Saturday, November 29, 2008

Anyone Interested in Winning a Basket of Books?

Donna Alward, one of Harlequin Romances favorite authors is hosting a 12 Days of Christmas Giveway. Donna told me this morning there are now 17 books in the basket!

If you're interested in entering to win, the blog addy is

There are books from most of the Harlequin lines, including a hardcover edition of one of my Harlequin Romances!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Women Rule the World

Happy Thanksgiving! Like most of you, I have a lot to be thankful for this year. Meditating on that a few weeks ago as I prepared for the Goal Setting workshop in December on Catawriters, I made a lot of interesting observations about life and gratitude. I'll be posting these in January in a series of weekly posts under the theme Women Rule the World.

Because we do.

Not through positions of power, or with wealth, or even because we're bossy. I believe we rule the world through the power of empathy, kindness, vision and love.

So join me every Monday (or Tuesday) in January and February!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

December 11 at eHarlequin!

I'm one of the featured authors at a day-long chat at

Here's the link.

There are prizes and giveaways and lots and lots of your favorite authors.

Come join the fun!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls for Company!

When it comes to the holidays, sometimes the best recipes are the ones we got from our mothers!

This one is my mother's creation and has wonderful references like fuzzy yeast, and add flour until it feels right! I think her descriptions are good enough though that most of us can easily follow them.

And these rolls are the hit of everyone's holiday breakfast table!

My Mother's Cinnamon Rolls
1 qt. milk
3 level tbsp. of yeast (or one 3-package strip)
4 egg yolks
1 lb. margarine
1 c. sugar
1 tbsp. salt
10 to 12 cups of flour This amount varies. You add flour until dough is very soft. (Remember dough loses stickiness when it rises.)
Cinnamon and sugar blended for shaking onto rolled dough. (This should be a ratio of cinnamon and sugar that suits your taste!)


Heat milk until it's hot to the touch, but not so hot you can't keep your finger in it (though I'm not sure why you would want to) and add yeast.
After yeast has grown "fuzzy" and milk is cool, add egg yolks, margarine, and sugar.
Begin to add flour until dough is very soft -- remember you must be able to roll it, but it should be very soft.
Knead well.
Set aside. Let rise until double in bulk. Knead again. Let rise.
Take about 1/3of the dough, roll out on flat surface (some people can do this with their fingers, others will need a rolling pin) then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Use your fingers to spread the sugar and cinnamon evenly. Remember: This is to your taste. If you like more cinnamon feel free to add!

Roll into a jelly roll.
Cut in 1 inch segments.
Place segments on greased cookie sheets, leaving at least one inch of space between rolls.
Continue until all dough is used.
Let rise on cookie sheet until a little more than double in size. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes.

1 lb. powdered sugar
4 tbsp non-dairy creamer
1 stick margarine
1 tbsp. maple flavoring
Enough water to make spreading consistency you desire.

Blend powdered sugar and non-dairy creamer in mixing bowl. Blend in margarine with hand mixer. Once sugar and margarine are creamed, add maple flavoring. This may be spreadable as is. If not, add water to the icing in increments of one teaspoon until you have the spreading consistency you need.

Then spread this wonderful icing on your rolls! If you spread on when the rolls are warm, icing will melt between the layers. Some people (like me) love this. Others wait until the rolls are cool for a less sticky roll! Especially if you plan to serve them to company!


susan from her mom Helen Petrunak

Monday, November 24, 2008

12 Days of Christmas with Donna Alward

Starting December 1, I'm participating in Donna Alward's 12 Days of Christmas giveaway.

If you like free books (who doesn't?) go to


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Goals for 2009

In a little over a week, I'll be presenting my goal setting workshop on the catawriters loop. So, today, when I popped a tape in the VCR (yes, I still have one) and it was an episode of Oprah where she and several others discussed the book THE SECRET, I stopped cleaning, got a cup of coffee and sat down and paid attention.

The beginning of the goal setting workshop is all about figuring out what you really want. If you can match what you really want with a succinctly stated goal and a plan of action, you'll end up succeeding.

Why? Because the biggest reason most of us don't achieve our goals or follow through on New Years Resolutions is because we choose things we "think" we want...but we don't really want. LOL. Like being thin. Society has inflicted a thin mentality on us, so we feel honor bound to at least make a resolution that says I will lose twenty pounds. Personally, I don't want to lose 20 pounds. I like my cookies.

On the other hand...

After a year of suffering with dibilitating silent migraines, I value health over cookies.

So when I set up my goals/New Years Resolutions for 2009, losing weight won't motivate me, but being well will. All I have to do is remember the panic that came over me when I would be hit by dizzy spells as I was driving and I don't worry that I'll eat anything on my migraine trigger list.

Which brings us to another intersting point about goals ... or maybe about actually achieving the goals we set. There's nothing like remembering negative consequences. If you set a goal to write a novel but there's no negative consequence if you fail, you don't really have the motivation to succeed.

I love good results, but they don't motivate me like bad ones do!

So join us at catawriters...there's sign up information in the Dear Reader letter on the home page of spend two weeks thinking about your life, considering what you want and setting a few solid, achievable goals!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Good Morning, Jessica!

And everybody else who reads this blog!

Today we are experiencing our first "real" snowfall of the season. Schools have closed. Roads are a bit slippery (or as we say in Southwestern, PA...slippy). I even canceled my hair appointment.

Because I work six or seven days a week, I've had to invent holidays and reasons to take time off without guilt. Hair Dye Day is one of them. Once a month I know I will not write. Which means I scheduled myself off today and for a panicked ten minutes after I called to cancel I realized had nowhere to go...nothing to do.

So I'm reading a book I've been dying to read...Angela Knight's JANE'S WARLORD and I'm munching on Mallowmars. Which is why I'll also be on the treadmill later today. The TV is off, kids are still sleeping, cats are napping and I'm snuggled under a crocheted afghan reading.

Life doesn't get any better than that.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Is It Almost Turkey Time Already?

I've run my website by a few professionals in the past few months and hands down, they love it. My webmistress is absolutely one of the best!

But they all come back with the same negative comment. You don't update your blog enough.

When I first added this blog, I had a lot of things to say. Lately, not so much.

I'm not one to complain about politics or to foist my views on others. In an election year, I was pretty much of a drag. I believe the world needs us all. Conservatives. Liberals. Geniuses. Laborers. After all, where would we be if everyone wanted to drive the trash truck and no one was willing to grab the cans from the curb?

I had a bout with silent migraines but a drastic change in my diet is changing that. No big news there. Except that in all the exams I went through to figure out why I always felt as if I were going to faint, we also discovered I had high cholesterol and now I'm on the treadmill four or five times a week. That's lifting my butt from the back of my knees, which is good news for everyone.

The editors only had a few comments on the book I turned in this summer and I think they're going to love the Christmas book that due in December. My husband is healthy. My oldest son, who suffers from a seizure disorder, has a job and has been seizure free for a few months. My daughter found work closer to home. My youngest is doing well, too.

So I have nothing to whine about or ponder. Except that this year has flown by. Another reason my blog doesn't get updated often. Of course, the good side to all of this is I love Thanksgiving and Christmas. I bake a mean pumpkin pie and a fabulous turkey pot pie with leftovers. I love shopping for presents and wrapping.

I'm about to enter the happiest time of my year. Even though the year shot by, it's sort of nice to find myself getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas again!