Thursday, November 21, 2013

Things I have discovered...

Over the last few weeks, packing has taken up a huge part of my life...I found out packing paper- is 20.00 a box, end rolls of newsprint are 3.00 and have as much if not more.
   *Calendars make a great way to keep track of stuff from the year-I found some old ones in the bottom of a box. How old? Gas was 1.98 for mid-grade. There's also a record of what I paid for the moving truck for that move, what costume I made for which grand darlin and some odds and ends.
   *Recipes pulled from the coat hangers.
   * Re-discovering Joe's old toys led to an internet search and an investment in some that are still in the package for the oldest two grands. I see pog tournaments with Uncle Joe in their future.
   *Stepping on a Lego hurts more when you're older.
   *This house is more of a dust magnet than I thought it was.
   * Do not leave old pictures sitting around unless you want to explain the shenanigans going on to your kid.
   *The best dialogue always comes when I am in a dark deer blind...always.
   *Query letters for Bus 47 have become the bane of my existence- I am now on number 73, however the wadded up attempts keep the cats busy and make for good fire starters.
   *After the computer ate a good portion of my current wip-I'm finding it hard to be as enthusiastic about it as I was before.
    * I found my certificates from when I carried the Olympic Torch (yes still have the torch- Coke bought it for me.)
    * The holidays are better when Ed (aka- the hubs) is not deployed and most of the kids are near.
    * I'll need a bucket loader to pick up the box of cookbooks.
    * It doesn't matter what is in my hands- if I'm coming out of the kitchen, at least one dog will try to trip me.
    * It does me no good to do an outline for a story- by the end of the first chapter-I've run off in another direction.
    * My grandma used her hand to measure everything in her recipes, with her 12 kids, and all that they created- only my cousin Kelli Jo, me and my youngest son can use the same method and have the recipes turn out right.
    * Venison left overs can be used on a pizza and it is good.

The gov't shut down delayed us in closing, we should be able to do this the last week of this month, so for now I'm cussing the weather men, and coddling the pooch- thanks to all who sent our fur baby well wishes, we appreciated it. Emergency surgery is no fun for man or beast.

**Update on 11/24ish**
We have the final approval on the loan & a closing date- Dec. 3rd.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Holiday Dessert!

Hello everyone, I'm Lisa Orchard, the best selling author of The Super Spies Mystery/Thriller Series and I'm back today sharing one of my most favorite recipes. If you're a chocolate lover like me, you'll love this dish. The recipe is below and it's a great one for the holidays! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! :)

Lorna Doone Dessert

1 package Lorna Doone cookies crushed
Add melted butter to cookies (this is the crust so add as much butter as you prefer; about ¼ to ½ of a stick)

1 7 oz Chocolate chips

2T Sugar

2-1/2 T water

4 egg yolks

1 teas. Vanilla

4 egg whites

Crush Lorna Doone cookies and add melted butter for the crust. Put crust in 10” baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until crust starts to brown. Combine chocolate chips, sugar, and water in double boiler until blended. Remove from fire and add egg yolks, beat after each one. Add vanilla. Chill for a short time maybe 10 to 15 minutes or until the pan is cool to the touch on the bottom.

Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into chocolate mixture. Spread over cooled cookie crust and top with whipped cream.

**I usually double this and put it in a 9x13 dish.

Since I’m a chocolate lover (more of a chocolate addict!) this dessert is now a tradition at our family holidays. The combination of the chocolate with the whipped cream is “to die for.” I love taking it to functions because it’s always a hit, and people think you’re an awesome baker. Little do they know this is the only dessert I can make! Well, at least the only one I want to make. Some people have raised concerns about the raw eggs in this, but when you add the yolk to the hot chocolate, it actually cooks them. So, no worries! I hope you enjoy this dessert as much as my family and friends have. If you have any questions leave me a comment and I'll respond.

Also, if you're looking for the perfect gift for your tweens/teens, why not a book? Check out the Super Spies series. All three books are available in paperback. They make great stocking stuffers! The covers and blurbs are below.

This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission.  The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police don’t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer, or die trying…


This book opens in a small town in Michigan where Sarah and her sister Lacey are now living with their Aunt and Uncle. Still reeling from the fact her parents have disappeared, Sarah starts the school year with her new friend Jackie Jenkins. When Sarah learns the school has been bombed, she’s filled with dread. Uncle Walt is a teacher, and he was in the school when the bomb exploded. Taking matters into her own hands, Sarah decides to search for him. The rest of the Super Spies are right behind her. When a fireman chases them away from the school, Sarah becomes suspicious. She decides to investigate. The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job. Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?

Sarah Cole and her sister Lacey are at it once again when their missing parents’ cell phone is traced to Alden, Michigan. When the FBI declines to continue the investigation, Sarah takes matters into her own hands. She calls upon the Super Spies and they delve into the situation. Suddenly the teens find themselves immersed in small town intrigue and mystery involving a menacing stranger, who Sarah dubs “The Stalker.” But when Sarah finds out he’s connected to her parents’ disappearance she’s determined to find out what that connection is. The Super Spies embark on a journey that leads them into a web of corporate corruption at its highest level that leaves innocent victims in its wake. Can the Super Spies stop the greedy corporation before it’s too late?

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

GRRWG's Members-Only Writer's Retreat

by Andrea Dickinson

This weekend was GRRWG's Members-Only Writer's Retreat weekend at the Gerber Guest House in Fremont, MI. It's been a number of years since the group has been up there, and the nine of us who stayed through the weekend all remarked it was so good to be back there. One first time retreater remarked, "When I heard you were planning to go sit in a guest house and write, I just thought I could do that at home. But this has been waaaay better than that!"

Yes! The writer's retreat IS way better than sitting at home writing in solitude. Some writers are introverts and can spend days and weeks in front of their computers without in-person interactions. Then there are other writers, like myself, who are extroverts. We gather energy and inspiration by surrounding ourselves with other like-minded individuals...and good food.

So, let's talk food first! Friday is traditionally pizza night from Spanky's. The crowd agreed that it was as good as they all remembered. Saturday is Chinese night with an extra dish of Thai ordered. The lesson learned this year is that the mild is actually quite spicy!
Of course, along with eating, there was plenty of time for socializing. In fact, the socializing often went into the wee hours of the morning. Remember that extra hour of sleep we all got Saturday night from turning back our clocks? Well, some of us talked through that extra hour of sleep. Silly, writers! But, boy! We looked great in our pajamas!

Okay, okay, I know what you are wondering...did any work get done? And the answer is a resounding YES! Several writers reported fabulous word counts, and one writer broke through her writer's block, finally getting to the revisions she had been putting off for over 6 months...ahem, but I won't mention myself by name here.

Caution: Writers at Work

So the next time you hear there's going to be a GRRWG members-only Writer's Retreat, make sure you are a member and come join us at the Guest House!!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Christmas Wishes

by Patricia Kiyono
No, I'm not trying to rush the holiday. But it is Christmas book release time, and my brand new holiday novel, Christmas Wishes, is due to release any day, so I thought I'd use my GRRWG Blog Day to tell you about it.  Don't you love the beautiful cover? The talented Elaina Lee (many of us met her at last year's GRRWG Writer's Conference) outdid herself once again.
In my previous life as an elementary music teacher, I had plenty of experiences directing children in programs. And then when I had my own kids, I put in time at their Sunday School by directing the Christmas program as well as a spring musical. So writing about Sophie Gardner's experiences in Christmas Wishes was no problem at all!
Here's the blurb for Christmas Wishes:

Mitch Carson is tired of the big city. In his former life, he'd been a news photographer in Chicago, where the dangers are endless. But now, he just wants to settle down in this quiet town with his daughter, Angie. Here, his only fear is losing his daughter to his scheming mother-in-law.
Sophie Gardner wants to be a screenwriter. She's ready to leave small town Zutphen, Michigan and go to Hollywood. With a theater degree under her belt, she's busy writing scripts while helping out her sister Joanie, who's bedridden with a difficult pregnancy. Unfortunately, Joanie has somehow coerced Sophie into directing the Christmas pageant at Zutphen Community Church.
When Sophie and Mitch meet, the attraction is instant and mutual. But each wants what the other is trying to get away from. Can they deny their feelings and pursue their dreams? Or will the holiday prove to them that their true wishes might not be what they'd thought?

Look for Christmas Wishes beginning November 5 at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other ebook outlets!