Monday, December 31, 2012

Rolling Out the Red Carpet for 2013

It is so hard to imagine that 2012 is about to be tucked away and the red carpet is ready to rolled out for 2013.
Our New Year's Eve is very laid back and roll with the flow. I will be spending most of the day working on contests for my other job (Contest Coordinator at Coffee Time Romance) since tomorrow is the first of the year. The end of each month is busy, but it seems as if December is even more so. Bowl games are playing in the background as the hubby gets his dose of football. The dogs are in various locations snoring away.
Tonight, we'll curl up and watch the ball drop, maybe toss back a couple of Doc McGillicuddy's to celebrate the New Year.

We are such party animals! LOL We've never been ones to celebrate at fancy parties. For us, it seems as if we should be home with our canine kids, cuddled up together, simply in a space where all is least, for us it is.

I wanted to pause from the chaos that is about to begin to wish you all a very Happy New Year! 
Tomorrow, the lovely Virginia Nelson will be here with yet another new release! (She's such a busy, busy lady! When I grow up, I want to be just like her :P)

Be safe! Do not drink and drive! I will see you next year! 

Friday, December 28, 2012

My Baby Boy is 4 Today...

As most of you are aware, I'm a mama to 5 canine kids. We have 4 girls and a boy. That's the way it has always been.
We lost our first boy at the age of 8. He was a Rottie by the name of Ozzy. He was having mini-strokes and we lost him 2 weeks after his 8th birthday.
It destroyed me and my husband. I vowed to never have another dog again. Our girls are 17, 14, 14, and 12 as I write this so I knew even back then, that there would come a time when I'd lose them all.
Dogs have a way of latching onto your heart and never letting go. When they leave their earthly bodies for the spiritual realm, it is always too early. So with hurt in my heart, I said never again.
Nine months later, enters this little face:

This is Diesel, the boy I vowed to never have. 

When I finally let go of my hurt over losing Ozzy (who was all Mama's boy), I began to look at a breed who would fit into our house with ease. *Laughs* 
I have 4 girls who are very dominant. Don't ask how that happened because I honestly don't know. But I knew I needed a boy who would roll with the punches like Ozzy had. Did I expect another Oz? Never in a million years.
I knew an English Mastiff would be the best fit and I looked everywhere for one. About 45 minutes from where we were living, someone had puppies. We went to look and fell head over heels for this precious face.
And Diesel was the furthest from the traditional Mastiff characteristics as possible. He was seldom still. He would be lying on the floor being such a good boy, then holy terror would reign down on us and he tore through the house. 
One lady told me that a Mastiff is very much like an infant, but I wasn't expecting an actual infant. I used to pick him up and carry him to his crate every night, just like a child. (I can't even imagine doing that now. He's easily 175 lbs. at this moment.) In order to get him to sleep, I would sing to him. Plus he had to have his crate right beside our bed where I could stick my hand in for him to sniff. (Until 4 months ago, his crate stayed by our bed.)

We've done a lot of learning as he's grown and we're still head over heels in love with him and his goofy grin.
And here he is now. All 175 lbs of wiggling, silly, laugh-inducing I just need to find him a girlfriend because, dammit, I want a Diesel baby...or 5 :D


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I Count You Among My Blessings...

Our breakfast was delicious. The presents are all unwrapped. Dinner is digesting and all is quiet at our house. It was actually one of the best holidays we've had in a long time.

The canine kids received plenty of toys. 

Diesel with all of the loot
The hubby got a new football jersey and a whole bunch of DVDs. Me? I got books! There was a new Nora Roberts under the tree along with the Shelly Laurenston Pack series. I also had some wonderful jewelry and a few chick flicks. Yes, I am blessed.

I have been very blessed for the majority of my life. I've always had people who love me and support me. 

But you are the blessings  I never expected. You have all blessed my life in ways  you will never truly understand and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Bright blessings from my home to yours!

Monday, December 24, 2012

It's Heeeeeeeere!!

Late last night, I got an e-mail. I danced a little. I cried a little. I smiled...A LOT!! 
You see, the e-mail was from my wonderful editor. She was letting me know that Natural Born Enemies is now available. She was able to get it up on Leap of Faith's site and Amazon before she left on vacation.
You are able to get any format at Leap of Faith so even if you have a Nook, you can still get a copy.
She will get it up on Barnes and Noble plus Coffee Time Romance when she gets back from her holiday.
But I wanted to let you know that you are able to get Natural Born Enemies for your holiday reading.

I'm sending out my newsletter today complete with recipe for homemade Trenary toast (a Yooper must-have). Be sure to sign up for my newsletter on my website.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Next Big Thing

I was tagged by my friend and new brand-new author, Heather Geoffries, to be part of The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. Here is my post for The Next Big Thing, Natural Born Enemies!!


1). What is the working title of your book?- Natural Born Enemies

2) Where did the idea for this book come from?- This entire series started with a dream. From this dream came Keeper of the Golden Dragon's Heart. When I finished Keeper, it seemed as if there were more to be written. This is where Natural Born Enemies comes in. 

3) What genre category does your book fall into?-Urban fantasy/paranormal romance

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in the movie rendition?-Gilles Marini as Adam Thomas and Catherine Zeta Jones as Luna McIntyre.

5) What is the one sentence synopsis for your story?-Sometimes change opens the door for love to blossom and grow, even if it the second time around.

6) Will your novel be self-published or represented by an agency?-Natural Born Enemies will be published by Leap of Faith Publishing.

7) How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?- About 3 months
8) What other novels would you compare this book to within your genre?- I'm still in disbelief that I'm a published author. I have a hard time even thinking of comparing myself to those who have been doing this for a longer period of time.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this novel?- The men in my life, my husband and dad. They encouraged me to write from my heart and believe in myself.

10) What else about your novel might pique the reader's interest?-If you like a series where the books can stand alone, yet still contain characters you've grown fond of when you've read the other books in the series, then the Cedar River series may just be the series for you.

Cedar River, Michigan is a wonderful place to fall in love. Some people see change as a good thing, but there are a few others who can’t let go of the “old ways.” “Breeds should stay within their breeds,” they say.
Adam Thomas is the deputy sheriff in Cedar River. His black puma shifter side got him released from the military and sent back home. His demons followed, but they are nothing compared to the ones within his pride.
Luna McIntyre is the only daughter and shaman to the McIntyre pack. She is tired of being smothered and told what to do in regards to her life. She’s opened a sweet shop and moved forward with her life. However, the love of her teen years is back in town and her family is trying to rein her in again.
Someone in this small town is so set in their beliefs that they can’t see how love is sometimes simply love. Cats and canines may be natural born enemies, but love may be enough to get past the differences.


I’ll never forget the first look I got of Adam. He wore his bad attitude like a well-worn pair of jeans. Gods, I wanted to be the woman to tame his wild side. The anger radiated off him in waves, but I knew in my heart that he was simply hurting.
Every year since I could remember, the pack and the pride would lay aside their differences and would help with the clearing of downed trees in the woods between the two lands. Roman Pierce recruited Adam to help. He was a young and able body. His lanky muscles bunched and relaxed with each piece of wood he tossed into the waiting trailers. My mouth still waters at that memory. Then, Adam got arrested. My dad warned me to stay away from Adam, but there was something about that young man. I started to make excuses to go into town with my girlfriends in hopes of catching his eye.
“He’s nothing but bad news, Luna,” my friend, Maria, said.
“If that’s what bad news looks like, you can deliver it to me every day,” was my reply.
Adam’s black hair was always in his eyes, but when those piercing green eyes turned my way, I felt my insides melt. A mere glance from the Pierce Pride bad boy sent my heart racing. I would watch him in the halls at school and on the football field. His speed made him the best receiver on the Cedar River Miners. I’d watch him on the side lines palling around with “Bodacious” Bowie Golden. Those two together were enough to make a girl’s panties drop with a simple smile.

The Results of Draco

If you're new to my blog, you will find that I LOVE to take pictures. I live in such a beautiful place that it only seems right to catch it, digitally, and share it with you. 

So, Winter storm Draco hit us yesterday, but, as I posted yesterday, he didn't hit with the force the weather men were predicting. Of course, I'm Michigan born and raised. It takes a storm of pretty massive proportions to impress me.

Yes, this is my backyard. Can you see why I love it so? I decided to take my camera out when I walked the dogs this morning and captured these.

My poor little apple tree! 

So, this is the view of my winter wonderland. And, yes, that is how I see it. Do I love the cold? Not really, but it's part of the territory. There are certain sacrifices a person has to make to have the view I have. These are sacrifices I am more than willing to make :)

Happy Solstice to all of you! Yule is in full swing in our house. A few extra gifts to pick up, mainly stocking stuffers for the canine kids. We wish you and yours the best of the holidays!

Be sure to stop over to TRS parties to enter to win an e-copy of Keeper of the Golden Dragon's Heart.

Want to keep up on the happenings around my world? Be sure to visit my website and sign up for my newsletter. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Happy Snow Day

We have been under a blizzard warning since Winter storm Draco decided to head our way. We prepared for the worst. We have plenty of food. We have a few sealed containers of kerosene for the heater should we lose power. We're all set.
Well, Draco didn't want to cooperate. He was supposed to arrive at 3 or 4 am. I was expecting to wake up to a few inches of snow.
What I woke up to was MAYBE a half an inch of snow and rain, which was melting the snow. Took the canine kids out and there was a horrible slush mix falling from the sky. As I type this, it snowing again and we are supposed to have white out conditions in a little while.
Finals were called off for today. I'm happy to say I didn't have any. I am sure there are a few students who were relieved to hear that bit of news.
So, today is going to be a lazy sort of day. We've got to get all the dishes done and put away so I can have the ENTIRE counter to make sugar cookies. I'm thinking sugar cookies with hot cocoa while watching movies might just be the perfect way to spend the day. I'm also thinking of making mac and cheese for dinner. Something about the snow flying outside makes me want to make comfort food.
How about you? What do you do when the snow begins to fly?
I'm going to leave you all with a bit of scenery from inside the Murray house. Voila! Here's our Yule tree, all lit up and decorated:

Here is the scene of my backyard from March:

I'll post pictures tomorrow of what Draco dumped on us. Have a happy snow day! I know we will :)

If you are looking for something fun to do, I'm celebrating the holidays with The Romance Studio. I'm offering an e-copy of Keeper of the Golden Dragon's Heart to one person. Stop by and visit with all of us authors who are working hard to promote our books.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Virginia Nelson Likes Things A Little Odd

My darling friend, Virg, is back with us today! She has a brand-new paranormal romance available, but I'll let her tell you more about it. Hey, Virg! Thanks for stopping by today!!!
Thanks for having me on the blog today, Gemma!
My paranormal romantic comedy, Odd Stuff, is available now. Odd Stuff is a small town paranormal romance story about what happens when boy meets girl, boy drinks blood, and girl happens to be someone who drives people mad when she sings.
Pretty run of the mill stuff, right?
Janie Smith, my heroine, is the world’s last siren. She has the ability to drive people mad with the sound of her voice but all she wants is a nice normal life, coffee and maybe the occasional slushie. Things aren’t working out exactly as she planned and she hasn’t a moment to spare to get over her recent divorce since the paranormal world seems determined to suck her into the midst of it’s chaos.
I hope readers enjoy these characters and this world as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Blurb: Janie Smith tumbles through the paranormal world making mistakes and not keeping her sharp tongue in check. Pretending to be normal is what she has spent her whole life perfecting. But when her best friend, a witch named Mia, gets tangled in a murder investigation, Janie tries to stick to her guns and solve it without any “extra” help, be it supernatural or sexual. The hitch is that Mia is suspected to have murdered a vampire...and how do you prove you haven't killed someone who has no pulse?
About the Author: Virginia Nelson spends her days chasing three very active kids around. When she is not doing this, or plotting taking over the world, she likes to write, play in the mud, drive far too fast and scream at inanimate objects. She can often be found listening to music that is far too loud and typing her next fantastic tale of blood, sex and random acts of ineptitude. Romance, in Ms. Nelson’s opinion, is not about riding off into the sunset on the back of a horse with the knight in shining armor— it is about riding the dragon. If the knight can keep up… well, that is love. Find me online

Monday, December 10, 2012

At Last...

I'm taking some time away from school work, housework, and the family to share with you. If you haven't seen the front page of the website or Facebook, then you haven't seen what I received in my inbox late last night.

Yes, this is the brand-new cover for the second book in the Cedar River Series! I have to say I shed a few tears. I love Keeper of the Golden Dragon's Heart's cover, but this one has blown me away. Adam was captured perfectly and Luna is exquisite.
This also means that the countdown to release date is on. We're working on a pre-holiday release. With only 3 days of classes left, I am excited since I get to spend my time off writing and promoting.
Life is quiet here for now. Besides the wind down of school, I have got to get my booty in gear with Yule stuff. I haven't baked one cookie, made one pan of fudge, or put together one batch of 3-corn crunch. While the holiday shopping is finished, the wrapping is still undone. The tree isn't up, but should be this weekend. Plus, I still have to put out the December newsletter! (I'm waiting for a release date.)
How are things in your world? Are you keeping busy with holiday stuff? 
I'm thinking of all of you and carry  you in my heart! I'm so blessed by the readers and friends I have made on this journey! You will never truly know how much I appreciate each and every one of you!
Blessings to your home from mine.