What Do Christmas and a Gettysburg Legend Have in Common?

I’m happy to have my good friend, Staci Troilo, on the blog today, along with her delightful novella, When We Finally Kiss Goodnight. If you’re looking for a Christmasy read you’ll want to grab this one—especially since Staci is offering it at such a fabulous price. She’s even brought along a bit of folklore and history to introduce it. Take it away, Staci . . .

Banner ad for When We Finally Kiss Goodnight by Staci Troilo shows ereader with book cover on parchment style background with text

Hi, Mae. Thanks for having me back today. I’m happy to be here, visiting with you and your readers. (Hi, Mae’s readers!)

There are two things that interest me. Okay, there are a lot more than two, but these two are near the top of my list—romance and the supernatural. If I can mix the two together? That makes me really happy.

And that’s what I got to do in my Christmas-themed novella, When We Finally Kiss Goodnight.

Although the story is primarily set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (I grew up in a small town near there and went to college in the city, so it’s a favorite setting of mine), the characters, both of whom are archaeologists, take a day trip across the state to visit Gettysburg.

Gettysburg, as you probably know, is rife with historical lore. It’s got its share of ghost stories, too. As a bit of a history buff and a fan of the paranormal, I had to write about some kind of supernatural lore surrounding the city. I chose a folk legend surrounding star-crossed lovers and the Jennie Wade House.

Mary Virginia “Jennie” Wade was a seamstress who was engaged to Corporal Johnston “Jack” Skelly. While Jack was fighting in the war, Jennie, her mother, and her sister used to bake bread to serve to the Union soldiers. On July 3, 1863, around 8:30 a.m., Jennie was kneading dough when Confederate soldiers sprayed the house with more than 150 bullets. One of them passed through two doors and struck Jennie in the chest, killing her. Jack, her fiancé, never learned of her passing. He was captured and killed on July 12.

The door on the Jennie Wade House has never been repaired or replaced, and there is a legend regarding its bullet holes—if a woman (18 or older) places her left ring finger through the hole, she will be proposed to within a year. It is believed that Jennie wishes for and helps bring about a lifetime of love for others because she was denied her happily-ever-after with Jack.

The Jennie Wade House in Gettysburg, Image in public domain

And whether you believe or not, nothing can change the fact that the Jennie Wade House Museum receives letters from many of their visitors to report an engagement after visiting.

In my novella, Chloe and Britt go to the Jennie Wade House, and Chloe ends up putting her left ring finger through the door. Does she get a proposal and happy ending within a year? Well, you’ll just have to read the story to find out.

Book cover for When We Finally Kiss Goodnight by Staci Troilo When We Finally Kiss Goodnight Blurb:
Chloe Upshaw suffers from what she calls the trifecta of awful—unfulfilling job, disappointed family, bad luck with love. Just before Christmas, she travels to Pittsburgh hoping to land a job that will change her career. But not only is she in stiff competition for the position, she angers her mother by rejecting her matchmaking efforts and not going home. Worse, she runs into the guy who got away—and this time, no matter how many lies she tells to protect her heart, she leaves herself vulnerable to hurt.

Britt Garris’ callous and careless behavior in college cost him his dream girl. When fate crosses their paths ten years later, he thinks it’s serendipity. And he launches into one deception after another to win her back, including an auspicious trip for the two archaeologists to Gettysburg. Britt plays on Chloe’s love of history to spend time with her. He doesn’t count on the local lore and legend predicting their future—a future his duplicity puts at risk.

When their lies finally crumble, their budding relationship is threatened. Their dishonesties and disillusions may be impossible to overcome. But maybe the magic of the season can make their dreams come true.

This holiday-themed steamy romance novella is available for 99¢. Click here for purchase information.

Bio box for author, Staci Trolio

 

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Christmas . . . and #Cats

cute black cat poking out of plastic bag on bedThis is our second year with Raven, my beautiful rescue cat. Look at that face. Pretty hard to be miffed at anything that cute, right?

Last December she was seven months old and filled with curiosity. That led her to camp out in the smaller of my two Christmas trees, sprawling on the branches, and stealing at least a dozen Christmas ornaments. Every morning I’d find sparkly blue and silver balls on the floor or tucked away under the couch. Clever little thing did most of her “hunting” at night.

Because the smaller tree goes in our bow window—one of her favorite hangouts—we decided to forego it this year and just use our larger tree in the family room. She didn’t bother the larger tree last year, so we figured we were in the clear.

Uh…not.

A cat never outgrows curiosity.

The tree wasn’t trimmed more than ten minutes when I found her lying in the branches. Now that it’s been up for over a week, the branch-lounging novelty has worn off, but decorations on the bottom are still fair game. Fortunately, we’ve only had one shattered bulb and I was able to scoop her up before her little paws picked up any glass. The glass bulbs are now clustered mostly at the top.

Progress.

I’ve had cats before—three since I’ve been married, Raven being the fourth—and they were all spoiled. But this one has me wrapped. Worse, she knows it. I keep reminding myself that in human years, she’s about 18-20 years old. What’s the saying—Girls just want to have fun?

She’s definitely doing that!

If you have a cat—or even if you don’t—you might enjoy my paranormal Christmas novella, Food for Poe. It features a clever black feline, a holiday romance, and a creature from myth all wrapped up in a Yuletide tale. You can pick it up on Amazon for just .99 cents.

Book cover for FOOD FOR POE by Mae Clair shows attractive young couple in a winter setting with a black cat and silver Christmas ornaments belowBlurb
When a blizzard strands Quinn Easterly at a handsome stranger’s house on Christmas Eve, she doesn’t realize her newly adopted cat, Poe, is the catalyst responsible for bringing them together.

Breck Lansing gave up on relationships after his wife, unable to cope with their daughter’s illness, left him. But the pretty blonde he rescues from a snowstorm has him rethinking his stance—especially when Quinn’s arrival coincides with a dramatic change in Sophie’s health.

Unfortunately, that change also attracts something only whispered about in folklore. Together, Quinn and Breck must defeat a sinister creature intent on claiming the ultimate payment.

Warning: A clever black cat, Christmas magic and paranormal trouble

One reviewer’s take:
“This has become my new favourite Christmas story! I’m going to read it again next Christmas. Poe, a beautiful pure black cat (Not at all unlike my own darling, Rico… Wink.) is the hero of this most magical and thoroughly captivating tale.

It is a tale of love, hope, compassion, faith, superstition, and suspense with a touch of horror… I was hooked from the start. If it was up to me, I’d make it into a Christmas movie and watch it every year.” ~ Kevin Cooper

You can purchase Food for Poe for .99c from Amazon 

Raven and I thank you for your consideration, and send you wishes for a purrfectly Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

Mae Clair Presents: Caribbean Christmas by Tammy Tate

My friend, Tammy Tate, is back today with her latest release, a romance set in a warm tropical location. I like the fact that CARIBBEAN CHRISTMAS has a twist of the paranormal in the mix. You can get the full scope of the story by watching Tammy’s book trailer below.

Take it away, Tammy …

~ooOOoo~

Caribbean Christmas is about the festive holiday we all love so much, romance, a tropical paradise and a sprinkle of mystery…

The closest I’ve ever been to spending Christmas in a tropical paradise was growing up in Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Normally in December, I was still swimming.  I know it should be a mortal sin. Right? Since, I only had about two months (if that) of what could be considered brisk weather, I sported a golden brown tan all year around. Of course, that was when tans were healthy! Or, so they thought.

Since I adore rolling waves, white sandy beaches and crystal blue water, it only stands to reason why I would write a book about a girl who lives in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands during the Christmas holidays. After doing research, I have added “Vacation in the Virgin Islands” to my bucket list. (Pssst…that’s a secret. I haven’t told my husband yet).

Feel free to treat yourself to a sneak peek of the book trailer!

A short blurb/excerpt…

“I know what you’re thinking.” His voice pulled her back into reality.

“Trust me. You don’t—,” she mumbled as his thumb rubbed the back of her hand.

“You must wonder why we haven’t spoken until today.”

Her head shot up. The wind blew her hair and she trapped it behind one ear.

Phew. That was close.

“Guilty as charged,” She chuckled, glad that he wasn’t a mind reader.

“I wasn’t sure if you had someone special in your life.” He shrugged. ‘I didn’t want to… complicate things.”

Was he fishing to see if she had a boyfriend?

She pulled free. “I assure you, my life isn’t as complex as you might think.”

Book cover for Carribean Christmas by Tammy Tate features young couple on a covered porch in a tropical locationAs he leaned forward, warm puffs of air caressed her face. He removed another whisk of hair from her cheek. Trembling, she stepped back. Her heart soared and the crevice between her thighs tingled. That made him dangerous. Even in college when hormone levels rose higher than she could count, she refused to be someone’s one-night stand.

Eager to get inside, she fumbled with her deadbolt. The key slipped from her fingers, pinged off the wall and bounced close to the edge. She wasn’t sure how much damage the metal projectile could do six floors down, but she didn’t care to find out. She released a big sigh of relief when he trapped it with his shoe.

One edge of his mouth lifted slightly. “That was close—”

“Oh… you have no idea,” she chuckled aware of the schoolgirl flutter in her stomach that he seemed oblivious to.

Throw a haunted house and a ghost into the mix and fasten your seatbelt!

*****

About Tammy

Author Tammy Tate Tammy Tate was born and raised in Hollywood, Florida but has lived most of her adult life in Texas. Her passion to write began in high school. It follows her everywhere she goes…creating a world where anything is possible. She’s been married to the same wonderful man for over thirty years. Her secret to a long marriage? It’s easy when you marry your best friend. In her world, Friday night is still date night.

Before she became a full-time author, she was an Executive Secretary, a Computer Consultant/Technician, and a Communications Officer (Police Dispatcher). She doesn’t mind a challenge which has allowed her to race a late-model in a women’s powder puff race, run barrels and poles in a play-day rodeo and drive an 18-wheeler. Somewhere in between, she and her husband raised three wonderful children. When she’s not breathing life into her characters or jotting down ideas for a new book, she and her husband are exploring country roads on their Honda Gold Wing.

Since she believes reading is the next best thing to writing, she enjoys romance, fantasy, science fiction and thrillers. In December of 2013, she signed her first book contract with a traditional publisher. Her books have made Amazon’s Best Seller list.

Above all, she loves to hear from you…

Here are ways to connect:

Email: authortammytate@aol.com

Fan Page: www.facebook.com/tammytateauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authortammytate

Blog: http://authortammytate.blogspot.com

New Release: Food for Poe by Mae Clair #Christmas #Cats #SweetRomance

In the U.S., it’s soon time for Thanksgiving, aka, “Turkey Day.” Personally, I’m partial to the stuffing, though I enjoy the main course and all the other trimmings, too. November always feels like a short month to me with Christmas looming around the corner.

No complaints though because Christmas is my favorite holiday. Not only do I enjoy December 25th and Christmas Eve, but I love the entire month of December. It’s like one long holiday with all the merriment, festivities, and spirit of goodwill that leads up to that very special day. I’m a Christmas sap.

So it stands to reason I’d eventually get around to writing a Christmas story.

Those who know me also know there are two things (other than writing) I’m passionate about: folklore and cats. When it came time to dream up a Christmas story, I decided to weave both elements into the tale. The result is FOOD FOR POE, a short Christmas novella that is also a tale of sweet romance, twined with the paranormal, and even a wee smidgen of horror (just a smidge, I promise!).

Take a look:

Cover of FOOD FOR POE with cute young couple and a black cat.

 

BLURB:
When a blizzard strands Quinn Easterly at a handsome stranger’s house on Christmas Eve, she doesn’t realize her newly adopted cat, Poe, is the catalyst responsible for bringing them together.

Breck Lansing gave up on relationships after his wife, unable to cope with their daughter’s illness, left him. But the pretty blonde he rescues from a snowstorm has him rethinking his stance—especially when Quinn’s arrival coincides with a dramatic change in Sophie’s health.

Unfortunately, that change also attracts something only whispered about in folklore. Together, Quinn and Breck must defeat a sinister creature intent on claiming the ultimate payment.

Warning: A clever black cat, Christmas magic and paranormal trouble

~ooOOoo~

I’m happy to announce that FOOD FOR POE has just released. In celebration of the holidays, you can grab a copy for $.99 at Amazon. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download a FREE Kindle Reading App for your PC, MAC, iPad, iPhone, Android or tablet here.

Merry Pre-Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Mae Clair Bio
Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back.  Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.

Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with mystery and romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.

Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at MaeClair.net
Sign up for Mae’s newsletter here

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:
Twitter (@MaeClair1)
Google+ 
Facebook Author Page 
Amazon Author Page 
Kensington Books Author Page 
Goodreads  
Pinterest

Purchase FOOD FOR POE from Amazon

Mae Clair Presents: COLE IN MY STOCKING by Jessi Gage #HolidayRomance

Jessi Gage is back with a “cool” new release!  ‘Tis the season for holidays and romance, so you won’t want to miss COLE IN MY STOCKING, Jessi’s delightful holiday story.

JessiGage_ColeInMyStocking_800px

Blurb:
Mandy never planned to return to Newburgh, New Hampshire, the hometown that unfairly branded her a slut, but she has no choice. Her father has died, and she’ll be spending Christmas settling his affairs. She hopes to get in and out of town without attracting the looks of disgust that drove her away, but when a certain Oakley-wearing, Harley-riding cop starts hanging around, an old crush is revived and the rumor mill restarts with a vengeance.

Cole has always been attracted to Mandy, but he has never acted on it. Besides being sixteen years older than her, he was friends with her father. The rumors people in town spread about her were bad enough without an inappropriate relationship adding fuel to the fire. But when Mandy returns to Newburgh fully adult and looking more gorgeous than ever, he can’t keep his distance, especially when an old secret of her father’s surfaces and puts her in danger. He’ll stop at nothing to protect her, but convincing her to stay in Newburgh, with him, will take a Christmas miracle.

Reader Advisory: Contains references to a past sexual assault

Excerpt:
Lamenting my lack of AAA membership, I trudged back to the driver’s side door and climbed in. My best friend Heather had given me a heated seat pad for the trip. I nestled into the welcoming warmth and fished my insurance card out of my wallet. I was pretty sure my insurance company provided roadside assistance. But would it make my rates go up if I used it? Surely not. I hadn’t gotten in an accident. It was just a stupid flat. Living in down-town Philly on a social worker’s salary, I could barely afford to keep the beast in Valvoline oil and low-grade gasoline. Higher insurance rates were out of the question.

Hoping for the best, I dialed the 800 number. A sharp knock on the window made me yelp.

My phone clattered into the inaccessible abyss between my seat and the console. I’d lost countless spare change, Chap-Sticks and morsels of Chex Mix to that abyss. If anyone ever plumbed its depths, they’d be sure to find fossilized remains of lost species of gas station foods and thriving colonies of automotive dust bunnies.

And my cell phone. Crap.

I turned the full force of my scowl on the perpetrator, forgetting to be fearful until the height and breadth of the person registered.

A man. Crowding my window and blotting out the light of a faraway streetlamp. Panic made a fist around my heart.

I slammed down the door lock with one hand while feeling for my cell phone with the other. Duh. Empty cup holder. Nine-one-one was not an option.

Meanwhile, my eyeballs strained to make out the man’s face, and I realized why it was so difficult. The wide brim of a tan state trooper hat left all but the man’s square chin and firm mouth, which was surrounded by five-o’clock-plus-two-extra-days stubble, in shadow. That mouth was as unforgiving as rebar. When it moved with a glass-muffled “Everything all right?” it offered a glimpse of slightly crooked lower teeth.

I knew those teeth. That mouth. That chin with the faintest of dimples in the center.

It had been so long.

The knot of panic in my chest simultaneously unwound and morphed into mortification. Of all the people I’d planned to avoid on this trip, Cole Plankitt topped the list.

Purchase COLE IN MY STOCKING from:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play | All Romance | Goodreads

zz_Jessi Gage headshot2Jessi Gage bio
Jessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. She’s a passionate reader of all genres of romance, especially anything involving the paranormal. Ghosts, demons, vampires, witches, weres, faeries…you name it, she’ll read it. As for writing, she’s sticking to Highlanders and contemporaries with a paranormal twist (for now). The last time she imagined a world without romance novels, her husband found her crouched in the corner, rocking.

Connect with Jessi Gage at the following haunts:

Website | Blog | Facebook Fan Page | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter 

Mae Clair Presents: OFF-DUTY CHRISTMAS by Tammy Tate #HolidayRomance

Today, I’m delighted to welcome a new author friend, Tammy Tate. Tammy’s visited my blog once before with her novella, THE SPIRIT PATH. Today she’s sharing her latest release–a sweet holiday romance, OFF-DUTY CHRISTMAS (I love the fun, breezy cover!). Be sure to check out her wonderful book trailer too. I think she has a special knack for creating them.

Welcome, Tammy!

~ooOOoo~

Mae, thanks so much for inviting me to be your guest today. I always love hanging out and browsing all the neat stuff you’ve uncovered about ghosts, myths and legends.  I’m thrilled to be here and excited to share my new release with you. It’s a romance called Off-Duty Christmas.

I have a hard time remembering life before romance novels, but here’s my best recollection.

About twenty years ago a friend of mine handed me my first romance novel. Of course, my initial reaction was I didn’t have time to read it. I had a husband, six horses, two Rottweilers and three kids, need I say more?

One night, I picked it up and began to read. Needless to say, I found it captivating and never made it to bed that night. From that day on, I was hooked. Then, one day I told my husband I wanted to write a romance novel of my own. He never batted an eye. This is my second book and I have two more coming soon.

With the upcoming holidays, I wanted to write something Christmas-oriented. Since I was a police dispatcher for seven years, I thought why not combine the two elements?The story begins in the dispatch arena because that was familiar territory for me. The characters sprang to life before my eyes to tell their story.

Off-Duty Christmas is about a dispatcher, two cops, and a game warden that go on vacation to a cabin in the mountains. The perfect ingredients for an interesting tale, wouldn’t you agree?

This story is about Kaitlyn, a police dispatcher who lost her parents in a plane crash and refuses to let anyone get close to her. The thought of losing someone she cares deeply for terrifies her. She was an only child so she doesn’t have siblings to help fill the void.

Christmas is right around the corner and she’s consumed with pouring more hours into her work schedule to make it pass quickly. She buries herself in twelve hour shifts to forget how lonely she is without family around her.

Her best friend, Officer Gina Jordan, convinces her into doing the unthinkable. She’s rented a remote cabin in the snow-covered mountains and invited Kaitlyn to go along. Ethan, another officer with the department, invites himself. A few days before they are about to leave, Gina is introduced to the handsome new Game Warden in town, a man known as Bryce. He’s taking the place of a retiring veteran in the area and she asks him to come along.

While at the cabin, Kaitlyn finds herself falling in love with Bryce despite the fact that he has one of the most dangerous professions out there. Nine out of ten people he’ll come into contact with, will have a gun. By allowing herself to love him, she’s upped the odds of possibly losing another loved one. 

OffDutyChristmasFrontCoverLg2

EXCERPT:
When she opened the door, Gina leaned against the frame, all five-feet, four inches of her.

“Ready?” Gina asked below a cap brim that read ‘Born to be Wild.’

Kaitlyn nodded, reached down and grabbed the handle of her suitcase. “When were you going to tell me about Bryce?”

Gina giggled. “Oh Bryce. You mean the new game warden? I just met him yesterday and he seems nice. I didn’t think you would mind if he tagged along.”

As they stood outside the steel doors, Gina beckoned the elevator several times as if it would make it rise to their floor quicker.

“I just wish you would have told me so I didn’t feel so clueless when Ethan asked me about it.”

Gina wrinkled her nose. “Since when do you care what Ethan thinks?”

Kaitlyn tried to nudge her with her suitcase, but Gina saw it coming and sidestepped before it made contact, then proceeded to do a little victory dance. A yellow light flickered at each level until the doors parted and they stepped inside.

“Just don’t bring him along on my account.”

“Who?” Gina’s head jerked up.

“Bryce.”

Gina arched a brow. “Now why would I do that? We both know you are two bootie shakes away from becoming a nun and traveling off to some godforsaken convent.”

“Am I that transparent?” Kaitlyn asked.

“Yeah, you are.” Gina shrugged while jabbing the down button several more times to get them to the ground floor. “I’m trying to educate you. Show you what you’ll be missing. That’s what friends do. Now lighten up before I leave your ass here.”  

Purchase OFF-DUTY CHRISTMAS from:
Amazon  

VIEW THE BOOK TRAILER

AuthorTammyTateAUTHOR BIO
Tammy Tate was born and raised in Hollywood, Florida. She lived in Las Vegas for 7 years and Texas for 18. Her and her husband, just celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary. Her secret to a long marriage? It’s easy when you marry your best friend and by all means, keep the home fires burning.

When she’s not breathing life into her characters, she enjoys reading, riding on the back of her husband’s Goldwing and coming up with fresh, new ideas for her next book. Among her favorite movies are romance, science fiction, fantasy, comedy and thrillers. Before writing, she was an Executive Secretary, a Computer Consultant/Technician, and a Communications Officer (Police Dispatcher).

She doesn’t mind a challenge which has allowed her to drive a late-model in a women’s powder puff race, run barrels and poles in a play-day rodeo and drive an 18-wheeler. Somewhere in between, she and her husband raised 3 wonderful children.

Connect with Tammy at the following haunts:
Facebook Fan Page
Twitter 

Goodreads 
Blogspot