My story Creation is up at Smashwords.  It will be available at other ebook retailers in a few weeks. Here's the pitch:

Willie learns the hard way that creation has consequences and that some science fair projects just refuse to die.  

You can download it for FREE today and tomorrow, after that it will be a bank-breaking $0.99.  Give it a positive review and you will be my friend for life.  

Interested?  Click on the Creation ebook cover on the right.  

Did I mention that you are looking really fabulous today?  Eat a donut already!  You are melting away!  


Ready for chocolate cake?

Well, hello!  Welcome to the next stop on the Blog Hop Potluck!  Don't know about the Potluck?  Click here to learn more.

Anyway, it is SO nice to see you!  You look fabulous!  Have you lost weight?  I think you have.  I've been trying to lose a few pounds myself, but everywhere I go I smell Cinnabons.  I don't know what to make of it, but it's really not helping at all.

Come in! Make yourself comfortable.  Oh, I see you are admiring my adorable crocheted turtle.

I won that.  Yeah.  That's right.  I WON IT.  My friend Deb--you know her--she organized this shindig--had this blog contest, and I totally won it.  Hmmm.  I notice that you are looking a little covetously at my turtle.  How about I just put that away for now.

Hungry?  What are your thoughts about chocolate cake.

I know!  It's so good.  I'm not being arrogant, I'm just admitting an undeniable fact of life.  Besides, I got the recipe from my friend Patty, so it's not like I'm making this about me.  What?  You want the recipe too?  Absolutely!  That's what friends are for.  Here you go:

Chocolate Cake with Fudge Frosting

Chocolate Cake
2 C flour
2 C sugar
1/2 C butter
3/4 C water
3/4 C buttermilk
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cool

Set your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour your pans.  This couldn't be easier.  Throw everything in a big bowl.  (Make sure that the chocolate is nice and cool or you're going to end up with chocolate chip cake!)  Beat everything on low for 30 seconds.  Now, increase the speed of your mixture to high and beat for 3 minutes.  Bake until done!  If you are using regular size round pans it will probably take about 30 minutes.  A little underdone is better than a little overdone.  Trust me on that.  Cool your cakes 10 minutes and then remove from pans.  Frost when cool.

Fudge Frosting
2 C sugar
1/2 butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2/3 C milk
1/2 t salt
2 t vanilla

Mix all ingredients in a 2 quart saucepan.  Heat to a roiling boil, stirring occasionally.  Boil 1 minute without stirring.  Place saucepan in a bowl of ice water.  (It should be more icy than watery.)  Beat with a hand mixer until frosting is smooth and of spreading consistency.  It will take a while.  You'll know when it's almost ready when the frosting begins to turn a lighter shade of brown.  Stir in vanilla.

Hide the last piece of cake from your family as they will try and steal it.

So glad you dropped by!  You tell me how that cake turns out when you make it.  Now let's see what Becca has in store for us.  I'll you there: http://lajoliefleurrouge.blogspot.com/


Goddess of the Week: Sara Beth

Exciting news.  My blog friend Joanne DeMaio (you hear her often in the comments) has just published a novel called Whole Latte Life.  I asked her if she wouldn't mind taking on goddess duty so we could find out about it.  Take it away, Joanne:

If my novel’s main character were to call upon a goddess, she’d need a goddess of reinvention.  Throughout Whole Latte Life, Sara Beth faces moments when she has to begin again … .Whether it’s with her marriage, or repairing a friendship, or finally living the life she loves, beginnings play a pivotal part of the story, right through to the end.

And what I learned writing this book is that beginnings play a part in all of our lives.  Because a surprising twist came in my own as the novel took shape, in that I saw myself develop on the page.  Without realizing it, I was writing a little of my own journey … of my desire to become someone new.

So I worked on that story, following the writing rule to write what you know.  I incorporated what I knew about trying to become the person I wanted to be.  And then I upped the ante.  I stretched that rule.  I challenged the boundary.  Ultimately, I wrote a new rule.

Through Sara Beth, I decided to write what you dream.  Write what you wonder.  Write what you desire and crave and long for.  Sara Beth became the vehicle through which I learned to reinvent myself as an author.  When she bravely started living her choice life, so did I.  Because of her, I now have a book published.

Like a Finnegan goddess, Sara Beth taught me, in my own words.  Her triumphs motivated me to find my triumphs.  She found a way around the challenges and obstacles, and so did I.  In writing about a character’s dream, her story moved me further along on my own author dream. 

So, I’m introducing a new goddess here at Finnegan Begin Again.  Sara Beth is the goddess of reinvention, of beginning again.  From walking out of her life, to tossing her wedding rings into the Hudson River, to getting herself kidnapped, this is one goddess who reminds us that though the path is winding, we can find ourselves somewhere, somehow, among motherhood and womanhood and the journey of life.

Channel Sara Beth when you’ve decided it’s time to live your dream.  To live what you wonder, even in some small way. 

Thanks Margaret for having me here today, along with my guest-goddess of reinvention … Coffee cheers to a latte life!

(Margaret here.  I have already downloaded Joanne's book, which is available both digitally and in print.  Learn more about Whole Latte Life at Joanne's Amazon page and the book's website.  Also, check out Joanne's Whole Latte Life blog.  It's very inspiring.)  


"Be Original or Die"

Zelda Magazine Postcard
Zelda Magazine Postcard (Photo credit: lulubrooks)
Madame Yevonde, who was a world-class photographer, lived by the motto, "Be Original or Die."  She was born in 1893, and she started out by photographing socialites and aristocrats in 1930s England.  In 1935, using a new type of color processing called VIVEX, she took the cream of society and photographed them as goddesses and classic mythological figures.  (Hence my interest.)  She went on to photograph royalty, fashion models and everything in between.  Her work appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar and Vogue.  She died in 1975.

You really, really, really need to check out the website devoted to her work.  Here is link to the goddesses page.  I especially recommend you look at Lady Dorothy Warrender, who depicts the Roman goddess of agriculture, Ceres.  (In fact, I've pinned it, but you really should see all of them.) Check out the advertising page too.  Some of the ad photos seem pretty bold, but those English magazines were way more sexy than the American ones.  

Big thanks to Star at MyMilanItaly for introducing me to this Madame Yevonde.  Enjoy!

PS: I'm not sure if Madame Yevonde took this photo for Zelda Magazine, but it looks like her work and it's the closest I could get from Zemanta.
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11 Things You Don't Know about Exciting Me

Carrie tagged me with this 11 things you don't know about me challenge. I'm supposed to post five rules, tell you 11 things you don't know about me and answer 11 more questions as well. I hope Carrie doesn't mind, but I'm going to cheat a little because the quarter is almost over and I get nervous everytime I looks at the giant stack of papers I have to grade. So, I'm not posting the rules, and I am not answering the original questions, and I am not tagging anyone because tagging is stressful in my current state of mind. But I will tell you 11 heretofore unknown facts about my mysterious and fascinating self. Take notes. You will be tested later. Oh, wait, you're not my students. "A"s for everyone! 1. I am slightly genetically evolved. No wisdom teeth. Ever. 2. I'm having some issues with my secret boyfriend Colin Firth. I think he is looking a little old, and so I'm sort of wondering if I still want him for my secret boyfriend. 3. Apparently, I am really that shallow. I never knew. 4. Luckily, my other secret boyfriend, Ewan McGregor, is just looking better and better, and I am very excited to see him in the Yemen movie. 5. I feel very lucky that my husband is understanding about my secret boyfriends. 6. I recently started watching the British TV show MI 5, and I am noticing that Matthew McFadden has a really great voice. I am seriously considering replacing Colin with Matthew. Apparently, I have no loyalty at all. Is that wrong of me? 7. I am really, really good at hula hooping. I can hula hoop for, like, forever. 8. I have a very subtle hula hooping style. I look like I'm barely moving. The secret: it's all in the ankles. 9. Colin will always hold a very special place in my heart. I'm worried that you are judging me. 10. I have a horrible sense of direction. You really don't want me to drive you anywhere. 11. I'm not very good at following directions, so you also don't want me to make any IKEA furntiture for you. I'll cry, and you'll hate me. It will be ugly. 12. But you can count on my to bring cookies. I'm not bad with the cookies. 13. But I'm not so good with counting.


Goddess of the Week: Maat

Katie needs a goddess that will help her see what her heart truly wants. She needs the Egyptian goddess of truth, Maat. The Egyptians believed that your soul rested in your heart. As such, it was the repository of all your deeds, good and bad. When you died, Maat would weigh your heart. A heart that was not weighed down by sins and inequity would weigh less than a feather. If you somehow managed to have such a heart than lucky you. You'd get to party in the underworld forever. If your heart weighed more than a feather...well...it's important to remember that impermanence helps us appreciate that beauty that is life. Maat reminds us that what rests in your heart is the sum of your actions. You want to know what you want? Take a look at what you've down. Don't like what you see? Be gentle with yourself, and then, as they say in the States, be the change. But I can't believe you won't like what you see Katie. You're fabulous! Need a goddess? I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining what you need or want a goddess. Then check back in a week or two and see what you got. It's fun. It's free. Plus, zero calories! What more do you want.


Dreaming of My Secret Boyfriend

Colin Firth at the Nanny McPhee London premiere
Image via Wikipedia
True story: Last night I dreamed that my secret boyfriend Colin Firth was interviewing me for a secretarial position. I had to take a typing test. I did very poorly. Then he came out from his desk and was only three feet tall! Oh, Mr. Darcy! I'm still traumatized.
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