Author’s Holiday Give-Away Winner!

The contest began on Monday, August 20, 2007 and expired at midnight on November 20, 2007. Everyone who purchased a copy of my novel “Save Them All,” directly from me at a signing/reading or through the mail via my home office or through PayPal were eligible to enter my “Author’s Holiday Give-Away” drawing. All the eligible names were placed in an Abercrombie and Fitch shopping bag (something my son left behind when he went out into the world) during the three month contest. Upon expiration of the contest, the winning name was drawn. I had all my shipping materials ready (the perfect box, new air packs rather than annoying Styrofoam peanuts) for mailing anywhere; Virgina, South Carolina, Ohio, but the winning name happened to reside in Onslow County, North Carolina, well within driving distance. Since she didn’t have an email address, I called the number on her entry to tell Ms. Belinda “Bee” B. she had won. She sounded thrilled, said she couldn’t believe she had won something and also mentioned she was at work. So . . . my husband and I headed on down the road to her place of employment to deliver Bee’s winnings on Thanksgiving day.
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She gave me three hugs (which were more valuable than the prize basket), and Belinda received an attractive unisex, flat woven and lined basket, two $50.00 Books-a-Million gift cards, a soft green (my favorite color) 50” x 60” plush throw, four wildlife bookmarks, two aquamarine, comfort-grip pens, some sweet treats, a squooshy & friendly Monkey pillow and a signed copy of “Save Them All” to give to her favorite person as a gift. Bee told me she has purchased three of my books for gifts already after reading “Save Them All” last year and was needing another copy. So that worked out very well. The contest was so much fun for me, I’m sure I’ll be looking for another opportunity to fashion another one. Now I know how Oprah feels when she gives all those “Favorite Things” away each year or possibly the ladies on the View, when they pass out a new gift each day for the Twelve Days of Christmas! Not Quite!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Linda Bergman-Althouse

Author of “Save Them All”

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What Takes Us Away!

For those of you who were wondering, “where in the heck is she, and is she okay?” I’m back, and I apologize if I made you worry. Sometimes life happenings just pull me away from my normal routine of writing or rehabbing wild animals, and it takes a while to get back in the groove. It could have been an injury or illness or some crisis at work that took me away, but this life happening was of the good kind, a most excellent, wonderful kind. My daughter, in Texas, had her baby (a little early) and it was time to go “Grandma and All Baby” for a while, a while that seems all too short now that I’ve returned to North Carolina; 1, 395.89 miles away. Sydney Grace arrived October 6th and weighed in at 5 lbs 6 oz; a tiny thing. She was small but perfect. Although she had received an extensive newborn wardrobe during her baby shower this summer at Topsail Beach (remember reading my blog on July 23rd “A Week in Pink?”), a quick shop for adorable preemie clothes was necessary. She has outgrown them already as she hit 7 lbs last week. Knowing I was spending quite a few weeks out of town, I naively thought I could get a smatch of writing accomplished on my next book or a blog post or two in during the down time. When a baby is born, when is that? After seeing and holding Sydney, the thought of writing actually went out the window. It was the last thing I wanted to do. I was more into the feeding, burping, changing, laundry, rocking, whispering “Grandma to Sydney” messages and gazing mode at all hours of the day or night. At 4:30 am, I surprisingly look ecstatic in this picture (even with no make-up), and what’s more surprising, I actually was.

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This little human animal was as unpredictable as the wildlife I rehabilitate at OWLS in Newport, however, because she has no teeth or talons leather gloves were not required. During the very still, sleeping moments of Sydney’s day, time when I needed to let her be, I spent some energy giving much appreciated attention to the six resident dogs and cats who were more than curious about the new addition to the family. It was apparent they understood she wasn’t quite like them. The three dogs loved being brushed and running around the yard, especially if I was watching them. The cats enjoyed the brushing as well but passed on the yard activity to curl up on the window seat and mock the dogs. (I swear!) Some things take us away from our self-imposed schedules and some of what takes us away is very, very good. I want to be taken away again soon, but if that happens, now you’ll have an idea of where I might be when you notice my absence; spending time with my baby and her baby.

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Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!! May you all be blessed with the connection and warmth of family and friends.

Signing off with so much to be thankful for,

Linda Bergman-Althouse, author of “Save Them All