The Beauty of England … @josieriviera, #mgtab

England, in fact all of the British Isles, are beautiful and intriguing. Ancient to modern often stand side by side. The countries of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales at one time ruled independently. Kingdoms were eventually joined, yet each remains unique and distinct.  

There is mystery, too! The story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table were real.

Or were they?

Some believe that Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, is where King Arthur ruled. His sword, Excalibur, is guarded by The Lady of the Lake in Dozmary Pool, on Bodmin Moor, if the legends are to be believed.

Some of the most beloved authors, poets, and playwrights are from within the borders of the British Isles. From Jane Austen, who told of the lives of the upper-class society during the Regency Period, to Shakespeare, whose plays are often reimagined into movies.

And then there is Mary Shelley the author of Frankenstein.

Architecture, old and new is often found side by side. The Tower Bridge, often incorrectly called London Bridge, was built in 1886. Along the banks of the Thames is the London City Hall, an ultra-modern glass egg, shaped building.

From castles to landscapes, museums, and theaters, there is history around every corner.

Love inspirational Regency romance set in England?

Be sure to snag your copy of Seeking Fortune. Available in ebook, paperback, audiobook, and Large Print Paperback. FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Serve these either for snacks or dessert, if you have any left after cooking.

Right now, with the end of summer, a lot of tomato vines are wilting, leaving green tomatoes on them. Among the treats you can make are fried green tomatoes. You want tomatoes that are not too deep a green, more a greenish yellow. Avoid ones that have already started to turn red, as they won’t be as crisp. Don’t peel them. Slice into 1/2 inch slices. Keep the oil hot and the batter cold. There are many different green tomato recipes online. Some add milk, eggs, and cornmeal. Here’s an old-fashioned recipe given to me by a friend of mine.

Dip tomato slices in a mixture of flour, with salt, pepper and sugar added to taste. The greener tomatoes may need more sugar. Fry in bacon fat for 1/2 hour over a slow fire.  Tomatoes may be placed in your oven on broil at 400 degrees for 1/2 hour, turning them after ten minutes.

Many fruits, like cantaloupe, do not ripen after they are picked. But tomatoes are great for ripening off the vine, even when picked totally green. Each year my tomato plants would produce lots of green tomatoes at the end of summer. I waited until it was close to the first frost and picked them clean. Then I would put newspaper down in an area I could keep undisturbed, and spread the green tomatoes out in one to two layers. Tomatoes will ripen if left inside, and sometimes I would have fresh red tomatoes through Thanksgiving. The only ones that wouldn’t ripen were the ones that were too dark a green to start with, or that had been touched by a frost, so would rot. If you have an abundance of tomatoes you can always try this way of ripening the green ones.

Go to our Authors’ Billboard Monthly Board to find great deals on books and a contest that runs each month. https://authorsbillboard.com

September 2020

Hello!! It’s Labor Day weekend, and if you’re being smart and aware of the pandemic at all, you are probably social distancing and not at the beach with zillions of strangers not wearing facemasks. Experts predict another rise in Covid cases after this holiday, putting the death toll for Americans at 400,000 by the end of the year.

The number is surreal to me.

On to happy news!

Christopher and I went for Sunday brunch at Rendezvous and sat outside. We were one of two tables very far apart. It felt great to enjoy a meal we didn’t cook, or clean up after. We wore masks, the waiter wore a mask and gloves, and the menu was paper to throw away. We brought hand sanitizer but they also had it there.

Sunday Brunch at the marina

I think we’re all getting into the swing of things, businesses and consumers, trying to thrive the best we can.

Christopher is now putting together our exercise bike because, hey, it’s South Florida in September and it is too dang hot to walk outside unless I am out there at seven, which doesn’t always happen.

In the past we would have been kayaking or canoeing but today we plan on watching whatever new movies are on Prime and relaxing. Tomorrow is another work day, but when we get to do what we love, it isn’t really work. We get to tell stories and help other people tell stories for a living.

What are you doing this weekend?? Today is National Read a Book day and Authors’ Billboard is full of bargains with more than one story in each boxed set, and all for only 99 cents. Be sure to stock up and fill your ereader, and enter our monthly contest.

I am polishing a new Christmas novella for the Dear Santa boxed set that takes place—where else?? By the sea! I can’t wait for you all to meet Tessa and Landon.

Have a wonderful day—

xoxo

Traci

www.tracihall.com

http://amazon.com/author/tracihall

The Good Old Days

The good old days were just last year–when we still felt safe getting on a plane to fly basically anywhere we wanted. Our last big trip inside the U.S. was to Portland, Maine, where we spent most of a week exploring the city and the surrounding area. Am I going to set a book there? Probably not because my changed worldview has made me think about using locations closer to home.

But back in the good old days, I loved traveling to new locations and exploring them–considering whether they’d make a good setting for a book. Some places are used over and over by authors: San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington DC, New York. Another favorite location is New Orleans which I first visited maybe 40 years ago. Our friends recommended a charming B&B at the edge of the French Quarter. I loved it so much that I set one of my heroes there in an early romantic suspense novel, In Search of the Dove. Everybody talked about how terribly hot and humid it was in New Orleans in the summer. That was true, but it wasn’t any worse than Washington, DC, in the summer–where I grew up in the era without air-conditioning.

 

I’ve returned to Louisiana a number of times since, both in person and in my memories, for books I was writing. From New Orleans, I branched out into the bayou country for another romantic suspense, Bayou Moon. I wish I’d given it another title because, of course, I now use “moon” in the titles of my werewolf books. Recently, I’ve explored the bayou again–in Cursed, one of my Decorah Security books.

The story combines lots of elements I love–spooky swampy locations with snakes and alligators, a brooding old mansion, and a voodoo curse. It’s also got a very eccentric hero who hires a Decorah Security agent to help him figure out who is murdering people near his plantation and making it look like the killings were done by the claws of a large cat. As you might suspect from the cover, the hero is a shifter. But not a wolf, and someone in town is trying to drive him away. That’s unfortunate because the curse chains him to the bayou. What’s the motivation for the killer’s campaign of deceit? Who’s responsible? And why does female Decorah agent, Morgan Kirkland, start having dreams of long-ago lovers who were cruelly separated by fate? There are a lot of puzzles in the mix, all spiced up with Louisiana gumbo.