The Magic of Christmas

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Most people call this season a magical time, and when I think about what makes it so, I think of all the traditions that we revisit year after year—rituals that are shared by so many others at the same time that they become larger than our individual acts.

I love seeing cars with Christmas trees tied on top, people carrying bags of packages wrapped with red bows, neighbors stopping by with a tin of holiday cookies. And that special glow everyone gets decorating the home in sparkling lights and ornaments that we take out of storage only once a year and only at this special time.

When I watch Christmas Carol every year I can’t help remembering the way at age five, I hid behind the sofa the first time I saw the black-robed ghost of Christmas future. Then last year I saw my friend’s little daughter do the same thing!

Back when I was a dancer living in New York City, I once had a rehearsal that ended late at night and I didn‘t have the money for a cab. So I took the stairs down to the subway platform below street level—a dark and desolate place in a not-so-savory neighborhood.

There was only one other person there, and by the nervous look she gave me when I arrived, I guessed she wasn’t feeling too safe either. I just hoped the train would arrive before any bad dudes discovered two defenseless women were down in this enclosed space where I doubted anyone would hear a call for help.

It was almost Christmas and I clung to the joy that always fills me this time of year. I quietly began singing to myself “Deck the Halls.” The middle-aged woman waiting several feet away must have heard my tiny song because she started singing it too, joining me word for word. Soon we were standing close together singing one carol after another until the subway arrived.

We didn’t know each other’s names and we got off the subway at different stops, but when we parted we exchanged a smile that told me we had shared in the special magic that is Christmas.

 

Those special moments are what inspire me to write a holiday romance each year. This year’s romance is mistaken identity story about a toymaker who courts a cold-hearted investor in her desperation to help her sister’s family.

 

1800x2100_holidayluvbundle_2I’ve also bundled four of my earlier Holiday Luv romances into a boxed set.

 

Wishing you and yours a joyous Christmas, happy Chanukah, blissful Kwanzaa, merry Solstice ~ and of course a wonderful New Year.

Love, Christmas Boxed Set
Publication date: October 1st 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance

♫♪Put a song in your heart with 20 all-new Christmas Romances from NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors. Each brand-new title is inspired by a Christmas carol and will lift your spirits and bring on the holiday cheer.♫♪

We Need a Little Christmas by Leanne Banks – Can a handsome cynic become a Christmas believer?

Frosty the Snowman by Mimi Barbour – Stranded in an Alaskan snowstorm, strangers Hali and Terry are forced to rely on each other for survival.

Last Christmas by Joan Reeves – Annabelle gave him her heart, but Rick threw it away. He wants redemption, she wants revenge.

Holly Jolly Christmas by Mona Risk – Pregnant at 18. Adoption would save the baby’s future but may cost her the man she loves.

Do You Hear What I Hear? by Patricia Rosemoor – Live-in-lovers Shelley and Jake are now in a cold war of their own over Christmas.

White Christmas by Rebecca York – Was she in a coma, or was she in a Christmas fantasy?

So This is Christmas by Denise Devine – He was her child nemesis, now he’s her best friend forever.

Grown Up Christmas List by Donna Fasano – All she wants for Christmas is to feel safe… then she meets her guardian angel.

Blue Christmas by the Sea by Traci Hall – Alone for Christmas, Tamsyn helps mystery writer Evan find his mojo–love is a gift neither can refuse.

Santa Baby by Taylor Lee – Lily’s only hope was that this time, he wouldn’t be able to find her.

Let It Snow by Stephanie Queen – A stranger and a snow storm on Christmas Eve create the ultimate test for Dane & Shana.

Merry, Did You Know? by Jennifer St. Giles – Can a Christmas Miracle change the future of a woman who doesn’t believe in love and a man who can’t love again?

O Christmas Tree by Alicia Street – Can Piper convince Cody to let go of his painful past and embrace the hope of Christmas and possibly love?

Sleigh Ride by Katy Walters – Miss Sophia Vale faces poverty. Enter the Earl of Breconbridge, renowned as a rake hell with a conscience.

Deck the Hearts by Rachelle Ayala – Can Holly’s jolly Christmas spirit help Grinch Gordon Gills save the town of Christmas Creek?

Silver Bells by Jacquie Biggar – Can a Christmas wish bring two stubborn souls together and give a little girl the gift she wants?

Hark the Herald Angel Falls by Michele Hauf – To earn her halo, angel Merit must convince the person who holds her earthly soul in limbo–her husband–to stop loving her.

Little Drummer Boy by Dani Haviland – How could a mere drummer boy help those stranded in the worst winter storm of the 18th century?

I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Nancy Radke – When former a former Navy SEAL plucks a woman from the Mediterranean Sea, he discovers a fighter tougher than he.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Cynthia Cooke – A big city girl reunites with a small town boy–magic. A Santa in need of an elf–Christmas magic.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

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Critters Open Our Hearts

I’ve always loved animals. When I was a kid having one of those run-ins with my parents that produced tears, I always looked for my dog or cat to cuddle up and give me furry consolation. Little did I know what a healthy move that was.

NewHisXmasPromiseToday research shows that hanging out with a critter is good for both mental and physical well-being. It increases your level of the hormone oxytocin, which reduces stress and makes you feel happier. Petting a dog has been shown to lower blood pressure and cortisol levels and produce an antibody that improves the immune system. 

Aside from the highly trained service dogs that work with wounded veterans and handicapped individuals, the use of therapy dogs—untrained pets that are tested for behavior and handling—do wonders in nursing homes, hospitals, mental health centers, and other places where unconditional TLC is needed.

My novella in the Christmas Pets and Kisses boxed set features a mixed breed therapy dog whose loving nature brings healing and change to a family—not to mention an unexpected romance.

Pets and romance are a great match because animals have a way of opening our hearts. Releasing today, Christmas Pets and Kisses rings in the holiday season with sixteen all-new sweet and heartwarming romances from New York Times, USA Today and National bestselling authors. It’s a romantic collection of Christmas tails…uh, tales as adorable pets with fins, paws, feathers, and hooves bring holiday magic with the gift of true love.

ChristmasPetsandKissesLG99 cents for a limited time ~                  Amazon       Nook       iBooks       Kobo    

                                                                              KindleUK     NookUK   GooglePlus

Let the holidays begin

With Thanksgiving coming up there are so many things to be thankful for—including all the new holiday reads coming out! Alicia is at the WG2E blog today talking about holiday stories, so hop over there and join the conversation.

BE MINE FOR CHRISTMAS is our new 13,000 word short (only 99 cents!) It’s a sweet romantic read that features a single mom, a determined little boy, and a Christmas tree that lights the way to love.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving! 🙂