This is the Twelve Days of Christmas promotion – twelve ‘down under’ authors who are each giving personal prizes away, plus we have a $50 Amazon Gift Card to finish with a flourish.
The Joy of Travel at Christmas inspired Snowbound, A Chicklit Christmas Novella
Anyone from Australia or New Zealand, where all of the authors in this hop are from, learns pretty early that if you want to travel anywhere you're probably going to be on a plane for a while.I consider any flight under eight hours to be a quick one.
Part of what makes our countries unique is our isolation. We have summer while most of the world has winter, much of Australia never sees snow and we do things just that little bit differently. I drew on that inspiration when I was writing Snowbound, A Christmas Chicklit Novella.
My main character Zara is heading off to the USA for Christmas to meet her boyfriend who works in New York. She's never been on a long-haul flight, she's never seen snow...there are a lot of firsts for Zara. Apart from the lovely Kyle who sits next to her the journey is really not that great.
I've done a lot of long-distance travel and much of it on my own - I quite like flying alone now - but when I was younger and more self conscious I didn't so I channeled that into Zara's character. Just like her I have woken up by a random teenage boy asleep on my shoulder - then I had to decide if I could get up - I didn't want to wake the poor kid but sometimes you just have to move.
I also remember the magic of seeing snow fall for the first time and the wonder of waking up to a world made new by being covered in white. I've never had a White Christmas - only a white Boxing day and I think we can all agree no one has ever sung a song about that.
One of the things I love about books and writing is how you can hold a mirror up to the way we live our lives differently to others - after I wrote this novel I had readers emailing me to say it never even occurred to them someone might not have seen snow. That makes perfect sense if you're Canadian!
I'm hoping for a sparkling sunny and hot Christmas myself. It will include a swim at the beach and sweating my way through cooking a ham, a turkey and a Christmas pudding. I'll be getting my tree close to the big day because I love a real tree and if I put it up too early it might wilt before the big day. My Christmas might look a little different than yours but hopefully we're all surrounded by love and laughter.
As part of the Hop I'm giving away a copy of Romancing the Holidays 2 - a multi author box set I'm in this Christmas and a copy of Snowbound...to enter just comment below and tell me if you get a real tree or a fake one. (I'll pick a winner randomly at the end of the 12 days promotion)
Click here to enter to win the $50 Amazon Giftcard
This is the Twelve Days of Christmas promotion – twelve ‘down under’ authors who are each giving personal prizes away, plus we have a $50 Amazon Gift Card to finish with a flourish. Here’s the schedule so you don’t miss your favourite authors!
Day 1 – Kris Pearson
Day 2 – Joanne Dannon
Day 3 – Cassandra O’Leary
Day 4 – Annie Seaton
Day 5 – Monique McDonell
Day 6 – Kate O’Keeffe
Day 7 – Cathryn Hein
Day 8 – Tracey Alvarez
Day 9 – Leeanna Morgan
Day 10 – Wendy Vella
Day 11 – Charmaine Ross
Day 12 – Aislinn Kearns
- CLOSED - The winner of my giveaway is Lesley Walsh - Merry Christmas and congratulations.
As an Australian, one of the biggest challenges I face in the festive season is the heat.
I know my Northern hemisphere readers have their own challenges but they don't have to cook a turkey in a heatwave, they don't have to panic because they can't fit everything in the fridge and they certainly don't have to worry about the roof of their gingerbread house sliding off because the icing has melted.
One the other hand they don't eat cherries and mangoes for breakfast, they probably don't wake to the sound of cicadas singing and their Christmas morning probably doesn't involve a trip to the beach to test drive new flippers, or a surfboard. Our Christmas traditions are no less important but they are well less known.
If an American came to Australia they'd likely have a fish out of water Christmas My novella - Snowbound is the story of an Australian girl Zara who finds herself stranded in Colorado for Christmas and she throws herself into all the activities a White Christmas would entail. It's a really fun read and I'm giving a copy of Snowbound and the Romancing the Holidays 2 Box Set to a lukcy reader randomly chosen...just comment below and tell me your favourite cocktail.
My own family has a lot of traditions. We put our Christmas tree up the weekend before Christmas because someone (yes-that's me) insists on having a real tree and if we get it too early t would die before Christmas. We always drive to the local Scout Hall and but our tree from the Scouts. (Two years ago I had the cutest Girl Guide sell me my tree and before she did so she leaned in close to the tree, listened to it's trunk and said "This tree chooses you!" I feel like that child and I should have been life-long friends.)
Another thing my family does a lot at Christmas is entertain. We love having people over. We have a huge party the weekend before Christmas for fifty to sixty of our closest friends. I think we're up to maybe out thirteenth one now. Think lots of kids, an outdoor movie, water pistols and ridiculous amounts of food.(I'm famous for my over catering). I do a baked ham and the classic Australian sausage sizzle, we do spaghetti and meatballs for the kids, my husband makes paella and there's a make your own ice-cream sundae bar for the kids. It's big crazy, chaotic fun and we love it.
Every year I make a signature cocktail. I've done a few over the years and the best on yet was a champagne comsopolitan...how could that not be amazing? Champagne and a cosmo in one cup, has to be awesome!
Here's my recipe:
Don't forget to enter to win the Grand Prize of on the Coastal Christmas Blog Hop and enter my giveaway for a copy of Snowbound and Romancing the Holidays 2 by telling me your fave cocktail!
What made you decide to write this story?
Christmas makes me sentimental. I loved the movie Sliding Doors. Imagine if you could change one decision and how different your life would be. Imagine if those goals you single-mindedly slogged to achieve didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped. I’ve always been aware of parental expectations and it was fun to figuratively throw those aside and make a choice from the heart. I love Whistler in Canada and I love the mountains. I love to ski. We often visit in January and the Christmas decorations are beautiful. Imagine the carols and the Christmas cheer and the magical Christmas atmosphere. It’s so romantic walking through the snow in the evening when the air is still and the world is quiet. Living in Australia, our Christmas weather is warm and often hot. A traditional Christmas lunch is especially hot work for the cook! A white, snowy Christmas where you snuggle inside warm and safe by a glowing fire is a fantasy for me that harks back to Christmas stories I loved as a child, where Santa and his reindeer landed on snowy roof tops and the world was white.
What is your favourite part of Christmas?
Family. Family. Family. And I love to bake gingerbread… okay, I love to eat gingerbread, especially when it’s topped with soft icing! Family makes Christmas magical.
Have you been naughty or nice this year?
I’m always nice. Maybe a little bit naughty when it comes to saying, yes. Sure I can do that. Sure, I can fit that in. Sure, how high would you like me to jump? That particular kind of naughty is not nice for those who live with me, which brings me to my new year’s resolution
If you could have six people to Christmas dinner, who would they be?
My husband and two children. They are my world. My sister, who is my best friend and worst enemy. I’d love my children to meet my husband’s mum who died before they were born, but in truth, I couldn’t bear to spend Christmas without my mum and dad.
Release Day for the Romancing the Holidays 2 BoxSet
I'm excited to say it is release day for Romancing the Holidays 2 - I'm one of 9 authors in this set...we'll be interviewing them on the blog this week and asking them questions about their holidays. First up is Beverly Elki!
1. What made you decide to write this story?
In the early 1990s, I ran a luxury safari lodge in Botswana’s beautiful Okavango Delta. It’s where I fell in love with a handsome Norwegian bush pilot I married after a whirlwind romance, and although my story, Okavango Angel, features an Australian girl who falls for a rugged South African game ranger, I essentially recreated my experiences of a Christmas romance in a remote island lodge, cut off by floodwaters
2. What is your favourite part of Christmas?
The different traditions that my Norwegian husband and me – (originally from Lesotho in Africa but now living in Australia) bring to Christmas are fun to recreate at Christmas for our two daughters. For my husband, it’s the nisser – the Christmas elves – and the specially prepared roast pork followed by trollcream, made from cold rice porridge mixed with whipped cream and cloudberries. (We use the cloudberry jam from Ikea). Delicious!
But it is extra work as we have the traditional Norwegian dinner and celebration on Christmas Eve, followed by our Australian/English tradition of roast turkey the following day. The kids love getting their presents the day before, though!
3. Have you been naughty or nice this year?
I’ve been hardworking with four new releases under my Beverley Eikli and Beverley Oakley names in 2017, but also, I hope, a fun mum and wife, as well as a conscientious daily walker for our gorgeous but not-very-bright Rhodesian Ridgeback called Mombo, named after the Okavango lodge where my husband and I met.
4. If you could have 6 people to Christmas dinner (living or dead) who would they be?
I would love a traditional Regency Christmas. At the dinner table, I’d assemble George III (during his non mad phase) and George IV when he was planning his construction of the Brighton Pavilion, so I could see if I could understand why they disliked each other so much. (The Hanovers were famed for having dysfunctional family relationships, particularly between father and eldest son.)
For the very same reason, I would love to also invite Princess Caroline of Brunswick, who was both George IV’s wife and his cousin, as well as their daughter, Caroline during the phase she was in love and about to marry a man who would make her briefly happy before she’d die in childbirth.
Add to that a mistress or two. (This would be George IV’s mistresses, of course, since George III was more interested in turnips and agricultural improvements than women though he was a loyal husband.) Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey,
would be my choice because I find it fascinating that, at the age of forty and already a grandmother and mother of ten children, she began the mistress of George IV who was nine years her junior.
And finally, I’d include as the sixth guest of our little gathering, her daughter-in-law, Sarah Child Villiers, Countess of Jersey, who was a leading figure in Regency society and one of the patronesses of Almack's Assembly Rooms. Why? Because I’d love to quiz her on that famous Regency haunt for which the refusal of vouchers could sound the death knell to one’s social aspirations. (And I think every avid reader of Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances would love to quiz an Almack’s patroness on their criteria for admittance.)
Beverley Eikli also writes as Beverley Oakley. You can find her at:
1. What made you decide to write Christmas Kiss, New Year's Wish?
Initially, I was going to write a New Year's Eve romance but then changed it to a holiday romance. I had recently attended (and loved) the "Elvis, The Wonder of You" concert with my husband and desperately wanted to included Elvis in the storyline. It took a bit work but I created Luca, a super-smart scientist who has a secret obsession with Elvis. I paired him up with Taylor, his best friend. Why did they fall in love? Well that's because I adore "friends to lovers" stories. One of my favourites movies is, "When Harry Met Sally".
2. What is your favourite part of Christmas?
Family. I'm fortunate to be a part of a loving and happy family, and I truly value the importance of family and friends. Coming together at the holiday season is just so special and it's an opportunity to let them know how much you truly value them.
3. Have you been naughty or nice this year?
4. If you could have 6 people to Christmas dinner (living or dead) who would they be?
Michael Buble and Harry Connick Jnr - because I'm a big fan of both of them and love their voices, and songs
Humphrey Bogart - because I love his movies
Sam Heughan - because I have a fan-girl crush on him...er, sorry!!!! I meant to say, I'd like to talk to Sam about his acting career and how he's able to successfully fundraise whilst meeting his work commitments.
Jane Austen and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - so I could speak to them about their writing, and the positive impacts their books had on me.
Buy Romancing the Holidays Boxset
Buy Romancing the Holidays on Amazon with this link!
About MOVIE SCRIPTS AND MADNESS
Kendall Whitaker always longed for a starring role in a movie full of action, adventure, love, and murder. She just never thought she would be living in one.
An aspiring actress, Kendall left her normal life in Phoenix for the bright lights of Hollywood. She hoped taking a job as the assistant to the miserable Marketing Director at Blossom Studios would be her stepping-stone to stardom. When she finally gets her hands on an audition script, she refuses to let anything stand in her way. What she doesn’t expect is the return of her arch nemesis, the attention of a very dashing actor, or finding a dead body.
Before she knows it, Kendall finds herself embroiled in the mysterious events taking over the day-to-day activity at the studio. With each unfortunate incident—including the disappearance of her boss—Kendall is smack dab in the middle of it all and on the radar of the handsome detective in charge of the investigation. Could the answer be hidden in a recently canceled movie, or has the answer been in front of her the entire time?
Someone is set on destroying Blossom Studios, and they will do whatever it takes to succeed. Kendall must solve this mystery to prove her innocence and save her own life.
Where to Find MOVIE SCRIPTS AND MADNESS
Meet MELISSA BALDWIN
Melissa Baldwin is an avid runner, planner obsessed, and has always had a love for writing. She is a wife, mother, and avid journal keeper who took her creativity to the next level by fulfilling her dream with her debut novel, An Event to Remember...or Forget. Melissa writes about charming, ambitious, and real women and is now a published author of twelve Romantic Comedy and Cozy Mystery novels and novellas.
When she isn't deep in the writing zone, this multi-tasking master organizer is busy spending time with her family, chauffeuring her daughter, traveling, running, indulging in fitness, and taking a Disney Cruise every now and then.
Where to Find MELISSA BALDWIN
Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Baldwin/e/B012M1S100/
Check out the other participants in the release
To check out all the stops on Melissa's release blitz, view her page on Karan & Co Author Solution's site!
About Three Last First Dates
From Amazon Bestselling Author, Kate O'Keeffe comes this new title in the Cozy Cottage Café Series.
When it comes to men, Marissa Jones is totally committed to not being committed. One major heartbreak is enough for her.
Against her better judgment, Marissa agrees to a pact with her friends to marry the next guy she dates. But she isn't going to take any chances. For her, it's a numbers game, and one last first date just isn't enough. So, she ups the ante--three first dates with three very different guys, all in one day.
But can any of these men live up to her high standards?
Despite a few bumps in the road, from the three, she chooses The One. That is until the motorcycle-riding ex she never got over turns up, changing everything.
In the end, do you choose love or does love choose you?
Escape to New Zealand in this fun, feel-good chick lit story.
Read the Cozy Cottage Cafe series
Book 1: One Last First Date https://books2read.com/koolfd
Book 2: Two Last First Dates https://books2read.com/kotlfd
Book 3: Three Last First Dates - https://books2read.com/ko3lfd
Book 4: A Final Last First Date - coming early-2018
Where to Find Three Last First Dates
Kate O'Keeffe is a bestselling author of fun, feel-good romantic comedies. She lives and loves in beautiful New Zealand with her family, two scruffy dogs, and a cat who thinks he's a scruffy dog too. He's not: he's a cat.
She is a wife, a mother, and a chocolate expert. Seriously. She loves to read, to hang out with friends, and to hike up the big hill behind her house each day.
To date, she’s written the Amazon bestselling chick lit series, the Cozy Cottage Café, the Wellywood Romantic Comedy Series, a fun holiday novella, and co-authored One Way Ticket with fellow author, Melissa Baldwin.
Connect with Kate
Connect with Kate
Amazon Author: https://www.amazon.com/Kate-OKeeffe/e/B00KIZGG1O/
Newsletter Signup: https://www.kateokeeffe.com/newsletter
Blog Tour Schedule
Find The Three Last First Dates blog tour schedule here!
Three Last First Dates Excerpt
MY NAME IS MARISSA Jones, and I’m totally committed to not being committed.
There, I said it. It was out there.
In fact, I had a long and impressive history of avoiding commitment. I was the Commitment Phobia Queen, if you will. I was good at it, really good. If you looked “commitmentphobe” up in a dictionary, I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if you’d have found a photo of me, running away from some bewildered-looking guy as quickly as my feet could carry me.
That was why, when it came to dating, I was fussier than an OCD patient off their meds. And why not? A girl had to have standards, right? I never expected to “settle” for someone, and nor did I want to. No way. No one but Mr. Absolutely Right would do for me.
Only problem was, I was having a hard time finding him.
That’s why I agreed to a pact with my best friends to marry the next guy I dated. Which in hindsight, for a commitmentphobe like me, was an off-the-charts crazy thing to do. Certifiable. I had really only agreed to the pact because I was sick of dating—that and the large amount of chardonnay I had imbibed that evening.
To be perfectly honest, I hadn’t really taken it all that seriously at the time.
And then “the thing” happened and I knew I had to find him, I had to find The One. There was simply no more time to waste.
But, instead of going on a regular old date with some random guy, I decided to go on three dates in one day. I liked the math: one of me, three of them. It more than worked in my favor.
Not only that, I had thoroughly vetted each of the three guys before I even threw on my outfit for the first date. If this was going to work—and I really, really wanted it to—I needed to go in with my eyes wide open.
“I still can’t believe you’re doing this,” Paige said, shaking her head and smiling at me over our cups of coffee, what was left of our slices of cake in crumbs on our plates. “Three dates in one day? You’re brave.”
“Why not? You and Cassie put all your eggs in one basket, and I don’t want to do that. I mean, I know you ended up with the right guys in the end, but they weren’t the men you went on your Last First Dates with, right?” They nodded. “Well, I figured going out with three different guys has to improve the odds.”
“You’re right about that.” Paige nodded, her eyebrows raised. “Can you give us the lowdown on who these guys are? We need all the details, right, Cassie?”
“Oh, yes. Especially how good they look with their shirts off,” Cassie added with a wicked grin.
“Well, I’m hardly going to find that out on a first date, but”—I raised my hand in the Girl Guides’ salute—“I do solemnly swear to report all important details to you as they transpire.”
Chelsey Rhodes just landed her dream job in Hollywood working as an assistant to actress, Hattie Marten. Chelsey’s first task is to find someone to accompany the actress to events in the hope of reviving her celebrity social status. When going through the list of potential suitors, one catches her eye and she’s shocked to find he’s someone from her past. As payback for years of torment in high school, and knowing Hattie isn’t the most pleasant person to work for, Chelsey decides to set her up with Bennett Grayson.
What will happen when Chelsey and Bennett come face-to-face again, and will the setup be a success or will Chelsey’s first Hollywood job be her last?
Check out The Hollywood Setup
About the Author
Isabella Louise grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. Aside from writing, she focuses her time on featuring other authors on her blog, Chick Lit Goddess, along with sharing book reviews. Isabella Louise is also a member of the Romance Writers of America.
She lives in Dallas with her husband, enjoys spicy Indian and Mexican food, margaritas, and red and white wines. She loves spending time with family and friends, and cheering on the Texas Rangers. When Isabella Louise isn’t working on her next release, her attention is also on her Scentsy business, where she’s a consultant.
Where to Contact Isabella
Chick Lit Goddess Website: http://chicklitgoddess.com
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