The Return of the Authors In Bloom Blog Hop!

The Return of the Authors In Bloom Blog Hop!

Books - it is our memory conceptWelcome to the Authors in Bloom blog hop!

In my tiny section of the world, we still have snow on the ground. I’m dreaming of flowers and green grass and warm temperatures. We’re getting there slowly, but it’s going to be a little while longer before I can get outside and dig in the dirt.

In celebration of the near-arrival of spring and the Authors In Bloom blog hop, I’ve redecorated my site to give it a more spring-like feel. If you have a moment, pop on over to my home page and let me know what you think.

Before we move onto the contest, here’s a quick tip:

dreamstime_xs_28165170Last spring, I bought two dozen red and white geraniums. They looked so pretty and added so much color to the yard, I decided to take clippings and grow a few of my own. In the fall, I dug up a dozen of the plants to overwinter in the heated shop. By early March, the sun was high enough in the sky for new plants. I took 60 cuttings from the existing plants, stuck them directly into some gardening soil, watered them, and put the pots into a south facing window. Although I lost two of the cuttings, I have 58 of them flourishing and they’ll look gorgeous in the flower gardens this summer.

Now, back to the blog hop. There are multiple prizes and here are the details:

1) SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER (I promise not to spam you!) and you’ll be entered in a draw to win a copy of SOUPS FOR ALL SEASONS and WEDDING FEVER. Please note that these are both ebooks and will be available for download to your ereader.

2) To enter to win the Authors In Bloom prizes — a Kindle Fire or Nook (winner’s choice) along with a $25 gift card, plus there will be 2nd and 3rd place prizes drawn — LEAVE A COMMENT in the comments below. So tell me, if you’re a flower gardener, veggie gardener, both flower and veggie, or you’d never put your hands in the dirt unless someone paid you a million dollars (and maybe even not then LOL!). Then use the handy linky link below to visit the other sites taking part in the hop. The more sites you leave a comment on, the better your chance to win. And remember to include your email address so we can contact you!

The Authors In Bloom tour ends April 19th at 11:59pm EST.  All winners will be announced at http://www.diannevenetta.com by April 22, 2013.

Thanks so much for joining us!  And have FUN!

Flip Flops & Belly Flops

Flip Flops & Belly Flops

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-angel-food-cake-image26144826This weekend, we spent Easter at my mom’s. My youngest sister came out for the weekend and brought her two girls. My sister-in-law, after a wonderful vacation in Hawaii and despite three feet of snow still on the ground, showed up in flip flops and a tan. It was warm out, so she was celebrating spring.

I was in charge of the baking. I make peanut butter-butterscotch-marshmallow squares, which happens to be a family favourite. For the first time in years, the butterscotch chips melted on the very first try. I didn’t have to boil the heck out the recipe just to get them half melted. (Thank you, Hershey, for finally improving your Chipits mix!)

After my success with the squares, I was feeling pretty confident and so I moved on to the Angel Food cake. It came out of a box, not from scratch, so it was a no-brainer. As long as nobody thumped across the floor while it was in the oven, I was guaranteed success.

I only wish I’d taken pictures to show the mess I created …

To read the rest of this post, join me over at the Women Unplugged site today!

 

Have Computer, Will Travel

Have Computer, Will Travel

Winter2Somewhere in the world, spring has arrived. It’s not here in my part of the world, even though March 20th – officially the first day of spring – has come and gone. Instead, we still have three feet of snow on the ground, with more in the forecast.

I know spring is out there, looming in the not too distant future, and when it arrives it’ll be time to move my office outdoors.

This is one of the big pleasures of working for myself. My office is wherever I happen to set up shop. Right now, it’s in the northeast wing of the house, where the morning sunshine blinds me from mid-April to mid-September. I have to wear sunglasses while I type or close the drapes to keep the sun out.

Have computer, will travel … all the way from the indoor office to the deck or the family room or the kitchen table. And if I’m feeling particularly adventuresome, I pack up my computer and my husband, and head for the mountains.

Winter1I feel a mountain adventure coming on. So while I contemplate packing my suitcase and computer, I’ll leave you with a little teaser for my upcoming novel THE MARRIAGE PACT:

A hotshot divorce lawyer encounters the wedding planner from hell – the gorgeous, sexy woman he met and bedded a month ago who is pregnant with his child.

If you want to find out more about my upcoming release, join my newsletter!

The Directionally Challenged Weathervane

The Directionally Challenged Weathervane

weathervane1I’m over at the Women Unplugged blog today.

If you remember, last year I blogged about a new garden area we were designing. We spent the summer with a shovel in our hands, turning over the dirt, then built a small garden shed which we planned to let weather naturally so one day it would take on the appearance of those old buildings you see falling down around an old farm yard. This summer, we’ll work up the soil and fill the garden area around the shed with cedars and a variety of flowering bushes and plants.

But I’m getting ahead of myself…

This winter, while we watched the snow fly and wondered if it would ever stop, we jumped online and ordered a weathervane from the Urban Nature Store.

For the rest of this post, join me at the Women Unplugged blog.

I Have Website Envy and It’s All Steena Holmes Fault!

I Have Website Envy and It’s All Steena Holmes Fault!

Women's Fiction Author Steena HolmesMonday night, I popped over to women’s fiction author Steena Holmes’ recently revamped site and now I have website envy. You’d think I’d be envious of her success with her bestselling book FINDING EMMA, but I know how hard she’s worked, so I’m thrilled for her success.

But her website … well, that’s a totally different animal.

You see, even though I don’t have a natural eye for design, I love designing websites and logos and images of all kinds. So when I see a gorgeous website design, I fall in love and want to redesign my own site. I love the chocolate hearts on Steena’s main logo and the rounded corners on the banners in her sidebar. Plus, she’s incorporated some pretty cool features into her site.

Steena Holmes' Secret SocietyLike her Secret Society for book readers. Okay, I’m in, all signed up, and ready to go.

So now I have the desire to revamp my website and make it all pretty and cozy and cute, and I’m holding Steena responsible. 🙂

And while I dream about the changes I’m going to make, let me leave you with a little blurb about Steena’s popular book FINDING EMMA.

Megan is the harried but happy stay-at-home mother of three little girls living in a small town. Her life implodes when her youngest daughter, Emma, disappears on her third birthday.

Two years later, Megan is preparing to commemorate Emma’s birthday and the anniversary of her kidnapping, compelled to keep her name alive in the minds of her community and her family. Her commitment to Emma, however, borderlines on obsession as she follows the families of little girls who look like the daughter she lost.

Finding Emma by Steena HolmesHer obsession with finding Emma has distanced Megan from both friends and family. Her two older daughters are resentful of her relentless and fruitless search for their sister, and her husband pleads with her to accept that Emma is gone so that the family can move on with their lives.

Meanwhile, in the same small town, Jack is beginning to question his wife’s secrecy about their adored granddaughter, Emmie. As Dottie slips into dementia and becomes increasingly protective over Emmie, he can’t help but wonder if there could be a dark secret that Dottie is keeping from him.

Jack and Megan’s worlds finally intersect at the town carnival, when Megan snaps a photograph of a little girl on her grandfather’s shoulders.

Until next time, happy reading!

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