Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Bite Me for Christmas by @meganslayer #vampires #romance #witches #hotread #newrelease

 Holidays got you down? You're stressed? Tired? Want to escape from it all for a little while? Then pick up a copy of Bite Me for Christmas. This hot vampire and witch paranormal romance is a great escape from the madness of the holidays and it's steamy, too! Plus, if you buy a copy on Changeling Press's website, you'll be entered to win free books for a year!! 

Check it out!


Bite Me for Christmas by Megan Slayer

Contemporary, Paranormal Holiday Romance

MF interaction, Age Gap, Vampires, Witches

15,000 words

From Changeling Press

Cover Art: Bryan Keller


Rachael isn’t good at magic, and she’s not versed in life, but this witch wants to lay her hands on the sexy vampire who’s come to her in her dreams. She wants just one thing for Christmas wish -- her vampire.

Gavin wants the witch in his dreams, but he doesn’t believe he’s worthy of her. Part of him wants to devour her magic and save himself, but what if being saved doesn’t involve dying?

Anything is possible with a little Christmas magic.


Now for an excerpt 

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Megan Slayer

She left her bed and ventured over to the window. Santa might not listen, but she had to try. Christmas was in two days, and she had a Christmas wish. If anyone could come through for her, it was Santa.

She held onto the windowsill. She hated being interrupted before she reached orgasm, but she needed her vampire to be there so she could. He mattered. Him being real mattered.

“Dear Santa, I should write a letter, but this seems faster. I could conjure you, but if I did, I’d probably give you four heads or turn you into a dragon by accident. Anyway, I’m tired of getting three-fourths of the way to climax and not being able to finish. Why? I know this seems like a strange thing to mention, but I’m trying to have sex in my dreams -- which isn’t as good as the real thing -- and it’s with a vampire. He could kill me, but I’m drawn to him. I don’t know who he is, Santa, but I want him. My Christmas wish is for the vampire in my dreams to come to me in real life. He might destroy me, but he might be what I need, and I want to find out. I accept the risk. Please, fulfill my Christmas wish and put a vampire under my tree.”

She swore she heard other voices and paused. Damn it. Her sisters must still be awake downstairs and heard her moving. If they did, they’d want her to get to work on whatever chore they’d found. They treated her like their servant.

“Are you awake?” Serena, her oldest sister, called. “Rachael? If you’re awake, then there’s a sink full of dishes that need done.”

“It’s too early for her to be up,” Millie, her other sister, said. “She’s not awake. You’re imagining things.”

How could she sleep with the noise from her sisters downstairs? They treated her like a child and servant. The only way she’d have a chance at a life of her own would be to find the vampire and run the hell away.

“Please, Santa,” Rachael said. “I want my vampire for Christmas.”

Monday, December 27, 2021

Fruitcake: The Worst Dessert Ever by L. A. Kelley

December 27 is National Fruitcake Day where we sit around and sing the praise of the fruitcake. That takes all of about 10 seconds because it’s the worst dessert ever with the subtle piquant flavor of burnt popcorn and mud. Some of you may like fruitcake and I’m so sorry you were born without taste buds. Perhaps science will find a cure some day and you will finally understand why the rest of us gape at you in horror as you shovel the stuff in without gagging.

As a child, every year we were gifted with a fruitcake from an aged relative. She is to be forgiven since she grew up during the Depression when people were so poor, they only ate discarded clothing. By comparison, fruitcake was a small step up. The only way to make it palatable was to douse it in the strongest alcohol available. It didn’t improve the taste, but after one slice you didn’t care.

Fruitcake has a long, inglorious history. The ancient Romans made a mishmash of barley, pomegranate seeds, nuts, and raisins into a sort of energy bar; It was shaped into a cake and called a “satura.” Because it was easy to tote around and lasted for so long without going bad, Roman soldiers brought it to the battlefields as a snack. It was also used as a weapon against the Visigoths. Unfortunately, they had fruitcake of their own, so the battle was a draw.

During the Middle Ages dried fruits became more widely available and were mixed with bread doughs. To prevent spoilage alcohol was added to kill bacteria and taste buds. The preservative process caused these breads to last through a long cold winter. In Elizabethan times, fruitcakes often contained meat, fruit juices, sugar, preserved fruits and enough wine and sherry to choke a horse. After a while, the meat was eliminated. Why bother when you had that much wine and sherry?  More fruit took its place. Cooks began soaking fruits in sugar and drying them. Around this time, nuts were also added and then all of that slop was added to a heavy cake batter. It became known as "plum pudding” or “Blimey, what is this mess?”

In England, fruitcake is traditional at British weddings. It was customary for unmarried wedding guests to put a slice of fruitcake under their pillow at night so they could dream about the person they would eventually marry. (Eating it caused nightmares.) Fruitcake was also served to English Christmas carolers, which may be a reason it became so popular for the holidays. It was banned in the 18th century when it was mistakenly thought to be the cause of a cholera epidemic, although some of us still have doubts.

Variations on the fruitcake sprung up in other countries. Italy's dense panforte dates back to 13th century Sienna; Germany's stollen, a tapered loaf coated with melted butter and powdered sugar has been a Dresden delicacy since the 1400s with its own annual festival. The Caribbean has black cake, a boozy descendant of Britain’s plum pudding where the fruit is soaked in rum for months, or even as long as a year. The tradition of making fruitcakes for special occasions such as weddings and holidays gained in popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was a grand indulgence due to the cost of the materials, but how it came to be a Christmas punishment is a mystery.

Getting rid of fruitcake without actually eating it.

While December 27 is National Fruitcake Day, a little more than a week later, on January 7, comes Fruitcake Toss Day. Before the pandemic, one town in Colorado had an ingenious solution to unwanted fruitcake. Manitou Springs held a contest to see who could throw their fruitcakes the farthest and with the greatest accuracy. People built catapults, slingshots, or just hurled the cakes by hand. Lest you mourn food going to waste remember this is fruitcake, banned by the Geneva Convention as a weapon of mass destruction. Also, competitors were required to bring an edible donation to the local food bank. Anything except fruitcake. Let’s hope the tradition continues. That fruitcake won’t toss itself. So get out there tomorrow and hurl your fruitcake across the street to the neighbor’s yard and then run like hell so they don’t spot you and hurl it back.

L. A. Kelley writes science fiction and fantasy adventures with humor, romance, and a touch of sass. Many consider her a fruitcake.


Saturday, December 25, 2021

Happy Holidays by Nancy Gideon

Wishing you and your families the very best this holiday season!! 


Nancy Gideon on the Web

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Looking for a warmer winter? Head to the snow. By Julie Howard


After a couple weeks of downright chilly temperatures, snow is on its way! I’m glad for a couple of reasons beyond skiing. Snow transforms uncomfortable cold – stark, leafless trees now glistening with ice, brown lawns coated a pristine white, and my northern city is a lovely postcard setting. 

I’m amazed how a few inches of fluffy frozen water makes the world outside seem warmer. This is a phenomenon those in northern climates talk about, wishing for snow for its insulating nature. But how can this be true? Is it because we are distracted by the beauty? Am I being fooled by Mother Nature? I needed an answer so I went to the experts – at the National Snow & Ice Data Center.

Before I get into details, I’ll tell you upfront that this is actually possible. Snow can make the outside world feel warmer. For those who live in Minnesota or North Dakota, it’s also very true that snow can chill you to the bone. I live in a fairly moderate northern zone in Idaho. Yes, we get a smattering of snowfall each winter but our temperatures rarely fall below zero at night.

Now for the details. First of all, it’s simple science to know that the temperature has to be freezing – thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit – for water to become a solid, and rain to become snow. But snow can also create its own climate. For instance, if your outside thermometer reads thirty-eight degrees, you can still see snow falling. This is because snow is created high in the atmosphere where it’s colder and as the snowflakes fall, they cool the air immediately surrounding them. The NSIDC says this micro climate effect can occur even up to forty degrees, which is one explanation to feel warmer than expected even as snow coats your eyelashes.

The second reason for feeling warmer on a snowy day is a bit more complicated. By definition moisture has to be present for ice crystals to form. Damp air conducts heat more than dry air – if you’ve ever visited the tropics, you’ve experienced this phenomenon. But when it rains in the winter, even if we wear protective clothing, the fibers in our clothes absorb a bit of the moisture bringing a chill to our skin along with the lower temperatures. When the moisture turns to a solid, the moisture is removed from the air and our clothes can insulate us better. In this respect, we are fooled to believe that a snowy day is warmer than a rainy day.

Of course, there’s a point where it’s just darned cold outside! The best solution of all: Get that fireplace going and curl up with a good book.

Happy holidays!


About the author:

Julie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime mystery series and Spirited Quest paranormal mystery series, as well as The Three Widows of Wylder. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. She is a member of the Idaho Writers Guild and editor of the Potato Soup Journal. Learn more at













Follow her on Instagram: @authorjuliehoward 


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

My Favorite Things for the Holidays! By Tena Stetler


With the holiday season in full swing, Thought I’d mention a few of my favorite things Did I mention, I LOVE to decorate! Though this year has been a challenge.  LOL

  1. Decorations. First of all, we start decorating the Friday after Thanksgiving.  This year we started earlier, seems time goes so fast, there isn’t enough hours in the day to get everything all done. Anyone else have that problem? First the outside decorations go up.  Then the tree, it’s lights, especially the bubble lights they are mesmerizing to watch.  Several years ago, I brought the cutest colorful lifesaver shaped garland that I wind up the stairway banister.  The tiny Precious Moments nativity is one I found years ago, along with Sam’s town, the soft lights from their windows are my parrot, Taco’s night light during the holidays.
  2. Food.  Christmas is turkey, homemade cranberry sauce, rolls, candied yams and pumpkin pie swirled in whipped cream.  Yummmm! The leftovers are even better.  Sometimes we freeze the turkey leftovers and weeks or even a month later, yummy turkey sandwiches are wonderful.
  3. Music.  While we decorate the tree, we play a wide variety of Christmas Carols from the traditional to Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer. The carols are sung by rock and roll artists, county western or classical renditions.  It has been a family traditional as long as I can remember. We reminisce where the beloved tree decorations passed down generation to generation originated and the funny stories each spark. 
  4. Movies. It’s officially the Christmas season when we watch Miracle on 31st Street and How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Jim Carey. He is such a hoot.  Then its Scrooged with Bill Murray.  Afterward most nights we enjoy watching the variety of Christmas movies collected.  Yep, get my Christmas movie fix.
  5. Christmas Light Looking.  It isn’t Christmas without getting in the SUV and driving through town admiring everyone’s decorations.  A local church presents the Lights of Christmas on approximately 20 acres. The lights displays are synchronized with popular holiday music wafting through the crisp night air as you drive though.  It’s beautiful and we enjoy it every year with a mug of hot chocolate and Christmas cookies we pack with us for the drive.
  6. Family and Friends. The best part of the holidays is connecting with family and friends, whether it’s a long over-due phone call to catch up or a board game with friends.  Years ago, I started writing a Christmas letter with our family’s actives for the year, complete with pictures.  Since then it’s become a tradition. Friends and family look forward to that letter and make sure updated address are in my hands by Thanksgiving. There have been scary times, happy times, sad and in-between times, but keeping in touch seems help everyone weather the preverbal storms. This year has been hell on a stick from beginning to end. Hoping to see light at the end of a dark, scary tunnel in 2022.   

So there you have it, a few of my favorite things.  What are yours?

With that, I’ll wish you all Love and Laughter and a pitch for my holiday tale on sale!  A WITCH’S HOLIDAY WEDDING . A small town paranormal romance/mystery paired with hope of wildlife rescue, second chances, the magic of family & friends makes this a must read.  Available at Amazon  ibooks & Barnes & Noble.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Speaking of new year... Got any resolutions?  Come on, you know you do.  LOL   What do you plan to change and what do you hope to see in 2020. I look forward to hearing from you! See you next year.  I know it’s an old cliché, but couldn’t help myself!

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Easy, Affordable DIY Holiday Craft Ideas! by Elizabeth Alsobrooks

I have surfed the net to find some of what I think are the most affordable and/or easy craft ideas for the holidays.

First let’s start with a few fun ornaments. 

Peppermint Candy Ornaments shared with links to the original author Shae at Hello Homebody! Why did I think to include this? Simple, few materials needed, and fun. All you need is some simple shaped metal cookie cutters, nonstick cooking spray, parchment paper, string or ribbon for hanging and some circle peppermints (which I get at the dollar store at $1 per bag).  I had everything but the peppermints on hand!

The full directions are on this great blog post by Shea from Hello Homebody! Peppermint Candy Christmas Ornaments (


Want something you can make with younger kids? How about gathering some buttons, construction paper, pipe cleaners, craft glue, googly eyes, felt, popsicle sticks and cotton balls, or whatever you have around, and letting your youngsters make some cotton ball snowmen or sheep ornaments? What could be more fun or less hassle?


Have more talented crafters in your family? How about origami and paper gift tags and ornaments? This was one of the most interesting sites I found, and I’m a seasoned origami fan!

My favorite was her heart gift tags!

10 Origami Ornaments for Cute DIY Christmas Tree Decorations


You can also do a quick YouTube search for some great how-to visuals on cute DIY ideas!  Here’s some I found:

 1 minute star ornament: DIY One Minute Paper Star Christmas Ornaments - YouTube

Easy diamond ornaments: Easy and rich - Origami diamond ornaments. Christmas decoration. Ideas for Christmas - YouTube

Paper Snowflake: Paper Snowflake / Christmas Snowflake ️ - YouTube

3D Christmas trees: 3D Paper Christmas Tree | How to Make a 3D Paper Xmas Tree DIY Tutorial - YouTube

Christmas Angel made from real money, what a great gift topper or card surprise! My MONEY CHRISTMAS ANGEL | Decoration for your Xmas Tree | Dollar Origami | Tutorial DIY by NProkuda - YouTube

3D snowflakes, which look great hanging from the ceiling or window, as I used to teach kids to make these for extra credit and hang them all over the classroom! 3D Paper Snowflakes DIY - YouTube

 Fancier 3d snowflakes: 6 Easy and Attractive Paper Wall Hangings - DIY Christmas Paper Decoration Ideas - YouTube


I hope these ideas got your own creative juices flowing! They'll sure help keep bored kids active in positive, creative ways!

 Happy Crafting!









Thursday, December 16, 2021

What it's Like Being in an Anthology (or two!)

 Happy December! 

2021 was the year of anthologies for me as a writer. I had stories come out in two different anthologies (and another two are on their way come 2022!). This month I'll be comparing and contrasting my experiences with both for you. 

In Standing Fast: Stories in the Last Brigade, I have a dystopian survival story. While I read a ton of young adult fiction, I find that as a writer I end up writing in all kinds of genres. Nonetheless, this genre was one that I hadn't tried before. But when a long-time writer friend asked me to join the ranks of his anthology, I readily agreed. 

He set all the parameters including the word count and genre. Because these stories take place in a world that he was already built, I had to do a bit of research to make sure that my story could fit into a previously established setting. Then, a different writer friend gave me the title idea, and from there a story of a girl trying to survive her colorless world emerged. I had a couple of months to work on the draft before the final version was due. 

The contract for this project came from my previous publisher, so there wasn't too much to go over in that department as it was very similar to the one I signed for my debut novel, The Curse Breaker. I got my author copy in a pdf form a bit before the anthology came out in book form, and it was a lot of fun to see what the other writers (many of who I didn't know before) came up within this universe.

Participating in anthologies like these are a great way to meet new writing styles and names, as well as challenge yourself to fit into a certain theme/setting.

Malfunction Junction was a completely different experience. Partly because I'm in it as a writer as well as an editor, and partly because I was much closer to the overall construction of the anthology. As a group, we came up with the idea of doing an anthology and were just about to publish it when Covid hit. We decided to take a break for a bit before resuming the project. 

We used a much looser theme to tie these stories together. All of the stories have something to do with Memphis, Tennessee (which is where we all have lived/currently live). In this case, our love of a singular place (with its quirks) is what brought this project to fruition. 

Both of my stories in this project take place in the modern world with elements of fantasy. Many of the stories have some hints of fantasy, but a couple of them do not. The writing time for this project was much longer, but we spent time giving each other feedback on the submitted stories. 

Working on anthologies like these are great if you have a group of writer friends and you want to learn more about the overall process of putting something like this together. It will also give you a great excuse to put on an author's night at your local book shop. 

If you have more questions about the process, I'd love to answer them. Comment below.

Until next time. Happy writing!

Monday, December 13, 2021

Let’s Hear It For the Crones! By Marilyn Barr

 Long before Santa burst onto the scene with his flashy red suit and sack of bribes, the winter holiday Epiphany was a celebration of crones. From his flying reindeer to the list that he checks twice, many of the facets of the Santa story are rooted in European traditions dating back before the birth of Jesus. Why aren’t these crones celebrated around the world like the commercial icon, Santa? I believe it is because their stories are delightfully terrifying. Small celebrations in their home nations continue the tradition of the Christmas witch, but let’s expand the reach of the feminine power in the wise women who have survived the maiden and matron portion of her life…with a few scary coping mechanisms…

The least frightening Christmas Witch is celebrated in my Italian family – Befana. Being based out of Rome, her legend has had the most parts borrowed by Santa and Christmas in general. Befana flies to all the children’s houses on January fifth each year to fill their stockings hanging over the hearth. Good little kids get candies today but received dates, figs, or honey in ancient Rome. What do bad children receive? If you guessed coal, you are correct. Befana kept a list and checked it twice before delivering her goodies. However, she didn’t fly in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. Like any witch worth her Book of Shadows, she flies on a broom.

(Befana doll from Rome’s Christmas Fair, Image from Wikimedia Common Images)

Where do the reindeer come in? They are part of the legend of Frau Perchta or The Spinning Room Witch. It is debated whether her legend originated in the alpine region of Germany and Austria (where she is still celebrated today) or in Scandinavia as the crone morphism of the Goddess Frigg. She’s called The Spinning Room Lady because she goes to houses to inspect their spinning room (and general housekeeping) for cleanliness on January sixth. Unspun flax, no offering of porridge, or a messy house will cause her to set your house on fire after stealing your intestines and replacing them with rocks. While some cultures replace the crone with a prettier maiden, named “Holle”, her deeds are just as gruesome. Does it matter if she has an iron beak nose, goat horns, or a sleigh pulled by part-reindeer and part-man monsters when she intends on disemboweling you? Her ‘Wild Hunt’ and a reverse harem of reindeer shifters are the origins of Santa’s team. Sounds like a Marilyn Barr paranormal romance in the future…

(Frau Perchta from Pinterest – Artist credit in the bottom right corner)

If you thought Frau Perchta was horrifying, she’s got nothing on Gryla the giant troll. Gryla was taught the joys of cannibalism from her first husband and haunts the children of Iceland. On the night before Yule, she collects the bad children (and drunken men who happen to be out) to be boiled in her cauldron and eaten. Despite growing up on a diet of boiled children, two of her sons grew up to be the Yule Lads who deliver presents to the obedient members of society in true Santa fashion. Gryla and her second husband Leppauloi have a separate list of houses to visit on the same night. Gryla’s number of heads, tails, goat horns, and ears is disputed in different legends. Another point of contention is her pet—the Christmas cat. This cat devours adults who do not have presents under the tree containing clothes, but what if no one gives them clothes? They have no control over others’ gift giving. Some legends have rectified this to say adults who do not give clothes to someone get eaten while others stay with the original Christmas Cat legend. (Legend Research from Old Magic of Christmas by Linda Raedisch)

(Gryla and Leppauloi puppets in an Icelandic Parade - Wikipedia)

Whether it is their dietary habits or fiery tempers, these crones need better PR. The traditional witch’s calendar celebrates the crone period of life from Samhain to Imbolc, but this has been buried by Christmas shopping receipts. I hesitate to put an age range on who is a crone because of the negative connotations ingrained in our society. Perhaps as we reinvent the season post-pandemic, we return to the traditions of honoring the grandmothers, seasoned ladies, or matriarchs in our families—minus the disembowelment or cannibalism, please.

My new release, The Spy Who Loved My Russian Tea Cakes, is dedicated to my mother-in-law. It also contains her recipe for Russian Tea Cakes and special cameo of her ghost. When she passed in 2008, she was just entering her season of the crone. However, as a hospice nurse dedicated to dignified end-of-life care, she believed in respecting the strong women in our society who earned their “grey hair sparkles” through experience. So, this Christmas, don’t forget to shower the crones in your life with love…or to clean your spinning room.

Select your online retailer here and treat yourself to a steamy holiday romance -

Friday, December 10, 2021

Psychics “Я” Us


While my current SciFi Romance series, Ancient Alien Descendants, is about an upcoming alien invasion, I focused on having the main characters wield different psychic powers. The heroes may be half alien, but it is their human side that gives them their psychic abilities.


Psychic - What are They?

Before I started writing the series, I researched different psychic abilities to give my heroes. To do that, I had to define what being a psychic meant. In Wikipedia, the basic definition of a psychic is “a person who claims to use extrasensory perception (ESP) to identify information hidden from the normal senses. Particularly involving telepathy or clairvoyance, or who performs acts that are inexplicable by natural laws.”

From the beginning of recorded record, seers and profits have been with humankind (check out any religious work). One of the earliest practices of divination was astrology, where practitioners believe the positions of the heavenly bodies let insight into their lives. A vast variety of these folks held titles, such as advisors, priests, shamans, and judges.

How are Psychics Viewed Today?

According to a Gallup poll in 2005, 41% of folks believe in ESP, 26% believe in clairvoyance, and 31% believe in telepathy. Some maintain anyone can have psychic powers that are activated through study and practice of various disciplines such as meditation. Another popular opinion is that it’s hereditary. Psychic talents are passed from a parent to their children. During the late twentieth century, we associated psychics with the New Age movement.

The Psychics in my Series

My series has a set of five brothers–fraternal quintuplets. While they have more than one psychic power, one ability is dominant. It was a lot of fun coming up with the various powers they could have, plus a little extra ability that made things interesting.

Spoiler alert–their lady loves to discover they have comparable abilities right alongside their men.

Book One: The Empath

The first hero we meet is Ben, the youngest of the quintuplets. What, you may ask, is an empath? Empaths are people who experience other people’s feelings and emotions as if they were their own. In my story, Ben not only experiences other people’s emotions, but can also manipulate folks to feel things he wants them to. Another of his major talents is entering people’s dreams to interact with them in a practice I called Dreamwalk.

In the book, he explains that he’d rather be in empath than a mind reader. “People lie to themselves with words all the time,” he states, “but their emotions don’t.”

Book Two: The Shapeshifter

If you read any type of paranormal romance, you know shape shifters are some of the most popular. After all, who hasn’t heard of a werewolf? In my second book, we meet Pete, the smartass of the bunch. He’s the second to the youngest and is a powerful shapeshifter. He can turn into any type of animal or creature he’d ever touched, that includes humans. To give his novel an extra twist, his love interest, Jena, has the same powers but takes it a step further. She not only can transform into any creature or person she touches; she also can change into any mythical creature she desires (hey, dragons had to show up somehow!).

 Book Three: The Psychic

Now this one sounds like a no-brainer, but bear with me. Michael is the middle brother of the five. He not only has the strongest mind reading ability, he is also the prophet of the family and can teleport short distances (teleportation is the hypothetical transfer of matter or energy from one point to another without traversing the physical space between them). Michael can also create a Dreamwalk like Ben does.

To make the story interesting, I had a demigod from Egypt take away Michael’s powers. So for the first time, someone who had unlimited psychic powers had to save his lady love without them. Good thing she was there to save him right back.

Book Four: The Vampire (coming spring 2022)

Throwing a vampire into the mix might seem unusual in a series about psychics, but what is a vampire other than someone who has boundless psychic abilities? Here we meet Zamush. The man isn’t one of the undead, but is genetically different from the rest of his siblings. While he relies on blood to live, he also needs food and sleep. But, like a vampire, he can teleport and is a strong telepathic. Better to control someone’s mind when he bites them. While the sun won’t kill him, he is allergic to it and breaks out in a severe rash if he’s out in it too long.

I gave Zamush an extra power: he’s a prokinetic–the ability to create and control fire with his mind.

His lady love, Jelena, has the same genetic makeup. But instead of fire, she wields ice.

Book Five: The Mage (coming fall 2022)

The last book in the series highlights the eldest son, Raiden. He has all the abilities his brothers do, but it at a more advanced level. He uses telekinesis to move things around. In order to mix the story up, his lady love, Jazmi, is just as powerful as he is. But she has been biding her time before allowing them to meet. The timing had to be right for them to get together so they can stop the alien invasion from destroying earth.



It was a lot of fun peppering my heroes and heroines with various psychic abilities. Some folks have asked me if I believed psychics are real. I do think people are more clairvoyant than they realize. Part of it is reading body language, and some of it is observing what goes on around them. As for me, I admit I don’t know what I don’t know. I’ve long had the motto to stay clear of absolutes.

Whenever I dream of the future, I think as humanity grows, we’ll tap into those unused portions of our brain and unlock all sorts of possibilities for us.

Sort of like X-Men meets Star Trek.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Give Me a Highland Holiday Romance! By Mary Morgan


I love the holidays! It starts in September with the Autumn equinox—second harvest. The first is August 1st. In truth, I always feel the tug within my soul around the third week of August. Part of me blames it on my former life as a bookseller for Borders Books. The children’s holiday books and merchandise would start to arrive around this time. We’d frantically have to make room for everything. Most of us would groan, but I would be giddy with anticipation. Without a doubt, September through December is a favorite of mine.

So, how did my love of this time correspond to my Highland holiday romances? Not as you would think, my friends. Even though I do love the holidays, I didn’t always plan on writing a holiday story. Now I have three published. 

Let’s travel back in time when I completed the last book in the Order of the Dragon Knights, Dragon Knight’s Ring. This series was an emotional roller coaster—from start to finish. Years of plotting, visiting Scotland for research, and being in the head of so many characters, including an evil villain! 

When I finished writing Dragon Knight’s Ring, I required an emotional cleansing. And I knew the answer: a magical, time-travel, romance with a Winter Solstice theme. Mix in the ever-meddling Fae and I gave the world my first holiday romance, A Magical Highland Solstice. From that first book, a second and third one was written. Not only were they my way of celebrating the season, but also a chance to write without battles, deaths, and villains weaving their way throughout my stories—and in my head! 

Sadly, this year was one which I needed to take a break from writing. Life caught up with me, along with family issues. Therefore, the book I intended to have out this season is delayed until next year. Yes, there will be another holiday book for next year—one filled with Fae magic, a feisty lass, and a Highland chieftain determined not to find love. 

Until then, my latest holiday romance, To Weave a Highland Tapestry is on sale for 99 pennies!

Happy Holidays! xo

Available at AMAZON

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Kissing Santa Claus!


If you were dared to kiss Santa Claus, would you? That's exactly what happens to Claire Otton, from my sci-fi holiday romance HEY, SANTA, when her and her best friend are shopping at a mall just days before Christmas. Will she do it? And what will happen if she does? Well, here's an excerpt from the beginning of the story...

HEY, SANTA excerpt:

“You can’t be serious.” Claire gave the dirtiest look she could muster to her best friend. 

Tiffany air-squeezed the man’s firm cheeks from a distance. “C’mon. Look at that a*s.”

“Yes, but a Santa Claus? How do I know what he looks like under that suit and beard?” Imagine if he was her father’s age. Or older. She shuddered.

“Only one way to find out.” Smacking her butt, her friend urged her forward. “Go ask him.”

She planted her feet on the ground. Thank goodness she hadn’t worn heels for their marathon shopping trip only two days before Christmas. “If you’re so interested, why don’t you?”

Tiffany rolled her eyes, sighing. “Because I’m engaged to be married to the love of my life. You’re the Grinch who needs to get laid.” 

“I’m not a Grinch,” she snapped. With a deep breath, she counted backwards from ten. “I’m sorry. This is just a very stressful time of year for me.”

“I know.” Tiffany cupped her elbow. “I just want to see you happy at Christmas again. It doesn’t have to be a miserable holiday anymore. That’s part of the reason I dragged you with me today.”

Claire swallowed the lump in her throat, tears welling in her eyes. Please don’t let me turn into a blubbering mess in the middle of the mall. While she appreciated her friend’s concern, she coped better on her own. “I…I should go home. I can’t just pretend it didn’t happen.”

“No, but you can’t stop living, either.” Wiping the tears from her eyes, Tiffany gave her a brief smile. “You don’t need to be alone anymore. Give someone a chance for goodness sake. Your parents and brother would want you to be happy. I want you to be happy.”

But she wasn’t. Hadn’t been since she’d arrived home for Christmas holidays four years ago. No one had come to pick her up at the airport. Instead, she took a cab, dropped off at a smoldering pile of rubble that used to be her family home. All dead. Her parents and younger brother had been asleep when an arsonist had set fire to the attached garage. Her family never made it out. The young punk had to serve the rest of his life in prison, but she’d lost everything.

She bit her bottom lips to keep from crying again. How was she supposed to live without them? The only other person in her life who gave two shits about her was Tiffany. And she would be married in a few months. Moving on herself.

Maybe that is what I need to do. But who wanted a damaged woman who’d dropped out of university? Surely, no one worth spending her life with.

“Please, Claire.” Tiffany rubbed her arm. “Will you just ask him already? I saw him before he changed into the suit. He’s hot. And he has to be patient since he works with kids. If this doesn’t work, I’ll never get on your case again.”

“Fine,” she said, eliciting a grumble. Though, a bad date had to be better than sitting at home by herself. “This is the last time. No more double dates or trying to set me up with a guy in any way.”

Tiffany held out her baby finger. “Pinky swear.”

After sealing the promise, Claire patted the puffy skin under her eyes. “Is my makeup running?”

“No, you look beautiful, as always.” Grabbing her shoulders, her friend spun her around. “Now, go get him before he is swarmed by a bunch of kids. And hopefully, soon he’ll fill your stocking with all kinds of Christmas spirit.”

Her cheeks warmed. She wanted more than a night of f*cking, though that wouldn’t hurt, either. But Santa? Really? What was she supposed to say? Hey, Santa, I saw you bending over, and I think you have a nice a*s. Want to go out some time?

HEY, SANTA by Jessica E. Subject

She doesn’t want a lot for Christmas…

Claire Otton dreads spending another holiday alone. When her best friend convinces her to approach the sexy mall Santa, she takes the chance and asks him out, hoping for so much more.

He’s waiting under the mistletoe…

Although Andreas Castellanos blends in on Earth, he knows he will never belong. But when the gorgeous woman he’d been staring at invites him to dinner, he has a hard time saying no.

All they’re asking for…

Can these two lonely souls find magic together or will their secrets steal their chance of a happy Christmas?

Available from:

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Let Them Eat Cookies!

By Maureen Bonatch 

December 4th is National Cookie Day. While growing up in western Pennsylvania the best thing about a wedding was a cookie table. 

Family members would begin baking (or buying) cookies to freeze in advance because you have to have enough cookies for the guests, and many guests plan to take some home with them.

Some receptions...

even supplied baggies on the table as they knew the guests would be absconding with the cookies. 

Granted, at that time a wedding reception was often held in a firehall or other reception area. It was the perfect environment for kids to run amuk once indulging in way too many cookies and other sugary confections.

When I got married I gave instructions to ensure that I got a few of my favorite confections, because even the bride could be deprived if the cookies were that good. 

Over the years...

those types of weddings seem to come around few and far between. Many request that it be an adults only reception, or choose to have their wedding at an exotic location.

Therefore, when an opportunity presented itself to take my twin daughters to an old-fashioned wedding reception when they were two-years old, my sleep-deprived brain this was a good idea—even though my husband was unable to attend. It would be fine!

Sure they were amazed by the gowns in the church, but by the time we got to the reception their limited attention span had run out. Once they spotted the glorious cookie table it was impossible to resist. Little fingers wanted to touch all those delicious confections!

In reflection, it has helped me understand why many receptions may have moved to adult only or exotic islands.

I also realized later in life...

everybody wasn’t familiar with the cookie table tradition (that and the bridal dance where you pay to dance with the bride for a piece of cake, or a shot of alcohol). 

Well, whether you grew up with the cookie-table wedding tradition or not, most people love to bake cookies over the holidays. I know that it’s a tradition with my daughters every year.

And it’s just your luck, today is national cookie day! Who knew we needed an excuse to eat cookies? 

Ready to Start Baking?

My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, has a free 2021 Christmas Cookie Cookbook. Grab a free PDF copy here! My recipe for Peanut Butter Yummies is on page 23.

Want Some More Goodies? Check out these free Cozy Mysteries right HERE.

How About Checking Off Your List With Some Cozy Mystery & Romance Books? Check them out Right Here.

Looking for a story to get you into the holiday spirit? Pick up Magic, Mimosas & Mistletoe RIGHT HERE.

What's Your Favorite Cookie?

Just a small-town girl, Maureen Bonatch leads a double life. She lives in a magical world as a novelist, and as a nurse leader in reality. Maureen’s first novella was a paranormal romance published when blogs were a new-fangled thing. She’s since changed her focus to writing paranormal cozy mysteries as M.L. Bonatch and urban fantasy as Maureen Bonatch. 

While she’s not busy writing or doing nurse-things, she’s a mom to her twin daughters, bicycling in the beautiful woods of PA with her hubby, doing the bidding of a feisty Shih Tzu, and dancing as much as possible. She believes music can be paired with every mood, laughter is contagious, and that caffeine and wine are essential for survival.

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