Category Archives: Blog

#8Sunday – WeWriWar July 5th The Gentle Knight

It’s #8Sunday on WeWriWar!

Welcome back for another eight line Sunday at WeWriWar. My scene continues. My heroine, Brighit, is listening to the goings on outside her carriage.

The Gentle Knight by Ashley YorkNiall spoke up. “You tried to sell her to me.”

Brighit stopped her movements. Fear lurched in her stomach and halfway up her throat. Sell her? Is that what Ivan had been planning?

“I did not!” Ivan blurted.

Buy links:   Apple    Kobo    Amazon    Barnes and Noble

Check out even more authors by clicking the button below.

wewriwa_button

8 Comments

Filed under Blog

#FoodyFriday Easy Gingerbread and A New Release

I  will admit that when I was just a little girl, I loved everything chocolate. Anything that was about the right color, I assumed was chocolate. What bitter disappointed to taste something else – like spice cake or gingerbread! They taste nothing like chocolate. Now that I’m older, I still say “if it’s not chocolate, why bother” but I’m happy to say I can find room to appreciate the unique taste of gingerbread (and possibly spice cake) and even enjoy it. Visiting today is Cynthia Owen with an easy gingerbread recipe. She’s also giving away a signed cover flat from Reluctant Betrayer to one lucky commenter!

Cynthia OwensHi Ashley! Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your blog for Food Friday. Today I’d like to share with your readers a quick, easy and delicious recipe for gingerbread.

This is probably my all-time favorite treat, whether on a cold winter day (and it can get really cold here in Montreal), or a warm summer morning. It tastes great warm from the oven with a glass of cold milk, or cold with a hot cup of tea (my favorite is Barry’s Gold Blend Irish Tea). And drizzled with molasses, it’s food for the gods.

There’s something comforting about gingerbread. It brings to mind thoughts of cozy evenings by a roaring fire, Christmas, and stimulating conversations with good friends. 

Gingerbread

½ cup shortening

½ cup brown sugar

1 egg

2/3 cup Fancy Molasses

2 ½ cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. ginger

½ tsp. cloves

1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix together shortening, sugar and egg, blend in molasses and water. Sift together dry ingredients and stir in, beating until smooth. Pour into 9” square pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes.

CynthiaOwensGingerbread

BIO: I believe I was destined to be interested in history. One of my distant ancestors, Thomas Aubert, reportedly sailed up the St. Lawrence River to discover Canada some 26 years before Jacques Cartier’s 1534 voyage. Another relative was a 17thCentury “King’s Girl,” one of a group of young unmarried girls sent to New France (now the province of  Quebec) as brides for the habitants (settlers) there.

My passion for reading made me long to write books like the ones I enjoyed, and I tried penning sequels to my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. Later, fancying myself a female version of Andrew Lloyd Weber, I drafted a musical set in Paris during WWII.

A former journalist and lifelong Celtophile, I enjoyed a previous career as a reporter/editor for a small chain of community newspapers before returning to my first love, romantic fiction. My stories usually include an Irish setting, hero or heroine, and sometimes all three.

I’m the author of The Claddagh Series, historical romances set in Ireland and beyond, and The Wild Geese Series, in which five Irish heroes return from the American Civil War to find love and adventure.

I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. A lifelong resident of Montreal, Canada, I still live there with my own Celtic hero and our two teenaged children.

CynthiaOwensReluctant BetrayerSweet deception and hidden passion…

Trasnavan…a west-of-Ireland village bursting with charm, intrigue and treachery.

Aidan Collins grew up in the shadow of his heroic older brother. The steady one, the responsible one, he burns with anger against the landlord and vows to change the desperate straits of the village folk.

Raised in a family of rebels, Maura Riordan is horrified when she learns the man she loves has committed the ultimate act of treason.

But Aidan has his own reasons for taking the position of landlord’s agent. Will those reasons destroy him? Will Maura’s deception tear them apart?

Can their love survive the lies they’ve both told?

Reluctant Betrayer, Book V in the Claddagh Series.

EXCERPT:  Trasnavan, Galway, Ireland, 1867

“We have to go.”

Aidan Collins bolted up from his pallet in the sleeping loft, rubbing his eyes against the darkness and straining to make out the hushed voices.

“Ah, no, Liam, don’t be goin’ now.” Ma’s voice. Shrill, terrified. Saturated with tears. “Sure, ye’ll not be leavin’ us now. “Don’t go, son.”

“Ma.” Liam’s hoarse voice vibrated with panic. Rustling sounds told Aidan his brother had caught their mother in his arms. He heard her muffled sobs in the murky darkness. “Ma, I’ve no choice. We must be away…sure, aren’t Old Benny’s men on the lookout for us?”

“’Twas ye and the Crow Boys set that fire?” His father’s voice now, heavy with sorrow.

“Aye, Da. I’m sorry to disappoint you—”

“Never, son.” More rustling. Aidan pictured the three of them locked in a tearful embrace. Envy swept over him. Would Ma and Da ever look at him that way? Ever be as proud of him, the quiet one, the one who yearned to read and write, as they were of the rebel Liam?

Raw panic eclipsed his resentment.

Liam was leaving!

Aidan wasn’t so young that he didn’t understand what happened. He’d known for days—sure, everyone had—that something was in the wind. The Crow Boys had left a warning for their landlord on Christmas Eve, a warning he’d ignored. They’d had to act, had to make a stand for Ireland’s freedom.

He’d heard Liam and Brian talking behind the graveyard at the ruins of the old church. He knew the Crow Boys planned a raid on Bennington House. They had guns, and they had spirit.

And tonight they’d set fire to the Big House.

Something must have gone wrong. Aidan shoved back his threadbare blanket and climbed down the rickety ladder his grandda had built to where Liam stood in a fierce, desperate embrace with their parents.

“Liam?”

His brother stiffened. His arms slid away from Mam and Da, and he turned slowly to Aidan. His face was wet with tears, his gray-green eyes filled with pain. Wordlessly, he held out his arms.

Aidan flew into his embrace, shaking with silent sobs. “Take me with you.”

“I can’t. Sure, ‘tis tearin’ the heart from me breast to leave you, but me life’s not worth a farthing to them that’s chasin’ me.”

“Where will ye go?” Their little sister, tiny Caitlin, appeared beside them, and Liam turned to gather her into his arms. “Will we never see ye again?”

Liam’s shoulders heaved. “I don’t know, a gráh.”

The five of them clung together until three sharp knocks sounded on the door, then one more, and another two.

The time had come.

“‘Tis Brian.” Liam turned to kiss his sobbing mother. He held out his hand to his father, but the older man pulled him into a fierce embrace.

“Take care o’ yerself, son. And ne’er forget ye’re a Collins.”

“I won’t, Da.” Liam broke free, catching wee Cait up in his arms. “Don’t you forget me now, love, for ‘tis sure I’ll always remember you.”

Liam put down the little girl. Caitlin turned to fling her arms around her weeping mother.

At last Liam turned to Aidan.

Aidan’s heart splintered. His adored older brother was leaving. Likely they’d never see him again, only hear of him from one of the boys who’d received a letter from somewhere.

Liam caught him in a fierce hug. Aidan squeezed his eyes shut in a vain attempt to stem the tide of tears scalding his throat. “Godspeed, brother. May the road rise to meet you.”

“May the blessing of light be on you. May the blessed sunlight shine on you and warm your heart till it glows like a great turf fire.” Liam pulled back just long enough to stare into Aidan’s eyes. “Look after them, lad. See they’re kept safe. And mind yourself.”

I will. The words strangled in Aidan’s throat. Before he could speak, Liam tore himself away, caught up his bag of possessions, and wrenched open the door.

Aidan stood for a long time, staring out the top of the half-door. A silent vow formed in his heart.

I’ll look after them, Liam.

I’ll make you proud.

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/554003

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Reluctant-Betrayer-Claddagh-Book-5-ebook/dp/B010EI716I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435338611&sr=8-1&keywords=reluctant+betrayer+cynthia+owens

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reluctant-betrayer-cynthia-owens/1122202688?ean=2940150847873

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Blog

Summer Reading List Essentials: Scottish Regency-Virtue and Valor

I love to read romances. I want to be swept away to a world that only exists in my imagination by virtue of the words placed on the page. When I started writing medieval romances, I found that reading other author’s medievals became difficult. I didn’t want their words to sway my own thinking but I couldn’t stop reading. No one should ever stop reading. Our ability to look at words and have pictures created in our mind is an amazing, creative process that makes us human. So I looked to my second favorite time period, the nineteenth and eighteenth century. I love the dresses, the uniforms, the etiquette, the teas, the politics, the wealth, the opulence. One genre in particular is regency. Here’s what Wikipedia says about Regency romances:

Regency romances are a subgenre of romance novels set during the period of the British Regency (1811–1820) or early 19th century. Rather than simply being versions of contemporary romance stories transported to a historical setting, Regency romances are a distinct genre with their own plot and stylistic conventions.

I’m actually wondering what author would ever write a story that was a contemporary “transported to a historical setting” or what exactly is 1811-1820 if not early 19th century which is why I’m not big on Wikipedia either but that’s for another time. For the summer, I’ve decided to highlight some of my author friend’s books from this time period. I hope to get a better understanding of the different genres and expose you to some wonderful books for summertime reading.

Collette CameronMy first guest author kicking off my Summer Reading List Essentials is the lovely Collette Cameron. Enjoy:

I didn’t set out to write Scottish Regencies when I decided I wanted to try my hand at historical romances. They just sort of evolved after I wrote Highlander’s Hope (Castle Brides) because my hero held both Scottish and English titles.

That book had a large cast of characters which included Bartholomew Yancy, Earl of Ramsbury and Isobel Ferguson, the hero and heroine in Virtue and Valor. They kept popping up in the rest of the Castle Brides series, and then again in Triumph and Treasure, the first book in the Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series.

By-the-way, my Highland Heather series is a spin-off of the Castle Brides series, so many of the same characters make cameo appearances.

Okay, back to Yancy and Isobel.

What’s funny, is that, even though I had decided from the very beginning Yancy and Isobel would have their own stories, I didn’t know they were meant to be sweethearts until I wrote Triumph and Treasure.

There is a scene where Yancy is snubbed by Isobel which was completely out of character for her. I knew right then, they were meant for each other. I had to torture them a little bit first though. I couldn’t make their happily-ever-after too easy.

Readers who enjoyed meeting them in the Castle Brides and Triumph and Treasure, will get to meet the real Yancy and Isobel in Virtue and Valor. They are not entirely what they seem in the first books.

There might be a few awkward moments, stolen kisses, a dangerous escape, and a proposal which is soundly refused.

You’ll have to read the book to find out.

perf5.000x8.000.inddVirtue and Valor

Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, Book 2 

Bartholomew Yancy never expected to inherit an English earldom and had no intention of marrying. Now, the Earl of Ramsbury and last in his line, he’s obligated to resign his position as England’s War Secretary, find a wife, and produce an heir. Only one woman holds the least appeal: Isobel Ferguson, an exquisite Scotswoman. Brought to Scotland to mediate between feuding clans, he doggedly woos her.

Disillusioned with men pursuing her for her attractiveness, rather than her unusual intellect, Isobel has all but abandoned any hope of finding a husband in the Highlands. Not only does she believe Yancy no different than her other suitors, he’s a notorious rake. She’s been told he’s practically betrothed. Therefore, his interest in her cannot possibly be honorable, and so she shuns his attentions.

When Isobel is mistakenly abducted by a band of rogue Scots, Yancy risks his life to rescues her. To salvage her compromised reputation, her brother and father insist she marry him. Yancy readily agrees, but Isobel—knowing full well she’s fated for spinsterhood by refusing his offer— won’t be coerced into marriage.

About Collette

Bestselling, award-winning author, Collette Cameron, has a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. Author of the Castle Brides Series, Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, and Conundrums of the Misses Culpepper Series, Collette writes Regency and Scottish historicals and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five mini-dachshunds. Mother to three and a self-proclaimed Cadbury Chocolate chocoholic, Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, trivia, and all things shabby chic or cobalt blue. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels.

Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, too many flowers, or too many books. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.

Collette’s a member of RWA, The Beau Monde, Hearts Through History, Celtic Hearts,  Faith, Hope and Love, Inc., GSRW, and Rose City Romance Writers. 

Excerpt: “My lord?” Her tone indicated anything but respect and deference.

“I would be honored if you joined me in a game of chess, Miss Ferguson.”

Her pretty lips curled into a wide smile. “I had rather hoped you’d pick fencing. I would have enjoyed having a go at you with my sabre.”

“You fence?” A vision of her derriere in snug, white breeches sprang to mind. He really had become a lecher.

“After my parents allowed Adaira to learn, Seonaid and I insisted we have the same opportunity.” She turned and climbed the risers. The sway of her hips, even underneath the thick cloak, tantalized.

Isobel peered over her shoulder, a siren’s smile on her lips. “I suppose it’s only fair to tell you. I’ve never lost at chess.”

Confident little thing, wasn’t she?

Yancy released a hearty chuckle. He quite liked this unconventional morsel of womanliness. “Surely, when you first learned the game?”

“At seven.” Isobel shook her head and more silky strands spilled from the loose knot. She gave him a falsely honeyed smile.

“No. Not ever, my lord.”

She proceeded up the stairs, her voice floating back to him. “By the way, your lordship, if I win, I’m permitted to leave the keep without two escorts.”

CameronVirtueandValor_MEME_3

Connect with Collette:

Website     Blue Rose Romance Blog   Twitter   Facebook   Newsletter  Amazon Author Page

You can connect with Collette on Goodreads, LinkedIn, and Google+  too. Go to her website for the links, her email address and mailing address. 

BUY LINK  http://amzn.com/B00ZPBVG66/

 

1 Comment

Filed under Blog

#FoodyFriday – It’s Strawberry Season So How About Some Pie?

I love eating seasonal fruit. Today we can go to the store in any season and get strawberries or oranges but they’re not local and it’s not the same to me. Living in New England, we seem to have a  variety of fruits and vegetables but very short seasons. Strawberries are in abundance right now but soon they’ll be gone. I bought (yes, I know I should pick them myself) a whole flat of them. Yum!

I made strawberry shortcake, strawberry belgium waffles and for my pie loving husband, I made a strawberry pie. It was so easy I decided to share it with you. My pictures aren’t great (I’m a writer not a photographer) but they’ll do. As I’ve shared before, I’ve been working on my pie crust. Sometimes I get it and sometimes I don’t. So my warning is that this is not about my pie crust (aka it looks really bad) but how to make a delicious strawberry pie. And let’s face it – we don’t really need to know how to make a great crust. Go to the grocery store and get it from a box!

First off, I blind baked a pie shell. Do you know what that is? I didn’t either. It’s the bottom only. Don’t ask me why that makes it blind. Maybe naked but blind?I used two quarts of fresh strawberries because I had plenty. I went through and picked out about a dozen uniform sized ones to place around the inside of the baked shell, point side up. I washed and dried them and placed them in the shell.

strawberries in shellRather than use gelatin to firm up the filling (if you’re a vegan you understand why) I used corn starch dissolved in cold water. Corn starch is a strange ingredient. It’s used a lot as a thickener. I mashed up two cups of strawberries (okay, I used more :) in a pot, added the corn starch water, and a half cup of sugar (increase or decrease depending on how sweet you like it). Over a low flame, I started the stirring. You have to continually stir it and it has to be a s-l-o-w boil then continue stirring while it simmers until thickened. There’s an immediate tug on the spoon, too. You won’t miss this one thickening. Promise.

I should also mention that I spread some lemon curd on the bottom of the cooked shell before I added the strawberries. There’s something about that slight tang. Once the mixture in the pot cools some, you can add two tablespoons of lemon juice to enhance it even more. So naturally I’m only using freshly whipped heavy cream with a little sugar and vanilla to top this baby off! Ta Da!

1 – baked pie shell, cooled

2 quarts – washed and dried strawberries

3 tbsp – corn starch

1/4 cup – cold water

2 tbsp – fresh (or not) lemon juice

1/2 cup – sugar

optional – lemon curd coating the bottom on the pie shell

I’d love to see any pictures you have of your pie! Always looking for tips and tricks, too.

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Blog

#TransformationThursday with Evelyn Davis – Eat Pickles to Reduce Your Anxiety

I am happy to welcome Evelyn Davis back to my blog today with her words of encouragement. This week sounds quite stressful for her – maybe some of you can relate? Personally, I’ve been waiting for three weeks for my characters to tell me what they’re doing so I can move ahead with my story.  I hate it when they’re silent. This morning – bang – they won’t keep quiet. And now the pickle thing – wow!

monkey-clipart-a2271ba88f31e0d23d563c8fc6d2a5a0My team is currently undertaking a big challenge in the workplace. Due to limited bandwidth, and the fact that there just aren’t enough hours in the day for everything we’d like to accomplish, we’ve decided to bring in a new employee. This additional team member will be able to take on some tasks, allowing the team an opportunity to focus in on projects they’ve failed to make headway on and transform the day-to-day for our team.

The entire interview process, from job description to actual conversation, got me thinking about how heavily stress impacts our ability to achieve. My team is stressed, that’s the short version. But we have the flexibility to increase headcount as a way to alleviate that stress, share tasks, and free up head space.

What can you do when you’re a free agent, when your stress stems from something outside the professional workplace, or when more manpower is just not an option?

I have a few suggestions:

  1. Get those pesky things off your to-do list:
    1. Following a best practice laid out by David Allen in Getting Things Done – if it takes five minutes or less, do it now. Think about that sink full of dishes that sticks in the back of your head when you leave the house in the morning. Doing those few dishes, or loading the dishwasher immediately after you used those dishes, would have prevented getting to that point. Whether you’re actively thinking about that sink or not, the incomplete thought sticks in the back of your mind taking up mental energy and causing stress.

Don’t waste your mental energy, if doing something in 5 minutes right now will prevent stress later do it.

  1. Delegate:
    1. I know this is a word used most often in the workplace, but ever mom knows that a great way to make sure things get done is to delegate. Saturday chores, meal prep, walking the dog, or whatever it is – if there’s someone around who can help, you can ask. The primary difference between the workplace and the home is prescribed authority. If you’re a mom or a boss, you’re more likely to feel able to delegate. Those of us who aren’t may not be saying “Do this” but instead “Can you help me with this?” In the very likely case that asking for help is difficult, here are some great suggestions for tackling this.

Either way, sharing responsibility and getting support will free up time and lower stress levels.

  1. Get your mind off the problem:
    1. A place for everything and everything in its place. Whenever possible, leave your problems where they belong. If something at work is stressing you, do your best to leave it there. If something at home is weighing on you, do your best to take your work time away. Easier said than done, I know, but practicing distance provides an opportunity to alleviate stress even for a short time.

If compartmentalizing is not an option, there is always exercise or meditation. I don’t know about you, but I struggle to leave problems in their place. When I wrap up a workout session and think back realizing I didn’t think about my problem a single time for that half hour or forty-five minutes, I feel a little victory. Of course, there’s the added benefit of endorphins which are proven to alleviate the feeling of stress. Mediation has been proven to have a similar effect. The act of mindful meditation can reduce anxiety and, at the very least, force you to think about something else for a while.

If none of these works for you, there’s always pickles. That’s right! Pickles. A recent study has discovered that fermented foods may be connected to a reduction in stress and anxiety. At the very least, snack wisely. Have a great week!

Evelyn Davis has her Masters Degree from Northeastern University in Corporate and Organizational Communication,  a background in interpersonal communications and works by day as a trainer and coach in the corporate sector.

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Blog

Book Blast for Melissa Blue with Kilted for Pleasure

A new release for Melissa Blue – Kilted for Pleasure. Enjoy!

GBB Melissa Blue BookCover_KiltedForPleasureBLURB: Callan Baird used to laugh more than he frowned, but that was before his wife died. Now his life is duty, debts and a general apathy for anything else. And then Victoria Burke burst into his life. She’s everything he wants to corrupt.

Victoria has two choices: agree to a grouchy, sexy Scotsman’s extortion or call her boss to explain why she can’t do her job. Since she’s spent the last three years rebuilding her career as antique appraiser, and this one commission could make or break it, the decision is a no-brainer. Except everything about Callan is complicated.

He sees no problem turning their work relationship into a sexual one. She refuses to break her boss’ no-fraternization rule. He’s the one thing she wants and the one thing she can’t have. He’s had his one great love, and doesn’t want a replacement. His heart doesn’t agree, because she’s everything he desires.

Callan will have to let go of his past if he wants Victoria to be in his future.

EXCERPT: The door swung open. A shirtless man glowered at her, but that description couldn’t quite encapsulate him. Her smile faltered while she lost a few IQ points at the full brunt of him. Shadows deepened the grooves around his mouth and eyes. Wind creeping in through the open door whipped his dark auburn hair into disarray. He was broad in the shoulders, solid in the torso and thighs. Every sinew in his tall frame inspired an itch in her palms to touch, caress, explore all of him. He fit into the scenery—stark mountains and moors.

The furrows that hinted above his brows practically promised brooding—complete with a money back guarantee. His blue eyes narrowed. “Which Baird sent you?” His thick burr rolled the “r” in a way that prickled her skin.

He definitely seemed to know Ian and Tristan. Ian was her boss. Tristan was her boss’ brother who ran the sales division. To say they were like night and day was an understatement. “I’m—”

He scoffed, cutting off her speech with the abrupt sound. “Ian,” he guessed with pinpoint accuracy. “Tristan wouldn’t have sent a lamb to slaughter.”

Her spine stiffened. A lamb would have curled up when she had mistakenly authenticated a forgery three years ago. A sheep would have willingly let the world put a hand over her eyes while it slit her throat to bleed out from shame, guilt and mortification. One simply didn’t recover from the kind of screw up she’d made, but Victoria had found employment, convinced her boss to send her to Scotland, alone, for an all expense paid commission of a castle. This was her first job oversees for the Bairds and it damn sure wouldn’t be her last.

Victoria Burke was no one’s goddamn lamb.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes and NobleGBB BBT_TourBanner_KiltedForPleasure

BIO:  Melissa Blue’s writing career started on a typewriter one month after her son was born. This would have been an idyllic situation for a writer if it had been 1985, not 2004. Eventually she upgraded to a computer. She’s still typing away on the same computer, making imaginary people fall in love.

Where to find me online:

http://www.themelissablue.com

https://www.facebook.com/themelissablue.author

 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

3 Comments

Filed under Blog

Spotlight on Anita Philmar – More than Ready

I’m happy to welcome erotic romance writer Anita Philmar back to my blog. She has a new release entitled More Than Ready. It takes place in that hot little town – Naked Bluff, Texas.
Anita Philmar new releaseBlurb
:

After losing his brother, Kirk Pepperman planned a future with Richard’s wife, Sadie. Kirk wanted to honor his brother and take care of Sadie.

She had other ideas and married another man.

Now, Kirk is uncertain what he should do with his life

Mary Beth Owens knows her parents are arranging for her to marry Kirk. The problem is he’s been stuck on the wrong woman for years.

She is determined to find out if he can please her. If not, then she has no desire to marry him either.

Can these two let go of the past and move into the future?

Available for .99cents and free for KindleUnlimited.

Theme: friends to lovers

This story is part of the Naked Bluff series.

Purchase at:  http://www.amazon.com/More-Ready-Naked-Bluff-Texas-ebook/dp/B00XLWMATS

Excerpt: “Kirk, where are you?”

Unhappy about the interruption, Kirk Pepperman debated not answering Mary Beth Owens’ call. He’d snuck away to the barn’s upper floor to escape his parents and to have a few moments to himself.

The view outside the open loft door showed the sun drifting steadily toward the horizon. A nice cross breeze blew inside and cooled the large space. For the last couple of weeks, he’d found he enjoyed sitting up here alone, maybe because it helped him forget.

“Kirk?” Mary Beth’s voice rang from the ladder, leading to the stalls on the ground floor.

Not bothering to turn, he leaned forward and gripped his hands over his knees. The three-legged stool, where he sat, was right in front of the center pole for the barn. The position afforded him a backrest if he should want one.

The floorboards squeaked, telling him Mary Beth stood behind him. He pictured her in his head. A petite blonde, she had small breasts and appeared much younger than him. In truth, they were around the same age.

Hoping, if he remained quiet, she’d leave. He continued to stare out across his family’s property. The last days of summer and the recent harvest had turned the parched land to dust. What did this place hold for him?

He’d never ventured outside of Naked Bluff to travel or to experience another way of life. Depression filled him at his brother dying so far away from home. Now, though, Kirk understood Richard’s desire to leave.

What future could Kirk have here?

He toyed with the idea of heading off to join the Confederate army. The latest news from the returning soldiers was the south wasn’t faring too well against the Northern armies. Maybe, if he had something to fight for, he’d feel alive again.

The familiar noise of a rope flying through the air alerted him. The lasso fell over his head and circled his chest before it tightened, pinning his arms to his side. “What the…”

With a sharp tug, he fell back against the center pole and hit his head against the solid bulk. “Mary Beth, what are you doing?”

BIO:  Anita Philmar enjoys writing hot stories to get the blood a pumping. She grew up in Texas and enjoys sharing information about the state with her readers.

Currently, she is working on a historical series call Naked Bluff, Texas. No, it is not a real place, but the people there do have problems and with the gift of love they do find happiness.

Find Anita at:

Website: http://www.anitaphilmar.com/

Blog: http://www.anitaphilmar.blogspot.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/anita.philmar

GR: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1329767.Anita_Philmar

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anitaphilmar

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Blog

#MedMonSpring – Music for My Soul

I’m so happy to welcome back Lauren Linwood for Medieval Monday. WARNING: Her writing is amazing. I love to be taken away to far off places when I read and after you read the excerpt, you’ll be clicking the buy link. Enjoy!

Music_for_my_Soul_cover_550x825BLURB: As the third wife of an abusive French vineyard owner, Madeleine Bouchard hasn’t produced the expected heir after three years of marriage. Fearing he plans to kill her, she flees during a trip to England. Unable to make her way home, she joins a troupe of traveling mummers and reinvents herself as the only woman troubadour in the land, captivating audiences with both song and story.

Nobleman Garrett Montayne’s fascination with Madeleine causes him to pay the troupe to bypass their next stop in order to journey to his estate. Though he suspects Madeleine of being a thief with dark secrets, love blossoms between them under the magical moon of summer solstice.

But Madeleine’s past is about to catch up with her, as her husband is set to arrive to conduct business with Garrett. Madeleine determines to free herself from her loveless marriage and make a new life with Garrett, no matter what the cost.

EXCERPT:  Garrett peered into the angry face of the woman who haunted his dreams by night and left him absent-minded by day. Their encounter had been brief, but he doubted he had ever met a more remarkable woman. Not even his petite Lynnette had brought such a sweet longing to his loins as did the bewitching creature before him.

Her honeyed hair, loosened from its intricate braid, curled around her shoulders. Tiny beads of sweat had formed just above her upper lip. Without thinking, Garrett reached his thumb towards her and wiped it away. She flinched slightly, her dark, amethyst eyes glowering at him.

Garrett smiled in spite of himself, offering her a hand to pull her to her feet. He had forgotten how very tall she was as she stared at him, her cheeks flushed with anger.

“Perhaps we could arrange a trade?” he suggested.

She eyed him suspiciously. “I’m not sure if I could trust you, my lord,” she countered.

“Trust me?” he sputtered. “This, from the woman who traipsed about the countryside claiming to be my wife?”

She shrugged nonchalantly, an almost Gallic air about her. She didn’t sound French, but there was an unmistakable manner to her movement. Garrett spent enough time in France to recognize the behavior. However, when she spoke, he quickly put it from his mind.

“I chose a bloody awful name to scare away anyone who accosted me on the road! How was I to know I’d run into you?” She snorted in an unladylike fashion. “I had heard tales of the wicked Lord Montayne, how he frightened old and young alike and gobbled up babes for his dinner. Why, the very mention of his name would cause grown men to plead for their lives and their loved ones. Oh, no, my lord, I was an honest liar. You were the one who resorted to trickery and hid your true identity from me.”

Her accusation so startled Garrett his jaw flew open. No sound came out for a moment. The woman lifted her chin high and turned on her heel. That brought Garrett into motion.

He grabbed her elbow and pulled her around to face him. “Not so fast, my lady.” He studied her a second.  Her eyes narrowed at him, but she remained silent. Finally faced with her visage square in front of him, Garrett was at a loss of what to do. His emotions swirled out of control as he spoke.

“’Tis curiosity,” he sputtered.

She looked puzzled. “Curiosity?” she echoed.

He nodded, his words spilling forth rapidly. “I know not who you are, nor where you come from. I’ve dreamed of you since that night only to awaken to an emptiness.” His voice became low and tinged with sadness. “I don’t even know your name.”

BUY LINKS:  Amazon e-book    Amazon paperback   Barnes & Noble

And that’s the end of #MedMonSpring edition. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting little excerpts from these amazing medieval authors. I know I’ve enjoyed sharing them with you.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Blog

#8Sunday – WeWriWar June 21st The Gentle Knight

Welcome back! It’s eight line Sunday at WeWriWar. Looking for something new to read? Maybe a new genre? A new author? Click the link below to find a plethora of amazing authors offering just eight lines to lure you in 😉

I’m continuing with my scene where Peter and Brighit first meet. It’s not going very well for Brighit. Enjoy:

The Gentle Knight by Ashley York“Yes.” Ivan’s voice was quieter. “Is that a problem?”

“Ward? As in ‘one you are sworn to protect’? So you were merely protecting your ‘ward’?”

“Yes—”

“Not likely!”

Buy links:   Apple    Kobo    Amazon    Barnes and Noble

Find more authors by clicking this link below. All different genres but only eight lines to impress you with 😉

 

wewriwa_button

3 Comments

Filed under Blog

#FoodyFriday – Chicken Casserole with Pamela Thibodeaux

Chicken Casserole

Another favorite dish my mother prepared for family functions. Fast and easy, this casserole is a great and different way to prepare chicken. Have leftover fried, baked or broiled chicken? Use a can of store-bought broth and you’ve got a tasty way to serve them up!

Ingredients:

1 can of crescent roles

2 or 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 8 strips

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can of chicken broth 

Optional:

1 small can or jar (or fresh) mushrooms added to broth/soup mix

Onions, celery, bell pepper or other seasonings, shredded cheese 

Preparation:

Boil chicken breasts, let cool, cut into strips (may use precut chicken breast strips). Save 1 can of broth.

Heat soups stirring in broth until desired consistency obtained

Roll out uncooked crescent roll, place strip of chicken at widest point, re-roll until all 8 are used.

Place uncooked chicken-filled rolls in baking pan. Pour broth/soup mixture over; bake until golden brown according to instructions on can of crescent rolls. Add shredded cheese if desired.

*Recipe can easily be altered to fit number of guests. Add a green salad and you’ve got a full course meal.Pamela

Author bio: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

circles of fateBLURB: Set at the tail end of the Vietnam War era, Circles of Fate takes the reader from Fort Benning, Georgia to Thibodaux, Louisiana. A romantic saga, this gripping novel covers nearly twenty years in the lives of Shaunna Chatman and Todd Jameson. Constantly thrown together and torn apart by fate, the two are repeatedly forced to choose between love and duty, right and wrong, standing on faith or succumbing to the world’s viewpoint on life, love, marriage and fidelity. With intriguing twists and turns, fate brings together a cast of characters whose lives will forever be entwined. Through it all is the hand of God as He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

EXCERPT: A single tear escaped his eye and spurred her into action. She groaned and reached to wipe it away.

“Oh, don’t. Please, don’t.” She cupped his face in her hands. Her lips quivered. “This is killing me.”

Her pain, as deep and raw as his, cut through him like a sword. Todd emitted a harsh cry of her name, dragged her into his arms, and buried his face in her thick mass of hair.

The pain of losing him again, this time by choice, was more than Shaunna could bear. She wrapped her arms around his waist, buried her face into his chest, and drenched his shirt. “I wish I didn’t have to make a choice, I wish I could love you both.”

Todd drew in a sharp breath. He swallowed hard, groaned and hauled her against him. “I know. Don’t cry, baby. Please, I can’t stand it when you cry like this.”

When her sobs subsided, he cupped her face in his hands and brushed the tears off her cheeks. “Are you sure this is what you want?”

Shaunna didn’t want him to see how unsure she felt so she closed her eyes, took a deep breath and nodded then bowed her head, ashamed of the hurt she knew she caused. She knew he was not satisfied with her response when he gave her a slight shake and demanded she look at him.

“Promise me you’re sure or I won’t let you go.”

She would have to convince him or he’d never let her leave. She also knew he’d see through anything less than complete honesty.

“Oh, Todd,” she whispered, her voice urgent. “I wish it were that easy. I’m sure I have to try. But I want you to know something…” She hesitated, unsure how to say what she needed to say. “If things were different, if he weren’t so determined, if nothing was left between us, if I didn’t think there was a chance, I would stay.” Her eyes searched his for some sign he understood.

A ghost of a smile played around his sensuous lips, he nodded. “I know,” he whispered. “And I understand,” he said and gathered her close once more.

Purchase Links:

Kindle: http://amzn.to/13b6qCG

Print: http://amzn.to/1zfEzNH

Create Space: http://bit.ly/1qRN3cb

Nook: http://bit.ly/1ySeQqJ

B&N Print: http://bit.ly/1wA6DsH

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/136qK7n 

LINKS: 

Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com

Blog: http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com

Face Book: http://facebook.com/pamelasthibodeaux

Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

 

8 Comments

Filed under Blog