Friday, December 14, 2012

A purrfect day - a new release and a purrfect blog hop!

Today is a wonderful day! Not only is it Friday, which in and of itself is pretty good, but today I have my first release with Museit Up Publishing, and it's the start of the Purrfectly Giftastic Christmas Blog Hop! How awesome is that, right?

Although my story doesn't have a Christmas theme, it is about chocolate, and chocolate is an important part of Christmas. At least, to me it is! And I'm sure I'm not alone in that sentiment.  Let me just give you a brief glimpse of my story, The Belgian Chocolate Remedy, show you the cover, give you a link, and move on. I hope you read all the way to the end of this blog post, because that's where the contest info will be!

Also, I'm guest blogging today over at Chris T. Kat's blog, and talking more about chocolate, plus I have another giveaway there, so head on over!

Blurb:  Milan, a Belgian chocolatier, has lost his beloved brother. Yet life goes on, and he must ready his booth for Outfest—Ludolf would have wanted him to carry on. Jesse is a rudderless soul, unable to cope with the rejection of his lover. He comes to Lafayette, Indiana at the request of his best friend, Reggie. She inveigles him into helping her friend Milan… a way to pass the time, or something more?

Excerpt:  The two brothers had come a long way together. Orphaned at an early age, they’d been raised by their aunt and uncle. They’d worked hard for years in order to make the move to the United States, and it seemed as if all their dreams were coming true. Life was very good indeed for these two Belgian brothers.

Six months later, everything changed—every dream they’d shared—shattered by a cruel Fate, a moment of carelessness upon the road, with Ludolf paying the price. Milan watched helplessly as the casket slowly lowered into the ground. He didn’t have to stay for that part of the service, in fact Reggie and Grant had tried to dissuade him. But Milan had insisted. He would not leave Ludolf any sooner than he had to. Tears stained his pale cheeks as he bid his brother a last good-bye.  The house was his alone now, and how very much he hated that.

It's hard to believe Christmas is almost upon us. Where did this year go?  This has been a good year, I'm happy to say. After two years of unemployment and trying to make ends meet, I got a temporary job, and although it's been rocky, it's a whole lot better than it was. 

As I've mentioned before, I'm estranged from my family, other than four of my children, and have been for the past two years. I'm okay with that, because I'd rather be with people who really care than people who feel obligated to act like they care because of some blood connection. Obviously, they're doing fine without me, I wish them well, but I don't have the time or the desire to dwell in the past. I live in the present

That being said, I'm very blessed to have some very good friends, and the best kids ever, as well as two cats that I love.  So, let's talk about Christmas. What are you doing for the holidays? As for us, Sarah and I are going to see The Hobbit this Sunday. Not a holiday film, I know, but still, it will be exciting. I won't be able to see Katie and Michael for Christmas - Katie's in Indiana, and Michael is in Hawaii - and Chris is a maybe, since he's in Columbia, but he doesn't have a car. Sarah and I plan to have a turkey for Christmas dinner, because we prefer it to ham. We'll watch A Christmas Story at least once, or a jillion times, and also It's a Wonderful Life. Sometime over the holidays, I'd like to show her Miracle on 34th Street; she hasn't seen it.

On Christmas Day, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, although it didn't really happen in the winter, but that's another story. I think a lot of people have forgotten the original reason for the holiday, and have become mired in consumerism, so I'd like to get back to the basics, and to the things that count. Family, friends, and above all, love.

This is a time to share that love with everyone, those you know and those you don't. Be good to everyone, and share what you have with those who are less fortunate than you. There is always someone who is worse off than you are. Be grateful for what you have, and for the people in your lives. I know that I am.

Today is the first day of the Purrfectly Giftastic Christmas Blog Hop. All you have to do is tell me something you love about Christmas and you'll be entered in my giveaway. The number of winners will depend on the number of comments. Twenty-five or less, one winner. Fifty or less - two winners. Over fifty and there'll be two winners and two grand prize winners of a $10 Amazon GC. The winners will also receive their choice of my books.

Don't forget to check out all the authors on the hop!  Have fun!


  1. Very interesting post! Thanks.
    What I love about Christmas? I love how excited my kids get, I love spending more time with my family, getting cards and calls from those I don't see or hear from the rest of the year and I * might* love presents! :)
    It's a time to be thankful and grateful for those I still have and also for the time I had with people who are gone now.


  2. Very interesting post. I enjoy everything about Christmas except the shopping. Family, songs and the magic of it all
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  3. Christmas is my favorite – or the days leading up to it. We have 13 “yule boys” in Iceland, one by one coming down from their mountain from 13 days before Christmas until the morning of Christmas Eve. Kids put a shoe in their window and get a treat every morning they wake up. I love doing this for my kids, sneaking little toys and candy in their shoes. Christmas Eve itself (our main celebration with dinner and gifts) became magical again after I had my kids. Then January 6th, which is the day when the last yule boy leaves back to the mountain, we celebrate the “13th” where kids go from house to house in a costume asking for treats. Sort of like Halloween in the USA, only they don’t do any tricks. I don’t know who enjoys these days and traditions more: my kids or me. So, from the middle of December to January 6th is my favorite time of the year, especially if there’s snow. Funnily enough, it doesn’t always snow in Iceland in the winter.


    eripike at gmail dot com

  4. What do I love about Christmas? Well, for one family, not only relatives by blood, but the family I've gained in friends and workmates. I travel a lot so I get to see different kinds of x-mas. This year, we've this huge x-mas tree in the house, brightly decorated, and every time I walk into the house, the scent of pine makes me smile. I'm grateful for my family for keeping the holiday cheer alive. ^_^ No snow for us, we're in the sunny equator, so we get a bright and shiny holiday time.
    Sui, Scot & Moon
    wordcount & sui's peanut gallery

  5. Hello, fellow St. Louisan! No white Christmas this year. My favorite thing about Christmas is Christmas decorations. Love the metallics and rich jewel tones. I actually get giddy! I loved this touchingly honest post. Glad you found a job, I'm looking too. Best wishes!

    brendurbanist at gmail dot com

  6. thank you for the awesome blog hop and wonderful giveaway. and for me christmas time off and visiting family

  7. Great post! My favourite thing about Christmas is a lovely day spent just with my husband - bliss!! :)

  8. I love Christmas, sometimes it's more stressfull than other but it's still one of my favorite holidays! I'll probably also go to see The Hobbit with a good friend, hopefully it will be good and finger crossed for a white Christmas!

    Happy Holidays!

    moonsurfer123 at gmail dot com

  9. One of the things that I love about Christmas is the lights. Thanks for being in the Hop! Happy Holidays!

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

  10. I love spending time with my parents during the holidays :D

    Thanks for doing the hop!

  11. Spending time with friends and family that is what the season is for is being with the ones you love and giving of yourself.

  12. Love having family together at Christmad

  13. I just love that it's such magical time of year, silence ,family, snow.. :)

  14. I love watching Christmas movie marathons and listening to Christmas music with my mom and friends.


  15. Thank you for doing the hop! I think that my favorite part of Christmas is the big breakfast that we always have. Food, family and presents...what more could anyone want?


  16. All day marathon of A Christmas Story....I love that!!!


  17. I love seeing long-lost friends!


  18. Congrats on getting something for work even if it is temporary. I feel the same way you do, I would rather make my own family than to be around people I am not particularly fond of because we are blood related. I am spending the holidays with my boyfriend's family who are all (well mostly) wonderful.

    Thanks so much for being a part of this great hop and the amazing giveaway.

    Merry Christmas,

  19. i love all the lights and decorations on peoples houses
    kaholgate at ymail dot com

  20. I love re-watching all the TV specials (Grinch, Charlie Brown, etc.)

    mslasha at gmail dot com

  21. What I love most about Christmas is giving presents! I love to make gifts and cards and give them to everyone from family, to family friends! I also love all the yummy treats that come with Christmas!!
    Ashley A

  22. I love wrapping the gifts. Give me colorful paper, ribbons and bows and I am a happy camper. Wonderful excerpt, will probably need a new box of tissues to read it.

  23. thank you for being a part of the blog hop! and for the giveaway! :)


  24. My favorite thing about this time of year are the smells. Christmas trees, pumpkin pie, apple cider, cookies. I just love them all. Thanks! chellebee66(at)gmail(dot)com

  25. Chocolate, chocolate. I love chocolate. But oh, the calories. Will I be able to resist this Christmas? I don't know, but chocolate, chocolate, I love chocolate.

    Suzanne de Montigny

  26. I love Christmas and will be celebrating with lots of family. We will also be seeing the Hobbit soon for my birthday which is right after Christmas.

    Sassychassy at gmail dot com

  27. The lights. I love driving around seeing all the houses lit up. It's one of my favorite things. :)


  28. Hi Julie. What I love most about Xmas is being with family and the good feelings that surround this time of year. People are a bit brighter in mood and that makes for great memories.

    Happy Holidays to you and yours! -Noel


  29. I love the sparkle that Christmas brings. The decorated homes and businesses. The smell of the house while I'm baking the cookies I'll gift to my family. The snow falling while I'm perched next to a window while drinking hot cocoa. I love decorating the house, which, by the way, no room was left without decor, but this is the first year I will not be doing so. Used to be that there would be a small tree in each of my children's room and they would decorate it the way they wanted. I live alone and no one will be coming here, I'll be going to my sister's instead.


  30. Christmas lights and Christmas Carols are my two of my favorite things :)


  31. Congrats on your new release!

    I love to have everyone together, as well as the smell of the Christmas tree and the kids sparkling eyes. :)


  32. I love the traditions during the Holiday. The lightheartedness as well.
    It's all about the sounds and smells or that day.Getting together with your family or friends, Thanks for the opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  33. I love driving around with the family and looking at Christmas lights. Thanks for the giveaway. Gale

  34. i lve watching the kids get excited waiting for santa to come

  35. Love seeing all the Christmas decorations and listening to holiday music (and singing, of course!) :)

    bimmergrlmd at gmail dot com

  36. I love being with my family, driving around to see all the Christmas lights and all the yummy treats.


  37. I love the lights at Christmas. They just seem to add warmth to people and places. Merry Christmas ans Happy New Year.


  38. I love to see my kids get a little more excited as the days go on!

    raynman1979 at yahoo dot com

  39. I love being with my family.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

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