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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Holiday Surprise at Fresh Fiction!

HUNKY HEROES WITH HEART from Charlene Sands...



Head on over to Fresh Fiction to win an autographed set of The WORTHS of RED RIDGE Series AND a Signed Copy of Charlene's first book in The SLADES Of SUNSET RANCH...  SUNSET SURRENDER!! 

        

RICH RUGGED RANCHER SERIES... BRAND NEW!!

Contest Ends January 6th!!  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS?



Oh Gosh,

There are so many good things about the holidays. Once you get past the stress, shopping and time crunch, you head into the good times!! IMHO


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
 For me, it's the spirit of generosity and gift-giving. It's being able to help your children and get them those one or two special gifts that will put a smile on their face. I love the "togetherness" of the holidays too, the gathering of family, the decorating, the baking and cooking new things, or simply staying comfortable with the "tried and true" recipes. I love it all, the music, the weather, (not so bad here in California), the planning and anticipation.


Mickey Mouse has a place on our tree!

So what's your favorite Holiday "Thing"? What do you enjoy the most? If you're on my newsletter/mailing list, your comment enters you into my 10 Holiday Gifts Contest, where you can win a signed copy of SUNSET SURRENDER or a $5.00 Gift Card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
10 Winners will be announced on January 2nd.




If you're not on mailing list, you can join in the fun now at
www.charlenesands.com and you'll be entered when you post a comment.


Merry Holidays to all!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

7 HOLIDAY SHOPPING TIPS FOR THE FAINT OF HEART by Charlene Sands





It’s gift-giving time of year!! Shoppers are out in full force. The image portrayed on a TV commercial of a holiday shopper leaves you in a state of awe and wonder. She’s wearing a wool cap, gloves and matching plaid scarf strolling along an outside mall, sunshine reflecting on white fluffy mounds of snow in the background, as she clutches five shopping bags full of already wrapped gifts. Of course, her face beams with a broad smile, and holiday music plays in the background.

If only….

We all know holiday shopping isn’t like that in the real world.

Here are my 7 Holiday Shopping Survival Tips for the Faint of Heart:


One

Ask family and friends for a wish list…we this every year now at Thanksgiving. We ask for five “would be” gifts they desire…and some can be gift cards, but not necessarily. If you don’t want to ask friends for a wish list, then ask their spouse, children for ideas and keep your eyes and ears open for unintentional hints throughout the year. My husband did this last year with a gift for me. And he said afterward, “You see I really do pay attention.” Love that guy.


Two
Plan your budget – and plan to go over a little. It’s a fact of life things tend to cost more than we think they do. So build that into your money management. Give yourself a 10% leeway on your budget. Then think smart. If you have gift cards to purchase, many stores offer a “free gift card” or cash allowance, if you buy your gift cards at their store. So say, you spend $100 in gift cards, the offer might be a “free” $20 gift card, as a bonus. This is a deal you can’t pass up.

Three
Clip store and online coupons and KEEP them with you at all times. Having coupons handy, just in case you find a great bargain, even when you didn’t plan on shopping that day, can make a big difference. Can’t tell you how many times, I DIDN’T buy something because I’d left the coupon at home! Now, I keep a big envelope in my purse and try to go through them weekly, to keep them current.

Four
In store… negotiate the price of an item. I’m not a pushy buyer, but I also won’t ever buy anything for the full price. If I have a coupon with me, I’ll always ask the cashier, if she has a better coupon for that day. One time my discount jumped from 15% to 30% off… a huge savings, just because I asked. Just yesterday at Macy’s, I had a coupon for 20% and I saw the woman in line ahead of me with 25% coupon. When I reached the counter, I simply asked the cashier where the shopper got the coupon, and she gave me the bigger discount as well. I saved a lot of money on those purchases! Motto: never hurts to ask.

Five
Black Friday Secrets - There is all this hoopla about Black Friday shopping. Me? I’d never wait outside on a cold night for a store to open on Thanksgiving eve or in the wee hours of Friday morn for a sale. One, I cook for 18 on Thanksgiving and am bushed. And secondly, it’s not necessary. Yes, I might miss out on getting a Flat Screen TV or a Food Processor for half price, but if that wasn’t my initial goal, then I don’t need to brave the crowds and in some cases, risk my life and limbs, for a bargain.

A little known fact is, most of the Black Friday deals continue all day long (not talking big items with scant stock on hand here) and stores stay open late on that Friday night too. That’s when I’ve shopped and, oh BTW, no crowds, no trouble parking. This season, I went to Babies R US on Friday night at 8 pm and purchased a high chair for 50% off. I’d been tracking this item for a month and this was the VERY best deal in town. No hassles. Walk in, buy it, walk out. So if you’re one to say NEVER on Black Friday, reconsider shopping later in the day or in the evening.

Six

Cyber Monday Deals – are great! Do your online research. Sign up with your favorite stores and they’ll automatically send you coupons, BOGO and other great deals. But don’t despair if you missed Cyber Monday…once you sign up, you’ll continue to get deals offered to you at great prices. This Monday, I bought a Baby Einstein piano priced in the stores, at over $50… but one site offered first time, NEW customers 40% off coupon... I grabbed that deal and the item was shipped free to me within 2 days. It’s here now, waiting to be wrapped.

Many stores extend their cyber deals for the entire week. Cyber Monday only starts the online shopping craze…IMHO. I’ve been getting great deals all week long from online stores.

*Another thing I stumbled upon, is that when I’ve gotten halfway through an item purchase on a Online Store site, and I change my mind, get knocked off, or simply got distracted and didn’t complete the sale, that store often sends me an email reminder with an EVEN BETTER deal, to get me to complete my transaction. Have any of you noticed this? Sometimes, it’s a price reduction and sometimes, it’s an offer for free shipping that wasn’t there originally. Usually, if the offer is good, I’ll finish the transaction.

Seven

If you’re a late shopper and missed out on all of the above, on December 17th, certain online stores have FREE SHIPPING DAY. Best Buy and L.L. BEAN for sure, while others like Kohl’s and Amazon plus oodles more, might have a minimum balance for free shipping, but they guarantee delivery before Christmas.


AND BONUS EIGHT:

Wrap as you go...you'll thank yourself for this insight!  A few gifts a day...keeps the "wrapping frenzy" away.  Then have yourself a sip of tea or a glass wine, to celebrate your shopping success!


Enjoy the holiday shopping season!!   


AMAZON





Monday, November 12, 2012

Dear Readers,

Another great modern day cowboy story from Tanya Hanson!!  Isn't the cover amazing?

Read this blurb from her Hearts Crossing Ranch series and you decide!!  You can also find Tanya on
Petticoats and Pistols and  www.goodchristiancowgirl.com


Get ANGEL CHILD HERE

A bit about the story:

Determined to get her life back on track, Mary Grace Gibson takes on a substitute-teaching job, grateful for the room and board offered at Hearts Crossing Ranch. The bustling family life helps her heal after abandonment by her ex. But her little boy’s serious disabilities make her cautious about revealing her secrets to anybody. Even Scott Martin, the handsome cowboy who’s fast stealing her heart.

Her former student now grown up, cowboy and graphic artist Scott Martin is instantly drawn to the beautiful single mom. She’s had some hard luck but never let go of her faith. Their age gap doesn’t fret him, and their kisses ignite his love. But as they fall for each other, Mary Grace’s lack of trust in him shatters his feelings, for he’s been down that broken trail before.

How can he assure her he’s different from the man who hurt her and neglected her son?




Monday, October 15, 2012

WINNERS OF OUR WORTH THE RISK CONTEST X 2



Big thanks to everyone who helped Robin Bielman and I celebrate our same-title books!! I had a wonderful time blogging these past two weeks and each and every one of your comments made me smile. I appreciate you taking the time to visit and hope you’ll continue to stop by – I love the company!


While we didn’t reach our ranking goal (I did get close!), you were awesome in helping us spread the word – thank you!!

Before I announce the winners of the $25 Gift Card, I thought I’d tell you what my lies and truths were.

Here are my truths:

Yes, I've met my country idol Tim McGraw. LOVE HIM!   I stood on line for 4 hours with two friends and shook his hand, spoke a few words and took a picture. He was signing his book in a bookstore..how could a writer resist that?

Yes, I am related to Italian royalty.  My grandmother's mother lived in a castle in Italy.  She was a princess and to avoid a pre-arranged marriage, she ran away with the chauffeur.  How's that for a real life romance?

The lie:  I don't have a clue about karate. Never took a class.  But now I wish I had (I guess it's never too late)

Robin's lie is that  – She is not related to Franz Gruber. But she's a fabulous writer who is Worth the Risk on reading her debut romance.  You'll love it!

If you guessed right, and a few of you did, you got an extra entry in our giveaway.

Lastly, Robin loved reading all the captions you guys came up with for Harry! They all rocked, but after deliberating with the hubby and youngest son, the winning caption goes to bn100 – “Is getting off the couch Worth the Risk?”

The WINNERS ARE:

Robin's random winner of  $25 Gift Card is also bn100! (I think those extra entries helped.) Congrats, bn! Please email her your gift card preference to robinbielman at gmail dot com and I’ll send it off to you.

The gift card winner on Charlene’s blog was Cathy P!! Congrats Cathy! Please send me your email addy and preference and I'll send you gift card out pronto!!

Have a wonderful week everyone!  We hope you had fun!!

Charlene And Robin



Monday, October 08, 2012

Top Five Ways You Know it's A Great Book!! by Charlene Sands and Robin Bielman

The Risky Release party continues...
(Play Robin's Caption Game HERE for 5 extra entries and post here too)




It’s after 2 AM, you’ve got work in the morning and you can’t put the darn book down.

I’ve done this too many times to count. One time, I stayed up until 4 AM. Before I started reading on my iPad, my hubby would wake up in the wee hours of the night and grumble at me to turn off the light already.

The author’s voice resonates with you from page one and you know you’re gonna finish the book pronto.

This happens to me when I pick up a Susan Elizabeth Phillips book, but I have come to expect that from her brilliant writing. I set aside at least 8 hours to read her book straight through. And if I can’t do that, then I settle for two 4 hour sessions. I don’t dare open the book, unless I have a LOT of time to read.

I was shocked that I got hooked so quickly on the Twilight series. I don’t read paranormal, much less vampires. But Stephenie Meyer’s words jumped out on the first pages with me and I realized I would read the entire series. The same thing happened when I read the first two paragraphs of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.

The characters in the story stay with you for days and days afterward.

You can’t get them out of your head. They wander into your thoughts at all times of the day and night. Scenes play out in your mind. You can’t seem to forget them, no matter what. If the hero is magnificent, you’re daydreaming about him. Yes, that’s happened to me. I’m not ashamed to admit it.

There’s a charm and certain magic to the book that you don’t find in all stories, with all authors.

The book is something special. You’re in love, not only with the characters or the plot or the dialogue, but the story itself pulls you in and grabs you. If it were a movie, it might be Shakespeare In Love, or my favorite all-time movie classic, It Happened One Night. Now, that’s a story that has it all. It was made in black and white, but the story comes alive with such richness you tend to think of it in color. Charm and Magic.

After you read “The End” and put the book down, you wish you’d written it.

Yes, that’s so true for writers. When we read an exceptional book, we’re floored, thrilled and filled with admiration. And as we lust for more, we pray to the story gods, that one day we could tell a story so well.

Do you agree? How do YOU know you’re reading a great book? Post a comment here and on Robin's Blog  and be entered to win Gift Cards and e-books at our Risky Release Party contest.

Here are the details:

RISKY RELEASE PARTY AND A CONTEST "WORTH" ENTERING:


Robin and Charlene have the same titled books. Check our recent blogs for more fun contest stuff!

Post a comment during the this week and last week's blogs to be entered to win the gift cards!

Please spread the word about Worth the Risk. Help us achieve our goal of ranking on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Top 1000 books and one lucky commenter will win a Nook Color (Value: $149) or Kindle Fire (Value: $159) or gift card equivalent IF we do. (We need to rank in triple digits)

Mention our Risky Release Party on Facebook.

Tweet about Worth the Risk on Twitter

Post a review on Amazon, BN or Goodreads

Amazon for Robin's Book

Amazon for Charlene's Book

Like and Tag us on Amazon
Check out our books

Tell your friends about our books.

Sample FB or Tweet:


FB -- Win prizes @CharleneSands and @RobinBielman's Risky Release Party. You'll be entered to win $25 Gift Cards and an ereader. www.charlenesands.blogspot.com and www.robinbielman.com/blog/

Twitter-- Don't miss @CharleneSands & @RobinBielman's Risky Release Party & you could win an e-Reader! http://charlenesands.blogspot.com/ http://robinbielman.com/blog/

Contest Ends October 15th.

Thanks so much for being a part of our celebration!

Charlene and Robin
















Saturday, October 06, 2012

Butter Cookies - Can't Eat Just One! by Charlene Sands




As promised on Facebook, I am posting this wonderful and easy/peasy butter cookie recipe.  I know you'll enjoy!! 

1 Cup Butter  (use real butter of course)
6 Tablespoons Confectioner's Sugar
2 Cups Flour
1 tsp vanilla  (sometimes for added flavor I use almond extract)
1 Cup Nuts  (optional - though I never put them in- the cookie is delish without anything else)

Cream butter and for best results, let the butter soften naturally.  Do not melt over heat. 
Add other ingredients gradually until all incorporated.  (Do this without a mixer- the old-fashioned way with a spoon or spatula)   Knead well and roll into balls about the width of a quarter or more.  Flatten with fork. If batter gets sticky, add a little flour to fork. 

Bake in 350 oven on cookie sheet for 12 minutes (but check them after 8 min)
The cookie top will not brown. Check the bottom for browning. 
Let the cookies cool for a full 15 min or they will crumble.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar while hot.

Makes approximately 30 cookies. 
It's true.  You can't eat just one.  Enjoy!!!


***See our previous Risky Release Party Contest and be entered to win gift cards and ebooks!!


Friday, October 05, 2012

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE by Charlene Sands and Robin Bielman






RISKY RELEASE PARTY CONTINUES
with Charlene and Robin



Happy Friday! In case you’re just joining us, we’ve been celebrating Worth the Risk.  Today, we thought we’d play a game. That crazy risky game where you try and be tricky…

We’re each going to list three statements about ourselves. Two of them are true and one of them is a lie. Guess which one is the lie and tell us in the comments. If you guess right, you’ll get an extra entry in our $25 gift card giveaway.  Oh, and be sure to comment on both our blogs and that counts twice. And check this weeks past blogs on Monday and Wednesday  for more ways to win. 


Charlene is up first:

1. I’ve met my all-time favorite country artist, Tim McGraw.

2. I am related to an Italian princess.

3. I have been taking classes for years and have earned a brown belt in karate.


Here’s Robin’s:

1. I’ve attended the Olympic games.

2. As a child I had the same recurring dream – that a flying dog was chasing me.

3. I’m distantly related to Franz Gruber, the man who wrote the music for Silent Night.




RISKY RELEASE PARTY AND A CONTEST "WORTH" ENTERING:

Post a comment during the next 2 weeks on our blogs on MWF to be entered to win the gift cards!

Please spread the word about Worth the Risk. Help us achieve our goal of ranking on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Top 1000 books and one lucky commenter will win a Nook Color (Value: $149) or Kindle Fire (Value: $159) or gift card equivalent IF we do. (We need to rank in triple digits)


Mention our Risky Release Party on Facebook.

Tweet about Worth the Risk on Twitter

Post a review on Amazon, BN or Goodreads

Amazon for Robin's Book

Amazon for Charlene's Book

Like and Tag us on Amazon

Check out our books

Tell your friends about our books


Sample FB or Tweet:

FB -- Play Two Truths and Lie Game and win prizes with @CharleneSands and @RobinBielman's Risky Release Party.  You'll be entered to win $25 Gift Cards and an ereader. www.charlenesands.blogspot.com and www.robinbielman.com/blog/

Twitter--  Don't miss @CharleneSands & @RobinBielman's Risky Release Party & you could win an e-Reader! http://charlenesands.blogspot.com/ http://robinbielman.com/blog/

Contest Ends October 15th.

Thanks so much for being a part of our celebration!

Charlene and Robin


P.S. Thanks so much to everyone who has already bought, read, reviewed, and/or added Worth the Risk to Goodreads. We're thankful for your support!!

(Be sure to leave your full email addy when you post on the blogs and let us know how you've helped!)
Stop by Robin's Blog too.



Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Top 15 WORTH THE RISK DATES



The Risky Release Party Continues with Robin Bielman and Charlene Sands



Both of us were lucky enough to marry our high school sweetheart. And both our guys are adventurous. So when it comes to dates—and between us there have been thousands—we figure we might have some expertise. 




Top 15 “Worth The Risk” Dates:



1. Swim with sharks. (Kidding. We just had to throw that in there.)

2. Spend the day at an amusement park and ride the rollercoasters. We realize this may cause some wooziness, but then you get to lay your head on your honey’s shoulder and lean into him (or her) while you walk around.

3. Take a hike. The less travelled path, the better. There are more opportunities to get frisky that way.

4. Go to the multi-plex movie theater spontaneously and watch the movie that’s playing right now. You may be pleasantly surprised.

5. Take a surfing lesson. It doesn’t matter if you stand up or not, the fun you’ll have trying will translate to fun when the lesson is over.

6. Eat dinner at a tiny little dive. The kind where you imagine the line is usually out the door and you have to stand to eat.

7. Go hot air ballooning. Okay, so neither of us has done this one, but we really want to!

8. Swim in a freezing cold body of water. Bonus points if there’s a waterfall. Just think how much fun you’ll have warming up afterward.

9. Rent a scary movie and curl up on the couch to watch it. In the dark. When you cling to your guy out of fear, he’ll be oh so willing to create different kinds of tingles.

10. Dive. Scuba or sky. We’ve only done one of these, but the other is on our bucket list. (Okay, it’s only on Robin’s.)

11. Park the car. View. No view. Doesn’t matter. Your eyes should only be on each other. Proceed at your own comfortable heat level.

12. Ride a horse and a cowboy (just kidding!) preferably on the beach, but mountain trail rides are very romantic too.

13. Wine taste at a local winery and enjoy the ambience or if you’re not in grape country, have a wine tasting party for two at home.

14. Kiss a frog…you never know, he may turn into your prince.

15. Read a Romance … together!! (it can lead to great things!)


How about you? Have you had a memorable “Worth The Risk” date?  Post a comment here and be entered.  See details below for more entries and a chance to win a Grand Prize.

RISKY RELEASE PARTY AND A CONTEST "WORTH" ENTERING:

Post a comment during the next 2 weeks on our blogs on MWF to be entered to win the gift cards!

Please spread the word about Worth the Risk. Help us achieve our goal of ranking on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Top 1000 books and one lucky commenter will win a Nook Color (Value: $149) or Kindle Fire (Value: $159) or gift card equivalent IF we do. (We need to rank in triple digits)



Mention our Risky Release Party on Facebook.

Tweet about Worth the Risk on Twitter

Post a review on Amazon, BN or Goodreads

Amazon for Robin's Book

Amazon for Charlene's Book

Like and Tag us on Amazon

Check out our books

Tell your friends about our books



Sample FB or Tweet:

Don't miss @CharleneSands & @RobinBielman's Risky Release Party & you could win an e-Reader! http://charlenesands.blogspot.com/ http://robinbielman.com/blog/

Contest Ends October 15th.

Thanks so much for being a part of our celebration!

Charlene and Robin


P.S. Thanks so much to everyone who has already bought, read, reviewed, and/or added Worth the Risk to Goodreads. We're thankful for your support!!

(Be sure to leave your full email addy when you post on the blogs and let us know how you've helped!)

Be sure to post on Robin's Blog too.

Remember all comments are entered to win $25 gift cards to Amazon or Barnes and Noble . And remember, leave a comment on both our blogs and that counts twice!


Sunday, September 30, 2012

KARMA or WACKY COINCIDENCE? and a GIVEAWAY!!

Hello and happy October!  For the next 2 weeks it's WORTH THE RISK x 2 around here! Robin Bielman and I are teaming up to celebrate our same titled books and we're giving away $25 Gift Cards. ***** AND a chance to win an Amazon Kindle or a Barnes and Noble Nook.  See our Risky Release Party info below for our Contest WORTH entering!



Karma or Wacky Coincidence?

A few years ago I met a wonderful writer whom I mentored and we became good friends. Last year Robin sold her first book! I was thrilled for her, as she is a great storyteller. She was sweet enough to ask me to give her a quote for her book cover, which I was happy to do. But lately, we've both been wondering if we have good karma, or just a bunch of wacky coincidences?


 



"A smart,sassy, delightfully sexy romance from talented debut author Robin Bielman" -- quote from Charlene Sands

1. Without our knowledge, both of our books were titled exactly the same and we’re from different publishing houses. The evidence is right before you!


2. Both of our feisty heroines have the same name. Robin's heroine in her Worth the Risk is named Samantha Bennett. My heroine's name is Sammie Gold.


Okay, this is getting a little weird.


3. Robin's heroine is a spunky businesswoman trying to make it in the world of heritage protection and my heroine is a Boston transplant trying to make a success of her business, Boot Barrage in elite Scottsdale, Arizona.


4. Robin has a male editor. And I have a male editor. I don't know the ratio, but there aren't a whole lot of male editors in the romance business.


5. In the entire romance world of authors, Robin and I live within 10 miles of each other and both of us married our high school sweethearts!

 

 

RISKY RELEASE PARTY AND A  CONTEST  "WORTH" ENTERING:

Post a comment during the next 2 weeks on our blogs on MWF to be entered to win the gift cards!

Please spread the word about Worth the Risk.  Help us achieve our goal of ranking on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Top 1000 books and one lucky commenter will win a Nook Color (Value: $149) or Kindle Fire (Value: $159) or gift card equivalent IF we do.  (We need to rank in triple digits) 

 

Mention our Risky Release Party on Facebook.

Tweet about Worth the Risk on Twitter

Post a review on Amazon, BN or Goodreads

Amazon for Robin's Book
Amazon for Charlene's Book

Like and Tag us on Amazon

Check out our books

Tell your friends about our books



Sample FB or Tweet:  

Don't miss @CharleneSands & @RobinBielman's Risky Release Party & you could win an e-Reader! http://charlenesands.blogspot.com/ http://robinbielman.com/blog/

Contest Ends October 15th. 

Thanks so much for being a part of our celebration!

Charlene and Robin  

P.S. Thanks so much to everyone who has already bought, read, reviewed, and/or added Worth the Risk to Goodreads. We're thankful for your support!!  


(Be sure to leave your full email addy when you post on the blogs and let us know how you've helped!) 

Be sure to post on Robin's Blog too.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

LOVE IS IN THE AIR!!


Don't we know it. 

I'll be making an appearance at the stunning Cerritos Library presented by the Friends of the Cerritos Library along with Jennifer Haymore, Linda O'Johnston, Tanya Hanson, Patricia Thayer.   We'll talk romance and have High Tea. 
Come join the fun!


Saturday SEPT 29th  at 2:00 - 4 PM 
Skyline Room
Cerritos Library

Saturday, September 01, 2012

ANNOUNCING WINNERS OF CHARLENE'S SANDS AND SUMMER CONTEST!!

WE HAVE 5 WINNERS!!

THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE PARTICIPATED!! 

THE $50 GRAND PRIZE OF GIFT CARD GOES TO:   GAIL

ONE $25 PRIZE GOES TO:  CATSLADY

ONE $25 PRIZE GOES TO:  LANEY 4

ONE $25 PRIZE GOES TO: BRENDA

ONE $25 PRIZE GOES TO :  SUE P.

***WINNERS BE SURE TO CONTACT ME AT CHARLENESANDS@HOTMAIL.COM  AS I DON'T HAVE SOME OF YOUR EMAIL ADDRESSES.  GIFT CARDS TO BE AWARDED VIA EMAIL FROM EITHER AMAZON OR BARNES AND NOBLE... YOUR CHOICE!


LOOK FOR MORE FUN AND PRIZES TO COME!  

IF YOU 'D LIKE A FREE MAGNET AND PEN SEND A SELF-ADDRESSED ENVELOPE TO:

CHARLENE SANDS
PO BOX 4883
WEST HILLS, CA   91308




Friday, June 29, 2012

HOLLYWOOD-NESS AND STAR SIGHTINGS



I’ve always wanted to write about a Hollywood starlet and a cowboy because I grew up in a community situated over the hill from Hollywood. Hollywood-ness is sort of ingrained in you if you live in Southern California. There’s no escaping the film industry in the TMZ (Thirty Mile Zone) and Hollywood in particular.

Grauman's Chinese Theater
I remember my Hollywood Bowl days and seeing acts like The Young Rascals and The Doors in concert. Yep, it was just me and Jim Morrison… and thousands of other screaming fans flocking that seashell outdoor venue. On the weekends, my girlfriends and I would stroll along Hollywood Boulevard, eyes glued downward as we called out the names of legends engraved on star-shaped plaques on the sidewalk, the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  We'd walk by Grauman's Chinese Theatre and look at the handprints of the stars embedded in concrete. It was no big deal. Hollywood and Highland was familiar to us and our home in a way. We walked the walk and talked the talk and it was a fun time, being in the “know” about things that most people only dream about.

David Boreanaz

Star sightings occur often when you live in So Cal. My hubby and I frequent our local promenade mall because we love the atmosphere, good eats and going to the movies. Recently, at a restaurant I sat across from Pierce Brosnan- aka James Bond 007. I’ve rubbed shoulders, figuratively speaking with Katherine Heigl in a fast food joint.

Sharon and Ozzie Osbourne were perusing the shelves, his black cape and all, in a boutique next to Barnes and Noble where I was shopping… You can’t miss Ozzie… that’s all I’ve got to say. Howie Mandell was texting on his phone at the table next to mine at our local yogurt shop and stopped to chat it up with a few fans that had approached him. Seems like a really nice guy.


Will Smith decided to have a go at early morning bowling at the lanes where I bowl on a team. Yes, he has a striking smile. And David Boreanaz (Bones) walked right by me at restaurant recently—handsome guy that he is.
Barry Manilow


But probably the most memorable for me, was having tall, lanky, and disguised with ball cap, Barry Manilow sitting directly behind me in the movie theatre. I remember thinking that it had better be a great movie, or I’ll never be able to sit still knowing that he was in the seat behind mine. I have always loved Barry. Yikes!


At that same movie theater one evening I spotted a bunch of young teenagers curbside, giggling like giddy teens do and smiled to myself, thinking that I remembered those Friday-night-out-with-friends myself. And then I took a better look at the blonde All-American boy in that group of six and realized it was mega-star Justin Beiber – just your normal teen out with his friends.


My idea of Macy Tarlington

My idea of Carter McCay


Exquisite Acquisitions is a story with a little twist on the Hollywood scene. Macy is not your average movie star. She’s the daughter of a legend and wants a little peace in her life. Enter, hunky, heroic and recently jilted, Carter McCay who recognizes Macy’s heartache, if not her celebrity and whisks her away to Wild River Ranch for a little R and R. Carter is not a cowboy wannabe like the guys Macy has known. He’s the real deal… need I say more?


Have you had any close encounters with a movie star? Have you ever asked for an autograph? If you could meet any one star in particular, who would it be?
Win $50 or $25 Gift Cards!

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE A READER...

Thanks to the wonderful Christine London for sharing this with me!

Never underestimate a reader...



One morning, the husband returns the boat to their lakeside cottage after several hours of fishing


and decides to take a nap.  Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out.


She motors out a short distance, anchors, puts her feet up, and begins to read her book..


The peace and solitude are magnificent.


Along comes a Fish and Game Warden in his boat.  He pulls up alongside the woman and says, 'Good morning, Ma'am. What are  you doing? ' 'Reading a book,' she replies, (thinking, 'Isn't that


obvious?')


'You're in a Restricted Fishing Area,' he informs her.


'I'm sorry, officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading.'


'Yes,  but I see you have all the equipment.  For all I know you could start at any moment.
I'll have to take you in and write you up.'


'If you do that, I'll have to charge you with sexual assault,' says the woman.


'But I haven't even touched you,' says the Game Warden.


'That's true, but you have all the equipment.  For all I know you could start at any moment.'


'Have a nice day ma'am,' and he left.


MORAL:


Never argue with a woman who reads. It's likely she can also think.



Monday, May 14, 2012

THE ROMANCE REVIEWS TOP PICK!!

The Romance Review

I received a nice Mother's Day surprise yesterday!  

The Romance Reviews (TRR)  "Claimed"  A COWBOY WORTH CLAIMING as their Top Pick giving the story 5 Stars *****

Read the Review here:

What a wonderful story! I absolutely loved this book. The author swept me away from the beginning with her amazing writing style and complex characters. The plot line is filled with rich historic elements. I felt like I was transported back into historic Arizona, and I didn't want to leave!

Chance Worth is most definitely a hunky, gorgeous cowboy that I would love to claim for myself! He filled a spot in my heart immediately, and I didn't want to say goodbye to him at the end. Watching him with Lizzie, knowing she was an innocent young woman, trying not to fall for her, was awesome. I cheered for him the whole way through the book. Being orphaned though, he's got a lot of secrets bottled up, and well, with Lizzie, he just wants to let go and be honest.

Lizzie Mitchell. Hmmmm. Now that is a young woman with spitfire written all over her! From the first chapter, when Chance had to rescue her from near drowning, to her sending Chance away after she fell in love with him. Well, I just wanted to shake her and tell her to wake up or send him my way! Lizzie has a good heart and knows that saving the ranch is important to her now that her grandfather has taken severely ill, and she knows that she needs to rely on Chance, but she's just not ready to do it!

Can Chance show her what it's like to have a real cowboy in her life? Or will Lizzie be unable to claim her cowboy as her own?

I absolutely recommend this read! It's a wonderful love story set in another era, and filled with lovable characters. This is most definitely worthy of 5 stars and I am happy to say that it's a keeper! I can't wait to see what other books are in store for this new series, as I am not ready to say goodbye to the Worth's just yet! Well done, Ms. Sands!


 





Friday, May 04, 2012

WE HAVE A WINNER OF CHARLENE'S BRAND NEW-SLETTER CONTEST!!



Congrats to Terriavidreader!!  

 

You have won your choice of  a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card and a beautiful Brighton Heart Necklace!!  I know you'll enjoy these prizes!!

Thanks to everyone who entered.  I loved hearing your marriage proposal preferences!
Look for more Contests coming VERY Soon at www.charlenesands.com

Sincerely,
Charlene Sands

 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

HOW TO POP THE QUESTION WITH STYLE! Making Marriage Proposals Fun and a Contest!


Marriage proposals have changed quite a bit since the day when a man simply dropped down to one knee and offered up a ring to his lady love.  Nowadays it seems grooms go to great lengths to ask for their love's hand in marriage. 

THE PRIVATE PROPOSAL


When my son asked his wife for her hand, while she was out of town, he fixed their favorite dinner, arranged flowers and petals everywhere. The house was illuminated in the soft romantic glow of a hundred small, large and heart-shaped candles placed strategically around the rooms.The mood was set.  When his unsuspecting girlfriend walked inside, she was astonished and fully surprised. It was fun and romantic and of course, he went down on one knee with a ring to propose. 


My daughter's husband, had taken her to a charming Bed and Breakfast along the shores of Santa Barbara Beach.  While she was luxuriating in a Spa Treatment, he arranged twinkle lights in the gorgeous foliage in the garden outside and set the scene for her surprise. He'd also created a crossword puzzle and a loving tribute to her on his computer screen and while they were sitting on a benchseat, amid the sparkling lights, he proposed to her.

Another way to surprise her is to have the staff at your hotel arrange words "Marry me" on your bed and hide the ring under the pillow.

Or pre-write the words "Marry Me" in the sand along your favorite private beach path.

Or sneak into her computer and change her screensaver to say "I love you. Marry me?"  along with a loving picture of the two of you.



WANT HER TO SAY YES?

Don't ask too soon in the relationship.

Speak of marriage in vague terms often to gauge her feelings on the subject.

Be sure she is the ONE.



THE KNOT

According to The Knot , a site exclusive to weddings and marriage,  here are a few fun suggestions for a successful public proposal:
1.Take out a full-page ad in a newspaper you know your girlfriend reads daily.

2. Arrange a surprise proposal with a street caricaturist. Have him sketch a picture of you two with word bubbles. Yours will read, "Will you Marry Me?", and hers will say, "Yes!"

3. Pay the divers at an aquarium to put on a proposal show inside their biggest fish tank. Give them handwritten signs that say "Will You Marry Me?" to hold up against the glass.

4. Send your girlfriend on a treasure hunt. Start with a clue at home, then send her on a tour of your favorite spots all over town. When she gets to the last hint, the prize should be you on one knee.

5. Go out for a night of dancing, and ask the DJ or band leader to pass you the mic so that you can dedicate a song and propose on the dance floor.

6. Have a friend or family member set up a picnic -- complete with wine and cheese, or course -- for you in a park. Take your girlfriend for a hike on a route where you'll stumble upon this surprise "Proposal Picnic."

7. Hire a skywriter to spell your proposal for everyone around to see.

8. Flying anytime soon? Use the plane's loud-speaker system (of course, run your plan by the flight attendants first) and propose at 35,000 feet.

9.Movie buffs? Ask your neighborhood theater to run an ad featuring your proposal and make sure you get there in time for the previews.

10. Gather a bunch of your friends and family for a party. Have everyone in attendance put on a T-shirt bearing one of the letters in the phrase "Will You Marry Me?" When you walk in the room with your girlfriend, suggest a group picture and let the shirts speak for themselves.




In my NEW RELEASE -- A COWBOY WORTH CLAIMING, Chance Worth starts a traditon of marriage proposals that spans for generations.  Every Worth Man MUST propose to their loves, at Elizabeth Lake on the land where Chance first saved Lizzie's Mitchell's life.  Throughout the stories set in Red Ridge and Worth Ranch, you'll see the inventive ways my heroes get the heroines to the lake to offer their love and have the women say "YES".  


Be sure to enter my BRAND NEW-SLETTER CONTEST by signing up for my newsletter on the WIN STUFF  page. For 3 extra entries each post a comment here OR Tweet OR Facebook the Contest and be sure to let me know you did.  You could win a romantic heart-shaped Brighton locket AND a $50 Amazon Gift Card!  Secondary prizes awarded too!!   **Note if you already subscribe to my newsletter you are automatically entered, but take advantage of the Bonus Entries!




What's the most fun, inventive or romantic proposal you've had or have heard about? Which one of the above would you have liked for yourself?  




Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Love

We have an extra day this year! Leap Day comes once in every four years on our calendar.   It was once believed that during  Leap Year and especially on Leap Day, women, who have tired of waiting for a proposal, are allowed to ask for a man's hand in marriage.  This dates back to B.C, but these postcards were designed in 1908 and depict some humor on the subject.

Be careful, Clara. He's a fine specimen!


The Maiden's Vow  1098
Charlie shall propose tonight
I swear it by on twinkling star,
For ages past might's been right
And all is fair in love and war



My father was born just after midnight on March 1st, missing being a Leap Day baby by just a short time.   Do you know anyone who was born on Leap Day, February 29th?



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Truth About Cowboys

I'm talking about Cowboys today at the Brand New Desire Blog.  If you stop by, I'll be giving away an advance copy of A Cowboy Worth Claiming to one commentor today.
Hope to see you there!! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

MY FAVORITE ROMANTIC MOVIE by Charlene Sands

It's Valentine's Day and Love is in the Air!

Whether it's love of a sweetheart, a child, friend or family member, today is the day that we celebrate LOVE.

So I got to thinking about the one romantic movie that does it for me every time.  The one movie, I never tire of watching. The one movie that fills my emotional well in one way and drains me, in another. For me, this movie is one of best stories of true love, that I've ever seen. 

I remember going to the movie theatre, not knowing what to expect exactly, and then being completely blown away. I hadn't read the book, so the story and the way it was told, really reached deep inside me and pulled at my heartstrings. Because of this movie, and my public display of crying,  (I wasn't warned to bring tissues) I have now shied away from all movies that I KNOW will bring on the waterworks.  Mostly, those are animal movies, but also stories of heartbreaking love.

But The Notebook was uplifting in it's love story.  No matter how many times I see this movie, I still cry during the sweet and poignant moments.  It's a movie I have to watch over and over again.

It reminds me of the tremendous power of love.
 
And what better day than today, to speak about true, everlasting love?  

Happy Valentine's Day to you. 




What's your all-time favorite love story?

Friday, February 03, 2012

COFFEE ANYONE?

http://www.coffeetimeromance/
While most of the United States shivers, dreading arctic winds and record snowfalls, there's a place on the internet where the sun always warms the waves: Charlene Sands' website. Charlene's books feature bold passionate, heart-stopping heroes and always really good men. Within the pages of her website, you can explore her passionate stories, oogle some real-life and very hunky heroes, win copies of her books, and meet the author. So, come warm your toes in the sand.


Pretty cool to have my website featured at Coffee Time Romance. Click on link if you want to see what other great flavors they are serving up!