December

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.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.