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09-23 Getting to Know Leah Hammond, author of RISKY LIES

Friday, November 1, 2013

For Your Reading Pleasure And Other Things


by Judith Ashley
November the Genre-istas share their favorite holiday-themed romance novel and our
Judith Ashley
weekends are full of Guest Contributors and Genre-istas who have holiday-themed romance novels, novellas, short stories, and anthologies coming out.


Without even going to my ‘saved on the shelves’ stash I clearly remember Jo Beverley’s Christmas Angel and Nora Robert’s The Gift and if you are looking for an historical or contemporary romance I’d recommend either. Another one of my favorites is Paty Jager’s e-book Christmas Redemption. I’m sure by the end of this month, I’ll have added a few more favorites to my list!
For much of my life Christmas was the center of our family’s winter doings. My Mom shopped all year long for that special something for the people on her list. She always was aware of their color and style preferences and took great pride in finding just the perfect ‘something’. As adults, at Thanksgiving we exchanged lists with each other and included sizes, colors, and brands if appropriate. Why? Because none of her three children had inherited her ‘gift’ of finding just the right ‘gift’ so we cheated and helped each other out after a couple of disastrous gift exchanges.

Twenty years ago this September I was invited to join a newly forming Sacred Women’s Circle and in December I celebrated my first Winter Solstice. Until my mother’s death in 2002, I balanced both Christmas with my family and Solstice with my Women’s Circle. And for a year or two after she died, I worked hard to keep the long standing family Christmas traditions alive – special ornaments nearing their 100th year of being for the Christmas tree, being able to open one gift on Christmas Eve from someone who would not be with us Christmas Day, special breakfast Christmas morning, Christmas stockings hand knitted for each of us (when I was divorced my original stocking got lost in the process – I still tear-up when I think of the Christmas Eve my mom said I had to open this box with a box with a box and in the last box was a new Christmas stocking she’d knitted for me that year).
These days, my granddaughters spend Christmas Day with their parents and do all the tree, trimmings, turkey dinner, etc. They (or at least one of them) spend Solstice night with me. Sometimes we drive around and look at lights and ooh and aah over the sparkle and creativity of the homeowners. We always talk about what we want to manifest in the coming light of the next year. And it never fails that, at least once during the evening, I talk about the wonder and awe our ancestors experienced when they drove back the darkness and minute-by-minute the days grew longer and warmer after this darkest of nights.

We talk about this time of year - from Samhain (Halloween) to Solstice (Christmas) and maybe through New Years Day - as ‘the holiday season’. In my tradition, we celebrate the turning of the wheel of life so every six weeks or so there is another “holiday” to celebrate. My plan is to start up www.JudithAshleyRomance.blogspot.com with posts about those holidays. I hope you’ll join me.
May the light of love shine upon you whatever your traditions.

Please share your favorite holiday memory or tradition, especially one that brings a tear to your eyes.
www.FreeReadsFromTheGenre-istas.blogspot.com for my newest short short story First Love. I’ll be writing Ashley’s Story, Book Four in the Women’s Circle Series, during National Novel Writing Month which starts today.

 

5 comments:

Paty Jager said...

Thank you for the recommendation and a look at how you spend your holidays.

Judith Ashley said...

You're welcome, Paty. Christmas Redemption is an easy story to recommend because it is well-done!

Sarah Raplee said...

I love Nativities that remind me of the true meaning of Christmas. I love that Winter Solstice marks the mid-point of what I call the Dark of the Year. I can look forward to brighter days ahead.

Enjoyed your post!

Diana Mcc. said...

Enjoyed your thoughtful post! Samhain through New Years Day are my favorite holidays.

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for stopping by Sarah and Diana. I think this time of year (holiday-wise) is my favorite because of my family's traditions. I like the idea of having something special to celebrate every six weeks as The Wheel of Life turns.