3 New Winners on the Writing Prompts Blog

Gift-20There are so many ways to win on the Writing Prompts Blog. Every Wednesday, we interview an author, blogger, publisher, editor, or other person connected with the writing business. Most give away books or other prizes.

We also are in the middle of our Christmas Extravaganza! Go to our home page and look down on the right hand side under Christmas Extravaganza for more information.

If you follow our blog, especially if you are a writer, then you’re already a winner. Every Monday and Friday, we share a myriad of information on a monthly topic. Plenty of fodder for that fertile imagination. Maybe you’ll glean an idea that leads to that next best seller.

Oh, and about our 3 winners? They are…drum roll please…

Elizabeth Noyes won Paula Mowery’s book, Legacy & Love.

Amy C. won Alice J. Wisler’s book, Under the Silk Hibiscus.

DK Stevens won Angela D. Meyer’s book, Where Hope Starts.

Will you be our next winner? Leave a comment or enter the rafflecoptor contest to find out…

Thanksgiving With Cranberries on Top

by Betty Thomason Owens

Thanksgiving: Giving of thanks, an annual celebration of harvest.

For me, the Thanksgiving holiday is a celebration of family. I used to prepare a feast and invite so many people, we could barely fit them all into our small home. This required days of preparation. I enjoyed the cooking, but most of all, I reveled in the few moments of fame as everyone expressed their pleasure while eating the feast I had prepared.

Our lives changed a couple of years ago when my husband and I both lost our jobs due to companies closing. I still made dinner, but we needed to cut the guest list to immediate family. My husband is back at work, but I’m staying home now, so we still keep to the smaller celebration, and I continue to do all the cooking. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but I’m thankful that I can do it.

I love the hustle and bustle of the day before and then the morning of Thanksgiving. I love the wonderful aromas that fill the house as the turkey bakes. I love the time spent with family members we don’t get to see often. And I love the traditional foods we enjoy.

ID-100182Not everyone likes cranberry sauce, but the ones who do, have specific preferences. Some like the jellied sauce from the can. Some like the canned whole berry sauce. I love the homemade cranberry orange sauce. It’s super easy to make, and so delicious. Since only two or three of us like it, there’s always leftovers—yum!

My recipe comes from Martha Stewart, with one adjustment: I toned down the ginger, using only about a teaspoon.

Cranberry Orange Sauce
(Makes about 3 cups)

3 cups fresh cranberries (12 ounces)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 navel orange, peel and pith removed, flesh cut into segments with a sharp knife

1) Stir together cranberries, sugar, and ginger in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and cranberries begin to pop, about 7 minutes.

2) Add 1 cup water; simmer until thickened slightly, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in orange. Let cool.

Note: Do be careful to watch this closely while it’s cooking. I burned it one year and it was devastating to the pan! You can make it ahead and spoon it into containers (I use jelly jars) and it keeps well for several days. It’s delicious on turkey.

I have several other dishes my family REQUIRES for their Thanksgiving Dinner, like sweet potato casserole—the kind with marshmallows browned on top. The traditional turkey dressing is made with breadcrumbs and a few of my own secret ingredients. I make a pineapple-cranberry jello salad that most of the family loves. And of course, there must be black olives on the table. My husband and sons love them.

One other thing – my husband’s family brought along the tradition of oyster casserole (scalloped oysters). I don’t really like it, but it’s super easy to make. My youngest son usually prepares it. You can find a recipe here.

So what traditional favorites do you include (or enjoy) at Thanksgiving? What is your favorite thing about the celebration?

Betty Thomason Owens

Allie Owens Crockett

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Today we welcome our own Crew Member, Allie Owens Crockett, to 3 Questions Wednesday.

(1) What is your favorite book? [Bible excluded]

Allie: I love, love, love Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I began reading it about the same time I took on the challenege of writing my first novel. None but Rivers could paint the splendor of redemption the way she did, in the retelling of Hosea and Gomer the prostitute. Unless of course, I mention Les Miserables, but alas, I have never read the book.

(2) If you could walk into any book, what literary character would you want to be?

Allie: Do comics count? If so, I have an entirely different answer for you. Since I’m pretty sure they don’t, I’m going to say – Susan Pevensie, the eldest sister of the children from the Chronicles of Narnia. I feel like I may relate to her because I am also an older sibling. She thinks very logically and responsibly. Also, Prince Caspian totally digs her, and why not? She’s a beast with a bow.

(3) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Allie: I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland. First of all – the accents. Of course! Second, for the music. Third, for the history and rugged, beautiful scenery. I want to lay my eyes on all that green! Last, I’d like to go just so I can check it off my list and say I’ve been.

Thanks, Allie, for dropping by!

Allie Owens Crockett resides in the great Bluegrass State with her husband, Chris and their son, Shiloh. She is a singer-songwriter, aspiring actress and part-time naturalista. She loves photography and all things eclectic and also happens to be a professional day-dreamer. Her favorite day dream involves living on a farm with horses, ducks, sheep and two stunning German Shepherds named Maverick and Ace.

Being raised on the outskirts of horse country; this offered a wealth of inspiration to an imaginative young girl. Allie often pretended to be both the author and illustrator of her earliest works.

As a child, Allie had dreams of winning a major voice-over role with Disney or appearing on the set of Reading Rainbow. She plays piano and guitar by ear and has performed at various functions, weddings, churches and other venues around town; with her (Christian Artist/Producer) husband.

Allie is a Christian writer of Contemporary and Inspirational fiction. Currently, she is working to finish-up her debut novel A Perfect Tuesday, (this is the first book in a series entitled Home Sweet Blakely) along with its sequel, Welcoming Jubilee. She plans to make original music available, inspired by this work.

Thankfulness and a Sweet Potato Casserole

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By Jennifer Hallmark

The holiday season has begun for many people around the United States. Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. I’ve had my house decorated in pumpkins, autumn flowers, and harvest items for a while now and soon I’ll be switching them out for Christmas. Today, however, I have much to be thankful for.

A family and friends who loves me and accepts me for who I am.

A God who delights in me and does everything for my good with a plan and purpose in mind.

The basic necessities of life and far beyond.

A church home where I feel safe.

Work that keeps my mind and body healthy.

A home in Heaven awaiting me one day.

What do you have to be thankful for? My list could go on and on, but I wanted to take a moment and post a recipe I cook every year at Thanksgiving. I guess you could call it a Thanksgiving tradition. Enjoy!

Writing Prompt: While you are at a holiday dinner this year, soak in the sights, smells, and tastes of the event and later record it. This could be a great scene in an upcoming bestseller!

 

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 large cans sweet potatoes ( I prefer mashed)

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 stick butter or margarine (softened)

 

Drain and mash potatoes if not already mashed.  Add 1 cup sugar, 3 eggs, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and 1 stick butter (softened); mix well.  Spread into pan.

 

Topping:

2 cups brown sugar

2/3 cup flour

2 cups chopped pecans

2/3 c. butter or margarine, melted

 

Mix brown sugar, flour, pecans, and melted butter; crumble on top of casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

 

 

 

 

http://www.jenniferhallmark.com

Under the Silk Hibiscus by Alice J. Wisler

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Today, we welcome Alice J. Wisler on our blog to showcase her latest release, Under the Silk Hibiscus.

 

Hi Alice! Have you always wanted to be an author? If not, what made you decide to write, and how long have you been at it?

Alice: Yes, from the time I was six in red tights and a plaid skirt riding the train to school in Kyoto, Japan, I knew I wanted to be an author. I wrote little stapled stories and gave them to my first grade teacher, Miss Terwilliger.

I love that! Japan has definitely shaped your stories.Do you write every day? What does your typical writing day look like?

Alice: I like to write every day because I am happiest when I do. When I’m disciplined, I write for about three hours. When I’m finishing up a novel, I can write for fifteen hours.

That’s a marathon. What project are you currently working on?

Alice: A memoir! And it’s hard work being authentic and honest.

I can’t even imagine. Speaking of projects, what’s your favorite marketing strategy?

Alice: Hmmmm . . . . .   I’m not sure I have one. I’d like to be on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. I think that would be a great strategy but so far, he hasn’t invited me.

:) You made me smile. Have you ever had a funny experience connected with being an author?

Alice: Yes, one reader wanted to date my character Jonas in How Sweet It Is. She emailed to tell me her boyfriend troubles and then asked if Jonas was available. She thought he was super sweet and kind. I had to let her know that Jonas only exists on the pages of my novel.

I loved How Sweet It Is and Jonas too. Thanks for dropping by, Alice! Leave a comment for a chance to win a Kindle version of Under the Silk Hibiscus.

 

Under the Silk Hibiscus

UnderTheSilkHibiscusCoverDuring World War Two Nathan and his family are sent to Heart Mountain, an internment camp in Wyoming for Japanese-Americans. Nathan’s one desire is to protect the family’s gold pocket watch, a family heirloom brought over from Japan. He fails; the watch is stolen. Struggling to make sense of his life in a bleak camp as the only responsible man of the household, Nathan discovers truths about his family, God, and the girl he loves.

 

Alice has authored four contemporary novels published by Bethany House:  Rain Song (Christy Finalist), How Sweet It Is (Christy Finalist), Hatteras Girl and A Wedding Invitation, and Still Life in Shadows by River North/Moody. Her newest novel, Under the Silk Hibiscus (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) is her first historical romance.

Since the death of her four-year-old son, Alice teaches grief-writing workshops and her devotional, Getting out of Bed in the Morning:  Reflections of Comfort in Heartache (Leafwood), covers the many losses we face and how God sustains us through each one.  In 2012, Alice and her husband started a business, Carved By Heart, where they carve memorial plaques/remembrances, house number signs, bird feeders, rustic clocks, and other home décor.

Links:

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Alice-J.-Wisler/e/B001J6GVNE/

Website:  http://www.alicewisler.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alice-J-Wisler/333751835453

Alice’s Patchwork Quilt Blog:  http://www.alicewisler.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

 

 

This Grateful Score: A Poem of Thankful Prompts

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(Photo source:
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Clarity
The blanketing warmth of
Grace and Mercy
That silent darkness that proceeds
The newness of day
I’m thankful
Infinite potential rises
Every morning along with the sun

For the working together of nature
Intricate, intimate
Organic harmony
The blending of peoples
The sharing of stories
And the spreading of legacy
For others to follow
Like a trail that starts here
And stops wherever we leave off

I relish understanding
Beginnings and endings
The bliss of engagement
Like violent laughter
And soft rain at dusk
The to-and-fro
The roaring crescendo
These are the “musts”
Of Life’s symphony

It’s the mountains and valleys
We sometimes abhor
But we cannot afford to miss our cues
In this grateful score

And all the tears
Like distant prayers
Though unspoken
Aren’t unheard
Only God knows
The weight of glory
A story that none but the angels
Have overheard

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Paula Mowery

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Today we welcome Paula Mowery, author, speaker, and acquisition editor, to 3 Questions Wednesday.

 

(1) What is your favorite book? [Bible excluded]

Paula: This is an extremely difficult question for me. My answer may seem like a cop-out but really is the truth. Since I review for so many great authors, my favorite book is always the one that I am currently reading. Recently this has included a lot more suspense books.

And, to throw out another twist on my favorite book, I am really into the book I am currently working on. It is a romantic suspense.

(2) If you could walk into any book, what literary character would you want to be?

Paula: My first thought when I read this question was what my mother would have answered about me concerning this back when she noticed that I loved reading and writing. She always said that I had been born into the wrong time. From my fascination with the Little House books, she would have said I would have fit right into that prairie life. Or, the other titles she always supplied me with were the Trixie Beldon series. I would have gladly stepped into those stories and helped that little sleuth.

I suppose today I truly would love to jump into those suspense stories with the strong, intelligent female protagonists and help solve the mystery at hand. I just love seeing those female characters with their varieties of occupations and experiences.

(3) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Paula: Once again I will prove my quirkiness. In the past I would have immediately said Hawaii or Australia. But, recently I’ve had a real draw to go to Montana. My parents have been and arrived home only to talk about the beauty and serenity and share picturesque scenes from their camera. Admittedly, this attraction stems from wanting to retreat there to write and maybe even do a little research for upcoming stories. In this same way, I find myself desiring to visit Alaska, writing and researching being the big draw again.

The small-town setting seems to draw me right in. I like reading about those quaint places as well as writing about them. I love the quirky down-home people in those settings that add color and life to a story.

Thanks so much for the opportunity to appear on the 3 Questions Wednesday Interview. These three little questions really made me think.

Thanks, Paula, for joining us on 3 Questions Wednesday! Leave a comment for a chance to win an e copy of Legacy and Love.

LegacyandLove_ebook2 copy (1)Legacy and Love

The Prayer Shawl

Sean Holland is a magazine reporter always looking for the next story. Hope Weaver is a pediatric nurse who shares Christ through making prayer shawls. The shawls are just the touchy-feely story Sean needs, even though he’ll have to endure Hope’s strong Christian beliefs to get it. An unexpected connection brings them together as a couple. But, can they find love if they don’t share their faith?

Inheritance

Alex Lyndon’s life has been a series of fits and starts with no finishes. She finds herself jobless and divorced. Now her only family, Granny Olivia, is critically ill. 

Chase Carson had to step into running the family business when his father died. The time is past due for him to visit Miss Olivia.

Alex and Chase must go on a treasure hunt. Will each find purpose and love for their lives in the process?

 

Paula Mowery is a published author, acquisitions editor, and speaker. Her first two published works were The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing from Pelican Book Group. She has devotionals included in several collaborative books.

As an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group, Paula particularly looks for romance stories with Christian values at its core. She’s especially attracted to those manuscripts that leave the reader mulling over the story long after turning the last page.

Paula is a pastor’s wife and mom to a college student. She homeschooled her daughter through all twelve years, and they both lived to tell about it. Before educating her daughter at home, she was an English teacher in public school.

You can follow Paula at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Paula-Mowery/175869562589187. Learn more about Paula at her blog at http://www.paulamowery.blogspot.com or enjoy her monthly columns on http://www.christianonlinemagazine.com. You can also check out her blog for Christian writers at http://www.ccwcu.blogspot.com.