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Archive for 'Christmas'

Heading into December… (Contest)
Monday, November 30th, 2020

Is it too soon for a picture like this? Well, was there ever a year that couldn’t end fast enough? Yeah, 2020 will be that year for lots of folks. Our family is so eager to get to the end, we put up the Christmas tree before Thanksgiving!

Not that we haven’t found joy along the way this year—in our house, anyway. Yes, we’re staying home as much as possible, taking as few risks as possible. My SIL is a cop who interacts with people every day, but he’s masked and does his level best to distance. The older kids have fast-food jobs and mask. We order our groceries for pick up. The kids are online students. We make no unnecessary trips, except for the rare trip to the flea market! We are doing our part. I hope and pray everyone else does, too, so we make it through the end of this horrendous year.

And you’d think that all this self-isolation would have meant greater productivity for this hermit author—but noooo! I spend more time with family, doing family things, helping kids with homework, my dd with housework and dishes. We binge-watch TV series together. At present, we’re watching Yellowstone and The Boys.

December will be the worst for distractions. Our “Elves on the Shelf” made their appearance this weekend, so they’ll be moving all around the house every night. We have advent calendars to load nightly with goodies, and “Kriskindelnacht” coming up this weekend. Kriskindelnacht is a celebration our family adopted after two tours in Germany. On the night of the 5th, the kids put their shoes out for Santa to fill with coal if they were naughty or something cool if they were good. My dd says Santa told her that the biggest kid in the house has to leave out a shoe this year, too! 🙂 (I’m beyond thrilled!!)

Of course, there’s editing and writing to do this month, but I think I’m not going to be very ambitious. I want to enjoy this holiday season like no other because we’ll likely never have this chance to be so together again. Silver linings, folks.

So, I shared our family’s Kriskindelnacht tradition. What traditions do you observe? Share for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

Reina Torres: Everyone Needs a Gingerbear (Contest)
Sunday, November 29th, 2020
One of my earliest Christmas memories was my aunt’s gingerbread cookies. I was born and raised in Hawaii, but there were a number of Thanksgivings and Christmas Holidays that were spent in California. My father was the baby of six children, and four of them lived in Southern California. Aunty Dot is a great baker, and her gingerbread makes the whole house smell like heaven. I may or may not have snuck a few extra cookies and eaten them on the sly. (Guilty)
They really made that Christmas holiday a memorable one, and since that time, thoughts of Christmas bring to mind the taste of those cookies.

When I decided to write Gingerbear Christmas, it was because of two reasons. 1) I had the most amazing cover image of a tall, gorgeous, ginger model (can’t turn that down); and 2), since it was a shifter, “gingerbear” popped up in my head because… yummm.

What is one of your most enduring Christmas Memories? I’d love to know!

Gingerbear Christmas

In the chilly Christmas Season, a Bear Shifter is the perfect thing to keep her warm…

If there was one simple truth about the town of Allaway, it was that they took care of their own. Bear shifter, Clancy Rhodes, couldn’t remember his parents, but he remembered all of the kindness shown to him by the other residents in the valley and up in the mountains. He’d never wanted for a roof over his head or food in his stomach, and when he was old enough, they’d helped him build a house of his own. This fall he built an extra room onto the original structure with his own hands. Why? He really didn’t know, except his bear had thought it a good idea.

Haley Woodward hated being alone in the big city. She had friends, but no one too close and instead of being stuck in a cubicle all day, she longed to spend more time on her art. When she found herself the recipient of an artist-in-residence grant in the small town of Allaway, she jumped at the chance. The woman who arranged her trip had also arranged her lodging, in a tidy cottage with the largest and sexiest man Haley had ever seen.

Even with the heavy snows in Allaway, Haley didn’t find herself in need of a fire to keep herself warm, but would this seemingly effortless relationship continue beyond her time in the valley? She had a life she was supposed to return to in the city. Right?

Clancy had never had any intention of finding a mate. The community of the town was small. Small enough for him to know that no one there was the one to complete his soul, both halves of it. And yet Haley had made her mark on him in so many ways and before it was her time to leave, he had to make her see that what they had together would carry on for the rest of their lives, not just Christmas.

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Giveaway: a copy of Gingerbear Christmas to randomly selected commenter.
Michal Scott: Christmas in July — More Naughty than Nice
Friday, July 24th, 2020

One neat thing about writing under pen names is being able to live out different personalities. I decided to take advantage of two of mine and treat myself to two “Christmas in July” parties. As a host of each, I chose my inspirational romance persona, Revannable, and my erotic one, Michal Scott. Then I invited colleagues to send me links to their books that occurred during any winter holiday so I could share them with my social media followers. Each day I paired the books with a seasonal song.

The Preston Sturges film Christmas In July inspired me to do this. The comedy tells the story of a poor schnook who thinks he has won a slogan contest. He shares his good fortune by treating his whole neighborhood to “Christmas in July.” It stars a young non-singing Dick Powell and the entire Preston Sturges ensemble. I love picking out familiar stalwarts like William Demarest and the lesser-known, but just as recognizable, Jimmy Conlin.

Planning a party is half the fun. I delighted in choosing Christmas music for Revannable’s squeaky clean party. The joy of Christmas was heard in carols like “On the Way to Bethlehem,” “Il Est Né Le Divine Enfant (The Infant Child is Born),” and “Mi Burrito Sabanero (My Desert Donkey).” “It’s Christmas Time All Over the World” featured Sammy Davis Jr. with a chorus of kids reciting Merry Christmas in various languages.

For my friends whose stories dealt with Hanukah, I found a video of the “Dreidel Song” that brought back memories of my childhood learning to play with a dreidel in kindergarten. For those whose stories focused more on winter than a holiday, I shared Leroy Anderson’s lovely “Horse and Buggy” instead of the overplayed “Sleigh Ride.” But lest I give the impression that classic Christmas tunes weren’t welcome, I included Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra singing “White Christmas” together.

While Ole Blue Eyes and Der Bingle did the Irving Berlin classic justice at Revannable’s, things were merry and bright over at Michal Scott’s, too. Of course, the hot holiday hop had to start with Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby.” In the days that followed, a slew of sultry and/or double entendre-laden music sent the party from hot to sizzling. “Back Door Santa” by Clarence Carter, “Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'” by Albert King, “Dirty Christmas” by Junksista and “Holly the Holiday Whore.” Even Ella Fitzgerald in a naughty holiday mood belted out “Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney.” I shook my head more than once at some of the album covers that accompanied such titles as “I’ve Got Some Presents for Santa” and “I Know Just What You Want For Christmas.” Did record stores like Virgin Atlantic and Sam Goody have adult-only sections? The fun ends on July 31st.  Which party would you attend? Better watch out. Even in July Santa knows who’s more naughty than nice.

Light the Fire Again” inside Fireworks

In 1896 Adelaide Hanson spent an August night beneath the Coney Island boardwalk with Hero Williams then lived with a ruined reputation while he went off to conquer the world. Two years later he returns on July 4th, a wealthy fireworks manufacturer, determined to win her back before she marries another. Will a personalized fireworks display light her fire again? And even if it does, will she let it?

Excerpt from Light the Fire Again…

Finally worn down by the rumors and the slander, Adelaide went to Reverend Johnson to arrange for a doctor to examine her to provide proof of her virginity. She’d been saving to go to an art college and hated to see her funds depleted, but her vindication would be worth it.

The examination put pay to her detractors’ misconceptions, but instead of apologizing, they showered her with condescension, especially since she still refused to say who she’d been with. Adelaide ignored the slights. She was free, Black, twenty-five and, if not virginal because of her experience with oral sex, still a virgin.

But at the end of each day alone in her rented room that fact brought her little comfort. She cried herself to sleep, unable to heal her spirit, so battered and bruised and betrayed.

Then one Sunday after church, Oscar Thompson, a member of one of Weeksville’s most prosperous and civic-minded families, asked to escort her home. Their walk turned into several months of friendship from which arose an understanding that they would become engaged.

An understanding welcomed neither by the Eligibles or Oscar’s mother.

Now the hateful reminder of why she’d lived reviled and abused had returned and was being feted like some conquering hero. They wouldn’t be so welcoming if they knew Hero had been her partner. And precisely because they wouldn’t, she’d never expose him. She wouldn’t wish what she’d endured these past two years on her worst enemy.

“Yes, folks,” Hero said, startling Adelaide from her thoughts.

She focused and found his gaze settled on her.
“Two years’ absence has been more painful than I can say,” he said.

She blenched. Holy God. Two years’ absence truly had been more than painful. For her, they’d been hell.

“It’s good to have you back home, my boy,” Reverend Johnson said, clapping a glad hand on Hero’s shoulder. “May this year’s Fourth of July celebration bring you healing to ease all that pain away.”

Adelaide bit her lip to stifle her horror. Forgiving with seventy-times-seven mercy was what Christ expected. But watching Hero receive the same forgiveness and forbearance bestowed upon her made her sick.

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Global Happiness (A Puzzle & a Contest!)
Friday, December 6th, 2019

UPDATE: The winner is…Becca B!

I’m falling behind and behinder! Yes, things are crazy here. We have mom health issues going on, for which everyone is pitching in. My dd is leaving on a cruise, so I’m moving across the street to watch dogs and cats (11 in all—plus a Guinea Pig!). I have editing jobs lining up, one right after the other. I need to begin a new book or finish an old short story. Doesn’t matter which—I need to write words! And I’m making Christmas gifts, but not fast enough! Everything store bought is bought, but I like to add some pretties to stockings, but production is sloooooow… So, yes, holiday stress is running high.

So…I thought a puzzle would be nice. Something sweet to remind us of how it feels when the holiday finally arrives. Enjoy a moment of peace. And then, comment below, telling me what has you stressed or if you’re made of steel nerves and aren’t stressed at all! I’ll do a random pick and send the commenter the download of their choice from among my 200 releases!

Mallory Kane: Christmas Bodyguard (Excerpt)
Thursday, December 5th, 2019

I am so excited to be guest blogger on Delilah Devlin’s blog today. Thanks to you, Delilah, for all the time and work you exert to promote other authors’ work. It’s really fun to be here right now, during the holidays. I hope all of you are enjoying the preparations for celebrating your traditions.

Speaking of holidays, when I was a little girl, one of the most beloved traditions in our house was the way in which we were awakened on Christmas Day. It didn’t take me long to learn that my Daddy was the biggest kid of all. As long as I can remember, he always woke up first on Christmas Day. He’d put the coffee on, but when he’d start cooking breakfast, which he did every morning so my Mom could sleep a little longer, he’d suddenly have trouble. Pots and pans would rattle, cabinet doors would bang, and plates and cups would sound as though they were about to break. He was trying to wake us up so we could all run into the den together to see what Santa Claus had brought us.

Now, my brothers and I have our own families and our own holiday traditions, but sometimes I wake up early on Christmas morning and I think I can hear Daddy rattling pots and pans, hoping to wake my brothers and me, so we can enjoy finding what Santa Claus brought us—and he can enjoy watching us.

I have never lost that excitement I got from my dad, about Christmas morning. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. I love everything about it, from the glitter and sparkle, to the spirituality. So naturally, I love Christmas stories, both reading and writing them, and by the way, Christmas movies too.

This year, I’m excited to have a new indie Christmas novella in 23,000 words, Christmas Bodyguard. I wrote it using my favorite Christmas theme—no room at the inn. The story is about a police detective who hates Christmas and a young pregnant widow who’s about to give birth and is determined to give Christmas to her brand new baby.

Christmas Bodyguard

Detective Trevor Atkins has good reason to hate Christmas. On Christmas Eve four years ago, his pregnant wife fell and lost their baby. Now divorced, Trevor deals with Christmas the only way he can, by ignoring it. When he is assigned to guard a widow who is the only surviving victim of a suspected serial killer, he expects just another assignment. But when Trevor arrives, he is stunned. This may be the hardest assignment he’s ever faced. The widow is kind, beautiful and very, very pregnant. And she’s putting up Christmas decorations all over the safe house.

Merry Randolph takes her joy where she can find it. She lost her new husband in a tragic helicopter crash only weeks into her pregnancy, and then she survived an attack from the notorious Widow Killer. Merry is determined to have a real Christmas for her family—herself and her unborn child—even if her stubbornly sexy police bodyguard doesn’t want any part of it.

When an ice storm hits and Merry’s contractions start, they are forced to leave the safe house and enter a tightening web of danger. Trevor must face his heartbreak and loss, and Merry must trust her life to a stranger who is only doing his job if she wants to survive to see her baby born on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Bodyguard Excerpt:

Police Detective Trevor Atkins jabbed at another button on the radio, muttering curses under his breath. It was Christmas Eve. Even the rock station was playing Christmas music. He switched it off. He was nearly at his destination anyway.

He exited the interstate two hours north of Atlanta, onto a two-lane road, headed toward the precinct’s safe house. His eyes skimmed over a couple of houses sporting Christmas decorations and lights, trying to ignore the rising rhythm of his pulse and the worm of sadness that gnawed at his heart.

Damn, he hated Christmas.

Ten minutes later, he turned onto the street where the safe house was located. It was an isolated neighborhood, perfect for safely hiding a witness away from someone who might harm her. The street looked as though the developer had gone bankrupt in the middle of the project. There were only a few other houses completed, and those appeared deserted. They still had stickers on the windows and fill dirt where the lawns should have been. The only sign of life was a Randolph and Ducharmes delivery truck that passed him going the opposite direction. He eyed it in his rearview mirror. That could hardly be a coincidence.

The witness’s family owned the upscale department stores. He reached for his cell phone and called his boss.

“Captain, what’s up? An R&D delivery truck just passed me, coming from the safe house.”

The captain sighed. “The perils of babysitting the rich and famous. Apparently, Mrs. Randolph needed a few things. Don’t worry, Trevor. Sims rode shotgun. The delivery was legit.”

“Legit? Maybe, but it was also very visible.”

“The mayor’s office called me. Think I had any choice?”

Trevor pocketed his phone and arched his neck to ease the tension. The holidays always increased his stress level, but he’d been glad to do a favor for a fellow detective by switching duty schedules with him. Stokes had a family. Christmas was important to him.

Guarding witnesses scheduled to testify was a boring task. The witnesses were usually consumed with worry about their testimony, and the most exciting event was likely to be a good ball game on TV. Guarding a spoiled heiress would up the annoyance factor slightly, but not beyond what Trevor could handle.

His charge, Merry Ducharmes Randolph, was the only surviving victim of the Widow Killer, a name given by the press to the elusive killer who had killed three widows within the past year.

But they’d only been able to charge Harry Bonner, Merry’s attacker, with attempted robbery and assault. As badly as the Atlanta Police Department wanted to solve the Widow Killer murders, they’d been unable to positively link Bonner to the other three women. He had no prior arrests, and he’d turned up no hits on either the DNA or fingerprint database.

Trevor parked his white pickup in the driveway of the nondescript house next to Detective Amanda Moss’s SUV. Turning up the collar of his jacket against the rapidly falling temperature, he started up the walk. Before he reached the porch, Detective Moss flung open the front door, causing the sleigh bells on the Christmas wreath to jangle. “Hi, Trevor,” she said, her breath turning to ice crystals as she spoke. “Nice to have you on the case. I’ve got to run if I’m going to finish wrapping the kids’ gifts.”

“Merry,” she called back over her shoulder, “this is Detective Atkins.”

Trevor nodded at Amanda, then stepped up to the front door and scowled toward the narrow strip of face visible between the door and the door facing. The single eye narrowed suspiciously. “Good morning, Mrs. Randolph. Like Detective Moss said, I’m your new day-shift detective,” he said dryly. “Replacing Roger Stokes. My name is Trevor Atkins.”

When the door finally opened wide, Trevor’s gaze ran slap into a pair of bright green eyes under a red Santa hat. Long, pale brown hair framed a heart-shaped face, and a full mouth showed a hint of white teeth above a determined chin.

The Santa hat stirred his knee-jerk aversion to anything connected with Christmas. He tried to force his expression to remain neutral as a faint pink glow lit the woman’s cheeks and a hesitant smile spread across her face. So, this was the widow. She was familiar, and not just from TV news spots about the attack she’d survived. He’d noticed those emerald-green eyes before.

He sighed. Wreath, bells, Santa hat? Great. Obviously, she loved Christmas. “You got word that I’m taking Detective Stokes’ place over Christmas eve and day ?”

“Yes.” She took a step backward, still hanging onto the door with one hand and a piece of red cloth in the other. “But Amanda will be back tonight, right?” The quaver in her voice matched the wariness in her eyes.

“That’s right. Detective Moss is still your night guard.”

A flicker of relief passed across her face. He’d seen that look before in assault victims. A fearful mistrust of men that, for some victims, never went away. He almost apologized for invading her privacy, then nearly laughed at himself. She didn’t know it yet, but there was no one on the planet safer for her to be with than he was. She was under his protection, and he would never violate her trust or risk her safety. She’d eventually figure that out and then she’d relax.

He stepped past her into the modest living room. The sight that greeted him almost knocked him to his knees. Every square inch of floor space was covered with Christmas. A sea of gold Randolph and Ducharmes bags full of ornaments flowed into dozens of red and pink poinsettias in brightly wrapped pots. To his left, a monstrous Christmas tree aglow with white twinkling lights almost blocked a large picture window. A staggering horror tightened his chest and streaked like electricity out to his fingers and toes. He felt the blood drain from his face. The smell of mulberry and cedar turned his stomach.

Images he’d banished to the dark side of his heart swirled around him—long bright corridors, sympathetic faces, the low soft lights of the hospital’s chapel. A sterile, quiet, sad room. Trevor squeezed his eyes shut. He’d never passed out in his life, but there was always a first time. Steadying himself with a hand on the back of the sofa, he sucked in a deep breath. “What the hell is all this?” he rasped when he could finally speak.

When he opened his eyes, Mrs. Randolph was standing behind a table, eyeing him the way a cornered mouse watched a cat. “I—I asked the store to send over some Christmas decorations. No one had—you know—” she gestured vaguely “—decorated the house.” Her voice rose and strengthened in the space of those few words.

“This is not a store window, Mrs. Randolph. It’s a safe house,” he said harshly.

She sniffed. “Oh please, Detective. It’s Christmas Eve.” She spread the red cloth over a table.

“So that’s what the truck was delivering.” His captain was a coward. He knew Trevor’s history. He could have warned him that it was a truck full of Christmas. Well, the stuff would just have to go back. He would not be subjected to Christmas. He’d taken this job to avoid the holiday and the tragic memories attached to it.

“Look, Mrs. Randolph, all this has got to go. We are not here for a party,” he said just as she stepped out from behind the table and he got his first good, head-to-toe look at the glowing woman in front of him.

“Oh, God—” His chest tightened and his head spun. He gripped the back of the couch more tightly and fought the surge of dizziness and gut-wrenching nausea that broadsided him.

“What?” Merry cried, her eyes widening. “What is it?”

“You’re pregnant!”


Confused, Merry Randolph stared at the detective’s chiseled features. His mouth was compressed so tightly the corners of his lips were white. What was his problem? She smiled.

“Of course I’m pregnant. How could you possibly not know?” Her every move had been chronicled by the media for the past seven months. “My husband’s helicopter accident, then the attack? I’ve been the favorite local news filler for the entire Atlanta area these past months.” She tasted the bitterness that darkened her voice.

Detective Atkins didn’t move a muscle. He just stood there, his face drained of color, his eyes squeezed shut.

“Detective, are you all right? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

He wiped a hand over his face and shot her a hard glance, then turned away and shrugged out of his jacket. With his back to her, he didn’t seem quite so intimidating. She let out a breath of relief. Why couldn’t Detective Stokes have foregone Christmas Eve and Christmas morning to stay with her? She winced at her selfish thought. Of course she didn’t mean that. He deserved to spend Christmas with his family, even if his doting, fatherly disposition had made her feel completely safe and comfortable. Detective Atkins had been here less than five minutes and there was nothing remotely fatherly about him. He had a lean and hungry look, as though he could slay dragons.

She thought about what the captain and his lieutenant, and several other police officials, had told her over and over. We’re the good guys. We’ll keep you safe.
As Detective Atkins folded his jacket and lay it on the back of the sofa, she noticed the brown leather straps of a shoulder holster crisscrossing the black T-shirt he wore. His movements were spare and efficient as he adjusted the holster and checked his weapon. He angled his head as if he’d sensed her scrutiny, and then rounded on her. “Do you realize you may have compromised this safe house by having all this delivered?”

“What?” She recoiled at his cold tone.

“That R&D delivery truck might as well have sported a banner—This Way to the Witness.” He shook his head, his voice as cold as the wind outside.
Merry’s heart pounded and she bit her lip. She should have thought of that. But in her defense, this was the store’s busiest time of year. “Randolph and Ducharmes has trucks making deliveries all over the city.”

The detective shot her a disgusted look. “Not in abandoned neighborhoods.”

She had no response for that.

“I’m here to protect you from a suspected killer, not deal with a house full of Christmas—” He bit off the end of the sentence.

Frustration and a deep sadness burned in Merry’s stomach, until, by force of will, she bullied those feelings into determination. She’d never had a real, homey Christmas. Not once. Her parents were nationally renowned philanthropists who had spent their married life traveling the world to work with their own and others’ charitable ventures. This year, as every year, they’d found as much to do during the holidays as during any other time of year. For most of their twin daughters’ lives, Merry and Christy had traveled with them, tutors in tow. Now Christy, whose full name was Christmas , was a runway model and almost never had time to come home to Atlanta, except on business.

As bad as this entire year had been, Merry was determined to end the year the way she wanted. She might be locked up in a barely furnished house under police protection during the holidays, but no matter what else happened, she planned to spend Christmas surrounded by beautiful decorations.

“Detective, I could not possibly be more aware of how serious my situation is. A man who may be a serial killer is out on bail pending his trial, and he knows I can identify him.” She lifted her chin. “I can see in your face what you think of me. But if I stay in this house, it will be decorated for Christmas. This past year has been the worst of my life.” To her utter dismay, she felt a tear spill over and drip down her cheek. “I lost my husband, I was almost murdered, and now I’m spending the holidays in an ugly house located who knows where and unable to see my family. I will have Christmas decorations!”

She swiped the tear away. Her little guy was sure playing havoc with her hormones, but she would not cry in front of Scrooge McCop. She turned her back and picked up a crystal ornament from one of the bags. “I apologize if guarding me is keeping you from Christmas with your wife and children,” she said as she stretched to hang the ornament.

He sucked in a long breath. Her shoulders tensed.

“You’re not keeping me from anything. I’m divorced. I don’t have chil—” He practically choked on the word “children.” She turned and caught a haunting sadness clouding his eyes. His sadness pierced her heart like an arrow. She’d unwittingly tapped into a private place inside him, a place she was sure no one ever saw.

With a flash of insight, she realized that Detective Atkins wasn’t just a Scrooge who hated the holidays. His gruff manner hid a tragedy—a tragedy that centered around Christmas and children. His children?

(End of Excerpt)

Thanks again, to everyone. I would love to hear about your favorite childhood holiday tradition, if you’d like to post a comment. You can do that by clicking Say Something/Something Said, below. I hope you’ll consider picking up Christmas Bodyguard if you want a quick and heartwarming read for the holidays. You can find it, or any of my other books, by clicking one of the links below.

Christmas Bodyguard is available now at your favorite ebook retailer.

Mallory Kane

Shannyn Schroeder: Family Traditions (Contest)
Monday, December 3rd, 2018

It’s that time of year—regardless of what holiday, if any, you celebrate—it’s time for family traditions. I don’t have much in the way of extended family by blood, but I’ve cultivated a strong family by choice because I wanted my kids to have things I didn’t have growing up. Part of building that atmosphere was to develop traditions.

I have two major traditions that we count on this time of year. One is seeing The Nutcrackerwith my two daughters. We usually see the ballet, but every now and then, we mix it up. A couple of times we saw The Nutcrackeron horseback (the performers all ride horses and do tricks). Yes, it’s as weird as it sounds. This year, we’re going to see a hip-hop version. I’m not sure how well that’s going to go over with my youngest, who dances ballet, but she’s willing to check it out.

While seeing The Nutcracker is a tradition for my daughters, the other tradition is all mine. Every year, my best friend and I get together and bake Christmas cookies that we then give away to everyone we know. We started doing this when we were teenagers, and now, more than 30 years later, we’re still going strong. Through college, dating, first jobs, marriages, babies, divorce—you name it, we experienced it and still got together for cookie baking. It’s quite the production. We usually bake about 25 different kinds of cookie. I’m not sure how many batches total, but it’s a lot.

Over the years, our kids have all had a hand in cookie day. Unwrapping Hershey’s Kisses, rolling dough, sprinkling or decorating, and of course, sampling everything. They count on cookie day as part of their traditions, but it’s a special day for me and my best friend. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without it.

Because of my own fractured family experiences, I’ve always been drawn to big, rambunctious families. That’s why I write what I do. I believe family gives us grounding and connection in life. Found family is as real as born family and I think my books reflect that.

I am currently re-releasing my O’Learys series about a big, Irish-American family in Chicago. Next month, the beginning of my Daring Divorcees series will launch about friends who all met in a divorce support group and are now ready for the next phase in their lives.

For a chance to win a digital copy of More Than This (O’Learys #1), leave a comment sharing your favorite tradition or your favorite cookie.

I will draw a random winner from the comments by the end of the week.

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More Than This

A sexy bartender stirs up a daily lesson plan for an adventurous teacher…

 When she discovers her ex-husband is about to be a father, Quinn Adams is on a mission. Determined to get pregnant without the commitment of a man, Quinn sets out for her own adventure. But everyone seems to think she need to focus on herself first. With a list of challenges compiled but her sister and their friend, Quinn embarks on some life-altering fun.

Her first challenge is to go on five dates within two weeks. After a few disastrous attempts, Quinn’s ready to give up—until sexy bartender Ryan O’Leary offers his assistance. Ryan is the go-to person for everyone in his large family, so it’s natural for him to want to help Quinn. However, as they get to know each other better, friendship with Quinn isn’t enough for him. Now, it’s time for him to show her how serious the Irish can be. Will the bartender quench Quinn’s thirst by mixing up more than she ever imagined?

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Katy Eeten: Christmas Time is Here
Thursday, November 29th, 2018

I want to thank Delilah for hosting me on her blog today. Now that Thanksgiving is over, talking about Christmas is officially fair game, right? 😊

Christmas is always a fun time of year for me. I live in Wisconsin, so the holidays are often accompanied by a beautiful snowfall. And I have two sons, ages ten and seven, so the excitement that goes with decorating, baking, parties, and gift exchanges is ever-present. Not that there isn’t a fair bit of chaos around the holidays as well, but I take the good with the bad!

Last year, my brother and his wife flew in from Singapore and declared that they wanted to make a family Christmas video that would serve as our holiday greeting card to extended family and loved ones that year. My brother had written an entire script, with everyone having speaking and singing roles. It ended up being quite the production and took a good chunk of time to accomplish, but it’s now in our DVD collection and is something I anticipate becoming a Christmas tradition—watching our “Family Christmas Special” on Christmas Eve and sipping hot cocoa while a fire crackles in the fireplace.

My youngest asked me what we were going to do for our Christmas video this year, and I had to laugh. I think that endeavor was a one-time thing, but it’s always fun to make memories, engage in old family traditions or create new ones.

For our family, that means spending a Saturday in December baking cookies all day with my mom, sister and nieces. Eating chocolate chip pancakes on Christmas morning before reading the story of Jesus’ birth and opening presents around the real pine Christmas tree. The kids will play with the “Activity Scene” (what they used to call the VeggieTales Nativity scene we pull out every year). And Christmas is the one day my husband puts on his baggy, bright green Grinch tee shirt—a gift from our youngest a few years ago.

What Christmas traditions do you have? Do the holidays bring you joy, or make you cringe?

Before I go, I want to share about my novella Christmas in Meadow Creek, which is a small town romance that I hope warms your heart. This sweet, uplifting story took only three weeks to write. The relationship between the main characters, Lincoln and Sarah, flowed effortlessly onto the pages. I wanted to keep the subject matter and storyline lighthearted in hopes that this story would bring a sense of love, joy, and belonging this holiday season. And since it’s a novella, it won’t take long to be drawn into the characters’ lives and watch the story unfold in this beautiful, small Wisconsin town.

Christmas in Meadow Creek

Sarah Laughlin left her big-city life and dead-end relationship behind for a fresh start as a fourth-grade teacher in the small, Wisconsin town of Meadow Creek. And it feels like home, too, despite the persistent troublemaker in her class and the lack of familiar faces. But the holidays are going to be lonely this year. Until she meets firefighter Lincoln Thompson. Suddenly, the hope of spending Christmas with someone she cares about is within reach.

Lincoln loves his home town of Meadow Creek, but ever since his long-time girlfriend left him for a better life in the city, he wonders if he’ll ever find love in this small town where everyone knows everyone. Then he meets Sarah during her class’s field trip to his firehouse, and a spark is lit. But when they discover that Sarah’s troublemaking student is none other than Lincoln’s beloved nephew, their newfound relationship is put to the test. Can they navigate through the complexities of family dynamics to find a love that will last.

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About the Author

Katy Eeten is the wife of a youth pastor and mother of two school-age boys. She works full-time in the business world, but her true passion is writing. She has published Contemporary Christian Romance Blast From Her Past and has another novel, A Heart Held Captive, due out next spring. Her novella Christmas in Meadow Creek just released this month. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found taking walks, baking goodies, dining out, or spending time with her family.

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