If you’re a long-time reader of my books, you know visual boards are key for any story I write and I’ve had so much fun putting together a board on Pinterest for this book.
If you like what you see, I hope you’ll drop by my pinterest page and check out the board for more fun photo inspirations I had! The excerpt for Take A Chance On Me is now live on my site so do take a peek at it and feel free to use the share buttons on the excerpt page to help me get the word out on social media.
Miracle on Chance Avenue is out today. It’s a big deal to me, and I’m really looking forward to hearing what my readers think so get your copy (available in print and as an ebook from Amazon, and as an ebook from iBooks, B&N Nook, Kobo, and Google Play). This story wasn’t an easy one to write as Rory Douglas has had a very hard past and he wasn’t looking for a happy-ever-after but life had different plans for him!
Today is also fun because it’s Tule Publishing‘s Ugly Sweater Breakfast at iHOP here in San Clemente and I love pancakes, especially iHOP’s buttermilk pancakes, and now I have a new ugly sweater for the occasion.
At home the boys call the kitchen “Jane’s Kitchen”, turning me into a short order cook. On any given morning I’m making French Toast, egg sandwich, scrambled eggs and diced ham, and possibly oatmeal. No one in my family ever wants the same breakfast and so you can usually find me at the stove from 6:30-9:30 a.m. turning on a burner and cracking some eggs. (I try to do it with a smile but it doesn’t always work out that way….).
On Monday I told everyone that I was only making one breakfast so I could do some holiday baking and I tasted tested three different scone recipes to see which deserved to be Sadie’s Scones (Sadie makes scones in Miracle on Chance Avenue) and the recipe below was the clear winner. Sadie’s Scones are delicious right out of the oven, but also good the next day warmed a little and then served with clotted cream and some lemon curd or your favorite jam.
Sadie’s Holiday Scones Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in raisins.
In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.
Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)
Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.
Sadie’s Notes: I shaped the dough right on the cookie sheet, cut it into wedges and then gently separated to save a myself a step but feel free to follow the steps exactly if you like! Also, this recipe really does need a lot of mixing – no extra liquid is required even though you will think it does! I hope you enjoy!
And yes, of course, I also have a giveaway to help celebrate the release of Miracle on Chance Avenue. The giveaway is packed with books, a gorgeous glazed mug, Montana coffee, Peppermint Bark and so much more. How to enter the giveaway? Tell me your plans for this weekend and that’s it!
Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the new Christmas release.
A playlist is crucial for me to have when I dive into a story and the one I put together for Miracle on Chance Avenue turned out to be a particular favorite. I listened to these songs on repeat the entire time I was writing their story and wanted to share them with you.
Hope you enjoy!
Hurt – Johnny Cash UNEARTHED
What About Us – Pink BEAUTIFUL TRAUMA
Speed of Sound – Noah Mac (from The Voice)
Barbies – Pink BEAUTIFUL TRAUMA
Just Breathe – Willie Nelson HEROES
City of Silver Dreams – Sugarland GOLD AND GREEN
Christmas Eve – Gwen Stefani YOU MAKE IT FEEL LIKE CHRISTMAS
Angels – Susan Boyle A WONDERFUL WORLD
What a Wonderful World – Susan Boyle A WONDERFUL WORLD
You Make it Feel Like Christmas – Gwen Stefani duet w Blake Shelton YOU MAKE IT FEEL LIKE CHRISTMAS
My good friend CJ Carmichael’s novel, A Bramble House Christmas, will be a Hallmark movie on Sunday night and I am so very proud of her, and thrilled that this story has found a home on the Hallmark movie channel!
CJ has been one of my closest friends for over 20 years (we met before we were ever published!) and CJ was one of the founding authors of Tule, along with Megan Crane and Lilian Darcy. It was at CJ’s cottage at Flathead Lake that we planned our Montana Born stories, and mapped out charming little Marietta where CJ’s Bramble House can be found.
This summer I was able to was able to visit the film set in Vancouver with CJ and it was a really special moment to be there with her and watch her story come to life. I’m sharing some of the pictures from this summer on the film set to celebrate, and I’m also celebrating with a $25 Visa gift card and tons of holiday books and sweets and treats.
Do watch Bramble House Christmas this Sunday (set your DVR now!) and enter my special Bramble House Christmas giveaway now!
I’m so excited to be back in colorful South Africa with husband Ty. Combining some business and fun, we’ve been having a great time exploring beautiful places like the Cape Peninsula, walking with elephants at the Kariega Game Reserve, taking a road trip on the N2 to Mossel Bay and indulging in the local cuisine at The Africa Cafe.
And there’s still so much to do, so much to see! I’m also speaking at ROSA’s Annual National Conference in Melrose, Johannesburg this weekend and so looking forward to the gala dinner on Saturday night. If you’re from Johannesburg, check my events page for details – I’d love to see you there!
I must sign off as Ty’s waiting for me but I wanted to check in with you all. I miss hearing from you! What are you up to this week and or weekend? Talk to me, tell me what’s going on with you. I have a special South African themed prize for one lucky winner so leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win. Sending much love to all!
After an incredible two weeks in Europe researching in Scotland, and getting words down on writer’s retreat in Ireland, I am back in California and trying to get caught up while getting boys ready for school. Jake is wrapping up at Santa Monica College while my middle son Ty starts UCIrvine next month, and my youngest, Mac, begins 3rd grade.
I started my next Harlequin Presents in Ireland. It’s a duet with the one and only Caitlin Crews (aka Megan Crane) and so fun to plot a mini-series with her! It so helps my writing and motivation to hear from you, too, and I have loved the emails from my readers telling me much you enjoyed Thomas and Ellie’s fiery relationship in Married in Montana, book two in my Paradise Valley Ranch series. For anyone who hasn’t yet had a chance to read Married in Montana, you can order a print copy, or a digital download for your favorite ereader, from your favorite online retailer. Its important to me that you can always get print and e-copies of all books!
For those of you who love stories set in small towns, be sure to check out a contest I’m participating in right now. I’ve teamed up with 30 small town romance authors to give away a huge collection of novels to 2 lucky winners, PLUS bookstore gift cards, PLUS a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet to the Grand Prize winner!
But that’s not all! Once you sign up for the small towns contest, come back here for a chance to win another cool prize which includes the 2 Tule romances that have become Hallmark movies in 2017, A Bramble House Christmas and The Art of Us. To enter, just leave a comment and tell me something fun you did this summer! I’ve shared my highlight, now I want to know yours!
I’m travelling this week to attend my Mother’s 80th Birthday celebrations before I head to Yosemite for time with my family. After being chained to my desk for the past month, I’m ready to hike and be outdoors.
I’ve always loved the cinematic nature of storytelling and I use Pinterest to help build my world. Check out the Married in Montana Pinterest board here to see my real life inspiration for the characters and the setting! You’ll see Ellie, a fiery redhead who’s stubborn and determined to marry to save her family’s ranch. You’ll also encounter Thomas, an Irishman who left his past behind to start a new life. Thomas is determined to be successful–on his own terms. He doesn’t want a wife, he doesn’t need any emotional commitments, so Ellie’s everything he doesn’t want and his attraction to her is a complication. I loved bringing these two strong-headed people together and I hope you’ll enjoy meeting them just as much as I did!
If you have already subscribed to my newsletter, you got an exclusive sneak peek excerpt in your mail box this morning! If you aren’t subscribed already, be sure to sign up today so you don’t miss more fun stuff in the future. Meanwhile, here’s a Ellie’s recipe for Thomas’ favorite dish, Steak & Stout Pie. If you try it, let me know what you think!
Ellie Burnett Sheenan’s Steak & Stout Pie
1 (15 ounce) package double-crust pie pastry, thawed
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Place steak cubes onto a plate and sprinkle with flour.
Place lard and bacon into a large skillet over medium heat; heat until lard melts and bacon begins to sizzle. Stir floured steak cubes into bacon and hot lard and cook, stirring frequently, until steak and bacon are browned, 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer steak mixture to a large casserole dish.
Cook and stir onion and mushrooms in the same skillet over medium heat until onions are lightly browned and mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to casserole dish with steak mixture.
Stir Irish stout beer, parsley, raisins, and brown sugar into steak mixture. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until gravy has thickened and steak is tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
Remove casserole dish from oven and increase temperature to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Line a deep-dish 9-inch pie plate with a pie crust and bake in the preheated oven until crust is partially cooked and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Spoon cooked steak filling into the partially-baked pie crust.
Cover steak filling with second pie crust; pinch the top crust against the bottom crust to seal tightly.
Bake pie until top crust is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
To read more of Ellie and Thomas’ story, head over to your preferred online retailer right now and download your copy! Prefer print? Gorgeous paperback copies will be available in a week!
Before I sign off, I have a fun Married In Montana giveaway to celebrate my new release and I’d love for you to be the lucky winner! For a chance to win, tell me if you love historical romances or just tell me what’s happening in your world and you’ll be entered to win. Contest ends Monday with winner announced Tuesday.
Unless you’ve just been introduced to me for the very first time, you won’t be surprised when I play fangirl to my longtime pal, Megan Crane. And I’m not a fangirl because she is Dr. Crane and holds a Phd in Literature, or because she’s damn funny, or even because she puts up with me, but I’m a fan because she writes.
Megan’s heroes are to die for. I LOVE them. And her heroines are the perfect match for her heroes, too.
I don’t know how she does what she does, but CODY, her brand new bullrider story and the 4th in the multi-author American Extreme Bullriding Tour series is beyond delicious. I love it so much and I had a little chit chat with Megan about her amazing hero (and heroes!) and that’s coming up.
Megan’s interest in bullriders go back a number of years, too. We’ve been attending the PBR together for almost five years now, ever since we saw our first bullriding event together in Clovis, CA. Of course, Megan and I did a little shopping before Clovis, too, stopping at the enormous Boot Barn in Tulare, CA to make sure we had the right ‘accessories.’
Welcome back to my blog, Megan, and let’s talk bull riders!
Thanks, Jane, and I had so much fun writing this book! I’m so happy that I get to be a part of this amazing new Tule series, with so many authors I admire. And I’m thrilled that readers are responding so well to this book!
Jane: I love Cody. he is so strong and so 100% himself. Where did he come from? how did you get the idea for him?
Megan: He just sort of appeared that way!
He was clear in my head from the moment we started talking about bull riders. Probably because I’ve spent quite a few years daydreaming about bull riders, ever since you took me to my first PBR show all those years ago! Cody is an amalgamation of all my favorites. Plus, I just love a surly hero. Watching them fall in love makes my heart happy.
Jane: I love how you pair opposites attract. I think you do it better than anyone else I know. Who came first to you Cody or Skylar?
Megan: I think they came to me at the same time. I’d imagined Skylar and her pre-Cody situation a while back, when I came up with the whole, extended Grey family, so I knew who she was. Or who she used to be. And I’d originally planned to write her a different book. But then the bull rider series came along and I decided to pair her with my bull rider hero. And once I decided that, I knew her hero had to be utterly different from her fiance. And it all sort of flowed from there. Skylar’s in such a state of suspended animation in the beginning of the book. She needs someone to shatter it all into unrecognizable smithereens—and Cody Galen is just the man for the job!
Jane: Tell me three things you like about Cody .
Megan: 1. He’s very, very good at what he does. Everything he does. 😉
2. He has no idea how deeply he can fall in love and how it will transform him.
3. When he falls in love with Skylar, he falls hard and he learns from it, because that’s the bull rider way. And then he gets back up with every intention of winning, because that’s what makes him a legend.
Jane:Tell me three things Skylar likes about Cody.
Megan: 1. He treats her like she’s a flesh and blood woman, not a shrine to her lost fiance.
2. He lets her be whoever she wants to be, not what she’s expected to be.
3. He might pretend otherwise, but she knows he’s a good man, because no matter how surly he gets, he’s always good to her.
4. Um. He’s SO FREAKING HOT.
Jane: In your mind, what are the attributes of a great hero?
Megan: I like my heroes edgy and dangerous and maybe not all that nice. Because watching such tough, inaccessible men fall for the women who were put on this earth to wreck and redeem them just makes me happy. The great thing about a rough, harsh alpha hero is that however powerful and hard he is in the beginning, that’s exactly how hard and powerful and true he’s going to love his woman for the rest of his life. The more awful he is at the start, the harder and deeper he’ll fall. And I love watching them fall!
I also think that great heroes are reluctant, maybe because they give their all no matter what they do. I think sometimes these men know that once they fall in love, that’s it for them—so of course they do their best to avoid it!
Jane: Megan, I can talk books and heroes with you all day long!! And readers, be sure to visit one of these online retailers to download your own copy of CODY : Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon UK
And if you love music with books, here’s a Megan Crane Bonus – Cody’s Playlist! :
“The Devil & the Huntsman”—Sam Lee & Daniel Pemberton
“If I Told You”—Darius Rucker
“Crazy for You”—Scars on 45
“Broken Halos”—Chris Stapleton
“That Feeling”—Cragan and Moroney
“White Liar”—Miranda Lambert
“Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not”—Thompson Square
“To Be Without You”—Ryan Adams
“When I’m Small”—Phantogram
“Saving Grace”—Stellar Revival
“Colder Weather”—Zac Brown Band
“Out There in the Middle”—Robert Earl Keen
“Roller Coaster”—Bon Jovi
“Red Light”—David Nail
“Body Like A Back Road”—Sam Hunt
Megan, I have loved having you visit my blog and in case I didn’t already say it, I absolutely love Cody! In fact, I’m so excited about his story, I’ve got a fun giveaway for one lucky reader and it’s a box of my favorite Megan Crane reads! For a chance to win, tell me why you should be the one to win this ultimate Megan Crane fan girl book box! Contest ends Saturday with winner announced Sunday.