Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Current Giveaway

Woo-hoo! Giveaway day! So easy to enter. Win (1) audio book of Heather Blake's IT TAKES A WITCH, (1) ARC of Heather Blake's THE GOODBYE WITCH, (1) signed copy of Denise Swanson's DEAD BETWEEN THE LINES, and (1) signed copy of DOG COLLAR CRIME by Adrienne Giordano. U.S. residents only. Good luck!


Use this form:

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Collaboration

Denise Swanson and I have clearly been having too much fun together... We collaborated on a blog to get our characters chatting. Check out the results:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Reminder

I'll be in the Chicago-area this weekend. If you're nearby, please come say hi!

Friday, March 7 at 5:30 PM:

Book Mouse hosts dinner with authors Denise Swanson, Heather Blake (a.k.a. Heather Webber) and Adrienne Giordano. Hank's Farm Restaurant, 2973 IL-71, Ottawa, Illinois 61350 — reservations required

Join us at Hank's Farm Restaurant on Friday, March 7th, for dinner with authors Denise Swanson, Heather Blake (a.k.a. Heather Webber) and Adrienne Giordano.
Further details to be announced.
Web site:

Saturday, March 8 at 1:00 PM:

Coal City Public Library with authors Denise Swanson, Heather Blake (a.k.a. Heather Webber) and Adrienne Giordano.
85 North Garfield Street, Coal City, Illinois 60416
Web site:

Sunday, March 9 at 1:00 PM: 

Barnes & Noble Booksellers with authors Denise Swanson, Heather Blake (a.k.a. Heather Webber) and Adrienne Giordano.

The Promenade, 631 East Boughton Road - Suite 100, Bolingbrook, Illinois 60440
Web site:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Lemony Reward

So far, this year can pretty much be summed up by two words: Cold & deadline.

It's been so cold, I've been hibernating. And hibernation is good because I've been on deadline.

I've finished one book and have two more to go before I can breathe easy again. But I do think it's important to celebrate milestones, and that includes finishing a book. Hey, I love presents, so this is a system that works for me.

What do I want most?


Must. Get. Them.

It's cold still, so that tells you how much I want them. I'm going a'hunting. I'll let you know how it goes.


Success! Thank you, Target. They're delicious, and oddly remind me of the cookies that used to be in Happy Meals when I was a wee little girl.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Happiness

Happiness is when the mail carrier delivers this to me.

A whole boxful of Breakfast Blend Kcups. Bliss.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Facebook Giveaway

I have 10 ARCs of THE GOODBYE WITCH to give away!

To enter via Facebook, go here:

This is *mostly* a FB giveaway, but I thought I'd sneak it in here, too, for my loyal blog readers. Good luck!

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Monday, February 3, 2014

The Donut Craving

Saturday morning Mr. W was headed out to run a few errands while I surveyed breakfast fixings.

Me: I'm not really hungry. Are you stopping at the donut shop on the way home?
Him: Didn't you just say you weren't hungry?
Me: I could be hungry for a donut.
Him: [rolls his eyes]

There's *always* room for a donut, right?

Friday, January 31, 2014

The New Perspective

I definitely think I'm in need of looking at things (esp. this weather!) in new light.  (Let's see how long that lasts!)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Battle

I'm fighting with my manuscript, and I think it's winning. Must strategize over coffee and cookies to figure out how to win the war...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Universe Calling?

I'm having trouble with phantom phone again. (You can read all about my issues with phantom phone here.)

If it's the universe calling, what's it trying to say?


Probably, "Get to work!"

Oh. Wait. That's  my subconscious...

Still not sure what the universe is trying to get across, but I'm looking and listening...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Lost Chicken

I might be the most impatient person with construction/high volume traffic. I don’t know why—I wish I could change and become more Zen about the delays (ohm) but nope. Unless I know it’s an accident ahead (where I feel nothing but worry and overwhelming gratitude for my safety) I get fidgety and anxious, every single time.

So last year, when Baby Girl and I were on a road trip and we hit heavy traffic on an unfamiliar highway, I had that familiar grrr  feeling as the car crept along. Baby Girl was busy in the passenger seat playing some sort of game on some sort of handheld device when I asked her (our navigator) how far until our exit. (We still use printed maps and do not own a GPS, though it’s on my to-be-bought sometime soon list.)

Baby Girl: Hold on one second…I don’t want to lose my chicken.
Me: Chicken?
Her: In my game. [A second later] Ugh! I lost my chicken!!
Me: Well, I’m about to lose my chicken with this traffic.
And we laughed and laughed.

Just like that a new phrase was added to our family phrasebook. It’s placed somewhere near the terms “yesterday night” for last night and “folding the bed” for making the bed.

Around here if you’re “about to lose your chicken” you’re on the verge of losing your mind/flipping your lid/losing your patience. It’s amazing how fast a phrase can be incorporated into everyday vocabulary and become, well, normal. Honestly, I think Baby Girl and I say it more than anyone else, but everyone knows what it means.

I think the last time I said it was just yesterday with this weather (“this cold is making me lose my chicken!”). (Did I mention it's -1 here??? But I digress...) 

Do you have unique family phrases? And when was the last time you lost your chicken? 


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Grateful

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. There are some days when I'm beyond grateful to work from home. Today is one of those days. As more snow falls, I'm hoping everyone who has to travel stays safe.

We're expecting 3-5" inches here in greater Cincinnati (anything above an inch always creates chaos), and so far I'd say we have about 3". It's really pretty, but I have to admit, I'm dreaming of planting my spring flowers...

If your weather is cold, I hope you stay warm, and if you're having warm temps, please soak some of it up for me.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Beautiful

Okay, so I've had enough of the cold already (whine, whine), but I have to admit, winter can be so pretty. So amazingly beautiful. I mean, look at this. I took it during the "polar vortex" when everything, including the thermal panes on my windows, went into hibernation.

Isn't it just...perfect? 

This week, when the polar vortex makes a return appearance (gah!), I'll be keeping an eye out for the beauty it will undoubtedly bring with it. And also contemplating hibernation. Again.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Bit of Wisdom

Son # 2 and Baby Girl are headed back to college today for the spring semester. Sniffle. I keep thinking saying goodbye should get easier, but it never does. Fortunately, they're not that far from home, so I can visit them fairly often (insert evil mom laugh).

I'll be sending them back with this bit of advice.

And I'll include the addendum that sometimes goals take the scenic route, but eventually you will get there. Lots to see and learn from scenic routes, if you take the time to look around and enjoy the view. 

Happy Sunday!

Friday, January 10, 2014

The New Nina Cover

Lookie! A HOE LOT OF TROUBLE had a makeover, its third (and hopefully final). This means that HOE will *finally* be available in paperback again (trade paperback). It's been a long time coming. Look for the paperback online in the next week or so.

Isn't it cute?

Front cover for ebooks:

Full cover for paperback:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Puzzlepalooza

You've probably heard about the "polar vortex" by now--the fancy name for it's crazy cold outside. Perfect for staying in, reading, writing, and...doing puzzles.

Son #2 and Baby Girl are on a roll. They've commandeered the ping-pong table and each are working opposite sides of the net. It took two days to do the first set of puzzles, and right now it's just day 1 of the second set. They both go back to college on Sunday, so I'm enjoying every minute of the puzzle-making.

What do you do when it's too cold to go outside?

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Coin Jar

Do you have a coin jar? You know, a place to throw all your loose change? We do. It's an old green planter, rather small.

Well our coin jar finally reached its limits last week. You know it's full when coins slide right off the top of the pile and onto the counter. Fortunately, our bank allows its customers to bring in loose change and free of charge they'll dump it into one of those machines that counts it out for you. No rolling--hurrah!

Here's our coin jar. The two-cup measuring cup is for size reference.

So, how much coinage do you think was in that little jar?

Son #2's guess: $15.00
Baby Girl's guess: $10.00
My guess: $20.00
Mr. W's guess: $75.00

And *shutthefrontdoor* Mr. W was dead on. Well, okay, it was $75.62 but still. I couldn't believe it when the bank teller told me. (By the way, that $0.62 went right back into the jar.)

So, if you don't have a coin jar, now might be a great time to get one. It adds up and is great to use for a family treat. I think we'll go out to dinner...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Sleepyhead

Cincinnati got a few inches of wet sloppy--and oh-so-pretty--snow today. I love when snow coats the trees, and this little storm system delivered.

Also love watching the wildlife around the house as a storm hits. This is Itchy, one of the many squirrels we have around this place. Apparently, all the digging he'd done under the bird feeder tired him out and he needed a quick little snooze.

Cute little thing, using his tail as a blankie.

Hmm, suddenly a nap sounds like a great idea...

Stay warm!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Happy New Year

Here's to seeing all the possibilities in 2014. Wishing you all a very happy, healthy New Year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Amorphous

"Amorphous" is a Mr. W kind of word. In fact, though I understood the gist of what it meant by his context, I still looked it up.




lacking definite form; having no specific shape; formless: the amorphous clouds.
of no particular kind or character; indeterminate; having no pattern or structure; unorganized: anamorphous style; an amorphous personality.
Petrography, Mineralogy occurring in a mass, as without stratification or crystalline structure.
Chemistry not crystalline.
Biology having structural components that are not clearly differentiated, as the nuclear material incertain bacteria.

His context? He referred to some cookies Baby Girl and I made as amorphous.

The cookies in question?


Amorphous is a totally appropriate term. So is blobby (my made-up term for them). Though you can't tell by the picture, these cookies were originally cut with cookie cutters. Perfectly lovely shapes that went into the oven looking precisely what they were, and came out...amorphous. You can kind of see what shapes they were if you look reeeaaally closely and have a good imagination.

Top row, l-r: gingerbread man, reindeer face, stocking
Middle row, l-r: stocking, Christmas tree, shooting star
Bottom row l-r: bell reindeer face, ornament

Yes, go ahead and laugh. I'll wait.

Turns out Baby Girl and I used the wrong sugar cookie dough which turned our Christmas cookies amorphous and not identifiable as having anything to do with the holiday season. But, I have to admit that once the frosting was on and some colored didn't matter much what the cookies looked like. They were still delicious.

I hope your holiday baking went off without a hitch. And, oh, you totally know I'm going to use "amorphous" in one of my books. Keep an eye out for it. 


PS: The gingerbread men cookies reminded me of a Christmas past and the telling of a love story. If you want a quick smile, go back and read the recounting: