Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Casablanca Style!

We hope you have a happy holiday with your friends and family, and we'd like to share some of our favorite Christmas memories and traditions.

Shana Galen (The Viscount of Vice)
My favorite tradition is reading Christmas stories with my daughter. Some of our favorites are 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, The Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Bear Stays Up, and Room for a Little One. There's nothing that says Christmas to me more than snuggling with my little one, reading and talking.

Hope your Christmas is warm and cozy too!

Mia Marlowe (A Rake by Any Other Name)
I'd like to second Shana's tradition. My girls and I have always enjoyed read-aloud time and Christmas books have been some of our favorites. We laughed together through Barbara Robinson's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. We wept over Van Dyke's The Other Wise Man.

When you share a book with a child, you share a whole world. What's more powerful than that?
May your holiday is filled with love and light.

Theresa Romain (Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress)

I completely agree with the book traditions! My daughter is reading "chapter books" this year, so we've got some Christmas classics from the library. Everything from The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey to The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

Another tradition in my family: making terrible ornaments. When you're a kid--which I was, once,--you have to do crafts when the rest of your class does. In third grade, I had to cross-stitch a Christmas bow onto fabric. Somehow I got glue all over mine. I'm still not sure how that happened, because usually glue is not involved in sewing at all.

My favorite ornament of all time is...well, I'll just show you.

My brother made that when he was about five or six. (He's now 28.) To the untutored eye, it looks like slapdash glitter on a Dixie cup. And it is! But it's also a "Christmas bell." It went missing for several years; then when he was in high school we rediscovered the ornament, much to our delight. It went on the tree once or twice, but now it hangs year-round from a plant hook on my parents' dining room ceiling. Why not? It's funny to look at, plus it reminds us all: parents love to see what their kids will come up with. I can hardly wait to give Little Miss R a box of crafts and let her get creative! but once she learns to sew, I'm keeping the glue away from her.

Terri L. Austin (His Every Need)

My daughter and I had a very silly tradition when she was growing up. One year as we were decorating the tree, we found this sad, hideous ornament that no one had ever seen before. I *think* it came from a box my MIL dug out of her attic, although she swears otherwise (ahem). As a joke, I started hiding it places like my daughter's lunch box or under her pillow. As the years went on, we tried to up one another. Once, my daughter dangled it off the ceiling fan. From a noose made of yarn. I still laugh at that one.

She's become a huge part of our Christmas tradition (although I can't remember how the back of her hat got scorched). Now it wouldn't seem like Christmas without her.

Merry Christmas from all of us!

Gina Conkle (The Lady Meets Her Match)

One of my favorite memories was Christmas, 2003. My husband's impulse buy in Barnes & Noble became a major turning point for me: a copy of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Your Romance Published.

I still chuckle when I look at that title. I opened the present and my husband, Brian, watched me on tenterhooks. He was afraid I might be upset with the "Idiot" part of the title.

My tackle-hug assured him of my happiness.

The book was a gold mine. For much of that year, I'd been writing from 8:00 PM 'til about midnight after my boys went to bed. As the year was ending, so was that story --- a Viking romance called Norse Jewel. But what was I going to do next?

From his gift I learned about Romance Writers of America. I learned there was a local chapter in my hometown who met once a month to talk romance writing. I was thrilled!

Even better, Brian supported me 100% and that was the best gift of all.

We wish you and your family many blessings this holiday season!

Linda Broday (Texas Mail Order Bride)

My favorite Christmas memory was when I was nine years old. My daddy had gotten burned severely in an explosion at his job and was in the hospital. My mother spent every minute by his bedside. Christmas looked pretty grim. It was such a scary time. My brother who is a lot older put me and my sister to bed that Christmas Eve and we knew not expect anything come morning. Before I closed my eyes I asked God to make my daddy well. That was all I asked for, no gifts or toys. When morning came, my mom was there and she was smiling for the first time in weeks. She told us he had turned a corner and was going to live.

It was the best Christmas present I ever got. That memory stays with me. It taught me that there are things in this life that you can't put a price on.

Here's my favorite decoration. I've had this angel for twenty years.

I hope this Christmas that you find the important things and tuck them deep into your heart. Give thanks for what you have and remember those who have nothing.

Terry Spear (A Highland Wolf Christmas)

My Christmas present to me this year! Two Havanese puppies--Max, 5 mos old and Tanner, 9 weeks old. My New Year's Goal is tied up with them, too. LOL I haven't had dogs in a number of years once my kids left home and married and my mother died. So I figured it was time to have some fur babies again. I had forgotten how much work they are, but they are also a joy. :) Hope the holidays are joyous for you!

Jane Ashford

When I was young, we always went south during Christmas vacation. My father was from southern Alabama, and we visited his family for a while. Then we stayed on a (somewhat chilly) beach in the Florida panhandle. Very reasonable lodging rates at that time of year! So my Christmas memories include gathering shells on windswept shores, building extensive sand villages, and dining on a flounder caught by my Dad in the waves.
Happy holidays!

Carolyn Brown (Cowboy Boots for Christmas, Cowboy not Included)

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Christmas was my sister's so her energy and happiness usually found a way to infect me and I loved it because of her. A year and a half ago while we were coming home from RWA in Atlanta, I got the news that she'd passed, instantly from a blood clot, at the age of 60. I miss her terribly but in her honor on Christmas Day, I take an hour or so and recall all the memories, all the secrets she took with her (thank goodness), and all the absolutely awesome times that we had in the 35 years we lived within two miles of each other.

Now on another note, TODAY is Shana Galen's birthday. Let's all sing to her at the top of our lungs, say about ten o'clock this morning. And I for one would like to say, THANK YOU, Shana for all you do with this site!



  1. Merry Christmas to all of you wonderful authors, may you and your families have a happy and delightful holiday season secure in the thought that you have provided us readers with so many wonderful hours of entertainment!

  2. Thank you, E.L.F., and a Merry Christmas to all our readers who continue to support us!

  3. Merry Christmas, all. Happy birthday, Shana. (You're in excellent company!)

  4. Merry Christmas Everyone!!

    Happy Birthday, Shana!

  5. Happy Birthday Shana. Merry Christmas to all.