Tuesday, January 3, 2012

That Midnight Moment


As a child I remember not understanding about New Year's Eve. It was some mysterious adult thing. Like most things seem to be when you're 5. My parents would get all dressed up. The babysitter would arrive and my parents went out. That's all there was to it.

I went to bed and woke up the next day to grumpy, sleep deprived, not- feeling-so-well (aka – hungover) parents. I went out to play in the snow. The first day of the new year seemed to be pretty much like the last day of the old year. Didn't see what all the fuss was about.

When I got old enough to not have a babysitter, I learned about staying up late, making Jiffy Pop and the ball in Times Square. Didn't know where Times Square was. It was some cold place where somebody pushed a button, a bright shiny ball fell, everyone counted down then yelled Happy New Year and kissed somebody. Yuck! Still didn't see what all the hype was about.

Then high school came along and I became the babysitter. Sat on the couch, drank a pop (soda if you're American) ate chips and waited for the ball to drop. At least now, I knew where Times Square was. The big moment would arrive, I'd salute the air with my drink and that was that. Didn't actually want to kiss the family pet – ugh – dog breath. At least I was beginning to get a feel for what the excitement was about.

University! Went to one out of town. Every year - went home for holidays. Friends went home. Boyfriend went home – 5 1/2 hrs away. New Year's Eve - on couch - with family. Ball drops. Hug Mom. Hug Dad. Watch lovers kiss in New York. Someday I'm going to get this night figured out.

Present day – married. Various New Year's Eves spent alone with husband (kiss kiss giggle giggle). Or with family and husband. Got that kiss. Or with friends and husband. Still got that kiss. At last, I get it. The joy of the moment – celebrating the future with the one you love.

As I write this, it is 8:25 pm New Year's Eve and it's going to be one of those evenings where it is "home alone with husband". You're probably smiling wondering what mischief we'll get into at midnight. I'll be blowing a kiss across the room if he's still awake.

Oh no! Is the romance gone?

Naw – he has the world's worst head cold and is sneezing and blowing his nose every five minutes – I timed it. I love him, but I sure don't want that cold!
Oh well maybe next year.

If you're looking for a little romance – Circles Interlocked is my latest and I'm offering a free copy to one lucky poster. For a chance to win – leave your name and email and I'll ask husband to pick a random entry. If he's over his cold.

Circles Interlocked – available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Scorned and angry, Julie Anderson slapped Robert Holiday ending their love affair that is until they woke up in bed together.

Also – for more chances to win the grand prize – go to each of the 65 blogs and comment and that will give you 65 spectacular chances to win! Good luck.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Circles Interlocked

My latest - Circles Interlocked is now up on a promo site

http://www.ccebooks.com/esite/

greats ite for authors to get free publicity and for readers to find books.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Welcome to the last weekend before Christmas blog

You must be pretty well organized and ready if you're calmly sitting here reading all the blogs in this blog hop. Isn't it amazing how every year Christmas sneaks up and surprises us? It's not like we don't know what day it's going to be on.

My family isn't religious, but we celebrate the joys of the season. Christmas to us is a time for family and friends and showing each other how much we love them. My mother and I bake and cook, and the family wolfs everything down. That's love.
'Cause sometimes the edges of the cookies get a little burnt. Or the turkey might be a little dry. The family doesn't complain – they eat. They know the cookies were baked with love and consider the burnt edge just a bit of extra love. They also know that if they complain about the turkey being dry – they'll just get handed the job next year. Amazing what a little bit extra gravy can cover up.


The best cooking trauma happened last Christmas. I bought a jar of special cranberry sauce. A couple of weeks before Christmas I put it in the fridge to chill. Christmas dinner is on the table everything looks and smells great. Turkey is carved and isn't dry. Mash potatoes are all fluffy. Gravy doesn't have burned bits in it. Rolls and butter, salad, veggies - everything is ready. As everyone sits at the expanded dining room table, mother and I do the last minute check. And, as always, we forgot the cranberry sauce. I think it's become a tradition to forget the cranberry sauce.
I got the bowl and spoon, grabbed the jar out of the fridge and spooned it into the bowl. Something wasn't right? It didn't look or smell right. When I bought the jar, the expiry date was way past Christmas, so I wasn't worried. I checked the jar then burst out laughing. Mom came to see what the problem was.
I know gremlins exist because they do this to me all the time. Let's retrace the events – I went to store. I purchased a jar of cranberry sauce. I brought it home. I put it in fridge. And sometime after that the gremlins got to it and switched it grape jelly! My father doesn't like grape jelly in the first place and I very much doubted he wanted it on his Christmas turkey.
So for this year, I have purchased another jar of cranberry sauce and I have shown it to people to check that it is STILL cranberry sauce. My mother has purchased a jar and so has my daughter. I said I'll have to get a 50 lb bird just so we can eat all the cranberry sauce!
Have you ever had a funny Christmas trauma?
To win a copy of my latest contemporary romance – Circles Interlocked – you'll have to guess what my favourite Christmas carol is. (you'll have to leave an email so I can contact you.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My First Guest Author - Penny Ehrenkranz

I'm so excited. Today on Pages of Romance, we have Penny Ehrenkranz a multi-published author. And she giving away prizes.

So here's Penny -




Hi, Victoria. Thank you for hosting me on your blog during my tour for my recent MuseItUp Publishing releases: Lady-in-Waiting and Mirror, Mirror. I wanted to tell your readers I am having a contest. Everyone who leaves a comment and contact information at any blog stop during the tour will be entered into a drawing. At the end of the tour, I will choose two names. One person will receive a copy of Lady-in-Waiting and the other a copy of Mirror, Mirror.

Tell me a bit about yourself?
I have been writing since I was a child. In fact, my mother saved some of my early stories, and when I do book signings, I bring them along to share. Oftentimes, people will ask me to read them. They are especially fun to share when I do school visits.
Besides being a published writer since 1993, I am also an editor for a couple of small traditional publishers. At times it seems like I spend more time editing other people’s work than my own, but I enjoy it.
In my spare time, I spend time with my family and pets. I also enjoy crocheting, craft projects, gardening, and water aerobics and walking.

Tell us your latest news?
In August, I released my contemporary romance, Love Delivery, from MuseItUp. In November, Muse released my historical romance, Lady-in-Waiting. In December, Muse will release my time travel romance, Mirror, Mirror.
Upcoming releases from 4RV Publishing include two middle grade novels, Ghost for Rent and Ghost for Lunch and two picture books, Boo’s Bad Day and Many Colored Coats.

When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing stories for my own pleasure. In high school, I actually convinced my English teacher to let me skip homework assignments and work on a novel, which unfortunately was lost during some move or another. I tried doing formal submissions right out of high school, but I didn’t have the information I have now about the submission process. I went right to the top magazines and, of course, was promptly rejected.
In 1992, I started doing grant writing for several area non-profits. When I became successful with this, I looked into taking some classes for children’s writing. Thus, 1993 began my publishing career. I’ve written both fiction and non-fiction since then for both adults and children. My fiction has been primarily in the area of short stories and novelettes, with the exception of my two middle grade novels.

Do you have a specific writing style?
My writing style is fairly loose and friendly. I write much like I would talk with my friends. I’ve spent time around children and use what I’ve observed to make my dialog ring true. In my adult work, I write mainly what I enjoy reading which is fantasy, soft science fiction and romance. Even my fantasy and science fiction have a touch of romance in them.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Lady-in-Waiting is based mostly on my interest in historical periods. I’ve enjoyed reading stories set in the past since I was a child. When I first started this, I thought it would have more of a fantasy theme, but the characters disagreed, and it became a straight romance.
Mirror, Mirror, on the other hand came about as a result of my attending a Renaissance Fair in our community. I had a fabulous time walking about, watching the shows, shopping at the stalls, and enjoying the food. I thought about the people who were not members of the fair, but folks like me who were attending. Many of them were dressed in period costumes and were completely absorbed by the experience. What would happen, I wondered, if one of them were transported back in time? Would she be able to survive? What would she think about actually living then? Like Lindsey, I worked at the courthouse before I retired but as the district attorney’s office manager, not a paralegal. Like her, I also love to go thrift shopping and find treasures.

What book are you reading now?
My current book is Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal. She’s a local Northwest author. I read about her in a magazine and was intrigued by the concept of the book. It’s written in a Jane Austen style, but it’s a fantasy. It is quite an enjoyable read.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’ve been privileged to work with a number of new authors at MuseItUp publishing as their line editors. A few of my favorites are Heather Haven, S. Durham, Frank Scully, and Barbara Ehrentreu. Their books can all be found at MuseItUp Publishing’s online bookstore and at Amazon. There are a lot of wonderful authors to be found in the Muse bookstore and I recommend checking them all out at https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2

What are your current projects?
I have a few different projects I’ve been working on but I have to admit, I’ve not gotten as far as I would like on any of them. My main project is the next in my Ghost series. My working title is Ghost Upstairs. I also have a YA book I’m toying with in the paranormal genre. Finally, I have an adult fantasy romance which I’m pulling together.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My friends are among my greatest supporters. In fact, they may be more supportive than my family! I’ve had a few of them serve as beta readers, and while authors are often told not to use friends, mine are quite good at removing themselves and offering good, constructive criticism.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I wish I could say yes to this. I love to travel. When I was younger I took three different trips to Europe as well as traveling in the States and Canada. After our children were grown, my husband and I have been to Canada, Alaska, China, and Europe. I enjoy traveling so much I had hoped to make a career of travel writing. I took a class and submitted a few pieces, but the competition is very tough. To date, I haven’t been able to sell any of my travel pieces, although I’ve had a few “maybes.” I do journal a lot, though, and some of what I see does end up in my stories. One of my short stories, Déjà Vu, came as a result of a trip to Pompeii.
My trips to three England certainly gave rise to my interest in the medieval period. I love the architecture and small villages.

Who designed the covers?
My award winning cover for Love Delivery was designed by Delilah K. Stephans. My covers for Lady-in-Waiting and Mirror, Mirror are designed by Suzanna Safi, and I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them also earned an award. I love the cover art on all the MuseItUp books. It’s quite the team, and many of the Muse covers have won awards.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice for other writers is to be persistent and have faith in yourself. I’ve found over the years it’s often a case of being in the right place, at the right time, with the right story. Needless to say, it’s important to read editorial guidelines; they are there for a reason. Also, be sure to submit professional quality work; proofread your story line-by-line; don’t rely on spell check to catch errors. If you get a rejection, it doesn’t mean you can’t write. You may have submitted a story similar to one the publisher just accepted from another writer. If you get a personal rejection, read what the publisher has to say. If they say “try us again,” do try again and remind the publisher of the previous contact.

Where can people find you and your books?
Thanks for asking! Here are my links:
http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.yolasite.com
http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com/

Love Delivery, August, 2011
http://tinyurl.com/4ajo9wz
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005GPRQEC
Lady in Waiting, November, 2011
Mirror, Mirror, coming December, 2011
https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2

A Past and A Future
http://sdpbookstore.com/anthologies.htm
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/62608

Dragon Sight
http://sdpbookstore.com/storybooks.htm

Ghost for Rent, coming 2012-2013
Ghost for Lunch, coming September, 2013
Many Colored Coats, coming October, 2014
Boo's Bad Day, coming June, 2015
http://4RVpublishingllc.com/Childrens_Books.html


Can you share a little of your current work with us?
TITLE: Lady-in-Waiting



Tag Line: Through a series of misunderstandings, Mabriona is forced to live a lie, but when the man she loves awakes from his coma, will she confess her deceit?
Blurb: Mabriona is cousin to the beautiful and spoiled Princess Alana. When Alana is forced to marry a man she despises, Mabriona is torn between her loyalty to her cousin and her attraction to the handsome Prince Blayne.
Tragedy befalls the cousins on the way to Prince Blayne’s castle. Servants, believing Mabriona to be Alana, refuse to listen when she tries to explain.
While she waits for Blayne to recover, Mabriona meets his equally handsome younger brother, Madoc, a bard.
When Blayne awakes, will Mabriona choose life with a future king, will she be sent home in disgrace because of her inadvertent lies, or will Madoc win her love with his poetry?
EXCERPT:
LADY-IN-WAITING
“Today’s the day, Mabriona,” Princess Alana said as Mabriona entered the chambers. She wiped tears from her eyes with an embroidered linen. “Prince Blayne will be here, and soon I’ll be his wife. I think the worst part of being father’s daughter is marrying someone I’ve never even met.”
“You’ve always known your marriage would be arranged for the benefit of the kingdom, Princess, but I’m sure he’ll be very nice,” Mabriona replied as she opened the heavy drapes covering the windows. She looked at her cousin and sighed. She wanted to feel sorry for Alana, but they’d had this discussion so many times. Mabriona was tired of it. Alana had known from the time she was a child that she would not wed for love. Why can’t Alana just accept her fate? Outside the day was as wet as the one before and the one before that.
“Nice? Who wants nice? I want someone handsome and dashing. A knight in shining armor who will love me forever. I certainly don’t want someone like my father who will make me do everything I don’t want to do.”
Lady in Waiting released November 18th from MuseItUp. Direct buy link: http://tinyurl.com/6u4keh5

TITLE: Mirror, Mirror


Tag Line: Lindsay Baker’s purchase of an antique mirror sends her back in time to salvage a love torn apart by class restrictions.
Blurb: Lindsay Baker is intrigued by everything about the middle ages, but when she purchases an antique mirror and a costume to attend a Renaissance Faire, she suddenly finds herself transported back in time. There she finds she’s been called by a witch to right a terrible wrong.
Graham loves Prudence, but he can’t marry her because he’s landed gentry, and she is only the baker’s daughter. Before Lindsay can return to her own time, she must convince Graham to marry against his father’s wishes. Unfortunately, she also finds herself falling for the handsome gentleman.
Can she find her way back to her own time, or will she be stuck in a time when women had no rights?
EXCERPT:
Mirror, Mirror
After Stefany left, Lindsey adjusted the water spigots on her tub. A few drops of bubble bath went into the water, and the soothing scent of lavender filled the moist, steamy air. While the tub filled, Lindsey tried on her Renaissance outfit for the upcoming Faire. She couldn’t believe her good luck at finding the perfect pieces. She tested the bath water to be sure it was the right temperature. Then she picked up her antique mirror to get a better view. Was this a scryer’s mirror at some point in time? It slipped from her wet hands into the bathtub.
“Nuts,” she mumbled as she leaned over the tub. She pulled one sleeve up on her blouse and fished around in the bubbles for the mirror. When she pulled the mirror from the water, spots appeared in front of her eyes, and she felt faint. While she watched her reflection in the old mirror, the background changed. She no longer saw the inside of her bathroom. She closed her eyes as the room around her went black.
Buy link: https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Recipe Blog Hop

Death By Chocolate

Oven - 325
Bundt pan - greased and floured
Time - 60 mins

1 pkg Devil's Food
1 pkg choc pudding
2 c sour cream
4 eggs
3/4 c oil
1/4 c Kahlua
6 oz chocolate chips (dark chocolate)


Combine everything up to chocolate chips. Stir well. Fold in chips. Pour into pan. Hit sides of pan to kick out any air bubbles.

Nothing more romantic than chocolate cake, warm fire, hot man.

As Santa would say - Ho Ho Ho!