Tag Archives: Holidays

Trick or Treat or Stay at Home?

Photo of a Halloween trick-or-treater, Redford...

Trick or Treat!Image via Wikipedia

A big question facing parents every Halloween is: Do I stay at home and hand out candy or take the kids Trick or Treating? At my house, my husband and I divide the duties and trade off every year, but it’s still a challenge when one kid only wants to go to a few houses but the other wants to go for hours.

I like going around the neighborhood with my kids. I love the decorations and seeing my neighbors. Fall evenings here in Northern California are mild, and usually dry, so the walk is pleasant. But handing out candy is also fun – it’s the best way to see the costumes.

How about you? Do you prefer to Trick or Treat with the kids or stay home and give out treats? Or do you do something else?

Comment to be entered to win your own treat!

All commenters will be entered to win an e-copy of my romantic suspense, Whirlwind. Be sure and check out the other authors handing out treats on the Romance Girls Gone Goblin Halloween blog hop! Open from Oct. 28-31. Click HERE or on the picture at the right to follow the hop.



Filed under giveaway, Holidays

Candy Sushi & Giveaway

Welcome to the Romance Girls Gone Goblin Halloween blog hop! For the next few days (Oct. 28-31) we’ll be talking Halloween, spooky, and fun, and one lucky commenter here on my blog will win a free e-copy of my romantic suspense, Whirlwind! Come talk Halloween with me and you might win! Be sure and check out the other sites on the hop, too – everyone has a trick or treat! Click HERE or on the picture at the right to follow the hop.

Today, we’re talking about a very special treat for Halloween:

Candy Sushi

I know what you’re thinking: I HATE sushi! Raw fish? YUCK!

But wait – this isn’t your ordinary sushi from the sea, this is all made out of CANDY. And I guarantee you’ll come home with an empty plate, it’ll go so fast.

You can find detailed instructions HERE, but if you’ve ever made Rice Krispie Treats, this’ll be a snap.

Besides the makings for the Treats, you’ll need some kind of candy for the centers of the round sushi. Gummi worms (sweet or sour, your choice) work well, as does licorice (any color). You’ll also need green fruit rollups or Fruit by the Foot for the outside. For the single pieces, I like to use Swedish fish, but because my kids love raw salmon which is orange, I also do some with strips of orange fruit leather.

A couple of tips: Butter your hands like crazy when working with the warm marshmallow treats. If the hot sugar sticks to your hands, it’ll burn. You want to form the sushi before the marshmallow stiffens.

A sharp chef’s knife is the best for cutting the sushi into smaller pieces. And just like real sushi, the fancier it is, the better. Check out photos of real sushi and substitute candy look-alikes. Red hots can double for red salmon eggs, orange sugar for tobiko.

I’ve taken candy sushi to parties for several years now, and it’s always a HUGE hit. It’s also a great activity for the kids to help with, so have fun, and Happy Halloween!

What’s your favorite Halloween party treat to take or eat? Remember, every comment is a chance to win a free e-copy of Whirlwind!


Filed under Holidays, recipe

Public or Private Displays of Affection?

Tree decorated for Valentine's Day in San Dieg...

Image via Wikipedia

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The day of love and romance means different things to different people.  To some it’s all flourish with big bouquets and huge heart-shaped boxes of chocolates.  To others, it’s a special note or hidden lingerie waiting to be revealed in private.  Which leads me to today’s question:

What’s more romantic, public or private displays of affection?

Nothing is more public than the surprise proposal during a big game or on a game show…or in the middle of a dinner party, but is that romantic.  I know I’m not the only one who cringes when I see one of those proposals – first I feel for the woman …talk about pressure!  (I’ll use the traditional couple for discussion sake – you know any combination of ask-er and ask-ee is possible.) But then I wonder if the guy knows whether she’ll say yes or not…getting denied on national television would be the ultimate rejection.  The end is almost always happy, but talk about stress!

On the other hand, a public proposal means the guy is putting all his cards on the table.  He’s saying “Look, I love this woman, and I want the whole world to know it.” He’s now accountable to EVERYONE, promising us as much as his wife that he’s hers.  Now that’s commitment.

The quiet, private proposal doesn’t have that kind of pressure attached to it…or does it? The surreptitious sliding of a velvet box across the table in a noisy restaurant or the spontaneous dropping to one knee has it’s own risks. The “you’re joking, right?” answer has a better chance of making an appearance…but so does the “Oh yes!” followed by more demonstrative affirmation. Is that more romantic?

So what do you think?  Is footsie under the table more romantic than a make-out session on the subway?  A song dedication on the radio or a special CD slipped into your bag? “Marry me” shouted in front of the cameras or whispered in a darkened room?

In any case, I wish you love and romance today!

Share the Love Giveaways

Once Upon a Twilight is hosting a blog hop that includes a TON of prizes, all relating to books and love.  There’s over twenty prizes being offered on their site alone, including an autographed copy of Whirlwind.  The giveaway  runs through the 16th, so check it out!   I’m also one of the many guest blogger at http://www.onceuponatwilight.com during the hop, so there’s lots of love to go around.

Lookin' for Love contest


Meet an Author Monday


Meet an Author Monday

Click here for the Author hop


Filed under giveaway, Holidays

Giveaways Galore!

A pile of inflatable balloons.

Image via Wikipedia

I can’t believe it’s only three days until the Whirlwind/12.21.12 Release Party! The food is ordered, the invitations given out, and the festivities planned. I’m excited, happy, and a little nervous. What if no one shows up?  What if EVERYONE shows up?  AAAAAAAHHHH!

Nervousness aside, I really wish everyone could come.  So many devoted fans live all around the globe – I want to find a way to include everyone in the celebration.  I’ll definitely be tweeting when I can during the day on Thursday, and hopefully be able to post a couple photos from the party.  The online snacks will have to be virtual , but I’ll be posting a great fondue recipe and buttercream frosting recipe, if you’d like to indulge at home.

I also have an electronic copy of Whirlwind to give away. Join me on Twitter on Thursday, January 27th, and watch for the #Whirlwind122112Party hashtag. Join in the fun by posting your favorite quotes from Whirlwind, favorite dessert recipe, or just by saying hi, but be sure to add #Whirlwind122112Party to your tweet. I’ll be drawing one random name from tweeters  on the 27th (midnight to midnight Pacific time) to win a free ecopy of Whirlwind.

Tweet #Whirlwind122112Party For The Win!

Lookin’ for Love Giveaway

But wait, there’s MORE!  How would you like to win Omnific Publishing’s entire electronic inventory (including Whirlwind, of course)?  Look for the conversation hearts on participating authors’ pages and enter what you find on them here between February 1 and Valentine’s Day (2/14). There’s a bunch of prizes up for grabs, including the entire Omnific library!

My heart will be going up sometime between now and January 31st somewhere on my website, but you’ll have to search for it!  Good luck!

Valentine’s Day Books with LOVE Hop

Yes, one more chance to win! As announced last week, on February 14-16 Once Upon A Twilight and Good Choice Reading are hosting a blog hop celebrating–surprise–books all about LOVE.  I’m teaming up with Yara at Once Upon A Twilight to giveaway a signed paperback edition of Whirlwind to one lucky winner.  I’ll also be guest blogging about love, but you’ll hear more about that soon.

There’s a ton of book bloggers participating in the hop (59 as of this posting), and a load of loot to win.  Be sure and check it out on Valentine’s Day.

**Note – if you are a book blogger, you still have a little time to sign up for the blog hop.  Click on the image on the right for more info.

Meet an Author Monday Blog hop

Be sure and tune in next week to find out where we, the authors on the Meet an Author Hop, do this thing we call writing.  If you have a copy of Green Eggs and Ham, you might want to pull it out.  Do I write on a train?  In the rain?  In a box? With a fox? What’s your guess?
Meet an Author Monday

Click here for the Author hop

Authors! Have a book out? Are you under contract for publication? Come join the hop.


Filed under giveaway, Great News, Holidays

Countdown to Christmas

Rudolph has to hurry up, Christmas is coming s...

Is this really Rudolph?

What’s playing right now? Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer by Mannheim Steamroller

Amongst all the decorating, music and shopping, one thing dominates my life right now: The Countdown.  Another form of a list, The Countdown encompasses a whole raft of things I need to do and deadlines I need to meet – and there’s not a partridge or a pear tree on it.  So {takes a deep breath} here it is:

9.  NINE days until Christmas. How many more presents do I need to buy? I’d better start planning my Christmas menu NOW.  If everything goes right, in NINE days I’ll be able to sit back and watch the wrapping paper fly with a cup of hot chocolate and a cinnamon roll.

8.  Christmas Eve is in EIGHT days. It’s our tradition for the kids to open one small gift that evening…man, ANOTHER present I need to buy!  Looking forward to the Christmas Eve service at church, though.  Wrapping, wrapping, wrapping…please, no shopping!

7.  Grocery shopping for Christmas happens SEVEN days from now. I just hope I’m not in line at FedEx for overnight delivery of a present I forgot!  This’ll be the “checking my list” twice day, for sure.  Probably will bake a pie or two; They’ll probably get eaten before Christmas day.

6.  Last music lessons for the kids are in SIX days.  It’s been a busy year for my kids, but an extremely successful one.  Make them a special dinner to celebrate the REAL start of vacation!  Make sure all the laundry gets done for trips planned after Christmas.

5.  FIVE more days until Whirlwind releases! YAY!  Announce winner of autographed copy.

Grumman LLV photographed in USA.

Image via Wikipedia

4.  The biggest mailing day of the year is in FOUR days – I’d better get my Christmas cards done!

3.  THREE days until the last “day of rest” before Christmas. Rest? If only.  Clean house (again) after all the partying.  Probably ought to start wrapping some presents, among other things.

2.  TWO days until the kids are out of school for Christmas vacation. I’d better finish up the shopping for them NOW!  Hosting another holiday potluck for just the girls, including my good friend, Killian McRae.  No kids, good friends, and wine.  Now that’s a present!

1.  ONE day until our monthly neighborhood dinner…at OUR house this year.  MUST CLEAN HOUSE! If you’re shipping by FedEx ground you have to get your shipments in on Friday to guarantee delivery before Christmas.

What’s on your holiday countdown?  I’m sure there’s a lot more I need to add to mine, and though it sounds hectic, it’s all part of the season.  Christmas is a big deal, and not just because of the presents.  It’s a celebration, and that makes all the preparation more fun than work.

That’s what’s missing from my lists…Peace and Love.  Two things I wish for you, too.

christmas eve service

Happy Holidays!

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