December, as my readers will know, I always like to have as guests some fellow authors to share their thoughts on the holiday season. This year I had the pleasure of working with some of the best authors in western romance on Come Love a Cowboy, and the experience was so enjoyable that I asked them back for a Christmas reunion. Just to remind you, Come Love a Cowboy contains eight stand-alone contemporary western romance novellas from bestselling and award-winning authors–stories about bronco busters, wealthy ranchers, bad boys and firefighters. And it’s still only 99 cents at myBook.to/Come-Love-A-Cowboy
Of course, as it’s the season of gift-giving and presents, the authors here have all agreed to give away books to readers who leave comments below. And the winners are: Cheryl Pierson, Linda Kelley, and Sherry for Hebby Roman’s prizes; Beverly Wells and Linda Tillis won Caroline Clemmons’ books, Patti Sherry-Crews’ winner was Charlotte O’Shay, Anni Fife was Keta Diablo’s winner, and Judy Tucker was Julie D’Arcy’s winner. My thanks to everyone who left a comment and to all our readers for taking the time to stop by. Happy Holidays!
Before I hand over the reins, let me take this opportunity to wish y’all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. Blessings of the holiday season to you all.
Thanks to Andi for graciously sharing her blog. To thank you for stopping by I’ll be giving away a copy of my new Christmas book, ANGEL FOR CHRISTMAS, to two people who comment today.
I’m Caroline Clemmons, an award-winning and Amazon bestselling author of contemporary and historical western romances. My Hero and I live in North Central Texas cowboy country with a menagerie of rescued pets.
The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve is my favorite time of year. Filled with anticipation for the big day, I love decorating the house and keeping family traditions. Because of our allergies, we have artificial trees. I hang our lifetime collection of ornaments on our large tree in the living room. By the time all the decorations are added, the tree looks real—what little you can see of it. In the family room, we use only white lights on a tall, slender tree that fits in a corner. This year in the dining room, I’m adding a Thomas Kincade table-top tree with tiny buildings set in the branches. Beneath it, I’ll arrange the tiny village buildings I’ve collected over the years that have turned out to be the same size as those on the tree and a matching wreath.
Our celebration begins with tamales and other TexMex dishes for Christmas Eve supper. Then, after my husband reads the story of the first Christmas from the Bible, we open our gifts. One of my favorite family traditions is one that isn’t very old.
When our youngest daughter learned who filled the Christmas stockings, she was appalled. “That’s not fair,” she said. “You’re never surprised on Christmas morning.” That year, she started wrapping something small and slipping it into my stocking. The idea caught on and my mom started doing the same thing. Although my mom has passed on, each remaining member of our small family sneaks a wrapped present into the others’ stockings. So, even Mrs. Santa has surprises in her stocking on Christmas morning.
This year I’ve written something new for me, my first book with an angel as a hero, ANGEL FOR CHRISTMAS. Here’s the blurb:
When dot com billionaire Jacob crashes his sports car into a tree, he wakes up in heaven facing angels Gabriel and Michael. Jacob’s given a chance to redeem his carefree ways by helping an orphanage avoid foreclosure and regain a sound financial picture by midnight Christmas Eve. To do so, he’s sent back to earth as orphanage janitor, Jacob Porter.
After her father died four months ago, child psychologist Suzi Stephens was shocked to learn Serenity Springs Children’s Home and Elementary School faced foreclosure unless she meets a balloon note due January 1. She can’t understand why her late father broke the trust her grandfather had carefully crafted to protect the private children’s home then used that money to speculate on bad investments. She’s afraid the annual gala won’t raise enough money to pay the note much less the needed year’s operating funds. Trying to do her job plus step into her late father’s shoes has stretched her to her limits.
Suzi’s suspicious of the handsome new janitor, who appears more like he’d be at home in a CEO’s office. Could he be a spy for the developer who covets the children’s home property? Suzi overcomes her distrust enough to allow Jacob’s help raising funds. Working together, their attraction escalates but Jacob has nothing to offer the beautiful redhead. After all, he’s scheduled for earthly removal at midnight on December 24.
Buy link at Amazon: http://amzn.com/B01N58VPPB
Sign up for my newsletter to receive a free novella and learn about contests, giveaways, and new releases.
Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered for a chance at an e-book!
HEBBY ROMAN is a multi-published, award-winning, and Amazon best-selling author of both historical and contemporary romances. She is one of the pioneer authors of multi-cultural romances with an emphasis on the Latino culture. Please visit her website at: http://www.hebbyroman.com
Her latest release is Book 3, “A Mistletoe Christmas,” from her best-selling “West Texas Christmas Trilogy.” You can purchase “A Mistletoe Christmas” at: https://www.amazon.com/Mistletoe-Christmas-West-Texas-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B01M749Z6D/ or read it for free on Kindle Unlimited.
My Favorite Thing for Christmas
My favorite thing to do at Christmas is to decorate our Christmas tree with ornaments I’ve collected all my life. What got me started collecting ornaments was when my best friend made glazed cookie bake ones. They were whimsical and individually hand-made, and it might be hard to believe (that was the late 1970’s), but I still have lots of them left. Before children, I relaxed after work by sewing my own needlepoint ornaments. Unhappily, when I lost my immediate family, I inherited my childhood ornaments, and my most cherished ones were handmade by my favorite aunt in the 1950’s.
With this eclectic start, I embraced diversity and added to my collection every year. Most of my ornaments have some kind of memento value, including a Hallmark dancing moose figurine, picked by my son. When I remarried, my new husband brought quite a few decorations, too. Some were handmade by his mother from lace, and his two sons contributed their favorites, like Snoopy and Garfield. We added my husband’s ornaments to my collection as we melded together to become a new family.
Through the years, I’ve added to my collection at ornament swapping parties, and by purchasing unusual figurines that catch my attention. I also look for ornaments when we go on vacation to commemorate the places we’ve visited. I love the beach, and I have quite a few starfish, various glass fishes, pelicans, sea gulls, and beach house ornaments. And because I live in Texas, I have more than twenty cowboy-themed decorations, including a bow-legged cowboy, spurs, longhorns, boots, Stetsons, six-shooters, and my very favorite ornament, a cowboy on a bucking bull from the Mesquite rodeo.
For me, Christmas tree ornaments constitutes the perfect microcosm of my life. They’re small, easy to store, and each Christmas, when you unwrap them, it’s like greeting an old friend again.
A MISTLETOE CHRISTMAS
Ginny Brown is a poor seamstress’ daughter who worships the ground Chad MacKillian walks on… from afar. For as long as she can remember, she’s been in love with the prominent rancher. Befriended by Chad’s sister, Ginny overcomes her shyness when Chad finally notices her.
Unknown to Ginny or his sister, Chad is already engaged to the neighboring rancher’s daughter, but their engagement is a business arrangement. The more time Chad spends with Ginny, the more he questions his future plans. Torn between honoring his engagement and his growing feelings for Ginny, he avoids making a decision.
When Chad’s fiancée catches him kissing Ginny beneath the mistletoe, she breaks their engagement. Chad is relieved to be free, but Ginny is humiliated and has had enough of his inconstancy. Faced with losing Ginny and fighting off outlaws bent on revenge, Chad begs Ginny to marry him. But can Chad convince Ginny he really loves her and is eager for her to be his wife.
Hebby is giving away any three of her eBooks of winners’ choosing.
JULIE A.D’ARCY hales from Bendigo, Australia. Since 1994, she has written numerous novels and shorter works in the Fantasy and Paranormal romance genre. Julie’s first published novel won the 1999 Dorothy Parker RIO Award for Women’s fiction and she has gone on to be nominated and shortlisted for several other prestigious awards.
Christmas has always been a big celebration in our house, as a child, an adult with my children (two girls) and now as a grandmother.
As a mother I would fill a Santa sack with small presents and sweets and sneak them onto my girl’s beds in the night, there was nothing like the sound of small screams of delight issuing from their rooms with the discovery of each present. We would then have a few presents under the tree, have lunch then open the family gifts. Usually family would come over or we would congregate at a relative’s house, taking turns with my Mum or sisters.
With my girls grown now with families of their own, Phil and I share a small personal present in the morning then usually head off to one of my daughter’s places. Most of the time it’s to my eldest daughter Errin. She enjoys putting on Christmas lunch as she is a chef and loves catering.
We usually have around ten people and after lunch we do the Christmas tree, with one person playing Santa with a Santa hat on, passing out the presents which have all been placed under the tree. After a very satisfying day of food and good company Phil and I usually travel onto his daughter’s place where we are joined by his son and girlfriend and we exchange gifts, then have a small but enjoyable dinner. After a day of much fun and good food we journey home and collapse exhausted, but I would not have missed it for the world .
What if sorcerers had been real? What if magick had been a massive cover-up?
A world is ravaged by a war of demons and sorcery that no human can combat. Rastehm is on the verge of destruction.
Silverdawn, daughter of Mikkasah, born to the magick.
Mikkasah is forced to send his daughter into the unknown future of the 20th century.
A dark knight becomes her savior.
Faren Malaan, Knight of Paladia of the Kingdom of Rastehm, is sent forward in time to track and retrieve the Crystal Pyramid. Mikkasah’s Astronomers have learned that the pyramid, which shifts through the portals of time, is cracked. And if not restored Isanti’s demons may soon escape.
Through sheer luck Istani was not imprisoned by the Goddess Deharna. He also travels through time. However, he must body hop, taking over the bodies of innocents and casting them aside when he has done with them. But this time Istani is trapped in the body he inhabits. The sickly, weak body of Peter Waymer. His only escape from the cancer eating away at him is to find the Pyramid, release his demons and have them in turn heal him. With one thought in mind after his release, to wreak destruction upon mankind!
AVAILABLE AT http://www.iheartbookpublishing.com/silverdawn.
Julie is giving away a .pdf of her book, The Dragon and The Rose
KETA DIABLO lives in the Midwest part of the country and loves to read and garden. She donates her time to the local food shelves and several animal shelters in the area.
Her latest release is Comes An Outlaw, a western romance with a ghost as a secondary character.
You can sign up for Keta’s newsletter to learn more about her books here: http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com/p/linksl.html
Best of the Best Christmas Memories…
Oh…from my childhood, what wonderful Holiday memories I have. Times were simpler then, less chaotic, far less commercial and centered around family gatherings, especially at Christmas. Christmas Eve was reserved for immediate family, Christmas Day for cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.
By the time my children came along, I was quite burned out by the ‘commercial’ aspect of Christmas. The Holiday Season surrounded us everywhere we went and not necessarily in a good way. Vendors and stores hawked their Christmas wares before Thanksgiving and television flooded the channels with ads about the same time.
I wondered what had happened to the ‘true meaning’ of Christmas, whether that included the birth of Christ, the joyous occasion of Hanukkah, cherishing family or taking stock of our personal lives all year long. I wanted my kids to know Christmas wasn’t about counting an overflow of presents under the tree or ‘expecting’ the latest high-tech gadget they’d asked for (and usually received).
With that in mind, I called a local nursing home one year and asked for the first names and ages of three needy residents. I particularly wanted to know if these people had family that visited them on a regular basis. When the nursing assistant provided me with three names, I made an appointment to visit the nursing home with my children the day before Christmas Eve.
You can imagine the grumbling and pushback I received. They weren’t particularly fond of visiting a smelly old nursing home or visiting with people they’d never met. In return, I pushed back with an ultimatum: You can opt out of the nursing home visit but only if you’re willing to forfeit your gifts under the tree. It didn’t take them long to decide to go along with yet another of Mom’s whacky ideas.
My children are adults now and one thing we often talk about at Christmas is the year we visited the nursing home. The say they’ll never forget the look on Donald’s face when he placed his new jump suit into a dresser drawer, the tears in Marguerite’s eyes when she clutched her new slippers to her chest or the look of pure enjoyment on their faces when we joined all the residents for a Christmas Carol sing-a-long.
I cherish that memory above all the others, the year we cut through the glam and glitter of Christmas and realized what really matters in life…giving to others who are needy or lonely.
I’m waiting for the day my children announce they’re taking their children to a homeless shelter, a food kitchen or a nursing home to give back some of the many blessings they have in life.
For me, that would be the most memorable Christmas ever.
COMES AN OUTLAW
When a tragic accident claims her husband’s life, Jesse Santos must find a way to keep the ranch, the only home her 12-year-old son has ever known. The ranch hands have abandoned her, a gang of cutthroat ranchers want her land and an ancient Yaqui Indian insists a spirit has taken up residence in the house.
After a fifteen-year absence, her husband’s brother, Coy, returns to his childhood home. He doesn’t plan on staying, and he certainly doesn’t intend to settle down with a widow and her son…no matter how pretty she is.
He’s an outlaw, after all, and made a decision to put an end to his gun-slinging days long ago. Will his conscience let him walk away from family, or will his heart overrule his head?
Keta will be giving away an eBook of one of her novels of the winner’s choice.
PATTI SHERRY-CREWS lives in Evanston, Il. She writes contemporary novels as well as historic western and medieval romances. Her novella, Desert Heat, in Come Love a Cowboy was her first contemporary western. Discover more about Patti at https://www.amazon.com/Patti-Sherry-Crews/e/B01C7L8QUU/
The Truth About Santa
That moment you learn the truth about Santa. Did you feel the magic drain out of your world?
For me, it was finding a can of dog food in the dog’s stocking—the same kind we had in our pantry. I knew then. In retrospect, I wonder why that did it for me. Surely, Santa knew what kind of dog food my dog preferred, so why did that tip me off?
I think there is an unspoken coalition between parents who are tired of playing Santa and kids who are ready to stop believing. Maybe the year my parents decided they weren’t making a special trip to buy toys and treats for the dog was the year I, too, was ready.
I remember the year my daughter discovered the truth, because I had to tell her. I’d been too busy to go shopping for the stocking stuffers that year. I put it off until the last minute: Christmas Eve with the stores closing at 4:00. Unfortunately, I couldn’t shake my daughter. She was on me all day like tinsel on a tree.
I watched the time slipping away with growing anxiety. At last I tried to sneak out of the house, but just before I could drive away, who shows up at the passenger side? My daughter ready to go with me.
As I hurtled down the street leading to the grocery store, I tried to come up with a plan. No, she was too young to ditch. As we pulled into the parking lot, I turned to her and said, “Okay, here’s the deal. I’m Santa and you’re Santa’s little helper.” To my surprise she wasn’t devastated. She was thrilled! And so began a new tradition we’ve kept up to this day. On Christmas Eve my little helper and I go shopping for stocking stuffers—and it’s much more fun that way!
ONE WINTER KNIGHT
Hear ye, hear ye! Looking for medieval romance? Tales of knights and their ladies abound in ONE WINTER KNIGHT, a wonderful collection of medieval holiday novellas for your reading pleasure! You’ll be held spellbound by this boxed set of captivating stories from some of today’s top medieval authors, as well as some rising stars in this up-and-coming genre. Lindsay Townsend, Deborah Macgillivray, Cynthia Breeding, Keena Kincaid, Cheryl Pierson, Beverly Wells, Patti Sherry-Crews, and Linda Carroll-Bradd have woven eight excellent Yuletide tales of love lost and found that are sure to keep you reading far into the night. Laced with holiday traditions and the excitement of a bold, dangerous era, Prairie Rose Publications is proud to offer yet another wonderful boxed set of medieval Christmas tales for your reading pleasure. This collection of novellas makes a wonderful holiday gift for hours of entertaining reading—for others, or for yourself! These stories are certain to keep you enthralled as you read on to find out how these knights and ladies find their very own “happily-ever-after” endings ONE WINTER KNIGHT…
Patti will be giving away an eBook copy of Margarita and the Hired Gun
BE SURE TO LEAVE A COMMENT TO BE IN THE RUNNING FOR ONE OF OUR PRIZES!!