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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

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Remember the part in The Dark Star where Clare and Daniel have the fight and Clare storms off in a rage? She ends up at Grandma Sarah’s house unaware that Daniel has accidently poisoned her. Clare’s arrival was handled off the page in The Dark Star but in Children of the Serpent you get the rest of the story. Here is a small excerpt of the scene featuring everyone’s favorite “feline” trouble maker, Jones.

Twenty-one

Jones didn’t sleep most nights, and when he did, he was plagued with disturbing dreams. He dreamt of the big house he had barely escaped from all those years ago. Only in his dreams the house was furnished with beautiful art and antique furniture. In his dreams he lived there, he belonged there; he could see the faces of the people he loved could hear their voices clearly, only to be plunged back into the murk of his dim memories upon awakening.

           These dreams had haunted him for years, but lately the images of the man that was prisoner in the black cavern was making a regular appearance. The man would be laughing with him, instructing him with a deep voiced French accent. Was the man his father or a mentor?

            Jones could only guess, because in other dreams the man shouted at him, telling him he had betrayed him with tears in his dark eyes. He dreamt of fire and of statues that crumbled to ash as he stepped close to look at them. He dreamt of snakes. Dead snakes laying alongside the burnt bodies of warriors sprawled at his feet. He would awake from these dreams with feelings of shame so deep he was often sick to his stomach.

            For years since that first night in New Orleans he pushed these visions away. He couldn’t remember, so why should he care? Maybe they were things that were best forgot.

            He had stayed with Christophe and The Southern Star until the old chef passed away. He’d been the restaurant’s feline maître d, escorting amused patrons to their tables. There was still a picture of him hung in the bar.

After, he’d wandered the country, hopping the occasional freight train, never staying for more than a season in any one place. Then he landed in Remy, and there was something about the place that made him want to stay. He befriended Stella and her mother, had made a place for himself as Sam’s partner at Trinkets and Treasures and was more than happy to while away the years as Remy’s resident tomcat.

These dreams though, they were persistent, every time he closed his eyes it was the same. It was as if something was trying to work its way up and out of his stubborn memory but couldn’t quite make it to the surface. Ever since Revel Night there had been a strange scent in the air, one that smelled like trouble…and disturbingly familiar. He could get no peace, so he prowled Remy, patrolling the town he’d come to consider his home.

His last stop was Sarah Bright’s house. Her picturesque cottage was on the outskirts of town near the wooded meadow. Jumping up onto the picket fence that surrounded the garden he found everything quiet and accounted for.

It was almost sunup, maybe he would hang around for a bit. He could usually wrangle an invitation to breakfast if he showed up while she was cooking.

Movement on the porch drew his attention. He hunkered, his ruff standing on end. Silently he jumped down off the fence and slunk low to the ground up the porch stairs. It was a person, collapsed a few feet from the door.

“Hey, you!” Jones called. “Who are you?”

An anguished moan answered his query.

“Clare?” Jones ran the rest of the distance. “Clare!”

It was Stella’s oldest daughter. He pawed and nuzzled her shoulder, trying to get a response. The girl turned her head toward him, her long black hair falling from her face. Jones hissed and backed away. Clare’s normally bright green irises were ringed with red, and she was pale as a ghost.

“J-Jonesy?” Clare croaked. “I don’t feel good. I…Grandma…” was as much as she got out before she fainted again.

Jones ran over to the door, reaching up he pawed the doorbell before remembering that it had been broken for years. He scratched at the door then peeked into the window beside it. No lights were on, no one looked to be up.

“Hold on Clare, honey!”

Running around the house he leapt up onto the trellis where big purple clematis climbed up the side of the house. He scaled the trellis, cursing when he almost fell off. Finally, he made it to the window, balancing on the sill he clawed the glass, meowing at the top of his lungs.

“Juno!” he called to the girl in the bed. “Juno!”

She peeked out of the covers. “Go away!” she grumbled.

“Juno Tenebris! You get your sparkly Faerie ass out of bed right now and open this window!” He headbutted the glass for emphasis.

Grumpily she obeyed climbing out of bed and sliding the sash up. “Jeez, okay! Where’s the fire!”

Jones jumped into the room landing with a heavy thud beside her. “It’s Clare! She’s out on the porch! There’s something wrong, she’s sick or something!”

“What!” Juno ran down the hall and pounded on her grandmother’s bedroom door. “Grandma, Grandma, wake up!” she yelled before racing down the stairs.

Bleary eyed Sarah opened her door, her robe half on. “Jones, what on earth!” she said, spotting him in the hall.

“It’s Clare!” he explained again. “She’s back but something’s wrong with her.”

All hint of sleepiness vanished. Pulling on her robe Sarah dashed down the stairs with Jones hard on her heels.

Children of the Serpent is out June 21, 2021 on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited 

COTS Blurb + jacket promo

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This spring I’ve finally got around to reading all the books in my TBR (To Be Read) queue and there have been some really great ones. Far too many to list here but a handful stood out and I continue to think about them.

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Bitterburn was a great rethink of the Beauty and the Beast tale, moody, intense and the romance is anything but syrupy sweet.

Amarrah Brewer is desperate and grief-stricken.
For ages, the town of Bitterburn has sent tribute to the Keep at the End of the World, but a harsh winter leaves them unable to pay the toll that keeps the Beast at bay. Amarrah volunteers to brave what no one has before–to end the threat or die trying.

The Beast of Bitterburn has lost all hope.
One way or another, Njål has been a prisoner for his entire life. Monstrous evil has left him trapped and lonely, and he believes that will never change. There is only darkness in his endless exile, never light. Never warmth. Until she arrives.

It’s a tale as old as time… where Beauty goes to confront the Beast and falls in love instead.

 

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Loved The Lost Apothecary! For me it was the best of Historical and Feminist fiction and if you are into either of those you really should check it out!

With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time.

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.

Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.

 

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This has been lingering in my TBR queue for quite a while and I’m so very glad I got around to it! I wasn’t prepared for how much I would identify with James Rebanks’ story but I should not have been surprised considering I married into a family who has their roots planted deep in the farming community. 

Some people’s lives are entirely their own creations. James Rebanks’ isn’t. The first son of a shepherd, who was the first son of a shepherd himself, his family have lived and worked in the Lake District of Northern England for generations, further back than recorded history. It’s a part of the world known mainly for its romantic descriptions by Wordsworth and the much loved illustrated children’s books of Beatrix Potter. But James’ world is quite different. His way of life is ordered by the seasons and the work they demand. It hasn’t changed for hundreds of years: sending the sheep to the fells in the summer and making the hay; the autumn fairs where the flocks are replenished; the grueling toil of winter when the sheep must be kept alive, and the light-headedness that comes with spring, as the lambs are born and the sheep get ready to return to the hills and valleys.

The Shepherd’s Life the story of a deep-rooted attachment to place, modern dispatches from an ancient landscape that describe a way of life that is little noticed and yet has profoundly shaped the landscape over time. In evocative and lucid prose, James Rebanks takes us through a shepherd’s year, offering a unique account of rural life and a fundamental connection with the land that most of us have lost. It is a story of working lives, the people around him, his childhood, his parents and grandparents, a people who exist and endure even as the culture – of the Lake District, and of farming – changes around them.

Many memoirs are of people working desperately hard to leave a place. This is the story of someone trying desperately hard to stay.

 

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“Calling all font and calligraphy nerds!” My younger son is a graphic designer and one of his hobbies is creating new fonts (lettering or typeface style). Thanks to him I knew what the calligrapher character was talking about when she described her work (not that it’s hard to follow, I was just tickled that I knew without being told what “kerning” was) 

 

In this warm and witty romance from acclaimed author Kate Clayborn, one little word puts a woman’s business—and her heart—in jeopardy . . .
 
Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing custom journals for her New York City clientele. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Knowing the upcoming marriage of Reid Sutherland and his polished fiancée was doomed to fail is one thing, but weaving a secret word of warning into their wedding program is another. Meg may have thought no one would spot it, but she hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid.
 
A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline and a bad case of creative block, Meg doesn’t have time for Reid’s questions—unless he can help her find her missing inspiration. As they gradually open up to each other, both try to ignore a deepening connection between them. But the signs are there—irresistible, indisputable, urging Meg to heed the messages Reid is sending her, before it’s too late . . .  

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Those of you who have been hanging out here for awhile know what an absolute fan I am of Andy Weir’s work. I preordered this book so dang hard I broke my enter key! It did not disappoint. There are twists and gasp out loud plot bombshells that I can’t tell you about for fear I’ll ruin it. Let’s just say if you loved The Martian and Artemis you’ll will want to read this! 

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.
Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.
All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.
His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.
And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.

Or does he?

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Hello All!

Spring seems to be well and truly here at last. I’ve been planting my herb garden and watching my black eyed Susan’s pop up from their winter rest, soon I’ll have lovely yellow flowers to keep me company while I edit Children of the Serpent. I’ve completed the first draft but now I need to coax it into something more book shaped. I’m excited to share Juno’s story with you on June 21st but until then I’ve whipped up this video trailer featuring Juno, Finlan and Michael.

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