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Showing posts from February, 2012

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful...In My New Warby Parker Glasses

I've been in need of new glasses for a while now. What kept me from getting them was the knowledge of how expensive the glasses would be given my coke-bottle prescription. Even our local Wal-Mart quoted me a minimum price of over $200 for the frames and lenses.

Serendipitously, I found online and then their incredibly social Facebook presence. They've developed a business model that will make them hard to beat either by other online or bricks and mortar competitors:

First, they have a FREE home try-on program where you order five pairs of glasses, they're sent to you via UPS 2-day delivery, then you have five days to try the glasses before you send them back again via UPS and again via free shipping. And if you don't find any you like in the first batch, no problem, you can order another five to try on at home. Which, of course, I did....and then ordered a pair from the first batch, in true Suzanne fashion.

2) You're encouraged to post your try-on …

Interview and Book Giveaway!

Please stop by a wonderful blog for readers and writers: I am a Reader, Not a Writer, where I divulge my favorite book, my alternate career plans, and the one flavor of ice cream that I believe is nutritionally complete.

You can also enter for a chance to win either an ebook or paperback version of Mrs. Tuesday's Departure.


FREEE Mrs. Tuesday thru Feb. 28th!

Mrs. Tuesday's Departure is FREE today through next Tuesday (Feb. 28th)! Please download it, tweet it, and share it on Facebook!

I hope to get Mrs. Tuesday into the hands of as many readers as possible.

Thank you!

Entering the Lenten Season

Even now, says the Lord,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the Lord, you God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the Lord, your God.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room,
and the bride her chamber.

Last night Mom and I went to Mass for Ash Wednesday. This beautiful reading from the book of Joel was one of the readings and it stayed with me afterwards, especially the line:

"Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God."

It says to me that God is less interested in what we give up for Lent and more interested in what is in our hearts. "Return to Me," says G…

Slow CookerBeef Ribs and Beautiful Table-scapes

Mom wanted me to share this lovely table-scape with you. It was created with the red tulips she received for Valentine's Day.

The candlesticks are from a long-ago trip to Portugal. The plates are from a street seller in Kiev. The tablecloth is from a day-trip into the French countryside. The glasses are from our local thrift store.

I'm not sure where those decorative balls are from. I found them while unpacking one of the four thousand boxes I had in storage.

The pretty crystal basket holding the tulips and balls belonged to my grandmother. And the battery operated candles are from Wal-Mart.

But here's the really important thing...

Yesterday Mom had her quarterly appointment with her cardiologist and he told her that her heart is in better shape now than it was in Florida. He says he can't explain it other than she's enjoying life.

Which is a really wonderful thing.

He also told her she could eat whatever she wants, as long as she watches her salt intake.

Now for …

How to Create a Book Trailer

When I decided that I wanted to create a book trailer for the re-launch of Mrs. Tuesday's Departure, I began with a google search of 'how to' articles. They were wonderfully informative and led me to finding the music and video footage that I imagined would provide a compelling visual story to describe my novel.

All I needed to do was upload it into imovies. Right?

Turns out, the only thing I've ever been able to get into imovies is a video of my brother John singing 'Happy Birthday' to me during a snow storm in March. Three. years. ago.

Luckily, I quickly remembered that my friend Mariellen Romer had recently left a prominent career in business to pursue her passion for film making. While I had no illusions that my little project would provide an adequate challenge, I wanted to ask if I could hire her to create the book trailer.

She quickly (and amazingly) agreed. Then just as quickly introduced me to her partner, Ed Shoemaker. Together they comprise: Three M…

Perfectly Easy Protein Shakes

I don't eat enough fruit. Sometimes Mom's appetite isn't as hearty as it should be. And then there are mornings when we just want to throw together a quick healthy breakfast that doesn't involve the stove or cold cereal.

Which is when I get out my trust blender and throw together a protein shake. There are as many variations as there are ingredients in your pantry, but here are my essentials:

One bannana. The potassium is good for Mom since she has to take a lot of water pills, which sometimes results in leg cramps.

A handful of strawberries or blueberries (I've now started buying the large bags of frozen berries from Costco, so I don't have to worry about the cost of getting fresh fruit out of season).Half a cup of plain non-fat Greek yogurt. It's high in protein.A scoop of protein powder, the one we use also has vitamins in the mix.A cup of low fat milk. Although I'll probably change this to Almond Milk eventually.A handful of ice.I'll probably beg…

How to Re-Launch Your Novel

I first published Mrs. Tuesday's Departureas an ebook on Amazon's Kindle a little over a year ago. It went well. But as the year went on, I felt that the book was not as good as it could have been. Which inspired me to take advantage of an ebook's fluidity, to make some changes and plan it re-launch.
This post will give you an overview of the myriad events involved in this process. Later I'll delve into some of these areas in greater depth to provide you with more information, so you may be inspired.
Changing the Story...
Mrs. Tuesday's Departure, in its original form, was quite a bit different from the book I published in some important ways: 
First it was written in the First Person Point of View, which gave it a much more intimate feel, which as it turns out, was the right POV for a story about a family experiencing the most terrifying moments of war.
Second, it was actually set in Budapest, Hungary during World War Two, not in the fictional other-world it was thinly…

Dogs Love Snow

Snow Day Aftermath

Snow Day Waffles

We woke up to two feet of snow this morning, so we weren't going anywhere. Mom suggested waffles were in order to celebrate our first snow day in at least two weeks or has it been over a month?

Since I didn't have any pre-made mix on hand, I looked up a recipe in my 1982 edition of the Joy of Cooking and then created a recipe of my own. Whenever I find myself in this situation, where I have to create something from scratch instead of using a prepared food-mix, I think of my brother John telling me: "Necessity is the Mother of Invention." Which I took as his way of saying, 'it's good to know how to do stuff for yourself.'

Instead of using cake flour, as Joy recommended, I used whole wheat flour and oatmeal, because oatmeal is good for Mom's cholesterol, but she refuses to eat a bowl of cooked oatmeal. Hence my strategy of sneaking it into other things like waffles and cookies.
Then I added baking powder and apple pie spice, although you could add cinn…