Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Release Event and Giveaway: Slayed on the Slopes by Kate Dyer-Seely

Welcome to the release day event for Slayed on the Slopes by Kate Dyer-Seeley! This is the second book in the Pacific Northwest Mystery series. Slayed on the Slopes released March 31st by Kensington Publishing.

About the Book:
After talking her way into a job writing for Portland’s Northwest Extreme magazine, Meg Reed may now really be in over her head. Actually, about 8,000 feet over her head. . .

She’s at Mount Hood’s remote Silcox Hut, covering the seriously hardcore Ridge Rangers—Oregon’s elite high-altitude rescue team–during their four-day winter training. Sure, Meg beefed up her outdoor skills over the summer . . . but she’s still hoping to cover the event with some hot chocolate by the cheery fireplace. Then, during a sudden blizzard, she swears she hears gunshots. No one stranded in the hut believes her . . . until self-absorbed Ridge Ranger Ben Rogers is found outside in a pool of frozen blood. Meg’s now got to find this killer quickly . . . before cabin fever does them all in!

Praise For Scene Of The Climb

“A splendid overview of the greater Portland and Columbia River Gorge region, perfect for travel buffs. Her protagonist shows promise with her determined attitude and moxie.” –Library Journal

Includes Adventure Guides!

Guest Post

Welcome to the top of the world. Okay, well maybe not quite. Welcome to the top of Oregon. In the second installment of the PNW Mystery Series Meg Reed is on the slopes of Oregon’s highest peak—Mt. Hood. She’s on assignment for Northwest Extreme to cover an intensive training weekend with the Ridge Rangers, a group of mountain guides who are dedicated to helping novice climbers trek to the summit.

Meg has high hopes for her weekend at high altitude. She plans to cozy up in front of a roaring fire with a cup of hot chocolate. She’s thrilled to be spending the weekend at the historic Timberline Lodge, one of Oregon’s most famed hotels and a national monument. 

The iconic lodge sits at 6,000 feet in elevation and is a testament to American craftsmanship and resolve. It was constructed in just fifteen months as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal. Unemployed workers from all over the country traveled to Mt. Hood to learn a new trade. They carted timber from the surrounding forest to carve out the lodge’s magnificent staircases and wood-beamed ceilings.

Today the lodge houses guests from all over the globe, making it one of Oregon’s most popular tourist attractions. In partnership with the National Forest Service, Timberline maintains the same high-quality craftsmanship as it did back in the 1930s. All the brightly colored Pendleton blankets in each quest room are woven by hand. The lodge is like stepping back in time. Down each cheery hallway you’ll discover Native American artwork, vintage ski photos, wood carvings, and stunning views of the summit and the entire Cascade Mountain Range.

After a long day on the slopes, you can gather in front of the giant basalt fireplace with steaming mugs of hot cocoa to warm your hands, or head to the Blue Ox Bar or Ram’s Head for a pint of Ice Axe Ale. You can soak your toes in Timberline’s outdoor hot tub or take a refreshing swim in its year-round heated outdoor pool. There’s nothing more magical than swimming as snowflakes fall and skiers fly past you.

When Meg arrives at the lodge she learns that the Ridge Rangers are actually meeting at the Silcox Hut, which is located a thousand vertical feet above Timberline and accessible only by snowcat or the chairlift. Meg’s not a fan of heights, so she opts for a bumpy ride up to the remote hut in the snowcat. The SilcoxHut is equally charming and fashioned after the lodge. Maybe she’ll be able to have her relaxing weekend after all… or maybe she’s going to be in way over her head.

Don't miss out on the first book, Scene of the Climb, available now!

About the Author:

Kate Dyer-Seeley writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series for Kensington Publishing. The first
book in the series, Scene of the Climb, features the rugged landscapes of the Columbia River Gorge and a young journalist who bills herself as an intrepid adventurer in order to land a gig writing for Northwest Extreme.

Her work has appeared in a variety of regional and international publications including: The Columbian, The Vancouver Voice, Seattle Backpacker, Portland Family Magazine, and Climbing Magazine.

Kate lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Winter warmer package- signed copy of Slayed on the Slopes, Signed copy of Scene of the Climb, Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate Mix, Oregon Chai Tea, 1 Pound of Coffee and Collectable Mt. Hood art coaster (US)
Ends April 21, 2015

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Music Monday - "Do I Love You?" by The Ronettes (1964)

Sometimes I choose a Music Monday song for one reason:  it makes me happy.  "Do I Love You?" by the Ronettes is one of those songs.

This girl group started singing together as teenagers.  The singers consist of Veronica Bennett (a/k/a Ronnie Spector), her sister Estelle Bennet, and their cousin Nedra Talley.  They grew up in Spanish Harlem and originally called their group The Darling Sisters.  They started working with Spector as The Ronettes in 1963.

"Do I Love You?" was a Top 40 song for The Ronettes in 1964.   It features everything that made them great:  Ronnie Spector's amazing voice, terrific instrumentals, and the "wall of sound" that Phil Spector engineered.

I heard this song for the first time in a long while on the radio a few days ago, and had forgotten how much I like it.  I hope you do, too.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Fave: Southern Diners

I grew up in the Deep South, so of course I grew up with Southern food.  When I was a little girl, we traveled back and forth between Savannah and Atlanta (and we lived in both these cities at different points).  A highlight of all trips up and down Georgia was stopping at little Southern diners.  There was one I recall near Milledgeville called Tick Tock.

I have been vegetarian for a long time (27 years!), but long before I went vegetarian, I loved a veggie plate.  Thankfully, one of the things that Southern diners specialize in is veggie plates.   If you are vegetarian, you have to make sure you go to diners that do not season vegetables with meat, or they have a "V" for vegetarian on the menu for veggies that are cooked vegetarian style.  Thankfully, there are several great Southern diners in my city that serve vegetarian vegetables.  Hooray!

If you go to a Southern diner, the menu may be printed, or it may be a simple xerox page that lists the veggies of the day.   It may be posted on the wall (also easy for diner owners to change daily).  There may be a little serving line, like a mini-cafeteria, where you pick the vegetables you want.

A veggie plate is typically three or four veggies.  My meal above has fried eggplant, corn, and applesauce.  You will always find a wide variety of vegetables, like: fried okra, fried green tomatoes, squash souffle, tossed salad, collard greens, blackeyed peas, fruit salad, potato cakes, corn-on-the-cob, baked beans, stewed apples, cheese grits, tomato pie, sweet potato souffle, and more.  Most of the diners I go to serve cornbread on the side.  Of course, the beverage of choice is sweet tea (iced tea that is sweetened with sugar immediately after brewing, so it is perfectly sweet).  I rarely get desserts at a diner because I am too full from vegetables!  The most common dessert at Southern diners is fruit cobbler (peach, cherry, blackberry, etc.).  

The restaurants vary, but the atmosphere tends to be casual and cozy, often with old photos or vintage items on the wall.  (Many of these places have been in business for years and years.)   Service is casual and friendly. 

Do you like Southern cooking?  Any favorite Southern diner stories or meals to share?   I'd love to hear from you in the comments, below.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Telephone Wire Jewelry

Does anyone else here remember making jewelry out of telephone wire?  The finished bracelets, rings, or "choker" length necklaces looked similar to the picture above.  

We started with telephone wire, like what you see below.  I remember you took one strand of wire as the base, and then picked another multi-colored wire strand.  You then would neatly wrap the multi-color wire around the base.  We closed the bracelets with a simple wire "hook" loop.  I would actually love to find some colorful telephone wire to try this again.  I love beading, especially with vintage trinkets, and this seems like a natural extension of that.  Anyone have an idea where to find inexpensive telephone wire like this?  Please let me know in the comments, below.  I would also love to hear from you if you remember making telephone wire jewelry!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: First Walk in Spring

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Alice's Portrait by Juliette Harper

I'm excited to share the cover reveal of Alice's Portrait by Juliette Harper, the third book in the Lockwood Legacy series. This is an adult contemporary mystery that is also very focused on family, small town and ranch life as well as some clean romance. 

About the Book:
A year after Kate, Jenny, and Mandy Lockwood inherit The Rocking L, the sisters try to concentrate on their collective and individual futures. In the previous book in The Lockwood Legacy series, Baxter’s Draw, the women made startling discoveries about their father’s secrets, but are mistaken in their belief that everything has now come to light. In Alice’s Portrait, the ghosts of Langston Lockwood’s past once again confront his daughters, forcing them to re-evaluate their understanding of their father and of what it means to be a Lockwood.

Instead of fighting back, Langston took off his hat and ran a tired hand through his graying hair. “Don’t talk about Alice,” he said. “You don’t know enough to talk about her. As for your Mama, there won’t be any peace for me over what I did to her, but she’s at peace, Jenny. I can at least tell you that.”

“That’s supposed to make me feel better, Daddy? Really? I know Mama is at peace because she was a kind, gentle woman. As for you, I hope you walk the earth for eternity and enjoy your own tailor-made brand of hell.”

“I reckon I probably will,” he said, the words filled with tired regret. “I always thought if there was an afterlife I’d find my Alice, but she isn’t here. I probably deserve that, but it’s bitter gall, little girl. It’s bitter gall all the same.”

“I’ll ask you again. What do you want, Daddy?” Jenny said, her voice ice cold.

“What I want is for you to make your peace with it, Jenny,” he said. “You got my temper and my gifts. Those things come from me and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it. You’ve got real talent. Only thing I could draw was my Alice, but you see the world with clear eyes. My art came from anger and pain, but yours comes from your soul. Let that out, daughter. That’s what I want.”

“You don’t know a damned thing about my soul,” she snapped.

“The hell I don’t,” he said mildly. “I was like you once, before I let life drive me over the edge. Fiery, passionate, idealistic. Being like me won’t hurt you, Jenny. You’re too strong. Katie, she’s tough and capable; she’s a thinker and her heart is as big as Texas when she opens it. But you, daughter? You’d spit the devil in the eye and dare him to cart you to hell. God knows you spit me in the eye.”

“You drove me away from my home! I was 17. I was alone and scared but I had to get the hell away from you. Do you have any idea what that was like for me, Daddy?”

“You should thank God I drove you away, girl,” Langston said. “Everything you went through out there is why you can be here now. Lead your life, Jenny. You and that Baxter boy, you got a future. There’s no coincidence him being a Baxter, you just don’t realize it yet.”

“Damn you,” she said. “Josh is right. You are haunting us. Dead or not, tend to your own business.”

“The dead always haunt the living, girl,” he said, standing up. “You got a hell of a lot more ghosts to worry about than me. Deal with them.”

As he started for the door, Jenny said to his back, “Daddy, did you ever love me?”

Langston turned, his hat in his hand. “I loved all my girls,” he said. “Problem was, I hated myself too much to show it. Look under the bridge, Jenny. You’ll find what you need to know there.”

Don’t miss out on the first book, Langston’s Daughters, only .99 cents in ebook!

Baxter's Draw, book two in the Lockwood Legacy is out now!

About the Author:
Juliette Harper is the pen name used by the writing team of Patricia Pauletti and Rana K. Williamson. Like the characters of their debut series, The Lockwood Legacy, Juliette is a merging of their creative energies.
Pauletti, an Easterner of Italian descent, is an accomplished musician with an eye for art and design. Williamson, a Texan from a long line of hardheaded Scots, knows the world of the Lockwoods like the back of her hand.“We decided to write under a pen name because neither one of us by ourselves could have created Kate, Jenny, Mandy, and their world,” says Pauletti. “Juliette is a little bit of us both. We want to be her when we grow up.”

“Patti teases me that I just don’t want to own up to writing a book with romance in it,” Williamson adds, “but that’s not true. I like the Lockwood women and the way they tackle everything life throws at them. And before we’re done, they’ll be ducking a lot. I imagine coming into the office every day and saying, ‘Okay Juliette, what’s going to happen now?’ She tells us, and we get it down on paper.”

$50 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
Ends 4/14
This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Book Blitz with Two Giveaways: Royal Date by Sariah Wilson

Book & Author Details:

Royal Date by Sariah Wilson
Publication date: March 3rd 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance

This Cinderella didn’t plan on a prince . . .

Kat MacTaggart is a girl who has a plan for everything—including her holiday ski trip to Monterra with her best friend. Everything is going according to plan until she finds herself careening out of control down a mountainside and being rescued by a guy who looks like Superman’s hotter Italian cousin.

HRH Prince Nico is intrigued by the woman he saved on the slopes and her refusal to date him. He offers Kat a deal—let him show her his country and he’ll pay her to write articles that will help Monterra’s tourism industry. Kat agrees, but given her past and lingering distrust of men, she has one condition—absolutely no kissing.

Thanks to the claims of a jealous British noblewoman and the schemes of a meddling paparazzo, Kat’s rule doesn’t seem to be a problem at first. But the more Kat gets to know Nico and the people around him, the harder it is to remember her keep-your-distance plan. Should she stick to it or risk everything for a chance at happily ever after?


NOTE that the book is currently 50% off with the discount code ScoutOne!
Sariah Wilson has never jumped out of an airplane, never climbed Mt. Everest, and is not a former CIA operative. She has, however, been madly, passionately in love with her soulmate and is a fervent believer in happily ever afters--which is why she writes romance. She has published five happily ever after stories. She grew up in southern California, graduated from Brigham Young University (go Cougars!) with a semi-useless degree in history, and is the oldest of nine (yes, nine) children. She currently lives with the aforementioned soulmate and their four children in Utah, along with three tiger barb fish, a cat named Tiger, and a recently departed hamster that is buried in the backyard (and has nothing at all to do with tigers).

Author links:
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Monday, March 23, 2015

My 10 All Time Favorite TV Shows

What are your favorite TV shows - past, present, comedy, drama?  What shows will you always stop to see if you spot them as an unexpected rerun?

My list is more or less chronological, but the first show happens to also be my all-time favorite.  I love I Love Lucy.  When I was a little girl, I watched this in reruns with my mother, who also loves the show.  Lucille Ball was such a gifted comedienne, and the cast is absolutely perfect.  I love everything about this show.  As well as being so funny and so well written, the 1950's NYC period details are fabulous!

If I had to spend a month in a TV show, it would be The Andy Griffith Show.  There is something so sweet and appealing about Mayberry.  I love the Taylor family with Andy, Opie, and Aunt Bee.  Barney Fife is one of my all time favorite tv characters (I even named my late, beloved dachshund after him!).

The Dick Van Dyke Show is another show that so perfectly captures a time and place.  From early 1960's suburbia to work as comedy writers on a sketch comedy show ... what a fun show!  Rob and Laura Petrie (Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore) are my favorite TV couple. 

The Brady Bunch is the ultimate show of my childhood.  I grew up with this show.  The house, the clothes, school life, friends all remind me so much of my childhood.  This is tv "comfort food" for me.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show was a great favorite in my family.  My parents loved all the MTM produced shows, so I have happy memories of watching these with my family when I was growing up.  I think Mary Richards was a great role model as a single career woman ... but this whole cast was perfect.  I love the newsroom scenes and also Mary's interactions at home with friends Rhoda and Phyllis.

The Bob Newhart Show was my father's favorite show.  It is such a smartly written show, and another great cast.  Bob and Emily Hartley (Bob Newhart and Suzanne Pleshette) are another of my favorite TV couples.  The juxtaposition of Bob's work life as a psychiatrist and his home life is also fun, with another strong cast.

Rhoda was one of my favorite shows as a young teenager.  I remember thinking that Rhoda's life as a NYC window dresser was very exciting ... and of course there was also her romance with handsome Joe Girard.  I also loved her family.  (Any scene with Nancy Walker is great.)

I was young to watch Upstairs Downstairs, but I watched it anyway!  It was my first period piece drama, my first Masterpiece Theatre obsession, and I love it to this day.  As a young girl I remember looking for books inspired by the show and reading about Edwardian England.  It really captured my imagination.

The Vicar of Dibley is my favorite Britcom.  I did not see it in first run, but my best friend gave me the series on DVD because he said it was the ultimate "Trish show."  He was absolutely right.  Dawn French plays a vicar in a small town in England.  The tone of the show is gentle and heartwarming (with occasional earthiness).  I love the way Geraldine Granger (played by Dawn French) is written, as a character of faith, kindness, and good humor.  This show was created by Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones's Diary). 

If you read my blog often, you will know that Downton Abbey is my favorite current show.  (I recap it weekly on the blog.) It reminds me a lot of Upstairs Downstairs.  I love everything about this show - life upstairs, life downstairs, the relationships, the social mores, the costumes and sets.  It is absolute perfection!

And a few runner up shows!

It was hard to make a list of just 10 shows.  The following shows just barely missed the list:

That Girl - I loved the story of a single woman pursuing an acting career in NYC in the 1960's.  Donald Hollinger (played by Ted Bessell) is my favorite tv boyfriend ever - handsome, smart, and funny!

Columbo - Columbo (Peter Falk) is my favorite detective, with his rumpled raincoat, Basset Hound, and VW Beetle.  A TV world with Columbo solving mysteries is a very good place.

Felicity - Felicity's college years in the 1990's remind me so much of my life in the 1980's.  I related to Felicity's romances, friendships, and debate about career (in her case, art vs. medicine).  This is my favorite J.J. Abrams show.

Veronica Mars - Veronica Mars is a modern day Nancy Drew meets young adult fiction.  I loved the mysteries, her relationship with her father (who is a detective), the high school, the little town of Neptune ...

Sex and the City - I go back and forth on this show.  I absolutely loved the stories of friendship and romance.  However, I was not a fan of the consumerism presented in this show.  (I have never waxed rhapsodic over designer shoes!)

So there you have it ... my list of favorites, plus a few runner ups.   What are YOUR favorite tv shows?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments, below.