Welcome back to the Fresh Fiction Valentine's Day Recipe
Roundup! Every day this week, some of our favorite authors will be on the blog
their new books, their main characters, and a recipe for a meal or treat those
enjoy this festive week. Today we have the three historical romance authors of
anthology, LOVE BY THE
LETTERS! Enjoy, and come back tomorrow for more
Missed our previous roundup posts? Check them out here!
A IS FOR AMOROUS by Grace Burrowes
Ada Beauvais is a spinster in training and an amateur
scientist. Her interests range from compost heaps to botany to corrective
lenses. The last
thing she would volunteer to do is swill tea while politely asking people to
donate to a failing
orphanage. Lord John Waverly, headmaster of that orphanage, is no better at
than Ada is, and he's too busy managing forty lively children to keep as close
an eye on the
ledgers as he ought. Lord John's family despairs of him, and wonders why he
can't take up a
country parsonage like all the normal
younger sons do.
They are a little bit of a crooked pot finding a crooked lid,
and I loved writing their story. Ada is promised a country estate of her own if
she can help
John raise a certain sum for his orphanage, so she and John go on a round of
social calls that
has them fairly awash in gunpowder and China black. That prompted me to suggest
for a different sort of tea altogether:
- 1 cup white sugar or less, to taste
- 2 cups instant orange breakfast drink
- 1/2 cup iced tea mix powder (I use the sweetened kind)
- 1 pkg unsweetened lemonade mix
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Blend all ingredients, and use a tablespoon or so per eight
ounces of hot water to mix up your steaming cup of wonderfulness. You can
slices of oranges and lemons, a cinnamon stick, or a few whole cloves, or just
slurp it up plain
for a terrific cold-weather pick-me-up.
B is for Beautiful Secrets by Vanessa Riley
August Sedgewick is the opposite of Mary-Anne Nettles, in
every way. She deals in extravagances. He's frugal. She's a loner. He's a doting
She creates fantasy gowns for those in delicate conditions. He deals in
realities. Yet together, they bring out the best in each other. Perhaps, they'll
find a love that is
beautiful, one that shouldn't be a secret.
Poor August is forever catching a cold, or at least he
believes he is. Mary-Anne's determined to keep the dear man warm and cheered
with a Hot
Cinnamon Toddy. Think sweet and tart. This wonderful beverage when brewed
the power to heal or at least make you tingle with the sweet shivers of good health.
Hot Cinnamon Toddy
- 3 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cup boiling-hot water
- 2 Harney and Son Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea cachets
- Or 2 English Breakfast Tea bags plus a cinnamon stick and
- 4 tablespoons bourbon or brandy (Optional)
Steep the Hot Cinnamon Tea (or the English Breakfast Tea,
cinnamon, and cloves) in the boiling water for three to five minutes. You don't
want to steep
longer than that this or the tea may taste bitter. Black teas release tannins if
left in water too
long. Mary-Anne wants August's toddy to taste delicious, not like medicine. This
bring instant comfort. You want that too, so watch your brew time.
Remove the tea (and strain off the cinnamon stick and
cloves). Next stir in the honey, lemon juice, and the bourbon. When everything
pour your mixture into cups, his and hers mugs. For an iced tea version,
dispense into chilled
glasses half filled with ice. Enjoy.
C is for Charlie's Angel by Kelly Bowen
Henry Blackmore and Maeve Murray are more alike than they
might care to admit, at least at the start. Both are passionate, ambitious, and
make no excuses
for fighting for what they believe in. Unfortunately, at the beginning of this
ambitions and passions put them completely at odds with each other. Henry has
ducal family, ignored expectations, and overcome tragedy to chase his dreams of
renowned architect. Maeve Murray had defied society, ignored expectations, and
miserable set of circumstances to chase her dreams of becoming a respected steward.
Luckily, they discover that together as a team bound by true
love, they can accomplish anything.
This story features a rather troublesome boar named
Hamlet, which terrorizes the housekeeper in an attempt to steal a basket of
apples out of the
kitchen. Quite likely, those apples would have been used by Maeve and Henry to
brew a hot
apple cider on a crisp evening.
Here is my favourite recipe, though I warn you, this is not a
five-minute creation. It takes a little love and time, but of course, is worth
it in the end!
Hot Apple Cider
- 12 sliced apples (your choice of variety, though I like a tart Granny
- 2 oranges, peeled and sliced
- 1 lemon, peeled & sliced
- 3-4 cinnamon sticks
- 2-3 teaspoons of whole cloves
- 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla (optional, but I love the flavour)
Brown sugar or honey to taste to add sweetness
Add apples, oranges, lemon, cinnamon and cloves to a slow cooker
Fill the slow cooker with water (about 3/4 full)
Cover and simmer for at least 4 hours on low (or you can let it simmer overnight)
Use a potato masher to mash ingredients.
Simmer for another hour
Strain mixture. (You can use the strained mashed apple mixture to make
applesauce if you are so inclined…)
Stir in vanilla (if you like)
Add sugar/honey to taste. Really sweet cider will take about ¾-1 cup of sugar.
Serve it hot and enjoy!
BOOKS AND AUTHORS FEATURED IN THIS ARTICLE:
Watch out what you wish for...
For three couples, a letter promising an anonymous gift of wealth offers worldly
dreams come true, provided each pair can learn not only to work together, but
also to see
differences as strengths.
A is for Amorous by Grace Burrowes
Adalicia Beauvais has no use for children, and even less use for most men. Plato
wasn't a bad
sort, and Euclid was bright enough, but the modern variety of male holds no
appeal for her. To
earn ownership of a lovely country estate with a delightfully well stocked
library, Ada must
raise funds for an orphanage full of noisy, malodorous urchins.
As if that isn't challenging enough, her only ally in this endeavor, is the
headmaster, Lord John,
who loves children, referees cricket matches, and plucks Ada's very, very last
though she knows his devotion to the children is genuine, as is the orphanage's
funds. Opposites don't always attract, but in this case, they must work together
days, or neither Ada's nor John's dreams will ever come true.
B is for Beautiful Secrets by Vanessa Riley
Desperate to win proper dowries for his younger sisters, August Sedgewick has
thirty days to
sell his treasured art, make amends with his estranged brother, Lord Haverthon,
the prickly company of the business-minded Miss Nettles. The dedicated
dressmaker is the
toughest part of the deal for she's more adroit at lecturing him on the habits
of trade than
succumbing to his charms. Yet, the sparkle of joy radiating in her spectacles as
distracts her with leisurely picnics and long rides in the park, teaches him
more than he
Modiste for those with secrets--pregnant brides-to-be, aging courtesans
desperate to keep
their patron's attention, Mary-Anne Nettles would love the opportunity to have
her talent out
of the shadows and as she creates the bridal gown for the event of the season,
the Earl of
Haverthon's wedding. To win that chance, the demure woman must spend time with
flamboyant brother helping him set up a business in trade. Yet, Mr. Sedgewick
difficult student, teaching Mary-Anne about fun and drawing her deeper into the
turmoil of Ton. Can two very different souls rise above secrets to find a
forever love for all the
world to see?
C is for The Chapel of Love by Kelly Bowen
Henry Blackmore has always been a black sheep. He's defied his ducal family,
expectations, and overcome tragedy to chase his own dreams of becoming a renowned
architect. The only task standing between his fierce ambition and everything
he's ever wanted
is the restoration of his family's crumbling country manor. But first, he has to
about Heaton Hall's impossible steward.
Heaton Hall was essentially abandoned when Maeve Murray became steward after the
of her father. When Henry arrives with his pockets full of cash, Maeve is
delighted - until she
realizes that the money is not to help the struggling tenants but to restore the
ballroom. Nonetheless, Maeve and Henry, they need each other, and working
just restore more than a crumbling manor - it could restore two broken hearts!
Romance Historical [Grace Burrowes
Publishing, On Sale: February 19, 2019, e-Book, / ]
Sweet, Spicy, Substantial Regency Romances...
Grace Burrowes started writing romance novels as an antidote to empty nest, and
that penning happily ever afters is an antidote to all of life's little
challenges. She has
published more than fifty Regency, contemporary, and Victorian love stories,
Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus, and Apple Book Store books of the
year. She spent
more than 25 years representing children in foster care court, and lives in
Vanessa Riley writes Regency and Historical Romances of dazzling multi-culture
with powerful persons of color. Vanessa writes for historical romance readers
who admire and
acquire books that showcase women who find joy in sweeping kisses and strong
Even in the darkness, she promises to give you laughs and to show you how light
prevails and how love always, always wins.
Vanessa juggles mothering a teen, cooking for her military-man husband, and
women's and STEM events. She's known for her sweeping romances and humorous
poignant truths. You can catch her writing from the comfort of her southern
porch with a cup
of Earl Grey tea.
grew up in Manitoba, Canada. She worked her way through her
years as a back country trail guide and ranch hand and spent a year working on a
station in Australia. She attended the University of Manitoba and earned a
Master of Science
degree in veterinary physiology and endocrinology.
But it was Kelly's infatuation with history and a weakness for a good love story
that led her
down the path of historical romance. When she is not writing, she seizes every
explore ruins and battlefields.
Currently, Kelly lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two boys, all of whom
patient with the writing process. Except, that is, when they need a goalie for
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