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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Treasures

I finally put my Christmas tree up yesterday. I know! Better late than never, though, right? The only thing missing is the popcorn and cranberry garland. May have to watch The Ref tonight and string some!


Oscar wants to know why he can't go tearing through the living room the way he usually does.

Anyway, I had a lovely time cooing over old family ornaments with my mom. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I've collected a lot of fruits and vegetables over the years--like this cute green tomato! What's your favorite holiday keepsake?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cover Art News!

Oh my gosh, you guys! I've got the cover art for my next book, Too Hot to Touch, and I'm DYING to share it with you...but I can't yet. Sorry! While we make sure we have final approvals, everyone chime in--what are some of your favorite book covers of all time? 

Here are a few of mine:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

TKA Blog Party

Come one, come all! 
An invitation to the event of the season, hosted by The Knight Agency Blog:

HO HO HO! It's the most wonderful time of the year, and that means it's time for TKA's annual online holiday party! Join our agents, authors and TKA Santa for an hour of non-stop giveaways. This is our most fun, relaxed chat of the year. No worries about what to ask a guest author or waiting your turn to speak -- it's literally a free for all! This year Gena Showalter, Nalini Singh, Maria Geraci, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Shannon K. Butcher, Linda Gerber, Michelle Celmer, Louisa Edwards, Lydia Dare, Joey W. Hill, Jessica Andersen, Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Chris Marie Green and Shirley Jump are all giving away signed copies of their releases. Plus we're raiding our book closets and giving out titles by Rachel Caine, Marley Gibson and Cecil Murphey, among others. Oh yeah, and there's a Christmas stocking prize stuffed with books and holiday treats.

Don't forget to mark your calendars!

WHAT: Knight Agency Annual Holiday Lunchbox Chat
WHEN: Thursday, December 16th @ 12:30pm ET
WHERE: The Knight Agency Chat Room,
HOW TO CHAT: Enter any combination of username and password. Login. Your computer must be Java enabled to chat.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Recipe: Mississippi Nut Cake

Otherwise known, by the more upfront, less teetotalling side of my family, as Whiskey Cake! This is one of my all-time holiday favorites, and it's one of those that proves how delicious simple recipes can be. It's the fruitcake for people who hate fruitcake! I make miniature loaves as neighborhood gifts and wrap them in cute, holiday-printed cloth and clear plastic wrap, then tie a ribbon around it, and attach a miniature airline-sized bottle of Jack Daniels. Sometimes I think about trying something new, but I get people begging me for their whiskey cakes year after year, so I never do! 

Try it. I guarantee you'll love it!

Whiskey Cake

1 lb. chopped pecans
½ lb. golden raisins
1 ½ C. flour, separated (see below)
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ C. butter
1 1/8 C. sugar
3 eggs separated
2 tsps. Freshly grated nutmeg
2/3 C. good, sweet bourbon plus ½ C. (I usually use Jack Daniels or Wild Turkey)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 

Sift the flour and measure 1 ½ C. 

Mix ½ C. of the flour with the nuts and raisins. Sift the remaining flour again with the baking powder and salt. 

Cream butter and sugar and add 3 egg yolks. Mix the nutmeg and whiskey together and add little by little , alternating with dry ingredients. Add nuts and raisins; finally beat egg whites until stiff and fold them into the batter.

Pour into 2 regular-sized loaf pans or four mini-loaf pans and let stand for a few minutes to settle. Bake at 325 for about 1 ¼ hours. 

Remove the cakes from the oven and let stand in the pans for 1 hour before pouring an extra half cup of bourbon over the whole thing and taking them out of the pans to finish cooling.

Wrap in clean cloth and continue "watering" with bourbon. You can't put too much! The cake just gets better and better...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Book Club

Who's got the wine and cheese plate? It's Book Club Day! Over at Marie Force's blog, we're all gabbing about Just One Taste. How fun is that? I'm also giving away a signed copy of the whole Market Trilogy, Can't Stand the Heat, On the Steamy Side, and Just One Taste. Plus, there are several great recipes! You seriously don't want to miss it. Pop on over and put in your two cents on the book. I'd love to chat with you!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Facebook Giveaway: The Boyfriend of the Month Club

I blogged about Maria Geraci's warm, fun, funny women's fiction novel The Boyfriend of the Month Club yesterday, and now's your chance to experience it for yourself! I'm giving away a copy to one lucky follower of my official Facebook fan page. To be entered in the drawing, comment on the Facebook post with the name of your very first boyfriend, and I'll pick one lucky winner! (You must be a fan of my official FB page, and a resident of the U.S. or Canada to win.) Good luck!

Here's the blurb for the book, in case you missed it: 

This sexy, funny new novel asks: Can a woman find a modern-day Mr. Darcy in Daytona Beach?

At thirty, Grace O'Bryan has dated every loser in Daytona Beach. After the ultimate date-from-hell, Grace decides to turn her dwindling book club into a Boyfriend of the Month Club, where women can discuss the eligible men in their community. Where are the real life twenty-first century versions of literary heroes such as Heathcliff and Mr. Darcy?

Could it be successful and handsome Brandon Farrell, who is willing to overlook his disastrous first date with Grace and offers financial help for her parents' failing Florida gift shop? Or maybe sexy dentist Joe Rosenblum, who's great with a smile but not so great at commitment? Unfortunately, like books, men cannot always be judged by their covers... 

"Romance readers will revel in the Austen-perfect happy ending and the warm friendship among members of the club." --Publishers Weekly

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fresh Apple Cake and a Fresh Book Pick!

If you want my grandmother's recipe for Fresh Apple Cake, check out my guest post today at Romancing the Book! This is a great cake for the holidays because it's one of those that actually gets better and better a few days after baking, so it's perfect to keep around the house for when those unexpected guests drop by.

And today, finally, my friend Maria Geraci's newest book is out! I can't wait to get my copy of The Boyfriend of the Month Club (and is that not the cutest title ever?) because Maria's a wonderful, funny, warm writer whose characters always stick with me long after I finish the book. Love the cover for this one, don't you? It looks like the perfect escape from all this cold winter weather! Head out to a bookstore or order it online right away. You don't want to miss this one!

Monday, December 6, 2010

I wanted to bring your attention to my fellow Knight Agency client, Bryan Andersen, who's up for a Rare Life Award. I've met Bryan, and he's not only got an inspiring story, he's adorable, charming, funny, and interesting to talk to. Take a second to vote for him! He definitely deserves to win. The info below is reposted with the permission of the TKA Blog:

Iraq war veteran and triple amputee Bryan Andersen's remarkable story of surviving and thriving after being severely wounded during his second tour of duty will be published in 2011. In the meantime, he continues to inspire thousands of people each year by sharing his message of perseverance and determination as spokesperson for both Pride Mobility and USA Cares, a non-profit organization that is focused on assisting post 9/11 veterans. He's also an avid sportsman, who loves snowboarding, skateboarding, archery, cycling, 4-wheeling and rock climbing  -- to name a few. And we do mean a few. There's nothing Bryan can't do if he puts his mind to it.

Recently, Bryan was nominated for a "Rare Life Award," which donates $10,000 to the charity of the winner's choice. The winner is determined by online voting. Please follow this link to show Bryan your support. It only takes a few seconds.

Click here to read our profile on Bryan earlier this year.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Late to the Party

I know I'm like the last person in America to start watching Glee, but that's how it goes sometimes. And I'm totally loving it! It's kind of nice that there aren't too many episodes to catch up on, although now I'm sad because the only one I haven't seen is the brand new one from last night.

It's hard to quantify exactly why I love the show. I mean, great writing, sharp dialogue, actors who breathe new life into characters who should be stereotypes, fun musical numbers, blah blah blah. Why do I care so much about what happens to Kurt? Why do I love every nasty, mean word out of Sue's mouth--and then cry when she talks to her sister in the very next scene?

I have to give the writers credit--they seem to have picked up on exactly the characters and situations I wanted to see more of, and highlighted them. It's like they can see inside my brain! They even gave me more Brittany, who is weirdly my favorite character. I just find her hysterical, and it weirds me out because the Dumb Blonde has to be one of the most boring, unoriginal stock characters out there--and yet, she makes it fresh and hilarious.

To me, it's all about commitment. The reason Kurt and Sue and Brit are so effing funny and affecting at the same time is that, as over the top as they are, they don't come off as caricatures because the actors have completely committed to their roles. They're not hamming it up, they're really going for it, for the true core of who that person is underneath the wacky behavior. It's a great lesson in how to write comedy that matters.

So who's your favorite member of the Glee club?

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