Happy Valentine’s Day

romantic read

During my dating years, I dreaded Valentine’s day. When the day arrived, I’d smile bravely at the gals who received flowers at the office from their significant others. More often than not, I didn’t have a guy in my life because I worked too much. Or the guy in my life wasn’t into sending flowers.

My way of enjoying Valentine’s day was with a romantic book.

Now that I’m married to my hero, I don’t worry about receiving flowers on a specific holiday. We celebrate our love every day of the year. But I still enjoy a romantic read on Valentine’s Day.

This year I’m reading A Royal Christmas: Featuring Waiting for a Duke Like You and A Prince in Her Stocking by Shana Galen.

What are you reading?

If you haven’t decided on something yet consider a book from the Highland Gardens series and travel to the Scottish Highlands—a place where faeries and brownies and other fae creatures dance through time. And on occasion, so do mere mortals.

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Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

~Dawn Marie

The Wren, the Wren, the King of all Birds by Dawn Marie Hamilton

It’s that time of year again. I so love the Christmas season. One of my favorite things is the Christmas music. We have a large collection that we start listening to the day after Thanksgiving.

Again this year, while listening to The Chieftains’ The Bells of Dublin and the Wren in the Furze song, I wondered aloud how the wren became the king of all birds. My husband jumped on it and did an internet search. He found a site, The Little Brown Wren, which explains via folklore. It seems the world of birds decided they wanted to have a king same as the humans. But how should they choose who among them should be king. They decided to hold a contest…whichever bird could fly the highest would be the king of the birds. On the day the contest was held, the eagle climbed ever higher into the sky. After the other birds gave up and fell to the ground, he smugly began his decent, believing he was the king of the birds. But above him, a wee wren fluttered her wings and sang a beautiful song. Having hidden within his feathers, she’d ridden into the sky on his back and became king through cleverness.

There is more to the story. Check it out at The Little Brown Wren.

There is a tradition in Ireland to ‘hunt the wren’ on the feast of Saint Stephen, which is celebrated on December 26th. On Wren Day, the wee bird is secured to a decorated staff and paraded through the village with music and dancing and much celebration. Fortunately, in our modern times a fake bird is used.

I’ll think of this tale every time I watch the wren in our backyard flutter from the shrubs near the house to the suet feeder.  Or when it sings its beautiful song mid-winter.

wren cutout

The Chieftains, The Bells of Dublin (1991)
Wren in the Furze

The wren, oh the wren; he’s the king of all birds,
On St. Stephen’s Day he got caught in the furze,
So it’s up with the kettle and it’s down with the pan,
Won’t you give us a penny for to bury the wren?

Well it’s Christmas time; that’s why we’re here,
Please be good enough to give us an ear,
For we’ll sing and we’ll dance if youse give us a chance,
And we won’t be comin’ back for another whole year!

We’ll play Kerry polkas; they’re real hot stuff,
We’ll play the Mason’s Apron and the Pinch of Snuff,
Jon Maroney’s jig and the Donegal reel,
Music made to put a spring in your heel!

If there’s a drink in the house, would it make itself known,
Before I sing a song called “The Banks of the Lowne”,
A drink with lubri-mication in it,
For me poor dry throat and I’ll sing like a linnet!

Oh please give us something for the little bird’s wake,
A big lump of pudding or some Christmas cake,
A fist full o’ goose and a hot cup o’ tay (Tea),
And then we’ll all be goin’ on our way!

The wren, oh the wren; he’s the king of all birds,
On St. Stephen’s Day he got caught in the furze,
So it’s up with the kettle and it’s down with the pan,
Won’t you give us a penny for to bury the wren?

 

gorse

Furse is another term for gorse; a yellow-flowered shrub of the pea family, the leaves of which are modified to form spines.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

~Dawn Marie

*images from Pixabay

 

Holiday Novellas by Dawn Marie Hamilton

One of the things I love about the holiday season is the abundance of wonderful holiday novellas.  Holiday novellas are sometimes part of an author’s on-going series, or part of a collection with other authors, or stand alone. What ever the case, they bring the joy of the season.

I just finished reading a fun, contemporary romance by Roxanne St. Claire from her Dogfather series–Bark! The Herald Angels Sing. Loved it! Made me cry! Made me laugh!

I have a Christmas novella from my Highland Gardens series on sale. Just in Time for a Highland Christmas is $0.99  through the end of December… 

Cover for Just in Time for a Highland Christmas

Can a determined brownie craft a perfect match in time for Christmas?

Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, or Kobo.

And…

Twelvetide: Twelve Nights of Highland Magic is exclusively available at Amazon for $0.99!

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He has twelve nights to gain her love.
She has twelve nights to save his soul.

Get it at Amazon.

 

~Dawn Marie

 

Stay Cool with Christmas in July

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas
A Highland Gardens Novella

The 3rd tale in the series.

e-book sale:
$0.99 through July 31st

(regular price: $2.99)

 

Can a determined brownie craft a perfect match in time for Christmas?

When the Chief of Clan MacLachlan travels to the stronghold of his feuding neighbors to fetch his betrothed, she is gone. A year later, she is still missing. Making life more vexing, a band of reivers are stealing clan cattle, leaving behind destruction. Archibald MacLachlan determines to capture them and administer harsh punishment.

Though once in love with the man, Isobell Lamont refuses to wed her clan’s enemy. After running away, she joins the band of reivers set on revenge.

Can Archibald forgive the raven-haired beauty? Will a journey through time bring them together for a Highland Christmas?

 

Snatch your copy today…

Kindle : Nook : Apple : Kobo

 


Twelvetide-200

Twelvetide: Twelve Nights of Highland Magic
A Highland Gardens Novella

e-book:
$0.99 or KU

 

He has twelve nights to gain her love. She has twelve nights to save his soul.

Fulfilling a childhood promise, Ashley Dumont returns to an ancient Druid garden in the Black Hills of Scotland on the eve of the winter solstice—a time when magic hums and the veil between realms thins and tears, allowing all manner of supernatural creatures through. Will the ghost who claimed to be her destiny still be there?

Caelan Innes awaits her arrival. Unjustly murdered in the sixteenth century, a second chance at life depends on this woman. The Druids grant them the twelve nights of Yule to find love and save Cael’s soul. Will a trip through time and the treachery of enemies make the sacrifice too dear?

 

Find it on Kindle…

Kindle

 

Hope you have a magical summer!

~Dawn Marie

Happy Groundhog Day Writing Tips

groundhog family

As winter plods along, I feel more and more like I should stick my head in a cave and forget about writing. Depending on whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow, winter is still hanging around. Blah!

We moved from SNOWY New Hampshire to the SUNNY south to avoid snow, ice, and single-digit winters. Along came Winter Storm Inga on January 17th (yep, they now NAME them, like they do the hurricanes). The snow fell fast and furious. Everything here in Raleigh, North Carolina STOPPED! Many mornings we awoke to 9 degrees or 14 degrees F temps.

Lucky for me, I write from home, but for some reason I didn’t. I filed months of papers, got my taxes ready for the CPA, worked on volunteer organization paperwork…the frigid temperatures were a good excuse.

NO MORE EXCUSES!

An author can not make money without writing. I blog, I host authors on my blog, and I am working on several books at once. I have agents looking over two different manuscripts, a book coming out with Soul Mate Publishing this coming summer, and I have another book in the works for maybe a March release.

So, bundle up, charge up your laptops, down some coffee, nibble chocolates, and enjoy what’s left of winter.

Unlock your skills!

heart and key

 

 

 

 

*I am giving away autographed copies of  

Shimmer: the Beginning, my dragon-Fairy Fantasy romance.

Head on over to my Author Blog before February 8th to enter

(no purchase necessary)

 

Connect with Nancy Lee Badger here:

Website    Twitter      Facebook

Are you working on LABOR DAY?

labor-day-1628502_1280

The Labor Day holiday has different meanings to different folks. In many towns in the United States, children are already back to school. Many workers have the Monday holiday off from work, and many are also ‘paid’ holiday pay.

What about me? I retired from my state job as a 9-1-1 dispatcher to write fulltime. No more weekly paychecks; no more paid health insurance or vacation days. If I do not work on Labor Day, nothing changes. However, I try not to shop at businesses that make their people work. It’s my choice, because people should have a chance to enjoy family and friends as we say good-bye to summer.

I am a writer, and since I released a new book on September 1st, my weekend is filled with promoting its release as I do my best to get the word out. My latest book, With Every Heartbeat, is a contemporary romance, but I have also put my Scottish Fantasy Romance novella, Shimmer: The Beginning, on sale for $.99 for a limited time. You can find all my book Buy Links on Nancy’s Books Page.

Connect with Nancy Lee Badger: Blog     Website     Twitter    Facebook   Goodreads   Amazon Author Page