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Reconstructionist 2: more than family

April 12, 2017

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Reconstructionist 2: preorder giveaway

April 1, 2017

GIVEAWAY EXTENDED UP TO AND INCLUDING THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2017 BY READER REQUEST.

Each of the Reconstructionist novels is paired with a prequel short story narrated by another, often minor, character. The stories contain slight spoilers for the main books, so if that bothers you might choose to wait and read the shorts/novels out of order.

The prequel to Tangled Echoes (Reconstructionist 2) is Dawn Bytes. Everyone who preorders Tangled Echoes, and emails me proof of their preorder, will be sent a link to download the short story for free. FUN!

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Every entry wins! To receive the short story, Dawn Bytes, email proof of preorder or library request/reservation and your preferred email address to preorder@madebymeghan.ca

Proof of preorder: email a screenshot and/or your actual electronic receipt (with any personal information struck out, if you wish). Please include your preferred email address, and check your spam folders if you don’t hear back within 72 hours. Email is the only way that preorders will be accepted.

Library reservation/request option: it may take a couple of weeks for your local library to get access to the preorder of Tangled Echoes (Reconstructionist 2) via Overdrive (or wherever else they get their ebooks). If that is the case, please feel free to email proof of reserving/requesting the first book in the series, Catching Echoes. All my ebooks are available to libraries for free via Overdrive, Library Direct, Baker & Taylor Axis 360, and Odilo.

Notes/Rules: OPEN INTERNATIONALLY. Every entry that follows the above guidelines will receive an ebook copy of the short story, Dawn Bytes. One entry per person. Email addresses are not collected for any purpose other than notifying the contest winner. No purchase necessary (see library reservation option).

Each email will be acknowledged within 72 hours. If you do not receive an acknowledgement please feel free to resend.

Giveaway closes THURSDAY MAY 11, 2017 at midnight PDT.

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Are you new to the Adept Universe and/or the Reconstructionist Series?

Book one is Catching Echoes (Reconstructionist 1).

And here is the reading order of the Adept Universe.

Reconstructionist 2: cover reveal

March 29, 2017

An offer.

Of immortality.

Of power.

Of a future without the trappings of the past.

All I had to do was abandon those who loved me.

All I had to do was die.

– Wisteria’s and Kett’s story continues in Tangled Echoes, Reconstructionist 2 on May 4, 2017.

Coming May 4, 2017

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Are you new to the Adept Universe and/or the Reconstructionist Series? Book one is Catching Echoes (Reconstructionist 1). And here is the reading order of the Adept Universe.

The Reconstructionist 2 preorder giveaway launches April 3, 2017.

Pistachio, Cranberry, and White Chocolate Bark

March 25, 2017

While I’m not a fan of white chocolate personally – though I always requested a white chocolate Easter bunny when I was younger – Michael is, so I when I want to make a treat that is just for him I often do so with white chocolate.

I snapped some pictures so I could throw together a recipe for the blog at the same time. 🙂 Though – a reminder to my lovely readers – I’m not a chocolatier, just an amateur enthusiast.

Pistachio, Cranberry, and White Chocolate Bark

200 grams (0.44 pounds/approx. 7 ounces) white chocolate*

1/4 cup pistachios (shelled) (heaping)

1/4 cup dried cranberries (heaping)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the chocolate to a large heat proof bowl. Set the bowl over a small pot of simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove bowl from the heat, wiping the bottom (if you get any water in your chocolate it will seize).  Stir chocolate until it is completely melted.

Mix in cranberries and pistachios.

Scrape the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, using the spatula to spread it to desired thickness. Sprinkle with extra nuts and fruit, if desired.

Refrigerate the baking sheet until the chocolate sets. Once the bark is firm, break it into pieces. Store in the refrigerator.

I had to shell the pistachios because I couldn’t find any unshelled! Remember that nuts do go bad so please use the freshest you can find.

*I used Zephyr by Cacao Barry (34% cocoa – a lightly sweet white chocolate with an intense milk taste). Feel free to switch out the chocolate but Michael gave this flavour combo a massive thumbs up.

More pictures:

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Chocolate Palettes

March 25, 2017

When I have extra chocolate in the house, or perhaps odds and ends of chocolate leftover, I occasionally make these Chocolate Palettes. I’m not a chocolatier – just an exceedingly enthusiastic amateur – and no matter how many times I try, or whose directions I follow, I can’t seem to properly temper chocolate. But since these tasty bits usually get eaten straight out of the fridge, I don’t worry about the grey streaks that can appear when you don’t temper chocolate properly. If you want them to continue looking pretty for guests, pull them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Palettes

200 grams (0.44 pounds/approx. 7 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped*

various nuts, roasted**

various dried fruit, cut into small pieces***

Fleur du sel (optional)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the chocolate to a large heat proof bowl. Set the bowl over a small pot of simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove bowl from the heat, wiping the bottom (if you get any water in your chocolate it will seize). Stir the chocolate until it is completely melted. Cool, occasionally stirring, until slightly thick.

Spoon chocolate onto prepared baking sheet by the teaspoon. Allow to cool more.

Dot rounds with nuts and fruit. Sprinkling with Fleur de sel, if desired.

Refrigerate the baking sheet until the chocolate sets. Makes approx. 26 palettes.

Store in the refrigerator.

As you can see by the pictures I’m fairly random with my various toppings. One nut with two pieces of fruit. Two nuts with two pieces of fruit. Sometimes I add sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Remember that nuts and seeds do go bad so please use the freshest you can find.

*I used a 85% cocoa and a 73% cocoa chocolate bar, plus Fleur de Cao from Cacao Barry (a 70% cocoa – strong cocoa flavour with subtle floral and fruity notes).

** I used pistachios and almonds

*** I used organic dried cranberries, dried pear, and dried plum. I soak the pear in pineapple juice for approx. 15 minutes before dehydrating it. So it’s pretty much candy. The plums are Early Italian, which I eat/dry about 40 pounds of each year. No, I’m not exaggerating.

In pictures:

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Mailing List Giveaway – Three prizes!

March 20, 2017

You might have just received an email about my new release mailing list reengagement campaign. Essentially, I’ve trimmed everyone off my mailing lists who (according to my hosting site) haven’t engaged or opened an email from me in a couple of years. Or who recently signed up for my list via Instafreebie.

I’ve done this for two reasons.

  1. I have an upcoming new release (Reconstructionist 2) and don’t want to continue spamming anyone who doesn’t wish to be spammed. Our inboxes are full enough!
  2. I pay MailChimp to host my mailing lists for me, so subscribers who don’t actually want to get emails from me actually cost me a tiny bit of money every month.

To make this a fun endeavour, I decided to put together three prize packages, including autographed paperbacks of the three entry points to the Adept Universe – find the reading order here – the Dowser, Oracle, and Reconstructionist Series.

Prize pack #1 includes: an autographed paperback of Dowser 1, plus 6 Dowser recipe cards.

Prize Pack #2 includes: an autographed paperback of Oracle 1, plus 6 butterfly tattoos, and 3 postcards.

Prize pack #3 includes: an autographed paperback of Reconstructionist 1, plus 5 meme postcards.

All you need to do in order to enter is either subscribe to, or already be on, my new release mailing list. Yep, everyone on my mailing list before March 28, 2017 will automatically be entered to win one of these three prizes. YAY! You can double check to see if you are already subscribed by trying to resubscribe.

RESUBSCRIBE HERE

Caveats: This does not include subscribers on my monthly newsletter (that is a separate list). Prize packs will be awarded randomly.

Notes/Rules: OPEN INTERNATIONALLY. Each mailing list subscriber will be assigned an entry number. THREE winning entries will then be selected via random number generator. One entry per person. Please make sure to fill out a valid email address. Prize winner will have seven days to response to email notification. If the prize goes unclaimed, a new winner will be randomly selected. No purchase necessary.

Giveaway closes TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 2016 at 8 p.m. PDT.

Baking: measuring butter

March 20, 2017

Recipe found in the Dowser Series Cookbook.

I celebrated getting Reconstructionist 2 off  to the editor this morning by making brownies (as posted on Instagram) and it occurred to me that the recipe calls for a truly ackward measurement of butter – 6 tablespoons. And that most of my butter icing recipes aren’t any better – using 1/3 of cup.

Measure cups, tablespoons, ounces, and grams!

I dug out my handy Butter Measuring Guide, and thought that it might be worth mentioning.

Yes, that’s the refection of my phone taking the picture.

My Dad bought the stainless-steel guide pictured above for me as a Christmas gift many years ago (apparently from Lee Valley). And honestly, it sat in my drawer for awhile unused. I tended to fudge odd measurements when baking, simply using the guide that was printed on the foil wrapper. Then I took a closer look at the butter measuring guide and it’s crazy handy!

So that is my random baking tip.

What obscure kitchen item do you find is more useful than you thought it would be?

On the [belated] [again] anniversary of Terry Pratchett’s death.

March 13, 2017

GIVEAWAY CLOSED. LUCKY #2 HAS BEEN EMAILED.

Sir Terry Pratchett passed away two years ago on March 12, 2015.

I blogged about his passing here.

For the second [belated] anniversary of his death I would like to once again celebrate his work by hosting a giveaway for a copy of Wintersmith, which was the first book of his that I ever read. I’m slightly peeved that I’m ‘belated’ with this post again. I did have a warning in my calendar. But better late than never!

 

To celebrate Sir Terry’s life and his work, I would like to buy a copy of Wintersmith for one of you – for kindle, or iBooks, or Kobo, or in paperback. You name the format and I’ll buy it.

Comment below to enter. Tell me your favourite book of Sir Terry’s. Or why you’d like to read Wintersmith specifically. Or if you’ve already read Wintersmith who you’d like to gift it to (and why).

RIP Sir Terry Pratchett. Thank you for the entertainment, the inspiration, and for the strong women and inspiring world you created.

Notes/Rules: OPEN INTERNATIONALLY. Each comment will be assigned an entry number. ONE winning entry will then be selected via random number generator. One entry per person. Please make sure to fill out a valid email address in the comment form. Email addresses are not collected for any purpose other than notifying the contest winner. No purchase necessary.

If you haven’t commented on the blog before, or you comment from a different IP address, the comments are moderated. So don’t worry if you don’t see your entry right away. I will approve it, then assign it an entry number.

Giveaway closes WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016 at 8 p.m. PDT.

Reconstructionist 2: editing mode

March 8, 2017

I received story notes from Scott Fitzgerald Gray (aka the editor, aka SFG) on Reconstructionist 2 last night, which means that I’m in editing mode this morning.

To that end, I have accomplished the following before 10:23 am:

  1. fed and free ranged the chickens
  2. drank my breakfast smoothie
  3. cleaned the kitchen
  4. emptied my inbox (as empty as it gets)
  5. took a selfie in support of International Women’s Day
  6. posted selfie on Facebook
  7. showered
  8. dried my hair
  9. put on and flipped a load of laundry

Currently: blogging.

Next up: hot chocolate and gingersnaps.

So yep, I am editing.

Oh … and I thought you might like a sneak peek at the title for book two:

The first page of my notebook for Reconstructionist 2. Gearing up on the final draft!

Reconstructionist 1: Meet Jasmine

March 6, 2017

“I found another dead teen,” Jasmine said, dragging her bag out through the international arrivals area at Vancouver International Airport. She was wearing a heathered brown merino-wool cardigan that fell around her knees, over a long-sleeved black V-neck T-shirt and skinny-legged black jeans. Her brown leather boots almost perfectly matched the laptop satchel slung across her shoulders.

“Where?” Kett asked, appearing out of the crowd of travelers and the swarm of family and friends currently greeting each other ecstatically.

My cousin flinched, whipping her head around and sending a rampant cascade of dark-blond curls across her shoulders. She hadn’t seen the vampire before he spoke. It was unnerving to have a vampire sneak up on you, even when you were expecting to meet one. I knew. He’d been doing it to me all day.

“Kettil, the executioner and elder of the Conclave,” I said formally and as per protocol, introducing them as I had tried to do when they’d spoken on the phone. “Jasmine Fairchild, tech witch and certified investigator. Also, gourmet cook.”

Jasmine laughed at the gourmet comment. But compared to me, she was a five-star chef. As long as her short attention span didn’t distract her.

“Yes,” Kett said, smiling pleasantly. “Wisteria’s cousin. Dahlia’s daughter. Half-sister of Declan Benoit.”

Jasmine thrust her hand toward him, smirking sexily. “Well, you’ve done your homework.”

Kett’s smile widened to reveal a hint of white teeth as he shook her hand.

Jasmine laughed again, enjoying the attention. Me, the vampire decided to keep in a heightened state of fear. Jasmine, he decided to flirt with. Perhaps he preferred effervescent, slightly sarcastic personalities. Or perhaps it was Jasmine’s curls and bright-blue eyes. My cousin’s eyes were a lighter blue than Jade Godfrey’s, but a lot of witches shared that coloring — including my entire family.

– Excerpt from Chapter Five of Catching Echoes (Reconstructionist 1)

Jasmine’s bio page from my notebook (I had to white out some potential spoilers!!)

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