Archive for August, 2010

Skip a Starbucks giveaway winners!

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Survey says… (or rather, random.org says…)

The five winners of a Starbucks gift card are:

Kristin H
Catie S 
Valorie 
kjovus
Becky (comment #12 – I had a couple of Beckys)

And the three winners of my books are:

Robin K
Cathy M
Nikki B

Please drop me a note [avery (at) averybeck (dot) com] with your mailing address so I can get your prizes in the mail! Check out C.J.’s blog for her list of grand prize winners.

Many, many thanks to all of you who donated! Johanna is well on her way to coming home. Can’t wait to see pics of that. :)

Fall Fundraising, #3: Adoption/Skip a Starbucks Day (+ giveaway)

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

I have a special request today, for my writer pal C.J. Redwine. I had the pleasure of meeting C.J. in San Francisco when we were finalists in the 2008 RWA Golden Heart contest. It was there that she talked me out of a claustrophobia-induced heart attack while trapped in a malfunctioning Cheesecake Factory elevator. (“It’s okay, we’re almost there. It’s moving, see? We were on 6, now we’re on 5…I promise, we’re moving!”) She is smart, talented, funny, and will make the coolest mom when she brings her little girl home from China.

Yes, I said China. C.J. and her husband have been waiting *five years* to bring their daughter home, a process delayed by international circumstances beyond their control. In the time since they started the process, adoption costs have shot sky-high. Today, at last, they are just weeks from meeting Johanna Faith (what a beautiful name!) face-to-face.

I am happy to help out C.J. on her “Skip a Starbucks Day”—in other words, please sacrifice a $5.00 indulgence (or several, if you’re so inclined :) ) to get this little girl out of the orphanage overseas and into her home with the parents who, for years, have had a room ready for her arrival. Click the button below to head over to C.J.’s blog, where you can read her story, make a donation, and take part in the many giveaways being offered by so many friends and bloggers who are taking part in this fundraiser.

Speaking of giveaways, if you “skip a Starbucks” for C.J.’s adoption fund, I’ll send you a Starbucks card, so you can help this family and get your fix at the same time. Email me at avery AT averybeck DOT com and let me know you donated (C.J. has a list and is checking it twice, so no cheating!), and I’ll pick five names for a free cup of joe. Or a triple mocha mocha venti latte no whip extra cheese…or whatever form of caffeine you desire.

I’ll also send signed copies of both of my paperback releases to three wonderful people who contribute to any of the causes I have talked about here (see posts on LiveStrong and 46Mommas). Again, pop me an email with some form of confirmation that you donated. C.J.’s donations need to be in by this Wednesday night, Aug. 25. The others, by September 1.

I wish there were a better word for all of this—”fundraising” sounds like a magazine sale or a car wash in an attempt to fund the local high school team’s trip to the championship game. Which is a fine cause in itself, but when people’s lives are on the line…well, it’s very humbling. We’re not trying to sell candy bars here. I’m feeling pretty damn lucky to have what I have. I’m knocking on a lot of wood to keep what I have. And I hope that every one of these fundraisers, despite the lighthearted name, finds life-changing success.

Good luck to all who need help, and to my readers—if you can swing it, please donate today!

Happy weekend!

Friday, August 20th, 2010

balloons Reasons to feel happy today:

1. My first baby turns 7 (SEVEN! OMG) tomorrow. Seems like yesterday when I sat in the recliner with a bowl of peanuts to watch World Poker Tour (um…maybe I thought I was a man in that ninth month?), clueless that in a few hours he’d come out in movie-style fashion, complete with tossing things into suitcases in the middle of the night and driving 100 mph to the hospital. (Reason for panic: He was breech, my water broke and if the cord fell out it would have been a life-threatening situation. Now THAT’S how you have a baby.)

2. Discovered author copies of For His Eyes Only on my front porch yesterday. :)

3. After 4 months, my new house continues to rock.

4. After just a few days of work, I’m 15,000 words into a 60k manuscript. It’s a more traditional, not-so-hot kind of story, and I love my characters. It’s a shame I can’t pull them right out of the book. (But then I’d have to fight the heroine for him, and that wouldn’t be cool.)

5. School starts Monday!! medal

6.  Official half-marathon training begins soon! Doing two this winter. To the right is the finisher medal, a mental image that gets me through the last couple of miles when I really want to stop running, sit on the curb and chug water for a few hours. Is it wrong that I’m giddy about this?

7. Speaking of Monday, I’m going to have a final, special fundraiser posted that day. As well as a giveaway for those who donate to any of the causes that I’ve mentioned. Please stop by and take a look. 

Have a great weekend!

Free chapter!

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Curious? The opening chapter of For His Eyes Only, my September paperback release, is available today at D. Renee Bagby Presents First Chapters. See my home page for the book reviews that made me happy-dance.

(Warning: not for kids or those who are offended by love scenes.)

The story is currently available in e-book as well…but you knew that, didn’t you? ;) Enjoy!

South Padre: Good times for the old and sober

Friday, August 13th, 2010

So I’m not *particularly* old. Some days, I’m not particularly sober, either. However, it would be impossible to mistake me for a drunk college kid (even the teen cashiers at the grocery store have stopped carding me, wahh!), so when I booked an impulsive trip to South Padre Island to give my kids their first look at the ocean before school starts, I hoped to God it would be a good place for families, too.

I was not disappointed. :)

beach

As a person the universe often seems to enjoy messing with, I’m shocked and pleased that everything about this vacation went according to plan. The drive was reasonably short. The hotel room, which I sweat blood researching because I’m weirdly picky about where I spend the night (plus my boys love nice hotels), was beautiful, modern, and clean—a tough thing to find on SPI if you believe the online reviews. We walked a mere couple of minutes to the beach, and the beach itself was gorgeous (see photo :) ).

But Avery, you might object, this is nothing special. All beaches are gorgeous, right? Um, not exactly. Texas beaches are not usually known for their beauty. Except this one. SPI is as beautiful as any Florida coast I’ve seen. Blue-green water; soft, fair sand; and a noticeable lack of the gunk/seaweed that can be present on other parts of the Texas coast. Not that I’m dissing the Texas coast. I love Texas. I’m just sayin’, I was looking for a tropical-ish option without getting on an airplane, and this worked for me!

What is it about the ocean that makes everything else in the world seem so trivial? That is, if you even think about anything else while you’re there, which I don’t believe I did. And for me, occasional insomniac and Type A extraordinaire, that’s saying a lot.

The kids loved our vacation. They built sandcastles for hours and begged me to take them “far out” into the water. I’ve never seen them so entertained and well-behaved.

Guess I should start saving for next year.

kids

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