The Christmas Memories by Katrina Hart…

The Christmas Memories.

When I was a child, my mum used to create a wonderland of festive cheers. It always started with the growing excitement about how the tree fairies would come one night and put up our tree, complete with a fairy on the top and treats wrapped and placed in all different directions. And indeed, for many, many years the little tree fairies put up the tree and we always had so much fun in the morning looking through the branches to find the chocolate or candy canes. I’d normally have Fluffy, my cat, in my arms and be showing him each shiny bauble, treat or tinsel covered branches.

Then mum, my sisters and I hang our stockings and our Nan and Grandad would visit and say what a wonderful pretty tree it was.  Mum would get us all advent calendars, so we could all count up to the big day when Santa would fly through our house and leave gifts for us and our pets.

As Christmas got closer dad would take us to pick mum a gift for Christmas and our pets something too, then we’d spend weeks trying hard, very hard not to tell her, her surprise, it was never easy but most of the time we made it to Christmas. In the week leading up to Christmas day mum would take me and my two sisters to see Santa Claus— I was never keen on him and to my mum’s horror refused to sit on his knee for a photo, so I’d stand beside him looking a little sulky or scared so she at least got a photo.

On Christmas Eve, mum and my stepdad would pack us in the car and deliver presents to our relatives who could not come for Christmas day, we’d pop in and say hi to Nan and Grandad and then race home to make mince pies, jam tarts, Christmas cake, and all kinds of baked things. Everywhere would smell so yummy before we left milk and a mince pie out for Santa and of course a few carrots for his reindeers—they had a long journey too.

I could never sleep at Christmas so would lay in bed with my small special Peter Rabbit book under my covers reading or making up my own stories from the photos of the bunnies until the light started filtering through the windows. I’d then sneak into my sisters’ rooms and wake them quietly and guide them on our hands and knees like three little puppies down the stairs as not to wake mum, then we crawl behind the sofa and look at all the beautifully wrapped presents left from Santa.

A little while later by 6 am we wake mum and make her get dressed because Santa has come and none of us wants to waste a single second,  my sister and I also get dressed. I grab Fluffy, who still sleeping from my bed so he can sit on my lap as mum takes photos and if I’m honest I’ve never liked being singled out for photos, but it makes mum happy.

Mum is the last to get downstairs and makes her morning coffee, then get her camera and we all sit around the tree and pass around presents excited to see what’s inside. Mum used to smile proudly because in truth she really put the effort in and we love her for that… I feel the joy when she liked her cherished teddy, I got her because making others smile is the greatest joy of all.

A few hours later and toys and paper everywhere, mum goes to start Christmas dinner and my Nan and Grandad turn up, they too give us gifts and stay for dinner. Nan used to love baileys and let me sneak a sip or dip my finger in it. She loved the festive season too.

I never wanted the day to end because everyone was together and shared the love on Christmas

Boxing day my Nan used to host a huge party with cake, biscuit and lots of yummy things on her table in the spare living room for us to choose from, we used to also find a little dolly gift on her tree for us to have. She was the life and soul of the party and loved Christmas.

These were the Christmases that really felt like Christmas, everyone was here, having fun and it was true magic. Since then I’ve grown up and sometimes Christmas doesn’t feel the same. But I still feel the magic and blessing because I have my mum to share presents and smiles with. My boyfriend who asked me out around this time of year and who celebrates with me and my nieces on boxing day who love this time a year…

Even friends that help me with my Christmas cheer and for all of that, I feel like Christmas still has its magic in my heart, not always as easy but still there. I guess I also see how much I am like my mum, now the fairies have moved on to new trees and I put my own in my room up. I have special decorations that come out every year mum gave me just like mum always does and add a few new ones to pretty it up.

However, Christmas to me is about those I love and care about and spreading the smiles and joy to carry all year round because Christmas come and go, presents you can grow out of but memories you never do.

Happy Festive season

The end.



When The Heart Simply Melts, Katharine O’Neill

When The Heart Simply Melts

When someone asks what’s your number one priority in life, I always say my family. However, my fiancé and I are very camera-shy, so there is very little evidence of our eight-year journey together. But there is a lot of evidence of who joined us along the way. The source of most of my love.

Our kids.

They drive us mad, they like to push it, but they have our unconditional love. When one of them smiles at me, I can’t help but feel proud of them, even when they were being naughty a few moments before. They come up for cuddles, and that’s when my heart melts. It melts even more when I hear praise about them. Danny and George are my pride and joy.

My daughter is one of those kids that loves to learn. She will be sitting on the sofa for five seconds and then say she’s bored. She loves to be kept busy, excelling in sports and doing great at school. No one has a bad thing to say about her, and Danny is very protective of her little brother (when they’re playing nicely!). There is always a time when she drives me crazy, but she’s an absolute darling. I can’t help but smile whenever she’s doing something.

George, my little boy, is a lot more laidback. There will be moments when he’s got no off-switch and he runs around like a mad thing, but then he’s happy to lie on the sofa and relax. He loves things in a routine, which makes things a lot easier. And now he’s starting to talk a lot more, there’s no stopping him! There is a bright little spark in there, one that can only be coaxed out.

There is one place that does make both of them smile and that is at my parents’ home. We headed down there for a week over the summer, and both children were excited about going out to many parks, visiting beautiful places, and spending time with me and their dad while we had a holiday of our own from work!

These two are mad for the park, as you can see. It feels like every ten minutes they ask to go to the park. Danny loves to climb everywhere and swing on the bars. She’s like the energizer bunny. George is happy enough on the rocking animals and going down the slide about fifty times before he goes to something else. They are fine with other children, but it’s clear they prefer to play together. Danny looks after George when they’re out. And they come home with beaming smiles, something that I love to see.

I can’t ask for better. Especially with Danny. When I ended up in hospital two years ago due to blood clots, she helped her father look after George, who was barely a year old, and then me when I came out. There’s always a cuddle when I’m not well or asking if I want a wet flannel for my head to ease a migraine. And George has picked up on her caring side, stroking Danny’s head if she hurts herself or hugging her is she’s not feeling well. Whatever Danny does, George copies, which can be good in most things. Obviously, not in others, but they’re still kids. It’s bound to happen.

Am I proud of them when they do something? Absolutely. Do they let me get my work done during the day? I should be so lucky!

But do I love them? More than I can tell you.

Katharine O’Neill

Author Bio

Katharine has wanted to be a writer as long as she can remember. She wrote her first novel at the age of fifteen when she was supposed to be studying for her GCSEs. At university, she studied Creative Writing and Film and TV Studies, graduating in 2010. After some years in the health industry as a community carer, Katharine then turned to freelance ghostwriting in 2015. The freelancing became a full-time job and, to date, she has written over 300 short stories, novellas and novels of romantic fiction to various clients. In June 2018, Katharine had her first novella, A Day to Remember, published with JMS Books. In August 2018, she was accepted for another contract with Cobblestone Press, the short story, named The Walrider’s Woman, due out in 2019.

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The Change of Seasons By Tayler Macneill

The Change of Seasons By Tayler Macneill

I get so excited when it snows and the feeling it brings from with in is remarkable. As a fictional writer I have always loved the feeling of the magic I felt as the words written came alive on the paper, well winter has the same effect on me. I watch as the snow falls from the sky and gently covers the earth, a feeling of peace fills my heart, making it feel surreal. It’s the one season where people are jolly and feel a need to truly celebrate.

My favourite thing to do is to curl up in front of the fire place and watch the snow fall out the big picture window. I love when the flakes are huge, sadly they never last when they are.

How about the mornings you wake up to the thick blankets of snow, and the kids are excited and chattering about going out to play. Winter clothes scattering all over the floor as they try to find their boots, moms letting out a huge sigh as they watch the mess rise.

Standing at the back door with a hot cup of coffee and watching the kids as they tumble around in the snow, laughing and having fun. Remembering what it was like when we were that age and how we wished we still had it in us to let it out, although appreciating the quiet moments of being an adult.

This is something my kids want every time the holidays roll around, maybe you will want to try it.


Have a great day everyone 

Author Tayler Macneill.

A must try

3/4 cup hot chocolate

1/4 eggnog

cover it with whip cream

sprinkle it with coloured sprinkles

drizzled Carmel over the top and 

add a candy cane into the hot chocolate 

and let it melt.




#free chapter ~ #thedarkestsideofthemoon

#free chapter ~ #thecrackofevil


Family Affair by Anna Shenton

Family Affair by Anna Shenton

Hi everyone, I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have the opportunity to write a Christmas post on the very lovely Katrina Marie Hearts blog. Thank you, Katrina, it is a delight to be here.

Christmas can be a stressful time of year for many! And I like to think that we can spare a thought for anyone in dark times.

As a child, Christmas was so different to today’s times but as equally pleasant.

I recall Christmas Eve being my favourite time. Marth, my late mother from Germany gave my two siblings and I, an amazing time. Christmas eve, we had to leave the room while mum lite the candles on the tree, the smell still lingers now, it was amazing. All presents were then hidden around the room in places you would never imagine to look. We sang carols, a special favourite Silent Night, oow I feel Goosebumps as I tell you. It was Joyous. At the strike of midnight the hunt was on and we tore our way around the room to discover little things, like Oranges, nuts, skipping ropes, slippers, and cuddly teddies. To us that was just so wonderful. Those were the days.

For me now, I’m blessed with a large family of two sons, four stepsons and all the wonderful wife’s/partners and grandchildren. I hardly have time to breathe. But I just love it. Seeing tiny faces full of excitement and joy ripping their way through numerous gifts, there is no better scene. Once the sea of wrapping paper has been gathered and all toys, chocolates, puzzles and everything else has been stacked into piles for each child the chaos starts in the kitchen. Well on this occasion it was little Eadies first Christmas and she was a little bamboozled by it all. But hey, my daughter-in-law Gemma and I enjoyed predrinks whilst the men chopped, peeled and basted in the kitchen. Yippee, so with our crowns placed safely on our heads a photo shoot was about to take place.  Gemma, Macy, Martha and myself happily seated on the couch ready for the snap. Then all of a sudden Adam scooped up Little Eadie from the kitchen floor in her pink too too and rushed her to the lounge and dumped her in front of us taking prime position at the front of the photo gathering just in time. I think you’ll agree, although she wasn’t quite sure about the vast move in mid-air, she certainly made the picture.

I’ve included a poem I wrote during this time and I hope you enjoy it.

My love for writing captures times, imagination, events and so much more. It is a gift that anyone can enjoy.

If you would like to look at some of my writing works I’d be delighted to share those with you just follow the link. Thank You.

Thank you once again, Katrina, for your invite and I sincerely hope you and everyone around us has a wonderful peaceful time HAPPY CHRISTMAS X


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Guest Post By Maren Klement Author of Insight.

Guest Post By Maren Klement Author of Insight.

Writing a novel with war as one of the themes was a long time coming for me. I have been studying war fiction for some time now, my exam thesis was on WW1 fiction and I have been reading and watching anything I could get my hands on. The fact that I chose a modern war has more to do with my other theme. I wanted both main characters to be a gay couple, but I never meant for it to be the main focus. As I was growing up I was missing those books which simply had an LGBT character not because it was something special but because it was one tiny part of their personality and life. LGBT books, at least the ones I could get my hands on, were about coming out or struggling with HIV. It seemed LGBT characters could only be used in conjunction with these topics, but never simply because they were LGBT, and a teacher, a soldier, a mother, an accountant, someone struggling with their job or family life or a dragon in a medieval castle. Fiction is slowly changing, and partly I wanted something I would read myself and partly I wanted to be a part of that change. I wanted to write a couple, which was gay, yes, but which was mainly a normal couple that would struggle with the hardships that had been thrown their way.

Like a lot of other writers, I used to write a lot of fanfiction, so naturally, the idea came out of that and I took inspiration from shows and films that played in the Afghanistan war of the 2000s. There are many difficult conversations to be had around that topic, and one that often gets shunned to the side is the psychological struggle soldiers have once they return home, whether they are injured or not. Will comes home with severe injuries which intensifies the struggle, of course, and forces him to adopt not just one new perspective but several.

Coming back to normality after having had such an experience must be difficult, but other than the families nobody really notices or talks much about it. My thesis was about the psychological trauma that WW1 soldiers suffered and how they were treated both during the war and after. Because of that, this topic has always been very close to my heart and I have wanted to write about these struggles for quite some time. The difference between 1918 and the 2000s is that perception of war has changed and not everyone appreciates soldiers risking their lives in a war that perhaps no one wanted to be fought. I touch a little bit on that as well because I think those are conversations that come up and infiltrate a soldier’s life. It’s that question of justifying it – for the outside world and yourself.

Ultimately, at the heart of my novel is the relationship between Alex and Will; what they used to have and what they will have after the war. And a little bit that question of ‘why fight a war?’ and ‘why be a soldier?’.


Author bio:

Marén Klement grew up in Germany but very early on became an anglophile, studying English Language and Literature as well as Philosophy at University. For her day job she works as a teacher, but has been writing since she was six and dreamed of becoming a published author since then. Writing both German and English fiction, she has delved into short stories, poetry and of course novels. Her first novel ‘Insight’, orginal language English, was published in August 2018 with New Generation Publishing and she hopes to continue down this path.


Returning home from deployment in Afghanistan, Will has to come to terms with lung damage, one blind eye, and going back to a life that’s not quite the same anymore. So does Alex, his partner.


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Sadly I’m not taking part anymore, but please of support those who are doing Foster An Author 2018.

Foster An Author 2018

Morning all,

This blog post is about what is coming up this month. Sadly I’ve had to pull out of  Foster An Author program. It was a very new concept to me that I learned about a few weeks back. But at the end of this month, I start my festive count up with a mini blog series in which some wonderful authors have agreed to take part, so keep an eye on those.

So, what is Foster An Author program all about? 

Well, Foster An Author is where bloggers get to foster authors for a week and promote their books on social media each day of that week. Bloggers and Authors are paired randomly by organisers of the program. It starts from the 22-26 October. So go and support Scarlett Holloway and many other authors taking part this year.

So, my lovely readers, this is how you can support authors and bloggers, tweeting, sharing and commenting on the host blog and enter the fantastic giveaways that some authors will be conducting throughout the week. Show love for the authors that promise to take you on so many mind-popping adventures, and the foster bloggers for their time to host and share authors.

Facebook hashtags  #FosterAnAuthor2018 or #FAA2018

I hope everyone is having a great week.

Katie. x


My Review Lights Rise (Light in the Darkness book 1) By Yvette Bostic.

My Review

Lights Rise (Light in the Darkness book 1)

By Yvette Bostic.

I enjoyed Light Rise it was rather different than my normal book choices, but I was drawn in by the lovely cover. This book is entertaining and full of adventures. Also, throughout this story you’re given plenty of characters to get behind right up until the very end. I loved how this book was full of magic against the backdrop of war, and the battle of good versus evil consumes the story and you never really know who will win.

The story itself follows Darian as he is dragged into time travel by the council of light. He is dragged into a war he was not prepared for, but destined to face. After a crash course in his new mystical abilities, he’s set to go up against the devil and trap him in a magical book. Will he succeed? Or will the devil present him with a more tempting offer to topple the balance towards the dark side? You’ll have to read this book to find out.

This book has some wonderful scenes and it blurs the lines between good and evil, right and wrong. I thought in some ways this book spoke of our moral compass on whether we help others or get driven to darker places where our morality and humanity is tested.

The author did a great job at ramping up the tension between Darian and the council as they march closer to the impending evil. The ending was very interesting and brought this novel to a great point between possible redemption and the possibility of another story in the making.

I would recommend this novel for anyone who likes stories laced with battle and magic, good and evil and characters that you will either love to get behind or love to hate. Either way, this is a great adventure.

Also, this book has a novella that is like a prequel if you want to start from there. However,  this novel can be read and enjoyed on its own.

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