Archive for November, 2010

30
Nov

A Can’t Miss Read No Matter What Your Age

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 3 Comments

I love the holiday season. Love. It.

I love the decorations. I love the music. I love the excitement in the air. I love the overall aura of kindness.

But I also love the holiday stories…

You know, the stories of kindness and hope that have lasted for decades. I like them on the television screen (Rudolph, Miracle on 34th, etc.), and I like them in books (Little House Christmas stories–remember the mitten tree??–A Christmas Carol, etc.).

This year, though, I find myself thinking about a picture book that I used to read to my children. You Are Special isn’t a holiday book but it comes with all the hope and love of a holiday story. If you have kids (or grandkids), I give this book ten thumbs up (trust me, it’s worth borrowing a few thumbs for that rating). Read it with them, out loud. And see if it doesn’t bring tears to your eyes the way it did (and still does) mine.

It’s a story we can all use in our life, regardless of age.

So how about you? What’s your favorite holiday (or warm and fuzzy) book?

~Elizabeth

29
Nov

Grab Bag With a Twist

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 6 Comments

Do you remember those grab bag gifts in elementary school? The kind where you had to bring in a gift for a girl or boy and went home with one, too?

When my girls were in school in St. Louis, their classrooms (parochial school) did a “book exchange” for the holidays.  Which I (as a huge advocate of books) loved.

So I started thinking about having a grab bag/book exchange of our own. Here. On the blog. Only YOU don’t have to bring a gift. You just GET one…or, rather, your friend will.

Sound good?

Okay, here’s the rules: Every day you comment on one of my blog postings during the week, you get your name put in a hat (comment on Monday and Tuesday, you get two entries…comment every day, you get five).  Each Friday from now until Christmas, I will pull out a name from the previous week’s entries (the hat gets dumped once the winner is selected, so start all over the following week!). Each Sunday from now until Christmas (December 5, 12, 19) I will announce (on the blog) the winner from the week that has just ended.  Then, the winner will be asked to contact me, select the book (from the list below) that they’d like me to send to their friend, and provide the name/address of ONE PERSON they would like me to send the selected autographed book to.

Sound good?

The week’s winner will select their friend’s book from the list below:

1) SEW DEADLY (book # 1 in my Southern Sewing Circle Mystery Series)

2) DEATH THREADS (book # 2 in my Southern Sewing Circle Mystery series)

2) A MOM FOR CALLIE (romance)

3) MIRACLE BABY (romance) 

Remember, the more you check back during the week and comment on whatever blog topic is being discussed, the better!

Good Luck! And just so you know…week 1’s  “hat” starts filling TODAY!

~Elizabeth

P.S. Would you like an extra entry for today? If so, check out my blogging stint HERE TODAY and leave a post-related comment! Just remember, I’m “Laura Bradford, romance writer” on that site.

26
Nov

Helmets On

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 4 Comments

In honor of Crazy-Shopping-Friday, I’ve selected a few fun Bits & Pieces questions for all of you. 

1) Have you ever been at a store on this particular day at the moment it opened? What was the store/gift? And how early were you there?

2) Any fad gifts you found yourself hunting all over creation for? What was it and did you succeed?

3) What one fad gift did you have to have as a kid? Did you get it? Did it live up to its hype?

4) What’s on your personal Would-Love-To-Get List this year?

Stay safe out there today!

~Elizabeth

25
Nov

Thank YOU

Posted under odds and ends 5 Comments

  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I’m so very thankful for all of you this year. Thank you for investing your time in my books and my dream! I’ve really enjoyed getting to know so many of you through this blog!  

~Elizabeth

24
Nov

The Hunt

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 8 Comments

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…

I don’t like shopping. Never have, never will.

However, like most things in life, there is a caveat (or two).

1) Baby clothes. I could spend hours looking at all the little dresses and outfits and booties. *Sigh* 

2) My annual ornament hunt.

While # 1 won’t be happening again until I hit grandma status (which better be years from now), # 2 is going on right now. And I LOVE IT!

Every year since my girls were little, I seek out a single ornament that showcases something about them from that year. It might be a show they adored (Blue’s Clues when my youngest was 3), or a stage they went through, or an accomplishment they mastered, but it represents something about them at that particular point in their life. The intention is to let them take their ornaments when they go off and have trees of their own…providing their future spouse with little windows into who they were/what they liked at various stages in their life.

I hunt far and wide for these ornamental symbols of their life. 

When they were younger, the hunt was a little easier. Their passions were characters or books (characters/books that were, generally speaking, popular that year). Now that they’re getting older, their interests are becoming more about things they do.

Last year, three more recipients were added to my list compliments of my VSG (very special guy), so the hunt is now wider. 

I’ve always been pleased with my selections each year, anxious to see their faces when they open their special ornament on Christmas Eve EVE. But this year? I’m beside myself with excitement. I found THE PERFECT ornament for each one of them!!

Now, while I’m virtually certain none of them read this blog, I don’t want to take a chance. Every once in a blue moon one of my girls sends me an email via my website just to say “hi.”  So, in the event one of those blue moons is about to take place, I’ll have to leave all of you in suspense (sorry Aimee) for a few weeks. Once I present the kids with their 2010 ornament, I’ll take a picture of each one and show all of you.

Do you have a favorite ornament on your tree? Or an ornament tradition of your own?

~Elizabeth

23
Nov

Reading Everything and Anything

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 3 Comments

Looking back, my love of reading started early.

I read the usual suspects that most kids like to read, but I also read other things–cereal boxes, billboards, signs, you name it.

When it came to cereal boxes, I loved to read them out loud…as if I was one of those voices I heard on the commercials. Billboards, I tended to read quietly. Signs depended on my mood at the time.

Today I still do the same.

I ride a subway in the city, I’m reading every add.

Buses that go by? Same.

Billboards? Ditto.

Lately, I’ve been getting a kick out of t-shirts and bumper stickers…

Last week, a former student of mine (I taught a basics in fiction writing class at a community college a few years ago) sent a picture of a t-shirt he found. It said, Be Careful Or You’ll End Up In My Novel.

Love that one.

A few days ago, while meeting blog reader Dru for lunch, I wandered into the NBC store in Rockefeller Center. I was immediately drawn to the Seinfeld t-shirts, securing the A Festivus For The Rest Of Us t-shirt for myself.

And, of course, there are the bumper stickers that make me chuckle while I’m driving…

PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals–sorry all you Vegans out there but that’s funny).

If You Can Read This, You’re Under Forty (written in small, tiny print).

Cute, huh?

So tell me, any t-shirts or bumper stickers that have made you laugh?

~Elizabeth

22
Nov

When You Wish Upon A Star

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 1 Comment

I have a confession to make.

I’m a sucker for making wishes.

I throw pennies in fountains, I take my birthday candle blowing very seriously, and I’ve been known to close my eyes at a few firework shows (there’s always one firework that begs to be wished upon).

When I was a little girl, I wished to be a mom and a writer.

And guess what? I’m a mom and a writer.  

I wish for big things (like those above) and I wish for little things (hugs, kisses, a great book idea, etc). I suppose that’s why I love MIRACLE BABY so much. Because Maggie Monroe has all these little wishes–wishes she didn’t even realize she had–and Rory O’Brien makes them come true.

For some reason, this time of year brings out the wishing side of me. I find a star, or a penny, or a candle and I make a wish–for good health for my loved ones and opportunities to make memories I can carry with me for the rest of my life.

So tell me, what do you make wishes on? 

~Elizabeth

19
Nov

Favorites

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 7 Comments

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

1) Favorite Disney movie of all time?

2) Favorite holiday and why?

3) Favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner (besides the turkey)?

4) Favorite winter-time activity?

~Elizabeth

18
Nov

Leaving You Suspended

Posted under Writing Thursdays 6 Comments

I’m curious about something…

 Do you like cliffhangers in books? Any examples where you felt it was done well?

~Elizabeth

17
Nov

Priceless

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 8 Comments

Many of us have them, I imagine, tucked away somewhere special in our thoughts. And perhaps, like me, they come out at this time of year with Thanksgiving just around the corner.

I have many, many, many and all bring a smile to my face. Some even get me misty-eyed at times. And I wouldn’t trade a single one for anything. Ever.

I’m talking about grandparent memories and the little snippets of special moments or traditions that will forever be equated with them.

My snippets are easy…

My grandpa and I sitting on a park bench in Van Cortland park in the Inwood area of Manhattan, pigeons walking all around our feet as he told me some grand story…

The beating of my heart as I climbed the five flights of stairs up to their Academy Street apartment as a little girl…me, huffing and puffing…my grandparents, taking them as if they were the spring chickens. 

My grandma’s brogue (Grandpa had one, too, but not like hers…)

The chocolate turkeys that were always on Grandma’s Thanksgiving table, one for each person. I still remember the way I looked at that little personal centerpiece throughout the meal. Waiting.

The phone book they insisted I sit on to bring me to eye level with everyone else at the table.

Grandpa trying to give us each a dollar and each of us protesting until his voice got firm and he told us to “take it”…shoving it in our pocket and giving us that look.

Oh, I could go on and on and on, my smile getting wider and my eyes getting more and more misty with each one.

But I won’t.

Now it’s your turn! What do you remember about your grandparents?

~Elizabeth