Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fun Cover Reveal and chat with Capt Jack. #WinAmazonGC

I'm over at Katherine Bone's blog today, hosted by her and Captain Jack. Get a peek at the cover for One Week in Your Arms, which is up for pre-order. Leave a comment to enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card. http://bit.ly/1KCuY6y

I have been busy working on book two of this series and trying to stay warm in this cold weather.
A few more weeks and spring will be here!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Manners, Culture and Dress: Educating Emma

When a book is over a century old, you have to wonder how many times was it read and by whom. Through whose hands has it passed?  I purchased an old book several years ago called Manners, Culture and Dress, published in 1890, via an online bookstore so I had not seen it prior to my order arriving on my doorstep.

For me, one of the delights of this old book was the presentation page. The book was presented to Emma C. Savage on Feb 3rd, 1891 by her father and mother. I assume this was a birthday gift. A five-hundred-page text to teach Emma about manners, culture and dress. I picture Emma as being a middle to upper-class young girl who was on the verge of becoming a young lady. 

What did Emma learn from this book?  Just about everything a well-mannered person in 1890 would need to know about how to act, how to speak, how to write, how to dress and even toilette recipes. 

She would have learned how to protect against moths by putting a piece of linen moistened with turpentine in the wardrobe for a single day three times a year.  Here are a few more tidbits:  A lady should never allow a servant to keep people waiting on the doorstep. Invitations to a funeral should be delivered by private messenger. Unmarried ladies should not accept presents from a gentleman to whom they are not related and not married. A lady does not cross a ballroom unattended. White kid gloves should be worn at a ball and only taken off at dinner. A lady must always decide on the pace when riding. While traveling in steamers, do not make a rush for the supper table or make a glutton of yourself when you get there. Never be late to church. It is a decided mark of ill-breeding.

I wonder if Emma took all this advice to heart and became a young lady with impeccable manners?  Due to the good condition of the book, I don't think Emma re-read it. What does that say for Emma? I'm hoping she was an independent young lady. One who didn't always go by the rules.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

A New Year: They're going by faster and faster!

I want to wish everyone a happy New Year! I have to admit that it seems like every year seems to fly by and before you know it, the year is gone. 

I look back on 2015 as a pretty good year and I hope I can sit here and type the same thing at the end of 2016. I appreciate so much all that I have right now. Many people have lost their homes during the past couple of weeks and some have lost their lives due to the weather. My heart goes out to them. 

I am glad that I've had the opportunity to enjoy living a simple life this year which includes watching some good movies, reading some good books, getting together with friends and going to see my family. 

2015 was a good year for me as a writer. It has been a very busy year and it appears that 2016 will really be a busy one. I'm officially a hybrid author now. I'm currently writing a contemporary series for Kensington Books. I'm working on Book 2 now and having lots of fun with it. I will have to write a third one in 2016 and I hope to finish up the second book in my historical series as well. 

As this last night in 2015 passes, enjoy it and be safe, dear friends. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Holiday Fun: Fireside Chat and Free Historical Romance.

I've always thought a fireplace is such a cozy place, but this Christmas there's no need for Santa to worry about getting his buns toasted. No need for a fire. Not with it over seventy degrees. Plus there's a chance for tornadoes to develop in a storm system that is heading over my area. I hope everyone who is traveling stays safe! I don't plan to be on the road. Just driving around town is crazy right now, much less being on a road trip during a major storm system. 

Today I went to see the new Star Wars movie! Even on a Tuesday afternoon, the theater was almost full. When the Star Wars theme started playing at the beginning, it was so exciting! Just like years ago. There is definitely nostalgia attached to Star Wars. It has spanned generations in my family. Just amazes me. 

I think that is what made this movie so big was the return of the characters from the original series. The moment Harrison Ford appeared on the screen, there was a huge reaction from the crowd. And I think this proves that characters are what makes a lasting impression on audiences. Especially the ones you have come to love in the movies or in books. As writers, we should all strive to create wonderful characters. The new characters in the movie are good. I don't think they have the magic of the original three. However, when Kylo Ren removed his black mask, that was a moment! He was fine! He looked like he'd just stepped out of a historical romance! 

Speaking of historical romance, my New Orleans historical, To Save a Lady, is free on Amazon. If you're looking for a romance with a good mix of adventure and history, you might find it a fun Christmas read. Link: http://amzn.to/1tz2HIq  

I hope to have the second book in this series out in 2016. I love Rafe and Simone's story and  I had planned to have it available this year. But, you know, fate has a way of changings things. I had gotten agent earlier in the year and this led to me signing with Kensington Books for contemporary romance series. So I've had to sideline the historical to work on these books. 

This past week my editor came up with a great title, which I loved, and marketing approved it. One Week In Your Arms will be the first book. These books are mainstream romances that are a blend of drama and humor. I'm working on the second book now and having a great time with the story.

Again, I wish you the best of times this week!   

Monday, December 21, 2015

Heating Up the Kitchen: Chocolate Pixies Recipe by Lorraine Paton, Romance Author

Today I'm welcoming Lorraine Paton. She has  has graciously provided a cookie recipe for this holiday season. It sounds yummy!

Lorraine works in a hectic office by day and writes romance novels by night. 
Her contemporary romance series, Morning Lake, is set in Alberta, Canada, which is where she lives. She loves bestowing happily-ever-afters on as many people--er, characters--as she can.This is a fun and tasty cookie that looks pretty on a holiday cookie plate. You can find out more about Lorraine and her books at www.lorrainepaton.com 

Chocolate Pixies

Makes Approximately 4 dozen cookies.

¼ cup               margarine or butter
4 ounces          unsweetened chocolate
2 cups              flour
2 cups             sugar (yep, that is a lot of sugar)
½ cup               chopped walnuts
2 teaspoon      baking powder
½ teaspoon      salt
3                      eggs
Icing Sugar

In a big saucepan, heat the margarine / butter and chocolate until melted. Stir constantly while doing this, and keep it at low heat. You don't want it to burn.
After everything is melted together, remove the pan from the heat. Set aside to cool slightly.
Now blend the flour, sugar, walnuts, baking powder, salt and eggs (aka all remaining ingredients except the icing sugar) into the chocolate mixture. Mix well.
Place dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now it is time to get messy. Use your hands to make the dough into 1 inch balls. Roll each dough ball in the icing sugar. Make sure the sugar coating is even and heavy.
Put the cookie balls on an ungreased cookie sheet, spaced approximately 2 inches apart.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm.
Remove the cookies immediately from the cookie sheet. The chocolate cookie will show through cracks in the icing sugar coating.

This is just the kind of cookie Annie Bingley would make in Annie's Christmas Plan, my contemporary romance novel. Although it is listed as book 3 in the Morning Lake series, it can be read as a standalone.

Her Glittering Plans may not be Golden 

Desperate to prove to her ex and her daughter that she can be more than just a craft-obsessed mom, Annie moves to a small town and emulates the lifestyle she sees splashed in magazines in an attempt to win her family back. Living from holiday to holiday, Annie creates a picture-perfect house full of glitter and hope—and it works. Before the year is out Annie's house is packed with relatives and their pets, but it is nothing like what she'd expected. 

And she certainly hadn't anticipated her sexy new neighbor, John Quinn, changing her carefully constructed plans. 
Available at Amazon: http://amzn.to/1JmRkbB (Also available on Kindle Unlimited)


Free Book this week! To Save a Lady, a historical romance set in New Orleans during the winter of 1814, is free on Amazon December 21-25th!