Thursday, December 28, 2006

COOKIE SWAP: Celine Chatillon


Holiday Greetings: Here's to you and yours this holiday season... Enjoy a good read or two--curl up by the fire with a red-hot romance from Celine Chatillon.

Santa's Big Little Helper

Be careful what you ask for­-you just may get it!
Suellen tells Santa she wants the cover model on her romance novel, and he delivers on his promise. Merry Christmas!

Pumpkin Pie Bars
(which work well with fresh pumpkin, too.)

1 18 1/2 oz. box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup melted margarine
4 eggs
1 30 oz. can pumpkin (can use about four cups fresh pumpkin)
1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup softened margarine

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 13 X 9 " pan.
Remove 1 cup of cake mix and set aside.
Beat 1 egg. In large bowl, stir together
remaining cake mix, melted butter and beaten egg. Press into pan.
Beat remaining 3 eggs and stir in pumpkin, 1/2
cup white sugar, brown sugar, milk and cinnamon.
Pour over cake mixture in pan.
To the remaining cake mix add 1/2 cup white
sugar, walnuts and softened margarine. Mix till crumbly and sprinkle on
Bake for 35 minutes or until knife comes out clean in center.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

COOKIE SWAP: Marcia King-Gamble


Holiday greeting:

"Warm wishes for a safe and happy holiday season. Thank you for your support."

All About Me

Big-boned beauty, Chere Adam's got her eye on Flaming Place's hottest hunk, fitness fanatic, Quentin Abrahams. After weeks of starvation, aerobics, and elocution classes she's about to throw in the towel. Could be Quentin is more interested in the old Chere. Read the second in the Flamingo Beach series.

Pecan Holiday Cookies

1 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
11/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg (large)
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flaked coconut

Heat oven to 350. Grease baking sheets. Mix flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt. In large bowl separately use electric mixer to beat butter. Then add sugar, egg and almond extract. Blend flour, pecans, coconut until smooth and fluffy.

Use tablespoon to drop dough on baking sheets. Bake eight to ten minutes until lightly browned. Halfway through turn tray for even browning. Makes about 40 cookies.

Happy eating!

Marcia King-Gamble
All About Me - Harlequin January 2007
Down and Out in Flamngo Beach - Harlequin May 2007
Hook Line & Single - Harlequin July 2007
Sex on Flamingo Beach - Harlequin November 2007

Friday, December 22, 2006

FEATURED AUTHOR: Albert Williams

SORMAG: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

Albert Williams:
Firstly, LaShaunda, let me say it is always a pleasure to talk about creative writing, whether my own or anyone else’s. My name is Albert Llewellyn Benoit Williams I was born 44 years ago in Emsworth, United Kingdom to Victor and Linda Williams who had migrated to the UK in the early sixties.

In 1972, I returned to Dominica, with my father and siblings (one brother and two sisters) where I would find my calling to be a poet, freelance- journalist and author in that order.

Among the highlights of my career are:
* 1981-first published article, in The Chronicle. Since then, In addition, I have had scores of my articles, poems, letters to the editor, columns, as well as features on me, published in The Sun, Tropical star, The Voice, The Independent, DBS Radio, Kairi FM, Marpin TV, Sat TV and The Government Information Service
* 1982-First self-published, book of poems, Honourable Natty Dread.
* 1983-founding member of Frontline Co-operative bookstore
* 1983-Founding member of Dominica Writers Guild(DWG)
* 1985-Second self-published book of poetry, One Dominica Odes for I Beloved.
* 1995-Produced and presented one-hour, literary radio, talk show: Dominica Writers Guild Review
* 1996-third self-published, book of poetry, Through the Far Eye.(ISBN 976-8155-00-0)
* 2002- Earned diploma in Journalism/Short-Story Writing from Harcourt Direct, formerly International Correspondence Schools (ICS)
* 2002-Invited to join The Chronicle as fulltime reporter.
* 2005-first book of short stories, Haunted Heritage, and Other Stories (ISBN 1-4241-0680-X) published by Publishamerica.

SORMAG: Tell us about your current book?

In 2004, I returned to the UK. Among my few possessions that I left Dominica with were my writing course modules, over 250 press cuttings, photocopies of my past publications and other unpublished poems and short stories.

I wasn’t long before I began to search the Internet to look for publishers who might be interested in publishing my short stories. I discovered Publishamerica in July 2005. I was immediately drawn to this publishing house due to the fact that they offered me a contract that stated that they would underwrite the cost of publishing, and in addition, provide me with a website and all I had to do was to submit the material.

About five months later, Haunted Heritage and Other Stories was released, and is now available through a network of online retail and wholesale booksellers including, including Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Chapters, WH Smith, and among others.

Publishamerica designed the book cover. It is a paperback, 5.5x8.5 inches, and 132 pages long. It comprises nine short stories, many of which were written as assignments during my writing course, and subsequently published in several Dominican newspapers, as well as the love poem, Goddess.

As you would expect, the stories are a reflection of Caribbean and Dominican themes, In my opinion, this volume of work is an excellent introduction to the lifestyle of the Caribbean. In writing these pieces, I drew on my own fascination and experiences growing in Dominica. I am very pleased with this work.

SORMAG: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

What I would like readers to take away from my book is the realism depicted of the Dominican way of life. Stories like The Storm, Nature Guide, My Little Lamb and I’ve Seen it all before, are humorous and true- to-life. I would like them to appreciate my story-telling craft, and ultimately, to have a pleasurable reading experience.

SORMAG: What advice would you offer on learning the craft of writing?

There are two types of writers: One is born, and the other is made. The one who is a born writer will naturally have a distinct advantage over one who wants to develop talent from a scratch. The natural writer will easily be drawn to the beauty of language, and the myriad forms of expression. He or she, will find it easy to assimilate and utilise the rules of grammar, and to benefit from any formal or informal course of study in creative writing and English Literature.

My advice to both groups would be: to learn the craft from whatever source is available to you. Make reading of fiction, modern, and old school, part of your lifestyle, and practice, practice and practice. It is also useful to join writers groups, and writer’s forums, where you can share ideas with other writers, and benefit from their criticisms. And moreover, to make the studying of language your lifelong hobby.

SORMAG: How are you marketing your book, and what are your thoughts about the importance of marketing for authors?

At the moment, I am concentrating my efforts around creating awareness of the availability of my book through mass circulation of press releases, to attract as many persons to my websites. I have also managed to arrange with libraries in West Sussex, here in the United Kingdom and in Dominica to have the book available for their members. I have also had the book reviewed, and the reviews circulated and published on my websites, the Internet and in other hard copy publications to create a “buzz”.

As we speak, My fiancée, Tempie King, who is based in the USA, and I are embarking on strategies to introduce my work to the USA market. We are also making plans to launch into the book market in the United Kingdom as a team.

SORMAG: Name your top five favourite writing books of all time.

In my time, I have read many books on creative writing. Many of which are now faint memories, but chief among would be:
* Three Genres-The Writing of Poetry, Fiction and Drama by Stephen Minot.
* The Art of Criticism (An anthology of various contributors.)
* Novel Writing by Writers Digest, *
* Writing Romance by Vanessa Grant.
* Journalism/Short Story Writing Course from Harcourt Direct.

SORMAG: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?

Feelings (ISBN 1-4241-0706-7 Publishamerica) by Tempie who is also a fellow publishamerica author.

SORMAG: What resources do you use on the net?

I contribute to writers forums, surf author resource websites, I also subscribe to a number of newsletters and look for writers software. Incidentally, the cover of Haunted Heritage and Other Stories was selected to be the cover design for a children’s reading software by a Dominican education specialist.

SORMAG: How can readers get in contact with you? (Mail, email, website)

I may be contact by:


Postal address:

27 Dalewood Gardens,
West Sussex,
United kingdom,
RH10 8XP


(Home) 011-44[0] 1293-402-517

Cell 011-44[0] 78-598-461-68


Thursday, December 21, 2006

EXCERPT: Haunted Heritage and Other Stories

by Albert Williams

Haunted Heritage, a tale about Margaret, a Dominican nurse returning to her homeland accompanied by her British husband. She soon becomes the joke of the village when she appears to be overtaken by bouts of manic depression as diagnosed by a psychiatrist…

But as the story unfolds, to the bemusement of her husband, Phillip, Margaret, is later hailed as one of the town’s famous residents when not only is she discovered to be the descendent of a famous writer, but also has a celebrated manuscript of her own.

Other stories in this collection: I’ve Seen it all before’, Baby in the Middle’, ‘Nature Guide’ Recipe For Murder’, Dear Sisters,’ 'My little Lamb', ‘The Storm and ’ ‘A Christmas Story’, explore the lives of seemingly ordinary characters, thrown into unusual situations.

The book also includes the love poem, GODDESS.
This publication will provide many hours of pleasant reading that will have you gagging for more from the same source.

Albert Williams was born in Emsworth, England in 1962.

His previous publications include the poetry titles:
· Honourable Natty Dread 1982
· One Dominica-Odes for I beloved 1985
· Through the Far Eye –1996

Williams is currently working on his first novel.
Copyright 2005 Albert Williams



She had instructed the gardener to mow and rake the lawn just as he would have done; Raleigh loved his front garden lawn trimmed every two weeks. Six months following their marriage, he had accepted a seven-year scholarship to study medicine. She only saw him once a year. Then for six weeks, they would enjoy each other’s company, and in the evening have passionate sex all night long.

In the sixth year, Mrs. Gamely announced to her husband over the telephone that she was expectant with child. Her husband of course received the news joyfully.

“I can’t wait to leave the University to hold little Bernard if it’s a boy,” he said “or little Bernadette if it’s a girl.” He told his wife that he would be coming home to stay, in the summer of 1989. That summer arrived sooner than Mrs. Gamely would have liked, but he was already here.

Raleigh had hired a taxi, arrived at 8:30 am at the Canefield airport two hours ahead of time. “At least he could have
telephoned to say that he had arrived,” Mrs. Gamely thought to herself.

“I see you have managed to keep the keep the lawn and garden under control,” he said.

“Whilst you were away,” she replied, “the neighbour’s son offered to do the gardening for us, you don’t mind, do you?”

Mr. Gamely sat down on one of the upholstered chairs; he reached into his shirt pocket pulling out a packet of cigarettes.
“Aren’t you going to kiss me?” his wife asked. “You haven’t even asked to see the child, it’s a boy.”

“I know it’s a boy! How many times do you have to tell me that!”

“Come-come-Raleigh, there’s no need to be upset now. What you need is a long rest after your journey home.”

“What I need is some good advice,” he replied stiffly.

Mrs. Gamely had gone to fetch the child who had been asleep, but was crying full guns. “Voila!” She thrust the little child on him.

“He doesn’t look a bit like me,” Raleigh said. “Come to think of it he doesn’t look like either of us.”

“Raleigh! What has gotten into you, first you arrive two hours ahead of schedule…”
“Are you afraid of something?” Raleigh asked raising his voice.

“You’re not getting swell-headed, are you doctor?” Mrs. Gamely rocked the baby in her arms gently.

“And what do you mean by that?”

“I mean you have changed so much these last few years, you’ve even taken up smoking. Surely doctors shouldn’t smoke, especially in the company of women and children.” She left the room with the baby crying loudly.

Later, Mrs. Gamely prepared a supper for her husband consisting of his entire favourite dishes and liqueurs. ”Honey, you’ve hardly taken a bite, is there something wrong?”

“Yvette, I need to talk to you.”

“That’s what I’m here for,” Mrs. Gamely replied, “all those years.”

“All those years I trusted, provided for you and…” his voice trailed off to a whisper, “you’ve done this to me.”

Mrs. Gamely grew as white as a sheet. “I can’t take it, I can’t take it.” She stormed from the table.

“Yvette! Yvette! Get back here at once!” the Dr. called out to her. He got up from the table and rushed to catch up with her. Yvette was in the room gazing at the little
boy, her expression one of puzzlement. “Yvette, can we talk this over like two adults.”

“What is there to talk about,” Mrs. Gamely sobbed. “You’ve got what you wanted, you’re doctor so and so…”

“I had a sperm count,” the doctor said coldly.

“A sperm count?” Yvette repeated doubtfully.

“Yes,” replied the doctor. “You see…It was optional, for our own benefit. Reproductive cycles forms part of human sexuality, you know that much, don’t you.”

“How could I not have,” Yvette replied. “Your studies made quite a difference in your love making, all that tantric stuff and…”

“And the results,” broke in the doctor, “were negative.”

“Negative, what do you mean negative?”

“I mean that according to the specialist, the number and quality of these little wrigglers in my scrotum are very low and unable to produce a child.”

“Unable to produce a child!” replied his wife.

“Unable to impregnate a female’s ovary,” the doctor explained.

“Are you telling me that?…”
“I’m impotent.” The doctor crumbled to the floor, his head resting on the edge of the bed. The room swirled around him in contrasting emotions. “I don’t believe this nonsense.” His wife hoped that he
was joking.

“According to my results I could not have fathered a child, not even if I wanted to.” Raleigh stood up, and drew the window curtains letting in the moonlight. In the
distance of about ten yards, the neighbour’s house stood out with its high railings and red galvanised roof.

“Are you serious?” asked his wife.


“Then you have been unfaithful to me.” The doctor turned round, his light brown eyes focused and cold. He suddenly grabbed Yvette and shook her violently. “You were unfaithful to me.”

“You’re hurting me,” Yvette screamed. At the sound of his mother’s voice, the baby began to wail even louder. Mr. Gamely let her loose. For a split second he had lost his sanity. His wife’s shrieking had brought him back to his senses. “Tell me the truth woman!” he growled, “or else.”

Mrs. Gamely realised that she could not play the game any longer. She confessed that while he had been studying she had been rather lonely. “I tried to keep
myself occupied,” she explained. “I went to church meetings, to the gym, I even started taking computer lessons, but at nights…At nights.”

“Go on,” demanded the doctor, “go on.”

“O.K. Raleigh, I’ll tell you the truth. I had Roger come over a few nights to keep me company,” she said softly.

“Roger? Who is Roger?”

“The young man who looked after the garden,” she replied.

“Is that the truth?”

“Yes I swear Raleigh, I swear.”

The doctor ran his hand over his head, then over his furrowed brow where a light sweat had broken out. “But did he have to go all the way. At least he could have had
a little respect for you,” he said finally.

“I tried,” defended his wife, “to explain to him that all I needed was company, but he didn’t listen I suppose.
The doctor summarised. “At least he could have used protection, you could
even have contracted AIDS.”

“Oh Raleigh, what are we going to do. I’m so embarrassed.

“The child should have a father and a home, but what about our reputation?” he said, “I need to think.”
After a period of fifteen minutes, Mr. Gamely broke his silence. “We’ll have to keep this under cover.”

“Under cover? What do you mean?” asked Yvette. “I mean, I know you always wanted to have children,” he began. “And since it’s been clinically tested that I can’t
produce sufficiently healthy sperm to impregnate you, we’ll have to adopt the little bastard.”

“You mean,” exclaimed Yvette.

“I mean, having considered all the options, and the scandal this would cause if it were to leak out to the public,” he concluded, “We’ll have to raise him as if it were my very own.”

Yvette gazed at the month-old infant sobbing on the bed, his head was turned to the left, and the profile bore
a strong resemblance of Roger. “And what about Roger?”

“What about him,” he replied. “I’m sure that you don’t expect him to claim the child and face a lifetime of shame.” Raleigh was breathing evenly now. “And besides, he has not got the wherewithal to provide for a child.”

“Oh Raleigh, what have I done to you.” Yvette moved closer to Raleigh and sobbed on his shoulder. “I’m sorry, so sorry.”

“As I said the best plan of action is to accept the circumstance,” declared the doctor. “So much for bedroom manners and respecting your neighbour’s wife!”

“And what about Roger, do you think he’ll agree?”

“Don’t worry about him from today. Tell him he’s been fired; we’ll give him a handsome severance pay. I’m
sure he’ll find somebody else’s garden to mow and tend to.”
Two weeks later Mr. and Mrs. Gamely christened the babe, Bernard. He grew up in their household unaware of the irregularities surrounding his identity. Roger was forbidden from seeing the child, and the doctor kept his secret for the rest of his life. After all which one is worse: to be unable to father children, or to raise an illegitimate child from an adulterous union. Neither the doctor nor his wife needed any prompting here.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

COOKIE SWAP: Sheila A. Lipsey

Holiday Wishes To The Readers,

To everyone who takes the time to support your favorite author(s), I wish you a blessed and joyous Christmas and New Year. There is so much for us to be thankful for and you, our readers, should know that without your support, your encouragement, your reviews, your purchases, we would not be able to be successful in this vast literary arena. As the new year rapidly approaches, I extend my thanks to you in advance for any and everything you decide to do to help me in the upcoming year. May your families and loved ones be blessed abundantly and may all of your dreams come into full fruition!

Into Each Life

Raised in the church, best friends Prodigal and Teary learn at an early age that having faith in God is easier said than done. An intriguing story about the value of friendship, the strength of love, and the struggle with keeping the faith in the midst of hurt, temptation and disappointment.

Cornflake Wreath Cookies

(No Baking Necessary)

1/2 cup butter

3 cups miniature marshmallows

1/2 tsp almond extract

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp green food color

4 cups corn flakes

red hot candies

silver drages


Melt butter, add marshmallows, stirring until all marshmallows are melted. Add extracts and food coloring; stir until it is a uniform green color. When mixture is smooth, add corn flakes; mix well but gently so as not to crush the cornflakes. Form into wreath shapes on sheets of waxed paper, decorate with red cinnamon candies and silver drages. Let cool then start eating!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Thanks For Stopping By

I want to thank everyone for stopping by and having fun with us today.

I hope you enjoyed the trivia and scramble word games.

May you all have a blessed Christmas and New Year.

See you next year!

Don't forget to check the Doorprize page.

Send me your address so you can receive your prizes.




I’m excited that you took the time to stop by. I have a few games set up to play and this year we’re serving non-alcoholic drinks due to the hostess is expecting a baby in February.

So grab a few snacks from our dessert bar (Red Velvet Cake, Seven Up Pound Cake, Christmas Cookies, Turtle Cake, New York Cheese Cake and Cherry Swirl Cheesecake)

Pick a hot drink from our Chocolate Bar (Hot cocoa with whip cream and marshmallows with a cherry on top, or a Chocolate Carmel Latte)

Mingle with the other guests who drop by. Tell us how your holiday plans are going.

What is your favorite CHRISTMAS MUSIC.

Play our TRIVIA or SCRAMBLE and win a prize.

Stop by our Buy A Book For Christmas Room, purchase some Christmas presents for you or a friend. Authors if your book isn’t listed, tell us about it in the comments section.

Again thanks for stopping by and enjoy yourself.

SORMAG’s Editor/Hostess

P.S. Don’t forget to check our DOORPRIZE WINNERS to see if you’re a lucky winner.




(Leave Answers In Comments Section -YOU CAN ONLY WIN ONCE)



In O Little Town of Bethlehem; where do the silent stars go by?

Which song is considered America's most popular Christmas song?


Which popular Christmas carol is considered to be a lullaby?

In Holly Jolly Christmas, the lyrics tell us to have a cup of what?


In the carol, It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas; in the
lyrics, what is the prettiest sight to see?

In the song Jingle Bells; what kind of sleigh is it?

TRIVIA 4 -We have a winner -Tempie

What happens to the character played by Tim Allen in "The Santa Clause?"
a) he gains weight b) grows a beard c) he gets fired d) all of the above

White Christmas" is set in
a) Colorado b) Montana c) New Hampshire d) Vermont

TRIVIA 3 (We have a winner - Chrissy Blackman)

Miracle on 34th Street revolves around which department store?
a) Bloomingdale's b) Macys c) Parisian d) Neiman Marcus

In "Home Alone, "a young boy is abandoned when his parents rush to a holiday vacation in:
a) Vermont b) London c) Paris d) New York

TRIVIA 2 (we have a winner - Tina Allen)

Who plays Bing Crosby's Army buddy in "White Christmas?"
a) Jimmy Stewart b) Dean Martin c) Danny Kaye d) Bob Hope

The little girl who's skeptical about Santa Clause in "Miracle on 34th Street" is played by:
a) Natalie Wood b) Audrey Hepburn c) Anne Bancroft d) Sharon Stone

TRIVIA 1 (we have a winner - Patsy Nelson)

What's the name of George Bailey's guardian angel in "It's a Wonderful Life?"
a) Ariel b) Henry c) Clarence d) Frank

In "It's a Wonderful Life," George Bailey as a boy suffers an injury to his:
a) foot b) arm c) eyes d) ear
















SCRAMBLE 3 (we have a winner - Chrissy Blackman)



SCRAMBLE 2 (we have a winner - Tina Allen)




SCRAMBLE 1 (we have a winner - Tee Royal)




Check back each hour for new words

Christmas Songs


What is your favorite Christmas song and why?




Thanks for stopping by

Soul Strut by Lynn Emery - Winner Sylvia Hubbard

Groovy Chicks' Road Trip To Love - Dee


Autograph book and mug by Melanie Schuster


Deep Down by Katherine Jones

SCRAMBLE 7 - Melissa

Pleasuring the Prince by Patricia Grasso


SORMAG Goody Bag


Sweet Repercussions by Kimberly White

SCRAMBLE 6 - Patricia Williams

True Blood by Patricia White

GUEST 5 - Eleanor Shields

Autograph book and mug by Melanie Schuster


Chapter Excerpts From Cynthianna Appel

TRIVIA 5 - Dee

Haunted Hertiage and Other Stories by Albert Williams

GUEST 4 - Patricia Williams

SORMAG Goody Bag

SCRAMBLE -4 - Elenore Shields

Christmas Grace an E-Book by Robin Bayne

TRIVIA - 4 -Tempie

A copy of Deep Down by Katherine Jones

GUEST 3 - Rhonda Jackson

SORMAG Goody Bag

SCRAMBLE 3 - Chrissy Blackman

Chapter Excerpts from Celene Chatillion (erotica)

TRIVIA 3 - Chrissy Blackman

Pink Jinx by Sandra Hill

GUEST 2 - Tempie

SORMAG Goody Bag

SCRAMBLE 2 - Tina Allen

Autograph copy of Feelings by Tempie

TRIVIA 2 - Tina Allen
Autograph book and mug by Melanie Schuster

FIRST GUEST - Gwyneth Bolton
A bookbag that includes one signed copy of each of Deborah Mello’s books

Take Me To Heart
A Love For All Time
The Right Side of Love
Forever And A Day
Love In The Lineup
In The Light of Love

Autograph book and mug by Melanie Schuster

TRIVIA ONE - Patsy Nelson
A copy of Deep Down by Katherine Jones

Winners please send your name/mailing address to -
If you would like to donate a prize, contact me at
Thanks to all the authors who donated prizes

Friday, December 15, 2006



Elaine Overton

December 2006
ISBN: 158314790X

Roxanne Sanchez was out to even the score with the Las Vegas casino owner who had duped her parents. To do so, she had to get past Ike Bancroft, the sexy and ruthless head of security for the most powerful boss on the strip.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

COOKIE SWAP - Rochelle Alers


Christmas Memories . . . Past and Present

As a Baby Boomer I grew up in New York City’s Upper Westside where the signs of Christmas were evident by the number of trees stacked up on a street corner selling for paltry sums ranging from two to ten dollars. Yes, the same trees which sell for two or three hundred dollars – that must be kept hydrated and the lights that must be checked constantly for faulty wiring. Instead of the homes in my current neighborhood that are festooned with so many lights that they can guide planes in for a landing at nearby JFK Airport, we hung a lone wreath on the front window in our tenement apartment.

Christmas cards were simple Currier&Ives creations with scenes of red-cheeked carolers or ice skaters on a frozen pond in the country. To a city girl if I wanted to ice skate then I had to go to Central Park, which happened to be only half a block away, then ride the bus downtown about thirty blocks to the Wollman Rink to spend more time sitting on my behind or holding onto the railing than gliding over the frozen water. I’m ashamed to admit I never learned to ice skate, much to the chagrin of my Long Island-reared daughter who spent most Saturdays at the local recreation center’s indoor rink. I still love the C&I cards, but would like to see them updated to include images the people of color. Even Norman Rockwell finally included children of color in his sketches.

Christmas of long ago was about a new sled, pair of skates, a pale-face, blond doll with eyes that opened and closed and new clothes: socks, hair ribbons and a wool hat with matching gloves. Today it is X-Boxes, Ipods, cell phones, designer bags, three hundred dollars sneakers and don’t forget the “bling-blang.”

We have to ask ourselves if we are sending the wrong message. Do we feel guilty because, unlike our mothers or grandmothers who were stay-at-home moms, we must work and are spending so much time away from our children that we seek to reward them with material things. I still hold dear the reason for the season and all it represents – the birth of the savior of the world. It is also a season of reflection and for families and friends to reconnect – even if it’s only through Christmas cards. Whenever I get a card from someone who I haven’t seen in more than a decade it lets me know that the bond is still there.

This cookie recipe, known as the “Sweetest Revenge,” has made the rounds on the Internet. The rumor is Neiman Marcus charged a customer $250.00 for the recipe instead of “two fifty” or $2.50. The rest is history. I’ve made these cookies twice, and as a wordsmith I’m at a loss to describe their delectability.

Bake the cookies for Christmas, then the day after go to the bookstore, pick up the PLEASURE SEEKERS and curl up in bed and enjoy the lives and loves of three young women who become professional escorts for some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful me.

Pleasure Seekers

Ilene is a captivatingly beautiful supermodel, Faye is an award-winning advertising executive and Alana is a brilliant editor for today's hottest fashion magazine. Now all three women are caught in the whirlwind of the super rich and famous. They find themselves the objects of the desires of every man--from movie stars, politicians, CEOs and rock stars to European royalty--men for whom there are no limits, nothing is too expensive, nothing is forbidden.

From Manhattan to Paris to Southampton, their new worlds are a torrent of sensual delights and unlimited luxuries. But ultimately they realize that there's only one thing more satisfying than money and power…love.

Neiman Marcus Cookies

Makes about 4 ½ Dozen

16 tbsp. (2 sticks) butter
1 cup of sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 ½ cups oatmeal, processed in blender to a fine powder
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 cups (about 12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1 ½ cups walnuts, chopped
4 oz. Hershey’s chocolate bar grated

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars together in a large bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add vanilla and eggs and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.

Add oatmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.

Stir in chocolate chips, walnuts and grated chocolate

Roll dough into 1½” balls and place 2” apart on large baking sheets. Bake until light golden but still soft in the middle, 10-12 minutes.

Transfer cookies to a rack and let cool.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

DEC e-Tour: Marsh, Robinson, Shivers

Kathy J. Marsh

Remy’s powerful attraction to a man so different threatens to destroy everything vital to her. Meanwhile, secrets are being spilled, and once the budding couple discovers the traitor’s identity, they feel compelled to take action.
Kim Robinson

I have found out so many things about my family that I have a new respect for people who survived slavery, reconstruction era, segregation and prohibition.

Margie Gosa Shivers

If you had a whimper of a chance to win back the love of your life, would you grab it? Against all expectations, a Chicago homicide detective who's ready to move for a career with the FBI finds himself wrestling with the notion when he agrees to face danger once more to prove a suicide was really a homicide.

Don't forget to visit the other eTours stops:

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

COOKIE SWAP: Marilynn Griffith


Holiday Wishes

Greeting everyone! Thanks to Lashaunda for allowing me to share my holiday wishes and recipes with you. This year, I'm not going to be able to make it to see my family in Dayton, Ohio, but they are heavy on my mind. Christmas Eve plays big in our holiday tradition as this is when we exchanged gifts and had a big dinner and everyone stayed home on Christmas day. My mother, brother and I put up our tree on Christmas Eve as well. This year, due to missing my family and just having a lot going on, we'll be doing this tradition again as well as making cookies to pass out to our neighbors on Christmas day. My hope is the same as most years, that my children will truly understand what the birth of Jesus meant and that I can receive the most perfect gift--the grace of God. I'm praying the same for you. Now on to the cookies!


Rochelle Gardner hasn't had a man since her son was born. Now her "baby" is about to have a child of his own. Is it too late for her to find a perfect fit? Or will a Christian dating service she signs up for on a whim help her find a match made in dates that is.

Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are a twist on regular chocolate chip cookies. They are sweet, so use less chocolate if you're sensitive to that. The cranberries cut some of the sweetness though. You can substitute brandy for the vanilla for a more warm taste.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon brandy
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and brandy. Combine the flour and baking soda; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the white chocolate chips and cranberries. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. For best results, take them out while they are still doughy. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Servings Per Recipe: 24
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 146
Total Fat: 5.9g
Cholesterol: 20mg
Sodium: 75mg
Total Carbs: 21.5g
Dietary Fiber: 0.6g
Protein: 1.4g

As you kick back and enjoy these, I hope you'll curl up with one of my books, which like these cookies, have a texture of sweet and sour moments, but love always wins in the end. My latest release is called IF THE SHOE FITS and is a follow up to my first novel. MADE OF HONOR.

Thanks so much for letting me share some my holiday traditions with you. Please stop by my website at for more information about my life and my books. I look forward to meeting you all on the road in 2007. Remember, If the Shoe Fits....share it! Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy New Year!
Serious Faith. Serious Fiction. Serious Fun.

Don't forget to stop by the Buy A Book For Christmas Room to purchase her book.

Monday, December 11, 2006


SORMAG: Give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

Patricia Haley:
Patricia Haley, national bestselling author of Nobody's Perfect, Blind Faith, Baby Blues, and No Regrets is a trailblazer in the mainstream faith-based fiction genre. She self-published her debut novel, Nobody's Perfect, in 1998 and immediately sold nearly 20,000 copies in an industry where selling 5,000 copies is highly regarded. Her faith-based novel was the first of its kind to repeatedly make numerous national best sellers list, including #1 on the Essence (African-American) bestselling list.

Originally from Rockford , IL , Patricia now lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Jeffrey. With an engineering degree from Stanford Univ. and an M.B.A. in marketing and finance from the Univ. of Chicago , readers are often surprised to hear that Patricia is writing faith-based fiction, given her technical and business background.

When asked how she got into writing, her response is, "I wasn't big on writing classes in college, because I never intended to be a writer. It just happened. One day I was led to write what I wanted to read - clean fiction, set in modern times, addressing real issues, and filled with a spiritual twist that uplifts the Lord. The writing came so easily that I wondered if it could be any good? Because everything flowed so well, I knew that my writing was anointed of God. So I named my self-publishing company, Anointed Vision in 1997."

SORMAG: Tell us about your current book?

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie is about jealousy, dysfunction in a family, gossip, betrayal, marital woes, and dark secrets that have been hovering over the Reynolds family for years. If secrets are exposed as some family members are determined to spitefully do, then marriages, paternity, and criminal charges are all up for grabs. The novel also tackles an issue quite prevalent in today’s society –the revelation of child molestation both in the home and at school. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie raises the question – can family love enable the most unthinkable act to be forgiven and the painful sting forgotten.

SORMAG: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

I want the readers to be entertained first. Then, before closing the book, I’d like for them to grasp the message that in spite of challenges and dysfunction, a family’s ability to forgive, to love, and to exercise a tad bit of diplomacy can get them through any situation, no matter how tragic the circumstances.

SORMAG: What led you to the idea of writing this book, and then to the actual writing of it?

HALEY: My books have never shied away from hard hitting topics, such as pregnancy out of wedlock and church hypocrisy in Nobody’s Perfect, breast cancer in No Regrets, the church’s opposition to interracial dating in Blind Faith, and internet infidelity, male depression, and abuse in Still Waters. No matter how solid a family appears, there are always issues which depending on how they’re handled can either strengthen or destroy bonds as evidenced in Let Sleeping Dogs Lie. Of my five novels in print, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie was the easiest to write, taking about five weeks. I began the story after Thanksgiving in 2005 and finished the draft around Christmas. I believe the reason for my speedy turnaround is threefold: 1- I have a better command of the craft, 2-the characteristics became so real and seemed to tell the story on their own, and 3-the story is packed with drama and suspense which typically leads to a fast read and apparently a fast write. The suspense element is a deviation from my other faith-based novels, but readers should expect to see more of this type writing from me.

SORMAG: What advice would you offer on learning the craft of writing?

HALEY: Read, Write, and Relax. The ability to tell a story is a God-given talent –either you have it or you don’t. However, the ability to tell a story better comes from mastering the craft. That’s the part that comes from discipline, practice, teachings, mentoring, and attending workshops. The more you read, the more you learn about different styles as well as what works and what doesn’t. In order to get better at writing, like most other areas in life, you have to practice ---write, write, write. Some say you need to write everyday. I believe you have to figure out what works for you whether it’s every day, every other day, or whatever schedule you establish, be committed and stick to your routine. Lastly, take a deep breath and relax, enjoy the literary journey. Being an author is about more than just cranking out a manuscript. It’s about the process of taking an idea and forming it into something tangible that others can read and ideally be blessed, inspired, enlightened, or encouraged as a result.

SORMAG: What’s something you wish you’d known earlier that might have saved you some time/frustration in the publishing business?

HALEY: In the beginning of my literary career, which began in the 90s, I had no idea how slowly the publishing wheels could turn. As someone coming from the fast-paced corporate finance and marketing arenas, where multi-million dollar deals were made in an instance, I had to adjust to the longer lead times and slower decision-making processes. The good news is that between writing, editing, and promoting, there’s always something to consume your time. I’m reminded that patience isn’t a characteristic that we seek to obtain, instead, it’s a learned behavior. Thanks to the publishing arena, I’ve completed an advanced patience training course which can be used in other areas of my life.

SORMAG: What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

HALEY: The one thing that I would like non-writers to remember is that authors are regular people too. We love and appreciate the support we get from writing our stories. We also get our feelings hurt on those rare occasions when people are unnecessarily cruel and get personal with comments, opinions, and sometimes reviews. We’re just regular people too.

SORMAG: What do you do to make time for yourself?

HALEY: I always make time for my husband and for myself. It’s important to stay balanced and to remember that whatever our job happens to be, it is only one aspect of our livelihood. Enjoying life and our relationships is at the core of long lasting memories.

SORMAG: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?

HALEY: I happen to be a morning person. You know, the one who wakes up at four or five o’clock in the morning without an alarm clock Monday through Sunday. So, nothing keeps me up all night. However, I have a list of books that kept me enthralled from the first page until the end like This Present Darkness and The Color of Water to name a few.

SORMAG: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

HALEY: Readers can always keep in contact with me through my website at or via email at If you prefer regular mail: P.O. Box 80735 Valley Forge, PA 19484

EXCERPT: Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
By Patricia Haley

Jealousy, gossip, betrayal, marital woes, and dark secrets, crush unity and laughter from the Reynolds family, leaving damaged remnants. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie tugs at the heart of human frailty and dysfunction, questioning whether faith and unconditional love can enable the unthinkable to be forgiven and the painful sting forgotten.

His office, slightly larger than a walk-in closet found in luxury homes outside town, was crammed with stacks of books and mounds of papers, quite a departure from the meticulous order he’d come to appreciate in boot camp forty years ago, a period of his life he labored to forget. An empty spot was hard to find. A five by seven photo with his wife and daughters, Angela and Sylvia, sat next to the picture of their only son, the one who had followed in his father’s military footsteps against his mother’s protest.
The walls followed the motif of the room – crowded, covered, concealed, except for the images of his family. They were his reason for living, the force driving him to excel at his job. Maple, oak, fake-wood, and gold trimmed metal frames containing two degrees, awards, accommodations, and honorable mentions plastered the room like wallpaper. A dozen ‘Educator of the Year’ plaques filled the room, with a few on the wall and the rest piled on the credenza. Success was abundant, but nothing was more prominently displayed or gratifying than the eleven by sixteen family photo -- his favorite. The picture represented the last time he, his wife, and all three of their children were together for a picture, not to mention he was fifteen years younger at the time. Every now and then, the dream of returning to that time in his life was the refuge he sought, void of mistakes and before the secrets became a key ingredient for his survival. He knew too well the man he was, but his family didn’t have to. He gazed around the room, reflecting on who he was today, reaffirming that the past was behind him. No room for dwelling on what was or for getting organized. Another impressionable teen entrusted to his care had found her way into his office requiring personal and immediate attention, the kind he was an expert at giving.

“Latoya, I can’t permit drinking on school grounds.”
“But it wasn’t mine,” she responded, standing in front of the desk with the timidity of an elementary school student and the body of a high school senior.
“Latoya, I’ve been more than fair with you, but I can’t keep letting you slip past the rules, otherwise the other eight graders will feel like I’m showing you favoritism.”
“I don’t care what they think,” she said in the sultriest voice a fresh new teen wanting to be an adult could muster, while leaving her seat and sauntering around the corner of the desk. She approached the chair with her age eighteen year old-looking hips following behind. He knew how to handle her type.
“It’s my job to care, I’m the principal.”
“I know but give me another chance,” she said not backing away from his chair.
He didn’t budge, wasn’t the first time he’d found himself in this situation, and most likely wouldn’t be the last. He knew exactly what she was after. Staying alert was key. “No more chances Miss Scott. You’re suspended for three days.”
“What, three days, my mother will kill me.”
Sultry turned to a boldness, sure of herself, but he was still determined to let her know he was in charge and meant business this time.

There was no doubt in Latoya’s mind. Her mother wasn’t going to put up with another problem. She’d made that clear. What if her mother finally kicked her out like she’d threatened to do two or three other times? “Please don’t suspend me. I can stay after school and do my homework, or clean the classrooms, or anything you want, please anything. Just don’t suspend me.”
They were all the same, boys, men that were so-called daddys, teachers, those at the church, babysitters, and even family. He was the principal, but she was convinced they could work this little situation out. She’d heard rumors about the principal anyway. He wouldn’t be any different, just like all the rest, once she made it easy.
“I’ll do anything, anything for you.”

“Anything?” he repeated, leaning back in his chair remembering why work and home occupied separate and not so equal spaces in his life, with rarely the two worlds crossing. He’d learned the ability to compartmentalize the thinking, feeling, and loving family man that he was from the machine programmed to survive in the war. What happened in ‘Nam, the drips of good and the craters of tragedy, stayed in ‘Nam. His family didn’t know that man, had never met him and that’s how it had to be. Daily he had to make decisions affecting the livelihood of many young students and his family needn’t be exposed to the fall out. Looking at Latoya and contemplating his options, he knew what happened at school would stay at school.

Chapter 1

Block out the painful sting of reality and concentrate on creating a night of fun, laughter, and a good time -- an oasis away from the damaging attack she and Reese were undergoing. Angela grabbed the shopping list from the seat of her SUV and placed it neatly in her purse. She would concentrate on her parent’s anniversary celebration, pushing past the cold reality that there wasn’t much worthy of praise in her marriage. If she let go of the party, she’d have nothing positive to hold on to. An hour at the party store was the spark she needed to jumpstart a festive mood, hopefully lasting a few weeks until the next sprig of hope surfaced. Angela pushed a cart down the first aisle, pausing to pull the list from her purse and get a plan of attack established. Invitations were the priority. The event was in four months and family coming from out of town needed plenty of notice.
The rickety, hard to manage cart strolled awkwardly down the aisle under Angela’s control. Mayhem and dysfunction were becoming staples in her life. Catching a glimpse of the invitation sign hanging from the ceiling located in the back corner of the store, Angela hurried the cart along, struggling to manage resistance from the disfigured wheel along the way. Without warning, she slammed into another cart crossing the aisle at the intersection, sending the infant into an instant screaming fit.

“Oh, I’m,” Angela began to say, and then let her voice go drop.”
“Angela, I’m sorry,” the woman said extracting her big infant from the cart and drawing him close to her bosom.

Could life get any worse Angela wondered? Couldn’t she have an hour at the party store to herself, one hour to try and put the pieces of her life back together? So what if planning the anniversary was a farce, she wanted, no deserved a moment to have what his deception had stolen, a taste of unprecedented happiness. At least the taste she desired wouldn’t be a price anyone else had to pay.

“Felicia, I didn’t expect to run into you here,” or anywhere else she wanted to add but caught the words before they escaped. Standing this close to her wasn’t easy. She was trying to be the good Christian wife, daughter, and sister, but it was proving to be more than she could handle. Forget about religion. Reese was relying way too much on her dignity, the part preventing her from going off on him and Ms. Felicia, the woman who was now standing right there in arms reach. She could just strangle her right here and close out that ugly, painful, dark spot in her life.
Felicia wouldn’t make consistent eye contact, but continued rubbing the baby’s back as he kept both arms tightly wrapped around her neck. “Junior’s turning one next month.”
A year already, it seemed like only yesterday to Angela when she’d found out about the child, on the other hand, it seemed like an eternity. She struggled to hold her rational thinking together. No matter how much the words sliced to her core, Felicia would never enjoy the benefit of seeing Angela crushed. She was the wife, sitting in the place of dignity and Felicia would never know different. Angela could probably wish the boy a happy birthday. Besides he was an innocent child, who hadn’t contributed to the fiasco of events surrounding his birth. Regardless, she couldn’t do it, wish Felicia and her baby a happy birthday. Why should she? The two of them, Felicia and the baby, Reese too for that matter, had made her world unbearable this time last year, questioning her worth as a woman and wife and especially her decision to wait a few more years before starting a family. Pretending had its place, looking the other way had it’s time too, but lying to this woman, wasn’t a farce she cared to engage in. She had to accept reality some time, and this felt like one of those moments.

Friday, December 08, 2006

COOKIE SWAP - Alice Wootson


Holiday Wishes

Hi everyone, During this hectic time I wish you the peace of the season. May you have your heart's desire and find enjoyment and contentment. Remember the reason for celebrating. And find time to read!!!
Alice Wootson

Ready To Take A Chance

When Shana catches her cheating husband in bed with another woman, she knows it's time to take out the trash. And no sooner have Elliot's bags hit the curb than Shana vows to never get close to a guy again.

Then along comes former pro-basketball star Kyle Rayburn, who is funding the track program at the school where Shana teaches. He can't keep his eyes off this sexy and newly single woman, and heat starts to flare on and off the playing field. But is Kyle just another player who wants to hit the sheets, or is he a serious contender for Shana's heart?

Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 c. flour 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 c. solid shortning 1/2 c. brown sugar

1 tsp. cream of tartar 1/4 tsp salt

dash cinnamon dash nutmeg

1 egg 1 tsp vanilla flavoring*

Sift all dry ingedients except sugar into a bowl. Cut in shortening. In a different bowl, beat egg, then add vanilla, then sugar.

Mix contents of both bowls. Roll small portions of dough at a time. Cut out with Christmas cookie cutters dipped in sugar.

Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Decorate with colored icing. (Purchased icing can be used.)

Different flavorings can be used instead.


Alice Wootson

Don't forget to stop by the Buy A Book For Christmas Room to purchase her book.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

COOKIE SWAP: Deatri King-Bey


Holiday Wish

We all have bad times and good. I pray that we stop looking at what other’s have and what we don’t have and appreciate what we do have and what we can work to have. This may sound cliché but I wish for us all to have internal peace.

Beauty and the Beast

Many see Bruce Maxwell as a beast, but to Nefertiti Townes, he is her Prince Charming. Being under the protection of the man she loves should be a dream come true for Nefertiti, but their personal demons strive for a nightmare.

Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipe

I didn’t discover the goodness of gingerbread cookies until my children were in their teens. I’ve been wanting to go all out and make a gingerbread house for Christmas. Now that I have two grandsons, I believe I’ll give it a try in another year or two when they are a little older and can help me create.

The below gingerbread cookie recipe comes from

If you make that gingerbread house, let me know how it comes out!!!!

Gingerbread Cookies

4 ounces butter
4 ounces Crisco vegetable shortening
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
1 large egg
3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon brown food coloring *

* Can be purchased at most craft stores.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with pan coating.

Cream the butter with flat paddle attachment of electric mixer on high speed about 3 minutes or until soft. Beat in sugar; continue beating for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and then beat in egg, scraping down bowl once or twice.

Sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in three batches, mixing just until each batch is blended. Shape into a large flat ball by hand, kneading a few times until smooth. Shape into two disks (6-inch by 9-inch). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm enough to roll out. Overnight is best.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 3/16" thickness. Cut out shapes as desired using either a gingerbread person shape or any other of your choice. Transfer to cookie sheets using a broad-angled spatula, leaving at least 1 inch between cookies. Place similar sized cookies on the same sheet. To make hanging ornaments, punch holes in the tops of the shapes with a straw.

Bake for 9 1/2 to12 minutes depending on size, rotating pans front to back once during baking. They should just begin to brown around the edges and feel firm to the touch. Remove from oven and cool pans on wire racks for a few minutes; transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. Let pans cool completely before proceeding with next batch; you may reuse the parchment. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks or freeze for up to one month. Decorate as you desire with Royal Icing.

Don't forget to stop by the Buy A Book For Christmas Room to purchase her book.

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I'm also a happily married mother of three who's trying to break into the Christian writing field. The writing road can be rocky.

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