Celebrate the joy and romance of Christmas in New England with A KNIGHTS BRIDGE CHRISTMAS! This out-of-the-way, picturesque little town gets a new librarian…and a busy ER doctor talks her into helping him decorate his grandmother’s house for Christmas one last time.
I’m over at Club Henhouse talking about what to do when a creative life gets out of whack:
Keeper’s Reach, my latest Sharpe & Donovan suspense novel, and Christmas at Carriage Hill, my Swift River Valley e-novella, both have scenes set in the beautiful English Cotswolds and mention scones. I love a light, simple scone slathered with clotted cream and a spoonful of fresh strawberry or gooseberry jam…especially in a quaint tea shop on a cool, rainy day.
A Recipe for English Scones
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar (less or more to taste)
¾ cup butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg, beaten
1 cup whole milk
1 egg, beaten with ¼ teaspoon water
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Grease a baking sheet with butter and dust lightly with flour.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Using your hands, cut butter pieces into the flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal (may also use a pastry cutter).
Mix beaten egg and milk together in a small bowl.
Make a small well in the butter-flour mixture and add the egg-milk mixture. Stir gently, just until moist. Do not overmix.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until the dough holds together. Pat dough (don’t roll with a pin) into a circle about one-inch thick. Cut into 8 triangles and place on the baking sheet. (An alternative is to cut the dough with a two-inch biscuit cutter.)
Brush the scones with egg-water mixture prior to baking (optional).
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve scones with clotted cream and jam or marmalade of your choice.
Recently I did a Q&A about KEEPER’S REACH with Booktrib. We talk about wedding bells for Emma and Colin, the Cotswolds, art crimes….Here’s the link:
And here I am last fall on the Maine coast, where much of KEEPER’S REACH is set.
Have a great Labor Day weekend!
At 1 PM on Saturday, August 29, I will be at the Books-A-Million store in West Lebanon, NH, to sign books and say hi to readers. Please stop by if you’re in the area! It’s a great store. We will be celebrating the release of KEEPER’S REACH, my latest Sharpe & Donovan novel.
P.S. I originally said August 30 but that’s the date of my nephew and his wife’s baby shower!
Creating Father Finian Bracken in my Sharpe & Donovan romantic suspense series has been incredibly rewarding for me as a writer. I love that so many readers have written to me about how much they enjoy this rather unusual Irish priest. He plays a role in each of the Sharpe & Donovan novels, starting with SAINT’S GATE and now in KEEPER’S REACH (out tomorrow). A widower who lost his wife and daughters in a sailing mishap and a “whiskey man” with his twin brother, Declan, Finian entered the priesthood in his thirties. Not incidentally, Colin Donovan, an FBI agent and one of Finian’s best friends, thinks he looks like Bono. Finian is serving a small parish in Colin’s hometown, a struggling Maine fishing village. He’s a confidante of dangerous men with dangerous jobs, as well as a certain ex-nun, Emma Sharpe, now an FBI agent herself.
I was on a personal writing retreat on the southwest Irish coast, grappling with Finian’s character as he took shape in SAINT’S GATE. I ended up wandering to a historic cemetery, with a holy well and the ruins of a church named for Saint Finian, an early Irish saint. Emma Sharpe and Finian Bracken visit the holy well. It’s quite a spot! In the photos, you can see the steep, very old steps behind me. They lead straight up to the graveyard. And I do mean straight up!
This is such a moving spot on the southwest Irish coast, offering a perspective on time and place that has stayed with me to this day. What’s next for Finian Bracken? I’m writing LIAR’S KEY now, so we shall see.
Take care, and enjoy,
It’s pouring rain here on our hilltop in Vermont. Perfect for reading, and for ordering books for late summer and fall. We’ve posted an excerpt of KEEPER’S REACH (on sale August 25) on my website. Take a look!
Don’t forget to register your preorder for free recipes and a chance to win a basket of Irish-made goodies I selected myself. Click here for all the details:
KEEPER’S REACH opens with Martin Hambly, assistant to mysterious Oliver York, a wealthy Brit who witnessed his parents’ murder when he was eight, carrying amaryllis pots back to the York farm in the Cotswolds. Martin runs into a suspicious FBI agent, and off we go.
Here’s a photo of a Cotswolds church not unlike the one where Hambly and the FBI agent meet.
Have you pre-ordered KEEPER’S REACH, my upcoming Sharpe & Donovan novel? I’m asking because the countdown is on. One lucky fan will WIN an incredible Basket of Irish-Made Gifts! We are also giving everyone who registers their KEEPER’S REACH purchase a KEEPER’S REACH Fall Recipes booklet inspired by my Sharpe & Donovan series.
I loved picking out what to include in the gift basket on my latest trip to Ireland earlier this summer. There I was in shops on the southwest Irish coast, deciding between this beautiful scarf and that beautiful scarf…these scented candles and those scented candles…and bookmarks, a Celtic necklace, a Muckross Bindery journal, a quintessential Irish scarf, spa products…what fun!
Click here for details. I don’t want you to miss out. Do it today!
Thank you and happy reading,
You can read more about KEEPER’S REACH here and register your pre-ordered copy to receive a booklet of recipes and be entered to win Irish-made products I selected myself while in Ireland in June.
In April, Joe and I were able to get away for a quick trip to Holland, where my father was born and raised. We visited one of my cousins in a small village in Noord-Brabant, and we wandered through Keukenhof, famous for its spring flowers. So beautiful! We’ll see what stories this trip inspired.