Tag Archives: Christmas

Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop

20 Dec

A great way to end the year with yet another giveaway called Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop and hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Bookhounds. This hop runs from December 21st to 31st.

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My prize is a $10.00 Amazon gift card. The winner will be announced January 1st, 2015.
For your chance to win all you have to do is FOLLOW THIS BLOG BY EMAIL by clicking on the button to the right called “Sign me up!” (atop all images) and leave your answer to the question: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY? I’ll go first and say, despite the fact that I don’t like snow and HATE being cold, Christmas is by far my fave holiday.
Good luck everyone!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

23 Dec

Don’t laugh but I just got my tree(s) up just  . . . now.

For the first time in my life I just wasn’t in the spirit this year, and decided until the last minute there will be no decorations. The house seemed empty, of course. Then I finished wrapping all the presents. This was the last one.

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And for some reason while holding the present I thought this is it, Christmas tree goes up. Not one, not two but three. One for Chris, one for Patrick and one for myself. 

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I guess the moral of the story is: it’s never too late. But it’s early enough I’m wishing all of you a wonderful New Year, lost of love, laughter and peace in your hearts and homes. 

Merry Christmas, everyone!

VBT–A Fantasy Christmas. Review and Excerpt

20 Nov

Authors Cindy C Bennett, Stephanie Fowers, and Sherry Gammon have joined forces for a Christmas anthology. Each has written a romantic Christmas short story with a fantasy theme. There are Elves (think Legolas), Witches, and  Greek gods!

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While I haven’t read the entire anthology I did read Sherry’s short story Loving Marigold. My review is posted on Goodreads, Amanzon and B&N, and decided to post it here as well.

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So here we go:

As with everything else Sherry Gammon writes, I had to read her newest story titled Loving Marigold. What a delight it was. I’m not saying that because I’m afraid Marigold will turn me into a toad but because I truly enjoy the story, the characters, and the plot line.

We find out from the first pages that Marigold, a high school freshman, is a good witch, channeling her gifts and figuring out first love. We also are introduced to Jack Mahoney, the boy that aside from being tall and handsome, also plays basketball and has a lot of girls fawning over him, including the Fartitious Twins.

I liked Jack as soon as he opened his mouth; his sense of humor laced with sarcasm makes him not only funny but he stands out on the page. Next time we meet Jack it’s nine years later, when he returns to the same town he went to school with Marigold. The two of them meet again, soon realizing the sparks they had in high school never died out. Quite the contrary.

Unfortunate circumstances throw the two of them together. Past secrets are brought to the light and their love tested once again. How do they come out of it? Well, that’s something you have to find for yourself.

What I loved about this novella is its fast pace, clean plot line, its innocent romance, a little mystery and great characters. I smiled and laughed out loud many times, Jack’s quirkiness completing Marigold’s wit like peanut butter and jelly—a match made in heaven.

I’ve been a fan of Sherry’s novels ever since she began writing, finding this particular story where her voice shines through. A great read, definitely a keeper for my bookshelf.

Purchase A Fantasy Christmas-Click on links:

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Smashwords

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EXCERPT

Loving Marigold by Sherry Gammon

The familiar whisperings of witch began as I weaved through the thick crowd. I spotted Jack sitting on a desk, a can of Diet Pepsi in his hand.

“Marigold, I’m glad you came.” He greeted me with a tight grin as he stood and came toward me.

“I was passing by when I saw all of this.” I gestured to the Mylar balloons floating about the room and the blue streamers draped from the lights and across the chalkboard. “I came in to see what’s going on and saw the cake.”

“Really?” he questioned. “Fiona and Felecia said they invited you, but you had a date with some guy you’ve been seeing over in Grantsville.”

For a moment, I could have sworn sadness touched his eyes, but looking closer into the deep pools of brown, I saw nothing.

I let the comment pass, fearing I’d lose my temper over the lie the sisters told him and feed the witch rumors. “Where are you going? Is there a basketball tournament I didn’t know about?”

“No. I . . . Uh, I’m moving to Port Fare, New York.” His voice held a strange chill now. Why is he acting so weird?“The high school there has an awesome basketball team and my parents think I’ll stand a better chance at getting a college scholarship there than I will at Podunk, West Virginia High.”

“Your dad’s giving up his job for the chance that you might get a scholarship?” The move seemed a bit impetuous. Jack had talent, but Dirk, the forward on the team, played better.

“My dad works from home so it doesn’t matter where we li—” Two of Jack’s teammates jumped him from behind and one poured a bottle of Gatorade down his back. Jack howled playfully as I jumped back.

“You’re dead, Cliff,” Jack shouted after the boy with the now empty bottle. “Sorry, Marigold. I have to get a little revenge. Maybe we can talk later.” Jack took off after his teammates and I turned to leave, not wanting to be there another moment. Was I the only one who imagined that the week we’d spent together was special? It also hurt that he so readily believed the twins about my having a boyfriend.

“Why the tears, witch?” Fiona asked. She appeared out of nowhere, blocking my escape route. She propped her hands on her hips, her short denim skirt rode up several inches. Felecia, wearing almost the exact same outfit, mimicked her sister’s pose.

“Excuse me. I don’t want to be late for my bus.” I dropped my gaze downward, too upset to try to deal with their games at the moment. I attempted to go around the obnoxious twins, only they were having none of it.

“You actually believed Jack liked you, didn’t you?” Felecia asked, flicking a strand of my frizzy hair.

I snapped my head up and glared into the girl’s watery gray eyes. “Is that why you lied and told him I had a boyfriend and couldn’t come to the party?” At least, I hoped that was what happened. Because if Jack really didn’t care about me . . .  I shivered at the thought.

“We know you’ve put a spell on him, witch. He wanders the halls searching for you between classes, and Fiona caught him doodling your name on his notebook,” Felecia bit out between her clamped teeth. “He’s clearly bewitched.”

“So you’re protecting him from me then?” I asked, stepping toward the twins.

“That’s right.” Fiona offered up a nasty sneer. “I saw him first, and since I can’t compete against your black magic voodoo, I invented a boyfriend for you. Now Jack thinks you’ve been playing both ends.”

I moved even closer as they each crept back. “Wh-what does it matter, witch?” Felicia said, her hands shaking. “He’s leaving in the morning for Port Fare. You would have lost him anyway.”

I stopped. They had a point. What did it matter? The boy I loved was leaving. The only person ever to have defended me against the witch taunts. I turned for the door, but stopped when I heard the twins’ snide laughter. It burned hot in my stomach. Before clearing the door, I casually flipped my hair over my shoulder, or at least I hoped it looked that way to my classmates. In fact, the gesture meant much more. Through my strands of hair, I wiggled my index finger at the Farious twins. A stink rose from the girls so vile people actually tripped over themselves in an effort to escape. When the unmistakable noises started, laughter filled the room and fingers pointed at the girls who would forevermore be known as the Fartious twins.

 

Promo Blast–Sierra by Taylor Dean. Giveaway

4 Nov


Sierra 99 cents

 

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Sierra by Taylor Dean

Have you ever been lost in the woods?

Alyssa Fontaine’s life, loved ones—everything familiar and dear—are brutally taken from her.

Taken captive by two men, she endures a horrific nightmare. A new life is forced upon her and even a new name.

Just when it appears that no hope is in sight, she is saved by an unlikely twist of fate. Trapped in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, life will open its arms to her again and she will embrace it. She will find love such as she never knew existed.

Sierra is a heart-wrenching story of the power of the human spirit to survive amidst impossible circumstances and severe losses. It is a story of survival . . . and hope.

 Smashwords amazon blog

 

 Excerpt from Sierra:

This is one of my favorite scenes in Sierra. It’s a pivotal moment, wherein Alyssa’s life can change for the better–or for the worse. After facing extreme cruelty, she is faced with utter kindness. I love the marked difference between her experiences. ~Taylor Dean

“Please sit,” he whispered. Her eyes were drawing him in. She didn’t seem to be scared of him, she seemed to know he wanted to help her. First, he filled a glass with water and held it to her lips. She drank thirstily, but then shook her head negatively when he wanted her to finish all of it. At the sink, he filled a small plastic tub with warm water, grabbed shampoo, and went back to Alyssa. The kitchen sink doubled as his bathroom sink. He had all he needed to clean her up, including a small first aid kit. He knelt in front of her. Once again, he gently touched her chin and lifted her face to his. Her eyes were bright with unshed tears. She had the biggest brown eyes he’d ever seen.

“Just relax and let me take care of you, Alyssa,” he whispered softly.

She responded with a slight nod. Sitting in the kitchen chair, he had her slowly lean her head back till it was resting just above the tub. He gently began to wash her hair, first getting it wet and then massaging the shampoo into her scalp. She winced when he touched the spot where dried blood matted her hair, so he was extra gentle there. Her long hair was tangled and filled with dirt and bits of dried leaves. It took some time to get it clean and several refills of warm water in the tub as he rinsed. Alyssa closed her eyes and relaxed for probably the first time in days. He worked conditioner into the long locks and then had her sit up as he gently combed through it, removing all of the snarls. He then parted the hair where the wound on the scalp was located and took a look at the gash. It was angry and red, and it needed stitches, but would have to wait till he could retrieve his medical supplies from the supply room. He disinfected it with alcohol and moved on.

He again knelt in front of Alyssa. Her eyes opened and stared deeply into his, desperately trying to communicate without words. A lone tear fell, drizzling down her cheek. He brushed it away with his fingertips. This was harder than he thought. He knew this was the first gentle touch she’d felt in days. The abuse she had suffered was obvious to him as he noticed her many bruises. He grabbed his kitchen stool and sat before her. Using a washcloth, he began to wipe her face clean. As he worked, their eyes met and held. Ever so gently he wiped the dirt and grime away from days spent outdoors. And with it he wiped away tears and pain.

“Please help me,” Alyssa whispered.

Alex stole a glance at Pa and Adam. Pa’s eyes were closed and a soft snore emanated from him. Adam was wide awake, his shotgun pointed at Alex, but he stared into the fire sullenly. Alex leaned forward to grab the tube of anti-biotic ointment on the table. With his lips to her ear as he brushed past, he whispered, “Everything’s going to be all right, Alyssa. I won’t let them take you, I promise.”

Alex then applied the salve to the small cuts on her face and lips. Each and every one of his ministrations clearly brought relief to her. Every time Alex looked her in the eyes, she met him with eyes that spoke volumes. He refilled the tub and washed her arms and hands and then took his time cleaning her fingernails, occasionally massaging her hand as he looked into her eyes. He also applied cortisone cream to her numerous mosquito bites. Next, he decided to tend to her neck and wrists. He cringed inside at the raw, bloody skin underneath the ropes. The first thing he’d wanted to do was cut the ropes, but he didn’t want to push his luck. However, now it was time. He went to the kitchen counter and unsheathed a kitchen knife. The sound of the knife being unsheathed brought Adam to his feet immediately.

Shotgun aimed at Alex, he yelled, “Put it down, Doc.”

Alex faced him without flinching. “I’m cutting the ropes. They’ve rubbed her skin raw and it’s going to get infected,” he said with steel in his voice. “You can have the knife when I’m done.”

Pa awoke from his snooze in the commotion. “Sit down, Adam. Doc’s right. Let ‘em fix her up,” he growled.

Adam continued to stand, anxiously waiting while Alex cut the rope on her neck and freed Alyssa from her leash. He then cut the other ropes and freed her wrists. She closed her eyes and Alex could see the relief on her face. He wondered just how long she had been bound. He handed the knife to Adam roughly and stared him in the face. “Satisfied?”

“Won’t do any good, I’ll just be puttin’ the ropes back on ya know,” Adam taunted.

Not if I have anything to say about it, thought Alex.

Book Trailer

 

Praise for Sierra:

Every now and then you come across a novel that profoundly takes your breath away, and Sierra is that novel.
-Kathleen of Jersey Girl Book Reviews

Riveting from beginning to end. Be prepared to read straight through.
-Sherry of Fundinmental Book Reviews

I thought I had read romances before, and books like “Jane Eyre” and “A Tale of Two Cities,” I had always considered the peaks of romantic literature. Let me say this. This is the most romantic book I have ever read in my 38 years on this planet!
-Ruth of My Devotional Thoughts

What I like most about Sierra was how Taylor lulls you in the beginning, then she shreds the peaceful scene to pieces. It happens so fast you barely have time to comprehend what is going to happen. Just like in real life.
-Laura of FUONLYKNEW Book Reviews

 

TaylorAuthor Taylor Dean

Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding that she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense—you’ll find all sub-genres of romance in her line-up.

 Social Media Website Social Media Facebook Social Media Twitter Social Media Goodreads

  

BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash. For your chance to win click HERE.

Ends 11/18/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Cover Reveal–A Fantasy Christmas by Cindy C Bennett, Stephanie Fowers, and Sherry Gammon

2 Oct

What do Witches, Elves, and Greek Gods (Oh My) have in common? They are part of the romantic Christmas anthology, A Fantasy Christmas, written by Cindy C Bennett, Stephanie Fowers, and Sherry Gammon. This exciting collection of fantasy stories will be available on November 1st.  Scroll down to read about the individual stories in A Fantasy Christmas!

Halfling  by CindyC Bennett

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Banished from the South Pole, Kara tries to carve out a new life among the elves of the North. It’s not easy with a secret to protect—a secret she’s cursed with by the unusual circumstances of her heritage: half-elf, half-fairy. In the North, she’s assigned to work with Seb on a special project. He’s the most gorgeous elf she’s ever seen – and the orneriest. 
 
As if being banished wasn’t punishment enough. 
 
Seb introduces her to Trystin, a fairy from the nearby fairy forest. Trystin discerns her secret right away and promises to teach her how to use the powers given to her by the very thing she’s fighting to keep hidden.
Aphrodite by Stephanie Fower
 
COVER coming soon!!
 
Nothing is simple for Aphrodite’s daughter, especially love. 
 
Scorned by society in regency England, Affry longs for romance. Upon encountering a dashing nobleman at her aunty’s Christmas’ ball, Affry gets caught in a lovely intrigue with disastrous results. Worse, she wins the interest of the gods. Now the furies of the underworld and Hades himself are after her.  
 
When all is fair in war,  Affry must use love as her weapon—but only for the one who’s stolen her heart.

Loving Marigold by Sherry Gammon

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Young Marigold Yarrow has a secret. She’s also in love with Jack Mahoney. In the middle of her ninth grade year, Jack’s family up and moves to Port Fare, New York, leaving the small town of Sugar Maple, West Virginia – and Marigold – far behind.
 
Nine years later Jack and Marigold meet again. They join forces to weed out the shady Abbott boys. The unscrupulous brothers are illegally selling moonshine near her home on Sugar Maple Ridge. And they’ll do anything to get Marigold to leave the ridge. Anything.
But this time it could be magic that tears Jack and Marigold apart.

Maxine tells it like it is

14 Dec

Starting to panic…

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Baby It’s Cold Outside Giveaway Hop

10 Dec

Laurynne @ Coffee, Books & Lipgloss organized this cute giveaway hop to warm up your holiday season. This hop runs between 12/10 and 12/17 with my winner announcement on 12/18.

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So, for your chance to win a $ 10.00 Amazon giftcard all you have to do is FOLLOW THIS BLOG BY EMAIL by clicking on the button to the right called “Sign me up!” (atop all images) AND leave your answer to the question:

WHAT GIFT DO YOU WANT SANTA TO BRING YOU THIS CHRISTMAS? I asked for my favorite perfume Coco Mademoiselle. Did you hear me, Santa?