Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tradition Tuesday

We are so excited for our first annual

Have Yourself a Very Swoony Christmas event,

Traditions are what really make the holidays memorable!

Each Tuesday we will be posting about some of our

favorite Christmas traditions.

Katie will be posting about one of her family's

favorite traditions for Week 4.


This is a newer tradition for many families
and maybe somewhat controversial,
but my grandma started something with her kids over 65 years ago
and it's stuck with us.
We do an "old-fashioned" version of the Elf on the Shelf.
Each night, the elf hides in a new spot to watch for naughty and nice behavior
in the children who live in the house.
It's always fun to go looking for the elf each morning.
He doesn't do wild and crazy things, he just quietly watches.
It's also fun to leave a little Christmas note with the elf.
The elf that comes to our home on the day after Thanksgiving
is named Sparky and he goes back to the North Pole with Santa
on Christmas Eve night. It's such a fun tradition for all of us!


Monday, December 11, 2017

Sweet Morsels Mondays

We are so excited for our first annual 

Have Yourself a Very Swoony Christmas event,

Welcome to Sweet Morsels Monday!

Mondays can be rough, but nothing can make it better than something sweet.

Each Monday, we'll be sharing a Christmas treat recipe.

Aren't Christmas treats the best?!

For the last week,

Katie will be sharing another one of her favorite Christmas treats.


Snowy Pretzels

Ingredients: 6 ozs of vanilla almond bark or white chocolate
1 (15 ounce) package mini twist pretzels
red and green candy sprinkles

Step 1: Melt the almond bark in the top of a double boiler sitting constantly until smooth. You can also put it into a microwave safe dish and microwave until the it has melted, stirring every 30 seconds.
Step 2:
Dip each pretzel halfway into the almond bark completely covering at least half of it. Sprinkle the candy sprinkles on top and lay each pretzel on a sheet of wax paper. Repeat until all of the bark is gone. Place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes or until it is set. Store in an airtight container.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

12 Days of Clean Romance - Jennifer Griffith

  My Fair Aussie by Jennifer Griffith There's more to this Aussie cowboy than meets the eye. Former grad student Eliza works as a nanny for a self-absorbed trophy wife looking to trade up for a new husband and ditch her child. Eliza will do anything to protect the little girl and open her boss’s eyes. Even if it requires an elaborate hoax. Then fate hits Eliza with Henry, a bewildered, dirty guy at the bus station. He’s got amazing teeth, cowboy swagger, and an accent to swoon for. Everything is falling into place for a rags-to-riches-style bait and switch. But will it deliver a slice of humble pie to Eliza’s boss—or get Eliza fired? Worse, refining him might mean losing her heart.    
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Praise for My Fair Aussie My Fair Aussie is the perfect retelling of a classic tale with a delicious twist—and an Australian cowboy to boot. It's the ideal combination of humor and romance. Totally swoon-worthy. Highly recommended! – CJ Anaya, USA Today bestselling author “How does she do it? Griffith once again makes me laugh out loud and thoroughly enjoy a good book. Love her cute characters.” Amazon Reviewer 'grimm  
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Excerpt 1 “So you’re saying we find our very own Eliza Doolittle, but a guy, ‘deliciously dirty,’ as you say—” “He has to be deliciously dirty.” “Right. We do a quick ritzy makeover on him and try to pass him off as one of the type of guys Monique-Noelle and her army of vacuous gold-diggers are looking for.” “Even better, we set things up so Mo-No could actually totally fall for him. And when she does, we whisk him away and then let her find out the truth.” Polly wasn’t the type to get giddy, but she did have a light in her eye. And maybe, with that, Mo-No realizes she should appreciate the man who was the father of her beautiful daughter and quit trying to trade up. Or down. Or sideways. Or for more hair. “And where do we get someone deliciously dirty who also isn’t a drug dealer or user or, you know, dangerous?” “I didn’t say this plan was without risks. But we’ll be careful.” Polly’s eyes danced. “I’m a good judge of character.” Yeah. Everyone thought that about themselves. Skepticism crept up in me. There was no way we could pull off something of this magnitude. We shouldn’t even be considering it. Excerpt 2 “Are you okay, sir?” I couldn’t help asking. He looked so forlorn. “Actually, an international phone. That’s what I really need.” As he said the word need, I caught a glimpse of his teeth. Okay, I might have a thing about teeth. An obsession, Polly calls it. A very good set of teeth can completely blind me to myriad other characteristics that would make a person otherwise unappealing. And these teeth happened to be the best, most dazzling teeth I’d ever seen. My heart may have skipped a beat. Maybe it was because they contrasted so starkly against his sunburnt face, or played so nicely off his extremely messy blond hair, but suddenly, I was entranced and ignoring everything else that I should be paying attention to—like the fact he was a homeless man who lived at the bus station and was asking to borrow, or possibly steal, my phone. “I’ve got to get an international phone.” He said it again, and this time I picked apart the accent more. My mind was like one of those police phone traces when a hostage-taker called. Keep ’em on the line just a few more seconds—we’re pinpointing. He had to talk more for me to place it. Not American, not quite British. South African, maybe? Kiwi? … Polly took him by the shoulders and spun him around. “Nice build. That, plus the teeth. You’ll do.” Excerpt 3 “That’s nice and all,” Henry said, his dazzling teeth outshining his grime, “but I really do need access to an international phone. This place only has a pay phone that calls locally, and I need to make an overseas call, and—” “How about this, Henry?” Polly rubbed her chin as if she were an old man stroking his beard in thought. “We need someone to do a project with us for two weeks.” Two weeks! I spluttered beside her, not knowing how to stop this fast-moving freight train. Did she even know what she was saying? “At the end of two weeks, if you can accomplish what we need you to do—all of it being totally legal and above-board, I promise—I’ll make sure you get an international phone.” “Two weeks…” Henry frowned. He didn’t have the confused look of earlier, but he didn’t seem to be rejecting it. “What exactly are we talking about?” “Oh, it will be fun. Lots of fun.” Polly would not be stopped. “You’ll get to dress in nice clothes, meet wealthy people, go to at least one nice party.” I’d rather work for Mo-No forever than hurt this guy who was worrying about the helicopters and the water in the river and his fanciful realm of reality-forged-of-imagination. For as wacked as it was, his crazy worldview definitely did seem harmless, sweet almost. And his Australian accent, now that it quit plaguing me as I tried to decipher it, was totally engaging. We could not set him up. However, Henry didn’t look appalled; he looked intrigued, if that was possible, through the grime. “My Fair Lady. I get it. But in this case, I’m the lady.” Excerpt 4 “Let’s have my story be—” he stroked my index finger “—I’m an Australian.” He caressed my thumb. “I run a huge cattle operation in the high country.” He followed along with each of my other fingers while I blinked. “I’m here in the States exploring top-secret business opportunities.” I heard the words. They went into my ear canals, but I didn’t process them at all. His fingertips were now sliding along the back of my hand, and then across my palm and my fingers again, and the only one of my five senses I could compute was touch, it was so engrossing. Showers of tingles filled every cell and molecule of me. After a bit of my stunned silence, he said, “How does that sound, Eliza?” He said my name, with the Elizer accent again, and my sense of hearing kicked back in. “Cattle baron?” “Right.” I gulped once, and then again. “Cattle baron.” That would explain any lack of polish, as well as the cowboy walk, and the great tan for this time of year. Wasn’t it the dead of summer there right now, while we were leading up to Christmas here in the northern hemisphere? Perfect. “Perfect,” I breathed. “Perfect,” he said, lifting my hand and giving it a kiss, and turning my insides from mere tingling sparklers to the full-on Fourth of July. “A cattle baron might win any girl’s heart. Even a nanny’s.”  
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Also by Jennifer Griffith
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  Author Jennifer Griffith Jennifer Griffith writes light, sweet romances she calls Cotton Candy for the Soul. Her Legally in Love Collection stems from the fact she fell in love with a handsome law school student who now serves as a judge—as well as her muse. She also writes the Billionaire Makeover Romances, billionaires and makeovers being some things with which she has less experience. Jennifer loves old cars, landscape paintings, fresh bread with raspberry jam, and reading. She lived in Japan during college, where she once ate a cricket on a dare. She also traveled through Europe, where she slept a night in a castle on the Rhine. Jennifer worked summers in a cookie factory, and she spent a few years working for the U.S. Congress before becoming a wife, a mom and an author.
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More great books by Jennifer Griffith

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Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway
Ends 12/22/17
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author's Corner

Welcome to Author's Corner hosted by Bookworm NationKatie's Clean Book Collection and KJ's Book Nook! Once a month we will feature either a favorite author or new to us author. We will share the author's bio, one of our favorite books of theirs and a review. Each of us will be featuring a different author each month so there will also be links to each of our posts.

For this month's Author's Corner I am going to choose...

Tamara Leigh holds a Masters Degree in Speech and Language Pathology. In 1993, she signed a 4-book contract with Bantam Books. Her first medieval romance, Warrior Bride, was released in 1994. Continuing to write for the general market, three more novels were published with HarperCollins and Dorchester and earned awards and spots on national bestseller lists.

When not in the middle of being a wife, mother, and cookbook fiend, Tamara buries her nose in a good book—and her writer’s pen in ink. In 2012, she returned to the historical romance genre with Dreamspell, a medieval time travel romance. Shortly thereafter, she once more invited readers to join her in the middle ages with the Age of Faith series that includes The Unveiling, The Yielding, The Redeeming, The Kindling, and The Longing. Lady at Arms and Lady Of Eve, the 1994 Bantam Books bestsellers originally titled Warrior Bride and Virgin Bride, are the first of her early medieval romances to be rewritten as “clean reads.” Baron Of Godsmere, the first book in her new series, The Feud, will be available Winter 2014/2015.

Tamara lives near Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, sons, and a Doberman that bares its teeth not only to threaten the UPS man but to smile.


If I remember right, I came across Ms. Leigh's books when I saw my friend Tara review one on Goodreads. They totally sounded like something I would enjoy and Tara offered to loan me a few to try out.  The first book I read of hers was called The Unveiling, the first book in her Age of Faith series. I was immediately impressed with her writing style, and her ability to write a medieval historical without sounding like a history book. She's able to really transport you back to the time period, where you feel like you're right there along side the characters. The storylines and characters are always complex and the romance always swoony! She's easily my favorite medieval author, I download them on release day and devour them soon after. 

My favorite of hers is probably Lady at Arms. I remember my friend Tara lent me a few of Ms. Leighs books, but after reading them I had to buy copies for myself. They're ones I'll want to read over and over again. 


Which authors do you love? Who are some of your favorites?

Be sure to check out 

KJ's Book Nook

to see their author picks for December!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Festivity Friday - Winner's Announced

We are so excited for our first annual 
Have Yourself a Very Swoony Christmas event,

Festivity Friday is our fabulous cap of the week!
Each Friday, we will be posting the winners of 
our giveaways. Be sure to stop by all week long
for fun posts and chances to win,
and be sure to check back on Fridays to see if you're a winner!

And the winners are...

Christmas Treat Pack -- Robin Moore

One ebook of Sawdust and Mistletoe and Twist of Fate -- Danielle Hammelef

$5 Amazon Gift Card -- Amanda Reyes

Cami Checketts ebook -- Darla C.

**Winners will be contacted by email**

12 Days of Clean Romance - Janette Rallison

    How I Met Your Brother by Janette Rallison The best day of his life, the worst day of hers. Back in college, Marco Dawson never thought of Belle as anything more than a friend. If she had crossed his mind on his wedding day, it was probably only to wonder why she hadn’t shown up to be a bridesmaid. After all, his new wife was her old roommate. Seven years have passed since then, and Belle just found out that Marco is divorced and vacationing with his family in an elegant Cancun resort. She’s not about to let the right man get away twice. She heads to the resort where she plans to casually bump into Marco and ignite some romantic flames. But Belle hadn’t planned on one thing: Flynn Dawson, Marco’s handsome, charming, and determined twin brother. He thinks Marco and his ex-wife can make amends and he’s not about to let Belle stand in the way. Part Sabrina, part While You Were Sleeping, romantic comedy readers will eat this book up!    
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  Praise for How I Met Your Brother "This is a romantic comedy in one of it's finest hours." "In true Janette Rallison form, this novel does not disappoint!" "Love, love, love this book!"    
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  “Dawson,” she called in feigned surprise. “Is that you?” He looked up from the map and his blue eyes wandered over her. “Yes.” He must have liked what he saw because a smile appeared on his lips. Not a smile of recognition, just a smile of approval. She sauntered over, taking slow nonchalant steps. “Don’t tell me you don’t remember me. I haven’t changed that much, have I?” “I’m not sure,” he said. “Tell me who you are, and I’ll tell you how much you’ve changed.” His lack of recognition should have bothered her a little, but it felt like victory. Proof the mousy unnoticeable girl she’d been was gone. “Perhaps you recall a study group we were in at WSU? Or the fact that I proofread a lot of your papers? You obviously don’t remember telling me that you’d never forget me.” “Ah,” he said, with understanding. At least now he knew she wasn’t a stranger with a creative pickup line. “Perhaps you remember me introducing you to Daisy?” His eyes widened and his expression changed. She couldn’t quite read it. Was it astonishment? Disbelief? Regret? “Isabelle,” he uttered. She smiled at the way her name sounded on his lips. “I go by Belle now.” His gaze went over her a second time, stopping on her ring finger—absent of the symbols of marriage. “What a surprise. I don’t know what to say.” “Most people say something along the lines of ‘It’s good to see you.’ But I’ll settle for a belated, ‘Thanks for all those papers you helped with.’”  
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  Author Janette Rallison Janette Rallison is old. Don’t ask how old, because it isn’t polite. Let’s just say she’s older than she’d like to be and leave it at that. Janette lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, five children and enough cats to classify her as “an eccentric cat lady.” She did not do this on purpose. (The cats, that is; she had the children on purpose.) Every single one of the felines showed up on its own and refuses to leave. Not even the family’s fearless little Westie dog can drive them off. Since Janette has five children and deadlines to write books, she doesn’t have much time left over for hobbies. But since this is the internet and you can’t actually check up to see if anything on this site is true, let’s just say she enjoys dancing, scuba diving, horse back riding and long talks with Orlando Bloom. (Well, I never said he answers back.)
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Also by Janette Rallison

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Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway
Ends 12/21/17
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway
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