A Tale of Three Socks

Toe-up socks knit in Estelle Sock Twins by Deborah CookeSocks, socks, socks. I need socks this fall and have been casting them on for myself, but my efforts have been disappointing. Here’s the first one – I’m sufficiently unimpressed by it that it doesn’t have a partner yet.

The yarn is Estelle’s Sock Twins and I bought it because of the gradient colour. This colourway is called Sunset. It’s packaged with two balls like the one shown – the second (obviously) has been knitted into that sock. I knit it toe-up because I wanted to use the whole gradient. I cast on with the yellow in the middle of the ball, then began alternating stripes with the navy from the other end.

I didn’t love the yarn as it was splitty. And I remembered that I really don’t enjoy knitting socks toe-up. (Actually, what I like about knitting socks is that I don’t have to think about my familiar pattern. In contrast, I have to follow the instructions for toe-up socks.) I knit the sock first without stripes and didn’t love how it looked, so I frogged it back and started again. The pattern I was using had a short-row heel, which I didn’t love either, so I frogged it back after I’d turned that heel. I feel like I’ve already knitted a pair of socks in this yarn and I probably have.

Because I did four rows of yellow before starting the navy, it worked out that the heel would be navy instead of yellow. Hmm. I’m not sure I love that.

Now I have to decide whether to make the second sock the same, or the other way around, with a navy toe and yellow-orange heel.

Cuff-down socks knit in Fleece Artist Cottage Socks by Deborah CookeIn the meantime, I treated myself to a skein of nice squishy Fleece Artist yarn. This is my usual cuff-down sock pattern, the one I have memorized. The yarn is Cottage Sock and the colourway is Vintage. I love Fleece Artist yarns and colours—the hardest thing is always making a choice!—and even better, they’re in Canada. (This isn’t the 100-mile yarn diet because the Maritimes are farther away from me than that, but it’s still kind of buying local.) The colourway did a spiralling pooling thing, but since both socks are the same, I’m good with that. I love these socks!

I also indulged in some sock yarn from Biscotte Yarns in Quebec. Mini-Metamorph is a gradient-dyed sock yarn, which comes in two balls, much like the Sock Twins above. The colours are gorgeous—you can see them on their website here. I ordered Tropical Lavender. The yarn is squishy soft.

My plan was to knit this pattern, the Meta-Morph sock, which has a chevron pattern. I kept mucking up the pattern stitch and having to pick it back, only to discover that after I turned the heel, the sock was too snug for me. I wish I’d taken a picture. It was a pretty sock. It just didn’t fit me.

Sock knit in Biscotte Yarns Mini-Metamorph by Deborah CookeYou know what happened next. I frogged it back and cast on again in my usual cuff-down pattern. I added a stripe, an unbalanced one this time to try to keep the contrast high for the whole sock. I guessed when to turn the heel, hoping to use most or all of the yarn, but it’s clear now that I turned too soon for that. I’m not frogging it again. I’ll just figure out what to do with the yummy leftover (red) bit.

Here’s the first sock:

I have the same question again: should I make a matching pair, or should I knit the second one in reverse? It would start with deep red with purple stripes which would look good. Hmm.

At least I have one new pair of finished socks!

Signed Print Books

Since closing my store, I’ve been considering different ways to sell signed print books. I had set up one method here on the site, but it was a little bit buried – the links are at the bottom of the book series pages, but they’re easy to miss there.

To simplify things, I’ve put the Store tab back on the menu bar. There are bundles of print books priced there to include shipping from Canada to destinations in the US or Canada. I’ve collected entire series because postage from Canada can be high – it works out better if you buy multiple books at once. The postage is a guess, since it will vary based on your location – if it’s too much, I refund you the difference. I charge actual postage with no handling fee. If you live outside the US and Canada, you can just email me and we’ll work it out.

I have a LOT of titles, so they’re not all listed on the page. Again, if there’s a title you’d like—or a series—please just email me about it. If you’d prefer, you can comment on the Store page and ask any questions.

 

Newsletter Specials

Since I closed down my online store, I’ve been missing the ability to offer sales on ebooks to my newsletter subscribers. Yay! I’ve figured out a new way to do it! (I’m quite proud of myself, in case you haven’t noticed.)

Starting this month—starting tomorrow, when the October Dragons & Angels newsletter goes out—I’ll be featuring a title in each newsletter and offering it at a special price to newsletter subscribers when they buy it directly from me. The sale price will be available for a limited time.

In the newsletter section about the featured book, there will be a PayPal button. Click the button, pay for the ebook, and your ebook will be delivered by BookFunnel to your reading device of choice. If you live in Canada, you will be charged HST.

I’ve also figured out a way to sell signed print books from here on the website, but will talk about that tomorrow.

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to one – or all – of my newsletters today!

Heroes & Bad Boys is the newsletter for my Deborah Cooke contemporary romances.

Dragons & Angels is the newsletter for my Deborah Cooke paranormal romances.

Knights & Rogues is the newsletter for my Claire Delacroix medieval romances.

Free Dragonfire Family Trees

Kiss of Fate, #3 of the Dragonfire Novels, a series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeThe Dragonfire family trees are done and ready for you to download and print. There are 11 of them in total. (Phew!)

The Line of the Smith shows the lineage of Quinn Tyrrell from Kiss of Fire.

The Hibernian Line includes Donovan Shea from Kiss of Fury and his brother Delaney Connaught from Winter Kiss. You’ll also find Brandon Merrick from Ember’s Kiss and Sloane Forbes from Firestorm Forever on that family tree.

The Line of the Drakkir II shows Erik Sorensson from Kiss of Fate.

Serpent's Kiss, #13 of the Dragonfire Novels, a series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeNiall Talbot from Whisper Kiss is included on The Caledonian Line II.

Rafferty Powell from Darkfire Kiss is included on The Line of the Cantor (along with a surprise or two.)

Thorolf from Serpent’s Kiss can be found on The Line of the Drakkir I.

You’ll find Marco the Sleeper from Firestorm Forever on The Roman Line I and Lorenzo di Fiore from Flashfire on The Roman Line II.

You’ll find the links for all of them on the Family Trees page on the Dragonfire tab. They’ll also be included in Here Be Dragons: The Dragonfire Companion.

 

Print Copies of Under the Mistletoe

I received my print copies of Under the Mistletoe! Aren’t they pretty?

Under the Mistletoe, book four of the Secret Heart Ink series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke

I had to laugh when I added a copy to my bookshelf. My plan with Secret Heart Ink was to write some shorter stories set in the Flatiron Five world, which could be published more quickly. Um. That didn’t work out so well. You can see how the stories kept getting longer by the widths of the spines.

The Secret Heart Ink series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke in print

Looks like I need to face the fact that I write longer books. 🙂

Koigu Navelli

I’ve been knitting a sweater, too, and even though it’s not done, I wanted to show it to you. The pattern is called Navelli (that’s a Ravelry link) and it’s designed by Caitlin Hunter. I’ve never knit a cropped wide sweater before (or worn one) but I really like this design. I’ve also been admiring sweaters lately that use a variegated or gradient dyed yarn along with solids in fair isle work. When I found several skeins of a really pretty colourway at the Koigu tent sale, I wanted to work with that.

The colourway that started me off is P528, a mix of teal and pink and blues, even with a bit of purple.

I found one contrast colour at Koigu: a teal in KPM, 5513. It looks kettle dyed, in that there’s variation in the tone, but not additional colours. There was only one skein so it had to take the place of the light pink in the original pattern.

When I got home and checked the stash, I discovered that I had three skeins of Shibui Knits Sock in purple. It was a perfect match, so that became my “brown”. The variegated colourway is my main colour for the body of the sweater. (This yarn is discontinued. I’d bought it originally to knit these opera gloves from Vogue Knitting Winter 2008/2009. Since then, I’ve realized that I’m unlikely to ever wear long knitted gloves, so the yarn has aged in the stash. It’s good to see it being put to work.)

Here is my Navelli before I split for the underarms:

Navelli knit in Koigu by Deborah Cooke, in progress

The variegated yarn is a bit more emphatic than I’d expected. The tips of the fair isle in the purple kind of disappear into the pattern of the yarn, but what really surprised me was the pooling—and the big swirl. It looks a bit like the way hard candy swirls – like this image to the right. (That’s a stock image with its watermark intact.) The left lollipop really looks like this sweater to me!hard candy swirls

The strange thing is that I am knitting from alternate skeins (two rows from one, then two rows from the other) which should (theoretically) break up any pooling. This yarn, though, is determined to pool. I wondered what would happen when I split the sweater for the underarms – with half as many stitches being worked, I thought maybe the swirl would break up. It did, but it’s worse:

Navelli knit by Deborah Cooke in Koigu KPPPM

It’s actually making vertical blobs now. Ugh. That decided it. The patterning in the yarn is distracting from the fair isle – and I think it’s ugly.  I’m going to frog back to the fair isle and reknit the stockinette with the colour that’s in the skeins at the top. It’s closer to a semi-solid than a variegated yarn, so should pattern like my Koigu Lunenberg. There’s purple in this colourway, too, but the blue in the fair isle might end up looking a bit off. I think it’s in there, but it’s not the dominant blue. This gives me a chance to make another measure of my gauge – it looks like I might need to stay on the smaller needles for the plain stockinette as well as the fair isle.

R-r-r-r-r-r-r-rip it! I’m sad to do this, especially as I bought this variegated colourway specifically for this sweater, but that’s the way it goes.

Here’s my project page on Ravelry.

 

Apple Feel Good Romance

All or Nothing included in Apple Feel Good Romance Sale October 2019Apple has a promotion running from October 1 through October 8, featuring Feel Good Romances. The promotion is available in US, UK, CA, AU and NZ territories.

You’ll find All or Nothing included in the sale, and discounted to 99cents for these dates in these territories. I’ve also discounted Zach and Jen’s book at the other portals. This is a holiday story, a romantic comedy, and a fun read with some bits that will have you reaching for the tissues, too. If you haven’t read this story yet, this is a great chance to do so.

Scroll down for more information and links.

The landing page for the Apple Feel Good Romance Promotion is right here.


Some people will do anything for true love — even if they have to fake it.

Jen Maitland had no use for handsome guys with easy charm — until she met Zach. He’s the perfect fake date to end her mother’s matchmaking scheme before it starts. Besides, he’d probably just use her and leave her like her ex-fiancé did. At least that’s what Jen tells herself. The only problem is that Zach isn’t as predictable as he appears…

Zach Coxwell hates commitment, but loves a challenge. Like the pretty bar waitress who turned him down flat for a date — only to invite him to her family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Zach knows he can make Jen smile — and he’s betting that he can unravel her mysteries — even if he has to do it over candied yams.

A tofu turkey, a sister who threatens to have Zach’s love-child, the untimely appearance of a knitted avocado — and Zach’s discovery of her real motive — combine to turn Thanksgiving dinner into Jen’s worst nightmare. Zach, on the other hand, has the time of his life. And when he makes Jen smile, he finally finds a commitment he’s willing to make…but persuading Jen to believe him will take everything he’s got.

“Five hearts! Tender, sweet, and a lot of fun. A highly recommended read.”
The Romance Studio

“Five blue ribbons! A fantastic book.”
Romance Junkies

A #1 Kindle Bestseller

Buy All or Nothing ebook:
Amazon.com
Apple
Nook
KOBO
Books2Read Universal Link (Find international stores and other Amazon stores here)

The Dragonfire Novels are back in Wide Distribution – and Kiss of Fire is FREE!

The Dragonfire series of paranormal romances by Deborah Cooke in print editions

At the end of September, the Dragonfire Novels came out of KDP Select, which means that they’re available at all portals again (not just Amazon). I’ve also made Kiss of Fire a free series starter at all portals. This is a great time to meet the Pyr!

The Prometheus Project has also come out of KDP Select, so those four titles are also available at all portals again. Phew.

The Dragons of Incendium series of science fiction romances featuring dragon shifter princesses from space by Deborah Cooke. Now free to read in Kindle UnlimitedThe Dragons of Incendium have remained in KDP Select for another term, so if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can read about those dragon shifter princesses from space free.

Audiobooks & Chirp

This month, two of my audiobooks are on sale. The Beauty Bride and The Crusader’s Bride have been discounted to $4.99US or equivalent at all portals except Amazon and Audible. It’s possible that Amazon will match the price (? I’m not sure how that works.)

There will also be a sale at Chirp on the audiobook for The Beauty Bride on October 21st. It will be 99cents there, which is a terrific deal.

Chirp is a website started by BookBub specifically to promote audiobooks. They are a retailer platform so you’d buy the audiobook from Chirp. Like BookBub, you can sign up for free and receive emails on special offers for audiobooks in your genre of choice.

Here’s the website for Chirp.

Edited to add – Lisa asked about Chirp for Canadian listeners. Chirp is currently available only to US listeners, because it’s new. I’m hoping they roll out their service in other territories once they iron out any kinks and have volunteered to beta-test for Canada, if they need beta-testers. Stay tuned!

And here’s the information about The Beauty Bride and The Crusader’s Bride. Happy listening!

The Beauty Bride, #1 of the Jewels of Kinfairlie series of medieval Scottish romances by Claire Delacroix

More cherished than gold are the Jewels of Kinfairlie, and only the worthiest may fight for their love…The Laird of Kinfairlie has unmarried sisters, each a gem in her own right. And he has no choice but to see them all wed in haste.

Lady Madeline’s heart is not for sale…especially not to a notorious outlaw like Rhys FitzHenry. Yet Madeline’s hand has been sold, to none other than this battle-weary warrior with a price on his head. A more dutiful maiden might cede to the Laird’s command and meekly accept her fate, but Madeline has never been obedient. She decides to run away, though she never dreams that Rhys will pursue her.

She does not expect this taciturn man to woo her with fanciful stories, much less that each of his enthralling tales will reveal a scar upon his shielded soul. She never imagines that a man like Rhys could imperil her own heart while revealing so little of his own feelings. When Rhys’ past threatens his future, Madeline takes a leap of faith. She dares to believe him innocent—and risks her own life to pursue a passion more priceless than the rarest gem.

“A lyrical medieval-era romance!”—Publishers Weekly

Download the eBook free
Amazon.com
Nook
Apple
KOBO
GooglePlay
Books2Read Universal Link
(Find international stores and other Amazon stores here!)

The Beauty Bride, #1 of the Jewels of Kinfairlie series of medieval Scottish romances by Claire Delacroix is also available in audioBuy Audio Book
Audible
Apple
Amazon
NookAudio
KOBO


The Crusader's Bride, #1 of the Champions of St. Euphemia series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixGaston battled for duty and honor—until his new wife tempted him to fight for her love.

When the Templar knight Gaston learns that he has inherited his father’s estate in France, he accepts one last quest for the order and agrees to deliver a package to Paris on his way home. A practical man, Gaston knows he has need of a wife and an heir, so when a lovely widowed noblewoman on pilgrimage snares his gaze, he believes he can see matters solved to their mutual convenience.

But Ysmaine is more than a pilgrim enduring bad luck. She has buried two husbands in rapid succession, both of whom died on her nuptial night, and believes herself cursed. Accepting this gruff knight seems doomed to result in his demise, but Gaston is dismissive of her warnings, and Ysmaine finds herself quickly wed again—this time to a man who is not only vital, but determined to survive.

Neither of them realize that Gaston’s errand is one of peril, for the package contains the treasure of the Templars—and some soul, either in their party or pursuing it, is intent upon claiming the prize at any cost. In a company of strangers with secrets, do they dare to trust each other and the love that dawns between them?

Buy eBook
Amazon.com
Nook

Apple
KOBO
GooglePlay
Books2Read Universal Link
(Find international stores and other Amazon stores here!)

The Crusader's Bride, #1 of the Champions of St. Euphemia series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix is also available in audioBuy Audio Book
Audible
Apple
Amazon
NookAudio
KOBO

FREE Series Starters!

Start the Flatiron Five series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke free

Simply Irresistible, book one of my Flatiron Five series of contemporary romances, was a free read last summer. I realized last week that it had returned to its regular price at KOBO and Nook – oops! – but now it’s FREE at all portals again. Get your copy of Tyler and Amy’s book today!

Snowbound, #1 of the Secret Heart Ink series of contemporary romances by Deborah CookeThis story also introduces you to some of the characters in the Secret Heart Ink series, which is set in the same world. Right now, Snowbound, book one in that series, is a 99 cent read.

Also, if you read historical romances,

The Beauty Bride, book one of my Jewels of Kinfairlie series of medieval romances, is a free read. This story introduces you to a much longer series of books – the heroine, Madeline, has seven siblings, each of which has his/her own story told. She also has an unconventional aunt and some cousins. The Jewels of Kinfairlie series is set in the same world, featuring the same family, as The True Love Brides series and The Brides of Inverfyre. If you want to read about the previous generation of this family, you can also read The Rogues of Ravensmuir trilogy.

Start the medieval Scottish series of romances with The Beauty Bride!

Start the Jewels of Kinfairlie series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix free