Christmas Books All Month Long! Day 7: “A Christmas Future”

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It’s the Christmas season! One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to curl up with a Christmas-themed book, a steaming cup of tea, and a sweet treat. I can’t send you tea and cookies, but I can send you some great book suggestions. Throughout the month I’ll be featuring DOZENS of books. Load that Kindle! It’s going to be a long winter!

Today we have Christmas Future by Valerie Ipson. This selection comes from the lovely ladies at Lovin’ The Book’s Christmas Countdown. Don’t miss the giveaway at the end! I’ll be hosting this Christmas Countdown through December 23rd, followed by my Twelve Days of Christmas Book Blast starting December 26th through January 6th.

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Scarlett’s fiancé and the warm weather of Arizona will have to wait while she works her PR magic to put Alaska on the nice Christmas Spirit list. But when the wait’s too long will a warm-hearted doctor be just the one to lift her Scrooge-like spirits?

Welcome to the books of  Christmas PastPresent and Future.

Purchase A Christmas Future

About the Author

Day 7 CCB AuthorValerie Ipson loves reading, writing, family history, and Hershey Milk Chocolate Almond & Toffee Nuggets. She lives in Mesa, Arizona, and Christmas Future is her first Christmas Romance. She is also the author of Ideal High, a YA novel. She hopes she can give readers the same experience she has enjoyed through the years while being curled up with a good book!

Connect with Valerie Ipson

Website   

 

Author’s Top Ten List:

A few of my favorite things in no particular order (these are random–it’s too hard to pick the TOP faves):

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

lasagna (my own recipe)

the color yellow

my hometown of Richland, Washington

date night

the smell of lilacs

Mary Poppins, the movie

piano music

chocolate ice cream

the sweet smiles & giggles of my grandkids

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Part 1 Official Event page and Part 2 Official Event page

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Morrison Hall: An Historic Mansion Dressed Up for the Holidays

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Each year, Morrison Hall, the mansion that is the showpiece of Orange County Community College (SUNY Orange) in Middletown, New York, is decorated for the holidays by a dedicated cadre of gardeners, artists, and  visionaries from the Middletown Garden Lovers Club. On any day, the house itself is gorgeous, carefully maintained in its original design, and well kept and cared for with pride, but for a short week or so in December it’s transformed into a spectacular Christmas wonderland with a new theme each year. This year’s name is “Holidays Across the States.” It doesn’t disappoint.

The mansion is a special place for me. I work at the College in the Wellness Center, am able to visit it at will, and almost always take a short cut for a quick tour when crossing campus. It’s the setting for one of my works-in-progress, which takes place in Hyde Park, NY, and was inspired by the much more famous Vanderbilt Mansion. One day, while passing Morrison Hall, it occurred to me that I should relocate the building to Hyde Park and make it the setting for my novel. I was familiar with it and it’s much more beautiful than Vanderbilt. What a liberating thing, moving twentieth century mansions across counties in my mind. One of the joys of being a writer.

I was fortunate to tour the mansion yesterday, the first day of viewing, when the crowd was thin, so no rushing and no obstructions. Each of the downstairs rooms is decorated. All include their own tree.

Upon entry, the FOYER was decked out in a Texan theme called “Howdy Y’all.”

This display included a reference to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Mission Control in Houston, where the crew tracks Santa’s progress as he heads for Morrison Hall.

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The SALON was dedicated to “Hawaii,” and used a surfboard, seashells, and a casual seaside table to set the mood.

The MUSIC ROOM was home to “Louisiana,” celebrating with  jazz, fabulous food, and the bright colors of Mardi Gras: Purple, green and gold.

The LIBRARY, a heavenly wood paneled room I would love to relax in with a good book, portrayed “Alaska.” and included the state’s natural wonders: an indigenous igloo, a bear, and the Northern Lights.

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In the DINING ROOM, we enter California’s Sonoma Wine Country, and are transported to Stella D’Oro Cellars. A Christmas tree made of wine bottles and decorations built from cork adorn the traditional tree and the hearth. The table is set for dinner with a grapevine covered pergola overhead and a beautiful centerpiece.

History of Morrison Hall

Built by Webb Horton, the mansion’s corner stone was laid in 1908, and the house was completed in 1910. When Horton died he left the property to his cousin, John H. Morrison, husband of Christine Morrison. Mrs. Morrison lived alone after the death of her husband in 1946. In 1950, she donated the mansion and property for it to become the home of Orange County Community College. For more information about the mansion’s history visit the College’s website.

Location and Schedule

The mansion is located at 115 South Street, Middletown, NY. The exhibit is open December 9th,  14th, & 15th from 1 pm to 5 pm. Admission is FREE.

The SUNY Orange Chamber Ensembles will present a FREE concert featuring music by Beethoven, Handel, Marcello, Schubert, and others on December 15th at 6 p.m.

The effort is supported by the  SUNY Orange Foundation and a number of Orange County business and organization. For more information visit the College’s website.

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Christmas Books All Month Long! Day 6: “Eleanor and the Christmas Carol Fudge”

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It’s the Christmas season! One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to curl up with a Christmas-themed book, a steaming cup of tea, and a sweet treat. I can’t send you tea and cookies, but I can send you some great book suggestions. Throughout the month I’ll be featuring DOZENS of books. Load that Kindle! It’s going to be a long winter!

Today we have Eleanor and the Christmas Carol Fudge by Tamara Passey. This selection comes from the lovely ladies at Lovin’ The Book’s Christmas Countdown. Don’t miss the giveaway at the end! I’ll be hosting this Christmas Countdown through December 23rd, followed by my Twelve Days of Christmas Book Blast starting December 26th through January 6th.

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Welcome to the books of Christmas PastPresent and Future.

Eleanor is saving her grandmother’s fudge business but is becoming like Scrooge in the process. The consultant she hires to help is a friend from high school who hasn’t given up his secret crush for her. Will the Christmas spirit melt her heart or will she miss out on the love of her life?

Purchase Now!

About the Author

Tamara PasseyTamara Passey, author of the The Christmas Tree Keeper: A Novel, was born and raised in Massachusetts around a large family, one that has served as inspiration for most of her writing. She loves most creative endeavors and when she isn’t writing or re-writing, you can find her baking or cross-stitching or walking–though not all at the same time. She lives with her husband and children in Arizona.

Connect with the Author  on Amazon

Q&A With the Author

Describe yourself in 50 words or less.

I like to create stories with words. In between writing projects, I like to paint pictures. I’m a self-taught cook and a self-taught author. I like art museums and gardens. I read eclectically. Memoir, historical, classics, young adult. I love to go on adventures with my family.

What do you love most in the world?

My family and simple joys like autumn leaves and apple pie.

What inspired you to become an Author?

So many good books.

What is your favorite Winter / Holiday tradition?

Attending an annual concert and lights display with family.

What is your trick for getting past writer’s block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story?

My trick is a non-negotiable deadline—like a holiday. That keeps me in my chair and writing as much as possible. For authors struggling—when you are tired, learn to rest, not quit. In the words of Julie Berry, remember when life is hard, writing is the antidote.

Now that we’ve gotten to know each other, tell us a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it’s yours. What’s your story?

How about a poem that tells a story?

Raising Daughters

They need you and need you and need you

Until they don’t

Because you’ve taught them well and

Shown them the way and

Given them all you have

Your heart and your soul and your favorite flat iron.

They thank you, they hug you, and they leave you

In one motion

They are off and you wouldn’t have it any other way

This is why you carried them, why you fed them, and why you held their hand

So one day

They could let go

And live their beautiful life.

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To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Part 1 Official Event page  and Part 2 Official Event page

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Christmas Books All Month Long! Day 5: “A Christmas Carol for Candy”

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It’s the Christmas season! One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to curl up with a Christmas-themed book, a steaming cup of tea, and a sweet treat. I can’t send you tea and cookies, but I can send you some great book suggestions. Throughout the month I’ll be featuring DOZENS of books. Load that Kindle! It’s going to be a long winter!

Today we have A Christmas Carol for Candy by Peggy Urry. This selection comes from the lovely ladies at Lovin’ The Book’s Christmas Countdown. Don’t miss the giveaway at the end! I’ll be hosting this Christmas Countdown through December 23rd, followed by my Twelve Days of Christmas Book Blast starting December 26th through January 6th.

A Christmas Carol

Welcome to the books of Christmas PastPresent and Future.

Description: A Christmas engagement, broken two months later, rocked Candy Kaine’s world. After months of a schedule crammed with college courses, a full time job, and a few side jobs, the busyness is wearing thin. But school is still top priority. Until a fancy resort threatens to buy the satellite campus in the small town where she lives and takes classes.

Jace Marlowe has been down on his luck. Can a temporary job for an upscale resort in his home town be the turn around he’s looking for? The only problem? His grandmother’s beautiful neighbor who wants to keep the school just where it is. If she doesn’t get her way will she be as vindictive as his ex?

A charmed nativity facilitates the past, present, and future experiences for Candy but will she have the courage to open her heart before it’s too late?”

Purchase Now! ~

About the Author

Peggy UrryPeggy Urry is a small town girl who loves the city and the ocean (and the mountains as long as she doesn’t have to camp or hike).

She credits her dad and the lack of television in her parents’ home for her love of reading and her imagination. She credits the guy who’s been hanging the moon for over 25 years for her belief in romance and true love. Five wonderful children, extended family, and great friends keep life exciting.

Find a book you love and read!

Connect with Peggy Urry   ~ Facebook  ~  Website  ~  Instagram  ~

Q&A With the Author

Describe yourself in 50 words or less. 

I’m a small town girl who loves the city and the ocean (and the mountains as long as I don’t have to camp or hike). I love crafting, reading, writing, rainy days, and jalapeno chocolate. Family and friends keep life exciting.

What do you love most in the world?

My family. And unicorns.

What inspired you to become an Author?

All the stories in my head. 

What is your favorite Winter / Holiday tradition? 

Decorating the house.

What is your trick for getting past writer’s block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story?

When I reach a point where I’m struggling with what comes next, I ask myself what the worst thing is that could happen to my characters at that moment. Sometimes I write that scenario but even if I don’t, I find that it seems to spawn ideas. If not, sometimes I have to back up a little and see where my characters have gotten too much of what they want too soon. My advice? Daydream.

Now that we’ve gotten to know each other, tell us a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it’s yours. What’s your story?

For my special needs daughter who LOVES Harry Styles: (She gets a variation of this every night before bed)

Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl named Mallory. She was kind and sweet and loving and had many friends. One day at school they were having a dance so Mallory wore a lovely red dress with sparkles. She had curled her hair and put on some lip gloss. As her teacher walked them to the gym for the dance, Mallory heard someone call her name.

<British accent> “Mallory!”

She turned around to find Harry Styles coming over to her. She was so excited she clapped and jumped up and down. Her teacher said, “Mallory, I know you’re excited, but we need to bring it down, bring it down.” So Mallory calmed down just as Harry got to her.

<British accent> “Mallory, I’m so excited for this dance party we’re going to have. I really hope you’ll dance with me.”

“Of course I would love to dance with you.”

So Mallory and Harry danced and danced and had a great time together.

The End.

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To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Part 1 Official Event page and Part 2 Official Event page

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Christmas Books All Month Long! Day 4: “Miss Dashwood’s Dilemma”

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It’s the Christmas season! One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to curl up with a Christmas-themed book, a steaming cup of tea, and a sweet treat. I can’t send you tea and cookies, but I can send you some great book suggestions. Throughout the month I’ll be featuring DOZENS of books. Load that Kindle! It’s going to be a long winter!

Today we have Miss Dashwood’s Dilemma by Arabella Sheraton.  This selection comes from the lovely ladies at Lovin’ The Book’s Christmas Countdown. Don’t miss the giveaway at the end! I’ll be hosting this Christmas Countdown through December 23rd, followed by my Twelve Days of Christmas Book Blast starting December 26th through January 6th.

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In this delightful traditional Regency romance, Miss Diana Dashwood accepts an invitation to Lady Prescott’s Christmas party at Camden House, in the countryside. But things do not go quite as she imagined. Through an unexpected event, she is forced to spend the night in a woodsman’s hut with one of the guests. What a scandal!

Of course, Sir Gareth Blakely must propose, and he does. Unfortunately, Miss Diana Dashwood has already been engaged to and broken off her engagement from Sir Gareth Blakely after a bitter quarrel. Is it likely she will bow to social pressure and accept his proposal, one made only to save her reputation, and if they marry, does their union stand a chance of survival?

And what about the pretty heiress, Miss Jemima Plymstock, whom everyone thinks is the lady Sir Gareth had his eye upon? Headstrong and proud, Miss Diana Dashwood is caught in a dreadful dilemma. A must-read for Regency fans!

Purchase Now! ~ 

About the Author

ArabellaArabella Sheraton grew up on a diet of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and many other writers of that period. From Jane Austen to Georgette Heyer, Arabella has found both enjoyment and inspiration in sparkling, witty Regency novels. She also loves history and generally finds the past more fascinating than the future. Arabella wrote her first Regency romance to entertain her aged mom who loved the genre. Arabella is honoured to share the adventures of her heroes and heroines with readers.

Connect with Arabella Sheraton

Facebook  ~  Website ~  Twitter

Q&A With the Author

Describe yourself in 50 words or less.

I grew up on a diet of Jane Austen, the Brontës, and many other writers of that period. From Jane Austen to Georgette Heyer, I have found both enjoyment and inspiration in sparkling, witty Regency novels. I also love history and generally find the past more fascinating than the future.

What do you love most in the world?

I’d have to say my daughter, then my pets, then writing, then all the other fun stuff that writers do when they are not writing.

What inspired you to become an Author?

Interestingly I was already an established author in another genre when my mother complained about historical romances all sounding formulaic. She asked me to write her a Regency romance … and I have written eight so far and am busy with the ninth.

What is your favorite Winter / Holiday tradition?

Christmas parties, especially in a cold climate, when everyone gets together, and we eat lots of yummy food, delicious desserts, and exchange lovely gifts.

What is your trick for getting past writer’s block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story?

Honestly, I don’t believe in writer’s block. I just think that when a writer thinks they have it, the concept jumps into their mind like a great monster. For me, it’s a case of waiting for my Eureka moment to get me into the next phase of the story. While I’m waiting for that Eureka moment, I work on other sections or scenes that will come along at some stage in the unfolding of the plot.

Now that we’ve gotten to know each other, tell us a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it’s yours. What’s your story?

My mother died half way through my writing the second Regency romance for her, Married at Midnight. Before she passed away, she said to me, “Make sure you never stop writing, even though I won’t be here to read the books.” Around the same time, the publisher who loved my first book emailed me and asked if I had written or was I planning to write more. So, I had to keep writing and here I am now on the ninth book.

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To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Part 1 Official Event page and Part 2 Official Event page

Enter the giveaway now!

Christmas Books All Month Long! Day 3: “When Night Falls Around Us”

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It’s the Christmas season! One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to curl up with a Christmas-themed book, a steaming cup of tea, and a sweet treat. I can’t send you tea and cookies, but I can send you some great book suggestions. Throughout the month I’ll be featuring DOZENS of books. Load that Kindle! It’s going to be a long winter!

Today we have When Night Falls Around Us by Laura L. Walker. This selection comes from the lovely ladies at Lovin’ The Book’s Christmas Countdown. Don’t miss the giveaway at the end! I’ll be hosting this Christmas Countdown through December 23rd, followed by my Twelve Days of Christmas Book Blast  starting December 26th through January 6th.

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Description: Nineteen-year-old Felicity Everstone is living her dream while attending college and serving alongside her parents in the North Atlanta Georgia Mission for the LDS Church–not to mention dating a charming guy who sweeps her off her feet. But when she is unexpectedly sent home to Idaho to care for her nephew through her sister-in-law’s difficult pregnancy, and the friend she has been sharing the gospel with no longer wants to pursue that path, everything that once brought light and joy into her life nearly flickers out. Until she meets her good-looking but solemn neighbor, Erik.

Erik Cannon has already lost the love of his life. Now, as a young, successful businessman, making money seems to be his God-given talent, but he can no longer ignore the emptiness he feels inside. He needs to find purpose and meaning in his life once again. When his best friend’s sister comes to help her family through a crisis, Erik’s heart is reawakened. He senses this is a second chance at love for him, and that he and Felicity might be able to build a beautiful life together–until her old boyfriend comes back into the picture.

When darkness settles over Erik and Felicity’s path, will their emerging love be enough to light the way?”

Purchase Now!

About the Author

Laura WalkerLaura L. Walker grew up in a large family in the beautiful Gila Valley of southern Arizona. From the time Laura was young, she spent hours drawing characters on paper and fantasizing about their adventures. Life became more serious, however, when she met her own hero at Northern Arizona University and they later became the parents of six children. In between spurts of grocery shopping, sewing costumes or quilts, transporting kids to practices, and making dinner, Laura still enjoys putting her imagination to good use. She is the author of seven novels and three novellas.

Connect with Laura Walker  ~  Facebook   ~   Website   ~   Twitter 

Q&A with the Author

Describe yourself in 50 words or less:

I’m a little impulsive with the ideas that come to me. Sometimes they pan out; other times, not so much. I’m an introvert who loves being around my family–most of the time. I’ve also become a history nerd as I’ve turned to historical fiction writing. And chocolate–who can get enough of that?

What do you love most in the world?

My family and my Savior, Jesus Christ, whom we celebrate Christmas for.

What inspired you to become an author?

The dream of becoming an author resided in my soul from the time I was very young. I really don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to become an author. However, when I became a mother to some really rambunctious toddlersI thought that dream had died. It was resurrected when I realized I needed to develop other talents besides cooking and cleaning for a family. Although those are great things, I needed to do something for myself. Realize that dream!

Favorite Winter/Holiday Tradition

I live in a desert, but we’re also close to a mountain peak that gets snow. Every year right after Christmas, we try to go up there and play in the snow. We bring hot cocoa and our extended family goes, too. It’s a lot of fun!

What is your trick for overcoming writers block? And what advice would you give an author who is struggling to tell their story?

Just start writing. What you write probably won’t be publishable material at first. But as you get the creative juices going, you’ll soon pull out of that slump. Also, read lots of articles about creative writing. Learn as much as you can. And keep writing.

Tell us a story

Another fun winter tradition, if you could call it that, is that my husband and I got married at Christmastime. Since this also happens to be the time of year the last few Star Wars movies have come out, that’s how we’ve spent our anniversary. At the movies. Watching sci-fi. Not even close to a romantic chick flick. LOL.

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To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our 

Part 1 Official Event page  and Part 2 Official Event page

Enter our Giveaway Now!

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Meet Robin Gail, Author of “Dementia Or Alzheimer’s?”

I am a co-founder and administrator of AlzAuthors, the global community of readers and writers whose lives are touched by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Each week I cross-blog the featured author. This week I welcome Robin Gail.

By Robin Gail

When my husband and I began the long journey taking care of my mother, we had no idea what to expect. We had no experience, knowledge, or help from anyone.  When we first suspected Mom was ill, I began research how to help her travel through the relentless disease of Alzheimer’s.  I found quite a number of books, but they were most often written from a medical point of view.

After my beloved mother died in ’09, I felt a strong urge and need to help others going through what we had gone through with caregiving.  I wanted to write a book from a personal point of view, a book full of tips and ideas from someone who had actually traveled this road with their ill loved one.  I felt very motivated to try to ease the burden that I know from firsthand experience others feel when being a caregiver.

I wanted to write the book shortly after Mom’s death, but it was too difficult to relive everything so soon after experiencing our caregiving journey.  So, as I recalled things we did, I would jot them down on Post-it notes and put the notes away for a later time when I knew I would be ready to write.

In my book, Dementia or Alzheimer’s? I outline many methods and techniques we used to attempt to give Mom’s life (and ours) some semblance of normalcy.  Much of it was trial and error, but for the most part, things were much easier for Mom, as well as us.

I have received many thanks for writing this type of book.  People have told me numerous times there really is not a good book from a hands-on caregiver that is so personal and chock-full of helpful information and resources.  The feedback from others is phenomenal.  The reviews on Amazon are excellent.  My book ranks quite high on Amazon, reaching an Amazon Best Seller status in the first week of publication.

There are so many desperate caregivers today with nowhere to turn, many with no one to provide assistance and respite for them.  My heart is heavy every time I hear of someone going through this dreadful disease with their loved one.  It is my hope and prayer that my book will help to make the journey a bit more tolerable, a bit less stressful and maybe less lonely.

About the Author

Robin Gail grew up in Texas and continues to live there with her husband and beautiful Cocker Spaniel. Robin is certified by the Supreme Court of Texas as a Certified Shorthand Reporter, aka, court reporter, and has owned her own court reporting business for thirty years.

With over thirty years’ experience working in the legal profession, she is now focused on writing and learning to blog.  Robin perseveres to accomplish her goals and realizes the importance of honesty and integrity in reaching those goals.

She is delighted to have her first book, Dementia or Alzheimer’s? published.  Robin has always been extremely dedicated to the task at hand and works hard to help others in need.

In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, playing the piano, cooking, photography, reading both fiction and non-fiction, and writing.

Connect with Robin Gail

Website

Email

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

LinkedIn

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For more vetted books about Alzheimer’s and Dementia please visit the AlzAuthors Bookstore.

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