Status: Drafting the fourth book in the PERILOUS series!

Friday, December 31, 2010

What You Liked in 2010

I cannot believe it is December 31. Even more, I can't believe it is 70 degrees outside and Northwest Arkansas is recovering from the tornadoes that swept through the area this morning. What a way to start the new year!

And what a way to end the old one!

This blog is still a work in progress. Some of the posts I made were really successful. Others, not so much. These are the top ten most popular posts of the year. Thanks to all of you for making my blog successful!

Totally Frivolous

It's a Blog Party in the USA

I've Been Covered!

To the Brave Little Reviewer

Swollen Feet and Elephant Ankles

Dread and Excitement Equals Insomnia

The Spazz that is Me

When the Passion Dies

Marketing: We're all in this Together!

Guess What Showed up on my porch today?

I love random things like this. I can totally tell that some of these popular posts got pulled because someone Googled 'layered hair styles' or 'high school musical.' Fun stuff.

But wait! The fun doesn't end there! I have the winner for the second copy of Perilous. And the winner is, coming in at #200...

Stephanie Faris!

I'm so excited for Stephanie! Stephanie, email me your address and I'll get a copy to you!

Happy new year!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Nephew Appreciation

Something cool happened the other day when my brother-in-law and his family received a copy of Perilous. My young nephews were so excited because their very own aunt had written the book. Immediately they sat down with notebook papers and started writing their own books, each one deciding they want to be novelists.

If that's not cool enough, my 10-year-old nephew (the oldest in the group) went on to read the book in a day. And he loved it.

I continue to be amazed at the range of readers who find Perilous appealing. Women my mom's age, guys I knew in Brazil, and kids that I thought would be too young for the subject matter (boys, even!). Fascinating.

I've also come to the conclusion that the average reader will love my book, but the critic will not. It's been criticized as 'unbelievable' and too 'coincidental.' Yes, it is. It's a YA fiction book that employs elements of--well, fiction. If you liked Life is Beautiful and could overlook the unbelievable aspects of that historical fiction, you'll be able to overlook them in my book.

Fantastic movie, by the way.  It's not that these things COULDN'T happen. It's just that they probably WOULDN'T. But we all want to believe they could.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Unifying Factor of CHRISTmas

Christmas is a few days behind us, and fading fast. Sad how all that build up lasts for weeks and then--it's over.

So before it's gone, I want to express my love for the holiday.

I love Christmas. Everything about it. But one of the most amazing things is the way it brings us all together. I mean, every Christian denomination. Suddenly, the finer details of our beliefs fall away as the one Factor we all believe in comes to the forefront.

Jesus Christ.

It's wonderful, isn't it? In God we trust. We're united in Christ. Through him, we are one.

I witnessed this firsthand during the holiday season when I participated in a multi-faith Christmas concert. Several different church congregations and school choirs met for a two-day Christmas concert commemorating the birth of our Savior. It was beautiful. We were all brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter what church building we attended.

It's that feeling I hope I can keep with me all year long.

Merry Christmas. It's not really over.

Monday, December 20, 2010

And the Kindle Winner is...

I know everyone is waiting to hear. The winner of the Kindle is...

Rachelle Christensen!

Rachelle blew everyone out of the water, with more than 100 points! The next closest person only had 50, so that kind of gives you an idea of the effort Rachelle went to. She blogged about my book, Twittered about my book, and spread the word far and wide. Rachelle, thank you!

And the blog tour is over! Thanks so much everyone who participated! I'll have the winner to the second copy of Perilous announced in the next few days. It's almost Christmas folks...I'm kind of taking a break.

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's Our Anniversary

Mine and hubby's. And today is very special, because he came home yesterday for Christmas.

Happy anniversary, sweetheart. Love you.

I couldn't ask for a better Christmas present. My heart aches for those military families who are apart during the holidays. We are very blessed.

I'll announce the Kindle winner on Monday. So there are a few more days to email me your point totals!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

On the 4th Day of Christmas

Browned Butter Cookies

2 1/2 C flour
1 t soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C butter
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 C sour cream
1 C nuts

Cream sugar and butter together. Add other ingredients. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool and frost.

1/2 C butter
4 C powdered sugar
4 T boiling water

Heat butter over medium heat until butter turns brown. Remove from heat. Add sugar and water until smooth. Frost cookies.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Double Points Day!

Today is the LAST day of my blog tour. I know, I can't believe it's over either!

So today, every comment on Diana's stop on the blog tour will count TWICE in the random drawing for a copy of Perilous. And then, don't forget to add up all your points for the Kindle contest!!! Send me an email with your total and your proofs. Can't wait to see who wins!

Who's baking cookies? I am!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On the 3rd Day of Christmas Cookies

Orange Carrot Cookies (for Wednesday, Dec. 15)

3/4 C shortening
1 C sugar
1 egg
1 C cooked, mashed carrots
1 t vanilla
2 C flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 C chopped nuts

Mix all ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 min. Ice while hot.

1 C powdered sugar
pinch of salt
grated rind of 1 orange
3 T orange juice

Monday, December 13, 2010

Guess what showed up on my porch today?

A box of books.

More specifically, a box of MY books.

I'll take a picture and post it later. But it's the most surreal feeling. I opened the book up and read the dedication and thought-- "Wait a minute." I wrote that.


We're wrapping up my blog tour! Just two days left! Be sure and check out the contest and calendar tab at the top, if you haven't already! Today's stop is here.

And I just finished making Microwave Fudge. It was so easy I can't hardly believe it. I created a new tab with the recipes for the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

On the 2nd Day of Christmas Cookies

Ranger Cookies! (For Tuesday, Dec. 14)

1 C butter
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
2 eggs
2 C flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t vanilla
2 C oats
2 C cornflakes
1/2 C shredded coconut
1/2 C walnuts

Mix all together (well). use 1/4 C scoop per cookie, flatten. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes (slightly browned). 18-22 cookies.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

On the 1st Day of Christmas Cookies

Microwave Fudge! (For Monday, Dec. 13)

18 oz. chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 t vanilla
1 C chopped walnuts

In microwave bowl, combine chocolate chips and milk. Microwave on half power until melted. Stir every minute or two. Stir in vanilla and nuts. Pour into 9x9 inch pan and refrigerate until firm.

Verdict? Yay or nay?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Countdown: 1: Book Signings

So it's finally time for my book signings!

I was lucky to have some help from my publisher, who called local bookstores and let them know about me. Then when I called to set up book signings, they already knew who I was. I think that helped to give me a little bit more credibility.

I have two book signings set up for next weekend. There's also a new tab on my blog that you can click to check out my future book signings. I spoke to a few other bookstores about signings next year, so hopefully that will pan out as well.

The book signings are scheduled. Now I need to remember to:

Ahead of time:
1) make bookmarks to set on the table
2) take over to the bookstores posters and flyers advertising the events

If I had more time, I would actually mail out postcards to people to let them know about the signings. But I'm short on time right now.

Day of:
1) bookmarks
2) sign-up sheet for newsletter
3) table
4) laptop (for showing the trailer)
5) extension cord (to plug in laptop, if necessary)
6) candy dish w/candy
7) gift bags for drawings
8) cookies for the bookstore staff!
9) books!

My fliers arrived today for the book signings. The ones I'm going to start giving out helter-skelter to get people to the signings. Across the top, they say, as they should: "Perilous Book Signings". I read it and giggled.

On another note, we've got two blogs on the blog tour today! You can check out Debbie's awesome review here, and Taffy's here!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The 12 Days of Christmas (Cookies)

One of my favorite things about Christmas is the cookies. Yummy yummy cookies, and lots of them. But I always end up making like four batches in one day, and then I'm burnt out and covered in cookies.

The phrase "The 12 Days of Christmas" kept going through my head, and I didn't know if the song was stuck in my head or if there was something I wanted to do for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. Finally, the two desires coalesced and BINGO! We have the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies.

How it works is, starting on the 12th of December and going until Christmas Eve, I'm going to make a batch of cookies. I'm way excited! And just for kicks, I'll also post the recipe online a day ahead of time. In case anyone else wants to play! I'll get an ingredient list up also.

This way I get all my cookies, we have yummies every day, and I'm not doing too much in any one day!

Anyone want to join in the fun?

Wednesday's blog tour is here!

Monday, December 6, 2010

I Haven't Been Nominated

For the Whitney's, that is.

I don't know if I have a chance at winning. But if I'm not nominated, I'll never know. All I need is five nominations and I'm entered.

So if you've read my book, and you liked it at all, please nominate me. It's easy to do. Click this link and fill out the nomination form. Here's the info you'll need about my book:

Title: Perilous
Publisher: WiDo Publishing
Author: Tamara Hart Heiner

Nominations are only open through December. That doesn't give me a lot of time to campaign. So please! Nominate me!

And the blog tour and contest continues! Monday's post is here. And Tuesday's is here!

Friday, December 3, 2010

To the Brave Little Reviewer

Today's post is one you should take very seriously.

My hat goes off to Melanie J, who is up on my blog tour today. Reason: She didn't like my book.

I've known Melanie in the blogger world for more than a year. I imagine that it was very hard for her to email me and tell me that she didn't enjoy my book. Rather than make me look bad in front of the whole world, she requested that she be taken off my blog tour.

I declined her request, asking her instead to post the negative review.

The bottom line is, folks, some people aren't going to like my book. Some of you, even. So take a look at her review. And if you think you might not like my book, buy the ebook. It's a smaller investment. :)

Oh and then pop back over here and tell me what you think of the review. Because, to be honest, I'm not brave enough to go look at it.

The negative review is here.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Will the Real Theresa Milstein Please Come Forward?

Anyone know Theresa?

If you do, be sure and tell her that


In case you wondered, there were 250 entries into the drawing for a copy of Perilous from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15. Random.org chose #35, which was Theresa. Theresa was entered in three times.

If you didn't win, don't despair! There will be another drawing for all comments made on the blog tour from Nov. 16 to Dec. 15. The blog tour is listed on the tab above, and it's not too late to make as many comments as you can so you can be entered!

Good luck! Thanks, Theresa! Send me an email with your address and I'll get a book in the mail to you (as soon as I get them myself, that is!)

And Wednesday's post is here! For Thursday: the one and only Karen Gowen!

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