Dog Days of Winter

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Anyone who knows me can tell you, I’m an absolute sucker when it comes to puppies.

My niece recently posted a picture of a puppy she adopted from a shelter.  She named her Sadie.  Sadie is adorable.  She’s cute, and chubby, and she’s the reason I almost got in my car and drove through three states to adopt one of her siblings. (don’t worry, they all found their forever homes!)

(not Sadie but she looks almost like this!)

Not that I don’t adore my adult dog.  I love him to pieces.  But there’s just something about puppies that makes me go all warm and gooshy inside.

Maybe it’s the new-puppy smell, or the big, warm eyes in those sweet, little faces.  It might be the licks and wriggles and mouths that always look like they’re smiling at you and bright little eyes that say “let’s play.” Whatever the reason, puppies are my kryptonite.

Hi, my name is Nika and I’m a puppy addict.  (But honestly, if there’s a cure, I don’t want it!)


Okay, as promised, I’m doing another




This time around, I’m giving away a signed print copy of my debut novel What the Lady Wants to one lucky U.S. reader (should the winner live outside of the contiguous 48, I’ll substitute an e-book version instead).  To win, here’s all you need to do:

  • Sign up for my newsletter
  • Comment below about your favorite pet, or just animals in general

That’s it!  Easy peasy.

And if you’ve already signed up for my newsletter, no worries, just tell me so in your comment.

 Giveaway will stay open through Saturday, March 19th.  Winner will be announced the following day.  (Make sure you’ve click on the Dog Days of Winter blog heading to be where the comments section shows up. In the unlikely (I hope!) event that the comments section does a disappearing act like it did in the middle of my last giveaway (Nika + technology = chaos), just leave your comments on the “contact” page instead and you’ll still be entered to win.)

Days of Hearts and Roses

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I have to admit, I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day.

There. I said it. Me, a romance author, not enamored of the one holiday of the year specifically designed to celebrate love, which is what I write is all about. The hypocrisy, you say!


Well, wait a minute now. I didn’t say I wasn’t a fan of love. Quite the contrary. I think showing the people you love that they mean the world to you is awesome.  It’s the idea that we have to squeeze that expression of affection into the commercially accepted mold that bugs me. What comes to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day? Flowers and candy? Jewelry? A fancy dinner at an expensive restaurant?


Those are things. Things we don’t need. Maybe even things we don’t want. But societal expectations say we give candy and flowers, so we give candy and flowers, even if the cost of those roses has been inflated by up to 100%, and even if the recipient of that heart-shaped box of chocolates is still desperately clinging by their fingertips to their New Year’s resolutions not to give in to the seductive lure of sugar. Americans spent almost $19 billion last year on Valentine’s Day. That with a B, folks. That’s a lot of candy hearts.


You know what I want for Valentine’s Day? Time. Time to spend with my husband. Not going out to a fancy restaurant, or exchanging gifts. Just us, being together. Me and him, sitting on the couch, eating pizza, watching a movie and playing with the dog. No phones, no computers, no social media. Simply one evening of connecting the way we used to before life got in the way.


That is a gift worthy of a holiday.

~*~  ~*~  ~*~  ~*~  ~*~  ~*~

  So, I’ve told you what I want for Valentine’s Day.  Now you tell me. What would be your perfect Valentine? Everyone who comments from now until midnight, February 13th, will be entered to win the prize package pictured below (US only, I’m afraid, but if someone from outside the US wins, an Amazon gift card will be substituted). One winner will be randomly selected on, fittingly, February 14th.

[[Of course my website picks now to have technical issues. So if there’s no comment box below, just go to the ‘contact me’ page and leave your comment, and you’ll be entered. Sorry, and hope to have this straightened out soon!]]


And, as an added bonus, visit my Facebook author page between February 10th and 12th to enter a SECOND giveaway as part of the Valentine’s Day Book Hop!

Congratulations to legacy18, you’ve won the Valentine’s prize pack!