Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Freebie---Beauty and the Beast

Today's Friday Freebie is Beauty and the Beast---the first in a YA series of fairy tale retelling stories by Jenni James.





Here's the back copy:

A prince by day and a wolf by night—

Prince Alexander has been turned into a werewolf and has one year to find someone to love the beast and break the spell, or he will be a wolf forever. He has nearly given up achieving the impossible, knowing no girl would ever fall in love with such a monster.

Just when he is about to abdicate the throne to his cousin, he meets Cecelia Hammerstein-Smythe, while a wolf, and begins to hope for the first time in months. Can he balance both worlds as a human and beast, gaining the love and trust of a girl who has every reason to despise him?

Cecelia detests the prince. She only knows Alexander as the arrogant monarch—the tyrant who has made her life miserable—though perhaps he's changed right before her eyes. He's not as full of himself as he once was. The prince is gentle now... but then again, so is the beast.

If this looks interesting to you, you can download your free Kindle copy here

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Thursday Freebie---Just Because!

I know, I know, it's not even Friday. But I've been lazy today, taking things easy, and when I saw that there was a free book and a nearly free book by one of my favorite authors, I thought I'd share with you!

You can download this free Kindle Book here



 One Chance by Heather B. Moore

Here's the back copy:

Welcome to the Aliso Creek Novella Series...

Liz, Gemma, Arie, Jess, and Drew have been best friends since creating “the Five” at Aliso Creek High School. But that was over ten years ago, and each is still trying to find that perfect someone... if perfect is even possible.

Valentina is the odd woman out. She was part of “the Five” when she dated Drew for a couple of years, and she remains friends with the women, but with her traveling schedule as a runway model, it’s impossible to maintain a real relationship. When Valentina attends her cousin’s wedding in LA, she runs into Cesar, who she was a school friend with in Puerto Rico. Cesar is not the young, skinny boy she remembers but a grown man who seems interested in what’s beyond her model appearance. Back in New York, Valentina can’t get him out of her mind, but she also can’t deny the fact that they’re separated by well over a thousand miles.

Other Books in the Aliso Creek Novella Series:
THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM
THE DAISY CHAIN
LOST THEN FOUND
PICTURE PERFECT--part of A Timeless Romance Anthology: Spring Vacation Collection


Nearly Free Kindle Book



Beneath by H.B. Moore
(I loved this novella)  You can download it here for only .99 cents!


Here's the back copy:

Chalice Stratford’s hands won’t stop shaking. Since the serial killer who tortured her is still at large, she’s had to enter the witness protection program and give up the medical practice that required her steady hand. Now she is working in a museum in Bordeaux, France, and doing her best to keep a low profile.

On the first day of her new job, the last thing she expects is to be abducted in a theft gone wrong. But Omar Zagouri, the man behind the heist, is more than he appears, and Chalice soon discovers that he might be the one man who can put her demons to rest.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

You Deserve Some Pampering

Since this is generally one of the busiest months of the year, and as women, we sometimes put ourselves last, I was so happy to see that for Flylady this month (a home organization group that I follow) the monthly mission was to do something to pamper yourself every day.

I love this idea because pampering always seems like it has to be something big or expensive, but it doesn't really have to be.  So far I've done things like:

Made myself some hot chocolate and sit at the table for fifteen minutes without my to do list or anything else except sitting and relaxing.

I have a whole cupboard full of nice smelling candles, so I light one every day to make my house smell good.

Take a hot bubble bath.

Paint my nails.

Put some nice-smelling lotion on.

Call a friend I haven't talked to in a while.

Go to my favorite park on my way home from errands and roll down the window while I listen to Christmas songs and just breathe for a few minutes of solitude.

So, as you can see, they aren't big things, but they have made a world of difference in how peaceful I'm feeling this holiday season.

What are some small and simple things you do that pamper you?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Traditions---What Have You Got?

I was talking to a friend today about their Christmas traditions.  She has one where their family all decorates a gingerbread house and they have a neighbor come over and judge who had the best decorated one.  That would be hard to choose, I think! But it sounds like lots of fun, too.

Another friend does a Christmas challenge with her family, so, for the month of December, they all read a special book, or do a service project together, write in journals, read to the elderly, stuff like that, then they talk about what they did Christmas morning.

For us, some of our favorite traditions are when we gather all of our children on our bed Christmas morning and read the Bible story of Christ's birth before we go down to do presents.  We've also done a service advent calendar (which my little ones have really loved this year.) What we've done is for each day leading up to Christmas, we have a service assignment.  For example, one day our assignment is to make someone laugh, (even if you have to resort to telling a knock knock joke!) and then another day we do a secret service for someone and so on.  Then we all talk about the things we did at the dinner table. That has been fun.

One thing I've done this year is to make some Christmas tree ornaments.  As you all know, I'm not a crafty person, and I haven't had much luck on Pinterest, but I found this baking soda recipe for a homemade handprint Christmas ornament that I tried and it has turned out so far! (and it didn't look too bad either!) So I'm recommending this one for a fun family activity making handprint Christmas tree ornaments.  And especially because it has glitter on it and every tree needs a little glitter and glam right?  Get all the details here  (And the picture below is the finished product they showed on the blog, not mine.  Although I might post a pic of mine when it's done. I'm really liking it!)


I hope you're having a wonderful Christmas season.  I'd love to hear what some of your Christmas traditions are!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Review & Giveaway!

Rough Around the Edges

I'm really excited to be part of the blog tour for Rachael Anderson's new book, Rough Around the Edges Meets Refined. (Now that's a mouthful!)  It's about two people who have been widowed, yet are left with different scars and feelings about marriage and relationships in general.

Cassie was in a restrictive marriage to a man who presented himself as the perfect fiancee, but after they were married, he pretty much told her who she was and what she wanted.  Now that he's gone, Cassie is trying to find herself again and figure out why she didn't see what her husband really was before she married him.  She's distanced herself from everyone she loves and is trying to find her way back, even though she's not sure she really can.  I loved how realistic Cassie seemed while she struggled and sorted through her feelings as she tried to rebuild her life.

Noah was in a great marriage, but lost his wife, leaving him a single father with two sweet little girls. He's not looking to date since he's not sure he could love anyone like he loved his wife. But he has well-meaning neighbors and friends who want him to be happy and play matchmaker for him.  And they know Cassie would possibly fit the bill if he can give her a chance.  Noah is the hero you love to read about and the scenes between him and his girls were adorable.  I loved how unsure he was of himself at times, and yet he was confident, too.  Just the right mix of swoon and swagger.

I loved the growth I saw in both characters as they try to overcome their fears and hangups and slowly come to trust and love again.  Their romance was just the right pace, slow and sweet.  I laughed at the "upgrade" dates and sighed at the ice cream date.  If you want a sweet romance that will leave you with a smile on your face, this is the book for you.

(Be sure to scroll all the way down and enter the rafflecopter giveaway of $25 Paypal cash or Amazon gift card!)

Here's the back copy:
  
For Noah Mackie, life is finally back on track. He has a great support system, a promised promotion is on its way, and he's finally getting the hang of this single father thing. But when the job falls through and his neighbor's matchmaking efforts become more aggressive, Noah is in for yet another unwanted detour. With his career and two spirited daughters to worry about, he doesn't have time for dating—especially not someone like Cassie Ellis, his girls' beautiful and sophisticated dance instructor, who is about as open and approachable as a brick wall. Rough around the Edges Meets Refined is about two people who think they know exactly what they want but who have no idea what they really need. It's about learning that people aren't always what they seem and that sometimes life’s detours take you exactly where you need to go.

Purchase Your Copy from Amazon.com


Rough Around the Edges

add to goodreads new
 


Rachael

Author Rachael Anderson USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.


25_Amazon_Paypal


$25 Blog Tour Giveaway Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 1/19/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by readinglight.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Freebie Friday And An Amazing Review!

My novel Ring Around the Rosie got a Crowned Heart for Excellence and an amazing review in InD'Tale Magazine today! Woohoo! I'm so excited about this one.  Some of my favorite things they said were:

"Ms. Bellon has created a well-rounded, suspenseful novel . . .the plot has a steady pace and is deftly written . . .the suspense built up by hostage situations will keep readers engaged in this story until the very end which ties up all the threads nicely. This wonderful tale has a soft but poignant romance that will bring new light to old passion. Make this author a favorite on your shelves and search for the rest of the series."  ---Julie Calcco, InD'Tale Magazine

I think that last line of that review is my favorite part of all.  *big grin*  You can read the whole review here





Today's Freebie Friday is Rebecca Belliston's Augustina (Book 2 in the Sadie series).  Here is the back copy:

Against the odds, Sarah Augustina Dawson (Sadie) survived the wrath of Guillermo. But not without a price. Forced to leave her beloved Montana behind, she and Josh are on the run. Within the warmth of the South, she's determined to find peace and conquer her past, even if only in her mind. But Guillermo can't let go. He's still orchestrating, hunting, and devising ways to exact his own kind of justice. When the law swings in his favor, he's ready to end the feud that started the moment Josh walked into Sadie's life.

If this looks interesting to you, click here to download your free copy.




Luckily, Book 1 of the series Citizens of Logan Pond is on sale for 99 cents.  Here's the back copy of this one:

The economy crashed, the country is floundering, and Carrie Ashworth struggles to keep her brother and sister alive. She has two jobs in her newly-formed, newly-outlawed clan: growing crops to feed thirty-six people and keeping Simmons, their local patrolman, happy. Carrie’s life settles into a simple rhythm and is almost content when Greg Pierce shows up, a man with the ambition to help them survive. A man determined to hate her.

When a government raid nearly wipes out their clan, Greg realizes the true reason behind their safety. Patrolman Simmons has fallen for Carrie. Greg takes it upon himself to give the socially-awkward patrolman what he wants. Only Carrie doesn’t like Greg throwing her in Simmons’s path, especially when Greg’s brusque exterior melts, and she catches a glimpse of the real man underneath. As Greg and Carrie strike a truce, an unlikely friendship forms and threatens to move beyond. Carrie’s forced to choose between the unthinkable: following her heart or saving her clan. Life won’t let her choose both.

If you'd like to download the first book in the series, click here

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pinterest is a Self-Esteem Killer

Do you know how many times I've been on Pinterest and seen pins with "Super Easy!" or "No Fail Recipe" in the headline?  And it looks like this super cute, extremely easy thing to do?

As a craft-challenged person, but at the same time, an adult woman who can follow directions, I fall for those headlines a lot and think I can do it. It's like when you're trying to deal with your chocolate addiction, but you're standing in line at the grocery store where the chocolate bars are displayed and you think I can resist temptation.  But the longer you linger there, the more the chocolate calls your name, breaking down your defenses, and then when your will crumbles you think, well, one more couldn't hurt, right?

Wrong.

Pinterest draws me in with cute kid projects and the longer I linger there, the more my will to never attempt another project gets.  But look, I tell myself, it says only four simple steps! It looks so easy! One more try couldn't hurt anything, right?

Wrong again.

This week I was making kids' hand ornaments for the Christmas tree.  The pinner assured me she'd done it dozens of times and nothing had ever gone wrong.

Obviously, she's not as craft-challenged as I am.  It just didn't look anything like her cute picture.

At all.

It's just such a downer when I fail at the no fail recipes and can't do the "Super Easy" projects. Dang you, Pinterest, and your self-esteem robbing ways!  *shakes fist*

(But I have to say, these pics of Pinterest projects gone wrong made me laugh and feel a bit better!)