Friday, December 31, 2010

The end of 2010

Funny Pictures - Lolcats Chart
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Isn't this LOLcat chart cute? Between my family, my characters (especially heroes) and me, we encompassed all of those things in 2010!

Yesterday's birthday celebration for hubby was pretty mellow. Lunch at Namaste (hubby loves Indian food), Zoo lights with the kids (I stayed home, wrote and baked a cake), pizza for dinner, watched Elf, opened presents and ate cake.

I still can't believe the year is coming to an end. Today will be all about taking care of stuff that needs to be done in 2010. Paying some bills, donating some money, ordering Christmas cards. I'm a little behind due to this stupid cold that keeps coming back.

Tonight is a party across the street to ring in the new year. Kids are included! Not sure I'll make it to midnight. I've been so tired lately. I'm sure the rest of the family will!

I want to end 2010 with a wonderful story of a mother's love. Click here to read the article from Digital Journal about an injured dog who not only nursed her own puppies, but a kitten, too. Here's a clip about her:

Hope you have a fun and safe time ringing in the New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another year almost over

funny pictures - Yes...keep petting me...
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I spent much of last night rubbing Smalls, who sleeps curled on my pillow against my head. I actually spent much of the year rubbing various cats and a dog.

The rest of the time seemed to be spent driving kidlets to various activities and visiting doctors. Oh, I also wrote a couple books, revised and rewrote them and squeezed an eharlequin on-line read in there, too.

Not exactly the memories I'd hope to have from 2010.

Especially after the hell of 2009.

I remember this time last year. I couldn't wait for 2010 to begin. I had such high hopes for a better year. The car accident in March sort of got in the way of that.

But was 2010 as bad as 2009?

I decided to make a quick comparison. In my 2009 Christmas letter to friends and family, I did our version of the 12 Days of Christmas since we'd been plagued with illnesses and injuries. Here it is with 2010 updates in parenthesis:

12 Days without Irish Dancing (the kidlets quit Irish Dancing in September)

11 X-rays taken (about the same amount)

10 Specialist appointments (three though many more doctor and chiropractor visits)

9 Weeks with a black eye from baseball (son decided not to play Little League)

8 Rounds of antibiotics (can't remember which probably means not as many)

7 Sessions of physical therapy (over 30 sessions and counting between two of us)

6 Bouts of stomach virus (2 with a couple food poisoning bouts)

5 Weeks in a cast (no casts, but hubby just hurt his back)

4 Incisions from gallbladder surgery (no surgeries in spite of 2 neurosurgeons' recommendations for them)

3 CT scans (1 MRI)

2 ER visits (1 ER visit)

1 Ambulance ride from Timberline (rear ended on I-5, but no ambulance required)

Okay, not nearly as bad in spite of the no spring skiing, no summer climbing and no working out/Cross Fit except for walking and PT. I fear I may always have a left arm and hand that tingles, but...

We're all here, furbabies and humans, not in perfect health, but in one piece and breathing. That's good enough for me.

And will be good enough for 2011. I've definitely lowered the bar and my expectations.

How was 2010 for you? Are you looking forward to 2011?

Oh, and before I forget I want to wish my hubby a very happy birthday! You're a great husband and father. Thanks for putting up with me, especially at deadline time! xoxox

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Dusting...

funny pictures - I'M OPEN! I'M OPEN!
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...of snow this morning!

Not enough for a snowball fight or sledding, but some is better than none. Still I hope we get more one of these days.

That same cold I'd had before seems to be returning so I'm saving my words for the proposal. But here's a few random things for today...

My daughter went to a sleepover the other night. The four girls broke into two teams and spent much of the night trying to scare each other to death. I'm Facebook friends with the three other girls so got a first hand glimpse into the scare tactics. Screaming, tears, you name it. I remember watching scary movies at slumber parties when I was younger, but we never took things that far. How about you?

Huge cat fight last night. I know Spirit was one of the involved. I was too tired to see who the other was. A shout and a yell seemed to take care of it, and none of the furbabies seem to be missing fur this morning.

Kindle eBook versions of my Christmas Magic on the Mountain and Rescued by the Magic of Christmas are outselling the mass market paperback versions by a huge number. (Okay, Rescued is out of print so that makes sense, but not Christmas Magic.) Even though Amazon is a small piece of category romance sales, I find that fascinating. People keep talking about the popularity of eReaders. I now believe it. But I'm not ready to invest in an eReader just yet!

Have a nice Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Voyage of the Dawn Treader

funny pictures of cats with captions
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We returned to Narnia yesterday afternoon via our local movie theater.

The 2D version had already left the theater so we saw the digital 3D version. I guess the 3D was cool to some, but it made me a little dizzy. It's also hard wearing the 3D glasses over the ones I wear (and need to see the screen!) I would never want a 3D television that's for sure.

What surprised me the most were the ticket prices. $11.50 for a matinee. I guess it was the 3D that upped the price or maybe movies are that expensive these days. The last one I saw in a theater was the second Twilight movie over a year ago when I was in Denver with my oldest daughter.

I'd heard the screenplay differs from the book so I told the kidlets to just enjoy the movie for what it is, and not worry about what was left out or added. Lesson learned after the Percy Jackson movie.

Here's the trailer for Voyage of the Dawn Treader:

It was fun to revisit the characters from the first two movies and meet new ones, especially Eustace. I hope the franchise continues because they've found a worthy successor to the Pevensie children with their cousin.

The quest plotline allowed a lot of different visual effects to be crammed into the two hours. It was easy to step into and lose yourself in this new part of the Narnia world.

I was happy to see more magic like in the first book and less epic battles like in the second. Much of the book takes place at sea so there is a cool ship, swashbuckling and storms.

There also seemed to be more "character" in this movie than the second. Lucy takes center stage. I really didn't buy her stealing the spell page with Aslan right there talking to her, but it made for a nice moment later on the ship. Edmund is still fighting the White Witch and struggling with being a regular boy back home vs. a king in Narnia. Caspian is a nice piece of eye candy. He smiles much more in this movie and is friendlier. Being king seems to agree with him.

Eustace, however, steals the show. He's so whiny and disagreeable you can't help but hate the kid. But his transformation and redemption is very well done.

The kidlets loved the movie and are already talking about buying the DVD when it's released so they can watch it over and over again. The only part my seven year old didn't like was the sea monster. She covered her eyes through much of that section.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader was a fun movie adventure for my entire family. I enjoyed and recommend it.

Have you seen it yet? If so, what did you think?

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Only Thing Missing is...

Funny Pictures - Cyoot Kitteh
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The east coast is getting pounded with snow, and a couple feet is predicted to fall in the Cascades. I wish those of us in the lower elevations of the PNW would also see some of the white stuff.

How's the weather where you are?

Yesterday, I had to exchange son's jacket for a larger size so also picked up some wrapping paper, tags and ribbons on super sale. I also swung by Michaels to buy some Christmas craft supplies on clearance. Now I'm all set for next year!

Today is all about writing. I have to take our dog Chaos to the vet, but after that I'm going to concentrate on the new proposal. Hubby has the week off so I want to take advantage of his being home to get lots done on the proposal, house, etc.

What are you up to?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

First Day of Christmas

funny pictures - and the kitteh
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Hope you had fun yesterday! We enjoyed our day and are looking forward to celebrating the days of Christmas ahead of us.

We're Catholic which means the Christmas season just began and will last until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on January 9th. There are still presents under the tree which we've saved for Epiphany, January 6th.

Not that the kidlets didn't get enough already! Toys, a Wii game and Legos from Santa. We got each of the kids a hat and matching gloves, a couple of books, jammies, slipper socks and either a fleece jacket or fleece robe. We also picked something special for each one that we thought they would like: Mackenna got a wide hair iron/straightener, Finn got a digital drum kit and Rose got an electric guitar.

Hubby and I take the money we would spend on each other and use that to buy giving tree/adopt-a-family gifts for others. But I did get a cool case for my iPhone from Mackenna, the Blake Snyder Save the Cat revisited book I wanted from Finn, two pairs of comfy slipper socks from Rose and a gorgeous knit scarf from my mother in law. My godson, Nicholas, also sent me a book and a box of yummy chocolates.

What did you find under your tree or in your stocking this year?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Funny Pictures - Christmas Cats
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Wishing you a magical and blessed Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Funny Pictures - Christmas Cats
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Already two of the furbabies are in trouble. I was worried about Yoda, but he's been a total angel lately. It's two others who got into the presents last night.

Spirit, my gray cat, found the bag of pet presents in my closet. She pulled out a package of cat nip and bit it open. Talk about a mess! She was not happy when I pulled her away.

Chaos smelled something that intrigued her so much that she had to unwrap one of the gifts. In the process she ate the bow and the ribbon. I know this because I had to clean up the mess when it didn't agree with her. What was so interesting to her? Candy flavored lip gloss.

I hope we have no incidents tonight or after Santa fills the stockings and leaves gifts under the tree!

Hope you have a wonderful day finishing up your Christmas prep and/or celebrating!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Almost time!

Funny Pictures - Christmas Cats
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Aack! Christmas is coming way too fast. I've been writing, shopping and wrapping this week. Don't know about you, but I could use a few more days! I totally forgot about presents for my furbabies. I need to add that to my To Do list for today! It looks like cards won't be going out until after Christmas again. Oh, well...

The hardest part with this week is I'd really just like to spend my time writing. Taking a much needed break earlier this month was exactly what I needed. Now I can't wait to hit the keyboard and work on the proposal.

How are you doing?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Facebook Nativity

This year, there have been quite a few Nativity videos coming out. Some with people, there's a really cute one from New Zealand I saw via Facebook, and others using social media to tell the story of the birth of Jesus.

My favorite is A Social Network Christmas which uses Facebook to tell the story of the Nativity. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Funny Pictures - Goggies R Our Friends
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A box of presents arrived from my mother-in-law yesterday. The kidlets were so excited to have gifts under the tree that they weren't giving to each other.

I've yet to start wrapping the gifts I've purchased. It's hard when the kids are always around. I think I'm going to have to lock myself in my room or stay up late tonight. I can't put it off much longer or panic will set in.

At least I don't have as many gifts to wrap as in the past. A few years ago, about the time the economy tanked, my sister suggested we stop buying gifts for everyone (this amounted to 13 presents) and just do a white elephant exchange (gift limit $10) at our family Christmas gathering. We all had a blast doing it, especially all the kidlets, so have continued doing that. Much cheaper than what we did before and a lot more fun!

Do you have any gift traditions? We open one gift on Christmas Eve, and it's always jammies!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Countdown to Christmas

Funny Pictures - Cyoot Kitteh
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I could use a few elves to help me finish up getting ready for Christmas this week. Of course, ones with opposable thumbs would be more helpful when it comes to wrapping presents!  The feline elf types (at least the ones who live here) prefer the ribbons and bows to the paper. Unless they want a nap, then they plop right down on the wrapping paper regardless that I'm about to set a present on it!

I only have a couple more gifts to purchase, then groceries. We're still trying to decide on a Christmas dinner menu.

I'll also be working on the new Christmas Magic in Hood Hamlet proposal. Nothing like being surrounded by holiday cheer when writing a Christmas story!

What do you have going on? Are you ready for Christmas?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Explain this...

funny pictures - Ah.... this explains everything....
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Hubby is a good man with a strong work ethic. He doesn't mind cooking or cleaning or doing laundry so I have time to write. But when it comes to holidays, especially Christmas, he hasn't a clue. I just don't get it.

For nearly a month, I've been asking him to get the addresses of his employees so he (with my help) could send each of them a Christmas gift. He finally gave them to me after I asked this morning. December 18th. One week before Christmas. Argh! Fortunately I had a free shipping coupon from Harry and David. I spent my morning ordering the presents because this is the last day for standard shipping.

Rocket under our tree
The kidlets even know what their daddy is like when it comes to presents. The only thing they'd find under the tree would be one of the cats.

When my twelve year old was visiting my sister after Thanksgiving, they talked about Christmas shopping. Mackenna told her if something ever happened to me they'd never have another Christmas or birthday. My sister told her not to worry. That's what aunts are for!

Is it just my hubby or are most men like this?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sick Doggie

My day has not turned out like I planned. It all started when Chaos wouldn't eat her breakfast. This is a dog who can't wait for her morning feeding time. She'll even try to convince me (if hubby fed her) that she hasn't eaten yet or vice versa. This trick always works when my parents house sit!

Anyway, she wouldn't eat. All she wanted to do was go out into the back yard and munch on grass. I figured she had a tummy ache, but she was acting so strange. After two hours of this, she finally ate and wanted a bone-bone (her usual morning treat.) But pretty soon, she was back to acting strange. I left a voice mail for the breeder because I was starting to feel something must be wrong with her.

We finally decided enough was enough. Hubby called the vet and got her an appointment right away. Mackenna and I took off with Chaos. We found out that she has a bacterial infection in her intestinal track. No wonder she didn't want to eat and was acting strangely! She's got medicine now and orders for a bland diet for the next couple of days.

So relieved it wasn't anything more serious! Now maybe I can get some writing done.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Seven deadly sins

Funny Pictures - Seven Deadly Sins Cats
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I spent all day volunteering where sugar and chocolate were readily available (see envy and gluttony.) When I arrived home, I napped (see sloth).

Tuesday, Wednesday and now Thursday have been insane schedule wise. I really am hoping things slow down tomorrow. How are things in your world?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Last Crazy Wednesday of 2010

I can't believe it's already December 15th. The time is just flying by! I've been taking my time researching and writing the new Christmas Magic/Hood Hamlet book, but I need to kick it up a notch. Just wish I could shake this head cold. It still won't go away.

But life is definitely slowing down as Christmas draws closer. This is the last crazy Wednesday of the year! I'm looking forward to a couple weeks off from the running around and teaching. The only thing scheduled next Wednesday is a PT appt. for my oldest!

I'm also checking more things off my To Do list. Last night, I put the final touches on the PSNEA (Puget Sound Norwegian Elkhound Association) newsletter. My oldest volunteered me to be the newsletter editor. Fortunately, they have been very understanding of my other deadlines so no pressure.

Mackenna said she would help me, so I had her take pics of Chaos to use. These are from my iPhone. Hubby told me yesterday the card reader is missing so we can't download pics to any computer!

In this picture, Chaos really wanted a piece of cheese Mackenna was using as bait. She's a silly dog. When she wants something you're eating, she drools!

I posted on Facebook about this weekends' dog show, but not here. Mackenna and Chaos won their class in a Jr. Handler competition at a local AKC show on Saturday. It was their first win. Very exciting.

And our son didn't want to be left out of the winning, either. On Sunday, he won his age group for the 100m freestyle and also beat the A time by two seconds. The A team is used as the state qualifier time so he was very excited!

Okay, better get to work before the running around begins!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yoda and his tree

My hard drive is so full I haven't been able to download any photos for months. When I tried to take picture yesterday, the card was full. Pics from my girls' weekend in August were still on there. Yikes! I should just buy an external drive, but I keep forgetting.

But I realized I could take pics with my cellphone so last night, Yoda was in his spot under the tree so I grabbed my iPhone. We finally got around to decorating this weekend. We were waiting to see if Yoda's fascination with the tree would continue. It has.

He loves the tree so much that we decided not to put any breakable ornaments up again. I miss my blown glass ones and others that have special meaning to us, but it's also fun to watch Yoda play under there without any worry! Maybe by next year he'll have outgrown his kitten phase.

How are your Christmas preparations coming along? I still have a few things left to do, but it's finally looking like Christmas at our house!

Monday, December 13, 2010

For your viewing pleasure...

I saw this on my news feed on Facebook. It put a smile on my face and I hope it puts one on yours, too!

Hope you have a nice Monday!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


funny pictures-Monday's coming!
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I feel the same way as the LOLcat above! Wish we were just starting the weekend.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


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I'm waiting for the rain to stop. It's been crazy wet here in the PNW. They have even mentioned the F-word...floods.

I've been putting some dents into my Christmas shopping in spite of the wetness outside. A good thing since I've been hit with a horrible head cold. But I'm not letting that stop me too much. Christmas will be here on the 25th so I can't put that off. And the kidlets need to be places. Plus I'm not about to stop writing because I don't want to wind up in crazy deadline mode come January. I do not want a repeat of November. Ever!

As soon as there is a break in the weather, we're going to cut down a Christmas tree. I miss that experience and so do the kidlets. We'll put the tree on our porch and decorate it with lights!

I also forgot to mention that the Bellingham Mountain Rescue 2011 calendars arrived. If you missed by post on them, go here to read it. The pictures are incredible. So is the quality of the calendar. It also supports a great cause. If you need a Christmas gift for someone in your life, check them out. They arrived very quickly, too.

I just got my Commando hook yesterday so I could put it up next to the table where I write. It'll provide great inspiration as I work on the new Mount Hood mountain rescuer story. Better get back to it.

Any plans for today?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rescue Research

funny pictures-Rescue from tree is really embarrassing when they don't need a ladder.
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I've been researching and writing my new proposal. Working title is Christmas Magic in Hood Hamlet. Not every original, but I've got a head cold that won't go away. All creativity is being saved for the words.

Yesterday I read the book Pickets and Deadmen written by a former female Mt. Rainier climbing ranger and a bunch of other mountain rescue articles on the Internet. I have the opening scene roughed out, but something isn't quite right, and I'm hoping some extra research will tell me what.

I had an idea in the shower (that's where I do my best plotting/brainstorming) and want to explore it a little. Just need to get through a few things this morning so I can take advantage of a chunk of writing time after lunch.

What are you up to today? I also want to squeeze in a trip to Borders to take advantage for their newest 40% off coupon and maybe dash by Target, too!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Sing Off

If you're not watching NBC's Sing Off, you should be. It's an awesome show with incredible talent. I just love it! It's on Monday and Wendesday nights at 8 pm. This is one of the songs from last night's show with all the groups. It's also a song from Christmas Magic on the Mountain's book soundtrack. Enjoy!

My fave group is Committed. Those guys are so talented!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Cat Carrier

funny pictures-Iz nawt so bad...
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Last night I dreamed about one of my cats going everywhere with me, including Toys R Us. I think I spent most of my dream trying to catch Spirit. Using a car seat for her would have been much better!

When I woke this morning, I stretched my legs out. Not sure how many cats were sleeping on my feet and legs, but by the sounds of them falling off the bed at least two. Oops.

Well, it's a crazy Wednesday. I've already made it to Mass. There's still a lot more things on my schedule. Better get busy.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Cats and trees

funny pictures of cats with captions
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The tree is up, but no decorations yet only light. We're still trying to gauge Yoda's interest in it. Last year, we didn't put any breakable ornaments up because we were worried what he would do. We may do the same this year.

Yoda is over a year old, but he's still very much a kitten only bigger. A lot bigger. He could do some serious damage if he climbed the tree. Right now he's just hanging out underneath it and standing up through the lower branches.

As for the tree, it's face with the lights already attached. We used to always have a real tree, but I finally figured out the reason I would get a sinus infection every Christmas. I'm allergic to the tree. Not sure if it's the tree itself or the mold, but it happened every single year. Except the last two!

I miss cutting down a Christmas tree so we're going to go out to a tree farm and get one for our porch. We have tons of leftover lights. The kidlets are very excited.

Is your tree up already? Is it real or an artificial one?

Monday, December 06, 2010

One Final Winner...

Funny Pictures - Cyoot Kitten
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The giveaway celebrating the release of Christmas Magic on the Mountain is now over. Let's see who is the final winner of an gift card.

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-12-06 15:04:15 UTC

The winner is Brandy with her comment on my post Help a Mountain Rescue Group. Brandy, please use my contact link above to send me your email address. Thanks!

Thanks to everyone who posted comments and entered the contest.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

A To Do Weekend

My Advent cleaning and Christmas preparations start today. Later than usual, but that's because of the deadlines I had last month. We try to get things up by the first Sunday in Advent, but that didn't happen this year or last. Pretty much, nothing really got done in November except writing. So today is my catch up on the To Do list day.

I had a couple of days mid-month in between turning in the complete and getting the revisions so I could clean a little then, folding laundry and restocking the pantry and fridge. But that wasn't nearly enough now that I've had another couple of weeks doing nothing. When hubby shops, he only buys what's needed for whatever meal we're going to eat. Not sure if that's a guy thing or his thing, but it's been like that for 15 1/2 years of marriage. I don't think it's going to change.

We did manage to get the chocolate Advent calendars for the kidlets so at least I haven't been a total failure at things around here.

I also cleaned out my closet again. I've found the first time I can't get rid of everything, but I'm not as attached the second time. (A lot like revising, actually.) If something didn't fit, it went into a bag. I need to lose weight (I've lost five pounds already), but most of the smaller stuff was a few years old anyway. No reason to keep it cluttering the space. If I get to my goal weight, I can buy stuff that fits and is more in style.

So that's my plan for today, what's yours?

Friday, December 03, 2010

Kitty in Trouble

funny pictures-Remember - no witnesses
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One of my furbabies has been using the clean laundry waiting to be folded as a litter box. The only problem is we weren't sure which one. I had my suspicions, but I needed more proof.

Yesterday, I was resting when I heard something. I sat up in bed and noticed Rocket walking around on the pile of laundry. One of the cats, Spirit, likes to sleep on the clothes when they come out of the dryer so I didn't think it was her. Rocket usually likes to sleep on something soft so I figured he was looking for a place to nap.

Nope. The darn cat squatted. I shouted and jumped out of bed. Surprised, he shot out of the room before he could do his business. But he wasn't fast enough to get away from me.

He spent the rest of the day locked in the laundry room. They love to be with me, so this is a harsh punishment for them. It's time for his checkup so I'll have them check his urine, but I'm pretty sure this is a behavior issue. If things aren't just so he acts out this way. At least he's done so before, but I thought he'd outgrown it.

Time to relook at the liter box situation and a few other things.

Any big plans for you today? I'm taking it easy and resting as much as I can.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Help a Mountain Rescue Group

Those of you who have read my Hood Hamlet - Christmas Magic books know mountain rescue is near and dear to my heart. These men and women volunteer their time and skills to help others in need. It's not just climbers, but also hikers, snowshoers, skiers, snowboarders, mushroom pickers, the list goes on. They are real life heroes though they would be the first to disagree with that statement. (Trust me, I've had this discussion with several of them while researching my books!)

Bellingham Mountain Rescue in Washington state is selling 2011 calenders to raise money for their organization. Here's what one of the members has to say about their fundraiser:
For those looking for a Holiday gift as well as a way to support a good cause, please consider buying a 2011 Bellingham Mountain Rescue calendar.

The calendars are a limited edition and feature photos taken in and around Whatcom County by local photographers.

The proceeds directly support the efforts of the all volunteer Bellingham Mountain Rescue by providing us with funds for new equipment and training materials.
The calender is $15. If you want to order one, go to the BMRC website. You'll see a Paypal button where you can order.

I saw a proof of the calendar, and all I can say is it's gorgeous. If you want to see a preview, go here to the Cascade Climbers forum. Scroll down to the first post that has PREVIEW added to the header. You can download a preview of the twelve photographs used.

I'll be ordering my copies today!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Please Vote!

I received an email last night from the Cover Cafe. Christmas Magic on the Mountain is one of the ten finalists in the annual Holiday Favorites Cover Contest. If you have time, please go here to vote. One voter will be chosen to win a prize. You can vote until December 20th. Thanks!

In other news, really good news, my revisions for Not-So-Perfect Princess were accepted. I'm going to take another day off before getting the new due dates for the next Mount Hood/Hood Hamlet mountain rescuer story! I'm still pretty worn out and trying to catch up with all I let slide while writing and then jumping right into revisions!

Have a nice Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kittehs in Books

Funny Pictures - Kitteh Book
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The manuscript I just sent off, Not-So-Perfect-Princess, has a kitten in it. One a lot like my Yoda. I love putting pets in stories, but I don't think they'll be any animals in the new Hood Hamlet book. With my heroine's job and hobbies, I don't see her having a pet. Do you like to read books with animals in them?

I'm hoping to hear from my editor about the revisions in the next day or so. In the meanwhile, I'm researching my new project. What I really need is a break, but I spent most of yesterday volunteering at school and today I'll be running around until lunchtime then trying to get ready for the classes I teach tomorrow afternoon. I'm also trying to put together a newsletter for a Norwegian Elkhound group, but having trouble with one of the files they sent me. Fingers crossed I can figure that out since it's the group's treasurer report!

Needless to say I was up early so I could get some writing/research done! What's your day like today?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Another winner!

I emailed my revisions last night. Huge sigh of relief. Now the waiting begins. I hope my editor like the manuscript!

I came across this on a loop I belong to. The title is SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A NOVEL. It's really funny, especially since people have said similar things to me when they find out I'm a writer.

It really put a smile on my face!

It's time to announce the weekly winner. Sorry for the delay, but I had to be somewhere early this morning and just got home. No time to blog! Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-11-29 21:47:56 UTC

The winner is Dru! She posted a comment on A Tale of Two Covers. Dru, please send me your email address via the contact button above. I mentioned under my contest link above, but I'll mention it again. I'm going to send all the gift cards out at once next week when the contest is over. It's just easier on me that way!

This is the final week of the Amazon gift certificate giveaway. There won't be another contest for a while so be sure to enter. Each comment on the blog gets you an entry. For more info, click on the contest link above.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Missing Black Friday

funny pictures of cats with captions
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One of favorite things to do each year is go Black Friday shopping. After dinner on Thanksgiving evening, I plan out where I want to go and what I want to buy. I lay out my clothes, my plan and advertisements ahead of time. And then I set the alarm. Hubby even packs me food!

Yes, I'm a Black Friday shopper. It may sound crazy, but I love shopping the day after Thanksgiving. It puts me in the mood for Christmas and I can usually finish up or put a big dent in my Christmas shopping list.

Black Friday is the one day of the year I think it's normal to wake up at four o'clock in the morning to stand in line in the freezing cold with all the other bargain-hunting shoppers.

But not this year.

I decided to stay home and revise my manuscript instead. I spent the entire day and evening writing. I didn't even head to the stores later in the day to see if anything was left as I did last year when I was on deadline for Christmas Magic on the Mountain.

It wasn't easy. Those flyers from yesterday's paper kept calling to me. But I resisted. My bank account thanks me, but I missed hitting the stores and scoring a with a perfect present on super sale.

Two years in a row now I've missed the early morning be there when the doors open. Last year though I headed out a little later and still managed to get what I wanted. Let's hope I'm not under deadline again next November and can be in line with all the other crazy shoppers!

Did you go shopping yesterday? If so, did you find any bargains?

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Tale of Two Covers

If you've noticed, there are some similarities with my two Hood Hamlet Christmas Magic book covers. If you want to hear what mountain rescuer heroes Jake Porter and Sean Hughes think about that, go here to read today's blog at LASR. If you want to know the question you'll need to answer about the blog to enter the $20 Amazon gift card giveaway, go here first. There's a link to get to the blog there.

Are you Black Friday shopping this?  I usually am in line before the stores open, but not this year. I'm working on my revisions this year, but I may check out a few of the online sales when I take breaks.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Funny Pictures - Thanksgiving Cat
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I have so much to be grateful for on this Thanksgiving Day. I'm looking forward to a relaxing day with family, football and turkey.

My blog post today at LASR is on the book soundtrack for Christmas Magic on the Mountain. The opening scene of that book takes place on Thanksgiving day! For those who want to get their daily entry into the $20 Amazon gift card giveaway at LASR, go here to find out the question you need to answer.

I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


funny pictures-EVER STOP TO THINK
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In my revision letter, my editor wrote something that made me scratch my head. I couldn't figure out what she was talking about because I knew I didn't want my heroine to declare her love that early. When I emailed my editor about it, she gave me the page number where my heroine said she loved the hero.

The problem? I was sure I'd deleted that line before sending in my final version of the story. I even talked it over with a friend why I wanted to wait. I guess like the LOLcat above I forgot to start thinking again! Glad I could catch it in revisions.

Has something like that every happened to you?

Today's blog at LASR has short excepts about my Christmas Magic on the Mountain hero, Sean Hughes, from my other two Hood Hamlet stories, Rescued by the Magic of Christmas and Snow-Kissed Reunion. The question you'll need to answer to enter the giveaway there is here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Letter to Santa

Cyoot Kitteh n Deer of teh Day: Ur Very Deer 2 Mah Hart
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Last night, my seven year old made her Christmas list. We try and send them to the North Pole right after Thanksgiving. She ended up with almost 60 items so Santa would have lots of choices. She also wrote a letter to Santa. Here it is:
Dear Santa,

How is your life? My life is good. How are the elves? Have you went thru the good girl's and good boys? do you have a magic snoe ball? I beleve in it. Can you tell me if the elves to it by hand or do you have mashins?

from Rose
Have you written your letter to Santa yet? What's on your list?

Remember to visit Long and Short Reviews and read my blog on researching Christmas Magic on the Mountain. Each day, you can email the answer to the question here about my blog to enter the $20 Amazon gift card. A comment on the blog there will give you an extra entry!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Two contests this week!

There are two contests this week. Both are being run separately, one here at my blog and one at Long and Short Reviews (LASR) where I'm in the Author Spotlight. Each day I'll be blogging about Christmas Magic on the Mountain there, so I hope you'll stop by! I'll post a link each day so you can get there easily!

Same weekly prize here on this blog, but I'm giving away a $20 gift certificate at LASR. Go here for all the info on how to enter the contest there.

There's also a review of Christmas Magic on the Mountain at LASR reviews. Go here to read it!

Now for this week's Amazon gift certificate winner. Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-11-22 14:43:59 UTC

The winner is Jane who commented on my post So True! She wins an gift certificate. Jane, please send me your email via the contact link on the menu bar above. Thanks!

A new weekly giveaway starts today. Each comment on the blog equals one entry. See Contest link above for more info.

Hope you have a great Monday!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


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This has been a swim meet weekend, and the meet was a bit of a drive away. Both mornings we left home at 6 am. Today on our way home, we had rain the entire drive. Until we got off the freeway at our exit.

The rain had turned to snow! It's really falling hard and sticking. Hubby pulled out the bucket with all the ski gear and clothing. The kidlets are outside having a blast as is Chaos!

Hard to believe they were swimming this morning! They say this will be a really bad winter. Yesterday, when hubby went to buy chains for the new minivan, he got a quote on studded tires. If this keeps up, we're going to need them.

I'm so excited! I just love snow!

How's the weather where you are? Oh, and today is the last day to enter this week's contest. Just post a comment. Check back tomorrow to see if you won!

Friday, November 19, 2010

So true!

funny pictures-Week 1:     Used the Big Eyes face to have humans giving me treats and the best spot on the sofa where the dog isn't allowed.  Week 2:     Have brain-washed the dog into protectin' me 'cause I'm so little.  Week 3:     World domination should be a snap fr
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Yes, this LOLcat pretty much sums it up. I've said it before, but I'll say it again. It's a good thing cats don't have opposable thumbs or we'd really be in trouble.

My days of relaxing are over as I try to sort through revisions. I sent off some notes in reply to the revision letter last night and received a reply back from my editor this morning. Sometimes the time difference between here in the PNW and London is an advantage! Now to get revising. The more work I can get done this week, the more I'll be able to enjoy the holiday next week!

Are you getting ready or thinking about Thanksgiving yet?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A new spin on my day

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Revisions for the manuscript I sent off on Sunday arrived in my inbox. The proposal I've been researching goes on hold while I dive back into the Sleeping Beauty book!

I'm printing out the Not-So-Perfect Princess manuscript and the revision letter now. What are you up to?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ever felt like this?

Funny Pictures - Cyoot Kittehs of teh Day
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I sure have! Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A link, a lolcat and a song

I'm taking a little bit of a break after working so hard to get Not-So-Perfect Princess written so blogs will be brief or nonexistent the next few days. I thought I'd leave you with a couple of things in the meantime.

1) A link: A very nice review of my book Wedding Date with the Best Man is here on The Good, the Bad and the Unread. I don't send out review copies (due to lack of time and my general avoidance of PR) so it's always a special treat when I can read a review of one of my books. I'd never heard of this site before, but it came across my google alerts. It's a good one!

2) A LOLcat: What can I say? I have to have a daily LOLcat dose to make it through my day. This one fits my kitties to a T. And I have to admit, lately Chaos has been living up to her name. Yesterday she tore into a garbage bag and made a mess! Not a good dog!

funny pictures-Is "gooddog" a word?
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3) A Song: I love this! This clip is from last week's Glee and features Darren Criss, who is a great new addition to the show. The arrangement of Katy Perry's Teenage Dream and background vocals are done by these guys. Remember the Beelzebubs from that Sing Off! show? I sure do!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekly Winner!

The manuscript is off. Of course, this would be the one night I can't sleep. I blame it on the iced tea I had. It had caffeine in it. I really should have known better.

Here's the winner of the Amazon gift certificate.

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-11-15 12:46:59 UTC

The winner is Kelley who commented on my post Daylight Savings Time. Kelly, please use the contact link above to send me your email address so I can send you your prize.

A new contest starts today! To enter just post a comment. For more details see the contest tab above.

I really hope I can fall asleep soon. I'm soooo tired!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Final day!

Today's my final crunch day. I'll be emailing the manuscript to my editor at Mills & Boon tonight.

First up though is a soccer game. I missed two yesterday and I'll miss another this afternoon, but I wanted to catch at least one which is why we went to Mass last night. I've been at most of the games so my son doesn't mind, but I do! I love to watch him and the team play. Even if it means standing in the rain. Again!

I came across this article on cats drinking in The Washington Post. Thought if there were any other cat lovers out there, they might enjoy the read.

Don't forget today is the final day to enter the weekly giveaway for an Amazon contest. Check the contest tab above for more info.

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Happy Saturday!

Here's something that brought a smile to my face. Enjoy!

It's going to be a busy day for me as I finish up the current manuscript. My parents took my two daughters for the weekend. Hubby is taking care of soccer tourney duty with my son. It's just me and the cats and writing! My kind of weekend!

Hope you have a Happy Saturday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

A New Title

Funny Pictures - Cyoot Kitteh of teh Day
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I feel like this kitten, who looks like he's being swallowed by a giant cup of hot chocolate. But what a way to go! Only a couple of more days left of this manuscript. I have the word count. Just need to get through the rough draft of the last couple of chapters then do a polish pass.

My working title was While the Princess was Sleeping. Editorial thought that was too long so it's now titled Not-So-Perfect-Princess.

Okay better get to it!

Hope you have a great day!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Four days to go!

funny pictures-Don't worry... it's not just you....
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If you're noticing a theme with the LOLcat pics the last two days, just remember I'm on deadline! But it's not all panic and freak out time. Last night was so fun.

My youngest made her First Reconciliation. She was the first kid to do it, too. After wards she showed up at the class I teach in church skipping and jumping around. Her eyes just sparkled. She kept saying, "I'm so happy!" It was very sweet.

We went out to our fave Mexican restaurant to celebrate. A very happy time and nice break after a long day of teaching that set me up for a few hours of writing before bedtime.

Better get writing now. So are you happy today? Or a little stressed like me?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Funny Pictures - Ninja Cat
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Call me paranoid, but with the deadline looming, I keep waiting for something to happen. Something to throw a wrench into my writing plans for the next five days. And I wouldn't be surprised to find out one of the cats was plotting something just like this LOLcat pic above.

One already tried. Spirit swiped at my right hand the other day. Maybe she didn't like the fact I was rubbing her and another cat at the same time. Or maybe she wasn't jealous and just didn't want me to pet her. Who knows what goes on inside the mind of a cat?

Her claw managed to get under a fingernail on my right hand. Ouch. I never realized how hard it was to get dried blood out from under a fingernail. The bandage made typing a challenge. But at least it's healing now.

Hmmm, I wonder if that's why I finally made my NaNoWriMo word count goal yesterday. Today is a typical crazy Wednesday. I teach three different sessions at church. Plus, it's a special day for my youngest. She makes her First Reconciliation today. She's very nervous about going to confession. If you could say a prayer or send good thoughts her way, it would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Better get writing. I'd love to hit my word count goal two days in a row!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Daylight Savings Time

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It's been a couple days now since we switched our clocks back. I long for the days when I lived in Arizona. I hated the heat in the summertime, but we never had to mess with the time.

I don't know about you, but I hate this spring forward, fall back. It's just not worth that one our of sleep once a year. Okay, I know there are supposed to be more benefits, but still...

I'm having no trouble waking up in the morning which is good especially while on deadline. But neither is my seven year old which is bad. She's been up at least an hour early the past two mornings. And it doesn't matter what time she goes to bed. At least it hasn't the last two nights.

Not really a kid, unless you count fur-covered ones, but Chaos adjusted fine the first morning. It's been hard come feeding time ever since then. The cats...well, their cats and pretty much do and eat when they want to.

What do you think? Are you for the time changes or would you rather we not touch our clocks ever again?

Monday, November 08, 2010

A week to go!

funny pictures-If it wasn't for the screaming kids and the barking dog, Mitzi would've sworn that this was Heaven.
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My Sleeping Beauty manuscript is due in one week.  That means buckling down even more and getting it done.  Fortunately, my two older kidlets are feeling better. Hubby is the sole sicky right now.

The final chapter of Snow-Kissed Reunion is now up.  If you like reading a story all at once, all eight chapters are here for your reading pleasure!

Now for the weekly giveaway.  Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2010-11-08 13:59:56 UTC

This week's winner is Dru. She commented on my post, Happy Halloween!  She was also the first person to comment on November 1. Early bird gets the Amazon gift cart!  Dru, please send me your email address via the contact link above.

All the entries have been deleted.  A new contest starts now so comment away!  I'll announce a new winner next Monday. 

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Good news!

I'm so happy. Christmas Magic on the Mountain is a Romantic Times Top Pick for November! The book received a 4 1/2 star review, too!

Here's what the review says:
CHRISTMAS MAGIC ON THE MOUNTAIN (4 1/2) by Melissa McClone: When Sean Hughes picks up hitchhiker Zoe Flynn to give her a ride up the mountain for a day of skiing and ends up inviting her to a family Thanksgiving dinner, he never dreams he¹ll be passing her off as his girlfriend for a few weeks. Former wild child Zoe has been exiled by her politically powerful family after one too many tabloid headlines. When Sean is hospitalized after a fall from the mountain, Zoe is conscripted to be his nurse and she hopes it will prove to her own family that she's grown up. On the other hand, her close confinement with sexy Sean is liable to produce a few new headlines - especially when he finds out who she really is. An inept free-spirit hooks up with a down-to-earth rescue ranger in this sweetly romantic and sexy holiday romance that readers will find the perfect fit for their Christmas stocking reading.

Reviewed By: Pat Cooper
 Don't forget today is the last day to enter this week's drawing for an amazon gift card. Just post a comment to get an entry in the giveaway. The winner will be announced tomorrow!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Guest blogging at Pink Heart Society

I'm the guest blogger for the Pink Heart Society's Wildcard Weekend. You can check out my blog about my newest release, Christmas Magic on the Mountain here.

Don't forget, every comment gets you one entry in my giveaway. Winner will be announced on Monday. More details under the contest tab!

I'll leave you with this picture.

funny pictures-Goggies has ownrs, kittehs has staff.
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I am definitely my fur babies "staff." It's kind of pathetic really. But as I look at the three lying on my bed right now with me, I don't mind so much!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 05, 2010


funny pictures-Any Last Wurds?
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It's all about words right now with NaNoWriMo and my first deadline this month breathing down my neck like a hungry tiger. So I'll leave you with something I'm sure you have read before, but is funny enough to read again!

Funny Pictures - Cat Diary
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Have a great Friday!

Thursday, November 04, 2010


This weekend I found the second song in the book soundtrack for the Sleeping Beauty story I'm writing right now. The song Firework by Katy Perry fits my heroine, Princess Julianna perfectly.

Now to get my princess to ignite! She's much more subdued than that. Well, at least until she meets Prince Alejandro.

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

That time of the year...

funny pictures-romance kitteh  had u at 'hello'
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I'm on day three of the NaNoWriMo challenge. Writers write 50K in one month. Just for reference, my books are approx. 50K words. It's something I sign up for every year, but usually I'll be on deadline the whole month of November and just never really get going past the first few days.

Surprise, surprise, I'm on deadline again. I actually have two deadlines this month. My Sleeping Beauty story is due November 15th. A new Mount Hood proposal is due November 30th. Between the two, I think I can do 50K words. So far I'm on track. I've set an ambitious goal of 3000 words a day, mainly due to the first deadline. I'm a bit behind with that story do to all the things that have been going on (sicknesses, injuries, etc.) at home.

Oh, my attempt to reach 50K won't be in the true spirit of NaNoWriMo with the first project since I already had a rough draft (mind you, a very short one.) But the proposal will be all new words. I'm still mulling over who the hero should be on that one.

I'm in that part of the manuscripts that gets a little murky. Or muddled. If the two are so into each other, I wonder why I can't just end the story now. (see above LOLcat.) That means I must really focus on the conflict. Unfortunately that can kill all the romance. It's a dance, one I have to do each story. It's one I'd rather sit out, actually.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? My user name is melmcclone if you're looking for buddies.

Okay, today is my crazy day. I'd better get writing. I won't have much time later.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

RIP Joe Puryear

Back in this blog post from 2009, I mentioned two alpinists whose blogs I read. One of these climbers Joe Puryear was killed last week in the Himalayas.

Joe was a very close friend of Mark Westman, who came to my rescue when I was writing Rescued by the Magic of Christmas. If you've been a long-time reader of my blog, you might remember me meeting Mark at the Portland Ice Festival in 2007 where I asked him if he'd mind answering a few questions for a book. A few questions turned into a lot, and I will be forever grateful to Mark for sharing his views and insights with me. He is interviewed in the following NBC clip about Joe:

Joe's family and friends are trying to raise money to bring him home. If you're interested in donating to the effort or just want to read more about the expedition he was on, go here. There's a touching entry titled Final Post written by Joe's wife, Michelle, I suggest you read.

I didn't know Joe, but I wish I had. I'd thank him for sharing his adventures and giving us a peek into what being one of America's top climbers is all about. His blog, trip reports and photography really inspired me, both as a climber and romance writer. I still dream about Alpine climbing, and you know I'm always on the lookout for potential hero occupations/models.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all who knew and loved Joe.

Monday, November 01, 2010

New Contest!

To celebrate the release of Christmas Magic on the Mountain, I'm starting a new contest today. Each week there will be a new winner picked from those who leave comments on this blog. The prize is a $7.50 amazon gift card. For more info see the contest tab on the menu bar above.

As for the photos of Yoda, the photo session yesterday did not go well. He freaked out with hubby and daughter's attempts to put him in the pumpkin bucket. Yoda had good reason, too. He's way too big. I'll try to get a pic of him next to it today. I just don't want to scare him. He may be bigger than our other cats now, but he's still acts like a tiny little kitten.

Happy All Saints Day!