March Newsletter

X Share This Email
LinkedIn Share This Email

Stone of Love

Order NOW!

Order your copy!

Click here

Winter Doldrums!

Are you suffering from the winter doldrums? I’ve discovered the cure at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven Shake Off Winter Doldrums Book Festival. 35 books featured, plus a chance to win a $35 Amazon gift card.


I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My book, Stone of Love, will be featured on March 28th. In the meantime, drop by and visit some of my bookish friend's books! Wait until you read my cure for winter doldrums. You won’t want to miss it.


Bookmark this bookish get-together and tell your friends:


What's coming next?

STONE OF FEAR, Book 2 Stones of Iona Series, release date June 12, 2024

THISTLE IN THE MISLETOE, a bonus Christmas book to the series, is coming Holidays 2024.

STONE OF LUST, Book 3 Stone of Iona Series, is coming in early 2025

Gaelic Words

Happy St Patrick's Day! Fhèill Pàdraig sona dhuibh!

Good morning. Madainn mhath

Sláinte means "health" in both Irish and Scottish Gaelic. To toast, say Slàinte Mhath!

Learn to pronounce it here!

St Patrick's Day Origin

First celebrated in the year 496, Valentine’s Day is thought to have originated from a Roman festival called Lupercalia, which was held in the middle of February at the start of springtime.

It is believed that as part of the celebrations, boys and girls drew names from a box and would be boyfriend and girlfriend during the festival - and sometimes get married.

In medieval times, Scots would traditionally present the object of their affections with a Luckenbooth brooch, which consisted of entwined hearts topped with a crown and takes its name from ‘Locking Booths’ – the small shops along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile that jewelry and trinkets.

According to legend, they were first given to Lord Darnley by Mary Queen of Scots as a symbol of devotion.

Does Scotland Celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

Saint Patrick’s Day was officially declared in the 1630s to be March 17th, the date Patrick passed on in 461 AD. And while the 17th of March is dedicated to Ireland’s patron saint, it has evolved into a general Celebration of Celtic Culture, so Scotland does participate. Locals wear green hats, scarves, and shirts and drink gallons of Guinness with their pals throughout bars and pubs that offer special St. Patrick’s Day menus.

In addition, Coatbridge, Edinborough, and Glasgow have significant Irish populations. So, many Irish-themed pubs and interest groups hold yearly celebrations in those locales. Glasgow has ever had, since 2007, an annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival. During their festivities, Scots remind us that Saint Patrick was born in the United Kingdom in 387 near Dumbarton, Scotland.

Irish Beef Stew


8 bacon strips, diced

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 pound whole fresh mushrooms, quartered

3 medium leeks (white portion only), chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

1/4 cup chopped celery

1 tablespoon canola oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth

1 cup dark stout beer or additional reduced-sodium beef broth

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons cold water

1 cup frozen peas


In a stockpot, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels. In a large shallow dish, combine flour, salt and pepper. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and turn to coat. Brown beef in the bacon drippings. Remove and set aside.

In the same pot, sauté the mushrooms, leeks, carrots and celery in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in tomato paste until blended. Add the broth, beer, bay leaves, thyme, parsley and rosemary. Return beef and bacon to pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until beef is tender, about 2 hours.

Add potatoes. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 1 hour longer. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into stew. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add peas; heat through. Discard bay leaves.

Serve with fresh bread.

Homemade Irish Cream

Ingredients for Irish Cream

Evaporated milk: Evaporated milk adds a subtle nutty flavor to the drink, which keeps it from tasting too sweet.

Whipping cream: Whipping cream adds creaminess and a delicate richness to the drink.

Chocolate syrup: Chocolate syrup is the easiest way to add a hint of sweetness to your Irish cream. You can also add melted chocolate instead.

Instant coffee granules: This adds the traditional coffee flavor to Irish cream. If you want an even more concentrated coffee flavor, add instant espresso.


Step 1: Combine all ingredients

Place the evaporated milk, heavy whipping cream, 2% milk, sugar, chocolate syrup, coffee granules, vanilla and almond extract in a blender. Process until the mixture is smooth. That’s it!

Step 2: Mix up a drink

You can serve the Irish cream as is, or combine it with coffee for a pick-me-up. To do this, pour a cup of your favorite brewed coffee into a cup. Then, add 1/3 cup Irish cream. You can also add an ounce of any Irish whiskey to spike your drink.

Irish Cream Variations

Pre-spike it: Feel free to add whiskey to your homemade Irish cream. If you like a stiffer drink, add between 2 to 3 ounces whiskey; if you prefer something lighter, drop to 1/2 ounce.

Try different dairies: You can also make Irish cream with sweetened condensed milk. This would eliminate the evaporated milk, sugar and 2% milk from the recipe. Use one can of condensed milk to try this out.

Add more flavors: We recommend peppermint extract for a refreshing note, or cinnamon for a deeper, fuller flavor.

Follow me

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram