A Fierce Series #Mgtab @Natalieann121

When I started the Fierce Five over 2 years ago I just figured it’d be a five book series and I’d move onto something else. But then I decided to do a prequel with Gavin and Jolene Fierce to put them into our Love, Christmas boxed set collection (which hit the USA Today Bestseller list!). But the more I wrote about the Fierce Five the more I loved this family and didn’t want to stop.

Come to find out, I wasn’t alone. My readers loved them too!! I was getting emails and FB comments asking when the next one would be out. And how sad they’d be when the series ended.

So what did I do? I used my creative license and introduced seven of their cousins. Now I find myself falling in love with these seven and their parents as much as I did Jolene and Gavin along with their five kids.

The first of the Fierce Family was released just this week. Fierce-Sam. Check him out! I think he’s just as hot as the Fierce-Five. And already, I’m getting rave reviews with readers stating they can’t wait for the rest of the family.

If you haven’t read any of the Fierce Five, you can start with How Gavin Stole Christmas for just 99 cents. Or read all the books for free on Kindle Unlimited.

In the soup at River’s Sigh B & B

I’m a bit of a soup addict. Whenever I’m stressed or feeling blue about something, I make soup. Whenever I’m happy, expecting a crowd for dinner, or am feeling especially homemakery (That’s a newly invented word! Like it? 😁), I make soup. Chopping and grating, bringing to a boil, simmering . . . tasting. The steamy aromas of mingled garlic, onion, ginger . . . Mmmm!

There’s something Zen about cooking in general, and about making soup from scratch, especially. And like my aunt says, even if you can’t cook, it’s hard not to make great soup, so long as you use quality ingredients. It will sound corny, but I think she’s right only to a point. Something of yourself has to go into the pot too—your love, your affection, your hope, your well wishes . . .

My newest obsession is homemade wonton. (And yes, I make a whole ton of the little wrapped delights, freeze them on cookie trays, then dump them into freezer bags, so I can pull them out by the handful whenever I want that particular delight—ready in just ten minutes!) This is a wonderful site I’ve been using for inspiration: https://omnivorescookbook.com/recipes/wonton-soup (But I fold my wontons like Nagi describes on her fabulous website: https://www.recipetineats.com/wonton-soup/)

Another favorite is salmon chowder. Whenever I make it, I impress even myself, LOL. I use this recipe from Allrecipes.com, then modify it (as is my style) ‘til the concoction in my pot could never be recreated using the recipe card sitting on my counter.

As I cook (and taste!), my mind wanders all over the place, but generally settles on whatever novel I’m currently working on. Most of my main characters, in pretty much every one of my stories, at some point or another, make soup—yet my books aren’t the type that get marketed to foodies, with recipes in the back (though I do love those). In fact, the scenes are very brief. I don’t know if readers would even consciously remember them, but they are, I think, symbolic.

Soup is the epitome of comfort food, belonging and home. Every culture has its own variations of the dish, and while soup can be whimsical, there’s nothing trendy or passé about throwing things in a pot to simmer and blend all together into something, always a bit different, always good. Soup, regardless of its name, is as old as the human race.

And what do each of my main characters, despite how different from one another they initially appear, all have in common when you first meet them? In some way or another, they all yearn for and crave—but somehow lack: Family. A sense of belonging. A home.

Food of all kinds (not just soup!) has weighty (pun intended!) positive and negative connotations for us as individuals and within our relationships—and it does for my characters, too. What they eat or don’t eat, and the way they eat—standing over the kitchen sink, or with wine and candles even when alone—says a lot about their personality, their desires, their family background, their financial situation, and so much more.

Even if you’re not a fellow soup addict, LOL, I hope you’ll enjoy the sensory details in my stories, but even more so, I hope you’ll find my books food for your soul. A celebration of the simple good things in life and the power of finding, at last, that place you fit, with people who love you for you.  

Wishing you a lovely June, full of good eats and wonderful reads! 

😊 Ev

 

The Complete NY State Trooper Series AND a New Release!

For a limited time, I’m offering the complete NY State Trooper Series as a collection for only .99. The first book in the series: In Two Weeks is the first book I’ve ever wrote and it was also the first book that I ever published back in 2007. It was originally published with Triskelion and was titled Right In Front of You. Sadly, only days after release, the publisher went bankrupt.

That was my first lesson in resilience in publishing.

I have had to reinvent myself a couple of time and just as soon as I think I’ve got it covered, something in publishing changes, and I find myself having to adjust my plans.

But there is one thing that has never changed and that is the reader. Without the reader, I don’t exist. I’m constantly trying to give back to my readers. That’s why I put the NY State Trooper Boxset together. When I worked with NY Times Bestselling Bob Mayer at Cool Gus Publishing, we ran on the philosophy that backlist isn’t backlist to readers who haven’t read it before. Wow. That’s a mouthful, isn’t?

One of the things I often do in my books is use a setting that I’m intimately familiar with. In the NY State Trooper Series, I set all the books in Lake George, NY (except the latest novella). In the first book, our heroine lives in the cottage house that my family rented when I was a young girl. Her brother owns the local pub that was in our backyard. In Dark Water I have our heroine living in a trailer park up in Hauge, NY where I’ve been many times. Deadly Secrets is set in the village of Lake George and I have the heroine living in a row of houses that my family rented when I was a teenager. Murder in Paradise Bay, well, I have a dead body in Paradise Bay, a bay in Lake George that my family often hung out in. But also, the heroine’s family home is model after a big white house on Assembly point that friends of ours used to live in. I sort of take a detour in the next book To Protect His Own because our hero and heroine live on a farm not far from Lake George. This farm is not based on any farm that I know of. But as we move on to Deadly Seduction I take us back to the village of Lake George and to a restaurant that I used to love to go to when I was a kid. I put an apartment over the top that in real life doesn’t exist. Hey. It’s fiction. Finally, in When a Stranger Calls, I bring us back to the original location of the first book. Only, the house our heroine lives in was an old abandoned cottage when I was a girl and the mobile home the hero lives in was actually my next door neighbor, only in the book I moved it to a different street.

Recently, I wrote a novella that I set in Florida, but it’s about a NY State Trooper. The title is His Deadly Past. It is included in the complete boxset.

Last up, I have a new release coming up on June 11th that is up for pre-order. I’m super exicted about this novella. It’s the 4th book in the Out of the Wild series. It’s titled: Rough Edge. I hope you’ll check it out!

Glass Gems in a Teacup – Memory Aids

For all of us, there are certain things you need to do each day. As you get old, or just really busy, and the days start melding together, some things become so automatic that you can’t remember if you did them or not. One of these things is getting enough water to drink. If you don’t have enough water in you to hydrate your body, you get deep wrinkles and dehydrate. It’s one of the reason old people look so old. Coffee and tea actually rob the body of water, so you can’t count cups of tea as water. Even fruit juice doesn’t hydrate as well as plain water.

I found that when I got to the end of a day, I didn’t know if I had drunk more than two or three glasses of water. When I didn’t drink enough, I’d get terrible cramps in my legs during the night. I tried a checklist, but would forget to check it off. Finally I devised a system that worked well for me. See if you like it. I use it to keep track of other things too. You might want to show this idea to your elderly relatives, who tend to forget things that have become routine.

I bought clear flat glass gems from the craft store, the kind used in flower arrangements. Depending upon the size of your water glass, you will want 6 or 8 of these. I prefer the flat gems to regular round marbles, as they don’t roll off the counter. Also the clear gems remind me of water, so I know what they are for.

Next get a small container, like a teacup, and something to put under it, like a candy tray, small basket, or a large saucer. Since this is going to sit out on your counter, you want something pretty that looks like a work of art. Here are some sample containers.

When you finish drinking a glass of water, toss a gem into the cup and refill your glass with water. Set the full glass beside your counting display. When you’ve drunk that water, you toss in another clear glass gem.

I have other glass gems that are colored that I use to indicate when I’ve taken my vitamins or done some exercise.

A small slip of paper in the cup reminds me of what color I use for each thing.

The next morning, dump out all the gems and start over again. This is fun and easy to do and keeps you from looking around for a pencil every time something needs to be checked off. A full cup of gems in the early morning means you haven’t had any water so far that day, and is a better reminder than a piece of paper with a checklist on it.

Let me know if this idea works for you.

In one of my pioneer Trahern books, Ruth Trahern knew she wasn’t “The Prettiest Girl in the Land,” but she wanted a husband, and set out with her rifle and a stray dog to find one. Ruth could take numbers and make them dance. She figured there must be some jobs for a woman who could calculate in her head, so left the Tennessee mountains to find a job which would take her to California, where she hoped to find her a man. This book is free on Friday, May 31. .