Thursday, November 28, 2013

Aloha to Forever's 12 Days of Christmas Blog Tour with Jill Shalvis, Kristen Ashley, Hope Ramsay, Molly Cannon, and Marilyn Pappano

Forever is counting down the 12 days leading up to the release of the anthology A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER with Jill Shalvis, Kristen Ashley, Hope Ramsay, Molly Cannon, and Marilyn Pappano (link).

On the fifth day of Christmas, my favorite authors gave to me ....

..... 5 Best Holiday Stories!

Marilyn:  One year when we lived in Georgia, we decided to surprise my mom for Christmas. The rest of the family knew we were coming, so they all found an excuse to show up at Mom's house the evening we were due to arrive. The surprise was on us, though, when we hit an ice storm in Arkansas and had to spend an extra night on the road. The family went home without saying anything to Mom, so she was shocked when we finally got there the next day. Oh, and despite my sisters' best efforts to stop her, she'd shipped our gifts to Georgia anyway. 

Molly:  One year early in our marriage we went to Houston to spend the holidays with my mother and stepdad. My mother was gone to the grocery store, and we were sitting in the living room talking and waiting for her return. The backdoor opened and she came in and put the groceries down and came in to say hello. As we were getting up to greet her, she got a funny look on her face and started frantically taking her pants off. Then she started yelling, “I’ve got ants in my pants.” She got them off before they bit her too badly, thank goodness! And my poor husband got to see a whole new side of his mother-in-law. 

Hope:  Every Christmas for the last few decades, since my kids were little, I’ve made gingerbread cookies. The kids always had a lot of fun rolling out the dough and cutting the cookies with festive cookie cutters. But the best part of making gingerbread is decorating and icing the cookies. I use royal icing in a number of colors that kids can paint on using brushes. Well, one year my husband’s Aunt Frances came visiting for the holidays. She was in her 80s, but she was spry as a spring chicken. She was also an award-wining watercolor artist. She wasn’t about to be left out of the decorating cookies with a watercolor brush. What she did to those cookies was truly amazing. We had gingerbread women wearing fancy bridal gowns, and their consorts in tuxes. These were the most gorgeous gingerbread men and women you ever saw in your life. No one wanted to eat the cookies they were so beautiful. Aunt Frances lived to be 94. She passed away last year. But every year, when we bake cookies, the family gathers around the table to ice the ginger bread men and we all remember Frances and the year she made cookies that were too beautiful to eat. 

Kristen:  Holidays have much to do with tradition and even as a very untraditional person, I still love the tradition of holidays.

I had long been away from my close family at Christmas having lived in England for nearly a decade and travel being too expensive during the holidays. So when I moved back to The States, I was excited to jump back into family holidays and their traditions. For us, this included Christmas morning opening of presents and the feeding frenzy and movie orgy that would go through the day.

Alas, last year, my brother-in-law, who’s a pilot, found out that he was going to be flying Christmas Day so Christmas morning was out. We were going to have to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve.

It was a little shocking how sad this was for all of us. Mostly that John wouldn’t be with us, of course, but also bucking tradition that had stood strong for the “adults” for over four decades.

But the most important part of the celebration of Christmas is doing it with family. So Christmas Eve it was, in order that we could be with John.


First, if you open up presents Christmas Eve night, you have absolutely no qualms downing a bottle and a half of prosecco all by yourself. This will lead you to being very tipsy which will lead you to being quite emotional during some present openings and, finally, when your family gives you an awesome pink Schwinn as the final present of the night, you will get on it in your jammies and ride down the street after midnight.

It was phenomenal. We loved it. Every one of us. We even talked about doing the same this year, just because it was so awesome.

The thing we all knew, though, was that it was awesome because we were all together. Christmas present giving can happen in the morning, in the night, the day before, the day after, a week later, in your living room, in your sister’s living room, on the moon and it would be awesome.

Just as long as the people you love are there.

Jill:  One year we all got stuck in an airport on Christmas Eve (ever been stuck in an airport with three little kids?). We got home cranky and tired and annoyed at 4 in the morning, with no one in a holiday mood. The house was frozen (we'd forgotten to leave heat on) and it took awhile for the wood stove to heat up so we all huddled around it and ended up staying up to watch the sunrise and open gifts and make breakfast together. It turned out to be the Best Morning Ever. 


Mahalo, Forever, for sharing holiday cheer with us!  I am giving away an ecopy of A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER to one randomly selected commenter:

Curl up with this heartwarming Christmas collection!

Jill Shalvis, Dream a Little Dream: Melissa has kept every man at a safe distance-especially firefighter Ian, a sexy friend with sexy benefits. But Ian secretly longs for more. Luckily, 'tis the season for giving love a chance . . .

Kristen Ashley, Every Year: Holidays don't come easy for Shy and his brother, Landon. But with the magic of Christmas, along with a little help from Tabby and her family, the Cage brothers are about to get the gift of a lifetime . . .

Hope Ramsay, Silent Night: Down on her luck and evicted from her apartment, single mother Maryanne hopes to start over in Last Chance. When the snow begins to fall, it looks like her baby might literally spend Christmas Eve in a manger. And Maryanne might celebrate the holiday with a handsome stranger.

Molly Cannon, Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas: Lincoln is a bachelor who's set in his ways-until a professional organizer dressed up as Mrs. Claus changes his life, one tip at a time. . .

Marilyn Pappano, A Family for Christmas: War widow Ilena doesn't mind spending Christmas alone. But when a new doctor blows into town with the winter wind, will she get her secret Christmas wish?

To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about your favorite food from yesterday - perhaps you celebrated Thanksgiving or perhaps you just had a delicious meal!

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 30, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, December 1.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Check out the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Tour:

12 Best gifts (11/22): Fiction Vixen Book Reviews
11 Worst/funniest gifts (11/23): Smexy Books
10 Quotes from your novellas (11/24): Bookish Escape
9 Items on your Holiday List (11/25):  Hesperia Loves Books 
8 Favorite holiday movies (11/26): Book Bliss
7 Things on your holiday wish list (11/27): Tiffany Talks Books
6 New Year’s resolution (11/28): Cocktails And Books 
5 Best Holiday Stories (11/29):  SOS Aloha
4 Holiday favorite foods (11/30): Stitch Read Cook
3 Books to read during the holidays (12/1):  The Window Seat
2 Holiday songs (12/2:  Kindles And Wine
1 Holiday recipe (12/3):  Taking Time For Mommy


  1. We had dinner with friends and she tried a new recipe she found on Facebook for Ranch Potatoes - they were delicious. I enjoyed the authors holiday stories!

  2. Hard to pick just one favorite, but I think I will go with mashed potatoes and gravy. Yum! ghwasd at gmail dot com

  3. Stuffing, definitely stuffing lol

  4. No Thanksgiving dinner here but I did have apple pie...yum!

  5. As a Canadian, I've already partaken in my Thanksgiving meal but yesterday I had potato pancakes which I love!!

  6. I love pumpkin pie and cool whip! That was my favorite from Thanksgiving dinner.

  7. Oh, there was so much to choose from, but my favorite is always my roast potatoes, and Yorkshire puddings. Yes, we have Yorkies with everything!!!

  8. Pumpkin pie and stuffing! Hope that everyone had a great holiday :) Thanks for sharing!

  9. My favorites from yesterday were the turkey and cranberry sauce.

  10. Favorite from yesterday - turnips; also apple pie.

  11. The red cabbage.

  12. All of it! Turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin bread, chocolate desserts.....loved it all.

  13. The Turducken and the green bean casserole.

    Marcy Shuler

  14. Wish you a very Happy Christmas!!May god bless you!!!
    JingleBells Jinglebells