Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November 1, 2016

November already? Wow hard to believe Thanksgiving is in just a few weeks.  It’s the beginning of the holiday season to spend time with your loved ones. Time to start thinking about what to put on the Thanksgiving Day table as well. May your Thanksgiving table be blessed with love and family as you give thanks for your bounty.

In this Issue:
Quote of the Month
Check This Out
Featured Author of the Month
Top 10 Turkey Tips
Recipe of the Month
Upcoming Appearances
Coming Next month

Quote of the Month:  “A historical romance is the only kind of book where chastity really counts.” – Unknown

Check this Out:  The Reluctant Bride is available not only in the boxset Wanted:One Bride ($2.99 or Free KU), but now in print as a standalone at most online outlets. Also, I’ve started the next book in the Brides Along the Chisholm Trail series, The Marshal’s Bride.

The Marshal’s Bride
Book 2, Brides Along the Chisholm Trail (2017)
Indian Territory, OK

Abigale “Abby” Johnson, comes to Dodge City after answering an advertisement for a bride. Abby hadn’t expected that a lawman of the Wild West would ignite something in her she’d thought died along with her husband. Now that they are married, he wants to take her into the Indian Territory.
Gabe Hawkins, deputy marshal in Dodge City, never expected to fall in love until he laid his eyes on Abigale Johnson. There’s a fire deep inside the matronly woman and Gabe aims to find what lies further beneath Abby’s facade. When an opportunity for a piece of land in Oklahoma presents itself, Gabe grabs it and Abby to start a new life away from law enforcement.
Settling in Indian Territory of Oklahoma the last thing Gabe expected was to pin a badge back on after attempts at farming fails, that’s exactly what he does in order to protect his family in a lawless town. With the failure of crops and learning her new husband may have been in the raid that killed her first husband, Abby takes in a orphaned girl and becomes a cook at the local eatery against Gabe’s wishes. When a gang of cattle rustlers roll into town and take over the eatery, Abby wishes she’d listened to her husband. Instead she finds herself a hostage and Gabe is trying to find a way to get her out alive.

Featured Author:   Eric Price

The Birth of a Character:  Meet Yara

It was a dark, stormy night. Ok, I don’t have any idea what time of day it was or what the weather was like. It happened a long time ago.
I sort of wrote Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud by accident. I took a course on writing, and for the final assignment I had to write the first chapter of a novel. I had an idea for a contemporary novel about a girl adjusting to a new school her senior year. Like that hasn’t been written before?
Anyway, I took a second course to learn how to write a novel. The first assignment was to submit two or three proposals for books I’d like to write, and explain which one I thought I should pursue. Not wanting to waste the work I did on the first course, I presented it and told the instructor I’d like to write it as my course project. I also submitted an idea for a time travel book where a boy gets to go back and change the worst event of his life, but in the end he’d realize that event made him who he was. And since I could submit three proposals, I quickly threw together an idea for a fantasy novel. I didn’t spend much time on it, and it was full of typos. (I went back and looked at the proposal not too long ago. It was bad.)
After I submitted my proposals, the fantasy world started building in my mind. Before I got the assignment back from my instructor, I had resolved that I would explain to her I had to write the fantasy. When I finally received her feedback, the instructor told me she thought any of the choices would work for a novel, but she strongly encouraged me to develop the fantasy story.
So that’s what I did. Jump ahead a couple years. The book is finished and sitting on my computer. I kept thinking I wanted to go through it again to make it better before submitting it to publishers, yet I never worked on it. My wife finally persuaded me to submit Unveiling to publishers to see if they had any interest. So I picked four publishers to test the water. While I waited, I started thinking about another story taking place in the same world, and I wondered how I could tie it into Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud. I got rejected by two publishers, never heard back from one, and the final publisher I tried also rejected it, but they gave me suggestions and told me if I took their suggestions into account, they’d take another look at it.
I jumped on this opportunity. I rewrote the complete book, making the changes suggested by the publisher and incorporating a new character I wanted to use as the main character of my second book. My intent was to introduce Yara at the beginning of the book and bring her back at the end to remind readers of her. But she quickly became one of my favorite characters, and she stuck around for most of Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud.
Now, she has a book of her own. The Squire and the Slave Master has a darker tone than its predecessor mostly because it deals with more adult themes. It’s still well within the scope of young adult, but probably more appropriate for the teenage crowd than the pre-teens.
After the events of Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud, Yara’s life has grown mundane. Her nerves are worn thin from trying to learn her father’s blacksmith business and her parents badgering her about what she wants to do with her life.
Following a particularly unpleasant argument with her father, relief comes in the form of a messenger from the castle bringing the king’s request. She's to join a collaborative mission between the Central and Western Domains of Wittatun to stop a recently discovered slave operation in a land to the west. 
It's imperative she keep secret not only her magical abilities from any possible traitors, but also her gender. The people of the Western Domain have a superstition prohibiting girls from sailing.
But a chill wind carries the distinct odor of sabotage. Can one girl survive to destroy an evil rooted much deeper than mere slavery?

Opening the door, she paused to size up the tall, well-built man who stood outside the yard gate. His hair had grown out since she had last seen him, and it looked like he hadn’t shaved for a week. He wore gloves, but she knew underneath, the palm of the right one looked black and charred.
She sprinted and threw herself into his arms. “Owen! How are you?” She pulled away to look at him. “What’s this on your face? Dirt?”
“Yeah, it’s dirt. I thought I should match you.”
Her face grew warm. How much filth must cover her? She hadn’t cared to take time to freshen herself for a messenger, but she would have had she known his identity. It must have something to do with their time apart—they used to spend almost every day together—but as the official heir to the throne, each time she saw him, he somehow looked different in her eyes. More noble. More royal.
He smiled and wiped at a smudge on her cheek. “Did I hear you say something about getting married?”
“Oh no! Father loves trying my nerves. I don’t want to talk about it. Why are you here?” And how much of the conversation did you hear?

Top 10 Turkey Tips:

Whether you're tackling a Thanksgiving turkey for the first or hundredth time, our top 10 tips will ensure your big bird is the best it can be.

1.  Thawing a frozen turkey requires patience. The safest method is to thaw turkey in the refrigerator. Be sure to plan ahead — it takes approximately 3 days for a 20 pound turkey to fully defrost.
2.  For crisper skin, unwrap the turkey the day before roasting and leave it uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.
3.  Cooking times will differ depending on whether your bird was purchased fresh or frozen. Plan on 20 minutes per pound in a 350 degree F oven for a defrosted turkey and 10 to 15 minutes per pound for fresh.
4.  A turkey will cook more evenly if it is not densely stuffed. Consider adding flavor by loosely filling the cavity with aromatic vegetables — carrots, celery, onion or garlic work nicely — or by carefully tucking fresh herbs underneath the breast skin. For the stuffing lovers, cook the dressing in a casserole dish on the side.
5   For even roasting, truss your turkey.
6.  Before roasting, coat the outside of the turkey with vegetable or olive oil, season with salt and pepper and tightly cover the breast with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning (it will be removed in step 7).
7.  Don't be a peeping tom (no pun intended)! Once you get the turkey in the oven, resist the temptation to open the oven door and admire your handiwork. When the oven temperature fluctuates, you're only increasing the likelihood of a dry bird. About 45 minutes before you think the turkey is done, remove the foil from the breast to allow it to brown.
8.  Remove the turkey from the oven when the deepest spot between the leg and the breast reads 180 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Check the internal temperature of the stuffing as well; it should be at least 165 degrees.
9.  Tent the bird with foil and let rest for about 15 minutes before carving. If you need more time to make gravy, heat up side dishes, etc., you can let the turkey set for up to an hour without losing too much heat.
10. Remember to carve your turkey with a very sharp or electric knife.

For more Thanksgiving tips and ideas:
·        Food Network
·        Yumsugar
·        Epicurious
·        HGTV
·        CookingChannel

Recipe of the Month: 
Maple Butternut Squash Bake

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces (5 to 6 cups)
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 to 2 cups Cascadian Farm™ organic maple brown sugar granola (from 17-oz box), crushed
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons butter, melted

1.     Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 2-quart casserole with cooking spray.
2.     In 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven, place squash and enough water to cover. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook uncovered 15 to 20 minutes or until tender; drain. Stir in syrup, softened butter, milk and salt. Mash with potato masher or electric mixer until smooth. Spoon mixture into casserole.
3.     In medium bowl, mix granola, brown sugar, pecans and melted butter. Sprinkle over squash mixture.
4.     Bake uncovered 25 to 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated and topping is golden brown.

Upcoming Appearances:
©     3rd Saturday of Month:  OKRWA Monthly Meeting, OKC Museum of Art
©     November 5, 2016:  Falling Leaves at Chickasha Public Library
©     July 14-17,2017:  A Weekend With The Authors, Nashville, TN

Coming Next Month:  Christmas Traditions, and featured author Susan Royal, time-travel/fantasy author.

With much gratitude, until next time…keep reading.

Spark your imagination and entice your mind
Be adventurous in your own home
Take a journey into a new world and be inspired
Enjoy the pleasures of reading ~~
It does the mind and body good.

Clipart Provided by Microsoft Word
Thanksgiving Song by Mary Chapin Carpenter found on YouTube

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