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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Thursday, May 5, 2016

More of Ellie's Recipes

Ellie Stafford here again while Jodie takes care of preparing for her launch party tonight. She asked me to share another recipe from my mother's cookbook.

I like making specialty desserts so here's a fun one to try.

Kisses or Sugar Drops 
Taken from The Improved Housewife, or Book of Receipts; with Engravings for Marketing and Carving by Mrs. A. L. Webster -1855

Rub to a cream, six ounces of powdered white sugar, and three of butter; add three well-beaten eggs, half a pound of sifted flour, and half a nutmeg. Drop this mixture, by the spoonful, on buttered tins, several inches apart; sprinkle small sugar plums on the top, and bake them immediately.

I also like to knit and I think Jodie is giving away something I knit tonight, but she didn't tell me what it is. My guess is it's one of my scarves. :) I like getting patterns from Godey's Magazine or Peterson's Magazine. Those are my two favorite. 

Jodie wanted me to share that you all are welcome to attend her online book launch party on Facebook on Thursday evening from 6-9 PM. She didn't tell me what Facebook is though. Hearts Tightly Knit Book Launch Party. If you haven't picked up a copy of her book yet you can find it here. Purchase Link.

Hope you have a great day and enjoy my story. :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Welcome Angela K. Couch

Today I'd like to welcome Angela K. Couch as she shares about her new novella which debuted last week.
It's great to have you here today, Angela. Tell us how you developed a love of story.

I should probably blame that on my dad. He read to us lots. Even as teenagers, my siblings and I loved to gather around while he read things like A Fine and Pleasant Misery by Patrick McManus. I also have fond memories of raiding my grandma’s library that happened to be in her enclosed back porch. I’d sit on her chest freezer and read to my heart’s content…or until it was time to go home.

Sounds like a true book lover. :) What is your 'how I got published' story?
My favorite quote about getting published was always, perseverance is more important than writing ability. Or something like that. So I send out proposal after proposal, manuscript after manuscript with fingers crossed and breath bated. Then after a while I stated breathing normal again. Submitting became something I did. Write. Query. Write. Stash away another rejection. Rewrite query. Rewrite story… you get the idea. In 2009 I finally got an exciting note from a publisher. They liked my story and wanted to put it in their to-be-published file. Then the next year they closed their doors. Permanenty.
Boot to the gut, but back to writing. Finally, I joined ACFW and a world full of opportunities opened up. The first year I was a finalist in a short story contest. The next year, I won two short story contests and sold a fourth short story. I now had four anthologies in the works. Then I was given referral to a small publisher for one of my novels and a month later received a contract! Another month passed and I received a two book contract from another publisher!

 That's wonderful. How exciting! When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?

I was pretty young. Before I could even print my name, I have memories of sneaking stacks of paper out to the playhouse. I would sit there and “write” squiggly lines across the pages until I had a “book”. I know my dad influenced me a lot, as well. I remember him at the typewriter working on stories and novels. His father had done the same. But I was determined to do more than write—I was going to be published.

I'm sure your dad must be proud of you. Tell us about your new book.

Mail-Order Revenge is what happens when I decided to write a mail-order bride story. My main question while trying to decide on a premise was, “What is one I haven’t read yet?” Here is the blurb from the back cover:

Elizabeth Landvick knows of one man to blame for her family’s loss of fortune and her parents’ deaths. Now, she will stop at nothing to take her revenge and recover their wealth. Even travel across the country to marry the man’s son.

With his focus his sprawling Arizona ranch, Axel Forsberg has little time for wooing a woman, so when his father finds him a bride from the east, he trusts he won’t regret the convenience. Until horses go missing, barns burn to the ground, a range war begins…and he loses his heart.

I had the pleasure of reading Angela's book and it's full of fun. You won't want to miss it. What is your passion as a writer?
This might sound strange, but living is. I love living and experiencing life. That’s why I write. While I absolutely love my own life, it’s not sufficient. I enjoy immersing myself in the lives and experiences of my characters and hope my readers will do the same.

Smile. What is your most difficult writing challenge? 

I’m grinning now. It’s hard when my most difficult writing challenge is the best part of my life. I have three kids under five. As you can imagine, finding time, brain power, and not being constantly distracted can be a bit of a challenge…doing the actual writing is the easy part. :)

Wow! I didn't know that about you. You must be busy. What are you working on now?

I am working on the second book of my Hearts at War series. The first book, The Scarlet Coat, releases in January and The Patriot and the Loyalist will follow shortly. So lots of fun in Revolutionary War South Carolina while my hero rides with the Swamp Fox and falls for beautiful British spy.
So lots of good things ahead for you. I wish you the best.

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