Thanks for joining me once again for some special holiday fun. I hope you enjoyed the author interviews. I personally look forward to trying out the recipes they submitted.
This week I want to honor two special friends that are both accomplished writers. They are Kari Nichols and Jan Romes. I invited them to participate in writing The Gift with us but they both were strapped with previous engagements and were not available. Notwithstanding, I wouldn't dream of leaving these two ladies out.
Kari Nichols was one of the first writers I connected with on Twitter and she quickly became this larger than life pool of inspiration to me. I appreciate her dedication to God, her husband, and their international photography work. Kari has authored several books including The Plagued Trilogy and is currently working on the third installment, Plagued. I had the privilege of doing an interview with Kari on her debut novel Rogue. Read it here under Kari Nichols. Look for Plagued coming soon.
Jan Romes' books are delightful in every way with zany, witty characters. Well known for her Texas Boys Falling Fast series, Jan will thrill your reading hours away. Her latest is the No Sweat Pants Allowed Wine Club and its sequel Sipping Sangria of the Wine and Sweat Pants Series. One of my favorite titles from Jan is Stella in Stilettos. While Jan has a number of books out, we can expect more from this lovely and talented lady.
Well, that's it for this week. Check back next week for my favorite holiday recipe along with an update on my two short stories.
Also, don't forget to download your free book, The Gift, written by Theresa Snyder, Kaye Kelly, Iona Morrison, and me, Alexia. It's a fun read full of delightful characters celebrating the gift of friendship. Enjoy! See ya next week.
Welcome back. Thank you for joining me again. I hope you took the time to download your free gift. It is a little something special these authors and I wanted to give you for your friendship and following.
This week, I’m interviewing author Iona Morrison from Colorado. She is a lovely lady who is always thinking of others before herself. I have thoroughly enjoyed our friendship. Her presence is so calming.
Please help me welcome Iona Morrison.
Alexia: Hello Iona, thanks for stopping by. Folks, she is one very busy lady. On top of her novels that she is producing at lightning speed, she is moving and trying to prepare for the holidays. I don’t know how she manages it all.
Iona, I am thrilled you had a moment to stop by; I appreciate you so much.
Iona: Thank you for having me, Alexia. I enjoy your company as well.
Alexia: I promised our audience that we would find out what some famous authors are doing for the holidays. What special plans do you have this year?
Iona: Special to me is anything that includes spending time with family. Our sons are grown and two of them are married and raising families of their own. There are wonderful memories to recall and to make whenever we all get together. Our house will be filled with laughter and I love it.
Alexia: Awe, you have a beautiful family, Iona. Love and laughter makes for a healthy recipe.
We decorate for our children and families more than for ourselves but do you have a certain style you like to work with? Do you favor old fashion decorations verses modern ones?
Iona: I favor some of the old decorations, like the star on my tree we purchased the first year we were married. It has a few nicks and crinkles a lot like us, but I couldn’t part with it. We have tried, but it still adorns the top of our tree after many, many years. I don’t mind the new and modern decorations either. A vase filled with colorful Christmas beads is my table centerpiece verses a more traditional one. Like my taste in décor have changed from everything country to a more minimal design so has my decorating. I now go for the less is more approach.
Alexia: I would love to just go all out and cover my home with so many things, but I don’t like having to pack it away. I, too, prefer the less is more.
So, what was one of your most favorite Christmases as a child?
Iona: There isn’t a favorite childhood Christmas memory as much as I loved the time spent at my grandmother’s on Christmas Eve. They ran a boarding house and always had some of the most interesting people to share the holidays with. One of the more famous boarders they had staying there was one of the men who were in the iconic photo of the flag being raised at Iwo Jima. I don’t remember his name now, but my father told us he was an American Hero. I was so impressed. Also, my grandpa was the cook and he made an unbelievable peanut butter cake. I loved it.
Alexia: Oh, what a wonderful time that must have been. I’m a huge fan of our military. Just being in their presence is indescribable; there is so much strength and courage that fills the air. They are our true hero’s and I’m so grateful for each and every one of them.
I only have one child left at home now and I’m thinking I am not going to spend as much time decorating. I’ll just put out whatever she needs for her to enjoy the holidays.
What’s it like decorating around your house? Do you have family over, string up miles of lights and finish off with some treats and hot chocolate?
Iona: My husband and I do all the decorating now that the kids are grown. We are more laid back about it, but I enjoy seeing it all when we are done.
Alexia: Nice. If you could go back to your childhood, what Christmas treat did your Mom make for you that you would most enjoy baking for your family today?
Iona: I used to love my mother’s cookies. One of my favorite was the easiest to make. They’re a no bake butterscotch or chocolate Haystacks. They were made from Chow Mein Noodles and butterscotch or chocolate chips. Melt the chips, toss the noodles, and spoon out on wax paper to set. Sometimes she added peanuts or miniature marshmallows.
Alexia: Oh, my mother made those. We didn’t have them with the extras, though. I will have to try your version.
All we do to prepare for the holidays sends out a message to our families and friends. What is your message?
Iona: I have been blessed to know love all of my life. First from my parents, and now from the wonderful man I’ve been married to for many years. Love has built optimism and hope in my heart which has seen me through the hard times and challenged me to pay it forward to others.
Alexia: Love is the greatest message no matter what God one serves. And, Iona, you are well seasoned in sending out that message of love.
If I were visiting your home for the holidays, what should I expect to see, taste, and do?
Iona: I believe if you were to visit my house this holiday season you would see the message in action that I have chosen to live by everyday which is: Relationships are everything, people matter, everyone is important and kindness should be shown to all.
Alexia: Beautifully said, Iona. Love is everything. I would definitely share in that love and some of those haystacks.
Well, Iona, I could set with you all day but I should let you get back to work. I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to stop by.
What do you think folks, should we let her go? Isn’t she awesome? I told you she is a beautiful lady.
Iona: Alexia, thanks again for having me; I’ve enjoyed our visit. You and your family have a very merry Christmas.
Alexia: You, too, Iona.
In case you missed it, click here to download your free gift. It’s our way of saying thanks for all the likes and follows and your general support. There is no need to sign up for anything; it’s truly a free gift. You make a huge difference in the success of independent authors. We appreciate you.
This wraps up my holiday interviews. But please join me again next week. I’ll be showcasing some work of two other authors who were not able to visit this year due to previous engagements.
Look forward to seeing you then. Take Care – Happy Holidays.
Thanks for joining me again for week two of my Christmas interviews with authors. Each week, I'll host a different author. And on the week of December 4th I will share some of my favorite holiday things with you.
Plus, these authors and I have worked up a little something special just for YOU, our followers as a way of saying thank you for all your support. The best part is...you don't have to sign up for anything or even create a free account.
It's just simply a free gift to you.
So be sure to drop by for your free gift on November 18th.
The premise for these special holiday interviews is
"What These Famous Authors are Doing for the Holidays".
This week, Theresa Snyder has stopped by for a visit.
And where there is a Theresa Snyder, there is almost
always a Farloft.
So, please help me welcome back author
Theresa Snyder and Farloft.
And, in case you didn't know, Farloft has his own book out called Farloft's Storybook.
Alexia: Theresa, my friend, welcome back. Thanks for finding time to visit with me this special and oh so busy time of year.
As most of you know, I am a Christmas year 'round
kind of person. I love the holidays, all the decorating
I especially like the holidays when I can share them
with the family and good friends such as the worlds
most handsome dragon ever: Farloft.
Farloft: Thanks Alexia. It's nice to be back with you and your guests. Hello everybody. Oh, by the way, Alexia, these are for you.
*delivers a gift of chocolates, extends wings and bows*
Alexia: Well, thank you Farloft. Give me a huggle. I'm so glad you could make it. How was your trip coming in?
Farloft: Well, we hit a little rain storm. Theresa kept trying to open her umbrella and it would nearly yank her off. I eventually had to dart outside of the storm to keep her dry, not to mention keeping her on my back. *looking around for his gift, licks muzzle in anticipation*
Alexia: I'm excited that you both made it; safe and sound. Would you be looking for this?
*presents Farloft with a tray of chocolates and other baked goodies*
Farloft: Awe, *blushes* thank you Alexia. You always have the best chocolates and treats ever.
Alexia: You are welcome, Farloft, Merry Christmas. *huggles again*
Alexia: I understand you are joining me for a special Christmas project for our followers.
Farloft: Yes and I'm so excited about it, too. I appreciate you inviting me to participate. *grins toothily*
Alexia: You are welcome. I'm sure having fun working on this for our followers. And I know you are too.
Alexia: So, Theresa, are you and Farloft doing anything special this Christmas that you don’t normally do? If so, what would it be?
Theresa: Dad and I usually spend a quiet Christmas at home. Sarah, my dear friend and book cover illustrator, and Daniel, who was my lead in the print shop for over eight years, come for brunch each year. We open presents afterward and then settle in for the phone calls we will receive from friends and family throughout the rest of the day.
Alexia: Our tree is usually decorated with all the old ornaments. Recently the kids won the debate and we bought new shiny ones. Do you favor old fashion Christmas decorations or new / modern ones? Why?
Theresa: Our tree is a history of our family. We have a tradition of exchanging ornaments with friends, so the tree is a conglomerate of a lot of different tastes. The rest of the decorations around the house are the same, a mixture of old and new. The theme is always toy/candy store with loads of munches in crystal jars all over the bookshelves and mantles.
Alexia: That sounds lovely. What is one of your most favorite Christmases as a child?
Theresa: I remember the year I got my teddy bear, Smokey. Mother said it was a terrible disappointment to her because I had wanted the bear in the store so much and she said I never begged for anything. She and dad put it on lay-a-way and saved for it all through October, November and December. They were so anxious to see my face when I received it Christmas morning, but I was so sure I was going to get it from Santa that I got out of bed early and found it under the Christmas tree. Mom and dad awoke to me laying in my bed clutching Smokey in my sleep.
Alexia: What’s it like decorating around your house for the holidays? Do you have family over to help string up miles of lights and finish off the day with holiday treats / drinks? Perhaps, you all go shopping for the perfect Christmas tree and discuss new things to do this year.
And I can imagine Farloft is a big help, especially stringing lights on the roof and other high places. *sticks out chest in pride and grins*
Theresa: We always have Sarah and Daniel over and whoever else wants to join us. Sarah and Daniel are like my kids and they look forward to the decorating as much as we do. It has become a tradition for them to show up the weekend before Christmas. I have the house clear of other ornamentation and all the boxes of Christmas stuff brought in from the shed. They go at it like Christmas elves and in no time we have it all done. Then we sit down to a nice lunch of soup, or stew, and homemade biscuits.
Alexia: If you could go back to your childhood, what Christmas treat did your Mom make for you that you would most enjoy baking for your family today?
Theresa: My mom always made waffles with strawberries and whipped cream for Christmas morning breakfast. We continue that tradition with Sarah and Daniel, but I would give anything to have mom’s homemade waffles again. They were so light and fluffy.
Dad also makes an incredible homemade cranberry sauce that is always required on the table Christmas day.
2 bags of fresh cranberries – ground up in a grinder or chopped in a blender
1 apple and 2 oranges (plus the peeling of one orange) chopped up
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup granulated sugar
Mix well and refrigerate overnight
Alexia: All we do to prepare for the holidays sends out a message to our families and friends. What is your message?
Theresa: My message is always to spend as much time with friends and family as possible. Time is a precious thing and much more important than any other material gift you could give.
Alexia: If I were visiting your home for the holidays, what should I expect to see, taste, and do?
Theresa: The house would be decorated like a toy/candy store. There is a mechanical Santa that reads story books, a bear that blows bubbles, a musical merry-go-round with silver reindeer. There is a dog that ‘barks’ Christmas carols and numerous crystal jars with candy and cookies in them throughout the house. We would start out with waffles, berries and whipped cream for breakfast. Music would be playing softly all day long. We would open presents and visit. There would be a big selection of munches and drinks, both hot and cold. My mother was Irish and never wanted anyone to go away hungry. I have inherited that desire. We normally have our big holiday meal with company on Christmas Eve, so on Christmas day we ‘graze.’ There is left over ham, cheeses, Dad’s homemade cranberry sauce, salads, green beans, sweet potatoes, fresh rolls and baked goods. We usually end the day with Christmas movies and naps.
Alexia: A toy / candy store? Hmm, maybe I need to come for a visit. I've really enjoyed our visit Theresa and of course with Farloft, too. I wish you both a bright and very merry holiday season. Thank you both for coming by.
Farloft: *sticks nose in air and breathes deeply* I smell snow! We are going to have a fun flight home. *grins at Theresa*
Theresa: Thanks for having us Alexia. I wish you a very merry Christmas, *whispers* Do you have another coat I can borrow? *shivers at the thought of snow*
Books make great gifts. Be sure to visit Theresa and Farloft for your Christmas shopping.
Join me again next week as I host Susan Jean Ricci, author of A Super Sandy Christmas and the Christmas Cardinal.
I write ya romance and mystery. Take a sneak peak at Mystery at Bear Creek Island. You can also read the personal bio's of Duke and Kohana.
“You’d better behave old man or you’ll be riding a borrowed stick horse back to the office,” Kohana finished with a grin. Read More