Tag Archives: fantasy

Catherine Noon: Don’t Burn the Water! or, How To Make a Decent Cup of Herbal Tea

So, as person who actually has burned water, the title of this post caught my eye right away! If you like hot beverages, read on. Catherine Noon is here to walk us through boiling, simmering, and steeping while we make a lovely cuppa!

Oh, hey – there is a GIVEAWAY. Make sure and check out Catherine’s latest book, Emerald Keep. If you comment on this post, you could win a free copy!

Author A Catherine NoonCatherine

For me, I’ve made a meal out of the fact that I adore coffee.  I have written recipes, shared ideas, and generally styled myself as a coffee person.  However, I also adore herbal tea.  And black tea.  And…

Well, let’s just say I like hot beverages and leave it at that, or we’ll be here all day trying to define what I like.  It’s probably easier to say what I don’t like in terms of beverages, and that would be, “gin.”  Except that my herbal instructor pointed out that there are more kinds of fine gin that you can shake a stick at and we’re back at the first problem.

So, tea.  It’s a common misconception, at least here in the States, that “tea” comes out of a cardboard box in a small paper mesh envelope on a string.  The truth is far richer than that.   High-quality leaves from freshly dried botanicals make all the difference.  If you’ve never been, try visiting a tea shop in your area and explore the loose-leaf teas.  There are some amazing blends out there.

Since I have a dodgy tummy, I’m forever getting tummy aches.  A super easy, quick way to make a stomach tonic is to get a fresh ginger root from the grocery store, (most large stores have them in the root vegetables section; they look like small, misshapen dolls).  Use a carrot peeler to slough off the outer skin.  Slice two or three disks off the root and put them in a pan with two cups of boiling water.  Boil for ten minutes or so, and then cool.  Serve fresh or add some honey if the ginger is too strong to your palette.

What’s the difference between boiling the botanicals and letting them steep?  As a general rule of thumb, you boil roots (at a rolling, bubbling boil) for longer than ten minutes, even up to twenty.  For leaves and blossoms, you boil the water and then add the botanicals just before the boiling point, and just barely simmer for up to twenty minutes.  You boil the roots because they’re tougher and need the longer time in the hotter water; you’ll basically overcook the leaves or flowers if you do that to them.

We had a lot of fun with this in our forthcoming book, Emerald Keep.  The hero, Hunter Quill Mayer, is known for burning the leaves.  It’s a recurring theme in the book and it makes me giggle whenever I see we’ve added it.  I’m sure everyone knows at least one person who’s hopeless in the kitchen and can “burn the water.”

Emerald Keep by A Catherine Noon and Rachel WilderEmerald Keep

When Emerald Keeper Teeka returns to the city of Reghdad and leaves the harsh desert behind, he finds that not all dangers come from the Great Valley. The dangerous Daymonth is nearly upon them and no one can survive on the surface of the planet — but Senior Hunter Quill Mayer is trying to get to Reghdad, and Teeka, before the start of it. Even if he makes it, Emerald Keep denies Teeka’s Contract with Senior Hunter Quill, and Teeka discovers his enemy is more powerful than any of them suspected and he will stop at nothing to separate Teeka and Quill — even by striking in the very heart of the city.

Where to Buy Emerald Keep:

Torquere Press | Amazon

About Catherine

For author and textile artist A. Catherine Noon, it’s all about the yarn, both metaphorical and literal – spinning a yarn, knitting with yarn, weaving, sewing, painting, sharing stories and good times over a cup of coffee with dark chocolate.  She teaches creative writing, creative expression and textile arts.

Visit Catherine online:

Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | LinkedIn | Pandora

Knoontime Knitting:  Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Ravelry
Noon and Wilder links: Blog | Taurus and Taurus (NSFW) | Website | Facebook

Don’t forget to LEAVE A COMMENT for a chance to win a copy of Emerald Keep!


Filed under Contests Freebies and Give-aways, Foodie Friday

Romancing Austin Cover Reveal and Giveaway

ROMANCING AUSTIN – Coming May 5, 2015

I’m so excited to reveal this new cover! The Romancing Austin anthology is close to my heart because this was a project I did with my friends. This book is set in Austin, Texas during SXSW and all the stories are by Austin writers. Beyond that… well, as the stories reflect, we are an eclectic bunch. We stuck to  contemporary romance, but within that broad category is something for everyone: heat levels from mostly sweet to very spicy, m/m, m/f, v/v (that’s vampire on vampire luvin’), NA, UF – it’s all in there!

If you can drag your eyes away from this gorgeous cover, scroll down and check out the blurb. If you make it to the bottom of the page, there are TWO RAFFLECOPTERS. One shorty (ends 04/01) for a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Then a big prize pack giveaway including a $75 Amazon Gift Card and a bunch of free books from the authors (ends 05/16). You can also join us for a Facebook party 03/31 where there will be even more prizes (we’re excited)!


Seven Romances. One Wild Party.

Where to Buy | Excerpt 

Former rock star Dex Reed throws a wild comeback party in his Austin penthouse, and seven romances heat up the night.

No Quitting Allowed by  Rebecca Royce
One last assignment and then Lana is quitting her job, quitting Austin, and moving on with her life. Until Jake stumbles into her and changes the direction of her whole world.

Twisted by Cara Carnes
Caleb “Colt” Douglas agreed to close out Twisted Delirium’s sold out world tour with a gig at SXSW for one reason–win back the woman he left behind.

Do Over by Chandra Ryan
When life offers Juliana a fresh start, will she follow her heart or play it safe?

Consortium by Riley Bancroft
Record exec Holt Michaelson married the enigmatic Chloe to keep his assets safe from a vindictive competitor, but after a fiery encounter with his new wife, he’s determined to claim her as his own, body and soul.

Tall Order by Irene Preston
Dylan made the worst mistake of his life when he chose his career over Aston, but tonight he’ll take a risk on Aston even if it’s too late.

Enchanted by Evelyn Berry
Stripped of her magic, fairy princess Aurora is torn between her duty to her imperiled family and to a brilliant musician who holds the key to their freedom…and her heart.

One Night with the Vampire by Jax Garren
Tonight Alex will finally possess the woman he’s craved, but Sofia’s dangerous family secrets threaten to tear them apart.

Where to Buy Romancing Austin

All Romance E-Books

Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Amazon Australia |  Amazon Germany | Amazon France | Amazon Japan | Amazon Spain | Amazon Italy | Amazon Netherlands|Amazon India | Amazon Brazil

Coming Soon

Barnes and Noble

$75 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Big prize pack from all the authors includes a $75 Amazon gift card and lots of free books!

Enter this giveaway  between 03/31/2015-05/16/2015

NOTE! If you have already subscribed to my email, you have a FREE entry – just enter your email in the rafflecopter for us to verify!

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$10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

I’m celebrating my new cover with a $10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway. Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter!
NOTE! Don’t forget – if you’re already a newsletter subscriber or have done some of the other things in the past – those are FREE ENTRIES. Just enter the information in the rafflecopter for your extra entries!

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Filed under Book Cover Reveals, Books, Contests Freebies and Give-aways

What to Read – Fantasy and Paranormal

told you I missed a lot of releases.  I’ve got three books vying for attention on my fantasy/sci-fi/paranormal stack. The first is actually an anthology (5 novellas!) of awesome paranormal romance from Fated Desires.  The second two are two very different, very special offerings from one of my very favorite authors, Skyler White.

Ever After - Paranormal Romance Anthology by Carrie Ann Ryan, Rebecca Royce, Lia Davis, Marie Harte, Leia Shaw


by Rebecca RoyceCarrie Ann RyanMarie HarteLia Davis and Leia Shaw

If you love paranormal romance – this bundle is for you!  Five sexy novellas from five bestselling authors.  Need I say more?

Most of the stories in this bundle are from series you may already know and love (like Dante’s Circle by Carrie Ann Ryan).  But you also have a chance to get a  jump start on a sexy new werewolf series by Rebecca Royce.  Do you love werewolves? I do!


From five bestselling authors comes five brand new novellas sure to heat up the night.

From Carrie Ann Ryan‘s Dante’s Circle series, a demon from the fiery depths of hell must make his choice to follow in the footsteps of his father or love the submissive wolf who lays claim to his heart in His Choice.

From Marie Harte‘s Beasts of Burden, Eira, a fierce valkyrie, has spent fifty years trying to get a rise out of her goddess’s guardians. But when the battle-cat shifters give her what she wants, can she handle the heat–and the danger–that comes from loving them?

From Rebecca Royce’s brand new series, the Alphas of each werewolf Pack are on the brink of war. Travis Michaels will use all in his power to keep innocent Lilliana out of danger and into his arms…away from rival Alpha Cyrus Fennell.

From Lia Davis‘s Ashwood Falls series, buried pain, old lies, and dangerous secrets aren’t enough to keep the sparks from flying as Sarah Mathews and rebel leader, Damian Palmer, try to survive a new threat against their race.

From Leia Shaw‘s Shadows of Destiny series, a war is brewing in the supernatural world. Rebel shifter Dalton’s only passion is protecting the colony, and flirtatious misfit, Eden, is a distraction he can’t afford. But as danger approaches, he learns that underestimating the sexy little wolf is a big mistake.

Buy on Ever After on Amazon

Visit Rebecca Royce

Visit Carrie Ann Ryan

Visit Marie Harte

Visit Lia Davis

Visit Leia Shaw

The next two books are from Skyler White.  Now, you would think I would have devoured these already because Skyler is one of my favorite authors and her books are an auto-buy for me.  I have a curious relationship with them though.  I horde them.  I usually buy as soon as they come out – frequently in hardcover. So I  have  them. Then I wait for the perfect moment to read them.  I anticipate the pleasure.  I draw out the moment when I will crack open the cover.  When I finally start reading, the going is frequently slower than with other books.  I need time to wallow around in the prose, the imagery, the layers.

Yeah, I know. I’m totally weird.  You should just buy them and read them.  You will love them.  Really.


Offerings:: Lands of Sex and Magic - Erotic fantasy novella by Skyler White


by Skyler White

I shamelessly stole the book cover from Julie Kenner’s blog. It is the original cover.  The new one is more discreet (because Amazon can’t distinguish between art and porn).  I prefer this one, however.   I was at a retreat with Julie and Skyler earlier this year.  In the same critique circle even (and how did that happen?).  Vivien Jackson was also there along with a few other people you haven’t heard of yet, but will. (And yep, now I’m just name-dropping.) I promise I breathed very deeply during the session to see if I could suck in a tiny bit of the talent that was floating around.  Anyway, the point I’m getting to is that we all loved (LOVED) the little glimpse we got of this striking bit of erotica. Like her cover, Skyler’s writing is art rather than porn.  So, this is on my TBR because I haven’t read the full, final novella yet – but I can highly recommend it just on the early draft of the first pages. Get it. Get it now!


In two lands, worlds apart, night offers two women the first whispers of their power. 
In the Arcai, where all religion and politics are rooted in sex, young Cessaire Oghan offers her body for initiation into ancient rituals of magic and desire.

In America, a powerful but secretive business magnate offers designer Maxine MacAllister work whose professional and emotional scope she does not know and may not want.

As night deepen, both women, the mythic and the modern, will need all the sacred power and erotic wisdom pleasure brings, and more.

 Buy Offerings on Amazon

Visit Skyler White



by Steven Brust and Skyler White

Skyler White, Steven Brust, a secret society of immortals – do you really need any more?  I am hooked, hooked, hooked.

This is another one I got just a tiny little peek at during the early stages.  At that time, I had no idea who Skye’s collaborator was.  After reading her bit, I believe my comment was along the lines of, “Your partner better up his game.”  (Sorry Mr. Brust – I’m sure I’ll like your bits just as well).  If you’re more of a traditional sci-fi fan, this might be your best pick from this post.


“Secret societies, immortality, murder mysteries and Las Vegas all in one book? Shut up and take my money.” —John Scalzi

The Incrementalists—a secret society of two hundred people with an unbroken lineage reaching back forty thousand years. They cheat death, share lives and memories, and communicate with one another across nations, races, and time. They have an epic history, an almost magical memory, and a very modest mission: to make the world better, just a little bit at a time. Their ongoing argument about how to do this is older than most of their individual memories.

Phil, whose personality has stayed stable through more incarnations than anyone else’s, has loved Celeste—and argued with her—for most of the last four hundred years. But now Celeste, recently dead, embittered, and very unstable, has changed the rules—not incrementally, and not for the better. Now the heart of the group must gather in Las Vegas to save the Incrementalists, and maybe the world.

“Watch Steven Brust. He’s good. He moves fast. He surprises you. Watching him untangle the diverse threads of intrigue, honor, character and mayhem from amid the gears of a world as intricately constructed as a Swiss watch is a rare pleasure.” —Roger Zelazny

Buy on The Incrementalists on Amazon

Visit Skyler White

Visit Steven Brust

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