WINNER!! 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!

I’m happy to announce that the winner of the $25 gift card is… (drum roll, please)

 

BETH CLAUDILL

 

Congratulations, Beth! I’ll be contacting you via email!

 

And thank you to all my guest bloggers and everyone who stopped by in the

last couple weeks to share your holiday traditions with us!

 

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Solstice, Happy Kwanza, and

Happy New Year!!

 

**This drawing was chosen by writing all the names on little pieces of paper and having my husband blindly pull one out of his baseball cap**
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Twelve Days of Christmas: Julie Johnstone

An Angel in Need

by Julie Johnstone

I love the Christmas season, but probably not for the reason you might be thinking.  Sure the presents are nice, I would be lying if I said I don’t like getting presents.  Yet if there were no presents under the tree for me, I would still love the Christmas season.  It’s not the gifts that make it special, but the traditions and the spirit of giving.

One of the traditions I dearly love is decorating the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  It’s a family affair, which has followed me from childhood.  We go―my husband, my kids, and myself―and we pick out the perfect Christmas tree.  Once that baby is up, and we have spent no less than an hour trying to figure out why all the lights don’t work, we spend the rest of the night putting on the ornaments, decorating the mantel and listening to our favorite Christmas music, which always includes Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra.

Another tradition that has followed me from childhood is the tradition of giving to those less fortunate.  I grew up in a household that certainly was not wealthy, but my mother always took my brother and I to pick out an Angel, a child in need of someone to provide them a Christmas, from the Angel tree.  This year will be the first year that my kids are going to actively participate in helping me go to the store and buy presents for our little Angel whom we are providing Christmas for.  I cannot think of a better tradition than that.

I encourage each and every one of you to look within yourselves this Christmas season, and then dig into your wallets and give back, even if just a little, to someone who needs a little Christmas joy.

Leave a comment for Julie and be entered to win a $25 gift card to the book seller of your choice!

summons_from_yorkshire_picture_2 (1)

In The Gift of Seduction, which is my story in A Summons from Yorkshire (Regency Christmas Summons Collection 1) I like to think my hero Drew was changed by my heroine Charlotte.  At one time Drew put more importance on his money than the love of his life.  But this Christmas his heart will be opened to the true spirit of Christmas and the opportunity to be gifted with the most special gift of all, lifelong love, will be his.

The day Andrew Whitton, Earl of Hardwick chooses his fortune over the woman he loves, Drew discovers that money makes for a cold bed partner.  Now, no matter how far he runs, the memory of his betrayal haunts him, and there’s not enough liquor to dull the past or diminish his disgust.  * Charlotte Milne trusted in happily ever after until her knight turned out to be wearing rusty armor.  Drew, the scoundrel, seduced her, though she very much enjoyed the seduction by the man she’s loved since childhood.  Left scandalously ruined, Char flees her home intent upon forgetting Drew and proving her worth.  * Separated by disloyalty and pain, each struggle to bury the memories of the other until a mandatory summons from the Duke of Danby sets them on a path of collision to Danby Castle.  With the tides of irrevocable change rising, Drew must find a way to show Char that even the most selfish of rakes can be redeemed by love before the woman of his heart becomes the wife of another.

Available at…Amazon, Barnes & Noble, And other online retailers!

 

Have a Merry Christmas!

Julie Johnstone

Twelve Days of Christmas: Ava Stone

Holiday Traditions, huh?
by Ava Stone

I never really thought I had any, just the usual stuff everyone else does.  Decorating a tree, wrapping presents, you know “the usual”.  But this year, as I’m merging my holiday traditions with The Scientist’s holiday traditions…  Well, there are definitely some differences.

ONE – The Stone household has always had a “fake” tree. (This is my Scottish roots coming out…Why buy a tree each year? Buy a good one once, and you’re set.) The Scientist’s household always does a “real” tree. I was told that Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without the smell of a real tree. When I said candles had the same scent, I was met with a death stare.

FINE – “REAL” TREE it is.

TWO – The Stone household always goes out for Chinese food for Christmas Eve dinner. (Actually, I’d go out every night of the week if I could avoid cooking.  And who wants to cook at Christmas?  There are too many other things to do.) The Scientist’s household has always had a traditional Christmas Eve dinner – roasted goose and the whole nine yards.  Of course, my teen is quite upset at the prospect of not having Chinese for Christmas Eve this year, even though he doesn’t like Chinese food. “But, Mom, it’s my tradition.”

FINE  – ROASTED GOOSE for 3 and TAKE-OUT CHINESE for 1 (who doesn’t like Chinese.)

THREE – The Stone household loves happy, cherry Christmas songs. (I’m very partial to Bing Crosby’s crooner voice.  He should have sung every Christmas song.) The Scientist’s household has always listened to religious carols (Apparently, it’s a German thing.)

FINALLY I WON ONE – CROSBY’s WHITE CHRISTMAS it is!  And Peggy Lee’s Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, and Gene Autry’s Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.

Growing up, we always opened one gift on Christmas Eve (which was usually some sort of Christmas pajamas, until I caught on and pitched a fit and refused to play along) and the rest of the presents on Christmas Day.  But in the world of split families, children must be shared. So, this year we will open all of our presents Christmas Eve, and the next day my son and his daughter will go see their other parent to open those sets of gifts.

And what will we do on Christmas Day without children?  I guess we’ll have to come up with some new holiday traditions!  Left over goose?  A little more Crosby, anyone?  Have you ever merged your holiday traditions with someone else’s?  How did you do it?  Do you miss the old traditions or have you embraced the new ones?

Leave a comment for Ava and be entered to win a $25 gift card to the book seller of your choice!


A COUNTERFEIT CHRISTMAS SUMMONS ~ A Summons From Yorkshire

ASFYLady Emma Whitton has decided its time to take her future in her own hands. She has been in love with Viscount Heathfield since she was in leading strings. Unfortunately, it’s been almost that long since she’s laid eyes on her brother’s old friend and vice versa. Tired of waiting for him to remember her, Emma pens a holiday invitation (in her brother’s hand) to Heathfield and waits as patiently as she is able for her one true love to arrive.

Heath isn’t quite certain what to make of the very strange summons he received, but his curiosity is most definitely piqued. He heads north to Danby Castle, only to find that his very orderly life is about to be turned upside down.

Available at…Amazon
Barnes & Noble
And other online retailers!

 

 

 

TO CATCH A CAPTAIN  

 Royal Horse Guard, on Parliament Street, LondonAfter receiving what seems like an offer of employment from an English countess, orphan Bridget Kelly leaves her uncle’s house in Dublin to make her own way in the world. But making her way in England is easier said than done, especially for an innocent Irish lass with no family or connections. In fact, she’ll be lucky if she can make it to Derbyshire alive.

Still smarting from his brother and former fiancée’s betrayal, rakish Captain Russell Avery arrives at his sister’s Derbyshire estate, looking for something or someone to help soothe his bruised ego. When a pretty little Irish maid stumbles into his chamber one morning, Russell is certain he’s found just the distraction he’s looking for. Well, at least until he learns who the lass truly is and the place she’s to hold in his sister’s household.

Available at…Amazon
Barnes & Noble
And other online retailers!

 

WEBSITE – www.avastoneauthor.com

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TWITTER – https://twitter.com/Ava_Stone

BLOG – www.ladyscribes.blogspot.com

Twelve Days of Christmas: Aileen Fish

christmas-gift-red-bow-1The Gift Game…

The one tradition my family continues to carry is what we call the gift game. I’ve heard other families call it various things, but we know what we mean by “gift game”. Everyone brings a gift according to predetermined guidelines. Everyone draws a number from a bowl to determine the order they may choose from the gifts. After the first gift is opened, the next player gets to choose either the opened gift or a wrapped one. If your gift is taken by another player, you get to choose again.

In my family, the goal of the game is to bring a gift that will be fought over. My brother-in-law will steal the most popular gift each year to get a chain of stealing going, so we always hope he draws a high number. It doesn’t matter what the item is, he’ll steal it. It was fun to watch him fight my nieces for a Sephora gift card! Last year the most coveted item was a crocheted afghan made by one of my sisters-in-law. One year it was a chocolate fountain machine. Thanks to thrifty shopping, these both fell under the $20 gift limit.

This year we decided on a white elephant exchange. We’ll all find something around the house we don’t need any more. This announcement came right after my older daughter and I had already sent off boxes of stuff to charity. We discovered we each had one pricey item we hadn’t sent, because we would rather see those items go to someone we know. The family is in for a surprise when they see what we bring!

This gift game has been a wonderful way to deal with rising costs of presents as our family grew. My nieces are now college-age, with typical college-student income. The white elephant idea, or the $20 limit, makes it possible for them to join in on their own, instead of Mom and Dad having to pay their way.

But the gift game will be the second most joyful event when the family gathers this year. My granddaughter, Zoey, will be enjoying her first Christmas! My mom will be with us, too, so we’ll have four generations present. You can’t get better than that. I’m bringing my tripod so we can take a group photo.

What silly things does your family do when you get together? Are you able to share your holiday with extended family? It takes juggling, but we find a day each year when the majority of us can all be there.

The importance of family at this time of year led me to write The Christmas Wedding Scheme. Their celebration at their country estate was a longer event, running clear through Twelfth Night, but the entire family was there.

wedding scheme smlThe Christmas Wedding Scheme

The Christmas season has always been important to Nash Sinclair. Home from the war and surrounded by his large, loving family, he realizes what is missing from his life: a wife. Not too surprisingly, he is looking at his sister-in-law’s rather becoming (and unmarried) sister when he makes the decision.

Lady Julianna intends to remain unmarried, having no need for a husband to live the life of her dreams. Rather than explain her unusual choice, she insists only a man who slays dragons would suit her, and since dragons don’t exist, neither does her ideal beau.

Not one to turn away from a challenge, Nash enlists the aid of his nieces and nephews in a scheme sure to win Lady Julianna’s affection. But as he comes to know the lady better, he realizes he’s risking his own heart. When did his silly idea become a crucial quest?

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers!

The Viscounts Sweet Temptation (Summons from Yorkshire)summons_from_yorkshire_picture_2 (1)

Lady Harriet Thornhill knows the summons from her grandfather means he’s decided whom she must marry. Determined that she’d only marry a man of her choosing, she stows away in her friend’s father’s carriage, only to find herself alone with young Archibald Napier,Viscount Morley.

Morley’s plans for a quiet Christmas vanish when he discovers the sweet young lady hiding under the blankets in his carriage. As she claims an acquaintance with his sister, he feels duty-bound to see her safely back to her family.

A broken carriage wheel leaves them stranded, and Harriet’s reputation is at stake. Morley’s not ready to take a wife, until he’s told he wouldn’t be a suitable husband for her. With memories of her sweet, tempting kiss filling his thoughts, he prepares to fight for the hand of the woman he believes he could love.

 

Leave a comment and be entered for the chance to win a $25 gift card to the online book seller of your choice!

 

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Interview with the Whitton twins!

Lady Isabel and Lady Emma have been interviewed this morning at Lilia Birney’s blog! Stop by and leave a comment for a chance to win a Kindle, Amazon gift cards and many, many more prizes!!

Interview with the Twins