A post for a Rafflecopter and other things that aren’t about an election from hell.

Largely the point of this blog post is so that people who are trying to try for the Rafflecopter I just announced can enter the blog post version until some book bloggers get reviews/stops/what have you up. This will be a bit as I just gave them the books. They just got the books because an apocalypse was not in my plans for the week. If you too are a book blogger and you are thinking, gosh, I would like this Rafflecopter and press kit thing, here you go.

This is the Rafflecopter, though.


If you go here and fill out the usual Rafflecopter kind of things, you can enter to win the following:

Books 1-4 of the Minnesota Christmas series in paperback, signed (that’s Let it Snow, Sleigh Ride, Winter Wonderland, and the newest installment, Santa Baby); a paperback (not signed, alas) of American Gods by Neil Gaiman, two handkerchiefs (relevant if you’ve read Santa Baby), and a Santa hat. 

You really do have to go to the Rafflecopter link to enter. If you simply comment on this blog post, that’s great, but it’s not a counted entry. You have to fill in the form and all that jazz or it’s just a lovely comment on the blog. HOWEVER, as part of the Rafflecopter entries, one of them is to leave a comment on a blog, except there were no blogs yet, which is why I made this one. I know, I just made your head hurt. Sorry. Click the link, really, and it’ll all be clear. Or just ignore it all and move on with your day. Both options are fine.

Now if you wonder why there’s a pic of most of the prizes and then the cover of Santa Baby off to the side, that’s because I don’t have the paperbacks of Santa Baby yet. They’re just about ready, and they’re going to be ADORABLE, but right now the consist of a draft flat in my inbox and a partially completed Ingram’s order. Soon, Virginia. Soon. I anticipate they’ll be orderable around US Thanksgiving or so, or by December 1 for sure. Patrons, you’ll get them sooner than everyone else. Yes, even you, foreign patrons.

So this week has sucked unholy ass, but it also has been great in unexpected ways. Namely I have received more letters and notes and DMs and what have you from readers in this one week than I have ever received in my entire career as an author. It’s frankly blown me away, and some days it’s taken me all day to get to the point where I could gather myself to respond even with a simple quick thank you. Some of it was in response to posts I’ve made here or online, but a lot of it came from people reading or listening to my work, saying thanks for helping them through this shit week. I think a lot of artists are getting this.

There’s a lot for artists to do right now, I think, for people in general to do, with this kindness. For sure we have real work to do in terms of activism and donation work and real shoe leather, and we’re going to do that. All week I felt like I wanted to run out the door and join an army, to do something, everything, to bleed action because maybe then things would change. Except I could sometimes barely get dressed, and I could rarely sleep. I can feel tonight about to be another one of those not-sleeping nights, which is going to be lovely. So while the spirit is willing, the body and brain are hella fucked up.

It’s been moving in ways I don’t know how to describe to have people drown me in comments saying that me simply doing my job is worth so much to them, that this alone is a good work. It reminds me too that my focus isn’t global, it’s local, with the groups I already work with, the committees I already stand on, the starfish I’m already throwing back into the ocean. I need to do what I can to keep the black tar of despair from claiming me so I can keep throwing starfish, so I can get stronger and smarter and throw more, work with smarter people who know how to do it bigger, better, faster, harder. Or who know that sometimes standing still and focusing on one starfish is indeed good work.

So Raffle away, Copters. I’m going to go see a man about some sheep, if I can, and then get back to the business of more stories tomorrow.

26 Comments on “A post for a Rafflecopter and other things that aren’t about an election from hell.

  1. We play an obnoxious amount of games after Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Everyone participates, all the kids and adults, and as the night gets longer, the more awful the games get, like Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens. We usually start with something like Monikers (huge group game, so much fun), and some classics like Pictionary and Trivial Pursuit. I am so happy to be part of a family that does group games. There’s this one game, it’s just a deck of cards, Anomia, that makes everyone anxious and twitchy (and everyone loves it). It really gets the introverts out of their shells. It involves a lot of yelling and telling other people that they are wrong.

  2. There’s a lot for all of us to do. Donate time, money, and experience to helping each other out. Even if it’s just to act like a sounding board.

    As for my favorite holiday tradition, well…we didn’t have a whole lot. We winged it, for sure. But both of my parents passed away in 2014, so my relatively new tradition is to pick out a new ornament for the both of them each year. My tree is going to be filled with giraffes and trains in 10 years time.

  3. I think one of my favourite Christmas traditions is baking. I remember watching my Nana make my favourite treat, Mocha Cakes (which only people from New Brunswick, Canada and my family living in Alberta & British Columbia) have ever heard of. It’s little squares of poundcake dipped in icing glaze then in peanuts – that we shelled ourselves and when they set, it was heaven. Also, the little crust from the poundcake wasn’t used, and she let us eat that while she made them. Now, I still love to bake and I have a Gingerbread Party for my niece and 3 nephews every year. This year, they are getting so skilled at it, that we’re going rogue and designing and building originals structures. Should be interesting. Christmas is my favourite holiday and I don’t even mind the snow, especially since I got a snowblower. My answer to the skill testing question is 2.

  4. Well most of my Christmas and other holiday traditions have gone the way of the dodo 😉 I do love the dinner my mom usually makes on Christmas Day. It’s an old favorite that she’s been making for over 40 years.

    Thanks for the chance and I’m so looking forward to Santa Baby 😀

  5. Just getting together with family. It use to be going to my pop’s on Christmas Eve to look at the Christmas lights. He use to win every other year. But now we just have a family brunch at my parents in the morning

  6. Um…why do the Canadians have to have a skill test requirement? Don’t have any major traditions besides collecting all kinds of goodies to pass out in little treat bags so nobody overloads on one particular thing, lol. Congrats on the new release!

  7. Every year before Christmas my husband and I make these ridiculous, highly inappropriate cards and send them to our friends for the holiday. I work in a doctor’s office so they give me the beautiful cards send by other offices and patients each year… and I save them for 11 months in a box in the closet, then we deface them in the name of holiday spirit. One year we didn’t do it and everyone flipped out, so we never let that happen again. It’s a fun tradition!

  8. Our family tradition is coming together with the family for a Christmas lunch. This year it will be different though as my mother passed away a month ago. We miss her very much, but we can share lovely memories together.

  9. “All week I felt like I wanted to run out the door and join an army, to do something, everything, to bleed action because maybe then things would change. Except I could sometimes barely get dressed, and I could rarely sleep.”

    OMG this is so very much me. I spent so much time and effort campaigning as a Bernie county/state delegate and then making calls for Hilary…that I feel like Sisyphus at this point.

    I think I’m going to bury my head until Dec. 19, reading books like yours, hoping for that very extreme chance the Electoral College will pull it’s collective head out of it’s ass and do the right thing. They won’t but I can’t think past that right now. It’s all I can do to exist in those small increments. Now to 12/19 then till Jan. 20, 2017. On Jan 21 I expect to be ready…

  10. Oh, forgot to mention my holiday traditions: Watching as much of the 24 hour marathon of “A Christmas Story” as possible…and carefully preserving all the Rudolf wrapping paper I can so that I always have a Hermey for next year.

  11. Thanks for doing what you do. I was telling my son a little about Avenues yesterday & about how there’s NOTHING like it here but if there were I would consider being a host home. And YOU helped me think that way.

    So with half the family scattered I don’t really have any holiday traditions anymore, I simply try to spend time with what family is still around.

    • You know, you can probably contact Avenues and ask them what there is in your area or how you help even without one. They’re recognized as the best in the country at this sort of thing, and Ryan helps other states set things up all the time.

      Also he told me the other day Enjoy the Dance netted him a new host home family. I don’t care what the book does at this point. That was worth it alone.

  12. My favorite Christmas tradition is making cookies with .my mom. It used to be my aunt and grandmother as well, but moving and advanced age has chamged to just my.mom. I hope that soon one or both of my kids will want to join in. We have several cookie recipes that have been in the family for generations that I love.

  13. My favorite tradition is that the family and friends gather for Christmas dinner late in the afternoon or early evening. Just seeing everyone together makes for a memorable time!

  14. My favorite thing/holiday tradition is (corny as it sounds) being with my family. It’s big and loud, and even though I find those things exhausting, it still is just … right.
    I feel for those whose families exclude them from this.

  15. Looking forward to being able to share Christmas picture books with the kids at school since mine are getting to old.

    My deal personally to not let the haters when. I had quite a moment this morning that helped my spirit.

  16. We aren’t Christians so it is just a winter break and gathering but my favorite time is when it is just me and my kids first thing in the morning before anyone else is around. That and decorating with crafts we have made together are my favorite things.

  17. My favorite holiday tradition is making Christmas cookies. My mom, sister and i would make teacakes and paint them with sugar icing; trees, bells, reindeer, santa, bells. They looked like artwork! We gave them as presents to extended family. I remember my cousins saving theirs to look at for ages before they’d eat them. (amazing for boys!). My kids and I make them every year still, and my sister’s kids (both in their 30’s) make them off and on. Lots of great memories.

  18. Being from Canada, I will start by saying: 2. Second, one of my favourite traditions is smoked oysters. It may not sound like much, but as a young child, I used to help my grandmother prepare them for the family feast, because they were very easy to do for a very tiny kid, and they kind of stuck as “my job” for the next 15 years or so. I still make them every year because it reminds me of simpler, happier times… even if my family doesn’t like them!!

    As an aside, I have to say, I know it must have been hard but thank you for your post about the election. It helped me sort out some stuff of my own to read it, and it was really good for me to read it. Thank you.

  19. Every year before christmas I start making a crapload of decorations and tree ornaments to give to my children. By now they have a crapload of them! 😛 We gather at the kitchen day before and that’s where the fun begins. My oldest daughter is a genius in the baking department, and I’ve taught my boys all the traditional christmas recipes.
    I’m in charge of the alcohol! Yippy!! LOL There is a traditional xmas drink we make every year:


    2 Cup Coconut Milk (you can use the canned milk)
    1 (8.5 oz) Can Cream of Coconut
    1 (12 oz) Can Evaporated Milk
    1 (14 oz) Can Condensed Milk
    1 Tsp. Vanilla
    Cinnamon (to your liking. I use about 1 tsp)
    White Rum To Taste (I use a LOT!) *hicup*!
    Mix all the ingredients in a blender. Refrigerate a few hours. You could dust each glass with a bit of cinnamon & add a cinnamon stick.

    Also, to make a chocolatey variety (I made it and fell in lurv!), melt 1 cup of chocolate chips in the microwave on medium (don’t know how long it would take so keep an eye on it), and add it to the mix while the blender is running. This chocolate version is Amazing!
    taina1959 @ yahoo.com

  20. Favorite holiday tradition: holiday lights! I absolutely love light displays. The gaudier the better. And if it’s one of those displays where the lights dance to music, I’m in heaven! Plus we always go in groups and walk neighborhoods and just have fun hanging out.

  21. One of my favorite holiday traditions is to choose which decorating scheme to use on the Christmas tree. I have at least six different ones I alternate through. I don’t think I’ve done the same design two years in a row.

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