Food and Romance

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a freebies list. I haven’t downloaded much, either. I’ve been reading actual, physical books. *gasp!* I blame it on my trip to San Francisco, where I spent some quality time in the most excellent Borderlands Books. If you love speculative fiction and are in San Francisco, you’ve got to go to this bookstore. You can thank me later.

Now that my Kindle has had a chance to cool off, I decided to check out the Amazon freebies. I found lots of new stuff, which is always nice. Several yummy-looking, free-for-now cookbooks caught my eye, particularly one based on the “Hunger Games” trilogy.

I also noticed that Harlequin is releasing ten free romance novels on April 1. Hopefully, they’re not fooling with us. LOL! *cough* Anyway, keep in mind that when you click the link, you will have “bought” the book, but it won’t download until April 1.

All these books are listed below. Enjoy! And have a great weekend.

  The Unofficial Recipes of The Hunger Games
Savor the post-apocalyptic world of Panem one dish at a time with The Unofficial Recipes of The Hunger Games. Offering 187 recipes, this cookbook serves fans an authentic taste of the Hunger Games trilogy, whether foraged for in the impoverished District 12 or devoured at the lavish banquets of the Capitol.

  The Parthenon Cookbook: Great Mediterranean Recipes from the Heart of Chicago’s Greektown by Camille Stagg
This collection of terrific Greek recipes, from old favorites to unique house specialties, is also a tribute to the oldest restaurant in Chicago’s fabled Greektown, a landmark innovator of legendary dishes like saganaki and the first gyros in Chicago. Filled with colorful history and lush photographs, the book features 40 of the restaurant’s most popular recipes from all courses, appetizers to desserts. They include Feta a la Soto, Marathon Salad with Shrimp, Moussaka, Sokolatina, and more. In addition, Greek wine pairings are included as well as full Greek dinner menus with tips for entertaining.

  1,001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes by Sue Spitler
This new edition of 1,001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes is completely revised to reflect current food trends and cooking preferences. The introduction will adhere to American Heart Association guidelines and will include the new FDA nutritional guidelines, with comments on the importance of exercise as part of a total healthy lifestyle. In general, recipes will be easier and faster to prepare with fewer ingredients and more concise cooking methods. Recipes that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less will be identified throughout the book with an “express veg” icon. The “super foods” that boast high nutritional, antioxidant, and phytochemical qualities will be emphasized in recipes—blueberries, kiwi, pomegranate juice, melons, citrus fruit, edamame, leafy dark greens, broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, beets, tomatoes, bell peppers, beans and legumes, nuts, flax and hemp seeds, whole grains, and soy and dairy products.

  The Apple Cookbook by Hillbilly Housewife
“An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away” I’m sure you’ve heard that saying a time or two. Apples are a great fruit that’s not only healthy, but also very versatile and frugal. I can almost always find some great apples on sale at the store. Occasionally we’ll also buy a big box of apples from a local orchard and store them for use in the winter. Apples keep well in a dry, cool place, but with all the cooking and baking, the never last very long at our house. In this apple cookbook, you’ll find recipes that range from sweet to savory.

Harlequin Free Books (pre-order now, will download April 1)

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Paranormal Romance

Free Today on Amazon

After my previous post about contemporary and urban fantasy, I thought I should do a follow-up on paranormal romance because the genres have much in common. Paranormal romance novels are often written using a contemporary and/or urban setting. Many of the same fantasy elements (magic, witchcraft, telepathy) and beings (vampires, werewolves, fae) are used.

It’s important to note that a paranormal romance is first and foremost a romance novel. The main emphasis must be on the romantic relationship between the protagonist and their love interest. Usually, this involves a woman and man, though LGBT paranormal romances have been gaining popularity.

Paranormal in regard to the romance genre is a catch all word. It includes fantasy, horror, science fiction and their subgenres. Interestingly, it does not include time travel, which is a separate romance subgenre and not considered paranormal. Why not? Usually, such novels involve a hero from the past being transported into the present, or a present-day heroine transported into the past. It’s a convenient plot device and the fantasy element doesn’t venture much beyond that.  Also, time travel is a very popular subgenre that needs its own classification.

As you can imagine, there is a fuzzy line between all these genres. After all, the romantic relationship is a huge part of fiction, whether as a main plot or subplot. How much romance does it take to tip the scales? I would say enough to make the outcome of the relationship more important than any other plot element. We don’t care if the kingdom crumbles as long as the lovers can get married and have babies.

Popular writers of paranormal romance include Christine Feehan, Susan Krinard, Susan Grant and Marjorie M. Liu.

Below are some free-for-now paranormal romance novels, along with a fantasy sampler.

Doorway to Dreams (Fantasy Fiction Sampler)
Angels on Earth. Mermaids, time travel, and messages from beyond the grave. This fantasy fiction sampler will transport you to new and exciting worlds.

Fire Burn And Cauldron Bubble: The Jolie Wilkins Series (Volume 1)  Fire Burn And Cauldron Bubble by H.P. Mallory
Life isn’t bad for psychic Jolie Wilkins. True, she doesn’t have a love life to speak of, but she has a cute house in the suburbs of Los Angeles, a cat and a quirky best friend. Enter Rand Balfour, a sinfully attractive warlock who insists she’s a witch and who just might turn her life upside down. Rand hires her to help him solve a mystery regarding the death of his client who also happens to be a ghost. Jolie not only uncovers the cause of the ghost’s demise but, in the process, she brings him back to life!

Once Bitten  Once Bitten by Trina M. Lee
Alexa O’Brien has never been like other people. A hunter of supernatural rogues, she is a werewolf with unusual but extraordinary power. Power that draws her to Arys Knight, the mysterious vampire who awakens her dark side. What they create together is dangerous and binding, forcing her to question the source of her abilities. It threatens not only her remaining humanity, but her relationship with fellow werewolf, Shaz Richardson, as well.

Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter  Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter by Nikki Jefford
If there is one thing eighteen-year-old Aurora Sky wants, it’s to get off the iceberg she calls home. Being kissed before she graduates wouldn’t hurt either. Then a near-fatal car wreck changes everything. Government agents step in and save Aurora’s life in exchange for her services as a vampire hunter. In Alaska. Basically she’s a glorified chew toy. All thanks to her rare blood type, which sends a vampire into temporary paralysis before she has to finish the job…by hand. Now Aurora’s only friends are groupies of the undead and the only boy she can think about may very well be a vampire. And if he’s a vampire, will she be forced to kill him?

Immortalis Carpe Noctem (Immortalis, Book 1)  Immortalis Carpe Noctem by Katie Salidas
Newbie vampire Alyssa never asked for this life, but now it’s all she has. Rescued from death by Lysander, the aloof and sexy leader of the Peregrinus vampire clan, she’s barely cut her teeth before she becomes a target. Kallisto, an ancient and vindictive vampire queen – and Lysander’s old mate – wants nothing less than final death for her former lover and his new toy. She’s not above letting the Acta Sanctorum, and its greatest vampire hunter, Santino, know exactly where the clan can be found. With no time to mourn her old life, Alyssa’s survival depends on her new family. She will have to stand alongside Lysander and fight against two enemies who will stop at nothing to destroy them.

Below are some free-for-now books that may rouse your interest in the genre.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Ginger Tea for the Writer’s Flu

Free Today on Amazon

Yeah, so, I was finally feeling like I was over that nasty cold when my husband started coughing. What we thought was my cold turned out to be his flu, which got passed on to me. I’ve been sick since Tuesday and am finally feeling better today. Enough to have a breakfast latte. Yay!

Once again, I could barely eat. I’ve subsisted on saltine crackers, orange juice and my famed Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Cold. I’ve also been soothing the cough with my homemade ginger tea. This is a very simple recipe with only three ingredients. It works wonderfully for soothing a sore throat and a cough. Ginger has many beneficial medicinal properties. You can read more about that here.

Lori Writer’s Ginger Tea for the Writer’s Flu

  • Fresh ginger root
  • Honey (I prefer local organic brands)
  • Water

Slice off a piece of ginger root, about a quarter inch thick. Slice that into smaller pieces, but not so small that you will accidentally swallow them. It’s important to slice the ginger to release the flavor. Place the ginger in a cup. Boil water. Pour the water over the ginger. Drop in a spoonful of honey and stir. Some of the ginger pieces may float to the top. Be careful not to swallow them. If they get in the way, scoop them out. Hopefully, most of the pieces will remain on the bottom. Breathe in the steam as you sip. Mmm. Nice.

I have a hard time concentrating when I’m sick. That’s when I usually turn to romance for reading material. No offense to the genre, but there are plenty of easy reads to be had, and that’s not a bad thing. For this sick time, I read “Bluegrass State of Mind.” It fit the bill. A nice enough book and it’s free. Another easy read that took me through a past illness is the free Harlequin Romance, “Married by Mistake.”

A romance freebie that I can highly recommend is “Midnight Marriage.” I’ve seldom read Georgian romances, so the setting was fresh to me and I enjoyed the story. Another recommendation, not free, but only $0.99, is “Ridiculous.” It’s a Regency romance with a heroine who disguises herself as a society fop. Very enjoyable.

If you’re healthy, stay well. If you’re sick, get well soon.

  Midnight Marriage by Lucinda Brant
Set in the opulent world of the 18th century aristocracy and inspired by real events, Midnight Marriage is the standalone second book in the acclaimed Roxton family saga. Two noble teenagers are married against their will. Drugged, Deb has no recollection of events. Disgraced, Julian is banished to the Continent. Nine years later, Deb falls in love with a wounded duelist, only to later discover it is her husband returned incognito! Can Deb forgive his cruel deception? Can their marriage survive beyond seduction? Meanwhile, Julian’s nemesis plots to destroy them both…

  Bluegrass State of Mind by Kathleen Brooks
McKenna Mason, a New York City attorney with a love of all things Prada, is on the run from a group of powerful, dangerous men. McKenna turns to a teenage crush, Will Ashton, for help in starting a new life in beautiful horse country. She finds that Will is now a handsome, successful race horse farm owner. As the old flame is ignited, complications are aplenty in the form of a nasty ex-wife, an ex-boyfriend intent on killing her, and a feisty race horse who refuses to race without a kiss. Can Will and McKenna cross the finish line together, and more importantly, alive?

  Married By Mistake by Abby Gaines
Do not adjust your set. That really was Casey Greene being jilted by her fiancé on live TV! And that really was Memphis’s most eligible bachelor who stepped in to marry her instead. Millionaire businessman Adam Carmichael wanted only to help Casey save face. He isn’t prepared for the news that their “fake” wedding is legal and binding. While they secretly wait for an annulment, media and family scrutiny forces them to put on their best loving-couple act. Except by now, neither one is quite sure who’s acting…

  Ridiculous by D.L. Carter (Not free. $0.99)
After the death of her miserly cousin Antony North, Millicent Boarder is determined her family should never be poor or vulnerable again. To protect them she conceals her cousin’s death and assumes his identity. Now she must face the Ton and the world as Mr. North and accept the price she must pay for her family’s safety — she will never be loved. Which means, of course, at this point she will meet the perfect man.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Books that I have previously listed will occasionally come up free again. I add those to my current posts for people who didn’t see them the first time.

Romance in the Air

Free Today on Amazon and Harlequin

Although I write fantasy, as a reader I enjoy books from many different genres. I can’t imagine reading just one kind of book. It would be like going to a dinner buffet and deciding I was only going to eat the potatoes. Now, maybe it’s an awesome buffet and there are many different potato dishes. Still, that means I’m ignoring the meats, salads, vegetables, pasta and, worst of all, the desserts being offered. Why would anyone do that?

Same thing with books. If I decided I was only going to read speculative fiction, I would have a wide variety of good novels to choose from. However, I would miss out on so many other good books.

Which brings me to the romance genre. It doesn’t get a lot of respect. The stereotypes of “bodice ripper” and “lady porn” have turned potential readers away. Which is a shame. Romance is one of the most varied genres out there, having a whole bookstore’s worth of subgenres, including historical, suspense and science fiction.

Romance novels have been dismissed as easy to write, which is simply not true. They must be well written to even be considered by a publisher. Readers, contrary to some opinions, won’t read just any old crap because it contains sex scenes.

While romance isn’t my number one genre of choice, I do like to pick up one every now and then. They make for a nice variety in my reading. One book I recently enjoyed was “Ridiculous” by D.L. Carter. It was a Regency romance that included subtle social commentary. I got it as a Kindle freebie. It’s now $0.99 and well worth the price. Currently, I’m reading “Midnight Marriage” by Lucinda Brant, which is available for free on Amazon. So far, I’m enjoying it, though I can’t quite recommend it yet.

If you’re interested in checking out a bestselling romance author, you can pick up a two-in-one freebie of historical romance, “Of Nobel Birth” and “Honor Bound” by Brenda Novak.

But wait, there’s more! This is for both readers and writers.

Readers, Harlequin Books offers 18 novels as free downloads. 15 are in English and 3 are in Spanish. They can be downloaded here.

Writers, even if you don’t write romance, you could probably benefit from Harlequin’s helpful writing articles and examples. Though these are geared toward romance, much of the information is general and applies to most genre writing. You can find these articles here.

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store and Harlequin Books. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.