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Friday, December 25, 2015

12 Days of Giveaways Winners!

Dear Readers,

Thank you to all who spent some time getting to know our amazing lineup of authors! Now, it's time to announce some winners.

Congratulations to Joanne Kocourek and Sarah Taylor! You've both won an e-copy of 'Tis the Sneezin' just in time for Christmas! Tis the Sneezin' (Check your email, winners! :) )

As an added bonus for everyone today, I'm having a flash sale on all of the titles in my catalog. Stop on by and fill your Kindles with Cozy Mystery fun!

But wait -- there's more! I have a couple of FREEBIES today too! You can grab both here: FREEBIES

Thank you all for stopping by! Have a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year! Don't forget to stop by the other author's blogs to see if you've won.

Merry Christmas,

Ava Mallory

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaways

It's giveaway time!

It's day three of the 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaways and that means it's my day to host a giveaway.

Two winners will win an e-copy of my new release 'Tis the Sneezin'! (Winners will be chosen on Christmas Day 12/25/15.)

Here's the book:

Tis the Sneezin' Description:

Traveling nurse Mercy Mares is up to her eyeballs in donations for the town's annual holiday celebration. Every nook and cranny of her house and all of her friend's and neighbor's houses are overflowing with gifts for ill children in her local hospital. It's all she can do to keep track of what is what and who is who. 

On the night that she and her merry band of helpers are to deliver these gifts, everything, including gifts she bought for her loved ones, simply disappear without a trace. 

Now, Mercy has to find the thief before those who appointed her this year's Mrs. Claus find out that they're missing and dozens of children are left disappointed. 

Enlisting the help of her reluctant loved ones, Mercy has a humdinger of a mystery to solve in a flash in order to save Christmas. 

This is Volume 7 of the A Mercy Mares Cozy Mystery Series. Each book is a standalone.

All you have to do to win is follow these prompts: Rafflecopter

I'm not the only author hosting giveaways on this blog tour. There are plenty of other Sci-fi/Paranormal/Fantasy and Romance/Mystery authors taking part in the festivities.

Here's the list to hop on board this 12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaways train:

Day 1 Monday 12/14/16 -- Angela Carling
                                            Tamara Passey

                                            Britney Mills

Day 3 Wednesday 12/16/15 -- Nicole Zoltack
                                                 Ava Mallory (That's me!)

Day 4 Thursday 12/17/15 --  James D.
                                               KJ Traynor

Day 5 Friday 12/18/15 -- Bron Whitley
                                         Rachel Skatvold

Day 6 Saturday 12/19/15 -- Jennifer Kibble
                                               Kari Trumbo

Day 7 Sunday 12/20/15 -- Lea Doue
                                           Brenda Anderson

Day 8 Monday 12/21/15 -- Emily Bates
                                            Stacy Monson

Day 9 Tuesday 12/22/15 -- Peggy Urry
                                            Anna Del C 

Day 10 Wednesday 12/23/15 -- Cassie Sheils
                                              Valerie Ipson

Day 11 Thursday 12/24/15 -- Melanie Mason
                                                Frances Hoelsema

Day 12 Friday 12/25/15 -- Tara Ellis
                                            Marianne Sciucco

Hop on board! Meet some fabulous authors and win some great prizes!

Good luck and Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 14, 2015

12 Days of Christmas Book Giveaway

Good news readers ~~~

Beginning on Monday, December 14th (TODAY!), I will be taking part in the ultimate 12 Days of Christmas blog tour. Some wonderful authors have joined together to make your holidays brighter with giveaways galore.

Why not get your holiday celebration started early and join in on the fun?

Load your stockings and reading devices with some wonderful goodies courtesy of these fabulous Sci-fi/Paranormal/ Fantasy and Romance/Mystery authors below:

Day 1 Monday 12/14/16 -- Angela Carling
                                            Tamara Passey

Day 2 Tuesday 12/15/15 -- Jason Zandri
                                            Britney Mills

Day 3 Wednesday 12/16/15 -- Nicole Zoltack 
                                                 Ava Mallory (That's me!)

Day 4 Thursday 12/17/15 --  James D.
                                               KJ Traynor

Day 5 Friday 12/18/15 -- AJ Harred
                                         Rachel Skatvold

Day 6 Saturday 12/19/15 -- Jennifer Kibble
                                               Kari Trumbo

Day 7 Sunday 12/20/15 -- Lea Doue
                                           Brenda Anderson

Day 8 Monday 12/21/15 -- Emily Bates
                                            Stacy Monson

Day 9 Tuesday 12/22/15 -- Peggy Urry
                                            Anna Del C

Day 10 Wednesday 12/23/15 -- Cassie Sheils
                                              Valerie Ipson

Day 11 Thursday 12/24/15 -- Melanie Mason
                                                Frances Hoelsema

Day 12 Friday 12/25/15 -- Tara Ellis
                                            Marianne Sciucco

Join us! Win some great prizes and have some fun!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hiatus during the holidays? I think not!

Leave it to me to take a hiatus from my writing world during the holiday season!

After writing 151,000 words during NaNoWriMo, I made what I thought was a good decision and declared that I'd not write a word during December. Brilliant, right?

Well, considering that I'm writing this blog post right now and I send out daily tweets, Facebook posts, emails, a bi-weekly newsletter and write countless notes to myself and my children, I do believe I've failed. That's not to mention the book descriptions I'm constantly tweaking or writing for others or the notebooks full of outlines I've written this month.

You see, I simply cannot stop writing, regardless of what I've promised myself. A writer writes. All. The. Time. We can't help ourselves. Even if I'm not physically writing -- either on paper or on my Alphasmart or my laptop -- I am writing in my head or in my dreams.

Admitting I have a problem (sort of) is the first step to...

I think it's time to rethink what my goal is for this month. Here's what I've come up with:

Write for pleasure, not to meet a deadline.

Read because reading makes me happy.

Finish buying Christmas gifts because, whether I like it or not, Christmas will come.

Stop eating holiday goodies because adding an extra 30 minutes a day to my daily run may kill me.

Share some fun holiday surprises from my writer friends. Wait till you see what we have planned for you for the 12 days before Christmas.

Finally, remember to live in the moment and breathe.

For the love of books & chocolate,

Ava Mallory

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tuesday Reviews

It's Tuesday and that can only mean one thing in my world: Read all the books!

I buy a lot of books. I mean, A LOT of books. I read everything. Sticking to one genre is just not my thing. It never has been. If there's words in it, I'll probably read it. Within reason, of course.

I also read several books at once. I can't explain why. That's just the way my brain works. I can bounce from book to book, genre to genre, and never feel lost. I guess that's why I also write in several genres. 

Beginning next week, I'll post reviews for books I read in the previous week. None of the books were given to me. I purchased or borrowed every last one of them. You'll know what I'm reading in the upcoming week.

To get things started, these are the books I'm reading this week (Tuesday through Tuesday):

1. A Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane - - This is a dark, gritty thriller. It was published in 1994, but still incredibly relevant today. 

2.  The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher - - I'm about halfway through it and LOVE it so far. Romance with a twist is the best way to describe it.

3.  Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes - - Why? Because I love Shonda Rhimes and, more importantly, because as the new year approaches, it's time to take stock. 

Check in next week to read my reviews and found out what I'm reading next!

For the love of books & chocolate,

Ava Mallory

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Short Story Sunday

Look, Mom, I did it! I said I'd recommit to this whole blogging thing and I've done it. Day #3!

This is my Short Story Sunday inaugural post. What does that mean? Every Sunday, a short story will be posted for your reading pleasure. I'll invite authors and readers to share a short story as well. Are you up for this challenge? Do you know someone who might be? Let me know.

Whispered Words

"You'll be okay," his small, breathy voice, filled the cold room.

A quick inhale helped ground me in place. Everything hinged on my reaction to his words. He needed me. Perhaps not as much as I needed him in that moment and for every agonizing moment after that.

"How do you know," I asked, my heart splintering into shards of regret and sorrow.

"You're stronger than you think you are."

I laced my fingers through his, fearful that I'd never feel the warmth of his skin again.

"What are we going to do without you?" The tears I'd fought to keep at bay poured out of my eyes and swam down my cheeks, spilling onto the front of my shirt.

His eyes - the warm brown eyes I'd spent my entire life looking to for support and understanding - had become distant, a part of him already making its journey to the other side.

With a gentle squeeze to my hand, he whispered, "You and the kids will be alright. Take care of each other."

Movement just outside the window overlooking a small corridor, leading to the emergency room, caught our attention. A family made their way out of the area that would be my grandfather's last stop on Earth. Their happiness didn't go unnoticed. Their loved one would live to see another day.

I didn't begrudge them. How could I? I would've given anything to see my grandfather live another day.

"Are you afraid?" I don't know why I asked that question. I hadn't planned to ask. The five sleepless days and nights I'd spent witnessing what we knew were his final days had been the most difficult days of my life up until that point. Why did I feel compelled to ask him?

His once strong hands - the same hands that had tended to the farm, built the family ranch and held fourteen children and countless grandchildren in them - were now feeble.

I breathed in, hoping that my nostrils would fill with the familiar scent of his after shave and years of hard, back breaking work. The scent had long since faded. Yet, another part of him that would never return.

"I'm not afraid. I'm ready." He said, ready to face the inevitable.

"I love you, Grandpa." I whimpered.

"Love you too, Mija." That was the last time I ever heard that sweet nickname uttered by him. A part of me vanished in that moment.

I scrubbed the fresh tears from my face with the back of my hands.

"It will be okay." He said.

"I don't want you to go," My selfish thought spilled from my lips.

A lone tear spilled from his now gray eyes. The end was near.

One final squeeze of my hand. One teary kiss on his cheek.

Five hours later, nursing staff removed the machines from the room. The cleaning crew emptied the trash bin and disinfected the surfaces. Five hours later, the only real man I'd ever known left this Earth, but not without leaving a lifetime of memories and hearts filled love.

For the love of books and chocolate,

Ava Mallory

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Saturday Shenanigans

Shenanigans. I like that word. I really like that word! Prepare to see it used quite regularly as I continue on my blog reboot adventure.

Speaking of my reboot, today - this post - is day #2! Woo-hoo! Way to be consistent! Today and every Saturday from here on out will be Saturday Shenanigans posts.

What does that mean?

Good question.

In my world, here in the Midwest, that generally means I work harder than I do any other day of the week. I tend to play catch up on weekends and work far more hours than any rational human being should work.

Yep, you heard it here first. My glamorous writer life consists of weekends spent tending to chores that were missed throughout the week and hours spent writing at a feverish pitch to hit my weekly word count. More often than not, laundry, vacuuming, floor mopping and grocery shopping take precedence. But, don't fret! Writing will get done - eventually.

As I sit now at nearly 7 p.m., my 3K word goal for the day, sits at just over two thousand words because I'm distracted for unknown reasons. You say, well, you only have 1000 words left. What's the problem? The answer is: I don't know!

All this procrastination hard work prompted me to want to know how other writers spend their weekends? Am I the only one fighting to finish the last few hundred words of a novel? Surely, I can't possibly be the only one experiencing difficulties with the 'get er done' mentality.

I have a full outline. It's all handwritten in my handy, dandy notebook. (One of many notebooks I keep in every room of my house. Every. Room.) What is holding me back?

Well, readers, I'm going back in. This final chapter isn't going to write itself. I hope the writing gods intervene and help me get to The End.

For the love of books & chocolate,

Ava Mallory

Friday, November 27, 2015

To Trust Or Not To Trust

I can't be trusted...

- to blog on a regular basis because Netflix won't stop calling my name. (Neither will the children!)
- stay clear of chocolate. (Solution: Stop buying chocolate. Yeah right!)
- to hit my daily word count (5K) before someone needs me. (Or my Facebook feed beckons me.)
- to stop buying books. (Why are writers so talented? They tempt me with their words.)
- to stop reading blog posts. (Bloggers rock!)
- to complete a Barre exercise video without wanting to die. (Yoga pants rule!)
- to run 3.5 miles three times per week even when my knees beg me to stop. (Stop whining!)
- to watch an episode of Fixer Upper and not want to move to Texas. (Humidity & curls, oh my!)
- to not cry at commercials. (But, they eat Cheerios as a family!)
- to stay away from anything containing cheese. (Everything tastes better with cheese!)

The above marks my official relaunch into the blogging world. Woo-hoo! Now, someone please hold me accountable and send chocolate, cheese, books, and unlimited streaming programming so I can finally get some work done before I run a marathon - someday. Not today, but someday.

For the love of books & chocolate,

Ava Mallory