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History of Santa Claus (St. Nicholas). 31 Days of Christmas

31dayslogoWowza, Christmas is almost here. Tomorrow my son, and lots of other small children around the world, will eagerly wait for Santa Claus to come and deliver presents.  But, do you know the origin of Santa Claus?  Per History.com, legend has it that it started with a person in Holland, St. Nicholas aka Sinter Klaas, who reportedly gave all his wealth away and traveled around the country to help the sick and poor. As time passed, St. Nicholas became one of the most popular saints in Holland and he became known as the protector saint of children and sailors. It is big tradition in Holland to celebrate St. Nicholas around December 6, which is when St. Nicholas died.

santaEventually, the legend made it’s way to America in the late 1700s, with the help of Washington Irving and some news reporters. In 1804, the New York Historical Society gave out wood carvings of St. Nicholas, which had carvings of toys and stockings–which have now become the famous hallmark of Santa Claus.

For a complete history on Sinter Klaas/Santa Claus, visit History.com,  the source of the information provided in this post.

31dayssportspackIsn’t that a neat legend?  When did you learn that Santa Claus, as we know him today, wasn’t “real”—there was no jolly man in a red suit who traveled all across the world in a magic sleigh guided by flying reindeer delivering gifts to “good” boys & girls?  Comment below for a chance to #win a signed sports pack.

Don’t forget to stop by Mina Carter‘s blog, too, for all the 31 Days of Christmas fun and enter the #giveaway for a brand new Kindle Voyager (or $199 gift card). Winners from all giveaways will be announced on January 4, 2015.

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Guest author: Jessica Coulter Smith

Jessica lives in a world where warlocks, shapeshifters and fairies exist, and everyone deserves a happy ending—from tragic vampires finally finding love after centuries of being alone, to super hunky womanizing werewolves finding their destined mate—it’s all in a day’s work. Unable to find a werewolf of her very own, she decided to marry someone who thinks he’s one—minus the howling at the full moon, fleas, and a rousing game of chase-the-mailman. Okay, so he sometimes howls at the full moon. When she isn’t writing, Jessica enjoys spending time with her family, reading (mostly romance), or going to the beach. She’s especially fond of bookstores and Starbucks! Author Links Facebook    Twitter    WebsitePlease welcome Jessica Coulter Smith to the blog today.  She’s given us a fun little excerpt from Red’s Big Bad Wolf, which released earlier this month and is the first in her White Paw Pack series.

Excerpt

Red blew her hair out of her face and surreptitiously glanced around the room. No, it hadn’t been her imagination. There were no less than three wolves lounging around the library. She’d noticed them when she’d exited her apartment that morning, had noticed them following her, and now they were here. And wouldn’t leave. She had a mind to go up and demand to know what was going on, but something told her Ace was behind it. Was this in response to last night’s events? She’d taken care of herself most of her life. She didn’t need his help all of a sudden.

She jerked the phone off the cradle and was about to dial his number when she realized she didn’t have it. Slamming the phone back down, she grumbled under her breath. It wasn’t that the wolves were bothering her, they were just…there. Red wasn’t used to having people follow her around. Having jumped from one foster home to another, she’d never relied on anyone but herself, and she wasn’t about to change that now. Not even for the alpha.

Red snatched a book off the stack on the edge of her desk and scanned the new barcode before entering in the metadata for the new addition to the library. It wasn’t something she was supposed to be doing since she didn’t have her degree, but the head librarian trusted her. If there was one thing Red was good with, it was data. Cold hard facts made sense to her. The feelings swarming through her every time she thought of Ace didn’t. How could she want someone yet feel the need to keep them at arm’s length?

Finished with the book, she slammed it down on the other side of her desk and reached for another volume. There were thirty new titles to enter, some of them having multiple copies. Ms. Wilburn only ordered books once every two or three months, so when she did place an order, it was usually a large one. The small library just didn’t have the finances to add to the collection every time a new book hit the market. They relied on fundraisers like bake sales, used book sales, and the fees for using the private rooms to buy their materials. As the only library within twenty miles, you’d think they’d have better resources, but the town was more worried about their high school sports teams than the town’s education. Figured. Jocks always won.

“Something wrong?” Ennis asked, as Red slammed another book down.

She glared up at him. “Why are your buddies and you hanging out in here today? You never come to the library.”

“Maybe we wanted to expand our horizons,” he said with a smile.

Red snorted.

Dalton walked up and stared at her. “Is there a problem?”

“Yeah, your pack mates and you are following me around like lost puppies.”

Dalton shrugged. “Alpha’s orders. You’re to have a security detail at all times.”

“Oh, for the love of…” She blew out a breath. “Get Ace on the phone. I want to talk to him right now.”

Ennis handed her his phone. “He’s on speed dial. Number one.”

She accepted the phone, pressed the number, and waited. It rang several times before a groggy-sounding alpha answered the phone.

“What the hell do you mean, assigning me a security detail?” she demanded.

“After what happened last night, can you honestly ask me that?”

“Ace, those three have bothered me for most of my life. Why are you suddenly interested?”

He growled. “It’s not sudden. The entire pack had orders to protect you. Those three are being punished. Severely. You’ll never have another problem out of them.”

“Then the matter is solved. Call off the watchdogs.”

Dalton glared at her, obviously not liking the comparison to a dog.

Red sighed, her anger leaving as quickly as it had come. “It’s not that I don’t appreciate what you’re doing, Ace, but it isn’t necessary. I’m a big girl and can take care of myself.”

“What would you have done last night, Red? If I hadn’t been there to stop them…” She heard him huff out a breath. “I don’t even want to think about what they’d planned to do to you. Suffice it to say: as long as you’re single and unprotected, you’re going to have a few wolves hanging around to make sure you’re taken care of.”

Her temper flared hot again. “I don’t need babysitters. Just because I don’t shapeshift into something doesn’t mean I can’t handle myself. Human’s can be quite resourceful, you know.”

“This isn’t negotiable. What time do you get off work?”

She glanced at the clock on the wall. “In about three hours.”

“I’ll pick you up.”

“Fine. But this discussion isn’t finished.”

“Yes, it is.”

Before she could utter another word, he hung up on her.

About Red’s Big Bad Wolf

Red Maybury has lived her life plagued with nightmares of something so horrific she isn’t sure she’ll ever get over it. Trust doesn’t easy come to her, especially where men are concerned, but when she discovers she’s the alpha’s destined mate, she becomes determined to overcome her fears.

Ace Silver has known for seven years that Red is his mate, but he’s a hard, domineering man and he isn’t sure she can handle him. When her well-being is threatened by three of his wolves, he realizes the only way to protect her is to claim her.

Giving herself to Ace, Red learns that in order to control her fears she must submit to him, but will it be enough? Can she face her past in order to have a future with the man she is quickly falling in love with? Or will old demons drag her down, dooming any chance they may have at happiness?

Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Vampires/Werewolves
Release Date: December 9, 2014
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand

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About Jessica Coulter Smith

Jessica lives in a world where warlocks, shapeshifters and fairies exist, and everyone deserves a happy ending—from tragic vampires finally finding love after centuries of being alone, to super hunky womanizing werewolves finding their destined mate—it’s all in a day’s work.

Unable to find a werewolf of her very own, she decided to marry someone who thinks he’s one—minus the howling at the full moon, fleas, and a rousing game of chase-the-mailman. Okay, so he sometimes howls at the full moon.

When she isn’t writing, Jessica enjoys spending time with her family, reading (mostly romance), or going to the beach. She’s especially fond of bookstores and Starbucks!

Connect with Jessica:

Facebook    Twitter    Website

 

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Family traditions (31 Days of Christmas)

31dayslogoThe holidays are about so many things–the major themes being giving back, spending time with family and usually a religious celebration (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, etc).  My family is really big on just being together–spending quality time with one another.  This is also one of my favorite things about the holidays as I love just being with my family.  My husband and I take our son down to see the tree at Rockefeller Center, walk around and see the sights, etc. Rock_Tree

I also love hearing about what traditions others have this time of year.  What are some traditions in your family?  Comment below for a chance to #win a swag pack.  Don’t forget to enter for the grand prize–a Kindle Voyager (or $199 gift card) AND to stop over at Mina Carter’s blog to see her holiday fun! swag

 
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Do you hear what I hear? (31 Days of Christmas)

31dayslogoChristmas is right around the corner! Are you ready? I’m getting there…and looking forward to our trip to Disney!  I had an odd thought–do people still go Christmas caroling?  This isn’t something I used to do in the traditional sense–going door to door with a group signing to my neighbors. However, my sister and I were in our church choir and we always did a Christmas pageant (birth of Christ and lots of singing) every year.  So, I’m kind of curious, does anyone go caroling–either door to door, or around town to businesses, nursing homes, etc?

Let me know if you still carol (or know anyone who does…or not) below for a chance to #win a signed sports pack bag.  Winners from all 31 Days of Christmas contests will be announced on January 4, 2015 on the blog.  Also, are you stopping by over at Mina Carter’s blog and checking out her 31 Days of Christmas posts?  1 lucky winner will #win a Kindle Voyager (or $199 gift card).  Only a couple weeks left!31dayssportspack

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Guest author: Rosanna Leo

Predator's_Fire_coverHello my lovelies! Please welcome Rosanna Leo to the blog.  Rosanna’s latest release is Predator’s Fire. Check out the awesome excerpt.  Thanks Rosanna for stopping by!

In her world, he shouldn’t exist. In his world, she’s about to become an endangered species.

Excerpt:

“How much longer do I have to wait? I want to see Killian Moon. Now.”

The feminine voice, strangely soft despite its insistence, echoed deep in his being, awakening his jaguar. The great cat roared to life, turned toward the office and inhaled deeply. Its eyes flashed in interest.

In…recognition?

Killian breathed in at the same time, catching the scent of cherry blossoms through the door. The sweet perfume, mixed with human outrage, proved a heady distraction, making him forget why he was there. Shaking his head, he tried to dismiss the odd sensation as Ryland opened the door.

The door swung open and the first person he glimpsed was one of the clerks from reception, trying his hardest to placate the unexpected guest. “I’m sure Mr. Snow and Mr. Moon will be right back.”

And then his gaze landed on the petite human. Tapered Asian eyes, so dark and mysterious, but rimmed with circles of exhaustion. Smooth, cinnamon skin hinted at a mixed background. Wearing no makeup, she appeared younger than she must be, but her presence and keen eyes pegged her at around thirty years old. She had a riot of curly, black hair and feminine curves that ought to come with a warning. He could see it now. Beware: this woman’s body will cause insanity in men. Even as she gesticulated at the clerk, her boobs jiggled in such a way his throat went dry.

He pictured her in a corset, her breasts spilling over delicate lace edging, and almost forgot his name.

This Nina Suzuki was damn hot and his jaguar seemed to agree. The animal licked its lips, its golden gaze assessing and appreciating every detail, from her rounded hips to her come-hither rack.

Yes, the creature uttered on a frenzied breath.

predator'sfireoptAbout Predator’s Fire:

When Nina Suzuki discovers the body of her best friend Janine, her world turns upside down. Things go from bad to worse when Janine’s corpse seems to transform into that of a large, brown wolf. For the first time, Nina is faced to confront all the clues indicating her BFF was not what she seemed. A letter from the dead woman opens Nina’s eyes to a strange, new world. The same letter warns of a sinister group called the Alpha Brethren, and urges her to find Killian Moon of the Ursa Fishing Lodge and Resort on Gemini Island.

Killian Moon is a jaguar shifter and teen mentor at the Ursa Lodge in Northern Ontario. He may be a comfort and inspiration to confused teen shifters, but he also has a fiery past. His past comes back to haunt him when human Nina arrives at the resort, demanding to speak with him. Demanding answers. Can he trust her with knowledge that will not only change her life, but possibly endanger those around him?

As Killian begrudgingly tutors Nina on all things shifter, their mutual curiosity flares into passionate need. Once they touch, once they succumb to desire, there is no going back. Killian realizes Nina is his mate and they both begin to comprehend the terror threatening those on their shifter-friendly island. He is forced to confront the tragedy in his family and determines to protect Nina at all costs.

But can they protect everyone they love from a cult of dangerous shifters, intent on horror and destruction?

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RLauthorpicAbout Rosanna Leo:

 Rosanna Leo is a multi-published romance author with Liquid Silver Books. Several of her books have been named Night Owl Romance and Two Lips Recommended Reads. A native of Toronto, Canada, Rosanna loves injecting a bit of Canadian flavor into her books. When not writing, she can be found haunting dusty library stacks or planning her next star-crossed love affair. Her hot contemporary romance Vice will be published with Samhain Publishing summer 2015.

 Connect with Rosanna:

Website  Facebook  Twitter  Goodreads  Pinterest  Instagram

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