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A Rock ‘n Roll Holiday by Jacquie Rogers

December 25, 2012

A Rock ‘n Roll Holiday by Jacquie Rogers

a very romantic christmas week

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:

  1. Don’t be Cruel, Elvis Presley
  2. Great Pretender, The Platters
  3. My Prayer, The Platters
  4. Wayward Wind, Gogi Grant
  5. Whatever Will Be, Will Be, Doris Day
  6. Heartbreak Hotel, Elvis Presley
  7. Lisbon Antigua, Nelson Riddle
  8. Canadian Sunset, Hugo Winterhalter
  9. Moonglow/Theme from Picnic, Morris Stoloff
  10. 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, recorded in 1949, still sold well and in fact, until the 1980s, was the best-selling recording ever.

Popular singers?    Besides, Elvis, there was Bill Haley and the Comets, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dean Martin.

Then there were the cars, and this was the time when we were in the midst of the car culture, where your wheels were the thing.  In Faery Merry Christmas, Liam (the hero) drives a pink Metropolitan.  This would’ve been a custom paint job because Metropolitans didn’t come in that color, but pink was by far the most popular color for just about anything in 1956.  Elvis had a pink Cadillac.  Kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures came in pink, Christmas tree lights, couches, clothes, carpets—yep, pink was the prevailing color.  

One of the most popular cars of that year was the Chevrolet Bel Air.  Liam’s best friend has one of these.  My hair guy, Martin DeGrazia, owns one and let me use his car for my story.  You can see his cars and other 1956 models on my website (http://www.jacquierogers.com/fmc_1956cars.html).

If you went to the drive-in theater, you might see The King and I starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner,   The Searchers with John Wayne and Vera Miles, or Trapeze with Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, and Gina Lollobrigida.  Other popular movies were Moby Dick, Giant, and The Ten Commandments.

All this is the backdrop for Faery Merry Christmas, where Santa’s daughter is having her own difficulties.

Romance has gone awry in Faeryshire.

Who would’ve thought Mr. and Mrs. Claus’s daughter would be “on the shelf”? Yep, Cheshya’s all a’flutter because her 2,000th birthday, the last day she’s eligible to take a mate, is on Christmas, only four days away, but Liam of the Red Clan, the only man she has ever wanted is otherwise occupied . . .

Terra Humanus in 1956: carhops on roller skates, the submarine races, a pink Nash Metropolitan, Lucky Strikes, Little Richard, and the Shoreline Sharks Baseball Club starring ace pitcher Liam Stone.

For the past five years, Liam of the Red Clan has lived in Terra Humanus, pitching for the Shoreline Sharks and obsessed with signing as a major league pitcher with the Cincinnati Reds. The faery queen sends Cheshya to help him achieve his goal, but in signing with the Reds, will he lose out on his true heart’s desire?

What will it take to make a Faery Merry Christmas?

“What faery fun! A winsome sprite’s barely still-ticking time clock. Mayhem in the land of Claus. And the man who could wave just the right magic wand obsessed with baseball. A Christmas story to cuddle up with–and keep you really warm.” Stella Cameron, NYT Best-selling Author

I hope all of you are having Happy Holidays!  If you’d like to read a fun, romantic Christmas story, just send an email to jacquierogers @ gmail .com and I’ll send the first five people a Kindle copy of Faery Merry Christmas.  Be sure to include the email address you use for Amazon if it’s different than the one you use to send your message.

I’d love to hear from you.  You can visit with me at:


Website http://www.JacquieRogers.com
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/JacquieRogersAuthor
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/JacquieRogers
Romancing The West http://romancingthewest.blogspot.com
Blog http://jacquierogers.blogspot.com

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Making Holiday Cards by Vivienne Westlake

December 24, 2012

a very romantic christmas week

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.

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Do you have any favorite Christmas craft projects? Have you ever made any of your own ornaments or decorations?

Comment to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

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Please check out my new release, A Marquess for Christmas!

 

A proper widow. A rakish marquess. He rescued her from thieves, but will she be able to save him from himself?

When Violet Laurens is rescued from highwaymen, the furthest thing from her mind is that her heart might tumble next. She loves her independent life, no matter her lonely bed. The handsome stranger reawakens the passion she thought buried along with her husband, pushing her to new heights of desire. But she knows it’s only a matter of time before he remembers his name and leaves her.

The dissolute Marquess of Kittrick has vowed never to marry, causing a rift in his family that sets him on the road just in time to do battle with ruffians intent on stealing a lady’s coins—and more. Discovering the fiery wanton beneath the widow’s oh-so-proper demeanor makes him want nothing more than to forget who he is for just a bit longer. Maybe forever.

When Kit is forced to acknowledge who he is, will the truth trump their shared passion, and the love they can’t quite admit to? Or will Violet overcome her fear—and Kit his dissolute ways–and be able to lay claim to A Marquess for Christmas?

A Marquess for Christmas is now available at AmazonAll Romance eBooksBarnes & NobleKobo, and Smashwords.

 

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Family Christmas Traditions by Terri Rochenski

December 23, 2012

a very romantic christmas week

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 part of this tradition? Makes keeping youngsters in line a whole lot easier.

“Is that whining I hear? Better not let Elf hear you!”

“You better share. Elf is watching!”

And so on.

On Christmas Eve when the house is knocked out cold from all the spiked eggnog, Santa chimes a bell, summoning all the Elves on the Shelves back to the North Pole (hubs boxes him back up & hides him in an empty bin of Christmas decorations up in the attic).

I never heard about Elf on the Shelf as a kid, but I’m thrilled the hubs shared one of his Christmas traditions with me. It’s too much fun!
I’m not here to promote the dude, but if you’re interested just google him. His cute little seated form will magically appear.

    Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling. Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her two young daughters allow.

Website / Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads

Christmas Magic 
by Linda Carroll-Bradd,  Lindsay McFerrinTerri Rochenski   
December 4, 2012
Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance

 Beginning of Forever by Terri Rochenski

When Wayne Edwards moves to town, Lillian Davis experiences stirrings she thought were long dead. Guilt ridden over betraying her deceased husband and the feelings Wayne inspires, Lillian reluctantly lets him in. Secrets of the past – an old promise emerges, but will it threaten their forever?
                                

                              Amazon 

 

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Putting some ZOOM in your cocoa by Jennifer James

December 22, 2012

a very romantic christmas week

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 or chocolate syrup, heck the Kahlua, that would be more fun when licked off body parts…but that’s just me.

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Jennifer James never thought she would be a multi-published author of erotica and erotic romance. What she likes best are happy endings – whatever that might mean for the characters. Wife, mother of two Tiny Divas, and college student, when not writing Jenn enjoys the outdoors, adventures of all sorts, horror movies, and the occasional comic book.

Website: http://www.authorjenniferjames.com/

FaceBook:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-James/212335188856799?ref=hl

GoodReads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/644267.Jennifer_James

Twitter: @JenniferJames34The

Para-Posse: http://paraposse.blogspot.com/

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Some books are like Christmas by Jen Minkman

December 21, 2012

a very romantic christmas week

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) and other children’s classics. They all have a fantasy element in them. But funnily enough, my favourite paranormal christmassy romance read does not have a typical happy ending. It is called ‘The Tricksters’ and is a coming-of-age story with supernatural elements set in New Zealand, where the main character Harry (a girl, not a boy!) is celebrating Christmas with her family in their beach house, X-mas being a summer holiday in the southern hemisphere, of course! The book was written by Margaret Mahy, decades before the paranormal romance genre became a big hit. It does not have a bad ending per se, but there is a hint of melancholy in how the story ends. It is one of the very few books that has ever managed to make me cry.

When I started writing my first novel, I vowed it would be a paranormal romance with a happy ending, and I tried to make it a book that would be like Christmas to some people – a story they could come back to and re-read every year to evoke memories of a time when you believed all was well with the world, and everything had a happy ending. A story full of hope. This is what I wish ‘Shadow of Time’ will be to my readers.

Follow the star.

Merry X-mas!

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cover  

by  

January 1st 2013

Amazon

All Hannah needs is a nice and quiet vacation after her first year of teaching French at a high school. She joins her brother Ben for the summer in their mom’s log cabin in Arizona. There, she meets Josh again, Ben’s childhood friend from the Navajo reservation. The little boy from the rez has grown up fast, and Hannah can’t help but feeling more for him than just friendship. 

But fate apparently has something else in store for her. And it’s not peace and quiet. Night after night, Hannah is plagued by strange nightmares about the past of Navajo Nation and terrifying shadows chasing her. They seem to come closer – and why is Josh always present in her dreams? 

Sometimes, the past has a way of catching up with you.

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