Sunday, December 20, 2015

#DecemberJoyathon2015: Selena Laurence's Favorite Things

The Joyathon is winding down but there is still time to win daily prizes as well as the grand prizes. Today, Selena Laurence stops by to share her favorite things about the holiday season which include tracking Santa on Christmas Eve, making gingerbread houses and the lights, oh, the lights!

Selena Laurence is the USA TODAY Bestselling author of Edgy Contemporary Romance. In 2014 she was awarded the Reader’s Crown Award for Contemporary Romance of the Year. In 2015 her rock star romance A Lush Betrayal was a finalist in three national contests. Her books have been national bestsellers in multicultural romance, military romance, Hispanic fiction, and romantic suspense.

Selena has a Bachelor’s degree in English, a Master’s degree in something really boring, and is a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), the Chicago North Romance Writers, and the Published Authors Network (PAN) of the RWA.

Selena lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains with her kids, Mr. L, “Goldendoodle” and “Demon Cat.” When she’s not writing she can be found at soccer games and tennis matches, or one of her favorite coffee shops.

It’s Holiday time again lovelies, and the gorgeous Kati and Jamie have asked me to write about five of my favorite things about the holidays. So, without further ado, here is my Top Five list of the Holidays (in no particular order, because I could never be that organized):

Gingerbread Houses: Ever since my kids were old enough to hold a piece of candy cane we’ve made an annual gingerbread house. I’m about as far from Betty Crocker as you can get, so we buy the kits with the panels premade, but we decorate the hell out of those suckers. The great thing about gingerbread houses is that with all those different sides, plus two halves of the roof, you can assign areas to kids that are just their own, and they don’t have to fight over how to decorate it. Now, that may mean that one side is covered in pink frosting and jelly beans while the other has zombies, but hey, diversity is good, right? If you want to order a kit to be delivered right to your front door here’s one on Amazon.

Lights: Who doesn’t like Christmas lights? Or Hannukah candles? Or luminarias if you’re from places like New Mexico where I grew up. Let’s face it, December is cold and dark, and all those lights really do brighten up things. If only we could figure out a way to brighten up the entire month of February I might not mind winter so much! If you want to know how to make luminarias like I grew up with, here are the instructions:

Presents: Those of us who are parents know that once you have kids the holidays become about giving rather than receiving, but the stuff they say about giving really is true—it’s so much fun to watch a kid’s face when they get that special item they’ve been begging for. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything as excited as a kid who’s just scored the present they’ve wanted for months. Adults simply aren’t capable of that level of excitement, and it’s a true joy to be reminded of what it looks like when we give gifts to those younger than us. Here’s the present my seven-year-old self got that I’ll always remember:

Santa and Rudolph: Whether you celebrate Christmas or some other winter holiday, I’d argue that Santa and Rudolph are one of the best parts of the season. At my house we get online with NORAD (acronym for some fancy government science place), and we get to watch them track Santa’s sleigh. Kid you not. With GPS. It’s awesome. When my kids were younger it was the only way to get them to go to sleep on Christmas Eve. We’d see Santa’s sleigh heading toward Colorado and that meant it was time to jump in bed. If you want to show your kids GPS of Santa’s Christmas Eve visits go to:

And, finally, the best thing about the holidays? They only happen once a year, because it is cold, and it does cost a lot of money, and we do eat too much, and oftentimes we don’t actually like our relatives if the truth were told. But, once a year, for one month we do these things, and some of it is good and some of it is bad but, we know that it only lasts for a brief time and then we can get back to regular life, having done our duty, gotten some new toys, and eaten half of the grocery store in the process. Here’s hoping your holidays are filled with gingerbread, lights, Santa, gifts, and an end in sight to all of it!

Happy Holidays!

Series: Foreign Exchange #1
Genre: Contemporary
Page Count: 35 pages
Publisher/Release Date: C.P. Writes, LLC (January 12, 2016)
Speaking Greek (Foreign Exchange, #1)

***This is a full length novel, approx. 75,000 words***

Tess Richardson is from a family that’s all about the law. She follows the rules, and works hard for everything she has. When she gets accepted to junior year abroad and an internship at an International shipping company, she knows that doing things the right way has paid off. Then she meets Nico Stephanos and all the rules fly out the window. When she discovers that the Stephanos shipping business isn’t everything it seems, Tess is faced with a choice—the law she knows, or the guy she's come to love.

Nico has always been the golden boy. Handsome, smart, and the son of a Greek billionaire, he gets what he wants, when he wants it. With a father as rich and powerful as his, he’s got the world by the balls—until the day the woman he’s falling for becomes his family’s greatest enemy. Now Nico is faced with a choice—the life he knows, or the girl he thinks he loves.

When a good girl meets a bad boy, and the old world meets the new, love can feel like Speaking Greek.

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