The Secret Santa Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Secret Santa blog hop! The blog hop features over 40 authors, all giving away an individual prize, but the grand prize is a 7″ Kindle Fire HD! To enter for my giveaway, be sure to leave a comment here, including your email address so you can be contacted if you’re a winner. Comments will also put you in the running for the Grand Prize. To increase the odds of your winning the Grand Prize, you will receive additional entries if you follow this blog, leave a comment here, or answer my simple question at the end of this post.Β  What fun! The link above will explain all the rules in detail, as well as direct you to others in the hop!

To add to the specialness of the holiday season this year, I’m traveling out of the country with my boyfriend to visit his family abroad. That means I won’t be around to answer emails or even approve some comments until my return, but never fear, your comments will enter you into my contest here, and also put in you the running for the contest for the e-reader as well! It might take a while (like 24 hours) for any moderated comments to show up, but they will be approved as soon as I gain access to the internet again. I was told today they do have internet in the UK, they just spell it with a ‘u’.Β  πŸ™‚

Winners for my individual giveaway will be chosen on my return, so my contest will be open until December 26th.

I have an interview scheduled for Dec 18th with Sharon Buchbinder–so be sure to stop by once the link goes live!

And I just found out that Going for Gold, the M/M Olympic themed anthology (in which I have a novella, Lightning in a Bottle) has been nominated for the 2012 Goodreads M/M Romance Group Members Choice Awards! You don’t have to be a member to vote in the awards: the link is right here!

Just got an extra piece of information to help you on the blog hop to enter for the Grand Prize from Lyndi Lamont: After you are finished hopping, send Tabby an email and tell her which blogs you went to and what you did at each, including the answers to the questions. You are not required to go to every blog to win but the more blogs you go to the better your chance of winning is. Send info to (careydoucet AT Please send it all in one email. The easy way to do this is to create a word doc and keep track of the questions you answer, as well as the blogs that you start to follow, and email the entire document to Carey when you’re done hopping!

Christmas: the holiday of promise

I love Christmas unabashedly. I know, it may not be the thing to admit that these days, but it’s true, Christmas has always been my favorite holiday.

Maybe it’s the annual showing of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Or my second favorite, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Maybe it’s because I become obsessed with baking, something I seldom do at any other time of year but now I have to fill the house with snickerdoodles, gingerbread men, and sour cream cookies, and never let us forget, the family favorite: the famous sausage balls, the secret of which only I know.

I watch A Christmas Carol in some form each year, the Muppet version being my favorite. I sympathize with George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life. I swoon over Cary Grant in The Bishop’s Wife. I watch these movies as I wrap presents and keep an ear out for the timer in the kitchen, letting me know when the next batch of cookies is ready.

Christmas for me is all about possibilities and Bing Crosby crooning his melodies in the background while we decorate the tree.

It’s about surprising someone you love with the one thing you knew they really wanted–the one that will bring a smile to their face on Christmas morning. It’s not about the presents, really, it’s about the Dickensian magic of unexpected miracles and angels getting their wings. It’s about snow and sledding and hot chocolate over a fire. It’s about the possibility of all your dreams coming true.

These last few years, I’ve let the Christmas spirit lie dormant. I haven’t decorated. I haven’t baked. I haven’t even watched my movies. Without the funds for gifts, I’ve volunteered to work the holiday so that others could be with their families. I wasn’t intentionally playing Scrooge, but I’d been miserly with my heart and my holiday just the same.

This year, I’m going to be spending the week before Christmas on holiday. I’m taking a real vacation for the first time in a decade, and I’m going to be with friends and family. My heart is swelling with the Christmas spirit in a way that is hasn’t done in years–I can hear carols on the radio without flinching and I am programming Pandora with Bing. There will be no money for gifts because I’m taking the trip. There will be no baking because I’ve developed a silly intolerance for all things wheat. There will be no decoration because I won’t be there to enjoy it.

But Christmas will be in my heart sending beams of light and love in all directions. Like the Grinch, I’ve discovered that it isn’t about the tree, or the tinsel, or the Roast Beast. Christmas is about being with those you love.

In honor of the season, I am giving away the reader’s choice of a signed copy of Going for Gold (the M/M Olympic themed anthology) or Crying for the Moon, my award-winning vampire/werewolf novel. Winners will be chosen randomly from the comments below–please leave your email address in your comment if you’d like to be considered for the contest. Winners of the print books will also be limited to the continental US; if a winner is chosen from outside the US, the winner will receive his or her choice of a digital story from my backlist. All you have to do is leave a comment.

To receive additional entries, follow this blog! You will get an additional entry too, for answering this one question: what is my favorite version of A Christmas Carol?

Do you have questions about how this works? Want a shot at additional entries? Check out the Secret Santa Blog Hop for all the details!

Hope your holiday season is a lovely one–and good luck!


67 thoughts on “The Secret Santa Blog Hop!

    • *grins*

      I am having the best time ever! I just walk around beaming and taking pictures of red call boxes because they look so British. πŸ™‚

      The question was supposed to read so as you answered with what *my* favorite version of A Christmas Carol is–I’ll have to go back and make sure that it makes sense when you read it!

      Best season to you and yours!

    • Yay! You got it right–which I think means you have an extra chance at the Kindle as well as being entered into my contest here. πŸ™‚

  1. The Muppet version, really? *g* I like the one with George C. Scott. I followed – I thought I had already!

    Happy Holidays,

    mslasha at gmail dot com

    • I’m embarrassed to say I do love the Muppet version best, though I make it a point to watch at least one version every year! The Muppet version I liked best, however, included a song that has since been cut from the Christmas Past section, which makes me sad. It was a fabulous song!

    • I’m with you on the Muppets! Thanks for dropping by! I’m out of the country right now, and I’m finding that I’m having a very difficult time logging on to some of the blogs in the hop because I can’t ‘confirm my profile’ right now! I’m going to keep trying though–so many great blogs in the hop!

    • I agree with you that decorating doesn’t equal the holiday spirit, but I do think sometimes that it is *easier* to get in the spirit of thing when you go through the rituals! Thanks for commenting–you’re entered!

  2. luck you getting to go away for a nice brake
    the muppet one. scrogged is mine
    fallow by email
    kaholgate at ymail dot com

    • Thank you! I’ve got you entered in my giveaway! I think if you go to the link for the hop, it will tell you how to be entered for the Grand Prize!

    • The Albert Finney version is a favorite of mine too! And I used to have an audio version of Patrick Stewart reading it–which, TBH, the man could read a phone book and I’d happily listen! You’re in the contest!

    • The original with Albert Finney is one of my favorites but you really, really need to see the Muppet version! The latest release has cut the most gorgeous song sung by Scrooge’s old finance, but it is still great fun and the songs are wonderful! Got you down for the contest!

  3. just watched christmas carol with jim carrey last night, nailed the story but was a little weird, like when the room started flying around town – regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

    • Huh, that’s one I’ve never seen–probably the ONLY version I’ve missed–I’ll have to try and see it this year! Thanks for the suggestion! You’re entered in the contest here πŸ™‚

  4. I’m in the mood to bake during the holidays too.
    My favorite version of A Christmas Carol is the movie Scrooged.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

    • So many people are listing Scrooged as their favorite, I’m going to have to try and watch that again this year! Thanks for stopping by and commenting–I’ve got you in the contest!

  5. Have a wonderful Christmas and a super relaxing holiday in the UK!

    I agree with you that Christmas is about being with the ones you love. It’s not about the decorations or having the biggest tree or getting the most expensive gift. No, it’s about appreciating the people in your life and being grateful for whom and what you have. Now, let’s try to keep that spirit throughout the year. πŸ™‚

    Enjoy your trip and see you when you return!
    Nico Jaye recently posted..FREE HOLIDAY STORY – "A Man-to-Man Christmas" by Nico JayeMy Profile

    • I am having the most utterly wonderful time ever! The weather has been cooperative (so far, this IS the UK, after all!) and I am enjoying every minute of this experience. Everyone here is so lovely, and the consensus is that I must be a transplanted Brit in disguise that is faking an American accent, so I am in heaven. πŸ™‚

      Your sentiment about keeping this feeling throughout the year is a good one–I’ve spent far too much of the last decade working too hard and not appreciating what I have. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season as well!

  6. I would have to say my favorite version is the Alister Simms version of a Christmas Carol. Even though Patrick Stewart did a great job still partial to the classic.

    • It is a good one, but so is the Patrick Stewart version too. Really, they all are, which is why I think it keeps getting remade! πŸ™‚

  7. Watched the Muppets version the other night. Wonderful stuff. Have to say, though, Scrooged is a close second. Love your doggie and Merry Christmas!

    olorien56 at gmail dot com

    • The vote count for Scrooged keeps rising, so I think I might have to watch that version this year! My dog *loves* the snow so I love taking pictures of him in it. πŸ™‚ Merry Christmas to you too! I hope you have a lovely holiday season this year!

  8. Answer – Muppet version!!

    What!? You gone to England and didn’t offer to squeeze me into your trunk!? Shame on you!! *smiles*

    Following via email – brbalways(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

    • *grins* My biggest problem is the number of people I want to bring BACK with me! That and trunks of gluten free products–OMG, they know how to do GF right in the UK! Got you in the contest!

    • Excellent! Be sure to let Carey know in an email all your answers and the blogs you’re following so that you’ll be entered in the Kindle contest too!

  9. Hi Sarah

    So glad you’re enjoying your trip to the UK. I hope our British weather is a kind to you as the American weather was when I was over there. I did what you’re doing, in reverse, back in May. I took my first proper vacation for several years, and my first ever trip out of the UK, and flew to the good ol’ USA. It was a fantastic, once in a lifetime experience, for me, despite being a bit nervous of flying all that way by myself, but that was an experience in itself and all part of the adventure. I visited with a dear on-line friend I’d never met in person before and it was wonderful.

    I like the muppet version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ too.

    Wishing you and yours a very Happy Christmas/

    • It is just like you said, the trip of a lifetime! I’m only sorry that my time here is half over now. The weather has been admirable so far, but we’re in for a bit of rain the next couple of days. However, I expected that! πŸ™‚ I too, am visiting with some online friends that I’ve known for years but have never met in person, and am enjoying every minute of this trip (despite knowing how much I’ll have to catch up on things on my return).

      Hope you and yours are having a Merry Christmas this year as well!

  10. As a Muppet girl myself (figuratively, that is, not literally, though I’ve often wished I were), I approve of your choice of MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL!

  11. What an awesome hop!! And a fantastic giveaway! Thank you!! Your favorite version in the Muppets one. πŸ™‚ Have fun with on your trip! I hope you have a fantastic time! Happy holidays to you all! Best wishes and many blessings!

    • I am having *so* much fun that it will be very tough to come home. And having seen Middle Earth first hand, I know now how Tolkien created the world of The Hobbit. πŸ™‚ You’re in the contest, and hope you have a wonderful holiday season this year as well!

  12. Your favourite version of a Christmas Carol is the one by the Muppets, of course – and what a good choice it is! Thanks for the fantastic competition πŸ™‚

    • Hee! You’re right! It’s been a good hop–thank you! I haven’t been able to visit all the blogs on the list as I am traveling now, but I hope to catch up soon!

    • I think the fairy with the toaster was in Scrooged, though I’m not sure! I’m having a wonderful time–got you in the contest!

  13. Answer , the Muppet Version, who could resist the Muppets?????
    I’m a new follower and I hope you have a safe and fun trip.
    seawitchreviews at yahoo dot com

    • Resistance is futile! πŸ™‚ I’m having a wonderful time–this trip is going to be over far too soon! Thanks for following, too!

    • Oh, thank you for dropping by! I’m out of the country at the moment, with limited internet access, so I haven’t been able to get to as many other people on the list as I would have liked… πŸ™‚

    • You’re the second or third person to mention the Disney version–I’m going to have to check it out? I can guess who Scrooge was, though! -) Got you entered!

Leave a Reply to z Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.