Dani Haviland

About Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.
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Which comes first?

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Which comes first, the idea for a complete story or maybe just for the book’s title? Or maybe it’s an image or a quote that gets the words reaching and stretching for each other, bumbling and fumbling until they tumble together into paragraphs and pages.
There’s no telling what will be the prompt for a new book.

For my latest release, these two words popped up and wouldn’t leave me alone until I gave them a story to live in:
Chasing Christmas.
Okay, you two, you’re a title. Now, how about making some sense?

“Mom, remember when I was little and always asked, ‘When’s it going to be Christmas?’ and you’d say, ‘There’s no sense in chasing Christmas. It’ll get here when it’s time.’”
Okay, so now the title makes sense, but I needed more for my historical tale.

And then I saw her. Her eyes told part of the story, but I had to translate it into words, then give her hope and a destiny.
It’s not as easy as it sounds.

“I hate writing, but I love having written,” is ascribed to Dorothy Parker and many other authors. Hmm. I think at some point, all authors feel the same way. I guess the ‘love’ part overrides the ‘hate’ part because we keep on doing it.
Enjoy Chasing Christmas, part of Sweet and Sassy Christmas – A Time for Romance, available today! ELEVEN Christmas tales, some sweet, some sassy (or more) by NY Times and USA Today Bestselling and award winning authors.

Only 99 cents or free to read with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.
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Writing is only part of an author’s job

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As you can see from the pretties below, there is more involved in producing a novel than just creating a Word document and having an editor track down stray quote marks and make a few suggestions.

You have to have an intriguing cover. That means finding the right photo to start with. Not as easy as it sounds, but not a bad way to lose an hour or two, looking over tight abs and fuzzy faces. I found this guy and gal then wrote the story from the image. If you’ve read any of my books, you know that many of the same folks are in several of the stories. That’s what happens with a saga. Luke is totally new to the Fairies Saga scene, but you may remember his co-worker, Benji (The Great Big Fairy). He plays a big part in Luke The Unexpected, although he’s not the hero.

If the author hasn’t already done so, she might want to align her works with those who write in the same genre. It’s hard to launch a single title, but if an author chooses well, she may get in a box set with an author who has a passionate and loyal following. After her readers have devoured her work, they may pop over to your story (since it’s in the set and already downloaded). Hope! Hope!

Whether the novel is a single title or in a set, promotions are a necessity and that means creating enticing cards or memes. And then there’s tweeting and posting to Facebook groups and sending out newsletters, updating website(s)… Hours every day are spent on these unless you have a PA who can read your mind and knows exactly what you want.

I remember when I first started writing. That’s all I did. Write. I had three books (two of them rather lengthy) before I published one. I didn’t know the second thing about promoting (the first was a web page; I knew that). Now, I spend more time either promoting OR learning the latest tools needed to promote. And if there’s a shortcut, I’m on it!

 

That being said, I borrowed and modified Jacquie Biggar’s blog about our box set. Thanks for the platform, Jacquie! I’ll be there when you need me, too. (Follow her at @JacqBiggar)

Sweet Heat – Where Romance and Suspense Meet (box set of six romances)

And my contribution is… Luke The Unexpected

He’d to anything to get this hot motorcycle mama’s attention ~ (scroll to the bottom for an excerpt, but read about the other books in the set, too!)

6 NYT and USA Today Bestselling authors come together to bring you romances guaranteed to make your blood run hot! Only 99 cents. Passion, suspense, mystery. Something to suit every reader’s taste. Grab your Kindle reader and curl up with us for an unforgettable escape. Get yours today before it goes away. LIMITED TIME ONLY.

~ Roll the Dice by Mimi Barbour How can she love the guy who shoots her rather than the criminal? This powerful romantic suspense about two detectives with differing agendas, yet after the same rapist, will grab your attention and keep you riveted.

~ Two Hearts Surrendered by Tamara Ferguson After years of fighting their feelings, Luke Bryant and Kelly Callahan share an enchanting night of passion at her sister’s magical wedding. So when Luke returns home from Iraq as a disheartened wounded warrior, Kelly refuses to give up on him. But will that past night of enchantment be strong enough magic for a military hero to finally surrender his heart to the woman he loves?

~ Slow Dancing by Suzanne Jenkins After a wrong turn in Mobile, Margaret Fisher and her toddler, Ellen are lost. Then, their car breaks down in a small town in front of the garage owned by eligible bachelor, Frank McPherson. Twelve years later, the peaceful life fifteen-year old Ellen has with her stepfather is threatened when after midnight, a stranger appears at the edge of the woods. Jealousy, intrigue, and murder strive to tear them apart in this tale of unrequited love.

~ Luke, the Unexpected by Dani Haviland Brought together by their love of vintage motorcycles, Luke and Holly have more than just an out of tune Indian Chief to deal with. The spurned Tanya wants revenge, and will stop at nothing to hurt Luke and all those he cares about.

 ~ Missing: The Lady Said No by Jacquie Biggar The Race is on to find a Killer in the heart of Kentucky horse country Detective Augustus Grant is faced with his most baffling case to date. Well-respected race horse breeder, John Jorgenson, is murdered in his den days before the Kentucky Derby and the list of suspects is growing. Complicating matters, Gus’ ex-girlfriend is the last person to have seen the victim alive. With all the evidence pointing in Becky’s direction, will Gus do his duty? Or follow his heart?

 ~ Turning Up the Heat by Susan Jean Ricci Malibu O’Hare and Mark Bouchard are headed towards matrimony, until an old adversary sabotages their plans with a devious scheme.  Will the sinister plots continue to succeed, or will love, commitment, and justice prevail?

Order your copy today!

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Excerpt from Luke The Unexpected by Dani Haviland   

The unexpected hero in threadbare jeans and a white tee shirt turned away, ignoring the oversized teenager with the bad attitude, and offered the sobbing girl his hand. “Are you all right?” he asked.

“Who are you?” Tanya replied, wide-eyed at seeing anyone else on this deserted property. She had made sure she and Tubby would be alone. And, although she was new in this small town, she would have remembered seeing a man this good-looking and broad-shouldered— here or anywhere!

“Hey!” Robbie stepped over and wedged himself in between the blonde damsel in distress and her dark-haired knight.

Luke’s eyes narrowed as he assessed the cad, noted his unsteady stance, then gave him a well-placed hip bump, knocking him to the ground.

“That’s twice you’ve knocked me for a loop,” Robbie said. “You’re a marked man now, Asshole!”

“Marked? Nope.” Luke rolled up the short sleeves on his cotton tee shirt to the top of his shoulders, flexing his muscles slightly to antagonize the chunky man-child even more. “Not marked. No tats on me anywhere. At least, that are visible,” he added with a wink to the stunned femme. “And you got my name wrong, too. It’s Luke. It’s a simple mono-syllabic moniker. It should be easy for you to remember.”

“You won’t be around long enough for…”

Luke had turned his attention back to the young, stunned woman, once again deliberately ignoring the boor.

All bullies were alike. They talked big, yelled loud, pushed and shoved those smaller than themselves, and somehow—without any specialized schooling—managed to excel in the science of intimidation.

“Hey, I’m talking to you…” Robbie tried again to get the newcomer’s attention, this time gripping Luke’s shoulder from behind.

Luke grabbed the grimy paw, squeezed fingers together until he heard a whimper, then spun away, twisting the sweaty arm up and behind the youth until he looked as if he had a duck wing, not an arm.

“Hmm. I’ll bet this is your favorite position. At least, for your victims. I’d call you by your given name, but I really don’t care enough about you to ask for it. And, since I believe you were planning on visiting some distant relative in a neighboring town — or better yet, a distant state — I’ll not bother. Now, the lady and I were just getting acquainted, so skedaddle and take your broken knife with you.”

Luke held out the knife he had surreptitiously filched during the arm-twisting do-si-do.

“But it’s not broke,” Robbie said, reaching for it.

“Well, I’ll be.” Luke flicked opened the switchblade, dropped it to the ground, then used his boot to nudge it on top of a half-buried stone. He stomped down with his size 13 Wellington, separating the six-inch blade from its plastic faux-bone hilt.

“Oh, and don’t even think about complaining to the cops or anyone else. That type of ‘shaving razor’ is illegal. I doubt you’d want to admit to any of your so-called friends that the new guy in town bested you, either.”

“But…but…”

“No, dude, it’s bye, bye. Can you repeat after me? Bye.” Luke paused and sucked in his lips in exaggeration, then exhaled as he enunciated, “Bye,” and walked away, the young blonde clinging to his arm.

(Was this the right girl for Luke? Download the box set and find out! Oh, and thanks if you do!)

 

Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.
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Solar Eclipse Mania and Aliens

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On Monday, August 21, I’ll be in the path of the total eclipse of the sun. Big deal. Well, really it is.
I’m sure other areas of the US are going through the same craziness as Oregon is. For over a month now, the front page of the local paper has featured at least one story about the solar eclipse and the impact it will have on the local residents.
Okay, not so much the eclipse itself, but all the eclipse watchers. Highways are predicted to slow to a near standstill between Portland – the nearest major airport – and throughout the Willamette Valley with the influx of over a million visitors. Backyards and open fields will be turned into temporary tent or camper cities (already happening). Public water and septic systems will be overtaxed (not likely). Food and gas supplies will run out or low (no telling). The local economy will boom (hopefully).
Because the traffic is expected to be horrible, garbage pick up has been delayed one day, many local businesses have given employees time off, and non-essential government workers are taking leave (or whatever they call it).
Right now, roads are blocked off in towns around here, not for safety, but to cordon off city blocks for vendors, events, and parties. I don’t know if they planned it this way, but a huge three-day country music extravaganza is going on right now in the Willamette Valley. If these folks came from far away, I doubt they’ll be in a hurry to leave Sunday night. Or if they are, they’re in trouble. I just hope the weight of all these extra people doesn’t cause a major earthquake!
What do people expect out of the eclipse besides a long weekend of partying? Some are saying it will allow the world to see the extra sun (or is it a planet?) that’s been hiding behind the sun.

Here’s a recent picture taken in Dallas, Oregon by Ashleigh Sawicki. Her aunt saw the same thing in Florida as did my friend in Alaska. It’s not exclusive to the United States, either. I hear it’s been sighted in South America and Europe, too. Oh, and if you say it’s just the camera, why would someone take a picture of the sun? Had to be something strange to want to take that shot.
I guess we’ll find out what all the noise is tomorrow. Unless the aliens attack or, gasp, they take out our internet.

No matter what happens, enjoy the life you have, and if it needs improving, be the one to make the changes.

In the meantime, here’s some great diversion. Romance box sets in different flavors!Feeling like a sweet story? Sweet & Sassy is perfect. Need some suspense? Dangerous Encounters and Risky Encounters. Historical fiction: Rebels, Rogues, and Romantics. Paranormal or time travel? Mystic Lovers. Check them all out! All but Love, Christmas are available to read for free with your Kindle Unlimited account. Don’t have KU? Try it for free for 30 days. See Amazon for details.

Follow me on Amazon: http://bit.ly/dhAuthor 

Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.
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Life is About Choices

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Life is about choices.

Really. It is.
Not only small choices, such as what should I wear to work today?
Or bigger ones such as: Should I even go to work today?
Or even bigger ones: Should I tell the boss to shove it, sell everything I own, buy a Harley Davidson, and tour Route 66? Without a GPS?
Okay. Maybe today isn’t the day to make decisions that extreme, so let’s do this instead.

Pick at least one of these romance box sets and live a life that isn’t yours vicariously. You won’t cause any harm. Or go bankrupt. Or get lost. But you’re sure to fall in love. At least once.
Would you like to snuggle with a detective who also happens to be a werewolf? Or maybe a reborn Egyptian god? Check out Mystic Lovers.
Did the movie (or old TV show) Wild, Wild West get you itching to share a saddle with secret agent James West? Check out Angel in Aces Wild, part of Rebels, Rogues, and Romantics.
How about suspense, murders, living on the edge, trying to stay one step ahead of the bad guys, all with some hot romance on the side? If this is for you, check out Dangerous Encounters and Risky Encounters, both box sets with romantic suspense that will keep you gripping the edge of your Kindle.
Are contemporary romances more your speed? From puppies to young brides and…and…well, more themes than I have room for here. Kiss Me, Thrill Me, Sweet & Sassy, and Unforgettable Romances are great (and well-endowed with loads of stories).
Tired of choices?
Heck, why not make time to read them all? After all, the prices are fantastic!
All these box sets are only 99 cents each and also available on Amazon to read for free with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

P.S. If you like to live and love out of this time era, check out my stories in Rebels, Rogues, and Romantics; Mystic Lovers, Sweet and Sassy, and Kiss Me, Thrill Me. I think you’ll be glad you did!

Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.
 View website

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Chicken soup for the sick

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I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I ‘thought’ I was in good health for a woman of age, a spritely silver-haired vixen, but I was as sick as the old gray mare, ready for the glue factory.
Then again, three bouts of pneumonia in four months would probably sap even an Olympic athlete. It was time to supplement all those different antibiotics with old time medicine.
Some of the odd things I found in my online research were red onions, vinegar, and honey. Chicken soup is supposed to be great for a cold; it would probably help with the crud, too.
Not in my research, but known to me was an apple a day. It was too late to keep the doctor away, but was worthy as a component in the super soup I was concocting.

Short version: it works. I’ve polished off the pot of Super Soup, I’m breathing easier, and it’s great to have something hearty to eat at the zap of the microwave.

Components:

1 Tbsp coconut oil (or whatever oil you have)
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 red onion, chopped
1 apple, chopped
2 heaping Tbsp chicken ‘Better Than Bouillon’ or equivalent in bouillon or chicken stock
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 chopped up cooked chicken breast (or whatever leftover chicken you have)

Saute the solid stuff in the oil until limp. Add the vinegar, chicken ‘flavoring,’ and chicken. If you used chicken stock, you should be good to go. If not, add about 2 cups of water.

Super-meal this!
Add a package of pre-cooked rice or quinoa mix (I like the Seeds of Change brand) or leftover rice. If you don’t have those, add one more cup of water and one cup or Minute Rice. Hearty and satisfying.

You’ll note that I didn’t add any salt. The bouillon has enough salt for the mix. The apple and vinegar gives it a bit of sweet and sour taste—not overwhelming, but fun as a change from ‘all soups taste the same’ stuff I’m used to. Oh, and I never used the honey. Go ahead and eat a big spoonful for dessert.

Enjoy! And if you can, get a pneumonia vaccine. I have to wait 3 months now. I never realized that there were over 36 strains of that strength-sapping, lung-filling crud out there!

NOTE: In 2008, I started writing my first book. In it, the main character (a sweet little old lady from Alaska) had a drug-resistant form of pneumonia. I didn’t know I was writing about myself! If you want to know more about her, and how an overdose of Fountain of Youth water and a drop through a time portal turned her into a young fox in 1780, read Naked in the Winter Wind on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play, Amazon UK.

Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.
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Spring is for flowers

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Don’t overdo it in the garden this weekend. Or next weekend, the traditional start of summer.
Those words or warning come from every garden blog I’ve ever read. That and make sure you stretch first.

Okay, so stretch, figure out what needs done, then ask friends and neighbors if they know of any kids who want to make a few extra bucks. Churches usually have youth eager to raise funds for a summer camp or special project. Contribute to the community, the next generation’s emotional/work ethic growth, and save yourself at least a bottle of pain relievers and maybe even a trip or four to the chiropractor. Delegate.

If you don’t have a garden or a yard, or even a window box, enjoy these flowers. I’ve always been passionate about them. I spent many of my early years in apartments without a patch of dirt to plant in. I’m very much enjoying my big yard, raised beds, hanging baskets, and yes, calling on church groups and teenagers to keep them maintained.
When the day is done, kick back with your Kindle and read a great romance novel or five. Here’s my suggestion: Rebels, Rogues, and Romantics. Historical romance tales about those rascals, the ‘wrong’ kind of man a woman have been finding irresistible for centuries. Scots, cowboys, musketeers, and an Indian brave or two. They’re all so hot!

(Only #99cents for five or #free to read on Kindle Unlimited)

Whether you actually get in the garden this weekend or not, enjoy your time. No one can please you without your permission. Give it to yourself.

Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.
 View website

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Catting around?!

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Yardley on her Cat D3 8/18/2013

Here, Kitty, kitty… Feral cats have always been in my life. From the kitties we ‘rescued’ from the hay barns as kids, to the cats my mother ‘stole’ from the park during her lunch breaks at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (to have them fixed), to the abandoned cats my husband started feeding during the minus zero weather in Alaska. (Yardley, left, is now a wonderful indoor/outdoor cat).

Cats are survivors. One reason cats survive is because of sheer numbers. A female (queen) can start breeding at five months and have four litters a year.
If she has four kittens each time, that means in ten years, she’s populated the area with nearly 1.4 MILLION cats! (See the t-shirt for the math equation)

I recently helped control the local population explosion of feral cats by transporting a dozen of the offenders to the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon. These citizens of the Oakdale Cat Colony were examined, wormed if necessary, checked and treated for ear mites, spayed or neutered, then given the ‘right ear snip’ that indicated a sterilized cat. These guys and gals already have jobs waiting for them and will be re-acclimated to their new work stations as barn cats in teams of two or more.

If you’d like to help, but don’t want to adopt a cat (or even transport a dozen or so), give to your local or regional agency or even to FCCO. I know they would appreciate any monetary help. Their suggested donation is $30 per cat. (notice the snipped right ear on the name plate)

So, where did the term ‘catting around’ come from? I don’t know, but if you do, please leave a comment so all of us will know!

Why do women go after these men who seem to be ‘catting around’? REBELS, ROGUES, AND ROMANTICS is a collection of five historical novels written by bestselling and award-winning authors about these types. Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited!

Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.
 View website

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Springtime is for roses

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Rainbow Sorbet grown exclusively in water with goldfish

Springtime! Time for fresh roses!
But also for late frosts or snow… What a bummer, having to wait to plant bare root roses because of fickle weather patterns.
But wait! I found a solution!

I plant my bare root roses in water. This may not work in all areas of the world, but it’s a real winner in Alaska where summers (at least around Anchorage) seldom get over 80 degrees. Your best bet for success is using a higher grade rose, at least grade one and a half, so it has a good root system.

There is a problem with ‘planting’ in 5 gallon buckets (or similar sized containers), though. Mosquitoes. Those little bloodsuckers love standing water, the perfect incubating area for their eggs and larvae.
Goldfish to the rescue! You can buy feeder goldfish at pet stores or larger Wal-marts for about ten cents each. I put a couple in each bucket of water and let them eat any mosquito larva that appear.

Queen Elizabeth grandflora rose grown in water with goldfish

There is an added bonus to the goldfish. Not only does their swimming keep the water from becoming stagnant, the by-product of their feasting (fish poop) is an ideal fertilizer. My Queen Elizabeth roses were nearly seven inches across one year!

Also, it’s fairly simple to move the containers inside if the forecast is for freezing temperatures. This works on both ends of the growing season. You can also ‘chase the sun’ if their once sunny spot becomes too shady later in the season. Note: all roses need at least six hours of sunlight.
Be aware, though. This method only works for one season. You are essentially forcing the roses to grow and there isn’t enough nutrition in the water to replenish the plant for a second season. If you’d like, you can plant the roses in the garden anytime, but at least six weeks before the first hard freezes. It takes at least that long for soil-feeding roots to become established. If your winters are mild, you will probably have success. However, if you have six months or more of sub-freezing temperatures, I recommend just tossing the plant in the dumpster. The stems and thorns are too tough to compost.
The blooms you get from growing your own roses may not be as fancy as the ones from the florist, but if you’ve chosen well, they’ll most certainly smell better.
More pictures and detailed ‘planting’ information at www.growalaska.net and www.chilloutroses.com. Note: emails and phone numbers are not correct. These are old sites for reference purposes only. I no longer sell roses, either.

Here’s a pretty bunch of roses for you! Yours for only #99cents!

Kiss Me, Thrill Me: As Only You Can. Seven great stories by USA Today and NY Times best selling authors. Available exclusively on Amazon (and for a limited time).

Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.
 View website

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