Monday Mayhem – The Margaret Shuffle

I updated my iPod this weekend. I know, I know…alert the media. But, it’s an anomaly in my life, trust me.

I acquired some new-to-me music thanks to my friend Julie and the good folks at iTunes. As a matter of fact, it seems every song I’ve added lately is thanks to Julie. Of course, I take her advice. She’s young and hot, and I don’t really think she’s trying to brainwash me or anything. Much. I’m sure she just thought I might really enjoy ‘Hey Julie’ by Fountains of Wayne. And she was right. I do.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/wZxJNZMyn-4]

This weekend’s discovery was Caro Emerald and her fabulous song ‘Back It Up’.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/jo1cyl0QbWo]

I love it, but I have to admit I’m a little afraid Julie’s getting into my head. I just tried to spell color with a U. Those Canadians are sneaky. First they seduce you with Clodhoppers then they take over your iPod. Soon it will be all Rush all the time!

My iPod is a weird and wonderful place, but I need to shake it up before Julie takes over entirely. I thought I’d share the next ten songs to pop up on my iPod’s shuffle then you can tell me what you’re listening to, and maybe we can move forward without calling in a deprogrammer.

The Point of No Return ~ Phantom of the Opera Original Soundtrack
A Million Miles Away ~ The Plimsouls
Blow Me (One Last Kiss) ~ Pink
How to Dream ~ Sam Phillips
Everyday I Write the Book ~ Elvis Costello
The Air That I Breathe ~ The Hollies
Where or When ~ Harry Connick, Jr.
So in Love ~ k.d. lang
Blue Bayou ~ Roy Orbison
Something Stupid ~ Glee Cast

What about you? Are you listening to anything new and interesting? How about old and awesome?

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Monday Mayhem – Bunnies!

Home. Exhausted. Had a wonderful time. Here are a few of the highlights:

Upon arrival, I found this fabulous pair of bunny ears in the Target dollar bins and I just had to have them:

Bunny

 

Then the madness spread:

 Bunny ears

The next thing you know, they were multiplying like rabbits!

M&G2013

It was a great weekend but it all passed way too fast. Now we start planning for next year.

Do you have an annual get-together or event you look forward to all year? How soon is too soon to start a countdown calendar?

 

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Monday Mayhem – Yay!

Days! I see my girls in just a few days!

M&G

Yes, I know I crowed about this the last time, but it’s been a year. Yes, an entire year has passed since I’ve seen some of these ladies. I don’t know how I survived it. I’m so excited I may bust right out of my yoga pants. Okay, that may be because of the chip kick I’ve been on lately, but you get the point. I am sad that not everyone will be able to make it this year, but I was born and raised a Cubs fan. I always believe next year will be our year.

I’ve made some progress on the book. It’s definitely not flowing as easily as some of the others, but I am trying to let go of the nit-pickiness and just write. A couple characters introduced themselves to me yesterday afternoon. I’m hoping they can light a little fire under me.

In other news, we’re in the final countdown to grandparentdom. Yay! Thanks to my fabulous friends, I have a swanky new Vera Bradley diaper bag, cementing my standing as the cool grandma.

 bag

Being the step-grandma, I got to choose my moniker. Therefore, I chose to retain the name that’s been pinned on me since I was a baby and declared myself the little man’s ‘Moogie’. Fodder will take the traditional route and be called ‘Granddad’.

Let’s see…what else?

I joined Weight Watchers again. (See bit above concerning chip binges) It’s amazing how fast I gain weight these days. I’m not going to get all het up about it, but I do want to keep it in check as much as I can. I’ve also gone back to the gym. I haven’t been running regularly since the flu took me out of the race last fall. It feels like I’m back to square one, even though I know I’m not. I’m scoping out 5k runs in the area, but I haven’t registered for one yet. The travel schedule for the day job isn’t set in stone, so I’ll have to wait to see where I may be in the coming months.

What are your plans for the week? Now that we’re past that first rush of resolutions, have you changed or added new goals for 2013? Yoga pants – scourge of fashion or God’s gift to middle-aged women? I could totally get away with carrying that diaper bag as a purse, couldn’t I?

These are the burning questions. Answer one or more of them and I may hook you or a friend up with digital copies of the first two books in Maggie Wells’ sizzling new Hot Nights in St. Blaise series.

Ready? Go!

JumpingMr.JanuaryFEB_MWells_MD

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Monday Mayhem – Nervous Nellie Edition

I’m home! I’m home, I’m home, I’m home! Well, I’m home for another 10 days. 🙂 The good news is that my next trip will be pleasure and not business. The bad news? Well, I seem to have misplaced my motivation. I have a novel to write and I’m having a hard time getting into it.

If you’re my editor, please stop reading here.

I’ll make the deadline.

I swear.

You see, this story is going to be very different from anything I’ve written before. This story will deal with a very difficult subject matter – marital infidelity.

I will state here and now that I have no personal experience in this area. At least, not that I know of. If any of you know something I don’t know, please keep it to yourself. I’m a huge fan of oblivion. Unfortunately, my character, Shel, doesn’t have that luxury. The poor woman is going to have to deal with her husband’s indiscretion head-on.

As an author, this is a very exciting and intimidating prospect. You see, the main character is ‘speaking’ to me in 1st person. I’ve never written in 1st, only 3rd. It’s going to be a big jump to master a new style. Dealing with touchy subject matter is another worry, but one I’m queasy (not quasi)-excited to tackle. So yeah…while I’m looking forward to facing this life challenge with my character, I’m praying it’s the only time I ever have to deal with it.

I know that, like Shel, I’m just going to have to jump and start wading through it. Here’s hoping we both come out stronger on the other side.

What do you have going on in your world?

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Monday Mayhem – Where’s Margaret?

It’s Monday, so I must be in Texas…. At least, that’s the way it seems lately.

So far I have visited El Paso and Odessa. Today, I’m in San Angelo.

For the geographically challenged. And the Canadians.
For the geographically challenged.
And the Canadians.

Let me tell you, the cowboy/oil tycoon/rodeo star plot bunnies are running rampant, my friends!

So, yeah. Margaret’s not home right now, but if you’re really missing me a lot, you can check out the post I did about procrastination on the Diamond State Romance Authors blog last week. And, if you just can’t wait to hear from me again, it’s my turn to host the blog at Everybody Needs A Little Romance this Thursday.

I’ve been a bit out of my comfort zone (which means I’ve been anywhere but my chair), so I messed up a bit on my posts last week. You see, I shared a post from my good friend, Evelyn Jules, on Thursday, but it was supposed to be this week’s Monday Mayhem post. I guess I got excited that it was her birthday, and posted it on her special day. So yeah…I blew my post lineup and I’ve got nothing. But if you missed it, please click here to check it out!

In the meantime, I’ll give you a special travel-themed round of two truths and a lie and give away winner’s choice from any book on my digital backlist. Got ’em all? Play anyway and I’ll give you a copy for a friend!

You ready? Go!

1) I prefer a aisle seat over a window.

2) I love talking to people on planes.

3) I take antihistamines before flying to keep my ears from clogging.

Have a great week, my darlings! I’ll be home soon!

P.S. Thanks to all who commented on Karen Booth’s Monday Mayhem post. You guys rock!

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Monday Mayhem – Let’s catch up

Are you there readers? It’s me, Margaret.

Did you enjoy meeting Valerie Haight? She’s a doll. How about that round of two truths and a lie? It was hard to figure out which one was the fib, but Laurie and Carol got it right. Val is not a Courtney Cox wannabe.

I’m just back from a fabulous weekend in St. Louis with my girlfriends. Here’s a picture of us taken at the observation deck atop the Gateway Arch.

Arch

Laughter. Tears. Laughter through tears. Most of it induced by Cards Against Humanity. Had an incredible dinner at Trattoria Marcella on The Hill. A little winter weather and some other interstate complications made getting home a challenge, but I’m happy to report that no limbs were lost and no one was arrested.

Getting ready for an intense round of business travel. I’ll be leading three day classes in three West Texas towns over the course of three weeks. Oy.

What does this mean for you, dear readers? It means you get to meet more of my friends.

Next Monday, Renee Vincent will be here to talk about her latest release, The Temperate Warrior. On the 28th, by pal Karen Booth will visit. I’m very excited for her upcoming novel, Bring Me Back. I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of this rockin’ novel!

What does all this travel mean for me? It means buckling down and cranking out some words in strange rooms. You’d think it was a simple matter of ‘have laptop, will travel’, but it’s not. Margaret is a creature of habit. Being out of my comfort zone throws me off my game. But, I did it during NaNo, and I can do it again. I have to. I have deadlines to meet. 🙂

What will I be working on whilst I’m away? Containment!

This will be the third in what I call (in my head) the Chicago Girls series. Containment will be Shel’s story. Shel was Tracy (Contentment) and Maggie’s (Commitment) roommate when they lived in the city. It will be an After Happily Ever story focusing on issues of expectations, trust and fidelity. It willl release Fall 2013.

In other news, I have roughed out six new Jack and Ellie stories to complete the Long Distance Love series. I’ll be working with TMP to release a compilation all of the stories used in anthologies, the free reads, and these new stories to bring their love story full circle. Look for it this fall too!

So, yeah…. Busy times. But I also have tons of good stuff to look forward to in the coming months. A few of the highlights:

  • I’m hooking up with my Super Cool Party People in February! Yay! I only get to see most of these crazy ladies once a year, and that’s not nearly enough. I plan to laugh until we all lay on the floor, panting and spent.
  • I’ll be attending the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Kansas City this May. Not only will I get to meet and chat with new readers, but I will have the added bonus of quality time with some of my author buddies. RT is open to the public. If you’re in the KC area and would like to attend, you can find more information here.
  • Miss Maggie is keeping me crazy busy with all these releases. What was she thinking? She was thinking the world needed more sexy, steamy romance. The Hot Nights in St. Blaise series has now been launched. Jumping Mr. January is available now, and February’s Fling will release the week of January 27th. There are 12 novellas in this series, so plan your 2013 reading now! Be sure to like Maggie’s page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter to keep up with the latest.
  • Downton Abbey and Castle are back. Thank goodness.
  • Tim Bunny is still cute. And bad. Cute and bad. No wonder I can’t resist him.

I think that’s the gist of what’s happening in my world. What’s happening in yours? Read anything good lately? Can you believe what happened on Downton? Could Castle and Beckett get any cuter? Any travel on your calendar?

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Monday Mayhem – It’s been mayhem!

Just a short post as I am just back from celebrating Christmas with my family up north, and now I’m getting ready to do it all over again down here.

The winner of last week’s $5 Amazon card was Renee Vincent! Congratulations, Renee!

I’m going to take the next couple of weeks off from blogging, as I’ll be doing some website maintenance. Finger crossed, I’ll have a whole new look for you in 2013.

I want to to thank you all for making 2012 an incredible year for me. You have been my inspiration, and I appreciate each and every one of you.

To prove it, I’m giving away one more Amazon card – this one for $10!! Comment on this post and tell me what 2013 has in store for you, and you’re in. Yes, I am that easy.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy New Year!

xoxo

Margaret

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Monday Mayhem – Reader & Cookie Appreciation Month

It’s been a whirlwind of a year for me. I had three novels release, changed positions at the day job, flirted with empty nest syndrome, discovered I’m going to be a grandma next year, and by the end of December, will have tracked over 400k words written.

In other words…I’m tired.

So I know we’re all busy in December, so I thought I’d dedicate this month to two things very close to my heart. You, my dear friends, and cookies.

Notice how I put you first? I’m feeling schmoopy today.

I will have a couple of guest bloggers this month, and I’m really excited to have them here. Big things are happening for these ladies, and I think you’ll enjoy getting to know them.

Wanted to share a new holiday cookie recipe, too. These are not just yummy things I snagged off Pintrest, either. These are tried and true family favorites that I’ve been baking for years. If you missed last year’s Lime Cooler recipe, you can get it HERE.

Everyone who comments and shares a favorite holiday recipe/craft/tradition on my post will be entered into a drawing. Each Sunday, I will draw the name of one winner for a $5 Amazon gift card and their choice of one of the books from my digital backlist (a great gift for a friend!). I’ll also be picking names in the weeks when my guest bloggers post, so be sure to comments on their posts as well.

I know it’s not much, but I want to do something to show how much I appreciate you and the support you have given me and my authory friends throughout the year.

Sooooo. Let’s get to it, shall we?

Today’s cookie of choice are these delicious Almond Butter Cookies. I discovered this recipe in one of those checkout stand books Land ‘O Lakes butter put out about fifteen years ago. I still have the book, and I still make these melt-in-your-mouth cookies every year.

 

Almond butter cookies

Mmmm. Enjoy!

Oh! And happy book birthday to my pal, Renee Vincent! The Temperate Warrior releases today from Turquoise Morning Press!

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Let the madness begin!

The winner of last week’s contest was Christine! Thank you all for your comments!

Okay, so we’ve made it through Thanksgiving and I can now turn my attention to Christmas. Unlike many retailers, we do not acknowledge the approach of the December holidays until after the November birthdays and Thanksgiving Day have passed. That being said… Look what followed me home from the tree farm yesterday!

Isn’t he cute? I have him up here in the writing nest with me where I can give my little Charlie Brown tree the love he needs.

You see, I may refuse to shop in April or decorate in July, but I love the holiday season. I believe that the nearly four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas provide ample time to scatter glitter around my house (indoors and out), tie bows on everything that doesn’t move (and some that do – sorry Tim), and stimulate the economy with impulse buys (see picture above).

So let the madness begin! We’ve tagged our tree and will go cut it down in a couple of weeks. I’ll be making a list of baking supplies and going to the store twice because I inevitably find a new recipe I simply must try. The hubby will be dragging boxes of decorations up from the barn all week.

So, are you one who starts early or are you fashionably late to the holiday party? It’s okay if you’re already there. I won’t mock you too much for being a holiday overachiever. Much. 😉

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