Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Even the Grinch can’t find a reason to hate it

The Christmas season is the greatest

Presents shining under a decked out tree

And sweet treats made from secret family recipes

But most of all the only thing I need

Is to spend some time with the people who love me



The Gift of The Present: Christmas Gift Haul!

2017 has been special in many ways for me. I published my first book and started an author blog. Come to that, just the fact that I finally, finally got to come back to doing the blogging I so love has been really awesome. So you can guess that my Christmas wishlist had some pretty writer oriented gifts requested on it (some people have requested demanded we introduce wishlists for Christmas presents at least because they aren’t the sort to be happy with anything that is not in their mental wishlist already, and apparently my family is the sort that will negotiate with at least holiday terrorists and require that the rest of us follow along. Yeah, it’s not really my idea, I love the surprise of gifts I actually had no idea about, instead of just not knowing which option you already picked out they’ll give you, but oh well.)

I’ll skip the boring stuff- stocking stuffers are mainly chocolates, other candies, a clementine, and random practical bits like lip balm or socks, so we’ll definitely skip these gifts that are lovely to receive but boring to read a blog post about- and get right to the good gifts by category. I’ve had crafting, entertainment, and electronic gifts, so I’ve organized the list below that way. Have fun living vicariously through my spoils of war!

Christmas Gifts for the Hobbyist

Craft Gifts

Thread scissors are amazing for embroidery, hand sewing, AND machine sewing projects, which is great if you have any of those hobbies. Or, you know, if you just have low quality clothes in your closet that get a lot of loose threads you have to snip. These are great too if you are a hobby sewer because they look super pretty and come in a handy holster so they won’t get lost in the mess that seems to always pile up on crafting, sewing, and hobby tables- especially when they’re in use!

If you’ve ever had to get embroidery thread through the eye of a small needle, then you have been wanting this your whole life. Actually not kidding here, a needle threader is life changing if you ever do any hand sewing of any sort- even if you just sew on a button once in a blue moon this makes things so. much. easier!

Christmas Gifts for Those who Love Entertainment

Movie and Book Gifts

Yes, I have become the kind of person who collects blank notebooks. Thankfully I don’t just have empty books I’ve never filled and I’m actually steadily filling up my collection with sketches and freewrites and poetry, but I still have several empty notebooks waiting to be used. I added this notebook to my wishlist anyway and I’m so glad I got it- it has dragon and is pretty, and the paper can be used for art or writing. What’s not to love?

I know, this isn’t exactly a new release. But I haven’t seen the movie since the one time I saw it in theaters and LOVED it. It was super cute, and the story was interesting, and the animation was satisfying. I was all around a fan of the movie and glad to have received it.

It turns out the story of my favorite tv series, Avatar the Last Airbender, actually continues after the last episode in a series of comics. I know, I must have lived under a rock to not know this already, I’m ashamed at how behind the times I am too. Anyway, I found this out and have bought a few one buck comics at the local comic store, but I don’t go past the store very often and I don’t ever want to ask the shopkeeper for help finding a particular comic because somehow that is stressful to me, so I figured instead it would be best for me to collect the multi comic collections wrapped up as three volumes. I received the first of these as my Christmas present a few days ago, and I’m looking forward to gathering the rest!

Electronics Gifts

So, why would an author need a hardrive that can store four whole terabytes of information? Honestly, I actually write enough that this insane amount of digital storage is really useful for me. Plus I take photos for blogging and such, so that’s handy. PLUS, and this is really important, I’m still working on figuring out video editing so I can eventually start up a Youtube channel. I’m not going to commit to an official release date to a channel because you know and I know that whatever date I write down I will be extreme waaaay past deadline on it, so I don’t want to disappoint you by promising it will happen by a particular day in the first place. Suffice to say it will happen, and having something that can store all that will be super useful.

I just know for certain in my gut that this will change my life as a writer. Think about it- I could be painting my nails while I am dictating a book. I could dictate a manuscript in half the time of writing it all out, with less typos than my own writing. (Yes, I know even Dragon makes typos, but I am sure I make even more- my editor is a patient soul who deserves the highest praises for fixing all my technical mistakes.)

Yes, I did receive a wireless mouse. The story of the mouse is that our house has just one working mouse, and five people who borrow it. So, obviously, no one can get the mouse when they want it. This means that I do hours of writing and editing work on the stupid tiny trackpad attached to my laptop. I guess someone was just tired of going without a mouse themselves and decided to give everyone their own to end the great mouse war, but I am just glad that I can now do computer work a little more comfortably!

Christmas Gifts for Makeup Lovers

I got just a few beauty gifts this year, but they were very good and very worth planting the idea in your ear so you have it in mind when the next friend’s birthday rolls by. For this one I’ll also throw in my favorite stocking stuffer gift I received!

So, what gift do you give to the person obsessed with nail polish? Well, every nail polish lover must have at least one bottle of holographic polish. Holo polish reflects rainbows, and this bad boy managed to put on a solid holographic finish in just two coats, which is a total win for any glitter type nail polish really. It is not super cheap, but it works and it is free of the top most common toxic chemicals found in most drug store nail polish brands, so I’d say it’s worth it except I didn’t actually buy mine so I really have no right to say that realistically. I still will though because, holo.

This is a solid shampoo, which is weird. It also claims to be worth the same amount of shampoo as a full 24 oz bottle, which is crazy. But it smells good, lathers well, hasn’t stripped or greased my hair like some of the Lush solid shampoos have, so I’m psyched by this discovery.

Christmas Gifts for The Sporty

Or Gifts For People who Workout Just to Stay Healthy

Running socks make all the difference between an okay run and a great run (does a great run even exist though? Sometimes it almost feels like I’m actually having fun while running, so maybe. I still hate the getting out the door to just get going and feeling tired and gross afterwards though so I’m not a complete run loving monster.) These running socks are purple, high enough so the back of the shoe doesn’t dig into my ankle like most shorty socks leave me exposed to, and it’s made of natural wool so it doesn’t hold onto that obnoxious funk sweat wicking polyester fabrics have a problem with.

Yes, I did in fact ask for water inflattible dumbells. They are life changing if you love weight training but travel a few times a year because hotel gyms tend to have cardio equipment and nothing else. These are great for on the go workouts and they work well in my house filled with worryworts who’d be stressed by heavy weights living in the house all the time. They are the top reviewed water filled travel weights on Amazon as well so that sold me on this particular pair, and apparently it sold my family member enough to choose this as one of my presents!

Present for The Haul

So there you have it! These are all the gifts I got for Christmas this year. I’m really glad for all of them. It’s a little sad that I don’t get completely surprised by my gifts like I used to- because everything changed once the gift list became mandatory in my family- but there’s still some benefit I guess in knowing you won’t get a single present you want to return. Unless, of course, they are super expensive leather ankle slippers that claim to fit size Women’s 10-11 but can not even be squeezed onto my size 8 feet. Those will be returned, so they don’t count for this list because they failed me. Every other under tree gift I got is listed here and they were all awesome.

How did your holidays go?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Even the Grinch can’t find a reason to hate it

The Christmas season is the greatest

Presents shining under a decked out tree

And sweet treats made from secret family recipes

But most of all the only thing I need

Is to spend some time with the people who love me


Deck the Halls! A Fantasy Christmas Book Roundup

Let me tell you, for years I have labored under the misunderstanding that Christmas books were only written for small children or adults. Well my friends, I have now stumbled onto the world of YA Christmas books, and I’m happy to share that discovery with you!

Not just any YA books though. Today in #SeasonReading I am exploring holiday books that focus on ~Fantasy~. I know, I didn’t think a Christmas/YA/Fantasy genre crossover was possible before either, but I’m so glad to learn it is.

I’ve rounded up a variety pack of different interesting sounding holiday themed books. Full disclosure though, I have not actually read any of these books. They just sound interesting to me and have good reviews online. Just thought I should warn you.

Sweet Christmas Books

A YA Fantasy based on the story of Santa’s popular daughter falling in love with the new outcast in town. The reviews of this are a little mixed because it is apparently a very punny and cute book, and it seems some people were annoyed by the cuteness. I feel like that doesn’t necessarily have to be the book’s fault though- it may be a great book, but it’s well known that Americans tend to feel something almost like revulsion when something cute is aimed at anyone over the age of five. If you actually enjoy cute sometimes though this sounds like the reviewers did actually enjoy the story itself a lot so it sounds like a win if you are interested in an easy read.

Gritty Christmas Books

The Coal Elf

A bit of Dystopia has come to the North Pole. This is sort of like “The Giver” meets the story of Santa’s elves, and I have to say I’ve never seen a genre that needed a gritty oppressive society as much as Christmas Fantasy. Is that even a genre? I feel like it must be, I’ve read so many books about Santa’s workshop when I was a kid. Anyway, this book sounds exciting, and if the cuteness of the first option isn’t cutting it for you then this is the complete opposite and should be right up your alley.

Christmas Fairy Tales

The Metal Horse Learns Spanglish: And Other Quirky Holiday Stories

If the other two options sounded too much- too cute, too harsh- then this should be the Goldilocks book that is just right. A collection of stories you definitely have never read or heard of before, involving heroes that have never stared in other books before, this is kind of like a much less famous fairy tale collection in the same vein as Hans Christian Anderson, except of course it’s written from an American perspective.

Christmas Books for Teens

I know these books have been added to the top of my tbr pile. What about you? What do you think? Do these books sound like a win for you?

Holidays in Many Ways


Today was the office holiday party. It was a bizarre experience- I’ve taken on a great job working with books all day. I actually really like the job. It’s a very decent and human place to work with total understanding of needs to take time off (unlike every retail job ever), I can be as social or unsocial as I like, and did I mention they have holiday parties? I don’t mean like the kind of awkward parties some offices have where all the junior staff are expected to cough up the money for everything, but instead it was a nice real party where I could just show up and enjoy myself.

Not that I’m saying my previous jobs have been awful. Just that I really like this job and there’s a lot of actually nice and friendly people who work there.

But as tempting as the wonderful comfort of a great job with a great work atmosphere is, I still am working towards being a full time writer supported fully by my work. I’m enjoying my work, and enjoying the holidays. I’m just still determined to not allow myself to enjoy this forever.

I don’t particularly know why I shared this post with you. I want you guys to know that I’m still writing, and I’m working towards writing even more, but I’m not writing as fast as I’d like right now because I also have a pay-the-bills job on my plate. Which I suppose makes me the same as 80% of all authors. So maybe I won’t post on the blog every day from now on and focus on spending more of my writing time writing books.

But in the meantime, no matter what kind of writing I’m doing, I’m also enjoying Christmas, and I hope you enjoy whatever holiday you celebrate.

Tis The Season for Readin’

I think as today is December first it is officially the Holiday Season. That’s right, it’s time for holiday breaks off of school, and sipping warm drinks (if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, that is!) The best thing of all to celebrate in my mind is that a season that comes with vacation time, to me, is basically a season for reading!

This month I’m going to share a few reading lists of the books I personally love to read each December. #SeasonReading is all about books that make you get the warm fuzzies and think about giving, thankfulness, family, friends, and the holiday you celebrate as well as learning about other holidays out there!

Christmas Novels

To start this series off with a bang I’m going to jump us into the necessary Christmas classics! Obviously I’ll stretch the definition of classic a little bit- who doesn’t love a reinterpretation of a well loved story, like reading a book version of the Nutcracker?- but they’ll be familiar stories in some form or another to the majority of you. I also only included full length novels in this list. There are plenty of picture books for children that fill the theme, but we aren’t going to go over them today because I think when I’m in a mood for a novel never really seems to overlap with the times I’m in a mood to enjoy a dear friend in the form of a picture book, you know?

Don’t worry if that’s not your thing though- we’re going to do more modern YA holiday books, novels featuring other holidays, and cross genre holiday novels. You’re bound to find something you are interested in reading up on!


Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker by [Maguire, Gregory] Check it out here

This creative retelling of the Nutcracker is at the top of my own Christmas wish list. I still haven’t read it, but it has a lot of great reviews and comes from the same author who wrote “Wicked” (yes the very same book that inspired the Broadway musical!) so I am pretty sure it will be amazing. By the way- I get literally no money out of recommending other author’s books. I really don’t benefit at all from it. But I want you guys to enjoy the holidays with great books more than I want to make a buck.

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol | Penguin Books Australia

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe Quotes. QuotesGram

This really isn’t the first thing people think of when they think of Christmas books. But it is a full length novel that details the fight between Father Christmas and the evil witch who got rid of Christmas, so it’s still pretty apropos. Besides, it’s a great story and I think there’s always a reason to read a good book.

What do you think of this list? Do you love it? Share your favorite Winter holiday novels with me in the comments, especially if you want to share your favorites for the diverse holidays blog post!