Saturday snaps, updates, and reading.

Sorry I have disappeared this week, guys.I’ve been working on three things at once and having some computer glitches. I will have a new site out shortly, and possibly a new blog link. I’ve also been working on a new story and reading. I’ve recently finished reading a new story by Jolene Dawe called Spirit Touched. It’s awesome. 🙂 You can see my little review for it on the new blog here.

 

And since y’all liked my picture from last week, here’s another. A pretty magnolia (I think it’s a magnolia), from another recent walk. I hope you like it. Continue reading “Saturday snaps, updates, and reading.”

Queen Maeve Tea from TheForest Witch

Unboxed my tea sample from TheForestWitch http://www.etsy.com/shop/theforestwitch

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Of course, I couldn’t pass up something named for Maeve. It looks so pretty, lots of colors to the tea. 🙂

Mia blogged about the tea on her blog here and you can see better pictures of it there. Another great thing about TheForestWitch is that Mia was great about answering all my curious questions about her blends.

Granted, I drink more coffee, than tea, but one of my grandmothers was a big tea drinker. I think, today, in her honor, she would’ve approved of this cup of tea. 🙂

If you’d like to try it out, Queen Maeve’s tea is available here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/271275443/queen-maeve-tea-loose-leaf-black-tea?ref=featured_listings_row

Mary watch over–Saturday snapshot

I recently made a trip to a family funeral. Not fun, no, but I do like statuary, and anything old, so I enjoyed looking around the cemetery. That’s how I found this beauty: Continue reading “Mary watch over–Saturday snapshot”

Special: Summer Solstice Supper and Summer Reading List

Welcome! My friend, romance author Linda Joyce, got together with some of the romance authors she knows, and decided to cook up–erm, post–a little virtual dinner party. And she invited me *smiles*  Linda chose the theme of  the Summer Solstice to offer you a sumptuous supper and a buffet of books to satisfy your reading hunger. A good meal and a great book—summer doesn’t get any better than that.

Each author is sharing a favorite dish, and the menu is chock-full of mouthwatering delights. The buffet of books offers a flavor for everyone: Romance of many genres, historical stories, cocktails made simple, and secrets to an enriched life. Also, the menu contains the title of one of the author’s books and a web link.

Keep scrolling down for the eye-candy book covers and some insights about each author.

I invite you to visit each author, make a new friend or two, and celebrate the summer with us.

Happy Reading!

***

My contribution to this little summer dinner party is an old favorite around our house: Peach baked chicken.

In in my series, Antique Magic, my heroine Caitlin lives in Florida so, even despite the heat of the oven *gasp* she would likely make variations of this tasty summer dish from time to time.
Ingredients are on Linda’s blog here.

And now for the preparation:

Preparation:

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Instructions.

1) Defrost your chicken.S/W Ver: 97.04.30R

2. Cut off the fat and those bits of tendons the store sometimes leaves in (eww), dip the chicken in some egg beaters will keep it moist, believe it or not.

Once you’ve done that, put tin foil in your pan, Crisco the bottom so (hopefully) the chicken won’t all stick.

defrostedchick

3. Put the chicken breasts/pieces in and pour over the peaches.

S/W Ver: 97.04.30R

You can either pour the juice with the peaches or save it to marinate with*

4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to your taste.

This time out we also added some cinnamon–which made it very tasty indeed!

5. Cover with foil and  bake for one hour, flipping the chicken a few times, and marinating with the juice.

*I cover mine with foil to make sure the juice doesn’t spit all over the oven.

When the chicken’s finished (I always check it with a knife just to make sure the middle is “white and cooked”) like sochickdinner3

serve with whatever your favorite sides are. I usually serve  potatoes, mashed or, baked with some sea salt as well would be tasty, if you have the time or are lucky enough to have one of those dual ovens, and of course veggies of some sort. Mmmm….I think it’s lunch time!

Now on to the books!

theartistsinheritbjdr700THE ARTIST’S INHERITANCE.

The balance between good and evil can be an art… or a curse.

Trevor and Caitlin were once happy newlyweds, profiting from Trevor’s art. Until Trevor inherits his brother’s house, and with it, his part of a family curse. Now, Caitlin will stop at nothing to save her beloved husband from insanity and suicide, even if it means she must embrace her destiny and become a witch.

If you’d like to check out the novel it’s available at:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble. Createspace, and Smashwords

Caitlin's Book of ShadowsThe follow up story to The Artist’s Inheritance, called Caitlin’s Book of Shadows, takes place a little later in the year, but Caitlin would no doubt make the chicken then too…and the heat of the oven in the winter is particularly useful, towards fall and winter, isn’t it? That story goes something like this:

Something terrifying stalks Caitlin and her beloved Trevor. Something the bits and pieces she left claimed she had to make sense of–or so legend says. When the curator of their collection finds Caitlin’s long forgotten diary, she wonders will it tell the whole tale? Will it tell why Caitlin seemed so determined to tell the difference between reality and nightmare even as she continued the fight to defend her family from evil? Will it explain why she thought her world twisted? If she really became a witch?

Perhaps the answer lies between the lines of her story, one of lessons, struggles, and the hopes she carried like a warrior’s shield.

**This is a side (or supplemental, if you will) short story in the Antique Magic series, a companion to The Artist’s Inheritance (Antique Magic, Book One).

It too is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords

Check out more authors and tasty dishes:

Cocktails

Blackberry Gin and Tonic by J.K. O’Hanlon –Three Ingredient Cocktails ~ www.thirstyjane.com

Pomegranate Martini by Kathy L Wheeler – Quotable ~ http://kathylwheeler.com

Appetizer

Japanese Chicken Wings by Jan Morrill –The Red Kimono ~ www.TheRedKimono.com

Sweet & Sour Hawaiian Meatballs               by Vonnie Davis – Rain Is A Love Song ~ ttp://www.vintagevonnie.blogspot.com

Easy Stuffed Mushrooms by Alicia Dean – Liberty Awakened (Isle of Fangs, Book 1) ~http://aliciadean.com/alicias-blog/

Salad

7 Layer Salad by    AJ Nuest –  She’s Got Dibs ~ http://ajbooks.blogspot.com/

Mandarin orange & spinach salad by Barbara Barrett – And He Cooks Too ~www.barbarabarrettbooks.com

Entrée

Pesto Chicken by Nancy Parra – Gluten for Punishment ~ www.nancyjparra.blogspot.com

Taquitos    by Calisa Rhose – Risk Factors ~ http://calisarhose.com/chit-chat/

Linda’s Summer Shrimp Boil by Linda Joyce – Bayou Born ~ http://lindajoycecontemplates.wordpress.com/

Oven Fried peach chicken by  Juli D. Revezzo – The Artist’s Inheritance ~ https://julidrevezzo.com/blog/

Betty’s Nutty Pork Chops by Betty Bolte – Hometown Heroines ~ www.bettybolte.com/blog.htm

Dessert

Kolaches by Gina Hooten Popp – The Storm After ~ https://www.facebook.com/ginahootenpoppauthor

                Chocolate-Cherry-Coconut Cupcakes by Luna Zegaauthor of Tokyo Tease

Fruit Compote by Brenda Sparks – A Midsummer Night’s Demon ~http://www.brenda-sparks.com/blog.html

After Dinner Drinks

After Dinner Iced Coffee by Sandra Sookoo – Winging It ~ http://sandrasookoo.wordpress.com/

Friday Flowers–Fennel Failure

Forgive the alliteration, coffee hasn’t kicked in.

You know what I’ve always wanted? An herb garden. Unfortunately, I am admittedly a  failure at it. I had a slight success with some rosemary a couple years back. Kept it alive for about five years. The basil did okay, but I don’t recall it lasting for more than maybe two seasons. But it went to pot and I’ve never tried it again.  I had lemon balm, it died, tried dill, ditto. (again with the alliteration!)

Recently, I went to this place my mom likes and was tickled pink to find they had herbs. So I found some fennel and thought what the hell.

Fennel, so says Grieves’ Modern Herbal, is: a hardy, perennial, umbelliferous herb, with yellow flowers and feathery leaves, grows wild in most parts of temperate Europe, but is generally considered indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean, whence it spreads eastwards to India. It has followed civilization, especially where Italians have colonized, and may be found growing wild in many parts of the world upon dry soils near the sea-coast and upon river-banks. It flourishes particularly on limestone soils and is now naturalized in some parts of this country, being found from North Wales southward and eastward to Kent, being most frequent in Devon and Cornwall and on chalk cliffs near the sea. It is often found in chalky districts inland in a semi-wild state.

For the medicinal use of its fruits, commonly called seeds, Fennel is largely cultivated in the south of France, Saxony, Galicia, and Russia, as well as in India and Persia.

Okay, good. If it’s been around in temperate areas for centuries how hard can this be?

I brought it home and repotted it, rocks in the bottom for drainage and such, just like dad taught me. At first, it did well. By the end of the first week, it looked like this:

fennel1

This is from week one, back in May, with watering it whenever it felt dry. Its previous owner is an organic genius so I figure it’s me and my yellow thumb (yeah, not so good for the druid thing, eh?)

Herm…. A good friend of mine says the stuff grows wild around her but she’s in the Northwest. I asked her advice and followed it…and the conventional wisdom around the web says likewise:

Moreover, it demands little attention from its host or hostess after having been made to feel at home; once sprouted in only moderately fertile, chalky soil, it requires little watering or feeding.

Okay so I snipped the dead piece off (it’s in my herb cabinet right now) and I tried the “dribble when I got worried” method, leaving the soil mostly dry. Yet still. It’s doing it again:

fennel614

Does this look, like Modern Herbal says:

4 to 5 feet or more in height, erect and cylindrical, bright green and so smooth as to seem polished, much branched bearing leaves cut into the very finest of segments. The bright golden flowers, produced in large, flat terminal umbels, with from thirteen to twenty rays, are in bloom in July and August.

To you??

I wish I had my heroine Caitlin’s touch. Brother, if that don’t make her books fantasies I don’t know what does. 😉 Because she’s better than me, and what I wish I could garden like!

So, I gotta ask, if watering normally (’til the soil’s wet to the touch) is causing it to do this, and if dribbling it with water though letting the soil remain 90% dry  is causing it to do this….how do I save this plant? When you read the conventional wisdom it says “this plant’s easy to care for” and “watch out because it’ll take over!” but …uh, herm. I’m not seeing that in my little plant.  For the gardeners out there: any suggestions? I’m thinking this poor thing ain’t going to make it to the end of August let alone July, at this rate–or the second year that Florida Gardening says it should get to. And surviving to get me some of the seeds? Yeah, good luck with that. I know I’m in zone Hot as Huh…mmm… (that would  be zone 9) but you’d think a plant that’s suppose to take over would be harder to kill. What do I do besides call this another failure?

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The Next Big Thing hop

I’ve been tagged again. So, thanks to Clarissa Johal, here’s my latest project

What is a blog hop? It’s a way for readers to discover new authors! On this stop on the blog hop, you’ll find a bit of info about me and one of my books-in-progress, plus links to three other authors for you to discover.

I’ve answered ten questions about my work-in-progress (giving you a sneak-peek). At the end, there are links to a few other authors for you to discover who have answered the same questions.  Enjoy!

Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions. Here is my Next Big Thing!

1: What is the working title of your book?

Passion’s Sacred Dance

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’d heard Megadeth’s Foreclosure of a Dream on the radio and that kinda spun around my head with the Celtic mythology I’d been reading, and viola!

3. What genre does your book come under?

Paranormal Romance (and there goes half my audience? LOL)

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh, jeeze. I don’t know.  David Wenham (AKA Faramir) comes to mind for my hero.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A young woman meets an ancient warrior and learns that her gallery is to be the sacred battleground in a war that will determine the fate of mankind.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

It will be published by The Wild Rose Press. *YAA!* No release date or cover art yet, but all that should be coming soon and I shall let y’all know when to expect it! I’m thoroughly thrilled about it, can you tell?

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

A couple weeks.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Good Question. Really I have yet to find one like mine that I’ve been totally happy with… The closest that maybe kinda sorta comes to mind is…um, I Am Legend (except…not) and I suppose some would say it falls into the kind of story written by Karen Marie Moning and some Sherilynn Kenyon, in that they use the gods (emphasis on use) except I took a totally different slant than they. Pagans should not be disappointed with how I treat my gods, let’s put it that way.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

See above. The Megadeth song, and then, my friends encouraged me along.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s one of very few that treat the myths with respect and the gods *aren’t* the bad guys out to destroy–well, except for the one with that reputation. 😉 And for the girls, my hero’s to die for!

I’ll keep you posted regarding cover art and release dates and such. I’m totally excited about it! I can’t wait for y’all to see it. 🙂

Who’s next on the NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP?

So glad you asked!

Below you will find three authors who will be joining me by blog, next Wednesday, April 17. Mark it on your calendars and bookmark them! You will be one of the first to discover a new “Work in Progress!”

Happy reading!
Nicolette Andrews
Clarissa Johal
Emily Guido