Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I can't believe it's Thanksgiving already. That time of year when we stop to contemplate the year past. A time to celebrate and give thanks.

Although it didn't become an official holiday until 1863, it's believed the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 to give thanks to God for helping the settlers of Plymouth Colony survive their first brutal winter. The feast lasted three days with pilgrims and Native Americans breaking bread together and celebrating that which they had in common.

Less than a year later, the Pilgrims and Indians were at war. The first battle was fought near Jamestown, Virginia in March 1622. The war soon spread to Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. And when the white man settled the west, the battles followed.

Some wars are worth fighting. Others are not. But I am thankful for the country we have become and the obstacles we've overcome to get here. And I'm thankful for the men and women who've served in our armed forces or fought for this country from that first battle to those who are now fighting in the Gulf. I'm thankful for the Native Americans who fought to protect their lands and to those brave settlers who dared to conquer the west. Without such diversity and strength, where would we be as a nation?

On a more personal note, I'm thankful for the love and support of my family and to God for putting them in my life. I'm also thankful to have held my first published novel this year. Out of the Darkness, a paranormal vampire romance, was released in May, and sometime next year, I will have a second book out. Slightly Tarnished is a historical romance and I'm so thankful to the editors of The Wild Rose Press for giving me a chance to fulfill my dream of publishing in two very different genres.

Although, Slightly Tarnished does have a touch of the paranormal at the end. How could I resist?

So, what are thankful for?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What's on Your List?

Welcome to day one of The Wild Roses Christmas Blog Tour. At the end of the tour, I'll be giving away The Man of My Dreams...okay, it's not a real man but a candle scent from Celebrating Homes. Just leave a comment, telling me about the man of your dreams and you're automatically entered to win.

Today's topic is What's in your TBR or to be read pile? I'm over on Amy Corwin's blog today discussing my Christmas reading list. So when you get a chance, drop by and leave a comment for a chance to win an herbal bath kit. And please help me welcome fellow Wild Rose Press Author, Victoria Gray.

So, Victoria, What's on your list?

Holiday TBR, by Victoria Gray
I’ve always loved to read. Many of my fondest memories are of pleasant afternoons spent at my grandmother’s side, devouring books from the public library with a child’s greedy glee. As a romance writer, I create stories for other readers (and myself!), but nothing dulls my desire to read the words set down on paper by others. One of the greatest joys of the holiday season is the precious gift of time to read, read, read!

This year, I have several books I’ve earmarked for my “to be read” list. I love historical fiction…I write historical fiction set during the 1800s…this is by far my favorite era for romance fiction. I’ve recently discovered a new variant of romance fiction that blends historical Victorian settings with science fiction – steampunk – and a new author, Meljean Brook. Her new release, The Iron Duke, sets high on my “tbr” list. I’m itching to learn the elements that set steampunk apart from other genres, and this book, with its striking man with abs of steel (or iron, perhaps) on the cover seems a great place to start.

I’m also planning to get caught up on some non-fiction reading. My son gave me a copy of Jon Stewart’s Earth for my birthday earlier this month. I plan to dive into this volume and sample the wide range of topics contained within.

Last, but not least, I plan to jump headfirst into cooking. I am admittedly quite woefully unskilled in the kitchen, despite having a huge collection of cookbooks. I fully intend to actually open some of those volumes and learn a bit from Rachael Ray and Paula Deen. Hopefully, I even have time to cook up a recipe or two…if I can pry myself from my writing.

Victoria Gray writes historical romance set in the 1800's. Angel in My Arms is available now from The Wild Rose Press- 

Destiny is also available from The Wild Rose Press-

If anyone gets a chance, check out Victoria's buy links. You just might find a new book to add to your own TBR list. And don't forget to leave a comment telling me about the man of your dreams. You can also tell me what's on your TBR list. I might want to add it to mine.