Tag Archives: christmas

It’s here! Ghosts of Christmas Past is released!

Moonday Mania

a blog where we celebrate!

I’m stepping out of my self imposed blog hiatus to whoop it up about releasing my latest book, Ghosts of Christmas Past. (See, I am working and not just having a fun summer holiday.) I’m a little nervous about it because there are no shifters, witches or elves. It’s not a fantasy romance nor is it a twisted fairy tale romance. What it is is something completely different. A contemporary Gothic romance.

And, it’s got a New Adult vibe. So, I really should call it a New Adult Contemporary Gothic Romance.

Oh, I forgot, it’s also a holiday romance. So let’s add that in. A New Adult Contemporary Gothic Christmas Romance. I don’t like to do anything uncomplicated.

It’s shorter than my fantasy books and a little longer than the shifter romances. In fact, it was supposed to be a novella, but it missed the mark and came in at over 40,000 words, so it’s officially a short novel. I toyed with the idea of calling it a novelette but ended up sticking with short novel.

And it’s the first in a series of short novels about the Pierce family in Appleset, Massachusetts. All of these books will be centered around holidays and all of them will have some kind of supernatural element. Maybe the series title will give you a clue as to what kind of supernatural element. Haunted Holidays. 

Yep, they will be ghost stories. With all the suspense and horror of a ghost story, tempered by the heat of the romance. Because there is some romance. Okay, more than a little. The heat level in this book is spicy, hotter than my steamy fantasy novels but maybe not quite hitting the heat level of the Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods shifter romances.

I had a lot of fun writing this one, it was a nice break in between all of my books. I started it in late 2012, after I’d finished Goldi and the Bear and before starting Prince by Blood and Bone. Then it had to sit a while while I wrote Prince by Blood and Bone and published both it and Golid and The Dark Huntsman. Last fall, when I had planned to publish it, I was instaed wrestling with Prince by Blood and Bone’s edits. And this one had to sit by the wayside. But it’s finished now, and it’s something new and different. So I hope you give my venture into the modern Gothic a chance.

To get it off to a good start I’m offering it at 99 cents for the month of August, then I’ll raise it up to it’s regular price of $2.99, so get your copy today!

ghosts of christmas past by jessica aspenGhosts of Christmas Past

A Haunted Holidays Novel

Jen MacNamara flees the Christmas wedding of her best friend and cheating fiancé and runs to the country to spend the holiday alone. It’s the perfect plan, until her unexpectedly sexy neighbor and landlord, Nate Pierce, insists on bringing the holiday to her—complete with a Christmas tree, hot chocolate, and an unexpected kiss. 

And that’s not Jen’s only problem.

 The cozy country farmhouse is already occupied by something evil. Now Jen’s nights are spent wrapped in sensual dreams of a past life, and her days growing closer to Nate as they solve the mystery of the malevolent ghost that haunts not only the house, but also wants Jen dead.

I’ve pushed published everywhere and it’s available today at:

Available now: Amazon,  Barnes and Noble, IbooksAllRomanceEbooks and Kobo at the limited time price of 99cents!

Goes up to $2.99 on September 1st, 2014

Add to your Goodreads shelf.

Join my new release newsletter for early information on specials and new releases! Click HERE to sign up.

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Filed under ghosts, Ghosts of Christmas Past, Haunted Holidays, romance, romantic suspense, Suspense

What’s Your White Elephant Idea?

Moonday Mania

it’s monday, people!

The holidays are coming, and they are arriving at light speed. I’m still finishing up the last of the turkey soup and yet I need to think about buying presents. Yes, that’s right. I haven’t even started. As usual, I have not put up the lights, or the tree, nor purchased a single Christmas present. And it’s December 9th!

yule wreathI have thought about it, though. One of my major shopping needs are white elephants and boy do I need help! My family rocks the white elephant. We’ve perfected it over the last fifteen years. If you don’t know what that is, it’s the party for cheap people. Our white elephant requires two presents per person, each under fifteen dollars, and we go two rounds of choosing anonymous presents, praying we get the wine and not the Obama Chia Pet.

Anyone over fifteen can play, and almost nothing is out of bounds. Keep it clean, people! The worst gift I received was the reindeer pooper that pooped out chocolate candy.

Recently, my daughter lamented that we never got to keep our white elephants that we brought, that no matter how hard she tries, someone else gets to take them home. We bring some nice gifts along with the weird ones. We’ve brought Godiva chocolates, super nice. portable. coffee cups filled with chocolate, cans of chocolate covered peanuts (fifteen dollars worth!). You get her sadness? All that chocolate and it ends up going to different people. Sigh.

So this year I’m bringing tea (and maybe a little chocolate). We live near the Celestial Seasonings Factory and I’m going to purchase a nice tea pot and make a tea basket. I’m thinking of using all those delicious holiday flavors like Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride, and Candy Cane Lane Green Tea. Yum!

Okay, that’s one white elephant down and I’m stumped. Any ideas? Come on, I need help! Under fifteen dollars and it can be silly or serious. What would you bring to the party?

Don’t forget to come back on Wednesday for an early Thursdays Bite and the second round of the I Read Fantasy 99 cent sale! Lot’s of prizes available and some great reads for only 99cents! 

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Every Christmas Celebration is Unique

Merry Christmas and Happy Monday Mania!

snowmen nativity

Not everyone’s family is the same. No two Christmas celebrations are identical. No matter what the media would have you believe.

At our house we have two Christmas’s, Christmas Day with Jeff’s family and Christmas Eve with mine. Christmas with my family is  twenty plus people at the table and  two rounds of the rambunctious white elephant gift exchange topped off by the yule log (yum!).

Christmas at Jeff’s house is calmer. Only seven of us, sometimes a friend who has no family in town and individual presents. It’s calm and peaceful and we top it off with a traditional dinner at the table, candles and all. And desert varies. (I believe this year we are having pumpkin pie, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone sneaks in a chocolate cream pie too!)

Two different Christmas styles, but we love them both. Not every party can be a nutcracking free for all. We’d be exhausted! And what’s important for us is we get to spend it with family.

No matter what your family looks like, if it’s made up of the family you chose or the family who have to take you in, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday with the ones you love.

There have been some terrific Christmas blogs this year so take some time and make sure you’ve hit the best!

Start off with Jenny Hansen’s More Cowbell and check out all the Holiday Yum she’s had cooking all month. From candy’s to cookies, Jenny and her pals have it covered. Oh, and if you are into more than just recipes, scroll back through some of Jenny’s posts. She is a very funny gal and makes me LOL all the time!

Kristen Lamb is another funny gal who always has something informative to say, check out her Holiday Style Post HERE.

Lizzie T. Leaf has been celebrating December with the Wenches of Words. If you’d like some new reading this holiday, HERE is the link. My choice for Christmas reading is Holley Trent and her new novella Mrs. Roth’s Merry Christmas. Gotta love a paranormal Christmas!

And if you’ve stopped here, let me know what makes your Christmas unique? And yes, that really is my nativity set. How could I resist a snowmen nativity with jewels in their bellies? Could you?

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Christmas Meme??? I’ve been tagged!

Check out Gloria Richard's Holiday Blog Hop!

I’ve been tagged by the infamous Brinda Berry to answer some Holiday Questions. Since the snow is coming down on WordPress, and I’m checking out the Romance Countdown to 2012 every day I’m in a Holiday mood! So here goes! A Christmas Meme.

meme (play /ˈmm/[1]) is “an idea, behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.”[2]  A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures.[3] Source: Wikipedia

BTW: Wikipedia is running their annual donation campaign. If you love Wikipedia, donating a few dollars is a great way to show your support. As an author Wikipedia is a terrific first stop on my research train.

Please feel free to copy these questions and answer them on your blog. This is a Christmas meme.  If you do want to play along, leave a link in the comments section. We’d love to read your Christmas interview answers! TAG–> YOU’RE IT!

I’m going to continue Brinda’s start and personally tag some terrific writers: Hillary Seidl, MLGuida, Elaine Cougler, tag…. you’re it!

Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Can’t I have both? I’m a both kind of gal. Egg Nog once a year with a sprinkle of nutmeg and a dash of rum (for good luck). Hot chocolate from fresh cocoa and soy milk heated up slowly and a dash of cinnamon and vanilla. If anyone has a vegan Egg Nog recipe, I’m all ears!
Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Santa wraps. In the same humongous floral Christmas wrap that hubby brought home ten years ago. I think we are (finally) at the end. It was on sale. I’ve been experimenting with not buying wrapping paper for the last few years, using up what we have. Re-using bags and decorated boxes. One of my favorite things to wrap in is fabric. You can use it just like paper and tie with a real ribbon, or you can sew it into a giant bag and use year after year.
Coloured lights on tree/house or white?
I love coloured lights on the tree. (Yeah, Gloria, I left the U!) And we usually do white outside. Actually last year the lights on the Charlie Brown tree died. All except for one blinking strand that only covered a portion of the middle. (More on the tree further down.)

Do you hang mistletoe?
No, but maybe I should. When you read Gloria’s expectations of the mistletoe in her house. (If you haven’t read Brinda’s blog that started this meme, click HERE to find out what Gloria is doing) I didn’t realize if I hung it up Gibbs and crew would show up! I’m going to be out tracking down the mistletoe ASAP!

When do you put your decorations up?
I used to manage to start the weekend of Thanksgiving, but last year I struggled to get the Charlie Brown tree up the few days before Christmas. That meant we had to leave it up way past Epiphany, of course. And as for outdoor lights? Last year, we had none. The year before we had bright white icicles the day after Turkey Day. This year? I still have my Thanksgiving wreath up, but that’s because I’m waiting for the local HS baseball team to start their wreath sales. The second they do, I’m buying and the wreath will be up. Hmm, that’s probably today. Guess I’d better get out there.

What is your favourite holiday dish?
This is a toughie. I guess I’d say the Yule Log. Every year someone in the family makes a Yule Log for Christmas Eve dinner. And each person puts their own twist on it. I make a chocolate cake with chocolate almond butter cream filling and dark chocolate butter cream frosting, decorated with little meringue mushrooms. But we’ve had everything from gingerbread, to ice cream cake, to donuts stuck together in a log shape with canned frosting. (Okay, that year we had two as the donut one was a joke. The other one was fantastic and made by my bearded carpenter brother-in-law!)

Favourite Holiday memory as a child?
I had the amazing experience of seeing Rudolph fly over the house in the middle of the night when I was five. That red light blinking in the sky must have been Rudolph, right? I woke everyone up and we unwrapped presents at 4am.

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
A few years later I got up in the middle of the night (did I tell you I’m up a lot?) and I saw my dad putting presents under the tree. He told me he was just checking them out, but by then I’d heard the rumors.

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
We actually open the smallest gift under the tree on the Winter Solstice. I think my mom picked the smallest ones because she could control what we opened and that way it was never the giant special present and everyone got something equal. One thing is you have to hold back whatever is smallest if that is the special present. I’ve done it with my kids and it’s usually the Christmas pj’s or bathrobes, so we all look cute on Christmas Eve.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
OK, now is the tale of the Charlie Brown Tree. We used to have a live tree, but my allergies have gotten worse and no one wants a headache for the entire Christmas season. So a few years ago I decided to go with fake, but we were low on money. My sister told me she had two in her garage (she is an amazing resource) and gave me one. Well it turns out it’s actually shorter than me, and I’m a dazzling 5’2.5″. Add in our pathetic dying light strings and the fact that for the last few years we’ve either had young cats or a puppy and you might get the picture.

Last year we only put plastic decorations on the bottom half of the tree, so the puppy wouldn’t eat the glass ones. The lights died (except for the straggling blinking hold-out) and we topped it with our traditional towering Santa, who is over a foot tall. The poor thing sways under the weight.

Oh, and it’s starting to drop plastic needles, just like a live tree. I have to vacuum frequently to keep up with the balding so the cats won’t eat them. I don’t think plastic needles in cat barf would do much for the carpet.

Snow! Love it or Dread it?
I love it! I do complain about the cold, but the truth is I love to see it come down every year. We live in Colorado, so we get a fair amount. IN FACT it’s snowing right now. Don’t you see it coming down on the screen?

Can you ice skate?
HAHAHAHAHA! Um. No. Not well. (I’m just leaving Gloria’s comment. She and I can sit by the fire together and drink hot chocolate and take pictures with her Polaroid Camera of all you athletic types with strong ankles.)

Do you remember your favourite gift?
My first niece was born on Christmas Eve, that was pretty exciting!

What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Socializing. I love the parties and seeing friends and family for an entire month. I can skip the presents (shh, don’t tell my husband or he might take me seriously) but I love the fact that people make the time to get out and have fun!

What is your favourite Holiday Dessert?
OOH! I think I already covered this one with the Yule Log. The gingerbread chocolate one was pretty good, as was the German traditional one my brother did, with a more vanilla type cake. Can’t wait to see what my nephew comes up with this year, he’s on a low-carb kick, so it might be black bean and sugar free.

What is your favourite holiday tradition?
We spend Christmas Eve with my family and have a white elephant gift exchange for the anyone over fifteen. We like it so much that everyone brings two gifts and we have two rounds. You have the choice to open a new gift or steal an already opened gift. If someone steals your gift, you can then open a new one, or steal another. The stealing can get pretty crazy. Especially if somone throws, say, Godiva chocolates or movie tickets into the mix. But watch out if you pick a new gift. It might be a Chia pet or a 2 foot baby doll decorated entirely in hard candies.

What tops your tree?
The towering Santa rules the tree.

Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
I like both! Once again, I don’t want to make a choice. Are you seeing a pattern here?

What is your favourite Christmas Song?
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. We have to play that every year! That and I love my mom’s old Christmas recording of Go Tell it On the Mountain with the very low deep man singing. Wish I had a copy of that one!

Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?
Did I forget to tell you about the Charlie Brown Candy Canes. I recycle. They keep, don’t they? From year to year I just stick the same ones on. Hey, don’t eat the candy on the tree,  go for the bowl instead.

Favourite Christmas Show?
I love the Sant Clause. In fact I love all of them. They are hilarious!

Saddest Christmas Song
Oh, I don’t like the sad ones. I change the station. No depression during the Holiday season for me! Put that Grandma got run over song on again! I want to laugh.

Thanks for dropping by. Please feel free to copy the questions, or make your own and leave a comment with your blog address. I’ll try to get by if you do! And hop on over to Brinda’s blog where this all started. Gloria’s Holiday Interview is there. Any unusual Holiday traditions? Leave a comment and share.

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