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Showing posts from November, 2015

Deck the Halls

It's that time again. I'm seeing Christmas trees in my Facebook feed. It seems that a lot of people who have a tree put it up on or right after Thanksgiving. I'm not ready! Oh, Christmas Tree... I don't shop on Black Friday (or Thanksgiving). I don't decorate until the spirit moves me. I have to read a few Christmas romances to get in the mood. Watch a few Christmas shows and specials. Feel that nip in the New England air. Smell some fir trees. Then maybe.  Trying to get in the mood.  My first Christmas Romance Features an Edwardian Christmas Celebration Maybe by December 15th, and then I'll have to rush to get it all done before my son comes home from college and my daughter comes to visit with her boyfriend. The tree. The stockings hung by the chimney with care. The presents. Yeah, it will get done. It will all get done. In time. Are you decorated? Do you go all out or just a few decorations?

Unexpected Thanks from Jade Lee

I know that by the time this blog goes live, everyone will be deep into holiday shopping (or avoiding holiday shopping) and Thanksgiving will be a lost memory except for when our clothes feel tight. But for the moment, I’d like to slip there and revisit gratitude. We all know the three Fs -- family, friends, and food. Add in the the basics of life like clothing and shelter, and we’ve got a list that will satisfy any social gathering. Except, I’m going to be grateful for the weird things. And you get to guess what they are. As always, the answer could be all, none, or some combination of my multiple choice. I’m grateful for… A.       My cat when she brings us presents. Yes, Cinnamon adores hunting and bringing home her toys. My husband and I then spend a great deal of time chasing partially chewed mice about the house and cursing the feline. Except without such antics, what would I have to tweet about? B.       Impulse buys. We all have impulse purchased something and

When Black Friday Comes

I'm not much of one for shopping in general, and I'm definitely staying put on this day of all sales and crowds. I'd rather experience Black Friday through YouTube (thanks, Steely Dan) from my own home. But if you're a homebody like me, we don't have to miss out on great deals! Barnes & Noble is running a Winter Romance Sale, with--as of this writing--77 books on deep discount. You can view them all here . Don't have a Nook? The deals are being price-matched at other retailers. Two of my books are on sale right now: Season for Temptation , my first-ever historical romance, and Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress , which is my most recently published novel. (I've had two novellas out since then, but my next novel won't be out until February.) You can get them both for $1.99 per book.         If you prefer to read in print, there's something today for you too. On my Facebook page , I'm giving away a beautiful paperback copy of Chris

Happy Thanksgiving!

In honor of Thanksgiving tomorrow, we at Sourcebooks Casablanca are sharing some of the blessing for which we're so grateful. Shana Galen I'm thankful for good health, good friends, and my wonderful family. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to do what I love--write! Gina Conkle I'm echoing Shana's thanks for good health, dear friends, and my loving family. Thanksgiving is special this year because it falls on my husband's birthday. He'll get some souped up exercise equipment (likely a rowing machine). That ought to go well with the pecan pies I'll feed him, right? Mr. Conkle is one of those faithful exercisers. For years we planned to get the rowing machine, but put it off because "We need new tires" or "The hot water heater went kaput" happened. This year, Mr. Conkle will get his longed for gift. Ashlyn Chase I have so much to be thankful for, but I saw a post on facebook that about sums it up. I may paraphra

Brooklyn Ann's Turkey and Gravy recipe

I LOVE TURKEY!! And I confess I love it so much I will make this in the middle of summer. Required Materials: Roasting Pan Aluminum Foil Turkey Baster Meat Thermometer Ingredients: 1: 15-20lb turkey (If larger may need to increase other ingredients) 1-2 stalks celery 1 large orange 1 onion (I prefer sweet) 1/2 to 1 clove of garlic 1 big carrot or 8-10 baby carrots 1 1/2 to 3/4 bottle of ginger ale (2 liter) 1 can chicken broth 1 bay leaf 2 tbs. thyme 2 tbs. parsley 2 tbs. sage 1 tbs. lemon pepper 1 tbs. Seasoned Salt (Johnny's or Lawry's is best!) (I know it's a long list, but it's totally worth it!) Okay, here we go. Preheat oven to 350 Mix thyme, sage, parsley, lemon pepper, and seasoning salt in a small bowl Chop the onion, carrot, and celery Peel the garlic and split into segments Peel the orange and split into segments Line the roasting pan with enough foil to cover the turkey. Remove the neck and giblets from turkey Rub the herb mixture inside both neck and


When the pantry jars are full of mince-meat and the shelves are laden with sweet spices for a cake, When the butcher man sends up a turkey nice and fat to bake, When the stores are crammed with everything ingenious cooks can make, It's Thanksgiving Time! --Langston Hughes, from “Thanksgiving Time” It’s Thanksgiving Week, and for those of us who celebrate it, I’m not even going to pretend it’s not All About The Food. OK, it’s also about community, family, closeness, and finding things to be thankful for in trying times. And food! Mashed potatoes will be on a lot of menus, and, despite their being such a simple dish, there must be a million and one variations on how to prepare them! And countless debates on which way is best. Electric mixer, ricer, or hand-held potato masher? Russets, Red Roses, or Yukon Golds? Skin-on or skin-off? Milk, broth, or cooking water? Hot milk or cold? My earliest memories of making mashed potatoes involve Russets: starc

'Tis the Season by Victoria Roberts

What's your favorite season? Winter? Spring? Summer? Fall? How about football season? You know what I'm talking about. This is the time of year when husbands, sons, boyfriends, fathers, brothers and uncles control the TV remote 24/7. Although I'm a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan, I grow tired of watching every other NFL team under the sun. All I care about is my home team, and yes, I'll watch the Superbowl. There is something quite nice about rugged men battling on the field for sport. But I don't like when the games interfere with my shows like The Walking Dead. I never miss an episode. That's when my husband and I create our own sport. Even though we both have home field advantage, I've been very creative about hiding the remote. We battle over who gets the big TV. Most times I win because there's no way I'm watching Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon on a wee screen. Am I right? So until February 7, 2016, I'll cheer on my boys and give holi

Starting to Look a Lot Like Christmas

by M.L. Buchman Which out here on the Oregon Coast means that we just had four days in which we more inches of rain fell than there were days. (One blast dropped almost 2 inches in less than six hours. During that time the winds were gusting up to sixty, eighty in the hills. I know that it's weird to think this way... but it's kind of wonderful to have real weather again, even when it is a little foul tempered. (We don't count it as really obnoxious until the four inches falls in one day and it falls sideways because the winds are gusting high enough that it tends to break the anemometers.) Yep! We're weird on the coast, but that's what the holiday season looks like on the coast and we welcome it. Quarry Cove by Rhiannon Boyle (Flickr cc) Along with the wind we also get immense beauty, like these 30'+ waves that can roll in for days after a good storm. This was shot just south of where I live (not by me). Me? I'm busy in a corner writing and I must s

A Diplomatic Twist...Dark Ages Style by Gina Conkle

I've shared my Viking-nerd side in previous posts. If you'll indulge me, I'd like to share a little more in this post and the next. Vikings had their own brand of democracy: one voice, one vote through their annual Thingvellir meeting (also called   Thing or   Althing ).  Independence and rule of law are their hallmarks. But in all Vikingdom, volcanic Iceland bred a fierce style of self-governance. The near-arctic Vikings lived by their own set of rules on remote Iceland.  They never had a king in residence, rather a "Law Giver" or "Law Speaker" led the island who answered to a distant king.* Iceland's democratic spirit was tested in what I call "The Great Vote of 1000."  Discord brewed between two factions --- Christians versus pagans. The surprise? The two groups had lived peacefully most of the time. From early settlement, leaders divided Iceland into four main sections. One person oversaw his or her

I'm honored to announce that THE LADY OF THE STORM and THE LORD OF ILLUSION were included... By Kathryne Kennedy

in Booklist's 101 Best Romance Novels of the last TEN years! Just one book making the list would have been thrilling. That two of my novels from THE ELVEN LORDS series were included is such an honor. I would also like to congratulate all the other Sourcebooks Casablanca authors who also made the list.  Did your favorite author make the list? You can view it here: Here are the beautiful covers designed by Sourcebooks for these novels: Why did Booklist call THE ELVEN LORDS series "superb"? You can try out this amazing magical world for just 99 Cents with the latest short novelette THE ASSASSIN'S LOVER, available at your favorite on-line retailer: AMAZON KOBO GOOGLE PLAY B&N NOOK APPLE ITUNES

Something for Nothing?

By Cheryl Brooks I spent this past weekend with my writer pals at IRWA's annual retreat at the Bradford Woods manor house near Mooresville, with the special added attraction of having my pals and former Sourcebooks authors Kendra Leigh Castle and Sharon Lathan join in the fun. I first met Sharon and Kendra at the 2009 RWA National Conference in Washington DC when we were brand new authors, full of hopes, fears, and excitement at finally seeing our books in print. They have both moved on to other publishing houses or indie publishing, but our friendship has remained steadfast, even if we do have a few more gray hairs than we did back then. Our local RWA chapter's retreat is something we look forward to every year, mainly because we get to spend the weekend with people who understand us better than anyone else. At times, we were laughing our heads off. Other times we were soaking up new information. Brainstorming and venting were also popular, as was the traditiona

Fabulous Facts About France!

Fabulous Facts About France! I’m sure, like me, you were shocked and saddened by the events that took place in Paris a few days ago. For me, it was almost surreal because for the past few weeks I’ve been heavily steeped in the events leading up to and during the French Revolution. I feel like I spend a good part of each day in Paris, even if it is the Paris of the past. As writers, we often have to limit how much research we can include in our books. I find out so many cool things, but I can only use about a tenth of them and only those that fit in the story. So I thought I’d share here 5 of the fabulous facts about France I’ve discovered through my research. Chocolate and Coffee=Yum! If you love your mocha latte at Starbucks, you are not alone. Parisians have been adding chocolate to coffee since at least the 1700s. Know what the prisoners drank in the Bastille? Coffee with chocolate. The Bastille At one time it probably did house political pri

Why I'm grateful to be an author

Favorite things about my job as a writer – top ten style 1.             Working in my bathrobe and slippers 2.             The commute 3.             Making my own hours (and being able to take frequent breaks with no one the wiser) 4.             Eavesdropping on people (for realistic dialog, of course!) 5.             Going on adventures and spending time in places I love without leaving the house 6.             Knowing my POV character’s thoughts and feelings, and it’s not weird 7.             Making my characters say things I, as a polite person, would never say 8.             Making nasty people from real life into fictional villains, then killing them. 9.             Writing a happy ending, knowing I’m going to leave some reader with a smile. 10.           Hearing from fans who love and appreciate my work 11.           Getting my next contract Okay, technically, that’s 11 things, but I love my job too much to choose only 10. I especially LOVE m