fun, Giveaway, Just for Fun, Randomness, Real Life

Happiness is…

Ever have a “Plan B” day? For whatever reason (weather, traffic, mood, kids misbehaving) your original plan for the day gets scrapped and you decide to do something else? That’s a Plan B day. (The something else, might or might not be better, no guarantees.)

I have these days quite frequently. In fact, some days it’s more like I’m on Plan Q by lunch. Anyway this past August, I was sans kids for a few days decided to take a little drive to Pawhuska, Oklahoma. I’m sure the majority of you will be wondering why in the world would I want to drive to a city with such a funny name and a percentage of you will know immediately: the Pioneer Woman has her mercantile and restaurant there. For those who have never heard of Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman and her claim to fame, you’re not alone. I wouldn’t know who she was if it wasn’t for my mom and some lady at my church being so obsessed with her and her dishes. She has (or had??) a cooking show where she prepares down-home, comfort cooking. She’s written several cookbooks and even has a line of dishes and kitchen accessories that you can find at most Wal-Mart stores–which I will admit, I do like her turquoise dishes. She lives on her husband’s family ranch near Pawhuska and in town she owns a general store and deli that has been devoted to showcasing her design line and recipes.

Pawhuska itself is a very small, quant town with those old brick buildings all throughout the streets of downtown. You can’t argue that driving around you feel transported back to a much simpler time until you turn the corner and see this massive line of people that (no kidding) is a block long all standing in line chatting with friends or texting on their smart phones. Apparently people come from ALL OVER THE COUNTRY to go there, not just those who live a few hours away. Not only could I not find a place to park, but when I finally did and walked the four blocks to the entrance and inquired as to how long the wait would be I was told at least three hours. Um, I am sure the restaurant is delicious and I DID drive two hours to get there, but I don’t want a sandwich or whatever else is on the menu (I never saw it) that bad.

So I started back to my car and when I saw a little boutique on my left, I formed a Plan B. Here I am in a town I’ve never been to and likely won’t visit again, it has a beautiful downtown with plenty of other stores and things to see and do. Let’s do this! 

I am so glad I did. I didn’t find too much that needed to come home with me. In fact, I think I only bought one thing besides a jar of BBQ sauce that was locally made. Other than that, I just enjoyed looking around at their old buildings and neat old junk from yesteryear in some of their antique shops.

What I find that I couldn’t live without was this:

It’s a little hard to read but it says, “Happiness is like jam. You can’t spread even a little without getting some on yourself.”

I just love this because it’s so true. I don’t know how many times I have gone to do a task or volunteer to do something that I wasn’t super excited about at first, but after I started seeing how people responded and their happiness, I was just as happy and excited as they were. It’s contagious and in a world that seems so cruel and bleak at times, happiness is something we can all spare to “catch” or smear and get covered in!

I have a series of books to give away (either my westerns or my Banks Brothers’ Brides books–winner’s choice) for a random commenter either here on my blog or on my Facebook Page who comments to share either A. their favorite “Plan B” experience; B. what happiness is to them; or C. a picture of their favorite sign/saying/picture in their house.

 

 

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Books, Contests, Games, Giveaway, My readers rock!, Randomness

Friday Facebook Giveaway!

Not yet! Not yet!

The other day I found about 150-ish books up in my attic that need new homes! So…I think the best way to do that is to give ’em away! I wouldn’t be so imposing as to try to unload them all onto one person, so I’ll do several “bundles” of different books and hold multiple giveaways between now and the end of the year. The giveaways will be announced later this afternoon. It’ll be super easy to enter (open Internationally).

Today’s question and all of the follow ups will be asked on my Facebook Author page.

It’s just easier to ask there and have all the comments in one place rather than on here and have half the comments here and half over there.

So, if you’re up for some whacky questions and want a chance to win some books and swag, please come play along!

 

HINT: Today’s question has to do with bragging… That’s all I can say!

 

 

 

blog hop, Giveaway, Recipe

Holiday Recipes and the 12 Days of Christmas has returned!

For anyone who may not know, I’m not the best cook. (Shhh, don’t tell my kids!) But it’s true, I’m not good with food. It wasn’t something I learned to do very well. I can follow a recipe exact and still mange to screw it up. In the past few years, I’ve gotten a little better. Still not good enough to host my own holiday party though.

However, if YOU are one to do a holiday party, I have just the thing for you.

Red Door Reads is hosting a “Progressive Holiday Dinner Party” with more than a dozen recipes from different authors sharing some of their best and favorite holiday (or anytime) recipes! My contribution: Corset-Busting Cheesecake. Now, this, nobody can mess up!

And… as promised, the 12 Days of Christmas–filled with all sorts of fun questions and giveaways will begin TOMORROW on Facebook.

12-days-of-giveaways

This will be for 12 weekdays (Thursday and Friday, then the following two weeks Monday through Friday).

blog hop, Contests, Giveaway, I'm human too, Jessie: Bride of South Carolina, My own craziness, My readers rock!, Randomness, Real Life, Save me from myself!, Why Me?!

The Best-Worst Thanksgiving Ever ~ Turkey Trot Blog Hop

Thank you all for “hopping” on over here today as part of the Turkey Trot Blog Hop.

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This year, I am most thankful that I survived LAST Thanksgiving.

Last year, Thanksgiving was more like the Fortunately, Unfortunately Game.

My day started early–very early, with the release of my first official Mail-Order Bride book: Jessie: Bride of South Carolina. 

Jessie_BrideofSouthCarolinaTired of living under her father’s iron thumb of control Jessie Wilcox decides to do the unthinkable: run away to Montana as a mail-order bride. The only obstacle in her way: the one hundred miles between her home in Williamsburg County and the train depot in Charleston.

Joel Cunningham is in utter disbelief when the girl he once loved beyond reason is on his front porch asking him to disobey her father’s wishes and drive her to Charleston. Logic and reason scream no; his lips, however, say yes.

Will the one hundred miles ahead of them be enough to overcome the five years of painful regrets or will Jessie follow her dream for a new life in Montana?

This book is ON SALE for 99 cents from now until Nov. 28, 2016

Amazon ~*~ Apple ~*~ Barnes & Noble ~*~ Google ~*~ Kobo

After getting up at 2 am, my time, midnight PST, to make sure this released without a hitch and all the formatting looked great, I went back to bed for a few hours. Got up and made all sorts of goodies for Thanksgiving including: potatoes, a relish tray–complete with sliced turkey and a delicious from-scratch pumpkin cheesecake. I had it all out on the counter (uncovered of course) and ran up to my attic to get grab something from my attic i just HAD to have. Then this happened…

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Yes, I feel through the attic. Fortunately, I was able to grab a hold of one of those beams and my legs just dangled. But still.

Then I came downstairs to find this:

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Insulation had “snowed-in” my kitchen…covering all of my freshly baked/cooked goods!!

Fortunately, I was safe. Yes, my food was ruined and yes, this was going to be a costly repair, but I didn’t fall. Had I fall from my 12′ ceiling onto either those counters or on my concrete floor, I probably wouldn’t be able to write this today. So, I am so very thankful for that.

A little stirred–okay EXTREMELY shaken up–I went to Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s house and as I was relaxing just enough while watching Home Alone, I started drifting to sleep, envisioning I was falling through the attic again! Good times.

After going home, I realized insulation was still snowing down (I’d cleaned it all up before I left) so I decided to go get my drill and a ladder to screw the ceiling back together. (No worries, I didn’t fall from the ladder–thank goodness.)

For whatever reason, last time I went to my climate controlled storage unit, I was working on some project and left my drill there. So I hopped in the car and drove over and my code wouldn’t work to get past the security gate. I tried the code over and over and over and finally I called the number on the keypad. Thinking I was about to get in, I was in for a rude awakening when the lady on the other end of the line said “You didn’t make your last payment.”

“Impossible!” I scoffed. “My debit card is attached and you guys–like clockwork–suck my payment straight from my bank account.”

“Well, it didn’t happen this time. You don’t pay, you don’t enter.”

Just then I remembered…A few weeks before I had to get a new debit card because someone had stolen my number and was trying to create dating profiles for a dating site somewhere in Africa… So, no, indeed, I hadn’t paid and though I offered to write her a check for double what I owed if she’d come let me in, she was unwilling to leave her family and drive those two miles to come let me in. (I bet she was really down at Wal-Mart waiting in line to get it for Black Friday sales! Just a theory.)

And at that moment, I had the oddest sensation: burning eyes and moisture on my cheeks! I’m not a cryer, but I was just then. It was like the flood gates opened.

However, in retrospect, I am so thankful all of this happened because I had no idea I had missed that payment and as it turned out, if I had reached Dec. 5th without payment, they’d have auctioned off my storage unit which was full of all of my swag, books, costumes, props for trade tables, and all other sorts of “Rose” things. Things that aren’t easily replaceable. Nobody would want them, but I wouldn’t want to not have them.

So in a way, it was the best-worst Thanksgiving ever and I want to thank all of my loyal readers for always being there for me. The ones who who have read this story before and the ones who sent me good vibes and thoughts.

Okay, okay, enough emotion, please leave a comment below telling all of us about a time when something great came from something you thought was so horrible to be entered to win a copy of Jessie: Bride of South Carolina.

Then please click the following graphic to go hop on down the list. Please remember, the more blogs you visit and comment on, the more chances you’ll have to be entered into the grand prize drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card. 

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Giveaway, Passions of a Gentleman

Passions of a Gentleman is here…and a GIVEAWAY!

In case you missed it, Passions of a Gentleman (Simon’s story) is finally here! (A HUGE thank you to all who purchased it on release day or pre-ordered it. As always, I am so grateful to have such loyal readers.)RG_PassionsofaGentlemanw.sn

After being thrown over for the second time in one Season, Mr. Simon Appleton’s interest in courting another young lady is less than his interest in reconciling with his estranged brother.

Entering into her third, and dare she hope final Season, Miss Henrietta Hughes has a single goal: make it to August without becoming engaged, thus securing her sister’s promise of being allowed to become a spinster.

But with the most scandalous woman to ever step foot in London acting as Henrietta’s chaperone and Simon’s undeniable urge to vex her every chance he’s afforded, they both might find themselves with new plans.

Amazon ~*~ Apple ~*~ B&N ~*~ Kobo

To help celebrate this grand occasion and because I have TONS of books I need to clear out of my office 😀 I am conducting a one-week giveaway.

The Prize: A medium-sized priority flat rate box stuffed full of books (some mine, most are not; some are new, some are used) and swag that I’ve collected at various conferences.

To enter, click here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Giveaway

One thing the world could do without…

When I was 13 my family went on a trip to Branson, Missouri. If you’ve never heard of it, look it up. (Not right now!! When you get done reading my nonsense. Trust me on this, you do want to finish today.) While we were there, we went to go to a show performed by Jim Stafford and yes, I still have my ticket stub.

Jim Stafford is a comedian who talks and sings, kind of like Rodney Carrington, but clearer. MUCH cleaner. Branson is family-oriented, not talking about how you came into a family. Anyway, Mr. Stafford sings this song that goes like this… “I don’t like spiders and snakes…and thats just what it takes…” and other than that, I can’t remember a single word–and those probably aren’t in order, either.

To me, spiders and snakes don’t worry me so much. Yes, I’m the weirdo who spent her late teens/early twenties with three tarantulas as pets. But nope, I have no inclination to hug a boa–he might wish to hug me back! However, I’d honestly prefer to walk past a large box full of spiders and snakes every single day than to come in contact with so much as a single drop of poison ivy oil! I cannot tell you the last summer I didn’t spend covered in poison ivy! Last year was so bad I had second degree burns on my arms from it (I didn’t know you could get burned from the stuff, but I guess it breaks your skin down like a burn would-it did burn and my skin was hot–but that’s what my doctor said was happening).

Alas, I got it again this year. Yay me!

Since this week so many authors are out of town at RT I’m doing an impromptu giveaway and giving away an ebook from my backlist (winner’s choice). All ya need to do to be entered is comment with what one thing (not a person, please) that could vanish from this world that you wouldn’t mind it’s disappearance.

AND GO!

 

BONUS: Here’s Mr. Jim Stafford singing ’bout his spiders and snake hatred.

Behind the Scenes, Contests, Gentlemen of Honor, Giveaway, Happenings, My own craziness, My readers rock!, Passions of a Gentleman, Randomness, The Perfect Lady Worthe, Updates, Writing

Updates!!!

I’m sure it has not gone unnoticed that roughly a year ago my blog postings came to a screeching halt. Several times in this year, I’ve tried very hard to re-start them, but had so many stumbling blocks. Unfortunately, I cannot share the details of my hiatus, but I can give some updates!

1. I am getting ready for a trip to Phoenix, AZ where I’ll be presenting a workshop at Buildin’ the Dream–a writer’s conference. 

The workshop is titled Write with your Heart, Sell with your Brain. This is definitely author-focused so if you’re a writer or aspiring author, or even an assistant or publicist, and you’re in that area or planning to attend the conference, please come see me!

Speaking of conferences…

2. I just got home for RT in Dallas!

I drove myself to and from the conference this year so any crazy travel shenanigans were my own doing… Which admittedly, did happen, but I shan’t divulge details and incriminate myself! I had a ton of fun while there and met many new authors. I also picked up TONS of swag and books (some signed, some not) that I’ll be giving away soon! Stay tuned.

Oh yeah, giveaways…

3. I currently have a super giveaway already up on Facebook.

For the past few months I’ve been giving away a box of books and swag to a random fan who likes the post. Comments are awesome and totally appreciated, but you don’t have to leave one to be entered.

Click here for the post.

Also, I have a 0ne-day giveaway as well (this will end at 12pm CST today). This one is a little more involved. I just need a comment with your favorite book quote (doesn’t have to be one of mine). Click here and see top post (pinned).

4. The book featured in the second giveaway is my new novella, The Perfect Lady Worthe

I hope you all knew I put out a new novella in March, but just in case, here are the details.

Lady Worthe Cover for HJ

The last thing Jane Cavanaugh would ever expect is to be married—she is an invalid, after all—but that doesn’t mean she can’t help with her sister’s husband hunt! (Even if it is with a wee bit of reluctance.)

The last thing Gareth, Lord Worthe would ever want to do is to fall in love with his closest friend’s younger sister.

But fate just might have something else in store for these two…

Please note, this novella is approximately 23,500 words and is on sale for .99 at the following places:


5. And finally, Passions of a Gentleman

Still making progress. I know I’ve said that multiple times, but I really am. It’s just slow progress. I’ve had more re-starts than I could have ever dreamed about having. I just want to make sure it’s right. That’s what’s fair to you all, to me and well, to the characters, too!

 

Have a blessed week!