My Kentucky Kitchen ~ Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

February 15, 2017 | Comment on This

If you’re new to my site, I’m cooking up something brand new in 2017 ~ my  newsletter! Since I’m always searching for fresh ways to connect with readers, this seems like a fun way to do it…

To sign up, please go to the little letter icon on the home page and simply enter your email address or follow this link here. Newsletter subscribers receive book news in advance, a monthly giveaway, and more! I’ll also be including a favorite family recipe from My Kentucky Kitchen each month.

For the February launch, here’s a soup recipe our family enjoys wintry nights with a green salad & crusty bread:

2 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped)
2 (15 ounce) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2 (10 3/4 ounce) cans tomato soup
2 (10 ounce) cans milk (use soup can)
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried basil
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
3 tablespoons Italian-style tomato paste
1⁄2 cup light cream or 1⁄2 cup half-and-half
1⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 (9 ounce) package cheese tortellini

In soup pot, heat olive oil then add onion and garlic. Saute till soft over medium heat.

Add canned diced tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, basil, tomato soup, and the milk. Stir well till blended.

Simmer for 25 minutes.

Add light cream and parmesan cheese.

Lastly, add tortellini and cook about 15 minutes or until tender.

Enjoy!

MOONBOW sighting!

January 8, 2017 | Comment on This

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It’s hard to believe that we’re saying HAPPY NEW YEAR & MOONBOW in the same breath. After 7 summer/fall releases, having a book come out in winter is kind of cozy. Today I’m sitting by the fire at the cabin & all is quiet after a very merry release party in Berea, Kentucky for A MOONBOW Night this past weekend at Robie Books.

I couldn’t have done it without my wonderful realtor & his wife & the help of several good Kentucky relatives & friends. Many thanks to all the readers who attended, some who came across the state to celebrate! In keeping with this frontier novel I even wore a buckskin jacket & had heroine hair:)

Those who couldn’t be there were with us in spirit. Thanks to all of you who’ve supported this very historical novel by picking it up at your local bookstore, ordering, or asking your local library to order. You’re the reason I write. So hope you enjoy Tempe’s story 1777-style!

Merry Christmas Giveaway!

December 14, 2016 | Comment on This

❄☃️🎄THE WINNER OF THE CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY IS LINDA FROM PENNSYLVANIA! Thanks to all who entered!
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Celebrating not one but two historical fiction releases on January 3, 2017!

The Mark of a King by Jocelyn Green!

Sweeping Historical Fiction Set at the Edge of the Continent
After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.
When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?
With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz

On the Kentucky frontier of the 1770s, Temperence Tucker has learned to be fleet of foot, accurate with her bow, and silent about her past. But her family secrets complicate her growing attraction to a handsome Virginia land surveyor with a harsh history of his own. Will the hurts and hardships of the past prevent them from a fulfilling future?

To enter, please leave a comment below and tell us what page you’re on & what you’re currently reading! Winner drawn 12/31/16…

A very Merry Christmas to you from the two of us!

Open House

December 4, 2016 | Comment on This

It’s been a dream of mine to hold an open house at our Kentucky cabin. Trouble is, it’s so tiny that guests would have to come in small batches. Not only that, only the most intrepid make it up our very steep driveway.  I could write a book on all the escapades of  poor folks trying to reach the top & failing. When it snows, we can’t reach the top either in our all wheel drive so have to hoof it, groceries & schoolbooks & all. But it’s so worth it in the end.

So if I could I’d invite you to our Christmas open house. You’d find cider simmering on the stove & some Kentucky-made treats. We’d sit by the fire & talk about how good God is to give us friends & Christmas & these little bits of heaven on earth. I might play a carol or two on the dulcimer & Paul might pick I saw the Light on his banjo. Randy would bring more firewood & Wyatt would stand by in case the place burned down (he’s a firefighter in real life). If it got too crowded you could wrap up in a quilt and sit on the porch in the swing or rocking chair.  I can just imagine it. The next best thing is pretending, I guess.

Hope & pray your Christ*mas is extra blessed. From our cabin to yours…

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Log Cabin Christmas

December 1, 2016 | Comment on This

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Happy December 1st!

We’re excited to spend our first log cabin Christmas here in Kentucky. God is so gracious! Never would I have thought it possible to live and work on the same road my great-grandparents began farming in the 19th-century, a small mountain between us. I drive by their old home place every day when they used horse and wagon or carriage to travel about.

This is truly a new chapter, a new season for us. Many blessings alongside many challenges with our family living and working on different coasts, my parent’s failing health, & the work increasing. I know many of you find yourself in a whole new story clouded by loss & health issues & heartbreak & change. When I hear from you about these things I pray for you.

The older I become the more I long for things that can’t be bought at Christmas or any time of year.

In the words of C.S. Lewis, “…I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care on the one hand, never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others do the same.”

*Mere Christianity

Lady of the Woods

November 18, 2016 | Comment on This

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Christmas Ornament Winner!

November 8, 2016 | Comment on This

Thanks to all who made the Fall Scavenger Hunt a roaring success! I wish I had a Kentucky-made Christmas ornament to send to everyone who left a comment. The winner is…

Mary Jill!

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If you can share your snail mail address with me at lauran@tfon.com, I’ll get that ornament out to you! Thank you!

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Stop #23

November 2, 2016 | Comment on This

If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1, and collect the clues through all 31 stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 3 grand prizes!

  • The hunt BEGINS with Stop #1 at Lisa Bergren’s site.
  • Hunt through our loop using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer).
  • There is NO RUSH to complete the hunt—you have all weekend (until Sunday, 11/6)! So take your time, reading the unique posts along the way; our hope is that you discover new authors/new books.
  • Submit your entry for the grand prizes by collecting the clue on each author’s scavenger hunt post and submitting your answer in the Rafflecopter form at Stop #31. Many authors are offering additional prizes along the way!

suzanne-book

It is a huge privilege to host the very gifted Suzanne Woods Fisher. We both share the same editor and publisher, Revell. Her Amish covers are among my favorites in the genre and this night scene is particularly beautiful as is the title. Here’s a brief peek at her latest release:

The Devoted features Ruthie Stoltzfus, a bright and restless young woman who is on the cusp of leaving the Amish. She’s got a plan in place…and then Patrick Kelly, a non-Amish Canadian, arrives in Stoney Ridge. He’s got a plan of his own, with a perspective on life that turns Ruthie’s world upside down.

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Joke’s on Me

by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Each spring, I plant a vegetable garden as if my family was dependent solely on its harvest for survival. Tomatoes, carrots, spinach, lettuce, sunflowers, corn, peppers, peas, beans, pumpkins, onions, garlic, a variety of herbs that includes lots and lots of basil (for pesto!). It’s a large area, fenced in, tucked in the corner of our yard, with eight raised beds, lined by two rows of grape vines. It’s my special spot—mainly because my husband and children don’t like to garden. (They do like to eat, though.)

So this garden has always been my happy place—a sweet refuge within shouting distance of my four children as they played in the yard. A happy place…until this year, when a certain buck-toothed furry creature moved in.

Gopher.

While Gopher looks adorable in the Winnie the Pooh cartoons wearing his little hard hat, he is much less appealing in person. Beady little eyes, big pointy nose, and I already mentioned his need for orthodontics. I can say such mean things because I have seen him, multiple times. In fact, we have had staring contests in my garden. He pops out of a hole (in a raised bed, despite tight galvanized wire lining its entire base!) and watches me. Chuckling, I think.

I’ve tried everything I could, humanely, to evict Gopher. Non-kill traps. Getting rid of my compost pile. Vibrating stakes that promise to scare him away. Chiles, coffee grounds, even dryer sheets, tucked into his tunnels (apparently gophers are fussy about smells). Owl boxes! (And a nesting pair did move in.) Nothing works. This little guy is a genius. I almost—almost—admire him.

Until yesterday.

I went up to the garden to pick my favorite pumpkin. I’d been carefully nurturing this particular pumpkin so that it would sit by the front door for October. I cut the stem, picked it up…and noticed it was extremely lightweight. Suspiciously light. I turned it over and…well, if I were a cussing woman, I would have cussed. Gopher had tunnelled to the base of the pumpkin and hollowed it out. Not a seed remained. Not one. From my above-ground view, the pumpkin had looked perfect. But it was empty! If I didn’t know better, it’s like he’s been playing a joke on me.

But the joke’s on him. All bets are off, Gopher.

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Happy hunting, all!

Bio: Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling, award winning author of fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish. You can find Suzanne on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor or @suzannewfisher on Twitter. Stay tuned to see who wins the garden battle—Gopher or Suzanne!

Here’s the Stop #23 Skinny:

You can order Suzanne’s book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD or at your local bookstore! 

Clue to Write Down: can 

Link to Stop #24, the Next Stop on the Loop: Suzanne’s own site!

*** 

For my own personal giveaway item, I’d love to send you an additional Kentucky-crafted Christmas ornament. To enter, please:

Please like my Facebook Author Page

While there, please leave a comment that says, “ornament.”

Thank you! I’ll announce the winner on November 7th!

A Moonbow Night

October 16, 2016 | Comment on This

Dear Reading Friends,

I had hoped to post a fall newsletter but alas, here it is mid-October and the leaves are changing rapidly and time has gotten away from me. In the meantime, the countdown for A Moonbow Night has begun and my publisher has created some lovely images for me to share. Here’s the first. What I would give to walk in these misty woods! Tempe’s story begins in spring and the story ends in autumn of 1777 Kentucke, the year of the bloody sevens as it was called then and now. You’ll soon find out just why that was so within the pages of this new novel.

In the meantime, praying for my beloved readers and this book as it goes to print. My hope is that it blesses those who pick it up and sheds a little light on God’s grace to a needy world.

In Him,

Laura

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Readers ask…

August 31, 2016 | Comment on This

Ask an Author best

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I often have readers ask questions about my books. Some of my most devoted readers are writers themselves and hope to be published. So without further ado, here are some questions (and answers) that may be of interest…

Betty asks: Do you have a favorite character or story that you have written?

Yes. I do have favorites and least favorites among my books, just like covers. Some stories just ‘pop’ for me as an author. One of those was Courting Morrow Little Another was Love’s Reckoning. I remember writing them and feeling something was different about them – and myself while writing them! Another one that seemed to write itself and have that spark was The Mistress of Tall Acre, probably on account of Lily Cate. She brought a winsomeness to the story that made me smile. I do believe the writing advice to add children and animals to stories is quite sound. The novel I’m currently working on has a sassy cat named Madoc who is Welsh. My hero is Welsh, his staff is Welsh, and so is his feline:) But the author is allergic to cats!

Lauren asks: I’ve heard you don’t enter writing contests or pursue awards. Is that true?

That’s true, yes. I remember the shock I felt when I learned authors entered themselves in award contests. I thought only readers did that (like the Inspy Awards). Early on my publisher entered my first books since I didn’t and I’m grateful they believed in my work enough to submit it. I do feel contests can be helpful for aspiring or new authors as far as name recognition among readers and agents/editors in the industry. I don’t judge other authors for going the contest route. It’s just not my cup of tea. To me, reading is a very subjective experience, like eating. Who is to say prime rib is better than German chocolate cake? How is it really possible to judge that one book is better than another? Spiritually, the effect of a book cannot be measured, at least in this world, and I want to keep my focus on that. I view writing as ministry, not competition. The eternal reach is what matters most to me. It’s all about God’s glory.

Jenny asks: Which of your characters is most like you?

Poor Lael:) I poured so much of myself into her and included so much of my family history and Kentucky history in The Frontiersman’s Daughter that it seems almost autobiographical. Growing up, I wanted to be Lael. My childish dream was to have been the daughter of my hero, Daniel Boone. Being raised in Kentucky among all those log cabins and forts and rich history didn’t hurt. I’ve always had a heart for Native Americans and their stories. When I was very young, about 3, my granny (her father/my great-grandfather was Cherokee), took me to meet an Indian Chief. The details are hazy and he might have only been dressed up as such, but he wore a war bonnet and danced for me and I fell in love. But back to Lael. Lael is dear to me because she’s a dreamer and isn’t afraid of much. She is most at home in the woods and the natural world is an ongoing wonder to her. She’s clever and finds ways to help others while enriching herself. She has a heart for children and the elderly and lives on a poignant level. Some readers love her. Others don’t. This author does:)

I’ll post more reader questions in a couple of weeks. Happy reading ~ or writing!