Win Christmas romance novellas & see Ben Cohen’s very last Strictly dance

It was a sad night, friends. Ben Cohen was knocked out of Strictly Come Dancing. 🙁

Honest to God, I’m gobsmacked. I’m no dancer, but I thought his Charleston was great. It was definitely the most fun dance of the night.

So here it is…his last dance on Strictly. Pat L, this is particularly for you. A moment of silence, please, to appreciate the beauty, wonder and huge personality that is Ben Cohen.

My seven-month-old baby and I have been doing our own interpretation of Ben and Kristina’s dances every Monday. (I play Ben. When Doodle Bug played Ben during our American Smooth routine, she dropped me.) I’m sad there won’t be any new dances for us to do together. She laughs hysterically when I do bicep curls with her.

Ben, I said weeks ago that I hoped you did really well on Strictly but, more than that, I hoped StandUp Foundation did well at making the world a kinder, gentler place. Obviously that fight is nowhere near over, but you’ve done an incredible job at inspiring people and introducing your work to millions of new fans. I really hope you’re proud of what you’ve achieved. You should be.

I stand up with Ben CohenAs both a charity communications specialist and a romance novelist, I spend a lot of time thinking and writing about people who show heroic qualities – people who are faced with unthinkable tragedy yet turn their own loss into action so that no one else has to face what they have. I don’t work for the StandUp Foundation (thought I’d love to volunteer, if they needed me), but I’m really impressed and inspired by their work, so I hope you’ll take a moment to check them out on Facebook, Twitter and on their website.

Okay, moving on…all is not lost because I’m still giving away Ben’s calendar, which benefits his foundation. Here’s the post you need to comment on. I’ll announce the winner on Thursday. Good luck!

Win Christmas romance novellas!

Mine Under the Mistletoe by Kat LathamMine Under The Mistletoe comes out in less than two weeks! Gah!

Five of my fellow authors and I are giving you a chance to win our novellas. Since our stories are set across the U.S. and (in my case) London, I put together this fun map quiz. Go answer the questions and you could win some steamy romance from me, Christi Barth, Brighton Walsh, Alison Packard, Kinley Cade or Shari Mikels!

I’ll choose the winners one week from today!

Hope you all have a fantabulous week!

Friday favorites: Get to know the Netherlands (or Holland)

As many of you know, I live in the Netherlands. What you may not know is that I don’t live in Holland.

The lovely @_ClaudiaGC tweeted me this video which is the probably the funnest geography lesson I’ve ever had. I learned that I was a lot more ignorant of the country I live in than I ever realized.

Watch it for the knowledge, so you can explain why people are wrong when they refer to the whole of the Netherlands as “Holland”. Or just watch it for its lovely photos of canals, windmills and tulips. (Yes, we’re surrounded by all three of those here. It’s a cliche, but it’s true.)

This video’s so fun that I’m going to explore the rest of that YouTube channel. If you do too, I’d love to know which videos you like best.

Did you learn something new about the Netherlands? Did you find any other videos you like on that channel?

Next week I’m taking a blogging break. With seven weeks till the baby’s due, I’m working on four different to-do lists and need to focus on getting some boring stuff done (like taxes and cleaning out my closet to make room for baby clothes). But I’ll be back on March 18th with an interview and giveaway from Ruthie Knox, so stick around!

Friday favorites: Splash around with these animal rehab videos

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of overcast skies and having to put on a bulky coat every time I go outside. If you live anywhere outside of the tropics, you’re probably fed up too.

So this week’s Friday favorite is a couple of videos showing how resilient marine animals can be. Find a happy place.

First up, here’s Eddie the otter playing basketball to beat his arthritis. OhmyGodisthiscute!

I love that the zookeeper says he was taken for “voluntary” X-rays. I can imagine how that conversation went. “Hey, Eddie, you’re getting up there in age. Wanna get some X-rays?”

Eddie shrugs. “Why the hell not?”

This next video has some graphic images, so you might not want to watch if you get upset easily. This giant turtle survived a shark attack five years ago, but her flippers didn’t. So scientists in Japan have made her prosthetic flippers which are helping her get around.

Isn’t science amazing? Do you have any amazing animal rehab videos to share?

Friday favorites: Happy birthday to meow!

I’m going to start doing something different. On Fridays, I’m going to post something I love. Might be a video, a link to a cool site I’ve discovered, a book recommendation, whatever. Friday should be a day to celebrate awesomeness.

Today’s my birthday, so here’s my favorite video of a cat singing happy birthday. I’m sure there are lots of cat-singing-happy-birthday videos out there, but I love this one.

Do you have a favorite birthday video? Cat video? Cat-singing-happy-birthday video? Share the link!