Archives for March 2016

It’s Good, Fun Friday!

Happy Good Friday, y’all! Today I have Mia Kay here, and she brings us a little fun on this day off. Praise the Lord for your holiday! Let’s get the goodness started! Take it away, Mia Kay!

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Even before I was a writer, almost every fun memory I have relates to words — reading, hanging out in the library, playing Scrabble with my grandmother, watching Wheel of Fortune. So when I think of fun, I think of crossword puzzles. I hope you enjoy this one! Regardless, it’s spring – get outside this weekend and have a wonderful weekend. Maybe take a book with you.

Click here for your crossword puzzle!

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Mia Kay spent years writing legal documents and keeping people out of trouble. Now she spends her days looking for ways to get her characters into trouble. She lives in Arkansas with her husband, who doesn’t mind discussing (and sometimes causing) mayhem over breakfast.

Erin Bevan

Spring Break and Souvenirs

I have Linda O’Connor on my blog today talking about souvenirs. The perfect post for Spring Break week! Did you do something exciting this week? Have a few souvenirs? Linda has a few ideas of what those treasured souvenirs might turn into!

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I just returned from a wonderful holiday in the sun with my mom and sisters. My mom bought us each a souvenir – a little bottle filled with island sand.

Are you a souvenir collector? When you go away on a trip do you like to buy something to remind you of the fun time, the exotic place? Do you stick to something practical or splurge on something frivolous (or are you of the mind that souvenirs are a waste of money; that memories are enough)? There’s so much to choose from: art-work (wall clutter), T-shirts (cleaning rags), knick knacks (dust collectors), key chains (all made in China), sand from around the world (something else to vacuum).

Growing up, my family never really spent time browsing through shops or buying souvenirs. But I do remember one time, when I was about nine years old, we were in a gift shop. I fell in love with a key chain – a little glass rectangle with a wisp of fabric made into a fish that floated from top to bottom when it was tipped. I didn’t expect a yes when I asked for it (4 kids, money better spent on ice cream breaks) but was disappointed with the no. As we left, I didn’t notice that my dad stayed behind. In the bustle of getting four kids settled in the car, he surreptitiously handed me a small package with a smile. The little keychain for me. I honestly don’t remember where we were at the time, but I do remember feeling very special and cherished. (Sorry sibs – you probably never realized I was the favorite :D)

Now, I’m not a huge fan of souvenir shopping, but occasionally I enjoy browsing in the shops. I usually try to find a post card or two and my favourite souvenirs are anything miniature. I have a little cat from Riga, a tilted house from Tallinn, a tile from Helsinki, a Christmas bell from Cologne, and sand from Cayman Island. It’s my shelf full of fun memories that I keep by my desk!

photo souvenir shelf

How about you – do you have a favourite souvenir?

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I’m with Linda. I’m not a huge souvenir fan, but my hubby loves to keep everything. Everything! Did I say everything? So, needless to say, we have several souvenirs from our three year stay in South Korea. If anyone ever needs a tea cup, I’m your gal!

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Bio

Linda O’Connor started writing a few years ago when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at HomeSense. It turns out she loved writing romantic comedies and has a few more stories to tell. When not writing she’s a physician (well, even when she is writing she’s a physician and it shows up in her stories) but otherwise she’s working at an Urgent Care Clinic or even better, dancing in a Zumba class (where they say there are no mistakes, only unexpected solos). Laugh every day. Love every minute.

Social Media:

Website: Facebook: Twitter

Erin Bevan

Laughter & Writing: The Best Medicine in the Worst Times

I have Anna Durand with me today, and I will say, this post is probably my favorite so far. I found myself on the verge of tears, then I found myself smiling. It’s raw, it’s real, it’s Fun Friday guys.

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Life can really kick you in the teeth sometimes. Not trying to depress you, I swear! No, today I want to talk about what to do when you get that kick that knocks you down. Nothing needs to knock you down for good, unless you let it. Even boxers eventually get back up after a knockout; they’ve lost the match, but not their spirits. Remember Rocky Balboa? He got back up for, what, fifty movies? That character is perseverance personified—and wearing boxer shorts. Actual boxer shorts, as in shorts worn by a boxer in the ring!

When I thought about what to write today that could be uplifting and inspirational, I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. My dad died three weeks (again, not intending to depress you) and it felt weird to write a cheerful blog post. His death was a total shock and he’d been such a big part of my life. Life had tried to bash my teeth out, but I realized I couldn’t let it.

Sure, I still feel very sad at times, but work and writing keep me from wallowing. So yes, one week after his death I started editing a book I’d finished weeks earlier. I enjoyed it. I smiled when I wrote something sarcastic, or when I had my hero being heroic or my heroine being plucky.

For pure entertainment, I watched Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL because, hey, every girl needs some man candy to lift her spirits, right? I love the scene in the XXL where Richie is dared by his friends to go into a convenience store and do whatever it takes to make the glum female cashier smile. He doesn’t want to do it. It’s too embarrassing and the girl seems way too serious to ever smile. But Richie summons his courage, marches into the store, and launches into a striptease to the tune of a Backstreet Boys song, during which he destroys a water bottle and a bag of chips. When he’s done (and shirtless), he walks up to the cashier and says with perfect deadpan, “How much for the water and the chips?”

The cashier smiled.

I laughed—I mean really laughed. And this scene is a great way to end my post. Richie didn’t think he could make the girl laugh and it took a lot of guts for him to dance like that in the middle of a convenience store, with no audience to egg him on and no dollar bills in his waistband as the prize. He’d been down on his luck overall and making one woman smile gave him confidence.

Laughter truly is the best medicine, even in the worst of times. Whatever you’re going through, however dark times appear, you can find a light—by shining your own, through laughter, through writing or reading, through whatever helps you rediscover the goodness in life.

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Anna Durand is an award-winning writer, a freelance librarian, and an audiobook addict. She specializes in steamy romances featuring spunky heroines and hunky heroes, in settings as diverse as modern Chicago and the fairy realm. In her previous life as a librarian, she haunted the stacks of public libraries but never met any hot vampires hunting for magical books.

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Erin Bevan

Fun Friday, Dingle Delight

Okay, I have to admit that a cake called Dingle Delight makes me laugh. Is it just me, or does your mind go there, too? Let’s get our minds out of the gutter and into the kitchen, shall we? Maggie Mundy is here to share with us this great cake recipe.

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Dingle Delight as mentioned in Hidden Mortality by Maggie Mundy

Bailey’s Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake

Ingredients

2 packets of Light Philadelphia cream cheese. 250grm packets

2 100grm packets Lindt Orange chocolate intense bars

1 packet dark chocolate biscuits.

100grms. margarine or butter.

2 eggs

½ cup or 50grms castor sugar.

1 teaspoon orange essence

30mls Bailey’s Irish Cream

Method

1 Crush to crumbs. Melt butter and pour on to crumbs and mix well.

2 Grease flan tin and then push crumb mixture into base.

3 In a mixing bowl put cream cheese, eggs, sugar orange essence and Bailey’s Irish Cream

4 Melt the Lindt orange chocolate and add to mixture.

5 Beat well with an electric mixer until all ingredients are combined.

6 Pour mixture into flan tin and palace in a preheated oven at 160 degrees for one hour.

7 Turn oven off and let cheesecake cool in the oven. This prevents the top from cracking.

8 Place in fridge and cool for three hours prior to serving.

9 Grate Lindt white chocolate on the top and serve with a dollop of cream.

Serves 8 large pieces or 16 smaller. Is a very rich desert.

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Erin Bevan