Tag: Christmas

Home > ArchivesTag: Christmas

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

December 20, 2020 by in category A Bit of Magic by Meriam Wilhelm tagged as , ,

Books by Meriam Wilhelm

MIDNIGHT MADNESS

Buy now!
MIDNIGHT MADNESS

MORNING MAGIC

Buy now!
MORNING MAGIC

MURDER BY MAGIC

Buy now!
MURDER BY MAGIC

NIGHT FLIGHT

Buy now!
NIGHT FLIGHT

SEA DREAMS

Buy now!
SEA DREAMS

SUNSET SPELLS

Buy now!
SUNSET SPELLS
THE WITCHES OF NEW MOON BEACH BOXED SET

THE WITCH OF BERGEN

Buy now!
THE WITCH OF BERGEN

0 0 Read more

Christmas Memories… and how they become the stories we love to write by Jina Bacarr

December 11, 2020 by in category Jina’s Book Chat tagged as , , , , , ,

Ah, the magic of Christmases past… even those we want to forget…

Like spending an hour hanging up Christmas tree lights that don’t work when you plug them in.

Or imbibing in two much spicy eggnog at the office party while wearing a tipsy Santa hat… and then seeing your grinning face splashed all over social media.

Or digging through your closet for your favorite red Christmas dress to impress the new man in your life and you find out it doesn’t fit anymore.

Not our best holiday memories and ones we’d rather forget. But what about the holiday moments that make our eyes misty no matter how many years go by? 

Memories of Christmases past race through our heads like sugar plum fairies on a triathlon this time of year… for me, I’ve turned three of them into Christmas stories that turn back the clock.

————   

A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

When I was stationed in Livorno, Italy, I worked in the US Army Service Club and every Christmas we hosted an event for the soldiers with the nuns and little boys from the local orphanage. I never forgot how the soldiers and little Italian boys had such a great time even though they didn’t speak the same language… except they did.

The spirit of Christmas.

I wanted to capture that lovely day in a story about a US Army captain in Italy during World War 2 who gets lost on the road to Rome right before Christmas Eve. He ends up helping out a beautiful nun and her charge of little boys and saves them from the Nazis.

If you like WW 2 romance, check out my holiday novella that takes place on Christmas Eve during the cold winter of 1943: A Soldier’s Italian Christmas.

December 1943 Italy

He is a US Army captain, a battle-weary soldier who has lost his faith.

She is a nun, her life dedicated to God.

Together they are going to commit an act the civilized world will not tolerate.

They are about to fall in love.

—————–   

A NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CAROL

I was only six years old when I attended a strict parochial school behind a big iron gate in Philadelphia… at Christmastime, the nuns took us to see Santa Claus at Wanamaker’s department store, but we had to pass by the ‘poor house’ – an old limestone building with broken windows and no trees. Lost souls squatting. We gave them packages of food and the sisters told us kids we’d end up there if we didn’t learn our Catechism lessons.

It scared the heck out of me.

Years later when I saw ‘A Christmas Carol’ on TV and got a glimpse of Scrooge threatening to send the hungry and poor to a workhouse, I remember the nun’s warning.

I wanted to write my own version of Scrooge, but I fantasized him more like a tortured, romantic hero, so I created Nick Radnor… handsome, brilliant… and with a smartphone.

Meet him in ‘A Naughty Christmas Carol.’


And one so close to my heart…

CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN

I grew up hearing my dad’s stories about how he met my mom during the war… the red coat she wore when she saw him off at the train station… the letters they wrote to each other. The strong feelings of hope and love that kept everybody’s spirits up till the soldiers came home.

When I wrote Christmas Once Again about a woman who goes back in time to save the man she loves, I drew upon those memories, especially for my heroine’s mother. Kate’s strong bond with Ma, her need to see her again (she lost her mother before the book opens), also reflects my desire to see my mom.

My mother passed away a few days before Christmas many years ago…

So, when I talk about Christmas Once Again, you’ll understand the joy and poignant feelings racing through me when I wrote those scenes when my heroine reconnects with her mother once again… if only for a little while.

———

What are your most emotional Christmas memories?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!

Jina

0 0 Read more

Top Ten Popular Holiday Toys from the 1960s

December 3, 2020 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , , ,

I thought it would be fun to look back at the popular toys given for the holidays during the 1960s. This research brought back a flood of memories as both receiving them for gifts and buying them for the younger ones in my family. Hope you enjoy this walk down memory lane, also.

1. Army Men, or plastic soldiers of unbreakable plastic commonly molded in olive green. In the early 1950s Louis Marx and Company sold bagged or boxed sets of plastic military figures and accessories called play sets. Dressed in modern military uniforms and armed with WWII weapons, these army men were sold at low prices in discount stores and supermarkets.

Note: The makers of the green army men announced that army women would be sold in 2020. Gummy army men candy is now also available.

2. Die-cast metal toys  High quality collectible, metal toys were produced using the die casting method, i.e.  putting molten lead or zinc alloy in a mold to make a particular shape. Such toys are made of metal, with some parts made of plastic, rubber, or glass.

Dinky Toys was the brand name for a range of diecast, zinc alloy miniature vehicles produced by Meccano Ltd. They were made in England from 1934 to 1979, at a factory in Binns Road in Liverpool.

3. Barbie Doll spin-offs Mattel introduced Skipper Roberts in 1964 as Barbie’s younger sister. It made quite a splash in the Barbie doll world. More “friends” were introduced as the years went on.

4. Hamilton’s Invaders by Remco was a 1964 series of plastic toys modeled after giant insect type monsters, toy soldiers and vehicles. The line was marketed on television during the early 1960s.

4. Hamilton’s Invaders by Remco was a 1964 series of plastic toys modeled after giant insect type monsters, toy soldiers and vehicles. The line was marketed on television during the early 1960s.

6. The Easy-Bake Oven is a working toy oven introduced by Kenner Products in 1963, and later marketed by Hasbro. The original toy used a pair of ordinary incandescent light bulbs as a heat source. Kenner sold 500,000 Easy-Bake Ovens in the first year of production. 

7. G.I. Joe is produced by Hasbro in 1963. Initially the figurines represented the four branches of the U.S. armed forces and later on, the Action Nurse. Their marketing focused on the term “action figures” vs “doll” because boys did not play with dolls. Thus, the word “doll” was never used by Hasbro or anyone involved in the development or marketing of G.I. Joe “Action Figures.”

8. By 1964, sales of Batman Merchandise had fallen drastically. Editor Julius Schwartz was assigned to the Batman titles. He presided over drastic changes, which was a “New Look”. Schwartz introduced changes designed to make Batman more contemporary. The Batmobile was redesigned, and Batman’s costume was modified to incorporate a yellow ellipse behind the bat-insignia. More slight modifications followed when the Batman television show debuted in 1966.

9. Kiddles were small dolls originally produced by Mattel. They were introduced at the1966 New York Toy Fair and put on the market soon after. At only three inches tall, they were tiny by conventional doll standards. The sensation they created in the toy world caused other toy companies to produce their own tiny dolls.

10.Disneyland Plastic figurines of Mickey Mouse, and Donald Duck were only available at Disneyland theme park until the advent of Disney World and the Disney mall stores in 1987.

What toys do you remember from the 1960s?


Janet and Will’s Skylar Drake Series

DESERT ICE

Buy now!
DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

SLICK DEAL

Buy now!
SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

Buy now!
SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

Buy now!
STRANGE MARKINGS

1 0 Read more

‘Once Upon a Christmastime with the Oprah Show’ and how it inspired CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN… by Jina Bacarr

December 11, 2019 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , , ,

Once upon a Christmastime, I had a fun experience with the Oprah Show that has remained a fond memory… even if it took a different path than the show planned…

============== 

‘Ring… ring… ’

I was halfway out the door when the telephone rang. I slammed to a halt, clutching my car keys, my purse slung over my shoulder. Who could be calling me this early in the morning? 

It was 8 a.m. 

I was running late for a meeting and the last thing I needed was another telemarketer trying to sell me carpet cleaning for Christmas.

Then it hit me. I remembered the Christmas tradition story I wrote about my mom and her old piano and sent to the Oprah Show

I swallowed hard. It was 10 a.m. in Chicago. Oprah Time.

I grabbed the phone and mumbled a breathless, ‘Hello…

‘Hi, this is the Oprah Show calling.’

‘Did you say Oprah?’ I gulped, my heart pounding like a million elves working overtime.

“Do you have time to talk?” the producer asked, hopeful.

I cleared my throat. ‘Yeah, sure… no problem.’

Wait till I tell my boss why I’m late today.

‘Awesome. We received your story about your Christmas tradition… ’

I tossed my purse and car keys onto a chair, my pulse racing out of control. ‘Yes?’

‘We’d like to use it for a segment on our holiday show.’

You do?’ I said, my voice squeaking like a little kid seeing Santa Claus.

The producer chuckled. ‘Yes… now here’s what we need from you.’

Knees wobbly, I fumbled in my purse for a pencil while the producer give me instructions on what happened next. Tears misted in my eyes. I couldn’t believe it. My Christmas tradition was going to be on Oprah.

I let out a deep sigh. If only my mom could see this, praying somehow she did know.

My mother loved to play the piano, especially at Christmastime. She knew every holiday carol by heart and every year, she’d sit down at our old studio upright piano and take us on a musical trip to Bethlehem or a journey with the Three Wise Men or rock ‘n roll with Jingle Bell Rock.

We lived in the Pennsylvania woods when I was a kid and one Christmas we were snowed in and couldn’t get into town to buy a tree. So my mom decorated our old piano with shiny, silver tinsel and red and blue and green balls with a gold star on top.

After all, a piano is made out of wood, and that wood was once a tree.

 So why not a Christmas Piano Tree?

 My mother passed away a few days before Christmas many years ago. I didn’t have the heart to trim a tree that year. Then I remembered her Christmas piano tree. I decorated that same old, wonderful studio upright with Christmas ornaments that year and I do so every Christmas since then as a tribute to my mom.  

It was an exciting time after the Oprah Show producer called. They asked for photos of my Christmas piano tree, then we taped the segment for my holiday tradition with me reading what I wrote about my mom. The sound crew added holiday music and I got all ready to watch the show when it aired…

But the show ran overtime, so my segment didn’t make the national broadcast. I was devastated, but the Oprah producer promised she’d do something for me.

She did. The next year the Oprah Show ran my old home Christmas movies and used them as part of their promo for their holiday show.

So here’s my pretty young mom at Christmastime hanging up Christmas stockings.

Awesome…

When I wanted to write a Christmas time travel story, I thought about how much I missed my mom every year and those wonderful holidays when I was a kid in Pennsylvania. If only I could go back in time and see her again and tell her how much I loved her…

I dedicated CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN to my mom. It’s the story of the Arden Family during World War 2 on the home front with Kate, the older daughter, as the heroine sending the man she loves off to war in 1943… she never sees him again.

Then years later she has the chance to go back in time and warn him about a secret mission gone wrong in France. Will he believe her?

All she wants for Christmas is to save the man she loves…

Christmas Once Again is available at e-tailers everywhere, print, and audio book, too!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Jina

PS – some of my favorite scenes in Christmas Once Again are when Kate reconnects with Ma…and their wonderful moments together.

———– 

CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN is on sale for 99 cents for a limited time!

US Amazon https://amzn.to/2pcz2eN

UK Amazon https://amzn.to/31rF4pZ

Audio US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YL6KG3W

Follow me on BookBub for new releases and promo deals!

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jina-bacarr

2 0 Read more

On the Home Front and Overseas during World War 2 for this Veterans Day by Jina Bacarr

November 11, 2019 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , ,

Happy Veterans Day!

I can’t wait to see the new PBS series ‘The World on Fire‘ about different people’s lives during World War 2 — the series begins in 1939 and ends in 1940. We can never forget those times. Especially at the beginning of the Holiday Season. So on this Veterans Day, I want to highlight what December 1943 was like for two veterans. Whether they were on the home front getting ready to report for dangerous duty overseas and saying goodbye to their girl at the train station… Or caught up in a fierce winter storm in Italy fighting to advance the Allies to Rome… ————- Posey Creek, Pennsylvania December 1943 In CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN we meet Kate Arden saying goodbye to her fiancé at the train station…he’s off to join the Army Air Force. Months later, he’s killed in action…or was he? Years later she has the chance to travel back in time and warn him about a mission gone wrong… ‘All she wants for Christmas is to save the man she loves…’ Amazon Buy Links (also available at e-tailers everywhere!) US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07V1QT9Z6 UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07V1QT9Z6 ————- Italy December 1943 Two days before Christmas, Captain Mack O’Casey gets separated from his unit during battle. He makes a wrong turn and finds himself in a small bombed-out village called Monte D’Oro Rose. It appears to be deserted. It isn’t. A beautiful young woman is watching his every move… Who is she? Excerpt from Chapter 1 ‘A Soldier’s Italian Christmas’ He is a U.S Army captain, a battle-weary soldier who has lost his faith. She is a nun, her life dedicated to God. Together they are going to commit an act the civilized world will not tolerate. They are about to fall in love. ————- Amazon Buy Link: A Soldier’s Italian Christmas http://amzn.to/1bcVMwG Holiday Novella for 99 cents! ————- Bonus: Audio Book Sample CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN narrated by Laurel Lefkow Amazon Audio Book Buy Link: US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YL6KG3W  UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07YL4Z593
0 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM

>