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Augustina Van Hoven: Cooking Up a Story
Thursday, November 17th, 2016

I love making soup.  Creating the broth from scratch, chopping all the vegetables, adding the meat, and seeing the look on my families faces when they come home and the house is filled with the tempting aroma.

My favorite soup is an old family recipe from Holland called “Groente Soup” or Dutch Vegetable Soup.  It takes a while to make but is well worth the effort.

The approach I used for the books in the Rose Series is much the same to making the soup.  The foundation of any soup is the broth.  For Dutch Vegetable Soup the broth is made by boiling soup bones and stew meat in water then let it simmer for four hours in a crock pot.  When the soup is finished, strain the fat, bones and meat from the liquid.

The foundation for the Rose series is the world of politics.  I know many people are tired of politics.  Our recent national election dominated the news cycle for the last eighteen months.  But politics is important.  The decisions made by the people who hold office affect our daily lives in many ways.  The result of an election has consequences whether it is for the President of the United States or the local water board.  My series takes place in the Idaho State Legislature.

The next step in the soup recipe is to add the meat and vegetables.  I add one cut up a head of cauliflower, five chopped up stalks of celery, five chopped up carrots, two chopped leeks (white parts only), and a pound of hamburger rolled into one inch balls.  I usually make this in a crock pot so I put it on high for two hours.

In the Rose Series, the ingredients are the characters.  In each book I have a new hero and heroine but the other characters continue through all three books.  Each character has his or her goals, roadblocks and baggage.  Some have higher political aspirations, others want power, and some are working for the common good.

To thicken the soup, I switch the crock pot to low and add a package of vermicelli broken into pieces.  To spice up the soup, add two beef bouillon cubes and chopped up fresh parsley to taste.  Cook for another two hours on low.

To thicken the plot of the Rose series, I have added the ghosts from the eighteen hundreds and the race to be the first governor when Idaho achieved statehood.  The spice of the series is the overall arc with supernatural beings trying to influence the outcome of events and the lives of the characters for their own agendas.

The Rose Series concludes this December with the third and final book, The Bloom of a Rose.

I hope you enjoy the soup and the books.

Augustina Van Hoven
Proving Love is Strange
THE BLOOM OF A ROSE – Coming in December
Twitter:  @augustinavhoven
Pinterest: Augustina Van Hoven, Author




In 1882, Rose Van Buren loved the wrong man and paid for it with her life. Now, more than a century later, the angel Gabriel has granted her another shot at living. In exchange, she must convince a smart, handsome, up-and-coming lawyer to set aside his lofty ambitions.


Stephen Winship is headed straight for the governor’s chair. He has a brilliant career, solid allies, and a seemingly perfect girlfriend. But night after night he finds himself dreaming of a heavenly beauty, a luminous but long-dead girl. Like some altered Ghost of Christmas Past, she shows him her own tragic tale in order to “save him.” And he’s beginning to see Rose is risking her heart as much as baring her soul. Yet falling for her will cost him everything—and open him up to a happiness he never imagined.

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avhTheThornOfARoseFINAL1400 (2)

We are all chess pieces on a board … in a game played by supernatural forces.


Newly elected state senator Ashley Halliday is over her failed engagement and ready to help make Idaho a better place to live and work. She has no time for romance … until she and Richard, a handsome state representative, take their friendship to a new level. But then there’s John, an aide to the governor of Idaho. Both hold power … but only one is a good man. The other is on a mission to destroy lives. Will she learn the truth in time to save lives and keep her friends safe from dark influences?

Sports bar owner and state representative Richard Fowler is happy for his best friend Stephen and his bride, Rose. He knows their secret–Rose came back from the dead to save Stephen from his lofty ambitions. Richard himself has no time for any supernatural goings-on or for romance, not with his work to save state education funding. Until he sees the vibrant Senator Halliday through new eyes, that is. But to win Ashley, he must keep her safe from a rival who wants her for darker reasons.


A villain has returned from the dead, summoned by a demon, and given another chance to do what he failed at the first time. He’ll gladly take down anyone else who gets in his way. And his new post in the halls of state government? A devilish chance to play corrupt lobbyist, and foil the plans of those with loftier goals.

Get your copy here!