Wednesday, December 25, 2013

12 Smart & Savvy Days of Christmas - Day 5

Merry Christmas Eve! Thanks for stopping by and joining in the celebration!
On the fifth day of Christmas, Stephanie gave to me...
Featured Author: Gretchen de la O
Featured Book: Keeping Her by Cora Carmack
Giveways: E-books by Gretchen & Cora

 Today we welcome Gretchen de la O to our celebration and we are talking about all kinds of fun stuff!

Stephanie: What Christmas movies are a must watch?

Gretchen: Elf for sure!

Stephanie: Fresh or fake Christmas tree?

Gretchen: Fake...but there is a good reason...we have a tradition that started many years ago...called, "Hand me Down Your Old One" with my first it was because we decided to get a fake tree and my best bud was getting rid of hers and upgrading. 17 years has become our tradition.

Stephanie: I personally have on my wish list to visit New York and London during the holidays to see each city lit up and decorated. Do you have any place you'd like to see during the holidays?

Gretchen: Oh I would love to see any tropical place, anywhere warm during the holidays...LOL.

Stephanie: What was the best and worst gift you have ever received?

Gretchen: Best gift would have to be my engagement ring in the toe of a pair of bunny slippers over 20 years ago. And for the worst gift...I really can't say. I always try and be grateful for everything I receive. Gratitude is very powerful for me, so I try to find something to be grateful for every day.  <~~~ I LOVE that answer! -Stephanie

Stephanie: Would you rather have a winter Christmas or summer Christmas?

Gretchen: Oh, I'm from the San Francisco Bay Area we don't have winter like up north or the mid-west. I don't like the cold. So, a summer Christmas would get my vote!

Stephanie: Do you read outside the genre that you write? If so, what genres?

Gretchen: OMG, when I get a chance to read, usually I am trying to soak up other authors from the Adult Romance, New Adult, and Young Adult genres. But I do read outside my genre and most of the time it is Non-Fiction.

Stephanie: Are you from a reading family?

Gretchen: Kinda. We'd read in waves. I never saw my parents walking around with their nose in a book. They were very much hands on and it seemed like we didn't have a lot of spare time to read. When I was a kid, I was out playing all the time.  When the Sun went was time to come home. It wasn't until I became adult that I read now more than ever before.

Stephanie: What do you prefer e-book, paperback or hardcover?

Gretchen: I love paperback. I like the way it smells, the feel of the pages. How easy it is to curl back the scenes I've already read to make it fit in your hands. But since the invent of the e-reader, I've gone digital. It's easier to travel with a bunch of books stored in a ereader than in your suitcase or under your arm. It has changed the way I read now.

Stephanie: What's your favorite place and or time to read?

Gretchen: I don't have a favorite spot, I will read anywhere and my favorite time to read is when the kids are taken care of and everyone is occupied! I hate being interrupted. BUT, usually that is the time I try and write too. So reading has become a little sneaky pleasure...But when a book snags me, hooks and reels me in....all bets are off and the family must find a way to feed themselves until the last page is turned.

Stephanie: When you have a new book go “live” on release date, how do you feel? Nervous, excited?

Gretchen: Oh. My. God. I am nervous and excited too. There is something about putting yourself out there, butt naked for everyone to judge, while you stand there and wait for the reviews to begin to show up. I mean, don't get me wrong, there is something dynamic about putting your energy into something so personal and then sharing it with the entire world. However, when it comes down to it a writer has spent thousands of hours creating, molding, pouring their soul into a story, ignoring their loved ones, missing functions to finish a chapter, having characters live in their head and sometimes enduring the characters screaming to be let out, and yet, in less than 200 words we can be crushed or elated by words of people who read it. Living in the world of authorship, can be such a rollercoaster of emotion. That's why I always find something to ground me. Be it my spirituality, my family, my close friends, I am extremely fortunate that I learned pretty early on how to stay grounded and authentic.


Gretchen's All Time Favorites!
Song: Kiss Quick by Matt Nathanson

Book: This Thing Called You, by Dr. Ernest Holmes.

Movie: Galaxy Quest (I have so many, but for my favorite comedy. I could watch that over and over again)

Television Show :Vampire Diaries (when I watch TV...Ian Somerhaulder...RAWR)

Color: Green (any shade)


Gretchen is the author of the Wilson Mooney series which begins with Almost Eighteen.

Buy It On Amazon
Abandoned by her mother at the vulnerable age of eight; only to be shipped off to a boarding school in Northern California by her grandparents, Wilson Mooney, is one girl who knows what it’s like to have to grow up way too fast. Now, a month away from turning eighteen and orphaned by the death of her grandparents; she knows exactly what she wants. All it takes is a spontaneous ski trip with her narcissistic roommate to Colorado to make it a reality. When "he" happens to show up at a party in Aspen, Wilson becomes tangled in the powerful emotions of first love, sexual inexperience, and society’s principles. She lives a whirlwind weekend filled with newly discovered boundaries, calloused aches for a family she never had, and all the pressures of keeping their weekend together a secret.

Today we are featuring Losing It and Keeping Her by Cora Carmack. Losing It and it's follow up novella, Keeping Her, feature Bliss and Garrick as they navigate the awkwardness of love.  

Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible—a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half a brain would ever believe.
And as if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theater professor.

She'd left him naked in her bed about eight hours earlier. . . .
Buy It On Amazon

Garrick Taylor and Bliss Edwards managed to find their happily-ever-after despite a rather . . . ahem . . . complicated start. By comparison, meeting the parents should be an absolute breeze, right?

But from the moment the pair lands in London, new snags just keep cropping up: a disapproving mother-in-law-to-be, more than one (mostly) minor mishap, and the realization that perhaps they aren't quite as ready for their future as they thought.
As it turns out, the only thing harder than finding love is keeping it.  

There will be two lucky winners for Day 5!
Giveaway #1 - E-book of Almost 18 by Gretchen de la O

Open Internationally (as long as you can receive a gifted e-book from the US)
Giveaway #2 - E-book of Losing It and Keeping Her by Cora Carmack

Open Internationally (as long as you can receive a gifted e-book from the US)
**All winners will be announced on January 1st**
The Christmas elf appeared as early as 1850 when Louisa May Alcott completed, but never published a book entitled Christmas Elves. The elves can also be seen in engravings from 1873 in Godey's Lady's Book, showing them surrounding Santa whilst at work. Additional recognition was given in Austin Thompson's 1876 work "The House of Santa Claus, a Christmas Fairy Show for Sunday Schools".

The image of the elves in the workshop was popularized by Godey's Lady's Book, with a front cover illustration for its 1873 Christmas Issue showing Santa surrounded by toys and elves with the caption, "Here we have an idea of the preparations that are made to supply the young folks with toys at Christmas time." During this time Godey's was immensely influential to the birth of Christmas traditions, having shown the first widely circulated picture of a modern Christmas tree on the front cover of its 1850 Christmas issue.

Were you an elf this year or were you Santa?

Be sure to check out all 12 Smart & Savvy Days of Christmas for more great author & book features and giveaways! 

Day 1 ~ Day 2 ~ Days 3 & 4 ~ Day 5 ~ Day 6 ~ Day 7 






  1. I was an elf. Thanks for the chance to enter this giveaway.

  2. I guess I was an Elf, because no one could take Santa's place. Thank you for the giveaway.

  3. Thank you for the chance to win some great books! HMM I think maybe I was a little bit of both ;)

  4. Since my husband accidentally spoiled the Santa thing, I guess I was a bit of both...

  5. I think I was an elf. Just helping Santa deliver his magic. It was an expensive delivery, but worth it :-). Thanks for the giveaway!