Some years ago, while my readers waited for Mulligan Magic, the sequel to Mulligan Stew, I posted a free short story at my website. "A Mulligan Christmas" is about the first Christmas that Riley and Bridget spend in the castle after their marriage, and it's told from Jacob's viewpoint. The story is still at my site if you should like to read or reread it during the holidays.
The Mulligan family still speaks to me, and wants me to write the final book in their trilogy, which I titled Mulligan Charm. Perhaps, someday, I will have that opportunity.
Have a safe and joyous holiday with your families.
Deb Stover is finally reissuing some of her in-demand backlist in digital format.The first one to see rebirth is her award-winning 1996 time travel, A WILLING SPIRIT.It now sports an appropriately humorous cover with her late husband as the cover model, wearing his memorable crooked grin.You can find A WILLING SPIRIT now at Amazon (ASIN B004EHZTTW) <http://tinyurl.com/2668yum>.Deb is working toward making it available for other digital readers as well. Free Kindle readers are available for those who don't own a Kindle. And if you really want a mass market copy of this book, Beth Anne's Book Corner in Colorado Springs (email@example.com) still has some in her "safe."
After the holidays, she will work on the resurrection of Some Like it Hotter, AKA "Dirty Harry Meets Scarlett O'Hara."
LOVE CAN JUST BE A MATTER OF TIME
Some things just can't be explained.Winnie Sinclair can't explain how she ended up in an Oklahoma thunderstorm making wild love to Paul Weathers, her ex-husband's divorce attorney.And she certainly can't explain how that same storm swept her back to 1896 Indian Territory.And now barracuda lawyer believes he's a U.S. Marshal.He looks like Paul, but gone are the three-piece suits and the expensive haircut, replaced by a pair of Remingtons and a Stetson.
Two men, one body, one woman...and no one understands the meaning of the word "compromise..."
~Jill Smith,Romantic Times Magazine(that's what it was called then :-))
"Wildly funny, romantic and totally ingenious!"
~ The Literary Times
"Five Gold Stars! This is totally original...incomparable. Creativity, thy name is Deb Stover!"
~ Heartland Critiques
"Five Bells!!! A hotter-than-a-pistol story you have to read to believe!"
~ Donita Lawrence, Bell, Book and Candle Bookstore
1995 Steffie Walker Bookseller of the Year
"Deb Stover weaves magic. This book will make you laugh, cry, and fall in love...delicious, charming, exciting and heart-wrenching..."
~ Trish Jensen,Pen and Mouse
"Fast, fun and fiery hot!"
~New York Times bestselling author, Suzanne Forster
"Scintillatingly superb..." 4 1/2 Stars
~ Affaire de Coeur
"One of the quirkiest, sexiest, funniest time-travels I've ever read."
~ New York Times bestselling author, Anne Stuart
"Provocative, teeming with fresh and distinctive characters that spring from the pages into your heart. A wonderful tale packed with action, adventure, and a sizzling romance that ignites the pages. This one is a treasure to savor many times."
Some things just can't be explained. Winnie Sinclair can't explain how she ended up in an Oklahoma thunderstorm making wild love to Paul Weathers, her ex-husband's divorce attorney. She certainly can't explain how that same storm just swept her back in time to 1896 Indian Territory--or how on earth she's supposed to get back.
Now she's just met a lean, sexy U.S. Marshal who looks exactly like Paul. But gone are the three-piece suits and the expensive haircut, replaced by a pair of Remingtons and a Stetson.
He calls himself Sam Weathers, claims he was murdered in cold blood...and his spirit has borrowed the body of his great-great-grandson to bring the killer to justice. So now Paul...and Sam...are both hot and bothered by a redhead named Winnie. Worse, she's kin to the man they're hunting.
One thing is certain: history will never be the same.
But love just might find its own place in time...
"Wildly funny, romantic and totally ingenious! A WILLING SPIRIT is delicious, titillating! Fine writing, a fantastic romantic tale that spans the centuries!" --The Literary Times
"Five Gold Stars! This is totally original...incomparable. Sam and Paul are wonderful 'co-heroes' and Winnie is delightful as a slightly dubious heroine. Creativity, thy name is Deb Stover!"
Five GOLD Stars! -- Heartland Critiques
"Five Bells!!! A hotter-than-a-pistol story you have to read to believe!"
-- Donita Lawrence, Bell, Book and Candle Bookstore
Romance Writers of America's 1995 Bookseller of the Year
"Deb Stover weaves magic. This book will make you laugh, cry, and fall in love...delicious, charming, exciting and heart-wrenching..." -- Trish Jensen, Pen and Mouse
"Fast, fun and fiery hot!"
-- Suzanne Forster, bestselling author
"Scintillatingly superb..." 4 1/2 Stars
-- Affaire de Coeur
"One of the quirkiest, sexiest, funniest time-travels I've ever read."
-- Anne Stuart, bestselling author
"Provocative, teeming with fresh and distinctive characters that spring from the pages into your heart. A wonderful tale packed with action, adventure, and a sizzling romance that ignites the pages. This one is a treasure to savor many times." -- Rendezvous
I am the widow of a US Veteran, the single mother of a disabled child, and a critically acclaimed--ahem--starving romance writer. I live on a very limited income, and many months we barely make ends meet.
However, I beg you, please do not extend our tax break if it means the wealthiest Americans will also get theirs. Please, let us pay our fair share so they will pay theirs, too. America needs the money. We need the money to keep schools open, to pay teachers, to provide food and shelter and health care to those who have none. We need to take care of our Veterans who have given their all for our country.
Please...do not give us a tax break. Not if it means the Buffets and Trumps of this world also get one. Make them pay their fair share.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and made some lasting memories. You never know when you may need them. I pull mine out every year and go through a mental slide show of holidays past.
We woke this morning to about six inches of fresh snow. Very pretty. The Palmer Lake Star has been lit for the Season, too, so it's beginning to look a lot like... ;-) Of course, the most beautiful photo I've ever seen of our Star is this one, taken last winter on a bitterly cold full moon night after Christmas by my gentleman friend, Martin Yaslowitz.
I took these snow pics before the sun had fully risen, and they're a little fuzzy--not enough coffee--but not too bad for phone pictures from an amateur. :) I'm a writer--not a photographer.
Speaking of which, I am in the process of preparing some of my back list titles for Kindle. Check my website for details. A Willing Spirit will be first.
My name is Deb Stover and I'm a genre slut--technically, a sub-genre slut. My published novels, short stories, and novellas all fall under the romance and/or women's fiction umbrella. However, from there they pretty much run the gamut.
Time travel, historical, paranormal (ghosts, reincarnation, angels, curses, witches, devils, fairies), fantasy, contemporary, suspense/mystery, western, sexy and not-so-sexy, humorous and serious, scary and not-so-scary, and...so forth.
Yep, I'm a serious sub-genre slut....
My brilliant literary agent advised me a decade ago that I should focus. I cringed. The "f" word? F-f-f-f-focus? Only write one kind of book? Seriously?
Yes, seriously. In order to build my readership, I should f-f-f-f-focus on one sub-genre for several books and stop being so, er, promiscuous with my muse.
This is like the desert island question. If you were stranded on a desert island with only one book to read, what would it be? Voracious readers consider this a special level of hell. One book? Yikes! What a nightmare...
So, just as I decided to try f-f-f-f-focusing on contemporary paranormal romance for a while, my personal life went into the tank. My husband's cancer came out of remission and became terminal, my health took a horrible turn, and I spent approximately six years pretty much unable to work. I finally finished The Gift, which is a paranormal contemporary romantic suspense psychic empath ghost story (big grin), and realized, after losing my beloved husband, that I did not want to f-f-f-f-f-f-focus on this type of book.
Life is too short, and writing is too hard, not to follow our muse. Yes, I absolutely agree with my brilliant agent's F-word advice. She's wise far beyond her years. However, I realize now I need to f-f-f-f-f-focus on the books of my heart.
I need to practice what I preach. I often tell beginning writers not to write what they don't enjoy reading. I ask them what type of book first made them sit down at the keyboard and type that first manuscript. So I asked myself those same questions.
I've just completed a proposal I warned my brilliant literary agent is "classic Deb Stover." Bless her, she said, "That sounds wonderful."
Let's hope she still feels that way when she reads it. :)
Writing is hard work--really hard work. Before we publish, we do it for love, and because our Muse demands we breathe life into the characters who haunt us day and night. There's no money, no royalties, no deadlines. It's all for the passion and pleasure of storytelling. And, if we get lucky, we get both.
I got lucky back in 1995 when my first book was published. I have to say that almost every one of my published novels have been books of my heart.
Warning: Some may call this political, but--maybe--it's a little common sense, too.
Like many other Americans, I am weary of the arguments about religion and government. This nation was founded by people fleeing persecution, seeking religious freedom, and our Constitution was written to ensure all the freedom to worship--or not--as they see fit. We are not a "Christian Nation," as so many want to say. We are a free people--free to choose our own paths without fear of persecution or ridicule.
Thomas Jefferson wrote: "Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State" (Letter to the Danbury Baptists, 1802).
I think, most of all, we are tired of the hate, the ridicule, the talking heads fanning the flames of the craziest of the zealots from both sides. What happened to civil discourse? What happened to reason and compassion? What happened to simple human courtesy?
What happened to the Constitution of the United States of America, which grants us the freedom to choose how, if, where, and how we worship...?
Live and let live. Let's get on with the business of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Let's feed our hungry, heal our sick, house our homeless, and try to work together to make this a better world than it is today.
Peace to all, and happy reading.
~Deb, who now returns us to our regularly scheduled program
Today is my daughter, Bonnie's, 30th birthday. Many of you know her online as "Princess Bonnie," which she is in every way. She's sunshine blended with a healthy dose of Missouri mule. ;)
After our birth daughter, Barbi, was born on Christmas Eve in 1981, my obstetrician informed us that another pregnancy was "paramount to a death wish." I have this nasty blood-clotting disorder that makes pregnancy very high risk. So we spoiled our beautiful baby for four years, then started looking into adoption.
One thing we knew for certain--we wanted an infant. The other thing we realized after taking a workshop on special needs adoption was that we had absolutely no qualms about bringing a baby with Down Syndrome into our home. So after completing this program and our home study, we went on a waiting list as not only potential, but eager, adoptive parents for a newborn with Down Syndrome. Imagine our surprise when a mere 3 months later, the phone rang to inform us that our wait was at an end.
We lived near Tulsa, Oklahoma at the time, and Bonnie was born in Oklahoma City. The laws at that time would not permit "placement" until she was eleven days old. We stayed in constant contact with the agency. Not only was she born with Down Syndrome, and a little premature, but she also had a heart defect, which isn't uncommon. Because her birth mother didn't have medical insurance, the only test that had been done was an EKG. Our medical insurance would cover Bonnie the moment she came into our family, so I made appointments for her with a pediatric cardiologist and our pediatrician before we even brought her home.
Finally, the day arrived, and the social worker suggested we meet somewhere between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Dave took the day off from work, and the three of us packed the diaper bag, car seat, and blanket I had crocheted for our new baby, and drove to the appointed rendezvous point.
McDonald's, of course!
Bonnie only weighed four pounds, fourteen ounces. Considering her big sister had weighed eight pounds, seven ounces, holding her was like holding half a baby. Pretty scary little bundle, but sooooooo loved and soooooo adorable. People stared at us in the restaurant while we exchanged baby and paperwork. I have to admit, looking back, it must have looked a little clandestine, but nothing could have been more right or good.
The next morning, when I took 4 1/2-year-old Barbi to Noah's Ark Preschool, she marched in the door and proudly announced, "We went to McDonald's. I got a Happy Meal and Mommy got a baby."
The teachers and other parents looked at her with their mouths agape when I stepped through the door behind my daughter holding our tiny Bonnie. All I could do was laugh, because Barbi had simply told the truth. After the initial shock and a few explanations, we made our trip to the cardiologist, where we learned that Bonnie's heart murmur wasn't as serious as originally feared. While she did require heart surgery at eighteen months, she now has a normal--and very loving--heart.
Since that wonderful day in 1986, we went through another so-called "special needs" adoption to add our son, Ben. As far as my late husband and I were concerned, the only special needs were ours, and our children have fulfilled them and then some. Since both our adopted children are of other races, I was often asked while out shopping whether or not they were my "real" children. I always smiled and said, "Of course. I left the pretend ones at home."
It's all about love--not blood or DNA.
Each of our children was meant to be part of our family. It doesn't matter how they came to be here. We're family. Period.
Bonnie's special all right, but not because of that extra number twenty-one chromosome. She's special because she's Bonnie. Her dad often said she was born missing the mean gene. I think he was right....
In a land far, far away, known as Wichita, Kansas, I met a handsome prince. It was 1976, and I was only 19, though I thought--of course--that I knew everything. He was 21 and had recently left the US Air Force Academy and was stationed at McConnell Air Force Base. My mother thought he was a "walking, living, breathing doll." And, well, he was. We were married on August 6th, 1976, and remained together until our children and I lost him to cancer on May 14th, 2005. He was, and always will be, our hero.
Please join local photographer Martin Yaslowitz at Covered Treasures Bookstore, Corner of Second & Washington in Monument Colorado, on July 15th between 5:30 and 8:00 PM to view his amazing images, and to discuss the joy and challenges of photographing our Tri-Lakes region. For more information, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone: 719.481.2665
The beautiful slide show you see here on my blog is his work, as is my publicity photo. :)
I received a call last night to inform me that The Gift is an Award of Merit recipient in the Holt Medallion's Paranormal category. All the winners and Awards of Merit (listed alphabetically) are here: http://www.virginiaromancewriters.com/Contests/holtwinners.html . Congratulations to all!
I often post images of the amazing snow up here at almost 7,500 feet. We had a big snow the last day of summer and the first day of spring--and several since, I might add. We haven't seen any flakes for a couple of weeks now, so we're counting our blessings, and the pollen now. Even seeing a few blossoms here and there. So I thought it was only fair to share the view from my office window that greets me each morning when it isn't covered with snow. Even I have to admit you should be jealous. :) In the evening, I can sit on my deck and look to the east to see twinkling lights in the towns and cities below. It's pretty spectacular.
FYI, the old Queen Anne mansion you see in the photos is utterly gorgeous and it's for sale. If I had a few million lying around, I'd snatch it up. The estate is called Estemere.
She's toddling around the house, talking to Grandma and her "Dada" on the telephone, even if that telephone is a ball or any other pretend item. On those occasions when she does get her hands on her Mom's Blackberry, she has somehow managed to put me on speed dial and knows just how to call me because I always answer. The one time I didn't, she left me a voice mail expressing her displeasure.
My dad drove out from Kansas for her first birthday party, held Saturday May 22nd, 2010 at my house in Palmer Lake. Annabella's parents brought in the goodies, and one of Bella's playmates came for the fun. Family and friends gathered, presents were opened, we gorged ourselves on good food, two yummy cakes, and a cherry pie. Most of all, we let Annabella provide the entertainment. It's amazing how much fun it is to watch a one-year-old explore the world we take for granted every single day.
I swear, every time she looks at my standard poodle, Maggie Mae, she doesn't see a dog. She sees a pony....
Happy birthday, sweet Annabella. Many, many, many more!
Reports of my move to Oklahoma in this wonderful column are more than 5 years late. I returned to Colorado in July 2005, where I have remained since. My family was only in Oklahoma for a few, very unhappy, months at the end of my late husband's battle with cancer. He and I planned our return to Colorado together. He asked me to bring his ashes home, so he could spend eternity in the Rockies. So we did, and we're still here. My current bio is here.
As an aside, I use only organic, natural ingredients. When I say whipping cream, I mean real whipping cream you make with a mixer --not "Cool Whip." Since I'm allergic to soy and corn, I've learned to return to nature, and use only real food. I'm a firm believer in Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food.
FWIW, just like my novels these recipes emerged from my imagination (or were altered drastically from the original). :)
Pork Loin with Spinach
Ingredients Serves 4 * 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped * 1 medium onion, thinly sliced * 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary and/or chopped thyme * 1 tablespoon plus 4 teaspoons olive oil * 1 3/4 pounds pork tenderloin (about 2) * 3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt * Freshly ground pepper * 1/2 - 1 pound spinach, washed well (may substitute frozen, if necessary) * 1 large lemon, scrubbed and sliced
Directions 1. Put olive oil in bottom of large crockpot or Dutch oven (if using oven, preheat to 325).
Place onion slices and some coarse salt in bottom ( henceforth, dish refers to either crockpot or Dutch oven).
2. Place pork in dish; sprinkle with herbs and seasonings (reserve some salt & pepper).
Layer spinach over pork with garlic and lemon slices. Sprinkle remaining salt & pepper (to taste) over top. Cover dish.
3. Roast in oven, spooning juices over pork occasionally (unnecessary in crockpot), until thickest part of pork reaches 155 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from heat; let rest until pork reaches 160 degrees, about 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, prepare bread and quinoa.
I serve spinach and broth over the quinoa, and prepared a flax flatbread.
Flatbread Recipe (make while meat is cooking)
Ingredients: * 2 cups flax seed meal * 1 Tablespoon baking powder * 1 teaspoon sea salt * 1-2 Tablespoons sugar equivalent from artificial sweetener (I omit) * 5 beaten eggs * 1/2 cup water * 1/3 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare pan (a 10X15 pan with sides works best) with oiled parchment paper.
1) Mix dry ingredients well (I use a large whisk for entire process).
2) Add wet to dry, and combine well. Make sure there aren't obvious strings of egg white.
3) Pour batter into pan. Spread it away from the center in roughly a rectangle an inch or two from the sides of the pan (you can go all the way to the edge, but it will be thinner).
4) Bake for about 20 minutes, until it springs back when you touch the top and/or is visibly browning even more than flax already is (basically, texture of cornbread).
5) Cool and cut into whatever size slices you want. Just cut it with a spatula.
Ingredients: * 1 cup sugar * 1/2 cup Cocoa powder (pure, not drink mix!!!!) * 2 cup (1/2 pt.) cold whipping cream (real stuff, not fake!) *2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: Stir together sugar and cocoa in medium bowl; add whipping cream and vanilla. Beat on medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bottom of bowl occasionally, until mixture is stiff. Spoon into serving dishes.
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. Garnish if and as desired. Cover and refrigerate leftover desserts. Four 1/2 cup servings.
Spring showers at 7,436' above sea level are often white. In fact, I remember many Mother's Days spent with snow. The tomato seedlings are still inside, but the lettuce and peas don't mind germinating beneath the snow, thank goodness. I'll bet the bears wish they had waited a couple of weeks longer before leaving their caves this year, though.
View from my front door at 6:20 AM, April 24th, 2010 View from my office, 6:21 AM, April 24th, 2010
I console myself with the reminder that summers at altitude are wonderful, though entirely too short.
I loved this book! Pea O'Brien is warm, witty, charming, loyal to a fault, and downright irreverent as needed. Her journey often moved me to tears, but equally as often made my heart sing with hope. Jean Brashear has created a memorable tale that will stay with me. I highly recommend THE GODDESS OF FRIED OKRA.
Last week, April 15th, was my birthday. It was also the 5th anniversary of the day my late husband and I learned his cancer was terminal. However, it was his birthday, six days later, that was the hardest day of my life. It was his 50th--what he called the 33rd anniversary of his 18th birthday--and I knew the entire time I prepared his favorite cherry crisp and decorated his hospital room, that it would be his very last birthday. Family came, friends sent cards and balloon bouquets. We were together, and the memories still bring tears, but they also bring the joy of almost 30 years together.
One thing I've learned over the last five years is that it's impossible to feel joy unless you also accept the pain. Memories come both ways, and to enjoy the happy ones, we have to welcome the ones that bring tears as well.
Next month, on May 22nd, the family will gather again to celebrate our granddaughter's very first birthday. Somehow, I suspect Dave will be giving Annabella a thumbs-up, and find some way to teach her some kind of mischief....
My daughter, Barbi, took this photo with her phone while playing with 8-month-old Bella. Now, seriously--has there ever been a cuter baby? Of course I'm not biased! :)
Happy reading, all. I will be at the Louisville Library on February 6th for "Love in the Afternoon"--a panel of Romance Authors reading from our books and chatting with readers. Information is here: http://www.debstover.com/news.html
After declaring her candidacy for President at age four, Deb Stover veered off course to play Lois Lane for a number of years. After she refused to blow Clark Kent's cover, she turned her attention to her own Real American Hero and married him. Considering her experience with Heroes, redirecting her passion for writing toward Romance Novels seemed a natural progression. Since publication of Shades of Rose in 1995, Stover has received dozens of awards for her work, which includes over twenty titles in a variety of languages and formats. For more information, please visit www.debstover.com.