A Few of our Favorite (Christmas) Things

23715164_10104751480242515_1146636799_oWelcome to A Few of our Favorite (Christmas) Things blog hop (and giveaway!).

My favorite thing of this year is how launching this blog has helped me meet and become friends with so many bloggers and authors. One day this fall, one of those bloggers (Carrie!) and I were chatting and came up with this idea about a big Christmas blog hopping giveaway about what we love about Christmas.  We found some friends, and here we are. I’m excited to get to know my friends a little better, and I hope you’ll comment on this post with your favorite Christmas things so I can get to know you better as well!

Today, you will find five posts published by five bloggers, each with a few words forming a sentence. Collect all of the words in order and submit them in the rafflecopter on the final blog by 11:59pm Eastern on December 18th. The grand prize is FIVE Kindle ebooks! One grand prize will be awarded (please see the disclosures page).

Blog Stop Order:

Stop #1: Kat’s Corner Books (Moi)

Stop #2: Faithfully Bookish

Stop #3: Bookworm Mama

Stop #4: Singing Librarian Books

Stop #5: Reading Is My Superpower

My Favorite Christmas Movie

I love Christmas movies. Hubs and I watch them all year around, honestly. Leaves falling from the trees? Christmas movie time. Tulips starting to bloom? Christmas movie time. 100 degrees outside and we’re sweltering in our non-air conditioned apartment? Christmas movie time (So I can imagine I’m in a blizzard).

Christmas-in-conneticut.jpg

Thus, we own several and I have so many I love, but ever since I was little, one in particular has owned my heart: Christmas in Connecticut. If you’re not familiar with this classic, it’s romantic story about a relationship entirely based on lies a misunderstanding. Barbara Stanwyck plays a food writer who doesn’t know how to cook and in order to save her career, brings “home” a soldier for Christmas. Hilarity ensues. The soldier is, of course, swoony, handsome, and loves babies, but is slightly disturbed by the fact that he’s falling in love with a married woman. But, as in all of Hallmark’s contemporary Christmas films, it all turns out ok in the end.

Cookies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mirro

I think many have Christmas memories/traditions revolving around baking/eating cookies. For me, Christmas cookies HAVE to come from a cookie press. It was a grand production when I was young and I loved watching the cookies take shape. I knew I was finally growing up when I was allowed to use the cookie press all by myself. Granted, the cookies never tasted that great (I’ve since learned to use a sugar cookie recipe not included in their recipe guide) but they looked sooooo pretty. We’d put green food coloring in for Christmas trees and wreaths, decorate with colored sprinkles, red “berries”, icing, or whatever we could find. Just pulling the press box out of storage makes me a little in awe. Behold the power of Christmas cookies.

My Favorite Christmas Music

POG xmas storyHere’s another one that I partake of year around: Christmas music. (To all you grinches, I’m not listening!!!!) But my most favoritest Christmas music of all time is Point of Grace, A Christmas Story. My best friend and I were a bit obsessed with them for part of our lives, but this album is one that has continued a favorite into adulthood. It’s one of those albums that is orchestrated as a whole. The songs flow into each other and tell a story as you progress through the album, but are just as wonderful individually. And there’s no beating the orchestra composition behind the amazing vocal talent. The French Horns make my heart sing every time. Add to that, to me, this album means coming home. No matter where I am, if I have this album playing, I know I belong.

…and of course…

Books, books, and more books!!!!

Christmas isn’t Christmas without gorging Christmas stories. I do have some personal favorites, but there are many great ones. I will say that my most anticipated Christmas read this year was Melissa Tagg’s final installment of the Renwycke siblings, and it did not disappoint (if you haven’t read any of the three, you can also now get the full collection). I’ll be featuring several books throughout December, so check back often to see the highlights of this year. Also, follow me on Instagram for what #christmasreads I’m currently entranced with.

This year, I’m attempting a feat I’ve never accomplished before: reading ALL of Love Inspired’s Christmas books for this season. I’ll be posting later this month with how successful I am and a helpful guide of my opinions of which are not to miss and which might…be. I did not realize just how many books this entailed when I started with the idea and it’s proving difficult, but I am determined!

24989376_843542995817711_1758941341_nSo, there you have it! Some of my favorite Christmas things. Now onto the clue for the giveaway. Remember to gather all of the clues and hop over to Reading is my Superpower to enter!

First set of words to collect: We all agree

For the second set of words to collect Hop over to Faithfully Bookish!

What are your favorite Christmas things????

First Line Fridays – Christmas Double Cross

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books. I didn’t realize when I picked this off the library shelf that it’s actually #2 in the series, but I don’t feel like I missed anything starting in the middle. That said, I’ll for sure go checkout book #1 and #3!

xmas double cross

Christmas Double Cross by Jodie Bailey

“Texas Ranger Colter Blackthorn shifted his borrowed Dodge Challenger into Park and left the engine running, the heater combating the near-freezing temperatures of an El Paso winter evening.”

So, grab the book nearest you and comment what your first line is (with title and author, of course!) and then head over to Hoarding Books to see all of the other books/blogs featured today.

 

Runaway Romance – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

Runaway Romance FB Banner copy

About the Book

RunawayRomanceFrontFinal

Name of book: Runaway Romance

Author: Miralee Ferrell

Genre: Contemporary romance with Amish thread

Release Date: October, 2017

When a reality TV star meets the reality of life, will it be her downfall or her salvation?

Ann Stanway had it all—a starring role in a reality show, an adoring boyfriend, and a sparkling future with limitless possibilities. Until the rules changed and the life she’d thought was real no longer existed. Leaving L.A. seems like her only option, and she lands in Kentucky at a quiet Amish inn—as far removed from her past as possible. Now she knows what was missing in her life–peace, true friendship and, dare she hope, a man who accepts her for who she is–or at least who he thinks she is.

Hunter Lewis is intrigued by the new woman staying at his friend’s Amish inn. Annie appears to be what she claims, but she’s secretive and won’t open up. He’s been burned by a woman before and can’t tolerate deception. But his interest in Annie is growing, and the attraction seems to be mutual—until something happens that makes Hunter question everything he’d thought was real. Dare he risk his heart, when he’s certain Annie is keeping secrets?

Can their new romance withstand the pressure, or will Ann choose to run again?

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

My favorite character was the Amish Inn owner, Sarah, who found a way to stand up for herself while living her faith out to Ann. In my opinion, the best way for faith to be written into stories is by showing how the characters live it out and Miralee does that with Sarah. The story  is really a hybrid between your everyday contemporary Christian Fiction and Amish Fiction, dwelling in both worlds. While I think that this is a unique premise and I enjoyed having some variety within the story, I also struggled with what it was supposed to be as it didn’t seem to belong to either “world.” That said, Amish fiction is not normally my thing, so that may have been some of the difficulty getting into this story. I did really enjoy seeing the other side of a reality TV star. I’m not a big fan of reality TV, but I do know that we as a culture, and me included, can tend to forget they’re real people with feelings, and so I enjoyed the view into Ann’s life and the difficulties that come with it.

About the Author

miralee

I love life, love my family, love writing Christian fiction–reading, riding my horse and puttering in my garden are all ways I relax. I often have my little 7 lb Chihuahua, Lacey, on my lap when I’m working–there’s nothing like a warm ball of love on your lap to act as a stress reliever!

First and foremost I’m a child of God and daughter of the King. I’ve been involved in women’s ministries for years, I’m married to a wonderful man, have two grown children, two cats, two dogs, 10 chickens and ride my son-in-law’s Arabian mare since my old mare passed in 2013. We live about 9 miles from the nearest town on 11 acres, in a peaceful setting surrounded by trees.

I started writing shortly after I turned 50, and discovered I loved it so much I don’t want to stop. I have 15 novels out & a five book set of horse novels for middle-grade girls. I write both women’s contemporary fiction, historical & contemporary romance, and horse/mystery novels for girls. One of my Western romances, Love Finds You in Sundance, WY, was awarded the Will Rogers Medallion for Western Fiction, three books have been optioned as movies, and several books have been on the ECPA best seller list. You can find out more about me andmy books at http://miraleeferrell.com/

Guest Post from Miralee Ferrell

In the spring of 2015, I received an email from a Hollywood producer, followed by a phone call. Imagine my surprise when she asked if I’d be willing to write a book for them. They were no longer producing the Love Finds You books into movies and were working on a different project for UP TV, a possible three-movie series, and she hoped I might be able to work with them. She explained that she’d optioned Love Finds You in Sundance, Wyoming, two or three years earlier, and loved it. Of the thirty-five or so titles she’d read of the line, that was her favorite. However, UP TV didn’t want to make historical or old west movies, so she’d shelved it for now.

During that time period, I’d gotten my rights returned to all of my LFY books and had retitled them Finding Love in Last Chance, California, Finding Love in Tombstone, Arizona, and Finding Love in Bridal Veil, Oregon. Sundance became Outlaw Angel, and all four are still in print.

Here’s the amazing part. I came very, very close to turning down that contract offer with Summerside for Sundance. I was disappointed in the advance and royalty rate, and shortly after they released it, they sold the line to Guideposts, and that company didn’t continue the line much longer. Understandably, sales waned on their final releases, and I was disappointed with my sales from that final book as my others had done quite well. For a long time, I wished I hadn’t taken that contract and instead held out for one with another company for a three-book series. However, had I done that, I doubt Runaway Romance would ever have been written. It was Sundance that grabbed Chevonne’s attention and caused her to contact me. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Blog Stops

Blogging With CarolNovember 28

Reflections from my bookshelvesNovember 28

Janices book reviewNovember 29

Books, Books, and More Books.November 29

Books n baublesNovember 30

Blossoms and BlessingsNovember 30

Have A Wonderful DayDecember 1

Inklings and notionsDecember 1

Christian Chick’s ThoughtsDecember 2

Texas Book-aholicDecember 2

History, Mystery & FaithDecember 3

BigreadersiteDecember 4

The Power of WordsDecember 4

Kat’s Corner BooksDecember 5

Reading Is My SuperPowerDecember 5 (Interview)

Baker KellaDecember 6

Debbie’s Dusty DeliberationsDecember 6

Splashes of JoyDecember 7

Karen Sue HadleyDecember 7

Quiet QuilterDecember 8

Red Headed Book LadyDecember 9

Just the Write EscapeDecember 9

Cafinated ReadsDecember 10

RemembrancyDecember 11

Carpe DiemDecember 11

Giveaway

kindle

In honor of her tour, Miralee is giving away a grand prize of a Kindle Fire! Click the link below to enter! Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c31a