Monday, November 7, 2016

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…


Giveaway of a $10 gift card!

Hello, Readers – I’m thrilled that Just Contemporary Romance invited me to stop in to share a book birthday with you!


Today is the official release day of Snowbound with Mr. Wrong, the first book in my Snowflake Valley series from Entangled Bliss. Of course, I know we haven’t celebrated Thanksgiving yet, but this week…this month…I’m all about Christmas. :) 

And I love that I’m in the mood to decorate early.

My husband and I put up a tree every year, the same tree taken from the same box it has lived in during most of the years we’ve been married. It may be a little on the small side, but it’s definitely not a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It’s a well-loved and welcome sight in our living room.

We’ve tried setting it up in different places in the room, but it seems we always wind up deciding it looks best on the same wall in the spot it stands in every year. Sometimes I tell myself I’m just a creature of habit! Then I stop and realize that where the tree goes is almost as important as what goes on it

Why? 

Because putting the tree in the same place and setting the same lighted star on top and adding the familiar ornaments on and beneath it are traditions my husband and I have created. And family traditions are a very important part of any holiday. 

I love handmade decorations, especially at Christmastime. Lyssa, the heroine of Snowbound with Mr. Wrong, shares that love and—even though she’s stranded on a mountainside—she manages to add that element into the story. This clip is from the point of view of our hero, Nick:

“Do you think Santa likes my stocking?” Tommy asked.

The kid emphasized the word, as if someone here had already insulted his work. “I’m sure he’ll like it. In fact, you’re doing such a great job, I think you should make my stocking, too.”

“But Santa doesn’t—” The boy cut himself off and put his head down over his work again.

“When we get back to civilization,” Nick said, “we’ll need to make a shopping trip.”

That caught Mollie’s attention, though she looked up without a word.

It caught Lyssa’s attention, too, judging by the way her hand holding the needle had frozen in midair. Already he could tell she was forming objections to his plan. No matter what he did, he couldn’t seem to please her.

“Shopping?” Tommy asked. “What can we buy?”

“Christmas presents for all your parents.”

“But I told…I told Santa I made a card.”

“And that’s very nice. But there’s no reason you can’t give your mom and dad a present, too.”

“We’ll make ornaments,” Lyssa said.

“Make how?” Tommy demanded. “And what’s a ormer…that thing you said?”

“It’s a decoration for your Christmas tree. We’ll make them with a very special recipe I have for clay. We use flour and salt and glue and food coloring. Just like you do in school with Miss Barnett, right, Mollie?”

The girl shrugged and stabbed her stocking again.

This time, Nick didn’t blame her. The thought of having to make a stocking had been bad enough. And now, this?

Lyssa was going to great lengths to keep the kids occupied. He had a sneaking suspicion her efforts were also aimed at making sure he and she didn’t get to spend any time alone. After last night, he couldn’t blame her.

Yet even the fresh wave of guilt he felt now couldn’t keep him from wanting her.
~ ~
One of the most cherished ornaments on our tree is the one my parents gave us the first Christmas we were married. 

Then there are the ornaments and decorations we’ve collected as a couple. They’re all favorites of ours, too, and it doesn’t matter whether we bought them as keepsakes of a great vacation or to celebrate a special occasion, or even if we’ve just picked them up at local holiday craft bazaars.

What’s your favorite ornament or holiday decoration? Mention it in a comment below, then enter the Rafflecopter. Your name will be included for a chance to win one of the giveaways:  a $10.00 Amazon gift card or a $10.00 Starbucks gift card (US mailing addresses to enter). Winners’ names will be posted in a comment here at the blog on Nov. 14th.

Snowbound with Mr. Wrong 

Worst. Day. Ever. After Lyssa Barnett’s sister tricks her into reprising her role at Snowflake Valley's annual children's party, she doesn’t think anything can be worse than squeezing into her too-small elf costume. Then tall, dark, and way too handsome Nick Tavlock shows up to play Santa…and an unexpected storm leaves them snowbound in the isolated lodge.

The last thing Nick wants is to spend a cozy Christmas Eve with a trio of kids and the woman who dumped him. But as much as Lyssa frustrates him, he can't stop thinking about her. And soon, he's fighting very un-Santa-like thoughts of kissing a certain sexy Miss Elf under the mistletoe. As Nick starts to fall for Lyssa all over again, he knows it will take nothing short of a miracle to have Lyssa in his arms on Christmas Day.


About Barbara:
Barbara White Daille is an award-winning author whose short contemporary romances have received Top Picks and glowing reviews from both print and online publications. Her writing has been compared to that of authors such as Deborah Smith and Catherine Anderson, among others. Her books focus on small-town settings, where the heroes and heroines’ lives are filled with family and friends, lots of nosy neighbors, and often a matchmaker—or three. 

Barbara has been a writer since before she could spell all the words needed to tell her stories. She “self-published” her first short story in fourth grade and wrote her first novel (a mystery with a romance included!) in eighth grade. 
Writing is Barbara’s passion, and reading is her favorite pastime. She hopes her stories bring readers just as much pleasure and that her books find homes on those readers’ keeper shelves.

She and her husband live in the hot and sunny Southwest, where they don’t mind the lizards in the front yard but could do without the scorpions in the bathroom.



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47 comments:

  1. Back when I still worked as Art Comm at an MLM company, putting up Christmas decorations at the shop was one of the task I handled. I was lousy at doing the tree - am not a Christian, so was not too good doing it, LOL - but my favorite was doing the lights and place the star on top of the tree. I imagined it must've been ten times better doing it with real tree! :)

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    1. You're braver than I am, Dee! I always let my dh handle the star on top. And forget the lights - I can get tangled up in tinsel. lol Thanks for stopping in.

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  2. I am a Muslim so I don't really have a favorite Christmas decorations. But I helped a neighbor doing it and I loved the ribbons. Just throwing it here and there (I was still a kid when I helped her *lol*)

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    1. Any holiday or special occasion works for this question, Ami. :)

      That's so great that you were able to share in your neighbor's celebration and decorating! LOL on throwing the ribbons. You were a kid - that's expected behavior. ;)

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  3. I buy a tree ornament as a souvenir when I travel...putting up my tree each year is a trip down memory lane of all the places I've been over the years.

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    1. Laura - that's what we used to do, too, and still try to think about whenever we travel. Collecting ornaments is fun, isn't it - because it makes you think of the place PLUS the good times you had there.

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  4. My favorite Christmas decorations are probably candy canes.

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    1. LOL - love that, Blue Falcon - then you can eat the decorations after Christmas. (Provided you leave them wrapped, that is. ;)

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  5. We don't decorate much, but the decorations we have (cross stitched pieces) are made by me.

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    1. Natalija - handmade ornaments are such great keepsakes. I'll bet yours are beautiful.

      I made a few very small ones way back when, when we first got married. They clipped into small frames shaped like hanging ornaments. The cross-stitching came out very well but I wasn't very good at finishing the edges!

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  6. Hi, everyone! Just wanted to say hi, thanks for the comments so far, and please keep them coming. ;) In between working on a book, I'll be in and out all week long and into the weekend to respond.

    Looking forward to hearing about your holiday decorations and memories!

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  7. Happy book B-day! :) My fav ornaments are these cute animal ones that my mom has collected for years... one is a mouse sending a letter off to Santa!

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    1. Colleen - that sounds like an adorable collection! And the mouse at the mailbox sounds familiar. Not that we have one, but I'm sure I've seen them and they're very cute! Thanks for dropping in.

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  8. My favorite ornaments are my Hallmark Snoopy ornaments I started collecting in 1977- I have one for each year.

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    1. Tammy - those are adorable, too, and so great when you have kids around to enjoy them.

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  9. I have all the ornaments my daughter, niece and nephew made on my tree every year. They are now 38, 34 and 32, but i whole the memories of them giving them to me very close to my heart. I also have ornaments thar my daughter brought for me from different trips we took together. Christmas is about love and family and I hold both very close to my heart.

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  10. I have all the ornaments my daughter, niece and nephew made on my tree every year. They are now 38, 34 and 32, but i whole the memories of them giving them to me very close to my heart. I also have ornaments thar my daughter brought for me from different trips we took together. Christmas is about love and family and I hold both very close to my heart.

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    1. Hi, Millie - that is so wonderful! Sometimes I think one of the best parts of celebrating a holiday is being able to relive such special memories.

      I'll bet the 3 of them look forward to seeing your tree, too. :) Thanks for sharing.

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  11. Well I lost all my Christmas decorations when I lost my home in the tornado, however I had given my daughter an angel tree topper that I had always loved so since it was at her house it made it. It's a beautiful angel and she uses it on her tree every year.

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    1. Linda - I'm so sorry to hear about everything you lost. Hugs to you and your family. Knowing the tree topper is the only remaining decoration must make it even more precious.

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  12. An angel my niece made.

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    1. Mary, having the ornament be handmade and by a family member must make it three times as special. :)

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  13. We don't decorate for Christmas, but we do for Thanksgiving. I have this magnificently hideous metal turkey that I adore. It's about three feet tall, ugly, and rusted. You need a tetanus shot just looking at it! I love it and it makes me laugh every time I see it.

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    1. Mandy - either you did a great job of describing it or I have a good imagination - or both - because I can just SEE that turkey. And it made me LOL, too!

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  14. It's a wooden heart painted red and green with cream covered doves on it and it says "Our First Christmas" and is personalized with hubby and my names and date from years ago. :)

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  15. Aww, LynnB - that sounds very special. I'm partial to the "First Christmas ornaments, as you can probably tell from the post.That will be a great keepsake for you to pass down in the family.

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  16. My Dr. Seuss ornaments are my favorites. Thank you for this chance.

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    1. Robyn - I'll bet that really brightens up your tree! Or where ever you display them. We have a few Disney figurines and I love them on our tree.

      And you're very welcome!

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    2. Congrats on being one of the winners, Robyn!

      Please get in touch with me through the Contact form at my website with your US mailing address by November 17th. Thanks!

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  17. I have a little glittery angel that has been in the family for a couple of generations and I love it.

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    1. Caitlin - that sounds very pretty and all the more special since it's been loved and passed down. Thanks for sharing!

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  18. My favorite ornament has to be the one with my daughter's handprint on it from when she was in Kindergarten.

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    1. What a great keepsake, April! They're so cute as ornaments, whether they're done on paper with water color, in plaster, or whatever. A real treasure to keep in your family, too!

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    2. Hi again, April, and congrats on being one of the winners!

      Please get in touch through the Contact form at my website with your US mailing address by November 17th.

      Thanks!

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  19. A special photo of our two deceased poodles in a Christmas ornament.

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    1. Aww, Barbara...that's a sweet way to keep them close to your heart.

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  20. My favorite ornament is one that I got from my 8th grade teacher!

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    1. That's an interesting one, Linda. I'll bet it brings back good memories of her/him and other events in your life from that time.

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    2. I'm just so afraid of breaking it after all this time!!

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    3. I can imagine! That's one of the hazards of using things that are precious to us. But if they stay closed up in a box somewhere, we never have the chance to enjoy them. It's a tough choice.

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  21. My favorite ornament is the angel I've had since childhood- each of my sisters has one too :)

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    1. Heidi - what a nice keepsake! And how smart of whoever gave each of you an angel of your own. ;)

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  22. My favorite Christmas ornament is the first one my daughter ever made.... a very crooked candy cane!

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    1. Aww...that's so special, Kai! And the crookedness makes it unique!

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  23. Thanks to everyone who dropped by and shared with us.

    I loved reading about your ornaments and decorations and will think about you enjoying them during the holidays!

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