Why Is My Face Red?

We all suffer from it, that infliction known as embarrassment. At the moment it occurs, our face turns red and our body flushes with a heat that can only be compared to a hot flash.

Each time I get caught in an embarrassing situation, I believe I’m the only one this has ever happened to, and yet common sense tells me that’s not true. So I did a pole of a few of my blogger friends and they were more than happy to share their most embarrassing moments with me.

Lisa Hall-Wilson: I Can’t Believe I Said That and Biking In Panties

Susie Lindau: My Most Mortifying Moments

Jenny Hansen: Embarrassing Blonde Moment and No Porn On The Job

August McLaughlin: Sweaty Impulses & The One That Got Away

My most embarrassing and painful memory occurred in grade eight science class, when a racy little note got passed around from student to student and finally fell into my hands. It was something about sex, which I read, of course. As I turned to pass the note to the boy behind me, our teacher – well known for his cruel and inhuman ways to torture his young students – snatched the note from my fingers and silently read it.

The room went quiet. It was one of those just-kill-me-now moments, although that particular phrase hadn’t yet been invented. After a few tense seconds, during which I braced myself for the inevitable emotional pain of his punishment, the teacher decided I should stand up and read the note to the rest of the class.

It should’ve been so simple. After all, half the class had just read the note and had been fortunate enough to escape our teacher’s detection. While I turned a brilliant shade of scarlet and read the note aloud, the teacher and my classmates roared with laughter.

Can I blame them? Heck no. There’s something so funny about witnessing someone else’s embarrassing moment. Caught unaware, we laugh in reaction, and it’s only afterwards that we consider how our laughter might have affected the person involved.

Of course, it’s all part of being human. There was the time I came out of my first ever massage, only to trip over the curb and land on the street on my butt. There was another time when I asked a former co-worker when her baby was due, only to discover she wasn’t pregnant at all.

Will the embarrassment ever end? Will I someday learn to pay attention to where I’m going or what I’m saying? Not likely and maybe that’s a good thing, because if we can’t laugh at ourselves, is it fair to laugh at others?

So now it’s your turn to share a moment of sheer embarrassment. I promise not to laugh too hard.

(Originally published at Women Unplugged.)

Authors In Bloom Giveaway Hop/Enter to Win A Nook/Enter to Win a Kindle!

Welcome to the Authors In Bloom Giveaway Hop where you can enter to win a Kindle Fire or Nook (winner’s choice) along with a $25 gift card for the same. Full details are below!

In my part of the world, spring has just arrived. The ducks and geese have returned from their annual trip south, and the leaves on the trees have just started to bud. Since early January, while the snow still covered the frozen ground, I’ve been planning my flower gardens, dreaming about rose and lilac bushes, and the vast mixture of perennials I have planted.

I’ll add annual flowers, of course. My favorites are white and purple alyssum, yellow begonias, multi-colored impatiens, pink lavatera, and so many more.

Within this vast sea of color will be cherry tomatoes and zucchini plants my mother grows from the seeds of last year’s produce. She has a green thumb, and her seedlings quickly become strong bushy plants that grow with vigor, all without the use of chemicals to enhance their growth.

My contribution to the Authors In Bloom hop is a Grilled Salad recipe from the incomparable Ginger Calem. Make sure you visit Ginger’s website for lots of great tips on exercise, good health, and more wonderful recipes.

Ginger Calem’s Grilled Salad Recipe: Cut a full romaine heart in half, leaving the core intact. Drizzle with olive oil and your preferred seasonings. Place on the grill, cut side down, for 2 to 3 minutes. Make sure you watch it so it doesn’t burn! When it has wilted a bit and has some lovely grill marks, flip it. Cook the other side a bit and it’s done. You can eat it just like that, no dressing or toppings. Or sprinkle on other veggies like bell peppers, olives, tomatoes, etc. For a special treat, add some feta cheese.

Wow, as soon as it stops snowing and the weather warms up for grilling season, I’m making this recipe for my family!

For more of Ginger’s great recipes, check out her WritersButt Wednesday posts. Here’s a couple of links to get you started:

Spaghetti with Zucchini ‘Pasta’, Chicken Tacos, and Olive Meatballs

Soups, Salads, and Egg Muffins

Now, on to the prizes. Besides the Authors In Bloom grand prize (remember the Kindle Fire, Nook, and gift certificate mentioned above?), on my site, I’m giving away a digital copy of the Soups For All Seasons cookbook by Anne Ellis. This is my go-to soup cookbook. There are so many delicious recipes, everything from winter meals to cold soups for those hot summer days. For more information about the cookbook, you can check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the iTunes Book Store, Smashwords, and the Sony Book Store.

Please note: To be eligible to win the digital copy of the Soups For All Seasons cookbook, you must have an account at one of the online bookstores listed above. I will gift the cookbook, so the winner must be set up to receive the gift from me through one of the noted online bookstores above.

To be eligible to win the Soups For All Seasons cookbook by Anne Ellis, you must leave a comment, along with your email address, in the comment section of this blog post, plus do one of the following:

1) Friend me on Facebook
2) Follow me on Twitter
3) Subscribe to this blog

To be eligible for the Authors In Bloom Grand Prize, readers must copy a short phrase posted on each of the participating authors’ blog post and assimilate them into the complete passage. Compiled, these phrases will become “Authors in Bloom”, a vignette about a woman’s personal growth and empowerment. Please note that the line number of each phrase is supplied to assist you with piecing the phrases together in the correct order.

My Phrase:
Line 94: And love blooms in the light and the dark.

Don’t forget to visit the other authors involved in the hop, conveniently located at the linky below:

http://www.simply-linked.com/listwidget.aspx?l=225d6d64-1823-4d9e-a0fd-fe0c5995c0f2

AUTHORS IN BLOOM GRAND PRIZE: We are giving away a Kindle Fire or Nook (winner’s choice) along with a $25 gift card for the same.

Tour ends April 18th at 11:59pm EST. The winner(s) will be announced by April 20th.

Good luck! And thanks for joining us for our Authors In Bloom Giveaway!

A World Without … Books?

Sometimes I think about how awful it would be to live in a world without books. Usually it’s a result of watching TV and seeing old footage of people burning books.

But then I reach for my Kindle, admire the towering digital-to-be-read pile that awaits me there, and forget about my concerns. After all, even if every print book on the planet disappeared, we’d still have our digital copies to read and pass on to future generations. Right?

Thankfully, Jan O’Hara’s recent Tartitude blogawakened me to the truth and the worst possible scenario. No power = no ereader.

A world without books of any kind?

This realization comes while I’m in the middle of decluttering my house, so that in 30, 40, or 50 years, my boys won’t have to dispose of our treasures (or what they like to call our junk). I’ve been parting ways with my beloved books, something I haven’t done since we packed to move to this house 19 years ago. At that time, every book I set into the box to give away broke my heart.

This time, though, I’m a little older and a little tougher. With every box I cart out of the house, I tell myself that eventually all books will be in digital form and I’ll be able to buy them for my ereader.

But now my overactive imagination has taken over and I’ve decided it’s less likely I’ll have to fight zombies in the future than do without books.

So what would I do if I got rid of all the print books in my house and the power went out … permanently?

My first thought is that I’d find pen and paper and write stories to entertain myself. My next thought is … what if there is no pen and paper either?

Ack! I’m a lousy verbal storyteller, unlike both my boys who can tell tales off the cuff. I’d start and stop and think, then want to edit every word uttered. Best to leave the verbal storytelling to those who are good at it.

And so, to alleviate my bookless fears, my decluttering has come to an end. The shelves of books and stacks of magazines will have to remain where they are until my boys are moving their dad and me into a much – much, Much, MUCH – smaller living space.

Till then, I’ll hold my long time friends near and dear to my heart because let’s face it, even a three day power outage could cause a diehard reader without a book to go into withdrawal and shock.

So while you all prepare for the upcoming Easter holiday, I want you to take a break and answer these questions. Have you ever thought about giving up your stack(s) of print books? Or do you think zombies will attack you before you ever have to live in a world without books?

Happy Easter everyone!

(Originally published at Women Unplugged.)

Fool’s Gold Anthology with Baby Fever by Sheila Seabrook

Welcome to Book 15 in the Bandit Creek series, an anthology titled Fool’s Gold with the short story Baby Fever by Sheila Seabrook! Yep, that’s me. This is the book everyone’s been waiting for. Well, I’ve been waiting for it. 🙂

I loved writing the story BABY FEVER. The two middle-aged, baby-hungry mothers were so sweet and cunning. Plus, the story gave me the opportunity to introduce the heroine, Liz Templeton, from my upcoming story WEDDING FEVER. I’ll be posting the cover for WEDDING FEVER soon, so stay tuned.

Prior to publication, I had an opportunity to read the stories included in the anthology and they’re all super. If I had to pick a favorite … well, I can’t because they were all so good!

Included in the Fool’s Gold anthology are:

FOOL FOR LOVE by Louise Behiel
A woman is dragged from a contented, happy marriage to a life on the run.

NEVER COUNT YOUR CHICKENS by Victoria Chatham
Two boys play an April Fool’s joke on their employer.

WISHFUL THINKING by Alyssa Linn Palmer
CeeCee tells Ruth about her past, but how truthful is she?

AIRPORT SECURITY by Julie Rowe
On her way home from her tour of duty in Afghanistan, Dr. Abigail Westward discovers it’s not easy to leave her fellow soldiers or the memories of combat behind.

BABY FEVER by Sheila Seabrook
Baby cribs and baby swings and a winking, blinking doll. Oh my!

LUCY’S APRIL FOOLS by Brenda Sinclair
Will this be George Jack’s year to catch Lucy in an April Fool’s joke, or will his wife outsmart him again?

WHERE RABBITS RUN WILD by Trip Williams
Not all the rabbits in the mountains of Bandit Creek are cute and cuddly. Some come with a warning label.

Read Carla Roma’s interview with the Fool’s Gold authors or the Fool’s Gold story blurbs or buy the book. And be sure to stop by for the Facebook release party where you’ll have a chance to win some terrific prizes.

On the first and fifteenth of the month, check back for more new Bandit Creek books. There’s something at Bandit Creek for everybody!

Stay tuned for the follow up story to BABY FEVER. Coming July 15, 2012, WEDDING FEVER is Liz Templeton’s story.

Fool’s Gold is available at: Amazon and Smashwords

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