Merry Christmas to you and yours! I hope you're having a day full of fun, family, and feasts! Remember those who are missing loved ones. And cherish the ones you still have. Here's to a great end to our year. Thanks for joining me on this journey. You're the best gift an author could want!
At the end of last year and beginning of this one, there was a lot of talk about having a word of the year. One word that was supposed to define what you wanted to focus on throughout the 365 days of 2019. And I thought, how on earth am I supposed to pick ONE word out of the millions and millions available? Some people chose words like "peace," "calm," "slow," and other such great ideas we all wish we had more of in our lives. But I'm a mom of two preschoolers. I know better than to strive for things like that right now. Other words were more like "bless," "discipline," "joy," "persistence," you get the idea.
I decided to not choose a word. For me, it was right up there with setting new year's resolutions. I don't really do it because I don't want to break them.
Instead, a word was sort of given to me as I went through this year. The word "BRAVE."
With my second book coming out back in April, I expected this to be a great year writing-wise, and it was, but I also ended up having several reminders that my forward momentum isn't going to maintain itself without me doing more to get out of my comfort zone. So, I've learned to reach more, and stretch myself. And get uncomfortable.
First, I started reaching out more to other people who are already established and asking for things like interviews on my blog. That blessed me unexpectedly with other resources who in turn added me to their blogs. That was exciting. I also joined with my friends Erin and Heather to start our youtube channel. That's definitely something I never considered doing, but now that we've started, I'm so glad I took up their challenge to join in. And I'm starting to try and reach out to more local places like libraries and stores and schools having booth events, to try and get my name recognized in my area, too.
What does that mean for this next year? I honestly don't know yet. But I know I'm going to continue to try and find more ways to stay out of my comfort zone and find more ways to meet more people. After all, as my publisher continues to tell us, "people aren't going to know you write books unless you tell them."
Did you have a word for this year? Did you find a word sort of gave itself to you or did you choose your own?
Sometimes, seeing someone else's romance helps us look at our own with fresh eyes once more. Today, Regina Merrick is our guest blogger on the Real Life Romance spot. She's just had a daughter get married and is full of memories and advice. Read all the way to the bottom for a chance to win her latest release!
Romance is as old as time and as new as the most recent spark of interest.
Family weddings make it more real, somehow, than the memories of my own romance over forty years ago. Our daughter married her sweetheart in October, and it was as different from my own romance as it possibly could be.
Here are a few differences:
One thing I remember about my own wedding is that I have flashes, not clear memories. The vision of the candlelight through my veil giving it a “star” effect … Kneeling at the kneeling bench as a song was sung, our pastors praying over us …
With Emily’s wedding, I was more present, but in a way, I feel that until I see the pictures, I won’t be able to put in place everything that happened. I remember both of us walking Emily down the aisle, her kissing and hugging us as we left her with her future husband, and holding my husband’s hand during the ceremony. I remember Ellen, our younger daughter reading scripture, and my husband praying. I remember Emily promising Ben “to choose you every day.”
And that’s what romance is, isn’t it? To choose your special someone every day.
During this holiday season, be sure to choose your someone every day. Don’t get lost in the hustle and bustle that is the “season” – much like “wedding season” was to me this year – and remember the reason for the season is Jesus. He loves us, and His greatest desire, and command, is that we love one another and share His hope with the world!
If you’d like a chance to win a copy of Hope Is Born (ebook or paperback), answer this simple question – What is your favorite Christmas candy, homemade or store-bought? Mine is Hershey’s Kisses! I always have to have those little red, green, and silver foil candies around, especially at Christmastime!
Happy Christmas to you all!
Regina Rudd Merrick began reading romance and thinking of book ideas as early as her teenage years when she attempted a happily-ever-after sequel to “Gone With the Wind.” That love of fiction parlayed into a career as a librarian, and finally to writing full-time. She began attending local writing workshops and continued to hone her craft by writing several short and novel-length fan-fiction pieces published online, where she met other authors with a similar love for story, a Christian worldview, and happily-ever-after. Married for 30+ years and active in their church in Marion, KY, Regina and her husband have two grown daughters (and a son-in-law!) who share her love of music, writing, and the arts. She is the author of three books in the Southern Breeze Series: Carolina Dream (Apr. 2017), Carolina Mercy (July 2018), and Carolina Grace (February 2019), and a novella, Pawleys Aisle, (a Southern Breeze Story) in Coastal Promises (September 2019). Her novella, Reno-Vating Christmas is included in the Mosaic anthology Hope Is Born (December 2019). Her next novel, book 1 in the Reno-Vations series with Mosaic, will release in June 2020.
The Mosaic Collection
Mantle Rock Publishing
Amazon Author Page
Amazon Mosaic Page
Nine stories. Nine pasts to overcome. Nine futures hang in the balance.
Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but what happens when the past threatens to destroy the peace and joy of the season?
When the men and women in these stories face overwhelming challenges in their lives, can hope be restored this Christmas?
Reno-Vating Christmas by Regina Rudd Merrick
Steve Reno lost his wife two years ago and has two grown children, while Roxy Emerson has been alone for over ten years and is a grandmother. They’re not looking for romance, but when the contractor and restaurant-owner are thrown together at Christmastime, they realize that God does indeed have a hope and a future for them.
Did you know mistletoe is a parasite? It actually grows in trees and uses their water and nutrients to feed itself. I've seen it in so many trees in Oklahoma and Texas.
And yet, it's one of the most cherished emblems of Christmas romances. Because tradition tells us it is an extra reason to kiss!
Rewind (do people still use that word?) fifteen years ago. My husband and I were buying our first Christmas tree, and as I picked out the tree skirt and topper to go with our beautiful six-and-a-half foot artificial pine, I saw something else I knew I wanted. It's called a kissing ball. A cluster of fake mistletoe is hung on a ribbon with a bell at the bottom. And it's been in our house ever since.
We don't always remember to take advantage of it, but my kids have noticed it more this year, and they sometimes stop underneath it and say, "I'm under the kissing ball so you need to come kiss me." Okay, then. We plop a big wet one on their cheeks and enjoy the giggles.
In my book, An Unexpected Legacy, my characters joke about there not being any mistletoe hanging where they're standing, so no kiss. She says, "Who needs mistletoe?" I agree. Who needs it? It's fun to just kiss your special person whenever you want without having to wait for a silly tradition from the old days. But it's also fun to look for more excuses to stop and steal a kiss.
So, how about you? Have you ever been kissed under the mistletoe?
PS, if you're looking for my mistletoe post for my youtube challenge this week, this is it! ;-)
This is a place for me to share thoughts and ideas not just related to writing. Thoughts about what's going on in my life, about an idea I got that I thought shareworthy, or just a funny anecdote.