How do you celebrate this festive time of year?
We all have traditions - many of which involve food (feasting), family and friends. I always look forward to Christmas Day, which we celebrate with my side of the family. We have turkey with all the trimmings = the hostess makes the turkey but other parts of the feast come from guests. (I'm taking the pie this year.) There are gifts, of course, too, but the company is really the best part.
On the other side of our family, our tradition has changed in recent years, and this too is part of the magic of tradition. We think it has to be always the same, but actually, there's room for modification and variation. Mr. Math's mom used to make a roast goose dinner on Christmas Eve and we all went there. She was a fabulous cook and it was so delicious that none of us dared to try to cook the meal instead. Since she passed away, and Mr. Math's father shortly thereafter, we modified the tradition. I've been hosting a dinner for both sides of the family early in December (usually the weekend of first Advent) when everyone's calendar has a little more open space. I did roast goose the first year, but now understand why my MIL found the geese stressful to make. They are hard to predict, which makes it hard to time everything else to be done when they are. Last year, we had roast duck instead, and this year, we had prime rib. I think I'll go back to the duck again next year. They're more like goose, but easy peasy - which helps when you have the chaos of company!
Traditions can also be added to our celebrations. We used to have a neighbor from Scandinavia who burned a torch all night long on the solstice. Mr. Math thought this was wonderful, and it was neat to see the flame against the night. We now have a garden torch which Mr. Math lights on the night of the solstice (but we don't leave it burning all night long, just so long as we're watching it). This year, we had torrential rains on the solstice, so the torch had to stay in the garage, but there will be next year. (I lit some candles in the house instead to call back the sun.)
A bit part of this time of year for me is reviewing the last year and planning for the year ahead. I usually do that on the solstice. I've updated my work schedule and my publication list, and there's a post on that scheduled on my blog for January 4.
Of course, a part of this festive season is sending greetings and good wishes to friends and associates, many of whom are distant. We don't send or receive as many physical cards as was once the case, but I still send some - and we do receive wonderful email wishes, too. It's the sentiment that counts!
The Prometheus Project Boxed Set is available only at iBooks and Kobo. It will deliver on December 29.
The Crusader's Bride, which is the first book in my current medieval romance series the Champions of Saint Euphemia, is on sale now at iBooks and Kobo for just 99 cents. It'll be on sale at the other portals next week. The Champions of Saint Euphemia is a linked series I've wanted to write for a while. Each book is a medieval romance, but the series follows the journey of a company of knights (some Templars and some former-Templars) from Jerusalem to Europe as they deliver a sacred relic to the Temple in Paris. Someone wants the treasure and is willing to kill for it. These stories are entangled, with each hero and heroine adding to the overall story. The Crusader's Bride begins the quest, as Gaston leaves the order to claim his inheritance in France and finds himself in need of a bride. He picks Ysmaine, and gets far more in a wife than he ever expected.
It's a good time to begin the series, too. The second book, The Crusader's Heart, was published in October, and book #3, The Crusader's Kiss, will be published in January. Book #4, The Crusader's Vow, will finish up the originally planned series in April - but there's been a fifth book added. The Crusader's Handfast is being published in monthly installments, and the first one was published on December 15. Part Two comes out on January 15. The complete book will be available in July, in both print and digital editions. Also (!), The Crusader's Bride will be available in an audiobook in January. You can listen to a sample from that audiobook, narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds, right here.
this post on my blog. You can also search for other #XmasAudio giveaways with the hashtag, on Facebook and Twitter.
How do you celebrate this festive season?
I hope your month is merry and filled with good friends, good books and good cheer. See you in 2016!
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Good morning! Happy Wednesday. Happy Holidays. Happy birthday to me...and readers get the gifts!!
Today I hit 41 years young. Age is nothing but a number. While I don't care to celebrate birthdays, I don't mind getting older. I've lived, and still have lots to live, a great life, am very blessed and am empowered by the obstacles I've overcome through the years. I wouldn't change a thing.
This year I hope for continued great health for my hubby, kids and family. I've had some bumps in the road the last couple of years health wise but things have vastly improved. I wish all of my friends and writer colleagues all the success they can handle.
So, as I said, while it's my birthday, I'm doing some giveaways to win goodies.
Giveaway # 1 -- Comment below to win your choice of any of my titles currently available in ebook -- FIVE Winners!!! Leave your email address as well please so I can contact you!
Giveaway # 2 -- Comment below to win $20 in Ebook Bucks from All Romance eBooks -- 1 winner! Leave your email address as well please so I can contact you!
Giveaway # 3 -- Comment below to win a swag pack from me (will need your snail mail address. will be shipped in the new year) -- 1 winner! Leave your email address as well please so I can contact you!
Winners will be chosen at random on Thursday Dec 17th.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
My Christmas alien romance, Hey, Santa, takes place at Christmas, and to me that not only means time with family, it also means snow. Living in Canada, we get snow in the fall, throughout the winter, and into the spring. Sometimes even in the summer. Although we don't have any that has stayed yet this season, it is rare for us not to have snow at Christmas. Now, every part of Canada is different in terms of the weather they get. The Maritimes seem to get the most snow, whereas the prairie provinces get really cold temperatures but not as much snow.
This weather can lead to some facts of life and memories. Here are some of mine:
- My grandparents live six hours north from us. In the winter, we rarely visited them. It was just a part of growing up, and it is still the same to this day.
- Just before Christmas, I was visiting my other grandparents, and my father came to pick me up from their place to bring me home for the holidays. Well, when he left, the weather was fine, but on the way home, the weather was so bad, that we had to stop in London and take the train the rest of the way home.
- In the snow, kids usually make snowmen, well, not my family. Instead, my mother helped my brother and I to make snowhorses, and we rode them until they melted.
- One winter, we went tobogganing in a nearby town. There was a giant hill that flattened out at the bottom, and then there was a river further out. Most people never made it to the river when sledding down the hill. Well, my brother went on the toboggan with one of my cousins. We all thought they were going to stop before the river, but they didn’t. Both of them fell right in. As a child, I had never seen adults move so fast. They had the two boys out of the water, back up the hill, and stripped to nothing within seconds. Thank goodness they were both okay.
- Thirteen years ago, when my husband and I were living in the country, I was driving to work, and I slipped on a patch of black ice. Now, on my right was a ditch, and on my left was a snowy field, hydro poles lining that side of the road. The truck slipped to the left. Thankfully, there was no traffic, and I slid into the field in between the poles. No damage was done to the truck, but the follwing summer, you could see where I went into the field by the lack of corn growing. Little did I know that at the time, I was just pregnant with my first child.
Do you get snow where you live? If so, what are some of your childhood memories of snow?
An Alien for the Holidays story
She doesn’t want a lot for Christmas…
Claire Otton dreads spending another holiday alone. When her best friend convinces her to approach the sexy mall Santa, she takes the chance and asks him out, hoping for so much more.
He’s waiting under the mistletoe…
Although Andreas Castellanos blends in on Earth, he knows he will never belong. But when the gorgeous woman he’d been staring at invites him to dinner, he has a hard time saying no.
All they’re asking for…
Can these two lonely souls find magic together or will their secrets steal their chance of a happy Christmas?
Claire smoothed her dress across her lap. The short hemline didn’t come close to reaching her knees, or barely her butt for that matter. Though a festive red color, the dress’s plunging neckline revealed even more skin. She shivered in her chair, ready to ask for her coat back. Why did she have to buy the shortest dress possible?
Like she needed it anyway, with her date already ten minutes late. She doubted he would show. Who wanted a socially inept woman? Heck, what man wanted to start dating someone two days before Christmas? She sighed, resting an elbow on the table. Why did I ask out Santa? She didn’t even know his name, what he looked like. Yet, she’d given him enough personal information to stalk her. Way to go, numbskull. She might as well have given him her house key. And since Tiffany had driven her to the restaurant, she’d have to take a cab back home.
“Hi, Claire. Sorry, I’m late.”
She jerked her head toward the deep, husky voice. Her Santa had arrived. But instead of the white-haired, bearded man with the fuzzy red suit, she stared at a Greek god. Broad shoulders. Muscles constricted by the sleeves of his dress shirt. His wavy brown hair looked wet, as if he’d recently stepped out of the shower. Or maybe snow had started to fall since she’d arrived. Pulse racing, she dared to gaze into his crystal blue eyes, the part of him she remembered from their meeting in the mall. Yet, even with his tanned complexion, something seemed not quite right with the color of his skin.
Was he as nervous as her? Her last non-double date occurred so long ago, she didn’t know how to act.
Not wanting to be rude, she stood to greet him. He had, after all, arrived rather than standing her up. And the sooner he touched her, the better.
Resting his hand on her hip, he moved closer, kissing her cheek, his lips soft and gentle. His breath smelled of fresh mint, a far cry from the last guy Tiffany had tried to set her up with.
If you'd like to get the next story in my An Alien for the Holidays series, ALIEN KISSES AT MIDNIGHT, for FREE, simply subscribe to my newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/eX1Zw It will be emailed to newsletter subscribers on December 26th.
Happy holidays! See you again in 2016!