl Schurz

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Friday Feast ~ Peaches and Berries Crisp

St. Jame's Park, England

York, England

On our last trip to England and Scotland, we traveled during late spring. The weather was glorious and everything was in bloom. Well…I should mention that in early May, Scotland was still bitter cold, but you heard no complaints from this highland lass.

These flowers covered part of the area in front of York Castle on a warm Sunday morning.

York Castle, England

York Castle, England

I remember walking along the wall of the castle and relishing the sunny day. Yes, my jacket came off verra soon.

This trip reminded me of all the wonderful fruits we ate, so I thought I would share this treat, which we’ve had on many a breakfast morn.

 

Are there any trips you’re taking before the cooler weather sets in?

PEACHES AND BERRIES CRISP

Filling:

6 cups peaches, chopped, peeled and pitted

2 cups berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or a mix)

¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 lemon, grated and juice

Topping:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup light brown sugar

¾ cup quick cooking oats

¼ cup shelled pistachios or slivered almonds

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently. Set aside for at least 10 minutes for fruit to release its juices. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13×9-inch baking dish.

Combine all topping ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until crumbly, about 30 seconds. When I’m in a hurry, I slice in butter and use a pastry cutter to combine.

Pour filling into prepared pan. Sprinkle your topping mixture over the fruit and press lightly with your hands on the filling. Bake for 1 hour until golden brown.

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Saturday News and a Recipe

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If you’ve noticed that some posts have vanished, you’re right…they did! I created a maelstrom on my blog when I did some updates last week. What a mess! I finally was able to get back into the site, but it had to be restored back to July. So, I lost all of August’s blog posts.

This author will stick to what I do best: Write! I’ll leave the techie stuff to others…

Now for the fantastic news: My first book, Dragon Knight’s Sword is now part of the Kindle Unlimited Program on Amazon. Kindle Unlimited is a subscription that allows you to access a large selection of Kindle books. This is a fabulous opportunity for me to reach a larger audience. Also, the digital copy is now only $2.99! A fabulous deal! If you’re one who still prefers a print copy in your hands, no worries. The book is available in print from Amazon and my publisher, The Wild Rose Press.

Here is the link: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KQPX37Q/

I thought I would re-post my recipe from last Friday, since it vanished.

HONEY GLAZED CHICKEN

1 chicken (4 pounds)

1 apple, peeled, cored, and quartered

1 large yellow onion

Dash of cloves and cinnamon

4 tablespoons butter, melted

4 tablespoons honey

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Toss the apple and onion with the cloves and cinnamon. Fill the cavity of chicken and tie shut. Brush the chicken with melted butter and place it in a roasting pan. Brush 2 tablespoons of honey on top. Cook for about 1 ½ hours, basting frequently. Halfway through the cooking, brush on the remaining honey.

Slainte mhath!

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Spotlight Author Interview ~ Julie Doherty

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I’m thrilled to have the lovely Julie Doherty visiting us today! Her Medieval romance, Scent of the Soul is one that will sweep you away within the pages.

So grab your mug of mead, or another favorite beverage, and let’s meet Julie…

MM: Welcome, Julie! So happy to have you here today. Describe a typical writing day. Are you a morning, afternoon, or night-owl writer?

JD: I have a day job thirty-five miles from home, so in order to add to my word count, I have to wake two hours early, write in my car during lunch (while stuffing a sandwich down my throat), and spend every evening and weekend at the keyboard. I know that doesn’t sound pleasant or glamorous, but there is peace in creating something beautiful, and the sacrifice is worth it when I type my two favorite words: THE END.

MM: I remember those days of eating in my car and thinking of new plots. I could hardly wait to go home to my computer. Can you tell us about your current work-in-progress?

JD: I am three-quarters of the way through a contemporary, which sees the characters of SCENT reunite in 2013. My main character unearths a gold torc on the family farm. Curious about its origins, she travels to Scotland, where she finds more than she bargained for. I tackle the heavy topic of infertility in this one, something I know a bit about.

MM: Sounds fascinating! In my first book, my heroine was unable to have children due to an injury received during a battle. Looking forward to this story. What inspires you when you’re writing?

JD: My characters. I hate to close the laptop and let their problems unresolved. I’m also inspired by the hope that one day, I’ll soar to the top of somebody’s list. Hopefully, it won’t be a hit list or a “most wanted” list.

MM: Our characters do tend to stay with us 24/7–always whispering or yelling. What’s your favorite item on your writing desk?

JD: My laptop, because there are entire worlds inside it.

MM: Aww…beautiful. Now just for fun! Do you prefer…

Champagne or Beer? Scotch, actually. Single malt. Either Laphroig, Lagavulin, or Talisker’s.

Southern drawl or Scottish burr? Och, if ye read ma books, ye’ll find I hae a wee thing fer a laddie wae a burr. My husband is a Glesga-bairn Irishman, after all. ;-)

Kilt or Leather pants? Undoubtedly the kilt, but not the full get-up. Give me a burly man in an Arran sweater over some ancient tartan, wool hose, and work boots! Oh, yes, indeedy.

Print book or e-reader? Call me old-fashioned, but I still love the feel of paper in my hands.

Viking and Book Cover

Blurb:

In twelfth century Scotland, it took a half-Gael with a Viking name to restore the clans to their rightful lands. Once an exile, Somerled the Mighty now dominates the west. He’s making alliances, expanding his territory, and proposing marriage to the Manx princess.

It’s a bad time to fall for Breagha, a torc-wearing slave with a supernatural sense of smell.

Somerled resists the intense attraction to a woman who offers no political gain, and he won’t have a mistress making demands on him while he’s negotiating a marriage his people need. Besides, Breagha belongs to a rival king, one whose fresh alliance Somerled can’t afford to lose.

It’s when Breagha vanishes that Somerled realizes just how much he needs her. He abandons his marriage plans to search for her, unprepared for the evil lurking in the shadowy recesses of Ireland—a lustful demon who will stop at nothing to keep Breagha for himself.

Author Bio: 

Julie is a member of Romance Writers of America and Central PA Romance Writers. When not writing, she enjoys antiquing, shooting longbow, traveling, and cooking over an open fire at her cabin. She lives in Pennsylvania with her Glasgow-born Irish husband, who sounds a lot like her characters.

SITE:  www.juliedoherty.com

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/juliedohertywrites

TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/SquareSails

GOODREADS: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/532434.Julie_Doherty

Buy Links: 

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Scent-Soul-Julie-Doherty-ebook/dp/B00SZ0SKUE

AMAZON UK: www.amazon.co.uk/Scent-Soul-Julie-Doherty-ebook/dp/B00SZ0SKUE

AMAZON CANADA: http://www.amazon.ca/Scent-Soul-Julie-Doherty-ebook/dp/B00SZ0SKUE

AMAZON AUSTRALIA: www.amazon.com.au/Scent-Soul-Julie-Doherty-ebook/dp/B00SZ0SKUE

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Spotlight Celebration: Love’s Battle by Angela Hayes

Come help me celebrate the one year anniversary of Love’s Battle by my dear friend, Angela Hayes! You will be swept away to another world within the pages of her book. Grab your copy now while it’s on sale! 

Let’s take a peek into Love’s story…

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“If love isn’t worth fighting for, what is?”

Blurb:

Love Howard has more than a knack for matchmaking. Born from a forbidden passion and a twelve-hundred-year-old promise, she and her sisters can literally see true love. And while Love has no problem bringing other couples together, her own romantic life could use a little help.

Danton DeAngelo has always been well grounded in reality. So it throws him for no small loop when the woman he’s fallen for believes that she’s been reincarnated eleven times and can actually see true love.

Now Danton is faced with the biggest decision of his life. Accept Love for who she really is, or walk away from her forever.

Excerpt: 

The hand Love pressed to her brow was visibly shaking. “There’s something I need to tell you. I just need you to keep an open mind.”

“What is it? Are you sick?” Danton asked.

“No, I’m not sick.” Her voice trembled on a forced laugh. “It’s something else. Something I‘ve been trying to prepare you for. This would be so much easier if you believed in magic. If you could believe that what I’m about to tell you is the honest truth.”

Turning, Love opened the iron chest, the hinges groaning with the effort as specks of rust littered the floor. From its depths she pulled out a clear plastic bag that she held tight to her chest, eyes closed, before handing it to a confused Danton.

“This is my tartan, my plaid. Before it faded and was dinner for the moths, it was once patterned in checks of green, gray, and brown. The purple and white stripes that ran through the hem identified the wearer as part of the royal family.” Love tapped the plastic, her finger pointing out where each color should be. “It was a gift from my father. The first and only time my sister’s and I met him, he was on his deathbed, we were eighteen. A week later our mother died in the same moment he drew his last breath.” Needing the extra air Love drew a breath of her own. “That day was the thirteenth of February, eight-hundred and fifty-eight AD. My father was Cinaed mac Alpin, crowned king of the Picts and Gaels. He was Scotland’s first king.”

“Eight- hundred and fifty-eight?” That couldn’t be right, she was only twenty-five. “Don’t you mean Nineteen-eighty-seven?”

“No. I was born for the first time in Scotland during the middle of the ninth century.”

****

Buy Links: 

Amazon  Amazon Uk  The Wild Rose Press   Barnes and Noble

All Romance Books  Bookstrand  Itunes

Author Bio ~ 

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

 

A married mother of two, I split my time between bringing characters to life by computer, and yarn to life with needle and hook. You can find me at:  www.authorangelahayes.blogspot.com where I help connect readers and the author’s they love.

Other places you can find me:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/imahayes

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/imahayes

Manic Readers: http://www.manicreaders.com/AngelaHayes/

Website: www.amazon.com/author/angelahayes

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author_angelahayes

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Quote for the Week of July 19, 2015

Co. Clare, Ireland ~ Mary's trip

Co. Clare, Ireland ~ Mary’s trip

“They say Ireland’s Giant Causeway was created by the giant, Finn McCool. In truth, it was caused from the tail of a Dragon.”

–Dragon Knight’s Axe

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Friday Feast ~ Faerie Porridge

Sheep in the Highlands of Scotland ~ My visit in the Spring of 2009

Sheep in the Highlands of Scotland ~ My visit in the Spring of 2009

This was only a “wee” glimpse of the view of sheep from my bedroom window in the Highlands of Scotland. I’ll never forget this trip in April of 2009.  The surrounding area was full of newborns and their mothers. It was glorious!

So, as I’m thinking of the Highlands, I’m also thinking of the faeries. This recipe is perfect for summer breakfast, or a chilly morn. Actually, it’s delish anytime!

FAERIE PORRIDGE

1 quart of heavy cream

1 cup flour

¾ quart of milk

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Sugar and salt (to taste)

6 Strawberries, sliced

Bring cream to a full boil, stirring continuously, until foam is gone. Gradually add flour to make a thick mush. Stir until butter appears. Remove butter and set aside. In a separate pot, bring milk to a boil. Gradually add milk to the mush. Simmer 10-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens. Add sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Serve with sliced strawberries and butter.

Slainte! 

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Friday Feast, Recipes