Thursday, September 26, 2013

Almost at "The End"

I'm nearing the end of revisions and edits on Annie's Christmas Plan.  It is the second book in my Morning Lake series. 

This week I've been reviewing the scenes where Devin and Claire, the couple from Devin's Second Chance (Book 1), return for a special appearance. 

It is so much fun to see this couple in action again and see how their life together is turning out! 

Ah, Devin--*sigh*--I mean how can you not love a man who tells his love, "You humble me"?

I can't wait to share Annie and Quinn's story with you soon, so you can check in on Devin and Claire, too!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Gramma's Apple Crisp Recipe

Mmm... Apple Crisp with Ice Cream...
It's funny, I don't remember my Gramma Paton baking a lot, but the things she did make were always very yummy.  Last Christmas, I shared her Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Recipe and now I'm sharing her Apple Crisp recipe.

I make this recipe every fall. 

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APPLE CRISP

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In bowl #1, combine:
  • 4 cups - Apples, cut up (I use McIntosh) or you can use Rhubarb instead (yum!)
  • 3/4 cup - Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp - Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup - Flour
Put this apple mixture into the baking dish (8x8 pan).

Pour 1/2 cup of water over the apple mixture.

Next, in bowl #2,  combine:
  • 1 cup - Flour
  • 1/2 cup - Rolled Oats
  • 3/4 cup - Brown Sugar (I usually have to chisel it out of the container in my cupboard and then soften it in the microwave.  I hope I'm not the only one who has to do this...)
  • 1/2 cup - Butter, melted
Mix the ingredients in bowl #2.  You are supposed to use a fork so it has a loose, crumbly texture, but I've been known to use a spoon and it still tastes yummy.  Sprinkle this over the apple mixture in the pan.

Bake for 35 minutes

If you want twice as much, just double all the ingredients and stick in a 9x13 pan!

It really is wonderful served warm with ice cream... (Now, I'm off to dish some up!) 

And, if truth be told, I've been known to have a bowl of it cold for breakfast too. (Shh!!)  Hey, it has both apples and oatmeal, so it's healthy, right?  ;)

~~~~~

Do you have a favorite fall recipe?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Social Media for Writers 101

At my writing group's Visioning Day on September 14th, there was an overwhelming desire to learn more about social media, so I volunteered to teach  ARWA's very first online class on that topic! 

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR WRITERS 101

This class runs from October 1 through to the end of November.

I will lead the class through the basics of creating a blog, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. You do not have to be published to participate. However, this is a hands-on workshop, which will require everyone in the class to share their questions, experiences, and post their progress on the forum, so we can all learn from and support one another.

Although this is considered an introductory class, some computer and internet knowledge is required. (This FREE class is only open to ARWA's 2013-14 members.)

To sign-up for the class, please contact me prior to September 28th (You should have received a notification from ARWA with my email, however, you can also contact me through the email address on the Contact Me page of this site). You will receive further information about signing into the online forum closer to October 1st. (You may have to watch for the email notification in your email account's spam / junk folder.)

I've never taught an online class before, so this could be a bit of a learning curve for all of us!  I'm excited to start, though, and I think it'll be a lot of fun!

~~~~~

For those of you who are experienced with blogs, Facebook and Twitter - what words of wisdom do you think I should share?  Is there anything you wish you'd known when you first started? 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mae Clair - What to Read Thursday!

Yay!  It is that time again, when I have the wonderful opportunity to introduce you to my lovely writing friends and their fabulous books. 

Welcome to What to Read Thursday!

"What to Read Thursday" is posted every other Thursday (for previous posts, click here.) The focus of these Thursdays is on romance novels. Sub-genres of romance are welcome, but Happily-Ever-Afters (or Happy-For-Now) endings are mandatory! :-) 

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This week, I'm excited to welcome Mae Clair to my blog!  I first met Mae through the now defunct Six Sentence Sunday blog hop, where she got me hooked on her debut book, Weathering Rock.  She is a wonderfully supportive and talented writer, and I am so happy to know her! I'm also hooked on her Mythical Mondays!  You should check them out to learn about some fascinating myths! Today, she is talking about her latest release, Twelfth Sun and I can't wait to hear what she has to say!  Twelfth Sun is shouting at me from the very top of my TBR pile!

~~~~~


What a beautiful cover!

Is there a particular food / drink you associate with this story?  If so, what is it and why?

Oh, yes! My hero, Dr. Elijah Cross is a twenty-five-year-old marine archeologist with several personality quirks, one of which is his fondness for grape soda (much to the dismay of my thirty-five-year-old heroine, Reagan Cassidy). The drink gets a lot of attention throughout the novel and even figures into one of the book’s “clues.” I had one reviewer say she’d never look at grape soda again without thinking of Twelfth Sun .

Lorraine: LOL-That's great!  I love grape soda!  I associate it with visiting my grandparents, when they'd fill us up on sugar then send us home. ;)  Hmm... now I'm really curious about how it will be used in one of the clues! 

Where / when did you set your story and why?

It’s set during early summer on the eastern seaboard, which seemed a good fit for a story centered around the treasure hunt for a marine artifact. I also created a lavish seaside mansion owned by a mysterious and reclusive billionaire, where my treasure hunt participants gather for the week. I had a lot of fun devising the mansion with its numerous rooms and coastal views.

Lorraine: Everything you say about this story just makes it more and more intriguing... a mysterious and reclusive billionaire with a mansion and a treasure hunt?  Brilliant!

Do you have a favorite scene in this story?  Is so, what makes it special to you?

I love when Reagan realizes who Elijah is. Her uncle has asked her to meet with his friend, a renowned marine archeologist so that Dr. Cross can authenticate a 19th century journal for him. Reagan agrees, picturing Elijah as a doddering old man with a PhD.
 
The first time she encounters him she has no clue who he is but mistakenly barges into his hotel room (thinking it’s hers) and discovers him coming out of the shower naked. Their second encounter is the following morning when she arrives at the café where she’s to meet Dr. Cross. Elijah walks in and she’s mortified when she puts two and two together. 

Lorraine: Oops... Sounds like quite the first meet! And, I love the idea that her preconceptions are turned on their ear--makes for lots of juicy tension. ;)

What’s next?  Do you have another story on your desk you’d like to tease us with?

I have a romantic adventure called SOLSTICE ISLAND which will be part of an anthology with three other authors. If all goes according to plan, the book will be available the end of this year.

I’ll also be publishing a romantic mystery called ECLIPSE LAKE that involves two estranged brothers, the free-spirited photographer who falls for one of them and a fifteen-year-old missing persons’ case. That should be available in spring 2014.

Lorraine: You are busy!  And, I love your titles!  I can't wait to learn all about them!

What has been the biggest influence on your writing career?

My parents. My dad was an artist, but he loved to write and passed that passion to me. As a kid, both of my parents took me to the library and shared their love of books. It was a weekly adventure for us. Throughout my life they were my biggest cheerleaders, encouraging me from the first tentative stories I pieced together in grade school. Both have since passed on, but that influence and encouragement has remained the foundation on which I’ve built my writing career.

Lorraine: That is wonderful that you've had such great cheerleaders!  I think I got my love of books from my mom, too!  She always had a big selection of books in the house and we still share books. 

~~~~~


The lovely Mae Clair!
ABOUT MAE CLAIR:
Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back.  Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars. She snagged the tail of a comet, hitched a ride, and discovered her writer’s Muse on the journey.


Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with conflict, romance and elements of mystery. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.


WHERE TO FIND MAE CLAIR:
Website

Blog
Twitter
(@MaeClair1)
Facebook Author Page

Goodreads

~~~~~

TWELFTH SUN BLURB:

The hunky young PhD knows all about seduction, but what does he know about love?

Reagan Cassidy is settled in her life. She has a thriving interior design firm, an upscale condo, two cats, and a goldfish. As a favor to her uncle, she agrees to team up with his marine archeologist friend to validate and retrieve a nineteenth-century journal, reputedly that of a passenger aboard the doomed schooner Twelfth Sun. Finding a hunky twenty-five-year-old coming out of the shower in her hotel room wasn’t part of the deal, but it’s hard to complain…

Dr. Elijah Cross is cocky and he knows it. He enjoys trading barbs with the lovely Reagan. Barbs, and some innuendo. He can tell she’d rather get back home to her business than stick around for the extended treasure hunt they’ve been talked into, but he’s fine with the situation. At least, until the “clues” start getting personal.

Reagan finds Dr. Gorgeous is as skilled in matters of the heart as he is behind the lectern. Throw in a series of clues which mean more to Elijah than he’ll explain, several odd-ball competitors out to win the journal, a saboteur, and a lavish seaside mansion, and Reagan has enough trouble keeping her head straight, let alone her heart.
 
*** WARNING: Younger man, older woman, nautical riddles and romance. ***

~~~~~
 

Purchase TWELFTH SUN from:
Amazon

Barnes and Noble
Kobo

iBooks

~~~~~

TWELFTH SUN Excerpt:
 
 
“My dad’s father was part gypsy. Besides, the sea is in my blood.” Elijah turned onto his side, locking his good leg over hers, holding her in place. Pushing up on one elbow, he stared down at her, abruptly serious. “Did you know a good marine archaeologist could spend his entire life studying a single wreck and never be bored? Never feel the need to move onto something else?” He stroked her cheek, brushing her hair aside. “That’s what I want to do with you, Reagan. I want to spend my days and nights learning about you. Everything about you. What you think. The way you smell…” He leaned forward, inhaling the light scent of the honeysuckle oil she’d used in her bath.


Ping! Warning claxons flared in her head. Elijah, playful and teasing she could control. Elijah, serious and romantic meant trouble.

“The way you feel.” His fingers tracked down her arm and hooked into the flimsy belt holding her robe shut. “The way you taste.” His mouth closed over hers at precisely the moment he tugged open her robe.

Lorraine: Whew!  What a tantalizing excerpt!

~~~~~

A younger man, a reclusive billionaire, a treasure hunt... I'm not sure what entices me more... How about you?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Zucchini Loaf with Chocolate Chips Recipe

My honey was given a lot of zucchini recently. So, I've been making a lot of zucchini loaves!  So many, in fact, that we're freezing them because we can't eat as many as I'm making.

It is an easy "bread" that is super moist and yummy!  And, I have a weakness for nutmeg, so that makes it even yummier in my opinion! 

Mmmm... Zucchini Loaf with Chocolate Chips!

RECIPE

Mix the dry ingredients in Bowl #1 first:
  • 1 & 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
Now, in Bowl #2 mix these together:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup grated/shredded zucchini (you can leave the peel on when you grate it)
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1 egg
  • A splash (or two) of lemon juice (I sometimes taste the mix to make sure there is a hint of lemon flavor, but do this at your own risk / comfortable level since there is a raw egg in there.)
You do not need a mixer, but you do need to mix the ingredients well (I use a fork).

Okay, now add the dry flour mixture (Bowl #1) to the wet mixture (Bowl #2).  Just stir until it is combined.  Do not over mix.

Now, mix in something fun...
  • 1/2 cup of one of the following: chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, or semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Pour batter into greased loaf pan. Do not let the batter sit in the pan too long or the goodies (nuts / chocolate chips) sink to the bottom. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes (or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean). 

Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Then, remove the loaf from the pan (run a knife around the edge first), so it can cool on the loaf on the wire rack.  Sprinkle the top with icing sugar.  (You can also mix a bit of nutmeg or cinnamon into the icing sugar for even more yummy fun.) 

The number of servings depends on how big you cut the slices... ;)

Enjoy! 

Monday, September 9, 2013

My book cover is on Calisa Rhose's UnCover Monday!

Today I'm off visiting an exotic blogging locale!


Devin's Second Chance is being featured on Calisa Rhose's UnCover Monday today!  You should stop over and see it and the other covers!  Click Here to Go There!

And, if you are a writer with a new book release, you can be featured too!  Calisa is looking for more covers!  Click Here to Check Out the Criteria!

Thank you, Calisa! 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Woo hoo! Reviews for Devin's Second Chance!

Devin's Second Chance has been available for just over two months and reviews are starting to pop up all over the place! 

~~~

What are people saying about Devin's Second Chance


Here are links to some recent reviews (in no particular order):


  • "...She took it to the next level by creating a LOVE story..." Click here to read the full reviewHeather Coulter's review on Books Books and more Books Blog. (5 Stars)

  • "...I recommend this novel for readers looking for wonderful characters, cowboys, a sweet love story, and people who believe in second chances..."  Click here to read the full review. Pat Fordyce's review on Amazon.com. (5 Stars) 

  •  "...I love cowboys and Ms. Paton's Devin was all that I would wish for in a man - a true cowboy..."  Click here to read the full review. Mary M. Forbes' review on Amazon.com. (5 Stars)


  • "...this book provides a desirable escape into the lives of two very likable characters in a small town..." Click here to read the full review.  haymaai's review on LibraryThing.com. (4 Stars) 


  • "...so it's no surprise that I fell in love with the characters in this book almost immediately..." Click here to read the full review. Mae Claire's review on Amazon.com. (5 Stars) 

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DEVIN'S SECOND CHANCE
 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 84,000 words
Series: A Morning Lake Novel: Book 1

Digital Copies Available Here:
Amazon.com | Smashwords |
All Romance eBooks | Kobo | Indigo-Chapters | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk


Print Copies Available Here:

Blurb: Cowboy Devin Trent can't believe his matchmaking mom is trying to set him up with Claire Best, the photographer at the local art gallery.  She should know better than anyone why he doesn't deserve a second chance at love. What surprises him even more is that he is drawn to Claire and she seems interested in him, too. Their mutual attraction grows every time they see one another, but when he suspects Claire is keeping a secret he becomes wary. After all, his first marriage was ruined by secrets and lies.
Can Devin earn Claire's trust? Or, will Claire's secret end their relationship before it begins?

Excerpt: Read an Excerpt Here

~~~

Thank you to everyone who has taken a chance on reading a debut book by an unknown author!

This has been an amazing experience for me so far, and I'm excited to be releasing my second book, Annie's Christmas Plan, soon!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Judith Duncan - What to Read Thursday!

What will you be reading next?  Do you need a recommendation?

Welcome to What to Read Thursday!  (To check out previous WTRT posts, click here.)
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This week I decided to highlight the work of a woman who has been a huge influence on my writing: Judith Duncan.  I met Judith when I joined the Alberta Romance Writers' Association.  As I mention in the acknowledgements of my book, Judith was the first person I'd ever met who had not only published one book but multiple books.  I was in awe, and probably still am.  Judith has been incredibly encouraging of my goal to write and publish, and I love chatting with her over a cup of coffee.

Although she has not published recently, Harlequin has begun to re-release some of her earlier work in digital format and those are what I'm showcasing today!

~~~

If Wishes Were Horses...
Available at: Amazon.com | Amazon.caKobo

Blurb:
The cry for help came at night, during final roundup. But nothing could prevent Conner Calhoun
from rescuing his brother’ s widow and her two children. From the moment he’ d laid eyes on Abigail, he’ d wanted her, but she wasn’t his to have. And now he’ d moved his forbidden love onto his ranch, where the secret between them had nowhere to hide… .

Every time he tousled Cody’ s hair, every time he cuddled little Miss Sarah, he was reminded of impossible wishes… and a gift given out of love. But honor demanded he not claim for his own what was never meant to be— unless, of course, Abby wanted the same thing… .

~~~

Driven to Distraction
Available at: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Kobo


Blurb: Passing your fortieth birthday didn't mean you had to go off the deep end, did it? But there was no other explanation for the fact that usually sane single mother Maggie Burrows couldn't keep her thoughts—or her hands!—off a man who was nearly ten years younger than she was…. Of course, Tony Parnelli was drop-dead gorgeous, with a body that could melt the most sedate woman right down to her sensible shoes. But he was black leather and motorcycles, and she was mortgage payments and nine-to-five. Still, the tension between them could light up the sky—if only Maggie dared to believe in Tony…and herself….

~~~

The Renegade and the Heiress
Available at: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Kobo


Blurb:
The secluded cabin high in the snow-covered mountains was as far from Mallory O'Brien's glittering world of wealth and privilege as she could possibly have imagined. Yet this place—and the proud, bitter man who lived there alone—represented her last refuge from the ruthless killers stalking her....

Finn Donovan was as hard and unyielding—and as dangerously compelling—as this land he called home. And he had sworn to keep her safe, whatever the cost. But she wanted more from her guardian. She ached to know the secrets of his shadowed past—even as she longed to share his future.

~~~

Murphy's Child 
Available at: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Kobo

Blurb:
Murphy Munroe was shocked to realize that he wanted to be with his tiny, precious son around the clock. Bedtime stories, midnight feedings…Murphy couldn't bear to miss a single moment with his child—or its mother. That was the problem…  Murphy desperately longed to take care of Jordan Kennedy and the baby…forever. But they couldn't make their relationship work before parenthood complicated things. How could they even think about marriage now? Then again…how could they not?
~~~

I hope you enjoy!