Saturday, December 10, 2016

Great Christmas Tree Tour 2016: Cindy Gerard

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house. Grandkids went with us to pick out a tree from a tree farm then helped us put it up and decorate. They did a pretty good job.

Every once in a while I get creative. So happy with how this turned out. It's an old rusty lid from a copper boiler a little burlap ribbon some bells and some evergreen twigs.

About The Way Home
A thrilling and heartwarming Christmas story from the New York Times bestselling author Romantic Times calls “a true master of romantic suspense”.

When Jess Albert learned the devastating news that her husband, Jeff, was killed in action in Afghanistan, a painful void entered her life. The more time passed, the more acutely she felt that emptiness. But four years later, when Tyler Brown, former military hero and all-around alpha male, shows up, Jess gradually begins to realize there is one thing that can make her feel whole again—love.

As they’re planning their wedding and new life together, Jess receives a shocking revelation: her husband is alive, under the care of a young Afghani woman who’s hiding him from the Taliban. Though Ty knows Jeff’s return will mean the end for him and Jess, he joins the One Eyed Jacks and Black Ops, Inc. teams in a daring and dangerous rescue mission to bring a hero home.

Jeff is broken physically and emotionally, his memory of their life together lost, yet he and Jess desperately try to find their way back to each other—until an unexpected development helps them see the true way home, to the people they love.


About Cindy
New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Cindy Gerard has forty plus titles in print. In addition to 7 RITA nominations and 2 Rita wins, Cindy has numerous RT nominations and various awards to her credit.

Each book of her single title romantic suspense series, Black Ops Inc, has appeared on the New York Times Bestseller top 20 list. Cindy writes sexy, heart-pounding romantic suspense and has had her work twice featured in COSMOPOLITAN Magazine as Red Hot Reads.


Friday, December 09, 2016

Great Christmas Tree Tour 2016: Tina Radcliffe

O Christmas Tree!

This is what is flowering in my yard this time of year. Tangerines, and oranges and grapefruit trees. It wasn’t until I moved to the Valley of the Sun that I became curious about the origin of the Christmas tree. After all, there few fir trees in Phoenix, and you will not see them in Arizona until to drive north to the mountains.

Christianity Today provides a clear history of the modern Christmas tree with their article, “Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?” 

This quote struck a chord with me: “As many of us make trees and gifts the center of our own Christmas practice, we would do well to remember that they are ultimately symbols of the One who gave himself to unite heaven and earth, and who brings all barren things to flower.”

My investigation of the Christmas tree took me to the Holy Land. What trees would be in Bethlehem when Jesus was born? Check out these trees from the Holy Land.  Much to my delight, I discovered that the palm tree and the cactus would be center stage. So perhaps my new home in the Arizona desert truly does reflect the heart of the true Christmas tree. 
I’m sharing photos of how we desert folks decorate our “trees” for the holidays!

Workers begin decorating palm trees in October! Here’s a video of the lights in Glendale, Arizona where I live. Glendale Glitters. And below is the finished product!

Out and about in the neighborhood, the saguaro cactus gets decorated too.
I made another discovery this year. An hour south of me is Chandler, Arizona, home of the world’s largest Tumbleweed Christmas Tree! Do check out the video.

No matter how you decorate your tree, it is true that He is the one we celebrate as we bring forth the holiday traditions.

About Tina Radcliffe
Originally from Western, N.Y., Tina Radcliffe left home for a tour of duty with the Army Security Agency (a branch of the NSA) stationed in Augsburg, Germany and ended up in Tulsa Oklahoma. While living in Tulsa she spent ten years as a Certified Oncology R.N. Tina is a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, a 2012 ACFW Carol Award finalist, a 2014 ACFW Mentor of the Year finalist, a 2014 Golden Quill finalist and a 2014 ACFW Carol Award winner. Tina is also a short story writer and has sold over twenty short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. She currently resides in Arizona where she writes fun, heartwarming romance.

You can find Tina at

About Rocky Mountain Cowboy
Tina's newest book releases on December 20, 2016. Pick up a copy and check out rancher Joe Gallagher and his challenges!

A Cowboy's Second Chance 
The last person cowboy Joe Gallagher thought he'd see on his ranch was high school sweetheart Rebecca Anshaw Simpson. Twelve years after she married another man, she's back as his physical therapist. But healing his body is nothing compared to guarding his heart from the woman he never forgot.

There's much the single mom would rather forget, but Becca won't let regret and a surly rancher get in the way of her job and the chance to start over with her little girl. She has only a few weeks to make peace with her past. But Becca never expected she'd fall all over again for her first love.


Thursday, December 08, 2016

Great Christmas Tree Tour 2016: Rose Ross Zediker & Quilts!

I've been honored that Cheryl has allowed me to be involved in her "Christmas Tree Blog Tour" over the years and once again, she is hosting me, but I'm out of Christmas ornaments to share so I'm going another route. I'm going to share the Christmas quilts on display and in use at our home during the Christmas season.

I'll start with a snowman and young boy fabric panel I found. Since I'm the mother of a son and have a snowman collection this panel spoke to me! I used a simple nine patch block in green and ivory. The back of the quilt is ivory flannel. I only sew the quilt tops and hire out to have the top quilted to the back. The quilter used green thread in star, tree and leaf patterns.

The next quilt is a bow-tie pattern. This quilt top was hand sewn by my mom. After she passed away, I matched cotton fabric with a village scene for the back and took it to be quilted. I use this on my bed with the bow-tie side up during Christmas. I flip it over and use the winter village side in January, February and March.

I had extra fabric I needed to use so I took embroidery transfers meant for 'tea towels' and made a Santa Claus lap quilt. This hangs by my back entry door to greet my family and friends during the holidays. The back fabric is small, old-fashioned Santa's. The quilter used multi-colored thread in red, green and white and quilted it with sleighs, reindeer and holly leaf designs.

The pinwheel quilt is another quilt my mom had started. She had many of the blocks finished. After her death, I finished the remaining blocks of this quilt. Mom always sewed her blocks by hand. I used my machine. She used quite an array of vibrant Christmas fabric for this quilt. Some of the blocks you can't see are even paired with black fabric. The fabric on the back of this quilt is peppered with various Santa faces. It is quilted with white thread in a large snowflake pattern.

The small Christmas ornament is a bow-tie pattern. Again, this was hand sewn by my Mom. In 1992 (she embroidered the date and our name on the back of the ornament), she made each member of our family an ornament like this. I have four, mine, my husband's, my dad's and my son's. Instead of hanging them on my tree, I pin them to the valance in my dining room.

Lastly, is my Epiphany quilt. The printed fabric is small scenes of the Wise Men seeking Jesus. I paired it with purple and chose the zig-zag pattern to illustrate their long journey to find Christ and how they left another way to keep him safe. When I told the story to the person who quilted this, she chose a 'wandering path' stitch for this lap quilt, again to show the Magi's journey. I enjoyed making this quilt because I used a new to me technique where you sew strips together then cut them to make the block.

I hope you enjoyed looking at my Christmas quilts. I like them so much sometimes it's hard to put them away for the next year!

And a drawing!
In the spirit of the season, I'm giving away one copy of the Lassoed by Marriage Novella Collection that includes my novella, Railroaded into Love to USA resident's only. Also, if you like inspirational romances and quilts, the ebook versions of my quilt series, Lily of the Field, Job's Tears and Rose of Sharon are $0.99 on Amazon.

Thank you, Cheryl, for hosting me yet again. Merry Christmas!

About Rose Ross Zediker
Multi-published author and RITA finalist, Rose Ross Zediker, writes contemporary and historical inspirational romances and has over one hundred publishing credits in the Christian magazine genre for children and adults. Her titles have appeared on ECPA bestseller lists and been finalists for the RITA, National Reader’s Choice, Booksellers Best and Book Buyers Best award contests. Rose is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.                

Lily of the Field
Caroline is a worrier. . .
Her husband died and left her with little money or survival skills. Her son thinks the choices she’s made since then are foolish. And every time an opportunity looks good, something makes her second guess herself.

Rodney has always thought life was good—until a heart attack laid him out flat. Retired now from his executive lifestyle, he begins to realize he wasn’t much more than a workaholic.

Marriage isn’t on either of their minds…but their minds are not God’s, and He is busy taking care of the lilies of the field—and His children.

order from amazon

Job's Tears
Nothing can stop Sarah.
Since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Sarah Buckley is in denial and determined to prove the pessimists wrong. Her life changes—including a new career and a new hobby—cause her mom and best friend to voice concerns that she’s overdoing. To Sarah, though, overdoing is good sent from God.
As a Sanders man, Mark Sanders is better off not committing...and so are the women he dates. After all, his father abandoned his mother when she was diagnosed with MS, and Mark fears he’ll follow in his father’s footsteps. That is, until Sarah Buckley signs up for a quilt class at Mark’s shop and his fear of commitment turns to fear of losing out on love.
Can Sarah and Mark see past the beliefs that blind them and embrace the true good God has placed in their lives?
order from amazon

Rose of Sharon
Lil’s not what Walt expected.
Lil Hayes isn’t what Walt Sanders had in mind for his home care nurse. Spunky and outspoken, Lil is a formidable match for Vietnam vet Walt as he recovers from hip surgery. It’s clear Lil won’t back down when it comes to Walt’s care. . .and won’t keep from butting into his privacy and offering help where none is needed.
But Lil knows all that would be nothing if Walt knew the truth about her. As a young woman, Lil participated in antiwar rallies—protesting against soldiers just like Walt. Even though Lil lives with regrets, she wonders if she’s capable of handling Walt’s case professionally as she grows to love him—afraid the truth will cause Walt to reject her like another soldier from her pas
The two work through Walt’s recovery and begin to assemble a quilt block together to pass the time, but can two opposing souls find peace—and love—together?
order from amazon

More Books by Rose
Lassoed by Marriage Collection - Available in Print/Ebook
Reclaiming the Cowboy's Heart - Available in Ebook
Dakota Love - Available in Print/Ebook
Sweet on the Cowgirl-Available in Ebook
The Widow's Suitor- RITA Finalist Ebook only
Wedding on the Rocks-Ebook only

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Great Christmas Tree Tour 2016: Merrillee Whren & a Drawing!

Merrillee's 2016 Christmas Tree

This is my family room tree. I decorate it with ornaments that I’ve collected through the years. I have a dated ornament for every year that my husband and I have been married. I have ornaments that my kids made and ornaments from places we’ve visited in the US and abroad. Every time I put one on the tree I’m reminded of the person connected with the ornament or the places we have visited. 

About A Love to Call Mine
Max Reynolds wants one thing—to find the family of the father he never knew, the father who didn't want him. But Max’s goal is cast aside when he is diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. And worse yet, his oncology nurse is meddlesome Heather Watson—the woman who destroyed his hope of marrying the woman he loved. Heather finds a challenge in guiding her friend’s neglectful ex-boyfriend through his fight against cancer.

To their surprise, romantic sparks fly between them. But Max faces a critical health decision, and Heather must meddle one last time, risking her heart on a long shot chance to give Max a future, with or without her. Will he win his battle with cancer only to lose a chance at love?

Here is the Amazon link

Merrillee is giving away an ebook of the first book in her Front Porch Promises series A PLACE TO CALL HOME. Leave a comment to enter her drawing.

About Merrillee
Merrillee Whren is an award-winning author who writes inspirational romance. She is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart Award for best inspirational romance manuscript presented by Romance Writers of America. She has also been the recipient of the RT Reviewers' Choice Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence.

She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of thirty plus years, and has two grown daughters. She has lived in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Chicago and Florida but now makes her home in the Arizona desert.

When she's not writing or working for her husband's recruiting firm, she spends her free time playing tennis or walking while she does the plotting for her novels.

Please visit her website
or connect with her on Facebook

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Great Christmas Tree Tour 2016: MK Meredith

I'm thrilled to share on Cheryl St.John's Christmas Tree Tour again this year!

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday season. It is filled with lovely memories of my mother, the music, being with family, being loved. Now that I have a family of my own, I want to pass on the same joy to my children, I want Christmas to remind them of family and giving and the unique peace found within our home.

The weekend after Thanksgiving it is our tradition to decorate our Christmas tree. 
There is no theme, no color pattern, instead it is all about memories. Homemade ornaments, gifted ornaments, ornaments from my and my husband's childhood. The tree ends up having a beautiful continuity to it, of old and new, fancy and plain, with each year expanding our children's very own collections that we will send off with them when they have a tree of their own. 

When the tree is up and the lights are lit, I put my favorite traditional Christmas music on in the background, Oh Holy Night, A Christmas Song, Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, White Christmas...I adore them all.

Brian's favorite is Up on the Roof Top, Anya loves Last Christmas by Wham, and Brody is a Jingle Bells boy through and through. We listen to them all, we drink egg nog, and we ooh and aah over every ornament as it goes up on the tree.

I hope they always remember, I hope it brings them joy. That is all I leave them with that warm fuzzy feeling of having a tribe, of being an important part of something special, of our intention to make them happy.

And I hope the same for all of you.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may your memories be made of love.

In the spirit of the holiday season, I am giving away two ecopies of my contemporary romance, Seducing the Tycoon. 


About Seducing the Tycoon
International tycoon Drago De Luca has the world at his feet and he knows it. But back home in Italy, his beloved grandmother's family inn is on the verge of closing down for good, thanks to hotshot American heiress, Chase Huntington, and her new hotel. Drago has to protect Nonna's inn, even if it means getting close enough to Chase to convince her she needs to leave. But the more time he spends with Chase, the more he's drawn to her passion, her love of his culture, and the way she looks in those Louis Vuitton heels.

Chase Huntington would give anything to enjoy her time with charming, sexy-as-hell Drago in the style capital of the world, but she has to make sure the new Huntington hotel opens successfully. How else can she prove she's not just fashionista with a fortune—she’s an heiress savvy enough to take over the family’s biggest hotel back in California? But somewhere between boutiques and business plans, she falls head over Louboutins for Drago. But when Drago's true motive for spending so much time with her comes to light, it could destroy everything Chase built and everything she thought she found in Italy.


Hugs, loves, and peanut butter!
MK Meredith

About MK Meredith
#1 Bestselling author MK Meredith writes both single title and novella length contemporary romance novels, promising an emotional ride on heated sheets. She's had a lifelong love affair with peanut butter -- the only two things coming close in the battle for her affections are gorgeous heels, and maybe Gerard Butler...or was it David Gandy?

Who is she kidding? Her true loves are her husband and two children who have survived her SEA's (spontaneous explosions of affection) and lived to tell the tale. For all things romance, see sneak peeks, and first releases, join her street team

Or sign up for her newsletter, The Heat Sheet!

Monday, December 05, 2016

Great Christmas Tree Tour 2016: Margaret Daley

We always decorate our Christmas tree Thanksgiving weekend. It’s a family project with my mother-in-law, husband, son and two granddaughters. As I take out the Christmas ornaments, I love to tell my granddaughters the history behind the decoration. Often they have been made by someone special. I have ornaments my mother, mother-in-law, son and granddaughters have made. I have some from when I was a child. When my mother died, they became mine. When I look at my Christmas tree, it is full of memories with the people I love.

The one with pink boas and flamingos is in my office and left up year around.

About Deadly Night, Silent Night
Revenge. Sabotage. Second Chances. Widow Rebecca Howard runs a successful store chain that is being targeted during the holiday season. Detective Alex Kincaid, best friends with Rebecca’s twin brother, is investigating the hacking of the store’s computer system. When the attacks become personal, Alex must find the assailant before Rebecca, the woman he’s falling in love with, is murdered.

Order from amazon

About Margaret
Margaret has been writing for over 35 years. She started writing in the late 1970s because she wanted to see if she could put a whole story down on paper. That book is still in the drawer and will never see the light of day. But she was able to finish a book, which was her goal. 

She decided after that to get some help, and joined a writers' roundtable where she met once a week with some fellow writers who went over each other's work. She sold her first book in the early 1980s and has been selling ever since. She loves to tell a story. When she was a little girl she made up stories while playing with her dolls. On long trips with her family she would weave a story about the surrounding countryside. From those early beginnings grew a love of entertaining people with a story. She has sold nearly 5 million books worldwide with over 90 books.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Great Christmas Tree Tour 2016: Tina Gayle

As many people know, I’m not big on spending a lot of time and money on decorations for the holiday. It’s not that I don’t have all the trimmings, but I don’t want the stress that comes with having to get everything ready. Not counting the time it takes to take it all down. So this year, I decided to try something new.

I saw a video on the internet on how to make a quick little tree using a tomato stake frame. It seemed easy to do.  So I thought, why not give this a try?
(insert picture 1)

To make it extra fun, I was planning to make a video. So getting everything ready, I set out to create a masterpiece. I had my pot, wire frame, green garland, and ornaments ready to go. This I might add meant, I had to get the boxes out of storage. Which is one reason for my dislike of process, but yeah, this was going to be fun.
Dressing up and putting on makeup, I worked on becoming photo worthy. Then, I talked my husband into holding my phone and be my cameraman. Easy right?

Wrong, he decided we needed his tripod. After taking another ten minutes to set it up and devise a way for it to hold the phone, I stepped in front of the camera.

Finally, I was cooking. I attached the wire frame to my pot and started wrapping the garland around the base. After the first wrap around, I knew I was in trouble. To say it look awful is an understatement. Charlie Brown’s tree looked better than mine.

Still, I was determined to make this work, but when my phone quit recording. I decided I needed to change things up. The garland wasn’t working, I need thicker garland. So while my husband deleted the evidence of my debacle. I ran to the store.

Thirty minutes later, I arrived home with what I hoped would be the perfect solution. 
My cameraman, aka my husband, didn’t think doing a video was a good idea and convinced me to just see what I could create before taking any pictures.

Again, I tried to do the tree the way the lady in the internet video had done it.

But alas, it still looked awful.

I decided to try a different method and managed to create a tree that might compete with Charlie Brown’s.  Proudly, I allowed my husband to take my picture. 

Ecstatic with success, I gathered up all the items that I hadn’t used for the tree and returned them to their boxes. 

Now, you would think that I would end the story here. Most people would, but I have to share my reason for not going all out for the holidays. Around ten minutes after I had everything arranged, I heard a crash.

This is what I saw.

After cleaning up the mess, I have decided to go back to my original plan for the holidays—Stockings and a pine cone hung by the fireplace. (This takes no time or effort and I enjoy it without any stress.)

Happy holidays, everyone.

Also seeing as I don’t have a historical western to share, I thought I’d send this book along from a friend, Anita Philmar. This book has two short stories for only 99 cents.

About McKee’s Ghost
His fiancĂ©e called off their engagement after be accosted by a ghost in his house. Now, a beautiful ghost detective has shown up at his ranch, saying his brother has hired her to take care of the unwanted spirit.

Konnor McKee is more than happy with PSI Agent Ruth Oliva Wilson. One look and he was hooked. Now, if he can only get some help from a ghost, he might be able to secure himself a bride after all.

With the return of his ex-fiancee, his life is turn upside down by an angry ghost, a vindictive woman and a sexy medium. Konnor doesn’t know which way to turn. Can he get everyone out of this alive and marry the PSI Agent? Or has he lost all hope of a happy future because of the ruthless ghost of one of his ancestors?   

Buy Links

Taking his anger with himself out on the young man, Konnor grabbed the glass. “And when exactly did you see Miss Wilson?”

Henry shuffled backward. “I saw her around the corner of the house when I was heading home. But then, I couldn’t leave.”

“Why not?” 
“Well, I figured you might want me to be close by. Maybe act as a chaperone or something, so she doesn’t hogtie you into marrying her.”

Konnor set the full glass of water on the kitchen table next to a bowl of apples. “I’m not a young buck like you. I can have a woman visit without taking advantage of the situation. Now, skedaddle.”

“Are you sure? Because I don’t mind staying a while longer if you need me to.” Henry edged along the counter to the back door and pointed to the table. “I also cut up some meat and set out the biscuits you made this morning.” 

“Thanks. Now get. I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow.” Konnor waved the boy out of the house and surveyed the food. With the table set with plates and silver, they wouldn’t have to wait to eat.

Nevertheless, what would Ruth think? Would she be happy with a cold meal? Or should he heat something else up?

McKee’s Ghost is also part of the box set The Good, The Bad and the Ghostly which has a Sample Book that you can download with these links. They have excerpts and recipes to enjoy.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday,
Tina Gayle
New Release: My Best Friend's Ex

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Great Christmas Tree Tour 2016: *lizzie starr

I've participated in Cheryl's Christmas tree tour for a number of years now, and get a kick out of going back and rereading my posts. And seeing all the different trees I've posted. My family has a tradition of putting off putting up a tree (usually until some cleaning chore got done). The sibs and I dutifully carry on this tradition. When the tree is finally up, it's covered with a variety of ornaments; old, new, and now-a-days, showing off our favorite fandoms.

I've started small this year, and my decorations so far are just a bit... odd? Hopefully you'll enjoy a good chuckle. Because what's the holiday season without a resounding HO HO HO!?

First, at home on my newly constructed shelves. My Christmas Tree 2016. Complete with a favorite ornament, and of course a star. Hmm, I wonder what delightful things might be in those tiny prezzies. Maybe the boxes are like the TARDIS and are bigger on the inside. Wouldn't that be cool?
I also have a display at work--my Christmas Cactus. Again with a star. I have a lot of stars. And always need more. Imagine that. The peppermint tree is a more traditional addition and the kids at school love the cute bear. There needs to be some holiday fabric around the pots or covering my worn out filing cabinet though, don't you think? Decorating is always a work in progress. Perhaps I'll even be done by Christmas.

Even more than silly decorating, the best part of Christmas is family. Hold all their love and joy in your hearts for a while, especially when times are tough. Then spread your arms wide--knowing you've been blessed to share the Christmas spirit all year long!

So what else is going on this holiday season? Like my Facebook author page 
to check out the adventures of Santa Doxie! Who knows where he'll show up during December.

Where in the world is Santa Doxie?

If you're looking for a new read for yourself or someone else, visit the Starr multiverse at  There you can read the first chapters of my books.

For listings of all versions of my tales as well as the journals I've been creating, check my Amazon author page.

Have a holly, jolly Christmas!

About Coloring Books Coloring Book
Relax and unwind with this Coloring Books Coloring Book. Whether you’re a coloring enthusiast, a book lover, or both, this collection of 20 plus designs will entice you to pick up your colored pencils, markers or chalks and explore.

The variety of pictures, ranging from simple line drawings reminiscent of your first coloring book, to more complicated and abstract designs, encourage adventurous coloring. By sampling the variety of styles in this adult coloring book you’ll discover favorites, both old and new. The meditative art of coloring is an effective form of therapy for relieving stress and anxiety. And...coloring is just plain fun!


About Name Collection Journal
Keep this pocket journal close at hand for collecting new and unusual names to use in your writing. Keep track of where you find then ultimately use a name. With room for notes and brainstorming, and quotes to spark naming creativity, this small book will be an invaluable tool for your writing process.


About *lizzie
*lizzie made up games and stories to keep her company as a child. So, a witch lived in Grampa’s weather research station and was only held at bay by a certain weed. An ancient road grader became a boat carrying wild adventurers to islands filled with sheep that turned into lions and cannibals. 

Now, the stories of her imagination have found their way to paper and pixels. Still filled with fantasy and love, these tales take her and her readers far from the mundane world.

When *lizzie has to return to that mundane life, she’s the kitchen manager for a small school. Author and Lunch Lady--what a combination! Happily, family and friends have become accustomed to her writer’s ways and just shake their heads when she goes off on some fantastical tangent, asks strange what if questions, or just has to find a piece of paper and a pen that actually writes. One of her greatest delights is to watch the joy of writing fill a friend, and she’ll do anything to help them achieve their dream.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Great Christmas Tree Tour 2016: Kathryn Albright

Thanks for having me on your Christmas Tree blog this year, Cheryl!

Every year, my family and I have the discussion…will we decorate the tree with only white lights and one color of ornaments so that it looks artistic to the eye? Or will we use the ornaments that have come to mean something to us over the years? Ornaments such as my grandson’s hand print on the glass ball from when he was a baby or the Popsicle stick triangle my son made in kindergarten that is falling apart. Those are the ones that bring memories back in such a welling rush of emotion that I tear up with joy and gratitude for my family and the life I’ve been given every time I hang them on our tree.

Well…I’m sure you know which decorating plan wins out. EVERY YEAR. Plus, we always go with multicolored lights. And so, the tree is a work of love and memories. 

My favorite ornament is one that my mother painted a scene on. She gave it to me on my first Christmas away from home as a married woman.  Another favorite is a crocheted angel that, Sandy, a co-worker, made for me when I was a young nurse. It is not flashy or sparkly, but it has topped the tree every year since and I love it for the memories it brings.

A Christmas tradition we have as a family is to always watch the DVD of The Nativity. If you have never listened to the musical score to the movie, it is also quite wonderful. 

Cheryl ~ I wish you and your wonderful family along with your readers here, a very blessed and merry Christmas! 

My newest book is Christmas Kiss from the Sheriff. This is the last book in my Heroes of San Diego Series. 

About Christmas Kiss From the Sheriff
Gemma Starling travels two thousand miles from her former life to flee from a crime she committed. As the new schoolteacher in Clear Springs, she tries to blend in, but the new sheriff in town is not so easily deceived. Gemma’s attempts to avoid Craig Parker only intrigue him more. When her life is threatened, he realizes that his personal feelings for her have far surpassed his professional responsibilities for the case. He can’t lose her…yet does he even know who she truly is?

About A Christmas to Remember
Clear Springs’ new schoolteacher, Gemma Starling, feels as if she’s been given a fresh start. So long as no one discovers her dark secret—she once shot a man in self-defense! 
Sheriff Craig Parker has forsworn love, but delightful Miss Starling intrigues him. And when events at the school turn dangerous, Craig won’t let her face it alone. Gemma might just be the one woman he could ever love, but will the secret she’s hiding tear them apart or bring them together by Christmas?

About Kathryn Albright 
Kathryn Albright writes sweet western historical romance. Her stories celebrate courage and hope with a dash of adventure. Kathryn’s stories have been finalists in the distinguished RWA Golden Heart® and the HOLT Medallion as well as several other industry contests.

She enjoys hiking and road trips with her husband (when he drives) and being caught up in a good story. She lives with her family in the rural Midwest.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Great Christmas Tree Tour 2016: Karen Kirst

My husband and I have the same friendly “discussion” every year. When is the right time to decorate for Christmas? I’m a firm believer in being able to enjoy the twinkly lights, bright ribbons and ornaments for the entire season. 

Growing up in Czech, my husband’s family tradition was to wait until the morning of December 24th. Can you imagine? Over the years, he’s accepted a new way of doing things…instead of shopping on Black Friday, our family decorates.

This year we’re celebrating Christmas in a new house. Decorating has been a fun challenge, to be sure. What works in one house doesn’t necessarily work in another one. Plus, it’s my first time having stairs. Thankfully, my husband volunteered to take care of the garland. (Maybe to make me feel better after I said he was raining on my Christmas parade?!) I’m sure we’ll tweak things as time goes by, but I’m pleased with how it looks so far. 

I have several nativity sets, but this one is my favorite. My husband actually gave it to me for Valentine’s Day one year. (Proof he’s really not a Scrooge, as I like to say sometimes.)

Our tree is a mixture of old and new ornaments. It’s become customary for my three boys to choose a new one each year. I take part, as well, and these are two of my favorites. I’m a huge fan of tearooms and tea parties. And of course I love books! I’m wondering if maybe a motorcycle ornament would entice my husband to help decorate the tree next year…

About The Sheriff's Christmas Twins
Convinced that Allison Ashworth deserves better, Sheriff Shane Timmons has always tried to remain aloof around his childhood companion. But with Allison in Gatlinburg for the holidays, insisting on caring for two motherless babies, Shane feels obliged to help her. How can he keep his distance when she and the children are quickly becoming the family he never dared to wish for? 

As a girl, Allison was drawn to the wary yet handsome Shane, who never seemed to look her way. But in spending time with him and two sweet babies, she might yet find a chink in the confirmed bachelor's armor. Every shared moment gives Allison hope that this Christmas, her dreams of motherhood—and a life with Shane—may finally be coming true.

About Karen
Karen Kirst was born and raised in East Tennessee near the Great Smoky Mountains. A lifelong lover of books, it wasn't until after college that she had the grand idea to write one herself. The pursuit of her dream would take longer than she first anticipated...years, in fact. In the fall of 2010, she got the happy news that Harlequin Love Inspired Historical wanted to publish her manuscript-a true blessing from God. Now she divides her time between being a wife, homeschooling mom, and romance writer. Her favorite pastimes are reading, hosting tea parties and spending time with friends.