Friday, December 15, 2017

SPENDING ALL DAY WITH FAMILY


Please welcome Lynn Winchester, a wonderful author I met through the Montana Skies Kindle World in which we each write. Lynn is also a successful editor for fellow authors.

Remember to leave a comment to be entered in the Christmas Eve drawing for a Kindle Fire 7.

What is your favorite childhood Christmas memory?

I loved waking up in the morning and tearing into the presents. As a single mom, my mother couldn’t afford too many gifts, but what we did get, we loved.



What is your favorite adult Christmas memory?

I love watching my children open their gifts; the squeals of delight, the gasps of surprise, and the “thank you, Mom” will always make me smile.

Is there a Christmas song that’s your favorite?

A.   Secular – Any Christmas song sung by Michael Buble
B.   Religious – “O’ Holy Night”

Tell us about your family’s Christmas traditions.

Every Christmas morning, we have the in-laws over for a breakfast of homemade quiche. After breakfast is consumed, we open the gifts, one at a time. We take turns watching each other open our presents. Once presents are opened, we clean up the wrapping paper shrapnel, and enjoy the rest of the morning. Around lunch time, we head to my in-law’s house where we prepare Christmas supper, then eat it! We spend ALL day together, and I love that.

What about Christmas do you most enjoy?

Spending time with my family.

Is there something about this holiday that drives you crazy?

The commercialism.

What do you hope for this Christmas?

My husband is on-call for his job. I hope that he doesn’t get called out, I would hate for him to miss the day with his family.

Do you have a treasured Christmas food? Would you share the recipe?

I REALLY love green bean casserole! I use the Campbell’s recipe from the can, LOL.






CAMPBELL'S GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

Ingredients
·        1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom
·        ½ cup milk
·        1teaspoon soy sauce
·        1dash black pepper
·        4 cups cut green beans
·        1 1/3 cups French's® French Fried Onions

Directions
Step 1
Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onions in a 1 1/2-quart casserole.

Step 2
Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling.  Stir the bean mixture.  Sprinkle with the remaining onions.
Step 3
Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

Do you have a book you’d like to share?







HEARTSONG Summary:

After years of living in her vibrant twin sister's shadow, shy and awkward Henrietta "Rhetta" Hanlon is ready to spread her wings, and that means heading north to Morgan's Crossing, Montana. Maybe she'll be able to be herself in the wide open spaces...

The child of a Lakota woman and an American Army Colonial, Mahkah "Mac" Soloman is caught between two worlds, seeking a place of his own, a place where he can find that one thing his heart is missing. Working at the Wheeler Hills ranch, his heart yearns for something more, and he finds it when lovely, sweet Rhetta comes to visit.

Unused to any man's attention, Rhetta can't seem to shake her growing interest in the handsome, brooding ranch foreman. His rare smiles light her afire, and his gentle touch makes her soul sing. But is it her he's really interested in, or the woman who looks like her?

Though wary of her own feelings, when her sister is kidnapped, Rhetta must depend on Mac to help save her sister's life. When these two burdened spirits are thrown together, will they find love under the big blue sky or will they allow their fears to silence the song of their hearts?





Lynn Winchester, Author


Lynn Winchester is the pseudonym of a hardworking California-born conservative, now living in the wilds of Northeast Pennsylvania. Lynn has been writing fiction since the 5th grade, and enjoys creating worlds, characters, and stories for her readers.

When Lynn isn't writing she is running a successful editing business, reading whatever she can get her hands on, raising her four children, making sure her husband is happy, and binge watching shows on Netflix.



GIVING GIFTS TO PEOPLE!

Please welcome Kirsten Osbourne, a friend whom I admire a great deal. As long as I’ve known her, I’ve never heard her say an unkind word. She always focuses on being kind and positive. Kirsten has a fun giveaway today to one person who comments.
Remember that your comment enters you in a drawing for a Kindle Fire 7 on Christmas Eve!
  
What is your favorite childhood Christmas memory? 

Opening stockings was always my favorite thing. My mom always went all out, and there was lots of fun stuff involved.

What is your favorite adult Christmas memory?

Each year is always the best. I’m embroiled in making candy and baking! It’s been a lot of fun.

Is there a Christmas song that’s your favorite?

A.   Secular  “Up on the Housetop”      
B.   Religious  “Away in a Manger”

Tell us about your family’s Christmas traditions. 

Well, everything will be new this year. Usually we do Christmas Eve with my in-laws, and then Christmas Day with my mom. We open presents in between and it’s a whirlwind. Now we’re far from them, so we’ll do presents on Christmas Eve and stockings on Christmas mornings. My son and I are baking to take as gifts to neighbors and friends.

What about Christmas do you most enjoy?

I love giving gifts to people. Don’t care if I ever get one. It’s all about making others happy!

Is there something about this holiday that drives you crazy?

People’s greed seems to be worse at Christmas time.

What do you hope for this Christmas?

To have a nice time with family and friends and find that perfect gift for my son. (And for fairies to come and magically wrap all our presents!)

Do you have a treasured Christmas food?

Not really!

Do you have a Christmas book you’d like to share?

I have LOTS of Christmas books! https://www.amazon.com/Ephraim-Seven-Sons-Book-5-ebook/dp/B077YWQVS8 EPHRAIM is the newest!







EPHRAIM Summary: 

Maria Villanueva is still unhappy that her brother was taken from her and put into a foster home--which was really a boys' ranch--four and a half years before. When she finishes her education, she moves to the town closest to his location to start a business and be close to her brother. She expresses her unhappiness for the situation with one of the brothers running the ranch, and he makes sure she spends more time there to see what the ranch is really like.

Ephraim McClain knows within minutes of meeting Maria that she is the woman he's destined to spend his life with. He offers her the first client for her new business, and does his best to make sure she's always around him. As they get to know one another, he loses his heart. Will she be able to understand that the ranch is a good place? Or will she continue to battle her feelings for him?


Giveaway

Why don’t I giveaway a random bag o’ crap? A bag filled with swag and a couple of signed books, etc.







Kirsten Osbourne, Author


Kirsten Osbourne hails from the state of Wisconsin, lived in Texas for almost thirty years, and recently has found the perfect family home in Idaho. She is a mother, a writer, and a wife. Married to the love of her life for over fifteen years, she knows that true love exists and wants to share her vision of love with the world. Writing is something she has always loved and plans on doing for a long time into the future.

Kirsten Osbourne writes contemporary romance as well as historical. She invites you to join her world of fantasy and make believe where there is always a happily ever after at the end.

@AuthorKOSBOURNE

Thursday, December 14, 2017

CELEBRATING WITH CHILDREN IS SPECIAL

Please welcome award-winning author and special friend, Beth Trissel. Beth is very generously giving away three e-copies of THE WHITE LADY, one each to three persons who comment today. Your comment also enters you in the Kindle Fire 7 giveaway on December 24.


Beth Trissel, Author


What is your favorite childhood Christmas memory?

I have wonderful memories of celebrating Christmas at my father’s family homeplace in the Shenandoah Valley with my mom, dad, brothers, grandmother, aunt, uncle, and cousins. The house, called Chapel Hill, is a wonderful old home that is the inspiration behind the old homes in my ‘Somewhere’ time travel series.


Chapel Hill



What is your favorite adult Christmas memory?

I love celebrating Christmas with kids, so holidays when my children were young, and now with my grandkids are very special. We do have an enthusiastic puppy, Cooper, this year who will add to the festivity. Cooper is like a kid.

Is there a Christmas song that’s your favorite?

That hauntingly beautiful carol Lo How The Rose Ere Blooming is a favorite, and I love the theme song from Home Alone, Somewhere in My Memory.’

Tell us about your family’s Christmas traditions

We used to all go to a tree farm and cut Christmas trees. Now that many of us have allergies and purchased artificial trees, fewer are going and I miss doing that. We should just go anyway.

What about Christmas do you most enjoy?

I like to sit and watch Christmas movies with daughters Elise and Alison, and the small people.

Is there something about this holiday that drives you crazy?

It’s too expensive. I would like to simplify.

What do you hope for this Christmas?

A new grandbaby safe and healthy. Daughter Alison is expecting in December.

Do you have a treasured Christmas food? If so, would you care to share the recipe?

These are old-time Mennonite molasses cookies you roll out and cut into shapes. I am gluten-intolerant so substitute alternate flour.




Mennonite Molasses Cookies

1 cup shortening, 4 cups flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1 cup dark molasses, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1/4 cup hot water, 1 1/4 tsp. soda

Sift flour and salt together and cut in shortening as for pastry. In another bowl, combine molasses and sugar. Add egg and beat well.  Dissolve soda in hot water and add to molasses mixture.  Combine crumb and molasses mixtures and stir until well blended.

Chill dough for several hours in refrigerator.  Turn out on a lightly floured board.  Roll to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into shapes.  Place 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 until a deep rich brown. After baking these cookies will be cracked on top.  Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Do you have a Christmas book you’d like to share?

I have three novellas set at Christmas, but am featuring my newest. My November 2017 holiday romance release with The Wild Rose Press, THE WHITE LADY (Book 2 Ladies in Time) is a New Adult ghostly time travel.

I am giving away three kindles e-copies or PDF’s of THE WHITE LADY.

THE WHITE LADY Blurb.

Avery Dunham has always been ready to follow her friend, time-traveling wizard, Ignus Burke, on incredible adventures. This time, though, she has serious misgivings. It's just one week before Christmas, but she cannot get him to change his mind. The usually cool and collected magic-wielding leader is wholly obsessed by the portrait of the White Lady whom he is bent on rescuing.

Almost as soon as they begin their journey, it becomes clear their mission is a trap.

Avery was right: this adventure is not going to be like any other.

THE WHITE LADY Excerpt:

Avery had a few queries on the tip of her tongue, like, “Are you out of your freaking skull?”
If she didn’t ask, Stan probably would. They’d graduated from high school this past June and worked part-time ‘nothing’ jobs, taking a break before college while finding their way, as Avery’s mother put it. Mostly, they were drawn to Ignus like moths to a flame, especially Avery. Not that he noticed.

If only he’d look at her the way he did the white lady. More and more, the portrait seemed to dominate his thoughts. How could a petite, okay short, girl in a sparkly pink sweater and unicorn leggings compete with this tantalizing beauty?

Avery wasn’t plain, some even referred to her as cute, but exotic didn’t describe her. Quirky, sure. She wouldn’t term her brown eyes deeply affecting, and her face wouldn’t compel men through centuries to her side. The best she could do was plead with him.
“Ignus, be reasonable. Please.”

No reply. He wore his stubborn look. Crossing his arms over a lean chest, he tilted his head to better view the femme fatale on the wall above them. The tousled brown hair covering his ears and forehead needed a trim. In his red Zombie Preparedness hoodie with a white rescue logo, gray dress pants, and white high-topped sneakers, he was the quintessential nerd. Most importantly, he was a wizard and time traveler with a passion for rescuing lost souls. His fervor for this particular lady was alarming.~

Get THE WHITE LADY in kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/White-Lady-Ladies-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B075XBTY1J

****Follow my Amazon Author Page and keep up with my new releases: https://www.amazon.com/Beth-Trissel/e/B002BLLAJ6/

***The Ladies in Time stories do not need to be read in order.
For more on my visit my blog: https://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/




Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A ROOM FILLED WITH GIFTS FOR THE KIDS

Please welcome one of my best friends, Anna Jeffrey, an award-winning author. Not only does she write as Anna Jeffrey, she has also co-written books as USA Today bestselling author Dixie Cash. As you'll see below, she's also a gifted artist as well as an accomplished author.

Remember to comment during Advent to be eligible for the Christmas Eve drawing of the Kindle Fire 7.

What is your favorite childhood Christmas memory?

Christmas at my great-grandpa’s house, when all of the family would come and bring presents. I was around 5 to 7 years old. At that time, my great-grandparents had 9 kids living, and most of them had kids of their own, so it was a lot of people. The Christmas tree was usually in the corner of the living room, which was a room never used at any other time of the year, and the presents would stretch out to the center of the room. Oddly enough, one of my most vivid memories is that my grandmas always got pots and pans for presents.


This photo is my great-grandpa's house in West Texas where I spent the first 8 years of my life. The people on the porch are my great-grandpa and great-grandma and 7 of their 9 kids. This picture was taken when the house was fairly new, somewhere around 1900 and was where the whole family gathered every holiday. The lumber for the house was hauled by horse and wagon from Abilene, which was about 80 miles away. I don't know who built it in the first place, but it had 8 bedrooms. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the inside.



This is an oil painting I did of the old gas station and mechanic's garage not far from my great-grandpa's house. It was also the post office. The white stuff on the ground isn't snow. It's cotton. The cotton gin was just down the road from it. It's gone now, but when I was a kid, it was a thriving business.


What is your favorite adult Christmas memory?

When my husband and I lived in Idaho, one Christmas Eve we had a heavy snowfall that didn’t let up for days. All around our house, the depth was about four feet. My daughter and her husband had gone to his family’s house for the holiday, so my husband and I were alone. We and some friends did a progressive dinner riding on snow machines. We always had a white Christmas in Idaho, but we usually weren’t out in the weather and usually didn’t have quite that much snow. It felt very Christmas-y.

Is there a Christmas song that’s your favorite?

A.   Secular: “White Christmas” sung by Bing Crosby
B.   Religious: “O Holy Night” sung by any large choir

Tell us about your family’s Christmas traditions.

They are long gone now, but my great-grandpa used to always give all the kids a bag of apples and oranges. Don’t know where he got them at that time of year in West Texas.


The coat is an opaque water color I painted of my husband George's
old work coat hanging on the door of his  cabin in the mountains about 
50 miles from McCall, Idaho. We used to spend a lot of time up there. 
Talk about silence! 

What about Christmas do you most enjoy?

Most people seem to be happy at Christmas. They seem to work at it.


The old barn is an oil painting I did and I don't even remember where
it is. Obviously in the Northwest somewhere.


Is there something about this holiday that drives you crazy?

Not any more. I used to work in the retail business, so all of it drove me crazy in those days.

What do you hope for this Christmas?

Time and good health and a little more good will.


This is an oil painting of a deteriorating gold mining dredge in Warren Creek, Idaho. This is how they pulled many dollars worth of gold from that area. I don't know how old it is, but it wasn't far from George's cabin. Believe it or not, one year, I won the Blue Ribbon and the "Best of Show" ribbon at the Idaho State Fair with this gold-mining dredge. Interesting history.



Do you have a treasured Christmas food?

Christmas cookies and candies. I used to make both and give for Christmas presents. In Idaho, we had wonderful fruit available at that time of year. I always made chutneys and various jams and fruit honeys to give for presents. One of my faves was pear honey. Larruping!



Divinity Fudge

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup white Karo syrup
2 large egg whites, stiffly beaten
1/2 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cream tartar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

 Beat egg whites until stiff and set aside. Cook sugar, Karo, water, salt, and cream of tartar until it forms a hard ball in water. Pour over stiffly beaten egg whites. Add vanilla and nuts. Beat and pour into lightly buttered pan to harden.

Warning: Do not make this on a cloudy or rainy day or it may not harden. 

Do you have a book you’d like to share?

Since I mentioned Idaho, I'll share a book set in Idaho: THE LOVE OF A COWBOY, book 1 of the Callister Trilogy.








THE LOVE OF A COWBOY was published as a result of winning a contest. It started out to be a saga about a legendary ranching family: Luke McRae, his parents and his siblings and the various dramas that affected their lives. The editor who judged it and bought it wanted to pluck out only Dahlia and Luke's story. The revision was a daunting process that required cutting around 50,000 words. The editor encouraged me every step of the way and in the end, my debut book became a work I'm proud of.

THE LOVE OF A COWBOY Summary:

When Texas beauty Dahlia Montgomery and her best friend journey to Idaho for a change of scenery for the summer, the last thing she expects to encounter is Luke McRae, a lean, rugged cowboy intent on sweeping her off her feet and into his bed. Dahlia can't resist his rugged cowboy swagger and his sky blue eyes, even though she knows he can break her heart.

Luke is part owner and manager of the legendary Double-Deuce Ranch in the Idaho mountains. With the ranch, and alcoholic ex-wife, a shrewish mother and three kids to worry about, he has no interest in romance. But that doesn't mean he has given up on casual sex with beautiful women...But is either he or Dahlia prepared for the consequences of a sexy summer romp?

Amazon buy link: http://a.co/fDj3pay 






Anna Jeffrey, Author



A few words about Anna Jeffrey….
Anna Jeffrey is an award-winning author of romance novels as well as romantic comedy/mystery. She has written 10 romance novels and co-authored 7 as USA Today Bestselling author, Dixie Cash. Her most recent book is “The Cattleman.”
She loves most things western, from the customs and culture to the philosophy of life. She enjoys many hobbies, i.e., reading, painting and drawing, crafting, needlework and beading. Anna is a fifth generation Texan. She was born and grew up in West Texas, where most of her family members were farmers and ranchers or worked in the oil fields. She left Texas for many years and lived in four of the western states, a rich experience she’ll never forget. These days, she’s back home in Texas. She and her husband currently live in a small town not far from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
Twitter: @AnnaJeffrey



Tuesday, December 12, 2017

CUPID SANTA!

Please welcome my longtime friend and a bestselling author, Sylvia McDaniel. Sylvia has a giveaway to someone who comments. Commenting also enters you for the Kindle Fire 7 giveaway on Christmas Eve!

What is your favorite childhood Christmas memory?

When Santa brought me my bicycle. We lived in a small house in San Angelo and had gone to my grandparents. I didn’t think I would get a bicycle that year, but I was surprised. I had to be 5/6 years old.

What is your favorite adult Christmas memory?

The first year my husband and I went to Christmas Mass - we weren’t even married, but that night, I knew he was the one.

Is there a Christmas song that’s your favorite?

A.   Secular — The one by the Carpenters – “Merry Christmas, Darling” — makes me cry every time I hear it.
B.   Religious — “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem”

Tell us about your family’s Christmas traditions.

We’re an odd bunch and really don’t have many. My grandmother, my mother and myself use to give our presents to each other in the same box. One year I received it, the next year my mother, then my grandmother. We passed that box around until it fell apart.

What about Christmas do you most enjoy?

My family has shrunk tremendously, though I love being with them, my favorite parts are the decorations and the lights. I think it’s because when I was a kid we would spend Christmas Eve driving around looking at the lights.

Is there something about this holiday that drives you crazy?  

People at the mall.

What do you hope for this Christmas?  

My year is crazy this year and it’s going to be a quiet Christmas. I’m praying for less stress and for Spring to get here quick. As for a gift…I’d like a smaller lighter Apple laptop computer from Santa.

Do you have a treasured Christmas recipe you’d like to share?

         Cheeseball

          1 8 oz Cream Cheese
          1 Flat can Crushed Pineapple drained very well —this is the most important step
          1/2 Cup Bell Pepper chopped fine
          1/2 Tablespoon Seasoning Salt
          2 Tablespoons onions minced
          1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
         
          Let the cream cheese soften then squish all this together except for the pecans - then chill the cheese ball. Once it’s firm again, roll in the chopped pecans.
          If you like it spicy - add finely chopped JalepeƱos.

Do you have a Christmas book you’d like to share?

I'll give away a copy of CUPID SANTA!

Blurb: CUPID SANTA

Determined to find her perfect match, Brie Simpson sets out for Cupid, Texas to test the superstition of dancing naked around the statue and discover true love. Only, to learn destiny betrayed her when she gets handcuffed and hauled to jail.

After complaints about the silliness of people dancing naked around the statue, Deputy Stephen Austin doesn’t believe in the magic of Cupid with good reason. When he finds himself in a jam, with no one to help plan the annual Christmas party, he’s forced to turn to his prisoner.

Can Cupid help a pessimist and a perfectionist come together for the sake of the children and save Christmas?





CUPID SANTA Excerpt:

Brie glanced around the town square at the boy in a diaper with his arrow drawn back. What was a practical, logical woman like herself doing standing naked in a park waiting for the clock to strike the dancing hour? Never one for crazy stunts, she feared if seized by the law, her friends and family would assume she finally went off the deep end. 
Her luck with men was like a bad hand of craps in Vegas. Lucky seven appeared at the wrong time. Sure, this was a superstition. One that could find her looking out between bars. 
But the numbers of couples who admitted to having met because of the Cupid Stupid run proved something about this dance brought people together. Enough people, that here she stood in her birthday suit, hoping the man she encountered would accept her plus size body. 
The clanging gong struck midnight, the ding dong resounding through the park. Ready to get this process started, she began to jog, shivering in the cold as she chanted the words the legend required you say. "Oh Cupid, find me my true love. Oh Cupid, find me my true love."
According to the superstition you had to make it around the boy in the diaper at least three times, more if you were desperate. At the ripe old age of thirty, even the sixty-year-old janitor in her building looked appealing. Eager to marry and have the family she dreamed of, she was willing to risk it all tonight.
On the third lap, she spotted a figure coming around the statue and sped up. 
"Stop," he called. "Halt."
Taking a glance behind her, she detected a man dressed in a Santa suit chasing her and busted out laughing. 
"Stop, I'm the law."
"Law? Where's your badge and gun?"
The jolly old man huffed and puffed. Seemed Santa skipped the gym lately. 
"Deputy Stephen Austin."
The father of Texas? Sure, and she was Pocahontas.
“And I’m Barnie Fikes. Leave me alone, I'm finding true..."
Stunned, she stopped, staring at the man running toward her. "Oh my, you're my true love. But you're old."
As he ran up to her, he slapped the handcuffs around her wrist.
"I'm your worst nightmare. You're under arrest for public indecency," he said. 
His hat fell to the ground and she saw that he wore fake whiskers and his hair was a dark brown.
"Wait, I'm your true love," she said. "No, you can't arrest me."
"Watch me," he said. "Santa is taking you to jail."
"I knew I should have gone to Bride, Texas," she said with a sigh.

Click here to continue reading Brie’s story CUPID SANTA


Sylvia McDaniel. Author

USA Today bestselling author Sylvia McDaniel has published more than thirty western historical romance, contemporary romance and even a few sci-fi novels.  Known for her sweet, funny, family-oriented romances,  Sylvia is the author of The Burnett Brides a historical western series, The Cuvier Widows, a Louisiana historical series, Lipstick and Lead, a western historical series and several short contemporary romances.

Married for over twenty years to her best friend, they have one dachshund that reigns Queen Supreme over the house, a new puppy who is challenging the queen and a good-looking, grown son who thinks there’s no place like home. She loves gardening, hiking, shopping, knitting and football (Cowboys and Bronco’s fan), but not necessarily in that order.
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