12 Blogs of Christmas: Jordan Buchanan

JBuchananWelcome back! Today’s blogger is Jordan Buchanan. Jordan Buchanan was born and spent most of her life in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Now residing in northern Michigan, she misses the Shenandoah Valley but living in the home state of the mighty Detroit Red Wings helps ease the pain.

4Play, her debut publication, is a collection of erotic romance short stories. She is currently working on two novels — For Love or Money and Xander’s Garden.

When she’s not reading, writing, or watching hockey, she enjoys time spent with her charming husband and their three Lab mixes.

You can learn more about Jordan on Facebook or visit her blog, Erotica Blues.

Blog excerpt

Happy holidays to all and a huge thank you to Martin Crosbie for inviting me to be part of the 12 Blogs of Christmas. It’s quite an honor for me, a fledgling author, to be included in such accomplished company, and I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to share a tale of my Christmas past.

At an office holiday party a few years ago, I decided to forego the ubiquitous Santa hat and donned a fur-trimmed tiara instead. One of my co-workers dubbed me the “Queen of Christmas,” but I’m merely a pretender to the throne, a princess at best. The title was always owned by my mother who reigned over our family Christmas party like a benevolent dictator. She did all the decorating, the cooking, the cleaning—everything necessary for us to eat, drink and be merry. She provided the playground; we came to play. [Read more…]

Tune in tomorrow for our next blogger, Cate Pedersen.

Miss one of the days? Here are the blogs posted so far:

Dec. 13   Ellen Chauvet

Dec. 14   Sarah Lane

Dec. 15   Keith Baker

Dec. 16   Virginia Gray

Dec. 17   Gordon Long

Dec. 18   RJ Crayton

Dec. 19   Jennifer Ellis

Dec. 20   Laurie Boris

Dec. 21   Heather Haley

12 Blogs of Christmas: Heather Haley

Heather Susan Haley by Derek von EssenHappy Monday and welcome back! Today’s blogger is Heather Haley. Trailblazing poet, author and media artist Heather Haley pushes boundaries by creatively integrating disciplines, genres and media. Her writing appears in numerous journals and anthologies including the Antigonish Review, Geist and The Verse Map of Vancouver. Haley was an editor for the LA Weekly and publisher of the Edgewise Cafe, one of Canada’s first electronic literary magazines. She is the author of poetry collections Sideways, Three Blocks West of Wonderland, and debut novel, The Town Slut’s Daughter. Haley’s videopoems are official selections at dozens of international film festivals and she’s toured Canada, the U.S. and Europe in support of two critically acclaimed AURAL Heather CDs of spoken word song.

 

Heather’s blog, One Life

Follow Heather on:
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FIRST CAME MARY

Before hate. In spite of war. A few years back I was fortunate to visit the Yucatan, now referred to as the Mayan Riviera. An anthropology buff, I was thrilled to tour the ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itza . It was Christmas and I was astonished by the degree of Maryolotry, the inspiration for this poem from my collection Three Blocks West of Wonderland.

It bears repeating, especially… [Read more]

Tomorrow’s blogger: Jordan Buchanan

Miss one of the days? Here are the blogs posted so far:

Dec. 13   Ellen Chauvet

Dec. 14   Sarah Lane

Dec. 15   Keith Baker

Dec. 16   Virginia Gray

Dec. 17   Gordon Long

Dec. 18   RJ Crayton

Dec. 19   Jennifer Ellis

Dec. 20   Laurie Boris

Dec. 21   Heather Haley

12 Blogs of Christmas: Jennifer Ellis

JenniferEllisWelcome back! Today’s blogger is Jennifer Ellis. Jennifer lives in the mountains of British Columbia where she can be found writing, hiking, skiing, borrowing dogs, and evading bears. She also works as a climate change researcher, evaluator and strategic planner. She has wanted to be a writer since she first read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and didn’t want to come out of the wardrobe.

Jennifer writes science fiction, romance and dystopian fiction for children and adults, including In the Shadows of the Mosquito Constellation and A Pair of Docks, which was a bestseller in children’s time travel fiction. She has also contributed to several anthologies, most notably Synchronic: 13 Tales of Time Travel, which hit #16 in the Kindle Store.

You can subscribe to her blog for writing tips, industry insights, and two free short stories at www.jenniferellis.ca, and check out her writing on Amazon at: http://bit.ly/jenniferellis. She tweets about writing, cats, and teenagers at @jenniferlellis.

Excerpt

I’m once again participating in the 12 Blogs of Christmas with eleven other writers, organized by Martin Crosbie. As part of the event, we are to write about—not surprisingly—Christmas. Many of the other eleven bloggers have written about fond or funny memories of Christmas. Last year, I wrote about my fraught relationship with Christmas—acknowledging the magic of Christmas but also the busy-ness, commercial aspects, and guilt associated with Christmas (we have so much, and so many people have so little). So I can’t do that again. Most of my stories about Christmas go something like… we got too much, ate too much, spent too much (even though we don’t spend that much), stressed about a turkey, and were really happy to be able to go skiing and eat leftovers on Boxing Day.

I exaggerate. I’m sure I’ve had some nice Christmases, but since I’m often up to my elbows in a turkey, and have not had any famous disasters, they are not the stuff of stories. Then again, my memory is famously poor—all that living half the time in another world. This year I’ll be sure to burn the turkey, so I have something to tell you about next year (Hmm, I’m getting a strong turkey vibe here. It might be time to start serving Christmas steak).

To me, Christmas is about gratitude and reflection on a year gone by. In an effort to dredge up some Christmas spirit (and not seem like cross between Eeyore and the Grinch—I promise I’m actually not—Christmas commercials make me cry), I decided to do a post on the 12 writing things I’m most grateful for this Christmas. That’s not to imply that there are not a lot of non-writing things I am grateful for (there are so many of those things), but this is a writing blog (and I think this sentence is a triple-negative) so… [Read more…]

Tomorrow some author named Laurie Boris is sharing a Christmas story. 

Miss one of the days? Here are the blogs posted so far:

Dec. 13   Ellen Chauvet

Dec. 14   Sarah Lane

Dec. 15   Keith Baker

Dec. 16   Virginia Gray

Dec. 17   Gordon Long

Dec. 18   RJ Crayton

 

12 Blogs of Christmas: RJ Crayton

RJ Crayton photo

Welcome back! Today’s blogger is RJ Crayton.

RJ Crayton is a little young lady who writes fiction when she’s not parenting her two children or wifing her one husband. She writes about characters in peril, who sometimes find a moment for romance. Crayton is occasionally humorous, often right, and always curious. She loves the Christmas season and baking. Due to her severe cupcake addiction, Crayton tries to avoid baking cupcakes, except during the holidays. (As an aside, for the perfect mesh of holiday cheer and cupcakes, check out this recipe.) Crayton has published a three-book dystopian series (Life First), a book on self publishing and a short story collection about motherhood. She also is a contributor at Indies Unlimited, a site for independent publishers. In 2016, Crayton plans to release a novel about a deadly virus and a humorous book on motherhood. You can learn more about her at http://www.rjcrayton.com.

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RJCrayton_12Blogs_PostPic_Dec18The Place for Humbug During the Holiday Season

Bah, humbug!

There, I said it.

I know. It’s the Christmas season. Everything is warm and fuzzy like in greeting cards, sappy viral videos and TV movies. Only, it’s not all warm and fuzzy all the time, because greeting cards and video specials aren’t real life. Everyone feels like saying, “Bah, humbug,” at least once during the holiday season. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

It’s not that the season isn’t full of joy. It’s just that the season is also full of commitments — clashing office holiday parties, school parties, recitals, plays, church performances, family gatherings, and the list goes on and on. Sometimes you just want to shout, “Bah, humbug,” hop into bed, and huddle under the covers with a flashlight and your favorite book. (Those old enough to remember may even want to hop into a tub, and shout, “Calgon, take me away.”)

So, this is just a little post to remind you that you get to have a “Bah, humbug” moment or two this holiday season. Not everything will go the way you want it to. There’s someone you’ll want to see, who you can’t see. You’ll have family you don’t want to see, who you have to see.

… Read the rest of this article here.

Up next: Jennifer Ellis

Miss one of the days? Here are the blogs posted so far:

Dec. 13   Ellen Chauvet

Dec. 14   Sarah Lane

Dec. 15   Keith Baker

Dec. 16   Virginia Gray

Dec. 17   Gordon Long

12 Blogs of Christmas: Gordon Long

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Welcome back! Today’s blogger is Gordon Long. Brought up in a logging camp with no electricity, Gordon Long learned his storytelling in the traditional way: at his father’s knee. He spends his time editing, publishing, travelling, sailboat racing and writing fantasy and social commentary, although sometimes the boundaries blur.

Gordon lives in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, with his wife, Linda, and their Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Josh. When he isn’t publishing, he works on projects with the Surrey Seniors’ Planning Table.

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A Cold Canadian Christmas

My transportation for the Christmas of 1967 was Dad’s 1958 Mercury pickup. It was one of the first “full box” pickups, instead of the old “step sides,” and I thought it was pretty classy. Think of the picture above with a front bumper and a two-tone paint job: white above, teal below. I was home from university, and Dad was out of the bush because it was too cold to work, so I was pretty well free to drive it around. Loggers can’t work below about -30 because metal gets so brittle that equipment breaks. It’s rather hard on people, too.

Yes, the Christmas of 1967 was rather cold. I came home from visiting friends on Boxing Day, and the weather report said it was going to be -60F that night (That’s -51 for you Celsius types). I plugged in the block heater of the pickup and waited for that reassuring gurgle that told me it was working.

No gurgle. [Read more…]

Gordon has published two books this Christmas:

“Mountains of Mischief” Book 3 in the World of Change series

“Storm over Savournon” a novel of the French Revolution

Tomorrow’s blogger: RJ Crayton

Miss one of the days? Here are the blogs posted so far:

Dec. 13   Ellen Chauvet

Dec. 14   Sarah Lane

Dec. 15   Keith Baker

Dec. 16   Virginia Gray

 

12 Blogs of Christmas: Virginia Gray

IMG_9021_4044 WEB copyHappy Wednesday! Virginia Gray is a bestselling women’s fiction novelist. A former university professor, she stepped away from academics to pursue a writing career. She is a great lover of humor, music, and all things food, and is best known for The Susan Wade Saga. You can read more about Virginia on her website.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

I wasn’t always so sure. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to believe—very badly, in fact. I also wanted to believe in the stories I read. I wanted to know for sure that there had been a Middle Earth, where hobbits and wizards and dragons ran amuck. I prayed that Narnia existed, and that I might be lucky enough to discover one of its secret passages—they’re everywhere, you know. I truly hoped there were wrinkles in time, and that I might be called upon to save our very universe. I wanted to believe in magic! Read more…

See you tomorrow with Gordon Long.

Miss one of the days? Here are the blogs posted so far:

Dec. 13   Ellen Chauvet

Dec. 14   Sarah Lane

Dec. 15   Keith Baker

 

12 Blogs of Christmas: Keith R. Baker

Keith R. BakerWelcome back! Today’s blogger is Keith R. Baker. In addition to being an avid history and genealogy buff, Keith has been an avid outdoorsman his entire life. He has a variety of hats in the business world after completing two periods of duty with the US Navy.  His hobbies apart from reading and research include shooting, teaching others the basics of gun safety and handling. Until recently he took an active role in local and regional politics as a public speaker and campaign consultant.

Keith and his wife Leni have enjoyed living several places in the US, including Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and Montana. They have two adult children, two adult foster children and nine grandchildren scattered around the country. www.keithrbaker.com

Fire in the Snow

The big man’s boot carefully kicked aside a remaining hunk of what appeared to be a roof rafter. Burnt nearly to ash, it had almost no weight to it. Still, it was best to be careful. Any of the smoldering pile of debris that had been their family home could yet be white-hot. He didn’t need a burnt foot; he had enough trouble already.

Rob Finn’s young family had few enough possessions before the fire. Now, it seemed, they had none. Farming their tiny acreage had barely provided enough food in the good times. Along with everything else they’d lost, even their supply of necessary food stuffs were gone. What would they do? Read more…

Links

Amazon Author Page
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Current Promotion:

Read about Rob Finn and his family in the Longshot series, beginning with Longshot In Missouri, price reduced through Christmas, here.

Hope to see you tomorrow when Virginia Gray will be our featured blogger.

Miss one of the days? Here are the blogs posted so far:

Dec. 13   Ellen Chauvet

Dec. 14   Sarah Lane

 

 

The 12 Blogs of Christmas

12 Blogs of Christmas (2)Hi, everyone!

I’m so excited to be part of the 12 Blogs of Christmas, and thank you to my friend Martin Crosbie for setting up this blog-hop party for the second year. Twelve days, twelve blogs, twelve authors. We start on December 13. Nothing to sign up for, no fancy randomizer rafflecopter gizmos. Just great writing. I hope you enjoy our stories and memories.

Here’s the lineup. Each day I’ll post a bit about each author, an excerpt from his or her post, and a link where you can read the rest. Happy holidays!

Dec. 13   Ellen Chauvet

Dec. 14   Sarah Lane

Dec. 15   Keith Baker

Dec. 16   Virginia Gray

Dec. 17   Gordon Long

Dec. 18   RJ Crayton

Dec. 19   Jennifer Ellis

Dec. 20   Laurie Boris

Dec. 21   Heather Haley

Dec. 22   Jordan Buchanan

Dec. 23   Cate Pedersen

Dec. 24   Martin Crosbie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Blogs of Christmas – Roberta Kagan

Roberta Kagan photoToday’s 12 Blogs of Christmas contribution comes from Roberta Kagan.

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Hey Everyone! Today, I am the featured blogger. It is a true honor to be included in a program with such talented authors. Although my little story is embellished, some of it is actually true. I hope it brings you a little joy this holiday season, God Bless all of you, Roberta Kagan

 

Roberta’s Bio:

Roberta Kagan is an American writer of Jewish and Romany decent. She writes Historical Fiction and Historical Romance, most of which is set during the holocaust. Although she never discounts the horrors of the time period, the main focus of her work is on ordinary people who prove to be strong heroic characters in unfathomable circumstances.

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Bubby’s Christmas Angels

“Come, I’m going to tell you a story. A Christmas story.” My grandmother said as she sat in the thick upholstered chair on the side of the picture window in the living room. I tried to rush by. I was far too excited to sit and listen to anything. It was Christmas day and my aunt had just given me a gift. A gift I’d been hoping and praying for, a very special doll, and I wanted to play with it.

“You don’t want to hear a story? You’d rather go and play with your present?”

“Yes, Bubby.” Although Bubby is a Jewish term for grandmother, I called both of my grandmothers Bubby. My Romany Grandmother didn’t mind. In fact, I think she liked it. “I finally got the Shirley Temple doll that I wanted. I’ve been hoping for this for so long and I want to play with her. She came with three outfit changes too!”

My Bubby nodded. “I see. Well, it is your choice, but I think you’ll like my little tale, it’s a good story. It’s a story about a present that I got long ago. A present from God himself. “

I looked at her a little confused, a present from God? It was true that Bubby did always tell great stories. And usually I loved to sit and listen. I looked into her eyes, considering her offer.

More

Books and Links:

Series:
All My Love, Detrick: A Historical Novel Of Love And Survival During The Holocaust (All My Love Detrick Book 1)
You Are My Sunshine: A Novel Of The Holocaust (All My Love Detrick Book 2)
Promised Land (All My Love Detrick Book 3) due out January 2015

Other Books:
The Voyage: A Historical Novel set during the Holocaust, inspired by real events
A Flicker of Light
The Heart Of A Gypsy (A Historical Romance set in Nazi Germany)
The Gypsy Witch
A Nazi On Trial In God’s Court
Lilith Rising, 1969: A Coming of Age Novel

Amazon Central Page

Website: RobertaKagan.com

Facebook Author Page

Fan Book Club Group- Facebook

Blog

Why Not a Duck?

GobblePearl Luke is a lovely, generous woman. A bunch of years ago, she published one of my favorite short stories, Why Not a Duck, on her website, Be a Better Writer. As the calendar flipped to November, I thought about that story, which takes place on Thanksgiving. In the spirit of the mission of the site, I had, over those years, become a better writer, and I wanted to revise the tale. Pearl was nice enough to republish my revision. Here it is…

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Why Not a Duck?

“Holiday Help Line, this is Matthew. How can I help you?”

“I’m going to slit my wrists,” she said. “I hate Thanksgiving. I hate that the Christmas decorations have been up in the stores since Halloween. I hate the Macy’s parade and the Rockettes and cooking and cleaning and the men sitting on their asses watching football and I swear, when the sweet potatoes are done I’m taking the biggest knife I have and…”