A Rock ‘n Roll Holiday by Jacquie Rogers
a very romantic christmas week / December 25, 2012

A Rock ‘n Roll Holiday by Jacquie Rogers The holiday season often brings a bit of nostalgia and for many of us, that revolves around family and all the good times.  Do you remember, as a six-year-old, the excitement and anticipation of Christmas?  Do you love classic movies—White Christmas, The Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life? In the spirit of nostalgia, I got to thinking about my parents’ Christmases.  What fun it was digging up old songs and the fashions of December, 1956.  And that’s how Faery Merry Christmas developed into a story. Let’s travel back and see what entertained people in 1956 (United States). The top ten songs in 1956 were: Don’t be Cruel, Elvis Presley Great Pretender, The Platters My Prayer, The Platters Wayward Wind, Gogi Grant Whatever Will Be, Will Be, Doris Day Heartbreak Hotel, Elvis Presley Lisbon Antigua, Nelson Riddle Canadian Sunset, Hugo Winterhalter Moonglow/Theme from Picnic, Morris Stoloff Honky Tonk, Bill Doggett In December, the top songs were Love Me Tender by Elvis and Singing the Blues by Guy Mitchel.  Christmas songs included Mary’s Boy Child by Harry Belafonte and of course Bing Crosby’s White Christmas was still very popular.  Gene Autry’s Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer,…

Making Holiday Cards by Vivienne Westlake
a very romantic christmas week / December 24, 2012

Making Holiday Cards by Vivienne Westlake Last year, my author friend, K.B. Alan and I started a tradition of making Christmas cards. She has a good friend who loves crafting and hosts a card-making party every year. There is something about sitting down to make a masterpiece with tiny snowflakes and snowman cut-outs, pretty Christmas paper, and dozens of festive stamps. Sometimes I’ll make a card with a particular person in mind, such as last year, when I found a Hello Kitty paper doll with reindeer antlers and a Santa hat that I used on a card for Eden Bradley. Even erotica writers love their Hello Kitty! This year, with my glass of wine in hand—and the worst rendition of Winter Wonderland that I’ve ever heard playing in the background—I made 14 cards. Most of the women who attend make 3 or 4 cards in an afternoon. My cards tend to be simple and symmetrical. K.B. likes to use 3D elements (cotton for clouds or snow, ribbons, frayed paper, or 3D cut-outs). I find that crafting and sketching are fun, artistic ways for me to rest and recharge my creative mind. Do you have any favorite Christmas craft projects? Have…

Family Christmas Traditions by Terri Rochenski
a very romantic christmas week / December 23, 2012

I’ve got tons of Christmas traditions from when I was a kid, but I want to share something my hubby introduced me to – something we started with our two young daughters. Elf on the Shelf. Ever heard of him? He comes from the North Pole (a gift box along with a book) a week or so before Christmas and ‘hangs out’ around the house keeping his eyes on the kids. He can’t be touched or he’ll lose his magical powers as Santa’s eyes & ears.  Once everyone in the house is sleeping Elf flies back to the North Pole & tells Santa who has been naughty & nice. Then it’s party time. Or so I’d assume. I really don’t think the elves slave away in Santa’s toy shop day and night, do you?? Before day break Elf flies back to his adoptive home & finds a new place to perch (hubs moves him). Creepily enough it really seems like he’s looking at you no matter what part of the room he’s moved to. My girls squeal every morning wondering where Elf got to. It’s fun playing hide & seek – even if it IS with a stuffed elf. Best…

Putting some ZOOM in your cocoa by Jennifer James
a very romantic christmas week / December 22, 2012

Thanks so much for having me on today! I’m going to share one of mypersonal favorite things for when the holidays just get to be too much for you. In-laws making you batty? Kids screaming over lost Barbie shoes? Mom mucking about in your kitchen screwing up your turkey? I’ve got you covered.  Just whip one of these together, and sip or guzzle, until you get all nice and relaxed and fuzzy. What you need for the Spiked Cocoa. *One packet of hot cocoa mix *Milk *Whipped Cream *Big ole mug *Peppermint Mocha Kahlua *Optional garnishes: Chocolate shavings, Hershey’s syrup, a hot nekkid man. Instructions:  Just make your cocoa, dump in some Kahlua (To taste, just be careful you don’t get overboard. People will catch on to what you’re doing and snag your alcohol for themselves). Top it with garnishes, and voila! Happy times. I also make this with coffee in an enormous mug, for those days when I’m tired, and crabby, but can’t go to sleep…yet. *Oh, and if you have the hot nekkid man, what you do with him is entirely up to you. I’m just sayin’ there might be things to do with that whipped cream…

Some books are like Christmas by Jen Minkman
a very romantic christmas week / December 21, 2012

Some books are like Christmas  by Jen Minkman I always get a warm, fuzzy feeling when the Christmas season approaches. To me, it is the ultimate cozy holiday. Staring at the light in the Christmas tree, I am wrapping myself in a blanket of childhood memories of big celebrations with tons of food and ad-lib Christmas shows where my cousins and I would dress up like angels and do Nativity plays to entertain the adults. In Dutch, we even have an untranslatable word for this kind of feeling: we call it ‘gezellig’. It is a crossover between coziness, a good atmosphere in a room, and a bunch of people together having a good time without any arguing going on. Some books, to me, are like Christmas. Every year I come back to those books, because they give me that same comfortable and familiar feeling of coziness. It appeals to the incorrigible sucker for happy endings in me – romantic books and children’s books assure me that all will be well in the end. Most of the books I come back to regularly are books from my childhood: the Narnia series, The Mother Earth Trilogy (written by famous Dutch author Thea Beckman)…