Wednesday, September 30, 2015

October Special!

If you're someone who likes stories of ghosts, goblins, and things that go bump in the night, you're in for a special bargain. The price of THE COMPANY YOU KEEP is now reduced to $0.99 for the entire month of October. All fans of Halloween should love this story. Diane Tugman of The Romance Studio said, "With each chapter you'll be drawn into a tangled web of the supernatural. Anastasia Castella-Young of Mind Fog Reviews said, "I highly recommend this paranormal romance to those interested in demons, spirits, adventure and love. Penelope Marzec hits the mark dead on!"

This special price is only available on the Kindle Editon at

Download it now so you have something to read on a cold, dark night when the moon is full and you hear the wind whistling through the trees. :-o

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Four Birthdays, One Party

Happy Birthday to us! My father, two of my daughters, and I celebrate our birthdays within the span of one week's time every year. So I throw a big birthday bash and invite the rest of the family. This year there were eighteen of us altogether. I tossed a whole bunch of chicken in the Crockpot, added Ragu's Roasted Garlic and Parmesan sauce and let it simmer forever. (It comes out very, very tender.) There were noodles and veggies to accompany the chicken. Daughter #3 and her hunny brought salad and home-canned pickles. My sister brought an assortment of her home-canned pickles. (Seems we have farmers in the family.) At any rate, there were leftovers, which is always a good thing.

My sister and her gang brought their own bedding, which makes my life easier. There were hours and hours of talking. No television. No internet.

No writing either, but that's fine. It's wonderful to have the family gathered for a happy occasion. We're all a little older, but we've enjoyed many blessings.

Sto Lat!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

When Do You Read?

In the late afternoon when I'm tired and a cup of tea seems like a good idea, I usually open up a book. My brief respite from the world may not last long, but it does refresh me.

Most nights, before I close my eyes I read a novel. I have found this practice usually chases away any nightmares. At least, it works for me.

When do you read? What was the last book you read? Do you read novels, or only non-fiction?

Reading novels is a good habit to develop. Several studies prove this. The following article offers a good overview of the results you can expect from reading fiction.

So open up a novel today. It'll do you good. :-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

One Week Sale

If you want a great read at a small price, now is the time to buy Irons in the Fire. It will be $0.99 until September 23, 2015.

This book has a special place in my heart. I love all my books, in the same way I love all my children--but each one is unique. Irons in the Fire was the first book I finished. It received the most rejections, but it gained some especially nice recognition when it was finally published.

Originally published by New Concepts Publishing, it was later reissued by Crescent Moon Press. The rights now belong to me once more and the book  is available in both print and digital editions. 

It was a nominee for Best Small Press Paranormal in Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award and has received excellent reviews.

Long and Short Reviews gave it 4 1/2 Stars and said, "The twists in this one were totally unexpected. There are surprises all along the way to the final revelation of who was behind all of the evil in the town. I did not expect some of this at all. I like that in a mystery--not knowing is the best kind of plot.

The romance builds slowly, and for each step these two take toward each other, they take two steps back. I loved it when they finally acknowledged their feeling were real, and the passion they finally let loose was wonderful." 

You can find the book at Amazon:
Hurry and download it now before the sale ends!

Monday, September 14, 2015

I wish...

I wish I could write faster. Some authors churn out books at an incredible speed. I plod along in comparison--although under pressure I can get down one thousand words a day. However, for me that's a big struggle and things like laundry and supper may not happen under those conditions.

Most of the time, I am a seat-of-the-pants writer, though not completely because I do start with an outline. The problem is that sometimes my characters veer off from my carefully made plans. If they happen to have a good explanation for their actions, I will allow them to go their own way and then adjust my outline.

I do write everyday whenever possible, but sometimes that's unrealistic. I also like to sleep regular hours. I am not one of those writers who stays up until dawn.

I don't watch television, except for the news or some special shows. I had hoped that when I retired there would be more time for writing. Ha! I didn't think about how elderly relatives would impact my writing schedule. Still, there are plenty of other authors with real, full-time jobs who put out three books or more a year.

And I cannot imagine how they do it.

Still, I have a good time writing and I am not going to give it up any time soon.

So my fans will just have to be patient with me. :^)

How fast do you write?

Friday, September 11, 2015

I Need Reviews

In the world of Amazon, more reviews guarantee books better placement in ads. It's tough enough to get people to buy or read books. It seems to be nearly impossible to get anyone (even relatives or very dear friends!) to place a review on Amazon.

A review does not need to be a book report like the kind you had to write in the fifth grade. It should simply tell if you liked the book and why.

For tips on writing reviews please read 12 Things Everybody and His Grandmother Needs to Know.

Remember that writing a review is the best thing you can do for an author.

I suggest you turn off the television. You don't need to binge watch every episode of an ancient TV series. Pick up a book and open the pages. Exercise your mind. :-)

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Chocolate Cherry Cake

I have too many cookbooks. When I first buy one, I study all the recipes, try a few, find a couple favorites, and then move on to another cookbook. I recently rediscovered an interesting cookbook, The RV & Camping Gourmet, from U-Haul. I bought the book because we used to go camping when our daughters were young.

We haven't gone camping in a long, long time. However, recently Daughter #1 bought her boyfriend a set of camping recipe cards. It was then I remembered my own camping cookbook. I took it off the shelf and started browsing through it. Many of the one-pot meals would have been handy when we had no electricity for eight days after Hurricane Sandy hit. At that time, since we had no refrigeration, I cooked up many meals using canned meat. The RV & Camping Gourmet has several one-pot recipes which used canned meat.

But there are desserts, too. :-)

Daughter #1 tried one the other day. It's not too sweet, but quite a pleasant end to a meal. It uses no eggs or milk. It's quick, simple, and good.


1  21-ounce can cherry pie filling
2 1/4  cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2  cups sugar
3/4  cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2  teaspoons baking soda
3/4  teaspoon salt
1 1/2  cups water
1/2  cup cooking oil
1/4  cup vinegar
1 1/2  teaspoons vanilla

Spread the cherry pie filling evenly over the bottom of a greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, soda, and salt. In another bowl combine water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Add liquid ingredients to flour mixture all at once; stir just to moisten. Pour batter evenly over cherry pie filling. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or till cake tests done. Cool 10 minutes in pan; invert and cool

Makes 12 to 16 servings.

It's rather nice with whipped cream, too.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Goodbye Summer

I took this photo last week at Ocean Grove. We went to the last summer band concert in the pavilion on the boardwalk as the sun set and the moon rose. For many, many years the end of summer for me meant heading back into the classroom to teach a brand new group of students. Since I retired, I don't have the sense of anticipation I used to have when September rolled around. I don't have to put up an eye-catching new bulletin board, I don't have to memorize names, and I don't have to plan my lessons.

For me now, summer just flows into fall. The leaves litter the driveway. The weather turns cooler. I watch over my father and my mother-in-law, keeping track of doctor's visits, taking them on outings, filling up their pill boxes, and paying their bills.

When I can, I sit down and write.

The summer things I always miss are the outdoor cultural events, like the band concerts. But I miss the amusement parks and the carnivals, too. I even miss sitting outside and eating in our own backyard.

What will you miss when summer is gone?