Thursday, December 20, 2012

Snow Day!

We have a snow day here in Minnesota and I am super excited. :) The weekends have been busy, so it'll be nice to have the kids home with nothing to do.
Yesterday we took them shopping to get their presents for each other. My kids, ages 8, 6, 3, and 1, drew names for each other and the older two have been talking about what they want to get each other for weeks. Today we will get to wrap them up and maybe even put them under the tree, if we decide the younger two can resist the temptation! We let them open their gifts from each other on Christmas eve, so they can really thank each other and be excited rather than those presents just getting lost in the mass chaos of Christmas morning.
I also plan to bake cookies today. It's going to be a good day. :)
I've seen a lot of people posting their favorite Christmas movies and songs, so I thought I'd share some of my favorites as well. One of my favorite Christmas movies is Twas the Night Before Christmas. It's a favorite because of this song:

Even a Miracle Needs a Hand
Another Christmas favorite of mine is Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus. I absolutely adore it and read it to my kids every year.
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Friday, December 14, 2012


I realized today that I've been blogging for awhile now, and decided to check the date of my first post. Turns out, I hit my one year anniversary on December 6th!

It's been a very fun year, I've met a lot of wonderful people, and my writing has improved so much! Thank you to everyone who has followed me, encouraged me, critiqued my work, and been here to make me smile with your wonderful comments.

Thank you!

(And on an unrelated note) I wanted to share this picture of my kids. I love that they are all book lovers. :)

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

More Alexfest :)

Here's my flash fiction piece for Alexfest. (Although, part of me wishes I had posted it before I read everyone else's super awesome ones! Now I'm feeling insecure.) ;) This has been such a fun blogfest. Thanks again to our hosts and a big thank you to Alex, for being the kind of guy who inspires a whole community to do a blogfest in his honor!

“Mommy, tell me again about the Cavanaugh Cosbolts!”

“I’ve told you this story a million times.”

“But it’s my favorite! Please!”

“Okay. Once upon a time there was a fleet of cosbolts filled with space ninjas. They protected our world, and others, from evil doers.”

“'Cause they’d stun them with their IWSGs!”

“Yes, they’d use their Intergalactic Warrior Stun Guns to capture them. Then they’d have to face the ninja leader. The Great Cavanaugh.”

“Who was totally awesome and had all the best ninja moves and even played guitar! Right mom?”

“That’s right.”

“Mom, I love this story.”
And finally, a great big thank you to Mrs. Cavanaugh! I can't imagine the amount of time it takes for Alex to do everything he does. Thanks for letting him! ;) He is truly our Ninja Captain and we'd be lost without him.

Monday, December 10, 2012


    It's finally Alexfest! Yay! Thank you to our awesome hosts, Mark Koopmans, Morgan Shamy, David Powers King, and Stephen Tremp. You guys are awesome for thinking this up. And Alex, it's no shock that we are all so excited for a blogfest honoring (or making fun of, whatever,) you. Because you are such a wonderful force in this community. Thanks Alex for all your support!

What does Alex look like?
      I picture Alex with dark hair, maybe a little salt and pepper happening on the sides, with grey eyes filled with wisdom.

Who could play Alex in a documentary?
      An awesome writing ninja, who supports the writing community? Definitely Tom Selleck.

Who does Alex remind you of?
Alex is like the cool kid that everyone wants to be friends with. And everyone is, because he's so nice that he's friendly to everyone. Even the dorky kids. (We dorks really appreciate that, by the way.) :)

 And to prolong the fun, since Alexfest runs through the 12th, I'm going to post my flash fiction piece on Wednesday. I can't wait to check out every one's posts! I hope you're having fun Alex!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Today I have Valerie Haight joining us. Valerie has a new book coming out December 13th with Turquoise Morning Press and she's here to tell us all about it! Welcome Valerie! :)
Thank you so much, Rachel, for the awesome honor of guest blogging here today! I’m so excited to tell everyone about my debut novella, Happenstance!

Happenstance will be available from Turquoise Morning Press on December 13, 2012! I wrote this story using a corporate setting based on some of the relationship conflict I witness as an administrative assistant. I take note of the Peyton Place happenings and file them away in my scheming brain for future novels but today, we’re talking Happenstance!

Taryn Ballard is happily married and a newly appointed analyst for a prestigious shipping company.  Her career upsurges in record time but she’s about to discover the real price of corporate life.

While on yet another business trip, Taryn suffers a brutal attack by a carjacker. Her husband isn’t there, but her co-worker Devin is.  The accidental bond Taryn and Devin share pitches them into dangerous and confusing territory. Taryn struggles to discern both her feelings for her sexy protector and Wade's reaction to it all. Unfamiliar emotions blur the rules of the game and Wade's ready to quit.

Taryn must rise above disaster to save her marriage. But is she ready to let go of the man who saved her life? In a single moment, Happenstance changes everything.

I learned to really put my MC through the wringer and Taryn was no exception. She was so much fun to write because I really played havoc on both Devin and Wade while running her through the mill at the same time! Yes, I’m awful. J My favorite two genres are suspense and romance so I couldn’t resist merging them into this story. Here’s a snippet to give you the feel of the book.

“Devin, it’s Taryn. You were right. The execs want me to meet them for dinner and I feel really foolish because I have a GPS and a connect-the-dot map from the concierge and I’m still lost.”

Devin laughed. “Not a problem. Where are you?”

Taryn took a second to locate the green street sign. “At the corner of First and Third at a tiny, ancient-looking convenience store.”

“Oh, I know the one. You’re right next to us. I could probably see you from the tower window. Okay, which restaurant are you looking for?”

Taryn grabbed the hand-drawn map. “Caminas.”

“I know where it is. Actually, it might be faster by freeway.”

“Of course it would. I just came from—”

An unexpected rush of damp, hot air hit her and Taryn turned, confused to see her door open wide. She sucked in a quick breath and saw too late the arm reaching for her. Terror gripped her as she zeroed in on the gun in her face.


I had so much fun with this story. I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! Happenstance can be purchased here on December 13th!

Tweet with me @Valeriebrbr, follow me on Facebook or find out the latest on my Author Page about my upcoming short story Magnolia Brides in a TMP wedding anthology out in June! Thanks again, Rachel!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Traditions

No IWSG today, (although I'll admit I am a bit insecure about ever having to organize a blog tour!) Instead, I have the lovely Kyra Lennon joining us today as part of her blog tour for her new novel Blindsided. Her character, Georgia, is going to talk to us about one of my favorite subjects, Christmas traditions. :)

Before I hand things over to Georgia, here's a synopsis of Blindsided by Kyra Lennon:

After a successful first soccer season in L.A, Jesse Shaw heads to London with his best buddy, Hunter, but his world is turned upside down when a dangerous prank threatens his career and his blossoming relationship with Hunter’s cousin, Isabelle.

Isabelle Mills lives in Notting Hill with her parents and her twin sister, Georgia. When she finds out her cousin is coming to stay, along with his famous soccer player friend, her first instinct is to hibernate until they’ve gone. However, once she meets Jesse, everything changes. He’s everything she ever wanted, but with so many obstacles in their path, can she really risk putting her heart on the line?

Hi there! This is Georgia, and Kyra let me do a short guest post today! Last week, on one of the tour stops, Kyra talked about her Christmas traditions. Well … in our house, every year at Christmas, Isabelle and I always bake gingerbread men! This year, we had Jesse to help us out. Let me tell you, he is more than just a pretty face! He has a creative streak you wouldn’t believe. Wanna see what we made? Well, here you go!

Thanks to Clare Dugmore for your exceptional creativity! :D

Mmm, they all look good! Thanks Georgia!

So, what Christmas traditions do you have? Reading a good book by the fire while drinking hot cocoa, perhaps? You can find Blindsided here, along with some other great titles by Kyra.