Posted by Caren Crane Dec 16 2015, 12:21 am in Alzheimer's benefit, brain health benefit, cabana boys, Caren Crane, Cross Springs, Cross Springs novella, Forget Me Not anthology, Glögg, leaning snowmen, mulled wine, Prize, Wassail
Three listing snowmen. Listing because certain snowman builders had likely overindulged in the holiday wassail Sven had warming over a low, slow flame all last evening. Yes, I fear Paolo and a couple of his cabana boys–in-training had far too much wassail and not nearly enough cookies to soak it all up last night.
This gentleman was found in the formal garden. I can tell Paolo made this one because it shows a heavy bent toward the traditional while displaying a marked lack of creativity. Note the big, goofy smile and lumps of coal placed disturbingly close to the ground. Paolo: cute, but not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree!
I suspect newbie Henri of building this snowman out near the fire pit. He appears to be wearing a beret of some sort, as well as a saucy neckerchief, and displays remarkable flexibility. Henri has shown similar limber inclinations. How do I know? Erm…the boys were were practicing…diving. In the indoor pool. Yes, diving. That’s exactly where I saw Henri bending and stretching and flexing his beautiful…but I digress. Henri’s artistry, even when inebriated, far surpasses darling, dim Paolo’s.
And then there is this inebriated redneck snowman. I’m pretty sure we can blame our equally redneck cabana boy-in-training, Travis. Travis is already on Sven’s shit list and has managed to rack up more demerits in his three weeks in the Lair than any other cabana boy ever. We would get rid of him altogether but…
Well, here is Travis as I found him this morning, passed out on a bench outside the cabana boy bunkhouse down near the pool area. Don’t you feel the teensiest bit sorry for him? I sure did. He looked plum worn out from all that snowman building! Plus, he’s probably still growing or something and just needs extra sleep. Poor Travis. He just lives life a little bigger and louder than some of the others. I’m sure he’ll get trained right up and learn to mind his manners well enough to please even Sven the Taskmaster!
Just for funsies, here is the recipe for Sven’s wassail. It actually isn’t wassail at all (which is English) but is a Swedish drink called Glögg. Glögg is served in Finland and Sweden during the six weeks leading up to Christmas. This is a cold, dark time of year in Scandinavia. This glögg recipe resembles a variety of historical mulled wines, such as wassail and gluwein. Here is Easy Swedish Glögg, courtesy of MyRecipes.com (though Sven claims he posted it there!):
2 cups water or orange juice
1 (3-inch) piece orange rind
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 (750-ml) bottle red wine, such as Burgundy
Combine first 9 ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Bring mixture to a simmer, being careful not to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Strain mixture, and serve immediately, or gently reheat before serving. If you prefer a stronger flavor, steep spices longer before straining.
Yummy! Nice and warming on a cold winter day. Just be sure not to overserve yourself or others. You may end up with listing snowmen and hungover cabana boys like we did! I must talk to Sven about appointing someone (other than Paolo) minder of the Glögg pot…
Meanwhile, I will give a copy of the Forget Me Not anthology (all proceeds benefit Alzheimer’s and brain health research and I have a Cross Springs prequel novella in there) to a commenter who tells me this: If you found a leaning snowman on your lawn one snowy morning, who would be your likeliest suspect for drunken snowman builder?
If you’d like to get your own copy of the FORGET ME NOT anthology, hurry! It will only be on sale through December 31. Here’s the Amazon link, but it’s available at all e-tailers: http://www.amazon.com/Forget-Not-Anthology-Supporting-Alzheimers-ebook/dp/B015WQQEBU/.
Posted by Donna MacMeans Oct 27 2014, 11:45 pm in Flirting with Dr. Off-Limits, Prize, Robin Giana, romance tropes
Thanks everyone for visiting and leaving a comment on Robin’s blog on Romance tropes. The winner of a copy of Flirting with Dr. Off-Limits and a tote bag is:
Jane – If you could send you contact information to Robin at http://www.robingianna.com/contact/ She’ll get that right out to you.
Posted by Jo Robertson Oct 2 2014, 11:50 pm in Jo Robertson, On Being Fifteen, Prize
The winner of the post “On Being Fifteen” goes to
Congratulations, Mozette. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your preference of an audible download of either “The Watcher” or “The Avenger” and I’ll send you to code to retrieve it.
Posted by Joan Kayse Feb 18 2014, 11:16 pm in Nicki Salcedo, Prize
The winner of a copy of Nicki Salcedo’s book ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS is “J.M. Powers (Jeannie) !!
Congratulations! Please contact Nicki at email@example.com. Send her the email address for your Kindle or mailing address if you choose a paperback.
We just love giving away stuff in The Lair 😎
Posted by Donna MacMeans Jan 19 2014, 11:30 pm in Bandita Booty, calendars, Donna Means, peacocks, Prize
Thanks everybody for sharing your love of calendars with me. Got some ideas about using mine more efficiently. Loved that so many have difficulty throwing away those gorgeous photographs as well. Those pretty calendars definitely bring out my hoarder instincts 🙂
The winner of the peacock calendar is…….
Trina Morgan !!!!!
Trina, I need you to contact me at www.DonnaMacMeans.com so I can get your mailing info. Hope you enjoy 16 months of Peacocks 🙂 !
Thanks everyone –
Have a great New Year!
Posted by Caren Crane Aug 4 2013, 12:33 am in authors, Authors and Heroines, Caren Crane, favorite authors, free book, Giveaway, Heroines, Kick Start, Kick Start print book, Prize, romance authors, Tiara Wars
People who know I write and know me in some other role—friend, co-worker, etc.—tend to believe that all my heroines are…well…me. I understand why they would think that, especially when my heroine appears to have quite a lot in common with me.
For instance, Linda (the heroine in Kick Start) has a lot in common with me. She’s from the same hometown I’m from. She shares my taste in music. She has kids of the same gender and relative ages of my own children. She lives in a town quite similar to the one I live in (or the way it was about 20 years ago). She attends a similar sort of church and her kids are involved in many of the same activities mine were at those ages. That’s not because Linda is me, however. That’s because I was using what I knew at the time I wrote the book. Poor Linda is actually not really much like me at all, though, once you scratch the surface. She married a good ole boy, while I would have none of that. She was a stay-at-home mom, whereas the very thought of such gave me the willies. I can see how people might think she is me, but I hope they see the differences between us.
I have been editing the next book in my Cross Springs series, Tiara Wars, this week. I noticed that the heroine of that book, Katie, also has a few things in common with me. Less of it is surface stuff, though. Superficially, Katie and I could not be more different. She was raised a politician’s daughter and a queen of the pageant circuit. She went to cotillion and always knows what to say and do in any social situation. Like I said, we could not be more different! And yet…when I got to the really meaty part of the story, the part where she has to come to grips with who and what she really is, I realized that Katie and I shared a deep and profound commonality. Deep down, Katie learns she enjoys being admired and she enjoys being in charge. She likes competition and she likes winning. That rang true to me when I wrote it and true when I read it this week. Katie and I are not alike, but she has aspects of me deep inside her.
Which made me reflect that, in all honesty, ALL my characters have aspects of me. Or at least of someone I know really well. How could they not? In order to write a character, you really have to get inside her or his head. The only way I can see people is through the filter of my own experience. So, in essence, all characters are kind-of, sort-of, a little bit like me (or someone I know and love dearly). I also found that in writing male characters, I tend to give them aspects of my husband or father or brother or son. Again, we write what we know. Oh, and all those mean girls and awful neighbors and things? Yes, I know those people, too. 😀
So this week, my only profound thought has been that the old “write what you know” really is the best advice anyone can give a writer. Only sometimes, what you know is buried in layers of what seems like fun and what other people are like and what you just saw on TV last week or on vacation last year. Just know that whenever you are reading a really well-developed character wrestling with deep issues, there may just be a little bit of reality in there somewhere. Only the writer will ever know, though, which parts are real and which are the products of an incredibly overactive imagination.
One of my favorite games is guessing which heroine in a romance author’s bibliography is most like her. I think Nora Roberts is probably more like Eve Dallas (in her J.D. Robb ‘In Death’ series) than any of her other heroines. So play my game with me. Tell me a favorite romance writer of yours and which of her heroines you think is most like her. Don’t be afraid to call out a Romance Bandit author, either. Everyone is fair game and it’s open season! 🙂
Oh, and I meant to tell you that KICK START will be available as a print book very soon. So, one lucky commenter will get a print copy of KICK START!
Posted by Caren Crane May 18 2013, 11:45 pm in Bandita Booty, Caren Crane, CathyP, Kick Start, Prize, prize winner
Sorry it took me so long to post my winner from Monday, but it’s been a hectic week! The winner of a download of my debut novel Kick Start is….
CathyP, just send me an e-mail at carencrane AT gmail DOT com and let me know what e-book format you prefer. Congratulations!
Posted by Donna MacMeans Mar 19 2012, 11:45 pm in Caught In The Spotlight, Jules Bennett, Prize
Jules Bennett has selected the winner of CAUGHT IN THE SPOTLIGHT and the spotlight has landed on Aline Tobing!!!
Aline, Please go to www.DonnaMacMeans.com and send me your contact information so Jules can send out your prize. Congratulations!