Who Are We?

The NovelFriends are four writers who met through Wisconsin Romance Writers and initially became bonded by our love of books. That connection has expanded, grown, and deepened into true friendship over the years. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you, so follow the blog and join in the fun - we're always happy to have more NovelFriends!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Superstitions

Being that it's the 5th Tuesday, we're due for an extra post.

So, referring to the title of this post, I found this book a couple of years ago (I think at my mom's rummage sale) and thought I'd share a couple fun superstitions. You can get your own at Amazon; there are 32 used copies available starting at $0.01!!

First, because Delia loves her chickens: A crowing hen presages (foretells) evil and maybe personal serious illness. 

If a hen lays an even number of eggs, it's unlucky.

Yikes, that's no fun!

Here's a better one, Delia: Free range hens scrapping and feeding together is a sign of good weather.

And I like this one, too: Hen entering the house...expect a visitor.

Um...yeah...the hen!

Moving on for Donna. She loves horror and supernatural stuff. (So does Delia, but she already got the hens.)

A baby born at midnight can see ghosts.

If you want to prevent Gremlins from messing with your machinery, lay an empty beer bottle nearby and they'll crawl inside.

Yeah, because those Gremlins are such lushes, you know! Donna's Gremlin is named Sunshine, and I don't think she'd fit inside a beer bottle. *grin*

Last but not least for Donna: A necklace of peach pips will drive demons away. Don't ever cut that peach tree down!! While you're at it, and add a couple wren feathers around the house, too. They protect against sorcery.

Now, Jamie. I know you've got lots going on, so we're going to keep positive thoughts going for you.

If you see a donkey, it means you'll have good luck. So next time you meet an asshole, think of him as a donkey and things will be looking up. Even better if you're then hit by bird droppings.

As a Scorpio, your upcoming lucky dates are: July 30, Aug. 5, 9, 13, 17, 18, 27  Wishing you a wonderful day today!!!

You know those headaches you get? How about you try this folk remedy: wrap the skin of a snake around your temples. If that doesn't work, then apply a poultice of cow dung and inhale the dried moss collected from an old human skull. (Surely one of those will work. Positive thoughts, remember?)

Now, this last one is to prevent bad luck: If you leave your house, but then need to return for something you forgot, make sure you sit down and count to 10 before you leave again. 

Well, that's about it for now. I hope everyone enjoyed this journey into the mystical unknown.

Oh, wait, I've got one last one for Delia and Donna, since Delia kinda got jipped with the hens.

If a cat jumps over a corpse, the corpse will become a vampire.

Have fun with that one, girls, and pick a handsome corpse! LOL

~ Stacey

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer Recipes

Hello! The gardens are flourishing, and I already have zucchini ready to pick. So I'm going to share a couple of my favorite recipes for using those fresh & tasty treats that always grow in such great abundance. 

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
3 eggs-
3/4 cup vegetable oil-
1/2 cup sugar-
2 cups shredded zucchini-
2/3 cup brown sugar-
2 tsp vanilla extract-
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder-
3 cups flour-
1-1/2 tsp baking powder-
1 tsp baking soda-
1 tsp salt-
1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans, optional)

Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside.  Beat eggs in a big bowl; add the rest of the ingredients,

including the dry mixture, and mix well.  Add a heaping cup of chocolate chips and mix in.  Spray 2 bread pans
with Pam, or grease with shortening or vegetable oil.  Pour the batter into the 2 pans and bake in a 325 oven
for about an hour.  I usually have to give it an extra 5-10 minutes (I have an electric oven).  Cool (or serve
warm a la mode!) and enjoy!

Zucchini Raisin Bread
Mix together:
3 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

Then add:
3 beaten eggs
2 cups shredded zucchini
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup raisins or currants
1 cup chopped walnuts

Mix well, divide between two greased bread pans.
Bake about an hour at 350, or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

I hope you'll give both of these delicious receipes a try. If you do, please stop by and tell me what you think. :-)

I'd like to share a picture before I go. This is one of the several flower beds my mother-in-law works so diligently to keep pretty & weed free. The perfect view when I step outside with my morning coffee.

Thanks for stopping by & have a wonderful week!
~ Donna

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Been Busy... ~ Stacey

So, I missed last month because it was smack dab in the middle of our girls 'weekend'. This month, I'm so busy with preparing for the release of my new book, RUN TO ROME, that I decided I'd share a few pictures that I took on my 2011 Italy trip that I think are just cool pictures and don't really have anything to do with the book.

For pictures that do have to do with the book, visit my blog this week to 'see' the journey my characters took.

For pictures just for fun, scroll on down!

Old tree in the woods--ignore the date,
I forgot to reset after changing my battery
Old stables in the Castello di Torrechiara. Bet they
weren't so clean in the olden days!

A cool stone house along the side of the road.

European version of the General Lee :)

Devil's Bridge: Ponte della Maddalena (Ponte del Diavolo)
across the Serchio, Borgo a Mozzano, Lucca, Italy

View from atop one of the walled city of Lucca's towers.

Inside one of the churches of Lucca.

Me, sitting on a wall. (So exciting, I know.)

Cool archway and pillars inside the walled city of Lucca.

Stone archway in the abandoned gardens of Villa Bottini.

Violinist who provided my lunch music.

Gardens of the Palazzo Pfanner. My mom and sister
stood on the wall in the background just a few weeks ago!

Old fortress wall up in the mountains.

This one's for Mary Jo...is this enough vino for you? *grin*
And yes, we ate that fish. He was yummy!

Clear table where I enjoyed my tea each morning in the quiet
villa while my brother and his co-workers were at work.

So ugly he's cute!

I had to get a picture next to one of these small trucks to show the kids.

Well, that's enough fun for now. Hope you enjoyed the pictures, and if you want to see more, scroll back to the top and check out my blog all this week.

If you want the romantic suspense, action adventure, grab a copy of LOST IN ITALY while it's on sale for $0.99 July 20-23rd, and RUN TO ROME at the new release price of $2.99. Both will return to regular price of $5.99 before you know it! (click book covers for links)


Thanks for stopping by today!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Where has Summer Gone? (Jamie)

I can't believe it is July already. What happened to spring? To June? My summer To Do List still has way too many things left on it and not nearly enough time left to complete them all this year. The weather hasn't been helping. If it isn't raining, it has been so hot and humid. I do not do heat very well, which is why I live in Wisconsin, we don't usually get a whole lot of heat during the year.

Anyway, one of the disadvantages to having a creative mind is that you are constantly adding to that To Do List that hovers in the back of your mind. Our current project is tearing out the jungle that our yard has become and simplifying it back into just lawn and a few hostas again. There are fairy gardens waiting to be arranged and strategically placed. There is some major simplification being done in the boys' rooms - one is nearly done, one just started. We still need to finish shopping and packing for our engineer to head off to college - only a month from now!

It isn't all work, exactly. Next week I'm heading off to Atlanta for the Romance Writers of America National Conference. Since I am really on a roll with my writing at the moment and am loving the story that I'm working on, I'm very excited to attend this event because writing conferences always do amazing things for my writing motivation. I'm hoping to do a little bit of sight seeing while I'm in such an city full of so many things to see. I'm looking forward to it. I just hope my family doesn't get into too much trouble while I'm gone.

Well, I certainly have enough to keep my busy for the rest of the summer as it rushes on by. How about you? Any exciting happenings in your summer?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

All the babies home - Delia

For the first time in almost a year, all my kids are under the same roof...mine.  It seems like only yesterday that the whole family gathered around the supper table was an every day occurrence, but now it takes great feats of skill and engineering to accomplish this seemingly simple goal, and it's only going to get worse.

Currently, I've got a son in the Marines, a daughter living in Texas and two kids at home, but kid #3 is going to be a senior this year and is planning on following in his big brother's footsteps when he graduates, so he'll be off before you know it as well.  I shouldn't be surprised, my family does a lot of globe trotting.  At one point, about a year and a half ago, my husband was in Hawaii, a daughter was in Uruguay and my son in Afghanistan, there were only 3 of us on the same continent!  This whole thing in even more remarkable when you consider that I'm a major hermit - my kids' traveling ways obviously come from their father.

So, for a couple days anyway, I've got all my kids home.  I don't know when this is going to happen again since my oldest is heading out for deployment again next month, but I'm going to enjoy it while I can.  And, to commemorate the occasion, tonight we're going to have the first professional family portrait taken of us in about 10 years, I think we're due.