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My Endless Summer of Reading by Jina Bacarr

May 11, 2018 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , , , , , ,

It’s the reading month of May!

In case you didn’t know it, May is #GetCaughtReadingMonth, so I decided to challenge myself to do “a graphic a day with someone reading a book.”

I’m a third of my way through the month, and I’m hanging in there. So for this month’s blog, I’m going to post some of them for your viewing and reading pleasure.

First, here’s a graphic I really love because it says so much about how lucky we are to choose what we read.

Which brings me to my own version of the Endless Summer

When I was thirteen, I spent my free time in the old library by the beach with its dusty shelves and cracked, wooden floor. It was the summer I discovered boys and surfing.

And the library’s adult section.

Reading everything I could find there. Romance sagas in hardback, mysteries with provocative covers. Adventure stories girls weren’t supposed to read.

Until a lady wagged her finger at me and told me to go back to the kids’ section.

I didn’t.

Even then I knew I wanted to write, and to write what was in my heart, I needed the freedom to discover all kinds of writing.

Enjoy the freedom to choose what you want to read!

By the way, I didn’t listen to her and kept sticking my Irish nose wherever I smelled a good story…

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So for #GetCaughtReadingMonth, here are some of the graphics I’ve posted so far:

 

You can find all the #GetCaughtReadingMonth graphics I’ve done so far and check them out all this month of May on Twitter and my Facebook pages:

And finally, since it’s prom month:

Ever wanted to be Prom Queen?

Kaylee is tired of being bullied by the Duchess in Crystal Girl and sells her soul to get thin

Here’s the story of Kaylee and her promposal . . . from a hottie devil!

CRYSTAL GIRL: Kindle & KU: http://a.co/ipzidx8

 

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The Dog Days of Summer, Birthdays, and Buttered Noses

August 1, 2017 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley tagged as , , , , , ,

The Dog Days of Summer isn’t just an expression that indicates summer days so hot dogs are driven mad. It’s an actual astronomical event when, Sirius, the dog star rises in conjunction with the sun.  The Dog Days are listed as starting on July 3rd and continuing through August 11th.

In my family, the Dog Days of Summer marked the beginning of birthday season. I have three brothers and three sisters.  Then there are my children, nieces and nephews, in-laws (or as we insist out-laws) and now the grandchildren and grandnieces and grandnephews.  A significant number of them have birthdays in July and August.

Birthdays

Birthdays around our place were always a bit different. With so many relatives we seldom had friends to our birthday celebrations. We rarely severed cake but rather baked from scratch (including the crust) birthday pie. There were favorites – quite a few apple pies, pumpkin (made three days ahead of the feast and refrigerated to the proper coldness), lemon meringue, peach, and rhubarb for my mother.

And when my mémère (French for grandma) was alive, if it was your birthday, you got your nose buttered.  It was supposed to make you side through the year to your next birthday.

Memere and pepere | Marianne H. Donley | A Slice of Orange

Mémère and Pépère Hebert 1973

Now Mémère assured us this was an old French custom, but I never met any other family who practiced nose buttering –even the few friend of mine when we were growing up who also had a mémère and pépère.

Buttered Noses

So, a few years ago I googled it. Sure enough, other families butter noses, but the articles I read listed the custom is either Scottish or Irish.  I suspect Mémère would be upset by these claims as she was very proud of her French ancestry even though the family arrived in the New World well before there was a United States. She and Pépère spoke French at home, and my dad and his siblings didn’t learn English until they went to school.

I must admit that she frequently got things wrong.  She was also very proud of being born on June 13th and every year would tell us that she just missed being born on Friday the 13th (it happened to be a Saturday that year).  But when she died my aunts found her birth certificate. She wasn’t born on June 13th, that was the day she was baptized.  She was really born two days earlier and forever celebrated her birthday on the wrong day.

Wrong day

My aunts were upset, but I would like to think Mémère would not have cared if she had ever noticed.  She was happy to have a pie baked by my mom, and she would laugh her head off when we would sneak up and butter her nose so she could slide through another year.

Does your family have different birthday customs? What are they?


Marianne H. Donley | A Slice of Orange

Marianne H. Donley makes her home in Tennessee with her husband and son. She is a member of Bethlehem Writers Group, Romance Writers of America, OCC/RWA, and Music City Romance Writers. When Marianne isn’t working on A Slice of Orange, she might be writing short stories, funny romances, or quirky murder mysteries, but this could be a rumor.

If you want to know more about the Dog Days of Summer here are some links:

http://www.refinery29.com/2017/07/162153/dog-days-of-summer-spiritual-meaning

https://www.almanac.com/content/what-are-dog-days-summer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_days

https://www.space.com/12624-dog-days-summer-sirius-star-skywatching-tips.html

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June Traditions

June 1, 2017 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley tagged as , , ,

Apples & Oranges | Marianne H. Donley | A Slice of Orange

June Traditions

Graduations and wedding.  Strawberry stands close.  Corn on the cob stands open.

June bugs attempt suicide by flying into a patio door.  News programs announce grunion runs. Janet Evanovich’s new novel is sure to be on the book store shelf soon. June gloom weather patterns make it impossible to know what to wear each day.  Pick shorts and a tee, the clouds never burn off. Jeans and a pullover guarantee it will be ninety by ten fifteen.  The significant other always announces that the air conditioner will not be turned on until after the Fourth of July.  The kids get out of school.

June Traditions | Marianne H. Donley | A Slice of Orange
Ah, no school. For me, that was always both a blessing and a curse.  I loved the slower pace of summer days, kids making mud pies, decorating the driveway with sidewalk chalk, back yard sleep–overs, and the wide-eyed wonder of a child blowing bubbles.  I was less thrilled with sibling squirt gun fights that degenerated into all out bloody warfare in thirty seconds or less, other parents who assumed that because I was a teacher and therefore home during the summer I would leap at the chance to entertain their little darlings twelve hours a day five days a week for free, and those heartfelt words, “Mom, I’m so bored.”

No school for my kids rarely translated into no other commitments for me. I taught summer school classes, took graduate math classes and always had a novel on which I was working.  So how did I carve out time for writing with a job, graduate school, three kids, and a husband who traveled?

First, I insisted both my sons and my daughter did housework. They made their beds.  They vacuumed. They washed dishes. They scrubbed toilets.  Few of their chores were completed as well as if I had done them myself, but I learned to turn a blind eye to what I didn’t have time to fix and to ignore snippy comments from other adults.

Next, I let my children join inexpensive summer time activities. The PTA arranged a summer movie series for children, a juice-box, a small bag of popcorn and the movie all for a dollar.  Park and Recreation always offered swimming lessons, art lessons, piano lessons, gym classes.  I traded play days with other mothers.  But rather than drop my kids off and return to pick them up, I packed a lawn chair, a clipboard, sun screen and stayed.  I graded papers during swim team practice, completed non-Euclidean geometry homework during gym class and edited chapters of my very first book while my kids played in the sand.

I arranged my desk and computer so that I could see the back yard while I worked.  If they needed me closer, I handed them their own paper and pencils, pulled chairs up to my desk and had them write with me.  I got wild stickers and made a refrigerator chart. They earned a sticker for each book they read and could redeem the chart for a small prize from the junk store.  I bought books on tape like Treasure Island, The Hobbit, Tom Sawyer, cheap tape players with head phones and handed them out when I needed quiet time.  If I was truly desperate and they were truly bored, I let them watch videos, a huge treat at my house where the TV never turned on unless it was dark outside. I set my alarm for four and wrote all morning, something I still do today even though my children are out of the house and have children of their own.

So if your children are home for the summer, cherish them and those mud pies drying in the sun, but plan on carving out time for your writing. You are creative, and if you really want to write, you will find a way.

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Summer Adventure

May 14, 2017 by in category Guest Posts, Spotlight, Writing tagged as , , ,

Summer Adventure | Kat Martin | A Slice of OrangePlease welcome best-selling author, Kat Martin, to A Slice of  Orange

Kat is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, in Missoula, Montana, Kat has written sixty eight Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels.  More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Her last novel, INTO THE FIRESTORM, took the #7 spot on the New York Times Bestseller list.  This will be the 15th novel in a row to be included on that prestigious list.  Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.

Make sure you read about Kat’s special May contest. You will find more information after her blog post.

 


Summer Adventure 2| Kat Martin

Summer Adventure

Every summer my husband and I try to have some kind of adventure.  Not the hearty kind we used to undertake–like riding horseback into the high Sierras or tent camping for a week in Montana.  But whatever we choose, summer is great time for a getaway.

This year, we’re driving from our home in Montana to the Western Writers of America conference in Kansas City, Missouri.  We’ll take the back roads, meander two-lane highways that wind through six different states.

Along the way we hope to visit old writer friends, Kathleen and Michael Gear–authors of the PEOPLE series that takes place 10,000 years ago.  They live on a buffalo ranch in Wyoming.

From there, we’ll head for the Dakotas, spend a little time in Rapid City, a great old West town.  Lots of historic buildings and fun art galleries.

Staying off the beaten path, you can find all sorts of intriguing bits of history.  Sioux City sits right on the Missouri, plenty of steamboat lore, and you can learn about Louis and Clark in Omaha.  If you’ve never done a cross country road trip, it’s really a worthwhile adventure.

Speaking of highway adventures, BEYOND REASON travels the roadways of Texas.  It’s the story of Carly Drake, a young woman who inherits her grandfather’s trucking firm and all the problem that go with it–including murder.

Carly’s biggest problem, however, turns out to be six foot-five-inches of solid male muscle–handsome, mega-rich, powerful and controlling, Lincoln Cain.

It’s high action all the way and of course plenty of hot romance.  I hope you’ll watch for BEYOND REASON and that you enjoy it.

So…what’s your favorite adventure?  Love to hear about it.  Have a great summer and happy reading!

Kat


BEYOND REASON

BEYOND REASON

$6.79eBook: $5.99
Author:
Series: The Texas Trilogy, Book 1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Tag: 2017

She’s determined to be successful—no matter who tries to stop her.

More info →
Buy now!

WEBSITE: http://www.katmartin.com/

VIDEO LINKhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7eAZvxU-VM

SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katmartinauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatMartinAuthor


Contests Contests Contests

SPECIAL CONTEST: http://www.katmartin.com/beyond-reason-giveaway/

To CELEBRATE the release of BEYOND REASON, enter Kat’s new contest for a chance to win a KINDLE FIRE 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB and a Kindle copy of AGAINST THE WILDAGAINST THE SKY and AGAINST THE TIDEContest runs from May 1, 2017 through June 30, 2017.

MAY CONTEST: http://www.katmartin.com/monthly-contest/

For May, Kat Martin is giving away to FIVE winners an audio edition of one of her AGAINST series books, plus a copy of INTO THE FIRESTORM.

 

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Spiced Nectarine Jam

August 10, 2012 by in category Archives tagged as , , ,

Everyone I know is going to get a jar of Spiced Nectarine Jam for Christmas this year. Again. They have for past four years.

We have a dwarf white nectarine tree in our backyard. About four years ago it started going crazy producing fruit. One year my husband, who prepares and freezes the fruit for my jam making (bless him!) saved all the pits. He had harvested FOUR HUNDRED nectarines!

Even total strangers have received the gift of Spiced Nectarine Jam. Last year I filled 25 jars; I’ll do that and more this year. Three more batches to go!

The nectarines are positively, absolutely Organic. No spray. No fertilizer. Hardly any extra water. (My husband isn’t exactly fond of gardening.)

Since it’s hard to send jam via the internet, I thought you might like the recipe. The jam’s really yummy.

Spiced Nectarine Jam

4 Cups prepared fruit
7 ½ Cups sugar
1/4 Cup lemon juice
1 tsp each of cinnamon, cloves & allspice
1 packet of Certo

Combine fruit, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, cloves and allspice in a large pan. Bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add packet of Certo. Stir to cool and skim foam for 5 minutes. Pour into jars. Use either self-sealing jars or cover with melted household wax. (This recipe can be used for Spiced Peach Jam.)

Happy jam making….

What do you preserve from your garden?

Char……

Montana Love Letter, Love Inspired, 10/2012
Home to Montana, Love Inspired, 3/2013

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