Thursday, May 12, 2016

New Release: Bloodthorn by Tamara Grantham +Giveaway

Crimson Tree Publishing is proud to present Bloodthorn, Olive Kennedy Fairy World MD Book 3, by Tamara Grantham!

Olive Kennedy doesn’t believe in fairy tales.
In a desperate attempt to earn income, fairy world therapist Olive Kennedy resorts to finding clients at the Texas Renaissance Festival. When she discovers the corpse of her client’s husband discarded in her booth, she realizes that earning her next paycheck is the least of her worries.
As more of Olive’s clients fall prey to the killer, the fairy prince and princess arrive from Faythander with troubling news. The starstone—the fairies’ source of magic—has been stolen, and the thief is hiding on Earth. The bloodthorn, a mythical beast born of fairy legends, is rumored to be responsible, but no one is certain if the creature exists.
Of course, the fairy royalty do not travel alone. Their protector happens to be the one man Olive never wanted to see again. Her ex—Kull.
Following a trail of clues, she learns that the killer may be a shape shifter. Worse, she learns the identity of his next target—her.
After months with no contact from Faythander, Olive hoped the magical drama was over, yet it seems she’ll never escape the beings who haunt her nightmares… or be free from the man who took away her happily ever after.
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Bloodthorn Excerpt +Viking Pot Roast Recipe

Hello Friends! I wanted to do a special blog post related to my favorite scene of the book. Bloodthorn is full of heartache and drama, and I felt the reader hardly had a chance to come up for a breath of air, hence my need to write this scene. This takes place at Kull’s grandmother’s cottage. Kull has finally broken down from all the mental and physical heartache he’s endured since book one, so he’s gone off the grid to hide away in a mountain cottage where he spent much of his childhood.
Olive has arrived to beg him to return to the “real world,” but she gets sidetracked when Kull and his grandma start cooking.
For this scene, I researched Viking recipes, and found that they ate a lot of reindeer and venison. Since this scene takes place on Faythander, I changed the recipe to fit the Wult traditions. For those who need a refresher course, Wults are Vikings who came to Fairy World over 1,400 years ago. They still retain much of their Viking heritage, as Faythander has a tendency to preserve cultures and habitats, but they have evolved somewhat from their Viking ancestors. However, much of the Wults’ lives are rooted in tradition, so I found a cultural Norse dish to use in this scene. I also wanted something that would take time and be complicated to prepare, and I was really pleased to find the perfect meal to fit both criteria. The dish is called dyresteg. It’s basically a roast, so for my scene, I added some vegetables found on Faythander, and I also took out the jelly to make it more Wult-ish.
From Bloodthorn, Chapter 24…

“We’re making dyresteg,” Kull said. “It’s an old traditional dish that I’ve cooked with Grandamere many times. I still have yet to get it right.”
“He’s improving,” his grandmother said. “Last year’s was nearly there. Still need to work on getting the bitter out of the roux.”
“It will be perfect this year,” Kull said.
“We will see. Still time yet to improve it. Perhaps the girl can help you this time, yes?”
He turned to me. “Would you like to help?”
“Me?” I glanced around the room. Didn’t we need to go and save the world first? “How long will it take?”
“Not long. You may help me prepare the vegetables if you wish.”
“All right, I guess. I’m not much of a cook.” Why did I say that?
I followed Kull to the island counter where he gave me a butcher knife and instructed me in cutting the vegetables.
“Make sure to cut them evenly and the same size.”
As he chopped a potato-like root plant, I did my best to keep my eyes on the food and not on the way the muscles moved in his arms as he cut the vegetable.
“Would you like to try?”
He held the knife out, and I reached for it. My fingertips brushed his as I took the handle, and my heart rate shot up. Heat rose into my cheeks and made my chest tighten. I wanted to look away from him but found that some compulsion had come over me. I couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe. Finally, he slowly moved his hand away from mine, and I focused on the vegetables.
I began cutting, and after I’d established a rhythm of slicing them lengthwise and keeping them the same size, he placed his hand on my back. Heat rolled through me at his touch.
He leaned close. “Perfectly done,” he said.
“Thanks,” I managed.
He walked away to attend to his grandmother by the hearth. I stayed focused on the vegetables. Heaven help me, his presence was doing all sorts of crazy things to my head, and I shamefully enjoyed every second of it.
“Heat it up, but do not let it boil,” Kull’s grandmother said. “You must get the temperature right, or else it will become bitter. Now, we must prepare the meat. Where are the skewers?”
It all seemed surreal, as if I’d stepped into another time. Worry nagged at the back of my mind—we needed to find the bloodthorn and stop him—yet that world seemed so far away, like a dream I barely remembered.
Kull took Grandamere’s hands in his and guided them to a small shelf beside the hearth. That icy shell covering my heart melted a tiny bit as I watched him help his grandmother. They worked well together, as if they did this sort of thing every day. He guided her hands when she asked and prepared the food as she instructed.
After I’d finished with the vegetables, I stayed where I was, watching as the two worked side-by-side.
“Now add the vegetables,” she said, waving toward me.
I brought the platter to the hearth where they’d placed a cast-iron pot atop the coals. I added the vegetables, careful not to let the broth splash me.
“Good,” Grandamere said. “Now let it simmer down, then add the roux.”
We waited, Kull stirring the broth now and again as the two carried on a conversation. I’d nearly forgotten why I’d come here in the first place. At some point, I’d have to get around to broaching the subject of Kull reclaiming the crown and tracking down the bloodthorn, but not now. Now it seemed time stood still, that there was only him and Grandamere and me, and nothing but good food to worry over.
After the broth was ready, Kull added a small pot of dark roux to the mix.
“Now whisk in the cheese until it dissolves,” said Grandamere. “Is the roast in the warming oven?”
“Yes. Shall I fetch it?”
“Not yet. Slice it first. Then serve it with the sauce and skewers.”
He stood and moved toward the counter.
Grandamere raised a finger. “Thin—”
“Thin slices. Yes, I remember.”
She smiled and leaned her head against the seat cushion. “It’s a good day for dyresteg—the leaves coming down with winter still far enough away. We’ll have to serve it with my cider, of course.”
“Has it always been made the way you’re preparing it?”
“Yes. I made it with my grandstefar, and he with his grandsteforældre. Kull is my only kin who still comes down off the mountain to make it with me. Every year, he comes when the weather is right.”
“That’s because I have yet to perfect it,” he said from the kitchen.
“You will get it soon enough. And then you shall teach your own children.”
“We’ll see. Perhaps I’ll make it poorly on purpose so I may come visit you more often.”
“You visit often enough already. There’s certainly no need to spoil our dinner on account of me.”
“I was jesting, Grandamere. I would only spoil our meal if someone we disliked were visiting.”

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt! There’s more following this that shows Olive eating the meal with Kull and Grandma, and tells how Olive liked the meal, but it also gave away too much of the plot, so I chose to leave it out. But hey, if you’d like to read it all, it’s all in the book ; )
Following is a recipe similar to the recipe I used for the previous scene. I’ve never actually cooked this, but maybe I will and then report back. Or most likely, I’ll make my husband cook it, since he’s the chef in the family anyway.

I found this on

1. Preheat the oven to 475°F. Tie the roast up neatly at ½-inch intervals with kitchen cord so that it will hold its shape while cooking. With a pastry brush, spread the softened butter evenly over the meat.
2. Place the roast on a rack in a shallow open roasting pan and sear it in the hot oven for about 20 minutes. When the surface of the meat is quite brown, reduce the heat to 375°F and sprinkle the roast generously with salt and a few grindings of pepper.
3. Pour the stock into the pan and cook the roast, uncovered, for 1¼ hours. With a large spoon or bulb baster, baste the meat with the pan juices every half hour or so.
4. The interior meat, when finished, should be slightly rare, or about 150°F on a meat thermometer. Remove the roast to a heated platter, cover it loosely with foil and let it rest in the turned-off oven while you make the sauce.
5. Skim and discard the fat from the pan juices. Measure the remaining liquid and either reduce to 1 cup by boiling it rapidly or add enough water to make up 1 cup. In a small, heavy saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and stir in 1 tablespoon of flour.
6. Stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, cook this roux for 6 to 8 minutes over low heat until it is a nut-brown color. Be careful not to let it burn or it will give the sauce a bitter flavor.
7. Now, with a wire whisk, beat the pan juices into the roux. Next whisk in the jelly and the cheese. Beat until they dissolve and the sauce is absolutely smooth, then stir in the sour cream.
8. Do not allow the sauce to boil. Taste for seasoning, remove the strings from the roast, and carve the meat in thin slices. Pass the sauce separately.

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Dreamthief (Book 1)

Visiting Faythander is a nasty business. Forget the fairies and unicorns, most people come back with lost memories and mental problems. Olive Kennedy knows. She's the therapist who treats patients suffering from Faythander's side effects. Despite her empty bank account, she takes pride in her job as Houston’s only Fairy World medical doctor. She's never failed to cure a client—until now.\

Traveling back to Faythander wasn't on Olive's to-do list. But she has no choice. The fate of both Earth and Fairy depends on her ability to stop an ancient being called the Dreamthief. To complicate matters, she may be losing her heart to someone who can’t love her in return. Saving the world, she can handle. Falling in love—not so much.

As if battling the forces of evil wasn't difficult enough…
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Spellweaver (Book 2)

Olive's to-do list: Feed the cat. Pay the rent. Save Faythander. Again. 
After Olive's last trip through Faythander, she wants nothing more than a nice vacation. But there's never time for relaxation when goblin treachery is afoot. When Geth, a goblin Spellweaver, destroys the Everblossom—a tree containing Faythander's pure magic—the fairy-world utopia begins to die. The bloom of the Everblossom is all that remains of pure magic. Now Olive must travel through Earth and Faythander to find a place where it will flourish. 
As a psychiatrist, her skills are top notch. However, her abilities to handle patients with abnormal mental behaviors will be put to the test when she confronts Geth. Nothing has prepared her for what he reveals to her about goblins and elves. As Olive's quest takes her from her home in Houston through the most dangerous places in Faythander, she learns that history is a muddled subject, especially when elves are involved. 
Her only comfort comes from Kull, her Viking warrior sidekick—who somehow negates her bad fortune. Yet how long can their relationship last when his past is brought to light? Olive will be tested beyond anything she has endured so far, as the secrets of Faythander's sordid and bloody past are exposed—one that could irrevocably alter the future and destroy the lives of everyone she loves.
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About the Author

 Tamara Grantham was born and raised in Southeast Texas. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from Lamar University. After marrying her husband David, she followed him through his training to become a burn surgeon, which consisted of moving from Vidor, Texas to Galveston, Texas, then to Tulsa, Oklahoma, back to Galveston, and they finally settled in Wichita, Kansas. Tamara and David have five active, sweet, and almost always well-mannered children, ages zero to ten years. Their two pets, June—the Jack Russell Terrier, and Chester—a black cat, help to keep the house lively (in addition to the children.)When Tamara isn’t writing or tending her children, she enjoys taking walks through the woods, eating chocolate, and very infrequently, she enjoys a good night’s sleep. Check out Tamara's website at: WWW.TAMARAGRANTHAM.COM 

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