Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Squash Dressing #Recipe #Thanksgiving Side Dish

If you're looking for a tasty side dish, I recommend squash dressing. It's easy to make and one of the recipes that I had in my recipe box. My little blue and white house recipe box was recently featured in Country Living with other vintage recipe boxes! 

2 cups cooked yellow squash
2 cups crumbled cornbread
2 eggs
½ cup chopped onion
1 can cream of chicken soup

Heat oven to  350. You can slice up three or four yellow squash and boil until tender. Also, you'll need to make cornbread. Then mix ingredients and pour them into a baking dish. Bake about 30 minutes.

Squash Dressing is one of many easy recipes found in Darlene's Redneck Recipes. It's a fun book featuring a commentary on Southern cooking by Darlene as well as over 200 home-style recipes.

To learn more about the history of the cookbook and recipes click: https://patricia-preston.blogspot.com/p/redneck-recipe-book.html
You can buy it in print at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1688547436

    or Barnes & Noble.

It's also available for Kindle
It's a great Christmas happy/stocking stuffer gift idea for anyone who loves cooking! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Her Knight in Shining Armor Debuts on @Hooked app Today! #FantasyRomance #ChatStory

Once upon a time, a princess from another world is in hiding on Earth and working in a bakery until a soldier from her homeland shows up with orders to deliver her to her enemy. Can she convince to save her father's kingdom instead? This is a short (1500 words) chat story that's available now via Hooked for Snapchat app. The app is free to download and then you can read their chat stories.  Here's the iPhone/Pad link for the story:  https://bnc.lt/HerKnightInShiningArmor

It was a fun story to write and I do like the cover graphic for it.

I hope everyone is having a good week and staying warm. Today has been the coldest day we've had in months. I guess this is preparation for winter. Unfortunately, I have lost my favorite coat. I didn't even notice it was gone until I started getting out winter clothes. I figure back in the spring I must have left it at a restaurant, and strangely enough, I never missed it.

This is also my 6th week of having bronchitis. I am feeling better than I did a few weeks ago. I've had shots and medicine, but the intermittent cough is hanging on. It's always something! That's one of the truest things I can say about life.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

#WednesdayWriter'sQuote The Exhausting Struggle

I think Orwell was right! Sometimes, writing can be a struggle and other times a joy. This month marked the completion of one big project that I worked on all year, which was the cookbook. The formatting took me a month! But all in all, the finished product was worth it and I'm proud to have something that I hope will be passed on to future generations of my family.

During the week that I published it, I ended up sick with a flu-like cold. The first one that I've had in years and I'm still not over it, so I'm behind on things now. But that's life, I guess.

Halloween is only a week away!!!

Friday, October 18, 2019

#HalloweenTrivia How #Pumpkins Became Jack O'Lanterns

Jack O’Lanterns have been around for centuries. They originated in Ireland and Scotland. Originally they were made from potatoes and turnips! In England, large beets were used for Jack-o-lanterns. Scary faces were carved in the vegetables and they were placed in windows and doors to scare away evil spirits like Stingy Jack.

The myth of Stingy Jack goes like this: Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. Then Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for the drinks so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin. So Stingy Jack decided to keep the coin instead of paying for the drinks. He kept it in his pocket next to a silver cross so the Devil couldn’t change back. Finally, Jack freed the Devil by making a deal that the Devil wouldn’t bother him for a year and if Jack died, he wouldn’t claim his soul. In the coming year, Jack trapped the Devil in a tree by carving a cross on it and making the Devil promise not to bother him again for 10 more years.

Jack died and the myth that God wouldn’t allow him in Heaven and the Devil wouldn’t allow him in Hell. Jack was sent off into the night with a burning coal in a carved-out turnip to light his way. His ghost has been wandering the Earth ever since.  He became known as Jack O’Lantern

In the American colonies, they found that pumpkins, a fruit found in the New World, made perfect Jack O’Lanterns. They could be hollowed out and carving scary faces was easy.
Plus they had plenty of room for a candle. Now pumpkins are used everywhere for Jack O'Lanterns.

Check out my new release, Darlene's Redneck Recipes, a fun-filled recipe book with over 200 simple, country-style recipes that will make for some delicious fall cooking!!

For a list of the recipes, click on the Darlene's Redneck Recipe tab.

Print:  Amazon       Barnes and Noble

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

#MeetTheAuthor #BookSpotlight Fyrian's Fire by @emilyhjeffries #YAFantasy

Today my guest is Emily H. Jeffries. She is a theology teacher and speaker with bachelor's degrees in drama and religious studies from the University of Virginia and a master's in sacred theology from the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, where most of her classmates were wizards--that is, friars. She loves wandering through forests and cathedrals, and her hidden magical abilities include improv comedy, evading cardiovascular activity, and singing all of Les Misérables from memory. She currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, baby daughter, Aussie-doodle, and herbs."

Emily has taken the time to answer some fun questions in a quick interview.

 If you were about to be served your last meal, what would be on your plate?

If I were to set the menu for my last meal, the main dish would have to be crispy quail. And as my side, I'd request a handmade butternut squash ravioli. Since this is my last meal, the heartburn would be worth it! And since we're throwing caution to the wind already, for dessert I'll have a slice of chocolate pecan pie topped with whole fat whipped cream, please and thank you.

If you could time-travel, where would your first stop be?

If I could travel to any time period, my first stop would be Prince Edward Island, the late 1800s. No contest.

What do you collect?

I do not collect many things, but since getting married, I have started to cultivate two habits when I travel. The first is to buy a felt Christmas ornament (usually of a local animal). The second is to buy a hand-painted plate to hang in my kitchen. This is something my well-traveled maternal grandmother always did, and I used to love to listen to her tell the story behind each of the dozens of blue and white plates she had hanging under the crown molding of her little kitchen. I hope to make similar memories with my grandchildren someday.

If someone sent you flowers, they would be a bouquet of what?   

I am a bit of a flower enthusiast, so asking me to assemble my favorite bouquet is both an exciting and overwhelming question! Haha. It depends on my mood and the season, I suppose. But among the most treasured blooms would be yellow roses (like a Rosa Molineux), white anenome, and richly colored dahlias. In fact, a character in my book, Fyrian's Fire, is named Dahly after one of my favorite flowers! Ranunculus and poppies would make the list too okay I'm done.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing? 

While I was writing and editing my second novel, The Midways (unpublished), I kept to a writing schedule inspired by Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe. Wolfe is an eccentric private detective who never leaves his home if he can help it, and keeps to a daily schedule with unwavering constancy. In the afternoons, no matter what is going on, he leaves his office to tend to his orchids for two hours. I thought his afternoon gardening time - 4pm to 6pm - seemed a perfect slot to carve out for my writing. I think the key to the writing hours is that your friends and family are made aware, and you consistently hold that time sacred. Once it became clear that I did not schedule anything between 4 and 6, and didn't answer my phone or emails, I think those close to me started to appreciate that I was taking my writing seriously. Of course, many, many writers carve out a similar time during the early morning. I wish with all my heart that I had that kind of self-discipline, but alas, I am fairly useless until I've had my lunch.

Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?

There are so many ways to become a better writer, most of which I'm sure I have not yet learned. But given a typical writer, new to the industry and hoping to publish a novel through the traditional channels, I'd offer a couple of pieces of advice guaranteed to improve her writing. First, be extraordinarily picky about who you allow to offer feedback on your WIP -- and I don't mean friends and family. If you think you are ready to query, give the first pages to professionals who like to read your genre, don't know you from Adam, but have some reason to want you to succeed (I volunteer to be one of those people!). Second, when you get their advice, follow it. You can vent about how they are so wrong and don't know anything about writing with your spouse or in your journal, but then you need to buck up, express your undying gratitude to the person who took the time to improve your stuff, and then implement 90% of their suggestions.

If you were going to cast the hero of your book, what actor would get the part?

Casting the heroine of my debut novel, Fyrian's Fire is very easy! She is all over the Pinterest inspiration page. It would be a teenaged Lily Collins, but super freckly. 

Give us a short pitch for your newest book and tell us why we’re gonna love it

It is a clean YA fantasy adventure, featuring Redwall-esque warrior animals, an enchanted hair tie, and a princess-to-be with a lot to learn about herself and her homeland's past.

When Tess commits a grievous error, siege befalls her land—a siege only Tess’s magic can end.
The week of her wedding, Lady Tessamine Canyon is jilted by her betrothed, Prince Linden. Left utterly humiliated, Tess betrays a tightly guarded secret to an enemy spy—a decision that throws the Dione of Glademont into chaos. Hunted by bloodthirsty mercenaries, Tess flees into the Hinge Forest. There, with the help of a wild owl and a two-hundred-year-old bear, Tess begins to unlock the forgotten mysteries of her people.
Deep in the woods, the spirit of a long-dead dryad awaits the next Thane of a fierce weapon. To Tess’s amazement, it is she who is called to master the weapon’s power and save Glademont from an impending war.
When a surprising turn of events reunites Tess with Linden—the prince who called off their engagement—Tess must swallow her pride and join forces with him. But even if Tess can rescue her people, will that be enough to forgive her treason? Armed with a fiery magic, Tess is forced to make an impossible choice, one that might seal her fate as the next Thane—but forever extinguish any chance at following her heart.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Blending Family Stories and Cooking and Fiction in Darlene's Redneck Recipes #Homestyle #Recipes

This week marks the end of a two-year project for me. I decided a while back that I would put together a recipe book for the younger girls in our Southern family that would reflect how their grandmothers and great-grandmothers cooked. I'm one of the last members of my family who grew up with these women and their food. That being said, I didn't want it to be just another cookbook.

I love writing humor and I knew I had the perfect character for it. Darlene Higginbottom. She made her first appearance in a 50's Southern comedy I wrote called "Laid to Rest." Actually, she was never supposed to be the main character but once she came on stage, I knew the story belonged to her and not Richie and Tommy Ray as I had planned. Darlene is an outspoken, ambitious, assertive country girl who believes you should dream big. Her dream is to become a movie star like her idol, Marilyn Monroe. I always thought of Darlene as looking like Marilyn, acting like Lucille Ball and talking like Madea. Darlene has always been one of my most popular characters. I've had more readers ask me about her than any other character I've written. 

Then I had to come up with a title. Darlene's Cookbook was meh. So I finally settled on Darlene's Redneck Recipes: Humor and Home Cooking. Darlene, who is from the '50s, talks about cast-iron skillets, cooking pies, picking poke sallet, etc. Plus she adds comments to the recipes every so often. Her comments and stories are all fictional, but they are based on things that I recall being told about or either doing growing up and as an adult. I also talked to my friends to see what they remembered about their mothers cooking and meals at the house. 

Regarding the recipes, my one stipulation was to use only recipes that required simple ingredients found in most kitchens. Nothing fancy or hard to make. Many of the recipes came from my recipe box and that's what I wanted for the book. Like looking through a recipe box with over 200 recipes. 

The cookbook contains my mother's chocolate pie recipe. It is the only recipe of hers that I have in her handwriting. She wrote "very good" at the end and circled it. That's true. That chocolate pie is awesome. Other recipes I had accumulated over the years were some from our patients at the medical clinic where I worked years ago. The patients used to make goodies for us at Christmas. Two of my favorites were Miss Jessie's sour cream pound cake, which was heavenly and Miss Amelia's pineapple filling that she put in little tart shells. They brought me their recipes, which I still have and included in the book. They have both been dead for many years, but their cooking lives on. Then there are the co-worker recipes like the one for a lemon pie that was written on a Post-It note.

In my quest for recipes and how women once cooked, I headed to a country beauty owned by an old friend of mine. On Fridays, she does all her "old ladies" hair for the weekend, especially church on Sunday. So I went out there on a Friday with notebook in hand and sat and talked with women who came in about cooking and what memories they had of their mothers and grandmothers in the kitchen. Plus I gathered more recipes. 

The women I grew up around cooked constantly. I had one aunt that practically lived in her kitchen. She was always in the kitchen cooking something. When we went to her house, we all sat at a big white and chrome table that was in the dining area of the kitchen. We never sat in the living room and I don't remember her ever being anywhere but in the kitchen puttering from the stove to the sink. 

She couldn't drive as was true of many of the farm-raised women who were my kin and ancestors. They lived on farms, milked cows, had chickens, hogs, and vegetable gardens.
They used what they had on hand when they started cooking a meal. They didn't have ready access to grocery stores and they didn't have the money for specialty items. So all their dishes were simple and homemade. I tried to stay true to that in this book

In Darlene's cookbook, I leave it up to the cook to add whatever additional spices, herbs or flavors they want to try. That's how new recipes are created, so be creative in the kitchen and enjoy some good food!

Here's an interior picture:

Darlene says her cookbook would make a terrific Christmas gift!!! So keep it in mind.

It is also available as an ebook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z1DJVMF
The books aren't linked yet on the same page. 

And thanks so much to anyone who takes the time to leave a review! 

Wishing you a wonderful week! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Quick Fire Quiz with Kryssie Fortune and #Book Spotlight The Viscount's Pet #RegencyRomance

Quick Fire Quiz 
with Kryssie Fortune

Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Definitely energize. I get bad-tempered if I don’t do something to inch my writing forward every day.

Ballpoint or fountain pen?
Ballpoint. I write in a notebook, type up, then read it through before moving on to the next chapter.

What time of the day is best for you as a writer?
Anywhere, anytime. If I have a free moment I put pen to paper. A lot of my early writing was done on the bus on the way and from work.

Who are three of your favorite authors?
Kresley Cole, Georgette Heyer, and currently J.S. Scott. The last one changes but I’ve loved the other two for years.  ,

Which book – of all the books you’ve written – do you like the best?
Always the one I’m working on. I’m proud of Taken as Theirs because it was my first book to hit the top ten in it’s category. I love regency romance, and I love my latest very hot Regency romance. Georgette Heyer would be turning in her grave.

How do you research your locations?
Internet and visits. A lot of my books are set in Yorkshire, England. That’s my home county. For my Westhorpe Ridge series, I hounded friends in North Carolina to check details. For my current WIP I visited Lindisfarne in Northumberland to scout the island. (Any excuse for a weekend break with my husband.)

When her brother tries to arrange a marriage with the detestable Baron Cosford, Julianna strikes out on her own, but her plan is disrupted by an unexpected encounter with Viscount Stonehurst.

Stonehurst is less than pleased to find a beautiful young woman travelling alone at night, but when he discovers her predicament will the handsome gentleman come to Juliana’s rescue?

A single tear slipped through her defenses. She blinked and wiped it away. If he said another word, she’d shatter. Anger that he’d spanked and insulted her welled up inside her. She couldn’t decide which hurt more—her bruised ribs or her sore bottom.
Misery blocked her throat and dried her mouth. She’d probably deserved that spanking since her failure ten years ago cost Susanna her life. She’d blamed herself when she heard the French had killed Stonehurst. That her childhood scheme hadn’t sent him to his death was the only bright spot in her miserable evening.
As they rode, her brief spark of anger faded into despair. She never made a sound, but tears flowed down her cheeks.
“Damn it,” Stonehurst muttered under his breath, “don’t cry.”
Despite the balmy summer night, she couldn’t stop shivering. He tightened his arms, pulling her toward him. When he buried his face in her hair, she thought he inhaled in her favorite floral perfume. She hoped it pleased him. His citrus and herbal cologne certainly delighted her.
When he reached the rose garden, the musky scent of the flowers lingered, heady and intoxicating. Despite his wooden leg, he slid easily from the saddle and helped her dismount. His hands rested a few seconds too long on her waist. She relaxed and leaned toward him, but his severe expression condemned her. While her past actions deserved his scorn, it still crushed her.
As if he couldn’t stop himself, he tugged her against him. His mouth slammed against hers, claiming, dominating, and possessing. A soft moan flowed from her. When she nestled into his embrace, her heart told her she’d come home.
He tangled his hands in the loose strands of her hair and anchored her lips to his. As his tongue traced the seam between them, she opened for him. He tasted of fresh lemons and spearmint. His kiss was all-consuming and addictive, a sinful delight that flooded her soul with joy.
The longer he held her, the more she relaxed. Everything about him made her feel sheltered and safe. Deep down she knew it was an illusion. He’d already sided with her brother, and her ribs would suffer for it.
Confused by the feelings he roused in her breast, her grip on reality faded, and she responded with unexpected eagerness. Wrong or not, she’d savor this moment of pleasure. Something hot and sensual sizzled between them. Unable to resist, she slid her arms around his neck and ran her foot up and down his right calf.
When he crushed her against his chest, the added intimacy made her heart pound and her knees weak. Only, given their past, they could never have a future.

Publisher’s Note: The Viscount’s Pet is a stand-alone novel which shares the Regency-era setting of Wickedly Used and His Innocent Bride. It includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

Buy links


Find out more about Kryssie and her books:

Blog            http://kryssiefortune.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter         https://twitter.com/KryssieFortune
Pinterest      http://bit.ly/1OGFnjc
Goodreads     http://bit.ly/2kxqabJ
Amazon Author Page  http://amzn.to/2hA0ZVO

Thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment to say hello. 

Monday, September 23, 2019

Finished by the First of Fall. Goal Reached! #HappyFirstDayofFall

I can't believe fall is here already. Of course, we've haven't had any fall weather yet and I'm wondering if fall will come later and grow shorter with each passing year. I hope not. Fall has always been my favorite season. I love the colors and clothes. I'm just an autumn person.

I have been away from my blog for most of this year as I've spent a lot of time working on my house, doing some fixing up and cleaning that I had neglected for a few years. LOL!!! I finally finished this weekend. My goal was to be done by the fall and I made it! I also finished up the cookbook I've been working on all year. More about that in coming posts.

I have a lot of writing to get done this winter. Several projects waiting on me. I'm happy that I finally got my writing cave put back together after getting new flooring. I had moved everything around and it didn't work for me, so it was back to moving stuff again. I think I've got it like I want it. Here's a picture of it and trust me, it is rare that it is ever this uncluttered. I'm a writer who has to have a lot of stuff around me when I'm working.

One of my favorite new things is the quote I have on the wall. "Do one thing every day that makes you happy." I had a friend, who has since passed away, but she always told me to do one thing every day that you enjoy, even if it is just a good cup of coffee. I think it's important to do something, even a very small thing, that you enjoy. So this first day of fall I hope you find some joy.