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Showing posts from November, 2012

New Traditions--and a Giveaway!

By Cheryl Brooks Here we are in that transition period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, wondering whether to go shopping, continue giving thanks, or start working on Christmas cards. Funny, even though I'm now essentially writing full time and not working as a nurse anymore, I can't get over viewing the holiday season with some trepidation. I still have to do all of the same tasks, and theoretically have more time in which to accomplish them, but the same vague sense of panic remains. The first Christmas card I receive always cranks the tension up a notch. Is it time to send mine out, or is it still too early? Should I spend a day updating my list to include all of the people I no longer work with? Trust me, there are a lot of them and the postage alone will probably mean less candy in the stockings of my two sons. Not that any of us really need candy, but that candy is part of our tradition. When counting my blessings this Thanksgiving, first and foremost was the added


by Deb Werksman Editorial Manager, Sourcebooks Casablanca HI everybody, you know how much I prefer to hear from you than to hear from myself. SO--post the first page of your manuscript! I will critique every single one, and I will request full submissions. ROMANCE AND WOMEN'S FICTION ONLY, PLEASE. Please include this info: TITLE CATEGORY/SUBGENRE WORD COUNT ARE YOU PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED OR SELF-PUBLISHED? Thank you! Can't wait to read your writing!

The Best Gift by Shana Galen

My daughter is now of the age where she can tell me what gifts she would like for Christmas. Pretty much everything she sees is added to the growing list, but a few things have been oft repeated—Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, a bike, the three little pigs and wolf (I think she means the figures to play with), and a shopping cart. Important question: can a three-year-old even ride a bike? Is that too young for a bike? I remember making similar lists when I was…well, not so very young! It’s fun to dream and wish and ultimately be surprised by what’s under the Christmas tree. And though I have loved every Christmas because they are spent with my family and friends and because I am reminded of The Gift of Christmas, there is one gift that stands out. There was one Christmas I was totally surprised and blown away. I was twelve or thirteen, I think, and my mother said we were going to U-Haul to pick up part of my Christmas present. This was on Christmas Eve, and I could not i

Living Through a Home Remodeling Project

It has been almost two years since we remodeled our kitchen, and I’m pretty excited to start a new project soon. We are having our master bathroom remodeled. Goodbye black toilet and bathtub. Good riddance crazy shower door that people keep telling me looks like a confessional. Hope to never see you again shiny red tile. (We call it our Liberace bathroom.)   Bling-bling gone wrong! I know many people cringe at the thought of remodeling. Complete disorder for weeks, a fine layer of dust that keeps coming back for months after the job is finished, and the unpredictability that comes with any remodeling job just isn’t their thing. I’m not fond of those parts either, but there were a lot of positives that came along with the kitchen remodel, not including the awesome end result. We had fun! (Tip for dealing with the fine dust: Change the air filter in your furnace every few days during the job.) My 'Before' kitchen was way too small Cooking was a c

Five Things I Enjoy About Thanksgiving by Tamara Hogan

Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays, is officially over, and now it's back to work again after having four days off the day job. Mark and I had an optimal mix of alone/unscheduled time, and time spent with family. Some of my favorite things about the Thanksgiving holiday?  1. LEFTOVERS! We didn't host either of our family events, but nonetheless we came home from both celebrations with a bounty of leftovers. Most of the turkey has already hit the freezer, awaiting our next homemade turkey pot pie extravaganza. We make awesome pot pies. ;-) 2. FAMILY TIME. I feel fortunate that my family and Mark's family all live in Minnesota. Mom came south, so bothy events took less than two hours to drive to. It's nice to catch up on what's happening with family members, to show off vacation pictures, and to solidify plans for Christmas. Courtesy Discovery Channel 3. TV/MOVIE MARATHONS !  I'm a total TV junkie, so no low-key vacation day is complete withou

A Look Inside the Creation of DOUBLE ENCHANTMENT, By Kathryne Kennedy

I'm gearing up for the re-release of the second book in the RELICS OF MERLIN series, DOUBLE ENCHANTMENT, and I just launched a fabulous new contest on my website! In each of the Relics books, one of Merlin's relics are featured, and in DOUBLE ENCHANTMENT it's a garnet broach. Although I wish I could craft the jewelry I created in my imagination, I settle for the jewel, and buy a piece that speaks to me of fantasy and the Victorian era. Check out the contest on my website to see if I chose correctly: If you haven't read the Relics of Merlin series yet, here's a bit of inside information about DOUBLE ENCHANTMENT, re-releasing in March 2013: DOUBLE ENCHANTMENT is the second book in the RELICS OF MERLIN series (although since the relics primarily connect them it easily stands alone).   Jasmina is an earl’s daughter who cast a simple illusion of herself, unaware that the jewel in her possession was one of Merlin’s reli

Now what?

It doesn't look like this anymore so now what...     Thanksgiving is over and we've been to the Black Friday sales. Kids are hollerin' that they do NOT want leftover turkey or turkey sandwiches so now what? Can't waste good food, not when we've just spent next week's grocery money on the Black Friday sales. But the kids and husband don't like the dark meat so now what? Shake out your super mom cape and put it's my best easy to throw together Now What recipes for the day after Thanksgiving. The family won't even know they're eating leftovers and you'll have enough energy left to make it to one final sale before the five o'clock deadline! Leftover Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding 1/2 cup granulated sugar 5 large beaten eggs 2 cups milk 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 3 cups cubed leftover cinnamon rolls (NOTE: If you didn't have homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning, then 3 cups of leftove

Happy Thanksgiving

The Smallest Step by Grace Burrowes

I  have two older sisters, both of whom I love dearly. I mention my sister Gail in the Author’s Note for “Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight,” because in her seventh decade of life, Gail is pursuing a Ph.D. in comparative literature. Her knowledge of Catullus’ poetry figured significantly in Louisa and Joseph’s story. Growing up to be just like Gail would be a significant step closer to canonization for me. Gail is also the person who happened be with me one terrible, horrible, awful, very bad day when I was ranting about some minor calamity or mommy-fail that felt absolutely overwhelmingly, irreparable—and probably undeserved. My life, according to me, honked raspberries. Do. Not. Try. To. Cheer. Me. Up. Gail lit this candle of wisdom in the midst of my Stygian emotion gloom: Think of the smallest thing you can be genuinely grateful for—the ability to breathe, silence, the lock on the bathroom door, eyesight, hearing, speech, anything —and hold the gratitude in your heart for the

10 things I'm thankful for--as an author

1. I'm grateful to the woman who handed me a romance novel without telling me what genre it was. I was caring for my terminally ill parents, and she knew I needed a healthy escape. I was halfway into the sequel before I realized this engrossing, intelligent, well-written book was a romance novel! The only one I had read before was a '70's bodice ripper. I hated it and vowed never to read another one. 2. I'm grateful romance novels have evolved from 'damsels in distress' to modern kick-ass, take no prisoners, heroines. 3. I'm grateful the heroes are still awesome. (grin) 4. I'm grateful I needed to take some time off after my parents died. It gave me a chance to try my hand at writing a book. Something I had always dreamed of doing. 5. I'm grateful my husband willingly took on the bills and let me pursue my dream full-time. 6. I'm grateful to the first e-publishers who offered me contracts. (My first book received 3 offers! I'm also

The My Most Memorable Thanksgiving Ever! by Terry Spear

So it's time to decorate for Thanksgiving, and my pyracantha is also in beautiful form just for Thanksgiving. It will turn red for Christmas! Are you ready for My Most Memorable Thanksgiving Ever? It's not the kind where you say, "Oooh," and "Ahh," and "How very nice and sweet." It's where you say, "OMG!" "How awful!" "I'm glad I wasn't visiting you for Thanksgiving!!!" Yep, and there it is: My Most Memorable Thanksgiving Ever. Stories that have no conflict are BORING. Who wants to read about them? Thanksgivings are the same as every Thanksgiving. Feasting, playing, family and friends gathering.  Totally unmemorable from one to the next. So we had to liven ours up to make it extra special. Wildlife included. The turkey dinner I shared with my mother and daughter was great. We had a terrific feast while my son was visiting friends elsewhere...but after he heard of OUR Thanksgiving, he said