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From the book A Romance for Christmas by Kayelle Allen

A Romance for Christmas

A Romance for Christmas

Most people know me as an author of erotic romance, science fiction romance, and gay romance. So when I said I was releasing a sweet contemporary holiday romance with no explicit content whatsoever I got a few WTFs and SayWhats comments. Even one or two HowzThatAgains. *grin* The nicest was “I know it’ll be awesome but why the change?” One person asked me if erotic romance was dead and I was leaving the fold. The short answer is “Um, no it isn’t, and no, I’m not.” But it was nice that they thought I’d know whether this was true.

I wrote A Romance for Christmas in December 2004 as a gift for my critique group and asked them not to share it, but told them some day I might. Last year, Bill Hinkle, my brother-in-law, died. I promised his wife (my sister Cherry) I would dedicate a book to their relationship, which was 25 years of pure awesome romance and still going strong at the time of his passing. I also wanted to pay tribute to our parents, who had passed away the year of their 50th anniversary. My father had once told my mother he’d go first, and then “wait for her just beyond the moon.” When it was his time, he didn’t have to wait long. She died a few weeks later. The parents of the hero in this story bear my parents’ names. The book is dedicated to my sister Cherry in honor of Bill.

You can download a preview of the book here: A Romance for Christmas (click for the pdf – it opens in a new window). There are more details about the story, and it includes links where you can buy your copy. The book is currently on Amazon’s best-seller lists in Kindle short reads, and genre fiction – holidays.

Here’s an excerpt to get you started.

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 Dara 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.

A Romance for Christmas

A Romance for Christmas

About A Romance for Christmas

A cop at the door on Christmas Eve brings an unexpected gift.
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.

Buy This Book

Amazon http://amzn.to/1wpW8qE
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/1wpYfL2
Kobo http://bit.ly/1wpYndJ
iBooks http://is.gd/sdSfMT
(Print) CreateSpace http://is.gd/gazeza

Sweeten up the holidays with the Cookie Baker’s Dream Prize Pack

Cookie Baker's Dream Pack

Cookie Baker’s Dream Pack

It’s Christmas Cookie time and I’m giving away a cookie baker’s dream pack. Why? It’s all about the spirit of giving. My friend Houston Havens and I wanted to show our appreciation to our fans and readers by giving back a little something for the holidays. We’re each giving away a gift basket to one US winner, and a gift certificate to one international winner. Don’t miss out.

Enter on my Facebook page simply by leaving a comment on the image of the Cookie Baker’s Dream Prize Pack. You can see a copy of it below, but you can’t enter by commenting here. Go to this page:  https://facebook.com/kayelleallen.author

Goodies you could win include:

1 Christmas Sweater 3D Cookie Cutter set (recipe on back)
1 Santa Claus 3D Cookie Cutter set (recipe on back)
1 Gingerbread House 3D Cookie Cutter set (recipe on back)
1 cookie cutter set (6 pieces)
1 cookie turner spatula
1 cookie timer
3 cookie serving platters (tree, candy cane, candy twist)
3 packs of treat bags (5-8 each)
1 holly printed kitchen towel
2 holly printed oven mitts
2 holly printed pot holders

Please be sure to head over to Houston’s Facebook page to enter her giveaway. If you like a little more heat in your romance, and you’re looking for a way to sizzle up the holidays, her glamour stocking stuffing prize pack is perfect. https://www.facebook.com/HoustonHavens/

Two winners – one US, one international

To enter, comment on the picture (must be done on Facebook). That’s it! How easy is that?

Winner will be chosen randomly from the comment section on December 6th. Liking, sharing, and tagging are optional, but appreciated.

Here are the disclaimers and rules Facebook wants us to post: Must be 18 or older to enter. Cookie Baker’s Dream Prize pack is open to US addresses only. International readers will be entered for a $15 gift certificate from either Barnes and Noble, or Amazon (winner’s choice). Check back to see if you won. The winner’s name will be announced on Facebook on Sunday, December 6 in the evening (ET). You must enter by commenting on the image in Facebook. Winner must reply on the author page on Facebook within 48 hours of announcement or a new winner will be picked. This promo is not endorsed or affiliated with Facebook in any way, it’s just being held there. Void where prohibited.

To join the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group and get two free books, sign up right on this site. If you haven’t picked up your copy of my sweet feel-good holiday story, A Romance for Christmas, it’s available at all major retailers:

Amazon http://amzn.to/1wpW8qE
ARe http://bit.ly/christmas-are
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/christmas-bnn
Coffee Time Romance http://bit.ly/christmas-ctr
CreateSpace (print) http://bit.ly/christmas-csp
Goodreads http://bit.ly/christmas-good
Kobo http://bit.ly/christmas-kobo
iBooks http://bit.ly/christmas-ibk
Smashwords http://bit.ly/christmas-smw

Looks like a Holly Jolly Hop #recipe #giveaway @kayelleallen

Looks like a Holly Jolly Hop #recipe #giveaway @kayelleallenWelcome to the Holly Jolly Hop. This hop runs from 13 – 20 Dec 2016, and is held on Facebook. There are 60 authors taking part, which means multiple prizes and opportunities to win.

The Prize for my stop is (winner’s choice) either a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. My prize is open internationally for Amazon readers, and the US for Barnes and Noble.  Your prize will be emailed to you, so if you win, I will need your email.

The featured book for this hop is A Romance for Christmas. This sweet feel-good holiday romance reaffirms all you love about Christmas. It’s Christmas Eve, and the end of a year in which everything Dara loves was 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.

Holly Jolly Hop Bread Pudding Recipe

I don’t bake often. Since I retired, I try to grab lunch and dinner out with friends, or pick up convenience foods. My local grocery stores have wonderful, fresh made items prepared and all I have to do is take them home and pop them in the microwave. But when it’s Christmas, I love to make bread pudding. This recipe is easy, and it’s a favorite.

You can download and share this recipe in pdf format. It includes the Bread Pudding recipe plus bonus recipes for Sweet Butter Topping and Cinnamon Sprinkle

Bread Pudding Ingredients
1 loaf whole grain bread, broken into small pieces
2 12 oz. cans evaporated milk
1 cup water
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
5 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter, softened
(Optional: Add 1 cup raisins)

Place broken bread pieces in a large bowl. If using, add the raisins.
Combine milk, water, vanilla, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar, and blend well.
Pour over the bread and toss to coat. If dry, add 2-3 teaspoonsful of water, one at a time, until bread is well moistened.
Pour mixture into a greased 13×9 inch baking dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until set.
Serve warm with ice cream, or drizzle with your favorite icing. Download the PDF for additional recipes.

Holly Jolly Hop Entry

ON DECEMBER 13th go to my Facebook page: http://facebook.com/kayelleallen.author and find the post for the Holly Jolly Hop. It’s right at the top. While there, comment with the name of a friend you’d like to see at Christmas. That’s all there is to it!

If you like my page I can tag you if you win. This is not required but greatly appreciated. Tell your friends about this giveaway. Like this post, share this post, tag a friend, tap someone on the shoulder, etc.

You must enter on Facebook. Comments here are great, but they won’t enter you into the Holly Jolly Hop.

The next Holly Jolly Hop stop is here: https://www.facebook.com/mjohnstonwriter/ and you’ll also see that link on my Facebook page. For more fun hops and goodies from other events, visit Fiction Books, Readers, Writers, and Reviewers on Facebook. Have fun and enjoy hopping!

Enter to win the Grand Prize Kindle Paperwhite and find a list of all stops and giveaways on the hop on CM McCoy’s website. http://www.cmmccoy.com/blog/holly-jolly-holiday-giveaway-kindle-paperwhite-or-50-gc/

The Holly Jolly Hop giveaway is open until 11:59pm EST, 20 Dec 2016. The prize from me is open internationally. Other authors in the hop may have different requirements. Random winner selected from comments. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Facebook is not responsible for the Holly Jolly Hop giveaway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Leave a Review #Writer #Books

Does it matter if readers leave a review? Yes. A book with even one review moves up in the sales ranking on Amazon. With enough reviews, an author can join programs that offer the book to more readers. It’s easy to leave a review. If you’ve never written a review before, this will guide you.

How to Leave a Review #amreading #Books @kayelleallen

What should a review say?

If you received a book free then Amazon requires the following text (you can copy and paste):

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

For the rest of the review, the wording is up to you. When you leave a review, you should tell others what you liked about the book, or how you felt the author did at getting across the story. It can say that you recommend it to other readers. A review should not give away the ending of a story or spoil surprises for other readers. A review can be short and sweet.

What should a review not say?

Remember that a book review is for a product for sale, so keep the topic to the actual product. It should not have negative or unkind words. If should be about a book you’ve read. If you didn’t read it, it’s not fair to leave a review. It should not be about delivery issues. For example, if the book arrived late in the mail, that has nothing to do with the book itself.

Where can you leave a review?

If you have a blog, Facebook page, or an account on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, or other sites, you can post a review there. Here is a brief how-to that will guide you to getting to the right place to leave a review. In the examples below, I’ve used the book title “A Romance for Christmas” but you can substitute that for any title you wish.

To leave a review on Amazon

Go to www.amazon.com and log in.

To be considered a verified reviewer on Amazon, you need to have purchased at least one item from Amazon in the past.

In the search bar, put A Romance for Christmas.

Once you find the book, scroll down to “Customer Reviews” and click on “Write a customer review.”

To leave a review on Goodreads

Go to www.goodreads.com and login or create a new account: https://www.goodreads.com/user/create.

In the search bar, put A Romance for Christmas.

Once you find the book, click on it.

Rate the book with a star number underneath the book cover. The box above the stars will now mark the book as “Read.”

Hover over the box saying “Read” and you will see a small pop up balloon. Inside the balloon, click “Write a Review.”

Write a review in the box on this page or copy and paste your review from Amazon.

Sample Reviews

A sweet Christmas romance by @kayelleallen #holiday romance

A Romance for Christmas

Here are three actual reviews for my book A Romance for Christmas.

  1. Even when you think there’s no one else for you, surprises happens & another chance presents itself. Take a shot and see what happens.
  2. Merry Christmas to me. Absolutely loved this romantic story. Just beautiful.
  3. It was a very touching story! Dara and Scott were perfect for each other because they had a lot in common. It was a nice light romance and fun!

 As you can see, a review doesn’t have to be long or have a lot of detail. Of course, if you think a book deserves a longer review, by all means leave one.

Do you have any tips for reviews? Please share them in the comments. If you left a review because you read this post, please share the link. It doesn’t have to be one of my books. Also, feel free to share this post with friends.

People and pets will go hungry this Christmas. It’s sad that in the midst of all our plenty, there are still some who won’t get enough to eat. Why not be a blessing this Christmas? If you want to offer help and make a difference, here are some concrete things you can do.

Offer help for People

You can offer help in a concrete way. Instead of stocking up on cranberry sauce and stuffing, here are some items people need every day of the year. Donate these and you help people long after the holidays are over. Once you determine a place to donate, consider offering some of these items.

1) For people on food stamps and other assistance, a food allowance is provided, but it doesn’t cover diapers, paper towels, toilet paper, or cleaning supplies. When it’s on sale, stock up and donate some of the extra.

2) Personal hygiene products are vital. Consider picking up small travel sizes (handy for those who are homeless).

3) One of the biggest needs is for baby food and formula. Getting the dry powder to mix is great, and less expensive. If you get coupons for these items, stock up when they go on sale. Offer help personally if you know someone with a baby by bringing coupons, offering to drive them to the store, shop for them, or even to just sit down and talk. New parents are often exhausted. Having someone offer help might make a big difference.

4) Healthy snacks for children to pack in lunches, such as granola bars, milk boxes, juice boxes, and fresh fruit like apples and oranges. These keep well.

5) Salt, pepper (especially the type in small shakers), mayo, ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, sriracha, salsa, and other condiments such as salad dressing.

6) Donate non-perishable proteins. Pick up cans of tuna, chicken, ham, beans, jars of peanut butter, or almond butter.

A site in the Atlanta area for helping families is Papa’s Pantry. They let families come in and shop at no cost for what they need in a small store of donated items. The site is always in need of donations. They also teach workshops such as budgeting, job-finding skills, resume creation, and how to coupon. Knowledge and skill help break the cycle of need.

Offer help for Pets

How to Offer Help at Christmas #holidays #pets #hunger

Help Rob’s Rescues feed hungry pets

When people are in tough financial straits, they sometimes have to surrender their animals to a shelter because they can’t take care of them anymore. That’s so sad! Do you have a pet? When you shop for your own, grab a few extra cans of dog and cat food. Even one can of food will make a difference to a hungry animal. Local shelters love getting extra food. They can use old blankets and towels too. Call your local shelter and ask what they need most. After a natural disaster such as a wildfire, flood, or earthquake, consider contacting one of the service agencies that help homeless pets. One in the Atlanta area is the Homeless Pets Foundation.

I want to give a shout out to Rob’s Rescues near Atlanta, GA. http://www.robsrescues.com/ Rob writes a column every month for four magazines in the Cherokee and Cobb county areas north of Atlanta. He profiles one dog and one cat each month from both the Cobb County Animal Shelter and Cherokee the County Animal Shelter and tries to get them adopted. He does pet food drives in local businesses and animal hospitals, and gives pet food to people who can’t afford to feed their pets. He has done interviews with people like the Gwinnett County Sheriff about the Jail Dogs Program. He’s been doing this since May 2015. The unusual thing about Rob is that he is still in elementary school! Just goes to show that to help others, you only have to be willing.

I urge you to click the Rob’s Rescues link, visit his site, and help him accomplish his mission of feeding pets.

A story about the spirit of giving

When I wrote A Romance for Christmas, I wanted to show the spirit of giving. This story of a young widow with a child at Christmas will leave you in happy tears. Here’s a peek.

The peephole showed a policeman in a crisp black uniform, wearing one of those Smokey Bear hats. It took Dara back to the night Jack had died. She unlatched the door and opened it an inch, dread tightening her chest.

“Oh, my God. Is something wrong, Officer?”

“No, ma’am.” He removed his hat. His smile showed sparkling white teeth and a shock of bright blond hair that fell over his brow. “I’m Scott Gregori. My daughter Susan and your Christine are in the same preschool class. I don’t suppose you remember me. I was at your husband’s funeral last year.”

In a flash, she remembered him.

Their daughters’ preschool was part of a small church. The school had sent a notice that the mother of one of their students had passed away, along with suggested ways to discuss the death of a loved one with children. Dara had attended his wife’s funeral to pay her respects. When Jack died, only about a month later, Officer Gregori had come to pay his.

“Oh, yes. I remember. Please, won’t you come in?” She opened the door wider.

“I brought you and Christine something.” He bent down and picked up an oversized box before stepping inside. “This morning, I heard about your accident, and I thought– Well, maybe you could use some help with Christmas presents for your daughter.” He added, “If you wouldn’t mind.”

Dara shut the door behind him. “It’ll make Christine happy, and that’s what counts. You’re kind to do this.”

He waved off her thanks with a quick gesture and set down the box. “All of us at the station chipped in and I went shopping. We figured money was tight so we wanted you to have this.” He handed her a fat envelope.

How to Offer Help at Christmas #holidays #pets #hunger

A Romance for Christmas

She opened it, gasped and covered her mouth. A stack of paper money filled it. “Oh. Oh, my– my goodness.”

He was smiling. “We all have families, and we help each other when things–” He swallowed. “Anyway, you know how it is in a town this size. We watch out for each other. The crew at the station and I wanted you to have that. And don’t try to refuse.” He set a hand over hers. “All of us have been there. Use it however you need.”

Shaking, she refolded the envelope with extreme care. Words wouldn’t come. She slid it into her pocket. “Thank you,” she whispered, tears blurring her vision.

It’s what happens next that begins a Christmas Dara will never forget.

Read A Romance for Christmas

Genre Sweet contemporary romance, holiday romance
Book heat level: PG
This sweet feel-good holiday romance reaffirms all you love about Christmas. It’s Christmas Eve, and the end of a year in which everything Dara loves was 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.
Publisher: Romance Lives Forever Books
This book is $1.99 or free on Kindle Unlimited
4.2 stars on Amazon wih 33 ratings
Amazon http://amzn.to/1wpW8qE
Special offer: buy the Amazon print version as a gift, and you get the Kindle version free to keep.
Amazon print http://amzn.to/2ceQsAk

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