Tag Archive | Christmas story

I Slept!

I have a hard time sleeping sometimes because I keep thinking of story ideas, or about stuff I have to do. I think making a list helped because I wrote it down and now I can get them done without worrying about getting them done.

I’m off to get my passport picture–it’s amazing how fast ten years fly, do my flu shot and hope I don’t get sick, and get all the light bulbs to light my way in the kitchen–and hope they have them in stock.

I have 4,000 words on Cougar Christmas Calamity so far, 76K words to go, but It’s a good start, and I was asked when I’m going to get another fae book out. *sigh* So many stories to write, so little time.

So I went to a 500,000 word generator site for fantasy, which can be used for anything, and have been used for everything–villain was once the protagonist’s best friend–I think of superhero stories–etc. Anyway, but they’re things I don’t think of, so maybe I can jump start a story. I have tons of covers for fae books. I just need to write them. Sometimes, if I’m not painting, I can write two stories at once, at least until I get them going, because I get stuck and spin wheels, but I can work on the other until I get stuck on it. It works when these books aren’t under an official deadline. What I don’t want to do is have 10 more books that are partway done. Finished books sell. Unfinished books are sad.

I was also looking for couple figures with a winter theme for the cover of Cougar Calamity Christmas. It helps to add to the story. I found one I love where she is wearing hot pink gloves and a hat, she’s a blond, and that was her favorite color in another story. He’s former Black Ops, moody, wears black, and in the picture he definitely isn’t. So it shows how she changes him in a good way. The cover helps me to describe him better, internally and externally.

Have a great day!! Mine is off and running in about a minute!

Terry

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
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Christmas of Hope by Tambra Nicole Kendall

christmas-of-hope-cover-2015Christmas of Hope
By
Tambra Nicole Kendall
Chapter One
Christmasville, Texas
“Stop, Daddy!” Hope Claus stood on tiptoe and pointed at the window of The Magic Café. “I want some hot chocolate with lots and lots of marshmallows. Please.”
“Great idea, Sweetheart.” Nick Claus‟ stomach rumbled in agreement. He must have walked from one end of the mall to the other at least ten times. He smiled at the thought. Hope must have looked in every single store. My daughter is a professional shopper at five years old. I’m in deep trouble.
A chill wind gusted, pushing hard against his back. He rolled his shoulders and shifted his body to protect Hope. Nick shoved the shopping bags into one hand and opened the door.
Hope scampered inside, impatience making her feet dance in place. “Hurry, Daddy!”
“I’m right behind you, Sweetheart.” Once inside, a blast of heat redolent with the comforting scents of cinnamon and peaches wrapped him in its embrace. It hung like a sweet promise in the air. A deep breath assured him of a fresh batch of peach cobbler was recently pulled from the oven. No one made it better than Marienne Tucker. A scoop of vanilla ice cream on top made it pure heaven.
Her small hand reached for his. Love spilled over warming his chest spreading throughout his body. He would do anything to protect to protect his baby.
He scanned the room for a place to sit. Plenty of seats were available at the moment. They must have just missed the lunch crowd. Thank God, he couldn‟t suffer another noisy horde right now. “I’m looking for the best place to sit, Hope.”
“I’ll help.”
Shopping at the end of the season was total chaos and Hope loved every minute of it. The lights, decorations and music delighted his little girl all the way down to her Claus soul.
Five years ago when his wife died a part of him died too. Since it was his fault, he didn’t deserve a second chance. The one thing he desired to regain, to feel the childlike joy his daughter experienced. The longing grew to regain the magic and wonder of the season with each passing year. He wondered if the dark spot in his heart would ever heal. Due to his family’s pressure he recently admitted he wanted to have a relationship, but not now. He needed slow and steady. He loved them, but damn it all they’ve been extra pushy lately. This wishy-washy feeling wasn’t like him. He hated it. Aggravation stirred inside him like a hive of angry bees.
“Daddy, you’re tummy is grouchy. It’s loud.” Hope patted his stomach forcing his attention away from his thoughts.
“How about you choose the where we’re going to sit?” The last time he let Hope chose their seats she became the entertainment committee for a table full of senior citizens.
She pointed to the seat near the back. “Back there.”
“Good choice!” He started to move when Hope stopped him.
“Daddy, take a big sniff.”
He did.
“No, bigger. Like this.” Hope demonstrated.
Nick took a bigger sniff. What was he supposed to smell? His daughter gave him an are-you-stupid look.
“Peaches in that gooey stuff, we like. Peach Yummy.”

“I’m going to order some. We can share.” Nick pointed Hope in the direction
of the spot she chose.

Maybe his family was right about him dating again. If he tried and it didn’t
work out, they might not be so anxious to shove him into something he wasn’t ready
for. Strange, after all these years, the only female who stirred his interest was Hope‟s
kindergarten teacher, Linnet MacDougal.

Beautiful inside and out, Linnet elicited feelings he thought had died with
Victoria. This scared him. He wanted to let go and open his heart, but couldn‟t
survive it breaking another time. He had to consider Hope. She was his first concern.
Maybe he could date occasionally. Not let the relationship get out of control. The
perfect solution!

When he got up the nerve, he’d ask Linnet out. They could go out a few times
and then she’d be out of his system. This was for his peace of mind.

The dulcet sounds of the Mediaeval Baebes CD Mistletoe and Wine played
through the speakers. The soft sounds started to soothe his tense muscles and his
stomach rumbled again, louder and harder.
“Ooooh, look at the tree!” Hope clapped her mitten-clad hands together and
stomped her feet in excitement. She held out her hands. “I want these off, Daddy.”
Nick grinned at Hope’s enthusiasm. “Marienne did a good job, didn’t she?”
With a sweeping glance, his inner vision burst into a kaleidoscope of color. Warm
orange, reds and pinks whirled and pulsed with the love and laughter from its
creator.

His left brow shot up in surprise. Wards of protection glittered in an intricate
weave of bronze, gold and silver around the room. His admiration for Marienne rose
even more. It explained why the atmosphere kept the good inside and the riffraff to
a minimum. Threaded through the subtle spell, he detected something familiar about
the magickal signature entwined with Marienne’s. Uncle Nicholas?
You can purchase Christmas of Hope from Amazon.
You can find Tambra on Facebook (personal page) https://www.facebook.com/tambra.kendall
A Recipe from Janet Warren’s cookbook, A Feast of Scotland.
Scottish Sparkle
 
Ingredients:
1 bottle of dry white wine
1 bottle sparkling white wine
The juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cup Drambuie
2 cups lemonade
 
Preparation:
Mix the dry white wine, lemon juice and Drambuie together in a jug and chill. At the last minute add the sparkling wine and the lemonade.
 
Add plenty of ice to the punch before serving.
 
Serves: 12
Tambra Nicole Kendall, author of romance and nonfiction https://tambranicolekendall.wordpress.com http://tambrakendall.com

The Joy of Giving by H. Schussman

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The Joy of Giving
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
**
I was raised a poor kid, but I didn’t know we were so poor until I was in my teens. Born in a town too small to have a hospital, as the fourth child to parents who couldn’t afford the first three, I thought we were the richest family around. We moved three times before I turned five, finally settling in the ancestral home of the Schussman’s. It was a rambling two-story old place set on the upper slope by the highway.
Christmas meant creativity to my mom. Invention is the mother of necessity, or creativity is the mother of poverty. We worked for weeks to create gifts for each other from cast off clothes and toys, dragging various items in from the cold foggy yard. They always had a fire in the family room, but the oven was in the kitchen… tough choice. When Pop was home we gathered in the family room, otherwise we were clumped in the kitchen.
On Christmas Eve, Pop hung a sheet from the ceiling, blocking our view of the scraggly Christmas tree loaded with handmade ornaments. Our gifts to each other were already under the boughs, but there were no presents from our parents yet. How could there be? Santa hadn’t come yet! Somehow we all waited for Santa Claus, with zero expectation of there being a big chubby white bearded man sneaking into our house. I knew it was our parents and appreciated Christmas the more because of that knowledge.
Christmas morning dawned with the usual thrill of anticipation, but my father had a tradition that we hated. We had to do all of our chores and eat breakfast, before the tree could be revealed. Torture! Never did the house get cleaned so quickly as it was on Christmas morning. Mom was kind enough to make a small breakfast, saving the annual cinnamon rolls for after the gifts were opened.
Pop lined us up, youngest to oldest, or oldest to youngest, tallest to shortest, etc… He changed it every year. Then he would dramatically yank the sheet down and reveal the tree with new presents under it. We raced over to inspect the wrapped gifts, determining which one was our own. We’d form a half circle on the floor, and Pop would give us a gift to open, one at a time. From my folks we always got a pair of shoes, a jacket, homemade dresses for the girls and slacks for my brother. I can still remember being more excited when my siblings opened the gift I’d made for them, than I was with my own gifts.
Mom had taught us that giving was better than receiving… the greatest gift given to me as a child.
Thanks for dropping by to read this true Christmas story!

The Dog Who Stole Christmas by JK Bovi

christmasdog

The Dog Who Stole Christmas

JK Bovi

 

Bo-Bo wasn’t the smartest dog on the block, but my Aunt Helen and Uncle Matt loved him like the son they never had. They pampered him with doggie treats, fed him human table scraps and gave him doggie breath mints.

 

He was not a small dog, being a mixed breed with part Labrador Retriever, Irish Setter, and who-knows-what. It was the Labrador Retriever part that caused a heap of trouble one fateful Christmas Day back when I was a kid.

 

My parents, sister and I had shown up for Christmas dinner at my Aunt and Uncle’s house at noon as was our family tradition. We exchanged gifts, joyful conversation and munched on appetizers as we waited for the delicious turkey dinner to be served at 3:00.

 

At 1:00 Bo-Bo howled at the backdoor to go out. Uncle Matt opened the door and Bo-Bo dashed away without his leash. He was free to roam the neighborhood on Christmas Day and we should’ve chased after him, but Aunt Helen brought out the shrimp cocktail, veggie dip and a pile of homemade candies. With so much eating to be done we forgot all about Bo-Bo. At 3:00 Uncle Matt carved up the turkey and I was asked to call the dog in for his plate of table scraps. I called and called and called for Bo-Bo, but there was no response. Aunt Helen called for him and so did Uncle Matt, but the dog was nowhere to be found.

 

We ate without him and we were in the middle of enjoying my mother’s homemade deserts when we heard Bo-Bo barking at the back door. I’ll never forget my Aunt’s cry of alarm when she went to get Bo-Bo. “Oh my goodness Bo-Bo! What’ve you done?” All of us rushed to see what Bo-Bo had done and it was indeed a curious surprise!

 

Bo-Bo’s teeth were clamped proudly on an entire cooked turkey! He shook his head and bits of stuffing were tossed out of the bird’s cavity. A piece of tinfoil was wrapped on the end of one big leg and there was a metal temperature gauge stabbed in the turkey’s chest. Bo-Bo had mauled off one wing and ripped apart the other. He dropped the turkey to his feet and barked for us to acknowledge his extraordinary hunting success. He’d after all brought home Christmas dinner.

 

We stared in complete amazement and quickly surmised what had apparently happened; somebody in the neighborhood had put their turkey out on the back porch to cool and Bo-Bo had stolen their scrumptious turkey complete with all the fix’ns.

 

Aunt Helen closed the backdoor and left Bo-Bo to dine alone on his stolen feast. We returned to eating our deserts and ate in silence. But when I could contain myself no longer I finally had to ask, “So what do you suppose those people had for Christmas dinner?”

 

It has always been and will forever remain an unsolved mystery. I smile whenever I think about The Dog Who Stole Christmas. And I often wonder… What we would do if it had happened to us?

jkbovi_booklineup

***

Okay, I have to say that I had a standard poodle that stole our roast. Not even a scrap of aluminum foil was left. It had been sitting on our kitchen counter ready to serve up when I was checking on the kids. It always reminded me of A Christmas Story.

So did you enjoy her story? I did. I bet the people who had left their turkey out to cool off never did that again!

Have a super great day!!

Terry

 

 

Ghost Orchid by D.K. Christi

ghost-orchid-cover-final

Note from Author: It’s based on a true story and it appears in my novel, Bamboo Ring, the prequel to Ghost Orchid.  I wish to promote Ghost Orchid.  However, anyone purchasing a print copy of Ghost Orchid can send me proof of purchase and for a shipping and handling cost of $4, U.S. only, I will send a free copy of Bamboo Ring.
D. K. Christi, M.Ed., CWDP
Consultant, Speaker, Author & Journalist
Member, Authors Guild & Naples Press Club

“Jeremy’s assigned ship at Christmas, an aircraft carrier in  the Mediterranean Sea, represented an impossible distance from my friend, Shirley, who attended college stateside. Jeremy’s naval service during Vietnam kept them apart. Letters traveled painfully slow and often crossed.

“However, a plan emerged. Derek and I lived in Germany in a small, garret apartment off base. If Jeremy could get leave over the Christmas holiday, Shirley would visit us. The plan had challenges, nebulous at best. First, as the most junior man in his division, Jeremy knew the officer in charge would not promise him leave until the time approached. Coupled with the slow mail deliveries,  Shirley never knew for sure if or when he would be able to make it to Germany. On faith, Shirley got her passport and plane ticket and joined us.

“On December 21, Jeremy’s ship pulled into Cannes, France for the Christmas holiday. The Navy granted Jeremy a four-day pass with written permission from the Executive Officer to travel to Germany. December 23 represented a ship workday. He got ready so he could get off the ship as early as possible the next day.

“Christmas Eve day arrived. Traveling military personnel in Europe were required to wear the uniform for identification. They were allowed to cross boarders without a passport if they carried the proper documentation. By 10:00 a.m. at last, Jeremy had permission to leave the ship and take the boat ride to fleet landing. Once ashore, it did not take long to make it to the train station for the short ride to Nice.

“Shortly after noon, a flight headed north to Bern, Switzerland. There he suffered the frustration of a long wait in the terminal for the next connecting flight. Switzerland as a neutral country behaved equally suspicious of servicemen from any country. An official told him and the other servicemen who were also traveling that they had to wait in a special roped off area, Jeremy’s view of Switzerland.

“Finally, he boarded the next plane to Stuttgart, Germany. On this short flight darkness arrived as they flew over the Alps. In Stuttgart after a short layover, the same plane would go on to Frankfurt. When he touched down in Frankfurt, the darkness and quiet felt like a mausoleum. Everything stops for the Christmas holiday in Germany. All native Germans were home celebrating. He found a pay phone and managed to call for a taxi for the airport and the train station.

“Forty miles north of Frankfurt, reaching Butzbach required a train or car. At the nearly deserted train station, Jeremy saw a train and one  worker. He approached and still remembers what he said, ‘ Ist das der Zuge geht zu Butzbach?’ ‘Ja, ja. Shnell, shnell’ replied the worker. Jeremy ran and jumped aboard. No sooner had he climbed the steps to a passenger compartment than the train began to move.

“He breathed a sigh of relief and sat near another service man that happened to be on the coach. In a little while, a conductor came by asking for tickets. Jeremy had no ticket; but with a little negotiation in his broken German, he paid double the cost of the usual fare.

 

“Except for the ghosts, an uneventful train ride took him the rest of the way. The train stopped at two small stations. At each, a few bare light bulbs illuminated an old wooden platform. Imagining German soldiers in uniform saying good-bye for maybe the last time as they headed to battle occupied Jeremy’s stressed mind. The quiet eeriness of those stations made such visualization effortless.

“At last the conductor announced, “Butzbach!” The Butzbach station had a small platform and no visible terminal building. However, Jeremy had directions as to how to find our apartment.  A short walk from the train to the center of the town took him back at least five hundred years.

“Built around a cobblestone square with the remains of the old well in the center, Butzbach looked like a picture postcard with buildings trimmed in gingerbread from a Brothers Grimm fairytale. All around the square, the steep roofed buildings  were all fashioned of timber and stucco. Off the square to the right, a narrow alleyway led to the Piccolo Bar with a small neon sign over the door, the landmark Jeremy needed.

“He entered and found the tavern room filled with mostly American soldiers drinking noisily. One loud mouth wanted to pick a fight with Jeremy just because he wore a Naval uniform. Fortunately, when he heard that Jeremy had traveled a long way to visit an Army friend, he backed off and went back to his drinking.

“The woman behind the bar, the owner and the mother of my German friend, left the bar and took him up the three narrow flights of stairs to our apartment and knocked. No answer. They returned to the bar again. A young German fellow standing at the bar suggested that maybe we were at the Kirke. They could see it not far away.

“Around a few corners and down a little way, there stood the old Lutheran church, by far the largest building in the town. The German Lutheran Church, a 17th century building with exquisite high spire sand stained glass windows had a high stone wall around the outside with a wrought iron gate.

“Jeremy’s new German friend took him to the door, and they peeked inside. People filled the sanctuary with no room inside. He did not see us. The next best thing, he stood by the gate. When the

Christmas Eve service ended, everyone would pass through the gate. Jeremy waited. In a short time, bells rang out for midnight. People poured from the church, walking four and five abreast. The full moon clouded over briefly as huge white snowflakes began drifting down, sparkling like new diamonds.

“Shirley had been in Germany for three days already. She had heard nothing from Jeremy and anxiously waited for his arrival. In church that night, she enjoyed the music but could understand nothing of the rest of the service. So, she prayed. As she prayed, she found peace within herself. She came to understand that if Jeremy could not make it to Germany, everything would still turn out as God intended, her thoughts as she left the church.

“Then Jeremy spotted Shirley, a slim figure in her blue wool coat and tan beret. The ancient gate, decorated by the drifting snow, framed Jeremy in his dress blues. He let out a yell and grabbed Shirley around the waist, lifted her off the ground and smothered her with kisses. The crazy sailor and dark-haired American girl were a strange sight to the German parishioners passing by, but Jeremy and Shirley did not care. Christmas had begun!

“Big, white snowflakes covered the wall and the ground; yet, even with the snow falling, the moon still peeked out enough to spread more diamonds across the glistening snow. The best white of all, however, perched on top of Jeremy’s head, framed in the gate, as he swooped Shirley into his arms. With a wave to us, they disappeared toward the station for his bags. In true German tradition, we left to haul home our already purchased Christmas tree.

“By the time Jeremy and Shirley arrived, freshly lit candles on the Christmas tree spread a warm glow across our tiny apartment on the third floor above the  Piccolo Bar. The Christmas tree decorations included carved ornaments from German craftsmen. The best glow, however, came from the faces of the engaged couple whose faith in the Christmas season had seen them through the anxiety of finding each other on the moonlit night, the first snowfall of the season, and a Christmas miracle to remember.”

* * *

Hope that you have enjoyed D.K. Christi’s story! I love true stories!

Have a wonderful day!!