Friday, November 30, 2012

Ask Elnora--About Christmas? Lenora Worth

Hello, my little Elf Bloggers! Tomorrow will be the first day of December, which means the countdown to Christmas is getting serious. We all know what happened long ago when Baby Jesus was born in the manger, and we have seen the "new" spirit of the holiday---people punching each other trying to get the best price on something they really want for Christmas. Kind of sad, that. But the commercial part of Christmas will only get worse as the month passes. Elnora, material girl that I am aside, thought it might be nice to take a little break from trying to find the perfect gift. Why don't we share stories about our favorite Christmas ornaments or decorations. One of my favorites was the white wooden manger scene that Big Daddy made and always put in our front yard. We gave it to a friend since we won't have a place to put it when we move to Florida (one day soon.) But it's in good hands, so I can rest knowing others will be able to enjoy the stark beauty of the wooden images of Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus and a bright star shining down on them. That's the kind of image I like to think about when things get tough in my life. We all need that bright star to settle us and center us. So, what's your favorite Christmas decoration? Let's share!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Southern Magic Readers Luncheon!

L to R: Christine Glover, Barbara Vey, Heather Leonard,
Pamela Mason, Debby Giusti and Lindi Peterson gather
Friday night before the Southern Magic Readers Luncheon.
Debby Giusti here!

The Southern Magic Romance Writers of America Chapter hosted a delightful readers' event this month in Birmingham, Alabama.

Friday afternoon, Lindi Peterson and I drove from Atlanta to the Embassy Suites Hotel in Homewood, a Birmingham suburb, where we met up with Georgia Romance Writer Pam Mason.

That evening we gathered with other writers and readers who had traveled from as far away as Louisiana to attend the event. Publishers Weekly Contributing Editor Barbara Vey was there, along with luncheon speakers Dianna Love and Sherrilyn Kenyon. We had dinner at a cute Greek restaurant and spent the evening talking about books and writing and the publishing industry.

Dianna Love and Debby Giusti
Debby and Christy Reece

Lexi Georgia, Christine Glover and Debby
Author Naima Simone (l) and Debra Glass (r) show off the
gorgeous pillows Naima's mother (2nd from r) made for the ladies at
their table.
The next day we headed to the lovely Harbert Center in downtown Birmingham where Love Inspired author Debbie Kaufman and I hosted a table.  My dear friend Julie Muscari sat with us, along with new friends Georgann Cox, Kimberly Callegan and Britney Wyatt.  Georgann's mother reads my books but couldn't come to the luncheon so I'm sending a special shout out to her today! I hope we can meet at the luncheon next year. Britney and Kimberly are friends who met on Twitter and then created a website to talk about the books they love to read. Check out their blog: www.living-fictitiously.blogspot.com.
Front l to r: Georgann Cox, Kimberly Callegan and Britney Wyatt.
Back l to r: Debbie Kaufman, Julia Muscari and Debby Giusti

Farrah Gibson won my basket, and Saturday was her birthday.
What a great way to celebrate!
The Southern Magic writers are so wonderful, and it's always a joy to be with them, especially for such a fun event. Thanks to President Heather Leonard and Luncheon Coordinators Lisa Dunick and Katherine Bone for making the luncheon so special!

Wishing you abundant blessings!
Debby Giusti
www.DebbyGiusti.com
www.seekerville.blogspot.com

Sunday, November 25, 2012

30 days until Christmas

Terri Reed here. Thanksgiving is over, the turkey eaten, the fall decorations put away and the count down for Christmas has begun.  I hung a wreath on my front door yesterday.  My husband and son put up colorful lights on the outside of the house and at church we sang our first carol of the season, "Come Let Us Adore Him".  (why do we only sing this at Christmas time?)
There is so much about this time of year that I enjoy--giving to others, spending time with family and friends.  I'm looking forward to my daughter coming home from college.  
What are you looking forward to this Christmas? 

Somewhere to Call Home Interview


How exciting to have Michael Heaton the hero from Somewhere to Call Home written by  Janet Lee Barton a November 2012 release from Love Inspired Historical .

1.  Michael, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
I own my own detective agency. I started it to try to help other families find missing loved ones after my sister disappeared.
2.  What do you do for fun?
I haven't had much fun--at least not until Violet Heaton came to stay at Heaton House. She was a neighbor of ours in Virginia, but her mother passed away and she found the bank holds the mortgage on her family home. She came here to find work to pay it off and I'm enjoying having her around a great deal.
3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?
I put off telling my mother that I don't think we'll ever find my sister. With the boarding house she's made it her life's work for give young women coming to live in the city a safe haven, a home away from home.
4.  What are you afraid of most in life?
I've always been afraid we'll never find my sister, but now that I know Harland Black, the banker who holds Violet's homes mortgage, really wants her and has become obsessive about finding her, I'm worry about keeping her safe.
5.  What do you want out of life?
I've always wanted to start a family of my own, but after my broken engagement, I'm not sure any woman would be willing to put up with my highest priority which is to find my sister--or it has been. I've come to believe that might not be possible in this city. 
6.  What is the most important thing to you? My faith is the most important thing. Without the Lord in our lives I'm not sure how my mother and I would have dealt with my sister's disappearance.
7.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I'd get rid of my fear of rejection and persue Violet Burton. She's come to mean a lot to me.  I don't want to see her go back to Virginia.
8.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
I don't have a pet now. I did when I was young. Had a dog named Duke. Maybe I'll have another one day, if I ever have a wife and children . . .
9. Can you tell us a little interesting tidbit about the time period you live in?
It's an exciting time to live in. And New York City is an exciting city. But it has its problems. There's been a lot of corruption in the police department, but I'm hopeful that with our new police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, the department will finally be cleaned up!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Featured Book:Somewhere to Call Home




Some might call it a proposal. Violet Burton knows it's blackmail, and she refuses to give in. She won't marry the unscrupulous banker who holds the mortgage on her Virginia home. Instead, she'll find employment in New York City, earning enough to pay her debts before returning home. Virginia's where she belongs…even if reconnecting with childhood friend Michael Heaton makes her long to stay permanently at his mother's boardinghouse.

The freckle-faced girl Michael knew is now a lovely woman. Helping Violet find her way is a simple act of friendship—at least at first. But soon he'll do anything to keep her safe, and hope she'll see that the home she seeks is one they can share together.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Ask Elnora--About the Days of the Week?? Lenora Worth

Okay, so it's Black Friday and you're probably all out shopping away. Yesterday, which I will now call Thrifty Thursday, I did something I never thought I'd do. I went with Big Daddy to stand in line at Wal-Mart to buy an I-Pad. It was a good deal with a $75.00 gift card included. But chaos was involved. Lots of chaos. To avoid the unpleasantness of standing in line and comparing notes with other standing in line people, Elnora left Big D to continue on with his quest and took a stroll to the women's department. I found a cute dress, two cute Christmas t-shirts. (One stated "I'm Santa's Favorite.) I really liked that one. And some pjs with little hearts on them. I was away from the doubt and confusion of a long line and a voucher if they ran out of I-Pads. Big D kept me posted as to his success and whereabouts and after some crazy stress-filled moments in the garden department (don't ask) we left with a receipt to go online and order our I-Pad. So that got me to thinking--today has become know as Black Friday. I thought why not just go ahead and name all the days of the week and be done with it. How about Moody Monday--can I get an Amen on that one? Or Terrific Tuesday because NCIS comes on TV that night! And then there is Wacky Wednesday because we all know that something will go wacky on Wednesday just because we are on the downhill race to the weekend. Then we have Thrifty Thursday where hundreds of people in their sweatpants stand in lines at Wal-Mart to be able to boast about what a great bargain they got! And then we're back to Black Friday--the bestest day of the week--work wise. Next to Bright Saturday, a day brilliant with possiblilites and open-ended hours. But we finally come to Blessed Sunday, where we can at least sit for an hour and bask in the Word and get refreshed for the week to come. I like Blessed Sunday and how it seems to always come right before Moody Monday. What's your favorite day of the week? And what is the craziest Shopping Experience you've ever had? Let's discuss. In- between bargains, of course! div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving and wherever you are going you arrive safely. I'm joining my son and his family today for turkey and stuffing--two of my favorite dishes. I'm so thankful for God, my family and friends.
Happy Thanksgiving,
Margaret Daley

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  We're spending the day at my niece's, along with our daughter and her family, with everyone pitching in. My son-in-law is going to fry a turkey to go along with the turkey my niece is roasting, and we'll be taking dressing and pies to help out. There will be around 18 of us altogether. We are thankful for all our many blessings--including all of you fellow writers and readers. Praying you all have a wonderful day!
Janet Lee Barton

I'm taking this quick moment to wish everyone, readers and authors alike, a very Happy Thanksgiving. I'm spending the day with my parents and three of my four brothers and their families. Looking forward to some great food, none of which I had to cook. Yea! Have a blessed day, everyone.
Patricia Davids 

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends! I hope you will enjoy a fun and restful holiday weekend including lots of turkey and stuffing, pumpkin pie, fun and games, and also some time for a cup of tea and a Love Inspired novel!
Thanksgiving Blessings to all,
Carrie Turansky
www.carrieturansky.com
SNOWFLAKE SWEETHEARTS 12/12

Happy Thanksgiving!  Hope your day is joyous.
Pamela Tracy

A Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to all. We're on pins and needles here waiting to find out if the kidney the hospital has is a match for my brother Bill and whether he'll be undergoing transplant surgery today.. We'll excuse him from dinner if he is.
Jean C. Gordon

Happy Thanksgiving!


I hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving and wherever you are going you arrive safely. I'm joining my son and his family today for turkey and stuffing--two of my favorite dishes. I'm so thankful for God, my family and friends.
Happy Thanksgiving, 
Margaret Daley

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  We're spending the day at my niece's, along with our daughter and her family, with everyone pitching in. My son-in-law is going to fry a turkey to go along with the turkey my niece is roasting, and we'll be taking dressing and pies to help out. There will be around 18 of us altogether. We are thankful for all our many blessings--including all of you fellow writers and readers. Praying you all have a wonderful day!
Janet Lee Barton

I'm taking this quick moment to wish everyone, readers and authors alike, a very Happy Thanksgiving. I'm spending the day with my parents and three of my four brothers and their families. Looking forward to some great food, none of which I had to cook. Yea! Have a blessed day, everyone.
Patricia Davids  

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends! I hope you will enjoy a fun and restful holiday weekend including lots of turkey and stuffing, pumpkin pie, fun and games, and also some time for a cup of tea and a Love Inspired novel!
Thanksgiving Blessings to all,
Carrie Turansky
SNOWFLAKE SWEETHEARTS 12/12

Happy Thanksgiving!  Hope your day is joyous.
Pamela Tracy

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Grandma's Cookbook

Hello all! Christine Johnson here today on the eve of the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving. I love this holiday because it's all about food and family (and American football). What's not to love?

Holiday food is especially poignant because it brings back taste memories. My mom's sweet potatoes and mincemeat (actually mince-fruit) pie instantly transport me to Thanksgivings past. Christmas comes with a load of food memories. One I can still taste today is my grandma's plum pudding.

Educational Point #1 - Traditional pudding does not come in a box. For those of us who grew up in the Jello generation, this kind of pudding is a rich and moist cake. 

When I began writing this November's book, Legacy of Love, I wanted the heroine to attempt to make my grandma's plum pudding. To portray this accurately, I needed the recipe. So I asked my mom if she had it. She didn't, but she remembered my grandma saying it included suet. Suet? I instantly thought of the blocks of greasy birdseed that we put out for the birds in the winter. That wonderful moist cake included birdseed?

Educational Point #2 - Suet doesn't have to have birdseed in it. Apparently it's fat rendered from beef, as opposed to fat from pork, which is called lard.

Though I figured that out, I was no closer to the actual recipe. After extending the search, one of my aunts not only had the recipe, she had the whole cook book! 

 
 
Here is the very page with the recipe, from the Modern Priscilla Cook Book from 1924. As you can see, it's very well-used. It's also called plum duff, though Grandma always called it plum pudding. She served the pudding with hard sauce, so called because of its texture. The firm butter and sugar sauce would melt on the warm pudding. Oh yum, I'm getting hungry! Maybe I should make it. Then I read the recipe.
 
Educational Point #3 - Older recipes can be less than precise.
 
First, the cook needs to mix a lot of dried fruits and nuts into the suet and let "ripen" for a week. Okay. How does one "ripen" fruit and nuts in fat? I suspect it does not involve a refrigerator. Cooking also involves steaming in molds for four hours at an unknown temperature. How? Alas my grandma didn't leave any notes in the margin for future generations, but she did tuck into the cook book a modern photocopy of an English Plum Pudding recipe with more detailed directions. Though I can understand this recipe more easily, it lacks the charm and simplicity of the 1924 version. My heroine, a novice cook, might have produced a perfect plum pudding instead of the catastrophe that summoned the hero to make a food rescue.
 
For me, Christmas will always recall the taste of my grandma's plum pudding. What special taste memories do you have for the holidays?


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Day Prep

Hi Terri Reed here. I'm in the throes of Thanksgiving Day prep. Are you?
1) turkey breast has been ordered. We do turkey breast instead of a whole turkey because no one in my family will eat anything but white meat. I can't stand wasting food so we've pared it down.   2)carpet cleaners are coming today and dogs are going to groomers. 3) workout in preparation for eating foods I don't normally eat--like pecan pie!  Yum. Pecan pie is more like a chunk of candy than pie. 4) buy all the refrigerated foods-- my sister-in-laws will bring the rest. We split the cost of everything. Though we've pared down how much feast we make over the years. Thanksgiving isn't about food, it's about being together and being thankful for all of God's blessings. 5) bought two new family games to play.  What does your family do on Thanksgiving besides eat?

Several years ago I belonged to a gourmet dinner club. It's was so fun, especially since I don't like to cook. Working together with two or three other ladies to create a fabulous meal was such a great way to try new dishes and to bond with friends. 
Here's a recipe for a stuffing from the club that has become a family favorite over the years. 

Pebble Beach Lodge--Italian Sausage Stuffing
By Gregg Denter, Sous Chef at the Lodge
1/2 lb butter
1lb Italian sausage
1 yellow onion
4 stalks celery
5 cloves garlic, Crushed
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp fresh sage
1/4 cup Sherry wine ( though I use Marsala wine because I like the flavor better)
2 tsps salt (I don't use this much-I figure people can salt to taste later, but this is what the recipe calls for)
1 tsps pepper
1loaf of bread cubed (I'm going to try making this with gluten free bread this year)
2 cups chicken stock
2 eggs

Heat butter in sauté pan, add sausage and brown. Add veggies, garlic, and spices- sauté until veggies begin to cook. Add the wine. Put in bowl and add cubed bread, chicken stock and eggs. Mix thoroughly. Stuff in turkey, if desired.(I don't- I just bake it). Cook in oven at 375 degrees until turkey reaches an internal tempt urge of 160 degrees (I bake for 20 minutes or until hot all the way through-since oven temps vary). 

Have a blessed Thanksgiving everyone. 


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dangerous Melody Interview


Today we're welcoming Stephanie Gage, heroine of Dangerous Melody, written by Dana Mentink, a November Love Inspired Suspense.

 Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.   
1.  Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense. Wild youth, bad choices, that about sums it up. I got involved with an evil man and I paid the price and unfortunately, my father almost did also.

2.  So, during the book you met Tate Fuego. Tell us a bit about him.  What was your first impression?  When did you know it was love? Outwardly, Tate is nothing like me. He’s a demolitions expert from a broken family and he’s lived a hard life. I met him in high school when I told him I could beat him on the track. I did and began to realize than that he’s just as determined and fiercely loyal as I am. We’re kindred spirits and nothing, not even our disastrous past, can change that.

3.  What strengths/skills do you have?  What is your greatest weakness? I’m absolutely devoted to my family, my father and my two brothers. All of them would no doubt say I was stubborn and prideful, but they’d be wrong.
         
4.  What scares you? Losing my family.
   
5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’d like to be better at thinking things through before I hurtle in with both feet. My father would sleep better if I could make that change.

6.  Where are you in your faith at the start of your story? I was raised in a faith filled home, but I’ve not been completely on board with the whole forgiveness and giving up control thing.

7.  Where are you in your faith at the end of the story?  Sometimes you have to fall in order to know that God is there to pick you up. Defeating Joshua Bittman, the man who kidnapped my father, brought me to that breaking point so God could finally get my attention. He did, in a big way.

8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story.  Tell us why this scripture is significant. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” Philippians3:13
That’s what it’s all about, learning, forgiving and moving forward to grow into the person God wants you to be.

9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why? Key Lime pie because you get a little tang with all that sweet, the perfect combination.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Featured Book: Dangerous Melody




Stephanie Gage's father has been kidnapped—by a dangerous man who wants to make a trade. Her beloved dad for a multimillion-dollar family heirloom that's gone missing. Either Stephanie finds the valuable violin or her father dies. But to track it down, she must rely on Tate Fuego—the man who broke her heart years ago. Stephanie knows that Tate's reasons for helping have nothing to do with her.

And that the handsome demolitions expert knows more about destroying things than saving lives. But trusting Tate is all that stands between Stephanie and a madman's ultimate revenge.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ask Elnora--About Writing A Short Story--Lenora Worth

It's Third Friday Writing! Elnora has to hurry out the door and get back to the fabulous Les Boutique de Noel Christmas Market, where I'm hosting a booth with my friend and co-writer Anne Dier Wilson. We put together a book that features her wonderful, spirit-filled memoirs and Bible lessons and my "Shoe Therapy" devotionals. (It's not just about shoes, however.) The book is titled "Take Off Your Shoes" and all the proceeds go to the Volunteers of America. If you'd like to order a copy, they are priced at $17.95, plus tax and shipping. You can go to the Volunteers of America website: www.voanorthla.org (Just contact them through the contact address) In the meantime, I thought since it's writing day, why don't we all come up with a short, short story for this picture. I took this while we were in Arkansas. Can you create a two or three paragraph short tale about this picture. Remember to let your characters tell the story. When I have spare moments, I'll check in and see how we're doing!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Smile on my Face

Pamela Tracy here,
  Yes, I'm excited.  Last week Harlequin put together a book trailer and they chose one of my books to feature.  Terri Reed dashed off and email letting us know.  I smiled so much when I watched it that I damaged my left cheek.  Take a look.  Click on the lnk below.


                   Margaret Daley and I have been featured! Too Cool! Take a look

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pepin, Wisconsin--What Famous American Was Born There?




 Hi Lyn Cote here!
My newest series, "Wilderness Brides" debuts this month with the release of Their Frontier Family, book one. I chose my home state Wisconsin because I think it's overlooked as a setting for homesteading prairie romances (though Their Frontier Family has elements of a Western too) and I chose Pepin because it sits on the Mississippi River so that means a lot of strangers coming
 and going
and BECAUSE A FAMOUS AMERICAN WAS BORN THERE! Who?
Here are some hints:
·         She's a well known person whose life was fictionalized.
·         Children all over the world read about her life.
·         Her story inspired a long-running popular TV series.
·         Her daughter also wrote and edited her stories.
·         Who is she?
If you've read my book, you already know. I'll give away a copy of Their Frontier Family to the first person who gives the right answer AND tells me the name of her daughter!
Also several other Love Inspired Historical Authors, to be specific:

·         Cheryl St.John http://www.cherylstjohn.net/

·         Valerie Hansen http://www.valeriehansen.com/

·         Janet Lee Barton www.janetleebarton.com  

·         Naomi Rawlings www.naomirawlings.com

·         Deborah Hale http://www.deborahhale.com

·         Victoria Bylin http://www.victoriabylin.com

·         Linda Ford  www.lindaford.org

·         Laurie Kingery LaurieKingery.com

    Cheryl Bolen www.CherylBolen.com

·         Eva Marie Hamilton www.evamariahamilton.com

·         Rhonda Gibson http://www.rhondagibson.net

·         Regina Scott http://www.reginascott.com

·         Janet Dean www.janetdean.net

·         Winnie Griggs www.winniegriggs.com 
    


contributed one or more recipes to something we started on the GoodReads LIH group discussion about old family recipes. If you'd like a copy, click any of the authors listed and they'll gladly email you a PDF copy of the booklet! Some of the recipes: 

Datch
Daffy Cakes
Dick Brown's Crabby Dip
Momma's Cracker Pudding!

This is our gift to you for the holidays! So who's the famous American & her daughter and who wants a free recipe booklet?--Lyn