While Marcia enjoys a holiday break with her family, I’m taking the opportunity to hijack The Write Stuff for a little shameless self-promotion.
For the first (and possibly only) time, book 1 (ebook) in my highly rated Five Kingdoms epic fantasy series is available at all outlets for
Rustam Chalice, gigolo and spy, loves his lifestyle just the way it is, so when the kingdom he serves is threatened from within, he leaps into action. Only trouble is, his spy master teams him up with an untouchable, beautiful, aristocratic assassin who despises him.
Plunged into a desperate journey over the mountains, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god – and each other.
Think James Bond meets Lord of the Rings – a sweeping tale of spies and deadly politics, inter-species mistrust and magic phobia, spiced with a pinch of romance.
Click on the cover to be taken to your choice of retailer, which now also includes SMASHWORDS, where books 2, 3 &4 are also on sale with 25% off!
And even better, if you are a Kindle Unlimited (KU) subscriber, the ENTIRE SET is now available to read for ***FREE***
Please help yourself and see why others are saying such things as:
★★★★★ “Please note, that it is advisable to start this book when you have a block of time to dedicate to it. Starting an hour before needing to leave the house will make you late, I should know”
★★★★★ “It starts off hitting the ground running with action, but carries the reader along easily.”
★★★★★ “Jay paints a vivid world, that we are treated to in this dangerous adventure that tests our heroes to every limit. Including having them question everything they had ever taken for granted.”
★★★★★ “Adventure, heartache, murder, horses, mayhem, elves; the list gallops on, bursting with action in this well written novel set in a completely believable world. Attention grabbing story and underlying layers of detail make it a ‘can’t put downer’.”
★★★★★ “I enjoyed this greatly. It is indicative of a good read if you immediately search for the next book in the series.”
(The Santa Maria)
Now that Christmas has sailed on by and New Year’s is still in the distance, I’m taking an honest-to-goodness blog break for the rest of the week. And even if I decided I wanted to cheat, I probably wouldn’t have time because my family from Denver is arriving tonight! WooHoo!! And then my son and his family will be joining us in a few days. I’m sure the whole bunch here at once will keep me plenty busy, in the best of ways. 😁
It was touch and go there as to whether they could come. First my grandson got the flu, then my granddaughter got it, too. Now, they both are allowed to travel and are on the plane even as I type. Hopefully, there will be no more delays, and we can let the fun begin!
See you January 2, ready for a brand new year!
In the meantime, please stay SAFE and WELL!
May Your Christmas Day Be Filled with Love and Peace!
(See You Next Year!)
Don’t know about you guys, but I’M imagining a
brighter, happier, healthier year coming up very soon! And
in the meantime …
(One of My Own Handpainted Santas from 1995)
I promised you guys a longer post to share some pictures of my somewhat vast Santa collection. Do keep in mind that I’ve been collecting them for over 60 years, hence the wide variety of styles and ages. Hope you’ll enjoy seeing some of these. (I sure enjoy seeing them when I bring them down from the attic every year.) Here goes!
I mentioned recently that I have Santas ranging in height from less than 1 inch to 6 feet. We’ll start with the little guys.
This is the bottom tier of a wooden table top tree I use to display some of my smallest Santas. Note the three little Santas, bottom shelf, center. The one on the left by the green hut is just 1/2″ tall, and is my smallest one. The one on the right is a Coca-Cola Santa with a TINY bottle of Coke in his hand. He’s a 1″ tall charm. And the slightly larger one in the middle, is my oldest Santa at very close to 100 years old. The two Santa faces on each side of the picture are vintage salt & pepper shakers from the 50s.
This is the other side of the wooden tree, looking back through the passthrough window. The bookshelf beneath it is where I display what I call my Holly Jolly Santas, or those with a modern look to them. This is an older picture, but this year’s display has 37 Santas, including some really neat ones from the 50s.
One of the items on the shelf is this little Santa dish, which was my grandmother’s & dates from about 1952, so roughly 70 years old.
I display most of my Old World Santa collection on the mantle, and it has 42 Santas on it this year, down from an all-time high of 50. (I’ve started letting the grandkids pick one to take home with them each year, so a few have gone to their houses now.)
Here’s a closeup of one of my faves from the mantel collection,
a hand-carved and painted cypress knee made by a fellow crafter.
The two blue “pencil” Santas on the right are ones I painted long ago.
Here’s one I painted years ago, with a bit
of a pun for a message.
And here’s another unique Santa I really enjoy. Found him at a craft show years ago. He’s hand carved with movable arms and legs, and his beard & hair is made of natural Spanish moss, which I thought would all crumble away over time,
but I’ve had him for at least 15 years, and it’s still looking good.
(Maybe because I don’t put him in the hot attic
with most of the other decorations.)
I painted this plaque back in the 80s, when I did arts & crafts for a living.
I decided I didn’t want to sell him, though, so these days
he hangs in our entryway to greet visitors.
And speaking of our entryway, it always gets a mixture of Santas, including some advertising posters I’ve had for 50+ years. (Since my son was a baby.)
One more from the entryway. This poster has gone on the inside of our
front door since my son was a baby, too. It’s been taped back together
more times than I can count, but I refuse to get rid of it!
Every room has at least a few Santas, even the kitchen.
I’ll even paint empty jars and put them to use
in the kitchen, too!
And here’s a close up of our library tree. There are somewhere between
85 and 100 Santas on this one, along with lots of other ornaments, including some more I painted, and quite a few very old vintage ones.
Even my computer desk has some Santas to
keep me company while I work.
Bob the Skull from the Dresden Files resides in my library
all year long, and snarky or not, he demands to get in
on the action at Christmas, too!
The living room is a whole ‘nuther world, though, all done in blue, white,
and silver. I like it to look very frosty and wintry in there, just to
remind me of what Christmas is like in much of the country.
Here’s a close up of some of the ornaments.
The living room tabletop Santa is all in white & blue, too.
While there are no Santas in the dining room, I still stick
to the blue & silver color scheme, just because I like it so much,
and happily, our china matches it!
Since I started this long post off with my smallest Santas, I’m going to
end it with a picture of my tallest one. This was a display at our
local Publix store about 20 years ago, and I told my daughter how much
I loved it. Unbeknownst to me, she went back to the store and
sweet-talked the manager into giving it to her as a gift for
her mom. He’s been part of our Christmas ever since.
(The Santa. Not the manager! 😁)
And there you have a glimpse of some of the Santas and other things I put up every year to make Christmas as festive at our house as I possibly can. I hope you’ve enjoyed taking a peek and are now definitely
in the mood for Christmas fun!
Blessings to each of you for the Merriest Christmas possible,
and the Happiest New Year ever!
Looking for something different to read over the holidays? Check out my Emissary series of novellas. Available for download for just $1.99 each, or free with Kindle Unlimited.
BLURB for TE1:
An angel’s work is never done—that’s part of the gig. But angels hadn’t been created to deal with such a vastly over-populated planet, rife with misery, suffering, and general chaos. Helping souls in peril has become a nearly impossible job, and even angelic tempers are frayed.
The archangel Azrael has had enough. He believes he’s found a way to ease their burden while saving jeopardized humans, too—hired help.
When Jake Daughtry lost his life rescuing a total stranger from certain death, he was on the fast track to Heaven. But that was before Azrael pulled him right out of line at the Pearly Gates. Now, as an Emissary to the Angels, Jake is taking to the highway in a quest to help souls in trouble. But the innate stubbornness of human beings bent on self-destruction is a challenge unlike any he’s ever faced.
It’s up to Jake and Azrael to bridge the gap between humans and angels. Will they ever convince the Council of Angels this endeavor is worthwhile? Can Jake figure out how to play by Azrael’s complicated rules? Will Azrael ever master the use of contractions in general conversation?
To find out the answers, hop on board Jake’s big red-and-white semi and travel the roads from the Florida Keys to north Georgia on an adventure that will make you laugh hard and cry even harder.
Recent 5-Star REVIEW of TE1:
The archangel Azrael has a plan: create a task force of humans to help the angels turn wayward souls in the right direction. Jake is Azrael’s first emissary-in-training.
This novella juxtaposes comedic banter with gritty portrayals of suffering. The result takes the reader through a roller coaster of emotions.
Jake is easy to like. He tries hard to save a teen girl from prostitution. He reaches out to a serial killer. He befriends a lost drug addict. He suffers with his own grief from the death of a loved one. And he’s funny. I was cheering him on the whole way.
Meara raises some interesting theological questions. How much of a role do we play in other’s suffering and redemption? How much responsibility do we bear regarding our own suffering? The story isn’t meant to be a religious credo, and Meara says as much in her author’s notes, but the plot and characters examine these issues.
A fun, funny, and (at times) tearful story. Five stars.
DOWNLOAD YOUR COPIES HERE:
AND THAT’S MY BOLD & BLATANT PROMO OF THE WEEK!
As you might expect, Christmas was on Thor’s mind today, and here are the things he asked me to share with you. Enjoy!
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM
THOR AND GRANNY TO EACH OF YOU!
I get this, but I really think Direction ought to come with a
Just wanted to tell you all how much I appreciated your kind responses to my update post from Sunday. I started trying to respond to everyone, but realized I’m running way behind, so I hope you’ll understand my decision to thank you all at once.
I’m officially on my semi-blog break now, and am trying to get as much “down time” as I can, at least through the end of the year. This is tricky for me, being utterly addicted to keeping up with my blog friends every day, all day long. But I’m being extra careful not to overdo right now, as per my doctor’s instructions, hence the blanket thank you.
Believe me, your kind words and support mean the world to me, and I am wishing you ALL the best holiday season, EVER!
Merry Christmas from 104 of My Santas!