Join the authors of the Grandma’s Wedding Quilts series today for information about the 11 books and a trivia contest.
link to Facebook party
The post may not be the top one but it’s there all three days.
Hi there, I’m Elf Sparkle
My job at the North Pole is decorating the wrapped packages with ribbons and bows or silk flowers or glitter. <giggle> I love glitter, and I love this job because I like making things look pretty.
Playing holiday music while I work keeps me energized. I switch between vocals like Celtic Ladies Christmas or carols by country artists and instrumentals like Mannheim Steamroller’s Christmas in the Aire.
My favorite holiday snack and drink. I can’t decide between pfefferrnusse cookies (spice cookies coated in powdered sugar) or thumbprint cookies (cookies rolled in chopped nuts with a dab of jam in the center). But I know my favorite drink is hot chocolate stirred with a mini candy cane.
I’m the Secret Santa for Elf Annie, who works in the kitchen concocting decadent hot cocoa for Santa’s sleigh ride and helping Mrs. Claus bake cookies. I’m giving Elf Annie a mini-grater for the final flourish of fresh cinnamon or nutmeg on top of the whipped cream Santa loves on his cocoa.
This winter/holiday recipe I got from my mother (although she was Midwest born and bred).
New England Cranberry Custard Pie
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
2/3 cup undiluted evaporated milk
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon nutmeg
9” unbaked pastry shell
1 8-oz can whole berry cranberry sauce
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
¼ cup chopped nuts
Combine eggs, salt, 3/4c sugar, evaporated milk, water, vanilla and nutmeg. Beat well. Pour into pastry shell. Bake in hot oven (425°) 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350° and bake 20-30 minutes more, or until knife inserted hallways between edge and center of pie comes out clean.
In small saucepan, stir cornstarch into cranberry sauce then add 2 T sugar. Heat until boiling, then boil one minute, stirring constantly. Stir in nuts and orange rind. Cool cranberry mixture before spooning over the custard. Cool 3-4 hours before serving. Makes 6-8 servings.
My holiday gift to participants on this blog tour is that each task completed in the attached rafflecopter earns a chance in a random drawing for a print copy of One Winter Knight, a medieval winter holiday anthology of 8 stories, or an electronic copy of Silent Signals, a historical western novella.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
TAG LINE: Will the valley’s feud between cattlemen and shepherds keep Konrad and Anora apart? BLURB: After losing half his herd in the Great Blizzard of 1886, rancher Konrad Werner needs to safeguard his cattle. Tomboy Anora Huxley trains the Australian Shepherds and Kelpies that run the family’s sheep herd. Although cattlemen and shepherds are at odds, the pair discovers common interests. A threat is overheard, and Konrad rides out to Anora’s ranch to protect her. The tense situation reveals their true feelings. Will Anora be swayed by family loyalty, or will she listen to her heart that responds to Konrad’s silent signals? Buy link for all electronic formats: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/681040 Here are the sites for the other participating authors. Visit them for more holiday fun, recipes and giveaways. http://transcanadaromancewriters.blogspot.ca/2016/12/highway-cafe-christmas-blog-tour.html http://www.findingthewritewords.blogspot.com/ http://www.tenastetler.com/my-blog/ https://barbaraburkeauthor.wordpress.com/ www.writerknapsack.com http://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com/ http://www.maureenbonatch.com/blog/ http://www.sorchiadubois.com/
Why I’m grateful for books:
Growing up a shy child, books were the friends I wished to have. Reading about brave or adventurous story characters helped me absorb just a little of those elements. Pippi Longstocking was an elementary school favorite because she was so bold, outrageous and had super-strength. Not go to school? Sail away on the ocean with a horse and monkey as pets? Those actions were daring to imagine but very far outside my suburban experience. This is about the time I discovered the Little House books and what young city girl didn’t want to get into such innocent mischief like she did. I’ve re-read the series a couple of times, attributing the beginning of my love of historical fiction to that series.
When I hit that age when all girls seemed to yearn to own a horse, I discovered My Friend Flicka, The Black Stallion, National Velvet and Black Beauty. Those books were read and re-read, and plastic horses were integrated into my Barbie doll collection. Then I discovered the Nancy Drew series and imagined myself as a young crime-solving detective. And oh, Nancy drove such a sporty little car. During high school and college, pleasure reading took a backseat except for the occasional “must read” like The Exorcist or Roots.
While raising my kids, I always made sure to include a wide diversity of type of books in our family read-aloud titles. From their homework assignments, I was introduced to new authors and exciting characters in stories that became much-beloved. I remember one summer of several novels having death as a theme and those titles are imprinted as definite tear-jerkers. Like the movies you’re glad you saw but won’t seek out again for a repeat viewing.
Now, as a writer, I build on all I’ve learned from those stories and always have the fervent wish that a story I’ve created has the power to evoke emotion in the reader.
Please enter the rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance at the audio version (3 copies) of historical Christmas novella, The Ring That Binds, or an ebook of On With The Show, a Thanksgiving-themed contemporary novella. [if the icon doesn’t appear, use this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/585af0479/? ]
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Also participating in the blog hop are the following authors:
Seasons are a bit behind the norm because of where I live at 6,800 feet in the southern California mountains. Just a couple of weeks ago, we had two inches of snowfall! I forced myself to haul my T-shirts and lightweight pants from the under-the-stairs closet because I looked at the calendar and saw May. But on overcast days like today, I’m eyeballing my sweat pants and wondering why they are not on my body.
We have evidence of spring, wildflowers in the meadow and new growth on the evergreens, plus the ground squirrels and chipmunks are scampering around. But the temperatures still dip into the 30s every night.
But, when the warm weather does occur and settles in, I look forward to week-long camps at the camp and conference center where I live (hubby does the maintenance on the 10 buildings and 1 lodge on the 17-acre site in a US national forest). With the coming of summer camps, I only have to cook from Saturday lunch through Sunday lunch. All the other meals we eat with the campers. Imagine that!
After our move here 3 years ago, I quickly appreciated all the free time I had because of this great benefit. More time for writing, editing, researching BUT also for reading. I look forward to early afternoons when I come back to the cabin after lunch and sit on the front deck, reading amidst the chirping of birds, the buzz of insects, and the laughter of kids barely heard from the swimming pool.
Now, if only the weather would soon cooperate!
Leave a comment here about what you’re looking forward to with summer and/or enter the rafflecopter below for a chance at print copies (US only; int’l winner receives ebook) of Present For A Cowboy or Cowboy Kisses or an ebook from my backlist.
Then hop over to other authors and see what they have to say about the coming warm weather. Or start here at the sponsoring site for this blog hop, Candlelight Reads.
I’m chatting with Sydney St. Claire who writes for the Wilder Roses at The Wild Rose Press. We promise to keep everything PG-13, although her titles are categorized as erotic romance. And she’s giving away stuff! Rafflecopter entry at the bottom of post.
Tell us a bit about you and your background.
I’ve been writing since 1987, published since 1996. To date I’ve had 12 books published in print and later in E-format. My publisher went out of business so I self-published two more books in each of my two series. As Sydney, I have one book out, Cinderella & Prince Dom, and one coming out Oct 31st (Red & Her Big Bad Dom). Snow & Her Huntsman looks to be a Jan release. When I tally my book count, it shocks me to see that I’m at 17! Wow! Doesn’t seem possible.
What are your hobbies away from the computer?
I’m a crafty person. Knitting and crocheting are my current favs, and with my first granddaughter on the way, I’ve gone back to sewing as well.
Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?
As I tend to write series, Once Upon a Dom is my current and third, I usually start with the characters. I always know who they are and sometimes a bit about them, depending on the type of series.
If you use music while writing, name your favorite types.
I love music when I write. I tend to go very new age in my selections. Celtic music is a must. I love Enya and Secret Garden and several others. My current favorite is Blackmoor’s Night. I also love David Lanz and I also go for stranger stuff like Gregorian Chanters. Neil Diamond makes it into my play lists when the mood hits and oh yeah, mood music like wolves howling and bagpipes, all guaranteed to drive my family nuts. Basically, I love music.
Can you share a tip about what you do when you get stuck in creating a story?
I take a break if needed or these days, with such tight deadlines, I power through it. I write for an hour and find that the mind, under pressure, just pulls itself together and spits out what’s next. I do believe the story is there, we just don’t always see it but when our brain knows it is going to have to sit for an hour and produce words, it usually responds. I have a blog post on my blog on Power Writing and how it changed my writing and productivity.
Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?
I write Historical Romances: Native American and Westerns as Susan Edwards. I hope to get back to those next year but right now, Sydney needs my attention <g>
What’s your dream vacation destination?
I’d love to go to Hawaii and do an Alaskan Cruise. Both on my to-do list.
Do you use visual aids (storyboards, Pintrest, collages) when plotting or writing?
I used to, but find I don’t have the luxury of those any longer. Nowadays, I’m lucky if I fill out plot or character sheets. I use Scrivener and just jot my notes in there. For my longer Historical romances, I’ll do a bit more but none of the fancy charts of my past. Just the facts, ma’am and get to writing.
In what genre do you read?
I read romance of course, and erotica but I also read fantasy, like L.E. Modesitts Imager series, and David Eddings Belgariad (when will they release the rest of the books in E-format!). Currently, I’ve started JD Robb’s Death series from the beginning. Will take me close to a year to read them back to back! Longer if I sneak in another book here and there…
Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?
Cats and dogs and oh my! A few years ago, I could have added rats to this but alas, they have so short a lifespan. So, I just rescued a tiny black kitten, 8 weeks. She is number six! I’ve always said I was one cat shy of being a crazy cat lady. I’m afraid that Little Luna shoved me over that line. I also have 3 dogs, including a Great Pyrenees rescue with tons of health issues, including severe allergies. I actually have to cook her food.
What do you hope readers gain from your stories?
I hope my readers take away a few things. First, some good, old plain relaxation and fun. Reading is a pleasure and a joy. Second, my characters are strong and overcome challenges. I hope readers take away the feeling that they too can overcome life’s struggles. Lastly, for women especially, I hope they realize just how good, strong and important they are. Life can beat us down. My characters might be fictional but my readers are not, and it is my wish that they find one thing positive in my books that they can apply to their own lives to become the special people they are.
Jaimie Newberry is jobless, her rent is due, and her cat just died. On top of that, she was accused of embezzling before she was fired. When her friend invites her for a weekend of kinky fairytale role-playing, she agrees to go as Cinderella. What has she got to lose when sex with a handsome prince is involved?
CEO Bryce Langston needs to know if Jamie is innocent of embezzlement or just very clever. He arranges for her to be his weekend sub but soon realizes the pretty scullery maid is naïve to the BDSM lifestyle. As her prince and her Dom, he intends to not only learn the truth but to make sure she has a fantasy come true.
Bryce spotted his Cinderella entering the parlor below. The ruffles of her skirt swirled playfully around slender thighs, and the low cut of her simple top revealed a nice swell of breasts. Deep inside, anticipation hummed, and not just for learning the truth. Annie had been gone five years now, and while he hadn’t been celibate during those long years, he hadn’t participated in the games he hosted either. This would be his first.
And only because he needed to know the truth.
Jaimie had uncovered an embezzling ring in one of his accounting firms. Her boss implicated her, her files backed the man up, but as he’d found out, the man himself had proved to be a liar, and the leader in the group of employees caught.
Lucy, his personal assistant, swore Jaimie was innocent, that she was the one who’d discovered the theft, then been fired because of it. The fact Jaimie had blown the whistle lent her story credence, as did the files she gave Lucy to give to him, all dated before she’d been fired. He’d hired auditors, and they thought she was innocent. But he wouldn’t know until he spoke to her. A study of her employment files indicated the woman was smart. She could easily have done what she did to make herself look innocent and then gotten out before being caught.
“Does it matter if she is as guilty as the others?”
Bryce nodded. “Yes. If she was part of it, I’ll press charges. No one steals from me.” He’d already gotten confessions out of the rest of his employees and fired those who were supposed to oversee that department. Fools were more concerned with their ladder climbing and brown-nosing instead of doing their job.
Determining Jaimie’s level of involvement was unfinished business. Was his Cinderella truly innocent, or had she been framed? He couldn’t find any money trails leading to her bank accounts, but that didn’t mean she didn’t have money squirreled away elsewhere, under another name. No, he needed to know for sure.
Glorie laughed low in her throat. “My, your little playmate looks ready to bolt, and it’s not even midnight.”
Bryce narrowed his eyes. Glorie was right. Jaimie was staring at some of the costumes with mouth agape. He couldn’t see her eyes but imagined they were wide with shock. Even from where he stood, he could see her face was flushed with embarrassment. She took a big gulp of her champagne then grabbed Lucy by the arm. Though he couldn’t hear the conversation, it was clear his sub was having serious doubts.
Sydney St. Claire is the pseudonym of Susan Edwards, author of 14 Historical Native American/Western/Paranormal romances and the author of the popular “White” Series.
Sydney loves writing and sharing stories of love, happiness and dreams come true with her readers. She credits her mother for her writing success. Encouraged to read as a child, she always preferred happy endings which meant romances were her favorite genre. Sydney takes her readers into the world of erotica romance where her characters come together in explosive passion as they solve life’s problems and find true love along with the best sex our hero and heroine have ever experienced.
Sydney’s office is quite crowded with three dogs at her feet and five cats to keep her company while she writes. Three cats always insist on beds on her desk, barely leaving enough room for her monitor and keyboard. Life gets fun when all five insist on supervising…
When not writing, she enjoys crafts of all sorts including quilting, sewing, cross-stitch and knitting. She and her husband of 30 + years are avid gardeners. He takes care of the veggies, and Susan is in charge of the ‘pretties’. Her medicine wheel garden is in a contact state of war: flowers vs. weeds. Sadly, right now the weeds are wining…
While writing, she listens to a wide variety of music. Her current favorites are Blackmore’s Night and David Lanz.
Where to find Sydney on the web:
Once Upon a Dom Tote Bag and goodies (mug, flash drive & more). See pictures of prizes and details here
BOOKS! I love this theme. No matter how many books I have on my To Be Read stack (translation: filling multiple shelves in a bookcase), I’m always on the lookout for more. For the past week or two, I’ve been alternating between contemporary suspense and historical romance. Switching back and forth helps clear my mind of the writing style of authors writing in the same genre so I’m less likely to compare them.
Because so many great books exist, I’m not one who goes back and re-reads often. But one author I return to is Jane Austen. My favorite book is Pride And Prejudice, which I have read more than once, and I’ve read most of her other novels. I have also enjoyed several novels that used the plot of P&P but updated it to contemporary settings (like Unleashing Mr Darcy by Teri Wilson or Pride, Prejudice and Jasmin Field by Melissa Nathan).
One of my favorite places to read is curled up in the corner of our comfy sofa that’s upstairs in our small forest cabin. Now as the fall sets in, I’ll get to haul out the fleece lap robes and snuggle in.
October is bountiful for new releases.
On October 20th, my contemporary novella set in Rhode Island and including bits of genealogy and pirate history titled Unlocked Treasure releases from the Wild Rose Press.
On October 31st, I have a story titled Bewitching Gypsy (western historical with a light paranormal touch) included in Spooktacular Seductions, a Halloween anthology from Roane Publishing.
And coming soon (date to be announced) is a Halloween anthology titled Cowboys, Creatures and Calico, Vol. 1 from Prairie Rose Publications. My story, Wanderer, Come Home, is a western historical featuring an ex-Texas Ranger and a widow on a small Texas ranch.
One lucky winner will win an ecopy of all three titles (as they become available). Three additional winners will be chosen to win one each of the titles. Enter the rafflecopter contest below for your chance to win an ecopy.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Then hop on over to the blogs for the other participants listed below for even more chances at winning books and prizes.
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