The Mercenary’s Bride

The Mercenary’s Bride, book #1 of the Brides of Inverfyre series, is available today!

The Mercenary's Bride, #1 of the Brides of Inverfyre series of medieval Scottish romancesRobbed of his possessions, wounded and left for dead, Quentin de Montgomerie has lost everything except his love for Mhairi, the daughter of the Hawk of Inverfyre—and he knows who is to blame for his fate. He vows to return to Inverfyre and take his vengeance from the Hawk, but arrives to discover that the fierce maiden in possession of his heart has blossomed into a beauty, and that her kiss has the power to give him hope for the future again. Can Quentin prove himself to the Hawk and win Mhairi—or will she spurn him for being less than once he was?

The Mercenary’s Bride is a Christmas Scottish medieval romance novella which was originally published in the Christmas 2017 anthology The Nutcracker Reimagined.

Buy The Mercenary’s Bride at
Amazon
iBooks
Kobo
Nook
GooglePlay
buy directly from Claire
– BookFunnel will deliver the book once your purchase is complete in Claire’s online store.

Project Bags

Today’s Fibre Friday post is a bit late because I had to wait for some sunshine to take my pix. It’s a beautiful day here, so I finally managed to get those pix to share these projects with you.

I’ve been sewing some project bags for my knitting.

First, let’s talk about the little ones. These are great for small projects, like socks. There’s a tutorial at Very Shannon Knits, and I mostly followed the plan. My big change for these first two was to add a loop, so the project bag could hang on my wrist or the arm of a chair. Also, instead of twill tape, I used grossgrain ribbon for the drawstrings. There’s another change that I’ll explain later on.

Of course, I had plenty of fabric in my stash.

Knitting Project Bags made by Deborah Cooke

The first one I made is in black and pink at the top left. This one (ahem) has a mistake. I used 5/8″ seam allowances instead of 1/4″ and so it’s a bit smaller than it should be. The interfacing I used on this one is pretty sturdy, too, so it’s more like a box than a bag. The design is reversible, so I put a loop on the inside, but I won’t turn it around with that interfacing.

To add a loop – like the one you can see clearly on the blue bag at the top right – cut a piece of fabric 12″ x 1.75″. Press in 1/4″ on each long edge, then press it in half. Edge-stitch down both long edges. Fold it in half, so the raw edges are together. I wanted mine to be at one of the corners of the bag, so I tucked the raw edges into the seam between the top and bottom exterior pieces about 3″ from the edge. Since I pressed the seam allowances down, the loop goes up.

A second modification: when sewing one side seam of the exterior, I left a gap in the sewing near the top. (Stitch half an inch, backstitch, then start stitching again an inch below the backstitching.) That left an opening for the ribbon to be fished through the casing. When the seam is pressed open, it looks almost like a buttonhole.

Part of the reason that this one has bigger seam allowances is that I didn’t read the pattern all the way through. (Oops.) I just did my usual bag-making thing once the shapes were cut out. So, I turned the bag through an opening in the bottom seam in the lining, which I then sewed up by hand – as soon as I’d done that, I realized there was an easier way that would require no handstitching.Knitting Project Bags made by Deborah Cooke

For the second one, in blue at the top right, I got the seam allowances right and used a softer interfacing. I also used my no-handstitching method. I made the bag exterior and the lining, then pressed down the seam allowance on the top edge on both pieces. I put them together, wrong sides together, just as they would be in the finished bag. I edge-stitched all the way around the top, sewing them together, then stitched again 1″ away. That made the casing for the ribbon and finishing the bag. (Ha.)

Once I had the hang of things, I made the bigger bag in turquoise at the bottom. (I tend to knit sweaters, not socks.) I sized up from a 12″ square to a 15″ square and made the cut-out corners bigger. I used the softer interfacing on this one and I like how it turned out. I think I might make an even bigger one next, just for fun – it will have zippered pockets.

And the final project for today is an up-cycled bag. One of the frustrating things about handknit socks is that I always walk a hole in the bottom of each sock. The foot wears out when the leg part is still fine. 😦 All that knitting! Some yarns wear out faster than others, too. When I really like the yarn, I’m not good at tossing out these socks. I wash them in hot water so they felt a bit, then I add them to my stash.

I’ve cut pieces from these felted socks for the pockets on other felted bags, but decided to make a bag from those socks. Here it is:

Upcycled Noro Tote Bag by Deborah Cooke Most of these socks were knit in Noro Kureyon Sock. (Who can throw out Noro? Not me.) I dug some coordinating pairs out of my dead sock stash. This took six pair. I cut off each sock at the start of the heel, then sliced open the leg to make a square. Those were about 8″ by 8″ each. I cut some of them smaller to make a pattern I liked. I sewed the squares together so I had a piece big enough for a tote bag and added a bottom in fabric.

Upcycled Noro Tote Bag by Deborah CookeI reinforced the bottom and added feet. One of my favorite reinforcements for the bottom of a tote bag is a piece cut from these plastic cutting boards from Ikea. I always buy another package when I’m there. The colours change all the time, but it doesn’t matter when it’s inside the bag. (It ends up between the bag and the lining, so isn’t visible.) You can cut these to size with a utility knife, then make holes with an awl for the feet. Round the corners, too, so it doesn’t poke through the bag.

I lined the bag – adding a zippered pocket, of course – put some piping in the seam between the bag and the lining, and added a drawstring top. It even has a dragon charm. 🙂 I sewed leather handles on it (reinforcing them with canvas on the inside) and ta da! The socks live on!Upcycled Noro Tote Bag by Deborah Cooke

It needs just one last step – a line of top-stitching below the piping to keep the drawstring part from puffing out. I’m pleased with it though and certainly have enough felted socks to make another.

What have you been sewing lately?

In the Midnight Hour Today!

Today’s the day! In the Midnight Hour is now available!

In the Midnight Hour, book #3 of the Flatiron Five series of contemporary romances by Deborah CookeDamon has a secret…

Every Friday night, the F5 partner who is the quiet powerhouse leaves on the dot of five without explanation. Where does Damon go? What does he do? His partners want to know, but Damon can’t bring himself to share the truth about his mom’s battle with cancer. She’s the anchor in his life and he doesn’t know how he’ll go on without her. In the middle of the night, when he’s most alone, he wants to control all the variables for someone, to prove he’s not completely powerless. He doesn’t expect to find such a willing, or seductive, volunteer.

Haley loves solving mysteries…

Especially ones like the gorgeous guy who visits her favorite patient every Friday night. He must be Natasha’s son, but is he also the model on the billboard for that fitness club downtown? Where did he learn therapeutic massage? Even though she’s a nurse, Haley’s interest in him and his skill isn’t just professional. She wants to feel those hands on her own skin, for as long as possible. One night, she takes a chance and asks for a lesson from him, only to discover that she has a hunger for the sensation only Damon can satisfy.

Buy In the Midnight Hour directly from Deborah, and have your book file delivered by Book Funnel.

Buy In the Midnight Hour:
Buy Signed Print Book from Deborah Buy at iBooks Buy at Amazon.com Buy at Barnes&Noble Buy at GooglePlay Buy at Kobo

 

Simply Irresistible is #1!

This weekend, I had a start-the-series sale for Flatiron Five: Simply Irresistible, book #1 in the series, is free just through today. I had a BookBub ad for the sale on Saturday and the results were just wonderful.

By early afternoon on Saturday, Simply Irresistible was #1 in Romantic Comedy and #1 in Contemporary Romance at Amazon; shortly after that, it was #1 overall free in the Kindle store. Here’s the overall ranking:

Simply Irresistible, first of the Flatiron Five series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke, at #1 overall in the Kindle Store on January 21, 2018

Simply Irresistible, first of the Flatiron Five series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke, at #1 overall in the Kindle Store on January 21, 2018

Here’s Romantic Comedy:Simply Irresistible, first of the Flatiron Five series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke, at #1 in romantic comedy the Kindle Store on January 21, 2018

And here’s Contemporary Romance:Simply Irresistible, first of the Flatiron Five series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke, at #1 in contemporary romance in the Kindle Store on January 21, 2018

Simply Irresistible was also #1 overall at iBooks:

Simply Irresistible, first of the Flatiron Five series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke, at #1 overall in the iBooks store on January 21, 2018

It was #1 in Romance, too, but the image looks very similar as the same books were in the top 3:

Simply Irresistible, first of the Flatiron Five series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke, at #1 in romance in the iBooks Store on January 21, 2018

Thanks to everyone who downloaded a copy! The sale ends today, so if you didn’t get Simply Irresistible yet, now’s your chance.

Buy Signed Print Book from Deborah Buy at iBooks Buy at Amazon.com Buy at Barnes&Noble Buy at GooglePlay Buy at Kobo Buy at Amazon.ca Buy at Amazon.co.uk Buy at Scribd, Tolino, 24Symbols, Inktera Buy at Amazon.de

Tink, Knit, Tink

To tink is to knit backwards, that is, to un-knit or rip back. Another word for the same process is frog – as in “rip it, rip it”.

I’ve been tinking in 2018 and thought we’d talk about that today. Tinking my knitting is a lot like revising my books: I think of it as an editorial process, and a means of getting the project right.

First up in Tinkland was my Fire Dance shawl. (That’s a Ravelry link.) This one is knit in a silk laceweight yarn, in a gradient dye from The Unique Sheep. It’s the same yarn, but a different colour and pattern, as I used in my Urdr shawl three years ago. I like to knit lace in the winter, and Fire Dance has a lot of beads, which is awesome, too – plus the colourway is called Dragon Fire. How could I resist that? Well, I was about 80 rows in and realized I’d dropped a stitch waaaaaaay back around R25. Ugh. I can’t imagine how I’d be able to pick up the stitches, so I just frogged it all the way back and started over again.

Here’s my progress now:Fire Dance shawl, cast on AGAIN by Deborah Cooke

This next tink project is a strange one. Several years ago, Rowan published a pattern for a sweater which I loved on sight. Here’s another Ravelry link – the pattern is Amour and it was published in Rowan 50. The yarn used is Rowan Silk Twist, which was discontinued soon after that and very quickly disappeared from the world. (Maybe there wasn’t very much of it around by the time it was discontinued.) I periodically looked on eBay to see if anyone wants to be rid of some, because you never know. Lo and behold, in January, a listing popped up – not for the yarn per se, but for sample sweaters knit of the yarn for Rowan. Even more strange, they were $15US each. I looked up the pattern and it used at least 8 skeins depending on the size. So, each sweater was available for just a little more than the price of a single skein, when it had been available, but included the same amount as 8 skeins. Even better, the sweaters were the luscious purple colour of Silk Twist. I bought two of them, specifically to tink them and knit Amour.

Silk Twist sample sweaters bought by Deborah CookeThey arrived this week and are just as pretty as expected. They’re far too small for me to ever wear, so I’ll start tinking them this weekend.

What’s on your needles? Have you tinked anything lately?

Simply Irresistible is FREE!

Simply Irresistible, a contemporary romance by Deborah Cooke and first in the Flatiron Five series.For the first time ever, Simply Irresistible, book #1 of the Flatiron Five series, is FREE – but only until January 22.

Tyler McKay has had enough…
Going to his fourth sister’s wedding without a date will only encourage his female relations to “help” him find romance. Ty’s ready to wait for Ms. Right and is busy enough as the finance guy for F5. When he learns that the cute woman who works in his building is in the same predicament, he’s sure that fake dates are the perfect solution. She agrees, but Ty soon realizes that there’s far more to Amy than meets the eye. When she enrolls in a bondage class at F5, he finds himself taking a disguise as dangerous Matteo to keep her safe. How far will he go to win the heart of a woman he finds…simply irresistible?

Amy Thornton can’t get enough…
Amy can’t resist another romance about a hot hero and the woman who steals his heart away with naughty games. When she decides to write her own book, she knows she needs to do research. Her fake date, Tyler, is gorgeous but too nice to play naughty games—unlike Matteo, Amy’s mysterious personal instructor at F5, who plays them so well. When Amy has to choose, will she pick the nice guy or the promise of the forbidden pleasures she finds…simply irresistible?

Read Simply Irresistible now!

Buy Signed Print Book from Deborah Buy at iBooks Buy at Amazon.com Buy at Barnes&Noble Buy at GooglePlay Buy at Kobo

Excerpt from Some Guys Have All the Luck

Some Guys Have All the Luck, #4 in the Flatiron Five series of contemporary romances by Deborah CookeThere’s an excerpt on the page for Some Guys Have All the Luck, book #4 in the Flatiron Five series and Cassie’s story. This book will be published June 26 and is available for pre-order exclusively at iBooks right now. The pre-orders will go up at the other portals closer to the on-sale date.

Cassie has everything she wants…
Cassie Wilson’s life is pretty much perfect with a dream job, great partners—and the freedom to do whatever she wants whenever she wants. The last thing she wants is to go back to Montrose River, the town she couldn’t wait to leave, and be treated like a failure because she didn’t choose marriage and babies. But when her oldest friend asks her to be godmother, Cassie is persuaded to make a difference in the little girl’s life. Maybe she can teach little Hope to dream big and move beyond Montrose River, too. Maybe that will be her legacy. Besides, one weekend in the Midwest won’t kill her. She’ll be back in Manhattan so quickly that they won’t have time to miss her at Flatiron Five.

Reid knows what he wants…
Reid Jackson is convinced that opportunity comes to those who look for it. Keeping his eyes open has been the secret to his success, along with a steady run of good luck. He might have come from the wrong side of the tracks, but hard work has paid off handsomely—except that he’s still single. Cassie Wilson barely noticed Reid in high school but when she comes breezing back into town, turning heads and ruffling feathers, she takes a good look at him. Reid’s more than ready to seize the chance—but he’ll need all his legendary luck if he’s going to convince Cassie to stay.

Read the excerpt here.

The Hunt for the Perfect Hat

I’m trying to finish up some knitting projects, which means I have bits and ends to show you this Friday.

Scarf knit in Kidsilk Haze Stripe by Deborah cookeFirst up, a scarf in Kidsilk Haze Stripe that has been waiting to be finished for a very long time. I cast it on (ahem) in July 2013, according to Ravelry, to knit on the plane on the way to and from RWA National convention in Atlanta. I used bamboo needles as they were allowed on flights then. I didn’t finish it on the flight so it waited – because I don’t particularly like knitting KSH on bamboo needles. The pattern is one of my own, called Calienté, which I unpublished because I found mistakes in the chart.

This yarn is discountinued, which is a shame because I really like it. The first thing I knit in it was another scarf following the same pattern – you can see it here. I’ve also knit two cardigans in this yarn: here’s one and here’s the other.

I’ve also knit a couple more hats. This isn’t because I like hats. I don’t like hats, but when it gets cold, I end up knitting a bunch of different ones. It’s the hunt for the perfect hat, and it keeps going on because I haven’t found the ideal hat yet. Does it exist? This might be my version of the hunt for the Holy Grail. (Maybe I should move somewhere warmer.)

Slouchy hat in Premier yarns Appalachia knit by Deborah CookeThis week’s candidates include a slouchy hat in Premier Yarns Appalachia. It took one ball. The pattern was from Patons website, Knitspirations, and is a free download. It’s called Polka Dot Knit Hat. I don’t love it, so this one might be given away. A slouchy hat might look good, but a good wind will snatch it away. It’s not just cold here in winter; it’s windy, too.

Hat in bulky marl knit by Deborah CookeI also knit this hat in a bulky red/grey marl. I don’t know what this yarn is. It reminds me of Patons Classic Wool Bulky and I did get it in the mill ends at Spinrite. They don’t distribute a red/grey marl, though, so maybe it’s something else.

The pattern is called In An Evening Toque from Fleece Artist and is a free download. This yarn is obviously much thicker. I knit the hat on 6mm needles so I cast on 6 stitches more than the pattern called for (because it’s knit on 7mm needles). The hat is big enough that it doesn’t flatten my hair and the stitches are really dense. I don’t love it, though.

The hunt goes on! What have you been knitting lately?

One Knight Enchanted Today!

One Knight Enchanted, #1 of the Rogues & Angels series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix

Buy NowCursed to take the form of the wolf by day, Rolfe de Viandin is skeptical that love can save him. All he wants is to return home from crusade by the Yule and even the pleasures of a magical palace cannot console him…until a beautiful and bold maiden arrives at his gates, seeking sanctuary, and Rolfe’s hope is restored.

Hunted in the forest, Annelise de Sayerne has to surrender her desire to wed for love, as the price of entering the only refuge is marriage to its enigmatic lord. She fears he must be a monster, but once she experiences his kindness, Annelise resolves to find love with her new husband—if she can just claim his heart.

Even as Rolfe is beguiled by his bride and Annelise unravels his secrets, a spurned suitor pursues Annelise, determined to claim her legacy at any price. If Rolfe’s curse is not broken, how can he defend his beloved wife from the villain? Will their future be lost before it is truly won—or will Rolfe be convinced of the power of love in time?

An earlier version of this story was published under the title Enchanted.

Buy eBook today:
Amazon

Buy eBook directly from Claire (Available January 2 – 15)

Order a signed Print Edition from Claire.

On January 16, One Knight Enchanted will be enrolled in Kindle Unlimited and be available only at Amazon.