Winter Blogfest: Mariah Lynne

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win  an e-book copy of The Duchess’ Necklace.

My Dog Sam Was Part German Shepherd

My dog Sam was part German Shepherd, part Golden Lab, and part comedian. From the moment his golden brown eyes met mine, I knew I was in for a heck of a ride.

Sam was ninety pounds, full of energy, curiosity, and spunk. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body unless that is you threatened to harm his family. I watched him lick a baby’s feet and swim with ducks. We adopted Sam when he was nine months old from a shelter after his last owner moved and left him tied to a fence. 

He did have a romantic side that led to an encounter with a female sled dog but since we’re in the holiday season, I thought I’d share a short Christmas memory.

At that time, we lived in New England so of course December was cold. Sam, a big brown scruffy dog, had a bushy brown and black heavy coat of fur. He loved being outside especially in the snow. Our friend, who owned a local pub aptly called “The Dog House”, had to put his dog to sleep and didn’t want to get another because of his erratic work schedule.

Local pub owner Dave had constructed a large heavy doghouse for his late dog out of barn board. One day, he showed up at our house with it on the back of his pick-up. Soon after he met Sam, he knew he wanted Sam to inherit this amazing doghouse. He advised us to keep it filled with hay so Sam could enjoy the wintery outdoors for as long as he wanted. Sam loved it and loved to jump on its flat roof to watch people and pets walking up our quiet street.

We alternated years visiting my mother-in-law for Christmas or her coming to us. This was our year to cook the holiday meal and Sam was thrilled to have her company so much so he would sneak out of his bed when we were all asleep and lay by her bedroom door. That particular year, Christmas was a beautiful snowy day the kind Sam loved to frolic in. After we opened presents, I stuffed the turkey and put it in the oven. I asked Sam if he wanted to go outside, but evidently the aroma coming from that roasting pan sent Sam’s nose and stomach into a frenzy. He kept sniffing the air and stayed in the kitchen not wanting to miss anything turkey.

I set the table in our cozy dining room and checked the holiday feast. The turkey looked beautiful as did all the trimmings. Sam’s eyes were glued to my process of placing all this wonderful food into serving dishes. He had a healthy hearty breakfast so I was sure it was just his curiosity.

As my husband carved the turkey, even through the noise of an electric knife and all of our chatter, we heard loud slurping noises coming from the kitchen. I got up to see what that noise was. Did I leave the water running? Was something dripping? No to both but I did leave the turkey pan on the extended oven rack to cool. Sam was a big guy so the rack was level with his mouth. I walked into the kitchen to watch him continue to slurp up all the remaining juices in the roasting pan. Thank goodness I had already strained the bones out to make some gravy but did leave a generous amount of juices in the pan much to Sam’s happiness. He heard me enter and looked up at me with those huge big brown eyes and wagged his tail not skipping a second of his slurping. I didn’t know whether to laugh or scold him. You guessed it. I laughed and gave him a big hug even with all that turkey juice on his face. My husband always said I would make a terrible dog obedience trainer.

Sam lived to be fifteen and had a happy life and we shared many more wonderful memories together. I named the character of the dog in “Paws for Christmas” after him.
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It’s the Holidays and Jessica Munroe seems destined for misery. Nonetheless she is trying to make the best of it. Her fiancé Jake, an emergency room doctor, dumped her for his nurse and just two weeks prior, she had to put her dog, her best friend, Mazy to sleep.

The pain of losing both the man she loved and her best friend has taken her to a new low. Jessica, determined not to stay down, is now hard at work trying to push through the holiday season by doubling up on Christmas lights and decorations she’s putting up outside her residence.

As Jessica works, a big brown scruffy dog appears in her yard and refuses to leave when she tries to shoo him away. He’s filthy, looks hungry, and seems like he needs help. A dog lover, Jessica takes him to her vet who discovers a metal bone shaped tag buried in his matted fur. The tag reveals his name, Sam, and a phone number to call if he is lost or injured.

Sam’s owner Trey Musgrove is in the hospital the victim of a head-on collision. Now Jessica’s life is about to change forever thanks to Sam, this big brown scruffy lovable dog.

Side effects of reading PAWS FOR CHRISTMAS are a happy heart, an uplifted spirit, new confidence in the future, and a smile on your face!

Mariah Lynne takes readers on breathtaking adventures. Whether travelling through time, solving a crime, or finding love in unlikely situations, her heroines are strong willed independent women whose memorable stories keep the pages turning.
A graduate of Syracuse University, Mariah resides on a beautiful Florida Gulf Coast island, Ft. Myers Beach. Because she loves where she lives, Southwest Florida becomes the backdrop for all of her stories. Before writing fiction, she owned a business on the Beach and wrote weekly columns for two island newspapers.
Mariah is a member of Romance Writers of America and Southwest Florida Romance Writers where she served as Membership Chairman for five years. An animal lover, she served three years on the board of directors for a county wide no-kill animal shelter, The Animal Refuge Center and was honored to be selected Parade Marshall for the annual island Shrimp Festival Parade 2010.
Her books include PAWS for CHRISTMAS , THE DUCHESS’ NECKLACE, SHADOWS ACROSS TIME, and THE LOVE GYPSY also available as an audio book. Her short stories “Love at First Flight” and “The Kaine Mutiny” are published in Vols. 1 and 2 of FROM FLORIDA WITH LOVE, while “Claws for Justice” is included in NINE DEADLY LIVES a mystery anthology featuring cats. Her very first book, SEABLISS, a cozy island mystery now out of print will be re-released as an e-book and in print in early 2021.
When not writing, Mariah, a former video retailer, enjoys watching movies, travelling having recently been stranded because of the pandemic in Australia, swimming, and spending time with her husband Jerry. She still misses her amazing dolphin hunting dog Max, a shelter adoptee.

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Buy the book at Amazon.

Winter Blogfest: Mariah Lynne

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win an e-book copy of SHADOWS ACROSS TIME.

It Sure Is a Wonderful Life


That magical time of year for family, turkey, greetings, and carols is here. Holiday movies will soon prevail on TV. I can’t lie. I love to watch them all, but one black and white movie that opened in theaters in 1946 is my favorite. “It’s A Wonderful Life” has always stood out in my mind and heart because of its beautiful message.

The lead character George Bailey is a kind man who has spent his entire life helping his neighbors in Bedford Falls. He always wanted to travel but never had the opportunity. He had to take over the family business and by doing so, tries to prevent the rich greedy Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town. All that prevents Potter from doing that is George’s modest Mortgage and Loan Company, which was founded by his generous father. But one Christmas Eve, George’s Uncle Billy loses the business’s $8,000 in cash (which back then was a fortune) while intending to deposit the money in the bank. The greedy Mr. Potter discovers the misplaced funds and hides that fact from Billy for personal gain. 

Later that same night, the bank examiner discovers the shortage and George Bailey realizes since he is the head of the company that he will be held responsible, sent to jail, and his company will dissolve. With Bailey Mortgage and Loan gone, Potter will finally be able to take over the town.

Concerned about his wife and their young children, as well as his many friends, George decides they all would be better off if he died. Suicide is the only answer. But a gentle angel named Clarence answers the prayers of George’s loved ones and comes to earth to help George through this difficult time. Clarence in doing so will earn his angel wings. 
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Clarence shows George what things would have been like in Bedford Falls if George had never been born. George decides not to jump into the icy river. By seeing how he impacted so many people’s lives, George’s entire view on life takes a radical turn. He’s happy to have so many friends and family whom he helped along the way. Now they all come to his aid when he has to pay back the bank shortage. George’s change of heart demonstrates what we all should be thankful for – what really counts in life –love, family, and good friends.  

So if you’re feeling a bit down this holiday season, maybe think your problems are insurmountable, this movie will pick you up and give you hope. If you’re not, “It’s A Wonderful Life” is a Christmas fantasy that will warm your heart with holiday cheer and good wishes. You’ll want to hold your loved ones a little closer. It’s my favorite holiday movie and I watch it each and every year.

Florida homicide detective Brianna Breeze can’t seem to catch a man unless she handcuffs him. So her best friend decides to take matters into her own hands and tricks Brianna into seeing the Love Gypsy, a Time Traveler’s friend noted for her extraordinary matchmaking skills.

When a tall, muscular man wearing jeans, a black leather jacket, and slicked back 50’s hair, bursts in on her first visit, Brianna is bewitched. Despite the gypsy’s warning not to get involved with him, Brianna can’t get him out of her mind –even though she more than anyone knows the pitfalls of romancing a stranger.

A present day murder, a mysterious vintage car registered in the past, and a smoking gun complicate the puzzle. Brianna doesn’t know if her lover from the past is a murderer or a savior, but she’s willing to risk Time Travel to find out.

Mariah Lynne writes about strong heroines and distant places. A bit of mystery, a bit of romance,
and some adventure make her stories fun to read.
A resident of a small Gulf Coast Florida island, her surroundings play a role in all of her books.

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Winter Blogfest: Mariah Lynne

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win an eBook copy of Shadows Across Time.

My dog Max could have worked for Santa Claus. He had a pair of fuzzy antlers with jingle bells, loved Christmas, and adored people. Max would drool at the sight of us decorating the tree. We loved fresh trees and so did he. He never had an accident; never confused it with being outside, but always perused the branches for any soft ornaments he could grab.

Once the tree was decorated and the tree skirt in place, he would lie under the lights and take a nap. That’s great for a toy breed, but Max was a seventy pound Humane Society special. He was so cute I didn’t stop him.

Max loved to get presents and opened his own gifts but he wouldn’t stop there. If you had a present on your lap, you were in danger of having the wrapping shredded and ribbon pulled. We loved him, so we let him have fun. We had fun just watching him. Seeing a trend here?

When he was one, he and a good friend named Ron stayed home while my husband and I went into work for a few hours. Ron was a carpenter who did many projects for us. He was crazy about Max so I left thinking “What could possibly go wrong?”

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Ron, I thought. “That Ron must have knocked them over. How could he? Those belonged to my Mom and my grandmother.” I was so upset, I picked up the phone and called him. Did I ever give him an earful? I remember yelling into the phone…”How could you do that? You weren’t even working near the tree. You know how much I treasured that set. That was my mother’s.” I was in tears, but Ron was patient and didn’t respond in kind. He asked one leading question. “Have you seen Maxwell?”

“Max. No. He’s nowhere to be found.” I picked up a large piece of the broken camel and tiptoed into the bedroom. There he was hiding or trying to hide on my husband’s side of the bed. He only hid like this when he knew he did something wrong. I held what was left of one of my treasured camels and called out to him. “Max, did you do this?” He put his head in his paws and rubbed his eyes. Yep. Mystery solved. He must have tried to get them, but luckily knocked them over in the process.

Of course I was upset about my mother’s camels, but I’m sure he didn’t do it on purpose. He probably was looking for a new toy (he loved to play) and I left the low hanging fruit. My fault. I sat on the bed and called him over. I showed him the piece again and said “Bad.” He understood; but I said ‘bad” because he could have ingested the substance or choked and I could have found him in a very different condition. Max was more important than any camel or decoration. He was my “furry ball of love” as my neighbors described him. I called him over and hugged and kissed him content he was safe and okay.

Amelia Augusta Ethrington, 18th century duchess of Abbington, is considered by society an old maid at thirty-two. She refuse to marry and relinquish her title to a husband instead finding romance with strangers. Amelia’s necklace, her claim to title, is stolen by an unscrupulous Time Traveler after a romantic tryst. Amelia must now Travel with the help of her royal seer to find the scoundrel, kill him, and retrieve her necklace before her jealous male cousins lay claim to her duchy. Complications arise when she meets a handsome museum appraiser sent to acquire the jewels. She falls in love and is faced with the most difficult decision of her life: Love in the present or defending her honor in the past.

Mariah Lynne writes romantic adventures that take her readers to distant times and exotic places. Her heroines are free spirited, strong, and independent woman like Amelia. The Love Gypsy and Shadows Across Time are her other two romances.

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Winter Blogfest: Mariah Lynne


In THE DUCHESS’ NECKLACE, Her Grace, Amelia Augusta Ethrington, Duchess of Abbington,  proved she was ahead of her time in romance and women’s rights, but when it came to celebrating an 18th century English Christmas, she remained loyal to the traditions of her royal heritage.

As Amelia peered out the large front windows of her drawing room, she watched a delicate coating of soft snow cover her extensive gardens and manicured shrubs. She remained warm sitting next to a blazing hearth as she instructed her servants on where to hang garlands of fresh holly and evergreen branches preparing the dining room, ballroom and sitting room for her many holiday guests. Several days before Christmas, her grateful grocer would gift her with one and a half pounds of currants and raisins just in time for her cooks to prepare the Christmas pudding. Amelia would make sure her special order of candles for the candelabras on the dinner table were delivered by the chandelier. Of course, she would send a servant to check on the large yule logs for the hearths. The logs had to be large enough to burn all night Christmas Eve.

Amelia would then turn her attention to the dining room supervising the table settings of fine china and sterling silver ready for twenty two of her favorite guests whose invitations were delivered by royal courier. Once the dining room was ready, Amelia moved to the ballroom watching as long festoons of greens were hung from the ceiling beams in preparation for the Christmas Eve dance.

On Christmas Eve, Amelia rode her carriage into the village for Christmas Eve services at the church in the town square. Afterwards, she watched the local children parade through the snow playing drums, trumpets and ringing bells. Amelia would hurry back to her manor and change into formal dress for her much anticipated ball. Of course, she would wear her coveted necklace. Guests with gold leaf invitations in hand and dressed in their finest clothes would enter the ball room announced by name. Of course, the duchess would make a grand entrance as musicians played.

The ball lasted until the wee hours of the morning. Guests left singing carols after much drink and food. Amelia had little time to rest as she prepared to host the Christmas dinner and games. A harpist and carolers singing Her Grace’s favorite carols greeted guests as they entered the drawing room ready for Christmas games. Amelia loved a variety of card games but blind man’s bluff was in the mix as well.

Once the games finished, guests entered the elegant dining room. The center of the holiday feast was a “boar’s head soused” served in stately elegance and introduced by trumpeters. Mince pies and Christmas pudding were the ever present favorites. I found an old recipe from 1713 for Christmas pudding and thought I would share it.


½ lb. beef suet – must be ordered from the butcher shop

½ lb. sultanas

½ lb. currants

½ lb. raisins

½ lb. bread crumbs (white)

¼ lb. flour

¼ lb. chopped candied peel

¼ lb. blanched almonds, chopped

¼ lb. brown sugar

Grated rind of 1 lemon

¾ c. brandy or rum

6 eggs

2 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. mixed spice

1tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

                Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and spice together. Add the finely grated suet and rub it into the flour. Add all the fruit and the rest of the ingredients. Mix all well together. Add the brandy. Tie in a greased and floured pudding cloth or basin, and boil for 6 hours.

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Leave a comment for a chance to win a  costume jewelry fashion necklace.

About the Author:  Ever dream of traveling through time? Mariah Lynne does. She writes stories that take her readers along on exciting journeys. Travel to distant times and beautiful places with strong-willed independent heroines whose memorable tales will entertain with twisted plots that dabble in the paranormal.

A Graduate of Syracuse University, Mariah lives on a beautiful Gulf Coast Island in Florida. When she is not writing, she enjoys swimming, traveling and spending time with her husband and dolphin hunting dog, Max.