Saturday, December 10, 2011

Merry Christmas

As a Christmas gift to my readers, I have posted a charming painting that a very talented on-line writer and artist friend of mine recently created. I love the simplicity of it. It sums up what Christmas is all about. Her name is Carol Apple.
Check out her website

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cindy Vine's New Book

Purchase at Amazon
Writer Cindy Vine's newest book, How to Say No to Sex and other Survival Tips for the Suddenly Single, offers an easy-to-read practical approach to coping with a newly single life and getting back on track after that nasty break-up.

After the success of her first book,  Fear Phobias and Frozen Feet, which tackled how to break the cycle of bad relationships in your life, Cindy decided to stick to her light-hearted style and continues to cut out the psycho-babble.  In her new book, she gives many useful survival tips and strategies for even the most devastated..

Being single after an intense relationship is a daunting prospect for many. Cindy shows how to overcome the grief experienced when a relationship ends, how to get your life back in order again, and how to avoid making the same mistakes next time round. In addition, she has  included sections on how to sort out your finances, how to avoid common mistakes made during sex, ten uses for an old photo of your ex., and finally how to end up being really happy. You will find many other useful tips to get you on the road to healing.

The chapter How to say no to sex discusses how to avoid  jumping into bed with all and sundry to make yourself feel better. The title may be misleading, as some readers may think the whole book is about abstinence, but it is not. It's about getting your life back on track again when you feel low and devastated.  It's about how to become happy again and start focusing on the positive.

Cindy Vine was  born in Cape Town, South Africa but have lived in many different countries. She is  the author of the self-help book Fear, Phobias and Frozen Feet as well as the novel Stop the world, I need to pee! a fictional account of the life and crimes of Fenella Fisher. In January 2010 she published The Case of Billy B which is a story about a father and son who face some immense challenges in life, including a psychopathic stalker. In April of this year, she finished Fighting Fisi, a children's picture book about bullying which is in the process of being published.
Check out Cindy's blog.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Changes in the World of Publishing

New York, NY (October 31, 2011) HarperCollins Publishers today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Thomas Nelson, Inc. for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition, which is expected to close by the end of the calendar year, is subject to regulatory clearances and other customary closing conditions.

Thomas Nelson is one of the leading trade publishers in the United States. The Company provides multiple forms of inspirational content including: books, Bibles, e-books, journals, audio, video, curriculum and digital applications available for download on “smart” electronic devices. It has published some of the bestselling books in the industry, including the current #1 bestseller Heaven Is For Real, and the books of many popular authors, such as Billy Graham, Max Lucado, and Dave Ramsey.

“Founded in 1798 in Edinburgh, Scotland, Thomas Nelson shares a long and rich heritage with both New York’s Harper Brothers and Scotland’s William Collins & Sons. It is thus with great pleasure that I look forward to welcoming Thomas Nelson to the HarperCollins family,” said Brian Murray, President and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide. “HarperCollins’ global print and digital publishing platform, which includes e-book distribution into more than 175 markets, Print-on-Demand, Digital-to-Print at Retail, and worldwide marketing reach, provides an opportunity to further expand the readership of Thomas Nelson’s distinguished authors.”

“Additionally, Thomas Nelson adds further balance to our existing publishing programs. Its broad inspirational appeal is a good complement to Zondervan, which will continue to publish books consistent with its mission,” added Murray.

“We are excited to be joining HarperCollins Publishers,” said Mark Schoenwald, President and CEO of Thomas Nelson. “We believe this transaction represents an attractive strategic fit for our company. With HarperCollins’ resources and capabilities to draw on, we will capitalize on the many opportunities in this rapidly changing world of publishing.” 

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Review: The Paris Wife

I finally finished the Glass Castle...great book, really enjoyed it. I am starting the Paris Wife today and will tell you more about it when I finish it. In the meantime, here is a review from GoodReads and an interesting video.

In this novel about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, the object of the 20-year-old Hemingway's affections was Hadley Richardson, a pretty but unglamorous Midwesterner who was eight years his senior. It was Richardson who shared Hemingway's years as a poor, still-unknown writer in Paris. The story of their romance and marriage has been fictionalized in Paula McLain's new novel, The Paris Wife.
Hadley Richardson appears here and there in Hemingway's book about his Paris years, A Moveable Feast — and these glimpses of Hemingway's first wife caught McLain's eye. They made her curious about this woman whom Hemingway seemed to idealize in the memoir he wrote toward the end of his life.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Book Review: The Glass Castle

I love this book. I'm half way through and have slowed down considerably because I don't want it to end. The following is a review from Goodreads:

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. 

Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days.

As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Appalachia: Dispelling the myth

"...So many lies have been written about us, the mountain people, that folks from other states have formed an image of a gun-totin', tabaccer -spittin , whiskey drinkin', barefooted, foolish hillbilly who never existed except in the minds of people who have written such things as The Beverly Hillbillies...No matter what we do, we can't make folks believe we are any different...we have been disgraced in the e yes of the outside world."  from What My Heart Wants To Tell by Verna Mae Slone, Lexington, Kentucky 1978.

When I moved to Kentucky and discovered how beautiful and interesting it was, I wanted to know all about it. I was fascinated by the history, especially that of the folks in Appalachia. I must admit that I am one of the people who had a stereotypical impression of that area. Being extremely curious and an avid reader, I started reading a lot about it and came across the quote at the beginning of this chapter. I was so struck by the pathos of it that I had to know more about the people.

I had the good fortune to have a couple of professors from the University of Kentucky come to stay with me, Elizabeth and Charlie. They both were sociologists and Charlie was an expert on Appalachia and would talk to me for hours about the area and the people. He completely changed the impression I, like so many others outside the area, had.

I learned that the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in the U.S. state of Alabama. And that the cultural region of Appalachia typically refers only to the central and southern portions of the range. I was surprised to find out that in 2005 approximately 23 million people lived there. Along with Scotch-Irish immigrants, there were German and English settlers in western Pennsylvania, Northwestern Virginia, and Western Maryland.

Charlie and I spent hours talking about the discovery of the Cumberland Gap in 1750 and the end of the French and Indian War in 1763 and how after that settlers moved deeper into the mountains of upper Eastern Tennessee, Northwestern North Carolina, Upstate South Carolina, and Central Kentucky. He told me about the treaties with the Cherokee and other tribes that opened up lands in North Georgia, Northeast Alabama, the Tennessee Valley, the Cumberland Plateau regions, and the highlands along what is now the Tennessee-North Carolina border.

I had always pictured an Appalachian hunter or pioneer wearing a coonskin cap and buckskin clothing, and carrying a long rifle and shoulder-strapped powder horn like Daniel Boone, living on high mountain ridges and fending for themselves against the elements and attacks from the Indians. Charlie said this was pretty much accurate.

*This piece is the first in a series of excerpts from a longer article I wrote some time ago. If you found this one interesting, you might enjoy returning to read the next three. I will publish one every Friday while I am part of the blogging challenge.  Thanks, Nancy

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Profile: Ruth Reichl, writer and foodie

Former editor in chief of Gourmet Magazine for ten years, Ruth Reichl is one of my very favorite food celebs. She was the restaurant critic of the The New York Times, (1993-1999),  restaurant critic and food editor of the Los Angeles Times (1984-1993) and co-owner and cook of the collective restaurant The Swallow from 1974 to 1977. She played a part in the culinary revolution that took place in Berkeley, California.

She is the author of the best-selling memoirs Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me with Apples, and Garlic and Sapphires, and Not Becoming My Mother and Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way.

She is executive producer of the two-time James Beard Award-winning Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie, which airs on public television across the country, and the editor of the Modern Library Food Series. Before coming to Gourmet, she was the restaurant critic for the New York Times, receiving six James Beard Awards for her work. She lectures frequently on food and culture.

I have two of her memoirs, Tender At The Bone and Comfort Me With Apples. Both were wonderful. She is an accomplished writer and both memoirs are filled with charming and interesting anecdotes about her life and her family. I found the following interview online where she talks about the future of media and artisans as new stars on a really interesting site called Eater

Her resume goes on and on and she continues to be in the forefront of the food community. She lives in New York City with her husband, Michael Singer, a television news producer, and their son.

Here's a recipe from her very first book, a cookbook titled A Feastiary, 2004

Orange Oatmeal Cake


1/2 cups orange juice

1 cup oatmeal, uncooked

1 stick butter

1/2 cup molasses or brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

1 cup chopped walnuts, if you want


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring orange juice to a boil, pour over oats and set aside. Cream butter with sugar. Add molasses. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients, then add to butter alternately with oats. Add orange rind and nuts. Bake in large greased baking pan (13 by 9 inches) for 40 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes, then spread with the following topping.


1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 stick butter

1 tablespoon orange juice

grated rind of one orange

1 cup dried sweetened coconut

1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Mix first 4 ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring. Add coconut and nuts, spread on cake and put under broiler for one minute.

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Friday, September 23, 2011


 I have just joined a blogging challenge which starts today. The idea is the creation of Julie Isaac, author and content creation coach, who has a blog at Blog.Writing  I hope you'll check it out. The challenge is open to anyone who want to start blogging more regularly and would benefit by having to be accountable on a regular basis. Today is the first day of the second challenge so if you want to get in on it you need to join asap.

I do a lot of blogging and so sometimes I need a little push to keep up with all I've given myself to do. I have four blogs (only three in this challenge) and blog for the Bed and Breakfast Association of Kentucky. I know this seem like a lot, but it keeps me writing a good part of the day, around 4-5 hours. Since I am writing articles for three on-line magazines and finishing up a memoir, it's important that I write continually.

I have been an owner/Innkeeper at a small bed and breakfast in Louisville, KY. It's the perfect business if you want to pursue other avenues, like writing, at the same time. I'm home all day most days, I have housekeepers and assistants who help me in the business, and I can stay in my office near a phone writing all day. I need to be near a phone to take reservations and business calls. I can be on the computer writing at the same time.

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Blogger Ball #7

Welcome to my book blog. I am a writer, editor, educator, musician, and small business owner. I have been
Welcome to the SheWrites Blogger Ball!
innkeeping at my bed and breakfast in Louisville KY for the past 17 years.  I am passionate about women's issues, the arts, and life in general...and  I love to blog. I'm working on a memoir now and have been trying to start reading more and reviewing books that appeal to me. I want to get back to reading memoirs again, as I'm in the throes of re-writing mine. Any suggestions for memoirs written by creative, adventurous and strong women will be more than appreciated. I love Ruth Reichl's books. She writes, as I do about people and food, as does Maya Angelou.

I hope you enjoy your visit.

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A personal essay on Sue Monk Kidd

I was first introduced to Sue Monk Kidd's writing through  The Secret Life of Bees and was immediately hooked on her style, her truth, and her honesty. To me, if I were to aspire to be like another write (and I don't) it might be her.

Today I went to Amazon to check out another book, a memoir suggested to me by a She Writes writer and Publisher. I want to return to my memoir reading before I finish rewriting and tightening my own memoir. I found the book and plopped it in my shopping cart, but couldn't leave before surfing around a bit to see what other treasures I might run into.

And up came Sue Monk Kidd's page.  Glancing across her titles, I was drawn to When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life's Sacred Questions. I looked inside and read most of the first chapter, loving every minute of her beautiful straight forward and well captivating....and oh so depressing. 

I want so much to buy the book but don't know if I can tolerate the in-depth feelings of someone on a spiritual journey. I'm thinking out of the depths of hell into the light. And it's the hell part that bothers me. It actually gives me anxiety to think about reading it. But my intuition tells me, there will finally be an uplifting message on the other side of all of that angst. 

I am not a religious person, but I am always looking for the truth...everywhere...within myself and in the hearts of others. I always leave room for learning and discovering something I was missing. What would you do?

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Anybody care that Fashion Week started today?

Anna Dello Russo and fast fashion may not seem like a likely pairing, but somehow Macy’s managed to get the Vogue Nippon editor and street style star on board to guest-edit a collection. To ADR herself, however, the partnership did not seem so far fetched.

“They called me six months ago, to propose to me this collaboration and of course, I was honored,“ she said thoughtfully while sitting in a suite at the Mondrian Soho, “It was a new challenge for me, exploring a different market and using my knowledge in this way, but I am an editor. Editor’s the right term for my work with Macy’s because I edit pieces."(Sara Leon for the Huffington Post)
.........Continue reading

“Designers have taken a painterly approach to fall 2011 by artfully combining bright colors with staple neutrals, reminiscent of how an artist would construct a stunning work of art,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Much like a painter's masterpiece, there is a certain romance to this season's palette.”  Stylist is doing a series called Pantone Color of the Week. They have taken swatches from the company's Fall Color Report and translated it to fashion and beauty. This week they are focusing on "... Emberglow -- a mashup of coral, pumpkin and salmon tones." Check it out here.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Do reviews in on-line bookstores matter? Good article by Dana Lynn Smith

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Current info and pictures of Hurricane Irene

The following was posted by the Huffington Post today. Click here for further info and pictures

Hurricane Irene slammed into the East Coast on Saturday, killing at least six people, cutting off power to nearly one million and leaving a trail of destruction as it continued its path north.
The storm made landfall early Saturday morning on North Carolina's Outer Banks, according to Jeff Masters at Weather Underground, where winds as high as 110 mph ripped shingles and siding off houses.
In Virginia, falling trees -- one on a house and another one a car -- killed two people, the Associated Press reports.
In anticipation of Irene's arrival, Michael R. Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, ordered the evacuation of nearly 300,000 people from low-lying areas. In an unprecedented move, the city's public transportation system was shut down. By Saturday afternoon, parts of New York looked like a ghost town.
Hurricane warnings have been lifted south of Cape Fear, N.C., according to the National Weather Service, but much of the East Coast -- from as far south as Surf City, N.C. to as far north as Sagamore Beach, M.A. -- remains on high alert.
For the latest on Hurricane Irene, check out The Huffington Post's live blog.
LOOK: Photos of Hurricane Irene:

Launch the fullpage Big Shots slideshow >>
Waves crash onto a beach in Ocean City, Md., Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, as Hurricane Irene heads toward the Maryland coast. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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