In just 31 days, Honorable Disgrace will be available for purchase. I will be doing a blog tour, as well as a local signing at the Lewis & Clark Public Library in Helena MT February 12. More info on my tour, signing and other pertinent dates will be posted soon.
For unto you is born this day . . . a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
~ Luke 2:11
For me, Christmas is 100% about Christ. It's in the name. And you can't have Christmas without the joy of music. As a teen, I dreamed of one day making it big as a singer. That did not happen, but my love for music and singing has not changed. Narrowing down only twelve Christmas songs was quite difficult, as I could sing Christmas songs for hours, until I go hoarse, but the following twelve songs reflect my most favorite, and the reasons why. And the order has no bearing on which is the top, as that can change on any given day.
1. Away in a Manger
This was one of the first Christmas songs I remember learning as a child and I remember lovingly swaddling my own baby doll as was the Christ child. Our Lord and Savior came to this earth in the humblest of circumstances, as the song states "â¦no crib for a bed," and it is this reason I place this one first on the list.
2. The First NoelThat miracle of Christ's birth.
Noel is an Old French word meaning Christmas. It can also refer to a carol or hymn sung in honor of The First Noel. It sings of the shepherd, also in humble circumstances, who recognized right away the magnificent meaning of the star "..Shining in the East beyond them far."
3. What Child is This?
Set to the familiar tune of Greensleeves, this is one I sing and hum throughout the year. I recently was blessed to sing this for members of my church on Sunday, the 14th with a good friend of mine. I sang the melody, the soprano part, while she sang the alto. The arrangement was slightly different than standard, and it was a great joy to sing it and feel the spirit deep in my heart. You can listen to and download this version for yourself by following this link.
4. Oh, Come All Ye Faithful
Meant to be sung majestically and joyfully, this hymn is in reference to verses in Luke chapter 2. In verse 9 and 10 it says, "And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them. . . and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." And those tidings were the birth of Christ, an event people had been awaiting for some time. I can only imagine the joy of being a part of that, and I am grateful I have the light of Christ in my life today.
5. Joy to the World
One of the 53 arias in Handel's Messiah, which he wrote in only 24 days, this is one sung annually in home and church, and one I look forward to each year.
6. Handel's Dream
This is a beautifully arranged piece, composed by Michael Mclean, that tells a poignant fictional story of Handel. It is a dream, and perhaps Handel had such a dream as his inspiration for the Messiah. It is partly sang and partly narrated. Young Handel is auditioning for the choir of angels to sing at Christ's birth. But he doesn't make it. Told he has a different voice, one that will be brought to the world in his own time, and that more orchestras and choirs than he can now imagine will be giving voice to his feelings leaves me with tears in my eyes every time I listen to it. One you must hear, if you haven't already. And if you have, give it a listen again.
7. Were You There?
Composed by Natalie Sleeth, this is a treasured song. I have sang this many times for others since I was a teenager and have played my flute to it as well. With many thought provoking questions throughout. Were you there on that first Christmas night? Were you there when the wonder foretold came to earth? Did you hear how the choirs of angels sang? Did you see how they bowed? Did you know it was God's own son, the salvation of the world begun? Did you know it was love that was sent from above to the earth? These are but a few of the glad, powerful messages in this song. To learn more about this great American composer, follow this link.
8. Jingle Bells & 9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
You have to have the classics. And though the focal point of these songs is not the Savior, they are about Santa Claus and the simple goodness of Christmas. What a great example of goodness was Saint Nicholas. If we all spread the goodness and cheer, the true spirit of Christmas, like St. Nick does, the world would be a fantastically better place to be. I believe in Santa Claus. In the goodness, cheer, love and service of his name.
10. Angels We Have Heard on High
Gloria in excelsis Deo. Gloria in excelsis Deo. Latin for "glory to God in the highest," in this French carol, the single word 'Gloria' is carried through four full measures, for a total count of sixteen beats, with the rest less than half that. Beautifully arranged and fun to sing, the ups and downs of the Gloria, is why this is on my top 12 most loved Christmas songs.
11. It Could Happen Again
Part of Colin Raye's Christmas CD The Gift, this song has touched me from the first time I listened to it. Even during the devastation of war, this is a retelling of the well known story during WWI when opposing sides came together to celebrate Christmas, only returning to fight against each other after they were ordered to. This portrays the true meaning of Christ-like love, that men could put up their arms, share what little they had, sing Christmas carols and bring the spirit to an otherwise bleak time. Find the CD here. This CD also happens to be the giveaway item for today. Don't forget to enter below.
12. O Holy Night
Many, many versions of this song are out there. Rearrangements, numerous singers, wonderful song. Cantique De Noel, or as we know it O Holy Night, was composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 and later the words were added, written by Placide Cappeau, a wine merchant and poet who was also a professed atheist. Over 150 years later this song is still bringing joy to those who know Christ.
As we seek Christ, as we find Him, as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas spirit, not for one fleeting day each year, but as a companion always.
~Thomas S. Monson
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. May we remember to keep Christ the center of our Christmas celebrations and try to bring the feelings and actions surrounding Christmas throughout the year.
Written by Stephanie N. Pitman
Author of Honorable Disgrace due out Feb 2, 2015
Available for pre-order http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QPCYIIC
Every year my house as a kid was visited by elves. The sneaky Santa helpers would leave tokens, gifts, candies, and oral hygiene treasures in our homemade stockings, the 12 days leading up to Christmas.
The highlight of any cold December morning would be to reach my grubby little hands into my stocking and pull out the delivered bounty.
One gift per day would be the norm. However, sometimes the elves would belost in a blizzard, slept-in, or just down right forgetful and our stockings would be bare. This tragic occurrence would be promptly echoed in the house, as all five of us kids would voice our let down to our loving parents. Double gifts would find their way into our empty stockings the next day, a king’s loot, and joy would be established once more.
This tradition has remained forever endeared in my heart. When first married, I tried to surprise my husband with such elfish tokens. Jerky, chips, soda, all made their loving way into his stocking, mine, however, remained bare. Sadness, and self-present-giving soon replaced tradition. Bahumbug!
With luck and joyous renew, the arrival of my first born, Christian, the elves have found their way through the blizzard and gifts will be given once more. Hazaah!
I am excited to start this tradition with my babe, for many Christmas’ to come. Merry Christmas!
Candace's humorous short story, Train Station: 3:00 p.m. can be found in the Beginnings anthology.
âOn the first day of Christmas my true love gave to meâ¦â
How I loved singing âThe Twelve Days of Christmasâ song in elementary school chorus and high school glee club. For Creative Prose Publishingâs special event celebrating The Twelve Days with their authors, I wonât have to sing so I decided on something better. I have the tenth day which is 10 Lords a Leaping and Iâm going to share my Top 10 Christmas movies. Here they are and I hope youâll share your favorites as well.
Laurieâs Top 10 Christmas Movies
Every year my family and I watch these classics and they never get old. From finding the right love, to simply believing in something (like magic or the power of love) or someone (like Santa), these titles truly highlight something special about the holiday season.
10. TIE: While You Were Sleeping, Love Actually and Bridget Jonesâs Diary
Sorry, but I couldnât choose between these three zany holiday love stories. Who can escape the charm of Sandra Bullock in While You Were Sleeping? Just because we may 'crush' on someone, doesn't mean that's 'the right one' for us. By the time Lucy shows Jack that snow globe, Iâm tearing up. As for Love Actually, whatâs not to love about this movie? Thereâs the stellar cast with the wide variety of love stories stemming from young to old, each sharing the backdrop of the holiday season. And we canât forget the music! I love to watch Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth in Bridget Jonesâs Diary. So comical with sprinkles of truth, these two leads showcase the best of 'opposites attract'. That ending scene with a scantily clad Bridget with Mr. Darcy on the sidewalk in the snow is hysterical and yet endearing, just like these three movies.
9. National Lampoonâs Christmas Vacation
Each holiday season I play this DVD and giggle like crazy at the hilarious antics of the Griswold family. Who can forget the squirrel in the Christmas tree? Clark trying to put lights on the outside of his house? The holiday meal? The sewer scene? The list goes on and onâ¦.
8. A Christmas Carol (Alastair Sim, 1951)
The version of this holiday classic I adore features Alastair Sim as Scrooge. In glorious black and white, Sim truly embodies everything 'Scrooge' from his glare to his biting voice, even down to the way he walks. When he's a changed man, he's a delight to behold. The lack of color helps dramatize the scenes even more. The holidays are not complete without one viewing of this classic.
7. The Dead
Based on my favorite James Joyce short story, this movie directed by the late great John Huston, is film-making brilliance. Married couple Gabriel and Gretta attend Christmas dinner and enjoy the company of friends and family. With lively conversation, dancing, singing and music, we are privy to how music invokes different emotions in each person, particularly in Gretta as she reminisces about her first love. Anjelica Huston steals the film with her revealing speech which captures my heart every single time.
6. PrancerThere's a special place in my heart for Prancer. Some may find this movie corny but I donât care, I love it. When twelve year old Jessica thinks the injured reindeer she found belongs to Santa, no one believes her. Sheâs just a kid, right, but this determined girl will show the non-believers how wrong they are. With each repeated viewing, Iâm always drawn in by her story and her voice and by the end I'm tearing up as that reindeer disappears off that cliff. Talk about magic.
5. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Whatâs this you say? I say this movie is a unique tale about the unforgettable Jack Skellington and friends all done up in typical eerie cool Tim Burton style. Funny, bewildering, with songs to hum along to, who would think something so ghoulishly creepy could be so much fun to watch in December? Me!
4. The Polar Express
While weâre on the subject of âbelievingâ, what better movie encompasses kids growing older and not having faith in Santa any more than The Polar Express? Based on Chris Van Allsburg's beautiful picture book, director Robert Zemekis (who also wrote the screenplay) transfers the magic of the story into an animated wonder. A nameless young boy gets to go on an adventure (on a wonderful train with Tom Hanks as a cool conductor) which helps him believe once again in Christmas.
3. The Santa Clause trilogy
I never thought Tim Allen-- the droll tool guy from the hit comedy TV show Home Improvement--could ever make me believe in his portrayal as a divorced dad who takes over as Santa Clause. He did. The first movie was humorous, engaging and totally captivating. The first film is a classic, making this trio a wonderful series to watch with the family.
2. TIE: A Christmas Story & A Miracle on 34th Street (1947, b&w)
It's a battle of the kids! Ralphie and Susan rule these enchanting family gems. All Ralphie wants for Christmas is a BB gun. But he'll shoot his eye out! All Susan wants is a family. Stern mom Kate is set in her chilly, independent ways. Each story captures the magic of the holidays through the eyes of a child. Both are filled with poignant moments, lots of humor, and lovable kids.
1. Itâs A Wonderful Life
I never tire of watching this film in its original black and white splendor (keep that creepy colorized version away from me). When James Stewart and Donna Reed are on screen, I canât look anywhere else. "Buffalo gals, won't you come out tonight..." Director Frank Capra created a true holiday classic with this endearing film. For me, each Christmas isnât complete without one or two viewings. âMerry Christmas Bedford Falls!â George Bailey has become synonymous with everything good about Christmas and Clarence the angel, well, he gives the movie tremendous heart and leaves a bell as his calling card.
They may not be movies, but these television specials will forever hold their own special places in my heart and in the hearts of many.
About the author:
Laurie Treacy is a fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary YA and NA romance writer. A graduate of Marist College, she lives in New York's picturesque Hudson Valley with her husband, three children, and various pets. When not writing or book blogging, sheâs a proud Whovian, loves reading, photographing abandoned places, frozen Goobers, and watching anime. A member of the SCBWI and RWA, Laurie can be found at local writer's events and online at www.laurietreacy.com and www.readergirlsblog.com.
Find Laurie here: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
ENJOY THE SILENCE by Laurie Treacy
Young fae Zander only wishes to live in the human realm, and leave Ashwoulde behind. But his reckless actions in one night might forever change his world - and that of those who love him.
ETERNITY CRUX by Jamie Canosa
Aurelia and Sayer are on the run from the Legion, who would have them killed for what they know. In a moment of desperation, Aurelia is forced to leave Sayer behind, and manipulate the bounds of time itself to save him.
ELEMENTAL PRINCESS by M.M. Roethig
Kaesen, an elemental princess, lives on a distant star called Maia. She loves Alwen, but as her sworn protector they're forbidden to be together. Promised to a cruel man, Kaesen will do whatever is necessary to change the stars and be allowed to love her Alwen.
TRAIN STATION: 3:00 P.M. by Candace Gleave
A ball of gold the size of a cow's eyeball and a man worth his weight in fortune bring together a motley group of criminals, all who will do anything and everything to obtain both treasures.
Pick up Beginnings here:
When your last name is Rudolph, the holidays can be a lot of fun. On the ninth day of Christmas I give to you Nine Reindeer Prancing. Nine, you ask? Yes, nine.
In Wikipedia we read that âIn traditional lore, Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blitzen and Blixen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
The names of Donder and Blitzen derive from Germanic words for thunder and lightning, respectively.â
As you see, Rudolph makes nine, and he is the most famous reindeer of all . . .
The original idea of reindeer pulling Santaâs sleigh is generally attributed to a poem written by Clement Clark Moore called ââTwas the Night Before Christmas.â That poem was written in 1923, but it wasn't until 1939 that Rudolph joined the team. His story was written by Robert L. May and published by Montgomery Ward as a giveaway booklet for their customers.
The story didnât really take off however until Robert Mayâs songwriter brother in law, Johnny Marks, adapted the story into a song, which was then picked up by Gene Autry in 1949. That song was such a hit that the story went on to became movies, comic books, cartoon shorts, and all kinds of memorabilia that can be purchased at Christmas still.
Our Rudolph family traditions have also developed over the years. We have had to develop a good sense of humor about the whole thing. For instance, if you call my brother in law over the holidays you may be asked to leave a message at the sound of the shiny red nose.
It is interesting to note that the story almost didnât make it into publication because of the shiny red nose thing. Back then a shiny red nose was associated with being a drunk. I assure you that my particular family of Rudolphs does not drink, so any red noses are strictly a result of playing in the snow in bitter Wyoming weather.
At our house for Christmas we decorate with lots of reindeer. We have a collection of stuffed reindeer that we have gathered over the years. We also have reindeer ornaments, reindeer tins, reindeer toys, Rudolph costumes. One year I even bought all the girls one piece brown pajamas with Rudolph slippers built into the feet. Yeah, that may have been a little over the top . . . they were not impressed. But hey, I couldnât resist. Even our car has a red nose and antlers this time of year.
When carolers come to our house they always sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Luckily we donât get many sets of carolers or that could become a bit annoying.
Even Halloween can be extra fun. My daughter who is on a mission needed a costume for a church party. Easy peasy; put on some antlers and a red nose and sheâs Hermana Rudolph, complete with name tag.
I wonât bore you with the story of Rudolph, because it is generally well known, but if for some reason you are not familiar with it (say maybe youâre an alien who grew up in an invisible city in the badlands of Wyoming like some of the characters in my upcoming book) it is easily available online.
I invite you to join the Rudolph fun by winning your very own set of antlers and a blinking red nose in a Rafflecopter giveaway (click the link). All you need to do is follow me on twitter and you will be entered to win. Iâll try to get them to you before Christmas but it may be tricky as it's getting pretty late.
Follow my blog at http://normasnovels.blogspot.com/ for updates on my upcoming book and any other crazy Rudolph ramblings that pop into my mind.
Thank you for stopping by,
Creative Prose Publishing
Eight of the most unbelievably popular holiday gifts. They may seem a bit ridiculous now, but at the time, it just wasn't Christmas without them. No judgement here. I wanted/had (possibly even *cough* have *cough*) all of these, myself. 8. Skip-It Because skipping is fun, but when the alternative is tripping yourself and face-planting on concrete, it becomes a matter of survival. I still have scars. 7. Moon Shoes Because a broken ankle is a small price to pay for the chance to bounce around like a kangaroo on crack. Your insurance company thanks you. 6. Treasure Trolls Because they're so ugly, they're cute. And if you're going to have something shedding all over your room, it might as well have neon colored hair. 5. Tomagotchi All the neediness of a real pet, without any of the cuddly rewards. Three kids later, I realize that feeding, entertaining, and potty training aren't nearly as much fun as they marketed them to be. 4. Furby Because who doesn't want the world's creepiest toy of all time, blabbering at them 24/7? I still have bags under my eyes from that lil furball. 3. Beanie Babies With the tags ON! Because, one day, they'll be worth a fortune! I'm still sitting on that goldmine. 2. Books Because . . . well, duh! And, the number one gift you can give on a holiday, or ANY day, is . . . Your Time. More than any gizmo or gadget-no matter how coveted or impossible to find it is, more than any toy they'll look back on and wonder why they ever wanted it in the first place, the thing your loved ones will remember the most is the time you spent together. So amidst all the shopping and wrapping this holiday season, don't forget to relax, have fun, make memories, and have a wonderful Christmas!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
And just to help you start building your retirement fund, I'm giving away this mint condition, adorable Penguin Beanie Baby . . .
Jamie Canosa is the author of several YA books including Dissidence. Discover more about Jamie and her writing at her blog and on Amazon.
Thank you for stopping by,
Creative Prose Publishing
The seven things Iâm most grateful for!
I chose this topic because I feel gratitude is one of the most important things in this life. As we show gratitude, for some reason, our eyes are opened even more, and we realize just how blessed we really are. The same can be said for ingratitude. The more sour and ungrateful our attitude, the more blind we seem to become.
Christmas, at least for me, brings those things I am most grateful for to the forefront of my mind. So for my 12 days Iâll share with you my top seven. (There are more, of course, but who wants to read a 145 page post, know what I mean? ;)
7. My business partner, Cindy C Bennett. I have never met someone so talented in all things that have to do with writing. She amazes me every day. She truly has the gift of words. Many can write stories, only a few have the talent to craft it so well. She is an inspiration to me.
6. The Wigz. This is my writing group, which consists of Cindy C Bennett, Camelia Miron Skiba, Juli Caldwell, and Jeffery Moore. They have helped me improve on my writing skills leaps and bounds. Their insights, their talents, which they share freely with me, have changed me as a writer. While Iâve met all of them in person with the exception of Jeffery, I only have a photo of three of us together, though I hope to remedy that soon.
5. Donât laughâ¦ Donny Osmond! Like most young girls, I fell madly in love with the toothy young boy when I heard his crooningâs of Puppy Love. But what impressed me the most was the way he lived his life. His example changed me forever as I embraced his beliefs and made them my own. He literally saved my life by his example, and for that I will forever be grateful.
4. My readers! Man, I love you guys. Your support means more to me than youâll ever know. I stress with each book I write, not wanting to put junk out there just to make money. If I donât feel it is good enough, I delete it and start over. You have stood by me as I wrote, and rewrote, and rewrote, Cole's story because I wanted it to be right. So thank you from the bottom of my heart!
3. My grandbabies! They are so much fun! I love them with all my heart and they bring me such joy! I love their cherub faces and infectious laughter. I love their wonder as they examine and learn about the world around them. I love when they bring me a book and ask me to read to them. I just plain love them.
2. My family. Never in my life did I know such a love existed until I had a child. Never did I know it was possible to love like that. Never. It stunned me, it changed me. Becoming a mother is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. Truly there is No Greater Joy. If I accomplish nothing else in this life than that of being a good mom, then I have succeeded. No other success can compensate for failure in the home. (David O McKay) Truer words were never spoken. I am truly the luckiest, most blessed woman ever. Add to that a wonderful strong, cutie pie of a husband who has stood by me, supported me, and loved me through the years. My life is complete!
1. My Savior. In a day and age when religion is no longer in vogue, I am proud to proclaim my love for my Savior. He has paid a price for me that I myself could never pay, and yet He doesnât ask that I do. Some say only the weak lean on religion, but I say only the strong have enough courage to do so. âIf you have not chosen the Kingdom of God, it will make in the end no difference what you have chosen insteadâ, CS Lewis. I believe this with all my heart. I feel His love most keenly at this time of year as we give gifts to others to show our love for them. I am by no means perfect, and I judge no one who does not share my beliefs, but I wonât shy away from proclaiming that He lives, and that He loves us all. And for this gift I am the most grateful for.
To express my gratitude in a physical way, I am giving away a copy of my favorite DVD A Christmas Carol, with Alastair Sim, my all time favorite version!! I watch this every Christmas Eve as I wrap gifts for those I love. I debated on whether to give a copy of Itâs a Wonderful Life, another great Christmas movie that focuses on gratitude, but Scrooge won out, mostly because I love the changes in Scrooge as he becomes grateful for all that he has been blessed with! He goes from a selfish, bitter man, to a generous, giving man full of joy.
Merry Christmas and donât forget to count your blessings!
Unlovable * Unbelievable * Unbearable * Loving Marigold * Pete & Tink * Not so Easy * The Experiment * A Fantasy Christmas * Itâs a Love Thing
Creative Prose Publishing
Six Years of Love, Cats, and Wrecked Trees
by Rachel M. Stiber
Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday, one that I begin anxiously anticipating in July. Celebrating the birth of the Savior, visiting family and friends, exchanging gifts, decorating, and eating: I love ALL of it! Every Christmas is unique, but the one I celebrated six years ago will forever be one of the most memorable.
named him Rusty. We knew Rusty was unique from the moment the pet store sales clerk placed him in our arms. With a white M on his forehead and teeth that throwback to the saber-toothed tiger (two of his top teeth literally extend from his mouth), this was no ordinary kitty. And his behavior was anything but ordinary. He curled in my lap one minute and viciously attacked my hand the next. When he wasnât purring sweetly or attacking one of us (usually me), he played fetch. We gave him a small, stuffed smiley face toy that was supposed to be a car visor clip. Embroidered on the smiley faceâs body were the words Jesus Loves Me.
When we threw this toy, Rusty fetched it and dropped it in our laps. He could play fetch for hours. That is, until we put up the tree. Then, he discovered a new game. This one was called How Far Can I Climb Up the Tree and How Many Ornaments Can I Destroy? The answer? All the way to the top and too many ornaments to count, including the special ones.
of the apartment. When he shattered the heart ornament, I threw his toy and screamed, âItâs a good thing Jesus loves you because no one else does!â Ten seconds later, I cuddled him, apologizing for the outburst.
Six years later, we have three cats and a dog, and one of those cats is Rusty. He still has the M on his forehead and the saber-teeth, but he doesnât fetch anymore. And, he shows no interest in the Christmas tree. Every year we decorate the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving, and every year we wait for Rusty to repeat his first Christmas. So far, nothing. He lies on the tree skirt, but thatâs it.
Everyone has their own unique Christmas traditions. Some are fun and festive, others are more solemn in nature. One tradition that almost every family has is the sharing of traditional Christmas stories. As a child and now as an adult, I love to read the well-known Christmas tales each season. I've included (in order of publication years) five tales that I think are the most loved classics. If you click on the links below each picture, you'll be taken to a free audio version of each story. Enjoy! And don't forget to enter my giveaway for 5 Golden Rings (a.k.a. Krispy Kreme Donuts)!
1) The Nutcracker (and the Mouse King)
Some might be surprised to know that this classic tale didn't start as a ballet. Nope. The Nutcracker and the Mouse King was written by E. T. A. Hoffmann two hundred years ago in 1816. The young girl in the original story had the name of Marie, but somehow, over the years, her name evolved into Clara--the name we usually know her by.
I first read the story of The Nutcracker when I got a cheap copy of the book through my school book order. Who doesn't love school book orders? I'd save my quarters and buy whichever book was less than $1. As a musician, I've played music from The Nutcracker ballet many times and I always think of the first time I read the little paperback book.
2) The Night Before Christmas
As a child, I remember working feverishly one Christmas to memorize this poem/story. Why? No reason. Just because. I know my attempts that Christmas were not unique to me alone. The Night Before Christmas is arguably the most read and most memorized stories of all the Christmas stories in existence.
Besides the fun rhymes, what do we get to credit author Clement Clark Moore for? Naming Santaâs reindeer. Everyone knows that Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner (a.k.a Dunder) and Blitzen (a.k.a. Blixem) dutifully pull Santaâs sleigh through the skies to deliver Christmas gifts each year. But, if it werenât for Moore, Santaâs reindeer might have remained unnamed.
According to legend, Moore wrote this famous story as a poem for his children for Christmas in 1822. The following Christmas, a family friend submitted the poem to the newspaper and they published it anonymously. It wasnât until 20 years later that Moore took ownership of the tale.
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Merry Christmas and Hello! I'm Debra Chapoton, author of A SOUL'S KISS, and I have the honoring of guest posting on day 4 (Four Calling Birds) of The Twelve Days of Christmas. I thought I'd show you what Christmas is like when you live in a full log home. To decorate our place, we call it Big Pine Lodge, there are four fundamental elements that are indispensable "think four calling birds" and they are: a giant wreath, railings that drip with greenery and lights, a sentimental display of Christmas music boxes collected over many years and a big tree decorated with rustic ornaments.
Editors are always telling authors to "show, don't tell" so here are a few pictures:
The wall in the sunroom, right behind where I write, is 26 feet tall and needs a large wreath to fill the space. My husband and I made this one ourselves, decorating it with outdoorsy ornaments featuring a moose, a canoe, a birdhouse, fishing gear, and more. But one wreath isn't enough. We hang them by the front door of the lodge, the guesthouse, and the bunkhouse, and we also have to have one over the fireplace.
You can't have a log home without a massive fireplace, right? Hubby and I found every one of those rocks on our property, over six tons worth.
We have a wide bridge between the loft and an upstairs bedroom so I have about fifty feet of railing, plus stairway railing, to drape with garland, lights, and tiny decorations. You can see some of it in the last picture. The railing continues into the loft which is open over the kitchen.
You may have noticed in those pictures that the tops of my kitchen cabinets are safe places to display 22 Christmas music boxes. I started collecting one per year when the kids were little. Each one holds a special memory of Christmases past. And yes, I have favorites.
The great room and dining room flow together so at Christmas we can tuck a nine-foot tree into a corner of the dining area and enjoy it from the first or second floor.
Yup, this is a log cabin Christmas. There's a lot more, too, like Christmas tapestries, handmade Santas, bugles and ice skates and, of course, the prominently displayed manger scene. I could go on and on, but let's keep it at these "four calling birds."
Oh, and I guess I have four other birds, that is, I've written four young adult novels that would make good Christmas gifts for anyone, any age. They are A SOUL'S KISS, THE GUARDIAN'S DIARY, SHELTERED, and EDGE OF ESCAPE. You can also find my chapter books for kids HERE and I've written a couple of non-fiction works: BUILDING A LOG HOME IN UNDER A YEAR and CROSSING THE SCRIPTURES.
By the way, did you know that the four calling birds represented the four gospel books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? The story of Jesus' birth is in Luke chapter 2. We always read it before we dive into those presents under the tree. Speaking of presents, I have a $10 gift card for one of you. Please enter below for a chance to win it.
Thank you for stopping by,
Creative Prose Publishing
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by M.M. Roethig
Itâs here! Can you feel it? The smell of crisp frosty air in the morning, cozy sweaters, fuzzy socks, hot chocolate, and fires aglow in the fireplace. Winter has finally arrived, and with it, my favorite holiday. I love the snow-blanketed ground sparkling in the soft glow of the sun, white covered trees, and twinkling Christmas lights breaking through the night sky. Thereâs something enchanting about Hallmark holiday shows, snuggling under a blanket on the couch, or listening to Christmas music.
Thereâs no denying, this time of year is truly magical.
The following day, after his medicine kicked in, he was confident he would enjoy Disneyland with the family. Within an hour, he was crying as I carried him down main street as he chanted, âI hate this place!â My son hated the âhappiest place on earthâ. Additionally, my fourteen-year-old daughterâs knee swelled like a balloon and she enjoyed the park from the confines of a wheel-chair.
I am so blessed. Creative Prose Publishing is a great house and I am grateful they accepted Honorable Disgrace for publication. It was an answer to a long time prayer and dream. And I am grateful to be able to share a part in other authors dreams. Creative Prose has two other authors with books coming out around the same time as mine. They both sound wonderful.
Norma Rudolph Debut Novel
Publication date February 23, 2015
Creative Prose Publishing is pleased to announce the release of the exciting debut novel of Norma T. Rudolph, The Gift of Lies. Norma's novel is a bit of fantasy and science fiction with some romance in the mix. You won't want to miss this one! Available February 23, 2015.
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The locals call the place Jakeâs Hell after Summer McCalisterâs crazy uncle Jake who claims to have seen impossible things there. Itâs a badlands of rugged rock cliffs and sharp pinnacles that no sane person would attempt to enter.
The Atomalians call it Daneye, a secret alien city of unequaled beauty, masked behind illusion. Atomalians believe that natives of Earth must never know about them and their powers of the mind or it will destroy the Atomaliansâ peaceful lives.
When Summer is drawn out of bed and pulled to Jakeâs Hell by an urge she canât control, she fears sheâs crazier than her uncle. But when the young Ahtomalian, Bentri, steps out of thin air, she knows sheâs either crazyâor dead. Taking her to his unbelievably beautiful city doesnât erase the fact that heâs keeping her hostage in a room with no door and no way out.
Bentriâs world is suddenly and completely devastated by the appearance of the native Earth girl. If sheâs discovered within the city, law decrees she be destroyed. As Bentri is bonded with her, that means he would also die. Their only chance might be to escapeâbut can Bentri survive in her world?
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Creative Prose Publishing
Tifani Clark Sequel Novel
Publication Date January 12, 2015
Creative Prose Publishing is happy to announce the anticipated sequel to Shadow of Life from Tifani Clark. Haven Waiting, book two in the Soul Saver series, is going to be available January 12, 2015! But you can pre-order your copy today.
Jamie promises to help Haven, but the reality of what that promise entails comes back to haunt her as she fights not only for Havenâs soul, but for her own as well.
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Fifteen-year-old Jamie Peters is a Soul Saver. She helps ghosts finish their business and move on. When a mysterious map comes into her possession, she knows a new adventure is waiting. With the help of her friends, Peter and Camille, she follows the map. Her friends hope to find treasure, but Jamie suspects there is more to the map than riches. She never imagined the map would lead her to Havenâand a book of spells.
Haven Mills was accused of practicing witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials. Unlike the other women hung during the trials, Haven wasnât as innocent as she claimed to be. In one moment of weakness and desperation, she did something sinisterâsomething that has been bringing evil to the world for centuries.
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Creative Prose Publishing
Stephanie N. Pitman, Author
The written word is magical...
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