Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas Wishes Romance giveaway ending soon

If you haven’t already participated in the giveaway for a chance to receive free ebooks in several genres, don’t wait. Click through to the page on Connie Bretes’ website or enter through the Rafflecopter below.

 

My giveaway, Silent Signals, is a historical western romance set in December 1887 in Aspen, Colorado with a rancher and a woman who trains shepherding dogs.

Christmas Wishes Romance Ebook Giveaway

Guest Interview with Jean Adams

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

Although I was born in England, I have lived in New Zealand for more than thirty years. I developed an interest in writing romance and founded Romance Writers of New Zealand, which has now been going for more than 21 years.

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

I usually begin with a plot and build the characters into it. However, on one occasion I had a secondary character who I felt deserved her own book, so I built a plot around her. That book turned out to be one of my personal favorites.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

When creating a book, I prefer not to plot in advance. I’ll never write a detailed outline. I tried it once but it was as though the story had already been written, and I never finished it. What I prefer to do is think about the plot for a few days, let it play around in my head, then write a bullet list of things that I want to happen in the scene. Nothing much, just a word or two. That way I don’t forget anything, and if necessary, it’s very easy to adjust the story as I write.

What was your biggest surprise in the editing/revision process?

I’m not so keen on revision. I’m doing that right now with a story, and it’s a real pain because half the story has had to change.  However, I love editing. I enjoy taking a raw, unedited story, expanding on it and making it better by using different phrases, words, etc.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

Yes, I’ve been to Egypt, Greece and the United States.

Can you share a tip about what you do when you get stuck in creating a story?

If I’m still stuck after a week, I call my friend and we have a brainstorming session. It’s a funny thing because after I’ve written down all possible scenarios, when I get home the ideal answer just pops into my head. A sign the little gray cells are still activated, I suppose.

Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?

Yes, I’ve written a time travel novel and am working on an historical trilogy set in ancient Egypt. I’ve also tackled a few erotica.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I hope readers will enjoy this heart warming story of courage at the holidays, and share a tear or two. Other than that, I hope they find them entertaining.

 

BLURB

Devon Alexander intends to hide away this Christmas. Forget the terrible memories of the last holiday. She couldn’t bear to relive the past. Until she finds a Christmas angel looking for a new mommy.

Chase Kennedy’s little daughter has run away from home and he’s frantic with worry. When he gets a call saying his daughter has been found, he goes to collect her and meets the most beautiful woman he’s ever met.

Can little Sara bring a touch of magic to both their lives?

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EXCERPT

“I just wanted you to know so you’re sure you’re not releasing Sara into the care of an ogre whose daughter runs away from him every chance she gets.”

She laughed. Such a pretty laugh that went straight to his gut. And his nether regions. Holy cow! It had been a long time since that happened.

“I’d hardly think that, Mr. — Chase.”

Better think about going. “Good. Well, thanks for the coffee, and thanks for taking such good care of Sara. We’d better get out of your hair now. Let you get ready.”

”Get ready for what?”

He looked around the festive-free room. Although it was warm and tastefully furnished, the fact that there was no sign it was Christmas intrigued him. Come to think of it, there were only a couple of what he took to be family photographs on the dresser. “I see no sign of any decorations, so I assumed you’re going away for the holidays.”

“I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying right here, quietly hibernating ‘til it’s all over. I’ve got a pile of good books to keep me busy for days.”

He frowned. Hell’s teeth. Even his single friends had a card or two. “Not a fan of Christmas, huh?”

She shifted her feet. “You could say that.”

This was puzzling. “What do you do, Devon?”

“I’m in advertising.”

He winced playfully. “Ah, that would explain it. You guys have probably been preparing for months so that when the time actually rolls around you’re sick of the sight of it.”

Devon sighed. That wasn’t the reason, but it would suffice. She didn’t want to go into her past to a perfect stranger. Or delve into her guilt.

He got up and walked to the armchair where Sara was soundly sleeping, and bent to kiss her forehead. “Sara. Sweetheart,” he said quietly. “Time we were leaving.”

Sara stirred.

“Come on, Pumpkin. Time to let Devon have her life back.”

Life? What life?

Sara mumbled and slowly opened her eyes. “Daddy!” Instantly awake, she threw her arms excitedly around his neck and hugged him, a big grin spread across her face.

“Come on, sweetheart. Let’s go and leave Devon in peace.”

In peace. Did she deserve peace? These two had brought a little magic into her life and now she was loath to let it go. She wanted to cling to it. But why? She didn’t even know them.

“But, Daddy. She’s my new mommy.”

If only. She’d have liked kids. A daughter especially.  Devon blinked furiously. Her teeth caught her bottom lip and she looked away.

“No, she isn’t, Pumpkin. You must have been dreaming.” He looked up at Devon. “Sorry about that,” he said awkwardly, and rubbed the back of his neck.

Her gaze on Sara, Devon managed to disguise her watery eyes. “No need to apologize. She’s just a little confused.”

“But, Daddy. She needs us.”

He smiled into his daughter’s face. “Really? And why’s that?”

Sara made a bad job of trying to whisper in his ear. “‘Cause she hasn’t got any Christmas.”

“My daughter. The consummate diplomat.” He got down on his knees. “Come on, put your coat on. It’s cold out there.” There was a brief pause while Sara slipped one arm into one sleeve, then the other. He buttoned it up, then glanced at Devon and shook his head. His voice dropped to a whisper to match his little daughter’s. “Maybe she doesn’t want any. Scarf.” He held it out to her and waited while Sara wound it around her neck.

“She can share ours. We’ve got heaps.”

When he answered, amusement sounded in his voice. “She might not want to.”

Devon grabbed up her coffee mug and took a drink. It was cold. She knew he was doing his best to be diplomatic, but best laid plans.

“Why?”

“Not everyone likes Christmas as much as we do,” he said with a patient smile.

“Why?” His inquisitive daughter seemed determined to get the best of the argument.

And the way the two of them were looking into each other’s eyes so earnestly, tugged at her heartstrings. She busied herself tidying the occasional table.

“Well…because…” He looked up suddenly. “Help me out here, Devon.”

“It might be a very sad time for them. Makes them remember sad things.” The words were out before she could stop them. Help. She hadn’t meant to blurt that out. Likewise, neither could she stop a tear escaping.

Chase caught her gesture just as she swiped a tear from her cheek. From the look in his eyes, it was as though he knew she was hiding her anguish. “That’s enough questions for one day. Let’s go.”

“But, Daddy!”

He eased to his feet. “Listen to me, sweetheart. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and Daddy has only one day left to write to Santa so he can bring your present in time. You’re only getting one this year, remember? So be sure you know what you really want.”

A big grin spread across her face. “Devon!”

Chase laughed. “You can’t give people as presents.”

“Why?”

He pulled a face. “Questions. Always unanswerable questions. Because it’s not a very nice thing to do.”

“Just this once, Daddy. Pleeeease.”

Devon swallowed at the closeness of these two. At the little girl’s words, realizing she had a lump in her throat the size of Texas when she saw her eyes gaze pleadingly into her father’s.

Embarrassment was written all over his face when he stood up. “Once again, I can only apologize.”

She hid a brief smile behind her hand. “No apology needed. That was a very generous thing she said. I’m honored.”

“She’s like that. I’m very proud of her. And now, we’d better get out of here before she tries to twist me round her little finger, like always.”

A Touch of Magic is also included in Christmas Tidings, an anthology of four holiday stories by four authors.

Other titles include:

A Viking for Christmas by Cynthia Breeding

Santa’s Own Angel by Annette Louise

The Christmas Shop by Cynthia Owens

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The inspiration behind A Christmas Cowboy to Keep–a contemporary western collection

Christmas Cowboy-BoxedSetFinal-1019

I posed the question “What is the inspiration for your story?” to the seven authors who contributed to this collection currently on pre-order for only 99 cents to release October 25th. Here are their answers:

Christmas, Liberty, and the Three Minute Man

Carra Copelin: The inspiration for my story came from my brother who has a much more colorful past than I do. He’s also a Country Western Gospel singer/songwriter, who writes some amazing songs. Last year he helped me with an idea for a book I was writing at the time and I asked him for some insight into a character he had helped me develop. I wanted to be sure I had the flavor of the personality right in the dialogue. He said, “Sis, I don’t know anything about writing books. I’m just a three minute man.” Well, I knew I had to write a book around that statement. That’s when I came up with the story about Liberty Hart and Daniel Layman. It’s a fun read about a sassy event planner from Nashville and a sexy cowboy songwriter from Texas. I think you’ll like it.

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A Christmas Carole

Andrea Downing:  You say, ‘Christmas book’ and the first one that pops into my mind is Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.  So what could be more inspirational than that?  Of course, transferring ideas from the story into a contemporary western romance is another matter. The story wasn’t going to be paranormal so out went the visiting ghosts for a start.  And could someone actually be named Scrooge? I played around with the spelling and came up with Schrugge—if you google ‘pronouncing the name Schrugge’ Scrooge comes up. In other methods, the name comes out as pronounced both Shrug or Screw-gy.  Since I have a friend whose last name is pronounced three different ways by three branches of her family, I felt justified in choosing ‘Shrug.’ As for the rest of it, well, there are Staves instead of ‘Parts’ as per Dickens, a tiny Tim, and definitely a look at Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come.  I hope I’ve used just enough of Dickens to give a nod toward that most well-respected story.

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~*~*~*~

The Peppermint Tree

Kristy McCaffrey:  The main inspiration, initially, was the Christmas theme. I wanted a fun title that conveyed the holiday, so I came up with THE PEPPERMINT TREE first, not really knowing how I was going to work it into the story. I also decided early on that my heroine, Skye Mallory, would be a lawyer. This caused me no end of angst because I know nothing about lawyers LOL. Time to research. The rest was fleshed out during car rides with my husband. He’s not a writer, but he’s usually a good sport in helping me brainstorm. He gave me the idea for shifting property lines because true north moves ever so slightly over time, as well as insights into the types of vehicles the hero and heroine would drive. The steamy love scene in the country club bathroom facilities came about because I was recently visiting my in-laws in Florida and their club restrooms were so spacious—practically mini-apartments. Seemed like the perfect spot for a romantic encounter. I really had a good time writing this novella, and I sure hope readers will enjoy reading it.

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~*~*~*~

The Devil’s Christmas Kiss

Devon McKay: The inspiration for my story came from my 3 year old granddaughter. She was telling me of a boy who likes to pick on her during play dates. After a two hour long conversation, I summed up that Connor pulls her hair, especially when she wears pigtails, steals her baby, and likes to make her cry, all of which was accompanied by over-the-top dramatic sighs (she is seriously either going to be an actress or an author). When she finished her story, I suggested maybe taking her to another play date group. Her response was crocodile tears and a loud, “No! Connors my boyfriend and I’m going to marry him one day.”

For some reason, I thought this would make a perfect romance.

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~*~*~*~

Slay Bells

Hildie McQueen: The inspiration for my story came from my last visit to Wyoming and Montana and my marriage. I can definitely relate with Carmen, the heroine in that she would have never settled in Missoula or even considered it, if it wasn’t for falling in love.

As a young woman I would have nixed the idea of life in the small town where my husband grew up. He was raised on the border of Montana and Idaho and I lived in San Diego, CA.

Nowadays, if my husband were to ask me to move to Montana, I’d do it in a heartbeat!

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The Best Christmas

Hebby Roman: The inspiration for my story was a movie/documentary about rehab ranches that help handicapped and/or troubled teenagers. I wanted to show a heroic, counselor-type cowboy who ran a non-profit converted dude ranch near Bandera, TX, the self-proclaimed “Cowboy Capital of the World.” I wanted to depict a heroine, who was not married to the son’s father and is an immigrant, and the struggles she has gone through, keeping custody and contact with her son, once he becomes older and is being mentally and emotionally manipulated by his father, who is super wealthy and has a lot of clout.

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~*~*~*~

 Counting Down to Christmas

Patti Sherry-Crews: I was inspired by the Christmas spirit: family, traditions, and giving all tied up together. Is there another holiday that evokes as much nostalgia as Christmas? I put all the sights, scents, and details I associate with the holiday in my story.

There is no one who embodied that spirit more than my Grandma Alma did. I drew my inspiration from her. I also named a character after her.

Early in December, we’d help her bring down all the boxes of ornaments. After the tree was set up and decorated (always a seven foot Douglas Fir) there were dozens of cookies to be made. Making and decorating cookies was an all-family affair, where we’d sit around her large kitchen table and work together, using cookie cutters and recipes that had been in the family for generations.

My grandparents belonged to a small church in their neighborhood. I have memories of walking into the side door and heading up the dark stairway to the community room at the top of the stairs for the holiday bazaar. I have my heroine, Melody, walk up those same stairs, and Alma is the first person she sees.

Grandma Alma lived to be 96. Family does change. It got harder to get everyone together as people started their own families and moved away, so we had to find different ways to celebrate the holidays. I remember in later years debating whether to get a tree for Grandma or not. Were we forcing a Christmas tree on her for our benefit or hers? Still, every year until she was gone, we got down all the decorations and set up a 7-foot tree for her.

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Amazon pre-order link for October 25th release of 99 cent collection

2017 Highway Cafe Blog Tour–Meet Twinkle-Toes

2017HighwayCafeChristmasTour

Hi, everyone, Twinkle-Toes here, I’m so happy to be involved in this year’s blog hop because I love to dance and meet new people. I tie jingle bells to the curled toes of my slippers so I make music every time I walk. My favorite song that I sing often around the toy-making barn is “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” because I want everyone to get excited about the coming celebrations.

elf shoes

Another one of my favorite fun things to do is to decorate presents. A special shelf in Santa’s workshop holds last year’s Christmas cards. I grab down a few and find images to cut out, like a tree or a sleigh or a group of carolers or a star. If I’m careful, I can find two images from each card. By writing names on the back side, that cutout becomes a gift tag. I use a yard needle to poke a hole near the top and thread ribbon through or, if I don’t want to ruin the image, I tape the top to the wrapped package. Recycling makes me feel warm inside.

xmas scene

As a special thanks to you for visiting my blog, I’m giving away two ebook copies of A Year of Romance, an anthology of historical romance stories set around Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Fourth of July. These stories comprise the first four titles in my Dorado, Texas series. Leave a comment to be eligible to win. If you have a favorite recycling tip, please share because I giggle when I find new ways to reuse.

Blurbs:

Wandering Home

Will a justice-seeking wanderer find solace on a ranch with a stubborn widow determined to protect what is hers?

Storybook Hero

Can a starry-eyed dreamer’s search for adventure overcome a taciturn man’s belief he has nothing to offer?

My Heart Knew

Will falling in love with a strong-willed cowboy be the adventure a tomboy maid has been seeking?

Sparked By Fire

Can a wounded soul find solace in the attentions from a cook who nurtures through her culinary creations?

AYearOfRomance.tn

 

 

I’ll pick the name of the winners and post an announcement here on December 11th.

2017  Garden Gourmet

Because this season is the time for giving, I want to tell you about a free book created by authors of one of my publishers. The 2017 The Wild Rose Press Garden Gourmet-A Holiday of Hacks includes helpful time-saving tips related to cooking and chores around the house. Get your copy here.

gingerbread.tn

As a special stocking stuffer, here’s the link to a free story. Gingerbread Wishes is a contemporary romance set at Christmas and is the first title is my Sugar and Spice Bakery series.

You’ll want to meet my elf friends so be sure to hop on over to the other blog posts.

December 4

Holland Rae – https://hollandrae.com/

Susanne Matthews – https://mhsusannematthews.wordpress.com/

Sorchia DuBois – www.sorchiadubois.com

December 5

Tena Stetler – http://www.tenastetler.com/category/my-say-what-blog/

Maureen Bonatch – http://www.maureenbonatch.com/blog/

Peggy Jaeger – https://peggyjaeger.com/

Barbara Burke – https://barbaraburkeauthor.wordpress.com/

 

December 6

Kelly Kalmanson – http://kkweil.blogspot.com

M.S. Spencer – http://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com

Hywela Lyn – www.hywelalyn.blogspot.com

Reggi Allder – https://reggiallder.blogspot.com/

December 7

Denyse Bridger – http://www.fantasypages.ca

Karen Blake-Hall – https://kaydenclaremont.wordpress.com/ 

Clair de Lune – https://clairdelunebooks.co.uk/

Casi McLean – http://casimclean.com/a-christmas-to-remember/

December 8

Darlene Fredette – http://findingthewritewords.blogspot.com

Daryl Devore – http://daryldevore.blogspot.ca

Gini Rifkin – http://ginirifkin.blogspot.com

OR see what’s happening at the Highway Cafe

 

2017 Highway Cafe Holiday Blog Tour

2017HighwayCafeChristmasTour

A group of writer friends are hosting a blog tour with giveaways and fun details. My scheduled day is Friday, December 8th, but new posts will pop up each day.  Follow along and see what each author has to offer.

December 4

Holland Rae – https://hollandrae.com/

Susanne Matthews – https://mhsusannematthews.wordpress.com/

Sorchia DuBois – www.sorchiadubois.com

 

December 5

Tena Stetler – http://www.tenastetler.com/category/my-say-what-blog/

Maureen Bonatch – http://www.maureenbonatch.com/blog/

Peggy Jaeger – https://peggyjaeger.com/

Barbara Burke – https://barbaraburkeauthor.wordpress.com/

 

December 6

Kelly Kalmanson – http://kkweil.blogspot.com

M.S. Spencer – http://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com

Hywela Lyn – www.hywelalyn.blogspot.com

Reggi Allder – https://reggiallder.blogspot.com/

 

December 7

Denyse Bridger – http://www.fantasypages.ca

Clair de Lune – https://clairdelunebooks.co.uk/

Karen Blake-Hall – https://kaydenclaremont.wordpress.com/ 

Casi McLean – http://casimclean.com/a-christmas-to-remember/

 

December 8

Darlene Fredette – http://findingthewritewords.blogspot.com

Daryl Devore – http://daryldevore.blogspot.ca

Gini Rifkin – http://ginirifkin.blogspot.com

Guest release promotion—Frosting and Flurries, a Christmas anthology

Frosting and Flurries - 3D Final - Med

Frosting and Flurries, is a boxed set of five Christmas novellas on Amazon. The other amazing authors in the set are Kimberly Rae Jordan, Cecelia Dowdy, Clare Revell, and Marion Ueckermann. My book is called Moostletoe and it was a great deal of fun working with other writers I know and love! ~~Jan

Moostletoe Book 1 Medium JPG

BLURB of Moostletoe by Jan Elder

Rev. Samantha Evans lands in Moose Creek, Maine, a backwater town with more moose than men. One of her new parishioners chews up new ministers for breakfast, and he’s hell-bent on sending her packing.

Forest ranger Eric Palmer is done with women. With Christmas around the corner, he runs into Sammie, his best friend when they were teenagers. Unlike most women, he trusts her implicitly. But could she ever be more than a friend?

When Samantha’s career is on the line, Eric saves her job, rescuing his own shattered heart. But how does Matilda the town moose factor in?

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EXCERPT

As they headed toward the fence at the back of the large yard, the trapped moose turned her head and fastened Samantha with the longest, most distressed face she’d ever seen. Somehow, the words “there’s a moose stuck in the fence” had not prepared her for the sight of two hooves sticking to the top of tall pickets.

Poor moosie indeed!

The TV news reporter strode toward Eric and Travis, a determined set to his jaw.

Eric took charge. “Dale, you can film, but be quiet about it and keep well back. I know everybody loves Matilda, but she’s a wild animal and she’s scared. You too, Mr. Tremblay.”

“We’ll do our best to behave.” Dale smirked. “But the TV audience is going to eat this up and we’re here to serve.”

Eric grimaced. “She’s just a moose for crying out loud. People in Aroostook County see them every day.”

The TV crew moved into position. Eric glanced at Samantha. “Sammie you asked what you can do. Your job is to pray we can get this moose out of trouble, fast.”

“Will do.” Samantha nodded and clung to the fence line several yards away. Matilda puffed, her breath sending up a cloud of steam. Samantha’s heart went out to the creature, and she unleashed a silent prayer. If God cared for the lowly sparrow, He surely loved the magnificent moose.

Eric’s eyes zeroed in on the television camera as two men continued to edge closer. “Confound it, Dale, stay back. Don’t you have a zoom on that contraption?”

The cheeky, young reporter lifted his chin. “We’ll stay back as long as you give us an exclusive after the rescue.”

Eric planted his hands on his hips and huffed. “Exclusive? Dale, what do you think this is? Portland? You’re the only TV station there is in these parts. Just keep your distance. Hey, Tremblay? You have a small hatchet?”

A protest erupted from the cameraman. “Surely, you’re not going to hurt that wild animal.”

Eric shook his head. “No, of course we’re not going to hurt her. We have to break up the fence.”

Dale cocked his head. “Why can’t you just yard on it until her feet come out?”

Huh? Samantha searched her memory banks. Yard on it. Ah, yes. Pull hard.

“Do I look suicidal? I’m not getting anywhere near those back hooves. We have a crazed five-hundred-pound moose who’s not thinking straight, here.”

The cameraman grumbled and when Eric turned his back, the cameraman made a hand gesture that meant … Samantha wasn’t sure what it meant, but it couldn’t have been nice.

Matilda shifted her back feet, tried to maneuver backward and pitched a bit to the side. The wooden fence scraped against her front fetlocks and she bellowed, a terrible noise that rang hollow in the damp, night air. Terrified, her eyes flicked back and forth, the whites showing. Helpless, Samantha prayed harder and shuffled her feet to keep the circulation moving, her chest squeezing.

The cameraman hefted his camera and aimed it at the reporter. The show was about to begin.

Janice Elder with Pink Flowers

Jan Elder is a Christian romance writer with a zeal for telling real, relateable stories. She strives to write novels that will strengthen the reader’s faith, while providing an entertaining and engrossing love story.

Happily married for thirteen years to supportive husband, Steve, the two live in central Maryland.

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