Monday, December 30, 2013

The End is Near...

Only a couple more days left in 2014. Hard to believe...

Today is a very special day. It's my husband's birthday. The kids and I had lots of plans for celebrating, but they involved traveling to Southern California. A few weeks ago he told me he didn't want to go anywhere so I was left with Plan B. Too bad I didn't have one! But my latest manuscript The Billionaire's Nanny is finished. I've completed this round of antibiotics. All of the animals are relatively healthy. I should be able to figure something out. And I've had his main present ready to go  since Black Friday!

Last night we had our annual family dinner at The Rhinelander in Portland. We've been going there this time of year to celebrate December birthdays since Mackenna was in one of those car seat carriers. Our group keeps growing now that friends/girlfriends are joining in. Last night we numbered fifteen! But boy can we sing to the accordion player's tune and do the chicken dance with the best of them.

I have book news. Home for Christmas is one of three finalists in the SnowGlobe Award! And I have two links for you both featuring the book and me. I'm one of three authors in today's post on the 12 Smart & Savvy Days of Christmas. Four ebooks are being given away via a Rafflecopter at the bottom of the blog post so be sure to enter! And Home for Christmas is mentioned as one of the 2013 Christmas Recommends on the bookworm2bookworm's blog.

Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

December 25th

Merry Christmas!

Here are a few pictures from my house:
Beauty waiting for Santa

Our tree on Christmas Eve. We had to skip hanging candy canes this year because of Cato. The presents just went under the tree on last night because he would have unwrapped and/or eaten all the gifts

Our stockings are hung by the fireplace waiting for Santa. The sixth stocking is for Jesus. Mackenna made that in preschool and we've always hung it as a reminder of what today is all about. We'll have a Happy Birthday Jesus ice cream cake for dessert tonight. This morning the kids will each pick one gift to leave wrapped and set aside until Epiphany. That leaves three gifts under the tree. A nice reminder of the gifts brought by the three kings to Jesus.

Santa Paws came! The furbabies stockings are full of yummy goodies. Beauty can't wait to see what's inside hers!

I hope your day is full of love, laughter and Christmas magic! xoxox

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Engineer's Guide to Cats 2.0

It's not quite Christmas yet. Thank goodness because I still have presents to wrap and a book to finish! So I thought I'd post this sequel to a video I shared a couple years ago. Enjoy!



Hope you have a great day! I'll be writing, wrapping and putting on the finishing touches for Christmas around here!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Spirit

Chaos and Cato last year
I am up way too early to work on the book that's due in a few days and need to get busy, but I wanted to share something that happened to me last night at Costco.

I'd gone there to do some final shopping for the family the kids' 4H club adopted because today, Saturday, is delivery day. One of the club's service project each year is to adopt a family at Christmastime and provide them with presents, food and household essentials. I had a two page list of items requested for the mom and her four children so brought that with me to see what I could find that might work.

Beauty in her "cat" tree
I'd gotten a smokin' deal on a Barbie RV through a Kindle Special Offer earlier in the week so my first stop was the toys to get a Barbie to go with it. A woman was looking at them, too, and said I was lucky my kids gave me a list. I told her it wasn't my kids' list, but a family the 4H club had adopted for Christmas. She asked to see the list so I showed her it. She said she'd been wanting to do something like this, pulled out her wallet and handed me $15 cash to cover the Barbie doll.

I was so surprised and very touched. As soon as I had the money, she walked away and I never saw her again. I held the $15 with the list while I shopped. I'm sure it looked weird, but I didn't want to stick the money into my pocket or purse. When I paid I handed over the cash first and told the cashier what happened. Her smile matched my own! 

There is Christmas spirit out there! And I really appreciate the woman at Costco showing me that last night and giving me a taste of the Christmas magic I write about.

Padden needs our help!
And in the spirit of Christmas, if you have time, could you please help me spread the word about Padden via your social media? Padden is a sick cat in need of surgery. I was contacted by the shelter I foster for and asked if I would use Miss Mousie's Facebook page and blog to help fundraise for his medical care! Here's a link to Miss Mousie's blog with some more info and where you can donate. Thanks so much!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Blog Hop Winners

Sorry this is a couple days late. I caught another cold on top of my sinus infection or maybe that's just hanging around! Not good with a book due and Christmas next week. Here are the winners from my blog contest during the Naughty and Nice Blog Hop.

Daily $5 Amazon or Starbuck eCard winners:

Wednesday's winner: Shari (sent)
Thursday's winner: Elisabeth (sent)
Friday's winner: Barbara (sent)
Saturday's winner: Denise (sent)
Sunday's winner: Valerie (sent)
Monday's winner: Janine (sent)

The three eCard post-blog hop winners:

1) $15 Amazon or Starbuck eCard:  bn100 (sent)
2) $10 Amazon or Starbuck eCard: Eva Millen
3) $5 Amazon or Starbuck eCard: Stephanie Gibson (sent)


Thanks to everyone who entered. And remember, I have four Christmas stories out right now, one of which is free:


A kitten reunites
lost loves…

Short Story

Free at Amazon

Home isn't always where we think…

39K words Novella

$2.99 at Amazon

All you need it to believe

55K words novel

Amazon, BN, iBooks
Trade-sized includes 
Home for Christmas

3 novellas

$13.14 at Amazon


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Back to Normal

My daughter showed me this last night and I wanted to share with you! Fun and clever



Not blogging for a few days during the blog hop felt weird, but the timing couldn't have been more perfect. My two daughters also came down with strep on Friday. My so-called writing weekend didn't turn out as I expected. I'm so ready to put all these illnesses and antibiotics behind us!

We finally managed to get some decorations on the tree. Only thing missing are candy canes, then I'll take a picture! The clock that sings Christmas Carols on the hour went up last night. Now it's beginning to feel more like the holidays. Advent is a time of preparation for us. We really don't do much celebrating until Christmas Eve, but we do so until Epiphany, enjoying each of the 12 Days of Christmas.

How are your holiday preparations going?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Naughty and Nice Blog Hop - A Christmas Memory


Welcome! I'm participating in the Naughty and Nice Blog Hop so this post 
will be up from December11th to the 16th!

The blog hop rules and instructions are listed on the Safari Heat site. Click here to go to hop headquarters. The overall hop Grand Prize is a Kindle Fire HDX 7" with eBooks! Other prizes will be rewarded to commenters at the various blogs each day of the hop! Only residents of US and Canada are eligible to win prizes that need to be shipped due to postage costs, but anyone can winBooks or digital prizes. 

I remember the first Christmas after marrying my husband. We decided to stay in the Bay Area rather than fly to New York to be with his family or Oregon to be with mine. I was worried I might miss my family since I'd never spent Christmas away from them, but I had to admit a romantic first Christmas alone with my husband sounded pretty perfect to this newlywed and unpublished romance writer.

Of course being alone never happened. And forget about missing being home with my family. We were too busy, surrounded by loved ones...our friends!

Christmas Eve arrived with an invitation from a college friend to spend the evening with him and his family. His father cooked the most incredible dinner and gave me pointers to use for my Christmas dinner, ones I continue to use today. We watched my friend's sister-in-law light the Menorah, then said goodnight so we could attend Midnight Mass.

Christmas morning, my other best friend from college and her husband paid us a visit bearing good tidings and gifts. They gave us an engraved frame marking the occasion. We have a pic from that day in it! That afternoon, our apartment became the gathering place for anyone who didn't have a place to go. We ate Christmas dinner, the first I'd ever cooked, together!

Not much romantic alone time as we'd planned, but that was okay. Everything, and more importantly everyone, came together to give us a perfect first Christmas! Do you have a special memory of a Christmas you want to share? 

Sometimes getting together takes so much effort, but that Christmas plans fell into place perfectly, proof to me there really is Christmas magic, something that plays into each of my Christmas stories out now.


A kitten reunites
lost loves…

Short Story

Free at Amazon

Home isn't always where we think…

39K words Novella

$2.99 at Amazon

All you need it to believe

55K words novel

Amazon, BN, iBooks
Trade-sized includes 
Home for Christmas

3 novellas

$13.14 at Amazon

Now some blog hop info:  Prizes will be awarded on comments left here daily so be sure to put your email address when you comment. To get four extra entries into the Grand Prize Kindle Giveaway: Leave a comment, follow my blog, follow on FB and/or on Twitter. Just note that you've done these on your comment, but a comment alone enters you. The extra steps are for more entries!

If you want a format to follow you can copy and paste this for your comment:
Name:
Email:
Twitter: Followed @username
Facebook: Followed by Your-user-name
Blog: Followed by (put name if it's different from your own)
Country you live in: (so we know which prizes you're eligible for)
Comment:

I'm giving away prizes at my blog during the hop, too:

Daily: a $5 Amazon or Starbuck eCard to one commenter randomly chosen from all the comments
Wednesday's winner: Shari
Thursday's winner: Elisabeth (also won a book from the main hop, see comment section)
Friday's winner: Barbara
Saturday's winner: Denise
Sunday's winner: Valerie
Monday's winner: Janine

After the hop ends, three winners randomly chosen from all the comments left on this blog during the hop. The prizes are:

1) $15 Amazon or Starbuck eCard
2) $10 Amazon or Starbuck eCard
3) $5 Amazon or Starbuck eCard

To keep blog hopping click here

Monday, December 09, 2013

Amazon Top 100 Best Seller!

Home for Christmas is on sale for 99 cents with a Kindle Countdown Deal until Tuesday, December 10th. It's been so fun to watch the book rise in the rankings. I broke into the Amazon Top 100 on Wednesday night. That was my first time and I was so excited.

This is what I woke up to on Thursday morning:

Seeing the book so high on the overall ranking and on several bestseller lists is so thrilling. I took screen shots to capture the moment! Silly, but a fun thing to do given you never know what will happen with a book! This sure surprised me in a very good way.

Thank you! Click here if you want to go to the listing at Amazon.

On Wednesday I'm taking part in a six day blog hop. There will be a daily prize given away here on the blog so make sure you comment each day even though it'll be the same post!

Hope your week is starting well!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Busy, but fun day ahead!

So get your fingers ready to type and join me on a few Internet stops, all of which include giveaways! And there's something else I'd love help from if you have a minute! Not that you will have much time if you're following me around!

At 10 am (EST) until midnight, there will be a party at the Sweet Romance Reads Facebook page. You can drop by for as long or short as you'd like, once or several times. Lots of giveaways, free books, fun and a $100 Amazon gift card for the grand prize!

I'll be hosting the following hours (EST):

 Noon to 1:00 pm
 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
10:00 pm to Midnight

But plan on stopping by when I can!

Tomorrow, I'm also at Harlequin Junkie doing a spotlight on Home For Christmas. The giveaway there is a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Just leave a comment to be entered. Click here.

And I'll be at the Montana Born Books' blog for the 12 Days Of Christmas in Marietta, Montana. Fun prizes there! I'm day 3 so maybe there will be 3 prizes. Who knows? But click here to find out

Home for Christmas is on a 99 cent Kindle Countdown Deal until the 10th. It's being featured here this morning on Kindle Books and Tips. I'll put the link here once it's live. The book will be listed on their Facebook page later so if you see me request a "Like" for that posting if you follow my page, please like it!

Thanks so much! I hope you know how much I appreciate each one of you!

Okay, that should cover it. I hope you'll join me today around the Internet!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

On Sale!

My two stories that are part of A Copper Mountain Christmas are on sale! Woo-hoo. I always love a bargain!

Home For Christmas on sale for 99 cents!

A $0.99 Kindle Countdown Deal on Home For Christmas runs from today until December 10th so this is the time to buy a copy! Click here to go to the book's listing at Amazon.

Ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon...the smells of Christmas. The smells of home.

Rachel Murphy longs for home and family. Since childhood, she's dreamed of owning her own pastry shop, but after being burned by a celebrity chef and losing her new bakery in Arizona, Rachel's spending the holidays with her brother in Montana. To keep her dream alive, she's creating custom gingerbread houses and selling them around town. All she needs is a bigger kitchen...and to stay away from her brother's handsome boss.

Former venture capitalist Nate Vaughn has embraced his inner cowboy and now runs a successful dude ranch where Rachel's brother works. Nate's commercial kitchen is perfect for Rachel's baking needs, and seeing the cute blonde's business acumen, Nate knows she'd be the perfect partner for a new venture. When he makes her an offer she can't refuse, he discovers he's interested in more than her gingerbread.

While Nate could make her dreams come true, Rachel's heart, as well as her head, tells her mixing business with anything else could be a recipe for disaster. Should she return to Arizona, and leave Nate and her new eager-for-more customers behind? Or can Nate convince her that, here with him in the mountains of Montana, she's already home? For Christmas...forever.

Mistletoe Magic is FREE on Amazon!

My 9,000 word short story companion to Home for Christmas and the other two A Copper Mountain Christmas novellas has been free on Smashwords, but now it's free on Amazon, too!
Just click on the retailer name if you want to download it. 

Spending a quiet Christmas housesitting and reading novels about hot cowboys sounds perfect to Caitlin Butler. Until a stray kitten brings her face-to-face with Noah, her crush from college. Watching the handsome vet in action melts Caitlin's heart and brings back long forgotten emotion. She would be safer back at the house lost in the pages of a book. But a toe-curling mistletoe kiss tempts her to stay. Maybe she won't be spending this Christmas... alone.

Veterinarian Noah Sullivan isn't a Scrooge, but the Christmas Eve tradition of hanging mistletoe in the clinic's waiting room annoys him. Kissing doesn't belong at the Copper Mountain Animal Hospital. Noah rethinks his position when Caitlin arrives with a stray kitten she found freezing in the snow. All he wants now is to maneuver the pretty preschool teacher under the mistletoe. If he's not careful, he'll wind up on Santa's naughty list. 


12 Hours of Christmas Facebook Bash!

Don't forget to join the 12 Hours of Christmas Facebook Bash! Just click here and then join in the fun by saying you'll be there! The party begins Thursday, December 5th at 10:00 am (EST). The Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree After Party starts at 10:00 pm and runs until midnight (EST). Hope to see you there!

You can come for as long as you want or drop by for a few minutes at a time. No matter which (or both!), you'll want to fill out the Rafflecopter giveaway on the Facebook page so you're entered to win our Grand Prize and other door prizes!
 



Long and Short Reviews Weekly Contest!

I'm one of this weeks sponsors for LASR's weekly contest. You can win a $10 Amazon Gift Card from LASR, a print book from Cynthia Owens and a copy of A Little Bit of Holiday Magic from me. Just go here to enter. And you can enter daily, too!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Contest time! The winner of the $5 Starbucks gift card and mini swag gingerbread bag is...Emma! Emma, you didn't have a profile attached to your name so please send me your mailing address via the contact button on the menu bar and I'll send out your prize!

We are now accepting RSVPs to our 12 Hours Of Christmas Facebook Bash. Go here so you can join the party. It'll be held at the Sweet Romance Reads page, but we'll be doing promo and pre-party stuff at the event page.

The third story in A Copper Mountain Christmas is FREE today and tomorrow. Pick up your copy of Christmas at Copper Mountain by Jane Porter at Amazon. Click here. The cover blurb reads:
Since the loss of her family in a plane crash, Harley Diekerhoff has led a quiet life and keeps to herself. Taking the temporary job at the Copper Mountain Ranch as widower Brock Sheenan’s housekeeper seems perfect for her. But her calm cocoon is invaded with the arrival of Brock’s pre-teen twins, Mack and Molly who’ve never experienced a proper Christmas and before she knows it, Harley’s determined to make their holiday perfect.

Annoyed at first by Harley’s interference, Brock is secretly pleased she’s changed Mack and Molly’s world. It doesn’t hurt that he finds Harley incredibly attractive, fierce, smart and passionate. It’s also an added bonus that she’s not afraid to challenge him and get his blood heated! But when sparks fly and the attractions sizzles between them, Harley’s not so sure she can handle something permanent with this dark, taciturn cowboy who doesn’t know how to let her in. But Brock is determined to hold on to her and praying for a Christmas miracle…
Speaking of Christmas, I came across this acapella version of A Little Drummer Boy on You Tube. Worth a listen!



Enjoy your Tuesday! I'm hoping I can get rid of this crud I caught!

Monday, December 02, 2013

Busy Week Ahead

I have lots going on this week and many opportunities for you to win giveaways and what not. (I'll post Friday's Gift Card winner tomorrow. I'm sick today.) So here's what's happening:

Starting today, I'm hosting the weekly contest at LASR. You can enter daily to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC, a signed book from Cynthia Owens & a print copy of A Little Bit of Holiday Magic from me. Click here to enter daily!

From yesterday December 1 until December 12, Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde are holding a 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway on Facebook. Grand Prize is a Mini iPad and $100 gift certificate.  All three A Copper Mountain Christmas authors are doing a giveaway, but I'm not sure when. To enter go to this Facebook group and enter whatever giveaways you want via a Rafflecopter link attached to the prize post. There's a special Rafflecopter to enter for the Grand Prize, too. Click here to see what's up for grabs on this second day.

Starting today until the 5th, there's another mini-contest running for the SnowGlobe Award. Thanks for all your votes because I won the Best Opening! One voter entry will be random selected to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card, too! Go here to cast your vote.

The third novella in A Copper Mountain Christmas, A Copper Mountain Christmas by Jane Porter is now available, but there's a special sale happening on December 3rd and 4th, if you want to take advantage of that. Here's the link to her book on Amazon.

Thursday I'm all over the web with Christmas giveaways and fun (I'll post specific info as this day is closer):

1) 12 Sweet Reads Romance Authors are throwing a FB Party for 12 hours with a 2 hour After Party.

2) Home for Christmas is the spotlight book at Harlequin Junkie

3) I'm hosting day 5 of Montana Born Books' 12 Days of Christmas Celebration!

I'm tired just writing all that. I'll need to go to bed early on Wednesday and do twice as many words as usual so I can just have fun on Thursday!

Hope you had a nice weekend.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Blogging & Giveaway

Normally I'd be out shopping by 5 am this morning, but I'm hanging with the family today. We enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving being grateful as well as having fun celebrating my mom's birthday. Going out to eat definitely worked well! My mom seemed to really enjoy herself yesterday!

Today I'm over at Sweet Romance Reads blogging about being addicted to Christmas movies. Stop by and say hi if you get the chance. The trailer to my current favorite Christmas movie is there. Any guesses what it might be? Post your answer here before going there. One commenter will win a recipe card, gingerbread cookie cutter and a $5 Starbuck's gift card! The winner will be chosen randomly so no peeking! Click here to go there.

Also if you have a minute, could you please go here and vote for best opening line?  My book Home for Christmas is entered. I won't tell you which entry number is mine. Just vote for your favorites. One voter will receive a $10 Amazon gift certificate from the contest! Here's a little more info about it:
November 28-November 30-Catchiest Opening Lines! On November 30, the winning opening lines will be announced and a voter entry will be randomly selected and both winners will receive a $10 amazon gift card.
Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm grateful for so many things: my family, my friends, my furbabies, my church, my readers, my health and especially all the service members who are celebrating today so far from home for all of us here at home!

Today is also my mom's birthday so it'll be a double celebration! I got up a little early to write so I can enjoy the rest of the day without thinking about the current manuscript. Looking forward to a day of family and feasting on yummy food.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving! And thank you for including my blog in your stops on the Internet!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wait a minute...

Can you believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow? I can't. Because I should have the rough draft done of my Special Edition. And no, it's not finished. But I won't start panicking until December 1!

I think my internal clock never recovered from the time change. Then I started doing promo for two Christmas stories at the beginning of the month and making Christmas care packages to send to Afghanistan. And now our neighborhood is full of Christmas lights and more trees are going up each day. It sees like December, not the day before my mom's birthday aka Thanksgiving this year.

She's not cooking this year. I had a brilliant idea in July on how to keep her out of the kitchen tomorrow. No one should spent their birthday cooking for thirteen or more people. And she and my dad went for it. But I'm not saying another word until I see her eat food she didn't make. Just don't want to jinx myself!

Are you relaxing today or preparing for turkey day tomorrow?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mistletoe Magic!

Before I tell you about my new short story that's now available, I want to announce the winner of my There and Here contest. Kimberlyindy is the winner of the $5 Amazon gift card. Kimberly, please send me your email address via my contact button. Thanks!

And now for the big news...

Mistletoe Magic, a 9000 word short story I've working on to go with Home For Christmas and the two other A Copper Mountain Christmas novellas, is now available. Here's the blurb:
Spending a quiet Christmas housesitting and reading novels about hot cowboys sounds perfect to Caitlin Butler. Until a stray kitten brings her face-to-face with Noah, her crush from college. Watching the handsome vet in action melts Caitlin's heart and brings back long forgotten emotion. She would be safer back at the house lost in the pages of a book. But a toe-curling mistletoe kiss tempts her to stay. Maybe she won't be spending this Christmas... alone.

Veterinarian Noah Sullivan isn't a Scrooge, but the Christmas Eve tradition of hanging mistletoe in the clinic's waiting room annoys him. Kissing doesn't belong at the Copper Mountain Animal Hospital. Noah rethinks his position when Caitlin arrives with a stray kitten she found freezing in the snow. All he wants now is to maneuver the pretty preschool teacher under the mistletoe. If he's not careful, he'll wind up on Santa's naughty list.
The story is supposed to be a freebie, but is only currently free on one site. I'm hoping the others price match soon! Here are the three places you can find the story at the moment with their price:

Free at Smashwords                   $0.99 at Amazon            $0.99 at B&N

Over at Amazon, I used the From The Author section to tell a little about this story. I'm going to share that here, too, since I'm assuming most are going to download it from Smashwords where it's free! Here goes:

Mistletoe Magic is a 9000 word short story I wrote to go along with the three novellas that make up A Copper Mountain Christmas:

* A Cowboy for Christmas by Katherine Garbera (out now)
* Home for Christmas by me (out now)
* Christmas on Copper Mountain by Jane Porter (out in early December)

I love cats! The number of cats in our house changes because I foster for a local humane society, usually seniors and ones with health issues. My own kitties range in age from 2 to 16 1/2 years old.  I also have two dogs, who the cats tolerate. Well, sort of. The dogs know to keep their distance, especially from the older cats!

When I was asked to write a short Christmas romance story, I'd been dealing with a couple sick cats that not only meant visits to the vet, but a couple trips to an emergency animal hospital.  The setting seemed a natural fit for a short story. I also wanted to rewrite something that happened to me while I was writing Home For  Christmas.

I found a stray cat in my backyard. Guess my crazy cat lady reputation made the rounds with the local feline crew. Because I foster, I knew who to call and they got right to work. A couple hours later, I was with the cat, named Shasta by the humane society, at a vet office where he received much needed medical attention. I'd received a new foster cat the night before so he was taken in by the humane society and placed with a different foster. Unfortunately, Shasta didn't survive, but for the last weeks of his life he was comfortable, warm, had plenty to eat and was loved. For me, that's what animal rescue and fostering senior cats is all about.

But I'm a romance writer and prefer happy endings. Christmas is a time for magic and miracles so in Mistletoe Magic I wrote the ending I wanted for Shasta and every foster/stray cat out there.

Montana, especially the quaint town of Marietta, is a wonderful place to spend the holidays. I hope you enjoy this short story and the three A Copper Mountain Christmas novellas.


So there you have it! Hope you have a wonderful Monday!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Guest blogging there & giveaway here

I'm guest blogging over at Tote Bags 'n' Blogs today. The topic...Christmas decor!

Post a comment there, then come back and post a comment here to let me know you did. I'll pick a winner on Sunday. The prize is a $5 Amazon gift card.

Yes, I know it's not even Thanksgiving, but I have two Christmas romances out right now. I just finished a third one, a short story, and it'll be out very, very soon!


What do you think of my newest cover? 



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday Links for you

I wanted to share a couple of links with you today. I'm finishing up a Christmas short story so all my words are going to that! Two are cat-related, the third writing.

First is one that had me laughing and shaking my head at the same time. Why? Because some of these things hit really close to home when it comes to me and my cats. Check out the article Owning Cats Can Inflict Permanent Damage To Mental Health But Nobody Bothered To Warn Us from Distractify. Definitely worth a read.

The second was also posted on my Facebook wall like the first. But by two different people. Guess my friends thought I'd like this. I don't know why!!!! Ha-ha. Check out See These Sexy Men and Their Cat Twins in Hilariously Hot Photo Session at The Date Report. I enjoyed it as my friends knew I would!

The final link is writing related. I'm involved with a new group Sweet Romance Reads. We're a bunch of authors who write sweet romance novels, something near and dear to my heart. Our goal is to build a community of sweet readers and writers. The group's blog website went live on Monday with a post from author Donna Fasano who used to write Silhouette Romances like me. Today's post is from author Grace Greene. You can also check out my blogger skills. Guess who made the site?

Have a great Wednesday!


Monday, November 18, 2013

A Cowboy For Christmas Winner & More

The random number generator over at random.org picked 4 and since I'd taken my comment out of the running, the eBook winner of Katherine Garbera's A Cowboy for Christmas is Quilt Lady. Congrats! Quilt Lady, please send me your email address via the Contact button above and I'll get a copy sent to you from Amazon.

Quilt Lady already has a copy so she said to give it away to someone else. So random # generator picked 5 so the new winner is Marcy! She included her address so we're all set. Quilt Lady, please email me your address. I'm putting together a little promo item for December and will mail you one when I have them ready! Thanks!

Thanks to all who entered. It was interesting reading the comments about what you'd do differently. I also appreciate Katherine for her guest blog. Thank you!

Also something fun happened this weekend that's book related. For the first time (at least that I've seen) A Little Bit of Holiday Magic hit the #1 spot on the Amazon Harlequin Romance Best Sellers list. Thank goodness I grabbed a screen shot because I wasn't there for long and have dropped considerably since then. But seeing this still makes me smile!


Definitely fun while it lasted! Celebrating the little things is important because in publishing there can be long, dry times when it comes to big things. At least that's been my case.

I hope you have a wonderful Monday!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Katherine Garbera's A Cowboy for Christmas & Giveaway

 Home For Christmas is one of three novellas that are a part of A Copper Mountain Christmas anthology. Jane Porter's Christmas on Copper Mountain will be out soon. Katherine Garbera's A Cowboy for Christmas is available and on the Amazon Holiday Bestseller List. Woo-hoo! And if you read to the end, I'll tell you how to win a copy!

I asked Katherine to tell us a little about writing her novella. Here's what she has to say:

For a long time I’ve had Annie Prudhomme in my mind.  I had this image of a woman who was driving out of a small town, middle finger in the air and promising herself to never come back.  But 15 years later, life looks different to he and she has no choice but to go home.  A lot of this character stems from my own life and my divorce after 17 years of marriage.  Starting over when you thought you’d never have to is a big challenge and I was lucky to have my family and friends to support me.  But Annie didn’t.  She hadn’t wanted anyone and now she has nowhere to go but home.  So I started with Annie and built everything else around her.

Here is a little snippet that really captures Annie:
  
He stopped in front of a seven-foot tree and tipped his head toward it.  “This one is yours.” 

“Mine,” she said.  It was odd, the things she owned post-Davis. A rundown house, a drooling dog, a beat-up Mustang and a seven-foot Douglas fir.  She started laughing at how ridiculous that was, compared to what she used to own.  Suddenly her laughter turned to tears.  She didn’t know why she was crying or how to stop it now that it had started.

Carson started to ask her something but she shook her head and turned and ran away.  Just had to get away from everything.  Her breath sawed in and out and the cold air burned as she inhaled but she didn’t stop... just kept running as fast as she could.

 Life was too much.  Being with this sweet cowboy who could have been hers if she’d chosen a different path.  Being alone in the midst of this fragrant Christmas forest and knowing that she’d continue being lonely.  And it was no one’s fault but her own that she’d wanted to get away.

***

We all have disappointments in life, is there one thing you would change if you could? It doesn't have to be a big thing. :) For me I'd tell my 21 year-old self not to eat Big Macs everyday.

Post your answer to Katherine's question in the comment section to be entered to win a copy of A Cowboy For Christmas in Kindle ebook format. Thanks and good luck!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Giveway and Spotlight

I'm over at one of my favorite places that promotes romance novels on the Internet...Harlequin Junkie! There's a spotlight on me and my Harlequin Romance A Little Bit of Holiday Magic. You'll find two small excerpts and a slightly longer one, too! There's also a $10 Amazon e-gift certificate giveaway for you to enter. Click here.

Not much going on besides writing and kids. We are all loving the new NBC The Blacklist. Thanks to Comcast's On-Demand, our family night for viewing the show is Tuesday. Just love James Spader and the show!

We had another cat get sick again, Miss Mousie, so Friday night was spent at the emergency animal hospital. They are getting to know us too well, unfortunately. But she's doing much better now. The wonders of medication!

If you happened to have read A Little Bit of Holiday Magic, please post a review whether you liked the book or not. My novella Home for Christmas has 24 reviews. Holiday Magic has zero. Thanks!

Have a great Wednesday

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veterans Day

My uncles fought in World War 2. My dad was in the Korean War. That's only the beginning of my family and friends who have served this great country of ours

All I can say is to the veterans who were willing to pay the ultimate price for those of us back home...

Thank you for your service!

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Home For Christmas Winner

My great Friday turned not-so-great when I ended up at the animal hospital with my 15 year old cat Miss Mousie. Sigh...  We're hoping it was just a reaction to some medication she's on. Otherwise I fear we'll be back there today.

I've decided to give two copies of the book away! I used a random number generator to pick the winners. And they are:

1) Cinderbella

2) Cindy Hamilton

Please use the Contact button on the menu bar to send me your email address.

Thanks so much to everyone who entered. I'm so happy to see that some of you have already read the novella and discovered Montana Born Books! They are putting out wonderful stories! And to B, I'm so sorry about your cousin. Prayers and condolences to you and your family.

Time to recheck on my cat! It's been a late night, but hubby took the early shift so I could get some sleep.

Enjoy your Saturday. I'll be catwatching and writing.

Friday, November 08, 2013

A Very Good Friday Giveaway!

Last night....

Stanford beat Oregon! Awesome!

The Portland Timbers beat the Seattle Sounders! Woo-hoo!

A pet store agreed to host my oldest's 4-H club's Kong Dog Toy Drive service project! Great!

Today...

An email from one of my soldiers arrived this morning! Yippee!

Katherine Garbera's A Cowboy for Christmas (A Copper Mountain Christmas novella like my Home For Christmas) is currently ranked #10 on the Kindle Holiday Bestseller list! Exciting!

I'm so thrilled for my friend, Katherine. She's the one who suggested I be a part of the Montana Born Books anthology. If you like cowboys and Montana, buy her book! I'd love to see her hit #1!

If you want to pick up Katherine's novella click on the link above or use the widget below.



Since it's been such a good morning and I'm oh-so Cardinal proud, I'm giving away a copy of my novella Home For Christmas. It's a Kindle-format eBook, but you can read that from your computer or phone, too!

Comment to enter. I'll pick a winner tonight.

Check back in the morning to see if it's you because I'll need the winner's email address so I can send them a copy of the book!

So...how are things going in your life?




Wednesday, November 06, 2013

I Wear Her Necklace

Have you lost a loved one? If so, did you become attached to something that reminded you of them? Something that helped you with the loss by making you feel closer to them, perhaps?

Both the heroines in my two Christmas stories lost people they loved—Rachel Murphy's parents and Grace Wilcox's Army Ranger husband and both woman hold onto something physical of their loved ones to help them.

In Home for Christmas, Rachel's parents were killed when she was a child. Her memories of them are fading, but she feels connected to her late parents by visiting the cemetery where they are buried once a week, sometimes more. Being at their graves brings her comfort and keeps her anchored in Phoenix. She can't imagine leaving the town where they are buried. She doesn't understand how her older brother could move to Montana.

In A Little Bit of Holiday Magic, Grace drives her late husband's pick-up truck. That truck meant the world to Damon who saved up to buy it when he was dating Grace. He cared and maintained the truck like it was an exotic sports car. And now it's something physical Grace has of her husband besides their son.

After someone read a draft of A Little Bit of Holiday Magic, she questioned the importance of the truck to Grace. The reader didn't think the heroine would be so attached to a vehicle. This was one of those plot thing/writing times when my character had taken the lead about the truck, not me. I fumbled with a not-very-convincing explanation, but I knew in my heart the truck belonged in the story and with my heroine.

After turning in the manuscript, I saw the video for the song Drive Your Truck by Lee Brice, a country singer. I don't know if I heard the song sometime before or while I was writing the story or if this was just synchronicity, but I couldn't believe how well the lyrics fit my story.  I've blogged about the video before, but it's worth another watch. Tissue warning!



Some authors say writing is the best therapy. I agree though we often don't realize how our own lives work themselves out in our stories. I sure didn't in this case. I wrote these two Christmas stories over six months apart. But I've done (and am doing) the same thing as my heroines after I lost a beloved friend to breast cancer in June 2012. I'd known Elizabeth since I was a year old. She was a second-mom-favorite-aunt rolled into one. She knew me as a child, a teenager, a young adult and a woman. She shared her wisdom and experiences, her love of travel and fine things, with me. She was a home away from home and as close as an email or phone call when I needed her.

It wasn't a grave I visited or a vehicle I drove, but a necklace I wore (and still wear)—a special piece of jewelry given to me the last time I was in San Diego to visit Elizabeth, only a couple weeks before she died.

My friend loved all things Egyptian. Her two Siamese cats are named Thoth and Maat. Elizabeth wore a gold scarab pendant with hieroglyphics on the back. My memories of the necklace around her neck are so vivid and it just reminds me of her so much. I didn't take the necklace off after her death. I even slept in it.

Almost a year and a half has passed since she died, and when I'm not wearing the necklace, I keep it on my nightstand, close to me while I sleep. It's just a piece of jewelry, but it brought (and still brings) me comfort. I'd love to know if you've ever done something similar after losing someone in your life.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Out a Day Early!

My Monday is not turning out as I planned and it's only 6 am! I woke up to discover my Montana Born Book's novella Home For Christmas released a day early on Amazon! I'm so excited. Or will be once I catch my breath!

Here's the back cover copy:

Ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Rachel Murphy loves the scent of gingerbread baking almost as much as she enjoys creating custom edible houses at Christmastime. But she needs a bigger kitchen if she wants to make the most of her impromptu holiday business.

Enter Nate Vaughn, handsome venture capitalist turned Montana dude ranch owner and her brother’s boss. Nate’s commercial kitchen is perfect for the baker. And he thinks she might be perfect for him…as a business partner.

After being burned by a celebrity baker, Rachel’s wary of Nate’s interest in her gingerbread houses, not to mention his mistletoe kisses. She should leave the Bar V5 ranch and return to Arizona. Or can Nate convince her she’s already home?


I hope you have a great Monday! Mine is going to be busier than I imagined!!!!



Friday, November 01, 2013

Digital Release Day!

I'm so excited! Today, A Little Bit of Holiday Magic, the final book in the Hood Hamlet Christmas Magic series, comes out today in digital format. The print version goes on sale next week for those who prefer paperbacks! Here's the back cover copy:

A new family…for Christmas? 

All widow Grace Wilcox wants is a fresh start for her and her young son, Liam. When her truck spins off the icy road, her rescuer turns out to be the hottest firefighter in Hood Hamlet, and even wary Grace can't say no to his offer of help!

Bill Paulson has stuck to his no-dating rule so far this Christmas, but having Grace in his home is testing his chivalrous side to the limit! Her little boy is melting his heart, even asking for a new daddy from Santa...

But Grace has already loved and lost one hero. Can she really let herself get close to another?

 You can buy the book at most eBook retailers including Amazon, BN, iBooks and Kobo.

If you're new to my Hood Hamlet books, they feature mountain rescue volunteers on Mount Hood in Oregon. Each book is standalone, but they were published in the following order:

1) Rescued By The Magic of Christmas (digital)
2) Snow-Kissed Reunion (free on-line read at harlequin.com. Click here. )
3) Christmas Magic on the Mountain (digital)
4) Firefighter Under the Mistletoe (digital and large print paperback)
5) Winning Back His Wife (digital and paperback)
6) A Little Bit of Holiday Magic (digital and paperback)

I'll be celebrating the release with various contests through my newsletter for subscribers, Facebook events and guest blogging. I'll be posting a list next week!




Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Rose's Pumpkins!
Yesterday, Rose and I finally made it to the pumpkin patch. We'd planned to go two weekends ago, but Finn hurt his foot. We'd planned to go last weekend, but the rain was coming down too hard. Today was it.

The first pumpkin patch we drove to was closed. The second one, too. It looked like what pumpkins remained had been part of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre film franchise. Yikes.

We finally found a pumpkin patch that was open. I got some cute shots of Rose sitting on hay bales. We looked at a Tee Pee made of corn husks. She didn't want to go in the corn maze so we grabbed a wheel barrow to gather a few pumpkins. Slim pickings here, too. She found three little ones that cost us $5. One was big enough to carve, the other two would be good for painting. I called hubby and told him we were going to make another stop.

Not at a pumpkin patch. A grocery store. That was the only place that had big pumpkins. Rose picked out four, including the one carved above. She was so happy. All she wanted was to visit a pumpkin patch. Once she did that, she was all smiles. Since this was a mom-daughter date, we got small Frosty's at Wendy's to cap off our afternoon. I let her skip her class with me at church so she could do her homework and carve a pumpkin with her dad.

I just love the cat pumpkin!

Is that not perfect for our house! She also painted the rainbow pumpkin next to it. The older kids were too busy to carve theirs. Fingers crossed they have time tomorrow.

As for costumes, ours are finally firmed up:
Mackenna is going as a minion from Despicable Me 2
Finn is going as a bank robber from the video game Payday
Rose is going as a graffiti artist (well, one that might star in a Disney Channel show!)
Chaos is going as a bumble bee
Cato is going to use Chaos' astronaut costume from last year.

We've got the candy in the pantry, lights out front, orange lights on either side of the garage, a scary ghoulish thing on the door and zombie caution tape. Tomorrow the rest of the lights and spider webs will go up.

With everything we've had going on, I'm so happy we're pretty much ready for Halloween. Are you?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Street team members wanted!

No new illnesses or injuries for the kidlets! Woo-hoo! Just a couple of appointments and vet visits for the cats. That I can deal with. Life may finally be slowing down. Yay!

Montana Born Books, the imprint releasing my upcoming novella Home for Christmas on November 5th, is looking for street team members. What's a street team? It's a group of readers who get advanced copies of books. They read them, post reviews when the book goes on sale, share FB statuses and get prizes (swag, gift cards.) They belong to a group where they can talk to the authors and each other. So if you like cowboys and romance novels, think about it and let me know if you're interested via my contact form.

So is anyone else finding it hard to believe that Halloween is only a few days away? The candy is in the pantry. (I've snuck a few pieces. Love Butterfingers!) The kids have their costumes and are so excited. Chaos is going to be a bee, but I doubt she's excited about that! Are you ready for Halloween?

Monday, October 21, 2013

The fun never ends...

I thought things would be settling down around here. But nope.

On Wednesday, Miss Mousie came down with what Spirit had. Luckily we could get her on the right meds right away on Thursday and she's doing fine. Spirit has completely recovered, too! Amazing considering a week ago I thought we might have to put her down!

On Friday, Rose twisted her ankle at a trampoline place. She had to miss her soccer game on Saturday and limped around most of the weekend.

On Saturday night, we ended up at the ER with Finn. He could barely walk after his swim meet on Saturday. The kid still managed two personal bests and two state A times, but turns out he has tendonitis in his left foot. He's in an air splint, and we see his pediatrician tomorrow. I was just so happy something wasn't broken. The last time this happened we discovered he'd been swimming for two weeks with a broken arm.

As you can imagine, I'm ready for life to settle down. I hope to be back to my normal blogging once that happens. Been praying and crossing fingers. Seriously not sure how much more this mom can take.

On the writing front, I wanted to tell/remind you about a couple things.

First, if you haven't signed up for my newsletter, please do. Click here or go to the right column to sign up. I'll be doing giveaways for subscribers in November and December to celebrate my two Christmas releases. Gift cards and gingerbread are the prizes so sign-up before 11/1 to be entered in the November giveaway.

Second, there's a Goodreads giveaway going on right now for copies of my upcoming release A Little Holiday Magic. Go here to enter or you can use this gadget to get there, too.



Goodreads Book Giveaway


A Little Bit of Holiday Magic by Melissa McClone

A Little Bit of Holiday Magic

by Melissa McClone


Giveaway ends November 01, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


Hope you had a nice and uneventful weekend!




Monday, October 14, 2013

Back to Normal...

I hope things are getting back to normal around here. My daughter, who had shoulder surgery on Tuesday, is heading back to school today. My sick cat Spirit, who I spent 7 hours with yesterday at the emergency vet after two vet visits on Friday, now has medication to help her feel better. My novella that I turned in on Monday was accepted, too!

Of course, Beauty has discovered Sanchez. Who is Sanchez? A betta given to Mackenna by a friend and named after NY Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez who had the same shoulder surgery as my daughter on the same day. If you remember, Beauty was intent on killing Mackenna's goldfish Butler this summer. Yesterday we found Beauty on the dresser staring into Sanchez's bowl. Let's hope the door to the room remains closed or it won't be pretty.

So given this was happening in August, I guess things are back to normal.

As for me, I'm jumping back into a project I'd put on hold to write the Christmas novella! I can't wait and it lets me stay right next to Spirit in case she needs anything.

How are things where you are?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Home For Christmas

It's only October, but I'm already in the Christmas mood. Why? This November I'll have two Christmas romances out!

I've mentioned the first...A Little Bit of Holiday Magic from Harlequin Romance. This is the final story in my Hood Hamlet Christmas Magic series.

Now I want to show you the cover from the second release. Home For Christmas is a Copper Mountain Christmas novella part of Tule Publishing's Montana Born imprint. The book will first be release digitally on Amazon, then a print version of the anthology with authors Jane Porter and Katherine Garbera via Amazon also.

Needless to say, I'm very excited. What better place to spend Christmas than in the mountains?

Mount Hood, Oregon & Copper Mountain, Montana.

I've started Christmas shopping. I bought my first present back in July. How about you? Or are you a last minute shopper?

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Catch up

Today my oldest had surgery. We checked in at 6 am and were home a little afternoon. I've spent the day playing nursemaid and watching TV with my daughter. We watched Catfish and the first three episodes of The Blacklist. Love James Spader in this!

Yesterday I finished my Christmas novella Home For Christmas part of the Copper Mountain Christmas Anthology. I've been working no this story for four weeks. I'm sure they're will be revisions but it felt so good to hit send. Crossing my fingers that they like it!

This weekend I wrote. The two youngest kidlets had a swim meet, but I stayed home. The only places I went were to pick up the oldest, get food and go to Mass.

Saturday I cried. Shasta the stray cat I'd found in my backyard crossed the Rainbow Bridge. He died in his foster's arms on the way to the emergency vet. So much like Rocket.

The last time I blogged was September 26th. Since then I've been trying to recover form the icky cold that took each one of us down and writing.

That's pretty much it! How about you?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sick

I have not been feeling this week. Something is going around and my youngest brought it home. A head cold that just hangs on. Needless to say, I've been writing and taking it easy. But I saw this clip this morning and wanted to share. Long, but worth the time if you want a smile or laugh. Enjoy!




Hope you're well and stay healthy.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Found

I can't believe it's Friday! I had plans for a few blogs this week, but I got busy working on my Christmas Novella (pretty much all I was doing until yesterday) and then had a few cat things crop up and all the writing came to grinding stop!

On Wednesday, a new senior foster, Gabbro, came to stay with us for a few weeks. She's a fifteen year old black cat, so tiny. She was not doing as well in the shelter as they'd hoped. She's on a lot of medication and a picky eater. So far so good. She's a biter though. I have the scabs to show for it. But she's coming around. She's a little stiff in her movements so not a big jumper, but when I woke up my oldest guess who was in bed with her? Gabbro had gotten up there herself. Of course, she didn't know how to get down. I helped her! Might have to set up stairs like we did for Spirit. These old girls just aren't as nimble as they once were.

Then on Thursday morning, I received an email from Home Again telling me to renew Rocket's subscription. He's my furbaby who died in March. Needless to say, I started my morning off with a good cry.

Then about an hour later, I found this cat on my back porch. Well, in full disclosure mode, the two dogs found him. Though we didn't know the cat was a he. My first thought was he looked like Rocket, due to the coloring and long-hair.

I knew the dogs wouldn't hurt the cat, but I was worried the cat might freak and attack them. I planted myself between the cat and Cato, since I knew Chaos would listen to me. The puppy not so much. I ended up with two front paws caught on my track pants.

Rose saw me outside and came out to help, getting the dogs inside. The poor cat was so scared. And thin. Emaciated really.

I hadn't done dishes and used the last of the cat bowls for breakfast so I grabbed what I could find quick. I gave him food and water, but he just sat there. I emailed my contact at the shelter I foster for. I sent a second one with his picture, then went outside to sit with him.

He was growling under his breath, but I sat about a foot away and didn't try to touch him. He finally ate a little. I slowly reached for him, and he allowed me to pet him. Once he finished eating, I had to run inside, wash my hands, then check on Gabbro since she's adjusting to her new space. I received a reply from my shelter contact. She was calling to find out if the shelter had room and asked if I could get close enough to crate him.

The poor guy didn't move when I went to pick him up. He almost seemed relieved. I got him in a carrier with food and water. I put him in the sun and up high where the dogs couldn't bother him. I also made sure he could see inside to know he wasn't alone. I would have loved to bring him indoors, but I couldn't chance it with all my cats and the foster. Given his condition, not to mention matted fur and super long nails, he'd been outside on his own for awhile.

The shelter had room for him and named him Shasta. They set up a vet appointment for him, and I took him there a couple hours later. The vet agreed he is in bad shape. She couldn't believe he was even walking, let alone made it to my backyard. She was very pessimistic about his condition, but the shelter agreed to run blood tests and give him fluids. The vet cleaned him up. Matted fur was shaved and nails clipped. He didn't make a sound or fight any of this. Such a dear, good kitty

I then took him to the shelter. He has a wire cage to stay in. He's warm and safe. The shelter person let me know last night that he'd eaten and was a sweet boy.

Now, we wait to hear from the vet about his blood work. My hope is he's just starving, but his body reminded me of Rocket's at the end, when the cancer had taken over. I'm praying there's no underlying cause to his condition other than lack of food. No matter what the outcome with his tests, I'm happy Shasta showed up. At least yesterday and today he's been and is being loved. He has people who care about him, are taking care of him and are praying for him. He also has a nice indoor place to sleep and rest and fresh food and water.

UPDATE: The test results are back. YAY! Shasta has Hyper-T and an infection but both can be controlled/treated with medication. I'm so happy for the handsome guy! I will be visiting him at the shelter soon to see how he's doing! Thanks so much for all your prayers!

I'm not sure how Shasta found my backyard, but I'm really happy he did. 

Hope you have a nice Friday!