CAT Magazine

CAT Magazine

Christmas Cookie Recipe Week

I'm so excited to have added a new contributor to our wonderful E-zine. I hope you will all welcome Brenda Woody, our new contributor to Recipe Corner. For the rest of the week, we will be posting Christmas Cookie Recipes for you all to enjoy, and all recipes can be found in our recipe tab.

Welcome Brenda and thank you so much for joining our team.

Hello! This is Brenda Woody, co-author and significant other with/to Steve Tindle. Steve and I write erotic romance and murder/suspense (under Louise James), and host with Bk's Virtual Book Tour Cafe. Well, I didn't think we had enough on our plate (LOL Steve rolled his eyes) when I decided to email Bk and ask how I could submit a recipe and then mentioned I wanted to host this Recipe Corner on this awesome site. So here I am! The rest of this week I'll feature Christmas recipes to help you plan your holiday meals. We all have family coming in or we're expected to bring along a dish to the N-Laws house. You'll find the recipes easy to make and the ingredients are probably already in your cubbards. So for the first recipe I've selected is Tea Balls. A very delicious dessert to go with coffee or hot tea. Enjoy!


Preparation 15 min.
Cooking 12 min.
Ready In 30 min.

1 cup butter, softened
2 1/4 cups flour, all-purpose
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups powdered sugar sifted
3/4 cup walnuts chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Position rack in center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl combine the butter with 1/2 cup of the confectioners sugar; beat with an electric mixture until fluffy, about 1 minute.
With a spoon, stir in the vanilla, flour, salt and walnuts to form a stiff dough.
Using about 2 teaspoons of dough for each cookie, shape half the dough by rolling between hands.
Place about 1 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet and bake about 12 minutes, until just pale golden on the bottom.
Meanwhile, sift 1/2 cup of the remaining confectioner's sugar into a 13 by 9 inch pan.
As soon as cookies are removed from the oven, use a spatula to transfer them to the sugar, tossingthem around to coat; let the cookies cool completely in the sugar and then sift 1/4 cup more sugar over them to coat.
Repeat with the remaining cookie dough, using a cool baking sugar, divided as before, to coat.

Yields: 60 servings

Happy Holidays!

Interview with Best Selling Author Rachel Thompson

I'm a chick who writes stuff that makes you laugh. My blog has been nominated for funniest blog this year. I've been told I write in the style of that Dickens guy. Kidding.

I'm a mom, a wife, and a recovering pharmaceuticals rep. It's been a long process but I'm doing okay, thanks. 

I usually write about men (The Mancode), marriage, kids, being a mom, living in the OC (ya know--being a pale redhead living in a sea of blondes) and vodka. Not necessarily in that order depending on the day.

I also write occasionally about serious stuff, like the death of someone I once loved or lost love--so don't be shocked if you come visit and don't see the funny. 

Don't come here looking to find advice about how to be sweet or nice. I'm pretty much allergic to both of those words.

If you want to learn how to find humor in everyday life, well, I'm really not your girl either. Mostly I just laugh at stuff and make up words (See "Refrigeratoritis and Manesia.") Yet somehow it all seems to work.

And don't call me cute. (Hint: babies and puppies are cute. Grown women are not.)

Hello Rachel and thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today.

BK: When did you first start blogging?
RT: I started my first blog in 2008. It was mostly family stuff, pix of my kids. My reader (singular) was my mom. Once I found my voice, and social media, it kind of steamrolled from there.

BK: How did you come up with #Chickspeak vs. #Mancode?
RT: Well, Mancode really came first. My first post was really motivated by having dealt with eighteen years of empty toilet paper rolls. I married a good man. But eighteen years, people!

BK: I know there can be a lot of controversy surrounding your blog posts, how do you deal with it all?
RT: I’m thankful that what I’m writing about has elicited such an emotional reaction in some people, whether that’s positive or negative. It’s honestly good press for me since it gives people something to discuss. So I’m cool with it. It’s important not to take anything personally.

BK: What made you decide to put it all into a book?
RT: As I built up my Twitter and blog following, I discovered that the more Mancode posts I wrote, the more people wanted to read. When I started Chickspeak, that opened up a whole new audience. People really wanted more from me. So I took what I’d already written, added in about one-third new material, worked with an editor and proofread, formatter, graphic artist…

BK: Tell us a little bit about your books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed...
RT: My first book, A Walk In The Snark is a gathering of many of my most popular blog posts from my blog plus original material written exclusively for the book-- it includes a smattering of related themes: Mancode, Chickspeak, love, parenting, and even some more poignant pieces about family, loss, and grief. The main theme is primarily humor.

My second book, The Mancode: Exposed, is of course, mostly about men. But it’s really more about how women deal with our guys, our reactions to them, seen through my looking glass of snark and sarcasm. I throw in sex and chocolate for good measure.

I break the book up into four sections: Anatomy & Physiology, Coitus & Communication, Chocolate Confessions, and DNA & Stereotypes. The last section was a lot of fun, mostly because it was my answer to the people who accused me of stereotyping men in the first book. I take real-life experiences and deconstruct them. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried!

BK: How did it feel when your book hit #1 in Motherhood on Amazon?
RT: Beyond exciting!

BK: How did you get to #1, twice, over fifteen times?
RT: Lots of promotion! Mostly blog tours through the Indie Book Collective – we’ve always got SOMETHING going on. In addition, I’ve got a 24/7 presence on social media which is key, in my opinion: I interact daily on Twitter, Facebook, and my blog. I could be better on Goodreads and LinkedIn, but you have to pick your faves.

BK: Tell us one piece of advice you can give about relationships?
RT: Laugh. And never tell each other to shut up.

BK: What is one thing readers would be most surprised to know about you?
RT: Even though I took eight years of piano, I can still play almost any melody by ear.

BK: Where do you come up with it all?
RT: I live with a man. I interact daily with hundreds of men online. I was a pharma rep for fifteen years with primarily male doctors. I have lots of male friends. I have three brothers-in-law. And one Tasmanian devil child six-year-old son. Where don’t I come up with it all? #hehe

I read. I research. I love to put “easter eggs” in my blog posts and even my books – particularly pop culture references. Clever readers will have fun counting them up in my Mancode book.

BK Are you currently working on any new projects?
RT: Always. My brain never shuts off. My next book is for the guys. Chickspeak: Uncovered. I’ve written about it a bit in Snark and Mancode, but our guys really need help so I’m expanding on the topic. We women make no sense sometimes. Even we can’t figure us out. I feel sorry for men. #ahem #sometimes

BK: Where can readers find you?
RT: Anything RachelintheOC: Twitter @RachelintheOC Blog: Email: or my facebook page:

BK: Anything else you'd like to share with us today?
RT: Big thanks to you, BK, for all you do for indie authors and your terrific support. You’re a jewel!

Thank you so much for being with us today Rachel. It's always a pleasure chatting with you.

With her trademark snarky humor and candor, Rachel whisks you into her caffeinated world where she deconstructs common phrases (I’m Fine) and makes up words (Refrigeratoritis) in order to help dudes understand chicks…and vice versa. 

Rachel believes “Men are from Seinfeld, Women are from Friends” and so do her legions of fans. She dares to ask “why do men want to change the world but can’t change a roll of toilet paper?” 

Drawing on her decades (dear god has it been that long?) marriage, friendships, and past relationships, Rachel’s specialty is observing male behavior and dissecting it with humor (Shopping in NOT a Verb). Think of her as the Scientist of Snark…without the ugly white labcoat of course. #asif

Is it possible to truly expose men? 

Thompson explores controversial questions like: 
  • Can we outrun our DNA? 
  • Will we women always be slaves to our talkative nature (après sex)? 
  • Will men never be free of the chains of emotional withholding? 
  • Can we transfer man's paper towel changing abilities from garage to kitchen? 
But more than that, it's about all the levels in which we communicate...viewed through Thompson's looking glass of humor and deconstructed with her special brand of snark.

Women see a man scratching his stuff and want to run away. Quickly. Men see a woman rearranging her breasts, he's mesmerized. Imagine that. 

From December 12 - 24, you can snatch up these books for just $.99 while Rachel participates in the Indie Book Blowout! Opening day - Indie Book Blowout Begins

Broods of Fenrir by Coral Moore

Broods of Fenrir by Coral Moore
Published by Bared Teeth Publishing
Released: November 19, 2011
Available: Paperback & Kindle
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Shapeshifter Brand Geirson was raised to rule the Broods of Fenrir, but he refused his birthright. Instead, he killed their brutal leader–his own father–and walked away.

For hundreds of years he’s avoided brood society, until a werewolf kills an innocent human woman and Brand finds himself dragged back into the violent politics of the shapeshifters. When the two brood women who mean the most to him come under threat, he must take up the throne and risk becoming the kind of vicious bastard his father was, or let the broods descend further into chaos–taking the friend he swore to protect and his lover with them.

Contains Strong Language, Violence, and Sexual Situations.

Read an Excerpt

Coral Moore has always been the kind of girl who makes up stories. Fortunately, she never quite grew out of that. She writes because she loves to invent characters and the desire to find out what happens to her creations drives the tales she tells.
Prompted by a general interest in how life works, her undergraduate schooling was in biology. She follows science news and enjoys conversations about genetics and microbiology as much as those about vampires and werewolves. Coral writesspeculative fiction and is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Writing at Albertus Magnus College.
Currently she lives in Connecticut with the love of her life, who offers both encouragement and kicks in the tail when necessary. Also in residence are two mammals of the families Canidae and Felidae.
She released her first novel, Broods of Fenrir, in November 2011. Her next release, Elements of Rebellion, is due out in spring 2012.
Find Coral on the Web:

Location! Location! Location!

The Word Queen
Bringing Books To Life
Writing, Publishing & Book Marketing

The key to writing a good setting is making it the base of the story. Setting is as important to your writing as plot, character and emotion. It is a part of all those things.

Creating the perfect setting for your novel is not as hard as you might think if you take the time to consider who is going to be living in it. The characters, action, and ultimately solution to your novel will determine the perfect setting for any novel. With some consideration to these important things, your setting will often create itself.

Setting is one of the easier things to create when writing a novel if for no other reason than half the creating is already done when you get to it. You already have the characters, and so you have a framework to build the setting around.

Check out these first three of ten tips for creating an inspiring setting:

1. Get To Know Your Setting
Whether your story is set in a university, London, or a posh restaurant, an interesting setting is critical to good storytelling. And there's no better way to make it compelling than to know it inside and out.

Spend some time checking out your setting, including the nooks and crannies and the history. To learn more about your setting ask it questions like: "How old are you?" "What kind of people come here?" "What are your biggest secrets?"

If you want to use a location in your novel that you have never visited, there are ways of collecting enough research to make it plausible. These include:

The internet
Tour guides, like the Lonely Planet or Rough Guide.
Travel clubs
Interviewing people who have visited the locations you want to use

This may sound like cheating, but it is actually how many would-be authors find out about the destinations they use in their novels and there is nothing wrong with this practice as long as the information is accurate.
2. Let Your Characters Explore The Setting
If you're concerned that your book's characters will get bored of hanging out in just one setting, give them a secondary location. It's up to you to decide what places your characters hang out in deserve the most attention.

If you're unable to visit a secondary setting, research the location online, or at the local library. If the setting is fictional, dream up the look and feel of it in your mind; bring it to life in the same way as you do with your characters.

This is where good research comes in to the equation! You must establish the time period, the location, the customs, hardware, construction, instruments, and so on.

After you have thoroughly investigated your setting(s), you can then decide how your characters fit into this setting?

Most readers need enough details about the setting to know where the characters are, in what time period the story takes place and what the place looks like. If it takes place in a hairdressers, that's important for a reader to know. But unless the hairdressers has some unusual decorations, or it is in an unusual location, it's not necessary for the author to describe it. After all, hairdressers all look basically the same.

3. Use The Five Senses
There are more ways to get across a book's setting than by describing what everything looks like. Your reader has five senses, so it's important to engage them all.
Next time we'll look at the remaining seven of these amazing ten tips :)
Love & Light
Keidi Keating
The Word Queen xxx

New Release - Heart Desires by Becca Dale

Heart Desires by Becca Dale

Published - November 11, 2011

Devlynn Connors doesn’t trust her own ability to find a man who isn’t a control freak, but when she turns her future over to her friends and Madame Eve, she fears nothing will change.

When he flies to Las Vegas for a 1Night Stand hook-up. First Lieutenant Stephan Mallard isn’t looking for love. He’s looking to appease his sister’s fear that he will end up alone. A man can do anything for one night, right?

Can Madame Eve overcome misconceptions and misinformation or will Devlynn and the Lieutenant go home alone?

New Release Date for Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

Release Date: *January 3, 2012*

Publisher's Summary: The third and final installment of the international bestselling Nightshade trilogy!

Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there's more at stake than fighting. There's saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay's wrath. There's keeping Ansel safe, even if he's been branded a traitor. There's proving herself as the pack's alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers' magic once and for all. And then there's deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is. In this remarkable final installment of the Nightshade trilogy, international bestselling author Andrea Cremer crafts a dynamic novel with twists and turns that will keep you breathless until its final pages.

Who Will Calla Choose???

Watering the Seeds

The Word Queen
Bringing Books To Life
Writing, Publishing & Book Marketing
Today we're going to focus on watering your seeds, so you can watch your ideas thrive.
Now's the time to gather your list of ideas and decide which ones you would like to explore further. It's best not to pick a huge number at this stage, so whittle them down and select your three or four favourite. Try not to look at these ideas just from your own personal tastes. Remember that your idea has to possess a commercial edge to work well in the big wide world out there. Will it impress publishers and agents? Would you feel proud telling the biggest publishing companies about it, and feel confident it would work?
Here are some ways you can decide exactly which idea to go for, out of your three of four pre-selected ones.
Write A Press Release
Write a press release for each idea to check that the final book will sell well, even just as a concept. A press release is a one-page news story that elaborates on your book and proves that it is unique and worth looking at. Your press release gives your book a chance to get noticed. Any idea that can't stand out on a press release is too risky to follow up.
Ensure Your Idea Is Big Enough
By this I mean make sure that you can create enough gripping content to fill 250 - 500 pages, or however long you want your book to be. It's easier for experienced authors to work this out than new ones.
After you've completed the two steps above you should now have one glistening idea in your head, which is THE ONE; the idea which is going to lead you to produce a best-selling book.
As we're focusing on fiction books here, the next stage is to determine your characters. This is all part of the watering process, so that your idea grows and becomes stronger. Characters are what make a fiction book. They bring it to life and are the elements with which readers associate themselves the most. Sometimes they might see themselves in a particular character, or an element which is the same as their best friend.
Mentally focus on your idea as much as possible throughout each day. Think about it before you go to sleep at night and mull over it first thing in the morning. Focus is a remarkable thing. Think back to when you were a child. Did you ever play the game with the magnifying glass and the sun in the garden? When you held the magnifying glass so the sun reflected off it for a long enough period of time, the leaves underneath would start burning, right?
Well the same happens with our ideas and our focus. Focus on something for long enough and hard enough and doors open. In the case of a small idea, it then develops into a much bigger one with little or no effort on your part - all you need to do is hold it in your mind! Eventually your little idea sees will transform into a fully grown tree.
The Branches
The branches, or sub ideas of your main idea are just as important as thinking of the idea in the first place. Don't get lazy at this stage, as otherwise the rest of the process would have been a waste of your time. Sub ideas can hold the jewel to real success.
Repeat the brainstorming exercise in step one, but this time using the same process to find sub ideas. Write your main idea at the top of a sheet of paper and for twenty minutes or so write down all the related ideas you can think of. These sub ideas are what can eventually help to make up your storyline, plot and theme.
To Conclude
Your ideas will grow as and when you allow them to. Use the power of your mind to focus on your ideas and watch them branch into different directions.

Love & Light
Keidi Keating
The Word Queen xxx

Ideas Are In The Air -- Another Visit from The Word Queen

Continuing on developing ideas for your book, here is Keidi with Ideas Are In The Air. Are you participating in Nano WriMo this month?

The Word Queen
Bringing Books To Life
Writing, Publishing & Book Marketing
Where do ideas come from? Some might say the sky, others the ether, and a fraction from our angels or spiritual guides. I like to think that ideas are in the air. They float around in their invisible form, waiting to land in the right mind; a mind which is ready and open to receive.

In a more general sense ideas stem from our inspiration.

According to the dictionary inspiration is 'a divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul.'

Our inspiration tends to shine when we are relaxed, or zoned out of the task at hand. Perhaps your time is in the shower, brushing your teeth, on the verge of falling asleep, or driving along the motorway? It's different for everyone.

Take a moment to close your eyes and consider what you were doing when your biggest and best ideas came to you. Next time you're in that situation you will almost certainly expect to think of another idea and with that feeling of expectancy ideas will grow.

I tend to view ideas as seeds. First they are planted (that is when our minds are receptive to ideas), then they are watered and fed (that is us focussing on our ideas and giving them attention) and then they grow (that is us expanding and developing our ideas). Now the idea has transformed into a beautiful tree. The branches are sub-ideas leading off the main idea, the leaves are the idea details and the fruits are the results of those ideas.

Planting Our Idea Seed

One technique to planting an idea seed is via brainstorming, which I've described below:

Brainstorming - This involves letting your mind run away, as if you were completing a marathon. It's all about perseverance! The best method of brainstorming is to write down everything that enters your head, no matter how ridiculous it may seem. The key is to not stop for a breath. Just keep on running. If you stop and wonder if that idea you have just made a note of will really work then the flow of ideas will stop just as easily as they started. Try brainstorming first thing in the morning when your mind is emptier and fresher.

Some Brainstorming Dos & Don'ts...
DO use a new notebook and pen, or a tape recorder.
DON'T try to brainstorm when you are tired, hungry, stressed or ill.
DO make yourself comfortable before brainstorming. Find a quiet room, free of distractions.
DON'T worry if it seems you're writing down wild and crazy things. Remember not to stop and critique anything during a brainstorming session.
DO take regular breaks of ten to fifteen minutes.
Other techniques to planting ideas are through dreams and asking questions, which we'll explore in the next newsletter.

Love & Light
Keidi Keating
The Word Queen xxx