Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday Snippet November 29, 2015

For today's Sunday Snippet I'd  like to share the transcripts from a podcast interview I gave when "Lynx" Rodeo Romance debuted at my publisher,  BWL, Ltd..

Connie: Today’s rodeos feature the most skilled cowboys and cowgirls.  They show off their roping, riding, and many other talents to the world.  Being a rodeo cowboy, especially a bull rider, is a dangerous occupation where the only the strongest and smartest will take home the victory. I’d like to welcome, Lynx Maddox, one of rodeo’s top bull riders, to today.

Lynx:  “I’d like to thank all of the romance readers and Rodeo fans for  logging on for my interview.”

Connie:  “For the readers who aren’t familiar  with PRO rodeo cowboys who support community projects  for worthy causes.  Lynx, you were at the Fairgrounds this weekend to support and build awareness for projects to prevent domestic violence, isn’t this correct?”

 Lynx:  “Yes.  Dan and  were at the Snake River Stampede last week where a local band helped collect donations to support a newly built women’s shelter.”

Connie:  “I know you are reluctant to brag. . .but virtually all former and current  world champions have competed at the Stampede at one time or another. However, few are as generous with donating their purse winning as readily as you are.”

Lynx:  “Now, I wouldn’t say that.  Everyone does what he or she can to help contribute to these worthy causes. . .be it in dollars or in time. . .Weren't we gonna discuss the sport of bull riding?”

Connie: “Yes, Wildcat, we are.  According to the ABBI guidelines for judging bull riding, based on five categories:  buck, kick, spin, intensity, and degree of difficulty.  All of which sound extremely uncomfortable for the rider.  Would you mind explaining what this all means?”

 Lynx: Dry chuckle.  “‘Buck’ refers to the height achieved with the front feet and shoulders as a bull begins each jump of a trip. Technically correct bulls will complete this action by kicking their hind legs, however not all will kick, and that is a separate category from buck. Bulls that “get in the air” and get their front feet a foot or two off the ground as they peak and break over get the most credit in the buck category. Another consideration is the number of jumps they complete during the course of the trip. Still another factor can be how much ground they cover.”

Connie: “I know the ‘Kick’ refers to the extension and snap of the hind legs at the peak of each jump. But I don’t know the determining factors for scoring.”

Lynx: “Again, the score is determined by how high and how hard the bull kicks, how much vertical body angle he achieves as he kicks, and whether or not he kicks each and every jump. Additionally, bulls that kick at the peak of each jump instead of waiting until their front feet reach the ground deserve more credit in this important category.”

Connie: “So at any time, a bull rider can find himself falling under one of the massive animals?”

Lynx: “Well, I reckon so, but that is not the aim of the rider. . .”

Connie:  “Sorry, but. . .”

Lynx: “Heard about what happened–”

Connie:  “In Cheyenne, Wyoming?  Yeah.”

Lynx:  “The ‘Spin’.”  Takes a sip of coffee.  “Also referred to as the speed category, spin is the most difficult to assess if a bull is only ridden for a jump or two. In this situation, a judge must assume that the amount a bull was spinning (or the number of rounds) would have continued at the same rate for eight seconds. For this reason, it is important, in order to achieve high marks in the spin department, to “turn back” or begin to spin as early as possible so that more time is spent spinning than covering ground.”

Connie: “The ‘Spin’ is assessed the same way?”

 Lynx:  “Basically yes.”

Connie:  “The final category is ‘Degree of Difficulty’.  Difficulty equals painful, I take it?”

 Lynx:  “Naw.  By the end of the ride most bull rider’s bodies are numb.”

Connie: Smothering a laugh.  “Please continue.”

Lynx: “There are a number of factors that can occur in a bull’s trip that elevate the degree of difficulty, and it is important to note that the bull that does everything else right automatically has a high degree of difficulty for that simple reason. Therefore, just because a bull is honest and doesn’t use tricks to get a rider off, he shouldn’t be penalized in this category for doing things right. Having said that, there are those elements of a trip that some bulls employ that make them harder to ride than bulls that don’t. These things don’t necessarily make a bull better, and again it should be mentioned that the most desirable methods of increasing degree of difficulty are by doing the core elements (buck, kick, and spin) well. Furthermore, the bull that is using time and energy performing some of the trickier elements generally associated with degree of difficulty is usually losing ground in some other area. The most generally defined elements of this category are: drift or fade, accomplished by a bull covering ground as he spins; moving forward in the spin; belly roll; drop; direction change; and lack of timing.”

Connie:  “Lynx, thank you so much for taking time from your packed schedule to explain the element of rodeo to us .  You make bull riding sound like everyone’s nine-to-five job.  But we all know that isn’t true.  Rodeo is a very dangerous sport.”

 Lynx: “I can’t deny that fact.”

Connie: “Where are you off to tomorrow?”

 Lynx:  “Tonight.  After I wrap things up at the Fairgrounds, I’m driving up to Running Springs, Montana.”  Rising to his feet, he tips his hand and exits the booth.

Connie: speaking over the canned music, ‘The Yellow Rose of Texas,”Thank you, Wildcat.  Let’s all thank Lynx Maddox for stopping by today.”

Now hop on over and visit my other Sunday Snippet Pals: (Juliet Waldron) (Tricia McGill)

Don't forget to come back next week for more Sunday Snippets.

Remember to stuff those eReaders with BWL Holiday Bargains!
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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Shopping for the Holidays. Remember to send a eBook(s) to family and Friends

I am blogging today Inside Books We Love about Perfect Time, Perfect, Place, Perfect Setting.

Stop by and see what I have to say (sign up for the contests and novels for everyone e-Reader at discount prices!)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday Snippet #11/22/2015

This Sunday’s Snippet is from my Contemporary Romantic Suspense novel, “Brede”.

“My head hurts,” she whispered. A sharp, throbbing pain embedded itself in the center of her left temple.  She touched her raw fingertips to the tender area, and tried to grasp a fleeting memory. . .of what, she wasn’t certain. 

At that moment, a man leaned over her.  His eyes reminded her of the ocean; soft blue water reflecting through frosted crystal—sad, lonely eyes.

                The warmth from the blankets seeped into her chilled body, but the sound of the pounding rain sent terror crawling through her.  She bolted upright, her heart thumping so card she couldn’t catch her breath.

                “Lie back down,” the man instructed. “You’ve had some sort of accident.”

                Pain lanced through her body and her head.  Beneath the wave of pain, she heard the concern in his deep voice, and pressed an unsteady hand to her forehead.  “Accident?”  Her fear receded, but didn’t go away completely.  An accident explained the sharp, pain embedded in her left temple and radiating down the side of her jaw, but it didn’t explain what she was doing here.  Here?  Where was she? And who was this man standing over her?

To purchase this novel click on my blog links visit:

my website home page:

Happy Reading,

Please stop by and read the snippets this month's Blog Hop members have posted! (Ginger Simpson)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Do Random Acts of Kindness Make a Difference?

This month’s topic:  Tell when you either performed or received a random act of kindness that made your day better.

“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”
—Bob Kerrey
American politician

I find this is a topic a timely one, but also a topic that can be viewed as one of multi levels.

For those struggling for survival, the basic needs of human kind, food, water, or shelter would qualify.

However, I believe that we as humans have a basic instincts that nudge use to do what is right and good.  However, whether we act on that subconscious nudge, is another matter.

I witnessed an unexpected act of kindness that was unexpected and yet very profound.  This appeared on my Facebook "On This Day" alert.  I had posted this event one year ago today for my friends to read.

Today, I would like to share this post with  you.

At my day job,  I interact with may students and families.  We are all guilty, especially when we are stressed, of passing judgement upon others.  There is one family that is very challenged in dealing with day-to-day living.  The parents have two teenage sons.  The father seems down-trodden and the wife addled and not very high functioning.  However, I must confess that the interaction between this couple that  I witnessed humbled me.  
While waiting for their sons, they discussed a few matters and then the wife confessed that she didn't no very well in her art class (she is enrolled in occupational training).  She said she wasn't as good at drawing as he (her husband) or her sons.  She was afraid she'd fail her class.  Her husband (the look in his eyes reflected his knowledge of her limitations), he said, "You always try hard and take pride in your work. Everything will be okay.  You acted as a TA.  Remember?  That will count for something with your instructor."

When she looked up at him her face mirrored her love.  She knew she knew her limitations, but she also his kind words make her stronger and able to keep trying.

I witnessed the meaning of honoring one's wedding vows at the most basic level.

This was very profound and life changing for me.

This family own rusty, travel-weary bikes, often reside in a hotel, and rely on charity bus passes to take their son to the doctor.

This family was provided with a Thanksgiving basket and clothing today.  Yet, I am the one who was the unexpected recipient of a holiday gift.

Never, never discount the power of an act of kindness.

I hope you have enjoyed my post.  Please visit the other sites in this month's blog-hop.

Happy Reading,


Judy Copek

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday Snippet #11/15/2015

Fall has arrived in SoCal!  With the promise of El Nino to take the edge off our drought worries, I found myself baking with several items available at local farmers' markets, or if you live in a rain rich region, you make have these vegetables and fruits in your backyard.

My featured novel this month, "Brede", is set in New Mexico.  To honor the bounty of this diverse state, I have posted two delicious recipes that you may wish to try this winter.  Both are simple, filling, a good for you.  As you know, Brede's mystery woman isn't know for her culinary skills.  However, sandwiched between her dramatic failures, she does manage to turn out a tasty meal or two!  

Pull out your slow cooker (I know you have one somewhere in your cupboard) and prepare these Fall treats!

Carrot and Coriander Soup

Root vegetable, such as carrots, are great for slow cooker soups.  Their earthy flavor becomes rich and sweet when cooked slowly over a gentle heat and goes perfectly with robust herbs and spices, and their texture becomes beautifully smooth when pureed.

Serves 4
1 lb carrots, preferably young and tender
1 tablespoon. sunflower oil
3 tablespoon butter / low fat margarine
1 onion, chopped
1 stick celery, plus 2 -3 leafy tops
2 small potatoes, peeled
1 1/2 pints/ 3 1/4 cups boiling vegetable stock
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1/4 pint/ 2/3 cup milk
salt and ground black pepper

Trim and peel carrots and cut into chunks.  Heat oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan and fry onion over a gentle heat for 3 - 4 minutes until slightly cooked. Do not let it brown.

Slice the celery and chop the potatoes, and add them to the onion in the pan.  Cook for 2 minutes, then add the carrots and cook for an additional minute.  Transfer the fried vegetables to the ceramic cooking pot.

Pour the boiling vegetable stock over the vegetables, then season with salt and pepper.  Cover the pot and cook on low for 4 - 5 hours until the vegetable as tender.

Reserve 6 - 8 tiny celery leaves from the leafy tops for the garnish, then finely chop the remaining celery tops.  Melt the remaining in a large pan and add the ground coriander.  Fry for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, until the aromas are released.

Reduce the heat under the pan and add the chopped celery tops and fresh coriander. Fry 30 seconds, then remove from the heat.  Ladle the soup into a food processor, blender, or use an immersion blender (or a potato masher if you wish like a few veggie pieces).  Using the same pan, stir in milk and heat until piping hot.  

Check the seasoning, then serve garnished with the reserved celery leaves.

Pumpkin and Banana Cake

Rather like a cross between a carrot cake and banana bread, the luscious cake is an excellent  way of using some of the scooped-out pumpkin fresh after making Halloween pumpkin lanterns.  A cream cheese topping provides a delicious contrast with the dense moist cake. 

Serves 12

2 cups of self-rising flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of salt
10 tablespoons/ 5 oz. of light brown sugar
3/4 cup/3 oz. pecans or walnuts, chopped
4 oz. pumpkin flesh, coarsely grated
2 small bananas, peeled and mashed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup/1/4 pint sunflower oil

For the topping

1/4 cup/2 oz. 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup/ 2 oz. soft cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup/ 4 oz. confectioners' sugar.
pecan halves, to decorate

Line the base and sides of a deep 8 inch round bake tin or souffle dish with baking parchment.  Place an upturned saucer or metal pastry ring in the base of the ceramic cooking pot, then pour in about 1 inch of very hot water.  Switch the slow cooker to high.

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt (or just dump it all in a bowl like I do).  Stir in the sugar, chopped nuts and grated pumpkin until thoroughly mixed.  Make a slight hollow in the middle of the dry ingredients. 

In a separate bowl, combine the bananas, eggs, and sunflower oil, then stir into the dry ingredients.  Turn into the prepared tin and level the surface. 

Cover the tin with a pieced of buttered foil and place into the slow cooker.  Pour sufficient boiling water to come just over halfway up the sides of the tin.

Cover the pot with the lid and cook on high for 4 - 4.5 hours, or until the cake is firm and skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Carefully remove the cake from the slow cooker and stand the tin on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes.  Turn out and leave to cool completely, then peel off the lining paper.

To make the topping, put the butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract in a bowl and beat until blended and smooth.   Sift in the confectioner's sugar (I do sift here) and beat again until smooth and creamy.  Thickly spread the topping over the top of the cake and decorate with pecan halves.  Chill in the refrigerator for a least 1 hour before serving to allow the topping to harden.

I hope you try and enjoy these delicious recipes.  Remember "Brede" Rodeo Romance, Book 2 is 99 cents during the month of November.

Stop by and see what everyone else is talking about this week's Sunday Snippets!

Happy Reading,

Connie       Ginger Simpson

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Sunday Snippets by Connie Vines #Sunday Snips

Land of Enchantment
My featured novel, “Brede” is set in New Mexico.  My family and I vacation throughout the state—and I love the vast landscapes, Indian Country, and culture.

I thought I would share snips of my vacation and you will mostly likely understand why “Brede” Rodeo Romance, Book 2 is set in New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment.


  • New Mexico is wine country.

Franciscan García de Zúñiga and a monk named Antonio de Arteaga started growing wine grapes along the Rio Grande around 1629. By the late 19th century, New Mexico was the wine growing region in the United States, producing over a million gallons each year. These are award-winning wines.
  • ·         Taos Pueblo has been inhabited for over a thousand years.
For at least 1,000 years, the people of Taos Pueblo have lived in their multi-story 
apartment-like town. Human habitation of the area dates back perhaps 5,000 years, but
it wasn’t until around 1,000 AD that the current adobe dwellings were constructed by
two different groups of Tiwa peoples who came together to build the still-thriving 

·         New Mexico has more PhDs per capita than any other state.
The state is home to more PhD holders per capita than any other state in the country. Why? Albuquerque hosts Sandia National Laboratories and a number of other research facilities. Los Alamos National Laboratory, Intel, and several land management agencies including the Forest Service and National Park Service, and of course, Microsoft was established in an Albuquerque garage.

  •         Santa Fe

Denver might be the Mile High City, but Santa Fe, at 7,199 feet above sea level, is home to an unparalleled arts scene.

  •        You can see five different states from the top of Capulin Volcano.

Capulin Volcano National Monument towers over the edge of the Great Plains in the northeastern corner of the state. An extinct cinder cone volcano, the formation once served as a landscape marker on the Santa Fe Trail. Today you can drive to the top of the 8,000ft cone for one seriously stunning view that takes in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado, in addition to New Mexico.

  • New Mexico can proudly claim one of the most diverse landscapes in the world.

 There is also a range of incredible outdoor adventures to match. Snow-capped 13,000ft peaks dressed in pines and spruce, brilliant wildflower fields and jungle-like riparian forests of towering cottonwoods, and white sand dunes and vast expanses of prairie.

  • A bout 75 % of all New Mexico’s road are unpaved.

New Mexico is the nation’s fifth largest state. Such a vast expanse is difficult, not to mention expensive, to fill with paved roads. Gravel and rutted dirt routes make this the perfect place for solitary back country exploration of our endless list of sweet spots. Just be sure to bring a shovel and jack…just in case.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

New Mexico Ranch Country

Please stop by and visit the other wonder writers who participate in Sunday Snippets:

Remember "Brede" is only 99 cents!  Experience the Land of Enchantment complete with a hard-edged New Mexico rancher and a woman of mystery.  . .

99 Cents

Happy Reading,

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Holiday Gifts and Stocking Stuffers, 99cents!

Get a start on your holiday shopping!  My Publisher, BWL, is having a sale!  99 cents for novels!  Award winning stories by award winning authors. Don't wait for Black Friday and Cyber Monday! Huge savings are going on all month! 

Actors and Others for Animals by Connie Vines #Sunday Snippets

Like many of us, I love animals.  I also participate in local community events to benefit children, animals, and to promote literacy.  One such event was held on October 17th.
The Grove Theatre (donated venue and stage crew) held an evening of entertainment, "Upland's Got Talent, A Furry Fun-Raiser," hosted by Jo Anne Worley and Fred Willard. Ms. Worley, Rowan and Martin's "Laugh-In", is the Singing President of Actors & Others. 
 JoAnne Worley’s instinctive comedic timing and irrepressible laugh, and stage presence impressive. She, as well as the other members (actors and others) donate their time.  Local vendors donate baskets filled with goodies, gift-cards, and expensive recording and video equipment for the raffle items.  The event included a wine and cheese pre-party.  While the billboard poster and the marquee promised lots of laughs, singing, dancing, surprises and magic!
I had a wonderful evening.  The pre-party was awash with laughter, lively discussions, and enthusiast introductions.   JoAnne Worley spent time interacting with the audience and selling raffle tickets from a woven basket.   After she opened the show, we were treated with Michael Skrzek, tap-dancer on Broadway, recreated Gene Kelly’s fancy foot work in the movie,  “Singing in the Rain”.  Jay Johnson & friends (Tony Award-Winning Duo), Fred Willard and his Sketch Comedy Troupe The MOHO’s, Sherry Kinison and many others gave standing-ovation performances.
While I belong to this non-profit origination, you may find a similar organization in your local community.
 About Actors & Others
So, what exactly is, “Actors and Others for Animals’?  We all know Betty White has supported this non-profit agency for decades. How did it begin?
 Date:  1971 .  Place:  On one of Los Angeles’ busy freeways. The late actor Richard Basehart and his wife, Diana, watched in horror, as someone in the car ahead of them tossed a dog out of the car window to a grisly death. Both Richard and Diana were animal lovers and very aware of the daily cruelties that so many animals endured. Their shock and outrage that day motivated them to gather fellow actors and members of the community together to work to stop such inhumane treatment.
In 1971, our objectives were to provide proper care for and prevent the inhumane treatment and destruction of animals. The common belief of the day was to simply rescue and adopt. Then branched out into other services (including obtain assistance with vet. bills). By 1979, the services were provided throughout California.
To find out more about Actors & Others, click

JoAnne Worley selling me raffle tickets!

I never expected to win!  I shared the bounty with family, friends, and co-workers.
Do you have a charity dear to your heart?

Drop  comment or two and tell me about the good-works being done in your city or neighborhood.

Happy Reading,


Remember to visit the other excellent writers participating in this week's Sunday Snippet Blog Hop.

BTW:  Visit one of my links to purchase one of my novels!

BWL publisher's site