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The way to a man’s heart…

We’ve all heard it, I’m sure. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. As an author, I’ve taken this sentiment seriously and, if you read my first book, Can’t Shake You, you probably know what I’m talking about. My heroine, Carissa, on more than one occasion, either brings food to or cooks for the hero. This is a theme I’ve noticed myself following in coming River Bend books. Why? It’s probably mostly because I’m a total foodie, but also because I’m a small town gal and it’s part of our nature…our culture even…to shower our loved ones–especially the guys in our lives–with something to fill their belly with. Could be an ulterior motive. You know, more fuel for more activities and all that. ;)

In Can’t Shake You, Carissa has a Sunday tradition of making Chicken Pot Pie. It’s something she carried into adult life from childhood, much like we’ve probably all carried on traditions. Here is the link to the recipe I make at home. It’s perfect for fall…or any time of year, really…and it’ll warm not only the tummies of the ones you love, but their hearts as well.

Enjoy. :) chix

 

About Molly Mclain

Molly is a talker. Get her chatting about books (or book boyfriends) and she can go for hours. Socializing is her favorite part of blogging with a bunch of like-minded authors. It's like having coffee with your friends at all hours of the day. Molly also likes coffee. A lot. Blogging at HSG? It's a win-win in Molly's book!

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Another Corner, Another Café

First, I really apologize for getting this late. I don’t have the excuse of kids going back to school or any of the other things others might have. See, I decided to take classes myself this year and I had my first test, or quiz as they call it, of the course yesterday. More on that next month.

2012-04-14 13.39.53This month, it’s all about food or things that go along with food. Living in the city of Vienna has given me a completely different aspect of food overall. People here take their meals very seriously and many summer nights can see them lounging in the cafes talking about the latest something or other. Most of the conversations are in German but those that I do manage to understand are on subjects we all hold near and dear: home, family, school, work and more.

2012-07-18 15.31.06During the summer season, the doors are thrown open and the inside comes out. Most all restaurants and cafes have outside eating areas and those that don’t are at a loss for customers. The space can be fancy or not, big or not, but all of them have a sense of something special that is so hard to define. Never have I found a place like these in the States. I’m sure they exist but it won’t have the same ambiance as the places here.

 

2012-07-08 14.05.15From your seat, you can see marvelous things like bike races along the Ringstrasse. If you go further afield away from the hustle and bustle of the downtown, you’ll see the vineyards that dot the hills around the city. It can be on a narrow street, where you wonder just what is happening at either end or it can be in the center of a platz where you wish the people would move along.2012-07-16 17.17.34

 

 

No matter where you are in Vienna, you’ll find a café and more delights than you ever imagined!

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About Lynn Crain

Lynn Crain realized at an early age she wanted to write. She took the long way by doing a variety of things like nursing, geologist, technical writer and computer manager, all adding to her detail-oriented stories. Now she’s a full time storyteller and weaves fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers

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Just one more cup…Coffee with Debora Dennis

20140821_075156To say I have a coffee problem would probably be among the understatements of the year. Anyone who knows me, knows you don’t come between me and my daily dose of caffeine. :)

Even on the hottest summer day, my day starts with a steaming cup of coffee.

I can’t walk by a Starbucks in the mall without stopping.

I stop at Dunkin Donuts at least twice a week on my way to work for a seasonal cup of Joe.

My cabinet at home is filled with a dozen different kCup varieties.

And if you invite me to your house for dessert and DON’T serve coffee…there’s a good chance I’ll make an early departure to get my fix.

I like the flavored varieties, but I’ll drink regular if that’s all that around. I won’t drink decaf if I have choice. I drink it light, no sugar…but load up on the sugar-filled, probably toxic, flavored non-dairy creamers (recently finding myself lactose intolerant, I don’t know what I’d do without them!) My family calls me the “coffee diva” and sadly I can’t argue.

There is always a coffee cup sitting next to my computer – and I will drink it cold too.

2014-07-12 14.47.10 But, I also can’t walk by the Godiva store in the mall and not come out with one of these. ;)

What’s your food addiction?

 

About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

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Cooking Historically

It’s food month here at HSG, a theme I can embrace wholeheartedly. I love food. I love to cook it, and I love to eat it. I like to read about it, and even write about it as well.

One thing, out of many, that I enjoy about historical romance is imagining what my characters eat, and the methods employed to cook it. In Victorian England, of course, there was no such thing as fast food, except perhaps for the pie man on the corner, and most foods were painstakingly prepared. Just baking a loaf of bread was a monumental undertaking, given the vagaries of coal or wood stoves.

In my first book, set in 1860s England, the heroine is a cook. I hadn’t the foggiest idea what kinds of things she would cook or how she would go about it, so I did some research.

To imagine what a Victorian-era kitchen would like like, take a glimpse at an actual Victorian kitchen,virtually untouched for a century: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2037644/Victorian-kitchen-remained-untouched-60-years.html.

The cookbook as we know it today was first popularized in the Victorian era, in response to the growing middle class and the increased need for servants, especially cooks. There were over 100 best-selling cookbooks and household guides published during the nineteenth century, intended primarily for the middle class. There were a number of celebrated cookbook authors, among them Eliza Acton; Isabella Beeton (whose Book of Household Management has been revised continually since 1861, even though she died in 1865); and Charles Francatelli, who at one time served as chef to Queen Victoria.

Many of these cookbooks can be accessed for free at GoogleBooks.  I can’t guarantee the instructions are easily translatable to modern times, however.  For example, the recipe for Turtle Soup in Mr. Francatelli’s book is three pages long, and begins, “Procure a fine lively fat turtle, weighing about 120lbs. . .”  The first instruction reads, “When time permits, kill the turtle over night, where it may be left to bleed in a cool place till morning. . .“  I think I’ll stick with the Mulligatawney Soup, thanks.

Do a search for Victorian cooking and you’ll come across a lot of sites.  Here are just a few:
* http://19thcentury.wordpress.com.  Browse and you’ll find a number of posts on cooking.
* http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/francatelli-bills-fare.php, which features a menu for each month of the year, taken from the 1861 cookbook by Charles Francatelli.
* This is a great site which features original articles from Victorian publications. http://www.mostly-victorian.com/cooking.shtml  In addition to articles on cooking from “Girls’ Own Paper,” you’ll find articles on beauty, fashion, how to host a children’s party, and a bride’s first dinner party.

I did try to cook a few things from a modern book (the name of which I have utterly forgotten) which featured Victorian-era recipes. My family was unimpressed–my baking skills often leave much to be desired, but my attempt at baking Victorian biscuits was worse than usual.  My son was fairly certain they’d be an adequate substitute for hockey pucks.

Are you interested in historical recipes?  Feel free to share your favorites!

 

About Marin McGinnis

Clevelanders are tough, a bit cynical, and just a little crazy, and Marin McGinnis is no exception. She writes Victorian era romance, set in whichever locale takes her fancy at any given moment. When she's not chasing after big dogs or watching tweenagers skate around Ohio hockey rinks, you can find her hanging out here with her HSG friends, Writing History at marinmcginnis.blogspot.com, or on Twitter @MarinMcGinnis.

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Guest Blogger – Zoe York

There’s nothing yummier than a man in uniform. Soldiers, police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, I love them all.

When I first started writing romances, I resisted the military hero because I’m married to one in real life, and my mother-in-law reads my books, and it all just felt a little too close to home. But after writing a SEAL novella for the Seals of Summer military romance superbundle, I had the bug in a big way.

My new series, Pine Harbour, is a spin-off of my first series. I call it Wardham with choppier waves and craggier bluffs. It’s a small-town contemporary romance series, but it centres on two families, the Fosters and the Minellis, who have a long record of military service. Eight heroes, tied together through blood, friendship and a sense of duty.

The first book in the series, Love in a Small Town, comes out next week.  And I’m happy to report that while Rafe Minelli is an army reservist like my husband, that’s where the similarities end. Well, except for the kissing, maybe. But for the most part, my fears about writing so close to home were unfounded. Love in a Small Town is 100% Rafe and Olivia’s story, and I really loved writing it.

Here’s an exclusive sneak peek at one of the release day teaser quotes: LiaSTreleaseTEASER1

“You smell pretty,” she whispered as she sashayed past him. He was going to miss that little apron when she stopped working there. He wanted to fold her over his lap and spank her soundly for being cheeky. “And you look…frustrated,” she added after she filled his cup. She set the carafe to the side and leaned across the counter, kissing him lightly on the cheek.

He shot his hand out and cupped the back of her neck, holding her in place. “That’s not a good morning kiss,” he muttered, trying to keep a smile at bay.

She arched one eyebrow and took a deep breath, her pupils dilating. “Oh no?”

He shook his head and pulled them back together, ignoring the dozen or so other people in the place. They could all go to hell. There was only one way he wanted his wife to kiss him in the morning—long, hard and dirty.

Blurb:

SixLoveInASmallTownAug2014medium (2) years. Two break ups. One divorce. They should be over each other.

Police officer and army reservist Rafe Minelli knows better than to tell his wife no, particularly since they aren’t married anymore. She can’t hightail it out of town, though, not when they’ve finally broken through the post-divorce cold war status quo.

Olivia Minelli needs to leave Pine Harbour. It’s just too hard to see Rafe moving on without her—even if he says he doesn’t want to. But when a new and exciting job falls into her lap, she needs to choose: protect her heart, or take the new job and risk getting emotionally entangled with her ex-husband. Again.

Love in a Small Town is available now for pre-order at the following retailers: Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

Biography:1932292_1460623590821883_899296854_n

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Zoe York is a busy working mom of two young boys, wife to a very understanding soldier, and creator of modern, sexy, small town contemporary romances. She lives in London, Ontario and is currently chugging Americanos, wiping sticky fingers, and dreaming of heroes in and out of uniform.

Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and on her website.

About Molly Mclain

Molly is a talker. Get her chatting about books (or book boyfriends) and she can go for hours. Socializing is her favorite part of blogging with a bunch of like-minded authors. It's like having coffee with your friends at all hours of the day. Molly also likes coffee. A lot. Blogging at HSG? It's a win-win in Molly's book!

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Tasty Fare

Please accept my humble apologies for this late post. Swimming upstream today it seems. But let’s get started anyway.

Food. Nourishment. Sustenance. Call it whatever you want, it’s a big part of American culture. I can’t speak personally for any other countries, but Americans seem to celebrate every occasion with a meal of some kind.

It’s only natural that this would carry over into our writing. Landra Graf’s post about writing and food made me think about my own. There is at least one meal shared between the characters in each of my novels and sometimes more than one.

CakeMeals are great for getting characters together and moving the plot forward. Plus they are such a part of my life, I guess I make them part of my characters’ lives as well. I love them. And I can tell a lot about a person by how they order in a restaurant. So it’s a natural fit to me that a group of characters gathering for a meal would reveal things about themselves, whether accidentally or on purpose. Everyone has tells.

Truth be told, I’m a food person. Food fascinates me. Cooking does not come easily or naturally to me, but that’s another post. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy a really good meal cooked by someone else.

Traveling around the U.S. fairly frequently, I may not be able to tell you where we slept, or exactly how long it took to get somewhere, but I can tell you a really good restaurant in the area. And some of them have been quite surprising. Here are just a couple locales with memorable food.

Best Tex-Mex – Norman, OK. Best deep dish pizza – Chicago, IL. Best red beans and rice – Covington, GA. Best traditional Mexican, San Francisco, CA. Best chicken and waffles – Houston, TX. Best sushi, EVER, Fairhope, AL.

Why these things stick with me, I have no idea. I’m still looking for the best mac and cheese. So far, no luck.

Do you have a favorite food you love to have when you go out to eat?

About Sutton Fox

Sutton Fox has been published by Lyrical Press, Gypsy Shadow Publishing and wrote a bi-monthly column for an auto racing magazine for several years. She traded life in the fast lane of Atlanta for life in the slow lane, in the hills of Bluegrass Country. Her existence is never dull as she works to blend city expectations with country reality. When she’s not writing, you can find her relaxing on the deck with a good book, or cooking for family and friends, which is another story...

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    Bethanne Strasser LETTERS FROM HOME from Entangled Publishing is available now! *** Out now from Ellora's Cave, HOW TO CAUSE A SCANDAL by Tina Vaughn *** Nina Croft's LOSING CONTROL is out! *** Debora Dennis's holiday novella, CUPCAKES & CUPID is available. *** Congratulations to Julie Jarnagin now represented by Nicole Resciniti of the Seymour Agency!