Category - Blog

Blog posts from Rue and guests

A Library with a hidden door AND a secret passage
YA Fantasy Giveaway – Starts NOW!
Cloaks are badass!
Group projects are the WORST!
The Woods are lovely dark and deep . . .
Launch Week for Daughter of Shadow – The Chronicles of Hawthorn – Book 7
#Fantasy Book Giveaway – Choose from 40 plus Authors
Cover of the Month | Vote Now!
Fantasy – Explore Aotearoa!
Irish Lamb Stew for St. Patrick’s Day or Spring Equinox

THIS! One day I will have a massive library with a hidden door AND a secret passage. The shelves will be lined with ancient tomes bound in fine leather with hand-stitched spines. Oh, the smells that will wrap themselves around you when you enter that room! I want to collect rare books on the occult, alchemy, astrology, and dead languages. I used to subscribe to a catalog of rare books, but I had to cancel my subscription because of the severe depression that would hit me each time I leafed through the pages of gorgeous volumes and realized how far my dream was out of reach. Maybe I’ll renew my subscription. Maybe I’ve matured and I’ve finally gotten a handle on this “delayed gratification” shit I hear grown ups talking about. Not likely! I was born “patience-impaired” and I never received proper treatment. I think fast, act fast, regret fast—and repeat. Week 4

Cloaks are badass! I’m not sure why we ever stopped wearing cloaks in everyday life. There’s no denying how awesome it feels to let the wind billow a cloak out behind you as you cross a forest path or walk into a room full of unsuspecting humans! It’s time we bring back the majestic cloak and give it its rightful place in the halls of fashion. DnD-ers and LARP-ers unite! This photo actually inspired the character of Aoeni Aura in The Chronicles of Hawthorn, but mostly I’m posting it because cloaks ROCK! Week 3

Writing the character of Hazel was an exciting adventure for me. Hazel has boundless energy, optimism, and is always willing to join a group. I, on the other hand, have never been a fan! The absolute worst thing that any teacher could ever ask me to do was to participate in a GROUP project. F**K!! I hated them. I would rather do twice as much work on my own. I get all the nonsense about team-building and problem-solving, etc. but everyone is not the same. We all learn in a different way. People who love group projects and brainstorming should have the right to pursue that approach, but people who would rather sit in the corner of the library surrounded by volumes of literature, stacks of notebooks, and piles of lovely pens—should be left the hell alone and allowed to figure shit out on their own. And there’s a little more me leaking out into the world… Week 2

I love this pic because it makes me think of the deep, dark forests of my youth. I always loved being in the woods. I don’t like camping or any of that bullshit – but I love forests. I’m not a huge “people person” so I think there’s something calming about being surrounded by tall, solid trees. The silence feeds me and the lack of humans allows me to relax. I know a lot of people feed off the energy of others and feel energized by large groups, but I feel the opposite. Large groups drain the life out of me faster than giving blood! I enjoy conversations – but in a one-on-one environment, Please! Full disclosure: I’m working on allowing myself to be myself on social media. I’m working on letting go of the façade and the need to behave a certain way, post a certain way, and hashtag a certain way. I’m just going to write some shit, say what is on my mind, and move on with my life. Week 1 of the new plan…

Launch Week for Daughter of Shadow – The Chronicles of Hawthorn – Book 7

It’s LAUNCH WEEK for Book 7 in The Chronicles of Hawthorn – Daughter of Shadow!

The Advance Reader Team has their copies, the paperback has been published, and several promos are scheduled for the week.

An Average Curse will be FREE on Amazon – April 28, 29 & 30

Key to the Journey will be FREE on Amazon – April 29, 30 & May 1

The Shadow Calls will be $0.99 on Amazon – April 27 through May 4

Taken by the Shadow will be $0.99 on Amazon – April 28 through May 5

And of course . . .

Daughter of Shadow will be $0.99 for Pre-order and will go live May 1 (price will go up to $2.99)

Cover of the Month | Vote Now!


Cover of the Month

Taken by the Shadow: Magic, Fantasy, Adventure (The Chronicles of Hawthorn Book 4)

My book has been nominated for Book Cover of the Month on It would be greatly appreciated if you could take a moment to vote.

Vote Now »

Thank you for your support,

Fantasy – Explore Aotearoa!

Magic, witches, wands, and adventure.

This debut young adult fantasy takes the reader on an epic journey. Imagine if giant moa still walked the earth and Aotearoa was ruled by a succession of high priestesses…

What if the magic book that held that whole world in balance was ripped in two and a coven of dark witches plotted to destroy the light forever? This is the world where Flynn Hawthorn lives. She is the ninth daughter of the ninth daughter, living under a curse. Her birth fulfills an ancient prophecy. She is destined to inherit the wand of the High Priestess and save her people by reuniting the separated halves of The Book of Shadow and Light.

But in a land filled with magick, Flynn is forced to live her life as a Watcher—born into magick, but unable to wield it. As the threat from the Shadow Coven of Southeil grows, Flynn must pretend—with the help of her best friend, Hazel—that she actually has magick. Hazel would do anything for Flynn, but the game they are playing may cost them their lives…

Join Flynn and Hazel on their adventure. Get your copy of An Average Curse (The Chronicles of Hawthorn, Book 1) BELOW:

get the best YA fatasy on amazon

Irish Lamb Stew for St. Patrick’s Day or Spring Equinox


Take a deep breath, YOU can make this stew. It is quite simple, it just takes time — about two and a half hours prep and about 90 minutes of cooking time (See my TIPS for time-saving secrets!). This is a great opportunity to enlist a kitchen helper. You can prep all the veg while your helper cubes and browns the lamb. Even if you’re not a fan of lamb, this flavor is amazing and worth the effort. I serve this with crusty bread and a BIG spoon. If you’d rather watch the video – CLICK HERE.

Here’s the RECIPE:

best-author-shows-favorite-recipes2 lbs Boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
(I use leg of lamb and throw the bone into the stew for extra flavor)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Ground black pepper
1/2 cup Flour
1/4 cup Butter (I use a combo of butter and grapeseed oil)
2 cups Water (I use a combo of water and chicken stock)
8 oz. can Tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, chopped (I use at least 4 Tbsp.)
best-selling-author-shows-cooking-tips2 Teaspoons Fresh Thyme, stripped from the stem (I use at least 3 tsp.; use less if using dried)
(I’m crazy for spices!)
6 Carrots peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths (I use a bag of peeled/washed baby carrots)
1/2 lb Pearl Onions, peeled (you can buy these frozen and pre-peeled – or see the SECRET below)
3 cups Turnips, peeled and cubed (approx. 2 large)
12 New potatoes, small – with a strip peeled around the middle (12 – HAH! I add way more potatoes)
1 package (10 oz.) frozen Peas (I leave these on the counter while prepping, so they thaw)
OPTIONAL – 2 teaspoons fresh mint, finely chopped

1/4 to 1 cup water (or stock)
3 Tablespoons Flour


  • best-romance-author-cooks-stewOnce your kitchen helper finishes cubing the meat, it’s time to coat and brown. Take a large plastic bag (ziploc) and mix the salt, pepper and flour. Toss in the lamb chunks about 10 at a time and shake to coat. Meanwhile heat the butter and/or oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. When the pot is hot, brown the lamb about 10 pieces at a time. When each batch of meat is browned remove to a plate. Repeat until all meat is browned; set plate aside.
  • best-selling-author-teaches-cookingWhen all lamb is browned I take a minute to deglaze the pan with a little red wine. Which simply means – pour a 1/2 cup (or so) of red wine into the hot pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape the delicious browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Then you can return all of lamb to the pan and add 2 cups of water (or stock), tomato sauce, parsley, thyme – salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, slowly simmer in a covered pot until lamb is tender — about 45 minutes.
  • Add carrots and turnips and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  • favorite-author-loves-potatoesAdd pearl onions, and potatoes and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender when pricked with a fork.
  • To add or thicken the gravy, take a small bowl and add cold water and flour; mix until smooth. Stir into stew and bring stew to a boil, again.
  • Add the frozen peas (reduce heat) and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Makes approx. 6 servings

  • Serve with some crusty bread or a biscuit
the best irish lamb stew

A hearty and delicious meal!


  • cooking-tips-from-best-authorPrepare and ice bath (bowl of water and ice)
  • Boil a small pan of water.
  • Drop the pearl onions into the boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute (max).
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to an ice bath.
  • best-selling-author-cooking-tipsWith a paring knife, cut off the root end and pinch the skin at the opposite end.
  • best-romance-author-cooks-with-youThe perfect little pearl onion should pop right out.
  • Here’s a link if you prefer a video: Peeling Pearl Onions


  • You can prep all the veg while the lamb simmers (this will save about 45 min).
  • Use fresh herbs, if you can.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of finely chopped fresh mint when you add the frozen peas. It’s a nice twist on the flavor.
  • Don’t rush :-) the process and the smells are part of the fun!

Good luck!

Email me pics of your St. Patty’s or Ostara celebrations!!

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