Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Guest Blogger Stacey Joy Netzel - Favorite Holiday Things

Thank you all so much for having me here today! My name is Stacey Joy Netzel and I write contemporary romance with The Wild Rose Press. My current release is a Christmas anthology, MISTLETOE RULES. Being Dec. 1st and Christmas only 24 days away (yikes-gotta start shopping!) I decided to list my favorite things about the holiday and invite you to do the same.

1. Family: Since we can't pick 'em, it's a very good thing that I enjoy all of my family and love the times we're able to get together. Christmas Eve is our time every year.

2. Decorations: I go crazy inside, putting up tons of lights and all kinds of special Christmas knick-knacks with the help of my kids. Can't quite get the hubby to do the outside, but maybe some day when we're in a single story home it'll look as pretty out as it does in.

3. Christmas morning: watching the smiles on my kids' faces when they open their presents, and their hugs and kisses of thank-you are extra special.

4. Cookies: each year I get together with my two sisters and two cousins and we do our Cookie Bake weekend. 2009 marks our 10th annual and it's definitely a highlight of the season, though the up until 1-2am frosting sugar cookies is getting a little old. *grin*

5. Snow: I'm not a big cold-weather person (even though I live in WI), but I love it when we have snow on the ground by Christmas, and better yet if it actually snows Christmas Eve or the next day--as long as I'm snuggled in a warm house.

6. Other people's decorations: because I don't have the pretty outside, I adore riding around and viewing everyone else's beautiful yard displays while listening to Christmas music. Again, better yet if a light snow is falling.

I have many others, but would rather hear what you enjoy most about the Christmas season. To help get you into the mood, here's the blurb and an excerpt from:

MISTLETOE RULES

Christmas recipe for love—combine a matchmaking Santa, lots of mistletoe, one iron-clad rule, fated hearts; mix and stir. The Riley siblings don’t stand a chance.

Christmas in July at the zoo is the last place single parents Eric Riley and Marissa Wilder expect to find love. Thanks to a little Mistletoe Mischief in the form of their two young daughters and Santa, they discover that Mistletoe Rules are not made to be broken.

Major Mark Riley plays Court Jester to Janelle Walsh's Snow Queen at the Christmas Parade and is instantly captivated by the cute redhead whose grandpa just happens to be Santa. When Mark discovers she's the tenant he evicted from his newly purchased property, it's going to take a little bit of Santa's Mistletoe Magic to save their romance.

When Lisa Riley comes home for Mark's Christmas Eve wedding, her high school rivalry with Janelle’s cousin, Derek Walsh, picks up right where it left off, only this time Derek's got the upper hand. Santa bides his time as these two battle it out because he's waited all year for this Mistletoe Match-up.

Excerpt from the second story, Mistletoe Magic:

She gave him a quick half-smile and sidestepped toward the wagon. “It was nice to meet you, Major. Thanks for doing such a great job as the jester.”

“You’re welcome, and you can call me Mark, you know.”

“Major’s safer.”

The briefest flash of consternation in her expression told him she hadn’t meant to say that out loud. When her foot landed on the step so she could pull herself up into the driver’s seat, Mark caught her arm and turned her around. She grabbed hold of his shoulder to keep her balance on the narrow step.

“If I don’t do this, it’s going to drive me crazy until I see you again,” he told her in a low voice.

Her throat muscles worked in a hard swallow. “Do what?” A downward flick of her gaze said she knew the answer to her own question.

He let his mouth relax in a slow, confidant smile. One step closer brought him close enough to brace a hand against the wagon on either side of her. “I gotta tell you, pretty as you were as the Snow Queen, elf suits you better—although I do miss those cute, pointy little ears.”

She rolled her eyes. “Oh, please.”

He took a moment to let his gaze roam over her face. Snow drifted down silently and their breath mingled in the frigid air. Mark drew out the anticipation of what was to come, enjoying the awareness that warmed the space between them.

“You look like Christmas,” he murmured.

One corner of her mouth twitched. “I’m guessing it’s the costume.”

He shook his head and reached up to twirl a red curl around his finger, watching the silky length wind against his skin before holding her gaze with his. “Red and green, and all wrapped up like a delicious, cinnamon scented present.”

She laughed softly.

Mark closed the remaining few inches, pressing the length of his body to hers. “In fact, I think I need to go find Santa and tell him I’ve been a real good boy this year.”

He spoke the last words a hairsbreadth away from her lips.

~*~

Wishing you and yours a most joyous holiday season filled with love, laughter, health and happiness!

Stacey Joy Netzel

www.staceyjoynetzel.com

Visit my website for more excerpts from MISTLETOE RULES and from all my other books. Check out my Contest page and send me your entry between now and Dec. 15th for a chance to win a Luxury Gift Set from Arbonne.

MISTLETOE RULES, a Christmas anthology

Available in ebook and print at TWRP:

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/mistletoe-rules-p-3776.html

Reviewer top Pick from NOR:

http://www.nightowlromance.com/nightowlromance/reviews/Review.aspx?daoid=5201

13 comments:

Kelly Jamieson said...

Your Christmas stories sound wonderful Stacey! What a great way to get us all in the holiday mood. I too love Christmas, going a bit overboard with the decorations, but I have to say since my writing took over my life the cookie baking has suffered :-(

Meg Benjamin said...

Cookie baking. Sigh. One of those things I've always meant to do and never got around to (unless you count the year I was a newlywed and used freezer cookies, canned frosting, and sprinkles--at least my heart was in the right place).

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Thanks, Kelly. :) So true about writing taking over. Cookies remain intact here because of my weekend with my sisters and cousins. And while I'm pretty good about getting the decorations out early December, but last year I didn't get around to putting them away until March. *sheepish grin*

Meg, that counts! This year I'm putting peanut butter between two Ritz Crackers and dunking them in chocolate. Sooooo yummy!!!

PG Forte said...

I'm a real big fan of other people's decorations as well. ;) My biggest problem with decorating for the holidays is putting stuff away afterwards. It's never as much fun, no matter how hard I always tried to convince my kids otherwise. :(

I think that's why I've settled on Christmas music as being my #1 holiday mood-setter. Very little prep,almost no cleanup and you can enjoy them all year 'round, if you need a little holiday cheer.

I'm also a huge candy cane junkie. I buy 'em in bulk so I have enough to last until the following year. And, no, just eating regular peppermint candy isn't the same. ;)

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

PG, I enjoy lots of different Christmas music, too, but only about the week before Christmas and through New Year's Day. Great idea on the candy canes. My dad loves to melt them in his coffee-hot chocolate-mudslide-cappucino concoctions that he makes most mornings.

Erin Nicholas said...

I love Christmas! Everything about it! Even shopping. I'm not a shopper by nature, but I think shopping for gifts is different. I like it because I like finding just the perfect thing for each person and anticipating them unwrapping it!
Erin

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Hi Erin! I don't mind shopping as long as it's not too crowded. And the unwrapping is the best. :)

Thanks again for having me ladies!

Merry Christmas one and all!

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