Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New in January - "A Kitchen Affair"

My next book, "A Kitchen Affair" will be released on January 8, 2013 in e-book format on my publisher's web site. Not long after that, it will be available on Amazon.com and a few months later, the paperback version will be out.



When culinary student Jenny Marshall struggles to pay her tuition, she decides to become a Personal Chef to make ends meet. The most eligible bachelor in town, Derek James, who also happens to be a millionaire, has a crisis. Two days before his Thanksgiving dinner party, his cook has to quit due to a family emergency. Desperate, he hires Jenny to cook for his party and there's chemistry from the start. He likes her, she likes him, but Colleen Michaels, a manager at his company, has set her sights on Derek also and she does everything she can to sabotage his relationship with Jenny. Everyone thinks Colleen is the perfect match for Derek; everyone that is, except Derek. He desperately wants Jenny in his life. However, Colleen has other plans to keep that from happening. What lengths will she go to in order to keep Derek and Jenny apart?

Friday, December 14, 2012

My 5 Favorite Things Blog Event


I'm participating in Secret Cravings Publishing's Five Favorite Things Blog Event. Visit either or both of SCP's Facebook Reader's Group, the SCP Blog or their Facebook Fan page to participate. People who comment on the Facebook pages are then entered into the drawing for books or prizes.

My Five Favorite Things are:
  • Indianapolis Colts football
  • Castle TV show
  • coffee in the morning
  • snow
  • my next book - A Kitchen Affair

So, to see the Secret Cravings Authors Five Favorite Things, including mine, clink on the links above.

Thanks,
Carol

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Next Best Thing Blog Hop

Fellow romance author Chloe Waits invited me to this event. Hops are a great chance to acquaint yourself with new authors or visit those whose books you enjoy.Below are the answers to the ten interview questions for the Hop, after reading them, please visit Chloe's blog, and any other links that she has for the Hop. Thanks.



THE QUESTIONS:
1. What was the working and final title of your book?
Luckily, both the working title and the final title of my book were the same.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
I started out wanting to write a story about how the different social classes can interact with each other.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
A Kitchen Affair falls would be classified as a Sweet Contemporary Romance.
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
As I was writing it, I kept thinking of Patrick Dempsey for the hero, but never really thought of anyone in particular for the heroine.
5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
How about two sentences? Take one personal chef, add one handsome millionaire bachelor and mix well. Simmer together for three dinner parties and see what cooks up.
6. Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?
to follow in a couple months.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I actually started this one as my National Novel Writing Month project in November 2007. After that month, I let it set and went back to it periodically while I was working on some otherbooks. I started back on it this past summer and finished it in August.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I really have no idea.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I work in social services, so the different social classes interested me.
10.What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
My other two book were romantic suspense and although this one is a contemporary romance, there is just a little mystery thrown in.

A Kitchen Affair will be out on or around January 8, 2013. Check back here for updates and
buy links.

Thanks,
Carol
 
 
 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

"A Kitchen Affair"

I received the final draft of the cover of my next book, A Kitchen Affair today. I'm very pleased and excited on how it came out.



    Jenny Marshall is struggling to pay her tuition at culinary school, so she decides to become a Personal Chef to make ends meet. Derek James, owner of the James Corporation, has a crisis. His cook quit two days before his Thanksgiving dinner party. He desperate and hires Jenny to prepare the meal.
   The prospects of a relationship between Derek and Jenny begin to look good until Colleen Michaels, a manager at his company, sets her sights on Derek. She convinces Jenny that she's all wrong for Derek, coming from the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak.
   Everyone thinks Colleen is the perfect match for Derek; everyone that is, except Derek. He's fallen for Jenny and desperately wants her in his life. However, Colleen has other plans to keep that from happening. What lengths will she go to in order to keep Derek and Jenny apart?

 A Kitchen Affair will be released on, or around, January 8, 2013 as an e-book, with the paperback to follow a few months later.

Carol

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Shop at Amazon


If you're going to shop on Cyber Monday, or any day for that matter, please consider using my Amazon.com search box on the right side of my page. I'm an Amazon Associate and shopping through my link will pay me a percentage. Thanks and happy shopping.

Carol

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tag, You're It

Tag, you’re it! Who remembers that game? In this take, the requirement is to copy several paragraphs from your current manuscript with the word ‘look’ in it. I was tagged by Marian Allen. Since my next book, A Kitchen Affair will hopefully be out soon, I'm posting an excerpt where I used the word 'look.'
This is also going to me my Six Sentence Sunday post, where writers post six sentences from one of their books. Okay, so technically my excerpt is seven sentences, but that's okay.
His smile could melt ice and she found herself mesmerized by him. She had to think fast. Could she do this job? Would she look like an absolute fool if the food came out bad? Would working that close to him make her mind start to daydream about him and end up burning the food? How could she not do this? This was Derek James standing in front of her, handsome sexy Derek James. 

My turn to tag and I'm chosing:

Molly Daniels, Molly's Musings
B.C. Brown, B.C. Brown Books
Kat French, That Darn Kat
Jessicca Collins, That's Exactly Write
Liz Flaherty, Romance Author

Please take a moment to visit my friends blogs.
Carol



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Book Coming Soon

I'm celebrating tonight because I just signed a publishing contract for my next book, "A Kitchen Affair," a contemporary romance. The tentative release date for the e-book will be sometime early in 2013 with the paperback to follow a few months later. The specific release dates will depend on how quickly the editor and I can get the edits finished.
I'll post updates as I received them.

Carol


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bond, James Bond

This month marks James Bond's 50th Anniversary. I'm a huge James Bond fan. My husband and I used to play the first scene of a Bond movie so the other could guess which movie it was. We constantly quizzed each other on Bond trivia and never missed a new movie when it came out.

Bond wasn't the first spy that I fell in love with, nor was he the last. My first favorite spy was Illya Kuryakin, from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. The last spy I loved was my hubby, who was a counter-intelligence agent in the Army. Needless to say, that's why he enjoys watching James Bond movies.

My favorite Bond will always be Sean Connery, but they were all pretty good, although some were better than others, and my favorite Bond movie was The Spy Who Loved Me, which is also my favorite Bond movie theme song. Although, I really like the theme from A View to a Kill by Duran Duran.

So, tell me your favorite Bond actor, girl, song, movie, gadget, moment, or anything Bond.

Carol

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Bunch of Updates

Just a few updates today. I started working on my NaNoWriMo novel this week. No, no, not writing, I'm plotting, outlining, and researching. I can't start writing it until November 1. i debated on whether to participate this year, but I haven't missed a year since 2002. The project I'm working on will be novella and not the 50,000 words that you're suppose to write in NaNoWriMo, but it will really give me a good start, if not allow me to finish it.

I'll be spending part of today editing an old manuscript that I plan on self-publishing and hopefully have available by March. My goal is to get a couple chapters done before the football game and then maybe a couple after the game.

Lastly, I'm still waiting to hear from my publisher on the manuscript I submitted to them in August. It's past due to hear from them and they haven't responded to my email. Very frustrating, and I have no patience with this. I think it's such a good book and I'm anxious for it to be published.

It's raining here today. I love rainy fall days, but we're due for storms later this afternoon. I don't like that. I hope your weather is better. Have a great day everyone.

Carol




Monday, October 8, 2012

Contest Winner

Congratulations to Jessicca Collins, who correctly guessed that the state I am from is Indiana.

Indiana is where the Indianapolis 500 car race is held every year, the Indianapolis Colts are my favorite sports team, and the movies, "Hard Rain" and "A League of their Own" were filmed in Huntingburg about 30 miles from my house.

I assigned everyone a number and then used Random.org to chose the winning number for me. For those that sent their answers through the comments section, your answers were not published so everyone would have an equal chance.

A big thanks to everyone who entered.
Carol


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Where in the World are SCP Authors?



This weekend many Secret Cravings Publishing authors are holding giveaways on their blogs. To enter, all you have to do is visit their blog, read their clues, and make a guess as to where they're from. My clues are below.

Email your guess to CarolPre@live.com to be entered to win a PDF copy of my romantic suspense novel, Saved by the Sheriff. The winner will be randomly drawn from all correct guesses. Deadline to enter is 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, October 7, 2012.

Guess what state I'm from.

Clues:
1. When working at my day job, I "race" around my state.
2. The movies "Hard Rain" and "A League of their Own" were filmed about 30 miles from my house.
3. My favorite sports team is the Colts.


To visit more Secret Cravings Publishing authors, visit our main Blog Hop page.  Good luck.

Carol

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Excerpt from "Saved by the Sheriff"

Information and links on where you can purchase Saved by the Sheriff as an e-book or paperback can be found at the end of the excerpt.

 Jaime carefully walked up to the old house that stood near a newer home with a barn between the two. She took a few pictures through the windows. The inside of the house looked like no one had been there in years. Perhaps left just the way it was when the Murdock's had last been there. She stood at the front door and couldn't resist trying the knob. The door opened.

"I don't think that's a good idea," he warned.

"I'll just take one picture of the inside and then we'll go." She took one step into the house.

"I don't think that's a good idea," he related again.

"You should listen to the boy," a deep voice echoed from behind them.
She knew that voice.

"Come on out."

Jaime turned to see Ben standing at the corner of the old house, handcuffing Bobby behind his back. "What are you doing?" she asked, walking over to them.

"Arresting him for trespassing. You're next."

"What!"  

"Didn't you see the No Trespassing sign?" Ben asked.

"Yes, but..."

"Then you should have turned back. Now, turn around."

Jaime put her camera on the porch and turned around for Ben to handcuff her. "This isn't exactly what I had in mind when I thought of you handcuffing me," she mumbled to him.

He didn't answer, but instead picked up her camera and led them through the trees to his police car that was parked in front of the other house. She assumed it belonged to the Cook family. A woman in a housedress stood on the front porch.

"They won't be back out here again, Mrs. Cook," Ben called to the lady.

"Thanks, Sheriff."

He opened the back door of his car and Bobby got in. Before Jaime got in, she looked up at Ben. "I'm sorry."

He didn't answer, but put his hand on top of her head so she wouldn't bump it as he guided her into the car.






SAVED BY THE SHERIFF is available in various formats from a variety of web sites:
Sweet Cravings Publishing
Amazon.com
Barnes and Noble 
All Romance Ebooks
BookStrand

Thanks,
Carol


Friday, September 14, 2012

Traveling Vietnam War Memorial

It's been an emotional week for me. First was the news of a Marine from a neighboring county being killed in Afghanistan. I didn't know him or his family, but the county that he is from is one of the most supportive counties that I know of when it comes to things like this. Hundreds turned out for his funeral today.

Second, it was the anniversary of the September 11 tragedy in Washington, DC, New York, and Pennsylvania. This is always an emotional day for me because it is so vivid in my mind. I had a friend that was due to fly from Washington to Los Angeles on that day and I was worried that one of the planes might have been his. Thankfully, it wasn't. The events of that day changed so much of what has happened in our world.

Then, it riots in Libya and the death of the ambassador and embassy employees.

Finally, today I visited the Traveling Vietnam Wall Memorial that was in a nearby city. Even with it being a traveling wall, it was still so massive. I was pretty young during the Vietnam War, but I remember sitting on the living room floor as my parents had the evening news on TV and hearing how many had died that day. 

Also in the field where the wall was set up were small memorials for the victims, firefighters, and police officers of September 11.












I'm so glad I took the time to visit this today. God Bless all of the victims of the wars, conflicts, and attacks.

Carol



Thursday, September 6, 2012

I accept your nomination

If you have read my recent book, I would appreciate your nomination in the 2013 Bookie Awards.

There are several categories and my book would fit in the Romantic Suspense Novel of the Year category. Any categories that you do not vote in, must have NA in the field or you cannot submit your nomination.

The top five nominees in each category will be voted on later. So, if you like my book, please nominate Saved by the Sheriff by Carol Preflatish.
2013 Bookie Award Nominations - http://ow.ly/dwRsN
Thanks,
Carol

Monday, September 3, 2012

Writing

Being a writer does not mean you're good at math, too. LOL

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Review of "Women Who Kill - Serial Killers"

WOMEN WHO KILL - Serial KillersWOMEN WHO KILL - Serial Killers by R.J. Parker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting book. It was another free Kindle download and I thought it would good for research on a future book. I was pleasingly surprised to find that it was very informative. It held my interest and I found female serial killers to be a very interesting topic.

I did find a few grammatical and formatting errors. At one point, one of the pages repeated itself for about 10-15 pages. There were so many, I lost track of the number. Other than the repeating pages, the errors did not distract from the topic.

Overall, it was a very nice book.

View all my reviews

Saturday, August 18, 2012

"Flash Gold" by Lindsay Buroker: A Review

Flash Gold (Flash Gold Chronicles #1)Flash Gold by Lindsay Buroker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had been wanted to read a steampunk novel for a long time and recently I found Flash Gold available for free on Kindle. When I want to try a new genre, I often go for the freebies first just in case I don't like it. With Flash Gold, I loved it.

This is a short piece of fiction, only a little over 50 pages, depending on the size font you use on your e-reader. I've always loved mechanical things and this story pulled me right in. Kali is a tinkerer having made her own rifle nearly fully automatic, as well as other countermeasures to protect herself and her shop. Her newly acquired companion, Cedar, who she hired on to help her in her race across the Yukon, is a mysterious man, but very likable.

The book is full of action from being attacked by criminals to an air attack by pirates. There was never a dull moment. My only complaint is that it ended too soon, but kudos to the author, Lindsay Buroker for doing that. It only made me want to read the next book in the series, which I believe is a continuation of this story. It's now on my To Be Read list.

If other steampunk novels are like this, I think I've found a new genre to be a fan of.



View all my reviews

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Where has the year gone?

In just a few days the year will be half over. I'm always amazed at how quickly the months go by. At least two of my Facebook friends said last week that they have started their Christmas shopping. That's probably not a bad idea. I think I will at least start on a list.

I'm feverishly working on my next novel. It's set in the fall and winter from Thanksgiving to Valentine's Day. I worry that I won't get it finished in time for it to be released this winter and may have to wait a year and I don't want that to happen. I have two and a half more chapters to go and pretty much have them plotted out, sort of. I don't go by an outline, but when I get an idea for a chapter, I jot it down on a Post-it Note. God bless Post-it Notes, a writer's best friend, but that's another topic for later.

Happy Christmas in July and I hope that you get your shopping done early.

Carol

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Saved by the Sheriff

Today, for my Six Sentence Sunday, I have a small excerpt from my book Saved by the Sheriff.


You can choose from several formats of Saved by the Sheriff on the Sweet Cravings Publishing web page, or for your Kindle, or for your Nook.

Blurb:
When writer Jaime Wilson visits Indiana to investigate an unsolved mystery, she finds herself becoming the next target and Sheriff Ben Hunter comes to her rescue. She didn't count on falling in love with him and he didn't think he'd have to work so hard to keep her safe.
 
Six Sentences:
   The next thing Jaime knew they had slid down flat on the seat of the truck as she and Ben continued kissing.
   She felt his hand move under her sweater, making his way to her bra. Her hands were just as busy trying to get to his belt when his cell phone started ringing.
   "Damn. I have to answer this." They both moved back to a sitting position with Jaime still next to him.



Sunday, July 15, 2012

Where I Write

A couple blogs by authors that I regularly read recently posted photos of their offices where they write. Most of them were neat and clean. No clutter on the desks, no wadded up papers, dirty coffee cups, or candy wrappers and I just can't believe that is how they really work. Now, I understand how they would want to have a nice photo of their office because it's being put out there on the world wide web for everyone to see. But seriously, it reminds me of the photo going around Facebook about authors and how different people perceive what we do. I love that by the way, and have saved it for my computer wallpaper. For today's post, I decided to show some photos of my offices. Yes, I said the plural. I do the majority of my writing in two different places, my day job office and my home office.

Day job office
Monday through Friday, I spend my lunch hour every day working on my manuscript. Yes, my day job office is very tidy. I pride myself on being organized and since my day job involves confidential files, I have to keep many things filed away. My home office, well that's another matter.

Home office


On the weekends, I mostly work in my home at my desk. I share the office with my husband, whose desk is on the other side of my laptop.My desk is cluttered, but everything on my desk is for research and within reach at anytime. My dictionary and thesaurus are on the floor next to me because there is no room on my desk for them. Honestly, I do clean it off occasionally, but then I can't find anything.


 Obviously, with having a laptop I can be mobile and can sit on the couch or even type a little while in bed before going to sleep. I've written while on vacation with my husband driving down the highway. I've written on an airplane while flying to visit my best friend or my daughter and I've made notes while driving down the highway on the way home from a business meeting. In that case, I was talking into a micro-recorder. But, I think the strangest place I've ever written was when I was sitting in the dentist chair while waiting for my mouth to get numb.

So now when you read any of my books, you will know where I likely was sitting while composing.

Carol

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Weather and J.K. Rowling's New Book

It's been way too hot around here for me to sit for very long at my computer. The heat is finally breaking today, so I wanted to make sure you all knew I was still around. We had rain today and puddles. Oh my gosh, we have puddles in our driveway! It's the first really good rain we've had since Mother's Day in May.

But onto what I really wanted to write about. Have you seen the cover for the new J.K. Rowling's book, A Casual Vacancy, due out later this year? I'm really looking forward to reading the book. I want to see how she handles writing for adults vs writing for young adults. But, the cover, oh my. I'm so disappointed in the plain book cover. I really thought that her book was have a cover that is more reflective of what the book will be about. Maybe once I read it, it will make more sense.



So, my questions to you are, what do you think about the cover and do you plan on reading the book?

Carol

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Weekend camping

We had a big family camp out this weekend with my husband's family. It's an annual thing and as usual, we had a blast. No major injuries this year, last year we had a little one with a bee sting. At the left is the lake that our campground was next to. There are several campgrounds in the park and we had this one all to ourselves. A lot of the family members tried their hand at fishing, but the fish were smarter than we were and no one caught anything.

Night time was the best, with all of us sitting around the campfire just talking. It was warm during the day, but cool enough at night that we could enjoy the heat from the fire.

We saw one snake during the camp out and that was a water snake in the lake.  I think if you look close enough at the photo below, you can see it. There's also a fish just below it and to the left to prove that there were fish in that lake.


However, that snake was not the last one we would see for the weekend. When we got home on Sunday, we found the "little" guy below in our house. We live in a pretty wooded area and it's not uncommon for us to find a black rat snake in the house in the summer. I've gotten used to them and as long as I'm not surprised by them or step on one, I'm okay with it. My husband catches them and puts them back outside, WAY away from the house.


Carol

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Latest News

I haven't posted a writing update in a while, so I thought it would be a good time. I've been feverishly working on my current romance manuscript. This one will be a sweet romance with a little touch of suspense, but mostly romance. I working on chapter eight of what I hope to be a twelve chapter book. Watch for updates here when I get it finished and hopefully a contact. Things have been a little slow this week thanks to a problem with one of my eyes. I went to the eye doctor yesterday and she dilated my right eye and told me it would be dilated for 24 hours. That was 34 hours ago and I'm still dilated. Luckily, she said my eye problem is not serious. It's terrible getting old.

Sales for all of my releases are doing well. I'm not rich enough to quit my day and I don't think that's going to happen until retirement. Speaking of retirement, I was bored at work the other day and figured out that I will be eligible to retire in 80 months from my government job. That sounded so much better than six years and some odd months. But, I digress, all of my book are now available as Nook downloads from Barnes and Noble. If you notice on their site, Saved by the Sheriff is also available there in paperback, for $23.90! Do not, I repeat, DO NOT buy my book there. I asked my publisher about it and she said they don't list with B&N and it's from a third party vendor. If you want to buy Saved by the Sheriff in paperback, please buy it from Amazon.

I came up with an idea for a new book today. Funny how book ideas come to me. I was thinking about the movie, The Devil Wears Prada (one of my favorites) and an unusual character popped in to my head. Obviously, I can't write anything like that movie, which was first a book, or I'd be sued, but I have a very basic idea to go with. I'll jot it down in my book for future reference and see what I can add to it before I get my current book finished.

I'm hoping to maybe have a table at a local community festival this fall and will have copies of Saved by the Sheriff there to sell, if I'm able to get a table. Watch the calendar on my web page for any local appearances that I may have. 

I also decided this weekend to try and eat better and exercise more. LOL Yeah, I've told myself that before and when it does work out, I eventually slide backwards. So, I'm going to give it a shot again. I started today by eating lots of fruit today for lunch and then took a walk, after I spent 30 minutes of my lunch hour writing. I felt better and didn't get sleepy around two PM, like I usually do. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

I'll try to be better about posting on here, but life seems so boring to me that I can't imagine anyone else wanting to read about it.

Carol






Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Review: "Pushed Too Far"

Pushed Too FarPushed Too Far by Ann Voss Peterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fantastic book. So much mystery and so much suspense. The author did a wonderful job of detail, description, and dialogue. I was able to put myself into the setting and story. Even though you knew who was committing the murders, you sat on the edge of you seat trying to figure out how they were going to catch the murderer, but there was a twist and surprise when it did happen. I never saw it coming and I liked that.

This was the first book of Ms. Peterson's that I have read, but it won't be the last. If you're a fan of mystery and suspense, I highly recommend this book.



View all my reviews

Friday, May 18, 2012

Burned out

It seems that I get burned out with things I do a lot of very quickly. I love doing the NaNoWriMo project every November, but when December rolls around I don't even want to look at my manuscript, finished or not. It's usually January before I feel like writing again. The same thing happened last month with the April A to Z Blog Challenge where I blogged every day of that month. I got burned out. I even stopped reading some of my favorite blogs, didn't even want to look at them.So, my friends, it will be a slow come back for me to start posting often again.

To update on me, the last eight days have been busy ones. A camping trip over the weekend, a trip to the ER with my mom, my writers group meeting, driving all over southeastern Indiana on one day for my day job, and well, just work itself. That's another thing I'm burned out on.This week, I even calculated how many months it will be before I can retire from my job - 81 months. Of course, I doubt if I will be able to afford to retire at that point, but at least its a goal I can look forward to. Oh, and I was interviewed on Haven's Realm blog.

Thankfully, I was able to squeeze in some writing this week and finished chapter 7 of my current book. I'm guessing it will be about twelve chapters long, but I haven't plotted them on paper yet. I'll be on vacation from my day job next week and will just be staying home. Hopefully, I'll get a little more writing done.

Carol

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Panning for Gold

Last fall during a weekend vacation, my husband and made a trip to central Indiana to try something new, panning for gold. Yes, there is gold in Indiana. A glacier, just one glacier we learned, brought gold down during the ice age and it stopped in the middle of Indiana. We were too late in the season last year and didn't do any panning, but did purchase a pan and scoped out a spot to come back to. Last month, we went back and today, I'm going to tell you about my experience. Let me say that we don't plan on getting rich doing this, but we found it to be a fun way to spend an afternoon.

Above, you can see me doing some panning. I was totally unprepared for what I would be doing and wore long jeans and hiking boots. What I didn't know is that I really needed to be in the water to be able to do it correctly, as my husband is doing on the right. He had a much easier time panning in the middle of the creek that I did from the edge.

This was again, more of a reconnaissance mission to see if we had the equipment that we needed and to see if we really knew what we were doing. The good thing is that we were alone in our part of the creek, so if we weren't doing something right, no one saw us. Although, there was a guy downstream from us that was from Nashville, Tennessee and he was taking the search for gold a little more seriously that we were. My husband told me to keep looking for black sand. "Black sand, huh?" I really felt like I was wasting my time. Then, as I panned away the sand, I saw a dark shadow appearing in my pan. So, I washed away more of the sediment. "Well, I'll be damned," I said. There in in the bottom of my pan was a little conglomeration of black sand, just like he said. "That's where the gold will be," he told me. Black sand is heavier than brown sand and gold is heavier that black sand. Hence, the panning away of the the sediment until you get to the black sand.


Since this was just a day trip and we had a long drive home, we panned for about two hours and then headed out. I'd like to say we hit the mother lode, but we didn't. We did find some really small pieces of gold and I wish I could show you a picture of what we found, but gold in this area is as small as the sand we were washing away. The photo below is not mine, but from someone else's gold find so you can get an idea of the size. The gold that we found was about the size of the smallest flakes in upper right corner this picture.  


We aren't giving up. We had so much fun on our trip that we're going again in a few weeks. What could be better than spending the day out in the fresh air, getting a little exercise and maybe finding a little gold?


Carol

Monday, April 30, 2012

Z: Zombies

My final A-Z Blog challenge post is about zombies. Believe me, I never thought I would ever be writing about zombies, but they seem to be all the rage now. I decided that I needed to see what all the fuss was about so I read Pay Me In Flesh by K. Bennent (aka James Scott Bell).

Until I read this book, my only knowledge of zombies was from watching the movie,  Shaun of the Dead and I laughed through the whole thing.

What I didn't do was laugh through this book. Pay Me In Flesh is about a lawyer in Los Angeles who finds, after being shot, that she was brought back from the dead and is now a zombie, or undead. While defending a vampire on a murder charge, she searches for the person who turned her into a zombie.

The end of the book left a lot of unresolved issues, enough that I assume there will be a sequel. The story was very well written, but I would expect no less from Mr. Scott, who is an excellent writer. I did find a few typos in the text, but not so many that it distracted my reading.

I asked myself if I would read another zombie book and my answer is maybe. If there is a sequel, I will likely read it, but I doubt I would add another zombie book to my library.

How about you? Do you like to read zombie books?

Carol

A-Z Blog Challenge

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y: Yippee, it's almost over

I suppose I really shouldn't say yippee, but I needed a Y word today and it seemed to fit. This was the first time I participated in the A to Z April Challenge and found it to be exactly that, a challenge.

Don't get me wrong, it was fun, but for me it was difficult to blog daily and coming up with the topics for a few of the letters was demanding. For the most part, the first thing that popped in my head is what I wrote about.

The toughest letters for me were P, T, W, and X. For the letter P, I came up with so many ideas, it was hard for me to choose just one. The letter that caused me the most difficulty was X and the one that caused me the most work was Z. Obviously, I haven't posted that one yet and I don't want to give it away. All I'll say is that I had to read a whole book for that letter.

Will I participate again next year? My answer right now is no, but I'm sure that when time rolls around, I'll suck it up and o it again. Hopefully, I've picked up some new followers. If you're one of them, please don't expect me to keep up with the daily posting. With a full time job and trying to write another book, there's just not time for me to do this daily and congratulations to my fellow bloggers who will complete the whole month.

Carol

A to Z Blog Challenge

Friday, April 27, 2012

X: Xenolith

I love collecting cool looking rocks, but I have never found a Xenolith rock. A Xenolith is a fragment of foreign rock within a host rock. To be considered a xenolith, the inclusion must be different in composition from the rock surrounding it.


Xenoliths most often occur in igneous rocks. For those of you who are a little rusty on Geology 101, igneous rocks are rocks which form by the cooling and solidification of molten material, either magma or lava.

That my friends, concludes the geology lesson for today. I'm going to start looking for one of these.

Carol

A - Z Blog Challenge

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W: Waltz

I don't dance, well actually I don't dance because my husband doesn't dance. I think the waltz is my favorite dance to watch. It's so elegant. I love watching old movies with large crowds waltzing around a ballroom. I just watched the movie, Holiday with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn last weekend and it included a scene of people waltzing.

In the 1800's, California banned the waltz because of ho close the two partners danced together. Did you see The Legend of Zorro with Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones? In one scene, they danced a very risque version of the waltz. If you haven't seen the movie I highly recommend it.

There are many versions of the waltz, mostly based on the country of their origin. I've linked a couple videos below to see.

Video from Dancing with The Stars

Video from The Legend of Zorro



A - Z Blog Challenge

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V: Vacation

Everyone has a favorite vacation spot and my husband and I are no exception. Our favorite vacation destination is the mountains of Tennessee. We love the area so much that it has always been our plan to retire there some day. The closer we get to retirement and the worse the economy gets, the more that dream seems to be fading.
The cabin that we usually rent sits on a small stream that flows by. My favorite thing in the morning is to sit out on the back porch and enjoy my first cup of coffee. My husband would have already left to go fly fishing, so its a calm way to start the day. The afternoons are for sightseeing, shopping, or just relaxing. We usually vacation in the spring, but have visited in every season.

One vacation that I never got to take was going to Florida to see a space shuttle launch. As a big fan and follower of the NASA space program, it had always been on my bucket list to see a launch, but since the shuttle program has been scrubbed, it looks like I'll never see one.

Just last week, the Space Shuttle Discovery was retired and delivered to the Smithsonian's Air & Space Museum as a permanent display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center located in Chantilly, Virginia. Since I can't see a launch, I'm hoping to make this our next vacation so I can at least see the shuttle in person.


A - Z Blog Challenge

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U: Upside Down Recipes

Normally, I put my recipes on my food blog, but this recipe, Upside Down Banana Muffins, is to yummy for just a food blog. I wanted to share it with everyone. However, as a little bonus, if you visit Carol's Food Bites, you will find a second upside down recipe for Caramel Apple Upside Down Cupcakes.


Upside Down Banana Muffins

Cake:
6 T. butter
1/2 c. milk
1 C. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2 eggs
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla

Topping:
12 T. butter
3/4 C. brown sugar, tightly packed
1 banana, thinly sliced
1 t. cinnamon
rum, to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° f. To make the cake batter, place the butter and milk in a small pan over medium heat.. Warm the mixture, stirring occasionally until the butter is melted and then let mixture cool. 

Spray a little cooking spray in each cup in the muffin pan. Into each cup, put 1/2 T. of unmelted butter, 1 T. brown sugar, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Place the pan into the oven until the butter melts. Remove from oven and add a few slices of bananas and a squirt of rum. 

To finish the cake batter, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix well. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla together. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir well into a smooth batter. Pour the batter on top of the bananas, dividing evenly among each cup. 

Bake for about 25 minutes, until lightly browned and dry around the edges and pulling away from pan.Cook pan on a rack for about 5 minutes. With a knife, loosen each cupcake from the edges and then place a cookie sheet over the pan and invert, turning the cupcakes onto the cookie sheet. Serve warm. Makes 12 cupcakes.
 
Enjoy,
Carol






Monday, April 23, 2012

T: Television

I have to admit that I'm addicted to television. I know it's a terrible habit, but it's one I've had for years. Luckily, my husband is not a big fan of TV, so I pretty much can watch what I want.

Police shows have always been my favorite, so you can probably guess that I watch most of the forensics shows on right now. But, my favorite show is ABC's Castle, about a mystery writer teaming up with a police detective. What a perfect match up for me to watch and Nathan Fillion, who plays Richard Castle is pretty easy on the eyes.

The main thing I wanted to write about is one particular television show and how it brought me so many friends from all over the country and even the world, and I have the internet to thank for that. Back around 1998, I started watching the military drama , JAG. It aired on NBC for one season, was cancelled, and the revived by CBS where it ran for nine more seasons. I've never gotten as hooked on a TV show as much as I was with JAG.

About that time is when I started becoming active on the internet. I did a search for JAG and found an email discussion group, several actually. I became rather involved with one of the groups and because of a mutual admiration of one of the recurring characters on the show, I met the person who eventually became my best friend. Although we don't see each very often because she lives in California, she still remains my best friend today.

But back to my involvement with the show. I was approached by some other fans with the idea of putting on a fan convention for the show and of course, I said yes. Soon after, the producers of JAG put their support behind the convention and before I knew it, I was on a plane for Los Angeles for my first convention.

I was a part of six conventions and they were all different and all great. I met all of the cast members and actually became friends with two of them, exchanging email addresses with one. I visited the production offices once, meeting many of the producers and writers.


My favorite visits were to the set, once during an actual taping of the show. My friend and I tried to stay out of  everyone's way and not to be noticed. But, the cast and crew wouldn't let that happen. Different cast members came up, introduced themselves, and wanted to know about us. Crew members asked us to join them on the lunch break and when we told them we wanted to take some pictures of the set first, we were warned that some of the crew sleep over lunch on some of the darkened sets and to be careful not to trip over anyone.


JAG ended in 2005 and so did the conventions, but my friendships with Sandy, Kathy, Rick, Susan, Cathy, and Maeve are still there and going strong.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

S: "Saved by the Sheriff"

Saved by the Sheriff is my second romantic suspense novel and is available from Secret Cravings Publishing in several e-book formats at http://bit.ly/ScpPre or in paperback or Kindle at amazon.com or for your Nook at http://bit.ly/y72Po8

You can view the book trailer at http://bit.ly/xHn619

New York City writer, Jaime Wilson wants the Assistant Editor job at Real Mystery Magazine. In order to get it, she has to write a kick-ass story, and what could be better than a 30-year old unsolved murder in a small town.

When Jaime visits Royal, Indiana to investigate, she soon finds that someone in the town doesn't want the mystery solved and she becomes a target. After an arrest for trespassing and an attempt on her life, Sheriff Ben Hunter lets her stay at his place where he can keep an eye on her while she continues to work on her story.

She didn't count on falling in love with the sheriff and he didn't think he would have to work so hard to keep her safe. Finally, when she finishes her story, she has to make her choice whether to stay with Ben or go back to New York.

Carol

A to Z Blog Challenge

Friday, April 20, 2012

R: Research

When I'm writing a novel, one thing I try my best to do is be as accurate as I can with details. It could be as small as choosing the right wine with dinner or as big as describing what the Eiffel Tower looks like at night.

I think I realized how important it is to get the details correct from my husband. He's a former police officer who loves to read mysteries. He likes to point out errors in police procedure or in the type of guns used. His favorite is when someone uses a silencer on a revolver. The sound doesn't come out of the barrel on a revolver, but from around the cylinder. Hence, a silencer on a revolver does nothing. Yet in books, and even in movies, you still see it done.

In my recent book, Saved by the Sheriff, I wanted to give an accurate portrayal of a small town sheriff without making him look like Barney Fife. This is where I was able to pull from my own experience. The book takes place in rural southern Indiana, which is where I live. Between my husband being a former deputy sheriff and a former job, where I sometimes worked with local law enforcement, I had a good idea about the workings of a small Sheriff's Department.

Locations are another thing I like to research thoroughly. When I wrote my first manuscript, yet to be published, I located a part of it in Montana. I've never been to Montana and the internet was still fairly new, so I asked a friend who lived there to help me. She sent me brochures from the area that I was writing about and answered so many questions that I had. Now, I Google the city or town to start my research. I also usually request a vacation guide from the Tourism Office, which will give me maps of the area and information on landmarks, lodging, shops, and restaurants.

As I said, with Save by the Sheriff, I drew from my own experience. When you read the description of the fall colors along the river, you'll know that I was describing it from my personal experience.

Carol

A to Z Blog Challenge

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q: Quotes

"A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?" - Albert Einstein

"I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

"A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets." Steve Jobs

"
There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded." - Mark Twain

"Eating rice cakes is like chewing on a foam coffee cup, only less filling." - Dave Berry

"I have a theory about the human mind. A brain is a lot like a computer. It will only take so many facts, and then it will go on overload and blow up." - Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P: Photography

We all need a break from our normal routine, be it your day job, writing, or being retired. My break is taking pictures. I was in early high school when the photography bug hit. I suppose it started when I took the photography project in 4-H. Everyone told me what a good photographer I was and one year, I just knew I would be a shoe-in to win the Grand Champion ribbon. When I got to the county fair that night, I went straight to my project. There they were, my ribbons: Champion and First Place, but no Grand Champion. That ribbon went to Myron. I had one more year left in 4-H and I vowed to myself that I would beat Myron next year and I did, even scoring a Blue Ribbon at the State Fair, which was very hard to do back then.

I'm still taking pictures and still love it. Mostly, it's just for fun, but I've had photos published in my local newspaper several times, a regional newspaper along with an article I wrote, and once I even had several photos published in a national magazine.

Recently, I started participating in the year long, 365 Project, where you take and post a photo every day for at least a year on their web site. I started January 1, 2012 and did pretty good until I missed a day at the end of January. Unfortunately, since then I've missed several days. It sure didn't take long to exhaust all of the photo ops between my house and my office. Recently, I started back again, but it's going to take a while to play catch up at the end of the year. My 365 is going to have to extend well into 2013. All of the photos in this post were taken by me and if you want to see more of my pictures, click 365Project to visit my page there.

Carol

A- Z Blog Challenge