Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Books 'n Rocks 'n Stuff: Sailing into 2011

Books 'n Rocks 'n Stuff: Sailing into 2011: "Wow, the last three months have whizzed by at incredible speed. I did 8 arts and crafts shows between Oct. 30 and Dec. 16, and found myself ..."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sailing into 2011

Wow, the last three months have whizzed by at incredible speed. I did 8 arts and crafts shows between Oct. 30 and Dec. 16, and found myself making earrings as fast as I could. Then I had edits to do for the upcoming release. Now, with that out of the way for a while, I can concentrate on a schedule. For January:

14th - my birthday. Might get an invite out to dinner from the DH?
24th - Book release for IN LOVE AND WAR. This is my Irish story and I'll be doing lots of promo--ads on a couple of sites, guest blog/interviews around the Web. Will keep you posted when they occur. Giveaways. For readers answering questions about the book, I'll have a pair of handmade (by me) Celtic Spiral earrings in sterling silver, also some ebook giveaways.

And speaking of contests and giveaways, I am finally announcing a winner for the turquoise pendant offered at Marissa's Sizzling Hot Book Reviews. Drum roll...Lastnerve. Please email me with your snail addy so I can send your pendant.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

This 'n That

Yesterday I sold jewelry at an open house at the gym where I teach. Sold a number of earrings and...TaDa!...four books! Was exhausting but fun with a small boutique winery pouring tastings for everyone. Ummm, my kind of event.

Today I signed up to be one of the Coffeehouse authors at Coffeetime Romance. Periodically, I'll be blogging there, discussing writing, what (in my opinion) makes a good romance, a good hero and more.

And now that the craft season is drawing to a close, I plan to work on my wine country romantic suspense. My protagonists have been waiting ever so long for me to tell their story.

Monday, December 13, 2010

First Annual 'Save Your Bacon' Book Sale

This Saturday I'll be participating in a book signing and sale with four other local Bonny Doon authors. There'll be home-baked cookies (my offering is the traditional Bavarian Lebkuchen), tea, interesting chat and that all-important chance to pick up a good read (ergo last minute gift) where you don't have to fight the mall crowds.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Buy this book!

It’s been a long time since I read a romance with as interesting a premise as Alexis Harrington’s Home by Morning. I saw this book on a review site, and the cover art and blurb sucked me in instantly. I downloaded the sample read from Amazon, was so entranced by the story and the strong characterization that I had to buy the book. I read it in a day and a half (okay, I was a vendor at a craft show and read between customers), but when I got home I had to read the rest.
I was not disappointed.

This is a book considered unsaleable by New York publishers, so Ms. Harrington offered it as a Kindle read (and at a very attractive price!) What was the problem? Ms. Harrington chose to set her story during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic! (As one whose great aunt perished during this time, I was drawn like steel to a magnet.) I find the period refreshing, fascinating and unique–at least in romance fiction. Here we have a world balancing between tradition and modernism, and with the onset of WWI, a cataclysm that changed the world utterly.

Home by Morning is the story of Dr. Jessica Layton who is enroute from New York to take up a research position at a Seattle hospital and stops off in her hometown of Powell Springs, Oregon...and land smack into the middle of the influenza epidemic. Daughter of the town’s deceased practitioner, Jessica left to study medicine in the East, and remained, leaving behind her childhood love, Cole Braddock. Cole ranches and runs the town’s smithy, and he is courting Jessica’s younger sister Amy.

Jessica is pressed into service since the town is desperate and the new doctor hasn’t yet arrived. But there are conflicts and misunderstandings that make Jess’ position difficult in every way.

The story has three threads that author Harrington skillfully weaves into a cohesive tapestry. And she has created secondary and tertiary characters who are not what they seem. Cole’s brother is near the Argonne, fighting in the trenches, his wife takes care of the ranch, while Cole, his arthritic father and a hired hand ship horses to the front. In between this is the devastation of influenza in the community, the heartbreak of lost lives and the gut-wrenching futility of trying to deal with a disease for which they have no cure. I won’t expose the ending, but it will surprise you. Many times while reading, I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.

Ms. Harrington is a masterful storyteller, using skillful writing, great dialogue and wonderful imagery. This is a must-read book and an informative look into a period in history that seems glossed over. Brava Ms. Harrington for sharing your enormous talent in this superb story. A strong five stars.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Jingle Shells

Today I'm participating in the arts and craft show known as "Jingle Shells" at UCSC's Long marine Lab. Usually a great venue with free food and drink, live Christmas music and tons of visitors. In addition to sea-inspired jewelry, I'll be promoting Late Harvest. guessed's raining again this weekend. Sigh.

Between visitors (who I hope are shoppers) I'll be finishing a wonderful Kindle edition of Alexis Harrington's HOME BY MORNING, a fascinating romance set in 1918, complete with boys at the front and the Spanish flu epidemic. I had never seen this setting in a romance and was intrigued. It's part of Ms. Harrington's backlist, now available on Kindle for $2.99. I'm loving this book!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Christmas Recipe!

I just found this yummy looking Black Forest Biscotti recipe on someone else's blog. It's from the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbooks. I'm going to make them tomorrow.

Black Forest Biscotti

1/2 cup of dried cherries
1 cup water
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder


1. Preheat oven to 350, lightly oil a baking sheet
2. In a small saucepan, heat the cherries and water just to boiling, then remove from the heat and set aside.
3. In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and well combined. Blend in the eggs and almond and vanilla extracts. Fold in the chocolate chips.
4. Drain the cherries, place them on a paper towel to absorb any extra moisture, and then stir them into the egg mixture.
5. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. With a rubber spatula, fold in the wet ingredients until the dough is uniform and holds together when pressed with lightly floured hands.
6. Use the spatula and your floured hands to scoop the dough onto the oiled baking sheet. Form the dough into a 12-inch x 3-inch diameter log shape; then press down on the log, flattening it to a thickness of about an inch. The length and width of the flattened log should be about 14 x 4 inches.
7. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the dough is firm and just slightly brown. Remove from the oven and transfer the log to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, slice crosswise into 3/4 inch pieces.
8. Lay each biscotti cut side up on the baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes on each side, using tongs to flip them. Cool completely on a rack and then store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.