New Reads for January 2013

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For 2013, I’m trying something new. For the entire month of January, I will only be reading books by authors that I have not read before.

This does include authors who have sent me a ARR requests, I’ve agreed to read yet have not been able to read thus far due to the holidays. I will also be reading novels from authors that I picked up the bookstores, been given, and any other books that are in my TBR stacks around the house.

The only novels I will be doing that are ARR will be on my phone or on my Nook. Everything else will be paperbacks and possibly hardcover if I can find any.

I am setting up for the next few months including February, which will ONLY feature romance novels.

Currently, I am working on the calendar for the next year so that authors may submit their novels for a particular genre (title, location… depending on what I come up with) for that month.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe New Year’s; I look forward to getting back into the swing of things as soon as possible and getting plenty of book reviews posted this month.

Author interviews are coming up this month as well as book reviews for the books that I read over the holidays. I have been in touch with a few authors over the holidays and I’m excited to introduce you to them in this new year.

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10 Favorite Novels of 2012

Thought I would share 10 of my favorite novels of the year…. in no particular order. Some you may recognize, some you may not.

“Revenge” by Dana Delamar
“Because of You” by Jessica Scott
“Unscripted” by J.S. Marlo
“Underworld Lover” by Sharon Hamilton
“The Mating” by Nicky Charles
“Blood Oath” by Christopher Farnsworth
“Once Burned” by Jeaniene Frost
“Suddenly a Spy” by Heather Huffman
“Stygian’s Honor” by Lora Leigh
“A Perfect Husband” by Douglas Wickard

A mixed group of novels that have kept me reading late into the night. Many were new finds this year; of that list only 2 were authors I was aware of or who I had read before. I will try to post covers for each of those soon, so please check back. I’m excited to see what books bring me to tears, make me laugh, hide and keep me up late reading in 2013.

Thank you 2012

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I wanted to take a moment and to thank all of my authors, readers, followers, guests and friends visiting my blog this year. You’ve made 2012 a wonderful first year and I look forward to an even better 2013.

It is been my great pleasure this year to get to know many new authors, other readers, and I look forward to going to know many of you on a more personal level on-site and off-site.

I wanted to thank the authors who put up with my slow email responses, kids being sick, and just other things that life throws at us when we least expect it. The authors who I have featured on my blog have been wonderful getting to know; it was a pleasure going to introduce all of my readers to you.

To my readers, guests and new followers I hope you’ve enjoyed this year and gotten to know some of your favorite up and coming new authors and made some new favorites.

Book reviews, author interviews, giveaways, contests, and more fun stuff are coming in 2013 as well as a few surprises.

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Holiday Questions ~ Victoria “Tori” Zigler

1. Favorite Holiday Song & Movie? Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, A Christmas Story

2. Favorite Holiday Family Tradition? The family getting together on christmas Eve

3. Favorite Holiday Food? Clam Chowder Who makes it the best? My mom did (she passed away 2 years ago

4. Which of Santa’s Reindeers best describes you? Why? Dancer, because I always thought that I should have more rhythm and be able to dance. I can NOT.

5. Do you decorate your house or office for the holidays? Very minimally. Is it religious decorated, secular or a mix of both? Secular

6. Favorite Holiday Book(s)/Reading Twas the Night Before Christmas

7. This or That ~ Hot Chocolate or Egg Nog? Hot chocolate Turkey or Ham? Turkey Religious or Secular? Secular Santa or Frosty? Santa Hot Toddy or Hot Cider? Hot toddy

8. What is your favorite part of the holiday season? All the family getting together Least favorite part? Trying to keep expectations down to avoid disappointment when peace, love and harmony in the family do not happen.

9. Let it Snow or Holiday in the Sun? Would love love love to have a Holiday in the Sun

10. Favorite Childhood Holiday Memory? This sucks, but I do not remember Christmas as a child

11. Stay up late & wait for Santa or Bed early & get up early to see what Santa brought? Usually bed early

12. What is your holiday wish? To make sure that all of my children and grand children get just enough to sustain them for the year

Holiday Questions ~ Pam Funke

1. Favorite Holiday Song & Movie? O Holy Night / A Christmas Story

2. Favorite Holiday Family Tradition? Baking Christmas cookies to make boxes to deliver throughout the town. Also helping at the church delivering the holiday baskets to needy families.

3. Favorite Holiday Food? Who makes it the best? Herb-roasted Turkey/I make it the best.

4. Which of Santa’s Reindeers best describes you? Why? Rudolph best describes me. Like Rudolph, I am a quiet yet out-going person who never gives up and am pursuing my dreams.

5. Do you decorate your house or office for the holidays? Is it religious decorated, secular or a mix of both? I decorate both my home as well as my office. Decorations are a mixture of both, but mostly religious.

6. Favorite Holiday Book(s)/Reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

7. This or That ~ Hot Chocolate or Egg Nog? Turkey or Ham? Religious or Secular? Santa or Frosty? Hot Toddy or Hot Cider? EggNog/ Turkey/ Religious/ Frosty/ neither

8. What is your favorite part of the holiday season? Least favorite part? Spending quality time with family and friends/ That the holidays are over too soon.

9. Let it Snow or Holiday in the Sun? Let It Snow

10. Favorite Childhood Holiday Memory? Spending the holidays at home surrounded by family.

Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas.

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Today I will be spending the day with my family (my husband, our boys, my mom, my sister & new brother in law, then later family will head over). I hope is all of you are enjoying this wonderful HOLY day. I know I have readers and followers who are agnostic, Jewish, atheist, Christian, and some who don’t have a religion. I am a proud Christian, and today we celebrate Jesus’s birth in a manger, in Bethlehem; so many years ago. That is my belief; that is how it was raised; and that is how I have raised my children.

My youngest is still believe in Santa, this year more than ever before probably because of his age. The true spirit of Christmas has never been lost on my boys, myself or my husband and family. Being together as a family after a very long year and not knowing if we would make it, brings new meaning for our family.

I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas and share one of my favorite poems. Every year I share this on a blog, Facebook, MySpace or even just via email; this year thought I would share here. It’s called the “soldiers Poem” it was originally written back in WWII; this poem always brings tears to my eyes and love to my heart I hope you enjoy.

Merry Christmas.

Love,
Stephanie

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~Soldier’s Christmas~

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF
PLASTER AND STONE.

I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY
WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO
IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.

I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
NOT EVEN A TREE.

NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES
OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.

WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT
CAME THROUGH MY MIND.

FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.

THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.

THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED
A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.

WAS THIS THE HERO
OF WHOM I’D JUST READ?
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,
THE FLOOR FOR A BED?

I REALIZED THE FAMILIES
THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS
WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.

SOON ROUND THE WORLD,
THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE
A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.

THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM
EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.

I COULDN’T HELP WONDER
HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE
IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.

THE VERY THOUGHT
BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES
AND STARTED TO CRY.

THE SOLDIER AWAKENED
AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
“SANTA DON’T CRY,
THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;

I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,
I DON’T ASK FOR MORE,
MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS.”

THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER
AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN’T CONTROL IT,
I CONTINUED TO WEEP.

I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
SO SILENT AND STILL
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED
FROM THE COLD NIGHT’S CHILL.

I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE
ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR
SO WILLING TO FIGHT.

THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, “CARRY ON SANTA,
IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE.”

ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,
AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
“MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.”

This poem was written by a Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan. The
following is his request. I think it is reasonable…..

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.

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Holiday Questions ~ Stephanie

My turn… Christmas Eve

1. Favorite Holiday Song & Movie? Song/Religious ~“Mary, Did You Know?”
Song/Secular ~ “Here’s Your Sign – Christmas Edition” by Bill Engvall or “Kung Pow Buckaroo Holiday” with Brad Pasley
Movie/ Live Action ~ “White Christmas” with Rosemarie Clooney & Bing Crosby
Movie/Animated ~ “The Life of Santa Clause” … Old and claymation but I love it

2. Favorite Holiday Family Tradition? Getting up early with the boys on Christmas day, and watching them open their gifts, then surprising my hubby with his gift and making breakfast – Cinnamon Rolls this year

3. Favorite Holiday Food? Who makes it best?
My Aunt Cindy’s Mint Fudge … She only makes it once a year, it’s easy and I can make it my self, but I look forward to her’s every Christmas… and my Chili dip, I’ve been making it for over 16 years and everyone asks for it, sooo yummy

4. Which of Santa’s Reindeer best describes you? Why?
Vixen…. I look good my Husband’s arm, lol. I love flirting with him and teasing him.

5. Do you decorate your office or home for the holidays? Is it religious or a mix of both?
I don’t have an office, yet, we do decorate the house. I might decorate the chicken and dog pens this year. A mix of religious and secular. I’m making sure to set up my Christmas village this year.

6. Favorite Holiday Book(s)/Reading? Christmas Story, brings me renewed hope; also ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas – I still know the whole thing by heart and I whisper it to my boys Christmas Eve when I put them to bed. For pleasure reading, I’m rereading “The Breeds” by Lora Leigh, novels I have, for fun, not much free time to read right now.

7. This or That ~ Hot Chocolate or Egg Nog? Turkey or Ham? Religious or Secular? Santa or Frosty? Hot Toddy or Hot Cider?
Hot Chocolate (Peppermint Hot chocolate with extra Whipped Cream). Turkey. Religious. Frosty. Hot Cider.

8. What is your favorite Part of the Holiday Season? Least favorite part? Favorite ~ Seeing the looks on my children’s faces Christmas morning and feeling that ‘love’ from them and my husband. That and that people seem to kinder to others this time of the year. Least Favorite ~ Traffic & crowds. Both test my patience.

9. Let it Snow or Holiday in the Sun? Holiday in the Sun

10. Favorite Childhood Holiday Memory?
Seeing the crumbs or bites out of the cookies I left for Santa

11. Stay up Late and wait for Santa or Get up early and see what Santa brought?
When I was little, I tried to stay up late, but ended falling asleep early and getting up at the crack of dawn. Of course, Santa always KNEW when you were awake so he would stay away until I was asleep. Now, it’s up late to wrap gifts and stuff stockings, then up early when my hubby and boys decide mom has slept enough, lol.

12. What is your Holiday Wish??
For more love, peace, joy and happiness and a calmer 2013.

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