Christina Cole Romance

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Are You an Adventurer?

I’ve been browsing through The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits, written by pyschologist Linda Edelstein. It’s an interesting book, and I’ve enjoyed reading about various adult personality types.

I’ve always believed that understanding is a key component of good relationships — in real life and in fiction, as well. So from time to time, I’m going to share a bit of information regarding Edelstein’s basic personality types. Perhaps this knowledge will help us build stronger relationships — and for the writers among us, create realistic characters.

Today, let’s look at the Adventurer.

Amelia-EarhartThe adventurer lives on excitement. He or she often takes on “warrior” characteristics. They are always on the go, can be highly competitive, and are often unaware of other people’s feelings. It’s interesting to note that more men than women fall into the Adventurer category, primarily because our culture generally doesn’t support adventurous females.

An exception pointed out by Edelstein is Amelia Earhart. Born in 1897, she became the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She received the U. S. Distinguished Flying Cross for the feat.

In 1937, Earhart disappeared while attempting to complete a flight around the world. Two years later, she was declared dead at the age of 41.

To learn more, visit The Official Website of Amelia Earhart.

Although the Adventurer is an adult personality type, signs of it are usually seen in childhood.  Traits of boldness and risk-taking are apparent even in the very young.

Adventurers often become leaders. They are out-going, fun-loving, and often quite entertaining. On the negative side, though, adventurers can become domineering. They ignore rules, bark out orders, and insist on having things their way.

ekThese are the people who live life in the fast lane. They thrive on excitement and are always seeking thrills, especially involving speed or danger. They enjoy the spotlight and love to “put on a show” for others.

Daredevil Evel Knievel comes quickly to mind when I think of the adventurer personality type. Although his death in 2007 was not from any disaster but from disease — diabetes, pulmonary fibrosis, and hepatitis — he once remarked that he was “nothing but scar tissue and surgical steel.”

To learn more about this colorful, larger-than-life character, check out the story of his life and death from the New York Times.

The New York Times – Evel Knievel Dies

 

Normally thick-headed, Adventurers can become stubborn to a fault. Their confidence can lead them to make poor judgments. At their worst, the Adventurer can be hostile and agressive, and their impulsiveness can put them — and others — in danger.

Adventurers among us may not become pioneers in aviation or death-defying stuntmen, but they will be drawn to exciting careers. Fiction is filled with adventurous men and women. Firefighters, Navy SEALS, ruthless stock-traders, and jet-setting playboys are familiar characters, as are female spies, women in the military, and from stories of days gone by, female bandits, gunslingers, and officers of the law, such as Samantha Reynolds, the heroine of my current work-in-progress, The Sheriff Wore Skirts. 

Life is never dull with an adventurer around. They live on the edge and will take us with them if we’re brave enough to go along.

Adventures_Megan_gilger

 

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What’s For Dinner – Summertime Desserts

If you follow me on Facebook, you might remember my post about making “creamsicles”.   The actual name for the treat is Orange Creamsicle Yogurt Pops. No matter what you call them, they’re easy to make, fun to share, and really good.

Orange-Creamsicle-Yogurt-Pops-on-100-Days-of-RealFood-459x590

After making — and enjoying — these treats, my imagination ran wild with thoughts of so many other delicious “pops” I could create.

The process is simple.

  • Yogurt — with or without fruit.
  • Juice
  • Light syrup
  • Flavoring

With these simple ingredients, a world of wonderful frozen treats awaits.

Here are three I’ve come up with.

BLUEBERRY POMEGRANATE POPS

2 Cups Blueberry yogurt

1 Cup Pomegranate juice

1/3 Cup Light Karo syrup

A sprinkle of ginger and a splash of vanilla.

STRAWBERRY PEACH BANANA POPS

1 Cup Frozen strawberries, peaches, bananas (blended in food processor)

2 Cups Vanilla yogurt

1/3 cup Light Karo syrup

Splash of orange juice

Splash of vanilla

TROPICAL POPS

2 Cups Pina Colada yogurt

1 15.25-ounce can Dole tropical fruits (blended in food processor until smooth)

1/2 cup “Simply” brand Tropical drink

1/3 cup Light Karo syrup

Pinch of ginger

Splash of vanilla

Note: If I’d had a bit of shredded coconut, I probably would have tried adding in a bit.

fresh-fruits

Whatever variety you make, the process is simple. Blend it all together, pour into popsicle molds, and freeze for about 4 hours.

I’m already thinking of concocting a BLACK CHERRY POP for my next dessert using black cherry yogurt, frozen cherries, and probably a little cream in place of the juice.

Or how about LEMON POPS? I’m planning to try lemon yogurt with a bit of lemonade. Or I might get truly adventurous and try making both LEMON POPS and LIMEADE POPS and alternating the colors in each single mold.

And one day, I’ll have to try CHEESECAKE POPS using a “Cheesecake” flavored yogurt. Or maybe I’ll grab another favorite and have BOSTON CREAM CAKE POPS. I think those would be really good rolled in graham cracker crumbs or wheat germ after taking them out of the mold. What do you think?

Of course, I’m thinking, too, about different flavorings to use. Or maybe using pudding mixes. CHOCOLATE MINT POPS would really be cool. Hmmm…maybe adding in crushed cookies would be fun. Or adding chopped nuts to the molds before pouring.

So many sweet treats to make! As long as we’re having hot summer days, you can be sure I’m going to have dozens of these delicious pops in the freezer.

I’d love to hear your ideas for new POPS treats!


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National Cowboy Day

Grab your boots, girls! Saddle up those ponies and get ready to ride…right on over to the National Cowboy Day celebration on Facebook.

NCD

Click HERE to join the event.

This fantastic event to celebrate “the heroes of the west” will be held on Saturday, July 25. It’s an all-day event, so drop in whenever you can.

OVER FORTY WESTERN AUTHORS have joined together to give YOU the opportunity to show your love for those hard-working cowboys and win great prizes, including a $200.00 GIFT CARD to BOOT BARN.

bOOT Barn

Individual authors will also be doing giveaways, so you’ll have over forty opportunties to win prizes from your favorite western writers — including me!

Check out the list:

Victoria Vane

D’Ann Lindun

Susan Fisher Davis

Natalie Alder

Sidda Lee Rain

Lori King

Sylvia McDaniel

Lexi Post

Cheyenne Meadows

Kymber Morgan

T.J. Kline

Hildie McQueen

Callie Hutton

Tamara Hoffa

Desiree Holt

Kathleen Tighe Ball

Em Petrova

Amie Stuart

Gem Sivad

Christina Cole 🙂

Randi Alexander

Kathleen Rice Adams

Marie Tuhart

Rhonda Lee Carver

Donna Michaels

Amanda McIntyre

Steph BergetBochenek

Becky McGraw

Beth Ciotta

Kirsten Lynn

Holly Rutter Bush

Jacquie Rogers

Syneca Featherstone

Ken Farmer

Maddie James

Parker Kincade

Diane Nelson

Rebecca Schaefer

Caroline Clemmons

Michelle McLean

Beth Williamson

Jessie Evans

Sandy Lea Sullivan

Lilly Christine

Brenda Jernigan

Jacqui Nelson

Sara Walter Ellwood

Can you tell that I’m excited to be part of this special event? I am. I was thrilled to be invited as an author, and I’m looking forward to seeing many of my readers there. I’ll be posting early on Saturday morning, giving you a chance to win one of the books from my “Sunset Series”. Be watching and be ready to ride…off into the sunset with a handsome cowboy hero.


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What’s Standing in Your Way?

Are you where you want to be in life? No? Well, what’s standing in your way? What’s keeping you from being all you want to be? What’s holding you back and keeping you from living your dreams?

Whatever the obstacles you’re facing now, you can find a way around them…at least, the exterior ones. Hard work, persistence, and steadfast determination can enable us to break through a lot of barriers.

But what about the interior obstacles? Yep. The ones inside our own heads. The ones we’ve created. The ones that we can’t seem to move beyond.

I guess we could say the bad news is that we all have issues. The good news is that we can find ways to change our thinking and overcome the negative beliefs and ideas that stand between us and our goals.

How? One way is to literally “wash away” those false beliefs.

Edgar Degas - Woman in the Bath - 1886

Edgar Degas – Woman in the Bath – 1886

Yes, a ritual bath might be just what you need to clear away the negative thoughts and open up the pathway to your dreams.

I’m definitely an advocate of ritual — not in the sense of following routines over and over, but in creating personal rites to mark passages in our lives, to give us a greater sense of who we are, and above all, to help us through the challenges and difficulties we face in life.

Rituals are often associated with magic, although the true power behind them comes from within ourselves, from our willingness to open our minds to new possibilities as well as from the desires of our heart.

Draw a tub of soothing, warm water, and light your bath area with candles — different colors, different fragrances, as many as you want.  You might also choose to light incense or use a cedar “smudge stick” to purify the air.

If you have essential oils, add them to your bath, or tie fresh herbs into a bundle and add them to the water.  Sage is often used for cleansing, rose is reputed to have healing properties, and peppermint can brighten your mood and lift your spirits.

It might sound a little “hokey” or supernatural, but these are all ways of creating a peaceful environment, a place of solitude where you can get in touch with yourself and your dreams. As you relax and feel more at ease with yourself, you can face the obstacles you’ve created in a calm, understanding way.

Close your eyes, be at peace, and look at the ways in which you’ve been holding yourself back. Let yourself become aware of the tricks you’ve used to sabotage your own successes. Now, let them go. Scrub away any negative energy and rinse away your doubts. As  you step from your bath, know that you’re stepping out onto the right path, one that will lead you to the future you desire.

PERSONAL NOTE: I buy all my essential oils from “Sun’s Eye“. They have a wide selection at reasonable prices. A few of my favorites are:
  • Carnation
  • Gardenia
  • Jasmine
  • Juniper
  • Lavender
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Pine
  • Ylang Ylang

Sunseye-Logo-White

What are your favorite fragrances?

 

 

 

Bird-Watching – Good for the Soul

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Watch the Birdies!

Have you ever watched the birds on a summer’s day? Sure, you’ve looked up at the skies and seen them darting about, but have you ever really watched them?

Bird-watching is an oft-scoffed-at hobby. We imagine skinny geeks with binoculars hanging around their necks, probably a sweater thrown casually over their shoulders, and most likely a handy Audubon guide clutched in their hands as they make their way down wooded paths.

Before you laugh too hard, though, get outdoors and give it a try. You might find yourself enjoying it far more than you ever thought.

For enthusiasts, it’s a social activity as well as an educational experience, and there’s a very precise terminology involved, I’ve learned.  The actual hobby is not referred to as “bird-watching”, but is called birding. Why? The reason behind it is that there’s more involved than simply visually spotting birds. Birds are often identified by their unique calls, and a good birder — the proper term for one engaged in birding — also possesses a wealth of knowledge. Migration patterns, nesting habits, habitat and territorial behaviors are all part of the repertoire of facts a serious birder has inside his or her head.

And yes, those Audubon books are very useful.

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National Audobon Society Field Guide to Birds – Eastern

National Audobon Society Field Guide to Birds – Western

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And while “Audobon” is probably the name most closely associated with birds and birding, there are many other guidebooks available. Please note that these guides are all for birds of North America. If you live in another part of the world, you’ll want to find guide books for your specific region.

Peterson Field Guide

National Geographic Field Guide

Sibley Field Guide to Birds

Stokes Beginner’s Guide to Birds

I don’t profess to be an active birder, and yes, I do joke about birding, a bit. In truth, I do enjoy bird-watching at a very personal level. I can still recount with joy the thrill of hearing several thrashers crunching through the leaves outside my back door as I sat writing one autumn afternoon. I love telling the story of “Tommy the Titmouse” who used to come flying into the kitchen each morning to enjoy breakfast with me. I can delight in talking about mourning doves, owls, woodpeckers, and other species I’ve seen, and I do have a field guide close at hand. I’ve used it on many occasions to help me identify a new bird. I also feel a bit satisfied with myself when I step outdoors, hear a bird call and can immediately tell which bird it is. There’s something that just feels good about being part of nature.

In truth, birds are a valuable part of our lives, and they do need our help. Habitats are threatened, species are disappearing, and our modern way of life has had severe consequences for our feathered friends. Please take a moment to visit the  National Audobon Society and learn how you can help. Their website features many useful resources, and you can find back issues of Audobon magazine — well worth reading.

Of course, we can also sit back and laugh a bit at the adventures of devout birders, like those in

The Big Year

Better yet, why not take up bird-watching yourself?

How to Begin Birding

This helpful article — from the National Audobon Society — encourages folks to do three things.

  1. Get excited
  2. Gear up
  3. Get out there

That’s really all there is to it. Of course, the more you know, the more you’ll enjoy bird-watching, but don’t let a lack of information stop you. Trust me, once you spend a little time really watching birds as they go about their day, you’ll want to know more. You’ll be eager to search out information and learn as much as you can.

Bird-watching is good for the soul, I’ve learned. It fosters feelings of bliss and peace as we sit quietly. It allows us to become part of nature, takes us out of our ordinary routines, and imbues us with a sense of wonder at the marvelous workings of the world around us.


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Get Ready to Party!

PartyIt’s almost here! The official Facebook “Launch Party” event for No Regrets is coming up on Tuesday evening, July 14. The fun will begin at 6:00 PM CDT, and for the next three hours we’ll be playing games, listening to your favorite old country classics, enjoying “virtual” treats, and having a lot of laughs.

Of course, there will be prizes, too. Drum roll, please…because here’s the official prize list!

Cindy Caldwell The Chef’s Mail-Order Bride
Kathleen Tighe Ball Cinder’s Bride
Kirsten Lynn Ridin’ for a Fall
Kirsten Osbourne Married in Montana
Kristy McCaffrey The Wren
Lynda Cox Smolder on a Slow Burn
Margery Scott Emma’s Wish
Zina Abbott Resurrected Heart
Lacey Roberts Deadly  Secrets
Verna Clay Cry of the West: Hallie
Cara Copelin Katie and the Irish Texan
Penny Brown Estelle Jesse’s Find and Jesse’s Nightmare
Julie Cerniglia Lence Zanna’s Outlaw
Debra Parmley Dangerous Ties
Lily Graison Avery’s of Willow Creek – Boxed Set
Paty Norman Jager Improper Pinkerton
Winnie Duplessis Griggs Second Chance Hero
Amerlia Adams A New Beginning
Caroline Clemmons Winter Bride
Susan Fisher Davis Winner’s Choice of Ebook

UPDATE: More western romance authors have joined in to offer ebooks for winners!

Callie Hutton Choose Your Heart
Alexis Harrington A Taste of Heaven
Sylvia McDaniel Lipstick and Lead…Desperate and Deadly
Angela Raines Home for His Heart (Novella)

And more!

Janet Syas Nitsick Courtships and Carriages
Tamara Hoffa Circle Ranch Triology

In addition to these prizes, I’ll be giving away ebook copies of the following titles:

Not the Marrying Kind

Not the Marrying Kind by Christina Cole

Keeping Faith

Keeping Faith

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

And the grand prize winner will receive a 3-pack of body and bath oil. Fragrances include:

  • Lavender
  • Bulgarian Rose
  • Caribbean CoconutLavender Body Oil

I’d like to thank Amber Garcia from Lady Amber’s Promotions for setting up another great party. She always does a fantastic job hosting, and I’m looking forward to the event. I want to also thank each of the authors who have generously donated ebook prizes. Most of all, I want to thank you, readers, for your support. I’ll see you at the party!

No Regrets – Facebook Launch Party

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

6:00 to 9:00 PM CDT


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What’s So Funny?

I grabbed my little “Questions and Answer” book this morning. If you’ve only recently begun following the blog, you won’t know about this handy, entertaining little book, but you can find it on Amazon. It contains a year’s worth of thought-provoking, amusing, challenging, perplexing questions to answer. I expected today’s question to be something patriotic in nature. Of course, the United States is the only nation celebrating today, so question for the day has nothing to do with the Fourth of July holiday. The question is a fill-in-the-blank one:

____________ is funny?

laughing Talk about a blank! That’s exactly what I drew. Funny? Uh, it’s 5 AM here — yes, we’re early risers — and my brain isn’t computing the concept of “funny”. Facebook, of course, is a wonderful resource for “funniness” — if such a word exists. Thinking back over things that gotten a big LOL from me, here are a few of my favorites. I posted this yesterday on my official author page: Christina Cole’s Love Notes. I laugh every time I see this hilarious clip.

Funny Animals

Speaking of funny animals, cats, of course, are a mainstay of Facebook humor. Over the years, I’ve saved some of my favorites, like this one:

Planting Cats

Note: I’d just come inside after working in the garden when I saw this for the first time. Needless to say, it truly cracked me up! Another one that kept me laughing for a long time was this one, posted by my best friend from childhood. She doesn’t do drugs; neither do I. That added to the hilarity, I think. Dragons   And one more favorite funny cat. It’s General Tso! I have yet to figure out why I find this so funny, but I do. Tso   OK, enough cats. Enough animals. How about humans? Yes, human begins can be funny, too. Here’s one of my favorites. If you’re a Facebook “friend” or if you follow my author page, you’ve surely seen this before. Every time I see it, I have to repost it. bossy In no particular order, other things I find funny are:

South Park

Jeff Dunham

Rod Man

Tommy Boy

B.C.

Wizard of Id

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And on that funny note, I’ll leave you to your laughter and good times.

If you’re celebrating today, be safe!

THANK YOU for visiting today.

Now, it’s YOUR turn.

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What makes you laugh?