Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Last book to be read in 2011

What book are you ending the 2011 year reading?

I read a lot of holiday books right before Christmas. With the end of the year only three days away I decided to end 2011 reading a romantic book by Suzanne Brockmann. It's actually a re-issue that I have never read. GASP! I can't believe I missed a novel by Suzanne.

My last read of the year will be Future Perfect by Suzanne Brockmann.

Blurb: Dressed in Victorian attire, Juliana Anderson gives guests at her cozy New England bed and breakfast a taste of old fashioned hospitality. Whether she’s cooking up delights in her kitchen or maintaining the rooms in her beautifully decorated inn, Juliana stays busy and content. Until Webster Donovan arrives—tall, rugged, and sexy beyond belief.

The lean, dark-haired author (with awesome abs -- see cover art above! ) has a bad case of writer’s block and he’s planned a six-week stay to cure it. But this beautiful woman is proving even more distracting to the cause. For prim, polite Juliana has a wild side: she rides a Harley and hides a troubled past. The moment Webster watched her take off her motorcycle helmet and shake loose those long, flame-haired curls, he found his muse—and lost his heart. But can romance with a woman afraid to trust in love last longer than a moment in time?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 - A Year in Review

With 2011 coming to a close I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the year.

Was it a good year for you? What did you do this year? What did you accomplish? What are you proud of? What did you try or experience?

Me? Hmm. Let me see.

My writer side of my personality finished my 5th novel and started my 6th. Yea me! I also presented a workshop at the Rhode Island Romance Writers conference. Loved that!

The athlete in me ran more 5Ks this year than the previous year. That was a personal goal for myself and I did it so I’m happy. I did a run/walk with my Dad on Thanksgiving morning, which was probably the best event. I did the Santa Run in a Santa suit in December with some friends and laughed my hiney off the entire time I was wheezing in the cold.
I started working out with a trainer 2 to 3 times a week. Wow! Does she know how to kick my butt, but I am grateful as my backside has never looked so good.
I played snow softball with people I just met. Talk about a way to meet new friends…just run around a softball field in 2 feet of snow trying to find a big white ball. You’ll become fast friends!

The gardener in me planted more flowers and fruit trees and built my own retaining wall. Not to mention cut up part of the gigantic Ash tree that crashed into my deck. One of the first things I accomplished in my yard this past year was to build my own firepit.

I took more voice lessons the beginning part of the year, but did not do the recital. Yup, I’m a big chicken. I admit it! One of these days I will actually sing in front of people. I know! That will be the same day I get on the NY Times Best Sellers list. [GRIN]

My outgoing personality (I’m really very introverted) allowed me to meet some new friends. One of the new friends I met when we both got lost in a 5K race. Now Kathie and I take a map with us when we run. Are we smart or what? Actually, we’re just quick learners.
I met Dave and Beth at one of the mystery events I do with author CJ West and they are the ones who roped me into playing snow softball. How could I not fall in love with them?

The adventurer in me finally got off her duff and took a vacation. I didn’t just go anywhere. I followed the signs and traveled to Kenmare, Ireland. One of the prettiest places on earth and I highly recommend it to everyone. Cannot wait to go back!

Speaking of Irish. I not only drank Guinness but I learned to really like it. So much so that when some friends asked me to make beer with them, I made a Dry Irish Stout…80 bottles of it. Mm…mm. It’s magically delicious.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cookies, Cowboys, and Chocolate

Stop on over at Reading with the Baking Goddess blog where they interviewed me about my likes and dislikes.

Somehow we talk about cookies, cowboys, and chocolate. Mmm!!

For a chance for a free book stop by Reading with the Baking Goddess blog and leave a comment.

Friday, December 16, 2011

On the Fourth Day of Cookie Christmas

...my true love gave to me...my favorite oatmeal cookie.

This recipe came from my mom's Better Homes and Gardens cookbooke from like 1960 something. Dad said it could be even older than that. It's older than me and she still has it. I'm so glad she does because she emailed me the recipe so I could share it with you all and with my friends at this weekend's cookie party.

I used to make these cookies for every high school event and oh, yeah, you've heard the saying, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach." Well, I used this recipe to help snatch my high school sweetheart.

Nothing but good stuff happens when you bake and eat these cookies. Hope you enjoy them as much as I know I will this weekend.

OATMEAL CRISP Cookie Recipe

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped California walnuts

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

Thoroughly cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat well.
Stir together flour, salt, and soda; add to creamed mixture. Stir in rolled oats and nuts. Mix.

Form dough in rolls, 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap in waxed paper, aluminum foil or clear plastic. Wrap. Chill thoroughly.

With sharp knife, slice cookies about 1/4 inches thick. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet in moderate oven (350 degrees) 10 minutes or till lightly browned. Makes about 5 dozen.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Cookie Exchange Day 3

We're Day three into our online Christmas cookie party. Have you gotten any new cookie recipes yet that you just have to try?

Today's recipe is one of my favorites. It's called a Monster Cookie.
Why is it called a Monster Cookie? Because it's a monster mouthful of good cookie!

Seriously, this cookie has a little bit of everything. It's like the kitchen sinck of cookies. Cookie Monster himself would love this special treat.

Monster Cookies

Ingredients:

1 C. Butter softened
2 C. White Sugar
2 C. Packed Brown Sugar
3 C. Peanut Butter
6 Eggs
1 1/2 tsp. Corn Syrup
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
4 tsp. Baking Soda
9 C. Rolled Oatmeal
1 C. Mini M&Ms
1 C. Mini Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In Large Bowl: Cream together the margarine, white sugar, brown sugar, and peanut butter until smooth.
Beat in eggs (2 at a time), then stir in the corn syrup and vanilla. Mix in baking soda and oats until well blended.
Stir in M&Ms and chocolate chips.
Roll dough into 2 inch balls and place 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork.

Bake: 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool on cookie sheet
a few minutes, before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Second Day - Christmas Cookie Exchange

Today's recipe came from a frind of mine named Chris. Chris and I used to do our own cookie exchange party every year at Christmas and this was the one cookie he had to make. Only he could make the cookie the right way so I just watched an ate.

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me. . .

Russian Teacakes

Ingredients: 1 C. Butter softened
1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 1/4 C. Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
3/4 C. Finely Chopped Walnuts

Powdered Sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In Large Bowl: Cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla.
Mix flour and salt together; blend in with cream mixture.
Mix in nuts. Chill dough.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake: 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. While still warm roll in powdered sugar. Cool and roll in powdered sugar again.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies

To celebrate this holiday season, I’m about to kickoff a twelve days of cookies party.

Ooo! What’s that?

Well, if this were at my house, it would be a bunch of friends getting together to drink wine, listen to music, talk, and bake cookies. At the end of the night everyone takes home a plate of cookies.

Let the holiday baking and EATING begin!

Since we can’t host this party for everyone at my house (although it is this Saturday at my place) I will host an online cookie exchange.

Every day I’m going to post a recipe for a cookie. Every day, feel free to submit your own cookie recipe to share with others.

Tell us what time of year you make these cookies, why you make them, what you love about them, what others love about them. Maybe you have a story to tell about the cookie. Those are always fun.

The idea is to share in the holiday spirit and the cookies!


On the First day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Ingredients:
8oz. pkg. Mini Kisses
1/2 C. butter softened
3/4 C. Peanut Butter
1/3 C. White Sugar
1/3 C. Packed Brown Sugar
1 Egg
2 TBSP. Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4 C. White Sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In Large Bowl: Cream together the butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and peanut butter until light and fluffy.
Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well.
Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in sugar and place on
an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake: 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven or until lightly browned.
Immediately press Kiss in center of cookie.
Cool on cookie sheet and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What’s on your Christmas Wish List?

With Christmas only 18 days away, have you written your Christmas wish list? What’s on it? Come on! Share!

Do you have stocking stuffer ideas, items that fit under the Christmas tree, or only those items Santa Claus himself can bring? Or maybe some of all of the above?

Me? I have a little of everything.

In the stocking stuffer category, I have books. Yup, you heard me, books. Any book will do. Remember when you were a kid and you got those Lifesaver Holiday books? The little cardboard books filled with assorted Lifesaver candies. Yum. I loved those! I’ll still take those in my stocking.

Oh! Remember those candy cane tubes filled with lip-gloss? They still have those! Those were terrific stocking stuffers and I never had chapped lips. Now, I like my Kriss Cosmetics lip-gloss peeking out the top of my fuzzy stocking hanging above the fireplace.

What do you want to find under your tree?

Me? There’s really not much. I’m always up for a new laptop. What writer wouldn’t be? Of course, airline tickets to Ireland would be a lovely surprise. Especially since I’m going to be doing my very first half marathon in Dublin next August. Audiobooks! Thanks to an outrageous commute, I go through audiobooks like water so receiving audiobooks as a gift is a real treat. And alpaca sweater would be kinda cool and very soft!Yes, alpaca is something I have recently fallen in love with. I am always on a search for alpaca socks. Hey! No snickering.

What can Santa bring me?

Hmm. Well… Okay, the writer side of me would like Santa to find a publicist for me and my books. Someone who will shout to the world that they should read my books. Then I can watch them go flying off the shelf. Ah, well, that’s one fantasy.

Or perhaps Santa can find a movie company that wants to make a movie out of one or all of my romantic suspense novels. Holy cow, can you imagine? My feet would never hit the ground again.

Last but certainly not least on this writer’s Christmas wish list for Santa… Wait for it! Wait for it!

Santa feel free to leave under my tree one of my heroes from my books come to life, half-naked and tied up with a big red bow, strategically placed in all the right places. Now that’s what I call the BEST Christmas present.

Go ahead, Santa! I’ll be waiting for Christmas morning.

PS. Don’t forget I’m an early riser so be sure to deliver the hero early. [WINK]

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dad is my hero!

My father is my hero.

Today is my father’s birthday and today I wanted to take the time to share with you how much I love, admire, and respect him. I want to share with you why my father is my hero.

As some of you may know my dad recently decided to leave his wife behind and come spend Thanksgiving at my place. Thanks, mom for letting Dad go for the week. [GRIN]

He arrived the morning before Thanksgiving and we hung out the first night and had a great steak dinner. . .that I did not cook. Thank goodness for Longhorn steakhouse.

Thanksgiving morning we both woke up early, oh, about 4 AM. Without an alarm! Now I know where I get my early rising habit from. We had breakfast and then we got ready to go run/walk in the Feaster Five annual road race. You see, before my father told me he was coming to visit I had already signed up for the race thinking it would be a good way to work off the day’s food before I even ate it.

My father, being the good man that he is, he agreed to do the walk with me. Well, okay, I coerced him into it by signing him up. See the picture to the left of him standing on the corner in Andover waiting for the race to begin. Now something you should know is that my parents live in Florida so dad is not exactly used to the chilly mornings or winters that we have up here. And Thanksgiving morning was definitely a wee bit cold. Okay, it was dang blustery.

But the holiday music was playing, the hot cocoa was flowing, and the number of runners dressed in various if not freaky attire was growing. A great place to people watch!

When the gun went off signifying the start of the race, we inched our way up to the start line. Seriously, ten thousand people crawled, shoulder-to-shoulder to the start line on their to an end goal of receiving a free apple pie at the end. Yup, anyone who finished the race received their dessert for the holiday table.

Dad and I crossed the finish line, hand-in-hand. What a great way to kickoff a visit with my father and a holiday. Now if I can convince him to make this an annual event. HINT! HINT!

After that wonderful Thanksgiving, the rest of my father’s visit was spent on my “Daddy Do” list. Yes, I had a list.

He got up in the crawly area of my attic and put in more insulation for me. This is the space that I tried to get up in and freaked out once I found out how small it really was. Then, of course, he helped me re-do the other part of the attic cuz I did it wrong. Sheesh! We put insulation in every outlet throughout the house.

Dad changed the ceiling fan out in the master bedroom. This is no easy task when the ceiling is 13 feet tall and he’s sitting on a ladder doing this. He fixed my garage door opener do-hickey that allows me to open the garage from the outside while playing in the yard. He’s so smart, he even taped the instructions on getting it to work to the garage door opener. . .just in case.

He replaced the outdoor light above the garage. This light now illuminates my driveway and part of my yard. It will prevent friendly visitors from running over flowers that I leave in my driveway before planting them. Uh, yes, that has happened. I have squished mums. But not no more! At least I hope.

Last winter I had the carpet in the spare bedroom replaced and when the wood swelled, guess what happened? The bottom of the closet door would scrape along my beautiful new floors. Yikes! Ah, here is where dad comes in. Dad took the door off and sanded it down for me. Voila! No more scraping.

OH! And one of the best things dad did was build a TV riser. I have been wanting one for months and months but could never find one that was the right size. Who needs to buy one when you have a handy dandy dad! Dad is a regular artist when it comes to woodworking. Seriously! You should see some of the things he has made. Dressers, nightstands, jewelry boxes, game boards, headboards, grandfather clocks. He’s a true genius.

So what does dad do? He built a TV riser out of maple. It is wonderful!
Speaking of wood. . .my father is a true guy. He saw my tree limb pile in the backyard from the tree that crashed against the house this summer and my firepit. So what does he want to do? He wants to get out the chainsaw and cut some wood for my firepit. Not kidding! Power tools!! Such a guy!

And of course, after we cut some wood we then had to start a fire and share a bottle of wine. Yup, we did, two nights in a row. It was fantastic!

This is my dad. Is it any wonder I think he is my hero?

Happy birthday, Dad!
Hugs and kisses - XOXOXO

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Writing Prompt Wednesday

It's Wednesday and you know what that means...Writing Prompt!!

Every now and again we all need a little creativity boost. It doesn't matter that you aren't a writer. We all need that extra incentive now and again and a writing prompt is a good way to get your mind to open up and have some fun.

How does this work?

I post the beginning of a sentence and you finish it. You can write one sentence, a paragraph, or even a page if you like. Just let your mind go and write whatever comes into it. You'd be amazed at the results.

Today's writing prompt - A summer fling?. . .

Now all you have to do is write. Finish the sentence and if you feel like sharing we would love to see what you come up with. It's amazing to see how we all go in different directions.

Most of all Have fun!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New England power companies versus Mother Nature

After an early snowstorm, once again hundreds of thousands of power company customers are without power. Upwards of 600,000 plus people. No heat, no electricity, no hot water, no nothing.

Some people went to friends and families who still have power, some joined gyms so they can take a shower, some have or bought a generator just to be able to stay warm and keep food from spoiling.

Why should paying customers have to do this?

The power companies would have you believe it’s due to Mother Nature. But I and many other people would disagree. Mother Nature didn’t forget to trim the trees near power lines. Mother Nature didn’t use inferior cabling. Mother Nature didn’t put the cabling on a line 20+ feet in the air where wind, rain, trees, and heavy snow can wreak all kinds of havoc.

Ask yourself this question. “Why does this happen every year in New England but not in the Midwest?”

I grew up in Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota. School was never cancelled due to a snowstorm or loss of power. Hundreds of thousands of people did not, do not, lose power every winter for days on end. Your neighbors have a generator? Not where I grew up.

So if this doesn’t occur everywhere why does it occur here?

The answer is simple. The power companies are not looking at the root cause and fixing the issue. Instead, they use Mother Nature as the scapegoat and let the paying customers suffer.

I would bet that if the power companies had to pay a fee or reimburse every person or home for what they expend due to the power company’s negligence or irresponsibility they would quickly look at the bigger picture and determine a better avenue than to constantly repair what will only break again.

All of this being said, I want you to understand that I admire and appreciate all the power line people coming from various places across the country to help restore power to more than 600,000 plus customers. These are not the people who caused the issue. They are the people diligently working around the clock trying to get everyone hooked back up on electricity with heat in their homes, and a hot shower waiting for them in the morning.

To all power line workers - Your time and effort are very much appreciated! But I wish you home safe and sound to your own families soon.

To all the New England power companies. It's time to stop blaming Mother Nature. Get off your proverbial duffs and fix the root cause. And if you can’t figure it out for yourselves then I highly recommend you reach out to your counterparts in the Midwest and find out what they do that is right and how you can do the same thing.

Take that money that we pay you and do the right thing. Bury the dang lines! If the companies had to pay a $5 fine per day per person that is affected or even per household I would bet you could get a good start on fixing the issue. Do it!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Writing Prompt Wednesday

It's Wednesday and you know what that means...Writing Prompt!!

Every now and again we all need a little creativity boost. It doesn't matter that you aren't a writer. We all need that extra incentive now and again and a writing prompt is a good way to get your mind to open up and have some fun.

How does this work?

I post the beginning of a sentence and you finish it. You can write one sentence, a paragraph, or even a page if you like. Just let your mind go and write whatever comes into it. You'd be amazed at the results.

Today's writing prompt - She walked into her apartment. . .

Now all you have to do is write. Finish the sentence and if you feel like sharing we would love to see what you come up with. It's amazing to see how we all go in different directions.

Most of all Have fun!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

End to a fantastic Dewey Read-a-thon

The curtain is closing on another terrific Dewey Read-a-thon along with the curtains in the bedroom. Time for a much deserved nap!

Before I get some breakfast and crawl under the covers, I want to thank the coordinators, the cheerleaders, and other readers of the Dewey Read-a-thon for the encouragement and the boosts throughout the 24 hours. Your tweets and comments really kept my mind on the goal and my eyes wide open. Okay, maybe half open.

It was exhausting and fun, and unbelievably I cannot wait for the next one.

For those of you who didn't participate in the event, please, check out the Dewey Read-a-thon website for information on the event and how to sign up for the next one.

We can never have too many readers!!

Last three hours of the Dewey Read-a-thon

As I enter the last three hours, Mm eyelids feel like led weights are attached to the eyelashes and they are drooping dangerously close to tiny slits. Caffeine is no longer helping.

Jumping jacks, touch your toes, or in my case step outside on the porch for a bite of crisp fall air. That'll wake you up and get you motivated.

On to what will probably be my last book this this read-a-thon. I'm reading The Welcoming by Nora Roberts.

Blurb: He came to the seaside inn with only the clothes on his back and a loaded .38 revolver. His orders: expose a criminal organization based at the quaint vacation hideaway. It was just another assignment for Roman DeWinter. Routing, simple, uncomplicated. He didn't expect to fall for his key suspect, innkeeper Charity Ford.

Charity knew Roman was different. His gaze smoldered with angry passion, arousing a dangerous fascination. His mere presence made her most forbidden desires come alive. Still, Charity knew so little about him, and it put her on edge. Was this stranger a threat to her happiness. . . or the man she'd been waiting a lifetime to welcome?

Who needs sleep when it's the Dewey Read-a-thon

My derriere is pactically numb and I have to shift from one side to the next every few minutes, but yes, I am wide awake now and moving on to my next book.

Next up is Close Call by Carla Neggers.

Excerpt: Adirt-encrusted mountain bike. A battered kayak. Free weights loose on the floor. Gym clothes and squash rackets hanging from a pegboard. Street and ice hockey sticks leaned up against the wall.Brendan O'Malley's idea of how to welcome guests to his place. As she stepped into the foyer, Jessica Stewart told herself there were no surprises. It wasn't as if she'd expected feng shui or something out of a decorating magazine. She loved the guy. She really did. She didn't know if she was in love with him, but that was a problem for later—right now, she had to fight her way into his apartment and find out what he was up to.Jess stuffed the key that O'Malley's brother Mike—the firefighter brother—had loaned her. Brendan was one of the cop brothers, a Boston homicide detective. The other cop brother, the youngest, was just starting out. There was also a carpenter brother and a marine brother. Five O'Malley brothers in all. At thirty-four, Brendan was smack in the middle.

A little holiday fun for the read-a-thon

As we enter the last 6 hours of the Dewey Read-a-thon I decided to throw another holiday story into the mix.

Curled up on the sofa under a blanket, I'm reading The 24 Days of Christmas by Linda Lael Miller.

Blurb: Feeling the chill of winter? Then grab a glass of egg nog, take a seat by the yule log, and warm yourself heart and soul with these four captivating tales of passion that make mistletoe seem so unnecessary...

A matchbox advent calendar first brought Frank Rayner and Addie Hutton together. But that was years ago. There's no way the miracles of Christmas--and the magic of true

Entering the last seven hours of the Dewey Read-a-thon

As all the readers strive to keep thei eyelids by any means necessary. Whether you use toothpicks, glue, caffeine, or sugar it doesn't matter. In my case, I am using mini Snickers and mini bottles of Coke. I've only had one of each and the Coke is still sitting here and has gotten a little warm now.

I added Heather Graham into the mix twice. I read Home for Christmas.

Blurb: It broke Travis' heart to see Isabella go, but he was the Yankee captain who had commandeered her home and she was a daughter of the Confederacy. However much he wished it, there could be no love between them. Yet, even in the war-torn South, there was room for a Christmas miracle or two...

Her next book I read was Wilde Imaginings.

Blurb: Rising out of the murky English moors, Fairhaven Castle housed dark secrets ... and handsome, brooding Brian Wilde. But even as Brian's touch filled lovely Alyssa Evans with fire, his enigmatic manner chilled her with fear. Could she discover the castle's secrets before it was too late?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Who doesn't like a happy ending?

My next book in the Dewey Read-a-thon is a book titles Ever After by Nora Roberts.

Ahh. I love a little Irish.

Blurb: Wearing an ancient star pendant, an enchanting woman journeys to an otherworldly land -- and introduces a skeptical stranger to the magical powers of love...

Reading Sharon Sala in the Read-a-thon

After my manicure and before the making of 15 gallons of Irish Dry Stout beer, I managed to squeeze in a book by Sharon Sala.

I read The Return of Walker Lee. Great read!

Book blurb: Hard as he tried, Walker Lee couldn't forget the Texas girl he left behind. But after ten years, did Carrie Wainwright still want him?

Audiobooks count in the Dewey Read-a-thon

While I drive today to the restaurant for breakfast, to pick up my earrings from jeweler, to my manicure appointment, to make beer with friends, and who knows where else, I will be listening to a book by Catherine Coulter.


Playing through the speakers of my car I will be listening/reading to Split Second.

Book blurb: A serial killer is on the loose, and it's up to FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock to bring him down. They soon discover that the killer has blood ties to the infamous and now long-dead monster Ted Bundy. Savich and Sherlock are joined by agents Lucy Carlyle and Cooper McKnight, and the chase is on.

At the same time, Agent Carlyle learns from her dying father that her grandfather didn't simply walk away from his family twenty-two years ago: he was, in fact, murdered by his wife, Lucy's grandmother. Determined to find the truth, Lucy moves into her grandmother's Chevy Chase mansion. What she finds, however, is a nightmare. Not only does she discover the truth of what happened all those years ago, but she faces a new mystery as well, a strange ring that holds powers beyond her ken.

As the hunt for the serial killer escalates, Savich realizes he's become the killer's focus, and perhaps the next victim. It's up to Lucy to stop this madness before it's too late.

Courting Catherine in the Read-a-thon


While I wait to get my manicure I will start reading Courting Catherine by Nora Roberts.

Book blurb: STRICTLY BUSINESS

All hard-driving executive Trenton St. James III had on his mind was business-making the final arrangements to buy a run-down old mansion on the coast of Maine. He wasn't expecting any complications. And he definitely wasn't expecting anything like Catherine "C. C." Calhoun.

This feisty, independent-minded young woman bristled at the very thought of her family's most highly prized possession ending up as part of some faceless hotel chain. And she seemed to bristle at the very sight of Trenton St. James, too. But all that was going to have to change, because Trent not only wanted her home, he wanted her, too. And he wasn't a man who took no for an answer.

Read-a-thon continues with Sharon Sala

I finished reading Early in the Morning, a short story by Stella Cameron and now I am on to another short book this time by another of my favorite authors Sharon Sala.

My next read is The Fiercest Heart by Sharon Sala. I'm taking this book with me and going to read it while I'm out at breakfast. Shh...I'll be reading with my mouth full so don't interrupt. It won't be pretty if you do.

Book blurb: Torn apart years ago by a family feud and a deadly accident, high school sweethearts Haley and Mack reunite when Haley returns to town. But someone doesn't want them together and will do anything to keep them apart. Anything...

24-Hour Read-a-thon Begins!

The next 24-hr Dewey Read-a-thon is about to occur. Starting at 8 AM Saturday Eastern to 8 AM Sunday Eastern yours truly will read as many books as possible in support of literacy.

You can read in the privacy of your own home, while sitting at your day at the spa, or with other reader friends. You can read e-books, comic books, children's books, fiction, it really doesn't matter. Just read and have fun!

In between getting a manicure and making some beer with friends and who knows what else, I will read a short stack of books. I've already got the books picked out.

Whenever I do the Dewey Read-a-thon I always go to the used bookstore and locate a bunch of old books. This read-a-thon is no different. Join me as I share with you books written by Stella Cameron, Nora Roberts, Sharon Sala, Catherine Coulter, and Merline Lovelace.


My first book will be Stella Cameron's Early in the Morning.

Book blurb: A frustrated librarian is determined to drive her scholarly fiance wild with desire before the wedding, but she may need some heavenly help to ignite the passion of a man afraid of being burned.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall in New England

My favorite season in New England is fall. From the crisp mornings to the leaves of red, bronze, and yellow to the pumpkins with painted on faces or cut out grins. Mums in every hue smiling their happy faces up at you in the last remnants of brilliant color before winter shows its solemn white face.

Fall in New England provides a great time for everyone every weekend.


Last weekend I went to the Milford Pumpkin Festival. This is an annual event that has a gigantic pumpkin contest. For this contest size does matter.

There is entertainment from local artists on a main street stage in the middle of the town circle and then there is entertainment out in the streets.

Food is everywhere. Actually, there is one road cordoned off that I refer to as food alley. All the fair foods you could possibly want is down this road, including wood fire pizza and one of my favorites, fried dough.

Inside the courthouse and in booths spread out through the main streets is a craft fair where local vendors get to show and sell their wares. You can always find something that you just can’t do without and have to buy.

For the kids and of course people like me, “big kids” there is face painting, scarecrow making, and pumpkin painting.

Overall, the Milford Pumpkin Festival is a three-day affair of fun, food, and fresh air.

This weekend I went apple picking with a couple of girlfriends. Every year on the weekend of October 15th, I go apple picking for my favorite apples, the Mutsu. If you have never had a Mutsu apple I will tell you that you are truly missing out. A softball-size green apple is to die for. It is great eating right off the tree, great for baking pies and cakes, and as my friends and family will attest to, they make the best caramel apples.

The best part of apple picking is truly the time you spend wending your way thru the trees talking with your friends and family and seeing who can pick the best apples or the most. If you have kids, watch out. If you give each kid a bucket to pick their own apples you’ll be eating apple soup, apple, pie, apple strudel every day for the next year.

This is my friend Lisa picking her first apple at an apple orchard.


For the second year in a row, I went with friends (Colleen and Lisa) to Meadow Ledge Farm in Loudoun, New Hampshire. This is a great farm because not only do they have a huge selection of trees to pick from but also they usually have entertainment in the afternoon. A nice local band plays in the “back yard” for your musical enjoyment.

To top off this terrific morning or afternoon, why not share some fresh, hot off the press, apple cider donuts with your family or friends. There is nothing like these and I have never found another place that sells them hot and fresh. It really makes a difference! After you wait in the line that usually winds its way out the door, why not sit outside on one of the benches that are scattered about, listen to the music from the local band, and talk with family and friends while enjoying those fresh cider donuts.

If you’re in the mood next year, feel free to join Colleen, Lisa, and myself on our annual apple picking Saturday. The benefit besides our company is that I take the apples we picked and make the best, most gigantic caramel apples you have ever seen or tasted.

What will next weekend bring? I know that Lisa is going to be going to a Renaissance Festival, yes, dressed in costume. For me, I'll be making beer with a few friends. From then on if I want to find something fun to do all I have to do is read in the local weekender newspaper called The Hippo Press or what I see on the http://www.nhevents.com website for festivals or fairs.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Writing Prompt Wednesday

It's Wednesday and you know what that means...Writing Prompt!!

Every now and again we all need a little creativity boost. It doesn't matter that you aren't a writer. We all need that extra incentive now and again and a writing prompt is a good way to get your mind to open up and have some fun.

How does this work?

I post the beginning of a sentence and you finish it. You can write one sentence, a paragraph, or even a page if you like. Just let your mind go and write whatever comes into it. You'd be amazed at the results.

Today's writing prompt - Had she really said that?. . .

Now all you have to do is write. Finish the sentence and if you feel like sharing we would love to see what you come up with. It's amazing to see how we all go in different directions.

Most of all Have fun!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Join the fun in the Dewey 24-hr Read-a-thon


The next 24-hr Dewey Read-a-thon is about to occur. If you have not participated in the read-a-thon in the past now is your chance to show your support for reading.

The read-a-thon only occurs twice a year, in April and in October.

What is Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon? For 24 hours, we read books, post on our blogs about our reading, and visit other readers’ blogs. We participate in mini-challenges throughout the day.

The idea is to just read as many books as you can in 24 hours and share what you read with others.

Do you actually have to spend the entire day sitting in a chair and never moving, only reading? No. Some people will. Others can't.

The trick will be to stay awake all night and read books whenever you can.

Between other readers and the cheerleaders you will feel tons of love and support for your effort. We will cheer each other on, keep you boosted to stay awake, to finish just one more, book, and to just have fun.

You can read in the privacy of your own home, while sitting at your day at the spa, or with other reader friends. You can read e-books, comic books, children's books, fiction, it really doesn't matter. Just read and have fun!

Join me and other readers on Saturday, October 22 for the next Dewey 24-hr Read-a-thon. Sign up here

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Writing Prompt Wednesday

It's Wednesday and you know what that means...Writing Prompt!!

Every now and again we all need a little creativity boost. It doesn't matter that you aren't a writer. We all need that extra incentive now and again and a writing prompt is a good way to get your mind to open up and have some fun.

How does this work?

I post the beginning of a sentence and you finish it. You can write one sentence, a paragraph, or even a page if you like. Just let your mind go and write whatever comes into it. You'd be amazed at the results.

Today's writing prompt - Jake, Jake. . .

Now all you have to do is write. Finish the sentence and if you feel like sharing we would love to see what you come up with. It's amazing to see how we all go in different directions.

Most of all Have fun!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Writing Prompt Wednesday

It's Wednesday and you know what that means...Writing Prompt!!

Every now and again we all need a little creativity boost. It doesn't matter that you aren't a writer. We all need that extra incentive now and again and a writing prompt is a good way to get your mind to open up and have some fun.

How does this work?

I post the beginning of a sentence and you finish it. You can write one sentence, a paragraph, or even a page if you like. Just let your mind go and write whatever comes into it. You'd be amazed at the results.

Today's writing prompt - The summer. . .

Now all you have to do is write. Finish the sentence and if you feel like sharing we would love to see what you come up with. It's amazing to see how we all go in different directions.

Most of all Have fun!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

How many times equals all night long?

I was writing a scene today and rather than “show” you all the times my hero and heroine made love, which would have turned you on way too much I opted for showing one time and letting your imagination run for the rest of the night.

Now here’s the question. How many times do they do the deed, the nasty, the horizontal mambo in a night?

Is it one time? Please, no offense, but this is a fantasy and that just would not equate to fantasy in my book. That would be more like wham-bam-thank you ma’am. *YAWN*

Actually, as I sit here and ponder this question, I have to wonder is it the number of times that the hero and heroine have actual intercourse or is it the number of times the heroine gets hers. *WINK* You know what I mean. I mean, let’s face it. A guy might be satisfied with one time. . .but hate to break it to all you men out there. . .once is not enough for most women.

After all this is fiction, so why not go for a record.

Maybe all night long equates to the heroine skyrocketing through that state of orgasmic euphoria several times thanks to her selfless and caring hero who wants to make sure she receives the utmost pleasure multiple times before he gets his, ONCE.
Would that be enough for all night long? Or does that make our heroine selfish?

What?! A heroine selfish? Never. *GRIN*

Okay, so maybe we don’t have to go that far, but yes, feel free to let the heroine to get more than the hero. I mean let’s face it, when you insert tab A into slot B, tab A is sure to achieve, uh, satisfaction. On the other hand, slot B may end up whistling Dixie and staring at the ceiling if tab A is not inserted with the right goal in mind. MUTUAL satisfaction.

Back to our original question. How many times equals all night long? What do you think?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Writing Prompt Wednesday

It's Wednesday and you know what that means...Writing Prompt!!

Every now and again we all need a little creativity boost. It doesn't matter that you aren't a writer. We all need that extra incentive now and again and a writing prompt is a good way to get your mind to open up and have some fun.

How does this work?

I post the beginning of a sentence and you finish it. You can write one sentence, a paragraph, or even a page if you like. Just let your mind go and write whatever comes into it. You'd be amazed at the results.

Today's writing prompt - At the barbeque. . .

Now all you have to do is write. Finish the sentence and if you feel like sharing we would love to see what you come up with. It's amazing to see how we all go in different directions.

Most of all Have fun!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Today is my birthday and I’m giving away a book


To help me celebrate my birthday I don’t require a birthday cake (although for the record…I like chocolate) or even a birthday card. I will, however, get a call from my sister who will sing “Happy Birthday” to me. Love that!!

What I need from you to help me celebrate a day where I get a year older but look a year younger is a book giveaway.

And since it’s also writing prompt Wednesday, I thought I would encompass the writing prompt with the book giveaway.

How does this work?

All you have to do is finish the sentence below. If you feel compelled to write more than a sentence then hey! who am I to argue.

Leave your sentence and your email address and I’ll draw a winner at random on Sunday.

Here is the sentence you have to finish:

All she wanted for her birthday was. . .

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Writing Prompt Wednesday

It's Wednesday and you know what that means...Writing Prompt!!

Every now and again we all need a little creativity boost. It doesn't matter that you aren't a writer. We all need that extra incentive now and again and a writing prompt is a good way to get your mind to open up and have some fun.

How does this work?

I post the beginning of a sentence and you finish it. You can write one sentence, a paragraph, or even a page if you like. Just let your mind go and write whatever comes into it. You'd be amazed at the results.

Today's writing prompt - Standing at the snack counter. . .

Now all you have to do is write. Finish the sentence and if you feel like sharing we would love to see what you come up with. It's amazing to see how we all go in different directions.

Most of all Have fun!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Visit a local used bookstore and read

When your doctor gives you the order to do nothing, can you do it?

Uh. . .nope, not me, never. That's what I would have said until this past weekend. Somehow I managed to do very little. That's a new trick for me.

How did I do this?

I accomplished this amazing feat (just ask my friends how amazing) by taking a long drive and then winding my way to a wonderful used bookstore that I haven't visited in quite some time. What a treat!

Within five seconds of walking into the store I found an anthology that has one of my favorite authors in it and a story I have never read. Jackpot!

At the back of the store in this little corner I found some old, out of print, early Harlequin edition books. I was down on hands an knees looking at every title and every author. Yippee! What a special treat. I snatched up about five of those books. Believe me, I held back.

As I made my way back to the front of the store I saw a section with another selection of books from an author that I love. Books I had never even heard of. Holy cow! That is absolutely the best when you find new books, or rather old books by a favored author. I grabbed up every one of the titles I had never heard of.

All total, I walked out of the bookstore with ten new/used books. I hit the readers motherload!

What did I do with all these books?

You are kidding, right? I came home and continued my relaxing day by curling up on the sofa and read. I read one of the out of print books and finished it. On to the next!

Tell us about your last trip to a used bookstore.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Tragedy pulls together a better nation

Ten years ago today, tragedy struck our country like no other tragedy. Not because of war or famine, or disease. The tragedy that struck the United States and all its people was one of evil of the manmade kind. While this blow struck us hard and fast, we as a nation pulled together like no others.

People sacrificed their lives to save others. People they never met and never would have met if not for the mad machinations of a group of people who cared nothing for the lives of others only their misguided beliefs. Police and Firemen rushed to the aide of the citizens they swore to protect and they did. Everyday citizens circled the wagons and helped complete strangers out of the rubble of destruction.
Military personnel moved with as they were trained to help in the aide of our countrymen and women. And when given the command they struck back in our defense, hard and fast, and with one thing on their minds. Protecting us.

September 11, 2001 will live in our memories for the rest of our lives and in history. It will not go down as a day of misfortune and hatred. It will go down as a day of resurrection and joining. We, the people of the United States, joined together to resurrect our strength, power, and love for each other and our country. We fought back, we took care of our own, and we grew stronger, better.

I love this nation and the people in it, and especially those who protect it from the evils of this world. God bless you!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Writing Prompt Wednesday

It's Wednesday and you know what that means...Writing Prompt!!

Every now and again we all need a little creativity boost. It doesn't matter that you aren't a writer. We all need that extra incentive now and again and a writing prompt is a good way to get your mind to open up and have some fun.

How does this work?

I post the beginning of a sentence and you finish it. You can write one sentence, a paragraph, or even a page if you like. Just let your mind go and write whatever comes into it. You'd be amazed at the results.

Today's writing prompt - Sitting in her apartment with the air conditioner broken. . .

Now all you have to do is write. Finish the sentence and if you feel like sharing we would love to see what you come up with. It's amazing to see how we all go in different directions.

Most of all Have fun!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Writing Prompt Wednesday

It's Wednesday and you know what that means...Writing Prompt!!

Every now and again we all need a little creativity boost. It doesn't matter that you aren't a writer. We all need that extra incentive now and again and a writing prompt is a good way to get your mind to open up and have some fun.

How does this work?

I post the beginning of a sentence and you finish it. You can write one sentence, a paragraph, or even a page if you like. Just let your mind go and write whatever comes into it. You'd be amazed at the results.

Today's writing prompt - The hairs on the back of his neck. . .

Now all you have to do is write. Finish the sentence and if you feel like sharing we would love to see what you come up with. It's amazing to see how we all go in different directions.

Most of all Have fun!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricanes and comfort food

What do you do when a hurricane is barreling down on you?

If you are like most of people, you went out and stocked up on water, milk, and batteries. You maybe even filled up your bathtub and sinks so you could use the water to flush your toilets in case you lose power.

Okay, I was unaware of the tub water for toilet idea until my mom told me that trick the other day. Brilliant!

But I have to admit that I did not go out and purchase loads of water or extra batteries or even fill up my tub. Instead, I decided to look at this as a day to celebrate and look for comforts.

I woke up later than normal, but that was probably due to the long drive I made back from New Jersey through the heavy rain ahead of the hurricane. Once I was awake I decided a good breakfast was in order. Blueberry pancakes!


I rarely eat pancakes, french toast, or waffles, but this morning I had a craving for comfort food. I drove to Bedford, NH to one of my old favorite restaurants and had two fresh blueberry pancakes and a side of crispy bacon. I admit that I couldn't eat the whole thing, but it was certainly worth a shot and my stomach was very happy I did.

Once my stomach had been fed, I ran a few errands in the rain. Always fun to run around looking like a drowned rat. One of the things I did was pick up the supplies for homemade soup. Yup, you read that correctly. There is nothing more comforting than homemade food on a bad weather day. Today, I am making a soup my father used to make for us. I'm making Bean and Ham soup.


Bean & Ham Soup Recipe:

Soak a bag of Great Northern Beans in a pan of water overnight (or soak them in heated water for several hours) until soft.

Drain the beans and fill a crockpot or big pan with water and put the beans back in.

Spice up the beans with some minced onion and garlic sea salt. Go easy on the salt because you will get plenty of salt from the ham.

Add in a ham on the bone. It's important to cook the ham on the bone in the water to get extra flavor. (No, you cannot use a honey-baked ham.)

Let this cook all day until you see the meat from the ham bone start floating around in the soup mix.

Pull the ham bone out and cut all the meat off and toss back in the soup mix. Throw the ham bone away or give to your favorite dog as a special treat.

Then let cook for another hour or so. The key is that the soup will start to thicken and the beans will be semi-mushy.

Now you're ready for some homecooked bean and ham soup.

Add a little cornbread on the side and you have all the comforts you need for a warm meal to ride out the storm.

While that's cooking all day, do what I do. . .write, write, write or read, read, read!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Writing Prompt Wednesday

It's Wednesday and you know what that means...Writing Prompt!!

Every now and again we all need a little creativity boost. It doesn't matter that you aren't a writer. We all need that extra incentive now and again and a writing prompt is a good way to get your mind to open up and have some fun.

How does this work?

I post the beginning of a sentence and you finish it. You can write one sentence, a paragraph, or even a page if you like. Just let your mind go and write whatever comes into it. You'd be amazed at the results.

Today's writing prompt - It wasn't going to be easy. . .

Now all you have to do is write. Finish the sentence and if you feel like sharing we would love to see what you come up with. It's amazing to see how we all go in different directions.

Most of all Have fun!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Meet author Susan Whitfield

Today I'm pleased to welcome author Susan Whitfield to my blog. Please take a look at Susan's books, get to know her and if you read down you'll learn how to get a free copy of her KILLER RECIPES book.

Welcome, Susan!



North Carolina Mystery Writer, Susan Whitfield, has written four books in the Logan Hunter Mystery series, including Genesis Beach, Just North of Luck, Hell Swamp, and Sin Creek. She sets her novels in the state she loves. Genesis Beach, the first in the series, is set in a fictitious place only she can locate with any accuracy. “I was first inspired to write my first novel while I was at the beach looking down at a tanned man with a pierced nipple in the hot tub,” she giggles.








Excerpt from Genesis Beach:

I’d come all this way to slap him and tell him to go straight to Hell only to find out he was already there.



“I liked my female protagonist, Logan, so much that I decided without hesitation to send her off to the Blue Ridge Mountains after a serial killer. Just North of Luck challenged us both.”


Reviews :
“Just south of sanity!”
“…grabs you by the scruff of the next and takes you on a harrowing ride into hellish, gruesome, and scary scenes. Whitfield’s skill at expectation and reversal will leave you saying OMG!”
“…unique supporting cast of Appalachian characters…”



Excerpt:

“Chase drives these mountains like he’s on flat land,” I explained to Pepper, who was pale. He took the hint and slowed his speed, soon coming to a parking area off to the left. We pulled in and locked up. A white plastic banner across the road twinkled bright lights: Go Nuts at the Testicle Festival! I spotted a television cameraman filming cooks and getting reactions from tasters. People were bestowing glorious accolades on the samples.

We approached the tables and a man shoved sturdy cardboard platters into our hands. I tried to give mine back, but Pepper pulled me toward a deep fryer filled with bubbling oil. Chase gave me a bemused look and egged Pepper on to get me to try a fried bull gonad. Unexpectedly one was on my plate, sizzling, and smelling--alluring. I shook my head. What was I thinking? I turned and watched in horror as Pepper and Chase counted to three and bit into a crispy gonad. They both leaned toward me, chewing and moaning as if it were wonderful, but they weren’t fooling me.

“Eat up, Logan. They won’t be this good once they cool off,” Pepper warned. She and Chase both took another bite. Chase winked at me and walked off toward some boiled kudzu, adding it to his plate. I followed them with my gonad still in its entirety.





Whitfield went back to her childhood home and the nearby mansion she loved to set Hell Swamp along Black River, and use The Black River Plantation for the crime scene. “There really is a Hell Swamp somewhere down Black River but I didn’t venture there because I’d been told about the canopy of water moccasins that call it home. I have since become friends with the plantation’s owner, Ed Padfield, a real sweetie. I treasure that friendship.”




Reviews:

“Hell Swamp, a lovely place for a vacation if you like finding floating skulls, cottonmouths, being pushed into the river, shot at, whacked over the head and finding stately southern plantation homes. Least I forget, the plantation home had an addition that I should probably mention here. An old lady, dressed out like a fresh killed deer, viscera piled on the floor beneath her and hung from the main chandelier in the foyer.

This is the situation that SBI agent Logan Hunter discovered when she was called off of vacation to head up an investigation in rural North Carolina.

The story spins along at an entertaining pace as you follow Logan through her investigation.

Peculiarities abound as you meet the suspects. Whitfield has drawn a cast of characters from 'down by the Black River' that rings delightfully true, scary and injected with just enough humor to make HELL SWAMP stand out from the pack. Read this book. It's a good 'un.” ~~Tom Cooke, Memoirs of Bear

Excerpt:

I could hear myself screaming. I snatched out of the fingers’ grip and fell. Fell a long way. Then the dirt hit my face. I was being buried alive! I scrambled sideways when I realized I could. The hand wrapped around my throat, the long nails on its fingers cut my skin. I screamed. There was nothing to stop me. When I hit the table, I woke up, piled on the floor with the aloe plant from the bedside table and all its dirt on top of me. The nightmare I’d once had was back and more frightening than ever. I sat up on the floor and spit out dirt, flipping the plant onto the floor. I trembled, realizing I had peed in my pants.





The fourth novel in the series, Sin Creek, is set along the Cape Fear Riverfront in Wilmington. I love Wilmington, but this novel was a major challenge. I stopped many times but finally completed it. The topics of rape and pornography give me the creeps, but it’s out there and this story had to be told,” Whitfield admits.

Here’s a tidbit to tease you:

The Cape Fear River snakes through eastern North Carolina past the stunning port city of Wilmington, and sidling up next to it is Sin Creek, a sliver of water where wickedness and decadence take precedence over decency and threaten to bring the city to its knees.

Reviews:

“…provocative page-turner!”
“…unexpected turns, engaging situations…”
“Sin Creek, new in the Logan Hunter mystery series by Susan Whitfield, is an eye-opener and a heart-breaker, but with the sweetest redeeming ending.

Having had a long-standing friendship with a detective, when reading Sin Creek, I felt a sense of déjà vu about events I know to be true. These foul crimes do exist and are proliferating all over the world, both promoted by and brought to law enforcement attention by the Internet. Whitfield portrays the underpinnings of one man's vile world of pornography with researched accuracy.

Though this story is fiction, the very same types of exploitation continue to happen and escalate. If you never understood how lewd and dangerous the world of porn is, read Sin Creek. It's fiction but true to life. It'll make you shudder.”

Excerpt:

After a short scuffle and a gunshot, Crack worked feverishly over my naked body, untying my left hand. I looked into his eyes with tears, but he diverted them to focus on the binding. Just as my hand escaped the rope, Crack jolted up, his eyes wide and shocked before he keeled over onto the floor, a knife in his back.

Whitfield’s series can be purchased anywhere books are sold as well as online in print or digital format. “If you want a book autographed, just go to my site at www.susanwhitfieldonline.com and order from there. I’ll personally autograph it for you or someone else.”




Whitfield also has a cookbook she compiled after asking writer friends to submit recipes for Killer Recipes, not only a book of writers’ favorite foods but also book titles, web sites, and other interesting tidbits. All proceeds from this cookbook are donated to cancer research.

“I feel so good about doing this because so many of us have been affected by cancer in some way. I appreciate eighty-seven authors submitting as many as five recipes for this project.” This cookbook is available on Whitfield’s web site, from the publisher at www.lldreamspell.com, as well as Amazon.com and other online stores.

“I’m proud and grateful that L&L Dreamspell jumped at the chance to publish this special book and donate their earnings to the cause.”

GIVEAWAY: Today we're giving away a copy of Killer Recipes. All you have to do is leave a question for Susan and you'll be enetered to win a free copy. The winner will be chosen at random.

Susan Whitfield is currently working on a stand-alone about the misadventures and perils of two women who’ve been friends since infancy. The working title is The Goose Parade of Old Dickeywood. She’s also working on the fifth Logan Hunter Mystery, tentatively called Punch Street, and researching a medieval ancestor in hopes of writing an historical novel.

Susan also blogs at www.susanwhitfield.blogspot.com and interviews authors and industry experts. She’s also on Facebook, Twitter, and www.booktown.com set up Susan’s Interviews for its members.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Writing Prompt Wednesday

It's Wednesday and you know what that means...Writing Prompt!!

Every now and again we all need a little creativity boost. It doesn't matter that you aren't a writer. We all need that extra incentive now and again and a writing prompt is a good way to get your mind to open up and have some fun.

How does this work?

I post the beginning of a sentence and you finish it. You can write one sentence, a paragraph, or even a page if you like. Just let your mind go and write whatever comes into it. You'd be amazed at the results.

Today's writing prompt - Her hand trembled. . .

Now all you have to do is write. Finish the sentence and if you feel like sharing we would love to see what you come up with. It's amazing to see how we all go in different directions.

Most of all Have fun!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Join us Thursday and meet author Susan Whitfield


Stop by on Thursday, August 18 and meet author Susan Whitfield. Susan is the author of the Logan Hunter Mystery Series.

Her current releases are:

Genesis Beach
Just North of Luck
Hell Swamp
Sin Creek

Susan is also the author of KILLER RECIPES, a recipe book created by authors donating various recipes and all proceeds of the book go toward cancer research.

As a matter of fact, if you stop by on Thursday and leave a question for Susan you'll be entered to win a copy of KILLER RECIPES.

See you and Susan Thursday!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Writing Prompt Wednesday

It's Wednesday and you know what that means...Writing Prompt!!

Every now and again we all need a little creativity boost. It doesn't matter that you aren't a writer. We all need that extra incentive now and again and a writing prompt is a good way to get your mind to open up and have some fun.

How does this work?

I post the beginning of a sentence and you finish it. You can write one sentence, a paragraph, or even a page if you like. Just let your mind go and write whatever comes into it. You'd be amazed at the results.

Today's writing prompt - She knelt. . .

Now all you have to do is write. Finish the sentence and if you feel like sharing we would love to see what you come up with. It's amazing to see how we all go in different directions.

Most of all Have fun!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Writing Goals - Do you have them?

Do you have writing goals? Are they daily or weekly goals?
Do you measure your goals? How?

Me, I am a writer who writes by the seat of her pants. Therefore, for me, setting a goal doesn't work. My goal is to write when I can.

For the most part this works. If I have more free time I write more. Less free time equals less writing. Gosh darn day job!

Of course, this is also why it takes me various times to complete a book. I've written a book in as little as three months to as long as a year (not including my first novel, which took forever). Can you say perfectionist?

This week, however, I have decided to make my self a goal. GASP!

Yup. My goal is to go home every evening, except Thursday, and write in my work-in-progress. Or maybe I'll go out to dinner and do some writing. Heck! I'm even going to do writing before my hair appointment on Wednesday. Now that's dedication.

I haven't lost my complete noodle so I am not setting a word count goal or any such thing. Instead, I am just going to write whatever pops into my head. If I write 100 words or 1000 words I will be a happy camper.

What about you? What's your writing goal?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Celebrating JoJos Book Corner Blogoversary!

Today I am helping a book blogger celebrate her blog anniversary. Join me over at JoJos Book Corner and learn about my HOTTIE of the month, a fantasy date, and a favorite read.

If you leave your own fantasy date you could win a free copy of one of my books so head on over now and join in JoJos Blogoversary celebration!!! JoJos Book Corner

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Writing Prompt Wednesday

It's Wednesday and you know what that means...Writing Prompt!!

Every now and again we all need a little creativity boost. It doesn't matter that you aren't a writer. We all need that extra incentive now and again and a writing prompt is a good way to get your mind to open up and have some fun.

How does this work?

I post the beginning of a sentence and you finish it. You can write one sentence, a paragraph, or even a page if you like. Just let your mind go and write whatever comes into it. You'd be amazed at the results.

Today's writing prompt - Damn!. . .

Now all you have to do is write. Finish the sentence and if you feel like sharing we would love to see what you come up with. It's amazing to see how we all go in different directions.

Most of all Have fun!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Trapped!

I cannot think of a better way to be trapped than this.

Trapped!

Once more she inserted her foot in mouth and now she is trapped. Trapped against a wall with tall, dark, and too damn handsome pressed against her, his mouth mere inches from hers.

She closed her eyes and cringed. What had she been thinking? Oh! That’s right! She hadn’t been thinking. She just blurted!

When a man you despise asks you if you want him, the correct answer is “No” she berated herself. “No, I don’t want you, you arrogant son of a …..” Or “No, I like my men humble and subservient.” She had to stifle the bubble of laughter that threatened to escape. That probably would have sent him scurrying on his way.

Instead, when her back was against the wall, quite literally, and she saw the heat in his intense blue eyes, and the seductive grin at the corner of his lips, she said, “Yes.” Yes!

It wasn’t as if she lifted her chin and told him flat out, “Yes, I’d like to do you right here, right now, against this wall.” No, she of course, flushed a hot shade of red and answered in a meek voice, “Yes.” Her. Meek. What was this world coming to?

Now here she was. . .Trapped! Pinned between this gorgeous hunk of a man’s arms, her back against the wall and no escape in sight. From her nemesis.

She hated this man. Hated his know-it-all, I’m better than everyone, every woman wants me attitude.

His warm breath brushed against her throat. A shudder of desire feathered up her spine and her already weak knees trembled.

Oh, geez! His mouth was only a breath away from hers. All she had to do was pucker up and their lips would connect. As her eyes connected with his, her heart beat a rhythm she had never experienced. It fought for escape, but like her it was fenced in.

Blood rushed through her veins in anticipation of the kiss. OH-MY-GOSH! She wanted that kiss. Realization struck her like a two-by-four to the head.

A slow grin slid across her lips and her chin lifted a tad higher. She wanted this man. She meant to have him. Now.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The things women talk about…

The things women talk about…

Haven’t you men always wanted to know what women talk about when they get together? Well, I am about to enlighten you. . .somewhat, partially, a little.

Be warned! This could be dangerous information I am about to expose. If you have sensitive ears or feelings you may not want to read further.

Yesterday, a couple of lady friends and I were chatting. Yes, we chat. We were talking and somehow we got on the subject of “Life Tools for Women.” Don’t ask how we got there but we did. Of course, that got me thinking (very bad) and inspired to write this blog post.

I know, you’re asking yourself, “What the heck are the Life Tools for Women?”

For those of you in the know, you are already laughing. For those of you not in the know, you are about to get a lesson.

Life Tools for Women consists of four things every woman needs for a happy night or a happy life. Yeah, it’s true. We only need four things. Isn’t that amazing? And men think we're high-maintenance. Ha!

Now you want to know what those four things are? Hm, well, be prepared.


#1. Number one is a bottle of wine. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a bottle of white, red, or zinfandel. It could be a wickedly expensive bottle of champagne (my fave!) or a cheap bottle of Muscatel. Wine is wine.

Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.
~ Benjamin Franklin

Reality is an illusion that occurs due to a lack of wine. ~ Anonymous

Good wine is a necessity of life for me. ~ Thomas Jefferson



#2. The second item on the women’s list of Life Tools is good chocolate. Notice that unlike the wine, the chocolate must be good. This is where our taste buds, match our taste in men. Not any chocolate or man will do.

Anything is good if it's made of chocolate. ~ Jo Brand

Chocolate is nature’s way of making up for Mondays. ~ Anonymous

Don't wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty. Chocolate isn't like premarital sex. It will not make you pregnant. And it always feels good. ~ Lora Brody

It's not that chocolates are a substitute for love. Love is a substitute for chocolate. Chocolate is, let's face it, far more reliable than a man. ~ Miranda Ingram



#3. The third tool is a romance novel. Yup, you read that correctly. A romance novel. With a bottle of wine and good chocolate the mood is all set for a relaxing evening. Let the fantasy begin! Not just any fantasy. Again, this is boy meets girl, they have hot, steamy sex, boy and girl have conflict, but even in conflict they have sex. When all is said and done, conflict is resolved, they have sex and they live happily ever after.

Okay, that’s my fantasy.

According to one survey, the number one reason women read romance novels is the hero. We get to fall a little bit in love with the hero every time we open a book to read.

In that same survey, the number four reason we read romance novels is the Happily Ever After. We love a great ending and knowing that no matter how many troubles and problems to mount up eventually they are solved and go away. Ahhh.

Maybe if men read more romance novels they would understand women better. BONUS!


#4. Here is where we reach the risqué portion of our tools. Please, if by now you have not figured out where I am going with this then close your eyes, imagine yourself being a woman. Now, you’re sitting in front of a fireplace with your wine, box of chocolates, a steamy, sexy, romance novel, and a. . .TOOL.

Here you have the four Life Tools for Women. Go and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Writing Prompt Wednesday

It's Wednesday and you know what that means...Writing Prompt!!

Every now and again we all need a little creativity boost. It doesn't matter that you aren't a writer. We all need that extra incentive now and again and a writing prompt is a good way to get your mind to open up and have some fun.

How does this work?

I post the beginning of a sentence and you finish it. You can write one sentence, a paragraph, or even a page if you like. Just let your mind go and write whatever comes into it. You'd be amazed at the results.

Today's writing prompt - Trapped!. . .

Now all you have to do is write. Finish the sentence and if you feel like sharing we would love to see what you come up with. It's amazing to see how we all go in different directions.

Most of all Have fun!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Should your hero be flawed?

Is your hero a man? Then duh! He is flawed.

It is fun to fantasize about ‘Mr. Perfect’, but when reality meets fantasy let’s face it, perfection is a pain in the butt.

As women we come pretty dang close to perfect so we should know. To compete against Mr. Perfect would truly put a crimp in our lives.

So yes, your hero should be flawed.

How is he flawed? Does he have a scar on his cheek or his chest?

No, that’s not a flaw. That just adds interest or character to your otherwise rugged and/or good looking physique.

Is your hero flawed because he drives a non-descript beige sedan instead of a Mercedes convertible, a bright red sports car, or ride up on his black stallion he raised from a colt?

This is not a flaw. It just means your hero has terrible taste in transportation.

What is a flaw?

A character flaw is a limitation, imperfection, perhaps a phobia, or some kind of deficiency in your fictional (and real) character’s personality. A flaw may be a fear of commitment, a jealous temper, arrogance, or a gambling addiction.

Why is a flaw good?

Well, as I stated above who wants to compete with Mr. Perfect. Other than that, the reason for a flaw is that a flaw adds depth to your character, makes the character seem more human and someone the readers can relate to.

Let’s revisit our hero with the scar on his face or chest. Perhaps he is ex-military and while overseas he got into a fight with a man who was physically abusing a woman and saved her from a fate worse than death. The scar is a badge of honor so to speak. But, underneath that badge he is a man who cares for all women and whenever he sees a woman in distress he is compelled to go to her aid.

Now this is not necessarily a bad thing…except he forgets that women can also take care of themselves and has a tendency to step in where he is not wanted. Not a good thing when the heroine is an independent woman who has taken self-defense and can verbally out maneuver any man within fifty feet of her.

At some point this hero has to learn self-discipline and let loose of his over-protective attitude. He’ll have to wait to be asked for his help.

This could prove to be a long and interesting journey for our hero and heroine.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Chocolate Lover's Cookie

If you read romance, if you write romance, heck if you just plain like romance then this cookie recipe is for you.

Guys, the next time you wat to demonstrate to your woman your kitchen prowess then try surprising her with one of these delicious cookies.



Chocolate Lover's Cookie Recipe

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.


Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter (unsalted butter)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

10 oz. package NESTLE Dark Chocolate Morsels (I used the chunks) - divide (2/3 Cup and 1 Cup)


Directions:

MELT 2/3 cup dark chocolate morsels in microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH power for 30 seconds; STIR.
Microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until all morsels are melted. Set aside.

SIFT flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into medium bowl.

BEAT butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add melted chocolate and mix well. Add egg and vanilla extract, mixing until well blended.

ADD flour mixture, mixing just until blended.

STIR in remaining 1 cup morsels.


Ready to bake:

DROP tablespoon dough 3 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. (I use an ice cream scoop to get an even and round cookie.)

BAKE for 16 to 18 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs and the tops have a cracked appearance. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Ready to eat:

These cookies are like chocolate heaven. Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!

For a special dessert, place one cookie on a plate, add a large scoop of ice cream on top then cover the ice cream with another chocolate cookie. Add to that a sprinkling of chocolate sauce (just like the chef's do). Voila! You have Chocolate Lover's Decadence and a romantic dessert made by your own hands.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Little things like this make me glad I'm a writer

It is always nice to hear from a reader, get their feedback on a book that they've read. It's especially nice when you receive a quick email from a new reader.

Check out what I found in my email yesterday.

I recently won some of your books in a contest. I finally read all of them and really liked the books.

I especially liked the story in Killer Bunny Hill. I like the way you wrirte and how the characters relate to each other. Thanks for sharing them with me.

A new fan,
Joy


Thank you, Joy and all the other readers out there who take the time to write your author. It is always a pleasant surprise and very much appreciated.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Writing Prompt Wednesday

It's Wednesday and you know what that means...Writing Prompt!!

Every now and again we all need a little creativity boost. It doesn't matter that you aren't a writer. We all need that extra incentive now and again and a writing prompt is a good way to get your mind to open up and have some fun.

How does this work?

I post the beginning of a sentence and you finish it. You can write one sentence, a paragraph, or even a page if you like. Just let your mind go and write whatever comes into it. You'd be amazed at the results.

Today's writing prompt - She tore down the alley. . .

Now all you have to do is write. Finish the sentence and if you feel like sharing we would love to see what you come up with. It's amazing to see how we all go in different directions.

Most of all Have fun!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Writing Prompt Wednesday

It's Wednesday and you know what that means...Writing Prompt!!

Every now and again we all need a little creativity boost. It doesn't matter that you aren't a writer. We all need that extra incentive now and again and a writing prompt is a good way to get your mind to open up and have some fun.

How does this work?

I post the beginning of a sentence and you finish it. You can write one sentence, a paragraph, or even a page if you like. Just let your mind go and write whatever comes into it. You'd be amazed at the results.

Today's writing prompt - The building shook. . .

Now all you have to do is write. Finish the sentence and if you feel like sharing we would love to see what you come up with. It's amazing to see how we all go in different directions.

Most of all Have fun!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

While Mondays are for work, Sundays are for...


lazing about and grilling out.

I spent Sunday afternoon lazing about on my hammock in the backyard and smoking my first pork babyback ribs.

I told you I would share my homemade BBQ sauce with you so here you go.


The Sauce:
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar (vinegar is the best part of the recipe and key to a good bbq sauce)
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard (I actually used dry yellow mustard and the kind you put on a hot dog)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (use Mexican chili powder if you want more heat to your sauce)
Tabasco sauce to taste (I use habanero Tabasco sauce)

To make the sauce:
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the vegetable oil. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining sauce ingredients, including Tabasco sauce to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Set aside. Pour some of the sauce in a small bowl to use for basting the ribs. (I don't actually baste. I leave sauce ro everyone's taste.)

The Ribs:
2 to 3 slabs baby back pork ribs

I went ahead and soaked the ribs the night before in a brine, the same brine I used on pulled pork. You don't have to do this but what the heck.

Make sure to remove the membrane from the back of the baby back ribs. It's totally disgusting but definitely the right thing to do. Then use the rub from the recipe I shared last week. Click here for rub recipe.


Cook the ribs for at least 4 hours at 200 to 220 degrees. The longer you cook the more tender and the more smokey flavor you get.

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