Enter contest to win a Paperwhite Kindle and other prizes

Hello Awesome Readers,

The Night Owl Romance Cupcakes & Books online reader scavenger hunt event is here! Enter between Aug 8th and the 22nd.

$700+ in Prizes & Over 100 Winners

Ready to Win? I’ve teamed up with Night Owl Romance and other authors to bring you the chance to win a Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite (USA ONLY) & Amazon Cards (Open to the World). I love my Paperwhite because I can read it in the dark without bothering my sleeping husband.

During this event I’m going to help you find some great new books. Make sure to check out my novel Pretend Princess at Amazon along the way. (Hint – read the description so you can find the missing word in my blurb.)





Enter the giveaway at:


I wish you much luck in winning.

Carolyn Rae

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It’s not just a gun

We all use the word gun, whether it is a rifle, a shotgun, a revolver, or a handgun. I got to see some up close and personal at the Hurst Police Station by participating in Firearms 101 as part of the DFW Writer’s Conference. I saw videos on how different guns work and learned some guns have two safety devices that must be released before you can shoot. A very old gun may not have a safety

Outlawing AK47s would be hard to enforce, because there are more than several thousand in the U.S. They are preferred because they keep shooting as long as a finger is on the trigger, although the force produced tends to raise the barrel to shoot higher. Those guns don’t jam and seldom malfunction. When the magazine is empty, a ping sounds to tell the shooter to put in a new magazine. Double action guns are hard to hold steady and often jam.

For safety, always assume a gun is loaded. Don’t point a gun at anything you don’t want destroyed. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. Be aware of what is behind or close to the target that you might hit.

Sergeant Adam Hooton advised writers not to have heroes shoot out tires to stop a bad guy. It is hard to hit a moving target, and even if you do, the tire won’t deflate immediately. Besides, the driver can still operate the car on the rim. Car doors don’t stop bullets. Heroes should get behind cover to shoot and not try to shoot while they are moving because it is hard to be accurate.

If you write about a bad guy using a silencer or a suppressor as it is correctly termed, there is still a sound, though not near as loud, and there will be some muzzle flash.

I got to hold a Glock 19. It shoots a 9 mm bullet. I found it heavy to hold. Sergeant Hooton advised holding it with two hands, with the second hand cupping it.  I picked up the assault rifle, an AR 15, which was longer and even heavier. To hold it steady, you should jam it into the space between your shoulder bone and your clavicle.  The first picture shows Sergeant Adam Hooton with an AR 15.  The second picture includes the Glock 19, a revolver, and a semi-automatic.

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Pretend Princess to be re-released as Book One of Cordillera Royals

In adding new material to Pretend Princess, I found out interesting things about Morocco. It is illegal to carry an Arabic Bible or give out Christian literature. Women do not shake hands and must dress by covering arms, legs, and chest to avoid being considered “available.” Below is the new cover for Pretend Princess to be re-released in July as the first book in my new series, Cordillera Royals.

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What to Avoid for Living Happily Ever After (which all couples finally do in my novels)

During a Bible Study Session I attended, the subject of divorce came up. One member volunteered to check statistics on the reasons couples divorce.  This is what she found:

Today’s Reasons for Divorce

  • 57%       Too much conflict and arguing
  • 41% Getting married too young
  • 31% Financial problems
  • 36% Substance abuse
  • 25% Domestic violence
  • 12% Health problems
  • 13% Lack of support from family
  • 13% Little or no premarital education and religious differences

In a class on marriage I taught when I worked in a federal prison, I came up with ten tips for couples to handle disagreements. At the end of class, I presented each resident with a wooden plaque with these tips. I have also made decoupage plaques with these rules for wedding presents.

Couples Rules for Fighting Fair

  1. Decide what you are fighting about.
  2. Stay on the subject.
  3. Don’t bring up mistakes made a long time ago.
  4. Tell it like it is, and don’t pass the buck.
  5. Tell how you honestly feel about things.
  6. Get involved in the discussion. Listen to each other.
  7. Don’t run the other down or criticize his or her ability to do his or her job.
  8. Don’t call each other nasty names.
  9. Don’t hit each other.
  10. Don’t hit below the belt by criticizing the other’s sensitive spots.
  11. Think of different ways to solve the problem that can satisfy both of you.
  12. Say you’re sorry and make up.



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A Busy Colorful Weekend

Mother’s Day Weekend kept me busy. On Friday I helped give out food at my church, which hosted the Tarrant County Food Bank Mobile Pantry. I gave out pistachio nuts, walnuts, and rice, which I haven’t cooked lately, because I’m trying to live on a low-carb diet. However, I have a good recipe which has only a small amount of potato in one serving. The recipe also includes broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. See below for Oven Roasted Veggies.

Then I took a walk and saw what might have been a dragonfly during a metamorphose cycle. If anyone knows what I really saw, I’d like to know about it.



Sunday I was taken by my daughters to dinner at Asian King Buffet and then to a Lanterns in the Garden Tour in the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. This set of eighteen exhibits was developed to show a sample of Chinese Garden Festivals, which have been held for thousands of years. The illuminated figures represented animals and flowers as big or bigger than  life size, including Panda Bears, Mustangs, Alligators, Fish, Sunflowers, and fanciful flower shapes.




Oven Roasted Veggies (Use smaller amounts of crumbs and margarine if only using                                                                       broccoli and cauliflower)

3 cups cauliflower                                                                                                                                    3 cups broccoli                                                                                                                                         2 -8 Tbs. melted margarine                                                                                                              1/3- 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (I use my chicken crumb mix – 1/3 cup crumbs, 3T                        parmesan cheese, 1 tsp. Lowry’s seasoned salt, and ½ tsp. pepper)                          1 cup baby carrots, cut in half                                                                                                              4 -5 small red potatoes, cut in quarters                                                                                             2 tsp. marjoram                                                                                                                                      2 tsp. rosemary                                                                                                                                          1 ½ tsp. thyme                                                                                                                                       4-6 Tbs. olive oil


Melt the oleo and pour over veggies. Stir in crumbs. Roast at 450 degrees 15-20 minutes. If using carrots and potatoes, cook 30-35 minutes or until veggies are fork-tender. Pour olive oil in large bowl. Add herbs, then pour in veggies. Stir well and serve.  8-12 servings. Can reheat once in microwave. If you leave out carrots and potatoes, use half of the herbs and olive oil.

Nutrients         Whole recipe               Broccoli and Cauliflower only

Calories           251                               64                                                                                            Fat                   13 (if using 8 T oleo)   5                                                                          Cholesterol      13                                13                                                                        Carbohydrates 23                                4                                                                                      Sodium            160                             64


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A Weekend Oasis

I went to a writer’s retreat and reaped relaxation, friendship, a new princess plot, and plenty of writing. Joining fourteen romance writers at a hideaway in the country amidst rolling country, trees, and wildflowers refreshed my spirit and encouraged me to plunge ahead into writing a fourth sequel to Pretend Princess, which is due to be re-released on June 25th after some rewriting to tame an arrogant prince just a tad and add another adventure.

Image may contain: 3 people, people sitting, table and indoor
Here am I on the left, writing away with other members of Dallas Area Romance Authors.

When Crown Prince Lawrence Santiago sees Tricia Parker at the opera, he mistakes her for his missing cousin, Princess Alyssa, and then hires Tricia to stand in for Alyssa to avoid a scandal. Unaccustomed to dealing with royalty, sociology graduate student Tricia soon realizes she is out of her element.

Pretend Princess will be followed in July by Royal Wedding Scoop, where reporter Danielle Dawson falls for Prince Lawrence’s handsome cousin, Armando Santiago, another member of the Cordillera Royals, and  helps him rescue Tricia’s kidnapped sisters.

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Ragtime and Jazz Kept MSU Campus Jamming

Music at this annual festival sponsored by MSU (that’s Mississippi State University, not Michigan State University, my alma mater) resounded from the auditorium walls. Concert artists played compositions from Jelly Roll Morton and Scott Joplin, as well as other composers, including some of the artists performing.

Musicians used piano, drums, clarinet, and even a twelve-inch piccolo trumpet to create melodious sounds during two March evening concerts. Performers came from California, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Michigan, and Mississippi.

I was impressed by the drummer, Hal Smith, who’d practiced with some pianists, but sometimes cocked his ears to listen to a different pianist for a few minutes, then created his own routine to accompany the artist.

Dave Bennett, who’s been compared to Benny Goodman, played a staid accompaniment to pianists on the clarinet, although you could see his knee and shoulders moving in time with the music. But then, he took to the piano to play “A Whole Lot of Shakin’ Goin’ On,” by Jerry Lee Lewis, and gyrated all around the piano bench.





Martin Spitznagel, tired of being asked to play Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer,” demonstrated how it could be played in waltz time and and other variations. After reading about these musicians in the program, I realized ragtime and jazz are still played all over the country.

Now, that I’m back in Texas, I am getting ready to launch my revised and expanded version of Pretend Princess, which will become the first book in my new series, The Cordillera Royals. The next book will be Royal Wedding Scoop, featuring reporter, Danielle Dawson, who enjoys her favorite treat, chocolate filled croissants, but finds it hard to believe a prince might choose her over all the beauties he has dated.

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