Thursday, January 8, 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015




Seize the day and all the days to come and have a magnificent year!

Best wishes, Kathleen & Mr. K. K.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays


Buon Natale. . .Glædelig Jul. . .Joyeux Noël. . .Fröhliche Weihnachten. . .

Feliz Navidad. . .Nollaig Shona Dhuit. . .Vrolijk Kerstfeest. . .Hyvaa joulua. . .

Nadolig Llawen. . .Kala Christouyenna. . .Maligayang Pasko. . .Sretan Bozic. . .

 


Merry Christmas
Glad tidings and best wishes to all!


I'm pleased to announce my 2014 Holiday promotion. HIS FAIR LADY in eBook format will be available for the special price of 99 cents from Christmas Eve, December 24th, through Little Christmas, January 6th.

 


 
A maiden to be saved. . .

A wrong to be righted. . .

Love to be fulfilled, fated long ago. . .
 


Wishing you a joyous, healthy and safe holiday season from our house to yours.

Kathleen & Mr. KK
 

Nadolig Llawen. . . Feliz Natal. . .God Jul. . . Mele Kalikimaka. . . Nollaig Chridheil Huibh

Meri Kirihimete. . .Sung Tan Chuk Ha. . . Gledileg Jol. . .Gezur Krislinjden

Friday, November 7, 2014

Kathleen Kirkwood books now on Kindle Unlimited!

I'm pleased to announce that the following Kathleen Kirkwood e-books are now available for free reads on Amazon's KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited. If you're a Kindle owner (or have a Kindle App on your other-than-Kindle reading device), you can read the books for free if you're a Amazon Prime member (via the Kindle Owner's Lending Library - KOLL) or if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. The links below each cover image below will take you to each book's Amazon Kindle page.

A Slip In Time 
Shades of the Past 
His Fair Lady

The Valiant Heart

The Defiant Heart

The Captive Heart

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Katla’s Skyr — A Viking Age Dish served at the Barony of Valsemé


    

As we meet the Norsewoman Katla in the pages of THE VALIANT HEART there is no doubt that she schemes to ensnare Rurik’s heart and to one day preside at his side as his wife and the future Baronne of Valsemé. But his father yet lives. Katla bides her time, making herself indispensible in the running of the keep and overseeing food preparations for the castle folk. She is especially known for her cheese making skills and for skyr, a thick, creamy, yogurt-like dish that can be enjoyed as a dessert or served as a beverage.

Mr. KK and I discovered skyr while living in Iceland. This highly nutritious staple of the Icelanders’ diet was brought with the settlers from Norway in the ninth century and continues to be made today. Naturally, while penning my tenth century novel, featuring Norsemen as they founded the duchy of Normandy, I happily included the dish in my story.

Skyr (pronounced skeer), is technically a cheese, made from skim milk and with rennet. (Without rennet the end product would be yogurt). The origin of the name skera — meaning “to cut” or “slice” — suggests the firmness of Viking Age skyr.  Indeed, modern day skyr is far thicker than typical American or Greek style yogurts. Traditionally, skyr would be thinned with milk and stirred to a creamy consistency, then sweetened with honey (sugar today) and served with seasonal berries for a satisfying dessert. Skyr can also be thinned further and made into a drink. Today it is sold in Iceland in a variety of flavors such as strawberry and pear which seems preferable. Plain skyr can be quite tart. Leastwise it is an acquired taste.

The virtues of skyr are many. It is not only low-fat but contains three times the protein of ordinary yogurts (higher even than Greek yogurt), is loaded with probiotics, and is high in calcium. Skyr has long been recommended for pregnant women, is favored by athletes, and is a go-to food for dieters. It is also a healthy choice for growing children and teens and helps guard against osteoporosis.

Skyr continues to be made in Iceland today, but availability outside the country is limited. It can be found in Britain and Scandinavia. In America, look for “Siggi’s Icelandic Style Skyr” at premium grocery stores, including Whole Foods. Siggi’s Home Page has a link named “stores” on the upper right that will determine where you’re located and show the stores in your area that carry it.

If you are dauntless in the kitchen and would like to try your hand at making skyr from scratch, check out the links below for recipes and instructions. They also have some additional historical notes on this fascinating and amazing dish.

As for me, I’m sending Mr. KK out the door to look for Siggi at Whole Foods …




Enjoy!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Kathleen Kirkwood News Blast and New Promotion

Hi everyone, this is Mr. KK, putting up a blog post for Kathleen . . .

Thanks to all of you who subscribed to Kathleen Kirkwood's Mailing List - we sent a News Blast out to all subscribers yesterday. For those of you who would like to join, but haven't yet, here's the link to do so.

 
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/
On the first day of Summer (June 21), we will be participating in All Romance eBooks’ (ARe's) Summer Promotion with SHADES OF THE PAST and HIS FAIR LADY. Those books will be on sale one day only and only through ARe at half price (for $1.99). So, if you or any of your friends have been eying either of these two books to purchase, this Saturday is the day to buy it from ARe (available in ePub or Mobi formats). Again, these books will be on sale only through ARe and only for one day – June 21). They will remain at their regular prices ($3.99) through all other vendors.

 

A knight returned from Crusade . . .                                        
A maiden robbed of her birthright . . .                                    
Mysteries to be solved . . .                                                        
Wrongs to be righted . . .                                                           
And love to be fulfilled, fated long ago . . .








A widowed Victorian Lady . . .
A mysterious Viscount . . .
A remote and ancient castle . . .
Where ghostly residents stir anew . . .

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ancient Ghost Towns in Pre-Conquest Britain

Roman Wall Ruins of Silchester

Author Confidential: the story behind the story – THE CAPTIVE HEART

Friends, as I blogged many moons ago (April 25, 2012), it is my desire to bring you some of the interesting tidbits, trivia, curiosities and sundry things that went into the creation of my novels, many items having never made it into the finished pages — in other words, the story behind the story — an “Author Confidential” in the tradition of the delightful “Dr. Who Confidential.” (Yes, I’m a huge fan of Dr. Who and longing for the series to begin once more.)

In this blog, I’m returning to the third book of my Heart trilogy, THE CAPTIVE HEART, when my hero and heroine, Garreth and Ailénor, stop overnight in Silchester. The city was built (70 – 80 A.D.) and later abandoned by the Romans (410 A.D.) when their armies hastened to defend Rome against the onslaught of the barbarians. Garreth and Ailénor arrive centuries later (933 A.D.) to discover a city in ruins and, for the greater part, uninhabited.

Amphitheatre at Calleva Atrebatum, Silchester,
© Pam Brophy, licensed for reuse under Creative Commons

In recreating Silchester, I followed old maps and worked in features of the ancient city that my couple would have encountered — sturdy defense works, the actual streets, a small Roman temple, a restored mansio that serves travelers as an inn and stable, and an early Christian church, no longer in use, where Garreth and Ailénor seek shelter for the night.

For a closer look at the ghost city of Silchester, stop by The Medieval Chronicle website and check out my article, “Silchester: Ghost towns in pre-Conquest Britain? How fascinating!” Indeed, enjoy all the articles TMC offers. It is a fabulous resource, offering articles on an array of topics stretching from the fifth century to the death of Elizabeth I.

Here is a snippet of my article. Cheers!

While mapping the route my characters would follow from Winchester to London in the mid-tenth century, I discovered the old Roman roads led inevitably to the ancient city of Silchester—a major crossroads for armies, travelers and pilgrims.
   
To my surprise, by 933 A.D. Silchester (known by the Romans as Calleva Atrebatum) had already stood empty for over four centuries. But its decaying ruins had not been reduced by sword or fire. Rather, by time and neglect. As in other places, such as Winchester, the inhabitants fled during the Teutonic invasions of the fifth century. Some cities remained deserted for centuries. Others, like Silchester, remained so forever. . .

The complete article can be found by clicking on this link: http://www.themedievalchronicle.com/3rd%20year/Silchester_JanFeb2012.html

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Burrowing Bunny “Archaeologists” of Cornwall


 

Bunny “archaeologists,” how delightful. When the current (July 2014) issue of British Heritage arrived, its brief announcement on page nine — “Burrowing Rabbits Unearth Ancient Treasure” — had me (forgive the pun) digging for more.

It seems a year ago, in 2013, a family of wild rabbits showed up in Lands End, Cornwall. Charmed, Eddie Williams, a Land’s End staff member, adopted the furry creatures who quickly set up housekeeping creating a network of tunnels near the site’s Greeb Farm attraction. Soon Eddie noticed more than soil being tossed out of the burrows, but a variety of flint objects that appeared manmade. He contacted archaeologists at Big Heritage who in turn confirmed the items to be flint axeheads, hide scrapers and arrowheads, at least 5,000 years old.  

As reported by Christopher Klein in History in the Headlines, “Land’s End then commissioned a thorough archaeological investigation that revealed a Neolithic passage grave, burial mounds dating to the Bronze Age and a hill fort and a series of field systems dating to the Iron Age.”

“It’s amazing how a family of rabbits have set in motion an incredible journey of discovery, says Dean Paton, who runs Big Heritage and is team leader of the Lands End project. “A family of rabbits has just rewritten the history books.”

For more information, photographs and to keep updated on the “archaeobunnies,” check out these links:

http://www.history.com/news/rabbits-unearth-ancient-treasures-at-english-landmark

http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Burrowers-uncover-ancient-treasures-Land-s-End/story-20550127-detail/story.html

http://www.cornwalllife.co.uk/home/have_rabbits_re_written_land_s_end_s_history_1_3283081

http://www.countryfile.com/news/rabbits-find-hidden-treasure