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Sunday, October 25, 2009

NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference

Kathy Kulig and I sat next to each other at the Literacy Book Fair and Author Signing at the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference. Kathy told me all about the experience that sparked the idea for her book, Wild Jade!

The conference was wonderful--as always. The PAN Retreat had plenty of chocolate and wine. :^) I listened to Angela Knight's special presentation, Putting Spice in Your Love Scenes. I attended Kathryn Smith's talk about Sex, Language, and Historical Accuracy. Jennifer Crusie was excellent and so was Robin Perini. I took notes and wrote all over the handouts. Karen Rose was the Keynote Speaker and Allison Brennan spoke at lunch. There were lots of other speakers--including Kathy Kulig--and it was difficult to make a choice as to which workshop to attend.

Free books were available. Free pens, sticky notes, and chocolate were on the promotion table. NJRW gave everyone a flash drive!!!! (The perfect gift!)

I can't wait for next year. :^)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Blogging at Romance Junkies

I am now a contributor to the Romance Junkies Blog! You can see my post at:

http://www.romancejunkies.com/rjblog/?p=593

Check it out. You'll see my newest book cover, too. It's awesome. :^)

Monday, October 05, 2009

My Apple Cake

Everyone keeps asking for this recipe! So I decided to post it here. This is a terrific cake--rich and moist. Everyone loves it and it disappears quickly. :^)

First, peel and cut into medium chunks 4 large cooking apples (winesaps are great for this). Put the chunks into a bowl and mix them with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 5 tablespoons of sugar.

Next, in a large bowl mix and beat until smooth:
3 cups flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup of cooking oil (canola is good)
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 eggs, beaten
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Using a large bundt pan, pour in one layer of batter, then a layer of apples. Add another layer of batter and finish with a layer of apples on the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 3/4 hours or 105 minutes.

Enjoy!

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Basket Collection

My mother started accumulating Depression glass after my brother died at the age of twenty-five. She assuaged her grief by going to garage sales and buying the lovely colored glass for a dime—or less. It reminded her of youth, I suppose, and it was pretty.

She bought books about Depression glass to memorize the patterns and assess the value of the pieces. She progressed in her collection skills and added Roseville china, and even antique furniture—often refinishing the pieces herself.

When she went into the antique business, people often came to her store and sold her more antiques. When she closed the shop, her basement became a storage facility.

Last year, an auctioneer sold the valuable pieces in my mother’s collection. But there were odds and ends left over—tucked away in boxes or hidden beneath a table.

This past week, I found out that my mother had amassed a considerable quantity of baskets. When my father said he would gather the baskets together, I had no idea there would be so many of them, but I promised to transport them to the Goodwill store.

When I arrived at the house on Wednesday, baskets of every kind and size filed the kitchen and the dining room. I could hardly believe it. Dad and I proceeded to stuff the baskets into my Jeep. There were baskets of every conceivable size and shape: bushel baskets, covered baskets, Easter baskets, picnic baskets, and a massive wicker laundry basket.

Dad apologized though there was no need to do so. I headed to the Goodwill store on Route 18 in East Brunswick feeling conspicuous on the road. Everyone could see the baskets piled high inside my Jeep.

The people at the Goodwill store merely smiled and helped me unload the baskets—bless them.

I kept one blue basket. I don’t know why. I don’t need a basket. I have too many things as it is. Nothing in my house will actually go with a blue basket. Maybe I should spray paint it.

But for now, I’ll just look at it, put flowers in it, and think about Mom.