Beach Book Blast & For The Love of Reading

If you read my post from earlier today, I mentioned that the geese and ducks were gathering. I’m not ready for winter, but I’m sure ready to leave the gardening, painting, and building behind. So for a few days, I’m dreaming of vacation and taking part in the WG2E Street Team’s Beach Book Blast. To find out more about the event, go to the Beach Book Blast website at http://beachbookblast.blogspot.ca/. Prizes include a Kindle Fire, ebooks, and more!

In honor of the Beach Book Blast, I’m reposting the very first blog post I ever wrote … For The Love Of Reading.

I inherited my nose from my dad. I also inherited his calves, his easy going personality and his love of reading. He died in 2009 but my all time favourite picture of him shows him sitting on the beach in a lawn chair, a book in his hands with the sun shining down on his head.

The first book I remember holding was a beautiful hardcover copy of Cinderella, filled with strange words I couldn’t read and beautiful pictures I adored. Once I learned to read, I worked my way through Dick and Jane, on to Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, and in between, the back of every cereal box my mom ever bought.

When I ran out of reading material, I would sneak into my dad’s book stash, which he wisely kept in the garage, and read his Harlequin romances. He also had some racier novels there, stories with – gasp! – sex, and if my mom knew I was reading those books – heck, if she knew my dad was reading those books – she would have banned them from our reading material.

These days I’m allowed to read whatever I want and I want to read a lot. In fact, I want to read more than I have time for and I’d rather buy books than food or clothes.

Shortly before my dad died, he gave me the book Volcano by Richard Doyle. When he told me I had to read this book, there was a tone in his voice that I recognized so well. It was awe and wonder for a can’t-put-it-down story, emotions I too experience whenever I fall in love with a story or an author’s voice. Although I have yet to read the book – I’ve become more of a love-to-laugh-out-loud reader – Volcano will forever remain on my keeper shelf because it was the last time my dad shared his love of reading with me.

This is how I will always remember my dad, on a lawn chair on the beach with a book in his hands and another waiting to be read. This is, hopefully, how my children will remember me, too.

So who did you inherit your reading gene from? Who are some of your favourite authors and books? And if you had to choose, would you rather spend your hard earned money on books or food and clothes?

On Aug 16, from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM EST, join our Facebook party.

And make sure to check out the Summer Launch Event page where all the books highlight during this event are listed.

See you there!

Brenda Novak’s Cure for Diabetes Online Auction

Every year, Brenda Novak holds the Annual Auction for the Cure of Diabetes. The 2012 event is currently running and if you aren’t already a participant, you can go here to register and set up an account.

This year, the Bandit Creek Books group of authors put together a basket of books and goodies to be auctioned off. To view the items, click here. The winner of this auction will receive a basket of all the current Bandit Creek books, plus more!

The full list includes:

  • Lost by Vivi Anna
  • Siren’s Song by D.L. Snow
  • Penny Candy and Hard Candy by Jade Buchanan
  • Devil Unknown by Steena Holmes
  • Death at Bandit Creek by Amy Jo Fleming
  • Quinn’s Christmas Wish by Lawna Mackie
  • The Gift by C.J. Carmichael
  • Skin Deep by Shanna Gecko
  • Prohibited Passion by Alyssa Linn Palmer
  • Shafted by Kymber Morgan
  • A Stranger’s Kiss by Roxy Boroughs
  • Spunky by Sherile Reilly
  • Always a Lady by Victoria Chatham
  • Fool’s Gold Anthology featuring stories by Louise Behiel, Victoria Chatham, Alyssa Linn Palmer, Julie Rowe, Sheila Seabrook, Brenda Sinclair and Trip Williams
  • Heart of Mine by Michelle Beattie
  • A Witch in the Wind by Brenda Collins
  • A Bandit Creek Miracle by Brenda Sinclair

PLUS

  • Montana Wild Huckleberry Pancake Mix and Jelly Beans from Jade Buchanan
  • One Japanese screen hard covered notebook from Lauren Hawkeye
  • Soups For All Seasons by Anne Ellis and The WG2E All-For-Indies Anthologies: Viva La Valentine Edition from Sheila Seabrook (featuring her story The Valentine Grinch!)
  • The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Communicating with Spirits by Rita S. Berkowitz and Deborah S. Romaine from Vivi Anna

The auction started on April 30th and ends on May 31st! To help support finding a cure for diabetes, go forth and register and bid. And while you’re at it, you’ll have fun, too!

 

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. 🙂

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