Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Spread a little Christmas Cheer Week - Day 5

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Here we are on Day 5 already! Today I have some great authors who stopped by. With me today is Daryl Devore, Norah Wilson, and Sandra Bunino. Be sure to check the rafflecopter at the end to see what goodies are up for grabs today. :)

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Daryl Devore: "My Christmas Memory"


To start this memory, a simple fact, I am an only child. My daughter was born in late August. In early September, my father left for Africa to oversee the building of a water treatment plant to give a city clean, safe drinking water. He'd held off leaving until my daughter was born. She was his first grandchild. There were a lot of tears at the airport, but we all knew it was his chance to "help". Time flies with a newborn and suddenly we were looking at Christmas and the horrible prospect of Dad/Grandpa not being there. We borrowed a friend's video camera and taped a couple hours of his granddaughter, eating, playing and sleeping. We shipped the cassette to the company and they flew it over with the next crew.
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My husband, daughter and I made the 8 hr drive to my parent's. When we arrived, the house wasn't decorated. Mom just didn't feel like it. Dad always did the outdoor lights and put the tree together. I set husband to the job of the outdoor lights and mom and I put up the tree. It was one of those old ones where you stick the pine branches into slots on the trunk. We got a case of the giggles and built it upside down. We blamed Dad. If he was going to be on the opposite side of the planet, the tree wouldn't be right. We propped up my daughter amongst the presents and took a picture.

On Christmas Day, we opened the presents, but left Dad's there. The phone rang. It was Dad, he was watching the video. You could hear the joy and sorrow in his voice. Tears were running down everyone's cheeks. I tickled my daughter and got her laughing, so he could hear her. It was then that we learned how important it is for family to be together on Christmas. However you have to make it happen.

My daughter is now 26. We've had 25 family Christmases, but we always remember the one that made us realized the importance of family. And yes – the tree has been right side up every year since.

Blurb: “Go save your Grandmother.” After learning her grandmother booked a cruise with a supposed gigolo and is squandering her inheritance, Esmeralda (Red) Hood boards Emerald Forest cruise ship to protect both.

Once there, Red slips and falls into the arms of Wilhelm Olf, a dark-eyed, continental who makes her body tingle. Stepping out of the elevator, she barges into Andrew Woodsman, a bumbling private school teacher on his first vacation cruise.

With her attention torn between the dissimilar but sexually-intriguing men and keeping watch over tequila drinking, rock wall climbing grandma, Red's cruise is filled with fun and erotic fantasies.

Grandmother's warning of Never trust a wolf in sheep's clothing leaves Red confused. Later, when she wakes up in a utility closet, hands and feet bound and emerald necklace missing, Red discovers the man she suspected is not only innocent but also the one she loves.

Available at: Amazon

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Norah Wilson: "Christmas Memories"


I come from a very large family, and Christmas was always a magical thing for me. With 11 children to feed and clothe, there wasn’t a lot of money left over for luxuries, a fact I was acutely conscious of. But my parents used to do such a great job at Christmas. I don’t know how they pulled it off. It really did feel like a miracle that all that stuff appeared beneath the tree. Not to mention all the Christmas candy and fruit and the huge turkey dinner.

I think one of my favorite memories was rushing downstairs on Christmas morning to find a beautiful doll beneath the tree. Actually, two of them. One for me and one for my next oldest sister. I think I was more thrilled with mine, possibly because I was younger. Its arms and legs were rigid, but the doll’s body was soft like a real baby. I considered it proof positive that Santa was real, since I couldn’t imagine our parents being able to afford anything so beautiful.
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I got another amazing gift one other year. It was an inflatable clown that was almost as tall as I was. I can still remember the strong rubbery smell like it was yesterday! It had sand or something weighting it at the bottom so that you could bop it and it would fall over, but spring straight back up again, like a giant Weeble. What fun! Of course, my older brothers thought it was lots of fun too. It didn’t last the morning. I was heartbroken. LOL. Fortunately, I had the other Christmas staples to preoccupy me, such as a new Slinky, Pick-Up Sticks, Barrel of Monkeys, and if we were lucky, an Etch A Sketch, some books and maybe a puzzle. I have very strong memories of some of those puzzles.

How about you, What’s your favorite childhood Christmas memory?

Blurb: Veterinarian Lauren Townsend has good reason for hiding her psychic ability. Not only did her “freakishness” earn her pariah status in the small town where she grew up, it cost her her faith in love. When Lauren foresees a murder — through the killer’s eyes — he traces the victim to a sprawling ranch, never guessing what waits for her…

Cal Taggart’s rugged ranch life doesn’t need any more complications. But then beautiful Lauren enters his corral…with danger close behind. They can’t deny their intense attraction, but what begins as a fling with no strings becomes a fight for survival — and for true love.

Previously published as Lauren’s Eyes.

Available atAmazon

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 Sandra Bunino: "Favorite Scents of the Holidays"


One of my favorite things about Christmas are the scents of the holiday....cool, crisp air, pine needles, cookies baking, burning logs from the fireplace...you get the picture.

But did you know aromatherapy has been used as an aphrodisiac for thousands of years? It’s true! Cleopatra even used a blend of rose, cinnamon and cardamom to make the moves on Mark Anthony.

So what does this have to do with Christmas? Plenty!

5 of the top aromatherapy scents believed to spice up the bedroom are scents of the holiday! Take a peek...

  • Basil: It doesn't just make pasta sauce tasty, basil is reportedly also one of the top aphrodisiac smells. So, be sure to sprinkle some basil in your Christmas pasta dish!
  • Lavender: Aromatherapists claim lavender's scent is calming and relaxing. And it supposedly triggers mens' sexual desires. Stick a few sprigs in your mistletoe to ensure an extra long smooch.
  • Cedarwood: This fragrance is supposed to raise lovemaking to a spiritual level. Dab a little behind your ears and it'll be totally appropriate when you shout, "Oh God!"
  • Rose: Associated with sexual healing, rose is a seductive smell. Not only are roses a festive centerpiece, they’ll spice up dessert too!

    And speaking of dessert, have a supply of these spices on hand for a not-so-silent night...

  • Ginger: The smell of ginger supposedly improves libido and heats things up in the bedroom.
  • Cinnamon: This spice isn't just a garnish for bland ol' oatmeal. It's also known to stimulate the (ahem) senses. In fact, in a study done on how guys react to smell, the scent that stimulated the most blood to flow to the manly bits was a cinnamon roll!  
My new series, The Satin Rose Experience, not only contains sexy BDSM-lite stories but each book also features a drink recipe. The drink in my new release, BROOKE’S WISH, is filled with aromatherapy sexiness...
© Photoroller | Stock Free Images

The Lavender Rose
1/4 cup hot water
1 teaspoon dried lavender blossoms (found at health food stores)
1/4 cup honey
6 tablespoons gin
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Mix hot water and dried lavender blossoms in bowl. Let steep 5 minutes.
Whisk in 1/4 cup honey and strain into another bowl.
Add 3 tablespoons of the honey syrup, gin, and lemon juice; strain into cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake well and strain into 2 chilled Martini glasses.

Blurb: A failed relationship and long hours at her flourishing practice have Dr. Brooke Allaire running on empty. When Brooke accepts a girlfriend’s gift of some holiday pampering at New York City’s posh Satin Rose Experience, she assumes she’s in for a weekend of facials and massages. Brooke soon realizes there’s more to SRE than meets the eye.

Ty Venice is a team player. He’s used to sharing submissives with fellow Dom Jackson Reid. However, if there was ever a game changer, Dr. Brooke Allaire was it. That is, until he gets a glimpse at her ultimate fantasy, to be possessed by two men at once.

The Satin Rose Experience, New York’s elite BDSM club residing on the twentieth floor of Rosebud Resorts, contains ten uniquely themed suites, each with its own story to tell. Fulfill your fantasy at SRE.

Available at: Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Okay, got a bit misty-eyed reading Daryl's post. Norah, I had a Bop-It clown you punched in his squeeky nose and he'd come right back up. I don't remember him lasting very long either. I'm going to try Sandra's drink - hehehe. I used aromatherapy in my book Remedy Maker. Love it!

    Great posts everyone! I really enjoyed them.

    1. Hey Sheri! *waves*
      I love aromatherapy - it's an instant mood enhancer.

    2. Ah, that's what it's called - a Bop-it clown! And LOL, glad to know mine wasn't the only dud. :)

  2. Norah, what lovely memories of Christmas you have. My dad was in the army and we didn't have a lot back then, either. Funny, how much better it seemed back then. A gift really meant a lot and so did an occasional sweet treat. :)

    1. You're so right, Lina. A gift did mean a lot. I remember my dad always go a whole crate of grapes. The giant ones with the multiple pits in them. I loved them so much! Today, of course, grapes are commonplace today, and I rarely buy anything but seedless. But once in a while I buy those big ones just to remember. :)

  3. What lovely and heartwarming memories, ladies. Thank you all for sharing.

  4. Thanks for inviting me on your blog today, Melissa!

  5. Loved you story, Daryl! And great tips, Sandra. I love aromatherapy. Right now, i have my little bottle of Weather Blues blend of essential oils that I dig our and enjoy along with my light therapy. It's a blend of grapefruit, orange, bergamot and ginger. Mmmm.

  6. My most specialist memories are my daughter's first Christmas when she knew what she was doing opening gifts and when my husband proposed 10 years earlier on Christmas Eve!

    Thanks for participating in the hop!

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


  7. Don't know if anyone has told you but your rafflecopter is covered by comments, making it hard to enter. I enjoyed the Sexy Red Hood blurb and the covers are sweet.
    seawitchreviews at yahoo dot com

    1. I'm so sorry you are having trouble viewing the rafflecopter, Z. I'm not entirely sure how to fix it. On my end, it's looking okay. So sorry. :(

  8. So glad you ladies could stop by today. Thank you for coming! :)

  9. Enjoyed the post and reading about holiday memories!