Monday, October 31, 2011

So tell me . . .

Why do you read blogs?

What are you hoping to gain from reading blogs on books, writing, the publishing industry?

What would make it worth your while to read a blog weekly?

Did you know I write another blog in addition to InSpire? . . . Well it is more like a website where I showcase some of the most excellent authors in the inspirational category. They share their stories, their lives, what motivated them to write their novels with Stepping Stones Magazine for Readers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Questions, Questions, Questions

Readers are often interested in what life is like for an author, the process of writing and what it is like to turn an idea into a novel.

For those of you that are pre-published (notice I did not say unpublished), you probably have a lot of questions about what happens after you get an acceptance.  Wouldn't it be nice to get a leg up on what to expect when you do?  Your work will be cut out for you and you will be busier than ever.

The other day I posted on Facebook that I had gotten a glowing review from author Marylu Tyndall for the first book in the Daughters of the Potomac Series, Before the Scarlet Dawn, and that Marylu had read the 'ARC'.  A writer asked me what I meant by an ARC.

 An ARC is an Advance Readers Copy. Publishers send these out to book reviewers and authors in order to create a buzz and acquire reviews in advance of the release date. It is not the final proofed copy and cannot be sold. Often times things like the dedication, acknowledgements, and book club questions are not included. But it does have the cover that will be released.

So here's your chance to ask a published author all the questions you want. I'll do my best to answer them.  Please post them in Comments. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wonderful Readers Photos

I'm putting together a slide show for my website.
Could you help me out?
If you have a copy of my latest novel, 'Surrender the Wind', either in paperback or on Kindle, would you be so kind to send me a photo of you holding it? I'll add it in. I would really appreciate your help.
Just email me a jpg to

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A funny morning...

On Saturday morning over bacon and eggs, my husband Paul and I came up with a fake series, called 'The Heir Apparently Series',  a husband and wife tag-team production. We sat and laughed and almost cried over the visual images of these characters and their predicaments. You have to have some humor in life. How else would we get through it.

Book 1 ~ The Bare Heir
Due to a lack of income, Tilly Dresser is forced into being a nude artist's model in Paris until she inherits her eclectic father's gift shop in Tater Peeler, TN (a real place) in 1905 and meets prosperous potato farmer Ralph Russet and realizes there is more to life than what is skin-deep, and helps him invent a new hybrid potato without a skin . 

Book 2 ~ The Odious Heir

In order for Kitty Hawkins to inherit her father's deodorant factor in Nitro, West Virginia (a real place) she must drive a caravan wagon up and down the east coast for one year selling the latest in odor-masking cakes. But when she meets door-to-door banjo salesman, and itinerant preacher, Wilber (Willy) Hayseed, and hears his banjo playing, her life goes in a totally different direction in the Irish Spring of 1904.

Book 3 ~ The Air-headed Heir

After flunking out of Radcliffe Women's College in 1910, Bernice Beavis heads to New York City to work as a mime on the Vaudeville stage. When she inherits her father's oxygen tank factory in Wind Blow, NC (a real place) and meets George Von Hummerstein, a Quaker windmill builder, she must either chose, out of love, to sell the factory and sink all her money into George's business, or remain silent about her feelings for him the rest of her life.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Comfort Food for Readers and Writers

Curling up with a good book.
Settling down in front of the keyboard.
Comfort food in fall weather is a nice addition.

Banana Bars with Browned Butter Pecan Frosting

Banana Bars with Browned Butter Pecan Frosting (Adapted from Land O Lakes)

For the cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the frosting

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

To make the cake

Preheat oven to 375

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined. Add sour cream, mashed banana and vanilla - mix until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.

Scoop the mixture into a 10" x 15" baking pan coated with nonstick spray - spread the top smooth with an off-set spatula. Bake until golden and a toothpick placed in the center comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs attached, about 18 to 25 minutes. Place on a wire rack and cool completely.

To make the frosting

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium - continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the butter releases a nutty aroma and just starts to turn golden, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.

In a small bowl, mix together browned butter, confectioners' sugar, cream cheese, vanilla and salt until well combined and smooth. Spread frosting over the bars and sprinkle with pecans.

From the blog, 'Culinary in the Country.