Friday, December 30, 2016

Aloha to Codi Gary and HOT WINTER NIGHTS (James Patterson's BOOKSHOTS) - Book Review

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The Bear Mountain days are cold, but the nights are steamy....

Allie Fairchild made a mistake when she moved to Montana. Her rental is a mess, her coworkers at the trauma center are hostile, and her handsome landlord, Dex Belmont, is far from charming. But just when she's about to throw in the towel, life in Bear Mountain takes a surprisingly sexy turn....

BookShots Flames

Original romances presented by JAMES PATTERSON

Novels you can devour in a few hours ... Impossible to stop reading

There is a Bear Mountain in Glacier National Park
Above is Two Medicine Lake with Sinopah Mountain in Glacier NP
Public Domain (link)

Allie Fairchild - an OR nurse and hospital administrator - accepted  a new job in Montana to show her family in New York that she can make it on her own.  She rented a cabin sight unseen ... only to discover the sexy landlord still repairing it upon her arrival.  Clearly Allie is attracted to Dex Belmont - an Army veteran turned park ranger - but she wants to focus on her career.  Likewise, Dex flirts with Allie but stands aside when his buddy expresses an interest in her.  Dex loves his footloose lifestyle ... until Allie turns his life upside down.

As the tag line says, "Novels you can devour in a few hours ... Impossible to stop reading", I read straight through the 137 pages in HOT WINTER NIGHTS.  I enjoyed how Gary brought the hero and heroine together, allowing them to share their past pains only to discover they have more in common than mutual attraction.  I also appreciated the vivid descriptions of the Montana landscape.  Gary lays the groundwork for more books to come, including SEXY SUMMER FLINGS, as announced on her website (link).

Hidden Lake and Bearhat Mountain (right)
Image: Wikipedia / Tobias Klenze / CC-BY-SA 4.0

I am giving away my copy of HOT WINTER NIGHTS plus a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about mountains - what the nearest one near you?  The Catoctin Mountain Park is an hours's drive from my home in Maryland. 

2. Comments are open through Sunday, January 1, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Monday, January 2.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

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Chimney Rock Vista at Catoctin Mountain Park
Image by Vegemighty (link)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Aloha to Krista Davis, Old Town Alexandria, and the Domestic Diva Mystery Series


I recently discovered Krista Davis' Domestic Diva Mystery Series.  From her website (link),

Krista Davis lives and writes in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She resided in Northern Virginia for many years and lived for a time in Old Town, Alexandria.

She really does have a gregarious Ocicat named Mochie who can open cabinets and leap to amazing heights. Her dogs, including a Golden Retriever who isn’t golden and won’t retrieve, consider Krista’s writing career a convenient second job that allows her to be available for her primary job as door opener, canine cuisine chef, and walking assistant.

Krista’s fascination with mysteries was fueled by Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and Agatha Christie. Like her protagonist, Sophie Winston, Krista loves to entertain friends and family, but would just as soon leave cleaning to someone else.


The Domestic Diva Mystery series is set in Old Town Alexandria - across the river from Washington, DC.  When I worked at the Pentagon (a long time ago), hubby and I frequently enjoyed a Metro ride to Old Town to soak up its Colonial charm.

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Book 1 is THE DIVA RUNS OUT OF THYME:

Few can compete with Natasha Smith when it comes to entertaining, but her childhood rival, Sophie Winston, certainly tries. Natasha may have stolen the spotlight, and Sophie's husband, but Sophie is determined to rob her of the prize for the Stupendous Stuffing Shakedown. She just needs the right ingredient.


But Sophie's search for the perfect turkey takes a basting when she stumbles across a corpse. And when the police find her name and photo inside the victim's car, Sophie will have to set her trussing aside to solve the murder, or she'll be serving up prison grub.



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Book 9 is THE DIVA STEALS A CHOCOLATE KISS:

Domestic Diva Sophie Winston is in charge of the sweetest event in Old Town this summer. Amore Chocolates is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary with a chocolate tasting at the mansion of the company’s CEO, Joe Merano—and Sophie is running the show. With cookies, candy, and five kinds of chocolate cake, it’s a chocolate lover’s dream! But when Joe goes missing, the celebration becomes bittersweet. And when Sophie discovers the body of a competing chocolatier in the guesthouse, the event turns downright deadly.

As if that wasn’t enough, Sophie’s been receiving daily boxes of sweet treats. After ruling out her new beau and her exes, Sophie wonders if someone’s trying to send her a message—and if she’s next on a chocoholic’s hit list…


The heroine, Sophie, and her archenemy (but sometimes friend) Natasha, each have an online column to answer readers' questions.  Davis opens each chapter in both books with letters addressed to Sophie or Natasha (swapping throughout the book).  The letters hint at the action to come. Davis adds humor when Natasha answers a question from a wife ... and Sophie then responds to a letter from the husband based on the advice of Natasha.

Both books follow the typical cozy mystery pattern of the heroine finding the body, becoming a suspect, sleuthing on her own, and encountering a few red herrings.  Sophie is aided (and abetted) by her nosy neighbor (and best friend) Nina. 
Rounding out the cast of characters is Natasha, Mars (Sophie's ex husband and Natasha's current live in beau), Bernie (British restaurateur), and a handful of animals owned (or fostered) by the characters. Davis takes the mystery one step further by adding large families, friends, employees, and enemies integrated into the murder mystery.  To some degree, it becomes a soap opera - I found it entertaining in both books (but may not appeal to other readers).

Finally, I enjoyed Sophie's adventures around Old Town Alexandria.



I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about chocolate - the subject of Book 9.  Do you have a favorite brand?  Have you made any chocolate from scratch?  What's you favorite way to eat chocolate?

My husband enjoys Ghirardelli truffles and brownie mixes.  I love chocolate chip cookies!

2. Comments are open through Sunday, January 1, 10 pm in Baltimore. 

3. I'll post the winner on Monday, January 2.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

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More books in the series ...

Monday, December 26, 2016

On this day in history ... the first Navy nurses


Today's trivia is worthy of writing a second post. From the Navy History website (link),

Red Rover, the Navy's first hospital ship, was a side-wheel steamer built in 1859 at Cape Girardeau, Mo. Purchased by the Confederacy 7 November 1861, she served as CSS Red Rover (see II, 560), a barracks ship for the floating battery New Orleans. At Island No. 10, near New Madrid, Mo., from 15 March 1862, she was holed during a bombardment of that island sometime before 25 March and abandoned as a quarters ship.

When the island fell to Union forces on 7 April, Red Rover was seized by the Union gunboat Mound City, repaired, and taken to St. Louis. There she was fitted out as a summer hospital boat for the Army's Western Flotilla to augment limited Union medical facilities, to minimize the hazards to sick and wounded in fighting ships; and to ease the problems of transportation-delivery of medical supplies to and evacuation of personnel from forward areas.

In December, Red Rover, used during the fall to alleviate crowded medical facilities ashore, was ready for service on the river. On the 26th, she was commissioned under the command of Acting Master William R. Wells, USN. Her complement was 47, while her medical department, remaining under Assistant Surgeon Bixby, was initially about 30. Of that number, three were Sisters of the Order of the Holy Cross. Later joined by a fourth member of their order and assisted by lay nurses' aides, they were the forerunners of the Navy Nurse Corps.

Group photograph of the first twenty Navy Nurses in 1908
Public Domain (link)


As we continue to enjoy the Christmas holiday, let us remember those who serve - military, medical, first responders, and law enforcement.  

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1. Do you have any nurses in your family?  I don't have any in my family ... but I have serveral friends, including nurses turned authors Eileen Dreyer and Siera London!  Bonus - Siera is a retired Navy nurse!

2. Comments are open through Sunday, January 1, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Monday, January 2.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Navy Flight Nurse School, 1940s
Public Domain (link)


Aloha to Weekly Winners, Penelope Keith and Hidden Villages (UK TV program)

River Dee

Happy Boxing Day!  I hope everyone enjoyed the Christmas and Hanukkah weekend.  I was a winner with cat related gifts - my family knows me well!

We have winners at SOS Aloha - Catslady, Gretchen, and Marjorie win a book choice from my convention stash.

Last week, I spotlighted HIDDEN FIGURES - an upcoming movie portraying the African American women who contributed to US space program in the 60s (link).  Last night, I enjoyed HIDDEN VILLAGES, broadcast in the US on PBS. From the Independent (link),

Penelope Keith, best known for playing lofty neighbour Margo in The Good Life, has proudly outed herself as "a villager" to present Penelope Keith's Hidden Villages on More4. This leisurely three-part wander through Britain's rural communities is inspired in part by Sir Brian Batsford's cover illustrations for a 1930s book series, and, naturally, it's very picturesque. The village greens, the church spires and the thatched cottages are all here in plentiful supply ...

Balmoral Castle
visitscotland.com

We joined Penelope in Series 2, Episode 3, as she visits Royal Deeside outside Aberdeen, Scotland.   Hubby and I targeted Royal Deeside during our trek to Alba in 2008.  From the Royal Deeside website (link),

Welcome to Royal Deeside and the eastern Cairngorms National Park. We hope that once you have read these pages you'll agree that this is a very special part of Scotland.

The Dee runs west to east and is mostly bounded on both north and south by high hills with few passes. The castles of Deeside offered their owners control of east-west travellers in the valley and north-south travellers using the mountain passes.

Castles include the Queen's summer residence, Balmoral, plus several properties maintained by the National Trust for Scotland - Craigievar Castle, Crathes Castle, and Drum Castle.

This is why I love Alba.

You can watch the episode (and visit other villages) at this link.

Craigievar Castle
Youtube (link)

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash. To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about "hidden villages" - do you have any near you?  I live near Savage, Maryland - a sleepy "village" near the I-95 corridor that grew up around the historic Savage Mill (link).

Or, of course, you can leave a comment about Scotland.

2. Comments are open through Sunday, January 1, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, January 2.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Crathes Castle
royal-deeside.org.uk


Friday, December 23, 2016

Aloha to Avon Romance with Jill Shalvis, Toni Blake, and Lori Wilde


Yesterday I received a lovely package from Avon Romance - three holiday titles plus a logo glass:

Jill Shalvis' THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE (Heartbreaker Bay Book 2):

If she has her way ...

Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her ...

He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.

Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him ...

Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice ...

Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work ...

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Toni Blake's CHRISTMAS IN DESTINY (Destiny Book 7)

“Go to Destiny. There’s something waiting there for you.”

Shane Dalton’s new life is waiting in Miami, complete with fast cars and faster women. But first, he’s heeding his father’s dying words and stopping off in Destiny, Ohio. The detour wasn’t supposed to include a busted pickup and a blizzard. But Candice Sheridan, the cute redhead who reluctantly offers shelter, could prove a pleasant diversion. Trouble is, she thinks Shane’s bad news. And he’s pretty sure she’s right . . .

Candice had her trust broken once before. Yet something about Shane won’t let her stay away. By Christmas, he’ll be gone. Until then, she’s itching to stop playing nice and safe . . . and try being a little naughty for once.

As their holiday romance heats up, Shane uncovers a shattering secret and Candice is preparing to face heartache once again. But there’s no better place than Destiny—especially at Christmastime—for two lost souls to find the gift of sweet, surprising love . . .

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Lori Wilde's A WEDDING FOR CHRISTMAS (Twlight, Texas Book 7)

The whole town is ready for the holidays: The Cookie Club is baking, Main Street glitters with lights, the carolers sing . . .There’s even a Christmas wedding.

When bodyguard Ryder Southerland sees his best friend’s sister Katie at an L.A. Christmas party, he mistakes the slinky blonde for a celebrity stalker and tackles her. Then they tackle each other . . . at his place. The next morning, Katie’s gone, and Ryder tells himself it’s for the best. It isn’t. Now, one Christmas later, Ryder’s falling for the woman he’s been missing in the town he hasn’t missed at all . . .

Katie Cheek’s outgrown the romantic fantasies she had about Ryder when she was fifteen. Katie’s packed their hot night away in a box labeled “fling”—or tried to. But Twilight’s bad boy is the best man in her brother’s wedding. And up-close and personal, Ryder’s impossible to ignore. So Katie can either go into hiding—or surrender to Christmas magic.

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I share my windfall with one randomly selected commenter - the winner may choose one of these three titles plus a choice from my convention stash. To enter the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment about your holiday plans this weekend, whether or not you celebrate Christmas.

2. Comments are open through Sunday, December 25, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Monday, December 26.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City



Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Aloha to HIDDEN FIGURES - Meet the Women You Don't Know Behind the Mission You Do


Last night, I enjoyed the Charlie Rose talk show on PBS - he featured the cast from HIDDEN FIGURES (link):

HIDDEN FIGURES is the incredible untold story of Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle MonĂ¡e)—brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.

Katherine Johnson at NASA

Rose welcomed the three actresses - Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae - along with supporting actor Kevin Costner.  I have to admit he stole the interview as he paid tribute to the actresses in portraying these trailblazing mathematicians. 

Speaking of scientists, Jim Parsons from BIG BANG THEORY portrays the chief NASA engineer (in contrast to his role as a physicist on BBG who sneers at NASA engineer Howard for his lack of doctorate).


This movie is also timely with its focus on John Glenn's mission ... let us remember this American hero who passed away last week at age 95.

I am adding to this my list of movies to see along with already released MOANA (link) and ROGUE ONE (link).

What movies have you seen or looking forward to seeing in the theater, on demand, or from DVD? One randomly selected commenter wins a book choice from my convention stash. Comments are open through Sunday, December 25, 10 pm in Baltimore. I'll post the winner on Sunday, December 26.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City



Monday, December 19, 2016

Aloha to Weekly Winners and THE POWER OF THE KING


We have winners at SOS Aloha - Di and Kim H. wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Winners, please claim your prize by sending your mailing address to sos.aloha@yahoo.com.

My church was a winner over the weekend with the teens' production of THE POWER OF THE KING:

A major winter storm is threatening to shut down the entire state. The power grid is failing all around, and highways are closing due to dangerous road conditions. A bus transporting a children’s choir on their Christmas tour is stranded by the storm, so the choir takes refuge at the radio station, K - I - N - G. The timing of the winter storm couldn’t be worse, as the station’s power goes off just as they are about to broadcast the annual Christmas show. Unable to play any recorded music due to the limitations of the backup generator, the radio station staff hastily scrambles to put together a live radio broadcast telling the joyous Good News of the Christmas story, with the help of the stranded children’s choir!



It was a parody of WKRP IN CINCINNATI - my son played East Westman, the weatherman.  The teens enjoyed dressing in 70s costumes ... and the pageant reminded me of the disco era. 

What do you remember about the 70s ... or for those who were not quite born yet ... what do you know about the 70s?  One randomly selected commenter wins a book choice from my convention stash. Comments are open through Sunday, December 25, 10 pm in Baltimore. I'll post the winner on Monday, December 26.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

What's a pageant without treats?!?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!

Watercolour of Jane Austen by her sister (1804)

Today is Jane Austen's birthday.  From Biography.com,

The seventh child and second daughter of Cassandra and George Austen, Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775, in Steventon, Hampshire, England. Jane's parents were well-respected community members. Her father served as the Oxford-educated rector for a nearby Anglican parish. The family was close and the children grew up in an environment that stressed learning and creative thinking. When Jane was young, she and her siblings were encouraged to read from their father's extensive library. The children also authored and put on plays and charades.

In 1801, Jane moved to Bath with her father, mother and Cassandra. Then, in 1805, her father died after a short illness. As a result, the family was thrust into financial straits; the three women moved from place to place, skipping between the homes of various family members to rented flats. It was not until 1809 that they were able to settle into a stable living situation at Jane's brother Edward's cottage in Chawton.

Now in her 30s, Jane started to anonymously publish her works. In the period spanning 1811-16, she pseudonymously published Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice (a work she referred to as her "darling child," which also received critical acclaim), Mansfield Park and Emma.



I did not read Jane Austen in high school .... but I certainly fell in love with the BBC mini series of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.  Sigh.  What's not to love about the gorgeous scenery, costumes, and language.  It was not only a romantic story but an action adventure with social commentary.  The cable network A&E broadcast PRIDE AND PREJUDICE in 1996 - the summer before my wedding. Since we were honeymooning in England, I thought it appropriate to take along a print copy of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.  I bought Austen's other novels in London.

Jane Austen set the stage for me to fall in love with historical romances .... do you have a favorite Jane Austen book, movie, or inspired story?  What drew you into Romanceland? One randomly selected commenter wins a book choice from my convention stash. Comments are open through Sunday, December 18, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Monday, December 19.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Lyme Park served as Pemberley in P&P

Monday, December 12, 2016

Aloha to Weekly Winners, Army Football, and Ella Quinn




We have winners at SOS Aloha - Artemis and Debby win a book choice from my convention stash.

Army is also a winner over Navy, 21-17, during the 117th football game between the two military academies. Army's win is the first in 15 years ... and probably delighted Army veteran turned romance author Ella Quinn:

Ella Quinn lived all over the United States, the Pacific, Canada, England and Europe before finally discovering the Caribbean. She lives in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands with her wonderful husband, three bossy cats and a loveable great dane.

Ella loves when friends connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.


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Ella will be hosting a Caribbean themed table at the Beach Blanket Bingo during the RT Booklovers' Convention in Atlanta (link). No doubt she'll be chatting about the Worthington Family, including WHEN A MARQUIS CHOOSES A BRIDE ... 

Thanks to their large extended family and unconventional courtship, the Worthingtons have seen their share of scandal and excitement. But nothing has prepared them for this...
The Dowager Lady Worthington isn’t quite sure what to make of country-girl Dorothea Stern. As the granddaughter of the Duke of Bristol, Dotty is schooled in the ways and means of the nobility. But her sharp wit and outspoken nature has everyone in a tizzy. Especially their cousin, Dominic, the Marquis of Merton.

Prematurely stuffy, Dom was raised by his cheerless uncle to be wary of a host of things, including innovation, waltzing, and most perilous of all: true love. Still, there’s something about Dotty, beyond her beauty, that Dom cannot resist. But the odds are against him if he intends to win her as his bride. Will he choose loyalty to his family—or risk everything for the one woman he believes is his perfect match…


Have you visited the Caribbean?  My first visit came last year on a weekend cruise to the Bahamas.  One randomly selected commenter wins a book choice from my convention stash. Comments are open through Sunday, December 18, 10 pm in Baltimore. I'll post the winner on Monday, December 19.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

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More books in the series ...

Friday, December 9, 2016

Aloha to Holiday Stamps!


I am a frequent customer at the Post Office!  I recently noticed the wide range of holiday stamps ... I share the press release from the Post Office.

WASHINGTON — Whether you’re celebrating the holidays or another special occasion, the U.S. Postal Service has new Forever stamps for you along with favorites from recent years.

“Since 1893, we have issued stamps celebrating the cultures of people who have come together from around the world,” said Postal Service Director of Stamp Services Mary-Anne Penner. “We hope America will take advantage of our diverse selection of stamps as they extend their best wishes to friends, family and loved ones.”

Penner also noted that customers can save a trip to the Post Office by purchasing the stamps online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724).

Christmas Magi
The stamp art illustrates the traditional tale of the Magi, who came bearing gifts for Jesus. The three regal figures sit atop a trio of bedecked and harnessed camels, the animals almost at the summit of a small hill. Guiding them is a large, dazzling star shining in the sky. The colors in the sky range from a rose near the horizon, darkening to a rich purple at the top, suggesting that the travelers are moving through the desert at dawn.


Diwali
The stamp design is a photograph featuring a traditional diya oil lamp beautifully lit, sitting on a sparkling gold background. Diya lamps are usually made from clay with cotton wicks dipped in a clarified butter known as “ghee” or in vegetable oils.

Also known as Deepavali, Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Spanning five days each autumn, Diwali is considered by some to be the start of the new year. On the Hindu calendar, Diwali falls on the eve of, or on, the new moon that occurs between mid-October and mid-November. In 2016, the main day of the festival was celebrated Oct. 29 for South Indians and Oct. 30 for North Indians.


Eid Greetings
Featuring a design that evokes centuries of tradition, this stamp commemorates the two most important festivals — or eids — in the Islamic calendar: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The gold-colored calligraphy on this stamp was created by world-renowned calligrapher Mohamed Zakariya of Arlington, VA. The script reads Eidukum mubarak, “May your Eid be bountiful (or blessed).”
Florentine Madonna and Child
This Christmas stamp features a detail of Madonna and Child, a 15th-century tempera-on-panel painting at the National Gallery of Art Widener Collection, in Washington, DC. The painting is dated to circa 1470, and its anonymous artist is known only as “a Follower of Fra Filippo Lippi and Pesellino.” Art historians have speculated that the painter may have had preparatory drawings or close copies of the works of the masters he imitated, and that a relationship may have existed between those artists’ workshops and the workshop of this anonymous painter.


The 2016 Hanukkah stamp features a warm, elegant illustration of a holiday menorah in the window of a home. Traditionally, the menorah is displayed in a doorway or window to proclaim the miracle of Hanukkah. Hanukkah spans eight nights and days of remembrance and ritual. The eight nights and days of Hanukkah begin on the 25th of Kislev in the Hebrew calendar. In 2016, Hanukkah begins at sundown on Dec. 24.
The Holy Family stamp celebrates Christmas with a scene from the Nativity story that reminds us of the joys of the season: family, togetherness and the birth of the baby Jesus. The stamp continues the Postal Service’s tradition of issuing beautiful and timeless Christmas stamps and will be a treasured addition to cards and letters sent during this season of goodwill and sharing. 


Kwanzaa
This bright and colorful new stamp design celebrates the annual non-religious holiday of Kwanzaa, which takes place over seven days from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.  2016 marks the 50th anniversary of this widely celebrated holiday. Kwanzaa derives its name from the phrase “first fruits” in Swahili. The holiday honors the African-American family, community and culture.


Nativity
The Postal Service celebrates Christmas with a new stamp featuring a traditional Nativity scene. The stamp art depicts a peaceful yet powerful image of the Holy Family silhouetted against a dawn sky. The baby Jesus lies in a straw-filled manger in the center of the picture with Mary kneeling to the right and Joseph standing to the left, holding a lantern. A bright star shines over the scene. The Gospel of Luke relates how Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem to register for the census decreed by the Roman emperor. The Nativity stamps may be in limited supply at local Post Offices due to high demand. 


Neon Celebrate!
Good times call for good wishes. Bringing an extra wish for happiness to anyone celebrating a special time, this stamp features a brilliantly colored design crafted out of neon and glass that adds a spark to greeting cards, invitations and gift-bearing envelopes and packages.
Do you use holiday stamps for your greeting cards?  Do you have a favorite from this year ... or previous years?  One randomly selected commenter wins a book choice from my convention stash. Comments are open through Sunday, December 11, 10 pm in Baltimore. I'll post the winner on Monday, December 12.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Also available - Holiday Windows!