Even though I’m an avid reader, this is one of those busy times of year when finding the time to settle down and concentrate on a full length novel can be a challenge. With that in mind, I recently picked up a collection of Christmas themed short stories titled, Wrapped With A Bow: Nine Holiday Short Stories as Unique as Snowflakes.

The authors who contributed to this collection are Aubree Lane , R.E. Hargrave, Ella Medler, Cherime MacFarlane, Samantha Jacobey, Michele E. Gwynn, Jennifer Bryan Yarbrough, Teri Riggs, and Holly Barbo.

I’ve enjoyed the work of all these authors in the past, and had high expectations for this collection. I wasn’t disappointed. This is a great collection that I found to be entertaining, romantic, often heartwarming, always absorbing … and it also left me feeling good.

These stories truly are as unique as snowflakes, yet, along with being connected by the Christmas season, they also share the idea that there are more good decent people than bad people in this world – which I often need to reminded of after watching the evening news.

Some of these stories have an almost fairy tale quality, portraying down-on-their-luck young women who, against all odds, find their prince charmings and happy-ever-afters. There are also exhilarating thrillers – and even some stories with absorbing and exciting paranormal refrains designed to take us to new places.

All wrapped up together, this makes for a most satisfying reading experience. Not to mention that, at the extremely low price of ninety-nine cents, this collection is a steal – leaving more money in my pocket for holiday shopping. In fact, this short story set would make a great stocking stuffer for all your friends.

WRAPPED WITH A BOW contains the following stories:

SUGAR & SPICE — RE Hargrave
FROZEN HEART — Ella Medler
CHRISTMAS CANDY — Samantha Jacobey
SOPHIE’S WISH — Michele E. Gwynn
CHRISTMAS FOR FAITH — Jennifer Bryan Yarbrough
Available at Amazon…ONLY 99 cents!!
US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0187NPMF4
UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0187NPMF4
CA – http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0187NPMF4
AU – http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B0187NPMF4




Spotlight on: Cooking with The Crazy Lady Authors



Right now, for a limited time, the Kindle Edition is available at a 67% discount … for only 99 cents!

In case you don’t know who The Crazy Lady Authors are, I’ll tell you a little bit about us. You can also get to know us on Twitter @CLAuthors, on Facebook, on Pinterest, and on our blog.

We are a group of writers who have banded together to support one another unconditionally, in our work and in our lives. In the process, we’ve become more than merely colleagues and friends … we think of ourselves as sisters … and can’t imagine not having one another to lean on. Needless to say, with such a great sense of camaraderie between us, we always end up having a lot of fun together. It’s no accident that we dubbed ourselves The Crazy Lady Authors. Anyone who picks up our collaborative cookbook will immediately get a sense of what I’m talking about.


Our cookbook, Cooking with The Crazy Lady Authors is available in both Kindle (on sale for just 99 cents!) and paperback editions from Amazon. You can also contact me to purchase a signed paperback edition. Simply email me at CairennHouse@gmail.com and put the word COOKBOOK in the subject line to arrange it.

In Summary

As Jacques Pepin would say, “Happy cooking!” As Julia Child would say, “Bon appetite!”  As for what Alice B. Toklas, (in)famous for the Hashish Brownie Recipe in her own self-titled cookbook would be most likely to say, I choose this quirky quote:


As it so happens, our cookbook is full of recipes for incredibly good food, and you can legally purchase all the ingredients at your local supermarket. And it’s currently on sale for just 99 cents! See how easy we’re making it for you!

We’re nice like that.


Crazy Love



By the time we get to know our parents they’ve had to grow up. They’ve accepted responsibility for raising children, and learned to handle the tough stuff, like mortgage payments. Of course, they were young once, and had crazy periods in their lives that their kids may never know about. Or, if their kids do find out, they are inevitably shocked.

By the time I knew my grandparents they were, of course, old. I couldn’t imagine them in their younger days and when I heard the story of how they got married, my mind reeled. As it turns out, they were so anxious to get to the honeymoon that they got married in a horse and buggy, with the the minister and the guests either on horseback or also in buggies. Once they were pronounced husband and wife, Grandpa said “giddy-up” and off they went to start their life together. I smile every time I think of this. Now that I’m older myself, I like knowing my staid grandparents were once young, in love, and just a little crazy.

My parents’ story also surprised me. My dad was a truck driver for Standard Oil, and my mother was a waitress at the truck-stop diner he stopped at regularly. When she wasn’t there, he left her little love notes in his determination to win her over. My dad wrote love notes??? After winning her over, they moved in together before they were married. My parents shacked up together??? At one time that information made me a little uncomfortable, but now it makes me giggle. Go Dad!

My own kids have no idea that their seemingly conventional mother and father were also young and a little crazy at one time. Oh yes! We actually had lives before they came along. We met at a survivors party. What’s that? The party after the party for those who survived the first party. It was a Halloween party. I’d gone as a vampiress, wearing several layers of sexy black satin and lace draped over one another. He wore his old army fatigues. I was sexy as all get out, and he was invisible. I didn’t even notice him, but he’d noticed me. It was hard not to when I came in second in the costume contest. I lost to a fat guy wearing a tutu, of course. Tell me, why does the fat guy in the tutu always win? Anyway, the next day I went back and HE was still there … at the survivors party. He’d been waiting, hoping I would show up. He charmed me with his admission that he’d been too shy to approach me at the party, and I fell for him … and his green eyes. Two years later, we were married.

My kids can’t imagine their mom being sexy or their dad being charming. They can’t imagine that once upon a time we were crazy in love. One day they’ll probably figure it out.

My short story, “Crazy Love,” is about how being young and in love makes us do crazy things. I hope it will make you smile. I smiled a lot as I wrote it.


You can find it in the Treasured Moments collection, which is currently available on Amazon for only 99 cents. Along with my story you’ll also have 13 more stories to enjoy … all written by a group of writers who call themselves The Crazy Lady Authors, because we were crazy when we were young, and we’re still a little crazy now. Being a little crazy is one of the things that makes life so much fun, don’t you think?

Spotlight on Michele Gwynn


MicheleGwynnPhoto  I’ve mentioned Michele Gwynn in my blog before, in connection with a charity book project she contributed to – to help raise money for her town’s library and literacy projects. You can see that post here. Her involvement with that project should give you an idea of what a terrific person she is. She’s also a terrific author and freelance journalist. She writes for newspapers, magazines, and online websites like Examiner.com (under the categories of Film, Animal Rights, Healthy Food, and Sex and Relationships), and more. She also finds time to work as a book and website editor. Moreover, and this is important, she is also a cat lover.

You see, most of Michele’s books are meant for an adult audience. However, she has also written a children’s book, The Cat Who Wanted to be a Reindeer. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, then I suggest you do a free download of this charmingly illustrated book and read it with the child in your life.  Or, if you’re a cat lover like Michele, read it for yourself!


You can find it on Amazon.

To connect with Michele Gwynn, just follow these links:

"Christmas Tree With Merry Christmas Word" by pixbox77

“Christmas Tree With Merry Christmas Word” by pixbox77