Do you believe in the magic of Christmas?

They say Christmas is the most magical time of the year, that miracles can happen on the day when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. I don’t particularly believe in miracles, but there’s still some magic of the winter holidays left in my heart.

I loved Christmas when I was a child, even though my parents were not wealthy and we never had a pile of gifts under the tree. But we were better off than a lot of other people, and I’m grateful for that now.

As I became an adult, the practicalities and problems that come with being a grown-up took away a little of my holiday enthusiasm each year. Stretching the budget, organizing things, breaking my back in the kitchen… The real tree turned into a plastic one to avoid the hassle and the mess, buying gifts turned into a stressful process, even going shopping is less fun every year because of the growing lines and interminable city traffic.

However, this year I believe in the magic of Christmas more than I ever had. Why? Because my friends in the Authors’ Billboard practically put the most amazing present under my tree: a USA Today bestseller badge!

A little over a year ago, the seed of what seemed like a crazy dream took root in my mind: to become a USA Today bestselling author. Not only that, but I realized that if I made it, I would be the first Romanian in history to achieve this prestigious title. Since that moment, I worked relentlessly toward this goal, and I’m still amazed by how many incredible people I met on the way, people who joined me in my journey and fought hard to help me achieve my dream.

Together, we did it with the anthology Love, Christmas 2!

My story in this box set is a romantic comedy called Boyfriend Wanted for Christmas.

THE DESPERATE YET HUMOROUS QUEST OF AN AMERICAN BRIDGET JONES TO FIND A BOYFRIEND IN THE SEVEN DAYS SHE HAS LEFT UNTIL CHRISTMAS

Thirty-three-year-old librarian Andrea Sachse doesn’t have the time or skills to date. No man can ever live up to her dreamy book boyfriends, so why bother? But with her parents looking more desperate each time she shows up solo for their annual Christmas party, this year she’s determined to find herself a boyfriend by any means—fair or foul.

There are so many people I owe this accomplishment to, and who deserve a special THANK YOU:  Carmen, Mimi, my editor Sue, Jackie, all my wonderful co-authors of Love, Christmas 2 and of course, all of you, our dear readers and friends, who bought this box set.

The most meaningful THANK YOU goes to my husband, for being there for me, for believing in me, for offering moral and financial support, emergency hugs, pep talks, for playing housekeeper, tear-wiper, even chef when I was too exhausted, and never complaining when I worked twelve hours a day until 2 or 3 am, for keeping my spirits up with his endless supply of optimism, and for putting up with me – which is no easy job.

Each and every one of you who read this post, this victory is yours, as much – or even more – than it’s mine.  ♥ ♥ ♥

Now do you believe in the magic of Christmas? Here’s something that will make your holidays even more fun:  We’re looking for Santas and Reindeer! Visit our December Contest and YOU could win gift cards, paperback books, and book bundles. Click here to play! 

Wishing you the best holidays ever!

I’ve always loved Poetry.

I am sometimes told in review that there is a poetic lilt to my writing. I have always loved poetry, my favourites being Longfellow, Tennyson, Wordsworth, Coleridge and some of more modern poets.

My love of poetry started at the age of seven at the knee of my great uncle Will’ in a little village in Glamorganshire on the coast of South Wales. Uncle Will was a miner and also a scholar, who when not working long shifts down the  mine, taught the children of the village.  He introduced me to my first poem from a book The Thousand Best Poems in the World. This was a book published in 1891 by EW Cole. Some of the authors were famous, others anonymous as was a premise for some ladies writing in those times, most of the poetry held the flavour of nostalgic Victorian poetry.

As the festive season is nearly upon us I hope you will enjoy the one given below written probably one hundred and fifty years ago by an anonymous poet.  The poetry echoes the theme of my book written specially for Love at Christmas 2. This box-set has such a wonderful variety of stories both in the contemporary or historical style.

In the coming year, I hope to present some of these poems in my blog and website now nearly built.

https://www.katy-walters.com

‘Live for Something’

Live for something, be not idle-

Look about thee for employ!

Sit not down to useless dreaming –

Labour is the sweetest joy.

Folded hands are ever weary,

Selfish hearts are never gay,

Life for thee have many duties-

Active be, then, while you may.

 

Scatter blessings in they pathway!

Gentle words and cheering smiles

Better are than gold or silver,

With their grief – dispelling wiles,

As the pleasant sunshine falleth

Ever on the grateful earth,

So let sympathy and kindness

Gladden well the darkened heart.

 

Hearts there are oppressed and weary,

Drop the tear of sympathy,

Whisper words of hope and comfort,

Give and thy reward shall be

Joy unto the soul returning,

From this perfect fountain head,

Freely, as thou freely givest,

 

Anonymous. Just Before the Village Blacksmith by Longfellow

Page 207 The Thousand Best Poems in the World – First Series.

Published 1891

 

Katy Walters

Katy lives on the South coast with her husband and a loving hyper friendly dog who likes to greet and lick everyone on sight. She has a BA Hons (Psych) BA Eng.Lit. MA in Religion and Mysticism and a Hon Dr. Science for research into pain control.
She was a psychologist and hypnotherapist before changing direction for full time creative writing, Her main genres are historical romance, crime and science fiction.

Family, Friends, Fun, Food, and a Good Book

Hello! This is Alyssa Bailey and I’m so excited to chat just before my favorite family holiday, Thanksgiving! My son would also add to the above list … football!

My contribution to the fabulous boxset Love, Christmas 2 – In the Spirit of Christmas begins the weekend after Thanksgiving so now would be a great time to pick up the book and have a read.

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Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year, with Native American Heritage Month (my family is Irish and Native American), Thanksgiving, fun and family snuggled in the wonderland of the autumn season. Because of the military and my adventuresome husband, I have had the pleasure and privilege of experiencing holidays in many parts of the country and world.

We have a large family and for years, have been blessed with a great number of friends, foster children, family, and whomever wanted to visit for the holiday. In the island in Alaska where we live, there is always the expectation of a Thanksgiving Storm and we often lost electricity. Early on, we learned to cook quickly if bad weather was expected. In our early years, we always had a huge cast iron earth stove to finish out the cooking if needed. The sturdiness of the power lines has increased as our number of children still home has decreased. But everyone comes if they can for Thanksgiving.

In the Spirit of Christmas shows Tara in search of the warmth of family and yearning of the traditional, the security of home and family, no matter the size of that family or the age of the person. She finds it. May your season be all you hoped for and you have family and friends to share your good fortune.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Excerpt from In the Spirit of Christmas

The hot air from the heater warmed her. “By the way, I’m Chase Nichols.” He eased the truck back onto the highway.

“Thank you for picking me up, Sheriff Nichols. My ex must have had a flat and neglected to tell me, among other things,” she murmured.

“Just Chase, and it’s obvious your ex neglected to repair it as well.” His tone was condemning. Tara’s first inclination was to defend Roger, but she closed her mouth. Roger was the reason she was even doing this, in the dead of winter.

“Ex-husband?”

“Boyfriend.”

He nodded. “I’ll get you to the garage. They’ll fix you up in no time.”

“Thank you for your trouble.”

“No trouble. I was going this way and it’d be wrong to leave anyone on the side of the road in this cold.” He turned and grinned in her direction. “Besides, it wouldn’t look good if the Sheriff left a motorist stranded, would it?” She didn’t know what to say to that, so she didn’t respond with more than an answering nod of her own. He continued to watch her. “You shouldn’t be out here alone. New Yorker like yourself should understand about cold weather.”

“I’m from Wyoming and I didn’t plan it, all right? It just turned out that way.” Her tone snapped, but she was dangling precariously at the end of her rope. If she weren’t so close to the ranch, she would have just stayed the night in the next town.

“You sound worn out.” Concern laced his words. “We’re almost there.”

“I’m sorry. I left New York in the early hours day before yesterday, it’s late, and I’m ready to be home.”

He whistled. “You drove that far, alone, in a couple of days, in the middle of winter? Your daddy knows you did that?”

He did listen, she’d give him that. “I’m an adult, Mr. Nichols—”

“It’s Chase, and I get you’re grown but I bet you’re always a little girl to your daddy.”

She hesitated, his correction putting her off her line of thought. He was right. “In answer to your question, yes, he knows I’m coming. And it isn’t that far. I was careful.”

“Mmm hmm.”

 

USA Today and Best-selling author in Regency and Contemporary Romance, Alyssa Bailey, is a dyed in the wool Texan living amid the beauty of Alaska. She loves writing about consensual power exchanges between strong, intelligent, sassy women who are not afraid to make a stand and men confident enough to give his woman space, but Alpha enough to keep her safe in spite of herself.  If she can throw a little mystery, humor, and suspense in her stories, it’s even better. Her characters are from varied eras and walks of life. Come take a stroll with her.

Love, Christmas 2: Miracle on Christmas Tree Street by Alicia Street

My story in the Authors’ Billboard bestselling boxed set Love, Christmas – Movies You Love is based on the holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street. I love the way it blends down-to-earth reality together with the magical elements of Christmas.

A personal reason this has always been a favorite movie of mine is because my mother worked in Macy’s Department Store when I was growing up. When school let out for Christmas vacation I would sometimes go into work with her and wander the store all day, watching people shop for gifts and looking at all the pretty decorations and taking in the holiday cheer.

While my story has a rural setting and does not include a court case against a man who needs to prove he is Santa Claus, I do have a pessimistic single mom, and her daughter who is befriended by a Santa-like grandfather figure who might be more than he seems. And of course there is a handsome bachelor who is determined to break through the icy walls the single mom has built around herself.

Luckily my own mother was nothing like the cynical woman in the movie played by Maureen O’ Hara or the one in my story. But this character is the perfect counterpart to the Santa Claus character who enters her life and proceeds to confuse, baffle, and inspire. I love the way he challenges her reality and the way a parent realizes she can learn something from her child.

It is this transformation that creates the story’s message of hope and faith. A belief that wonderful things can happen and that you can still find miracles in a cynical world.

Love, Christmas 2 is available on  Amazon  Kobo  B&N  iBooks

 

 

 

 

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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