Contests, Giveaways & Mayberry

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Jan 302013

I’m blogging on Lee Hayat’s Tote Bags ‘n’ Blogs, where I’m giving away an e-copy of one of my Miracle Interrupted books to a commenter. The theme of my blog is about small towns, and I talk about Mayberry from the Andy Griffith show (Lee even put up a video clip of Barney, Opie & Andy; it’s very cute and under 2 minutes). But before I sent her the blog, I wondered if everyone would know what I meant leading off with this series from the 1960s. I asked on Facebook, and the answers were a resounding yes! Someone said their kids watch it on TV Land. So a new generation of children are learning about Mayberry.

I think what I like about Mayberry is, first, the great characters. Next is the sense of community. That’s how it’s turning out in my fictional village, though it took four books before I realized that aspect of smaller towns and villages, as if everyone in the place was an extended family member. In some ways, that’s a plus for the characters. For other characters – especially those with secrets – it’s a huge minus. And in my work-in-progress, there are a lot of secrets.

Contests: I think tomorrow is the last day of my contest at Fresh Fiction where I’m giving away a $25 gift card and a signed copy of STARDUST MIRACLE. My new contest for February will be up by then. By the way, the digital version of STARDUST MIRACLE is still free most places. I might keep it free until my next book is out. I’m not sure.

Enjoy the Miranda Lambert video below. It’s starting to snow by us. We’re supposed to get 2 to 5 inches. Not fun. How is it by you?

Jan 092013

Miracle Pie 246x360Like all authors, I love to get 5 star reviews, but this review of MIRACLE PIE from Amy R at So Many Reads is special because of what she says in her last paragraph:

Whenever I am done reading a Miracle Interrupted story, I always feel a strong sense of hope. I highly recommend Miracle Pie to anyone looking for a miracle.

Actually I love the whole last paragraph – and the whole review – but the ‘sense of hope’ is something I want the reader to feel in every book I write, and it’s especially true in this book. It makes me happy to know I achieved my goal.

I”m also delighted that STARDUST MIRACLE has gotten a great review at Fresh Fiction by Sherri M. 🙂

My favorite author mention is by Julie Kenner! She’s listed STARDUST MIRACLE (which is still free!) on her Hump Day Books: Check out These New or Notable Reads (Jan. 9 edition)! post. I’m a fan of Julie’s books, and she’s nice as well as a terrific author. I only had time to check out one of the other books she listed, and I liked it so much I’m going to download it.

My last news is that a book club in Arkansas is reading DEAD PEOPLE. I’m delighted! I’ve thought that a book club might be interested in my Miracle Interrupted books, but I’m thrilled that they’re reading Cassie and Luke’s story.

Except for the grinding noise my computer made when I turned it on this morning, it would be a perfect day. (It only lasted a couple minutes, and I’m hoping it was just spitting out a cat hair.)

How are things going for you?

Jan 042013

I recently read a quote that was almost right, but I wanted to reword it. I didn’t write it down and can’t remember who said it, but here’s my version:

“Any time you spend not being happy is wasted time.”

The thing is, as a writer – and perhaps as a human – I have to experience sadness and anger and even a little craziness… Otherwise, how could I write books? When my mom was going through a bad stretch and we knew it wasn’t going to get better, I can remember driving home from the rehab center, thinking that I should get a supplement that’s supposed to make me happier and calmer. Then I thought, No, this is a time when I’m supposed to be sad.

If I’d been to the point where I found it hard to function, then I would have done something. But I’m normally an even keel type of person. Still, I have a friend who’s been fighting cancer for many years, and she’s one of the most positive people I know. Unless she’s feeling really crappy, she doesn’t turn down opportunities. And if you need someone to help you do something, she’s probably the one you’ll turn to.

Maybe it’s just her normal disposition. Some people turn sour, and some people turn sweet. My friend turns strong and positive. She takes in all the happiness she can get, without denying the sad.

So maybe that’s the final version: “Unhappy happens, but when you have a choice, it feels a hell of a lot better to be happy.”

On my publishing news, STARDUST MIRACLE is still free most places. I expect to leave it free for a while.

I have a contest going on at Fresh Fiction. I’m giving away a $25 gift card. And Stardust is listed at Ask David, which is a great place to find new books. And if you’re an author, they list your books free. As soon as I have a chance, I plan to list all my books there.

Over the holidays, my husband and I saw Parental Guidance with Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marissa Tormei. It was my husband’s choice and I didn’t expect to enjoy it. I was wrong. I enjoyed it a lot. I’m looking forward to seeing Les Miserables. My husband doesn’t want to see it, so I’ll go without him some day. We’ll probably see Promised Land with Matt Damon.

What about you? Have you seen any shows, or do you plan to see any?