It’s that time of year again: Time to find the perfect gift for the writer in your life.
I’m one of those writers that’s easy to shop for: A nice, fat Starbucks gift card will keep me in lattes and pastries for months. Anything that enables my Starbucks habit is good enough for me.
However, some folks might want to give a gift that lasts. For those people, I present some of the goodies I wouldn’t mind finding under my Christmas tree. (Note these are affiliate links, so if you decide to buy one using my link, I get a small kickback—but it doesn’t cost you any extra.)
• One can never have too many tote bags, right? This one simply says “Romance Writer. Where Love Prevails.” The heavyweight canvas tote measures 15-by-18-by-6 inches and boasts a 22-inch reinforced fabric handle. The product description insists it’s sure to meet all your reusable shopping bag needs.
• Writers drink tons of coffee—and sometimes other beverages. Why not give them a cool new mug to drink from? My tastes tend toward sarcastic, funny or motivational mugs. A few of my favorites:
This Banned Book mug, featuring the best books once thought too scandalous or subversive to read.
And this one: English major. YOU do the math.
Another thing writers can never have too many of? NOTEBOOKS. I’m rather fond of this one, with its cover declaring “Some of my best friends are fictional” and this one saying “my voices are telling me to write.” But some might prefer one with a plain leather cover or this beauty.
• As a writer struggling to balance the day job with the writing life, this book sounds mighty appealing.
“Writer with a Day Job: Inspiration and exercises to help you craft a writing life alongside your career” by Aine Greaney promises “advice, skill-building techniques, prompts, and exercises in every chapter, and strategies on how to get and keep writing while also working the 9 to 5 grind.” It’s a paperback, and sells for $12.49.
• This water bottle speaks to both my copy editor side and the (small, stunted) part of me that wants to get healthier in 2017. The Keep Calm and Proofread water bottle is made of stainless steel, holds 20 ounces and comes with two lids — one standard cap and an “easy-flow” drinking cap. Only $8.99 (+ $1.01 shipping).
If none of those ideas hit a home run with you, the gals at Ruby Slippered Sisterhood served up 8 handmade gifts for writers and other book lovers.
Still stumped? This list from The Write Life has 22 more awesome ideas.
It’s been a while since I blogged—and it’s been even longer since I’ve done one of those fill-in-the-blank surveys. You know the ones … They’re often passed around on Facebook or from blogger to blogger (especially in the healthy living/lifestyle blogosphere).
I’ve done them before, usually over on my practically defunct weight-loss blog. But in the spirit of holiday fun, I thought I’d do some (over)sharing.
First spotted this survey over on PB Fingers‘ blog:
I would ride on the back of a motorcycle once. I had a chance once, in high school, when I was too chicken to take advantage of it. Given another chance, I’d take that ride.
The weirdest thing I ever ate was escargot. French Club dinner. The menu also included French Onion Soup and Boeuf Bourginone. Need I say more?
The movie of my life would star Melissa McCarthy. I love her!
My go-to food indulgence is anything I don’t have to cook. There are so many other things I’d rather be doing than spending time in the kitchen, so anything that keeps me away from the sink and stove is a bonus. Too often, that means a fast-food drive-thru. But there’s another option: FITzee Foods. (More on this later in the week. The company recently sent me a bunch of meals to test. In a word: yum!)
The last live concert I saw was it’s hard to remember. The last big-name concert I attended was probably Motley Crue and Aerosmith several years ago (sometime in the ’00s)… but last month, I took my Little Sis to a jazz concert at Yavapai College. We saw the two Roughriders jazz bands (Yes, the school mascot is Ole Ruff, one of Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, which apparently originated right here in Yavapai County.)
My favorite jeans are Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda. They fit great and look pretty good on my oversized bod. Just picked up a new pair this weekend, courtesy of half-off at Kohl’s.
My can’t-live-without beauty product is lip balm. Lots of lip balm in every flavor imaginable. I don’t wear a lot of makeup. Never have, and at my advanced age I probably never will.
And I found this fun list on Sloane Howell‘s Facebook Page: 44 Odd things about me….
1. Do you like blue cheese? Yes. (Something I no doubt inherited from my Dad.)
2. Have you ever smoked? Once, on accident. We were onstage during rehearsal for the musical “Hair” and I accidentally inhaled the fake joint we were passing around. Almost choked to death.
3. Do you own a gun? A glue gun
4. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Baseball nut
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Not really. I dislike going to the doctor because I don’t feel the need to pay someone $50 to tell me I need to lose weight. As if I can’t look in the mirror every morning and tell myself that.
6. What do you think of hot dogs? Perfect for eating at a ballgame
7. Favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Story
8. What do you prefer to drink? Diet Dr Pepper
9. Do you do push-ups? Not if I can help it
10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? An amber garnet pendant I inherited from mom
11. Favorite hobby? It’s a toss-up between reading, crocheting and quilting
12. Do you have A.D.D.? Not that I know of
13. What’s the one thing you hate? Mean people
14. Middle name? Marie
15. Name three thoughts at this moment: My feet are cold. Time to start wearing socks. It’s gray outside and I hope it doesn’t snow too much.
16. Name 3 beverages you drink: Diet Dr Pepper. Pretty much anything from Starbucks. Cherry or Vanilla Coke Zero
17. Current worry right now? Think I ate something that didn’t agree with me
18. Current hate right now? The weather
19. Favorite place to be? At a ballgame or movie theater
20. How do you bring in the new years? Watching the Twilight Zone Marathon on SyFy
21. Where would you like to go? Back to England
22. Name 3 people who will complete this: Whoever wants to.
23. Do you own slippers? Yes. They’re in my desk drawer at work.
24. What color shirt are you wearing right now? Gray
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Yes
26. Can you whistle? Not too loudly
27. Favorite Color? Purple
28. Would you be a pirate? Probably not
29. What songs do you sing in the shower? Whatever’s running through my head at the moment. Yesterday it was Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.
30. Favorite girls name? Alexandria
31. Favorite boys name? Damien
32. What’s in your pocket right now? Three receipts I need to enter into my check register.
33. Last thing that made you laugh? My pastor
34. Best toy as a child? Legos and Matchbox cars
35. Worst injury? Twisted my knee during rehearsals for “Hair.” It’s never been the same.
36. Where would you love to live? Ideally, someplace cool in the summer and with no snow come wintertime
37. How many TV’s do you have in your house? One, but I haven’t plugged it in since May 2, 2015
38. Who is your loud aunt? Don’t have one anymore
39. How many dogs do you have? One
40. Does someone trust you? Probably
41. What book are you reading? Fahrenheit by Alex Rosa
42. What’s your favorite candy bar? Zagnut
43. What’s your favorite sports team? The Cubs
44. What is your favorite movie? If I have to pick just one … Legends of the Fall. You can’t go wrong ogling Brad Pitt and Aidan Quinn.
Now it’s your turn!
What book are you reading? What was your favorite childhood toy? What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Answer one—or all—of those questions (or pick your favorite off the list). I want to get to know you, too!
Just in time for the World Series, which will showcase my beloved Chicago Cubs for the first time since 1945, I present the fifth book in my All’s Fair in Love & Baseball series …
STEALING THE SOUTHPAW.
Readers met Luis Castillo for the first time in BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER, when he was the rookie pitcher giving catcher Matt Thatcher fits. He had a slightly larger role in SLIDING INTO HOME, when he was Greg’s pitcher in the big Home Run Derby Greg and Jenn organized for charity. Now, finally, Luis has the chance to tell his own story. It’s a good one, I promise.
Here’s SOUTHPAW’s back cover blurb:
A potentially career-ending injury sends Arizona Condors pitcher Luis Castillo home to Miami to rehab and recuperate. He hasn’t even unpacked the rental car when he runs into his ex-best friend’s kid sister. She’s not a kid anymore, but she remains the main reason he ran as far and fast as he could six years ago. A successful college baseball career and two good years on the mound with the Condors did nothing to change what they did, or help him forget its consequences. He doesn’t deserve Randi’s warm welcome—and she sure as hell shouldn’t still look at him that way.
Miranda Vega sets out to convince Luis to take a chance on their relationship, which came to a premature end the night her brother found his baby sister in the arms of his best friend. The discovery sent Ricky into a vehicle, a near-head-on collision and ultimately a wheelchair. To get the boy—now man—she started crushing on at puberty and still loves today to believe Ricky’s accident wasn’t his fault, Randi needs a game plan. With any luck, she, Ricky and a Little League team in serious need of coaching will be able to notch the win.
Even with a bum left arm, Luis is a skilled opponent, adept at getting in his own way. But Randi grew up stubborn. And this time, she’s playing for keeps.
STEALING THE SOUTHPAW is $2.99 in e-book and $9.99 in paperback. It’s already available for preorder, and it’ll be live Oct. 25. Find it at your favorite retailer.
To celebrate the end of summer—and the start of postseason play, I’ve teamed up with more than 25 fantastic baseball romance authors to give away a huge collection of novels, PLUS a Kindle Fire to one lucky winner!
You can win my BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER, plus books from authors like Kate Curran, Mindy Klasky, Kasey Michaels, Sloane Howell and Celia Aaron, C.D. Reiss, Rebecca J. Clark, Alessandra Torre and Pamela Aares.
The contest runs from Oct. 3-10. One grand prize winner will get a Kindle Fire and an ebook from each of the authors. A runner up will receive each of the participating books.
Enter the giveaway by clicking here: bit.ly/baseball-romance
Be sure and pass the word and tell all your friends.
Baseball romance rules!