Tag Archives: Christmas Traditions series

Review: Holly Daze ( Christmas Traditions #7)

2 Jan

Holly Daze

Holly Daze by Gina Welborn

After a year of geological surveying northeastern Iowa, English paleontologist James Holly yearns to join a fossil dig in Colorado. Although amused by the town’s folklore and Christmas festivities, he doesn’t believe in superstitions or curses. Celebrating the holiday only reminds him of the family he lost. What goodwill he has for the townsfolk dissipates after someone steals one of his fossils. For once in his life he needs is a bit of luck on his side, and he’ll take it, even if it’s in the form of a charming lady.

Everyone knows fortune favors Lena Reinhardt. That’s why on St. Barbara’s Day since she turned eighteen, she’s the lucky one who places the cherry twig in the holy water. The town believes her good fortune causes the year’s windfall of crops and livestock, and it will continue as long as she stays unmarried. This year, though, Lena believes God sent James to change her luck. Now if she can only convince him…

Thoughts:

Holly Daze is a wonderful story! I love Gina Welborn’s writing and was delighted by her charming, holiday novella! James Holly and Lena Reinhardt are endearing characters and I enjoyed reading their story. Although it is a Christmas Traditions novella, this engaging story can be enjoyed any time of the year! I loved Holly Daze and highly recommend this novella!

Purchase Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Gina WelbornGina Welborn wrote public service announcements for a news radio station until she fell in love with writing romances. She’s the author of three Barbour novellas, including the 2014 Selah finalist “Mercy Mild” in ECPA-bestselling Mistletoe Memories, with more novellas to be released over the next two years. 2014 ushers in the release of her novels: The Heiress’s Courtship, The Marshal’s Pursuit, and Masterpiece Marriage. A moderately obsessive fan of Community, Once Upon a Time, and Chopped, Gina lives in Oklahoma with her pastor husband, their five Okie-Hokie children, a box-lab, two rabbits, four guinea pigs, and a fancy Russian dwarf hamster named Tom Bob Deucalion.

To learn more about Gina and her books, please visit http://www.ginawelborn.com/.

FREE download + Review: Christmas Lessons

22 Nov

Christmas Lessons

Christmas Lessons by Patty Smith Hall

Love isn’t always enough.

If it were, history teacher Claire Davenport would have married her childhood sweetheart Billy Warner in a heartbeat. But Billy has big dreams of coaching college football, a plan that could be sidetracked by Claire’s disability. Fearing he’ll resent her, Claire breaks their engagement and sets out to build a life around the children at her school.

Two years later, Billy Warner is back in Marietta, the new head coach at the school where Claire teaches, and determined to find out why she broke his heart. Working together to give Christmas to needy families in their community, they can’t deny the love they’ve always shared, but will it be enough to last a lifetime?

Thoughts:

Christmas Lessons is an inspiring story! Patty Smith Hall tugged at my heartstrings in this sweet, Christmas novella. I loved Claire Davenport and Billy Warner and their rekindled romance.  Their story delighted me and warmed my heart! 

I am so excited to let you know that Christmas Lessons is FREE on Amazon today and tomorrow, November 22 and 23!

Download your FREE copy of Christmas Lessons!

Free download- An Apple For Christmas

7 Nov

I am excited to share that An Apple for Christmas, the fourth novella in the Christmas Traditions Series, is FREE on Amazon from November 7-9!  Download this delightful novella today!

An Apple for Christmas

Ruby Nelson trades her job in the laboratory for teaching in a small girls’ school in Vermont. Twin sisters challenge her position—and their father captivates her imagination. Will the orchard grower graft Ruby onto his heart?

Review: An Apple for Christmas + GIVEAWAY

22 Oct

An Apple for Christmas

An Apple for Christmas by Darlene Franklin

Ruby Nelson trades her job in the laboratory for teaching in a small girls’ school in Vermont. Twin sisters challenge her position—and their father captivates her imagination. Will the orchard grower graft Ruby onto his heart?

Thoughts:

An Apple for Christmas is a wonderful novella! Darlene Franklin has penned a story as sweet and delicious as the apples she has written about. The endearing characters delighted and charmed me, as did the engaging storyline!

I loved An Apple for Christmas and I highly recommend this novella!

 

Darlene

Connect with Darlene on her author page at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Franklin/e/B001K8993A/ or find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Poet.Darlene.Franklin

Purchase your copy of An Apple for Christmas for only $0.99!

 

GIVEAWAY!

On Monday, I shared a lovely interview with Darlene Franklin.  She has graciously offered a Kindle copy of An Apple for Christmas to one lucky reader, so be sure and leave a comment to be entered! 

Commenting here and on Darlene’s interview post will earn you 2 entries in the giveaway!  The giveaway ends Saturday, October 25 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

Interview: Darlene Franklin + GIVEAWAY

20 Oct

 

DarleneWelcome to Buzzing About Books, Darlene! Please share a little about yourself.

My greatest claim to fame is that I write full-time from a nursing home. I live in Oklahoma, near my son and his family, and continue my interests in playing the piano and singing, books, good fellowship, and reality TV in addition to writing. I am an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. I have written over thirty books and has written more than 250 devotionals.

When did you decide to pursue writing and eventually publication?

After I was divorced, 23 years ago now, I felt compelled to write about the things God was teaching me. Once I got into the habit of writing every day, I never stopped.

What is your writing process like? How has it changed in the last few years?

I tend to have a warm up routine. I check any recent interviews and blog spots for comments, emails to answer, sales trends to follow . . .in other words, I waste a lot of time. My computer rests on a movable table in my room. Turn on light and computer and television and get to work.

When I entered the nursing home 2 years ago, I had to adjust my daily goals. I have less time to write, and so I take longer to write a book. I do play fewer online games than I used to.

What is your favorite part of the writing process? Least favorite?

My favorite part? Brainstorming ideas. Seeing the finished product. The satisfaction that the process worked and I have another good book on my hands.

The least favorite is the writing itself. It is long and hard and boring. At times, it is agonizing. In the book I’m currently writing, I’m reliving my days of raising troubled teens as a divorced mother.

What is one of the most interesting things you’ve discovered while doing research?

I was in the Colorado History Museum researching the history of Italians in Colorado when I heard elephants bugling. When I tracked down the exhibit, I learned that circus elephants who spent their winter months in Denver helped with clearing the streets after the worst storm in state history. That scene made it into my story, Dressed in Scarlet.

An Apple for ChristmasPlease tell us about your latest release, An Apple for Christmas.

An Apple for Christmas is Book 4 in the Christmas Traditions series. Ruby Nelson trades her job in the laboratory for teaching in a small girls’ school in Vermont. Twin sisters challenge her position—and their father captivates her imagination. Will the orchard grower graft Ruby onto his heart?

What inspired this delightful story?

I have been writing about Vermont for years – nine books in all, from the Revolutionary War to contemporary. I don’t expect to write any more books set in Maple Notch. But I love the setting (I’m a native New England), so I looked at Vermont industries in the 1890s and was surprised to learn they were leaders in apples nationwide. So I wrote my apple story.

In An Apple for Christmas, I enjoyed the characters’ names and their meanings. How did you decide which names to use?

Choosing Mac(intosh) for the hero was the easy part. I originally chose the last name “Brown” but then decided that Cortland was a fine last name which also happened to refer to apples.

Choosing the girls’ names was harder. Today there are several apples with female names. However, few of them were in production in the 1890s. Margil and Pippin were among the few I could confirm were grown in the United States in that period.

I could nearly smell the scent of apples as I read, especially during the scene where Margil was cooking in the kitchen! What are some of your favorite apple treats?

McDonald’s apple pies. Apple pie of any kind. Apple crisp. Caramel apples, except I can’t chew them anymore.

Is there anything else you would like to share? What will you be working on next?

Thank you for asking. I am finishing up my 8th Maple Notch story, Runaway Love. It should come out from Harlequin Heartsong Presents next August. After that, I will write the final book of the series, Homecoming.

In December, my novella Miss Bliss in the Bear will appear in The Preacher’s Bride Collection. This year, people seem drawn to Colorado Melodies and The New England Romance Collection.

Thank you so much, Darlene. Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

For now, the best places are my author page at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Franklin/e/B001K8993A/.

They can also find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Poet.Darlene.Franklin

An Apple for Christmas is available on Amazon

 

GIVEAWAY!

Darlene has graciously offered to give away one Kindle copy of An Apple for Christmas!  Leave a comment, including your email address, to be entered to win this delightful novella.  This giveaway ends Saturday, Oct. 25 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

To earn additional entries, you may do the following:
◦ Let me know you follow my blog
◦ Sign up to follow my blog if you are not a follower
◦ Share this giveaway through Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or email

Be sure and leave a comment letting me know what you have done to earn additional entries.

Review: Sadie’s Gift + GIVEAWAY

17 Oct

Sadie's Gift

Sadie’s Gift by Niki Turner

Colorado Springs, 1921 — Nurse Sadie Hubbard wants to give the children at the preventorium a wonderful Christmas. Heartbroken Nathan Wells hopes to return to Chicago and mourn his brother’s death alone. When an accident brings them together, their plans for the holiday collide. Will they find a way to work together in the spirit of Christmas?

Thoughts:

Niki Turner shares her gift of writing in this inspiring novella. I loved the originality of the storyline and the vulnerability of the characters! From heart-wrenching to heartwarming, Sadie’s Gift is a wonderful Christmas story you don’t want to miss!

I loved Sadie’s Gift and highly recommend this novella!

 

GIVEAWAY!

On Monday, I shared a fascinating guest post by Niki Turner.  She has graciously offered an ebook copy of Sadie’s Gft to one lucky reader, so be sure and comment on Niki’s post to be entered!  The giveaway ends tomorrow, October 18 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

 
About the Author:

NikiTurnerNiki Turner is a novelist, journalist, blogger, and the production manager for the Rio Blanco Herald Times weekly newspaper. Her first completed manuscript earned second place in the Touched By Love 2009 contemporary category romance contest. She writes for local newspapers, and won second place for best agriculture story at the 2013 Colorado Press Association annual convention. She also blogs at www.nikiturner.net and is a co-blogger at www.inkwellinspirations.com. Niki is the Colorado Area Coordinator for American Christian Fiction Writers and is involved in establishing an ACFW chapter on Colorado’s Western Slope, where she resides. She published “Sadie’s Gift” as one of the Christmas Traditions novella collection. Her next project, “Santiago Sol,” will be published by Pelican Book Ventures, LLC, as part of the Passport to Romance novella collection.

Connect with Niki on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Purchase Sadie’s Gift on Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Guest Post: Niki Turner + GIVEAWAY

13 Oct

tuberculosisThere’s so much we can learn from history. The research I did for my Christmas Traditions novella, Sadie’s Gift, set in 1921, was enlightening.

Did you know that the United States suffered a mini-recession immediately after WWI that dealt quite a blow to our economy before the “boom” in the ‘20s?

Did you know that one of the main reasons spitting in public was outlawed in so many states (and still is against the law in a number of places) has less to do with how nasty the practice is and more to do with an attempt to prevent the spread of tuberculosis?

In Sadie’s Gift, Nurse Sadie Hubbard lives in an era when everything is hard… the United States has just come out of World War I, the economy is in the toilet, and after the devastating Spanish Influenza epidemic in 1918 the country continues an ongoing battle with tuberculosis.

NurseSadie’s parents died during the Spanish Flu epidemic while she was in nursing school. When she graduated, she headed west to Colorado Springs and went to work in a preventorium, caring for children who had been exposed to tuberculosis, but had yet to exhibit symptoms of the deadly disease.

Commonly known as consumption, or the “White Plague,” tuberculosis was at its peak during the latter half of the 19th century, and even in modern times, TB is still active. According to the CDC one third of the world’s population is infected with TB, and more than 1 million people died from TB-related illness in 2012. According to the World Health Organization, TB is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer worldwide due to a single infectious agent.

Tuberculosis is believed to have originated in Africa some 5,000 years ago. In the early 1920s a French vaccine provided a measure of preventive relief, and the development of antibiotics nearly eradicated the disease, although resistant strains continue to present a threat.

sanitariumsSanatoriums were created in an attempt to limit the spread of the illness and to try to help TB victims overcome the disease. As the dry climate of the western U.S. was thought to be beneficial for TB patients, many of those sanatoriums were established in western states. For Colorado Springs, Colo., sanatoriums proved an economic boon.

The preventoriums, on the other hand, tended to serve more as orphanages. The children of tubercular parents or siblings who were not sick, but had nowhere else to go, ended up in preventoriums where nurses and doctors attempted to keep their patients’ physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health in top shape, in hopes that the bacteria they’d been exposed to wouldn’t have a chance to take hold. Treatment involved plenty of fresh air (even sleeping outside on cold Colorado winter nights), a strenuous physical exercise regime, and healthy food.

Sadie's GiftIn Sadie’s Gift, our heroine believes the children in her care need something more in their treatment plan: the magic of Christmas. She sets out to create a genuine Christmas experience for these forgotten children, complete with a tree and toys and treats and decorations and the message of the Gospel. Her efforts are very nearly thwarted by a chance encounter with Nathan Wells, whose brother has just died of tuberculosis in one of the sanatoriums.

Today, Sadie and Nathan’s story is more timely than ever, as our world and our nation are threatened by another deadly disease, the Ebola virus. How will we, as Christians, respond to this situation? Will we respond like Sadie, giving of ourselves to help the less fortunate around us, in spite of our own losses? Or will we respond like Nathan at the beginning of the story, angry and fearful and hardened to the needs of others?

 

About the Author:

NikiTurnerNiki Turner is a novelist, journalist, blogger, and the production manager for the Rio Blanco Herald Times weekly newspaper. Her first completed manuscript earned second place in the Touched By Love 2009 contemporary category romance contest. She writes for local newspapers, and won second place for best agriculture story at the 2013 Colorado Press Association annual convention. She also blogs at www.nikiturner.net and is a co-blogger at www.inkwellinspirations.com. Niki is the Colorado Area Coordinator for American Christian Fiction Writers and is involved in establishing an ACFW chapter on Colorado’s Western Slope, where she resides. She published “Sadie’s Gift” as one of the Christmas Traditions novella collection. Her next project, “Santiago Sol,” will be published by Pelican Book Ventures, LLC, as part of the Passport to Romance novella collection.

Connect with Niki on Facebook, or on Twitter.

The graphics used in this post were taken from Niki’s “Sadie’s Gift” Pinterest Board.

 

GIVEAWAY!

Niki has graciously offered to give away one e-copy of Sadie’s Gift!  Leave a comment, including your email address, to be entered to win this wonderful novella.  This giveaway ends Saturday, Oct. 18 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

To earn additional entries, you may do the following:
◦ Let me know you follow my blog
◦ Sign up to follow my blog if you are not a follower
◦ Share this giveaway through Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or email

Be sure and leave a comment letting me know what you have done to earn additional entries.