It’s Beginning to Look . . . @AliciaStreet1 #mgtab

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Okay, I’ve still got my pumpkins and gourds on tables and shelves and will keep them there through Thanksgiving. But I confess, as soon as the air starts getting that crisp, cold feel I start sneaking out little Christmas things. Like a Santa Claus vase or an angel plate or a music box that plays “Joy to the World” and of course my favorite dancing reindeer mug.

Like most romance readers, this time of year means many of my favorite authors have released holiday stories that I begin to collect—and soon I have a TBR pile that will easily carry me into the New Year. Especially when I have to mix in many of my older faves. I know I’m far from the only one who can’t wait to sink into stories of holiday romance. Hallmark Channel has already begun their Countdown to Christmas holiday movies.

I also love writing Christmas romance and just released The Christmas Sparkle Test.

 

When the three Abbott sisters agree to return to Peconic Bend for one last Christmas in their childhood home before their dad sells it, Heidi knows it means facing memories she’d rather forget. Like Connor James, the guy who stole her heart, then broke it. Will seeing him again reopen a wound that still lingers? Does a spark still burn between them? Or will the magic of Christmas make that spark turn to sparkle?

It is also available in the Authors’ Billboard boxed set ~ A Christmas She’ll Remember.

 

Alicia Street

Alicia Street is a USA TODAY bestselling author and Daphne Award-winner often writing in collaboration with her husband, Roy, as well as on solo projects. She spent many years as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. A compulsive reader of every genre, she also loves watching old black-and-white movies and inventing new recipes for soups.
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Christmas Cookie Luv by @AliciaStreet1 #mgtab

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Christmas crescent cookiesAfter my annual ritual of watching Fred and Bing do their song and dance thing in Holiday Inn, and then seeing Alastair Sim morph from the meanest to the sweetest man in London, it’s time for a cookie break.

The holiday season always brings to mind my childhood days of baking Christmas cookies with my mom and sisters, the house all warm and cozy, carols playing, and evergreen tied with red ribbon on the windows.

Sugar cookies are the most fun to decorate, and poppyseed wraps are great with hot cocoa, but my very favorites are almond crescents.

Here is an easy recipe that’s been in my family for generations.

Almond Crescents

Makes about 40 small cookies

1 cup (1/2 lb) butter 

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp brandy (optional)

2 tsp cold water

1 cup chopped almonds

2 cups all-purpose flour

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light. Mix in the vanilla, brandy and water. Add in the almonds and flour, Mix well.
  1. Shape into small crescents and bake on ungreased baking sheet for 12-15 minutes. When cookies are still warm, dust with confectioner’s sugar. Store in closed container. Cookies will keep for 5-7 days.400_holiday-luv

 

Now that my sisters and I live miles away from each other, I like to read—and write—holiday romances that fill me with Christmas warmth and cheer. I’ve put four of my Holiday Luv stories together in a bundle, and speaking of recipes, one reviewer said these were “just the right recipe to get me in the Christmas spirit.”

My latest Holiday Luv novella is part of the Love, Christmas collection, where each book in the set based on a Christmas carol.

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Alicia Street

Alicia Street is a USA TODAY bestselling author and Daphne Award-winner often writing in collaboration with her husband, Roy, as well as on solo projects. She spent many years as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. A compulsive reader of every genre, she also loves watching old black-and-white movies and inventing new recipes for soups.
 View website

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What Silver Bells means to me? Love, Christmas Collection #Traditions #HolidayRomance #mgtab @jacqbiggar

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What Silver Bells means to me?

 

 

 

I first heard Silver Bells as a young girl. My mom and dad made it a tradition to take us out looking for the perfect Christmas tree. Sometimes we’d drive for hours before Dad found just the right area to search in. He’d park on the side of the country road and tell us to get ready, then go around to the back of the truck and haul out his axe and a rope so we could drag it out of the bush. The snow would be deep and fresh, with only a few animal tracks to guide us on our journey.

If the sun was still high enough, the snow would glisten like diamonds. If it was lower, the trees would cast shadows and we would hurry to stay close to our dad. The thing I remember most is the quiet. No cars. No people chattering. Just the crunch of our boots and the wind sighing through the spruce trees.

Being a townie, as we called the kids who always lived within town limits, this was a treat for us. It reminded me of church. And maybe that’s what it was meant to be, Nature’s cathedral.

 

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When we’d finally get back home, Mom would make us hot chocolate, place Bing Crosby’s Silver Bells on our stereo record player, and Dad would bring the tree into the house and find the best spot to set it up. Most of the time, he picked a tree that was miles too big for our living room and bare on one side. He would grin at Mom’s clucks and groans and wink at us.

I think it was a game they played. 🙂

When my dad passed away, we stopped going out on our Christmas tree quest, instead we bought an artificial that went up in any corner of the room and always looked perfect.

But it didn’t have the scent of pine, or the love of a family outing to make it into something special.

When Mimi Barbour came up with the idea for a box set of holiday stories titled with Christmas songs, it was easy to decide which one I’d like to do. I was delighted when one of the winners of this spring’s Fresh Fiction contest chose my song!

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It was fate. Thank you, Deb Philippon. 🙂

 

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What about you? Do you have family traditions, young or old, that makes the holidays that bit more special?

We’d love to hear about them.

 

I hope you’ll give the Love, Christmas Collection a try. It’s filled with twenty never-before-seen novellas from bestselling authors of romance.

I think you’re going to like it!

 

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Love, Christmas Collection

Put a song in your heart with 20 all-new Christmas Romances from NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors. Each brand-new title is inspired by a Christmas carol and will lift your spirits and bring on the holiday cheer. 

Amazon: http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasUS 

B&N: http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasBN

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/love-christmas-holiday-stories-that-will-put-a-song-in-your-heart

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/love-christmas-holiday-stories/id1158227218?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

And don’t forget to enter our Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jacquie Biggar

Lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her her husband, daughter, and grandson. Loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. Spoils her German shepherd, Annie and calico cat, Harley.
And can’t function without coffee.
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Do You Write Christmas Letters?

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Once, not so long ago, people like me wrote handwritten Christmas cards–Actually I still do, and maybe it was a long time ago, like in the digital ice age.

Enter the age of personal computers and word processing programs and people started writing Christmas Letters–some still do. They typed up all the news for the year, included a few pictures, printed them out and snail mailed them to their Christmas mailing list.

This year, as I’m sitting at my computer contemplating writing my first Christmas Letter, I wonder if the time for that has passed. I can write a blog post, or a Facebook post. I can send an email, make a video, post greetings on Instagram and Snapchat. But… will I be remembered after the cursory glance? Will there be anything left for my friends to hold onto?

Maybe in this age of digital books and instant messages there is still something to a piece of paper or a handwritten card. I’ve kept all the Christmas letters I’ve gotten in years past, journaling births, travel, achievements, and graduations. I put them in a box and I can pull them out and relive the memories.

What do you do? Do you still send greeting cards? Photo cards? Christmas letters? Or do you do all your greetings electronically? Whatever you do, have a very merry Holiday Season.

While sipping peppermint hot chocolate and waiting for the roast to cook, snuggle up to one of my Christmas Romances–from sweet to spicy.

Rachelle-Ayala-Christmas-Stories

Find me on Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/rachelleayala

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/rachelle-ayala

Apple iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/rachelle-ayala/id534878278?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/author?id=Rachelle+Ayala

Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/RachelleAyala

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/search?query=Rachelle%20Ayala&fcsearchfield=Author&fclanguages=all

Rachelle Ayala

Rachelle Ayala is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it’s within the pages of a book.

Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award, Christmas Stray received a 2016 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award, and Playing for the Save got the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in Realistic Fiction.

She is also a writing teacher and founder of the Romance In A Month writing community. She lives in California with her husband and has three children and two birds.

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