Monday, December 19, 2011

Wishing You A Wonderful Christmas Week

I hope this Christmas will be a safe and happy one at your house!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Meet the Author: Laurel O'Donnell

Today on Meet the Author my guest is Laurel O'Donnell. She has won numerous awards for her works, including the Holt Medallion for A Knight of Honor, the Happily Ever After contest for The Angel’s Assassin, and the Indiana’s Golden Opportunity contest for Immortal Death. The Angel and the Prince was nominated by the Romance Writers of America for their prestigious Golden Heart award. O’Donnell lives in Illinois with her four cherished children, her beloved husband and her five cats. She finds precious time every day to escape the real world and bring her characters to life in her writing.
Below are her answers to some fun questions. See what you think of her answers!

If you were about to be served your last meal, what would be on your plate?

Benihana’s calamari!  The chief would have to cook it in front of me, too. 

When someone cuts you off in traffic, how do you react?

I curse at their complete stupidity.  Then, I “talk” sarcastically to them as if they can hear me.  I have visions of driving them off the road for being so rude and careless.  And then I finally calm down. 

You’ve just been handed a one-way ticket to where?

Disneyworld.  I love Disneyworld.  It’s magical and brings back wonderful, fun memories with my husband and kids.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Rock Band 3!  I love to sing.

What is your favortie kind of chocolate?

Dark Chocolate!  And if it has peanut butter, it’s all the better. 

What is the one thing you hate to do?

Get out of bed when it is cold.  I would much rather stay snuggled under the blankets and comforters and dream about what I’m going to write.

What do you love most about being a writer? 

I love when that scene comes to life in my mind and my fingers race across the keyboard and there is no hesitation about the words or the feelings I want to convey.  I love that moment when it all comes together perfectly and my characters breathe life.

Thanks for stopping by. Please visit Laurel at her website: to learn more about her and her books.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

5 Minute Christmas Party Dish: Mix, Chill and Serve

I like things easy and this is as easy as it gets when it comes to making a dish to take to a holiday get-together, church dinner or even to have with a meal at home. All you need are these four ingredients, a bowl and mixing spoon.

1 large box of Strawberry Jello
1 container Cool Whip
1 can of crushed pineapple, drained
1 container of small curd cottage cheese
optional: 1/2 cup of pecan chips

Empty cottage cheese and Jello mix into bowl and stir. Add Cool Whip and stir.  Drain pineapple, add and stir. Add pecans if desired. I always make it with pecans because I love it with nuts. Spoon into serving dish. You can decorate the top by sprinkling pecans over it. Also, in the past, I have decorated it with fresh strawberry halves and pineapple chunks.  Cover dish and put in refrigerator to chill. I usually chill it overnight. I make it the night before the party and leave in the fridge until I'm ready to go.  Otherwise, I think 4-5 hours in the fridge would be long enough to get it chilled. Everyone always loves it and I don't know of anything any easier and foolproof than this.  Oh, I've always called it Pink Stuff because that's what my mother called it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Bookshelf: Romance by MJ Fredrick

It's cold outside!  Looking for some romance to warm you up?  Check out these two romances by MJ Fredrick.

Guarded Hearts

What does she fear more: Surrendering her privacy or her heart

Texas congresswoman McKenna Jones's life is in danger when her father's old enemy surfaces. She's the target of revenge and narrowly escapes a kidnapping attempt. She's advised to go into hiding until the threat has passed, but her fight to get an important bill passed forces her to stay right where she is. When Ethan Riggins is assigned to protect her it may be a sacrifice on her privacy, but it's no real hardship since he's sinfully sexy and easy to work with.

For Ethan Riggins, it's a struggle to keep his distance from the congresswoman. McKenna is his assignment and his friend's daughter. She also happens to be smart, driven and beautiful. Being around her makes him want to loosen the reins on his emotions, which he's kept in check for far too long.

When the threat escalates, Ethan and McKenna have to take charge of the investigation so they can discover if a happily-ever-after is in store for them.

Three Days, Two Nights

Nathaniel Reis screwed up. He put his career as an air force pilot before his marriage to Tess, and wound up divorced. Now that he's left the service, he has a plan to fix things, if only he can get her alone for a few days.

When Tess misses her flight to a corporate retreat, Nat's there with his island-hopper plane and a plot to get stranded in paradise thanks to "mechanical problems". But his plans go awry when a storm blows them off course and they have to make a real emergency landing. And not on the island when he's stashed supplies.

Tess is furious. She's anxious to get to her retreat and away from Nat. She's even angrier that being so close to him arouses her in a way she hasn't been aroused in a long time. Rescue can't come soon enough but in the meantime, she's going to have to trust Nat to keep her safe. Even if she's in danger of falling for him all over again.

You can find links to buy these books on MJ's website:

Plus check back here on Monday when MJ will be featured on Meet The Author!  

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Monday's Meet The Author: Regina Duke

Regina Duke has so many different stories running through her head, she has to write in different genres to get them all down on paper! Too bad she can’t write as fast as she talks. If she did, she might stand a chance of actually keeping up with her readers’ requests. She wrote her first novel at thirteen, a glorious disaster on lined paper with a black binder for a cover. Thank goodness we improve with practice! Regina lives in northern Nevada and considers herself a desert rat. She shares her life with dogs and writes about them under the name Linda White.

How are you going to celebrate Christmas?
My siblings and I are close at heart but not physically, so we spent part of Christmas day on speakerphones as we share love and laughter and open gifts we’ve given each other. We all wait until the phone call to open our presents. We try to make each other laugh a lot.  And locally, I share Christmas dinner with friends. I also make sure my doggies get some new toys, and if the weather allows, we go for a long walk in the park.

If you were about to be served your last meal, what would be on your plate?
Every treat I deny myself now! LOL! I would pile it high with cream puffs and chocolates and ice cream and warm cookies fresh from the oven. Like many women I struggle to eat healthy and make wise decisions about food, but there was no doubt in my mind when I read this question what would be on my plate.

If you could be any fictional character (books, movies) who would you be?
Oh, I’ve always wanted to be Superman or Supergirl. Either one! I’ve always wanted to fly. I love to help people, and the idea of having super strength is irresistible. Or at least it was as a child. Now I realize I can make a difference in the lives of other people without a fancy red cape or the super strength it represents. I use my metaphorical super powers now to rescue dogs in need and find them new homes.

When someone cuts you off in traffic, how do you react?
Getting angry never helps me in those situations. It just ruins my day. So instead of getting angry, I bless them with safety and patience. I believe you get back what you put out in the world, and I only “curse” people with things that I want to experience myself. It’s just a  version of the Golden Rule, I guess.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Shhh! Don’t tell anyone, but I love knitting and crafts! I squeeze craft painting classes into my schedule, and I even started a new exercise program so I wouldn’t feel too terrible about sitting down and knitting for a couple of hours in the evenings.

If you could time-travel, where would your first stop be?
I would go into the future. I’d love to see what the world looks like in three hundred years. (I think I just gave away my love of paranormals and science fiction!)
What do you love most about being a writer? 
Being able to experience different realities. Putting myself inside other people and living through them. Letting my characters do the things that I am unable to do. Drawing readers into a world I have created. These are all things I love about being a writer.  I love the creation process and I love sharing my stories. I especially enjoy creating believable people. Many of them are likable and some are detestable, but if I do my job well, they should all be memorable. At least I hope so!

North Rim Delight,
The Woof in the Wedding Plans (a novella)
Trickster and Other Stories