Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas To All!!

By Kate

It's Christmas Day, at last. I can finally relax ... I think ...

Has this year’s holiday season been a particularly crazy time for everyone? It's not just me, right? Some say it’s because Thanksgiving was late so that gave us one less week to prepare for the next big holiday. But I think it’s just been a difficult year in general and the holiday rush tends to add to the anxiety.

Oh, but let’s not talk about anxiety and craziness today! It’s Christmas, and that means quality family time, wonderful traditions, special gifts, and peace on earth and good will to all.

Yesterday, when all the shopping was done, all the cards had been mailed and the last packages had been delivered, I looked around and realized I actually had an evening with nothing to do! I poured myself a glass of champagne--hey, I was celebrating!--then picked up one of my favorite old Christmas romances, curled up on the couch and read for a few hours. I haven’t done that in months!

Some of my favorite Christmas romances are short stories, like Linda Howard’s Bluebird Winter and Nora Roberts’ All I Want For Christmas. Last night I re-read Susan Mallery’s The Sheik and the Christmas Bride. Talk about a guilty pleasure, I love Susan’s sheik books! Two more favorites of mine are JD Robb’s Holiday in Death (I love that in between all the murder and mayhem, Eve is so flummoxed by the gift giving!) and Maureen Child’s Some Kind of Wonderful (she finds a real baby in the manger! It’s such a sweet, funny story, so classically Maureen Child).

What are some of your favorite Christmas romances?

And because it’s Christmas Day and because we Banditas love to give away goodies, one lucky random commenter will win our fabulous Bandita Christmas Basket!! It’s filled with wonderful goodies, such as:

* Dark and Dangerous and a bookmark from Jeanne
* Not Without Her Family and a bookmark and magnet from Beth
* The Wild Sight from Aunty Cindy, along with a flower notepad, bath salts, a lovely Turkish woven bookmark and a Romance Bandits pin
* Every Night I'm Yours and a bookmark from Christie
* A cuddly Romance Bandits teddy bear from Anna Sugden
* Risque Business, post-its, a magnet and more goodies from Tawny
* Claiming the Courtesan and a bookmark and postcard from Anna Campbell
* A Romance Bandits spiral notebook from Caren
* A Firefighter in the Family and a bookmark and picture frame from Trish
* A $10 gift card from Barnes & Noble from KJ
* The Trouble with Moonlight, pens and a bookmark from Donna
* The Dangerous Duke and a bookmark and postcard from Christine
* A $10 Borders gift card from Jo
* A Romance Bandits mouse pad from Joanie
* Homicide in Hardcover ARC, a bookmark and postcard from Kate, along with Sees Candy suckers and a $10 Starbucks gift certificate
* A notebook from Nancy
* And more!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all our Bandita friends!!


jo robertson said...

Ooooh, I really want to have the rooster on Christmas Day. I'll take him to the grandkids to share in the joy of watching them come down the stairs all wide-eyed and excited to see what Santa's brought!

jo robertson said...

I did it! I did it! I actually won the rooster for the day. Heheheheehe.

Great holiday post, Kate. I too love Nora Roberts' Holiday in Death. I just listened to it on tape and love how Eve is so fluxommed by the whole holiday thing and how Roarke teaches her.

I also love Mary Balogh's holiday stories, just about any of them.

Have a great day with family and friends!

Helen said...

Congrats Jo he is sure to have fun today with the grandkids

Great post Kate here in Australia at the moment it is 4-30 pm on Christmas Day I am so full I don't think I can eat anything else at least for a few hours LOL we have had turkey, pork, ham, chicken, roast vegies, peas, gravy, plum pudding, custard and cream plus all of the nibblies and lots of fresh fruit.

As for great Christmas reads I have just finished Cathy Maxwell's A Seduction At Christmas fantastic story and another favourite of mine is Jude Deveraux's The Teacher.

Merry Christmas to everyone have a great day.

Have Fun

Virginia said...

Congrats to jo robertson on getting the golden one today and on Christmas. Take good care of him.

What a great post! I just got back from having Christmas dinner at my sisters house, great food by the way.

One of my favorite Christmas reads is an antholgy Five Golden Rings, and one of the authors is Constance O'Banyon. Its an older book but I do so enjoy it.

Helen said...

Isn't it amazing watching the grandkids with their presents Jayden and Hayley just had so much they didn't know which way to turn and Corey and Jake slept thru it all god love them all.

Have Fun

Elyssa Papa said...

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all the Bandits and the Banditas out there!

One of my favorite Christmas stories is a short story/novella by Mary Balogh maybe---it has a title with the alliteration of B's and is pretty much a retelling of Beauty and the Beast but SOOOOO well done. (Sorry, I can't remember the title off the top of my head).

And another one of my favorite Christmas stories is O Henry's THE GIFT OF THE MAJI. I just love that story and O Henry.

limecello said...

Whee - congratulations on the GR, Jo! And Merry Christmas everyone!

Wonderful post, Kate - I love a lot of Christmas anthologies - and I'm a sucker for holiday themed books in general :)

flchen1 said...

Woohoo! Merry Christmas, Banditas and everyone else in the Lair! May your celebrating be warm and joyful!

Kate, one of my favorite Christmas romances is a novella by Jane Blackwood called Maybe This Christmas, a second-chances story in the anthology called Jingle All the Way--it definitely made my keeper stash :) And I've got lots of other Christmas stories I enjoy--I do like Debbie Macomber's angel themed stories, and Marilyn Pappano's got several in her Bethlehem series that are also keepers.

Congrats on snagging the wily GR, Jo! Hope your day's especially wonderful!

Natalie Hatch said...

Merry Christmas everyone. Hope the day is full of great food and lots of quiet time as your kids are busy playing with the wrapping paper.

kim h said...

happy holdiays to all peace and love would love to win one time lol.

Sue A. said...

Kate wonderful post! Great suggestions for expanding my Holiday reading list!

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone's ready for it! With so much preparation going into one day, we sometimes forget to remember to be in the moment. So enjoy the day!

Some of my favorite Christmas romances are by Anne Stuart:
Falling Angel
Kissing Frosty

And Anne has another novella in the Christmas Anthology, Christmas Getaway, which I need to get.

bamabelle said...

I just finished putting together all the toys from Santa! I wanted to stop by and wish everyone here a Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays to all those that celebrate otherwise as well!

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, that's one cool present! Merry Christmas, everyone! Jo, congrats on the chook!

Minna said...

Happy Holidays!
Well, definitely Holiday in Death. And I think there was another in Death book set in Christmas time. Just can't remember what it was called.

Amy Andrews said...

Just popping in to wish all the wonderful bandita's a Merry, Merry Xmas. It's now 7 pm Xmas night here and I've just got back from my sisters house. Like Helen I can barely move I'm so full. But it was a wonderful day.
Pity I have a 12 hour day shift tomorrow :-(

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Jo.

Merry Christmas. One of my favorites is Nancy Warren's novella "The Nutcracker Sweet." I haven't read Lisa Kleypas' "A Wallflower Christmas" yet, but she never disappoints. I really enjoy all the Christmas anthologies by Brava. One recent favorite is "To All A Good Night."

Maureen said...

Merry Christmas! My time to relax will be tomorrow when everyone goes home and there is nothing left to clean up. Harlequin Historicals has a couple of anthologies for Christmas time with Cheryl St. John in them that I enjoy very much. I hope everyone has a wonderful day.

Laurie said...

ENJOY the holidays!

What a bounty of lovely booty!!
Great Christmas treat!

My favorite X-mas books include: Miracle on I-40 by Curtiss Matlock and all of Debra Macomber's Christmas books.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Merry Christmas everyone! I'll be heading home from the hospital soon to sleep, before having my holiday this evening with the hubby, kids and grandbaby. Hope everyone has had a joyous time so far!!

I love Christmas anthologies, Kate. But one of my favorite writer for Christmas stories is Debbie Macomber...especially her three mischevious angels, Shirley, Mercy and Goodness. (God I love their names!!) Such fun, heartwarming stories, and those three angels are some angels I'd love to hang with.

PJ said...

Merry Christmas Everyone! I'm sitting here in a dark living room with only the lights from the Christmas tree on and it's beautiful. It's 7am and I'm waiting for the kids to wake up and discover what Santa left for them. It won't be long now!

I love Debbie Macomber's Christmas stories. Kristin Hannah's "Comfort and Joy" is a favorite that I read every year. Linda Lael Miller's "A Stone Creek Christmas" is my favorite from this year. I have many Christmas anthologies and Harlequins that I've saved and haul out to read every December.

Jo, I know the GR will have a wonderful time today with you and the grandkids!

Merry Christmas!

MaryF said...

Merry Christmas!

I read two really good Christmas romances this year. One was Santa's Angels, by Janet Kaderli, about a single mom and a bad boy trying to reform, and the other was A Town Called Christmas by Carrie Alexander.

danie88 said...

Jo- great job on grabbing GR... have fun with him today! You know what would be really cool... you should dress him up in his own santa outfit lol :D

I honestly don't have a favorite... I mean there are so many great romance christmas reads I just can't pick one :)

Also, I just wanna wish all the Banditas and everyone else a Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays! Hope your day is filled with fun and joy! :)

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Merry Christmas Banditas and BB's, hope your holiday is delightful. To those of you with little ones what a joy you will experience today.
Jo, I love Mary Balogh's Christmas shorts, I started reading my collection in October, not just Mary's of course but I have lots of Christmas anthologies. Congrats on the Gr, put his Santa hat on him (I'm sure he has it in his little travel bag) and let him entertain the grandkids.

cas2ajs said...

Merry Christmas to all! My favorite Christmas romance of all time was a Harlequin American - Cole in My Stocking by Jule McBride. For me, it epitomized the magic of the season.

Cheryl S.

Lois said...

Merry Christmas!!!! :)

Well, mine that I keep bringing out every year in addition to any and all new ones I get every year are. . .

Tis The Season by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Their Christmas Wishes Come True by Cara Colter

A Very Merry Christmas by Lori Foster, Gemma Bruce and Janice Maynard

Cole for Christmas by Darlene Gardner

Santa Baby by Jennifer Cruise, Lori Foster and Carly Phillips

Winter Wonderland by Emma Craig, Leigh Greenwood, Amanda Harte, Linda Johnston

Christie Ridgway's Must Love Mistletoe and Not Another New Years

and a couple others, but that's enough for now! LOL :)


Cheri2628 said...

Merry Christmas, everyone!!!! I love reading Christmas romances. I loved Nora Roberts' The Gift and First Impressions and Adrienne Basso's The Christmas Countess.

Buffie said...

Merry Christmas everyone!!!! The boys have opened everything in the house (and the little one is still wondering when more presents will show up!). We had a wonderful Christmas Eve with my family, and the hubby's parents are coming down later for Christmas dinner.

I read and reviewed a wonderful Christmas romance this year -- The Christmas Countess by Adrienne Basso. If you haven't read this one, you really need to pick it up. It is such a wonderful story!

Kate Carlisle said...

Jo!!! Well done! Hope the GR enjoys the holiday with you and all your kiddies!

Kate Carlisle said...

Merry Christmas and good morning, everyone! It's raining here in Southern California and we'll be driving out to the desert in a little while to see my mother.

Hope everyone travels safe today and through the weekend. :-)

Helen, I plan to be just as stuffed as you are now, later today!! Sounds like you had a beautiful meal!

I love both of the authors you mentioned but haven't read their Christmas books. I'll look for them!

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Virginia! Glad to hear you enjoyed your Christmas dinner! I think I might've read some of the stories in that anthology. I'm going to look it up.

Half the world is finishing their day and the other half is just waking up to it. And we all meet here in the Lair! :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Merry Christmas, Elyssa! I'll bet there are a lot of friends here who'll know the B-B-B-Balogh book you're talking about! *g* I do love romances based on fairy tales.

Kate Carlisle said...

Merry Christmas, limecello! Yup, I'm a sucker for a Christmas story, too. I love the Nora Roberts stories with the little kids as matchmakers. So darn cute!!

Hi Fedora, hope you had a happy holiday! A second chance story makes a great holiday romance, doesn't it? I haven't read the book you mentioned but it sounds like a good one!

LOL Natalie! The wrapping paper and boxes are the most intriguing gifts for the little ones, right? Hope your day was fun!

Margay said...

I just wanted to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah. However you celebrate this time of the year, may your day(s) be filled with love, happiness, and memories to last a lifetime.

Dina said...

Merry Christmas!

I've only read a few Christmas romances this year, but truly enjoued: I;m Your Santa and To All A Good Night.

Off to my daughter's house, have a fun day all, will check back later!


Christie Kelley said...

Nice grab of the GR this morning. The presents are open, the turkey is thawed so I have a half hour lull.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

Crianlarich said...

Gosh, I'm ashamed to say that I've never read a Christmas romance or holiday short story. So I'm taking notes and will try to get a few of these favorites.

Film-wise, I adore Love, Actually.

Happy Christmas, Everyone!

Buffie said...

Just thought of another Christmas book that I enjoyed -- A Highlander for Christmas by Sandy Blair. Great book!

Joan said...

Ho, Ho, Ho....MERRY CHRISTMAS to all our BB's!!!!

I LOVE danie's suggestion Jo, that you dress the GR up as Santa. I think if you put a little white ball on the end of his comb, he won't need the hat, LOL.

My brother just left after a wonderful Christmas morning where I cooked breakfast and then we exchanged gifts. He got me a wonderful collage picture frame, a food processor and a gift cards to Borders for BUYING my favorite authors and Staples for buying supplies to work at some day BEING somebody's favorite author :-)

And ooooo...and I loved Sandy Blair's a Highlander for Christmas!

Nancy said...

Jo, way to go! I hope the bird will be so entranced by the sight of children at Christmas that he'll stay out of trouble. *g*

I love this topic, Kate. I don't have a favorite Christmas romance, but I do like Christmas romance anthologies. Just bought the Signet Regency one, which I haven't had time to crack.

Our family gravitates toward Dickens's A Christmas Carol, which we usually read aloud, though we didn't quite get to it this year. Maybe it's that absent week you mentioned that's to blame. Not a very romantic story, though.

My favorite Christmas movie is a toss-up betweenIt's A Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th St (original version). The boy likes Jingle All the Way, and the dh opts for A Christmas Story

Nancy said...

Helen, what a fabulous meal! I'm amazed any of you can still walk after all that.

Virginia, some of my favorite books are older ones--by Georgette Heyer, for example. The first Regency I ever read was her Regency Buck, which imprinted me with an interest in the period and a fondness for the name Julian, which I swear I'm going to use one of these days.

Elyssa, "The Gift of the Magi" is one of my all-time favorite stories. We got the boy a beautiful picture book of it when he was little. When we purged his books a few years ago, pulling the ones he considered too "young" to have his friends see, I saved that one (among others).

Bamabelle, I remember those days of assembly. We were up incredibly late one Christmas Eve putting together the Star Wars Jedi Battle Arena and un-wiring all the little figures to extract them from their shoplifter-resistant packaging so we could set them up. We had very uncharitable thoughts toward shoplifters. Our Christmas Day celebrations lasted longer, though, before we "graduated" to the Electronics Years.

Nancy said...

Amy, sorry you're working today. I hope your Christmas Eve was fabulous! Suz, I also hope your holiday celebration is worth the wait!

PJ, I like to sit in the dark with a lighted tree, too. We went to bed at 3:45 this morning, so I was actually the last out of bed when we got up. I know you'll have a wonderful day with little ones around.

Danie88--a Santa outfit for the GR, huh? Great idea. Might infuse some altruism and give us a little less preening in '09. :-)

Dianna, I save my Christmas anthologies, too. By the time the next Christmas rolls around, I've generally forgotten the stories' plots.

Crianlarich, a friend of mine was raving about Love, Actually, but I've only seen snippets on HBO, never the whole thing. I'll have to check it out.

JT, glad you and your brother had a fun day. The dh is making Swedish pancakes, part of his family's holiday tradition, and then I'll be writing tomorrow's blog. In between reading the books I got for Christmas.

Merry Christmas, one and all!

Virginia said...

Just dropping back in to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.

Another Christmas book I enjoyed was Sandy Blair's A Highlander For Christmas, because I do love me some highlanders.

Everyone Have A Great Day, with family and friends.

Treethyme said...

I've been on a Christmas book binge, alternating Christmas-themed stories with others in my TBR pile. Right now I'm reading Christmas Knight by Christina Skye. I really enjoyed The Mistletoe Wager by Christine Merrill, also Must Love Mistletoe by Christine Ridgway.

I re-read Linda Howard's Bluebird Winter in a new issue that's combined with a cute Stephanie Bond; the book is called Under the Mistletoe.

Treethyme said...

Oh, also Naughty or Nice? That was a fun anthology.

Pat Cochran said...

Merry Christmas to All, Banditas, Buddies, and The Golden One!

Pat Cochran

Minna said...

And speaking of other books... I do like Dickens's A Christmas Carol and I like the film Scrooged, too, but I just love Santa Claus and elf books by Mauri Kunnas. Some of them have been translated in English.

Gillian Layne said...

Christmas joy to all, this is a "fly-by" Christmas greeting! We have toys, paper and food scattered everywhere and still need to go see the in-laws.

Love to all, and have a great day! I'll come back tonight for a cup of hot tea and read all the posts. :)

Crianlarich said...

Nancy - Love, Actually is a joy. Another reason I adore it is because my favorite actor is in it. Alan Rickman. To me he's the sexiest man on the planet. I love Scotsmen and know everyone swoons for Gerry Butler. Others rave about Hugh Jackman. Many romance authors post 'dishy guys' regularly. And sure, they're all easy on the eye. Especially Butler. But many - to me are 'too pretty' and also way too young. Alan Rickman is a MAN. Capital letters intended. I fell in love with him in Robin Hood - who needed Costner? - and have been a huge fan ever since. And his voice ... oh my, oh my.

So Love, Actually is not just a wonderful Christmas film, it has Rickman. Ooooh....

Minna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Minna said...

And Tove Jansson's Moomin books, like Tales from Moominvalley.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Crianlarich, I see you're a woman of exquisite taste. I love a bit of the old Alan Rickman too, even though he's not very nice in Love Actually!

Nobody's mentioned the wonderful madcap and romantic Christmas in Connecticut! That is such a good movie!

Hope you're all having a marvellous Christmas. It's Boxing Day here which for me means BOXES of chocolates!!!! Yes, Santa's elves clearly raided a chocolate factory this year when it comes to my presents. YUM!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

MERRY MERRY and HAPPY HAPPY to all Banditas and BBs and of course the GR!!!

Kate, I envy you going off to the lovely dry dessert today. It is windy and rainy here in chilly NorCal. Luckily I only have to go a few miles to my BFF's for leftovers lunch and then only a mile to my friend and CPs for dinner. AH! Aunty loves it when other people cook! ;-)

I LURVED Sandy Blair's "A Highlander for Christmas" and a friend invited me and the BFF over for dinner a few days ago and we watched "Love Actually" -- FUN FILM!

Hope everyone has a safe and fun day! 2008 has been a wonderful year here in the Lair mostly because our Buddies have been so loyal, giving, and always entertaining. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! And here's to an even MORE WONDERFUL 2009!


traveler said...

Happy Holidays! Have a wonderful celebration. I have a multitude of favorite Christmas books. Enjoy this special day and thanks for this amazing place.

Leslie said...

This year has been crazy but most years are. No matter how well I plan there always seems to be some last minute thing that needs to be done. But it's all worth it when the family is together and enjoying themselves.

I hosted Christmas breakfast this year and it went really well. Now I'm enjoying the lull before going to my mom's for dinner.

I just read The Magical Christmas Cat anthology and really enjoyed Nalini Singh's story Stroke of Enticement.

Hope all of you wonderful ladies are enjoying yourselves and have a Merry Christmas.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oh Joanie, I too loved Sandy Blair's A Highlander For Christmas, but wasn't sure how kosher it is for me to say how much I love a book that I'm a secondary character in!! hehehe...But didn't she do a fabulous job on that book?

Kate Carlisle said...

Happy holidays to you, too, Kim! I finally made it to my mom's and we opened a few presents. Hope everyone's having (or had) a wonderful day!

Hi, Sue A.! I really like Anne Stuart's books but haven't read the holiday ones you talked about. I really need to get out more! :-)

Hey Bamabelle! You must be one of Santa's elves, putting the toys together. That's a big job. Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Ms. Campbell, hello! Hope your day was very merry!!

Happy holidays to you, Minna! I think I know the JD Robb you're talking about. Was it one of her short stories? Now I'm going to be stumped until I can check my bookshelf when I get home. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Merry Christmas, Amy! Sounds like you had a fabulous meal! We're still finishing brunch here in California. And I'm sorry you have to work tomorrow. Ugh! I lucked out and got the day off, although some of my office friends will be working, too.

Happy holiday, Jane! I've read some of Nancy Warren's books and like her. I remember one opening that was so clever, it really cracked me up. I'll try to find that novella you talked about.

Hi Maureen! Hope there's not too much to clean up tomorrow so you can relax awhile. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Laurie, happy holidays! Yup, the Banditas have outdone themselves with their bountiful Christmas basket. :-)

Merry Christmas, Suz!!! Oops, I should whisper since you're probably sleeping. :-)

You and Laurie both talked about Debby Macomber's Christmas books and I agree. She really knows how to write a heartwarming holiday story, doesn't she. I love her!

anne said...

My ultimate Christmas read is by Colleen COllins. I was enthralled with her story. Thanks for this delightful post and happy holidays.

Kate Carlisle said...

Merry Christmas, PJ! Okay, by now the kids have torn into their presents and your house is probably hopping! Hope everyone got exactly what they wanted and you're all having a wonderful day!

Hi Mary -- thanks for coming by today! Ooh, I do love a reformed bad boy. Thanks for the recommendation! :-)

Danie, I cracked up just thinking about the GR in a Santa suit. LOL

PJ said...

Suz, you're a character in "A Highlander for Christmas"? I didn't know that! I loved that story. I need to pull it out for a re-read when I get home this weekend.

It's a beautiful Christmas day here in North Carolina. The rain has gone, the sun is out and it's a balmy 65 degrees. Perfect! The dogs and I just returned from a lovely, long walk where we met up with oodles of children trying out their new bikes, scooters, wagons, skates, etc. Lots of happy smiles!

Kate Carlisle said...

Merry Christmas, Dianna! A number of you have talked about Mary Balogh's short stories and I'm putting her on my reading list. I've read her books but never tried her Christmas stories. Thanks!

Hi Cheryl -- thanks for stopping by the Lair on Christmas! Hope you're having a great holiday!

Ooh Lois, what a great list! Thanks, I'm printing those out and gonna go hunt them down. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Merry Christmas Cheri! I love Nora's Christmas stories, too!

Buffie!! Happy holidays! Hope your little one finds some presents to open! *g*

Wow, both Cheri and Buffie recommended Adrienne Basso's Christmas story so I'm absolutely going to have to find it! Thanks!

Kate Carlisle said...

Happy holidays to you too, Margay, and thanks for your lovely wishes!

Dina, have a wonderful day with your daughter! Merry Christmas!

Merry merry, Christie!! I'm sure the lull is long over and you're bustling around, trying to get that turkey cooked! :-)

Crianlarich, Love Actually is one of my absolute favorite holiday movies! We'll be watching it later tonight!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, Jo! Have a great time with the bird! :> He's going to love a Robertson Christmas, I just know it.

I'm getting some great ideas for Christmas reading. Love that.

Some of my favs:

a Christmas Promise by Shelly Bradley
The Adept Series by Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris - one of these is set at Christmas, and depicts Christmas in the Scottish countryside...ahhhhhhh, beautiful. :>
Nora's Holiday in Death

And there are so many others I don't have time to go look up...waah!

I'll be coming back to write these down...

Kate Carlisle said...

Merry Christmas, Joanie!!!

Sounds like your brother gave you some perfect gifts for YOU. Wow, a food processor? Fabulous! And gift cards are always in good taste! :-)

Oh Buffie, we all love Sandy Blair! :-)

Hi Nancy - happy holidays! And, A Christmas Carol isn't really very romantic, but it's a great holiday story. And I do love A Christmas Story! We always try to watch that one during the season. And I'm a Love Actually fan, too. I hope you'll get a chance to watch it all the way through sometime soon.

Kate Carlisle said...

Welcome back, Virginia. Hope your day was fun. Yes, Sandy Blair's Highlander for Christmas is a huge favorite!

Merry Christmas, Treethyme! I'm a big fan of Christina Skye's, too. I hope you're loving her book!

Hi Pat! Merry Christmas back at you!!

Minna, hope you had a wonderful holiday! Thanks as always for your links. I'll check them out later today. :-)

ruth said...

Great post, Kate.
Enjoy your day and happy holidays.
I have several favorites but my best is It's A Wonderful Christmas by Jasmine Cresswell.

Kate Carlisle said...

We appreciate the "fly-by," Gillian! Have a wonderful day and we'll see you later over tea! :-)

Crianlarich, I sooo agree about Alan Rickman, although he's quite the dog in this film! But who can blame anyone for going after him, right? Yum! :-)

Any film that has Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth and Liam Neeson in it can't help but be fabulous!

jo robertson said...

Oh, yes, Helen, the rooster, Dr. Big and I got up at 5:00 (the chook wasn't too worried about that because, uh, after all he IS a rooster)and visited half the grands. Now we're going to my son's for dinner with the rest of them. Thank goodness I don't have to cook this year. Yay!

Yum, your dinner sounds delish!

Kate Carlisle said...

Anna, Happy Boxing Day!! And I had no idea that boxes of chocolate were the traditional Boxing Day gift! I'll keep that in mind for future. :-)

Aunty Cindy!!! Merry merry Christmas to you! And I'll join you in wishing everyone the most fabulous 2009! May all your dreams come true in the New Year!

There was rain in the desert last night and this morning but we seem to have missed the worst of it. It's still cloudy but it's supposed to clear up later. And there's snow on all the mountains! It's beautiful.

And I'm so with you on allowing others to do the cooking. ;-)

jo robertson said...

Kate, this is a great post topic. I never knew there were so many Christmas romances that I missed reading. Thanks everyone for the ideas!

diane said...

Merry Christmas and happy Holidays. Thanks for this lovely post.
My favorite story is Miracle on Bannock Street. A classic which I appreciate.

Kate Carlisle said...

Traveler, thanks so much for stopping by today! It's all our special Buddies who make the Lair such a fun place to be!

Happy holiday, Leslie! Yes, it's always crazy, no matter how well I plan things. How does that happen? LOL. I hope you had a wonderful dinner at your mom's!

LOL Suz! Now, does everyone know that Suz is a genuine celebrity? She's a "featured" secondary character in Sandy's Highlander for Christmas. *g* If anyone hasn't read it, you simply must!

Crianlarich said...

Ah, Kate - Enjoy re-watching Love, Actually tonight. Great idea! I might do that, too, if there's time. I have dinner guests arriving in several hours and the film would be a nice way to end the night after they leave.

Anna C. - Yes, Rickman is divine. If I had my druthers, I'd want him as Colonel Brandon. Ooooh... yes, he's a man to sigh over. He's not a pretty boy, but oh my, oh my. He has sophistication, wit, charm, that special elusive 'something,' and, as said, his voice....

Ah, well....

Now I'm going off-line ... time to make sure everything is just right in the kitchen before things get lively around here.

Happy Christmas, all around!

principessa said...

Happy holidays and enjoy the festivities. My favorite Christmas story is The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank.
Have a wonderful day. thanks for this post and your daily messages.

Kate Carlisle said...

Happy holidays, Anne! I haven't read Colleen Collins but I'll try her Christmas story. Thanks!

jo robertson said...

LOL, Danie88. The rooster didn't dress up as Santa today but the little one Annie dressed him in her Snow White costume. He was okay with it until she put the shoes on him!

Kate Carlisle said...

Aww PJ, you describe your home so beautifully! You're making me want to move to North Carolina again. :-)

Jeanne, Merry Christmas!! Hope you and your family are having a wonderful day! Yup, gotta love Nora's Holiday in Death! :-)

Hi Ruth, happy holiday! Thanks for stopping by the Lair today. I like Jasmine Cresswell, too!

ellie said...

Merry Christmas! What a great post. A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg was so enjoyable and unique. I loved this emotional and special story. Unforgettable.
Have a wonderful holiday ladies and thanks so much.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Suzanne, which character are you in a Highlander for Christmas?? I started in October and still haven't gotten all the Christmas stories read this year, I will start in September next year. Which character are you and I will jump to that book again...

petite said...

Merry Christmas everyone! A Stranger For Christmas by Carol Lynn Pearson is a book that resounded with me. Have a great holiday and enjoy!

catslady said...

I really don't have a favorite but I just wanted to wish everyone the happiest of holidays this season and a wonderful new year!

jenna said...

I enjoyed your post today. Have a wonderful Christmas. Have a wonderful day.
No Place like Home by Fern Michaels is a book that I liked very much. Sweet and perfect.
Have a happy and healthy new year.

Helen said...

Sounds like everyone is having lots of fun as it should be on Christmas Day. As Anna said it is Boxing Day here now and that means a quiet day for me relaxing and reading and yes eating lots of leftovers and of course chocolates it is expected to be very hot here today so the AC will be on and the Boxing Day cricket match starts in Melbourne at about 10-00am so the TV will be on as well I love the fact that I can read and watch cricket at the same time.

Have Fun All

Suzanne Welsh said...


I'm the curvacious nurse Susie with the winsome smile!

How cool is that?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Yes, PJ, Sandy is my critique partner and she honored me by including me in the book!! Doesn't hurt that it's a fantastic book.:)

annie said...

Happy Holidays and such a great post today. Have a fabulous day.
My favorite Christmas read is A Cedar Cove Christmas By Debbie Macomber.

CrystalGB said...

One of my favorite Christmas romances is An Outlaw For Christmas by Lori Handeland. Merry Christmas!

Kate Carlisle said...

Jo, enjoy dinner at your son's house! Very nice that you don't have to cook this year. It's only fair, right? :-) Will the newest grandbaby be there?

Hi Diane, Merry Christmas! I googled Miracle on Bannock Street and found out that it's a Colleen Collins short story, which Anne mentioned earlier. Part of an anthology with Jasmine Cresswell and Kathleen Long. It's now on my list for my next Amazon order. :-)

Crianlarich, I sighed at your mention of Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon. Wasn't he wonderful? Enjoy your dinner with friends. :-)

Principessa, happy holidays to you!!

LOL, Jo! I imagine after spending the day with p226 that the GR considered the Snow White costume quite a comedown! *g*

Kate Carlisle said...

Merry Christmas, Ellie! Fannie Flagg is such a wonderful writer, I imagine a Christmas story from her would be a joy to read.

Hi Petite. Thanks for visiting today! I read about A Stranger for Christmas. It sounds like a good read during this season of giving.

Catslady, thanks so much for your good wishes and let me return the very same to you! Have a wonderful holiday and may the New Year bring you good health and happiness and lots of good reading. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Happy holiday, Jenna, and thanks for visiting the Lair. I admit I enjoy anything by Fern Michaels!

Helen, stay cool and enjoy your Boxing Day cricket match!

Hello, curvacious nurse Susie with your winsome smile! I so love that description of you. :-)

Hi Annie! I enjoy all of Debbie's Cedar Cove stories. Hope you're having a wonderful holiday!

Welcome, Crystal! I read a review of Lori's Christmas book and wanted to find it and buy it right then. I'm hoping I'll come across it in one of the used book stores in my area. It just sounds perfect for the season.

Janga said...

The house seems very quiet now. The best gravy boat and pastry server and all the Christmas china are clean and back in place until next year. I loved having all the family here, and the food was wonderful, but this time of Christmas has its own joy. I like reflecting and stinging today's special moments on my chain of Christmases past.

I love Christmas stories. One of my favorite Christmas rituals is pulling out my boxes of Christmas books every November and beginning my annual rereads. Each year I add new ones too.

Two of my all-time Christmas stories are Carla Kelly's "Make a Joyful Noise" from the anthology A Regency Christmas Carol and Mary Jo Putney's “The Black Beast of Belleterre” from her Christmas Revels (another Beauty and the Beast story). As for novels, I reread all the classics and Jo Beverley's Winter Fire is a more recent favorite, but my very favorite Christmas romance is an old Harleqin American Romance from 1989, A Carol Christmas by Muriel Jensen. It has a psychically wounded heroine, a physically wounded hero, cute orphans, nuns, and a curmudgeonly handyman--a perfect Christmas story.

Nathalie said...

Merry Christmas to everyone!

What a lovely basket!

Lily said...

I love christmas anthologies, and my favorite must be Christmas Weddings, it was just so much fun.

Happy Holidays :)

terrio said...

Stopping by to say Merry Christmas! I don't have any favorite holiday reads, but I have finally gotten around to sitting down with Eloisa's When The Duke Returns so it's been a good reading day. However, since Santa was nice enough to bring me a cold, reading is all I'm doing today. We won't mention all the tissues I'm going through. *sigh*

Hope everyone had a great day!

Nancy said...

Crianlarich, I think Rickman is probably one of the best actors around. He disappears into whatever role he plays, whether it's the buffoonish Sheriff of Nottingham in the Costner Robin Hood, the Colonel Brandon in that Emma Thompson Jane Austen movie (Sense and Sensibility?) or Severus Snape. I'd bet he's wonderful in The Half-Blood Prince, which I can't believe we have to wait until SUMMER for!

Kate, we watched A Christmas Story this afternoon via the continuous re-run on TNT, though we've seen it enough not to care that we picked it up in the middle and watched until that part came around again. The boy wants to watch Jingle All the Way, so we'll be doing that as soon as the dust settles from dinner.

Lily, one of my cousins actually did get married on Christmas Eve. That was one of two Christmases we spent with my dad's relatives in Florida when I was growing up. We ate Christmas dinner outside at the picnic table, in shorts.

Nancy said...

BTW, Sabrina Jeffries has a School for Heiresses story that's wonderful in the Snowy Night with A Stranger holiday anthology that's out now. Julia London and Jane Feather also have stories in that book, but I haven't read theirs yet.

Michele L. said...

Woohoo! It's Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone! Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday!

My favorite Christmas anthologies are,
CHRISTMAS PARTY by Janelle Denison & Stephanie Bond
STROKE OF MIDNIGHT by Carly Phillips, Janelle Denison, & Jacqu'ie D'Alessandro
DASHING THROUGH THE MALL by Sherryl Woods, Darlene Gardner & Holly Jacobs
SUGAR AND SPICE by Fern Michaels, Beverly Barton, Joanne Fluke & Shirley Jump
THE MORGUE THE MERRIER by Rosemary Laurey, Karen Kelley & Dianne Castell
and many Christmas books such as,
HAPPY HOLIDAYS by Janet Dailey
'TIS THE SEASON by Vicki Lewis Thompson
among many others! I love Christmas books!

Wow! I see some people were up early this morning! Were you up wrapping presents?

Fun post Kate! Have an awesome holiday! Remember to save room for pie!

Michele L.

jo robertson said...

Absolutely, Kate, Emma was present and accounted for and didn't make a peep the whole time. And it was very LOUD at Lance's house. This single Dad made homemade tomato soup and the traditional turkey dinner and it was delicious. I guess single Dads have to know how to cook, huh?

He gave me a signed limited edition of a Lawrence Block book. How clever was that?

He reminded me of how I'd turned him and his brother on to reading Block's Bernie Rodenbarr series and they fought over one of the books, ripped it apart, and then had to read it in pieces! Teenage boys (picture me rolling my eyes)!

I hope everyone had as delightful a Christmas as we did. The rooster almost took off when the older grandkids started in on the drums and guitars, but we persuaded him to stay by luring him with pumpkin pie.

He's sleeping it off now and snoring quite loudly. I think P226needs to capture him tomorrow and make him do double laps.

Louisa Cornell said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS BANDITAS AND BUDDIES !!! Just got home from Mom's and I am STUFFED! Which means I will eat some of the leftovers I brought home in about an hour.

I LOVED the Snowy Night with a Stranger Anthology. Great stories.

An older Christmas anthology that I read every year is Angel Christmas. My favorites of the stories are Catch a Falling Angel by Carole Nelson Douglas and Guarded by Angels by Mary Balogh. GREAT stories.

Mistletoe Kisses by Elizabeth Rolls, Deborah Hale and Diane Gaston is another wonderful anthology.

A Stocking Full of Joy by Mary Jo Putney, Jill Barnett, Justine Dare and Susan King has great stories as well.

Regency Christmas Wishes is another terrific Christmas anthology.

Winter Fire is a wonderful Christmas book.

The Mistletoe Wager by Christine Merrill is a really sweet story.

Eloisa James's An Affair Before Christmas.

I LOVE Christmas stories and always read my favorites every year!

Merry Christmas to all. I'm going to warm up some ham, chicken and dumplings, peas and then I am going to eat a huge piece of lane cake!!

Louisa Cornell said...

Special Christmas blessings to the households with new babies to celebrate!

And JoMama, kudos on catching the Golden Boy. I know he had a blast with your family!

Virginia said...

Just stopping back in to say hi and I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, I know I did. I think I have ate all day and still stuffed, and thinking what else do I want a taste of. Oh the shame of it being full and still wanting a taste of something! It is really good that Christmas only comes once a year or I would be the good year blimp!

Anna Sugden said...

Sorry I'm late - meant to pop in last night and wish everyone a merry Christmas, but the wine and food and general excitement put paid to that. Hope everyone had a wonderful day, filled with happiness, great eats, fab pressies and fun.

I love Debbie Macomber's angels. And you can usually count on good Christmas stories from Silhouette Special Edition. I just read Kathleen Long's Christmas Confessions which was fab! If you haven't read it - go buy it!

My treat for these two days is Susan Mallery's Sweet series - I know they're not Christmassy, but what better way to spend relaxing days than to get to read a whole series all in one go?!

Off to make my Boxing day soup.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Suzanne Welsh said...

I'm the curvacious nurse Susie with the winsome smile!

Oh, that is so awesome, I remember you from the first time I read the book last year! It will be extra special reading it this year.

Kate Carlisle said...

Happy Boxing Day, everyone! It's the day after Christmas and I'm sneaking back in to see who visited later last night. I had a wonderful evening with family and a fabulous dinner, of course. Hope you all did, too.

Janga, I love that quiet time when everyone is asleep but the lights on the tree are still sparkling and all seems right with the world. :-)

I hope everyone managed to have a little quiet time despite the hustle and bustle of the holiday!

I'm off to spend the day with my family -- it's my brother's birthday, that lucky guy! -- so I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a fabulous New Year!

I'll be back later today to announce the winner of the Bandita Christmas Basket!!

Kammie said...

I hope I'm not too late. I spent the holiday over at my mother-in-laws house with no PC in site.

One of my favorite Christmas reads was A Virgin River Christmas by Robyn Carr. This year I didn't read as many stories as I generally do. Long working hours and weekends spent getting ready for the holiday limited my reading time. Now I'm on vacation and plan to spend it relaxing and reading, reading, and reading.

Hope everyone had a great holiday!

Maureen Child said...

Thanks for the mention, Kate! We had a great Christmas and now, I'm ready for my breakdown!!

Amy S. said...

Nice basket!