Tag: holidays

Susan Wiggs is Helping Send Books to the Military for the Holidays

New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Wiggs
New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs bakes Walking Dead Gingerbread Cookies for the holidays!

Please join me in welcoming New York Times Bestselling author Susan Wiggs. What better way to start off our first full week of November than with the most glamorous, talented, kind-hearted, honest author I know?

Susan Wiggs and I met over a (gasp) decade ago, when she helped me get to my first RWA meeting after having moved to Whidbey Island (aka a remote island in the Pacific Northwest). She describes more of our unique bond below.

Recipe:  Walking Dead Sugar Cookies

“Twisted traditional cookies are always a hit with kids. Also, it makes good use of the broken ones. Everyone knows a broken cookie tastes just as good as a perfect one.”–susan wiggs

Walking Dead Cookies
Walking Dead Cookies


2-1/3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cookie Icing: 1 cup confectioners’ sugar 2 to 3 teaspoons milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 to 4 drops red food color

Directions: Beat granulated sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in dry ingredients on low speed until well mixed. Refrigerate dough 2 hours or overnight until firm. Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into humanoid shapes with gingerbread-person cookie cutters. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely. For the Icing, mix all ingredients except food color. Divide white icing into two small cups, and use the red drops to dye one lot blood red. Use the white icing to create mummy bandages, and the red to create wounds and bloody stumps. Use decorative sprinkles and red-hots liberally. [Source: Freely adapted from McCormick Spice collection.]

Do you have a military connection, Susan?

Thanks to the wonderful Geri, I was able to write a novel about a military family called THE OCEAN BETWEEN US. It was inspired by a change of command ceremony for Geri’s husband, Steve, and to this day, it is a favorite of military spouses. I get mail about it every week!”

Susan’s latest is The Beekeeper’s Ball, and you can have your very own signed edition here. Want some holiday magic from Susan? Check out Candlelight Christmas.

Susan is an active blogger and has a beautiful website. Also, find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

Please join me in thanking Susan for her time and cookie baking talents!

Remember, we are doing this to send holiday love to military families and Active Duty who are away from home or apart for the holidays. Harlequin is donating one book for every 20 new newsletter subscriptions to the Geri Krotow Newsletter, which gets you free membership into the Geri Krotow Loyal Reader Program. Sign up here.

Let's Send Books to the Military for the Holidays!

Shipping Books to Military for the Holidays
Shipping Books to Military for the Holidays

I’m so excited to share my November celebration. A double release deserves double the effort, and I’m proud to announce that my publisher Harlequin has agreed to provide free copies of my two November releases to the military, with a focus on Active Duty and families separated from home for the holidays.  Over two dozen of your favorite romance authors, from just-sold to New York Times Bestsellers, will join me by sharing their favorite Holiday activity. Want some new recipes? A new craft project? A joyful family tradition? This is your stop for all of that starting November 1st.

For every 20 new newsletter subscribers I get from now through November 30, 2014, Harlequin will send 1 book (while supplies last). Harlequin was so eager to support the military with me that they provided caseloads of  books in advance. As you read this, signed copies of Navy Christmas and Navy Joy (the novella in the Coming Home for Christmas anthology with my Romvets sisters Lindsay McKenna and Delores Fossen) have been delivered to Djibouti, Belgium, the U.S., and another box is on the way to Germany. Soldiers, sailors, Marines, Airmen and their families who are feeling the sting of being away from home for the holidays (or have a loved one downrange) will have something a little extra to read this season.

As an additional treat I made special custom bookmarks/ornaments for every book sent. Lucky Geri Krotow Loyal Readers (newsletter subscribers) will automatically be entered to win their own custom bookmark (and maybe a book or two!).

All I need from you is your continued support: make sure you’re signed up for my newsletter and that all of your friends and family are, too. We are all part of something bigger! Sign up for the newsletter here.

Yoga, Russian-Style: A Metaphor for Life?

Honest, I’m not going to bore you with my transcendental journey while sitting in lotus or laying in corpse pose yesterday at yoga. Probably because my journey was more of a muscular nature, as in my lower back cramped up so badly I thought for sure I’d be laid flat and told to “take it easy, rest, eat whatever you want for the Holidays and no more hard work outs.”IMG_0328 [1600x1200]

Yet the class continued. Somehow I got through each pose, at times sweating out the discomfort. My lower back has been my nemesis  ever since college, and of course being a runner for so many years didn’t help it. I’ve learned to balance my exercise–heavier on walking, lifting (resistance), stationery bike, etc, and I only run for fun occasions like a road race I want to do.

I know that to keep the back pain away I have to work out–hard, especially on my core. It’s just part of the I-want-to-be-healthy-and-strong gig. Still my lower back and I have our moments when I’ve been doing all the right things, and it still fusses and gives me grief. My inclination is to take an anti-inflammatory and rest. Yet if I work through it (carefully, not abusively) the spasms ease and I enjoy another long period with negligible pain.

Hmm…sounds like the same prescription for writing relevant, real, touching prose. If I ignore my craft and blow off my regular morning pages and daily writing, I start to feel like crap. And then when I do get back to the page, I’m writing, well, crap. It takes a lot longer to produce a great dialogue or to insert a much-needed metaphor.

Writing regularly, practicing anything that’s our vocation on a regular, consistent basis, is tough. At all the writer’s conferences and workshops I’ve attended or given, no one has ever stood up and said “this is so easy! I write whenever I want and I’m a successful New York Times bestselling author!” The most successful among us are either quiet and listening carefully to glean new insight into their craft, or they’re not there because they’re at work—writing.

The yoga instructor is Russian and when I first started her class I thought “great, Soviet gymnastics-turned-torture.” But while her style is different from what I’m used to, it’s not bad. Just different. She has us hang indefinitely in painful poses so that we get past the pain. So that my muscles finally trust. Relax. Take in more oxygen.

Hang in there. Don’t beat yourself up. Enjoy the peace and joy this season is meant to bring. Soak in the beauty of a brightly lit Christmas tree, sigh in delight as another Menorah candle is lit. Breathe. Relax. Let your true vocation come through.