The 12 Days of Christmas

Day #6On the Sixth Day of Christmas,

My true love said ‘Where’s the Tree?’

‘It’s still in the box, but I’ll put it up

tonight, If you promise to help me.’

Yes, I have to admit that as of this morning, our family Christmas tree is not up. I usually have it up the weekend after Thanksgiving. But this year, the three of us had so much going on we’ve gotten a little bit behind. So tonight is the night! We’ll put on the Christmas music, warm a pan of hot chocolate, and get to work. And instead of taking it down the day after Christmas, I think we’ll enjoy it through New year’s.

Last year, we purchased a new 8’ trim-style tree that I love. I have to use a ladder to put the lights on, or get my 6’6” son to reach for me. Then I’ll look through the boxes of gold and ivory decorations and decide what I want to put up this year. I have short bead sets that I hang like icicles, small ‘pillow’ type decorations that say Love, Faith, and Peace. The gold angels are on my favorite list, plus the 8” crystal-like hanging decorations with gold glitter on the bottoms. When we’re finished, we’ll pile up on the couch and watch a Christmas movie.

What does your tree look like?  Do you have a theme?  Is it a mixture of family memories, filled with ornaments your children made through the years? Or maybe you do something completely different every year?  Share with us how your family celebrates. Then grab a cup of cocoa and a book. Celebrate the season with a holiday romance like:

A Princess by Christmas by Jennifer Faye

Jennifer Faye  A Princess by Christmas  Book Cover

A royal kiss under the mistletoe…

Prince Alexandro Castanovo arrives in snowy New York intent on protecting his royal family from scandal. And when Reese Harding—down-to-earth and heart-stoppingly beautiful—finds room for him at her inn, it seems like the perfect twist of fate.

Not long ago Reese’s world came crumbling down, shaking her foundations. But this enigmatic stranger intrigues her! She’s learned to be wary of secrets…but when she discovers Alex’s true identity, might there be enough magic in the air to make this regular American girl a princess by Christmas…?

Buy Links:  Amazon  |  B&N  |  iTunes  |  Kobo

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Jennifer donated a $10 Amazon card, paired with a package of author swag from Darcy Flynn to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.

About the Author

I currently reside in Pennsylvania with my very patient husband, one amazing daughter (the other remarkable daughter has flown the coop to chase her own dreams) and two spoiled rotten cats. When I’m not glued to my laptop (which isn’t often) or enjoying some family time, I like reading, cross-stitch, embroidery, quilting, knitting, hockey (go Pittsburgh Penguins!), and gardening.

Connect:   Website | Facebook | Twitter  | Goodreads  | Google+

The 12 Days of Christmas

Day #5On the Fifth Day of Christmas,

My true love gave me a party tip.

For our Christmas potluck next week,

I should bring my guacamole dip.

I used to be intimidated by what I thought would be hard recipes, like guacamole. But I found a great spice packet in my produce section that’s made one of my favorite appetizers easy.

Take 2 large or 3 small avocados. Pour in the spice packet (it comes in mild or hot). I also take half of a small tomato and chop it up fine. Add a dash of lemon and lime juice. (This not only adds a hint of flavor but also helps it keep from turning when sitting out on a food table. Mix thoroughly, cover with foil, and refrigerate until ready to serve. This is a great recipe to make several hours before, to let the spices mix well with the avocado..

Serve with chips. Get creative with pita chips and fiesta colored chips.

Now, to the spotlight of my post. Welcome Jessica Jefferson, author of the wonderful Compromising Miss Tisdale, Taming Miss Tisdale, and the soon-to-be-released Chasing The Other Tisdale. If you haven’t had a chance to read this series, it’s a must!

Taming Miss Tisdale by Jessica Jefferson

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Miss Tamsin Tisdale believes herself to be completely unsuitable for London life. After a myriad of social mishaps, and the potential ruination of her family name, she’s shipped away to her cousin’s northern estate. Only after she accepts the type of existence Society dictates she must follow will she be welcomed home.

Marcus Winston, the Duke of Grayson, has a lackluster reputation. The last in a dying line, he’s endured a protected life—rank with privilege, but encumbered by isolation. After a brief encounter with rebellion, he learns the devastating consequences of his carelessness and willingly accepts living life from inside his gilded cage.

However, a chance meeting with the brazen Miss Tisdale gives Marc the opportunity to reinvent himself into the man he’s always dreamed of being. But when his deception comes to light, and ghosts from both their pasts threaten to unravel the intimacy they’ve come to cherish, will either of them set their fears aside long enough to embrace love? Or will Miss Tisdale’s stubbornness divide them?

Pick up your copy today at Amazon.

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Jessica donated a $10 Starbucks card, paired with an autographed PB of Marked from Jeanne Hardt to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.

About the Author

Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it – almost Chicago. Jessica originally attended college in hopes of achieving an English degree and writing the next great American novel. Ten years later she was working as a registered nurse and reading historical romance when she decided to give writing another go-round.

Jessica writes likes she speaks – which has a tendency to be fast paced and humorous. She is heavily inspired by sweeping, historical romance novels, but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy.

Connect:   Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter Goodreads

The 12 Days of Christmas

Day #4On the Fourth Day of Christmas,

My true love took me to the mall.

We’d bought a few presents already,

But we hadn’t found them all.

As exciting as Christmas is, it can be stressful trying to find just the right gift for everyone on your list. If you have children, that list gets even longer when you include multiple teachers, daycare workers, Sunday School teachers, and bus drivers. So, how can you cover all the bases without the added stress of spending lots of money? And what can you really buy for just five or ten dollars these days?

Well, if you’re willing to put a little elbow grease with your dollar bills, you can stay within a reasonable budget.

Gifts Under $10

Go to the Dollar Store, Dollar Tree, Walmart, or Target, and buy several mugs. They don’t have to be Christmas mugs unless that’s what you want. They can simply be trendy or oversized.  Go to the clearance section and see what’s there. Or look for mug ‘sets’ that you can open and give individually. Then, buy clear plastic bags with Christmas designs. The ones that are 10-12” tall with twist ties.  Fill the mug with Christmas miniature chocolates, candy canes, some of those large mint balls, or a solid chocolate Santa (you can usually find them somewhere for $.99). Once filled, slide it down into the sack. Pick up some curling ribbon – cut three or four 8” strips. Tie them around the sack to close it and curl the ends.

Alternatives:  You can also fill the mugs with hot chocolate packets. Most grocery stores sell gourmet singles for $.75-$.99. If yours doesn’t, Swiss Miss with marshmallows is always a good choice.. Flavored hot tea bags are also great. If you have time to spend in the kitchen, make some chocolate chip or no-bake cookies. Find a recipe for easy fudge. Make it a family project.

Don’t forget that it’s the thought that counts. The recipient will know you spent time creating the gift and that will mean more than the price tag.

Now, help me welcome Christi Barth, author of Tinsel My Heart.

Christi Barth   Tinsel My Heart    Book CoverBecca Huntley’s produced the Lyndale Park Player’s over-the-top Christmas pageant for ten years. The beloved Minneapolis tradition is the theatre’s main fundraiser. But this year’s production is almost canceled when their director disappears into rehab at the last minute. Good thing his directing partner steps in to save the day. Except for the minor fact that he hates everything about Christmas.

Jack Whittaker wiped the Twin Cities off his shoe with his graduation tassel and never looked back. But duty compels him to fulfill Tyler’s promise to direct the show. Even though it means working side-by-side with Becca, the girl he always wanted, lost to Ty, but never forgot.

It’ll take more than a few handfuls of tinsel to soften Jack’s heart toward Becca’s favorite holiday. Steamy kisses that melt the snow right off his boots are a step in the right direction. They’ll both discover that Christmas is about making each other’s dreams come true. But will doing so destroy their chance at a happily-ever-after together?

Buy Links:  Amazon  |  B&N  |  Carina Press  iTunes  |  Kobo

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Christi donated a complete ebook set of her Aisle Bound series to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.

About the Author

Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning.  Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance. Christi is President of the Maryland Romance Writers and lives in Maryland with her husband.

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