Category Archives: Contests

Enjoy the moment


I’m just settling in after spending a few days in San Antonio at the annual Romance Writers of America annual conference. I had a great time with my co-bloggers over at 8 Ladies Writing. Six of the eight made it to the conference. Here we are, enjoying a post-RITA awards photo op!

Kat, Jilly, Justine, Jeanne, Kay, Elizabeth

Kat, Jilly, Justine, Jeanne, Kay, Elizabeth

The conference was a lot of fun. I met a lot of great people, I reconnected with old friends, I heard some great talks. I skipped the Alamo—I couldn’t face the excursion in the heat. Right now I’m resting, unpacking, and getting back to work. And soon, I expect, I’ll be extrapolating what I learned into my own projects. We’ll see! In any event, taking the time to celebrate friendships and accomplishments is always a good thing.

Writing obituaries


In my younger days, I wrote a few obituaries. Every time I did, I thought about that person’s life. What they must have experienced. How it felt. Who they left behind. How they’d be remembered.

The other night on the news, somebody interviewed two guys in the San Francisco airport who were bound for Green Bay, Wisconsin, to attend the Packer/49er playoff game. They were dressed in tee-shirts and their 49er (lightweight) jackets.

I don’t have to tell you how cold it’s been in the Midwest. The predicted wind chill factor for tomorrow’s game is -40. That’s right, minus 40. The actual air temperature by the end of the game will be below 0. People watching from the stands, if they stick it out to the end, will be sitting outside in those conditions for up to three hours.

The interviewer said, “How are you preparing for the cold?”

One guy said, “We have our Jerry Rice tee-shirts and our team spirit!”

The interviewer said, “Packer management is issuing hand warmers to all 70,000 fans—Packer and 49er. What about that?”

One guy said, “We won’t need hand warmers! We have our team spirit!” He might also have mentioned he’d be clapping too much. I might have over-interpreted his remarks.

I’m worried about those guys. To sit outside and watch that game, they need long underwear, lined pants, snowmobile suits, insulated boots, thermal socks, heavy mittens, fur hats, heat packs, foot warmers, hand warmers, blankets, and something warm to sit on. And probably other things I’m not thinking of. Living in the Bay Area, those guys probably don’t own that stuff. And they looked like they were traveling light.

As much as I admire—if “admire” it is—their courage and team spirit, those guys won’t survive the weather conditions in Green Bay wearing Jerry Rice tee-shirts and their team spirit. They just don’t have a clue about how cold -40 is. I’m worried about them, and I’m worried about their families.

I’m even worried about the obit writers. Just thinking about what it must feel like to freeze to death in -40 conditions is enough to send a chill down my spine.

So stay warm, my friends. Sometimes team spirit just isn’t enough.

Join the Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop!


HolidayGiveaway2012-copy1The Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop is now closed.

Thanks to everyone who participated, and congratulations to Carlene L., who won this stop’s two books. And, hey, I’m late. I was busy, hanging with Punxsutawney Phil, getting ready for Groundhog Day. A person can’t be everywhere at once.

Here’s fun for the whole family! Starting Dec. 14 and running for a week, you can join the Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop and win fabulous prizes all week long. More than 50 participants are giving stuff away! And for the grand prize, a Kindle Fire, pre-loaded with 17 books by the novelists listed at left.

What’s my prize, you might ask? There are two! A digital copy of Twitter for Authors by Beth Barany, which is about, well, you can probably guess. And the other half of the prize is a paper copy of Writing Romance, a collection of essays by many people, some of them well-known but all of them interestingThe winner of my prize, if s/he prefers a paper copy of Twitter for Authors and can stand to wait a bit, can get a paper copy as soon as the author gets it done, probably about the end of January.

Twitter for AuthorsWriting RomanceSo, what do you have to do to win? To win the prize from this stop on the blog hop, just leave a reply. That’s it. Click and say hi. I’ll toss all names in a hat and ask my lovely assistant to choose one on Dec. 22. I’ll notify you of your win. Prizes will not be shipped until after Dec. 28.

To win the prizes from the more than 50 participants in the blog hop, hop on over to here, where you’ll find a linked list to everybody holding mistletoe. To have your shot at the grand prize, the Kindle Fire, click on the Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop box (or, okay, here). That’ll take you to the site of the great PJ Schnyder, who is behind the whole show.

So have at it, my friends. You deserve a shot at something for yourself this time of year.

Going once, going twice


If you’re a writer and you’re having trouble finishing (or starting) your book, you might want to check this out. Beth Barany, who’s a writing coach over at the Writer’s Fun Zone, is giving away the Kindle edition of The Writer’s Adventure Guide: 12 Stages to Writing Your Book today and tomorrow. You might remember this title: it’s the prize I offered for my stage of the Mistletoe Madness blog hop this past holiday season. If you’re having those downhome, teary-eyed, lonesome-doved writing blues, this book might help. And, hey. Free’s a great price.

Hop on down! Win fabulous prizes! Offer good Dec. 16-23


The Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop is now closed. Congratulations to Wendy, who won Beth Barany’s The Writer’s Adventure Guide. Thanks to everyone for dropping by!  And may your holidays have madness only of the good kind.

If you like contests, and who doesn’t, here’s one that’s easy to enter and the prizes are many. Join the Mistletoe Madness blog hop, sponsored by 50 writers including yours truly, and you have a chance to win 50 prizes, including the grand prize: a color  Nook preloaded with many fine books that you can enjoy during the upcoming joyous holidays while your Uncle Al is yelling at the TV and your Aunt Myrtle is telling you how well her other niece is doing.

I can hear you now: what is a blog hop? I need that color Nook!

Here’s how it works. Each participating blog (that’s me) hosts a giveaway. All the blogs are linked up so blog hoppers can zip from one giveaway to the next, with the chance to win 50 fabulous prizes. (But not all of them. I think they’ve fixed it so you can’t do that.)

Except my blog doesn’t link up. The tech setup here means that you actually have to go to the sponsoring blog (the Mistletoe Madness link) to link in and get into the mix for the grand prize. An entrance form will go live there on Dec 16, and the grand prize winner will be chosen at random after the contest closes on Dec 23. (Because of various restrictions, this contest is open to U.S. residents only. Sorry!)

But if you register on this blog (no purchase necessary), or okay, even leave a comment, you are entered into my portion of the grand giveaway. The lucky winner will receive a paper copy of  Beth Barany’s The Writer’s Adventure Guide: 12 Stages to Writing Your Book. Beth is a creativity coach for writers, and if anybody can help you get that manuscript out the door, it is she. I know; I’ve read the book.

I’ll choose a winner at random after Dec 26 and ship the book out shortly thereafter–right after I get back from that annual visit to Uncle Al and Aunt Myrtle. Happy holidays!