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:
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)

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.