I didn’t post all this week…still crazy from the holiday, and so much going on personally and at work. So I thought I’d pop in on this bright and beautiful Saturday morning, the very first day of December.
There were alot of GRATITUDE posts floating around Facebook in November, everyone posting days of what they were thankful for. November was all about thankfulness, as it should be. We should stop and take notice of our blessings…we tend to spend way too much time complaining about what we lack. So November was a great time to take stock and see things right side up.
December, to me, is about memories. About all the traditions we had growing up, big and little. Smells and sounds and tastes and tactile memories that define the month of December and Christmas. So I’m going to do a little daily memory log this month, sharing my memories with you. And hopefully it will trigger some of your own, and you’ll share yours!
Today, Day #1, is the smell and feel of cold air, drinking hot spiced tea on the old brick porch with my mom.
Enjoy your memories!
In the spirit of book-y love and snack addiction, I wanted to round out this week with the recipe for the spicy crackers Aunt Bernie makes in BEFORE AND EVER SINCE.
Cassidy loves them, Emily loves them, even health crazy Holly loves them. So here you are–your very own recipe to make them yourself. EASY peasy and sooooo good. Enjoy!
TEXAS FIRE CRACKERS
(served by Aunt Bernie… good as appetizer or with gumbo…)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 2/3 cup vegetable or olive oil
2 1-oz pkgs Ranch Dressing mix
1 16oz box Saltine crackers
Place vegetable oil, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, ranch dressing mix, and crushed red pepper flakes in a 2-gallon plastic zip lock bag, seal, and smoosh with hands to thoroughly combine the oil and spices. Place crackers into bag, seal, and turn over and over to cover the crackers with the spice mix. Let the bag sit for about an hour, then turn them again. Repeat several more times until crackers are well-coated with spice mix. The longer they sit in the mix, the better. Remove crackers and let air dry. Serve!
Now you can make these for your family…or make them for yourself as a wonderful snack while you curl up and read! LOL! Enjoy!
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Here we are again at Off The Beaten Path! A once-a-month opportunity to get to know a very special romance or women’s fiction author, in a fun and hopefully interactive way. We all like to get to know our favorite authors a little better, and I want to make that fun for everyone.
This month, I’m so excited to have the fabulous Cynthia Ellingsen here!!
Cynthia and I met at this past summer’s RWA National Conference, where our mutual editor introduced us at the Berkley cocktail party. We were fast friends! What fun we had out on the patio (waiting for the heater) brainstorming promo ideas and people watching. Cynthia is hysterically funny, witty, gorgeous, fearless, and one of those rare people that look you in the eye with so much intensity and genuine interest in what you’re saying, that it blows you away. She’s a gem, this one! And a very talented author as well! Her first book, THE WHOLE PACKAGE, came out last year, and it’s a hoot! If you love stories about best friends and the crazy antics they can get into, this one’s for you! And she’s got another winner on the way with MARRIAGE MATTERS in March! (available for preorder!)
But I’m going to let Cynthia talk now… so…
* * * *
Me: Hey Cynthia!! *waving from Texas* First question…Top ingredients on any food product are the primary make up of that food. What top three words would you use to describe yourself? And you can’t use “writer”, because that’s too easy.
Cynthia: *waves from Kentucky* 1) Funny, 2) friendly, 3) Aries.
Me: I love candles and burn them year round, and my family knows my preferences when it comes to scents. What are yours? If not candles, maybe lotion or cologne?
Cynthia: Vanilla! I love the smell of a vanilla candle or a pumpkin spice candle. And I wish they could create a candle called “fireplace”, because I absolutely love that smell.
Me: Oh…I would love a “fireplace” one too. Okay, next question… I cry at sad movies…especially animal ones. What type of movies take you down?
Cynthia: Dead Poet’s Society. It’s so good, so inspirational. I think I’ve cried every single time I’ve seen it.
Me: If you could go back and tell your younger self one important thing, what would it be?
Cynthia: To buy stock in Apple! And Starbucks! And Apple! (Oh, dear. Was this answer supposed to be something uplifting? Fail.)
Me: (laughing) Starbucks is like the mother ship to me, as well as a tall glass of sweet tea. What is your favorite beverage?
Cynthia: I really love a hearty smoothie with blueberries and whatever else. A café by my house sells one with peanut butter and blueberries. So good – like drinking a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Me: Okay now I want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich…sigh. If you could pick a dream vacation where money was no object, what would it be?
Cynthia: Ooh, a Four Seasons getaway in Maui and Kauai with my husband. Hawaii’s so beautiful – we love it. When are you sending the tickets again? I’ve already got my lei on!
Me: Sure!!! Tickets are on their way, via carrier pigeon! LOL! Okay… If you could go back and revisit another day at any point in your life, what would it be?
Cynthia: Aww, how fun would that be?! I vote for any holiday with my whole family. Such good memories.
Me: I know you and I already did this together over Karen White, but is there anyone else you would be a total crazy fan girl over if you met them in person?
Cynthia: Ha! Yes, I’m sure Karen White was like, “Whoa. Who are these two crazy girls?” But she was so awesome. If given the opportunity to flip out again, I think I’d probably get gaga over any author I read all the time when I was young. Judy Blume, obviously. Beverly Cleary, for sure. Ann M. Martin, no question. And if we want to stroll away from literary and on over to the favorite band category, I would light up like a Christmas tree if I bumped into Coldplay on the street. And in this scenario, they’d certainly be singing.
Me: What is your favorite curl-up-on-the-couch-and-hibernate comfort food?
Cynthia: Anything salty. I went through a big Cheetos phase. It’s probably for the best that’s over.
Me: Don’t even get me started on Cheetos. O.o So… what is your favorite all time movie that you could watch over and over?
Cynthia: Since we’re approaching the holiday season, I’m gonna go with a whole series: A Christmas Story, Rudolph and Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation. Snuggled up with the hubs, a big fuzzy blanket and some snacks, this sounds like a perfect scenario.
Absolutely amazing to have Cynthia here with us today, and now she’s graciously giving away a signed copy of her book, THE WHOLE PACKAGE! I’m telling you, you don’t want to miss this! Leave a comment for Cynthia below, and a random winner will be chosen tonight to win!
So jump in there and enter!! Good luck!
Cynthia is an author and screenwriter who lives in Lexington, KY with her husband. THE WHOLE PACKAGE is her debut novel, and her second novel, MARRIAGE MATTERS, will be out in March 2013.
I mentioned that I was signing at the John Cooper School Signature Author Series last Friday…
Did I mention that I was going to meet Kathryn Stockett?
Well I did! I mean, not like hey we’re bff’s and dishing about lotion scents and recipes, but I did get my picture taken with her and Tate Taylor, who did the movie version of THE HELP.
Yeah, I was excited. AND if you didn’t see me squeeing all over Facebook, I had a childhood fangirl moment with the oldest Hardy Boy, when he was there with two other authors as the cover artist. He does photography now. AND he gushed over my cover. And told me how clever my chapter booklets were. AND I got a picture with him too!
(me and Parker Stevenson)
So…now back to reality, but during that reality, today I’m at The Book Pushers, talking about the hugest theme in BEFORE AND EVER SINCE, which is the power of secrets. Stop by for a chance at a giveaway!
Y’all have a great day!
This next week is going to be a whirlwind… I remember this from the past Spring, when THE REASON IS YOU was about to launch. The week before is a blur of blog posts and tours and giveaways and never-ending anxiety. LOL. Well, that’s about to start again.
When JUST ONE DAY released recently, (my e-novella) I didn’t have time for anxiety…. It was so fast and spur of the moment, I didn’t get a chance to obsess over its entry into the world. Hmmm, that may be the way to go.
Now… BEFORE AND EVER SINCE is about to step out there.
Just 11 days away. *nail chewing and pacing commences* And with that, I wanted to let my wonderful readers know what fun is coming this next week. Here goes…
- I’m starting a virtual blog tour on Monday, and I’ll post that starting link here on Monday. This tour will be at different sites and will post on M-W-F through Nov 22nd. Great giveaways on this tour, including free books from myself and other authors, swag, totebags, and gift cards! All the tour stops are also listed on my event page.
- Also kicking off on Monday are the 8 Life Lessons Learned via Emily Lockwood of BEFORE AND EVER SINCE. These are fun little daily lessons that come with exclusive excerpts from the book that you’ll only get here on this blog! These have their own perk, as one commenter from all eight posts will be chosen to have a significant character named after them in my next novella, which will be done in Spring 2013.
- Like your men handy? All this week, in honor of the hot tool guy, Ben, in BEFORE AND EVER SINCE, there will a “Hot Tool Man of the Day” posted here and on Facebook and Pinterest. Just because. Be sure to follow my Facebook Author Page and Pinterest page!
- ON RELEASE DAY! Now, this isn’t technically this week, but I want to give you a heads up… I’m having a Facebook party from 10am to 5pm CST on Nov 6th. This is piled with goodies and giveaways that all you have to do to win is register! Click here for all the details! After that…whew….is a Twitter Launch Party from 6pm to 7pm CST–an action packed hour of giveaways! Click here to go register for that!! I’ll post more on these during the week, but go ahead and register…it’s free!
*sitting down to rest*
I think that about covers things for now. I can’t wait for everything to rev up on Monday, so I hope to see you back here!
That’s right. Just two weeks from today, on Nov 6th, BEFORE AND EVER SINCE will be officially out in the world.
It will be floating around cyberspace in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, The Book Depository, and any other online book sites, and nestled in all its paper glory on the shelves next to THE REASON IS YOU. And if I’m really lucky, it will be placed on the New Releases table as well.
And there are some events to come starting next Monday, launching the book buzz into the world. There will be a virtual blog tour with giveaways (stops on my event page), Excerpt teasers with life lessons from the main character (fun!), and a Facebook party all day that day with a Twitter party that evening. Craziness! Fun! Freebies! What could be better?
Cookies!! I’m even making cookies. Or my daughter will. So that I have something to graze on during all these parties.
If you haven’t preordered BEFORE AND EVER SINCE yet, and plan to buy it, please consider preordering! (You can use any of those ebook links above and click on ‘paperback’ if that’s your preference) It makes my first week’s sales look good, which makes my editor happy. LOL.
Thanks to you all and have a fabulous Tuesday!
Short and sweet, but something to get you thinking today….
If you could choose one day in your life to go back and revisit…what would it be?
Any day…at any point in your life… And push yourself. We all have the easy picks. Children’s births, obviously. Try to think outside the box.
And would you change anything, or just want to watch again?
I’ve been very lax of late on my blogging, and I apologize. Deep, scraping bow kind of apologize. Everything is about to explode in my world–in a good way–but explosions nonetheless.
But first I want to put a shout out for my Off The Beaten Path blog feature tomorrow! This month I have RWA-WF chapter’s very own Pam Morsi! SO excited, and you will love her wit and charm. She’s giving away a signed copy of her latest book THE LOVESICK CURE to a random commenter, so be sure to come play with us!!
JUST ONE DAY, my first time writing a novella, started with Nook First last week, which runs for 30 days before it goes out to the rest of the big bad world. In three days, it hit #4 on Barnes & Noble Nook Books Bestseller list, and this week it’s holding steady in the 20′s, so if you didn’t hear me scream, suffice it to say there was noise. It made me an official National Bestselling Author, which is mega-cool to stick by my name. And it kicked off more sales for my first and upcoming books, which is even better.
Speaking of upcoming….. BEFORE AND EVER SINCE is a month away! You know there’s a hot carpenter guy in it, right? He can come to your house. You can preorder him here. And here. And probably other places too, but you get the point.
And….something I’m jumping up and down about today. You know who Kathryn Stockett is, right? (ducking as you throw things) Yeah….we ALL know who she is. We all want to BE her. And I get to sign books with her!!!!!!!! Okay not like–sitting next to her, being her BFF or anything (although I would love to be her bff, and send funny text msgs back and forth) but signing at the same event!
I was chosen for the John Cooper School’s annual Signature Author Series event in The Woodlands, TX (Houston area) as one of about 10 authors to do a book signing event. Kathryn Stockett is the keynote speaker, and she’s bringing the director of THE HELP movie with her. There’s a big luncheon, and video presentation of all the authors, and massive publicity. And….it’s three days after BEFORE AND EVER SINCE comes out….so hello…great timing!
So so so so excited about that. If you are in the Houston area on November 9th, this is an event to put on your calendar!
Okayyyyyyyy….I think that about covers things for right now. Oh, and I wrote a 4 page synopsis last night in an hour…which could mean that the world really is ending in a couple of months. Or just that angels rained down good juu juu on me for once.
Everyone have a fabulous day, and come back tomorrow to talk to Pam!!
Excited to officially announce my new e-novella JUST ONE DAY was chosen by Barnes & Noble for their Nook First program!
This means that they will have it exclusively for thirty days, promoting it on their website. After that time is up, it will be available at all other ebook sites!
The novella is available at Barnes & Noble for download ($2.99) starting today!!!
So all you “Nook’ers” out there….you get first bite!! And for you and everyone else out there….here is an excerpt…
And then, of course…BEFORE AND EVER SINCE is almost here! Just 43 days away! Stay tuned to see where I’ll be signing with it…there are some exciting events coming.