Thursday, December 31, 2015

January 1, 2016

Happy New Year! Did you get everything you wanted from Santa? Have you made your New Year’s Resolution yet? Mine are to eat healthier, be happy, love unconditionally, to finish writing the book(s), and make a best seller list. May 2016 bring you love, happiness, and success in all you do.

In this Issue:
Quote of the Month: 
Featured Authors:  
Celebrating Elvis
Recipe of the Month: 
Upcoming Book Signings/Appearances
Coming Next Month

Featured Author:  Carol Hooper

The inspiration for my first novel came from the small town that my husband and I own our “retirement” house in. While it’s not actually as near the beach as the place in the novel is, it’s close enough. The characters and setting came from my love of all things southern - the slower pace of life, the closeness of community, and love of food!

 After a disastrous relationship break-up, Gus Stewart moves back to her childhood home in North Carolina. Reuniting with her parents, Thomas and Charlotte, and her best friend RaeAnne, they soon face heartbreak and tragedy. With the help of family, a new boyfriend, and quirky small town characters, Gus and RaeAnne learn the importance of grace and growth. Through laughter and tears, humor and sarcasm, the residents of the small beach town come together to experience forgiveness, love, and most of all, healing.

Main Street was still fairly quiet when Gus pulled up to Delta’s. The day was getting more humid as it went along. Since Gus had just gotten out of the shower, she had her hair pulled back in a ponytail. She prayed Delta or Staci could work wonders on it.
“Augusta Stewart, get over here and give me a hug! I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever!” Delta squealed and ran over to Gus, enveloping her in a big squeeze.  Then again everything about Delta was big and dramatic. From her hair - bottle blonde thank you; to her outfits - size small top on a large body; to her shoes - sequin high heels. The whole town wondered how she could stand on them for as long as she did during the day.
Delta tended to wear outfits with colors that no sane person would think of putting together. She and Lula had a lot in common. Today it was a neon pink top with chartreuse looking plaid pants and those famous sequin shoes.
“Delta, I don’t know where you come up with your looks!” Gus exclaimed.
“I know, girl. My closet should be starring on one of those reality fashion shows, don’t you think?” Delta grinned like the Cheshire cat.
Gus laughed. It really had been a long time since she had her hair cut at Delta’s. When she lived in Vermont, she frequented a small salon located close to her work. Quiet the opposite in interior design of Delta’s Clip ‘n Color. Interspersed between the obligatory posters of shoulder length and pixie cuts were pictures of country music stars. Tammy, Elvis, Merle, Dolly, and Patsy smiled down at you from every angle. If you were a heavy metal fan, you got your haircut in another town. 

Celebrating Elvis:  If it’s one thing I’d never thought I’d read it was an Elvis Presley mystery. Yep, you read correctly.  Kill Me Tender, by Daniel Klein is both entertaining and left me wishing Elvis had actually done some non-musical movies. And if you can’t get enough, there are three other murder mysteries featuring Elvis.  I found mine at Dollar General, but check for them at Amazon.

When he left to serve in the Army, Elvis loved the music. Now that his tour is over and he is back as a civilian, Elvis struggles to regain the heart and soul that made him the King.

Elvis soon becomes aware that someone is killing the presidents of his Tennessee fan clubs. He also begins to receive records parodying his top hits. Not one to sit around munching on fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, Elvis begins an investigation into the murders, using the guise of an Elvis impersonator.

Here are other ways to celebrate the King of Rock-N-Roll’s Birthday.

·       Join the fun in Memphis as Graceland celebrates Elvis’ Birthday on January 7-10, 2016. Ticket Info Here

·       Parkes Elvis Festival, January 6 - 10, 2016, Parkes, New South Wales, Australia. More Info Here

Movies (too many to list, but you can find a complete listing here):
·       Loving You, 1957
·       Viva Las Vegas, 1964
·       Tickle Me, 1965
·       Speedway, 1968
Music (find a bigger listing here):
·       In the Getto (From Elvis in Memphis, 1969)
·       Return to Sender (Girls! Girls! Girls!, 1962)
·       Devil in Disguise (Rock ‘n On Vol. 2, 1975)
·       Exodus (the lost 1971 Album)

Recipe of the Month:
 White Beans and Kielbasa

½ pound kielbasa, skin removed, quartered and sliced
2 (19 oz) cans white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 onion whole
1 clove garlic
1 tbps sugar
1 cup water

1.    Combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker.
2.    Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.
3.     Discard the onion and garlic, and serve.
Serves 4


Readers of all romance genres, do you love free books from great authors? Or are you an author with a 2015 publication? The National Reader’s Choice Awards (NRCA), OKRWA’s prestige yearly contest, is now open. Go to this link for more information on contest rules and signing up to judge: 

Upcoming Book Signings / Appearances:
©    3rd Saturday of Month:  OKRWA Monthly Meeting, OKC Museum of Art
©    April 13-17, 2016:  Romantic Times Reader Convention, Las Vegas, NV at the Rio Hotel and Casino

Coming Next Month:  Valentine’s Day

With much gratitude, until next time…keep reading.

Spark your imagination and entice your mind
Be adventurous in your own mind
Take a journey into a new world and be inspired
Enjoy the pleasures of reading ~~
It does the mind and body good.

New Year Card With Direction Board Stock Photo image courtesy of digitalart at

Monday, November 30, 2015

December 1, 2015

Happy Holidays! Did you get everything you wanted on Black Friday and Cyber Monday?  Me neither.  I’ll be out shopping for those gifts for the next 24 days!  But let’s not forget what Christmas is really about and that’s celebrating the birth of Christ.

In this Issue:
Quote of the Month 
Featured Author 
New Year’s Eve Traditions
Winter Solstice and Snowflakes
Recipe of the Month 
Upcoming Book Signings/Appearances
Coming Next Month

Quote of the Month:  “Our Creator would never have made such lovely days, and have given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above and beyond all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal.~~ Nathanial Hawthorne, American Novelist (1804-1864)

Featured Authors:  Amber Danielsand Charley Swanda

It is a simple fact that Amber and Charley both have a strong interest in Vikings and in Norse mythology. They are both avid readers of everything. As readers of everything they noticed that there was a need for a book about Norse Mythology. Most books based on Mythologies are Greek and they wanted to change that. This is the first novel for siblings Amber Daniels and Charley Swanda, who grew up in a small Oklahoma town. Both have written all their lives, including music, poetry and short stories. They are currently working on 3 other books including book 2 in this series.

Odin,Oklahoma – Fifteen-year-old Charles wakes up yet again to a recurring nightmare with thousands of circling spheres and an infant’s cry. But this time it’s different because it’s his 15th birthday, and a new adventure is about to start. Growing up in his small Oklahoma town with his mom, Charles never knew his dad who was believed to be dead. A best friend who is a drug dealer doesn’t help his reputation. But things change forever when he learns the secret about his true identity.
The young man learns the woman he thought was his mother is not his mother, and his father was a member of Odin’s guard but may be a traitor, and Kletrix was sent to Earth to protect him. Even his own name is a lie: He is actually Magnus, a child of prophecy, who receives his father’s ring – and its power to create a quasar – on that fateful birthday. When an accident at the mall almost kills a school athlete because of the ring, Magnus is whisked away to Asgard to learn how to use his powers properly.
His new world contains fellow immortal warriors the Odinites, also known as Berserkers, but not all seem to be on his side, as one beautiful female warrior may either like him or want to kill him. Soon he learns that his power and courage will be needed to save the nine worlds from Loki and his ally, the evil goddess Hel, who want to rule instead. They hold the power – knowledge -- to lure Magnus from his path and destroy the worlds instead. A rescue mission back at Magnus’ Earthly home unearths traitors, and a final battle will determine the fate of the nine worlds and Magnus’ destiny.

New Year’s Eve Traditions:  We all have them. In my household, the Christmas Tree and decorations must all be put away before the stroke of midnight. Whatever your tradition is to ring in the new year, here are a few others from

The first New York City celebration happened in 1904. This year’s ball is illuminated with 32,256 LED lights and is made up of 2,688 Waterford crystals. We couldn’t picture New Year’s Eve without it!
You just might find your soul mate in 2015 or, at the very least, have an amorous year if you wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve. At least, that’s what’s widely believed in Latin America. We’re guessing December is a good time to own an intimate apparel shop over there.
Oh, and in Colombia, they’re wearing yellow underwear (for happiness and peace) and in Puerto Rico, white (for fertility and health). So if you’re traveling to any of these places, pack accordingly.
On New Year’s Eve, thousands gather, many wearing white, at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro to offer white flowers and other gifts to Yemanja, the Afro-Brazilian queen of the sea. It is believed that she will bring energy and strength. Many toss their gifts into the sea, some on makeshift boats, hoping the goddess will grant their new year wishes. It is hoped the boats will find their way to her.
In Ireland, folks bang bread against the walls and doors of the house to chase out the bad luck and bad spirits away in the new year and invite the good spirits in.

Winter Solstice:  Every December around the 21st or 22nd marks the first day of winter, as well as the shortest day and longest night. Here are a few interesting facts and links regarding the solstice and how it is celebrated.

Behold! A year has passed since the great Mayan apocalypse of 2012 — newsflash: we’re all still here — and the winter solstice is again upon us. The solstice marks the shortest day of the year for dwellers in the Northern Hemisphere, and the longest day of the year for those south of the equator. Time
Winter Solstice has been celebrated in cultures the world over for thousands of years. This start of the solar year is a celebration of Light and the rebirth of the Sun. In old Europe, it was known as Yule, from the Norse, Jul, meaning wheel. Circle Sanctuary
The Winter Solstice is unique among days of the year — the time of the longest night and the shortest day. The dark triumphs but only briefly. For the Solstice is also a turning point. School of the Seasons
Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied across cultures, but many have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time.  Wikipedia


Snow is a type of precipitation in the form of crystalline water ice, consisting of a multitude of snowflakes that fall from clouds. The process of this precipitation is called snowfall.
Since snow is composed of small ice particles, it is a granular material. It has an open and therefore soft structure, unless packed by external pressure.
Snow crystals form when tiny supercooled cloud droplets (approx 10μm in diameter) freeze. These droplets are able to remain liquid at temperatures colder than 0°C because, in order to freeze, a few molecules in the liquid droplet need to get together by chance to form an arrangement close to that in an ice lattice; then the droplet freezes around this 'nucleus'. Experiments show that this 'homogeneous' nucleation of cloud droplets only occurs at temperatures colder than -35°C.[1] In warmer clouds an aerosol particle or 'ice nucleus' must be present in (or in contact with) the droplet to act as a nucleus. Our understanding of what particles make efficient ice nuclei is poor - what we do know is they are very rare compared to that cloud condensation nuclei which liquid droplets form on. Clays, desert dust and biological particles may be effective,[2] although to what extent is unclear. Artificial nuclei include silver iodide and dry ice, and these form the basis of cloud seeding.
The shape of the snowflake is determined broadly by the temperature, and humidity at which it forms.[3] Rarely, at a temperature of around −2 °C (28 °F), snowflakes can form in threefold symmetry — triangular snowflakes.[5] The most common snow particles are visibly irregular, although near-perfect snowflakes may be more common in pictures because they are more visually appealing.

For more snowflake information:

Recipe of the Month:

Broiled Lobster Crostini with Champagne Sauce 

Lobster Tail, about 1 lb.
1 tbsp of organic unsalted butter
Kosher Salt
ground pepper, freshly ground

1. Preheat the broiler.
2. Place lobster tail on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife or kitchen shears, carefully cut top side of lobster shells lengthwise. Pull apart shells slightly, and season meat with butter, salt, and pepper.
3. Broil lobster tails until lightly browned and lobster meat is opaque, about 5 to 10 minutes. Garnish with lemon wedges to serve.

Note: If you are making the champagne sauce the same day as cooking the lobster, make the sauce first.

Champagne Sauce, Ingredients
·      3 large vine tomatoes
·      Pinch super fine sugar
·      3 1/2 tbsp organic unsalted butter
·      1 cup champagne or sparkling wine/Italian prosecco etc.
·      Tabasco hot sauce
·      Kosher Salt
·      ground pepper, freshly ground 

1. To make the sauce, cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze the pips and juice into a small saucepan set over low heat. Cut the remaining tomato into very small pieces and add to the pot
2. Turn up heat to medium and cook for 2-3 minutes then add a pinch caster sugar and butter and allow it to melt, add in the champagne/sparkling wine and simmer everything for a further 10 mins.
3. Pour mixture into a blender, in batches, and whizz until smooth.
4. Pass through a fine sieve into the same pot and return to the heat to simmer over low heat until reduced by 2/3rd the original volume. This will take a while ~ about 40-50 mins. Keep an eye on it as it goes. You want the consistency to be similar to that of a tomato soup.
5. When it’s reduced down, add another small knob of butter, a dash or two of Tabasco hot sauce, and season to taste with a little kosher salt and ground pepper. Add a bit more superfine sugar if needed.

To Serve
·      Hollandaise sauce
·      Lobster meat
·      1 small white crusty baguette
·      Fresh dill or parsley
·      Freshly ground black pepper

1. Cut lobster tail meat into bit-sized chunks.
2. Lightly toast the slices of bread on both sides (you can also chargrill them) then spread each one with a teaspoon of hollandaise sauce, top with a lump or two of lobster meat then drizzle with a teaspoon of the tomato champagne sauce and snip a few fresh dill leaves or parsley on the top.
3. Give them a final seasoning with a little black pepper and serve. Preheat the broiler.
4. You can also add a small squeeze of lemon if you like {optional}.

Catalina Creative (recipe adapted from What Katie Ate)

Jack Frost Martini

1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup blue curacao
1/2 cup light rum or vodka
1/2 cup cream of coconut, ice
Blend (in blender) until slushy. Serve with flaked coconut rim.


Readers of all romance genres, do you love free books from great authors? Or are you an author with a 2015 publication? The National Reader’s Choice Awards (NRCA), OKRWA’s prestige yearly contest, is now open. Go to this link for more information on contest rules and signing up to judge: 

Upcoming Book Signings / Appearances:
©    3rd Saturday of Month:  OKRWA Monthly Meeting, OKC Museum of Art
©    April 13-17, 2016:  Romantic Times Reader Convention, Las Vegas, NV at the Rio Hotel and Casino

Coming Next Month:  A new year and resolutions.

With much gratitude, until next time…keep reading.

Spark your imagination and entice your mind
Be adventurous in your own mind
Take a journey into a new world and be inspired
Enjoy the pleasures of reading ~~
It does the mind and body good.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November 1, 2015

Now that all the little spooks have been at your door, let’s talk turkey.  Thanksgiving is upon us and it’s a time to start sharing more time with friends and family.  I hope the start to the 2015 holiday season is great for you, and that you find everything you want at the after Thanksgiving Day sales.

In this Issue:
Quote of the Month
Featured Author
Thanksgiving history, reads, food
Recipe of the Month
Reader/Writers Groups
Upcoming Book Signings
Coming Next Month

Quote of the Month:  Wherever you go, go with all your heart.Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC)

Featured Author:  Darlene Shortridge

The Inspiration for the Women of Prayer Series was life. Life with all its quirks, heartaches, tears, joy and laughter. Finding hope in the midst of pain. Finding a reason to smile regardless of circumstances. Giving people a reason to go on. That is what I was after.

Jessi, a young mom, has do the hardest thing asked of any parent—say goodbye. Mark, a young dad, so caught up in his own short comings he wants to end it all.
Mark sends his car into a tree after spending a little too much time bellied up to the bar. It never even crossed his mind Ethan, his four year old son, had been waiting for him in the back seat.
Jessi, a school teacher, gets the phone call that changes everything. Her life has been drastically altered. And not for the better.
Mark loses everything. His wife. His son. And the daughter he never knew he had.
When life goes horribly wrong, how do you forgive others? How do you forgive yourself? How do you keep breathing in and breathing out when all you want to do is crawl up under the covers and never wake up?
Until Forever is a story of hope and second chances. It’s a love story—between a man and his wife—and their Creator.

Where to Find Thanksgiving History/Treats:



Recipe of the Month:

Fresh Cranberry Relish

2 pounds fresh cranberries         
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Grand Marnier liqueur  
1 orange, zested and juiced

Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, pulse several times to breakdown the cranberries and incorporate the ingredients; it should still be a bit chunky. Allow the cranberry relish to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, so the flavors can marry. Serving Size: 12

Pa. Dutch Potato Filling

  • 6 potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 1 egg beaten (added to the mashed potatoes)
  • 1/4 c. each sautéed onion and celery added to the mashed potatoes
  • 6 pieces of cubed bread (any kind) mixed in with the potatoes.

1.    Bake at 350 deg. for 30 min. or until browned on top.
2.    Serve with gravy.


Do you love free books from great authors? Or are you an author with a 2015 publication? The National Reader’s Choice Awards (NRCA), OKRWA’s prestige yearly contest, is now open. Go to this link for more information on contest rules and signing up to judge: 

Reader/Writers/Publishers/Agent Groups:

1.    Readers Yahoo Groups: You can find many, many different types of genre when searching for readers groups at  Be sure to check them out at to see if they fit your needs. 
2.    Facebook Groups: There are thousands of FB groups for both readers and authors. Here are few examples:  My Sexy Saturday, Readers Rock!, Author Events Around the US, Global Book Promotion Group, and Kindle Unlimited to name a few.

Writers Groups/Organizations:  If you search the World Wide Web you’ll come up with many of these types of organizations.  I hope the list below gives you a start.

1.    Electronic Publishers Industry Coalition:  EPIC, the Electronic Published Industry Coalition, is a professional organization for published and contracted e-book authors. It was established in 1998 to provide a strong voice for electronic publishing.
2.    Romance Writers of AmericaAn international organization founded in 1980 with a main focus on writing romance. RWA has a yearly conference at a different location each year, as well as contests for yet to be published and published authors. A list of the RWA national and international chapters can be found here.
3.    Oklahoma Writers of America:  The Oklahoma Romance Writers of America (OKRWA) celebrates its 25th birthday this year! OKRWA meets the 3rd Saturday of each month at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art in downtown Oklahoma City.
4.    Erotica Readers and Writers Association:  Dedicated to readers and writers of erotica since 1996, is an international community of women and men interested in the provocative world of erotica and sexuality. We host an active e-mail discussion list for readers and authors, a monthly newsletter, a Blog, and this website which serves as a resource site for original erotic fiction, articles and commentaries, calls for submissions, and publishing opportunities. If this is your first visit, please join us for a Tour of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association website.
5.    From the Heart Romance Writers:  The official name of our Chapter is From the Heart Romance Writers, Chapter #177 of Romance Writers of America. From the Heart Romance Writers started when several people realized there were a number of RWA members online who didn't have access to a local Chapter. 
6.    Writers Write
7.    For Writers
8.    Authorlink:  Authorlink is the award-winning online news, information, and marketing service for editors, agents, producers, writers, and readers. We serve more than one million unique visitors per year. Established in March 1996, we are among the longest-running and largest publishing and writing communities on the Internet.

Publishers/Agents:  Do you have a finished manuscript and not sure where to submit?  Here’s a list of publishers and/or agents guidelines to point you in the right direction.

3.    Agent Query
4.    Writer’s Net
5.    EPIC Publishers
7.    Harlequin

Upcoming Book Signings / Appearances:
©    3rd Saturday of Month:  OKRWA Monthly Meeting, OKC Museum of Art
©    April 13-17, 2016:  Romantic Times Reader Convention, Las Vegas, NV at the Rio Hotel and Casino

Coming Next Month:  Christmas and New Year’s Eve traditions, Christmas movies to warm your heart, plus stories to make you want to cuddle with your loved one.

With much gratitude, until next time…keep reading.

Spark your imagination and entice your mind
Be adventurous in your own mind
Take a journey into a new world and be inspired
Enjoy the pleasures of reading ~~
It does the mind and body good.