Sunday, December 30, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: The Spirit of Love #8




It's Six Sentence Sunday at Karen's Shenanigans. This is the 8th snippet from The Spirit of Love.

A ghost exploding light bulbs isn't going to stop Travis from talking and confronting their problems. Brynna and Travis couldn't be together without being reminded their son was no longer with them. They both did things to hurt each other. Brynna feels cornered and figures if Travis wants to talk. She'll do the talking first.
Direct link:
http://www.kmnbooks.com/six-sentence-sunday-the-spirit-of-love-8/

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Romancing Your E-Reader Book Bash!

The CONTEST HAS ENDED. 
First prize goes to commenter #173 (Melissa Snark at Babbette James' blog).
Second prize goes to commenter #74 (Hilary at Denice Moncrief''s blog)
Thak you everyone for hopping with us!! 

Welcome readers. Now that the holidays are winding down and you have time to indulge in a little pamper time, we'd like to help you escape into world where true love awaits.
23 Authors – 27 E-book Romances – Two Grand Prize Winners!
That’s right. Two lucky winners will be filling their new or old e-book readers with free romance e-books. 
First prize 15 titles. Second prize 12 titles. 

How do you win? Simple. The contributing authors have posted the blurb from their book at their websites (links below) and have asked a question about the blurb. Answer the question in a comment at each site. Each question answered is another entry toward one of the two grand prizes. And that’s not all. Many of the hops along the way are offering individual prizes as well. So be sure to visit as many as you can.  See, so very easy and fun!
 ( Grand prize winners will be announced on the 30th.)

My contribution to the grand prize is: MAGIC OF THE LOCH 
(paranormal/mystery/romance)


Blurb:

Michaela Grant travels to Scotland for a holiday, knowing this vacation is her last. A medical condition threatens her life and any chance of a future—until she meets Alan MacLachlin, a man forced to exist between two worlds.

Alan is the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Once every fifty years he returns to human form in search of his soul mate, the one woman who can break his curse. He believes he has found forever with Michaela, but to claim it he must figure out how to save her life.

Michaela and Alan vow to take what time has to offer, but another threat looms. A sinister shape shifter with a vendetta against Alan is making Loch Ness his personal hunting ground. Now he’s threatening Michaela. Alan must discover who the shifter is and stop him before it’s too late. 
(You can read an excerpt here.)

 Here's my question:
 Do you believe the Loch Ness Monster exists?

Don’t forget to leave your answer and contact information in the comments, then hop to the other blogs on the list and check out the blurbs and more chances to win. 
Good Luck! 
Karen

Here's the list of the other participating blogs:

THAT DATING THING by Mackenzie Crowne ~ mackenziecrowne.com
HOME  by Calisa Rhose ~ calisarhose.wordpress.com
MONA LISA'S ROOM by Vonnie Davis (plus a little sweet) ~ vintagevonnie.blogspot.com
STEPPING OUT OF LINE by Linda Carroll Bradd ~ blog.lindacarroll-bradd.com
DECEPTIONS OF THE HEART by Denise Moncrief ~ ~ denisemoncrief.blogspot.com
BE STILL MY LOVER'S HEART  by Lisa Hannah Wells ~ memorymakerscreator.blogspot.com
MURDER IN THE BUFF by Maggie Toussaint ~ mudpiesandmagnolias.blogspot.com
THE TREASURE OF COMO BLUFF by Alison Henderson ~ AliceHenderson.com
SHANGHAI CONNECTION by Carol Henry ~ macsmadmania.blogspot.com
SOMEWHERE MY LOVE (A ghostly time travel romance) by Beth Trissell ~  bethtrissel.wordpress.com
FAERIE FOOL by Silver James ~ Silverjames.com
CLEAR AS DAY by Babette James ~ babettejames.com
AN UNEXPECTED GIFT by Katherine Grey ~ katherinegrey.blogspot.com
TAKE ME HOME, COWBOY by Krista Ames (Plus 4 Anthology titles below) ~ apassionforromance.blogspot.com
THE DOLLHOUSE (For the Love of Christmas Anthology) by Dani-Lyn Alexander~  danilynalexander.com
STUDIO RELATIONS by Georgie Lee ~ georgielee.blogspot.com
by Carolyn Sullivan
A SECOND CHANCE AT FOREVER by Joanne Stewart ~ jm-stewart.blogspot.com
MAGIC OF THE LOCH by Karen Michelle Nutt ~ kmnbooks.blogspot.com
THE BETTER MAN by Ceri Hebert ~ cerihebert.wordpress.com
THREAT TO OUR FOREVER by Em Epe ~ emeperomances.blogspot.com
CONNECT THE DOTS (For the Love of Christmas Anthology) by Jennifer Eaton ~ jennifermeaton.com
FADEOUT by Rolynn Anderson ~ blog.rolynnanderson.com
Plus four anthologies, courtesy of Krista Ames.
BELIEVE CHRISTMAS ~ BE MINE, VALENTINE ~ ALL BETS ARE ON ~ SUMMER SHORTS


Good luck and happy reading.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

True Love awaits...

So What's your reading fancy? Perhaps one of my tale below will spark an interest. There are werewolves, vampires, shifters and ghosts for the paranormal fans. The legends come alive in these tales of romance and suspense.

I have outlaws and gunfighters—the Wild West like you've never seen. Who doesn't love a a hunk of a man in a cowboy hat? 

Time travel tales are a personal favorite for me. Take a trip back to the 1800s or 16th century Ireland. Or perhaps the 70s is the farthest back you'll want to go. It's a groovy time. 

How about a Fallen Angels? These bad boys are all so heavenly.

Go on read on and find your next read and escape into the pages where true love awaits...


OtherWorldly Romances:

Moon Shifter

Sydney still craves Grayson’s touch, but can her heart forgive him for making her one of the Mac Tíre? (werewolves)

AutumnMoonFinalthumbnail

Autumn Moon-Chinese Vampires(chiang-shi) (Vampires)
When a mysterious attack leaves the victim drained of blood, Autumn is forced to believe monsters really do exist. The master chiang-shih is raising an army with the intent of taking over Chinatown and he is determined to have Jairec and Autumn at his side.

Destiny's Prerogative-Werejaguar(nagual-Shay wants proof shapeshifters exist. Her curiosity leads her into a world of danger and to Gabriel Cruzado. Fate threw them together, but despite their differences, they work together, trying to eliminate the threat that will destroy their future.

A fiend dwells in the forest and Sir Liam Cantwell sets out to slay it. Only the fiend is a fair maiden named Glamis Drui. Will Liam fall prey to her deadly embrace or will his knightly charms be her undoing? (Vampire tale)
Michaela and Alan vow to take what time has to offer, but another threat looms. A sinister shape shifter with a vendetta against Alan is making Loch Ness his personal hunting ground. Now he’s threatening Michaela. Alan must discover who the shifter is and stop him before it’s too late. (Shifter tale)
Twilight'sEternalEmbraceEbook_thumbnail
Adryanna, a Lathe Sith, mourns the death of her recently mated sister, but she finds solace in the most unlikely place—in the arms of Bram, an Oiche Sith. She should fear him, loathe his existence, but instead she longs for their twilight embraces. Bram admires Adryanna’s strength and wishes only to protect her, even if it’s from him. (Vampire tale)

The Spirit of Love_ThumbnailA tragic accident leaves Brynna and Travis devastated. Instead of turning to each other for comfort, they drift apart. However, they must complete one more assignment—set on an old ship, The Queen Mary, during Yule, one of the most haunted times in the Celtic calendar. It is believed souls of the dead prevail and anam cara—soul friends can visit. (Ghost story)

VTP_Christmas_sweet-sensual_2012 Thumbnail

My story is: Mistletoe, Stakes and Yuletide Cheer (vampires and hunters)
What’s a hunter to do when she’s fallen for the vampire she’s been sent to stake?
Cassandra Hayes has been dating Tremayne Graystone, the vampire she’s been sent to eliminate. To stake or not to stake is the least of their problems when masked men kidnap them and hold them hostage. They realize all they want for Christmas is a chance to make their relationship work. Kisses under the mistletoe may not make this holiday merry, but they’re willing to give it a shot.

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Time Travel Romance: 1870 Natchez in Creighton Manor-The gamble is trust, but will the stakes prove too high for Zachery to risk it all and win Gillian's heart?

*************

1814 N.Carolina/New Orleans in A Twist of Fate-Keldon is the Highland Pirate and secrecy is the difference between life and death. He doesn’t trust his wife, but he finds his heart softening to the woman his wife has become. If he didn’t know better, he’d swear he's married to another woman and he’s fallen in love with her.

*********** 

1970 Hollywood in At the Stroke of Midnight-Dean McCloud thinks Tricia is trippin' when she tells him she's from the future. However, when Tricia's predictions start coming true, Dean realizes maybe she's not a crazy chick after all. Someone murdered him and they have until the Stroke of Midnight on New Years Eve to find out who wants him dead. 

***********

16th Century Ireland in Lost in the Mist of Time-Dougray finds that Aislinn is fearless in the face of an enemy, but shies away from what her heart holds true. Aislinn discovers that Dougray is honest and brave to a fault. He would die for her if necessary. They were thrown together by a twist of fate, a magical mist that sends them back to sixteenth century Ireland where conspiracies, feuds and unexpected violence are commonplace threats, but along the way, they discover a few surprises that neither one expects: a chance for love even when they're: Lost in the Mist of time

****************

Travel the Isle of Skye in the fantasy short story, Heart of a Warrior - Trey Brennan knew he was dying, but he awakes in another realm where the goddess Scáthach wants to teach him to be a warrior. He is sure he’s dreaming, but what did he have to lose? He would train and he would fight. Perhaps his destiny on the Isle of Skye would also change his path in his world.

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Watchers For the Light Series (Fallen Angels)
First Book is Eli
--There are those among the Watchers who are afraid Eli might succeed in his quest for love. If he does, everything will change within the brethren. Hashasheen demons, assassins for hire are sent to take out Eli and Ryden. Eli is a warrior and will fight to keep Ryden safe, but time may be his biggest enemy. The Elders gave him until the end of Ol’ Hallow’s Eve. Ryden must fall in love with him by then or his life will be forfeited.

*************

Book 2 is Lucca--Lucca does not live a mundane life. Angels and demons demand he do their bidding. His estrange father resurfaces after centuries of being absent and he's brought a friend from Hell.To make his life more complicated, he fears he found his soul mate in a human female. Only Juliet Romeo has a secret that will bring the wrath of Heaven down upon their heads.It's a race against time to find out who will end up with his soul.


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Westerns: Storm Riders- Steampunk western (time travel)
 Samantha Skelley and Denny Randeli are sent to 1879 Bodie, California, one of the wildest towns of the west. It should have been an easy snatch and rescue, but Ace McTavish is determined to put himself in harms way. Samantha and Denny are forced to help him with his plans before they take the next storm ride home.

Wanted -1880s- outlaw and the lawman.

JoBeth finds the Kellys a strange lot. A little girl, who believes her dreams are tales of the future and the rugged
sheriff whose kindness proves a distraction. She’s an outlaw for heaven’s sake, but Jace is bound and determined to steal her heart.

************************************************************************************
 Lady Catrione Johnstone knows of the Devil’s Wolf and his ruthless exploits. Catrione vows she will fight him to the end. However, the myth is nothing like the man. In his arms, she forgets he is her enemy. Will the magic of love finally bring peace to these two feuding clans or will it only inflame the hostility to a bloody end?
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Unbelievable Finds Series


Mr. O'Grady's Magic Box
Aubrey Jules, a reporter from Unbelievable Finds is sent to investigate a box, which is reputably older than time and crafted by the wee folks. Mr. O’Grady, owner of the bed and breakfast in Dana Point, California, convinces Aubrey to wish for a soul mate. When Ian Quinn, who abandoned Aubrey ten years ago, walks in she’s convinced the fairies have a wicked sense of humor.

The Curse of Tempest Gate (Angels, demons, ghosts and witches) 
A beautiful sculpture in the cemetery, a stone angel warrior, draws her attention and her admiration. Could this be the Archangel Michael? Then she finds out more than she bargains for when she sits in the devil’s chair on the eve of Halloween. Two entities need her for their own personal reasons, but only one will demand her heart.
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Looking for a new recipe? ~ 57 Recipes contributed by 19 Authors and Staff - Proceeds from sales will go to Save the Children for victims of Superstorm Sandy ~

Six Sentence Sunday: The Spirit of Love #7



It's Six Sentence Sunday and This is the 7th snippet from The Spirit of Love.
If this is your first SSS, here's a quick update: Brynna and Travis lost their son (Jake) due to a tragic accident. Instead of turning to each other they drifted apart. However, they own a Ghost Hunting business and they were scheduled for a night at the Queen Mary. This is the first time they have seen each other in months. In this scene: It takes place a few paragraphs after Snippet 6 left off.
Karen's Shenanigans:
Six Sentence Sunday: The Spirit of Love #7

Friday, December 21, 2012

Gerald Costlow shares is his Christmas in Korea

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED. GERALD DECIDED TO PLAY SANTA AND GIVE EVERYONE A COPY OF CRAZY JACK WHO HAD COMMENTED. SO MERRY CHRISTMAS! If you forgot to leave your email, contact me with the info and I'll pass it along to Gerald. Have a safe and happy holiday!!

KAREN: I'm thrilled to have fantasy author, Gerald Costlow here today to share his sweet and amusing story of his Christmas in Korea. You're sure to have a chuckle. He also has a sneak peek at his new release: Crazy Jack. I had a chance to review this story and I just loved it and I'm sure you will, too. 

***CONTEST: Gerald is giving away one digital copy of Crazy Jack to one lucky winner! Read on and see how you may be that winner. You don't want to miss adding this tale to your Christmas stocking!

A Christmas in Korea by Gerald Costlow

The year was 1989.  I was a young, single airman stationed in Korea with Christmas approaching.  It was not my first Christmas spent far away from family but that didn’t make it any less lonely.  It’s times like that where the distance away from home really hits hard.

My mother, bless her heart, always sent me regular care packages.  To understand the rest, you have to understand that this was before the internet and even phone calls home were few and far between.  Adding to the confusion, Mom’s idea of what the rest of the world was like is formed by television shows and movies.  To her, France consists of Paris from a 1960 romantic movie complete with sidewalk bistros.  If she ever showed up in London, she’d expect the city to be buried in smog just like the Sherlock Holmes movies.

And mother saw Korea depicted during 1950s wartime from the MASH series on television.  I love the Korean people and they had done a fantastic job of rebuilding in the thirty years or so since the war.  On top of that, the American bases had great facilities including our own stores where every comfort of home could be acquired.  But no matter how often I wrote home to Mom explaining how I wasn’t deprived of basic necessities, I could not convince her of that.

This made her care packages an experience.  Back to 1989.  That Christmas I received an especially large, heavy box.  I pulled out of the box two jars of peanut butter, a canned ham, a can opener just in case, and three shoeboxes full of home-made cookies and candies and cakes.  For non-edible gifts I received new gloves, new socks, thermal underwear (it always seems to be winter in the MASH episodes) and to top it all off, a half dozen bars of deodorant soap.  It was everything a loving mother could think of that her baby boy might need in that scary, foreign land.

There is one big problem with this assortment: the deodorant soap.  Packed along with home-made goodies with nothing but a thin cardboard box between them, for the week it took to get there?  Yep, every cookie and chocolate covered cherry tasted like I was biting into a bar of soap.  That’s Mom for you.

And I still ate every last bit of cookie and cake, of course.  Did you know, sometimes love tastes like deodorant soap?

***CONTEST: I will give out an ebook copy of Crazy Jack to a random poster who answers the question: Have you or someone you know ever been separated from the people you love at Christmas?
About the Author:

Gerald Costlow lives in Michigan along with his wife and a houseful of dogs and other assorted critters.  His short stories have been published in various anthologies and his debut novel, The Weaving, was released in 2010 to great reviews. 

About the book: 
I’m proud to present Crazy Jack, the first book-length story in the Appalachia supernatural romance series.

This time we are introduced to Crazy Jack, a local character who is…well, crazy. He hears voices in his head that he claims are animal spirits that can even take over his body. He’s in love with Elizabeth, a young Sherritt witch living way back on the ridge, struggling to make ends meet while trying to raise her orphaned nephew. She loves him in return, but has real doubts about the wisdom of marrying someone like Jack.

Then Crazy Jack is accused of murder and becomes a hunted man, both by the sheriff who wants him in jail and the murdered man’s kin who just want him dead. Elizabeth believes he is innocent and must call upon the powers of her Sherritt blood and get help from her own kin before the mountain erupts into a clan feud. And of course, Crazy Jack is not going to take being framed for murder lying down.

To learn more about the author and the Appalachia romance series, visit Once Upon a Word Author Page or visit his personal blog at The Weaving

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Susan Macatee and a Victorian Christmas

The contest is closed. Shannon Ro is the winner of the PDF and gift certificate. Congrats, Shannon!

KAREN: Susan Macatee is a multi-published author at The Wild Rose Press. Her American Civil War romance stories are not the typical Gone With the Wind variety. She has time travel tales and women soldiers. Or you may find a ghost or two, or even a few vampires. However, in all her tales, you are sure to find heartwarming romances where true love always wins in the end.
 
***CONTEST: You'll have a chance to win a PDF copy of her new release, plus a $10.00 gift certificate for The Wild Rose Press. Read on to find out how you may add these gifts to your stocking. Contest ends at midnight. Good Luck!!

SUSAN: Thanks, Karen, for hosting me on your blog today.

My new release, Thoroughly Modern Amanda, isn’t a Christmas story, but it is a time travel romance, set in America in 1880, at the height of the Victorian era.

Americans, at this time, were very aware of what went on in England, including fashions, literature and the very strict traditions set forth by Queen Victoria. 

In America, the traditions of the Christmas season, evolved over the Victorian period to encase much of what we are familiar with as part of Christmas today. St. Nicholas or Santa Claus appeared as a main part of the season during the Victorian era.

By the 1860s, the familiar Christmas traditions that we celebrate to this day, were already in place. “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens had been published in 1843 and the image of Santa Claus as jolly and portly fellow had been established through the drawings of Thomas Nast, a German-speaking immigrant.

Also, the Christmas tree, was thought of by many as being donated by German immigrants, who decorated an evergreen tree in their homes. This tradition, in actuality dates back to pre-Christian times. To the Romans, the evergreen was a symbol of fertility and regeneration. The early Christians adapted the symbol to represent the Tree of Life and Jesus.

The Christmas tree in America dates back to as early as 1812 or 1819. New York was originally a Dutch Republic named New Amsterdam, hence the earliest American Christmas trees may have originated with the German-American population.

The Christmas tree gradually increased in popularity over the next twenty years. Universal appeal occurred during the 1850’s and 1860’s.

Godey’s promoted the charm of the in-home Christmas tree, highlighting Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s celebration. A table-top tree was included, the print appearing in the December Godey’s issue in 1850. Albert had introduced the tree he’d embraced as a child in Germany and years after his marriage to Victoria, stated, “I must now seek in the children an echo of what Ernest [his brother]and I were in the old-time, of what we felt and thought; and their delight in the Christmas-trees is not less than ours used to be,…”

In America, over the next decade, Christmas trees started to appear in both the churches and the marketplace. This in turn, encouraged people to bring them into their homes, making the tree an important part of holiday décor.

Other traditions, as well, came direct from England, including caroling, Christmas cards, exchanging gifts and lavishing attention on children.

Sources: Christmas Trees and Godey’s Lady’s Book/ America’s Victorian Era in the Age of Sail

For more information and photos of early Christmas trees go to

For a post on Victorian Christmas traditions:


Blurb for Thoroughly Modern Amanda:
Believing anything is possible, magazine reporter Amanda Montgomery dreams about being a modern woman in a nineteenth century world, much like her exceptional step-mother.  But society expects well-off young ladies to focus on finding a suitable husband and raising a family.  And then Jack appears—with no past and unconventional ideas. Does he hold the key to another century as well as her heart, or is she destined to stay in her own time?

Construction worker Jack Lawton wants to preserve an old home that's scheduled for demolition.  But when he sneaks inside for a final look, a loose beam falls on his head, and upon waking, he finds himself in the arms of a beautiful woman.  His only problem—he's no longer in the twenty-first century.  Can he find his way back home? Does he really want to?

Excerpt:

Her footsteps sounded hollow on the unfinished wood floor as she paced. He lifted his gaze to study her. Her skirts nearly touched the freshly sanded floor as she braced her hands on either side of her hips. Her brow furrowed, lips twisted into an expression of anxiety.

"I'm sorry," he said.

She turned and faced him. "Sorry?"

"For putting you to all this trouble." He realized he didn't even know his rescuer's name. "I'm Jack Lawton, by the way and you are…?"

She pursed her full lips. "Miss Montgomery."

"You don't have a first name?" he asked.

"Sir, we are strangers to one another." Her face reddened.

"But I gave you my first name." He spread his hands.

She propped her hands on her hips. "My father would have a conniption fit if I gave my Christian name to a strange man. On the other hand, my step-mother…" Her lips curved into the hint of a smile. "…always introduces herself by her first name to the consternation of my father." She lifted her chin as if appraising Jack. "I'm Amanda."

Jack smiled but winced as a shot of pain sliced through his skull. "Amanda Montgomery. I'll be sure to remember that name." He lifted his hand. "Now, if you could assist me to the front door."

She stretched her arm down toward him, and he used the wall to hoist himself so he wouldn't put all his weight on her.

A brief wave of dizziness halted his progress, but he steadied himself. "Lead on."

By the time they reached the door, he realized how eerily familiar this house looked. Almost as if the house he'd been in had traveled back in time. Could the new owner have changed his mind and decided to rebuild the place?

Amanda threw open the door.

Jack's mouth gaped. Not only was his car gone, but the entire block was transformed. What had been a paved walk and blacktop street was now packed dirt.

Heat rose to his cheeks. "Where's my car? Did they tow it away to tear up the street?" He couldn't have been unconscious long enough.

"I don't know what you mean." Amanda's gaze scanned the road.

Jack froze in the doorway, not sure what to do. This was insane. He had no car, no cell phone or ID. If he made it to his house, would it even be there? For one chilling moment, he wasn't sure.

Amanda glanced at him, then back at the road, not saying anything for a long moment. "Mr. Lawton, if you're able to walk a short distance, I'll take you to my home. My step-mother may know how to help you."

Thoroughly Modern Amanda available from The Wild Rose Press.

***CONTEST: Leave a comment to be entered in the drawing to win a PDF copy of my new release, plus a $10.00 gift certificate for The Wild Rose Press. Contest ends at midnight. Good Luck!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Liz Flaherty Believes!

This contest is closed. The winner is Katrina Gillian!! Congratualtions!

KAREN: Liz Flaherty pens romance tales for The Wild Rose Press, Carina Press and Sillhouette. Her new romances Jar of Dreams will be released January 2013! Sounds fantastic readers and you can pre-order it now! 

***CONTESTLiz is giving away a cup and saucer (and maybe a teabag or two) to a lucky commenter. Read on to find out how you may win this wonderful Christmas present!!

"I BELIEVE" BY LIZ FLAHERTY

      We were Christians, so believing in and embracing the “reason for the season” was never an issue. I had three older brothers, so believing in Santa Claus was an issue. In short, I never did. In our house, by the time I came along, Santa was a mythological folk hero portrayed, as Susan said in Miracle on 34th Street, by a “nice man with a white beard.” I liked him, I wanted him to be real, but I knew better. Some part of me wondered if the reason classmates got better presents than I did was that they believed in St. Nick and I didn’t.
         Twenty or so years later, my husband and I worked hard to keep our kids’ belief in Santa alive and well. Duane even gestured over the fallow fields we drove past and assured the back seat brigade that the rows only looked empty—they were actually filled with bumper crops of air oats. This peculiar grain, which grows only where there are children to imagine it, is what reindeer eat that allows them to fly.
         One Christmas Eve, we drove home from my family’s celebration through a Christmas card display of falling snow—great fat flakes falling straight down. Although it was only late afternoon, it was dark. The car was full of gifts and goodies and excited children.
         Duane saw the movement from the side in time to pump the brakes gently and slow to a crawl. Allowing the cluster of antlered deer to cross in front of us to the field on the other side of the road.
         The kids fell silent. Watching.
         “They’ll be working tonight,” said Duane.
         “Uh-huh.” As usual, I had a brilliant rejoinder to add to the conversation.
         “Filling up on air oats before they go out,” one of the kids offered.
         “Uh-huh.”
         Looking back, I know the deer were whitetail, not reindeer. I know the only thing the field produced that night was a few inches of snow. I know that Duane and I did the Santa job later on that night, laughing and wrapping and eating his cookies and drinking his milk. I know all that.
         A year or two ago, I was driving somewhere with grandsons in the car. I don’t remember which ones or how old they were, only that there was more than one and it was wintertime. One of the boys lifted a hand, gesturing toward the field we passed. “Look,” he said. “Air oats.”
         I don’t care what I know—I believe.
***
         Thanks for having me here today, Karen. Merry Christmas to everyone who stops by! My next book is Jar of Dreams, due out January 14 from Carina Press.  

***CONTEST: Since Lucy runs a tearoom, I’m giving away a cup and saucer (and maybe a teabag or two—I’m not a purist) to a lucky commenter. Leave me an email address and—if you live in the US or Canada or Mexico—answer this question: What’s your favorite place for “lunch with the girlfriends”?
         Stop by and see me at http://lizflaherty.com or on FacebookJar of Dreams is available for pre-order at AMAZON or BARNES AND NOBLE. In case you need some convincing, here’s a blurb!

For as long as she can remember, Lucy Dolan has been jotting down her hopes on slips of paper and saving them in a pickle jar—her jar of dreams. It was the first thing she saved when the beloved family diner went up in flames, and it's safely buckled in her beat-up minivan when she lands in Taft, Indiana, to start over. She rents a room and goes into business with her landlady, but then Gert's nephew comes charging in to "rescue" his aunt.

Boone Brennan will be damned if he'll let Lucy take advantage of Aunt Gert, who raised him and his sister. Believing that she's just passing through, he's deeply suspicious of her—despite the sparks that fly between them.

Just as Boone and Lucy are starting to open up to each other, a series of fires throws Lucy under suspicion. Boone wants to trust her and his feelings, but with the whole town against her, will he stay by her side? Or will Lucy move on and find another place to make her dreams come true?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dawn Luedecke and Christmas Magic

KAREN: Dawn Luedecke is an author of western and paranormal tales. She breathes life into her characters and you'll remember them long after you've closed the book. Dawn is here today to share her Favorite Kind of Christmas Magic and give us a sneak peek of two at her books from The Wild Rose Press. Let's give her a warm welcome!

My Favorite Kind of Christmas Magic by Dawn Luedecke

Magic seems to sprinkle over Christmas like the first snow of winter. From the moment my husband turns on “A Christmas Story” on thanksgiving night, until the last present is ripped into on Christmas Day, the magic of the season never fades away. Even now, as I grow older, I find myself giddy at the thought of waking up to a room full of presents that seemed to appear out of nowhere, or of seeing Santa next to the line of children waiting impatiently to sit on his lap.
What happens when Christmas magic is combined with a historical romance? In my first Christmas short story ‘I Heard the Bells’, the Lighthouse keepers niece, Abigail, experiences firsthand the miracles of the season when her brother goes missing and the only man who can save him is the man of her dreams. This is the sort of magic romantics like me dream about -- the kind where a simple family tradition, like a simple Christmas tune, can change your fate forever.
Here’s a little teaser from ‘I Heard the Bells’:
Gavin reached down and grabbed her hand. They walked to the edge of the porch to look down toward the station and town. A group of carolers stood in a row, huddled together and ensconced in warm wool clothes, as they sang the songs of the season.
Abby stood with her back to Gavin. She looked down when his hands slid past her sides and hugged her to him. She leaned against him and closed her eyes, this allowed the sounds of the songs to calm her. A new song drifted up the hill to greet her ears.
I heard the bell’s on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet, their words repeat
Of Peace on Earth, Good will to men.
“That’s it!” She yelled, and snapped out of the serene trance the song’s had formed around them. Gavin took a step back when she turned.
“What’s it?” he asked from behind her while she tromped to the lighthouse.
“The bell.”
“Abby? I don’t understand?”
“Every Christmas Nash would wake me by singing a little song in my room. He would make it sound like the bells. He even said that one of these holidays, he would make the lighthouse signal sing it. If we can play it on there, then at least he would know I’m here. We haven’t forgotten.”
There are many things to be grateful of on this season of seasons, but I am truly grateful for the miracles you can see all around. Whether it’s the glimmer of the lights and family memories adorning the tree, or the serene sound of carolers singing of Jesus, a sparkle is given to this holiday that can be seen only once a year.

My holiday short historical is titled 'I Heard the Bells'. Here is the blurb.

The lighthouse keeper's niece Abigail has been in love with Gavin as long as she can remember. He is one of the brave men who risk their lives to rescue those who find trouble crossing the bar into safe harbor. Those who keep watch from Cape Disappointment on the Columbia Bar have seen many ships and men lose their lives, will Abigail's brother Nash be one of them?

A Christmas miracle born of love may be the answer.

You can purchase a copy at:  Amazon





 Here's the blurb for my full length western historical 'To Tame a Montana Heart'

Running from a past of privilege, deceit, and danger, Travis Simms is ready to settle down. What better place to forget all he left behind than the quiet little Montana town of Lolo Hot Springs? His goal is clear -- build a hotel and his own destiny without complications -- until one of the town's most troublesome women captures his attention.

Dusty Larson is hell bent on independence, helping her sister run the Triple D Ranch. She can do anything a man can, and do it better, so she certainly doesn't need one in her life. The only problem is she seems to attract bad luck and danger...and Travis. Can he tame her wild ways and keep his bachelor status intact -- or does he risk losing his heart?
You can purchase a copy at: The Wild Rose Press
 and at Amazon

  About the Author:

A country girl born and bred, Dawn Luedecke has spent most of her life surrounded by horses, country folk, and the wild terrain of Nevada, Idaho and Montana. As a child she would spend many afternoons reading books, watching western classics, and Rogers and Hammerstein movies. When she grew up she decided to leave the quiet country life for a chance to find adventure by serving in the United States Coast Guard. During that time she found her soul mate (and alpha male) and started a family and writing career. These days you can find her on the coastline as she follows her husband’s Coast Guard career along the beach.
Visit Dawn at:
 Website
Amazon Author Page

Monday, December 17, 2012

Celia Yeary asks: "What Would You Do?"

KAREN: We have Celia Yeary today. She is a seventh-generation Texan. It is no wonder her romances with a little bit of Texas ring true to life. Let's give her a warm welcome.

***CONTEST: Celia will be choosing one lucky winner. In the spirit of giving, she will"Gift" THREE copies of A Christmas Wedding to the winners' Kindle or Nook--whichever the winners have. If neither--she will send a PDF. For everyone: she's posted a recipe of a yummy Chocolate Christmas Treat!
~~*~~

What Would You Do?
By Celia Yeary

It's amazing what people do during the Christmas season, something they might not do otherwise. Recently, a NYPD officer found a man on the street who wore no shoes on one of the coldest nights of the year. With a giving heart--and not knowing he was being photographed by a young woman with a cell phone--the officer escorted the man to a nearby shoe store and bought him a pair of sturdy, expensive shoes.

The story went viral, and it stirred people's hearts. Many began to give more in ways they'd never thought to do before.

But the story doesn't end there. The facts? The man was not homeless, although his home was rather small and shabby. The next day the same man appeared on the street--without shoes. When questioned, he claimed he had the shoes hidden "because they cost a lot of money."

Now, some--like myself--might think he sold the shoes, maybe for drug money, and who knows what. I might judge or think negatively about such a person on the street. But what do I really know? 

Nothing.

How did people react when they learned the second part of the story? It seems many decided to help a needy person or cause, when in previous years they had not.

Aren't we taught to feed the hungry, (Didn't your mother say, Clean your plate. Remember all the starving children in China.) clothe the naked, and house the homeless? But suppose we stop and analyze--"Does this person really need food, or clothes, or a home?" None of us want to be scammed.
But what the shoeless man did with the shoes was not the point. It was the feeling the person received in carrying out this little project.

A gift is free, clear of any obligation. Give the gift, and then don't worry what the person might do with it.

Since my husband and I give in various ways, I'm not too worried about whether to give more or not. But the effect this had on me hit home--and I won't ever forget it--a feeling of peace and while not quite happiness, just a calm lovely feeling that someone had done the right thing.
Do the right thing--that's what I think about more now than I ever have.
~~*~~
I'm excited that one of my publisher's lowered the price of an ebook for a novella Christmas story to 99cents. This is my one and only story that has something about Christmas. Actually, it's a story that could take place any time of the year--I just happened to set it then and titled it A Christmas Wedding.

Again, it's not exactly about a special couple getting married at Christmas. There's a little more to it than that:

A Christmas Wedding-by Celia Yeary

Blurb:
Kailey Lovelace, maid of honor in her brother's Christmas wedding, hopes the best man Alex Dunn won't bolt when he sees she is six feet tall and has frizzy blond hair. At the airport, she almost loses her breath when she learns he's even taller and looks like a dream. If only he likes her enough for the week of the wedding to go smoothly.

Alex Dunn, recently discharged from the Army, can't believe his good luck when he meets his partner for the wedding. Kailey is just the right height and gorgeous, as well. He looks forward to a pleasant week in Texas.

What could possibly go wrong?

EXCERPT:
The doorbell rang…and rang and rang. Kailey stumbled to the door and peeked through the security peephole. Alex. And Sam.
With a little adrenalin perking her up, she opened the door, standing there in her lacy black bra and a pair of too short sweat pants that came to mid-calf. She pointed a finger at both men and said, “If you laugh, you can just turn around and go home.”
Sam groaned and covered his eyes. “Sheesh, sis, put on some clothes.”
She glanced at Alex. He stood with his hands in his coat pockets, grinning, looking from her eyes to her breasts, and back to her eyes. Funny, she wasn’t embarrassed. I’d have on less if I were in my swim suit. And she liked the little thrill that ran through her.
Leaving the door open, she turned away, waving her hand at them. She looked around the room, under the table, behind the sofa, when finally she found the sweatshirt—one of Sam’s, too—behind a door. Pulling it over her head, she walked as straight as she could to the sofa, shoved Shelley’s feet to the side, and sat down.
“Sit up, Shelley. The guys want to talk.” She glared at both of them. “Well, sit, both of you. I’ll get a crick in my neck looking up. Hey, Shell, wake up. Look who’s here. Your fiancé, the one you've been avoiding!”
~~*~~
NOW 99cents, just in time for the holidays for your Kindle or Nook!
         BARNES &; NOBLE

****CONTEST: I will randomly choose three visitors who comment and "Gift" a copy of A Christmas Wedding to your Kindle or your Nook--whichever you have. If neither--I will send a PDF.
~~*~~ 
And now, here's a recipe for your Christmas celebration and the Holidays:
Chocolate Bark
10-oz package of chocolate chips (I use dark chocolate chips)
1 Tb. vegetable oil
1 tsp. extract (I use Almond extract--Peppermint works also.)
Nuts
Dried Fruit
Candy Bits
I use one cup of chopped pecans, 1/2 cup Craisins, 1/2 cup Toffee Bits

In a large saucepan, the oil. Heat slightly.
Add the chocolate chips and extract.
Melt on low burner.
Stir in the remained of ingredients.
Spread out in a cookie sheet lined with greased foil (I use margarine.)
Cool in refrigerator two hours. Break apart into pieces.
Store in airtight container.

Thank you!
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas