Twelve Days of Christmas: Lilia Birney

For the Price of a Cup of Coffee
by Lilia Birney

Every year at Christmas time, I hear the same thing from non-profits and charitable organizations.  “For the price of a cup of coffee, you can make a difference.”  But I never really believed it.  I never wanted to give so little.  I figured that if I were going to increase my giving to charity, I needed to give in a BIG way.  I thought that if I really were going to give a small donation, it would be somehow insulting to the recipient.

But this year is the first year that my daughter is really old enough to be aware of Christmas and it’s our first year of really struggling against the materialism that comes hand in hand with the season.  I wanted to set an example for her, one that she might be able to really get and to follow.  So, we decided to have “pizza parties for charity” every Friday night for the month of December.

It works like this: usually every Friday night, as a rule, we order two large pizzas and usually a few extras from our local pizza delivery.  Then, we rent (or even purchase) a movie on Amazon to watch.  The total usually tops out around $40 for the night.  So, instead of ordering pizza from takeout, we choose a take and bake pizza from the grocery store (for around $5) and watch one of the movies we already have.  Then, we would donate the remaining $35 to charity.

To choose the charity, each of us wrote the name of a charity on an index card.  We folded them up and put them in a bowl.  My daughter draws the name of that charity out on Friday morning, and all day we talk about how we are “eating for” that charity.  Our first party was last Friday, and my daughter chose a tiger sanctuary.  She is obsessed with tigers. So, all day we talked about how we were “eating for tigers.”

Then, that night, we looked at the tiger sanctuary’s website and “adopted” a Bengal tiger with our donation.  In a few weeks, we’ll get an adoption certificate in the mail.  It’s the most tangible way I can think of to show my daughter how to give more—to get something a little less big to give to others.  And in a few weeks, she’ll get a certificate in the mail and a bunch of cool stuff all about tigers—more tangible proof of how her donation helped.

We tried it the first night and it’s amazing how excited we all were and how much fun we had.   And we can’t wait until this Friday to do it all over again for a different charity.  It may not make a huge difference to the charity of choice, but it has made a huge difference to our family.  It’s like we’re seeing Christmas through new lenses!

Leave a comment for Lilia and be entered to win a $25 gift card to the book seller of your choice!

Summons DukeLady Penelope’s Christmas Charade:
When Lady Penelope Annand’s trusted servant goes missing just before Christmas, she is determined to get to the bottom of the matter.  Even if that means hiring a thief-taker to track down her maid’s whereabouts.  But when the darkly smoldering Pierce Howe takes charge of the situation, Penelope finds herself growing more attracted to him by the second–even if she’s infuriated by his high-handed manner.  Penelope gave up on Christmas wishes years ago when her first husband broke her heart, but could Pierce give her a second chance at love?Pierce Howe has made a name for himself as one of London’s most reliable thief-takers, leaving behind his family’s sordid past to create a life of his own.  But when Viscountess Annand, known in society as The Ice Goddess, demands that he track down her wayward maid, he receives a Christmas gift he never expected–Penelope’s trust.  His carefully-constructed defenses begin crumbling as they embark on a Christmas charade to find Penelope’s maid.  As the Ice Goddess shows that she does indeed have a melting point, the thief-taker must decide if he can risk it all and tell her the truth about his past.
Available NOW at these major retailers…
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords

 Lilia Birney on Twitter: @liliabirne

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Hurry, Hurry, Hurry!

Tonight is the live chat with all 12 authors of the Regency Christmas Summons Anthology! And TODAY is the last day to enter our massive drawing! Come to Lady Scribes and leave a message there to be entered to WIN!

Lady Scribes

And then be sure to join us tonight for the live chat from 8-10pm EST!

Interview with the Whitton twins!

Lady Isabel and Lady Emma have been interviewed this morning at Lilia Birney’s blog! Stop by and leave a comment for a chance to win a Kindle, Amazon gift cards and many, many more prizes!!

Interview with the Twins

Prize Extravaganza!!

A Danby Regency Christmas Summons Prize Extravaganza

Presented by: Lilia Birney, Christi Caldwell, Phyllis Campbell, Jane Charles, Aileen Fish, Catherine Gayle, Samantha Grace, Suzie Grant, Julie Johnstone, Olivia Kelly, Jerrica Knight-Catania, and Ava Stone, in honor of the release of our Regency Christmas Anthology, consisting of A Summons from Yorkshire, A Summons from the Duke, A Summons from the Castle, and A Summons from His Grace.

In celebration of our release on November 1, we’re hosting a six-week-long prize extravaganza. Follow us on Twitter, like or friend us on Facebook, visit our websites, and look for announcements of ways to enter. Any time one or more of us blogs about the Regency Christmas Anthology, comment and leave your email address for an entry in the drawing. If one of us hosts a Twitter contest, follow the rules outlined on Twitter for your chance to enter.

What can you win?

  • 1 $79 Kindle from Amazon
  • 1 of 3 $50 gift cards (2 from Amazon, 1 from Barnes and Noble)
  • 1 of 3 $25 gift cards (2 from Amazon, 1 from Barnes and Noble)
  • 1 complete set of Catherine Gayle’s LORD ROTHEBY’S INFLUENCE series
  • 1 complete set of Ava Stone’s SCANDALOUS series
  • 1 of 2 copies of Jerrica Knight-Catania’s THE ROBBER BRIDE
  • 1 copy of Suzie Grant’s FOR THE SAKE OF SIN
  • 1 copy of Suzie Grant’s THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER
  • 1 copy of Suzie Grant’s WRONG KIND OF PARADISE
  • 1 complete set of Jane Charles’s ONCE UPON A TIME trilogy
  • 1 copy of Jane Charles’s TO WALK IN THE SUN
  • 1 copy of Aileen Fish’s THE MISTLETOE MISHAP
  • 1 copy of Aileen Fish’s THE CHRISTMAS DRAGON SCHEME
  • 1 copy of Phyllis Campbell’s SPANISH EYES
  • 1 copy of Phyllis Campbell’s QUEEN OF HEARTS

Entries will be accepted and collected from November 1 through December 15, prizes will be drawn on December 15, during a live chat event at the Lady Scribes blog (8-10 pm, Eastern), and winners will be notified by email or Twitter if not present in the chat. You do NOT need to be present in the chat to win.

Lilia Birney: Twitter, Blog

Christi Caldwell: Twitter, Website , Facebook

Phyllis Campbell: Facebook, Twitter, Blog

Jane Charles: Facebook, Twitter, Blog

Aileen Fish: Facebook, Twitter, Website

Catherine Gayle: Facebook, Twitter, Website

Samantha Grace: Facebook, Twitter, Website

Suzie Grant: Facebook, Twitter, Website

Julie Johnstone: Facebook, Twitter, Blog

Olivia Kelly:  Facebook, Twitter, Website

Jerrica Knight-Catania: Facebook, Twitter, Website

Ava Stone: Facebook, Twitter, Website

Introducing Cindy Loo

For those who haven’t met my good friend, Cindy Loo, she made her web debut the other day…and today, she’s talking about romance! So I thought this would be a good time to introduce her on my blog…just follow the link to the video… Enjoy!

Cindy Loo Talks Romance!

Everybody loves a SALE!!

This summer, some of my critique partners and I got together and wrote “beach reads”– Stories that actually take place on the beach or in a summery setting of some sort. Two of them are available now for your reading pleasure, and from now until the end of August, they will be on sale for $0.99! Find out more about the stories below…

From Air to Eternity by Lilia Birney

Click here to purchase from Amazon

Katrin O’Connor ekes out a lonely existence in the beachfront village of Beaufort, North Carolina, after her husband’s death in a helicopter crash five years ago. Determined to stay grounded and avoid further heartache, Katrin has stayed out of the dating scene–until Mike Williams breezes into her life during one fateful summer day.

Mike Williams makes a living as a flight instructor, going from military base to military base. But the bachelor life loses its appeal the moment he meets Katrin O’Connor. Determined to win her over despite her aloofness and her fears, Mike finds he may have to choose between two passions–his love for flying and his love for Katrin.

Will Katrin relinquish her fears and fly once more? Will Mike have to give up one passion to satisfy another?

Cruise to Destiny by Jerrica Knight-Catania

Click the picture to purchase from Amazon

Melanie Smith has sacrificed everything in her attempt to make it to Broadway—everything including her love life, or any life at all for that matter. But when her best friends practically kidnap her for a 6-day Bermuda cruise, she’s reminded that there’s more to life than auditions and waiting tables.

Devon Matthews earned his massive fortune at the ripe age of twenty-eight, and after a meaningless playboy existence, he’s desperate for more meaning in his life. He takes a position as a massage therapist on a cruise ship, hoping to enrich his life through work and travel. But it’s the mysterious Melanie that inspires true change in Devon’s heart.

Will it just be another summer fling? Or will Devon and Melanie find their destiny aboard this summer cruise?

Both books are also available at bn.com for Nook: From Air to Eternity or Cruise to Destiny

Happy Summer Reading!

Guest Interview: Lilia Birney

Dear Readers,

It is sometimes my great honor to get to read books by up-and-coming authors before they hit the shelves. And it was certainly an honor and a great pleasure to read From Air to Eternity by the wonderful Lilia Birney. It’s part of the Summer Loving Series (look for more titles later this summer!) – a series of novellas by different authors, all having to do with summer romances. But I’ll tell you more about the book later…first, I’ve asked Lilia to answer a few questions so we can all get to know her better…

1)   What was the most interesting trip you have ever taken? Why?

I lived on the eastern coast of North Carolina for two years, in a little town called Bayboro. My experiences there gave me the fodder–and the backdrop–for my first novella, “From Air to Eternity.”

2)   What is your favorite breakfast food?

Flaxseed granola with nonfat yogurt. Boring, I know. I used to be able to get away with eating a chili cheese omelet and donuts, but no more.

3)   If you had a million dollars how would you spend it?

I’m a follower of Dave Ramsey so I would pay off all my remaining debts first. Then I would make sure I could retire well, and pay for my daughter’s college. Then I’d buy a cottage in Bayboro and go back there to write for a few months every year. I’d have my own plane at my beck and call–why not?

4)    Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what’s currently in your   playlist?

I usually can’t listen to music and write at the same time. I have to have silence, I’m afraid. If I need to get pumped up for a scene I might listen to songs on my ipod, but then the ipod goes back in the drawer and I set down to write.

5)    If you could be any character in fiction, whom would you be?

Well, I always loved Scarlett O’Hara and went through a phase as a teenager where I tried to look like Vivien Leigh. I grew my hair long, tried to do my makeup like hers, the whole bit. I think now I might change and want to be more like Ellen O’Hara, her mother, who was a bit more mature.

6)    If you were a can of soup, what variety would you be?

Tomato. Who wouldn’t love a nice basil and tomato soup with grilled cheese?

7)    What did you want to be when you were 12 years old?

I wanted to be a fashion designer more than anything in the world. I made clothes for my Barbie dolls that were very, well, sculptural in nature because I couldn’t sew. I sketched and I even made my own logo. I tried making a shirt for my little sister once, but she refused to wear it in public. That was the end of my fashion career.

About From Air to Eternity

Katrin O’Connor ekes out a lonely existence in the beachfront village of Beaufort, North Carolina, after her husband’s death in a helicopter crash five years ago. Determined to stay grounded and avoid further heartache, Katrin has stayed out of the dating scene–until Mike Williams breezes into her life during one fateful summer day.

Mike Williams makes a living as a flight instructor, going from military base to military base. But the bachelor life loses its appeal the moment he meets Katrin O’Connor. Determined to win her over despite her aloofness and her fears, Mike finds he may have to choose between two passions–his love for flying and his love for Katrin.

Will Katrin relinquish her fears and fly once more? Will Mike have to give up one passion to satisfy another?

Lilia, thanks so much for being here today! Lilia’s novella is available now for Kindle and Nook!