12 Blogs of Christmas: Martin Crosbie

web pic with christmas tree 2Last but certainly not least, today’s blogger is Martin Crosbie. In a press release, Amazon called Martin Crosbie one of their success stories of 2012. His self-publishing journey has been chronicled in Publisher’s Weekly, Forbes Online, and Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper. He’s the author of six books including the Kindle Scout winner The Dead List – A John Drake Mystery.

Martin was born in the Highlands of Scotland and currently makes his home just outside Vancouver, on the west coast of Canada.

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Last year on the night after Christmas, even though it had been an exceptionally busy day, I drove a car-load of family members around the streets of our town. For two and a half hours we drove up and down roads searching out the brightest, most illuminating lights on people’s houses and lawns. My eighty-six year old passenger in the back seat, wrapped in a blanket and clutching a mug of hot chocolate, smiled the whole time and asked me pull over and look at every light on every street. Two days later we took her into hospital and three weeks after that we lost her.

Doreen Clark was diagnosed with cancer when she was thirty years old. It was a form of cancer that took ninety-five percent of its victims. She beat it. In the following fifty-six years she lost a kidney, suffered heart failure, lost the ability to walk without a walker and overcame it all. She beat everything that was thrown at her. Some people are resilient, she was more than that. She was unbreakable.

Click here to read more…

Thank you for coming along on our 12 Blogs of Christmas tour. If there are any posts you missed, here’s a list of all of our contributors. I wish you a safe, peaceful, and happy holiday season.

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 – Martin Crosbie

web pic with christmas tree 2Our 12th Blog of Christmas is written by bestselling author, Martin Crosbie.

Martin lives on the west coast of Canada and has written five books including Amazon bestseller My Temporary Life. His popular Christmas novel Believing Again: A Tale Of Two Christmases is available in e-book format in the US and UK as a Kindle Countdown Deal from Dec. 24-27 for only 99 cents.

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Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘Change for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

Those delicious words open the Dickens classic. Previous to the publication of A Christmas Carol, Christmas was barely recognized. Although it was a holiday it didn’t have the romantic vibe that it has today. Mr. Dickens and his novel changed all that. And, if he’d waited for his publisher to release the book it may never have happened.

Charles Dickens wrote his masterpiece in six weeks. Somehow he was able to channel the story and get the words on paper (or parchment probably) in less than two months. At that time he was suffering financially. His wife was pregnant with their fifth child and the wolves were closing in on their door. His previous novel had not sold well and when he submitted his new manuscript (after having it beta-read surely), to his publishers they were slow to warm to it. I’m not sure how rejection letters were sent out in 1853 but his publishers indicated that they were not interested in publishing the story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s epiphany. Anxious to have the book released by Christmas Dickens went the print-on-demand route and self-published. He hired his own illustrator and contracted his publisher to print the books. And, he did the legwork himself. Then, in those very, pre-Konrath days he decided to lower the price to five shillings – a price that most folks would be able to afford. He wanted his book to be read and perhaps he even thought that readers might enjoy his other works if they liked his Christmas tale.

Read More…

Thank you for reading our 12 Blogs of Christmas. A joyous and peaceful season to you!

12 Blogs of Christmas: Wendy McClelland

Wendy McClelland photoWelcome back! Our next contributing writer to the 12 Blogs of Christmas is Wendy McClelland.

Wendy McClelland is a business pioneer; as one of the first small businesses to get online in the mid 1990s, her first website was chosen by the NY Times as “one of the best biz sites on the ‘net”. She is an award-winning entrepreneur as well as a past nominee for “Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year”. She has spoken to over 10,000 people in live audiences throughout western Canada and the U.S. Wendy’s newest project is her book “27 Steps to Freedom – What Learning to Walk Again Taught me About Success in Business & Life” is a story of rebuilding her life after a near fatal illness. You can buy Wendy’s book and get 17 BONUSES with purchase – http://27stepstofreedom.com/book-launch-bonuses/

I’m really thrilled Martin Crosbie asked me to participate with him and eleven great authors to share Christmas stories.

I’m honored to be working with ML GardnerDianne GreenlayRJ Crayton, Jennifer EllisHelga ZeinerRoberta Kagan Author, Heather HaleyJamie Lee ScottSarah Lane and Laurie E. Boris.

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A Christmas Love Story (12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop) by Wendy McClelland

I remember 1967 really well. It was Canada’s centennial – our country was 100! My parents had a fun backyard BBQ party and the whole neighbourhood came. The party went on well into the early hours of the morning. I’ll never forget seeing my parents dance together. We never know when we are experiencing something for the last time – especially as a child. That would be the last summer my mother would be alive.

As the fall approached, I started back to school and was a carefree eight year old, with three younger siblings. My parents Brian and Eileen adored each other and loved us. They were both originally from the UK, but had met in Toronto at a house party. When my dad first saw her he turned to his friend and said, “I’m going to marry that girl.” Sure enough, less than a year later they were married.

Ten years and four children later they were building a life together. Then in early winter, my mom began to feel ill, by late November she was gone. She had been feeling tired and went to the doctor. He asked her to wait in his office, called my dad at his office and had him come in. He told my mom she had leukemia and had less than two weeks to live! Can you imagine? You are only thirty years old, and have four children under eight years old. I remember feeling like the bottom had fallen out of my child’s world, I cannot imagine what she felt.

Read more…

Links:

Amazon Author Page (all books):  http://www.amazon.com/author/wendymcclelland

Facebook Fan Page (daily inspiration and motivation) http://www.Facebook.com/WendyJMcClelland

Websites: http://www.WendyMcClelland.com               http://www.27StepstoFreedom.com

 

 

 

12 Blogs of Christmas – Dianne Greenlay

Dianne Greenlay photoToday’s 12 Blogs of Christmas contribution is from Dianne Greenlay. Take it away, Dianne.

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Hello everyone! I’m delighted (and more than just a little bit in awe) to be part of this group of talented and very entertaining authors in our “12 Blogs of Christmas”, conceived and assembled by my friend and bestselling author Martin Crosbie. By now, you have met several of these brilliant authors, and today it’s my turn to entertain.

I’m the author of the award winning action/adventure QUINTSPINNER SERIES , and also of THE CAMPING GUY , a humorous short story, which is an award winner in its theatre script version. I live and write on the Canadian prairies, home (most years) to 6 or 7 months of winter. Yeah, we never put our parkas away, just in case. (Is it any wonder that I fantasize and write about pirates and adventure in the sun splashed tropics?)

I chose to write my first novel over learning to play the bagpipes, and my husband is grateful. I love to hear from my readers and you can find me at www.diannegreenlay.com, or on twitter at https://twitter.com/DianneGreenlay or even at my Author page .

And now onto my Christmas blog. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday filled with good friends, good luck, and good books!

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Getting Into The Christmas Spirit …

Bah, Humbug!

To steal that popular line, it is Hot Stuff Hubby’s summation of what he also refers to as “a Hallmark Holiday”. The rest of us call it Christmas.

For anyone who has anything for sale, the Christmas retail season is like bottled oxygen to an astronaut in a Space Station – absolutely necessary in order to survive the rest of the year.

Not a particularly religious man, Hot Stuff nevertheless laments the overshadowing of the original intent of fellowship and gratitude of the season, with that of a glut of retail activity.

Personally, I love the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. I think I must have been a magpie in a former life because I love all things sparkly – twinkling lights, reflective ornaments, the ropes of flashy tinsel, diamonds (ahem, are you reading this, Hot Stuff?), and such.

I love Christmas music, especially the more traditional carols and hymns perfectly harmonized and performed by choirs – I feel no shame in humming along out loud as they are pumped out of the speakers in the mall stores; I thrive on the smells of Christmas baking – sugar and cinnamon, butter and raisins, warm gingerbread – and can often be seen hanging out around the local bakery counter until the clerks get a little nervous at my continuous presence; and I take personal pride in decorating my home and yard as though it were a marker for NASA to be easily seen from outer space.

But this year is a little different. You can read more and find out why here.

12 Blogs of Christmas – Sarah Lane

Sarah Lane photoToday’s 12 Blogs of Christmas contributor is Sarah Lane.

Sarah Lane is the author of The God of My Art, a quarter finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. The God of My Art is the coming-of-age story of a young artist for whom a summer fling awakens the dream of a more creative life. Lane’s other fiction and poetry have appeared in The Antigonish Review, Roar Magazine, and Quills: Canadian Poetry Magazine.

Lane is currently writing a psychological thriller about a salsa dancer and her doppelgänger. To be the first to know when it comes out, sign up to her new release mailing list.

To learn more about Lane’s writing, visit www.sarahlanebooks.com

A note from Sarah: A big round of applause for Martin Crosbie for coming up with this great idea and recruiting everyone. I feel honoured to be a part of such a talented pool of writers.

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Morning Light

I.

The leaves are falling, clumping on pavement, wet and mute
like the beat of lips, fluttering with a whisper in the rainstorm
black like mascara streaming down a throat, waft of a secret
curling under earlobes to the small of a neck, drizzling into the
chaos of hair and drift of fingers down the meridian of spine

II

When we close our eyes we forget our continents, yellow
silk of the setting sun, sheen of snow under moonlight, the sweet
spice of a foreign accent, damp warmth of a strange tongue pooling its
syllables behind our lips, this contrast of skin where we sit, side by side,
legs swinging off the bed in the hush of the morning light

(Read the rest of the poem on Sarah Lane’s website…)

12 Blogs of Christmas – Helga Zeiner

Helga Zeiner photoToday’s edition of the 12 Blogs of Christmas is from Helga Zeiner.

Helga Zeiner is a German-born Canadian author. She left her home town Augsburg at age 18 to explore the world. In the following 14 years she has lived and worked in Australia and Asia. Her amazing experiences in those foreign countries are woven into all her thrilling novels.

Since 2004 she has lived with her husband on a country estate in the wilderness of British Columbia, devoting all her time to writing.

Helga Zeiner has published six novels in German and two in English. She is currently writing her third English thriller.

And with that…here’s Helga’s post.

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My Christmas Mistakes

Yes, I admit it, I make mistakes. Rarely, but still. As well organized as I am, it seems ridiculous that slip-ups in my planning might affect the most glorious time of the year, one that needs careful attention to detail and thoughtful consideration of all people involved. Family and friends deserve the best, right?

When my friend, the wonderful writer Martin Crosbie included me in his 12 Blogs of Christmas, I immediately jumped at the chance to interact with a group of great authors, and looked forward to write my contribution. Then… nothing! Words eluded me. Me! A writer! Everything that is nice and heart-warming about Christmas has already been written, I thought. But what about the Christmases (is that really the correct plural?) which didn’t go according to plan?

Read on…

Links:

http://helgazeiner.com/en/blog/

Twitter: @HelgaZeiner

Facebook: Helga Zeiner author

Amazon.com links:

Section 132

Birthdays of a Princess

Tomorrow our 12 Blogs of Christmas guest will be…me!

 

12 Blogs of Christmas – Jennifer Ellis

Jennifer Ellis photoToday’s installment of the 12 Blogs of Christmas comes from author Jennifer Ellis.

Jennifer lives in the mountains of British Columbia where she can be found writing, spending too much time on skis, and working as an environmental researcher. She has two boys, an eighteen-year-old cat, and a husband who doesn’t want a dog. She has been known to read tarot cards and spring surprise walks on unsuspecting neighborhood dogs. She has wanted to be a writer since she first read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and did not want to come out of the wardrobe.

Her Derivatives of Displacement series is science fiction fantasy for middle-graders (and adults). Books one and two are available, and book three is coming in 2015. She also writes adult fiction with a dystopic edge including In the Shadows of the Mosquito Constellation and her upcoming release Reversal, set in the Apocalypse Weird world. She has also contributed to several anthologies, most notably Synchronic: 13 Tales of Time Travel, which hit #16 in the Kindle Store.

A Pair of Docks, Book One in her Derivatives of Displacement series is available for 99 cents through Christmas.

You can subscribe to her blog for the latest book news and industry insights at www.jenniferellis.ca. She tweets at @jenniferlellis.

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12 Days of Christmas Blog – What Christmas Means

When Martin Crosbie first invited me to be part of the 12 Blogs of Christmas with eleven other writers of course I said yes. I love blogging, I love Christmas, and I love other writers.

As the date approached for me to prepare my blog, a few problems emerged: 1) How much can be said about Christmas that hasn’t been said already; 2) How am I going to write an amazing post that compares to the efforts of the other participating bloggers who are also writers; 3) A huge number of work and writing deadlines all packed together like coupled rail cars wending their way through my December; 4) The deaths of a friend’s mother, and a friend’s son; 5) The usual stresses of life and winter—ailing mother, geriatric cat, viruses abounding in my children’s school and in our house; and the more creeping and interesting realization 6) Do I really love Christmas?

I have always had somewhat of a yo-yo relationship with Christmas…

Read more…

Links

www.jenniferellis.ca

Amazon Author Page (with all my books)

A Pair of Docks

In the Shadows of the Mosquito Constellation

Synchronic: 13 Tales of Time Travel

Manifest (on Barnes and Noble)

Manifest (on Kobo)

Current Promotions

A Pair of Docks is 99 cents through the holidays.

Tomorrow’s blogger…Helga Zeiner

 

12 Blogs of Christmas – Jamie Lee Scott

Jamie Lee Scott photoWelcome back! Today’s 12 Blogs of Christmas contribution comes from Jamie Lee Scott. 

Jamie Lee Scott is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Gotcha Detective Agency mysteries, and Uncertain police procedural mysteries. Originally from the Central Coast of California, Jamie was swept off her feet by a dashing Iowa farm boy and moved to the Midwest. After several years of running a restaurant with her husband, she felt the urge to kill people. Rather than going postal, she decided to start writing fiction. No One Knows, Jamie’s short screenplay, was sold in 2012, and made the film festival rounds in 2013-14. No One Knows has been nominated for multiple awards, and won its category at the Bare Bones Film Festival. She lives on a small farm with her family, 2 dogs, 2 cats and 3 horses. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s riding horses and competing at barrel races.  

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I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas, NOT!

First, I want to thank Martin Crosbie for inviting me to be a part of the 12 Days of Christmas blog gathering for 2014. It’s always nice to meet other authors, and wonderful to be a part of anything Martin is doing. I have to admit, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about! I grew up in California. When you grow up with no seasons, you always think how cool it’d be to have snow at Christmas. I was one of those people. Even after my first Christmas in the Midwest with my (soon to be) husband’s family, braving wind chills of -20 degrees F, we dressed up in snow suits and went pheasant hunting. I use the term hunting loosely, as I’d never shot anything in my life. We pretty much just walked around in the snow and corn stalks, birds flew out, and I shot in that general direction. It was an excuse to go outside after being cooped up for days.
More…

All of my books can be found here:
http://www.jamieleescott.com/books.html
www.jamieleescott.com
www.facebook.com/authorjamie
www.twitter.com/authorjamie
Sign up for my newsletter and be the first to read “Homicide, Life with Nick” novellas for FREE, http://www.jamieleescott.com/newsletter.html

12 Blogs of Christmas: A Memo to the Big Guy

SDRandCo (4)

Hi, everyone! I’m so psyched to be shoulder-to-shoulder with these wonderful writers in the 12 Blogs of Christmas event put on by Martin Crosbie. So let’s keep the fun rolling.

Confidential Memo to S. Claus

To: S. Claus
From: Joey the Elf, Vice President and Public Relations Director, North Pole
Re: Christmas 2014 Status Update and Strategic Operation Plan: Confidential

Yo, Santa baby. I know it’s close to go-time and your mental bandwidth must be stretched as thin as the photoshopped spandex in Kim Kardashian’s butt selfie, so I’ll try to keep this brief.

First, I feel your pain about Rudolph’s resignation. I’m sure he’ll do the air traffic controllers proud, but promoting Dancer could be a no-go. Seems the headlamp we wanted to attach to his antlers violates some PETA regulation. We’re looking into that. And you didn’t hear this from me, but there’s a rumor that a few elves are planning a sickout. Guess they’re still a little steamed about losing their collective bargaining rights. Continue reading

12 Blogs of Christmas – RJ Crayton

RJ Crayton photoAway we go. On Dancer, on Dasher, on Comet…um, wait, wrong script. We’re kicking off the 12 Blogs of Christmas with RJ Crayton.

RJ Crayton is the author of the Life First series, a dystopian thriller set in the future, where the government can take your organs if they want, and give them to someone else. Prior to writing Crayton was a journalist and has worked at a variety of publications, including the Kansas City Star, Solid Waste Report and Education Technology News. Presently, Crayton is a monthly contributor to the Indies Unlimited blog and an occasional contributor to the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies blog. The first book in her series, Life First, is on sale for 99 cents until December 31.

Now, here’s what she wrote. Take it away, RJ…

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12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop – Photo Fun

I was so pleased when Martin Crosbie invited me to participate in this 12 Days of Christmas blog hop.  Martin was pretty broad about the topic, so I thought I’d talk about having fun with your photos at Christmas.

Not just taking a fun photo (as pictured here), but doing fun stuff with your photos. Back in 2008, when this pic was taken, I started doing a holiday card and website for my family. This was before Facebook was ubiquitous and if you wanted to share digital pics with family members you had to email them around, and hope your email didn’t get blocked because the attachment file sizes were too large. Or you had to create your own website.   Having created a website for my wedding, the task seemed easy enough, and I set up a website where I posted a holiday letter wrapping up our year along with lots of photos.

Read More

Book Links:

Amazon Author Page (all books): http://www.amazon.com/RJ-Crayton/e/B00DFQ5F24/

Smashwords Series Page (all books): https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/10510

Google Play (all books): https://play.google.com/store/books/author?id=RJ%20Crayton&hl=en

Barnes & Noble (all books): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/rj-crayton

iTunes (all books): https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/rj-crayton/id666058030?mt=11

Current Promotions

Life First is 99 cents until Dec. 31 (price is at all retailers)

Hope you’ll come back tomorrow, when our next blogger will be the fabulous Jamie Lee Scott. And see our full 12-day lineup here.