Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Favorite Blow Dryer

Many years ago I ordered one of the Sunbeam hair dryers like the hotels have in their bathrooms because I love them. They last for years--way longer than a regular blow dryer. Mine finally konked out, so I am ordering this one tonight. The amazon price is about seven dollars cheaper than other electonics sites, though this is the model without the nightlight, because who needs a night light on their blow dryer, seriously?

I love the convenience. The whole appliance is on the wall, off the counter, not under the sink or in a drawer. I'm currently using my regular travel blow dryer until this one arrives, so I can't wait!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mosey on Over and See My Trailer on P&P Today

The book trailer for my novella Montana Rose in the To Be a Mother Mother's Day anthology premieres over at Petticoats and Pistols today!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jill Marie Landis: Heart of Stone

She had the darkest of pasts. He had everything to lose by loving her.

Free from the bondage of an unspeakable childhood, Laura Foster is struggling to make a new life for herself in Glory, Texas. But she will never forget she's always just one step ahead of her past.

When Reverend Brand McCormick comes calling, Laura does all she can to discourage him as a suitor, knowing if her past were discovered, his reputation would be ruined.

When a stranger in town threatens to reveal too many secrets, Laura is faced with a heartbreaking choice: Should she leave Glory forever and save Brand's future? Or is it worth risking his name--and her heart--by telling him the truth?
On March 2, HEART OF STONE, the first book in Jill Marie Landis's new Irish Angels series will be on sale and available in both trade and mass market paperback.

ISBN 978-0-310-29369-9 (trade) Zondervan

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rules for Happiness 1820 Style

I took this from Keira Soleore's site, who got it from Gretchen Rubin, who runs The Happiness Project site and blog and has written an award-winning book based on her observations, interpretations, and research.
Keira says: "Recently, Gretchen posted these twenty tips from 1820 for cheering yourself up that caught my eye. In her blog opener, she says, "'I read it in a biography of the English writer Sydney Smith in Hesketh Pearson's The Smith of Smiths. In 1820, Smith wrote a letter to an unhappy friend, Lady Morpeth, in which he offered her tips for cheering up.'"

1st. Live as well as you dare.

2nd. Go into the shower-bath with a small quantity of water at a temperature low enough to give you a slight sensation of cold, 75 or 80 degrees.

3rd. Amusing books.

4th. Short views of human life—not further than dinner or tea.

5th. Be as busy as you can.

6th. See as much as you can of those friends who respect and like you.

7th. And of those acquaintances who amuse you.

8th. Make no secret of low spirits to your friends, but talk of them freely—they are always worse for dignified concealment.

9th. Attend to the effects tea and coffee produce upon you.

10th. Compare your lot with that of other people.

11th. Don't expect too much from human life—a sorry business at the best.

12th. Avoid poetry, dramatic representations (except comedy), music, serious novels, melancholy, sentimental people, and everything likely to excite feeling or emotion, not ending in active benevolence.

13th. Do good, and endeavour to please everybody of every degree.

14th Be as much as you can in the open air without fatigue.

15th. Make the room where you commonly sit gay and pleasant.

16th. Struggle by little and little against idleness.

17th. Don’t be too severe upon yourself, or underrate yourself, but do yourself justice.

18th. Keep good blazing fires.

19th. Be firm and constant in the exercise of rational religion.

20th. Believe me, dear Lady Georgiana.

(The only one I disagree with is number thirteen. You can never please everyone and attempting to will make you miserable.)
My favorites are 6, 9, 11 & 15. Which ones do you like?
And I could add: Hold a baby.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Does Kimya Kavehkar Have Google Alerts Set?

I figured every other blog is posting about this, so I might as well comment. You know what they say about publicity: All publicity is good publicity, because even if someone is trashing you, you're getting attention and people are googling you - and in this case - googling your books.

Most authors have set google alerts to notify them when they or one of their books is mentioned anywhere in the blogosphere. Comes in handy for finding reviews and blogs talking about our books. Occasionally, someone doesn't like a book and that's okay. I'm perfectly fine with a reader who just didn't care for one of my books. That's why there are so many various genres and subjects. There's something out there for everyone. I get it.

What I don't get is commentary about a book, which makes it questionable whether or not this persoan actually read the book, but only wanted to say something snarky about it. When my google alert sent me to The Berkley Beacon and I discovered four covers described as raunchy, I was puzzled. Raunchy?  These are four of the tamest covers I've seen. And the books the writer chose to comment on are an odd combination. Nora Roberts' Irish Thoroughbred is from 1981 for goodness sake! And a book most of us remember well.

The Berkley Beacon
Judging these books by their steamy covers

There really isn't commentary on the selection of the books, or a journalistic conclusion. There isn't even an opening narrative, such as, "I grabbed these four books from my mother's bookcase and thought I'd write an article using the backcover copy and reading the first ten pages of each for my assignment deadline," which I'd liked to have seen to get a grasp on her plan. (I'm pretty sure the writer is a college girl, because I googled her name and found two or three blogs with photos.)

I left a comment, sharing my curiosity about how she chose these four books and didn't think a lot more about the whole thing...until...

My google alerts starting coming in with more frequency. It didn't take long for reader and writer websites to discover what most of them consider offensive commentary regarding romance readers and an insult to the genre in general.

Smart B*tches
Snide Romance Review Drinking Game

Moonlight to Twilight
I see dumb people

Babbling About Books
Romance Genre Bigotry
So, hey! If you just googled me, here's a link to buy my book:

And Nora's:

Monday, February 08, 2010

What's new? My HP All-in-One, Rock Band, Avatar

My new all-in-one printer/copier,scanner, fax arrived today! It's lovely. About half the size of my previous one,  (which is now moving to the music room at church to make copies and enlargements for songs when needed). I haven't had much time, but have all the software loaded and have run a few test copies. It's dreamy, and I got a blessing of a deal.

Am reading my RITA books for judging this month. I can't tell which ones they are. Judges are sworn t secrecy. :-)  And am almost finished with Margaret Brownley's A Lady Like Sarah. I am so glad that MB is writing westerns again. I'm enjoying the story a lot.

What else? It's bitterly cold in Nebraska. It snowed yet again over the weekend and turned to slick slush because the temps wavered at about 34. It's now 9 degrees with a whippin' wind chill factor.

I've been on a coffee-drinking binge, and Jamaica Me Crazy is all that fits the bill. A little sweetener and a little cream...yum. My teapots are getting a brief break.

Played a couple sets of Wii Rock Band with the kids yesterday. I'm terrible at the country songs, because I don't know that many of them, but I kick butt on the rock and roll. Alexis and Kristin and I decided to watch Mulan, because we hadn't seen it for ages. Jay joined us and Elijah played with Legos and half-watched. Of course we sang along with our favorite songs! Let's get down to business--to defeat--the Huns! Love it.

Forgot to mention we saw Avatar a couple Sundays ago. I loved it so much I want to see it again while it' still in theaters.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Blogging at Petticoats and Pistols Today

I'm blogging at PETTICOATS AND PISTOLS today. Mosey on over and get in on the drawing!
Here's your first glimpse at my April book!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Stealing Home by Sherryl Woods

Stealing Home by Sherryl Woods

Maddie Townsend might live in a town called Serenity, but there's been nothing calm or peaceful about her life since her marriage broke up. This stay-at-home mom has no job skills, an out-of-control sixteen-year-old son, a talkative fourteen-year-old who's suddenly gone silent, a six-year-old daughter whose heart is broken, an ex-husband whose younger girlfriend is expecting their baby and two best friends who think she's somehow qualified to help them open a fitness spa for women.

But if Maddie is a tad on edge with all that on her plate, it's nothing compared to the chaos that ensues when she discovers that her son's baseball coach has feelings for her and the whole town disapproves. Maddie's faced a lot of challenges lately with strength and resolve, but Cal Maddox may turn out to be more than she can handle.

Then again, he could just be the one man in all of South Carolina who can help her find serenity.
MIRA Books
Read Excerpt

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Getting Your Book on Keeper Shelves

DATE: March 1 - 31
COST: $25.

We all have favorite books, and for most of us there are a special few that hold places in our hearts. What writer doesn’t want to be able to write stories that will connect so vividly with readers that their books will become favorites? How does a writer go about writing a book like that? How do you connect with the readers on such an emotional level that they buy in for the duration of the story and root for your characters? By making them feel the story. By putting them in the time and place, by winning their trust, and making them believe that the outcome is important. What your story people say and do are not what hooks the reader. How your characters react is what engages and endears your reader.

Cheryl St.John is the award-winning author of more than thirty-five historical and contemporary novels for Harlequin and Silhouette Books. One thing all reviewers and readers agree on regarding her work is the degree of emotion. Words like heart-warming, emotional depth, touches your soul, tugs your heart all over the map, endearing characters and on my keeper shelf are commonly used to describe her work.

Cheryl believes techniques of writing can be learned and offers this workshop to share methods used to inject tone and communicate senses and feelings. She will reveal what she believes is the most important job we have as writers and give practical, applicable suggestions on the many ways you can convey emotion in your stories.

Cheryl will share a checklist of ways to make sure your book is one readers will want on their keeper shelf. Mark your calendars for this workshop, register now, and prepare by getting out a favorite book and reminding yourself why it’s a keeper.

Cheryl’s achievements include over thirty-five published books in both contemporary and historical genres. She has received multiple Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards and three RITA nominations. In describing her stories of second chances and redemption, readers and reviewers use words like, “emotional punch, hometown feel, core values, believable characters and real life situations.” She has taught writing on local and national levels, and is in demand as a motivational speaker.

Cheryl’s upcoming release, MONTANA ROSE in the To Be a Mother Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical anthology, will be in stores this April.

The class will be conducted via subscription to a private yahoogroup. Two lessons per week, followed by questions and answers. Each lesson will include one brief assignment pertaining to the participant’s current work in progress. Entire archived class will be available for one week after the ending date.

“I found Cheryl St. John's class on emotions full of insight and wisdom. Her lessons helped me understand what was missing in my story while offering alternative ways to to approach my writing. Cheryl's willingness to share her experience and expertise is greatly appreciated by this aspiring writer.”
- Susan Kapost

“Cheryl’s marvelous understanding of the human condition comes across in her writing and her workshops as well. In Once More with Feeling, I learned how to write characters from the inside out. By the end of her class, I had brand new tools for exposing my characters strengths, vulnerabilities, and greatest desires in a way that leads to strong emotional responses in readers. I highly recommend Cheryl’s class.”

– Kim Louise, Sweet Like Honey, Kimani Press.

McKettricks of Texas

Monday, February 01, 2010

McKettricks of Texas: Tate by Linda Lael Miller

There are barely enough hours for divorced dad Tate McKettrick to run the Silver Spur ranch, do the suit-and-tie thing for his business and run herd on his beloved six-year-old twin daughters. But time stands still at the sight of Libby Remington. When they were high school sweethearts, the wealthy McKettrick couldn't convince Libby he loved her. But now they're both back in Blue River, Texas. And cattle rustlers, a manipulative ex-wife and a killer stallion can't keep him from trying again.
Libby has her hands full taking care of her mother—and running the Perk Up Coffee Shop. Caffeine, she needs. Tate McKettrick, with his blazing blue eyes and black hair? No. Oh, heck—yes. But can they really hope for a second chance?
Take a Cowboy Home!

Celebrate Linda Lael Miller's new trilogy and enter for your chance to win a stay in Las Vegas!

Dear John Trailer

Anyone up for a Nicolas Sparks movie? Opens next week.

Love is in the air!

And that's better than snow, which isn't in the air, but is still on the ground. What's not to love about February? It hints of Spring. And it's all about Valentine's Day, a holiday about which I'm particularly fond.

I love everything associated with Valentine's Day: Chocolates (duh), Valentine cards, hearts and flowers, candy hearts, pretty ribbons, get the idea.

How much do you love Valentine's Day? Do you send Valentines?