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Thursday, December 13, 2012



Dear Jean Joachim,
On behalf of Operation Gratitude and the United States Military members who receive our care packages, I thank you for your generosity.
Your donation of $50.00 will enable us to send over 100,000 ‘chock full’ Care Packages this year to: Tens of thousands of brave men and women still deployed overseas in harsh and remote areas; to their children anxiously awaiting their return; and to Veterans & Wounded Warriors recuperating stateside.
The care packages contain snacks, personal care necessities, entertainment items and letters from appreciative Americans. These expressions of love and concern from fellow citizens offer our Military a much-deserved respite from the hardships of service, and are always greeted with enthusiasm and great appreciation.
As one Private First Class wrote:
"I cannot express to you how great it feels to come home after a long day of running missions to find a care package full of love sitting on your bunk. You are exhausted from wearing 50 plus pounds of armor for hours on end, then you open the package, see all that love, and are rejuvenated and ready to face the world again. It may sound small but it really does help enormously. Our location doesn't have a real PX so we rely on the support of people at Operation Gratitude for the items we need--not to mention the morale boosting items such as cookies or candy. You all are the true heroes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
To read the most current letters of thanks from our troops and to see their photos with your Operation Gratitude care packages, please "Like" us on Facebook:, "follow" us on Twitter: and Pinterest:
Every $15 donated sends another care package: You may be able to double or even triple your donation! Many companies have matching gift programs, through which they will match your donation, or maybe even double or triple it! Please check with your Human Resources/Personnel office to learn if your donation is eligible for a matching donation.
In an attempt to maximize funds for postage for the care packages, we have sent this email acknowledgment, a printed copy of which may be used as a receipt for tax purposes. Please let me know if you need a formal hard copy letter to be sent through the regular mail as well.
Operation Gratitude has been granted non-profit status under Section 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Service Code. Your contribution to this organization is fully deductible for federal income tax purposes as no goods or services were received in exchange. The Operation Gratitude Tax ID number is 20-0103575.
Thank you again for your thoughtfulness and wonderful patriotic spirit--every dollar we receive truly makes a difference to our mission of putting smiles on service members' faces. The brave members of the U.S. Military who receive your generosity will remember your kindness forever. And I will always be appreciative of your support and encouragement for Operation Gratitude.
  Carolyn Blashek, President  
  Carolyn Blashek, President

Welcome! I'm feeling like Santa today, so let me give you a gift. 



Every commenter who leaves an email address will win a copy of my book CHAMPAGNE FOR CHRISTMAS. Please leave your preferred format, too.  A little bit about the book: Can a craving for mint chip ice cream and a passion for the theater spark romance? Hunky Clint is younger than Nina. He’s a high school English teacher and a budding playwright. Nina, an actress, is a beautiful, lonely, wealthy widow. What can they possibly have in common? Mint chip ice cream brings them together but there is more to life than ice cream and steamy romance. Can their love of the theater keep them together or will it ultimately drive them apart? 

For every comment, I will donate $1.00 to Operation: Gratitude, an outfit that sends care packages to the military. (Up to $100.)
 So please leave a comment. Holiday time is about giving. Come on...speak me raise money for a great charity. Don't forget your email address and preferred format for your free book. 

 CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO THE BLOG HOP!                                                                                                                                                                    

Monday, December 10, 2012


Welcome and thanks for coming! Here's a snippet for my WIP, OUT OF MY DREAMS, INTO MY HEART. Yes, it's Penny and Mark again but some time later. Here is a possible cover I designed for the prequel.
What do you think? 

Now the story:
 “Be good, squirt.” Mark hung up the phone. Even as a grown man, he missed his twin sister, Meg, especially now that he was in love. He tried not to fall in love with Penny but it was too late. He was in deep and couldn’t stop thinking about her. Even in practice, he was charged up, performing better than ever on the field, giving Darvin Sweetwater, reigning quarterback, a run for his money. The coaches were looking at him differently too. All because of Penny. Penny’s my lucky charm.

     Penny never had a stable home. She was raised by her aunt, her mother was dead and her father was a drunk. She needed a man she could count on. As much as he wanted to be, Mark wasn’t that man. He had responsibilities.

    Ever since his father took a powder when Mark was fifteen, he had become the man of the family. He was in his first year with the Nevada Gamblers. Three hundred grand sounds like a lot of money but it didn’t seem to go far enough. Mark was supporting himself, his sister, paying off college loans for both of them and would soon be paying Megan’s Harvard MBA costs as well as saving a little in case he got injured. The icing on the cake was the money he sent home to his mother every month.

     His brow furrowed as he peered in the mirror, trying to tie his tie. Damn! Where’s Megan? She does this for me.  Penny was waiting for him in the parking lot after the game.  She’s gorgeous.     The warmth of her kiss and embrace made his spirits soar. I want to give her everything. Mark knew he had to tell her.

    “Penny, you know I’d like to commit, but…”

    “You said ‘no commitment’ and I got it.”

    “My future is very uncertain. If things were different…”

    “I’m going to New York.”

    “My role on the show is over and I’ve saved enough to enroll for a year at F.I.T. I’ve always wanted to design children’s clothing."      
 “You’re leaving?”

     “We can write, text, call…I never expected you to take care of me.”

     “I want to, Penny, God, I want to. But I have…”

     “I know. Responsibilities.” She leaned over and kissed him. “I’ll miss you. But it’s time.”

     He stared at her as a lump grew in this throat. His eyes watered but he controlled his emotions. Big guys don’t cry. Penny turned away but not before he saw a tear on her cheek. Mark reached over and wiped it away with his thumb.