Pages

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Katherine Bone








                                          

      Constance Danbury is fleeing an arranged marriage to lecherous Lord Burton, a man who has blackmailed her father and is nearly twice her age. Her escape takes her aboard a merchantman bound for Spain, where she hopes an aunt will help her procure funds to save her father’s dwindling reputation. But fate intervenes. Constance is captured by a pirate with a wit and stubbornness to match her own, and a secret he’ll do anything to keep.

      Nobleman Percival Avery is a member of Nelson’s Tea, an elite group whose members are first sons from every tier in society. Undercover, he disguises himself as a pirate to infiltrate the gang of cutthroats responsible for his sister’s death. But when his vessel attacks a merchantman with valuable cargo, Percy is forced to choose between vengeance and saving the life of his commander’s niece, Constance Danbury. Mutiny is sure to obliterate his well-laid plans. It also aligns him with the one woman sure to see through his disguise. Forced to play the fop by day to outwit his enemies, he masquerades as a rogue by night in order to avenge his sister’s death – and to win his true love’s heart.


Duke by Day, Rogue by Night is now available: Amazon | iTunes

I am thrilled to welcome Katherine Bone the author of A Duke By Day, Rogue by Night to my blog. For fun I decided to interview her hero Percival Avery, Marques Stanton to gain a little insight into his life undercover.

Interview with  Percival Avery, Marques Stanton

I was wondering if you had a pirate name? 

(A deep guttural laugh transcends the night air.) “Aye, love. I go by the name Sexton— Thomas Sexton. Sexton delights the tongue, does it not?" 



"Percy!” Constance gazes heavenward. 

“Relax, my gel. We are in no danger in enjoying our first interview.”

If it’s all right to continue, do you have any pirate mannerisms that you use when in disguise? 
“Good question! One, I must say keeps me from dropping the ball, shall we say? First, it’s important to understand there are many ways to trick the enemy. One of the primary reasons Nelson’s Tea is comprised of men from every walk of life is that collective knowledge helps us blend. Operating in plain sight is one of Nelson’s finest achievements and, I might add, it does not hurt to have a former opera house costumer among us. Ollie, one of my most trusted men, is quite adept at theatrical cosmetics. When I portray Thomas, my hair is unkempt, an eye patch, a red bandanna wrapped around my head just so and a few month’s worth of facial hair sufficiently masks my features. But there is more at stake than a visual image, you see. There must be a swagger, a confidence that bores no vulnerability. Without that paramount addition no one can or will stay alive in a pirate’s den.” 

If that’s true, what are you forced to do to escape suspicion when you appear among the ton? 
“As Percival Avery, Marques Stanton, 7th Duke of Blendingham, there is greater risk and one more central to a duke’s existence, the continuation of the family line. Surviving involves being powdered, clean shaven, composed, indifferent and aloof, not so easy a task when someone you care about is threatened. No one can possibly suspect that Percy, the popinjay and seducer of fools, with immaculately tied cravat and impeccable taste could pose a threat to anyone. Therefore the focus becomes a game of wit and verve, a pirate’s complete opposite tactic in every way.” 

By chance does a pirate ship have a parrot or a monkey on-board to boost morale? 
(Percy does a lot of grumbling. )“The English Channel isn't the Caribbean, love."

Favorite lady pirate? 

(And the lopsided roguish grin I've heard so much about appears.) “Are you trying to undermine everything I’m trying to salvage with Danbury’s niece? Of course, my favorite lady pirate would have to be my favorite lady— Lady Constance Danbury. To name anyone else would surely cost me more than my neck.” 

“And your pride,” Constance adds. 



Favorite pirate movie? 
“Movie? Is this one of Nelson’s newest wartime contraptions? If so, I haven’t been briefed by Simon yet.” 

Have I missed something? Who’s Simon? 
“Only the bravest man to serve Nelson and England, my commander and Constance’s uncle. He can drink a man under the table. I remember—” 

 Do you drink it, or just use it for medicinal purposes. 

“Actually, I prefer brandy but drinking rum helps me blend. Thankfully, Captain Frink has a wonderful supply of brandy aboard the Striker and I've been able to drink it without ruining my cover.” He winks at Constance. “Brandy has also helped me tame Constance on occasion.” 



 Do you have a pirate expression that you use every day? 
“I enjoy taunting Constance by calling her ‘my pet’. But my true calling card is “Odd’s fish,” a Percival Avery concoction that sets every heart aflutter, especially in the ballroom, if I do say so myself. And I do.” 

Which leads me to my next question. Do you have any little known pirate trivia you would like to share? 

“Pirates. I rue the day I ever set eyes on them. Being undercover as a navigator in Frink’s crew is not for the faint of heart. I've spent nearly a year trying to work my way into his trust only to have my commander’s niece ruin everything I've strived to achieve.” He nods at Constance. “Your pardon, my gel.” She smiles and he turns back. “If my suspicions are correct and Frink is in league with Zephaniah Job in Talland Bay, a man who’s been pilfering the Cornish Coast since 1770, discovering the benefactor of my sister Celeste’s killers will be much harder than I ever imagined.” 



If you found Celeste’s killers, what then? What would be your weapon of choice? 
“There is no finer weapon than a cutlass or sword. As Thomas Sexton I show average skill with the blade, but as Percival Avery I’m known all over London as a deadly mark.” 

Katherine Bone and friend
Since it’s Halloween, what would a pirate wear for a costume? 


“I do not know about this Halloween. Is it like a masquerade ball? If so, I do know my beloved creator, Katherine Bone, adores wearing a red ensemble she hopes will pass her off as a pirate wench. Do be a dear and go along with her, won’t you? "

Katherine Bone is addicted to history and romance. Raised an Army brat, she had the great fortune to marry an officer and travel the world. After raising four children and putting down roots in the south, the muse came calling with abandon, complete with swashbuckling adventure, mayhem, and Alpha males too impressive to ignore 

You can find Katherine Bone at: 


Thank you Katherine Bone for stopping by and sharing some insight into your Duke By Day, Rogue By Night. Katherine has some pirate treasure to share with one lucky reader. This is a US/Canada giveaway, and will end 10/31 9 pm PST.  Leave an e-mail address, so I can get a hold of the winner.

Just leave a question for Katherine Bone or Percival. Or you can share your favorite Halloween costume. Have you ever dressed up like a pirate?



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Nicole Flockton

I am thrilled to have, the irrepressible, Nicole Flockton here to talk about her debut contemporary novel Masquerade



After being humiliated by her fiancee, Sophie Franklyn has decided that getting involved with work colleagues and men in general isn’t for her. Now her focus is going to be on her career and her recent promotion. That is until at a New Year’s Eve masquerade ball, she meets a man that tempts her to question her choices.

Alex Scavoni is extremely dedicated to his job, so dedicated that his first marriage crumbled under the pressure of his dedication. Now he’s happily single, with a new job he’s excited to start. When he meets a masked Sophie at the ball, she fires desires in him he thought long dead. He spends a wonderful night with her, but wakes up alone.


The next time the two meet, it’s in the high pressure world of Emergency Room medicine where they must work side by side. While they deal with the stresses of the Emergency ward, they endeavor to keep their feelings for each other on a professional nature. When the desire that pushed them together that one night flares to life again, can they ignore them or will their one night together have consequences neither of them planned on?


Available at: Crimson Romance ebooks | Amazon | Kobo |iTunes


Interview

Welcome Nicole, glad to have you here.
Hi Gayle! Thanks for having me here!


I noticed in the excerpt on your website that Masquerade is set in Australia.
Yes the whole novel is set in my home town of Perth, Western Australia. The idea of the New Year’s Eve Masquerade ball came from a New Years Eve party they hold every year at the Casino, only this ball coincides with a tennis tournament that is held in Perth each year. Also the apartment building Sophie lives in is based on an apartment building built on by the Swan River. 

The setting of Masquerade is a hospital, and more specifically an emergency room. Is Masquerade a safe read for those who are squeamish about hospital settings?
I’m not a medical professional so I don’t go into the nitty gritty of medical procedures. So for those who are a little squeamish will be fine. No blood and guts anywhere to be seen!

Do you set aside a certain time of day for writing?
I try and write in the evenings but I think I need to re-evaluate my day schedule and try and do some in the morning as well. 

Do you have any qualities in common with the heroine or hero in Masquerade?
Now that’s a tough one because I don’t really think so. As I mentioned I’m not in the medical field. I wish the thing I did have in common was an apartment in the apartment building! LOL


I have heard from an "anonymous source" on twitter, that possums are considered a pest in Australia. What is your take on this? 
I believe that is true. I think there are people that do find them annoying, especially if they take up residence in your roof! I know a friend whose family has a holiday house about 3 hours south of Perth in a beach town called Dunsborough. They had families of possums living in an empty caravan, in the roof, they didn't seem bothered by them. They are cute to look at so as I didn't see possums often, seeing them was a bit of a novelty. If they constantly bothered me then I’d probably consider them a pest.

Also, rumor has it, from a "reliable source" on twitter, that there is a opossum in your backyard. Can you confirm or deny this rumor?
I can confirm this rumor as true! My dog Maya is an opossum hunter! Of course the opossum always win by acting dead and Maya get’s upset when they stop playing with her! I have seen one hiding under our deck one day. Again, possum hunter Maya was at work barking through the slates of the deck. I got the flashlight and saw this little creature hiding beneath the deck, I knew it wasn't our cat because he was inside. The possum was rather cute to look at! 
Nicole's dog Maya resting up for the hunt.
Any possum or opossum trivia is welcomed.
There are 23 different species of possums in Australia and we have one called the Sugar Glider. Plus some breeds have bushier, fuller tails than the very thin type of tail from US possum.
Thank you for stopping by, Nicole. Thank you also, for answering my possum questions. Do you want to ask the readers a question?

What would be your dream house and where would it be? 


Nicole is giving away a Swag Bag and a $5 Amazon Voucher, to one randomly chosen person who leaves a comment. Giveaway ends Oct 30 at 9 pm PST. Please leave a e-mail address.  #International Giveaway.


You can find Nicole Flockton at


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Theresa Romain - Interview and Giveaway

Have you read Theresa Romain's debut historical romance, Season for Tempatation? If you haven't what are you waiting for? The second book in the series  Season for Surrender was released on Oct 2, and has been getting fabulous reviews. If you have read Season for Temptation then you know that Theresa has a way with chapter titles, that is amusing, fun and contain a hint of things about to happen. 
Season for Temptation 
Chapter 1
(click on the link to read an excerpt)

                                                                     
Season for Surrender 
 Chapter 1
                                                    (click on the link to read an excerpt)

I thought it would be fun, to ask Theresa about her new book, and find out her inspirations for chapter titles.
Interview with Theresa Romain

Welcome, Theresa!  Season for Surrender's heroine Louisa is, secretly, my favorite character in Season for Temptation, so I am so happy that she has her own book. Can you tell us a little about your new book? 

Thanks for hosting me today, Gayle! I’m really glad to join you to celebrate the release of Season for Surrender.

For the quick plot summary, here’s the back cover copy of the book:

HONOR AMONG ROGUES

Alexander Edgware, Lord Xavier, has quite a reputation—for daring, wagering, and wickedness in all its delightful forms. But the wager before him is hardly his preferred sport: Xavier must persuade a proper young lady to attend his famously naughty Christmas house party—and stay the full, ruinous two weeks. Worse, the lady is Louisa Oliver, a doe-eyed bookworm Xavier finds quite charming. Yet to refuse the challenge is impossible—he will simply have to appoint himself Miss Oliver’s protector…

MISCHIEF AMONG MISSES


Louisa knows her chance for a husband has passed. But she has no desire to retire into spinsterhood without enjoying a few grand adventures first. When Lord Xavier’s invitation arrives, Louisa is more intrigued than insulted. And once inside the rogues’ gallery, she just may have a thing or two to teach her gentlemen friends about daring…

I’m so glad you liked Louisa. I like her too, because she’s not fearless but she is courageous. Because of her shyness, she lives in the country with her sister’s family, but she feels rootless. She takes comfort in books (she actually attends the house party to get a look at Xavier’s notable library), but she wants to connect to people too. 

To her, the house party is much more than an amusement; it’s a way to grow stronger by trying something new. Naturally, it winds up being more new and more amusing than she ever expected!



I love your chapter titles. What came first the chapter or the chapter title? 
Thanks—those are fun to come up with. As for whether the chapter or title comes first, it varies over the course of the draft. I write the first few chapters before anything else, and then I start looking for threads that I could pull out into chapter titles. For later chapters, I usually have a plan for what I want it to include, and I might jot down a title idea even before I draft anything

Are some chapter titles easier to write?

Yes, definitely. They’re easier to write for light chapters—in Season for Surrender, the ones with games and fights. (I’m not sure what it says about me that I have an easier time writing fights than pretty much anything else.) For the deeper emotional moments and love scenes, chapter titles are more difficult because I want to hint at the content without making it seem trivial. I also like to give hints, but never spoilers, so that’s something I need to keep in mind when titling a chapter too.

Do you have a favorite chapter title in Season for Surrender?

Probably the first one: “Containing Several Damned Nuisances.” I like how it captures the hero’s cranky mood at the beginning of the book; he has a cold, so he feels lousy, and as a result he’s impatient with his usual sources of amusement

The title actually happened by chance. I wrote the chapter, and was rereading it for the nth time when I realized I’d had Lockwood say “damned nuisance” twice. Instead of changing it, I decided to have Xavier tease him about that, and it became the chapter title.


Are there any rules you have for yourself, when writing a chapter title? Length?

Just one rule: all the titles in a book start with the same word or phrase. In my debut, Season for Temptation, all the chapter titles begin “In Which.” In Season for Surrender, they all start with “Containing.” I like the old-fashioned, dry-witted feeling of chapter titles: think Tom Jones (the novel) or Jerome K. Jerome’s hilarious “Three Men” books.

What chapter title would you give to the blog tour of Season for Surrender?

Of course it has to start with “Containing.” How about “Containing 19 Stops and Infinite Tomfoolery”?
                                                                      
  Giveaway!    
Theresa makes writing chapter titles look easy, but is it? Leave your own chapter title in the comments. You can describe your upcoming day, week or really anything? 
One randomly chosen commentator will win one autographed copy of SEASON FOR SURRENDER. Contest is open internationally. Giveaway runs until 10/15 9 pm PST.

Thanks again, Gayle—what a fun interview! I look forward to reading everyone’s chapter titles. 
Authors Bio:
Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. Her historical romance debut, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION, was published in October 2011. The sequel, SEASON FOR SURRENDER, was published in October 2012.
Twitter: @TheresaRomain


Order: amazonbarnes & noblebook depositorybooks-a-millionchapters indigoindieboundposman bookspowell’sword brooklyn

Order e-book: googlekindlenookibook


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Maureen A. Miller - BEYOND

I am doing virtual cartwheels, because my wonderful twitter friend Maureen A. Miller is here today. Maureen is a romantic suspense author and the creator of Just Romantic Suspense,  a website devoted to the all things romantic suspense. Maureen is starting a new adventure, by self publishing her first Young Adult Romance novel, called BEYOND.
What motivated you  to write a Young Adult novel?

When I was a young girl I had such a crush on Starbuck from Battlestar Gallactica. My brother and I loved that show. We had the toys from the show and the Ceylon ship would shoot little red plastic pegs (which were supposed to be lasers). Anyway, I used to dream that Starbuck would pick me up out of my back yard and whisk me away on adventures in space, and we would fall in love....

Recently looking back on those days, I thought what if something like that did happen? What if Aimee Patterson was taken from her back yard and whisked away into space to fall madly in love with a great-looking warrior?

There's no great mystery as to why I wrote this Young Adult novel.  I'm just acting out my fantasy. :)

Even though it is aimed at the Young Adult audience, would you still consider it a romantic suspense?

Hahaha. Yes! You could classify it as Young Adult Science Fiction Romantic Suspense.  That truly sums it up. If you know me, I am a fan of the woman (or girl) being placed in danger and fighting her way out of it with the help of some terrific looking guy. Whether that conflict takes place in Milwaukee or a space ship 9000 light years away, it still makes for great fun.

Aimee chases after her dog in BEYOND. You never talk about pets online, do you have a pet?

I have two fish. I had three, but one literally jumped out of the tank when I was feeding them. It was horrible. 

I had a cocker spaniel, which you'll notice Aimee does too. :) The passing of that dog was too traumatic for me to entertain ever replacing him. What I would really like is to have about six dogs. Six really big dogs. And everyday when I come home they all charge me because they're so happy. I also want a ranch so big that I have to ride a horse to get to the mailbox at the end of the driveway.

Favorite character from Josie and the Pussycats? (It's relevant!)

I'd have to go with Melody because I always wanted to play the drums.  The closest I came was cymbals in marching band! Oh and yes, like Aimee, I played the clarinet.

Can you recommend any young adult books to readers that might be new to the genre?

Roxanne St. Claire's DON'T YOU WISH because her character was also put into a situation completely out of her norm. And anything from Jordan Dane. But there are so many. I'm still trying to read a lot of them and catch up on the genre.

Thank you for coming to play, Maureen. BEYOND is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble in paperback and e-book formats.It is also at Smashwords in e-book format. 
It is the day after Aimee Patterson’s high school graduation. College beckons, as does her dream of becoming an engineer. On an early evening walk, her cocker spaniel charges into the woods on the other side of the pond. Aimee trails after him, and in the stillness of that forest the unthinkable happens. She becomes paralyzed and watches in horror as her hands vanish before her eyes. 

Waking to the sound of voices, Aimee realizes that she has been kidnapped. Little does she know how far away from home she is, though. In an attempt to flee her captors, she launches from their confines only to freeze at the view outside the window. The sky is black and filled with stars, and in the distance is a familiar blue globe. The planet Earth. 

A group of humans forced to flee their planet after an epidemic destroyed their civilization now travel the galaxies in search of an antidote. Retrieving samples of plant life from every solar system, on this occasion Aimee was accidentally seized instead. 

Aimee must learn to avoid the advances of an awkward young scientist who seems intent on dissecting her, as her own fascination turns to the exotic young warrior, Zak. Having fallen in love with Zak, she is now torn with the decision to return to Earth or live beyond the stars.
Maureen's illustrious writing career began in the fourth grade with the blockbuster hit, Super Watermelon Man. Many years later, she evolved into a full-fledged Romantic Suspense author with her first novel, WIDOW'S TALE, which was nominated for a Golden Heart by the Romance Writers of America. A fan of the old Gothic romances, Maureen enjoys the formula of danger, romance, dark cliffs, and sinister houses. All these elements can be found in her romantic thriller, ENDLESS NIGHT. Find her at www.maureenamiller.com , Facebook and Twitter

Giveaway
Maureen will gift a digital copy for Kindle or Nook to one randomly chosen commentator. There is no geographical restriction because this will be the digital copy.  Enter by commenting below and asking Maureen a question, or by revealing your favorite character from Battle Star Galactica, Star Trek, Star Wars, Serenity or even Josie and the Pussycats. Also, leave an e-mail where I can contact the winner. Contest will run through 9/30/2012 and end at 9 pm PST.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

When You Give A Duke A Diamond -Giveaway

When You Give A Duke A Diamond is the latest regency novel from, the fabulous, Shana Galen. and the start of her new three book series titled The Jewels of the Ton. I am thrilled to have Shana here, as part of her blog tour and to be able to share a glimpse of a book, that I truly loved reading .

Excerpt with the butler, Hollows, in Juliette's Household:

"Yes, Hollows, do rouse Mary and send her to my chamber." Juliette felt badly about waking the girl—she, Hollows, and Cook were the only servants not given the night off—but Juliette did not relish sleeping in her stays and gown, and she could not get them off by herself. Once she was undressed, she would send Mary back to bed and finish her toilette on her own.


Juliette started up the steps. "Off to bed with you, Hollows," she said over her shoulder. "I shan't need you for several hours."


"Yes, Duchess."

Excerpt with the butler, Richards, in Pelhorn's Household. 

"Very good. Richards, tell His Grace the duchess is here."


Richards stared at her. Juliette could tell he was digesting this new information and deciding whether she was to be believed. He shook his head. "I don't think so. Even if you are a duchess, which I don't believe you are, no duchess would come, alone, and knock on a man's door in the middle of the night."



Butlers, you can't live with them, or maybe you can. It must be nice to have a butler, to answer the door and handle a wayward duchess in the night.  I thought it would be fun to find out if Shana would like a butler.

Interview with Shana Galen

Which regency servant would you prefer to have working in your household? Butler, cook, coachman, etc?" 
Oh, cook for sure. I can answer my own door (not that anyone ever comes to it), but I hate cooking. I also wouldn't mind a hairdresser...

If you were a regency servant, which household position would you be the best at? 

I'd probably be a good scullery maid. I'm good at cleaning and washing clothes. I'm not a very good driver, and I'm a horrible cook. I'm probably too clumsy to do much serving.

If you were a regency servant, which household position would be the most challenging for you? 
Cook. I would be fired for certain!

There seem to be quite a number of regency romances where the heroine was a former servant, usually a governess, but do you know any where the hero was a butler? 
Nope, but I think I read one where the hero was pretending to be a footman or a groom. Stables seem to be popular spots for heroes to hang out.

Thank you, for stopping by and for the giveaway. Enter to win a copy of When You Give A Duke A Diamond, by answering one of the questions I asked Shana. Winner will picked at random at 9 PST on Monday, September 3. Please leave an email address with your comment, so we can contact the winner. 


Shana Galen is the national bestselling author of numerous fast-paced, adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne's Bride. Her books are published all over the world and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston's inner city.

Now she writes full time. She's happily married to an incredibly supportive man she calls Ultimate Sportsfan, and she has a beautiful little girl she calls Little Galen. Shana loves to hear from readers: visit her website at www.shanagalen.com 

Blog Tour

Saturday, August 11, 2012

When You Give A Duke A Diamond


Coming soon!

Luckily, I was able to read an advanced copy of When You Give A Duke A Diamond, and I have to tell you that I loved this book. Shana Galen will be here doing a giveaway, later this month, so I just wanted to give you a heads up.



Praise for When You Give A Duke A Diamond :

"Tinged with danger and darkness, Galen’s sexy and dramatic story has depth thanks to appealing characters with realistic problems and believable chemistry. The unconventional heroine gives a fresh twist that adds complexity while still treating romance fans to the lush glitter of mansions and ballrooms." -Publishers Weekly

"Shana Galen kicks off her new Fallen Ladies series with an explosion that leaves this reader breathless with anticipation at the prospect of what's coming next. -Jessica Dunn - Fresh Fiction

Monday, July 30, 2012

Frame a T -Shirt

I have been saving a piece of a t-shirt, from when my daughter was a toddler. She is ten now, so I have had that piece of t-shirt for a long time. It was too cute to throw out, and because of stains it wasn't something that I could give to someone else. So, I cut the center piece out of the t-shirt and tossed it in the sewing box. Was my plan to scrapbook it? Or make a quilt? Both of those tasks would require me to become either a person organized enough to scrapbook or a person dedicated enough to quilt. Instead I chose a different path and left the piece of t-shirt in the sewing box, where it was often admired but never used. 



Piece of t-shirt.

Never used, until the other day when the spirit of cleaning hit me and I came across the piece of t-shirt. By chance, I had also found a small frame that was missing the glass. Move over spirit of cleaning, the spirit of creativity would not be denied.  


Frame without glass.

1. Cut the piece of shirt to a size that is slightly larger than the back of the frame.



2. Cut a piece of flat batting, slightly smaller than the back of the frame. 
3.  Put the batting on the front facing side of the back of the frame.
                  4.  Put the fabric face down, and put the back side of the frame with batting on top of it.
5. Then using common household tape, I taped the edge of the t-shirt to the back of the frame.  Using tape instead of a glue gun, made it a kid friendly craft

There you have it, a low tech craft, that is cute and safe for a kids room. If you don't have batting, you can use another layer cut from the t-shirt itself, to give the image more lift. The batting I used was from the padding of an ironing board cover.

Re-cycling t-shirts seem to be very popular trend. I have used the arms of t-shirts to make head bands, a toddler t-shirt to cover a travel pillow and fairy wings. Do you have something you have done or plan to do with an old t-shirts?



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Butterfly Cake

Two 9 inch circles of cake.
    Cut one circle in half.
                                                                                       
Cut into the shape of a peace sign, and separate.

Cut a  rectangular piece of cake from the extra circle of cake.
Ice the wings, and edge with candies, but leave the center piece without icing.
Decorate with dots of icing.
Dots of icing.
Sprinkle the whole cake with Shimmer White Sugar.
Pastel Hearts added to icing dots.
Add Ariel dressed as Mariposa, and candles.

Birthday Girl with cake.

There is an excellent video by Betty Crocker, that details the process, but without the added center piece and the doll.




Monday, April 30, 2012

Is There a Right Time to Quit?


I am pleased to welcome Dana Marton to Intrigue and Delight  for the second time. She is guest blogging  here today, and introducing her new epic fantasy book, The Third Scroll.  


Is There a Right Time to Quit?

You know how people say you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it? I don’t believe in that. I know for a fact that I could never be an opera singer or a professional athlete. Thank God, I have no desire to become either of those things. Because I have a confession, I’m not the type of person who knows when to quit.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it,” said W.C. FIELDS, and I think he was one smart cookie.

I could have saved a lot of grief, not to mention time and money, if I’d followed his advice over the years. There are a great many things I regret not quitting a lot sooner than I had: a job that was so stressful it made my stomach bleed, medical treatments that nearly killed me, etc. But the thing I can never regret is not giving up on books. For authors, our stories are our children. We carry them in our hearts and minds for months and months, if not years and years, and when they’re finally born, they are part of us, carry our DNA.

I can honestly say that my slight stubborn streak has caused a fair amount of grief in my life over the years, but it does pay off now and then. If it wasn’t for that, The Third Scroll, my epic fantasy, would have never seen the light of day. I wrote this book 10 years ago. Everybody loved it, but nobody wanted to publish it. “It straddles the line between fantasy and romance,” they said. “Booksellers won’t know where to shelf it.”

Made no sense to me. As a reader, I want a great story and an absorbing reading experience. I’m hoping other readers feel the same, because after ten years, the book is finally getting published. I’ve published close to 30 novels since finishing The Third Scroll, some of them even won awards and were translated into a dozen languages to be sold all over the world, but I’ve never been as nervous about a release as this one. This story really is my special baby, a project close to my heart.

Maybe because it’s a woman’s journey to find her true worth and her true heart and to save the people she loves. Sold into slavery, Tera, a budding healer, is thrust into the savage realm of barbarian warlords, the same realm which claimed her mother years ago. She must avoid the displeasure of her warrior lord and survive the cruelties of the concubines, even as war threatens on the horizon.

Yet a greater danger looms when she catches the eye of the most powerful lord of the land and he takes her for his Pleasure Hall. Tera struggles to escape, while searching for the secret behind her mother’s death. But what she discovers challenges everything she believes in. A path set long ago beckons. A path that could lead to triumph, or the destruction of her world.

So what about you? Do you think anything is possible? What is the one goal, one dream that you will never quit?

Dana




THE THIRD SCROLL
An epic journey begins....
Coming to stores on May 1, 2012
http://www.thethirdscroll.com

The book is also available in print edition: http://www.amazon.com/The-Third-Scroll-Volume-1/dp/0985346205/

It should be available on May 1st for at Amazon for Kindle, B&N for Nook, and at Smashwords for all other ebook formats.