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Happy October! 

The above picture is from Pixbay

Browned Butter Oatmeal & Apple cookies Joy always comes up the the best seasonal treats! 

Have you heard the new Chillhop Music Fall album? 

This photographer spent seven years capturing portraits of redheads from around the world.

How to make rolled wax candles with bonus calming ASMR goodness. 

It’s the tenth year anniversary of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. For me it’s the ultimate autumn read! 

And speaking of book anniversaries, Dragon’s Pawn by yours truly, was published two years ago on October 24th. To celebrate I’m releasing a special excerpt on that day. Stay tuned! 

Here’s the Clam Chowder recipe I made for our recent camping trip to the coast. 

Recent discovery: These paper butterflies are delightful and really do look like the real thing! (they have bats for October too!)

And finally, this rechargeable arc lighter is perfect for lighting all those pumpkin scented candles you bought. I have one and I love it! 

 

clam chowder

I made clam chowder to take on our camping trip to the coast. It’s based on the recipe from The Chowder Bowl on Nye Beach in Newport Oregon. 

Clam Chowder

1/2 cup (one stick) Butter

1/2 cup Flour

2 cups Whole Milk

2 cups Clam Juice or Fish Stock

1 medium sized Sweet Yellow Onion (diced)

2 medium sized Russet Potatoes

3 6oz cans of Clams (drained)

Salt and Pepper

1 cup chopped Fresh Dill + extra for garnish. 

 

In a large heavy bottomed dutch oven or stock pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until soft and translucent- about 3-5 minutes.

Add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook for 3 minutes whisking often so it does not burn. Add the milk slowly, whisking constantly as the sauce thickens. Add the clam juice. Your soup should be thick but not gloopy- add more milk if necessary.

Season with salt and pepper. 

Peel and chop the potatoes into bite sized cubes and add to the soup. Turn the heat to low and cook covered for 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Test doneness of potatoes with the tip of a sharp knife (it should easily pierce the potato).

Add the canned clams. Cook covered until they are warmed through. 

Add the fresh dill and stir to combine. 

Serve with a big hunk of sourdough and more dill to garnish. 

Note: if making ahead like I did, place into a sturdy container and let the chowder cool completely before refrigerating or freezing. Reheat over low heat stirring often so it does not burn.

 

Hello! Lately I’ve been dabbling in witchcraft. KInd of. My reading picks have been decidedly witchy. Is there a better time than October/Halloween to indulge in stories about badass witches?

I read the first of The Vine Witch series last year and this year I’m having fun reading the second and third of the trilogy. Set at the turn of the 20th century in France It follows three witches Elena, Yvette, and Sidra. The descriptions of the Belle Epoque era in Paris are swoon worthy.

The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel is a feminist rethink of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow from Katrina’s point of view. Ichabod is a worthy romance hero and not depicted as the milquetoast you’ve seen in other renditions. A complaint I ran into on Goodreads was that it’s more mystery/suspense rather than horror. That was fine by me but thought i’d mention it in case you were looking for a scary Halloween read.

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When Ichabod Crane arrives in the spooky little village of Sleepy Hollow as the new schoolmaster, Katrina Van Tassel is instantly drawn to him. Through their shared love of books and music, they form a friendship that quickly develops into romance. Ichabod knows that as an itinerant schoolteacher of little social standing, he has nothing to offer the wealthy Katrina – unlike her childhood friend-turned-enemy, Brom Van Brunt, who is the suitor Katrina’s father favors.

But when romance gives way to passion, Ichabod and Katrina embark on a secret love affair, sneaking away into the woods after dark to be together – all while praying they do not catch sight of Sleepy Hollow’s legendary Headless Horseman. That is, until All Hallows’s Eve, when Ichabod suddenly disappears, leaving Katrina alone and in a perilous position.

Enlisting the help of her friend – and rumored witch – Charlotte Jansen, Katrina seeks the truth of Ichabod Crane’s disappearance, investigating the forest around Sleepy Hollow using unconventional – often magical – means. What they find forces Katrina to question everything she once knew, and to wonder if the Headless Horseman is perhaps more than just a story after all. In Alyssa Palombo’s The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel nothing is as it seems, and love is a thing even death won’t erase.

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And finally a duology by Paula Brackston. I really enjoyed The Winter Witch last year and these books are set to be a favorite. Bess’ story is one for the ages and I stayed up way too late reading many nights unable to put it down.

In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate at the hands of the panicked mob: the Warlock Gideon Masters, and his Book of Shadows. Secluded at his cottage in the woods, Gideon instructs Bess in the Craft, awakening formidable powers she didn’t know she had and making her immortal. She couldn’t have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.

In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life for herself, tending her garden and selling herbs and oils at the local farmers’ market. But her solitude abruptly ends when a teenage girl called Tegan starts hanging around. Against her better judgment, Elizabeth begins teaching Tegan the ways of the Hedge Witch, in the process awakening memories–and demons–long thought forgotten.

Part historical romance, part modern fantasy, Paula Brackston’s New York Times bestseller, The Witch’s Daughter, is a fresh, compelling take on the magical, yet dangerous world of Witches. Readers will long remember the fiercely independent heroine who survives plagues, wars, and the heartbreak that comes with immortality to remain true to herself, and protect the protégé she comes to love.

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May I also humbly recommend: 

TDS Blurb + Jacket

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Hello my friends and happy autumn to you!

I think I’ve already said, but this is my favorite season. The days are still bright and the evenings are cool. It’s sweater weather, soup weather and I always make a big pot of chili on Halloween. I know all the summer lovers in my life roll their eyes when I enthusiastically unpack my cardigans and buy my first bag of pumpkin spice flavored coffee, but there is a new fun holiday every month during autumn and winter, so I can’t help but be excited.

I have bit of news to impart:

You can buy the complete Revel Night Saga for Kindle on Amazon for $11.96

For you hardback lovers out there they are available at Blurb.com

In other book news, I am working on my next offering now! It will be a stand alone novel and very much a departure for me. (Here’s a hint) I’m having the best time researching and getting to know the characters that will fill these pages! I’m hoping to release it next year.

As always, stay tuned to this blog and Instagram for upcoming reveals, I really can’t wait to show you what I’m up to 🙂

Until next time, be well!

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RNS series advert

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Hello Everyone! 

I hope your summer has gone well. Mine has been chock full of birthday celebrations, camping trips, book launches, and broken Aircon units. Along the way I saved a few links that I thought you would like.  So let’s kick back with a cold iced tea or lemonade and do some Sunday surfing. 

 

How to Take a Group Selfie circa 1911 

The Great Sandwich Scandal  

(In case you were wondering what it’s like living in Oregon) Exploding Whale Memorial Park

The World’s Largest Monastery Library (A virtual tour) 

The dressing you’ll be making all summer long

Does Disney own our National Myth? 

Finding Easter Eggs in Real Life

I Used to Fear Being a Nobody, then I Left Social Media 

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I love finding a series that has a long backlist! Not that I didn’t zoom through all nine in record time and now sit twiddling my thumbs impatiently until the next book comes out next year. (sigh)

Anyway if you love a good mystery with a smattering of romance set in the 1830’s this is definitely for you!

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Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her husband, Lady Darby has taken refuge at her sister’s estate, finding solace in her passion for painting. But when her hosts throw a house party for the cream of London society, Kiera is unable to hide from the ire of those who believe her to be as unnatural as her husband, an anatomist who used her artistic talents to suit his own macabre purposes.

Kiera wants to put her past aside, but when one of the house guests is murdered, her brother-in-law asks her to utilize her knowledge of human anatomy to aid the insufferable Sebastian Gage—a fellow guest with some experience as an inquiry agent. While Gage is clearly more competent than she first assumed, Kiera isn’t about to let her guard down as accusations and rumors swirl.

When Kiera and Gage’s search leads them to even more gruesome discoveries, a series of disturbing notes urges Lady Darby to give up the inquiry. But Kiera is determined to both protect her family and prove her innocence, even as she risks becoming the next victim…

 

 

 

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May I also humbly recommend…

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Subscribers of WFT might remember Photo Friday’s from way back. I’ve lately been taking photos while on my morning walk and uploading them to my Instagram but thought i’d share here too.

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“And the yellow sunflower by the brook, in autumn beauty stood.” William Cullen Bryant

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“A sunflower field is like a sky with a thousand suns.” -Corina Abdulahm-Negura

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Happy Friday! I’ve been making a batch of this every week.

My herb garden has been growing like crazy! And like they always say, when life gives you parsley make green goddess dressing…or something like that.

Green Goddess Dressing

1 large bunch Parsley (leaves and stems)

about 1/2 cup chopped Chives

about 1/2 cup chopped Tarragon (leaves and tender stems)

2 cloves Garlic

1 teaspoon Anchovy Paste

1 cup Mayonnaise

1 cup Sour Cream

2 tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice

Salt & Pepper to taste

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Rinse herbs and pat dry.

Place all the herbs, garlic and anchovy into the bowl of a food processor mix until finely chopped.

Add the mayo, sour cream, lemon juice and salt and pepper then mix to combine.

Taste for seasoning and add accordingly.

Place dressing into a sealed jar and refrigerate for up to a week.

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COTS Blurb + jacket promo

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Someone wiser than myself once said that endings and beginnings are the same thing. In simpler terms, once something ends it leaves room for something else to begin. With that in mind the last book of the Revel Night Saga was released this past week. I hope you enjoy the antics of the Tenebris family and their friends, lovers, and allies. I even hope you enjoy their enemies, the Phaji were created with the idea that the bad guys have a story to tell too.

Although the Revel Night Saga is complete the survivors of the War of the Second Age move forward with their lives, and who knows I might check in on them from time to time and post a story or two here on the blog.

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I started this series the summer of 2013, at least that’s when I began to write it down. My sister remembers I would tell her a story when she had bad dreams or couldn’t sleep when we were little. One about a spooky but friendly boy who haunted the closet. He couldn’t help but be scary because he was learning to be a Boogeyman. So Nox Tenebris has been haunting my closest and my imagination for a very long time.

 I would not have had the nerve to get back into writing after so long without the encouragement of my husband Jefrey, to whom I would read finished chapters and who listened with genuine interest when I would prattle on and on about demons, and angels and body snatching aliens. I’m very sure he was wondering about my sanity on more than one occasion.

Thanks also to our sons Kellen & Gavin (you might be able to spot them at the Christmas party at Bauer Academy in The Brightest Star and mentioned by Kai in The Fallen Shadow) who were also fantastically supportive and encouraging of this new weird thing mom was up to. Love you Sports Fans!

 Finally, to you, whomever you are. Thank you for giving this story a chance I hope you liked it, I certainly had a wonderful time writing it.

Until the next book, be well my friend!

Kathleen Rear

COTS Blurb + jacket promo