Under the Christmas Tree…

Before focusing on 2014 we wanted to take a last look back at 2013. Some of our authors shared with us what they found under the Christmas tree.

Jae for example:
Well, the best Christmas present was the one I gave myself this year—giving up my day job to become a full-time writer.Jae1

Other than that, there were a lot of nice presents underneath the Christmas tree too. I got a few books, including James Scott Bell’s The Art of War for Writers, a leather-bound personal organizer, a beautiful Paperblanks notebook, and a miniature set with a tiny stapler, a hole puncher, and Scotch tape.

And I’m typing this on my new mechanical keyboard with blue cherry switches. They’re kind of noisy, but I like the satisfying click and great tactile feedback that I get with every keystroke. I heard it can do wonders for the typing speed, and I’m looking forward to trying it out.


Lois Cloarec Hart got some interesting stuff:

I have minions!
My wife and I celebrated a quiet Christmas for two this year, but after last year’s Christmas when the power went out just as we were preparing dinner for our guests, we appreciated a peaceful holiday this year.

Santa Wife was very good to me—there were tickets to The Book of Mormon, a gorgeous angel/wind chimes garden statue, and a cast iron dragon/bell to hang in my garden among other things, but my favourite gift was the smallest. A bit of backstory—I’ve always enMy minionsjoyed animated movies (go see Frozen, it’s fabulous .) Once upon a time, many decades ago, I did a lot of drawing and briefly considered becoming an animator. I cherish the Despicable Me duo, not only for the immortal line, “It’s so fluffy,” which makes me laugh no matter how often I hear it, but also because I love minions. So this year my wife got me minions—specifically Dave (he’s on the left with two eyes) and Stuart (the Cyclops impersonator.) They’re actually 8 GB flash drives, but they’re so adorable that they may never actually be put to any other use than just amusing me. So in essence my wife got me on-going smiles for Christmas. She always knows exactly what to put under the tree.



RJ Nolan didn’t celebrate Christmas at home:
My Christmas was on the non-traditional side this year. Our gift to each other was a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada for the holidays. No snow, just lots and lots of slot machines. No, I didn’t win my fortune but I had a great time trying.


Fletcher DeLancey has a lovely wife as well:
My parents demonstrated their great love by having a custom mix of See’s Candies boxed up for me, and then spending ridiculous amounts of money shipping it frojoh waynem Oregon to Portugal. I have been parceling these delights out to myself at the rate of one per day.

My wife gave me the new CD from Ana Moura, one of Portugal’s top fadistas, and it is smooth and marvelous. We’ve already listened to it three times. But her best gift to me came in the form of a DVD collection of John Wayne movies. She knows I’ve loved his westerns since I was a wee lass, and can quote dialogue. (“Fill yore hands, you sonuvabitch!”) But alas, I can rarely get her to watch them with me. Taped to the DVD box was a note saying, “Yes, I will watch these with you.” Now that is my best gift this year!




Diane Marina will visit Europe soon:
As you can tell by looking at the photo of our tree, Santa either decided I was a very good treegirl this year (highly unlikely), or he got tired and left me with the gifts he didn’t feel like delivering (probably).

Many of my gifts this year were either related to my love of running (new running shirts, pants, and a day-glo hat for running at dusk) or giftstravel. Santa brought me lots of goodies in preparation for my trip to Europe in the summer (headphones to block out airplane noise, a travel pouch, and various other goodies).



And Erzabet Bishop got a pink nightmare that she loves:

Christmas in my world was a mass of chaos this year. Being a retail manager in a bookstore can be stressful even in the regular turn of events-add in the holidays and a few shot_1385564820957very intense writing deadlines and you have insanity. Overtime hits when you least want or expect it and still you must find time to finish crocheting the scarf for your sister, bake the goodies for work, talk to the husband who has a month off work (!!!) and find the mental capacity to get the house decorated, the family fed, the manuscripts written and then see if there is time for sleep. Lol. Oh, and find time for blog posts and a few music reviews too!

One thing I enjoyed about this holiday season was visiting Ana’s Advent Calendar and talking with a lot of the ladies there. The posts range from holiday merriment to outright naughtiness, but it is all in good fun and there are a ton of wonderful new friends to talk to. I was sad to see it end. It was an everyday event to pop over to the calendar and see what those naughty elves were up to.

Gift giving in our house has been a bit sparse these last few years. We do for the family and often have little left for ourselves. It was much the same this year. My mother sent me the final gift card so I could get the iPad I’ve been saving for. With hubby’s help, I am happy to say I have a new iPad for all of my wonderful e-books. Hurray! I did get one other gift. Who out there has watched A Christmas Story? Remember the pink nightmare bunny alt=”shot_1388186469898″ src=”http://ylvapublishing.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/shot_1388186469898.jpg?w=300″ width=”300″ height=”300″ />suit? Well, hubby found me a little stuffed dog wearing one. How awesome is that? He sits on my desk, inspiring me with his pink-ness and quirky smile.

This year the greatest gift wasn’t under the tree. For me it is spending time with my husband and the pack of rescue puppies we call our furry kids. Nursing a cold while I sit drinking hot tea and watching Minions play with vats of jelly wasn’t a bad way to spend the afternoon. It was nice. And quiet-and I got to wear sweatpants!


R.G. Emanuelle sure loves cooking:

The best Christmas gift I received this year was a television. The one that I had was dying a slow painful death. Watching dark movies or scenes (literally dark, as in very little light) was becoming a challenge. I couldn’t see what was happening. But considering that the set was from 1990 and had a picture tube, it was hardly surprising.

Another great gift I received was a bottle of homemade coquito, which is sort of a Puerto Rican eggnog. It’s made with rum and coconut milk and is to die for. But if made in the traditional manner, it’s a lot of work. So when I get a bottle of this this, creamy, boozy elixir, I appreciate everyxmas gift drop. (Here’s more info about coquito: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coquito)

I also got this fabulous food prep surface. It’s for cutting, serving, and “triveting.” It’s such a unique gift and such a cool design.

Finally, the best gift I received this year was the support of my friends through some difficult stuff.

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year.

It seems that Santa was busy with our authors this year. What about you? Did you get anything for Christmas you’d like to share with us?

Astrid Ohletz

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About the Author : Astrid Ohletz


  1. C.J. December 29, 2013 at 10:41 - Reply

    I got a new e-reader, so that I can get even more pleasure from your authors this year. Very best wishes to Jae in her new role of full-time writer.

    • Jae December 29, 2013 at 10:46 - Reply

      Hi, CJ. Thank you. Which e-reader did you get? I hope you have a lot of fun with it!

  2. suzihautaniemi December 29, 2013 at 11:08 - Reply

    Bought myself a new hoodie, and for the Mrs. a new CD she can listen to in her car. Got chocolates, and time to read. Also won a few books to keep me entertained. 🙂

  3. C.J. December 29, 2013 at 11:40 - Reply

    I got the Kindle Paperwhite. I like the built-in light and the fact that you turn pages with a touch. I really like ‘real books’, but they’ve taken over the house and I can’t bear to get rid of any. The e-reader is my partner’s attempt to keep my obsession in check.

  4. Devlyn December 29, 2013 at 13:51 - Reply

    We got each other some really cool headphones (mine are red – of course and hers are orange). This is because my partner likes to listen to music and I like to listen to audio books. This way we both get to experience our likes at high volumes. I also got a number of eBooks, some exercise gear and a lens mug. Happy Holiday season to you all and thanks for sharing about your Christmas.

  5. Michele December 29, 2013 at 13:56 - Reply

    Let me know how the Art of War for Writers is. I did a post on what to get writers. http://mmreynolds.blogspot.com/2013/12/27-gift-ideas-for-writers.html Good to pass on to any of your friends for your birthday, anniversary, etc

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