Friday, November 21, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness & Big Giveaway #21

Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...



Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today let's hear from author Christoper Carrolli and what he's thankful for :

Everything            

What am I most thankful for this year? It’s a question that I, like everyone else, usually takes for granted. Mainly, I’m thankful for my health and the health of my loved ones. The recent holidays have been hard with the loss of my mother in 2011, but I’m thankful that my family manages every year to celebrate the holidays the way she always had. It becomes a tribute to her. I’m thankful to know that some semblance of our departed ones lives on. I’m also thankful for my faith in Christ.

            And of course, I’m thankful to be a published author with Melange Books. I’m extremely grateful to work with a publisher who devotes so much time and energy not only to my books, but to all Melange authors—thanks again, Nancy. And yes, I’m thankful to be working alongside a great group of authors. I would also like to extend my thanks to my readers who have stuck with me through these first four books. You all know who you are. Thanks to all of you, keep reading, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Christopher Carrolli is a 2006 graduate of University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg and an English Writing major, and also the winner of the Ida B. Welles Prize in Journalism. The Skinwalker’s Tale is Christopher Carrolli’s fourth novel and fourth installment in The Paranormal Investigator series from Melange Books. He is anticipating a fifth release in 2015.



Contact links:



The Skinwalker's Tale

http://www.melange-books.com/authors/christophercarrolli/index.html



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Thursday, November 20, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness + Big Giveaway #20

Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...



Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today let's hear from author Ian S. Bott and what he's thankful for :

A touch of the wild
I grew up on a small island, 25 square miles (yes, that's square miles, not miles square) population 60,000+. Unless you looked straight out to sea, every view was dominated by roads and buildings, with little patches of green in between. The most wildlife I ever saw was seagulls and the occasional rabbit.

Even trips to mainland England brought little in the way of wilderness. Most of the country is manicured farmland, with picturesque villages every few miles. Even in the relative wilds of Derbyshire or the Lake District, you would be hard pressed to find yourself much more than spitting distance from an English country pub. A blessing in many ways, but also a commentary on a land tamed by many hundreds of years of civilization.

Since moving to Canada, I repeatedly give thanks for the open spaces around me.

From my own deck at home, I have seen raccoons, deer, and eagles soaring overhead, as well as the (to me) exotic woodpeckers and hummingbirds. Further afield, I've seen whales, bears, otters and seals. Ten minutes' drive from my home takes me to a choice of parks with miles of woodland trails where signs of humanity are few and far between. An hour's drive would take me into true wilderness. And this is life in a provincial capital city.
These are riches I never dreamed of in my old and overcrowded life. I hope I never come to take them for granted.

Bio
Ian Bott is a science fiction writer who successfully evaded the writing bug until it bit him, late in life, by means of a sneak stealth attack. As a software developer he rebelled against mind-deadening software specifications and resolved to write technical documents fit for ordinary human consumption. From there, it was a small step to speculative fiction.
He lives in beautiful British Columbia with his wife, two children, and a steadily expanding menagerie of pets.



Ghosts of Innocence
Master assassin Shayla Carver has killed many times. That's what assassins do, nothing to lose sleep over, but this mission is different.

She's never killed a whole planet before.




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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness + Big Giveaway #19

Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...




Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today and all other days that aren't spoken for, I'll be taking the reins to tell you about some things I'm thankful for :

My Readers

I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't have such a great group of readers! For all those who read my books AND my blog:



I'll keep doing what I do and hope to bring you lots of new books and blog events in 2015!



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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness + Big Giveaway #18

Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...


Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today and all other days that aren't spoken for, I'll be taking the reins to tell you about some things I'm thankful for :

Staying Healthy

Today's message of thanks is pretty simple. Not only did I lose 25 pounds since January (added back a couple more for winter padding LOL), but I've remained relatively steady when it comes to fighting depression. Oh sure, there are still bad days now and then, but when I stay on track with my medication and keep the stress levels down, it's better. That means I get more work done with less griping, and I can keep up with my busy family. To see where I've come from since my diagnosis, here's an article I wrote about it back in January:
The Lie

"I'm fine." 

Those two words comprise the world's most common lie. Especially for someone with depression.

Someone like me. 

Over the last decade or so, I've mastered the happy face. It comes in handy when you're a mom of three, expected to volunteer for class parties and fundraising events. Handier still when you must join your husband at company functions. No one wants to mingle with a woman who's slumped over and crying in the corner. 

Mom with my new baby girl
December 2001
What I didn't realize after having my first child is that I probably had post-partum depression. I wish I hadseen the signs and sought help back then, but I thought all the stress and tears were just a result of sleep deprivation and worrying about my firstborn. If I'd have sought help early on, I might have been better able to handle my mom's diagnosis of terminal lung cancer that same year and her death a mere 10 months later.

I was a wreck when she died. A young first-time mother suddenly without her mother there for support and guidance. Yet over the course of the next decade, I toughed it out, had two more kids and started a writing career. 

By that time, I had gotten incredibly good at answering "Hi, how are you?" with "I'm fine" when in fact, I was anything but fine inside. The worst thing was, I became a total Cleopatra, Queen of Denial. It told myself it's just temporary. You can pull yourself out of it. I managed to keep my family going, write two books, blog and attend book signings while hiding behind that fake smile and that lie: "I'm fine."

The inner dialogue grew more ugly over time. You're just being lazy, lying there in bed trying to avoid your responsibilities. You could get up and be normal if you wanted to. But you don't want to, do you? You know how pathetic and worthless you are, so why bother? Nobody wants you around anyway.

Depression put on a great act, but like all charades, the act was eventually identified about a year and a half ago. At the urging of my husband and my own realization that lying in bed half the day crying for no good reason is NOT normal, I sought help. Despite my fears that my doctor would just laugh at me and say it was normal for a mom of my age to feel like this, she totally understood and wrote me a low-dose depression medication. She also recommended a counselor. 

Scared as I was to commit to any sort of chemical intervention or to spill my troubles on a therapist's couch, I took her advice. Within a month of taking the medication, I felt surprisingly better. I was able to think clearly for the first time in a long time. I was able to start setting goals again and work toward completing them without the infernal self-hatred telling me I couldn't succeed at anything. 

And to spite it all, I finished a book that had been buried under depression for too long. That third book in my Tallenmere series, Hearts in Exile, was published this June. I've written two children's books that are with an agent who's working hard to find a publisher for them. I won NaNoWriMo by writing 50,000 words on another novel I'd barely started a couple years ago. That one, a historical romance, will be finished this coming year, and if I play my cards right, I'll finish the fourth Tallenmere series book too. Besides the writing, I'll be starting a job as an editor atFirst Page Last Page and will probably be a class mentor again in the free six- week online writing course, F2K (at Writers Village University)


The road isn't smooth just yet. I've had to work with my doctor to find the right medication and dosage for me. I still have to be careful to not bite off more than I can chew. Learning my depression triggers, like taking on too many responsibilities at once, is very important in preventing the setbacks.

I'm thankful to Amy for inviting me to share my experience here. It feels good to open up about it among people who understand. I hope our stories will inspire others who are dealing with mental illnesses to seek help and know that they are not alone. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes we just need a little help in getting there.


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Monday, November 17, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness + Big Giveaway #17

Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...



Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today let's hear from author Sandy Loyd and what she's thankful for:

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving has always been a time of reflection for me.

Having holiday traditions is something I’m thankful for. Since we are a small family, the holidays can seem empty, when for everyone else I know it’s a time when families get together. The three of us have always lived a plane ride away, or a ten hour drive, from relatives. In the many years my husband and I been married, we have only had family visit us once. Mostly we make the trip to their house. Take it from someone who’s done it a half dozen times over the years. Thanksgiving is not a fun weekend to drive anywhere, much less 600 miles. It’s one of the reasons I’d rather stay home and rely on tradition to create a holiday worth remembering.

 Our Thanksgiving tradition is pretty simple. One by one, we go around the table and talk of something we are thankful for. Last year, my son balked at doing it, saying it was a stupid thing to do when there are only three of us, my husband, my son and me. Even so, I still had my know-it-all college student follow the tradition. When he grudgingly obliged, I was stunned to learn he was most thankful for his parents. That’s definitely one of those keeper memories to pull out down the road when our trio turns into a duo.

So this year, just like every other year I’ve been married, I’ll pull out the good china and crystal, set the dining room table—in a room only the cats use on a regular basis—and prepare a feast that will take all day to prepare and less than twenty minutes to consume.  I never mind the work because when we’re all sitting around the Thanksgiving table, I get to listen to my son and husband talk about their year and all that they have to be thankful for. That’s when I realize how much they mean to me. As hokey as it sounds, I’m most thankful for them, that I have two men in my life to share this tradition with. And next year, I’ll have a fourth member to add to the table­—my son’s wife. And that’s truly something to be thankful for.   

****


An avid reader from early on, Sandy Loyd spent many childhood summers in the library going off
to imaginary places in her mind. After graduating from Arizona State University, she gave into wander lust and has since worked and lived in some fabulous places in the US, including San Francisco and South Florida. An empty nester, she now resides with her husband, two cats, a dog and one frog, in Kentucky and writes full time, using her experiences to create exciting stories. In total, Sandy has published over a dozen novels, all with heart-stopping suspense and full of the twists and turns she loves, plus the romance that makes the world go ’round.
Winter Interlude, the first story of Sandy’s California Series, is currently free for a short time at all online retailers. Sandy spent her single years in San Francisco and considers that city one of America's treasures, comparable to no other city in the world. The California Series, are all set in San Francisco and Northern California area. A three book bundle that includes book 2-4 is now available for purchase.
California Series Book 2-4: Three couples find their way to love and happiness in these heartwarming stories, all set in the San Francisco Bay area. Experience a flirty, sexy & fun romance on a  PROMISES, PROMISES, where one man finishes what was started ten years ago, yet can't walk away like he wants to.. Read about JAMES, a man women love with one flaw - he can't commit, and the one woman who makes him wish he was different. And finally, waltz into romance with DANCING WITH AN ANGEL as two dancing partners find they have more in common than they think. Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P2RBMH6
San Franciscan night in

Website:  www.sandyloyd.com

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness + Big Giveaway #16

Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...


Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today let's hear from author Laura Kennedy and what she's thankful for:

A Healthy Heart

Every November sixteenth I relive a watershed moment, the seven year anniversary of my heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.    

Having been advised by my cardiologist during early spring that I may need a mitral valve repair, I was in denial. Subsequent visits confirmed the situation was severe.  But being a stubborn Norwegian, I maintained I was just fine. It was then my doctor suggested I obtain a second opinion.  So the following October, best friend Patty from Minneapolis in tow, I flew from Florida to Mayo in Rochester. A list of questions in hand, I met with the first surgeon who confirmed my condition was “more than severe” and that if I didn’t have surgery, I’d be dead in three to five years.  Questions now totally irrelevant, I was ready to sign on the dotted line.

Doctor number two confirmed what doctor number one had stated.  Soon it was time for doctor number three, a tall, slim Indonesian man who’d been in the Midwest long enough to learn the phrase “Okay, real good.”  After examining me, he enthusiastically suggested minimally invasive surgery.  A Star Wars type procedure where, rather than cracking the chest open like a chicken, an incision is made under the right breast.  Reminding him that, in case he’d missed that day in medical school, my heart was on the left,  he continued to sell me on the idea of experimental surgery.  Ignoring the word experimental, I agreed, and skipped out of the room. “He sure seems excited,” Patty said.  I nodded.    

I flew home, then returned to Rochester a month later with my husband.  Outwardly calm the day of surgery, we were at the hospital by six a.m.  Soon Patty and her husband Lyle, along with my daughter Traci, appeared for moral support.. Keeping me company for the two-hour wait, Patty later related to anyone who’d listen how I’d perused fashion magazines in an amazingly unemotional Scandinavian way.    

Obviously, the surgery went well. Later informed I was only the sixth person to undergo minimally invasive heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic, I bounced back quickly.  I continue to be healthy, evidenced by the fact I am still skipping tapping on the keys, happily recording the ever exciting, changing experience we call life.  

Since that Thanksgiving, I have a new definition of a best friend.  The test is simple.  Just tell a friend you’re having major surgery and ask if you can spend a few days recuperating at her house. The friend then has the choice of  saying she’d love to but will be unfortunately be out of town indefinitely. Or in the case of Patty, who I've known since I was three, that it would be just fine. 

****
LAURA KENNEDY lives in Tarpon Springs, a Greek sponge fishing town on the West Coast of Florida. She grew up in Minneapolis where her mother was a romance writer who helped her father support the family. By the time she was twenty-two, she lived in Southern California, was married, had a baby, and was broke, the perfect Petri dish for the beginning of a writing career. Encouraged by her mother's writing success, Laura borrowed her mother's portable typewriter on which she concocted her first story that sold for the staggering sum of $225.

When sixteen-year-old Brooke Bentley's green convertible and cell phone conk out during a tropical rainstorm, she believes it's just bad luck. But when she darts through the dark to a dilapidated Victorian she thinks is the home of a friend and is invited in by a butler in a faded black tux, Brooke knows it must be karma. Because how often do you meet a reclusive 1950's movie star who thinks she's actress Terry Moore? And how often does someone as charming as eighty-year-old Laura de France insist on transforming you into a movie star, too? How can something as simple as a dress control your life? It can if it's the famous green toga worn by actress Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra and you'll do anything to wear it. 


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Saturday, November 15, 2014

30 Days of Thankfulness + Big Giveaway #15

Welcome to November and Unwritten's next BIG event, 30 Days of Thankfulness, featuring a tremendous giveaway that will be PERFECT for a reader on your Christmas list...or a gift for yourself!!! We are giving away a...


Yep, you heard me right, but that's not all. All authors participating in this month's event have also generously donated a Kindle copy of one of their books so you'll already have some great stories to read when you curl up with your new Kindle!! To enter, just complete all the easy entries on the Rafflecopter on the bottom of this page. Today let's hear from author TD Jones and what she's thankful for:


Thankful For My Job

As I get closer to retirement I’m becoming more and more thankful for my job. I’m lucky to have a job that gives me satisfaction and a place where I’ve made a successful career .

There have been times, many times, which I’ve had no desire to get up and go into work.  All I wanted to do was stay home and write, but having a full time job has given me the ability to enjoy my writing career without the stress of having to worry if I’m going to make any money at my dream or not. 

I’m thankful for my job, because it not only provides me with the income I need, but I’m able to help others too. I know there are many people less fortunate than me and it gives me pleasure to know I can contribute to their well-being.  The holidays are one of my favorite times of the year and sharing is one of the best feelings ever.

Yes, I’ll admit I’m counting down the months till retirement, but without my job, there would be no excitement to look forward to.  So you might hear me grumble about going into work sometimes, but there will never come a time when I don’t feel truly blessed to have it.

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Teresa Jones writes under the name of T.D. Jones for contemporary romance and Monet Manchester for romantic suspense. Under her first children’s book she writes as Teresa Jones.
Readers can find her at:



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