Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Giveaways Galore

So I debated this post for a couple days... Should I make two separate posts, or one large one. While I dislike abnormally long posts, I decided to go ahead and combine them. I'll start this post with the Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop and make my way to the Spread a little Christmas Cheer Week.

To start, we have the Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop hosted by Carrie Ann Ryan

I'm giving away a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card on my blog for the hop. In order to be entered for the grand prizes for the hop, you must comment with your email address so Carrie can contact you. ***No email = no entry.*** How else would we contact you if you win. :)

The grand prizes are:
1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $200 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more! (3rd Prize is ONLY open to US commenters - NOT international.)

 Have a wonderful Holiday Season all you lovelies! :)

Be sure to follow along with the other participating blogs HERE 

Now onto Spread a little Christmas Cheer Week.  

© Papelita | Stock Free Images

From December 14th-21st, I'm featuring three authors a day here. They are sharing a favorite Christmas memory with us and also one of their books will be featured along with their post. At the end of the three posts, I will set up a rafflecopter which will offer a chance to win a copy of the featured books. There might be some gift cards peppered in there as well. You'll just have to check each day to see who is featured and what is offered. I hope you will join us each day to spread a little Christmas cheer. :)

Today I'm happy to have Allison Merritt, Brenda Dyer, and D'Ann Lindun share a Christmas memory

© Chrisharvey | Stock Free Images

Allison Merritt: "Twinkie and the bacon"

One of my favorite Christmas memories actually just happened last year. My husband and I spent Christmas morning visiting my family. My brother has a Jack Russell terrier named Twinkie, who's getting up there in years and is extremely overweight for her frame. It's because everyone feeds her when she begs for it and she's so old she can no longer excercise the way she used to.

Last Christmas during our traditional family breakfast, we were clearing up and waiting to open gifts. My mom's husband, Gary, was in the living room eating something and Twinkie wandered in, looked up at him with her big brown eyes and wagged her tail. Whatever Gary had been eating was gone. She watched him for several seconds while he stared back.

I waited, sure he was about to tell her no, or ignore her. She blinked a couple of times, and studied him with a serious look on her face. Then he said, "Mmm, okay," and went into the kitchen. When he came back, he had a piece of bacon in his hand, which he gave to her.

For Twinkie, it was Christmas miracle! She somehow telepathically communicated that she wanted bacon. Poof, the message worked, and she received bacon. I'm thoroughly convinced that she "told" him what she wanted because I think it's pretty obvious that he could have come back with just about anything, but she really wanted bacon.

For years, Romy Farrington traveled at her world-famous archeologist father's side, exploring new lands and uncovering ancient secrets. It was everything she ever wanted, until a near-fatal encounter with hostile natives forced her and her father into a life of retirement in Boston and an undesired advance into proper society. 

Everything changes again when she's saved from an accident by a brash Texan in a back alley. Abel Courte may act like a care-free cowboy, but he's harboring a secret--he's searching for the Diamond of Uktena, a legendary jewel that can cure any disease known to man. He needs information Romy's father has in order to get to the jewel. When he traces the origin of the Diamond to Dakota Territory, he sets off to claim the treasure, only to find the archeologist's fiery redheaded daughter stuck to him like a bug in sap. 
In a race against time, Romy and Abel must learn to trust each other as they undertake a cross-country journey that will expose them to lands uncharted by white men, a deadly battle against the fearsome creature in possession of the Diamond and a fight to return to civilization where they might make the greatest discovery of all--love.
Available atAmazon

Brenda Dyer: "A Christmas Dream Come True"

Well hello there. How are you? I’m so glad you stopped in today. Melissa was kind enough to allow me to visit with you all and tell you about my favorite Christmas memory.

I’m not a hundred percent sure of my age at the time of this memory, but I think I was around five or six—it was the early seventies anyway, lol.

I wasn’t your typical little girl. I didn’t like dolls or dressing up, or anything ‘girlie’. I liked catching snakes, frogs, playing outside in the dirt, and I LOVED—and still do—horses.

But for some unknown reason, my parents insisted on buying me dolls for Christmas. Maybe because my older sister loved them. Anyway, this one Christmas my mom and dad bought my sister and I two dolls each. One was a little doll that was supposed to resemble a newborn baby. It came with a yellow sleeper, a bottle, and a blanket. If you pulled the string on her back she’d wiggle like a real baby. Her name was Thumbelina.

To the horror of my parents, I gave this doll to our dog. Sue—our doggie--chewed the head off of it, hehehehehehe.

The other doll was named Wendy Walker. If you held her arms, she could walk...sort of, lol. I won’t tell you what happened to my Wendy Walker because you’ll think I’m insane.

As I said, I didn’t care for dolls. LOL, you should see my pouty face on the old home movies, hehehehe. No mistaking my disappointment.

But what saved this Christmas and made it one of the most memorable for me was the gift my Gran got me. IT WAS A HORSE.  LOL, no, not a real horse, but a toy horse. It was a chestnut colour with a white mane and tail and four white legs. It came with a removable saddle, bridle, and saddlebags. Even my sister wanted one, but she got another doll, lol.

This toy horse started my collection of everything horsy. Now I own two real horses.

Thanks for visiting me today and reading about my favorite Christmas memory. And thanks again, Melissa. You are so awesome.

Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy, Healthy New Year.

Blurb: In the depth of time...

Lucifer vowed to destroy humans and take the Earth from The Creator. In secret, vampires were brought about to thwart Lucifer's plan. Locked in a battle centuries old, vampires guarded The Creator's children against annihilation from demons. But the era of a new breed of warrior needed to turn the tides of war has come. The time for the fulfillment of the Vampire Prophecy begins.

Dark warriors of might...

For Mel, a deadly vampire warrior sworn to hunt and kill demons in the dark streets of Vancouver, the mystery surrounding the Vampire Prophecy deepens when he meets Breeana, a human woman who not only bears the mark of the prophecy, but resembles the unknown woman haunting his dreams. A powerful link pulls him to her, overriding his willpower to stay away. When a vengeful demon spies Breeana in his arms, she is marked for death. To protect her, he must take her from the world she knows until he can eliminate the threat. But the real danger is the role Breeana must play in fulfilling the prophecy and the intense feelings she brings out in him. Mel is forced to choose between his obligations to his kind, the world, and the woman he loves.

Small warriors of light...

Veterinarian, Dr. Breeana Spencer is tired of being disappointed by love. Although love and a family is her greatest desire, she decides her career, friends, and romance novels are all she needs. But when she meets a mysterious stranger, she's drawn to him by a connection so forceful it shatters all reason, leaving her incapable of resisting him. Yet there's more to him than smoldering good looks and a rock-hard body. As she's drawn deeper into his danger-filled world, she learns she's part of an ancient vampire legend. Breeana fears her future is no longer hers and will not include Mel. A life altering choice is before her—one that will take all her courage and love to make.

Available atAmazon

© Kman59 | Stock Free Images

D'Ann Lindun: "Sagauro Wise Men"  


When I was a small girl, we lived in Phoenix, bordering Scottsdale. Back then, it was an extremely affluent place. We were not well off; we were at the opposite end of the spectrum. My mother reminded me and my two younger sisters that Christmas wasn’t about glitter and gifts. It’s about the birth of Jesus. 

That was hard to remember with every house being covered in miles of lights, glittering trees in the windows. It seemed like a Christmas wonderland, even being in the desert with no snow, reindeer or pine trees in sight. 

© Kgedikli | Stock Free Images

Our very favorite place had an adobe fence, complete with red chili pepper lights strung along it. But that wasn’t the main attraction. What made us awestruck were the three giant Saguaro cacti decorated like the three Wise Men. Someone had climbed up on a ladder to place sheets around their “heads”. Lights were their clothing. They were amazing and beautiful. 

Almost 40 years after we left the desert, I still remember those three wise cacti who helped make Christmas come alive for three small girls who didn’t have a lot.  

Mallory James doesn’t trust men. How could she when her own father abandoned her twenty-two years ago? Now, when she receives a phone call from a man claiming to have found the body of her father in the Arizona desert, Mallory has no way to find out the truth. For closure, she flies to Phoenix to claim the body.

Mike Malone has more trouble than he knows how to cope with. An environmental group, the Salt River Protection League, has gotten an injunction that prevents his guest ranch from operating. Tired of the battle, his longtime girlfriend has left him, and his friends - all depending on him for their livelihood - are getting desperate. The last thing he needs is the body of desert rat, Skeeter James, in one of his vacant cabins. And Mike really doesn’t need a beautiful woman taking his mind off business.

The minute Mallory reaches the deserted guest ranch things seem odd. Mike’s friends aren’t welcoming, and one in particular, Diana, seems to want Mallory gone. A vial of gold and half a treasure map are the only legacy Skeeter leaves. Before she can have the burial, Mallory is lured into the desert, bucked off a horse sabotaged by a thorn under his saddle blanket and stalked. Although she is falling for Mike, she can’t love a man she can’t trust. At first, Mike is skeptical of Mallory’s claims, but as incidents begin to pile up, he is forced to admit someone is trying to hurt her. But how can they stop what they don’t understand?

Available atAmazon

Be sure to enter the rafflecopter below to be entered to win a copy of The Treasure Hunter's Lady, Love's Prophecy, or Desert Heat. On the 23rd, I'll pick four winners for one of the four prizes offered today. Stop by tomorrow to for more featured authors and their books. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. My daughter was born 12 days before Christmas :)


  2. This is a fabulous idea!! Happy hopping everyone. I enjoyed reading the authors posts.
    sherifredricks @charter .net

  3. Loved reading the stories! Great post, ladies :)
    courtneyjhall31 @

  4. This has to be the most fun I have had doing a blog hop ever. Although, it could be because I have never done another hop. LoL!

  5. This is my first hop and each page has something new to offer. I have been introduced to so many new authors that I haven't read. My wish list is getting huge! Super excited because I know there is a large gift card from my husband under the tree for me. I know because I bought it. :) sbereza22@gmail(dot)com

  6. My favorite Christmas Memory is when my son first realized there was Santa, the smile on his face and his eyes lit up.

    Dawna N.


  7. Excellent posy, Melissa.
    Allison, love your memory. I know animals can talk to us, lol and Twinkie proved it!
    Wow D'Ann, what an awesome memory!

  8. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  9. One of my favorite Christmas Romance Books is The Untamable Rogue by Annette Blair! The story is about Ashford Blackburne Fifth Earl and he has to get married and get his willing bride pregnant before Christmas or his grandfather won’t let him inherit his money. Ash truly needs to inherit the money because his late father squandered it all away and he is taking care of his mother. After getting stood up at the alter, again, Ash and his friends go to the local pub where the owner plays a drunken Ash in a card game…his consolation prize is the pubs daughter Larkin, who he wants to get ride of. Ash has to learn to forgive…Larkin has to learn how to trust…can two completely different people find love together. This is a cute, extremely funny, romantic story with a surprise Christmas ending!

  10. Waking up to find a bike under the tree!!


  11. WOO! HOO! Who is ready to go blog hoppin? :) lol.... I have done so many blogs, I have lost track of which ones I have already done, so if you get a couple from me then (sorry) lol.... :)
    I hope everyone is ready for Christmas!!! I am about as ready as I am able to be lol.... :) Merry Christmas and Happy and Safe New Year to all!!!
    Happy reading and writing*

  12. I really enjoy the holiday season. I enjoy the smells, the food and lights. Oh and the music too. Not much into baking anymore. But I do enjoy tasting, ask my scales. Tee Hee.
    Great blog.

  13. Fantastic Memories each of those - with great books too.

    What a brilliant idea, Melissa - sharing Christmas memories.

  14. I totally believe Twinkie communicated what she wanted - my cats do it. Amazing how long they can sit and not blink.
    I remember getting my first toy horse - It was a hobby horse - the head on a stick so I could ride it. Rode it everywhere.
    Living in Canada can only imagine decorated cacti - it sounds fabulous.

  15. My oldest daughter's 2nd Christmas! Santa REALLY came and we sneaked down the hall and saw him eating his cookies!!! (All this courtesy of papaw!!)

  16. When I was a kid, I went caroling with my friends using homemade instruments.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

  17. Christmas is my favorite holiday! Here we have snow every year during the holidays, so it's really beautiful! And of course I love spending time with my family!
    Merry Christmas to you! Thank you for the giveaway!

    verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com

  18. when I was younger we all would go and decorate outside and then come in and have Hot Cocoa and Cookies Thanks for the giveaway and Merry Christmas
    crystaley73 at yahoo dot com

  19. Cookies and a blog hop = perfect day.

    Thanks for the hop!

    mslasha at gmail dot com

  20. Thanks for the great hop.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  21. Hello, thanks for the giveaway!

  22. anytime that I had with my grandmother and grandfather before their passing. I miss spending time with them

    Raonaid at gmail dot com

  23. So many Christmas memories to share. Thanks for yours. :)

    solerawinters at hotmail dot com

  24. Your blog is great! I love how many authors your feature. I've definitely found a few new reads visiting here today! Thanks for the blog hop. hthurmeier @ gmail . com

  25. i miss making christnas cookie with my mom god rest her soul

  26. when my grandmother came up from florida to visit for christmas
    kaholgate at ymail dot com

  27. Great memories, Brenda and Allie! Love them!

  28. i'm looking forward to spending more time with my kids. some are out of the house either married or in college. so this is the one holiday i really get to spend with the whole family. i loved the blurb and can not wait to read the book! thanks for the great giveaway!

  29. Love those Christmas stories ladies...thanks for sharing!

    Sheri...I'm dying to know what happened to Wendy

  30. Great memories, ladies, thank you for sharing!!

  31. Happy Holidays!

  32. Happy Holidays and thanks for the chance to win!


  33. I loved this! What awesome stories! Allison love the name Twinkie! I bet she gobbled up that bacon quick. Brenda! Yes yes I want to know what happened to Wendy Walker. Lol so sweet Gran got u a horse. D'Ann that sounds so cool. What a great memory!

  34. Ooh, this is fun! New authors galore - this is a Christmas tradition to have! ;)

  35. Opening presents when I was little.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  36. Love everything to do with Christmas, but most of all traveling to Pennsylvania to spend it with my grandparents.

    Merry Christmas!

    mollydawn81 at yahoo dot com

  37. I love how everyone is nicer to each other they go out of their way to help others, they try to spend more time with family and close all them holiday goodies,yummy Love how you are spending the week..look forward to your posts

  38. Great post. I love the cacti wise men, D.

  39. My kiddos excitement :)
    Thanks for the chance to win :)
    raynman1979 at yahoo dot com

  40. Thank you for the chance!

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

  41. My favorite Christmas memory is my dad dressed up as Santa.

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

  43. It was the 1st Christmas we actually got store bought I was 8yrs old & got my 1st real babydoll :D
    Happy Holidays, Big Hugs
    Missie Jones
    missie25524@netzero .com

  44. What an awesome hop!! And a fantastic giveaway! Thank you!! Happy holidays to you all! Best wishes and many blessings!

  45. I'm spending this holiday season with my family and hoping to win so I can read more romances. I don't have an ereader. Happy Holidays! lisarayns at gmail dot com

  46. Thanks for the hop. I'm glad to be here for Christmas this year, I almost wasn't. Merry Christmas.
    Seawitch Reviews at yahoo dot com

  47. Thanks for participating in the hop! Happy holidays!


  48. Thanks for participating in the hop!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (or whatever Holidays you celebrate between now and then).

  49. My favorite Christmas memory is having fondue with my step-brothers the year mom decided we should start dinner with a shot of Peppermint Schnapps. Dad does not remember finishing dinner.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at