Monday Dec. 4 marks one of the sweetest days of the year: National Cookie Day.
But if you're a serious cookie lover, you've probably had that date marked off on your calendar for a while now. Of course, any national food holiday calls for a plethora of celebrations in the form of free food galore. So, naturally, we've rounded up all the places you can score a few freebies (and a little more) on the National Cookie Day this year.
1. DoubleTree by Hilton
DoubleTree will be giving out free cookies in celebration of National Cookie Day, but the only catch is that you won't be able to take advantage of the deal until just over a week after the holiday, on Dec. 13. From then until Dec. 24, all locations will be giving guests and non-guests free cookies as part of the hotel's 12 Days of Cookies initiative.
2. Whole Foods
Whole Foods started off its celebration of the big day early this year. From Dec. 1-4, customers will receive 50% off everything at the store's cookie bar.
Cinnabon rolled out an extra sweet new addition to its menu just in time for National Cookie Day. Beginning on Dec. 4, customers can purchase the brand's newest cookie, the Cookie BonBite, which is a mini cinnamon roll baked into a decadent chocolate chip cookie. If that sounds like heaven to you, you can purchase one (or a few) beginning on Monday for a limited time.
4. Mrs. Fields
All Mrs. Fields locations in the U.S. will be handing over a free cookie to the first 400 customers to arrive at each store. In addition to the freebie, the company is also offering an online promotion for anyone who might not have to much luck being among the first 400 cookie lovers in line at any given store on Monday. Customers will be able to receive at up to 40% off any holiday and signature cookie packages while supplies last.
5. Great American Cookies
Participating Great American Cookies locations will be giving customers one free cookie with no purchase necessary.
6. Insomnia Cookies
Insomnia Cookies is celebrating the holiday by giving guests free cookies with any purchase made in-store.
Last week, in anticipation of Cookie Day
I asked for a picture and favorite Cookie recipe. Melissa Williams sent this one. It calls for Maraschino Cherries but I'd like to try brandy soaked dried cherries in mine!
Cardamom Cherry Cookie Recipe.
1 jar (6 ounces) maraschino cherries, drained and diced
2 tablespoons Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/3 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Powdered sugar, if desired
1 Heat oven to 350º F.
In small bowl, toss cherries with 2 tablespoons flour; set aside.
2 In large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar and cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy.
Beat in egg, buttermilk and vanilla.
Beat in 2 1/3 cups flour, the cardamom, baking powder and baking soda on low speed just until flour is moistened.
Stir in cherries. (Dough may be streaked with pink.)
3 Shape dough into 1-inch balls.
Place 1 1/2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until bottoms are light golden.
Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack; cool.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Last we I interviewed Charlayne E Denney. She spoke of her Urban Fantasy Paranormal tales, so I wondered which of her many characters I'd be interviewing. Turns out it's a cat. A VAMPIRE Cat.
1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
I’m Baron Bast von Samedi.
2.Tell us where and when were you born.
I was born in New Orleans, one of 8 kittens born in a box behind a brothel in the Storyville area.
3. How would you describe yourself?
I’m a cat. Male tortoiseshell with big yellow eyes. I’m gorgeous, all the little girl kitties love me.
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
Storyville New Orleans had lots of people. Most ignored me but some thought I was a good cat. The city has lots of mice and nutrea to eat and to share with my friend, Lilly Marchantel.
5. How old are you?
Lilly tells me that I’m 108 years old. I have no idea, I am as old as I am.
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?
Sure. I got to eat, found good places to sleep out of the rain, and once I met Lilly, I had a nice, safe crypt to sleep in with a person who would pet me and coo at me and let me share her food.
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?
Relationships? Oh, with other cats, I love little girl kitties, and they love me. Humans? Not so much. I remember some vague things before I was older so I don’t know if there’s anything back before I woke up in that box with the other kitties.
8. What do you value above all else in life?
Food. A nice pump juicy rat. Or a big nutria if I’m hungry. And Lilly. She’s special in several ways.
9. What are you obsessed with?
Food. I not only have to feed myself, but when we were in the crypt, I had to find food for Lilly as well. She’s got humans now to help her so I get to find my own food and also chase all the girl kitties. Meow!
10.How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
I’m a cat. I don’t have much in the way of beliefs. I hunt, I eat, I play with the girl kitties. I still take care of Lilly when she allows me to do so.
11. Biggest fear?
Failing the task I’m supposed to do. It would be very bad if I failed.
12. What line will you never cross?
I used to say “love a dog” but now that I have a progeny that is a dog, I think I’ll have to find a new line. I may never forgive this guy named Mikhail, what he did was awful.
13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
The best thing that ever happened to me was finding Lilly. I had to search for her for a while but I did find her and we have a good thing together. The worst? That awful man, Marcus Lancaster, that Lilly insisted on going to find. He’s awful.
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
Letting Mikhail talk me into this insane project. I WILL get back at him, someday.
15. Biggest secret?
I can’t tell you that. No, not one word. Ok, just one: “hidden”.
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?
Feline. Felis catus.
17. What is your current goal?
Find dinner. Then find the girl kitties. Meow!
5 Things I’m Not Doing to Launch My Book—Plus What I’m Doing Instead
Posted on November 28, 2017 by Deanna Cabinian
Today’s guest post is by author Deanna Cabinian (@DeannaCabinian). Re-Blog Abstract
The gist of all marketing advice for authors essentially boils down to: try everything and see what works. I’ve tried a lot of tactics over the last year. Now that I’m launching One Love, my second novel, there are some efforts I’m not going to spend any time on.
1. I’m not cold emailing bloggers.
I wasted so much time on this when I launched One Night. I emailed countless bloggers and received very little response. We’re talking like two responses out of 100 emails sent. Talk about time not well spent.
With One Love I am only contacting bloggers who I’ve developed a relationship with over the last year via social media or who I found via Book Razor, a company that combs through blogger and reviewer profiles to create a list of readers who will probably enjoy your book. I tried Book Razor’s cheapest package to see if I could get more people to read and review One Night. I received responses the same day from several bloggers. By using the list I’ve built over the last year, it is a much more effective use of my time.
2. I’m not paying for trade reviews.
With One Night I purchased sponsored reviews from Portland Book Review and Midwest Book Review. Because it was my first book I felt I needed some industry blurb to help me market my book.
Here’s the thing, though: I can’t prove that either of these reviews led to a purchase. And as a consumer, I can say that a trade review has never been a huge factor for me when it comes to deciding what books to read. They might pique my interest, but there are plenty of books that review publications like that I don’t and vice versa. For my second novel I’ll be using blurbs from the blog contacts mentioned above.
3. I’m not accepting any and all event opportunities.
As an independent author it’s tempting to accept every publicity option available because few venues are willing to have us.
But after doing several events I’ve learned that single author book signings are generally a waste of time. If you analyze the number of books sold versus the time and effort you put into it, the ratio is not a good one. Instead
I am only doing multi-author events, events with guaranteed foot traffic (such as festivals and farmers markets), or speaking opportunities that have a built-in audience (for example, school visits).
4. I won’t be spending much time on Facebook.
I know this works for some authors, but for me it has been a bust. I received a handful of likes from an ad campaign I ran (the intended goal was email signups). I find it frustrating that few people see my posts and I get little engagement.
I much prefer Instagram where my posts have a 5-6% engagement rate. That might sound low, but when I compare it to other channels, it blows them away. Plus, readers have shared photos of One Night on Instagram, something that has never happened on other networks.
5. I’m not focusing on library outreach.
With my first book a goal of mine was seeing it in libraries. I made calls to local libraries, but most went unanswered. I knew the odds of libraries ordering my book were low, so the next thing I tried was visiting every library within a 15-mile radius. I introduced myself to teen librarians and offered to donate a copy of my book. Some accepted it, others said they had to read it first to make sure it met their standards, and some insisted that there was a glut of donations and they simply could not accept another free book.
While I made one or two good connections and my novel is available in a few libraries, I considered this to be a time waster. For my next book I am focusing on online efforts as much as possible.
What book launch strategies have you found success with? What did you do differently with your second book?
Let us know in the comments.
My NaNo Adventure.
...and it was year number three....Thought it was impossible but 54,000 plus words closer to the end of Book 4 "Heart of the Lotus" hoping it will be out in late March. Thanks to all who supported me!
And now introducing A. M. Rycroft
1. Who are you as a person? (brief bio paragraph)
I'm an award-winning dark fantasy and horror author. I've published three sword and sorcery novels in my current series, a short series prequel, and two horror shorts. And I'm a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA).
2. How long have you been a writer?
Most of my life, really. I started when I was very young. I've been doing it full time for almost three years now.
3. Are you Traditionally or Indie published? If not yet, what are you considering?
I guess you'd say I'm more of a hybrid at this point. I started out indie publishing under my own imprint, but a little over a year ago, I turned my imprint into a small publisher. We've published works from several other authors, and we just closed our latest submissions call for novels. So can I still say I'm an indie? I feel funny about that. I have indie roots, let's say.
4. What writers inspired you? Favorite Authors?
Stephen King for sure. Joe Hill. George RR Martin, with the first novel in his series (I couldn't get past book 3). Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman.
5. What is your book/series about (elevator speech or quick tweet post)
A sell-sword held hostage by her father's last wish seeks her freedom through a quest for the legendary sword called Aric, unaware of the evil it has long guarded.
6. What is the setting and genre?
The setting is a medieval, sword and sorcery type world I call Cathell (pronounced cah-thell). It's a mashup of a lot of different cultures and beliefs, though. It doesn't follow just a typical European style or Tolkien-esque fantasy mold. There are swords (obviously), magic of many different kinds, light and dark gods, mysticism, imps, goblins, dwarves, elves, dragons, and even vampyres (none of whom sparkle or mope about being a vampyre).
7. Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
I'd have to say Thystle Moran. She started out as a side character in Into the Darkness, but became a main character in The Taming. Thystle's a sword for hire with a very clear ethical code. She has a dark past that shaped who she is today, but one she refuses to dwell on. She lives life at a ten and is fiercely loyal to her friends. Honestly, whether she's fighting or kicking back in a tavern, she's just a lot of fun to write. She's simultaneously complex and uncomplicated. I think you’d have to read her story to fully understand what I mean by that.
8. What character is most like you?
I really think I share traits with Aeryn Ravane (the main character in Into the Darkness), Theo (the young thief from book 1), and Thystle. I don't think I share more traits with one than another.
9. If you had a supernatural power, what would it be?
To be really fast. I don't do anything fast, something that has been pointed out to me most of my life. It'd be nice to be recognized for being the fastest runner or something at least once.
10. Would you say your book has a message or underlying theme? What is it?
Trust is often a theme in the Cathell series. Trusting in oneself. Trusting in others. I also touch on themes like racism/hate, family, abuse survival, and theology.
11. How are you marketing your book?
Online ads, conventions, book signings, author panels, and I have a pretty engaged email list.
12. Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
I've already met him, actually, only I didn't know until I met him that he was the one person I really wanted to meet. I didn't know he'd make a huge difference in my life. I met Joe Hill a couple years ago after a book event in Massachusetts. He was promoting his newest book at the time, NOS4A2, and did a panel with a couple other horror writers and screenwriters. I was feeling pretty down about my own work, so during a signing event after the panel, I asked him for some advice, author to author. He was really great about it and open about his experience with getting to where he is now. I've never forgotten the advice he gave me. I might not be writing and publishing as heavily now if that hadn't happened.
13. A wonderful thing has happened! Hollywood wants to make a movie of your book! You get to pick the actors & actresses. You want________________for your lead characters.
Gal Gadot would make a decent choice for Aeryn. And if she was just a wee bit younger (because Theo is supposed to be about 10), Millie Bobby Brown would have been perfect for Theo. I don't know about Thystle. She has a little Jennifer Esposito in her (a la Jackie Curatola from early seasons of Blue Bloods), but Thystle is only in her late 20s, so I'm not sure who could fill her role.
14. What music do you hear (what songs) remind you of your story?
I have a really wide range of what I listen to while writing. Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown (the older stuff), Bjork, Tool, Five Finger Death Punch, and a couple different soundtracks, usually Constantine and Pirates of the Caribbean.
15. What Favorite foods
Depends on the day. I'm vegetarian, though, so never meat. I like Middle Eastern food a lot, Asian, Mexican. Italian can hard, because what's in restaurants is often meat-based.
16. What makes you laugh/cry?
I'm not a big crier. Cartoons by Matt Inman (The Oatmeal) and The Awkward Yeti cartoon are guaranteed to get a laugh out of me.
17. What do you want written on your head stone and why?
18. Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Drawing and photography. I do my own graphics work (I went to art school, briefly). And video games. Mostly survival horror and shooters.
19. What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don't watch a lot of TV or movies anymore, except hockey and football. When I do, I prefer stuff with action over drama. Some comedies, although I feel like really funny shows and movies are hard to come by these days. Some horror and sci-fi.
Obviously, I enjoyed the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. I enjoyed the first season of Stranger Things, less so with the second season. I enjoyed the first season of The Expanse, but haven't had a chance to see season 2.
I don't watch Game of Thrones, and I'm not sure I ever will, to be honest. It feels a little depressing to me.
20. If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Wow. I've never gotten that question. I guess if I could pick anything, independent of any obvious skill, I would have liked to get into game design. But that's kind of like writing, just in a different form.
21. What are you working on right now?
I'm wrapping up book 4 of the Cathell series and book 1 of a new fantasy/horror series called Corruption of Honor. Both will be on pre-order in a couple weeks.
22. What future plans do you have in writing?
Continue on the Cathell series’ current storyline (it's really getting deep now) and expand the universe a little. I have a story cooking in my brain about what happened to the dragons that were once more prevalent to the north. I am also planning a standalone for Reegan McCullum, the captain of The Marebrand who appeared at the end of The Joy Thief.
23. What links or website do you have? List them below.
All other retailers: https://books.pronoun.com/amrycroft
Guess what that means? I`ve picked my participation winner for November. Now Check your inbox for the Party Hat. A little late this month because of NaNoWriMo but the next chance to win is Christmas Day...Maybe I'll even give two lucky members a book!