Christmas Countdown Book Blast! “Melody,” Mail Order Bride Romance by Caroline Clemmons

37 Christmas Reads to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Welcome to my annual Christmas Countdown Book Blast! During the month of December, I indulge in reading my favorite fiction: Christmas stories! So for the entire month and for The Twelve Days of Christmas, December 25 through January 6th, I will post a new book each day to help get you in the holiday spirit.  This is a combination of New Release Spotlights and the Christmas Countdown Blitz hosted by the lovely ladies at Loving the Book.  In addition, I’m offering free downloads of my Christmas short story Ino’s Love in ebook and audio. To claim your digital copy visit the book’s download page here. For an audiobook copy send me an email at mariannesciucco@gmail.com indicating whether you want a US or UK download code. Either way, you’ll be subscribing to my monthly newsletter where I feature book news and giveaways. You’re free to unsubscribe at any time. Happy holiday reading! 

Day 18, Book 18

Day 13 CCB Cover

Such a tiny lie… 

Desperation drove her… 

She couldn’t know the risk… 

After the death of her grandmother, Melody Fraser must quickly leave what has been her home in South Carolina. There are those who think she murdered her Nana Fraser. She’s innocent but there’s talk about arrest and prosecution. To escape, this Southern Belle agrees to become a mail-order bride in far away Montana. Several of her friends will be living in the same town. Traveling so far to marry a man she’s never met is daunting. Surely things will work out, won’t they?

Nicholas “Nick” Walker is a doctor from Gettysburg whose wife and children were killed when mortar fire destroyed their home. Eager to escape the memories and ravages of the Civil War, he buys a medical practice in Montana Territory. He wants a competent nurse who can assist him with operations and care for patients as his plans expand for a hospital. He wants a well-organized wife to keep him company and start a family. With his usual efficiency, he combines the two into one job description when he requests a mail-order bride.What will it take to teach Nick that—although she isn’t what he expected—Melody is exactly what he needs?

Excerpt

She opened the oven and removed a pan of golden biscuits. After setting the pan on the table, she set a platter of ham beside the bread.

She didn’t look at him. “I didn’t know how you like your eggs so we’re having them scrambled.”

“Actually, that’s my preference.” He sat at the table.

When she’d set the bowl on the table and was seated she nodded at him. “Time for you to say the blessing.”

He sat frozen. Not since he’d lost Jenny and the children had he uttered a prayer. Did he remember how? Did God remember him?

Melody sent him a disapproving glance. “If you’ve lost your voice, take another swallow of coffee. Maybe that’ll loosen your tongue.”

Cheeky woman. He glared at her before he bowed his head and offered a brief blessing.

Purchase Melody Now on Amazon  

About the Author

Day 13 CCB AuthorThrough a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To compensate for this illogical error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a tiny office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their dog and three rescued indoor cats as well as providing nourishment outdoors for squirrels, birds, and other critters.

The over fifty titles she has created in her pink cave have made her an Amazon bestselling author and won several awards. She writes sweet to sensual romances about the West, both historical and contemporary as well as time travel and mystery. Her series include the Kincaids, McClintocks, Stone Mountain Texas, Bride Brigade, Texas Time Travel, Texas Caprock Tales, Loving A Rancher, and Pearson Grove as well as numerous single titles and contributions to multi-author sets. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, reading her friends’ books, lunching with friends, browsing antique malls, checking Facebook, and taking the occasional nap.

Connect with Caroline Clemmons  Facebook ~ Website ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads
To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our   Official Event page Part 2

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Christmas Countdown Book Blast! “Miss Dashwood’s Dilemma: An Authentic Regency Romance” by Arabella Sheraton

37 Christmas Reads to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Welcome to my annual Christmas Countdown Book Blast! During the month of December, I indulge in reading my favorite fiction: Christmas stories! So for the entire month and for The Twelve Days of Christmas, December 25 through January 6th, I will post a new book each day to help get you in the holiday spirit.  This is a combination of New Release Spotlights and the Christmas Countdown Blitz hosted by the lovely ladies at Loving the Book.  In addition, I’m offering free downloads of my Christmas short story Ino’s Love in ebook and audio. To claim your digital copy visit the book’s download page here. For an audiobook copy send me an email at mariannesciucco@gmail.com indicating whether you want a US or UK download code. Either way, you’ll be subscribing to my monthly newsletter where I feature book news and giveaways. You’re free to unsubscribe at any time. Happy holiday reading! 

Day 17, Book 17

DashwoodIn this delightful traditional Regency romance, Miss Diana Dashwood accepts an invitation to Lady Prescott’s Christmas party at Camden House, in the countryside. But things do not go quite as she imagined. Through an unexpected event, she is forced to spend the night in a woodsman’s hut with one of the guests. What a scandal! Of course, Sir Gareth Blakely must propose, and he does. Unfortunately, Miss Diana Dashwood has already been engaged to and broken off her engagement from Sir Gareth Blakely after a bitter quarrel. Is it likely she will bow to social pressure and accept his proposal, one made only to save her reputation, and if they marry, does their union stand a chance of survival? And what about the pretty heiress, Miss Jemima Plymstock, whom everyone thinks is the lady Sir Gareth had his eye upon? Headstrong and proud, Miss Diana Dashwood is caught in a dreadful dilemma. A must-read for Regency fans!

Excerpt

Diana stepped into the carriage as if hypnotized and sat next to Miss Plymstock. “What are you going to do to me?” she asked.

Mr. Rundle put on an expression of exaggerated surprise while Miss Taggart giggled behind one black-gloved hand. He stroked his beard.

“My dear Miss Dashwood, you are so imaginative. You make me sound like a villain in these romantic novels so popular with young ladies nowadays. I am going to do nothing to you. You will witness the marriage, along with Miss Taggart. I will begin my honeymoon with my lovely young bride, and the carriage will return you to town. Then you will, no doubt, make your way back to London and forget all about Jemima.”

He gave a leering wink.

“She will be too busy learning her new marital duties as Mrs. Rundle to keep up any acquaintance with you.”

He knocked on the roof of the carriage to signal the driver. Miss Plymstock moaned but did not wake. Diana looked out of the carriage window as the horses gained speed.

What have I done? I was a fool not to wait for Mr. Whittaker. Oh, Gareth, if only you were here.

 

Purchase Miss Dashwood’s Dilemma Now Universal Amazon Link ~ 

About the Author

ArabellaArabella Sheraton grew up on a diet of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and many other writers of that period. From Jane Austen to Georgette Heyer, Arabella has found both enjoyment and inspiration in sparkling, witty Regency novels. She also loves history and generally finds the past more fascinating than the future. Arabella wrote her first Regency romance to entertain her aged mom who loved the genre. Arabella is honoured to share the adventures of her heroes and heroines with readers.

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page Part 2 

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New Release Spotlight! “Gift of Grace: A Sweet Holiday Romance” by Hopeless Romantic Shanna Hatfield

37 Christmas Reads to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Welcome to my annual Christmas Countdown Book Blast! During the month of December, I indulge in reading my favorite fiction: Christmas stories! So for the entire month and for The Twelve Days of Christmas, December 25 through January 6th, I will post a new book each day to help get you in the holiday spirit.  This is a combination of New Release Spotlights and the Christmas Countdown Blitz hosted by the lovely ladies at Loving the Book.  In addition, I’m offering free downloads of my Christmas short story Ino’s Love in ebook and audio. To claim your digital copy visit the book’s download page here. For an audiobook copy send me an email at mariannesciucco@gmail.com indicating whether you want a US or UK download code. Either way, you’ll be subscribing to my monthly newsletter where I feature book news and giveaways. You’re free to unsubscribe at any time. Happy holiday reading! 

Day Eight, Book Eight

Sometimes the best gifts are those freely given from the heart . . .

Gifts of GraceReady to begin a new life far away from the sad memories of the Civil War, J.B. and Nora Nash head west on the Oregon Trail. They settle into the small community of Pendleton, Oregon, on a piece of land where they’re excited to build a future and their dreams together.

A devastating tragedy leaves them both reeling as they draw further and further apart. Nora blames J.B. for her unhappiness while he struggles through his own challenges. Only a miracle can bring them through their trials and reunite them for Christmas.

Together, will they discover the gift of grace in this sweet holiday romance brimming with hope, history, and abiding love?

Gift of Grace is the first book in the Gifts of Christmas series, a collection of heartwarming, wholesome romances, featuring precious gifts given straight from the heart.

Don’t wait! Order your copy today!

About the Author

shannaUSA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.” Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, this hopeless romantic is out to make it happen, one story at a time. When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

Connect with Shanna Hatfield

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Note: I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a small commission from book sales.

Christmas Countdown Book Blast! “Christmas Secrets,” a Holiday Regency Romance from Donna Hatch

37 Christmas Reads to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Welcome to my annual Christmas Countdown Book Blast! During the month of December, I indulge in reading my favorite fiction: Christmas stories! So for the entire month and for The Twelve Days of Christmas, December 25 through January 6th, I will post a new book each day to help get you in the holiday spirit.  This is a combination of New Release Spotlights and the Christmas Countdown Blitz hosted by the lovely ladies at Loving the Book.  In addition, I’m offering free downloads of my Christmas short story Ino’s Love in ebook and audio. To claim your digital copy visit the book’s download page here. For an audiobook copy send me an email at mariannesciucco@gmail.com indicating whether you want a US or UK download code. Either way, you’ll be subscribing to my monthly newsletter where I feature book news and giveaways. You’re free to unsubscribe at any time. Happy holiday reading! 

Day Six, Book Six

Christmas SecretsA stolen Christmas kiss leaves them bewildered and breathless.

A charming rogue-turned-vicar, Will wants to prove that he left his rakish days behind him, but an accidental kiss changes all his plans. His secret could bring them together…or divide them forever.

Holly has two Christmas wishes this year; finally earn her mother’s approval by gaining the notice of a handsome earl, and learn the identity of the stranger who gave her a heart-shattering kiss…even if that stranger is the resident Christmas ghost.

Excerpt

Will set the ladder near one of the columns and eyed the metal supports bolted to the pillars on either side of the altar. Good. All was ready for the candles to be placed for the Christmas service. Miss Gray moved like a dancer amidst the pews, her slender, yet curvy form softly contrasting with the stone walls. She was such a spot of cheer.

Raised to marry a lord. Not a vicar.

That same kicked-in-the-gut sensation returned. Muttering under his breath, Will followed the rector into the vestry to collect the candles. He hurried back, almost starving for Miss Gray’s presence. As they worked, Miss Gray hummed The Holly and the Ivy.

Will listened to her sweet voice for a moment and couldn’t resist joining in. Bradbury also sang with a strong bass that harmonized with the melody. Was there anything that wretched lord didn’t do well? Will indulged in some very un-Christian thoughts about the oh-so-perfect lord.

Mrs. Gray also sang, with a voice as lovely as her daughter’s. After a moment, the cheery tunes lifted Will’s mood. Standing on the ladder, Will added the extra candles needed for the Christmas service, then assisted in wrapping the columns as Miss Gray had suggested.

In less than an hour, they transformed the humble parish church into a celebratory Christmas haven, almost fit for a drawing room.

“It’s perfect,” Miss Gray exclaimed. “A pity we cannot hang a kissing ball.”

Will choked and laughed at the outrageous statement. Honestly, he agreed. Lord Bradbury’s eyes widened. Mrs. Gray shot her daughter a withering look.

The poor girl flushed and bit her lip, looking down. “Erm, I mean…”

Mr. Appleby didn’t see the humor, either. “Adding such a pagan symbol as mistletoe would no doubt create a public outcry and possibly have me removed from my position as vicar.”

Of course, if Will could get Miss Holly Gray beneath a kissing ball….

Ahem.

For all intents and purposes, Will had given his word not to pursue her. He reviewed his newfound resolve to cling to duty, to turn over a new leaf in life, and to please his family by bringing honor rather than dishonor to the Berry name. Keeping his word, duly given to a lady, fell squarely into that resolve. No more romantic fantasies about Miss Gray.

Very well, he’d avoid Holly Gray as much as possible without appearing to give her the cut. He must resist talking to her or even looking at her. He must.

Of course, that included ensuring that she never discover who had kissed her, which meant he must continue an ungentlemanly deception.

Purchase Christmas Secrets Now ~ Universal Amazon Link

About the  Author

Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

Connect with Donna Hatch Facebook Website ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page Part 1 and Official Event page Part 2 

Note: I am an Amazon Affiliate and may receive a small commission from book sales.

 

 

Christmas Countdown Book Blast! “Love at Christmas: A Crystal Creek Holiday Romance” by Heather Tullis

37 Christmas Reads to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Welcome to my annual Christmas Countdown Book Blast! During the month of December, I indulge in reading my favorite fiction: Christmas stories! So for the entire month and for The Twelve Days of Christmas, December 25 through January 6th, I will post a new book each day to help get you in the holiday spirit.  This is a combination of New Release Spotlights and the Christmas Countdown Blitz hosted by the lovely ladies at Loving the Book.  In addition, I’m offering free downloads of my Christmas short story Ino’s Love in ebook and audio. To claim your digital copy visit the book’s download page here. For an audiobook copy send me an email at mariannesciucco@gmail.com indicating whether you want a US or UK download code. Either way, you’ll be subscribing to my monthly newsletter where I feature book news and giveaways. You’re free to unsubscribe at any time. Happy holiday reading! 

Day Five, Book Five

Love at ChristmasChristmas is in the air.

Pulling Garrett Johansson over isn’t the most auspicious beginning to a relationship for Officer Lisa Weight, but at least she didn’t have to give him a ticket. Not that she’s looking for a guy—even if her mom says she should be.

Garrett is glad to visit his sister, Sheila, during the Christmas season, but he hadn’t counted on a major snow storm as soon as he landed in Kansas City. When his sister introduces the cop who pulled him over as a friend of hers, he puts their less-than-stellar beginnings in the past and gives her a chance. The more he gets to know her, the better he likes her. If only he didn’t live 1600 miles away in California.

With everything trying to keep them apart, can they still have a Merry Christmas?”

Excerpt

Her smile curved in invitation and Garrett wished they were alone somewhere.

“Kiss her,” a woman in her fifties said, breaking the mood. “You’re standing under the mistletoe. You have to kiss her.”

Garrett looked up and then around the room. All the alcoves had a sprig of mistletoe dangling in them. He looked back at Lisa, wondering if she’d planned this. He lifted a brow, questioning if she wanted to please the other party goers. She gave a nearly indiscernible nod of ascent.

Deciding he shouldn’t feel self-conscious if the people were egging him on, Garrett leaned in and pressed his mouth to Lisa’s.

Purchase Love at Christmas Now Universal Amazon Link ~ Books2Read

About the Author

Heather Tullis writes sweet, small-town romance and cozy mysteries. She has published three dozen books. When she’s not dreaming up new stories to write, she enjoys playing with her dogs and chickens, cake decorating, trying new jewelry designs, inventing new ways to eat chocolate, and hanging out with her husband. Learn more about her at her website and sign up for her newsletter at http://heathersnotes.com/

Connect with Heather Tullis

Facebook ~ InstagramWebsite

 
To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page Part 1 and Official Event page Part 2

Note: I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a small commission from sales of this book.

 

Christmas Countdown Book Blast! “Goodwill for the Gentleman,” Historical British Fiction from Martha Keyes

37 Christmas Reads to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Welcome to my annual Christmas Countdown Book Blast! During the month of December, I indulge in reading my favorite fiction: Christmas stories! So for the entire month and for The Twelve Days of Christmas, December 25 through January 6th, I will post a new book each day to help get you in the holiday spirit.  This is a combination of New Release Spotlights and the Christmas Countdown Blitz hosted by the lovely ladies at Loving the Book.  In addition, I’m offering free downloads of my Christmas short story Ino’s Love in ebook and audio. To claim your digital copy visit the book’s download page here. For an audiobook copy send me an email at mariannesciucco@gmail.com indicating whether you want a US or UK download code. Either way, you’ll be subscribing to my monthly newsletter where I feature book news and giveaways. You’re free to unsubscribe at any time. Happy holiday reading! 

Day Four, Book Four

Goodwill for the GentlemanHe jilted her sister. She will never forgive him for it. Can her anger survive a snowing in and a Christmas truce?

Emma Caldwell doesn’t hate anyone—except for Hugh Warrilow, the man who jilted her older sister and left like a coward to join the army. Men are clearly not to be trusted, and Emma is determined not to give her heart to one. No, a marriage of convenience is the very thing to suit her.

Hugh Warrilow has been secretly in love with Emma Caldwell for years, so when the time comes to live up to both families’ expectations and marry her sister, he can’t find it in himself to do it. Disgraced and misunderstood, he joins to fight Napoleon on the Continent, hoping he will forget Emma and be forgotten by everyone he has disappointed.

An injury brings Hugh home—just in time for Christmas and the snowstorm that leaves him trapped under the same roof as Emma. How will he explain that his unforgivable act was motivated by how desperately he loved her? Her icy reception doesn’t leave him the chance, nor does it offer much hope for the season’s expectation of peace on earth and goodwill to men.”

Excerpt

Melted snow trickled down her forehead, her cheeks, and her chin.

He bit his lip and then searched in his great coat.

She couldn’t resist a smile. “Is this how you treat your allies, Lieutenant?”

He pulled out a handkerchief, wiping at the small streams of thawing snow on her face. His forehead was wrinkled in concentration, but he grinned. “No, certainly not. But we are only temporary allies, after all.” He met her eyes, and his hand slowed.

Her skin tingled, and her stomach flipped erratically. Her eyes flitted to his mouth, and she forced them back up.
Was this temporary, what she was feeling? It felt like much more than the civil terms of the truce she had suggested. She swallowed. Surely it was simply the combination of their physical proximity, the mystical landscape, the rush of the snowball fight, and the stark contrast between her recent animosity and current friendliness toward him. It couldn’t be anything more. It simply couldn’t.

“Yes,” she said, turning away. “Temporary allies.”

Purchase Goodwill for the Gentleman Now  Universal Amazon Link  

About the Author

Martha Keyes was born, raised, and educated in Utah–a home she loves dearly but also dearly loves to escape whenever she can by traveling the world. She received a BA in French Studies and a Master of Public Health, both from Brigham Young University.

Word crafting has always fascinated and motivated her, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that she considered writing her own stories. When she isn’t writing, she is honing her photography skills, looking for travel deals, and spending time with her family. She lives with her husband and twin boys in Vineyard, Utah.

Connect with Martha Keyes

Amazon ~ Goodreads

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our

Official Event page Part 1  Official Event page Part 2

Note: I am an Amazon Affiliate and may receive a small commission from sales of this book.

 

 

Christmas Countdown Book Blast! “Snowfall at Moonglow,” a Holiday Treat from Deborah Garner

37 Christmas Reads to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Welcome to my annual Christmas Countdown Book Blast! During the month of December, I indulge in reading my favorite fiction: Christmas stories! So for the entire month and for The Twelve Days of Christmas, December 25 through January 6th, I will post a new book each day to help get you in the holiday spirit.  This is a combination of New Release Spotlights and the Christmas Countdown Blitz hosted by the lovely ladies at Loving the Book.  In addition, I’m offering free downloads of my Christmas short story Ino’s Love in ebook and audio. To claim your digital copy visit the book’s download page here. For an audiobook copy send me an email at mariannesciucco@gmail.com indicating whether you want a US or UK download code. Either way, you’ll be subscribing to my monthly newsletter where I feature book news and giveaways. You’re free to unsubscribe at any time. Happy holiday reading! 

Day One, Book One

SnowfallDeborah Garner is back with a new book in her Moonglow series, sure to put you in the Christmas spirit.

Each holiday season, new and returning guests gather in the small town of Timberton, Montana, to celebrate Christmas at the Timberton Hotel. Resident artist and chef Mist’s unique way of offering exceptional cuisine, exquisite décor, and a touch of the unexpected, has a way of bringing visitors and local townsfolk together in heartfelt camaraderie.

As this year’s guests arrive with hopes of a white Christmas, unseasonably warm weather hints at a less-than-wintery wonderland. But whether the snow falls or not, one thing is certain: with Mist around, there’s bound to be a little magic. No one ever leaves Timberton without renewed hope for the future. *Cookie recipes included!

Purchase Snowfall at Moonglow now! 

About the Author

img_4169Deborah Garner is an accomplished travel writer with a passion for back roads and secret hideaways. Born and raised in California, she studied in France before returning to the U.S. to attend UCLA. After stints in graduate school and teaching, she attempted to clone herself for decades by founding and running a dance and performing arts center, designing and manufacturing clothing and accessories, and tackling both spreadsheets and display racks for corporate retail management. Her passions include photography, hiking and animal rescue. She speaks five languages, some substantially better than others. She now divides her time between California and Wyoming, dragging one human and two canines along whenever possible.

Connect with Deborah Garner

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Note: I am an Amazon Associate and may receive a small commission on purchases of this book.

Christmas at Blue Hydrangeas Wins Solo Medal Honors in New Apple Literary’s 2019 Summer E-Book Awards! Free Downloads!

C@BH New Apple 1

I’m pleased and proud to announce that Christmas at Blue Hydrangeas was recently named New Apple Literary’s Solo Medalist Winner in the 2019 Summer E-Book Awards for Short Story! To celebrate I’m offering FREE downloads on Kindle. Also available in paperback (6.99) and audiobook.

I embarked on the prequel series to Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story, starting with Christmas, because many readers wanted to know more about Jack and Sara, and their beautiful Cape Cod inn.

This story was inspired by the Great Blizzard of ’78, which I endured at age 17. Fiction is a wonderful thing in that an author can create her own world, change history, make trouble, then rescue her characters. Jack and Sara also experienced the Great Blizzard which occurred in February, but for the purposes of my story, I put them in the middle of another one on Christmas Eve. It was a bad storm, but not as bad as February’s, when many people died and life came to an abrupt stop for several frigid, frantic days. The  Christmas Eve storm makes the holiday tense but ruins nothing.

As you prepare for your own holidays this year – blizzard-free, although a dusting of snow makes for a nice white Christmas – take some time to relax with this award winning story. It’s a treat. Goes great with hot chocolate.

C@BH Paperback CoverAbout the Book

It’s Christmas Eve, and as Sara waits for her husband and son to arrive home to Blue Hydrangeas, their Cape Cod bed and breakfast, a blizzard threatens to close the bridges, stranding all travelers to and from the Cape. As she prepares for the holiday, unexpected visitors arrive, all sharing the common bond of grief.

She is determined the storm and sadness will not spoil Christmas, and ensures Santa will find his way to two fatherless children far from home. A sweet slice-of-life story about loved ones and strangers coming together to share the spirit of Christmas.

Purchase Christmas at Blue Hydrangeas.

FREE Days November 27-29. Regularly $3.99.

Available in audiobook too.

As always, thank you for your support. I’m currently working on the second prequel, A Wedding at Blue Hydrangeas, David and Anne’s big day. Stick with me for release dates.

Note: I am an Amazon Associate and may receive a small commission from book sales.

 

New Release Spotlight: “A Flair for Flip-Flops (The Sadie Kramer Flair Mysteries Book 5)” By Deborah Garner

A fun in the sun mystery sure to delight!

img_4170A vacation on the Southern California coast promises rest and relaxation for flamboyant senior sleuth Sadie Kramer and her mischievous Yorkie, Coco. But when the body of a heartthrob celebrity washes up on the beach outside her luxury hotel suite, Sadie’s fun-in-the-sun soon turns into sleuthing-with-the-stars.

The resort’s wine and appetizer gatherings, suspicious guest behavior, and casual strolls along the beach boardwalk may provide clues, but will they be enough to discover who the killer is? Or will mystery and mayhem leave a Hollywood scandal unsolved?

Start reading now!

Available on Amazon. A Kindle Unlimited Selection.

 

About the Author

img_4169

Deborah Garner is an accomplished travel writer with a passion for back roads and secret hideaways. Born and raised in California, she studied in France before returning to the U.S. to attend UCLA. After stints in graduate school and teaching, she attempted to clone herself for decades by founding and running a dance and performing arts center, designing and manufacturing clothing and accessories, and tackling both spreadsheets and display racks for corporate retail management. Her passions include photography, hiking and animal rescue. She speaks five languages, some substantially better than others. She now divides her time between California and Wyoming, dragging one human and two canines along whenever possible.

Connect with Deborah Garner

Website

Facebook

Twitter

NaNoWriMo Writer? Watch Your Back, Neck, Shoulders, Arms, and Hands, Your Most Important Writing Tools  

Repetitive strain injuries chnage lives..png

The month of November brings many things:  Election Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, Caregiver Appreciation Month, and Movember. But if you’re a writer, it also brings something else: NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month.

NaNoWriMoNaNoWriMo is a what-seems-to-be impossible challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It starts at midnight on November 1st and ends at 11:59 pm November 30th. Sound crazy? It did to me when I first heard about it in 2013, a rather latecomer to the game since it started in 1999. Better late than never. Anyway, since I live with chronic pain related to Repetitive Strain Injuries and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome the concept of NaNoWriMo is well beyond my capabilities, but I’m still seduced by the idea of it.

Imagine being able to commit to writing an average of 1,667 words each day for 30 days. At the end, you’ll have the first draft of a book, which over the next few months you can polish into something presentable, maybe even publishable. The possibilities astound me, a writer who worked on the first draft of a novel for four years. I started it as part of a NANO challenge in 2013, when I was able to produce 4,000 words over the course of a week before succumbing to a flare-up of RSIs and TOS.

NaNoWriMo is not for anyone without the stamina to sit at a keyboard for hours each day. One thousand six hundred and sixty-seven words sound easy – it’s the equivalent of six and a half pages – in theory, achievable for most people who are able to keep butt in chair and type long enough to do it. But if you’re prone to carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis, headaches, or neck pain, this challenge will most likely exacerbate your condition and prevent future NaNoWriMo attempts.

Woman laptop sore neck Dollarphotoclub_47543595.jpgMaintaining the postures of keyboarding, mousing, and viewing a computer monitor for hours requires an incredible amount of exertion, muscle control, and energy. I’ve heard it said that an 8-hour worker at a computer station works her body as hard as a professional athlete, using primarily the smallest and most delicate of muscles and tendons, as well as a multitude of nerves. These micro-tissues, sustaining a static posture over long periods of time, become inflamed, injured, and cause great pain. If ignored, the condition continues. If left untreated, permanent disability can result. I am an authority on this topic: Permanently partially disabled since 2006, currently recovering from my fourth related surgery, the second on my right shoulder in ten years.

I’m not a killjoy. I simply don’t want to see other people end up like me. It’s no fun struggling to write 250 words a day and failing. It’s hard to complete a project when you have to avoid the computer for days on end. If you’re wrapped up in NaNoWriMo please take care of yourself. Here are some tips:

Prepare your body for a writing session:

  • Massage your hands with your favorite lotion.
  • Stretch your hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, and neck.
  • Don’t forget your back, which can also be overworked.

Adjust your work space for safety:

  • Make sure your monitor is an arm’s length away, at a height where your eyes are focused one inch below its upper edge.
  • Use a keyboard tray.
  • Ensure it’s at the appropriate height so your elbows are at rest and in a neutral position.
  • You should not be reaching for the keyboard.
  • Be careful with your mouse. It’s the root cause of a lot of disability. I use a keyboard with a built-in glide pad. Cured my five-year history of elbow tendinitis.
  • A lap top is not a desk top. Don’t use it as one. The ergonomics of it are completely off and will contort your body in painful ways.
  • Take the time to set your chair at the appropriate height, making sure your feet are on the floor. Use lumbar support if you have it.
  • If you can get a sit-stand desk get it! Makes a huge difference.

Watch your posture:

  • Sit up, don’t slump.
  • Position your ears over your shoulders and your shoulders over your hips.
  • Do not thrust your head forward. You’ll get “turtle head” and hurt your back.

Take frequent rest breaks:

  • Use a timer. Twenty minutes is as long as you should write before taking a break.
  • While resting, do some desk stretches or stand up and stretch, have a drink of water, rest your eyes.
  • Listen to your body.

After a writing session:

  • Stretch again.
  • Soothe your muscles with gentle massage, especially your hands.

If you have pain:

  • Don’t ignore it. Respond and treat.
  • Use ice or heat as tolerated on sore areas. Thermacare wraps are awesome!
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Motrin and Tylenol, can help.
  • Topical over the counter remedies such as Topricin, Bio-Freeze, and Real Time Pain Relief are easily available and provide relief.
  • Remember to stretch gently every day.
  • Limit computer time or perform multiple short sessions each day.

If the problem continues:

  • See your doctor
    • A course of physical and/or occupational therapy can ward off chronic pain issues.
    • Your doctor can order prescription strength medicine such as analgesics, muscle relaxants, and topical therapies.
    • Surgery is a last resort. Don’t let this happen to you.
  • Consult a chiropractor.
  • Hire a massage therapist.
  • Visit an ergonomist.
  • Stay off the computer!

Interesting FAQs:

  • Since its inception in 1999, 367,913 NaNoWriMo participants have completed a novel.
  • In 2017, 306,230 writers participated in NaNoWriMo.
  • Over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published, including:
    • Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants
    • Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus
    • Hugh Howey’s Wool
    • Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl
    • Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator
    • Marissa Meyer’s Cinder

Avoiding repetitive strain injuries can keep you in the running to complete your own NaNoWriMo challenge and finish that novel!

For more info on NaNoWriMo visit https://nanowrimo.org/

NaNoWriMo image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month. Others via Adobe Stock and Dollar Photo Club.