Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Devil's Food Cake by Josi Kilpack

I finally made the time to read Devil's Food Cake the third in Josi Kilpack's culinary mystery series. Loved it. A terrific cozy mystery. I adore her heroine, Sadie Hoffmiller. My only problem with the story is the cover. As you can see, it's my weakness. The first weekend I had the book I baked devil's food cake. After eating three pieces I had to force the rest of the cake into my boys' mouths and hide the cover under other books. Besides the temptation to eat as you're reading, the series is wonderful. Lemon Tart is the first followed by English Trifle. Key Lime Pie (#4) was released in August so I'm a bit behind. If you can resist the recipes or aren't on a diet, I would highly recommend the entire series.
Monday, January 24, 2011

Still waiting for January

We're doing well with our family goal this year - being clean (in mind, body, spirit, and home). My husband thought of that after my sis called my boys "dirties". She retagged them "grubbies" when I complained about the "dirties" title. She'd watched the boys while Stan and I were in the NICU with the baby. They came to her house disgustingly dirty. She asked when their last shower was and none of them could remember. She opened their bag to find clean clothes (they promised me they packed well) and found only Nerf guns. After she got them and their clothes clean she asked, "Now doesn't that feel better?" Their response, "If it makes you feel better, Aunt Abbie." Hence the decision to be clean this new year. It's worked well all the way around being clean in body and spirit. But I also set goals for myself to start writing again and stop using the cute baby as an excuse. It hasn't happened yet. I keep putting it off, telling myself the baby isn't old enough for me to get with it. I guess I'm still waiting for January to officially start. I would love some motivation if anyone has something to share.
Saturday, January 22, 2011

Questioning my inspiration

My book ideas always originate from nightmares. Last week I had a doozy and was certain I'd found my new book idea, but then I started questioning myself. Was the idea solid? Was it intriguing? Do I really want to invest a year on this idea? My question to you is: How do you know an idea is golden (an idea for a new novel or for anything that you enjoy creating)? Do you stew about it for weeks before you take the plunge or just go for it and pray you aren't being led astray by new idea euphoria?
Thursday, January 13, 2011

Radio talk shows

As I drove home from the gym this morning the song ended and the morning talk show hosts started chatting. I immediately changed the channel, then I felt a bit of guilt. As an author I've been featured on different radio talk shows and hoped that someone tuned in. My unconscious reaction of changing the channel when I heard talking instead of music made me wonder if anyone is listening to the chat anymore or if we all just want to get back to the music.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Time is Now

"I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, let me do it now; for I shall not pass this way again." S. Grellet I always get excited this time of year to be on top of my life again. I make all kinds of goals and plans: To have an effective schedule for homework, chores, family fun time, bedtime, etc. To eat healthier, eat smaller portions, and exercise harder. To meet my writing goals. To serve others more effectively and more often. To clean my house (no, not really, that's still way down the priority list). Even though I get really excited about my goals, it's always easier to plan for tomorrow rather than today. Tomorrow I'll study and ponder my scriptures instead of just reading them. Tomorrow I'll be fun and play with my boys for longer than five minutes. Tomorrow I won't eat a bowl of ice cream (but I really need one tonight). Tomorrow I won't sleep in (but the baby was up a lot last night and right now I really need to snuggle my pillow). Tomorrow I'll make the boys clean their rooms (then I'll redo them while they're at school). "Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today." Thomas Jefferson "When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no, I'll start tomorrow. Tomorrow is disease." V.L. Allineare It's great to make goals and to plan for tomorrow, but we need to live for today. I love having many lofty goals but to be effective in accomplishing those goals I try to break them into easier, daily goals. I also like to write them on the calendar so I know what I need to accomplish today. Today I will make a healthy dinner for my family and resist chocolate (oh, the torture). Today I will revise five pages of my manuscript instead of check out Facebook posts during computer time. Today I will get out of bed when my alarm goes off, drive to the gym, and not come home until I sweat. Today I will go visit my adopted grandma. Today I will respond with patience and love when my four-year old is flailing on the ground screaming for a donut (that only happened twice so far). It's easy to get overwhelmed if we think we have to do everything perfectly for the rest of our lives, but if we can take it one day at a time it seems more manageable. If anyone told me I could never have a bowl of chocolate ice cream covered with chocolate fudge again I'd probably eat ten bowls to stock up on the sensation, but if I just tell myself that I'm not having a bowl today but on Friday I can have a treat, I don't go quite so crazy. Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave a wonderful call to action in the May Ensign: "Now is the time to adjust your lives to be able to have a temple recommend and use it. Now is the time to have meaningful family home evenings, to read the word of God, and speak to our Heavenly Father in earnest prayer. Now is the time to fill our hearts with gratitude for the Restoration of His Church, for living prophets, the Book of Mormon, and the priesthood power that blesses our lives. Now is the time to embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, become His disciples, and walk in His way." (i) Now is the time to accomplish our goals, improve ourselves, and love and enjoy our family and friends. The other day in the grocery store, the young man at the deli counter handed me my meat. I mumbled, "Thanks. Have a nice day." He grinned and said, "No. You make it a great day." We each have a choice. We can choose to make it a great day or we can choose to become bogged down with frustrations, offenses, and a to-do list that we can't accomplish. "There is no tomorrow to remember if we don't do something today. Let us not procrastinate those things which matter most." Thomas S. Monson (ii) Today is the gift we have been given. Make it a great day and let tomorrow take care of itself. (i) Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Way of the Disciple," Ensign, May 2009, 75-78. (ii) President Thomas S. Monson, "Don't procrastinate what matters most," LDS Women's Conference, May 2, 2008.
Friday, January 7, 2011

Yahoo group for readers and authors of romance

I found this fabulous Yahoo group for readers and writers who love romance. They are keeping the books PG-13 which is really nice. Hope to see you on the loop. Yahoo Group: Authors and Readers of Romance Link: Group Moderator: Joanne Troppello Website: Next Author Chat on facebook: Tuesday, January 11 • 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm Link:!/event.php?eid=180167605335673 We are a group of authors and readers who love romance novels. This is a group for authors to promote their novels, share contests they're hosting, post excerpts and network with other authors. This is also a group for readers to connect with romance authors and ask questions, as well as learn about authors' upcoming releases etc. ***Please note, we'd like to keep this group PG-13 rated. We are accepting members in all genres of romance and want to find a happy medium of "PG-13 rated" content when posting. Thanks! :-) We’d love to have you join our discussions!
Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Have any of you read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson? I realize I've been out of it with the baby but I honestly can't remember hearing about this series and I just read on Publisher's Lunch that it's the top book of 2010. Entertaiment Weekly hated it saying there was far too much description, which I personally have a hard time with. Mostly Fiction said it was suspenseful and the reviewer "couldn't put it down." What do you think? Is it worthy of the top book of the year?

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