Wednesday, July 20, 2016

RWA 2016 Nationals Pics Part 1

I'm back from RWA (Romance Writers of America) Nationals in San Diego where the weather was absolutely spectacular! It was heavenly and the entire meeting was infused with a more relaxed California vibe. Loved it!

The best part about Nationals, for me, is getting to see everyone in person. I always look forward to reconnecting with my dear friends and RWA roomies, Jeannie Watt and Jamie Steinman. They're my rocks and I can't imagine RWA without them. For those of you who are new to my blog (or to my writerly history), Jeannie is the incredible western romance author who befriended and mentored me years ago...and wouldn't let me leave a Harlequin Heartwarming open house (where, at the time, Senior Editor Victoria Curran was taking pitches) until I pitched an idea. That pitch turned into my first sale and debut, The Promise of Rain. You can re-read the details of that Call story here.

I absolutely loved getting to see all of my other friends, including the lovable and unstoppable Harlequin Heartwarming crowd (I like to call them the Heartwarmers). This is an amazing group of women who are like one big family. This year was extra special because I finally got to meet Heartwarmer Catherine Lanigan in person. Catherine and I have been Heartwarming blog sisters forever now and we clicked from day one. She's simply a gorgeous, genuine and an all around phenomenal woman who I'm honored to know. Getting to meet and spend time with her in San Diego was the highlight of this trip.

In fact, Catherine and I were thrilled that our awesome Heartwarming sis Kate James made it to Nationals! We had a wonderful time hanging out and catching up :).

I'm afraid to leave anyone out, so forgive me if you don't see your name or pic here! I saw soooo many wonderful people that it's impossible to name them all. If I forget to mention you, know that I still love you and loved seeing you. I'm running out of hours today so I'm just going to post the pics I have. Enjoy!
I autographed books at the Harlequin Book Signing with Catherine Lanigan. Note the photograph of her with actress Kathleen Turner on the set of Romancing the Stone. Catherine wrote the novelizations (as Joan Wilder) of both Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile. 
Rula and Catherine Lanigan at the Harlequin Signing
Anna J Stewart, myself and Catherine Lanigan at the Harlequin signing. 
At the RWA Literacy Autographing
My set up for the RWA Literacy Autographing. I was giving away canvas totes with the book cover on them and matching bookmarks.  It was an honor to be signing among a group of big name, incredible authors. And great news! This year, RWA succeeded in hitting the million dollar mark for funds they've raised for literacy!! 
And pics from the famous Harlequin Party...

My besties Jamie Steinman and Jeannie Watt 
Me and Jamie
Jeannie Watt, me and Cheryl Harper
Kate James, Elizabeth Heiter and me
Me and the lovely Roz Denny Fox
Roz Denny Fox, Kate James and Catherine Lanigan
The ever fun loving Carol Ross, Anna J Stewart and Cari Webb

Marion Ekholm, Amy Vastine and me
 
Me and girlfriends Catherine Lanigan and Kate James

Kate and Catherine
The sweet Cheryl Harper and me
And at the RITA/Golden Heart ceremony...

Kristan Higgins
 


Robyn Carr accepting her award

And just to show you how much fun the Harlequin party is. I present you with the Heartwarmers.
There were more pics and a repeat of a selfie from two years ago for old times sake, but I need to hunt them down for a part two to this post!

Stay tuned!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mama Hen & Baby Chicks


Our latest baby!
Happy Summer! I was up early this morning and saw the full moon just above the horizon at daybreak. Apparently, the 2016 summer solstice is extra special because the northern hemisphere hasn't had a full moon on a summer solstice since 1967! It's also the 4th full moon since the spring equinox, which isn't that common either. You can read more on it in this cool article at earthsky.org: http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/june-solstice-full-moon-in-2016.

What it all boils down to is...my kids are finally out of school for the summer! Their last day was the 14th and my eldest graduated from high school the next day. A lot has been going on this past week, as you might imagine, and it all began on Sunday the 12th, when I went to the coop and discovered this little one peeking out from under his mama!


Exactly 21 days prior, I found Watermelon, my largest Black Australorp sitting on a couple of eggs. She was acting broody (aka hormonal and protective of the eggs)...so I put a couple more under her. The total was only 4, since we've never been through a natural hatch and I wasn't sure if she'd abandon the nest or not. A week later, I found one egg broken. I believe another hen had hopped into the nest while Watermelon was taking a water break. It's shell might have been weak too.

Anyway, we were down to three eggs. She didn't actually lay the eggs...although one may have been hers. One was a green egg from my Easter Egger named Moon and one was a dark brown egg from one of my French Black Copper Marans named Venus. The third was either from Watermelon or one of my Barred Rocks.

On the 12th, the little one above hatched, followed by egg #3. Unfortunately, that baby didn't make it. But by the next morning, the green egg hatched...

2nd baby
Now, my roosters are French Black Copper Marans, which means that this chick...assuming she's a she...is an 'olive egger'. I'm really hoping 'she' ends up laying olive green colored eggs! Her mother's eggs are a light to medium shade of 'easter egger' green and dad comes from a breed that lays very dark brown eggs, so we'll see...

First baby at day 1
Second baby on the left
Hiding under mama's wing
Watermelon is proving to be an amazing mother. She's protective, tolerant, immediately taught them to drink from a glass bottle waterer (the kind in rabbit/hamster cages)...which she remembered from her chick days. And when I took her out for a second, so that I could clean a spot, she freaked and wanted to get back in the cage with her babies. I set up a rabbit cage in the coop so that they'd be safe from trampling/pecking, yet they'd still be with the flock. Kind of a brooder/nursery.

The baby's are doing great and growing quickly. The cutest thing is that they like sitting on top of their mother, piggy-back style.

Cool view from up here! (chick #2)
Chick #1
1 week old. See those feathers coming in?
And for those of you who read my red fox post, we haven't seen the fox in a week or so. Granted, we're 'supervising' the flock's free ranging. We started by letting them loose a couple of hours in the afternoon, while three of us (two sons and myself) stayed outside on the lookout. This, obviously, isn't an arrangement we can maintain. About a week ago, I shaved my dogs and we put their hair around the fence line where the fox was coming from. I wouldn't rely on that alone, but I had spare dog hair so why not? Now, when the chickens are loose, one of us goes out and walks around or grabs eggs every ten minutes or so, just to let the fox know we're there. In the meantime, we're building a stationary, fox and predator-proof pen/aviary for times when we aren't outside to deter the fox.

That's my chicken update! I'm so looking forward to another broody hen. Seeing these babies hatch and interact with their mother has been so heartwarming.

Happy summer to all! I'll leave you with one last pic. It's fuzzy because my phone camera can't handle low lighting. This was the full moon at daybreak today from my back porch. The photo didn't capture how bright at big it was in person.


I should stick with baby chick pics ;).

Through the Storm Tour Grand Finale

I'm a little late in posting the grand finale of my book tour, but I decided to go ahead and put it here in case anyone is interested in direct links to all the excerpts and reviews. Stay tuned for my next chicken update post, which will include baby chick pics!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Launch for
Through the Storm
By Rula Sinara

Tessa and Mac come together for protection, but might also find love. We hope you enjoyed a glimpse into their story through the reviews and excerpts from the tour. If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out...

Launch - The From Kenya, With Love Series

From the moment I began writing the first book in this series, The Promise of Rain, I knew that I’d be returning to Kenya’s Serengeti. There’s a magnificence and warmth about the Serengeti…an overwhelming, awe-inspiring power…a raw beauty. But it wasn’t only the setting that drew me in and brought back memories of the years I spent as a child in Africa, it was the characters who I grew to love and understand. It all came from the heart. Every word.

Brooke Blogs - Excerpt

Without him, Tessa Henning wasn’t worth the dust left by a mercilessly harvested and exquisitely carved elephant’s tusk, but once he discovered she knew too much, Brice would hunt her down just the same. He’d come after her because she was a traitor. He’d find her because she was his wife and he believed in gratitude and loyalty. He expected it.

underneath the covers - Excerpt

Mac stood on the front porch, leaning against the wooden log that supported the thatched overhang, watching her, the piercing blue of his eyes intense and knowing. Maybe it was the way the Kenyan sun had left its warmth on his skin or how stubble shadowed the hard lines of his jaw, but the way he looked at her sparked a smoldering ache in her chest. She swallowed hard to extinguish it. If only Mac hadn’t wanted to get away from home so badly. Maybe they would have eventually become friends. But he’d wanted to escape and explore and she’d wanted—needed—stability.

Becky on Books - Review

"I enjoyed reading Through the Storm–and now Kenya is added to my “places I want to go before I die” list. It sounds absolutely beautiful, if a bit intimidating…not quite the camping I’m used to ;) . . . Overall this was a lovely read. Through the Storm is a heartwarming story about family, trust, and finding the life you were meant to live."

Rockin' Book Reviews - Review

"There was never a moment the story dragged. There was constant developments that let to a profound climax. This was a clean, well-written book of mystery/suspense/romance/and new beginnings. The scenes were described in vivid detail and easily visualized. The characters appeared to be real. . . . This novel earned a Five Stars rating."

deal sharing aunt - Review

"This book is exactly why Harlequin has their heartwarming line. When a book can make me feel this many emotions for the main characters (especially when they are still married and I wanted to dislike them) and make me root for them, then I know that the author has somehow made them feel like family."

Wishful Endings - Review

"THROUGH THE STORM was surprisingly suspenseful while also maintaining the usualsweet romance that readers can count on when reading a Harlequin Heartwarming novel. Add to that the strong feel of friendship and family, a focus on the simple things in lifeand on the terrible cruelty of the illegal ivory trade, and this story had added depth and emotion that immerses the reader. A story well worth the read!"

EskieMama Reads - Review

"Through the Storm was very touching heartwarming clean romance. This book had a little of everything I like in a book romance, some laughs, a few tears, family & little mystery. . . . a pleasure to read."

Lampshade Reader - Excerpt

Nick was already sleeping in the tent he was sharing with Mac, and Mugi and Kesi had gone to bed. Tessa stared at the flames with her knees tucked against her chest and her chin resting on them. Her hair glistened in the firelight like the river’s surface on a full moon. He looked back into the fire. He had no business noticing those sorts of things. At least not in a way that stirred unwelcome feelings of nostalgia and longing. As a teen there’d been something about her that drew him in, but she’d always kept her guard up good and strong.

Christy's Cozy Corners - Review

"I love how developed the characters in this book are. They are not perfect and the love story is far from perfect. There is a lot of turmoil and complications, but in the end, Tessa finds out the truth and her heart is set free. You will love the descriptive writing and seeing how the plot develops. . . . I highly recommend this book!"

23 Review Street - Review

"Through The Storm is a heartwarming story about family, secrets and how to battle your way through the storm. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves romance that warms your heart and makes you see the good side of the storm."

Thoughts of a Blonde, Book talk - Review

"In this 3rd book in the From Kenya, With Love series, Rula Sinara brings us the story of a fractured family trying to unite for the good of their orphaned nephew, while investigating wrong doings and fighting attraction!"

Book talk - Excerpt

He’d always been comfortable being alone. He’d always felt at home out here in the Serengeti...but right now, hearing Tessa’s soft breathing and a bit of snoring from Nick, for the first time Mac felt like he was home. This was his family.

The Reading Diaries - Review

"I like the concept of going after Ivory traders it’s not something you see every day in a book and it’s a serious issue happening in Africa. I’m not a huge fan of love triangles but this isn’t bad it’s more a case of self-discovery and learning that the man she thought she loved isn’t the man she married. I enjoyed he author’s writing style the story just flows along smoothly a suspenseful mystery mixed with romance creating a captivating story. This is my first book by the author but after reading Through the Strom I know I need to check out her other books. Highly recommend for fans of suspenseful romance novels."

Don't forget to check out the rest of the series and enter the giveaway below...

Through the Storm
(From Kenya, With Love #3)
Rula Sinara
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
April 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The biggest risk she'll ever take…

Tessa Henning is no damsel. But she's definitely in distress. If her husband really is involved in the ivory trade, he'll come after her when he finds out what she's uncovered. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Mac Walker. Stubborn, fiercely independent, danger-loving bush pilot Mac Walker—with whom she shares custody of their orphaned nephew. Though Mac's no knight in shining armor, he can keep her and their nephew safe in the Serengeti while they wait out this storm. But he can't protect Tessa from the strange weather brewing inside her, stirring up feelings for Mac she wishes she could ignore.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

Other Books in the Series

The Promise of Rain (Book 1)The Promise of Rain
(From Kenya, With Love #1)
Rula Sinara
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
January 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming

He wants to take her child out of Africa...

The Busara elephant research and rescue camp on Kenya's Serengeti is Anna Bekker's life's work. And it's the last place she thought she'd run into Dr. Jackson Harper. As soon as he sets eyes on her four-year-old, Pippa, Anna knows he'll never leave...without his daughter.

Furious doesn't begin to describe how Jack feels. How could Anna keep this from him? He has to get his child back to the States. Yet as angry as he is with Anna, they still have a bond. But can it endure, despite the ocean--and the little girl--between them?

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

After the Silence
(From Kenya, With Love #2)
Rula Sinara
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
March 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Does following her passion mean losing her way?

Marine Ben Corallis is an expert at facing death, but nothing comes close to the terror that grounds him when his wife is killed in a car accident the day he returns from duty. He's left to raise an infant, a toddler and a ten-year-old girl who hasn't uttered a word since her mother's death.

It's hard not to care for the widowed marine with three young children. Yet he's still grieving, too burdened with guilt to fall in love again. And Hope Alwanga's future as a doctor awaits her on the other side of the world, in Nairobi. If two such opposites can't agree on a common country, how can they ever create a safe place to call home?


After a childhood enriched with exotic travels and adventures (both in books and real life), USA Today and Amazon Bestselling author Rula Sinara is now settled in rural Virginia with her husband, three boys and crazy but endearing pets. When she's not writing, she's busy attracting wildlife to her yard, watching romantic movies or researching trees on her garden wish list.

In addition to being a coffee addict, she's also a 2015 HOLT Medallion Award of Merit winner, a 2014 National Reader's Choice Award winner and double finalist, a 2015 Golden Quill Award Runner Up and a 2015 Book Buyers Best third place recipient. For updates on her releases and more, sign up for her newsletter.


Tour Giveaway

US PRIZE PACK: One winner will receive 3 'From Kenya, With Love' series canvas tote bags (one of each book), bookmarks, autographed copies of The Promise of Rain and After the Silence, and a $10 Amazon gift card.

INTERNATIONALLY OPEN PRIZE: One winner will receive Kindle copies of The Promise of Rain and After the Silence.

Ends June 17th

Monday, June 6, 2016

Book Tour Launch & Giveaway for THROUGH THE STORM

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Launch for
Through the Storm
By Rula Sinara

Tessa and Mac come together for protection, but might also find love. We hope you enjoy a glimpse into their story through the reviews and excerpts from the tour...

Tour Schedule
June 6th: Brooke Blogsunderneath the covers
June 7th: Becky on BooksRockin' Book Reviewsdeal sharing aunt
June 8th: Wishful EndingsEskieMama Reads
June 9th: Lampshade ReaderChristy's Cozy Corners23 Review Street
June 10th: Thoughts of a BlondeBook talkThe Reading Diaries
June 12th: Grand Finale

The From Kenya, With Love Series

From the moment I began writing the first book in this series, The Promise of Rain, I knew that I’d be returning to Kenya’s Serengeti. There’s a magnificence and warmth about the Serengeti…an overwhelming, awe-inspiring power…a raw beauty. But it wasn’t only the setting that drew me in and brought back memories of the years I spent as a child in Africa, it was the characters who I grew to love and understand. It all came from the heart. Every word.

These individuals…from my heroes and heroines to the secondary—yet impactful—characters in the series…all embraced something greater than they were. They gave of themselves and faced the odds, making them stronger. They inspired me in a very real way. Because of what I unearthed in writing these books and because I couldn’t turn my back on any of it, I fostered an orphaned elephant in Kenya this year.

All three books in my ‘From Kenya, With Love’ series center around themes of love and family…and finding both when and where it’s least expected…and most needed. The first book in the series also paralleled the importance of family and loss of loved ones with the heartbreaking losses suffered by elephants at the hands of poachers. The second, After the Silence, dealt with grief and bridged the gap between two different cultures and countries…showing that love has no boundaries. 

I knew when I wrote The Promise of Rain that the rugged, Indiana-Jones-like, Serengeti bush-pilot, who was devoted to helping search for and rescue wildlife, would need his happily ever after. I can assure you that, at that time, Mac Walker had absolutely no idea that his future would bring shared custody of his orphaned teen nephew and his sister-in-law…a woman who always played it safe and hated his risk-taking ways. But what Tessa Henning discovers will endanger them all and change her forever.

Like I said, finding love and family in the wilds of Africa. Get swept away by the unexpected!

This third book in the series, Through the Storm, brings us back to the stunning Serengeti and, in a more adventurous, romantic suspense way, tackles the dangerous world of illegal ivory trade and brings us back to the plight of the elephant. And of course, through that storm, the characters discover their inner strength, family and true love.

Many thanks to all of my wonderful, supportive readers! May you always be inspired and surrounded by love.

—Rula

Through the Storm
(From Kenya, With Love #3)
Rula Sinara
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
April 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The biggest risk she'll ever take…

Tessa Henning is no damsel. But she's definitely in distress. If her husband really is involved in the ivory trade, he'll come after her when he finds out what she's uncovered. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Mac Walker. Stubborn, fiercely independent, danger-loving bush pilot Mac Walker—with whom she shares custody of their orphaned nephew. Though Mac's no knight in shining armor, he can keep her and their nephew safe in the Serengeti while they wait out this storm. But he can't protect Tessa from the strange weather brewing inside her, stirring up feelings for Mac she wishes she could ignore.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

Other Books in the Series

The Promise of Rain (Book 1)The Promise of Rain
(From Kenya, With Love #1)
Rula Sinara
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
January 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming

He wants to take her child out of Africa...

The Busara elephant research and rescue camp on Kenya's Serengeti is Anna Bekker's life's work. And it's the last place she thought she'd run into Dr. Jackson Harper. As soon as he sets eyes on her four-year-old, Pippa, Anna knows he'll never leave...without his daughter.

Furious doesn't begin to describe how Jack feels. How could Anna keep this from him? He has to get his child back to the States. Yet as angry as he is with Anna, they still have a bond. But can it endure, despite the ocean--and the little girl--between them?

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

After the Silence
(From Kenya, With Love #2)
Rula Sinara
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
March 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Does following her passion mean losing her way?

Marine Ben Corallis is an expert at facing death, but nothing comes close to the terror that grounds him when his wife is killed in a car accident the day he returns from duty. He's left to raise an infant, a toddler and a ten-year-old girl who hasn't uttered a word since her mother's death.

It's hard not to care for the widowed marine with three young children. Yet he's still grieving, too burdened with guilt to fall in love again. And Hope Alwanga's future as a doctor awaits her on the other side of the world, in Nairobi. If two such opposites can't agree on a common country, how can they ever create a safe place to call home?



After a childhood enriched with exotic travels and adventures (both in books and real life), USA Today and Amazon Bestselling author Rula Sinara is now settled in rural Virginia with her husband, three boys and crazy but endearing pets. When she's not writing, she's busy attracting wildlife to her yard, watching romantic movies or researching trees on her garden wish list.

In addition to being a coffee addict, she's also a 2015 HOLT Medallion Award of Merit winner, a 2014 National Reader's Choice Award winner and double finalist, a 2015 Golden Quill Award Runner Up and a 2015 Book Buyers Best third place recipient. For updates on her releases and more, sign up for her newsletter.


Tour Giveaway


US PRIZE PACK: One winner will receive 3 'From Kenya, With Love' series canvas tote bags (one of each book), bookmarks, autographed copies of The Promise of Rain and After the Silence, and a $10 Amazon gift card.

INTERNATIONALLY OPEN PRIZE: One winner will receive Kindle copies of The Promise of Rain and After the Silence.

Ends June 17th

Friday, May 27, 2016

Chicken Update, Fox Attack & Upcoming Tour

Hello, everyone! This is a quick update post because I've been swamped on the work and home front.

As you know, the third book in my 'From Kenya, with Love' series released this month (June for UK/Aus). I've also been working on a proposal for a new series for Heartwarming. But just to add a little spice to my writing schedule, my eldest...who is graduating from high school in a few weeks...broke his wrist during a track and field meet. It wasn't just any break. The whole thing involved CT scans and a visit to a hand specialist because of the nature of the break. He's in a cast and will be fine. We've also had our share of illness, out-of-town visitors, end-of-year homework projects etc...

Then this past week, as if things weren't crazy enough, we had our first fox attack. It wasn't pretty. Almost three years with backyard chickens and we never had a fox problem. I know they're around (it's a given, living in the country), but they've never bothered coming into our fenced backyard, especially since our dogs run around there and leave their scent. Well, our dogs are not out at the same time as our flock because they love chicken and not in the guardian dog way. Unfortunately, so do foxes. This gorgeous red fox attacked right in the middle of the day. From what I could see, our three roosters did nothing to stop the carnage. We lost 3 hens, plus several were injured but got away. I've been nursing the most severely injured girl in my makeshift basement chicken clinic. She was seriously cut up on her back and suffered a leg injury. I've been spoon feeding her (and watering) because of it, but she's been a trooper and, amazingly, is recovering!

I kept the flock locked in their coop for almost a week and, when I tried to let them out for a few hours, the fox came back. This time, she had her jaws around a hen's neck but I stopped her in time. For now, the flock is staying under lock.

I love all wildlife and understand that it's spring and that fox has kits to feed. I just have to build a secure pen with buried hardware cloth and only let them range under supervision in future. Unless I get a guardian dog, but I don't dare right now. The pup might learn bad habits from my two zany dogs.

On the bright side, I have a broody hen sitting on a clutch of eggs. We haven't been through this before, so I'm hoping it all works out and we have baby chicks in a few more weeks. I'll keep you all posted!

Finally, for anyone interested, I was recently interviewed at Romance Reader and the post includes a giveaway. I saw some familiar 'faces' there, so thanks for the visit and comments!

I also have an upcoming excerpt/review tour with Prism Book Tours, June 5-12...and that also includes giveaways! You check out the schedule HERE.


I hope my U.S. friends all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Henna Head Giveaway Winner

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Many thanks to everyone who commented on my Henna pictures here, on Facebook and over at the Heartwarming Authors blog. I had so much fun with all of you! And thank you for the henna head compliments :). Everyone seemed to like it!

Everyone who posted (whether here, there or FB) was put in a random drawing and I have a winner! The big announcement is over at the Heartwarming Authors blog, but I'll mention it here too. BUT please take a minute to pop over to the Heartwarming Author blog for my Sit-Down Saturday post. It includes photos of the Hollywood stars who I'd cast as the hero, heroine and their teen nephew in Through the Storm. I also included the 1980's hit song that I think fits this story so perfectly! Any guesses? ;)

www.heartwarmingauthors.blogspot.com

And the giveaway winner is...

Tanja Dancy!

Congratulations, Tanja! Please contact me through my website with your mailing info!

Thanks again to all who entered. Have a super weekend!