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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Free Reads from Tanya Hanson

Dear Readers and Friends,

My good friend, Tanya Hanson has posted an adorable Free Read from Wild Rose Press, all about Christmas.

To read His Christmas Angel click on the link below:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas at Our House

We love our fake trees. This tinsel tree we forgot that we purchased last year after Christmas. It's pre-lit and we keep no ornaments on it. It's a reminder of the trees our parents had when we were growing up. Don't you love it? We've always wanted a tree in our family/TV room. We spend a lot of time in there.

This one belonged to my mother. When she got too old to put a big tree, she decorated this tiny one with small ornaments. It sits in my living room now on a tabletop.

After 30 years of real trees, we decided to avoid the hassle and cost of getting a live tree - my husband worried about the dry pine needles causing a house fire as one house in our neighborhood burned to the ground that way. What can you do? In California our warm temps during winter causes problems. This tree is our mainstay and houses all of our favorite ornaments.

Oh and if you'd love a really great free online read, our fellow Filly from Petticoats and Pistols is offering up a daily serial of a great western!
Check Pot Potter's story out HERE.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Favorite Holiday Movies

Do you have a favorite or two?

Here's my list.

It's a Wonderful Life
Miracle on 34th Street
Love Actually
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
It's a Charlie Brown Christmas
Trading Places

Friday, December 19, 2008

I've Been Nominated!

I'm pretty excited to have been nominated by Romantic Times Magazine for the Reviewer's Choice for Best Silhouette Desire of 2008!

This is my first nomination from RT. Do Not Disturb Until Christmas has been doing so well, thanks to all of you!! I'm so glad to know the book has been enjoyed by so many.

Thank YOU!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Something You Don't See Very Much in California

Our friends just sent up this picture from their home in Palmdale, California. Palmdale is considered the high desert, just 6o miles from Los Angeles. Wednesday, my friend was snowed in at her daughter's house. It took a four-wheeler to get her home.

Snow in this area happens rarely, so it's a treat to see their Winter Wonderland. Pretty, but oh so dangerous if you're not prepared.

We have to drive up north to see snow normally.
Do you get snow where you live?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Monday, December 01, 2008

Loves Western Romances

Voting has begun for the Best Western Romance of 2008!

Western Weddings, my anthology with Kate Bridges and Jillian Hart has been nominated!

If you cast your vote, you'll be eligible to win a very nice prize from their site. Vote here and good luck!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving and Anniversay to Mills and Boon!

Yes, a two-part blog today.

Can you see anything wrong with this picture above? Look hard. I'll tell you at the end of this blog ... it's really funny!

First, I'd love to thank you all for our support in my writing endeavors. I'm thankful to each and every one of you who stop by to read my blog and visit my website! And of course, read my books!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday as well.

We had an especially wonderful Thanksgiving this year with our family and friends. After a few scares, we are all thankfully healthy and safe. Below are pictures of the Adult table and our Kids table. Notice the kids are outnumbering the adults now! We had the biggest group ever, 18 for dinner and we went thru 2 turkeys very fast!

Notice the "kids" are all in college or beyond now!

Okay, now for the silliness. In our traditional "carving the turkey" picture, did you notice that the Butterball turkey, was upside down? We didn't realize it, since the bird was soooo round all over, that we prepared the turkey on it's breast so that the backside was exposed. When my hubby went to carve, he was stunned that the "Butterball" had NO meat on it. It was all bone! We couldn't figure it out, until my daughter noticed the white meat was on bottom!! Oh my goodness, after years of cooking turkeys, we've Never done that before. I still laugh when I think about our shock to find the usually plentiful Butterball was meatless. I nearly panicked, with 18 to feed. But all went well, the breast was plentiful, once we turned the bird over!!

It's Mills and Boon 100 Year Anniversary and I just found out that Between the Ceo's Sheets has been paired with Michelle Celmer's House Calls.

Two Desires in One and we are on for December 2008 on the Mills and Boon site. If you haven't read these books, you can find the details here!

Have a safe and restful weekend!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Check out my Always and Never Rules for new writers!

I've been invited to blog today about "Advice to Myself as a Newbie Author."

If you have a minute, check it out today at my Romance Writers of America's Chapter at OCC Blog

You'll get a sneak peak at my new February cover too!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Changes in the Air for Fans of Soaps and Dancing with the Stars

Okay, I admit it, I love soap operas. I remember some twenty plus years ago having a roommate in my hospital room after I gave birth to my son who was an avid Days of Our Lives fan. Not only was I learning from the nurses how to diaper and bath my new baby, but my roommate taught me all I needed to know about the backstory of Days of Our Lives ! We'd watch it together in our hospital room and I became a fan as well.

I was a new mother with a baby and housebound. Very shortly those soap opera characters became my new friends as I changed diapers, washed clothes and paid the bills while I had the show on during the noon hour.

I've been a big Days fan, and though there are criticisms that the acting is bad, the storylines are phony and unbelievable, I don't always agree. What's great about soaps is that there's always something new happening. No repeats to name. We get a new show every day, five days a week. I think of the actors that are GOOD, and the ones who have moved on to become major television and movie stars.

But it seems there isn't a viewing audience for soaps like there used to be. The soaps were geared to housewives. But nowadays, it's rare that a woman is home during those hours. So even the soap stars are subject to budget cuts. Marlena and John, (above) who have been on the show more than 25 years and I imagine are the top wage earners, have been laid off.

For some, this spells doom for the soap as many view those two as the mainstay of the show. I'll still watch Days, but it won't be the same.

How about you? Are you a fan of soaps?
Do you love Dancing with Stars? My favorite, Julianne has decided not to come back in the spring. She's multi-talented and has sought a career in country music. She's good too, if you caught her performance last week on DWTS. I'm a huge country music fan, so I'm torn, because I love watching her dance. But she's persuing her dreams and you can never fault that!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Nomination and A Chance for you to win!

Dear Readers,

I just got word that my anthology with Jillian Hart and Kate Bridges, Western Weddings, is a contender for Love Western Romances’ Best Western Romance of 2008 by being awarded a 5 Spur review by Love Western and published in the year 2008.

Starting December 1, 2008 visitors to Love Western will be able to vote for the Best Western Romance of 2008 from the list of books awarded 5 spurs. The voting will run until January 11, 2009 to give fans plenty of time to vote. Each visitor can only vote once.
Below is the link to Love Western
Here's the best part for my readers and friends:
Voters will be entered into a contest for a basket of goodies and a Barnes and Noble gift card.
This is a great honor and I hope you take the time to vote starting December 1st. I'll be reminding you all again!
Maybe we both will win!
Don't forget to enter my Suite Secrets Part Two contest today, if you haven't already. You can only enter once. Contest ends after the holidays!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Thankgiving Funny

Thanksgiving Divorce

A man in Phoenix calls his son in New York two days before Thanksgiving and says, 'I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough.

'Pop, what are you talking about?' the son screams.

'We can't stand the sight of each other any longer,' the father says. 'We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her.'

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone.

'Like heck they're getting divorced,' she shouts, 'I'll take care of this,'

She calls Phoenix immediately, and screams at her father, 'You are NOT getting divorced. Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?' and hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. 'Okay,' he says, 'they're coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own way.'

Monday, November 17, 2008

James Bond - couldn't wait to see it!

Are you a fan? I have to admit that unlike my hubby, who loved Sean Connery, my tastes are more for Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. I loved Casino Royale that came out last year with Daniel Craig (0r was that two years ago?) At any rate I couldn't wait for this new installment and we pre-bought tickets and saw the movie on Saturday night.

I was totally entertained. Thought the pacing between action scenes and more sedate storytelling scenes was good, but what this movie lacked, was what normally separates it from any other hero/action film.

Gone are the clever James Bond one-liners that make your face twitch with amusement. That tell you, he knows much more than he's saying. That tell you he's in trouble, but he knows how he'll get out of it. This new James Bond is deadly serious. He's way above ALPHA. There's no real light moments in Quantum of Solace.

I like Daniel Craig as James Bond, so I can't fault him. But I can fault the writers and directors for leaving out the most fun elements in a James Bond flick. Where were the "gadgets" that gave James the edge? You didn't see them in this movie. Why not?

Why take the Bond factor, out of a James Bond movie? Don't they know that's what the viewing public are coming to see? It's what brings us back. If it ain't broken, don't fix it.

Apparently, the movie made 70 million in it's opening weekend which was more than expected. But I don't attribute that so much with such a great movie, but with the LACK of good movies out this year.

Did I enjoy Quantum of Solace. Yes, I did. But I would have enjoyed it more if they had those gadgets and one-liners than are Bond's signature. If James Bond wasn't so banged up through-out the movie with a bloodied face and torn clothes. Do you remember Sean Connery ever looking that way? Don't you wonder what Ian Fleming would have to say about all of this?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Stroll Down Memory Lane

Take a stroll with me down memory lane and see how many of these things you remember. It's funny how we forget many trivial that were, at one time, significant in our lives until someone reminds you. Some of these things I haven't thought about in years, but once I was reminded, they put a smile on my face and the memories came flashing back.

Who remembers the good old 45 RPM Spindles? Gosh I haven't thought of them in ages. But they were necessary when we played our records, because only the 78's were the right size. The 45's needed the spindle in order to fit our record players. Gosh, I remember at my 7th birthday party, we played and replayed my favorite record outside in our backyard, the 45 spindle working like magic as … sang "Venus, oh Venus, goddess of love that you are". Well, we didn't wear the record out, but we'd forgotten about it and the good old California sunshine melted that 45 record. It had curled up at the edges, never to be played again. A sad day…

And who could forget the Drive-In Movies? It was the Saturday night hang-out for teens, back in the day, when it was fun and safe and thrilling to see a movie in your car! For me, it was special, because it's where my husband of 34 years told me he loved me for the first time! I couldn't tell you what movie was playing, but I will say that was one heck of sweet night for me.

Do you remember gum wrapper chains? Again, I haven't thought of them for a long time. Chewing gum was BIG when I was a kid. We had wrappers galore. I chewed Juicy Fruit, my favorite. So my gum wrapper chains were always yellow. We'd have contests to see who could make the longest chain.
Ah, before Microwave Popcorn, the only way you could get popcorn in your home was to JIFFY POP it! What an invention! Our popcorn always burned because we had an electric oven and we never could get the temperature right. I remember standing over the oven, holding onto that handle and shaking and shaking, hoping that we didn't undercook or overcook the popcorn. The bag would burst on its own, right down the middle. If we were lucky, our popcorn wasn't brown and burnt around the edges. Most days, we weren't so lucky!

McDonalds was a big thing in our day. It was one of the first fast food chains to come along. Honestly, I don't remember the 15 Cent hamburger. But I sure do remember a time when there wasn't a McDonalds. Goodness, my mom cooked every meal and occasionally we would go out to dinner at a restaurant, but those times were few and far between. I do remember when Jack in The Box opened up right across the street from my high school. It was very innovative, to drive through and order your food. My goodness … that was a treat!

And lastly, do you remember a time when we only had television stations from major networks, 2, 4, 5, 7,9, 11 and 13? The TV stations would go to "bed" after a certain time. Who remembers when that was, midnight? 1 or 2 PM? I can't recall now, but I remember those Test Patterns. Yep, they'd come on and let all the insomniacs know there wasn't going to be any television until the morning.
Times have certainly changed. Why does it seem like all those old things were sooo good to have? Life was certainly simpler then, but can you imagine a time when we had no 24/7 TV, cable, cell phones and computers?
Hard concept, isn't it?

Monday, November 03, 2008

Her Montana Man!


Protecting people runs through Jonas Black's blood, and Eliza Jane Sutherland is one woman who needs his strong arms around her.
A rugged Montana man, Jonas will guard Eliza from her vile brother-in-law as fiercely as he guards his own heart. But though he can fight her enemies, he can't fight the attraction between them.
Soon Jonas is sure they have a future together—only Eliza hides secrets that could change everything….

I just fell in love with this cover and I know this story will be an entertaining tale of danger and love with lots of emotion! Check it out on Eharlequin and Amazon and all of Cheryl's other books including her Christmas Anthology!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Thanks to my friend Sandy for sending along these funnies!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Christmas Corner and New Look for Eharlequin!

Do you ever shop at Eharlequin? The site has a brand new look! They have this cool new Christmas Corner, all the Christmas books throughout the site are on sale! If you love those holiday tales from any or all of the lines, check out Christmas Corner.

And Eharlequin now lists the Top 10 Bestsellers. I want to thank all of my readers who have made Do Not Disturb Until Christmas, a Top 10 Bestseller for one entire week, the past three days it's been at #2!

Here's the list as of today:

1.Baby Bequest
Do Not Disturb Until Christmas
Pregnant on the Upper East Side?
The CEO's Christmas Proposition
The Prince's Arranged Bride
In a Bind
The Cowboy's Christmas Miracle
The Spanish Billionaire's Christmas Bride
Sicilian Husband, Unexpected Baby 10.Spaniard's Seduction

They also have the Top 10 Dark and Dangerous Heros and a Halloween Masquerade Ball!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Trivia Anyone?

I love trivia. I don't know why, I'm not a gossip hound. I don't watch TMZ, the latest hip, trendy gossip show rivaling Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood. But I do love learning snippets of information about people, places or things.

By the way, do you know what TMZ stands for? Take a guess.

Here's a bit of trivia about oldies but goodies, that I find fascinating:

Humphrey Bogart's lisp was a result of an injury received during World War II. While his ship was being shelled, a splinter lodged in his upper lip rendering it paralyzed.

Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman were once voted Least Likely to Succeed in their Playhouse Acting School.

Doris Day longed to be a professional dancer, but when she broke her leg at the age of 15, she decided to give singing a try.

Lucille Ball was kicked out of drama school for being too shy!

Shirley Temple was originally slated to play the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, but Judy Garland got the part when Temple's studio (20th Century Fox) asked for too much money from MGM.

1400 actresses were interviewed to play the role of Scarlett O'Hara.

Walt Disney was given one normal Oscar statue and 7 miniature statues for his film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.


"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." - Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962

"The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter." - Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

Writers should be read, but neither seen nor heard." - Daphne Du Maurier

"It has been my observation that people are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be." -Abraham Lincoln

"All you need for happiness is a good gun, a good horse, and a good wife." - Daniel Boone

Random Historical Facts:

Benjamin Franklin was the first head of the United States Post Office.

Attila the Hun died of a nosebleed on his wedding night in A.D. 453.

John Hanson - not George Washington - was the first president of the U.S.

When the Congress met in 1781, the U.S. was governed by the Articles of Confederation, which were adopted in 1777 and ratified by the states in 1781. At that meeting, Congress elected John Hanson its "President of the U.S. in Congress assembled." George Washington became the first president of the U.S. under the U.S. Constitution in 1789.

Katharine Lee Bates wrote the words to the classic American anthem
"America The Beautiful" after her trip to the summit of Pikes Peak in 1893.

St. Nicholas was bishop of the Turkish town of Myra in the early fourth century. It was the Dutch who first made him into a Christmas gift-giver, and Dutch settlers brought him to America where his name eventually became the familiar Santa Claus.

By the end of the U.S. Civil War, 33 percent of all U.S. paper currency in circulation was counterfeit. This was a devastating situation for a nation struggling to recover economically from such a destructive war. On July 5, 1865, the Secret Service was created as a part of the Department of the Treasury to help suppress counterfeit currency

So, do you love trivia? What's the most interesting bit of trivia you've heard?

How many of you know what TMZ stands for?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tote Bags 'N' Blogs

I'm guest blogging at Tote Bags 'N' Blogs today.

Hope you get a chance to stop by and say hello!
Can you guess what the subject is?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Catch me at Petticoats and Pistols Today !

Read my True Confessions of a Romance Writer Blog!!

And for those in the Los Angeles area, join me and many other authors, including Lynne Marshall, Susan Squires, Eden Bradley,Christie Ridgeway and Barbara Samuel for a fun Bookfair and Meet and Greet! Stop by and say hello to me and receive a free Petticoats and Pistols sexy handfan!

Corner of Ventura Blvd and Hayvenhurst

12 Noon to 2 PM

Sunday, October 19th

If you'd like to be a part of the LARA writer's meeting, first time guests can attend free. Join us at Barnes and Noble at 10:30.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It isn't Just about Earthquakes!

Well, it's been a whirlwind week! Not only did we have a lovely wedding in Malibu on Saturday... we had Santa Ana Winds on Sunday and our Wildfire Season started on Monday!

You've probably seen the film on your local news. It's quite frightening. But I managed to work my way thru 4 pages of my latest book, a continuity of the Texas Cattleman's Club series yesterday, smelling smoke and thinking it was off in the distance. It wasn't until I turned on the news in the afternoon that I saw how close those wildfires were coming again. I called my friends who lived in the area, and found out they were all fine. We were fine too.
But the winds shift. They are fickle and within an hour, those 6o MPH gusts could change direction. Still and all, while all other neighboring towns evacuated, we didn't have to. We stayed and I watched the news all night. How exhausting it is to see those firefighters and police try to prevent houses from burning. And how, scary. Late last night, I climbed inot bed, wondering if I would sleep at all.

As it turned out, the LAPD knocked hard on my door and said to "get ready to move out. Pack a few things and wait. They'd come back if we need to evacuate." Great. I told my husband to go to sleep and I stayed awake, listening for the wind, the tormenter of our destiny. But in the wee hours of the morning, the winds died down and it appeared the fires changed direction. They were off to torment other unsuspecting residents. All I can say, is that we've been lucky. This the the 3rd time fire has threatened, and we've made it thru okay.

I hurt for those people who weren't so fortunate. They left their homes yesterday morning to go to work, and weren't allowed back. Many didn't know if their homes were still standing. And some weren't.

It isn't just earthquakes in California. It's wind and fire. And then the rains come and we have floods. You know, aside from all this, I still love living here. I love my home, my neighborhood and the "burbs" where we know lots of people.

So today, instead of posting horrendous pictures of wildfires, I want to post the best thing about this week. My daughter's wedding. Here's a few pics. We had so much fun!

My son Jason walking me down the aisle to my seat.

Nikki and dear Hubby, on the famous walk down the aisle.

Dancing With Stars, in their eyes!
Nikki and Zac
Too Cute, flower girl and ring bearer!

These are just snapshots, but I'm happy to share them with you!

Monday, October 13, 2008

An A+ for Do Not Disturb Until Christmas!

Some nice reviews for my newest!

Do Not Disturb Until Christmas is a guarantee to touch your heart and your emotions. Charlene Sands can do no less.

Cody Landon loved Sarah Rose as a teen but that love was shattered when Sarah left him to pursue her singing career. Now Cody is a rich businessman and Sarah a famous singer. Cody decides the time is right to get revenge, a perfect Christmas present. He already took the first step by seducing and leaving her but it was not enough. Now he plans to seduce her for more than one night but will that be enough? Cody did not count on Sarah’s pregnancy. Forced to marry, now Cody has her right where he wants her. After the baby is born he will divorce her, but the best-laid plans are often derailed by something simple. The more time Cody spends with her, the more he wants her.

Cody had been deeply hurt by Sarah’s actions. Sarah knew this but felt she had no choice. Coming together in steamy romantic encounters brought out feelings neither wanted. Is that first love really dead? You will need to read Do Not Disturb Until Christmas to find out. Is the magic of the Christmas season enough? Do Not Disturb Until Christmas is perfect for the magic of the time. Steam, romance, and some danger all add up to the perfect book.

Do Not Disturb Until Christmas by Charlene Sands get an A+.

Debby at Cataromance
Cody "Code" Landon is a wealthy and respectable businessman. However, he has had to pull himself up by his bootstraps in order to achieve that success and along the way his heart has been badly broken by country superstar, Sarah Rose. They were madly in love in high school but Sarah had to walk away from him when success called. Her family needed her and Sarah needed to use her voice to help them live. But years later, Code still has not gotten over his anger over Sarah's leaving him in the dust.
Code has been hired to protect Sarah in her Christmas concert series and he is taking his duties seriously. Code wants revenge and he wants Sarah in his bed. He is determined to succeed and show her that the boy she was in love with no longer exists. But Sarah just yearns for one more chance with Code, the first and only man she has ever loved. Can Sarah convince him that their future is more precious than petty revenge? Can she show him that, despite her stardom, she just wants a life filled with love, happiness, and...babies?
Code and Sarah have some serious tension between them. Their chemistry is smoking hot but Code carries a lot of anger inside of him. Would he be strong enough to let that anger go for the promise of happiness Sarah would bring to his life? For her part, Sarah is very lonely. While she is successful, she does not have many close friends and little opportunity to meet an honest and kind man. Code reminds her of her past and her hopes for the future. At times, Code was the very epitome of a man in love but he was also fighting a strong desire for revenge.
That conflict was interesting as Code was clearly yearning for Sarah, but was scared to admit it. I enjoyed watching these two rediscover each other as successful adults. Sarah and Code do not have an easy road together but that makes their romance that much sweeter to savor.
4 of 5 Ribbons