Monday, November 29, 2010

'Tis the Season

Isn't this snowman adorable?

We had rain all day and now the temperature is dropping quickly, which could make the morning commute tomorrow a touch unpleasant. MNDOT (Minnesota Department of Transportation) promises they are ready with salt and sand trucks. I believe them, and thank every one of the men and women who keep the roads in the best driving conditions possible.

Along with the winter roads comes the Christmas Holiday Season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now behind us—I didn’t venture into the crowds on Friday. I stayed home with the baby while the girls went shopping. (Grandma privileges!) I did catch a couple good online deals today. The majority of my shopping is done, and I’m extremely thankful for that. This week I’ll start to pull out the Christmas boxes, but we won’t get the tree for a couple of weeks yet. With the wood heat they dry out quickly. We are ‘real’ tree people, and over the years, I’ve tried many different ‘tricks’ to keep trees fresh, drilling a hole and putting a straw in the base, putting aspirin, sugar, or corn syrup in the water, etc. etc. In the end, besides cutting the base again once we get home, and a tree stand that holds at least a gallon of water, I’ve found nothing really makes a difference.

If any of you have a tried and true system, please share it!

I’ve started a new book, set in a gold mining town in Colorado. It’s going well, to the point I was up much too late last night. It was hard to get up and head out to the day job this morning. Of course, the long, relaxing weekend may have attributed to that as well.

As the calendar turns to the last month of the year, I hope you all have time to enjoy the excitement and blessings of the season.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

History of Thanksgiving

As many of us were taught, the first Thanksgiving took place in the fall 1621. It was a three day feast of thanks hosted by the Pilgrims and a local tribe of Wampanoag. Intermittent days of thanks continued for the next hundred and fifty years, often celebrating an event, good harvest, or end of a time period, such as a drought or battle. In 1777, George Washington declared the last Thursday in November as a ‘national day of public thanksgiving and prayer’ which all thirteen colonies celebrated, particularly giving thanks for the new constitution of the newly formed nation. The next national day was declared in 1789, by then President George Washington. However, it still didn’t become a ‘yearly’ celebration, until 1863.

For over 40 years, Sara Josepha Hale, the author of Mary had a Little Lamb, advocated for an annual day of Thanksgiving, and during the Civil War while looking for a way to bring the nation together, President Abraham Lincoln consulted with Ms. Hale prior to issuing the Thanksgiving Proclamation that declared the last Thursday of November (based on Washington’s date) as a national holiday.

75 years later, in 1939 retailers begged President Franklin D. Roosevelt to change Thanksgiving to the second to the last Thursday of the month, therefore giving people more shopping days before Christmas. He did so, but the confusion didn’t settle well with the county. Calendars were off, schools vacations had to be rescheduled, and yes, even football games reorganized. Many believed the reason of the date change was not a fitting cause and controversy split the nation. 23 states agreed to change the date, and 23 states refused. Colorado and Texas chose to celebrate both days. Even though businesses reported no real direct change in shopping, the two Thanksgivings (with states choosing which to observe) continued until 1941 when congress passed a law declaring Thanksgiving as a national holiday that would occur on the fourth Thursday of November every year.

So, there you have it.

History and controversy aside, for me, Thanksgiving brings family to mind. If I live to be a hundred, nothing will ever replace the sweetness of the word “Grandma!” I am thankful for so much, every day of my life—for living in a wonderful country, for freedom, for my right to worship God, for all the obvious and not to be taken lightly things which include my family, home, community, friends, vocation, my publishers and their belief in me, and especially the people who read and find delight in my books. Thanks for sharing this wonderful life with me.

My Thanksgiving wish is that each of you reading this blog has a blessed and beautiful holiday.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thank you!

Thank you to all who sent in title suggestions. I was a bit overwhelmed; there were so many good choices!

My final decision is El Dorado Widow. Of course, if it is contracted, the publisher has the final say, so it may change again. Rita suggested El Dorado Bride, and that is what lead me to El Dorado Widow, so Rita, your PDF of Guardian Bride, The Quinter Brides Book 4 is on its way.

Speaking of Guardian Bride, the Quinter Brides Book 4, I received a lovely review of the book from The Romance Studio this week. Reviewer Brenda Talley says, “I highly recommend this book for an amazing read.”

Today, I had to come to a conclusion, I can no longer deny winter is quickly approaching, which means I must put my wonderful little car in storage for the winter. I called today, and her normal spot is ready and waiting, so I spent the day cleaning her inside and out, had the oil changed, and topped off the tank after hubby added the gas additive for storage. Tomorrow, after we watch our granddaughter sing at church, I will take her to the ‘barn’ where she’ll be safe all winter. And as long as I was in the garage, I pulled in my ‘winter’ car and gave her a good once over as well. She’s a good car, and has always served me well, so I am a bit excited to get reacquainted with her, not to mention she does get better gas mileage than the Mustang.

This week will be busy with Thanksgiving preparations. I am thankful everyday for so many things, but the holiday makes me feel even more blessed. I’m looking forward to cooking a meal with all the trimmings, and spending the entire day with family.

I wish you all a blessed holiday!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I need a title...

Here’s my front yard. Falling from a gray sky, the snow is blanketing the ground like it plans on staying for a while.

The weather man predicted this, and following his words of warning, I ran all of my errands yesterday, made sure there would be no reason for me to venture onto the first roads of winter. And dear hubby, bless his heart, filled the wood boxes before he left for another trek up north to the hunting shacks. So, on this fine Saturday morning, the fire is crackling, a fresh pot of coffee is perking, and my pony car is safe and warm in the garage, all there is left for me to do is pull up my work in progress and start writing.

A blessed day.

If only I had a title for this latest story. It’s a short one, only 15,000 words and targeted for HQN’s Undone line. Usually a title comes to me long before now. The hero is Marshal Cord Donavon, and the heroine, Florence Rockford. She’s a widow, had been married to the youngest brother of a notorious outlaw gang—the Winter Brothers. Cord has the remaining brothers is his El Dorado jail, awaiting trial. While apprehending the brothers, Cord had been shot, and it had been Florie who found him, and nursed him back to health. Three months later, she arrives in El Dorado, set on telling Cord she’s in the family way and the baby is his, when she discovers her dead husband’s brothers are in jail, and her mother-in-law is attempting to break them out.

Thoughts? Any good titles jump to mind?

Leave a comment, or email me at Lauri.robinson AT If I choose your suggestion, I’ll send you a PDF of Guardian Bride, the Quinter Brides Book 4.

Thanks in advance for your help, and enjoy the weather, no matter what type you are experiencing, for every day, whether warm or cold, sunny or cloudy, is a gift.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

No, it’s not the same as Memorial Day.

First known as Armistice Day, and dedicated to celebrating November 11, 1918, the end of The Great War, (WW1), an act of congress declared it a holiday in 1938. Later, in the 1950’s (after WW2 and the Korean War) it became Veterans Day, a holiday to honor all of those who served or were serving, in all conflicts.

Memorial Day is to honor the fallen, those who didn’t make it home. Veterans Day is to celebrate and pay tribute to those who did, and to those who are still sacrificing so much for our country, our lives.

To the men and women proudly serving, to those retired from service, and to those who did make it home, you have my respect and sincere gratitude.

Thank you.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

This week's thoughts...

Here’s our other trick or treaters, Minnie Mouse and a princess (with a pointy hat, not a crown, as she explained it.)

I must admit I’m extremely glad the elections are over. I’m saddened each time they roll around to see the amount of money that is extinguish through the process. Just think if it was spent elsewhere…there wouldn’t be a hungry child, a family without a home, or a senior without medicine…At least that’s the way I see it. That all said, I do hope everyone took the opportunity to vote.

I’ve been dogsitting this weekend while the kids and hubby are up north hunting, (the latest report was two deer so far), and I’ve so enjoyed having Bear and Gander with me. There really is something about dogs that just brighten the spirit. They love so unconditionally. The neighbor dog has been over to play each day, and she and I were on the same time wave this morning. We both forgot to turn our clocks back.

I took my mother and 3 ½ year old granddaughter up to feed the chickens and gather eggs at our middle son’s house this morning. Isabelle enjoyed gathering the eggs from the roosts, but it was the poop which amazed her the most. She had lots of questions about that, so many she was still talking about it at the restaurant when stopped for lunch an hour later.

Tomorrow is a writing deadline, have to send revisions back to my editor for an outlaw story, and I’m happy to report that after one final read through, I’ll email it off. Then I’ll go back to work on my marshal story. There’s a soiled dove in this one, who’s not so soiled.

That’s it for me this week. I hope you all have a wonderful week, and don’t stress over the little things. It all works out in the end.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Busy Day

Here’s our little Halloween treat!

We had a wonderful Halloween, trick or treating with the granddaughters and visiting the haunted house. I left out treats on the table on the patio for any treaters that showed up while we were gone, and knowing the neighbor dog would be expecting her treats, I also set out a bowl for her. Low and behold, when we returned home, the candy dish was still full, but the dog dish, t-bones and all, was gone. Ava (the neighbor dog) took the entire dish back home with her. She is a hoot, and we love having her visit us daily.

Today has been busy, besides the day job, I am part of my library’s local artist event. The opening reception was from 3-8PM today. The event will run all week. Lots of fun and neat art on display!

AND…Her Midnight Cowboy was released by HQN today! Here is a short excerpt from the book:

They were through the doorway, and he kept moving, forcing her down the hall. “Yes, you.” His nose bumped hers. “You will not parade yourself about half dressed. Not in front of me or anyone else.”

She grabbed the end post of the large staircase, stopping both of them. “Not even my father tells m—”

“Nor will you ride the hills by yourself, or run to town on a whim.” He laid a hand on the stair railing, curling his fingers around the polished wood for support. No longer whispering, he said, “I have ten thousand head of cattle to see to, I don’t need any trouble from you.”

Huffing, she asked, “Trouble from me?”

“Yes.” He nodded at the second floor. “Now hightail your little butt upstairs and get dressed.”

Her eyes widened. “You can’t tell me what to do.”

“Oh, yes, I can.” He took a step back and pointed upstairs. “Go, now.”
Angel’s chin dropped. “I don’t—”

The sting of his palm connecting with her backside stopped her outburst. It had been action without thought. Being responsible for her virtue was more than he bargained for. “Go before I drag you up those stairs and dress you myself.”
“You wouldn’t dare!”

“Try me.” he challenged.

The stare down lasted a few minutes before she gave in and stomped up the stairs. Stopping on about the fifth one, she turned around and glared at him. “You’ll rue this day, Mr. McGuire.”

His eyes locked on the way her breasts rose and fell. “I already do, Angel girl. I already do.”

Finally, today, I was one of several historical authors participating in the Historical Extravaganza November Book Brew with the Coffee Crew at Coffee Times Romance Coffee Thoughts Blog, here and here.

There are lots of great prizes over there, so if you have a chance, stop by and leave a comment or two!

That’s about it for me on this first day of November 2010.