December 20 – Liz Bower

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


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Thank you, Dahlia, for inviting me to join your holiday party!

Christmas starts for me when I go shopping for a tree with my husband. I love the smell of a real tree. But the fun starts once we get it home and start to decorate it to cheesy Christmas songs playing in the background. A glass of mulled wine and a mince pie or two may also be involved!

One holiday tradition I started about ten years ago is to buy a small present that we open on Christmas Eve. Of course, this also includes a present for my dog –Barney­– who hates being left out!

And it wouldn’t be Christmas without watching Love Actually. Although I usually end up watching it by myself!

Do you have any Christmas traditions?


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Find out more about my books at: www.lizbower.com or follow me on Facebook or Twitter

Buy link: https://lizbower.com/bookshelf/


The Massive Giveaway with loads of Prizes.

Here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5ffd4d3116/?

December 19 – Randi Perrin

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


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Christmas trees have always been a big deal to me, and growing up they were a constant source of disappointment.

First of all, my parents never believed in putting up the tree until the weekend before Christmas. REALLY? We were total scrooges until the weekend before Christmas. That just felt like such a cop-out, especially because Mom had her Christmas shopping done long before then.

Then they decided to get environmentally friendly. Instead of chopping down a tree (well, okay, buying one from a Christmas tree lot that had been sawed down by some unknown middleman), they decided to buy a “live” tree. If you’re not familiar with a “live” tree, it’s a normal Christmas tree, but instead of chopping it down, they dig up the root ball with it, so after the holidays you plant the thing instead of dragging a tinsel-covered fire safety violation to the curb, hoping the trash men weren’t being jerks and would actually take it.

The problem with these trees wasn’t that they were supposed to receive new life in my yard. But we went from rocking a beautiful, gorgeous, full-size tree in our living room with a vaulted ceiling to a baby of a tree that wasn’t taller than me. I’m a short person (five-one, if we’re being generous). It just felt like such a let-down.

I hated those little trees so much, I wrote a poem every year called “I Hate Little Christmas Trees” to express my dislike of them. All that earned was the promise for them to do it all again the following year. We did that live tree thing for three years and not a single one survived the transition from living room to our yard. Guess that’s why you’re not supposed to plant trees in December.

After the failed live tree experiment, my parents did the unthinkable.

They. Bought. An. Artificial. Tree.

That was blasphemy. I mean, what kind of crap was that? Especially from my parents who both grew up on a farm. (Not the same one, mind you. We’re not that kind of family.) “But it’s taller,” they told me. Yes, it was bigger, but it was fake, fake, fake. It was almost as bad as if we didn’t even bother putting up a tree.

The poem that year was “I Hate Fake Christmas Trees.”

Fast forward to my life now.

We decorate the house the weekend after Thanksgiving. Because Christmas is my favorite, I love it, and I want the tree to be up as long as possible. I hate Thanksgiving, so I’d probably be okay putting it up right after Halloween, but shhhh, don’t tell my daughter that or it will actually happen. (Why don’t I just do it? With Christmas trees comes Christmas music and I don’t like Christmas music. I’m aware of the irony. I don’t care.)

We actually have four trees in our house.

Four.

One in my daughter’s room she decorates however she wants. One in my bedroom that’s decorated with my collection of moose ornaments. The big one in the living room that’s decorated in University of Kentucky colors and ornaments (because December is basketball season, baby). A fourth at the top of the stairs which contains the cluster of personalized ornaments that don’t go with any of the themes.

In perhaps the greatest form of irony ever, all four trees are artificial.

Yes. I jumped on the artificial tree bandwagon. Wait… wait… I have my reasons. One, I wound up hating the smell of pine. (I blame it on those live trees, that reeked of it more than cut trees.) Two, and this is the most important, I have cats. Now, having artificial doesn’t really stop the cats from chewing on my tree, but it slows them down. (Worst of all, this year we only have two of the four up. I can’t handle chasing the five-month-old kitten from tree to tree with a spray bottle. I have things to do, books to write, Christmas presents to shop for.)

I haven’t written a character with a Christmas tree obsession yet, but give it time and it’ll happen. There are subtle hints, though. Destin, in Virtue of Death, has a Christmas birthday. Writing Christmas with that family would definitely be interesting.

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At eighteen, Sera Moore chose to go to culinary school while a higher power selected her to become an angel, specifically, an angel of death.

Now, twelve years later, Sera’s a successful baker during the day and performs her angelic duties at night. The only thing missing in her life is a man, but the last thing she wants is to fall head over wings in love.

But when a tenacious food critic won’t take a hint, can Sera lower her wings long enough to risk her heart one more time?

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/book/show/30288429-virtue-of-death
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2fYXifj
Amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01KH1WXK6/
Amazon AU: www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01KH1WXK6/
Amazon CA: www.amazon.ca/dp/B01KH1WXK6/
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1144480612
Nook: http://www.bn.com/w/books/1124368386
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/virtue-of-death
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-virtueofdeath-2087681-149.html?referrer=581aa64a414fa

books2read.com/virtueofdeath

Stalk me links:

Website: randiperrin.com

Blog: randiperrin.wordpress.com

Facebook: facebook.com/randiperrinwrites

Twitter: twitter.com/RandiPerrin

Pinterest: pinterest.com/RandiPerrin

Goodreads: goodreads.com/RandiPerrin

Amazon: amazon.com/author/randiperrin


The Massive Giveaway with loads of Prizes.

Here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5ffd4d3116/?

December 14 – A. S. Crowder

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

 


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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.


My social media links:

www.facebook.com/AuthorASCrowder

www.twitter.com/annabeth07

authorascrowder.blogspot.com

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Links to buy my book:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2bH2pNC
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Evin-S-Cr…/…/B01JUT8H56/ref=sr_1_1…
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Evin-S-Crowd…/…/B01JUT8H56/ref=sr_1_1…
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Evin-S-Crowder-ebook/…/ref=sr_1_1…
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/662274
Barnes and Noble (Paperback and Hardcover only): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/evin-as-crowder/1124279713…
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31387704-evin

 

 

Here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5ffd4d3116/?

December 12th – Ashlea Rhodes

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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: http://books2read.com/unintentional

December 9th – Megan Lowe

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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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Author links:
http://www.facebook.com/MeganLoweAuthor
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15026031.Megan_Lowe
http://www.amazon.com/author/meganlowe
http://2rsblog.blogspot.com
http://www.twitter.com/meganlowe87
http://www.instagram.com/meganlowe87
Book links:
Breaking the Cycle.
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29283792-breaking-the-cycle
Amazon US: https://amzn.com/B01FUG5QMA
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01FUG5QMA
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01FUG5QMA
Amazon CA: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01FUG5QMA
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1115208948
Nook: http://www.bn.com/w/1123819135
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-breakingthecycle-2042794-149.html
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/breaking-the-cycle-12
No Place to Hide
TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32912175-no-place-to-hide
Out March 11, 2017!


The Massive Giveaway with loads of Prizes.

Here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5ffd4d3116/?

December 8th – Jolyse Barnett

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


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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: http://happyeverafter.usatoday.com/2016/12/02/romance-ebook-deals-bookbub-jennifer-ryan-jennifer-armentrout/)

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:   https://www.bookbub.com/books/christmas-light-by-jolyse-barnett?ebook_deal

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?

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

Facebook: http://facebook.com/AuthorJolyseBarnett

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JolyseBarnett

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jolysebarnett/

Instagram:  http://instagram.com/JolyseBarnett

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9788820.Jolyse_Barnett

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 http://jolysebarnett.com.


The Massive Giveaway with loads of Prizes.

Here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5ffd4d3116/?

 

 

December 7th – Books N Pearls

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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.

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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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Twitter: http://twitter.com/books_n_pearls

Website: http://booksnpearls.com/

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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: books2read.com/u/b5QjRb

Subscribe to Valerie’s Newletter: http://www.subscribepage.com/valerietwombly


The Massive Giveaway with loads of Prizes.

Here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5ffd4d3116/?