Jan DeLima

Romance Author

Future Celtic Wolves Books

First, I need to thank everyone who read my Celtic Wolves series!  You have made my writing debut a wonderful experience, and your enthusiasm and curiosity about future books has been truly heartwarming!  The characters are still calling to me, and I do plan to write more books in the series.  I have committed to a new series and once I finish the first book, I do plan  to return to the Celtic Wolves.  My new series is contemporary romance with suspense elements, but with a strong emphasis on the romance. I’m truly sorry for the delay in the Celtic Wolves series.  I don’t know when future books will be published at this point.  I promise to post it on my website once I have decisive news to share!

With that said, I will leave you with evidence that these Celtic characters are still calling to my muse.  I don’t paint often, but when I do it’s because an image calls to me so strongly that I’m forced to recreate it on canvas just to get it out of my head.  Saran, Maelorwen’s daughter, inspired  me more than any subject has since my days as an art student—and that’s going back quite a ways.  For those of you who haven’t read Autumn Moon, Saran was the only new character I added, but she was a compelling one.  When a character has this strong of a hold on my muse—I know her story needs to be written.  Just to be clear, Saran may or may not be the lead protagonist in the next book.  Like Cormack, she needs time to mature as a human.  I’m not going to share who the next couple is yet until I spend some time  with them and like the direction their story is going.  I will tell you that I intend to dedicate the time needed to make this the best book yet!

Until then, I may be a bit lax on my social media pages as I hunker down to finish my current book.

As always, I hope you’re reading something just for fun!
Jan

 

 

Maelorwen"s Daughter Art Print

Title: Maelorwen’s Daughter

“May you dream of first kisses until the sun chases away the moon.”

Cottage Garden Autumn

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Autumn has arrived in my cottage garden, along with a new addition to the family. Mason, our baby English bulldog, has brought a lot of joy into our home. He is a rascal, that’s for sure. He was simply too thrilled that I opened the elusive garden gate to sit still for this photo. This section of our yard has poison ivy in the woods, hence the reason I keep this particular gate closed. We do need contact a Smyrna, GA Tree Company because some of the old trees need to come out to give the new trees a chance to grow. Anyway, I managed to get one photo that wasn’t blurred at least.

This is my favorite time of year, but it’s also nostalgic in many ways as preparations begin for winter and the days become shorter. I’ve been thinking of getting some new outdoor garden furniture but I think it might have to wait until next season. Frost arrived yesterday and the perennials in my garden have begun to die back. It’s those cool nights and warm days that turn our maple leaves glorious shades of red. While the leaves may look beautiful, they can be a real nuisance when they start clogging up the cottage’s guttering. It starts to look pretty unsightly when it builds up, but services like Clean Pro Gutter Cleaning Long Island can help to clear the blocked debris which also helps to prevent future water damage that could occur if left unaddressed. Nature is such an extraordinary thing, and as one season passes I like to remember the last. I love spending time in my garden, but as the nights start to draw in it can be difficult to sit outside for long. One of my friends lives in Norway and has just bought a Lyktstolpe (lamp-post) for her garden so that she can sit outside in the evenings. Maybe I’ll have to invest in some garden lighting too, especially now I’ve got a dog to keep my eye on.

Anyway, as promised, I’ve put together a photo tour of my cottage garden this season, a scrapbook of sorts, and a simple reminder that spring is just a winter away…

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YellowRosesandBlackEyedSusans

These yellow tea roses and black-eyed susans are new additions this year. My husband keeps telling me there’s no room for more flowers, but I always manage to find some.

FrogPrince

The Frog Prince guarding the nasturtiums.

TomatoCages

The best tomato cages EVER! I will try to post the pattern before next spring.

FallImpatients

I fell in love with impatiens this year.

Welcome to my cottage garden. This is my favorite gate entrance

Welcome to my cottage garden. This is my favorite gate entrance.

This is just a little nook in my garden. I hope the clematis will climb the trellis eventually, but it's taking its time.

A favorite garden nook.

A hare that often visits my garden.

A hare that often visits my garden.

SunlightThroughAutumnTree

Sunlight through a maple tree in my yard.

butterfly

Every year I have wildlife visitors in my garden and butterflies seem to love the hanging pots of lobelia.

ClearwingMoth

This little creature reminds me of how magical a garden can be. It’s a clearwing hummingbird moth and they are not intimated by humans. This one landed on my hand and had no problem posing for the camera.

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The pixie house, inspired by Ms. Hafwen, a character in my Celtic Wolves series, continues to survive our Maine winters.

Brynmor cottage received a few upgrades this year, with a light in the turret and a wreath on the door.

Brynmor Cottage received a few upgrades this year, with a light in the turret and a wreath on the door.

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Well, that’s the end of the garden tour, but I will leave you with a few pictures of our new addition. Meet Mason, our new English bulldog. He is so sweet, and Willow is adjusting well to her little brother.

WillowMasonReally

If you can’t read Willow’s expression, I will translate: “Really? This is a joke, right?”

WillowMasonSnuggledInBed

Mason is learning my writing routine and he seems to like my office just fine. 🙂

WillowMasonSnuggletime

And then it’s snuggle time.

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As always, I hope you’re reading something just for fun!
Happy Autumn,
Jan

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe

GardenCleanUpHappy Autumn everyone! It’s that time of year here in Maine to begin cleaning out garden beds.  This is also the time to  gather and dry herbs, and till the soil for next spring.  I will be posting garden happenings over the next week.

As always, there are a few zucchini plants still growing while everything else is spent.   I think our ancestors created zucchini bread just to find a use for this prolific vegetable that keeps producing from early summer to fall.  My family has never been a big fan, but I do have one recipe they will eat without complaint.  It’s double chocolate zucchini bread.  The chocolate hides the zucchini and the bread is moist because of it.

This is a great snack with coffee while reading a good book!  I’ve been on a contemporary romance kick lately, but I love most genres.  If you have any good reading reccomendations (that aren’t my books) you’re always welcome to share! 🙂

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Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
¾ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ¼ teaspoons of baking soda
¾ teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of milk
3 cups of peeled and shredded zucchini
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 eggs
1 stick of butter
¾ cup of sugar
¾ cup of brown sugar
1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Optional: 1 cup of chopped walnuts
Optional: Vanilla glaze (recipe and ingredients below)

 

Instructions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease two bread pans with shortening or cooking spray.

Before you begin, all ingredients should be at room temperature.  Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl and set aside.  In a separate bowl, blend butter until smooth, add sugars and eggs and continue to blend.  Add milk and vanilla until blended.  Gradually add flour to wet ingredients and blend until mixed.  Add zucchini and chocolate chips (and optional walnuts if you choose) to batter and mix until even throughout.  Pour into bread pans and bake for approximately 50  minutes to an hour, or until the toothpick test comes out clean.  Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.

 

Vanilla Glaze Recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup of powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 tablespoon of melted butter
2-3 teaspoons of warm water

Instructions:

Mix sugar, vanilla and melted butter.  Add warm water by the teaspoon until its a frosting-like texture. This should not be too wet as it will melt.  Spread over top of bread while it’s still warm.

Enjoy!
Jan

 

 

*This post was edited on 10/19/2015 to include an updated photo and the optional vanilla glaze.

Literary Escapism Feature: Elen and Cormack at the Beach

JanDeLimaGiveaway_LiteraryEscapsimLast year I attended the Coastal Magic Convention and met so many wonderful authors, bloggers and readers.  I am going again in February 2016.  For more information about this wonderful convention just follow the link below to their website…

Coastal Magic Convention

Literary Escapism is also going to be there, and they are doing a fun series for the conference on their blog.  I’ve been invited along with other featured authors to write an excerpt of my characters at the beach.  Autumn Moon, book 3 in my Celtic Wolves series is available September 29, 2015! I thought Elen and Cormack could use a little vacation–because I did put this couple through a lot in Autumn Moon.  You can read an exclusive excerpt on Literary Escapism’s website and enter a gift box giveaway that includes signed copies of Celtic Moon and Summer Moon (books 1 & 2), swag, and an Amazon gift card.

Just a minor spoiler alert: This excerpt takes place after Autumn Moon.

Just click on the following graphic and/or link to read excerpt and enter the gift box giveaway…

Literary Escapism Feature: Elen and Cormack at the Beach

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I will leave you with a few photos of Daytona Beach!  Coastal Magic has become one of my favorite conventions.  It’s very relaxed and focuses on what we all love–books, reading, and discussions about our favorite romance and paranormal genres.  Now doesn’t that sound fun?

Hope to see you at the beach in February!
Jan

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Autumn Moon Blog Tour Schedule

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The Autumn Moon Blog tour has begun!

From September 21 ~ October 5 you can visit these wonderful blogs to read excerpts  and enter a giveaway for $100 Amazon gift card!  Autumn Moon, the third book in the  Celtic Wolves series will be available September 29th!

First chapter and excerpts are available on the  Autumn Moon Book Page!

 

Elen’s Pumpkin Streusel Muffin Recipe

If you’ve read my books then you know I love to add food to the scenes. It’s such a nurturing element, plus it adds certain nostalgia.  Autumn Moon is Elen and Cormack’s story.  I’ve put this couple through quite a bit, and this is the story where they finally get together.  Elen was the only person to offer him a welcoming home while he was trapped in wolf form, but he’s spent some time away to learn his new human form.  Now he’s a man and has returned to protect the woman he loves.  Elen and Cormack are learning  each other for the first time with hearts that are already bound.

The first thing Elen’s bakes for Cormack upon his return is pumpkin muffins, and it was such a fun scene to write, and emotional in many ways if you know their backstory.

I’ve included an excerpt below, followed by Elen’s pumpkin muffin recipe!

Enjoy,
Jan

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 Excerpt from Autumn Moon:

Cormack formed an intimidating figure as he marched beside her with graceful strides. His sword swung from his side, the belted scabbard hanging low off his hip, with his eyes sharp and searching for potential threats.

He’d left her as a gentle friend but returned to her as a warrior. And why did that make her stomach flutter as if a thousand butterflies danced to his song?

A question for a later time, Elen decided for her own peace of mind. And after inhaling a deep breath for composure, she tactfully changed the subject. “Are you hungry?” It was still late morning, so she offered, “I can whip us up some coffee and muffins.”

He sighed as if relief was a weighable substance and she’d just removed a boulder from his chest. “I would like that.”

“Apple muffins?” she asked. “Or pumpkin?” The trail opened to her grain fields, and she hurried on, anxious to cook for someone other than herself again. Ms. Hafwen didn’t count because she was too particular toward sweets and only ate crumbs she deemed worthy.

He thought about it for a moment. “The pumpkin ones with the white crunchy stuff on top.”

“Pumpkin streusel?”

“Streusel,” he said, testing the word on his tongue. “Make extra.”

His smile was infectious. “I can do that.” As they made their way through rows of apple trees with low branches heavy with ripened fruit, she had a ridiculous urge to giggle. It seemed she had little control over her emotions around him; one moment she wanted to cry, and the next she acted as if she’d never been with a man.

Which, of course, she had. But not one who held her heart so firmly in his grasp.

“What’s so funny?” He kicked a fallen apple out of her path.

“Nothing.”

“Tell me.”

“Truly, it’s nothing.” Only the fact that hearing him talk back would take some getting used to, but she didn’t think he would appreciate her humor on the subject, not so soon after their last bout. “I’ve never had to answer your questions before.” She snuck a peek at his profile. “Or received answers to mine. I like it.”

A sheepish grin turned his lips. “I’m glad.”

She stubbed her toe on a jutting rock because of that grin. His mouth was made for pleasure. Thankfully, she caught herself before falling on her face in more ways than one and made it to her cottage without any further embarrassments.

Unlatching the wrought iron gate that led to her front portico, she announced, “We’re home.” The sentiment spilled naturally because she’d said it countless times over the years. However, she’d never once heard him repeat it back as he did just then.

“We’re home.” He inhaled a deep breath as if to savor its scent.

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Elen’s Pumpkin Streusel Muffin Recipe

STREUSEL TOPPINGJanDeLima_PumpkinMuffinsInElensGarden

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
Dash of salt (1/4 teaspoon or less)
2 teaspoons cold water
3 tablespoons butter

Instructions:
Mix ingredients with your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs and set aside.  This streusel freezes well if you wanted to make a double batch and save for later muffins.

 

PUMPKIN MUFFIN BATTER

Dry Ingredients:
1 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda
½ teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of all spice
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
½ teaspoon of ginger

Wet Ingredients:
1 stick of butter (8 tablespoons)
2 eggs
½ cup buttermilk (you can substitute regular milk)
¼ cup of molasses
1 cup of pureed pumpkin
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

*All ingredients should be room temperature before mixing!

Instructions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a regular dozen muffin tin with cupcake liners.  You can spray or grease the pan, but liners make cleanup easier. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl and set aside.  Beat butter in a mixer until creamy.  Gradually add eggs and sugar.  Add buttermilk, vanilla, pumpkin puree, and molasses while continuing to mix.  Finally, gradually add your dry ingredients until blended.

Scoop batter evenly into the muffin tins.  Add streusel on top of each muffin.  The muffin’s tops will expand so don’t be afraid to pile the streusel.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick test comes out clean.  Makes twelve muffins. Enjoy!

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ORDER AUTUMN MOON

Amazon |  B&N  |  BAM

 

Honey Lemon Green Iced Tea

IcedGreenTea2Hope you’re having a wonderful summer so far! This  is a refreshing drink I often make during the warmer months.  It’s easy to make and has the perfect hint of sweetness.

Ingredients:

8 Green Tea Bags
1/2 cup of honey
4 Lemons

Add boiling water and tea bags to your favorite tea pot and let it steep until cooled.  The tea will be dark.  Pour into a gallon pitcher, add honey to taste, juice from two lemons, and then add water until pitcher is full.  Slice lemons for garnish and enjoy!

 

Happy Summer!
🙂 Jan

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Celtic Wolves Series Blog Tour Schedule

Celtic Wolves Series Book Tour

Summer Moon Brew

Book launching and beer brewing–that’s what’s happening in my neck of the woods. Summer Moon (the book not the brew) is available  on  September 30, 2014! This is the second book in my Celtic Wolves Series, and I’m so excited for you to meet Luc and Rosa. I will be visiting several awesome book blogs over the next few weeks with giveaways, interviews, and all sorts of fun stuff, so be sure to check out my Happenings page.

Harvested Hops

Harvested Hops

Summer Moon Cover

Available September 2014

As for the beer brewing, I planted the hops vine a year ago and already it’s taking over my eastern arbor, as you can see in the photo below; the hops are on the left, and morning glory vines are on the right.

Hops and Morning Glories

Hops and morning glory vines.

This is my first attempt with fresh hops, and I will let you all know how it turns out. I chose an IPA recipe and it has been happily bubbling all week.

beer brewing

Adding hops to the brew.

It's perking...

It’s perking…

My Autumn 2014 newsletter will be sent soon. You can subscribe here. Elen’s double chocolate hazelnut cookie recipe will be included. (Yes, I’m teasing you with beer and chocolate. Shameless, I know.)

Garden Tea

Elen’s double chocolate cookies

Wherever you are, I hope you’re having a beautiful September!

All my best,
Jan

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The Nesting Arbor

I saw my first robin yesterday, a happy sign of spring after a long winter, and it inspired me to clean out the bird houses around the yard and hang a basket of goodies for birds to build their nests. The cardinals, chickadees, finches and winter wrens stay throughout the year, but it is always a welcome sign to see the summer birds arrive once again. For my bird goodies, I just use a feeder basket that can be purchased at most grocery stores and bird feed suppliers, and fill it with strings of cut yarn no longer than five inches. I keep it as natural as possible, using wool yarn not overly treated with chemicals or dye. The birds have already pulled some of the strings and will weave them into their nests.

Birds seem to love my garden, especially the central arbor, even though it arches over a well-traveled gateway to the vegetable garden beyond. I have begun to call this the nesting arbor. Five nests were built last year within the wisteria vines that cover it, and throughout winter I keep the bird feeder well stocked.

Here are a few pictures I took of the nesting arbor in my cottage garden this morning. It may seem colorless–but if you look closely you’ll see the wisteria has begun to bud…

Nesting Basket

Bird basket full of nest building goodies.
Notice the nest above from last summer that I haven’t had the heart to remove.

Bird House

Cleaning out the old nests before spring birds arrive to build new ones.
The mama bird who stayed here last summer loved morning glory seeds.
And I wondered why I didn’t have many seedlings last year. Now I know. 🙂

Swinging Squirrel

As you can see, I don’t chase my squirrels away from the feeders.

Cardinal and Finches

Cardinal and finches taking their turn on the feeder.

I never see the nests that are built on the nesting arbor until fall when the leaves shed from the vines, but I do enjoy watching the birds jumping in and out of the arbor with treats in their beaks for their eager young ones. Their high-pitched tweets echo throughout the garden when Mama arrives back in the nest.

Nesting Arbor

Nesting arbor in summer.

Wherever you are in the world, may signs of spring be in your midst!
Best wishes,
Jan