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Detours off Britta Blvd


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quick update
Too much going on, so only a quick update right now! I'm finally completely over my cold, but also played piano for a wedding on Saturday which occupied my entire day, so I haven't even had the chance to sort through my Alaska photos, let alone write up the trip, and I want to do that soon! However, here's the latest on Eerie Elegance...

  • 54 copies sold as of this morning, slightly more via Amazon than my e-store, but it's all good!
  • Amazon now shows my product description, plus it's showing Martha Stewart's Halloween book in the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought"...good company, right? ;)
  • Books have now arrived in Germany, Norway, Tucson, Tacoma, and Foster City (so the crazy-far-out delivery estimate they gave you when you ordered thankfully isn't very accurate!)
  • 3 video podcasts have been filmed this week, but not yet edited, and I'm hoping to film a fourth tonight. Thanks to the four of you who voted! ;) I'm hoping to release a podcast per week on Sunday nights up until Halloween.
  • I've figured out how to setup a reseller discount, so now I need to make up a flyer I can take to bookstores, party stores & Halloween stores in hopes they would like to stock my book.

    What I do need is to improve the Eerie Elegance website, especially with customer testimonial quotes if possible, plus reviews on Amazon. Now that books are getting into people's hands so you're seeing the real product firsthand, if anyone would like to help out by writing an Amazon review or providing me a quote for my website, I would really appreciate it! You can either email me or comment here...just give me permission to use what you say as advertising! :)

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    I totally pimped your book on an email list I'm on. There are several people there who LOVE Halloween, so hopefully you'll get something from that. :)

    Awesome! Thank you SO much! I really appreciate it!

    One (minor!) drawback is CreateSpace only shows me each single book sale from Amazon, no order details of who or where like they do for my e-store, not even timestamp just date, so I have no idea who is ordering on Amazon unless they tell me separately. Ah well...it's still all good! :)

    I just got my book yesterday (in Wyoming), and I'll be writing a review soon.

    Thank you so much, Amy! Glad your book arrived safely!


    I loved the book! I wrote a review on Amazon and also on my blog (hauntedyard.blogspot.com)!

    Aww... I really appreciate such a nice review. Thank you SOOO much!

    Very cool stuff on your blog too! Thanks for sharing!

    Love your site - hope I love the book!

    Hi Britta!

    I've been a fan of your site for years now - although I have to be honest in that I only check it a few weeks before (and sometimes right after) Halloween. I've gotten some great inspiration for your site, and you totally get me in the mood for setting up for our Halloween party.

    So this past week I told my bf we were definitely having the party this year (each year he comments on how it's a lot of work and money), and that this time we were going to start getting ready earlier than ever. I'm starting to spread the word to friends, checking out Halloween stuff online, etc. And then I remembered - MUST CHECK OUT BRITTA!

    And I was surprised to see you mentioned your new book. Hm. Worth the shot? Heck, it's less than $20, and I know it'll be a great consolidation of all your stuff I've loved before, plus hopefully plenty of new stuff! So with only a second's hesitation, I placed an order (yes, through Amazon - sorry... I need to read more of your blog and see if you're taking a big cut this way.)

    Anyhow, here's pics from our last two Halloween parties. Hopefully you'll post the pics from 2006 and 2007!? I'm Santa's Elf in 2007 and a zombie in 2006:



    Keep up the good work, and I look forward to receiving my copy of Eerie Elegance! (And hey, I'm a web designer/developer, so if you need a little help with your Eerie Elegance site, I might be able to help you out some)

    Jeph Remley

    Re: Love your site - hope I love the book!

    Thanks for the nice compliments, Jeph! I hope you do like the book!

    I checked out your photos..they cracked me up! They look like very fun parties! I do plan to post my recent photos, but trying to publicize my book is taking priority at the moment. I'm actually behind all the way back to Halloween 2005! *wince*

    FYI, I actually do get more profit from books purchased from my e-store than Amazon, but I'd rather people buy it via Amazon than not buy it at all! I'm really glad I have the option to offer it both stores so people have a choice. I still get profit via Amazon sales, so it's all good! :)

    Too bad we can't buy autographed copies

    I have been a fan of your website and blog for years, and am looking forward to ordering your book. I have succesfully used a lot of your ideas at my own Halloween parties, and they have added so much to the magic of the holiday! Are you planning on doing any book signings or offering any already signed for sale through your website? Thanks for sharing your ideas! Ahren

    Re: Too bad we can't buy autographed copies

    Haha...you know, I had that idea, then my mom said "no one is going to want to buy autographed copies!" The drawback is I have to pay shipping & tax to get the books printed & delivered to me, then ship them again to buyers, so the cost will be higher than normal retail. It's nice to know someone wants one, though! :)

    I'm very glad you've been able to use my ideas to have fun at your own parties! I'm still trying to get my book to resellers, so there might be signings, but most likely only locally to the California Bay Area (San Francisco to San Jose) and maybe Sacramento area if I'm lucky. I have signed 3 copies for friends this week, since they insisted I autograph it for them. :)

    Hi Britta

    I haven't bought a copy--YET! But I was thinking for cheap quick way of advertising your book, you should post a video on your Youtube page.
    I love your Halloween ideas and like everyone else on here have used a few for my parties (including Mardi Gras). Also I enjoy looking at your party pics--man I wish I could get 50 people to show up--it's like pulling teeth out here in NY when it gets cold out!

    P.S. If you did have an option for autographing your books even if it costs a little more, I think people would go for it--including me!

    Kristin (drkcloud4u)

    Hi Kristin! Great minds think alike! ;) Yes, I actually did film 4 video podcasts last week that are just waiting to be finished editing. I plan to post one per week hopefully starting Sunday evening, and they will be on my website for iTunes as well as my YouTube channel.

    Okay that's two votes for autographed books, so I'll check into the costs & see what I can do. I need to check with the post office to see what my mailing costs will be so I can figure out a price. :)

    Edited at 2008-09-23 03:18 pm (UTC)

    Received My Book!

    Love it! Can't wait to make stained glass windows. I have been searching for some nice faux cathedral windows for years with no luck, so your tutorial was wonderful to find!

    Quick question, I bought the brain mold, but a few of my friends are deadly allergic to shrimp. Do you know of any other recipe I could use to make the brain pate?

    I also really enjoyed your list section, I had no idea you could make the sugar cookies so far in advance, I am always rushing around the day of trying to fit too much into too little time, starting things a week earlier will be very helpful!


    Re: Received My Book!

    Hi Ahren,

    I am not Britta by a long shot, but I do like to cook. I think in lieu of shrimp, you can use smoked salmon or smoked trout for the "brain" pate. The salmon would give it more of the pink tint, but smoked trout is very yummy in a pate.

    Britta - Thank you so much for a fabulous Halloween resource. I left a review on Amazon.com too. If only I knew you might be doing an autographed version! I would have totally bought one and paid the additional S&H. However, I could not wait to buy your book, so I just ordered it off of Amazon.com.

    I've loved your flagstone gossamer idea for years, but just never had the courage to tackle such an ambitious and time consuming project. You inspire us all to try new things and celebrate Halloween as the fun and magic night it is.


    Thanks on both counts, Grace! You must be "New Mama" on Amazon! Thanks so much for the nice review! With Helen from NZ who just posted another review overnight, that makes 4 reviews, all 5 of 5 stars. I'm so glad you all like the book!

    Smoked fish would make a tasty brain, but I would leave out the creole seasoning & taste the mixture first, since the smoky flavor might be fine by itself. The smoked flavor might be overpowered by the spicy creole seasoning, and smoked fish is usually more expensive. If they're only allergic to shrimp, you can use canned crab instead. However, some are allergic to all shellfish, so I wonder what canned tuna fish (cheap!) might taste like? I would freeze any meat you use so you can grind it into a powder, otherwise you'll have stringy brain. ;)

    I am STILL waiting on my 10 copies I ordered Sep 15th. *sigh* As soon as I receive those, I'll post about buying signed copies. I'd hate to announce selling them & not be able to send any out yet! Grace, maybe you can give your unsigned one to a friend and get an autographed one to keep for yourself? haha...

    80 copies now sold...hooray! :) ...and I just figured out there's another week in October than I thought (oh thank goodness!), so the first podcast should come out Sunday night... Wish me luck since I'm still editing!

    Re: Received My Book!

    ;P Hi Britta - I will assess whether there is another Halloween fan in my life to re-gift the book, but I think I married the only one that I know in real life!

    Okay... I have a recipe for herbed seafood mousse that would work great in a brain mold. It uses regular canned fish or shrimp, so it will save money on the smoked fish. It does involve using canned soup and uncooked eggs, which is why I have not used for years. As I recall, it was decent, but a little bland. If using today, I would definitely add Cajun/Creole seasoning as Britta suggests. If you use tuna, I would add some finely chopped canned jalaneno chili peppers... if people like spicy foods.

    This recipe was adapted from "Campbells' Creative Cooking with Soup"

    2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
    1/2 cup water
    Seafood (see combos below)
    1 can 10.75 oz. condensed Soup (see combos below)
    2 eggs, separated
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    2 tablespoons finely shallots
    1 teaspoon if finely minced fresh Herb (see combos below)

    Ingredient Combos:

    #1 - Seafood (1 can 15.5 oz salmon, drained), Soup (cream of celery), Herb (dill weed), Accompaniment (bagel chips, baked pita chips)

    #2 - Seafood (10 - 12 oz. cooked fresh shrimp), Soup (cream of chicken), Herb (tarragon leaves), Accompaniment (assorted crackers)

    #3 - Seafood (2 cans 7 tuna, drained), Soup (cream of mushroom), Herb (basil leaves), Accompaniment (fresh vegetables)


    1. In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over water to soften. Over low heat, heat until gelatin is dissolved, stirring constantly.

    2. Place Seafood, Soup, egg yolks, lemon juice, shallots, Herb and gelatin mixture in a blender or food processor. Cover, blend or process until smooth.

    3. In a medium bowl with mixture at high speed beat eff whites until stiff peaks form. Fold soup mixture into whites. Pour into a 6-cup mold. Cover, refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours in a very cold refrigerator. Unmold and serve with Accompaniment. Makes about 5 cups, 16 appetizer servings.

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