Tag Archives: Seeking Christmas

Go Ahead, Take that Hour!

christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, Friends!

Amidst the holiday bustle, why not give yourself a short 99 cent break! You deserve it!

Grab a copy of Seeking Christmas and take a short adventure across the state line with Tiffany. Is she in for another devastating disappointment? Or can Christmas really be merry, like everyone says?

For less than one dollar, you can find out! Grab it today, put your feet up, and pamper yourself with a fun escape.

Like I said, you deserve it!  🙂

Happy Holidays!

And as always, thanks for stopping by!

Brenda

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Christmas in July Blog Hop

Christmas-in-July-Giveaway-Hop

Happy July, Friends!! And welcome to Christmas in July! (I’m reminded of the years I lived in the Caribbean, and Christmas was always hot. Santa came in on a jet ski! Ha!)

Our blog hop fun this month is to feature and give away a Christmas book. I’m delighted to offer Seeking Christmas as my giveaway. I’ll be giving a copy to TWO winners. To enter, simply leave a comment below and be sure to include your email address.

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Here’s the blurb:  

The Christmas season has eighteen-year-old Courtney crossing the state line with her little brother Dennis to rendezvous with the man who deserted them years ago. Courtney remembers him only as the tall man who ran away. Dennis doesn’t remember him at all.

Courtney is furious, but Denny is curious. Will their meeting result in a happy Christmas memory or another miserable disappointment?

And a little taste:

My phone buzzed against my leg. I pulled it from my pocket and checked the screen.

Doyle.

Such a stupid name.

For such a stupid man.

My gaze darted to where my mom lay slumped on the couch, her mouth hanging open and a gentle snore escaping her saggy lips. My brother Denny sat hunched over his math workbook at the kitchen table, a death grip on his pencil. His short, scrawny legs swung to and fro.

I pressed the phone to my chest and took the stairs two at a time to my room.

“What do you want?” My voice was tense, short. With a steel hold on the phone, I strode to the window and stared out. Across the street, strings of Christmas lights drooped over a fir tree, winking at me in all their sparkling glory.

I turned away.

“You know what I want. Please, Courtney.” The pleading in his voice rankled like a cat scratching at the back door.

“No.”

“But it’s been over seven years. It’s time.”

“And whose fault is that?” My words cut.

“You don’t need to remind me.” A heaving sigh came across the line.

I stood ramrod straight beside my single bed and gazed around the empty expanse of the master bedroom. I attempted to shove down the lump of anger in my throat.

“Dad, the answer is no.”

“I would meet you way more than halfway. I’ve got it all arranged. There’s a motel room for you. Your own. No sharing.”

“Mom would come unglued.” I sank onto the mussed flannel sheets and impatiently kicked aside a stray slipper. It struck my dresser and lay over like a dead animal.

“Your mother won’t talk to me.”

I went quiet and listened to his raspy breath. Despite my objections, despite my bitterness, curiosity pulled. I attempted to stifle it, knowing that giving in would mean wading into quicksand.

“Court? Come on, for old time’s sake?”

Resentment ripped through me. “Old time’s sake? Are you freakin’ kidding me?”

“How’s Tiffany?” he asked, changing the subject to my sister.

“Horrid, as usual. Seeing you last year didn’t help her any.”

“I tried. I wanted her to stay.”

“Yeah, well, you had a weird way of showing it.” I grew tired of the conversation. Such a pathetic waste of time.

I threw my cell onto the covers and moved to the walk-in closet. My gray hoodie sagged on a row of pegs running above an unused shoe rack. My four pairs of shoes lay scattered across the floor, resembling lonely children in a deserted playground. Like the massive room, the closet was wasted on me. My meager collection of clothes barely took one third of the space.

I pulled on my hoodie, adjusted my glasses, and went back downstairs. Bending over, I plugged in the lights on the waist-high Christmas tree perching on the coffee table.

Denny looked up, and his face relaxed into a grin. “Thanks, Court. I forgot to plug ‘em in.”

“Finished with your math yet?”

“One more problem.”

“There are some chips in the cupboard if you’re hungry.”

Denny jumped off his chair and scrambled into the kitchen. The cupboard door slammed shut, and he returned with his arm elbow-deep in the foil bag.

I chuckled. “I’m going for a walk. And no more banging around. Let Mom sleep.”

I grabbed my heavy wool jacket and carefully opened the condo door, clicking it shut behind me. The cold December air lent a crisp clarity to the stars. They seemed near enough to gather in my pocket. I headed west toward the ocean. A biting breeze brought the sour smell of seaweed and blew my dark, feathered hair against my cheeks. I checked the time on my phone. Keegan should intercept me any minute.

For those of you that like to escape to the beach during the summer months, you’d probably enjoy Buried Truth, PlayerCornered, and The Return. (See the covers above and right.) If you’re like me, you’re always in the mood for a good beach read!  😀

Remember to leave a comment below (with your email) to be entered in the drawing!

To visit other blogs in the hop, click here. I wish you all a super day!

And as always, thanks for stopping by.

Brenda

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14 Days of Christmas!

Greetings, Friends! I’m totally excited to be participating in the Fourteen Days of Christmas Giveaway Hop! There are some  wonderful prizes available. I hope you’ll enter on everyone’s blog. (Including mine!) I’m giving away a$10 gift card from Amazon to a lucky winner!

A warm welcome to you first-time visitors! I’m so delighted you’ve stopped by. A big thank you to my regular readers, too!

We’re celebrating the season with all sorts of Christmas books during this blog!  Each participating author is showcasing their book. I hope all of you discover some wonderful holiday reads. (Isn’t it fun to discover new authors and new books?) And I definitely hope you can carve out some precious time for yourselves during these busy December days to curl up and read!

This season, I have a new Christmas release. It is the short story,  Seeking Christmas!  Here’s the blurb for those of you who are new visitors:

The Christmas season has eighteen-year-old Courtney crossing the state line with her little brother Dennis to rendezvous with the man who deserted them years ago. Courtney remembers him only as the tall man who ran away. Dennis doesn’t remember him at all. Courtney is furious, but Denny is curious. Will their meeting result in a happy Christmas memory or another miserable disappointment?

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I’m so grateful to wonderful readers who’ve given Seeking Christmas great reviews. Enthusiastic readers infuse everything an author does with joy and purpose. Thank you, readers!  I am a mega grateful author.  *smiley face*

I hope you will want to grab Seeking Christmas for yourselves or your teenagers. It’s on sale for 99 cents right now at major online retailers.

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

As I mentioned, I love blog hops because I get to make new friends. Folks I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. I’d sure like to get to know you better. Please take a minute to leave me a comment below.

And don’t forget to enter for the $10 gift card!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER for the GIFT CARD! 

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Brenda

Visit the other blogs by clicking on the image below!

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Christmas Angel Hop

I am having an absolute ball this holiday season participating in various blog hops!  I love them because I get to meet new friends.  (And a warm hello to first-time visitors!) I doubly-love these hops because my wonderful readers get a chance to win some really fun prizes.

The Christmas Angel Hop intentionally features family-friendly books. So, no worries! There won’t be any embarrassment factor with whatever book you find in this hop. I hear from a lot of people who appreciate a good read that they can freely recommend to their friends, acquaintances, and children. So . . . this blog hop is for them, too!

Dig in and discover some great new authors and some great new reads.

I’m sharing my short YA Christmas story, Seeking Christmas. Click on the cover photo below to find out if Courtney has the nerve to face the dad who deserted her years before. This story is perfect for that special bit of time carved out just for you! Plus, it makes a fun gift for readers in their teens and up! Just click on the cover!

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During the Blog Hop, I’m giving away a free e-copy of Buried Truth to a random commenter.

Blurb for Buried Truth:  Nearly a decade has passed, but Mags can’t forget what she did. Now at 17 years old, the shame continues to haunt her, coloring her world. She throws herself into every worthwhile project available, struggling for redemption.

Remember to leave a comment (with your email – in case you win!) below.

Like Courtney in Seeking Christmas, have you ever contemplated a risky journey to meet someone when you don’t have a clue how it will turn out? Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance?  I’d love to hear what you think about that.

Click here to visit other blogs on the tour.

Don’t want to miss any upcoming news about new releases and contests, etc.? Join my Newsletter Gang by clicking here! 

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Brenda

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Debut Author Blog Hop!

 2013 Debut author hop

Welcome to the Blog Hop featuring books released in 2013 by Debut Authors (First Time Authors)! There’s an exciting line-up, and I hope you have fun visiting all of us. A huge thanks to you for visiting my blog. I’m delighted that you’re here! And a special warm welcome to those of you visiting for the first time.

Blog Hops are fun ways to discover new authors and new readers. I’ve met some of the nicest people during blog hops. Plus, there are always prizes! I don’t know about you, but I revert right back to a little kid when I win a prize! (Remember those days at the fair when you carried around the stuffed animal you won by throwing rings onto pegs? I can still smell the cotton candy!)

I have a prize here, too. Leave a comment below, and you’ll be entered into a raffle for a free PDF copy of any one of my books. If you win, you get to choose! You can see the list on the right. Just leave your email address in your comment and tell me which book you’d like!

Because this is a December Blog Hop, I’d like to feature my new Christmas short story, Seeking Christmas!  The Christmas season has eighteen-year-old Courtney crossing the state line with her little brother Dennis to rendezvous with the man who deserted them years ago. Courtney remembers him only as the tall man who ran away. Dennis doesn’t remember him at all. Courtney is furious, but Denny is curious. Will their meeting result in a happy Christmas memory or another miserable disappointment?

You can find Seeking Christmas here. Now that the weather is growing really cold (at least here in Indiana), I hope you’ll want to snuggle up and have a short, holiday read.

You can read more about all my books and series by clicking here.  I’d love to have you visit my website and go exploring! Please drop me a note. I love to hear from new friends!

If you’d like to be part of my new Street Team, let me know. I’d be honored to welcome you. (My street team is made up of the loveliest people ever!)

Feel free to join my Newsletter Gang if you’d like to receive occasional updates about my new releases and news of contests and prizes.

You guys are the best!

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the raffle.

And as always, thanks for stopping by.

Brenda

Click here to visit the other Blogs!  Have fun!

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It Could Be the Brain

teens fighting

When I’m at a social gathering and someone asks what I do, I tell them I write and teach. Of course, the next question is always at what level I teach. When I answer high school, there is often a general rolling of the eyes and a sympathetic clucking of tongues.

Many people continue, “How do you stand it? Teens are so rude and violent these days.”

I’m happy to report that this hasn’t been my experience. The teens I work with are respectful and for the most part, peaceful. (At the risk of sounding incredibly sappy, I must admit that I adore the teens I teach.)

However, I know where my acquaintances’ questions are coming from – things we hear in the news can paint a scary picture.

Today I read an interesting article about how teens are more likely than adults to lash out than to flee.  The reason isn’t just that adults are more practiced at controlling themselves. Preliminary findings indicate that the actual reason has to do with the brain itself. Results suggest that “limbic prefrontal circuitry during adolescence coincide with the likelihood of approaching, rather than retreating, from danger in emotionally charged contexts.” Which is to say that teens are more likely to engage with danger.  (To read the entire article, click here.) Could this be one of the reasons that teens, particularly males – according to this study, engage in confrontational behavior? It’s an intriguing thought which I believe warrants more study.

The article continues on to say that the “propensity to act on impulse” is a transient developmental stage in teens.

This information does supply some interesting plot points for YA literature. Authors dig deeply in the drama of conflict wherever it may appear!

Yes, it’s fun to read about; perhaps not so much fun to live.

How about you? What do you think? Are teens more prone to court danger than to flee from it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

And as always, thanks for stopping by.

Brenda

P.S. I’d love to welcome you to my newsletter gang! Not to worry – I’ll never share your email address and your inbox won’t be flooded.  Click here for my latest news and info! (I have the greatest bunch of subscribers!)

P.P.S. Click here for a fun Christmas read!

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New Christmas Release!

SeekingChristmas 1400x2100

Seeking Christmas is now released!  Yippee!!

I’m really excited about this short story. My heart went out to Courtney and Denny as they risked meeting their dad years after he deserted them.  While writing, I was actually holding my breath to see what Courtney would do!  (Weird, but true.)

I hope you’ll want to grab a copy! It’s only 99 cents right now at major online retailers.

Here’s an excerpt to give you a taste:

My phone buzzed against my leg. I pulled it from my pocket and checked the screen.

Doyle.

Such a stupid name.

For such a stupid man.

My gaze darted to where my mom lay slumped on the couch, her mouth hanging open and a gentle snore escaping her saggy lips. My brother Denny sat hunched over his math workbook at the kitchen table, a death grip on his pencil. His short, scrawny legs swung to and fro.

I pressed the phone to my chest and took the stairs two at a time to my room.

“What do you want?” My voice was tense, short. With a steel hold on the phone, I strode to the window and stared out. Across the street, strings of Christmas lights drooped over a fir tree, winking at me in all their sparkling glory.

I turned away.

“You know what I want. Please, Courtney.” The pleading in his voice rankled like a cat scratching at the back door.

“No.”

“But it’s been over seven years. It’s time.”

“And whose fault is that?” My words cut.

“You don’t need to remind me.” A heaving sigh came across the line.

I stood ramrod straight beside my single bed and gazed around the empty expanse of the master bedroom. I attempted to shove down the lump of anger in my throat.

“Dad, the answer is no.”

“I would meet you way more than halfway. I’ve got it all arranged. There’s a motel room for you. Your own. No sharing.”

“Mom would come unglued.” I sank onto the mussed flannel sheets and impatiently kicked aside a stray slipper. It struck my dresser and lay over like a dead animal.

“Your mother won’t talk to me.”

I went quiet and listened to his raspy breath. Despite my objections, despite my bitterness, curiosity pulled. I attempted to stifle it, knowing that giving in would mean wading into quicksand.

“Court? Come on, for old time’s sake?”

Resentment ripped through me. “Old time’s sake? Are you freakin’ kidding me?”

“How’s Tiffany?” he asked, changing the subject to my sister.

“Horrid, as usual. Seeing you last year didn’t help her any.”

“I tried. I wanted her to stay.”

“Yeah, well, you had a weird way of showing it.” I grew tired of the conversation. Such a pathetic waste of time.

I threw my cell onto the covers and moved to the walk-in closet. My gray hoodie sagged on a row of pegs running above an unused shoe rack. My four pairs of shoes lay scattered across the floor, resembling lonely children in a deserted playground. Like the massive room, the closet was wasted on me. My meager collection of clothes barely took one third of the space.

I pulled on my hoodie, adjusted my glasses, and went back downstairs. Bending over, I plugged in the lights on the waist-high Christmas tree perching on the coffee table.

Denny looked up, and his face relaxed into a grin. “Thanks, Court. I forgot to plug ‘em in.”

“Finished with your math yet?”

“One more problem.”

“There are some chips in the cupboard if you’re hungry.”

Denny jumped off his chair and scrambled into the kitchen. The cupboard door slammed shut, and he returned with his arm elbow-deep in the foil bag.

I chuckled. “I’m going for a walk. And no more banging around. Let Mom sleep.”

I grabbed my heavy wool jacket and carefully opened the condo door, clicking it shut behind me. The cold December air lent a crisp clarity to the stars. They seemed near enough to gather in my pocket. I headed west toward the ocean. A biting breeze brought the sour smell of seaweed and blew my dark, feathered hair against my cheeks. I checked the time on my phone. Keegan should intercept me any minute.

Click below to purchase: (Thank you!)

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

I hope you enjoy it! And I’m so grateful for your support!

Click here if you’d like to subscribe to my newsletter and receive occasional updates.

I’m wondering if any of you have special traditions to begin the holiday season. (I know that if my kids do something once, it becomes an instant tradition! Ha!  Are your kids like that?)  I’d love to hear from you. Please take a moment to comment below.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Brenda

P.S.  If you’d like to be part of my Street Team, I’d love to welcome you!

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