Friday, September 21, 2007

Mystery Guest Blogger Revealed!

Hi Readers!

Dianne Castell and Karen Kelley here. It’s great doing a guest blog at Lucy’s place. Thanks, Lucy!

Being BRAVA authors we’ve all know each other for years. One of the reasons we all go to conferences is to meet up again. With Karen being a Texas girl and Lucy in Portland and Dianne in Cincy, conferences are the best way to see each other.

Lucy and Dianne go waaaaaaaaaaaay back. Dianne did her first BRAVA anthology with Lucy and Lori Foster in Star Quality and now Dianne and Karen have two...yep, two!...anthologies out together.

And they’re both Christmas anthologies. The Morgue the Merrier (Don’t you loooove that title!) (Sept Zebra) and I’m Your Santa (Don’t you looooove that cover!)

Karen here. I had so much fun writing Blue Suede Christmas and Thank You, Santa! In The Morgue The Merrier, Tony and Sydney have been friends since Tony and his mother moved in next door to her family. Their friendship began when he realized she could thread a worm on a hook without flinching. But as adults things have changed and she's going to break up their song writing partnership because she's fallen in love with Tony, but he only sees her as his best bud. Except they get stranded in a hotel turned morgue on Christmas eve and now Sydney has one more problem to deal with--the match-making ghost of an Elvis impersonator.
In Thank You, Santa! I resurrect the dead Elvis impersonator, so to speak, and let him cause havoc in two more lives. He was too fun a character. I hope everyone will feel the same way.

I'm thrilled to have my name on a book with Dianne Castell and Rosemary Laurey in The Morgue the Merrier. Not only did we have a connection with our stories but we also formed a friendship as well. And to be in a anthology with Dianne...again...and Lori Foster with I’m Your Santa is a blast.

Dianne here: This makes three anthologies Karen and I have been in together. Remember Texas Bad Boys? We had good time writing that one too. It’s a good thing we’re friends because in writing connected stories like in TBB and TMTM there’s a lot of planning. In TMTM there’s this big Christmas snow storm and Holly’s ex-husband lands his plane right down in the middle of a steamy, delicious reunion. And in IYS we’re back in O’Fallon’s Landing where a philandering boyfriend plus an empty wallet adds up to LuLu Cahill's worst Christmas ever until she crosses paths with jilted groom Sebastian. He’s determined to go through with his pre-wedding holiday bash. Can he get LuLu to fill in for the bride?

Christmas stories are our favorite. Dianne still remembers reading The Gift of the Magi (O’Henry) for the first time where the husband sells his watch to buy combs for his wife’s hair and she sells her hair to buy a chain for her husband’s watch. Now that’s love. So, what is your favorite Christmas story? Karen and I want to know. We’ll give away two totes, two t-shirts and two books (which means two winners)!

Thanks, Lucy, for letting us visit with your wonderful readers.

Dianne and Karen


Stacy~ said...

Woo hoo, Dianne & Karen are in the house! I am big fans of both authors, and have been lucky enough to meet them both as well. They are both extremely funny, and each have their own distinct style.

Hmm, favorite Christmas story? Probably "A Christmas Carol" because it shows how being kind and giving to others can open your heart and bring happiness into your life, vs. being selfish and stingy. It's more important to care about people instead of possessions. I saw this play at the Guthrie theatre and it was just fabulous.

tam said...

I don't have just one favorite Christmas story. These are a couple I really like; Miracle on 34th Street & The Polar Express. They have so many out now it is really hard to choose. As far as a Christmas book story I really haven't read any, but I'm putting I'm Your Santa & The Morgue The Merrier on my to buy list.

DianneCastell said...

Hi, Tam!
Polar Expressis terrfic and
I love Home Alone (one)! I rememeber seeing it with my kids when they were little and we all laughed till we cried. Great memories now that they're grown.

DianneCastell said...

Hi, Stacy!
My dh looooves Christmas Carol too. We have this old film where there's music and the songs are great, really match the story.

Lucy Monroe said...

Waving madly to both Dianne and Karen! Thanks for coming by to visit!

My fave Christmas story? It's gotta be the one where this wee baby gets born and changes the world. :) I *love* Christmas and Christmas themed books and you know both of these anths are on my TBR list. :)

Stacy S said...

Miracle on 34th Street is my favorite. Christmas is my absolutely favorite holiday. I drive my hubby crazy at that time of the year.

Susan said...

Waving to Dianne, Karen and Lucy!

I would have to go with A Christmas Story starring Peter Billingsley. I love the Red Ryder gun line. :)

DianneCastell said...

Hi, Susan. I don't know the Red Ryder gun line. I'll have to look it up. I'm always looking for new Christmas stories. What's it about?
And now I'm thinking yummy stuff to eat while I'm watching these stories... Christmas goodies.
I'm getting in the mood and it's only Sept!

Cathy said...

Twilight Before Christmas by Christine Feehan is one of my favorite books. I really enjoy the love and connection the Drake sister's have whenever they are together, and they made the holiday very special.

Brandy said...

I like all the stories already mentioned. A Christmas Carol is well liked in my home. The kids and I read it every year at the Holiday. The Gift of The Magi is also another favorite because of the love and pure selflessness that both character feel. The Polar Express is a delightful book (and movie) that my kids enjoy. Of course there is the original Christmas Story from the Bible!
Since all those have already been mentioned, I want to add one more. It's really a cartoon/clay anime thing. But, The Christmas Donkey always brings a tear to my eye! (I'm a big softie.)

Sue A. said...

I'm a big fan of Miracle on 34th Street with Maureen O'Hara and a young Natalie Woods and of course the perfect Santa, Edmund Gwenn. A Christmas Carol, starring Alastair Sim as Scrooge is also a favorite.

I also enjoy reading Christmas anthologies but I can't recall any titles right now.

Estella said...

My favorite Christmas Stories are in an anthology(Merry Christmas, Baby) by Donna Kauffman, Nancy Warren, Erin Mc Carthy, Mary Janice Davidson, Lucy Monroe and Susanna Carr.

Juliet said...

Hi Dianne and Karen! It's great to see you here at Lucy's place.

I love Christmas stories and I have many favorites, it's so difficult to pick just one. I think that the first one I loved was the Gift of the Magi, so beautiful and later Christmas Carol. Since I began reading romance, I found many anthologies that I love and usually reread every year. Some of my favorites are the Signet Regency Christmas anthologies, specially those by Mary Balogh. So emotional and beautiful! And in comtemporary romances, I like the Bravas, like Jingle Bell Rock and Merry Christmas Baby.

kim h said...

love christmas stories. love your books laides.

KimW said...

I love to read Christmas anthologies during the holiday! I remember my mom reading A Child's Christmas in Wales to me when I was young so I'd say that is a favorite of mine. It's such a cute story. A recent Christmas romance that I read and really enjoyed was Must Love Mistletoe by Christie Ridgway. There were so many parts in that book that had me smiling.

robynl said...

hi and welcome Diane and Karen.
I'm sorry that I can't remember the movie name or characters even though I can see them in my head:
the story is about a Dad who is dying and hasn't long to live; he desperately wants his kids home for Christmas and it seems as if no one can make it and at the last they all end up coming home. It is a tear jerker in a good way.

robynl said...

I just remembered the movie; The Gathering with Ed Asner. I loved it.

Judy F said...

HI ladies. I love both your books. Dianne is a buddy, now I need to met Karen K. I love both your books.

I love Christmas movies. Scrooged with Bill Murray is a fav. And any Muppets Christmas movie

cas2ajs said...

Enjoyed your post and looking forward to both Christmas anthologies.
My favorite Christmas-themed book is a Harlequin American titled Cole in My Stocking by Jule McBride. Such a cute story. On the movie front, my favorite is the movie version of Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus with Ed Asner and Richard Thomas. I look for that one every year. It always warms my heart.


Carolyn A. said...

I love Christmas stories especially anthologies because you can get a taste of some new and different authors you may never have read before. I have "The Morgue The Merrier" on my TBR shelf - can't wait to read it! It sounds fantastic!! I have "I'm Your Santa" on my must buy list at Amazon. My favorite Christmas story is also O'Henry's "The Gift of the Magi". Very touching!

tetewa said...

I enjoyed reading the anthology Merry Christmas, Baby. This had 6 great authors.

Susan said...

Red Ryder is a BB gun and he tells anyone and everyone who will listen that he wants "an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and 'this thing' which tells time" for Christmas.

Ralphie, a young boy growing up in the '40's, dreams of owning a Red Rider BB gun. He sets out to convince the world this is the perfect gift. But along the way, he runs into opposition from his parents, his teacher, and even good 'ol Santa Claus himself.

RachaelfromNJ said...

I like the movie A Miracle on 34th Street. Any Christmas movie gets me in the mood for the season. I like to stack up all of my Christmas books to read during the season.

Nathalie said...

It is a Christmas Carol by Dickens

Lily said...

I once discovered on Gutenberg some christmas stories, and a Yule Log by Florence Barclay written in 1920s is very good.

Amy S. said...

My fave Christmas movies are A Christmas Story and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Lucy Monroe said...

You know what I love most about Di and Karen's post and the comments on it? The confirmation that I'm not the only one who totally adores Christmas themed books and movies. :)

You all rock!

DianneCastell said...

Hi, Amy! National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is such a hoot. Always puts me in a Christmas mood and when things go nuts at my house I don't feel so bad as!

Susan, the Red Ryder sounds like a great story. Something to watch with the whole family. I'll get it! thanks!

Tetewa, I love Merry Christmas Baby too! One of my favorites!

I like the funny Christmas stories best! Gues it's just me.

Karen Kelley said...

HI Everyone! I read all the wonderful comments and had to force myself not to go dig out the Christmas tree. LOL I love Christmas. The sights, the sounds and especially the wonderful smells. I adore candles and will have them everywhere. Pumpkin Spice is my all time favorite.

Okay, I've e-,mailed Dianne to see how she wants to pick the winners and we'll get back with everyone.

Karen Kelley said...

And my winner is----drum roll---
robynl said...
I just remembered the movie; The Gathering with Ed Asner. I loved it.

Congrats!!! If you'll send your snail mail to: I'll get your prizes in the mail this week.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by and thanks Lucy for having us!!!

DianneCastell said...

For prizes...
Cheryl gets the tote and book and I have a few more books to give away and picked Carolyn and Brandy's names from the hat. If you all email me at I'll send off your goodies.
Thanks for playing!
Hugs, Dianne