December 9, 2014

LS Books 3: Spotlight on Christmas @LSB_lsbooks #RLFblog #HolidayRomance

Liquid Silver Books 

Baby it's cold outside! Heat up your holiday with 15% off Christmas Romances from Enter coupon code 2014BeNaughty at checkout and received 15% off Christmas Titles. (Coupon code valid from 12:01 am EST 12-9-2014 to 11:59 pm EST 12-10-2014.

Liquid Silver Book presents ... Spotlight on Christmas

Just a Holiday Fling
Christmas In Cancun, In Cancun Book 1 by KaLyn Cooper ... A sexy former SEAL and beautiful Mayan anthropologist find more than they bargain for when they team up to complete a decades old family treasure hunt in Cancun.
Just a Holiday Fling, Pine Lake Book 1 by Tiffany Marie ... She just wants to get through the holiday season. He wants to celebrate. She just wants a fling. He wants forever.

A holiday memory from author Naomi Bellina:
My dad played the violin and I played the piano, so one year we decided to record some Christmas carols. We had one of those flat recorders with a cassette tape (giving away my age here!) and we spent a few evenings on several memorable recording sessions. It's not all that easy to play along with another instrument. You have to get the timing just right and eventually, we did.
Naomi Bellina and Father
A few nights before Christmas, my brother, sister, mom and dad and a family friend piled into the Volkswagen and drove around our neighborhood singing along to the carols. I doubt anyone in the houses could actually hear the music and I'm pretty sure we sounded like a chorus of cats in heat yowling at the moon, but all I remember was how much fun we had.
I still love Christmas music and have assembled a nice collection. I think of my dad when I listen, and picture him playing the violin in heaven.

Wolf At the Door, Snowdonia Wolves Book 1 by Sofia Grey ... An icy road, a wounded wolf, and a haunting lover she only meets in her dreams all weave together to thaw Lillian's frozen heart.
All He Wants for Christmas by Trista Ann Michaels ... Trapped in a mountain cabin over the holiday, sparks will fly and passion flare.
All He Wants
for Christmas

A holiday memory from author Tami Lund:
I met my hubs, Chris, on May first, at a party, through a mutual friend. At the time, I lived on the other end of the country, and had gone home to Michigan to visit friends and family. When our mutual friend mentioned that I was from out of town, Chris jokingly asked, "Would she be interested in a one-night stand?"
(This is a funny remark because first, Chris is *not* that kind of guy. And second, at the time, well, I... was that kind of girl. Or at least was open to the option. Hey, we're only young once....)
By the end of the night, he'd fed me cheesecake, given me a heart-pounding kiss, and we made plans to see each other again the next day. We then proceeded to spend every day of the rest of my vacation together, discussing potential bridesmaids and groomsmen (nope, not kidding), meeting his parents, and getting the approval of his best friend. Apparently, Chris didn't have a great track record when it came to dating...
When I left to go home to Louisiana, I had Chris' demo tape in my bag (he was a television editor/producer), which I gave to the general manager of a local television station. (I worked at a nonprofit, doing PR at the time, and the GM was on my board of directors.) He called Chris and set up an interview. The week of Memorial Day, Chris flew to Louisiana, interviewed, got the job, and went home and put in his two weeks' notice.
Two weeks later, he moved to Louisiana... and in with me. Yep, six weeks after we met. I told him I didn't "play house," though, so if this thing was going to work, I needed to have a ring on my finger by the end of the year. Christmas would be good. In fact, I informed him, just one tiny box under the tree would be perfect. Nothing else. Hell, we couldn't afford anything else anyway.
Two days before Christmas, I came home from work to find several boxes under the tree, all addressed to me, and none were appropriately ring sized. Talk about depressed. I didn't even want to go out that night, even though my best friend was in town, and we'd made plans with a small group of friends to go to a local karaoke bar.
We ended up going anyway, and I drowned my sorrows in wine .... Until shortly before midnight, when the karaoke DJ summoned Chris, and then someone placed a chair in the middle of the dance floor, and then my friends herded me to the chair... And halfway through singing Just The Way You Are by Billy Joel, my soon-to-be husband dropped to one knee, whipped out a ring box and proposed.
That was sixteen years ago this Christmas.

Disenchanted Christmas
Cleopatra's Dagger by MacKenzie Reed and Rae Monet ... The jeweled dagger of Cleopatra and the planet Earth during the busy Christmas season... ho ho oh no!
Disenchanted Christmas by Sandra Sookoo ... Bethany needs a Christmas miracle. What she gets is a proposition from a rich gentleman!
The Zebra Wore Red Stockings by Pepper Espinoza ... It's their first Christmas together, and she wants everything to be perfect—the sort of special holiday she never had before.

A holiday memory from author Sharon Callender:
I was an awkward twelve year old struggling with a boatload of insecurities. Even though I was painfully shy, I still managed to become a member of the school's traveling chorus. This particular year we were asked to sing at a local nursing home. For some reason, the thought of singing there terrified me.
When performance day arrived and I stepped off the yellow school bus, my stomach knotted up. As I entered the lobby, the antiseptic like odor, the faces of the residents, and the lit Christmas tree in the room all overwhelmed my senses. Then something happened that changed everything. A tiny, frail woman in a wheelchair smiled at all of us and said "thank you for singing here today." We hadn't even sung a note yet and she was thanking us. Her simple words erased my fears. None of this was about me, it was about them.
The traveling chorus had an assignment and it was spreading holiday cheer. I'll never forget the sheer joy on the faces of the residents as we performed our rehearsed songs. It was the coolest feeling in the world to be part of such a simple act of kindness wrapped up in the gift of song. Because of this one moment in my life, the holidays have become a season for giving back and helping those in need. There are so many ways each of us can make a difference all year round and sometimes what we consider to be the smallest gift can be the greatest one. Happy Holidays!

Ghost of Christmas Past, PSI Crops Book 1 by Xakara ... In a snow-bound cabin, they must face the truth of the past, the secrets of the present, and the hope of the future.
Believe by Megan Slayer ... Long distance relationships are never easy, especially at Christmas time.
Jessica's Wolves, Wolf Masters Book 3 by Becca Jameson ... A traumatic childhood has left Jessica Murphy in complete denial of her true self.

A holiday memory from author Tara Quan:
Airport Haute Cuisine
Because of my husband's career, the holidays for me are synonymous with travel–the international kind. While I wish I could enjoy the same level of comfort during my various flights as the heroines in my romances, I'm usually among the majority of weary travelers flying coach. More often than not, my airport meals were eaten standing up or seated on my carry-on, with one hand precariously grasping a cup of coffee.
That said, airports are where I've had some of my most memorable meals. The first was after my flight to Bangkok. Once I was done hugging my parents, I made a mad dash to an airport restaurant and ordered some mango and sticky rice. By Thai standards, the desert was serviceable at best. But after a year of deprivation, the fruit tasted like heaven. (Sorry America, your mangos do not taste like they do in Asia. There is no competition. None!)
The second time airport food had the White Castle effect (Harold and Kumar reference) was at London Heathrow during my first trip out of the U.A.E. While I love Abu Dhabi, I am very much partial to pork products. After close to a year of making do with chicken sausage, turkey bacon, and fake pepperoni, my taste buds were dying for a taste of home. The moment I reached my layover spot, I made a mad dash to a place where I could order a proper (and extremely unhealthy) breakfast.
My most memorable airport meal to date, however, was actually a flat white in Wellington International Airport. Prior to this trip, I had been in Pakistan for six months, and our health unit strongly advised against anything but UHT milk (which tastes like colored chalky water). Words cannot describe how divine that cup of milky coffee, paired with a proper scone, tasted after my very long flight.
One thing all these meals taught me, however, is that the holidays aren't about specific dates in the year or a particular location. They are about sharing the things we enjoy with the people we love, wherever and whenever that might be.
The Promise

A Clockwork Christmas, The Blackwell Legacy by Nina S. Gooden ... Sorcery, danger, and a mysterious stranger will make this Christmas one Olyve will never forget.
The Promise by Tory Richards ... This holiday season, Ryan will learn he can keep his promise and still have his heart's desire.
Lucky Enough, Whisper Hollow Book 1 by Kelli Evans ... He'll need more than luck to find his happily ever after.

A holiday memory from author Annette Mardis:
If any kid deserved to get a stocking full of coal it was my brother, the Christmas I was in fourth grade.
After all, it was his fault I spent much of that Christmas Eve night in the emergency room.
He didn't mean to hurt me, but that's little consolation when you're hurtling out of a tree on a direct path to the hard ground below. It wasn't how I envisioned passing what started out as a rather ordinary and even a little bit boring day.
Like most children, my brother and I thought Christmas would never come each year. The wait seemed interminable. We'd both outgrown our belief in Santa Claus by then, but Christmas remained a magical time for tidings of great joy, presents piled beneath the tree and family gathered around an overloaded dinner table. Even when my family didn't have an abundance of material riches, we had a bounty of blessings.
That Christmas Eve day, though, the hours passed as swiftly as a slug sliding along a sidewalk. The neighborhood was quiet and my older brother and I had nobody to play with but each other, always a recipe for some bickering and a crying jag or two. Paul is only 18 months older than I am, but in those days he was, well, let's call it husky, while I had the physique of Olive Oyl, minus the clown-shoe-sized feet.
One of our favorite pastimes was climbing the big tree in our backyard. Paul had nailed seating platforms at different spots among the branches, most about midway up. Being a typical big brother, he often had little patience where his younger sister was concerned. And on this particular day, he seemed determined to take his usual needling to a higher level.
No matter where I settled in the tree, he rousted me out of my spot. "Move, I want to sit there," he'd insist, and I'd scramble to another platform. And then he'd want me to leave that seat, too. I don't remember how many times he did that to me, but finally I'd had enough.
Now in hindsight, I should've said something like, "Okay, fine. If you want to be like that I'll just go do something else." But common-sense, discretion-is-the-better-part-of-valor decisions often don't occur to children, and I was no exception, especially on this day. And so when my brother ordered me off yet another platform, I refused to budge.
He demanded at least once or twice more and I continued to defy him. Growing ever more frustrated, he reached out and shoved me as he ordered me to move one last time. Unfortunately, I wasn't hanging on and went sailing backwards out of the tree.
As I fell, my lower half thankfully caught up with the top part of my body because instead of hitting the ground head first, I landed on my back. I must've blacked out, at least briefly, because I had visions passing before my mind's eye, but they weren't scenes from my life. Oddly, enough, they were images from a circus, of all things. I had no clue what it meant then or now. To be honest, circuses creeped me out a little. But that's a story for another day.
The next thing I knew, my mom knelt by my side with a stricken look on her face, asking me if I was all right. She'd been in the kitchen when she heard a thud and looked out the window that overlooked our backyard. I can only imagine her panic when she saw me lying as still as death on the ground.
By the grace of God, I didn't break my neck or my back, either, and except for a very sore shoulder I seemed no worse for the wear. My mom still hoped to go to midnight Mass, as was our Christmas Eve custom, and she insisted on washing my hair in the kitchen sink while we waited for my father, a police officer, to get home from work. I could've done without the jostling, but I didn't intend to celebrate the birth of the Baby Jesus with unkempt locks.
As the afternoon wore on it became evident that my right shoulder suffered the brunt of the impact. It had swelled to softball size by the time my father walked through the door, and it was obvious I needed an X-ray. So off to the hospital we went.
Now bear in mind that by now it's early to mid-evening and—this being the 1960s—most businesses had closed for the holiday and people were hunkered down at home, theirs or someone else's, knocking back eggnog and nibbling on candy canes. (Or whatever else people did on Christmas Eve before 24-hour stores and the Internet.) I remember having to wait while they summoned a doctor to come talk to me and my parents.
The verdict: I'd broken my shoulder. The solution: taping my arm to my stomach, wrapping my upper body mummy-style so the only movement I could manage was to wiggle my fingers.
Despite being in pain, I still wanted to go to midnight Mass. I loved everything about it: seeing the luminaries lining the street leading to the church; singing Silent Night and other beloved yuletide hymns; being wedged, warm and cozy, in the pew between my parents; hearing the scriptural reading of the nativity story.
Some Christmases in Florida are so warm that everyone's in short sleeves, often with legs bared, but that year it was chilly outside. I'd looked forward to wearing a long-sleeved shirt beneath my new red-plaid jumper, but being taped up like that limited my wardrobe choices. Whatever I selected needed to button up the front so I could leave one button undone and stick my hand out the opening. Finally, after much consternation and gnashing of teeth (my mom's, not mine) we decided on a summer-weight dress in pastel green.
Despite having looked forward to midnight Mass and insisting I didn't want to miss it, I was miserable once we were seated. The pews felt even harder than usual, and rubbing elbows with anyone on my right side was a painful proposition. The Catholic worship ritual of stand up, sit down, kneel sapped the last of my strength, and I slunk back into my seat. I couldn't wait to hear the priest dismiss us with the traditional "Go in peace."
My parents always allowed us to open one small present on Christmas Eve after Mass. But I had little enthusiasm for that privilege on this night. I went through the motions, eager to hit the bed, close my eyes and, hopefully, find relief from the ache in my shoulder.
I don't remember the rest of our Christmas celebration that year, but I'm sure I wasn't in my usual festive mood. The years have taught me, however, that it was but a small inconvenience in the grander scheme of things.

Naughty and Nice
Better Not Cry by H.A. Fowler ... Jenna's holiday plans take a startling turn when she finds herself in the company of a hot, sexy faerie.
Naughty and Nice by Robin Danner, Pepper Espinoza, and Lisa Maire ... For most, Christmas is the time of happiness and good cheer, where people are a little nicer, a little kinder.

A holiday memory from author KaLyn Cooper:
The following is a true story. On December 9th, Macho Marine and I will celebrate our 36th Anniversary. That's a lot of Christmases. The following will always be the most memorable.
Thirty years ago while Macho Marine was the active duty Captain in charge of a Marine Corps Reserve Center in central Virginia, his Marines handled everything for Toys for Tots. After collecting all the boxes filled with new and used toys, they would set up tables in the drill hall and sort everything. Social Services and churches would send people over on the Saturday before Christmas to "shop" for the free toys. The day after the big event, we boxed up the very few remaining toys, most worse for wear, and loaded them into the trucks to be donated to an orphanage.
Snow spit from heavy gray clouds as the ancient car—which had seen better days two decades before—sputtered through the gate. The driver's door groaned as it swung open.
"I promised I'd ask," the haggard woman told the children. "Wait in the car."
Hopeful faces pressed against the closed windows as the woman limped toward the pickup truck we were filling with boxes of unchosen toys. Her worn bedroom slippers whispered as they slid across the pavement. Biting wind plastered her thin cotton dress against her frail body. She wore no makeup. Only the lines and dark circles of a tired woman colored her face.
"Excuse me, gentlemen." She caught sight of me and added, "Ma'am." She looked down as if embarrassed, then over her shoulder at her car. As though the children had given her strength to continue, she asked in a quiet voice, "I know I shouldda been here yesterday, but, you see, my car didn't start, so I borrowed my sister's today." She didn't make eye contact with anyone, but shot nervous glances at the Marines in utilities who were now drawn to the situation.
She stepped back, and stood silently for a long minute.
Macho Marine and I exchanged a look. With seven years of marriage behind us, and six years dating before we stood in the church and pledged the rest of our lives to each other, neither needed to say a word. We stopped loading and approached her.
"Can I help you, ma'am?" Macho Marine asked in what was his gentle voice, which in reality was a fraction less commanding than usual.
She flinched. I gave him "that" look I'd perfected early in our marriage that clearly said dial it down, Marine.
He tried again. "I'm the captain in charge." He pulled me next to him. "And this is my wife, KaLyn. What can we do for you?"
Relief washed over her pale face. Another glance back at the car was all it took. "Do you have any toys left? I know I should have been here yesterday—"
"Yes, ma'am. We do." Macho Marine's eyes scanned the car. "How many children do you have?"
"Six," she proudly answered, then hurriedly said, "but if I could just get one toy, they can all share it"
My heart broke.
"No, ma'am." Full command had returned to my husband's voice. "We can't allow that."
I watched her whole body and spirit collapse in on itself.
"We have plenty of toys for your children." He wouldn't let her leave with just one toy. "Do you want to pick them out, or do you want the kids to do it?"
"Well...I...uhm—" she stared at the car.
"Usually the kids pick the toys," he added helpfully.
She flicked her hand and car doors flew open. The rag-tag children poured out to join their mother. The hand-me-downs they wore had been reused far too often, none seemed to fit their scrawny bodies.
Each overly-polite child hesitantly chose one toy from those remaining on the tables, and returned to their mother's side.
"Thank you so much." She gathered her children and turned to leave.
"What about your other toys? You get four each, you know." Macho Marine lied and defied his men to argue with him.
For the next fifteen minutes, the Marines assisted the children, opening boxes and guiding them to age-appropriate toys. By the time they left, their arms overflowed. The Marines kept slipping them more and more toys. With the names, ages and address in hand, a requirement for participating, we watched the smoke-spewing car leave...filled with happiness.
Three hours later, the woman met us at her door, butcher knife in hand. It was her only weapon in the uninsulated shack half-way up a mountain on an unplowed dirt road. The old iron cook stove served as heat source and for food prep. It was a scene that belonged fifty years earlier, not in the mid 1980's when every home had a microwave and central heat.
We carried in bags of groceries and wrapped toys for each child. One of the Marines was also a fireman, and he'd brought coats and boots from their service project. Another had gotten a tree donated from a closing lot, and nailed two boards to the bottom so it stood relatively straight.
The woman, beside herself with joy, hunched in a kitchen chair and wept. While the children helped place boxes under the tree, and I filled her nearly-bare refrigerator.
With hugs and handshakes, we left them to celebrate a truly joyous Christmas.
Sometimes Santa Clause wears the uniform of a United States Marine.

Flight of Her Life by Diane Saxon ... Accident-prone Bailey must negotiate her way through a snowbound airport, a cancelled flight, and a blackout to get to her own engagement party.
If Only by Lisa M. Owens ... A poignant tale of second chances, and a woman's fight to find her happily-ever-after.

Happy Holidays to all from Liquid Silver Books!

Go ahead and be naughty.
Save Santa the effort.

Baby it's cold outside! Heat up your holiday with 15% off Christmas Romances from Enter coupon code 2014BeNaughty at checkout and received 15% off Christmas Titles. (Coupon code valid from 12:01 am EST 12-9-2014 to 11:59 pm EST 12-10-2014.

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  1. Thanks for having us over, Kayelle! And an early Happy Holidays to one and all!

  2. Oh shoot...and of course I'd forget why Naomi reminded me to swing by (she's on a trip, but she might be popping over later). Since today's spotlight is on Christmas...

    $100 Holiday Giveaway: A whole bunch of LSB authors (many of whom shared their holiday memories above), got together to create a Holiday Bonanza, where you can win a $100 Gift Card, eBooks, as well as a pair of diamond earrings. The Rafflecopter is relatively low on entries right now, and one entry option is just clicking "enter," so Naomi and I figured we needed to try a bit harder to spread the word. Here's where I posted it on my blog: , but there are links to everyone else's posts as well. So if you have a minute, please do have a look, even if it's just to see a bunch of our covers in one place ;)

    1. Who doesn't want to win $100? And it's so easy.

  3. Excellent Christmas stories everyone. Thanks for sharing.

    KaLyn, I'm bawling my eyes out right now after reading yours. It is very moving and a perfect reminder to be thankful for what blessings we have. Thanks!

    1. Amy - Sorry I wasn't able to get back to you sooner but I was out of the country and believe it or not, the Internet isn't everywhere. when you posted, I was on the tiny island of Dominica, a third world for sure. Its lush jungles, rain forests and 365 rivers are a counter point to its nine active volcanoes and annual hurricanes. The people are so proud of their independence.

      Our guide told us that even though the country may go broke, the people will never starve because they all work the land and grow more food than their families can eat.

      That family in VA didn't have that option. I wonder what happened to those children. They were gone, the shack abandoned when we returned with groceries at Easter. I've always hoped that they grew up and used their raw beginnings to become the heroes and heroines we write about.

      The people of Dominica have no idea of the comforts we take for granted, expect every day, but those children in VA saw it every day and knew what they were missing. Breaks my heart that there are still families living like that here in the profitable USA.

      Jumping off my soap box before I start evangelizing. :)

      I agree with you! We should be thankful for what we have and hug our kids every day.

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  5. I so enjoyed reading all the Christmas memories and, of course, the blurbs for the holiday releases. What a great deal on these seasonal novels. I know what I want in my e-reader on Dec. 25. Hear that Santa?

  6. Good morning everyone!! I love Christmas - eggnog in a Christmas mug, Bing Crosby and Perry Como signing Christmas carols, a yule log screen saver on my monitor, and Christmas romances to heat up cold winter evenings. This the season - let's be jolly!!

  7. Happy holidays, everyone! As a little gift for the holidays, I’d like to share a yummy fruit/nut cake recipe you can enjoy any time of day. This time of year is when I do the most baking, everything from breads to cakes and many kinds of cookies. My maternal grandmother used to make a delicious raisin cake which was very simple and easy to make. One year I decided to tinker with her basic plan, adding dried cranberries and pecans, to make my version of a fruitcake, since I don’t care for traditional versions. We enjoy this for dessert with ice cream or for breakfast with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
    You’ll find baking and cooking finds a way of sneaking into all my books in one way and another. In the Ghosts of Roseville series, in book 1 title Traces (LSBooks: you’ll find the housekeeper making mouthwatering cinnamon rolls and more, and in book 2, Remnants (LSBooks: you’ll find Halloween party food. I hope you enjoy both the cake and the stories! Learn more about all my books at
    Betty’s Fruitcake
    2 cups water
    1 box (2 1/2 cups) raisins
    1 cup cold water
    1/2 cup dried cranberries
    1/2 cup chopped pecans
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 cup butter
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
    1/2 tsp. ground cloves
    2 cups sugar
    4 cups sifted flour
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    In medium saucepan, pour 2 cups water and add raisins, then boil gently for 10 minutes.
    Meanwhile, grease and flour a 13x9x2 inch loaf pan or Bundt pan.
    In large bowl, combine cranberries, pecans, baking soda, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and sugar. (Hint: Cut the stick of butter into small pieces to speed the melting process.)
    Pour 1 cup cold water over raisins, then add raisins and liquor water to large bowl, stirring to combine and melt the butter.
    Stir in flour, mixing well.
    Pour batter into prepared pan. (Hint: The batter will be heavy; it might be easier to spoon the batter into the pan until you can lift the bowl with one hand.)
    Bake 1 hour for 13x9x2 loaf pan or 1 hour 20 minutes for Bundt pan. Be sure to check for doneness using a toothpick; when the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.
    Cool completely and enjoy!
    So it’s your turn. Do you have a favorite holiday recipe you’ve adapted from a relative? Or created on your own? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

    1. Yum! Thanks for sharing the recipe, Betty! I don't bake, but my sister does, so I'm printing this out to send to her ~smiles~.

    2. My favorite holiday recipe is getting my sister or daughter to do the baking LOL. I love pecan pie, candied sweet potatoes, and rum balls, which both my sister and daughter make to perfection. I'll see if I can get a copy of a recipe to share.

    3. Sounds, wonderful, Betty. I'm going to try this one out. Thank you

    4. Happy to share, ladies! Enjoy! Michelle, I make a mean pecan pie using only honey instead of sugar and karo syrup. My hubby likes it better my way. Which works for me. :)

  8. Tis the season to stay inside where it's warm and READ! It's also the time of year to start thinking about who's been Naughty and Nice. Which kind of guy would you like to find under the mistletoe? In my book Blackout, Shayna gets a little of both when she starts dating a nice guy who turns into Mr. Dark and Dangerous when he has blackouts.

    Maybe everyone would like a little variety this Christmas!

    1. I'll take a bad boy with a romantic, gooey inside, please. Also, can we get someone to define Naughty? I think I qualify ~grinz~

    2. Oooh... intriguing...

  9. I loved reading everyone's memories. KaLyn, what a wonderful story. We did something similar, but ours was for a charity in our local area. I served in the military for many years and every year we either did a toy drive or stopped at the children's home right before Christmas with one of our big tall aircraft maintenance guys dressed as Santa. This children's home was a little different because it was for kids with mental and physical disorders. They live there year round. Anyhow, we brought food and toys and spent hours there just hanging out with the kids. I'm out of the military now, but every year I sponsor at least two kiddos from the Child Advocates here in Houston. These are children who are in foster care, removed from their home because of abuse. I get their Christmas lists, shop until I drop and bring it all over to the court appointed volunteers to take to their respective kiddos. It's nice to be able to do something small for them to make sure they have a good Christmas. I hope everyone of you has a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

    1. I believe that we military-types see more of this than most. But we see it all over the world. It breaks my heart to see it in a land of wealth and prosperity, though. I'm glad you continue to help others, especially at the Holidays. It's a tough life for them! Thank you for your service and continued support of those in need. :) You will be blessed.

  10. Hi. If it's cold where you are, why not visit Gulf Shore, Florida through my Gulf Shore contemporary romance series. Here's an excerpt from book 1, The Shore Thing:

    Evan Sanders felt his swim fins touch bottom as he settled into position with his camera pointed at the two ten-foot nurse sharks circling above him. It was feeding time, and Fred and Barney were restless and hungry. Evan watched as black drum, striped mullet, mangrove snapper, and other smaller fish scurried out of the predators’ way.

    He was in full scuba gear and had only his camera for protection, but he wasn’t worried. He’d shot still photos and video in Gulf Shore Aquarium’s Florida Fishes tank many times, and the nurse sharks hadn’t shown the slightest interest in him.

    Still, the usually sluggish bottom-dwellers did have thousands of tiny, serrated teeth capable of crushing shellfish and delivering a nasty bite to errant hands or feet, so Evan couldn’t afford to be careless.

    Leaning against the clear face of the tank for support, he noticed an attractive young woman watching him. She had her long chestnut hair pulled back in a neat ponytail and wore khaki slacks and the aquarium’s standard-issue teal polo shirt with the GSA logo. A small crowd gathered around her, and Evan knew she was regaling them with facts about how nurse sharks in the wild use vacuum-like suction to snatch fish, mollusks, and crustaceans from their hiding places, sometimes even yanking a sea snail right out of its shell.

    He wished he had time to take a closer look at her because he liked what he could see. But duty called.

    Evan zoomed in and fired off frame after frame as Fred sucked a freshly thawed herring from the stainless steel grilling tongs a trainer held just beneath the water’s surface. He tracked Fred with his camera as the shark circled around for another handout.

    Suddenly, Evan’s peripheral vision picked up a hulking shape closing in fast on his right. He pivoted to find Barney’s snout within inches of the camera lens.

    Pulse pounding, Evan barely had time to react. He bumped the shark’s nose just hard enough to discourage him from coming closer. The lumbering fish veered away at the last second and swam up to a second trainer, who enticed him with a hunk of squid.

    On the dry side of the Plexiglas, the young woman stared wide-eyed. Evan gave an exaggerated shudder and patted his chest over his heart. She laughed, and he grinned around his regulator mouthpiece and wiggled his fingers. She waved back.

    As Evan held her gaze for a moment longer, the young woman blushed.

    For more on my books, and pictures of my pets, plus dolphins and other marine life, please stop by

  11. In the spirit of giving, an excerpt from Aaron's Will, Legacies Book 1 ... Merry, Merry!

    Slowly, she let her eyes move down his body. She saw him tense, saw his hands clench and unclench and his Adam’s apple work up and down along his throat. She brought her gaze back to his and in a leisurely and, she hoped, sensual manner wet her lips with a sweep of her tongue. She was satisfied when the action drew his eyes to her mouth. Did he sway toward her? Her confidence boosted, she stepped toward him.


    It was a warning, one she determined to ignore. She took another half step and Dylan put his arm out as if to ward her off.

    She slid her eyes to the side, deliberately focusing on the door leading to the cabin where the party was in full swing. She looked back at him, pausing for dramatic effect. She wanted him to know he could walk away from her, simply turn and leave her. It was all he had to do.

    She doubted she would ever recover from the rejection, but she needed to know. Know if he couldn’t control himself around her. Know if there was something more between them than their past and Aaron’s will.

    He didn’t move, just stood there with his arm in front of him like an entirely overdressed traffic cop.

    She smiled and closed the distance, slipping her hands up over his back until they came to rest on his shoulders. A shudder ran through him. She leaned back to consider him. His eyes were closed and his mouth was slightly open, his breath coming in harsh bursts.

    Emboldened, Morgan trailed her hands around his body and up his chest. Then she tangled her fingers in his hair. Going up on tiptoe, she pulled him toward her. When only a hair’s breadth separated them, she ran her tongue over his bottom lip and then sucked it slowly into her mouth.

    He crushed her to him, his groan vibrating through her. His erection made itself known on her abdomen, becoming more insistent as she nipped and licked him.

    “Stop it,” he whispered against her.

    “Stop what?”

    Confident she had succeeded completely, she tugged him closer for a proper kiss.

    “Morgan, please.”

    His tortured plea stilled her efforts and when she looked into his panic-stricken gaze her heart went cold. Lillian had been wrong. Morgan didn’t unsettle Dylan; she terrified him.

    DawnMarie Richards ... cultivating a sexy mind.

  12. Tara Quan interviewed Jack Girard, former SEAL and current owner of Bad Ass Catamarans, the hero in KaLyn Cooper’s newest release Christmas in Cancun.

    TQ - Today I’d like to welcome Jack Girard to the virtual Hottie Seat.
    Jack – Pleasure to be here ma’am. ~~he casually lowers his powerful body into the overstuffed red chair and props his ankle on a knee~~
    TQ - ~~turning complete, undivided attention to the modern day Adonis with sun-streaked hair that’s just a little too long, bright white smile with a slightly crooked eye tooth, and that cocky attitude of I-can-handle-anything in his arctic blue eyes flecked with green.~~
    Let’s start with an easy question, you walk into a bar, what drink do you order?
    Jack – Beer, draught.
    TQ - Tell me Jack, what do you think surprises readers most about you?
    Jack – People look at me and see the former Navy SEAL. Yeah, I’ve done things in real life that most men only do in a video game. I have a box full of medals for missions that I can never talk about. But I’m just a man, albeit highly trained. I want the same things in life as other men, a job that’s fun and interesting, and a good wife and children to come home to.
    ~~The hard planes of his face soften, and the green in his eyes intensifies.~~
    TQ – After all the women you’ve had in your bed, why the demure anthropologist Jillian?
    Jack - She’s beautiful. Inside and out. She always puts Addison, her two-year-old daughter, first in her life. Jillian is strong, but she doesn’t know it. ~~He slides me a warning look~~ Before her, those other women, it was just sex. Jillian taught me about love.
    TQ - And where is your favorite place to…love…her?
    Jack - ~~a grin tugs at the corners of his mouth~~ A flat surface.
    TQ – ~~forcing herself to the next question on the list~~ What’s with the Mayan idols and a Virgin Mary that’s underwater? Really?
    Jack – Yes. Really. On the Island of Women, which is about seven miles off Cancun, golden idols to the Maya goddesses stood for centuries in a temple. Everyone, except my grandfather, thought they’d been stolen by the Conquistadores. There is a Virgin Mary on the coral reef near the north end. It’s a popular snorkeling and diving spot. We take tourists there all the time.
    TQ – So for four centuries no one looked for them?
    Jack – Oh, they looked, I’m sure. Gold is a treasure hunters’ dream and not everyone wanted to find them for their historical value. My grandmother was of Mayan ancestry. Gramps wanted them for the museum.
    TQ – Heard you ran into a little trouble during your search.
    Jack - I don’t want to talk about that.
    TQ - ~~nodding with understanding, she moved on~~ Do you consider yourself your author’s muse or bane of her existence?
    Jack – Muse. Definitely. KaLyn Cooper grew up in a house filled with testosterone, an Alpha father and four Alpha brothers. Then she married Macho Marine. She knows men. It’s women who confound her most often. She only writes strong women because that’s all she knows.
    TQ – Have we seen the last of you, Jack?
    Jack – Certainly not. KaLyn Cooper has a novella coming out in January and a couple more books next year as part of her “In Cancun” series.
    TQ – Thank you Jack for joining us today. ~~Turning back to the audience~~ It’s always interesting to put a hero in the Hottie Seat. Unfortunately, Jack Girard has got to run.

  13. One of our family traditions during the holiday season was the exchanging of frightening tales. Usually sometime between the big blast of Christmas Day and the surge through to New Year we'd settle down and talk scary stuff. My dad always started this off when we very small with the old - "It was a dark and stormy night and the wind did blow a gale. The skipper said to his first mate, Bill, tell us a tale.
    And this is the tale he told..." -
    Terrifying begining when I was 7 or 8 I can tell you.
    In keeping with my family tradition for scariness during the festive season here is a snippet from my ghostly love story Your Heart My Soul, where Gareth, a psychic, first feels the pull of the lovers from so long ago.

    A ripple through space and time trumpeted a reveille call to his senses, one he recognized. He knew the sensation and relaxed into it. Despite the way the hairs on his arms rose, he allowed the conscious-shifting process to continue. A chill slashed along his fingertips and sickened his stomach with its savage intensity. He stared at the spidery writing on the pale paper and hoped for no more pain.
    A sense of loss, terrible in its fierce arrival, the hopelessness robbed him of anything but the need to look at the papers. He pinpointed his gaze to the papers on the desk. The document insisted he must know more. He understood the command and flipped to the last page. Immediately he focused, drawn to the final entry. This, penned by a sloping but clear hand, dissimilar to any other penmanship he’d seen thus far on the sheets, was dated February 25th 1831.
    Ah, the name I wanted.
    Personal effects for delivery to Ridge Street, Bristol.
    Second Mate of the Hannah Bright. William Reliance Smith. Deceased.
    He read the words again and his inner voice howled. How?
    But no answer came, and he shoved down the sheer desperation the document invoked in the air-conditioned stillness of the workshop.
    The effort to take command of himself brought a sweat to his forehead. He placed the papers on the desk. Eager to find his normal equilibrium, he shoved the chair back, so the feet squealed on the tiles.
    A long time had passed since emotions this bitter from any object he’d handled spoke to him. The psychic grief, pain, and sense of loss from the papers reached out from where they lay, but not as strongly as when he’d held the documents in his hand. He pushed his consciousness to still their call, to stifle their urgent need, until the silence in the workshop calmed his breaths.
    The phone blared. He strode over and lifted it, glad of the tug back to the present.

    Thanks for reading.
    Compliments of the season to you.
    Xx Daisy Banks

    You can find Your Heart My Soul here
    Discover Daisy Banks here

  14. The first book in my Atlantic Divide Series may not be a Christmas story, but I did my final edits over the Christmas before sending it in to Liquid Silver Books at the very start of the new year. I have such a fondness for this, my first book.

    The stables were empty except for the quiet hush of the horses blowing out gently or shuffling into a more comfortable position as they settled down. She could hear his voice at the far end of the stable as he sang to himself. She recognized the country song and smiled as she stepped forward.


    There was a moment of silence, and then Sam stepped out from behind a large black stallion, holding some kind of small hook in his hand.

    “Lydia? What are you doing down here?”

    “I need to speak with you.”

    He stepped forward, but she held up a hand.

    “Earlier, you said you wanted me.”

    “Lydia, I don’t think…”

    “No, please. I need to say this. You said you wanted me but … I’m not very good in bed. I’m no good at sex.” The words rushed out, and she watched as his mouth dropped
    open and his eyes widened.

    “Christ, I can’t stand here and listen to this. Lydia, honey, please don’t say any more.” Jack stepped out from behind the black stallion, and as he spoke, Lydia clapped both hands over her mouth. Eyes huge with horror, she stood routed to the spot for a split second before Sam stepped toward her. She spun on her heel and tried not to run, holding her body ramrod straight as she stalked back through the barn, trying to muster as much dignity as possible. She heard a gravelly male voice coming from behind her “No woman who looks the way she does is going to be bad at sex.” She whipped her head round and stood stock still for a moment as Carl stepped out of the stall next to the stallion, a piece of straw between his teeth. He tilted his head to one side and grinned. “Not when she can move the way she does.”

    “Dear God,” Jack ground out.

    Sam eyed the other two, and then hung his head as the laughter rolled over him. Lydia found her feet and ran as if the hounds of hell were chasing her.

    Humor features strongly in all my books, why not come and take a look.

  15. Love all these excerpts and recipes. You guys are so much fun!

  16. Excuse me, Miss – My name is Michelle Hoppe, Channel 6 News at Night. I’m doing interviews with stranded passengers and wondered if you would mind answering a few questions?

    Michelle Hoppe. Oh my God. Aren’t you famous? Wow, I’m just…wow.

    Why don’t you introduce yourself? What’s your name and where are you headed?

    My name’s Bailey and I’m flying to Houston – or supposed to be, but look at that snow hurling down. I’m sorry, I’m just on my way to the bathroom, and I have to be quick, or…”

    Houston, that’s an interesting place to be heading for the holidays. Any particular reason for choosing Houston?

    Yeah, yeah, I’m going to meet my Fiancé’s family. His parents. It’s unbelievable, because

    Wow, congratulations on your engagement. Just take a look at the size of that rock, folks. Isn’t it a bit oversized for your slim fingers?

    Well, yes. I suppose it is, but his mother didn’t know my ring size.

    His mother? His mother chose your ring? *gurgle*

    Yes. Well, he’s very busy.

    Busy, huh, will he find time to marry you? When is the happy day?

    Well, I’m not quite sure yet, I’m sure someone will let me know in the grand scheme of things.

    Excellent. So this trip is to meet the new in-laws. Are you nervous?

    I’m peeing my pants. Literally. I mean I am on the way to the bathroom as I said before, but not only that but, well my Fiance’s parents are both, ummm, well, Senators.

    Senators, wow. So do you call them Mom and Dad or Senator Mom and Senator Dad?

    Oh well no. I believe I will call them Senator. Until I’m instructed otherwise. I’m sure the time will come when then allow me to call them something less… formal.

    So Bailey, I couldn’t help but notice the handsome cowboy who seems to be keeping you company while you wait. Is he your brother and is he single?

    Oh him. *waves a dismissive hand in the air* No. I think he may just be some kind of vagrant, hanging around, approaching loan females. I mean, have you seen those dirty boots of his?
    Really, do you think we should call the cops?

    Oh God no. Sebastian isn’t like that. I was kidding. He’s really nice. He’s going to look after me tonight.

    Hmm, let me get this straight, you’re engaged to … what’s his name again?

    Uh, Ph…Ph…uh, Phillip.

    Right, engaged to Phillip, so why is Mr. Yummy making like he’s your boyfriend?

    No, no, he’s not. He’s a little protective is all, he’s my father’s foreman. I’ve known him, like, forever. He just happens to be flying out of the same airport on the same night. Nice that he’s turned up, he’s managed to get us rooms at a local hotel and…I’m sorry, I have to go now, he’s arranged transport and…

    He has a really nice ass in those tight jeans, when he bent over then, his muscles flexed in the most inappropriate manner.

    *glances at Sebastian* “Yeah.” *sigh* “They did, didn’t they? I need to go. He’s … looking at me.”

    And she’s off…Well folks, as you can see, things are heating up around here and it appears Bailey is done answering questions … for now. This is Michelle Hoppe signing off. Join us later for a possible update on Mr Yummy.

    Find out more about Flight of Her Life by Diane Saxon at This spicy, romantic comedy is a great holiday read!

  17. Not only a holiday read, but it's set in a blizzard the night before Christmas Eve. Poor Bailey is stranded with only her father's foreman to rescue her. Worse still, I think she just lost her panties...

    Virtually running, she charged into a cubicle. She wouldn’t put it past him to give her two minutes and storm in there after her. Ripping her damaged tights off, she balled them up and threw them into the bin. She whipped her panties down, and perched with relief, but as she moved her left hand, her giant diamond swung to the underside of her finger and snagged on the elastic at the side of her panties. She wrenched her hand away and heaved in a surprised breath as the elastic pinged back on her leg. She leaped up and
    her panty elastic parted company with itself and her panties slid down her right leg.

    “Oh, God. No. No, no, no, no, no, no.”

    Her fingers shook, and she glanced anxiously at the cubicle door, almost expecting Sebastian to burst through and ask what the hell she had wrecked now. He’d be right of course, but it was beside the point. She shook her panties off her legs, deftly flicked them off the end of her foot and caught them efficiently in her hand. She smoothed her skirt, put the toilet seat down and sat on it. She studied the thin elastic, and rubbed at the sharp sting on her leg. She tried to focus her blurred vision as she tied the elastic in a neat little knot and gave it a firm tug to make sure it didn’t come undone.

    Satisfied, she slipped them back on. She gave herself a quick check over in the bathroom mirror, and apart from her wild hair, she noted as she gave a quick sigh of relief, nothing else appeared out of place.

    Sebastian leaned against the opposite wall as she walked out of the restroom. His arms were crossed over his chest, his attention firmly focused on her. She felt a warm rush while his eyes scanned the length and breadth of her body as though checking her out for damage. She pursed her lips and raised a superior eyebrow, so when his eyes tracked up to her face, he could see she was not impressed with his assumption that something had gone awry. He merely gave her a broad grin and pushed away from the wall, offering her his arm.

    Bailey rolled her eyes, stepped forward and gave a shocked squeak as the elastic on her hip pinged open and her panties dropped straight to her ankles, almost tripping her up in the process. She slapped a hand over her mouth, her eyes widened in horror as she peered down at her feet, then back up at Sebastian.

    His warm, blue eyes crinkled at the edges as he leaned over, wrapped his arms over his stomach and laughed and laughed until tears rolled down his cheeks, and his skin flushed a deep red against his burnished tan.

    “Oh God, Bailey. Oh God.” Still laughing, he dropped to his knees and reached out to pick up her panties. The temptation to kick him while he was down was so strong she had to persuade herself to stand still, body completely frozen, face stoic. If she bent over to rip them out of his hands, the likelihood was, someone was going to get an eyeful of her naked butt.

  18. I can hardly see to type after reading KaLyn's comment. Just wow. True Christmas spirit. Thanks for sharing! ~Tami

    1. Thanks for commenting Tami. This was posted (thanks to Michelle) while I was on the tiny, third-world island of Dominica where the Internet is a thing of the future to most of its inhabitants. So I'm just now catching up. I've often wondered what happened to those children. They were gone, the shack abandoned, when we returned to bring them Easter treats. I can only hope that they used their humble beginnings to become the heroes and heroines we write about.

  19. Excuse me, Sir – My name is Michelle Hoppe, Channel 6 News at Night. I’m doing interviews with stranded passengers and couldn’t help but recognize you from the airport.

    You did, huh?

    Yes, well *flicks hair flirtatiously over her shoulder* You were with Bailey.

    I am still with Bailey

    You are?


    You’re quite a man of few words aren’t you?


    May I ask what that is in the bag you have there?

    *heaves a pained sigh, raises the bag* - Underwear.

    Underwear? For Bailey?


    But, I thought Bailey had a Fiancé.

    She does, but he’s not here and she’s ripped her panties in two. She needs new underwear, so she’ll have new underwear. Now if you’ll excuse me *with a flicker and dimming of the lights, Sebastian gazes at the ceiling*

    Are you going to rescue her? *breathless sigh*

    Hell, no. It’s the rest of the world needs rescuing from her …

    Well folks, that seems to all the information I can get … If you want to find out more about Bailey and why Mr. Yummy thinks the rest of the world needs rescuing from her, you’ll have to get the book – Flight of Her Life by Diane Saxon – This spicy, romantic comedy is a great holiday read!


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