Wednesday, March 4, 2015

We Have a Winner of the Roses are Red Contest

Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
I have so much fun
With my giveaways too.

I used a Random Number generator online to pick the winner of my Roses are Red Giveaway. I wish I could send you all a prize because you make my contests such fun, but alas, I'm not Bill Gates. I do appreciate you throwing your names in my drawing hat when I do have a giveaway. And I'll be having another one here on my blog in a week or so. Plus, come June I'll have a giveaway to celebrate my new book, The Innocent, releasing July 1. I'll have to come up with something neat for that. Maybe some Shaker prize since I go back to my Shaker village of Harmony Hill for this story. If only brooms weren't so big, I could give one of them for a prize. The winner could make a "clean sweep." But I'd best think smaller packages to mail. 

Oh, I guess you want to know who won. :) Pam W. is my 1st place winner. She won the necklace and one of my books. Then just because, I decided to pick a 2nd place winner. That's Cheryl H. She gets her pick of one of my books. I've sent the two winners e-mails. If I don't hear back from them by Sunday, I'll pick new winners.

Both Pam and Cheryl joined in my poetry fun with their entries. You didn't have to send a poem to enter but many of you did. So glad you had fun with the poems. 

Here's Pam's poem.
Roses are Red. 
Violets are Blue. 
My grandchildren love to read 
And I do Too! 

Isn't it great having grandchildren who love books? I'm so glad my own grandchildren love stories and books. 

Cheryl's poetry entry:
Roses are red. 
Violets are blue. 

It’d be so cool
to win a book by YOU!

And so she did. 

Thanks again to all of you who entered. A special thanks to those of you who joined in the poetry fun too. It was so sweet of some of you to make liking my books part of your poem. 

Did you ever write those Roses are Red kind of verses in those little autograph books when you were a kid? I did. The one I usually wrote in other people's books was "Yours till Ivory soap sinks." That tickled me for some reason.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Two Days Left to Enter the Roses are Red Giveaway

Only a few more days to enter my Roses are Red Poem giveaway. I've had fun reading your poems and love that so many of you gave verse a try.

Last Wednesday I shared a few of the poems that were more than a Roses are red simple verse but I've enjoyed them all. It's fun to just go with the first thing we think of and make a poem. That's the kind of poet I am. 
Roses are red. 
Violets are blue. 
I do appreciate 
Readers like you.

It was fun to see how so many of you included how you liked my books or the idea of winning one of my books in your poems.

I got identical poems from Bonnie and Marianne. 

Roses Are Red
Violets Are Blue
Make Me A Winner
So My Dreams Can Come True

How could I keep from liking Jackie's poem? 

The weather has been very cold,
But my book reading doesn't get put on hold.
I stay warm snuggled up in my bed,
With Ann's books dancing in my head.

Thanks, Jackie, your poem made me smile. But I like C-Jay's approach too. Just write from your heart and don't worry about that rhyming stuff. She's right. Not all poems rhyme.

Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
Sugar is sweet,
I love books. :)

It doesn't rhyme, but then, not all poems do. And, it's from the heart!

And last we have this from Gigi. It made me smile and think of how much fun puppies are.

This is about the two puppies I got last year.  I couldn't choose just one so I brought home sisters last yearTheir names are Gemma and Lily and are just as sweet as can be.

Roses are red, 
Violets are blue,
I couldn't choose just one,
so I brought home two.

So you have until Tuesday night, March 3rd at midnight EST to throw your name in my giveaway hat. You don't have to write a poem, but you can if you want. You might win the pretty necklace along with your choice of one of my books, maybe Love Comes Home or Angel Sister or whichever you want if you are the winner. Just leave a comment here with a way to contact you or shoot me an e-mail at annhgabhart(at)hughes(dot)net. You must be 18 to enter. 

And thanks to all of you who have joined in with my giveaway fun.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Happiness is a Poem and a Flower

"No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn." (Hal Borland)

"Winter lingered so long in the lap of Spring that it occasioned a great deal of talk."  (Bill Nye)

I'm wishing I could spot some little spring beauty flowers like those above, but not yet this year. Those little blooms are still sleeping under the snow that has stuck around way past its welcome. But it's a good thing we don't have to find our happiness in the weather. While most of the poems I've received with entries to my Roses are Red Contest that's going on now, have been simple four line verses, a few readers have shared poems that put my amateur rhyming to shame. So tonight I'm sharing them with you.

Happiness  by Nona

Happiness comes from many places.
Singing birds and familiar faces.

A hug from a friend
when you are blue.

Lifting of the heart
when your love is true.

Sitting in the shade by a 

babbling brook.

Cuddled into a chair
with your favorite boo
Lovely poem, Nona. Peggy stayed with the Roses are red theme but made it so much more as she looks forward to Spring.

Roses are Red  by Peggy

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
When this Winter is through
The flowers will shake, and open their heads

Their colors are grand
Some smell pretty, too
Let's strike up the band
For those Violets of Blue

For those buds I will look
As they peek through the snow
While I watch from atop my book
As those zero winds blow

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Dear God - Bring the Springtime
We need something new!!!
Last we have a true Valentine love poem from Sandi. 

What is Love by Sandi

What is love...
where does it go...
Is it a vapor not unlike the snow,

Does it drift lazily down from the sky,
piling around us until it's quite high,

Does it make choices or caress all the same
and when things go wrong is it always to blame...

Is it like the seasons that blow hot and cold,
Does it laugh lustily at all those it's fooled,

The fragrance it leaves is dispelled by none,
It lingers long after the romance is done,

If given the chance, would you risk it again,
Treating it tenderly like an old friend...

Not taking it for granted, but being thankful each day,
That no matter how brief, it once came your way???!!

Indeed we can be thankful when love comes our way. Thanks, ladies, for sharing your talent with us. 

The contest is still open. You can see the prize (a heart-shaped necklace and winner's choice of one of my books) on my News and Events website page. You can enter by leaving a comment on a post here (with a way to contact you) by midnight EST on March 3, 2015. Thanks to all who have already entered and shared a poem too. You don't have to share a poem. That's just to add a little fun!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Roses are Red Giveaway

I sent out a newsletter this week with a late Valentine giveaway. You know some people are always a day late and a dollar short. But it's never too late for chocolate and Valentine hugs. Okay, so I don't have any chocolate to give you. If I did, I'd eat it myself. But I'd think about you while I was enjoying it! After this week of weather, I think we all need some chocolate! 

But back to the giveaway. Here's the prize - a heart shaped necklace. It's really lovely. And to go along with that, the winner will get to choose one of my books. That makes me happy. Then to make it fun, I asked those who entered the giveaway to send a Valentine verse or other poem in too. 

While my very first writing sale was a four line poem many years ago, that was about the extent of my poetry writing. So, since not all of us are poets, I gave entrants the option of finishing this verse:
Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
(Your lines go next.)

I've been getting some neat poems. A few poems have been lovely original poems, but most have been simple "Roses are red" poems. Let's enjoy a few of them.

Susan used a play on words that made me smile.
Roses are red, 
Violets are blue, 
And just so you know,
Books are read, too.

Cheryl and several others wrote about perhaps being the winner.
Roses are red. 
Violets are blue.
It'd be so cool
To win a book by you.

Naturally those poems made me smile! Then there were the poems about how we love to read like this one from Pam:
Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
Reading books is one of my
Favorite things to do.

And there were poems about the weather. Gail wrote:
Roses are red.
Violets are blue
Why all this snow
I haven't a clue.

JSK wrote one to give us tired of winter folks hope.
Roses are red
Violets are blue.
Snow and ice are getting weary
32 days to spring, so true!

(And actually a little less than that now!!)

So if you didn't receive the newsletter and would like to throw your name in my late Valentine giveaway hat, you can leave a comment here on my blog before the deadline of midnight EST March 3rd. You must be 18 to enter and you have to leave a way to contact you with your entry. The poems are optional but fun. Plus if you'd like to get my newsletter, let me know and I'll send you a copy and/or add you to my newsletter list. You can sign up for the newsletter on my Facebook page.

There's also a giveaway going on at Carole Jarvis's blog, The Power of Words. I visited Carole's blog last week and talked about writing the Rosey Corner books. If you leave a comment on her blog, you'll have a chance to win a copy of Love Comes Home. And you'll get to see the neat old piano picture she has on her blog. The deadline to enter to win there is February 27.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

How Cold Is It? Record Breaking Times and Memories

How cold is it? Plenty cold where I am here in Kentucky. When I peeked at the thermometer this a.m. it showed minus 8. While that might not be so chilly for some of you northern folks, down here in the almost south, it's cold. But worse, they say it's not supposed to get over 5 degrees today. And that's with the sun shining! Something is definitely not right about that!! We don't even want to hear those wind chill numbers. Or feel them either. Then the night temps are something like minus 17. 

My dog, Oscar, wasn't too happy about having to go outdoors to do those necessary things. Normally he doesn't mind snow, but this stuff is a little too deep for him. He's been a trooper and gone walking with me anyway, but the wind chill may make the walks short today. Walking through snow like this can give you a good workout for sure.

There's naturally been a lot of talk about the cold and whether the temperatures will be record lows. The all time record low here in Kentucky is minus 21 in 1963. I remember that. I grew up in an old farmhouse that's only insulation were the old logs on the two front rooms from when it was a log cabin and the plastic my dad nailed over the big old windows every winter. 

That didn't happen to the upstairs window in the room where I slept. I won't say snow drifted through it, but it felt like it might at times. For sure, when it was time to get up and leave your warm cocoon in the featherbed behind and your feet hit that unheated floor, you woke up quick. We had a woodstove in the living room and a little of the heat drifted up the stairs to the front room there. That was my sister's room. 

We closed off every room except the living room and the kitchen. We called the closed off dining room the refrigerator room. But even with only two rooms to heat, the kitchen was still cold after they took the wood cookstove out. Mom got an electric range when the electric lines came out our road. I don't remember that, but my sister does. For a while Mom left the wood cookstove in the kitchen but it was gone by 1963 when we had that record cold. She probably wished it back that year. She cooked and cleaned with an insulated jacket on. 

But cold or not, we always ate our meals at the table in the kitchen. Snacks might happen in the living room, but not meals. We did have some good snacks in the winter. Our homegrown popcorn. Mom could pop corn better than anybody. Sometimes we made chocolate fudge to go with it. Hard to beat popcorn and homemade candy. Hot cocoa was another treat. Mom sometimes made snow cream, but I was never a fan of it. Give me the fudge. :) But we didn't have to worry much about the calories. After all, we were packing in the wood, feeding the chickens and dogs and cats and other animals. Walking in the snow. Even then, I loved walking in the snow with my dogs. 

That kind of cold temperatures and one stove did make for family togetherness. Nobody ran off to their own room although occasionally I'd sit in the staircase and read or listen to the basketball games on my little radio. We fought over the chair closest to the stove and spent a lot of time standing by the stove warming our back sides and then turning to toast our fronts. 

It was cold, but we didn't have to worry about paying the heating bill. That was paid in our own energy. Dad's in cutting down the trees and sawing it into firewood and ours in packing it into the backporch and Mom's or Dad's in keeping the fire going. We had our own meat hanging in the smokehouse and or in the freezer. The cellar was stocked with all kinds of canned foods and a barrel of potatoes. We were okay. So many good memories of those years for me now. 

So how is the weather where you are? And how cold is the coldest time you can remember? Hope, like mine, they are good memories even if it was cold! 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Nature's Valentine

Happy Valentine's Weekend!

Here's a natural valentine I spotted on one of my walks some time last year. I've been saving it for this day. A day late, I know, but we can celebrate love any day, can't we? As far as I know, nobody carved this heart in this tree. It just happened. A gift of nature. But then again, maybe a romantic squirrel chewed off the bark for his squirrel sweetheart. But however it got there, I thought it was neat. It's actually along the road in front of a neighbor's house and not too long ago, he cut it down. So alas, the heart is gone now, but we still have the picture.

I've always liked Valentine's Day. I used to be a room mother at the schools when my children were young, and Valentine's was my favorite holiday party. Every kid got cards and cupcakes. Of course, things might have been simpler then. Certainly, there weren't dozens of bouquets delivered to the schools for this or that sweetheart the way I've heard happens now. Just cute little cards with hearts and some of those heart shaped conversation hearts. Pure sugar, so naturally I liked them. The pink ones were definitely best. :) 

Some people say Valentine's Day can be sad when a person isn't part of a couple. It is nice to have somebody giving you flowers and candy. But I like to think of Valentine's Day as more than a day for sweethearts. It's a day to think about love in all its wonderful ways. A good day to share hugs with your kids and grandkids. Well, any day is a good day for that. It's a great time to share a special day out with a friend or to call your mother or a special aunt. It's a fine time to read 1 Corinthians 13 or 1 John 4 in the Bible. It's a good day to remember all the ways you are loved and to remember all the people you have loved even if some of them are no longer here with you. And if you don't have somebody to buy you flowers or candy, it's a perfect time to treat yourself to the flowers and candy you like best.

And it's a good time to share a crazy picture of a heart on a tree that made me feel some love for nature.

I do appreciate all of you who have volunteered to help me out with my upcoming book release. I am working to meet an editing deadline on a book and haven't had time to respond to each of you as yet. But I will next week. I've got all your names written down and I have to say you were like a special Valentine to me with your readiness to offer to help. Thank you so much. 

Now if you have any spare chocolate laying around, savor a few bites and enjoy the memory of a happy day.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Need a Few Influencers for a New Shaker Book

"The people who influence you are the people who believe in you." 
    ~Henry Drummond

I am blessed by the influence of so many people who have believed in me through the years. My mother, first and foremost, always believed I could do whatever I set out to do. That's not to say she might not have been a little surprised when I had the dream to be a writer and actually publish books. 

Sometimes when I think about that, I'm a little surprised! Not that I wanted to write, but that I do have books published that people like you actually read. That is a blessing I don't take for granted. I'm grateful for every reader. I'm thankful every time any of you tell one of your reading friends about my books. I appreciate every time you read my this-and-that blog posts and when you leave comments here or play my guessing games. (I'm still smiling about finally getting a mystery photo that stumped you last time. I'm also trying to come up with something new that might be fun.) 

Many of you who read my blog are also faithful readers of my books and have followed me from Hollyhill to Harmony Hill to Rosey Corner and to 1855 Louisville. I love how you've been willing to read my different types of stories. 

This summer, I'm going back to my Harmony Hill Shaker village for a new book, The Innocent. That's why I posted this with a Shaker house picture. I really didn't think I'd write another Shaker book, but then these characters came to mind and it seemed like the thing to do. I guess I'll see if it really was come July when I find out if readers are ready to go back to Harmony Hill too. The book is already available for pre-order on Amazon

So now I'm looking for ten or twelve readers who might like to be what is called "influencers" in the publishing business. These people get a hot off the press copy of the book and in return perhaps talk about the book to their reading friends and suggest it to their book clubs or libraries. They might post reviews on internet sites or their own blogs if they have blogs or talk it up on other social media sites if the story is one the reader liked. Word of mouth really is the best advertisement a writer can get. These are just suggested things. There is no obligation to do anything if you don't want to other than receive the book and promise to give it a read. 

If any of you would like to give this influencing bit a try, just let me know. If I get more people who would like to be on my influencer list than the list can accomodate, I'll draw out twelve names. You can leave your e-mail information here in a comment or e-mail me directly at annhgabhart(at)yahoo(dot)com. 

And thanks so much. I am blessed to have you as reading friends.