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More personal details regarding my family activities or events.

Welcome to the Christmas Mistletoe Hop!

Mistletoe Hop Dec 19-22, 2014

Mistletoe Hop Dec 19-22, 2014

You’ll find two Christmas giveaways at the end of this post, a downloadable PDF with insights into the story of A Romance for Christmas, and a free, 22 page Christmas cookbook. No signing up for anything; no clicking; no entering a contest — just download and go. Merry Christmas!

Excerpt – Meet the Hero, Scott Gregori

In his old room, Scott stripped out of his uniform and put on sweatpants and slippers. On his bed was the loose T-shirt with a blond-haired elf on the front that his mother had given him the year before. The elf was shirtless, wearing red boxer shorts with holly on them, and he was licking a candy cane while dangling a round ornament on one finger of his other hand.

Upon seeing the shirt when Scott unwrapped it, a cousin had started singing, “Don we now our gay apparel…” and had broken into riotous laughter. That didn’t stop the family from insisting he wear it. He was sure he’d asked Mary to give it to Goodwill, so how it had shown up again this year he couldn’t explain. Yet, there it was. It could only have come from one person.

“The things we do for our mothers.” Scott slipped it on over his head and headed for the kitchen.

He leaned against the door jamb, enjoying the sight. His mother was chopping things for the stuffing and adding them to her biggest bowl. His dad sat at the end of the counter, reading a Popular Science magazine. Neither seemed to pay attention to the other, but while his mother was cooking, Dad always kept her company. She’d crochet in a wooden rocker in the garage while he worked on the boat he was building. As if they couldn’t bear to be parted from one another, even though they didn’t talk much. Maybe they didn’t need words.

Scott had thought he and his wife would be the same, but he and Mary had shared a different lifestyle. Both were often busy, and sometimes saw each other only in passing. He’d worked nights, and she’d worked days. She’d had a downtown office, working as an architect for government housing. Time spent outdoors had given her a great tan, but exposed her to hazardous toxins no one had known were in the old buildings being demolished. When she fainted at work, the company sent her in for a check up. After the diagnosis, the project had been shut down immediately, but cancer took a quick toll. Mary was gone in six months. A government investigation into the cause was still ongoing.

Scott now had sole custody of a four-year old daughter and a job that took him into danger every day. He’d shifted to the downtown beat and day shift because it seemed safer, and he could still do what he loved doing: Helping people.

“Well,” his dad said, not looking up from his magazine, “Are you going to help your mother or stand there in that dumb elf shirt?”

His mother braced both hands on the counter. “That shirt cost more money than any three pairs of your pants.”

“Did not. I paid a pretty penny for these pants.”

“Pants were cheaper back in 1982.”

His dad snorted, and went back to his reading.

And doesn’t that sound just like a family at Christmas? Everyone has an opinion. Scott wears the shirt to pick up Dara for Christmas dinner, and is surprised by what she has to say. I won’t spoil it by telling you. I hope you enjoy the story.


Thank you for popping in today. Here’s the link to the free Christmas cookbook and the free peek inside the book. Both are in Adobe Reader (PDF). This is not a contest — everyone who wants one may download it. No sign ups required.
Download the Christmas Cookbook: https://kayelleallen.com/media/Christmas.Cookbook.from.Kayelle.Allen.by.Rachel.Paxton.pdf
Download Peek Inside A Romance forChristmas: http://bit.ly/rom4cmaspeek
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Join our Facebook event and win more prizes: Mistletoe Hop

A Romance for Christmas by Kayelle Allen

A Romance for Christmas

A Romance for Christmas

A cop at the door on Christmas Eve brings an unexpected gift. On Amazon’s best-seller list — A sweet holiday romance showcasing love, loss, and the spirit of giving.
It’s Christmas Eve, and the end of a year in which everything Dara loves has been lost. Everything but her little girl and a fierce determination to survive. When a cop brings Christmas to her door, he brings another gift she never expected to get.

Find Your Copy

$1.99 for eBook, $5.99 for print
Amazon http://amzn.to/1wpW8qE
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/1wpYfL2
Kobo http://bit.ly/1wpYndJ
iBooks http://bit.ly/1oZ8CGB
CreateSpace http://bit.ly/romforcmas

How to Upload to Instagram from your PC

How to Upload to Instagram from your PC #tips from LA Sartor @LesannSartor

Share Your Tips

Want another tip? Here's How to Watch an Instagram Feed Live on Your PC.

If you're an author with tips for social media, contact me. I'd be happy to share your ideas.

Do you have any tips for using Instagram? Please share in the comments. I'd love to know what you might like me to share on future posts.


This tip is one I doubt I'd ever have discovered on my own. How to upload to Instagram from my PC. What a timesaver. My thanks to author LA Sartor for this one!

Sometimes I'm on my pc and have things I want to share on Instagram. Sometimes I save images from my phone to the cloud and then want to download and use them. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to upload to Instagram from my PC?

Guess what? You can.

There might be other ways to upload to Instagram but this one, using Chrome, is one of the easiest, and for me the best.

Upload to Instagram

My friend, author LA Sartor, shared her tip with my writer marketing group, Marketing for Romance Writers. It was so helpful that I asked LA if I could share it on my blog as well. Happily for us, she agreed. So I'm also sharing her book, Prince Of Granola. Wait till you see how that title came about!

A picture is worth 1000 words, they say. In this case I agree.

Here's the infographic on how to upload to Instagram that made the rounds on MFRW.

Prince Of Granola by LA Sartor

Cacao. Long a symbol of wealth, love, and power – now the center of a powerful rivalry.

The fabled Costa Rican Plantation of White Treasure, source of the rarest form of the cacao bean, is up for sale. Though two fierce competitors have been invited to bid on it, only one can win.

For Drew Hopkins, purchasing the plantation is the perfect solution to escape a life she never wanted.

For Robert Prince, it's the perfect route to revenge.

Drew, the founder's daughter and now CEO of HH Chocolate, heads a company whose sales are waning. Robert, CEO of Prince Organics, a man driven by excellence, despises everything and everyone labeled Hopkins.

But it wasn't always that way.

Will their forced proximity at the lush and exotic plantation rekindle old flames or will it fan the fires of antagonism?

Free on Kindle Unlimited https://amzn.to/2RcSEum

LA Sartor

Author LA SartorLA Sartor is a bestselling, award-winning author. She began telling stories around the age of 4 when her mother, at LA's insistence, wrote them down and LA illustrated them. As an adult, she writes suspense and action-adventure novels with a dash of romance, and screenplays--she's had a contracted adaptation! She lives in Colorado with her husband whom she met on a blind date. LA loves to travel and thinks life is an adventure and we should embrace the journey.
Website https://lesliesartor.com/
Twitter https://twitter.com/LesannSartor
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Leslie.Ann.Sartor
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/lesann415/
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lesann415/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6535151.L_A_Sartor
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/L-A-Sartor/e/B0091XR9VK

Please come check out my Instagram

Nik Nitsvetov as PietasPlease stop by and check out my Instagram. I follow cosplay and some seriously awesome cosplayers. My favorite is Nik Nitsvetov, who cosplays my character Pietas. That totally focused and intense blond on the right is Nik as Pietas, from my Bringer of Chaos series.

My interests in archaeology, geology, and astronomy are reflected in stories I share on Instagram. I also follow many of the national parks in the US and share their images. Right now, I need a reminder of the majesty and beauty of our amazing world. Don't you?

I rarely post anything about my books, but if you want to know more about me as a person, Instagram is a good place to start.

Babs Hightower of BabsBookBistro was an awesome personal assistant. She did a prodigious amount of work for me. She even took care of things for me over a long holiday weekend because I hadn’t had a break in literal years. When she died, it stunned me. She’d seemed healthy, energetic, eager to help, like always. But she was there one day and gone the next. Other authors she supported are also reeling.

Honoring Babs

Honoring Babs, an awesome Personal Assistant #PA #VA #GoFundMeIf we’re hurting, I can’t imagine how her family must feel. Her husband, Tommy, is a truck driver. There’s no way he can be gone that long now, so he’s looking for different work. Babs and Tommy had 3 kids at home, two of them special needs. She had a bazillion Huskies that she took care of. I’m not sure even she knew how many. She just fed and loved them and gave them baths and… OMG. Huskies. Gotta love ’em. In this picture, her husband’s shirt says “Hair on this shirt provided by my Siberian Husky.” How much you want to bet, Babs bought that shirt. That was her sense of humor.

Authors Keta Diablo, Amber Marr, Rue Allyn, and Marian Lanouette were also supported by this awesome lady. I’m not sure who  else she took care of. She was a combination mom, big sister, and no-nonsense boss. “Get to writing” she’d tell me. How I miss that!

Keta and Amber and I put together a Go Fund Me to help the family as Tommy adjusts to being Babs-less. The mom and grandmom (to a brand new grandbaby) is missed everywhere. We’d like to do whatever we can to help them. Babs would have moved heaven and earth to help us. Our very sincere thanks to Crystal at Reviews by Crystal for helping us set this up. When she heard we wanted to help Babs, she offered to do whatever we needed.

Will you give us a hand too? I know her family would be super grateful for anything you can do. Will you share this as another way to help?
Honoring Babs: a #GoFundMe to help the family of a wonderful Personal Assistant https://www.gofundme.com/f/barbara-babs-hightower-memorial-fund Click To Tweet

Here’s where you can help take a little of the load off this family. https://www.gofundme.com/f/barbara-babs-hightower-memorial-fund

Thank you for helping us help Babs!


Posted in Life and Family | Tagged |

Author Façade: being who you are as a writer #Author #MFRWauthor #INFJAuthor façade. Do those words go together? Yes. When people ask me what I do, I could say I’m a wife or mother. I could say I’m a veteran. Or retired. Or any number of things. So could you, right? But what I say is, “I’m a writer.” An author.

The Author Façade

I’ve been published since 2004, and without exaggeration, I can say I’ve written hundreds of blog posts, tens of thousands of emails, and millions of words. I’ve posted on blogs all over the net.  Why? So readers can know the person behind the author façade. Is Kayelle Allen an author façade? Well, maybe façade is not the best word. One dictionary I consulted defines it like this:Kayelle Allen

Façade (1) A showy misrepresentation intended to conceal something unpleasant. — I certainly hope I’m not unpleasant. That doesn’t sound good, does it? No, not at all. I think my author facade fits the second definition better.
Façade (2): Frontage, the face or front of a building. Window dressing. — Or does that make my author façade somehow equal to drapes? Surely not.

I prefer to see my author façade as the best of who I am. My best-foot-forward attitude. My who-I-am when I’m on-my-best-behavior self. Okay, those of you who know me best can stop snickering. I can hear you all the way over here.

The thing is, my author façade is reality. The Kayelle Allen online is who I really am. Every person has something of a façade when it comes to public life and there are things I don’t share online. But I strive to be faithful to my private life when presenting my author self in public. I attempt to keep my author façade true to my real persona. So who am I?

I’m an INFJ (Myers Briggs temperament). The letters stand for Introversion (I), Intuition (N), Feeling (F), Judgment (J). I’m an introvert (I) in that I get my energy by being alone. I have blazingly fast insight (N) into people. I tend to go with feelings (F) over facts because I trust my own intuition, and once I make up my mind (J), I act without hesitation or looking back. Who are some other INFJs? Oprah Winfrey, Billy Crystal, Nelson Mandela, Carrie Fisher, Nicole Kidman, and Adam Sandler. Try this article if you want more insight.

My inside age and outside age are not equal. I may have aged, but I am not old. Wiser? Yes. Goodness. You couldn’t live my life without learning a few things. Smarter? Debatable.  I’m a US Navy veteran (Viet Nam era) and a member of RomVets (female romance writers who served in the military). I’m also a former Toastmaster. I love getting up in front of people and talking. That’s the number one fear in America, but I happen to love public speaking. You’d get me on a roller coaster only by dragging my dead body, but I will happily speak to a convention full of people. Weird, huh? I’m the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers, a peer-mentoring group for authors. Don’t get me started on that. I love MFRW! Click the link for in depth info about MFRW.

I think I’m someone you’d like if you got to know me. Because as much as being a writer is like being a different person, my author façade is the presentation of a real person. I invite you to follow and get to know me. I’d like to get to know you too. Please, tell me about your “façade” as a person. Who are you?

Home for Christmas #MFRWhooks #HolidayRomance @kayelleallen

Who doesn’t want to go home for Christmas? In the sweet holiday story, A Romance for Christmas, a widow with a small child answers a knock at her door late on Christmas Eve. When she answers, everything changes. This holiday tale is a story of love, loss, and the spirit of giving.

Home for Christmas…

Home for Christmas #MFRWhooks #HolidayRomance @kayelleallenEveryone should stay home for Christmas — that was Dara’s belief. If her late husband had listened to her, he would still be here. Their daughter would still have a father. But job and duty had overshadowed family, and home. He would never be home for Christmas again…

Dara was gaining strength daily, and would finish therapy the first week of January and return to work. Disability paid for the basics – lights, phone, water, trash collection, and she’d never bought anything on credit, refusing to dig herself into a hole she’d never escape once it got started.

She went to the closet and pulled down a box with a ball, crayons, paper, and three books. A friend had brought over a few things as well. This wasn’t the grand Christmas she had wanted for her daughter, but all the other valuables had been sold. There was nothing left but her wedding ring.

She didn’t wear it. Removing it had been part of saying good-bye to Jack.

They said it would help, and it had. Sort of. But not much.

Dara sank into one of the kitchen chairs and put her face in her hands.

Sometime later, when the doorbell rang, she grabbed a paper towel and dried her eyes. The clock over the stove said nine o’clock. Who would be calling at this hour on Christmas Eve? She stuffed the wet towel in her robe pocket on the way to the door.


Here’s a giveaway for everyone. A Peek Inside: A Romance for Christmas | A sweet holiday story about love, loss, and the magic of giving. http://is.gd/rom4cmaspeek

Buy Links

This book is $1.99 — or free on Kindle Unlimited.
Amazon http://amzn.to/1wpW8qE
Amazon print http://amzn.to/2dmTpdK
CreateSpace http://bit.ly/christmas-csp
Goodreads http://bit.ly/christmas-good
Print – Walmart http://bit.ly/2gos7GK

6 Romantic Spring Date Ideas #hopelessromantic @kayelleallenWhy write about romantic spring date ideas? Because I believe in romance. The motto in my logo and on my website is Romance Lives Forever.

I’ve been married 43 years to the same guy and we still savor romance every day. We enjoy being together. Part of that reason is because we listen to one another and we laugh together. We don’t go out on the usual dinner and a movie type dates. We do enjoy going out to eat and we watch a lot of movies, especially at home. But to go somewhere and have fun without spending a fortune or wearing yourself to a frazzle with the travel… That’s tricky. With it being spring, I thought it would be fun to come with some ideas on what to do. I asked my husband for ideas. There were two requirements. A) They didn’t require a lot of money. B) They were things he’d enjoy doing. Here’s what we brainstormed.

1. Pack a lunch and head to the airport. There is small airport not far from our house and we can park outside the fence and watch planes take off and land. Talk about where the various planes might be headed. For example, a large plane has a greater distance, so it might be bound for a more exotic location than a small, light aircraft. Talk about where it’s going and what you’d do if you were there.

2. Look through some travel magazines and pick a location. If you want a romantic spring date but it’s still cold outside, have an indoor picnic. Open the curtains to let in sunlight. Place a blanket on the floor and sit down together. Pretend you’re having a picnic in the location you chose and role-play what you see. “Oh look! There’s a dolphin pod out there past the waves!” Or, if you can go outside, have your picnic in a park and pretend you’re in a different place, like New York City’s Central Park.

3. Go to a museum and take turns picking the area to visit. It could be a firetruck museum, an art museum, a local historical museum — the site doesn’t matter. The idea is to be together. Hold hands and take your time. Remember, you’re there to enjoy the day and bond with each other.

4. Go on a photo safari. Take your cameras or smartphones and each of you capture images. It can be of each other, the backyard, the sunset, the park, or wherever you happen to be. Then share the photos with each other. If you both take pictures of the same thing, how are they each different? Did you like a particular image? Why not make it your desktop image, or print it in larger size for a poster? That would make the time even more memorable.

5. Go hunting for lightning bugs. When summer is just underway, go outside and look for lightning bugs. Try to count them. It’s just about impossible! They blink and they move, but give it a shot. No need for anything fancy to do this. Just a love of being together.

6. Puzzle night. Get an small puzzle (can even be a kids’ puzzle) and put it together. There’s not much to do while you’re searching for pieces except talk. Which, after all, is the point of a date, right? Getting to be together and sharing?

Here are some places for more ideas. (They open in new windows so you can save your place) Dating Divas offers a list of 40 fun things. Business Insider has some wonderful ideas too. I loved the ideas in this post on She Knows.

Bottom line, whatever you do, take time to show how you feel. Expressions of love never get old. At the end of your date, commit to your relationship and to each other, and make plans for another romantic spring date.

Which of these would appeal to you and your special someone? What kind of romantic spring date you have gone on? Have you been on a date that was different and special? Share in the comments.


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