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I am getting ready to take a new step in my writing life. For the first time ever in my life, I am planning to . . .pay *gasp* . . . to enter a writing contest. I have a short story all ready to go – well, almost. I am waiting for edits from two of my favorite people because I have to cut it down to 1500 words and so far I have only been able to cut it down to 1600. I just have to remind myself that just because I pay to enter it doesn’t mean I am going to win. It is certainly inspiring me to spend more time on the story, however, and even allow people to edit it – which is another huge step for me.

I don’t need first prize – I would be perfectly happy with an honorable mention! But even if that doesn’t happen, at least I am taking my writing life in my hands and moving forward.

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Update: It has been conveyed to me via a reliable resource that I need to clarify a couple things.

One: This is a giveaway just on this blog, not nationally – so if only one person comments on this post, they WILL get the e-book. If three people comment, then I will draw names between those three people.

Two: This is an advance copy of the book! It is not even available in stores yet! You will be one of the first to ever read it!

And, as a further clarification, liking the post doesn’t count as a comment – although I am tempted to count it as a comment. 😛 So, please make sure that you actually write a comment to be entered in the contest! Come on, you know you want to be one of the only people in the nation with exclusive access to an advance copy of the next bestseller!

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So, in the spirit of NaNoWriMo and new authors in general, I am hosting an e-book giveaway! A friend of mine recently signed a book contract – yes, I struggled with jealousy too. Please take a few minutes, swallow your jealousy, imagine yourself in her place, and read on! 🙂 All you have to do is leave a comment – any comment – even “hi” for those of you as introverted as me, and I will put you in the pool to win the book!

Below please find a blurb, the first page of the book, and an author bio!

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Book Blurb:

Patience Callahan is twenty-five and fast becoming an old maid. But she’s spent most of her life dreaming over romantic European literature and wants a dashing d’Artagnan, not a bookish Bob Cratchit. Alas, the Colorado town of Gilman’s chock-full of Cratchit’s without a d’Artagnan in sight.

Peter Foote, the general store owner, has been in love with Patience for seven years. But every time he’s on the verge of proposing, she cuts him off; he can only imagine on purpose. This time though, dadburn it, he’s going to go through with it.

Ring in hand, he’s moments from touching knee to floor, when Patience pulls out a list of mail-order bride advertisements and declares her intention of marrying a backwoods stranger on Christmas Day.

He’s got two weeks to change her mind.

The first page of Plum Pudding Bride

There she was, the girl he’d loved for seven years. And she was sorting preserve cases at his store, as she’d done for the last four years. She stood not six paces from him, and yet so far away.

Peter’s fingers squeezed the ring box in his jacket. This time he was going to go through with it, no matter if she pointedly changed the subject, or hastily found excuses to be elsewhere, or pushed other eligible young women at him. Dadburn it, today he’d have his answer, a “yay” or a “nay” instead of living in this wretched bog of uncertainty.

The store had already closed. He just needed to grate the key in the locks while Patience tidied the shelves. The falling winter sun made long shadows on the floor between them. Now she had put down the strawberry preserves and taken an inventory list. She moved towards the mercantile section.

His heavy boots clomped on the hardwood floor, but his heart clomped louder. His fingers tightened around the red velvet box. It was a white gold ring and a miner’s cut diamond. Size six, as he’d discovered four years ago when he’d stolen her glove.

Patience’s brown hair twisted back around her ears. She always complained it lay too flat, and said her younger sister teased her about having a mottled complexion. But he’d never seen hair shine like hers, and her soft skin set off brown eyes that possessed a luster no girl in Gilman could match. And her smile. Oh, her smile. She could turn Antarctica into the tropics by just curving her lips.

A head-high shelf of baking perishables hemmed them in on one side while bolts of fabric made up the other side of the narrow aisle.

“Patience Callahan, will you,” Peter slid the box out of his pocket, and started to lower one knee to the ground.

Her gaze flicked to the ring box. “Why, Peter,” she stepped into him, blocking all attempts at kneeling. “I’ve been meaning to tell you my news.”

Her long fingers were slender. Yet, they could move lickety-split when sorting spools or organizing canned goods.

“I just received this.” Patience tugged a newspaper clipping out of her pocket along with a small daguerreotype. “This is Arnie Dehaven. He’s a Montana rancher. I’ve answered his mail-order bride advertisement and I’m marrying him.”

Author Bio:

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Anne Garboczi Evans is a mental health counselor, military spouse, and mama to an opinionated little preschooler named “Joe-Joe.” Her inspiration for Plum Pudding Bride came from moving to the Colorado Rockies. You can find Anne online at annegarboczievans.blogspot.com

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I hope you all have been having as lovely a month as I have. As I mentioned in my last post, my husband had a weekend away planned for us this past weekend. It was even more lovely than I anticipated. The Foxfield Inn in Charlottesville, VA was just adorable – I am fairly certain that he reserved the biggest suite in the Inn. A Jacuzzi, a fireplace, a settee. . . and just to top it off, he had a dozen red and white roses, a personalized cake, champagne, and chocolate covered strawberries waiting in the room for me. He made reservations at an Italian restaurant in town, which had the best tiramasu I have ever tasted! The next day, we visited Monticello, and just to finish off the weekend, we stopped at a winery on the way back for a tasting.

In addition, I have been having a great time learning my new job. It is so much more interesting than my last one, and I actually get to use my brain. The only issue with this, is that I haven’t been asked to use my brain since I graduated – every day I feel how rusty it is! Hopefully I don’t do anything stupid and get fired before I work out all the kinks! 😛

I have been shamefully lax about writing, though! It is time to get back on the ball. I decided to start with Writer’s Digest current “Your Story” competition, which currently consists of just coming up with the beginning sentence for a story based on a picture. “Just”, hm? Amazing how difficult it becomes to come up with an intriguing beginning sentence when you know it is all someone is going to read! Although, I suppose that is something to keep in mind for the future – how many times have I picked up a book, read the first sentence and decided if I am going to like it or not?

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