Thursday, December 31, 2009
So on this New Year's Eve, I thought I'd share a few some personal things about 2009 that stand out in my mind as memorable.
My granddaughter turning 3
Learning that I'm about to become a grandmother again in January
Three new contracts (thank you God)
Turning 50 (yikes)
My husband still loves me in spite of all the years we've been together
Peace of mind in the future. Whatever happens, my faith is solid
I'd love to hear what 2009 meant to you.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Between Christmas morning and Easter sunrise there are 33 years of miracles when God in His infinite wisdom sent His Son Jesus who left the glory of heaven, took on the trappings of human flesh and dwelt among mere men to redeem God's fallen creation.
This Christmas, don't leave him in the manger or even on the cross. Put him in your heart and share the joy of the Christmas miracle every day.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
The Birth of Jesus
Matthew 1-2, Luke 1-2
The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and said, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High." (TNIV)
An Angel Visits Mary
One day about 2,000 years ago an angel named Gabriel appeared to a young Jewish woman named Mary. Gabriel told Mary she would have a son, Jesus, who would be the Son of God! Mary was confused and worried about this sudden news, but she had faith in God and said, "I am the Lord's servant; let it be as you say."
Journey to Bethlehem
Mary and her husband-to-be, Joseph, lived in a town called Nazareth. But they had to travel to the city of Bethlehem to register for a census ordered by the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus. Both Nazareth and Bethlehem are in the country now called Israel. It is about 65 miles (105 km) from Nazareth to Bethlehem, and the trip probably took them several days.
When Joseph and Mary got to Bethlehem, there was no place for them to stay because the inn was already full. They ended up spending the night in a stable, a place where animals were kept. There was probably fresh hay on the floor that they used for beds.
That night, Jesus was born. There was no crib, so they laid baby Jesus in a manger, a feeding trough for animals. The manger probably had fresh hay in it and made a nice bed for the baby.
Shepherds Visit Jesus
Jesus was born in a stable and laid to sleep in a manger. The shepherds came to see firsthand the things the angel had told them.
That night, some shepherds were in the fields near Bethlehem, keeping watch over their flocks of sheep. An angel appeared to them and gave them the good news that a Savior, the Messiah, had been born. The angel told the shepherds they could find Jesus lying in a manger. Suddenly a whole group of angels appeared saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
The shepherds hurried into Bethlehem and found Jesus in the manger, just as the angel had told them. After they had seen Jesus, they spread the news, and everyone who heard was in awe.
Wise Men Visit Jesus
Wise men from the East came to worship Jesus, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Some time later, wise men, or magi, from eastern countries saw a star in the sky that signaled the birth of a new king. They came to Judea, the region around Jerusalem and Bethlehem, to worship Jesus, the new king.
A man named Herod was the king of Judea. He called the wise men to a meeting and told them to find the new king so he could go and worship him, too.
The wise men continued on to Bethlehem and followed the star until it was directly above the house where Jesus was. They found Mary and Jesus in the house and knelt down to worship Him. They brought Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, some of the finest things in the ancient world. Frankincense was burned to make a sweet smell, and myrrh was an expensive perfume.
After visiting Jesus, the wise men had a dream that warned them not to go back to King Herod, so they took a different route home.
Journey to Egypt
King Herod lied when he told the wise men he wanted to worship Jesus. He was afraid this new "king" would replace him as king of Judea. He did not understand that Jesus would grow up to be king of God's spiritual kingdom, not king of Judea.
What Herod really wanted was to find Jesus and kill Him! Herod was furious when he realized the wise men had not come back to tell him where to find Jesus. He sent his soldiers to Bethlehem to kill all the children under two years old, thinking Jesus would certainly be one of the ones killed.
But God had told Joseph in a dream to flee to Egypt. Joseph took Mary and Jesus to live in Egypt where they would be safe from Herod. Joseph, Mary and Jesus stayed in Egypt until Herod had died, and then they returned to Nazareth.
Oh holy night!
What could be more fitting on this eve of the birth of the Prince of Peace.
Let there be Peace on Earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be Peace on Earth,
The Peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father,
Family ALL are We.
Let us walk now Together
In Perfect Harmony.
Let Peace begin with me,
Let this be the moment NOW.
With every breath I take,
Let this be my solemn Vow:
To take each moment
and Live each moment
in Peace, Eternally.
Let there be Peace on Earth
and let it begin with me.
I hope this Christmas Eve brings you peace of heart.
All the best...
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The "great war" had been raging for nearly five months when Christmastime
rolled around. For the soldiers on the front lines, their homes were deep
trenches cut into the ground, filled with knee-deep sticky mud. Many soldiers
on both sides of the battle lines were covered with it from head to toe.
Soldiers had to keep their heads low, because at all times the enemy snipers
were watching, and would shoot at anything that appeared in their scope. The
closer to Christmas it got, the more sporadic the rifle fire became, as if on both
sides, they were simply ready for a break. On Christmas Eve. 1914 the first
hard freeze settled over the ground, which was welcomed by the soldiers
because at last the mud was solid.
Thoughts of the soldiers turned to their families, tucked away safely in their
beds. The soldiers settled down in their bunks with letters from their loved
ones, pictures, and if they were lucky, gifts. While the cold air blew in around
them, they turned their faces into their coats, and tried to sleep.
In the early morning hours of December 25, a thick mist settled around them.
It was hard to see from one side of "No Man's Land" to the other. Suddenly a
chorus of song broke the silence of the morning, and drifted up from the German
trenches across the way. The startled allies were amazed to discover when
they peeked their heads up to look, that the Germans had erected dozens of
Christmas trees in their trenches, and had even decorated them. They listened
in silence as the Germans sang "Silent Night." Stille nacht, heilige nacht…
When the voices concluded and echoed away, applause rang out from the allies.
The German singing had been lovely. The allies began a song of their own, and on
through the night the soldiers from either side of the battlefield sang together.
When dawn broke, the Germans called out to the allies, "Come over!" The allies
responded, "You first!" and tentatively, officers from either side walked out
over "No Man's Land," to greet each other. A ceasefire was called, and soldiers
from both sides rose out of their trenches to meet these people whom they had
just been trying to kill. Some of the people could communicate with words, but
others who did not know the other side's language made themselves understood
as they gave each other gifts of cigarettes, clothing and food. They shared
photographs of their families, and called each other "friend" for the rest of the
day. They built bonfires which glowed well into the night.
Finally the long dreaded moment had come- time for each side to return to their
trenches. The soldiers said goodbye to their new friends, and sank down into
their muddy holes. With a heavy heart, the firing began again, and the war
continued for four more years.
You may ask, why have I told such a sad story? What good is the Christmas
spirit if it only lasts such a short while? I think that it is important to remember
that in the midst of all that death and chaos, the Christmas spirit was still able
to reach down into the darkest pit and lift the soldiers out. The Christmas spirit
has another name- Hope. It needs nothing more to survive on its own than a
beating heart, and a song to sing.
Spread hope around you this Christmas. Hug and kiss your family, send a gift to
a soldier overseas, give blood. The real magic of Christmas is always inside of
you. Share the magic.
Additional WWI Background-
On June 28, 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, was assassinated with his wife
Sophie by a Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Tensions were already high between
the two countries due to border disputes. Austria-Hungary began to seriously consider sending a
message to the Serbs by attacking them. Germany lent their support to Austria-Hungary.
Great Britain formally declared war on Germany and Austria-Hungary on August 4, 1914.
Subsequently Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Canada declared war on Germany. By this time,
nearly every country involved was fully mobilized and its troops placed in strategic defensive places.
Millions of men from various countries found themselves at the ready.
It was assumed that the war would be over by Christmas, but unknown to everyone, the war had
only just begun.
Italy and Romania declared war on Germany in 1916, and in 1917 the United States, China and Cuba
followed suit. Never had a war been fought on so many fronts and involved so many people. By its
end in late 1918, millions were dead and the European continent had been reduced to rubble. Little
did the world know, that they would repeat it all with even more dead in just a few short years in
World War II.
The Christmas truce was not an isolated incident. All along the battle lines,
ceasefire was called by soldiers similar to the ones in the story above. Sometimes
the truce lasted all the way until Boxing Day (Jan.6).
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
He was the love of her life. The father of her child. Now he was missing. Presumed dead behind enemy lines.
CIA agent Booth Tanner was the best of the best and now he’s as good as dead. The only person who can save him now is the woman who’d written him out of her life three years earlier as a lost cause. Then Rachel Weiss receives a text message that is brief, chilling, and enough to send her back into the shadowy world she thought she’d left behind for good.
Half page teaser:
Rachel Weiss thought she’d dealt with her feelings for Booth when she left the shadowy world as a CIA operative behind three years earlier after discovering her love affair with Booth had produced more than a broken heart. She was pregnant with his child. Rachel walked away from the CIA and Booth who let her go without a fight further proof that her decision was for the best. If Booth truly cared about her, wouldn’t he have at least tried to convince her to stay?
Three years later, Rachel settled into a new, far more stable career as Assistant US Ambassador to Israel, happily raising her two-year old daughter Ava.
When someone text messages Rachel asking if she knows where Booth Tanner is, she is unwillingly plunged back into the murky world of espionage.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
CHRISTMAS WISHES by Jane Toombs
The Holiday Season can be a joyous time with friends and family or a lonely time for those who either can’t be with family or have none. But with the Internet or TV, even the lonely can participate by posting to a group or by watching. Not quite the same, but better than the sadness of nothing.
I remember times when I was young that I couldn’t be home for Christmas, but I was surrounded by others who couldn’t either and thus not really so lonely.
This year, like last, the Viking and I may be invited to have Christmas dinner with his brother’s widow and family. Which we do enjoy. We can’t travel to California or any other place where either his children or mine may live, and it’s too far from them to come here. But we're together, which is very important to both of us, as you’ll find as you get to be old fogeys like we are.
We’re both grateful for the fact we’re together, and it came about as a fluke. We grew up in the same small village, but had never met until the fateful January day when my first grade teacher brought me, at six years of age, into the second grade room to meet my new teacher and classmates, because I’d been “skipped” there. I was assigned the seat in front of seven-year-old Elmer. He always claimed he fell in love with me then and there. As for me, I was so scared that I didn’t notice him or anyone.
Though we were friends throughout school, when we graduated, we went our separate ways and married others. Skip to 1994. He called me on April Fool’s Day in Upstate New York from Nevada to tell me he’d read a book of mine called Jewels Of The Heart and wondered if the Swedish hero was based on him. Since he was the only Swedish male I’d ever known very well, I had to admit that maybe he was. In the course of conversation, he learned I was a widow and I learned he’d been divorced for eight years. Furthermore, he learned I was attending a wedding in lower Michigan in June on the same weekend he was attending a family party only forty miles away. We both recognized Fate was beckoning, so we arranged to meet on that Sunday.
How wonderful to find we could simply take up where we’d left off so many years back. Neither of us has been lonesome since.
Though the above was not what I was thinking of when I wrote “Are You Listening?” for the Christmas Wishes Jewels Of The Quill Anthology, it was a wish come true for both of us.
Note: If you'd like to comment on your own Christmas wish, realistic or not, and why you have it, I'll choose one of the commenters to send "Christmas Wishes" to, providing you leave me an email address so I can reach you.
Anna Shah Hoque.
Anna, please email me at: email@example.com and I'll send your email on to Inez.
Thanks to everyone for joining in yesterday and stay tuned for Jane Toombs' presentation today!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Hey all! Are you ready for the holidays? I’m not! I tried to be but everything under the sun conspired against me. Several years ago, I was one of those people smirking because I was done everything but the baking in November. I once decorated my house the night after trick or Treating! I had more Christmas decorations than Macy’s.
Life got more hectic and I slowly pared down. It took several years and I do still get occasional pangs of guilt for not doing more but this is better for my sanity. My family barely notices so that tells me something right there. Less is not a bad thing.
That has been my mantra this season. I mean, my tree is up, the stockings are hung but I cut back on the decorating. I don’t do outside lights anymore. My closest neighbor is several acres away and it just didn’t seem like a priority. I no longer use my Christmas village, the 40 piece nativity, the decorations for EACH room of the house (Yes, I had the annoying Santa shower curtain).
No one seems to be bothered by this. Some of my shopping is done but that is the least of my worries. We scaled back on that, too, and I am confident that Thursday I can finish up. We buy only for the children in the family. Bright shining faces who believe in the magic are who is important to us so those we indulge.
I will wrap on Friday then start baking. Yeah, cut back there, too. No longer do I make the pumpkin rolls, the eleventy billion cookies, the gingerbread houses, the stained-glass candy, the potato candy, the pies and cakes. Nope. Just don’t. No one cares.
The reason they don’t care is I kept the important stuff, the stuff they would miss. My tree is huge and the kids get their own to decorate how they like. Right now there are firetrucks and matchbox cars shoved onto hooks and hanging from a four foot red tree. It works for them.
We have a family tradition on Winter Solstice that we make sugar cookies, decorate them, and then hang them on a tree for the animals. We put out apples and popcorn and I added recently stale cereal that I start emptying from mostly empty boxes. Peanut butter holds this on pinecones and that too goes on their Solstice tree. They look forward to this every year. That did not get cut back on. There is just no replacement for seeing your family enjoy something so old fashioned.
We make more cookies for Santa Claus, which go on his special plate and cup. I kept the music, the movies they loved to watch and finger-foods for Christmas Eve. It is a kick back and relax day here now. But it just isn’t Christmas unless there is MonkeyBread for breakfast.
Less is more, as in less stress and more time. I could put out all the unpacked boxes of decorations. I could spend days baking and sweating and covered in flour. Or I could remember that Christmas is for family and for spending time with them, not the trappings. I’ll take that “more” any day.
Now, since I still have some presents get, I thought I would give you a gift, your choice of either of my two current Samhain releases. As one gift does not fit all neither does one romance genre. So I have two for you to pick from. The reviews for both have been overwhelmingly positive!
Here is the blurb from my romantic comedy titled JINXED.
When opposites attract, they are screwed three ways from Sunday.
Frannie learned the hard way that a McHottie doesn’t always equal marriage material. Besides, she’s happy with her vanilla life. She has friends, a career and a double-D-powered vibrator. Then Fate shoves her, literally, into Prince Charming’s lap. His declaration of love at first sight is cute—and spikes her bullcrap meter into the red zone.
She’s more than willing to give in with her body. But she’s barricaded her heart behind castle walls—and permanently welded the gates shut.
Tragedy taught Jinx that time is too precious to waste, so when a series of uncanny coincidences thrusts Frannie into his life, he holds on tight. He knows she thinks he’s several fries short of a Happy Meal, but he’s determined to breach the fortress around her heart and give her a Happily Ever After.
Even if he has to carry her fanny-first into his kingdom.
WARNING: Includes jelly shoes, a narcoleptic cat, and meatloaf. The steamy sex scenes may lead to fogged windows and wet panties, so proceed at your own risk. Do not attempt to read without the following items: tissues, napkins for spewed beverages, and a booty call on speed dial.
Is fantasy romance more your thing? Then perhaps you would prefer MYLA BY MOONLIGHT.
MAGIC BITES…and its name is Myla.
Created at Prince Taric’s birth, Myla is a spell, an enchantment designed to appear and protect him when he needs it most. She has always been content to do her duty…until one night of forbidden passion leaves her longing to experience life—and love—as a mortal woman. Yet the risk is too great. Even if her blood runs as red as his, she can never give him the one thing he needs: a child.
Taric’s blessing—and his curse—is knowing the kingdom’s future depends on his producing an heir to continue the bloodline. His bond with Myla has always been that of protector and protected. When it suddenly becomes something much more, he unwittingly sentences his people to certain death.
An old enemy is plotting to destroy all he holds dear: his lands, his people, his father, and his lover. And this time, even if they fight tooth and blade, their shared magic may not be enough to save them…
Warning: This book contains a shape-shifting bodyguard, sizzling sex scenes, supernatural lilac mist, sword-fighting and heartbreaking sacrifices. No jaguars were harmed in the writing of this story.
Just comment below to be eligible to win. No pressure, less fuss, more fun. I hope you have less stress and more joy in your life this holiday season. Merry Christmas!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
And special thanks to Cindy Green, Renee Wildes, Tina Donahue, Inez Kelley, Misty Evans, Jane Toombs, and Mary Wine for giving us their time and their precious works.
Well, it looks like it's time to say goodnight and God bless. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year!
All the best...
In Bed With A Stranger...on sale now!
In The Warrior's Bed...Jan 26! From Kenginton, Brava
When I began this post, I was thinking of all the sexy stuff a woman would want a man to give her or engage her in during the holidays. Visions of lingerie, chocolate (yeah, definitely chocolate), jewelry and some hot sex danced in my mind. I saw hubbies or boyfriends wearing nothing but mistletoe and maybe a little chocolate that just had to be licked off! :)
And then I thought that although those things are great, what I personally want is a guy I can trust, one who gives me a safe place to land, who’s there to pick me up when I fall. To me, it’s a bone-deep, soul-deep need. Nothing’s more romantic than trust.
It’s the type of feeling I tried to convey in my newest EC release Adored.
Although the book has tons of passion and steamy sex (“Fantastic” wrote Brande at My Foolish Wisdom; “. . .the fantasy scenes are that hot and the real love scenes between Danni and Adam are even hotter.” wrote Lilly at I Do Not Want to Wait, I Want the Book Now; “Hot! Hot! Hot! This was a smoking hot read.” wrote Reese at Night Owl Reviews; ". . .a sexy romance with some great love scenes and two characters you can’t help but like. . .I found Adored to be a very satisfying read.” wrote KB at Babbling About Books and More; “I loved this!” said Angelika Devlin at Alternative-Read.com), it also has heart. For too long Danni’s been cheated on and lied to by men. What she wants is an honest relationship. . .a lasting one. Read on to see what I mean:
ADORED - A shameless fantasy come true…When tall, dark and delicious Adam Farrell crosses Danni’s radar at a trade show in Vegas, it’s not lust at first sight. He’s been the star of her wicked fantasies for a while, pleasuring her in acts of domination and submission that leave her breathless. Aching for his masterful touch, believing she’ll never have it, Danni indulges in a public sex act Adam alone witnesses. What follows is a night of wild and unrestrained passion in his powerful arms. It’s only the beginning. An undisclosed business deal has turned Adam from competitor to Danni’s new boss. His hunger for her is absolute and he’ll make her fantasies seem tame as he takes her in ways she never imagined – whenever he wants, wherever he desires. Seduced by Adam’s plan to mix exquisite control with adoration, Danni’s swept into a sensual adventure she can’t resist. Until corporate politics intrude and she learns what Adam’s been hiding to protect her. . .a secret he’s long feared will tear them apart.
The hours ’til dawn moved too quickly. So did Saturday morning and afternoon. They decided on an early dinner to fortify themselves for the bulk of the evening. Their delivery of spring rolls, crab rangoon, dry garlic spareribs, twice-cooked pork, rice and noodles covered the end table in front of the fireplace.
An old hand with chopsticks, Danni deftly lifted morsels of food, tossed them in the air and caught them in her mouth. Although Adam smiled, his thoughts remained on their future or possible lack of it. On Monday they’d have less than five-and-a-half weeks together, unless he did something.
Halfway through their meal, a plan started to formulate in his mind, distracting him from Danni’s comment. He was about to ask her what she’d said when her cell phone rang. Swiping a noodle off her chin, she looked at the number. Instantly, he knew something was wrong and asked what he shouldn’t. “Who is it?”
“My mom. Sorry, I have to take this.” She went into his bedroom.
Adam turned down his Toni Braxton CD and listened to Danni pacing as she spoke in low, soothing tones.
He wondered if her mom had a drinking problem like his dad. For years, his father had abused alcohol and was now a decade sober. Even so, Adam couldn’t quite shake the terror he’d felt as a little kid, scared his dad would come home mad and yelling, or if the police would call, telling them he’d been hurt in an accident. He hoped her mom wasn’t causing her the same kind of grief.
She returned to the living room, clothes in hand. “I have to go.”
“What happened? Can you tell me?”
“It’s nothing serious. I mean, it’s not like my mom’s sick or anything.” She sat on his sofa and pulled on her socks. “My dad…” Shaking her head, she swore.
Adam joined her on the sofa. “I know this isn’t any of my business, and I shouldn’t even ask, but does he drink? Is he violent?”
“Oh no. He cheats.” She yanked on her right boot and laced it. “He’s been unfaithful since day one, and Mom usually pretends nothing’s happened. When that doesn’t work, she convinces herself to believe his lies. Still, it gets to her.” She put on her other boot. “Tonight he was supposed to take her to that remake of The Shining. She’s a huge horror fan. At the last minute, he said he had to work a security detail for the extra cash. He’s a cop. She asked me to go with her. I couldn’t refuse. She knows he’s with another woman. She needs me. I’ll probably stay over and keep her company tomorrow too. I’ve got such a screwed-up family.”
“Don’t we all.” He confessed about his dad.
“Oh.” Pain tightened her features. “I’m so sorry.”
He kissed her palm, desperate to make things right for her and them. “Thanks. I’ll throw on some clothes to drive you back.”
“I can take a cable car.”
“No. I’m driving you.”
She tried to lighten the mood as they headed back to the office, until Adam asked her to relax and just be herself. He couldn’t imagine anything better.
“You’re sure? I might cry.”
“Not a problem. My seats are waterproofed.”
She laughed briefly then sighed. “What I’m about to say doesn’t have any bearing on you, all right?” She continued before he could answer, “Some men don’t realize how deeply their deceit affects women. They believe it’s okay to lie, just as long as they’re not caught. And if they do get caught, they can always con their way out of it. To them, it’s a game. Let me tell you, it’s not. It’s like walking on hard ground that suddenly turns into quicksand, then back again without any warning. Eventually, you’re afraid to make a move. You don’t know what to believe or trust, including yourself.”
In all the romances I write, I want there to be a strong, lasting connection between my characters. Sure, there’s humor and sex and all that other good stuff, but heart is what really matters. At least, that’s what my fans say.
For today’s extravaganza, I’ll be giving away a copy of Adored. Good luck, good reading, and Happy Holidays!
Holly can no longer stay in town knowing the man she loves only sees her as a friend. It’s time to move on; besides she has other career prospects.
As the carnival unfolds, watch God work in amazing ways. Can He change Holly’s mind and make her stay? Can He help
“I—I…would you like to dance?” He broke eye contact and pointed over at the activity above them.
His offer to dance couldn’t have been more surprising if he had expounded upon Bach’s harmonic chord analysis.
“You hate to dance.”
“Yeah, I know.” The smile he gave her was subtle as always, yet so darn adorable. Her legs went a little weak at the sight. Lord, help me. Seriously, Lord. Help! The last thing I need is to go head over heels—figuratively and literally.
How infuriating was this? Not only was he flubbing up all this with Holly, but now he’d roped himself into dancing. Not just dancing, but dancing in the gazebo at a major town function.
It didn’t take long before they were face-to-face in one corner of the dance floor. He stepped closer, her profound blue eyes staring him down. She didn’t think he could do this. Her smile was almost a dare; it was definitely playful. He pulled her into his arms and began swaying in time to the music. Holly followed his lead without question as if they had been made for this moment in time, each movement fluid and together.
“You’re good,” she said, with a laugh.
“Surprised?” He gave her a slow spin.
“Yes!” she replied with energy when she faced him again.
“For that I just might make you dance again.”
“Threatening me now?”
“Is it a threat?” He tightened his hold around her waist and she pulled her perfect, sweet lips up into a radiant smile.
As they continued the slow dance, she rested her head on his chest and his heart began to thump rapidly. He lowered his head near her ear. “Why didn’t you tell me, Holly?”
Snow Kissed is Available at White Rose Publishing
Presents...Secret Santa...and One Determined Woman! That about sums it up…my new book, All I Want for Christmas.
Everyone loves to get a present, but what would you do if you had no idea who the gift was from and the only clue you had was a printed note with a thoughtful saying and signed Secret Santa?
I love Christmas and even if I didn’t, I have a five year old who wouldn’t allow me to Bah-Humbug it up. We’re fairly traditional and have a lot of fun during the season. I took that idea of families and traditions when I came to write this book. I asked myself that ‘What If?’ question. What if a person with a lot of family issues (who happens to hate Christmas) suddenly begins to receive gifts from a mysterious Secret Santa?
Voila! A story is born.
Best Friends or True Love? Only Santa Knows.
Kathryn Graham hates Christmas. She hates the snow, the decorations, the whole nine yards. Nick Pringle on the other hand can’t get enough of the season. He may be her best friend and fellow writer at Redburn Weekly Magazine, but sometimes his exuberance gets on her very last nerve. Now they’ve been assigned to cover the orphan toy drive story. It’s just a puff piece not the serious journalism Kathryn hopes for, but maybe—as Nick says—there are no old stories just new angles.
Nick Pringle has been in love with Kathryn practically since the day they met. When he realizes that she’s lost her Christmas spirit, he figures he’s just the guy to help her find it again. He enacts a plan to send her anonymous gifts from Secret Santa, but will any of this really make a difference in her? Will she ever see him as anything more than her smart-aleck partner even after their passionate kisses? Then again maybe he’ll get what he wants for Christmas after all.
Halfway through the film, Nick’s fingers brushed over Kathryn’s wrist and a surge whipped through her like an electrical charge. His hand ended up on her knee, and he leaned over close to her ear. “You have any more of those Milkduds?”
“Huh?” Oh, candy. He just wanted more snacks. Well, of course, what other reason would he have for touching her like that?
“Here,” she whispered and held out the container to him.
His face remained close to hers, his warm hand still molded to the shape of her knee. She accidentally moved in too close and her forehead bumped his cheek. Looking up at him, Kathryn saw he wasn’t smiling. His eyes had grown serious and all thoughts of candy dissipated. His attention dropped to her mouth and suddenly Kathryn couldn’t swallow. Could he possibly be considering kissing her? Just then, he turned his attention back to the movie and lifted his hand from her knee.
An unexplainable inclination took over as Kathryn pushed his hand back to her knee. His face whipped back to her. Questions filled his features. His chest moved up and then down. He smoothed his hand over her pants from her knee to her thigh and back again. Her skin pebbled under the material at his touch. This was soon followed by heat tingling from her stomach to the tips of her toes.
She leaned in towards him and he met her halfway. And just like that their lips met. Giddiness spun through Kathryn’s head with sparks tingling her skin. The kiss was light and sweet yet searing all at once. Lucidity began to return to her the next moment. What was she doing? Oh, right, she was kissing Nick Pringle. She was kissing a co-worker. Worse yet, she was making out with her best friend. What was she thinking? She had to stop and yet it was the last thing she wanted to do.
The whole idea was ludicrous. An outrageous act and yet somehow her body’s sole response was that it wanted more. Whoa! Had it been that long since she’d had a date? Time to reign in those annoying hormones which threatened to take over her sanity.
She broke off the kiss and rested her hand against his chest. She could feel his heart speeding at the rate of a train. A train wreck is more like it. Ay-yi-yi! How was she going to get herself out of this one?
Available Now at Champagne Books
I’m having a blog contest right now, sharing about Christmas traditions. I’ve received some splendid replies already. Our family is fairly conventional during the season. We plan a big dinner with my siblings, their kids and my mom. My boys and I read A Christmas Carol every year and then watch the film adaptation. We bake Christmas cookies and my oldest makes us a Christmas chain to mark off the days until Christmas Day. I bake my grandmother's recipe for fudge-chocolate and peanut butter varieties.
What are some of your Christmas traditions? Email me by December 18th at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will put you into a drawing to win one of three e-books. (Relationship Rescue, Night of NovelTea, or Dilemma of the Heart) So, yes, that means there will be THREE WINNERS! You can visit my blog for more details. I’ll be posting some of the replies on my blog as well.
Hello to everyone at Mary's Blog! I thought I'd hop in here and introduce myself first.
A little bit about me:
I'm an author, teacher, maid, mother, wife and accountant. I spend my (non-existent free time) reading, watching period dramas and doing my best to keep this house one step away from becoming a disaster area. I homeschool in addition to the writing which makes life busy and hectic, but I love it! Before becoming a Stay at Home Mom, I taught middle school English and history. I have degrees in history and education. These days, you'll find me in NC (although I am a CA native) with my husband and 2 boys. More than likely I'll be reading a book or on this computer.
What do I write? Hmm, that’s a toughy. My critique partner says I have a story for everyone because there is so much variety.
I write in several genres: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense, Historical, Inspirational, YA, Fantasy, Chicklit…is that enough for you? But all my stories have humor at the heart. My very first book was published about this time of year—three years ago. I’ve now received 12 book contracts for stories of varying lengths. I’ll be sharing a couple of the winter ones with you today. And I have a contest too--Coming UP!
Cindy K. Green
The winner will receive their choice of ebooks from my published works.
You can read all about my stuff at: http://www.maryeason.com/
Good Luck and Merry Christmas!
All the best...
For Christmas, Amy is sharing her favorite Dove recipe with you and wants you to know it's delicious on everything...strawberries, gingerbread, ice cream, straight out of the pan. This fondue is heavenly and sinful all at the same time!
Amy's Wicked Good Chocolate Fondue:
1 bag of Dove Promises Dark Chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
Your favorite dipping morsels
In a small pan, heat the cream to just boiling. Unwrap Dove chocolates and place in bowl. Pour cream over chocolates and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir. Dip favorite fondue morsels in chocolate or pour over ice cream. Enjoy!
For more about Amy and her struggle to resist the devil, scroll down and read my excerpt below!
For my story contribution today, I’ve giving you a peek at the Tickle My Fantasy print anthology, out this month in time for Christmas. It’s got a sexy red and white cover and my story, WITCHES ANONYMOUS, is one of four light-hearted paranormal tales sure to delight the book worm on your Christmas list (maybe that’s you!) I’m posting the blurb for each of the stories and giving you an excerpt from mine below.
Tomorrow, you can download my Christmas free read, WHITE COLLAR CHRISTMAS, at http://authors.thesamhellion.com/ . Throw an undercover FBI rookie together with a devilishly handsome art forgerer and see who ends up on Santa’s naughty list!
Play and win! From now until December 24th, you can enter the Rockin' Around the Raven Tree Christmas Tree Scavenger Hunt. I’m one of thirty authors who’ve joined together this Christmas to offer readers a chance to win a Sony Pocket Reader, a $50 prepaid Visa and a $25 Amazon gift certificate. For details, visit http://www.ravenhappyhour.com/Rockin_Raven_Xmas_Tree_Contest .
So grab a cup of coffee and tell me what’s on your Christmas wish list this year. Those who comment on this blog by midnight tonight will be entered in a drawing for a free ecopy of one of my books. (You can read blurbs and excerpts of all of them at http://www.readmistyevans.com/ .)
Please be sure to include your email addy in your comment. Good luck and happy reading!
Tickle My Fantasy by Misty Evans, Sela Carsen, Vivi Andrews and M.K. Mancos
Cover art by Natalie Winters
Carolina Wolf by Sela Carsen - Debra knows that the teensy amount of witchcraft in her veins isn’t worth getting excited about. Yet someone—or something—thinks it’s worth attacking her. Rescuing her seals Maddox’s fate, but only if he can protect her from a rogue of his kind. A werewolf with a nasty streak…and a preference for raw meat.
The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo and the Poltergeist Accountant by Vivi Andrews - Lucy is doomed. Not to death. To nightly visits from recently deceased Casanovas without the bodies to scratch her itch. Then a living fantasy arrives on her doorstep. Is her dry spell at an end? Not hardly. Jake has been sent to prevent her from getting laid until a particular horny phantom—and key witness in his investigation—pays her a visit.
ParaMatch.com by MK Mancos - Even though she lives without a paranormalady, Lucille has managed to carve a niche for herself with a paranormal matchmaking service. Enter Jager, deposed king of the Titans and successful paratrader. She can match anyone, except him. She doesn’t know that he’s out to negotiate the deal of a lifetime—a future with her.
Witches Anonymous by Misty Evans - Amy is done with Devil-worshipping. After swearing an oath never to use magic again, she’s in the market for a normal guy to complement her new lifestyle. And Adam looks like perfect hero material. Lucifer, however, isn’t about to be nice about letting her go…
Warning: This book contains hunky werewolves, smart-ass women (and men who think that’s sexy), magic, angels, medieval legends, inter-species romance, disco music and flatulent Boxers. (The dogs, not the underwear.)
EXCERPT from WITCHES ANONYMOUS:
In a room full of witches, you’d think I wouldn’t stand out. You’d be wrong.
My name is Amy Atwood and I’m a witch. Not one of those goodie-two-shoes Wiccans. No, I’m a Satan-worshipping, Devil-made-me-do-it witch.
However, after catching Lucifer performing a particularly wicked hex act with Emilia, my sister—a tried and true Wiccan—I turned my back on the Devil. I didn’t exactly expect him to be faithful, but bewitching it with my sister? High ick factor. So, no more casting spells to entertain him. No more curses to carry out his desires. No more witchery of any kind.
That’s why I was attending my first Witches Anonymous meeting. Glancing around at the faces staring back at me, with their raised eyebrows and thinned lips, I suddenly realized the last part of my introduction, about the Wiccans, I said out loud. In a room full of the goodie-two-shoes sisters.
Way to go, Amy. Stepping on broomsticks in less than thirty seconds. A new record, even for me.
Too bad I couldn’t cast a spell and enchant them all, but I’d sworn an oath to stay clean. Because magic is a slippery slope. Even one small curse or spell could put me on the downhill slide back to Lucifer. So far, I was sticking to my oath. I was good now. Normal.
Yeesh. The thought made me shudder.
Anxiously caressing the square of Dove chocolate stowed in the pocket of my jacket, I gave the witches in the room my most charming smile, full of ear-to-ear goodness. I’d promised myself if I got through the meeting, I could have the chocolate.
And there wasn’t much I wouldn’t do for a Dove.
The door behind me opened, saving me from making a false apology. A tall, good-looking guy with a determined look on his face pulled up short as he took in the circle of women. His T-shirt was a bit too tight and his jeans a bit too loose, but his boots were high-quality leather with snappy silver toes peeking out from beneath the frayed hems of his pant legs.
That’s what I call goodness.
His intense brown eyes looked intelligent when his gaze locked with mine. “Uh, hi,” he stammered, his focus dropping to my mouth. It stayed there a second too long before returning to meet my eyes. Thank the devil I’d worn my plum lip gloss. “Is this room 12A? I was looking for the Harley Brothers meeting.”
Men and Harleys? Now that was my kind of group. “I’m Amy.” I stepped forward to extend my hand. “I was looking for that meeting, too. It must be down the hall.”
The grin that passed over his face showed me one perfect dimple. He took my hand with confidence, his warm skin kissing mine like a lover as he pulled me toward him. I noticed an apple with an arrow piercing the core tattooed on his right arm.
“Let’s get out of here, then,” he said, “and let these fine women get back to their…whatever meeting.”
Out in the hall, I put my hand over my mouth and giggled. “Your timing is perfect. You just saved me from being burned at the stake.”
Up close, his brown eyes looked like the color of the Dove in my pocket. The dimple reappeared. “Rescuing damsels in distress is one of my specialties.”
I’d never considered myself a damsel in distress. However, the dimple won me over, saving him from a sharp rebuke. I found myself wondering if his eyes got darker, like melted chocolate, when he got mad.
He took my hand again. Soft warmth enveloped it. “I’m Adam Foster.”
Instantly, I thought of Bananas Foster. Yummy. My mind was already casting a circle of lust around us when I caught myself.
No spells. No charms.
“Nice to meet you, Adam Foster.” I took my hand back, wishing I could curse Lucifer and Emilia for forcing me to embrace goodness and normalcy. “I better let you get to your meeting.”
“You’re not coming?”
“No.” I glanced at the door to Room 13C and shuffled my feet. “I swore an oath to be good. I have to go back to this one.”
“Back to the stake, huh?”
“You could say that.”
He gave me a nod. “Maybe after our meetings, we could grab an ice cream?”
A Harley-riding, tattooed man who wanted to go for ice cream? Normalcy wasn’t all that bad.
And revenge on Lucifer, whether by stake or by mortal torment, was extremely satisfying. “I’d love to.”
“Meet you outside later?”
“I’ll be there.”
As he walked away, I watched the back of his dark brown hair brush his neck and thought about touching that same spot with my fingers. When Lucifer discovered I’d taken a new boyfriend—a human one, no less—he’d be mad as hell.
Who says being a good witch isn’t fun?
Well, my parents were very poor so they couldn't afford the boots, so I asked for Santa to bring me them.
That Christmas Eve, I couldn't sleep a wink, wondering if Santa had gotten my letter. Would he bring the boots?
I woke up early Christmas morning, before my parents even. It was so cold. Back then, we heated our house with little space heaters. The one in the living room wasn't on and I didn't know how to make it work, but it didn't matter.
I ran to the Christmas tree and low and behold there they were. You guessed it, Santa had brought me the white boots after all along with a few other presents.
For me, that was the best Christmas ever! And even until this day, every time I spell apples and oranges, I think of Chrstimas and I smile remembering those white Go-Go boots!
Thanks Mom and Dad!
All the best...
Great for Christmas Morning or Anytime!
Here's a great way to start the day. Couple this with eggs for a substantial way to start the day. Ham and eggs - what more can anyone ask for?
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large country ham slice, about 1/2" thick
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
Heat skillet until very hot. Pour in oil, then ham. (Oil is necessary for making gravy, as cured ham produces little fat.) Lower heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan; keep warm. Raise heat and add coffee to hot drippings. Boil for about 2 minutes. Pour over ham. Serve with biscuits.
*Note: because it is cured, ham will overcook quickly and become too dry. Therefore, no more than two minutes per side is recommended for country ham. Truth is, you could eat it without cooking and probably not have any side effects because the curing process chemically cooks the ham. Cooking is recommended though to insure that heat will kill any trichinosis that may be present.If redeye gravy is too scary for you, try this old southern favorite: old fashioned sawmill gravy, a milk gravy.
All the best...
I'm very excited to host this get-together to say thanks to all of our readers. This is your day, so, please pull up a comfortable chair, grab some coffee or hot chocolate and relax.
Today, you will be entertained by lots of talented authors, and you will have a chance to win great things.
Here is our schedule for today. The times below are listed in EST!
9:00 AM Mary Eason – Readers choice of any ebook of mine.
10:00 AM Misty Evans - I’ll give away reader’s choice of my e-books.
1:00 PM Cindy Green – e-books or either Relationship Rescue, Snow Kissed or A Night of Noveltea
2:00 PM Jane Toombs – I will be giving away a "Christmas Wishes" Jewels Of The Quill print anthology(USA & Canada only) that I have a story in, and fro promo items, five CDs with excerpts from all my books on them.
3:00 PM Tina Donahue - EC e-book "Adored".
5:00PM Renee Wildes
7:00 PM Mary Wine - two paper back copies of my recent historical 'In Bed With A Stranger'...to US mailing addresses only
8:00 PM - Inez Kelley - Free download of either of two available stories from Samhain!
All the best...
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Merry Christmas from Mary Eason
You're invited to a Christmas Extravaganza on December 15th
Join me and fellow authors, Cindy Green, Renee Wildes, Tina Donahue, Inez Kelley, Misty Evans, Jane Toombs, and Mary Wine for a day of saying thanks and giving back to our readers. We will be blogging, right here, all day long and there will be lots of good conversation, gossip, and giveaways, so don't you dare miss this event.Just stop on by my blog: www.maryeason.blogspot.com, all day on December 15th
The reviews are in for Root of all Evil!
Root of all Evil is readers Top Pick at NOR "Again Mary Eason outshines herself in this suspenseful book that rocks all the way to the end. Anna is a woman who has many secrets inside her and dreams that spook her. Dreams that are somehow telling a story themselves making you wonder what is happening in this book. Mary has a clever and evil mind that makes you wonder exactly who the killer is. The thing about this book is that the killer does make you wonder what he is going to do and how it involves these two lovebirds. Like I said this book is one filled with betrayal, suspense, romance and an evilness that will make you want more from Mary Eason. Great job."http://www.nightowlromance.com/nightowlromance/reviews/Review.aspx?daoid=5090 "Root of All Evil is a spine tingling thriller that will leave the reader on t he edge of their seat. The emotions run rampant throughout the story switching back and forth through Anna and John." -- Emily - Single Titles Reviews
In January, Forbidden Passion will release through New Concepts Publishing. Here's a teaser: She was unforgettable to him the first moment that he met her and just as “off limits”. Sophie McGraw was taken. How contemptible do you have to be to fall in love with his best friend’s wife?
My release date Shadow Games, a romantic suspense spy story is February 2010 through Champagne Books. Here's a teaser: He was the love of her life. The father of her child. Now he was missing. Presumed dead behind enemy lines.
The Prodigal's Redemption, an inspirational romance will release sometime this summer at Champagne Books. Here's the teaser: When Chloe Strickland and Devon McCallister are brought together by a sudden snowstorm on a deserted mountain road, neither have any idea how quickly their lives are about to change.
The Rebel Rancher is now available at Whiskey Creek Press
The Rebel Rancher released December 1st at: www.whiskeycreekpress.com Alec Standing’s cousin Drake Everette is obsessed with becoming the next governor of Texas and accomplishing what his father couldn’t, but Alec isn’t prepared to let Drake sacrifice everything, including the woman he professes to love, in the process. So when Drake comes up with a sure-fire plan to win the election using Grace Richmond, the daughter of one of Texas’ most politically strong families and Drake’s long time friends, Alec decides its time to put an end to his cousin’s little scheme before it gets way out of hand and someone—namely Grace—gets hurt. Check out the reviews: "Five Hearts! Okay - Mary Eason is now one of my highly recommended authors. Every storyline she creates has a way of pulling you i nto the story and you don’t want it to end." -- Melinda NOR Reviews
Check out December's contest at my website...
As a special Christmas Gift to one lucky reader, I'll be giving away a autographed copy of either Survivor, The Things You Think You Want or Thirty Lessons, my Samhain releases. So, check out the details at my website: www.maryeason.com
If you'd like to subscribe to my newsletter, drop me an email at: email@example.com
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Okay, so this is only in my world, but I'm giving away a free ebook copy of my new release, The Rebel Rancher from Whiskey Creek Press to one lucky blogger.
Whoever posts the most creative post wins. I'll announce the winner tomorrow.
Here's a blurb of the book: Alec Standing’s cousin Drake Everette is obsessed with becoming the next governor of Texas and accomplishing what his father couldn’t, but Alec isn’t prepared to let Drake sacrifice everything, including the woman he professes to love, in the process. So when Drake comes up with a sure-fire plan to win the election using Grace Richmond, the daughter of one of Texas’ most politically strong families and Drake’s long time friends, Alec decides its time to put an end to his cousin’s little scheme before it gets way out of hand and someone—namely Grace—gets hurt.