Pre-Christmas Ebook Sale!

I wanted to let everyone know my publisher is running a 99 cent special right now on books from the Gemma Halliday Publisher line. Four are recent releases — two YA novels & two adult novels — and another four are fan favorites. Not sure exactly how long the sale will last, so grab them at 75% off while you can. You can get four for the original price of one! The 99-cent price is for all Amazon Kindle and most B&N Nook versions. Links provided below 🙂
And shoot over to Dru’s Book Musings at to see where one of my characters, Cassie Dean, is blogging today on her life and on the other characters in Counterfeit Conspiracies. Leave a comment there and you might win a signed copy of the book! But you have to enter by noon tomorrow, so hurry!
See below to learn all the great books on sale through Gemma Halliday Publishing! Happy Holidays everyone and happy reading!

Books for Teens/Tweens:

I Spy Dead People_72

I Spy Dead People

only $0.99 at:  Amazon Kindle Barnes & Noble Nook

The Tell-Tale Con_72

The Tell-Tale Con

only $0.99 at:  Amazon Kindle Barnes & Noble Nook

Books for Adults:

Gemini Moon_72

Gemini Moon

only $0.99 at:  Amazon Kindle

Counterfeit Conspiracies_72

Counterfeit Conspiracies

only $0.99 at:  Amazon Kindle Barnes & Noble Nook

Other $0.99 humorous romantic mysteries:


CONTEST! This weekend only!

All the posting I’ve done recently about contests makes me want to do a giveaway myself. I wanted to do one where I could hear everyone’s stories, and make it tie to the good feelings of the holiday season. The recent kindness of a friend helped me determine exactly what to do.

 Maria Grazia Swan is an author with an absolutely beautiful soul. I recently needed “almost immediate” copy editing for a writing project. Despite the fact that she’s just as busy (if not more) than the rest of us this time of year, Maria stepped up in my hour of need. She not only noted specific problems, but found someone in Belgium to quickly review and vet the revision.

Besides being a wonderful friend, Maria is a fabulous author. Her recent release Gemini Moon is the first in a new series featuring Lella York. This is a wonderful suspense ride that starts in Italy, then takes us to Lella’s home in Southern California. The descriptions are marvelous, the characters believable, and you’ll feel you’re right there looking over Lella’s shoulder.

And you can be there if you win! I’m giving away two print copies of Gemini Moon. One here, and one on my FB page at All you have to do to enter is tell of a time, recently or in the past, when someone did something especially nice for you. It can be a huge thing or small, but it was something meaningful to you and your situation. I’m not looking to embarrass anyone, so you can keep the details sketchy and use only first name(s) of your benefactor(s)–or no names at all. I simply want to give everyone a chance to spread joy and get the opportunity to win a terrific novel at the same time.

The contest will run from today until noon PST on Sunday, December 22, 2013. I’ll post the two winners’ names here and on my Facebook page Sunday afternoon. All you have to do is post your story in the comments section of this blog.

And yes, you can enter here and on my Facebook page to have an even better chance of winning!  Just leave an FB comment telling your story there, too.

And the Giveaway Fun Continues

I really didn’t plan on blogging for weeks on contests and giveaways, but so many people have fun events going right now–and are keeping them going through all the holiday season–that I’ll post them as long as I see them! If you’re a new visitor, check back on earlier posts to find contests that run through the month of December 2013.

This awesome collection of signed swag from the Richmond Author Event could be yours! Just comment to enter. Share if you can. Open to international entries, and ends on 12/19 at noon EST. Go to Laura Kaye’s Facebook page, and look for the picture below, then comment and cross your fingers! Here’s the link:

Author Sharon Grey invites you to her Welcome to Ruthorford contest – where they go all out for the holidays. You can enter to win a Pennyroyal Christmas Ruthorford ornament and holiday card from Grey! Enter every day from now until Dec. 20th at:

To celebrate over 40,000 subscribers, Digital Book Spot is giving away a FREE Kindle Fire! Digital Book Spot provides the best FREE books every day, and you can check them out at to see today’s FREE books! Here’s the holiday link for the Kindle Fire Giveaway: 

Finally, I already posted about this contest in a previous week’s post, but today is the last day of the holiday party to celebrate the release of the 12 Days of Killer Fiction short story collection!! If you haven’t already entered (and maybe even won!), be sure to stop by and enter to win a gorgeous charm bracelet! I know several people who’ve already won during the previous eleven days, and the bracelet is truly a keeper!

Contests to Win — Until the End of the Year!!

Fresh Fiction posts contests each month on a separate contest page. Authors run the gamut from mystery to adventure to romance, and on down to children’s lit. You can also find pages for reviews, events, and photos. Check out the current Contests page here–
And at Fresh Fiction, my friend Traci Andrighetti is having a launch party for her soon-to-be released Limoncello Yellow. Go to this link to enter to win a $25 boutique gift card!
Gemma Halliday is running a CONTEST on her author’s  Facebook, and it’s a good one. CONTEST every week until the end of the year. Once a week, Gemma draws a winner to receive a $15 gift card to How do you enter? Easy! Just click the “Newsletter Signup” button at the top of her Facebook page (It looks like a paper airplane!). One newsletter subscriber wins each week! Here’s the link–

Favorite Cookie Recipes

Today is National Cookie Day. I was going to blog about something else this week, but when I learned today’s official cookie designation I knew a change was in store.

Gotta admit I’m a bit of a cookie fan, and can honestly say there are few cookies I don’t like. Luckily I don’t live near a Panera Bread Company because I think I could live on their shortbread cookies alone. That’s always a stop whenever I’m in the city running errands. And, of course, I don’t buy just the one kind of cookie. I have to buy several types–chocolate, frosted, etc.–for the next few days’ treats since there isn’t a Panera near my home.

Shortbread cookies aren’t that hard to make, I know, but I’m the only one in the house who loves them. So if I make a big batch I end up eating most of them myself. Oh, the lengths I go to avoid letting food go stale 🙂

Ghiradelli shortbreakI do always make Ghiradelli shortbread cookies with the chocolate drops around this time every year. I buy the big box that makes three dozen, and even if hubby comes by and swipes some of the chocolate drops, I bake and eat the ‘naked’ shortbread because I’m a mom and I never want anyone or anything (even a cookie) to feel unloved.

The beauty of the Ghiradelli system is that the batches are all separated in the box, so I can just pullout one pack and make only one dozen at a time. Or a whole box if I’m headed for a holiday party.

I adore any kind of cookies with nuts, and a true butter fan when it comes to making cookies. I also  love most chocolate cookies, except for the no-bake kind. I’ve never been a fan of no-bake cookies or instant pudding. Just one of my many quirks.

I have this tendency to change recipes to suit my and my family’s specific tastes. For example, when I make Tollhouse Cookies I add almond extract along with the vanilla, and I make two batches–one for those of us who love nuts, and another for hubby who not only doesn’t like nuts, but also wants ‘fat’ cookies. For his batch I add baking powder as well as baking soda, then add extra flour until it meets his expectations.

But the cookies I make the most are my famous Peanut Butter Oatmeal Choco Chunk cookies. These cookies are easy to justify since the kids and I tell ourselves there’s protein from the peanut butter, fiber from the oatmeal, antioxidants from the chocolate and even a dab of calcium. Yes, we know we’re fooling ourselves, but we’re happy and that all that really matters, right?

In honor of National Cookie Day I’m going to post this favorite cookie. The original recipe was on a box of oatmeal, but I’m giving you my adapted recipe here. I put extra notes in parenthesis in case you want to change it back to the original and adapt to your own taste. This is the cookie version that rapidly disappears around my house.

Ritter Ames’s Peanut Butter Choco-Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

  • Âľ cup packed brown sugar
  • Âľ cup honey (the original recipe didn’t call for honey and had 1 Âľ cup brown sugar instead—but I like the split, so that I get the sweet taste honey adds, while still getting the brown sugar kick)
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter (the original said creamy; I just like nuts)
  • 6 Tablespoons butter softened (if I use margarine I use “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” in cube, not soft tub margarine)
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 Âľ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Âľ to 4 ½ cups quick oats (not instant, but the kind that cooks in a couple of minutes), I add oats until I get the consistency I want—usually it’s around 4 cups because of the honey
  • 1 bag of Nestle’s Chunks semi-sweet pieces. (original recipe suggested adding regular chocolate chips or candy pieces).

Preheat oven to 350ËšF.

Beat sugar, peanut butter, and butter until creamy.  Add eggs, baking soda, and vanilla, mix well.  Blend in oats and chocolate chunks.

Drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray like Pam (original recipe said to use ungreased, but chunks will make it stick).

Bake 10 to 12 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes before removing to racks to cool.  Makes 2 dozen 4-inch cookies.oatmeal-cookie my recipes

Grab a glass of milk and enjoy!

What’s your favorite cookie(s)? Tell us about it in the comment section. We’d love to hear.