07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Click here for Genre-ista Judith Ashley's November 4th review of Judy Duarte's new book, Christmas on Nutcracker Court

Christmas is my favorite holiday, even though I often get stressed out and over-extended.  In fact, each January, as I put away the ornaments and drag the tree outside, I vow not to let it happen again.  Yet as fall rolls into winter, I find myself shopping and decorating and baking and…  Well, you get the picture.

There’s just something special about families getting together, about celebrating memories and giving from the heart. 

If you’re like me, you enjoy watching a Christmas movie on a wintry night while curled up on the sofa with a cup of hot cocoa or tea.  Who doesn’t love the timeless movies like Miracle on 34th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life?

And what about Holiday Inn or White Christmas with Bing Crosby?  Or maybe even The Shop Around the Corner?

Another favorite of mine is Christmas in Connecticut.  But my list isn’t limited to the classics or to those that bring tears to my eyes and a smile on my face.  I’ve got a few comedies on my list as well, such as Home Alone and Elf.  And I find myself setting aside the television remote whenever one of them comes on and watching it one more time.

There’s just something special about those heartfelt holiday stories—either the ones we see on television or those we read.

I write for Special Edition, one of Harlequin’s home and hearth lines.  So the first time I came up with an idea for a holiday story, I knew it was a perfect fit.  The readers loved it, too.  So it shouldn’t be any surprise that I have two Christmas releases out this year—one romance and an inspirational women’s fiction. 

I’d love to give three lucky people who comment and share their thoughts on the appeal of Christmas stories—books or movies—an autographed copy of either A Baby Under the Tree or Christmas on Nutcracker Court—their choice

So what do you think?  What are your favorite Christmas movies or books?  And why do those holiday stories hold such an amazing and timeless appeal?

While you’re giving it some thought, I’m going to put a little Christmas music on the stereo, light a fire in the hearth, and whip up some sugar cookies.  Then I’ll pull out one of my favorite DVDs and invite a couple of friends over for a warm and cozy evening.

Visit Judy's website at www.judyduarte.com


Diana Mcc. said...

I have liked every Christmas movie I've seen, even the cartoons and every Christmas book I've read.

Most recently I watched "Mrs. Miracle" on the Hallmark Channel, which is showing almost all Christmas movies right now.

I think the appeal of Holiday movies for me is that no matter how bad a situation is there is always a wonderful out come. And after all, Christmas is the season of miracles.

Happy Holidays!!

Meggan Connors said...

We watch Olive, The Other Reindeer with the kids, then move on to While You Were Sleeping (which is my favorite Christmas-y movie).

The DH maintains that Die Hard and Lethal Weapon are Christmas movies, so as we're assembling items on Christmas Eve, that's what we watch. I'm a good(ish) wife like that. Besides, it's not like Bruce Willis isn't nice to look at. :)

Judith Ashley said...

Judy, What I like best about this time of year is the shift in how people treat each other. (I'm not talking about pepper spraying each other on Black Friday). I see more people smiling at each other, letting someone in front in lines or traffic, hearing the humming of carols and other Christmas songs.

Hallmark is playing holiday-themed movies every night and one of our local radio stations is only playing Christmas songs. It is a most wonderful time of the year!

Judy Duarte said...

Dianna Mcc,

I enjoyed Mrs. Miracle, too. I also check the Hallmark Channel each evening.

Judy Duarte said...


I forgot all about While You Were Sleeping. It's a Christmasy movie, too--and one of my favorities. :)

LOL. So your hubby likes to watch things blow up while he's assembling bikes and things? That's a man for you! My husband enjoys those action flicks, too.

Judy Duarte said...


Aren't those Black Friday shoppers wild? Greed will do that to you.

I've also noticed a nicer attitude in shoppers at Christmas time. Isn't it a nice change? :)

Shannon said...

Hi Judy!
I love almost all those sappy movies on Lifetime and Hallmark. While You Were Sleeping is a great movie! I also like the Ref--Kevin Spacey, Judy Davis and Denis Leary. Home for the Holidays is a great Thanksgiving movie.

I'm also baking, baking and baking. Something about this weather. I've been turning on the holiday music channel and the oven and out comes coffee cakes and cookies. I must have gone through 3 lbs of butter in the last couple of weeks.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Lisa Cottrell-Bentley said...

My favorite Christmas movie (and I *love* Christmas movies) is "Christmas in the Clouds." I'm always surprised that most people haven't even heard of it. It's absolutely hilarious with the main plot and the subplots (including a woman who is obsessed with reading romance books), and it always leaves me happy. It's one that I have to watch every year. I think Christmas movies are great since they always leave the audience hopeful and excited about the future (their own, as well as the "good of all mankind").

Judy Duarte said...


I'll have to check out The Ref and Home for the Holidays.

And baking? I haven't started yet, but I've been stocking up on supplies during my last to grocery shopping trips. :)

Judy Duarte said...


I hadn't heard of that movie, but I'll look for it.

Holidays movies do leave us hopeful, which is why I read and write romance. It's nice to know that the good guys win in the end. :)

ElaineCharton said...

Hi Judy!
I have a new holiday favorite. It's,Love Actually. All about family and love, which is part of Christmas after all. Of course the fact that Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman are in it helps. :)
Merry Christmas!

Elise M Stone said...

While I love "Miracle on 34th Street" and "It's a Wonderful Life", last year I discovered my new favorite Christmas movie. It's called "The Perfect Gift" and is about the real meaning of Christmas.

I haven't done a whole lot of Christmas preparations over the past few years. With family spread all over the country, it's hard to all get together at the holidays. And I've not done much decorating since adopting two kittens a couple of years back who think EVERYTHING is a toy. I'm hoping to give putting up the tree a try this year and crossing my fingers they won't knock it over.

Mary Tate said...

My fav is Christmas at Yellowstone. Fab wildlife and nature photos, plus the spiritual concept from the photographer. If you've ever been there, this is the undersnow version. Real natural life.

Judy Duarte said...


I'm going to have to check out Love Actually. It sounds great.

Merry Christmas to you, too!

Judy Duarte said...


Thanks for another movie tip. I'll look for The Perfect Gift.

And as for Christmas kitties... LOL. When our cat was young, we had a tree, but we didn't dare put any breakable decorations on the lower branches. :)

Judy Duarte said...


I like nature films, too. I've never been to Yellowstone, although it's on my to-go list. :)

I'll have to look for Christmas at Yellowstone.

Sarah Raplee said...

Thank you for guesting with us here at RTG, Judy!

My favorite Christmas movie is Miracle on 34th Street. In fact, you can probably hook me with any title that has the word 'miracle' in it. LOL

Judy Duarte said...

The three winners of the Christmas books are Elaine Charton, Elise Stone, and Shannon.

Shannon, will you email me privately at JudyDuarte at AOL dot com?


Judy Duarte said...


I love stories that have a miracle of some kind. In fact, I like writing books with them, too.

My first women's fiction novel, Mulberry Park, has a miracle. And so does Christmas on Nutcracker Court. :)