New FAQ AND New Blog Contest!

Hey there, Groovy Chicks!  I’ve posted a new FAQ on the FAQ page thingy, AND I’ve got a new contest!  Just visit the FAQ page for the FAQ and answer…AND for the contest…you KNOW how I LOVE postcards, right?  Well, here’s a postcard to really ruffle your bloomers!  Leave a comment here, on Facebook or e-mail me at marcialmcclure.com concerning the movie star you most dreamt about kissing as a teenager (or now) and I’ send the winner this Elvis Kissing postcard!  Add it to your postcard collection, stick it up on your fridge, or slip it in the bottom of your lingerie drawer as our little secret!  Simply, a little scandalous, and just for fun, right?!!!!  I’ll choose the winner of the postcard on Tuesday!  I LOVE this picture!  Soooo scandalous!

Thanks to you, I might make it through January!

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Elvis-“Trouble” Worth Lookin’ For!

Yes!  It’s true!  It’s still Elvis month on my blog!  Naturally, we’re taking a little break here and there, you and I…so that we can pull ourselves together a bit!  HOWEVER, one of my favorite, favorite, FAVORITE Elvis performances is “Trouble” from the 1958 movie, King Creole!  I’ll tell you this…”Mrs. Adams” was never the same after witnessing this performance live, I’m sure!  I LOVE this one!  Enjoy!  AND check back tomorrow for another “Elvis” contest here!

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Elvis Poster Winner and FAQs Page!

And the winner of the Elvis poster is…..Sandi Wolfley!  Fun!

Is everyone having a great week?  I hope so!  There’s more Elvis coming this week…but for now…I thought I’d venture off to something else for a minute!

As you can see, I’m incorporating and FAQ page on my blog!  There are certain questions that friends and readers ask me over and over and I thought that since there seem to be so many that are really common, I’d answer them here!  I already asked for you to remind of some of the FAQs I was asked this past year at the Meet and Greets (THANK YOU for your input, by the way!), but if you have a question, let me know!  You can  leave a comment here OR e-mail your question to me at marcialmcclure@cs.com with a Subject Line: FAQ!

As I’ve said, even thought I DO read every letter, e-mail and Facebook message, I can’t always get every one answered!  I’m hoping that having and FAQ tab on my blog will allow me to answer some reoccuring questions!  I’m going to start with one today that came through on Facebook yesterday!  See what you think!  Thank you so much for your help!  You’re all so kind and wonderful to me!

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Elvis Calendar Winner-AND Birthday Celebration!

Good grief!  How could I NOT choose Tanya’s entry as the winner?  I received sooooooooooo many e-mail entries yesterday…but I have to go with Tanya’s as the winner!  Tanya…you can e-mail me the address where you’d like your calendar sent (marcialmcclure@cs.com) or send me a private Facebook message with the info!

Now, as for today (Elvis’ birthday), up for grabs is a 24×36 poster of one of my favorite Elvis photos EVER!  Same rules as yesterday…e-mail me at marcialmcclure@cs.com, add your comment here or on Facebook, telling your “very first Elvis memory” and I’ll pick a winner on Monday for the poster!

As for Elvis’ Birthday Celebration video clip today…my FAVORITE Elvis song is “Love Me!”  Footage of Elvis performing this song is rare!  In fact, it was the only Elvis song ever to hit the top ten (#6) on the charts without ever having been released as a single.  I hadn’t even heard it until I watched a corny, but very charming movie, entitled “Heartbreak Hotel” (Starring David Keith as Elvis) years and years and years ago (like in the 80s).  However, the moment I heard “Love Me” it became my favorite Elvis song!  Sooooooooooo dreamy!  Sooo romantic in fact, that I based an entire book on my love for that song!  Yep…my book entitled “Love Me!”

So, in remembrance of Elvis’ Presley’s birthday (January 8th, 1935)…here’s Elvis singing our song, “Love Me!”

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Young Handsome Elvis Calendar Contest!

Ladies and Ladies!  Up for grabs on my blog today is an 2011 Elvis Calendar!  To enter to win, simply comment here, e-mail me at marcialmcclure@cs.com, or post on my facebook wall explaining why you would like to look at Young Handsome Elvis every month all year long!  It’s that easy!  The best reason “why I’d like to look at Young Handsome Elvis every month all year long” will win this Young Handsome Elvis Calendar!  Whoopee!  You’ll have until midnight tonight to enter!

And for your Elvis video treat of the day….

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Epiphany-Elvis will get us through January!

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before!  The answer to my January blues…my January blahs…my January boredom…ELVIS!  Of course!  How could I not have thought of it before?  January 8th is Elvis’ birthday!  So…not only is the contest on my site at www.marcialynnmcclure.com Elvis-themed…but let’s jut have us an all-around Elvis month!  I’ll try to think of some fun contests and stuff to feature here on my blog…you think of some, too…and we’ll just have an Elvis month of it!  What do you think?  Fun, huh!!!!

So…for today…our Elvis Month celebration begins with “Too Much!”  I LOVE this video of Elvis!  First performed exactly 54 years ago today (January 6ht, 1957) on the Ed Sullivan show, this clip of Elvis performing “Too Much” is totally Toooooo Gorgeous!  Of course, this is the famous show where they only filmed Elvis above the waist because of his, delicious dance moves!  What I love about this clip…other than he’s so handsome…is his mannerisms as he tries not to smile too often when the girls scream, and when you can tell he just can’t keep from dancing no matter how hard he tries!  Love it!

So sit back and enjoy Elvis in 1957!  He was TOTALLY “Tooooo Much!”

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Weird Ramblings from Marcia…

Okay…you know I’m a terrible blogger…and I’m trying to do better, right?  Well, I’m still terrible at it!  Even with all the great prompts everyone kindly offered when I asked!  Still, I was rereading something in my journal the other day…a goofy rambling that I never even finished…and thought I’d share it with you…just so you can have more evidence of what an idiot I am!  It’s TOTALLY random!  You’ll see what I mean!

  1. I was also thinking about School buses this past week.  I hate them, you know. They give me anxiety even now.  And, for posterity’s sake, I thought I should explain why…thought it’s completely psychological and silly.  School buses give me anxiety because they always did!  My first bad school bus memory is of an incident in 1st grade.  Though it really had nothing whatsoever to do with the school bus, I guess I just associate this bad memory with it.
    1. I’d been walking on a curb at school…you know, balancing on it like a gymnast would a balance beam.  I stumbled and twisted my ankle.  (Mom thinks I actually fractured it slightly, because my right ankle bone has always been enlarged ever since and I had so much pain for so long with it.)  Anyway, my ankle was really damaged!  I couldn’t walk on it at all!  I remember getting onto the bus (I think with some help), but when the bus driver let me off there at our house in Lago, I remember acting like everything was fine, even though I hopped off the bus instead of walking.  I waited for the bus to leave and then crawled on my hands and knees along the sidewalk, up the stairs and into the house, crying all the way.  When I got in to the house, I tried to call my mom (who was down at the barn milking or something), but these old ladies that we shared a party line with were on the phone and simply got mad at be for interrupting them!  I remember my ankle hurt so badly, and that I was mad at the school bus driver for not helping me and making sure I was okay.
    2. The next bad bus incident that I remember, happened my first day of school after we’d moved back to Albuquerque when I was seven.  This one wasn’t the bus driver’s fault either, and ironically, this particular bus driver grew to represent relief and safety to me.  It was my first day of school here in Albuquerque after we’d moved back from Idaho.  That, in itself, was horribly traumatizing…however, it was the field trip we took that day that freaked me out about busses.  Remember, I’d just moved from this tiny little farming community where just about everyone in class at school, was in my Sunday School and Primary classes at church.  Well, welcome to Los Ranchos Elementary in Albuquerque…way, way, way different!  My first day, the 2nd grade was taking to a field trip to who knows where.  I don’t remember the destination of the field trip, all I remember are three things:  The little redheaded girl named Carolee who befriended me, the bus driver letting us off at some park to have lunch, and most of all…the bus driver…who was affectionately known as Hairy Jerry!  Hairy Jerry was not only literally hairy (he had long black kinky-curly hair that hung over his shoulders and down his back), he was also a biker…the sleeveless denim jacket he wore said “Hell’s Angels.”  Hairy Jerry was enormous!  At least he seemed like he was…no…he really was!  He filled up the bus driver’s seat completely!  He had a loud, booming, raspy voice (and in later years I think he wore glasses).  Anyway, imagine this little seven year old girl who has just left the little town of Downey, Idaho… getting on the bus her first day of school to go on field trip to who knew where…and the first thing she sees is Hairy Jerry the bus driver!  Now, although I was entirely terrified of Hairy Jerry that day, I grew to know why all the kids favored him.  He was kind, always laughing and telling stories.  As I got older, I saw less and less of him, but whenever he drove the bus, everyone was happy.  Hairy Jerry was the first person I ever heard use the term “cherry” when referring to a car.  As I said, his voice was booming and raspy and echoed through the bus so that no matter who he was talking to, everyone in the bus could hear him.  He told all kinds of stories on the way to and from school while I was in elementary school, and was always in control of the passengers where discipline was concerned.  Looking back, I think his stories were his crowd control.  Nobody acted up when Hairy Jerry was driving…we all just listened to his biker stories and stuff.  After all, they were mesmerizing.  In middle school Bobbie and I walked to and from school, so I didn’t have any interaction with ol’ Hairy Jerry the Hell’s Angel bus driver.  However…
    3. …bus trauma story three begins here…and this is why I hate school busses the most.  In high school, riding the bus my freshman year was terrifying for many reasons.  One reason being the ol’ “bullies on the bus” scenario.  Although I was never bullied on the bus, I lived in constant fear of it.  I watched other kids being bullied…mostly by the mean “cholitas” who rode the bus.  (Side note…I remember one girl in particular…though I don’t remember her name.  She’d get on the bus every morning with her hair still in “sausage curls” from the curling iron.  She’d always wait until we were almost to school before she’d brush her hair out and hairspray it.  She’d cross herself every day as we’d pass the little Catholic shrine which I think was on San Isidro, and I remember her talking about the fact that she was giving up red lipstick for Lent.  Anyway, she was scary!  She never bothered me…but she really intimidated me!)  Anyway, potential bus bullies aside, we had a bus driver that year…a young guy…but he looked like a Hairy Jerry wanna be.  All the bus drivers I remember having in elementary school and high school were bikers…though I’m not sure how many rode with Hairy Jerry.  Anyway, this young bus driver started passing joints (you know…in the 80s that’s what we called Marijuana) around the bus on the way to school!  I mean, not only was he smoking it while driving a busload of kids to school, he was sharing it with the students!  I know…it sounds unbelievable…but it’s true!  Naturally, I eventually told my parents (though I remember waiting quite a long time to tell them because I knew I had to ride the bus to school and I didn’t want my mom to worry).  The next day, we had a new bus driver…good ol’ Hairy Jerry!  We didn’t have him for long, or consistently, but I remember feeling so safe and relieved getting on the bus to see good ol’ Hell’s Angel Hairy Jerry there!  I quit riding the bus after soon after that.  At first, Cindy Saavedra (who lived across the street to the right of Bobbie) took me once in a while.  But then I got my driver’s license and Mom walked to 4th Street and Pueblo Solano every morning to catch the city bus to work….just I could keep the car and wouldn’t have to ride the school bus any more.  It was a profound sacrifice for Mom…though she never seemed to think of it that way, and never uttered one negative word about it.
    4. So there you have just a few reasons why school busses give me anxiety!  Luanna (my sister) is the same way…though she loved Hairy Jerry, too!  It’s why my kids never rode the bus to school!  Fortunately, when they were in elementary school, we always lived close enough that we could walk to school on days with nice weather…yet I drove them most of the time.  I’ve always been thankful to be able to do that…
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New Books for 2011 and Other Stuff, Too!

Everyone has been asking me what’s coming up as far as my writing and new books and e-books are concerned!  Well…a TON!!!!!!  The publisher has some way fun things planned, and my mind is going crazy with ideas!  The next book to be released will be The Trove of the Passion Room.  It’ll be sometime in January, but I’m not sure when.  Then there’s the one with the AWESOME cover (my favorite ever)!   That one will be next…I think.  There’s also a special thing coming in January that I can’t mention!

Several older books will be getting face lifts this year…new covers, new author’s notes, etc.  I’m really excited about that!  And there’s a whole list of other stuff planned!  I’ve also got a new proofing team, plans to do some major changes to the website, etc.  I’m also hoping to have more time to blog (I’m DYING to get the character bios rolling!  Thanks, Steph S. for all your help with the stats!  AND thanks to everyone for the photo submissions!) and stuff like that!  More contests and things, too!  I’m more excited than I’ve ever been about a new year where my books are concerned!

Does that give you enough of a taste of things to come?  I hope so!  Meanwhile, Happy New Year!

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Dottie Robbins’ Orange Almond Punch!

Ooo!  I thought of another recipe you might like for the holidays!  A friend gave me the basics for this one years and years ago…and I played with it a little.  The end result is Dottie Robbins’ Orange Almond Punch!  This is such a wonderful warm drink!  We love it!  It’s really easy, so give it a try this year!

Orange Almond Punch

Ingredients:

3 quarts of water
2 cups of sugar
1 16oz. can of frozen orange juice concentrate
3 T. lemon juice
1 t. vanilla
1 t. almond extract

In a large saucepan or pot, heat the water and sugar to a boil.  Boil until sugar is disolved.  Add everything else, heat through once more and serve!   Mmmm!  Delicious!  (It’s actually good cold, too!)

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My Family’s Traditional Christmas-Time Treats!

First of all, thanks so much for all the blog prompts!  They have been sooooooooo helpful!  Sometimes my brain just goes, “Duuhhh,” and I need help jump-starting it!  So thank you, thank you!

I thought an easy one to start with from the list everyone compiled for me would be some recipes of a few of our family’s traditional Christmas-Time treats!  I know, I know…we all eat too much sugar and sweet stuff at this time of year…but still…it’s fun, right?  I think I’ll start with two (even give a little history along with them), and then see how you like these and if you want any others.  Okay?  So, this may turn out to be a little longer blog than you think!  You know how chatty I get when it comes to yummy stuff to eat!

We’ll begin with my Avocado Dip.  When I was a kid and even well into my teens, I didn’t like guacamole…not at all.  I’m serious!  I’m not sure why, but I just didn’t really like it.  Stunning, I know–but true.  It wasn’t until I was high school and this guy in our neighborhood brought over some avocado dip someone in his family had made, that I was hooked!   I think the reason this dip hooked me when guacamole never had, was because it had cream cheese in it and the cream cheese kind of diluted the avocado and added a cream cheesy wonderment to it!  Whatever the reason, I loved it and my mom started making the avocado dip every year for the holidays!  When I got married, I started making it, too…and over the years I toyed with the original recipe here and there until it was just right (kind of like the porridge Goldilocks end up with on her little jaunt into home invasion)!  My husband and kids have loved this dip forever!  Though I will admit that Kevin, Mitch and myself are the ones who seem to gorge on it.  It’s soooooooooooo good!  AND best served with Nacho Cheese Doritos (which I could do a whole blog about on their own, by the way)!  Thus, if you like this kind of thing, here’s my tried and true avocado dip recipe!

Marcia’s Avocado Dip

Ingredients:

1 8 oz. package of cream cheese (softened)
3 VERY large or 6 Medium avocados
1/2 cup finely minced onion
2 T. lemon juice
3/4 t. garlic powder
3/4 t. salt
1 & 1/2 cups diced tomatoes (cherry or grape tomatoes are my favorite)
1-2 t. of Tabasco sauce (basically however much you prefer to taste)

Scoop avocados out of the peels and remove pits (of course).  In a medium sized bowl, use a hand mixer to smash and cream together avocado meat and cream cheese.  Quickly add lemon juice and mix in.  Add garlic powder, Tabasco Sauce, salt and onion and mix well.  Then fold in tomatoes and chill for at least two hours before serving (with Nacho Cheese Doritos, of course!).  I could eat this until I’m sick!  Love it!

Next…My Mom’s Toffee Bar Cookies were/are also one of our favorite, favorite treats this time of year!  Kevin (who rarely likes anything sweet other than ice cream) loves these so much, that my mom used to make him a batch for her Christmas present to him!  Mmmm!  I can remember helping my mom make these…I was the melted-chocolate-spreader (a very cush and delicious job) and couldn’t wait for them to be finished!  I make these every year without fail!  Love them!

My Mom’s Toffee Bar Cookies

Ingredients:

1 c. softened BUTTER
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg YOLK
2 c. flour
1 t. vanilla
8 oz. of Milk Chocolate Bars broken into pieces (You know…Hershey’s!  Mmmm!)
1 c. chopped pecan pieces or pecan cookie pieces

Cream the butter and sugar.  Add in the egg yolk and vanilla and mix well.  Gradually add flour.  Spread batter in lightly greased 9×13 glass backing dish.  Bake at 350 for 20-30 minuted until golden brown.  (Watch it closely…it’s easy to under or over cook it!)  Remove from oven and immediately place broken chocolate bar pieces all over the top.  When the chocolate is soft enough, carefully and evenly spread it over the surface of the cook with knife.  Sprinkle on nuts.  Cut while still a little warm, but let it cool for several hours before eating!  Delicous!

Let me know if you want any other of our traditional recipes!  I have some other yummy ones!

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