Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Maxine's Musings

April 1, 2015

Wow, lots going on this month:  April Fool’s Day where your “friends” play tricks on you; Passover begins at sundown on the 3rd; Easter is the 5th; Administrative Professionals Day (formerly Secretary’s Day) is on the 22nd; Brewer baseball with opening day on April 6th against the Rockies. Go Brew Crew!

In this Issue:
          Quote of the Month
          Featured Author
          Easter Traditions
          April Fool’s Day
          Upcoming book signings
          Coming next month

Quote of the Month:  “Every thought of yours is a real thing—a force.”  Prentice Mulford (1834-1891))

Featured AuthorKyla Phillips

I was inspired by the mixture of beauty and terror in raw elemental power, thunderstorms, fire, and blizzards just to name a few. I figured if I coupled that with the mercurial nature of the human existence I’d have a pretty good story to tell.  Of course I needed someone to break up all the crazy and my main character, Vayne, is a light elemental. Light is the harbinger of truth and Vayne is definitely a truth seeker.

Vayne is a light elemental and bounty hunter for the supernatural world.  Her partners—Giovanni, a capricious fallen angel; and Donovan, a shape shifter with anger control issues—work with her during their rehabilitation. During the coldest winter Cincinnati has ever seen, the threesome run into a case where temporary and violent insanity strikes powerful elementals seemingly at random. Vayne soon finds herself the victim instead of the hunter, and working on the wrong side of the conflict.  How can Don and Gio pull her back from the brink? How will she reveal the perpetrator and bring him before the chopping block?

Pre-order and save until May 5th at Amazon or MuseItUp Publishing

Easter Traditions:  According to the Venerable Bede, Easter derives its name from Eostre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. A month corresponding to April had been named "Eostremonat," or Eostre's month, leading to "Easter" becoming applied to the Christian holiday that usually took place within it. Prior to that, the holiday had been called Pasch (Passover), which remains its name in most non-English languages.

In Medieval Europe, eggs were forbidden during Lent. Eggs laid during that time were often boiled or otherwise preserved. Eggs were thus a mainstay of Easter meals, and a prized Easter gift for children and servants.

In addition, eggs have been viewed as symbols of new life and fertility through the ages. It is believed that for this reason many ancient cultures, including the Ancient Egyptians, Persians, and Romans, used eggs during their spring festivals.

Orthodox Christians in the Middle East and in Greece painted eggs bright red to symbolize the blood of Christ. Hollow eggs (created by piercing the shell with a needle and blowing out the contents) were decorated with pictures of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and other religious figures in Armenia.

Germans gave green eggs as gifts on Holy Thursday, and hung hollow eggs on trees. Austrians placed tiny plants around the egg and then boiled them. When the plants were removed, white patterns were created.

Easter Basket Cake 


1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
1 (16 ounce) can white frosting
2 drops green food coloring
1/2 teaspoon water
2 cups flaked coconut        
1 (14 ounce) package candy-coated chocolate pieces


Prepare the cake mix and bake the cake in two 8 inch rounds according to package directions. Cool completely.

Cut a circle out of the center of one of the layers, leaving a ring that measures 1 1/2 inches from the outer to the inner edge. Place the uncut layer on a serving platter and frost the top. Place the ring layer on top of the frosted layer, and frost the sides and top of the basket. Decorate the sides and top by pressing candy pieces into the frosting.

To tint the coconut, combine water and green food coloring in a medium bowl. Stir in coconut with a fork until evenly tinted. Place green coconut grass in center of cake basket.

To make a handle, cut a piece of aluminum foil 8x16 inches. Fold in half lengthwise 4 times. Wrap with ribbon, securing the ends with tape. Insert ends of the handle into the cake top. Fill basket with Easter candy and goodies, if desired.

April Fool’s Day:  The origins of this custom are complex and a matter of much debate. It is likely a relic of the once common festivities held on the vernal equinox, which began on the 25th of March, old New Year's Day, and ended on the 2nd of April.

Though the 1st of April appears to have been observed as a general festival in Great Britain in antiquity, it was apparently not until the beginning of the 18th century that the making of April-fools was a common custom. In Scotland the custom was known as "hunting the gowk," i.e. the cuckoo, and April-fools were "April-gowks," the cuckoo being a term of contempt, as it is in many countries.

One of the earliest connections of the day with fools is Chaucer's story the Nun's Priest's Tale (c.1400), which concerns two fools and takes place "thritty dayes and two" from the beginning of March, which is April 1. The significance of this is difficult to determine.

For additional information:'s_Day

News/Updates:  Work continues on my first romantic suspense, Kandi Kisses. For this book I’m trying something different. I’m actually, are you sitting down? Plotting!! Yes, you read that right plotting. I’ve left my pantser ways behind…well for the most part anyway. I’m really pleased at the progress.

Book 2 of the Blue Moon Magic Series, Twice in a Blue Moon, is now available. The story of the Langford sisters that began in Book 1, By the Blue Moon, continues with Charity, the second daughter of the wolfen clan chief in Twice in a Blue Moon.

Upcoming Appearances:

April 4:  Book Signing – Anadarko Library, Anadarko, OK
May 12-17Romantic Times BookLovers Convention, Dallas, TX.

Coming Next Month:  Preparing for Romantic Times Convention this May in Dallas.

With much gratitude, until next time…keep reading.

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