Award-winning author
Unusual times, remarkable places

The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

30 December 2014

A new year, a new beginning

Wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous 2015!

Swallowtail, July 2014, San Juan Capistrano mission

11 December 2014

Guest post: Linda Andrews

 Today's guest is author Linda Andrews, who is a scientist and lives in a haunted house. She writes in a variety of genres: historical fiction, historical romance, paranormal romance, fantasy and time travel romance, and science fiction.

Her "Love's Great War" series is made up of historical romance novels and novellas set around the time of World War I.

Today, she talks about her own family Christmas traditions and offers a free ebook of A Gift from St. Nick or The Christmas Ship to one lucky commenter.

My Holiday Traditions
by Linda Andrews

In my house, the holidays are about traditions—family, food, and especially decorating. For me, the Christmas season begins when certain items appear. On Thanksgiving day, as our first tradition, I bring out a wooden nativity that spins. My mother started the tradition when I was growing up, and it took me 10 years to find one so I could continue the practice.
Tradition two is the setting up of the Christmas tree on the Friday after Thanksgiving. That first night, we simply hang the lights on it. No ornaments, just twinkling lights. There's magic in Christmas lights.

Tradition three is the displaying of my Department 56 ceramic villages. I started collecting them when my children were young, and I add a piece every year. My son is really good about helping me because the collection is rather, em, large.

Tradition four takes place on the Sunday or Saturday after Thanksgiving. It's putting up the rest of the decorations from hanging the outside lights to finishing the interior decorations, including the musical stuffed animals, Santas, Christmas trees, and my Hallmark holiday collections. The children traditionally decorate the tree, so now that they're adults we wait until they are home together. As the ornaments come out, we share memories, and I take pictures.

One thing we did while they were young was to buy ornaments each year so that when they moved out, they would have memories and decorations to take with them. This will probably be the last year my oldest will live with us, so the memories will be tinged with just a bit of sadness.

Tradition five is that the weeks running up to Christmas are the baking season (or the drafting of cookie slaves). I bake a little from Halloween to Thanksgiving, but my freezer eats the results, and so I have to start again. Over the years, we've added to the traditional sugar and gingerbread cookies, most noticeably peanut butter blossoms and Nutella cookies. Yum.

Traditions are important. To be entered in a drawing for an electronic copy of either A Gift from St. Nick or The Christmas Ship, leave a comment about your family traditions.

~ ~ ~ 

German nativity scene, early 20th century. Photo by Andreas Praefcke. Licensed under GNU v.1.2.

In Linda's A Gift from St. Nick, the hero brings with him several Germanic traditions, one which is the celebration of St. Nicholas Day. She provided this blurb about the book:
Hans Lubeck lost his birthright to a woman's deceitful games. Ten years later, he's on the cusp of fulfilling his dream of captaining his own ship. And another woman could jeopardize everything.
Schoolteacher Lenore Kerrigan devotes her time to her pupils and good works. She has no use for a man or the damage he could do to her reputation.
But this holiday season, fate and an island of matchmakers have other plans. Will they accept the gift of a lifetime, or will the past steal away any chance at happiness?
 ~ ~ ~

Find A Gift from Saint Nick at here

09 December 2014

December promotions, post #2

Eleven friends and friends-of-friends and I are each promoting one ebook this Christmas season at the Website "Books on the Vine."

Our promotion is called "12 Days of 99¢ Ebook Cheer" and runs from December 1 through December 12. As you might expect from the promotion name, we have all dropped the price of an ebook to 99¢ for these twelve days. My featured book is Claimed by the Enemy.

The promotion profiles one author each day (check at top right of the page to see that day's profiled author), offers a printable gift voucher you can present to a person to whom you are giving an ebook, a contest for best cover, and a raffle in which you could win an Amazon or Barnes and Noble e-gift card.

The raffle will take place at starting Friday, December 12.

The ebooks on sale are:
Claimed by the Enemy by Shauna Roberts  (historical fiction)
The Wine and Chocolate Workout by Greta Boris  (nonfiction: healthy weight loss)
Fathom by Merrie Destefano  (paranormal young adult)
Lost in the Light by Mary Castillo  (historical paranormal mystery)
The Forgetful Lady by Jacqueline Diamond  (Regency romance)
Shimmy for Me by DeAnna Cameron  (contemporary romance novella)
Deadly Little Secrets by Marla Miller  (romantic suspense)
Sinking Ships by Michelle Knowlden  (mystery novella)
Unexpected Superhero by Kitty Bucholtz  (paranormal romance)
Murder on the Hoof by Gayle Carline  (cowboy romantic suspense)
Lush by Beth Yarnall  (contemporary romance)
Do You Believe in Magic? by Susan Squires  (paranormal romance)

Also, for the Internet-impaired, Books on the Vine provides a nice illustrated guide to giving ebooks as gifts at

December promotions post #1

December 1 through 29, Fire and Ice Book Tours is promoting Claimed by the Enemy. Most blog stops are presenting a blurb, an excerpt, and the raffle to win Amazon gift cards (or a link to the raffle). A few have an interview with me or a review of Claimed.

Here is the blog schedule as of today:

Master Schedule

12/1 Fantastic Indie Author’s Interview

Stop 2 Lady Hawk’s Historical Fiction Blog

12/2 Coffee, Books, and Art

12/3 Romantic Chanteuse

12/4 The Naughty Siren (Interview)

12/5 Warrior Woman Winmill (Review)

12/8 Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

12/9 Peace Love and Writing

12/10 Cryptic Reads (Review)

12/11 Confessions of a Bookaholic

12/12 Rose Wynters (Guest Post on the appeal of historical fiction)

12/15 The Best Indie Books to Read

12/16 Sexy Romance Reads

12/17 Bookskater

12/18 UK Romance Readers

12/19 Indy Book Fairy

12/22 The Complete Self-Publishing Indie Author’s Resource Site (Guest Post on the telling detail)

12/23 Alpha Male Books

12/24 Book Freebies, Contests, Sweepstakes, and Giveaways

12/25 Bestseller Books

12/26 Satin’s Bookish Corner

12/29 not yet scheduled
If you want to skip the blog posts and go directly to the Rafflecopter contest, you can find it here.

01 December 2014

Bargains, prizes, and confusion in Promotion-Land

Today starts some promotional efforts for Claimed by the Enemy. Over the next 28 days, you'll have chances to buy its ebook (and others) at a discount, enter raffles to win gift certificates, be able to read interviews with me and guest blog posts , and more.

Now if I can just keep up with all the events. My head is spinning already.

But onward, boldly!

Below I list what is going on today. I'll try to post each day in December to tell you what happens that day.

(1)  Claimed by the Enemy on Kindle and eleven other books will be 99 cents from now until December 12 as part of a "Books on the Vine" holiday promo. Visit to see the discounted books, vote for your favorite cover, and read interviews with the featured authors (a new one each day; I'll be featured December 3). There will also be a mid-December raffle (starting December 12) with Amazon and Barnes and Noble gift certificate.

(2) I will be doing a book tour through "Fire and Ice Book Tours" from today through December 29.
—Today I am interviewed at Fantastic Indie Authors.
—"Lady Hawk's Historical Fiction" blog has a brief excerpt of Claimed.
—Enter to win an Amazon gift certificate at my raffle.

(3) Drop in at the "Fire and Ice" GoodReads group for Claimed by the Enemy discuss the book if you like. Find it at

(4) Like Mayflies in a Stream ebooks were 99 cents this weekend as part of Hadley Rille Books' eighth birthday celebration. (The Kindle link for Mayflies is When I posted this morning, the price was still 99 cents. You may be able to get Mayflies or other great Hadley Rille historical fiction, fantasy, or science fiction ebooks before the online sites raise their prices again. See the Hadley Rille Book three genre catalogues at

Don't forget that books make great birthday and holiday gifts!