Quick notice before we hunker down. Keep an eye open for updates on Aussie Wildfire Relief. I'm privileged to be part of a publishing house who is so generous and willing to pitch in. Wild Rose Press with be publishing several anthologies with short stories donated by the authors of Wild Rose Press. The editors, publishers, cover artists are all donating their time an talents as well with the money going to Aussie relief. This will take a little time to pull together but the need is great. If you are interested in being notified when this becomes available please contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the information as it becomes available. Also you can check back each Saturday for any updates. We all do what we can, right?
Okay, now lets forge ahead. As you know one of my favorite things to do is sit around the fire. Whether it’s away in a campground or at home in front the chiminea, some of the best conversations I’ve ever had, have been with a cozy flame and sparks drifting up into the night sky joining the stars. So, wherever you’re joining us from, relax. I hope you enjoy our conversation. Please feel free to leave comments or questions below. Also, if you would like to keep up with Around the Campfire and information, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. Okay, without further delay…
Today I’m welcoming Sydney Winward to the Campfire. What’s your preference, coffee, tea, cocoa, or wine?
Hot chocolate, or as my husband calls it, “Chot Hocolate”.
Love it! Chot Hocolate it is. Tell us have you ever camped, or as I call what I do, Glamp.
I love camping! I love the fresh mountain air, the burning embers of the campfire, and especially the smores. One cannot camp without smores! Tent all the way. If your feet don’t have at least five layers of grime by the end, you’re not doing it right.
Well we can agree to disagree on that😉. I do love my amenities, but my bestest friend Tina would agree with you all the way. Tell us about your latest project. What’s the title and genre?
Bloodborn, a paranormal romance. It’s the first in the Bloodborn series.
One of my favorite genres is the paranormal. Mythical, monsters and mayhem, and maybe a sexy vampire. How long did it take you from conception to publication?
About two years. I wrote it in only a few months, hired an editor to try to make it the best it could be before sending it out to agents and publishers. The publisher that I was crossing my fingers for took a bite, and a year after I signed the contract, it was published!
Congratulations! It's a long and sometime frustrating process but so worth it in the end. I bet you have something else you're itching to get to, don't you?
YES! I’ve been trying SO hard not to think about it until I’m finished with my current project, but every pore in my body is screaming to start it. I’m trying really hard to be patient. It’s the sixth book in my paranormal romance series entitled Blood Heir. It’s about Dracula’s grandson taking the throne, but as a vampire who is not yet tried, many threats rise up to try to overthrow him. To keep the peace, he is forced to take the daughter of his greatest enemy as his mate, but little does he know that she has an agenda. And that agenda is to kill him.
Oh boy, does that sound exciting and intriguing. I can't wait. Are there any mentors, authors, or books you would like to give a shout-out to?
I have two absolute favorite authors in the entire world. One is Brandon Sanderson. His world-building is phenomenal. The other is Sarah J Maas. Her A Court of Thorns and Roses series is amazing!
I'll have to check them out. Tell us, Sydney, what does literary success look like to you?
Publishing with a traditional publisher. I have only dreamed about it for years. Now that I have reached my goal, I can make other goals where my writing is concerned.
Good for you. Ticking off the box and setting a new goal is very satisfying. One thing about authors is their willingness to help others. Do you have any Life Hacks for Authors? Tips, tricks or anything you specialize in that you would care to share with others.
Set a daily writing goal for yourself. My goal is 1000 words per day, but I’m at least happy when I’ve made it over 500!
Smart idea. Shoot for the moon and then be happy and satisfied with what works out. I think each day we need a goal of some sort to motivate us to be and do better. Even if it's taking 15 minutes to refresh yourself.
Now the fun questions. Do you have a special object like a piece of jewelry or keepsake of some sort?
Whenever I go someplace new, I like to collect dirt or sand or something from there and put it in a jar. My favorite jar is filled with the broken pieces of a clam shell that I found in Ketchikan, Alaska. I have never seen a place more beautiful than that small little city where I worked for a summer.
I love looking up places where my guests have been. When I looked this up it was -20 degrees. But the pictures are pretty. LOL.
Years ago, there was a commercial that talked about a “Kodak Moment.” It’s a
moment in time you catch in a picture. One you never want to forget. What is
The first time when my son looked at me with “wubs eyes”. He was about three months old and looked at me as if he’d never loved anyone in the world more than he loved his mommy. I’ll treasure it forever.
So sweet. A mother's heart for her baby. Do you have a favorite childhood book? Or writer that inspired you to become an author.
Eragon by Christopher Paolini. I was in my early teens and I idolized him. When I grew up, I wanted to be just like him and have his type of success.
Oh, I loved that whole series. I read it as an adult but I can imagine the magical place he transported you to. Now, tell us, what ridiculous thing has someone tricked you into doing or believing?
Snipe hunting. It was at girl’s camp, and the leaders and some of the older girls tricked me into going snipe hunting. I’d never heard of such a creature, and I thought it was bizarre that I had to put toothpaste on my nose in order to catch one. It’s safe to say that there were a few girls weeping near at end when they found out they’d been duped and humiliated into doing it.
Hah, makes me think of one of my favorite movies, Up. Here, snipe. Here, snipe. Let's dream together. would you rather have unlimited international first-class tickets or never have to pay for food at restaurants?
That’s a hard one. I’m such a homebody, but I do love new adventures. I would have to say unlimited international first-class tickets so I can add more sand and dirt to my glass jars.
My answer too. Let's book it together. Thank you Sydney for being such a fantastic guest today. Can you leave us some information and maybe a peak at your book?
Adam Degore's personal need to find a cure for vampirism drives him to ensnare a vampire, but the creature he captures is Dracula's daughter. Worse yet, he's drawn to her-a monster he's vowed to kill.
Despite her father's wishes, Willow chooses to live among humans instead of the vampire conclave where she would be safe. She wants a life filled with more than shadows. Being captured by a human, not to mention falling in love with one, is not part of her plan.
With vampires and blood hunters closing in on their chosen prey, Adam and Willow need to trust one another. But will that trust come in time for them to survive and find a future together?
“How could you?” she gasped, taking another step backward, but to back up much further would result in falling over the edge of the cliff and into the holy waters below. However, he was blocking her escape, a menacing sword close to penetrating her skin. Any false move would result in an iron sword through her heart. “How could you take me here?”
“I couldn’t tell you,” he answered, his voice thick with emotion. “It’s the only way. It’s the last thing I could do. For Zachariah.”
She felt numb. After everything that had happened between them, he still meant to kill her? But he was her mate. Mates were supposed to look after one another.
“Don’t do this,” she whispered, taking yet another step backward but stopping in her tracks when the roaring of the falls crashed into her ears like the loud toll of a bell signaling a vampire getting burned at the stake.
She would meet the same fate, except the only audience she would have was Adam and it was holy water instead of fire. She didn’t know which was worse. “I care for you, Adam. I want you to give me a chance.”
“I don’t have a choice. I need my brother back. He’s the only family I have left.”
This weeks recipe.
I've already posted a recipe for Chot Hocolate in an earlier post but sometime there's a better one out there. I found this on www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a50303/best-hot-chocolate-recipe/ and can't wait to try it out.
2 c. whole milk
1/4 c. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 c. chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Whipped cream, for serving
Chocolate shavings, for serving
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring milk to simmer. Whisk in sugar and cocoa powder and stir until no lumps remain. Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla and cook, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is completely melted. Turn off heat.
Pour hot chocolate into mugs, then top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
You guessed it! The animated movie UP from 2009. If you never saw it don't think it's only for kids.
The 2000 movie Chocolat.
I think you should make the recipe and then watch both movies on a chilly Sunday afternoon.
Learn to relax. Your body is precious, as it houses your mind and spirit. Inner peace begins with a relaxed body.
Norman Vincent Peale