Sunday, January 24, 2010

Earl's Forbidden Ward Promo on Bronwyn Scott Blog

I'm starting the promo for the Earl's Forbidden Ward a bit in advance of its March release since Notorious Rake is making a big second showing up in my parts of the world over Valentine's Day. If you're interested,

check out the promo, which is in tandem with supporting the South Titans Swim Club. The 'give away' runs Jan. 24 thru the day of Love Feb. 14th. (And why not, when the cover is so red and luscious, just perfect for Valentine's.)

Love to all,


Hot cover for February Undone!

Alright, I figured out how to load the photo of the cover, so here it is. This guy is the perfect image of the hero in Wicked Earl, Wanton Widow--Killian Redbourne. I know the title is different here on the photo, just ignore that. Which shouldn't be hard when there's so many other delightful features to look at on the cover.

All my best


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Harlequin Historical author Michelle Styles featured in Living North

Living North, the regional lifestyle for the North East of England has done a feature on Michelle Styles. It is the featured article for February. You can see the magazine and the article here.

Sometimes, an author's life can have a few moments of glamour...

Michelle Styles's latest North American release is Sold & Seduced which is a February Harlequin Historical Direct and so just available as an ebook and as a print book on the eharlequin website.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Notorious Rake, Innocent Lady, picked as book club read

How fun! A book club in Lake Tapps, a town near where I live, decided they wanted something a bit steamy and fun for their February read. I am told one of the members said, "Remember that Bronwyn Scott book about the Viscount we read last year? I'd sure love to read another one of her books." So they picked Notorious Rake, Innocent Lady, which was one of the original Undone debuts a year and a half ago. I thought that was great--their choices for the month were the Red Tent (an admittedly great book) and Notorious Rake, and who-hoo, they went with the romance. It's a perfect time to read Notorious Rake since the Feb. e-book Undone features the hero's older brother and one of the March historical releases is the older brother's story (Earl's Forbidden Ward) and then in late spring, the middle brother's book comes out.

Monday, January 11, 2010

January Undones! and Recipes from the Past

This past summer, my grandmother shared with me a handwritten cook book, that my great-grandmother had given to her daughters in 1948, in order to share family recipes.  Since she never used recipes, my great-grandmother had to make each of the recipes and write them down.  Along the way, she included many of her own comments and recommendations.  When I read them, it was like catching a glimpse of the woman who died before I was born.  Below, I'm transcribing, word for word, her recipe for Baked Chicken and Dressing so that you can gain a sense of who she was.

Baked Chicken and Dressing

Buy about a five lb. hen—always with white fat if possible.  Old hens have real yellow fat and big pores, so when possible, select the light cream colored fat.  Wash thoroughly, almost cover in water (cold) and boil at gentle heat until wings and thighs will feel loose when pulled from the body.  When the chicken is about half done, salt.

Take out as much broth as needed for the gravy and use the remaining broth to make up the dressing.  Set the chicken aside until you are ready to brown it when the dressing is about half done.


Make a good egg bread—about 1 ½ cups meal, 2 eggs, 3 full Tablespoons melted lard (I use bacon drippings lots).  2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt and make into fairly soft dough with sweet milk.  Bake in hot oven.  Then crumble up in bowl.  Add about 2 small biscuits or maybe 1 ½ slices light bread, one medium size onion and one small piece garlic (leave off the garlic if you don't like it), 1 cup chopped celery.  Make all this up into right consistency with the broth.  Put in shallow pan and bake.  Stir one time after it has begun to get dry on sides, at this stirring, add 2 Tablespoons sugar—then put the chicken in center of pan and bake to golden brown on both sides.  Call Mary to come eat dinner with you.

What I love about this recipe is that I can almost hear my great-grandmother talking to me.  The last line truly is in the cook book, and it makes me smile. 

I wanted to create a character who loved to cook and who found her refuge in making food for others.  The character of Emily Whitmore, the Accidental Countess, was born.  In the Undone short story "An Accidental Seduction," Emily is reunited with her childhood sweetheart, and she cooks an unconventional meal for him during a winter snow storm.  I've also included some of Emily's true recipes on my website at:

Food is a universal element, bringing families and generations together.  Whenever I browse through old cook books, I feel like I'm stepping into the past where women served love and affection along with their food.  It makes me wonder what sort of people they were and what stories lie untold.

--Michelle Willingham

* * *

“Would you care for a slice of plum cake?” – Mrs. Higgins

Since the recipe that follows is adapted from Beeton’s Book of Household Management, I hoped to quote something from Mrs. Beeton that would relate to my Undone which is out this month, Notorious Eliza.

Nope. Even if Mrs. Beeton had been Eliza’s contemporary (the story takes place in 1800) instead of a starchy Victorian, she wouldn’t have approved of a woman who paints the mistresses of rakes and is hired to disguise the orgies painted on a country house’s ballroom walls.

So instead, the above quote is from the hero’s housekeeper. She’s a motherly sort, and after breaking to Patrick the news that his daughter’s new playmate is the scandalous Eliza’s son, she offers him comfort food in the form of plum cake. Not that that’s the sort of comfort Patrick’s looking for, but fortunately for her peace of mind, Mrs. Higgins (like Mrs. Beeton) has no idea what a man like Patrick really wants!

Luckily, since I needed to try out the recipe, plum cake doesn’t actually contain plums, which aren’t easy to find at this time of year. It may have contained prunes at some time in the distant past, but not in Mrs. Beeton’s time, and likely not in Patrick and Eliza’s day, either.

“A Nice Plum Cake”

3 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. soda
½ tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups currants
1/3 cup diced candied lemon peel
1/2 cup butter (1/4 lb.)
1-1/4 cups milk

Bake in a greased loaf pan at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out more or less clean. It’s good! There was too much batter for one loaf pan, so I made six muffins with the rest, and they were fine, too. You can find this and other recipes I experimented with during historical research at

-- Barbara Monajem

Monday, January 04, 2010

Super Librarian Selects The Harvey Girls

If you're building your elibrary, here's a bargain bundle for you to check out. There are two other selections, as well.

Blogger Bundle Volume III: Super Librarian Selects The Harvey Girls

Meet the women who civilized the American West in this bundle hand-picked by Wendy the Super Librarian! Though their pasts may be filled with trials and tribulations, these Harvey Girls still have big dreams of a better life. Falling in love wasn't on the menu, until happily ever after came walking through the door. Bundle includes The Doctor's Wife, The Lawman's Bride, and The Preacher's Daughter by Cheryl St. John.

Wendy said:
In an era before dining cars, weary train passengers relied on Harvey House restaurants to feed them along their journey. They were served by Harvey Girls, young ladies in crisp uniforms who jumped at the chance for adventure, a respectable job and a decent wage. I like to think that St.John’s fictitious Harvey Girls are not all that different from their real-life counterparts. Women who have seen hard times but are determined to make better lives for themselves and their families.

What I especially love about Cheryl St.John’s stories is that while her characters have gone through their personal trials, they never give up. They continue to move forward, put one foot in front of the other and strive toward a better life. It is an amiable quality in any human being, and even better in a romance novel, making the happily-ever-after all the more sweeter for the characters and the readers.
Whether you are already a fan of Cheryl St.John, or a first-time reader, I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I do.
Happy reading,
Wendy the Super Librarian
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