Tuesday, February 21, 2012

And the winner is...!

As those of you who occasionally hang out at my blog know, from time to time I host authors with new releases.  Yesterday I hosted author Allie Pleiter with her latest book.  As part of her tour, Allie was giving away a signed copy.  And today's post's only purpose is to announce the winner.  So without further delay...

The winner of a signed copy of  Allie Pleiter's "Falling for the Fireman" is:


Congrats Stacie!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Love Inspired Author - Allie Pleiter - A New Book and a Giveaway

Today Love Inspired author, Allie Pleiter is joining us.  She's on tour with her new book Falling for the Fireman.  Today is a great chance to meet the author and find out more about what looks to be a very entertaining and inspirational read.  Not only that but Allie is offering a giveaway for this blog only of one signed print copy of Falling for The Fireman to a lucky commenter (US only).   So no waiting until the end of the tour to see if you won or not - and the odds of winning, just went up!

An avid knitter, coffee junkie and devoted chocoholic, Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction.  An enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie spends her days writing books, buying yarn, and finding new ways to avoid housework.  Allie hails from Connecticut, moved to the midwest to attend Northwestern University, and currently lives outside Chicago, Illinois.  The "dare from a friend" to begin writing has produced two parenting books, fourteen novels, and various national speaking engagements on faith, women's issues, and writing.  Visit her website at www. or her knitting blog at .

So to start things off I asked Allie to tell us a story that begins with my favourite question.  Life hasn't been quite the same since...  The hitch is that the story must be about a trip.  Of course the story could be anything from a journey around the world to a journey to the corner store.  I have to admit that Allie had a unique and inspiring reply to my oft-asked question.

Welcome Allie!

Life hasn't been quite the same since...Italy

Thanks to the Make A Wish Foundation, my family and I went to Italy this summer.  I used to think Make a Wish was only a last hurrah for terminal patients, but when my son was diagnosed with cancer, I learned they support any child facing any life-threatening illness.  As such, Italy became my son's "victory lap" for getting to a successful remission.

It was the first time abroad for all of us, and a huge life lesson, post-cancer prize aside.  On our eight day cruise through Rome, Naples, Florence, and Barcelona, we learned several surprising things:

1)  Fun is a choice.   Some parts of this trip went exceedingly wrong.  We left in a tornado, had hideous flights, and did most of Italy without our luggage.  I laughed "it's hard to botch a free trip to Europe, but we tried."  Never before have I had to work so hard to cling to the bright side, to not let the bad stuff out of our control taint the good stuff right in front of our faces.

2)  We're not as cool as we think we are.  As Americans, we tend to think of ourself as the global cool dudes.  Standing in a breathtaking gazillion-year-old cathedral, that mindset falls flat.  We took the time to do some research, to try and understand the cultures we were visiting.  This made for the golden moment when my children recognized the difference between "tourist" and "traveler".  There's no better way to understand your place in the world than to be standing in a foreign country and find yourself inching away from a U.S. citizen who embodies everything America ought not to stand for.

3)  Adventure is as much on the inside as it is on the outside.   There's a reason my new tagline is:  The adventure starts right where you are.  Our "victory lap" had to be as big and awesome as cancer is dark and scary--that's the whole philosophy behind Make a Wish.  I've embraced this "counterbalance" strategy in many areas of life since that time.

My Falling for the Fireman characters Jeannie and Chad embrace the same philosophy.  Jeannie celebrates by nature--she's an unsinkable optimist until now.   So much so, in fact, that she refuses to even look at the darkness threatening her son.  Chad, on the other hand, has spent so much time dwelling in darkness that he's lost the value of celebration.  He's lost sight of how those around him can give the victory lap he needs to release himself out of survival mode.

Chad and Jeannie, like true lovers everywhere, become what each other needs most.  How they get there, like good stories everywhere, is more than a bit complicated.  I hope their story takes you on an adventure that changes you for sharing it.

Falling For The Fireman
Harlequin Love Inspired February 2012

Back Cover Copy:
There's something achingly familiar about the look in fire marshal Chad Owen's eyes.  Widowed mom Jeannie Nelworth knows firsthand what it is:  loss, hurt and yes--bitterness.  Ever since the fire that changed their lives, Jeannie's young son has borne that same look, pushing everyone away.  So she's grateful when Chad tries to get through to the boy with the help of his trusty station dog.

But the man who's all about safety and prevention keeps himself protected--from loving and losing again.  Seems as if Jeannie will have to add his kind, guarded heart to her rebuilding efforts.

Click here for an excerpt from Falling for the Fireman.

Questions?  Comments?  I know I have a dozen for Allie but for now I'm turning it all over to Allie.  Remember - every commenter is entered for a chance to win a signed copy of 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Warning - Author at Large

Monday I'll be hosting author, Allie Pleiter on tour with her new book Falling for the Fireman.  Stop by for a fun day of meeting the author and enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of Falling for the Fireman

It's all happening here -  Monday, February 20.

Now I'm off to enjoy the weekend.  See you all Monday!
Wish I was here!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Giveway Blast Over At Beck Valley

So today I tripped on this fantastic giveaway:

Beck Valley Books: $100 Amazon Twitter Blast Giveaway has started !!

Head on over and see how your luck holds today. And me - having stuck my head up for air I'm back to the last words of the last draft.

Any great finds in your day?

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Monday, February 13, 2012

A Little Bit Of Lazy Goes A Long Way!

So you've all heard me whine about the doldrums of winter.  Good news - I'm not into any of that today.  Nope, today I've taken the day off.  For two reasons; one it's my wedding anniversary and two, because I don't think I could bear one more predawn alarm call.  I've been at it pretty hard the last few weeks and as a result there's a story that's finally been whipped into shape and a plan for a few manuscripts that may not need to be whipped but possibly a tamer version of a scale down - a Weight Watcher's version.  And I'm only steps away from finishing off that proposal.  New is again on the horizon and I'm excited to dive in.

Sometimes a day off is exactly what you need to put the excitement back into motivation. 

And on a totally different topic, I suspect that Siri may be a Southern Gal.  Now some of you might be asking who the heck Siri is?  She's the voice of the technology that functions as an office assistant as well as answering basic questions posed to Apple's latest iPhone.  So when asked the temperature today, Siri's little electronic voice blurted "brrrr".  I took her word for it and headed out in my completely unfashionable ski pants (hey, what do you expect for ski pants that were never the height of fashion and that if they were human, would be old enough to graduate high school?), toque and industrial mitts.  Let's not say I was turning any heads on this venture, except maybe on the "what is she thinking?" variety.  Anyway, temperature wise - turns out her idea of brrr and mine didn't jive.  It was only -12 C without the usual breeze (that many not from the prairies might call a brisk wind). All in all,  brilliant sunny winter day.  I was hot after a few blocks and sweating after ten.  Oh well, I suppose sweating is good.  Many people pay money at a gym to work up a good sweat.  So thank you Siri - I think.  Speaking of Siri, while there's a few spoofs on the technology - Have you seen this one? 

Tomorrow I'll be back at it and excited again to be there.  What does time  off do for you?  Any planned in your future?  And I don't mean the kind where you're on the whirlwind overseas or even overland excursion but the kind where you shut off the world and just enjoy the day.

Now I'm off to enjoy the rest of the day!

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Get Up And Go Got Up And Went

I'm feeling a little lazy or maybe that's just slightly unmotivated.  Still - yes I know - still!  I blame it all, as you already know on winter.  Everything is winter's fault.  Why?  Because everything has to be someone's fault, certainly not mine.  And who better than a non-person, a season.

Okay, silliness aside, my lack of motivation is a result of a combination of things.  The time of year for one - isn't exactly motivational.  The place where I'm at in one book - finishing final draft and wanting so badly to move on, but it's not quite there - yet.  The place where I'm at in my career, published but not where I want to be - yet.  My latest rejection.  Blah blah blah.  But you see where I'm going - straight into a completely uncalled for pity party.

Then motivation ran over me, peeled me off the sidewalk, dusted me off and told me to get a life.  There are worse things then a rejection letter and not enough time for everything you want to write.  Besides, as my agent assured me, there were good things in that letter - and there were.  But it was a friend of mine who sent a text out of the blue to say how much I inspire her that really got my attention.   Me inspire her?

She's a journeyman carpenter chosen as one of a select few to go to Rome for a built heritage conservation course.  It was an opportunity of a lifetime that ran against all odds and I won't go into it - you can check it all out here.  Running in circles to get ready for imminent departure for a three-month move to Rome, she still found time to send me that text.   Now that's motivation.  I don't think I can match that but I'm definitely re-energized and back in the game.  Besides it's the Year of the Dragon - doesn't that mean good things are around the corner?

What re-energizes you in the depths or winter or are you reading this while sipping a margarita and putting on sunscreen?

Here's something to cheer up anyone in need of a little winter lift.  I'm a Reader Not a Writer is holding a thank you give away.  Click anywhere here to head over for the details on how you can win a $50 Amazon Gift Card or $50 in Books from the Book Depository.

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