Tag Archives: #Holiday

Happy Thoughts and Funky Socks with April Hollingworth

Today on Nitty Gritty Romance, we are wrapping up our Happiness for the Holidays series with the fabulous April Hollingworth! April shares what makes her happy during the holiday season, AND she shares an excerpt from her novella, BE MINE! YAY!!!! It’s putting me in the mood to start getting ready for Valentine’s Day! 😉

From April:

Happy Thoughts and Funky Socks by April Hollingworth

 Tis the season to be jolly, yet at times that’s not always possible, especially with work and life in general. For me, I wear funky socks. Especially to work. Nothing worse than going in and knowing you’ll probably have a not so great day, but if you check out your crazy socks, it’s not all bad when a smile blooms across your face.

Life is speeding by, faster and faster each year, but it’s the little things that keep us happy.

Most families have certain traditions they do over Christmas, in my family it’s Christmas stockings at the end of the bed, which are from Santa, and the presents under the tree are from those who love you.

img_0010Each person in my family receives a stocking, no matter what our age. A tradition started when I was thirteen. I can still hear the gasp and squeal of delight coming from my Mum when she found her stocking. Her eyes were huge as she rushed from her room to find myself and my eldest sister laughing in delight at her reaction. It’s one of my best memories ever, to be honest.

Strangely enough this was around the time that my love of funky socks came about too. I do believe it was striped socks in my stocking that started my funky socks love. Since then I’ve had Cow-Cow socks (they had cows all over them). Hot pink socks with mugs, toast and fried eggs. Minnie and Mickey Mouse, and lots more. It’s the little things in life that make a difference. A kind action. A smile of friendship or greeting. Wishing someone a wonderful day, and meaning it. For me it’s also my funky socks.

So Seasons Greeting, and wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I hope that the end of this year will be cheerful, and the start of the New Year joyful. Look after yourselves and one another.

April

Beautifully said, April. Thank you!

And now, April shares an excerpt from her novella,

BE MINE (A Candy Hearts Romance)

be-mine-teaser

Christmas is a loud and boisterous affair. I spend it with Mark, Sally, and their family. Jonathan is there too, all in all twelve of us somehow squeeze into their parents house. It’s been years since I’ve last had a Christmas like this one, filled with love and laughter. It makes me feel peaceful which is almost laughable, since trying to find a quiet corner is practically impossible.

Throughout the day, Mark stays close to me. Making sure I’m okay and have anything I need. During the afternoon, he takes me for a walk, where we slip and slide on the ice, more than walk.

Snow coats the surrounding area, thick and beautiful, dressing the trees, buildings, and shrubs in a sparkling blanket. It’s surprising how much beauty is around when you’re happy, yet under different circumstances, the same scene can make you feel isolated and alone.

 

Want to read more? Me, too! You can find BE MINE at your favorite site, and here’s the link for Amazon

How about some more books by April?

the-candi-reynolds-series

Different Kinds of Emotions ~ Poetry

Double Magick in the Falls (The Candi Reynolds Series, 1)

The Prophecy (The Candi Reynolds Series, 2)

The Protectors (The Candi Reynolds Series, 3) ~ Coming Soon

Be Mine (A Candy Hearts Romance)

 

Where can you find April?   img_0004

Website

Amazon

Facebook

 

 

 

 

Thanks, April! What a lovely way to lead us into the New Year!

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Reading!

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Happy Holidays!

Here on Nitty Gritty Romance, we have been hosting some of your favorite authors talking about happiness around the holidays and what it means to them…

So, in keeping with our holiday theme, I’m going to share what makes me happiest around the holidays and always–my family.

Our traditions are simple. My girls love to go for a walk on Christmas Eve, visit horses and bring them Christmas treats, and “prepare” their dolls for Santa’s arrival. We follow Santa closely on Norad, and by early evening on Christmas Eve, my girls are squealing with joy. It’s really quite perfect. Then, as the evening progresses, we read, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” for the billionth time, and the magic of Christmas falls on us — that quiet, beautiful, peaceful feeling — assuring us it is an evening like no other.

wishing-you-a-holiday-filled-with-joy-and-peace

Wishing you a holiday filled with joy and peace. May you be surrounded by those you love most, doing the things you love best.

 


Holiday Happiness with Jeannie Hall!

Today on Nitty Gritty Romance, we are thrilled to feature Jeannie Hall! Jeannie shares her story on achieving her dreams, and advises how we can achieve ours as well! What a perfect way to get ready for 2017!

From Jeannie:

2016 has been a transformative year for me. I became both traditionally and self-published for the first time. I’ve begun a personal journey to become healthier and happier – to date I’ve lost thirty-three pounds and have started my own writing business. I plan to leave my rather draining day job sometime within the first half of 2017. So now that Christmas is upon us, and with the New Year right around the corner, I’ve started to take stock of not only 2016, but my life in general.

I’m a happy person. I smile at strangers and feel cheerful much of the time. I’m grateful for all that I have. But sometimes I have struggled with bouts of sadness. Looking back at those times, I realize that those bouts were due to me not following my dreams. For years I’ve worked in jobs I didn’t enjoy – and sometimes stressed me out to the point of ill health – because I was afraid to do what I really wanted: to write.

Now that I’ve made the decision to focus the full strength of my heart and soul on my writing career, things are changing. In the month of November alone I was able to write and publish five eBooks – one, my Christmas novella, A Midnight Clear, and four nonfiction personal development books I’m calling my Writing in my Jammies series. Just a couple of months ago, I never could’ve imagined writing so much so easily. But now that I’ve dedicated myself to making writing my full time gig, taking care of myself and loving myself without limit, what seemed impossible is now happening. (By the way, I’m a retail manager working forty-five to fifty hour work weeks right now. That was also true in November.)

I’m a perfect example that believing in yourself and having faith in whatever higher power you believe in can work miracles. I’m following my fun and my passion, and my dreams – one by one – are coming true before my eyes. I realized that I deserve happiness – we all do. If I can do this, you can do it, too. Trust in your gut and if you have a dream, go after it with all your heart. If you do, your Christmas wishes and New Year’s Resolutions will have no choice but to come true. 🙂

Thanks, Jeannie!

Jeannie is also sharing her new release,

A MIDNIGHT CLEAR  

Wanna check out a fun little Christmas read full of thrills and steamy romance? Try my new release A Midnight Clear.

a-midnight-clear

Getting entangled in an FBI case involving an international drug cartel right at the holidays does not make for a merry Christmas. Even though she’s never left the U.S., evidence seems to prove Hannah Barker is a drug mule with the cartel. Ian Velez, the local chief sheriff’s deputy, is also on the case, but his gut tells him Hannah is innocent. Is she? Or is something far more nefarious at work?

 

 

 

Sounds great! Where to buy…?    Amazon

 

Here’s a little about Jeannie:

Jeannie Hall is a multi-published nonfiction and fiction author, hailing from the Southern jeannie-hallUnited States.

She writes the nonfiction “Writing in my Jammies” series of personal development books, meant to help others find more peace and happiness in their lives.

For her romantic thriller fiction stories, she uses her experiences growing up in the Deep South and love of nature as backdrops for her books. Jeannie enjoys writing intense and dark plots which twist in unexpected ways around her characters. She believes the best characters come from difficult and sometimes tragic pasts, building them into stronger women and men.

For more information about me and my journey, check out my website: WritingInMyJammies.com

How to connect with Jeannie…?

Website

Facebook

Twitter

 

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Reading!


Holiday Happiness with Donna Simonetta!

Today on Nitty Gritty Romance, we have the always fun and fabulous Donna Simonetta who is here to share some Holiday Happiness with us!

PLUS!!! She’s going to share some info about her novel, Angels Fly…AND we get a sneak peek at her NEW RELEASE, A Sweeter Spot! Yay!!! Thanks for stopping by, Donna!

From Donna:

True confession time. I’m a total sucker for the holiday season. The lights, the music, sappy holiday movies, romance novels with holiday themes, Christmas trees and decorations, cookies–the whole great big, sparkly Christmas ornament of a time.

There are pressures too. On our time, and on our wallets. To find the perfect gifts for our loved ones, and missing loved ones who have gone, but I try to focus on the pleasures, and one of the biggest pleasures of the season for me is getting to spend time with my family. My husband and I live in another state, and we only get to see my mom and sisters for a week in the summer and a week at Christmas. One way we alleviate the stress of the season is by avoiding the hellacious drive up I95 from Maryland to Connecticut by taking the train. We treat ourselves to the Acela Express, and it gets the vacation off to a festive start. Well…except for the year there was a blizzard and they crammed several cancelled trains worth of people onto the Vermonter. Trust me, it was nothing like when they took the Vermonter in the movie “White Christmas”.

52f09e29-4b58-46af-a6b5-601e74c3e731 But I digress. Back to happy. By the time we arrive at the station in Stamford, I’m so excited, I’m ready to jump out of the train and sprint down the platform. Leo and I don our personalized Santa hats. Yes. You read that correctly. My husband and I have personalized Santa hats–you can’t say I didn’t warn you that I was a nut for the holiday! The sister who picks us up at the station is as bonkers for the holidays as I am, and even her car is decked out for the season, with antlers on the windows, and a giant, red Rudolph nose on the grill.

The station is elevated over the tracks, so to get to the pick-up area, we have to go down a long escalator to the sidewalk where cars and taxis are lined up to meet travelers. I know Mary is waiting down there for us, and my heart always races with excitement. I can’t wait to get my first glimpse of her, but the roof of the station overhangs the escalator, and I can’t see unless I bend over to peek as we glide downward. So, of course, I bend and peek. And there she is! My sister is next to her cheery SUV–smiling, waving, and jumping up and down. My heart feels like it could burst, it’s so full of happiness. When we finally get to the bottom, we drag our suitcases and race toward Mary.  We squeal and hug, while Leo loads the luggage into the back of her rig. Once we all pile into the car to drive to my mom’s house, Mary always has Mele Kalikimaka queued up on the sound system, and we sing along as we ride down the highway to continue the celebration with my other sister and my mom. It is always one of the happiest moments of my year.

Wherever the road takes you this week, may you feel the same happiness I am, when I’m riding down that escalator tomorrow afternoon. Happy Holidays! And Mele Kalikimaka to all of you!

****

Thanks, Donna! Now here’s the peek at her  NEW novel,

A SWEETER SPOT:

Magda knows a 28-year-old shouldn’t run away from home, but Rivers Bend is the ideal escape. Helping out her best friend will get her away from her uber-wealthy, controlling grandmother and duplicitous ex. She doesn’t expect the quirky little town to feel so much like home. Add in hotter-than-the-sun Jeff and his daughter, and leaving seems as unthinkable as it is inevitable.

 Raising Sam alone, Jeff knew he wanted her to grow up in his supportive hometown. The arrival of a feisty new tenant sends Jeff’s world spinning. Magda fills a void in his life that he’d like to make permanent.

 Will love triumph over the most powerful woman in the country, and can they figure out how to make this happy-for-now in Rivers Bend into their happy-ever-after?

Sounds great! Where can you get it…? Available for PRE-ORDER NOW! 

asweeterspot_w10867_750

Amazon  

 The Wild Rose Press

 

And here’s a bit about ANGELS FLY!

Two years after her husband’s death, Kelly believes her romantic life is done. Until she angelsfly_w10335_750reconnects with her girlhood crush on social media, and as fate would have it, he lives across the street.

 James is over the whole true-love thing. His grasping ex-wife tore that belief out of him, when she left him for a rich, old man. Then he finds out his first love moved to San Diego too, and their attraction burns as hot as ever.

 What they don’t know is that Fate didn’t bring them together – the Guardian Angel Corps did, led by two unlikely Cupids – Kelly’s late husband and Zane, a rough and tumble, 19th century cowboy. When a Fallen Angel decides to tear Kelly and James apart, cherubs and harps aren’t going to cut it, and Zane’s unique skills might be just what they need to get a second chance at their first love.

 

Oooo! Where can you get this one?

 

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Amazon UK

The Wild Rose Press

 

Hey! I want to meet Donna! Well, this is where you’ll find her:

Facebook

 Twitter

 

About Donna:

After years working in the business world, my love of reading led me to get my MLS, and I currently work part-time in a school library, a job that allows me lots of time to explore my other love – writing romance! I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

 

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Reading!

 

 

 

 

 


Moments of Magic in the Midst of Ordinary — With Iona Morrison

This week on Nitty Gritty Romance, we are featuring the wonderful Iona Morrison, who shares what Happiness means to her…

From Iona:

Moments of Magic in the midst of Ordinary

My youngest grandson wiggled, hopping from one chair to the next, asking one question after another. I smiled, answering what I could before he bounded off on another topic. A chuckle desperately wanted to emerge as I watched him until I was dizzy and had to look away. A surprising warm feeling of happiness engulfed me as he continued to chatter on turning somersaults across my living room floor while all the ornaments rattled on the tree.

Watching his non-stop motion, I couldn’t help but think of my son, his father, at the same age. He was another big bundle of energy who chattered from the time he opened his eyes in the morning until he closed them in exhaustion at the end of the day. Sunshine wrapped up in a small boy’s body with loads of energy to spare. If I told him once, I must have said it hundreds of times you’ll have a child just like you some day and the little person wiggling around my living room was proof of the power of those words. It was about self-preservation and finding a measure of sanity in the chaos of a moment that I had uttered, those powerful words known as the Mother’s Curse. May I insert right here that I doubt the words are a curse at all, but rather a powerful blessing. My mother never meant more to me than when I was raising my sons. She had many laughs at my expense as I told her stories of another one of their escapades, even as I am chuckling watching my wiggly grandson.

Times like this make me sigh with contentment and remind me what real happiness is. Life is fragile and broken, but beautiful with moments of magic in the midst of the ordinary. I am happiest when I love, and I’m with those who love me; when I give of myself and when I  watch my children with their children in the circle of life.

*****

Iona is sharing a blurb and excerpt from her latest release:

Dance with a Devil ! 

dancewithadevil_w11110_300Coming In January and on pre-order now: Dance with a Devil, the fourth book in the Blue Cove Mystery Series.

Blurb:

Jessie is enjoying an evening run, grateful her life is finally back to normal. Starting the incline toward home, a sudden terror grips her. Someone is watching her. She picks up her pace, but he’s hot on her heels—and he means to kill her. She narrowly manages to elude her pursuer and reach the safety of her house. The first one she calls for help is the man she has grown to love, Matt Parker.

Matt already has his hands full dealing with a notorious hitman who’s in the area and a thug who followed a visitor to Blue Cove. Now Jessie is in danger, and Matt will do anything to keep her safe. He can’t lose her now.

When Matt becomes the target, it’s Jessie’s turn to help. She has a few surprises in store as a few ghostly friends come to her aid.

Excerpt:

A bullet splintered the bark of the tree where she had been standing. Jessie ran. She could hear someone crashing through the brush not far behind her. Another bullet missed her, hitting a little to the right, kicking up dirt and leaves on the ground. She ran faster. Up ahead, she could see a branch hanging low, and she did what she had done many times as a kid. She reached out, grabbed it as she ran by, and swung herself up into the tree to hide. She got a foot on a low branch and climbed up further, out of sight, her dress snagging on twigs. Her feet screamed in pain, her palms were slick with blood. Be silent! She crouched, one arm around the main trunk, trying to stifle her breathing. Her heart pumped hard, her ears strained for any sound. She took her gun from the holster, but her hand wouldn’t stop shaking. A branch snapped, and she jerked. Quiet! She covered her mouth with her hand. He was still coming, the hunter hunting his prey. He wasn’t trying to be quiet. Branches snapped, and she heard the thud of running footsteps. Jessie clung to the trunk, still as a piece of tree bark.

It sounds fabulous! Treat yourself to a holiday gift and pre-order today!

Where to buy?

Wild Rose Press

Amazon

And where can you find Iona?

Facebook

Website

Twitter

Pinterest

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

 

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Reading!


Holiday Happiness with K.K. Weil!

Today on Nitty Gritty Romance, we are visiting with the wonderful, K.K. Weil! She’s here to tell us about her happiness during the holidays…

AND about her new release…

BETTER TO GIVE!

bettertogive_w10932_300

 

From K.K.:

Happiness means different things to me depending on the time of year. Around the holidays, happiness is all about warmth, both emotional and physical. In December, happiness is snuggling in bed, reading Christmas picture books to my children. Even though my daughter is a tween, she loves our tradition and my kids trade off, taking turns to pick which book we’ll read each night. Happiness is holiday carols and egg nog. Happiness is driving around to check out the lights on people’s homes. Happiness is wrapping up in a blanket, reading a fantastic book. It’s watching my children have a ball playing in the snow (from my window, keeping warm, after spending an obligatory few minutes playing with them – for me, happiness is NOT playing in the snow. I’m always freezing.) It’s decorating Christmas cookies and gingerbread houses.

Happiness is Christmas Eve. It’s my children’s favorite night of the year. They love preparing for our company, setting tables and helping me cook appetizers. They wait all day for dozens of people to fill our home, and enjoy every second of the wonderful commotion. Watching them brings me back to my own childhood. Christmas Eve was my favorite night of the year, too.

Happiness in December is simple. It’s flavored coffee, a blazing fire and family. What else could I need?

Well, a new release makes me pretty happy, too. 🙂

Here’s a peek at my novella, Better to Give…

I needed some air. I just attacked a man for no good reason. Sure, one of his kids almost send Nora tumbling into a tree, but I could tell he was overwhelmed and I pounced anyway.

While his kids fought, the guy covered his face with his hands – the international sign for losing parental control. As he removed his hands, though, an awful thing happened. I got a good look at him and heat ran through every crevice of my body. No one should be as handsome as that guy was. Plus, I always had a thing for guys who were in over their heads, and he was definitely drowning with those kids.

I hadn’t reacted that way to a guy in a long time and I didn’t want to. My life was on track. I didn’t need some annoyingly smoky-hot, anti-super-dad screwing up my plans.

It was a problem because he clearly enjoyed the view, too. I knew what guys were thinking when they looked at me, and spoke to me, that way. When I mixed the way he was engrossed in me with my reaction to him, plans got derailed and things like Nora happened. Those smouldery guys don’t stick around once the Noras of the world arrive. So even though they’re still scorching hot, they no longer act like you are.

They disappear.

At least that was my experience. One I didn’t intend to repeat.

 

Sounds great, right…? Want more? Me, too! 

bettertogive_w10932_300For most people, the holidays are a time of warmth, happiness and celebration. But to Jenna Samuels, they mean only one thing. Mounting debt. A single mother, Jenna struggles to make ends meet and to her, it’s a season of excess and distress.

James Garrison is in over his head, too. His ex-wife said he wasn’t equipped to take care of his twins, and now that he’s got joint custody, he fears she was right. They’re wild, spoiled, and always fighting. When they knock Jenna’s daughter into the “Gifting Tree,”—a part of their town’s charity collection—the parents are immediately attracted to each other. But James has had his fill of cold women and Jenna won’t make the mistake of falling for another man who disappears when life gets too heavy.

As their paths cross, James and Jenna must decide whether first impressions are accurate, or if sometimes, people are not what you assume at all.

Where to purchase BETTER TO GIVE : 

Amazon

The Wild Rose Press

Nook

 

wishing-you

 

Happy Reading!


It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

As we continue our Countdown to Christmas, I am happy to welcome author Debra St. John to my blog!

Tree holiday pic

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

At my house the trees (three big ones and a small one) are all decked out. The lights are on the bushes. Candles glow. Christmas carols play in the background. Cookies are looking way too tempting on red and green trays. And I even have some (but not enough at this point) of my shopping done. Everything looks beautiful and festive.

Trouble is, I find with the hustle and bustle of this time of year, there simply isn’t enough time to just sit back and enjoy it all. In addition to the usual rounds of everyday life, now there are Advent services, and Housewalks, and open houses, and parties, and Christmas cards to write and send, and more presents to buy and wrap.

We do so much to get ready for Christmas that the beauty and peace of the season often pass us by and get lost in the rush to get things done. We tend to lose sight of the true meaning of the season: peace, hope, and the Light of the world come to Earth.

The other night, after the second long day in an even longer weekend, I made myself sit. I had a million things to do, but I took a half hour to do nothing. I sat in front of the lighted Christmas tree, put some Smokey Mountain Christmas music on, curled up beneath my Santa fleece blanket, and simply absorbed the beauty and the wonder and let the peace soak into my soul. It was absolutely marvelous.

In Christmas at The Corral, Maggie Pearson is busy, busy, busy. She’s preparing for a Christmas Eve appreciation dinner for several hundred guests at the local bar. With only two days to go, there’s still a lot to get done. She’s doing everything she can to make things festive for others, but isn’t taking enough time to stop and enjoy for herself.

When Van Rawlings pops unexpectedly into her life, things change. As a divorce lawyer, he’s a bit cynical about love and Christmas. But through each others’ eyes, they start to see the magic and the wonder of the season in a new way. To stop and take time to savor the peace and joy of a small town Christmas.

So this year, I encourage you to do the same. Whether you live in a small town or the big city or anywhere in between…Stop. Enjoy. Let the peace of the season wash over you and through you. Believe again.

Merry Christmas!

perf5.000x8.000.indd

Christmas at The Corral

Maggie Pearson has no time in her busy life for love, but an immediate attraction draws her to a mysterious stranger at The Corral, a local bar. However, any romantic feelings are ruthlessly squashed when he accuses her of having an affair with his brother.

As a divorce lawyer, Van Rawlings has seen the ugly side of marriage too many times to believe in love. But having gotten off on the wrong foot with Maggie, and genuinely contrite over his faux pas, he offers to help her with an upcoming Christmas charity dinner. The more time they spend together, the more he realizes he’s never met anyone like Maggie, who gives so generously of her time.

Can Maggie and the magic of the season help Van believe again? In Christmas and in love.

Excerpt:

“I’ve never done this before.”

Maggie glanced over. “Driven a pickup?” He looked right at home behind the wheel, down to the straw cowboy hat perched on his head. “Don’t all Texas boys have to as a rite of passage or something?”

“Not the truck. I’ve never cut down a Christmas tree.” He shifted his gaze from the road and shot her a wicked smile. “And there are definitely lots of things boys in Texas need to do in their pickups as a rite of passage. Wanna try one or two?”

Once again her long-dormant libido made its presence known as she imagined the one or two things he had in mind. She tingled in places that hadn’t tingled in forever. The tempting offer was nearly enough to distract her from his Christmas tree comment, but not quite.

“How is that possible?”

“Well, I could pull over. You’d slide along the bench closer to me, and—”

“Not that.” Ay yi yi. He was killing her. Her face, along with the rest of her body, went up in flames.

He chuckled, low and sexy. Knowing.

“The Christmas tree thing.”

He shrugged. “We always had an artificial tree while I was growing up. In fact, my parents still have the same one. The thing must be thirty-some years old.”

“What kind of tree do you have in—where do you live?”

“Dallas, and I don’t have any kind of tree.”

“Why not, Mr. Scrooge?”

“Ha. Ha. I’m never home, and it’s just me there anyway. Why bother?”

“Because it’s Christmas. The most wonderful time of the year.”

 

WRP

Available from The Wild Rose Press

http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=242_175_133&products_id=6478

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0165OFHDO/?tag=thewildrosepr-20

 

Visit Debra at:

http://www.debrastjohnromance.com

http://heroineswithhearts.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/debra.s.john.1

 

Debra is participating in our

12 Days of Christmas

Holiday Giveaway Contest!

Goldstein-Holiday-Giveaway

Check back often for details! The contest begins soon!

-Happy Reading!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0165OFHDO/?tag=thewildrosepr-20


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