Friday, December 09, 2011

Friday Fun Facts: Three Random Websites

Hello everyone! Happy Friday!! Today I wanted to share with you 3 completely random and unrelated but also otherwise cool (in my opinion) websites. Check 'em out:

For Writers: Writer's Digest Successful Queries - For anyone who's struggled with writing ther perfect query letter to nab that perfect agent, this blog post is full of query letters that worked, along with detailed commentary from agents about why they did. This is an author's must-have resource link!

For Shoppers: I loved this link, posted today on MSN, about how to shop for the holidays with less stress. Sadly, Christmas time has become such a rush of materialism for so many people - even in this economy, which is tough to believe. So this list of ways to bring happiness to those on your list for less $$ and less hassle was perfect. Best tip: On December 16, 2011, over 100 online retailers will be offering free shipping! Now that's reason enough to check this article - and mark your calendars!

For Everyone: is a fascinating website that allows you to take a picture of yourself and age it - 5, 10, 20 years into the future - and add the effects of weight gain, sun exposure, and more. I actually read about it in a magazine at the eye doctor's office earlier this week, in an article about planning for retirement. The claim was that if you're young, it's hard to picture yourself at retirement age, so it's harder to save for it. Anyway, I thought it was a cool (though a little scary, to be honest) way to see how you might look after years of sunning yourself poolside with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other...or not. I haven't tried it yet (it costs $4), but I might this weekend. Just to see. You know, for research or something like that...

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Writers' Wednesday: Holiday Stories

Welcome to Writers' Wednesday! Remember, every blog comment between now and the end of the month earns you another chance to win the "Keeping Warm in Winter" prize package! Today I wanted to share with you a couple of books links:

First, one of my fellow romance authors, Diane Craver, has a wonderful holiday story called A Christmas Gift (and don't you just love the cover??). Why not try out a new author and new story this holiday season?

Second, one of my publishers, The Wild Rose Press, is giving away free books right now - all you have to do is head on over to their website and see what's new today.

And speaking of which, do you have any favorite holiday stories? I do love Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," both the written and the multiple movie versions. Do you have a particular story that puts you in the holiday mood?

Monday, December 05, 2011

Monday Mentionables: Holiday Traditions

Happy Monday everyone! (Remember, every comment during the whole month of December earns you another chance to win my "Keeping Warm in Winter" gift package!)

Over the weekend, we celebrated an early Christmas with my side of the family in the town of Skaneatles, New York - which was extra-charming because every weekend in December, the village rewinds to Charles Dickens' times, and wandering Victorians carol and re-enact scenes from "A Christmas Carol" and generally remind you of a much simpler time. My favorite photo:

The woman's sign says "Where there's drink, there's always danger!" (Of course, I think to keep warm in Victorian England a lot of people drank a lot of liquor, but at least there were a few teetotalers like these women around to post warnings!)

Anyway, we had a great time, and now that our house is mostly decorated for the holidays, I'm feeling in the mood! We'll probably get our tree this-coming weekend, though it seems like a lot of people already have theirs up. What about you? If you have a Christmas tree, do you put it up at the same time every year? And when is that? Do you have a tradition for putting it up and taking it down?