Archive for December, 2012

21
Dec

A Break, a Thought, and a Surprise

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 10 Comments

I know I’ve been a bit quiet around here this week, but my last post explains the why.

Anyway, with a book deadline looming (Amish #3) and the holidays upon us, I’ve decided to take a break until  the new year. So, I’ll be back here on January 2nd. I hope you’ll be back with me then.

In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with your families. And I sincerely hope that 2013 for each and every one of you is filled with much joy!

I leave you (for now) with two things…

1) I’ve written a post for The Stiletto Gang today that I hope you will all take a moment to read. You can find it here: http://thestilettogang.blogspot.com/

2) I’ve decided to have a Farewell to 2012 Give away.  The prize? An autographed copy of each of the four books I released in 2012 (REAP WHAT YOU SEW, LET IT SEW, HEARSE AND BUGGY, and STORYBOOK DAD).  The rules? Send an email to me at: Bradfordauthor@aol.com with “Farewell to 2012” in the subject line. If you’d include your snail mail addy in the body of the email, that would be great (makes it easier to send the prize should you happen to win).  ONE name will be pulled from all the entries on January 1st and that person will be contacted immediately. One entry per person, please.  Good luck!

Hugs to all!

~Elizabeth

18
Dec

Blessed Lights

Posted under odds and ends 4 Comments

Sorry for my absence yesterday. I had to head up to Danbury, CT (about a 25 minute drive) to get some work done on my Saturn.

For those of you not familiar with the Danbury area, it’s one town over from where I grew up. On the other side of my hometown, is Newtown, the beautiful community rocked by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.

I’d planned to post a blog when I got myself settled into the waiting area of the dealership. But as heavy-hearted as I was over the shooting when I got there, the aura in that town was simply crushing. I was reminded of living in Charleston as Hurricane Hugo was approaching in 1989. As I was loading up my car in response to the mandatory evacuation, I can honestly say there was a feeling in the air–like the birds and the squirrels knew something was coming.

In the dealership, and later in the mall right down the road, you didn’t have to have seen a single moment of news coverage to know in your heart something was wrong. It was tangible. My heart is broken for these families and these children, for the innocence that will never again be theirs. My heart is broken for the first responders who had to deal with that scene as professionals–professionals who happened to be fathers, themselves.

When I finally got home, I was depressed. No two ways around that one.  It was like the light had been sucked right out of my day, my outlook.

Then I walked in the door and saw this…

Several years ago, I met a woman while on vacation in St. Thomas with my husband. Normally shy, I found some strange sense of courage and approached her…because of a book. I’d been watching her from across the pool for a few minutes and found myself smiling because she was laughing at a cozy mystery she was reading. Eventually, I went over and said hi.

Little did I know that moment of courage would have brought me such a beautiful friend in the process. She has been such a light in my life since that first meeting and, although she could never have known my mood in advance, she was, once again, a light in my otherwise dark yesterday.

Friends do that, you know. They bring light to our lives. Some of those friends are people we’ve known for years. And some–like Lynn D.–came into our lives in unexpected ways.  

Another take-a-chance kind of situation brought me Mary (whom you see in the comment section of this blog from time to time). Mary emailed me shortly before the first Sewing Circle mystery came out. She’d come across my original mystery series–the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries–and wrote to tell me she enjoyed them. Before we knew it, I was adding her small Wisconsin town to my launch tour for SEW DEADLY. Like Lynn D., Mary is just one of those people you feel blessed to know. She’s active in her community, her church, her life.

A week or so ago, she sent seven stocking to my home. Seven stockings she made via the pattern in the back of LET IT SEW.  I was touched that 1) she’d taken the time to make them and 2) she remembered–from things here on the blog–that there are seven people in the house.

My family is my light.

Lynn D., and Mary and so many others in my life, are my light.

And I thank God for them everyday.

~Elizabeth

14
Dec

Christmas Bits

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 4 Comments

Last night, Dear Husband and I saw MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET at a local dinner theater. The show was fantastic, the performance of Kris Kringle misting my eyes more than a few times. And by the time I left, I found myself thinking of all the Christmas traditions I still want to pack in between now and Christmas Day. You know, the drive-thru light displays, a trip to see the tree at Rockefeller Center, a caroling party for the kids with their friends, a dessert party, etc.

Which means I’ve got work to do.

In the meantime, here’s a few holiday-themed Bits & Pieces…

1) What’s your favorite lead-up-to-Christmas activity??

2) Favorite cookie at this time of year?

3) Have you seen any Christmas themed shows on stage? If so, which one (s)?

4) Have you finished all of your shopping?

~Elizabeth

13
Dec

Goings On

Posted under Writing Thursdays 2 Comments

Since it’s a rather busy time for everyone, I figured today’s “writing Thursday” will be an update on what’s going on around here:

*LET IT SEW has been on two different national bestseller lists since its release on November 5th. YAY!

*REMNANTS OF MURDER, the next book (#8)  in the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries, will be out in August. I recently got to see and approve the cover material–the verbal stuff.  It won’t be long now before I have my first cover sighting… 🙂

*ASSAULTED PRETZEL (Amish Mystery #2) will be out March 5th and I’m busy scheduling events to coincide with its launch. While more details will follow, I can tell you that (as of now) I’ll be in NC, PA, CT, and possibly TN. Will keep you posted as I know more.

*Right now, I’m hard at work on Amish Mystery #3. The book is due next month.

*If you haven’t entered yet, I have a give away of Amish goodies (including a signed copy of HEARSE AND BUGGY) up for grabs. Check out the “news & events” page of my other website: www.laurabradford.com for more details. But hurry, the winner will be drawn soon!

*If you missed the news along the way, HEARSE AND BUGGY (#1 in my Amish Mysteries) has gone into a 4th printing after only six months! Yay!!

*The women’s fiction I’m working on has been pushed to the side (for just a little while) in favor of working on Amish # 3 and Christmas shopping, but once the shopping is done, it will shift back into claiming at least a little of my time each day.

*And, last but not least, I’m giving away an autographed copy of LET IT SEW on my Elizabeth Lynn Casey fan page on Facebook today. If you’re on Facebook, hop on over to my page and leave a comment as to what your favorite Christmas movie and/or book is. Tonight, before she goes to bed, Dear Daughter # 2 will pick a random winner from all those who leave a comment. Then, tomorrow, that person’s copy of LET IT SEW will go out in the mail. Good luck!

So that’s where I”m at for now. Any questions?

~Elizabeth

12
Dec

The Final Stages

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays No Comments

Well, my annual ornament hunt is almost complete. I’ve got just one more to figure out, before I get to sit back and see what my family thinks of this year’s choices.

For Dear Daughter # 1, I found one that will commemorate a special event in her life this year.

For Dear Daughter # 2, I went for one that speaks to a series of books that she plowed through this year.

For DS#1, I’m giving a nod to a show he likes this year.

For DS # 2, his first year of college seemed to be a natural fit.

And for hubby, well, it’s a reminder of something we experienced this year (I won’t say anything else, as he sometimes reads this blog).

If all goes well, they’ll be appearing in wrapped packages beside their breakfast plates sometime in the next week  (I’ll share a picture of my finds once they’ve been presented).

How about you? Any special traditions from this time of year that bring you an inordinate amount of pleasure?

~Elizabeth

 

11
Dec

Cover to Cover and Back Again

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 4 Comments

Curious, today…

What was your favorite book as a kid? The one you could never get enough of hearing/reading?

What is your favorite book now, as an adult?

~Elizabeth

10
Dec

Tiptoe, Through the Village

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 7 Comments

My family and I spent a little time Saturday night decorating some gingerbread houses. So, come, take a look…

 

 Aside from the mishap just above the front door, I was fairly pleased with my effort here on the left. The snowman in the front yard is chocolate inside. 🙂  Behind the house–which you can see–are some snow-capped bushes.  And that little red and green thing in the foreground on the left? My light post.

My husband totally showed me up with his creation. His house not only had a chimney, it also had a furnace pipe (with smoke)!  Those pink bushes to the outside of the green bushes? Those are Crepe Myrtles (which we saw while visiting my aunt in Delaware over the summer).  Like the flower boxes outside his windows???  Ay yi yi…

 

Dear Daughter # 1 showed me up, as well. She went so far as to find some blue food coloring for the icing and etched all of her windows with sprinkles. And that walkway in front??? Nice!!! 

 

 

Dear Son # 2 decided to make a themed pet store out of his. And, for some reason, every time I look at this, I see D.W. from the old Arthur cartoon the kids loved when they were little.

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Daughter #2 struggled with collapsing walls for a very long time, so, once it stayed, she went straight for the M & M’s. A few for the roof, a few for her…

 

 

 

 This one on the right has a whole lot of detail on the roof that you can’t see in the picture. It’s got crushed candy canes and sprinkles. And the window panes? Those were done via the tip of a thumb tack. By the time Dear Son # 1 finished this much, the frosting in the bowls was virtually hard and his sister had commandeered most of the gum drops for the roof of the A-Frame below. As a result, he was unable to do any landscaping of his own short of using M & M’s for rather pathetic looking shrubs (which he opted not to do). But, never fear, I handed over my snow-capped gumdrop bushes. And yes, he promptly ate them.  🙂

 

 In addition to the gum-drop roof which is hard to see on this last house, there are candy cane kiss people in the foreground (beside the M & M walkway) And the green bushes right behind them had “Christmas lights” on them (a.k.a. round colored sprinkles).

Then, when they were all together, here’s what our town looked like…

I have to say, those little tiny houses brought with them a whole lot of fun (and laughs).

~Elizabeth

07
Dec

That Time of Year

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 2 Comments

Bits & Pieces at this time of year are always extra fun…

1) If you could sit on Santa’s lap today, what would you ask for?

2) Best Santa-gift you ever got?

3) Star or angel?

4) Favorite holiday treat?

~Elizabeth

P.S. I just announced a new contest (with Amish goodies as the prize) on my Laura Bradford website, so check it out here: http://laurabradford.com/news/

06
Dec

Same, Yet Different

Posted under Writing Thursdays 2 Comments

It’s been a while since I’ve gone to the question box for a Writing Thursday post…

Carol’s Q: With two series, do you find your own mind splitting into two different writers? Do you find yourself feeling and thinking different as you write each book?

A: My sewing circle series is very, very different from my new Amish Mysteries in so many ways that I do, actually, feel different while working on each one. With the sewing circle books, I laugh a lot. I guess the ladies in the circle have become so real in my eyes that when they say something funny or do something odd, I laugh…along with whoever else is in the “room” for that particular scene. I also feel as if I’m on my toes all the time with them, never knowing when the story is going to take a turn I didn’t see coming (which happens a lot with these gals).

When I’m in my Amish/English world of Heavenly, PA, I find that I don’t laugh so much as smile. Esther and Eli and the rest of the characters that interact with Claire instill more of a tender feeling. My heart aches a bit more for Jakob and his nearly non-existent relationship with his family (as a result of leaving the Amish post-baptism), and I find myself writing his story with a hitch in my breath sometimes. The pace of the Amish world doesn’t have me “on my toes” the way life in Sweet Briar, South Carolina does, but I find that their slower, more relaxed ways is a really nice place to get in touch with other aspects of the town, the people, the plot.

It’s like the two series require from–and give–me something different, with both aspects needed and welcomed.

Great question, Carol! Anyone else?

~Elizabeth

05
Dec

Technology to the Rescue?

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 2 Comments

Commented on Facebook the other day about a partial section of our Christmas tree lights not working (this, of course, after spending hours on the lights, garland, and ornaments). Several folks suggested I “turn the tree around” and others simply laughed–with a been there, done that.

And then someone mentioned this…

It’s a zapper thingy that helps you fix broken Christmas lights.

Seriously.

I don’t have one (the lights magically fixed themselves last night), but how cool is a light fixing thingy? I mean, seriously, what will they think of next?

Anyone out there own one of these things? Do they work?

~Elizabeth