Lasagnas & many characters Buku, Lord Archos, & Dreamtime Damsel #1 - Miss Hattie of "M

Garfield the Cat made Lasagna a fun meal for many of us as we grew up.

The first Garfield now enjoys this meal at Rainbow Bridge with many cat and dog converts, but the tradition goes on for we humans. It's not a usual hot weather treat, but the moment the temperature turns from scorching, many of us begin to think of this delectable dinner. July 29th is the day we celebrate its glory.

History of Lasagna Day

So here’s your first fun fact for Lasagna Day, Lasagna refers to the wide, flat, long noodles that are commonly used to make a dish of lasagna. However, the term for multiple lasagna noodles is lasagne, so perhaps the dish should actually be called Lasagne! Whatever the spelling, this delicious dish was first created in Italy, with the credit usually being given to the city of Naples, otherwise known as Campania. It was there that the book Liber de Coquina was found, and within it the recipe for Lasagna from the Middle Ages. Lasagna: Original Recipe (from Liber de Coquina an Italian or French 14th manuscript) De lasanis.

Translation: (from The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy)

Of lasagne. To make lasagne take fermented dough and make into as thin a shape as possible.

Then divide it into squares of three finger-breadths per side.

Then take salted boiling water and cook those lsagne in it.

And when they are fully cooked and grated cheese.

And, if you like, you can also add good powdered spices and powder them on them, when they are on the trencher.

Then put on a layer of lasagne and powder [spices] again; and on top another layer and powder, and continue until the trencher or bowl is full.

Then eat them by taking them up with a pointed wooden stick.

My Interpretation:

1 pound flat pasta sheets

1 gallon chicken broth

½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese

2 tsp. Powder Fort (5 spice Powder)

1 tsp. butter

Bring broth to a boil, place pasta sheets in broth and cook al dente (see directions if using a package).

Divide pasta sheets, cheese and spice powder into thirds. Lightly grease the bottom of a casserole with butter.

In casserole layer pasta sheets, grated cheese, then powderfort ; repeat until three layers are made. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

Let cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting in square shape and serve.

Sources: The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy; Odile Redon, Françoise Sabban, & Silvano Serventi, translated to the English by Edward Schneider; The University of Chicago Press, 1998 ??? Sounds like spiced Macaroni and cheese to me LOL!

Here's a demo on YouTube

How to celebrate Lasagna Day

Celebrating Lasagna Day is both easy and delicious, consume mass quantities of lasagna!

There are hundreds of varieties of lasagna available in the frozen food section of your local grocery store, with variants from chicken lasagna to vegetarian lasagna.

If you’re feeling truly adventurous, or come from a family with a long tradition of home-made lasagna, it may just be time to make that recipe you’ve been avoiding for so many years. Lasagna is a delicious and traditional dish, and is easy to make in large quantities.

The blend of ricotta, mozzarella, parmigiana-reggiano, and béchamel really brings a complex but enjoyable blend of textures and flavors of cheeses to the menu.

So on Lasagna Day, remember to not settle for anything less for dinner!

JENNIFER ANDERSON – spoke to us last week. This week her character Iris from Buku speaks! 1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.

I am Iris.

2.Tell us where and when were you born.

I was born in Camp One. My grandfather said they used to call these the Rocky Mountains, but we don’t really call them that anymore. They’re just the mountains we try to climb to get away from the Buku.

I was born a few years after the Midwest fell, and Givens’ monsters took over the world.

3. How would you describe yourself?

I am a medic. I help people and try to keep them alive. It’s what I do. It’s who I am.

4. Tell us about where you grew up.

I grew up in the camps we built in the mountains. We’re now in Camp Five, as every few years we have to move as the buku evolve and force us to climb higher.

5. How old are you?


6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?

For the most part, I was happy. I mean, life was tough, and I missed my mom. But I had my grandfather. Then he died, and I had to move in with Mayor and his son Blue. Those were not happy years.

7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?

My grandfather was everything to me. Wise and strong and good. I miss him. Satch is like a brother to me, and I depend upon him. Then there’s Blue. He likes to say he’s my brother, but he’s not. And the way he looks at me, and touches me, it is not brotherly. And I won’t call it a relationship, you know, because of Blue… but the stranger I met the other day. Oso. He is… he scares me, in a way. But not like Blue scares me. Not at all like Blue.

8. What do you value above all else in life?

I value what my grandfather taught me to value. Life, above all else. We’ve lost so many people. We have to save the lives that are left.

9. What are you obsessed with?

Helping others. And recently… Oso.

10.How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about? Satch says that I have power. And that the rest of Camp Five will follow me if I will lead them. I don’t know about that. I don’t feel like I have power. I just know that I will protect those I love.

11. Biggest fear?

Other than Mayor? And Blue? And buku? I fear that none of us will ever make it off this mountain and that the last of mankind will die here, cold and hungry and alone.

12. What line will you never cross?

I won’t kill a man, or even let someone die. Not even Blue.

13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?

Meeting Oso and Micah. They say they may know how we can fight the buku. But… if Mayor or Blue find them, they will kill them. And it will be my fault. How can I live with that?

14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

When you’re running for your life, embarrassment never enters the picture.

15. Biggest secret?

That Oso and Micah saved me. If Mayor or Blue find out that I was with them, there will be hell to pay.

16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?

I’m not sure. I don’t think much about myself. Coach, our doctor, would probably call me competent. Daniels would say I’m indispensable. Satch calls me powerful. And Blue… I don’t want to think about what he says.

17. What is your current goal?

To protect Oso and Micah so they can find the secret to fight buku. I will do anything to make that happen.

A. L. Butcher is our next author, but has decided to do her character interview first and the author interview next week. Some links and blurbs follow!

1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.

I am Lord Archos Stormrager, Lord of Magic, Lord of Tremellic. I am a sorcerer in a world where my very existence is illegal. I am the last Skychild. I have been hunted, I have killed and had loved ones die in my arms. I am wealthy but a good deal of that wealth is gained from illicit means. I am a collector, I am a scholar and a criminal. I am the Oncoming Storm.

2. Tell us where and when were you born.

In my father's former lands far away, before the Plague came and ravaged the land and the magic hid where it could. I am old, although I do not look it.

3. How would you describe yourself?

I look human, of middling age. I have been told I am handsome. I am charming but can be deadly. Do not cross me, I am unpredictable.

4. Tell us about where you grew up.

The civil wars and the purging of the magic, the Plague and the terrible aftermath meant we moved around.

We were of noble stock, but we were sorcerers and had elven blood. We were the enemy to all. I recall a house bedecked with silk and fine things, and I recall my family running for our lives with little more than we could carry on our backs.

We lived in hiding for more years than I’d care to admit to - those terrible years took my half-brother’s life and aged my father beyond his years. I grew up everywhere and nowhere.

5. How old are you?

One loses track after a while, but at least three centuries. My birth mother is an elemental – so I have that heritage. Am I immortal? I have no idea – I certainly hope not. I age slowly, but I can still be wounded, and feel pain like other men.

6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?

I would not call it happy, for obvious reasons. It was, I think filled with love and we learned a great deal – not all of it good. Happy though - no. It was a time of war, hatred, genocide and misery.

7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?

There have been lovers, but none so fine as my beautiful Dii’Athella. I have a half-troll daughter - but I was not aware of her until recently, and her mother and I have not been together for many years. I like beautiful women and handsome men, but I give my pleasure and affection with care. I have buried many companions and friends I cared for. Death is never easy - it touches us and leaves its mark. Do not give your heart easily for the barbs of loss linger.

8. What do you value above all else in life?

Magic, loyalty.

9. What are you obsessed with?

Magic, returning the land to a state of freedom from tyranny. There is little freedom in Erana, and it is guarded carefully.

The Order of Witch-Hunters rule by fear, division, ignorance and the might of the sword. The common people believe the lies or are too afraid to speak up. Most are ill-educated, and life is hard.

One rarely has time to dwell on the rights and wrongs of politics and law when one is exhausted from tilling the land to feed one’s family. The Order says the elves and magic bring the Plague and the wars of the past were an elven plot. The Plague has not been seen for many decades but most people are so ignorant or afraid that any local illness or unexplained sickness or death might be linked to it. Those who were alive at the time the Plague arrived are very few and so no one remembers what it was like. If a lie is told often enough it may become a form of truth. I seek answers, I seek to bring down the Order and free the land.

10. How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?

My beliefs are that no one should be enslaved simply for who they are. Magic does not care if someone is rich or poor, man or woman, or worthy or unworthy. Magic goes where it will and not a man upon the land will stop it – but many try. In the centuries since the Order took martial law, the magic has ebbed – hiding where it can, but it has not dissipated. Most now do not understand it. Those among us who are faster, luckier, or can conjure fire are magical. Almost all of those blessed with magic seek to hide it, or pretend it is something else. The gods are not forgotten, but most have a vague belief in them. The temples are more a social and healing centre than religious. Even the Order cannot function without the healers or those whose magic is tempered on the Smith’s forge.

I believe magic is free and should not be forced to lurk in the dark and hidden places. Magic is not shameful - it is glorious! We try to help where we can - we have smuggled elves from under the noses of the Order of Witch-Hunters; burned forts and killed Order men. The citizens of my lands live relatively freely. The rescued elves are not slaves or servants, there is little crime and we are prosperous. We are remote so the Order tends to ignore us - the bribes help. My people are safer than most. But it is only a matter of time before the Order come in force to deal with the upstart sorcerer lord and his people.

11. Biggest fear?

The civil war which ravaged the land will return and bring further strife. This war will come - make no mistake. I do not fear for myself. I may fall but I will take many Witch-Hunters with me, but I fear for my people and my household. Will we win when it does come? I have no idea but the odds are against us.

12. What line will you never cross?

What a naive question! In a life as long and adventurous as mine I’ve found there are very few ‘lines’ a man will not cross if he must.

13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?

The best - Finding my sweet wife Dii’Athella. The worst - seeing what the Order did to her.

14. The most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

I’m not about to disclose that.

15. Biggest secret?

Apart from the fact I am instrumental in the crime syndicate in Varlek, I am a mage, I am not entirely human, I smuggle elves out, I have killed, stolen, bribed and lied. How many more secrets do you require?

16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?


17. What is your current goal?

To see the end of the tyranny of the Order of Witch-Hunters.

Lord Archos appears in the following books

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I

In a dark world where magic is illegal, and elves are enslaved a young elven sorceress runs for her life from the house of her evil Keeper. Pursued by his men and the corrupt Order of Witch-Hunters she must find sanctuary. As the slavers roll across the lands stealing elves from what remains of their ancestral home the Witch-Hunters turn a blind eye to the tragedy and a story of power, love and a terrible revenge unfolds.

18 rated.

Audio editions narrated by Rob Goll

Universal Link

Separate Links audio

Amazon UK

Amazon UK audio

Barnes and Noble I-books IndieBound

Audible UK




Angus Robertson (Australia)


The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book II

Who rules in this game of intrigue where magic is forbidden, and elves enslaved? Journey where beliefs shatter like glass, truth is unwelcome and monsters from ancient times abound: share the romance and revenge, magic and passion, and the wages of greed in a world of darkest fantasy.

(18 rated)

Now in audio narrated by Shakespearean actor Rob Goll. Universal Link Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble I-books IndieBound

Amazon UK

Audible UK

The Stolen Tower – the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book III

What stalks the land cannot be but is.

Where magic is outlawed a troll Shaman calls from her deathbed to her heiress, Mirandra Var, daughter of the storm. Mirandra vows to find her missing kin, sort friend from foe, and claim the dangerous secrets guarded by unthinkable creatures. If she succeeds she will become the leader of her tribe. If she fails, there will be no tribe to lead. \

Universal Link

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble I-books IndieBound

As a way of promoting the upcoming Anthology Dreamtime Damsels and Fatal Femmes in I was honored to take part, I am posting character interviews by each author who contributed a story. Many times, in the writing of short stories there is a lot of character building and back story that never makes it to the actual written story.

Here's my remedy. Tell me what you think, stay tuned for other character interviews and get ready to read their stories! I interviewed "Hattie" right before the story "Miss Hattie and the Hoppers" started!

My name is Miss Harriet Adeline Douglas, but folks of Wolf's Landing and I guess everywhere I travel know me as Miss Hattie. That name came from the fact that I liked to wear stylish hats even as a child. When I was a teacher I couldn't wear them, but in my new life I certainly will manage it.

I was born in Wolf's Landing, Tennessee in 1850. Until recently the only time I left was during my schooling in Macon, Georgia after the war was over.

I'm tall and slim, but lately I have put on a little worry weight - you know the kind you get when you are blue but not yet broken-hearted and so you eat a lot of cake. I will have to remedy this soon. I grew up in Wolf's Landing, Tennessee on a river not far from Johnson City. I'm 26. I had a happy childhood until the War of Northern Aggression came to us. There was even a battle not far from my house! Those were scary times. My MaMa and my sister Caddie hid in the root cellar. Daddy was with the soldiers but came home not long after with a fever. He ailed a few years and then the Lord Jesus took him from us. In a lot of ways I felt like I was the "Man of the House" after that, but Mama pushed my sister and I to go away to school. Caddie came home quickly because Jimmy Jay proposed and MaMa thought he was a nice catch as the owner of an Inn. I stayed and studied French, Sciences, Ancient Worlds, Classics and many things so I might be a college teacher one day.

As for men in my life-- There were boys from school, but no one I really cared too much for. The men in Wolf's Landing don't see it fitting for a woman to have so much "book learning" or be forward speaking about some of the things I read, like the stories Mr. Jules Verne writes. Finding a husband was always my sister's interest. I admit, if there were brilliant, wealthy and well-dressed men near. There just aren't any here, especially after the war. MaMa would have never allowed a Yankee to court me or my sister Caddie.

Of all things, I value knowledge and the courage to learn new things, even if it takes me far from home.

Lately, after MaMa passed away I taught school and searched for my sister. They say she had been about to run away after Jimmy Jay, her beau, married that fat little Beatrice Cates. But then they found her bloody skirts in the caves where we played a children. They said she must have been killed by some wandering carpetbagger up to no good, but I never believed it. So I am still looking for her - even in my dreams.

I believe my upright morals and good education will see me through any difficulties. I will always make my own decisions even though if makes them say I'm a "hard old maid"

My biggest fear is that I will never find Caddie, even though it's like I hear her calling me.

These dreams are a bother, and I often dream of falling in love with some handsome stranger who will take me away from this sad little town, but I will never "settle" and I will never let a man have his way with me just to make my escape. I actually think that happened to my sister and that part about bloody skirts was made up so MaMa's feeling wouldn't be hurt. I think she's too ashamed to come home. For now I have my dreams and reading about heroes from far away.

I have my work as a schoolteacher. That's going to change soon. I'm saving my pennies and planning to sell this farm here if I don't find what happened to my sister this summer. I'm hard working and quite frugal. you see. Even though I am finding clues like marks on keys, nothing ever happens. I plan to hire out as a governess for a wealthy family with ties to Paris. After that? Adventure! I know you might say that's risky and no way for a young lady to act, but I am neither young nor am I your ordinary "lady" of 1876.

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