FALL INTO THANKSGIVING #mgtab

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and because my family is divided throughout the Midwest, it’s easier for most of us to get together then as opposed to Christmas.

Fall foliage makes for a brilliant display here in Illinois, and decorating for the holidays is a pretty big thing in our area of the country. So, as both a former wholesale and retail florist, I’m sharing some methods for preserving greens.

PRESERVING FALL FOLIAGE

Glycerin/Water Method keeps the leaves fairly flexible. This preserving method works because the natural moisture present in the leaves is replaced by the glycerin solution, maintaining the leaf’s texture and form.

  • Glycerin
  • Water
  • Flat pan or disposable plates
  • A weight or something to keep leaves submerged
  • Leaves
  1. Mix the glycerin and water so that it is one part glycerin and two parts water. You only need enough to submerge the leaves — about one cup.
  2. Pour the solution into a flat pan, place the leaves in the solution, and then put the weight on the leaves to keep them submerged. (Tip: try using two Styrofoam or other disposable plates. Put leaves and enough glycerin solution to just lightly cover the leaves in the bottom of one plate. Then put the other plate on top of the leaves and solution. Now you can put a weight of your choosing on the top plate without getting the weight in the solution.)
  3. Keep the leaves submerged in the solution for 2-6 days.
  4. Dry the leaves gently with a paper towel. They should feel soft and pliable.

Pressing between wax paper.

  • Leaves
  • Wax paper
  • Thin towel or paper
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  1. Place a leaf between two pieces of wax paper.
  2. Put a towel or a piece of thick paper over the wax paper.
  3. Press on the towel or paper with a warm iron to seal the wax sheets together. This takes about 2-5 minutes on each side, depending on how moist the leaf is. Once you have finished one side, flip the leaf over and do the other side.
  4. Cut around the leaf, leaving a small margin of wax paper to ensure that it will stay sealed.
  5. Rather than cutting out the leaves, you may want to try to peel the wax paper off the leaves, leaving a coat of wax behind to protect the leaves. Try this on one leaf first to see if this method works for you.

Using a microwave:

  • Fresh leaves that have not dried out
  • Paper towels
  • Microwave
  • Acrylic spray from a craft store
  1. Arrange the leaves on top of two paper towels. Lay another towel over the leaves to cover them.
  2. Microwave the leaves for 30-180 seconds. Be very attentive and careful. Leaves that are cooked in the microwave too long can catch fire. The drier the leaves, the less time they will need. Leaves that curl after removal from the microwave have not been in long enough. Leaves that are scorched have been in there too long. Only dry them for a few seconds at a time.
  3. Let the leaves sit for a day or two and then finish by spraying an acrylic sealant on both sides of the leaves.

Learn more (includes some other cool projects): https://learning-center.homesciencetools.com/article/how-to-preserve-leaves/

And how does something like designing relate to my writing?

Sometimes the easiest way to come up with a new story is to write about what you know, and since I have a degree in Ornamental Horticulture, Tales of Dragonfly includes a heroine who’s not only a florist, but a wedding planner and designer.

In Flight: A Tales of the Dragonfly Novel

A woman who’s afraid to trust. Successful designer, Penny Wentworth has arrived from New York to take charge of the wedding flowers for the new owners of the Dragonfly Pointe Inn. As a single parent of a severely autistic and mentally impaired son, she has no romantic illusions; her experience with an abusive husband has left her wary of relationships.

A man who’s afraid to love. Haunted by his past since discovering a six-year old girl brutally murdered at Dragonfly Pointe over twenty-two years ago, Sam has intentionally avoided returning home. But after resigning from his job as a homicide detective in New Orleans when his marriage fell apart, Sam is now the chief of police in Crystal Rock, Wisconsin.

An undying passion that’s endured throughout the years. Penny’s escort for the wedding, Sam had once been the object of every single one of her teenage fantasies.

When Sam’s search for a killer leads him back through his tarnished past, will a woman who’s afraid to love be able to forgive a man who feels undeserving of her love?

My newly revised story, In Flight, is also included in the Bestselling Hotshot Charmers for only 99c.

I hope everyone has a beautiful Fall-

And a fantastic Thanksgiving to those of you in the U.S.!!

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Tamara Ferguson

A member of the Romance Writers of America, Tamara Ferguson is the multi-award winning, #1 international bestselling author of the Tales of the Dragonfly Romance Suspense Series, the Kissed By Fate Series, and the Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance Series.

Her latest wounded warrior romance novella, Two Hearts Unspoken, is included in the top-ten bestselling Holiday Anthology, Mother’s Day Magic…With Love, which was also #1 in Wounded Warrior Fiction. Since being released independently, Two Hearts Unspoken has become a #1 International Best Seller at Amazon as well as a #1 International Hot New Release, and is the 2016 SILVER MEDAL WINNER at Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards for Military Fiction.

Presently, Tamara’s working on Two Hearts’ Christmas Wish, the fourth story in her multi-award winning Two Hearts Wounded Warrior series, Emergence, the third book in the multi-award winning Tales of the Dragonfly Novels, and a novella for the next installment of the bestselling Wedding Pets and Kisses anthologies, featuring stories by multi-award winning, bestselling and USA Today authors.

Since she remains a full-time caregiver for an autistic son, you can usually find Tammy working at home, where she spends a lot of time not completing her numerous home improvement projects, because she’s writing or helping author friends promote their books on twitter.

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Finding My Happily-Ever-After #mgtab

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Hi Everyone!

I’m Tamara Ferguson, and I’m new to the Authors’ Billboard this year.

Well, first things first–I hate writing about myself.

But after admitting that, I have to laugh because I probably have close to fifty published interviews online, mostly because I have a problem with saying no.

So, what I am I willing to reveal about myself?

I’ve led a way too colorful life, with a lot of ups and downs. From the time I was a kid, I’ve had a bunch of different hobbies and worked several kinds of jobs–lifeguard, swimming teacher, secretary, solar energy researcher and teaching assistant, waitress, sales rep, floral designer and a wholesale florist and horticulturist to name a few. And I almost taught college level horticulture—it broke my heart to have to say no because I was pregnant and unable to relocate to Chicago with my husband at the time. Teaching was what I always wanted to do.

So how does my experience aid my writing?

It makes it easy to expand on secondary themes and characters when there’s a little of me in each of them. Plus, I’m a firm believer in happily-ever-after endings. I take a lot of the negative twists and turns that’ve occurred in my own life and spin them around to create a more positive outcome. For me, my writing is all about hope.

What’s an example of that?

I’m the mom and full-time caregiver of a severely autistic son with diabetes. I use my experience and circumstances to develop my character Beth In Two Hearts Unspoken. Like me, Beth is struggling with the quality of care and monetary cutbacks in the state of Illinois while trying to raise her severely autistic son Kyle.

Beth is a single mom, which I once was. But unlike me, Beth decides to follow her dream and ends up in a town she vacationed in as a kid, since a new vocational facility for the mentally and physically disabled has recently been built, and Kyle has been accepted into their program.

Expanding on that–

I mix elements of romance, suspense and humor into my stories in an effort to make my characters more relatable and realistic. Sometimes the reader doesn’t catch the serious undertones that I weave into each story because I write simplistically with humor. I try to view problems through the perspective of the characters I create.

Humor is what gets me through my own life. No matter how overwhelming my problems are, I always try to find a bright side to everything. But wow sometimes this can be really difficult! After something totally devastating occurs, life goes on.

And sometimes you have to decide whether you want life to go on with or without you.

Tamara Ferguson’s contemporary military romance novella, Two Hearts Unspoken, is a moving and beautifully written story about a romance between a wounded veteran and the mother of an autistic son, who have both moved to Crystal Rock for healing and a fresh start. I enjoyed seeing how the two of them felt that instant attraction despite the misgivings and insecurities each of them had, and loved seeing how their relationship grew. While this story is categorized as a romance, it deals with two important and serious issues, namely the rehabilitation of veterans who bear both physical and mental scars from their tours of duty, and the lack of sufficient vocational opportunities for young people with autism, who all too often are shunted away into institutions instead of being surrounded by family—5Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Two Hearts Unspoken is on sale for 99c for a limited time.

Writing steamy yet sweet compassionate stories of fate that are wonderfully romantic, Tamara Ferguson is the multi-award winning, #1 international bestselling author of The Tales of the Dragonfly romance suspense series, The Kissed By Fate new adult romance series, The Two Hearts Wounded Warrior romance book series and The Daydreams & Dragonflies sweet romance series.

During the last 2 years she’s become a 4X Readers’ Favorite Book Award Winner for short story fiction, romance suspense, earning the silver medal for military fiction, a 2X winner for the Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Award for new adult and anthology romance, a 3X finalist for the IAN Book of the Year, and a New Apple Romance Selection for excellence in publishing.

Since she’s the full-time caregiver of a severely autistic son, you can usually find Tammy working at home where she spends a lot of time not completing her numerous home improvement projects because she’s writing or helping other authors promote their books on twitter.

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Tamara Ferguson

A member of the Romance Writers of America, Tamara Ferguson is the multi-award winning, #1 international bestselling author of the Tales of the Dragonfly Romance Suspense Series, the Kissed By Fate Series, and the Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance Series.

Her latest wounded warrior romance novella, Two Hearts Unspoken, is included in the top-ten bestselling Holiday Anthology, Mother’s Day Magic…With Love, which was also #1 in Wounded Warrior Fiction. Since being released independently, Two Hearts Unspoken has become a #1 International Best Seller at Amazon as well as a #1 International Hot New Release, and is the 2016 SILVER MEDAL WINNER at Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards for Military Fiction.

Presently, Tamara’s working on Two Hearts’ Christmas Wish, the fourth story in her multi-award winning Two Hearts Wounded Warrior series, Emergence, the third book in the multi-award winning Tales of the Dragonfly Novels, and a novella for the next installment of the bestselling Wedding Pets and Kisses anthologies, featuring stories by multi-award winning, bestselling and USA Today authors.

Since she remains a full-time caregiver for an autistic son, you can usually find Tammy working at home, where she spends a lot of time not completing her numerous home improvement projects, because she’s writing or helping author friends promote their books on twitter.

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