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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

How to Write a Christmas Play by C.D. Hersh . We also share our Christmas novella Kissing Santa.

If you’re like us, you love a great Christmas story. In fact, last year we devoured Christmas movies well into springtime. This summer, Catherine started bugging Donald to look on Roku and Sling for new holiday movies. Being the nice guy that he is, Donald agreed. We already have several queued up for watching. So when we were approached to write a post about “How to Write a Christmas Play”, we thought about it for a bit and said, “Sure. We’ve done that.”

There are a lot of things we could say about how to write a Christmas play, or any play for that matter. The basics of writing a good book are the same as writing a play. You need a good story, good characters, and good conflict. There are some differences, however. We could talk about the nuts and bolts of playwriting, such as:

    • Formatting.
    • Making the last moment of the play a satisfying ending.
    • Always keeping the action moving forward since time shifts and short scenes that hop around don’t work well for plays.
    • Proper scene structure.
    • How a play script usually has little dialogue or action tags or setting description.
    • And so on.

However, since these elements are things that you can learn from a book, we decided to take a different approach and focus on the five lessons we found to be most important in play writing by walking you through one of our most successful Christmas plays.

Catherine has always loved Christmas, but an interest in writing Christmas stories, particularly Christmas themed plays, started in the 1990s when we were in our church’s drama group. The church leadership decided to put on an outdoor re-creation of Bethlehem set on the night of Jesus’s birth. They would build a representation of Bethlehem in the church parking lot. The village would have several historically researched shops, a synagogue, a house, an inn, animals, and the stable where Jesus was born. Originally the leadership wanted a walk-through diorama where the town’s characters interacted with each other, but not with the people visiting the event. Our drama leader knew Catherine was a freelance writer and that we were interested in writing plays, so she urged us to create a script for Back to Bethlehem, which was the name of the event.

Lesson 1: Accept the challenge
We had never done a play before, but had acted in plenty in the church drama ministry.
So when we were asked, we accepted the challenge. We dug into playwriting
books and brushed up on the nuts and bolts of playwriting.

Lesson 2: Start early
In early spring of the year the event was to be hosted, we threw ourselves into the job and read and reread the Christmas story from the Bible. We learned it’s never too early to think about Christmas when planning a Christmas story. If you’re out of the Christmas season when you need inspiration, put on the Christmas music. Put up your tree in June. Don your Santa hat and beard. Go Christmas shopping and wrap the gifts. Do whatever it takes to get into the Christmas spirit.

Lesson 3: Look for the unexpected. Find the twist. The new in the old.
Religiously, Christmas is about Jesus’s birth. Secularly, Christmas is about Santa, gift giving, charity, family gatherings, food, joy, and cheer. If you’re planning a Christmas story, play, or book, you need to figure out how to make a well-known story unique and fresh. Since most people visiting Bethlehem would know the biblical story of the virgin birth, our challenge was to create a new tale, yet keep the age-old tale intact for the hundreds of people who would travel back to Bethlehem on a mulch-strewn tar parking lot.

To make an old story new, we suggested the visitors to Bethlehem follow several characters through the town as they looked for Mary, Joseph, and a baby born in a stable. One character, Myriaden, went from shop to shop looking for Mary interacting with all the townspeople, asking if they had seen a young pregnant woman, telling them how she’d traveled with her from Nazareth. And in case some of the newcomers to the town missed Myriaden, a group of rowdy shepherds who saw the heavenly host also came through the town looking for the baby born in a stable. Another set of characters, the Roman soldiers, told a different part of the story—the part of the suppression of the Jews and their disbelief in the shepherds’ tale of angels singing in the sky.

Mary, the shepherds, and the Roman soldiers told the stories of the Bible in an unexpected way, as Christmas plays depicting Jesus’s birth normally center around Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. The interesting thing about the Back to Bethlehem drama was that it became an interactive play. While our characters, both those “leading” the visitors and those in the shops, had set lines to say, they ended up interacting with the visitors to Bethlehem who wanted to know more about the town, the time and the story. So, we developed a set of improvisational lines for the characters to use. They always kept in character as they had spur-of-the-moment conversations with the visitors. Visitors were immersed in the drama, and that was very unexpected and very delightful for them.

It’s highly unlikely that your Christmas drama will be as improvisational as Back to Bethlehem was, but the example certainly shows the twist in this story. We broke the fourth wall of the stage and completely immersed the audience in the drama.

Lesson 4: Watch your Dialogue
As with books, dialogue is important and should sound natural no matter your genre. Plays, unlike books, are composed completely of dialogue. You have a few moments to capture your audience. They can’t go back and hit rewind or flip the page back if they think they missed something You don’t have the luxury of internal thoughts, or rambling commentaries (unless you’re Shakespeare). Plays don’t have exposition and, just like books, shouldn’t have author intrusion. If you can’t write without a lot of narrative, exposition, or description, you have a book, not a play.

Here’s an example of the importance of dialogue.
Because we were writing for a historical period in which we did not know how the people sounded, in English, we chose to use a more formal language, with no contractions or slang. It was just different enough that it gave a unique flavor to the actors’ speech. When they were interacting with the visitors, they also did not recognize modern day terms or items the visitors might say or show to them. Once when Catherine was talking to a visitor, he used the word technology while admiring her earrings.

Catherine said, “I do not understand this word, sir.”

“Where did get your earrings?” he asked.

“The goldsmith hammered them out for me,” she replied.

“If they’re made of gold, then you’d better hold on to them,” he said.

“As you wish, sir,” Catherine replied. Then she reached up and grasped both of her earrings, bowed, and walked away.

Peals of laughter followed her as she exited. In Bethlehem, Catherine would not have known the slang “Hold on to them.” So, she reacted literally. We’re fairly certain those visitors remembered their visit to Bethlehem for a long time. And that’s what you want your audience to do, too.

Lesson 5: Create a dramatic ending
The town of Bethlehem was noisy and crowded. Roman soldiers bellowed at the local beggar, harassed the shop keepers, and insulted the shepherds looking for a baby in a manger. Shop keepers shouted at passersby to come buy their wares. The women at the well gossiped loudly. The priest in the synagogue taught his young charges, quoting the scriptures in Hebrew. The guests at the inn complained at the crowded conditions. But when visitors passed through the small hallway into the stable, the whole atmosphere changed. Mary and Joseph spoke softly and calmly to all who approached them. Myriaden, who had found Mary, whispered and admired the baby. The shepherds bowed down and worshipped him. Even the visitors who came to see the town spoke in hushed tones as they gazed on Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. Although you heard the sounds of the busy town, everyone in the stable was quiet and reserved, even the children. Coming from the hustle and bustle of the crowded town into the quiet stable was a magical moment. Even today, nearly twenty years later, when we meet people who visited our Bethlehem they comment on how much it touched them. As writers, isn’t that what we want to do with our stories—touch people?

We’ve written several Christmas plays—Back to Bethlehem, which ran for 5 years at our former church and was sold to two other churches; a Christmas musical that has not been yet published, and four Christmas puppet plays that have been performed at our current church. We also wrote a Christmas novella Kissing Santa, which is part of the Christmas Collection Sizzle in the Snow, published by Soul Mate Publishing.

If you want to write a Christmas play, we suggest you read a lot of plays. Study the craft of playwriting, and apply the five lessons we’ve talked about. Remember, they translate to your manuscripts whether you’re writing plays, stories, or books.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Playwriting Year!

While you’re thinking about your next Christmas play or story, take a peek at this excerpt from C.D. Hersh’s Christmas novella Kissing Santa.

When Sam S. Klaus, a professional Santa, has a fling with a beautiful elfette at a Santa Conference, he wants to make her Mrs. Klaus, but his intended disappears before Santa can pop the question.

EXCERPT
Anna Noel studied the trim backside of the Santa standing in front of her. He appeared younger than most of the Santas at the Santa Claus conference she’d chosen to attend this year. A lot more attractive than any Santa she’d ever met. For the briefest of moments she let her mind wander, lingering on Christmas wish number nine—make love to Santa. A heated flush climbed her chest as she envisioned the scene, and she flapped the jacket of her green elf costume to cool down.

Her gaze traveled over his hips, chest, and to the beginnings of a snow white beard. Then to his shock of silver hair underneath the white-trimmed, red Santa hat.

Yep. Definitely a Santa she wanted to know. Too bad she wouldn’t be the elf to his mall Santa. They could get to know each other and more.

The conference registrar drew her out of her Christmas fantasy with a loud, “Miss? Are you with this Santa?”

“What? No. I don’t have a Santa. I’m here alone.”

Sexy Santa turned and held out his hand. “Me, too. I’m Sam S. Klaus.”

A smile curled her lips as she took his hand. “As in Sam Santa Claus?” His warm palm sent tingles through her fingers as he gently squeezed them.

A lopsided grin slanted his cheek upward, and he flashed a brilliant smile. “You have the same warped sense of humor as my parents.” He gave her a mock bow. “Sam S., for Santa, Klaus, with a K.”

“That’s your real name?” He let go of her hand. She fought to keep from grabbing it back. A real Santa Klaus? How great was that?

“The same, and you are?”

“An—” She stopped, suddenly unwilling to reveal her name. A rollercoaster of emotions raced through her, suggesting she might hit number nine with this Santa. If she did, and it didn’t go well, she wouldn’t want Sam Klaus to know her real identity. “An elf, who needs a Santa,” she said. “How about we team up? I’ll be your personal elfette, and you can be my Santa.”

Buy Links >eBook>Paperback

Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

The first four books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon. They have a short Christmas story, Kissing Santa, in a Christmas anthology titled Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection, with seven other authors. Also a novella, Can’t Stop The Music, with twelve other authors from various genres with a book coming out each month in 2017.

They look forward to many years of co-authoring and book sales, and a lifetime of happily-ever-after endings on the page and in real life.

Find all our book here Amazon Author Page.

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Newsletter/post

 

Final

 

Sizzle In The Snow:

A Soul Mate Christmas Collection

 

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW_1800x2700 (2)

Now Available

Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection of Eight steamy romances by eight Soul Mate Publishing authors . . .

SMP-logo

This Christmas season, Soul Mate Publishing and editor, Char Chaffin, presents Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection, an anthology now available on Amazon. Want to know what each story is about . . . besides romance and Christmas?

Well, here it is! Each author’s links to their websites. If you like their blurb, check out their other books!

Girl-in-Santa-hat-pointing

Welcome to our final newsletter in celebration of the release of

Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection.

Below you’ll find great decorating tips, recipes and cocktails, excerpts, craft ideas, song links, holiday memories, and personalized cards and poems by the authors!

Book CornerBook-corner

We promised a sneak peek, so here goes . . .

Author Amy Deason shares an excerpt of her short story, Second Chances: A Christmas Story!

Octavia turned and was headed out the door when she stopped, looking back over her shoulder, her mouth turned up in a smile. “I just thought you might be interested to know that Michael Dennison is the coach.”

Grace stopped in her tracks. “Michael?” she asked, her heart skipping a beat.

For a moment, she forgot to breathe. Michael Dennison. Good Lord, that man had been hot. Tall with an athletic build, dark brown hair and incredible blue eyes, he caught her attention no matter where she was. Or he used to the last time she’d seen him, several years ago when she’d been down here for a visit.

“I see you remember him,” Octavia laughed, topping in the doorway and turning back.

“Of course I do. How could I not? But wait, he’s the basketball coach here? I thought he moved away to the city.”

“Oh, he did, but he got divorced three years ago and moved back. He’s got a little girl, Nicole. Actually,” Octavia mused, tilting her head, “she’s about the same age as Gracie. Hey, maybe they could become friends. And no, before you ask, I don’t think he’s involved with anyone. Yet,” she drawled out, her intention crystal clear.

Grace could feel her face heating up. “Come on, you don’t seriously think he’d be interested in me do you? I mean, he was so good looking . . .”

“And you’re what? Chopped liver? Give me a break.”Octavia rolled her eyes dramatically. “I know for a fact that the man had the hots for you for a long time. I doubt that’s changed. Oh and one more thing…”

“What?”

“If I were you, I’d find that charger for your phone. I have a feeling that you might be getting a message pretty soon,” her friend replied mischievously. “Well, gotta go. See you tomorrow about five.,” she said, dashing out the door before Grace could say another word.

“Mom, Lee won’t get out of my room!” Grace yelled, her voice traveling down the stairs.

With a sigh, Grace started up the steps and heard Lee giggling hysterically.

Oh man, she thought, I’ve got to find that charger.

Cocktail Corner01 mocktail pic

Busy shopping, wrapping and socializing?

Kick back with a festive cocktail!

Recipe shared by Kim Hotzon:

Cuban Mojito

Recipe = single serving

  • 2-3 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar, or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup ice cubes, or more as needed
  • 1.5 – 2 fluid ounces white Bacardi rum
  • 4 1/2 ounces club soda

Place mint leaves, lime juice and sugar in bottom of a glass and muddle with a spoon until mint is crushed. Fill glass with ice cubes. Pour rum and soda over the ice; stir. Serve with stirring spoon and garnish with fresh lime wedge.

Optional: Muddle fresh blueberries, raspberries or blackberries in with mint, lime and sugar for a refreshing switch to this classic cocktail.

Optional: Replace club soda with 7-UP for a sweeter, fizzier drink

Holiday Memory CornerHoliday Memory Corner

Authors CD Hersh share their unforgettable holiday memory . . .

A Paper Christmas Tree

What do you do when you’re poor and don’t have the money for a Christmas tree?

Years ago when we were recently married college students, we were in that predicament. Not only did we not have a tree, we didn’t have much floor space to spare in our on-campus studio apartment. What we did have was access to hundreds of discarded, rectangular, IBM punch cards which Catherine liked to turn into paper wreaths. So, we got creative.

Using the IBM punch cards, some staples, a few cardboard rounds, and some string, we created a one-of-kind, paper Christmas tree that we hung from the ceiling.CDHersh-IBM Christmas Tree

We put the Christmas cards we received in the center of the wreaths as decorations.CDHersh-IBM Christmas Tree wth presents

After the holiday was over we pitched the paper tree (we had no storage room either), but the memories of that first Christmas tree linger—unique and precious like our love.

Recipe CornerxRecipe Corner

Company coming over? Author Tina Susedik dishes up her favorite holiday recipe:

Holiday Recipe:  Fruit Nut Sheet Bars

This is a recipe that was a favorite of my siblings (there are seven of us) as we grew up. I made it a few times for my husband and kids, but I’m the only one who ever ate them, so I stopped. Last year we were at one of my older sisters’ for a Christmas party. To my joy, there they were, sitting right on top of other bars. She said she was the only one who ate them, but since several of us siblings were coming, she made them. Ah, the joy of sitting with her, dipping the bars in hot chocolate, just like the old days.

Fruit Nut Sheet

Ingredients

1 cup chopped English walnuts

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/4 cup seedless dates – cut into small pieces

1 cup flour

3 eggs

1 tsp. baking powder

Powdered sugar

Beat sugar and eggs together. Dredge dates and walnuts in flour/baking powder mixture. Add to sugar and egg mixture. Pour into shallow, greased baking pan. Bake for 1/2 hour at 300 degrees. Cut and shake bars in powdered sugar until coated.

These tend to get hardened after a time, so dipping them in coffee or hot chocolate is a fun way to soften them up.

Music Corner

Listen up! Cheryl Yeko shares her favorite holiday song O’ Holy Night by Susan Boyle.

 

Craft CornerCraft Corner (2)

Looking for a simple craft to do with your children or grandchildren? Feeling crafty?

Crystal Firsdon shares an easy to do, festive DIY craft:

When I open the ornament box every year and see pictures of my family and how they looked 2 or 5 or more years ago, I love it. Photo ornaments are my favorite, and so easy to make yourself. I take a favorite family photo from the past year, or my kids’ school pictures, and glue the picture to the cover of an old Christmas card. I cut out the shape I want the ornament to be out of the card, punch a hole in the top, string some ribbon through the hole, and voila! Instant picture ornament. Getting it laminated will help keep it safe.

You can also glue the picture to some cool wrapping paper, then glue the wrapping paper to a piece of cardboard or other sturdy backing. And of course, there are lots of pre-made kits out there where you put the pieces together and then insert your picture. Those are great, too.

Decorating CornerDecorating-corner

Time to bring out the mistletoe! Author Beth Carter has a great decorating tip!

Fill a glass bowl with a bag of cranberries. Add water. The cranberries will float to the top. Add several white tea lights. These will also float. Enjoy this natural, pretty holiday decoration!

 

Holiday Card

What’s a holiday without a personalized card by one of your favorite authors?

Author Ryan Jo Summers shares her holiday wishes:Ryan-Jo-card

You can now purchase a copy of Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection!

Sizzle In The Snow Buy Link

Follow the authors’ blogs for a sneak peek of this wonderful collection!

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Focuses on

Blurb mania for

Sizzle in the Snow

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW_1800x2700 (2)

Looking for that special gift for the mother, sister, daughter, or cousin who likes to read romance? Here is a special Christmas book of eight great stories for less than a tall latte at Starbucks! Sizzle in the Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection has reached the top 100 Canadian anthologies.

Do want to know what each story is about… besides romance and Christmas? Well, here it is! (Authors’ name link to their website. If you like their blurb, check out their other books!)

SANTA BABY by Beth Carter

Unlucky-in-love Brooke Woods finds herself with a Christmas delivery and it isn’t from Santa. When her boyfriend leaves her for their neighbor, she heads to the nearest bar, meeting hunky, nice guy Anderson Bradley. The two only exchange first names, and their hot fling leaves them both wanting more but their anonymity makes that impossible.

Brooke never thought she’d end up in a hospital pregnant at Christmastime. Will a Santa Baby bring the new mother and father together or tear them apart?

SECOND CHANCES: A CHRISTMAS STORY by Amy Deason

When Grace Sellers needs to start over, she moves back to her old hometown with her two young children in tow. But the last person she expects to see is her high school crush, Michael Dennison.

Is this unexpected encounter a mere coincidence or a second chance at true love?

‘TWAS THE CRAZY NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS by Crystal Firsdon

“‘Twas the night before Christmas, when plans led to danger For Clara and Drew, who until now were strangers. As they run for safety, desire comes fast . . . Will they have each other, or is this night their last?”

KISSING SANTA by C.D. Hersh

Making love with Santa is “Number Nine” on Anna Noel’s holiday bucket list. Professional Santa, Sam S. Klaus, is willing to fulfill her wish.

Is kissing the Santa of her dreams worth the risk of ending up on the naughty list?

THE SNOW BIRD by Kim Hotzon

Lauren, a young single mother, is struggling to keep her children fed and a roof over their heads as the holidays approach.

Christmas is looking bleak until a sexy and wealthy property developer unexpectedly shows up in town, offering to repair her roof . . . and a whole lot more.

TAMED BY CHRISTMAS by Ryan Jo Summers

Years ago Paige and Shane experienced a tragic event in their romance. Unable to move past it, they broke up. Yet the passion remains, and she returns at Christmas time in an attempt to rekindle the love she and Shane once shared. It’s a rocky road, and it seems they might not succeed until a freak accident shows them what they really have to lose.

Can Shane tame Paige’s heart by Christmas? Or should they just let those still burning flames slowly die?

OPERATION SANTA by Tina Susedik

When Marci Hofer becomes fed up with the lack of attention from her husband, David, she decides to leave him. Devastated, he begins a campaign to bring her home. Calling it Operation Santa, he learns what he thought would be as simple as sending her gifts can backfire in the most embarrassing ways.

Will he survive the battle to get her back?

CHRISTMAS EVE SURPRISE by Cheryl Yeko

Steve knows he screwed up, but he’s determined to reclaim the woman he loves and the babies she carries.

But when he sweeps back into her life on Christmas Eve, Amy’s not sure she’s ready to forgive him for abandoning her six months earlier.

 

Buy link Sizzle in the Snow

 

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Newsletter/post

 

#7

 

Sizzle In The Snow:

 

A Soul Mate Christmas Collection

 

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW_1800x2700 (2)

Now Available

Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection of Eight steamy romances by eight Soul Mate Publishing authors . . .

SMP-logo

This Christmas season, Soul Mate Publishing and editor, Char Chaffin, presents Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection, an anthology now available on Amazon. Want to know what each story is about . . . besides romance and Christmas?

Well, here it is! Each author’s links to their websites. If you like their blurb, check out their other books!

 

Girl-in-Santa-hat-pointing

Welcome to our seventh newsletter in celebration of the release of

Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection.

Check your inbox every ten days for each newsletter. Inside you’ll find great decorating tips, recipes and cocktails, excerpts, craft ideas, song links, holiday memories, and personalized cards and poems by the authors!

Book CornerBook-corner

We promised a sneak peek, so here goes . . .

Author Beth Carter shares a blurb of her short story, Santa Baby!

SANTA BABY by Beth Carter

Unlucky-in-love Brooke Woods finds herself with a Christmas delivery and it isn’t from Santa. When her boyfriend leaves her for their neighbor, she heads to the nearest bar, meeting hunky, nice guy Anderson Bradley. The two only exchange first names, and their hot fling leaves them both wanting more but their anonymity makes that impossible.

Brooke never thought she’d end up in a hospital pregnant at Christmastime. Will a Santa Baby bring the new mother and father together or tear them apart?

 

Cocktail Corner01 mocktail pic

Busy shopping, wrapping and socializing?

Kick back with a festive cocktail!

Recipe shared by CD Hersh:

Picture #1

Mocktail recipe:

Cranberry Sangria by the glass (original recipe by C.D. Hersh)

For each 8-ounce champagne glass you will need:

1/4 cup brewed Hibiscus Watermelon tea (we use Republic of Tea brand)

1/8 cup brewed Chamomile honey and vanilla tea (we use Twinings brand)

Sparking apple cider

1 rounded TBS jellied cranberry sauce (smooth or whole berry)

Fresh fruits (grapes, whole cranberries, pineapple chunks, peeled sliced star fruit, or peeled kiwi—or fruits of your choice)

Short skewer or sizzle stick

Directions:

Thread fruits on a skewer or swizzle stick and set aside.

Place teas and cranberry sauce in the glass. Mix until sauce is dissolved.  Fill glass with sparkling apple cider. Enjoy!

Mock Champagne by the glass (original recipe by C.D. Hersh)

In an 8-ounce champagne flute, place ¼ cup white grape juice and 1/8 cup Chamomile tea. Fill glass with regular or diet ginger ale. To give the drink a holiday flare, add a slice of star fruit and a couple of whole, fresh cranberries to the glass before adding the liquids.

 

Holiday Memory CornerHoliday Memory Corner

Crystal Firsdon has an unforgettable holiday memory to share . . .

This holiday memory is more of a true story that’s been told for years. At 2 years old I was too young to remember when this happened. The story goes . . .

Christmas Eve in my family has always been celebrated at my maternal grandparents’ house with my mom’s side of the family. After a long evening of church, dinner, and presents, my parents brought my sister and me home only to discover someone had broken into our house by kicking in our back door. They ransacked the house and stole all our Christmas presents! (Side note: Yes, they ransacked the house, but the house was already a mess when they broke in. My mom was so embarrassed about the mess that when the police came, she blamed it all on the burglars—even the clothes thrown all over the bedroom floors.)

Christmas day was always spent at my paternal grandparents’ house with my dad’s side of the family, and by morning they had all heard what happened. My aunts and uncles snatched some of their own kids’ presents, changed the tags, and gave them to my sister and me so we’d have gifts to open from Santa on Christmas day.

A few days later the police caught who did it. They came to our house with a garbage bag filled with what they could recover, including a red velvet robe for my dad. (It was the 70’s, don’t judge.) I remember hearing stories that when they caught the man, he was wearing the robe. Nobody remembers if that part is true or not but my mom said the robe had obviously been worn when they got it back.

Luckily, none of my own Christmases that I remember have been that dramatic. I’ve grown up with that story and will someday pass it on to my own children when they’re old enough that it won’t scar them for life.

 

Recipe Corner

Company coming over? Author Ryan Jo Summers dishes up her favorite holiday recipe:

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min.

MAKES: 4 servings

Basil Halibut Steaks

02 salmon basil

  INGREDIENTS:

6 plum tomatoes, cut into 1-1/4 inch slices

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled

1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil

Water

4 halibut steaks (1 inch thick)

  TOPPING:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 cup soft bread crumbs

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil

2 tablespoons chopped ripe olives

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 each) equals 739 calories, 36 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 141 mg cholesterol, 492 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 87 g protein.

Directions

  1. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet; drizzle with oil. Wrap garlic in aluminum foil and place on the baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes or until edges of tomatoes are lightly browned and garlic pierces easily with a fork. Place tomatoes and garlic in a food processor or blender; cover and process until smooth. Add vinegar, basil and water to achieve desired thickness; set aside.
  2. Place halibut in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Combine mayonnaise and mustard; spread over fish. Combine bread crumbs, basil and olives; sprinkle over mayonnaise mixture and press down gently. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 20 minutes or until topping is golden brown and fish flakes easily with a fork. Spoon tomato sauce onto four dinner plates; top with fish. Yield: 4 servings.

 

Music CornerMusic Corner

Listen up! Tina Susedik shares her favorite holiday song:

Song Title: Mary, Did You Know?

By Pentatonix

 

Craft Corner

Looking for a simple craft to do with your children or grandchildren? Feeling crafty?

Amy Deason shares an easy to do, festive DIY craft:03 il_340x270.667243691_awgo

My DIY craft is not very expensive and is totally cute and fairly easy to make.

  • Shadow Box 
  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Vinyl Lettering
  • 1 1/2 packages of bells (any color, multiple colors might be festive)

**Your shadow box doesn’t have to say Jingle Bells. You can have it say anything you like: Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Let It Snow, etc. And for the interior, you don’t have to use bells. You can use whatever you want. The possibilities are endless. 

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Apply vinyl lettering to the outside of the shadow box.
  2. Place box upside down and fill with bells.
  3. Trim paper to approximately 9″ (9.25″ might actually work for the shadow box better).
  4. Place trimmed paper behind the bells and close the box.

There you go, now you have a beautiful Christmas craft to enjoy for years to come.

 

Holiday Card

What’s a holiday without a personalized card by one of your favorite authors? Author Kim Hotzon shares her holiday wishes:

04 holiday card

 

You can now purchase a copy of Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection!

Sizzle In The Snow Buy Link

Follow the authors’ blogs for a sneak peek of this wonderful collection!

 

Read Full Post »

Newsletter/post

 

#6

 

Sizzle In The Snow:

A Soul Mate Christmas Collection

 

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW_1800x2700 (2)

Available for pre-order

Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection of Eight steamy romances by eight Soul Mate Publishing authors . . .

SMP-logoThis Christmas season, Soul Mate Publishing and editor, Char Chaffin, presents Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection, an anthology available December 2nd on Amazon and Soul Mate Publishing. The featured authors and their stories include:

Girl-in-Santa-hat-pointing

 

Welcome to our sixth newsletter in celebration of the release of

Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection.

Check your inbox every ten days for each newsletter. Inside you’ll find great decorating tips, recipes and cocktails, excerpts, craft ideas, song links, holiday memories, and personalized cards and poems by the authors!

 

Book CornerBook-corner

We promised a sneak peek, so here goes . . .

Author Cheryl Yeko gives an excerpt of her short story, Christmas Eve Surprise!

She swung her legs back around and gave his chest a hard shove so she could get down, but he didn’t budge.

“Move,” she said with a glare. Trying not to admit to herself how good it was to see him again. He hadn’t changed. Except his crystal clear blue eyes were now clouded with worry. His full mouth pinched, a tense expression on his oh, so handsome face. His wavy dark hair was shorter than she remembered, but his sexy square jaw still looked as stubborn.

Staring into her eyes with a determined look, Steve slid three fingers between the buttons of her winter coat and lightly rubbed her belly. His other hand tucked a loose curl behind her ear. “Afraid not, sweetness. We need to talk.”

Her breath caught at both the feel of him touching her, and the sound of the endearment she’d thought never to hear again, bringing back all kinds of wonderful memories. But the hurt from his abandonment ran deep and she focused on that, and not on how great he looked or how good he smelled.

“There is no ‘we’ and I have nothing to say to you.”

Liar! She’d spent the last six months, two weeks, and a day thinking about nothing but what she would say to him if she ever saw him again. But now that he was here, standing before her, all she could think about was how she’d missed him, and how she wanted to run her fingers through his dark, wavy hair, just like she used to.

Pathetic!

But the way he looked at her with those piercing blue eyes still made her insides quiver and her breath catch. His well-muscled body was just as powerful as she remembered. And that mouth . . . God, the things he could do with that mouth.

The babies took that moment to start moving around again, and her belly undulated under his fingers. Dropping his gaze, Steve sucked in a deep breath and took a small step back. He brought both hands up to cradle her belly on the outside of her coat as the babies continued to play.

When his gaze rose to meet hers his eyes were filled with wonder, and just like that, her heart expanded with a feeling of love and affection for him.

Before she thought better of it, she said quietly, “I’d like you to meet your sons.”

 

Cocktail Corner01 hot toddy

Busy shopping, wrapping and socializing?

Kick back with a festive cocktail!

Recipe shared by Crystal Firsdon:

 

I don’t drink but once every few years or so. The last time I drank was because I went to a wine party and found myself in possession of a bottle of wine afterward. It took me a month to drink the darn thing because I only had one glass every Saturday evening for 4 weeks. And by glass, I mean coffee mug. I don’t own a wine glass. The only reason I was able to get the cork out was because I found a very old Swiss Army knife of my husband’s that happened to have a cork screw on it!

So for my Christmas cocktail, I asked my mom.  Here’s what she gave me:

Hot Holiday Toddy

1 shot of rum

5 oz. ginger ale

Mix it in a holiday themed mug and microwave for 20 seconds.

Repeat every half hour until you’re in the holiday spirit.

Holiday Memory CornerHoliday Memory Corner

Amy Deason has a heartwarming holiday memory to share . . .

My husband and I started dating in January of 2011 and by June of that same year, we knew that we belonged together. So in October 2011, we moved in together. One of my most favorite holiday memories is of Christmas 2011.

It was wonderful. The children and I baked cookies for Santa while Shaun kept sneaking in and stealing them.02 amy deason pic 1

Snuggled together on the couch, nibbling Christmas cookies and drinking got cocoa, we watched Christmas specials including Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, It’s Christmas Charlie Brown, and A Christmas Story.

Before bed, gathered on the floor beside the Christmas tree that we had decorated together, Shaun read The Night Before Christmas. Tucking the kids into bed, we knew they were so excited for Christmas morning. And we were too. We had a wonderful little family.

The next morning, the kids ran into our room and pounced on the bed, their voices happy and excited. We wanted to sleep in but there was going to be none of that with 3 kids on Christmas morning. What were we thinking, sleeping in?

One by one, we took turns opening presents and I, of course was taking a million pictures. While the kids and Shaun (the big kid that he is), played with all of the toys, I made a breakfast of pancakes, sausage, bacon, and eggs.

It was one of the most wonderful and special moments of my life. One that I will carry with me forever.

I hope that everyone has at least one holiday memory like this.03 amy deason pic 2

Merry Christmas,

Amy Deason

 

Recipe Corner

Company coming over? Author Kim Hotzon dishes up her favorite holiday recipe:

Homemade Cranberry Sauce04 cranberry sauce

1 12 ounce bag frozen or fresh cranberries

1 cup white sugar

1 cup orange juice

lemon zest

Rinse cranberries and place in saucepan along with sugar and orange juice. Add 2 teaspoons of lemon zest. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook mixture, stirring constantly, until cranberries ‘burst’, about 10 minutes. Lower heat and continue stirring until mixture thickens (approximately 10 minutes). Remove from heat and place in serving bowl. Garnish with lemon zest. Serve at room temperature. *Leftover cranberry sauce can be refrigerated for several days afterward.

 

Music CornerMusic Corner

Listen up! Ryan Jo Summers shares her favorite holiday songs:

Titles and Song Links:

 

Gloria Excelsis Dao link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLS6qZt9WLQ

Sleigh Ride https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OATi34PKNPw

Winter Wonderland https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5daQbThsDU

Snoopy vs The Red Baron  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxzg_iM-T4E

 

Craft Corner 05 beth craft

Looking for a simple craft to do with your children or grandchildren? Feeling crafty?

Beth Carter shares an easy to do, festive DIY craft:

My DIY is filling Pringles cans with home-made cookies and wrapping the cans with festive Christmas paper. I saw this suggestion on Facebook and think it’s a great idea!

 

Decorating CornerDecorating-corner

Time to bring out the mistletoe! Tina Susedik has some great decorating tips!

Decorating Idea: This one is very simple. Find a pair of skates – or like I did, use one that hasn’t seen ice in years. Tie the top of the laces together for hanging. In the skates, place pine cones, pine branches, holly, berries, etc. to decorate. You can use real or those found in craft stores. Hang on a door. I place mine on the wall beside our entryway door.

 

Holiday Card

What’s a holiday without a personalized card by one of your favorite authors? Authors CD Hersh share their holiday wishes:06 CDHersh-Card-1

 

christmas-holly-divider

Of course, as authors we love our readers, and we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to offer swag, free books, and a grand prize which was awarded to one lucky blog/newsletter follower!

Congratulations to our grand prize winner Brooke Patricia! Several other winners were chosen for free gift cards, books and prizes!stocking big

Grand Prize

Thank you to everyone for joining our Facebook Launch Party on November 19th!

If you missed the party, don’t worry! You can still enter giveaways and pre-order a copy of Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection by visiting and following the authors’ blogs! Follow the authors’ blogs for a sneak peek of this wonderful collection!

 

 

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Special Announcement

About

Sizzle in the Snow

We had our Facebook book launch party Thursday November 19th. A lot of folks attended and some great prizes were awarded. Our giveaway winners were:

            Tera Sindone, who won our Santa-themed giveaway package.

            Brooke Patricia, who won an eBook copy of The Promised One, the first book in our paranormal romance series The Turning Stone Chronicles.

Brooke had a great night as she was the recipient of the grand prize worth over $100. Congratulations!

Just before the party we got the pre-order buy link for Sizzle in the Snow. Hop on over and take a peek at the blurbs from all the novellas. This is a great buy with eight Christmas themed stories for the price of one.

We’ve learned that Sizzle in the Snow has reached #158 in anthologies. WHOO HOO!

 

In case you’ve managed to miss our excerpt from Kissing Santa here it is again for your enjoyment. It’s a fun story, if we do say so ourselves.

Anna Noel studied the trim backside of the Santa standing in front of her. He appeared younger than most of the Santas at the Santa Claus conference she’d chosen to attend this year. A lot more attractive than any Santa she’d ever met. For the briefest of moments she let her mind wander, lingering on Christmas wish number nine—make love to Santa. A heated flush climbed her chest as she envisioned the scene, and she flapped the jacket of her green elf costume to cool down.

Her gaze traveled over his hips, chest, and to the beginnings of a snow-white beard. Then to his shock of silver hair underneath the white-trimmed, red Santa hat.

Yep. Definitely a Santa she wanted to know. Too bad she wouldn’t be the elf to his mall Santa. They could get to know each other and more.

The conference registrar drew her out of her Christmas fantasy with a loud, “Miss? Are you with this Santa?”

“What? No. I don’t have a Santa. I’m here alone.”

Sexy Santa turned and held out his hand. “Me, too. I’m Sam S. Klaus.”

A smile curled her lips as she took his hand. “As in Sam Santa Claus?” His warm palm sent tingles through her fingers as he gently squeezed them.

A lopsided grin slanted his cheek upward, and he flashed a brilliant smile. “You have the same warped sense of humor as my parents.” He gave her a mock bow. “Sam S., for Santa, Klaus, with a K.”

“That’s your real name?” He let go of her hand. She fought to keep from grabbing it back. A real Santa Klaus? How great was that?

“The same, and you are?”

“An—” She stopped, suddenly unwilling to reveal her name. A rollercoaster of emotions raced through her, suggesting she might hit number nine with this Santa. If she did, and it didn’t go well, she wouldn’t want Sam Klaus to know her real identity. “An elf, who needs a Santa,” she said. “How about we team up? I’ll be your personal elfette, and you can be my Santa.”

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW_1800x2700 (2)

Pre-buy link for Sizzle in the Snow

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Special Reminder

 

Sizzle in the Snow Party

 

TODAY!

Launch party for the SMP Christmas anthology, SIZZLE IN THE SNOW 3-7 pm CST (4-8 pm EST). We’d love to see you there! The cyber party will be on our Facebook event page.

Here’s the link to join in the fun: https://www.facebook.com/events/1644447602494312/

 

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW: A SOUL MATE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION

Eight steamy romances by eight Soul Mate Publishing authors . . .SIZZLE IN THE SNOW_1800x2700 (2)

 

Grand prize is pictured below:stocking big

You must stop by for a chance to enter.

(Sorry, only folks with a lower 48 states address can win due to shipping costs.)

Don’t miss our upcoming Facebook launch party at https://www.facebook.com/events/1644447602494312/

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Wednesday Special Spotlight

Announces

Sizzle in the Snow Party

 

Our launch party for the SMP Christmas anthology, SIZZLE IN THE SNOW, is tomorrow, 3-7 pm CST(4-8 pm EST). We’d love to see you there! The cyber party will be on our Facebook event page. Here’s the link to join in the fun: https://www.facebook.com/events/1644447602494312/

November 19, 2015

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW: A SOUL MATE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION

Eight steamy romances by eight Soul Mate Publishing authors . . .SIZZLE IN THE SNOW_1800x2700 (2)

This Christmas season, Soul Mate Publishing and editor, Char Chaffin, presents Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection, an anthology available November 25th on Amazon and Soul Mate Publishing. The featured authors and their stories include:

christmas-holly-divider

You could win this grand prize!

stocking big

You must stop by for a chance to enter.

(Sorry, only folks with a lower 48 states address can win due to shipping costs.)

 

Don’t miss our upcoming Facebook launch party on November 19th (3-7 pm CST) (4-8 pm EST) with tons of goodies to giveaway! Party page is open so come by and find out a little more about the party https://www.facebook.com/events/1644447602494312/

 

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Newsletter/post

 

#5

 

Sizzle In The Snow:

A Soul Mate Christmas Collection

 

SIZZLE IN THE SNOW_1800x2700 (2)SIZZLE IN THE SNOW: A SOUL MATE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION of Eight steamy romances by eight Soul Mate Publishing authors . . .

SMP-logoThis Christmas season, Soul Mate Publishing and editor, Char Chaffin, presents Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection, an anthology available November 25th on Amazon and Soul Mate Publishing. The featured authors and their stories include:

Girl-in-Santa-hat-pointing

Welcome to our fifth newsletter/post in celebration of the release of Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection. Get ready as we unveil new surprises with each newsletter post, coming every ten days!

Follow this blog, any of the other authors blogs or subscribe to a newsletter. Inside you’ll find great decorating tips, recipes and cocktails, excerpts, craft ideas, song links, holiday memories, and personalized cards and poems by the authors!

Book CornerBook-corner

We promised a sneak peek, so here goes . . .

Author Tina Susedik gives an excerpt of her short story, Operation Santa!

How much trouble can a man get into while trying to win back his estranged wife?

In this scene, David has received the package of goodies he’d ordered for his wife. Things don’t go quite the way he planned.

David’s hand hovered over the last package. Long and thin, it contained items from Marci’s book. Resting on top of everything was a pair of pink, fuzzy handcuffs. He tore the plastic off and placed them on the bed next to the book he’d left on the covers last night.

One of the bottles of massage oil smelled of vanilla, the other something exotic and spicy he couldn’t identify. Shots of desire swept through him. A candle in the same scent made his head swim.

“Wow. What the hell do they put in this stuff?” He reached down and gave Bubbles another neck scratch. “Do ‘ya think she’ll like this?”

The cat perked up when he pulled out a pink feather tickler. She jumped on the bed.

“No, you don’t,” David said, setting her on the floor. He put the tickler back in the box.

A leather flogger, nipple clamps, mask, and edible underwear lay on the bottom. Then something caught his eye.

“What the hell? I didn’t order this.” He picked up the invoice.

‘Please accept this holiday gift with our compliments.’

He tore open the plastic bag. Two men’s thongs stared up at him, one a reindeer with a strategically placed red nose. The other was a snowman with a carrot nose, obviously designed to hold a man’s johnson.

David eyed the items before him. Should he? He hesitated. Why the hell not? No one could see him.

He removed his tighty-whities and slipped on the snowman thong. He wasn’t too sure how he liked the strip of fabric running up his crack, but he had to admit the sight of his johnson stuffed in the carrot was pretty funny. He hoped Marci would think so.

He took the chaps, put the waistband around his hips, and snapped it in place. He tied the strips of leather on the leggings behind his thighs and calves.

“Not bad,” he said, eyeing himself in the dresser mirror. He raised his arms and flexed his muscles. Pumping iron was paying off. He sucked in his gut. Not a six pack, but no flab, either. He swiveled his hips to the beat of the song on the radio, then turned sideways for a glimpse of his bare ass. Nope, no droop.

In the mirror’s reflection, he saw the handcuffs. He wondered how the soft, fuzzy feathers would feel on Marci’s wrists.

After reading the instructions, David set the keys on the dresser, checked the quick release on both cuffs, attached one to a metal bar of the headboard and the other to his wrist. He imagined Marci’s arms stretched above her head, writhing in passion as he ran the tickler up and down her naked body. With the blindfold in place, she wouldn’t know what he’d do next.

His cell phone buzzed, interrupting his dreams. He reached for the phone, but with his right hand cuffed, he couldn’t quite grasp it.

“Ah, the quick release.” With his left hand David pressed the clasp on the cuff attached to his wrist. Nothing. “Dammit!” He tried the one hooked to the bed. No click. No snap.

“The keys!” He turned to the dresser.

A clinking noise stopped him.

“Bubbles, stop,” he yelled as the cat batted at the jingling keys. “Here, Bubbles. Here, pretty kitty.” The keys dropped to the floor.

Stretching his leg and big toe, he nearly reached them. The flogger would help, but before he could use it, Bubbles picked the keys up in her teeth. With her head and tail held high like a queen, she trotted from the room.

“Come back here! Dammit, get your furry ass back here.” He stomped his foot.

David squeezed his eyes shut until tears formed. Thoughts of starving to death when no one came to his rescue flashed through his mind. He’d be nothing but bones attached to pink, fuzzy handcuffs. What could be more embarrassing?

christmas cocktailCocktail Corner

Busy shopping, wrapping and socializing?

Kick back with a festive cocktail!

Recipe shared by Amy Deason:

Christmas Cocktail

Ingredients:

1 shot of vanilla rum

1 shot white chocolate liqueur

1 shot peppermint schnapps

 Candy cane garnish

Directions:

Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker filled with ice.

Shake well, strain into a martini glass

Garnish with crushed Candy cane

 

Recipe CornerEra can

Company coming over? Authors CD Hersh dish up their favorite holiday recipe:

Holiday recipe

Grandma’s Sugar Cookies

By

C.D. Hersh

There’s an old ERA Potato Chip can that was handed down to Catherine by Donald’s family. The can always housed Grandma’s Christmas Sugar cookies. After Grandma’s death, her sons found a handwritten recipe for the cookies. When they discovered Grandma had written the recipe for Catherine, she got the can, the baking sheets, and even the leftover shortening Grandma used. Since Grandma’s death it has been Catherine’s job to fill that can—which she faithfully executes every Christmas, sometimes as late as Christmas Eve!

We hope you’ll enjoy this holiday treat as much as our family does.

Grandma’s Sugar Cookies

1 ½ cups white sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 cup buttermilk (you can use 1 cup regular milk plus 1 tsp. vinegar if you don’t have buttermilk)

1 tsp. baking soda

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

Eggs

4 cups flour or more to make a soft dough

Cream sugar, eggs, vanilla, and milk together. Add dry ingredients a cup at a time, mixing well until you have a soft dough. Cover the bowl, and let the dough stand overnight in the refrigerator. You can leave it in the refrigerator several days as long as it is tightly wrapped. On a floured board, using a floured rolling pin, roll out small portions of dough quite thin and cut with cookie cutters. Bake 5 minutes at 375 degrees. Cookies should be slightly browned on the bottom. Remove from the pan and cool on cookie racks.

NOTE: Grandma’s quite—thin directions are a bit tricky. We always roll a few, bake them, and then test eat to see if they are the right thickness. The cookie should be soft, but the dough well cooked. Naturally, it takes a few tries to get it right. About as many times as you want cookies to eat. J

This recipe makes a lot—if you don’t eat too many test cookies.  J Enjoy!

 

Music CornerMusic Corner

Listen up! Kim Hotzon shares her favorite holiday song:

Given that I’ve spent many Christmases in Mexico, not only do I associate this classic song with Christmas, but I appreciate the snappy, warmth of the tempo and lyrics.

Title: Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano

 

Craft Corner

Looking for a simple craft to do with your children or grandchildren? Feeling crafty?

Cheryl Yeko shares an easy to do, festive DIY craft:

HOW TO MAKE VICTORIAN LACE ORNAMENTS

This is an easy way to update those faded out glass ornaments and end up with something pretty and old-fashioned for your tree.

cheryl picYou’ll need:

Old, faded or spotty round glass ornaments (the colored glass ornaments shows though the lace and are really lovely)

White or cream colored lace material (at least a half-yard)

A dinner plate

Pretty ribbon, strings of seed pearls, pretty buttons, tiny silk flowers, etc.

Glue gun and Glue

Very thin ribbon for hanging or clean white string

Lay the lace out flat on any surface, then set the dinner plate face down on the lace and using the plate as a pattern, cut around it. Cut as many as you need, one for each ornament you want to cover.

Place a tiny dab of glue on the bottom of the ornament and then stick it dead center of the lace. Bring the lace up the sides of the ornament to cover it, gather the lace at the top of the ornament, then use some thin string to tie it off. You can trim the excess lace at the top if there is too much, but you want some extra at the top to fluff out (see picture).

Now, use your glue gun and your imagination to decorate your lace ornament. You can loop thin bead strings all around in a scallop, you can glue on any kind of flowers or greenery, add pretty buttons in a pattern. Anything you want to make your ornament unique.

Lastly, thread some thin ribbon or cotton string through the wire hoop at the top of the ornament, and tie it off so you can hang it from the tree!

 

Decorating Corner

Time to bring out the mistletoe! Ryan Jo Summers has some great decorating tips!

A few decorating suggestions, back from my craftier days:

  • First, a taper candle centerpiece. A dollar store tray on the bottom, filled with Styrofoam ring. Insert 12 white taper candles. Fill with dollar store or craft store holly, rosebuds, cinnamon bundles, pearls, pinecones and greenery. Add anything that seems Christmas-y to you.01 candle taper centerpiece
  • Second, cross stitch ornaments, stuffed with cotton batting and sewn/ glued to white fabric. Thick gold rope and red ribbon finish them off nicely.02 12 days cc ornaments
  • Third, paper mâché ornaments. Bought at craft store. Paint in variety of colors. I used pastels for some and shiny bold primary colors for the others. When dry, run a bead of glue along the edge and adhere glitter or use glitter glue like I did. Either way works.03 paper mache ornaments
  • Fourth, ceramic Santa Claus and raccoon pair around a Christmas tree. I painted these back when I was in love with ceramics. Can be bought at craft stores and fairly inexpensive to paint a few items.04 ceramic santas
  • Fifth, not my design but similar to one I did. A tree bouquet. Mine was set in a pretty basket, with greenery and candy canes all around. Topped with a pretty ribbon.05 Christms tree bouquet
  • Sixth, one I want to do as time allows. A horse head greenery wreath. Isn’t that too pretty not to want to make? I don’t have instructions but I’m betting it’s pretty simple, with greenery and wire mostly. And I also bet the instructions could be found online at some DIY blog. I find lots of great ideas on those DIY blogs.06 horse head evergreen wreath

Other decorating ideas I don’t do but have seen done well are:

  • to cover the pictures in the house or room with Christmas wrapping paper and pretty bows so they look like presents. They could be grouped or done singularly.
  • I love the look of presents so I save small boxes up like shoe boxes and wrap them in assorted paper and bows. At Christmas time, they make the room overflow with lovely presents. Afterward, they are an awesome place to store light strands, ornaments and surplus items. Then they all tuck carefully away in tote boxes in the garage till the next year.07 Muldoone's presents 11-27-12

Holiday Card

What’s a holiday without a personalized card by one of your favorite authors? Author Crystal Firsdon shares her holiday wishes:crystal firsdon card

You could win this grand prize! Follow the authors’ blogs for a sneak peek of this wonderful collection!

stocking big

Of course, as authors we love our readers, and we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to offer swag, free books, and a grand prize which will be awarded to one lucky blog/newsletter follower! For a chance to win these prizes, join the Facebook party and follow and join the author’s blogs!

Don’t miss our upcoming Facebook launch party on November 19th (3-7 pm CST) with tons of goodies to giveaway! https://www.facebook.com/events/1644447602494312/

 

 

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Friday Features

Spotlights

Kissing Santa

By

C.D. Hersh

When Sam S. Klaus, a professional Santa, has a fling with a beautiful elfette at a Santa Conference, he wants to make her Mrs. Klaus, but his intended disappears before Santa can pop the question.SIZZLE IN THE SNOW_1800x2700 (2)

Yes, our novella Kissing Santa is getting close to being released. In approximately two weeks the story will join seven other steamy Christmas stories by seven great Soul Mate Publishing authors in an anthology Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection. These stories and authors are:

Excerpt from Kissing Santa

Anna Noel studied the trim backside of the Santa standing in front of her. He appeared younger than most of the Santas at the Santa Claus conference she’d chosen to attend this year. A lot more attractive than any Santa she’d ever met. For the briefest of moments she let her mind wander, lingering on Christmas wish number nine—make love to Santa. A heated flush climbed her chest as she envisioned the scene, and she flapped the jacket of her green elf costume to cool down.

Her gaze traveled over his hips, chest, and to the beginnings of a snow white beard. Then to his shock of silver hair underneath the white-trimmed, red Santa hat.

Yep. Definitely a Santa she wanted to know. Too bad she wouldn’t be the elf to his mall Santa. They could get to know each other and more.

The conference registrar drew her out of her Christmas fantasy with a loud, “Miss? Are you with this Santa?”

“What? No. I don’t have a Santa. I’m here alone.”

Sexy Santa turned and held out his hand. “Me, too. I’m Sam S. Klaus.”

A smile curled her lips as she took his hand. “As in Sam Santa Claus?” His warm palm sent tingles through her fingers as he gently squeezed them.

A lopsided grin slanted his cheek upward, and he flashed a brilliant smile. “You have the same warped sense of humor as my parents.” He gave her a mock bow. “Sam S., for Santa, Klaus, with a K.”

“That’s your real name?” He let go of her hand. She fought to keep from grabbing it back. A real Santa Klaus? How great was that?

“The same, and you are?”

“An—” She stopped, suddenly unwilling to reveal her name. A rollercoaster of emotions raced through her, suggesting she might hit number nine with this Santa. If she did, and it didn’t go well, she wouldn’t want Sam Klaus to know her real identity. “An elf, who needs a Santa,” she said. “How about we team up? I’ll be your personal elfette, and you can be my Santa.”

Don’t miss our upcoming Facebook launch party November 19th on Facebook with tons of goodies to giveaway! Follow the authors’ blogs for a sneak peek of this wonderful collection! Come join us now at https://www.facebook.com/events/1644447602494312/ where we are talking about the party, and get the details.

 

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