Winter Blogfest: Tena Stetler


This post is part of Long and Short’s Review Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card..

Holiday Traditions

Whew, another year has flown by at the speed of light. All I could do was catch hold of its tail and be catapulted into my computer chair hoping to finish my Winter & Christmas blogs before the bell of Christmas present tolls.

No sooner had we put the fifth wheel trailer in storage than the holidays began. Rather than a stormy Halloween, it was a balmy 60 degrees when I turned the scary sounds CD off along with the fog machine and porch light. We were out of candy.
In a blink of an eye, I gotta quit blinking, it was time to prepare the Thanksgiving feast. Our family is small and our pets, a dog, parrot, box turtle and guinea pig participate. Not at the table, of course they have their own bowls. We remember what we are thankful for, including my wonderful readers, and hope the coming years will be as blessed. I think traditions are what make the holidays special. Don’t you?

As for my family, we put up the tree, Christmas decorations inside and out, the weekend after Thanksgiving. Or try to if Mother Nature cooperates. No, it’s not a real tree, only because I’m allergic. We watch Christmas movies throughout December and make candy such as Divinity, Fantasy Fudge, and Beaver Dams.

What are Beaver Dams, you ask. The recipe calls for a package of butterscotch chips, melt them in a double boiler, stir in half-package of crispy Chow Mein Noodles and one-half can of cocktail peanuts. Spoon the concoction onto foil and let set. They look like beaver dams hence the name. YUMMY.

This year I’m going try my hand at gingerbread cookies. Haven’t had a lot of luck in previous years getting a good tasting cookie. Do any of you have a favorite recipe that I could try? Feel free to leave the recipe in the comments section.

Then it’s on to New Years and resolutions. We make them attainable. Last year I was lucky enough to make my writing goals and resolutions of 5,500 or more words written per week, two book contracts, I got four. Whew! What a wonderful year. Except the catastrophic softball sized hail that totaled our truck, roof and required major repairs on the RV. That wasn’t much fun and going forward into 2017, I resolve to never allow such a storm in my neighborhood. Okay, that’s probably one of those resolutions that will be broken as soon as spring arrives. So I retract that one. Don’t want to spoil my nearly perfect record.

In 2017, I plan lots of fun walks with the dog and more play time with our parrot. Above all enjoy each day while working towards my professional goals, but schedule more time to spend with family and friends. Life is short, you are never guaranteed tomorrow.

What are some of your holiday traditions and New Year’s Resolutions? Do you make or keep them? Here’s wishing each and everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year!

Elemental witch, Pepper McKay and former Navy SEAL, Lathen Quartz have built Lobster Cove Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center on enchanted McKay land. During a romantic interlude on Halloween night, Pepper happily agrees to become Lathen’s wife. What better day than Winter Solstice for their wedding in a town that loves celebrations and Christmas. However, planning a wedding and operating their wildlife center takes a toll on both Pepper and Lathen.

When the couple takes a much-needed break for Thanksgiving with family in Colorado, a Maine snowstorm fills the center with injured wildlife. Lathen finds himself drawn into a covert military mission, while trying to deal with issues concerning friends and family. Pepper wants to cancel the wedding. Is she having second thoughts? Will the nosy McKay ghosts, Lathen’s werewolf pack, Pepper’s parents, and her best friend help or hinder the wedding and holiday plans?

About the Author: Tena Stetler is a paranormal romance and cozy mystery author with an over-active imagination. She wrote her first vampire romance as a tween, to the chagrin of her mother and the delight of her friends. With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, Tena sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of paranormal creatures telling her their tales. Colorado is her home; shared with her husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-year-old box turtle. Any winter evening, you can find her curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn. Her books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them.

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Buy the book at Amazon.


  1. Kris Meldgaard says:

    I have a hreat easy Gingerbread Cookie Recipe I use every year! Its super easy!!

    3/4 cup butter, softened
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    1 egg
    3/4 cup molasses
    4 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons ground ginger
    1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    Vanilla frosting of your choice
    Red and green paste food coloring

    In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and molasses. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight or until easy to handle.
    On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2-1/2-in. cookie cutters. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
    Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool. Tint some of the frosting red and some green. Decorate cookies. Yields about 5 dozen cookies

    As for New Years resolutions I dont set anything in stone I just try to make a list of things I’d like to change or improve on & try to work on them thru-out the new year. It seams to work better for me if I do it that way. Loved reading your story! Wishing you & your a great New Year & I hope my recipe works out for you!!
    And thanks for the chance!!💋

  2. Mysti Holiday says:

    Opening one gift on Christmas Eve (as a child, it was always a new pair of pajamas), and my mother always gave us one ornament so when we left home, we’d have them to decorate our tree. I’ve continued that with my kids. Thank you!

    • Hi Mysti, opening one gift Christmas Eve is a great tradition! Yep, had a few ornaments to start my own tree, now I get a new ornament every year. We have quite a collection to decorate the tree with these days! LOL Thanks for stopping by!

  3. We have something in common! When I was a child, I had two pet hamsters who always got a special holiday dinner when we celebrated something like Christmas or Thanksgiving.

    It’s so much fun to include your pets in the festivities. 🙂

  4. We include our pets as well in Christmas and we have a Christmas pickle. We also have Santa gifts that we open after dinner.

    • That sounds like fun. It was funny this year when we got ready to open gifts, our parrot hung on her cage door waiting to get out and tear into her gifts. Our dog danced from paw to paw until we gave her presents which were wrapped in newspaper and put in a paper bag. She tore the bag to bits and ripped open the newspaper, yanked out her toys and then decided it was okay to tear up the discarded wrapping from other presents. This is a dog that never gets into paper any other time of the year.

  5. Beaver Dams is very similar to the Christmas Clusters we make … but they have equal parts of butterscotch and chocolate chips.

  6. K.S. Jones says:

    Our dogs have always been given the privilege of opening their gifts first on Christmas morning. Sounds like you’ve written a great story!

    • Thanks KS for the kind words. I appreciate you stopping by. I am surprised at the number of people that allow their pets to open presents. I think that is just wonderful. Pets enrich your life so much and they understand the concept of opening presents and ours look forward to it. Happy New Year!

  7. Beaver Dams sound yummy. Our dog enjoys Christmas, he sticks his head in every present as it is opened, of course he gets to open his first!

    • That is the same thing our dog does. She really enjoys Christmas! We enjoy watching her and the parrot open theirs as much as opening our own. Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year!!

  8. That’s a great assortment of pets! I make goals and I try to also make a roadmap to achieving them–little goals along the way. And some goals are easy. This year, I resolve to eat more pizza–good pizza, not the frozen kind–and to spend more time being lazy under the stars. Those harder goals include a writing quota, an exercise regime, and some serious work on my attitude 🙂 Good luck, Everyone, on making 2017 better than 2016.

    • Soundsl like you have your goals all locked up. I agree whole heartedlly on the eat more pizza. It’s my favorite food group. LOL I make my own from scratch, it soooo much better than store bought. Good Luck with your goals and thanks for stopping by. Happy New Year!

  9. I love that your pets participate in your holidays. We always put presents under the tree for our cat. And he sits on his table (he has his own end table with a nice soft blanket where he spends his time) and observes us all as we open our gifts, until we get to his, then he gets involved. 🙂

    The Beaver Dam recipe sounds really yummy!

    I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions, but I do set goals throughout the year as they come up.

    • Jen, thanks so much for popping by. Yeah, I think pets enrich our lives so much. They never criticize and are always there to lend a paw. Good luck with your goals, I kinda do that too on a quarterly basis to measure how I am doing. Have a very Happy New Year!

  10. Great job sticking to your weekly word count goals and 4 contracts. Wow!

    • Thanks for the kind words Amanda! I have been very blessed. Hope your New Year is everything you hope for!! Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!!

  11. Sounds like you enjoy Halloween just as much as Christmas. My family does too! As for resolutions for 2017, I MUST lose some weight! And I’ll keep writing and editing my books and spend lots of quality time with my husband and our 12-year-old twin sons. Wishing you a safe, productive, and happy new year!

    • Judith thanks for stopping by Judith! I too must lose weight! I got an apple phone for Christmas. It reminds me to stand and move around every hour. Then tells me it’s time to exercise mid-day. So it’s kinda fun. Sounds like your resolutions are spot on for great start to the New Year! Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

  12. Barbara Bettis says:

    Our traditions were for my grandchildren to set up my Christmas tree Thanksgiving afternoon. Now that all but one are teens I see that tradition taking a holiday, itself. As for resolutions, this year I resolve to increase my writing output every week. Wish me luck!!!

    • Oh, thanks so much for stopping by Barbara! Yep teenages are interesting creatures. LOL But I like that tradition! That’s a great resolution, I’ll check in on you once in a while to see how you are doing. LOL Wishing you lots of luck! You’ve got this!!! Also wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

  13. I enjoyed reading the post. Happy New Year!

  14. Sounds good.

  15. Holiday traditions are an important part of any celebration. Sounds like you have some wonderful ones, Tena. Hopefully, 2017 will be an even better year for you and yours.

    • Thanks for your kind words, stopping by to read my holiday traditions and a peek at A Witch’s Holiday Wedding. Wishing you and yours a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

  16. I really wish I’d built more “holiday traditions” with my children. We have a few, but they’re so much fun, I wish there’d been more. Making fudge with my mom is one, Christmas Eve with my dad is another. Both my husband and I come from divorced families, so at times keeping traditions and keeping everyone happy has been hard. So for our own little family, Christmas morning stockings have become the focus, and lately we’ve added blueberry scones to that tradition. Thanks, Tena, for a fun read, and Happy New Year!

    • Thank you for stopping by Amity! Sounds like you did a good job with all the distractions you have. Blueberry scones is a great traditions. I love opening and watching others Christmas stockings. Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

  17. Tena, fun post about holidays and traditions and goals for last year and the next. Wishing you great sales with “A Witch’s Holiday Wedding.” Wow! What a molding of various holiday themes.

    • Thanks for the kind words Hebby. I really appreciate them. And thank you for stopping by! I love holiday traditions, but this I have to admit I am glad to see it come to an end. Wow what a year!

  18. Family traditions remind us of our loved ones. As a young girl, we celebrated the Feast of Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. We still have seafood, but I cut it down to two -baked stuffed shrimp and broiled grouper.
    Your pets sound wonderful! My dog loved to open his gifts. We lost him last June at 14 1/2. Actually, he loved to open everyone’s gifts.Happy New year!
    Mariah Lynne

    • Thanks for stopping by Mariah! Interesting Christmas tradition. Sorry to hear about your dog. No matter what age its very hard to lose them. Yep, giving the chance, opening the presents is too much fun for the pup. Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

  19. My world shrinks each year, as old friends leave and family is spread across the world. My Christmas card list is now at one box of cards per year. Treasure your time with your family and pets. You never know.

  20. Glad you stopped by Becky. Yeah, we are experiencing that now too. My card list is half this year what it was in years before. Living in a military town all my life, our friends are scattered all of the world now. It does make it hard to stay in touch, but we do our best. Thanks for the kind words and you are so right there is never any guarantees. Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

  21. Thank you Long and Short Reviews for this wonderful opportunity! Happy New Year to all.

  22. Thoughtful post. I always list my goals and happy to say this year many were achieved. 💃🏻
    Our traditions have evolved as children grow and family scatters a bit. But I have love having a full house at the holidays. We bake, sing and listen to carols, decorate the tree and play games.
    It’s all over much too soon.
    Congratulations on reaching your goals and best wishes for all good things in 2017.

    • Charlotte, thanks for popping by. I have many times wished I was from a big family. But I was an only child and married an only child. We had only on child, due to circumstances beyond my control. So our holiday celebrations are small but meaningful all the same. Wishing you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!!

  23. Congratulations!!!!!!! Kris Meldgaard is the winner of my $10.00 Amazon GC. Please contact me at so I can get your certificate to you! Thanks for the recipe, it was wonderful!!!

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