Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Elephant in the Room...

This has been a hectic week. Snow and rain (with more snow on the way) made life a "challenge" as I sprinted to cross each quandary off my list. On Friday morning, I realized I didn't have an idea for Sunday's blog post.

Then I stopped at the library to pick up a book for my mother.The librarian was having "Children's Story Time," and was reading one of my favorite books, Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss. She quoted my most cherished line, and there was my post this week.


In the story, Horton the elephant works to keep safe a tiny group of people, the citizens of "Who-ville," from his neighbors who deny the society even exists. The character of Horton is a gentle soul who is committed to taking care of those who are powerless to protect themselves.


We could use a lot more "Hortons" in the world. Don't you agree?


"Don't give up! I believe in you all! A person's a person no matter how small!"




Have a good week, Everyone!









(photo c/o facebook.com/Dr.SeussBooks)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Looking For Spring...






I start looking forward to Christmas as soon as Fall arrives. I love the Christmas Season. Starting with reading the Christmas Romances (still have a few in the pile), the Holiday music (there's a Frank Sinatra Christmas CD still in the CD player), and I'm nursing my poinsettia so that it'll stay fresh a little longer (poinsettias are my favorite plants).

But, it happens every year! The week after the holidays, when the decorations come down, the trees find themselves on the curb for trash collection, there are no twinkling lights in the windows or wreaths on the doors, I find myself with a sense of  melancholy. All that seems to be left is the cold, snow, and ice (and we got all three here in Philly over the last week). 

I find myself wishing Winter would go away, and I'm looking forward to that first flower of Spring.





Anyone else feel the same way?










(Peanuts photo c/o facebook.com/Snoopy; flower  photo c/o Jonathan1991 and morgue.File.com)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

"The Book Breeze"




I encourage you to check out The Book Breeze, a wonderful monthly read chock-full of information on the latest book releases, reviews, and author interviews. I subscribe to this fabulous magazine that pops into my inbox every month!

This month, on the top of page three, is an awesome ad for Running to Love, Crimson Romance's bundle of ten great romantic suspense reads including Magic Moment.



In these ten exciting novels of romantic suspense, clever and courageous heroes and heroines flee from danger to seek safety and security in the arms of their soulmates. Can love soothe their fearful hearts? 

Click here for the January 2015 issue, http://thebookbreeze.com/Latest_Issue.php


Happy reading, Everyone, and have a great week!





(The Book Breeze photo c/o facebook.com/pages/The-Book-Breeze/513129005380464)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Contest & Conference Update






Happy New Year, Everyone!


With the start of a new year, we get back into our day to day routine. For writers this means thinking about contests and conferences. Here are a few you may want to check out…


Contests

2015 Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest; sponsored by Northeast Ohio RWA; Deadline, February 14, 2015; Entry should consist of first chapter up to 5,000 words for novel, first chapter up to 2,000 words for novella; FMI, http://www.neorwa.com

2015 California Hooker Contest; sponsored by OCC RWA, LA Romance Authors, San Diego RWA, East Valley Authors; Deadline, February 15, 2015; Entry should consist of the first three pages of an unpublished manuscript; FMI, http://www.caldreaminwritersconf.org


2015 Central PA Writing Contest; sponsored by York College of PA; Deadline February 27, 2015; Submit your best unpublished short story not exceeding 1,500 words; FMI, http://www.witf.org/contests/2014/10/Enter-the-2015-central-pa-writing-contest.php



Conferences

San Francisco Writers Conference, February 12-15, 2015; Mark Hopkins Hotel, San Francisco, CA; FMI, http://sfwriters.org/ 


Portland Writing Workshop, February 20, 2015, Radisson Hotel Portland Airport, Portland, OR; FMI, http://portlandwritingworkshop.com/?et_mid=707210&rid=235571114


2015 California Dreamin’ Writers Conference, March 27-29, 2015; Embassy Suites, Brea, CA; FMIhttp://www.caldreaminwritersconf.org


Have a great week, Everyone!







(photo c/o MaxStraeten at morgueFile.com)

















Sunday, December 21, 2014

Happy Holidays!





My greeting comes during the eight days of Hanukkah, a few days before Christmas Eve, several days before Kwanzaa, and over a week before New Year's Day. It's a joyful time of the year!

Whichever holiday you celebrate, my best wishes for a safe, peaceful and happy season.

I'm looking forward to sharing more great posts, conversations, and books with you in 2015!






(photo c/o cheriedurbin and morgueFile.com)



Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ho! Ho! Ho...Great Holiday Reads!

Some great Holiday books were released in 2014. I have a l-o-n-g list this year. In the past, I've been known to still be reading Holiday books on St. Patrick's Day. Here's what I have!





A Princess By Christmas by Jennifer Faye

A royal kiss under the mistletoe

Prince Alexandro Castanovo arrives in snowy New York intent on protecting his royal family from scandal. And when Reese Harding—down-to-earth and heart-stoppingly beautiful—finds room for him at her inn, it seems like the perfect twist of fate.

Not long ago Reese's world came crumbling down, shaking her foundations. But this enigmatic stranger intrigues her! She's learned to be wary of secrets…but when she discovers Alex's true identity, might there be enough magic in the air to make this regular American girl a princess by Christmas…?



Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Christmas-Harlequin-Romance/dp/0373743106/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416758906&sr=1-1&keywords=A+Princess+for+Christmas


Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-princess-by-christmas-jennifer-faye/1119221382?ean=9780373743100



Lights, Latkes, and Love by Peggy Bird

Ah, the holidays. David Shay can't get enough of the December festivities. He especially enjoys sharing his love of the season with the underprivileged children at his non-profit organization SafePlace for Children and Parents. Hannah Jenkins, on the other hand, turns into a jaded Scrooge every year on Black Friday. As manager of a large retail store, she's seen firsthand how the rampant commercialism of the holiday can bring out the worst in people.

When David's organization is the charity Hannah's boss picks for their annual donation, it falls on her to organize a huge holiday party, whether she likes it or not.

Can a nice Jewish boy—with the help of some Christmas lights, a little girl, and a latke party—teach Hannah the true meaning of the season and guarantee them both a New Year's Eve kiss to remember?


Amazon


http://www.amazon.com/Lights-Latkes-Love-Holiday-Romance-ebook/dp/B00OVDMFKK/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416876526&sr=1-6&keywords=Peggy+Bird

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lights-latkes-and-love-peggy-bird/1120641982?ean=9781440587948





The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak

Just call her Christmas Eve…

Eve Harmon has always enjoyed Christmas, but this year it reminds her of everything she doesn't have. Almost all her friends are married now, and that's what Eve wants, too. Love. A husband and kids of her own. But the B and B she manages, and even Whiskey Creek, the small Gold Country town where she was born and raised, suddenly seem…confining.

Eve's worried that her future will simply be a reflection of her past. There's no one in the area she could even imagine as a husband—until a handsome stranger comes to town. Eve's definitely attracted to him, and he seems to have the same reaction to her. But his darkly mysterious past could ruin Eve's happily ever after—just when it finally seems within reach. And just when she's counting on the best Christmas of her life!



Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0778316394/ref=s9_simh_bw_p14_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-3&pf_rd_r=06Q3V28DVWHM7BTVRMGM&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1975016422&pf_rd_i=283155

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-heart-of-christmas-brenda-novak/1119221344?ean=9780778316398




The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson

After years abroad, Garrison Brown returns home to Vancouver to build a new life. When his beloved grandmother passes away a few weeks before Christmas, Garrison goes to her house to sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While Garrison hopes to dispense with the task quickly, his grandmother's instructions don't allow for speed. She has left Garrison with some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends--plus a sizeable monetary gift for the new owners. Garrison's job is to match the cats with the right owners without disclosing the surprise gift. Along the way, he may just meet someone who can make him stay.

Humorous and heartwarming, this latest Christmas story from bestselling author Melody Carlson is the perfect gift for pet lovers and anyone in whose heart Christmas holds a special place.


Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Cat-Melody-Carlson/dp/0800719662/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416170906&sr=1-3&keywords=christmas+books+2014


Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-christmas-cat-melody-carlson/1118611200?ean=9780800719661




Season of Magic by various authors

Hopes and wishes. And holiday kisses...the Season of Magic.
Wrap yourself in the holiday spirit with five romantic stories filled with fun and forever after.

Noel Noel Noel by Merry Holly
Dumped and lonely, is it possible to find love at the local mall? Noelle thinks not, but a chance encounter with Chase Clayborne while Christmas shopping has her rethinking her rigid set of rules, as sparks flare between them.

A Cinderella Christmas
by Cara Marsi
Jessica Gallo no longer believed in fairy tales or happy endings. And she certainly didn’t believe she’d find her Prince Charming at Saks Fifth Avenue. Her Fairy Godmother thought differently.

Matchmaker Matchmaker by Bobbi Lerman
With Chanukah around the corner, is there enough magic left for a matchmaker to bring Molly's cynical heart back to life.

Holiday Disaster by Vicki Batman
The week before Christmas and all is in disarray when a librarian experiences horrible plumbing issues and a Mr. Maintenance Man who isn’t nearly as jolly as Santa Clause. This Christmas is a disaster.

Yuletide Bride by Gerri Brousseau
The Dowager Duchess’s decree that her grandson must marry before Twelfth Night or relinquish his title and fortune sends him into a tail spin. Without any prospects and with only two weeks until Christmas will Stuart Nelson find himself destitute or will he find The Yuletide Bride. 


Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Season-Magic-Holiday-Box-Set-ebook/dp/B00OZ136A6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416759531&sr=1-1&keywords=Season+of+Magic


Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/season-of-magic-marian-lanouette/1120721249?ean=2940150442801






Just in Time for a Highland Christmas by Dawn Marie Hamilton

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas, a Scottish historical time travel romance with Highlanders, scheming faeries, a mischievous brownie, magic, adventure, and romance set in 16th century Scotland and the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

When the Chief of Clan MacLachlan travels to the stronghold of his feuding neighbors to fetch his betrothed, she is gone. A year later, she is still missing. Making life more vexing, a band of reivers are stealing clan cattle, leaving behind destruction. Archibald MacLachlan determines to capture them and administer harsh punishment.

Though once in love with the man, Isobell Lamont refuses to wed her clan's enemy. After running away, she joins the band of reivers set on revenge.

Can Archibald forgive the raven-haired beauty? Will a journey through time bring them together for a Highland Christmas?



Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Just-Time-Highland-Christmas-Gardens-ebook/dp/B00P2ZBVG0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416759897&sr=8-1&keywords=just+in+time+for+a+highland+christmas





Ten Christmas Brides by various authors

What’s better than a Christmas Wedding? Ten Christmas Weddings!

Join ten New York Times, USA Today and National best-selling authors to celebrate the holiday season with a boxed set of stories brimming with emotion, holiday spirit and happy ever afters. From sweet to sexy, suspense to small town drama, travel from Belarus to Africa to the snowy Highlands of Scotland as Santa delivers our gift to you—love, laughter and happiness this Christmas!

Recipe for Love by Ruth Cardello, New York Times/USA Today bestselling author. 


All Madison Andrade wants for Christmas is a place to hide and she finds it in the home of a lusty French chef. Richard D’Argenson’s recipes are famous, but they lack one necessary ingredient—love. Spend a steamy holiday with this unlikely couple and fall in love –Andrade style.

Must Love Santa by Nina Bruhns, New York Times/USA Today bestselling author.


Detective Nick Palladin just needs to close one last case in Vice—going undercover as Santa—before getting his Christmas transfer to the K-9 Unit. But when a cute little fluffball and the knockout holding her leash stumble into the op and are attacked, Santa and his faithful dog come running to the rescue!

An Almost Perfect Christmas
by Donna Fasano, USA Today bestselling author.


Aaron Chase is desperate to give his daughter a perfect Christmas and elicits the help of Pediatric Nurse Christy Cooper to do it. When Aaron’s impish eight-year-old talks them into a make-believe wedding, can the magic of Christmas make the vows stick?

Christmas Captive (The Decorah Security Series) by Rebecca York, New York Times/USA Today best-selling author. 


How did hard-driving businessman Jordan Campbell end up in a coma? And can nurse Hannah Andrews use her psychic talent to connect with him and trap his would-be killer? As she and Jordan work together, she knows she’s putting her own life---and her heart---at risk.

The Army Doctor’s Honeymoon Baby (The Army Doctor’s Series) by Helen Scott Taylor, Award-winning and National bestselling author. 


Army doctor, Blair Mackenzie, secretly loves his childhood friend, Lorna, and protects her in the African refugee camp where they work. Lorna depends on Blair—he’s her best friend, the only man she’s ever loved. She longs to admit her feelings but a family secret from their past prevents her
.

Kiss Me Santa by Patrice Wilton, National bestselling author.

Widowed schoolteacher, Cindy Harris meets Brad Williams--posing as Santa--when she takes her young son to the mall. Imagine her surprise when he shows up as the hot-shot realtor selling her family home. Sparks fly between them. Can the magic of Christmas give them the best gift of all -- love?

An Unusual Christmas by Mona Risk, Award-winning and National bestselling author.


Running away from Christmas celebrations and the demons of her past, Dr. Jillian has dedicated her life to saving third-world children. In Belarus, a baby girl, four little boys, and a handsome doctor may teach her the true meaning of Christmas.

A Cowboy for Christmas by Annie Jones, Award-winning and National bestselling author.


A single mom who has pinned all her hopes on reviving a popular tourist dude ranch gets a Christmas surprise that may change everything when her son asks Santa for a new dad. And that very night a Christmas-skipping cowboy shows up at their door.

The Christmas Honeymoon by Alicia Street, Award-winning and National bestselling author. 


Quiet librarian Serena always loved Christmas, until she was jilted before her December wedding. A year later, while trying to rekindle her tarnished holiday spirit, she meets Damien, handsome daredevil—and a total Scrooge. Their unlikely mutual attraction brings on a challenge that leads to one very romantic Christmas.

She’s Not You by Mimi Barbour, National bestselling author. 


Sick and widowed, running scared from a man who insists she belongs to him, Belle is forced to let the charmer down the hall help out.


Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Ten-Christmas-Brides-Ruth-Cardello-ebook/dp/B00O3NFR2Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417555114&sr=1-1&keywords=10+christmas+brides

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ten-christmas-brides-ruth-cardello/1120523874?ean=2940046307481


Happy reading, Everyone, and have a great week!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Fla-la-la-la-la Christmas Movies!

I love Christmas movies almost as much as I love Christmas books! Here's my list of movies/specials that are "must sees" every year. 

Angela's list --

1)  Miracle on 34th Street,

2) The Christmas Carol,  

3) How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (the animated version             w/Boris Karloff!)

"Well...in Who-ville they say that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that  day!"   ...Dr. Seuss, How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

4) A Charlie Brown Christmas,

5) Holiday Affair


Please feel free to comment and share your favorites.

Have a great week, Everyone!

(photo c/o facebook.com/Dr. Seuss)