Love is in the air!

Winter is a time of blustery winds, warm blankets, and book friends to fill your heart.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Passing the Holiday Torch

In keeping with the holiday theme, we have Karen Frisch, author of What's in a Name, Lady Delphinia's Deception, and Murder Most Civil.  


            No matter how much snow fell outside, inside our Christmas holidays were always about sharing and being grateful. When I was young every Christmas Day afternoon would be spent at my grandfather’s house, where my unmarried aunt presided over the kitchen. Holidays meant lots of people and lots of laughter. There were two Christmas trees, two dining tables, and lots of guests, some of whom we didn’t know. My aunt not only took in stray cats, she always invited friends and co-workers who were alone at the holidays. Conversations we had started with relatives at Thanksgiving often continued at Christmas. The numbers gathered added to the merriment.
            There were presents for everyone under the large tree in the sunroom. As children, we had the honor of distributing them and watching as they were opened, waiting impatiently for our turn. After a second round of dessert, we would adjourn to the parlor where a tabletop tree was surrounded by smaller presents quickly encircled by children, with a wider ring of relatives on the periphery. The feeling it imparted was one of generosity, thoughtfulness, and love.
            Beforehand, at home with our parents, Christmas meant putting candles in the windows, decorating the tree together, and cooking for my parents’ annual Christmas Eve party. I can still hear my dad singing along to Tennessee Ernie Ford’s Christmas carols with his strong, compelling voice. The activities held more significance over time. Memories of these rituals sustained us when those relatives were no longer with us.
            Our large gatherings have dwindled down to a few, and all the faces have changed but mine. My children and I set the table the same way, with some of the same dishes. I still set out bread for my grandfather, an assortment of nuts for my great-aunt, and a loaf of cranberry bread for my mother. Though they are no longer present at the table, they are there in spirit. Now we know they were the gifts. They go, but they leave indelible memories.
            Holidays and especially dinners represent the passing of the torch to others, a relay of traditions from one generation to the next. New generations means new topics of conversation. There is change, but there is also continuity in the children.
            Which reminds me, it’s time to buy more cranberries…

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I have been a time traveler all my life, courtesy of books, television, movies, and imagination. I believe I once spent an entire decade in Regency England courtesy of books and my imagination. I have recently returned to the twenty-first century. This journey back in time was provided courtesy of a dead power cord that is the lifeline to both me and my laptop.

I don't have cable, so any show I wish to watch, I watch on-line. I communicate with my friends on-line. I write directly onto my computer.

Oh, the problems one little cord can cause!

During the week plus I spent without the outside world, I read many books (Thank heavens my NOOK still worked!) and I began knitting mittens for the todds. I now have a basket of mittens and an exhausted NOOK.

The imagination is a powerful tool. It can take you anywhere you want to go, lead you into any adventure, and you never have to spend a penny or leave the couch if you don't want to.

The holiday season is full of stress, and we often find ourselves wishing for a simpler time. Let your imagination take you there. You don't have to sit and make mittens to know the joy of an old fashioned Christmas. Let a book take you there. 

There are many fine books to choose from. I hope when you are looking for a good read you will consider Christmas Treats #1, Santa's Naughty List. My short story, Christmas Spirit is in the anthology along with stories by W. Lynn Chantale, Olivia Devereaux, and Robbi Hess. The stories have Heat (with a capital H) to keep you warm, day or night.

Christmas Spirit


Cross a Christmas phobic male with a caterer with Christmas bells on. . .can she ignite the Christmas spirit in him?


What the hell had just happened? One minute he was in heaven tasting the sweet nectar of the gods. The next the little vixen was running down the subway stairs. Harry pulled his wits together and gave chase. The turnstile wouldn't budge. He was about to jump it when a voice said, "I wouldn't if I was you. It's a serious crime to steal from the Commonwealth. Buy a pass if you want to ride the train."

Harry turned to find a T officer standing directly behind him. The man pointed a nightstick toward a row of machines. "You can get one over there in the Charlie machines."

Card in hand, he was back at the turnstile in time to see the train Elle had jumped on pulling away from the station. 

Damn. He didn't know her last name.

Available through:

You can also pick up Christmas Treats #2, Santa's Nice List  (Wonderful stories with a little less heat.)

{If you are not from Boston you may not know about Charlie and the T. The Kingston Trio made Charlie immortal when they sang this song. I hope you enjoy this extra Treat. The Charlie Card is real, and this is where the name came from.} 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Guest Blog by Jan McDonnell

My Christmas Love Story

By Jan McDonnell

            I was fortunate enough to have met my soul mate in September of 1998 at the age of 45.   I met Mike in an internet chat room shortly after my divorce was final.
            Mike and I spoke on the internet constantly, then exchanged phone numbers and talked every night for hours. It was an incredible experience to discover all we had in common.  Besides having children and both of us diehard Yankee fans, we had a love of family and tradition, and, being Italian, we loved to cook.
            We met in October, and immediately fell in love.  Mike brought me six red roses, a bottle of wine and a pizza.  Ah, a guy after my own heart.
            We saw each other every two weeks; oh, did I mention I lived in New York, and he lived in Rhode Island?  I took the Amtrak to Providence one week, and Mike would drive to NY the next time around.
            By Thanksgiving, he had proposed to me and I said yes without thinking.  I'd been married before for 23 years, and never felt the way I did with Mike. 
            We decided that we'd wait until my son turned 18 until I could move to Rhode Island and start my life with him. We married in January, 2000, bought a house, and settled in.  We were not only husband and wife, but he was my best friends. We could tell each other anything, and shared not only good times, but tough times as well.  Mike was not well, but our romance grew with time. My love for him only grew deeper each day, week and month.
            We bought a house together later that year, and prepared for our first Christmas in our new home.   We cut down our own tree at a friend's farm in Exeter, and set it up together, hanging lights on the tree and in the windows, writing out Christmas cards,  laughing, drinking wine and decorating our lovely house with love and happiness.
            I'd never really known what love was until I met Mike.  He'd do little things for me, things that may seem pedestrian and trivial, but he treated me with respect and with undying love. Our first Christmas together was unforgettable.
            We exchanged little gifts every Christmas, things like Yankees sweatshirts and caps.  I loved making a soup to nuts candlelit Christmas dinner.   He'd give me my favorite red roses, beautiful cards or love letters. I didn’t need much. I had his love and our lives together.
            Christmas Day was breakfast in bed, staying in our pj's all day, and just enjoying each other and celebrating our life together. 
            I would only share ten more Christmases with Mike.
            I'm not going to end this post on a sad note. I lost Mike in September of 2010, but our years together, especially our Christmases, are stamped in my heart for all time.
            Suffice to say, we filled a lifetime worth of Christmases into a decade, sharing our lives, and our love.
            He was my Christmas gift day in and day out, and I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to share 12 magical years with him, ten of them as his wife, lover, best friend and guiding light.
            In the film, "Steel Magnolias", Julia Roberts tells the Sally Fields character something I'll never forget and always apply when I speak of my life with Mike.  "I'd rather have thirty minutes of something wonderful, than a lifetime of nothing special."
            I'm thankful for those 'thirty minutes'.  They were beyond special and every Christmas memory is etched in my heart for always.
            Merry Christmas to all of you, and I wish you everything wonderful. 

Read more about Jan and love at:   

Thank you Jan for sharing these Christmas memories with us. You have shown us that love is timeless and ageless.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Treats Release

Today Still Moments Publishing released their first set of Anthologies. Christmas Treats #1 & #2. Santa's Naughty List is Treat #1. Inside Treat #1 is my short story, Christmas Spirit.

As a writer, I am shamed to admit, I have no words to describe the amount of pride and joy coursing through my veins. This is the first Anthology I have been included in.

I have always wanted to be a writer, and over the years I have made the attempt, but real life, children, and the need to make a living always placed higher on the "to do" list then my writing. So I have been more of a dabbler. Over the years I educated myself on the business and read novels for the sheer love of reading.

I hope you will read Christmas Spirit and find some of the joy I felt in the writing and the way Noelle and Harry found each other.

I may be a late bloomer, but I hope to always keep the freshness of a new bud unfurling. I hope you will continue reading my stories and let me know if the petals begin drooping. 

Happy reading my friends. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Carols

In honor of Christmas Treats:  Santa's Naughty List's release, the month of December is dedicated to Christmas Traditions. Even without Christmas Treats the month would still be dedicated to holiday traditions, but it does make a good plug.

Way back in the dark ages of my childhood, I had been a Girl Scout. Every December, we practiced singing Christmas Carols while making door wreaths from time cards and angels out of folded Reader's Digests. About a week before Santa was due, we put on our best coats, hats, and mittens and trudged all over town after dark. We sang our way up and down frozen snow covered streets. We stopped at houses we knew and belted out Oh Holy Night.

When we were through we returned to the church's community center and drank hot chocolate loaded with marshmallows. If we were really lucky there would also be homemade sugar cookies.

It was a wonderful night. We laughed. We sang. We knew Santa would be coming soon.

Do you know anyone who goes door-to-door singing Carols? Not for money, or a practical joke. Do you know anyone he sings Carols just for the joy of the season?

Perhaps this year you will gather your children or some of your friends, drive to the local senior center, and serenade the people with the old Christmas standards. 

Anyone want to hear a little White Christmas?

Friday, December 2, 2011


Welcome to Liberty's Spells. A place where we can discuss life, love, and books.

I am open to all questions, but that doesn't mean I can or will answer them. I will do my best though.

I hope in the coming weeks to bring you blogs from many of my friends and words of wisdom of my own. Please visit often.

Happy reading my friends.