Thursday, December 24, 2015

'Twas the Night Before Christmas and GIVEAWAY

My nephew, s-in-l, b-in-l, hubby, soldier son, family friend 

May I share this famous poem, along with a few family photos of  a past Christmas or two?

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
― Clement C. Moore






Win your choice of these Scottish prizes. 
Open to US and International Winners.
Giveaway ends Sunday January 3, 2016





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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Nancy Lee Badger Presents #ChristmasTreats Blog Hop and Giveaway


Christmas Treats Hop


What are your favorite Christmas treats? Books, of course! How about cookies? Yum! Since this Blog Hop ends on December 25th, I have put together a Scottish Gift Basket to warm up your frosty New Year. (Enter below the Gift Basket's photo)

Don't forget to stop by each blog, also listed below, for a chance to win fabulous books and gifts for the holidays!

The holidays are here, and I want to give back to my wonderful readers. Have you read one or two of my books? Have you left a short review anywhere? Reviews are like gold, so please take a moment and leave one today (your gift to me)


In the meantime, here is an excerpt from My Hunted Highlander, a Scottish time travel romance

     Jenny passed Blair a small metal cup, and helped her bring it to her lips. “You have to keep drinking this. It’s an antidote. Gavin said you were poisoned.”
     “The apple…I remember. Something about Cinnie, the woman I met in the orchard. I can’t believe she meant to hurt me. Actually, she didn’t. I took the apple without her knowledge.”
     “Which means she planned to poison someone else!”
     “Quick, Jenny! Warn Mackenzie, before someone dies!”
     Jenny raced into the hall without shutting the heavy oak door. Too weak to get up, Blair sipped the bitter brew and wondered how much time had passed. When a servant poked through the door, she smiled. She didn’t want to be alone, not with all the craziness going on around her, and her missing son.
     “Can I help ye dress, my lady?” Her head was down, and wrapped in a triangle of white linen. One gold braid hung down her back. She shut the door behind her, and strolled to a large armoire.
     “Yes, but I’m pretty weak.” Blair swung her legs to the side of the rumpled bed, but held tight to the bedclothes. The woman, her back to Blair, dug through clothes. “Those must be Jenny Morgan’s dresses. I am lucky we are both tall.”
     When she noticed that the servant was no more than four feet tall, she changed the subject. “Is it still snowing?”
     “Nay, the sun is shining. ‘Tis morning, and still early, but the menfolk have left the castle grounds.”
     “What? They left without me?” Blair hopped to the floor, wobbled, and nearly fell to her knees.
The servant’s hands clasped her waist from behind. “Take care, my lady. The poison is still in yer system. We would no’ wish ye injured.”
     A shiver zipped along her spine. “We?”
    

Buy links for My Hunter Highlander:

Amazon   NOOK   Smashwords     
         Books-A-Million    Book Depository           
Powells Books


p.s. Check out my latest endeavor: 
MEDIEVAL REDEMPTION, a four-author Bpxed set
Over 1,000 pages of bad boys! Only $.99
AMAZON

Please enter to win this 
Scottish Gift Basket
containing:
*Autographed copy of My Hunted Highlander*
*Autographed copy of DRAGON Bites*
*Scottish Shortbread * ButterSCOTCH Candy * 
*Booklet of quick chicken dinner recipes*
*Pretty Napkins to brighten your table* 
*BC Cherry Pain Relief (because the holidays can be...)

No purchase necessary, open to Continental USA  residents. 
International Readers will receive ebooks from Nancy's backlist.


Christmas Treats Blog Hop 
Ends December 25th
I would LOVE you to tell me 
about the books you 
want for Christmas! 


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Friday, December 11, 2015

Highland Games: a Research Opportunity

After writing several novellas that wove a tale around Scottish dragons,I wanted to use my love of modern Scottish Highland Games to weave tales using time travel and Highlanders. Since my family volunteers annually at the New Hampshire Highland Games, I filled notebook after notebook with my interpretation of the sights, smells, sounds, and history of the games. 

Research added to my list of possible story ideas. I have since completed six books set in both the fictional present-day New England Highland Games and 16th century Scotland. What do modern games have to do with a story of ancient Highlanders? Plenty, especially since I match heroines and heroes from different times.

Besides the costumes and weaponry people wear to these festivals, there are sports, food, craft displays, music, and vendors beneath tents selling everything under the sun. The aroma of meat pies mingles with the tang of fresh-squeezed lemonade. Sheep, herded by a border collie, run near tent-covered platforms where pretty girls dance a Highland fling. Bagpipers march while craftspeople spin wool or tell tales to kids, giving me dozens of ideas, which I carefully noted. 

The modern games are so much more than an athletic competition yet watching burly, kilt-wearing men tossing a tree called a ‘caber’ end-over-end is a favorite sight. 

Historically, the games were a way to hone skills. Coming together once or twice a year gave a community a sense of camaraderie during a time of upheaval in Scotland. Skill, stamina, and determination easily kept young Highlanders ready for war or any threat to their livestock…and women. Foot races kept messengers ready should they need to spread the word of a battle.  Even the simple tug-o-war kept a warrior’s body ready to answer the call to war. 

When my fascination with pirates entered my head, I created a female pirate plying the North Sea in a ship I named The Black Thistle. That story, released this year, is titled My Hunted Highlander. 

Book Blurb

Niall Sinclair wakes bound to the mast of a pirate ship. Hiding his identity, his reaction to their female captain makes him nearly forget his need to escape. Kidnapped from modern day New Hampshire, and now at the helm of a pirate ship in 1603 Scotland, Blair MacIan sees Niall as a chance to escape to her world. 


Buy Links:
Amazon   NOOK   
Smashwords    iBooks   
Kobo    Books-A-Million    
Book Depository                    

Friday, December 4, 2015

Nancy Lee Badger Presents Donna Steele



Donna Steele stopped by to share her holiday romance novel:
Christmas With Family.  

Nancy- Let's start off with something intimate! Please share 3 things readers might not know about you.

Donna- I feel like I'm an open book, but here you go:
1) I never realized just how much I was going to adore retirement. I have had a job since I was twelve years old, so this is new territory and the best yet.
2) I was born with EB (Epidermolysis Bullosa) fortunately the mild kind but please check out the Butterfly Fund for a wonderful cause helping those children who had a much worse case than my sister and I had.
3) Since my retirement I get up at 6 a.m. just like "normal" and swim for 30 minutes – much better for me than the stress eating I was doing on the job.

Blurb for Christmas With Family
When Symone finds herself unexpectedly in custody of her confused and frightened four-year-old niece for Christmas she knows she has to make it work. Symone's sister had to get to her husband, injured in Afghanistan and in critical condition. Rachel is left in limbo with only a few days 'til Santa comes.

It helps when Blake, a friend of her brother-in-law, shows up to try to make it a merry Christmas for Rachel but Symone doesn't know the man or the history he's hiding. And she's not interested in another holiday with the wrong guy. Can they save Christmas for the child they both love?

Excerpt 
   Without warning Rachel darted past Symone and flung herself into the arms of the large man. "Not a rag doll, Rachel!"
   He hugged the little girl and then looked into her face. "I can never remember that. Are you sure your name's not Rags? With that hair?"
   Symone relaxed slightly. The two obviously knew each other.  Rachel had the same red hair she and Alicia had, if a little lighter at her age.
   "Aunt Symone, this is my Uncle Blake."
   Symone blinked at that. Jerry was an only child.
He shifted the child in his arms and held out his hand.
   "Honorary uncle. I'm Blake Connelly, a friend of Jerry's."      She saw the tightness return to his eyes at the mention of Jerry's name, but he said nothing in front of Rachel.
   "Please, come in." She stepped back and he followed her, giving her a chance to close the door and keep the cold outside.
   "They said Daddy got hurt. Were you there?" Rachel asked him.
   "No, Rags. I'm sorry I wasn't. But I'm sure he'll be fine."
   "Momma went to get him, so she won't be here for Christmas."
   "I thought about that and that's why I came to check on you."
   "You'll stay here?" The little girl's arms went around his neck. "You can have your old room."
   Symone blinked at that and froze. Wait a minute, who was this guy?
   "I probably shouldn't stay here. You and your Aunt Symone have plans I'm sure."
   "No we don't. Please Aunt Symone. He can stay can't he? He always does. You two could share the room. It's a big bed."
   Symone just blinked again, trying to regain her equilibrium.
   "I can get a room close by—"
   "Do you usually stay here when you visit?" Symone managed to ask.
   "Yes, but this is different."
   Symone looked into the pleading eyes of the little girl nestled comfortably in his muscular arms. The holiday was already so screwed up. "I can move into Alicia and Jerry's room."
   "Yes!" Rachel squealed and Symone winced slightly. Blake seemed to take it in stride.
   "Are you sure?"
   Symone straightened her back. "Yes. It'll be fine."
   He nodded, the gesture saying more to her than he could in front of the child and Symone smiled, relaxing a little more.
   "I was coming to ask Rachel what she wanted me to fix for dinner."
   "Could we have grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup?" Rachel responded immediately.
   "That would be perfect. Suit you, Blake?" Symone asked.
   "That's exactly what I was going to ask for." He let the little girl down and Rachel scurried off to find something she wanted to show him.
   As soon as Rachel was out of the room, Blake spoke. "I don't have to stay here. I realize I'm a stranger."
   "I know. But she's already so upset. I think it would be good for her if you're here."
   "Thanks. I'll be on my best behavior."
   She chuckled as Rachel careened back into the room carrying the tattered Christmas catalog to show Blake what she had asked Santa for this year.
   "I'll go get started on dinner."
   "Need any help?"
   "You're already giving it." Symone smiled and headed for the kitchen, keeping an ear out for the conversation going on in the great room. She still didn't know for sure who tall, dark and gorgeous was, but Rachel obviously knew him well.

Nancy- How can my readers buy your book?  

Nancy- What’s next for you?
Donna- I try to take turns and since this is a small town romance, I need to turn back to Sci Fi/Paranormal. I have contracted a time travel book with Soul Mate Publishing, so I've got to get into the deep editing of that.

More About Donna Steele
Women strong enough for love.
I write science fiction, paranormal and small town romance eBooks about women coming into their strength and having the courage to find and accept love.

Now that I have retired from going into an office every day, I created my own at home and write full time. Talk about living the dream!

Since I learned to read I’ve wanted to write. The possibilities of science fiction have always drawn me and I’ve read them all, there just needed to be a little more romance in them. I finally got up the courage to write them myself and I’m delighted that I’m able to share these stories with you.

My premiere novel, a science fiction romance, was released
in March 2012. Since then I've been fortunate enough to release 13 more works, including my first self-published novel – Alien Embrace. Please stop by my author page at www.steelestories.com for excerpts of my books.

I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter of RWA and the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers.

Website & Blog -   http://steelestories.com  

***And she has just released another book!
Rth Rising, a 'new kind of sci-fi romance'. 
Buy it at Amazon

Saturday, November 28, 2015

And the Winner is...

The Blog Hop is over, and I have posted my winner below...
Thankful for You Hop

This week we're letting everyone know just what we're thankful for. And that includes...YOU! There's a new giveaway at every single stop so be sure to hop around and visit your favorite blogs and find a few new ones to follow too! 

Giving thanks on the 4th Thursday of the month is an American holiday, but this time period is also a way for me to give extra special thanks to all my readers. You are what keeps me wanting to write the next novel, and the next. Without book sales, and reviews, we cannot succeed.
The Prize

Congratulations to
Melissa C!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Thankful For You Blog Hop & GIVEAWAY



Thankful for You Hop

This week we're letting everyone know just what we're thankful for. And that includes...YOU! There's a new giveaway at every single stop so be sure to hop around and visit your favorite blogs and find a few new ones to follow too! 

Giving thanks on the 4th Thursday of the month is an American holiday, but this time period is also a way for me to give extra special thanks to all my readers. You are what keeps me wanting to write the next novel, and the next. Without book sales, and reviews, we cannot succeed.

To thank you, I have lowered the retail price of the ebook SHIVER: a White Mountains Thriller to an unheard of 99¢. (reg. $5.99) 

During this super sale, I will be GIVING AWAY a gorgeous ice blue Celtic Raven Decal to one lucky reader.  Enter below!

Sexy Excerpt from My Hunted Highlander-my latest Scottish time travel romance

     “So, talk,” Blair said. She wrenched her wrist from Niall’s grasp, and crossed her arms over her chest. The green vest swelled above her arms, as if offering her breasts to him. He doubted she realized it. Her top teeth bit into her bottom lip. She was eager for an argument, but all he wanted was her breath mingled with his.
     “Kiss me?” Niall whispered.
Blair’s eyes widened, and she stepped back. She was pinned against the stone building, in a perfectly private corner. He swooped, pressing his hands flat against the wall, so as not to touch her, which would be his undoing. He feathered his lips over her mouth, then stepped closer, until his lips caressed her mouth, then kissed the soft flesh beneath her right ear.
     “Ye taste of sunshine and shortbread.”
     “Keegan had a few shortbread cookies, and he shared them. He is such a good boy.”
     “Cookies?” Niall sighed. “Yer odd words make me smile. The lad has a lovely, intelligent mother. Ye have cared for him when others would no’. My sire is an evil cur, for begetting him on his poor dead mother.”
     “Begetting him? I bet he raped her.”
     “I will no’ argue the point. I am no’ like him. I swear.” He kissed her again, then cupped her face in his hands. Her skin was smooth, and far lighter than his weathered skin. Pulling back to see her reaction, his eyes narrowed. When he felt her body stiffen, he remembered that a man she called husband had treated her ill.

Did you enjoy that? Wait until you read about my hero's ordeal aboard the pirate ship, and the longbow competition. Lots going on in ALL my books.

My Hunted Highlander Buy Links (only $4.99):
Amazon   NOOK   Smashwords     
Books-A-Million    Book Depository           

SHIVER Buy Links 
(only 99¢ Hurry sale ends soon!)
Amazon    NOOK    Smashwords
iBooks    AllRomance  






Thankful to my Readers
Blog Hop Giveaway
Ends Friday Nov. 27, 2015
No purchase necessary, open to USA & International Readers



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Saturday, November 14, 2015

wow! It is Finally Here! MEDIEVAL REDEMPTION!

Medieval Redemption is out and actually released late last night, on my birthday!

It contains My Banished Highlander, my favorite of all my Scottish time travel novels, as well as these books:
*The Honor of a Highlander by April Holthaus
*Celtic Fury by Ria Cantrell
*Gavril of Aquina by Aurrora St. James

It is available for only 99 Cents at Amazon

FREE to Kindle Unlimited subscribers!

BUY IT HERE!