Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ho! Ho! Ho...Great Holiday Reads!

Some great Holiday books were released in 2014. I have a l-o-n-g list this year. In the past, I've been known to still be reading Holiday books on St. Patrick's Day. Here's what I have!

A Princess By Christmas by Jennifer Faye

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…?


Barnes & Noble

Lights, Latkes, and Love by Peggy Bird

Ah, the holidays. David Shay can't get enough of the December festivities. He especially enjoys sharing his love of the season with the underprivileged children at his non-profit organization SafePlace for Children and Parents. Hannah Jenkins, on the other hand, turns into a jaded Scrooge every year on Black Friday. As manager of a large retail store, she's seen firsthand how the rampant commercialism of the holiday can bring out the worst in people.

When David's organization is the charity Hannah's boss picks for their annual donation, it falls on her to organize a huge holiday party, whether she likes it or not.

Can a nice Jewish boy—with the help of some Christmas lights, a little girl, and a latke party—teach Hannah the true meaning of the season and guarantee them both a New Year's Eve kiss to remember?


Barnes & Noble

The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak

Just call her Christmas Eve…

Eve Harmon has always enjoyed Christmas, but this year it reminds her of everything she doesn't have. Almost all her friends are married now, and that's what Eve wants, too. Love. A husband and kids of her own. But the B and B she manages, and even Whiskey Creek, the small Gold Country town where she was born and raised, suddenly seem…confining.

Eve's worried that her future will simply be a reflection of her past. There's no one in the area she could even imagine as a husband—until a handsome stranger comes to town. Eve's definitely attracted to him, and he seems to have the same reaction to her. But his darkly mysterious past could ruin Eve's happily ever after—just when it finally seems within reach. And just when she's counting on the best Christmas of her life!


Barnes & Noble

The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson

After years abroad, Garrison Brown returns home to Vancouver to build a new life. When his beloved grandmother passes away a few weeks before Christmas, Garrison goes to her house to sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While Garrison hopes to dispense with the task quickly, his grandmother's instructions don't allow for speed. She has left Garrison with some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends--plus a sizeable monetary gift for the new owners. Garrison's job is to match the cats with the right owners without disclosing the surprise gift. Along the way, he may just meet someone who can make him stay.

Humorous and heartwarming, this latest Christmas story from bestselling author Melody Carlson is the perfect gift for pet lovers and anyone in whose heart Christmas holds a special place.


Barnes & Noble

Season of Magic by various authors

Hopes and wishes. And holiday kisses...the Season of Magic.
Wrap yourself in the holiday spirit with five romantic stories filled with fun and forever after.

Noel Noel Noel by Merry Holly
Dumped and lonely, is it possible to find love at the local mall? Noelle thinks not, but a chance encounter with Chase Clayborne while Christmas shopping has her rethinking her rigid set of rules, as sparks flare between them.

A Cinderella Christmas
by Cara Marsi
Jessica Gallo no longer believed in fairy tales or happy endings. And she certainly didn’t believe she’d find her Prince Charming at Saks Fifth Avenue. Her Fairy Godmother thought differently.

Matchmaker Matchmaker by Bobbi Lerman
With Chanukah around the corner, is there enough magic left for a matchmaker to bring Molly's cynical heart back to life.

Holiday Disaster by Vicki Batman
The week before Christmas and all is in disarray when a librarian experiences horrible plumbing issues and a Mr. Maintenance Man who isn’t nearly as jolly as Santa Clause. This Christmas is a disaster.

Yuletide Bride by Gerri Brousseau
The Dowager Duchess’s decree that her grandson must marry before Twelfth Night or relinquish his title and fortune sends him into a tail spin. Without any prospects and with only two weeks until Christmas will Stuart Nelson find himself destitute or will he find The Yuletide Bride. 


Barnes & Noble

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas by Dawn Marie Hamilton

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas, a Scottish historical time travel romance with Highlanders, scheming faeries, a mischievous brownie, magic, adventure, and romance set in 16th century Scotland and the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

When the Chief of Clan MacLachlan travels to the stronghold of his feuding neighbors to fetch his betrothed, she is gone. A year later, she is still missing. Making life more vexing, a band of reivers are stealing clan cattle, leaving behind destruction. Archibald MacLachlan determines to capture them and administer harsh punishment.

Though once in love with the man, Isobell Lamont refuses to wed her clan's enemy. After running away, she joins the band of reivers set on revenge.

Can Archibald forgive the raven-haired beauty? Will a journey through time bring them together for a Highland Christmas?


Ten Christmas Brides by various authors

What’s better than a Christmas Wedding? Ten Christmas Weddings!

Join ten New York Times, USA Today and National best-selling authors to celebrate the holiday season with a boxed set of stories brimming with emotion, holiday spirit and happy ever afters. From sweet to sexy, suspense to small town drama, travel from Belarus to Africa to the snowy Highlands of Scotland as Santa delivers our gift to you—love, laughter and happiness this Christmas!

Recipe for Love by Ruth Cardello, New York Times/USA Today bestselling author. 

All Madison Andrade wants for Christmas is a place to hide and she finds it in the home of a lusty French chef. Richard D’Argenson’s recipes are famous, but they lack one necessary ingredient—love. Spend a steamy holiday with this unlikely couple and fall in love –Andrade style.

Must Love Santa by Nina Bruhns, New York Times/USA Today bestselling author.

Detective Nick Palladin just needs to close one last case in Vice—going undercover as Santa—before getting his Christmas transfer to the K-9 Unit. But when a cute little fluffball and the knockout holding her leash stumble into the op and are attacked, Santa and his faithful dog come running to the rescue!

An Almost Perfect Christmas
by Donna Fasano, USA Today bestselling author.

Aaron Chase is desperate to give his daughter a perfect Christmas and elicits the help of Pediatric Nurse Christy Cooper to do it. When Aaron’s impish eight-year-old talks them into a make-believe wedding, can the magic of Christmas make the vows stick?

Christmas Captive (The Decorah Security Series) by Rebecca York, New York Times/USA Today best-selling author. 

How did hard-driving businessman Jordan Campbell end up in a coma? And can nurse Hannah Andrews use her psychic talent to connect with him and trap his would-be killer? As she and Jordan work together, she knows she’s putting her own life---and her heart---at risk.

The Army Doctor’s Honeymoon Baby (The Army Doctor’s Series) by Helen Scott Taylor, Award-winning and National bestselling author. 

Army doctor, Blair Mackenzie, secretly loves his childhood friend, Lorna, and protects her in the African refugee camp where they work. Lorna depends on Blair—he’s her best friend, the only man she’s ever loved. She longs to admit her feelings but a family secret from their past prevents her

Kiss Me Santa by Patrice Wilton, National bestselling author.

Widowed schoolteacher, Cindy Harris meets Brad Williams--posing as Santa--when she takes her young son to the mall. Imagine her surprise when he shows up as the hot-shot realtor selling her family home. Sparks fly between them. Can the magic of Christmas give them the best gift of all -- love?

An Unusual Christmas by Mona Risk, Award-winning and National bestselling author.

Running away from Christmas celebrations and the demons of her past, Dr. Jillian has dedicated her life to saving third-world children. In Belarus, a baby girl, four little boys, and a handsome doctor may teach her the true meaning of Christmas.

A Cowboy for Christmas by Annie Jones, Award-winning and National bestselling author.

A single mom who has pinned all her hopes on reviving a popular tourist dude ranch gets a Christmas surprise that may change everything when her son asks Santa for a new dad. And that very night a Christmas-skipping cowboy shows up at their door.

The Christmas Honeymoon by Alicia Street, Award-winning and National bestselling author. 

Quiet librarian Serena always loved Christmas, until she was jilted before her December wedding. A year later, while trying to rekindle her tarnished holiday spirit, she meets Damien, handsome daredevil—and a total Scrooge. Their unlikely mutual attraction brings on a challenge that leads to one very romantic Christmas.

She’s Not You by Mimi Barbour, National bestselling author. 

Sick and widowed, running scared from a man who insists she belongs to him, Belle is forced to let the charmer down the hall help out.


Barnes & Noble

Happy reading, Everyone, and have a great week!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Fla-la-la-la-la Christmas Movies!

I love Christmas movies almost as much as I love Christmas books! Here's my list of movies/specials that are "must sees" every year. 

Angela's list --

1)  Miracle on 34th Street,

2) The Christmas Carol,  

3) How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (the animated version             w/Boris Karloff!)

" Who-ville they say that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that  day!"   ...Dr. Seuss, How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

4) A Charlie Brown Christmas,

5) Holiday Affair

Please feel free to comment and share your favorites.

Have a great week, Everyone!

(photo c/o Seuss)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday Happenings In Philly!

There are two times of the year when I'm especially excited, and proud, to live in Philadelphia (affectionately known as "Philly"). Those times are July 4th and the Christmas Holiday Season. On the 4th, I'm honored to be in our nation's birthplace. During the Christmas Holiday Season, "philly-folks" are whizzes at making things beautiful and fun.

If you're in -- or around -- the Philadelphia area over the next few weeks, you might want to check out these fun events.

Christmas Light Show (Nov 28th through Dec 31st)

Come to the historic Wanamaker Building, see festive lights, hear holiday music and be part of a Philadelphia tradition that's over a half century.


Dickens Village (Nov 29th through Dec 31st)

Located in The Egyptian Room of the Wanamaker Building, walk through 26 lovely, artistic scenes from Dickens' The Christmas Carol (one of my favorite Christmas stories!).


Franklin Square Holiday Festival (Nov 13th through Dec 31st)

A winter beer garden, holiday market and fantastic light show (the latter of which was motivated by the ingenuity of Benjamin Franklin). Evenings at Franklin Square are great during the Holiday Season.


Neighborhood Lights/South Philadelphia (through Jan 6th)

In South Philly, the 1600 block of South 13th Street is known as the "Miracle of South 13th Street." The dashing, spectacular lights hung on the homes on this block are a holiday treat for folks (like me!) who enjoy walking through the streets and seeing the decorated homes.


Longwood Gardens Christmas (Nov 27th through Jan 11th)

Located in Chester County, Longwood is beautiful at any time of year. But even more so at Christmas! A Longwood Gardens Christmas features plenty of lights, poinsettias, and decorated trees.


Christmas in Peddlers Village (Nov 27th through Dec 28th)

Located in the Philadelphia suburbs of Bucks County, the village at Christmas time is known not only for its shopping and restaurants but for its beautiful and merry decorations.


The Mummers Parade (New Year's Day)

No one who lives in South Philly can talk about the Holiday Season without a mention of the parade that dates back to 1901. Folks line up along Broad Street to cheer, sing and strut to the marchers who make the best, festive music.

If you’re planning a trip to our great city, now or in the future, and need information on events, hotels, or restaurants, visit,

If there are any special activities, or traditions, your community enjoys over the Holidays, please feel free to share.

Have a great week, Everyone!

(photos c/o,

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

As I prepare for our Thanksgiving holiday, I'm "thankful" to all who visit my weekly blog and follow me on Facebook and Google+. I'd like to wish everyone a wonderful and peaceful week, and a very happy day on Thursday!

(Photo c/o jessalrene and

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Love You, Pooh Bear!

"How do you spell love?" 

"You don't spell it, you feel it." 
...Winnie the Pooh

If you're a visitor to my Facebook page, you know that I often post quotes and pictures of my favorite children characters, Winnie the Pooh and friends. I still have Winnie picture books, Winnie figurines, and my stuffed Winnie. As a child, I loved my "Pooh Bear" who was always there whenever I needed a cuddle or a hug. As an adult, I realize that my affection for the characters in the Hundred Acres Woods stems from their friendship and loyalty to each other.

Some people may not know that Winnie was inspired by a real life bear. 

This week I came across a couple of reviews for a children's book, due to be released in January, Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally M. Walker, John Voss and Jonathan D.Voss. I'm counting the days until January to read this book. In the meantime, all you Winnie fans (and I can tell by the post reach on my FB page there are lots of you), I've included the book's description, the Publishers Weekly review, the Kirkus review, and the Amazon and Barnes & Noble links for the book.

"Promise me you'll always remember: you're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
...Christopher Robin 

Publisher Weekly

Kirkus Reviews

"If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever." 
...Winnie the Pooh

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired 
       by Sally M. Walker, John Voss, and Jonathan D. Voss

Who could care for a bear?

When Harry Colebourn saw a baby bear for sale at the train station, he knew he could care for it. Harry was a veterinarian. But he was also a soldier in training for World War I.

Harry named the bear Winnie, short for Winnipeg, his company’s home town, and he brought her along to the training camp in England. Winnie followed Harry everywhere and slept under his cot every night. Before long, she became the regiment’s much-loved mascot.

But who could care for the bear when Harry had to go to the battleground in France? Harry found just the right place for Winnie while he was away—the London Zoo. There a little boy named Christopher Robin came along and played with Winnie—he could care for this bear too!

Sally Walker’s heartwarming story, paired with Jonathan Voss’s evocative illustrations, brings to life the story of the real bear who inspired Winnie the Pooh.

Available for Pre-Order


Barnes & Noble

Have a great week, Everyone!

(photos c/o

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Salute to Our Veterans!

I had an uncle who returned from World War II with a great sadness and immense respect for those who didn't return, and a lifelong commitment to help his fellow military personnel and their families. Throughout the years my uncle was consistently active in his VFW post. He organized events for the post, ran errands for those veterans who had challenges getting around, and collected canned goods and toys at Christmas time. 

After my uncle retired from his carpentry job, he would drive Vets who could no longer drive themselves to their doctor's appointments, and he spent a couple afternoons during the week reading to those who lived in the VA nursing home. My uncle would eventually become a resident of that same nursing home, and he passed away this summer at the age of 89.

There are few greater sacrifices one could make than to leave his/her home and family, go off to a strange country, and make it their mission to keep those of us who live in this country safe.

Two simple words mean a lot to folks who deserve to hear them. So, not only on November 11th, but any day you happen to pass one of our military members, please don’t forget to say those two words. The words, “thank you.”

If you like information on organizations that help our military service personnel, I've noted a few websites.

Disabled American Veterans

Paralyzed Veterans of America

Wounded Warrior Project

The Veterans Site

USO (United Service Organization)

If you have a Veterans' organization that you'd like to add to this list, please feel free to note in the comment section. If you have a story to tell about your special Veteran, please share. We'd love to hear it.

Have a great week, Everyone!

(photo c/o

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Conference Update

A huge "THANK YOU" to everyone who shared my blog post last week announcing the release of Running to Love. I'm so grateful.

Writing conferences are wonderful opportunities to learn from other writers, meet industry insiders, network, and share our experiences. Listed below are some upcoming events that may appeal to my fellow writers.

Eckerd College Writer’s Conference: Writers in Paradise 2015, Boca Ciega Bay at Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida; January 17-25, 2015; FMI,

San Francisco Writer’s Conference, Mark Hopkins Hotel, San Francisco, California; February 12-15, 2015; FMI,

Pages to Publication sponsored by CRW Chesapeake Romance Writers; Williamsburg Regional Library in Colonial Williamsburg, VA; March 14, 2015; $10.00 discount for early registration by February 14, 2015; FMI,

2015 California Dreamin’ Writers Conference sponsored by OCC RWA, LA Romance Authors, San Diego RWA, East Valley Authors; Embassy Suites, Brea, California; March 27-29, 2015; FMI,

Have a great week, Everyone!

(Photo c/o Scarab and