About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading, or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

Lucky Charms

2014-03-17 07.08.12March hasn’t been good to me.

This month at my house my oil burner went on the fritz TWICE, my cesspool backed up and my son lost his brakes while driving a few miles from home (he’s fine!).

I guess you could say we lost our lucky charms somewhere along the way…maybe the Easter Bunny will drop a few off when he makes his rounds next month?

Then I started thinking about those lucky charms and realized I don’t really have anything I’d consider “lucky” at all. Sure, my hubby has his lucky flaming boxer shorts he wears when we go to the casino (Not that we’ve ever won big while he was wearing them, but I guess since we’ve never lost big either there’s something to be said for keeping them around. LOL) But, I don’t keep a rabbit’s foot in my bag, or have a lucky talisman sitting on my desk guiding my words.

Do you?

As I count down the last few days of March, I’m thinking about heading out to find myself a four-leaf clover. Now what to do with it if I’m lucky enough to find one, that’s the question.

May the luck of the Irish smile on you, whether you have a lucky charm or not!

 

About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading, or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

Yes, I write romance!

CupckaesandCupid 200x300Last month, during an informal interview of sorts, a man asked me, “so, you write romance…why?”

It would have been easy enough to answer with the standard canned response, “because everyone loves a happy ending.” But honestly, it’s so much more than that.

There is no such thing as your average, run of the mill, romance novel, no matter what the critics of the genre spout. Stories range from sweet to scorching hot and can take place in any time…even in the future or a paranormal world of the authors creation.  There is truly a romance for every taste. Like shapeshifters and vampires? We’ve got you covered. How about a cowboy or a pirate? Yup…they’re here too.

But at the heart of every romance is a story anyone can relate to, they are stories about the human condition, about being accepted and loved. Romances have the ability to cross cultural lines, they transcend social classes, and they have the ability to strip even the most alpha hero down to his soul. A romance can warm you heart and make you believe that good really does exist in a world that can often feel cold. (And I ask you, who wouldn’t want to make people feel good?)

The exhilaration of falling in love, of being loved, and sharing love, is a universal emotion, it’s part of being human. Young or old, looking for first love, hoping for a second chance at love or holding the hand of the love of your life after sixty years of marriage…don’t we all really want the same thing – to find someone to share our world with?

And isn’t that worth celebrating everyday?

That’s why I write romance. I may never be a household name, I may never win any awards or top the NY Times bestsellers list, but if I’ve made someone smile and spread a little bit of joy…that’s success enough for me.

Happy Valentine’s Day. May love be your journey not just your destination. 🙂

About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading, or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

It’s only a number…

PartyToday’s my birthday. It’s a milestone birthday for me, it’s a number that in some ways has intimidated me and seemed a little scary not all that long ago.

Somewhere between the birthday wishes, the cakes and the presents…I’ll probably find a quiet little corner to reflect on the number of years that have gone by. I keep telling myself, “It’s just a number.”

I’ve spent more than half those years happily married. I have three wonderful children. I’ve moved across country from the east coast to the west and then back again. I’m blessed to have friendships that have lasted since elementary school and I’ve also been blessed with the pain of letting of some friendships go – they’ve all made me who I am today, so I’ve made my peace with that.

I’ve had successes and failures. I’ve had money and been broke. I’ve had my share of fights and wonderful memories that could fill dozens of scrapbooks. And every single moment becomes the threads of a rich tapestry that defines ME.

Those moments in time shape my characters, weave through plots and allow me to tell a tale that is uniquely mine.

It’s my voice. So tonight, while I sit at my dining room table surrounded by my family, I’ll attempt to blow out my candles before the fire department needs to be called to douse the blaze. Today I celebrate not only a number, but all the moments I am grateful for that have crafted the life I love.

“I am more and more convinced that our happiness or unhappiness depends far more on the way we meet the events of life, than on the nature of those events themselves.” ~ Baron Alexander von Humboldt

  So what do you think? Do the big number birthday’s scare you or do you embrace them?

About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading, or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

Traditions to Keep (& a gingerbread recipe!)

2013-12-15 18.38.05Twenty-one years ago we invited my best friend and her two little boys over to make gingerbread cookies with our 1 year old son. It’s a holiday tradition that has continued in my house every year since.

Our families grew, the cookies changed from innocent creations to being pulled apart on the trays and mutated into whatever was popular at the time and for their ages. We’ve had cookies that were anatomically correct and a few years, instead of men the cookies became guitars and swords.  And I have pictures of all seven kids growing up around my dining room table – smiling, happy and enjoying something together that they’ll remember forever.

This year, the oldest child is engaged and asked me if he could bring his fiance – because they want to continue our tradition and “it just wouldn’t be Christmas without coming and baking cookies!” Wow…I cried, and my heart swelled with pride – I’ve certainly done something right. This is certainly a tradition worth keeping and passing down.

Here is the Gingerbread recipe that was given to my by my mother-in-law twenty-one years ago and used every year since:

1 Cup margarine

1 Cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1 Cup dark molasses

2 tbs vinegar

5 Cups flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp all-spice

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

Beat margarine until creamy. Beat in sugar and salt. Stir in eff, molasses and vinegar. Beat well. Sift flour, baking soda and spices together. Stir into molasses mixture. (Dough will be STIFF) Chill dough at least 3 hours. Roll dough to approx 1/8 inch thick (up to you, really) on a lightly floured board or pasty sheet. Cut shapes with cookie cutter, decorate if desired (we load them up with all kinds of candy!) Place on a greased cooked sheet one inch apart at 375 for 6 minutes – or until light brown and puffed up. Cool slightly and remove to wire rack. If you prefer, you can decorate with royal icing after they’ve cooled. This same recipe can be used in molds to make houses and trains too. Makes approx 8 dozen.

What traditions did you start years ago became permanent parts of your holiday celebrations?

And don’t forget…every comment earns a chance to win ONE of our holiday books up for grabs this month! Including mine:

MuffinsandMistletoe 200x300

 

About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading, or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

Thanksgiving Corn Souffle

2013-11-21 07.03.01Like most American families, Thanksgiving at our house revolves around traditions, family and FOOD.

Years ago, when my boys were 3 and 1, I found these adorable “shelf-sitter pilgrims” at a craft fair in San Diego…and for the last 19 years they’ve had a place of honor somewhere in my dining room. They make their appearance each year the day after Halloween and there’s just something oddly comforting in unpacking them. (I know…I’m a sentimental fool.)

Being a history girl, those pilgrims remind me year after year to give thanks for the simple joys that fill our days. Granted, some years there’s more to be thankful for than others…and this year hasn’t been an easy one in our house. Even with the hardships, there is so much to be thankful for as we look around the table.

Another Thanksgiving staple in our house is the Corn Souffle. This was a recipe my small boys gobbled up at a friend’s house the same year the pilgrims came to live with us and has had a place on our holiday table every year since. It’s definitely not a low-cal veggie dish, and that’s probably why all three of my kids love it, but hey, it’s a holiday…indulge!

Corn Souffle

4 12 oz. cans of corn – drained

1 Cup butter

3/4 Cup sugar

2 Tbs flour

2/3 Cup evaporated milk (NOT condensed milk!)

4 eggs – well beaten

3 tsp baking powder

Heat butter and sugar in a saucepan until melted. Blend in flour and remove from heat. Gradually whisk in milk, add beaten eggs and baking powder. Mix well. Fold in corn. Pour into a casserole dish and bake at 350 uncovered for approximately 40 minutes – should be golden brown on the top. Let settle a few minutes before serving.

*Can be made early in the day and warmed before serving.

What’s the one dish is always on your Thanksgiving table?

 

About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading, or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

Publishing Can Be Scary!

MuffinsandMistletoe 200x300So, you’ve always wanted to be a writer. Seems like a great gig. Eat chocolate, drink lots of coffee, and sit around in your PJs and create stories from your heart. (Okay, I admit that IS a very cool part of the job!)

But what happens after you’ve finished the book? If you choose the traditional route, you take your manuscript that has been critiqued and polished to within an inch of its life and send if off to your list of agents and publishers and wait. Sometimes you get back a generic rejection, if you’re lucky you get a detailed rejection. Sometimes you get “the call!”

Scary? Yes. Rejections are scary. They are play on the inherent fear that every author harbors deep in their souls, the one that dares to suggest we’re frauds and our work is crap. Getting “the call” that your book has been accepted is no less scary. Now you’re signing your name on the dotted line of a contract, you need to promote yourself and your book, you need to edit and revise and pray your book sells. People will love your book or they’ll hate it – and they’ll let you know by posting public reviews. (Scary? yes!)

Now, as authors we have another option. Self-publishing.

The world of self-publishing has exploded in a few short years and no longer is there a stigma attached to saying you are an “indie author.” But is it any less scary?

If you decide to go it alone with your book, you are responsible for getting an editor to make sure you have a polished product. You need to hire a graphic artist to make sure your product is noticed. You need to format your book for all the venues you want your book to be available at, either you hire this out or learn how to do it yourself. You still have to promote yourself and your book. You still have to pray your book sells and still have those good and bad reviews to scare you at night!

We’ve entered into a very exciting time to be a writer, with more than one way to get our work out to the people we’ve been trying to reach – the readers! It’s a wonderful sigh of relief for many to have options – and there is now more than one path to success. Whether you choose traditional, indie or to try both, publishing is still foremost about THE BOOK.

While writing a book and creating characters and plots is an artistic expression – make no mistake that publishing that book is a business. It can be a wonderfully rewarding business, it can be frustrating, get on your last nerve, and make you want to pull your hair out. And yes, it can be very scary!

So, this month in keeping with our Scare Me theme, I will be taking the plunge and self-publishing a holiday novella. Muffins & Mistletoe is the first book I’ve written knowing it would never be submitted to any agents or publishers.

Sometimes we have to face our fears, knowing we’ll be scared, but having faith that it will work out in the end.

Tell me what fear you’re going to face this month and you might win our monthly prize!

 

About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading, or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

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