Category Archives: Holidays

Giving thanks, being thankful, and Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Arrangement 2 (c) Christa Richert

Bar none, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. With no presents and no pressure, Thanksgiving is just about finding people you love, spending time with them, and eating good food. It’s also a time of the year when people remember to take a moment, step back from their lives, and look at all the things they have to be grateful for. For me, that’s a lot this year.

In all honesty, the time between the beginning of 2009 and the beginning 2011 kinda sucked. A lot. There were a lot of things in my life that ranged from stressful to downright horrid and I had mounting pressure financially and emotionally. I made a few changes and things started to turn around in 2011, but 2012 was when things really started looking up. I’m out of debt for the moment, I’m at a job that pays me enough to let me travel to conferences and to visit friends, and I’ve finally made it past the querying stage of the publishing process. I have supportive friends and family, ideas for future books, and a comfortable place to live with people I love. So, this year, I have a lot to be thankful for.

Looking back, I am thankful for:

  • Friends like Lani who make me crash parties with them.
  • Everyone at my publisher Spencer Hill, especially my wonderful editresses Danielle and Patricia.
  • Those years of misery for making me able to truly appreciate what I have now. 
  • A job, which in this economy is a lot to be thankful for!
  • My family who has supported me through everything and continues to cheer me on as I work toward becoming a full-time writer. 
  • The friends I have made in the writing community for welcoming me into the fold and commiserating with me on my frustrations and celebrating my successes.

2012 was better than 2011 and it looks like that trend will occur again with 2013. I’m thankful for the path that has led me here and excited to see where it brings me in the future.

So enjoy your Thanksgiving if you celebrate it. Even if you don’t, take a moment today to step back and be thankful for the good things in your life.

Happy Halloween and a cover reveal!

First off,


I honestly don’t do much to celebrate Halloween, but I know a lot of people who absolutely adore this holiday. I hope that if you’re one of those people, you enjoy yourself immensely tonight! But be safe! Some houses aren’t decorated for Halloween, they’re just spooky. Stay away from those! 😉

Second, I have something very cool to share! Emily White, one of my Spencer Hill sisters, is releasing a collection of short stories soon! And I get to show you the cover!

10 Tales of Steampunk Silliness and Spookery. 

In the cozy seaside village of Steamville, New Hampshire, an unfaithful zombie, out of control werebots, succubi in corsets, and more wreak havoc in this short story collection.
Pub Date: December 22, 2012 on all major online retailers ($.99 for ebook/$2.99 for print)

Add the book to Goodreads here and check out Emily’s website here for more information!
Enjoy your holiday everyone!

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day!

From National Archives and Records Administration

I hope you all have enjoyed your weekend and that you get to spend this day doing whatever it is you want to! Personally, I’ll be editing all day! Which is exactly what I want to be doing. 😀

Holidays: Happy 4th Of July!

Happy 4th Of July!

Wherever you may be in the world, I hope today finds you enjoying something you love simply because you have the freedom to do it. In the spirit of the holiday, I plan on watching two of my favorite holiday inspired movies: Independence Day and Live Free or Die Hard. Yaaaaay explosions! 😀

Remember: Memorial Day

Today take a moment to remember those who have served, those who serve, and those who will one day serve. One day I honestly do hope we live in a peaceful Star Trek-like society, but until that day I am thankful for the people who are willing to risk their lives making sure we can enjoy life the way we choose to live it.

Thank you. You are recognized, respected, and remembered.

Happy Memorial Day.

Giveaways: It’s My Birthday!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! I am 27 years old as of today (and mentally still about 16), but I have to put off my celebrations until next weekend, so I’m celebrating with you guys! 

This is the last day to enter my birthday-inspired giveaway! Until midnight eastern standard time tonight, you can enter a contest to win one of two prizes. First prize will be a custom designed necklace made by me. Second place will be a custom designed bracelet.  Also, because this is a special month and a special contest, the contest will be open internationally!

One of the entries asks for a blog comment, a comment specifically answering the question, if money were no object, what would you want for your birthday this year?

My answer? Four back-to-back cruises on the Holland America line that would take me around the entire world in about a year.

A girl can dream, right? 🙂

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A sampling of pieces I’ve made recently.

Movies: HappyThankYouMorePlease and Valentines Day

I added a movie to my list of favorites last night: HappyThankYouMorePlease. Awesome cast and a great story, but I swear it was this one scene in particular just caught me. Out of context (and without the action and expressions of the actors) some of the impact is missing, but maybe after watching the movie (it’s on Netflix, fyi) some of you will see why I think this is arguably the most romantic thing I’ve ever seen:

Sam#2: What are we feeling? Red or white?

Annie: Sam, we need to talk.

Sam#2: (laughs) You mean the talk where you tell me how great I am but you can’t get involved and it’s not me it’s you and you’re damaged and you wish you could (fake hacking cough). I refuse to have that talk. Now would you like red or would you like white?

Annie: Sam…. Look, I’m not good for you… What?

Sam#2: Are you happy?

Annie: No, I’m not happy!

Sam#2: I can make you happy. Seriously, let me love you. I am totally up to the task. Actually, I’ve already started.

Annie: I can’t. I can’t do this.

Sam#2: No, no, no, don’t. Come on. Don’t walk out on this before it even started, please. Look at me. I get it. Okay? I get it. I’m not the guy you had in mind. But what if you don’t know what’s best for you?

Annie: And you do? (sigh) Where did you come from Sam number two?

Sam#2: (shrugs) Westchester.

Annie: (chuckles)

Sam#2: Do you want to know why I hang out on the fifth floor? The first time I saw you? God. I thought, Wow. Her. The girl with the funny head wrap. I want to be near that girl. Trust me. I don’t normally talk this way, but I am gone over you.

Annie: (whispering) Stop! Okay? Just shut the fuck up.

Sam#2: Why?

Annie: Just stop, please. Don’t say that!

Sam#2: You can hear this. Close your eyes.

Annie: What?

Sam#2: I just want you to listen to me. Humor me, please?

Annie: (sighs and closes her eyes)

Sam#2: It’s not easy to be adored. You in particular, you have a tougher time with it than most. I get that. But I want you to give it a try. Think of it as an experiment. I promise I will be very wonderful at adoring you, Annie. It’s an area where I think I got a great deal of talent. You’re worth the adoration, Annie. You’re worth it. And the fact that you don’t believe it? That has nothing to do with whether it’s true or not. It is true for me. And that is all that matters.

To those of you with a Valentine this year, go adore them. It should be what you’re best at.And if you don’t have plans with your special someone, snuggle on the couch and watch this movie. It’s worth it.

Oh, and, by the way:

Happy Valentines Day <3

New Years: Resolution, Resolve, and Reality

First, an admission. I have never, ever come close to following through on a list of resolutions. Because I have no resolve? Maybe. Because I set myself overambitious goals? Possibly. Because life can throw you a series of unexpected, life altering, time consuming curve balls? Probably.

Whatever the excuses reasons, it’s still a fact. Will this year be different? Who can tell? Am I going to try anyway? Yep.

What does that mean to you? Not much. Posting it online is really just a form of accountability. We’ll check in with this next year and see how well I did on all of these.

1. I will redesign my blog with a custom template. (Done!)

2. I will finish book 2 of my current series. (The structure of the series changed completely, but outlines have been drawn up and chapters have been written! It’s all moving in the right direction.)

3. I will polish and shop book 1 of my current series. (Begun June 2012 Sold to SHP July 2012!)

4. I will attend at least one conference. (Yay! I’m going to BEA!)

5. I will post in this blog at least three times a week. (Close enough, I’d say! I was really close to doubling my count from last year)

6. I will develop the storylines for at least one additional series. (Two different series are in the works with Lani Woodland)

7. I will figure out how to make myself work out… somehow. (Yeah… this one is still an epic fail.)

8. I will develop some kind of a social life, even if it is a sporadic one. (The success of this one has been hit or miss, but I did get myself out of the house more often!)

9. I will budget better so I can either take my dream vacation or move to New York within three years. (Uhm… Yeah. Progress has definitely been made–I’m officially out of debt!–but this goal is still a LONG way off…)

10. I will not let more than two days pass without writing something, even if it’s only jotting down an idea that passes through my head. (The productivity of this year is kind of amazing, so I mark this one done!)

So, there you have it. I figured ten was a nice round number, ambitious without being impossible. Wish me luck! We’ll check back in with the list next year!

Holidays: Merry Christmas!

Christmas is overly commercialized and stressful. That being said, people do get pretty crazy and pretty creative during the holiday season. So to celebrate the day, here are some awesome, scary, funny, cool, or unique Christmas related pictures I found on the internet. [sorry! They’re gone now… You can find a bunch with a couple of Google searches, though.]
Merry Christmas!

Retail: The Gripes of A Bookstore Employee

Having spent most of my day at a mall (eww), it brings me back to my days as a retail employee during the holiday season. When the bookstores began to die, a few stores gave up the veneer of complacency and decided to tell customers exactly why they’ve gotten on our nerves over the years. Having lived through two years of Borders I can vouch that all of these are true. All of them and then some. >.< So, in the spirit of the season, here are some things NOT to do when you go into most stores. Chances are if you avoid these errors, you'll get better service. 😉

Things We Never Told You: Ode To A Bookstore Death

We hate when a book becomes popular simply because it was turned into a movie.

It confused us when we were asked where the non-fiction section is.

Nicholas Sparks is not a good writer … if you like him, fine, but facts are facts.

We greatly dislike the phrase “Quick question.” It’s never true. And everyone seems to have one.

Your summer reading list was our summer reading NIGHTMARE. Also, it’s called summer reading, not three days before school starts reading.

It’s true that we lean to the left and think Glenn Beck is an idiot.

We always knew when you were intently reading Better Homes and Gardens, it was really a hidden Playboy.

Most of the time when you returned books you read them already – and we were onto you.

Limit One Coupon did not mean one for every member of your family – this angered us. Also, we did know what coupons were out.

It never bothered us when you threatened to shop at Barnes & Noble. We’d rather you do if you’re putting up a stink.

“I was just here last week and saw this book there” meant nothing to us. The store changed once a week.

When you walked in and immediately said, “I’m looking for a book,” what you really meant to say is, “I would like you to find me a book.” You never looked. It’s fine, it’s our job – but let’s be correct about what’s really happening here.

If you don’t know the author, title, or genre, but you do know the color of the cover, we don’t either. How it was our fault that we couldn’t find it we’ll never understand.

We were never a daycare. Letting your children run free and destroy our section destroyed a piece of our souls.

Oprah was not the “final say” on what is awesome. We really didn’t care what was on her show or what her latest book club book was. Really.

When you returned your SAT books, we knew you used them. We thought it wasn’t fair – seeing that we are not a library.