December 14 – A. S. Crowder


Let’s welcome AS! Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the post.



The holidays are always a little weird for me. I work on an academic schedule and, whatever you may think about the amount of “time off” people who work on school schedules get, you’re probably mistaken. Things don’t really slow down for me at the holidays, so I have to make myself take a breath and focus on holiday-ing. Over the years, I’ve picked up a few strategies for how to do this, but the one that’s always worked best is to take some time to sit down and watch my favorite Christmas movie.

I know people love the animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and I know the Rankin Bass Claymation specials are dear to many hearts, but for me, it’s not Christmas until I’ve watched A Muppet Christmas Carol.

This movie is a hat-trick for me: it’s my favorite Muppet movie, my favorite adaptation of A Christmas Carol, and my favorite Christmas movie (incidentally, my second favorite holiday movie, Home Alone 2, shared the same theatrical release weekend).

A Muppet Christmas Carol has an interesting place in the pantheon of Muppet movies. It was really the first Muppet project pitched following Jim Henson’s death in 1990. It was the first non-theme park collaboration between Henson’s workshop and Disney to see success. The movie was originally intended as a made-for-TV project for Disney-owned ABC before Disney offered to purchase the script for theatrical production (and then, subsequently, to produce the next feature-length Muppet film and produce the Muppets Tonight TV program).

It is, for a movie in which most of the major characters are played by puppets, remarkably grounded—moreso than most of the Muppet movies, including other Muppet adaptations of classic literary works (looking at you, Muppet Treasure Island). Part of this is due to Michael Caine, the movie’s Ebenezer Scrooge, who took the role on the condition that he be allowed to play it straight. Sure, the cast is full of puppets, and there are breaks for singing and choreography, but Scrooge’s core emotional journey—the transformation upon which the Dickensian tale depends—is presented without wink or smile to the…Muppetness of its surroundings.

By the same token, the movie doesn’t get lost in the seriousness of the subject matter. My main issue with other adaptations of A Christmas Carol is that they are often not allowed much in the way of levity. It’s a serious story, yes, and Scrooge, until his metamorphosis, is a joyless character—but that really only works if we see lightness in the characters around him. Sure, a scene with penguins skating on a London street might not be the most realistic depiction of life in Dickens’s London, but it does give us a great comparison between Scrooge’s lonely, dim walk home from his office and Bob Cracthit’s (Kermit the Frog) more personal engagement with the world around him.

To be honest, I spend a pretty hefty chunk of my holiday season feeling like Scrooge—wrapped up in my work, concerned with making ends meet, not particularly interested in making time to connect with friends or family. I think that’s the reason that I choose to start my “official” holidays with this movie. It’s a gentle reminder: joy and connection are as much choice as anything. Remember to engage. Look up from the work. Let in the warmth.

If you’ve never seen The Muppet Christmas Carol, I really encourage you to check it out. It may not be cinematic history the way that some Christmas movies are, and it may not have the nostalgia factor to it that other films do, but it’s warm and comforting as hot cocoa. If nothing else, I hope it can give you a little of the warmth it’s given me over the years.

Happy holidays.

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December 13th – Amy McClung


Let’s welcome Amy! Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the post.

Top Ten Favorite Holiday Movies

  1. A Christmas Story – “You’ll shoot your eye out!” I’ve been known to watch the 24 hour marathon that runs on Christmas Eve/Christmas day. The jokes in this movie still make me laugh even when I watch it five times in a row. “Daddy’s gonna kill Ralphie!”
  2. Love Actually – Since this movie came out, I watch it at least 10 times a year. I can recite the entire thing line for line and I never get tired of watching it. After hassling my husband for twelve years I finally got him to sit down and watch it!
  3. Home Alone 1 & 2 – These are my guilty pleasure movies. I know they are completely off base and the robbers should have been dead several times over, but I can’t stop watching!
  4. Mickey’s Christmas Carol – This short holiday movie has some of the best moments in it. Plus, I love anything and everything Disney.
  5. The Santa Clause 1 & 2 – Yes I know there is a third movie but it’s creepy and I don’t like to speak of it.
  6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas – I love both the animated and the live action Jim Carrey version
  7. It’s a Wonderful Life – For years I avoided this movie because they played it WAY too often on TV. But now, watching it once a year is the perfect holiday treat.
  8. A Muppet’s Christmas Carol – Another one with many great lines and jokes that never get old.
  9. A Very Brady Christmas – This one will be bittersweet this year because Florence Henderson passed away. The Brady family’s semi-dysfunctional Christmas reminds me a lot of my own family.
  10. Scrooged – Bill ‘effin’ Murray, need I say more?

Author Bio:

Amy McClung was born in Nashville, TN. She is the second oldest of four girls and occasionally suffers from middle child syndrome. She met the love of her life online in August of 2004, on his birthday of all days, and married him in September 2005. Currently they have no human children only the room full of colourful robots that transform into vehicles and the large headed Pop Funko’s who represent their favourite characters. Collecting movies, shotglasses, Pop Funkos, and dust bunnies are some of her favourite pastimes. She began writing in September of 2011 and independently published her first YA novel called Cascades of Moonlight, Book one of the Parker Harris Series the following May. Her first book was a means of therapy for her as it enabled her to escape reality for a while during a difficult transition in her life.

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Love never factored into her agenda, but sometimes fate alters plans.

Marie has her twenties planned out. Her dream to see all fifty states before she turns twenty-five finally comes true. With a two-year trip ahead of her, she says good-bye to her family and her best friend Jayce. Though fearing the trip could change their friendship forever, a pact is formed. They’re determined not to let distance impact on their relationship.

Amidst triumph and heartache, new relationships and friendships, Marie soon discovers her journey is so much more than an adventure. Instead, she finally realizes where she truly belongs



Tempting Scrooge

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A Christmas Makeover by Amy McClung
Thatcher Cole’s Grinch-like attitude clashes with Skye’s jolly-holiday stance. When Skye’s house needs a makeover, it’s not the only transformation occurring this holiday season.

The Massive Giveaway with loads of Prizes.


December 12th – Ashlea Rhodes


Let’s welcome Ashlea! Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the post.

Hello all, I’m Ashlea and I jumped on board when Dahlia said she wanted to do something fun for Christmas. I just love love Christmas and it’s one of my most busiest times and when I’m the most poor. But first a bit about me before we get into the magic of Christmas. I’m a newish author with 3 stories out. One of them happens to be a Christmas story Snow’s Christmas Wish fitting isn’t it. Wishes and Christmas just seem to go hand in hand. It is a part of an anthology called A Very

I’m a newish author with 3 stories out. One of them happens to be a Christmas story Snow’s Christmas Wish fitting isn’t it. Wishes and Christmas just seem to go hand in hand. It is a part of an anthology called A Very Werey Christmas and sadly this is the last Christmas the anthology will be published. It’s rather heart breaking. I first published my first book Portal back in November 2015 and 4 days later on the 24th A Very

I first published my first book Portal back in November 2015 and 4 days later on the 24th A Very Werey Christmas was published. It was not planned but happened that way. Crazy right. My third story Sealed with a Loving Kiss was published in the middle of this year in the anthology Unintentional International Edition I have to thank Hot Tree for taking a chance on my stories. They have shown me I could be so much more than I even thought I could be. Now my 4th book Mark to her Heart will be released February 2017 but not sure of the date just yet. It is a contemporary romance based around the Australian sport AFL.

Now enough about me and my books on to Christmas magic. Let’s talk gifts, food and the magic of Christmas as a child.
First gifts, as I have gotten older I find myself thinking longer and harder about the perfect gifts the sort that fits the person I’m buying for to a T. This sometimes takes me months and I tend to start thinking it all over in the middle of the year. Sadly this year I have rather left a lot of it to the last minute. Sigh naughty me.
Foods, now as an Australian the world thinks we all do stuff like sea food for Christmas but that’s not true. Though the last 10 years I have notice more families turning to that option. But not my family, we are rather English and even though it’s hot we will cook up roast and Yorkshire Pudding yum yum so good. Though we have started buying roast chickens the day before and cooling them down to have cold chicken as an option on the day. But still with the yummy hot gravy.
The magical wonder of Christmas as a child so a memory that will last with me forever and I hope my children will enjoy Christmas like I did one day. There was something about Christmas Eve that always seemed more wonderful then Christmas it was like the magic in the air was stronger. Or maybe it was just the months of build up to Christmas that by the time it’s Christmas Eve it’s finally hit the highest it can get. Seeing my cousins and watching Christmas movies and carols on TV was always magical. One of the things we would do is all go outside after the TV said Santa should be in the sky by now and looking at the stars wondering if this year we would see Santa and his reindeer. Mum and dad would then take my brother and I to see the most magical house I have ever seen. It was the most done up house every year and it just got bigger and bigger it told stories and had all these little section with different things. We went every year till the guy died and it stopped being done.
The years that followed feel a little less magical in my memories as if that house was a key to unlocking the true magic. It brought everyone together it held so much hope for all. It’s something I won’t forget. Nor the Christmas my brother woke me up saying “Santa is here.” And with bleary eyes we hide behind the pool table and watched as Santa put gifts under our tree. Christmas was truly magical and I thank my mum and dad for making sure it was even though the hard times were money was hard to come by you still made sure my brother and I got to have wonderful memories. Christmas brings people together and that will always be my Christmas wish to have my loved ones close to me.

Now links to my books and to the massive giveaway that Dahlia is running are below I hope you enjoy. And have a Very Merry Christmas.
Unintentional International Edition:

December 9th – Megan Lowe


Let’s welcome Megan Lowe! Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the post.

I daresay Christmas in Australia is a little different to what you in the Northern Hemisphere are used to. Obviously for us, it’s Summer at Christmas which means not so many chestnuts roasting on a open fire and more mangoes, cold meats and seafood.

For my family and me we spend Christmas gathered at one of our houses, the doors wide open, kids in the pool. The men gather round the barbeque, beers in hand, the women, the kitchen, picking at the Caesar salad that won’t make it to the table.

I like to think Christmases in Australia are unique. Roasts are swapped for cold meats and seafood is always a plenty. Prawns, Moreton Bay bugs (yes they’re actually a thing), lobster if you want to get fancy. Stone fruit (mangoes, peaches, nectarines, cherries) also are prominent, featuring in trifles and pavolvas.

I love the fact a southern hemisphere Christmas is so different to what the majority of the world’s population experiences. Australia is a unique country, with unique people and a beautiful landscape. I’d love to one day have a white Christmas but I think what we get each year is pretty perfect too, even if we are trying not to melt in the heat!
Here’s a recipe that will warm your heart, or just make you tipsy enough to forget the heat!

Rum Ball Recipe Ingredients
• 1 packet plain sweet biscuits (Nice, Arrowroot, Marie or Wheatmeal Biscuits)
• 3 tblspns cocoa powder, sifted to remove lumps
• 1 cup desiccated coconut
• 1 can sweetened condensed milk
• 4 tblspns rum (Bundaberg rum works well)
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup extra coconut (for rolling finished balls in)
Rum Ball Recipe Method
Finely crush biscuits in a food processor (or you could put them into a zip lock bag and crush with a rolling pin). Add cocoa power, coconut, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and rum to crushed biscuits. Combine all ingredients well (you should end up with a stiff mixture). If it is a particularly hot day, or your mixture isn’t quite stiff enough for the balls to hold their shape, put the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes or so before rolling.
Take large teaspoons of mixture and roll into balls using your hands, then roll balls in extra coconut to coat. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet or shallow plastic container and put in freezer. Once frozen, put into a container and keep in the freezer until ready to use.
Rum balls will last for weeks in the freezer, so you might want to make a couple of batches, well in advance of Christmas. For a great Christmas gift idea place 5-6 balls into the centre of a square of cellophane, bring ends of cellophane together in a parcel and tie with a ribbon.
If you have some extra time, and want to make the Rum Balls slightly more special, take whole roasted almond or macadamia nuts, encase in the Rum Ball mixture, roll into balls, then dip into melted chocolate and place in the freezer.


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Breaking the Cycle.
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No Place to Hide
Out March 11, 2017!

The Massive Giveaway with loads of Prizes.


December 8th – Jolyse Barnett


Let’s welcome Jolyse! Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the post.


Hey, romance readers!

Thanks so much to Dahlia for inviting me to join her incredible Holiday Party! I’m excited to be here with you all. I savor the holiday season so much, that one of my writer pals asked me a few years ago if I’d like to join her and two other author friends in writing a Christmas romance series. Of course I jumped at the opportunity. That project turned into CHRISTMAS LIGHT, my debut romance novella. That same title just so happened to be chosen this holiday season by Bookbub as one of its December Recommended Reads.

Link to USA Today’s Happy Ever After Article:

CHRISTMAS LIGHT also just so happens to be FREE on all major e-tailers for a limited time! So you’re your copy while this deal lasts! (Even though this title is Book #3 of a 4 book series, all are stand-along stories with their own romance and HEA.)

Bookbub Link for Christmas Light Promotion:

Jolyse’s Top Ten Favorite Holiday Traditions

  1. Shopping on the morning after Black Friday—all the deals without the crowds
  2. Listening to traditional Christmas carols
  3. Choosing and buying gifts for adopt-a-family children with the help of my two kids
  4. Baking and decorating sugar cookies
  5. Watching holiday movies
  6. Driving around the neighborhood as a family and checking out all the beautifully decorated homes
  7. Partying with extended family on Christmas Eve
  8. Relaxing on the sofa with a glass of wine and my Honey on Christmas Eve—after the kids go to bed
  9. Opening our gifts together as a family on Christmas morning
  10. Christmas dinner—ham and all the trimmings

Now it’s your turn! What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?


I love to get to know other romance readers. Connect with me via your favorite social hangouts.






Author Bio:

A country girl at heart, Jolyse Barnett is living her happily-ever-after in Long Island suburbia with her real-life hero, a pair of incredible kids, and spoiled cat. Author of sexy, small town romances, including the #1 Bestselling Kindle Free novella, Christmas Light, she also enjoys crafting urban romantic comedies such as Text Me, Maybe and romantic suspense. Jolyse’s newest release is One More Sunset, Book One in the Mystic Escapes series, and a Key West romantic thriller with a dash of magic titled. Keep up with all Jolyse Barnett news at

The Massive Giveaway with loads of Prizes.




December 7th – Books N Pearls


Let’s welcome Nicole! Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the post.


Hello everyone! I run Books N Pearls Book Blog. I’d like to share a holiday memory and recipe and introduce you to an awesome author.

When I was growing up, we spent every Christmas Eve visiting my grandparents. My grandmother invited her sisters and their families, in addition to her own three children. We all ran around like mad people, pushing each other to play the broken piano, eating more cookies than we were allowed, and drinking Grandma’s special punch. It was orange (in color), tasted so delicious, and I could never get enough.

When I was planning my sixteenth birthday party, I asked my grandmother for the recipe. She was hesitant, and told me I had to make a substitution… because her secret ingredient was peach schnapps.

So I’m going to share this recipe with you. I hope you try it and enjoy.


Grandma’s Holiday Punch

1 can frozen orange juice concentrate

1 can frozen lemonade

1 can frozen pineapple juice

1 can of either frozen peach juice or fill a can with peach schnapps

2 liters of Ginger Ale (I have also substituted any lemon-lime soda)

16 oz orange sherbet

Stir together well, add lots of ice

For a fun addition, freeze maraschino cherries in orange juice ice cubes.


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Spanish Nights by Valerie Twombly

Bound to earth when his powers are ripped away, Armand settles into a mundane existence in a small Spanish village. With the exception of his brother Crone, the jinn has not seen his family in decades. When he discovers a dark-haired beauty has rented a local villa, he sets his sites on the art of seduction. But what he discovers could change his life forever.

After a bitter divorce and a lacking love life, Makayla finds her muse is missing in action. At the urging of a friend, she travels to Spain in the hopes of writing her next best seller. When a mysterious stranger comes bearing a welcome gift, she finds herself attracted to his intense blue eyes and killer body.

What begins as desire in the steamy nights of Spain, quickly leads to a bond neither fully understand. However, when evil emerges from the shadows, they must choose between Makayla’s mortality and Armand’s freedom.

Available at all major retailers:

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The Massive Giveaway with loads of Prizes.


December 6th – Paranormally Yours


Let’s welcome Kim! Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the post.

Hello everyone, and welcome to Paranormaly Yours Book Blog & Reviews!  My name is Kim, and for day 6 of Dahlia’s Holiday Party, you have been brought to a book blog review site.  If you don’t know what a book blogger does, or what a review site is, then please let me explain…

A book blogger is someone who’s passionate about books, and takes their love of books to a whole new level by helping authors in any way they can.  How do we help, let us count the ways!  For one, we will review their book at no charge in exchange for an honest review.  Reviews are what make their books seen!  Two, we sign up to promote their books via social media.  Twitter and Facebook are our friends when it comes to promo’s!  And three, posting blog tours, cover reveals and sales on our website for a wider range of people to see.  How do you get followers to see these promo’s you ask?  Well I host numerous giveaways, offering books, (both signed paperbacks and ebooks), and book swag galore!  Readers LOVE to win signed books, and get the hard to get your hands on book swag 😉  I hope this helps you understand, if just a little of what book bloggers do.  Please take a look around the site, you may find someone new!


 In my christian based belief house we celebrate Christmas on December 25th .  Neither one of us, (my husband and I) had any real family traditions from our parents to pass on when we had kids, so we made our own as the years rolled along.  One of our favorite traditions to do each Christmas is to count down the days to Christmas with our favorite Christmas movies!  Each year the list has changed, (they had to be age appropriate) and as the children get older, the movie selection has gotten more fun.  Here is the beginnings of our list for this year so far:


1)  Arthur’s Perfect Christmas, (A throw back for our oldest)

2)  Elf

3)  How The Grinch Stole Christmas

4)  Jingle All The Way

5)  Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special

6)  Polar Express

7)  Home Alone

8)  The Santa Claus 2

9)  Home Alone 2

10) The Santa Claus 3

11) A Christmas Story

Now the Christmas Story movie is ALWAYS watched on Christmas Eve, ALWAYS!  We LOVE that movie!  We even took a trip to Cleveland to see the house!  LOVE IT!  I would love to hear your family traditions, so please feel free to share!


Now that you have taken a look around to see what I’m all about, here are my social links if you would like to stalk the blog!  I would love to have you join the patrol, and subscribe to my email updates.  Each month I hold a giveaway for subscribers only, and a random follower wins just for being a subscriber.  Thank you for stopping by, and I hope to see you around…OH, and don’t forget to enter in Dahlia’s Giveaway, there is a little something in there from me 😉  Good luck!


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The Massive Giveaway with loads of Prizes.