Tag Archives: Christmas

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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

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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

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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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