Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! Here's hoping you have a wonderful 2011, full of great reads. (I will be back next week with regularly scheduled blogs...)


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

End of Year Fashion

I always love it when InStyle magazine does their Best Dresses of the year feature! It's fun to remember looks I liked from earlier in the year, so I decided to give it a try myself. Here are just a few of the fashions I loved in 2010 (I'm sure I'm forgetting some). I have to say, I think Cate Blanchett in that McQueen eagle gown at Cannes was probably my favorite (though I also love Michelle Obama in that vintage Norell)...

What were some fashions you liked this year???


































Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas!


I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend, full of friends, family, good food, and wonderful books to read! I will be back next week with a favorite End of the Year fashions blog, right after I recover from my family's "traditional" Christmas Eve of Indian tacos and my father's famous margaritas...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Winners!

Thanks so much to all the commenters on yesterday's Harlequin Historical Advent Calendar post! You're all in the pool to win the Kindle, and the winner of my own prize--a hot cocoa and book basket for the cold winter evenings!--is CassandraR!

And the winner of a free download of To Court Capture and Conquer is--Leona!

Tis the season for reading! Please send your mailing info to me at Amccabe7551 AT yahoo.com

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Harlequin Historical Contest!

Happy Jane Austen Birthday, everyone! (Also, Beethoven's birthday. And my mom's, which reminds me I need to go buy her a present before this evening...) I'm so excited today is my day on the big Harlequin Historical Advent Calendar contest. First things first--go to my website and read the instructions for entering. Your comments here will put you in the running for the grand prize of a Kindle, as well as my own prize of a Cozy Winter Evening--cocoa, china mugs to drink it in, biscuits from my local British supply store, and a signed book! You can have your pick of any of the books on the sidebar of this blog, just let me know which you would like in the comments. (It can be either an Amanda or Laurel book. You can also "Like" my Facebook page, Amanda McCabe Books. And I have another contest going on this blog--just scroll down a couple of entries...)

Good luck, and thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Duchess Tour Stop

And the Duchess of Sin Blogathon is at the Borders True Romance blog today! Come bye and say hello--then I won't feel too lonely :)

And since my mother's birthday is tomorrow, I must go shopping and find the right present. Any suggestions???

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Risky Tuesday

At the Riskies today with my Jane Austen Week post (and a prize!) How is your holiday season going??

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Blogs and Blogs

At the RT Blog today! (and because it's getting busy here, I'm expanding the Undone contest to next weekend, the 18th...)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Wedding Celebration


I'm talking about my royal wedding obsession at the Riskies today! And since I feel in the mood to celebrate, I'm also having an impromptu contest--one commenter will receive a free download of my latest "Undone" story, To Court Capture and Conquer! Just tell me your favorite royal moment, and I will announce a winner this weekend...

Monday, December 06, 2010

Monday Blogs

I'm at not one but two blogs today! SOS Aloha (with Nicola Cornick) and the History Hoydens. Come and say hi--it's a great break from holiday craziness...

Friday, December 03, 2010

Happy Hanukkah!


A few days ago I went to a friend's beautiful party to celebrate the start of Hanukkah! I'm afraid I shamefully gorged myself on the sufganiyot (the traditional jelly-filled donuts--the oil used to fry them reminds us of the miracle of the lamp oil in the Temple), and here is the recipe in case you want to throw a Hanukkah party yourself!






  • 25 grams (1 ounce) yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 3 cups flour
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) margarine, melted
  • dash of salt
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups water (room temperature)
  • jelly (strawberry is recommended)
  • oil for frying (canola is recommended)
  • powdered sugar

Preparation:

1. To make the dough: Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl. Mix well, cover, and wait until it rises. In another bowl, mix 3 cups of flour with the melted margarine, salt, sugar and egg yolks. Combine the yeast mixture with the flour mixture. Slowly add water while stirring. When batter is smooth, cover the bowl with a towel and let it sit and rise.
2. To make the doughnuts: After the batter has risen, pour it onto a floured surface and roll it out. Use a glass with a small opening to cut out circles of the dough. Place a drop of jelly in the middle of each circle, and then cover with another circle of dough. Make sure that 2 circles attach well to form a closed ball with jelly in the middle. Cover the doughnuts with a towel and let rise.
3. To fry the doughnuts: Heat oil in a deep pot until very hot. Drop the doughnuts into the oil and fry on both sides until brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

TIP: These sufganiot are only good fresh. After you make the dough, only fry a few at a time. Store the rest of the dough in the refrigerator.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Blog Tour

The month of December is shaping up to be super-busy, so I am going on a hiatus of regular blogging activity! At the end of the month, I'll be back with Hottie Mondays and Heroines of the Weekend. For now, I'm on a blog tour promoting Duchess of Sin, so be sure and visit me on some of these fun sites! (I'm also extending the contest on my own Laurel site for a few days...)

Don't forget! Books make wonderful holiday gifts!



11/29/2010 http://thebooktree.blogspot.com

11/29/2010 htttp://www.renees-reads.blogspot.com

11/29/2010 http://simplystacie.net

11/29/2010 http://theromancereviews.blogspot.com/

11/29/2010 http://ashleysbookshelf.blogspot.com

11/29/2010 http://threeboysandanoldlady.blogspot.com/

11/29/2010 http://yankeeromancereviewers.blogspot.com/

11/29/2010 www.kmomjdk.blogspot.com

11/29/2010 www.mybookaddictionandmore.wordpress.com

11/29/2010 http://dreyslibrary.blogspot.com

11/29/2010 http://nhertel85.blogspot.com

11/29/2010 http://dkay401-challenges.blogspot.com/

11/29/2010 http://marthasbookshelf.blogspot.com/

11/30/2010 http://theseasonforromance.com/

11/30/2010 http://SimplyAli.blogspot.com

11/30/2010 http://maryinhb.blogpsot.com

11/30/2010 http://cuzinlogic.wordpress.com

11/30/2010 http://paranormalromanticsuspensereviews.blogspot.com

11/30/2010 http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com

12/1/2010 http://www.libslibrary.blogspot.com

12/2/2010 http://mindingspot.blogspot.com

12/2/2010 www.becksbookpicks.blogspot.com

12/3/2010 www.thebookgirl.net

12/3/2010 http://www.rundpinne.com

12/3/2010 http://chrissysworldofbooks.blogspot.com/

12/5/2010 http://martasmeanderings.blogspot.com

12/5/2010 http://bridget3420.blogspot.com

12/5/2010 http://j-rabbits-corner.blogspot.com

12/5/2010 http://booksandmakeup.blogspot.com

12/6/2010 http://www.kballard87.blogspot.com

12/6/2010 http://sosaloha.blogspot.com

12/7/2010 www.rexrobotreviews.com

12/7/2010 http://justanothernewblog.blogspot.com

12/7/2010 http://inthehammockblog.blogspot.com

12/7/2010 http://inthehammockblog.blogspot.com

12/9/2010 http://bookslikebreathing.blogspot.com

12/9/2010 www.tarmyblogspot.blogspot.com

12/10/2010 www.lovetoreadforfun.com

12/10/2010 http://onebookshy.blogspot.com

12/10/2010 http://startingfreshnyc.com/

12/10/2010 http://candidclevercosteffective.net

12/10/2010 http://www.mybookaddictionandmore.wordpress.com

12/15/2010 http://bordersblog.com/trueromance/


There's also a fabulous contest going on this month with the Harlequin Historical authors! Tons of prizes, with a Grand Prize of a Kindle. You can visit my Amanda site and click on the Harlequin Historical Contest button on the right for more details...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Risky Sunday!


I'm at the Riskies today (not my regularly scheduled blog day!) with Nicola Cornick, launching our December releases! Come visit me there and comment for the chance to win TWO books

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Heroine of the Weekend

Happy post-Thanksgiving weekend, everyone! I hope you all had a lovely holiday, and if you ventured out to the shops yesterday you didn't get crushed by the crowds. :) I stayed safely home and did my shopping online, and then I brought in the boxes of Christmas decorations. I love that part of the holidays.

I'm also thankful to be doing these Heroine of the Weekend posts! They can be a lot of work, gathering the research and pulling it together, but I've learned so much about a variety of interesting and inspirational women. I can't wait to see who pops up here in 2011!

This weekend's Heroine is Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (usually called Ada Lovelace), daughter of Lord Byron and mathematician supreme (she's sometimes called "the world's first computer programmer"). She died on November 27, 1852, long before Microsoft was even a gleam.

She was born December 10, 1815, the only child of the brief and ill-fated marriage between Byron and his wife Annabella Milbanke, Baroness Wentworth. She was named after Augusta Leigh, Byron's half-sister (whom he may or may not have been having an affair with, scandalous!), but called Ada by everyone. She never knew her father. Her mother left the couple's London house on January 16, only a month after Ada's birth, taking the baby with her to her parents' home at Kirkby Mallory. Though fathers were always given custody in those days, Annabella and her family were very powerful and had strong ammunition in their scandalous allegations against him. In April, Byron signed the Deed of Separation giving custody to his wife, and left England. He died when Ada was 9, and never saw her again, but his legacy always had a powerful hold on her.

In childhood, Ada was often ill, with severe headaches and stomach troubles, and a bout of measles in 1829 that left her temporarily paralyzed. Her mother was not a kind and soft mummy; she was determined to root out the Byron evil from her daughter and save her from that family's insanity, and decided her own passion of mathematics would do it (Byron called Annabella "the princess of parallelograms"). Ada was given tutors in math and science from a young age, including the well-known Augustus De Morgan. He wrote to her mother that Ada's skill could make her "an original mathematical investigator, perhaps of first-rate eminence." (As someone who struggled with math in school, I am in complete awe of her!)

By 1834, Ada had made her debut and was a regular at the Royal Court, much admired by almost everyone who met her. In July 1835 she married William King, Baron King, later the first Earl of Lovelace. Lady Lovelace's new estate was at Ockham Park in Surrey, and she went on to have 3 children, Byron, Anne Isabella, and Ralph Gordon. But Ada's ill health continued, especially after the births, though she had a wide circle of intellectual friends, including scientist Mary Somerville, and Charles Dickens.

Mary Somerville introduced Ada to Charles Babbage, who became very impressed with her intellect and skills at writing and numbers. He called her "the enchantress of numbers," and in 1842-43 she worked on translating his work on an early mechanical general purpose computer (his Difference Engine), adding her own notes. The notes actually became longer that the work itself, and she has a section with a detailed method for calculating a sequence of Bernoulli numbers with the engine. Modern mathematicians say it would have run entirely correctly if the engine was ever built, and this is sometimes called the world's first computer program.

She died at 36 of uterine cancer, and was buried next to the father she never knew at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Hucknall. Her legacy still lives on, though. The US Department of Defense's computer language is called "Ada," since 1998 the British Computer Society has awarded a medal in her name, and in 2008 started a competition for female students in computer science. March 24 has been named Ada Lovelace Day to celebrate the achievements of women in the sciences (I participated in this day myself last year, with a post on Mme. de Chatelet!)

A few sources on her fascinating life:
Benjamin Woolley, The Bride of Science: Romance, Reason, and Byron's Daughter (2002)
Joan Baum, The Calculating Passion of Ada Byron (1986)
Dorothy Stein, Ada: A Life and Legacy (MIT Press, 1985)
Catherine Turney, Byron's Daughter (1972)
Betty Alexandra Toole, ed. Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers, Prophet of the Computer Age (1998)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday Blog Visits

I'm at the Word Wenches today, talking about Duchess of Sin! Come and comment for a chance to win a copy (plus a copy of Nicola Cornick's latest! It's a two-for-one today...)

This is just the launch of my blog tour, too. This weekend I will post a full schedule, so watch this space!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Risky Tuesday


At the Riskies today (because it's Tuesday!) talking about favorite movie dance scenes! Join me there....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hottie Monday

We return to Hottie Monday this week, and just in time too, as People has released their annual Sexiest Man Alive issue!




As usual, People and I don't entirely agree. Not that it's a travesty or anything (unlike, say, the latest round of Project Runway), he's undeniably good-looking. But somehow I don't get the "sexy-sexy" about him. Maybe I haven't seen the right movies.

I would have gone with one of the runners-up.

Like Jon Hamm.


Or True Blood's Joe Manganiello

Or maybe someone else entirely, like James Franco.

What about you??? Who would you have picked?