A few months ago I entered a short story competition run by Romance Writers of Australia.
Little Gems is an annual sweet romance competition – contemporary romance with a sweet perspective. This year, the theme is Jade.
I wrote a story called The Jade Heart. It is about a missing family heirloom up for auction. The problem is, the person who desperately wants to buy it back is hardly in a position to do so. Which is where a stranger with confusing motives comes in…
The competition was hotly contested by some amazing writers, so to be one of the winners came as a delightful surprise. And I love the prize! It is being part of the Little Gems Anthology 2018 with The Jade Heart.
It released as both paperback and ebook in mid August and all profit goes to the very worthy programs RWA runs, including assistance for disadvantaged authors. So, if you enjoy heartwarming stories that make you smile, order from Amazon or RWA.
Christmas is a time of family gatherings, lots of food, presents, decorations and activities. Humans show love through food, lavishing goodies onto our friends and family.
For our pets, particularly dogs and cats, Christmas is also exciting with lots of coming and going, delicious smells, and interesting additions to the house such as baubles, gifts, and a tree. With a bit of care and planning, your pet will enjoy a safe and stress free day as well.
This time of year puts makes us generous, and sharing our lovely Christmas food and nibbles with our pet seems harmless. A few berries (some dogs and cats adore blueberries!) and raw vegetables such as carrots, green beans and zucchini are generally a safe option. Whilst cooked meat is not very beneficial to dogs and cats (their gut works best with raw), a snippet of turkey or lean piece of pork might satisfy our need to spoil them.
Because our pets are so important, it is worth knowing what to avoid and keeping an eye on guests so that this special day doesn’t turn into an emergency dash to the vet. My list is not exhaustive, so google is your friend to get a full rundown, but foods to forbid include: cooked bones, highly salted/processed or fatty meats, chocolate (any amount may be toxic), grapes/sultanas, seeds from stone fruit, avocados, onion, cheese/dairy (most dogs are lactose intolerant), alcohol, caffeine, corn cobs, any product containing Xylitol, pretzels/chips, pudding/cake, cherries, nutmeg.
Christmas trees are delightful for cats, in particular, but I remember two of our dogs removing every bauble they could reach one year whilst we were out. As cute as it is to see them play around a tree, lights and decorations do pose some risk, so keep an eye on them.
Some pets love the added excitement of visitors and the displacement of normal events, but for others, stress can become a real problem. If your pet is one of these, find them a part of the house they can retreat to without intrusion, somewhere quiet and with their favourite bed and toy. New pets – often kittens and puppies – may be overwhelmed by the double whammy of leaving their birth home and being part of a new, highly stimulating environment. Ensure they have plenty of ‘quiet time’, a secure place to be, and not too much handling by people they don’t know.
What makes a great Christmas present for a pet? Our Labrador, Maverick, would say ‘everything’! This year he is getting a new Kong, an interactive toy, a Christmas soft penguin, and one packet of air dried treats. He loves unwrapping his gifts, so we ensure no paper or sticky tape makes it into his tummy.
When selecting gifts, either for your pet or someone else’s, look for well-made, branded toys such as Kong, Chuck-it, Tuffy, Rogz, and Aussie Dog. Cats love the Catit and Kong Cat range. Avoid generic tennis balls (can be toxic) and cheap plastic/rubber toys.
Deer antlers, cow’s hooves, and goat horns make wonderful long lasting chews that suit most dogs and are a safer option if given unsupervised.
I’d love to hear what you have planned for Christmas with your pet! Leave your comments below to go into the running to win an e-copy of The Stationmaster’s Cottage and its sequel, Jasmine Sea. In these books, you’ll meet Randall, the golden retriever, who also loves Christmas time.
Enter the draw for the Rafflecopter prizes and you could be in for lots of shopping fun at Amazon, plus loads of fabulous books! Did you visit Leesa Bow’s blog yesterday? And remember to check in with Darcy Delaney tomorrow.
The members of this coastal romance group are authors and readers who love reading romance by the water, whether it be the ocean, a lake, a tropical island or any other body of water where our heroes and heroines fall in love and live happily ever after!
Some of our authors have combined their resources and planned this Christmas blog hop. Once the blog begins you have the opportunity of winning by going to their blog post for the day (Each author will post until Christmas Eve) and commenting on their post to go in the draw to win a book. Then by clicking on the raffle copter link above, you will be entered in the grand prize draw for a $150 Amazon gift card.
Prizes Drawn on Christmas Eve.
First prize: $150 Amazon gift card
Second prize: 30 ebooks
Each comment on each author’s blog will go in the draw for an e-book from that author.
So what are you waiting for? Come visit, get clicking, commenting and enter EVERY day.
You will discover some wonderful new authors and some awesome books too!
It’s like an advent calendar so bookmark this page and open a blog every day on the calendar below until Christmas! The more blogs you read, the more entries you have, and the more chances of winning the fabulous prize!
“Enthralling, gripping, more turns than a roundabout.”
“Totally engaging, not over sugary with the romance and the mystery of the truth behind the family secrets was better handled than some mystery novels. Worked well as a stand alone and did not leave you unsatisfied at the end, more ready to read book two!”
“A lovely easy read. I started this novel and did not put it down until I finished it.”
Five stars on Amazon UK. Thank you, Pauline and the lovely readers from Chill with a Book.
What an incredible honour to be alongside some wonderful writers and their books. If I was a judge, it would be a daunting task to find just one, but it is up to readers to decide.
Public voting is underway. If you’d like to be part of the decision, simply follow the link, leave you name and email, and then select from the shortlisted books which are below in author alphabetical order. It is easy to opt out of receiving emails from BGS once completed, unless you wish to enjoy their recommended reading.
I feel as though I’m asking for votes a lot lately, after such incredible support for Jasmine Sea in Kobo’s cover contest not only got it into the finals, but made it #1 romance cover!
The Reader’s Choice winner will be announced on 22nd December, so there is not much time to wait!
Thank you BooksGoSocial for an amazing opportunity.
Jasmine Sea is one of Kobo’s top 10 Romance covers of 2017! What an incredible honour and it makes me so proud of Jade from Steam Power Studios for her wonderful design. To be one of the finalists overall, it needs as many votes as possible. One click and you are not asked for your details. So, please take a look and if you love Jasmine Sea’s cover, please vote. Each one matters!