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A Father for Christmas (A Holiday Romance) by Rachelle Ayala

Not all Christmas Love Stories have to be about billionaires finding supermodels. . . or cowgirls or …..

 

A Father for Christmas (A Holiday Romance) by Rachelle AyalaBook Description

September 23, 2014
Single mother Kelly Kennedy can’t afford lavish gifts for her four-year-old daughter, Bree. Homeless veteran Tyler Manning doesn’t believe he deserves a Merry Christmas.When Bree asks Santa for a father and picks Tyler, both Tyler and Kelly vow to keep Bree from being hurt while fighting their feelings for each other.Tyler struggles with frightening flashbacks that scare Kelly. Meanwhile, Kelly’s criminal past threatens her chance for happiness. Tyler and Kelly must believe in the power of love to give Bree her best Christmas ever.

It’s 99c – a great little Christmas smile!

About the Author

Rachelle AyalaRachelle Ayala is a bestselling Asian American author of dramatic romantic suspense and humorous, sexy contemporary romances. Her heroines are feisty and her heroes hot. She writes emotionally challenging stories but believes in the power of love and hope.Rachelle is the founder of an online writing group, Romance in a Month, an active member of the California Writer’s Club, Fremont Chapter, and a volunteer for the World Literary Cafe. She is a very happy woman and lives in California with her husband. She has won awards in multicultural and historical romance.Visit her blog at http://www.rachelleayala.com or contact her at http://rachelleayala.me/author-bio/contact/

Review: Merry Christmas, Henry

merrychristmashenry
This is a WONDERFUL WONDERFUL Christmas Story! It is only 40 pages, so can be read quickly, and will put you in the Christmas spirit, no matter how “Bah Humbug” you might be!

Sigh…. I just finished Merry Christmas, Henry and am still wiping tears from my cheeks. And not in a bad way.

Henry is a lonely man. Treated badly as a child, his only retreat was into his paintings. “Henry the Trifling” he thinks of himself as being – insignificant, shy, and totally unassuming. A night museum guard, he spends his days painting beautiful paintings of the people he sees on his daily walks to the museum, setting them in beautiful, exotic settings. And his breaks for dinner in the museum? He spends with a painting of a beautiful, and yet melancholy woman on a windswept sea cliff. So goes Henry’s life for more than twenty years.

What happens next in Henry’s life is a beautiful Christmas tale that broke open my heart and filled it with joy.

I never, ever would have thought that this was Ms. Wynne’s first short story to be published. Her writing is crisp, well formed sentences drawing you into the story and leading you on a breathless journey through melancholy out out the other side to the light of pure Christmas magic.

Grab this short story and curl up in your favorite chair, a cup of cocoa in your hand, Christmas music playing softly, a quilt across your lap. You won’t be sorry. This will be one of your best Christmas presents to yourself ever.

The Tiny House Movement For You AND The Environment!

mcmansion
Just the right size for a family of two, right?

I just don’t get it. The economy is in the tank; jobs are hard to come by. Families are surviving on short work hours, part-time jobs, and increasing prices. And yet these huge-ass McMansions are going up all around us. Who BUYS this shit?

My neighborhood is cool. Far enough out from civilization to make it private and quiet, and yet close enough to town that the market isn’t a nightmare

Not my house, but close enough to style.
Not my house, but close enough in style.

to get to when the snow is deep and the wind is howling. You know the type – early 70’s rancher brick bungalow style with a large, fenced yard for the dogs. The neighbor on the corner is a flower greenhouse, there is a creek running on one side, and a veterinarian lives behind us. Mature trees (yea, so mature that I really need to rip out the one that finally croaked in the back yard before it blows over in the next huge windstorm. I would really, really like a crabapple out there to replace it – they have beautiful pink flowers in the spring . . . but I digress.)

Drawing courtesy of  http://spanishinsight.blogspot.com/2012/01/spanish-property-owners-face-double-tax.html All Rights Reserved.
Drawing courtesy of
http://spanishinsight.blogspot.com/2012/01/spanish-property-owners-face-double-tax.html
All Rights Reserved.

However, the world is creeping up on us, in the form of million dollar homes going up less than a couple miles away. And of course, you know what happens – the taxes on the neighborhood of ranchers suddenly go through the roof . . . Asswipes. As if we really COULD sell the places for the value that Jefferson County suddenly straps onto us! Like THAT is going to happen.

It really makes one think. And one thing I think about is how greedy and ostentatious people are. Oh, don’t get me wrong. When I lived in California and other places where my whole focus was on climbing the ladder, I was just as ostentatious as anyone else I worked with. Appearances really WERE everything, especially in my world. Who you knew, what you wore, what you drove and where you lived. Yes, I really did live down the street from O. J. and a lot of other “muckty mucks.” Well, BFD, right?

snob
Sigh. If only we could live once, then go back and do it all over again – RIGHT this time!

As time goes along, I have come to realize what a true waste of space I, and all of my previous cronies, really were. Hanging with movie stars and corporate moguls who took advantage of everyone really wasn’t as cool as it seemed at the time. Yep. Waste of space.

And that brings me full circle to the waste of space. Who truly needs 8,000 feet, or more, of house, which is usually only filled by one or two people, or maybe a family of three, at most? Horrible for the environment, if nothing else. The more I think about it, the more sad and disgusted I become. Talk about having the wrong priorities!

TinyHouses-Infographic-1000wlogo
Click for an infographic on housing costs and the reality of tiny home living from
http://www.thetinylife.com

The more I think about it, the more I really, really wish the ‘Tiny House Movement’ would become the true wave of the future. Haven’t read about it? Tiny Houses are just that, tiny, efficient homes, some that are actually popped onto trailers so that if you decide you don’t like your neighbors, you just hitch up and pull away to somewhere more pleasant. Or maybe just because you want to see another part of the country.

I first heard about this when I saw an ad for “Tumbleweed Tiny Houses.” The Elm 24 is ADORABLE!! I mean, look inside it!

The Elm - how cute is this?!
The Elm – how cute is this?! I would use the loft to sleep and turn the “bedroom” into a craft room and office!
elmloft
The sleeping loft lets tons of light in.
elmkitchen
Love Love LOVE the beautiful kitchen!
elmside
Check out the dormer windows on the Elm – lots of light, and the cathedral window really sets it off!

Well, the Linden is adorable too. Both are wood built, have dormers for the loft sleeping areas, and beautiful

Well, the Linden is adorable too . . .

linden
Cute . . . It just doesn’t have the beautiful porch that the Elm does!
lindengreatroom
Compact and perfect for a single or a couple.
lindenplan
The layout is totally efficient.

Both are wood built, have dormers for the loft sleeping areas, and beautiful kitchens.kitchens. Though tiny, they are so well laid out that there is actually a lot of useful room available. Both of these have front porches for a rocker and a plant or two. How nice would it be to sit out on your porch, the going, listening to the birds and watching little critters walk across your “front yard” when your front yard is a state park in the mountains, or by the sea? Yeah, yeah, you can get an RV. But what fun is that? These little houses are COOL!!! They really are tiny homes! And yes, they have bathrooms, with showers and chemical toilets (no, chemical toilets don’t stink), hot water heaters, and even fireplaces! I mean, take a look at the pictures! What else could you need, anyway? Besides, sitting on the edge of the Grand Canyon, or on the beach in the Carolinas – heck, even parked with a view of the snowy peaks of Mount McKinley in Alaska – what is not to love? And when you get tired of moving around, and find where you want to live? Just find a bit of land you love and park your home, grow your garden, put in your greenhouse, and you are living your happily ever after!

Of course, you don’t have to go all “woodsy” with your tiny house. Check out the HiveHaus! Fixed in place, it is very modern in style. In the words of the company:

Delivered to site as flatpack components by standard palletised transport enabling HIVEHAUS® to be installed on hard to access sights with ease – a single cell can be erected by 2/3 people within one day without the need for heavy machinery – adjustable legs and minimal foundations allow for erection on sloping or uneven terrain without problem. And because the compact nature of HIVEHAUS® fits within the legal limitations for garden rooms the need for planning permission in most cases is not required.”

Tiny house living with a modern touch!
Tiny house living with a modern touch!

How massively amazing is THAT!

So, looking for a happily ever after that you can actually afford, and that won’t destroy the environment – and will give you options that will still feel like home? Hey – check it out! You don’t have to be one of the Three Bears to live in a beautiful world like theirs!

in the end

The Food of a Younger Land, by Mark Kurlansky

I am in the process of choosing new fruit trees for the yard, and am going through a company that provides heirloom fruit trees. I am so excited!

Blogging for a Good Book

Subtitled “A portrait of American food — before the national highway system, before chain restaurants, and before frozen food, when the nation’s food was seasonal, regional, and traditional–from the lost WPA files,” you must at least read the extremely interesting Introduction to this treasure mine sampled from what remains in the archives of America Eats, five dusty boxes of manuscript copy on onionskin.  Here Kurlansky showcases the best of what he uncovered, just as writer Merle Colby had hoped when writing the final report before the unedited, unpublished manuscripts were tucked away in the 1940s: “Here and there in America some talented boy or girl will stumble on some of this material, take fire from it, and turn it to creative use.”

The entries are informative and amusing excerpts from food writing and recipes gathered regionally for a federally funded writing project that employed out-of-work writers.  When spending priorities…

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