Platform, it’s one of the biggest buzzwords in publishing. We build websites, we blog, we facebook and we twitter. This year I”ve joined Rachael Harrie’s Platform Building Campaign

It is groups of authors and readers sharing and communicating and all those wonderful things you can do on the internet.  If you are interested in joining click on the link to Rachael’s page

 

 

Man Down


I keep the TV on during the day while I write. Mostly to keep some noise going on.  I need noise to work. Comes from growing up in a large family.  There was a story about how women are much better than men at doing most things. A book had been written to prove this theory

The title of the book is Man Down-Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Women are Better Cops,Drivers, Gamblers… and just about everything else and the author is Dan Abrams. He is legal analyst for NBC News, yes a lawyer and the book is laid out like a legal argument.  I was interested enough to reserve the book at the library.

Each chapter is an argument on one item we do better than men. It’s complete with scientific data to prove the theory. The chapters run the gambit from being able to handle failed relationships better to being better at gathering mushrooms in a remote part of Mexico.

At 144 pages it is an easy read  In his closing argument he states “I think this is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that women, as a group, are the superior gender.”

DUH! Most of my friends could have told you that. However the information in the book is certainly fascinating and will give you ammunition for the next argument you have with the Man/Men in your life.

Notice- I borrowed this book from my local library for pleasure only. I had no intenion of reviewing it at the time. However after reading it I wanted to share.I received no payment of any kind for posting this review.

Long Post-Getting out of your comfort zone…Excerpt from latest book


I’m going to share an excerpt from my current book. THE MAN IN THE MIRROR is a reissue of the first book I sold. A book I had no intention of writing as I was not comfortable writing in that subgenre.

A  friend of mine suggested I contact a new publisher she was working with at the time. As I trusted this friend, still do, I said sure. The publisher, who is no longer in business, suggested I look at the bible for a series she wanted to do. The series was basically the retelling of some old movie musicals with a paranormal edge to them. I looked at said bible and all my favorite musicals were already taken. Then this one popped out and said HI THERE. It was a retelling of the Music Man, a wonderful musical, one I enjoy, but not my favorite.
There was a Man stuck in a Mirror, dressed in 200 year old clothing and he said, “Hello, can you help me. It seems my twin brother has captured me in this mirror.”
I was off. The person who swore she could never write a paranormal wrote one, in three months. A feat I have yet to repeat. I’ve written several paranormals since then but this always remains my favorite. Check out this excerpt and if you enjoy it, Man in the Mirror is available On Amazon, B&N and Smashwords. I hope to have it on POD thru create space in the next few months. Enjoy
The heroine, Mari, just arrived home when her sister calls.

“Hello, Fauna. I just walked into the house.”
“Well it’s about time. I’ve been trying to call you all day. I’ve had several dreams about you and some of them not good. Although one did involve this absolutely luscious man.”
“Fauna,” Mari said impatiently. Her sister, whose own love life could hardly be called stable, was bound and determined to play matchmaker, no matter how loudly Mari protested.
“Sorry, I got carried away. But some of those dreams also indicated danger. That’s why I called, to warn you. By the way, have you met any new men lately?”
“No, dear, I haven’t.”
“That’s a shame.”
Mari interrupted her before she could continue, “Fauna, listen to me. I need to talk to you about something.” She should have known better than to interrupt her sister.
“I have to tell you Mari, you’ll soon meet someone new who can change your life forever.”
Mari shook her head. “Fauna, the last man you said was the man of my heart almost stole my life savings.”
“Well, I do make a mistake, on occasion. None of us are perfect, not even Fiona.”
“Don’t tell her that.”
“Besides, you were able to take care of him. Quite nicely, too, I might add.”
“In case you forgot, Fauna, that spell was a disaster.”
“It’s not your fault someone didn’t write the entire spell down.”
“Fauna!” Mari loved her sister dearly but she could be so aggravating. Like conveniently forgetting she had been that someone who had forgotten to write the entire spell down.”
“I’m sorry. I think this time I’m right. But it won’t be easy, I can tell you that.”
“I’m used to that,” Mari sighed, “Seriously, I need to ask you something important. Pay attention.”
“I always pay attention,” Fauna insisted.
Recognizing the petulant tone of voice, and not wishing to start an argument, Mari ignored the comment. “Do you know of any witches or wizards moving into this area?”
“I’m not the one to ask dear, Fiona is the one with all the contacts. Besides, who would want to live up in that forsaken land, other than you of course.”
She chose to ignore her sister’s comment about the town she loved. “I’m not quite up to talking to Fiona tonight. You know what will happen. Especially if Angus isn’t around to play referee.”
“That’s only because she thinks you’re ignoring your heritage.You are part of an illustrious family.”
“I know that, can I help it if the magic gene went haywire when it came to me?”
“I still think it will straighten itself out given time. But enough of that, tell me, what makes you think that someone has moved up into your little town.”
Mari smiled. Fauna lived in London and had an apartment in New York City. Fiona traveled back and forth between her homes in New York and Canada. Both her sisters never understood her need to live in what they termed a “hovel”, the tiny town of Coals Well in upstate New York.
“There’s a new store in town, an antique shop. I haven’t been inside yet but I rode past it tonight.” She quickly told of her conversations with her friends and what happened when she drove past the store.
“Hmm, at least you haven’t neglected your upbringing totally, if you are able to recognize that.”
“I’ve never neglected my training, I’ve just learned my limitations. Something Fiona would never understand.”

Is it really better than…


This weekend I was watched one of my new guilty pleasures.  A cooking show called BITCHIN KITCHEN. the host is Nadia G. It is definitely a cooking show with attitude.  This show was cooking for the in-laws.  That first meal that you may have had to make for your prospective or current inlaws.
Think of all the tension, the agony, what to make -will they like it? Are they allergic to anything? Are you good enough for their son, or daughter?

Ready made for a novel, isn’t it. Although if it was one of mine, there would be a dead body, just not sure what, or who had done it.

Anyway I got to thinking, is there a favorite dish you like to make, one you drag out when you want to make a good impression. Whether it’s breakfast -lunch-dinner or desert.  Mine is desert and it’s a recipe redo. One I got from the wonderful Paula Deen.
Is It Really Better Than Sex?  Is the name
Ingredients
1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix, plus ingredients to prepare
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 (3.4-ounce) box French vanilla pudding, plus ingredients to prepare
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup flaked, sweetened toasted coconut
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare yellow cake mix as directed using a greased 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. While cake is baking, combine the pineapple and 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Remove cake from oven and using a fork, pierce holes into cake. Pour pineapple mixture over hot cake and set aside.
Prepare pudding according to package directions. Spread pudding over cake and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Whip heavy cream and remaining sugar until stiff. Cover top of cake with whipped cream and sprinkle toasted coconut on top.

My husband is diabetic and that recipe is not exactly diabetic friendly.  I made some changes and now serve that recipe to everyone.  When I was working in an office I would get requests to make this for potlucks.
Yellow cake mix-
Most recipes call for Oil I used no sugar added applesauce instead.
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple (in it’s own juice not in heavy syrup)
1 1/3 cups sugar (splenda)
1 (3.4-ounce) box French vanilla pudding, plus ingredients to prepare (low-fat no added sugar made with skim milk)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream  ( I use cool whip)
1 cup flaked, sweetened toasted coconut  (Optional)
Very moist, delicious and a guaranteed pleaser.  As for the recipe’s name?  Close but no cigar.

Avon Calling


And not for the reason you think. Or maybe it is.
Yes, I do sell Avon so allow me a minute to tell you if you are interested check out my online store Elaine’s Avon–   Thank you

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog.

Today I had a meeting for Avon. Since I don’t have a car, I have to take the bus. Usually I read but I ran late and forgot my nook. 😦 So, I people watched and tried to figure out what people did. Or what their occupation would be if I put them in a book.
The older man and his nephew who were sitting at the bus stop when I arrived. When someone one calls me Ma’am I cringe, unless they are older than me. The man had stopped in the shade so his uncle could rest a few minutes. We talked a few minutes the way some people do at a bus stop. Then they got up and walked away, leaving me to wait for my bus.

As they walked away I wondered are they really related? Probably.
But if they weren’t or even if they were there are many possibilities. Maybe the nephew was taking his uncle on a final trip. The man seemed to be getting on in years.

On the bus there were several people some lost in their paper or their music I just watched and tried to imagine where they came from and where they were going.

This was only my second meeting even though I’ve been selling Avon for about 4 months. I looked around the room and my mind started, The woman running the meeting, the new rep sitting next to me, the ones at the table next to us, or behind us. Each of them had a story to tell, at least in my mind.

By the time I got home, between the meeting and the bus rides there and back, all the people I met.Security guards, school kids, rides on the bus, the bus drivers themselves, each of them or parts of them will end up in a book someday. For now they’re heading into my story seed file for now. There they will sit and germinate until I need them.

Baseball Food


We watch a lot of baseball in this house. A LOT. Once in a while we do make it to a ball park. Last night my husband went to a minor league game with a couple of friends. It got me to thinking about ball park food.
Most parks have gone beyond hot dogs, peanuts and beer. The newer parks have food courts now. Food Network has done a show on baseball food and they’ve shown everything from steak to sushi.
Nothing beats a ball park hotdog, smothered in what ever you want. Me, I’m a purist I like my hot dogs plain. I want nothing to deter from the taste. I think somehow they absorb the energy and excitement in the park while they are cooking. I never get the same taste when I grill hot dogs at home. Even beer tastes different, I’ll drink it at the ball park but not at home.
Give me a couple of Fenway Franks, a beer,sitting in Fenway park watching my RedSsox’s play. it’s almost as good as a filet mignon.
What’s your favorite ball park food?

JohnAdams


“Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.” John Adams
My husband and I had been exercising our minds by watching John Adams. This is the excellent series that was on HBO. Since we don’t have HBO we’re catching up with it now. Thanks to Netflix
Coming from Massachusetts there is no shortage of Revolutionary war hero’s. My favorite is not John Adams, he comes in second. My favorite is Abigail Adams, his wife and a woman ahead of her time.
As we were watching John Adams arguing with Thomas Jefferson my husband turned to me and asked. “I wonder what they would think of politics today?”
What do you think?