Posted in Blog Hop, Food, Giveaway, Reading, Winter Fairy

Holiday Gifts of Love

CWelcome to the Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop, one of many hops run by the fabulous Carrie Ann Ryan.  Be sure to comment so you can be included in the grand prize drawing and for your chance to win an adorable  Penelope fairy custom made by Sweet Baby James Stitches.

While you’re hopping, chances are I’ll be baking or candy-making.  Spending time in the kitchen with my children (ages 9 and 5) and husband is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season.   We will bake at least five types of cookies and deliver them to neighbors, while keeping a tasty portion for ourselves and Santa.  Baking together makes a huge mess, but the joy on their faces is too good to miss.  We’ll start with sugar cookies.  Then, we’ll move on to Mint or Kiss Surprises, Chocolate Crinkles and Oatmeal Butterscotch. For something new, I think we’ll try a recipe I found for chocolate-chip-peppermint-crunch cookies.  Somewhere in there, we’ll dip pretzel sticks in white chocolate and turn them into snowmen with gum drop hats and fruit leather scarves.

By the end of the day (days? Sometimes we make the dough in advance), we’ll be covered in flour and have sugar oozing from our pores, but more importantly we will have laughed, created a precious memory and shared some happiness with special people in our lives.

I’m pretty sure young Eloise, the budding ballerina at the center of my romance WinterfairycoverWinter Fairy will be busy making cookies this weekend too.  She’d also love to win the custom fairy since it looks like her ballet teacher, Penelope.  You can meet Eloise, her father Carson and Penelope in Winter Fairy, available now in ebook and paperback at Amazon, iTunes, B&N and more.

The Rafflecopter giveaway allows extra ways to win the custom fairy. Sorry overseas fans. I can only ship to US addresses.

Let me know your favorite cookies to make (or eat) in the Comments below. Be sure to include your email to be entered to win one of three grand prizes including your choice of a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet, a $200 gift card to your choice of Amazon or B&N, or a Swag Bag (swag is US shipping only).

To get additional entries to the grand prizes, click here and visit other participating Authors and Bloggers. There are over 200 giveaways in all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Posted in Giveaway, Winter Fairy

Joy of Giving

Today, I’m talking teacher gifts. I have some idea what I’m talking about since my mom taught preschool for a number of years.  Opening the students’ holiday gifts was a cherished part of our Christmas tradition, one that solicited lots of laughs, “Awwwww cute!” comments and shouts of “I claim the Frangos.”

Out of the chaos of statuettes, baked goods, coffee mugs and gift cards, I gleaned the following:

DO NOT give ornaments to the teacher. She (or he) probably has enough apple ornaments to decorate a forest.  Also avoid “objects d’art” and jewelry.  I drew on real life examples for the gifts Penelope received from her students in Winter Fairy.

DO give Good quality chocolate. It can be consumed or regifted.  Baked goods should include an ingredient list in case someone in the home has allergies. Gift cards are great, especially for places where the teachers can restock supplies used in their classrooms.

Thinking of giving, Jenna Jaxon is giving away TWELVE books on her blog today including a copy of Winter Fairy.  Click Here to see all Twelve Books of Christmas on her list.

Before you go completly, what are your thoughts on teacher gifts? Do you have a go to gift?

Posted in Six Sentence Sunday, Winter Fairy

Six Sentence Sunday

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday

I’m getting into the Christmas spirit with this excerpt from Winter Fairy.

Eloise spent the night with her grandparents and Carson spent the night with Penelope. In the morning, reality slapped Carson hard. Not only did Penelope storm off in a huff, but Grandma Sue confronted him with a new problem.

“Do you want to know what happened during Santa’s visit with the grandkids?”

Carson swallowed hard. Last year, right in front of Santa, Eloise pushed one of her cousins hard enough to knock off his glasses.

“The other children all climbed up on Santa’s lap and asked for nice things. A new video game. An American Girl doll. A couple of books. A power wheel. But not Eloise. She told Santa she didn’t want any toys this year. She wants Miss Penny to be her mommy.”

Will Eloise get her wish? What’s on your wish list?

You can pick up Winter Fairy at Amazon, B&N, iTunes,  Kobo and elsewhere.

Posted in Blog Hop, Crimson Romance, Reading, Uncategorized, Winter Fairy, Writing

Escape with me

Escape with me into a moment from Winter Fairy.  Early in writing the story of Carson and Penelope, the romance could have unfolded anywhere. I had no setting until they went to the Art Institute of Chicago. No other museum or city would do.  Penelope takes Carson and his daughter Eloise to a Degas special exhibit. As they walk to the cafe, Carson pauses to look at the striking piece that is one of my favorite escapes.

I first visited the Art Institute of Chicago on a school field trip in fifth or sixth grade.  My mother chaperoned. As our docent guided us through the maze of hallways, my mother pulled me aside and whispered, “That’s a Chagall.”

I fell in love. I fell hard and fast for the myriad blues, askew cities and figures untethered by gravity. The more I looked, the more I saw and further I fell into Chagall’s world.

Over the years, I have spent hours looking at Chagall’s America Windows, getting lost and escaping to a world I cannot physically visit. I could write at length about the meaning and significance of Chagall’s work, but I don’t want to. I’d rather imagine myself in front of the America Windows escaping to a world where people and dreams can fly.

Be sure to comment below for a chance to win the Eloise Fairy made by Sweet Baby James Stitches and one of three gift cards being offered as part of the Crimson Wonderland Blog Hop.  To be considered for the gift cards, please include your email in name(at)provider(dot)com format.  Remember, the more authors you visit, the more chances you have to win.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Beckey!  She’s the lucky winner of the Eloise Fairy.

Posted in Reading, Six Sentence Sunday, Uncategorized, Winter Fairy, Writing

Winter Fairy Six Sentence Sunday

This is my first time posting for Six Sentence Sunday and today I’m sharing from Winter Fairy, my newest release from Crimson Romance.

Single father, Carson has just arrived at his daughter’s dance studio for the show off day celebrating the end of her “Fairy Dreams” class.  A loud blast of music, followed by a giggle draws his attention to the corner and he gets his first glimpse of Penelope.

She was taller than the other fairies. He guessed she stood closer to 5’7″ than 3’6″. The woman wore shimmery blue-green wings that reminded him of the water off the small island where he honeymooned years ago. She had a blond pixie cut and large blue eyes that gave her the look of an overgrown Tinkerbell. When she moved, light reflected off her body like tiny fireworks. This must Eloise’s infamous Miss Penny.

Are you as curious as Carson?  You can find Winter Fairy at Amazon, Crimson Romance, iTunes and more.

Return to Six Sentence Sunday

Posted in company, On Writing, Uncategorized, Winter Fairy, Writing

My lovely cover

I’m thrilled to share with you the cover for Winter Fairy coming September 17th from Crimson Romance.

Isn’t it gorgeous!  My husband admits to having a crush on the model representing my heroine, Penelope and I don’t blame him.  She’s beautiful and so are the little girls lined up at the barre ready for ballet class.

I’m thrilled with the results. The cover artists at Crimson did a great job, and you won’t be embarrassed if you’re caught reading this one at the doctor’s office or the dance school waiting room.  I think Crimson captured the sense of whimsy and the general mood of Penelope and Carson’s story.  I can’t wait for you to read it.