The Gift of Giving

on December 22, 2014

Another Monday in December means another giveaway, but first, the winner of the Vera Bradley tote bag is Linda Lioi Lubbert! Congratulations, Linda. I will be in touch!

Now onto the new prize. This week it’s all about anchors and time. Thanks to the Anchor Island series, the anchor has invaded my life, landing on my clothes and walls, and now it could land on your wrist.

This week, I’m giving away a fabulous anchor themed watch to one lucky commenter, and I’m throwing in an elegant book-themed trinket box along with it. 2014 has been an amazing year for me, and much of that is due to all of you who have read my books. I’m so enjoying giving a little back.

And speaking of giving back, this week we’re going to be philanthropists. To be entered in the contest, leave a comment naming your favorite charities. Include a brief description and even a link if you’d like. Let’s bring attention to some worthy causes during this week of giving.

The contest is for US residents only, and closes Saturday, December 27th, 2014 at midnight. But anyone is welcome to share the charity they believe in.

Don’t forget to make sure you’re entered on the Rafflecopter widget after you comment in order to have your name in the drawing for the prize.

Now one quick note. I’m sending out a special Christmas newsletter this week featuring the opening scene of HIS FIRST AND LAST, the first book in my new Ardent Springs series releasing in April 2015. Here’s the blurb for the book:

At eighteen, Lorelei Pratchett couldn’t wait to get out of her hometown. Twelve years later, her Hollywood dreams have fizzled and she’s back—temporarily, she thinks. Though she throws herself into saving the old theater and starting a baking business, small towns have long memories, and Lorelei’s wild past still haunts her. It doesn’t help that her ex-boyfriend, Spencer Boyd, is even hotter, smarter, and more distracting than before.

The fiery Lorelei that Spencer knew years ago may have become closed off and cautious, but their chemistry hasn’t faded one bit. Losing her a second time is unthinkable to him, yet Lorelei is convinced she doesn’t belong in Ardent Springs. Somehow, Spencer needs to show her that everything she needs is right here: family, friendship, new beginnings…and a man who’s never stopped loving her.

Warm, sexy, and laugh-out-loud funny, His First and Last is an irresistible story of first love and second chances.

If you want to read how this story begins, hop over to my home page and make sure you’re signed up for my newsletter today! Now, let’s talk worthy causes.

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All I Want For Christmas is a Really Cool Tote

on December 15, 2014

We’re into the second week of the big December giveaways, but first we have to announce the winner from last week. *insert drum roll here* And the statement earrings go to Patsy Nelson! Congratulations Patsy. I’ll be contacting you soon to get all the information I need to get these little baubles out to you.

Now we move on to week two, and any faithful reader needs a pretty bag in which to carry her books. And who is known for making pretty bags? Why, Vera Bradley of course.

VB Clementine Tote 

That’s right. Up for grabs this week is this beautiful Vera Bradley tote in the clementine pattern. (It’s even cuter in person!) This contest runs until midnight Saturday night, December 20th, and all you have to do to enter is comment on this blog sharing the story of your worst Christmas present ever. Have you ever gotten something tacky or wacky or just plain strange? Tell us all about it.

Then after you comment, be sure to enter through the Rafflecopter contest form. If you don’t enter through Rafflecopter, you’re not in the official contest, so be sure not to miss that step.

I’ll get us started. One Christmas, during my middle school years, I received a couple eye liner pencils, and socks. That’s it. Nothing more. I then had to sit back and watch my little brother open present after present.

Sigh.

Your turn. Let’s talk crazy presents.

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Deck The Ears with Pretty Baubles

on December 8, 2014

Fa la la la la… la la la la

It’s time for the first December giveaway. (In case you missed it, I’ll be giving away a fabulous prize each week during the month to celebrate the holidays and my birthday.) Today, I’m offering up the perfect way to make your earlobes sparkle this holiday season.

Check out these beautiful Stella & Ruby Crystal Statement earrings. Aren’t they gorgeous? And they would look even more gorgeous dangling from your dainty little ear lobes.

Statement Earrings

All you have to do is leave a comment on the blog sharing a tidbit about your favorite piece of jewelry. It can be an heirloom, something you bought for yourself, your wedding ring, or the necklace you had as a young girl (or boy!) that you wish you still had.

This contest is open until 12am on 12/15 (which is essentially midnight Saturday night) and open to US residents only. (I’ll run smaller international contests during the month.) Once you leave a comment, you have to click on the Rafflecopter graphic to say you’ve fulfilled the requirements, and you’re in. If you don’t complete the Rafflecopter information, you won’t be entered in the contest.

And as a special bonus, I’m sharing a snippet from my contribution to the COWBOYS FOR CHRISTMAS anthology, Love Me, Cowboy. This is in the first scene when Claire finds herself covered in tart filling and late for work. There’s no time to drive home and change, so Tyler offers her a clean flannel. Here we go…

Tyler hopped off the tailgate, landing close enough for Claire to feel the heat coming off his body. Tilting her head back to see his face, a memory flashed of the long-ago night they’d spent making love in Tyler’s bed. A night neither had spoken of since.

Claire nearly swayed toward him, but common sense, or maybe some kind of survival instinct, kicked in and she stepped back.

Tyler cleared his throat and proceeded to his driver’s side door.

Claire kept her eyes on the burnt orange streaks spreading across the eastern sky. The sun was high enough now to see the mess surrounding her. And covering her. Making sure the brown tank top remained low over her waist, Claire pulled her arms out of the sleeves and lifted the heavy wool sweater over her head.

When the material cleared her face, she looked up to find Tyler staring at her, flannel in hand, mouth open, eyes dark as emeralds. The last time he’d seen her, Claire had been forty pounds heavier. She’d yet to adjust to the new body and the attention it garnered. Though none of the looks she’d gotten so far had sent her libido into overdrive the way Tyler’s did in that moment.

She hugged the sweater to her chest. “This is going to sound weird, but could you turn around?”

He didn’t respond for several seconds, then seemed to snap back to reality. “Yeah. Sure. Sorry.”

Tyler dropped his eyes to the ground, handed Claire the flannel, then turned as she’d asked. She knew the request was ridiculous, as Tyler had seen her naked before. Something Claire would gladly forget if only her brain would let her.

But that had been nothing but drunken pity sex, or so she reminded herself. Some called alcohol liquid courage, but Claire had since considered it humiliation hooch.

Squeezing the sweater between her knees, Claire pulled on the flannel, which hung well past her waist. Modest by nature, even she knew wearing the shirt loose was too dowdy. She compromised, buttoning the first four buttons, then tying the bottom half into a knot.

“Okay,” she said, after making sure everything was covered. “You can turn around now.”

Tyler turned his head first, then the rest of him, smiling all the way. “Looks good.” For a moment his cheeks looked pinker than usual. Claire chalked it up to the colorful sunrise.

Now that we’re all warmed up, let’s talk about jewelry.

 

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Let’s Talk Cookies

on December 5, 2014

December is a busy, frantic, magical time, and I say we celebrate all of these things between now and the moment the big ball drops to drag us into a new year. We’re shopping and cooking and working and shoveling snow (in some places, thankfully not in my area.) And, of course, we’re partying. Everything from neighborhood gatherings to fancy corporate events.

This is the first time since 2006 I don’t have a fancy party to get gussied up for. As much as I miss shopping for a party dress, it’s so nice not to have to worry about it. Though, to be fair, I also planned that event every year, so that’s probably why I’m relieved to be off the hook.

However, I do have a holiday party coming up, and it’s a pot luck. I LOVE pot lucks. As a picky eater, I’m almost guaranteed to find something I’ll like. Even if just one or two things. And they’re usually homemade and heart-stopping and oh so good. I plan to take something in the Crock Pot, but I’ll also be taking my buckeyes. 

As an Ohio native, these are a must. Oddly enough, my grandmother made about a dozen different types of cookies when I was growing up, but never buckeyes. I had to get those from a friend’s mom, Mrs. Nankivell. Unfortunately, I’m not the baker either of these ladies were, so I use a shortcut recipe that is so simple it’s a crime.

Melt a bag of peanut butter chips in the microwave, then fold in a can of white frosting. Chill. Roll into balls, Dip in melted chocolate. (I use Ghirardelli.) Let dry on wax paper and voila! Buckeyes. (Picture is from last Christmas.)

100_0670 

So let’s talk cookies and give stuff away. What was your favorite holiday cookie when you were growing up? Is it still your favorite now? Have a recipe you want to share? Tell us about it or leave a link to the recipe and maybe some of us can get some new ideas.

One lucky commenter will win a $10 Amazon gift card. Contest open through Sunday, Dec 7th, at midnight eastern time. 

December Means Presents!

on December 1, 2014

Not only is this the month we celebrate Christmas, but December is also the month of my birthday. That gives me even more reasons to GIVE STUFF AWAY! And this month, it’s good stuff.

 

hanging xmas presentsStarting next Monday, December 8th, I’ll give away one awesome prize each week. (New big prize announced every Monday to follow.) You’ll have to check in here on the blog to enter (I’ll put plenty of reminders on Facebook and Twitter), and I promise these presents will be worth your time. I’ll also talk about other ways you can give this holiday season, and run some smaller giveaways for bonus fun. 

I’m also kicking off the new year with a renewed dedication to my newsletter (which I’ve let fall way off) and at the beginning of January, I’ll give away a cool prize to one newsletter subscriber. If you haven’t yet added your email to the list, just click over to my home page and enter your name and email on the right hand side. Easy peasy!

And when I say renewed dedication, I do not mean you’ll get an email from me every week. Never fear. You’ll hear from me maybe once a month, and get a little bonus heads up on days that I have books releasing. Which is really only 2-3 times a year. blue presentIf you want to share the love and tell your friends about the newsletter, we’d love to have them.

Tune in right here later this week (hint: Friday) for more information, and perhaps the first little giveaway of the month. Let’s face it, there’s no way I can hold out until Monday. 

The Series Is Complete!

on November 11, 2014

Osburn-MoreToGive-17603-CV-FT-V4MORE TO GIVE, the fourth and final installment in the Anchor Island Series, is finally on sale. You can get the digital format for Kindle only on Amazon, while the print and audio versions are available anywhere books are sold. (If you don’t see the print book in your local store, ask them to order it. Or you can nudge your local library to bring it in for you.)

Da Blurb!

Callie Henderson had to fight to put her tragic past behind her, but now the up-and-coming player in the hospitality industry is well on her way to happiness. She has her sights set on the lead renovation position at the Sunset Harbor Inn—an inn that just happens to be owned by Sam Edwards, the man who comforted her in her grief and gave her one night of passion before walking away.

Sam is searching for someone who can turn his quaint inn into a premier boutique hotel. He just never expected that someone to be the one woman who knows his deepest secrets. But he needs Callie, and Callie needs the job. Throw in a talking parrot with a cracker addiction, some uncooperative islanders, and enough sexual sparks to light a beachside bonfire, and they’ve got their work cut out for them…

More to Give is a story of heartbreak and healing, of facing the past…and having the courage to believe in a future.

Read an excerpt here.

I can’t say how much this series has meant to me, and the response from readers has been more than I could have ever hoped for. Thank you all for loving these characters, and helping to make my dreams come true!

And don’t forget to check in over on my Facebook page, where I’ll be doing giveaways all day long.

Two Weeks and Counting!

on October 28, 2014

Osburn-MoreToGive-17603-CV-FT-V4MORE TO GIVE, the fourth and final installment in the bestselling Anchor Island Series will be flying off the virtual shelves (I hope!) in two weeks. I can’t believe the day is almost here. I so love this series, and writing the closing story was both joyful and bittersweet.

Ironically, there was never supposed to be a fourth book in the series. But when Sam Edwards stepped onto the page in HOME TO STAY, there was no doubt he was hero material. He was high-class and mysterious. Hot and emanated power. How could I NOT give him his own book??

But who would be the perfect woman for Sam? I knew she wasn’t already on the island, which meant I had to search the ethos to find her. Thankfully, she came to me with little prodding while I was on a flight from Atlanta to Norfolk back in 2013. Callie Henderson graciously stepped out of Sam’s past and landed on Anchor Island as if she always belonged there.

And maybe she did.

Writing this story meant getting to use both my business sense (I am a business major, after all) as well as my inner decorator. She’s buried deep, but loves to play. Especially when the budget is wide open – as in imaginary. I hope you’ll come see how Sam and Callie turn a rundown old island hotel into a beautiful boutique hotel, creating the perfect setting for elegant destination weddings, or a quiet getaway of any kind to charming and welcoming Anchor Island.

Here’s the back cover copy:

Callie Henderson had to fight to put her tragic past behind her, but now the up-and-coming player in the hospitality industry is well on her way to happiness. She has her sights set on the lead renovation position at the Sunset Harbor Inn—an inn that just happens to be owned by Sam Edwards, the man who comforted her in her grief and gave her one night of passion before walking away.

Sam is searching for someone who can turn his quaint inn into a premier boutique hotel. He just never expected that someone to be the one woman who knows his deepest secrets. But he needs Callie, and Callie needs the job. Throw in a talking parrot with a cracker addiction, some uncooperative islanders, and enough sexual sparks to light a beachside bonfire, and they’ve got their work cut out for them…

More to Give is a story of heartbreak and healing, of facing the past…and having the courage to believe in a future.

To celebrate the release of MORE TO GIVE, I’ll be giving away prizes all day on November 11th on my Facebook Page. Up for grabs will be not only Anchor Island books, but books from authors like Nancy Naigle, Kim Law, and more. Plus gift cards. So make sure you’ve Liked my page to see all the giveaways.

And don’t forget, it’s only THREE WEEKS to the release of COWBOYS FOR CHRISTMAS, an anthology of overlapping stories by Kim Law, Liz Talley, and myself. Three cowboys, two weeks, and one wedding. Toss in Christmas and what more could you want??

Unexpected Inspiration

on October 17, 2014

What is this? Am I really blogging? No way. *clicks around* Looks like I am. Don’t worry, I’m as surprised as you are.

Osburn-MoreToGive-17603-CV-FT-V4So here’s the secret about the life of an author. While you, the readers, are anticipating the next release (MORE TO GIVE, Nov 11), we’re finishing the one after that (HIS FIRST AND LAST, May 2015), and plotting the next. In fact, the characters for the third and fourth books of the new series are already chatting away in my brain. Those are books that won’t see the light of day until 2016 at the earliest.

The point is, authors are weird. But you knew that.

One of the problems with the books moving this fast is that the writer brain doesn’t always like to plot on cue. My characters come to me while I’m nodding off at night. I’m fortunate that they show up, but I don’t have any control over when it happens.

That means I have to stay open all the time. You’ve probably seen little memes on Facebook or Pinterest that say a writer never turns it off. If we aren’t writing, we’re thinking about writing, and it’s true. Which is why the strangest things can serve as inspiration.

I’m a channel surfer when it comes to the radio, and not embarrassed to say that a couple buttons in my car are set to pop stations. For days I’ve been struggling to lock down solid details on the plot of a future book, and to my surprise, Rita Ora and Iggy Azalea came to my rescue.

Cowboys2Their song Black Widow gave me the perfect structure for the story. If you know the song, you might have an idea where this is going. If you don’t know it, let’s just say, my heroine is not going to make life easy for her hero. Not. At. All.

Don’t get me wrong, I am super excited about the release of both MORE TO GIVE (Nov 11) and COWBOYS FOR CHRISTMAS (Nov 18). I cannot wait for readers to finally did in. There’s just this other little compartment of my brain that has moved on. And I really can’t wait for you to see where we’re going.

Come See Me at Fall For The Book

on September 12, 2014

Fall for the book meme Sept 2014

This weekend I have the honor of being part of Fall For The Book taking place in Fairfax, Virginia, at the Sherwood Center on Old Lee Highway. The panel is called “From Sweet To Heat: How romance authors deal with love & lust on the page” and it starts at 3:30, with a book signing to follow. I’m very excited to be on this panel with Gail Barrett, Alexa J Day, Pamela Palmer, and Hope Ramsay, with Lori Dillon as moderator. 

And if you’re on the other side of the country, I hope you’ll come see me in Anaheim, California on October 4th for the Authors in the OC event. It’s a massive book signing with all proceeds going to charity. You can meet lots of authors, load up on books, and give to a good cause (breast cancer research) while you’re at it. Perfect way to spend a weekend if you ask me. (I’m also excited to be slipping in a visit to Disneyland while we’re there. Whee!) Get your tickets here.

I’ve been very quiet for a while as I’ve been writing the first book in my new Ardent Springs series, which will release next May (subject to change but not likely.) However, you’ll be sick of me by the end of November as I’ll have TWO books coming out that month. MORE TO GIVE, the final installment in the Anchor Island series, hits shelves on Nov. 11th, and then COWBOYS FOR CHRISTMAS, in which I have the story Love Me, Cowboy, will hit your eReading device on Nov. 18th. There will be blogs throughout the month and a local book signing here in the Hampton Roads area on November 22nd. More details on that later. 

I do hope you’ll come see me if you get the chance. I love engaging with readers on Facebook, but in person is even better. 

Water Is My Friend

on August 27, 2014

During the brief moments when I’ve blogged lately, I’ve talked about my schedule being all out of whack. I’m writing when I should be sleeping and sleeping while the rest of the world is doing, well, just about everything the world does. I’ve been trying to switch this back around, but with no luck.

And now I know why. My late nights became serendipitous around 2 am last night. (This morning? You know what I mean.)

I finished my word count for the day and was plotting out what would come next (which is very exciting and secret revealing and you’re going to love it, I hope) when I noticed the animals gathered near the laundry room door. Normally, this means they’re watching a bug and debating which of them will get to kill it. But this time seemed different. This is the conversation I imagine was taking place.

 

Bumbles (cat): Why are you guys watching the door?

Caelen (extremely skittish cat): There’s a noise in there. I think something evil is going to get us.

Callie (cat): It’s not evil, but it ain’t good either. There’s wet stuff on the floor.

Macie (dog): What are you doing? Huh? Huh? Should we tell mom? I bet mom would want to play, too. Or I could chase you guys around. Wanna play chase?

Cats collectively: Chill out, fur ball.

 

This is when I joined them and heard the sound for myself. Upon further inspection, I found water pooling under my washer and dryer. Blasted water heater! I turned off the main valve for the water heater and the noise stopped, as did the leak. Lucky break for me, as this was not exactly business hours.

This is where you might think I’d cry foul and whine about the annoying water curse that seems to hover over my house. But that’s not going to happen.

I put in a service call with my warranty company, the plumbing company called at 7:55, arrived within an hour, and the whole thing was changed out and done before noon. And almost all of it was covered by the home warranty.

Not bad to go from flood waters to new unit at an extremely low cost (relatively speaking) in less than twelve hours. Not bad at all. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go pass out.