Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How Do I Love You, Dear Reader

There is an age-old romance that still thrives to this day, the love between authors and readers. Often times we hear how readers love a certain writer and buy everything they write. Less often we get a chance to hear how authors truly feel about their readers.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day and to show our love for the special people who make our writing careers possible, several authors have shared their messages to readers and some letters they’ve received that touched their hearts.

Jennie Bentley’s (a.k.a Bente Gallagher & Jenna Bennett) Message
Before I became a writer myself, I don't think I ever wrote a letter to an author. I read plenty of books, and admired plenty of writers, but I was afraid of being a bother, you know? They were Authors - note the capital A - and as such far superior to mere mortals such as myself. Who did I think I was, to consider writing to one of them?

When I became a writer myself, that all changed. Now I know that reader-mail isn't a bother; it's the nicest thing in the world. A note from a reader, someone who picked up my book - in lieu of all the other books out there - and read it, and liked it - enough to want to write and tell me so! - is an incredible blessing. It can make my day, or my whole week. Readers have certainly made my entire career, such as it is, so far. Those of us who write books would be nowhere without those who read them.

So thank you, readers! I'll just keep writing books, and you keep reading them. And keep those letters coming, too. Okay? 

Jennie’s Reader Letter
"I'm from Malaysia and just finish reading all 4 of your Savannah series in 4 consecutive days. You can't imagine how engrossed I am into the characters. I'm trying to purchase A Done Deals ebook and found out is still not release yet. I also unable to find the release date. Can you let me know when is the ebook release date, so that I can get my copy soonest possible to end my longing."

Marissa Farrar's Message
'Being a writer is a solitary business, yet, ironically, we're also a needy bunch. We write because we want to draw others into the imaginary worlds we spend half our lives in. We want our readers to understand and fall in love with our characters in the same way we have. There are very few authors who have gotten into writing for the big pay checks and the fame (*snort*). We do it for the love of the art. So, when we're contacted by readers to tell us how much they love our work, that by God, they've got it, they've understood what our months bashing away at a keyboard actually meant, it feels like we've won the Booker Prize.

I may have given Serenity and Sebastian life, but you, the reader, have made their lives worthwhile.

Marissa’s Reader Letter
Just wanted you to know I love your work! It's kinda like the comfort of an old familiar book with an exciting new twist! Haven't read one of your books I haven't absolutely loved! I'm sure I will love anything you write. To me a book, no matter the type, is only as good as its writer. I may say horror is my favorite, but I hate horror books written by a certain author. In my personal opinion, like Neil Gaiman, you have a way of bringing your characters to life is a way that it takes me a few days after reading your books to come back to reality and realize that they aren't real people and no, I am not going to run into them at Walmart. A good book is about losing yourself and for a little while making the story your reality. Finding a book that can make you feel like in a way you're still there days later is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack, lol. Some writers have it and some don't. You do.'

C.J. Ellisson's Message
Every now and then an author gets a letter from a reader. Some weeks we get more than one and it seems like the heavens are shining on us. 

I don't know about you, but before becoming a writer I'd never written to an author, so I know how big it is for a person to actually reach out to me. The feelings I get over even the smallest note make me sound mushy, sappy, and probably ruin the crusty shell of experience I try my best to project. 

Letters literally make our day -- and the good ones can make our week. Then, on rare occasion, we get one like the one below. Letters like this remind us of why we write and reinforce that yes, someone out there truly 'gets' our work and appreciates every hour we spend trying to perfect our craft.

C.J.'s Reader Letter
I have to start out by saying that I stumbled upon Vampire Vacation by chance when my mother bought me a kindle fire for Xmas. I used to read Anne Rice as a teen (although now I find her writing a tad overdone) and have had a secret obsession with vamps as far as I can remember.  I really lost my fondness for reading over the years and the only series of books I've read are the Janet Evanovich books. THEN I FOUND YOU! You pair humor, sex, love, murder suspense ...and vampires all together with such an enticing flow. I am a 28 year old married mother of two. (Just so you know the demographic ...lol) I cannot wait for Big Game! You have renewed my love of reading and I thank you for that.  Please DO NOT stop. I read the erotic parts between Dria and Rafe in bed with my husband and he loves it too. You have a real, natural and organic talent. Please keep going with the series. So glad I found the VV Inn!

Danielle Gavan's Message
I don’t get much fan mail, but when I do it puts a huge perma-grin on my face. Five star reviews on Amazon are great. Really, they are but when a reader takes the time to actually email, find and use the Contact form on my website, or message me on Facebook… that’s priceless.
Recently, one of my fabulous readers sent me this message on Facebook after downloading my book, Ardeur, via Red Hot Readers:

Danielle’s Reader Letter
I Read ARDEUR and I LOVED IT!!!!!! It was a fantastic book and I Simply can’t WAIT for the next one! So thank you very much for helping me so I could read it ... I loved All the characters 
(except Wes and Boyd ....Shade -Was Funny sometimes lol) and I Loved, LOVED Brody! Such a sweetheart (why are guys like that hard to find?) and I even Like Azrael (love that name) ok I didn’t like when he became crazy but still I found I liked him lol 
I always think a person should be told when they do something wonderful or they make it so for a few hours they have made you smile, laugh or cry and shout and you did so I HAD to tell you Thank You for that and for giving me some time in Ardeur Land lol... and simply because you helped me be able to read it when you didn’t have to (and I'll say other authors haven't ) I read ALOT of books some you can do without , others you like and then there are the ones you LOVE. My family thinks I read too much (really? how can you?) because I have books ever where, Nook, Kindle, Phone, Zoom pad, Computer and bookcases so I know for me a great book when I read one (even the books I don’t like I try and try again to give it a chance) and yours was a great book and I will definitely read it again and again it has a permanent place on my nook!

So AGAIN thank you for making it possible to read Ardeur and for writing it and taking us with you on their journey.

Thank you very much I will be looking out for more Books from you! 

More from Danielle
We conversed for a bit afterward and, let me tell you, I smiled every time I saw the little inbox icon indicating I had a new message. She was a pleasure to speak to, as have been all of my readers.

Even the smallest “When’s the next Ardeur book coming out?”inquiries make me grin. It tells me that my reasons for writing are valid and that people do really want to read the stuff my imagination churns out. Having friends and family say my books are good is one thing. A total stranger saying it? That’s like angels singing on high. It’s fantastic.

And so, even if you’ve never taken a minute to contact me, I say to all of my wonderful readers: You’re what keeps my butt in my (super-creaky, decrepit) chair and my fingers on the keyboard. You’re the reason I crawl out of bed at four thirty in the morning when the characters are demanding I write the new scene they’ve cooked up. Thank you! All of you.

Nickie Asher’s Message
I love getting feedback from readers. It's gratifying to know someone likes what I do. It makes me want to please them and give them a story they won't forget.

Nickie’s Letter
"Oh my god, that is amazing. Right at the end I had chills running up my spine. Your writing is....wow so easy to read and all the imagery. It's perfect. Just wow."
Boone’s Message
Readers are the best. They are what make my writer’s world go round. Everything is so fast paced these days. Anybody can shoot their opinions into cyberspace with the press of the button.  When you create a piece of art or write a book and put it out there for the masses, the negative feedback can be doubly so.

Never underestimate the effect one kind letter can have on an author. For me it soothes the any difficulties or doubts I’m having with a story and lets me know that somebody out there appreciates what I’m doing. So thank you to those readers who show let their favorite authors know they love their work. I guarantee, no matter how big of a name the author is, they will still appreciate it.

Boone’s Reader Letter
I just wanted to let you know that I have finished your Shield of Fire novel, and I loved it. I really enjoyed the relationship of Rhys and Ravyn grew between, even though one was truly being stubborn about. Truly one that I will read over and over again.
Thank-you for sharing your gift of storytelling with the rest of us.

Happy Valentine’s Day everybody!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cupid's Choice Blog Hop

The winters are cold and dark here in Alaska, but I have some tricks up my sleeve to weather the long, hard nights. I thought I'd share them with you. Maybe you'll find something that will make the season easier to bare;)

Sorry, I alway cut his head off in pictures.

This is Luc. He stokes my fire when the embers start to fizzle.

Isn't he sweet waiting to hand me a towel?
This is Bryan. He runs a hot bath for me when I'm chilled to the bone.

This is Eric. He examines my pipes when they freeze up.

Stephen shovels my walks. Sometimes he has to plow my drive two or three times a day. What a trooper.

Darn it. He's all sweaty again.
Meet Jay. Well, what can I say, he just makes me happy.

I hope I've given you some ideas to help chase away your winter blues. You're welcome! Don't miss the rest of the great blogs at www.justromance.me/cupidschoice

It's Fluffy Friday Lazy Cooks - CJ's Pot Roast

Welcome to Fluffy Friday and another fabulous recipe from CJ Ellisson.

Today’s installment will be referred to in the history annals as “C.J. Used to Hate Pot Roast”.

Perhaps it’s my Jewish background of overcooked meats served by my depression-area grandmother… or eating at friend’s houses and smiling through the dry, stringy meats, I don’t know. But, I can tell you the grayish colored over-cooked meats have never been my favorite. Don’t even get me started on the salt-tastic dish of cornbeef *shudder*.

All of this changed when I discovered the most magical thing stored in a glass jar: Bubbie Jeanne’s Brisket Magic. It truly is maigic and it’s gluten free—that’s what sold me on trying it. Don’t ask me exactly what cut of meat a brisket is, I have no freakin’ idea. I went to the store and bought a cut that said it was good for a pot roast.

Brown pot roast on the stove on all sides (trim off extra fat)
Place in slow cocker with jar of sauce, add a cup of water
Cook on low for six hours or so, high for 4 1/2. (this is gauged by the weight of your roast, so read the package)

If you are home at the ¾ point of cooking, toss in some potatoes and carrots. If not, get some Bob Evans mashed potatoes from the supermarket and some fresh veggies on the side.

This stuff is like magic! You could put that sauce on any vegetable and my kids will eat it. Not the over-cooked, mushy veggies of our family’s past, but tender ones that still have some vitamins left in them.

This was such a hit I sent my husband back to the store weeks later to buy more. Since he is the crappiest searcher in the world, he couldn’t find it and I almost cried. I forgot to write the name down and I was in a panic.

Thankfully, when I went back immediately, the burly man stocking shelves understood what I was looking for and said it was an “in and out” product, meaning they would never carry it again. He led me to the remaining five jars, which I quickly bought every one (screw you, my lazy neighbors! You missed out! Bahahaha….).

But in honor of this segment today (and to make sure I can find it again), I did some research. Here is the website for Bubbie Jeannes, and here are the stores you can buy it at if you are lucky enough to live in the Mid-Atlantic region (if not try the website. I plan to order from them direct or Wholefoods because these stores are all too far away from me):






6213 NORTH CHARLES STREETBALTIMORE, MD 21212http://www.eddiesofrolandpark.com/

3713 Old Court RoadPikesville, MD 21208-3902(410) 484-9393

12200 Tullamore RoadLutherville, MD 21093

7713 Bellona Avenue Towson, MD 21204

1388 Cape St. Claire RoadAnnapolis, MD 21409

10401 Grosvenor Pl # 2Rockville, MD 20852-4646(301) 493-6217
5805 Clarksville Square Drive Clarksville, MD 21029
WHOLE FOODS MARKETS  http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/

I sincerely hope you enjoy it! Please comment if you’ve tried this product or if you have based on this post and what you thought of it.