The Stuff in My Office—5

BKSHELF1Yep, I’ve got even more stuff to tell you about now that our short pause is over. The four pictures in this blog are of the wall length bookshelves opposite the corner where my desk sits (desk stuff in a later installment). There are six shelves (I couldn’t fit the top self into the camera frame, each roughly 10 feet in length and completely filled with paperback romance novels (and yes, those novels absolutely get included on the list of stuff I like that makes me happy). I won’t describe any of the books, but I will mention some of the other items.

In the foreground of the picture at the left you can see a couple of the items I discussed in the 4th installment of this series. You can also see part of the floor lamp that stands between the table (see installment 4) and my reading chair (also installment 4). I love that shade because it turns this lovely glowing gold color when the bulb is on, and it gives terrific light for reading.

Moving on to the next picture (below right) you see the rest of the lamp. The small needlework pillow peeking out from behind the lamp is another gift from my mother in law. That pillow was sitting on her royal blue sofa in her living room the first time my sweetheart brought me to their home for dinnerBKSHELF2 and to meet his folks. I was scared spitless because I knew about her upper crust Boston background. Mom was everything that is gracious. Nonetheless it took me several years to get over being intimidated, mostly because of my personal fears. I like to think that we now have a very friendly relationship. She certainly remembered that first visit, because one of the few things I managed to say was how lovely the pillow was. Who wouldn’t like a pillow with irises (Mom used to grow award winning Iris blooms) in varying shades of blue, including cobalt. On the shelf above the pillow are four framed covers from my books. Below those is yet another gift from my mother in law. This gift is more recent (just this past Christmas), yet I treasure it almost as much as the pillow. The seascape set into the tray is one of my favorites, and since I love the sea (add that to the list too) I keep the tray where I can see it.

The third picture (at left) shows the enBKSHELF3tire tray, and above that the remaining four covers from my books. If you look closely you can see a small two-tone brown box at the end of one of the shelves. That is a recipe box that my own mother gave me. It holds my grandmother’s recipes for Swedish coffee bread, dream cookies, and depression era frosting (made with flour, milk, butter and granulated sugar). The confectioner’s type of sugar that is usually used in frostings was nearly impossible to get during the depression, so flour was substituted. Even granulated sugar was expensive, so frosting on cakes was a real treat. The Dream Cookies are another depression era recipe, requiring only flour, granulated sugar and butter. Preparing Dream Cookies requires careful attention because the butter must be melted and browned to a point just shy of burning. The caramelized bits in the melted butter create the delicate flavor of these cookies. Once baked they have a very crumbly texture. My grandmother called them dream cookies because they practically melt in your mouth and disappear so fast that you feel as if you imagined eating them. Dream Cookies (along with homemade pecan sandies) are my favorite cookies, so they go on the list too. I’ve made the Swedish coffee bread—which is an all day project. Grandma used to fill hers with citron (candied dry fruit). I prefer un-candied dry fruit and more nuts—especially pecans. The bread was a daily item in my life while I was in school during the years when my grandparents lived with us (they moved into a small apartment in our house once neither of them could drive). I would come home from school and Grandma and my mother would be sitting at Grandma’s kitchen table having coffee and buttered coffee bread. They always had at least one piece waiting for me. I’d savor the bread and listed to Grandma and Mother share memories of their early lives. That’s how I learned about depression frosting and the origin of Dream Cookies.BKSHELF4

The last image (at right) shows the end of two more shelves, one of the two windows in my office and the stuff that sits below the window. I’ll write about the window stuff next time. Right now, I want to mention that the elephant bookends were a gift from me to my own mother and probably one of the first purchases I made with money I earned. I got elephants for her overflowing bookshelves so she would never forget where they came from and how much we both loved reading. The elephants came back to me when Mother passed away. Below those sits a small basket containing old checkbooks. I don’t know where the basket came from, but I like open containers. I tend to forget things when they are out of sight. I want the checkbooks in plain sight so I remember to throw them out when I no longer need them as tax records.

So those bookshelves contain a lot of stuff ranging from the treasured to the mundane, and as always a host of memories. Do you have memories of your parents and grandparents; stories and/or recipes that have been handed down and treasured for generations; little knick knacks that hold meaning only for you? Please share with a comment.

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Jean Drew

Welcome Jean, I’m so happy you’re able to be here. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. I was born in England but live in New Zealand. I once wanted to be the next Agatha Christie but when I read my first romance it was love at first read. But I never say never. I Author, Jean Drewstill might try my hand at a mystery one day.

Please tell us about your most recent release. My most recent release from The Wild Rose Press is called A Man Like Saxon, a contemporary romance set in New Zealand. The hero is a Hollywood movie director who enjoys hot air ballooning, (the ballooning based on my own experiences). He wants to make his movie on the heroine’s land.

And now for Jean’s ‘weird questions.’

1. What is the most distant place you’ve visited (from your home)?AManLikeSaxon_w6532_300

That depends in what you call my home. When I lived in England, New Zealand was furthest from my home. But now I live in New Zealand, England is the furthest. I’ve travelled both ways.

2. If you had to choose between a million bucks and being able to fly, which would you choose?

That depend in what you mean by bucks. If you mean male deer, I’d choose being able to fly. But if you mean dollars, I’d choose dollars.

3. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go?

Monaco, but only if the ticket is first class. I’d like to arrive in the style to which I hope to become accustomed.

4. An angel appears out of Heaven and offers you a lifetime supply of the alcoholic beverage of your choice. “Be brand-specific” it says. Man! What are you gonna say about that? Even if you don’t drink booze there’s something you can figure out… so what’s it gonna be?

Champagne – Dom Perignon

5. Rufus appears out of nowhere with a time-traveling phone booth. You can go anytime in the PAST. What time are you traveling to and what are you going to do when you get there?

Ancient Egypt. I’d spend some time following pharaoh around just to see exactly what he does, see the splendour of his court. Watch the workmen building a pyramid, wander through the markets, really soak up the atmosphere then come back and turn it into a best-selling novel.

6. One night you wake up because you heard a noise. You turn on the light to find that you are surrounded by MUMMIES. The mummies aren’t really doing anything, they’re just standing around your bed. What do you do?

I tell them, “If you weren’t so wrapped up in yourselves you might not have lost your Daddies.” J

Haha! I love your humor and your voice. So, here’s the blurb for Jean’s next terrific book A Man Like Saxon.
Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

Danielle Montgomery hides a terrible secret that binds her to a life of loneliness she believes she deserves. She has never wished for anything more from her humdrum life. Up, up and away. Come, fly with sexy Saxon.
When film director, Saxon Wainwright, drops in from a clear blue sky, wanting to make his movie on her property, he blows Danielle’s narrow world apart. Is Saxon the nemesis Danielle is expecting?

Buy Link:
AmazonKindle: A Man Like Saxon

So Cool! Check Out The Sexy Sailors Cover Art.


I just received the cover art for my July 2013 erotic romance, Hazard Duty, Sexy Sailors # 2. Isn’t this the most gorgeous erotic romance cover art ever? I think so. Hopefully you will too. The text and character positions mirror those on the cover of Sexy Sailors # 1, Off Limits. (Here they are, side by side for comparison. I won’t gush further. We all know about pictures and 1,000 words. But please leave me a comment and let me know which cover you like best. Oh yes, Hazard Duty isn’t available yet, even for pre-orders. However, if you want to check out Off Limits (one of my favorites stories) here’s the link, Off Limits on Amazon.

off limits final (2)

Cover Art for Hazard Duty, Sexy Sailors # 2

Lia Davis Interviews Danica, Heroine of Winter Eve

Winter Eve cover final amazon

Hello! Thank you, Rue for having Dani and me over today. We are excited to be here and share a little about Winter Eve and that hunky human who stole Dani’s heart.

Lia: Hi, Dani! Please share a little about you.

Dani: Hi. I’m happy to be here. I’m a leopard-shifter and the Ashwood Pack healer. Although an accident has hindered my healing ability a little, but with the love of my Pack and new mate, I’m healing.

Lia: I’m glad to hear that. What is you favorite thing to do in your spear time?

Dani: I love spending time in the nursery and playing with the littlest Packs members.

Lia: Aww. The younger ones can’t shift, can they?

Dani: *smiles and shakes her head* No. Their animal halves, or at least the magick that animates our animal half, doesn’t fully wake up until puberty. Then we have to deal with hormonal preteens through young adults as they learn to control the shift and the animal within.

Lia: Wow. Sounds like the adults have their hands full.

Dani: The closeness of the Packs and love bond between parents and their children is very strong. It is very rare for us to have an unruly teen. Mischievous teens, yes, but they know their boundaries.

Lia: That good. Tell us about Ashwood Falls, before and after the wolves merged with the leopards.

Dani: Well, before the first rogue attack about 200 years ago, both Packs were strong, vibrant communities. They were two of the strongest in North America. After the attacks, they lost so many of their supporting members they started to fall apart. Rebuilding was too much of an effort because moral was down. Finally about 30 years ago Luna and Keegan made the decision to merge their lands and Packs.

Lia: I bet that caused some tension. I mean wolves and leopards living together?

Dani: *nods* Yep. Neither fully trusted the other. But with all good Alphas, Luna and Keegan brought them together and everyone began to learn from each other. It’s still not perfect, but we are much stronger now, and for the most part work as one Pack.

Lia: That’s great. Now care to share your human?

Dani: *She blushes, but her green eyes lit up* Nevan is my winter blessing. He’s compassionate, protective, and doesn’t back down from anyone. He was raised by lions. His stepmother and brothers are mountain lion-shifters, so I didn’t have to deal with the shock of by-the-way-I-can-shift-into-a-large-spotted-cat thing.

Lia: Yes, I guess shifter thing would throw some people off if they didn’t know. Dani, Thanks so much for chatting with me.
Dani: Thank you for bring me along.

~~~

Dani and Nevan’s story is the prequel to my new series, Ashwood Falls. Below is more about Winter Eve and a short excerpt. Enjoy!

Title: Winter Eve, Ashwood Falls prequel

Author: By Lia Davis

Publisher: Fated Desires Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Blurb:

There comes a time when setting your differences aside isn’t just necessary, it’s a means of survival. After losing over half of their dens to a group rogue shifters, the wolves and leopards merged as one Pack, but living together is much more of a challenge then they expected.

 Danica Welsh was born to be the leopard pack healer. An accident involving a drug induced youth left her badly burned and scared—emotionally and physically. Without the ability to heal by touch, she secludes herself to the edge of town, away from Ashwood Falls’ overly concerned citizens. All hope of mating and family become a distance dream. When she finally starts to accepts the long, lonely existence ahead of her, a stranger crashes into her life, and her heart.
After Nevan Mathews’ fiancée died three years ago, he submerged himself into his work, cutting off all reminders of a life he dreamed of with the woman he loved. He lets his step-mother talk him into taking the first vacation in five years to visit for the holidays. But an accident delays his travel plans, sending him to Danica’s doorstep and raises a need he thought he would never feel again.

Can they tear down the walls around their hearts and submit to the passion before another claims Dani for his own?
Warning: Contains a shifter who’s scars run deeper than skin, a human who has the heart of a shifter, and a snow storm that’s sure to have them both reaching for warmth.


st Links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Winter-Eve-Ashwood-Falls-ebook/dp/B00AP97Y3C/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1355751049&sr=8-8&keywords=lia+davis

B&N: >http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/winter-eve-lia-davis/1045447813?ean=2940016105901

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-wintereve-1026088-139.html

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Winter-Eve/book-XdS2jHnLRkaH2UbWnSXBpw/page1.html?s=eAhL72jjSE-X9ec7a5lSaA&r=3