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The Sixth Day of Christmas – Sophia Kimble

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

A beautiful Christmas tree!

My tree!

My tree!

For years I went to the tree lot and got a ‘real’ tree. I never ventured into the woods like they did on “Christmas Vacation,” but I think that’s probably a good thing. I don’t like the cold that much! Still, I love the way a natural tree smells. It was fun picking out a tree until the time came that money was exceptionally tight and trees seemed to get higher and higher in price.

About seventeen years ago I succumbed to an artificial tree and loved it! Putting it together was always enjoyable and I knew I could bend the wires to make it look just right. Hanging ornaments was easy, too! This year, I passed the tree on to my son and enjoyed helping him and my grandson put it together. It’s amazing that the tree has held up for so long. Guess I picked a good one! What I loved most about putting up the tree was reminiscing over every ornament. I was happy to pass on that tradition to my son and hopefully that tree will give him another seventeen years of enjoyment.

 

Today I’m very happy to introduce you to a friend of mine, and fellow author, Sophia Kimble!
Protect Her by Sophia Kimble

Sophia Kimble ProtectHer_850HIGH  Book Cover

Golden Alexander is trapped in a nightmare.

Trying to flee her hallucination of a demon, she runs heart first into the brooding alpha male she’s been dreaming about for years, and then her nightmare really begins.

Kris Pietka is done with women…he’s broken. But when he meets Golden, an overwhelming need to protect her tests everything he thought he knew about himself, and the paranormal.

A bond forged centuries ago thrusts them together as they search for a way to break an ancient Druid curse prophesying their demise. Racing against the clock, they travel from Vermont, to the Carpathian Mountains in Poland, and the Scottish Highlands in search of answers and a way to break the curse.

But something evil watches—it covets, and time is running out.

Will fate allow love to prevail against unbeatable odds, or will Golden wake to find it was all a delusion?

Pick up a copy today from Amazon.

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Sophia donated a $5 Amazon card, paired with a set of hand-painted ceramic penguin holiday mugs from Ryan Jo Summers to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.

About the Author

Sophia Kimble has always wanted to be an author, but for years, life got in the way. She wouldn’t change a thing about how her life turned out, though. Her family keeps her laughing and loving. Her wonderful husband and two extraordinary children stand beside her every step of the way and make this journey called life worth living.

Sophia has worked as a nurse for twenty years, but has put that career path aside to devote her time and imagination to writing down the stories that keep her up nights.

She takes her love of the paranormal, history, and genealogy, and weaves them into tales of family, fated love, and supernatural occurrences.

Connect: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

The Fifth Day of Christmas – Ryan Jo Summers

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…IMG_0904

An appetizer recipe. Woo-hoo!

Fun family get-together’s are a big part of this holiday season and it’s always nice to have something yummy to nibble on. My recipe today is for a cheese roll. Easy to make and delicious. Not to mention, the ingredients make it look very “Christmassy.”

Ingredients:

8 oz. cream cheese   3 to 5 oz. bleu cheese    1/4 tsp. garlic salt     1 tblsp. chopped green pepper    1 tblsp. pimento

Blend cheeses and spices. Roll in chopped walnuts or pecans. Serve with your favorite crackers.

And now I’d like to introduce you to Ryan Jo Summers, my guest author for today!
When Clouds Gather by Ryan Jo Summers

Ryan Jo Summers When Clouds Gather  Book Cover

Darby Adams has a successful Bed & Breakfast Inn, a wonderful son and a happy life in the coastal town of Driftwood Shores. Then a guest is found dead in one of her rooms. Suddenly she is the number one suspect and her world is spiraling out of control.

The surviving family wants answers so they hire new-in-town private investigator Sam Golden to undeniably prove her guilt and have her put away. Sam begins his new case in a dual role, in the guise of being Darby’s much needed friend while looking for the evidence to send her to prison.

Until strange things begin happening at the B & B–scary things. Finally Sam has to question his thoughts on her guilt or innocence. Meanwhile, Darby leans on Sam to weather each new challenge and threat. Feelings begin to develop between Darby and Sam. Until Sam is forced to tell Darby the truth about him, effectively destroying what trust they had.

Until a new threat forces Darby to trust Sam once more. She will bet her freedom and life on his skills, but can she trust her heart?

Pick up your copy today from Amazon.

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Ryan donated a pair of hand-painted ceramic penguin holiday mugs, paired with a $5 Amazon card from Sophia Kimble to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.

About the Author

Ryan Jo Summers is a North Carolina writer who pens contemporary romance blended with an unexpected twist. “Whispers in Her Heart’ combines mystery and horses with the mystical paranormal.

Her latest book out, “Shimmers of Stardust” combines Christian elements in a time travel love story. Next up will be “When Clouds Gather”, a romantic mystery.

Connect: Website | Facebook | Twitter

The Fourth Day of Christmas – Jennifer Faye

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Gift ideas under $10!Who Doesn't Like Cookies?

You may be thinking that if your genuine, true love gave you a gift under $10 you might be a tad bit disappointed. BUT…I can say without reservation, the dollar amount on a gift is not what’s important. As the old saying goes, “It’s the thought that counts.” True. The most important thing is that you put your heart into what you give.

My husband has a hard time picking out a gift for me. He always says, “Just tell me what you want and I’ll get it for you.” Maybe you think that’s a nice concept. Who wouldn’t want to receive something they want? Sounds simple. However, my favorite gifts from him are those that he chooses himself. Items that caught his eye and he knew right away I’d love. Those are the gifts that I remember forever. My most favorite is a glass rose that sits atop a small, round mirror with the words, “I love you,” etched in the glass.

A gift that will never fail is something you make with your own two hands. Find a fancy Christmas plate and then bake some of those Swedish Sugar Cookies I told you about on Day One. I promise that your gift will be loved – and – gobbled up. The plate will be treasured forever. Granted, the person you give it to might give it back next year begging for more, but that would only prove you’d succeeded.

Today, I’m gifting you with an introduction to another author! I’m happy to welcome Jennifer Faye to my blog!

 
A Princess by Christmas by Jennifer Faye

Jennifer Faye  A Princess by Christmas  Book Cover

A royal kiss under the mistletoe…

Prince Alexandro Castanovo arrives in snowy New York intent on protecting his royal family from scandal. And when Reese Harding—down-to-earth and heart-stoppingly beautiful—finds room for him at her inn, it seems like the perfect twist of fate.

Not long ago Reese’s world came crumbling down, shaking her foundations. But this enigmatic stranger intrigues her! She’s learned to be wary of secrets…but when she discovers Alex’s true identity, might there be enough magic in the air to make this regular American girl a princess by Christmas…?

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Jennifer donated a $10 Amazon card, paired with a package of author swag from Darcy Flynn to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.

About the Author

I currently reside in Pennsylvania with my very patient husband, one amazing daughter (the other remarkable daughter has flown the coop to chase her own dreams) and two spoiled rotten cats. When I’m not glued to my laptop (which isn’t often) or enjoying some family time, I like reading, cross-stitch, embroidery, quilting, knitting, hockey (go Pittsburgh Penguins!), and gardening.

Connect: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google+

The Third Day of Christmas – Christi Barth

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

A cocktail recipe. Hmm…

I admit that my recipe box isn’t bursting with recipes involving liquor. However, I have an awesome recipe for “Hot Buttered Rum” that I’m going to share with you. When I was little, Mom would fix me a “Hot Buttered.” I thought it was one of the finest winter treats that warmed me to the tips of my toes…even without the ‘kick.’

HOT BUTTERED RUM

Ingredients:

1 Standard size vanilla ice cream       1 Pound Butter      1 Pound Brown Sugar     1 Pound Powdered Sugar     2 tsp. Nutmeg    2 tsp. Cinnamon

Let ice cream and butter set at room temperature until soft. In large bowl, mix together with electric mixer. Add sugars and spices. Mix until smooth. Store in tight container in the freezer.

To prepare beverage, mix a jigger of rum with 2 tsp. batter and hot water. Of course, depending on the size of the mug you’re using, you may need to add more water, and possibly more rum.  ENJOY!!

Perhaps a little 'hot buttered'

Perhaps a little ‘hot buttered’

 

 

Today my guest author is Christi Barth! And just in time for Christmas, she’s telling you all about her new release, “Tinsel My Heart.”
Tinsel My Heart by Christi Barth

Christi Barth   Tinsel My Heart    Book Cover

Becca Huntley’s produced the Lyndale Park Player’s over-the-top Christmas pageant for ten years. The beloved Minneapolis tradition is the theatre’s main fundraiser. But this year’s production is almost canceled when their director disappears into rehab at the last minute. Good thing his directing partner steps in to save the day. Except for the minor fact that he hates everything about Christmas.

Jack Whittaker wiped the Twin Cities off his shoe with his graduation tassel and never looked back. But duty compels him to fulfill Tyler’s promise to direct the show. Even though it means working side-by-side with Becca, the girl he always wanted, lost to Ty, but never forgot.

It’ll take more than a few handfuls of tinsel to soften Jack’s heart toward Becca’s favorite holiday. Steamy kisses that melt the snow right off his boots are a step in the right direction. They’ll both discover that Christmas is about making each other’s dreams come true. But will doing so destroy their chance at a happily-ever-after together?

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | Carina Press | iTunes | Kobo

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Christi donated a complete ebook set of her Aisle Bound series to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.

About the Author

Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance. Christi is President of the Maryland Romance Writers and lives in Maryland with her husband.

Website | Blog | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page |Facebook

The Second Day of Christmas – Maureen Bonatch

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… One of my favorite all-time Christmas movies!

I admit that my favorite has changed over the years. That spot has been held by Christmas classics like: “Christmas Vacation,” “Elf,” “It Happened One Christmas,” and many years ago, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Today, the number one spot goes to … drum roll … “Serendipity.”

Maybe it’s because I’ve become so attuned to the romance genre, but I fell in love with this movie long before I started writing. The movie stars John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. Their chemistry is undeniable. And the supporting cast is fantastic. I won’t spoil this movie for any of you by telling you too much, but it’s a must see. In fact, I think I need to watch it tonight!

And now, I’m happy to introduce today’s author, Maureen Bonatch! I hope you’re enjoying our Christmas event. Be sure to enter to win our daily prizes.

 

Destiny Calling by Maureen Bonatch

Maureen Bonatch  DestinyCalling_w9052_300  Book Cover

Hope only wants to find out if her ability to infuse euphoria or despair with her touch makes her the devil’s spawn, or his exterminator. But when the woman who raised her is murdered by something not human, she loses the only family she knew and discovers one she might wish she hadn’t.

Drawn back to the home town she vowed never to return to, her ability is seen as an asset to everyone but Hope, and she doesn’t know who to trust. Her family wants her to help them overcome an enemy oppressing the human population, while the man of her dreams is courting her for the Underworld.

Pick up a copy today at Amazon or Wild Rose Press.

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Maureen donated a $5 Amazon card, paired with a bag of heart-shaped pasta from Abigail Sharpe to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.

About the Author

Growing up with four siblings had Maureen familiar with escaping into a good book, or the recesses of her mind. She realized later in life everyone didn’t have characters telling stories in their heads, or weren’t envisioning magic and mayhem within the everyday. This, and long walks in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania spawned a love of writing.

Since her desire to become a Solid Gold Dancer was thwarted when the show was discontinued, Maureen opted to pursue other paths. Attempting to conquer new endeavors proved fruitful with her first novella, while other attempts, such as challenging a fear of heights with parasailing, were unsuccessful. Therefore she’s chased other interests, though none-the-less-daring, but closer to the ground, such as belly-dancing, becoming a self-proclaimed tequila connoisseur, fulfilling her role as biker babe to her alpha hubby and surviving motherhood to twins (so far).

Penning stories boasting laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world.

Connect: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

The First Day of Christmas – Darcy Flynn

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …

A wonderful Christmas recipe and a fantastic author! Today is the start of our 12 day event. To start things, “sweet,” I’m sharing an old family recipe. These are the best sugar cookies you’ll ever eat! The secret, (yes, I’m telling!), nutmeg. Yum!

Swedish Sugar Cookies

4 Cups Flour          1 1/2 Cups Sugar         1/2 tsp. salt (optional)      1 tsp. soda      2 tsp. nutmeg

Cut in: 1 1/2 Cups shortening

Beat:

2 Eggs and combine with 1/2 Cup canned milk and 1 tsp. vanilla

Mix with dry ingredients. When I was a little girl and didn’t have the strength I do today, I used to have to get both hands in the mix and combine it by hand. Messy, but I enjoyed licking my fingers. Of course that was back in the time when eating raw cookie dough was okay. How times have changed!

Roll the dough very thin and cut with cookie cutters. Place on greased baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 5-8 minutes. Then the real fun begins! Here’s a photo of my decorated masterpieces! ENJOY!

Swedish Sugar Cookies

Swedish Sugar Cookies

And now…something else very sweet. Or, I should say, someone sweet. My guest author today is Darcy Flynn. I’m happy to say that she’s a friend of mine, and a very accomplished author. She writes sweet romance and I know you’re going to love her!

Rogue’s Son by Darcy Flynn

Darcy Flynn   Rogue's Son   Book Cover

Tough, driven Kit Kendall has replaced her frills and dresses with no nonsense haircuts and wranglers, years ago. As owner of Sage Brush, the once thriving west Texas bed and breakfast ranch, she now struggles daily to keep her business afloat. Since McCabe Resort Lodge reopened next door as a multi-million dollar hotel, her financial difficulties compound, as she suffers one cancellation after another.

Just when she thought things couldn’t get any worse, Kit’s childhood sweetheart turned nemesis returns as the new owner of the resort that’s now putting her out of business, resurrecting memories she thought she’d buried long ago.

Cowboy, entrepreneur Sam Dawson has returned to Sugar Creek, Texas after six years of exile with a secret that could destroy Kit’s happiness. He left town because of it and for the past two years has secretly tried to make it right. Having failed, he now returns to make one last attempt to undo the tangled web created by his father.

Set in motion by his father’s Last Will and Testament and with the clock ticking, Sam has only weeks to convince Kit to sell him her ranch or reveal the truth that will break her heart.

Pick up a copy today at Amazon.

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Darcy donated a package full of author swag, paired with a $10 Amazon card from Jennifer Faye to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.

About the Author

Joy Dent writes sweet contemporary romances as Darcy Flynn. Her life is a gumbo world. Take a little New Orleans heritage, some art, music, dance and add a lot of love and time to simmer and all you have is spice, flavor, and a memory of something so fine you can’t wait for another helping. Her fiction is a few B&Bs, a bit of moon magic and a lot of problems mixed with a healthy portion of sweet romance. Add a dash of sizzle and a lot of sass and all that’s left is magic.

A native of New Orleans, Darcy swapped her city roots for garden boots when she and her husband moved to their farm in Franklin, Tennessee, where Darcy is surrounded by her beautiful gardens and a menagerie of living creatures–English setters and Millie Fleur chickens, being her favorite.

Although, published in the Christian non-fiction market under her real name, Joy Dent, it was the empty nest that turned her to writing romantic fiction. A lover of lighthouses, Darcy’s first novel, Keeper Of My Heart, is set in a small Maryland fishing village on the Chesapeake Bay. Her short story, Sealed With a Kiss: Prequel to Keeper of My Heart is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

Connect: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Google+

The Joys of Moving

And you thought I’d be posting Day 1 of the 12 Days of Christmas!

Well…not only did I fool you, but I fooled myself. Leave it to me to be a day off and several brain cells short. If you’re confused, blame me. I can’t seem to keep track of the days of the week. I had it in my head that today was the kick-off for the event, but today is the day I was supposed to make the announcement that I made yesterday. (Insert rose-colored cheeks)

And why am I so frazzled? Imagine having to move three times in less than six months. It does something to the brain. I can honestly say that I’ll be able to list “professional packer” as one of my outstanding abilities on my next job application. My hope is that I’ll be able to stay in the same place for a little while longer than the last one. No, I’m not running from something or someone–that only happens in my books–I’m keeping up with my husband who was transferred with his job. The good thing for me is that I can write anywhere.

So please come back again tomorrow for Day 1 of the 12 Days of Christmas. The author I’ll be introducing is a very good friend of mine and I’m excited that she’s #1 on my list! AND the theme for tomorrow is “Dessert Recipe.” I’ll have a good one for you.

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Tomorrow the Countdown Begins!

I’ll never forget participating in a grade school Christmas program when I was in the fourth grade. It’s amazing how certain childhood memories stick in our minds over others. I feel extremely blessed to have had many happy memories from my youth.

In the fourth grade we did a rendition of “A Partridge in a Pear Tree.” At a time when the “Partridge Family” was a big hit, the song left me hopeful to say the least! Even at that young age I thought that David Cassidy was pretty cute. “Cute” sums up my age at the time in a nutshell.

Aside from my Christmas wish that David Cassidy would appear magically on our stage, I enjoyed performing. Even without him.

I was one of the Four Calling Birds. If I remember correctly, we even had feathers! But the thing I recall the most is that I held a cardboard telephone. When it came to my part in the song, following “Four Calling Birds,” I picked up the cardboard receiver and said, “Yackety, Yackety, Yack.” Cute, right? Actually it was. My parents loved it and because I was number four in the song, I got to repeat it over and over again.

I’m sharing this fun Christmas memory to help kick off the 12 Days of Christmas event that starts officially tomorrow! Every day for the next twelve days I’ll be introducing an author and telling you about her latest release. In addition, I’ll be sharing more memories and other fun stuff. Each day will have a theme.

I hope you’ll stop by and check it out! And please, share some of your Christmas memories with me. I love this time of year and hope that you do, too!

12 Days

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop!

I’m so excited to announce an upcoming Christmas event that I hope you all will follow:

The 12 Days of Christmas

Join me and a group of incredibly talented authors as we share Christmas recipes, memories, favorite things, and of course blurbs on our current books! And to make this even more fun, prizes are involved!

To get a preview and see who will be participating, check out the link to our event. A great big THANK YOU goes out to Cynthia Gail, who has done a fantastic job of organizing and orchestrating this wonderful event.

http://bit.ly/1FDRSsU

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!!

Thank You, Teachers

I have great admiration for people who dedicate their lives to educating children. It takes a special heart to have that passion that burns deep within, creating the desire to pass on knowledge.

Sometimes I think that teachers don’t realize the impact they make on lives. Or, maybe they do. But whatever the case might be, I want to share a few stories about how my life has been impacted by a number of teachers, but especially one in particular.

First I want to say that sometimes their influence can be negative. But luckily, that’s rare! My example is an experience from grade school. I had a PE teacher tell me that I was uncoordinated. Of course I believed him. Prior to that revelation, I loved to run. (I have very long legs!) After he said what he did, I essentially gave up on athletics. Even in high school when I grew to a height of six feet, I refused to go out for basketball. The basketball coach urged me to try, but I gracefully declined. Instead, I focused my energy on music and drama. And honestly, I was happy. I didn’t feel my life was cheated by not being in athletics. But I often wonder if I would have had a different attitude if that PE teacher had told me that I just needed to try a little harder and I would succeed.

So, enough about the negative.

My young mind begged to be filled with new ideas. I thank God for Mrs. Banks. She was my fourth grade teacher at Sherwood Elementary in Edmonds, Washington. Maybe someone else out there reading this was lucky enough to have her for a teacher. She encouraged me to push myself a little harder in every subject. From math to writing, and everything in between.

I moved away from Washington after fifth grade, but never lost touch with her. Every year we’ve exchanged Christmas cards and letters. When I wrote my first children’s story, I sent her a copy and she encouraged me to publish. I should have listened to her, but at that time I didn’t pursue it. Maybe I was a little scared. Still, she never gave up on me. Yesterday I received a wonderful note from her telling me that she can’t wait to read my novels. I wonder if she knows how much her encouragement pushed me to keep writing?

Thank you, Mrs. Banks, for being that incredible gem who genuinely cared about her students. Your heart is golden.

I want to also mention my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. McPeak. I was the new girl in town and she welcomed me with open arms, and warm hugs. She introduced me to my friend, Diane, who is still one of my best friends. Mrs. McPeak wasn’t afraid to tell us that God loves us. I know that’s frowned upon nowadays, but back then it was part of who she was, and something she felt compelled to share. She looked after us and even opened her home to us for a pool party during our summer break. Thank you, Mrs. McPeak, for being a bright light in my young life.

My love of history was impacted in high school thanks to Mr. Batchelder. He wasn’t the kind of teacher who stood in front of us and told us to read such-and-such a chapter. He brought history to life by telling us the stories. He put so much enthusiasm in his teaching that it made me want to learn more. It was obvious, he loved history. He passed that on to me. So, thank you, Mr. Batchelder, for inspiring me to write about what I love.

And to all those other teachers out there, know this. You’re impacting lives. Maybe you don’t know it now, but one little individualized comment could be the thing that pushes your student to do something incredible with their life. And if you happen to have one that trips over her own feet, just tell her to try a little harder and she’ll succeed.

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