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 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!


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! 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 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!