Category: Giveaway


How many of you make New Year’s resolutions?  Or goals of some sort, even if you don’t call them resolutions?  Hands up!

 

4415770896_b0e3386450_z

( Photo credit: Randy Heinitz via Foter.com / CC BY )

I learned a long time ago that making resolutions doesn’t really work for me, so I quit that a long time ago.  Instead, I focus my efforts on goals, broken down monthly, and sometimes weekly,  and mostly writing-related.

I’ve taken part in a goal-setting workshop the last couple of years with Delilah Devlin and her sister Elle James (which is wonderful, if you’re a writer looking to set better, more achievable goals for yourself).  I’ve whittled down my writing ‘wish-list’ each year to something I can actually do, as well as building in time to allow for unexpected things cropping up.  But this year, even though my writing output was really good, I had some serious distractions in my personal life pop up that put a huge damper on my  achievements.  Some of those things, I have mentioned here in previous blog posts, so I won’t go into them again.

So right now, I’m reworking my goals list for the new year while allowing for these big, personal things to still impact my plans (and I already know they will, unfortunately), but still actually achieving my goals.

 

11697630935_e56bbdf0d3_z

( Photo credit: Randy Heinitz via Foter.com / CC BY )

Part of my planning is to figure out everything that I want to accomplish, then break down the list by month, and sometimes even by the week within that month depending on what is going on.  I started with a pretty good list, but I’ve pared it down a bit, knowing that things that impacted my plans for 2016 will still be ongoing (and possibly bigger goal-killers than they already have been), and I’m fine-tuning now so that by the end of the week, I will be ready to kick 2017’s ass!

16167290762_18f93802b5_z

( Photo credit: C. VanHook (vanhookc) via Foter.com / CC BY )

How do you work out your plans for the new year?  Just a vague list of things you want to achieve, or a day-by-day breakdown of everything you’ll have to do to make it happen?  If you share by Friday, December 30, 2016, I’ll put your name in a drawing for an ebook of Hunting Medusa.

My shiny new cover art! isn't it pretty?

 

 

 

6528213925_d32165e068_z

( Photo credit: BarbaraWilli via Foter.com / CC BY )

 

Usually, I look forward to the end of the year.  December is family time for us, plus lots of good food from Thanksgiving through the new year.

This year is different.  Right now, I have two close family members who are sick, and our not-quite-17-year-old kitty is going downhill in a hurry.  In fact, it’s been a really crappy week and a half here, and I am not looking forward to seeing what comes next.

So.  Tell me something awesome that’s happened to you since December 1st.  I could use some cheering up, plus everyone who shares their ‘awesome’ happening from the past 17 days by this Friday, December 23, 2016 will get their name entered into a giveaway for an ebook copy of Hunting Medusa.

My shiny new cover art! isn't it pretty?

Bring on the awesome!

 

dsc00216

It’s Sunday, and this Sunday, for several reasons, I would love to hear something happy.  The last month or so has been rough.  Two close relatives are dealing with serious health issues, and I’ve been worrying and stressing over that–what can I do, how can I help, why won’t you let me help, I want to spend as much time with you as I can, etc.  I know I’m not the only one who’s ever dealt with this, and it’s just my turn, I guess.

A writer friend on Facebook mentioned her husband’s birthday today and the cake she’s looking forward to.  A birthday is definitely something happy.  Plus cake!

The slightly cooler temps today that will drop down even more this week are a good reason to be happy, as are the leaves changing color (took that pic above at my dad’s a few days ago, because I couldn’t believe how many leaves had already started turning!), which means fall is coming.

I always try to find something in the morning to be happy about (over on my Facebook page), even if it’s a really simple thing, just because it’s a positive start to my day.  Some days it’s harder than others to come up with something.

So I think I’m going to have to leave the house today (which I didn’t intend to do), and go find some cake.  I should be good and find cupcakes or something not too decadent, but doesn’t this look good?

4732574860_aef3fc9677_z

(  Photo credit: Marion Chi via Foter.com / CC BY-SA )

Before I do that, though, I have two things for you: an excerpt from Hunting Medusa, and a giveaway (details below).

_______________

Andrea rested her head on her folded arms on the kitchen table, only half listening to Kallan typing on his keyboard. She didn’t want to die just yet. She knew for sure she didn’t want to be mutilated before she died.
But she didn’t look forward to killing the Harvester either.
She never should have had sex with him. She knew it. She’d known it beforehand.
And she should definitely not still want him.
When the phone rang, it was a relief. For a few seconds. Until she realized it was Thalia. “My cousin.” She didn’t think she needed to explain her mental caller I.D. to him.
Kallan held her gaze for a long moment. “Don’t try to let her know what’s going on,” he said at last. “I know where a lot of your cousins are located, and I’m not the only one.”
Her heart pounded harder at the implication, but she got to her feet and picked up the receiver. “Hello, Thalia. How are you?”
“I’m fine, Andi, but I think you need to get away for a while.”
She frowned, feeling Kallan’s presence behind her. Close behind her. Close enough to hear her conversation. “What do you mean?” His body heat teased her.
“The Harvesters are out and about. I’m afraid for you.”
Andi shut her eyes for a second, then opened them again when he put his hands on her shoulders. She shot him a glare and moved away, back toward the table. “I’m fine.”
“Please don’t ignore this, Andi. You know I’m hardly ever wrong.”
That was true. But she wondered if her cousin realized she was very often late with her flashes of intuition. Far too late in this case. “Okay. I’ll give it some thought, all right? Mom said something the other day about visiting.” Gods, had it only been two days ago? “And Aunt Lydia just called yesterday too. I could go to see either of them if anything seems odd.”
His hands settled on her shoulders again, massaging the tense muscles there.
She didn’t bother to shrug him off this time. He was persistent. “I could even come visit with you,” she teased, forcing a lightness into her tone.
Her cousin cleared her throat. “I actually have company right now,” she said after a moment, and Andi could almost see her blushing. “You remember I met someone in Athens last summer? Well, he’s come again to stay for a while.” Even over the phone, the emotion in Thalia’s voice was obvious.
One more cousin safe—none of the cousins who’d fallen in love ever had the curse land on their heads. A tiny bit of relief made her relax further under Kallan’s touch. “That’s terrific, Thalia. When do the rest of us get to meet him?”
“We’re talking dates,” the other woman said, a hint of a smile in her tone now. “I’ll be sure to let you know.”
“Good. And thanks for the warning. I miss you.”
“I miss you, too. I’ve got to go, Andi. Talk to you soon. But promise you’ll be careful. Danger is coming from more than one direction.”
She pushed the off button on the phone and shut her eyes, ignoring the slight sting in them. She was not envious of Thalia’s good fortune. She was just in an impossible situation here.
His warm breath brushed the top of her head a second before his lips. “That was good.”

She wanted to tell him to go screw himself. She wanted a weapon to swing at him. She wanted him to wrap his arms around her and carry her down onto the nearest flat surface.
Her eyes popped open. Damned hormones.
His hands slid down her sides and wrapped around her, settling her back against his chest as if he’d read her mind. She hoped he didn’t have that ability.

“What have you found?” she asked instead, keeping herself upright instead of relaxing further.
“Not a cursed thing.”
She blinked. She hadn’t really expected he’d tell her, but the resignation in his tone told her his reply was the truth. She inhaled unsteadily. “I guess you have to make up your mind then. You or me.”
“There has to be something else.” He sounded frustrated now, as if he were gritting his teeth, and his grip on her tightened marginally.
Andi shut her eyes. No matter how torn he seemed to be about his destined tasks, she had no doubt he’d do them eventually. And if not, she’d do what the Medusas had been doing for millennia and eliminate the threat to her. That was her destiny.

_______________

Now for the giveaway…  Tell me what makes you happy.  Everyone (US resident over 18 who has not won anything here in the past 90 days) who comments by 5 p.m. EST, Wed, Sept. 14, 2016 will be entered into a drawing (via RandomResult.com) for a shiny, signed copy of Hunting Medusa.

HuntingMedusa

Now I have to go find cake.  I hope your Sunday is wonderful!

 

Well, my birthday month is almost over.  I think maybe one more round of cake this weekend.

5429629819_9074dcb80f_z

( Photo credit: jamieanne via Foter.com / CC BY-ND  )

I’ve actually had cake here twice this week–the first was chocolate, and it was really amazing, and the second was a lemon with berry and it was equally incredible.  Oh, I lied.  I’ve had cake three times, because at work this week, we celebrated National Cheesecake Day, and my employer fed us all really delicious cheesecake.  Not a bad week for cake.

I also spent the evening of my birthday at  my regular monthly writing group, which was a good gift.

115061459_c3f31c4ae2_z

( Photo credit: Muffet via Foter.com / CC BY )

The SyFy Channel gives me a gift every year, too, the week of my birthday:  a new Sharknado movie, and I’m looking forward to that tomorrow evening.

The bad news (for me) is that apparently no one wants this box of goodies.

DSC00209

So I’m going to try one more time, with a short time frame.  Since my birthday month ends tomorrow, anyone (U.S. resident over 18 who hasn’t gotten any goodies from me in the last 6o days) who comments on this post by midnight tomorrow night, Sunday, July 31, 2016 will be entered into a drawing (via randomresult.com ) for this box full of books and other goodies, like a shirt, tote, and bookmarks.  I really, really want someone to have all of this good stuff.

Now, I’m going back to my writing and shark movies for the evening.  And having a piece of that lemon berry cake.

Happy birthday to me, with the present for you!

 

Yes, it is still hotter than even the first level of Hell here.  I know it’s hotter in some other places, so I shouldn’t complain, but I will anyway, just because.

One of my favorite things to do, summer or winter, is to watch the hilariously awful original movies on the SyFy Channel.  It doesn’t make for productive writing weekends, but they make me laugh my head off, and the way the news has been the past month or so, a whole lot of laughter seems like a really good thing.

This week is one of those weeks when not much else will happen here, except SyFy viewing, as the new Sharknado movie airs next weekend, and leading up to that, there are shark movies all week, including today.  Two of my favorites were on earlier–Dinoshark, with Eric Balfour, and Sharktopus, with Eric Roberts.  Lots of terrible special effects, terrible dialogue  (and some equally awful acting in some instances), and a whole lot of fun.  My kids don’t get it (but we’re even, since I think some of the movies they like are crap, and they’re not intended to be campy fun), so they don’t watch with me, but my husband will.

So, since it is so horribly warm, I think it’s a good week to stay inside, read, watch funny movies, and enjoy something cold to drink.  Like maybe a pina colada…

11328172924_e565066bb6_c

( Photo credit: nan palmero via Foter.com / CC BY  )

Plus later this week is my birthday, so there will also be birthday cake, something decadent, I think.

5864786965_c867164f85_z

( Photo credit: Aztlek via Foter.com / CC BY-SA  )

Who wants a piece of that cake besides me?

So, I still have this box of books and other goodies that nobody has tried to claim the past two weeks–who doesn’t want free books?–and I really, really want to give this away.

DSC00209

So, let’s try this:  tell me what you like to drink on a hot summer night (alcoholic or non).  Everyone who comments (US resident over 18 who hasn’t won any goodies in the last 60 days) by 5 p.m. EST on Friday, July 29, 2016 will be entered into the drawing for this box of goodies.

And stay cool, wherever you are!

 

 

I won’t complain about how hot is is here (still!), because there’s no end to it in the extended forecast I saw this morning.  Instead, I’ve been thinking about places and times where and when it’s been cooler than it is now.  I won’t post a picture of our one snowstorm from this past winter, but I did consider it.

It was definitely cool (downright cold at some points) when I went to Scotland back in early spring of 2002.  One day on Orkney, we had snow, rain, sun, and 70 mph winds, and all of us had ‘Orkney hair’, especially some of the women in our group who had really long hair.  But it was my favorite spot in the whole trip, because it was the day we went to the Ring of Brodgar.  On one side of the hill, the sun was shining, but in the opposite direction, it was still cloudy and dark.  Absolutely gorgeous.  I hope to get back there one of these days.

Scotland068

The stone circle was amazing, and inspired one of the scenes in Hunting Medusa.  Orkney was spectacular, but that really was my favorite place.

Another wonderful, chilly day was when my crit partners and I went to the beach in March for a writing retreat.  It was not very nice out (what do you expect in March?), so we had spent a big chunk of the day writing, and we were getting ready to go out for dinner but wanted to at least see the beach ,   I did take my shoes off to walk the beach, even though it was March, and, boy, was the water cold!

DSCN1509

I may have to break out the snow pictures tomorrow, though, if my husband doesn’t get the air conditioning working again.  It just quit a few hours ago, and I am not looking forward to the next few days if it isn’t functional.  Weather like this calls for frozen drinks, like the giant frozen margaritas we used to get at Chi-chi’s (anyone else remember those?).  Or freeze pops.  Lots and lots of freeze pops.

This makes me very glad that the story I’m working on is set in the winter.  My tiger shifter hero can go out into the snow pretty soon like this guy…

8607207695_5a1240b914_c

( Photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar via Foter.com / CC BY-ND ).

So, while I’m thinking about my tiger shifter, maybeI ought to share a tiny snippet of his story.

________________

Someone brushed against her shoulder, and Vivi turned to see a man settling onto the stool beside her.

“Sorry,” he said, glancing over, then away.

Then his pale blue gaze swung back to her face, and she couldn’t look away.

Holy hotness!

Even though she couldn’t pull her gaze away from his sky-blue eyes, she still noticed his rumpled white-blond hair brushed back from his face, the sharp angles of his cheekbones, and the width of his shoulders beneath a red polo shirt.

Wowza.

Vivi swallowed and dragged her gaze away finally. It landed on her drink, and she picked it up, taking a sip to wet her dry lips.

A tiger.

She needed to get away before her hormones got any happier. She put the glass down on the bar and sat back in her seat.

“Don’t let me chase you away,” the blonde said, his voice a low rumble that made her stomach clench.

She glanced toward him, but didn’t meet his eyes. “You’re not. I’ve just had a long day, and it’s time to go.”

“Without any supper?” He turned on his stool a little to face her.

Oh Gods. Vivi couldn’t help the flush burning her cheeks. The red shirt stretched over a broad, muscled chest, and it took her a few seconds to force her gaze up to his.

At least his mouth wasn’t curved in a smirk. Though if he’d been smirking or appeared as if he knew exactly what was going on in her head, she’d have found it easier to get off of the stool. “I didn’t actually come in for supper, just a drink with a friend.” She inched to her right.

“Have dinner with me.”

She froze. “What makes you think I’d be a good dinner companion?” she asked after a second.

His mouth relaxed a little, as if he might be on the verge of a smile. “Just a hunch. I’m sure you’re a far better dinner companion than I am. Sorry I bothered you.” He picked up his glass and took a sip of the golden liquid in it.

Vivi studied his profile for a few moments. There was something familiar about it. And something very appealing about him, aside from the face. Especially that, aside from not pushing her to stay, there was something lonely about him. “You know, telling a woman what a terrible date you are isn’t really the right approach. Probably going to bring your success rate down a little.”

He finally smiled, a slow, wide grin that revealed dimples.

Gods, she was a sucker for dimples, dammit.

He met her gaze again and stuck out his right hand. “I’m Boris.”

“Vivi.” She tamped down the little voice in the back of her head shrieking this was a Bad Idea. When his warm fingers wrapped around her hand, she shivered.

“Vivi, would you have dinner with me? You can give me some pointers on how this should work.”

“What the hell.” She was certain she’d regret this later, but it had been a long time…

_________________

So, we are into the middle of my birthday month (and there are a couple of family birthdays coming in the next week, too!), and I still have goodies to give away.  For some reason, nobody came to play last week.

DSC00209

So I’m going to try something different this week.  I’ve been working on Boris for a while, plus he’s been a secondary character for two books already, and I just had a mental image of him, but I found a picture just this morning of a model who is almost perfect for the picture I’ve been working from in my mind–you’ll find that picture over on my Facebook page.  So go on over and take a peek and then come back over here and let me know what you think of him.  Everybody who does by Friday, Juy 22, 2016  will be entered into a drawing for the goody box above (US residents over 18).  I really want to give this box of books and other fun stuff away!

Happy birthday to me, with presents for you!

15799761962_e2bef7759b_c

(  Photo credit: Thomás via Foter.com / CC BY )

 

 

It is definitely July here–it hasn’t been out of the eighties for ages now, maybe two weeks, and most of that time, it’s been even hotter.  Have I mentioned lately how much I hate summer here in our neck of the woods?  At least that part of it, all hot and sticky outside every day.  If it could be more like spring here, I would love summer.

So I’ve been staying indoors, in the air conditioning.  My vacation ended this morning.  I don’t mind that, though I did get a fair amount of writing done.  Even though I promised my agent the first shifter manuscript months ago, I’m glad I puttered around with it too long while working on the second and third in the series, because now I know there are big things I need to fix in the first one, and some smaller things that need to be fixed in the second.  But when they’re fixed, the books are going to be so much better than I thought when I started writing them, so I’m happy about that.

I may even find a snippet from one of these yummy shifters to share with you soon.  I love these characters, all of them.  Okay, maybe not all of them.  There are bad guys, and one character who is a jerk, but I do love the heroes and heroines of these stories.

 

Since it is still July, it is still part of my month-long celebration with presents for you.  Woohoo!  Somehow, nobody commented on the last giveaway, so I’m going to try again.

DSC00209

One of my favorite things in the summer (besides ice cream and fresh fruit and veggies) is a great album.  You know what I mean, right?  Something with lots of catchy songs that you can listen to over and over, cranked up while you drive with all the windows down (assuming it’s nice enough not to require air conditioning).  I have had lots of those over the years–I remember when Hysteria by Def Leppard came out (still on cassette tapes!).  I wore out more than one tape that year.  So far this summer, my crank-it-up-loud song is not a new song, but I love it anyway:  Shut Up & Dance by Walk the Moon.

So, what is your crank-it-up-loud song this summer?  Everybody who comments with their song by Saturday, July 16, 2016 by noon EST will be entered in a drawing for the box of goodies pictured above.

5919553257_947936c2a4_z

(   Photo credit: Rexness via Source / CC BY-SA )

Happy birthday to me, for you!

14660377921_729fe53ca1_c

( Photo credit: Aurel___ via RemodelHackers / CC BY )

The long holiday weekend is almost a third of the way over already, and all I have accomplished is household chores.  Not what I was hoping for today, but that’s okay.  I won’t get any chores done tomorrow, but I’m fine with that–I’m going to trek halfway across the state to see my dad, which makes me happy.  Then on Monday, writing time, since all of the weekly chores are out of the way.

Before I start getting my things together for the day trip, though, I have another box of goodies to give away for week two of my birthday month celebration.

DSC00209

Half a dozen books, t-shirt, backpack, lots of little goodies.  So this time, every time everyone (over 18, U.S. resident) who comments by 5 p.m. EST on Friday, July 8, 2016 will be entered for this one.  And what I want to know is:  how are you spending the Fourth of July weekend here in the U.S?

 

15318951412_bf848362c7_c

( Photo credit: অর্ঘ্য বণিক via Remodel Blog / CC BY )

Happy birthday to me, with presents for you!

I just realized that there are a lot of birthdays coming up in the next month for our family.  We have one this week, and then several in July, including my own.

shell_cake

( Photo credit: katedubya via Foter.com / CC BY-ND )

I don’t think my cake will look like that one, but it’s gorgeous, isn’t it, with the shells all over it.  Does anyone else have a birthday in the next month?

I also realized my website birthday is this week, too.  The shells on the cake reminded me of that–I was at the beach with my crit partners for a week-long writing retreat when my website first went live.  It doesn’t look the same now, though I think it’s still very pretty since my awesome web designer redid it for me.  In honor of my website birthday, I think we ought to have a giveaway.  So I have this box of goodies here…

DSC00208

You see the top of  that cover flat in the very back?  That is the size of a mass market paperback, so that is a good measure of how deep the box is.  It’s got a nice messenger bag buried in the bottom, and a big tall cup I brought home from RWA, a whole bunch of books, and lots of other little goodies, like bookmarks, and magnets, and some other little surprises.

So, all the readers who comment on this post by 5 pm EST on Thursday June 30, 2016 will be entered in a drawing (via Random  Result) for this box o’goodies.

An author I see online regularly celebrates her birthday for a whole month, and I think I might borrow that this year and celebrate all through the next month.  Except the presents will be from me to you, because I have more goodies waiting to give away!

 

Happy birthday to me, for you.

3936029600_82842a18b2_z

( Photo credit: sun dazed via Foter.com / CC BY-SA )

 

 

 

I’m getting ready for work, but I wanted to pop in to let you all know I have a guest blog post going live today, hosted by the always-awesome Delilah Devlin.  I’d love if you stopped by and shared your thoughts on the subject.  Oh, and there’s a giveaway!

Happy Monday!

early spring gardens