Queens of Medieval Romance

I’ve been invited to participate in a new Facebook group, which those of you who read medieval romance will enjoy. The Queens of Medieval Romance page was created by Kathryn Le Veque, and will highlight twelve of us who write in the niche. Kathryn has big plans for events, interviews and contests, so don’t miss out on the fun.

You can like the new page, right here.

Colourspun Skye

A few years ago, I saw a men’s vest pattern in a Rowan Magazine and really liked it. I didn’t rush out to order the yarn, and by the time I thought I might knit it, two of the colours required for the pattern had been discontinued. I figured that vest wasn’t meant to be. But a little while ago, I noticed that there were a few balls of those very same discontinued colours available at an online store. I ordered them up, and because I really like this yarn, I cast on the vest despite having so many other projects on my needles.

Here’s the completed back:Skye vest by Martin Storey in Rowan Colourspun, knit by Deborah CookeThe pattern is called Skye and it was designed by Brandon Mably. I seem to knit a lot of Brandon Mably designs for Mr. Math. The yarn is called Colourspun, and it’s a very soft yarn. It’s the same yarn used in my Icicle Mitts. The discontinued colours are the red and the brown – all of the colours have long variegations, so it looks as if there are more than four colours used. (Red, brown, green, then beige for the grid.) They also shade into each other at some points, which I like a lot. I think it’s going to be pretty warm, giving that the beige wool is carried across the back of each square. (You can see that at the top, where it’s curled back a bit.) Mr. Math likes it a lot, though, so I’m sure he’ll wear it.

What do you think?

Summertime

If it’s summer, I must be canning. I like making pickles and jams, although I haven’t done as much canning in the last couple of years as usual. Things have just been too busy, but this year, I realized that I miss doing it. This year, I was determined to get canning again.

For inspiration, I bought a couple of new books to add to my list of recipes. It’s time to try some new things as well as the old reliable pickles and jams. Of those new books, this one is my favourite: Liana Krissoff’s Canning for a New Generation. (The link will take you to her blog.) Happy new adventures (so far) for me from this book include Pickled Garlic Scapes, Pickled Asparagus, Romano Beans with Indian Spices and Slow Roasted Fig Preserves with Lemon. I haven’t tried the Dilly Beans yet although they’re made. I also like her mixture for pickling spice and have been using that this year – it’s more interesting than the old reliable. I tried the fermented dills, but think I prefer my quicker dill pickle recipe.

If it’s August, I must be canning peaches. This past weekend, the freestone peaches were everywhere at good prices – with freestone peaches, the fruit slips off the pit more easily, so they’re the best choice for canning – so I dug into those. My kitchen floor is still sticky but we have quarts of quartered peaches, peach jam and Peach and Cilantro Salsa. (That recipe is in the book, too, but I changed it out a bit, adding mustard seed, cumin seed and peppercorns, and leaving out the red pepper flakes and mint.)

As is so often the case – which I’d forgotten until it happened – a story idea worked out all of its kinks while I was peeling and pickling. I’m excited about the new story and about getting back to writing again. The peach break has refreshed me!

What’s left to do? Well, there will be tomatoes to can in quantity. Last year, I didn’t make regular salsa and Mr. Math was disappointed ’round about November when we ran out of it. If the bartlett pears are nice this year, I may can some as Mr. Math is a fan of pears. I’d like to try some tomato jam and some onion marmalade, just out of curiosity, and I need to make green tomato mincemeat for my mom. (She makes tarts and gives some of them back to me.) That’ll probably be it, unless I get seduced by quinces as I do most years. I love the smell of them and the fact that they turn pink when cooked just seems like magic.

Do you do any canning? Do you have any favourite homemade preserves?

Books!

The print copies of The Frost Maiden’s Kiss arrived! Aren’t they beautiful?
print copies of The Frost Maiden's Kiss, a medieval romance and #3 of The True Love Brides series by Claire DelacroixI feel the urge to give at least one away. Comment on this post and tell me why you should be the lucky recipient! I’ll choose a winner Friday night.

You know the drill – the contest is open internationally, and for every 25 entries, I’ll add another prize. Good luck!

The Renegade’s Heart on Sale!

The Renegade's Heart, book #1 of the True Love Brides Series of Scottish medieval romances, by Claire DelacroixAs you all know, The Frost Maiden’s Kiss, which is book #3 in my Claire Delacroix True Love Brides series of Scottish medieval romances, goes on sale Tuesday, August 26. In order to get you all caught up with the story, this weekend, the digital edition of The Renegade’s Heart, which is the first book in the same series is on sale for just 99 cents US (or equivalent) at Amazon, Apple iBooks, B&N Nook and KOBO.

First in a Series For 99 Cents

The digital editions of the first titles in two of my series are now on sale for 99 cents each, at Amazon, iTunes, Kobo and B&N.

The Beauty Bride, book #1 of the Jewels of Kinfairlie series of Scottish medieval romances, by Claire DelacroixGet started with the family at Kinfairlie with The Beauty Bride, book #1 of my Jewels of Kinfairlie trilogy of medieval romances.

Third Time Lucky, book #1 of the Coxwell Series of contemporary romances, by Deborah CookeOr meet the Coxwells, starting with Third Time Lucky, the first book in that series of contemporary romances and romantic comedies.