A Perfect Mistress is free for the kindle through August 31st. I loved writing this, and I can’t wait for you to read it and let me know what you think. Be sure to get your copy today! The price is 0.00 through September 1st.
About the book:
Jackson Henry is scarred and lonely. Widowed Sophie Grey is desperate to escape life with her abusive sister. When they meet, her beauty tempts him into making a most improper proposal.
When her sister’s jealousy makes her dangerously unstable, Jackson is there for Sophie. Will the passion that flares between them heal their wounds, or will it inflict new ones?
From bestselling historical romance author Barbara Mack comes another soul-wrenching story of redemption and love.
My Pie Heaven – Easy, Fabulous Pie, Cobbler and Tart recipes is free for the kindle right now. It will go back to regular price Wednesday, so get your copy today!
Pie recipes galore come in this lovely pie book, and it has a clickable table of contents in the beginning of the book to make finding recipes easier.
From the author:
Pie. Delicious pie.
Is there anything more wonderful than homemade pie? I don’t think so. I love pie, and I love making them. I don’t, however, like to work so hard that I can’t enjoy the pie later. These recipes are all easy, don’t require a lot of skill in the kitchen, and they don’t take a great deal of time. They’re hardly any work at all, in fact, but they taste like you slaved over a hot stove all day long.
There are as many pie recipes as there are stars in the sky, and there’s a reason for that: They’re easy to make, easy to transport, and they make wonderful gifts for friends and family. Pies have been around for a long, long time.
Pies in the modern world are mostly sweet, and eaten as dessert. According to historians, ancient Egyptians baked the first pie around 9500 B.C. They made rustic pie shells with oat, wheat, rye, and barley, then filled them with honey and baked them over hot coals.
The Romans made pie from everything; sweet pies, meat pies, and even seafood pies. One of their favorite dessert treats was a cheesecake-like dessert baked in a pastry shell.
In medieval times, the pies were mostly meat pies, and the pie shell itself was inedible. It was basically a container for the food. Eventually, after bringing their recipes to the colonies with them, pies evolved, and became part of our culture. Pioneer women often served pie with every meal. It’s not unusual to crack open a cookbook from long ago and find many, many pie recipes.
Some of the pie recipes in this book have old roots, and some do not. All the recipes have been tweaked and twisted over the course of several years, making them uniquely my own creation.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Love to cook bread, soups and stews, and yummy refrigerator cakes? Here are 3 cookbooks on that very subject, free for the kindle right now.
Though free at time of posting, prices may change at any time. Always check that the ‘Kindle Price’ says $0.00. If you see a price for ‘Prime Members’ or ‘read for free’, then the book is NOT free any longer.
25 Artisan Style Bread Recipes : Bake Beautiful Sweet and Savory Loaves at Home Without A Bread Machine (The Green Gourmet)
About the book: There is nothing more appetizing than the smell of bread cooking, and that is one of reasons why I have gathered together this collection of my favorite bread recipes.
Even better, is bread made with yeast – real artisan bread uses only wild yeast starter, flour, water, and salt.
In these recipes, I have tried to remain true to purist artisan bread but instead used readily available, active dry yeast rather than wild yeast starter. But I have adhered to one basic rule -– that all breads are made with yeast, by hand in small batches and without a fancy bread machine.
The French and the Italians are considered the masters of artisan bread making. Breads adhere to the four essential ingredients and a good quantity of water. They can be formed into all kinds of shapes and sizes. These include sourdoughs, baguettes, crusty ryes, brioche, ciabatta, focaccia, fougasse, and many more!
There is one cardinal rule to remember when baking this type of bread. Always use active yeast. If your yeast isn’’t bubbling when you mix it, then it is most likely no longer active. Without bubbling yeast, your bread won’’t rise.
For crispier crusts, try not to add too much flour when kneading the dough. To achieve an excellent crust, add a small pan of water to the bottom of the oven and mist your loaves with water now and then while they bake.
If you enjoy cooking your own bread, then you may want to consider investing in high quality baking pans or tins. A true artisan bread depends on many factors, including the proper baking equipment. Many bakers use baker’s stones, which are relatively inexpensive which are readily available at good cooking supply stores or here on Amazon.
Enjoy baking and don’’t forget to share your bread with friends and family!
SPOON: Soup, Stew & Chowder Recipes (Spring/Summer) (Cooking in Season #1)
About the book: Spoon: Soup, Chowder, & Stew Recipes (Spring/Summer) offers 25 delicious recipes that are easy-to-prepare, healthy meals that are also full-flavoured and delicious. With their seasonal approach, Maria Herb and Dana Hay provide you with recipes featuring fresh, local ingredients. Maria’s and Dana’s company SPOON sold soups at the local farmers’ markets, using ingredients from the farmers there. Customers returned weekly to stock up on fresh soups, chowders, and stews. This SPOON cookbook collection contains favourites from the market, as well as many new recipes. Cooking with foods that are in season helps to keep your grocery bill down, and you can take advantage of the selection at your local farmers’ market! Most of the recipes in this book can be prepared in less than 30 minutes, and will leave you enough to freeze the extra for another time.
This book is a collection of delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare SPOON recipes for spring and summer.
30 Delicious Refrigerator Cake Recipes
About the Book: Make mouth-watering, scrumptious cakes that require little to no baking in an oven! Best-Selling Author Lori Burke brings you 24 Refrigerator cakes that are fun and easy to prepare. In addition she includes recipes for 6 Refrigerator Poke cakes that require minimal baking but are fun to make and so delicious. That’s a total of 30 crowd-pleasing recipes! If you love desserts that melt in your mouth and make you go “Mmmmm” then this is the book for you!
Here’s a sampling of just a few of the recipes in this book:
* Ambrosia Refrigerator Cake
* Banana Icebox Cake
* Brandy Refrigerator Cake
* Banana Split Poke Cake
* Chocolate Eclair Refrigerator Cake
* Coconut Refrigerator Poke Cake
* German Chocolate Icebox Cake
* Happy Holidays Refrigerator Cake
* Holy Cannoli Refrigerator Cake
* Ice Box Fruit Cake
* Lemon Snap Refrigerator Cake
* Neopolitan Refrigerator Poke Cake
* Oreo Refrigerator Cake
* Peppermint Refrigerator Cake
* Pineapple Icebox Dessert
* Raspberry Icebox Cake
* Strawberry Icebox Cake
* Sweet Chocolate Refrigerator Cake
* Vanilla Refrigerator Cake
My Dead Boyfriend is free on kindle through Thursday, the 29th. If you like YA or fantasy, be sure to download your free copy.
It’s the last day to download Chasing the Sunset for free on kindle. If you haven’t got your copy already, don’t waste any more time – the offer expires at midnight PST.
Don’t forget to come back and give it a review if you enjoyed it. I always love to hear your opinions.
When I got up this morning, Chasing the Sunset was #160 in kindle free, and 15 in historical romance. It’s 56 in kindle romance, and here’s hoping I have a lot more downloads today.
If you haven’t got your free copy yet, make sure to go and download one soon – the free promotion ends Friday March 23 at midnight PST.
I’ve decided to make Chasing the Sunset available to download from March 21st through 23rd for no charge to readers. Here are some of the most popular highlighted quotes from the book:
“Love is never wasted, never without a reason, and you should clutch it to you with both hands whenever you find it. To throw love away is the only unforgivable sin, Maggie. Do not be afraid of it; do not spend the rest of your life wondering what if. Live now, and worry about the consequences later.”
Highlighted by 21 Kindle users
“And there is nothing better than looking around at something of yours and thinking ‘I did that. With my own two hands and my sweat, I helped make this possible’.”
Highlighted by 9 Kindle users
“A man with nothing to do is a dangerous man. Boredom is a terrible thing, and it kills more good men than the cholera every year.”
Highlighted by 7 Kindle users
“…she would rather be filled with joy and uncertainty for one minute than spend eternity in a fog of gray.”
Highlighted by 4 Kindle users
Sound good? Go get your free copy today!
Jackson stood on the steps of the house, hands clasped behind him, face stern. He should knock on the door. Yet here he stood, scowling at the massive knocker, making no move to use it. He huffed out an impatient breath.
Either do it or don’t, man, he told himself. Stop standing here like an escapee from an asylum. Before he could change his mind, he gave a quick rat-a-tat-tat on the ornate door. The servant who answered seemed taken aback by the eye patch and the scarred face, but he was civil enough.
In a matter of moments, he found himself in a sitting room and offered a drink. No insipid tea here, he thought approvingly, swirling the whiskey around in the fine, heavy glass. When the madam of the house walked in and smiled, he eyed her approvingly as well, and got right down to business.
Half an hour later, he stalked out the door and marched down the steps, his face carefully expressionless as he jammed his hat down on his head. Acquiring a mistress had sounded so easy when he’d first thought of it; come to St. Louis, find a woman who had no scruples about being paid to sleep with him, and take her home. And it had been easy until they realized where they would be staying. He offered money enough for them to overlook his scarred face and his unpolished ways. It was the accommodations that he offered them that was the problem – it was the big city where they wanted to be, not the wilds of Missouri.
When had she turned into such a spineless ninny?
Sophie shifted her basket to her other arm, frowning as she walked briskly down the street. Had it been when David died and left her penniless, and she was forced to go and live with her stern, joyless father in his cold, miserable house? When her father had died a scant six months later, making no provisions for her? Or when Thomas, the distant cousin who professed to love her, had forced her to the floor and … Sophie stopped the bad memories with a shudder, before they could overtake her.
She frowned irritably as she entered Mrs. Dunn’s dressmaking premises, frightening the poor assistant into believing that she was unhappy with her purchases. Sophie’s conscience smote her, so she softened her manner and assured the sweet girl that she was quite, quite happy with her choices. By the time she left, the assistant was beaming, for she believed that she was the sole reason Sophie frequented the establishment.
Sophie’s pace slowed as she started home, the frown returning to her face. What difference did it make, really? She had woken, finally, from the haze of unhappiness she had existed in for three years. She’d been so fearless before; just look at how hard she’d fought Father for permission to marry David even though he was a poor country lawyer, and she’d come out victorious in the end. It was time to find that woman again, the one who wasn’t afraid of anything. It was time to stop being spineless and return to the person she used to be.
After Thomas had hurt her, he’d wept on the very breasts that he’d savaged, sworn he loved her and worshiped her and he would never touch her again. He had been overcome by lust, he said, and he would be careful to avoid such situations from now on, but Sophie wasn’t a fool. She knew a little something about men, and she knew that a man who hurt a woman once was prone to do it again, and she’d run. As soon as he let her go, she’d run as far and as fast as she could, right to the one person she had believed would be happy to see her: Delia, her scandalous sister. Their father had disowned Delia years ago and considered her as good as dead, but Sophie had always known where to find her.
And Delia had been happy to see her, only not for the reasons Sophie had imagined. No matter how much Delia had seemed to dote on her after their mother died, it was not familial love that had thrown open the doors of her home and made her nearly weep with joy upon greeting her sister. It was the prospect of unpaid help.
For someone who spent money so lavishly on herself, Delia was a pinch-purse when it came to anything else. She’d let a maid go soon after Sophie arrived, explaining airily that she was no longer needed, because Sophie would be happy to take up the slack, wouldn’t she? And she wouldn’t mind taking that small room in the servant’s quarters, would she? Because it wouldn’t do for her friends to know that some sad little ghost like Sophie was actually related to such a famous actress. When Sophie got back on her feet again and she looked a little better, then she would introduce her as her sister. After all, no one noticed servants, did they? No one would think a thing about it.
Sophie snorted. Famous actress. It hadn’t taken her long to realize that Delia was a courtesan, not an actress. It was how she’d got the house she lived in, the jewels she wore, and the clothes on her back. She’d had precisely two acting jobs since Sophie had arrived three years ago, and both of those because she’d been sleeping with the owner of the playhouse, and even that couldn’t keep her the parts for long. She was a terrible actress; she’d been booed off the stage two nights running in her last job, and Sophie had overheard the playhouse owner telling her that she was too much trouble to keep around. His wife was getting suspicious, even her beautiful breasts weren’t enough to blind the audience to her terrible acting, and he couldn’t afford her, he said. She had expensive tastes, and he had a theater to run. Delia had gone off in a huff, swearing that she would never work for him again and he’d be sorry, he would. There were plenty of others lining up at her door, and she didn’t need him. When she was famous, he could come and apologize, and if he groveled enough, she might forgive him.
Delia hadn’t had an acting job since. She had survived this long only because she had protectors, and she had currently been without a lover for months.
It was beginning to worry Delia, it was easy to see. She was fast running out of money, and she’d sold the last of her real jewels a month ago and the ones she had left were made of paste. Sophie knew, because she’d been the one to take them to the jeweler and bargain for a good price. She’d got enough money to keep a frugal household going for about four months, and then Delia would be penniless. Sophie was worried, too; what would she do if she couldn’t live here? Delia wasn’t exactly a model of sisterly love. If Delia had to sell this house, Sophie would get nothing, and Delia wouldn’t lift a hand to see her settled. A woman alone wasn’t safe in this city, and the worry had been keeping her up nights.
Delia had been a terror for weeks, flying into rages, becoming progressively more demanding, and unstable. She’d reduced the cook to tears on at least two occasions, and she’d thrown a chamber pot at the poor girl who helped Sophie with the heavy cleaning two days a week because her bedroom carpet wasn’t clean enough. And worst of all, she’d thrown a tantrum at the haberdashery because the lace on her new bonnet was torn after she wore it only once. The genteel woman who made the bonnets and hats there had ordered them out, her nose quivering, and Sophie had pulled Delia away still raving.
Sophie did her best to soothe her out of her behavior, and sometimes it worked. Delia would break down into tears, and then let Sophie lead her to her room and put a cold cloth on her head while she lay on the bed. She was always sorry after her temper tantrums, and she went to apologize sweetly to everyone she’d offended with her behavior. The woman from the haberdashers wasn’t having it, though; she told Delia that she could find elsewhere to shop. She worked in a respectable shop, and she wouldn’t have the likes of Delia in it. Sophie had held her breath, hoping that Delia wouldn’t make another scene, and she let it out in a whoosh when Delia only turned away with a sniff and said she didn’t like their inferior goods, anyway. She would be glad to shop elsewhere.
Then two days ago, Delia had done the unthinkable: She struck Sophie in the face when something wasn’t ironed to her satisfaction. It had been at that moment, while Sophie was holding a hand to her stinging cheek and Delia was shrieking at her, that she realized in horror what she had allowed her life to become.
She was Delia’s drudge, and this would be her role for the rest of her life unless she did something about it soon.
When Delia had left last night for an evening at the theater, the entire household had breathed a sigh of relief. When she’d come home in the wee hours of the morning, she’d been in a fine mood, giggling and singing, and when she’d rung for Sophie to come and help her out of her dress, she’d actually been almost kind, something that hadn’t happened for quite some time. While some of her good mood could be attributed to all the champagne she’d drunk, it wasn’t the only reason she was happy.
It meant, of course, that she had another man in her sights.
Jackson stood on the steps of yet another house, scowling again at a doorknocker. If this one didn’t turn out to his satisfaction, he was giving up and going back to his country home. He’d had enough of St. Louis, and he longed for the country. At least there, if people didn’t know how to behave, he could hide on his farm and not have to deal with them. He was tired of people who stared at him and snickered behind their hands, and he was weary of soft women whose hard eyes were filled with scorn.
He rapped firmly on the door, and found himself staring into the bluest eyes he’d ever seen.
Sophie smiled up at the striking gentleman on the doorstep, her smile turning quizzical when he stared at her strangely and said nothing. She let her eyes roam over him appreciatively; he was tall and well-built, and his clothes fit his firm body superbly. His coat molded itself to the hard muscle in his shoulders and his trousers followed the long line of his muscled legs. Sophie felt a rush of heat and jerked her eyes back up to look at his face, hoping he hadn’t caught her staring, but it was a vain hope. A small smile curled the generous mouth and his eyes twinkled naughtily, but still he said nothing. He was wearing an eye patch and he had a scar on that side of his face as well. It snaked across his face and bisected his cheek, and the thick, ropy line was still red. It was a new injury, no more than a year old. Sophie felt her heart melt; perhaps the reason he didn’t speak was because of an injury.
“May I help you, sir?” she asked gently. “Did you perhaps want to leave a card?”
“Yes,” Jackson said hoarsely, pulling himself out of the strange spell her eyes had cast upon him. “Yes, of course.” He whipped his card out of the case and handed it to her, his fingers tingling where they touched hers just briefly. “I’m here to see Miss Delia Maxwell.”
Sophie felt her smile die and her excitement dim just a little. Of course, he was Delia’s new man and the reason for her sudden good mood. “Come into the parlor, sir, and I’ll tell Delia that you’re here,” she said softly. She thought she felt his eyes on her back as she left him in the parlor, and when she peeked behind her to check, he was staring straight at her. Sophie blushed hotly and hurried up to Delia’s room.
Delia was as giddy as a girl when Sophie told her that she had company. “Quickly, make up a tea tray with some of those scones you baked yesterday and bring it in,” she commanded, feverishly applying powder to her already white face and checking her appearance in the mirror for flaws. “And don’t take forever. We won’t want any intrusions after a few minutes.”
But when Sophie sat the loaded tray on the table outside the door, she could tell that things weren’t going well.
“A farm?” she heard Delia screech. “Are you mad? Why on earth would I want to go to live on a farm with you?” Sophie strained to hear, but all she could catch was the low rumble of his deep voice. Delia laughed scornfully. “You may as well leave now!”
When the door flew open, Sophie wasn’t quick enough to move out of the way. The gentleman crashed right into her and she would have gone flying had his arms not come swiftly around her, pressing her whole body from knees to chest against his muscular form. Sophie felt her nipples harden, and then he put her gently away from him, his hands still gripping her upper arms. Delia pushed past them, her face like a thundercloud, but neither of them paid her the slightest bit of attention as she swished past and up the stairs, still muttering to herself.
“Are you all right?” he asked.
“I’m fine,” she said faintly.
When his gaze dropped down, Sophie realized that he was tall enough to see straight down the scooped neckline of her high-waisted gown. She’d lost weight with all the hard work she did each day, and they were much looser than they used to be. He let go her arms hurriedly as she took a step back.
“I’m sorry, Miss …?” His raised eyebrow asked her name.
“It’s Mrs….Sophie Grey. I’m a widow,” she blurted out, flustered. “Delia is my sister.” Sophie clapped a hand over her mouth and stared at him, horrified. She hadn’t meant to tell him that. She looked around to make sure that Delia was nowhere near, and breathed a sigh of relief when she didn’t see her anywhere.
His slow, wicked smile did funny things to her stomach. “Widowed. Yes. I’m very pleased to meet you, Mrs. Grey. Sophie. I am Jackson Henry, at your service.”
He sketched a quick bow, and Sophie’s heart melted. Those eyelashes…my goodness, she’d never seen such eyes such a beautiful green and such long lashes on a man before. What a shame it was that one of those eyes now had to be covered up. She wondered what had happened to him, and she wished that she could ask, but of course it would be rude. She didn’t want to hurt his feelings or make him feel uncomfortable.
“But I must go now. I think perhaps your sister has tired of my company.”
Sophie stared after him, and he caught her at it when he turned back as he reached the door.
“Forgive my forwardness, Mrs. Grey, but would you care to take a stroll through the park with me?”
A Perfect Mistress will be available soon on kindle and in paperback.
I had the idea for this book a long time ago, and then…life happened. I shelved it for a while, and I kind of forgot about it. Then my very good friend Becky brought it to my attention ( you should follow her on twitter, btw, because she’s awesome. Her name is moonduster) and I decided to finish it. I wanted to use a pen name because I write historical romance, too, and they’re pretty sexy. I didn’t want someone mixing up the genres or people being insecure about my YA novels because I write for adults as well.
I set myself a deadline, and….I didn’t stick to it. Life happened again, but I’m happy to say that it is now done and available on kindle. It may very well be one of the best things I’ve ever written, and I had so much fun writing it. There’s a teaser for it, right here
Or you can just go to the Amazon and use the ‘read inside this book’ or take a sample for your kindle.
Because of some previous download problems in the giveaway, I’m making the ebook version of Easy, Fabulous Bread Making free for one day only. Go get your copy now, if you would like to find an easy way to make fabulous homemade bread every time. I’m eating fresh bread while I type this post, in fact.