Romancing the Gold Launch Party Sept. 15th

Come to the launching party for Romancing the Gold on Thursday, September 15th. Enjoy cyber champagne. Make a comment for a chance to win a prize. Learn what heroine, Megan McKinley finds on an archaeological dig and who she discovers from her past at the dig in Peru near Machu Picchu.

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Procrastination – Don’t let it be a stumbling block

Dean Graziosi recently wrote an article about procrastination. He says it’s nothing but fear.

Yes, fear. Fear of not succeeding, fear of not being perfect, or fear of a task you think you’ll hate.

Let’s consider fear of not succeeding. Would it be so bad if you tried something and didn’t succeed? At least you tried. Maybe you learned something that would help you succeed the next time.

As a writer, I have written many books and tried to interest editors and agents. Over the years, I got many rejections. At last a publisher wrote they’d publish Romancing the Gold. They edited it and designed a lovely cover. When I inquired about the publishing date, they said they were not publishing books any more. It took me another year to find another interested publisher, so at last my book got published and was available for several years.

Then that publisher lost interest in publishing books, so I am now having Amazon publish it. The paperback will be released on Amazon on September 15th, but I could not get the Kindle Create Program to accept my manuscript for an ebook. This time I asked for help and will change whatever I need to change to make it work – hopefully by September 15th.

Let’s consider the second reason you might procrastinate. Your vision of a book or a project seems wonderful, but when you get it half done, it doesn’t seem as grand as you envisioned. Or maybe, it looks good, but you have to keep going over it to get it perfect–and you never finish. Wouldn’t a project with a flaw or two be better than nothing? Finish your project as well as you can and call it done. If it’s a book you send to Amazon, you can even revise it later.

The third reason you might procrastinate is because the job you’re putting off is a task you hate doing. The best solution is to delegate so you don’t have to do it yourself. However, that may not be possible, so you might as well schedule a time to do it, roll up your sleeves, and get it done. You will feel so much better after you finish it and perhaps wonder why you put it off so long.

Sometimes it helps to promise yourself a treat after you do the dreaded task – something nice to eat, a story to read, or buy something inexpensive that you would not have treated yourself to.

As for a story to read, until Romancing the Gold is released in ebook form (hopefully by Sept. 15th), treat yourself to this short excerpt from chapter one of Romancing the Gold

“Seeing Megan again after six years, Joseph decided she was even prettier than he’d remembered. Now, his long hair and bushy beard were far from the clean cut he’d sported when he taught at Megan’s high school….

….He hoped she wouldn’t recognize him with the beard and wraparound sunglasses. He had spent time in England recently. With luck the accent he’d picked up would help her buy his lies about his background. Thank goodness, his Texas contact at ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, had managed to overnight some blue contact lenses.

Joseph might have to get her alone and tell her who he was before she blurted out his real name in front of others.

… However, could he trust her to keep the secret of his real purpose here at the archaeological dig?”

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Ten Ways to Encourage a Child

For two hours a week, I volunteer to tutor a child from a local school at an innovative program provided by Mission Central’s Volunteer Village Library. The children are enrolled in the Hurst Euless Bedford School Independent School District.

As a former high school teacher, I have enjoyed working with kids and enjoy working one on one with students. Here are ten suggestions the program provided to help encourage kids who may often receive less appreciative comments.

  • Offer a thumbs up motion
  • “You’re on the right track.”
  • “You’ve worked so hard on that.”
  • “I heard you say how you feel. That’s great.”
  • “Oh, that turned out very well.”
  • “That’s coming along nicely.”
  • “I’m proud of the way you worked today.”
  • “You’ve just about got it.”
  • “That’s the best you’ve ever done.”
  • “You stayed so calm during that problem.

Try some of these, and see how that lightens up a kid’s expression.

My novel, Romancing the Gold, will be re-released on September 15th. Megan McKinley finds uncovering an ancient Incan Emperor’s gold dinner plate in Peru even more exciting when a new hunk photographer arrives, but soon he and she must race for their lives through the ruins of Machu Picchu.

Romancing the Gold is book one in the series. Romancing the Doctor and Romancing the Vet are also available.

Carolyn Rae

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Kitchen Experience

“Bloody Mary Lobster Cocktail” The article in the Sunday Parade magazine sounded interesting. I always wondered what went into a Bloody Mary. Now I could make a dressing that tasted like it.

The recipe called for the following to be divided into four appetizer plates:

8 oz. lobster, thinly sliced

1/4 cup tomato juice

2 Tbs. minced celery

1tbs. lemon juice

1 tsp. horseradish

1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/8 tsp. celery seed

Salt to taste

1 cup thinly sliced endive

With inflation, the price of lobster was prohibitive. But, what if I made it with cheaper crabmeat? It would be an interesting change for lunch for my husband and I.

The horseradish called for would make it too spicy for my taste, so I’d use 1/4 tsp. black pepper instead. Endive would add a bitter taste. As suggested, I could use shredded romaine, but I picked lettuce because I had some. I wouldn’t mind adding two tablespoons of minced celery, but my husband hates celery, so I left that out. The crabmeat had a mild flavor, so instead of thinly slicing it, I left it in chunks.

I mixed up the dressing, and it smelled good. I chopped lettuce and put it in two bowls. I cut up two hard-cooked eggs, cut up a tomato, and two slices of sandwich cheese to top the lettuce. I sprinkled half the crabmeat over the lettuce and poured the Bloody Mary Dressing over it all.

My husband and I tossed the salad ingredients, then took several bites. The dressing was tasty, but not quite enough. The crab meat had little flavor. Maybe if I’d used lobster, it might have been good, but with inflation, the cost was too much. You may have better luck with less substitutions, but I filed the recipe in my circular file. After all, I’ve tried substitutions with other recipes and had good results. Perhaps, I’ll have better luck next time.

Lobster appetizer

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Next Place I’d Like To Travel

I enjoyed visiting Barcelona and seeing Gaudi’s impressive Sagrada Familia Cathedral on a cruise to Italy, but didn’t have time to see everything I’d have liked to.

While doing research for Royal Wedding Scoop, I found the Santa Maria Monserrat Abbey, nestled high in a multi-peaked mountain in Catalonia. I decided that would be a good place for the villains to take Princess Patricia’s two sisters to hide them. It’s about thirty miles from Barcelona. According to Wikipedia, “Catalonia declared independence on Friday 27th of October 2017. Since then, it is an unrecognized state and the leaders of the revolution were arrested. Hopefully, things have calmed down in Catalonia since then.

In pictures I found, the view is fantastic when riding cable cars up to the top with all those interesting, sculptured mountain peaks. You can’t drive a car there, but there is a trail you can walk. Or you can take the Rack Railway train. The abbey is an active Benedictine monastery, with many rooms to tour. You can view the Black Madonna, but to visit the museum, you need to buy a ticket.

People ask why the Madonna at Montserrat is black. They attribute the change from a lighter tone, either to exposure to candle smoke or to darkening of the varnish used as a paint sealant. Later, restorers painted the wooden statue black.

 
 
 
 
 
The Monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat

 

 

 
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Cover Reveal

I’m so excited about the cover I received from The Wild Rose Press for Searching for Justice. Behind the scales of justice, you can see the pink granite Texas Capitol Building where a shoot out takes place. Besides cowboy boots and wide-brimmed hats, lots of people in Texas have guns.

Searching for Justice features two lawyers strongly attracted to each other who must keep that hidden because they represent clients on opposite sides of two lawsuits.

When Attorney Kayla Walker goes to investigate a sinkhole in her client’s back yard, things get dicey until Lawyer Joe Morales decides to check out her claims of serious damage and finds her stuck eight feet down in a muck-filled hole.

They snarl at each other in court, but in private, they can’t keep their hands off each other.

Searching for Justice continues the story of Matt and Valerie from Searching for Love. Matt has started his own law firm in Dallas and invited his friend, Joe Morales from San Antonio to join him. However, when Joe runs for the legislature, he has a powerful enemy who will do anything to stop him.

Searching for Justice will be released by The Wild Rose Press in the fall of 2022. After that, I hope to finish Honeymoon for One, Book Five of the Cordillera Royals. I will be busy, but at least I can work indoors during the July heat.

Carolyn Rae Williamson, writing as Carolyn Rae

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Meet Pam Thibodeaux and read about her latest book

I met Pam from Louisiana at an Oklahoma writer’s seminar for the great agent and teacher, Donald Maas. She writes sweet romance, which dangles on the border between sweet and all out sexy. And now, she has a book set in Texas.

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

Pam is a regular contributor to Lagniappe Magazine https://bestofswla.com. (I learned from another friend, Patricia, an ex-Louisiana resident that “lagniappe” means a little something extra.) Find and Follow Pam on Social Media here: https://linktr.ee/pamelasthibodeauxauthor Sign up to receive Pam’s newsletter and get a FREE short story! http://bit.ly/psthibnewsletter

Pam’s latest book is My Heart Weeps.

When life takes everything, your world stops. Can a retreat heal the broken lives of two wounded souls?

Melena Rhyker’s world shattered the day her husband died. Lost without the man of her dreams, she digs deep to find a path out of her sorrow. Discovering an artistic retreat, she vows to find a reason to carry on and focus her life in a new direction. Can she heal her own heart, and find her new beginning?

Garrett Saunders knows pain. He’s spent most of his life hiding from his past. Regrets and lies haunt him, but he longs to leave them behind and embrace his true self. Will Melena’s efforts to rebuild her life in the face of such grief encourage him to exorcise his own demons of guilt and shame?

Will two hurting people find peace, wholeness and perhaps love in the heart of Texas?

Excerpt: At 6 p.m., she pulled into the carport, turned off the engine and laid her head on the steering wheel.

“Well, I’m home again. Made it through another agonizing eight hours or so, now to get through another night.”
Gathering every ounce of courage she could summon, she disembarked from her vehicle, retrieved the mail from the box beside the door, and entered the house. She thumbed through the envelopes and advertisements, then laid them on the table and poured a glass of juice. She reached for the bottle of over-the-counter pain reliever and froze.

It would be so easy to end this pain.

Oh, what an enticing thought. Just take a handful of pills and end it all. Would she wake up in heaven? Would Jesus meet her there? Would Jonathan? What about the kids or Mama—would they understand? Or would she destroy them? Where was the faith she claimed to have? Why was it failing her now?

Get Pamela Thibodeaux’s second chance women’s fiction novel today and see how love and faith conquers all.

Purchase Link:  https://books2read.com/MyHeartWeeps

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Surprising Facts about Washington, D.C.

I grew up there, so certain things did not surprise me until I moved to Detroit, where there are lots of skyscrapers. City buildings are not supposed to be higher than the Washington Monument, which is 555 feet high. People ask why the tip of the monument is a different shade. The simple answer is that when they had enough money to finish building it, the same type of stone was no longer available.

Washington, D.C. streets are named alphabetically as they spread out from the capital. North-south streets are numbered. The first east-west set of streets leading from the Capitol have letters of the alphabet for names. The second set has two-syllable names. The third set has three syllable names. A fourth set in the N.W. section has tree and flower names. Some of the street names continue into Bethesda and Chevy Chase, Maryland.

I lived on Ninth Street in the third alphabet, (near Tewkesbury Street) but when my cousin in the Waves asked for leave to visit us, her supervisor refused because Ninth Street near downtown was a dangerous area. My cousin finally got permission after she convinced her supervisor we lived in a nice safe neighborhood.

On my birthday, December 7, 1941, I was a child who wanted to visit the Washington Monument. My father took me, but refused to walk up the stairs, so we rode the elevator. I got to look out the window and see the view before he allowed me to walk down the stairs.

After we left, we rode down Sixteenth Street past the Japanese Embassy. I noticed them burning papers outside, but thought nothing of it. Since that’s not a high drought area, that was commonly done with leaves and paper trash. However, when we returned to my grandparents’ house where we were staying, we listened to the radio and learned of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. From that day on, until the war was over, no one was allowed to go to the top of the Washington Monument.

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Count Your Blessings

On this rainy morning after the horrific shooting of innocent children, I search to find something good to write about. As my Google Assistant plays the Liberty Bell March by John Philip Sousa, composed in 1893, I remember my father telling me he rode a bus or streetcar to hear his band play. I also remember my father reading stories to me at bedtime, and I am glad to have a happy childhood.

Even though my mother died of cancer when I was twelve, I was lucky to gain a stepmother, another set of grandparents, another brother, and two sisters at the age of fifteen. I’m also lucky to have survived breast cancer.

While my knee ached when I began a walk around the block, I quit because it was raining, but I’m glad I can still walk, and the ground and plants get needed moisture.

As I sit pondering how to finish my latest novel, I’m glad I can type, even if I’m not a fast typist, but at least I type faster than I can write by hand. Although I’m lucky to have had three novels published by traditional publishers and another soon to be published by Wild Rose Press, I’m glad Amazon and other organizations make it possible for me and other authors to self-publish novels and make them available.

While I scrambled eggs for my husband, I was glad I had eggs and that my older husband is still alive to keep me company.

While at times I have wondered how I was going to pay all my bills in time, I’m glad we have a house and enough money to buy food and pay bills. And best of all, I can afford to go to the Romance Writers of America annual conference near Washington, D.C. and be enthused and energized to write some more novels.

How about you? How many blessings have you taken for granted? I bet if you count them, you’ll find your life is richer than you realized.

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Eggstra, Eggstra

Extra, extra, read all about it, the newsboys used to shout when I was a kid. They don’t do that anymore now that we get instant news on TV and cell phones. But here is some news about eggs that you may find helpful.

Eggs like people can be sensitive. If you drop them in boiling liquid, they will curdle or form lumps. To combine eggs with hot liquid, pour a little of the hot liquid into the eggs and stir it in. Then, you can add that mixture to the hot liquid.

To make Hollandaise Sauce, stir over low heat with the butter in chunks. As the butter slowly melts, the eggs will thicken the sauce.

To make hard boiled eggs, lower the eggs gently into boiling water and cook for ten minutes. Then pour the hot water out and fill the pan with cold water. Let set for a few minutes and then chill in the refrigerator. That should avoid the green rings around the yolk.

To beat egg whites, be sure the bowl and beaters are clean without any egg yolk left on them. Adding ¼ – ½ teaspoon cream of tartar helps. (Use 1/4 tsp. for 2 egg whites) If you want to add sugar, do it when soft peaks start to form, then beat until the peaks stand up. The sugar will help the egg white membranes stretch to make more volume.

To fold egg whites into a mixture, add a small amount of eggs whites to the mixture and fold in with a rubber scraper. Then add more and use cutting and folding motions.

Since I use a hand mixer, when one wears out, I keep the beaters and buy another of the same brand and model. That way I accumulate extra beaters so I don’t have to wash them while I’m preparing a dish.

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