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Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

What is Thanksgiving to you? Thanksgiving is a day I reflect on things I am thankful for. And there are many! God, family, friends, health, shelter, the ability to pursue my dreams and the people who help make that happen (like you!), and the list is endless.

But, with everything I am thankful for, the week of Thanksgiving often weighs heavily on my heart. My little brother (45) and Mom both have birthdays this month. The 22nd and 25th, respectfully. So this has always been a wonderful week! However, February 2016 I lost Mom and my brother, a week apart. I try hard to focus on the memories and good times. I know that’s what both of them would want. And my older brother is still with me, so I am very thankful for that!

 

Family and Friends are in the top of my thankful list. Without them, what is life all about? It’s nice to get together and reminisce as well as make new memories. Having our kids over when hubby and I cook a meal – LOVE IT! Especially now that Grandkids are involved! Flying out to CA to visit my son – OH YES!!! We have similar interests as we are both artsy / crafty people. He has formed a band and not only plays guitar, but also writes lyrics and composes music. Outings with my daughter – THE BEST!! No matter where we go, or what we do, it’s always fun. And I’m trying to keep her as stress-free as possible until college graduation gets here! What are some fond memories you have?

Okay – Now Let’s Talk Food! What is your Thanksgiving meal? Ours is not always the same. Most of the time it is fairly traditional for us – ham, turkey, dressings, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, and many desserts, especially pecan and pumpkin pies. This year, we are mixing it up a little. Sticking with ham, because that’s my favorite! Our other “meat” dish is Plantation Supper (recipe at the end of post). And sides of course – green bean casserole, smothered cabbage, and rice dressing. Desserts – well, my daughter is making a Cookie Dough Trifle. http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a50270/cookie-dough-trifle-recipe/ With all of that, I think we will be satisfied at the end of the day!

I’m sharing with you the recipe for Plantation Supper. It’s an easy dish to make, can be customized to your taste, and freezes well if you need to make it ahead of time. (Also makes a good 4-H competition dish.)

Please share what you are thankful for, fond memories, or holiday recipes.

Plantation Supper

1 ½ lb. ground beef

½ c. chopped onion

½ c. chopped bell pepper

½ c. milk

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

8 oz. sour cream (or cream cheese)

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

Salt, pepper, or your favorite seasoning

1 pkg. egg noodles

16 oz. shredded cheese (8 oz. works, but I love cheese!)

Brown meat, add onion, bell pepper, and seasonings and cook until tender. Drain excess fat. Stir in milk, soups, sour cream, and corn until well blended. Prepare noodles according to package directions. Combine meat mixture and noodles in pan. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Serve with warm rolls.

 

Happy Thanksgiving,

Taylor

What writer’s need

This week I’m throwing out several things writer’s need to get going and stay full of momentum. By no means is this list complete. As we are constantly learning and growing, new needs pop up every day. There is just so much to explore on the journey to becoming a writer!

Take these for what they are – merely my suggestions on some of the things needed.

Writers’ Needs – What you need

  • Education. Education. Learn all you can about the author and publishing worlds.
  • Interaction with other authors. Social media is a great place!
  • Fan base. It’s never too early to start building yours. (Email list is a great place to start.)
  • Especially in the form of time management.
  • Perseverance to push through the many obstacles you will encounter.
  • Money is needed to make money. Don’t let that discourage you.

And what you really need (to keep your journey lighthearted)

  • Caffeine to get you through those sleepless times.
  • Chocolate because you need a little sweetness.
  • Wine to unwind. And it helps in writing some great scenes!

Take each of these independently, then put them together as a whole. If you have questions on your journey, I would love to hear from you. Or if you just want to chat. Email me: taylor@tayloranne.net

Like my Facebook page for more writing tips, book info, and fun stuff!! Taylor Anne Facebook.

Til next time,

Taylor

 

The Trail to Love by Tina Susedik

Hello Tina and welcome! I’m happy to host you and your book, The Trail to Love. It looks and sounds amazing! I cannot wait to dive into it.

The legend of the soul mate tree:

I am old, I am ancient, my purpose is clear

To give those who are needy a treasure so dear.

They who come to my roots, touch my bark, stroke my leaves

Find the soul of their lives if they but believe.

When I call and you listen, your prize will be great

If your heart remains open and you don’t hesitate.

Do you yearn? Be you lonely? Is your time yet at hand?

Reach for me and I’ll give to you. I’m yours to command.

For your trust, for your faith, keep my secrets untold

And I’ll gift you forever, to have and to hold.

An ancient legend spanning eras, continents, and worlds. To some, it’s nothing more than a dream. To others, a pretty fairy tale handed down through the generations.

For those in critical need of their own happy ending, a gift.

Jack Billabard, mourning the loss of his wife and baby in childbirth, vows to never to love again. After their funeral at Fort Laramie, he rides into the Wyoming hills beyond the ranch he built for his wife. Through his grieving tears, an ancient tree appears, giving him the hope he doesn’t believe is possible. For the next four years, he acts as a guide on the Oregon Trail, taking families to a new life while his looms lonely and stagnant.

The night before her abusive husband’s death, an ancient tree appears in Sarah Nickelson’s yard as she agonizes over how to survive her marriage. The tree gives her hope she can’t help but reject. After all, a tree doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. After her husband ‘s death, and with no options as a widow in Independence, Missouri, Sarah decides to travel to Oregon City as a Mail Order Bride.

During their trek west on the Oregon Trail, Jack and Sarah encounter one another, each afraid of being hurt again. Can they survive dogs and puppies, wind and rainstorms, Indians and unfavorable fellow passengers, while their love blossoms? Will the tree fulfill its promise?

Book Trailer for The Soul Mate Tree: https://youtu.be/VjxyyD3TVoA

Trailer for THE TRAIL TO LOVE:  https://youtu.be/WUm0whWw1Z0

Short Excerpt:

 

Cold seeped into his bones. Something warm blew across his face and ears. Jack swatted at his ears and peeled one gritty eye open.

“Papaya!” He pushed at the horse’s nose. “Go away.” Papaya continued prodding at him. “Damn horse.” He rubbed his cold hands together.

In the dim light, he wasn’t sure if it was morning or evening. The previous day’s events came back to him. He sat up and wiped a hand over his stubbly chin. Tears burned behind his eyes.

Papaya tugged at his sleeve until the only thing he could do was stand. “Dammit, horse, leave me alone.” He pushed the horse to the side. The sun rising behind the mountains from the east cast a shadow on a tree Jack swore hadn’t been there the night before.

Standing at least twenty feet high, the trunk was twisted and gnarled like the arthritic hands of his grandfather. Several roots rose from the ground making it look as if it would walk away. Some of its massive branches drooped close to the ground, like arms dragging across the grass.

As the sky lightened, he realized that, unlike the rough bark of the pines at this altitude, the tree’s light brown bark was smooth. Was it the lighting, or did some of the bark actually seem golden while in other places it was rough and dark brown? The surrounding trees paled in comparison.

Jack stepped closer. Pale green, oval leaves reminded him of an elm tree, only much smaller. When the wind blew, the undersides shimmered with a silvery glow.

Had he been so distraught yesterday he’d missed the massive structure? The tree seemed to beckon, calling him to its embrace. He dipped beneath its branches.

His hand shook as he reached out to touch the trunk. The instant he came in contact, his icy fingers warmed. Then his arm. He tried to pull away, but he couldn’t move.

Warmth spread through his body then settled in his aching heart. Was he hallucinating or was the tree humming? Had the tree actually whispered, “Love will come.”

A calmness settled over him and the darkness of the past few days diminished.

Between the hanging branches a person, surrounded by a foggy haze, appeared. Actually, two people. One tall, the other waist high, with a smaller version of Jack’s hat on its head. Suspenders held up too-short pants over the little one’s plaid shirt. A woman and a boy? They held hands, swinging them back and forth as if they hadn’t a care in the world. The woman’s bonnet hung down her back, loose hair flowing to her waist.

Was the tree showing him what Lily and his child would have been like if they’d lived? His heartbeat pounded in his ears, and he swore his heart cracked. As quickly as the despair washed over him, the tree hummed again and his heart warmed and peace settled through him.

Then the woman looked over her shoulder. This wasn’t Lily. The sun struck the vision. Instead of his wife’s dark hair, this woman’s shimmered like gold. Even from this distance, her sparkling blue eyes pierced through him.

Her smile beckoned him, and when she crooked her finger, all he could do was follow. The closer he came, the farther away they moved, until their bodies faded and nothing stood before him except the large boulder he’d slept against.

The tree. What if he touched the tree again? He pivoted on his foot, ready to run back and feel the twisted branches. What the hell? Maybe he’d lost his bearings while chasing the woman and boy. He spun in each direction. Nothing. The tree was gone. Poof. Was he losing his mind and dreaming the whole incident?

Something light brown on the ground caught his eye. Jack picked it up, his fingers warming at its touch. Bark from the disappearing tree? Had it all been real after all? If so, then where had the woman and boy gone?

Jack retraced the steps he’d taken to follow them. Only his own impressions in the dirt showed. He was going crazy. That was it. Crazy from grief. Maybe what he needed was to get away from the land and the memories it held.

Papaya pushed against Jack’s back, nearly knocking him to the ground.

“What do you think, old boy?” He ran his hand over the horse’s soft nose and recalled Samuel Hunt’s offer of a job from before he’d married Lily. “Should I see if Sam still needs someone to help take those crazy emigrants to Oregon?”

As if he understood what Jack was saying, Papaya nodded his large head.

“Well, since I’m already crazy, I might as well listen to you.”

After a quick breakfast of cold biscuits and hard tack, he swung onto Papaya’s back and headed back down the mountain. Back to his empty home and future.

ABOUT TINA SUSEDIK:

Tina Susedik is a multi-published author with books in both fiction and non-fiction, including history, children’s, and military books. Her favorite is writing romance stories where her characters live happily ever after. She lives in Northwestern Wisconsin and is a member of Wisconsin Romance Writers of America.

This is her sixth book with Soul Mate Publishing.

 

LINKS FOR TINA SUSEDIK:

Website: http://tinasusedik.wordpress.com./

Twitter: @tinasusedik

Facebook: Tina Susedik, Author

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1754353.Tina_Susedik

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tinasusedik/ 

Missing Pieces by Stephany Tullis

Help me welcome and congratulate Stephany Tullis on her new Romantic Suspense release, Missing Pieces – A Chandler County novel. This one will move you to your core.

The partnership she’s petrified to refuse and afraid to accept.

As Chandlerville prepares for a series of local celebrations in honor of the annual Kentucky Derby in nearby Louisville, Kentucky, chaos ensues threatening to cancel the town’s festivities.

Rachel Blakely’s (editor of the Chandler County Chronicles), partnership with ex-NYC socialite, AJ Manning crumbles in the midst of their planning for the town’s Derby-related activities.  AJ is the mayor’s wife and Rachel discovers that  Fitzgerald Manning, the mayor’s father, has close ties to an unidentified conglomerate of farm investors who may be coercing local farmers to sell their land.

Jairo Aquino, aka Blue, a handsomely, mysterious newcomer is trusted by no one and appears to have an investment scheme of his own. Arriving in Chandler County from Miami, Florida, Aquino has decided to put Chandler County on the map. “His plan was air tight. He just had to find a few missing pieces.”

Rachel and Blue continue to cross paths until they reach a point of no return where they accept they can no longer ignore the sizzle of their interactions and their constricted heart strings that cause them to question the true nature of their relationship.

Can she trust him? Can he trust her? Can they together find the missing pieces?

BUY HERE ON AMAZON

~~Excerpt~~

CHAPTER 11

“Every decision you’ve made has brought you to where you are today… exactly where you are meant to be.” ~Unknown~

She woke to the silent sounds of nothingness but didn’t rise, searching instead for solace in the comfort of her bed. Refusing to open her eyes, she wiggled and scooted her body in the cocoon-like wrapping of her down-filled comforter. Her body luxuriated in and sought the protective assurance that her blankie offered. Assurance that she needed. Assurance that she was increasingly fearful without. Assurance that she could go forward. Assurance that her world wouldn’t disintegrate. Again.

In a further effort to fight the start of another day that she had no reason to believe would be better than yesterday, she shielded her eyes with her arm. Her thoughts rambled, twisted, and turned. Meditative breathing, prayerful enjoinders, and burying her head under her pillow failed. She wondered why experts raised false hope by guaranteeing results claiming research-based success stories. Meditation was the answer. Not! Prayer always worked. Not! Protect yourself! How? Her morning save thyself rituals failed. Again.

She succumbed to her despair, accepted the inevitable start of another day, and opened her eyes. The early morning sun greeted her through her sunflower yellow bedroom blinds. She lay still searching for meaning in the glittering rays.

After about five minutes, the rays shouted.

Get up off your butt! Face the music. What is the song of the day? Cry me a river?

Tears formed.

She fumbled for the pack of ciggies in her side table and rolled out of bed. What the heck? Why bother?

She tiptoed to the window and peeked through the blinds as though embarrassed that the universe heard her indignant retort.

She peered down at the town’s early morning greeting to the start of a Chandlerville, Kentucky morning. Drivers travelled at a higher than normal speed as they hurried to their jobs. Shop owners headed to their stores, preparing for their early morning customers. The vinyl blinds protected her much like her blankie and her one-bedroom studio apartment conveniently located above the CCC office, her second home but first love.

She adored everything about Chandlerville. Its Southern charm, the food, the rolling grassy landscape, the artistry… the friends she had made. Most importantly, she loved her job. She’d heard that the town was looking for someone to run the local newspaper at a large crafts festival in Berea, Kentucky a few years ago. She was writing an article on the annual Berea Crafts Festival for a travel magazine and ran into a colleague, a professor who taught at Berea College.

The rest was history. She lied to herself. Her first love was long ago buried but not forgotten. She lied to others. This time, no lies. Period. History would not repeat itself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About Stephany: In my world, there is no life without writing, traveling, family, music and my love of politics. My loves and interests are central to my writing.

I published my first novel The Master’s Plan, A Novel in November 2013 (Edition 3 issued in 2016) and my first Christmas novel, 48 Hours ‘Til Christmas, in November 2014. In 2015, I released Love, Peace & Joy: 3 Short Stories.

BLUE LADY (a short story) published in February 2015 launched my first series, The Angelica Mason Series. The first full installment in this series, entitled BLUE LADY’S Sweet Dreams was released July 2016 to be followed by BLUE LADY’S Mission Impossible in 2018.

In June 2016, I launched my second series (B.B.B.) with a novella entitled, Beach Baby Blues (part of an 11 author Beach Anthology, Stories of Sun, Sand and Sea). I hope to publish the sequel in this new series, entitled, Baby Boomer Blues by July 2017.

The sequel to The Master’s Plan, entitled, Forgive, Forgotten, Forever is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2017.

I am pleased to partner with my friend and fellow author, PJ Fiala to sponsor the Chandler County multi-branded author series and will soon be releasing two books in this series. Missing Pieces is currently on pre-order with an April 11th 2017 release date and my second book in this new series is entitled Missing Chances and will be released in November 2017. Nine other authors will publish their books in this exciting endeavor during 2017. All books are based on our fictional towns, Chandlerville and Bourbonville Kentucky, ‘where the unbridled spirit of romance roams’.

I live in Georgia with my family where I continue to write professionally and have published on Examiner.com as Atlanta’s Society and Culture Examiner and in various health related peer review journals.

Website – Twitter – Facebook – Pinterest – Amazon Author Page – Book Bub – Readers Group

2017 Celebrate Big!

newyearseve-2017Are you ready to ring in the New Year? Out with 2016, in with 2017. It’s time to make new resolutions, set goals, get over the past year, and decide to make every day the best day! Before all of that can happen, we have to celebrate. Parties, friends, family, party favors, or even spending time alone. What kind of New Year’s Eve party-goer are you?

 

Champagne – You hit all the big parties, rushing from one to another. The excitement newyearseve-champagepumps you up, putting you on a natural high. You’re in it for that midnight bell. There is no stopping you.

*** Bubbles and party hats keep you going!

 

 

Wine – Red, white, dry, sweet. Whatever your choice, you will hold onto that wine glass all newyearseve-winenight. Mingle with family and friends, tend to the kids, and gladly kiss your significant other at midnight.

*** The glass is always full!

 

 

Beer – You gather around the fireplace with friends and reminisce about the yenewyearseve-beerar that passed while making plans for the year ahead. There is no time to slow down.

*** Pop a top on another one!

 

 

 

Whiskey – Party with your friends or drink alone, you are just so relieved this year is over. newyearseve-whiskey There’s no point in making plans for 2017, you just roll with whatever is thrown your way.

*** Mix it well!

 

 

Or, are you somewhere in between? Whichever you relate to, and whatever your plans for New Year’s Eve are, make the most of it. Give someone a smile and a hug and enjoy your night!

Jump over to my Facebook page, find the pinned post, and leave a comment about which one of these you relate to. One, two, or more. Facebook post – right here: Facebook

Best wishes to you in 2017.

Love, hugs, and kisses – Taylor