Archive for November, 2012


Black Friday? How About “Black December”?

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 4 Comments

If you’ve ever participated in Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving, you know you can get some good deals…if you don’t mind being bumped, cut-off, and screamed at.

At that’s before you put the car in park in the parking lot…

Well, I’m doing my own sort of “Black Friday” around here only;  1) you don’t have to drive, 2) there’s no shoving allowed, and 3) it last for 31-days instead of one.

That’s right, my pre-holiday sale lasts for the entire month of December!

Sound good?

Here’s the low down. My very first mystery series (traditionally published in 2005,2006, and 2007) is now available on E-book (with new covers, new titles, and a bonus peek at chapter one in my first Amish mystery). And, in the spirit of this whole month-long sale thing I mentioned, I’ve put all three books in the series into an E-Book boxed set and priced it at just $4.99 on Amazon *and* Barnes & Noble.

3 books for $4.99…for 31 days.

Merry Christmas!

~Elizabeth 🙂

In the meantime, here’s the Amazon link (the B & N link should be up later today)


Peace From a Blank Page

Posted under Writing Thursdays 3 Comments

Yesterday was one of those crazy days where–because of a car shortage in my house these days–I was literally going from 2 until 8, driving kids around.

The highlight of my day came when I got to sit down at my local Panera for a whopping 45 minutes between drop-off/pick-up and spend some time with the brand new notepad I’d purchased earlier in the day. To say I love to have a new notebook is quite the understatement. Much of my enthusiasm for the rather basic office supply is the fact that it represents the beginning of a new book or project. This time, that new book happens to be the third installment in my Amish Mysteries.

So there I was, with my cup of Peppermint hot cocoa (see yesterday’s post) and my brand new notepad and 45 minutes all to myself. Ahhhh…

By the time I headed back out to the car for the next pick-up, I’d transcribed the plot and necessary research facts onto the new notepad and bullet-ed out the first three chapters which will make today’s first writing session a whole lot smoother.

~Elizabeth (who just found out last night that HEARSE & BUGGY, the first in the Amish series, has gone into it’s fourth printing–yay 🙂 )


It’s That Time of Year (Hurrah!)

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 3 Comments

Although it’s still November, it’s hard not to find myself being bitten by the holiday bug. I want to decorate. I want to bake (fudge season–yay). And I want to wander through the stores tracking down the perfect ornaments to commemorate the year for my husband and each of the kids.

I love it all.

But aside from those absolute favorite parts of the Christmas build-up, there are two more must-haves (at least in my book).

The first, is a carryover from my childhood. My brother and I loved to watch all of the Christmas TV specials, but The Year Without A Santa Claus was our very favorite.

We knew (and still do) the words for both the Snow Mizer and the Heat Mizer’s little ditties and sometimes we’d even get up and do their dance.

Good times.

And the second is a relatively new addition thanks to my friend and fellow writer, Tasha Alexander. It was during a visit five years ago this December, that she first introduced me to Peppermint Hot Chocolate. By the time I headed home after our weekend hang-out, I was hooked. Since then, it’s become a sort of tradition we share whenever we get together (in winter months, anyway), but it’s also something I will indulge in all on my own.

Just last week I decided to do a little writing at my local Barnes & Noble and, lo and behold, they had peppermint hot chocolate. I was in heaven. Truly. The fact that it was really, really good only served to make sure I will return often over the next month (sometimes under the guise of writing…and sometimes without any guise at all).

So tell me, what are some of your must-haves (guilty pleasures or otherwise) at this time of year? 



Small Town Stories

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 2 Comments

By Lynn Cahoon

I lived within the same thirty miles for over, ahem, forty years. Then, my then boyfriend-now husband, and I moved 1600 miles away to the next state down the alphabet, Illinois. And for the most part, a lot of things were the same. We had a Walmart, Dairy Queen, McDonalds, Wendy’s, Starbucks, and even a Target. But there are things at home, that aren’t national companies.  Regional shops, restaurants, and stores that I took for granted at home but miss now.

Like Taco Time. Sure, we have a Taco Bell, but Taco Time… yum.  Their deep fried chicken burritos are to die for.  When I last visited Boise, I ate there three times.

And it’s hard to find a country western clothing store here. However, when I visited Nashville last spring with my partner in crime, we found several.  So I have to order my husband’s too tall Wranglers online.

Even six years later, I’ll run across a memory of home.  Of how Fairview Avenue would back up on Saturdays so bad you’d think you were in big city traffic. Or how Ken’s Kash Korner used to sell the most amazing jojo potatoes and how I’d get off the school bus while we waited for the high schoolers to board just to get a pound.

Is it me or are all my memories around food? Must be the time of year.

So when I started writing the Shawnee Rodeo series, I knew I’d set it in my home state of Idaho.  And, with the second book, THE BULL RIDER’S MANAGER, its set in the Treasure Valley right around Boise.  I loved bringing in memories of my life into the book, like the Country Star bar where Hunter Martin used to like to spend his Friday nights and the little town of Eagle that has a large community party every year focusing on Rocky Mountain Oysters.  (If you don’t know what these are, don’t ask.)

Writing the books let me go home, at least in my mind. I hope you visit Barb and Hunter as they tango around my old stomping ground.  And if you do get to Idaho, check out Taco Time!

What place reminds you of home – either where you live now, or where you grew up?

*          *          *

BIO:  Lynn Cahoon is a contemporary romance author with a love of hot, sexy men, real and imagined. Her alpha heroes range from rogue witch hunters to modern cowboys. And her heroines all have one thing in common, their strong need for independence. Or at least that’s what they think they want.  She blogs at her website, A Fairy Tale Life.

About THE BULL RIDER’S MANAGER:  Barb Carico’s life is all about business.  Now that her best friend has tied the knot with her high school sweetheart and Barb’s new partner, she’s busier than ever. Managing Jesse Sullivan’s career and public persona can be a handful. Add in an aging mother who goes through home health nurses like candy, Barb’s hanging on the edge.

 Her one salvation?  Hunter Martin, prodigal son of Martin Family Dairy and, hopefully, Jesse’s next sponsor. A promise his father had already made before Hunter took over the public relations department.  After his brother’s death, Hunter’s become an instant dad to his seven year old niece.  More responsibility. For Hunter, the rodeo weekend with Barb is the perfect excuse to relax.

 When their dinner turns into drinks and then a quick trip to a Vegas wedding chapel, both Barb and Hunter agree their nuptials were a mistake.  A mistake they consummated the next evening.  As soon as they’re home, the marriage will be annulled. That’s what they both want.  Or at least what they tell themselves.

Upon their return, Hunter finds that distant relatives are suing him for custody of his niece.  The only way for him to keep custody is to design a life that matches the promise of a perfect family.  For that, he needs Barb to stay married to him.  Hunter would give her anything to go along with the charade.

Barb doesn’t know anything about being a wife or mother but she needs one favor.  A favor she’ll trade her lifestyle, independence, and even risk her heart to make come true.



Posted under Dreamer Mondays 3 Comments

Over the past two weekends, I’ve had the honor of watching Dear Daughter # 1 perform in her first community theater production. She’s done school shows before. She’s done neighborhood productions before. She’s done end-of-the-year acting class productions before. But this was her first time in a show alongside professional actors, and she more than held her own.

The show was Bye Bye Birdie and she was a featured dancer. Here she is in the “Happy Face” number…

In addition to her dancing, the director decided (a few weeks into rehearsal) she had great stage presence and so he threw her an extra part as the director’s assistant for the Ed Sullivan Show. She didn’t say a word but she was hilarious.

This show was one she will never forget. She took a chance trying out. A chance that more than paid off when she was cast and then got herself noticed.

So, now, to steer this away from proud Mom and back to all of you, what’s a production (school or otherwise) that you were in that you will always remember? What part did you play?



Shop ‘Til You ?

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 2 Comments

Not sure how much blog-reading is going on today, but, just in case, I figured I’d do a “black Friday” themed Bits & Pieces…

1) As a kid, what was a toy you thought was “all that” only to get it for Christmas and realize it wasn’t?

2) Best shopping deal you’ve ever gotten (this can be an item or a trip, basically anything you’ve ever purchased)?

3) Favorite store?

4) Least favorite store?

5) Have you ever braved Black Friday?



Turkey Day

Posted under odds and ends 3 Comments

  I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with warm memories-in-the-making and extra yummy food.

 This year, I’m thankful for many things–my children’s good health, the loving arms of my family and friends, and a job I truly love. But I’m also thankful for all of you–friends I’ve made while reaching for a dream. You’ve all made the realization of that dream all the more special.

Thank you.



Childhood Friends

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 6 Comments

I spent the better part of last night, hanging out with my two oldest friends in one of their childhood homes. Not only did the room conjure up memories (I spent many, many evenings in that house during my high school years), so too, did the box of yearbooks that entertained us for hours. 

We looked through our graduating class, person by person, and shared memories as well as any updates we happened to know about each one.

Some faces took longer to remember than others. Some, brought instant smiles. Still others, earned a collective groan.

What fun it was to sit there, sharing a history that we all knew to one degree or the other. A history we’ve shared since we were each ten-years-old.

So tell me, how long have you know your oldest friend? How often do you see him/her today?



Next Up

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 1 Comment

Since starting and devouring Maggie Barbieri’s Murder 101 series this past spring, I’ve been patiently (okay, maybe not so very patiently) waiting for the next one to come out.

Fortunately, my wait is nearly over. EXTRA CREDIT comes out December 4th. If you’re not sitting in front of a calendar at themoment, that’s just two weeks away.

Two. Weeks.

Don’t you love it when you find a series that pulls you in and makes you feel like the characters are people you know? People you care about?

I know I sure do.




The Best Job Ever

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 5 Comments

There is, without a doubt, no greater “job” than being a mom. Yet, unlike 9 to 5 jobs, your time card is stamped the moment they are born and you are on call 24/7  thereafter.

In the beginning, you do everything for your child. You change them, feed them, burp them, rock them, clip their nails, clear their noses, wipe their tears, etc.

Then, they start to do little things–like walk across the room alone, or wipe their own nose.

Before you know it, they’re leaving you for part of the day while they learn more things. They come home in time for an afternoon snack and they have tales to share from their day.

Still, though, they’re little kids. Little kids who need you to transport them places, guide them through new waters, and, on occasion, still wipe a few tears.

But suddenly, in the blink of an eye, they’re older. 

Sometimes, it’s hard to see. I mean, they’re growing up. They’re applying to colleges. They’re driving. They’re making plans with friends. And their pursuing dreams that don’t require stopping at a toy store for dress up clothes.

But if you do it right, there’s also something incredibly satisfying about stepping back and seeing that all your time and efforts paid off a million times over because the person standing in front of you is really pretty awesome.

This past weekend, I had the honor and privlege of watching Dear Daughter # 1 take a giant step closer toward her dream when shestepped out on stage in her first regional theater show. She danced and acted with such passion and poise that I couldn’t help but flash back to those early years with a mix of nostalgia and pride. After all, this was the child I learned to be a mom on, the one who essentially broke me into this amazing job.

And you know what? We did pretty darn good for ourselves. Nearly eighteen years into the job and I can truly say it’s the greatest job in the world. That little six pound, twelve ounce little angel has grown into an amazing young woman. She’s smart. She’s funny. She’s sensitive. She’s talented. She’s driven. And she’s happy.

I did that.

She did that.

We did that.