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!

The Beauty Within

On Friday, February 10th, August McLaughlin is hosting the Beauty of a Woman Blogfest. Make sure you stop by her blog. There are prizes to be won, but even more important, you can read inspirational stories about women and men. Tales about beauty, not on the outside, but on the inside where it counts the most.

My mother was a knockout. She didn’t have to work at it. In fact, to this day, she’s one of the least vain women I know. My dad carried this picture of her around in his wallet until the day he died. He would often pull it out, show it to others, and brag about the amazing woman he’d married.

Beside my mother and two younger sisters, I felt like a giant, tall and awkward and gangly. I slouched to hide my height. I hid in the background of pictures to hide my ugliness. I often imagined I was adopted into the family because I didn’t look like I belonged.

It was years later that I realized I’d taken after my dad’s side of the family. The women there were tall and stocky. They had meat on their bones and calves that weren’t small and delicate. But they were sweet and kind and loving.

My mother is now 83, has shrunk, and barely comes up to my shoulder. My sisters are still smaller than me. But I’m no longer that awkward, ugly teen. I’ve grown into myself, and learned that generosity of spirit is far more important than looking like the supermodel I once wished to be.

The greatest gift you can give to yourself is acceptance. Be comfortable within. Be sweet and kind and loving, and you will always be beautiful to me.

Do you have a story to share? On Friday, make sure you stop by August McLaughlin’s blog for the Beauty of a Woman Blogfest. I’ll see you there. 🙂

Blog Scavenger Hunt! Win A Kindle Mini!

This week, Samantha Warren is counting down to her 30th birthday with a Blog Scavenger Hunt. Participants could win – along with some really great prizes – a Kindle Mini!

The hunt starts today so pop on over to Samantha’s blog where you’ll find all of the questions. Prizes will be awarded daily and random bloggers – like me – will be offering prizes all week long.

For the full details, check out Samantha’s official Scavenger Hunt page. And enjoy!

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