Friday, August 26, 2011

Tea with Irene

Here on the east coast, we're scrambling to get set to host hurricane Irene. I'm pretty much set, so I think I'll do some baking. Just in case we lose power, you know? We've got a generator here at the farm but I won't use it for cooking or baking, so I figured I'd get busy in the kitchen this morning. If the hurricane blows over, I'll eat well. And if she comes to visit, I'll eat well. All good, right?

So, what's on your Friday to-do list?

Me? Baking bread. And soup. And canning tomatoes. And, making applesauce. Yes, it's busy at the farm.

Wishing you a peaceful day!

Applesauce Walnut Bread

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
3 T. milk
2 cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
½ t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
½ cup chopped walnuts

Lightly grease and flour a loaf pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together applesauce, sugar, vegetable oil, egg whites and milk. Mix until combined. Add remaining ingredients and mix, reserving the nuts for last. When the batter is thoroughly mixed, spread it evenly in the loaf pan.

Place pan in a pre-heated 350-degree oven and bake for 60-75 minutes. Toothpick inserted in center of loaf will come out clean when bread is done. Cool before cutting.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Eden's Child

Last week I was writing about my Florida novels. This week it's the turn of Australia.

Eden's Child is set in Queensland but you also get a chance to visit the South of France. These are two of my favourite places. Writing can be such fun, you can sit in your study and imagine you are there! Wonderful.

I still like Eden's Child, I remember being so excited because I had been inspired to write about one of my favourite countries. I also like Maddie, my heroine, and let's face it Nevis, my hero, is to die for!

Maddie has lost her memory, she was attacked in London. When her identity is discovered, she finds she is married to a man who loathes her. She just can't reconcile being the selfish, spiteful girl she was. Who is this loathsome girl? Why was she so horrid to her husband, Nevis, when all the time she was in love with him? Who is at fault?

Happy reading!

Eden's Child,

No. 1 best seller available at:

Whiskey Creek Press, available in print, e-book and on kindle.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Midnight Reading

Here on the farm, the days are jam-packed. Canning, freezing, harvesting, mowing, weeding, working on a new book... The hours fly by. Really. Jam-packed.

You'd think I'd fall into blissful, deep sleep at night, wouldn't you? It would be great if that was happening, but this journey I'm on has different plans for me. I twist. I turn. I'm aggravated by this new found insomnia.

Then, I rise. It's just past midnight, but rolling around alone in our bed just annoys me.

Insomnia has been my companion for months now. Every few nights I am just so bone-weary that I actually sleep. Until then, I've just got to deal with this.

But, the silver lining to last night's sleeplessness? It's got me smiling this morning, so rather than grump about tossing and turning, I'm going to share something lovely with you.

A few weeks ago, I was the lucky winner of a fabulous book at the Avalon authors blog. I left a comment and--lucky me!--won a copy of Sandra Carey Cody's new release, Left at Oz. I was tickled, and put the book on the coffee table in our family room.

Just past midnight, I picked it up. And, two cups of hot chocolate and a half-bag of cookies later, I closed the book. Just before sunrise. And, I'm still smiling because my sleepless night was a good one! Finally!

Left at Oz is part of Sandy's Jennie Connors Mystery Series. I haven't read any of the other books but it didn't matter at all that I hadn't "met" Jennie before. This book is so well written that it's great as a stand-alone.

I liked Jennie Connors from the first page. She amuses me because I can see myself doing some of the things she does! For instance, the book opens with a search for her stolen car. She's gotten a mysterious phone message and, like so many of us might do, she enlists the help of a good friend to follow the few clues she has. When her friend asks how Jennie's husband reacted to the news her car's missing, Jennie admits she didn't tell him. Don't you just love that? So real, because honestly, I'm not sure I'd be so quick to let on that my car turned up missing. You?

Left at Oz is a solid mystery, with enough clues to keep the reader turning the pages and such heart that it's almost impossible not to fall in love with the characters. I confess, I didn't solve the mystery. I had suspicions but when the truth came out I loved the twist. It, like the rest of the book, was a perfect fit.

So, my sleepless night turned out to be wonderfully entertaining. I hate it that I'm plagued by this insomnia, but I'm very grateful that there are authors who write books like Left at Oz--books that can capture my attention, soothe my heart and entertain me even in the long, dark hours when everyone else is soundly sleeping. Thanks, Sandy!

What about you? Have you read any fabulous books lately? I'm looking for a couple of new books to set on our coffee table. Any ideas?

Wishing you a peaceful weekend.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Why do you write about Florida? That's what someone asked me the other day. They went on to say that I didn't live there so therefore could not know that much about it. Why do you write about anywhere, they could ask that too, couldn't they? Write about what you know, that's the mantra. But what does it mean?

It doesn't mean you can't write about somewhere you have never lived, what it does mean is make sure you know about the place. I don't confess to knowing all about Florida, but I know quite a lot about the area I visit. (Gulf coast for interested observers).

I've been there every season, spring, summer, fall and winter, so there! That's good because I know it can be cold first thing on a crisp, Christmas morning but it can heat up later in the day. Not to the soaring temperatures of mid-summer but certainly a lot more pleasant than England in darkest December. I know the food available as well as the restaurants. The flora and fauna my daughter in law taught me all about. And, if that is not enough, well I just love it and I like to think that comes through in my writing.
So, Missy, with your question, spoken I might add in a rather bossy tone, that's why I write about Florida. I just love Florida. But of course I was a lot more polite than that, or was I? Oops have I lost a reader?

Friday, August 12, 2011

This week I have been oh so busy. Tuesday saw me go on a coach trip to the farthest reaches of the Yorkshire Dales, we visited a beautiful town called Bedale and went on a day trip to a stately home. Thorp Perrow. Doesn't the house look like it's stepped out of a Jane Austen novel. The delight was watching a Falconer at work, seeing Meerkats for the first time, and of course wandering in the beautiful grounds. The trees were magnificent, I wish I had taken more pictures.

Perhaps it was the day out but I was suddenly inspired to write a novel set in the North Country, I started with a tremulous heart but it's coming along nicely. I am not sure it will work out but I do hope it does. Meanwhile, I shall enjoy looking at the lovely house (it's not the one in my novel by the way) and gaining inspiration.


Welcome, friends! I hope this week's been good to you.

It's been a wild week in the world, hasn't it? I don't ususally discuss what's going on in the news but this week it seems impossible to ignore the craziness. Market madness, fleeing fugitives, cities burning... What gives? It all makes my head spin. What about you?

All I know for sure is I'm glad to be tucked away in the middle of nowhere. Peaceful. Quiet. And, the only chaos is what I create in my books. I like it that way.

The new book? Currently our sweet heroine is whipping up a batch of yummy goodness while the go-to guy contemplates his past. Neither is going to be on their own much longer. In a few pages sticky fingers will do some walking and the past will be put aside, the present much more insistently deserving attention...

How are you? Is all well in your corner of the world? I hope it is. And I hope you have a peaceful weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Good News

Exciting news!

My Avalon Regency romance, The Christmas Bargain, is going to be released in large print by Thorndike Press. They're the world's leading publisher of large print books.

The large print volume has a different cover. I saw it for the first time yesterday. Honestly, I'm really thrilled by this turn of events. What a great surprise!

The link is here if you want to take a peek. So nice to get happy news.

Wishing you a peaceful day.

Friday, August 5, 2011

From the Garden

Good morning from the farm. Oh my goodness, I've got a full day.

The gardens are popping. I've got peaches and tomatoes to can, pepper relish and pickles to make and the blueberries and blackberries just keep coming. It's fun, but the bumper crops are keeping me very busy.

So, I'll leave you with a few garden shots. I'm off to the kitchen.

Hope you have a peaceful day!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Then Came You

Had my first outing yesterday in nearly ten weeks. After being sick for so long the energy envelope is slim so had to decide whether to go to the grocery or the library.

It was close but the need for food won out. But I happily discovered you can buy books at the grocery. Bought Jennifer Weiner's new book Then Came You. I generally get books from the library but this book was worth every penny -- a heart-warming book that spoke to our common humanity and expanded the sense of family.

Next I'm reading The Time Traveller's Wife. What's on your 'to be read' list?