Caught Between Reading & Writing: January Reads

Caught Between Reading & Writing: January Reads

For most of 2014, I didn’t read. It’s sad, I know. For someone who used to read a book a day, the busyness of last year turned me into a text/email/internet/blog addict. And somehow the joy of selecting, reading, and losing myself in a good book became…well, lost.

Thankfully in December I got caught by the reading bug and read four wonderfully awesome books:

Divergent by Veronica RothInsurgent by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica RothWhat I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

I’ve set a 2015 intention to read a book a week, and to keep me on track, I’ve joined the Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge. If you’re a member of Goodreads, or plan to become one, I hope you’ll join the challenge.

And if you choose not to, that’s okay. You can join me right here and help me on my 2015 reading journey by sharing the books you’re reading (or have read or plan to read).

So this month, I’ve chosen:

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertBurned Too Hot by Ann Voss Peterson

Stillwater Rising by Steena HolmesThe Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Happy reading!

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

Christmas-Tree-2014The Christmas tree is up, the house decorated with Santas, and last weekend I baked till I dropped. 🙂

It’s hard to believe that we’re almost at the end of another year. And now, after all of the mini family emergencies that seemed to consume 2014, I’m excited for 2015.

The current WIP is almost done. Yes, this time for real! The oldest son gave me a deadline of December 23…or he threatened to take away my much loved MacBook Air for an entire month. Gosh, without my computer I might have to resort to clearing the dust bunnies out of the house!

Needless to say, I’ve been madly typing away on the book, and I’m thrilled to say that I’ll have the ALMOST final draft done by the 23rd…although he says we’ll discuss the consequences of not quite meeting the deadline. When he comes home on the 25th, I may have to pad lock the notebook to my ankle.

Christmas-Santa-2014Hey, it’s all okay and I’m looking forward to starting a new story by the end of January. You see, the other night after supper, I sat down to choose my Word-of-the-Year (something I learned from my amazing life coach, Christine Kane) and PROLIFIC is 2015’s word. One of the questions on the Word-of-the-Year worksheet requires me to list 10 things that this word will help me create or manifest or attract. And at the top of my list was “I will have created strategies to stimulate ideas”.

And boom-bang, the next morning I woke up with an amazing story idea…or at least the opening chapter, which is usually what my Muses give me to work with, right before they dump me and tell me to go figure out the rest of the book by myself. 🙂

So until 2015, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. Happy reading!

Addictive Reads Holiday Giveaway!

Addictive Reads Holiday Giveaway!

Addictive Reads Holiday Giveaway 2014Welcome to the Addictive Reads 2014 Holiday Giveaway! Check out the details below. But first, here are my top ten favorite holiday foods (in no particular order):

1) Gravy … on everything but salad and dessert. 🙂

2) Pecan Pie – store bought, homemade, restaurant … it’s all delicious!

3) Chinese Salad – with cabbage, brussel sprouts, slivered toasted almonds, green onions and a delicious dressing.

4) Peanut Butter-Butterscotch Chips-Marshmallow squares – the only thing better is Lindor milk chocolate. Actually, come to think of it, the squares AND chocolate would taste pretty awesome together. 🙂

5) Mom’s lettuce salad – the taste is all in her dressing, which apparently only she can make. I’ve never been able to duplicate it.

canada-cornstarch-shortbread6) Shortbread cookies – straight off the Fleischmann’s Cornstarch box (I’ve been using this recipe forever!)

7) Lazy Cabbage Rolls – rice, sauerkraut and bacon cooked together in the oven.

8) Lindor Milk Chocolate – melt in my mouth!

9) Poppycock – click here for the recipe.

10) Christmas cake slathered with butter

So now what’s your favorite holiday dishes?

And now for the giveaway details…

From December 12-31, 2014, the Addictive Reads authors will be hosting a giveaway. Enter our rafflecopter and you could win a Kindle Fire HD 7 pre-loaded with over 30 novels, novellas, and short stories (an approx. retail value of $239). For all of the details, click here.

Additional prizes include $50, $20, and $15 gift cards. Winners of the gift cards can choose to receive their cards from Amazon, iTunes, B&N, or Google Play.

Please note: only U.S. entries will be eligible to win the grand prize of the Kindle Fire HD 7. Winners for the gift cards will be selected from world wide entries.

And one last holiday prize from me … leave a comment below telling me what your favorite holiday food is and you’ll be entered in a draw to win an ebook from my backlist (winner’s choice).

Enjoy and good luck!

[Updated January 5, 2015]
AND THE WINNER of the ebook from my backlist is … Andrea Minier! Congratulations, Andrea. I’ll be contacting you via email so you can let me know which of my ebooks you’ve selected.

To see the list of winners for the Kindle Fire HD 7 (pre-loaded with over 30 novels, novellas, and short stories, an approx. retail value of $239), plus the additional gift card prizes, please click here.

An InLinkz Link-up


Bake, Love, Write Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Bake, Love, Write Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Bake-Love-Write-coverFrom October 6th through the 23rd, 37 authors featured in the Bake, Love, Write Cookbook are hosting a Halloween Scavenger Hunt.

Here’s how it works: Participants visit the website or blog listed for each author (see the list below) to find a Happy Hallowe’en image hidden on one of the website or blog pages. The more sites you visit, the more chances you have to win. There are over 60 prizes with multiple winners. The list of prizes and the dates they will be given away is here.

Here’s what you need to do: Visit Sloan McBride’s blog where she’ll have all the information posted, including links to the authors’ websites/blogs and a link to a page to type all the answers. If you want to have a handy reminder, you can also download the page of authors, websites/blogs, and for typing your answers here. The page will give you the authors’ names and links to their websites/blogs where you’ll search for the Happy Hallowe’en image. Rafflecopter will be used to determine prizewinners.

Here’s the IMPORTANT part  once you’ve filled in your answers, you must email the document to Sloan at .  She’ll review the answers and will enter your name the number of times that corresponds to the number of sites you visited and provided the correct answers. 

Happy hunting and good luck!

How I Lost 10 Pounds On My Summer Vacation & A New Cookbook

How I Lost 10 Pounds On My Summer Vacation & A New Cookbook

I’m back and so glad to be here. It’s been an incredibly busy summer that started out with us packing and moving the in-laws from their apartment into a senior’s facility. They didn’t need to do much downsizing because the spaces were comparable in size, but their move inspired me to continue to clean out the accumulation of “stuff” that one collects over the years.

Fragile-packing-boxAs we packed—and packed and packed—I kept thinking that I don’t want to put my boys through this. Better to get stuff sorted and recycled and discarded BEFORE it’s time to downsize.

There’s also the fact that the older we get, the harder it is to make changes in our life. At 95 and 86, my in-laws were resistant to the move. They didn’t want to leave their apartment. They didn’t want to part with anything. My father-in-law kept packing and unpacking and repacking the same box, until we’d finally sneak it out of his room when his back was turned, tape it closed, and move it to the pile of boxes so he’d be done with it.

Except when we’d arrive the next day, he’d have opened all of the boxes in his search to find the one we took from him.

On the day before the actual move, I was packing up the last of the kitchen items. When I thought I was finished, I double-checked each cupboard and drawer to ensure that I hadn’t missed anything. Then I opened up the dishwasher…and it was full of dirty dishes that my mother-in-law had been storing there until the move.

My DH says that the look on my face was priceless, a mixture of stunned disbelief and barely contained annoyance. Before a few choice words could escape, I sealed my mouth shut, unloaded the dishwasher, and proceeded to wash and dry all of the dishes so I could pack them away for the movers.

The packing ordeal lasted three whole weeks. Three weeks of hot, humid weather. Three weeks of sorting and packing, unpacking and repacking. Three weeks of digging deep and discovering more patience than both my DH and I thought we ever had.

Thankfully, it’s long over now and the in-laws are still adjusting to their new place. On the day my in-laws moved, my mother went in for her knee operation, which I’ll tell you all about next time. 🙂

Bake-Love-Write-coverDuring my in-laws move, I lost 10 pounds, a nice bonus considering I’d been trying to lose those 10 pounds for about 10 years. But now I’m sure I’ll gain those 10 pounds back this winter because of the BAKE, LOVE, WRITE Cookbook: 105 authors share their favorite recipes and advice on love and writing.

You should check it out. Maybe buy copies to give to your friends and relatives as gifts. My Banana Nut Bread is in the book along with a pile of mouth-watering recipes that will make you want to spend time in your kitchen. And then, of course, there’s the advice on love and writing that each author shared.

When was the last time you packed up and moved yourself or someone else? Did you love it as much as I did? Or are you looking forward to the next move?

(Special Note: This post first appeared on the Women Unplugged blog.)

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