Merry Christmas!

tree corner after

To those of you who celebrate, Merry Christmas. To those of you who don’t, Happy Wednesday.

Wherever you are,  whoever you’re with, I’d you’re working, if you’re traveling, of if you’re warm and happy at home, have a wonderful day.

There are some of us who don’t live near family and who aren’t able to travel to be with family for one reason  or another, so if you’re spending time with your loved ones, give them an extra special hug.

I wish you joy and happiness this holiday season.

~lissa

It’s the day after Thanksgiving…

…And people are or have been out shopping. Gravitating toward the best sales EVER! The stores open earlier, the crowds are larger, the discounts deeper… And yet, I stay at home. I like a deal just like everyone else, but I’ve worked retails and restaurant and service on holidays, I’ve been away from my family, and I’ve worked the day after holidays… Once you’ve done that, something about flocking to the stores loses some of it’s luster.

I wasn’t always such a bah-humbug about it. I loved going to the stores the day after Thanksgiving as a kid. I didn’t know what it meant for those working though… Yes, I’ll pay more. Yes, my visit to the store isn’t going to make a difference one way or the other to anyone working or not. It’s just my personal preference.

There are online deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This Saturday is also Small Business Saturday… I’ll take part in all that. I am, afterall, a small business myself and as such, I’ve dropped the prices on my self-published titles to $0.99 through Monday at midnight, including my new releases Love and Tattoos and The Cupcake Cowboy. If you haven’t read these or tried some of my others, now’s your chance!

At All Romance eBooks, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon, the following titles are newly marked down for the holiday shopping weekend…

Do you shop small, local businesses? They can be more expensive than chain stores, I agree. I love the feel of them though, the personal touch, and the uniqueness of their stock. Of course, it’s also Rivalry Weekend in college football so any shopping I do will be done before noon! Priorities people! I’ll also do several handmade and food gifts. I love baking for people. What bugs me is that people look down their noses at it as being cheap, but when you really think about it, it’s not cheap at all. If you’ve gone to the grocery store to shop for anything, you know food isn’t cheap. It’s more difficult nowadays, yes with so many on different eating plans and diets and so many allergies. But even then, the possibilities are endless.

I like small and thoughtful, something that means something. Of course, there are always those who are difficult to make and shop for. Those who have everything, or buy everything all through the year, or who change completely and you don’t know them anymore or what they like… People talk about gift cards being impersonal, but c’mon now… Who honestly doesn’t love a gift card to their favorite stores? I know I do!

So, while you’re shopping, pick up my books that are on sale, gift them to someone, or to yourself… I’ve gifted books a ton and I know people who love to read, always love that!

For me, I’m going to refill my coffee and head into writing. The Sticky Cowgirl comes out in January!

~lissa

Merry Christmas!

LissaLogoYellow_reasonably_smallGood Morning and Merry Christmas…

I want to say thank you to you for such a wonderful gift. Support. Friendship. Connection. You’ve bought and read my books, even if you didn’t like them afterward. You’ve sent encouragement my way and you’ve even sent criticism my way…both of which, have made me a better writer and a better person.

I don’t always write what the reader wants or expects and y’all let me know it. In the end though, it’s helped me grow and opened my mind and my eyes.

This year seems to have flown by and I am still wondering where it went. Holiday reading is something I enjoy so much and I haven’t even read a single book this season. It’s my hope that tonight I’ll have a chance to just sit and curl up with some words someone else wrote.

Words that I’ve written in holiday stories come in the form of a new M/M release, More Than This and an older but very fun story, Arrested Holiday.

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Blurb:

Adam Sanchez makes good money, drives a vintage BMW, and is living up to the promise he made that he’d never be poor again. After two years without seeing his family for the holidays, he’s taking time off to give them a dream Christmas. At least, that was the plan.

But after taking a wrong turn off the interstate in search of the Blue Ridge Parkway, he finds himself skidding on a patch of ice and crashing into a big red barn. He wakes up sore, grumpy, and immediately attracted to his less than pleasant host who happens to be the spitting image of a young Elvis Presley.

Army veteran Josh Atkins doesn’t have time to babysit the idiot currently recovering on his family’s Christmas tree farm, but is left with little choice. That the man stirs something deep and primal in Josh can’t and doesn’t matter. It’s the busiest time of year and he’s needed at home.

As the two men begin to talk and share their stories, Josh’s hard-nosed stance softens. When he learns of Adam’s need to get to Asheville before Christmas, Josh is torn between letting him go and asking him to stay.

Maybe Josh can help Adam see that there’s more to happiness and freedom than a large bank account, and maybe Adam can teach Josh to see beyond the surface to the man he is beneath. And maybe, just maybe, they can show each other that there really is more than this.

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Holiday ‘Holli’ James looks forward the week between Christmas and New Year’s. This is her one chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of her successful decorating business. The plan this year is a trip to New York City to see the sights and the lights.

The plan didn’t include a side trip to a small town jail in the middle of Pennsylvania. Nor did the plan include Officer Hunky.

However…

A single police officer, Michael is working the holidays — again. With no local family and no interest in accepting the pity invitations to Christmas dinner from his married friends, he’s content to work and earn extra cash. Besides, this year looks to be as uneventful as ever. Until he pulls Holli over for speeding, only to discover she’s wanted on charges of fraud.

Sexual tension spikes as Michael begins to investigate and discovers Holli isn’t who her record says she is. While they await answers, Michael is granted permission to remove Holli from the jail and place her under house arrest.

Only his idea of house arrest is much more personal than the law ever intended.

If you haven’t checked them out, I hope you’ll do so… Just click on the book covers and it’ll take you to the pages for purchase information!

Cooking is on my agenda for this early holiday morning and I’d best get to it. There’s also many ounces of coffee to look forward to, as well as the last few Christmas movies that are sitting on my DVR. I hope you and yours are enjoying the day with friends and family. Rest up and relax because we have a big year to start on in a few days…;-)

~lissa

Memorial Day 2012

As you go on about your day, remember the fallen, those who are serving, and those who will serve in the years to come.

This is a day of remembrance, of memorial, of honor, and of thanksgiving.

~lissa

Easter Parade

If you celebrate the holiday of Easter, I hope you had a wonderful day with friends and family.

We celebrate in our own way, mainly a relaxed day spent together, cooking a special meal, laughing, and generally just being us.

There’s also a tradition I always uphold on Easter weekend. I watch Easter Parade.

When I was growing up, I would spend the summers with my grandparents and one of the things we’d do, especially my grandmother and I, is watch old movies. A lot of Doris Day and a lot of Judy Garland. I loved both of these women and I am still a big fan. Easter Parade has always been one of my favorites. Judy Garland and Fred Astaire were delightful together and oddly enough, it was their only movie together. Kind of sad as both were superb talents as actors, dancers, and singers.

I loved the costuming, the beautiful women in elegant gowns and the men in smart looking suits. You can’t overlook the fact that women had gorgeous figures that didn’t have to slip into the single digits for them to be considered desirable and beautiful. Men were gentlemen and women were ladies. Movies from this era make me smile and I love all the songs. The movie reminds me of my childhood, the good things, the good parts, the dreams I used to have.

Of course my favorite song from the movie is  Easter Parade and here’s the clip for it…(you’ll have to forgive the subtitles…lol)

I hope you have some very happy memories and traditions that make you smile… I used to get Easter baskets filled with gifts and candy and I loved them, but these movies are part of me and part of the influence of who I’ve become in my life. Music, and song and gaiety and warmth and comfort and good food. My grandparents were a huge part of my childhood and as well a huge influence in who I’ve become.

Speaking of good food, my kids and I made Marshmallow Reeses Brownies today. I found the recipe online the other day on a blog called BruCrew Life and oh my goodness they are gooey and rich and so amazing. Here’s the recipe…

Marshmallow Reeses Brownies

by Inside BruCrew Life

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes


Ingredients

  • 1 brownie mix
  • 2/3 c. oil
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bag peanut butter eggs (or cups)
  • 1 c. marshmallow fluff

Instructions

  • Spray a 9×13 pan with baking spray and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350* In a large mixing bowl combine the brownie mix, oil, water, and eggs. Beat until just combined. Spread half the brownie batter in the bottom of the prepared pan. Lay the peanut butter eggs on top of the batter. Drop spoonfuls of marshmallow fluff around each egg. Top with the rest of the brownie batter. Spread the batter completely over all the marshmallow fluff swirling slightly. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into the brownies.

~lissa