Thursday, November 23, 2017

Favorite Holiday Must Sees

What's a must see to kick off the holidays? See if the Crew picked any of your favorites!
Have a safe Thanksgiving...
and to our international friends, we hope you kick off your holiday season with laughter!


AMANDA
Thanksgiving is annually when I watch MEET ME IN ST LOUIS. 

This Victorian set family tale really encompasses all four seasons, with music that is iconic. I love how close-knit the family is--the warmth, camaraderie, humor and respect between them--through thick and thin. Coming from a small town, I appreciate the simple era where people knew their neighbors, parties were held in each other’s homes. Entertainment was playing piano and singing. And families sat down and ate supper together. Seriously, I think that may have influenced that rule with my kids as my kids grew up. I love Judy Garland and the beautiful city of St Louis right here in the Midwest. Little known fact: I once attempted to bake the enormous cake baked at Halloween by the cook. 



PJ
I love all of the cartoons. 


I remember watching many of them as a kid myself (Rudolf, Frosty, etc.) so they've been around for a while.  Then, later watching them with my kids, now grandkids.  

Movies have come and gone over time, but my favorite holiday movie is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.  That movie is always good for a groan and many laughs.




REGAN
Christmas in Connecticut!!




I love this movie because it takes a city girl who can't cook to the country where she is expected to be miss perfect housewife who makes a great Thanksgiving dinner. Only she can't cook and she isn't married. Which, all things considered, is a good thing because there's this handsome soldier...




KATHERINE
Lots of favorites!




My favorite Holiday rerun is watching all of the Friends Thanksgiving episodes.  My favorite song really is the Vince Guaraldi Trio Christmas Time Is Here.  The movie I will be watching this weekend…well the two movies are Miracle on 34th Street—the Natalie Wood version and Love Actually. 






JILLIAN
My favorite...


My favorite song is the Gwen Stefani version of  Santa Baby.




E.E. & AVRIL & NAN
It has to be... 
...the fantastic White Christmas. 

Hands down -- White Christmas! It fulfills all my childhood dreams. (I was going to be a musical theater star!) And the dancing is incredible. Here's a sample-- Danny Kaye and the incredible Vera Ellen. I'll be putting up trees this weekend and White Christmas will be playing. ~Nan


NANCY
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE & LOVE ACTUALLY...


...BUT my favorite Thanksgiving rerun is the Friends episode called, "Rachel's "Traditional" English Trifle-pie


ANGI
Traditionally, this always kicks it off!




Every year, where ever we are, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE kicks off our holiday movie watching. But the list is long... I try to watch one every day (or something from the Hallmark Channel LOL).  Of course I watch Die Hard & Lethal Weapon since those both set during Christmas. Family Man, Miracle on 34th Street (both versions), White Christmas (on Christmas Eve) and ...well, I'm out of space. 


I love Christmas Carols and after Thanksgiving, I definitely listen and listen and listen.
Here's one of my favorites to get you into the mood.


75th Anniversary

What's you favorite holiday rerun, cartoon, song or movie? 


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I'd like to introduce you to Trish Edmisten


I'd like to introduce you to Trish Edmisten.  Trish is one of our authors in Chandler County and the title of her story is Missing Out.  Trish has been great to work with, easy to get along with and she writes fantastic stories, so there's that too.  Let's get to know Trish better.

Have you ever been on Get Lost In A Story?

Nope, my first time.

How often do you get lost in a story?

Every time I sit down in front of my computer. 

What's your favorite thing about your current book hero?

He's so down to earth. 

Do you have a favorite movie of all time? Tell me about it.

Beauty and the Beast. I love the message of acceptance and the feeling that love will conquer all. It's proof that it doesn't matter how you look, there's always someone brave enough with a big enough heart to see past that. And it really drives home the message of not judging a book by its cover. Until you get to know someone, you can never understand who they are and why they behave the way they do. 

What's your perfect day like?

Being able to write all day without anyone interrupting me and actually producing something good that others will enjoy. 

Let's do some rapid fire questions.

All right!

Favorite color?

Red

Favorite meal?

Chicken and mushrooms with a side of rice.


Name something on your bucket list.

Have at least one of my novels reach a best seller list.

 Dream vacation?

Going to Ireland.

 Favorite book boyfriend?

Every man in every Erin Nicholas novel ever written.

Favorite memory.

Having my fifth grade teacher take the time to teach me the proper use of quotation marks when she realized I wanted to write novels. 


Geek or Jock?

Geek all the way.

The most daring thing you’ve ever done… Care to share?

Can't say I'm a daring person. Sorry to say I'm pretty pedestrian. I leave the daring stuff to the characters I write about. 

Do you have a giveaway? If so, tell me about it.

 Any of my e-books of your choosing.

 If you are doing a giveaway, please tell me what readers should do to enter?

Like and share my Facebook page.


Anything you want to share about your favorite shoes?

My favorite are my LA Dodgers Vans. They’re a fun way to support my team and they look amazing with a matching T-shirt. Not to mention, they’re comfy as hell. I wanted them the minute I spotted them, and it was so great to get them as a birthday present this year.

Let's get to Missing Out.

 Viola Belle doesn’t have time for love. Ever since her father’s death, Viola’s been doing everything she can to keep her family’s business afloat. It hasn’t been easy, especially not when her biggest competition, Steele Horses, is stronger than ever. As much as Viola hates to admit it, Barron Steele, the cocky cowboy who owns Steele Horses, is as good at horse breeding as he is handsome. Barron’s good looks aside, Viola has no intention of falling for him. When it becomes obvious that someone’s trying to sabotage her struggling ranch, Viola has to consider the possibility that the man she would never admit that she wants may have something to do with it. Will the culprit be caught in time, or will Viola lose her ranch as well as her heart?


A little more about Trish.

Trish Edmisten is the author of several novels, including Extraordinary Will, a Reader Views Literary Award Winner. Her work has appeared in Writer’s Journal, Creative With Words and A Long Story Short. Besides being an author, she holds a degree in criminology. Trish lives in Fresno, California with her husband and their teenage daughter. To learn more about Trish, visit her website www.trishedmisten.com. You can also follow her on Twitter, @trishthewriter and be sure you follow her blog trishthewriter@blogspot.com

Follow Trish at all these places.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

E.E. Burke's Best of the West featuring USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield

Sample this sweet treat: The Christmas Confection by Shanna Hatfield

Will a sweet baker soften a hardened man’s heart? 

Born to an outlaw father and a shrewish mother, Fred Decker feels obligated to atone for the past without much hope for his future. If he possessed a lick of sense, he’d pack up and leave the town where he was born and raised, but something… someone… unknowingly holds him there. 
Captivated by Hardman’s beautiful baker, Fred fights the undeniable attraction. He buries himself in his work, refusing to let his heart dream.

Elsa Lindstrom adores the life she’s carved out for herself in a small Eastern Oregon town. She and her twin brother, Ethan, run their own bakery where she delights in creating delicious treats. Then Ethan comes home unexpectedly married, the drunks in town mistakenly identify her as a missing harlot, and a mishap in the bakery leaves her at the mercy of the most gossiped-about man in Hardman.

Mix in the arrival of three fairy-like aunts, blend with a criminal bent on dastardly schemes, and sprinkle in a hidden cache of gold for a sweet Victorian romance brimming with laughter and heartwarming holiday cheer.

Excerpt:
Her knees wobbled at the sound of his deep voice saying her name, but she resisted the urge to grip the counter for support. “You said there were two things you wanted, in addition to cookies. What is the second?”

“It’s a tiny little thing really,” Fred said, tightly gripping his hat in both hands.

“A tiny little thing? Then I shall take great honor in bestowing whatever it is.” Her gaze roved over the kitchen, trying to imagine what in the world Fred could want. She kept a jar full of assorted candy. Sometimes, she used the sweets to decorate cakes and cookies. Perhaps he wanted one. “A piece of candy?” she asked.

Fred shook his head. “No, Elsa. It’s sweeter than candy and far, far better.”

Intrigued, she took a step closer to him. “What is it?”

He waggled his index finger back and forth, indicating she should step closer. When she stood so her skirts brushed against the toes of his boots, he tapped his cheek with the same finger. “A little sugar right here would be even better than ten batches of cookies.”

The sixth book in Shanna’s Hardman Holidays series releases December 5.
These sweet, heartwarming holiday stories are set in the Old West town of Hardman, Oregon, and take readers on a journey full of laughter, love, triumphs, and tears.

Meet Shanna


     After spending her formative years on a farm in Oregon, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield turns her rural experiences into sweet historical and contemporary romances filled with sarcasm, humor, and hunky heroes.
     When this USA Today bestselling author isn’t writing or covertly hiding decadent chocolate from the other occupants of her home, Shanna hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.
     Shanna loves to hear from readers. Follow her online at:


E.E.: How often to you get lost in a story?
Shanna: As often as humanly possible. I love to read and curling up with a great book at the end of a long day is one of my favorite pastimes. My mom shared her love of reading with me at a young age. I’ve always enjoyed getting lost in a story. My favorite types of stories to read range from sweet historicals and contemporary western romances to epic medieval tales of adventure.

E.E.: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
Shanna: As a diehard Hopeless Romantic, I’m definitely going with fairy tale. I love the idea of the heroine and her hero finding their happily ever after. In fact, readers sometimes compare the books in the Hardman Holidays series to fairy tales. They liken The Christmas Bargain to Cinderella and I definitely felt the three fairy godmother’s from Sleeping Beauty adding a little holiday magic to The Christmas Confection.

E.E.: What is your biggest vice?
Shanna: Chocolate. I love, love, love chocolate (dark and decadent, please!). When I was eleven, my mother decided I was allergic to chocolate.  For a girl who comes from a long line of chocoholics, it was horrendous! Not a speck of it touched my lips for the next eleven years. Then I started dating the wonderful Captain Cavedweller (we’ve now been married for more than twenty years). One day a few months after we began seeing each other, we were at a gas station and he purchased a few candy bars. Aware of my eyes glued to his candy, he handed me a Snickers bar and told me to eat it. He promised he could get me to the hospital in less than five minutes if I had an allergic reaction to it. Amazingly, the only thing that happened when I ate the candy was that I realized my mother had been terribly, horribly wrong all those years! Since then, I’ve been making up for lost time. CC claims I married him out of gratitude for giving me back chocolate. He’s only partially right.

E.E.: Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?
Shanna: I absolutely do! But here’s the weird thing… I can only listen to one song while I’m writing. So I choose a song that makes me think of the characters and story in my work in progress then play it on a loop the whole time I’m working on the story. It drives the other occupants of my house bananas to hear the same song playing for the 437th time, but something about having the same song play over and over just keeps me focused in my writing zone and helps solidify my characters. The type of music varies. It might be country or rock or jazz. I listened to a song from the late 1930s when I was working on the first book in my World War II romance series. It all just depends on the characters.

E.E.: What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know?
Shanna: I don’t try to hide it, but most people are unaware that I’m severely hearing-impaired due to genetic hearing loss. I wear hearing aids in both ears and have for the last several years. Since most of my time is spent at home in my own little world, it isn’t a problem. However, when I venture out to book signings or events, it is a struggle to hear what people have to say. I hate to miss even a single fascinating word that people have to share, so if we meet in person in a noisy location, don’t be surprised if I ask you to speak up.

E.E.: What three things are, at this moment, in your heroine’s purse, satchel, reticule, weapons belt or amulet bag (whatever she carries)?
Shanna: Elsa Lindstrom (the heroine from The Christmas Confection) has the key to her bakery, spare hairpins, and a packet of saffron she just picked up at the mercantile because she wants to make a practice batch of St. Lucia buns tucked into her reticule.


E.E.: Which era would you least like to have lived in, fashion-wise, and why? Most?
Shanna: The era I would least like to live in fashion wise would probably be a toss-up between the 1960s and 1970s. I’m not a fan of the styles, the colors, or the fabrics. But I would love to live in the Edwardian Era. Or just visit for a day and pack a trunk full of gowns and hats and gloves and shoes. I adore everything about the fashions of that era. The next choice would be the 1940s. They looked so glamorous and lovely then, even when the women were working at jobs primarily done by men before the war.


E.E.:  What inspires you daily? 
Shanna: Honestly, I wake up every single day feeling so blessed to do something I love so much. I think about that saying (to paraphrase), if you find something you love doing, you’ll never work another day in your life. That is how I feel. Writing isn’t work. It’s fun and amazing, magnificent and satisfying. Sometimes I need to pinch myself to make sure it’s all real and not some fabulous dream. I began writing in 2010, my first three books were published in June 2011, and I was able to leave my day job in August 2013 to write full time. The Christmas Confection will be my 56th book. Truly, I’m so grateful for this opportunity and so blessed to have my incredible husband’s support every step of the way.

Today's Giveaway

Enter to win a digital copy of the first five books in the Hardman Holidays series! Just answer this question:  What’s your favorite fairy tale and why?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Romance and Scandal at Churchill Downs in Lizbeth Selvig's new book.



I love to go to the racetrack and spend an afternoon watching stunning equine athletes charge for the finish line. I admire the wiry super-strength of the jockeys doing what I’ve always wished I’d been able to do for a career. I love the bugler’s call to the post. I love the post parades and the jockeys’ silks. Horse racing definitely is a sport like no other.

I don’t go often—once or twice a year. It’s like going to a movie—take twenty or thirty dollars along and bet no more and no less. It isn’t the money that attracts me, it’s the sheer awe in the power and unpredictability of the competition. And, of course, the horses. They are the main attraction!


 I love the sport, but I’ve also never been blind to the problems or criticisms that surround “the sport of kings.” Some animal lovers call racing cruel. Doping of horses, over-medicating before races, cheating drug tests, and jockey tricks like using buzzers to shock horses into running faster: these are just a few of the complaints, often legitimate, about the horse racing business.

It was my love of horses and racing and the wish to shed some light on the problems and the people trying to solve them that led me to write “Missing By a Heartbeat,” for the Chandler County series of books. When I heard that the series was set near Lexington, Kentucky and centered around the Kentucky Derby, I had to write a story—one I’ve wanted to tell for many years.


 Here’s a little bit about the book, releasing December 15th:
 Dr. Tori Sterling knows her way around race horse injuries better than vets with twice her experience, and she’s used to defending her scrupulously honest reputation in a world where rule-bending beats honesty.

Churchill Downs' iconic Twin Spires
Trainer Winn Crosby has finally made it to his dream destination: the venerable Churchill Downs. With a gift for getting the best from his horses, his goal is training a horse for a big stakes race. It’s no easy task, however, when every member of his staff is young and has a record. When a Derby-bound colt is targeted by a saboteur, Winn and his stable of misfits are prime suspects.

Winn teams with Tori to save his own reputation, and their partnership blossoms into unexpected passion, but they’re soon racing against time. Someone is desperate to eliminate them and their investigating, and the two have to find out who it is before they lose their careers, their lives or, worse, their chance at love.


Some of the problems Winn and Tori face in this story include the struggle to be totally ethical and honest in a world where that isn’t always valued. Some trainers and vets will push the rules as far as they possibly can in pursuit of winning.

I also talk about doping, and sabotage, and crooked trainers, and complicit track workers. Tori talks at one point about why it isn’t cruel to have two-year-old horses race, and Winn is on a campaign to change breeding programs so that thoroughbreds are better able physiologically to withstand the rigors of racing.

If it sounds like this novel is a treatise or an apology for horseracing, it definitely isn’t! It’s a romantic suspense with emphasis on the romance! But I think it might help show that there is a lot right with horse racing, and that most of the people involved care deeply about their animals.

The catalyst for this novel came, as many, many of my ideas do, from my own beautiful daughter. She is an equine veterinarian who started her career on the track. She’s passionate about horse health and safety, and she also loves racing. Readers who know me, might see a lot of my daughter in Tori—from the zillions of animals at her farm, to her steadfast refusal to do what’s not right to her involvement in a non-profit retired racehorse rescue.  As long as there are people like her in the world, things for animals will continue to get better!

The famous Barbaro Statue at the entrance to Churchill Downs

Enjoy an excerpt from “Missing by a Heartbeat.” 
 “Once I told him all the weird things going on, all the coincidences happening in one day, he wanted to help,” Tori said. “My dad can’t resist a mystery.”
She’d barely gotten the words out when the growing group in the barn aisle was stunned into speechlessness by a looming figure of a man. Well over six feet tall and broad as a lumberjack, his eyes a cold blue and his face as calm as the eye of a powerful hurricane, Nick Forge marched toward them. Winn had never met the trainer, but his presence was hard to miss. And his reputation as a hardass was not a secret.
“A mystery?” the man said, his voice so quietly threatening it rang as if he’d used a bullhorn. “You’re damn right it’s a mystery. And you.” He lasered in on Tori, making hot blood rush without warning to Winn’s head. “You think you’re the keeper of morals around here and you just need to jump into every little issue and figure it out, don’t you? Did you set the cops on me? Send them around to make me a suspect? What the hell do you think you are? Everyone’s sanctimonious Sunday school teacher?”
When he took another step forward, bringing him to within six feet of Tori, Winn jumped.
“Back off, Forge,” he said.
The next thing he knew, a rod of flesh-and-blood steel attached to a hand the size of a Humvee had swept into the nearest post as easily as a swatter nailed a fly.
Tori had grown up with two older brothers who’d made play out knocking each other to the ground, so she didn’t scream at the shock of seeing Winn hit the post and flop to the ground. But she had no trouble or second thoughts about launching herself at Nick Forge’s arm and twisting it from the wrist until she brought it behind his back. She dealt with strong thoroughbred horses every day. A surprised trainer, despite his height and weight, was nothing.
“Are you insane?” She spat the words at him like venom and gave his backward-facing arm another yank.
She let him go when he allowed a quick grunt of pain and dropped to the ground beside Winn. He shook his head, eyes dazed but mostly with surprise.
“Hey, don’t get up fast.”
“I’m fine,” he started to scramble up but she pushed him down, too. “Tori, I really am.”
“Just make sure nothing cracked or got hit when you went down.”
“The asshole just took me by surprise, that’s all. My shoulder hit the post and I lost balance.” He protested but nonetheless quieted under her touch.
She heard the angry shouting beside them as the others descended on Forge and his protests began, but she refused to look up, concentrating instead on checking Winn’s eyes and running her fingers along his shoulder to check for bruised spots. She would have been smarter to believe his protests that he was fine. Touching him was like touching fire, or at least it felt so to her fingertips. He might not have been brawny the way Nick Forge was, but Tori doubted she’d be able to summon the strength to lift Winn’s arm much less twist it behind his back. Funny the difference between adrenaline and attraction.
“Nothing hurts here?” She pressed one last spot.
“Na. The shoulder blade stings a little, but it’s like knocking a funny bone—it’ll go away. C’mon.” His lowered voice caressed and wheedled as if he had to talk her into believing him. “Let me up now. This is hell on my male pride.”
“I’ll bet.”
There wasn’t anything funny about what had just happened, but they smiled anyway. Once they both straightened Tori finally saw that the tall blond man she assumed was Sawyer Richards had pushed Forge up against a wall and was holding him there. The rest of the kids were haranguing Forge with epithets and curses, and her father was allowing it for the moment. Clearly Nick Forge was putting up no resistance since none of Winn’s young employees could have held him had he wanted to push them aside, but he did gaze back at them with arrogant amusement on his heavy-featured face. Seriously, the man looked far more like a steroidal gym rat than a horse trainer.
“All right, that’s enough.” Winn’s tone brooked no argument and he expertly guided his charges away from their quarry.
“He has no right to come around our barn punching people out.” Leo was the last one to move back.
“True enough,” Winn said. “But he made his own bed—don’t you go sleeping in it.”
“What kind of panty-waisted girl are you, Crosby?” Forge eased his shoulders as he stepped away from the wall. “I had no intention of knocking you down. You just needed to stay out of my way.”
“I’d be careful about using the word ‘girl’ in that way, Nick.” Winn eyed him with mild reproval. “It wasn’t a man who got you into a hammerlock minutes ago.”

I hope you’ll watch for the release of “Missing By a Heartbeat” on December 15th, and visit me in Chandler County! I’m excited for this story, which is also, by the way, my very first “whodunit.” 
You can pre-order the book HERE.

Meanwhile—I'm eager to know what you love and don’t love about your favorite sport. Horse racing, football, baseball…every sport has its darker side. Tell me what you’d do to change your favorite activity for the better!  I have a $10 Amazon gift card for one commenter today.

And remember—there are seven other Chandler County novels coming by Christmas. Three are available for you now!