NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!


Julie Moffet . Clare London . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Friday, December 30, 2011

Fun, film and fond farewell to 2011...

IT'S FRIDAY FUN! and the Not Your Usual Suspects authors share some jokes and cheeky fun with you all through the Holiday season :)

A BUMPER post today to mark the end of our blog month :).
Take your time to read and browse and - hopefully - smile!
Thanks so much for visiting and chatting this month, we've had a great time and hope you have too.

**Comment on any post this month & be entered to win FREE BOOKS!**
***Countdown today: THIRTEEN BOOKS under the Christmas tree, see below***



Here are some jokes for your New Year:

Resolutions I'm more likely to KEEP?
10. Read less.
9. Put on at least 30 pounds.
8. Stop exercising. Waste of time.
7. Watch more TV. I've been missing some good stuff.
6. Procrastinate more.
5. Drink. Drink some more.
4. Start being superstitious.
3. Spend more time at work.
2. Stop bringing lunch from home: I should eat out more.
and last but not least...
1. Take up a new habit: maybe drinking!

A New Year's Wish
On New Year's Eve, Marilyn stood up in the local pub and said that it was time to get ready. At the stroke of midnight, she wanted every husband to be standing next to the one person who made his life worth living.

Well, it was kind of embarrassing. As the clock struck - the bartender was almost crushed to death.

Lecture Tour with A Difference

On New Year's Eve, Daniel was in no shape to drive, so he sensibly left his van in the car park and walked home. As he was wobbling along, he was stopped by a policeman. 'What are you doing out here at four o'clock in the morning?' asked the police officer.

'I'm on my way to a lecture,' answered Roger.

'And who on earth, in their right mind, is going to give a lecture at this time on New Year's Eve?' enquired the constable sarcastically.

'My wife,' slurred Daniel grimly.

Politician in Action
A Senator in the USA was once asked about his attitude toward whisky.
'If you mean the demon drink that poisons the mind, pollutes the body, desecrates family life, and inflames sinners, then I'm against it. But if you mean the elixir of a New Year toast, the shield against winter chill, the taxable potion that puts needed funds into public coffers to comfort little crippled children, then I'm for it. This is my position, and I will not compromise.'

Ten Indications of a New Year Hangover
* You get it into your head that chirping birds are the Devil's pets.
* Trying to gain control of the situation, you continue to tell your room to "Stay still."
* Looking at yourself in the mirror induces the same reaction as drinking a glass of fresh paint.
* The bathroom reminds you of the fairground cry, "Step right up and give it whirl!"
* You'd rather chew tacks than be exposed to sunlight.
* You set aside an entire afternoon to spend some quality time with your toilet.
* You replace the traditional praying on your knees with the more feasible praying in a fetal position.
* Your catch phrase is, "Never again."
* You could purchase a new fridge on the proceeds from recycling the bottles around your bed.
* Your new response to "Good morning," is "Be quiet!"

New Year Quotes - inspirational or not?!

Never tell your resolution beforehand, or it's twice as onerous a duty. John Selden

Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits. Unknown

It wouldn't be New Year if I didn't have regrets. William Thomas

Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right. Oprah Winfrey

The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul. G.K. Chesterton

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man. Benjamin Franklin

I'm a little bit older, a little bit wiser, a little bit rounder, but still none the wiser. Robert Paul

New Year's Eve: Where auld acquaintance be forgot...Unless, of course, those tests come back positive. Jay Leno

New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. Mark Twain

Every new year is the direct descendant, isn't it, of a long line of proven criminals? Ogden Nash

Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused.

One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things. John Burroughs


                                     





                                    


Here's a YouTube clip made by the ship's personnel of HMS Ocean on learning they'd be home for Christmas 2011 (posted by Clare London, who married a sailor :)).

Back 9 Dec after 7½ months away - 225 days with 176 at sea.
400 people onboard (at peak during the amphibious exercises just under 900 onboard but approx 650 during Op Ellamy).
Steamed just over 40,000 miles.
Burned approx 6,000 tonnes of fuel.
Operated 16 different type of aircraft off the deck.

Realities of deploying:
15 babies born while the ship has been away (fathers did get home to see mum and baby)
5 people were sent home so they didn't miss their own weddings.
1 sailor whose son's third birthday is on homecoming. Family meeting ship

Ships company have missed:
Summer holidays.
Children's exam results
Children finishing school and starting university
The Padre missed his daughter's graduation.



Link - HMS Ocean

The marvellous a capella group Straight No Chaser and "The Twelve Days of Christmas", recommended by our visitor Frank:



Link - Straight No Chaser

And the inimitable Eartha Kitt who sadly died on Christmas Day 2008, here with her wonderfully cheeky Christmas song, Santa Baby.



Link - Eartha Kitt




Update on the BOOK GIVEAWAY:
Follow this on each post during Dec as the books mount up. Comment on any post to to be entered in the draw. Final prize giveaway on Jan 2!

THIRTEEN BOOKS ALREADY!






Blinded by Our Eyes by Clare London
Dead Silent - Shirley Wells
Sea of Suspicion by Toni Anderson
Under Fire by Rita Henuber
The Shoeless Kid - Marcelle Dube
No One to Trust - Julie Moffett
Icescapade - Josh Lanyon
Choice of backlist - Shelley Munro
Desperate Choices - Kathy Ivan
Protective Custody by Wynter Daniels
Her Dark Knight - Sharon Cullen
Only Fear - Anne Marie Becker
First Victim - JB Lynn

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Of course you haven't eaten too much already ...

IT'S WEDNESDAY WARMERS: The Not Your Usual Suspects authors share their seasonal recipes ... mmmmmm!

(and look out for some extra fun from Rita's recipe ... LOL)

**Comment on any post this month & be entered to win FREE BOOKS!**
***Countdown today: TWELVE BOOKS under the Christmas tree, see below***

                



ELISE WARNER shares DATE AND NUT LOAF

This recipe is from my mother-in-law Kate
1 Egg
1 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Butter
CREAM WELL AND ADD
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
10 oz. Pkg. of Dates cut up
1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
1 ¾ Cups of Flour
Slowly add 1 Cup of Boiling Water
Butter a loaf tin
Pour in batter and bake in a slow oven for 1 hour (350 degrees).

************************

BRANDY-SPIKED CHOCOLATE EGGNOG CAKE
from The Pescetarian and the Pig

Ingredients:
For Cake:
1 Cup Unsalted Butter
1 3/4 Cups White Sugar
3 Eggs
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 3/4 Cups Whole Milk
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
6 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

Eggnog Filling
4 Cups Regular Non-alcoholic Eggnog
1/2 Cup White Sugar
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg

Brandy Glaze
1/2 Cup Hot Water
2 Tbsp Brandy
1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar

Brandy Buttercream Frosting
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
4 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/4 Cup Brandy
1/2 Cup Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Sea Salt

Cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour three 9-inch cake rounds. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and cinnamon. Slowly pour flour mixture into butter mixture and blend, alternating with the whole milk. Add chocolate chips. Pour the cake batter equally between the 3 cake rounds. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven, pat the cakes down to make the tops flat. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes and remove from pans. Set aside.

Eggnog Custard and Brandy Glaze: In a saucepan over medium heat, mix together eggnog, sugar, butter, and whisk in flour. Continue to heat and stir constantly. When mixture comes to a boil, continue to stir until reduced, about 15 minutes. A good test is to take a teaspoon full of the mixture and put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes. If it thickens in the fridge, it is finished. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg. Continue to stir occasionally as custard cools.

Place one layer of cake onto a cake plate and spoon 1/2 custard mixture on top. Using a knife, spread the custard out leaving about a half in rim all around. Place in fridge for 10 minutes. Put 2nd layer on top and create the Brandy glaze by mixing the hot water, powdered sugar, and Brandy. Use 1/4-1/2 cup of the mixture and slowly pour onto the 2nd layer of cake allowing it to soak in. Repeat the custard step, place in fridge for 10 minutes, then place the final layer on top.

Brandy Buttercream Frosting: In a large bowl, blend butter until creamy. Slowly add powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, then Brandy. Very slowly add milk until it reaches the right consistency. You may not need all of the milk. To thicken, add more powdered sugar. Spread on cake with a cake knife or spatula. Reserve some to color if you want to decorate the cake. Place in fridge to set.

This cake is very rich, so small slices are best. But man, is it a good! Something great about it, if you’re lacking time like I was the last time I made it, is that you can make the layers of cake, wrap them individually in foil, and keep them in the freezer until you need them. Then you can make the custard the night before you’re going to serve the cake, create the layers and put it covered in the fridge. Then, you can make the buttercream the day of and just allow it to set up in the fridge for 15 minutes. I like it when I don’t have to make the cake all at once!


************************

RITA HENUBER shares PATRON CHRISTMAS COOKIES
As Rita says: I always make my favorite thing - Reservations :)

I love it when a man cooks ----------------------------> 

1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Patron
Sample the Patron to check quality.
Check the Patron again, to be sure it is of the highest quality,pour one level cup and drink.
Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.
Add one peastoon of sugar. Beat again.
At this point it's best to make sure the Patron is still ok, try another cup just in case.
Turn off the mixerer thingy.
Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cupof dried fruit.
Pick the frigging fruit off the floor.
Mix on the turner.
If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaters just pry it loose with a drewscriver.
Sample the Patron to check for tonsisticity.
Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Who geeves a sheet.
Check the Patron. Now shift the  lemon juice and strain your nuts.
Add one table.
Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find.
Greash the oven.
Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.
Don't forget to beat off the turner.
Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Patron and make sure to put the stove in  the wishdasher.

Cherry Mistmas !


**********************************************

Elise Warner
Scene Stealer

 
Rita Henuber

**********************************************

And just for fun and maybe inspiration, look at these adorable superhero cookies, courtesy of sugarswings blog:




Update on the BOOK GIVEAWAY:
Follow this on each post during Dec as the books mount up. Comment on any post to to be entered in the draw. Final prize giveaway on Jan 2!

TWELVE BOOKS SO FAR!






Blinded by Our Eyes by Clare London
Dead Silent - Shirley Wells
Sea of Suspicion by Toni Anderson
Under Fire by Rita Henuber
The Shoeless Kid - Marcelle Dube
No One to Trust - Julie Moffett
Icescapade - Josh Lanyon
Choice of backlist - Shelley Munro
Desperate Choices - Kathy Ivan
Protective Custody by Wynter Daniels
Her Dark Knight - Sharon Cullen
Only Fear - Anne Marie Becker

Monday, December 26, 2011

Decorations and Divas ...

IT'S MISTLETOE MONDAY -  The Not Your Usual Suspects authors share their personal Holiday season decorations and delights with you.

Tell us about your favourite decorations and traditions at this time of year - we'd love to hear them!

**Comment on any post this month & be entered to win FREE BOOKS!**
***Countdown today: ELEVEN BOOKS under the Christmas tree, see below***




We love to decorate! Here are some of the beautiful displays on view by our authors:

Toni says: These balls hung for years in my mom and dad's house--the house I grew up in. Then my parents decide to move, doing some serious downsizing . When I was there two summers ago I had admired the balls, but there was no way I could get them in my luggage. Imagine my surprise and joy when this massive cardboard box arrived just before Christmas last year, full of peanuts and bubblewrap and these three antique glass baubles. There are the size of ostrich eggs and I LOVE them :)

Toni Anderson
Atmospheric Tales of Love & Murder


Clare says: A dear friend in the US whom I haven't seen now for 5 years sent me a precious tree ornament that says it all: DIVA. It makes the family laugh - always the first to make sure I don't grow too big-headed! - though I know she meant it in the best possible way, and it is connected to the ID I used in my fanfiction days.


The other precious sight is of me and my sister as children ------>

One or other of us always seemed to be ill at Christmas! and wrapped up on the sofa (it's ME in this pic). What's special is that this picture was taken my Grandmother's front room - and that's now MY front room as well, because we bought the house off her when she went into a home and subsequently passed away. It gives me a wonderful sense of family continuity, and I'm glad to say my Sons are just as fond of the house as we all are - though they seem to be in better health at Christmas when there's chocolate to eat and Xbox games to play LOL.

Clare London
Writing … Man to Man



                              


Update on the BOOK GIVEAWAY:
Follow this on each post during Dec as the books mount up. Comment on any post to to be entered in the draw. Final prize giveaway on Jan 2!

ELEVEN BOOKS SO FAR!






Blinded by Our Eyes by Clare London
Dead Silent - Shirley Wells
Sea of Suspicion by Toni Anderson
Under Fire by Rita Henuber
The Shoeless Kid - Marcelle Dube
No One to Trust - Julie Moffett
Icescapade - Josh Lanyon
Choice of backlist - Shelley Munro
Desperate Choices - Kathy Ivan
Protective Custody by Wynter Daniels
Her Dark Knight - Sharon Cullen

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Get your Laughing Gear ready for Christmas :)

IT'S FRIDAY FUN! and the Not Your Usual Suspects authors share some jokes and cheeky fun with you all through the Holiday season :)

Feel free to share YOUR jokes in the comments - maybe we'll include some of them in later blog posts!

**Comment on any post this month & be entered to win FREE BOOKS!**
***Countdown today: TEN BOOKS under the Christmas tree, see below***




Why would you invite a mushroom to a Christmas party?
He's a fun guy to be with.

Why was Santa's little helper feeling depressed?
He had low elf-esteem.

Why should husbands make the early morning tea for their wives?
Because the Bible says He Brews

What's the longest word in the English language?
Smiles, because there is a "mile" between the first and the last letters.


*

The 10 WORST Christmas cracker jokes from a recent survey:
1. What is Santa's favourite pizza?
One that's deep pan, crisp and even.
2. On which side do chickens have the most feathers?
The outside.
3. What kind of paper likes music?
(W)rapping paper.
4. What's white and goes up?
A confused snowflake.
5. What do you call a woman who stands between two goal posts?
Annette.
6. Did you hear about the man who bought a paper shop?
It blew away.
7. What's furry and minty?
A polo bear.
8. How do snowmen get around?
They ride an icicle.
9. Who hides in the bakery at Christmas?
A mince spy.
10. What do you call a penguin in the Sahara desert?
Lost.

*

Some jokes from our readers:


Anne
Q) What disease can you catch from putting up too many Christmas decorations?
A) Tinsilitis

Vanessa
What do elves learn in school?
ANSWER: The Elf-abet

What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?
ANSWER: Frostbite

flchen1
What do Christmas and a cat in the desert have in common?
Both have Sandy Claws

If athletes get athletes foot, what do astronauts get?
Mistletoe!!

*

Knock Knock...

Who's there?
Mary
Mary who?
Mary Christmas

Who's there?
Wenceslas
Wenceslas who?
Wenceslas train home?

Who's there?
Snow
Snow who?
Snow business like show business

Who's there?
Wayne
Wayne who?
Wayne in a manger

Who's there?
Oakham
Oakham who?
Oakham all ye faithful

Who's there?
Holly
Holly who?
Holly-days are here again

                          






                         

Share some Christmas music - How many of them are your favourites as well? recommended by Clare London:




Link:  http://youtu.be/8sB7_zCneG8

A clip from Love Actually, one of Toni Anderson's favourite Christmas movies:



Follow the link: http://youtu.be/XVSmT4nNEkQ

(embedding disabled, I'm afraid)





                                    

                     

Update on the BOOK GIVEAWAY:
Follow this on each post during Dec as the books mount up. Comment on any post to to be entered in the draw. Final prize giveaway on Jan 2!

TEN BOOKS ALREADY!


                                 



Blinded by Our Eyes by Clare London
Dead Silent - Shirley Wells
Sea of Suspicion by Toni Anderson
Under Fire by Rita Henuber
The Shoeless Kid - Marcelle Dube
No One to Trust - Julie Moffett
Icescapade - Josh Lanyon
Choice of backlist - Shelley Munro
Desperate Choices - Kathy Ivan
Protective Custody - Wynter Daniels

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kindlegraph - perfect for a reader's Christmas!


Kindlegraph
lets authors send personalized inscriptions and signatures ("kindlegraphs") directly to the electronic reading devices of their fans.

Readers - contact your favourite authors and collect e-autographs!

Authors - reach your readers in an even more personalised way!

There's a very useful mini-video on how it works on the site, but here is a brief, additional run-down.

I'm an Author, what do I do? 
* Sign up for Twitter, if you haven't already. You DON'T have to use Twitter after that, although you may learn to love it :). Either way, you only need a Twitter ID at the moment for Kindlegraph.
* Go to Kindlegraph and use your Twitter ID to register you as an author. You'll be asked to add a contact email address. Now readers can find you there!
* Add your book(s). All you need is the Amazon ASIN reference, it's listed on the Amazon book page. Copy or type that in, then the book will appear on your Author page with a "Request Kindlegraph" button underneath for a reader to use.



* When a reader requests a Kindlegraph, you'll get an email letting you know. You sign into Kindlegraph, find "Requests" at the top right of your screen, follow that link to the request and write something to them. Kindlegraph offers an automated signature for your message, but you can add your own. Press "Send Kindlegraph" and off it goes!

I'm a reader, what do I do?
You don't need to own or buy the book in order to receive a Kindlegraph, nor do you need to own a Kindle. The Kindlegraph is not inserted into the e-book. It arrives as a separate document. This allows a reader to create a "collection" on their reading device and keep all of their Kindlegraphs together.
* Sign on to Twitter as above.
* Go to Kindlegraph, search for your favourite author(s), click on any of their books and send a request. You can add a personal message to them if you want.
* When they've completed a Kindlegraph back to you, you'll get an email notification. You can then access it on your Kindle, on your iBooks, or directly from the Kindlegraph site. Log in, look for "My Collection" at the top right of the screen, and your Kindlegraphs are accessible as PDFs, attached to a copy of the cover art.

Authors, want to check how it works?
Request a Kindlegraph for yourself, from your own book! Or buddy up with another author and request from each other. Then you can follow through the process and see what it looks like.


To request a personalized signature go to http://kindlegraph.com/books or click on the authors link:

Participating Carina Press Suspense and Not Your Usual Suspects authors:
Toni Anderson             http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/toniannanderson
Wynter Daniels             http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/WynterDaniels
Marcelle DubĂ©              http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/MarcelleDube
Rita Henuber                http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/ritahenuber
Kathy Ivan                   http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/KathyIvan
Clare London               http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/clare_london
Maureen Miller             http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/MaureenAMiller
Julie Moffett                 http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/JMoffettAuthor
Wendy Soliman            http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/wendyswriter
Carol Stephenson         http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/CStephensonFL
Shirley Wells                http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/Shirley_Wells
Julie Wachowski          http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/JulieWachowski
Josh Lanyon                 http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/JoshLanyon
Sharon Cullen               http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/SharonCullen
Shelley Munro              http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/ShelleyMunro
Angela Henry               http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/MystNoir
Melinda Leigh              http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/MelindaLeigh1

Come and support these great authors. It's a chance to say "HI", and enjoy a personalised souvenir for books you've enjoyed - or are looking forward to!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yes, you CAN be even sweeter!

IT'S WEDNESDAY WARMERS: The Not Your Usual Suspects authors share their seasonal recipes ... mmmmmm!

**Comment on any post this month & be entered to win FREE BOOKS!**
***Countdown today: NINE BOOKS under the Christmas tree, see below***




CLARE LONDON shares TIFFIN
Ingredients (Serves: 20)
110g (4 oz) butter
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
4 teaspoons cocoa
225g (8 oz) Digestive / sweetmeal biscuits, crushed
1 handful of raisins (optional)
225g (8 oz) cooking chocolate - half milk & half dark

Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 5 mins | Extra time: 1 hour, setting
In a saucepan, melt the butter, sugar, syrup and cocoa. Add the biscuits and raisins when melted. Stir to combine. Pour mixture into a swiss roll size tin and press down. Melt the cooking chocolate and pour over the mixture in the tin. Pop the tin into the fridge and leave for about 1 hour to set. To serve, cut into about 20 pieces.
Tip : Melt the chocolate by microwaving at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, till melted. But be careful not to scorch the chocolate! Otherwise, melt in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water.


MARCELLE DUBE shares CANDY CANE COOKIES
 
2 cups  Butter, softened
1 cup    Granulated sugar
½ tsp    Peppermint extract
4 cups  All-purpose flour
⅓ cup Crushed candy canes

In bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in peppermint extract. Stir in flour, ½ cup at a time, until combined. Shape dough into four logs, each about four inches long and two inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or for up to three days (Can be frozen in airtight container for up to three weeks.)

Using a serrated knife, cut logs into ¼–inch thick slices; place about two inches apart on baking sheets. Bake in center of 350˚F oven for 10 minutes; remove and sprinkle ¼-tsp crushed candy in center of each. Return to oven; bake for two minutes or until firm to the touch, bottoms are golden and candies are melted. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes; transfer to rack and let cool completely. (Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to three weeks.) Makes about 60 cookies, 100 calories each.


ANNE MARIE BECKER shares SNOWBALL COOKIES
 

1/2 lb. butter
2 1/3 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. walnuts or pecans, chopped
2 tsp. vanilla
approx. 2 c. powdered sugar and/or sprinkles

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Cream the butter with the sugar and vanilla.  Add the flour (gradually) and then the nuts.  Roll spoonfuls of dough in hands to form into balls (about 1-2 inches in diameter).  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake about 25-30 minutes, or until a pale golden brown.  While baked cookies are still hot, roll in powdered sugar (and sprinkles if desired).  Roll in powdered sugar again when cool.



**********************************************

Clare London
Writing … Man to Man

Marcelle Dube
Website

Anne Marie Becker
Thrilling Romantic Suspense
Website

**********************************************

Update on the BOOK GIVEAWAY:
Follow this on each post during Dec as the books mount up. Comment on any post to to be entered in the draw. Final prize giveaway on Jan 2!

NINE BOOKS TO DATE!





Blinded by Our Eyes by Clare London
Dead Silent - Shirley Wells
Sea of Suspicion by Toni Anderson
Under Fire by Rita Henuber
The Shoeless Kid - Marcelle Dube
No One to Trust - Julie Moffett
Icescapade - Josh Lanyon
Choice of backlist - Shelley Munro
Desperate Choices - Kathy Ivan

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Our favourite things

IT'S MISTLETOE MONDAY -  The Not Your Usual Suspects authors share their personal Holiday season decorations and delights with you.

Tell us about your favourite decorations and traditions at this time of year - we'd love to hear them!

**Comment on any post this month & be entered to win FREE BOOKS!**
***Countdown today: EIGHT BOOKS under the Christmas tree, see below***




We love to decorate! Here are some of the beautiful displays on view by our authors:


Rita says: I grew up in Florida. Christmas never included snow. We made our own wreaths from cedar boughs or magnolia leaves, decorated with holly and humongous pinecones. Garlands were made of the same material all of which we gathered ourselves. Table decorations could be palm fronds, magnolia leaves, holly and citrus fruit punctured with cloves. It was the job of the cousins to decorate the citrus with whole cloves. I associate the smell of cedar, drying citrus and cloves with Christmas. Our big family tradition was to celebrate Christmas Eve at my aunt’s century old home. Many times all the doors and windows were open because it was so warm. There were a few times we had a fire in the fireplace. But I remember the room as being so toasty we didn't spend much time in there. I’ve spent Christmas in many places from Hawaii to the Midwest and back to Florida. I loved being immersed in the local traditions wherever I was and decorated accordingly. Back in Florida now my decorations reflect where I live, the beach. My Santas are in floral print shirts and/or shorts. I love decorating the palm trees with lights. My wreaths have shells and holly. My tree has a giant starfish at the top, mermaids, flamingo and starfish lights while my neighbors, who are all from the North, still decorate the way they did up there. Don't tell anyone but, I think I like my decorations a lot more.

Rita Henuber


***********************

Carol says: 
Left: my family called this ornament "Big Red", and it's well over 50 years old. Every year I continue the tradition of picking a special spot on the tree to showcase 'Red'.
Middle: my office held a Xmas wreath competition, and I created a Shih Tzu wreath, including rawhide candy canes. I didn't win, but I love putting it out every year.
Right: My Shih Tzu Maddie as she's my most treasured Xmas decoration.

Carol Stephenson
Escape to Compelling, Heart-Racing Stories
Website; Facebook; Twitter; Not Your Usual Suspects

**********************


Julie says: This is a picture of my Christmas tree. The other is of a favorite ornament (a girl cheerleading that looks a bit like me!) that I got shortly after high school. I went to school in Okinawa, Japan and our team colors were red and white.

 

Julie Moffett




                              


Update on the BOOK GIVEAWAY:
Follow this on each post during Dec as the books mount up. Comment on any post to to be entered in the draw. Final prize giveaway on Jan 2!

EIGHT BOOKS TO DATE!






Blinded by Our Eyes by Clare London
Dead Silent - Shirley Wells
Sea of Suspicion by Toni Anderson
Under Fire by Rita Henuber
The Shoeless Kid - Marcelle Dube
No One to Trust - Julie Moffett
Icescapade - Josh Lanyon
Choice of backlist - Shelley Munro

Friday, December 16, 2011

Celebration and Chuckles

IT'S FRIDAY FUN! and the Not Your Usual Suspects authors share some jokes and cheeky fun with you all through the Holiday season :)

Feel free to share YOUR jokes in the comments - maybe we'll include some of them in later blog posts!

**Comment on any post this month & be entered to win FREE BOOKS!**
***Countdown today: SEVEN BOOKS under the Christmas tree, see below***



Why did the lobster cross the road?
To get to the other tide.

Question: If Santa Claus is crossed with a detective then what would you get?
Answer: Santa Clues!

What's for lunch on Christmas Day for snowmen?
Answer: Icebergers!

How do snowmen travel around?
Answer: By icicle!

How does one snowman greet another?
Answer: Ice to meet you.

What's the popular name of a snowman in summer?
Answer: A puddle.

What's a snowman's favorite Mexican food?
Answer: Brrrr- itos.

What kind of money do snowmen use at the North Pole?
Answer: Cold cash!

How do you get to know if the snowman's in your bed?
Answer: You wake up wet!

What does a snowman likes to eat on Christmas Eve?
Answer: Turkey with snow topping.

What kind of money does a snowman use?
Answer: Cold cash!

*

Some jokes from one of our readers, flchen1:

Where do Santa's reindeers like to stop for lunch?
Deery Queen

What do you call a bunch of grandmasters of chess bragging about their games in a hotel lobby?
Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.



                                     





                                    

Share a lovely clip of a Hallelujah Chorus by the people of Quinhagak in Alaska:



Link: http://youtu.be/LyviyF-N23A

And OHHHH this made me wince! From A Christmas Story - Tongue Stuck to Pole ...

Only available on Link: http://youtu.be/_RgCbcT8eEU





Update on the BOOK GIVEAWAY:
Follow this on each post during Dec as the books mount up. Comment on any post to to be entered in the draw. Final prize giveaway on Jan 2!

SEVEN BOOKS TO DATE!






Blinded by Our Eyes by Clare London
Dead Silent - Shirley Wells
Sea of Suspicion by Toni Anderson
Under Fire by Rita Henuber
The Shoeless Kid - Marcelle Dube
No One to Trust - Julie Moffett
Icescapade - Josh Lanyon

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