Thursday, December 30

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011!

I really can't believe how fast this year flew by. Tomorrow is New Year's Eve and I've been thinking about what the highlights of the year have been for me. The first one has gotta be my daughter sleeping through the entire night. She just turned four and I wondered if she'd ever do it consistently for long stretches of time and at the beginning of this year it finally happened!

I wondered if I'd ever say goodbye to pull-ups with her. She wasn't interested in potty training until shew as two and half! The upside...she was potty trained in like a two week time period which was amazing to me. When she was ready to learn she mastered it very quickly. I was worried she'd passed some critical timeline on mastering the potty, but she was just on her own timeline. So, no more diapers, breast-feeding, pull-ups or inconsistent sleeping for me! Yay! What a milestone in mommyhood! 2010 has been the year I've finally gotten part of my life back.

I'm so happy to see my writing career growing. I've been writing feverishly this year and I'm proud to have published one novella, one novel and contracted two other novels for 2011 under my pen name. I wish I had more time to write, but I'm grateful to have the windows of time that were non-existent before this year.

2010 has shown me that the sky is limit to what I can do as long as I believe I can do it. The old sentiment "believe in yourself," isn't new, but I think each of us reaches a moment when it really, really, clicks.

2010 was a tough year for my family, but it also held a lot of lessons learned. The hard times showed me how much my husband and I laugh to get through the rough patches. This year has shown me that no matter what is going on in your world that sucks, someone else is having a harder time of it. I'll admit knowing that didn't help me from wallowing in self-pity, but I didn't wallow for very long.

So, I say goodbye to 2010 with a little sadness (my babies are no longer babies) and welcome 2011 with open arms. May the New Year bring us all many more smiles, love, peace and joy!



Tuesday, December 21

Flashback Interview With The Authors of Winter Kisses!

Almost a year ago to the day, I posted this interview with the authors of the
Winter Kisses Anthology
available now with Noble Romance Publishing. I enjoyed hearing the inspiration behind each story and decided why not share it again?
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Today, Candlelight Romance welcomes the authors of Noble Romance's first sweet romance holiday anthology, Winter Kisses! I'm pleased to be joined by Barbara Sheridan, Dena Celeste, G.R. Bretz, Kelley Heckart!

This book marks the premiere of Noble Romance's Sweetheart Line and I'm thrilled to have all of the authors together for an exclusive group interview. We took a moment from the holiday grind to share a little about ourselves and our work within this festive anthology!

Angela: This is an diverse collection of holiday tales. What was the inspiration behind each of your stories?

Barbara: I worked in a very old department stores and more than once remembered joking with co-workers about "ghosts & gremlins" misplacing things, etc. And the writerly "what-if?" took it from there.

Dena: My inspiration was the feeling I get this time of year, when friends and family are gathered around and we eat good food together. The lighting of my menorah is also very special to me, and I get a warm feeling as I say the prayer and think of how my family has been doing this for generations.

Kelley: A Winter Solstice Kiss is inspired by my love of the pagan holidays. I started thinking about trying to get through this time of year after losing a husband, all of the memories attached to Christmas ornaments, etc. I decided to have my characters attend a Winter Solstice masquerade ball because I thought that would be cool for a pagan gathering. To add that faery tale element to my story, I made my hero work as a knight for Medieval Times.

G.R.: My story was inspired by dreams. Not any particular dream; just the wonder of how real and vivid dreams sometimes are.

Angela: A Christmas for Carol was inspired by the classic, A Christmas Carol. I've always been fascinated by the idea of someone from the other side coming back to reach a loved one whose lost their way. This is my debut sweet romance release and my first time being part of an anthology! I was excited to be a part of this project and I can't wait to read all of your stories!

Barbara: This is my first with NRP. It was fun. I love seeing how other authors take a central theme then go from there.

Angela: I agree. I think Winter Kisses has a little something in it for just about everyone! Dena, is this your first anthology?

Dena: This is, yes! I was very excited about the idea of writing a story to represent my faith as well as exercising my writing skills in a different direction. This is the first time I've written a sweet romance story with no erotic content.

Angela: There's something about the holidays that brings out the sweet romantic in the grumpest scrooge! What about you Kelly, first go for an anthology?

Kelley: No, I have another short story published in an anthology by Freya's Bower called In the Gloaming: An Anthology of Faerie Stories. This anthology is based on actual faery lore, from the nice to the most frightening with different heat levels. My story is called The Enchanted Meadow--
Warriors from the Raven clan are sent to guard the king's cattle. They are unprepared for the strange, otherworldly happenings in the new winter grazing land, including nocturnal visits by a beautiful lass. Only their leader, Taran, can save them—if he remembers how.

Angela: Wow! The Enchanted Meadow sounds like a great read too! Glenn, how about you?

G.R.: This is my second anthology. I had a short story, Gunmetal Blue, that was in Noble Romance's western anthology, Cocked and Fully Loaded.

Angela: When I first heard about the submission call for a sweet romantic holiday story, I wasn't exactly sure what my story was going to be about. It took a few days to hear my muse clearly and then . . . whammo! I was typing furiously to get the story completed. How about you guys?

Barbara: This one came together fairly easily.

Dena: This story came surprisingly easily to me. I made up an outline, and other than a few surprises that my characters gave me, pretty well stuck to it. My muse helped keep that ball rolling.

Kelley: Strangely, both of these short stories came easily to me--it was kind of magical.

G.R.: This story came easier than anything I've ever written.

Angela: I think readers will enjoy A Christmas for Carol because it's a story about forgiveness, second chances and loving again after heartbreak! Who can't relate to that? Tell me what you think will draw readers into your stories.

Barbara: Christmas Rush is a fun, romantic read with some paranormal spice.

Dena: I think that I brought the family feel of the season, as well as a simmering sensuality between Abigail and Joshua that will definitely keep the readers warm! I was surprised at how easy it was to bring that sensual edge into a sweet story, but it worked and I really enjoyed writing it!

Kelley: I think A Winter Solstice Kiss is a story of loss, but also of new beginnings--that this time of year is for reflection and hope for the new season, and new love.

G.R.: I think readers will enjoy the surreal tone of the story. It leaves room for individual interpretation. It might be an HEA. It might be a tragedy. It depends on what you take from the story.

Angela: Ok, switching gears! Do you all have a favorite holiday song? Mine would have to be The Christmas Song sung by Nat King Cole.

Barbara: "Linus & Lucy Theme" from the Charlie Brown Christmas special and Carol of the Bells!

Dena: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! And the Dreidel song! I actually
reworked that song in a drama class I took one year called the
Dreidel's Revenge, LOL, so I am particularly fond of it.

Kelley: Believe it or not, O' Holy Night. I'm not a Christian so it is a strange choice for me, but I love the part, 'Fall on your knees, Oh, hear the angel voices.' It's so ethereal. I love those kind of melodies. I do have some Celtic Christmas songs that are not traditional Christmas songs that I love too.

G.R.: Silent Night. I'm not a religious person, but that song is so beautiful.

Angela: Christmas pie or cookies? I'm a sweet potatoe or pumpkin pie girl!

Barbara: Cookies. I love small ladylocks with buttery cream filling.

Dena: *grins* Well, if someone's going to offer me cookies...I won't refuse! But my favorite food is the potato latke. Chanukah is all about the oil, so potato pancakes with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on them are one of my favorite things to eat.

Angela: Oooo, yummy! How about you Kelley?

Kelley: I like anything chocolate. My husband made these peanut butter brownies with chocolate frosting. That was good.

G.R.: I'm a big fan of anything sweet and tasty.

Angela: All of those treats sound delicious! The New Year is right around the corner. What projects are you all working on?

Barbara: I've been wanting to do a story featuring the son of Inspector Nabeshima from my earlier NRP erotic releases. And there are a couple other ideas nagging at me.

Dena: I'm working on two paranormal stories, tentatively titled Lady of the Pack and The Serpent's Daughter. I'm hoping to get Lady finished up in the next few months and then focus again on Serpent. I'm very excited about both of them and hope the muse is with me!

Kelley: I am working on edits for Beltaine's Song, the second book in my Dark Goddess trilogy due out in early 2010. It is a Celtic historical romance/fantasy set in Dark Age Scotland. The trilogy revolves around an ancient Greek vampire, an Irish clan, two curses and a vengeful dark goddess.

G.R.: I just finished the final draft on a fantasy/erotic romance named Trill Song. It will be released by Noble Romance sometime next year.

Angela: I'm currently working on another sweet romance for Valentine's Day and I've got a hot paranormal novel just about completed. Let's hope 2010 brings all of us more time to write and busy muses! We're just about done here, but I can't let you go without asking if you prefer winter or summer kisses?

Barbara: It's been so long I don't remember :P

Dena: Winter kisses! I love it when it's cold and I can get toasty warm from a sizzling kiss.

Kelley: I prefer winter kisses. I love snuggling and kissing in the cold winter to warm up. There is nothing better.

G.R.: Definitely summer. I moved to south Florida to get away from the winter.

Angela: Winter kisses for me hands down! I want to thank each of you for coming on today! May your holidays be sweet and peaceful!

Here's where to find out more about today's guest authors:

Barbara: My website is
And I've been known to lurk about Twitter as BarbaraSheridan and LiveJournal as B_Sheridan

Dena: Well, you can visit me on my website or
find me under the username denaceleste on Twitter, Facebook and

Kelley: I am all over the web. My website is
I am also on Facebook, myspace, twitter and goodreads. These links can be found on my website, I believe on my home page and/or my Links page.

G.R.: I don't have a website yet. Setting up one will be one of my New Year's Resolutions.

Angela: Find out more about me at!

Get your copy of Winter Kisses here!

Winter Kisses Blurbs:

Winter Solstice Kiss by Kelley Heckart:

When Brianna decides to attend the Winter solstice masquerade ball, she never thought she would end up kissing a handsome knight beneath the mistletoe, but they part without exchanging names and phone numbers. How will they find each other again?

A Christmas for Carol by Angela Nichelle:

Imagine losing the love of your life right before Christmas. It's a nightmare Carol Christine Moore had to face two years ago. Unable to cope with the pain of losing her fiancé so unexpectedly, Carol closes off her heart entirely. She puts all of her time and energy into making the coffee shop she owns with her best friend a success. Consumed with customers and the daily grind, Carol has convinced herself that she doesn't need anything or anyone else in her life.

But all that changes the day Grant walks into the Cafe Bean.

Love in the Lights by Dena Celeste:

Abigail Bloch has been away at school for the last few years. Returning to her mother’s home renews her interest and need for the Jewish traditions. Unfortunately, the man who had been her best friend growing up, Joshua Cohen, gives her a chilly reception. Over the course of Chanukah, a time filled with food and family and friendship, the growing number of flames must melt away the hostility and illuminate the love that can grow between them.

A Schrödinger Christmas – Holly by G. R. Bretz:

She’s the girl who lives in his dreams, but she’s so much more than that. She’s the girl he was supposed to meet, twice. She’s the path he didn’t take, twice. That was forty years ago and you just can’t go back, except in dreams.

But it’s Christmas day. Miracles have been known to happen. Who knows? The third time just might be the charm.

Christmas Rush by Barbara Sheridan:

Ellie Bouchard died just after formulating a plan to see that her only child Remy would be reunited with the one person he was too stubborn to acknowledge as “The One”.

Determined to see her plan through, Ellie will do whatever it takes—including heavenly blackmail and a few sneaky tricks—to see her son reunited with his childhood companion, Michael Carson.

Thursday, December 16

It's My Birthday!

Today's my birthday! I'm so thankful for seeing another year. I'm thankful for my family, friends and so many other little things I never want to take for granted.

Like my health. I'm laying on the couch as I write this with a cold that has me feeling icky. I've got a crazy cough that will not stop! Not the best way to celebrate a birthday, but I'm still going to celebrate with a glass of Theraflu and a nice long nap! lol

I can't believe my age, but my body likes to remind that I'm not the spring chicken I once was. Still, I'm so thankful for my knee that squeaks and the last ten or twenty pounds I've been trying to get off since Kai was born. 

She also just celebrated her fourth birthday! Her due date was my actual birthday, but I had her on the 8th. I will never forget being in the hospital with her when she was born and I'm looking forward to celebrating our birthdays together when she is much older.

Christmas is only nine days away! I'm excited for my kids and looking forward to wrapping presents and indulging in good food, laughs and of course drinks! My only prayer is that everyone would experience the same joy and happiness I'm truly grateful for!


Wednesday, December 1

Take A Deep Breath!

I don't know about you but I'm glad Turkey day is over! I enjoyed the time with my family, but I'm exhausted. I wasn't 100% happy with my Thanksgiving dinner which is a drag, but at least no one walked away from the table hungry. I can say my no-bake cheesecake was wonderful! Too bad it's all gone. I might have to make it again for Christmas.

The first snow flurries of the season fell today along with the temperature. Ole man winter is already unpacking his things, preparing to stay awhile. Brrr!!! I don't like a lot of snow, but I love it when it first falls. It looks so beautiful on the trees and fluttering in the breeze like a shaken snow globe.

I'm looking forward to putting up the Christmas tree. The kids are so excited and their excitement has reinvigorated the festive wonderment that can only be experienced as a child and appreciated as an adult. We're getting a real tree this year. I haven't had one since I was a child. I don't like the idea of using a tree only for a holiday, but the place we're getting it from only sells trees that have been replaced with a new little tree to grow in its place. That makes me feel a little better.

Plus, there's nothing like the smell of a freshly cut tree and I can't wait! By the end of this upcoming weekend, our home will be decked out for Christmas!