Thursday, December 28, 2017

Here Comes 2018 @lcrandallwriter





One of my favorite things is standing on the starting edge of a new year. It's like new snow in the backyard -- clean and sparkly. A new year is full of promise and new opportunities, things that make life exciting.

I wish you all a 2018 that is exactly what you want it to be!!

I don't make new year resolutions, but I do think about the upcoming year and how I can make it work for me. Do you have plans for the new year?


Image credit: ID 94156054  | Dreamstime

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Unintentional Favorite Christmas Songs @kathleenlawless

When I recently learned several holiday classics were never originally intended as Christmas Carols, it made me wonder if some of our favorite Christmas roamnce novels and movies had the same unlikely start in life.

One Horse Open Sleigh has not a single reference to Christmas.  It apparently refers to the dating rituals of American teens in the late 1800's when girls with impressed with horse-drawn sleighs. 
(which later became the motor car, but hardly as romantic)

Let it Snow has no mention of Christmas.  It was written in 1945 during one of California's hottest days of the year.

I'll Be Home For Christmas, which nowadays can apply to anyone traveling or living away, was written in 1943 by Bing Crosby to honor overseas soldiers who longed to be home with their families for the holidays.

Do You Hear What I Hear was written at the height of the Cuban MIssile Crisis in response to the threat of nuclear war.

Winter Wonderland was written in 1934 by Richard Smith as he watched children play in the snow outside the sanitorium where he was being treated for Tuberculosis.  He died the next year before seeing the populairity of this holiday classic.

In February I have a novella, Intimate Strangers, included in a Valentine's Day release Box Set.  I thought about making it into a Valentine's story but decided to leave it alone rather than mold it to fit a theme.  What about you? Have you ever revamped a story so it works for a special occassion or holiday? 



Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free novella. 

www.kathleenlawless.com

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

For some it's a Blue Christmas @BonnieEdwards #GemsinAttic


For some of us, Christmas can be a stress-filled time full of grief and loss. It's safe to say that these blue holidays effect all of us at some time or another. I don't need to tell anyone what life changes can happen to bring on these darker times...we know what they are. 

With that in mind, I'll remind readers that not all special deal books are holiday books...some of them are paranormal and sexy, while others are just plain hot and fun. 

Here are two of mine that fall into those categories. (I've asked our other blog contributors to include even MORE links in the comments section. You'll be able to highlight and follow those links too!)

So, set aside the season for a while, and fall into something decidedly NOT Christmas with my FREE paranormal book Perdition House Part 1 An Erotic Saga, which you can download here:









Or try another contemporary romance series, The Brantons for only 99c by clicking here:





Don't stress about not feeling the season this year. Instead, focus on yourself. Be kind to your body, heart, and mind.

And may your New Year bring better, happier times! Hugs and understanding from my heart to yours.

Bonnie Edwards

Monday, December 18, 2017

Christmas and Cookies

Historically, food items have always been inexpensively given and very much appreciated as gifts during any holiday season, but especially around the winter holidays (e.g., Thanksgiving through the New Year). My family and friends are no exception. One of my favorite personal holiday traditions is baking with my grandchildren.

In my Roaring Twenties holiday novella, Erin's Gift, my heroine is a lowly paid shop girl who stumbles into a position in a home far above her upbringing. The cook prides herself in traditional recipes, which she is reluctant to share. However, Erin has a way of getting people to open up ... even with a family recipe.

Erin's favorite? Traditional shortbread. And she's willing to share.


About the Book

Prohibition Era, Chicago

Caught in a raid at an illegal speakeasy, good girl Erin O'Mara loses everything: her job, her home, and her reputation. Handsome and so out of her league attorney Seth Harrison, her best friend's brother, rescues her not once, but twice. He bails her out of jail and offers her a job as nanny for his son.

Seth has no intention of falling in love after the death of his wife. But despite his better judgment, he can't help being drawn to Erin's innocence. This Christmas, letting go of the past and embracing the future may be the greatest present of all.


On sale for 99 cents at Amazon

An Excerpt

“Well, well, well, what have we here?” The desk sergeant stared down over the huge wooden barrier, his thick Irish brogue filled with amusement. “Miss Harrison, Mr. Packard.” Glancing in Erin’s direction, he added, “Don’t tell me these two have roped another of their Hyde Park friends into skirting the law?” He shook his head and rubbed a meaty hand across his whiskers. “What’s your name, girlie?”

“Erin. Erin O’Mara.”

“Saints be, they’ve drawn a fine Irish lass such as yourself into their sordid business.” The officer turned his attention to Abby.

“I suppose you’ll be wanting to call that shyster brother of yours, now won’t you?”

Abby nodded. “Yes, Officer O’Malley, if you wouldn’t mind.”

O’Malley motioned toward the single phone on the table opposite the desk. “You can give him a call, but you’re going into the tank with the rest of lawbreakers until he gets here. No more special treatment just ‘cause your father’s a councilman. Understood?”

“Yes, sir,” Abby said. She started toward the desk and then turned back to ask, “Did Mrs. O’Malley have that baby yet, Sergeant?”

“Not yet,” the man acknowledged, shaking his head. “You’d think after ten, they’d just walk out on their own.”

The “tank” as Officer O’Malley had called it was made up of three jail cells, side by side. Women were housed in the first, the middle one sat empty, and the men were placed in the third. The young officer in charge of escorting them to their cells opened the door and motioned them forward. “Miss Abby,” the man said, “I’m surprised to see you back so soon.”

Abby laid her hand against the officer’s smooth cheek. “Oh, Tommy, you know I couldn’t possibly go more than a week or two without seeing your handsome face.”

The cell door had barely shut behind them when two women of questionable virtue began whistling and making wild moaning noises. The older of the two laughed heartily, her amusement ending in a rough-edged cough. “Oh, Tommy,” she whimpered, “I missed you so much.”

“Leave it alone, Kitty,” Officer Tommy warned. “And don’t you be trying to steal anything from these two young ladies.”

The woman called Kitty shook her head. “Don’t want nothing from these swells, Tommy-boy, ‘cept maybe a ciggy if they’ve got one.”

“Not us,” Erin said, shaking her head. “We don’t smoke.”

Kitty snorted another half-laugh, half-cough. “Well, la-de-da, aren’t you a couple a good girlies.”



I'd like to take this time to wish everyone a safe, healthy, and happy holiday...no matter which you choose to celebrate! And, please, feel free to share your favorite holiday cookie recipe in the comments.

Until next year,

Nancy

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Nutcracker Sweet 99cents @lcrandallwriter


Nutcracker Sweet 99 cents




A year after her sister’s death, Noël Hartley is haunted by memories of Christmas past. All around, life is going on, including all the happy celebrations of Christmas. Noël is having nothing of it, or the firefighter who failed to save her sister Regina from the deadly fire.

Firefighter Jonah Grant is going through the motions of working and living his life. The night he fought a fire in Regina Hartley’s house replays over and over, but always ends the same. He went into a fire to save her, but came out without her.

A wall of pain keeps Noël and Jonah apart and alone in their suffering, though in mid-size Cranberry Cove they're finding it challenging to avoid one another. But when a stalker puts Noël’s life in danger, Jonah has to find a way to prevent another tragedy and prove to her that their futures rely on facing the past.

Find Nutcracker Sweet on Amazon . Check out my Pinterest Nutcracker Sweet board. It's just fun!


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Finding Mercy Pre-Order by @BonnieEdwards #GemsInAttic




Pre-order for only $1.99 


The first book in my brand new series will be available on Tuesday, December 12! Until that day, you'll be able to order the book for a special price of only $1.99.

The link above will take you to your favorite retail store including Amazon, iTunes, BN and Kobo.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Sometimes secondary characters deserve a book of their own by Jan Scarbrough

When I wrote the first book in the Montana McKennas series, I needed a character to welcome Brody home. Hank was born. He was a wrangler on the ranch. He had no last name. Turns out, he played the guitar and sang. That’s about the extent of what I knew about him.

Fast forward two more books to Liz. Hank was secretly in love with his employer, the widow Liz McKenna. Who knew? But poor Hank didn’t stand a chance when Chaz arrived from Hollywood.

Sometimes characters deserve their own story. Hank shouldn’t be left without a happily-ever-after ending. So, he gets his own book in 2018!

Before then, Hank needs a last name and a backstory. You will read the beginnings of his backstory in Home for the Holidays: a Christmas short story.


Missing the Montana McKennas?

Find out what happens on the ranch after Chaz and Liz’s marriage. Can Hank overcome a broken heart? Can Ashleigh survive the results of her bad judgement and make a home with her father’s new in-laws?

“They were all one big family, after all. Blended by kinship and friendship. And love.”



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

LEARNING ABOUT LOVE… by Hannah Rowan



…From Hallmark movies.

Since I celebrated Halloween by getting a knee replacement, I’ve spent considerable time on the couch watching TV.  When I learned that a friend’s romance novel was made into a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie, I had to watch it.  Though it was a departure from my usual LAW AND ORDER, or CRIMINAL MINDS reruns, or from 90 DAY FIANCE, a reality show that for some reason has me in its thrall, I found myself not only watching that movie, but all the ones that came after it. Then I moved on to Lifetime Movies and a channel called UP.

My sleep schedule is in chaos and I can’t really do anything that doesn’t involve the couch, so I watched many, many movies. I might have dozed off during some, and I’m sure I haven’t seen them all, but I did begin to notice a distinct and disturbing pattern.

Maybe it bothers me more because I’ve been thinking about how nice it would be to live in the city.  My husband and I went into Manhattan for our anniversary--spent the night and saw a show. When I mentioned how much fun it would be to live there, he questioned my mental health.

But, if I lived according to these aforementioned movies, it would be perfectly fine for me to live in the city because I’ve already met the love of my life.  These poor women on TV who have successful if stressful corporate jobs and nice apartments in whatever big city are missing out.

What they need to do is spend time in an obscure little country town, either trapped there by transportation problems or some sort of family obligation.  (For some odd reason, the people in these towns all go caroling.  I have never seen anyone caroling here in the suburbs. The whole town population—which isn’t a lot because these are really, really small towns—turns out for the lighting of the Christmas tree on the town square. There is also usually a wise but crusty elderly waitress, or innkeeper, or grandpa, or whatever.)

Once the women have been exposed to this laid-back lifestyle, they realize that the man they thought they loved is a stuffed shirt, too attracted to money and appearances.  Or his family will be horrendous snobs who scoff at any display of holiday spirit on the part of the heroine.  The man and/or his family will hate dogs, or be allergic to dogs, or both.

The woman will realize she has an unexplored but burning desire to do something besides corporate life, such as open a bakery or run a bead and breakfast.  And though she is conflicted, she will realize that the man she met in this small town is the perfect match for her.

Maybe I just missed the movie where the female corporate exec finds love in the big city with an equally successful but kind and loving man.  It has to be out there somewhere, doesn’t it?

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