Romance Weekly – The Manly Art Of Lefse Making (Part 2)

Love Write Chat

Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride!

Welcome. If you’re joining me from Ronnie Allen’s blog, or if you are starting your blog hop here, welcome.

This week we’re sharing our favorite seasonal dish.

Without a doubt, I look forward every year to our annual lefse making (and eating) event. This year, swords will fly in the kitchen once again, as my niece’s husband, Matt, and I do our traditional manly duty.

I have written before about how lefse, a traditional Norwegian flatbread, is the manliest of foods. See: http://scmitchell.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/the-manly-art-of-lefse-making/

As stated there, it is the one food made with a sword. It’s not hard to imagine those fierce Viking warriors, on their holiday break from conquering and pillaging, shoving the gentle women of their village out of the kitchen (for their own protection). Sword in one hand, potato masher in the other, they march boldly into the yearly kitchen battle.

Ah lefse. I have missed you…
Well, there you have it. Want to know what’s cooking over at Victoria Barbour house? Check out her blog at: http://victoriabarbour.com/blog

Geek God

Also check out Geek God, a book by Victoria that I really enjoyed:

Thursday Threads

Today on Thursday Threads we feature Highland Deception by Meggan Connors:

Highland Deception

Title: Highland Deception
Heat Rating: Sensual
Genre: Historical Romance
Buy Links:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J3D2JS6/

Blurb:

When Kenneth Mackay, long-banished rogue and thief, returns to the Mackay holding at the request of his brother, he has no idea what he might find. He certainly doesn’t expect to be confronted with his twin’s imminent death, or with the plan his brother has concocted.

Ten years before, Malcolm made a tragic mistake, and, to preserve the family name—and his own skin—he allowed Kenneth to take the fall. Now that he is dying without an heir, Malcolm plans to atone for his mistake: by giving Kenneth his life back. All Kenneth has to do is assume his brother’s identity. But complicating matters is the unexpected return of Lady Isobel Mackay, the daughter of an English marquess and the wife Malcolm didn’t want.

 
Isobel barely knows the husband who abandoned her even before their marriage, and she’d long since given up hope on having a real marriage with him. Yet when she returns to the Mackay holding far earlier than expected, she finds her husband a changed man. Despite the hurt between them, Isobel’s heart responds to this man who cares for his entire clan as if there were family. Who, for the first time, cares about her as if she is, too.

 
Falling in love with her husband had never been part of Isobel’s plan. But when their future is suddenly in peril, Isobel must find a way to save him—from himself and from the deception threatening to tear them apart.

Excerpt
She ignored Grant’s angry protests behind her and ran for her husband’s bedchamber. Slamming open the door, she stumbled inside.

 
Malcolm lay in the great bed. Alone.

 
Alone. She tried not to speculate about what meant.

 
His breathing was shallow, as if he’d been running. As the door bounced back and closed, his sky-bright eyes shot up and met hers.

 
No, not sky-bright. Darker, the color of the forget-me-nots that bloomed in the gardens in spring. The color of the night sky as it lightened with the first rays of dawn.

 
“Milord.” She gasped for breath.

 
Malcolm had never looked at her like he did now. This time, when he studied her, it was as if he didn’t dislike what he saw.

 
Being honest with herself, Malcolm had never disliked her. After all, the term dislike implied a depth of feeling he almost certainly lacked.

 
“Wife.”

 
Isobel flinched.

 
Grant was suddenly at her back. “Sir, I apologize. She’s faster than you’d think.” He laid a hand on her shoulder, as if to steer her from the room.

 
She shook him off.

 
“Indeed.” Malcolm smiled, and a charming dent in his cheek appeared.

 
How had she not noticed that before?

 
“We will leave at once.” Grant took her by the arm.

 
She wrenched out of his grasp. “I’m not going anywhere. Not until I have my audience.” She glanced around the room and saw no sign of Malcolm’s mistress.

 
“Lady Mackay,” Grant began.

 
Malcolm held up his hand. “‘Tis fine, Grant. I can always make time for my lady wife.”

 
Isobel barked a hollow laugh, alleviating the ache, just a little.

 
“Are you certain?” Grant’s eyes shifted from Isobel to Malcolm and back again. A wrinkle formed between his brows, and the muscle in his cheek worked as he ground his teeth together.

 
He’d only ever done that when he was agitated or anxious.

 
But there was no reason for that, as Malcolm had never truly cared enough to keep secrets from her in an attempt to spare her feelings. Nor had he ever forced others to do the same.

 
Malcolm’s eyes met Grant’s, and something passed between the two men. Her husband gave Grant a clipped nod. “If you’ll excuse us, Grant.”

 
Grant released his breath slowly. His eyes narrowed first at Malcolm, then at Isobel. Scowling, he bowed his head. “Mackay,” he said stiffly. He turned to Isobel. “Lady Mackay.”

 
Isobel watched him go then waited until the door had closed behind him. “So, where is she?”

 
Malcolm arched a dark brow. “Where is who?”

 
“You know. Her.”

 
He lifted a single shoulder, as if she didn’t have a right to know. “I doona ken.”

 
The silence that fell between them was deafening, damning.

 
Finally he said, “Your arrival was unexpected.”

 
She breathed a mirthless laugh. “I have no doubt.” She expected him to look ashamed, but his expression didn’t hold even the slightest hint of remorse. She swallowed against the betrayal rising in the back of her throat and tried again. “Why are you abed?”

 
“I’ve been ailing. Naught to fash yourself over.”

 
She approached his great bed tentatively. “Ailing how? Has your cough worsened?”

 
He glanced down at his coverlet and then brought his gaze back to her face. “For a time, aye. I believe I’m on the mend now.”

 
Isobel pressed her hand to his forehead, then his cheek. His skin felt cool beneath her palm, if a little damp.

 
His breath hitched, then he cleared his throat. “Satisfied? As you can see, I am on the mend.”

 
“Perhaps,” she whispered. She ran her hand around to the back of his neck, then descended to his back.

 
He wore a thin linen shirt, unsuitable for the cool nights of the Highlands in late fall. She placed her hands between his shoulder blades. He was thinner than she remembered, but there was no mistaking Malcolm’s unique strength.

 
“Breathe,” she said, and then reminded herself to do the same.
Malcolm.

 
“I hardly think—”

 
“If you want me to leave you be, you will appease my curiosity. Breathe.”

 
Malcolm tilted his head up and studied her.

 
She fought the desire to look at him for as long as she could before meeting his gaze. Her heart skipped a beat as she saw something in his eyes she hadn’t seen before.

 
Curiosity.

 
“Breathe, milord.” Heat spread up her neck to her face, and, to keep her free hand from shaking, she clenched a fist. The warmth of his body seeped through his nightshirt, scalding her hand not with fever but with something else.

 
The corners of his lips tilted upward before he smoothed his features. He paused for a moment too long, then held her gaze as he took an extended, deliberate breath.

 
She shoved the raging emotions aside and forced herself to view him as a person who needed her help.

 
She felt no hint of the cough that had been nagging him before she’d left.

 
Swallowing hard, she slid her hand between the linen and his skin, against his chest.

 
His heart rate kicked up.

 
“Breathe.” She struggled to force the word out.

 
I feel nothing. Nothing. He needs my help.

 
She closed her eyes and listened to his breathing, feeling the rise and fall of his chest beneath her hands, the steady beating of his heart. His skin scorched hers.

 
Her mouth dried, her tongue thick and heavy. She removed her hand. “You seem to have mended nicely.” Even to her own ears, her voice sounded strangled.

 
His gaze searched her face. “Aye.”

 
Isobel cradled her hand against her chest and stepped back from the bed, nearly tripping over her own feet. “I will leave you now, sir.”

 
Malcolm gave her a clipped nod. “Very well, my lady wife.”

 
“I—I will be in my chambers should you require me.”

 
He didn’t laugh, as he normally would have. “Then I shall find you there if I do. Or I will send for you.”

 
She backed up a few paces, bumped into a trunk, and immediately turned her attention to her skirt, trying to smooth wrinkles undoubtedly permanent from long days of travel. It was better than looking at Malcolm.

 
“By your leave.” Her eyes locked on the floor as she dipped into a hasty curtsy and fled.

 
The moment the door closed behind her, she put her back against the cold, stone wall, cradling the hand that had touched him as if she had injured it.

 
She’d touched his skin, felt the heat of his body, and the responding heat of hers.

 
He hadn’t forced her hands away. He hadn’t mocked her.

 
Instead, for the first time since their marriage, he’d called her wife.

Thursday Threads

Today on Thursday Threads we feature Confederado do Norte by Linda Bennett Pennell

Confederado do Norte

Confederado do Norte by Linda Bennett Pennell

Genre: women’s fiction with romantic elements
Heat level: mild

Set during the aftermath of the American Civil War, Confederado do Norte tells the story of Mary Catherine MacDonald Dias Oliveira Atwell, a child torn from her war devastated home in Georgia and thrust into the primitive Brazilian interior where the young woman she becomes must learn to recreate herself in order to survive.

October, 1866.

Mary Catherine is devastated when her family emigrates from Georgia to Brazil because her father and maternal uncle refuse to accept the terms of Reconstruction following the Confederacy’s defeat. Shortly after arrival in their new country, she is orphaned, leaving her in Uncle Nathan’s care. He hates Mary Catherine, blaming her for his sister’s death. She despises him because she believes Nathan murdered her father. When Mary Catherine discovers Nathan’s plan to be rid of her as well, she flees into the mountain wilderness filled with jaguars and equally dangerous men. Finding refuge among kind peasants, she grows into a beauty, ultimately marrying the scion of a wealthy Portuguese family. Happiness and security seem assured until civil unrest brings armed marauders who have an inexplicable connection to Mary Catherine. Recreating herself has protected Mary Catherine in the past, but this new crisis will demand all of the courage, intelligence, and creativity she possesses simply to survive.

Buy link for Confederado do Norte: http://amzn.com/B00LMN5OMI

http://www.lindapennell.com/

http://historyimagined.wordpress.com

Romance Weekly – Book Girlfriend or Man Crush?

Love Write Chat

Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride!

Into the Darkness

If you’re joining me from J.J. Devine’s blog, or if you are starting your blog hop here, welcome.

Sweet Bea

This week Sarah Hegger wants us to tell her our three favorite book boyfriends and why. (From any book you’ve read). Now, being a guy and straight, this one presents a bit of a challenge for me, but I do get to rewrite the rules now and again, so I figured I could either write about my three favorite book girlfriends or my biggest book man crushes…of course, I chose to do both.

 

Book Girlfriends:

1. Hands down my favorite fictional lady is Nixie, from Mary Hughes’ amazing Biting Nixie. She’s one-hundred pounds of drop dead sexy, has attitude to spare, and she plays in a punk polka band. What’s not to love?

2. Alexia Tarabotti, from Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series. This quirky, Victorian era spinster is (finally) married to a werewolf, conspires with vampires, and sports a high-tech (steam punk) bumbershoot. Oh, and she also has no soul. ♥♥♥

3. Katniss Everdeen, from Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games. This one’s a survivor. Cunning and caring. She’s shot an arrow through my heart. »»—->

Man Crushes:

1. Conan by Robert E. Howard (and friends). He made my transition from comic books to the written word so easy. Not a big thinker, when confronted with a problem he puts his head down and just charges in. I love this guy.

2. F’Lar from Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series. The man has his own dragon. Nuff said.

3. Drizzt Do’Urden from R. A. Salvatore’s Forgotten Realms books. A kick-ass dark elf with a heart of gold…and a pet panther.

Well, there you have it. Let me know what you think in the comments below, then click through to check out Fiona Riplee’s book boyfriends.

Thursday Threads

Welcome to Thursday Threads. This week we celebrate Sandra Harris‘ fun Sci-Fi Romance, Love, Encoded:

Love Encoded Cover Small

Title: Love, Encoded
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Heat Level: Sizzling
Website: http://www.sandraharrisauthor.com
Buy Link: http://tinyurl.com/pz2b22u

Blurb:

Book 1 in the Selected Evolution Series

Do you really know who you are? What you are?

Earth: Near Future
Experience has taught Sarah Rasmussen that hot guys don’t go for geeks like her. Their retreat speed is usually proportional to the value of her IQ. However, for every rule it seems there is an exception—or in her lucky case, two.

When confronted with the disturbing fact she has been genetically manipulated in order to save an alien race stranded on Earth for a thousand years, she needs the strength of the men’s devotion to deal with the life-changing news. But when she learns that the love of the two men she has come to care for deeply is not quite as it appears, it could shatter her heart forever.

Nick Bannister and Adam McKeoun will never stop fighting to convince Sarah she is their world, no matter what the source of their emotion. They will let nothing stand in their way of forging a happiness that will transcend any challenge, especially not a calculating and determined enemy bent on Sarah’s destruction.

 

Excerpt:
Fear coated Sarah Rasmussen’s harsh, rapid breath.

 
Her feet pounded over the uneven, dirt track and she pushed her body hard to keep the pace up a rise. Through the thick, early morning mist the familiar stippled trunks of spotted gum loomed like every nightmare she’d ever had. Her heart beat a frantic rhythm against her ribcage and her ears strained to catch the slightest sound of her pursuer.

 
She pulled to an abrupt halt, heaving cold air into her starved lungs, then struggled against her desperate need for oxygen to smother her gasping breath and listen. Through the mist the echo of footsteps slowed, halted. Sickening apprehension corkscrewed through her stomach. A shiver prickled her heated skin.

 
She tried to force some semblance of calm over her panicking wits, but her instincts would not be denied. The fact that initially an unseen runner seemed to play cat and mouse with her had spooked her. They’d remained out of sight, had not responded to any of the hails she sent into the mist. She’d even taken a small sidetrack to try and throw them off.

 
The footsteps picked up again and the possibility of what might happen if she were caught speared a surge of black fear through her heart. Adrenaline charged through her body and she took off, feet flying over the rough surface of the track. The sole of her shoe landed heavily on a small rock. Her ankle collapsed and she lurched sideways, straining every muscle to remain upright. Twisting, burning sensation ripped through her right calf. She choked a cry as she tumbled to the hard ground, her running shorts and sleeveless top providing little protection. Every bone in her body jarred to the cruel impact.

 
A whimper of frustration and dread escaped her lips as the strangling pain of cramp throbbed through her leg. She made to stand. Agony tore through her lower limb and she collapsed back to the hard dirt. Desperation and pain stole her strength and for a moment she huddled on the ground in a limp mass. She dragged determination from the depths of her soul and pulled herself together, raised a shaking fist and pummelled it into the tight knot of her muscle. Again. Again. Her weak punches had no effect.

 
Footsteps approached. Terror twisted her nerves. Her skin felt like it wanted to crawl off somewhere and hide. She’d love it to do just that, so long as it took her with it.

 
Maybe I’m just being fanciful.

 
Her fears seemed to think otherwise, coiling nausea through her stomach. She pushed herself to her hands and knees. Sharp-edged pebbles and forest debris dug into her flesh as she crawled off the track. She thrust her back to the wide girth of a big gum tree and forced her breath into slow, deep inhalations. Heart faint and fingers trembling, she pulled her cell phone from a pocket again. And again hope died at the lack of coverage bars.

 
That shouldn’t happen. Not here.

 
She closed her eyes tight and bunched her fists against escalating terror.

 
Get a grip, Sarah. Get a grip.

 
The cool air brushed a clammy hand against her hot skin. A soft footfall and the rustle of clothing drifted through the mist. She snapped her eyes open. Gravel crunched. Her heart exploded into a wild gallop. Frantic, she scanned the ground for a weapon. Anything. A rock . . . sand . . . broken glass left by a careless hiker . . . anything. The smooth, pearl grey bark of a discarded ghost gum branch poked through yellowing clumps of grass. She lunged for it, wrapped her fingers around its width and lifted. The weight of the solid, four-foot piece of wood eased a little confidence into her mind.

 
Yeah, and now I’m being self-delusional.

 
Despite her doubts, her resolve strengthened. Looming shadows snatched her attention to the edge of the mist. Dark shapes moved towards her. Her heart leapt to her throat. She struggled to her feet, put her back to the tree and hefted the branch across her shoulder.

 
Two big, jeans and T-shirt clad men stepped clearly into her vision.

Romance Weekly – #LOVECHATWRITE

Love Write ChatDo you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride!

 

Welcome. If you’re joining me from Victoria Barbour’s blog, you are probably still shaking. Check out her incredible Hearts Ease Series.

Against Her Rules

If you are starting your blog hp here, get set for a scary-fun ride, because today we have another Flash Fiction challenge. Cursed be the Wicked final

Jo Richardson has challenged us to: Tell me a spooky story – real or not real, doesn’t matter. 300 words or less.

Okay Jo, here it is. A little something I call:

Wink

Sarah viewed the body on the slab with a deep sense of sorrow. As Clark County Medical Examiner she’d viewed hundreds of bodies, but this one was different. Dr. Harold Baker had been her mentor and friend.

Harold studied death all his life. As the previous M.E., he’d taught Sarah so much, even staying on after his retirement, dropping in whenever she had a body on the slab to offer his insights.

“You never stop learning,” he’d said.

He’d be at her side this minute, if he wasn’t the one on the table, his eyes closed in death. Though, he had said he was going to stop coming in.

“Giving up studying death?” she’d asked.

“Heaven’s no, but I’m moving to a new phase of my studies.” He’d given her a wink, a gesture he used often.

Sarah turned to the tray of instruments, selecting a scalpel. Turning back she noted his eyes . . . wide open. Weren’t they closed? Was there a phenomenon where a corpse’s eyelids would spontaneously open? Harold would have known.

She hovered the scalpel over Harold’s chest. This was harder than she thought it would be. “Sorry Harold.” She scanned back to his face, and a chill crept up her spine. His right eye was now closed, as if winking.

“Dr. Sarah, I need you to look at something.” Mary’s voice startled her, causing her to jump. Taking a deep, calming breath, Sarah turned and dropped the scalpel back in the tray.

Mary only needed a few forms signed, so Sarah left Harold and moved into her adjoining office to complete the task. She sat at her desk long moments after Mary left, then sighed. She had a job to do.

But, when she returned to the autopsy room, Harold’s body was gone.

***

So, did I hit the mark? Let me know in the comments below, then move along to visit Leslie Hachtel for another spooky story.