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Tuesday, December 10

Christmas Favorites ~ @AuthorKristina Knight

I talk about favorite things a lot - favorite foods, TV shows, movies, Christmas decorations...the list goes on. But we're in the middle of the craziness of the Christmas season, and I'm done shopping and wrapping, but I haven't yet begun baking. I'm at that time when I can just put the rest of the obligations on autopilot and just enjoy the crisp morning air and the obligatory driving-round-the-lights and watching our tree in the evenings while I read or watch yet another Hallmark Movie. And that has me thinking about one specific set of favorites - my favorite Christmas songs, and yes, a few of them are from Christmas specials.

Y'all know by now that I adore Christmas music. I start listening to it sporadically around July and once Halloween is over, it's playing pretty much non-stop in my house and on my radio (SIRIUS/XM Holly is my favorite radio channel. Like, ever).

My favorite songs of the season vary by year and week and, sometimes, by the day. But as I'm writing this blog on Sunday night, after spending most of the day watching bebe swim and looking out the window to see a lot of snow and ice on the ground, these are the three that are giving me the most feels. So they're my (current) favorites:

Wham! "Last Christmas" -- this one has been re-done until it's almost overdone...and none of the new versions is as good as the first. At least, in my opinion. George Michael singing about holiday heartbreak is just...sighworthy. Here's the video:



Bing Crosby "White Christmas" -- I love the musical, which is probably why I really love this song. The melancholy of Bing's voice, though, just takes me away. And I'm right there with him, wishing for yesterday, hoping for...something, I'm not quite sure what. A close runner up to 'White Christmas' (naturally) is Judy Garland's version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". I just saw the movie 'Meet Me in St. Louis' a couple of years ago (I know, where have I been?!?), and that movie made me love this song even more. When she sings Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas to her sister, I just melt. I also love that these are two of the most-used Christmas Special songs - be those specials special holiday episodes of favorite shows or straight-up, music-only special events.

Josh Groban "Believe" -- I adore Josh Groban. I love the way his voice can hit the highs and just destroy those low notes, and I love that most of his music seems to have a message. Believe is my favorite of his songs, and that's partially because I also adore 'The Polar Express'. I think, especially these days, that the message of believing in and having faith in something that is bigger than we are is important. I also feel like part of the message of this song is about believing in ourselves, and who can't use a little more of that kind of belief?

Here's the video:



And then there is my favorite (at least this year) Christmas special (not movie ... SPECIAL!): the Muppet's 12 Days of Christmas. I adored the Muppets when I was a kid, and their Christmas Specials were definitely must-see-TV. This one is filled with Fozzy being a little fuzzy on his part, and there is Piggy making a spectacle of herself and John Denver looking a little bit surprised through the whole thing. It's just perfect - as a Christmas Special and as a favorite song. Here's a little video (you knew I had to find one, didn't you?):



So, that's my list. A few of my favorite Christmas songs - and we didn't even get to the carols - "Silent Night" is a particular favorite, along with "The First Noel" and "O Holy Night". 

Do you have a favorite Christmas song? Share yours in the comments!

~Kristina

Friday, December 6

"The hurrier I go..." by Liz Flaherty #WordWranglers

Ahem, yes. The rest of that catchy little title is "the behinder I get," with thanks to Lewis Carroll. Does this sound--or feel--at all familiar to you? If so, come on in. Grab a cup of something warm and have a seat. Take off your shoes if you like and put your feet up. It's December 6, and I'm here to tell you that even if you don't catch up, Christmas will still come. We believers will still celebrate in gratitude and joy the birth of our Lord.

Chanukah will still be on the 22nd. Festivus and Kwanzaa will still be honored. I won't list anymore because...well, because I have a doctor's appointment in an hour or so and I'm already behind.

Yes. Behind. I haven't made any cookies. My office tree is up but not decorated. Half of my shopping and most of the wrapping remain to be done. The synopsis I promised my editor this week is half-done and I'm not sure it's any good. And...

Oh, yes, and. I already hit the crux of this hurried post, though, didn't I? Did you notice it, other than thinking, Good grief, she used the word "crux" again?

Being behind at the holidays--any other time, too, maybe, but especially now--allows that thought to enter my mind and become something squiggly and cruel. I'm not sure it's any good translates cleanly and sharply into I'm not sure I'm any good. 

Sure, Christmas and all the holidays and the cookies and so forth and so on will still come, but it will be in spite of me, not because I did anything to help them along. Because, somewhere in that dark squiggly place, I'm not good enough.

What BS is that? Because it is, you know. I'm good enough and so are you. So what if we get overwhelmed, if every project isn't a winner, and if we're...yeah, behind? We're good enough.

So, relax. Have another cup of whatever you're drinking. Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy.



Tuesday, December 3

Lovely Chaos

I tell you, mes amies, this book release has been quite a ride! In addition to releasing CHRISTMAS WITH YOU, book 3 in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series, my amazing publisher arranged a BookBub promotion of the first book in the series, A SMALL TOWN CHRISTMAS. The promotion was spectacular and resulted in putting that book in the #1 spot on the Amazon Kindle Free Books list for a few days. I was astounded and delighted at the read-through rate for book 2, MEANT TO BE and the newly released Christmas with You. Folks grabbed the free book and then immediately went back to download the other two in the series. Reviews have been fantastic and the read-through has even pushed sales of my Women of Willow Bay series. I'm so heartened and touched that readers like my free book enough to see what else is out there by Nan Reinhardt.

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The fun continues starting December 2 and going through December 6 with a Book Blast Blog Tour for Christmas with You presented by Goddess Fish Promotions. So watch my Facebook page and Twitter for the places to go each day, where you can enter to win a $10 Starbucks gift card and a set of six handmade wine charms. I'm giving away five prize packages to five lucky winners in the continental US, so don't miss the chance to enter.

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Saturday, December 7, I'll be at Whyte Horse Winery in Monticello, IN doing a book signing with my bestie, Liz Flaherty, whose new book THE HEALING SUMMER is now available at book retailers everywhere. There will be books and fun and wine and a drawing to win a gift bag full of goodies. If you're in the area, stop by and see us!

Yeah, life is crazy busy right now and I'm pretty much going in twenty different directions, but I am so blessed and joy keeps me afloat. Gratitude for today: my life--right now, it's pretty amazing. Remember, mes amies, hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well. Oh, and keep in touch!

~Nan~

Monday, December 2

Cover of the Month!


If you liked the cover of my book, The Healing Summer, please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on AllAuthor.com!

Click to Vote!

Saturday, November 30

Win a Kindle Fire this Black Friday Weekend!


BLACK FRIDAY BOOK SALE
With KINDLE FIRE GIVEAWAYS
November 28 – December 1



We’re Giving Away Kindles! One Each Day!


Who needs to stand in lines on Black Friday or wait until Cyber Monday to score bargains? Not you.

Not when you can score some awesome reads right now in our Black Friday Book Sale. 
Contemporary romance, historical romance, romantic suspense, erotic romance, mystery, NA/YA, science fiction, fantasy, we have it all! EVERY BOOK in our sale is either discounted or free for the four days of this event ONLY.

And while you’re browsing the sale, be sure to play our Scavenger Hunt game for your chance to take home a Kindle Fire 7. We’re giving away a Fire to one lucky winner each day of the sale!

Look for Books from Your Favorite Authors!
Anna Durand • Bethany-Kris • Chloe Flowers • Christine Myers • DB McNicol • Debbie White • Diane Benefiel • Donna Schlachter • E.B. Black • Em Petrova • Erica Monroe • Heidi Vanlandingham • Jacki Delecki • Jacqueline Diamond • Jami Klein • Jamie K. Schmidt • Jana Richards • Jenna Barwin • Jerri Corgiat • Josie Riviera • Karen Michelle Nutt • Karina Kantas • Kerry Blaisdell • Kim Hornsby • Laine Watson • Laura Ashwood • Lia Davis • Lucy Lakestone • Margaret Tanner • Marlow Kelly • Megan Ryder • Melissa McClone • Michelle Dalton • Mimi Barbour • Nina Beaumont • Penelope Wylde • Quinn • Ravyn Wilde • Renee Carr • Rhondi Ann • Rose Pearson • Soraya Naomi • Stephanie Queen • Stormy Legend • Sydney Aaliyah Michelle • Theresa Beachman • Aileen Harkwood

Friday, November 29

Interview with Nan Reinhardt by Jana Richards

I had the great good fortune to interview our own Nan Reinhardt about her life and writing. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did!


1. When did you start writing? Did you always want to be a writer?
I’ve been writing as long as I can remember—it’s always been my passion. I wrote my first romance novel when I was 10 years old.

2. Did you have a short or a long journey to publication?
Well, if you consider I’ve wanted to be published since I was 10, it was long, however, I didn’t’ really pursue publication until 2009, when I sent my first Women of Willow Bay novel to an agent, who accepted it and started shopping it. Editors loved the story and the writing, but didn’t think they could sell my over-40 characters, so I finally went indie with that series and it’s done pretty well. Tule loved them and asked me to write a series for them, so here I am, ten years later, a hybrid author.

3. Where did you get the idea for your Four Irish Brothers Winery series?
From all the wineries we’ve visited, both in the Midwest, where we live and in California, where our kids used to live. We’ve tasted a lot of wine and learned a lot about wine over the years. Wineries are such happy places and most of the ones we’ve visited are family ventures, so it seemed like a good place to set a story about the four Irish brothers who’ve been in my head clamoring for a story.

4. What was the most difficult thing about writing this series?
I think it’s keeping track of all the characters and all the places in the little town and the timeline from book to book. Lots secondary characters appear in each book and I have to check back to see what color Noah Barker’s hair is or if his hardware store is next door to the Tea Shop or across the street—that kind of thing. An excel spread sheet is mandatory!


Aiden's story, Book 3, Four Irish Brothers Winery series. It released Nov.21.
https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Four-Irish-Brothers-Winery-ebook/dp/B07YNZQCWX/

5. How does being an editor of other people’s work influence/affect your own writing? What have you learned about writing from being an editor?
Being an editor has certainly made me very aware of the common mistakes that writers make—grammar stuff and punctuation and word choices, so I try not to make them in my own writing, although when I’m in rough draft, I do the same goofy stuff as every other writer in the world. I’ve learned a lot about author voice from being an editor and story flow, passive versus active and info dumping. It’s an education with every new project I edit and I love it! 

6. What comes first for you, plot or character? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Characters always. The people in my head knock at my imagination, demanding a story. Then setting and the “what if this happened to this person or these people?” part comes next. I’m a pantser by nature, but writing a series forces you to be a plotter to some degree.

7. With all you have going on with your editing gig and the tight deadlines on this series, can you share with us some of your best time management tricks and tips?
Um, time management? For the past year, that has not been my strong suit. However, when I am in the zone, I get up early to write for a couple of hours before Husband wakes up, before coffee or a shower or breakfast. Then after breakfast, I work for six to eight hours on my editing gigs. After that, I’m done and it’s time to enjoy some wine and Husband time. I really think the best tip is to simply stick to a schedule as best you can. Knowing what each day will bring and staying consistent is probably the best way to get books written.


Sean's story, book 2 Four Irish Brothers Winery series.
https://www.amazon.com/Meant-Four-Irish-Brothers-Winery-ebook/dp/B07S7FW8BR

8. If writing is your first passion, what is your second?
Well, writing is my second passion. Husband and family is my first. But after that, I’d have to say reading and then swimming. I love the water and the feeling of complete peace and weightlessness that comes when I’m in the pool or the lake.

9. Is there any other genre, aside from romance, that you’d love to take a crack at?
I’ve thought about cozy mysteries, but my publisher really loves my brother stories and I’ve already got a new family of brothers clamoring for their stories, so that’s where I’ll stick for now.


10. We Wranglers have been following your house-buying odyssey this past year. Tell us about that journey. I’ve got to believe the stress was significant, yet you finished at least one book during that time. How did you manage not to let the stress affect your writing?
Well, now that we’ve finally bought a new house, I can say we’re in the fun part. The rest was arduous—truly arduous. I think the adventure of selling your home and buying a new one may be meant for younger people. Husband and I have been cockeyed with stress since we first started this journey a year ago. Even though my focus has been all over the place,  writing and work were the two constants that kept me grounded and sane. I did finish two books, which I think was pretty amazing given the second one was mostly written on the laptop in snatched moments at the lake or down in Son’s basement.

11. Is the house hunting journey finally over?
Yes! We found our dream house and will be moving in as soon as the contractor is done with the few things that needed work. We are so excited to have our own home again. Best part is that this new place already feels as much like home as the one we spent the last 35 years in, so yay!


Conor's story, book 1, Four Irish Brothers Winery series.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HBZPKDH

12. What’s next for you writing-wise after the Four Irish Brothers Winery series is complete?
I’ll be charging right into a new brother series for Tule Publishing as soon as Book 4, which is Brendan’s story, is done.

Thanks so much for answering my questions, Nan!

Author Bio:


Nan Reinhardt is a USA Today-bestselling author of romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after 45! Imagine! She is a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. Nan has been a copyeditor and proofreader for over 25 years, and currently works on romantic fiction titles for a variety of clients, including Avon Books, St. Martin’s Press, Kensington Books, and Entangled Publishing, as well as for many indie authors.

Although she loves her life as an editor, writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. Her latest novel, Meant to Be, Book 2 in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series from Tule Publishing releases on July 18, 2019. A Small Town Christmas, which is the first book in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series from Tule Publishing, is available now, and she is currently hard at work on Book 3.

Visit Nan’s website at www.nanreinhardt.com, where you’ll find links to all her books as well as blogs about writing, being a Baby Boomer, and aging gracefully…mostly. Nan also blogs every sixth Wednesday at Word Wranglers, sharing the spotlight with five other romance authors and is a frequent contributor the RWA Contemporary Romance blog, and she contributes to the Romance University blog where she writes as Editor Nan.