Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Welcome Shawna Delacorte!

Please welcome today's guest of honour at the Christmas Party, the very wonderful Shawna Delacorte, who has TWO Christmas stories to tell us about! Welcome, Shawna!

Hello. I'm Shawna Delacorte and I'm happy to be here today at Marie Treanor's Christmas Party. It's hard to believe that Christmas is only 25 days from now.  They say as we get older time seems to move faster, but this year has zipped by ridiculously quick!  :)

I'd like to tell you about two Christmas stories I have available, some fun Christmas facts I'd like to share, a prize giveaway, and a question of the day.

My Prize Giveaway:  As an early Christmas present, I'm giving away an autographed original print copy of THE MILLIONAIRE'S CHRISTMAS WISH by Shawna Delacorte, a Silhouette Desire that's one of my Harlequin backlist titles recently reissued in ebook and available at (do search for Shawna Delacorte ebook reissues). Also available at Amazon for Kindle and Barnes and Noble for Nook. Details of the giveaway listed below.

Blurb:  When millionaire Chance Fowler first kissed the pretty stranger in his arms, he'd only meant to dodge the photographers who'd tailed him. Then she ran off—but he couldn't forget her tempting taste on his lips. So he sought out the tantalizing woman who'd ignited his long-dormant desire….

Lovely Marcie Roper was the first woman to close her eyes to Chance's fortune. And though she'd captivated the jaded tycoon, Marcie yearned for what his wealth couldn't buy—a man who would say "I do" and mean it forever.  Could Marcie convince Chance that love—for the right woman—would last a lifetime?

Inside Cover Excerpt:  

She was certainly different from the type of women he usually encountered. Her eyes sparkled with the fire of emotion and her stance declared a very appealing independence. Yes, indeed. Marcie Roper was quite different—a breath of fresh air. He recalled the way she felt in his arms, the taste of her delicious mouth. He fought the almost overwhelming desire to pull her into his arms and kiss her again.

He watched her walk away from him—for the second time since he first encountered her. She had turned out to be a very intriguing woman. He already knew about the golden flecks in her hazel eyes, her soft pliable lips, her addictive taste and how good she felt in his arms. And now he knew she was certainly a challenge—and Chance had never been one to back down from a challenge.

My second Christmas offering, "The Ghost Of Christmas Presents," is a short story that's part of CHRISTMAS WARMTH, an anthology of Christmas short stories from XOXO Publishing, also available at Amazon in ebook. (Note: this was not yet available at the time I wrote this blog, but should be by the time it's posted on November 30).

Robert Carson was a man of habit, one who lived a very orderly and structured life…an admittedly lonely existence. But one snowy December day and a very special Christmas changed everything.


Gray clouds hung low in the sky, with the forecast calling for snow. Robert Carson emitted a weary sigh as he hunched his shoulders against the cold December air. Turning up the collar of his overcoat, he took his customary seat on the bench at the bus stop in front of the Yummy Cookie Factory, where he'd worked as an accountant for twenty-five years. The number nine bus took him within a block of the small studio apartment where he'd lived alone for the same twenty-five years. It was the procedure he always followed at the end of each workday.

But this week had not been the same. It had been a disturbing week, upsetting his normal work routine. He didn't like change, especially when it came as a total surprise. On Monday his supervisor had brought a woman to his cubicle and introduced her as Helen Winston, a new employee in the accounting department. She seemed to be a pleasant woman, about his age, but why had the supervisor foisted this new employee off on him? He had been given the task of showing her the ropes and familiarizing her with company procedures, definitely an unwanted disruption to his set routine.

The week had progressed without further incident, and he had gradually accepted her presence in the office environment. Finally Friday arrived, signaling the end of the work week. Then, just that morning, he'd been hit with another change at work. For years the company Christmas party had been cookies and punch, with the factory manager handing out the annual Christmas bonus check. Shortly before lunch, a company-wide announcement informed the employees that this year's office Christmas party would be different. For the first time, it would include a gift exchange. Each department would have its own party and draw names for a departmental gift exchange, without any of the employees knowing who had drawn his or her name. The plant manager had referred to it as a "Secret Santa" gift. Each worker would receive one gift with the recipient not knowing the identity of the giver.

Robert, who'd been the last one among the office personnel to draw, pulled the slip of paper from his pants pocket and stared at it again. The only name remaining had been Helen's. The knot of anxiety tightened in the pit of his stomach. Another heavy sigh of resignation escaped into the air. He had no idea what kind of present he should buy for a woman, especially one who was no more than a business acquaintance he had met only a few days earlier.

Question Of The Day:  Do you have a particular Christmas that holds special memories for you?

I have fond memories of my first Christmas with snow. Living in Los Angeles, a white Christmas was not part of the holiday. One Christmas Eve (spending the holidays in the mountains), it began to snow. Those big white fluffy snowflakes that are so pretty. There wasn't any wind, so they drifted straight down. Later that night the clouds parted and a full moon literally glistened off the new snow. It all had a very mystical feel to it, almost something ethereal or surreal.

To Win A Copy Of THE MILLIONAIRE'S CHRISTMAS WISH—the winner will be drawn at random from the comments left on this blog. Be sure to leave your email address with your comment so I'll be able to contact the winner.

And now for some Christmas Fun Facts:

Each year, 30-35 million real Christmas trees are sold in the United States alone. There are 21,000 Christmas tree growers in the United States, and trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.

Today, in the Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 days after the 25th, which is also referred to as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. This is the day it is believed that the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger.

In the Middle Ages, Christmas celebrations were rowdy and raucous—a lot like today's Mardi Gras parties.

From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was outlawed in Boston, and law-breakers were fined five shillings.

Christmas wasn't a holiday in early America—in fact Congress was in session on December 25, 1789, the country's first Christmas under the new constitution.

Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States on June 26, 1870.

The first eggnog made in the United States was consumed in Captain John Smith's 1607 Jamestown settlement.

Poinsettia plants are named after Joel R. Poinsett, an American minister to Mexico, who brought the red-and-green plant from Mexico to America in 1828.

The Salvation Army has been sending Santa Claus-clad donation collectors into the streets since the 1890s.

Rudolph, "the most famous reindeer of all," was the product of Robert L. May's imagination in 1939. The copywriter wrote a poem about the reindeer to help lure customers into the Montgomery Ward department store.

Construction workers started the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition in 1931.

Wishing everyone a happy holiday season whatever your beliefs. And above all else…Peace On Earth.

Check out my website for additional excerpts and while you're there take a look at my two very short story free read mysteries on the Bits and Pieces page.  I post a new note on my blog each week at

To be entered in the drawing for an original print copy of Shawna's The Millionaire's Christmas Wish, answer Shawna's question above: Do you have a particular Christmas that holds special memories for you? Or comment on her post in some other way. The contest will close at midnight tonight, and the winner will be announced tomorrow morning on this thread.


  1. I run and hide during Christmas (as much as anyone with kids can) but I love the fact that so many of the traditions she writes about --like the Salvation Army Santas -- are decades older than I would have guessed. Thanks for sharing, Shawna!

  2. Hi Marie, I enjoyed your interview with Shawna, and especially her Chriatmas facts. My fond memories of Christmas goes back to Tennessee where my dad and I would walk the woods on my grandparents' farm to find the perfect Christmas tree. The woods are beautiful when the ground is covered with snow. I have so many wonderful Christma memories that I've written 3 books. Thanks for letting me share. Judy

  3. Bah humbug, Kate :)

    Lovely memories, Judy!

    Shawna, love your excerpts as well as your fun facts! What are you working on just now?


  4. I'm currently working on a romantic suspense that isn't flowing as easily as I would like. :)

    I have a synopsis written and I'm happy with the storyline, but the actual writing is slower than I anticipated.

  5. Thank you, Kate and Anna, for stopping by.

  6. Shawna, I think it's the weather :). My WIP is only growing by fits and starts too :(. Good luck with yours - I love a good bit of Romantic suspense!


  7. In 2002 my little bitty was sick & we were living at the Children's Hospital for Christmas. You'd think this would be a horrible memory, but the doctors, nurses & volunteers really went out of their way to make sure that the kids & parents had a nice day. Santa even stopped by each childs bed!

    All of this Christmas talk in really getting me excited to read Christmas romances!!!

    jennhutson3128 at yahoo dot com

  8. Jenn: How marvelous that the hospital personnel went out of their way to make your Christmas something special.

  9. I would have to say Christmas 2002. That was the year my daughter was born. This was our first Christmas together. She had tons of presents under the tree but did not know what or who they were from.
    This year will also be a good one. My son is now 6 and daughter is 9. They are totally both into the santa claus thing and my son keeps asking"mom where are the present" I keep telling him santa is bringing them. We wrote letters to santa on sunday and sent them out. Also just put up the tree.
    Shawna, great exerpt and this book looks great. I would love to win and read this book, so plese choose me for the giveaway. Thanks for the chance to win.

  10. How fun to know some of those origins, Shawna! Thanks for sharing those, and congrats on your new Christmas story! It sounds like a fun anthology--I do love those! Hmm... I'm sure we'll be making fun Christmas memories this year--we just moved, so it'll be fun to decide together how to decorate this year :)

  11. Wow interesting Christmas facts, I mean who knew that such a well known Christmas story like Rudolph seem to have come from such simple beginnings.

    I don't exactly remember the year (maybe 2008 or 2009) I think it was when I was still in college and I was taking an art class, we had to make this sort of shape collage using black and white paint.

    I was pretty proud of it and my dad really liked it, afterward I was getting it ready to give to him as a Christmas gift I propped it on a blue background and surrounded it with some silver star garland.

    Seeing the smile on his face when he opened it Christmas morning remains forever etched in my memory.

    The stories sound pretty intriguing, thanks so much for the contest!

  12. Christine: Glad you liked the excerpt. Sounds as if your family is totally involved in this year's Christmas season, even writing letters to Santa. Are the kids going to be able to contain their excitement for another 25 days?

  13. flchen1: The first Christmas in a new home is always one with special memories. Good luck with the decorating.

  14. Gabby: What a lovely Christmas memory. Thanks for sharing.

  15. I remember the year that my parents gave my brother a refridgerator box as a gift. They had turned it into the coolest "house" and they even put a small rocking chair and table inside. He used it until it fell apart! jepebATverizonDOTnet

  16. Christmas 1993 - I had just become a grandmother at age 40 earlier in the month.


  17. My favorite Christmas was last year because it was my first holiday with my puppy, Geisha. I hadn't owned a pet in over a decade. It was fun to watch her take in all of the holiday decorations and lights. She was very curious. It made Christmas a lot of fun.

    geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

  18. I remember the year I came downstairs to find some of my dolls sitting by the Christmas tree wearing new outfits sewn by my mother. When I told her about this memory, she told me that a boarder had knitted new outfits for all of her dolls one Christmas and she wanted to do the same for me.
    a dot charol at yahoo dot ca

  19. Jen, Andrea, Stacie, Carol: Those all sound like great Christmas memories. Thank you all for sharing them.

  20. I've enjoyed reading all your special Christmas memories - thanks you! And thank you, Shawna, for being such a great guest of honour :).

    I'll be back in a moment with Shawna's winner...


  21. And Shawna's winner of the original print copy of THE MILLIONAIRE's CHRISTMAS WISH is...


    Carol, if you could email me with your postal address, I'll pass it on to Shawna - Marie AT MarieTreanor DOT com.