Congratulations to Amy! She won the random drawing for a digital copy of Mia’s RITA nominated PLAID TIDINGS. If you didn’t win, don’t despair. Right now, the Scottish Christmas story is on sale for only $1.99. At that price, everybody wins!
Along with discussion questions for book clubs, I’ve been working on some recipes to include at the back of my April 2016 release from Kensington, The Coldwater Warm Hearts Club. You may notice that I’m writing under a different pen name for this series. That’s because it’s contemporary instead of my usual historical. And it’s on the sweeter side. Most of the spice is in the kitchen of the Green Apple Grill, but with a hunky wounded warrior for a hero, plenty of romance is guaranteed.
It’s a gorgeous cover, isn’t it? And let me give a shout out to my girl, Kristan! Thanks again for giving me a great cover quote. You are the best!
Anyway, choosing which recipes to share with readers in the back of the book reminded me that Thanksgiving is only a few days away. While we always have the standards–turkey with all the fixings–I like to try at least one new dish every year. So I’m on the hunt for my yearly experiment. I’m going to ask you to share some of your favorites, so I’ll start by offering up one of mine.
Every family has its own special “must-have” dishes to make the Thanksgiving dinner just right. At our house, you can keep the dressing and pumpkin pie. It’s all about the noodles.
When I was first learning to cook, I was so frustrated by the good cooks in my family who didn’t have exact measurements for their recipes. My mother-in-law always said she’d just start at one end of the kitchen and keep going till she reached the other, dirtying up every pot and pan in the place. My mother claims she adds ingredients “until it feels right.”
Grrr! How could I ever make anything with advice like that?
So let me apologize in advance if my noodle recipe seems a bit loosey-goosey. Mom was right. Sometime, you do have to rely on feelings. And my M-I-L would be happy to know making my noodles spreads flour in all directions. But my family loves them, so here’s what I do:
All purpose flour (2-4 cups, depending on how many noodles you want)
salt 1/2 teaspoon
eggs 2-4 depending on how many noodles you want
milk 1/3 cup (add more if you want more noodles)
cream of tartar 1/4 teaspoon
baking powder 1/4 teaspoon
- Start the night before you mean to serve the noodles!
- Whip the eggs and milk together in a large bowl.
- Add the cream of tartar and salt, stirring vigorously (Get some kids involved at this point!)
- Begin adding flour one cup at a time and mix it thoroughly with the wet ingredients. Eventually, you’ll need to use your hands to work the flour in. But don’t knead it too much or the noodles will be tough.
- Spread some of the left over flour onto a pastry cloth, putting a pile of flour in the center.
- Form your noodle dough into a ball and place on the center of your cloth. Pour the last of the flour on top before you begin rolling the dough out with a rolling pin.
- Cover with a cloth and let dry overnight.
- The next morning, cut the dough into noodles.
- Heat a stock pot of broth to a rolling bowl and then add noodles a few at a time. Once they’ve boiled for 5 minutes under your watchful eye and stirring spoon, turn the heat down until the noodles are barely bubbling. Set a timer and stir every 5 minutes so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
- Do not stir in a circle or you’ll end up with the world’s largest dumpling!
- After the noodles have cooked for an hour, serve to your grateful family. They’ll love them!
Here’s wishing you and your family the most blessed Thanksgiving ever. Enjoy!
Special note: The winner from my post on Nov. 2nd is LilMissMolly. She’s receiving a copy of Plaid Tidings, my Rita-nominated Scottish Christmas book.
And now it’s your turn. Please share your favorite holiday recipe and you’ll be entered in the random drawing for a copy of Plaid Tidings.
Eileen Richards is visiting today. I know you’ll make her feel right at home. Allow me to introduce her a bit.
She’s been writing for most of her life–poetry, totally inappropriate answers to essay questions in school, and interesting error codes during her 30 year IT career.
Her books are sassy regency romps set in the small villages of England where the rules are bent a bit and gossip rules the day.
Eileen lives in North Carolina with her husband and their diva of a greyhound.
Now that you know a little about her, I’m turning the rest of the blog over to her today. Take it away, Eileen!
Meet the Couple from An Unexpected Wish by Eileen Richards
Coming up with new and exciting topics for a blog tour is tough. How many ways can you talk about a book? Then I had an idea, a very dangerous proposition. Remember the movie When Harry Met Sally? Scattered through out that movie were these interviews of couples on how they met and how long they were together. I thought it would be fun to do that sort of interview, but regency style… sort of.
So, if I may, I would like to introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Matthews, our couple from An Unexpected Wish, book one of the series A Lady’s Wish.
Please tell our readers how you two met.
Mrs. Matthews: Please, call me Anne. I know we will be good friends. I met Mr. Matthews at the Fairy Steps not far from The Lodge, where his grandmother lives. He was lost. Again. The man has the worst sense of direction. We have to take the carriage everywhere.
Mr. Matthews: I found you didn’t I? Besides, did you tell our guests what you were doing at the Fairy Steps? She was wishing for a husband.
Mrs. Matthews: Really, Mr. Matthews, I was doing no such thing. I was wishing for a solution to the dire straits my sisters and I were in.
Mr. Matthews: That would be one way to phrase it.
What is it that you admire most about each other? Mr. Matthews, perhaps if you go first?
Nathaniel: Nathaniel, please. This is an easy question. Anne’s dignity under duress and her loyalty to her family were the first things I noticed about her. Outside of her fine eyes of course. Anne, love, what did you first admire about me?
Anne is quiet for a long moment.
Nathaniel: Is this a difficult question?
Anne: I’m thinking.
Nathaniel: It takes that much thought?
Anne: When we first met you weren’t exactly Mr. Darcy material. You wanted to ruin us all.
Nathaniel: Not you, love, your brother.
Anne: I would have to say I admire his loyalty to his family.
Nathaniel: That’s it?
Anne: I’m not going to brag about your looks. You lack humbleness as it is. I do enjoy your kisses. They are very fine indeed. They make me quite forget myself.
Nathaniel: Shall I make you forget yourself now?
How about those annoying habits?
Anne: Mr. Matthews is always right. It doesn’t really help that he is usually right most of the time. It can get annoying.
Nathaniel: Your stubbornness. I’ve never known a person to be so stubborn.
Anne: Shall I hand you a looking glass, dear?
Nathaniel: Point made.
What was the moment you felt the proudest of the other?
Anne: This is an easy one. Nathaniel not only forgave my brother, but helped him. He helped us all.
Nathaniel takes Anne’s hand and raises it to his lips.
Nathaniel: I did it for you, my love. My proudest moment was when Anne walked into the ballroom with her head held high looking so lovely in the candlelight. Our first waltz will be one of my fondest memories.
Do you have a favorite funny story about each other?
Anne shakes her head. Nathaniel grins.
Nathaniel: The Sunday Morning service when Worth, the vicar, read that scandalous text word. I had no idea the Bible contained such language.
Anne: That was embarrassing and not funny.
What are three words that describe each other?
Anne: This one is easy: Strong, loving, and tender
Nathaniel: Beautiful, strong, and cherished.
Thank you both for stopping by to chat with the Jaunty Quills’ readers today.
Dear reader, if you’d like to discover more about Nathaniel and Anne’s romance, pick up a copy of An Unexpected Wish by Eileen Richards.
LOVE IS IN THE AIR
Anne Townsend doesn’t ask for much. Plain and poor, she’d settle for the funds to put food on the table. Making a wish on the fabled Fairy Steps is hardly a solid solution, but to see her two sisters taken care of, Anne’s willing to try anything. Yet when she finds herself suddenly surrounded with suitors, romance is now a possibility for the spinster everyone always ignored except with the one man who will never want her…
Nathaniel Matthews has no time for courting. As the eldest, he has his family’s lost fortune to rebuild, and his reckless brother to manage before he gambles his future away. Odd that Nathaniel can think of little but kissing bright-eyed Anne, who seems to be fighting off admirers from all sides. Is it the country air, or is Nathaniel ready to discover that love has a magic all its own?
Mia here again. Thanks for sharing with us today, Eileen. It’s fun to think about first meetings. I met my DH back when we were in college. We were in the same choir and found ourselves singing across the room to each other. At our wedding, he sang me down the aisle. And almost 40 years later, we’re still singing together.
How did you meet your sweetie? Share your own “cute meet” and you’ll be entered in a drawing for an ebook of my RITA nominated PLAID TIDINGS!
Christmas in the Highlands…
Not any dashing English lord’s idea of a good time. But now that Lord Alexander Mallory has won a Scottish estate in a hand of cards, he is the unlikely laird of the wild, snowy Bonniebroch. Worse yet, the ancient pile of stones comes with a betrothal. To a fiery red-headed virgin. And a curse. Alex will have his hands full honoring the first, seducing the second and breaking the third … all by Twelfth Night.
Each year for Halloween, I used to make costumes for my girls. Sadly, they are all grown up now and refuse to allow me to turn them into tubby little lion cubs. (Oh, yeah, one time I repurposed a fuzzy housecoat and the fringe off a chenille bedspread into homemade darling-ness, complete with pillow-stuffed bellies!) But I still enjoy seeing kids in inventive homespun costumes. Here are a few I’d love to see on my doorstep later this month:
I know. I involuntarily said “Awwwww!” the first time I saw it, too.
Talk about original. Lots of little boys will be Superman. How many will be Clark Kent?
She can’t decide whether she wants to be a cowgirl or a princess. Why not both?
Cardboard boxes covered with construction paper can turn into anything!
Safety has always been my hot-button when it comes to kids, so I love that all these costumes are maskless. Masks reduce a child’s ability to see and be situationally aware. I hope kids this age will have adult supervision as they make the rounds and a glow stick or two to make them easier to see in the dark would not come amiss!
So how about you? Do you have any little ones who need a costume? Or do you have a favorite costume from years past you’d like to share?
PS. Have you entered to win my JauntyQuills Bundle at LexiEddings.com (my contemporary alter-ego)? Some lucky winner is going to waltz away with the biggest treat of all–13 books from the wonderful Kristan Higgins, VK Sykes, Shana Galen, Cindy Kirk, Nancy Robards Thompson, Katherine Garbera, & Theresa Romain! Hurry. Contest ends October 31, 2015. The randomly chosen winner will be notified November 1st. Good luck!
I’m not very good at keeping a diary. If you go by my past efforts you’d swear I‘ve only lived through a bunch of Januaries.
But fortunately, my hero in THE MADNESS OF LORD WESTFALL, Pierce Langdon, Lord Westfall, is a dedicated journalist. He keeps a thorough record of his thoughts and doings, perhaps so he can judge the soundness of them. When one is believed mad by so many others, it’s hard not to suspect they might be right.
In THE MADNESS OF LORD WESTFALL, a number of chapters start with excerpts from Westfall’s journal. Here are a few of them:
The defining moment of my life occurred when I was eight years old and fell from the topmost limb of an oak tree. They tell me my head struck several branches on the way down. I was insensible for the better part of a sennight, which was a mercy because it allowed the doctor to set my broken arm without inflicting further agony. For the injury to my brain, he did nothing.
Perhaps that was another type of mercy.
I only know that when I finally opened my eyes, the voices were there. They have been with me ever since.
Then of his later childhood, he writes:
If a child suffers from weak eyes, he doesn’t know he ought to be able to see individual bricks in buildings or separate leaves on trees. He assumes his uncorrected view of the world is the same thing everyone else sees.
So it was with me and the voices. I forgot there had ever been a time when I couldn’t hear the thoughts of those around me, as if they’d spoken them aloud. I assumed others could hear my thoughts as well, and would not object if I commented on the unspoken elements of conversation.
I could not have been more wrong.
Of course, not all of Westfall’s entries deal with his unique “gift.” Here’s his take on popular entertainment of his day:
One good thing about German opera—it’s so deucedly loud, it drowns out the voices of the minds around me. However, when the soprano is bellowing like a cow that wants milking and the tenor squalls as if he’s being gelded on the spot, I’m not sure the exchange is worth it.
Because he could hear the thoughts of the women around him, Westfall has given them a wide berth. He couldn’t bear to have a woman smile at him outwardly while despising him inwardly. However, once he meets Lady Nora Claremont, he’s willing to chance it.
When I began confiding my thoughts to this journal I wrote that the defining moment of my life occurred when I was eight years old and I fell from a tree. I was wrong. It happened when I was thirty-two and I fell in love.
Both events have had equally devastating effects upon my mind.
But, as Shakespeare says, “the course of true love never did run smooth.” (Which is a good thing. Otherwise we’d have no story!) In Westfall’s case, the woman he loves is thinking some pretty traitorous thoughts. This puts him in a sticky wicket with the Order of the M.U.S.E.(Metaphysical Union of Sensory Extraordinaires) whose aim is to protect the Crown and is also responsible for having Westfall released from Bedlam in the first place.
His Grace expects me to use Honora in the furtherance of the Order’s goals. I can think of nothing more repugnant. If by some miracle I have not already destroyed whatever we might become to each other, I cannot risk losing her. Not even for King and country.
I’d rather return to Bedlam and the water chair.
So Westfall is faced with a choice—betray his mentor and his own conscience or betray the woman he loves. Somehow, he must find a way to save both.
Hope you enjoy his dilemma! I sure enjoyed writing it. THE MADNESS OF LORD WESTFALL comes out today!
Pierce Langdon, Viscount Westfall is mad. Everyone knows it. He fell from a tree when he was a boy and woke to hear strange voices. When the voices grow stronger as he grows older, his family commits him to Bedlam. But what he hears are the thoughts of those around him—a gift to be used in service to the Order of the M.U.S.E. Until he falls again…this time for a totally unsuitable woman.
Lady Nora Claremont hides her personal heartbreak behind the facade of a carefree courtesan. Viscount Westfall is the most confusing man she’s ever met. He seems to know exactly what she wants…and what she’s thinking.
Which is a dangerous thing, because what Nora wants is Pierce.
And what she’s thinking could expose her as a traitor to the crown…
How about you? Would being able to hear the thoughts of others be a blessing or a curse?
Let me know what you think. One lucky commenter will win a digital copy of THE CURSE OF LORD STANSTEAD (Book 1 in the Order of the MUSE series!)
Good luck! (You can also be entered in a monthly drawing by signing up for my newletter)