It’s the most wonderful time of year

For the past few days, it’s been cold and rainy. Pretty normal for these parts, it’s our usual winter in south Louisiana. Today was a treat. It snowed! Not a few flakes, but a real flurry, with snow on the ground. Enough to take pictures—here’s the proof—kind of snow. For all of you up north that deal with snow every year, I know this means nothing. For us, who get snow every twenty years or so, it’s a big deal.

My ten-year-old granddaughter has never seen the stuff. Unfortunately, she was at school all day, missing out on the magic of white flakes falling from the sky. There’s still snow on the ground, but it doesn’t look as pretty as it did earlier today. We had a snowball fight, neighborhood kids joining in, so she managed to get in a little bit of fun time.

Now, I’m inside, where it’s warm and cozy. The Christmas tree is lit up, as is the smaller Saints tree on my desk. Holiday music by Pentatonix and Trans-Siberian Orchestra is playing on Pandora. As soon as I finish this blog I’m getting in a few words on my WIP. I know I won’t get a lot done, but I’m determined to at least get a chapter or two in before I have to return to work. I’ve been itching to get back to the story.

I’ve also been busy promoting my holiday release, Save the Last Dance. The reviews are starting to come in, and it’s like getting Christmas gifts early. I love to hear that readers enjoy my stories. It encourages me to keep going. If you haven’t read it yet, be sure and grab your copy.  https://tinyurl.com/y7gpzuta

Curl up with a good book on those cold nights, and enjoy the holidays!

Till next week,

~Madison

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Fairytale Cover

This week a cold has been wreaking havoc in my life. However…I did promise a reveal of my fairytale cover to those reading my blog post. Here it is…tell me what you think.

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

Shadows

The holidays are upon us. It’s so easy to get caught up in the commercialism…I just want to take a moment to remember the things that don’t have price tags. The things that now, more and more,  seem to be lost to the shadows.

When I was a little girl…the magic and wonder of watching the house transformed was something I never got used to. One night we would go to bed like the night before, and the next day we’d awaken to a different world. A tree that seemed like it would blow through the ceiling stood tall & proud…flocked, always flocked to look like it had snowed inside, with hundreds of little twinkle lights on it that beckoned. Boxes were buried beneath it, wrapped in colorful paper…but no names…just packages, like great mysteries waiting to be revealed. There was no squabbling over who had more, or whose was bigger…we just knew that somewhere in there was one for each of us. My parents avoided a lot of the sibling chaos this way, and left us to image what could be in each of the packages, regardless of if they were for us or not.

That day, the day of the unveiling, the fireplace was lit for the first time of the season too. Almost before we hit the stairway landing, we could hear it crackle and knew it was “the day.” Funny thing…now that I’m older, I can look back and see that it was actually the same day every year. The perfect memory of it though, is that we didn’t expect it and got surprised every time. I did anyway.

We’d watch as through the days leading up to the holiday different packages would disappear from the stack…with mom or dad to work, or to schools in our pack, or any other number of places…and that too was magical because we got to be an elf for the day and deliver a gift. It was about the giving…not the getting. The simple joy of giving because we could.

I know my mom would say it’s about the reason for the season…and that’s her faith. I don’t diminish it. I only mention all of this to note that there is something that has gone missing from the holidays. The magic of the season, the spirit of generosity for the simple sake of giving…is disappearing, or maybe even gone. It makes me sad. The shadows have claimed a piece that is desperately difficult to reclaim.

In my home, we have packages wrapped without tags…just as my parents did, but more and more…I’d just as soon not have them at all. A grand holiday for me is one where my family is all together and there doesn’t need to be more than that. The world has picked up the pace of crazy to the point that simple things like sitting down to dinner together during the week is impossible. And, having a family vacation is an exercise in planning so far in advance that it seems unreachable. I want to go back and reclaim the simple…pajamas and a book by the fireplace, or matched sweaters and a meal so grand that your belly aches.

For holiday this year I’ve asked for just one thing…Family game night. I want to sit on the floor with finger foods, play games, and laugh my ass off with my family. No phones. No television, No distractions…just us, as we are, with no strings attached wrapped in colorful paper.

I want to see my husband win Pretty, Pretty Princess for the eleventy-billionth time because we girls conspired to make him have to wear the crown and jewels. I want to see the Perfection board blow chunks everywhere because the player was too busy being tickled to get the pieces all in before the time ran out. I want to shut the lights off, and watch the faces around the room as the Cherries Jubilee is lit on fire…because hot brandied cherries over ice cream is AMAZING on a cold night. Most of all…I want to shut off the world for just one night and forget that there are bills to pay, hours to work, and chores to accomplish. I want to leave the dishes in the sink and watch cheesy movies until we fall asleep in a pile.

I want the simple things back…just for one night.

I hope we can accomplish it. Everything else will still be there the next day. Whatever your holiday…this is my wish for you too. Simple joy with no strings. There’s still time…all the holidays are days and weeks away yet. Seek out the shadows and shine a bright light into the darkness. You never know what you’ll find.

Until then…there’s work to be done. If you were playing along with my Crossword Puzzle BlogHop…you have until MIDNIGHT the 5th to get your card in for the drawing. If you’re part of the review roundup going on…thank you for choosing Veil Break or Gravedigger…I hope you enjoyed your selection, and I thank you for the reviews. If you are local to me…we’re moving my daughter out – she’s leaving the nest for her own abode…help is appreciated. The list is longer…but you get the gist.

Thank you for being here.
Thank you for you.

Sav.

 

The Holiday Frenzy Begins

December is here! Are you ready for everything that comes with it? Is your home filled with the delicious fragrance of fresh baked cookies? Are there gaily wrapped packages under the artfully decorated tree? LOL That’s okay, it’s not happening at my home, either.

My house is decorated, my cards have been sent out, and what little shopping I have to do, is done. Baking is out of the question with my work schedule. When I’m not working, I’m catching up on a thousand other things waiting for attention. Such is life. I guess it comes down to priorities. When I do have spare time, little as it is, I’d rather spend it writing.

I’ve got a WIP that’s turning out to be a bit of a challenge. I don’t want to give anything away at this point. But, if I can pull this one off, I’m going to pat myself on the back. We’ll see what happens. Believe me, I’ll be as surprised as you. I never know what’s going to happen until I sit down to write. These characters are tight-lipped until I open up the manuscript.

Have you gotten your copy of Save the Last Dance yet? Please do me a huge favor, and leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. That would be an awesome gift!

Until next week,

~Madison

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Window to the Heart of the Story

This last week I participated in a 7 day book cover challenge on Facebook. The objective was simple. Each day post a book cover that you love, no explanation, no comments, no reviews, no buy links…just post the cover and tag a friend or two to challenge them to follow suit.

I found there are a whole slew of covers I think are beautiful. Then there are ones that just draw me in, making me want to thumb through that book’s pages and delve into the world within. They say the eyes are the window to the soul. I think the covers are the window to the heart of the story. That’s not to say that just because the cover is beautiful the story within is a wonderful read, and the reverse could also be said…just because you or I don’t like a cover, doesn’t mean the story isn’t a wonderful piece of wordsmithing. After all…they also say, never judge a book by its cover.

Next week I will be sharing with you the cover for my story in the fairy tale box set I am participating in. It’s a cover that I have had my eye on for about six months. I would look at it, admire it, wish I had a story to go along with it, and then pray it would still be there when I went back to see it again. The stars aligned…I had a story…the cover was available…and now it’s mine. Miiiiine, precious. lol I can hardly wait to share it with you.

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

 

 

Leftovers make me happy

November has been manic. Those following along on my Thanksgiving Crossword Bloghop can surely attest as posts have gone into the black hole of cyberspace, and others have come up with missing pieces. No worries…every missing post has been caught up on my personal blog so the puzzlers can finish…but it’s been a busy time making sure everything gets where it needs going. I love doing a big hop and having a great prize…but this might be the last time for the month-long hop with the puzzle, I’m sad to say.

In other news, I got to enjoy a great meal with my immediate family and laugh for a couple of hours on Friday night…a treasure I don’t take lightly or for granted. It is so rare that the 4 of us get to sit down together, someone is always running…so, a meal together is a gift beyond measure. I will have leftovers for a week easily, because I don’t know how to do a family holiday meal small-scale, but I’m pretty sure we won’t hear a complaint. There were enough dishes to give variety for several days, even as leftovers.

As we wrangle our way toward the end of the year, I am blown away by the odd weather pattern that persists too. This year has been so off-kilter that I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. We went from low twenties and snow flurries earlier in the month to 50+ degrees the day after Thanksgiving and the weekend as well. The forecast shows more of the same to come. Weird – just weird. The predictability of the seasons here in the northern Midwest is out the window for 2017. I’m hoping to see some regularity return soon. I like the predictability…but more than that…I want a color filled Autumn again next year. I feel like I got jipped.

November was also, “Mom, I need…” month as my girls made life-change choices. One is moving out, and the other is trying to line up the ducks to return to school, starting college. I honestly never know if the sound of the door is someone coming or going. I can’t decide how I feel about it either.

December is stacking up to be zoo-ish as well. I’ve got a huge stack of ‘to-do’ on the desk, not counting commitments to others. I’ve got 3 editing projects to finish and a blender full of stories that are in pieces. I tried to do Nano, but honestly, the hop had me divided for focus and the story I thought I’d work on, like so many others, is a paper wasteland on my office floor, and every other available surface. I’m also preparing for the next step in my jaw reconstruction. There are 3 or 4 pieces left now, which seems surreal, but they will be wrapping up in rapid fashion as the next surgery happens in December…and great Goddess willing…the whole thing will conclude by the end of January, nearly 2 years after it started.

All in all, things have been crazy, and will continue on that trajectory for the foreseeable future. I’m up to the challenge, just don’t ask me what day it is. It makes the down time sweeter, and personally…leftovers that much tastier as the memory of a family night filled with laughter wafts up with the smells from the plate. Maybe that’s the true magic of leftovers…they are more than reheated sustenance for the system…they are food for the soul.

Holiday blessings to all as we are inundated by the season. Until next time, read something amazing and share with those you love.

Sav.

 

The holidays and a new release …

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone, and Christmas is staring us in the face. Time is flying by. My mortality always kicks in when my thoughts run down this path. There isn’t enough time to get everything done. I’ve hardly touched my bucket list. Now, there’s my writing. Too many stories wanting to see the page. I need to step up my game.

This past week has seen the release of my latest, Save the Last Dance. The story of Jackson and Roni is a stand-alone paranormal romance geared for the holidays. Get your copy at https://tinyurl.com/y7gpzuta

A Destiny Denied, third installment of The Kindred series, is with my editor. Slated for November edits, I should be getting it back soon. Then, I’ll be shaping it up for release in the Spring of 2018. I can’t wait to share Doc and Maggie’s story with you.

I’m taking advantage of my five-day off rotation this week. In addition to spending Thanksgiving with family, and putting up the Christmas tree and decorations, I’m getting some writing in. I’ve got a new WIP that I’m really excited about. What was originally supposed to be a novella may change before it’s said and done. Events keep unfolding as I write. My muse never fails to surprise me.

On that note, I have a lot to get back to. Enjoy your holiday!

Till next week,

~Madison

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Thankful

It’s that time of year that we, in the USA, set aside for giving thanks for the blessings in our lives. We get together with family and friends, cook up a feast, and enjoy being with the ones we love even as we remember and miss the ones who cannot be with us.

Keeping with the spirit of the holiday, I wanted to give thanks for not only my family and friends, but for my on-line for my on-line friends, my fellow authors, the readers who I have met and those I have yet to meet, for my publisher, Eclectic Bard Books, and for you, the bloggers who, with your likes on my blog posts, let me know that I’m not talking to the wind.

Thank You!

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

Working on the to-do list…

I woke in a panic at 2 am because I realized I hadn’t written this week’s blog. So, here I sit, bleary-eyed, trying to formulate coherent thoughts without the aid of coffee. If I’m lucky, I can squeeze in a couple of more hours of sleep before I have to get up for work. Sometimes, it’s rough being me. 😉

There are only three more days to get Save the Last Dance at the pre-order price of 99 cents. Don’t miss out on the opportunity! https://tinyurl.com/y7gpzuta This is my first stand-alone, and I’m really excited to share Jackson and Roni’s story with you. I hope you love them as much as I do.

3 days

I’m also sending out Christmas cards again this year. It’s easy enough to get one. Just let me know! PM me through Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MadisonGrangerAuthor or you can email me at mgrangerauthor@gmail.com Make sure to put CHRISTMAS CARD on the subject line.

If you live in the States, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your holiday is surrounded with family, friends, good food, and laughter.

Till next week,

~Madison

Snippet of WIP

It’s a cold morning…brrrrr…..

Personally, I think the cold weather slows the blood and caffeine flow to my brain. I know you’re thinking…don’t you have heat in your home? The answer to that is yes…yes, I do. But your logical question has absolutely nothing to do with my theory why forming coherent thoughts and sentences this morning isn’t working so well for me. lol

That being said…I thought I’d share a snippet from a WIP that has the working title of Unexpected Treasure (subject to change) This snippet is unedited and also subject to change. As of right now, there is no release date, because it’s not even the story I’m suppose to be working on, but was the one demanding attention this past weekend. lol One MUST obey the Muse lest she decide to give you the silent treatment when you need her most, and that’s never a good thing.

So here you go…

“My apologies,” he started, releasing his hold on her coffee, “I didn’t mean to startle you.”

“Um, no problem.” She responded, though she was pretty sure that wouldn’t have been the case if her keyboard had been bathed in the yummy caffeinated goodness of her turtle latte. “Thanks for the quick save.”

“It was the least I could do,” he responded, his voice tinged with an accent that sounded Scottish, or maybe Irish.

Shaela picked up her drink, bringing the plastic lid to her lips, not only to moisten her mouth, but to keep it from gaping open at the smooth-as-butter tone of his voice.

“I don’t mean to intrude, more than I already have…” he smiled down at her sheepishly, “but would you mind if I sat with you?” He swept out his arm towards the front of the coffee shop, “It seems to be a full house today.”

Shaela leaned to the side, peering around his tall body, to see his assessment of the crowd was right. She’d rarely, if ever, invited strangers to sit with her. In fact, she usually made it a habit to look engrossed enough in what she was doing that those who were looking for an empty seat were hesitant to disturb her concentration. It wasn’t that she was a snob, she just wasn’t a big fan of small talk. She got enough of that at work. Sighing, she sat back in her seat and smiled up at the charming stranger who had just saved her laptop from certain doom. Leaning over to remove her bag from the unoccupied chair, she replied to his question, “Of course.”

The scrape of the chair legs across the tile floor was barely heard over the cacophony of voices, music, and whirring of various coffee machines that had mere minutes ago been nothing but white noise, and was now a battering ram to her ears. Taking a sip from her cup, she fought to keep her brow from wrinkling in annoyance from having her peaceful interlude interrupted, even if it was by a handsome stranger with a mega-watt smile invading her space.
©Jolanthe Aleksander 2017

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~