Monday, May 31, 2010

Let Us Not Forget


"Your silent tents of green We deck with fragrant flowers; Yours has the suffering been, The memory shall be ours." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


To Those That Serve....Thank you


~*~

ABSENTMINDED CONTEST


Whether you’re a teen, tween, middle-aged or a senior, we all have our moments. Unfortunately, as you progress from teen to senior the moments increase. My moment: I lost the TV remote and found it the next morning in my purse. When I mentioned ‘my moment’ to a friend, she told me she found her misplaced cell phone in her freezer.Okay, I’ve told you mine. Will you tell me yours?For a chance to win a PDF of THE CRYSTAL, a paranormal romance, just leave a comment and share your most absentminded moment. A random drawing will be held and announced June 6.

EXCERPT from THE CRYSTAL

“Damn,” came a low whisper.
Christopher grinned. The Nordic Queen had just encountered some of his aunt’s more prickly specimens.
He waited, his hand resting on the globe.
The stealthy footsteps drew closer. Christopher blinked as she waved the penlight in his face. “You!”
He stood and gave her an abbreviated bow. “Ms Bell.”
“What are you doing here?” she hissed.
“I live here,” he replied calmly. “More to the point, what are you doing here?”
“I came for my globe.”
He grinned. The woman was a pit bull. Once she had an idea firmly fixed in her mind neither reason nor common sense would dissuade her.
“It belongs to my aunt.”
“It’s mine,” she responded passionately.
Christopher stepped closer. “Are you always this obstinate? Don’t you realize some might term this breaking and entering?”
“Well, you should certainly know about that,” she retorted.
Christopher had been fighting an uncontrollable urge ever since she’d plastered her body against him in the rain. He was very much afraid he was about to give in to it.
“I suppose I should,” he murmured as he drew her into his arms and lowered his head.
“Don’t even think about it,” she warned.
He could feel her body stiffen against him. “Darling, it takes no thought at all.” He tilted her chin up and placed his lips on hers.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Angels Among Us

"It is not known precisely where angels dwell--whether in the air, the void, or the planets. It has not been God's pleasure that we should be informed of their abode. " Voltaire

Do you believe in angels? Do you believe they walk among us? That they watch over us?
We've all had moments when we are certain something or someone has interceded on our behalf, stepped between us and tragedy...

Something tells you not to take the flight you're scheduled for. You feel silly but at the last minute cancel your reservations. You find out later the plane you would have been on crashed.

You're running ten minutes late because you can't find your cell phone. Then you get caught in a traffic jam where you find out ten minutes ago a car ran a red light and hit another driver head on.

Your loved one is dying. He/she looks at a blank wall and gives a blinding smile of recognition and moments later passes in peace.

You turn down a group of your peers that have invited you to a concert out of town. The carload is killed in an accident on the way back home. If you'd gone with them, you would have been killed as well.

You're coming home alone late at night. Your car stalls out in front of your house. If it would have happened earlier, you would have been stranded.

Has something similiar happened to you? Do you feel someone or something interceded at some point on your behalf, and if so how? And do you think the intercession was an angel that walks among us?


~*~


And speaking of angels, I'd like to include some sites of folks that make a difference.
If you know of other organizations that lend a helping hand, please leave a comment with their web address or drop me an email at sandracox1@gmail.com and I'll add it to the list.
U.S. based foundations:

Cleaning for a reason
For women who are going through chemotherapy for breast cancer, a cleaning agency will come in once a month for four months to clean at no charge.
http://www.cleaningforareason.org/

The Biscuit Foundation
Finds homes for pets whose owners have passed away or had to go into a nursing home.
http://www.biscuitfoundation.org/index.htm
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-Biscuit-Foundation/201426785134

Blind Cat Rescue
http://blindcatrescue.org/

Pets in Foreclosure
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/ForeclosurePetRescue

Operation Noble Foster
Foster care for the pets of deployed service men and women
~*~
To enter the Absentminded Contest see post below

Monday, May 24, 2010

ABSENTMINDED CONTEST

ABSENTMINDED CONTEST

Let’s see a show of hands for being absentminded.
Whether you’re a teen, tween, middle-aged or a senior, we all have our moments. Unfortunately, as you progress from teen to senior the moments increase.
My moment: I lost the TV remote and found it the next morning in my purse. When I mentioned ‘my moment’ to a friend, she told me she found her misplaced cell phone in her freezer.
Okay, I’ve told you mine. Will you tell me yours?
For a chance to win a PDF of THE CRYSTAL, a paranormal romance, just leave a comment and share your most absentminded moment. A random drawing will be held and announced June 6 at sandracox.blogspot.com.


Excerpt from THE CRYSTAL


Gabby paused as she caught a glint of color out of the corner of her eye. She craned her neck to see, but the shimmer disappeared. Curious, she walked in the direction the flash of green came from. A row of black capes blocked her view. She pushed them aside and stared into the shadowy corner. Hidden in the gloom, was a sea-green crystal ball. It stood in solitary splendor on an antique claw-footed stand.
She took a step forward and ran her index finger along its smooth surface. The globe felt toasty warm against her damp skin.
Drawn, she splayed her fingers until her palms nestled around it. A delicious wave of heat ran through her, like sitting in front of a crackling fire on a cold winter night. Ecstasy coursed through her body.
Transfixed, she watched the glowing green crystal change to blue, its hues dancing and sparking like moonbeams on the water.
The crystal pulsed beneath her hand.
By degrees, the feeling of warmth disappeared…and fear crept in.
Her breath hitched in her throat as the color in the crystal fell away and a face formed. Its blurred outline moved back and forth, wraithlike and then sprang into sharp focus.
She felt the color drain from her face, as her nerveless fingers dropped from the ball. The face in the globe belonged to the hard-eyed stranger she’d bumped into outside the shop, only moments before.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

And The Winner Is.....


Congratulations to Tami. Tami won the PDF of Flower Power and a notebook

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Flower Power Contest



Are you an avid gardener, enjoy aromatherapy and flowers in general? For a chance to win a PDF of FLOWER POWER and a notebook with a FLOWER POWER cover just leave a comment. The winner will be announced May 23rd.




Night Garden



Imagine sitting in your gazebo or settling on your bench and watching the stars come out while a gentle breeze blows away the heat of the day. As the night darkens, your flowers glisten with an otherworldly beauty.
The most popular night flowers are moon flowers. They are large, lustrous and white, making them easy to see at night.
The glory moon vine produces six-inch trumpet flowers that unfurl at sunset. The glory moon vine is an annual and each flower only lasts one evening.
The bush moon plant is also white with six-inch trumpet flowers that open at night. The bush moon plant is a perennial. Each individual flower lasts a night and part of the day.
Night-blooming jasmine will fill the dark with its wondrous bouquet.
Other night bloomers you might consider adding to your garden are the perennials four o’clocks and evening primrose.
Night phlox has a lovely almond-honey scent that is released in the evening.
A large, white, clay pot filled with cereus, a cactus with gorgeous huge white flowers, would be a nice addition to your garden. This plant’s flowers release an aromatic vanilla scent.
Any blooming white plant that doesn’t close at night can be added to a night garden. Lamb’s ear is nice because it has a silvery quality at night. And what about adding some white pumpkins to your garden for visual appeal?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Year of the Bird...Or Picking Up Chicks


Year of the Bird.

Regardless of what the calendar says, its gotta be.

Remember the adventures of Fred the Parakeet? Well my son called a little while ago to tell me there were two little baby chickens hopping around his apartment complex near the road and a storm was coming.

"Kittens?" I said intelligently.

"Chickens," he responded.

"Chickens with a C?"

"Chickens," he says again.

So after I'm in the loop on what type of critter needs rescued, he hangs up and gets a box to put them in. But instead of hopping toward him as Fred did me, they took one look at my 6'4" offspring and took off in the opposite direction just as fast as their scrawny little legs would carry them. He managed to get them rounded up, then called the local rescue who referred him to the animal wild life rehabilitator. The woman who answered the phone said, "I've got chickens. I'll take them." Whew.

Parkakeets. Chickens. What's next? Turkeys? Buzzards? I'm a fiction writer but even I couldn't makeup this stuff.

Do you have any crazy fowl stories? I'd love to hear them.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Donna Hatch




With us today is Donna Hatch best selling author at Wild Rose Press for two consecutive months for her Regency romance, The Stranger She Married. She also was a finalist in the Golden Quill Contest, recognizing outstanding published authors. All of her novels, The Stranger She Married, The Guise of a Gentleman, and fantasy Queen in Exile, as well as her novella, Trouble Hearts have received four and five star reviews across the board. Welcome, Donna.

Q: Start by telling us a little about yourself. Where are you from? When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?


I am a native of Arizona and I’ve lived here most of my life. When I was a child, I wanted to be a ballerina, an actress, and an author. I took ballet lessons, was a drama geek in school, and now I write, so I did them. Sorta.

Q: Do you plot your story before you write it or do you sit and let it flow?

I usually have a vague idea of where I’m going, but mostly I let it flow. I had to develop my heroine but my hero pretty much stepped off the page fully developed.

Q: Do you have a favorite book or series?

I love anything by Lynn Kurland or Julia Quinn and I am currently working my way through everything by Sharon Shinn and Georgette Heyer.

S: I've read everything by Georgette Heyer. Have you ever read Marion Devon or Joan Smith?


Q: Tell us about your release, The Guise of a Gentleman, Book Two of the Rogue Hearts Series.

Okay, here’s my backcover blurb: The widowed Elise is a perfect English lady living within the confines of society for the sake of her impressionable young son. Her quiet world is shattered when she meets the impulsive and scandalous Jared Amesbury. His roguish charm awakens her yearning for freedom and adventure. But his irrepressible grin and sea-green eyes hide a secret.

A gentleman by day, a pirate by night, Jared accepts one last assignment before he can be truly free. Elise gives him hope that he, too, can find love and belonging. His hopes are crushed when his best laid plans go awry and Elise is dragged into his world of violence and deceit. She may not survive the revelation of Jared’s past…or still love him when the truth is revealed.

Q: What are you working on now?

I'm finalizing the edits on book 3 of the Rogue Heart's Series which isn't titled yet. (Gulp.) Each book is a stand-alone book, about a different brother of the Amesbury family, and the family members wander in and out of each other's books. And I’m polishing a new, unrelated Regency that has won the SARA Merrit writing contest and I’m getting ready to submit it to the NY editor who requested it. I’m also trying to finish a new Teen/Young Adult paranormal which has had three agent requests. So much to do, so little time...


Q: You have a bunch of kiddos, how do you find time to write? How do you balance family with writing?


Yes, with 6 children, making time to write is very challenging. I do much of my writing at night after they are in bed, or during nap time, but when I'm on a roll, I write instead of unimportant things like fix dinner. I haven't dusted since last Christmas and I gave up scrap booking. All my children are in school now, so now I can write after they all leave for school, until I have to go to work every afternoon, so that really cuts into my writing. However, I'm very focused, (or obsessed) so I keep at it at odd times of the day. And night. Sometimes insomnia is a good thing.

Q: What do you consider your guilty pleasure?

Chocolate! Okay, really, anything sweet and decadent. I have an equal opportunity sweet tooth.


Q: If money were no object would you prefer domestic help or would you cook and clean yourself?


Are you kidding me? I’d LOVE to give the job of cooking and cleaning to someone else! Can I have them do the laundry, too?

Q: Have you been told you look like someone famous?

Oh, yeah, I’m a dead ringer for Faith Hill. Ahem. Okay, not really. Actually no one has ever said I look like someone famous. But in the morning with my frizzy hair sticking out in all directions, I greatly resemble Medusa. Good thing I’ve never turned anyone to stone!


Q: Where can we find The Guise of a Gentleman?

The Guise of a Gentleman by Donna Hatch is available at www.thewildrosepress.com, Amazon, and all Barnes & Noble Locations (some stores may have to order it for you, but that costs the same as if it were on the shelf)


Q: Tell us about your contest:

Okay, now how to win your free copy (and you have four chances if you do all four):

1. Leave a comment in this blog, then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com and put “free book” in the subject line

2. Follow my blog, then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com, telling me you're now following me and put "free book" in the subject line

3. Friend me on Facebook, (http://www.facebook.com/people/Donna-Hatch/1053967713#%21/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1053967713) then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com, telling me you're now my friend on Face book and put "free book" in the subject line

4. go to my website and then find out what is the name of the hero, then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com, telling me the answer to the question and put "free book" in the subject line

Remember, for each thing you do, you have another chance to win. Good Luck!!!


You can find Donna’s books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Queen in Exile is also available at Costcos across the country and any Deseret Bookstore.


The Guise of a Gentleman is also available at http://www.thewildrosepress.com/ Here is the direct link to Donna's book page. http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=1&zenid=08917dd5881d0719ec4a916d602d56d6&keyword=donna+hatch

PUBLISHER, ISBN
The Wild Rose Press, Print ISBN 1-60154-701-3

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/

Thanks for spending time with us today, Donna

“Combining Jane Austen with swashbuckling adventure, The Guise of a Gentleman is a fine specimen of pirate romance!” NYT bestselling author Jennifer Ashley

AUTHOR WEBSITE URL
http://www.donnahatch.com/

AUTHOR BLOG:

http://www.donnahatch.blogspot.com/

EXCERPT

“You are a woman of great courage to face
those cutthroats.”
His fingers closed around hers as if she were a
lifeline. Her late husband's hands had always been
smooth and soft, the hands of a gentleman, so
unlike this man's calluses which bespoke hard work.
She marveled at their size, and at the tingles that
traveled up her arm.
A flush crept over her face as she realized the
direction of her thoughts. “I saw a cruel act and felt
compelled to intervene. I could do nothing less.”
His eyes darted over her face and he said in a
stronger voice, “They might have turned on you.”
“I'm an excellent shot.”
“And did you not consider that you may have
been in danger from me as well?”
She suspected many women found him a very
great danger, but not for the reason he spoke.
Swallowing against a dry mouth, she lifted her
chin. “You hardly looked dangerous at the time.
And I daresay you lack the strength to offer any
threat now.”
The barest hint of smile twitched his mouth

Monday, May 10, 2010

Flower Power Contest


For a chance to win a PDF copy of Flower Power and a notebook with a Flower Power cover just leave a comment here. Drawing will be held May 23rd.


Enjoy your week.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day


This blog is in memory of my mom.

Ruth Marie was born August 19, 1929 and passed April 28, 2010. She grew up in the depression and had one brother that, to my grandmother's despair, she squabbled with endlessly. Then they hit their teens and realized they could get away with alot more if they covered each other's back. From that point on, they were inseparable.

They grew up poor. My grandparents could only afford one pair of roller skates so they split them. Each one had one roller skate. I remember my grandmother telling me the only shoes they could afford for my uncle was a pair of girl's shoes so they threw the box away so he wouldn't realize he was wearing sissy shoes:)

My mom was extremely tenacious, translate: stubborn. She only had one spanking in her life and even then refused to do what she'd been told.

Though she didn't grow up with money she grew up in a wonderful family and was wealthy in all the matters that count.

She had two goals in life. One was to have four children and the other was to become a nurse. She had me and was unable to have any more for many years then my three sibs came rapidly one after another. At fifty-one with three school age children at home she went back to school to become a nurse. For many years she worked on the psychiatric floor at St. Johns in Springfield, IL. I teased her endlessly, telling her it was a perfect fit.

For her sixty-seventh birthday, she went skydiving for the first time.

She had severe diabetes most of her adult life and Alzheimer's at the end of it. Life was not always easy but she bore it with grace and dignity and maintained a sense of humor.

I have no doubts that when her spirit passed into the next cycle of life her parents, my dad and Neon her favorite cat were waiting.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

And to all the great moms out there...Have a wonderful day.