Friday, December 26, 2014

December Fave Fives: It's a Wonderful Life!

The holidays are here, and December has me thinking about traditions. Do you do anything special for the holidays? Any special recipes you only make during this time of year? Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, New Year’s—I asked some of your favorite authors about their holiday traditions. Some of their answers may surprise you!

Born with a silver tongue and a pen in her hand, Kali spends her days sleeping (she's part vampire) and her nights crafting scandalous romances with larger-than-life heroes.

Self-proclaimed patron goddess of reclusiveness, Kali currently resides in the Midwest with her oddly supportive family and tragically misunderstood cat. 

Seriously, though, the cat is evil.

We have lots of traditions in our house. Some old, some new. Some classic, and some fairly unconventional.

  • Enjoying cookies and milk while we put up and decorate the Christmas tree on December 1st.
  • Every year, me, my husband, and our two boys select a new Christmas ornament to go on the tree, and then we all agree on a family ornament. We started when our oldest child was born, and now thirteen years later, we have such a beautiful and unique tree filled with memories. 
  • Christmas at the movies. We don't have any family nearby, and it doesn't make a lot of sense to cook an extravagant meal for just the four us--especially when my kids are such picky eaters. So we always go out to eat on Christmas day and then to see a movie. 
  • Pumpkin rolls. My husband's mom always used to make these for the holidays, and though she's no longer with us, we keep the tradition going every year. 
  • No one in my house likes surprises. Not one single person. We are the most awful gift givers ever, and it's so rare for us to make it to Christmas before opening at least one gift that it's actually become somewhat of a tradition in itself. Yay for impatience and zero self control! 

May all your holiday wishes come tree and from my family to yours, may the new year be merry and bright! 


A scroll with exceptional abilities, Camille Brighton lived a life of wealth and privilege until tragedy changed everything. The gifts that had once made her special are suddenly a curse to be feared, and she finds herself a captive in her own home with a world of possibilities just beyond her reach. When the demons of her past return, though, forcing her to flee to the outer rim of Alliance territory, she soon realizes freedom isn’t exactly the adventure she’d thought it would be.

Running from his own past on Helix, Tariq Navarro has spent the last nine years as a mechanical engineer on Beta Station 4. Life has proven the only person he can depend on is himself, and he’s built an impenetrable wall around his heart, wearing suspicion and distrust like a second skin. Then a slip of a woman carrying the scent of fresh rain and lavender turns his world upside down with just a smile. He’s never wanted anything or anyone more, and he’ll go to the ends of the universe to keep Cami safe. With danger lurking at every turn, he may just be forced to prove it—even if that means protecting the angel from himself.

Betrayal left them broken. Can love see them mended?

My five favorite holiday traditions at Christmas are:
  • Making the holiday treats like mini sugar tarts, nanaimo bars, and cookies (with loads of red and green sprinkles courtesy of the kids)
  • Instead of a turkey, we reheat in the oven KFC chicken and have it with fresh fries, coleslaw and gravy on the fine china in the dining room. The whole family loves it, and even better my picky eaters have seconds.
  • Watching Santa start his Christmas run via NORAD
  • Homemade personal pan pizzas Christmas Eve where everyone gets to choose their toppings and amount of cheese (lots on mine lol)
  • Seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter as the kids give us their presents and we discover what they think we really need, which is sometimes tummy holding funny.

Damn it, a man had his pride and a caribou a certain majestic presence, all of which could wind up ruined if he abased himself to play a simple-minded reindeer in the town’s Christmas parade.

No way was he wearing damned tinsel in his antlers.

Like hell was he sporting a red nose and pulling a sleigh.

But he changes his mind when he meets the woman in charge of the event.

Single mom, Crystal, is doing her best to offer her daughter the best Christmas ever. It’s their first in Kodiak Point, and she’s not about to let some vain jerk ruin it for her little girl. If playing dirty is what it takes…then bring on the Christmas games.

As Crystal and Kyle butt heads—and lips—they discover more than goodwill this holiday season. They’re gifted with a second chance at love.


Stormy Glenn believes the only thing sexier than a man in cowboy boots is two, or three, men in cowboy boots. She also believes in love at first sight, soul mates, true love, and happy endings.

When she’s not being a mother to her six teenagers or cleaning up after her two 70 pound lap puppies, you can usually find her cuddled in bed with a book in her hand or her laptop, creating the next sexy man for her stories. She is a writer of Erotic, Contemporary, Elf, Fantasy, Futuristic, M/M, Ménage a Trois, Paranormal, Sci/Fi, Shifter, Suspense, Vampire, and Werewolf Romances. I'm currently published with Siren Publishing, Torquere Press, and Ellora's Cave. Stormy welcomes comments from readers. You can find her at or contact her at

In my family, we’ve had to blend two different sets of traditions as I was raised in a hippy tree hugger family and I married a military brat. It’s been interesting, so here goes…my five favorite holiday traditions…

  • Stockings. Every year, the kids wake us first thing in the morning. They have to give us time to have coffee (although they have gotten smart and started bringing coffee with them when they woke us up). After coffee, we all curl up on the bed and go through our stockings. My kids are grown and out of the house now but they all still do this. 
  • Pajamas. Everyone one gets asset of pajamas for Christmas. Last year, we found Star Trek Pajamas and I had my own starship crew. 
  • The Santa Hat. Each year someone new is chosen to wear the Santa Hat and hand out presents. With so many kids, there would be complete chaos if we didn’t hand out presents one at a time. 
  • Baking day. The day before Christmas is baking day. Depending on work schedules and such, which kids show up to help changes every year but the house is usually full as we spend the entire day baking pies, making fudge, and munchies for the next day.
  • Decorating the Christmas Tree. The ornaments that go on the tree have changed throughout the years except for a few. By far, my favorite ornaments are the ones made by my children. No matter how odd they may look, they always have special places on the tree…except for maybe the large techno-colored bat…that one gets put on the back of the tree…but it still goes on the tree.

Life has settled down for each of the Blaecleahs. They’ve all found their legends and are living a life filled with love and happiness. But anything worth having is worth fighting for and not even the luck of the Irish can keep the Blaecleahs from having to fight to keep what they have when the past comes back to haunt them all.

In order to save Ma and Da, they may have to decide who they want to keep in their family, and who they don’t before that choice is taken away from them by someone they never expected.

When violence threatens them, aid comes from an unusual source but will it be enough to keep the Blaecleahs in Cade Creek or will the life they have built for themselves disappear before their eyes?


Erika Reed lives in Southern California with her loving husband and two beautiful daughters. She is very thankful for her family and friends that have been there, supporting her from the beginning of her writing career.

When she is not writing or running her busy household, she enjoys sitting down with her Kindle, reading one of her favorite authors. She enjoys her writing and will continue to surprise her readers with more exotic stories in the future. She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached at

  • Baking chocolate éclair cakes, fudge and cookies for Christmas Eve and Christmas.
  • Decorating my house, inside and out with my family.
  • My husband and I have lunch and then spend the day together, shopping for my daughter’s gifts.
  • Spending Christmas Eve with my family, Christmas morning with my daughter’s and then having Christmas dinner with my husband’s family.
  • Waking up early to see the excitement on my daughter’s faces as they open their gifts as my hubby and I sit, drinking our coffee before I make everyone a big breakfast.

Five years after running away from the man she loved, Peyton Montgomery is coming home.

With nowhere to live, no money in the bank, and still stinging from being served her divorce papers, Peyton is returning to help her mother care for her father after a heart attack. Being back means eventually she’ll run into the man that broke her heart and ruined her for anyone else. When they do cross paths, Peyton soon discovers she wasn’t the only one that lost so much after she left.

Because of one drunken mistake, Jackson Holt lost the woman he loved. Now he has a second chance at mending the relationship he once had with Peyton, but he has a confession he needs to get off his chest before they both can move forward and claim the life and the love they lost the night Peyton left.


Vicktor “Vic” Alexander wrote his first story at the age of ten and hasn’t stopped writing since. He loves reading about anything and everything and is a proud member of the little known U.N. group (Undercover Nerds) because while he lives, eats, breathes, and sleeps sports, he also breathes history and science fiction and grew up a Trekkie. But don’t ask him about Dungeons & Dragons, because he has no idea how to play that game. When it comes to writing he loves everything from paranormal to contemporary to fantasy to historical and is known not only for being the Epilogue King but also for writing stories that cross lines and boundaries that he doesn’t know are there. Vic is a proud father of two daughters one of whom watches over him from Heaven with his deceased partner Christopher. Vic is a proud trans* and gay man, and when he is not writing, he is hanging out with his friends, or being distracted by videos of John Barrowman, Scott Hoying, and Shemar Moore. Vicktor has published numerous bestselling novels and has a WIP list that makes him exhausted just thinking about. He knows that he will be still be writing about hot men falling in love with each other, long after he is living in an assisted living facility, flirting with the hot, male nurses.

Growing up Messianic Jewish my holidays were filled with double the traditions. I had Chanukah traditions and then Christmas traditions with a biological father who was multi-ethnic and a biological mother who is as well. As an adult with his own child now there are a few of those traditions that have lasted and a few that I have tossed aside. Here are my five favorite holiday traditions:

  • Starting December 1st until December 31st I watch Christmas movies and listen to Christmas music every day. It keeps me in the Christmas/holiday spirit. Makes me happy and actually helps me write. The world is filled with such negativity. These movies, shows, and songs of hope, love, and joy are wonderful to me. (The Mistle-Tones, 12 Men of Christmas, Comfort & Joy, Borrowed Hearts, A Christmas Carol, and This Christmas are my faves)
  • I drink hot chocolate often. As much as I possibly can. I try to drink it every day. It’s my comfort drink, but it’s also my holiday drink. I like to drink it while I’m watching my Christmas movies.
  • I celebrate Chanukah by lighting the Chanukah candles, saying the blessings, and following the traditions. It’s 8 days and usually coincides with Christmas.
  • On Christmas Eve, if any presents have been bought that year, everyone opens one present right after dinner and then there’s the reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, for me, twice. Once in English, the second time in French in memory of my friend, Justin.
  • On Christmas Day, after opening presents and eating, we go to the movies. No, I’m not joking. It’s the best time to go. The lines are virtually non-existent, the theatres barely have anyone in them, it’s great, especially because new movies usually release on 12/25, too.

When John Sneider accepts a job interview playing "Jolly Old St. Nicholas" at the Galleria Mall in Orlando, Florida he accepts that his life is over. He has hit rock bottom. He will never be an actor or a singer, and his best years as a studly gay man have passed. But when he finds himself actually in competition with another Santa Claus for the gig, well let's just say, John has lost his holiday spirit.

Charley Mullins just wants to make enough money to buy one very special present for one extremely important person. If that means he has to turn into a devious Kris Kringle and steal the job away from a talent-less, self-centered, gorgeous, asshole... then so be it. Charley would get the job as mall Santa at the Galleria. Even if he has to betray John to do so.

The men start off in a battle, fighting until the end. But when the role of Santa is finally announced, will St. Nick still luv Kris Kringle, or will the Christmas season end up with two men with Christmas stockings filled with coal?


Susan lives out on the Canadian west coast surrounded by open water, dear family and good friends. She’s jumped out of perfectly good airplanes on purpose and accidently swum with sharks on the Great Barrier Reef.

If the world ends, she plans to survive as the spunky, comedic sidekick to the heroes of the new world, because she’s too damned short and out of shape to make it on her own for long. 

To contact her about her books or to arrange end of the world team-ups, you can email her at 

  • Making my grandmother’s spinach dip recipe. It was tradition for her to serve it every Christmas Eve, and that duty (and the recipe) passed to me when she died. I wouldn’t dare walk into my parents’ house on Christmas Eve without it, and making it brings back so many good memories.
  • New Years Eve Fondue party. For years now, my best friend and I have gotten together every NYE for fondue. Chocolate, hot oil, broth, cheese, we keep experimenting with new things every year, and it’s always a tonne of fun.
  • Watching the Lighted Truck Parade. Every year, a huge number of local companies get together and decorate trucks with holiday garb, lights, you name it, they stack it on there and then parade about town. I happen to live on the parade route, giving me & any guests a bird’s eye view of the festivities from my balcony.
  • Fudge making. Once a year I make several batches of chocolate fudge to give away as gifts/to the office/to friends etc. It’s delicious, decadent, and my home smells like a candy store for days afterward. Yum!
  • The Doctor Who annual Christmas special. To be watched snuggled up in a blanket, with a cup of tea, purring cat close at hand. It’s how I unwind after all the family chaos is over. 

Nick Wilde is a man content with his life. Business at his tattoo shop is booming, and he’s never lacking for friends or female company. But when he meets Lia, he knows everything will change...

A moment’s flirtation and a kiss in the dark leaves Nick wanting more. When his Cinderella vanishes before the night is over, she leaves him nothing but her name and the memory of a kiss he can’t forget.

Chicago Police Detective Lia Archer’s life doesn’t have room for distractions, and that’s exactly what Nick Wilde is. He’s sexy, charming, and a threat to everything she’s worked so hard to achieve. She ran out on him once, but when Nick reappears in her life, he’s determined not to make it easy for her to vanish on him again. 

When past decisions and old secrets come back to haunt them, will the fairytale end, or will they find a way to reclaim their Happily Ever After? 


Kallypso Masters writes emotional, realistic, Contemporary Romance for Adults novels with an emphasis on healing using sometimes unconventional methods, including BDSM (bondage, sado-masochism, kink, interrogation scenes from hell, and more). Her alpha males are dominant (whether active in the BDSM lifestyle, former active-duty military, a cowboy, or whatever) and attracted to strong women who can bring them to their knees emotionally. She's brought many readers to their knees, too—having them experience the stories right along with her characters. Kally knows Happily Ever After takes maintenance, so my couples don’t solve all their problems and disappear at “the end” of their Romance. Instead, they will continue to work on real problems in their relationships in later books in the saga as new characters are introduced or beloved characters from earlier books dig a little deeper into their relationship issues.

  • Springerle cookies. Six generations of my family from my great-grandmother to my grandson have enjoyed these anise-flavored cookies. I'm now the one who bakes about 300-450 of them each year for family--and was pleased to see a dear friend of mine (one of my readers) loves them, too, so I'll be sending her some once they're made this year. Definitely an acquired taste--you either love them or hate them--so I had to make sure she knew what they were. And she did! 
  • Christmas Eve at my sister's in the Germantown neighborhood in Louisville. Great food. Pictures on the TV showing the family members' year in review. (We all send her the highlights and her boyfriend puts them into a montage that plays all night long.) And then we eat lots of sweets and play games the rest of the night. (I write about Karla Paxton's family in my books playing some of these games at their Thanksgiving weekends where we also play them--games like Quiddler, Apples to Apples, Eye to Eye, etc.)
  • Bourbon fruitcake. I've enticed several of my readers to make these over the past few years. My mother used to mix these up in a dishpan, but I just make them in two batches. I have six cakes mellowing this yearr. My sister, known as Mary 2 on Facebook, who has been struggling for five years with cancer counts this among her favorite things. I wasn't able to get them made last year, so I definitely did not want to let her down this year! She'll get one of the biggest ones I made. 
  • Day after Christmas shopping. It's like the thrill of the hunts. My mom and daughter and I go in search of Christmas decorations and such setting out at about 5 a.m. We bust doors at several stories. (In Louisville, where we do this, they don't all open at the same time, which is nice.) Macy's, Kohl's, and Target are our favorites. Now, my daughter did just said, "I love going day-after Christmas shopping with you and Gramma." That's a tradition that will continue another generation!
  • Making and decorating cut-out sugar cookies. Okay, it's a royal pain doing it, but the memories of doing this with my mom when I was little are priceless. My kids (now 26 and 29) remember decorating them when they were little and just this past weekend, my 27-month-old grandson joined in the fun for another generation. Now this is a priceless memory and tradition!

Ryder Wilson returned from serving multiple deployments but can't leave the hell of combat behind him. Frustrated and ashamed of his inability to function in the world as well as the veterans he served with, he retreated, choosing to engage only with those he trusted. When retired Master Sergeant Adam Montague sends him on a mission to protect his sister from some unknown danger, Ryder's days of hiding out may be over. Can he fulfill his mission without failing again? 

Megan Gallagher has two big-brother Marines bent on protecting her from the evils of the world, but she's tougher than they think. When her older brother sends Ryder, one of his recon Marines, to her doorstep in the wee hours one night following a break-in, she realizes he needs rescuing more than she does. A friendship forms quickly, but unexpected passions run hot and complicate her resolve never to have a romantic relationship, much less marriage. So why are her body and her heart betraying her every time he comes near? 

Can these two wounded people lower their defenses long enough to allow love to grow?


Jenika Snow is a bestselling author of paranormal erotic, dark erotic, New adult, and many other sub-genres of erotic romance. She lives in the northwest with her husband and their two daughters. Before she started writing full-time she worked as a nurse. 

  • We always go to my mother-in-law’s house, eat a lot of food, unwrap presents, and enjoy each others company.
  • On Christmas Eve my husband and the kids open one gift.
  • Christmas morning we all sit around the Christmas tree in our pajamas, unwrap presents, and let the wrapping paper fly wherever it may.
  • On Christmas morning we enjoy the company of our extended family, and eat way too much food.

Lucas Landon is a member of The Grizzly MC, a crew of bear shifting bikers. He lives his life on the edge, and doesn’t follow any rules besides his own. Lucas knows that what he really wants will never be his, and that is Tarren Stoker, the daughter of Dallas, an original Grizzly member. 

When he finally has Tarren in every way, he doesn’t want to let her go. But he has to because he feels she's too good for him. 

When Tarren and Lucas share one sexually intense night, is ends awkwardly. As the years pass and they share another moment together, she realizes that her love isn’t dying but growing for the hardened biker. But when they find a pleasurable medium in their relationship, everything comes crashing down when Tarren finds out she is pregnant. 

Is Lucas ready to be an outlaw father? 


Jana Downs lives in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina with three cats, one dog, several dozen fish, and a very understanding partner-in-crime who hates to read but makes exceptions for her stories.

You can usually find her either watching bad reality TV, buying way too many books on Amazon, or dreaming up another man or two to occupy her time because life is good but several drop-dead gorgeous nonexistent men is just better.

  • The day after thanksgiving I clear out space in order to put up three trees, one mini tree and two larger trees. Everyone comes over and decorates the trees while we listen to classic Christmas songs on Pandora. It’s always a lot of fun and the house looks great afterwards. 
  • Wrapping presents with friends is also one of my favorite traditions. It’s usually a weekend ritual that happens a couple weeks before everyone splits to go their separate ways to various family events. We all pile in a room and chitchat while we wrap presents for our loved ones. 
  • Christmas Eve is the night when we have our last hurrah as friends. We exchange the only presents we wrapped in secret(the ones for one another) and spend the night munching on junk food and hanging out. 
  • Since the holiday is really about family, my favorite part of Christmas has to be the part where I make the trek back to my parent’s house on Christmas day. My dad makes us a big breakfast and we eat ourselves into a coma before plopping in front of the fireplace to unwrap presents. 
  • I usually spend the night and me and my mom watch movies until we can’t keep our eyes open anymore. I have a great time hanging out and I go home feeling rejuvenated. 

Ezekiel has been alone ever since his family died. Assuming the position as clan leader has provided a distraction, but it still doesn’t fill the hole left behind. There is only one person who has made the burden bearable, his friend and monarch, Asher. Unfortunately, he’s sworn off love for duty and no one can convince him otherwise.

With younger siblings and a kingdom relying on him, Asher‘s life has always been filled with pleasant chaos. That chaos has always included his friend, Ezekiel, but the feelings he arouses in Asher are anything but friendly. Love might be too much. Lovers, however, seems absolutely perfect.

As a new threat to Draconia surfaces, Asher is faced with finding out who the new enemy is. With Ezekiel’s help, they may figure out more than an unknown identity. Roads previously untraveled lead them into lands unknown and down a path that will lead them straight to a love that supersedes everything else.


Lacey Thorn spends her days in small town Indiana the proud mother of three. When she is not busy with one of them she can be found typing away on her computer keyboard or burying her nose in a good book. Like every woman she knows just how chaotic life can be and how appealing that great escape can look. So toss aside the stress and tension of the never ending to do list. For now sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride with Lacey. It’s your world…unlaced.

  • The kids always get new pajamas on Christmas Eve to wear for Christmas morning! They look forward to it, even more so now that they are older.
  • We always put our pajamas on and watch Christmas movies late into the night on Christmas Eve. Lots of snuggles and lot of hot chocolate before we plate homemade cookies for Santa!
  • Christmas morning is still filled with eager faces and lots of love. I’m very blessed to have three amazing children who know what’s really important. Lunch always consists of a ham and potato salad.
  • New Year’s Eve, we make lots of snacks and stay up watching movies until 11:30 when we put the television on to watch the ball drop. We sing and toast the new year.
  • New Year’s Day we sleep in then spend a quiet day at home, relaxing and enjoying!

From my family to yours, happy holidays!

A Primal Panther...

The injection of a feral virus surges through his veins, trapping him in the skin of his animal. He’s fighting for dominance, struggling not to lose himself to the beast. There’s only one thing that can save him, one person who can help set him free.

A Mate’s Love...

Diane left everything she knew behind to follow the Professor into the unknown. Now, she lives among people she never knew existed and fights daily to keep them alive and healthy. She’s felt a spark with Zane since the day he arrived, but his avoidance leaves her guessing. 


As the virus rages, only the touch of a mate can rescue the man trapped inside, leading Diane down a path she feels ill-prepared to take. If she’s not his mate, Zane might just kill her. If she is, then she’s the only one with a chance at saving the beast.


Laurie Roma lives in Chicago and mainly writes contemporary, romantic suspense, and sci-fi romance. She has always loved immersing herself in a good book and now enjoys the pleasure of creating her own. She can usually be found tapping away on her keyboard, creating worlds for her characters while she listens to music. Of course her playlist depends on her mood...but then again, so does her writing.

An avid reader of the romance genre, nothing bothers her more than annoying characters. Seriously, who wants a happy ending for someone that pisses you off? She loves tough alpha-male heroes and strong heroines that have brains as well as beauty. Her novels are filled with both passionate romance and down and dirty lust-driven interludes, as she believes both are essential to a good love story. She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached at

  • Cookies. Every year, my mother and I make cookies together and it is one of my favorite parts of the holidays.
  • Shopping. Okay, maybe I should clarify this...I like Christmas shopping BEFORE the holiday season actually begins. This way I can get the majority of my shopping done and avoid all the chaos of last minute crowds.
  • Parties. The holidays are a great excuse to go to tons of parties and not feel bad about having a hangover two days in a row. LOL
  • Decorations. There is something about seeing all the pretty lights and decorations around the holidays that puts me in a good mood...even when the sun disappears for days.
  • Presents. Everyone loves getting gifts! Need I say more?

Officer Skylar Aris is a woman with a troubled past. As a Class-A Conduit, she is beautiful and deadly, making her stand out among the rest of the elite soldiers. She has worked hard to succeed as one of the only female interrogators in the Security and Interrogation Division, but everything she has dreamed of is put in jeopardy when she’s given an ultimatum that will change her fate.

Strong and dominant, Director Dominic Stryker is a man who doesn’t let anything stand in his way. When he meets Skylar, he knows she’s the woman he wants to claim, but he never expected she’d also be destined to belong to his best friend, D’Aire Ambassador Arik V’Dir. Two Alpha males, Dom and Arik don’t want to share, but they realize that it’s the only way they can have Skylar...if they can get her to agree.

When a mission forces Skylar to deal with her past, Dom and Arik are determined to stand by her side. But discovering where she comes from changes everything. Will their love be enough to give her salvation, or will the truth shatter their bond and take her beyond their reach?


And don't forget to check out out Laurie Roma’s December Symposium: All My Tomorrows!

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