Tuesday, September 22, 2015

50 Ways to Enjoy Fall

50 Ways to Enjoy Fall
1. Road trip to see the changing leaves.
2. Check out a local craft or harvest Festival.
3. Visit a pumpkin patch.                                                          
4. Go apple picking.
5. Take a walk in the woods.
6. Have a bonfire.
7. Tell ghost stories.
8. Play in a leaf pile.
9. Get involved in The Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.
10. Throw a costume party.
11. Learn to bake a pie from scratch.
12. Watch a scary movie.
13. Make S'mores.
14. Create a fall centerpiece.
15. Go tailgating with friends.
16. Visit a haunted house or corn maze.
17. Build a scarecrow.                                 
18. Plant spring bulbs.
19. Attend an Oktoberfest.
20. Read a good mystery or horror novel. 
21. Learn to knit a scarf.
22. Go geocaching in a state park.
23. Learn to build a fire.                                                     
24. Rent a cabin in the mountains.
25. Make a festive wreath.
26. Start a journal.
27. Watch the sunset.
28. Take a hot air balloon ride.
29. Go horseback riding.
30. Learn to cook with butternut squash.
31. Perfect your signature chili recipe.
32. Tour a winery.
33. Shop for the latest fall fashions.
34. Grab some binoculars and start bird watching.
35. Donate warm clothing to The Salvation Army.
36. Spend a day antiquing.
37. Arrange and pot beautiful fall annuals for the porch.
38. Read by the fire.
39. Hike to a breathtaking overlook.
40. Carve a pumpkin.
41. Start a new hobby.
42. Sketch the season.
43. Learn to preserve food and create your own antique labels.
44. Take a hayride.
45. Go on a ghost tour.
46. Make caramel apples.
47. Explore a historic district on foot.
48. Find a way to volunteer.
49. Visit a zoo.
50. Host a game night.
Image result for deborah maloneDeborah Malone has worked as a freelance writer and photographer since 2001, for the historical magazine "Georgia Backroads." Her writing is also featured in "Tales of the Rails," edited by Olin Jackson and the "Christian Communicator." A member of the Georgia Writers Association and of American Christian Fiction Writers, she has an established blog, Butterfly Journey.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

"Tomorrow is another day..." -Scarlett O'Hara

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What will tomorrow bring? That's the last line in my ninth book "Murder at Mirror Lake." The main character has gone through a heart wrenching time and has to pick herself up and face the challenges of a new day. 

I find myself, along with hundreds of others, facing the same question as members of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) descend on the Hyatt Regency in Dallas September 17th-20th and spend time together learning more about our craft and, perhaps more importantly, discovering more about our purpose as Christian writers.

It will be the first writing conference I have attended so I am looking forward to what tomorrow and the whole weekend will bring.

One highlight of the event for me will be meeting some of our authors on CMM face to face for the first time. I'll be sure to post pictures. 

I pray we'll come away with fresh perspectives that, hopefully, will add not only entertainment value to you wonderful readers, but spiritual value as well. As always, we appreciate your readership and look forward to hearing your comments and reviews.

Cheers for what tomorrow will bring!

~Nancy Jill 

Nancy Jill Thames was born to write mysteries. From her early days as the neighborhood story-teller to the Amazon Author Watch Bestseller List, she has always had a vivid imagination and loves to solve problems – perfect for plotting whodunits. In 2010, Nancy Jill published her first mystery Murder in Half Moon Bay, introducing her well-loved protagonist Jillian Bradley and clue-sniffing Yorkie “Teddy.”

When she isn’t plotting Jillian’s next perilous adventure, Nancy Jill travels between Texas, California, and Georgia finding new ways to spoil her grandchildren, playing classical favorites on her baby grand, or having afternoon tea with friends.

She lives with her husband in Leander, Texas, where she is a member of Leander Writers’ Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW CenTex Chapter), and Central Texas Authors.

To learn more about Nancy Jill, visit these sites.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Cozy as Baby Blankie

Can you find the baby? :D
I left my job when I had my first baby. I was pretty lucky to get to stay at home with my Norah, but also, it was a part time retail, so it wasn't like I could afford daycare anyway!

Around that same time, my friends were all having babies, too. I had a blast making baby quilts for as many of them as I could! Sometimes I was pretty broke and had to shop my mom's fabric stash, and the early blankets were far simpler than the later ones. But each one was a labor of love for a baby I was so excited to meet!
(The striped squares are puppy themed, and the back is puppy fabric.)

My sister in law had a baby this year, and for the first time, I found it difficult to find time to sew! I love this new nephew every bit as much as all of the others, but between driving the kids to band camp, writing and publishing Spoiled Rotten Murder, and prepping for the class I will be teaching at ACFW in Dallas....I just didn't have time!

I saw the writing on the wall early though, and decided to involve the family so that this blanket, even though it would have to be simpler in construction, could have just as much hand made love. I found some fantastic comic book print fabric and had my girls draw super hero themed squares to go with it! I also embroidered a Superman for the center square.

It's big, it's blocky, and doggone it, I even managed to not get a couple of corners matched up. (I had one job!) But it's also fluffy, bright, and something we all worked on together. I have to mail to the nephew, since he lives far, far away, but I am so happy to be able to welcome him into the world with a little bit of hand made love!

I can't share a picture of the whole thing yet, since my sister in law hasn't seen it, but I CAN share all of these mystery novels for just 99 cents! Dying to Read: A Library of Killer Cozies

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A FUN RECIPE By Cynthia Hickey

What do you talk about when you have nothing to say? You don’t! You post a recipe!

Here’s a great recipe to prank someone on their birthday. It looks disgusting, but is wonderfully tasty. Of course, once you use it with one person, you can’t play the same joke on anyone else at the party.

Kitty Litter Cake

Ingredients Nutrition

Servings 20 Units US

·         1 (18 ounce) box spice cake mix or 1 (18 ounce) box German chocolate cake mix

·         3 eggs (or as called for by your cake mix)

·         13 cup oil (or as called for by your cake mix)

·         1 13 cups water (or as called for by your cake mix)

·         1 (18 ounce) box white cake mix

·         3 eggs (or as called for by your cake mix)

·         13 cup oil (or as called for by your cake mix)

·         1 13 cups water (or as called for by your cake mix)

·         1 (6 ounce) box vanilla instant pudding mix

·         1 (18 ounce) package vanilla sandwich cookies

·         green food coloring

·         12 small Tootsie Rolls

·         1 new kitty litter box

·         1 new kitty litter box

·         1 Pooper Scooper

Cynthia Hickey loves to pull pranks, on the page and off. Check out her best-selling cozy mystery series, The Nosy Neighbor Series. The first book, Anything for A Mystery is here. 

Multi-published and Amazon Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She has several historical romances releasing in 2013, 2014, 2015 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold more than 300,000 copies of her works. Cynthia is a board member for CAN (Christian Authors Network). She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads, and is a contributor to Cozy Mystery Magazone blog and Suspense Sisters blog. Her and her husband run the small press, Forget Me Not Romances, which includes some of the CBA’s well-known authors. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at www.cynthiahickey.com