Wish Upon the New Years Kitty!


No guest author today. On this last Monday of 2013 I’d like to make a few wishes upon the New Years Kitty — the little angel — and ask you to share some of yours.

New Years Angel Cat

 

My #1 wish is for our economy to grow faster and create decent paying jobs for the millions who are out of work and struggling to provide for their families. Doesn’t seem unreasonable, do you think?

Wish #2 is for more successful, less painful cancer treatments. After watching friends suffer with the Big C this past year, and my parents in years past, I know the terrible toll cancer inflicts on patients and their families. The same goes for Parkinson’s, an insidious monster that is stealing a dear friend’s quality of life.

Wish #3 applies to myself and many others. I would love to see treatments for a host of neuromuscular diseases such as muscular dystrophy, ALS and CMT (Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease), my own personal demon.

Wish #4 has to do with family. I wish and hope for my daughter and her life partner to have the child they long to have. For my son I wish continued happiness with his children and his new love.

Wish #5 brings me to my writing. Actually this is a handful of wishes: to finish the first book in my new series; to learn how to use Facebook, twitter and other social sites more effectively; to budget my time better; and to build my book sales to a new, higher level. Oh, and to see the western romance anthology that will include my short story, The Lawman’s Lady, become wildly popular. wlEmoticon-winkingsmile.png

Okay, now tell me what you’re wishing and hoping for in 2014. And if you happen to see any happy developments in your crystal ball, please share, but keep any gloomy predictions to yourself. This is a time to celebrate and dream!

Happy New Year

Monday Author Meetup: Keta Diablo


keta reading a bookAbout the author:

Keta Diablo lives in the Midwest part of the country on six acres of woodland. When she isn’t writing or gardening she loves to commune with nature.

Keta is a multi-published author in both erotic romance and gay fiction. Her paranormal novel, Where The Rain Is Made, was nominated for a Bookie Award by Authors After Dark. Keta’s books have received numerous Top Pick, Book of the Month, and Recommended Read awards from the top professional review sites.

Welcome, Keta! This is a special Christmas interview. To start off, what are your earliest Holiday memories and/or family traditions?

I remember waking up at about five years of age and scrambling down the stairs. I had asked Santa that year for a special doll and didn’t know if he’d received my message. I was thrilled when the doll was beneath the tree. We have a video of this moment and not too long ago watched it. Wow! Where have all the years gone?

Did you have a favorite Holiday book as a child?

Not a favorite book actually, but my mom often read Nursery Rhymes to me. And she recited poems that she learned from her grandmother. Not too long ago, I made her write them all down so we don’t lose them as the years pass.

I’m sure those poems are precious to you. What’s the best Holiday gift you received as a child?

We had a very good family friend who never married. Every year, he’d come to our home for the holidays. He didn’t know much aEvening in Parisbout children because he never had his own, but he was such a kind person. He bought lovely Christmas gifts, but had a hard time asking the store clerk what he should purchase because he was deaf. Every year he brought me this horrible perfume called Evening In Paris. I imagine he asked and the woman at the perfume counter told him that perfume was very popular. Spendy too. I dreaded opening his gift because I knew what it would be. Mind you, I just didn’t get a bottle of the perfume — I got the whole shebang, powder, cologne, perfume, oil and whatever came in that darn gift box. Then one year he came with an envelope and $100 for me. He said I was old enough to buy what I wanted now and he wanted me to choose something on my own. If I never smell Evening In Paris again, I’ll be a happy cat.

LOL Your family friend finally wised up. Bringing us to the present, what was the best book you read this year?

Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne. I love this series, but then I’m a huge historical addict. I like her writing and her twisted plots. You never know what will happen next.

What are your favorite books to give as gifts?

I buy books only for my youngest son because he’s a reading fanatic like me. My other two children never open a book unfortunately. I always buy my youngest books on American history, particularly anything about World War II and the Civil War. I can never go wrong if I stay in that category.

What are you reading now?

I’m reading The Bronze Horseman. (Yes, I’m behind on current books). I still have books from last Christmas I haven’t cracked open. Pitiful, I know. Such is the life of a writer.

Too true! What would you like to get from Santa this year?

A mew Kindle.

Me too! What is your #1 resolution for the coming new year?

With all the writing, I lead a pretty sedentary life most of the time. I have to get better about exercise or at least  take the time to go for a daily walk. I do walk, but not every day. That’s my resolution.

Thanks so much, Lyn, for hosting me. It’s been a lot of fun!

It has indeed! Now, readers, here’s a peak at two of Keta’s  books. 

Holding On To HeavenHolding onto Heaven

Western Romance by Keta Diablo

Blurb

Brothers in love with the same woman—one the father to her child, the other her husband. Civil War has crumbled a nation, and the Dakota Sioux are on the warpath. While the blazing fires of revolt ravage the countryside, twins, Lauren and Sage McCain are ensnared amid the flames of destiny.

Family betrayal, heart-stopping danger and love, a love that crosses all boundaries and forges all cultures.

Setup and Excerpt

High-pitched shrieks reached Lauren’s ears. Warriors raced their painted ponies through the yard with bloody scalps dangling from their spears. The leader stood at the top of the porch steps, his obsidian eyes hard and cruel; his face impassive. Lauren came to her feet, head up, chin out, and faced him.

Dressed in caramel buckskin pants and high-top moccasins, he struck a terrifying pose. A dark blue vest covered his torso, adorned with beads in the shape of an oak tree and acorns. A breechcloth of the same fabric hung from his narrow waist and over his right shoulder, a pouch made of buckskin and porcupine quills danced beneath the glare of the sun. Three black and white feathers stuck out from behind his left ear, lying flat against his shiny, black hair. His dark eyes pierced her with a sinister glare.

She glanced to the rifle propped against his left shoulder, the one he used moments ago to kill Uncle Mason and Aunt Estelle. Their eyes locked again. She trembled beneath his bold perusal but he remained as still as a marble statue. With a flick of his wrist, he set his warriors into motion. Racing toward the outbuildings, they lit the torches in their hands, their bloodcurdling screams bringing Lauren to her knees.

The hostile looked down at her aunt and uncle before capturing her gaze again. Although terrified of the hatchet he lifted skyward, she stepped in front of her loved one’s bodies. She would not surrender to their mutilation, not while she drew breath. A brief flicker of admiration passed through his eyes when he lowered the weapon and gave a brief nod.

Kindle: http://amzn.to/15cCS5s

Nook: http://bit.ly/OJ44Me

Nook UK: http://bit.ly/V991kS

Kobo: http://bit.ly/NSl5HU

 

Dark Nght of the Moon

Dark Night of the Moon

Wolf Shifter/Western

Sequel to Holding On To Heaven

Creed Gatlin flees to Arizona intent on wiping out the haunting memories of his brother’s wife. Presumed dead, Brand Gatlin resurfaces and the destinies of those he loves are altered forever.

In a land rife with war and danger, Sage travels to the village of her husband’s People where she’s reunited with the ancient healer, Crooked Back. Devious plots are underfoot and peril lurks around every tree on the long journey back to Full Circle. An unforgettable journey of war, violence, grief and finally, love.

Excerpt

Creed cut across his father’s land and headed south, the closest route to Full Circle. He hoped Lauren wouldn’t be at home when he visited his son today. And he hoped she would. Would he always feel this conflict, torn between love and hate, hope and despair? He longed to see her, yet seeing her delivered unbearable torment.

He couldn’t bypass the pond. To do so would take him miles out of his way. He braced himself for more anguished memories and urged his mount forward. He’d mulled over his options a thousand times in the last few months and the same answer surfaced. In the spring he’d leave Minnesota, journey far from home. He didn’t know his destination, but what did it matter? He’d become an outsider, a man in love with his brother’s wife, his dead brother’s wife. Creed laughed into the cold wind. Both he and Lauren were waiting on a ghost.

The dapple gray beneath him flattened his ears and flared his nostrils, alerting Creed to a foreign presence in the woods. Could be a renegade or a wounded beast. Hell, could be a whirling-dervish sent by Satan. Nothing surprises me anymore.

The horse came to a halt and tossed his head to the right. Creed followed his signal and spied something dark against the pearl-white ground. He pulled his rifle from the scabbard, cocked it and slowed the gray into a foot-dragging pace. He smelled the blood before he saw it. Once a man smells blood, tastes it on his tongue, inhales it, the coppery scent is stamped on his senses forever. He could thank the United States government for that.

Creed dismounted near the body, scanned the woods and prepared for an ambush. He’d heard of hostiles propping a body on the ground and lying in wait for a man to take a closer look. The noisy chatter of the forest told him everything seemed normal. He kept the rifle ready and walked forward.

His heartbeat picked up speed. A familiar wave of knowing washed over him. The hair, the slender body and graceful curves could only be…. “Lauren!” He dropped to a knee beside her and placed his fingers against her neck. Thank God, a faint pulse. A ribbon of crimson streaked her forehead and ran down her cheek. The blood, thickened by the cold, had ceased running long ago. Creed pulled her to his chest and rubbed her arms, hoping to bring warmth to her cold body.

Kindle: http://amzn.to/YONTHF

Nook: http://bit.ly/LxpGKh

Nook UK: http://bit.ly/UetW75

Kobo: http://bit.ly/QOiqeX

You can find Keta on the net at the following places:

Keta’s Keep, http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com

Keta Diablo Books: http://ketadiablobooks.blogspot.com

The Stuff of Myth and Men, http://thestuffofmythandmen.blogspot.com

Keta on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ketadiablo

Keta’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KetaDiablo.Author?ref=hl

Thanks so much for visiting Lyn’s blog today to read about Holding On To Heaven and Dark Night of the Moon. Check out the Amazon links to read the reviews.

Wishes for a blessed New Year to all,

Keta

Blogging with the Smart Girls today!


Friends,

At best-selling author Caroline’s Clemmons’ invitation, I’m visiting Smart Girls Read Romance today, talking about how I began writing and why my stories are influenced by my experiences with ESP. I’d love for you to stop by and say hi. An excerpt from Darlin’ Irish is included, a tender scene between of gift giving.

http://smartgirlsreadromance.blogspot.com/2013/12/lyn-horner-shares-her-inspiration.html?showComment=1387744964175#c7964978523413278154

Happy Holidays!

Lyn

Holiday Cheer, Recipe & Giveaway


Texas Devlins 4 Book Bundle 2 lg

                    holly border

Holiday greetings, friends and neighbors! I’m sharing Christmas thoughts and a yummy recipe on Anna Kathryn Lanier’s Holiday Cheer today.

AND . . .

I’m giving away a Kindle copy of Texas Devlins 4 Book Bundle to one commenter. Y’all come and say hi for a chance to win. Please! To be eligible for the drawing, be sure to leave your email address or contact me: lynhorner@outlook.com.

Monday author Meetup: Anna Kathryn Lanier – The Twelve Days of Christmas


Anna_Kathryn_Lanier

About the author:

Anna Kathryn Lanier started writing while still in high school. Her first novel was a futuristic Armageddon tale with romantic elements. She wrote her first romances in her early twenties, but her only submission was rejected. After putting her writing on hold for nearly two decades to raise her daughters and play housewife, Anna Kathryn picked up the pen again, so to speak—this is the computer age—in 2001. She has completed three romance novels to date, all unpublished. She discovered a love for short stories and her first one, Happily Ever After, was published in 2005. She has since published five more short stories. The Priceless Gift, a contemporary western, was released in November, 2007, is a #1 best seller at The Wild Rose Press.

Welcome, Anna Kathryn.

Hi, Lyn, thanks for having me today. I’ll be giving away a copy of A GIFT BEYOND ALL MEASURE to someone who comments by Friday evening.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

by Anna Kathryn Lanier

Do you know when the Twelve Days of Christmas fall? I know a lot of people try to put them the twelve days before Christmas, but this is wrong. The Twelve Days of Christmas fall during the Christmas Season. Ah, but you say, we are in the Christmas Season. Well, technically, we aren’t. Churches that follow a liturgical year (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost) have set the time-line for the celebration of the Christmas Season, as well as the Twelve Days of Christmas, which is December 25th through January 5th.

In some cultures, Christmas is celebrated as a holy day, without the exchange of gifts. Gifts are instead exchanged on Epiphany or, in some cases, a gift a day is exchanged during the Twelve Days of Christmas. Epiphany, January 6th is the observation of the day the Magi arrived to pay homage to the Christ child. The three kings brought their gifts for the new-born king.

But let’s back up for a moment. The Liturgical Year starts with the First Sunday of Advent, four Sundays before Christmas Day. For 2013, that ‘new year’s day’ was December 1st. From then until Christmas Day, the liturgical church is in the season of Advent. The season of Christmas starts on Christmas Day and goes for twelve days. January 5th is often referred to as Twelfth Night (think of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night). In some traditions, it marks the removal of Christmas decorations and involves feasting.

I’m also sure you’ve heard of the song The Twelve Days of Christmas. The origin of this song is in dispute, but the meaning behind it doesn’t seem to be. The items given to the ‘singer’ of the song are not as simple as they appear. They do, in fact, refer to God’s grace.

Ace Collins in “Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas” explains the meanings behind the gifts:

The “true love” giving the gifts represents the pure love of God. Each gift represents a major doctrine of the Catholic faith.

Pear_Tree

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

The partridge represents the courage and devotion of Christ dying for his people. A mother partridge will lure predators away from her chicks, even sacrificing her life for them. The pear tree symbolizes the wooden cross upon which Jesus died.

Two Turtle Doves

This represents the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Doves also symbolize truth and peace.

Three French Hens

French hens were the food of kings in sixteenth century England. Here they represent the expensive gifts brought by the wise men to the newborn Jesus.

Four Calling Birds

These symbolize the authors of the four Gospels.

Five Gold Rings

These are the first five Old Testament books known as the Law of Moses.

Six Geese A-Laying

Here we have the six days in which God created the world. The eggs, from which new life springs, symbolize creation.

Seven Swans a-Swimming

These represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit outlined by the apostle Paul: prophesy, service, teaching, encouraging, giving, leadership and mercy. The swan, a graceful bird, symbolized these virtues.

Eight Maids A-Milking

Being a milk maid was one of the lowest jobs in sixteenth century England. Jesus came to save the poor and the humble, thus this gift represents Jesus’ love for the common people.

Nine Ladies Dancing

This dance represents the nine fruits of the spirit: love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Ten Lords A-Leaping

Here is a reminder of the Ten Commandments.

Eleven Pipers Piping

These represent the eleven faithful apostles who followed Jesus to the end and spread his message after his death. While there were twelve apostles, recall that one betrayed Jesus.

Twelve Drummers Drumming

This is a symbol for the twelve tenets of the Catholic faith laid out in the prayer, “The Apostles’ Creed”. The drummers may provide the cadence for reciting this prayer.

Thinking you might want to give these gifts? Remember first off that the items repeat themselves. So that on the second day, it’s a gift of two turtle doves AND a partridge in a pear tree. On the third day it’s three French hens, two turtle doves and another partridge in a pear tree. So that at the end of the 12 days you’d have given 364 gifts. In 2012, it would have cost you $107,300 to give your true love “The Twelve Days of Christmas” gifts. Click HERE for a breakdown of the costs from USA Today.

Read more at Suite101: The Twelve Days of Christmas: Legend of the Christmas Carol’s Twelve Gifts

http://www.asklesliet.com/2011/11/12-days-of-christmas/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2012/11/26/12-days-of-christmas-107k/1726807/

This post first appeared on the following blogs:

Sweethearts of the West 12/2/2010

Seduced by History 12/19/2011 AGiftBeyondAllMeasure_w4851_680

Chatting with Anna Kathryn 12/29/2012

A GIFT BEYOND ALL MEASURE

By Anna Kathryn Lanier

Arriving home for Christmas, the last thing Jacob Scott expects in his house is a sexy, shotgun-toting stranger.  Worse, his attraction to her bothers him even more than the gun.  Still reeling from the deception of his long-time girlfriend, he’s not looking for romance.

Tessa Jones has learned one hard lesson—when everyone in your life has failed you the only one you can trust is yourself. Facing the whispers of the townsfolk and an arson charge, Tessa unexpectedly finds herself trusting Jacob with more than her legal troubles.

Struggling between the promise of the present and the hurts of the past, can these two lost souls overcome their pain long enough to discover a gift beyond all measure?

Available now at The Wild Rose Press, and for the Kindle, or Nook.

A Cowboy’s Dream, is also contemporary western, and is a mega rewrite of Happily Ever After. Salvation Bride, a historical western is the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll 2009 Best Short Romance Story. Gift Beyond All Measure is a sequel to The Priceless Gift. Anna Kathryn lives in Texas with her husband. She has two grown daughters and three grandchildren.

Also, I’ll be presenting my workshop THE HERO’S JOURNEY via TITANIC in January at Savvy Authors. Learn more HERE.

Anna Kathryn Lanier

http://www.aklanier.com/

https://www.facebook.com/annakathrynlanier

Monday Author Meetup: Susan Horsnell – Australian Christmas Traditions & Her New Book


Susan Horsnell

About the author:

Susan grew up on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, in the 50’s and 60’s. A daughter of English immigrants, she is the eldest of five children. She and her husband Robert have two grown sons, “gorgeous daughters-in-law and five incredible grandchildren,” for whom she feels very blessed.

A nurse for more than 35 years, Susan specialized in caring for people with Alzheimer’s type Dementia. She says, “My dear father-in-law is unfortunately afflicted with this disease and now resides in a Nursing Home. In the not too distant future I am hoping to pen a novel incorporating some of the stories I have heard from these amazing people.” Susan also worked with the blind and cared for severely disabled children.

When she retired four years ago, Susan began writing stories based partially upon her experiences and upon her love of the American Old West. She hopes readers will enjoy her books and she’d love them to leave reviews.

Christmas in Australia

by Susan Horsnell

The heat of early summer in Australia has an impact on the way that Australians celebrate Christmas.

Many Australians spend Christmas out of doors, going to the beach for the day, or heading to camping grounds for a longer break over the Christmas holiday period. It has become traditional for international visitors who are in Sydney at Christmas time to go to Bondi Beach where up to 40,000 people visit on Christmas Day.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas houses are decorated; greetings cards sent out; carols sung; Christmas trees installed in homes, schools and public places; and children delight in anticipating a visit from Santa Claus. On Christmas Day family and friends gather to exchange gifts and enjoy special Christmas food which is usually seafood, salads and meat cooked on the barbie.

We usually hire a holiday home on the coast where we can take our 2 Jack Russell dogs (Cosmo and Kelly) and our 3 birds (Cockatiel – Rocky, Canary – Rorge and Zebra Finch – Beeper). We drive down on Christmas Day and back on New Years Day. This year we are going to Lakes Entrance in Victoria, one of our favourite places. There is a myriad of lakes, as the name suggests, and the beautiful 90mile beach (Yes, it is 90 miles long).

Our family is scattered all over Australia now and, as we cannot be in multiple places at once, we catch up with family from November onwards but spend Christmas day itself as our own little family. Financially, it makes it difficult for all of us to meet in one place. It is very expensive to travel in this country and our 2 sons, nieces and nephews all have young families. We won’t favour one over the other and, if we did one family per year, it would take us a lifetime to get around to them all. We tend to make our own Christmas Day when we do see each of them. I believe, although Christmas Day itself is important, it’s the being together that makes any day special for us. It doesn’t happen very often and we certainly make the most of it when it does. Needless to say, we spend a lot of November, December and January travelling.

Blind Achievement

That sounds tiring but fun, Susan! Living in the southern hemisphere sure does make a difference with Christmas traditions. Okay, now let’s hear about your new book.

Lyn, my new book is Blind Achievement.

Book blurb:

Phillip Johnson has been blind since the age of six after sustaining a head injury in a wagon accident. Growing up on a ranch outside of Austin hasn’t been easy for the young man but he has thrived with the loving help of his Step-Mother, Rachel, and the faithful support of his father, Luke. At 18 years old, he has made the decision to head to Macarthur to attend the Wyoming College for the Blind. He plans to study Civil Government Law and Political Economics.

It is here that he meets Belinda and he falls deeply in love with her. Belinda hides a dark and dangerous secret.  A ruthless man is obsessed with owning her. This threat has the power to ruin their relationship and put their lives in jeopardy. Can they overcome such obstacles and find happiness together?

Book excerpt:

It had been a long day and he tapped his way back to his room. He was startled from his thoughts by an ear piercing scream. Coming to an abrupt stop he listened. Sounds of a scuffle and banging came from what he knew was a classroom ahead. He approached and threw open the door without hesitation.

“What the hell? Get out!” a gruff voice bellowed.

“Please help me.” A girl’s agonized plea tore at his heart.

“What’s going on?” Phillip demanded to know.

“None of your damned business, half-wit. Get out.” Phillip could not place the voice.

“Let me go,” she screamed again.

“Let the young lady go.” Phillip said angrily. “Come here to me Miss.”

He could hear her struggling to get free.

“I have asked you to let her go. I will not ask again.” Phillip loaded his voice with menace.

The man guffawed. “Do you really think a blindy like you can stop me?”

Phillip used the man’s voice to help him move closer.

The girl took advantage of her captor being distracted and bit down hard on his arm. He yelped with pain, and she wrenched free of his grip and launched herself into Phillip’s arms.

The air rushed from his lungs as she collided with his chest. He wrapped his arm protectively around her trembling body as she sobbed into his shirt.

Phillip lifted his cane as a warning for the man not to approach. “I am taking her to speak with Mr Carver. I expect he will also want to speak with you.”

The girl in his arms continued to tremble and sob.

Blind Achievement is available here: http://amzn.com/B00GW5NCMK

Find Susan Horsnell, Western Romance Writer, on these sites:
http://susanhorsnell.com
Twitter: @susanhorsnell

Texas Devlins 4 Book Bundle Now on Sale!


Hi, it’s me again. Yes, my boxed set just went live on Amazon. Remember, it’s on sale for just $3.99 through New Years Day. Then the price goes up. If you’d like to grab this bargain, here’s the link:

Texas-Devlins-4-Book-Bundle-2_thumb.png

http://www.amazon.com/Texas-Devlins-4-Book-Bundle-ebook/dp/B00H6MN4R6

 

There will be a slight delay before it’s available for Nook, due to Christmas cards. Need to get them done and in the mail, tomorrow I hope. Just depends on the weather. Right now we can’t get down our driveway because it’s coated with thick ice from the storm that passed through here a couple days ago. Fort Worth is not supposed to be like this!

 

How are y’all doing where you live? If you’d like to vent about your nasty weather, I’m ready to listen. If you want to gloat like certain people I know in Florida, where it’s in the 80s, well, I guess I can take it. Although I might gnash my teeth a bit. 😦