Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and yours.
God bless, and I'll see you, Lord willing,
in 2013.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Friday Five

Blizzard #1 of 2010 - 02.06.10

Winter has arrived with a vengeance here in MN. Snow, howling winds, plummeting wind chills. Time to hunker down and ride out the storms. :)

So, this week's Friday Five is:

Five things we do when it storms outside:

1. Hot Chocolate. Nothing better after shoveling and snow-blowing than a hot cup of chocolate. 

2. Turn on the fireplace. We have a gas fireplace, and when the temps plunge, I love to fire it up.

3. Movies and TV on DVD. We're in the midst of a LEVERAGE marathon around here. My daughter has never seen the shows, so we're watching them together.

4. Baking. Candy cane cookies and peanut brittle are on the slate this weekend.

5. Books! Snuggle down with a good book.

What do you do when the weather outside is frightful?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Prince of Peace

Nativity scene - adoration of the shepherds
Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Friday Five

We elves like to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup.

This week's Friday Five is:

Five things I love about Christmas.

1. Candy Canes. Why don't we have this candy all year round?

2. Nativity sets. I have several, and I love them. Traditional, snow globe, quilted, even a set of little bears.

3. Candy Cane Cookies. Sugar cookies with almond flavoring, red food coloring in half the dough, then rolled and twisted and shaped to look like candy canes. I'm making some of these with my daughter when she gets home from college next week.

4. My daughter home from college and the whole family together. 

5. The Christmas Eve service at my church. My most favoritest service of the year. I look forward to it for weeks and months.

What are some of your favorite things about Christmas?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Around the Blogosphere

This month is the release of my first novella collection, Sagebrush Knights. Squee! Here's a little about the collection:

Set in 1874, Sagebrush Knights is the story of four sisters from Seabury, MA who are in need of husbands. Their father, a medieval scholar, has passed away, and they have no means to support themselves. When one of the sisters discovers a copy of The Matrimonial News, a periodical devoted to facilitating mail-order matches, she convinces the other three to place an ad with her. The sisters stipulate that they must find men from the same town, so they will at least have each other as neighbors and support. An answer comes quickly from Wyoming Territory. When the ladies arrive in the little town of Sagebrush hoping to find their knights-in-shining-armor, they are disappointed in the serfs who greet them. While technically neighbors, the ranches are so far apart, the Gerhard sisters will have to learn to trust God and their new husbands if they are going to survive in the West.
Psalm 18:2
The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
“Knight and Day”
Widow Evelyn Gerhard Stanford keeps the knowledge of her ten-year-old son a secret from her prospective groom. When she arrives in Sagebrush, she’s shocked to realize her groom forgot to mention his ten-year-old daughter. While Evelyn tries to teach Gareth’s daughter some manners, Gareth tries to teach Evelyn’s son what it means to be a man. And all the while, they are learning to be a family.
Jane Gerhard, the invisible sister, longs to be special to someone. But the man she weds is a workaholic who spends all his time on the range. Harrison Garvey’s father made him a wager: double his ranch’s production within three years or move back east. Jane tries to win Harrison’s attention, but it isn’t until she works herself to exhaustion that Harrison learns what winning her love is really worth.
“Shining Armor”
Gwendolyn Gerhard is shocked to find out the man she intended to marry has died while she journeyed to meet him. His grandson, Matthew Parker, shows up in Sagebrush determined to send the woman home, convinced that she was a gold-digger. When he learns she has no family to return to, he has no choice but to marry her. . .but that doesn’t mean he’ll fall in love.
“On a White Charger”
Emeline Gerhard has long dreamed of living on a ranch, so she’s thrilled to be heading to Sagebrush. Imagine her surprise when her cowboy turns out to have a ranch all right. . .a sheep ranch. With gentle persistence, Joseph Barrett shows Emeline the reality of life in the west. But when area cattlemen threaten the flock Emeline and Joseph must band together to save their ranch.
Sagebrush Knights is being featured on the blog. We're discussing mail order brides, Wyoming, cowboys, and so much more. One commentor will win a copy of Sagebrush Knights.
Also, Keli Gwyn is featuring Sagebrush Knights on her blog.
She's reviewed the collection and is also giving away a copy.
You can also find Sagebrush Knights by using the links in the left sidebar. 

Sunday, December 09, 2012

The Tantalizing Ladies

This is a picture of a delightful group of ladies known as The Tantalizing Ladies Tea ~ A Christian Book Club Coterie. Yep, that's what they're called, and they are every bit as unique as their name.

They read A Bride Sews With Love in Needles, CA and invited me to visit them and have high tea.

My sister-in-law traveled with me, and we had a wonderful time! We all wore hats, and we partook of the most delicious and delicate treats, rich and aromatic tea, and lots of laughter and book-talk.

Speaking of aromatic, this group makes their own lotions, lip balms, granola, applesauce, tea towels, and a plethora of other crafts. They passed around their homemade soaps, and fragrances, and soon we were testing lotions and smelling things like ginger-lime and sugar-plum-fairy essence oils.

I came home with a huge gift bag of their wonderful crafts and sore cheeks from smiling and sore ribs from laughing at all the funny stories they told. My sister-in-law found that one of the ladies grew up only about a half mile from where she did, and they shared stories and compared notes on what they remember about SE Rochester back in the day.

One of the things I especially love about this group (this is the second time I've visited them, and they've also made me an honorary member by inviting me to be a member of their Facebook group) is the love they show to one another. They vary in age and occupation, but they are all such good friends. They make room for each other's enthusiasms and preferences, praise each other's skills, and celebrate and commiserate as required.

My church just re-started a book club, and we'll be meeting in January for the first time in awhile. I'm looking forward to it!

Are you part of a book club? If so, do you enjoy it? What are you reading? If not, have you thought about starting one?

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Still Chillin'

I'll be continuing the blogging hiatus this week. Thanks for bearing with me as I juggle a crazy-busy schedule this holiday season. I'll still be checking in on blogs and on FB, but the blog will be quiet this week.