Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Precious Atonement

I am delighted to let my friend Melissa take over my blog today. Her books are very good reading and I can highly recommend this one. Not only that, the ebook is on sale for .99¢ at the moment. Take it away Melissa.

Melissa Maygrove recently published Precious Atonement, a companion novel to her highly rated
western historical romance, Come Back.

Ruined women don’t hope, killers don’t dream, and the dead don’t feel pain.

Rachel Emerson is resigned to live as a spinster. Her parents keep her shameful secret, and her only brother, Seth, vanished mere days after witnessing her rape, taking her dishonor with him and giving them all an alibi for their grief. But none of that matters. Appearances are useless if she can’t bear the touch of a man.

Jacob Evans welcomes pain as much as he seeks to escape it. The graves of his wife and child remind him of his sins every day. When Lawrence Emerson offers him a job and a chance to move west, Jacob permits himself a fresh start. But letting go of his past is only an illusion. Lawrence’s sweet, shy daughter captures Jacob’s heart and provides him a perfect tool for self-torment.

Despite painful lessons of the past, history soon threatens to repeat itself, and as Jacob’s love for Rachel grows, so does his agony. Giving his precious new wife the life she deserves might cost him the very thing he values most—her.


Native Texan Melissa Maygrove is a wife, mother, nurse, freelance editor, and romance writer. When
she's not busy caring for her tiny nursery patients or shuttling teenagers back and forth to after-school activities, she's hunched over her laptop, complicating the lives of her imaginary friends and playing matchmaker. Melissa loves books with unpretentious characters and unforgettable romance, and she strives to create those same kinds of stories for her readers.

To be notified of giveaways, sales, and future new releases by Melissa, sign up for her newsletter.

In the scene that takes place on Christmas morning, Rachel surprises Jacob with some Scotch eggs, so I chose that recipe.

Proper Scotch eggs with lovely Scottish cheese and pickle

10 large free-range eggs, 2 beaten
800 g quality sausage meat
1 small bunch fresh chives, finely chopped
1 small bunch fresh parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
1 whole nutmeg
1 tablespoon English mustard (see my blog yesterday)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
plain flour, for dusting
150 g good-quality white breadcrumbs
2 litres vegetable oil
3 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil

Often, the best way to get quality sausage meat is to buy some really lovely sausages, slit them open, then squeeze out the meat. I like my Scotch eggs a little runny in the middle, but if you like a harder boiled centre, simply boil them for an extra couple of minutes at the start.

You want the pork cooked through, the outside golden and crispy and the inside hot and runny. That's when you know you've got yourself a good Scotch egg.

Put the first 8 eggs into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of cold water. Once cooled, carefully peel them.

Put the sausage meat into another bowl with the herbs, a good grating of nutmeg, the mustard and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Give it all a good mix together then divide into 8 balls.

Have 3 plates ready - one with a small handful of flour, one with the beaten eggs and a third with the breadcrumbs. To make the Scotch eggs, start by flouring your hands. In the palm of one hand, flatten one of the sausage balls into an oval-shaped pattie. Roll a peeled egg in flour, then pop it in the middle of the pattie. Gently shape the meat evenly around the egg, moulding it with your hands.

Roll the meat-wrapped egg in the flour, shake off any excess, then dip into the beaten egg, followed by the breadcrumbs. Roll in the egg and breadcrumbs again for a really good coating.

Heat the oil in a deep pan or deep fat fryer to about 150ºC/300ºF. If you have a cooking thermometer it's a good idea to use it. Otherwise, test if the oil is hot enough by adding a piece of potato and leaving it for about a minute – if it sizzles and browns, it's ready. Carefully lower the eggs into the pan and cook for about 4 minutes, turning them every so often, until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. (If you're worried about the meat being under-cooked, deep-fry the scotch eggs until they're golden and crispy, then pop them in a hot oven for a couple of minutes.)

Cool the eggs slightly, then arrange them on a board with a good piece of Scottish Cheddar, some pickle and a few pickled onions. Heaven.

Have a great day 


  1. Hi Jo - good luck Melissa with your book "Precious Atonement"; I love scotch eggs - one of my favourites .. cheers Hilary

    1. Thanks, Hilary. I've never tried them, but the look good.

      Thanks for hosting me, Jo!

    2. You're welcome Melissa. Like Hilary, I love Scotch Eggs although I have never tried them with mustard and herbs added to the sausage. In NC I used to make them with Jimmy Dean Sausage.

  2. Melissa, congratulations on the release of Precious Atonement, what a premise, lots of sorrow and secrets, but great intro! On the TBR list, love a good romance, and at .99 how can you pass it up. On my Kindle before I finished this comment! Thanks Melissa!

    Jo that looks good!

    1. Great read Yolanda. But everyone has such a long TBR these days.

      Melissa chose the recipe.

  3. My husband would love that dish. I have Melissa's book but have yet to dive in.

    Susan Says

    1. It's a tad fiddley to make but really delicious, one of my favourites Susan. Standard English fare. You will enjoy the book when you get there.

    2. Thanks, Susan. I'm humbled by how many of you have my book.

  4. Congratulations to Melissa!
    I like that the dish includes 'a pickle.'

    1. The pickle is a Jamie Oliver touch Alex.

    2. Thanks, Alex. I wondered whether the 'pickle' she speaks of is the kind we know. It looks more like chutney.

    3. You're right it does Melissa.

  5. Congrats on the new book Melissa! It actually sounds like something from real life. I have never heard of this scotch pickle

    1. A Scotch Egg Birgit, not a Scotch pickle. The pickle looks like some kind of chutney.

    2. Thank you, Birgit.
      LOL - A Scotch pickle. I love it.

      (That is what Mark will be after another box of wine.
      No - wait. He would be an Irish pickle. LOL)

    3. No Melissa, a pickled Oirishman.

  6. Better a cold Irish pickle, than a warm Texas cucumber!

    ( of course I have no idea if cucumbers even grow in Texas :-)