Archive | December 2016

That Hectic Time of Year

cheetah-540-lying-down-in-grass-color-blast-841Some days you just want to laze around, don’t you? No matter how many people are watching you to see if you’ll do something?

I sort of “finished” Loving the White Bear. “Sort of”, because I still need transitions between scenes, making out scenes, and I’m still moving around scenes. But the story is done–as in it has an epilogue. lol Hey, you gotta start somewhere…or should I say end it already. 🙂

polar-bear-foggy-picture-900-sooc-1205

So after typing the millions of changes, I’ve got to reprint out and review it again, to see if the story is coming together at the end. While I’m writing, I constantly edit, so the beginning and middle are much more ready than the end. 🙂

I’ve GOT to get groceries today. My list has become as long as Santas–stuff for wassail, for stuffing, for coffee, pumpkin pie for my son, sweet potatoes for my son and daughter. Poor deprived kids. I love potatoes and not into sweet potatoes, so my SIL and I still have the regular ones. 🙂

Okay, off to edits. What I’ve found if I don’t do them, they don’t miraculously get done. 🙂 And I need to clean house for my son’s arrival tomorrow. Christmas is getting close!

Have a wonderful day!

Terry Spear

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”

Connect with Terry Spear:

Website: http://www.terryspear.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear

A Wounded Bald Eagle

bald-eagle-profile-cropped-spicy-900-1The birds are beautiful, and I can never understand why they call them bald. Because as you can see, they are not bald in the least. This is at the wildlife refuge near Omaha, Nebraska.

I need to get some last minute grocery items, but yesterday, I picked up a ham, turkey and roast for three meals. We’re seeing Star Wars one day, seeing Christmas lights on another. My daughter and I did some last minute Christmas shopping, I wrote while she was in having her hair cut, though listening to everyone talking and the Christmas vocals, it was hard for me to really zone into the story and block out everything else. But I did.

When my kids were younger and I was trying to get published, I worked in the formal dining room, didn’t have anything in there but my “office”–a china hutch and my computer desk. It was off the kitchen, had big front windows, but it also connected with the living room through the foyer. That meant when my daughter was through with her homeschool lessons, she could watch cartoons. I used to block them out while I wrote back then too.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Have a great one! Working on Loving the White Bear. 🙂 Hope you are having some fun. I’m in the polar bear north. And it feels like that too!

Terry Spear

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”

Connect with Terry Spear:

Website: http://www.terryspear.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear

Yikes, I Didn’t Post! ‘Tis the Season to Get Overwhelmed!

christmas-brunchmimosaWe had our last Christmas party with one of the groups I belong to. I really love it here. When I lived in Crawford, there were no groups to belong to. The wild cornfield group. The roadrunner group. Well, that meant the cornfields and me…and the roadrunner and me. Oh, and the snake watcher’s group. I had more snakes than I could count.

We had free mimosas at the restaurant because of the holidays. So much fun! I wrote 2,000 words before I went, got some Christmas cinnamon candles at half off, and will scent the house with the candles for the holidays. So I walked all over the mall, and then the parking lot, looking for my car and got my exercise in too. Win-win!

My daughter has the winter break from school, so we’re spending the day out shopping and having lunch out. My son arrives on Thursday. So Friday, we’ll be running and doing something. We’ll be seeing the new Star Trek movie this weekend too.

I meant to finish Loving the White Bear before all the holidaying began. So that means Tuesday and Wednesday, no more goofing off. I did spend the evening editing 20 pages…. 🙂

puppies-and-lights-tanner-yawning-900-003Okay, I get it. I’m boring you. Get the picture taking over, already. 🙂 <3

It went from 80 to a wind chill of 22. I know that’s not that cold for our northern cousins, but, that much of a drop for us is a LOT.  Eighty is not normal for us either. It’s very cold again today. It’s supposed to warm up after this. The puppies love the cold though. They have been having a ball running in it, and then when they come in, Max curls up on my lap to get warm, and warm me.

polar-bear-900-in-water-water-from-mouth-1950I feel like I need a polar bear coat.

Well, before I am off and running again, I’ve got to get back to writing.

Enjoy your Monday!!

Terry Spear

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”

Connect with Terry Spear:

Website: http://www.terryspear.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear

 

 

Creating Magical Christmas Photos with Pretty Actions Magic

jenn-where-the-wild-things-are-sparkles-25-weeks-fireplace-900-055If you notice, the stockings are Star Wars in the background. I kept seeing cute pictures of magical sparkles and a light beam coming from a book kids were reading on the Pretty Actions FB page. I don’t have any little kids now. So how do I do this?

First, I used a photo sent to me by a fan of her cat, Merlin, reading one of my books. You see the jaguar print bedspread? He fantasizes that he is a hot jaguar too.

merlin-jaguar-hunt-sparkles-2I added the bokeh to blur out the background, and the sparkles and light. Sparkles and light are from Pretty Actions Magic in all these pictures.

https://www.photoshopactions.com/

This was the first picture I worked using a book, and I didn’t have the technique down very well. The one of my daughter is much better. That’s the last one I used the sparkles on. I’ve been taking her weekly pregnancy photos, and she’s at 25 weeks. So I wanted to do something different, and I told her about the book and the magic light. She wanted to use Where the Wild Things Are, one of her favorite stories growing up as a child. And throughout all our moves, we kept that and a few others that she wanted to read to her first child, when she had one.

The baby kicks like a wild thing, so it seemed appropriate. Of course, a big Christmas book would be fun too, but we didn’t have one. I used her cell light on the book to illuminate her. And only the fireplace was on, and no lights in the living room. I used a smaller brush to have more control over the curling sparkles in her picture, then used a wider brush to go back over the first line to give it more width and magic. It was hot, and she was sitting by the fire so she wore a short sleeved shirt. Texas, you know. But I’m thinking if she wore a long-sleeved shirt, maybe in green or red, that would have been even better. I don’t know if she has one, but maybe we can get a big Christmas book for baby and retake it for her 26th week.

fairy-reading-with-lights-900-006-recoveredMy second picture, I set up two nets of Christmas lights behind the fairy writing in a book. I actually have a little battery run candle on top of her lap, and the little lamp post also has a battery run light. I turned both on, then added a light from the Pretty Actions Magic to create the illusion of more light, sprinkled some sparklers throughout the Christmas lights, and added the magic dust. To get the blurred effect on the lights, I pulled her to the end of the kitchen counter to create more of a bokeh effect.

santa-mailbox-christmas-snow-and-sparkle-900This was my first use of the Pretty Actions Magic. I was trying to think of how to create something to use it with before I thought of how I could do one with a book. I also used Pretty Actions Snow Overlay, and it’s really great for making a Texas scene where it was cold and wet that day to a perfectly magical snowy instead. Also, I added a glowing light in the slot for the mailbox. I love the picture of the mailbox, but it’s so inanimate, until I used the snow and magic to make it appear to have movement.

I want to do one with my puppies reading a book, but I haven’t figured out how I am going to do it yet.

Another idea is to have a special box that seems to have magic inside it. So I want to try that too. 🙂  But this goes to show you that you don’t have to have a child reading a book to have some Christmas magic fun. Just anything will do.

Just have fun!

Back to writing Loving the White Bear! 11,000 words to go.

Have a great one!

Terry Spear

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”

Connect with Terry Spear:

Website: http://www.terryspear.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear

Fall is Finally Here for Christmas

fall-neighbors-lights-crepe-myrtle-900-019Magical.

And some freebies from Floating Lights Photography!! The snow actions for Photoshop and the globe are so much fun. 🙂

http://www.floatinglightsphoto.com/5-days-giveaways/

Renee has wonderful free tips on all kinds of Photoshop magic–working with curves and such. Her actions are great and I use them in a lot of my work. 🙂

flp-snowglobe-gold-900-arctic-wolves-merry-christmas

Have a lovely day!

Terry Spear

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”

Connect with Terry Spear:

Website: http://www.terryspear.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear

For Cold Days, Hot Apple Cider

wassail

Apple Cider Wassail with Sliced Apples
Serves 16
Ingredients:
• 1 gallon apple cider
• 3 TBSP brown sugar
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• cloves
• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• 2 thinly sliced oranges
• 6 cored apples cut in 1 inch pieces
Directions:
1. Add cider, apples, and cinnamon sticks to a large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
2. Reduce heat and add remaining spices and brown sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar.
3. Simmer 20 minutes.
4. Add orange slices with cloves stuck in the oranges.
5. Simmer 5 more minutes.
6. Serve in Christmas mugs.
I can’t find my original recipe or crockpot cookbook, which has lots of great recipes so this is really similar. I leave mine on low and guests serve themselves, and then refrigerate and just heat up. It makes the house smell so fragrant. :)Some add orange juice, cranberry juice, or pineapple juice. But I like it simpler and it tastes great. 🙂

Every year, I make this at Christmas though. It’s one of our traditions.

fae-christmas-scroll-900Magic pink rhododendron flowers on summer mountain. Dramatic ove

santa-mailbox-christmas-snow-and-sparkle-900

Hope you find something great about the day!

Terry Spear

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”

Connect with Terry Spear:

Website: http://www.terryspear.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear

 

 

Redundant Photography

thanksgiving-omaha-blaine-taking-a-picture-of-the-bison-900

My son taking a picture of a bison while I’m taking a picture of him taking a picture. Is that redundant or what?

christmas-decoration-boy-and-girl-and-snowmen-900christmas-decoration-boy-and-girl-and-snowmen-with-glow-900

Have a lovely day!

Terry Spear

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”

Connect with Terry Spear:

Website: http://www.terryspear.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear

Christmas Lights in Omaha

christmas-tree-lights-downtown-omaha-900lights-near-the-restaurant-we-ate-at-900lights-along-the-water-omaha-900

Aren’t they magical?

Have a wonderful day!

Terry Spear

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”

Connect with Terry Spear:

Website: http://www.terryspear.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear

Christmas of Hope by Tambra Nicole Kendall

christmas-of-hope-cover-2015Christmas of Hope
By
Tambra Nicole Kendall
Chapter One
Christmasville, Texas
“Stop, Daddy!” Hope Claus stood on tiptoe and pointed at the window of The Magic Café. “I want some hot chocolate with lots and lots of marshmallows. Please.”
“Great idea, Sweetheart.” Nick Claus‟ stomach rumbled in agreement. He must have walked from one end of the mall to the other at least ten times. He smiled at the thought. Hope must have looked in every single store. My daughter is a professional shopper at five years old. I’m in deep trouble.
A chill wind gusted, pushing hard against his back. He rolled his shoulders and shifted his body to protect Hope. Nick shoved the shopping bags into one hand and opened the door.
Hope scampered inside, impatience making her feet dance in place. “Hurry, Daddy!”
“I’m right behind you, Sweetheart.” Once inside, a blast of heat redolent with the comforting scents of cinnamon and peaches wrapped him in its embrace. It hung like a sweet promise in the air. A deep breath assured him of a fresh batch of peach cobbler was recently pulled from the oven. No one made it better than Marienne Tucker. A scoop of vanilla ice cream on top made it pure heaven.
Her small hand reached for his. Love spilled over warming his chest spreading throughout his body. He would do anything to protect to protect his baby.
He scanned the room for a place to sit. Plenty of seats were available at the moment. They must have just missed the lunch crowd. Thank God, he couldn‟t suffer another noisy horde right now. “I’m looking for the best place to sit, Hope.”
“I’ll help.”
Shopping at the end of the season was total chaos and Hope loved every minute of it. The lights, decorations and music delighted his little girl all the way down to her Claus soul.
Five years ago when his wife died a part of him died too. Since it was his fault, he didn’t deserve a second chance. The one thing he desired to regain, to feel the childlike joy his daughter experienced. The longing grew to regain the magic and wonder of the season with each passing year. He wondered if the dark spot in his heart would ever heal. Due to his family’s pressure he recently admitted he wanted to have a relationship, but not now. He needed slow and steady. He loved them, but damn it all they’ve been extra pushy lately. This wishy-washy feeling wasn’t like him. He hated it. Aggravation stirred inside him like a hive of angry bees.
“Daddy, you’re tummy is grouchy. It’s loud.” Hope patted his stomach forcing his attention away from his thoughts.
“How about you choose the where we’re going to sit?” The last time he let Hope chose their seats she became the entertainment committee for a table full of senior citizens.
She pointed to the seat near the back. “Back there.”
“Good choice!” He started to move when Hope stopped him.
“Daddy, take a big sniff.”
He did.
“No, bigger. Like this.” Hope demonstrated.
Nick took a bigger sniff. What was he supposed to smell? His daughter gave him an are-you-stupid look.
“Peaches in that gooey stuff, we like. Peach Yummy.”

“I’m going to order some. We can share.” Nick pointed Hope in the direction
of the spot she chose.

Maybe his family was right about him dating again. If he tried and it didn’t
work out, they might not be so anxious to shove him into something he wasn’t ready
for. Strange, after all these years, the only female who stirred his interest was Hope‟s
kindergarten teacher, Linnet MacDougal.

Beautiful inside and out, Linnet elicited feelings he thought had died with
Victoria. This scared him. He wanted to let go and open his heart, but couldn‟t
survive it breaking another time. He had to consider Hope. She was his first concern.
Maybe he could date occasionally. Not let the relationship get out of control. The
perfect solution!

When he got up the nerve, he’d ask Linnet out. They could go out a few times
and then she’d be out of his system. This was for his peace of mind.

The dulcet sounds of the Mediaeval Baebes CD Mistletoe and Wine played
through the speakers. The soft sounds started to soothe his tense muscles and his
stomach rumbled again, louder and harder.
“Ooooh, look at the tree!” Hope clapped her mitten-clad hands together and
stomped her feet in excitement. She held out her hands. “I want these off, Daddy.”
Nick grinned at Hope’s enthusiasm. “Marienne did a good job, didn’t she?”
With a sweeping glance, his inner vision burst into a kaleidoscope of color. Warm
orange, reds and pinks whirled and pulsed with the love and laughter from its
creator.

His left brow shot up in surprise. Wards of protection glittered in an intricate
weave of bronze, gold and silver around the room. His admiration for Marienne rose
even more. It explained why the atmosphere kept the good inside and the riffraff to
a minimum. Threaded through the subtle spell, he detected something familiar about
the magickal signature entwined with Marienne’s. Uncle Nicholas?
You can purchase Christmas of Hope from Amazon.
You can find Tambra on Facebook (personal page) https://www.facebook.com/tambra.kendall
A Recipe from Janet Warren’s cookbook, A Feast of Scotland.
Scottish Sparkle
 
Ingredients:
1 bottle of dry white wine
1 bottle sparkling white wine
The juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cup Drambuie
2 cups lemonade
 
Preparation:
Mix the dry white wine, lemon juice and Drambuie together in a jug and chill. At the last minute add the sparkling wine and the lemonade.
 
Add plenty of ice to the punch before serving.
 
Serves: 12
Tambra Nicole Kendall, author of romance and nonfiction https://tambranicolekendall.wordpress.com http://tambrakendall.com

The Joy of Giving by H. Schussman

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The Joy of Giving
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
**
I was raised a poor kid, but I didn’t know we were so poor until I was in my teens. Born in a town too small to have a hospital, as the fourth child to parents who couldn’t afford the first three, I thought we were the richest family around. We moved three times before I turned five, finally settling in the ancestral home of the Schussman’s. It was a rambling two-story old place set on the upper slope by the highway.
Christmas meant creativity to my mom. Invention is the mother of necessity, or creativity is the mother of poverty. We worked for weeks to create gifts for each other from cast off clothes and toys, dragging various items in from the cold foggy yard. They always had a fire in the family room, but the oven was in the kitchen… tough choice. When Pop was home we gathered in the family room, otherwise we were clumped in the kitchen.
On Christmas Eve, Pop hung a sheet from the ceiling, blocking our view of the scraggly Christmas tree loaded with handmade ornaments. Our gifts to each other were already under the boughs, but there were no presents from our parents yet. How could there be? Santa hadn’t come yet! Somehow we all waited for Santa Claus, with zero expectation of there being a big chubby white bearded man sneaking into our house. I knew it was our parents and appreciated Christmas the more because of that knowledge.
Christmas morning dawned with the usual thrill of anticipation, but my father had a tradition that we hated. We had to do all of our chores and eat breakfast, before the tree could be revealed. Torture! Never did the house get cleaned so quickly as it was on Christmas morning. Mom was kind enough to make a small breakfast, saving the annual cinnamon rolls for after the gifts were opened.
Pop lined us up, youngest to oldest, or oldest to youngest, tallest to shortest, etc… He changed it every year. Then he would dramatically yank the sheet down and reveal the tree with new presents under it. We raced over to inspect the wrapped gifts, determining which one was our own. We’d form a half circle on the floor, and Pop would give us a gift to open, one at a time. From my folks we always got a pair of shoes, a jacket, homemade dresses for the girls and slacks for my brother. I can still remember being more excited when my siblings opened the gift I’d made for them, than I was with my own gifts.
Mom had taught us that giving was better than receiving… the greatest gift given to me as a child.
Thanks for dropping by to read this true Christmas story!