Sunday, December 26, 2010

Reflecting on 2010

Another year is about to come to an end, so it's time to look back on what I did in 2010.

I had eight books published with Ellora's Cave--six new releases and two re-releases. I'm proud of that.

I read over 100 books. I'd promised myself in January that I would read more this year and I succeeded. Many of those were short novellas that are quick reads, but I enjoy those as much as long, detailed novels.

I lost a dear friend and my writing partner, Randi Monroe. I'd known Randi for over 20 years. Her death hit me very hard. I still think of her every day and miss her so much.

I went to RomantiCon and got to hang out with five of the Sizzling Scribes. We had so much fun! We ate together, drank together, and cracked jokes (some so funny I couldn't stop giggling). We gave a workshop on group promotion that was so successful, we hope we can give it again at the next RomantiCon.

I went to Ontario, Canada for the first time in my life. My good friend and fellow Scribe, Nikki Soarde, graciously invited me to her home. I've known Nikki for many years, but this was the first time I got to visit her beautiful country. She was a wonderful hostess and I had a blast.

I discovered after years of bronchitis that I have allergy-induced asthma. Now I'm taking allergy drops and am feeling much better.

I spent lots of time with my sister. That's always so special. She's the best sister ever!

So what's up for me in 2011? More books to write, more books to read, more scrapbooks to create, more travel (hopefully), more time with family and friends. How about you?

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Some Tongue-In-Cheek Holiday Cheer

The holiday season is upon us – falalalala or CHA-CHING! Is it me or is everything just too freakin expensive to make any sense? This year I said I was cutting back (I say that every year and then find my self running like a motor with a screwed-up piston trying to at least make the tree look like it’s got something under it. I know I end up with that ‘deer in the headlights’ look as I’m leaping around milling mall customers, knocking over the occasional old lady or two, and trying to find something more for say maybe the granddaughters. Something that isn’t cheap and cheesy, yet not too pricey cuz you know damn well it’s going to break after three uses and end up in the garbage anyway.)

And oh, let’s talk about the forty acres of trees that end up in my daily newspaper or mailbox in the form of holiday coupons. Holiday Coupons??? Give me a break. There’s 10% off, 15% off and even …. Drumroll ….1/2 OFF!!!!! Come now, don’t miss the sale, it’s the deal of the year. So like the damn idiot I am, I fell for it again this year. I was one of those numbskulls that couldn’t sleep so I got up at 3:00 in the morning—mind you the wind is blowing, it’s zero outside and it takes the entire 20 minute ride to the nearest town for the car to get close to warming up. I’ve got my lists and coupons tucked all nicely in my wallet cuz damn, I’m going to hit some bargains. So I shoulder my way through the crowds while wishing for that cold car because now I’m hotflashing and rethinking my turtleneck under my sweater. I grab this, I snatch that, I clutch at the gift of the year that’s going to make me look good, all the while calculating that percentage off and telling myself that the deep freeze to the hotflash just may have been worth it. So I get up to the counter and reach for my glasses that I had hanging by a bow on my sweater and what to my wondering eyes appear? Absolutely nothing. Somewhere in the crazy holiday melee they fell off and ended up somewhere on the floor. So I retrace my route through the shopping crowd that despite the Christmas music and beautiful decorations, is now getting ornery and rude. Assholes. No glasses. Admitting defeat, I return to the counter that now has fifteen people in line in front of me. I wait patiently, caressing my coupons and trying to convince myself that yes, this is still worth what I’m going to save. FINALLY! It’s my turn. With great aplomb I drop my purchases onto the counter and snap those old coupons right on top of them with a smile of pleasure… Until the store rep and says, “Well, sorry, Ma’am,” (I hate Ma’am—I’m not my grandmother for crissakes) “These coupons won’t work because this item and this item are all considered “Great Values” and this item doesn’t fall within the category, oh, and this item? It’s listed on the special event list so…”

So what did I do? I shoved the freakin coupons back into my purse wondering if I should just roll them up and smoke them on the way home. I pulled out my credit card with teeth gritting cuz damn, I wasn’t going to be a rude and ornery customer.

On the way home as I’m choking on the taste of rolled coupon, I told myself that next year I’m simply buying gift cards.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Recipe Contest

I've often struggled with cooking. I'm terrible at it.
My husband and Kids are great cooks but I'm not.
I'm one of those who has to follow a recipe to make anything.
So I'm calling out to all those great cooks out there for help.
Post your favorite Christmas Recipe and be entered to win
your choice of a copy of Devilish Delights or Night Prey in e-format.
If you'd rather have a hard copy, I have Arian's Angel or Eyes of Stone
in print available.
Every recipe you post and share gains you another entry and another
chance to win.
I'll start this off with one of my Mom's favorite's.
3 packages of plain gelatin
6 tbsps cold water
1 1/4 cups of boiling water
1 cup sugar
1 can of crushed pineapple
1 can of strawberry pie filling
3 containers of cool whip
1 large angel food cake
1 package of coconut

Soften gelatin with 6 tbsps of cold water then add 1 & 1/4 cups of boiling water and mix.
Add 1 cup of sugar and stir until dissolved. Mix in pineapple with its liquid, add strawberry
pie filling and 2 containers of cool whip and mix together well. Break up the angel food
cake into small pieces then stir into the mixture.
Line a large bowl with plastic wrap with plenty hanging over the sides. Pour the mixture
into the bowl and cover with extra plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
Uncover the top of the bowl and flip onto a serving platter. Gently remove plastic wrap
from the cake. Spread the last container of cool whip and coat with the coconut to give
it the snowball appearance.

Enjoy. I look forward to learning some great new recipes.
Tara Nina