Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Welcome Annette Snyder

Our guest blogger today is Whiskey Creek Author, Annette Snyder. She has a terrific new book to tell us about is offering a very cool prize.

Thanks to the authors who own The Lark Journals for having me today. If you haven’t checked out their sites and their work, you should. There’s a bunch of talent wrapped up in these four authors. I write with one of the same publishers they do, Whiskey Creek Press. That’s where my latest novel is published and released this month.

Intimate Flames is a story centered around my favorite American holiday, Independence Day. I know we celebrate because it’s the day America claimed its independence but it’s my favorite holiday because of the atmosphere. The weather is usually warm where I live, smack dab in the middle of the country. One of my good friends, the local fireworks saleswoman, puts on a beautiful fireworks display at night. Almost everyone in town goes to the ball field with their lawn chairs to watch and visit. Most other holidays are centered on family but the Fourth of July is centered on unity of our neighbors, community and country. I think that’s why I like it best and that’s why I wrote Intimate Flames.

A young woman named Bradie Carpenter finds herself alone and pregnant after the sudden death of her boyfriend. This story chronicles changes in Bradie’s life after Grant’s death, the birth of her child and finally meeting of a wonderful fireman, his family and an entire community who accept her for who she is and celebrate what she’s overcome. This is a contemporary story of survival and learning to love again set in the American Midwest beginning and ending on July 4th.

Intimate Flames is my first holiday based story and my first contemporary. One of the main characters, Andrew ‘Amen’ Packard, has six siblings. I’m currently finishing a novel about another of his siblings, a fast food restaurant worker, and I’m thinking about starting a series involving all the Packard kids. Like all families, Packard children were raised in the same house but each has a different personality so the second book, also a contemporary, is set to showcase a woman’s strife to build a life and make choices that lead her in a stable direction. Will she choose the easier path of fortune with the visiting movie star or the affection of his limo driver?
You can find out all about my work at my site, http://annettesnyder.atspace.com There, you’ll find links to everything pertaining to my writing career. There’s a link to contact me with any questions and, on the Events page, you’ll find information about a monthly book club I host, Lost in a Good Book, at Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction, a writing community.

As thanks to The Lark Journal for hosting me today, and in honor of the release of my newest work, Intimate Flames, I’m offering a great July prize to all participants on this blog. With your comment, you have a chance to win an autographed copy of Intimate Flames, the perfect summer afternoon read, a bottle of sunscreen to ward off those harmful rays while you bask in the sun and a cool book tote to store all your picnic jaunting supplies. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

Annette Snyder-Novelist
Viveka's War--Available Now
Intimate Flames releasing July 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Grumpy Old Men

I'm living with two of them. My dad moved in with us for a while and between him and hubby they're slowly driving me insane. Close to the same age, they egg each other on and feed off each other and gang up on me all the time. All done in fun but it does get to me after a while. When I come home from working a full day I have a routine that allows me to unwind, know what I mean?

I get a shower, change into my Jammie's, eat a little dinner. And just basically want to be left alone until I can sit and relax for a few. Gone are Saturday jammie days, too. I feel odd not getting dressed with dad here. I do insist on watching my sci-fi on Saturday, though.

We all fight for the remote:) Dad wants to watch gardening and home improvement shows. He's also hooked on game shows. Earl want to watch the old movie channel mainly because there's no commercials. He hates those. I like Entertainment Tonight after the news but haven't seen that in a week. I usually give in because it keeps the peace and I'm usually busy on the computer anyway.

Even though it might not sound like it, I'm very glad dad is here with us. I hope he plans to stay for a while. We have a big 4th of July family planned day this coming weekend. We'll have ribs and seafood, dad will make a pot of his famous pinto beans, lots of side dishes and I'm going to make a dump cake. I'm looking forward to it, and seeing my sister Lois as it's been a while. She's driving down from North Carolina.

Here's hoping that if you celebrate the 4th of July that you have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend!

Friday, June 26, 2009


I'm a sucker for old vehicles. I don't know why I am. I just know that I am.
We pass this old bread truck a lot. Every time we pass, my storytelling muse starts to make noise.
I wonder...Why can't she speak when I'm not busy driving?
Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Eye Eye and more

Well it seems as if my eye op was successful. Apart from my looking like I went ten rounds with a prize fighter, it appears to be pretty good. I had to have a skin graft and they took the skin from my neck, so that left my neck with huge blue stitches in it. You can imagine the look, I mean having the appearance of Frankenstein's monster is a definite turn off. I knew for sure I was not going to get a date with George Clooney, but not wanting that (oh really?)it didn't matter. Anyway, feeling great is the mood I am in.

Better still, my feature at Romance Junkies is up - do pay a visit over there. I am at the cocktail hour.


There are pictures too - but none with me looking as I do at the moment, so rest easy, I am not into horror pics.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Coming Next Week

Annette Synder will be my guest next week and she'll be telling us about her new book. She's also giving away a cool prize. Anyone who leaves a comment at The LARK JOURNALS during the month of July is eligble to win.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Little Trivia

What was the first drive in movie?

A ten acre site in Camden New Jersey. It was opened by Richard Hollingshead on June 6, 1933. The screen measured 40 by 30 feet and there was room for 400 cars.

Ah...the drive in movies. Gee, I remember going to them every Friday or Saturday night with a car load of friends. Back then they had all night horror movies. We'd bring food, drinks and blankets. The blankets weren't always used for keeping out the cold:) We'd also bring those little coiled do dads that you would have to burn to keep the mosquitoes away.

Man, those were the good ole days!

Friday, June 19, 2009


...and the living is easy. This week I noticed it's peach time! Around our house we make a lot of peach tarts. I hope you enjoy this fast, simple treat!

Peach Tart

2 pounds ripe peaches
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons softened salted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Boil water for the peaches. Submerse them in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then slide the skins off. Remove the pits and thinly slice peaches.

In bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla together. Spread this mixture thinly on bottom of tart shell.

Arrange the peaches on pastry shell. Place in 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Cool slightly before serving.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Shuffling Off to Buffalo

My husband and I spent last week in Buffalo, New York visiting family. We hadn't been there in four years and I forgot how pretty it is in late Spring with plentiful flowers and colorful birds. And the food was wonderful too (beef on wick at The Village Inn and maple-dip doughnuts from Tim Horton). But the best part was being with family.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shadows of the Past

Hi, I am posting today because on Thursday I have to go for a minor but tricky operation. I shall, hopefully only be in the hospital for the day but have to be there very early. I hope you don't mind my indulging you with excerpts from reviews for my latest novel Shadows of the Past, but at times like these it is sweet to receive something like this.

Review - Romance Readers at Heart - Reviewer Kay"I was intrigued from the first page of Margaret Blake's Shadows of the Past...

Margaret Blake tells a story filled with raw emtion that shows that even when most vulnerable, a smart woman can be a formidable adversary.

I was wholly entertained by this clever tale...

Red Roses for Authors - Reviewer Morna

"This is a classy romance suspense about a woman who has lost her memory...Slowly the mystery begins to unrval and pieces of the past come back to her...

The book has a surprising ending and is a page-turner. 4.5 red roses

novel available from
book stores - libraries
and www.amazon.com

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Our Little Pineapple

A couple years ago my dad gave me a pineapple plant from his back yard. It's taken all this time for it to produce. No wonder pineapple's cost so much in the stores! We also have a cherry tomato plant which, according to my hubby, is loaded. He brought one in the other day and it was so pretty! Have you ever noticed how much better home grown food tastes? I'm looking forward to when it's time to pluck our pineapple and have a taste.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day Out

Yesterday I went walking in the Yorkshire Dales. For those of you wondering where that is, let me remind you of a programme very popular in the States - All Creatures Great and Small - I know it was popular because quite often I met Americans on holiday in the area. They were on the All Creatures Great and Small tour.

It was a lovely show, all about a Vet(animal doctor) working in the Dales. It was filmed there too, so if you watched it you would see how beautiful it was. Hills and fells, lots of limestone, beautiful valleys, green and lush.

We climbed fairly high and looking down onto the valley you would think you were looking at a picture, so perfect it was. Interesting as well as sheep, there were Jersey cows. I love Jerseys, they are a wonderful tan colour and have the most amazing gentle eyes. They produce milk that really is special.

We saw young foles and a tiny calf. It was just one of those perfect days. Of course the weather behaved badly. We had been warned. Dry in the morning, albeit cloudy, rain in the afternoon. We are our lunch gazing down over the valley and had just packed up to set off again, when it came in - slow and gentle and first, and then much heavier. Everyone was scrambling into their wet weather gear. This is when I never care what I look like, ok my yellow rain hat would have any designer throwing up their hands in horror, but you know what, it keeps me nice and dry.

We hit the village about 3.30, the cobble shiny with rain, the river rushing more swiftly than when we had set off. Of course we split into two groups - those who head for the pub and those that head for the tea shop. I am in the latter. My friend and I can't resist the cakes, or the delicious toasted tea cakes and a pot of tea. This is our treat before we stagger to the coach, tired but happy.

Yes, yesterday was perfect and I have another one on Saturday. This the Dalesway, walking in the Lakes, one of my favourite walks. I might even take some pictures, so watch this space!

Bye for now.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Eating Healthier

It's funny what you'll force yourself to eat when you're trying to be healthy. The nutrisystem program I'm on is easy to follow. You can eat anything the program offers. But the portions are small. So I find myself eating about every 2-3 hours, kind of like a newborn baby. Since I'm only provided three meals a day and one snack by them I'm forced to eat fruit and veggies in between meals.

I love veggies. No problem there. But I've never been a fruit person. Bananas and apples I can tolerate so I've been eating a lot of them. Lately I've been eating blueberries. I heard they're loaded with antioxidants, whatever those are. It wouldn't be so bad if they were sweet. Some of them are, but some are so sour I can barely get them down. Every time I do I remind myself that they're supposed to be good for me.

I shouldn't complain. I did just eat a delicious chocolate brownie...compliments of nutrisystem:)

And by the way, I've lost 12 pounds!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Worth the Wait

Have you ever noticed that some of the things we wait for are gone before we're ready for them to go? I'm not speaking philosophically here, not talking about people or situations or anything deep, but about the smaller, basic things in our lives.

A few days ago I spent the morning working hard in the garden. I was hot, tired and dirty but I managed to get a great deal done. All morning, as I got dirtier and more mosquito-bitten, I told myself that when I was done I'd have an ice cream sandwich. We had a box in the freezer, and while I'd been "good" so far about keeping clear of the high-calorie snack, I figured I deserved one after working so hard.

Never one to break a promise, when I was done in the garden I washed up, grabbed a sandwich and headed outside. I sat with my feet up on the deck railing and ate that ice cream. Let me tell you, I enjoyed every bite.

All too soon, I was licking my fingers. The treat I'd waited hours for was gone in a flash. Me? I was a trifle disappointed. I'd enjoyed myself but hated to see the fun end. A good times girl, I guess.

Take the lilacs in the photo...they're another example of something I've waited for. When I snapped this shot, about ten days ago, they were just opening up. Now? They're almost all bloomed out, and I've got to admit I'm somewhat disappointed by the fact.

All part of life, I suppose. Some good news...the peonies are just beginning to open up. And, if I'm not mistaken, there are still lots of ice cream sandwiches in the freezer. Hmm...might be a good time to take a stroll, don't you think? And of course when one strolls there should be sustenance of some sort...

I hope you have a delightful weekend! :-)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Library - Shadows of the Past

Last week you might recall I told you about the forthcoming book launch at the local library. Well, it went down a treat. A good many people came, friend of course, but other people that I had not known also.

It was a very warm sunny day so I was surprised that so many came that the Librarian had to get out extra chairs.

I was SO nervous, this was my first ever time doing this kind of event.I prepared very carefully, writing a lecture and then condensing it onto postcards. What do you know I got mixed up with the postcards and so went cold turkey. It really got the adrenalin going I can tell you. Glancing nervously at the clock, I thought I had been chatting for ten minutes when actually it was 55 minutes. What a relief!There were questions after and some really made me think about my writing. You know quite often we writers forget to analyse what we are doing and why. It does you good to sit up and think.

The Librarians made everyone coffee or tea and there were delicious biscuits and the most refreshing thing was that people did not want to rush away afterwards. I think it is all about what I said last week, our little library is a bastion of harmony. Everyone is friendly and welcoming and there is a wonderful atmosphere. Something that money can't buy. I am going to say here and now - thank you Librarians everywhere, do you know how special you are? I hope you do. Thank you too to our lovely, hardworking librarians at our lovely, little oasis of learning - Chatsworth Library - or as we locals call it "Chatty" Now calling a library "Chatty" is that an oxymoran or what?



Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hurricane Season?

Here in Florida we officially started hurricane season on Monday. This is the signal for Doug and I to stock up on bottled water and canned tuna. I have no idea why we buy all this tuna. We don't even like it that much, but you feel you should be doing something. I am hoping we won't need any of these supplies and can donate them to a food shelter in October. In the meantime I'll be serving some tuna noodle casserole.