Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kick Off to Summer Blog Hop--Giveaways


Kickoff to Summer Blog Hop--Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer in the USA. Hope you had a great holiday weekend!

My author friends and I are connecting next week, June 5-6, to give our readers some insight on summer time activities and reading. PLUS we are all offering giveaways to the lucky winners of the random drawings. What a way to kickoff summer!! Please join us for a fun hop and prizes.

Coda to Murder--My latest cozy mystery/sweet romance was accepted by Muse It Up Publishing. I was offered the contract on my birthday, May 25. What a fantastic birthday gift. Sure made my holiday weekend special. Release date is tentatively set for February 2013.

Bodacious Blurb Blog--On Wednesdays this summer I will feature books for you to check out by posting the book covers and the book blurb. All genres will be represented, so I bet you'll find some great books for the beach!

Denali National Park near Wonder Lake, Alaska, USA Photographic Print

Alaska Discovery--This summer my husband and I are traveling to Alaska. We will be flying to Anchorage, then renting a car to drive through this scenic state to see as much as possible during our visit there. And you can come along with us. I'll share pictures and stories (when I have Internet access), so you can experience the tour from your living room.

Wishing you all, dear readers, a fantastic summer season!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day to honor and remember those who served in our Military. Take time today to say a prayer for those who serve today in our armed forces and recognize those who gave their lives for our country.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Recipe: My Birthday Treat for You--Texas Sheet Cake

Peach rose bush--a birthday gift from my hubby.
Roses on the table.
My birthday is this week and I am celebrating all week long it seems, almost a month long since my husband surprised me with this beautiful rose bush for my gift early in May. Last night a dinner out with friends at a restaurant on a small inland lake (gorgeous evening), tomorrow shopping trip, and Sunday the whole family comes over for a cookout.

Since the family is bringing the food, I volunteered to make my birthday cake, so of course, I get to make my favorite, Texas Sheet Cake. A delicious chocolate cake with chocolate icing (or do you say frosting?) poured over the top of the cake while it is still warm. Mmmmm....good. The cake is baked in a cookie sheet (with sides), so it is a Texas-sized cake for sure. 

Do you want a piece of this delicious cake? Okay, cyberly speaking, you can, but virtually you really can because I am including the recipe for you. My neighbor, Trude, made one of these for us about 38 years ago and gave me the recipe. It has become one of our family's favorites. Thanks, Trude!

Birthday : Happy Birthday topic image 1 - vector illustration.

Trude's Texas Sheet Cake

Heat oven  to 400 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet by spraying with cooking oil.

2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1 cup margarine
1/2 c. cocoa
1/2 c. oil
1 c. water
1/2 c. buttermilk (I make my own buttermilk-- Put 1/2 T. vinegar or lemon juice in measuring cup and add milk to measure 1/2 cup.) You can also use sour cream or plain yogurt. 
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
 a pinch to 1 tsp. of salt

Mix flour and sugar in bowl.

In saucepan, heat the butter, cocoa, oil , and water till melted. Pour over the flour and sugar in the bowl, then  stir well. Add remaining ingredients and beat together. Pour into prepared cookie sheet. 

Bake 20 minutes.

Frosting: Begin making this five minutes before cake is done.

1 stick margarine
4 T. cocoa
6 T. milk
1 lb. box powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla 
1 c. nuts (optional)

Bring butter, cocoa, and milk to a boil in saucepan. Remove from heat and immediately stir in powdered sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla. Beat smooth, fold in nuts, and pour frosting over cake.

Mmmmm...making my mouth water now! Serve it warm with ice cream or let it cool and serve with ice cream. It's good just plain too!!! Enjoy....

And no I won't tell you how many candles there are on my birthday cake!! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day Reflection

My beautiful girls on a fall farm tour.
Mother's Day is the day when mothers are celebrated for their unselfish work raising families. This Mother's Day for me was a time to appreciate my beautiful daughters who have grown into lovely young women. They are moms now too and are making a contribution to our society through their work and home.

Mother's Day is a time for reflection, nostalgia, and appreciation for the blessing of children in our lives. National Children's Day in the USA is June 10, 2012,  a day that revives, celebrates, and commits to our children and their future.

I wrote a poem about my daughters over ten years ago. I'll share it with you, dear readers, today.


Today she smiles at me--
the same smile I saw at three.

Her sparkling eyes reveal the mischief
still insider her.

The glow of excitement on this day reminds me
of her childish joy on Christmas mornings.

Her exhilaration is as difficult to contain 
as if she were ready to blow out the candles 
on her birthday cake.

I see and remember the little girl who lives
still in this beautiful young woman,
as I adjust her bridal veil.

copyright J Q Rose 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day and Peace

Wishing you all a very happy Mother's Day!

Do you know that Mother's Day evolved from mothers meeting together to promote peace?  

According to many sources and Wikipedia the first attempts to establish a "Mother's Day" in the U.S. were mostly marked by women's peace groups.A common early activity was the meeting of groups of mothers whose sons had fought or died on opposite sides of the American Civil War. There were several limited observances in the 1870s and the 1880s but none achieved resonance beyond the local level.

In 1868 Ann Jarvis created a committee to establish a "Mother's Friendship Day" whose purpose was "to reunite families that had been divided during the Civil War", and she wanted to expand it into an annual memorial for mothers, but she died in 1905 before the celebration became popular. Her daughter Anna Jarvis would continue her mother's efforts.

Women have been in the forefront of peace movements to save their children from that horredous experience and to try and unite people to make a better world for everyone.

Marrying promoting peace with honoring mothers is a powerful idea. Now let's do it!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Banana Bread Baking and Synopsis Simmering

banana by keepon

What a great Friday morning! Banana bread bakin' and synopsis simmerin'. 

The smell of the baking bread wafts through the house making my mouth water for the first bite. I hope I don't forget to check it while I am writing this post! Been there, done that...You too?

I am working on a synopsis, a summary, of my new mystery/romance. If you are a writer, you can understand how I am tearing my hair out trying to encapsulate an entire novel in one page. Yes, I am aware there are writers whose synopses are three to seven pages, but if I were an editor, I believe I would prefer a short version, wouldn't you? 

I want the synopsis to reflect the same, fun voice as the book to capture the attention of the publisher who will then be intrigued enough to read the manuscript.

These days are so different from the good ole days when an author had to print out a cover letter, synopsis, and  manuscript, then bundle it all up and mail the package to the publisher. Now most publishers just want a digital file, so there is no print cost or mailing fee. Easy for them and easy for authors to submit.

However the digital age doesn't make it any easier to craft a story! The words still have to flow on the page and the plot has to make sense with a good beginning hook, no muddled middle, and an ending that satisfies the reader. 

While mixing up the bread, ideas for the synopsis swirled in my head, so it was simmering in my brain as I stirred, smashed, and chopped the ingredients. I hope the recipe for the synopsis will come together to make a delicious read for an editor. 

Now the timer is dinging. I must get my handiwork out of the oven and my simmering synopsis off the back burner..