Thanks to everyone who commented on my post New Year New Pen name! Congrats to Dawn A., Laney4, & LilMissMolly! You’re the winners of a digital copy of the FORGET ME NOT anthology. I call this a “win-win” because all royalties will go to Alzheimer’s research. Please email me through LexiEddings.com with your choice of Kindle or Nook format!
Yeah, I’ll admit it. I have a checkered pen name past. But it’s not my fault. Each time I made a change, there was a sensible reason for it.
But I realized how confusing it must be when I received an email from a reviewer who tracked me down a few days ago so she could post a review of my debut title Maidensong. Back in 2006, that first book came out under Diana Groe, my real name. Then when I switched from writing dramatic, angsty Viking romances to a light and fluffy Regencies, my editor asked me to change my pen name to Emily Bryan, a name that seemed more in keeping with the tone of the new books.
Then that publishing house failed and my agent sold a new manuscript to Kensington, my current publisher. My editor there wanted a clean slate for my books with them, so Mia Marlowe was born. I adored writing historicals, but after 30 books published as Mia, I was ready to do something different.
I was living in Boston at the time and feeling a little lonely for my Midwestern roots. Don’t get me wrong. I loved living in New England, but I’m a small town girl at heart. I started noodling with the idea of an idyllic little place and all the less than ideal people who live there. When I showed my agent what I was playing with, she was astounded. After all those historicals, she had no idea I had a contemporary voice inside me.
Long story short, she sold the premise to my editor at Kensington and the Coldwater Cove series was born. The stories are funny, poignant and on the sweeter side, but with a wounded warrior hero, romance is guaranteed. Here’s the blurb for the first book:
The lake is crystal blue, the hills roll for miles, and breaking news travels via the Methodist prayer chain. But don’t let the postcard fool you. Coldwater Cove leavens its small-town charm with plenty of Ozark snark.
For Lacy Evans, returning to flyover country is the definition of failure. She had everything she wanted—an award-winning design firm, a chic city condo, a handsome, aristocratic almost-fiancé. Then her boyfriend ran off with her receptionist and her clients’ money. Now she’s out of business and crashing on her parents’ couch. When she slides into a booth at the Green Apple Grill, she’s feeling lower than a worm’s belly.
But Lacy’s old classmate Jacob Tyler is happy to see her. Coldwater’s football hero came back from Afghanistan short part of a leg and some peace of mind, but he’s counting his blessings, and Lacy could be one of them. Then there’s her ex Daniel, wearing a sheriff’s badge and a wedding ring but looking like young summer love.
Lacy thought she knew her hometown, and herself. She just wanted to get on her feet and keep running. But the longer she stays in Coldwater Cove, the more she finds to change her mind . . .
If you’d like to try an excerpt, please click over to LexiEddings.com for Chapter One.
Yeah, you read that right. I have yet another pen name. But it makes sense because these sweeter contemporaries are such a departure from my steamy historicals. You could read the Coldwater Cove series with your grandma, or your teenager and everyone will be happy. The first book comes out in April. Hope you love it!
And speaking of happy, one of the themes in THE COLDWATER WARM HEARTS CLUB is getting over our problems by helping others with theirs. In keeping with that, I’ve joined up with 9 other writers for the FORGET ME NOT anthology. 100% of our royalties are going to Alzheimer’s research. Here’s a bit about my short novella:
Michael Evans is the poster boy for trouble on two legs. After losing the one person who ever believed he’d amount to anything, he hitches his way across country to the Big Apple, convinced he can outrun the mistakes that forced him to leave Coldwater Cove, his hometown.
But as his dear Gran always said, “Wherever you go, Mike, there you are…”
I wrote this story in honor of my dear grandmother, whom we lost to Alzheimer’s. Leave a comment about trying something new and 3 lucky commenters are going to receive a digital copy of these 10 stories. But if you aren’t one of the winners, I hope you’ll order a copy today and help us combat this terrible disease.Kindle | Nook | Kobo | GoogleBooks | iBooks
…and the Jaunty Quills are celebrating! Today we’ve compiled our favorite drink recipes for your pleasure. If you’re looking for a cocktail to mix up tomorrow night, try one of these.
* 2 chilled, 12 oz bottles of beer
* 12 oz frozen limeade concentrate (slightly thawed)
* 12 oz tequila
* lime wedges
* Salt to rim glasses
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. Mix until the limeade concentrate is dissolved. Pour into glasses rimmed with salt. Enjoy immediately.
Cindy Kirk’s Crazy Coyote Margarita
½ tbsp. granulated sugar
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 ½ ounces Coyote Gold margarita mix
1. Use a cocktail shaker to mix together 1/2 tsp. of granulated sugar, 3 tbsp. of fresh lime juice, 1 1/2 ounces of Coyote Gold margarita mix, and a handful of ice. Shake vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds.
2. Rub a slice of lime along the rim of a margarita glass. Turn the glass upside down and coat the rim with salt from a plate.
3. Pour the margarita mixture through a strainer into the salt-rimmed margarita glass. Add a lime wedge to the rim.
Vanessa Kelly’s Kir Royale
One of my favorite Christmas drinks is a Kir Royale, which is basically a champagne cocktail. The Kir Royale is a dash of creme de cassis topped off with champagne!
Nancy Robards Thompson’s Classic Manhattan
2 ounces bourbon (or if you want a slightly sweeter drink, use one ounce of traditional bourbon and one ounce of honey bourbon)
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a martini glass.
Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Kristan Higgins’s St. Germaine Martini
1 parts vodka
1 part St-Germaine
1 part lemon juice
Combine, shake gently, add a splash of vanilla seltzer water. Supremely delicious!
Mia Marlowe’s Hot Wassail (for the kids too!)
This is a seriously easy recipe that makes the house smell like Christmas. Here’s what you need:
1 QT Apple Juice
1 QT Cranberry Juice
Pour the juice into a 5 quart pot and heat on low setting. Stick the orange with cloves. (This is a great project for kids. They love poking the cloves into the orange in fun patterns!) You can leave the orange whole or cut it into quarters. Float the cloved orange and the cinnamon sticks in the juice. Let it simmer till you’re ready to serve!
If you prefer the vino…
Jesse Hayworth with our wine selection.
I’m more of a wine girl, and love to celebrate with a Benefit Wine [http://www.benefitwines.com/beechbrook_s/480.htm].
They taste good—though I’ve been known to enjoy Cardboardeaux (aka boxed wine), so take that for what it’s worth—have cool labels, and ~30% of the sale price goes to the charity you select.
I usually celebrate by toasting with my daughter and a glass of sparkling grape juice.
However you choose to celebrate, we hope it’s a wonderful beginning to 2016!
1. You have to park in the boonies at the mall. In fact, you might have to follow shoppers, hover as they load up their booty and snag their spot after they drive away!
2. You decide “Coy” is the new black. Questions about where someone has been could lead to being able to guess what gift they’ve recently bought, so if you want something happily unexpected under the tree, it doesn’t pay to be too curious.
3. You have the local pizza place on speed dial. Between extra rehearsals for the Christmas pageant, attending concerts, and wrapping gifts, it’s easy to forget a family, like an army, marches on its stomach.
4. You pull last year’s Christmas decorations out of the attic and promise yourself you’ll cull the herd this time. But as you unwrap every treasured home-made ornament, you relive those special times and realize you can’t part with a single one.
5. You plan for those special holiday treats. When I was a kid, I always woke on Christmas morning to the heavenly aroma of my grandmother’s rolls. Honestly, I’d give up Cinnabon forever if I could only have one of hers again. Failing that, however, I have her recipe. You can too, by clicking over to The Coldwater Gazette, the blog for my new contemporary pen name, Lexi Eddings. I attributed the recipe to Ethel, a geriatric waitress in The Coldwater Warm Hearts Club, but it really belongs to my grandma.
6. Even though you know in your heart that snow is a terrible mess, part of you can’t help hoping you’ll see gently falling flakes on Christmas Eve.
7. You share in a gift exchange with loved ones and friends. In our family, before a single bow can be pulled off, my dad always takes out his Bible and reads Luke 2:1-20 aloud. To this day, my girls don’t want to open a Christmas present without that reminder of the First and Best Gift.
So those are some of my signs of the season. I wish you all such joy, now and always. I’d love for you to share some of your favorite holiday traditions or recipes. What really says “Christmas” to you?
In 2012, we took a family trip to Hawaii and visited Pearl Harbor. Book Blogger and reviewer par excellence Kim Adams of SOS Aloha met us at the Arizona Memorial and escorted us on a “behind the scenes” tour, not only of the Arizona, but also the Utah, the Missouri and Hickam Airforce Base where bullet holes can still be seen in the buildings. Kim’s tour and her historical insights were a highlight of this emotional trip. (Thanks again, Kim!)
Then in 2013, the DH and I took a cruise around the UK. Yes, it was as wonderful as it sounds. But one of the surprising things that made it so memorable was that we shared a dining table with a pair of WWII veterans every night.
Joe and George are lifelong friends. After Pearl Harbor, they both enlisted. Joe flew a fighter in the South Pacific. George went into the infantry and fought in Germany. He was a POW and spent part of the war in a concentration camp. After the war, Joe came home and married his high school sweetheart. George went to college to become a doctor where he met his future wife, surprisingly enough a German girl who came to the US to study.
They’re both widowed now and in their 90′s, but they get together for a cruise somewhere every year. We were just lucky to meet them on ours.
I want to take today to say thank you–not just to members of “The Greatest Generation”–but to all our veterans and their families. We owe you a debt we cannot repay. Your courage and sacrifice keep us free. I weep as I type this because I feel so strongly about what you do for others. You have my deepest gratitude.
Do you have a serviceman or woman you’d like to thank today? Please share.
If you leave a comment, you’ll be entered in the random drawing for a digital copy of Forget Me Not. It’s an anthology of heartfelt stories by 10 authors. One of them is me, writing as Lexi Eddings (my pen name for my new contemporary series). 100% of the royalties generated by this anthology will go to Alzheimer’s research.