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Showing posts with the label Christmas gifts

Are You in Panic Mode Yet?

 It's two days until Christmas. You have someone to buy for. Maybe you forgot. Maybe that person is difficult to buy for. Maybe you feel like the trite gift card is just too...trite for this person. You're desperate. How about a book? No, it probably won't arrive before Christmas, but you could present the description and cover art, creating anticipation for that 'something nice' that will arrive later, when things have calmed down a little. Each book is a personal choice, but there are so many to choose from, so many great hours of enjoyment to come. And if it happens to be one of mine, well, you'll make another person happy. Bonus! Find all my books (and Maggie's too)  https://www.amazon.com/Peg-Herring/e/B002JK5FKY https://books2read.com/pegherring/

Free Books and All That

I'm kind of bad at selling things (which is odd because my dad was a used car salesman. He wasn't the stereotypical one, though, and worked hard to find the best car for the money for each customer.) Anyway, even with years of watching people sell things to other people, I can't make myself tell readers that my books are amazing and will change their lives. Nor can I follow the advice of one writer I met who said, "When people come up to your table at a signing, shove the book at them so they have to take it into their hands. They'll be embarrassed to put it down, so they'll buy it." Really? I'd be embarrassed to be that pushy. So here's the deal. It's the holiday season and people are looking for gifts. If you know a mystery reader, you might consider giving one of my books. I've listed below the first in each series, and I'm giving the Kindle versions away over the next month on Amazon. I won't hide my motive: if a person re

30 Days of Christmas Day 11: Faye Remembers Christmas

Faye I remember Christmas. I’d start thinking in late September about what each person in my family would like for a gift. Barb was always the easiest to buy for, because…books. She didn’t much care what kind as long as it was something she could learn from. And she could learn from mystery novels about motives and justice, from classics about life and integrity, or from Bill Bryson about just about anything. She honestly didn’t care what she was reading, as long as she was reading. Retta wasn’t hard to buy for either, but for a different reason. She told you what she wanted, in detail, with directions and a price range. Sometimes it was written down, just to be sure. That left Mom and Dad, who always said they didn’t want anything. That’s such an unsatisfactory answer to “What would you like for Christmas?” but it’s what we always got. Dad was funny because for some strange reason, the man who never shopped would go out late in November and buy himself new underwear

30 Days of Christmas--Day 6*-The Perfect Gift

Many of us start looking for the perfect gift around this time. (If you're one of those people who's had your shopping done since July 12th, I still love you.) There are lots of ways to go about finding things to make those around us happy, but I've been thinking of something you might not have considered. Why not give people the right to be different from you? Consider if you will how much stress--family, community, national, and international--would disappear if we didn't insist on being right. Football fans call rival teams terrible names, and their fans must be stupid if they cheer for them. Men and women make nasty jokes about the other gender's supposed weaknesses. Kids take note of the differences between them and conclude Not Like Me means bad. I don't think they come to that belief on their own. Internet philosophers speculate on the oddness--and therefore the wrongness--of this person or that group. People of different cultures are lumpe

Pecan Pie Bars

Just what they sound like--great for parties Crust: 1/2 c. oleo 1/2 c. shortening 1 c. brown sugar 2 c. flour Mix well and press into 9x13" pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes Topping: Mix 5 eggs 1 c. syrup (I use light but recipe says you can use light or dark) 3/4 c. sugar 1 tsp. vanilla 2 c. pecans, broken Pour mixture over crust and bake at 275 degrees for about 50 min. Cut into bars.

Brownie Pudding

                                                       This one always makes me feel like I can do magic! Brownie batter 1 c. flour 3/4 c. sugar 2 tbsp. cocoa 2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 c. milk 2 tbsp. oil 1 tsp. vanilla Pudding 3/4 c. brown sugar 1/4 c. cocoa 1 3/4 c. hot water Mix together first 5 ingredients. Add milk, oil, and vanilla (I add 1/2 c. walnuts here). Stir well and put into greased 8x8 baking pan. (Batter is thick; I flatten it a little with a spatula.) Combine brown sugar and cocoa in a bowl. Pour hot water in and stir until liquified. Pour over the brownie batter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. When done, the brownies are on top and below them is rich, dark pudding. Scoop out a serving, turn it upside down in a bowl, and add ice cream or whipped cream, and you've got a major treat that was easy to make!

Caramels

I only make these once a year because the cooking part takes so darned long. Still, they're wonderful little bits of heaven, and they cost a fraction of what you'll pay in a candy store. 2 c. sugar Dash salt 2 c. white corn syrup 1/2 stick butter 2 c. condensed milk 1 tsp. vanilla Boil sugar, salt and corn syrup to 245 degrees. Add butter & milk (don't let it stop boiling). Cook to 242 degrees, stirring constantly (this is the part that takes forever, but it you aren't careful it will scorch on the bottom and you'll have lumps of yukky stuff.) Add vanilla. Pour into 9-inch square pan and cool. Cut into squares and wrap in waxed paper.

Gifting Headaches & a Possible Solution

Something I don't like about Christmas is the pressure to find the perfect gift for everyone. No one I know needs another sweater, scarf, or relaxing foot massager. If they did, they'd go buy it. What do I buy that my loved one will actually like, so I don't get that glazed look that says "This is going in a closet and never coming out again"? Shopping for readers is a little easier, because they're always looking for a good book.  If a book is a great gift, why not 3 books? Where else can you buy someone hours of entertainment for such a reasonable price? With a little diligent searching, I found sturdy boxes that can serve as both mailers and gift wrap, so here's the deal: 3 Historical Mysteries for $53.00 (Left side of pic above)    Her Highness' First Murder    Poison, Your Grace    The Lady Flirts with Death The Simon & Elizabeth series is critically acclaimed and comes in beautiful hardcovers with dust jackets. The fourth bo