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Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Turkish Cooking

by

Eris Field

When I was a young bride, I very much wanted to please my handsome Turkish husband by making manti, a meat-filled dumpling dish he reminisced about with a look of bliss. I studied Turkish cookbooks, looking for the magic instructions, and found a complicated six step recipe that began with making a volcano shape pile of flour on the table, putting eggs, salt, and water in the crater, and then kneading until it reached the right stage of elasticity. A sticky mess forced me to give up. Then one wonderful day I was invited to join a group of Turkish women who were gathering at the home of one of them to make manti. They explained that making manti was a process shared by family or friends. It is not a solitary undertaking.

Working together, they made the dough and let it rest under a cloth while they made the filling—a mixture of ground lamb, grated onion, parsley, salt and pepper that was also kneaded.

Next, a huge container of thick yogurt was set out to come to room temperature before crushed cloves of garlic were stirred in. Butter was cut up and placed into a small sauce pan where it was melted to serve as the topping with dried mint leaves added at the last moment. Some of the women said that, in their families, they also made a spicy tomato and olive oil topping.

Without missing a beat in the conversation about weddings, births, illnesses, jobs, children, and families, the women rolled out the dough to paper thinness, cut it into one inch squares, put a small amount of meat mixture in the center and then, with flying fingers, pinched the edges closed and finished with a distinctive twist handed down through generations. They boiled the little packets of goodness for 20 minutes. After the packets were drained, they were put in a mammoth bowl. Yogurt was smoothed over them and a river of melted butter with its flotsam of dry mint leaves drizzled on top. After I tasted it, I understood my husband’s love affair with manti. It has all—the robust sustenance of the meat-filled pasta, the velvety smoothness of the yogurt with a tangy lash from the garlic, and the sinful seductiveness of melted butter with a rejuvenating hint of innocent mint.

There are different recipes for manti from all over the caucuses and Middle East, but it is hard to gather a roomful of knowledgeable women to make manti and so I am offering a short-cut and hope they will forgive me.

MANTI
1 tsp. of salt
1 tbsp, dried mint
1 9 oz. pkg, beef ravioli or the smallest you can find
¼ cup butter
1 tsp. paprika
1 tbsp. garlic, crushed
8 oz. plain thick yogurt

Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add salt and ravioli. Cook until done (cooking time will vary and is usually noted on the package). Drain, return the ravioli to the pot and then cover to keep warm.
Melt butter in a small pot over low heat. Stir in paprika and dried mint. Keep warm.
Pour the yogurt into another bowl and mix until smooth. Stir in the garlic.
Carefully place ravioli into a large serving bowl. Spoon on the yogurt across the top and gently stir. Drizzle butter over the mixture and serve.

Serves 3 – 4 people

Here is a glimpse at the novel that features Manti.

Honor killings aren’t common in Buffalo, NY. But Turkish-American nurse Abbey knows she must protect her dead sister’s infant daughter, Jenny. Abbey’s sister was murdered by her Muslim husband for leaving him when she learned his mother would perform the cruel ritual of female circumcision on Jenny.

Once a fighter and medic with the Kurdish forces in Iraq, Rami now works with the refugees in Buffalo. Shunned by his grandfather for failing to demand retribution when his arranged marriage failed, Rami has mastered the art of avoiding emotional attachments. That is until he meets Abbey.

Warning Abbey that honor killings are family affairs and she and Jenny are in danger, Rami offers her a way out: a marriage of convenience and a safe place to live–his homeland, Kurdistan where they’ll be protected by the clan.

Abbey has vowed to do what it takes to protect Jenny. Can she face going back to the world of her childhood, a world of headscarves and submission, a world she escaped once?

BUY LINKS
Soul Mate Publishing
Amazon

Eris Field was born in the Green Mountains of Vermont—Jericho, Vermont to be precise—close by the home of Wilson Bentley (aka Snowflake Bentley), the first person in the world to photograph snowflakes. She learned from her Vermont neighbors that pursuit of one’s dream is a worthwhile life goal.

As a seventeen year old student nurse at Albany Hospital, Eris met a Turkish surgical intern who told her fascinating stories about the history of Turkey, the loss of the Ottoman Empire, and forced population exchanges. After they married and moved to Buffalo, Eris worked as a nurse at Children’s Hospital and at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

After taking time off to raise five children and amassing rejection letters for her short stories, Eris earned her master’s degree in Psychiatric Nursing at the University at Buffalo. Later, she taught psychiatric nursing at the University and wrote a textbook for psychiatric nurse practitioners—a wonderful rewarding but never to be repeated experience.

Eris now writes novels, usually international, contemporary romances. Her interest in history and her experience in psychiatry often play a part in her stories. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Western New York Romance Writers. In addition to writing, Eris’s interests include: Prevention of Psychiatric Disorders; Eradicating Honor Killings, supporting the Crossroads Springs Orphanage in Kenya for children orphaned by AIDS, and learning more about Turkey, Cyprus, and Kurdistan.

Learn more about Eris Field on her website. Stay connected on Facebook.

Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

Beyond Magic is the first book in the Magical Love series from award-winning Lizzie T. Leaf . This imaginative series mixes a variety of realms and worlds. Throw in chocolate, the food all the heroines crave, add a few hunky heroes, and of course villains we love to hate, then mix with a dash of humor and spice. Now let the fun begin!

Following the Powers directive to unite soul mates, a Scottish Cailleach’s magic will have repercussions in several realms.

Mixed-blood author Ian McCabe, grandson of Fae and gods, tries to deny his powers while hiding his true origins from the human world. When he discovers mortal, Emma Grant unconscious at his front door, his world starts to change.

Tour director Emma Grant leads a group of senior ladies through Scotland. The breakdown of their bus on a rural Scottish backroad has her sloshing through the rain and mud on foot. Her efforts to seek help results in a fall that knocks her unconscious. She awakens to find the man of her dreams staring into her eyes.

Both feel an instant attraction, but will his secrets and her distrust of men keep them apart.

A few lines that tweak a grin.
Yep, at this rate, a long three weeks lay ahead. No one had told Emma that the dozen school teachers ranged in ages from sixty-nine to eighty-eight. Good grief, what happened to women at this age sitting on the front porch and enjoying their rocking chairs?

Mildred waved away the correction “Of course, dear. Whatever you say. I just want to know, will we see any men in kilts soon? I want to see what they wear under them.”

Dirty old woman. She asked that question at least half a dozen times before we got on the bus and stated the reason just as often.

Read the first chapter on Amazon.

To read excerpts from other books by Lizzie T. Leaf please click onto Amazon.

Lizzie T. Leaf loved books since she opened her first one. Her dream was to write them herself. Lost in the hectic day to day world of family, job, laundry and housework, writing became a distant memory. When the twinkling ember did spark, it was usually doused by someone demanding their share of her time.

Lizzie’s life went full circle. The desire to put the stories that continued to play in her head on paper emerged stronger than ever, and at a time when there was someone who encouraged. Now she lives her dream.

Learn more about Lizzie T. Leaf on her website and blog. Connect with Lizzie on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

Anthology First

Hi, I’m Pippa Jay, author of scifi and supernatural stories to engage your emotions. I seem to have been unlucky when it comes to anthology calls. Of the several I’ve submitted to, most were cancelled due to too few submissions. In most cases, I’ve gone ahead and self published the short story I’d written anyway because why not? (They did get edited first – I never put something out without edits!).

But in 2012, an author group I was part of (the Science Fiction Romance Brigade) decided to produce their own anthology – a collection of scifi romance shorts to promote the wide selection of stories that the still overlooked and under-appreciated genre had to offer. I really wanted to be a part of it…but I had no ideas. Despite an overflowing Plot Bunny Storage Facility, I wanted something really…

For the rest of the blog go to: http://romancingthegenres.blogspot.com/2017/03/

 

Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Top Romantic Shop Products

by

Leigh Goff

In Disenchanted, sixteen-year-old Sophie’s quirky Aunt Janie runs a shop called Scents and Scentsabilities. The shop is situated in downtown historic Wethersfield, Connecticut and resembles a picturesque Pottery Barn for enchanted bath and body products. The products are all made from plants and flowers growing in Janie’s enchanted garden. The list below includes favorite items I would definitely purchase.

1. Forbidden Passion Potion A potion made with a combination of lemon verbena, valerian, and rose petals. That flower combinations symbolizes ‘lovers uniting’ and Sophie comes across these flowers when she meets Alexavier for the second time. The meeting reveals his dangerous streak and leaves her intrigued.

2. Tulips To Kiss Stick A lip gloss Janie crafted that contains enchanted tulip pollen, which lushifies ones lips. Sophie tries to offer this product to the strange Puritan-looking girl who enters Scents and Scentsabilities in the first scene, but she soon realizes the girl is more interested in giving something enchanted to Sophie.

3. Phyto-Glo Powder An organic powder crafted by Aunt Janie to illuminate one’s complexion when sleepless nights wreak havoc on the face, which happens a lot to Sophie as a ghost from the past haunts her dreams. The powder is guaranteed to erase under eye circles and it also creates a sparkly glow when you want that someone special to notice you.

4. Forever First Love Lip Balm This lip balm enhances feelings of affection in the other person when applied before a kiss. Sophie opts to not use this shortcut when it comes to love, preferring to take the long and difficult road which makes falling in love with a forbidden ordinary all the more sweet.

5. Waning White Willow A hemorrhoid relieving ointment made from the bark of the white willow, which reduces pain and swelling. This comes in handy when Alexavier’s brother, Zeke, tries to come between Sophie and her true love, Alexavier. She also enjoys watching her frenemy, Laney, apply a dab to her hand and neck, thinking it’s perfume.

Here’s a brief intro to Disenchanted where you can learn a little more about Sophie Goodchild.

Sophie Goodchild is a sixteen-year-old witch living with her eccentric aunt in the small town of Wethersfield, Connecticut—the sight of the first American Witch Trials. She is descended from a powerful black witch, but struggles with her erratic white magic while dealing with a mean girl witch clique known as the Glitterati, who love to make Sophie feel like she is less than they are.

Sophie is beautiful with wild waves of sable-colored hair, eyes the color of dark blue sapphires, and heart-shaped pillowy lips. More importantly, she is beautiful on the inside, although she hides it well behind her impatience and impetuousness, which makes her very relatable.

It is those heart-strong characteristics that lead her into trouble, and since she is ruled by her heart, she’s all in once she finds trouble. She is fiercely loyal, determined, and fearless and there is nothing she wouldn’t do or sacrifice for the ones she loves, especially when she learns of the true love curse her ancestor cast on the Mather family.

When Judge Mather, a descendant of the reverend who condemned Sophie’s witch ancestor to hang, finds out his handsome son (who has recently returned to Wethersfield with a sexy British accent and a face that could melt a black witch’s heart) has fallen hard for Sophie, things get even more dangerous for her. Dark secrets come to light and impossible choices are made as Sophie sacrifices everything, including her soul to save her forbidden true love.

Buy Links:
Mirror World PublishingAmazon

Leigh Goff loves writing young adult fiction with elements of magic and romance because it’s also what she liked to read. Born and raised on the East Coast, she now lives in Maryland where she enjoys the area’s great history and culture.

Leigh is a graduate of the University of Maryland, University College and a member of the Maryland Writers’ Association and Romance Writers of America. She is also an approved artist with the Maryland State Arts Council. Her debut novel, Disenchanted, was inspired by the Wethersfield witches of Connecticut and was released by Mirror World Publishing. Leigh is currently working on her next novel, The Witch’s Ring which is set in Annapolis.

Learn more about Leigh Goff on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shares

Make Me a Match

by

Mackenzie Lucas

About Mackenzie Lucas

     Mackenzie Lucas is an avid reader of genre fiction. She writes contemporary and paranormal romance, and listens to an eclectic mix of music. She loves a good story, whether it’s an erotic short, a full-length romance novel, or the narrative slice-of-life found in country music. In any story, emotional integrity and authenticity are most important to her as well as a big dose of romping hot sexual tension. She enjoys smart-mouthed, sexy heroines, hunky alpha heroes who know how to take care of their women, and plot twists that surprise her, but most of all, she just wants to experience the satisfying emotional arc of a character falling in love and finding what he or she needs most in life.
     Mac is a small-town country girl with a world-traveler’s heart. She grew up in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and she’s lived in Dublin, Ireland, within spitting distance of New York City in Long Island, and now in the Washington, D.C. area. She obtained her undergraduate degree in English Literature from Dickinson College and received her M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She’s currently an author for Soul Mate Publishing and is represented by Otis and Mackintosh Literary Agency.
     With Mackenzie Lucas—whether you’re reading her light paranormal romance or her small-town-based contemporary romance—you’ll always find a heart-warming love story about connectedness, community, and emotional authenticity. And, no, it doesn’t hurt that all her heroes are panty-melting gorgeous alphas and all their sexy, sensually aware heroines know how to stand up to them, give no quarter, and love them just as they are.

THE LEGEND OF THE SOUL MATE TREE:

I am old, I am ancient, my purpose is clear
To give those who are needy a treasure so dear.
They who come to my roots, touch my bark, stroke my leaves
Find the soul of their lives if they but believe.
When I call and you listen, your prize will be great
If your heart remains open and you don’t hesitate.
Do you yearn? Be you lonely? Is your time yet at hand?
Reach for me and I’ll give to you. I’m yours to command.
For your trust, for your faith, keep my secrets untold
And I’ll gift you forever, to have and to hold.

An ancient legend spanning eras, continents, and worlds. To some, it’s nothing more than a dream. To others, a pretty fairy tale handed down through the generations.

For those in critical need of their own happy ending, a gift.

     Widower Mark Cage is rusty at relationships. He owns the micro-brewery that supplies the restaurant and bar at St. Augustine’s premiere spa resort, Essence, with its award winning local craft beer. And he’s been focused on building his business and raising his teenage daughter ever since his wife died ten years ago. Nothing else.
When he runs into a sweet kindergarten teacher who is vacationing in St. Augustine and staying at Essence everything changes. A sudden, inexplicable encounter with a mystical tree known for its legend of bringing lovers together, convinces Mark the schoolteacher is his destined match. However, his encounters are disastrous.
     His only hope of persuading the woman he wants to even consider a date with him is working with Essence’s on-site relationship guru, Athena Sullivan. A reknowned relationship coach, Athena is the opposite of everything Mark wants in a woman. She’s feisty, independent, and challenges him at every turn. Sparks fly between the two from their first meeting and flare into a blazing inferno as Athena helps him navigate the dating scene.
     After a series of too-perfect, mis-queued dates, Mark realizes maybe the woman of his dreams is not a sweet schoolteacher after all. Maybe she’s a feisty, independent, sexy relationship coach who stands up to him and is everything he’s always wanted or needed in a woman.
     If he opens himself up to true love, he might just find second chances at love are possible and that his perfect soul mate is closer than he thinks.

Click here to get your copy today!

Book Trailer for The Soul Mate Tree:

Find Mackenzie at:
Web Page
Amazon author page

Other blogs/info on The Soul Mate Tree books:

Soul Mate Tree Page

Book One: Realm of the Dragon, by CiCi Cordelia, Blog post

Book Two: Can’t Stop the Music, by C.D. Hersh, Blog post

Book Three: Between Venus and Mars, by S.C. Mitchell, Blog post

Book Four: The Trail to Love, by Tina Susedik, Blog post

 

Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

10 Similarities Between Searching For A New Story & Dating

I am currently searching for a new story to work on. Story hunting is not easy. Just because you are a writer doesn’t mean you have a queue of ideas, all waiting patiently for you to do something with them. No, you have to spend ages feeling glum about not having anything to write about and then force yourself to go out and find new story ideas.

Things don’t run smoothly either when you do stumble upon a new story and get excited about it. You can quickly lose that ‘loving feeling’ for

For the rest of the blog go to: https://blondewritemore.com/2017/03/05/similarities-between-searching-for-a-new-story-dating-sundayblogshare-writer/

 

Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Baked apples & Custard

by

Jude Knight

Baked apples and custard Regency canal boat style

Put two pots on the brazier. One needs to be large enough for the four apples. One needs to hold the dish of custard, and allow room for your hands to get it in and out. (Or, in 2017, set the oven to 350 degrees Celsius.) Add a cup of red wine to the apple pot and two cups of water to the custard pot.

Take the apples and remove their cores. Pierce their skin in several places. Place in the pot and sprinkle a teaspoon of raisins and a teaspoon of coarse sugar (brown sugar is fine) in each hole. Scatter some cloves in the dish, being careful not to get any in the apple. Put the lid back on and leave on the heat for 50 minutes to an hour. The apples are ready to eat when they’re soft right through. They won’t look beautiful, but they’ll be delicious.

Once the apples are baking, beat together four eggs, one tablespoon of sugar, and one cup of single cream. Pour into a dish large enough to hold the mixture and small enough to fit in the pot. You can use individual custard cups, but you’ll need to reduce the cooking time. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Put in the pot of hot water. The custard should be cooked around the same time as the apples. When the point of a thin knife comes out clean, remove the dish from the pot.

Their marriage is a fiction.

Their enemies are all too real.

Ella survived an abusive and philandering husband, in-laws who hate her, and public scorn. But she’s not sure she will survive love. It is too late to guard her heart from the man forced to pretend he has married such a disreputable widow, but at least she will not burden him with feelings he can never return.

Alex understands his supposed wife never wishes to remarry. And if she had chosen to wed, it would not have been to him. He should have wooed her when he was whole, when he could have had her love, not her pity. But it is too late now. She looks at him and sees a broken man. Perhaps she will learn to bear him.

In their masquerade of a marriage, Ella and Alex soon discover they are more well-matched than they expected. But then the couple’s blossoming trust is ripped apart by a malicious enemy. Two lost souls must together face the demons of their past to save their lives and give their love a future.

Genre: Regency romance, historical romance, historical suspense, Regency noir, gothic

Heat rating: PG-13   ISBN: 9780473393670

Page count: 382 pages on Kindle    Publication date: 9 May 2017

A Raging Madness

In the following scene, Ella and Alex have been discussing what to do with Ella’s only possession, the colt Falcon’s Storm.

“I expect Rede would find him a place if I asked. He keeps a stud in Essex at his wife’s estate there. You remember? I told you how I had to reorganize the stables when I reviewed the place for them. That could be a good place for Falcon’s Storm. Rede and Anne should rebuild them, actually. If they are serious about breeding…”

Alex began to explain the changes he proposed, using several sheets from his sketch pad to illustrate the best layout for stalls and how he would connect the stables, fields, and training grounds to greatest advantage.

She had a few ideas of her own, and more of the sketch pad was sacrificed to creating the ideal stud and training farm, a project that ate the entire afternoon and so absorbed them, they did not notice how the day had passed until Alex said, “We had better light a candle, Ella. It is getting dark.”

Gracious. He was right. The sun had gone down, and any minute now, the three workers would dock the boat and arrive expecting their dinner. Sure enough, even as she had the thought, the boat swung into the canal side where cottages and an inn hinted at a substantial village. Moments later, Big Dan poked his head in the doors.

“We’ll just be dealing with Bess, Ma’am. That stew smells proper decent, and so it does!”

Ella hurried about, checking the stew she had set on the brazier earlier in the day, hunting out the bread they’d bought fresh in a village that morning (no time for potatoes and turnips and carrots), setting four fresh apples in a covered pot to cook while they ate their meal. She could make a custard, too. They had milk and eggs, and it would be a silent apology for forgetting her self-imposed duties.

“They will be happy with whatever you give them, Ella,” Alex reassured her. “If I bought pies from the local tavern, they would be happy with that. They do not expect you to cook for them and nor should they.”

“I expect it, Alex. I do not like being idle any more than you do, and if I say I will do something, I expect to do what I say.”

Buy links

Jude Knight’s book page   Smashwords   iBooks   Barnes and Noble   Amazon US


Meet Jude Knight

Jude Knight’s writing goal is to transport readers to another time, another place, where they can enjoy adventure and romance, thrill to trials and challenges, uncover secrets and solve mysteries, delight in a happy ending, and return from their virtual holiday refreshed and ready for anything.

She writes historical novels, novellas, and short stories, mostly set in the early 19th Century. She writes strong determined heroines, heroes who can appreciate a clever capable woman, villains you’ll love to loathe, and all with a leavening of humour.

Where to find Jude Knight

Website and blog     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest     Smashwords    Goodreads     Amazon author page

 

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