Sunday Quote loves air conditioning

Posted by on Jun 28, 2015 in Blog, Quote | 0 comments

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

~Stephen King

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Author Rebecca Roland: The Majesty of Dragons

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in Blog, others books | 0 comments

Fractured Days

Today I welcome author Rebecca Roland, author of the just-released Fractured Days, the second book in her Shards of History series from World Weaver Press. She’s here today to talk about her love of dragons.

I am one of those fantasy readers who loves dragons. I love Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern, I love Temeraire in Naomi Novik’s alternate history series of the same name, and you’d better believe I seriously considered dressing as Daenerys Targaryen for Halloween last year. Dragons are truly awesome. They’re huge, they’re powerful; they breathe fire for crying out loud!

My first encounter with a dragon as a kid was Puff the Magic Dragon. I watched the cartoon endlessly. I knew all the lyrics to the song at one point (I tried singing it right now and after a couple of lines started humming). Puff is one of those stories about growing up and losing the magic of childhood. As a kid, those types of stories always made me sad (and they still do). It’s like losing the part of yourself that thinks of all the possibilities. Part of me saw Puff as a warning against growing up too much, if that makes any sense. I definitely believe in keeping in touch with one’s inner child. Otherwise (and pardon me for sounding a little new agey), you might lose touch of where to find the deepest joy within yourself.

But I think I really fell in love with dragons when I watched The Neverending Story. Falcor was a gentle dragon, and he was furry and cuddly and enjoyed scratches behind his ears like a great big sweet dog. And when Bastian or Atreyu rode on Falcor, I felt like I was flying along with them. That has got to be one of the best advantages of having a large dragon. If you can’t smite your enemies from the air, you can fly away from them quickly.

Since I love dragons so much, I had to include them in my Shards of History series. I didn’t want them to overpower the plot too much, though. As cool as dragons are, I didn’t mean for them to be the focus of the series. They are more like horses in the books. They’re mounts for the Maddion, who use the fire-breathing dragons to their full advantage, striking quickly from the air and inspiring terror in whoever they attack. The dragons can’t communicate like Temeraire, nor are they intelligent like him. If they were, the Maddions’ power would far outweigh that of my antagonists.

Dragons can be beastly, beautiful, enormous, or tiny enough to ride on one’s shoulder. They can be clever or not. Perhaps they breathe fire, or maybe they spit acid instead. They might allow you to ride on their backs, or they might turn you into barbeque and then pick their teeth with your femur. Dragons demand respect and wonder. I always dreamed of having a dragon on the cover of one of my books, and that dream has, at last, come true.

BIO:
Rebecca is the author of the Shards of History series, The Necromancer’s Inheritance series, and The King of Ash and Bones, and Other Stories. Her short fiction has appeared in publications such as Nature, Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, Stupefying Stories, Plasma Frequency, and Every Day Fiction, and she is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. You can find out more about her and her work at rebeccaroland.net or follow her on Twitter at @rebecca_roland.

Fractured Days at World Weaver Press

Goodreads

Amazon

Rebecca’s Website

Rebecca’s Blog

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Heading North by Northwest

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in Blog, breath of earth, clockwork dagger | 1 comment

I’m flying up to Seattle tomorrow to attend Locus Weekend. I AM SO EXCITED. I get to hang out with writer buddies for a few days! It will be torture to be in Seattle for such a brief time, though. I miss that area so much. The greenery. The trees. The seasons. Sigh.

I’ll have a guest post from author Rebecca Roland up tomorrow, too! She’s going to talk DRAGONS.

Here are my other links ‘n things from the week:

The Clockwork Dagger is put to the Page 69 Test to see how representative that page is of the whole book.

RT Book Reviews is excited about my new series Breath of Earth! It gets highlighted as a highly anticipated forthcoming release. Yay!

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Bready or Not: Lemon Loaf Cake

Posted by on Jun 24, 2015 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake, lemon, quick bread | 0 comments

Let’s finish up CAKE MONTH with something that’s bright, fresh, and perfect for summer!

lemon loaf cake

I modified this King Arthur Flour lemon cake and made it in two gift-size pans, as one was indeed given as a gift to dear family friends who came for a visit. My husband pretty well inhaled the loaf that we kept.

lemon loaf cake

Like last week’s chocolate cream cheese cake, this is the kind of cake that isn’t heavy duty on sweet. It’s really perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. Eat it by itself or pair a slice with fruit, ice cream, or whatever else sounds good.

lemon loaf cake

I made this using sour cream, though the original recipe suggested yogurt or buttermilk. I bet this would be amazing with lemon yogurt. MORE LEMONY GOODNESS!

lemon loaf cake

Modified from King Arthur Flour’s Lemon Bread.

Bready or Not: Lemon Loaf Cake

lemon loaf cake

This light and fresh lemon loaf cake is perfect for breakfast, brunch or dessert.

  • Cake
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) lemon juice
  • zest of two lemons (optional, but recommended)
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) sour cream or yogurt or buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (or substitute more lemon juice)
  • 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Glaze
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) white sugar

For the cake: Preheat the oven at 350-degrees. Cream together the butter and sugar till thoroughly combined, followed by the eggs.

In a small bowl, mix the sour cream, yogurt or buttermilk with the lemon juice, lemon extract, and zest, and set aside.

In a third bowl, prepare the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Slowly add the second and third bowls into the butter mixture until everything is together.

Prepare your pan(s) by applying nonstick spray. Spoon the batter inside. If using a standard bread pan, bake for about 50 minutes; if using two 7x2 paper pans, bake for 30-35 minutes. If using in smaller bread pans, adjust time accordingly. Use the toothpick test to check for doneness.

Remove the cake from the oven, and deeply poke it all over with a chop stick or fork.

For the glaze: Right before the cake is done, whisk together the glaze ingredients and stir until the sugar is dissolved. While the cake is hot, slowly drizzle the glaze over it, stopping often to let it to soak in.

If you're using regular bread pan(s), let the cake cool in the pan another 15 minutes and then remove the loaf to let it cool completely.

Let cake cool completely before slicing. Wrap it with plastic wrap and store in the fridge or at room temperature. Will keep for at least 3 days.

OM NOM NOM!

 

lemon loaf cake

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