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Showing posts from December, 2013


So this year I’m giving up on the usual lose weight, eat right, work out more resolutions. Though I will say I’m going to try to meditate more. And I would like to do more yoga. I used to teach a yoga class. Now I’m lucky if I can find a down dog much less do one. But I’m ignoring all that and focusing on this single new year’s resolution. I’m going to read one new author a month. Sure everyone has their stand by favorites. I’ll always buy the next Dresden book by Jim Butcher and Elizabeth Hoyt is a favorite (and a good friend). I’m working my way through Georgette Heyer classics and Julie Ann Walker is just fun to read. But that’s not what I’m talking about. There are literally thousands of good books out there by authors I’ve never read. A few of them are on the Casablanca list. Just look below:. first new read is going to be Sara Humphreys Untamed.   Then I’ve got Mary Wine on my list too; A Captain and a Corset Haven’t ever read a steampunk boo

We Need a Resolution

I admit: I’m a list-maker. No matter whether my plan for the day reaches to five things or fifty, I feel like I’ve made progress just by writing everything down. Image: Money Saving Mom As you might expect, this organizational tendency extends to my writing career. Before my first historical romance was published in 2011, I made a four-month bucket list of goals and reported back on them every month . Four career goals (ranging from corralling my TBR pile to a regular word count) and four personal goals (for example, keep plants alive). Since then, my TBR pile has grown and I’ve killed a cactus. Er. Nobody’s perfect. At the end of the year, lots of people start thinking of resolutions or goals for the coming year. As various family members gathered for the holidays, I polled them on what they wanted most for 2014. Mr. R’s goal for the new year: “to weigh no more at the end of it than I do at the beginning of it.” Brother R’


Does anyone else ever get the dreaded "gift blackouts" that seem to plague me at this time of year? I adore buying and making gifts for my loved ones. As Christmas Day gets closer and closer, I get panicky. I begin to scour the stores. "My brother doesn't have enough to open. Ooh, this is on sale. Hey, my husband would like this. Dammit, he already has too many gifts. Wait, does he? I have no idea what I've got for everyone, so I'll go ahead and buy it." At the end of the shopping day, I'm surrounded by seventeen more presents that I didn't expect to give. The Christmas blackouts apply to myself too. "Hey, let's go shopping at the after-Christmas sales! Ooh, I need this and this and I've always wanted to watch this movie it's on sale and we need this for the house and..." Suddenly the pile of gifts that were given to me and husband is nearly equaled by the things we bought ourselves. I don't ever regret buying gif

Christmas Downunder

What does Christmas mean for me? Along with family, friends, celebrations and sweltering summers, there's also far too much baking and food. Baking is one of the few hobbies I really enjoy outside of writing, and when it comes to this time of the year, all of our family functions revolve around feasts. But Christmas in Australia is a little different from that of the Northern Hemisphere. For one thing, it's not unusual to sweat our way through +40 degrees Celsius on Christmas Day, which makes the traditional turkey roast sometimes impossible. Seafood is commonly found on the table, but it's what comes after lunch that always catches my attention. Dessert. This year, I thought I'd try a few different takes on the traditional fare. Two desserts that are strongly Australian are the Trifle and the Pavlova (whipped egg whites mixed with sugar and baked, which creates a light fluffy cake, upon which we pour fruit, passionfruit syrup, raspberry sauce

The Theme of This Christmas

You remember the part in A CHRISTMAS STORY when poor Ralphie gets that hideous bunny suit? Well, nothing like that happened to me this Christmas. All of my presents were awesome. They usually are. ...And I've noticed that Christmases seem to have different themes every year. One year, books, another movies, another, music, ... and cats. This year I think the theme was warmth. There was warmth of spirit with the gift of an awesome ratchet from my uncle, a note from my father that parts for my precious car would be forthcoming, custom erasers for my drawing projects from my best friend, and 10 copies of my book to use in giveaways from my roommate, a Nine Inch Nails concert tee from my brother, and other awesome gifts that were well thought out. Then I received an awesome set of fuzzy indoor socks from my stepmother, snow pants, gloves, and thick outdoor socks from my friend, and the softest blanket imaginable from my grandmother. Everyone seemed to know that I had few warm

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas From Our Family to Yours

Your Go-to Book

What's your go-to book? What book do you re-read over and over or find yourself reaching for on gloomy days? I seem to always come back to the classic Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice. There's just something comforting about Lizzie and Darcy, even when they make me cringe. I also tend to grab my old Julie Garwood historicals. The Secret and The Gift are two of my favorites. Garwood always makes me laugh.