Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gift Basket Winner!

Good Morning All!
Kara Lynn asked me to announce the winner of her birthday drawing. As if I don’t have enough to do on the day before Thanksgiving, but oh well. My son is home for the holiday and it’s not that I don’t appreciate the visit, but…

Here is Wisconsin Thanksgiving is secondary. The real focus of the season is deer hunting season. My son brought several of his friends with them and they’ve been out in the woods every day. They get up at five a.m., bang around my kitchen, leave me a mess and then they’re off. They come home after dark, all smelly and sweaty, and expect me to have supper ready. I’m getting too old for this. I’m well past the age when I should be packing lunches and picking up dirty socks.

Not to mention that they’ve scared my poor cat nearly half to death. As soon as those lumbering oafs burst into my home, she skedaddled to under my bed and I don’t think she’s been out since. I can’t even convince her to go out for her nightly prowl.

So tomorrow is Thanksgiving and in the middle of all this chaos I’m supposed to produce a magnificent feast for this crowd. If they think they’re going to go sit in the woods all day and then come home to find a hot meal waiting for them, they have another think coming. I’ve got enough aprons and potato peelers to go around. If they aren’t interested in helping, I’m off to the church’s Thanksgiving supper and they can be on their own.

Wait. What were we talking about? Oh yes, the winner of the gift basket. I know Kara enjoyed her party immensely, even though I don’t see any sense in going to this sort of party. I mean, there’s not even any cake! But on the other hand, no one had to bring a gift. Anyway, the winner of the gift basket is Laurel Bradley. Laurel just happens to be another Wild Rose Press author. She wrote a fantastic romance called Crème Brulee Upset. Congratulations Laurel!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Cora Applebaum

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gift Basket Giveaway

Thank you everyone who has left me their good wishes for my birthday. You have all been entered in the drawing for my Orchard Hill gift basket. Among other things that basket contains an apple scented candle, two amigurumi apples that I crocheted myself, a Christmas doily that my grandmother crocheted, and a copy of my Christmas book Nick and Noelle.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Nick and Noelle is not an Orchard Hills story. But Cora Applebaum, a well known Orchard Hill resident has endorsed it. Actually Cora told me she may be dropping into the party later today.

In the meantime, I thought I'd give you a little taste of Nick and Noelle:

“What I want,” the pastor stated “is for you two to learn how to get along. Separately you both have much to offer the church. Together – you’re a disaster waiting to happen.”

Nick and Noelle have been in competition against each other from their Christmas day births to their present adulthood. After their rivalry causes chaos at a youth group event, Pastor Thorn assigns Nick and Noelle the task of decorating the church for Christmas. Can Nick and Noelle cooperate? Will they end up killing each other – or maybe kissing each other?

Nick straightened and turned toward Noelle. “I think we should do this.”

She considered, trying to estimate how much more damage they could do to the church if things went wrong.

“We can get along,” Nick sat up in his chair again, enthusiasm building on his face. “In fact…”

“In fact what?”

“I challenge you.”

Noelle covered her face with her hands and slumped down in her chair. A challenge. He was already making it into a competition. “Challenge me to what?”
He grinned at her, a vast improvement over the scowl he’d been wearing. “To get along with me, of course.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“You don’t think you can do it, do you?” he teased.

She might as well be back in grade school. Noelle had to resist the urge to stick her tongue out at Nick. “I can so.”

“Prove it.”

Monday, November 24, 2008

Let The Celebration Begin!

Tomorrow is my birthday, the big 4-O and since I can't avoid it, I'm going to celebrate all I can.

My celebration plans include spending much of the day in bed watching my favorite old sit-coms on TV, letting my husband make dinner (husband + dinner = take out)and sharing the raspberry cream cheese pie that I bought from my daughter's class fundraiser in place of a cake. I'll celebrate with my family on Thanksgiving.

You may also want to stop by the White Roses in Bloom blog. I posted an entry there on why I'm not depressed over turning 40.

My celebration also includes checking my blog frequently to reply to any comments you might leave and, after tomorrow, to draw a winner for my Orchard Hill gift basket. To enter, all you need to do is to leave a comment on my blog. Please be sure to include your email address in case you win.

I can't wait to hear from you all. Let the celebration begin!


Monday, November 17, 2008

Finding Joy Releases Wednesday

Hello Everyone,
This is Cora here in Orchard Hill. Thanksgiving is coming up fast. Before the leftovers are gone we'll be swept up in Christmas preparations - sending cards, buying gifts, the annual quilter's circle Christmas Tea and so on. Before all the activity starts, it would be smart to enjoy the quiet with a good book or two.

Finding Joy, the final story in the Orchard Hill Romance series will be released from The Wild Rose Press on Wednesday. Kara sent me a blurb and excerpt to post for you -

Shy, timid Joy Harper, the organist for Orchard Hill Community Church has long been overlooked by Pastor Isaac. Then Pansy Parker announces she’s retiring and Joy is asked to fill in as secretary. With an unusually large number of weddings coming up and the Christmas holidays looming, Joy and Isaac put in a lot of hours together and he discovers a beautiful and caring woman beneath Joy’s reserved façade. Can he convince her that the only gift he wants for Christmas is her heart?

Excerpt (Isaac goes to Joy's house to ask about her filling in for Pansy)

“May I speak with Joy?”

“Certainly.” The woman led him to a room that reminded him of a Victorian parlor. “She’s filling the bird feeders, but I’ll call her in.”

The large window at one end of the room drew Isaac. It had a view of the back yard. There seemed to be plenty of bird feeders to fill. And they must need to be filled often he guessed. It was one busy bird restaurant out there. A broad lawn sloped down and away from the house. There were beds that must have flowers during summer and walks flanked by concrete planters. The lawn was also dotted with mature trees and shrubs, which no doubt, attracted the birds.

Then he saw her. Joy was standing completely still, the sunshine turning her hair to gold. A chickadee flew down to her outstretched hand and took some of the seed she offered. When the tiny ball of fluff took flight, another eagerly took his place.

Joy’s face was alight with happiness, and she looked more like an angel than ever, standing there with birds fluttering all around her. A brilliant red cardinal rested briefly on her shoulder and then flew away again. She laughed, and Isaac’s heart skipped a beat. What was he doing here?

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Gift Basket Giveaway

I'm giving away this Orchard Hill themed gift basket. To win, just stop by my blog and wish me a happy birthday on November 24th or 25th. Make sure to leave your contact info in case you win. I'll draw a name on November 26th.

The basket contains:
A copy of Nick and Noelle (I know this isn't an Orchard Hill Romance, but Cora Applebaum, an Orchard Hill resident recommends it.)

Two Amigurmi apples, one red and one green. Amigurumi refers to the Japanese craft of creating small, cute figures. These are crocheted by me.

A red, green and white doily, made by grandmother.

A spiced apple candle in a tin.

Aspen Mulling spices for some holiday cider.

Several Orchard Hill bookmarks - so you can share with your friends

And a few other surprises. I hope I'll hear from you on the 24th or 25th.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Losing Patience Released Today

Losing Patience, the eighth story in my Orchard Hill Romance Series was released today from the Wild Rose Press.

Shaun Thiesen’s jealous nature and quick temper drove his wife Patience away. Since then he’s been through counseling with Pastor Isaac and gotten involved with the church. Now he’s just waiting for his second chance. When he learns Patience is visiting her parents for Thanksgiving, he thinks this may be it. In only a few precious days he has to win back his wife, and suddenly the stakes are raised when Patience tells him he’s going to be a father. Can Shaun show convince her they deserve a second chance?

Excerpt - Shaun and Patience's first meeting after their separation

He couldn’t believe how beautiful she was, with her long blonde hair hanging loose and that sweet smile lighting up her face as she walked towards him. She couldn’t be here to tell him she wanted a divorce if she smiled at him like that, could she?

Then his gaze dropped and... He tried to comprehend what he was seeing. Patience, his wife was...going to have a baby. His baby. He was going to be a father. And she hadn’t told him.

A wave of confusion, hurt, betrayal, fear broke over him. A slow burning sensation he knew well surged, pulsing in his temples—anger.

Patience stopped, and her eyes filled with tears. The look on her face made him hesitate. He’d driven her away with his ungovernable temper. If he lost it now, she’d run again. He knew he didn’t want that. But he knew he couldn’t contain his anger either. If he stayed, he would explode. So he turned around and left.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November News

Can you believe it's November already? This is a great time of year. I love the cool, crisp feel to the air, the spicy cranberry and pumpkin scents and flavors and the family gathering for Thanksgiving. November is also my birthday month. This year I find myself looking forward to that day with less enthusiasm than usual. Looming ahead is the dreaded Milestone Birthday. One of those that end with a (shudder) zero.

I've looked at this problem from every angle and decided there's no way I can avoid this event. So I might as well celebrate. One of the best things about birthdays is presents. Since I don't think everyone out in cyberspace is going to send me a birthday present, I've decided to give one instead.

In honor of my Orchard Hill Romance series, which will soon be drawing to a close, I created a gift basket. Stop by my blog November 24th or 25th to wish me a happy birthday, and you'll be entered in a drawing for my gift basket.

What's in the basket? Stay tuned for more information. Cora will post a picture and a description next week.