Love is More than Valentine Cards

Visiting us today on the Valentine’s Day countdown is author Chris Longmuir. She lives in Scotland where she writes crime novels that will grip you on page one and not let you go until your read “The End.”

With a different outlook on Valentine’s Day,  Chris shares her thoughts on love.

Chris Longmuir

Love is more than Valentine Cards

My husband did not send valentine cards, nor did he indulge in any of the romantic stuff so prevalent in love stories. He would have given me flowers, but he said I didn’t appreciate them, and he was right. But I didn’t need any of those things to know he loved me.

He was always there for me. He would have done anything for me. He was my support and my biggest fan. He thought I was the best thing that ever walked on two legs. And I miss that.

 You see I lost him in 2005, and I still feel the pain. So on Valentine’s Day I’ll visit him with flowers, because even though I didn’t appreciate them, he did.

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http://www.chrislongmuir.co.uk/

http://chrislongmuir.blogspot.co.uk/

Dundee Crime Series 2

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Christmas Interview – Janice Horton

I’d like to introduce Janice Horton, a writer who lives in Scotland. Janice writes contemporary fiction with humour and heart. Please have a look at her book cover images and links at the bottom of the page.

Welcome, Janice!

Janice-Launch-Portrait-BW-sm-jpeg2-180x240

1. Do you celebrate Christmas?

We always celebrate at home in Scotland. This year will be special as our three sons will be home. Now they are grown men and two of them plan to work abroad next year, it’s possible we may not be together for future Christmases, and so I plan to make the most of this one!

2. Have you ever spent Christmas alone?

I’m lucky to come from a large family. I’m the eldest of five children, so being alone at Christmas has never been an option. But I’m sure if I had to be on my own I’d make the most of it by watching my favourite movies and enjoying a few festive treats.

3. Have you ever had a non-traditional Christmas dinner? What did you have?

Nope, it’s tradition all the way in our house. My boys would riot if we deviated even slightly from the way it’s always been done!

Janice xmas dinner

4. What are your thoughts on gift giving?

I love to give gifts but I’m not lavish about it. I like to give well thought out personal presents.

5. What was the most fun activity you’ve done at Christmas?

Sledging on the snowy hill at the back of the cottage.

6. Do you have stockings either at Christmas, or on St. Nicholas Day?

Absolutely. Everyone gets a stocking with fruit, nuts and Christmas themed chocolate treats in it.

7. What was the best gift you ever received at Christmas?

Our three boys being home for Christmas is the best gift ever.

8. What was the worst gift you ever received at Christmas?

I once received aftershave. To say I was surprised was an understatement. All came clear later however when my dear husband unwrapped perfume!

9. What was the best homemade gift you ever received?

A handmade pottery dish from my aunt and uncle in Canada.

10. Have you ever given a homemade gift? Tell about it.

I’ve given Christmas cakes. My mum says they are the best she has ever tasted.

11. What would you change about Christmas?

I think if there was ever a year that none of our boys could come home for Christmas, I might suggest to my husband that we go and spend Christmas somewhere tropical!

12. What would you keep the same if you could?

Listening to the old Christmas classics on Christmas Eve.

13. What is your favourite Christmas music or song?

I particularly love ‘White Christmas’ by Bing Crosby.

14. What do you like best about Christmas?

Family first. Everything else is a bonus.

15. Any additional thoughts about Christmas?

When I was younger, Christmas was really all about the gifts – what I was getting and what I was giving. Now I really wouldn’t mind if everyone stopped the present giving ritual and concentrated on the day itself – sharing a meal and celebrating.

My Author Blog

Follow me on Twitter: @JaniceHorton

Friend me on Facebook Page

Link to my Amazon Author Page

Check out my page on Goodreads

My LLm Bookshelf

Associate Editor at: Loveahappyending Lifestyle Mag

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Christmas Interview – Melanie

We’re off to Ontario today to interview Melanie Robertson – King. She is the author of a novel and an anthology. Melanie has been to Scotland, enjoyed it, and talked about it so much I thought she was Scottish. Maybe she has some Scottish relatives?

Here is one of the many nutcrackers in Melanie’s collection.

scottish nutcracker

Christmas Interview

1. Do you celebrate Christmas?

Yes.

 2. Have you ever spent Christmas alone?

No.

 3. Have you ever had a non-traditional Christmas dinner? What did you have?

I’ve always done things traditionally since I started cooking Christmas dinners. When I was young, we always went to my grandmother’s and after that my mother’s or husband’s family’s so I never had to cook. But I do turkey (usually just a breast), mashed potatoes, gravy, turnips and stay traditional right down to the plum pudding for dessert.

4. What are your thoughts on gift giving? 

I don’t mind the gift giving, but don’t like the shopping so much. Lately, there haven’t been as many places to shop locally (I refuse to shop at Walmart) so it means having to shop elsewhere, although the choices are getting better here at home.

5. What was the most fun activity you’ve done at Christmas?

I’m not sure I would describe it as fun, but I loved going to church Christmas Eve for the 11:00 p.m. service.

6. Do you have stockings either at Christmas, or on St. Nicholas Day?

Yes. We always hang our stockings on Christmas Eve on the banister of the stairs leading to the upper level of our house. Usually, there is garland and white mini LED lights on it, too. It looks really festive.

 7. What was the best gift you ever received at Christmas?

Books. When I’m not writing, I’m reading so a book is the best gift ever – any time of year.

 8. What was the worst gift you ever received at Christmas?

It was a knit pants/top outfit that I got when I was at teenager. Bleurgh… hated it. Wore it once then stashed it at the back of my closet.

9. What do you do with gifts you hate?

I think the outfit mentioned above went to a church rummage sale. I don’t think I’ve re-gifted anything but I have sold things in garage sales.

10. What was the best homemade gift you ever received?

Probably one of the sweaters my sister-in-law knit.

11. Have you ever given a homemade gift? Tell about it.

I used to sew and make a lot of our clothes. One year, I made dresses with pinafores for my daughter and all the nieces and trousers and vests for my son and the nephews. I’ve also made pies to give as gifts.

12. What would you change about Christmas?

Slow down on the time the decorations come out in the stores. I’ve seen Christmas stuff out on the shelves cheek by jowl with the Halloween merchandise. That’s way too early.

back yard dec 27 2012

13. What is your favourite Christmas music or song?

Even though I’m not a huge fan of Christmas Carols, I love Carol of the Bells.

14. What do you like best about Christmas?

Where do I start? The movies. I have a huge assortment on DVDs. Christmas Eve is always A Christmas Carol (B&W Alastair Sim version), then Christmas morning after we’ve had our big fry-up with mimosas, Holiday Affair first followed by Christmas in Connecticut (Barbara Stanwyck version). In the lead up to the big day(s), I watch The Bishop’s Wife, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn, White Christmas. And since my husband  doesn’t like the movie Christmas Story, I watch it when I’m decorating the tree.

The food. So many good things that are only available that time of year (or we only ever ate it at that time of year) – plum pudding, mincemeat tarts, cranberry tarts, fruitcake, shortbread.

 Melanie’s Books:

A-Shadow-in-the-Past-by-Melanie-Robertson-King 300 dpi

 

consequences cover 3

 

About Melanie:

Melanie author photo 500x590

Always a fan of the written word, Brockville born and raised, Melanie spent many of her formative years reading.

The writing bug first bit when she was about thirteen, but the itch subsided and it wasn’t until a number of years later that she put “pen to paper” and began writing again.

Prior to returning to fiction, Melanie wrote articles for various publications for a number of years and has been published in Canada, the US and the UK.

In addition to writing, her interests include genealogy, photography and travel – especially to Scotland, although Paris rates high on her “must return to” bucket list as well. On one of her trips to Scotland, she had the honor of meeting The Princess Royal, Princess Anne.

Melanie’s links:

Website:  www.melanierobertson-king.com

Blog:  Celtic Connexions

Facebook Author Page

Goodreads author page

Amazon author page

Loveahappyending Lifestyle magazine author page

Twitter:  @RobertsoKing

Christmas Interview – Chris Longmuir

 As part of our Christmas countdown, author Chris Longmuir has agreed to share her ideas, beliefs, and experiences about the holiday season and Christmas.

Welcome, Chris.

Chris Longmuir

Chris is the author of several novels. See the cover image of her latest one at the end of this blog. Do you like mysteries? You can find Chris’s books on amazon sites.

1. Do you celebrate Christmas?

I have Christmas dinner with my son and daughter-in-law at their house, but I have a post-Christmas dinner in January to which all the family are invited. There is always a Christmas story about Santa coming a cropper at Christmas time and having to leave a Santa sack with granny for the younger members of the family (there’s only 1 child eligible for it now). One year Santa tripped up and broke his ankle, another year he got lost, then there was the year he was arrested before he could make all his deliveries. And, of course, we can’t forget the year he got legless on mulled wine. The older members of the family bemoan the fact that once they reach the grand old age of eighteen they don’t get a Santa sack at granny’s post-Christmas dinner.

2. Have you ever spent Christmas alone?

No, but I did spend Christmas in hospital once after an operation. However, did you know that Santa has hospitals on his list? So, I got a Christmas stocking with some goodies in it.

3. Have you ever had a non-traditional Christmas dinner? What did you have?

Not really, they’ve all been the traditional turkey and trimmings.

4. What are your thoughts on gift giving?

I like to give my family what I think they will like, and I love to spoil the children. As far as getting gifts is concerned, it’s quite nice, but I don’t really need anything nowadays. I’m not so keen on all the commercialisation around Christmas though. I’d much rather it was all simpler.

5. What was the most fun activity you’ve done at Christmas?

I don’t really do activities, but my daughter-in-law loves games (the kind you don’t need to move out of your chair to play) so that’s always fun. My granddaughter, aged 11, has story cubes and she brings them along and challenges everyone to take part in story telling after throwing the cubes. Some weird and wonderful stories originate from these cubes. It’s great fun.

6. Do you have stockings either at Christmas, or on St. Nicholas Day?

Christmas Day of course. Although now I’m on my own there’s no one to fill a stocking for me.

7. What was the best gift you ever received at Christmas?

I don’t think I could pinpoint any one gift, however two years ago my adult granddaughter gave me two tickets for Strictly Come Dancing, the live show, at Newcastle. She paid for the train fares and the hotel as well. I took my daughter-in-law with me. I did a blog on it at the time and you can find it here http://chrislongmuir.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/strictly-come-dancing-live.html

8. What was the worst gift you ever received at Christmas?

Probably a mulled wine set. It was lovely but I don’t drink and I don’t like the taste of wine. It’s still sitting at the back of one of my cupboards.

9. What do you do with gifts you don’t like?

If I have anything I have no use for it usually winds up in a Charity Shop.

10. What was the best homemade gift you ever received?

Cherry cakes. My daughter used to make me a load of cherry cakes at Christmas. She doesn’t do it anymore and I miss them.

11. Have you ever given a homemade gift? Tell about it.

When I was a shopkeeper I used to crochet fashion garments for the family because at that time the most valuable gift I could give anyone was my time. So the garments were all crocheted with love.

12. What would you change about Christmas?

The only thing I would change would be to have my husband back to share it with me. But that’s impossible.

13. What would you keep the same if you could?

I wouldn’t change a thing.

14. What is your favourite Christmas music or song?

I’m not really a musical person, but I do like the Christmas Carols, and Bing Crosby (I’m showing my age here).

15. What do you like best about Christmas?

Being with the family. It’s the one time we all get together.

Granddaughter Amy:

Amy with her Santa sack Xmas day - Amy

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Chris Longmuir is the author of several novels. Here is her latest one:

Missing-Believed-Dead-AMAZON

amazon.co.uk

amazon.com

Dundee Crime Series 2

Writing Styles – Part 7

ChrisLongmuir

My guest today is crime writer, Chris Longmuir. She lives in  Scotland and is an award winning novelist as well as an established writer of short stories and articles. Her crime novels are set in Dundee, Scotland, and have been described as scary, atmospheric, page turners. Chris also writes historical sagas, short stories and historical articles which have been published in America and Britain.

Chris will give us a character description, a scene description and a scene ending from her latest novel, “Missing Believed Dead.” This book was launched in July and is part of the Dundee Crime Series. It has a main plot and a sub plot which mesh together. The character, setting, and scene ending are taken from the sub plot.

Missing Believed Dead

1. CHARACTER: He laid the girl on the rug he’d spread out on the dirt floor. She was beautiful. Her blonde hair was tied back in a ponytail, although a strand had escaped and fallen over her face.

(as my descriptions are tied into the action there is a gap between the first and second part of the description.)

Megan stirred and opened her eyes. She didn’t know where she was, and it was so dark she couldn’t make out whether the place was large or small. The rope binding her wrists and ankles bit into her skin, and when she moved it seemed to tighten. Maybe he was here watching her? She held her breath, listening for sounds that would indicate she wasn’t alone, but heard nothing. At least she wasn’t gagged, although her mouth was so dry she had difficulty swallowing, and her tongue felt too big.

2. SETTING: The darkness felt oppressive, pressing in on her and bringing with it strange smells of decay and mould. She shifted her foot and it struck something solid. She seemed to be wedged between it and the wall. There was hardly room to move in the confined space, but she managed to pull her knees up. They cramped again and she stretched her legs out on the cold damp floor, squirming to relieve the tightness in her muscles. The floor beneath her felt strange on her legs; it didn’t feel like wood or any other floor covering and she strongly suspected it might be bare earth.

She shuddered. If it was earth, that meant there would be creepy crawlies, and she couldn’t stand them.

3. SCENE ENDING: No one came when she screamed. And now she knew no one ever would.

Missing-Believed-Dead-AMAZON

Chris Longmuir’s web site – http://www.chrislongmuir.co.uk/

Chris Longmuir’s blog – http://chrislongmuir.blogspot.co.uk/

Missing Believed Dead is published as an ebook and in paperback and can be bought from:-

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Books by Chris Longmuir:

Dead Wood

Night Watcher

Missing Believed Dead

A Salt Splashed Cradle

Ghost train & Other Stories

Obsession & Other Stories

Tell a Story Day

My guest today is Melanie Robertson-King. Her idea of suddenly finding oneself in the past is something that has always intrigued me. What if you found yourself suddenly transported into the middle of a threatening situation? What if you liked being in the past so much it would be heartbreaking to leave it? What if … so many what ifs….

But here’s Melanie to tell us more.

Melanie:

Thanks for hosting me today, Anneli, especially since April 27 is Tell a Story Day. I’m going to share the story of Sarah Shand, the heroine in my YA Crossover Novel – A Shadow in the Past.

a shadow in the past cover 500x773

Sarah is an average teenager with huge dreams of escaping life in rural Aberdeenshire, Scotland. You know when you read When a contemporary teen is transported back through time to the Victorian era, she becomes A Shadow in the Past… that things aren’t going to follow the plan Sarah had laid out for herself.

Okay so I’ve teased you with my “one-liner”. Want to hear some more? Okay, here goes…

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages; powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

 

I told you things didn’t go according to Sarah’s plans for the future. I mean how could they when she ends up in the past? I’m not going to tell you any more other than if you want to find out what happens to Sarah, you’ll have to read A Shadow in the Past and find out for yourself.

In the US you can buy A Shadow in the Past from my publisher:

http://4rvpublishingcatalog.yolasite.com/robertson-king.php

as well as amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

 

In Canada from Chapters Indigo (including Coles bookshops), amazon.ca and various brick and mortar stores in the eastern Ontario region.

And finally in the UK from amazon.co.uk.

About the author

Melanie author photo 500x590

Prior to turning her hand to fiction, Melanie Robertson-King wrote articles and has been published in Canada, the US, and the UK. In addition to writing, her interests include genealogy, photography, and travel. On one of her trips to Scotland, she had the honor of meeting The Princess Royal.

Melanie is a member of Romance Writers of America and their Ottawa Chapter.

She lives in Brockville, Ontario, Canada along the shore of the majestic St. Lawrence River with her husband, son, and oldest grandson.

A Shadow in the Past is her first novel.