Sunday, December 03, 2006

Party Post 21: Denise Rossetti

When Denise Rossetti was a little girl, she had an aunt who would tell her the most wonderful fairy stories - all her own creation. Denise grew up, as little girls do, but the love of stories has never left her. She loves happy endings, heart-pounding adventure and the eventual triumph of good over evil. All hail the guys in the white hats, she says - unless the ones wearing black are more...um... interesting?

Denise lives in a comfortable, messy old house in the Australian suburbs and keeps busy writing erotic romance for Ellora's Cave. She tends to wave her hands around a lot, which can be unfortunate if the tale she's telling happens to have explosions in it!


http://www.deniserossetti.com



Christmas is such a family time, isn't it? With everything that implies, all the joy and sadness, all the laughter and angst. When we were first married, we didn't bother with a tree—not until the year I fell pregnant. Then we got one! Plastic of course, I couldn't cope with drooping branches when the temperatures are in the nineties! (Not very housewiferly, I'm afraid. If that's a word.)

Every year, I've wrangled the kids into a photo opportunity in front of that plastic Christmas tree. The sequence starts with a little bub rolling around on the rug all mixed up with the presents. It continues this year with two beautiful young people, both their heads higher than the angel on the top. Let's face it, they're taller than me, let alone the poor tree! My babies…

I'm getting all sentimental and soppy, but I reckon it goes with the Christmas territory. I've been sitting here remembering the laughter and the love. Every family has its Christmas stories. We all sit around the table and play "remember when?" It's part of the glue that keeps families together.

There was the year my mother used a can of black cherries on the pavlova. That's a yummy Australian desert – frothy egg white meringue gooey stuff and sugar and fruit on top. (You can tell I'm an eater, not a cook.) The whole thing went blue, BRIGHT blue. I can still see my Mum and my sister leaning on the fridge literally crying with laughter. We ate it, of course. *grin*

Then there was the time my sister gave my stepdad (who's a terrible hoarder) a pretty little box labelled "Pieces Of String Too Short To Be Of Use". You should have seen his face!

On one never to be forgotten occasion, my mother drank a whole glass of sparkling burgundy, very quickly. Nothing remarkable in that, it was a hot day. But my Mum is a little lady and she rarely touches alcohol. After about five minutes, she said, very quietly, "I feel a little tired. I'll just…go and…lie down…for a bit." Whereupon she wandered away and wasn't seen again for four hours.

I'd love to hear your funniest Christmas story. A free download of Gift of the Goddess if you can make me laugh out loud. Two prizes of a full colour oversized postcard of Mr Gorgeous (aka the cover of Gift of the Goddess) for snickers and giggles. He's hot, hot HOT! (And on my website—go see!)

Oh yes! And a postcard to the first nice person who posts a pavlova recipe for our overseas readers. A cook I ain't. But my husband is. *evil grin*

And BTW, because humour relaxes me, I write a free serial about a girl called Alice for my newsletter readers. But I post chapters on my website too. It's funny, but it IS naughty!

Right. Um. I think that's all. Shut up, Denise.

27 comments :

Cathy said...

Okay, I've got one. When I was little, we had one of those aluminum trees that came with a color wheel that would sit next to the tree and rotate colors like a rainbow. I have no idea what my parents' were thinking, it was sooo ungly. Well that was the year we got a new kitten for xmas, can you see where this is going? And yes, she climbed up the tree trying to chase the colors beaming across it. She was so tiny that she didn't knock the tree over, but every time she circled the top, more ornaments came flying off. So now there is glass breaking, my mother screaming to grab the cat, the cat meowing, my baby sister crying because my mom was yelling, and my dad, who napped thru the whole thing. The cat we kept, the tree never made it to the next christmas.

Joan said...

Sorry, I don't havea recipe. I'm not a cook either, LOL. One Christmas, I bought a tree stand that turns around. It drove the neighbors batty because they keep seeing the tree from different sides. Some of them findly asked my Mom what was on with the tree. She says it was turning tree. While my Mom got sick one year, we only had one side of the tree deconrate. We never finished deconrate the other side. Mom didn't want it deconrate either because she wasn't in the holiday spirit. Once again, we drove the neighbors batty. Becasue the had forgot about our tree stand that turns and starting asking questions. We findly gave the stand to my brother and his family.

Jennifer Y. said...

That cover is hot!!!

I don't really have any funny stories, but I'll try.

Just thought of something funny that happened last night. My 3-year-old niece was watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on DVD. She sat watching it, and then turned to my sister and asked, "Mommy, why is Bambi's nose red?" Apparently, Bambi is the only deer she is familiar with. LOL

Also, when I was thirteen we were opening up Christmas presents when I opened the one from my grandparents. I was excited to see what they got me...I tore open the paper and had to do a double-take. It was a coloring book and crayons...which wouldn't have been so strange except the title of the book was "My First Words". I think by age 13, I pretty much knew the word "apple" and "ball". My grandmother said she got it because she thought I'd like the pictures...I still wonder if she forgot which grandkid I was...LOL. My sister still teases me about that present and said the look on my face was priceless...I was so confused and thought the presents had been mixed up.

Denise Rossetti said...

Cathy, Joan and Jennifer

Thanks for the great stories! I can just see them unfolding. Heheh... The kind that become part of family lore. Remember when Grandma gave you the colouring book? Or the time the kitten wrecked the tree or the year of the amazing turning tree?

Loved 'em!
Denise

Nalini Singh said...

No story but had to comment that I love that cover. Sexy but in a very intriguing way.

Little Lamb Lost said...

Denise, is this what you wanted?

TRADITIONAL PAVLOVA
4-6 egg whites
pinch salt
8oz castor sugar/sugar (equal parts)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 level teaspoons cornflour

(Please note the following equivalents:
castor sugar or fine/super fine sugar
corn flour or cornstarch)

Preheat oven to 400F(200C).
Lightly grease oven tray, line with baking paper or use non-stick cooking spray.

Beat the whites of eggs with a pinch of salt until stiff (until peaks form).
Continue beating, gradually adding sugar, vinegar and vanilla, until of thick consistency.
Lightly fold in cornflour.

Pile mixture into circular shape, making hollow in centre for filling.
(Mixture will swell during cooking)

Electric oven: turn oven to 250F (130C) and bake undisturbed for 1 1/2 hours.
Gas oven: bake at 400F (200C) for ten minutes, then turn oven to 250F (130C) and bake a further hour.
(Fan forced oven: temperature and time needs to be adjusted accordingly.)

Turn oven off, leave pavlova in oven until cool.

Top with whipped cream and decorate with fruit as desired.

Little Lamb Lost

Little Lamb Lost said...

Denise I have your wonderful book so no need to enter me for it. Your question made me remember the following:

It was my first Christmas with my then fiancé and his parents. All of them are tall, stoic, Scandinavians and then there was me….non-Viking like and trying to blend into their stark house. Being away from family, I tended towards using items that I most associated with home. Having been warned about drafts and cold stone floors I had packed my winter slippers with me…and not knowing my soon to be in-laws as more serious than their son, I used them.

And that was how I came to be curled up by the fire in their living room with comfort read Elizabeth Peters’ Crocodile on the Sandbank while wearing simulations of padded bear claws on my feet. The father and mother had returned from visiting friends and were decked out in European elegance with suits of wool and tweed. My worn jeans and sweatshirt did not add any luster to my situation. Thankfully, the latter did hide my t-shirt which proclaimed, “Heaven won’t have me and Hell’s afraid I’ll take over.”

Worse, my sister had tucked a quilted book protector into my bag when I left home. She knew I hated ruining paperback covers. I used it a lot during travel but came to realize that Danes can be a somewhat nosey and suspicious lot. There was much in surreptitious glances at the cover as if they wondered if the book had originally come to me in a plain brown wrapper. :)

LadyVampire2u said...

In my family, my relatives seem to give weird gifts sometimes. Okay really they are bad gifts. Bad mainly because I dont think they were thinking when they gave them out.
The first bad present my father ended up with. It was a jar. Now I'll never know what his sister was thinking when she wrapped that jar but it was some collectors M&M jar. The problem was, there were crumbs and dust from M&M candies still in the jar. Apparently someone ate the candies and then wrapped the jar. After that we seemed to be on a steak of bad gift luck. Over the yrs the people in our family have given pendants with the wrong initals, socks with holes in them, and gifts that ended up being broken inside the boxes. At the time we opened them, it was not funny but looking back we can smile and make fun. Still, every year when we open a gift, we need to be prepared for the worst and plaster a smile on our lips through it all. Here's hoping no one reading this ends up with any nightmare gifts this year. May you all get everything you wanted and more. Happy Holidays!

Meljprincess said...

Hi Denise,
The cover of "Gift of the Goddess" is wonderful. Did you have the artwork in mind after you wrote the story? I just want to let you know that as soon as the book's out in paperback I plan to buy it. I'll visit your site for more info. No Christmas story from me today. I read what I wrote about my Dad to my roommate and became very upset. Have a nice day everybody.

Amy Andrews said...

Hi Denise, no story from me either. Just wanted to say that I like the sound of little lamb's t-shirt - I nearly spat a mouthful of tea all over the screen.
I really must remember to not consume beverages while I'm blogging ;-)

Barbara said...

Denise,
I remember like about 8 years ago on Christmas time. I was frying some eggs and getting ready for the church in the morning. I left the pan on the stove with the eggs getting done. I went to the bedroom to finishes my hair and complete forgot.
I remember when the fire alarm started beeping and I saw a fire on my stove. I called the 911 right away. The firemen came as usually destroying anything on their way to turn off the fire. My DH was in the bathroom taking a shower, at my screaming he forgot his condition and came out just like he came to this world, screaming he said “ Barbara what have you done this time”
Poor thing how shocking when he saw that we were not alone anymore. Oops!
My well decorates Christmas tree on my dining room got all sticky and ruined. I definitely learn my lesson not to leave the stove unattended. Oh an as part of our presents we bought a fire stinger to install in our kitchen. That it’s one of the Christmas moments that I will never forget. But Thanks God after all the house didn’t get burn so we fix our tree that night and we ending having a merry Christmas after all.

Estella said...

In the spring we moved to an area that has a shortage of water. I griped to my mother-in-law about having to carry water to my flower garden. At
Christmas she and my best friend got together and my friend and created a yoke with a bucket hanging from each side, so I could put the yoke on my shoulders and carry water. This brought guffaws from my family for several days.

Dannyfiredragon said...

Hi Denise,

everyone who hasn't read Gift of Goddess so far, you really should. It is a wonderful and sexy story. I can hardly wait to read the next book of the series

Liz said...

I defineately need to get it then.
My memory isn't worth crap so I can't remember any of the funny stories

Anna Campbell said...

Denise, got really teary when I read your post. Not least because I've been drinking champagne at breakfast - hey, life as an author isn't ALL hard slog! And it was a celebration for Annie West's book hitting the stands in Oz so I figured alcohol was perfectly justified. Especially bubbly alcohol. Feel like your mum - might go off for...a ...little...
lie...ZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Annie West said...

Denise,

Lovely post. It brought back so many memories of Christmases past. Sorry to say I can't think of any hilarious Christmas stories at the moment (like Anna, the bubbly is obviously slowing me down - but what a celebration!).

Had to pop in to say congratulations on your books! And also to wish you a wonderful Christmas. I'd love to see the Christmas photo with your tree dwarfed by smiling youngsters.

Annie

Sara Hantz said...

My pavlova's always come courtesy of the local supermarket.... yum... I love them!

Denise Rossetti said...

About the cover...

He's simply incredible, isn't he? That's why I call him Mr Gorgeous. If you want to see him full size, go to http://www.deniserossetti.com/gift.html and click on the image. Put your coffee cup down first!

Even the Cover Snark liked him - http://dionnegalace.com/wordpress/2006/06/page/9/ - and scroll down.

And Meljprincess, wish I could take the credit, but I can't ;( I just asked for a beautiful man, but NO steroid muscles (can't stand 'em) and he had to have a dragon tattoo. Syneca, the Ellora's Cave artist, did the rest.

I know how lucky I've been. Have a look at some of e-book covers on the Cover Snark to see what I mean. Urk!

Denise

Denise Rossetti said...

Aw, Little Lamb, you're a swettheart. Thanks so much for the recipe, the lovely comments and the story. Bear slippers and new in-laws... heheh

Denise

froggie said...

Hi Denise,

I've never read an erotic romance. I'd like to, it's just that I don't know where to start.

Here's a situation that repeated itself almost every year during the holidays. My sister's cat LOVED to hang around our Christmas tree. She's paw at the ornaments and watch the lights twinkle... She especially liked the tinsel. So much so that she's actually ingest some.

It so happened that a couple of days would go by and my sister and I would have to chase the cat down to relieve her of the pesky stuff as it was hanging out her back end!!

Now after this wonderful story, I assume you'd rather I NOT send you a recipe for Pavlova?

Denise Rossetti said...

Ladyvampire2u,
Know what you mean about the cruddy presents. One member of my family (who shall remain nameless) just LURVES a bargain. Can't resist. So she'll snap up some totally weird thing which some poor victim gets at Christmas - usually me!

Oh Barbara, what do you bet the firefighters are stilling telling that story over a few beers! And this guy came out of the bathroom, yelling, and he was...

Estella, I hope you got a photo!

Um Froggie, the mind boggles. But I'm glad puss was OK. Guess we could say she had a twinkly behind?

Denise

Denise Rossetti said...

Annie, HUGE congrats to you, my friend! Talent and determination win out every time, not mention that fabulous romantic imagination.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! And that wicked Anna Campbell is just the girl to lead you off the beaten path. *grin* Have one for me!

Denise

Denise Rossetti said...

Froggie,
Let me help you into the world of erotic romance, my dear... *evil grin*

Seriously - most erotic romances start life as e-books, so that's the way to buy and read one. As for finding one to buy...

Ellora's Cave was the first e-publisher to really "make it". They do print books too, BTW. They sell tens of thousands of e-books every month. http://www.ellorascave.com/ They have a help page too - http://www.ellorascave.com/newtoebooks.asp

You can pay by credit card (works the best) or PayPal and choose your format. If it's all too much, just select Adobe Acrobat. It'll work fine. You read on your computer, a PDA (I do) or an e-book reader.

I won't go on and on. If you'd like to talk about it email me - deniserossetti @ gmail.com (no spaces)

Denise

Denise Rossetti said...

Danny
Great to see you here, my friend! And thanks for the vote of confidence.
Denise

Pam P. said...

Years ago one fad gift of the season was these dancing flowers - you clapped your hands and the flowers on the base started dancing around. My two nieces got them, played with them, then left them sitting on the coffee table near the couch. Later we're all in the other room having coffee and dessert, and my brother (who had sleep apnea) was sound asleep on the sofa. Now that problem made him snore awful loud and he started up. We glance over and those flowers are dancing around like crazy, then stop. Then they start again. Turns out every time he started up with the loud snoring, it set them off, we realized and all burst out laughing. My brother wakes up and says "what' so funny?" Poor guy!

Christine Wells said...

Hi Denise,
Great post! I remember a similar Christmas where my in-laws came to lunch at my parents' place. The tradition in our household was to stuff ourselves full of champagne, wine, seafood and ice cream cassata at lunch (after the present opening, carol singing, back yard cricket match and swim) then fall into bed and snooze in the afternoon heat. Obviously, the siesta was not an option as we had guests, but no one told my father that. We were all sitting around, wondering where he'd got to and I found him fast asleep on his bed! Mum was so embarrassed! Thanks for reminding me of the traditional Aussie Christmas!

Christine Wells said...

Hi Denise,
Great post! I remember a similar Christmas where my in-laws came to lunch at my parents' place. The tradition in our household was to stuff ourselves full of champagne, wine, seafood and ice cream cassata at lunch (after the present opening, carol singing, back yard cricket match and swim) then fall into bed and snooze in the afternoon heat. Obviously, the siesta was not an option as we had guests, but no one told my father that. We were all sitting around, wondering where he'd got to and I found him fast asleep on his bed! Mum was so embarrassed! Thanks for reminding me of the traditional Aussie Christmas!