Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday Friday With the Crew!

Happy Holidays, everyone!  'Tis the season for family, friends, and traditions!  To get us in the holiday spirit, I've asked everyone to share some of their holiday plans. Let's find out what the gang is up to!

Lara Lacombe
This holiday will be my first as a married woman, and I'm really looking forward to exchanging gifts with Mister (my husband).  He's like a little kid in a candy store on Christmas morning, and he gets positively giddy at the sight of gifts under the tree. He loves to open presents, and I love to wrap them--it's a match made in heaven!
If you're looking for a romantic suspense with a holiday setting, why not check out my newest book, Lethal Lies?  It's out now!  Here's the back-cover blurb:

Trusting the man she loves could cost her her life 

Putting her faith in someone who lies for a living isn't the safest thing Dr. Jillian Mahoney has ever done. But to stay alive, she has to believe the undercover agent—who's kidnapped her to prove his innocence—isn't a traitor to the FBI. And to help him, she must deny their intense attraction as they run from two vengeful killers. 

Her captor, Alex Malcom, has lived a life of lies—some worse than others. Still, there's one truth he's reluctant to disclose to Jillian, the woman of his dreams. One that could stop their relationship cold.

Amazon Kindle | Print
Barnes & Noble Nook | Print
Books-A-Million eBook | Print

Maureen McGowan
Every Christmas, I love going to visit my sister and her family in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. This year, I’m going the weekend before Christmas and we’re doing the whole turkey thing early! Since I’ll be spending Christmas day at my brother’s house, I'll get turkey dinner twice. Score! 

This is a photo of the Rideau Canal, with the Parliament Buildings in the distance. Once the canal freezes, usually right around Christmas, it becomes the longest skating rink in the world for a few months. People even use it to skate to and from work!

If you want a short romantic read to pass the time while your Christmas baking is in the oven, check out my time travel short story, Lost and Found.

E.E. Burke
From the time my daughters were old enough to lick a spoon, we've had a tradition of baking Christmas cookies. The Saturday before Christmas, we spend most of the day at Grandma's house making treats we'll enjoy on Christmas Eve when the whole family gathers. Nothing fancy, just homemade deliciousness. 

Looking for something to read over the holidays? Check out my new release A Dangerous Passion

For our GLIAS readers only, I'm offering a special deal between now and Dec. 31st 50% off regular price. Go to Smashwords and enter this coupon code: UB25F when you check out. You can download an eBook in any format you prefer.

Alexa Bourne
One Christmas tradition in my family is opening Christmas crackers! My mother is from England and so we've continued the UK tradition here, too. When we set the table for Christmas, we put a cracker on each plate. Once we all sit down to eat, we "crack" open the crackers and share the silly toys and jokes inside. We also wear the paper crowns from the cracker throughout our Christmas dinner!

If you're really into holiday romances, consider picking up my romantic suspense novella. A US soldier, a Scottish bodyguard, & New Year's danger in Edinburgh! SIMPLE TREASURES

Jan Schliesman
For the past 18 years I have written a Christmas letter for all of our family and friends.  It started out being rather short and has grown into each member of our family having their own paragraph to recap all they've done in the previous year.  When they were younger, it was fun to tell cute things that they had said and done.  As they grew into teenagers, it was fun to embarrass them with their own bad behavior!  My husband told me five years ago that I needed to stop picking on the kids (and him) in the Christmas letter. So I made it boring and sent it over for his approval.  The girls came to me and complained that I wasn't mean enough in their paragraphs, and would I change it?

Now its fun to read through the previous years and see what was important to our family and where we were living at the end of each year.  We also include a family picture, which has also changed over the years.  It's one tradition I don't ever plan on giving up!

Lizbeth Selvig

There are so many Christmas traditions my family loves:  annual cookie baking, decorating the house, cutting our own tree rather than buying one from a lot, Swedish meatballs for Christmas Eve dinner, brunch at Grandma and Grandpa's house. But one of the quietest things I love to do every year is string garlands of popcorn and cranberries for our Christmas tree. It's such a silly thing, but my tree looks completely bare despite all our lights and ornaments until I put on the red and white strands. It takes a couple of nights in front of Christmas movies to finish--but I get such joy out of this little touch. Over the years various family members have helped create the strings. Now that the kids are grown, it's pretty much my task. But I love it!  Here's the result:

And if you're looking for some lovely sweet-sexy romances to put under the tree for someone special--or yourself!--think about the last two books in my small town Kennison Falls, back-to-back releases "Beauty and the Brit" and "Good Guys Wear Black." Click the book covers for more information! And I wish you all the happiest and most blessed of Christmases!

Angi Morgan
2014 ornament
When my kids were little, I couldn't buy ornaments for the tree so we made them. Tri-bead ornaments or painted walnuts, the tradition stuck. We made two Santas with presents in his sleigh. For the reindeer...we made one for each grandchild and gave to my inlaws and parents. It's fun to see that sleigh on the mantel each year. For many years my tree had only handmade ornaments and one store-bought with the date on it. 

A small section of my tree.
As the kids grew up, I put their ornaments into a box for their tree. I still make my ornaments, one for each grandchild and will someday pass those down, too.  My new tradition is to buy an ornament that represents each of the books I've contracted for that year. Finding them adds to the fun of shopping...because I search until I find the perfect depiction for that story's characters. OH, and did I mention lights?  I love lights.

After the holidays if you need to get away from might try my West Texas Watchmen series from Harlequin Intrigue. "Three women in trouble. Three hereos to watch their backs." You can follow the fun on Facebook or Twitter with #wTXwatchmen.

Jillian Stone
Jillian's hot spiced tea for the holidays. My sister says this tea tastes like Christmas! 

6 cups water
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 inch piece cinnamon stick
6 tea bags (such as Earl Grey)
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Pour water into a pot; add cloves and cinnamon stick. Bring water to a boil; remove from heat. Add tea bags to water and set aside to steep until the tea is to your preferred strength, at least 5 minutes. Remove and discard cloves, cinnamon stick, and tea bags.

Stir orange juice, sugar, pineapple juice, and lemon juice together in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook and stir the juice mixture until the sugar dissolves completely. Pour juice mixture into the spiced tea; serve hot.

~ ~ ~
What's your family's tradition?


  1. What a fun post today! Everyone's traditions make me downright excited because I share some of them. Presents and Christmas crackers (even though we have no connections to the UK) and Christmas letters are parts of our holidays, too! And Maureen, I've been to Ottawa although it's been 25 years! Your picture of the city is beautiful! Thanks for all the holiday warm fuzzies! Merry Christmas to all of you GLIAS sisters!

  2. I love reading about all the Christmas traditions. Jan, I wish I had a letter from every year chronicling each year. What a grand idea. Cookies, decorations, amily... LOVE IT !!!

  3. Merry Christmas Y'all.
    Some great ideas for the holidays. This is a lovely post Lara!

  4. Thanks for pulling all this together, Lara! It was so much fun reading about everyone's traditions. Merry Christmas!

  5. Fun post today and Merry Christmas to GLIAS. Loved reading about everyone's plans and traditions.

  6. What fun to read about everyone's traditions! Happy Holidays my dear friends!

  7. Everyone has such great traditions! Thanks for sharing! :)