Winter Blogfest: Megan Slayer


This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win a handcuff bracelet or necklace and signed swag .

Christmas Movies!! With @MeganSlayer #movies #christmas #writing
I love this time of year. The shows on television, the songs in the store…but mostly the movies. I’m a sucker for the sappy movies on certain channels. I can’t get enough. Why? I know I’ll get a happy ending each time I watch. Okay, so I know some will be a tad on the cheesy side, but I don’t mind. I love watching. I write while the movies play and it gets me in the mood for the season.

So what are my top five favorite Christmas movies? Now these are my favorites. I’m sure your list will be different, but maybe there’s one or two you might like or haven’t seen.

5. Arthur Christmas – I love the original take on Santa and his family. The story involves a family of Santas who pass down the role of SANTA through the years. It’s new, fresh and with Arthur being voiced by James McAvoy (le sigh), I can’t go wrong.

4. A Muppet Christmas – this isn’t a widely known Christmas film, but it’s about the Muppets going to Fozzie’s mother’s house for the holidays. The Muppets, the Sesame Street Gang, plus the Fraggles are involved. It’s the best and I could watch them fall on the icy patch for hours.

3. Nightmare Before Christmas – I love the oddity of this movie and the music is awesome. I’ll watch this one from Halloween straight through to Christmas. Why not? It covers both holidays. Plus, I love Jack Skellington and Sally.

2. National Lampoons’s Christmas Vacation – I don’t know about you, but I can identify with so many parts of this movie – the dog crashing the dinner, the dog drinking the tree water, the cat and the Christmas lights, the family disagreeing on everything, the shouting, arguing, intrusiveness…the list goes on and on. It makes me feel better about my family Christmases not being perfect and reminds me to laugh. Above all…laugh.

1. Miracle on 34th Street – the black and white version with Natalie Wood. I have to specify because some liked the remake and others like the colorized version. I’m a purist. I want the original without the fixings. John Payne makes a great lawyer and crusader for the downtrodden. Edmund Gwenn might as well BE Santa and the magic in Natalie Wood’s eyes is palpable. This movie snags me every time.

So I ask you…which one from my list is your favorite? Which one is you favorite that I didn’t include? I’d love to know. I’m always open to new Christmas movies.

Two men, one kid, and the frayed nerves that come with the holidays… Can they make it through to Christmas without a blow-up?

Colt Harrison knew when he met Ashley Willis that he’d found the one man for him. He loves Ashley’s son, Wyatt, as if he were his own. But the stress of living together, compounded with buying a home and adopting pets, has worn him down…not to mention the aggravation that comes with the diner he owns. He wants to make Christmas special for his family, but how can they have a great holiday when Colt’s never home?

Ashley’s got a two-week vacation from his job at the elementary school teaching art. All he wants is time with Colt and Wyatt. He loves Colt, but not the long hours spent at the diner, especially around the holidays. Can he be honest about what he wants from Colt and keep the man he loves?

Anything is possible if they embrace the magic of Christmas.

Bonus story included!

Single in Springdale
Can two lonely hearts find their way to each other despite the odds?

Dr. Isaac McLean knows he’s not supposed to lust after a patient, but there’s something about Len Connor that he can’t forget. His laugh? His strong will? His sexy body. But will Len want to be with his former doctor?

Len Connor wasn’t looking to get back into the dating scene, but a chance meeting with Isaac at the animal shelter has him thinking otherwise. Isaac is sweet, funny and oh, so handsome. But he’s also at least twenty years younger than Len. Will this cougar get his cub and have a happy ending? Or will the relationship fall apart before it gets started?

About the Author: Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and BDSM themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best author, best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice.

Website | Newsletter | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Buy the book at Loose ID.

Winter Blogfest: Myra Nour

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win an ebook copy of Time Shifters & $20 gift card from Amazon.

Christmas with the Nours


Pecan or pumpkin pie has been our dessert favorites for many years at Christmas. But, since tasting Éclair Pie made by Anne at our church last year, this is our new favorite. It’s so good you feel like consuming the whole thing, but it is also rich, so one or two portions is my limit per meal.:) Every time I’ve brought this to events people go nuts over how delish it is and want the recipe. Best of all it is super easy to make!

Éclair Pie
1 Box Graham Crackers
2 Small Instant Vanilla Pudding
3 ½ Cups Milk
One 12 oz Cool Whip
1 Chocolate Frosting

Spray 9 x 13 pan, then line with graham crackers.

Mix pudding & milk, beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in cool whip; spread ½ mixture over graham crackers. Layer more graham crackers then rest of pudding mix. Add another layer of graham crackers.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Spread frosting on top of graham crackers. Note: I use 1 ½ can of frosting because I like a thick coating of frosting. Also, I found it is easier to spread if you soften in microwave first. Cover and store in refrigerator. Enjoy!

Simon and I have always loved Christmas, but it is even better ever since we moved to our cabin in the North Carolina Mountains. Nothing screams Christmas like being cozy inside a beautiful cabin with amazing Mountain views. Our favorite Christmas tradition is to start watching Christmas movies the month before. It just doesn’t seem like the season is coming until we watch Christmas Vacation! Other favs are Elf, Bad Santa, The Christmas Card, Silent Night, White Christmas, The Grinch (Jim Carrey), Santa Clause, & Scrooge (all are great but the singing version is the best) It’s a Wonderful Life is a lifetime favorite of course.


Briana has heard his voice for years in dreams. Calling to her. She hears that same voice from the handsome stranger she meets on vacation, captivating and so familiar. When he unexpectedly transforms into a werewolf, Briana flees in horror. She knows him … he is the wolfman who haunts her nightmares. More than anything else, it is her lustful response to the beast that terrifies her.

When Raynor finally meets his mate, he is confused by her reaction and even more so by her response when he shifts. She doesn’t recognize him. In an attempt to escape, Briana jumps through the time portal of his people, landing her in Medieval England. Raynor must rescue her, which requires bonding with Briana as her mate. But first he must teach Briana that she is a shifter, then convince her not to be repelled by her other self, an ancient, powerful shifter. A snakewoman.

About the Author: Myra Nour is the author of several best-selling romance novels, including Love’s Captive. She retired as CEO of BTSeMag in January 2016 and began focusing on her horror books. She is a huge fan of horror, loves The Walking Dead and devours zombie books. She is currently working on a zombie novel of her own.

Website | Blog | Facebook

Buy the book at Loose Id.

Winter Blogfest: Helen C. Johannes

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win a Kindle e-book copy of BLOODSTONE, US only.

Coping with the Winter Wonderland…


This is what I do when it’s cold outside—and for us it’s cold and snowy for five months of the year! I stay inside with my handy electric throw blanket. I read, write, and watch movies. And I bake.

Staying inside means planning shopping and errands around the snow/ice/freezing rain forecast and daylight hours. It means cozying up at the kitchen table with a cup of hot tea while DH blows the snow from the driveway. It means watching the neighborhood kids frolic in the park across the street from the warmth of my living room. If it sounds as if I’m a winter hermit, you got it.

My local library is my lifeline. We stop by at least once a week, sometimes more. Old movies and new, new books and old are just the tonic for the winter blahs. I grew up addicted to reading; if it’s in print, I’ll read it. (I read a lot of cereal boxes as a child.) I take a book everywhere. Thank goodness for e-readers!

You’d think since I’m not such a fan of winter, I wouldn’t write winter into my books, but it makes an appearance more often than not. It’s such a useful metaphor for hardship, loneliness, and challenge. The movie Frozen has that absolutely right.

To warm up the house and fill it with delicious smells, I bake: pies, cakes, cookies, breads. There’s nothing like a flavorful treat, fresh from the oven, accompanied by glass of milk or hot beverage. Here’s a favorite recipe of mine that can be enjoyed any time of the year:

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Ingredients
• ½ cup shortening
• ½ cup white sugar
• ½ cup brown sugar, packed
• 2 eggs, beaten
• ¼ cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 and 2/3 cups oatmeal
• ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
• ½ cup dried, sweetened cranberries
• 1 and ½ cups flour
• 1 teaspoon soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
Directions
1. Cream shortening with sugars; then add beaten eggs, milk and vanilla extract.
2. Combine mixture with oatmeal, chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
3. Add flour sifted with soda and salt. Beat thoroughly.
4. Drop by teaspoonful onto non-stick baking sheets, two inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350°F. Makes about 3 dozen.


What if looking at the face of the man you loved meant death? Years ago, warrior Durren Drakkonwehr was cursed by a mage. Now feared and reviled as the Shadow Man, he keeps to himself, only going to town to trade rare bloodstones–petrified dragon’s blood–for supplies. Though he hides his face, he can’t hide his heart from the woman who haunts his dreams… Needing bloodstones for a jewelry commission, Mirianna and her father journey across the dreaded Wehrland where the beast-men roam. When their party is attacked, only the Shadow Man can save them. Strangely drawn to him, Mirianna offers herself in return for her father’s rescue. Living in the ruined fortress with the Shadow Man, Mirianna slowly realizes that a flesh-and-blood man–not a fiend–hides there in hoods and darkness. But are love and courage enough to lift the curse and restore the man?

About the Author: Helen C. Johannes lives in the Midwest with her husband and grown children. Her first book, THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE, is an EPIC winner in Fantasy Romance. Her second book, BLOODSTONE, is a Launching a Star Winner in Fantasy Romance.

Growing up, she read fairy tales, Tolkien, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Agatha Christie, Shakespeare, and Ayn Rand, an unusual mix that undoubtedly explains why the themes, characters, and locales in her writing play out in tales of love and adventure. A member of Romance Writers of America, she credits the friends she has made and the critiques she’s received from her chapter members for encouraging her to achieve her dream of publication. When not working on her next writing project, she teaches English, reads all kinds of fiction, enjoys walks, and travels as often as possible.

Blog

Buy the book on Amazon.

Winter Blogfest: Joanne Guidoccio

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win an ebook of Too Many Women in the Room.

A Different Kind of Dessert

Scalilli. Turdilli. Crostoli. Grispelle. Biscotti. Pizzelle.

I have fond memories of all those Italian desserts my mother and grandmother prepared during the Christmas season. They would start baking early in December and then make more batches as the month progressed.

While I enjoyed partaking, I was not overly thrilled with the amount of work involved. In fact, delicious and labor intensive would be two apt descriptions for many of the entrées and desserts that emerged from my mother’s kitchen.

One Christmas in the early 1970s, my mother presented a different kind of dessert. She placed a dish filled with unusual shapes on the table and said, “Help yourself to a snowball.”

A dessert that didn’t end in a vowel…definitely a first in our household! I couldn’t help smiling at the looks of surprise exchanged by my father and grandmother. But their skepticism was short-lived. Delicious and easy-to-prepare, Francesca’s Chocolate Snowballs became part of our family’s Christmas tradition.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

4 ounces Kraft Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp milk
2 cups icing sugar
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
¼ tsp vanilla
Dash of salt
3 cups Kraft miniature marshmallows
2 cups coconut (amount may vary)

Directions

  • • Combine softened cream cheese and milk until well blended.
  • • Gradually add sugar.
  • • Melt chocolate and add to mixture.
  • • Stir in vanilla and salt.
  • • Fold in marshmallows.
  • • Drop rounded teaspoons of the mixture in coconut and toss until well covered.
  • • Place on baking sheet.
  • • Chill for 24 hours or until firm.

Makes 36 snowballs

When Gilda Greco invites her closest friends to a VIP dinner, she plans to share David Korba’s signature dishes and launch their joint venture— Xenia, an innovative Greek restaurant near Sudbury, Ontario. Unknown to Gilda, David has also invited Michael Taylor, a lecherous photographer who has throughout the past three decades managed to annoy all the women in the room. One woman follows Michael to a deserted field for his midnight run and stabs him in the jugular.

Gilda’s life is awash with complications as she wrestles with a certain detective’s commitment issues and growing doubts about her risky investment in Xenia. Frustrated, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers decades-old secrets and resentments that have festered until they explode into untimely death. Can Gilda outwit a killer bent on killing again?

About the Author: In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio retired from a 31-year teaching career and launched a second act that tapped into her creative side. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Website l Blog l Facebook l Twitter

Buy the book at Amazon.

Winter Blogfest: C F White

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win an ecopy of Won’t Feel a Thing (St. Cross#1).

I Believe in Father Christmas

Christmas is magical. There is no doubt about that. But for some, it truly is filled with magic, fairy tales, and joy. And it doesn’t matter how old you get, you can always believe in that.

Like my son, and the others like him, who have a rare genetic condition called Williams Syndrome. This strange realignment of genetics, and missing chromosomes, make for a unique and engaging personality. They love everyone and everything. They see the joy and magic of Christmas every day of the year. So Christmas for them is the ultimate holiday.

I volunteer for the Williams Syndrome Foundation as a regional rep. As part of this role I lay on a fully funded party for all those families in my area who have a member in their clan with WS. It’s a day I love every second of. The sheer excitement and fun bursts through each and every one, from the young to the old. Because the absolute marvel of WS is that they are all eternal children. They love like children; they dance like children, and they believe like children.

I arrange for Father Christmas to visit the party. He brings along a toy for each one (bought by the parents, handed to me in secret) and delivers them to the delighted and eager recipients, bouncing on their toes in excitement. Of course, this happens in many a grotto all over the world. But here, it’s something different. Something magical. Every child, every adolescent, every fully grown adult with WS believes, wholeheartedly, that the man in the red suit is the real Father Christmas.

One year, a young girl of sixteen sat cross-legged on the floor after having danced nonstop since she arrived at the party. She watched patiently as each child was called up, handed their beautifully wrapped gift, had their chance to sit on the big man’s knee and have their photo taken. With her long hair in bunches tied in bows with red Christmas ribbon, her sparkling eyes were wide behind the thick lenses of her pink glasses. She clapped, she cheered, she helped the smaller ones up from their heaps on the floor so they could retrieve their gifts. She asked where Rudolph was as she clutched a carrot in her hand. But, what happened next will never leave me. Father Christmas (aka my husband in a red Santa suit) rummaged in the black sack. Empty. No gifts left. I hadn’t noticed that her parents hadn’t handed me a present to add to the bag on arrival. The mother, mortified, hadn’t seen the message that she needed to provide one.

The girl sobbed. She asked, over and over, if she had been on the naught list. She hadn’t meant to have the last biscuit in the tin. She hadn’t meant to be mean. She was sorry. She would try better next year. She still handed Father Christmas the carrot to give to the reindeers anyway. She believed.

Not to end on a bad note, we did manage to find her a gift from the shops still open in the market place where we were. We found some paper to wrap it in. We then passed it over with an apology from the elves that they had left it on the sleigh on the roof. The girl beamed. She cried, happy tears, and hugged Father Christmas, thanking him and telling him she loved him and always believed in him.

That stuff—it’s magic. So, now, I believe in Father Christmas, too. Don’t you?


It takes more than a doctor to mend a broken heart.

Ollie Warne, fresh out of nursing school and working his dream job as a pediatric cardiology nurse at St Cross Children’s Hospital, London, wants to start the new year free of personal heartache after his track record of falling for the wrong man—his New Year’s resolution is to live a life of carefree liaisons from now on.

He immediately meets Jacob, father of one of Ollie’s patients and a man harboring more guilt and past demons than even Ollie, which is saying something…

Their growing attraction makes it hard for Ollie to keep his distance, but he has to―not only do the ethics of his profession demand it…but Ollie is entangled with another man. A predatory doctor who has a huge personal and professional stake in Ollie’s life.

Ollie risks more than his job by getting involved with a patient’s father―and much more than just the success of his New Year’s resolution, something that was supposed to ensure that, this time, he won’t feel a thing.

About the Author: Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail—leave.

Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly searches for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.

She eventually moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.

After her second son was born with a rare disability, C F White’s life changed drastically and brought her pen back to paper after she’d written stories as a child but never had the confidence to show them to the world. Now, having embarked on this writing journey, C F White cannot stop. So strap in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Winter Blogfest: Carrie Lomax

This post is part of Long and Short’s Review Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win one Digital Copy of Holiday Heat (any format, please specify).

 Holiday Heat

With an extended family spread across the United States, the week from Christmas to New Years is a time for us to reunite, relax, and reconnect. I love sharing different traditions. For example, my aunt lives in New Mexico. Each year, she sends us pictures of luminarias—small paper lanterns made with a candle set in sand inside a paper bag—outside her home. When she visits, we put them out in the deep Wisconsin snow.

I lived in New York City for fifteen years, and my husband and I would take visiting family to see the shop windows along 5th Avenue. (Bergdorf Goodman has the best creations. [Link:  http://blog.bergdorfgoodman.com/video/bg-holiday-window-reveal/ ]) And no matter how small our apartment, every year, we’ve had a tree to decorate at Christmas.

After the gifts are open, the week before New Year is a time for visiting and catching up with loved ones near and far. It’s this time away from work and school that I look forward to each year. Which is why I chose this time to set my first Christmas-themed book, Holiday Heat.

Where better to recover from the heartbreak of a broken engagement than with family?

Though she’s terrified that her family will “lose it” over the engagement that didn’t happen, they’re the supportive rock Alyssa needs. Her own mother plots to hook her up with the hot guy who lives next door. And it’s her sister, Janelle, who sets in motion the dating contest that forces Alyssa and Marc to work through their lack of trust, and find a way forward. Without family, Alyssa and Marc wouldn’t find their New Year happily ever after. Here’s an excerpt:

“Alyssa. I wondered if you were coming home for the holidays.” 

“You did? I mean, of course. I always come back for Christmas.” She felt faint. What fresh hell was this speaking words business? If she did fall over she’d blame it on the balmy weather. Marc never spoke to her, except to tease.

“You didn’t last year.”

“I can’t believe you noticed,” Alyssa blurted. She’d been in Connecticut with Zach’s family.

“I’ve always noticed,” Marc replied with a half-grin that hit her like a tractor-trailer.

This holiday season, I hope you’ll find joy in reconnecting with the people you love, whether you’re celebrating with family or finding a community far from home.

One Unforgettable Christmas Week
A broken engagement.
An ill-advised fling.
A reality-TV-inspired dating contest.

A competition between one woman’s heart and her head — with her future on the line.

The Bachelorette
Alyssa Carlisle arrives home for the holidays nursing a fresh Christmas Eve heartbreak. A hookup with her hot neighbor seems like the perfect rebound. He’s never looked her way, but Marc De Luna’s just what she needs: a no-strings attached, super sexy vacation fling.

She never thought he’d want more. She’d be a fool to believe it. Setting aside her ambition is out of the question.

The (Play) Boy Next Door
Marc’s had it bad for his aloof, ambitious neighbor ever since her family moved in. Her engagement to a rich boyfriend was enough to send him packing for an extended trip — anywhere — as long as it’s far away from any reminder of Alyssa. Now that he’s is out of the picture, Marc ‘s not about to pass up his chance to claim her as his own.

When her ex makes an unexpected appearance, Marc’s got a fight on his hands — and he’ll do whatever it takes to win.

About the Author: Carrie Lomax grew up in the Midwest before moving to New York City for 15 years. She lives in Maryland with two budding readers and her real-life romantic hero.

Website l Facebook l Twitter

Buy the book at Amazon.

Winter Blogfest: Emily Carrington

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win one copy of A Very (Psychic) Vampire Christmas, which comes out right before Christmas. I will choose a randomly drawn person from the comments.

The Point of a Parrada

The point of a parrada is to sneak up on your friends. What’s a parrada? It’s a group of friends armed with guitars, maracas, and other instruments who surprise others with their sudden music during the Christmas season. The songs aren’t necessarily religious, but occassionally Jesus is mentioned.

This tradition is most common in Puerto Rico and Cuba. I stumbled upon it while doing research for my Puerto Rican-based psychic vampires. Although the story takes place a little south of Buffalo, New York, these psychic vampires bring their customs with them. Some, like piñatas being used mostly for a child’s birthday, are captured and rewritten by the werewolves who live in New York. Others, most notably the parradas, grow with the werewolves to lend their spirit.

The werewolves of Charles McLaughlin’s pack aren’t exactly celebrating Christmas since they follow the moon goddess and are rejoicing at the coming of the longest night of the year. But they learn to embrace new traditions. They have to. Charles’s mate, Luis, is a psychic vampire and brings with him a whole island’s worth of habits.

For me, singing is a crucial part of each Christmas season. I sing at the Protestant version of midnight mass after opening one Christmas present early. Please share your traditions with me. I will randomly select a comment and award that person a copy of A Very (Psychic) Vampire Christmas on January 3rd.

Happy Holidays!

Peace,

Emily Carrington

A werewolf and a psychic vampire, mated for two years according to werewolf custom, are planning to get married to comply with psychic vampire tradition. Unfortunately, as much as they want to participate in a sexualized version of a Catholic wedding, they are cock blockd by the psychic vampire matriarch. She wants her son to stay away from his werewolf lover—and she’ll stop at nothing to break them up.

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author: Hi, I’m Emily. Welcome to my SearchLight world full of magical creatures, inclduing dragons, genies, and psychic vampires. If you’re curious about how dragon politics work over in China, check out my website: www.emilycarrington.com

Website l Facebook

Winter Blogfest: Aidee Ladnier

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

The Three Best Things About Going Home for the Holidays


With the holidays fast approaching, I’m looking forward to a few of my favorite things I get to share with my extended family.

1. Getting to drink guilt-free hot cocoa with marshmallows. I’m a hot chocolate fan. And I love to sip it in hot and cold weather. But I never, ever, ever buy marshmallows to go in my cocoa because while staring at them in the grocery aisle, all I can think about is the extra calories that the cocoa will already be providing. But when my mom hands me a warm cup of cocoa, she has already sprinkled marshmallows on top and I couldn’t possibly be rude enough to dip them out. I just enjoy them to the fullest.

2. Taking a drive around the neighborhood to see the Christmas lights. Full disclosure – I’m related to the person, you know who I’m talking about, who spends a month or more putting up outside decorations and has to take up a collection to pay the electric bill. So a visit to drive through my cousin’s twinkling wonderland complete with holiday music is a must. And it’s also wonderful to see every other house in the neighborhood just as brightly lit with trees, Santas, and plastic snowmen. And when we get back, everyone piles out of the car and my mom serves another round of cocoa!

3. Hearing all the great stories of holidays past. I come from a family of storytellers. Which means anytime everyone gathered, someone would have a funny story or a poignant one to pull out for the rest of us. My favorite stories were my grandmother’s. She regaled my sister and me with stories of riding on the buckboard to church, cutting paper dolls out of the discarded Sears catalog, and waking up to a special breakfast just for Christmas. And now that I’m one of the storytellers in the family, I’m passing those stories down to the newer members myself.

I love writing about family traditions and this year I’ve even written a story set at Christmas. I hope you’ll check out A Hundred Promises of Love and may you have a wonderful holiday!


For Ethan and Nico, a broken millefiori ornament is more than a few shards of glass−it’s a chance at finding love at Christmas.

Ethan Carson wants to treat his mother to the perfect Christmas while she’s visiting over the holidays. He’s spent all his savings on presents and bought an enormous tree that takes up half his living room. But when he starts to trim the tree with the family heirloom decorations, he finds her favorite ornament, the one his late father bought on their honeymoon, is broken.

Glassblower Nico Kazan doesn’t celebrate Christmas—unless you count trying to sell the art glass in his gallery to holiday shoppers. When Ethan, the object of his secret crush, asks him to recreate a broken Murano ball, he knows it will take more than his skill and time. Can he risk his heart to give Ethan back a symbol of love and family for Christmas?

About the Author: Aidee Ladnier, an award-winning author of speculative fiction, began writing at twelve years old but took a hiatus to be a magician’s assistant, ride in hot air balloons, produce independent movies, collect interesting shoes, fold origami, and send ping pong balls into space. A lover of genre fiction, it has been a lifelong dream of Aidee’s to write both romance and erotica with a little science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or the paranormal thrown in to add a zing.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Buy the book on Amazon.

Winter Blogfest: Darragha Foster

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest.

This author is also a professional card reader!

Norse Mythology inspired, Buddhist concept interpreted intuitive readings—and the first twenty who email darragha@gmail.com with the subject line: NEW YEAR’S READING, will get a free 3-card “general” reading about your brilliant 2018.

My mama taught me how to “read” for people (psychometry and tea leaves) when I was 12 years old. Her mother had taught her. So…not to give away my age, but I’ve been doing professional readings for over 40 years.

Let’s do this!


Death. It is the only constant in her life. It comes with little to no warning. When you’re raised in the Red Zone, you know it’s only a matter of time before it cuts you down. A harsh environment breeds harsh people. Reggie has made a life for herself by being the best of the worst—a pit-fighter.
Her right fist is all that matters, until she meets a shape-shifter, whom she first bests in a fight, then makes love to him. Is the only constant really death?
On the eve of the most important battle of her life, Reggie is forced to choose between her will to survive, and her need to love.
It all goes back to the three rules of the pit. Sharpen your wits. Watch you back. And don’t fall in love.

About the Author: Darragha Foster is the author of a myriad of strange and wonderful romance novels featuring such unique heroes and heroines as shape-shifting orca whales and vampiric bed and breakfast owners.

She lives and loves in Bellingham, Washington, a city with a claim to fame for having had way too many serial killers visit due its proximity to the Canadian border. She thinks the best place to get fried oysters is, unfortunately, the local establishment known to have served drinks to at least three notorious murderers. Got to be a story in there somewhere!

Darragha lives outside the city limits with her husband and several animals.

Website

Winter Blogfest: Ingrid Hahn

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win tea and a mug for cozying up by the fire to read romance novels this winter!

Christmas

My father taught at a high school where service to the community was one of the most prized values. Every holiday season, the homerooms collected food and gifts for a family in need. One year, several grades before I started high school myself, I rode along and helped him deliver boxes.

Some of the homerooms did a satisfactory job collecting for their family. Some did an outstanding job. And one homeroom, where my father returned to the car for box after box after box, did a such a good job, that the family members cried in wonder and thanks.

It stayed with me, that night. I was too young at the time to be more than a clueless observer without the emotional resources or life experience to process or understand my experience.

It did not leave me, though. In fact, it partially inspired the pivotal part in my first published book, TO WIN A LADY’S HEART. The hero, the Earl of Corbeau, carries on a family Christmas tradition in which he makes a tour of his lands, bringing gifts to tenants, and accepting a gift in return. Not just any gift. Food. Something he will put on his Christmas table and something that the tenant family will put on their Christmas table. In this way, the earl remembers that he is not an arbitrary lord, but has people in his care. A duty he takes extremely seriously.

It’s on a sleigh ride through the snow in which the impoverished heroine—forced into an engagement with the besotted hero whom she doesn’t want to accept because she doesn’t want to marry for money—first begins to reconsider the hero not as a means to an end, but as someone with whom she could build a happy home centered around love.


England, 1811. When John Merrick, the Earl of Corbeau, is caught in a locked storeroom with Lady Grace, he has but one choice—marry her. He cannot bear to tarnish any woman’s reputation, least of all Lady Grace’s.

Lady Grace Landon will do anything to help her mother and sisters, crushed and impoverished by her father’s disgrace. But throwing herself into the arms of her dearest friend’s older brother to trap him in marriage? Never.

Each book in the Landon Sisters series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.

Series Order:
Book #1 To Win a Lady’s Heart
Book #2 To Covet a Lady’s Heart

About the Author: Ingrid Hahn is a failed administrative assistant with a B.A. in Art History. Her love of reading has turned her mortgage payment into a book storage fee, which makes her the friend who you never want to ask you for help moving. Though originally from Seattle, she now lives in the metropolitan DC area with her ship-nerd husband, small son, and four opinionated cats. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves knitting, theater, nature walks, travel, history, and is a hopelessly devoted fan of Jane Austen.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Buy the book on Amazon.