Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Harlequin Heartwarming Thanksgiving: Event Update & Details

November is flying by! Here's an update on the Harlequin Heartwarming November event. It includes contest entry details, Rafflecopter and links to tour blog posts by each author (the links will work on the day the post goes live). Plus, remember, additional giveaways by individual authors can be found at the Harlequin community when their stories go live. Enjoy!

On tour with Prism Book Tours.

Join us for
A Heartwarming Thanksgiving

We'll be highlighting 13 FREE short stories by beloved Harlequin Heartwarming authors that will be available from Harlequin during November via their site. Join the fun by stopping by any or all of the tour stops, stopping by the Facebook Party (with additional giveaways), and entering the fabulous giveaways! We hope you find something to warm your heart and help you get into the holiday spirit!

Read each story on Harlequin's site HERE through December 31st.
All Heartwarming print titles are 30% OFF during November from Harlequin as well! Use code HEART1115.

11/2: Snow Day Baby by Amy Vastine
Singing Librarian Books, The Power of Words, & Katie's Clean Book Collection

11/4: Wedding at Turkey Run by Liz Flaherty
My Love for Reading Keeps Growing, Babs Book Bistro, & Heidi Reads...

11/6: Her Thanksgiving Soldier by Leigh Riker
Letters from Annie (Douglass) Lima, Mel's Shelves, & Brooke Blogs

11/9: Mr. Right All Along by Jen Snow
Katie's Clean Book CollectionMin Reads and Reviews, & Love thy Shelf

11/11: Falling for the Cowboy by Sophia Sasson
Kindle and Me, The Power of Words, & Colorimetry

11/13: The Marriage Gift by Tara Taylor Quinn
deal sharing aunt, Babs Book Bistro, & Brooke Blogs

11/16: Heart of a Hero by Pamela Tracy
Writing Pearls, Wishful Endings, & Waiting For Wentworth

11/18: Thankful for You by Karen Rock
Christian Chick's Thoughts, Getting Your Read On, & Love, Laughter, Friendship

11/20: Autumn at Jasper Lake by Carol Ross
Reading Is My SuperPower, I Am A Reader, & Colorimetry

11/23: The Firefighter’s Promise by Kate James
Canadian Book Addict, Mel's Shelves, & Beck Valley Books

11/24: Wedding of His Dreams by Cari Lynn Webb
Bookworm Lisa, Kindle and Me, & Zerina Blossom's Books

11/25: The Sweetheart Tree by Rula Sinara
The Written Adventure, Reading Is My SuperPower, & Writing Pearl

11/26: Married by Thanksgiving by Melinda Curtis
Heidi Reads..., Love, Laughter, Friendship, & Singing Librarian Books 

11/29: Grand Finale
11/30: Facebook Party

Don't miss any of these FREE novellas! Stop by each of the tour stops each day!


Goodreads Giveaway

13 Harlequin Heartwarming Books
Enter on Goodreads HERE.

Pinterest Giveaway


Pin one or both of these images to spread the word and enter to win this adorably festive Thanksgiving Table Set:

Pinterest Prize includes: four reversible, quilted placemats, four matching napkins, hand-painted matching napkin rings, matching table runner, matching quilted hot pad/trivet, floral centerpiece in pot, and hand-crafted pilgrim pair.
- Enter via the Rafflecopter below
- Open to US only
- Ends December 4th

Tour Giveaway

Grand Prize: Harlequin Heartwarming Year Subscription (Provided by Harlequin and to US/CAN only)
$40 VISA card (US only)
13-Book Heartwarming Prize Pack: The Best Laid Plans, Back to McGuffy's, If I Loved You, Love, Lies & Mistletoe, First Comes Marriage, Once Upon A Marriage, Small Town Secrets, Winter Wedding Bells, If Not For A Bee, When The Right One Comes Along, Wedding of His Dreams, After The Silence, and A Memory Away (print copies if US, ebooks if international)
8-Book Prize Pack: The Best Laid Plans, If I Loved You, Love, Lies & Mistletoe, First Comes Marriage, Once Upon A Marriage, Winter Wedding Bells, If Not For A Bee, When The Right One Comes Along, and After The Silence (print copies if US, ebooks if international)
Ends December 4th

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Grab Our Button!

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Harlequin Heartwarming Thanksgiving Event: A month of FREE online reads, GIVEAWAYS & more!

Happy November, everyone! I told you I'd be back with an exciting post :). You're in for an entire month of FREE online reads at, opportunities to win prizes, including Visa and Amazon gift cards, autographed books, Thanksgiving accessories and more! I'm one of thirteen Harlequin Heartwarming authors who've written Thanksgiving themed short stories that will be posted on Harlequin for all to enjoy. That's 3-4 stories a week, through Thanksgiving! 

Check out the schedule below. Mine is called The Sweetheart Tree, due to go live Nov. 25th, and it's linked to my 'From Kenya, with Love' stories (though each stands alone). In fact, many of the stories will be loosely tied to the various series written by Harlequin Heartwarming authors. What a treat! In fact, Amy Vastine's Snow Day Baby kicked off the month today! And it's not just about the free reads. There'll be fun, games and prizes at multiple online venues! Check out the links to each week at the Harlequin Community Event here (note: they won't go live until that specific week/day):

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

There's also a Prism Book Tour for the month long event. Enter a Rafflecopter drawing for fabulous prizes and read posts by each author on their 'release' day for behind the scene peeks at their stories. Check out the link for the tour schedule and list of prizes/drawings!

Giveaways include:

Goodreads - 13 books up for grabs! Enter HERE.

Pinterest - Thanksgiving table accessories (See the tour link to enter)

Tour prizes - A year long subscription to Harlequin Heartwarming (US/Can), $40 Visa card (US), 13 Harlequin Heartwarming book prize pack and 8 book prize pack (ebook if international, otherwise print on the book prizes)

More prizes - There'll be even more giveaways (details to come), including at our Facebook Party Finale on Nov 30th (consider yourself invited...just click the link and hit 'going':). All I can say is that there'll be tons of giveaways, such as these handmade, natural olive oil soaps and Thanksgiving towel, Amazon gift cards and more!

Discounts - ALL HARLEQUIN HEARTWARMING BOOKS WILL BE ON SALE FOR 30% OFF DURING NOVEMBER AT WWW.HARLEQUIN.COM! That's $1 off per book. Just enter the code HEART1115 at checkout. See details HERE.

Okay, I need to catch my breath! I think this is the first November where something fabulous enough to take my mind off stuffing and mashed potatoes has come along. Don't you love that books are calorie free? Oh and remember...the online reads above are free, but be sure to enjoy them during November and December...before it's too late! You can keep up with what's going on here (or on any of my social media sites), Facebook, at, at the Heartwarming Author's blog, or Twitter using #HarlequinHeartwarming.

See you around and enjoy the fun!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Backyard Fall Colors, an Autumn Harper's Ferry Trip & Holiday News

Fall Fiesta Sugar Maple in my backyard
Most people know what a fall fanatic I am. Yes, I stumble and trip plenty (no really...I'm currently sporting one of those clunky brace boots on my right foot), but I'm talking about autumn and everything to do with it from the foods, colors, decor and holidays (I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!). There are no words for how much I love the season (warning: photo binge ahead). And one of the first signs that fall has arrived in my neck of the woods is the sound and sight of Canadian geese migrating overhead. They never fail to be breathtaking and I just love them. Thankfully, I've never been in the line of fire of droppings. Apparently, they don't poop as much during flight.

Geese flying over my house in October
However, my chickens are quite generous with their droppings ;). Yep. They're full of that generous, Thanksgiving spirit (probably thankful they're not turkeys). I love their poop for compost...but not so much on my patio. I've decided that I'm going to have to put a tall, decorative fence around my patio. I'm tired of hosing it down. I'll spare you a photo of what it looks like after they have a flock party. Interestingly, they never fly onto the gas grill or fire pit. Hmmm...Nope, those stay clean and chicken poop free.

Fall colors behind Rula's chicken coop
In chicken news, the girls are looking mighty sad right now. Fall is also molting season and boy are they molting. I think I have as many feathers in my yard as chicken droppings. Sadly, we also lost two hens last month. Two large dogs from the neighborhood got loose and dug a huge hole under our fence, then crept under, attacked my flock and killed/ate one of my new Rhode Island Reds and one of my original hens, a Buff Orpington named Pumpkin (that was seriously her name...Pippa and Papaya's sister...but of course the dogs didn't know that they'd gotten Pumpkin in the fall...I don't think). It was brutal. I caught them in the act, but way too late. It was a muddy, rainy day but I finally managed to chase them off, clean the remains, lock the rest of the flock up safely and haul a wheelbarrow full of wet, heavy sod uphill to fill the hole they'd dug. Things have settled back to normal now, though. I'm currently at 28 chickens (4 of which are roosters).

Morning light through the fall leaves along my creek
Looking up at the treetops along my creek
This weekend, we took the boys on a road trip to Harper's Ferry, WV. For those of you who don't know, Harper's Ferry is a historic town located right where the states of West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland meet. The Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers also meet right there at a point between the states. When you're standing in town, you're surrounded by cliffs and hills. It's stunning scenery, especially in the fall. And I got a lovely romance author surprise while I was resting on a stone wall...a couple got married in a simple, natural ceremony right there along the river. The only tell-tale sign of a bride was the green and white floral wreath she wore on her head. It was lovely. 

Sorry for the long post (playing catch-up :), but here are some of the pics I took of Harper's Ferry:

Harper's Ferry river view
Harper's Ferry - looking back on our way up to the cemetery
Harper's Ferry
Harper's Ferry
The Harper's Ferry cemetery...on Halloween
A sweetgum tree at the corner in Harper's Ferry
And pics of fall colors in the woods at Harper's Ferry...

I couldn't stop taking pictures! Trust me there were too many to post here. We made it home just in time to get ready for trick-or-treaters who never showed up. That made for a lot of spare candy. Not good with kids in the house.

And finally (I swear I'll stop after this lol), a quick release update. I was so swamped the past month or two that, although you might have seen posts and links to my latest release on my website, Facebook or other sites, I failed to make it back here. Not only did A Heartwarming Christmas, the anthology I'm in with 12 other Harlequin Heartwarming authors, release on October made both the Amazon, Indie and USA Today Bestseller lists!!!! Totally thrilling!! All the stories in it are connected (but stand alone) and take place in the same town in Maine, but the anthology is also broken down into four 'books' of three novellas each that are even more closely tied together. The group I'm a part of is called The Gingerbread Men and it consists of three stories about a mom and her two daughters who unexpectedly find their soul mates during the holidays (The Gingerbread Heart by Liz Flaherty, The Gingerbread Pony by Patricia Bradley and The Gingerbird House by me). You'll soon be able to buy the trio of stories, although you can't miss the deal on the entire 13 in the anthology itself! The individual novellas will be available in both ebook and print coming soon.

You can read my related guest posts here:
The Carus Chronicles - A Heartwarming Home

And the anthology authors also put together a holiday craft and recipe ebook! I have a few gluten free recipes and a craft in there myself ;). Is this a cute cover or what? You can find it on Amazon in both print and Kindle formats! 

 Ah yes, I slipped straight from fall into Christmas! But don't worry, I haven't skipped over Thanksgiving. I'll be back tomorrow (yes, that it a post binge, but so much is going on) with HUGE, FANTASTIC NEWS and links to a November Thanksgiving Harlequin Heartwarming promotion that kicked off today. You can also check out the Heartwarming Author blog for a sneak look at what's going on :). Let's just say it involves free online Thanksgiving reads, insanely great giveaways and my story is linked to my Harlequin Heartwarming series!

See you very soon!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Facebook, Newsletter & Updates

Where do I begin? The summer has flown by and, since my last post, I haven't had the chance to stop in here. In fact, this year, I won't be posting my annual RWA National pictures.

You see, about 24hrs after arriving in NY for Nationals, I found out that my mother-in-law passed away. She was the dearest, sweetest person who loved to cook and feed anyone she could and she gave everyone the benefit of the doubt. She really had a genuine heart and was loved by all. Needless-to-say, I booked the next flight home to be with my husband, kids and extended family. So if I missed seeing any of you in NY, you know why.

I did go ahead and attend the Literacy Signing (though my mind and heart were elsewhere), since it's for such a good cause and I couldn't fly out until the following morning. It was wonderful to see both familiar faces and new ones. It was also great to see some of my Harlequin Heartwarming author buddies and many wonderful people from Harlequin, including Senior Editor Victoria Curran, before I had to leave.

As it turned out, since I was out of town, my poor husband had to take my eldest to the orthopedist to get a cast put on his leg (runner's stress fracture), literally while on route to the hospital where his mom had passed away. It was just all around a stressful time and things are just settling down a bit, but we'll feel her loss forever. May she rest in peace.

And in bittersweet news, right when I landed back home (after Nationals) and took my cell phone off airplane mode, I saw a tweet from editor Victoria Curran, letting me know that she'd just accepted the National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book (The Promise of Rain) on my behalf. Talk about having your emotions pulled in different directions!

Anyway, I have to thank my incredible writer friends Jeannie Watt and Jamie Steinman for being so awesome and for standing by me when the bad news came at Nationals and for helping me book a flight home. And many thanks for helping me get started on Facebook too!

Yep, I'm actually on facebook now! You can find me at: I even managed to put a link in my sidebar (trust me, I'm so not technical that was a feat). And...if anyone is interested...I'm taking part in my first FB party tomorrow! I'm a little nervous. It's a pre-launch party being held by 12 authors for an upcoming anthology called A Heartwarming Christmas. You got it! I'm one of the authors in the anthology! I'll post more details soon, but for now, you can find out more on Amazon or my website or the party! The FB party link is: HERE and since I'm new to Facebook and kinda lonely on the likes...I'd love it if anyone wanted to 'like' my author page :). Oh, and the party will include giveaways so check it out!

I've also started a newsletter sign up and have a link in the left margin or on my website (Newsletter). I haven't sent out my first one yet, and I promise they won't be the spammy type. But if you'd like to hear about a new release and maybe some fun stuff from the home front, then I'd love to have you join my mailing list!

Okay, that's all for now. I'd say that was long enough for a catch-up post! I'll see you around :).

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A gardening post

Luna Moth in Rula's garden

Hi everyone! I'm over at the Harlequin Heartwarming blog today, blogging about weed-free, dream gardens with author buddy Catherine Lanigan. Do you have faeries in yours? What about a spider web as tall as you are? No kidding. Come see the photo I took of it and many other pics!

See you there! :)

P.S. - The Luna moth in this pic is a new visitor :). The one in the photo in the upper right of my blog was from a few years ago. I just love them!

Also...I finally have a newsletter sign up! Check out the left column here or the newsletter page sign up on my website. I won't spam inboxes. I'll only be sending out release news a few times a year, with added tidbits or news from the home front :).

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

HOLT, NRCA & Golden Quill Award Finals for The Promise of Rain!

The past few days have been thrilling! I just found out that The Promise of Rain, the first book in my 'From Kenya, with Love' series, is:

2014 National Reader's Choice Award double-finalist for the Best First Book and Contemporary Series categories

A 2015 Golden Quill Award finalist in the Sweet Traditional category


A 2015 HOLT Medallion finalist for Best Book by a Virginia Author!

Whew! I'm still in shock. I found out about the HOLT final on Mother's Day, the NRCA finals the next day...which happened to be my deadline day for the third book in the series (working title: Beyond the Storm)...and the Golden Quill final today. Three days in a row and four finals. I'm overwhelmed and super grateful!!

Deadlines tend to be stressful and just days prior, on the full moon of course, my dogs got into a random fight that left one with a torn ear. It was bleeding like nobody's business (pouring out of her) and when I took her into our laundry room, she did the doggy head shake. The entire room looked like a murder scene as was hell to clean up. But all that mattered was making her better, so off to the vet ER it was and after sedation, stitches, wrapped head and a cone, she's finally better.

And today, I got six, day-old Black Copper Marans chicks! Sooo cute!

So, as you can see, I have lots to celebrate! I'll probably be back in the revision cave soon, but what better way to come out of a deadline cave!

Many thanks to readers everywhere who have been enjoying the series and giving it great reviews. I truly appreciate it!

And a belated Happy Mother's Day to all you incredible moms out there!