Friday, December 6, 2013

Happy Holidays from the GLIAS Crew

This month everyone here at GLIAS wishes you a spectacular holiday season. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or just hoping for a wonderful, healthy new year, December is definitely the month for joyous times and reflection.  Join us today as some of our crew members share their holiday traditions, favorite memories, how they like to share the bounty this time of year, and what they’re currently working on for you, their fans!


Liz & Santa-
what did he say to cause that look?
I’ve always felt terribly lucky because since I was a little girl I’ve gotten to celebrate three Christmases a year. Christmas Eve was at my grandparents’(on Mom’s side) home, Christmas morning was opening Santa’s presents at home with my brothers and parents, and Christmas afternoon we went to my other grandma’s house. Noise, lots of family, cluttered living rooms, and tons of food have always been the norm for us—very very few solitary, quiet Christmases.  The tradition continues today. Since my in-laws are both gone, I’m back to taking my family to my mother’s side for Christmas Eve where we have super-traditional Scandinavian eats: Swedish meatballs, pickled herring, lefse and, yes, lutefisk! Sunday morning my own kids come back to our house for presents and reading the Christmas story from the Bible. Sunday afternoon it’s off to my folks’ for late brunch, presents and an evening of games and camaraderie. We’re still loud and boisterous and loving—and everyone brings his/her dog(s). Wonderful pandemonium!

Having said that, one of my best Christmases was one of the few spent with just my kids and husband alone. We lived in Wilhelmshaven, Germany for twelve months in 1991-92. The month before Christmas we took the opportunity to travel to several beautiful Weihnachtsmarkts – in Nuremburg, Rothenberg, and Bremen. On Christmas Eve itself we drove to the nearby tiny town of Jever and wandered through snowfall almost alone among the town’s lights—which were all white—like a gorgeous fairyland. It was peaceful and meaningful.

The last few years we’ve given at Christmastime to Heifer International—an organization that provides animals such as cows, chickens, goats, sheep, etc. to families in underdeveloped countries. These animals aren’t for consumption but, rather, provide long-term food and business opportunities. It’s really a fun thing to do.

I’m hard at work on the third book in my Kennison Falls series. The working title is “Beauty and the Brit.”  Don’t know if it’ll stay, but look for more info this winter!

Have a wonderful holiday season, everyone!


My family celebrates Christmas. We spend time together, open presents Christmas morning, and have dinner together. Before we eat dinner, though, we open Christmas crackers, read the silly jokes and put on the silly paper crowns and then we eat. My mom is from England and she and her family there used to open them every year. They carried on that tradition when they moved to the U.S.

I have a few favorite holiday movies. I HAVE to watch Scrooge, the Christmas Carol version from 1951 with Alistair Sim. I LOVE that story and that particular version. I also love It's a Wonderful Life and of course, the holiday season wouldn't be the same without A Christmas Story and Ralphie.

At the moment, I'm still sharing news about my New Year's book, Simple Treasures. It's a romantic suspense novella set in contemporary Scotland during New Year's celebrations. For more information, visit Other than that I'm gearing up for a new book release next month! Stay tuned and I'll keep you up to date about the 2014 Danger Challenge I'm planning! Enjoy your holiday season!


Angi and her mom!


Our family gathers all the holiday movies on Thanksgiving. They sit in a basket and we watch them, then put them back on the shelf. We take turns selecting, but it has to be from the basket. Two movies that ALWAYS get in the basket are DIE HARD and LETHAL WEAPON (don’t argue…they’re both set at Christmas. LOL)

Save those gift cards for the week after Christmas. THE MARINE’S LAST DEFENSE will hit stores either the weekend before or just after, depending on the holiday rush (electronic sales begin January 1st).



We celebrate Christmas. Faith and family are central to our traditions. One of my favorite things each year is singing in the choir at our church's Christmas Concert. 

When I was a teenager (won't say how long ago that was), my parents took us to North Carolina and we stayed in a cabin over Christmas. Keep in mind, I grew up in Florida. No White Christmas there. That year, it snowed in the mountains. We cut down a tree and made our own ornaments using construction paper and popcorn. We made each other gifts and spent lots of time reading stories aloud and playing games. In my memory, that year was our best Christmas ever.

Each year, we pick different organizations or individual charities, including local families in need and our "adopted" children through Compassion. This year, we're also sending a box of gifts to a community center for Lakota youth. A few years ago, we made a deal with our extended family that instead of buying each other gifts we would put that money toward blessing others who had far less. It's been the best gift we could possibly get.


Merry Christmas, everyone!  I hope you're having a wonderful holiday season.  One of the big traditions in my family is holiday baking.  Every year, we take an afternoon (which usually stretches into the evening) to bake Christmas cookies, breads, and sometimes (if I'm lucky) fudge and toffee.  I'm not normally big on cooking, but I always enjoy baking with my mom and enjoying the fruits of our labors afterwards.

Another, more recent, family tradition is donating to charities in lieu of gifts.  We've had several brushes with cancer over the past few years, and so I always make it a point to donate to the American Cancer Society as part of my holiday gifts. It makes me feel good to know that I'm doing something, however small, to help in this seemingly never-ending fight, and I know my family appreciates it as well.

I hope to get some writing done over my Christmas break.  I just turned in the edits for book 2, which is Thomas's story (coming August, 2014), and I'm working to finish up book 3 (coming December, 2014) and to put the finishing touches on a short story.  It's a busy time of year, but I wouldn't have it any other way! :)

What are some of your holiday family traditions?



  1. Very cool post. Thanks for putting it together Liz.
    No power today...battery's about out. Ice has the tree branches bent to the ground. Sigh...hoping they bend and don't break.

    1. Yikes! Hope your power gets restored soon!

  2. All of my family meets at my mom's house to eat good food, share some laughs and play card and board games. We, usually, show our lack of knowledge by playing Trivial Pursuit adapted to our rules. :)

    1. I _love_ family board games! I'm pretty good at Scrabble, and I do okay in the science category of Trivial Pursuit. Sounds like a fun tradition!

  3. I liked hearing about everyone's holiday memories/traditions.

    Christmas stockings are a big deal in my family. My Mom made them for everyone and since she's gone I've taken over that job. Much thought gets put into the items for stocking stuffers, both good and funny things. We usually open them first and then pause for a breakfast of cookies and fruitcake. LOL When everyone is fortified with coffee we hit the presents.

    Marcy Shuler

    1. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas morning!

    2. I love it!
      Well....maybe with the exception of the fruit cake.

    3. Ahh...but you've never had my MIL's white fruitcake, Angi. We fight over it. She told me I couldn't share the recipe, which I find silly, but I don't want to hurt her feelings. I've got a gem for a MIL. ;)


  4. Marcy, I LOVE that tradition!

    LOL, Julie!

    Angi, stay safe and warm!

    1. Thanks, Alexa.
      Fire still going and we've managed to convince some of the neighbors they really didn't need to leave.

  5. I always go to my sister's on Christmas and mother in laws. We have done this every since I got married 28 years ago and always listen to Christmas CD's in the car on the way.

    1. That's so nice. Sing one for me !