12 Days of Christmas Giveaway – Day 6

On the sixth day of Christmas, my favorite authors gave to me . . .

We’re already on Day 6 of the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway! And the prizes are pretty amazing and each day they’re growing!

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Each day the prize builds with another book or book-related goody, and your rafflecopter entries will roll over–every day another chance to win. 

The 6th day of Christmas prize winner will receive:

Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson

In her kitchen at the Red Door Inn, executive chef Caden Holt is calm, collected, and competent. But when her boss asks her to show off their beautiful island to impress a visiting travel writer and save the inn, Caden is forced to face a world much bigger than her kitchen–and a man who makes her wish she was beautiful. Journalist Adam Jacobs is on a forced sabbatical on Prince Edward Island. He’s also on assignment to uncover a story. Instead he’s falling in love with the island’s red shores and Caden’s sweets. When Caden discovers Adam isn’t who she thought he was, she realizes that the article he’s writing could do more than ruin the inn’s chances for survival–it might also break her heart.

and

His Prairie Sweetheart by Erica Vetsch
A Family Arrangement by Gabrielle Meyer
Concealed Identity by Jessica Patch
Watercolor Dreams audio book by Sherry Kyle
and
Hazardous Holiday by Liz Johnson

 

Enter in the Rafflecopter giveaway below by following some of your favorite authors on social media and signing up for their newsletters. Every entry carries over–so the sooner you enter, the more chances you have to win. 

And be sure to visit Patricia Bradley’s blog on December 7th to learn about the Day 7 prize!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway – Day 1

On the first day of Christmas, my favorite authors gave to me . . .

Okay, so there will be no singing, but there will be prizes–so many prizes! Join me and some of my favorite authors for the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.

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Here’s how it works: We’ll randomly select a winner every day for the first twelve days of December. And each day the prize builds with another book or book-related goody. 

The first day of Christmas prize winner will receive:

9780373447862

Hazardous Holiday by Liz Johnson

Just in time for the holidays, navy SEAL Zach McCloud returns home from deployment—and discovers someone wants his family dead. When he married his cousin’s struggling widow, he vowed to help her and her seriously ill son, and now he’ll risk everything to protect them. Even if their arrangement is only temporary. Kristi’s certain an unhappy client from the law firm where she works is determined to hunt her down. But when a sniper bullet wildly misses its target, they begin to question whether it’s really her someone wants dead. Working together, can they figure out why they’ve been attacked…and keep little Cody from the nefarious forces dead set on making this Christmas their last?

 

Enter in the Rafflecopter giveaway below by following some of your favorite authors on social media and signing up for their newsletters. Every entry carries over for the next 11 days of the contest–so the sooner you enter, the more chances you have to win. 

And be sure to visit Sherry Kyle’s blog on December 2nd to learn about the Day 2 prize!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More on the Christmas Story Contest

Don’t make me beg here, people! I need your Christmas stories (ie, fictional tales about a snowman cookie cutter)! And since I’ve had NO eligible entries as of 10a.m. this morning, your odds are very, very good. 🙂 I’m just trying to give away a $50 gift card and other fun stuff! Imagine the gifts you could buy with that money! And maybe even for other people. If you don’t enter (with eligible stories), then I’ll be forced to give the gift card in question to my dad. I already promised him he could help me spend it if no one enters. *waves at Dad*

You may have noticed that I’ve mentioned “eligible stories” a couple times already. Yup. It seems a few folks haven’t read the rules very carefully. To be eligible, your story must meet all the requirements as stated in the rules–and mostly, it must be about the picture that I posted (that’s the snowman cookie cutter image below!). Be creative. Tell me a tale of little girls making Christmas cookies for their teacher and making an even bigger mess. Or write an epic story of a rogue cookie cutter who’s tired of looking so jolly all the time and getting picked on by the other cookie cutters. Just do it all in 1,000 words or less.

So to sum up: Please email your stories (in the body of the email–no attachments) to contests@lizjohnsonbooks.com by December 11th at 11:59pm. You’ve got 5 more days and GREAT odds! 🙂

Merry Christmas!

And, also … please don’t send me stories with foul language. It’s not very Christmas-y, if you ask me. 🙂

The Great Christmas Story Contest Picture!

Today’s the day! Are you ready? It’s the official start of THE GREAT CHRISTMAS STORY CONTEST! All you’ve got to do is sign up for my email newsletter (just enter your email address in the box at the bottom of this post) and email me your original Christmas story of no more than 1,000 words about this picture by December 11th!

In case you forgot what’s up for grabs …
GRAND PRIZE (1 winner): $50 Target giftcard, a DVD of While You Were Sleeping (one of my favorite Christmas movies!), a wooden star ornament, and a copy of the 9-novella collection that I was honored to be part of, A Log Cabin Christmas


2nd prize
(1 winner): $25 Target giftcard, an autographed Christmas cd from my friend Mark Smeby (great for getting in the spirit of the season and thanks to Mark for donating a copy for this giveaway!), and a copy of A Log Cabin Christmas


3rd prize (2 winners): a copy of A Log Cabin Christmas and a copy of The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall

Again, here are the official rules:
1. Winners of one grand prize, one 2nd price, and two third prizes (as outlined above) will be announced by December 15, 2011.
2. The grand prize winner will be selected from entrants who have registered for my email newsletter by filling out the form below and submitted an original short story (in the body of an email–no attachments, please–to contests@lizjohnsonbooks.com) written by the entrant and unpublished of no more than 1,000 words by 11:59pm CST on December 11, 2011. Eligible stories will be judged by me (Liz Johnson) and/or my delegates based on (a) how well the story relates to the Christmas picture posted here on 12/01/11, (b) it’s Christmas spirit, (c) originality, and (d) completely subjective enjoyability. If no eligible story entries are submitted by the deadline, the grand prize will not be awarded.
3. Winners for 2nd and 3rd prizes will be randomly selected from the total number of remaining eligible entrants, who have registered for my email. Entrants who also follow me on twitter (@lizjohnsonbooks) and email me at contests@lizjohnsonsonbooks.com to confirm that, will receive a second entry into the random drawings for 2nd and 3rd prizes.
4. All winners are final, once posted on this blog. No prize substitutions will be made.
5. Open only to entrants with a US or APO mailing address. Void where prohibited. Not open to my family members. I will make every reasonable effort to meet the stated deadlines, but if a delay is caused by unforseeable events and/or acts of God, I will announce alternative dates for this contest on this blog. (Can you hear the legal announcer voice?)

I can’t wait to read your stories!

 

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The Great Christmas Story Contest

I am SO excited about my novella, A Star in the Night, which is part of A Log Cabin Christmas Collection. Of course, if you’ve dropped by my blog once or twice in the last few months, you’ve probably heard about it. And I want to do something really, really fun to celebrate my favorite holiday and my new book. So welcome to THE GREAT CHRISTMAS STORY CONTEST!

This is, of course, a chance to win some fabulous prizes, which would make excellent Christmas gifts for a friend or you! So let’s start with what’s up for grabs.

GRAND PRIZE (1 winner): $50 Target giftcard, a DVD of While You Were Sleeping (one of my favorite Christmas movies!), a wooden star ornament, and a copy of A Log Cabin Christmas


2nd prize
(1 winner): $25 Target giftcard, an autographed Christmas cd from my friend Mark Smeby (great for getting in the spirit of the season and thanks to Mark for donating a copy for this giveaway!), and a copy of A Log Cabin Christmas

3rd prize (2 winners): a copy of A Log Cabin Christmas and a copy of The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall

But how does one win one of these excellent prizes? I’m glad you asked.
First, sign up for my brand new email newsletter. Just enter your email address in the form at the bottom of this post. Winners will be selected from those registered emails. (It’s simple, and I promise not to flood you with emails. Just updates on new books, giveaways, and other fun stuff a few times a year.) If you also follow me on twitter (and email me at contests@lizjohnsonbooks.com that you’re following me), you get a second entry to win.

Just signing up for my newsletter (and following me on twitter if you like) is all you have to do for a chance (or two) at 2nd or 3rd place prizes.

And for a chance at the grand prize, submit an original Christmas story (up to 1,000 words) by 11:59pm on December 11th about a picture that I will reveal on this blog on December 1st. Yup! I want to read your Christmas stories based on a really fun picture that I’ve already picked out, and I’ll post the winning story on my blog. But don’t jump the gun. Wait to start your story until you know what the picture is. Everyone has the same chance–11 days to write a story!

Got it?

In case you missed something, here’re the official rules:
1. Winners of one grand prize, one 2nd price, and two third prizes (as outlined above) will be announced by December 15, 2011.
2. The grand prize winner will be selected from entrants who have registered for my email newsletter by filling out the form below and submitted an original short story (in the body of an email–no attachments, please–to contests@lizjohnsonbooks.com) written by the entrant and unpublished of no more than 1,000 words by 11:59pm CST on December 11, 2011. Eligible stories will be judged by me (Liz Johnson) and/or my delegates based on (a) how well the story relates to the Christmas picture posted here on 12/01/11, (b) it’s Christmas spirit, (c) originality, and (d) completely subjective enjoyability. If no eligible story entries are submitted by the deadline, the grand prize will not be awarded.
3. Winners for 2nd and 3rd prizes will be randomly selected from the total number of remaining eligible entrants, who have registered for my email. Entrants who also follow me on twitter (@lizjohnsonbooks) and email me at contests@lizjohnsonsonbooks.com to confirm that, will receive a second entry into the random drawings for 2nd and 3rd prizes.
4. All winners are final, once posted on this blog. No prize substitutions will be made.
5. Open only to entrants with a US or APO mailing address. Void where prohibited. Not open to my family members. I will make every reasonable effort to meet the stated deadlines, but if a delay is caused by unforseeable events and/or acts of God, I will announce alternative dates for this contest on this blog. (Can you hear the legal announcer voice?)

Great! We’ll see you back here on December 1st for the big reveal of the story picture!

And here’s the newsletter registration form. Tell your friends and spread a little Christmas cheer.

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Why I still have my Christmas tree up …

Yup. Nearly every one I know has long since taken down their Christmas lights, pulled their decorations of their tree, and replaced their red and green decorations with their year-round ones.

But not me. My miniature Christmas tree is right where I left it when I took for for Christmas vacation. My red and green wall hanging and quilt are in their places. And I my Christmas lights are often plugged in. Nearly half way through the month of January, I haven’t touched my Christmas stuff.

And I’m not taking it down any time too soon. (And not just because I’m lazy–which of course I have been since returning from vacation.)

It’s all because of a little thing, I like to call a deadline. Well, actually nearly everyone I know calls it a deadline. Yup, I have a manuscript due on February 1st. Moreover, it’s a manuscript for a Christmas novella (due out in September 2011). So I have to keep my yuletide spirit intact at least through the end of the month.

Turns out it’s harder to feel Christmasy in January than I thought it would be. So if you come for a visit, please don’t judge me for keeping my lights up.

How long do you keep your decorations up?

Merry Christmas!

Tomorrow is the big day! It’s Christmas! Christmas Day! The day that we celebrate the birth of Christ. The day that God took on human form. This is the day that we set aside to celebrate the miracle of a God who loves us so much that He sent His son to earth to redeem us from our sins.

In honor of this day (and since it’s Friday), I want to share with you one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs, put to this amazing video. Enjoy Downhere singing How Many Kings? and ask yourself how many kings would do what God did to romance this world.

Only one.

A holy God loves you so much that He gave His only son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everylasting life. That’s the message of Christmas, and the good news of the Gospel.

You have good reason to be merry today and every day!

Merry Christmas!

Dave Barnes cracks me up!

dave-barnes-christmasAs you’ll all likely recall, I recently saw Brandon Heath (my favorite!) at the Bluebird here in Nashville. He was excellent. We met. Yada yada. Anyway, I went to the show with my sweet friend Katie, who really went to support me and my desire to see BHeath. But as she so eloquently put it–she only had eyes for Dave Barnes.

Dave was delightfully funny and ridiculously talented, as he often is. Which prompted us to see when we might be able to see him next. Turns out that was this weekend at the final show of his A Very Neighborly Christmas Tour.

So on Saturday night we got all gussied up. (I mean, I put on my mascara, and I can’t even remember the last time something rated me risking putting my eye out with that evil little wand.) First we went to a lovely Christmas party, hosted by some of Katie’s friends. I met a fun lady who works at the same place I do, but he had never met! We thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas conversation and festivities, but soon we were off to see Dave, who was sharing the stage with Drew Holcomb and a litany of special guests.

One of the reasons I love Nashville–there were musical guests gallore! Including a very fantastic duet by none other than Brandon Heath and Matt Wertz, singing an original Christmas song. (Love you guys!)

Between the Christmas tunes and the standards from thier regular albums, Dave and Drew had the Tennessee Performing Arts Center theater rocking for almost three hours. But the best part–well … the best part of any Dave Barnes show–in my opinion–is the comedy routine Dave sneaks in there. Like how he joked about the crowd getting together before the show to practice the audience participation parts. Or how he had me nearly falling out of my chair as he told the story of singing (or rather lip synching) his hit God Gave Me You on All My Children.

Both Katie and I were laughing all the way home, just remembering the silly things he said. What a fun night!

So in honor, of the Very Neighborly Christmas Tour, here’s one of my favorite videos of Dave singing some really special Christmas tunes in his first annual Christmas Extravagan-za.

Christmas Cookie Rules

Confession: I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Christmas cookies this year. I’ve made some of my own. I’ve snagged some from office gift baskets. They’ve been oatmeal raisin. Chocolate chip. Even cherry cordial with a brownie cookie base. (Good stuff!)

And I hope that I’m the only one who’s been indulging a little too much. But given other blog posts I’ve seen lately, that may not be the case. So I’d like to share a blog post from a friend and fellow-writer Ane Mulligan, where she shares all of her very special Christmas Cookie Rules here.

A few of my favorites:
If you eat a Christmas cookie fresh out of the oven, it has no calories because everyone knows that the first cookie is the test and thus calorie free.

If you drink a diet soda after eating your second cookie, it also has not calories because the diet soda cancels out the cookie calories. (I knew there were extra benefits to loving diet Dr. Pepper!)

Any cookie calories consumed while walking around will fall to your feet and eventually, fall off as you move. This is due to gravity and the density of the caloric mass.

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So enjoy your cookies this holiday season. And if, like me, you’ve had a few too many cookies so far, hang in there. Keep eating your fruits and veggies and try to sneak in a walk whenever you can (and not just because your cookie calories are dropping off with every step).

Is it too late to decorate?

Why haven’t I decorated for Christmas yet?

That’s a very real and valid question. I just don’t have an equally valid answer. It probably has something to do with a short-lived, though still unsettling bought of food poisoning this weekend. Or the fact that I leave for vacation to celebrate Christmas and New Years at home in Arizona in 2 and half weeks. Or how much I hate having to clean up the lights and tinsel after the New Year.

Or maybe I’m just very, very lazy this year. That’s a terrible excuse, but likely the most true one.

So if I did suddenly get in the mood to pull out the old tree and trimmings, is it too late to decorate?