Jingle Bell Blog Fest: Frances Pauli

Click here and tell us what Frances developed for a chance to win a  $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate.

A Holly Jolly Story
I had no intention of ever writing a holiday story. I mean, I had nothing against them. I just hadn’t really considered doing it. Somewhere along the way, I relegated them to the category labeled, “interesting but not on my agenda.” Oh, how wrong I was. 
Last year I sold my first books, and I was dead in the middle of the waiting for the next step—any next step—to happen when the holiday season hit. I watched new releases intently, scrutinizing the author’s strategy, the cover art, titles, excerpts etc in hopes of learning something I could use when my turn rolled around. Surprisingly, something about those holiday stories struck an unexpected chord. I wanted one. I developed a bad case of holiday story envy. 
Maybe the season just lends itself to romance. The chemistry is already flowing, a romantic mood is upon the entire nation—sighing, happy, glassy-eyed anticipation is in abundance, after all. At the very least, those holly-enshrouded covers looked enticing. They looked fun! I wanted to play too, and I vowed that the next season, I’d have a holiday release among the crowd. 
Well, by George, I did it. Let me tell you, it was even more fun than I suspected, and I haven’t even hit release day yet. I learned a few things along the way too. Primarily, it’s not quite so easy to feel holly jolly when you’re writing in March. Who knew? Even so, I think a holiday romance is the perfect mating of warm-fuzzy things. So I thought I’d share the reasons I believe romance and the season of cheer are a perfect match.
#1 The excitement. I mentioned this, that breathless anticipation is contagious, and a core thing in common between romance and our favorite time of year. 
#2 The clothing. Fancy dress parties–velvet, fur trim… how much more romance-y can you get?
#3 The food. Sweets for the sweet. The pervasive smell of comfort foods baking, sigh. 
#4 The weather. Cold equals bundling and, more importantly, snuggling. 
#5 The presents. What is better than a romantic gift? (Especially one handed over on bended knee)
#6 The magic. The most important element, I suspect, is that holiday magic. You know what I mean, the feeling that anything can happen. The holiday season screams miracles. It’s a time full of surprises and magic and very happy endings.
What more could we want in our romance? Well, maybe there are a few things. Still, for this author capturing the romance of the holiday on the page illustrated just how much they belonged together. I hope everyone reads a holiday romance this season, and has a fantastic celebration of their own. 
Thanks for having me.
Frances Pauli

Despite a tragic predilection to paint, Frances finally discovered her calling as a writer sometime in her mid thirties. As a lifetime reader of Science Fiction and Fantasy, the stories that clammer for her attention inevitably fall into the Speculative Fiction category.

She currently resides in Washington State with her husband, two small children, and a host of unusual and exotic pets.

Frances eats far too much chocolate, drinks far too little wine and does her best to get the stories out and on paper before they drive her completely insane.

More about her work and links to her stories can be found at: http://francespauli.com/ 

Jingle Bell Blog Fest: Cherie De Sues

Click here and tell us an herb pagan homes will be decorated with for a chance to win a  $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate.

A Pagan Celebration of Yule
Cherie De Sues

Yule is close to the Winter Solstice, midwinter, is the longest night and it occurs either December 21st or 22nd depending on the shift of the calendar. This is a time of a gradual lengthening of nights and the shortening of daylight. Soon after, Pagans will celebrate Yule, which in the old European Norse language is Jul meaning wheel. 

Many Western cultures call this time, Christmas, yet the origins of Christmas has very Pagan roots. Emperor Aurelian established December 25 as the birthday of the “Invincible Sun” in the third century as part of the Roman Winter Solstice celebrations. Shortly thereafter, in 273, the Christian church selected this day to represent the birthday of Jesus.

Pagan use this time as a spiritual focus to ancient holiday customs and incorporating new traditions that still draw on the ancient ways. Yule was always about ritual, feasts and activities for the young and old. Many Pagans use the Winter Solstice Eve and Day to be their focus for gift exchanges and feasts. Many will celebrate over the course of several days and nights as was done thousands of years ago. 

Pagan homes will be adorned with sacred herbs like bayberry, blessed thistle, evergreen, frankincense holly, laurel, mistletoe, oak, pine, sage, yellow cedar. Incense like pine, cedar, bayberry, and cinnamon will be burned next to a Yule log, or a small Yule log with 3 candles. Add evergreen boughs or wreaths, holly, mistletoe for handing in doorways, gold pillar candles, baskets of clove-studded fruit, a simmering pot of wassail, poinsettias, and even Christmas cactus for color and variety. The colors used during Yule are red, green, gold, white, silver, yellow, and orange.  

Foods like cookies, caraway cakes soaked in cider, fruits, nuts, pork dishes, turkey, eggnog, ginger tea, spiced cider, wassail, or lamb mixed with ale, sugar, nutmeg, and roasted apples will be a feast you’ll not soon forget. Some of the activities will include caroling, wassailing the trees, burning the Yule log, decorating the Yule tree, exchanging presents, kissing under the mistletoe, and honoring Kriss Kringle the Germanic Pagan God of Yule. 

Many pagans who are also witches may do spellwork with matters that include peace, harmony, love, and increased happiness. For Pagans this is a time for introspection, giving to the needy and planning for the future. Many will donate food and clothing to the poor, volunteer their time to needy agencies and give back to the community. They’ll add bird feeders to their yards and make pledges for the coming new year to environmental organizations. 

Holly, mistletoe, and ivy are not just to decorate the outside of your home, they are welcome inside too. Doing this extends an invitation to aature sprites and faeries to come and join in your celebration. A sprig of Holly is kept near the door all year long as a constant invitation for good fortune.

For more information on Pagan living, go to Irish Gypsy’s Parlor for articles on holidays, deities, and spells. 

http://www.cheriedesues.com  Irish Gypsy’s Parlor
http://www.cheriedesues2.com Author Main Website

      Chérie De Sues writes medical thrillers, pagan paranormal and contemporary suspense romances from sensual to sizzling heat levels. Chérie is a full-time author of novels, novellas and short stories, and she can be found at Amazon and other fine bookstores. When Chérie takes a break from writing novels, you can find her at book signings, online, or traveling to research her next novel. Half gypsy and half Irish witch, she enjoys creating spells, participating in ritual circles and divining in dreams. She shares her home in San Diego, California, with her Irish terrier, Reilly.

Jingle Bell Blog Fest: Linda Swift

Click here and tell us what happened to Linda’s turkey for a chance to win a  $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate.

 Tis The Season
        We had just moved to Alabama a few months before Christmas. My husband returned to Kentucky to bring our daughter home from college for the holidays and he also brought my widowed mother, his mother and her husband. They were to arrive in the early afternoon so I had the morning to prepare the turkey and dressing.
        Not bothering to dress while cooking, I was wearing a faded chenille robe, floppy houseshoes, no makeup and had my hair in rollers. Things were going well as I attended other tasks while the bird basted in a plastic brown-n-serve bag. The stove timer alerted me that the bird was done and I removed the roasting pan and placed it on the stovetop. I was eager to get those succulent juices into the bowl of dressing I was mixing, so I attempted to move the pan to the counter across the room. It was heavier than I anticipated and the bird started sliding and ended up on the kitchen floor. 
        The bag burst and turkey broth spilled onto the floor and my fuzzy slippers while I stood in horrified shock. Then I went into action, grabbed a roll of paper towels and mopped up as much as I could.  I managed to get the turkey back onto the pan and hoisted it to the counter, lamenting the loss of that essential broth.
        While I mopped, I had a few choice words for Tom Turkey and the bag he browned in as I tried to figure out the best way to save the day. At least, this disaster had occurred while I was alone in the house and still had plenty of time to clean up the kitchen and myself. It was a moment before I heard the sound of a car horn in the driveway above my dark mutterings. And just then my husband stuck his head in the kitchen door and said with a wide grin, “Surprise. We got here early.”
        “Go drive around the block!” I snarled, as he crossed the kitchen with open arms to greet me with a kiss. Instead he slipped on the still-slick floor and clutched at me to steady himself, bringing us both down in a tangle. And we were thrashing about like two lovers in the throes of passion when the others appeared in the doorway.
        “Don’t come in,” I yelled.
        “Well, did you ever?” my mother-in-law said to my mother as they stopped in the doorway in shocked disbelief.
        I finally disentangled myself and struggled up, while I tried to explain the situation. My daughter led her grandparents to the front door while my husband got a mop to clean the floor. I went to greet the family properly, then got dressed and returned to cope with the situation. I found some chicken broth in the pantry and my mother mixed the dressing while I grappled with the bird. He was nice and brown and looked rather regal when I placed him on a platter. 
        “Did you remember to take the giblet bag out of it?” My M-I-L asked as she eyed the bird with suspicion.
        “Oh, yes, I did.” I would have thought she’d forgotten that incident from my early marriage by now.
        M-I-L made slaw while my daughter set the table. The men brought in the luggage and presents while we finished dinner preparations.  I reminded myself that all’s well that end’s well as we sat at table savoring the holiday feast. But I couldn’t help but notice that my M-I-L was eating dressing without any turkey.  
Linda Swift divides her time between her native state of Kentucky and Florida. She has been writing since she was ten and is an award winning author of published poetry, articles, short stories, and a TV play. Her first two books were published by Kensington.

     Linda’s holiday ebooks are THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS, Awe-Struck, and LET NOTHING YOU DISMAY, The Wild Rose Press. CIRCLE OF LOVE, TWRP, and HUMANLY SPEAKING (prose poems), Willow Moon Publishing, are available in ebook and print.  Her Civil War historical, two contemporary fiction and one Haiku collection will be released in 2011

Jingle Bell Blog Fest: Deanna Wadsworth

Click here and tell us how long Deanna has been married for a chance to win a  $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate.

A Kiss at Midnight

A kiss at midnight is a favorite way for most to ring in the New Year. The Ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia is where it began, not that it’s a surprise. Those naughty Romans! I always give my hubby a smooch, if we remember to look at the clock, LOL. Some of my New Year’s Eve parties have a Romanesque feel (((nudge-nudge, wink-wink))) and until hubby put the TV in the basement, we have been known to look up at the clock and, whoops! Its 12:17 and we missed the countdown! Darn champagne doesn’t mix well with tequila shooters!

But back on topic, have you ever just randomly kissed the first person you see?

I must admit I have not.

My friends probably wouldn’t appreciate me kissing their husbands. And my single male friends? Eeew! I could lips lock with a girlfriend but that’s so Britney Spears. And I HATE Britney.

Old folklore says you should kiss the first person you see and depending on how important they are to you, the kiss sets the tone for the year. In other words, see someone you hate at the clock chimes midnight you have to kiss them and you will have bad luck.

My suggestion?

Surround yourself with people you love around 11:57 just in case it’s true!

I think I will stick to my personal kissing ritual of locking lips with my hubby. I’ve been happily married 14 years, so why screw with a good thing?

But if you are looking to change your luck or add a twist to your New Year’s Eve party, try kissing the first person you see.

Being Roman is sooo in this year! LOL

Maybe the New Year will be full of adventure and good fortune because you took a risk. It could be a chance to smooch your super, hot neighbor, too,. I’m feeling a naughty story idea coming on….

So balm up those lips, brush and floss, avoid garlic onions and get smooching at midnight this year!

Just avoid being around creepy folk so you don’t have to kiss them and mess up your year. You wouldn’t want to take the risk that those old superstitions might be based in truth!

Each month Decadent features a book where all publisher profits go to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

“Secret Santa” is the Read for a Cure book in December. During this month I am also adding to that by donating 50 cents per book sold. My personal goal is to raise $500. I would love for you to help me raise money for this great cause! Thanks and Happy Holidays! ~Deanna

Deanna leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio but her fascination with all things taboo and bizarre find their way into her writings. She spends her days writing and her nights as a caped superhero fighting crime with her sidekick Beer Man…no not really. She’s actually pretty boring. You can usually find her with her hubby and three dogs watching TV or hanging in their killer basement bar.

Jingle Bell Blog Fest: Paty Jager

Click here and tell us when Paty writes her holiday letter for a chance to win a  $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate.

Holiday Frenzy
At this time of year it seems like the days are literally shorter, not just the daylight. Candy and cookies to make, not to mention the infamous fruitcake if that’s one of your family traditions. Buying and wrapping presents, decorating… It all seems to cause more anxiety than what the holiday originated from.
I’ve found that by prioritizing what needs to get done and tackling the major things first I can find the time to relax, enjoy a good book or short story about the holidays. I also listen to upbeat Christmas music while I’m tackling the holiday tasks.
I like to make gingerbread people for all my immediate family members. Before our kids were married it included my brothers’ and my husband’s sister’s families. Now it’s my children, their spouses, and the grandkids, plus the great grandparents. This is one of the first things I tackle because I hang them on the tree. They are part of my ornaments. For the families that can’t be here, I put their cookies together for a photo and send it to them.
Baking is done in the evenings while I’m watching TV. (My kitchen opens into the living room) The holiday letter is written in November so I can get it out early. Cards to friends go out the middle of the month. (both mailed and e-cards).
Decorating happens from Thanksgiving on. I pull a box of decorations out and put them up as I feel like it. When that box is done, I pull out another one. The process of decorating is ongoing through out the month of December. After all, the only ones who see it until the actual holiday season are my husband and I.
Gifts—I pick those up starting in October and go until the first of December. I keep a list of what I’ve purchased and who gets what so I can keep an even amount among the grandchildren and make sure the adult kids are happy, too.  I could save myself time, money and effort by sending gift cards to the families in Alaska but then I couldn’t give each of them my own special love. I always try and make something for the grandkids. My mom has been gone for twenty years, but my girls still have pillows and dolls she made for them. 

Now that I have my list and know when to do what, I can sit back, listen to Christmas carols and make the bookmarks for my newest release- Bridled Hearts.

How about you-Are the holidays a time to enjoy family or a time of anxiety and frenzy?
Award winning author Paty Jager has seven books published with The Wild Rose Press. Her first contemporary western received the EPPIE award and her second has been released and is available for purchase here.  Paty not only writes the western lifestyle she lives it. She and her husband of 32 years have 160 acres they ranch when not chasing around visiting grandchildren.

Jingle Bell Blog Fest: Maureen O. Betita

Click here and tell us one thing that drives Maureen crazy during December for a chance to win a  $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate.
 Holidays. I hate them. Well, not all of them. But this one, the big December blow out is very low on my list. It just goes against the grain, all this running about like madmen, hauling ass into the malls, standing in lines, jostling for that gift, or this gift…pulling out the credit card. Sigh.
And the cards. Addressing the cards, getting them in the mail on time ( something I never manage) and then they start arriving and sure enough, Aunt Somebody from WhoKnowsWhere sent a card and lordy, we didn’t send her one!
The music. Makes me homicidal. Nothing like sitting in my favorite Starbucks, trying to write an action themed chase and having the insidious earworm of “Santa Baby” burrowing into the skull. And it’s been playing since just before Thanksgiving! ARGH!
And there are those motion active little toys. You know the ones I mean, the stuffed Santa’s that ‘ho-ho’ when you walk by. The mechanic chipmunks that start singing…again with the singing…as I try to slide past them on my way to pick up my prescription refills.
But they are everywhere in the drug store! At every aisle end…eye level, knee level… 
I often wonder why the clerks in those stores don’t go totally mad during the holiday season and run amuck with an ax. I’m just visiting and the urge to do so is sometimes totally overpowering. Nearly.  (I’d likely be hiding batteries. Every notice how the little kids will deliberately set every single one of these clockwork toys into motion? Kids. Sigh.)
Sigh, again
 I’m more the quiet type. I believe, deep in my bones, that we’ve destroyed the entire natural rhythm of the season. Here it is, the dark of winter, the time when the light fades and the chill seems like it will go on forever, the sun will shine less and less and it will be eternally night… Then the solstice dawns and the sun rises just a bit earlier. There is hope.
Our ancestors, at this time of the year, they hunkered all snug in their caves. Caves full of the bounty they had stocked from earlier in the year and they lit fires, sat around them and told stories. Quiet and calm and knowing that the sun had risen earlier, and so the winter would end, even as it roared outside the cave.
They had common sense. What in the world drove us to make this the time of the year we would constantly be outside of our cave, shouting over the loud speakers, trying to be heard over the carols?

I’m going to find somewhere calm to sit, somewhere to watch the sun rise and know that deep beneath me, the seeds of spring wait.
I’m Maureen O. Betita and every year, the urge to board a cruise ship over the holiday season and spend it with a rum drink in my hand, gazing out at the Caribbean sounds more and more appealing. I love the Caribbean and have written a book set in a Caribbean world. The Kraken’s Mirror will be out soon from Decadent Publishing.
Yes, it features a kraken, but it also brings love, adventure and ipods to a swashbuckling city of Tortuga. With luck, I’ll earn enough to make my holiday Caribbean cruise a reality one of these days… 
Learn more at www.maureenobetita.com

Jingle Bell Blog Fest: Betty Jo Schuler

 Click here and tell us who made Betty Jo’s tree skirt for a chance to win a  $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate.

Decorated with Love 

      Christmas Eve, late at night, my husband Paul and I pour a glass of wine, sit on the floor by our fragrant pine, the room lit only by the tree’s soft lights. 
      Our Christmas tree is decked with love and memories, and on this particular night, we reminisce. There’s a tiny red-and-white striped stocking, yellowed over the years, that I bought the year my first son was born.  (Paul wasn’t a part of my life then; we married when my youngest son was in high school, but they are like his own and he’s a beloved stepfather and step-grandfather.)  A “God’s Eye” made of Popsicle sticks woven with yarn nestles in the branches, a gift made by our first grandson, his initials on the back,written in crayon. Picture-frame ornaments with photos of other grandchildren, when they were small, evoke tender memories.  A smiling ice cream cone, a gift from my daughter and her husband, marks the sale of my first published children’s book, Ice Cream for Breakfast.  A china bell with shamrocks, brought from Ireland, and a gold cross from Rome, are mementos from my youngest son and his wife’s travels. 
      Paul’s and my trips are noted too, and there are decorations given to us by his brother and sister, and mine, and my favorite cousin.  Beaded candy canes and wreaths were made by an aunt that’s deceased.  And the lights that bubble around the bottom of our Christmas tree were purchased only a few years ago, but reminders of Paul’s childhood, they still intrigue little ones. The quilted tree skirt, hidden by piles of gifts before our family opening, bears a large green S on a background of red and white—a treasured gift made by our daughter-in-law.  Our middle son and his wife gave us appropriate ornaments for our interests, a golf club for my husband and a book for me.

Betty Jo Schuler and her husband moved to Florida four years ago.  They sold their house and furniture but among the things they brought along was a large red plastic box filled with their Christmas tree ornaments.  They started over with new furnishings and bought an artificial tree their first Christmas in the Sunshine State, but they missed the real pine and needed a bigger one to hold all their ornaments and memories. The author of twenty-two books, Betty Jo writes for children, teens, and adults. A former elementary teacher, she an instructor for Writers Digest University online classes. Her latest books are Mystic Mansion, How Not to Date a Hollywood Star and No Rain, No Rainbows, all middle grade YA and published by Books We Love Publishing Partners. Visit her website at http://bettyjowrites.com/ or her page at http://www.bookswelove.net/schuler.php

Jingle Bell Blog Fest: Rie McGaha

Click here and tell us how many kids went to find the perfect tree for a chance to win a  $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate.
The Christmas Bush
As the mom of 12 we have some pretty awesome holidays but there is one in particular that I think of every year. It’s the year we had a Christmas bush.
Because we had more kids than money we always tried to do something special for our kids at holiday time. The day after Thanksgiving my husband packed up the kids and took them to cut the tree while I stayed home baking cookies and making hot chocolate to enjoy while decorating the tree.
We lived in a low altitude valley in northern California where it rarely snowed but we were surrounded by mountains that often got several feet. The kids especially enjoyed going for looking for the perfect tree so they could play in the snow. This particular holiday we only had five kids left at home and the two youngest were sick. So my husband took the three oldest, along with my oldest daughter’s friend, and off they went to find the perfect tree. I remained home with the sick ones and they helped make cookies.
When at last we heard the sounds of a vehicle followed by shouts of laughter, we went out the back door to the porch. There on top of my mini van was a tree that hung over the length of the van on both ends. The tree wouldn’t begin to fit in the living room. And bent over with laughter was my husband and children. I asked what they were thinking and this is what they told me.
They went up the mountain road and had to put chains on because the snow was a lot deeper than first thought. While my husband kept his eyes on the trail that served as a road, the kids kept their eyes out for the perfect tree. When they at last found one, my husband stopped the van and they all bailed out. My husband grabbed the axe and because the snow was so deep, he had our daughter and her friend hold the tree while he chopped it down. Everything went well and the girls let the tree fall over. My husband went to trim some of the branches off the end and when he stepped over a pile of snow just inches from where he stood to chop the tree, he stepped onto nothing and slid about thirty feet. He had chopped off the top of a thirty-foot tall fir tree growing down the embankment.
Back home the tree was trimmed to fit in the living room but when we got it set up we wound up moving the furniture to one side of the room to accommodate the limbs, which took up over half the room. By the time we got it decorated, we were all laughing about the incident. When the older kids came to visit, the grandkids thought the tree was there to play in and played hide and seek in the branches.
The year of the Christmas Bush is one of my favorite holiday memories and every time we play remember when at least one of the kids will say, “Hey, Mom. Do you remember the Christmas Bush?” And we laugh all over again.
Author Bio: Rie McGaha is a multi-published author, the mother of twelve and Nana of thirty-three. She lives in SE Oklahoma in a multi-generational home with her husband, Nathan, daughter, Lisa, son-in-law Mike and granddaughter, Meagan. She has nine dogs and three cats that are all rescues. Rie would like to remind everyone to please spay and neuter you animals to prevent unwanted litters that only result in overpopulation and mistreatment of animals.
You can find out more about Rie’s books at http://www.riemcgaha.com/.

Jingle Bell Blog Fest: G.R. Richards

Click here and tell us why G.R. loves winter so much for a chance to win a  $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate.

Confessions of a Winter Lover

My name is G.R. Richards and I hate the summertime. 

Sorry to shock you. I know how offended people become when I make this one particularly controversial remark. It’s a near-sinful admission. When I make it, I’m often greeted with questions like, “What?” and “How could you?” and “Why?” and “Didn’t you write a book for a series called Hot Summer Daze?”

To answer all four questions, I could simply say, “It’s the heat. I hate the sticky, smoggy, humid disgustingness of summer.” I could say that, but, of course, it’s not that simple.

In part, I hate the summertime because it’s not the wintertime. Yeah, that sounds a little…okay…stupid. I admit it. And I am partial to spring and fall, but winter…oh, winter! How do I love thee?

It’s the snow. To me, winter means snow. I can handle the winds that cut through five layers of fleece and chill you to the bone if it means a snowfall might be on the way. There is nothing on the planet more beautiful to me than snow: kids building snowmen on the front lawn, dragging toboggans to the nearest hill, helping their parents shovel the driveway.

Let me share with you a wintery memory, if I may:

Enjoy the season!
G.R. Richards 
You would never know it by the love of public television documentaries and great food in high end restaurants, but G.R. Richards pens some of the world’s hottest guy-on-guy erotica.  Richards is no stranger to a bed damp with sweat, or the sweetness of bodies pressed together.  There’s a reason guys growl for G.R. Richards Erotica.  

Ten or so years ago, on a snowy Saturday morning, my then-boyfriend’s car broke down–a winter reality. I know it’s not all fun and games. Anyway, we got the car to a garage and decided to wander over to a nearby greasy spoon for breakfast. The snow was nearly to our knees, but we trudged on through.

When the restaurant was near, we climbed up a little hill…and I watched him fall flat on his face in the snow. He’d tripped on one of those cement block dealies they have around the outskirts of parking lots, and he was covered head to toe in virgin white.

I laughed my ass off. It was the funniest thing I’d every seen.

 And as I pointed and laughed and kept on walking…trip…fall…splat! I stumbled over the same damn cement block and went right down beside him. He propped himself up on his elbow as I looked up from the snow, stunned.

And he pointed at me and laughed his ass off.

Then he helped me up and I helped him up, and we laughed even as our waitress gave us dirty looks for dripping all over our booth.

Okay, so loving the wintertime doesn’t necessarily mean I should have to hate the summertime. After all, summer is the time of year I start writing Christmas stories for all you wonderful readers to enjoy in the winter!  Vintage Toys for Lucky Boys, Junk, Ivy League…these were all written in the hazy days of summer, and all available now for your reading pleasure.

Jingle Bell Blog Fest: Diane Craver

Click here and tell us one book Diane remembers getting for Christmas for a chance to win a  $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate.
“Books for Christmas Presents”
I remember various gifts I received as a child at Christmas time. Dolls were always a favorite gift, especially the year I got a Shirley Temple doll. My older sister, Carolyn, even made clothes for it….and not just a few. She had a small, red suitcase filled with pajamas, coats, and darling dresses. She bought a pattern and sewed all of them herself. What a special gift! Although I loved receiving dolls for Christmas, I also remember all the wonderful books that made an impression on me as a child.
Lady and the Tramp, Peter Pan, Bobbsey Twins, and all kinds of wonderful thick books of fairy tales brought me early joy. A few years later, Nancy Drew books were under the tree for me, which got me started on the road to loving mysteries. I love that my chick-lit mystery, A Fiery Secret, is many times featured on the same book page with a Nancy Drew mystery.I can’t leave out the various medical romances I loved getting later. 
This Christmas I have two new releases, A Christmas Gift by Whimsical Publications and A Christmas CollectionAnthology: Sensual by Victory Tales Press. I’m going to purchase print copies of my releases to put in my adult children’s stockings. Yes, I still do stockings. We don’t have grandchildren yet so it’s hard to discontinue this tradition.
What about you? Do you give books for Christmas gifts? If so, do you buy fiction or nonfiction for your gift giving? I know my sister-in-law enjoys giving us self-help books. As much as I appreciate this, sometimes I wish she’d throw in a few romances in her selections. LOL  
Author Bio:
Diane Craver met her husband while teaching at an orphanage, and they married in 1975.  While raising their six children in southwestern Ohio, Diane started writing nonfiction. Later, she decided it would be a nice escape to write fiction.
Diane has published through a variety of houses, including Booklocker.com, Samhain, Desert Breeze, Whimsical Publications, and Victory Tales Press. She writes fun and inspiring stories filled with memorable characters. Diane gives thanks to God daily for all her wonderful blessings.
Learn more about Diane and her books at http://www.dianecraver.com.

WEBSITE LINK: http://www.whimsicalpublications.com/,  http://victorytalespress.yolasite.com/