Manic Monday Once Again!

Merry morning, everyone! 🙂 Well, I was away over the weekend, and WP didn’t bother to put up my scheduled posts. Will I ever get the hang of this internet thing? LOL So, anyhoo, the Manic part of Monday is…that Scrumptious Saturday and Sunday Snippet are both part of today’s post! Scrumptious Saturdays will be from some of my favourite book-related recipes, and Sunday Snippet is…well…a snippet. And it’s from Daughters Of Brigantia again, as this WIP seems to be taking over for now. Well, let’s move on! Or should that be backward? Anyway, enjoy! 😀

 

Scrumptious Saturday

Two of the books I loved most as a child were Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass. (Not to mention pretty much every other book and poem by Lewis Carroll, but that’s for another day.) A recipe mentioned within, that was a firm favourite with the Victorians, was Mock Turtle Soup. Now, I’m not about to get a turtle, OR a chicken for today’s dish, so vegetarians don’t worry! This is 100% veggie-friendly. 🙂 (However, there ARE eggs in the recipe. Please use a vegan egg substitute for a vegan-friendly version.)

Mock ‘Mock Turtle Soup’

Ingredients

  • 1 lb potatoes, or other starchy vegetables
  • 3 qts water
  • carrots (chopped)
  • 3 stalks chopped celery
  • onions (chopped)
  • 12 ozs catsup
  • 21/2 ozs worcestershire sauce
  • lemon (quartered)
  • 11/2 tsps salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • flour (browned)
  • hard-boiled eggs (chopped) (Or use Vegan Egg Substitute)

 

  1. Boil the potatoes to a firm but soft-at-the-edges consistency; add all ingredients to the potatoes in a large pot; cook 1 to 1.5 hours.
  2. Keep lid on for first 1/2 hour.
  3. Add browned flour gradually, stirring constantly.
  4. Add 2 chopped hard-boiled eggs; cook another 1/2 hour.
  5. Browned flour: Brown 10 tablespoons flour in a skillet, stirring constantly. Add a little water to make a thick paste.

 

Enjoy your literary soup! 😀

Sunday Snippet – Daughters Of Brigitania

 

*Please bear in mind there may be some errors, as this is still a WIP. Enjoy! 🙂

 

Darting into her roundhouse, Aiia was glad to see it had been left as how she remembered it. Snatching up a fresh change of clothes, she pulled them on and reached for a jug of water, splashing it into a bowl. As she attempted to clean up her face and hair, a jolt of panic ran through her again. Of all the people who had been in that crowd, only Aiia understood the curious look Cartimandua had given the messenger. She’s going to say yes to their truce. Yes! To the same bastards who killed Gaisio, and would have killed any of us when they landed. After scooping up a hammered bronze mirror to check her reflection, she ran back outside, to make her way into the great hut. Cartimandua would not be happy to see her, but she had little choice—she had to be there.

Two guards were stood to attention at the main doors, but neither of them even blinked when she sped past, keeping her eyes downcast to prevent them recognising her. As she slipped into the darkness of the roundhouse, she ducked in behind the servant girls, perching herself in a dark corner to listen to what was said. Cartimandua and Venutius were seated in their thrones, the messenger sat on a bench the other side of the fire. It crackled and jumped, an unwelcome addition to the hot day, but necessary for the feast to be laid out in the evening.

After making sure that the messenger was given wine and food, Cartimandua settled back into her throne, and fixed him with a wry smirk. “I suppose you have been told we are barbarians and savages, yes?”

The messenger looked up from his drink with a stutter, feigning surprise. “Indeed not, your majesty. We have no knowledge of yourselves, with the exception of our late emperor Julius Caesar’s writings. He merely mentioned how your land was triangular was was at least two-thousand miles across.”

Venutius gave a frown, interrupting, “Excuse me…miles? What are these?”

Coughing on his bread, the messenger hid a smile, replying, “It is a unit of measure, your majesty. For example, it is about a mile from your gates to the very bottom of the valley below.”

“Ah, I see.” Venutius leaned back into his chair, stroking his moustache thoughtfully. Waving an arm he continued, “So I suppose you mi—“

“We did not come here to talk about measurements,” Cartimandua reminded him tartly, turning her attention back to the messenger and adding, “And my husband is not ‘your majesty’, he is merely Prince Regent. You may refer to him as ‘my Prince’. Now, what of these gifts? Are they to bribe us, then?”

The messenger scoffed at the statement, choosing to ignore Cartimandua’s jibe about her husband. Venutius himself bristled at the statement but said nothing, simply sending a dark glare into the back of the queen’s head. The messenger leaned up with a smug lilt to his dark eyes, and crooked a finger at one of the soldiers. They jumped up smartly and strode to the chest, bending down only to click the lock open.

Even Aiia let out an awestruck breath at the sight. Bright terracotta pots lay within, filled to bursting with glass beads in every hue, amphorae of wine and oils. Cartimandua tried to appear unruffled, but she slid forward on her seat to better view the luxuries within the chest. It appeared all the more like a treasure trove for the current situation the tribe was living through. She held her hand out as the soldier passed over a string of amber-coloured beads, running them through her fingers like a gift from the gods. “And all of these…are if we choose to join your empire, I presume?” she responded, ruefully placing the jewellery back down again and staring quizzically at the messenger.

He shook his head. “No, these are yours to enjoy. Rome does not offer up toys as if you were spoilt children. We merely wish to show you what Rome could give you. If you were to sign the treaty…there would be many more gifts.” He gave a charming grin, his stern countenance momentarily shattered. “Rome does not forget its friends. But, I should warn you. Neither does Rome forget its enemies.”

His words were not taken lightly, and the Queen rose her gaze to his, the fires casting dark shadows across her eyes. “Is that a warning?” she answered quietly, her tone ominous.

The messenger’s chewing slowed once more, and he gave a slow swallow, leaning forward on his worn seat. The fire reflected off his brass armour, giving him the impression of being made of fire. “Only if you choose to be an enemy.”

 

Like this snippet? Why not sign up to my newsletter here, where you can be kept up to date with all my releases, including Daughter Of Brigitania. 😀

(Taken from ‘Daughters Of Brigantia’, Copyright © 2013 Kathryn Northwood. Do not reproduce, use, copy, or include in any way in any format, digital or print, without prior permission of the author.)

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Blog Spring Cleaning Is Done!

That’s right! You may have noticed there has been a total redesign of the blog, along with lots of new features added, and the ‘books’ section updated. There might be a few more changes coming, but it’s pretty much as it will be. I’ve enjoyed the old design, but it was up for a whole year, and it needed a breath of fresh air for 2013.

I have, sadly, removed the review/interview guidelines. I loved doing them, but due to a recent health scare, I will be taking on less of a workload. So I may still do reviews or interviews from time to time, but these will be from books I own and want to post a review for. Same goes for interviews, for any authors I may know personally.

But…I will be adding lots more sections to do with writing! I’ll be posting up bits on editing, writing, cover design, trailer design, and much more. A lot of these tips may turn up in a book at some point, as I am planning to write one a some point; a kind of ‘how-to’ book from penning the first page to making sales.

On a slight tangent, I’m also happy I have the chance to change the blog a little. This time last year, I was hoping for maybe 100 subscribers to my blog–I never expected to have over 8000! So thank you to each and every person who follows my scanty ravings on writing, and here’s to another wonderful and fun year! 🙂

Interview with Francesca Poggi

I’ve had quite a lot of author interviews on here now, and I thought it might be nice to mix them up with interviews of people who are the background and wings of many indie authors! So with that thought in mind, I would like to introduce one of my good friends, Francesca Poggi, who is the co-owner of Dark Mind Book Tours! Dark Mind Book Tours organizes tours for urban/dark fantasy, paranormal romance, and dark erotica books.

 

Hello Franny, it’s a pleasure to have you on my blog, welcome.

Hi Miranda, thank you very much for inviting me! I’m so excited!!

 

As always, a random question first! I know you love cooking almost as much as reading…if you were only allowed one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?

Ohh… that’s a tricky question! First of all, I never mentioned that I also have a food blog: So Good…So Franny! I share recipes (either made by me or the ones I like) and I talk about all things food. Unfortunately due to my busy life, it’s been kinda neglected, but I hope to start sharing stuff again soon! Now, back to the question… let me think for a minute… *after 5 minutes, Miranda looks at me impatiently* *yup, I really did, I actually went and finished War and Peace* Ok, ok… It’d have to be pasta. It’s not because I’m Italian, and there are many things that I like, but I could never live without pasta. And bread. And if this became a reality, I’d be the most obese woman in the world…

 

Mmmmmm….bread…..*drool* Oh…er, sorry everybody! Kind of forgot you were there for a moment! Moving back on topic, you have your own blog, Mind Reader, which review books, among other things. What are your favourite genre or style of books to read?

The basic one is Urban/Dark Fantasy. Then I love paranormal romance. I also read YA books, but there has to be something paranormal to it. Although I prefer New Adult books. I also read Dark Erotica, which is very peculiar, because unfortunately people don’t understand what DE really is. Of course there is sex, but it’s twisted, and people always confuse it with erotica paranormal. I know, I have a twisted mind =D Oh, and I also love Historical Romance. And Manga. I could go on and on with the manga comics I read. You could say I have a bit of a nerd-gene inside.

 

You must need plenty of shelf space then! What made you start your blog?

It’s a long story. I’ve been blogging on & off since 2009, but it was not something I was constant with. I wasn’t in a happy place and I was into a world that it’s now something I don’t care about anymore. Technically, it was Prince William & Kate’s wedding that made me start blogging seriously again. Their wedding made me think what I really wanted to do with my life and I realized that I needed a big change in my life. Books have always been my rock, so I decided to start a book blog. Well, I don’t always talk about books in there, but they are the main focus.

 

Well, we can thank the royal couple for your great website then! I’ll wait for our invite to the palace to arrive. 🙂 Apart from having a really cool site, you also do book tours on Dark Mind Book Tours with the lovely Silvia. What was your first book tour like?

Thank you for asking! Our first book tour was for In My Dreams by the awesome Cameo Renae. We were very excited and the tour was great. Since then we’ve had several other tours and now we are getting very popular on the web. We’re now accepting tour requests for the summer, so authors out there, come book a tour with us! We offer stress-free tours and lots of fun! Also, we’re introducing a new package soon, so keep an eye on our site!

 

*Seriously, go and keep an eye out, their tours are AWESOME. I mean it! Go on!* So if you could do one other job with books, what would it be?

Sell them. I have to be honest, I thought about starting a publishing company a few times, and also the thought of being an editor crossed my mind too. But I get bored easily, and since I know myself very well, I know I don’t have the will to be an editor or a publisher. My dream is to own a little bookshop in a small town, where I can organize book signings & events and be happy for the rest of my life 🙂

 

What can you offer authors or publishers coming to your blog?

At the moment, I had to put on hold review requests, as my schedule is so full that I don’t have time to do anything, also to be fair to both authors & publishers, as I don’t want them to wait months before I can read their books. However, recently I introduced advertising options on my blog. You can find more info on this page http://darkfrannysthoughts.blogspot.co.uk/p/advertise-with-mind-reader.html  I want to give indie authors the chance to get known, so I offer three choices.

 

So where can we find you on the big old internet?

Oh, dear, I can be found everywhere! Besides my blog, I’m also on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (authors, come befriend me!), Book Blogs, Networked Blogs, you can find my email on my blog, and as of a few weeks, I can also be found on Pinterest.

 

Okay, last random question! If you could be a superhero, what power would you have?

Superhero? Well, I’d love to have magic powers, but what it would be really cool, is to read minds. And move objects with it. And be a kick-ass in combat. I don’t know! Can I be a superhero with all the powers in the world? =D

 

No! That would be cheating…..You can find Franny and Silvia on their great blog, Dark Mind Book Tours, and you can find Franny’s blog, Mind Reader here. Thank you for being here, Franny, any parting words?

Thank you Miranda again for having me on your blog, and thank you readers for making it to the end of this interview, with all my ramblings! I hope you’ll be nice & come visit me on my blogs!

Lovely having you here 🙂