Tag Archive | Countdown Blitz

Christmas Countdown Blitz -Day 9

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Max’s Christmas Adventure & Max’s Midnight Adventure
by Wendy Leighton-Porter

 
Day 9 CCB Cover 1Max’s Christmas Adventure
Book 2

A second solo adventure awaits Max the time-travelling Tonkinese cat in this Christmas short story.

Invited to accompany a well-known figure on a whirlwind trip into the past, he sets off on a mission to search for something very precious to his owners Jemima and Joe Lancelot – their missing parents.

The hunt reveals tantalising clues to this mystery and ends with a special surprise for the twins.

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Day 9 CCB Cover 2Max’s Midnight Adventure
Book 3

Max the talking Tonkinese cat has a third solo adventure in this seasonal short story.

What happens when the feline hero is trapped in the attic one night?

Will he escape the clutches of the Christmas fairy, a regiment of soldiers and three obstreperous French hens in time to enjoy a holiday with his family?

One thing’s for sure, the Twelve Days of Christmas will never seem quite the same again…

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Day 9 CCB AuthorDividing my time between homes in South-West France and Abu Dhabi, I live with my husband and our beautiful Tonkinese cat. I spent 20 years as a teacher of French, Latin and Classical studies, before a change of career led me to writing books for children instead.

Shadows from the Past is series of time-travel adventures, featuring 3 children and a rather special Tonkinese cat by the name of Max. I’m currently working on the tenth book in the series, The Shadow of the Witchfinder. Max also has a few solo adventures of his own to accompany the series.

As I take my young readers on a magical mystery tour through the past, I’m hoping that my love of history, myth and legend will rub off on them too.

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Q&A With Wendy Leighton-Porter:

1.  Describe yourself in 50 words or less.

After almost 20 years of teaching of French, Latin and Classical studies in the UK, a change of career led me to writing children’s fiction. A Francophile, with a home in France, I’m currently living in Abu Dhabi with my husband and our Tonkinese cat.

2. What do you love most in the world?

As the question begins with “What?” rather than “Who?”, I think I can safely get away without mentioning my husband here! Everyone who knows me will confirm that I’m a cat lover, but my heart really lies with the Tonkinese breed. I adore them and would happily confess to being a Tonkaholic! A cross between Siamese and Burmese, they are the most delightful cats. I am, of course, speaking from experience – my first Tonk, Bertie (aka Max, the feline hero of my stories), is sadly no longer with us, but his sister is still going strong at almost eighteen years old.

3. What inspired you to become an Author?

I’d always wanted to write but, with a busy teaching career, I never seemed to find enough time. When I stopped teaching I found myself in the enviable position of having plenty of spare time and realised that I could now set off along a new career path. Writing for children seemed the logical step after so many years spent in the classroom and, ever the teacher, I hope that my books are a little bit educational as well as being fun.

4. What is your favorite Winter / Holiday tradition?

I love the Christmas tree, with its twinkling fairy lights. I think it takes me back to my childhood and my early memories of the magic of Christmas. However, I’m also a bit of a mince pie addict. I make my own, using a family recipe, and eating them fresh from the oven while they’re still warm is a real Christmastime treat in our household.

5. What is your trick for getting past writer’s block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story?

I’m lucky that this hasn’t really happened to me yet. I hope I’m not tempting fate here and am thinking that I should quickly touch wood or something! However, when I’m seeking inspiration, I usually find that my best ideas come to me when I’m in the bath (and have nothing to write them down with!). So, I guess that my advice would be not to try and force the story, but to take some time out and relax. Close the bathroom door to make sure you’re not disturbed, light a few candles, luxuriate in the warm, scented water and wait for the ideas to come floating into your head!

6. Now that we’ve gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it’s yours. What’s your story?

It happened one Halloween a few years ago when I’d been to a friend’s party, dressed as a vampire with full gruesome face make-up; white face, black-ringed eyes and fake blood dripping from the corners of my mouth. I was the first to leave just after midnight, as I had to go to work the following morning. My friend lived in a rural area with a manned railway-crossing near to her isolated cottage. Late at night, you weren’t allowed to ring the bell to get the railwayman to come and open the barrier for you to drive across the tracks. Instead, you had to climb the steps of the signal box and knock on the door, which I duly did – but there was no reply. I was a bit impatient at having to wait out there in the cold and the dark, so I moved in front of the window and saw the man with his feet up on the desk, seemingly engrossed in his newspaper. I rapped loudly on the window pane and at last he looked up. His face went white, his eyes almost popped out of his head, but he remained seated, staring at me with his mouth gaping. So, I banged harder on the glass and he eventually staggered to his feet and came to the door, looking terrified. ‘You nearly gave me a heart attack,’ he gasped. Then I remembered how I was dressed and felt such a fool, and also a little guilty for having scared him. Apparently, he dined out on that story for years and always told my friend, every time he saw her, that the encounter had probably shortened his life by 20 years! I wonder if it was on his recommendation that the crossing in question is now automated?

 

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Christmas Countdown Blitz -Day 8

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Angel For Christmas by Caroline Clemmons

Day 8 CCB CoverWhen a dot com billionaire crashes his sports car into a tree, he wakes up in heaven facing angels Gabriel and Michael. He’s given a chance to redeem his carefree ways by helping an orphanage avoid foreclosure and regain a sound financial picture by midnight on Christmas Eve—or else. To do so, he is sent back to earth as orphanage janitor, Jacob Porter.

After her father died four months ago, child psychologist Suzi Stephens was shocked to learn Serenity Springs Children’s Home and Elementary School faced foreclosure unless she met a balloon note due January 1. She can’t understand why her late father broke the trust her grandfather had carefully constructed to protect the private home. She is afraid the annual gala won’t raise enough money to pay the note much less the needed year’s operating funds. Trying to do her job plus step into her late father’s shoes has stretched her to her limits.

She’s suspicious of the handsome new janitor, who appears more like he’d be at home as a CEO. Could he be a spy for the developer who covets the children’s home property? Suzi overcomes her distrust enough to allow Jacob’s help raising funds. Working together, their attraction escalates but Jacob has nothing to offer the beautiful redhead. He is scheduled for earthly removal at midnight on December 24. 

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Day 8 CCB AuthorThrough a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To compensate for this illogical error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a small office her family calls her pink cave. 

She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their rescued cats and dogs. The books she creates there have made her an Amazon bestselling author and won several awards.

  

Sign up for her newsletter and receive a FREE copy of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a western historical romance. 

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Q&A With Caroline Clemmons:

1.  Describe yourself in 50 words or less.

A fluffy, hard-working, friendly, introvert who loves writing

2. What do you love most in the world?

My family

3. What inspired you to become an Author?

First, my dad. Second, my mother-in-law. Third, my husband’s encouragement and technical help. My dad encouraged my writing even when I was young. My husband’s mom loved reading romances and told me I should write them based on the long letters I wrote each week. My husband is always supportive and provides the help I need as well as encouragement.

4. What is your favorite Winter / Holiday tradition?

Opening gifts on Christmas Eve after my husband reads the Christmas story from the Bible. Then, depending on the weather and our health, we may go to the Christmas Eve service at church.

5. What is your trick for getting past writer’s block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story?

When you don’t know what to write there are two tricks that help. One, simply write in all caps THE GIANT METOR HIT HERE and move on to come back later. Two, begin writing as if you are explaining the story to a friend. Soon you will be writing the story and can edit later.

6. Now that we’ve gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it’s yours. What’s your story?

When our youngest learned who was Santa, she said that wasn’t fair because I had known what was in my stocking every year. That year, she had wrapped a tiny gift she’d gotten using her allowance and hidden it in my stocking so I’d have a surprise. She’s done that each year since. Soon other members of our immediate family picked up on this and do the same. These are just small, inexpensive gifts, but they’re nice surprises for us on Christmas morning. It’s our own special family tradition.
 

 

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Christmas Countdown Blitz -Day 7

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Christmas Future by Valerie Ipson

Day 7 CCB Cover
Scarlett’s fiancé and the warm weather of Arizona will have to wait while she works her PR magic to put Alaska on the nice Christmas Spirit list. 

But when the wait’s too long will a warm-hearted doctor be just the one to lift her Scrooge-like spirits?

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Day 7 CCB AuthorValerie Ipson loves reading, writing, family history, and Hershey Milk Chocolate Almond & Toffee Nuggets. 

She lives in Mesa, Arizona, and Christmas Future is her first Christmas Romance. She is also the author of Ideal High, a YA novel. 

She hopes she can give readers the same experience she has enjoyed through the years while being curled up with a good book!

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Welcome to the books of
Christmas PastPresent and Future

 
Q&A With Valerie Ipson:

1.  Describe yourself in 50 words or less.

I love reading, writing, family history, and Hershey’s Extra Creamy Milk Chocolate With Toffee and Almonds Nuggets (can the name be any longer?). I lives in Mesa, Arizona and have 15 grandkids. One of my fondest memory growing up is being curled up with a good book!

2. What do you love most in the world?

Books and music are life! That’s not what I love MOST, but they are very, very, very near the top.

3. What inspired you to become an Author?

A good creative writing teacher who encouraged me. And good books.

4. What is your favorite Winter / Holiday tradition?

Gathering as a family at Christmas and getting new games to play. And eating fudge, of course.

5. What is your trick for getting past writer’s block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story?

Outline. Read Story Genius by Lisa Cron. 

6. Now that we’ve gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it’s yours. What’s your story?

Last year, my dad saw, for the very first time ever in his life, a picture of his biological father, and my dad is 85 years old! I flew to Colorado last weekend to go with him and a few siblings to meet his DNA brothers for the first time. It was such a blessed time to share in old photos and stories, and feel such warmth from strangers who are family.  

 

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Christmas Countdown Blitz -Day 6

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Eleanor and The Christmas Carol Fudge by Tamara Passey

Day 6 CCB Cover
Eleanor is saving her grandmother’s fudge business but is becoming like Scrooge in the process. 

The consultant she hires to help is a friend from high school who hasn’t given up his secret crush for her. 

Will the Christmas spirit melt her heart or will she miss out on the love of her life?

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Tamara Passey, author of the The Christmas Tree Keeper: A Novel, was born and raised in Massachusetts around a large family, one that has served as inspiration for most of her writing. She loves most creative endeavors and when she isn’t writing or re-writing, you can find her baking or cross-stitching or walking–though not all at the same time. She lives with her husband and children in Arizona.

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Welcome to the books of
Christmas PastPresent and Future

 
10 top favorite things:

  1.    A call from a friend
  2.    Homemade chocolate chip cookies
  3.    Daughter’s smiles and laughter
  4.    Book Club
  5.    Clean sheets
  6.    Sunrises
  7.    Sunsets
  8.    Rain
  9.    A full house
  10.    A quiet house

 

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Christmas Countdown Blitz -Day 5

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A Christmas Carol for Candy by Peggy Urry

Day 5 CCB Cover
“A Christmas engagement, broken two months later, rocked Candy Kaine’s world. After months of a schedule crammed with college courses, a full time job, and a few side jobs, the busyness is wearing thin. But school is still top priority. Until a fancy resort threatens to buy the satellite campus in the small town where she lives and takes classes.

Jace Marlowe has been down on his luck. Can a temporary job for an upscale resort in his home town be the turn around he’s looking for? The only problem? His grandmother’s beautiful neighbor who wants to keep the school just where it is. If she doesn’t get her way will she be as vindictive as his ex?

A charmed nativity facilitates the past, present, and future experiences for Candy but will she have the courage to open her heart before it’s too late?”

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Day 5 CCB AuthorPeggy is a small town girl who loves the city and the ocean (and the mountains as long as she doesn’t have to camp or hike). 

She credits her dad and the lack of television in her parents’ home for her love of reading and her imagination. She credits the guy who’s been hanging the moon for over 25 years for her belief in romance and true love. Five wonderful children, extended family, and great friends keep life exciting. 

Find a book you love and read!

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Welcome to the books of 
Christmas PastPresent and Future

Top Ten List:

  1.    Favorite food: Indian (with Mexican a close second)
  2.    Favorite color: purple
  3.    Served a religious mission in Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido
  4.    My hair is currently purple
  5.    I can solve a Rubiks cube
  6.    I love traveling
  7.    I love crafting
  8.    I grew up on a farm
  9.    I have five kids, one son-in-law, and one granddaughter
  10.    My husband is my best friend

 

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Christmas Countdown Blitz -Day 4

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Miss Dashwood’s Dilemma by Arabella Sheraton

Day 4 CCB Cover
In this delightful traditional Regency romance, Miss Diana Dashwood accepts an invitation to Lady Prescott’s Christmas party at Camden House, in the countryside. But things do not go quite as she imagined. Through an unexpected event, she is forced to spend the night in a woodsman’s hut with one of the guests. What a scandal! 

Of course, Sir Gareth Blakely must propose, and he does. Unfortunately, Miss Diana Dashwood has already been engaged to and broken off her engagement from Sir Gareth Blakely after a bitter quarrel. Is it likely she will bow to social pressure and accept his proposal, one made only to save her reputation, and if they marry, does their union stand a chance of survival? 

And what about the pretty heiress, Miss Jemima Plymstock, whom everyone thinks is the lady Sir Gareth had his eye upon? Headstrong and proud, Miss Diana Dashwood is caught in a dreadful dilemma. A must-read for Regency fans!

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Day 4 CCB AuthorArabella Sheraton grew up on a diet of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and many other writers of that period. From Jane Austen to Georgette Heyer, Arabella has found both enjoyment and inspiration in sparkling, witty Regency novels. She also loves history and generally finds the past more fascinating than the future. Arabella wrote her first Regency romance to entertain her aged mom who loved the genre. Arabella is honoured to share the adventures of her heroes and heroines with readers.

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Fun Facts:

  1.    Arabella Sheraton is a pseudonym but if I tell anyone who I really am, I’ll have to kill them…
  2.    The image I use for Arabella is a portrait my grandmother painted many years ago of her best friend. It seemed a fitting tribute to my wonderful grandmother and her friendship.
  3.     I love anything olde worlde, which means that since I write in the genre of Regency romance, perhaps I lived once upon a time in Jane Austen’s era. Who knows? I like to think so.
  4.    Pride and Prejudice is my favorite Austen book and book to series adaptation. I just love Mr. Darcy, even when he is acting like a starched shirt.
  5.    I have always loved reading romances set in the Regency era, and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that apart from my mom having all the Austen books, she was also an avid Georgette Heyer fan, and as a result, so am I.
  6.    I am never short of ideas for a Regency novel and sometimes a title just pops into my head and from that comes a book.
  7.    I wrote my first Regency romance to entertain my aged mom, now passed on, who loved the genre.

   

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Christmas Countdown Blitz -Day 3

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When Night Falls Around Us by Laura L. Walker

Day 3 CCB Cover
“Nineteen-year-old Felicity Everstone is living her dream while attending college and serving alongside her parents in the North Atlanta Georgia Mission for the LDS Church–not to mention dating a charming guy who sweeps her off her feet. But when she is unexpectedly sent home to Idaho to care for her nephew through her sister-in-law’s difficult pregnancy, and the friend she has been sharing the gospel with no longer wants to pursue that path, everything that once brought light and joy into her life nearly flickers out. Until she meets her good-looking but solemn neighbor, Erik.

Erik Cannon has already lost the love of his life. Now, as a young, successful businessman, making money seems to be his God-given talent, but he can no longer ignore the emptiness he feels inside. He needs to find purpose and meaning in his life once again. When his best friend’s sister comes to help her family through a crisis, Erik’s heart is reawakened. He senses this is a second chance at love for him, and that he and Felicity might be able to build a beautiful life together–until her old boyfriend comes back into the picture.

When darkness settles over Erik and Felicity’s path, will their emerging love be enough to light the way?”

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Laura L. Walker grew up in a large family in the beautiful Gila Valley of southern Arizona. From the time Laura was young, she spent hours drawing characters on paper and fantasizing about their adventures. Life became more serious, however, when she met her own hero at Northern Arizona University and they later became the parents of six children. 

In between spurts of grocery shopping, sewing costumes or quilts, transporting kids to practices, and making dinner, Laura still enjoys putting her imagination to good use. She is the author of seven novels and three novellas.

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10 Favorite Things:

  1.    Christmas
  2.    Chocolate
  3.    Family
  4.    Reading
  5.    Writing
  6.    Red
  7.    Mountains
  8.    Learning about history
  9.    Being a mom
  10.    The gospel of Jesus Christ

   

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