We have a #MakeBelieve Winner!!!


perf5.250x8.000.inddAs promised, someone today wins an e-book of J. Taylor Publishing’s latest anthology, Make Believe!.  And that lucky winner is…

(drum roll please)

Shannon Bereza

Congratulations, Shannon!  Check your in box and your spam for your winning e-mail  notification from kford2007(at)gmail(dot)com.

Thank you, one and all, for playing along.  And remember, as you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction.

And the winner is?


Today, some lucky person who commented on  my blog between December 1 and December 29 is going to win an e-book of the Make Believe anthology.  I wonder who it could be.  Shall we find out?  May I have a drum roll please?

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And the lucky winner is:

free glitter text and family website at FamilyLobby.com

Congratulations, Kourtney!  Please contact me at kford2007(at)gmail(dot)com  to provide me with the format you prefer.

I also have more bookmarks and digital signed e-book covers of the Make Believe anthology to giveaway so tune in tomorrow to discover if your name will be added to the winner’s list!

I want to thank all you for tagging along with me in 2012 and I look forward to more conversations in 2013!  

Happy Christmas Eve


Hi everyone.  Just wanted to jump in and tell everyone Happy Christmas Eve.  Enjoy time with family and friends.  If you go to church, may your candlelight service be wonderful and beautiful and full of the spirit of God.  

Enjoy your Christmas.  I hope it is a blessed one for you.

Today, the Make Believe authors are featured on Burning Impossibly Bright .  There is also a giveaway going on over there so pop on over for your chance to win a copy of the anthology.

Bless all of you and have a wonderful Christmas.

Related articles

And the masses said, “Let there be cheesecake, a glass of bubbly, and a little Make Believe”


Today, one of my favorite upcoming authors, Ruth Ellen Parlour, offers up a review of the MAKE BELIEVE anthology and you can find it here.  Thank you, Ruth Ellen, for such a lovely review.  There is truly a fantasy story for everyone, whether high fantasy, dystopian or urban.  Just to let you know, fellow antho buddy, Terri Rochenski, is appearing on J. C. Martin’s blog today talking about Make Believe and heading up a giveaway of the book.  Make sure you pop over and read all about Terri and then sign up for your chance to win this great anthology.

In addition, Susan at mywithershins is interviewing Christa, Lynda R. Young’s main character from Birthright.  Make sure you head over to find out what kind of guy makes Christa’s motor purr.

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I received two more nominations for 2012 Blog of the Year from mywithershins and wantoncreation, bringing my collected total of stars to 3.  The goal is to get six.  Thank you, fellow bloggers and friends, for your faith in me.  It means more than you know.

Now onto the really good stuff.  Yesterday, I was over on Rebecca Hart‘s blog and told her audience I would post my recipe for Champagne and Macadamia Nut Cheesecake today.  I haven’t made this glorious morsel this year, but I can promise you, the recipe is out-of-this-world fantastic.  It is not for the faint of heart.  It takes a bit of time, about 9 hours from start to finish (yes, prep time and cooling takes time), but it is well worth every hour of love you put into it. And so, without further ado:

Champagne and Macadamia Nut Cheesecake

Ingredients
  • 1 cup Champagne or other sparkling wine
  • 2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 14 whole crackers)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted macadamia nuts
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 egg yolks
For topping:
  • 20 fresh strawberries, hulled
  • ⅓ cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped toasted macadamia nuts
  • 1 teaspoon shortening, divided
  • ⅓ cup white baking chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Bring Champagne or sparkling wine to a boil in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook until liquid is reduced to ¼ cup, approximately 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine cracker crumbs, macadamia nuts, ½ cup sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth. Add condensed milk, cornstarch and Champagne. Add eggs and egg yolks. Beat on low until combined. Pour mixture over crumbs.
  5. Wrap the outside of the springform pan in aluminum foil. Place pan on a baking sheet with sides or in a roasting pan. Place the pan on the center rack of the oven. Fill the outer pan with about ½-inch of hot water. Close the oven and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until and instant read thermometer inserted near the center of the cheesecake reads 165 degrees.
  6. Turn off the oven, but do not remove the cheese cake. Crack the oven door and allow the cheese cake to cool in the warm oven for 1 hour. Afterwards, remove the cheesecake, carefully run a knife account the edge of the pan, cover, and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. Remove sides of springform pan. Sprinkle the remaining macadamia nuts over the top of the cheesecake.  Slice strawberries and arrange them over top of the nuts.
  8. In a microwave or double boiler, melt chocolate chips and ½ teaspoon shortening. Stir until smooth then drizzle over strawberries. Repeat melting and drizzling with milk chocolate chips and remaining shortening.

As you only need one cup of champagne for the recipe, I suggest you not let the rest of the bubbly go to waste.  Pull up a chair, pour a glass of champagne and kick back with a slice of decadent cheesecake and a copy of Make Believe.  Relax.  Unwind, and completely enjoy.

Quote of the day:

“Believe with all of your heart that you will do what you were made to do.” ~ Orison Swett Marden

Dealing with negative reviews


Today I’m over at The View Outside talking to Vikki and her followers about dealing with negative reviews.  I would really appreciate it if you would pop over, say hi, and sit for a while.

If you have time, I’d love it if you would leave a comment here about how you deal with negative reviews/critiques.  Have you had a bad review of anything you had published?  Maybe that you sang, or drew, or sculpted?  How did you handle it?  Are you someone who craves approval from others or are you confident in yourself?  I would love to hear from you.

Quote of the day:

“Dreams are the touchstones of our character.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

It’s catch up day


Wow, I have so much to catch up on today.  Let’s get started with the important stuff first.

I have to announce a few winners of some MAKE BELIEVE goodies.  Every day I award a lucky commentor on my blog with either a digital signed cover of the Make Believe anthology or a signed bookmark.  The winners for the past few days are:

  • December 6:  Missus Tribble – digital signed cover of Make Believe
  • Dec. 7:  Jo – signed bookmark
  • Dec. 8:  Emaginete – signed bookmark
  • Dec. 9:  Tonja Drecker – digital signed cover of Make Believe.

Congratulations winners!!!  Please send me an email at kford2007(at)gmail(dot)com with your e-mail address (digital covers) or physical address (bookmarks).

Next big and great thing…I’m hanging out over on Julie Reece‘s blog today as part of the MAKE BELIEVE blog tour.  For those of you who don’t know, Julie wrote the amazing and fantastic YA novel, CRUX.  It’s getting killer reviews and I will promote this book to the moon and back.  If you like Cassandra Clare novels, you’re going to love this one. Why it’s not on the NY Times Best-seller list is beyond me.

I also participated in Sip-Swap this year sponsored by Jessica Love and Kelsey Macke.  It was a great way to meet new authors.  Everyone who participated sent their ‘sip swap’ partner a coffee mug.  That way, every day when you get up and sit in your writing space, you have a mug to remind you of  your new writer friend.   Mine came from the lovely Amanda Heger!  Look how pretty. And she even included chocolates!!!  I love her!!!

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Thank you so  much, Amanda!!

Last but not least, I’m starting something new, the Quote of the Day.  Enjoy.

Monday’s quote:

A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.  ~ William Shedd

Author Terri Rochenski wants to be what kind of mythical creature?


I am so lucky.  Today I have the fantabulously gorgeous bubbly author and MAKE BELIEVE antho buddy, Terri Rochenski, visiting the Dreamweaver’s Cottage!  I’m so excited.  Come on everyone. Let’s give Terri a warm welcome.

*Standing Ovation*

Wow, look at that Terri. They love you already.  Thank you so much for dropping by the Cottage today.  I know you are on a whirlwind tour, hopping all over the blogosphere promoting not only MAKE BELIEVE but another little ditty as well.  We’ll get into that in a few minutes, but for now, let’s focus on MAKE BELIEVE.  Your story, SACRIFICIAL OATH, is the first one to appear in the anthology. Can you tell us in one sentence why everyone should read your story?

You. Will. Be. Moved.  At least I hope so. hehehe

Hey, I know I was.  It was so touching and I thought you had an absolutely perfect ending.  I couldn’t help but wonder while I was reading it though, how you managed to write such a great story with a couple of little ones around.  Do you just sit down and write with all the noise going on around you, or do you have to go somewhere where you can have a few moments of peace and quiet?

Peace and quiet? What’s that?!?!?!? Seeing as how I have 2 little girls, I don’t have a choice! It’s write while they’re ‘quiet’ (aka leaving me alone for 5 minute spans) or I give up my hobby till they’re both in school. Not happening.

I hear that.  It’s really difficult to balance being a parent/spouse/worker and writer.  Anyone who can juggle all of that deserves a giant medal and some serious kudo points.

What sort of tools do you use to write and are there things you MUST have around you when you write?

I actually write the old fashioned way first – pen & paper. So a clipboard is a must. My stories tend to flow a bit better for me since I can’t backspace, editing while trying to write. Sometimes there’s a 2-yr-old hanging on one leg, and a 3-yr-old whining on the couch beside me. Yup. It’s fun being me.

And you do it all with such a beautiful smile on your face.  I don’t know how you do it.  You have two short stories appearing simultaneously in December – SACRIFICIAL OATH in J. Taylor Publishing’s MAKE BELIEVE anthology, and BEGINNING OF FOREVER in Still Moments Publishing, CHRISTMAS MAGIC.  Now that you are a published author, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?

There’s lots & lots, but the best (and advice I STILL don’t follow although I know it works) is to write every day. Even if it’s a scene or single line. Keep it fresh & moving along.

Excellent advice.  Okay, are you ready for some lightning round questions?  You have won a million dollars.  What’s the first thing you do with the money.

Pay off both houses (finish the WiP house we live in now) THEN buy all my Pen sisters round trip tickets to the lake house!!! Hehehehe Wouldn’t that be lovely? Seriously.

I would so love that.  Party at the lake house, girlfriends!  When you were 12 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer.  An astronaut. A surgical nurse.  Yes, all three at once.

There’s definitely a plot line in there somewhere.  What is your favorite quote?

There’s an English word for a beginning writer who never gives up. Published.  – J. Konrath

Ohh, I LIKE that.  *jotting it down in my little notebook*  Reece’s Pieces or M&M’s?

Reeces. YUMMIES! Not a huge chocolate fan.

You’re not a chocolate fan???  Stop the presses, boys.  A woman that’s not a chocoholic!  That ranks right up there with women who don’t like shoes!  Oh wait, that would be me.  Okay, so we’ll be weird together.  I knew there was a secret reason I liked you so  much.  What is your favorite television show of all time?

That’s a toughie. Since I’ve been singing on stage since I was 5, I have to say American Idol. BUT, a few others stand out for me.

Lie to me – taken off the air WAY TOO SOON IMO. LOVED that series. Like big time.

Little House on the Prairie – my childhood love. Always wanted to be Laura.

Dukes of Hazard – another childhood love. Wonder why?  Hehehehe

Don’t watch much TV nowadays. I can do without all the reality crap stations consider good watching.

I loved Little House on the Prairie.  Michael Landon was so cute and it was such a good, wholesome, feel-good show.  Okay, I’ve got a toughie for you.  If you could be any mythical creature, what would you be?

I’ve never thought of this before. Great question! Probably a pixie like Tinker Bell. Always wanted to fly. Always wanted to be a ‘fly on the wall’ & listen in where perhaps I shouldn’t be. hehehehehe

I can so see you being a little fairy, flitting around, sprinkling pixie dust on everyone.  Never pictured you as an eavesdropping fairy but I do have to admit, listening in on conversations makes for great plots.

Ok, dahling, I see you have a little one tugging on you and begging you for waffles so I’ll let you get back to your precious family.  Thank you so much for stopping by and taking time to talk to me.  You are always welcome at the Cottage so I hope you stop by again soon.  Also, good luck with all your endeavors and please keep me posted on other publishing deals you want the world to know about.

For the rest of you, please take some time to read an excerpt of SACRIFICIAL OATH here, and if so inclined, pop over to any of the following links and purchase your very own copy of MAKE BELIEVE.

amazon.comBarnes&NobleAReBooks on Boarddiesel bookseBookMall, eBookPiegohastings.com

You can also drop in on the other MAKE BELIEVE author sites and  enter any number of giveaways going on.

J.A. Belfield

Kelly Said

Lynda R. Young

Jennifer M. Eaton

Last but not least, don’t forget to drop by Terri’s website/blog, and say hi, then head over to Twitter and Facebook to let her know you’re stalking her.  Tell her I sent you.  🙂

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Blog Tour eff-ups. Yep, I made one, but it’s all good


Okay, cut me some slack.  It’s my first blog tour.  🙂

For those of you who haven’t tried to put a blog tour together, let me tell you it’s tons of fun, incredibly hectic and completely EASY to make mistakes, especially if you’re not paying attention.  Sad thing was, I thought I had it all together.  My Google Calendar doesn’t have a blank spot on it from Dec. 1 – Jan. 3.  Apparently, however, I made a boo boo and didn’t mark it on my calendar.  I double-booked appearances today.  You can find me blabbing away on the blogs of two of my anthology mates:

Kelly Said and Terri Rochenski  *bangs head on desk*

Oh well.  They are both such sweethearts and made me feel better by not calling me names AND YOU guys are lucky because you get to blog hop with me all day.  Isn’t that fun?  Nod and say “Sure it is.”

Sorry girls.  I’m glad it all worked out though.   I couldn’t ask for better antho buddies.

Where is your ‘writing zone’ and what does it look like?


Let’s get to the good stuff first.

I have two winners to announce in the Make Believe blog tour giveaway. The following two lucky people have won Make Believe bookmarks signed by little ole me:

M.L. Swift (winner for commenting on my blog on December 4) and
Ruth Ellen Parlour (for commenting on my blog on December 5)

Congratulations!!!Please send me an email at kford2007(at)gmail(dot)com with your physical address so I can send your prize to you.

Now, what’s on the agenda today? Oh yes, I’m over at Kelly Said‘s website chit-chatting it up with her about my writing zone – where it is and what I have in it. I would love it if you check it out and then either leave a comment on Kelly’s site or come back here and tell us where your ‘writer zone’ is and what sort of tidbit(s) one would find in that zone. Do you change up your zone? Are others allowed in your zone? Are you the sort of person that tells everyone to leave you alone while you’re in “the zone”? I would love to hear…rather read…all about it.

Interview with the lovely author, Kelly Said


Hey, today is another Make Believe Blog Tour day and are you in for a treat.  I have the wonderfully talented Kelly Said here today to woo you with her words of wisdom.  Kelly’s short story, PETRIFIED, appears in the anthology and you can read an excerpt of this fantastical tale here.

Make Believe is not Kelly’s first anthology.  Her short story, PEARL OF PAU’MAA, also appeared in J. Taylor Publishing’s Tidal Whispers anthology, which you have to get because the stories are amazing!

Hey, Kelly!  Welcome to my blog, fellow anthology buddy!

Hi Jenny! Thank you for welcoming me, I’m excited to hang out with you for a bit 🙂

Me, too!  I love this mutual admiration society here.  🙂  So, Kelly, I always like to ask this question first. Can you tell us in one sentence why we should read your short story?

I’d like to welcome readers to a world of magic and mystery, where healers travel through time and space by whispering to the wind, where snow falls in summer, and where one woman’s love for a man threatens to destroy the world around them.

It is really, really a cool story, no pun intended, and the concept is new to me.  I can actually say I’ve never read anything quite like it. Do you have any other short stories or novels in the works?  Goals for future projects?

I prepared for National Novel Writing Month in November, working out the plot points for an idea with the hope that when November 1st hit I could let my fingers fly and get through a first draft quicker than I did last year – which took me every spare minute of every single day, hehe! Each year I’ve tried a new approach and it’s been fun discovering new methods for time management and personal writing goals. 🙂

What do you always have around you when you write?

I always have my dictionary (I like flipping through the pages to find a word vs scrolling back and forth through screens on a computer), my cup of caffeine and my dog – he likes to lean on me while he dreams his puppy dog dreams of chasing all the things, hehe!

Ahh, gotta love the pups and kitties that share our writing space.  As a published author and a NaNoWriMo survivor, do you have any advice you would like to give to aspiring authors?

Read. Read all the books, hehe! These are your textbooks. Just like in art where students study the masters of drawing, painting, or sculpture, read the authors in the genre you write, study what it is that engages you or what makes you skip entire sections in boredom. Then, write. Every day. No matter your word count, just get your ideas down on paper, join a critique group or find a crit partner and remember that a good CG or CP isn’t looking to hurt your feelings — their comments or constructive criticisms are merely opinions meant to help make the story better 🙂 

Excellent advice!  Stephen King is a huge proponent of authors reading anything and everything in order to hone their craft.  I think he said something along the lines of “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.”  I also have to agree with you on the whole beta reader/critique group thing.  It may be scary putting your work out there to others, but it’s very, very important and another part of the learning curve.

Okay, are you ready for some tough questions now?  What is your favorite quote?

Never give up, never surrender! hehehe, it makes me giggle each time I see it. That’s a line from the movie Galaxy Quest, a movie that was totally set up for a stellar sequel but has YET to happen. *taps foot impatiently* Anyways, I have a silly sense of humor and lines like that or “Nobody makes me bleed my own blood” from Dodgeball keep me snickering long after I’ve heard ’em.

Pet peeves?

Creased spines on my books. hehehe! I know, probably silly of me! I mean, I guess I could see a creased spine as a sign of a thoroughly enjoyed book. But for some reason, I’m a careful reader, keeping my spines crease free and enjoying the sight of “like new” books on my shelves. 🙂

Oh my, you would have issue with some of my books.  They’ve been read so much their spines are falling apart and pages are falling out.

Reece’s Pieces or M&M’s?

nom nom nom, mmm, both, please! and preferably sprinkled over popcorn, teehee! 🙂

Really?  Popcorn?  I’ll have to try that.  A little salty with the sweet.

What is your favorite television show of all time?

Bewitched! omgosh, back in the day as a little girl I would watch that show with my Great Aunt and pretend I was Tabitha Stephens, wiggling my fingers and pressing on my nose, trying to will my toys to float to the toy box, hehehe! Probably didn’t work because I was too young to know about the rules about magic and personal gain and all ;D

I loved Bewitched, too.  Never could wiggle my nose like Samantha, but I can assure you, it wasn’t from a lack of trying.  All I learned was how to flare my nostrils and move my nose up and down.

Well, Kelly, here comes the time we say good-bye and part.  Thank you so much for hanging out with me today and sharing a bit of yourself with my readers.  For all of you out there, you can connect with Kelly on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest

Thank you for having me on your blog, Jenny! I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ll write next! 🙂

Aww, you’re sweet.  Everyone, give Kelly a round of applause and then head over to any one of the links below to get your own copy of Kelly’s story and Make Believe, just in time for Christmas.  Heck, give a copy to your best friends, too.  They’ll thank you a lot.