Thursday, December 18, 2014

#Holiday Recipe: Jam-Filled Crescent Rolls and Giveaway from Kim Headlee



Jam-filled Crescent Rolls

Ingredients:
  • 1 tube of pre-cut crescent roll dough
  • Your favorite jam(s)
  • Melted butter (optional)


Instructions:

  • Preheat oven as directed on the package for the type of baking sheet or pan you plan to use.
  • Open tube and unroll each triangle.
  • Spread a small amount of jam across the base of the triangle, no more than halfway toward the point. This is the tricky part, because the jam can ooze out and burn during baking.
  • Roll the triangle loosely and place on baking sheet.
  • Brush with a little melted butter (optional).
  • Repeat for the remaining triangles, leaving at least 2 inches between crescents.
  • Bake as directed on the package, and do not over-bake!
  • Cool before serving. The jam can get very hot.

They hailed her “Liberty,” but she was free only to obey—or die.
Betrayed by her father and sold as payment of a Roman tax debt to fight in Londinium’s arena, gladiatrix-slave Rhyddes feels like a wild beast in a gilded cage. Celtic warrior blood flows in her veins, but Roman masters own her body. She clings to her vow that no man shall claim her soul, though Marcus Calpurnius Aquila, son of the Roman governor, makes her yearn for a love she believes impossible.
Groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps and trapped in a politically advantageous betrothal, Aquila prefers the purity of combat on the amphitheater sands to the sinister intrigues of imperial politics, and the raw power and athletic grace of the flame-haired Libertas to the adoring deference of Rome’s noblewomen.
When a plot to overthrow Caesar ensnares them as pawns in the dark design, Aquila must choose between the Celtic slave who has won his heart and the empire to which they both owe allegiance. Knowing the opposite of obedience is death, the only liberty offered to any slave, Rhyddes must embrace her arena name—and the love of a man willing to sacrifice everything to forge a future with her.
TITLE – Liberty, second edition
SERIES – N/A
AUTHOR – Kim Iverson Headlee
GENRE – Historical Romance (ancient Rome)
PUBLICATION DATE – Dec. 2014
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 462 pages/118K words
PUBLISHER – Pendragon Cove Press
COVER ARTIST – Natasha Brown

BUY & TBR LINKS
AMAZON PAPERBACK – forthcoming
BARNES & NOBLES PAPERBACK – forthcoming

EXCERPT
FINGERS CRAMPING AND shoulders aching from having wielded the pitchfork all day, Rhyddes ferch Rudd tossed another load of hay onto the wagon. Sweat trickled down her back, making the lash marks sting. Marks inflicted by her father, Rudd, the day before because eighteen summers of anguish had goaded her into speaking her mind.
Physical pain couldn’t compare with the ache wringing her heart.
She slid a glance toward the author of her mood. He stood a few paces away, leaning upon his pitchfork’s handle in the loaded wagon’s shade to escape the July heat as he conversed with her oldest brother, Eoghan. She couldn’t discern their words, but their camaraderie spoke volumes her envy didn’t want to hear.
Her father’s gaze met hers, and he lowered his eyebrows. “Back to work, Rhyddes!” On Rudd’s lips, her name sounded like an insult.
In a sense, it was.
Her name in the Celtic tongue meant “freedom,” but the horse hitched to the hay wagon enjoyed more freedom than she did. Her tribe, the Votadini, had been conquered by the thieving Romans, who demanded provisions for their troops, fodder for their mounts, women for their beds, and coin to fill the purses of every Roman who wasn’t a soldier.
If those conditions weren’t bad enough, for all the kindness her father had demonstrated during her first two decades, Rhyddes may as well have been born a slave.
She scooped up more hay. Resentment-fired anger sent wisps flying everywhere, much of it sailing over the wagon rather than landing upon it.
Hey, mind what you’re doing!”
Owen, her closest brother in age and in spirit, emerged from the wagon’s far side, hay prickling his hair and tunic like a porcupine. Rhyddes couldn’t suppress her laugh. “’Tis an improvement. Just wait till the village lasses see you.”
Village lasses, hah!” Sporting a wicked grin, Owen snatched up a golden fistful, flung it at her, and dived for her legs.
They landed in the fragrant hay and began vying for the upper hand, cackling like a pair of witless hens. When Owen thought he’d prevailed, Rhyddes twisted and rolled from underneath him. Her fresh welts stung, but she refused to let that deter her. He lost his balance and fell backward. She pounced, planting a knee on his chest and pinning his wrists to the ground over his head.
Victory’s sweetness lasted but a moment. Fingers dug into her shoulders, and she felt herself hauled to her feet and spun around. Owen’s face contorted to chagrin as he scrambled up.
Didn’t get enough of the lash yestermorn, eh, girl?” Rudd, his broad hands clamped around her upper arms, gave her a teeth-rattling shake.
When she didn’t respond, he released her and rounded on Owen. “As for you—”
Da, please, no!” Rhyddes stopped herself. Well she knew the futility of pleading with Rudd. Still, for Owen’s sake, she had to try. Her father’s scowl dared her to continue. She swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat. “’Twas not Owen’s fault. I—” Sweat freshened the sting on her back, and she winced. “The fault is naught but mine.”
Aye, that I can well believe.” Rudd grasped each sibling by an arm and strode across the hayfield toward the family’s lodge. “Owen can watch you take his lashes as well as yours. We’ll see if that won’t mend his ways.” The thin linen of her ankle-length tunic failed to shield her from his fingers, which had to be leaving bruises. Rhyddes gritted her teeth. Rudd seemed disappointed. “I doubt anything in this world or the next will make you mend yours.”
You don’t want me to change. You’d lose your excuse to beat me.” Sheer impertinence, she knew, but she no longer cared.
I need no excuses, girl.”
The back of his hand collided with her cheek. Pain splintered into a thousand needles across her face. She reeled and dropped to her hands and knees, her hair obscuring her vision in a copper cascade. Hay pricked her palms. Owen would have helped her rise, but their father restrained him. Owen blistered the ground with his glare, not daring to direct it at Rudd for fear of earning the same punishment.
Not that Rhyddes could blame him.
Rudd yanked her up, cocked a fistand froze. “Raiders!”
Rhyddes whirled about. Picts were charging from the north to converge upon their settlement, the battle cries growing louder under the merciless afternoon sun. One of the storage buildings had already been set ablaze, its roof thatch marring the sky with thick black smoke.
Rudd shed his shock and sprinted for the living compound, calling his children by name to help him defend their home: Eoghan, Ian, Bloeddwyn, Arden, Dinas, Gwydion, Owen.
Every child except Rhyddes.
She ran to the wagon, unhitched the horse, found her pitchfork, scrambled onto the animal’s back, and kicked him into a jolting canter. The stench of smoke strengthened with each stride. Her mount pinned back his ears and wrestled her for control of the bit, but she bent the frightened horse to her will. She understood how he felt.
As they loped past the cow byre, a Pict leaped at them, knocking Rhyddes from the horse’s back. The ground jarred the pitchfork from her grasp. The horse galloped toward the pastures as Rhyddes fumbled for her dagger. Although her brothers had taught her how to wield it in a fight, until now she’d used it only to ease dying animals from this world.
But the accursed blade wouldn’t come free of the hilt.
Sword aloft, the Pict closed on her.
Time distorted, assaulting Rhyddes with her attacker’s every detail: lime-spiked hair, weird blue symbols smothering the face and arms, long sharp sword, ebony leather boots and leggings, breastplate tooled to fit female curves . . .
Female?
The warrior-woman’s sword began its descent.
From the corner of her eye Rhyddes saw her pitchfork. Grunting, she rolled toward it, praying to avoid her attacker’s blow.
Her left arm stung where the sword grazed it, but she snagged her pitchfork and scrambled to her feet. Unexpected eagerness flooded her veins.
As the Pict freed her weapon from where it had embedded in the ground, Rhyddes aimed the pitchfork and lunged. The tines hooked the warrior-woman’s sword, and Rhyddes twisted with all her strength. The Pict yelped as the sword ripped from her hand to go flying over the sty’s fence. Squealing in alarm, the sow lumbered for cover, trying to wedge her bulk under the trough.
With a savage scream, the warrior-woman whipped out a dagger and charged. Rhyddes reversed the pitchfork and jammed its butt into the Pict’s gut, under the breastplate’s bottom edge, robbing her of breath. She reversed it again and caught the raider under the chin with the pitchfork’s tines. As the woman staggered backward, flailing her arms and flashing the red punctures that marred her white neck, Rhyddes struck hard and knocked her down.
The warrior-woman looked heavier by at least two stone, but Rhyddes pinned her chest with her knee. She dropped the pitchfork and grasped her dagger, yanking it free. Grabbing a fistful of limed hair, she wrestled the woman’s head to one side to expose her neck.
The Pict bucked and twisted, trying to break Rhyddes’s grip. ’Twas not much different than wrestling a fever-mad calf.
Rhyddes’s deft slice ended the threat.
Blood spurted from the woman’s neck in sickening pulses.
Rhyddes stood, panting, her stomach churning with the magnitude of what she’d done. ’Twas no suffering animal she’d killed—and it could have been her lying there, pumping her lifeblood into the mud.
Bile seared her throat, making her gag. Pain lanced her stomach. Bent double, she retched out the remains of her morning meal, spattering the corpse.
After spitting out the last bitter mouthful and wiping her lips with the back of her hand, she drew a deep breath and straightened. As she turned a slow circle, her senses taking in the sights and sounds and stench of the devastation surrounding her, she wished she had not prevailed.
The news grew worse as she sprinted toward the lodge.
Of her seven brothers, the Picts had left Ian and Gwydion dead, her father and Owen wounded, the lodge and three outbuildings torched. She ran a fingertip over the crusted blood of her scratch, and she couldn’t suppress a surge of guilt.
Mayhap, she thought through the blinding tears as she ran to help what was left of her family, ’twould have been better had she died in the Pict’s stead.
The surviving raiders were galloping toward the tree line with half the cattle. The remaining stock lay stiffening in the fields, already attracting carrion birds.
Three days later, the disaster attracted scavengers of an altogether different sort.

AUTHOR BIO
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet.
Kim is a Seattle native (when she used to live in the Metro DC area, she loved telling people she was from "the other Washington") and a direct descendent of twentieth-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim's novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband's ancestor, the seventh-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.
For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon's Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her new imprint, Pendragon Cove Press.
YouTube video interview: http://youtu.be/DV5iKrEIROk

FOLLOW KIM:

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

#HolidayRecipes: Hot Fudge Cake in a Cup

Got a great #HolidayRecipe if you're in a hurry for a dessert! Check out my post on @authortinagayle blog and learn how to make a hot fudge cake in 3 minutes.  http://bit.ly/1yYayhr 




Also, I'm giving away a lovely silver fleur de lis necklace on the 23rd of this month! Celebrating the release of To Save a Lady, the first book in the French Quarter Brides series. To enter the drawing, subscribe to my newsletter 

Hope you are having a fun holiday season!!! Many blessings!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Recipes: Festive Creme Eggnog by Tina Gayle

FESTIVE CREME EGGNOGG
1 c. milk
1 (7 oz.) jar Kraft Marshmallow Creme
6 eggs
1/4 c. rum
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (8 oz.) container (3 cups)
Cool Whip non-dairy
whipped topping, thawed
Ground nutmeg


Gradually add milk to marshmallow creme, mixing with electric mixer or wire whisk until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in rum and vanilla; fold in whipped topping. Chill. Mix well. Top with additional whipped topping and sprinkle with nutmeg, if desired. Approximately 10 (1/2 cup) servings. Preparation time: 15 minutes plus chilling. Variation: Substitute 1 teaspoon rum extract for rum.

STORMY...
A widower, a divorcee, co-workers, lovers...a future together...marriage? 
Consoling each other for years over each other’s misfortune, Karen and Daniel turn a friendship into a weekend of unbridled red-hot passion. The heat between them leads to thoughts of a future together. That is… 
Until children, an ex-husband, an unexpected heart-attack, a conniving trophy-wife, guilt, and personal choices come between them. Will the heat of their passion let them break from the past and move into the future? 

Hot read for mature adults - a second chance at love.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N8797R4


Excerpt:

“Daniel, if you’re in the bathroom come out this minute.”
The entrance opened, and he stood in the doorway.
Problem, he wore only a towel.
Awe, shit...she didn’t need to see his bare chest covered in crisp dark hair, the sculptured muscles of his arms and shoulders, developed pecs, and thick thighs.
Damn, how was she supposed to resist such temptation?
Desire added with the anxiety she’d already experienced on her drive here, lit her anger. “Why the hell didn’t you answer your phone? I’ve been calling and texting you for the last two hours.”
A confused frown passed over his handsome face. Instead of responding, he stepped to the bedside table. He lifted his cell phone and clicked a few buttons.
Unable to contain her impatience, Karen stalked forward.
He glanced up when she grew closer and showed her the phone. “I don’t understand it. I don’t show receiving any messages or calls. The signals must have gotten lost because of the storm.”
She’d suspected as much. Still, she refused to let him off the hook because he could’ve contacted her before he left town. “You should’ve called me. But no...”
Having endured his inability to communicate for months now, she stabbed her finger through the air at him. “You never call. You always expect me to phone you. Well, I’ve had it.”
The distance closed between them and she stood inches from him. Her fingertip tapped his chest. Static electricity sparked between them and her fist unfolded. She stumbled backward.
“Whoa.” Daniel caught her around the waist with one hand and held her close. His phone landed on the bed before he circled his other arm around her. His strong grip held her steady and didn’t allow her to step away. “You’re right. I guess I’m just use to...”
“Don’t say it. I’ve heard it too many times. Sharon might have resented the interruptions but I’m not her. I’m never in any type of meeting that you could possibly disrupt.” Karen spread her hands over his chest and worked to maintain a smidgen of distance. Nevertheless with him so near, his warmth surrounding her in a seductive cocoon, she had to fight the urge to melt against him.
“Yes, but if I called you whenever I wanted we’d never get off the phone.” The husky tone of his voice pulled her gaze upward.

Author Bio

Tina Gayle grew up a dreamer and loves escaping into a good romantic book.
She is currently working on two different series the Executive Wives’ Club and the Family Tree series both combine elements of women fiction with the passion of romance. Read the 1st chapter of any of her books on her website.

Home - www.tinagayle.net
Blog - www.tinagayle.blogspot.com
Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorTinaGayle
Goodread - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1641826.Tina_Gayle
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/tina.gayle


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Weekend Writing Warriors Dec 14th: To Save A Lady #5

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors where writers share an 8-sentence snippet from one of their stories. It's a great way to find new authors and great books.

My snippet this week is from To Save a Lady, a historical romance set in 1814 in New Orleans.

Set up: Jesse confronts Elise about her true identity when she tells him that Rose is a spy's ruse. 

Jesse kept a firm grip on her arm. “I’m leaving for Fort Saint John at daybreak, but when I return, we will meet again and you will tell me the truth. Otherwise, I’ll get the truth from Louis Beauvais. Have I made myself clear?”
“Very clear.” She understood he wasn’t making an empty threat.
He released her arm and she smoothed her hand over her skirt.
“There is one thing you should know, Capitaine,” she spoke softly before she turned to go, “you will not like the truth.”



A dashing captain, a daring lady’s maid, a moonlit courtyard, and a story filled with romance and intrigue. Plus pralines, duels, the pirate Jean Lafitte, traitors, one devious villain, a lost boy, a stormy general, and a historic city on the brink of war.

Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/1tz2HIq

Win a fleur de lis necklace! Subscribe to my newsletter to enter the drawing on Dec 23rd. 

Do check out the other authors at http://www.wewriwa.com/

Come back tomorrow for a great eggnog recipe from Tina Gayle! Yum!


Wishing you happy holidays!!