Book Extras

Cookies Fit for a Prince

 

Welcome to my Holiday Cookie Hop recipe!

After years of living in danger, the exiled royal of my historical romance The Prince enjoys the simple, cozy task of preparing tea. He especially loves making tea for the young woman living in his Edinburgh home and scandalously pretending to be a young man so that she can study medicine. To honor these two lovers, I’m offering a delicious holiday cookie that pairs perfectly with tea. Bonus: it’s wheat free!

These traditional Persian rice flour cookies are enjoyed especially at the New Year (which in 2019 is March 21st). But these cookies are so deliciously sweet and delightfully light that I think they’re perfect for any wintery holiday. Enjoy them warm from the oven with tea or coffee, or save them in a lidded container and munch on them for days.

 

The Prince

She’s determined to become a surgeon, even if it means disguising herself as a man. He’s determined to paint her portrait, even if it means risking everything…

Amazon’s Best Romances of 2018

Publishers Weekly *starred review*

Kirkus *starred review*

All About Romance, Desert Isle Keeper

DECEMBER 31st ONLY

Kindle’s Gold Box Deal for $1.99 

 

Naan Berenji (Persian Tea Cookies)

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cup white sugar

½ cup water

1 Tablespoon rose water

3 cups rice flour

3 egg yolks

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp (NOTE: Do not allow the butter to get warm!)

½ cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons fine sugar*

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract**

2 Tablespoons poppy seeds or crushed pistachios

* fine sugar is easy to make: put 1 ¾ cup of regular white sugar in your food processor and process until it’s like fine sand—enjoy the sugar mist when you open the lid!

** vanilla is optional, but I’m a fan so I include it.

Prepare the Syrup

  1. Combine white sugar and water in a small pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir well for about 5 minutes to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for another 7-10 minutes or until the mixture thickens to one cup, whichever comes first.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in the rose water, and set aside to cool. THIS MUST BE ROOM TEMP when you add it below.

Instructions

  1. In a bowl mix rice flour with powdered cardamom. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs with fine sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the butter and oil and beat well until fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla to the eggs, sugar, butter and oil mixture. Then add the flour mixture.
  4. Gradually add in one cup of the sugar syrup and beat well with an electric mixer or electric hand mixer.
  5. Place the dough in a container, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about six hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Take a tablespoon of dough, flatten into round shapes in the palm of your hand and shape the surface with a cookie stamp or teaspoon. Sprinkle poppy seeds on top of each cookies. Place on cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes on middle rack of the oven. Remove from oven and gently place cookies on cooling racks. Transfer the cookies onto your favorite plate and serve with tea or coffee.

Just typing this recipe makes me crave these cookies! I know what I’ll be doing this snowy afternoon… 🙂  Enjoy!

For more cookie recipes from your favorite romance authors, and to enter the Holiday Cookie Recipe Hop grand prize drawing, visit Heather McCollum’s website.

RECIPE SOURCE: I found this recipe on the wonderful Persian food blog Turmeric & Saffron, modified the instructions just a bit, and added a few notes.

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The Falcon Club Explained

 

SPOILER ALERT: This wonderful piece, written by the reviewer Janga after the publication of the final book in the Falcon Club Series, contains plentiful spoilers.

 

The Discovery of Self: The Identity Theme in Katharine Ashe’s Falcon Club Series

By Janga

In When a Scot Loves a Lady, the first book in Katharine Ashe’s Falcon Club series, the hero, Leam Blackwood, says to the heroine Kitty Savege at their first meeting, “But things be not always whit thay seem.” That statement, which Kitty understands all too well and later repeats to herself, introduces a theme that is woven through the Falcon Club books, the original trio of novels and the two books in Ashe’s current Devil’s Duke series. Neither Leam nor Kitty is what they seem to be, and this will hold true for the protagonists of the four novels that follow as identities shift and meld and emerge. The theme reaches its richest complexity in The Earl, Ashe’s most recent novel.
Keep reading about Leam, Jinan, Wyn, Constance and Colin →

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Libby’s thoughts on living as a man, on her housemate, and more

A few months into living as Joseph Smart, Libby sat down for a confidential interview about her life studying medicine, her childhood, and her feelings about her housemate. Libby has finally allowed that interview to be made public.

Interviewer: When you met Ziyaeddin what was your first impression?

Libby: I met him more than two years ago at Haiknayes Castle, the home of the Duke of Loch Irvine, who is a particular friend of my father and me. I went to the library to retrieve a book and the strange man there teased me. He is a dreadful tease, actually. I tell him not to, yet he teases me anyway. At first it disconcerted me; I prefer direct speech. But I have become accustomed to it and have even learned to tease him, which I think he enjoys.

Interviewer: Were you offended when he told you your idea to dress as a man to study medicine was “absurd?”

Libby: I don’t take offence easily. I thought he was wrong to reject the idea so speedily (and look how well it has turned out, after all—so ha ha!). But mostly I felt desperation. I really had no other choice.

Interviewer: Do you think you as a future surgeon and he as a portrait painter have a lot in common regarding the human body?

Libby: Not particularly. But he does. He insists on it. He is exasperating. And very handsome. And kind. And generous. And unexpectedly fierce at times. But exasperating. It is true that I have come to see that he paints not only what is on the outside of a person, but also what is within that person—pain, longing, fear, joy. He is an exceptionally fine artist. I wonder sometimes why he wishes to paint me. What I am within is entirely on the surface for everybody to see.

Read more of the interview…

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Is He Mr. Right?

Wonderful Vanessa Kelly invited me to interview Corinna Mowbray and Ian Chance, the heroine and hero from My Lady, My Lord, for her readers. Corinna thinks it’s a great idea. She hosts a fashionable, elite salon in London, and enjoys conversing on all sorts of subjects. The trouble is, when we suggested it to Ian, he… well… he squared his handsome jaw and headed toward the card room.

Read the interview →