Rebekah Lyn's Kitchen

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Excitement from diverse places February 6, 2018

For an author to be without words is never a good thing, but AND today I am struggling to find the right words to describe the emotions coursing through me.

 

It started this morning when I woke up grumpy. I’ve been fighting some type of sinus/cold virus for almost a month and I’m at my wits end. I wanted to whine, but didn’t want to subject anyone I love to that self-pity so I cocooned in my room, putting away laundry and trying to pray.

 

When my cell phone started chirping with text after text I grabbed it in frustration, then smiled. A dear friend was announcing the release of her first book. She’s been working on this for quite some time and I’m delighted it has all come together. The multiple texts from other members of our writers group showed all were just as happy. Reports of orders being placed on Amazon warmed my heart and energized me to get dressed and head out the door.

 

It was 10:15 and I wanted to see how many people were already in town for the much anticipated SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. Growing up during the Space Shuttle program, I admit I grew jaded with the crowds that tromped into town for launch days. Cars clogged the roads and every empty field along the river. Families wandered into the road without looking and causing us locals to be extra vigilant as we went about our daily lives. This morning, though, I reveled in the cars parked along the side of the road and the visitors milling around. I ached to stick around and be a part of this historic day, but work called and I had to get home to get ready.

  

Early birds get the best views

The large building across the river is the Vehicle Assembly Building. Until December there was a boat from Hurricane Irma where this RV now is

Be careful, eager spectators crossing!

By the time I arrived at the office, the launch had been pushed from 1:30 to 2:20 due to upper level winds. I felt a selfish sense of hope that the launch would be scrubbed and rescheduled to tomorrow when I would be home to see it. When the next delay pushing back to 3:45 was announced, again that selfish spirit perked up.

 

As 3:00 approached, I prepared to access the SpaceX livestream. The minutes ticked down and there was no announcement of another delay or a scrub so I chose to hope that all would go well. My pulse quickened when we reached five minutes before launch. I focused on my work until we were just under two minutes then my eyes couldn’t be torn from the video. Steam billowed around the three rockets strapped together and I clasped my hands in front of my face, whispering words of encouragement as if the machine could hear me. 

 

With the last seconds my throat tightened and my breath caught. Would it fire? Would it rise off the ground? Would it explode on the spot or a few seconds into flight? Memories of Challenger gnawed at the back of my mind. The rocket rose higher and higher, three flames of fire blended into one. The excitement of the SpaceX team was tangible as each milestone was ticked off. I watched in awe, knowing how unheard of a successful test flight such as this is. I felt the tears gathering in my eyes and longed to share the excitement with a crowd of like-minded spectators. 

 

The adrenaline has faded away and I think about how long it has been since the American people had a hope for exploration beyond our own planet. We have sent machines to gather data, but we need to send people to experience the outer regions first hand, to provide information only a human can express. Today, was the first step toward sending humans beyond the International Space Station and I feel an excitement that I hope you all can share.

 

In case you missed the launch, you can watch a replay below.

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Christian Book Lovers Blog Hop June 25, 2013

Filed under: Books — itsrebekahlyn @ 9:00 AM
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Welcome to my kitchen. I hope you’ll take a break from all your hopping and have a cup of coffee. I write what I like to call real life fiction, stories that we can all relate to, and that I hope will inspire you. I’m giving away a copy of each of my books via Smashwords to one lucky winner. Just leave a comment and you will be entered into the drawing. Here’s a little about each book.

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Julianne Finnegan lives in the shadow of her adored but wildly successful brother, Michael. Her professional life is a disaster, she has no sense of herself outside her family, and she can’t face another Monday. A chance encounter with Oliver, a handsome young actor, gives her the courage to leave her job and prove her real potential. Julianne’s confidence soars as she meets the challenges of revitalizing the failing community theater. The time she spends with Oliver opens her eyes to a certainty she’s never known before, even in her successful brother. But as she starts to open her heart to Oliver, an old crush returns. Gavin, a famous movie director, has been Michael’s best friend for years and loved her as a little sister. The excitement and passion Julianne has developed for the theater shocks him into realizing she is a child no longer, but a beautiful talented woman who has captured his heart. Julianne is faced with some difficult choices. Will she choose glitz or a steadfast love?

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Book One of the Seasons of Faith Series Thanks to the love and support of friends and a renewed commitment to her faith Elizabeth Reynolds has moved past the hurt and anger of her parents death. Her job as concierge at Hotel Lago, a boutique hotel in downtown Orlando is challenging and fills her need to be successful but one thing is missing. She loves the historic homes in the downtown area but fears she will never be able to afford one. When a once in a lifetime opportunity to renovate a broken down home comes along she snaps it up. Sparks and clashes with her handsome, but deeply troubled contractor, Jeffrey Robbins threaten to slow the renovation but they fade as Orlando becomes the target of three summer storms, hurricanes Charlie, Frances and Jeanne. In the aftermath of the storms what be the fate of Lizzie’s home and heart?

Musician Michelle Burton just had the best night of her life. Her band Tangled Web opened for Wonderland in downtown Orlando and the crowd loved them. Too excited to sleep she makes a fateful decision to go to work early. The best night of her life turns into the worst day of her life. Nearby, at boutique Hotel Lago, Stephen Longbottom, acting concierge manager, is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the board of directors for Silken Pleasures, a multimillion dollar company based in New York and specializing in high end cosmetics, fragrances and lingerie. Their incessant demands before they even arrive are driving him to distraction. Meanwhile Lizzie Reynolds, his boss is on a romantic ski trip in Vermont leaving him to manage his first solo event. Hope, forgiveness and love are an integral message throughout the book and like a fine tapestry the threads of God’s master plan for the character’s lives are woven into a fabric of great storytelling, conflict and humor. Readers who came to know and love the characters of Summer Storms will enjoy catching up with Lizzie, Stephen, Michelle, Jeffrey and Ian.

For more chances to win, visit these participating blogs

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Saturday Tea March 11, 2013

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Over the weekend I had the immense pleasure of appearing at another Afternoon Tea with the Author event. This time I was delighted to have my friend and fellow author, DiVoran Lites join me. We had a great time of fellowship with a group of Christian women and then shared about our adventures in writing and publishing.

Even though I was one of the guests of honor, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to do some baking. I saw a recipe in my Tea Time magazine last year for mini Boston Cream, Key Lime, or Strawberry trifles, but haven’t had an opportunity to make them. With spring right around the corner, well, technically already here in Florida, I thought the Key Lime trifles would be a good fit. I pulled out the various serving glasses I have collected and got down to business. It was a joy to make the custard and whipped cream from scratch. I used to think cooking from scratch was a lot of work, but I’ve come to appreciate it. I feel a real connection with the foods I’ve made from the ground up, quite literally when using produce from my garden.

It was tricky getting the custard and whipped cream into the miniature glasses, so I thought I would try using a pastry bag. This was only my second attempt at using a pastry bag but it definitely got easier as I went along. By the time I completed 8 of the 16 servings I was feeling pretty confident and was able to pick up the speed. I think they turned out nicely and enjoyed the ohhs and ahhs when they were served to our guests.

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Mini trifles weren’t enough for me though. I wanted something crisp as well and turned to a Lemon-Lavender Shortbread recipe I found on one of my favorite food blogs, Chelsea Bakes. You can find that recipe here.

I loved getting to meet some new friends and reconnecting with others I haven’t seen in years. I have to extend my sincere thanks to our hostess, Pam. She provided a beautiful and warm setting for us to share our experiences and may have even convinced one of the guests to host her own tea. I also have to thank the talented Ginger Morrison for the amazing cake she made.

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The Next Big Thing January 31, 2013

Welcome to the next big thing blog hop! Join the fun blog hopping our way through some new reads, including works in progress and new and upcoming releases. For those who haven’t been part of a blog hop before, you read my blog and hop on over to the next blog link for more entertainment. Bloggers hand picked by yours truly!

Thank you to Charles Dougherty for tagging me in this blog hop. Charles is a successful writer and has provided me with immense support as I have struggled to start my writing career. His books are quick entertaining reads. Learn more about Charles on his site here.

 

Part of the Blog Hop is to introduce you to my latest release by answering ten interview questions.

I hope you’ll take some time to follow the links to my author friends’ blogs as well. See the end of the post to see who I’ve tagged.

 

What is the title of your book?

Winter’s End

The cover for Winter's End compliments of Laura Wright LaRoache at LLPix.

The cover for Winter’s End compliments of Laura Wright LaRoache at LLPix.

 

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Winter’s End is the second book in the Seasons of Faith series. I fell in love with the characters while I was writing book one, Summer Storms. The inciting incident in Winter’s End came from a “what if” thought I had one morning at work. I get into the office long before anyone else and one morning when I went into the restroom I wondered what I would do if I ever stumbled upon a dead body in there. That thought niggled at my mind for months while I was writing Summer Storms and then I figured out how I could use it to kick off the next book.

 

What genre does your book fall under?

Inspirational fiction

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I worked with reference photos when I was writing these books and meshed the characteristics of some celebrities and some people I know. Lizzie I envisioned as Drew Barrymore, specifically her character in Never Been Kissed (post Jossie-Grossie make-over), for Jeffrey I saw Bradley Cooper, Ian, maybe James Marsden, and Michelle, while I didn’t know it then, I think she would be played by Kat Dennings.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Winter’s End packs a powerful message of love, passion, and forgiveness.

 Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self-published. I like to have control over the cover and release date.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I decided to participate in National Novel Writing month in 2011 and this was my project. First draft was completed in about 60 days, mostly over Thanksgiving break.

 What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Terri Blackstock has been a bit of a role model to me. She writes Christian books with suspense and romance, but they aren’t as predictable as some other books in the genre. I especially like the grittiness of her recent Intervention series dealing with drug addiction and the effects that has on an entire family.

 

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Since Winter’s End is a continuation of the Summer Storms story, I would have to say my love for those characters inspired me to continue writing about them.

My next book, Jessie, was inspired by much of my childhood, growing up on the Space Coast and being so immersed in the Shuttle program. With the end of the program, I felt compelled to look at how it all began. I’m only seven chapters in, but my research has taught me things about the town I grew up in I had no idea about before. I have a whole new appreciation for the area and those who pioneered space exploration. I am excited to share this story about determination, sacrifice, and overcoming bitterness.

 

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Valentine’s day is right around the corner, and while I’m personally not a fan of the holiday, there is a very determined man in this book who will make you swoon.

 

Next week, stay tuned for more posts in The Next Big Thing blog hop. Watch for posts on February 7 from these authors:

DiVoran Lites, a dear friend I have known since childhood, who has recently published her first book, Sacred Spring. It is a tender story of a young woman struggling to hold her family together and protect the Florida wilderness she loves more than anything. You can learn more about DiVoran here.

Jenny Gentry, a new friend who has a Christian fiction series called “The Gifts.” She has a book signing coming up in March. Learn more about her here.

V.K. Ramsey writes fantasy and currently has two books out in the Guarding Light series. Find out more about V.K. and his books here.

Richard L. Sanchez is another dear friend. Although he has been writing for years, he only recently started publishing his work. He has several short stories and a novel currently available. Learn more about him here.

Mary-Anne Crooks I met on Facebook. When I visited her website I was completely drawn in. While her first book isn’t published yet, she has already started on her second and could use some support from the community. Please stop in to visit her here. 

I hope you enjoyed learning about Winter’s End. Stop back by for more on my writing process and of course, the wonderful recipes I find along the way.

 

Improvisation October 31, 2012

Filed under: Books,Cooking,Recipes — itsrebekahlyn @ 11:55 AM
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The weather has turned cooler in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and I am reveling in it.Last night, after  a long day at the office, I was excited to come home and make the butternut squash soup I had been craving since discovering a wonderful recipe as part of my Winter’s End research. The recipe spoke warmth  through the ingredients and aromas and my stomach was rumbling for it. Alas, when I went back to my notes I couldn’t locate the recipe. The search began again but I didn’t  find the magical recipe. I did however find one that made a good base. My mind crept back to the scene in Winter’s End as Lizzie sips the warm rich soup, savouring the flavors on her tongue.  I added in the spices I remembered, including a touch of clove and cumin. It turned out to be delicious and I think it will make a great addition to Thanksgiving dinner.

 

 

                                  Warm & Comforting Butternut Squash Soup

                                    2 lbs of butternut squash

                                    1 chopped Vidalia onion

                                    2 Tbs butter

                                    6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

                                    1 cup half and half

                                    1 tsp Nutmeg

                                    1 tsp Cinnamon

                                     1/8 tsp Cloves

                                    pinch of Cumin

                                     pinch of Salt

                                    Pepper to taste

Peel butternut squash, cut in half, scoop out seeds and pulp, then cut into 1-inch chunks (You can also use pre-cooked, frozen squash if you prefer)

Sauté ½ chopped Vidalia onion in 2 tablespoons butter until translucent

Add cubed squash to onions and simmer on low for 5 minutes. Add 6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

Simmer for 25 minutes

Remove from heat and allow to cool then puree in blender

Return pureed squash to a pot and stir in 1 cup of half and half

Stir in Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cumin, Salt, and Pepper

Garnish with croutons or serve with a French baguette

Stop back by Friday to get a sneak peek at the scene in Winter’s End featuring this soul warming soup.

 

My Love for Barnes & Noble August 3, 2012

Filed under: Books,Recipes,Tea — itsrebekahlyn @ 12:04 PM
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Rebekah Lyn's bookcaseI’m a Barnes & Noble girl.  From the first time I pulled open those colonial green doors, breathed in the welcoming aroma of fresh brewed coffee, and my gaze fell upon the evenly spaced rows of dark stained bookcases filled with new adventures waiting to be opened, I was in love.   Gathering a pile of books and collapsing into a comfy chair to decide which treasures would go home with me, was the highlight of many a college weekend.

 

Now, I’ve noticed most of the stores have removed those wonderful chairs, leaving only the hard, straight-backed seats in the café for respite from scouring the aisles.  I guess that is the corporate office’s attempt to discourage loitering and reading without purchasing.  In a way I can understand the change, but at the same time I miss the leisurely feel they added, like I was visiting a friend’s home library and being invited to take all the time I needed to choose the books I was interested in.

 

One of the stores near me is two stories with several large tables on the second level overlooking the main floor.  I don’t get to this location as often as I would like, but some summer afternoons, I am content to purchase a trenta Passion Tea Lemonade from the Starbucks café, ride the escalator to the second floor, and sit at one of these tables, watching the people below weave through the aisles.  Some move with purpose directly to their intended section, but most wander aimlessly, pulling a book out to scan its cover or simply touching a beautiful cover.  Maybe one day I will meet my future husband on one of these lazy afternoons and we will talk of all the good books still waiting to be discovered.  Until then, I think I will mix up my own Passion Tea Lemonade and take a break in the backyard to soak up a few rays.  If you want to make your own drink and join me in the sun here’s the recipe I used.

 

Tea, Biscotti, and Me August 1, 2012

Filed under: Baking,Books,Cooking,Recipes,Tea — itsrebekahlyn @ 6:16 PM
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This weekend I had the privilege of appearing at another Afternoon Tea with the Author, this time in Anderson, SC.  The women I met were warm and welcoming.  When we offered gifts to those who asked questions, Lois was quick to jump in, asking when I gave my life to God.  Since I write Christian fiction, I was actually a bit surprised this question hadn’t come up in my previous Tea events.  I was nine when I first prayed for God to come into my heart, and I remember actually thinking a little person was going to come live inside my heart.  I enjoyed talking with these gracious Southern women, sharing about my writing process, and where I get my ideas.

The food was wonderful too.  I love biscotti and was thrilled to see a plate of homemade biscotti sandwiched between fresh scones and a cranberry-coconut bar that was to die for.  Of course I couldn’t leave with out getting the biscotti recipe.  If you give it a try let me know what you think.

Pistachio- Craisin Biscotti

Line a heavy, large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk 2 cups flour with 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder.  Set aside.

Beat 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 tsp. grated lemon zest & 1/4 tsp. salt.

Beat in 2 large eggs – one at a time.  Add the flour mixture just ’til blended.

Stir in 3/4 cup chopped pistachios & 2/3 cup craisins.

Form the dough into a 13″ long, 3″ wide log on the parchment sheet.  Bake until lightly golden, (about 40 min.)  Cool 30 min.

Place log on a cutting board.  Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4″ thick slices.

Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet.  Bake again ’til pale golden. (about 15 min.)

Transfer biscotti to a rack & cool completely.

These may be served plain or dipped in dark or white chocolate & set on rack to set.

 

 
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