Dates never forgotten…

Poppa Johns’ Christmas Village.

There are dates that stick out in most people’s memory, your birthday, maybe those of your family and even close friends. An anniversary would likely be in that category. Some people remember special days when they started a job, went on remembered holidays, or met a new love. All good dates that might remain in a person’s memory.

For me, Dec 1st is such a day.

First of all, my beloved pops who we called Poppa John was born on that day. Not only had he been a fantastic father, he was also my hero. A man who never stopped climbing life’s mountains and teaching those below that we could accomplish whatever we strived for. He grew up on a farm in the 1920s, the oldest of four children, lost his father when he was thirteen, and worked from then with his mother, my Baba, to take care of the family’s many responsibilities. Eventually, he became a mechanic and brought up three children of his own on that paltry salary. Worked like a demon all those years until in his retirement, he took a cooking course at the local college and became a bull cook, getting up at five am to get to the restaurant that happily hired a man who didn’t know the meaning of slowing down. Finally, my mom said, “enough is enough”. But retirement didn’t sit well for him. Soon, he’d taken a short course was creating beautiful stain glass lamps and Christmas villages… and loving every minute of being so busy.

When my own hard-working husband began dealing with his cancer, a man I adored like my dad, he also won my admiration. Never a complaint in all the years of his remission. When that passed, and the cancer began again to crawl through his bones, he still wore a smile every day, cooked our suppers, and made me laugh – made my life wonderful. When his time came to say goodbye, he drifted away peacefully on Dec 1st. Now I don’t know about you, but I somehow knew that Poppa John, a man he also loved, waited in the wings for him. The two probably went off together as they did in life, to enjoy a drink, lots of jokes, and a blab-fest they’d both thoroughly enjoyed.

As that day approaches, in their memory, I intend to cook my dad’s favorite meal (perogies) and drink my hubby’s favorite cocktail, rye and coke in a tall glass filled with ice…. and remember all the times we’ve done that in the past.

Because I have the ability to create stories using personality traits from those that I love, I dedicated books for both of these men. Then I wrote characters that resembled them, and they became endearing heroes for the readers too.

Poppa John’s book is called Special Agent Charli  – It was a total joy to remember him in this story.

Special Agent Charli Madison can’t get a break. After the stress of her last horrific assignment, all she wants is to spend time vacationing with her Gramps in Ft. Lauderdale. Plans go awry & she’s forced into witness protection, guarding a teenage girl who’s the only person able to identify a notorious killer.

To make matters worse, she’s forced to accept the womanizing local FLPD Major as her fictitious fiancé, the man who’ll be her backup on the dangerous mission.

Heaven knows, she doesn’t deserve this mess…

My husband’s book is called Special Agent Murphy  – This one ripped my heart out and had me falling for him all over again.

Murphy & his chatty rookie partner, Kayti, get caught up in the kidnapping of a teenager & the teen’s troubles pulls at the heartstrings he keeps hidden. Fighting the budding attraction for Kayti, he wonders how he can be so attracted to a trouble-magnet female who drives like a granny, fights like a trained assassin, and has him questioning his single lifestyle.

Christmas is so close & yet so far away!

I keep thinking that there are still 38 days until the big holiday but everywhere I look, I see signs of the season.

Go shopping for groceries and yep – Christmas decorations.

Go to the mall, and they’re everywhere.

Went to my son and his girlfriend’s house for supper last night and was met by a big, freaking, gorgeous, decorated tree. I thought the two presents sitting under it were so awesome… (it’s their first home, and she’s a Christmas nut.)

I’m starting to get the willies, thinking I need to get my decorations out. Heavens to Betsy, there’s a number of houses on my street lit up and looking great. Yet, I know for me, it’s too early. I never even pull the stuff out until we’re into December.

And I know this… my first responsibility is to my author friends and for us to get our Unforgettable Christmas collection published for this year. Thank goodness, we made it.

Unforgettable Christmas Miracles is now available for your pleasure and of course, we’re thrilled to say the charge is still only $0.99. And it’s FREE in Kindle Unlimited.

International Amazon Link:

The 11 stories include a brand-new sweet romance from me called Christmas is for Everyone which features an old man, wearing only a sweater and slippers while wandering in a budding snowstorm. Nestled in his arms is a small, dirty, hungry puppy. Now… what in the world is my impoverished heroine to do??

The other books are:

Rebecca York: Christmas Captive – His life was in her hands. Was it attempted murder or a boating accident? Psychic nurse Hannah puts her life at risk by investigating the conniving relatives who want to inherit the comatose man’s fortune. A paranormal romance.

Leanne Banks: The Billionaire’s Holiday Proposition – Falling for her had not been in his plans. Would she believe him? A billionaire romance.

Rachelle Ayala: Nick’s Christmas Ride – Nick Jolly’s antique convertible turns into a wild ride when his best friend and secret crush, Hayley, chooses three social media starlets for his Christmas-promotional dates. Two irascible Texas Hold’em playing ancestors, three social media narcissists, an old-time fiddler, and a flying car seem kind of normal for Nick Jolly and Hayley Brockman’s unexpected Christmas Creek romance. A fun romantic comedy.

Stephanie Queen: Small Town Glamour Girl Christmas – What chance does a poor small-town girl have at a romance with a rich big-city boy? Julie and Jack had a special connection a long time ago as kids, but does he remember that time? The magic and charm of the small-town Christmas rekindle their connection, but would her small-town life be enough for the billionaire? A small-town, second-chance romance.

Josie Riviera: Candleglow and Mistletoe – Their unexpected attraction kindles something as warm and sweet as a holiday candle. But the weight of their pasts could turn the promise of their love to ashes. A small town, sweet and wholesome romance.

Susanne Matthews: Forever In My Heart – There’s nothing Michael Branscomb won’t do for his brother, including marrying the woman his twin wronged, but will Callie give him a chance? A contemporary marriage-of-convenience romance.

Traci Hall: Mistletoe Christmas – West Coast – Fireworks ignite when a retired Navy officer inherits a seaside cottage, accidentally burning down the deck his first day only to be saved by a sexy firewoman and the station’s dog. Set in their ways, can Mistletoe over the holiday be the miracle they both need? A contemporary military romance.

Dani Haviland: Chasing Christmas – Only love could be sweeter than freedom. When Samuel arrived to ask her to join his tribe, rescued slave Annie thought her life couldn’t get any sweeter. But it did. 18th-century American Native historical romance.

Taylor Lee: Reckoning – Christmas Finale – Nothing will keep Cal from marrying Scarlett, the beautiful blonde media sensation. But the crooked Attorney General is going to try. Romantic suspense.

Nancy Radke: The Bend In the Canyon – His wedding was scheduled in two weeks. Only a miracle could bring them together. A sweet, western romance.

A quirky author!

I have to make a confession.

Every time I look at my calendar and see that it’s time to start another story for my Holiday Heartwarmers Series, I get a real lift and smiles light up my world. I’m a sucker for puppies and kids.

Especially American Eskimo pups which is the breed I own. (Charli is a toy size, which means thirteen pounds of white fluff and love, with a sassy personality. She keeps me on my feet all the time and makes me laugh a lot.)

Of course, that helps me when I write about these lovely canines.

Having one wonderful son (out of the four I wish I’d had) is probably a reason why I enjoy creating stories about kids. I tried not to involve myself too deeply into his little-boy business while he grew up, but I found everything about his journey fascinating.

I guess the gods smiled down on my yearning for babies and brought me my lovely little niece to live with our family when she was ten. This time, I was able to delve into the thoughts and feelings of a little girl who worked so hard to find herself. To this day, she is my daughter and she has brought our small family a lot of joy.

Add in my favorite time of year, the Christmas season, and I’m in my glory.

Plotting the latest book was a very enjoyable trip into my imagination, one I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s called “Christmas is for Everyone”. Because I’ve recently heard so much about folks going through health situations with their parents and friends, many having mental difficulties like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, I just had to add a loveable old man with a similar condition. He quickly became one of my favorite characters.   

The story starts off with our heroine walking home from work at the beginning of a snowstorm. She comes across an older man wandering forlornly wearing only a sweater and slippers and carrying a bedraggled little puppy.

Both are lost…

Now available on Amazon

In all Amazon stores – FREE in Kindle Unlimited

Halloween Apples!

When I was a kid, one of my favorite days of the year was Halloween. My mom would give my sister and me permission to rifle through a bunch of old clothes, and we’d be allowed to make whatever costumes our imaginations could create. I think the planning, crafting, and showing off our brilliant outfits was almost as much fun as being able to roam outside in the dark and visit all the lit doorways with our friends, clutching pillowcases, and screaming “Halloween Apples.”

I gotta admit that I’m kinda sorry the controlled kids of today can’t experience the holiday in the exact wild, free manner.

Yet, I still enjoy opening my door and laughing along with the happy faces, preening in their store-bought get-ups, and showing the same irresistible excitement to meet strangers waiting with handouts, and getting their treats.

Last year, the highlight of the evening was a three-year-old little cherub dressed like a pink angel holding out her lantern. In the wonderful language a child uses so aptly, she loudly announced. “I Ant candy!!!”

Have a wonderful time this Halloween!!