As an author, it is my job to wonder “What if…?” With this story, I took the concept a little further than usual, resulting in a setting that can only be called ‘alternate history’. I took the Mongol culture of about AD 400 and asked, “What if…they had never been defeated by the Chinese, and, later, by the Christians?” What sort of a society would they have ended up with?
I have taken a lot of liberties in assuming what might have happened, especially in the area of potential magic and wizardry. This last takes the story into the realms of fantasy, but who knows what might have happened? The names and places I mention are all based on Mongol culture, though. While you won’t need a glossary to understand, here are a few examples:
Khaganate: legendary empire of times past
Khanate: largest section left of the former empire
Naiman: common name of the
Naman: ruling royal family of the
Khanate, name derived from the
Khan: nobleman in Mongol times; the king in this book
Playing with alternate history has been fun for me. I hope you will enjoy reading about the results of my thought experiment as much as I loved coming up with it.
Check out :
The parchment thief has been stealing books and scrolls all over Nieman, but when he manages to enter the Royal Library, the Khan's patience runs out. He decides it is time for a change of tactics and puts his youngest son, Bayar, in charge of solving the mystery of the thief's identity. Bayar is as surprised about this as about the fact he is going to have a guardian-the ruggedly attractive Chinux.
Chinux is a bounty hunter of some renown and very much his own man. He relishes the challenge of finding the parchment thief and bringing him to justice, even if he has to 'babysit' the youngest prince in the process. When Bayar and Chinux discover the thief's identity, they are shocked.
Will the quest to find and bring him to justice tear them apart or bring them closer together?
Reader Advisory: This story has been previously released as part of the Sins of Autumn anthology by Total-E-Bound.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Monday, November 12, 2012
In celebration of A Slice of Love, I’m publishing the inspirational recipes. A few days ago, I shared Marcus’s carrot cake recipe and now I’m sharing Marcus’s cinnamon roll recipe. I love a good cinnamon roll… so enjoy… just in time for Sunday breakfast.
To make a small fortune, start with a large fortune and open a bakery. That’s the advice Marcus Wilson has heard. Unfortunately, Marcus doesn’t have a large fortune—just a bakery, A Slice of Heaven, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and the determination to make it successful. He needs more help than he can afford, so when he hires accountant Gregory Southland, it’s for hours in the shop as well as on the books.
Gregory takes a second job at the bakery to help pay the bills now that his health is improving. Soon he’s looking forward to spending time with Marcus, but as the business—and their relationship—grows, so do the complications: First Marcus’s stepmother involves him in a cause that could give the bakery a reputation it doesn’t need. Then Marcus and Gregory disagree over whether to involve A Slice of Heaven in a civil rights dispute. To top it off, Gregory’s ex-boyfriend makes an appearance just when he is at his most vulnerable. But the greatest complication by far is Marcus and Gregory’s struggle to learn to trust each other and themselves, especially when it comes to baking up matters of the heart.
Purchase from Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3342
Cinnamon Roll Ingredients:
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
Cinnamon Schmear Ingredients:
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Icing ingredients:
1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Warm the milk in a small microwave-safe bowl in the microwave until it bubbles. Add the 1/4 cup butter and stir until melted. Let cool until lukewarm.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups flour, instant yeast, granulated sugar, and salt; mix well. Add the 1/4 cup water, egg, and the milk/butter mixture; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. This can also be made in a stand mixer starting with a paddle and kneading with the dough hook once the dough has come together.
Place the dough in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 20 minutes in a warm place. While the dough is resting, make cinnamon schmear: in a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, 1/2 cup softened butter, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract.
Once the dough has rested, place it on a floured surface and stretch/flatten into a rough square shape. Roll out dough into a rectangle approximately 12″ x 9″. Spread dough with cinnamon schmear, leaving a 1/2 inch border on one long edge of the dough un-schmeared. Brush the 1/2 inch border with a little milk to help it seal.
Starting at the long edge that is schmeared, roll up dough the long way (to make a 12-inch log) toward the 1/2 border. Roll up fairly tightly and press the border to seal the roll. Use a sharp knife to cut into 12 equal size rolls and place cut side up in a 9″ x 13″ buttered baking pan (3 rows of 4). Cover lightly and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). While rolls are rising, make the cream cheese icing: in a medium bowl, beat together the 3 oz. package cream cheese, the 1/4 cup softened butter, and the 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Beat in the 2 cups powdered sugar until the icing is creamy.
Once the rolls have risen, bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes, or until browned. Cool in pan for 20 minutes and ice with cream cheese icing before serving.
>> Post copied from Andrew's BLOG on Wordpress.com