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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Thanks everyone! Here are our final winners

Thanks for the rocking Christmas party! And for sharing your favorite ornaments and family memories with us. For making my holiday season so much brighter.

Mark the week of Valentines Day on your calendar, and we'll do it all over again--as we celebrate the Feb. release of The Perfect Daughter!!! You'll love the book and the party, promise. More info to come, so stay tuned. We might have to have an April fools party, too, to ring in the release of All-American Father.

And I'm so glad you're enjoying Legally Yours. The draft is due in Jan., so it's crunch time getting the story out of my head and onto paper. Your support, as always, will make the ride smooth and easy ;o) If all goes well, the book'll be in stores near you in September.

But for now, as we all fade away to our holiday plans (check back in now and again, and I'll try to keep the cheer going out here ;o), here are our final winners:

Shari C--the great hobo bag is yours!!!


Theresa N.--you've won the complete set of "Daughter" Books!!! (I'll be shipping them as soon as I have my advance author copies of The Perfect Daughter--should be some time in early January).


Cheri Japp--you get the $5 Borders gift certificate!!!!

All blog party winners, email me your mailling address, and I'll be shipping things out ASAP!!

Thanks, everyone, for coming out and hanging. Happy Holidays to you all!!!

I'm including pics at the bottom, from some of our buds--if you'd like me to include some of your holiday cheer in future blogs, just send the pics to my email addie, and I'll hook you up!

Hey, that's a great idea--let's do a blog Christmas Gallery. Email me a glimpse of your Christmas splendor, and I'll make sure everyone gets the chance to share ;o)

As you can see...include a pet in it, and I'm hooked. LOL!!!

Here's Linda's "kitty" and her Rustic decorations--sigh...

And Toni's Bogart...kitty's make the holiday's so much more cuddly, don't they?

Congrats to all the winners...but, you have to know, that I'm the biggest winner of the bunch, because you share your time (and your Christmases) with me ;o)

See you around the blog!!

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Final Day of the Holiday Party--Revel in the Bling!!

I'm loving all the support and wishing and dreaming in the comments. Keeps me going as I push through another ten pages of the Legally Yours draft today (one final excerpt below--hope you enjoy).

You're all amazing. Special. Brilliant, shining lights. We come from light. From belonging to something unbelievably beautiful. And we spend our entire lives working our way back to it. Mushy enough for you? Well, I believe it. Whatever your beliefs are, know that you're part of my light.

And Christmas is the perfect time of year to celebrate the light in our lives.

Light--bling--is all around in December. Everywhere you look. A gift for the eyes. And each time you look at it this year, I want you to think about the gifts inside of you. The party you bring to me and everyone you care about, just by showing up ;o)

You're perfect to all of us, just the way you are. See that when you gaze at the bling on every streetcorner and in your own home. See the light you bring to this world, cherish it and never let it go out.

Question of the day: what's your favorite Christmas decoration? Either a public one, like the tree in Rockerfeller Center, or one you parents or grandparents had, or one you've found and put out each season. One you gave your child, that you hope he remembers came from you one day when he's hanging it on his own tree.

And while you're enteraining us with your all your shiny, Christmas fancy, we need winners for yesterday's prizes!!

And they are:

Pat--the Guess tweed bag will be under your tree this Christmas ;o)


Toni--I have a $5 Border's gift certificate with your name on it!!

A few more prizes for our final day--the hobo bag everyone loved. And to another friend, I'll send a complete set of my "Daughter" series (The Unknown Daughter, The Runaway Daughter, and The Perfect Daughter), as soon as I receive my author copies of The Perfect Daughter. And one more Borders gift certificate will go to a final winner.

Wish I had something for everyone!!

Leave a comment between now and tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. I'll draw our final random winners and post them tomorrow night.

Thanks for making it a fabulous Holiday bash!!

Oh, and almost forgot the final excerpt from Legally Yours:


"What was that?" Kate's ex-husband, neurosurgeon Bob Livingston, asked.

He was intentionally blocking her view of the lawyer's retreating back, instinctively shielding her the way he'd wanted to in their marriage. The way she'd always refused to let him. Robert had always wanted to be more to her than she could handle. To save her from things they'd barely even talked about.

It wasn't in her nature to be saved, and it wasn't in his to back off when someone needed help.

Thank God.

For the first time, as she peered around her ex to watch Stephen Creighton enter the elevator at the end of the hall, she was thankful for his coddling. Because there had been something in the lawyer's eyes, in his voice, that made her want to doubt what her own eyes were telling her. To believe that an abused little boy belonged with the man who'd most likely hurt him.

"That was nothing."

"You okay?" Robert rubbed a hand down the same place Creighton had her arm. His other hand held Creighton's card. "Who--"

"A lawyer for some legal aid center." She glanced back toward Dillon's closed door. "He's representing Manny Digarro."

"The father of the banged up little boy from the shelter?"

"Yeah. The police were notified by the ER attending, and we're running more tests to try and figure out exactly what's wrong. But he's banged up pretty badly, from more than a fall down the stairs, and there are too many signs of neglect to ignore."

"Then you're doing the right thing."


Handsome lawyers with earnest expressions didn't change the truth. X-rays and broken bones didn't lie, no matter how much Dillon seemed to miss his father. And the truth was something Kate had promised herself to never rationalize away again, even when she wanted to believe some one else's promises more than what she saw with her own two eyes.

She took Creighton's business card from her ex, tore it in half and smiled. And she kept smiling, reassuring herself and Robert that she'd already put out of her mind how gentle the lawyer had been with her vulnerable patient. How honest his assurances had sounded.

But a smile didn't change the fact that she'd glanced at the address on the card as she ripped it in two. Or that she'd committed the name of Creighton's legal aid center to memory.

Damn easy-going Southern men. Their smiles could make you like their lies better than the truth.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Focus that Wish

Late, late post. I know. Sunday got away from me.

L-O-V-E-D everyone's dreams. Keep it up. Focus on them, and achieve all you can. If nothing else, you'll become more and more convinced that you deserve them.

My focus when I need to get away is the ocean. The sound of it, washing everything else from my ears, pouring over me like the wind and the waves. I have a white-noise device in my office, set to "ocean." No one touches it. It's running all the time when I'm writing. Like a dream in the background, telling me I can do it. That my heart's desire isn't a wish anymore...it's a reality, as long as I don't stop fighting for it.

New Age Question of the Day: What focuses your dreams and wishes in your life? What's your dreamcatcher, your tallisman. What can you look at and smile, listen to and believe, feel with your hands and remember?

My son's one of the strongest reminders for me of what I need. What I want and dream for. I call him my dreamcatcher in the acknowledgements for All-American Father. He's everything good in my life, smiling back at me every morning, and he's my motivation for getting up and making each day matter. What's yours?

Okay, we need winners from yesterday. And they are:

Joyce, the Nine West bag is yours!!


Shannon, the $5 Borders Gift Certificate will be coming your way.

Again, email me your mailing addresses, and we'll get things squared away here. It might take until the end of the week to get things shipped out, but they'll be coming.

And we need a new Holiday Party prize. How about the tweed Guess bag, and another Borders Gift Certificate? Leave a comment, and I'll be picking a winner by mid-day tomorrow. We're starting so late tonight, I want to give everyone a chance.

Come back tomorrow for a final excerpt, a chance to win the Nine West hobo bag, and I'll be giving away the set of "Daguther" books I promised. Plus, one more chance to hang with your blog buds and have some fun. Who's bringing the egg nog???

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Saturday is Wish Day!!!

Okay, Blogspot actually agrees it's Saturday, so I think we're on a roll ;o)

Wow! Great turnout yesterday. I wish I had something to give you all. Well, maybe another excerpt??? See below ;o)

Yes, is the answer to the question about posting every day. If you want to be in the running for today's prize, you have to leave a comment--even if you left one yesterday. It's a party. Get to know each other. I think you're all fabulous. I know you will, too.

Today's topic (though I'd like to be chatting Mario all weekend, I figured I'd give you a break from one of many fixations)--Wishing On a Star. One of my favorite lines in children's literature is , "Second star to the right, and on ' til morning." There were times in my life when I'd have given anythng to be Peter Pan or Tinkerbell and be able to soar into the stars and off to Neverland. Dreaming/wishing that I could became an excellent substitute. Wishes are powerful things. They'll transform your life, if you let your mind accept that what you need is real, and have the faith to believe you can have it. That you deserve to reach for it.

Holidays are a time for reaching for what you want most. Family, fun and fantasy wishes that may never come true--but it does your soul good to reach for them ;o) So, what's your over the top wish??? What would you want if you let yourself want what you wanted most? Make it as greedy as you can, and see if that doesn't make you smile!!

Here's our prize for today--this great topstiched leather 9 West shoulder bag comes complete with a phone case and wallet that for some reason I didn't photograph. But you get the picture--it rocks!! Especially the jewels all over the shoulder strap ;O) Leave a comment today to be in the mix for it, or one of the $5 Borders gift certificates.

Our winner from yesterday, you're asking??? From the random drawing of all our commenters, we have...

Catslady, the Liz satchel is yours...


Sharon, the ARC of The Perfect Daughter is yours!!!

Email me your mailing addresses, ladies, and the prizes will ship out next week.

Everyone else, hope you win something today. Until then, here's a little more of Legally Yours:

"You bet I'm keeping him away from his child!" The nurse who'd rushed Stephen away from Dillon Degarro's hospital bed was furious. Indignant.

He didn't have to read her name badge to know she was the Kate Rhodes Manny Digarro had warned him about. The homeless shelter volunteer who'd registered a formal complaint of child abuse with the Atlanta Police Department.

"Mr. Degarro's done nothing to deserve being separated from his injured child," Stephen reasoned. "He's beside himself worrying about--"

"From the looks of that little boy's x-rays, someone should have done more than separate your friend from his son years ago."

"Client," Stephen corrected.

Her eyes narrowed. If her spine got any stiffer, she'd break in two.

"Your client should be in jail. Dillon has poorly healed breaks on both arms, in addition to the new one near his left wrist and right ankle. Weeks-old contusions on his chest, to go along with the shiny new ones on his face. And don't get me started on the poor dental hygiene and the vitamin deficiency we suspect is causing his complexion to be at least three shades lighter than a healthy child's should be. Once we have the results of the battery of tests the Dr. Floyd had ordered, not being able to visit Dillon will be the least of your client's concerns. Until then, Mr. Degarro should be thankful that restricting his access to the pediatric floor is the only option the nurses here had. Believe me, there's at least half a dozen staff who'd have been happy to do worse."

The golden-haired, green-eyed beauty's chest rose and fell quickly, her breathing agitated. The warm brown eyes that had smiled down at Dillon sparked with fire.

It wasn't lost on Stephen how perversely inappropriate it was, given the circumstances, to find her temper tantrum arousing. But he didn't run into that kind of passion often. Not in someone so meticulously put together he'd bet Friday night's poker stake that she rarely let a hair slip out of place, let alone her emotions.

Too bad this wasn't the time or place to push her buttons a little further, just to see what she'd do.

Work the case, man.

"You only met Manny Digarro and his son five days ago. Just two days before Dillon's accident."

"You mean his violent fall down the stairs that only his father seems to have witnessed, just like all the other accidents."

"Manny's no more a threat to his child than I am," Stephen assured her. "He's--"

"An abusive bastard who's never going to hurt his son again."

Stephen blinked. Focused past the righteous indignation that he'd have labeled blind ignorance on anyone else.

Most people took one look at impoverished immigrants like the Digarros and saw people they couldn't trust. A threat they didn't want to be any closer to than they had to. But Kate Rhodes spent several evenings a week volunteering at the shelter the Degarros had landed in, serving the homeless community. Protecting them for a world often too careless about the wellbeing of weak amongst them.

And now she was on a mission to protect a child who needed to be with the father who'd sacrificed his world for him.

"Manny Digarro's a terrified father who's watched his son have one accident after another, tried to protect him the best he could while working three different jobs to keep them off public assistance since coming to this country, and now he's being told that's not good enough. That Dillon's going to be taken away from him. I'm here to make sure someone in this hospital listens to his side of the story before a terrible mistake is made. If you really care about your patient, you'll give me five minutes of your time."

She sized up his Brooks Brother's suit.

Her eyebrow raised.

"Where did he dig you up, if he's struggling so badly?" she asked.

"At the legal aid center where he'd heard someone would listen to him, instead of taking one look at his ethnic background and worn out clothes and figure he was a no account bastard who beats up on little boys to get his jollies."

Those forest-green eyes widened. But instead biting back, she smiled.

"Bait me all you want, Mr. Creighton. But my first clue your client was a no account bastard came from studying the damage done to Dillon's body, not the color of their skin. And you've gotten all the details you're going to about Dillon's condition. I going to have to insist that you leave."

She headed around him, toward the nurses station again. He grabbed her arm. Instincts that had never let him down screamed that this woman could help him, if he could only get her to listen. But his mistake was instantly obvious. She didn't jerk away from his touch, she cringed. The agitated breathing that she'd brought under professional control, now stopped completely.

Frightened eyes snapped to his face, then dilated as her gaze flinched away.

"Let me go," whispered the woman who moments ago had verbally handed him his ass. "Please, let me--"

Stephen released her, raising his hand to show he meant no harm, the same way he'd sooth a skittish animal.

She flinched again.

"Is everything okay, Kate?" A tall man dressed in blue scrubs, a stethoscope draped around his neck, presumably a doctor, stepped to her side. He made no move to touch her as he glared at Stephen. "What the hell do you think you're doing!"

Making a mess of things.

"Mr. Creighton was just leaving," Kate Rhodes answered. "Bob, would you call security to help him find the door?"

The other man didn't budge.

"No need." Stephen stepped away.

He buried his hands in the pockets of the trench coat he hadn't bothered taking off. His fingers wrapped around the stack of business cards he always carried with him. Drawing one out, he handed it to doctor, but he studied the beautiful nurse's face until she looked back at him.

"I'm sorry to have frightened you. But please, if you change your mind about helping the Digarro's, call my pager any time of the day or night."

He walked toward the elevator, cursing the fear and confusion still lingering in her eyes. Eyes that seemed incapable hiding whatever she was feeling. The eyes of someone who would fight just as hard for the patients in her care as he did for clients who had nowhere else to turn.
Someone he'd have found himself wanting to know better, if he wasn't so certain she was wrong, dead wrong, about the cause of Dillon Degarro's injuries.

And that her mistake was going to ruin his client's life.

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