Must love dogs in Alaska

My contribution to the set Love, Christmas – Movies You Love is The Polar Xpress. Unlike the movie The Polar Express, mine doesn’t have a train as the primary means of transportation. It has dogs. The sled dogs and their ‘lead dog’ (musher) in my story come to the rescue of a downed doctor who is trapped beneath a snowmachine in the mountains near Talkeetna, Alaska.
Why did I change from a train to dogs for my story? Who wants to cozy up to a steam or diesel-powered iron monster? Yes, there are trains in Alaska, but to get up close and personal in the Last Frontier’s back country in the winter, you either need a snowmachine or a dog sled…unless you’re a superwoman and can handle cross country skis like Kikkan Randall!
I saw my first Iditarod dog sled race in 1992. In those days, the roads were blocked off so the dog teams could cross them on their way north. Flaggers stopped traffic while the teams of a dozen or so furry friends and their two-legged pets who ran behind their sleds crossed Tudor Road on the way to Eagle River and beyond.
I remember crying that day at the beauty and irony, Alaska’s traditional mode of transportation being granted first rights to the road as the modern exhaust-spewing cars waited for the fragile yet determined teams to pass. I was close enough to see their foggy breath, their smiles that proved to me that running is what they loved to do.
The race doesn’t start from Anchorage now—it’s only a ceremonial one. The ‘real’ Iditarod begins further north where there’s more snow. Those with pull (like a mother-in-law) or for a donation to a charity (there are many to choose from), regular folks can ride in a dog sled, bundled in blankets and furs as the teams scurry over the hauled-in snow-covered roads, the downtown Anchorage streets lined with folks waving as their favorite dogs and mushers hurry past.
I can’t think of any other sport that takes so long to finish and relies on the stamina and tactical skills of the coordinator who is not only a player, but also the chef, vet, mechanic, tactician and who is the only one who is allowed to take care of any problem that arises. The musher can’t get help from anyone (save a veterinarian). If a person so much as gives her a bucket of water for the dogs, she’s disqualified. Her months and years of selecting and training her dogs, vet bills to keep them healthy, costs of transportation to Anchorage and from Nome and the entrance fee, can all go belly up with one well-meaning spectator.
The trail is about 1,049 miles long, depending on where they start and whether the northern or southern route is used. Essentially, it’s from Anchorage or nearby and terminates in Nome. Note: There are NO roads to Nome.
A fast-paced race might take eight days for the winner. The last place or ‘Red Lantern’ winner—as in the caboose carries the red lantern—might come trundling into Nome thirty-two days after starting. The average is more like ten or twelve days, but either way, it’s a long arduous trail with snow melted over canned heat for water, food mixed in five gallon containers, booties put on the dogs to protect their feet, straw laid out for their beds, and if the musher is lucky, four hours of sleep for him or her.
Do you think you’re as tough as these guys and gals—barely eighteen to senior citizens—who run this race? And I do mean run: mushers might take a break by stepping on the runners, but they trot behind the dogs most of the way.
Enjoy my story of the California doctor who is rescued by the nearly blind woman who started Second Chance Kennels and dreams of running the Iditarod or ‘When worlds collide, there are sure to be sparks!’ Part of Love, Christmas – Movies You Love.

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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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Love, Christmas 2 Release Day! 26 Holiday Novellas

Today is the day!!! Release Day!!

At long last Love, Christmas 2 is available for sale—last year we had such fun celebrating all new holiday novellas that we decided to do it again! We have 26 award-winning authors in a collection so festive it will make your jingle bells ring. I’m a sucker for a Christmas story, no matter what time of year. What I love the most about them is the happy ending, no, the hope, no, the great feeling…what is your favorite thing about Christmas movies?

My contribution to this amazing set is Love, Actually By the Sea, #16 in my contemporary romance series, and I’ve dedicated it to Sarah Riddle—the winner in our Fresh Fiction contest who picked Love, Actually. Love Actually, minus the comma, is my all-time favorite Christmas movie, with Hugh Jackman dancing—gets me laughing every time. And the little boy saying that there is no worse agony than falling in love? Crying while laughing is a bonus. I need to watch it again!

Here’s a little about my novella,  Love, Actually:

One year ago, widowed Harper Philips closed her eyes and stuck her finger on the map to escape another holiday in grief—she landed in South Florida where she met a handsome stranger on the beach beneath the stars.

Agreeing to no names, they spend an intimate night so powerful neither can forget.

Jacob Orman credits his Christmas Angel for the courage to put all his worldly possessions on the line to turn job loss into an entrepreneurial opportunity. They’d agreed to be strangers—but, if they wanted, they could meet again at the bench by the sea in exactly one year.

Sometimes magic fades in the light of day. What if the memory of the person from a year ago can’t measure up to the reality? How could those feelings actually be love?

 

If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy of Love, Christmas 2 for just .99 cents, get it now! It will fill your heart with holiday joy 🙂

AMAZON.COM AMAZON.CA AMAZON.CO.UK ~ AMAZON.AU
KOBO ~ iBOOKS ~  NOOK 

Traci Hall

With an impressive bibliography in an array of genres, USA Today bestselling author Traci Hall has garnered a notable fan base. She pens stories guaranteed to touch the heart while transporting the reader to another time and place. Her belief in happily ever after shines through, whether it’s a romantic glimpse into history or a love affair for today.

Celebrate with us – it’s a party!! #Facebook #prizes #contests #mgtab @mimisgang1

Only 1 more sleep!! 😍 

I have no idea how Tuesday, October 16th can be almost upon us, but it is! In just one more sleep, LOVE, CHRISTMAS II will hit digital bookshelves everywhere, and you’ll have more reading pleasure ahead of you than you can even imagine, LOL. 
All 26 brand-new novellas are titled after favorite holiday movies. 
Stock up on yummy book-worthy beverages and snacks now!

If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy of 

Love, Christmas 2 
for just .99 cents, grab it today:

Release day is – Oct 16th!!  
AMAZON.COM AMAZON.CA AMAZON.CO.UK ~ AMAZON.AU
KOBO ~ iBOOKS ~  NOOK 

~*~*~*~

Celebrate with us! 😍 

Don’t forget to join in the celebrations at our launch party on Tuesday, October 16 and Wednesday, October 17! A couple of you contacted me, asking what a Facebook Party is, so in case it’s new to you too, let me explain. 

In a nutshell, it’s an online get together on a pre-arranged date and special page on Facebook. People who want to “attend” click the link beforehand to say they’re interested, then click to say they’re going. 

Then, during the party hours on the party day, you go to the link again and it’s “live.” People (in this case, me and the other Love, Christmas 2 authors, in assigned 20-minute slots) post in real time and you reply and respond to posts as you feel moved. The prizes, of which there are TONS, are usually won via random draws. You get your name entered based on easy to answer questions or small tasks. 🙂 Don’t be intimidated. These kinds of events are very fun and very easy! You’ll figure it out, super fast. Still in doubt? Just come! You won’t be sorry. 🙂 (And if you really hate it, LOL, you can duck out right away. :D) 

I’m starting the party off at 12:00 noon PST (3:0 p.m. EST) on Tuesday and really, really hope you’ll join in on the fun at the:  

Facebook Party Extravaganza! 

See you there! 

P.S. Can’t make the party during the “live” event hours? Come by any time Tuesday after 12:00 noon PST until Thursday 7:00 p.m. and scroll around, make comments, get entered in draws and have a blast.

~*~*~*~

 

I propose a CHALLENGE – with $100 Amazon gift certificate / or a Paypal payment as the prize.

As you know, we are trying to reach the USAT list with our new 99 cent Authors’ Billboard collection “Love, Christmas 2” and we need help in one area.

Of course it’s sales – but not just any sales. We need to sell as many books as possible to readers who support: B&N ~ Kobo ~ iBooks 

Therefore to encourage you, our readers, who buy books at those venues, if you reply with a link showing a purchase from any one of these 3 places, we will enter your name into the Giveaway. You can enter as many times as you have purchase slips. The draw will be picked on Oct 23rd.

Just email your proof of purchase to: authorsbillboard@gmail.com  

Thanks for your support, everyone!!

(No restrictions or purchases necessary to enter.)

~*~*~*~

 

Mimi Barbour

NYT & USA Today, best-selling, award-winning author, MIMI BARBOUR, has seven romance series to her credit. She also has many single titles and a huge number of box sets – her own and multi-author collections.

Mimi lives on the East coast of Vancouver Island with her husband and writes her various romances with tongue in cheek and a mad glint in her eye. She’s been known to say: “If I can steal a booklover’s attention away from their everyday grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”

**Visit her blogs at http://mimibarbour.com / http://Authorsbillboard.com

**Sign up for her monthly newsletter at http://mimibarbour.com

Her reviews are numerous and incredibly positive:

“Love Mimi Barbour, love her books. When you can read a book that within just a few words, you are brought right into the book. You feel, taste, see everything going on. Great story lines. Fantastic characters, fantastic plots, story lines like real life both honest folk and of crooks. Humor that will have you giggling then full on belly laugh. You may even shed a tear or two. All in all, Mimi never disappoints.” ~ Reviewed by Shirleen Miller

Announcing the winners for the September Fresh Fiction Contest! #mgtab @mimisgang1

♥ Sending a big thank you to the dear contestants who participated in the “The Christmas Movie (Box Collection) Contest” held by Fresh Fiction in September for the “Love, Christmas 2 Collection. Your support IS so appreciated.

Here is the final list of winners and their authors:

Mimi Barbour              Yvonne T. Cruz

Leanne Banks            Jennifer Beck / Donald Lee Beck

Aileen Fish                 SarahJane

Traci Hall                   Sarah Riddle

Susan Jean Ricci       Myrna Ray

Alicia Street               Candy

Natalie Ann                Rachel in memory of André

Stacy Eaton               Tina Ricci

Dani Haviland            Sally Scully

Rachelle Ayala           Tasha Handa

Ev Bishop                  Gaelen Schwindt / Angela Baldwin

Nancy Radke             Shirley Hegdal

Tamara Ferguson      Julia Deaton

Alyssa Bailey             Susan B.

Mona Risk                 Cissy Coleman

Katy Walters              Clare

Joan Reeves              Sandy Lamm

Jacquie Biggar           Tracy Petit

Stephanie Queen       Renee S Grandinetti

Taylor Lee                  Jennifer

Donna Fasano           Terri James

Cynthia Cooke           Sharon Henderson

Suzanne Jenkins        Author Viv Drewa

Jen Talty                     Hollie Donner

Rebecca York            Taylor

The 26 hard-working authors in this wonderful Christmas bundle belong to The Authors’ Billboard, a group dedicated to making the lives of these professional women a little bit easier.

Because we all work together and help each other to reach as many folks as possible, our goals seem more attainable, and we’re a lot happier not having to walk this lonely writer’s road alone.

We’d love to have you join us on our website to keep track of Love, Christmas 2 and the authors who’ve participated in the collection. Since our dream is to make the USAT list, we need a lot of good karma from you – our supporters.

If you haven’t signed up for our weekly newsletter and would like to, here is the sign-up link.

http://authorsbillboard.com/newsletter-sign-up

Thank you again for your support,

Everyone here at the Billboard wishes you good times and the very best for this coming holiday season, ♥ ♥

Mimi Barbour

~Founder – Authors’ Billboard~

Mimi Barbour

NYT & USA Today, best-selling, award-winning author, MIMI BARBOUR, has seven romance series to her credit. She also has many single titles and a huge number of box sets – her own and multi-author collections.

Mimi lives on the East coast of Vancouver Island with her husband and writes her various romances with tongue in cheek and a mad glint in her eye. She’s been known to say: “If I can steal a booklover’s attention away from their everyday grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”

**Visit her blogs at http://mimibarbour.com / http://Authorsbillboard.com

**Sign up for her monthly newsletter at http://mimibarbour.com

Her reviews are numerous and incredibly positive:

“Love Mimi Barbour, love her books. When you can read a book that within just a few words, you are brought right into the book. You feel, taste, see everything going on. Great story lines. Fantastic characters, fantastic plots, story lines like real life both honest folk and of crooks. Humor that will have you giggling then full on belly laugh. You may even shed a tear or two. All in all, Mimi never disappoints.” ~ Reviewed by Shirleen Miller