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Showing posts from 2016

Holiday recipe ~ Prime Rib

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We LOVE prime rib for our Christmas Eve dinner, now that we know how simple it is to make and way cheaper than a restaurant. Tammy Merryweather introduced me to the easy version.

The link to the actual recipe is HERE.



Delicious, right??

would assume you could order a USDA Choice piece of meat from the super­mar­ket if you talked to the meat counter man­ager, and I have always been able to find USDA Choice meats at Costco. It runs about $9–11 per pound, where a select cut from the super­mar­ket will be about $6–8. It’s worth the extra price for USDA Choice if you’re going to go to the trou­ble to cook a Prime Rib, which really isn’t all that much trouble.…you just don’t want to adver­tise Prime Rib on your menu and then serve your guests semi-yukky beef!



This is a sec­tion of USDA Choice prime rib. See the beau­ti­ful mar­bling? That equals YUM! Most prime rib roasts run about 13–15 pounds. This one was 15 pounds and wouldn’t fit into my roaster, so I cut it to fit. A 15 poun…

Holiday Recipe ~ Cranberry Salsa

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This is one of my favorite holiday appetizer recipes!  Sweet and sassy with a kick of holiday tastiness.
What's your favorite holiday appetizer? Cranberry Salsa with Cream Cheese
Print Serves: 12 servings Ingredients 12 ounces fresh cranberries¾ cup granulated sugar (add more to taste)1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped coarsely (leave the seeds in if you like it spicy)½ cup cilantro4 green onions2 tablespoons lime juicepinch of salt2 (8 ounce) blocks of cream cheese

A few of my favorite Christmas things...book edition.

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Do you have a book you like to read every season? Do you read one aloud to your family? Do you have one you like to read at night, by yourself?

I love A Christmas Carol. Really, I love any Charles Dickens book. One of the first books I feel for was A Tale of Two Cities. Even though his writing is slow in our day, I appreciate his descriptions and characters. I may not read the book every Christmas, I do watch one or two or three different movie versions of the book (the Jim Carey on freaks me out a little bit).

Charles began to write the story in September of 1843 and finished it in SIX weeks. The book was published in December of the same year. He and his publisher disagreed on the price and the color of the book. The book was finally book was bound in red cloth with gilt-edged pages, just a two days before publication.






















Here are a few of my favorite book covers of The Christmas Carol:




I like the robust Spirit of Christmas Past.




I like the scene of the town with Scrooge in the middle wi…

Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms #1) by Erin Summerill

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Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.



I…

A Country Christmas (A Timeless Regency Collection) by Josi Kilpack, Carla Kelly, and Jennifer Moore

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From the publisher of the USA TODAY bestselling & #1 Amazon bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology series in Clean Romance, comes A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS.

Three brand new Regency Romance novellas by Josi S. Kilpack, Carla Kelly, and Jennifer Moore.



Ready for Christmas stories? How about three romantic ones? Get started on your Christmas reading with these regency stories.

Saints and Sinners by Josi Kilpack
Opening line:
"Neville Franklin was inspecting the small village pub that smelled like yeast and grease— as it should— when his companion spoke from the other side of the small, rough-hewn table."

The Christmas Angle by Carla Kelly
Opening line:
"Sailing Master Able Six never minded a little walk."

The Perfect Christmas by Jennifer Moore
Opening line:
"“I propose a Christmas at Waverly House.” Archibald Montague Clawson, Lord Symons, stood on the plush rug of the drawing room, letting his gaze travel over his companions as he awaited their reactions."&q…

Creating Character ARCS by K.M. Weiland

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Powerful Character Arcs Create Powerful Stories

Have you written a story with an exciting concept and interesting characters—but it just isn’t grabbing the attention of readers or agents? It’s time to look deeper into the story beats that create realistic and compelling character arcs. Internationally published, award-winning novelist K.M. Weiland shares her acclaimed method for achieving memorable and moving character arcs in every book you write.

By applying the foundation of the Three-Act Story Structure and then delving even deeper into the psychology of realistic and dynamic human change, Weiland offers a beat-by-beat checklist of character arc guidelines that flexes to fit any type of story.

This comprehensive book will teach you:
How to determine which arc—positive, negative, or flat—is right for your character.
Why you should NEVER pit plot against character. Instead, learn how to blend story structure and character development.
How to recognize and avoid the worst…

You've Got This: How to Look Up When Life has You Down

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Life is tough, but so are you! Learn how to work through life's trials with advice from popular youth speakers, including Hank Smith and Al Carraway, who have endured a few challenges of their own. This encouraging book will help you see trials as essential stepping-stones to becoming who you're destined to be.



I read this book in one short sitting. I'm excited to pass it along to my teenagers. There are quite of a few of their favorite speakers in this book.

This would be an excellent Christmas gift (or birthday or Easter or Daylight Savings)!

From Hank Smith's gripping retelling of Joseph (I cried) to the humor of Zandra Vranes (I snorted), there is a great collection of stories and wisdom on to look up when life has you down. The stories are short enough to read quickly but written well enough to move the reader.

I totally enjoyed every story and thoughts!





Elise Babbel Hahl is a nonfiction writer and editor. Her titles include Do Not Attempt in Heels: M…

Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James

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Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England's grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England's most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family's secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi's brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?


Opening line:
She h…

Reading Banned Books 2016

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Last election season in our town was ugly. Neighbors against neighbors, ugly words and voices bantered around social media, friends taking a swipe at each other turned our little town crazy and divided.
One person said, "It's only politics. When the elections are over, we will all be friends again." I was shocked at this sentiment from a certain group (I can do a whole other blog post on why it's okay for adults to be cyber bullies but we teach our children not to be). They had no idea how destructive and degrading their words and comments were. Words have a lasting effect, for good or bad.

Aren't books the same?


There are a few banned books I've read or even been assigned in school. Some I can't figure out why in the world they would be banned; some make sense. But I choose if I will read those books. I find it ironic how many of the banned books I was assigned to read in school.

I appreciate parents who are concerned with the books assigned to their c…

How to title every book you ever write

I ran across this post last week and had to share it. It's hilarious! And actually might be a good idea. I tried out their ideas and came up with a few titles for my books.

Here's the link to the article:

How to title every book you ever write.

Here's the first example:

The Promising Debut Novel
Title: (Scent of your deodorant or shampoo) on (street you grew up on)
Example: Almonds on High Street

(If neither your deodorant or shampoo have a named scent, substitute the word “Mornings.”)
Now on to the second novel. Hailed as a new literary talent and tired of being asked if your first book’s main character was based on yourself, you’ll set your next book very slightly in the past (like the ’80s or ’90s, don’t get carried away) and it will center around a family secret. You have two title options, depending on whether your protagonist is male or female.


The Disappointing Sophomore Effort
Female
Title: The (your father’s profession)’s Daughter
Example: The Locksmith’s Daughter


Male
T…

What have you read this summer? 5 of my favorites

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I can't believe the leaves are turning red, orange and yellow. I'm not ready! The air is cooler, the house is cooler and I threw on a cardigan today. I love layering in the fall but I'm still not ready!

So, I'm going to talk about the books I read over the summer.


First off, I didn't get as much reading done as I thought. And I was like:















Ok. Not really. I just liked the gif.


I started the Stormlight series by Brandon Sanderson. How is it possible that I want to be a strange and more courageous person because of some writer's characters? But I did.  That's impressive to me.
I choose to listen to the first book because I'm not sure my arms are strong enough to lug around his books. ;)

THE WAY OF KINGS (Stormlight Archives #1)

Speak again the ancient oaths,
Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.
The Knights Radiant must stand again.

Roshar is a world of stone swept by tempests that sha…

Accidentally Me by Kim Karras BLOG TOUR!

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WANTED: Pretend stalker. No experience required. Tall, dark, and quirky preferred. Sabrina is desperate to go to her dream college, but her parents want her to stay close to home. If she wants to maintain her perfect child image, Sabrina must break rules that even her rebel sister keeps . .






About the author:
Kim Karras writes contemporary fiction for adults and teens. Follow her at kimkarras.blogspot.com for notes on life, writing, and motherhood..




Find reviews, interviews and other blogs on the tour here:

Accidentally Me” blog tour schedule:
August 10: Singing Librarian Books | Literary Time Out
August 11: Inklings and Notions | Geo Librarian
August 12: Write, Writing, Written
August 13: Live to Read
August 14:
August 15: My Book a Day
August 16: Emily King | Getting Your Read On
August 17: Katie’s Clean Book Collection | Robyn Echols
August 18: Nicki Elson
August 19: Min Reads and Reviews | Mel’s Shelves
August 20: Writing Worm
August 21:
August 22: Novel-ties | My Little Suns…

5 summer reads to get you to the first day of school

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I have to admit I'm getting a little excited for school to be back in session. Almost always this time of year I'm ready to be back on a schedule. But this summer has been nice and relaxing and yet busy and full of activities. I'm not sure where the days have gone! I can always find time to read though...



A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir


 I read the first book of this series (An Ember in the Ashes) and couldn't wait for the next!

A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.

In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission t…