Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Our Next Story

What am I reading now?  The Firebird (Susanna Kearsley, Slains #2)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far? I think I've found a new author that I CAN READ EVERYTHING FROM! Don't you love it when you find a match like that?

This books is the second in the Slains series and completes the story in #1 very nicely. Where the first one makes you feel like you are living in Scotland and living with the Jacboites, this one takes you into the story of St. Petersburg, Russia. So much rich history, description, and a wonderful story (and love story!) that this book is one I just couldn't put down.

Two Women. 
One Mysterious Relic.
Separated By Centuries.
Nicola Marter was born with a gift so rare and dangerous, she kept it buried deep. When she encounters a desperate woman trying to sell a small wooden carving called "The Firebird," claiming it belonged to Russia's Empress Catherine, it's a problem. There's no proof.
But Nicola's held the object. She knows the woman is telling the truth.
Our Next Story: All By My Selfie
Will be out in September as a part of 
Sweet & Sassy Anthology: Castle Collection
Here's a Hint!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Courtlight by Terah Edun

What am I reading now? Courtlight (Terah Edun)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far?  From the cover, I thought this would be a romance, but it's a series for fantasy fans! Fortunately I like fantasy too.

Courtlight Series by Terah Edun
 Seventeen-year-old Ciardis has grown up in poverty, a cleaner in a small vale on the outskirts of the empire. But beneath her empire’s seemingly idyllic surface lies a hidden secret. Whispers of an inept crown Prince are growing ever louder—intensified by the five year anniversary of the soulbond initiations. Amidst scandalous whispers, Ciardis finds herself chosen to train for the Companions Guild. She leaves her home and sets off on a personal journey to become a Court Companion. A position she’d never thought possible for a lowly servant to obtain, she must prove that she has the skills to attract a Patron. But she must master those skills quickly. If the legends are true, only Ciardis can harness the power to raise a Prince in an Imperial Court sworn to bring him down. This sensational series debut melds intricate storylines with remarkable characters and unforgettable magic. Sworn To Raise is ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore, Michelle Sagara, and Maria Snyder.
Grab your FREE Copy of Books 1-3 Now!
Courtlight 1
Courtlight 2    Praise for Courtlight "Beautiful world-building with strong characters." —Tabby Shiflett Reviews "Captivating from beginning to end. Edun's writing style reminds me of Tamora Pierce and Sara J. Maas!" - Netgalley "If you're a fantasy lover, this is one world you don't want to miss out on." - City of Books     Author Terah Edun Terah Edun is a young adult fantasy writer that writes the stories that she always loved to read as a young girl. Her Courtlight and Crown Service series can be seen on the USA Today Happily Ever After blog and together have sold over 100,000 copies.

  BookBlast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 8/14/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway   Pandora "MY PRINCESS" Ring Giveaway
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Problem with Zucchini Bread is...

What am I reading now? Lady of Milkweed Manor (Julie Klassen)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far? This is another book by an author I can always count on to have a great story, interesting characters, and enjoyable twists in the plot for a very satisfying read.

As Charlotte drew closer to the looming grey edifice that was to become her temporary home, she could not help but notice the secretive shuttered windows. Then she noticed the milkweeds...

Even a proper vicar's daughter can make a mistake—and now Charlotte Lamb must pay a high price for her fall. To avoid the prying eyes of all who know her, she hides herself away in London's forbidding "Milkweed Manor," a place of mystery and lore, of old secrets and new birth. 

But once there, she comes face to face with a suitor from her past—a man who now hides secrets of his own. Both are determined, with God's help, to protect those they love. But neither can imagine the depth of sacrifice that will be required. 

The problem with zucchini bread is...
Now it is. 
Lemon Zucchini Pound Cake


Stir together:
1 1/2 cups of finely grated zucchini (remove all the green skin and the core of seeds first)
1/2 cup oil
1 small package instant lemon pudding mix
1/2 cup milk
1 1/4 cup water
Mix together then stir in:
1 C sugar
2 C flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 box angel food cake mix

Bake at 350ยบ for 40 minutes in a 9X13 pan. Cool completely.
Drizzle with glaze and sprinkle with blueberries to serve.

2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice
4 oz melted cream cheese (microwaved for 30 seconds)


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Find Yourself in Books

What am I reading now?  The Winter Sea (Susanna Kearsley)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far?  Lyrical writing, intriguing story lines, great romances! I loved this book and I think I've found another author I can read ALL HER BOOKS. It's like striking a vein of gold on Amazon. 

Plus, I'm kind of on a Scotland kick, so this book gets bonus points for that!

In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.

Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write.

But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth-the ultimate betrayal-that happened all those years ago, and that knowledge comes very close to destroying her.

This quote fits this book so well,  I couldn't pass up the chance to post it here. I hope it makes you curious enough to read the book. Yes, this is a shameless pitch for you to click over to Amazon and get the book--but since I'm not the author, and I don't make anything off it, you can trust me that it's amazing.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Jumble-berry Clafoutis

What am I reading now? Princess of the Midnight Ball (Jessica Day George)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far? This might be my all-time favorite retelling of the twelve dancing princesses! And look at that cover--amazing dress. Hope you love this too.

Here's the blurb:
Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above. 
Jumble-berry Clafoutis
3 cups Jumble-berries (combination of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)

4 eggs
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 cup all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup milk

Powdered sugar, for dusting

 Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a large pie pan or a 9-inch gratin dish and dust with sugar. Fill bottom of dish with berries.

In separate bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, and lemon zest until smooth. Add flour, sugar and a pinch of salt, and whisk into egg mixture. Add the milk and whisk until light and very smooth (it looks like thin pancake batter to me), then pour over the berries.

 Bake for about 40 minutes, until the clafoutis is set, puffed, and golden. Let cool slightly. Dust with confectioners' sugar, cut into wedges, and serve warm.

This is a berry packed flan recipe!